There’s an ongoing joke in the field of dietetics that all Registered Dietitians have the same personality. Rules oriented, over achievers, punctual, and typically female, we’re a fun bunch at a party! While we may share some of the same traits (although I personally struggle with punctuality and rules), we don’t all practice and preach nutrition in the same way. Nutrition research is constantly evolving, and hopefully, we can agree that there is not a one size fits all solution to health and wellness. There are ways to create and cultivate healthy habits, but when it comes to food, it’s often personal. Just look at the comments section of any article posted about a particular diet. Whether you believe in eating vegetarian, vegan, Paleo, low-fat, low-carb, Intermittent Fasting, Whole30, Mediterranean, eating with your eyes closed, or on one leg, there are redeeming qualities found in each. Most emphasize whole foods and balanced sources of protein, carbs, and fat. Is there enough research to back all of them? Not all, but most. Is that ok? Sure. Can you ever eat enough vegetables? Not really.
The food someone eats who has Type 2 Diabetes and is trying to lose weight is going to look a bit different than someone who has never had a weight problem and is trying to be healthier. Maybe you enjoy lots of different food in moderation, but your friend feels more comfortable abstaining to find their personal balance. Eating can be fun and entertaining, but if you’ve struggled with health problems, it can also be a lot of trial and error. All in all, you do you, but working with a dietitian can be one of the best ways to get started in the right direction.
How else can a Registered Dietitian help you? Let me count the ways:
+ Dietitians help you bypass the bullsh*t
All dietitians can agree on eating more high fiber and leafy, green vegetables and limiting the amount of overly processed and sugary foods. You also don’t need a cleanse either. Your super sexy liver does that job for you! It’s doing it right now actually. So the next time you read about the latest and greatest diet plan, think to yourself, is this sustainable? Could I continue this for a long period of time or is it a short-term plan? Can I get enough nutrients like protein, carbs, and fat? If you’re still confused, contact your friendly, neighborhood Registered Dietitian. No gimmicks or giving up your firstborn required.
+ Dietitians give you a boost of self-confidence
I work with clients every day on developing healthy habits. What I’ve found is that the more you do that habit, the better you feel about yourself, and the more confident you feel in making those healthy decisions. Sounds simple, right? Jump to real life, and you just worked a 10-hour day, and your kids are hungry, that healthy habit goes out the window if there’s no fail-safe plan in place. Making decisions is one of the hardest things to do during the course of the day. We get “decision fatigue”, which makes it difficult to make the best choice day in and day out. So what do you do when you fall off the wagon and feel guilty? You get back on that wagon and keep working to make that habit stick. Dietitians can help you make those habits sustainable and work for you, without the guilt.
+ Dietitians help you see all you can eat and not what you shouldn’t eat
If you’ve ever wondered about hemp seeds or how to make blueberry muffins without a lot of sugar, a dietitian can help. Our degrees are two parts really hard science, one part culinary skills, and a dash of sparkle magic. While I’m no chef, I can help you with simple techniques to make your next batch of quinoa the best one yet. Many of my clients enjoy eating out, but I also figure out more ways so you can cook for yourself, even if you only have 10 minutes. When we make something from scratch, we begin to understand ingredients and develop techniques to make the process easier. I once read that there really is no such thing as simple, easy cooking, but like perfecting a cat-eye with liquid liner, or learning to swim, you get better over time. The more you cook, the better you become, and (wait for it)…the more confident you can be.
+ Dietitians help you grow and thrive
There have been many times that I’ve started off a client meeting thinking we’ll focus on the highs and lows of the week, but within five minutes, I’m passing the Kleenex. That’s ok, though! Often if you’ve struggled with an eating disorder or body image issues, talking about your relationship with food can feel extremely personal and emotional. Food shouldn’t cause you strife and discomfort. Food can be fun, delicious, entertaining, but most importantly, food is the fuel that provides energy to live your life and do the things you love. Let’s work to make food not the sole reason you exist. It’s in those emotional moments that I often see the “tipping point” for many. Light bulbs turn on, and with a bit of information and guidance from a dietitian, you can become the best version of yourself.