Fun fact- Nine out of ten Australians (85%) indicate that they trust the nutrition advice of an Accredited Practising Dietitian; a sure sign that our years of study do have value and purpose! Each the roughly 5,500 dietitians in Australia approach healthy eating from a unique angle, influenced by their own experiences, professional and personal. It is important that you feel comfortable speaking with your dietitian, and are confident with their skills and expertise. In this post I am going to tell you a bit more about myself and my food philosophy, to help you decide whether I might be the right fit for you.
First of all, I love food. All food! Well, except some types of seafood, but you can probably thank my Arizona desert upbringing for that. My diet regularly includes a range of fresh produce, lean meat, low-fat dairy, legumes, and whole grains. It also includes rich cheeses, chocolate, fluffy pastries, wines and craft beer. Variety and moderation are my mantras, I truly believe that all foods can be included as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Yes, even the chocolate!
My overarching goal as a nutrition professional is for my clients to build a healthy relationship with food and eating. By understanding why you make the decisions you make, you are better empowered to learn to make sensible food choices most of the time, and not to feel guilty when you don’t. Here is some advice that I live by:
Eat food, not nutrients
Ever hear somebody ask, ‘How about a side of fibre and vitamin C with your protein?’ No? Me either. It is easy to get bogged down by social media articles about this nutrient or that nutrient, but it is important to remember that we eat food as a whole. As a dietitian it is my job to evaluate the quality of your diet to and discuss where you may not be meeting your nutrient needs, but I will recommend filling those gaps with food. Enjoyable, satisfying food. I have a culinary background, so I enjoying going that extra step to teach you to prepare those foods in a way that is aligned with your skills, and is both healthy and totally delicious.
Consider the context of your concern
Clients regularly ask me questions they can answer themselves by considering their overall context. For example; what is healthier, margarine or butter? Answer: if they are being used in moderation as part of a balanced diet, the difference between them is trivial. If this is the case, choose whichever product you prefer. If you are eating either of these products in excess, we would be better off strategising how to decrease their use than it would be to fuss over minor differences.
If you rely heavily on processed food due to inexperience with cooking, it would be unreasonable to expect that you’ll suddenly become a MasterChef after one nutrition consultation. If you are honest with me, and yourself, about your capacity, we can strategise changes that actually fit within the context of your life. We can also talk about strategies to build those culinary skills, but that is a process that takes time. And that’s okay!
Be kind to yourself
My dietary intake is usually consistent with my nutrition needs, but it took time for me to find that balance. I now enjoy my rich cheeses, chocolate, fluffy pastries, and alcohol less regularly and in smaller amounts. There are definitely still occasions where I go a bit overboard, but I don’t beat myself up over it. More often than not, I had a fantastic time, and I simply make sure to realign myself to my routine after that experience has finished. Be kind to yourself, especially as you take the initial steps toward a healthier lifestyle.
My food philosophy is a holistic approach, and is influenced by knowledge, reflection, fulfilment, and above all, self-love. This approach has made a very positive impact on my own life. So, if you think you might want to have a chat, contact me through our website, or phone (02) 6282 9422. I would be honoured to help you start your own journey to better health and well-being.