You may be thinking to yourself, Why would I see a dietitian? You know how to eat, you know that fruit and vegetables are good for you, and you know that lean meat is better than sausages, but sometimes I like sausages, and they are cheaper, and the kids like them, so I will buy them, and I don't want a dietitian who most probably eats perfectly all the time to tell me what I can or cannot eat?
I can assure you that a dietitian is not the food police, and in my practice, I would not ever tell anyone not to eat something, especially since I love lots of foods including Ice-cream, Chocolate and Pizza!
What is a dietitian?
A dietitian is clinically trained to work with people who have illness or disease. A dietitian has completed a 4-year university degree with a very strong focus on human science, nutrition science, public health, cooking, and eating. This means I can help teach you why and how food impacts your health, and how to make changes to your diet and lifestyle that can help improve your health. A nutritionist is not clinically trained and cannot give advice on any clinical condition.
When would it be a good idea to see a dietitian?
If you have just had a diagnosis that has a nutrition/dietary component to the illness, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, IBS, coeliac disease, Crohn's disease to name a few. I am able to help you understand the condition, and empower you to make positive decisions to improve your dietary intake to improve your quality of life without engaging in any diets.
What is a non-diet dietitian?
I will never ever give you a prescriptive diet that involves restriction, even if you come to me for weight management. Sound counterintuitive? I know this is probably not what you thought you would hear from a dietitian, but using mindfulness, intuitive eating, and focusing on what is important to eat, we can stay clear of any fad diet, or restrictive diet.
I also work with the Health At Every Size (HAES) approach to health. This means you CAN be healthy at any size, and we step away from the thin ideal and look for other measures of health. Unless clinically indicated, weight is not something I will address with my clients. instead, we focus on really to enjoy food, learn how to cook, eat in moderation, and eat a nutritionally adequate diet. One way to think of this is "how can I eat that will give me joy for the rest of my life?" because eating should be joyful, and fun, and be a positive part of life.
What is a nutritionally adequate diet?
One that is balanced, contains variety and all of the food groups are included.
Where I can really help is when there may be allergies, or intolerances, or general dislikes, I can help with swapping foods to ensure you are always getting the vitamins and minerals you need to maintain your health. FOOD IS ALWAYS FIRST! Sometimes people may need supplementation, however, unless a deficiency has been shown in a blood test, food will always be the superior and most beneficial way to consume your nutrients.
GUT health- everyone is talking about it.
Gut health is the new buzz word- and with good reason too. Healthy poo means healthy you! BUT beware, there are lots of health claims about gut health curing many diseases from depression, to autism, to cancer. The research is still very young around this topic, and no one should be claiming any cure to any disease at this stage, as the evidence just does not yet exist. The best-generalised advice I can give at this stage is to eat a wide variety of plant foods if this is accessible to you.
How many times will I need to see a dietitian to achieve my health goals?
This is a question I cannot answer. This is something we would discuss on your first visit. I do recommend at least 3 visits over 4-6 weeks, but for most people behaviour change happens over a longer period and having someone to be accountable for can help for a permanent change. Therefore, a longer treatment package with 5 visits may be better suited. This is why I have discounted treatment packages so you can make a positive commitment to your future health.