It’s an exciting time to be in the field of nutrition but at the same time, never has there been so much nutrition information available to the public; the sources seem endless: youtube, social media, websites, blogs and more. There are many other professions, both regulated and unregulated, who are providing nutrition advice, advice that influences public opinion and perception.
Not only that, there is a wave of misinformation about what a Registered Dietitian is, what we do as work, what our values are, questions about regulation, and a lack of awareness of the quality of our education and training.
I believe that the time for Registered Dietitians is now; Registered Dietitians are poised to take a greater lead with respect to being seen as the preferred choice for nutrition advice and as credible nutrition professionals.
Registered Dietitians have the solid education and training needed to fulfill this role by helping the public sort through all of the nutritional chatter, dogma, ‘nutritional religion’ and misinformation that they encounter everyday. It is for this reason that I wanted to share a Registered Dietitian ‘creed’ of sorts; the results of a collaboration that I, and several of my Dietitian colleagues, feel best reflects our practice but this version of the ‘creed’ reflects my viewpoint.
WHAT IS A REGISTERED DIETITIAN?
I am a regulated health professional but my practice is not dictated by a governing body. This ensures my education, training, and practice meets and exceeds legal and professional standards for safe, ethical, and quality health care. Public safety is the primary concern.
I love food and am passionate about health; the perfect combination for a nutrition professional.
I believe that eating whole foods is the foundation of a healthy life. I work with food to nourish and heal; helping mind, body and soul! I believe there is nothing more holistic than creating a path to better health through food. Food is cultural, it is deeply personal and it is transformative.
Just like you, I value and embrace foods like kale, salmon, raw cacao, kefir and quinoa but know there’s room for indulgences once in awhile too: French fries with salt and ketchup or chocolate chip cookies anyone? Food is to be enjoyed and not a set of neurotic rules!
My knowledge, advice and guidance are credible, informed, and science-based. My practice is built on a solid education and practical training; a minimum four year science degree from an accredited university followed by a one year post-graduate clinical internship and national exam. As well, I remain committed to life long learning.
My critical thinking skills and clinical judgment allow me to translate the technical into the practical; taking complicated nutrition and scientific concepts and sharing them in easy-to-understand plain language and everyday dietary advice helping me to provide the best possible care to my clients and patients.
I have my own opinions, and those opinions drive my practice. I recognize that others in my profession may have differing opinions; we are all unique and we celebrate those unique voices.
Nutrition is both an art and a science. The client is at the center of my care, not my own opinions, agendas and biases about food.
I truly understand the connection between nutrient-dense whole foods and optimal health, healing and well-being.
I take a holistic approach to nutritional counselling. I may count calories, grams of fat, carbohydrate and protein when it is medically necessary but also emphasize the quality of food choices with the responsible use of nutritional supplements, and whole food supplements when appropriate.
I won’t provide cookie-cutter nutrition advice nor will I simply reach for a copy of Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide, there are many paths to a nutritious diet.
I recognize that everyone has unique needs and treatment must be individualized by focusing on the whole person. The approaches I use are specific to the individual and to the situation.
My partners in health promotion can include medical doctors, nurse practitioners, midwives, naturopathic doctors, homeopathic doctors, registered massage therapists, kinesiologists, chiropractors and more.
You might find me working in hospitals, long term care, wellness centers, sports centers, community health centers, research centers, food labs, the media/PR, or as an entrepreneur with my own business in private practice and consulting.
I work collaboratively for the health of individuals and for the health of populations.
I believe nutrition is a vital part of overall health, happiness and true wellness.