Why see a dietitian?
Research shows that 95% of commercial diets don’t work in the long-term. That’s because they often take a one-size-fits-all approach to eating. Dietitians have training in food and nutrition and are considered the experts in giving dietary advice. In addition, my degree in kinesiology sets me apart as more than a dietitian; it allows me to provide both accurate diet AND exercise recommendations. With over 8 years of education in both nutrition and kinesiology, I can work with you one-on-one to:
- Develop a meal plan. Your meals can be tailored to address your personal goals or specific health concerns, such as weight loss or gain, sports nutrition, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, celiac disease, pregnancy, or feeding a growing family.
- Set realistic goals. With my help, you’ll know your targets are achievable, and you’ll have someone to monitor your progress.
- Determine nutrient adequacy. I can analyze your diet and supplement use to see where you might be getting too much or too little of your required nutrients.
- Dispel myths. You can count on getting the right, most up-to-date information about nutrition and exercise.
- Get practical advice that works for your particular lifestyle. I design my recommendations based on your particular needs and goals. You’ll get tips about what and how much to eat, vitamins and minerals, and eating on the run — all designed to suit your lifestyle.
What to expect
In your first appointment, I will get to know more about you — your eating and exercise habits, your lifestyle, your medical history, your food likes and dislikes and your overall nutrition and health goals. Based on that information, you’ll get personalized recommendations to help you achieve your goals. I will be available to meet with you on an ongoing basis to monitor your progress and fine-tune your meal plan if needed. Studies show that those clients who meet regularly with their dietitian are the ones who not only reach their health goals, but sustain those changes long-term.
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What is the difference between a Dietitian and a Nutritionist?
In Nova Scotia, as in the rest of Canada, the term ‘dietitian’ is protected by law, so that only qualified practitioners who have met specific and extensive education qualifications and practical training can use that title. Education includes a Bachelor’s degree at an accredited University, as well as a period of practical training in a hospital or community setting. Many dietitians further their knowledge by pursuing a graduate degree, which provides a more in depth analysis of current nutrition knowledge and may help them focus on specialized areas within the dietetics field. The term Nutritionist is not protected by law in all provinces so people with different levels of training and knowledge can all themselves a “Nutritionist”. Many unqualified people use the term “Nutritionist” or some variation thereof. When looking for nutritional advice, be sure to seek out a Registered Dietitian to guarantee you receive the highest quality care. You certainly do not want to take short cuts with your health. In Nova Scotia, Dietitians distinguish themselves with the ‘PDt’ designation.
I’ve heard how healthy flax seeds are to eat. But I’m a bit confused about which type I should buy – whole seeds or ground seeds. Can you set me straight?
I get asked this question all the time. So I will try to answer this as simply as possible. The fats that are in flax seeds are extremely healthy, but also very unstable. Once they leave the safety of their husk, the oils quickly degrade from exposure to light, heat, and air. In order to reap the benefits from the oils, we want to keep the seeds in tact as long as possible. So your best option then is to buy whole flax seeds and grind them just prior to eating, in a coffee grinder for example. Obviously, this may not be practical, and it may deter you from eating them regularly. So the next best option, and the one that I do, is to buy whole flax seeds, and add them whole to your food. You then must chew carefully to ensure you’re breaking open as many of the seeds as possible. If you were to buy pre-ground flax seeds, the oils would degrade quickly, and you would not derive as much benefit from eating them. That is why I suggest that you always buy whole flax seeds, and then either grind them just prior to eating, or chew extra carefully. Aim for 1-2 tbsp of flax seeds daily. Sprinkle them on cereal, salads, casseroles, and yogurt for a slightly nutty flavour.
I am a busy professional and find that by the time I get home after work, I am so hungry I end up reaching for something quick to satisfy my hunger, and it is rarely something nutritious. By the time I finish eating, I have filled myself up and have no room for supper. What can I do to ensure that I am not so hungry after work, and can make it through until supper time?
This dilemma is all too common – we don’t take time to feed ourselves enough during the day so that by the time late afternoon rolls around, we are starving! The best solution is to make sure we eat every 3 to 4 hours throughout the day. Not only does this rev up our metabolism, but it also helps keep cravings and hunger at bay. The trick is to ensure we snack on healthy food, and keep snacks between 100 and 200 calories each. Below is a list of snack ideas that meet these criteria. Pack snacks in your lunch and keep your fridge stocked with them so you’re armed when temptation hits.
100 Calorie Snacks
200 Calorie Snacks
How can I get my kids to eat more fruits and vegetables?
Canada’s new Food Guide recommends children have between 4-8 servings of fruits and vegetables each day, depending on their age and sex. Meeting this requirement can be a challenge, especially in today’s fast-paced world. Below are 10 simple ways to increase your family’s consumption of vegetables and fruit.
- Use pre-washed bagged salads or cut-up vegetables and fruit to save time.
- Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on your kitchen table for convenient snacking.
- Try to have on hand some raw vegetables washed, cut and ready-to-go.
- Start a new family tradition – insist that each meal begin with salad or raw vegetables.
- Blend 1 cup (250mL) yogurt with 1 medium banana, 1/2 cup (125mL) orange juice and a few berries for a tasty smoothie.
- Add minced vegetables to spaghetti sauce, hamburgers, casseroles, soups, muffins or bread.
- Add chopped or dried fruit, such as berries and bananas, to your child’s cereal.
- Organize your kitchen so the healthiest choices are the easiest to grab, while less nutritious foods are out of reach.
- Let your kids pick the fruits and vegetables they want to eat when you go shopping.
- Choose vegetables and fruit more often than juice. You’ll get more fibre and other important nutrients. When choosing juice, look for products that are 100% juice.
When your child says no to fruits and vegetables, don’t give up. A child may need to be exposed to certain foods many times before they will accept them. It may help them accept new foods if you let them sample something you’re eating. Be a healthy eating role model for your children. Above all, minimize conflict around eating and instead offer lots of variety and options for your children to choose from.
How many calories should I be eating?
The million dollar question – and one that I’d love to answer, but it’s virtually impossible to quantify. You can plug your height, weight, and age into a generic equation and get a very rough idea of what the average person of your size and age should eat, but there is so much variety in terms of the amount of energy we expend everyday that it is impossible to estimate accurately for each individual without doing direct, invasive testing. But it all comes down to this, if you’re gaining weight you’re eating more calories than you need, and if you’re losing weight then you’re not eating enough. It’s very basic physics: calories in must equal calories out in order to maintain weight.
If you have a question you’d like to ask the dietitian, send it now. We will do our best to answer and post relevant questions. Submit your questions on our contact page.