Ask the Expert
What Can a Dietitian Do For You?

Answers by Shamera Robinson

The thought of meeting with a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) can be intimidating, especially when you don’t know what to expect. It’s easy to believe a dietitian will give you a strict meal plan or lecture you on all the foods you cannot eat. However, a visit with the dietitian can actually help you figure out how food can work in your favor.


What is a Dietitian?

Dietitians are food and nutrition experts that have at least a Bachelor’s degree in nutrition (most have Master’s degrees), have completed at least 1200 hours of supervised practice, have passed a national registration exam, and maintain their expertise through ongoing continuing education. Dietitians have the credentials “RD” or “RDN”; some may also have “CD” or “LD” (certified/licensed dietitian), and some specialize in diabetes education (“CDE”—Certified Diabetes Educator). Some people may call themselves “nutritionist” without these credentials, however Registered Dietitians are the only providers that are qualified to provide nutrition therapy.

What to Expect When You Visit a Dietitian

Believe it or not, food isn’t usually the first topic of discussion. Most dietitians will begin the visit by reviewing your family and medical history because these key factors that influence your nutrition needs. Your personal history with food can also play an important role in this conversation. For example, being raised in a home where sugary drinks, like juice and soda, were the only options may help explain a challenge that you face as an adult. Your dietitian is your teammate working with you to reach your health goals and sharing this information can help them better support you.

Discussing Your Food Choices

Now it’s time to talk food. After understanding your history, the RDN will likely want to know about your food choices from day to day. It may be tempting to leave certain foods off the list, but remember your dietitian is there to help you and not to judge your food choices. In fact, dietitians want to learn your favorites, so they can work with you to incorporate those foods in a balanced way. There is no one-size-fits-all eating pattern and a dietitian will not push a meal plan on you. Instead, RDNs will review your history, understand your food preferences, and partner with you to add more food options, healthy swaps, and variety to your routine.

Setting Your Goals

While dietitians are considered food and nutrition experts, you are the expert on yourself. After talking about your eating habits, a dietitian will ask what changes are most important to you and team up with you to set small, realistic goals. If you don’t drink much water and it is important to you to drink more water, then a small goal may be to drink at least two cups, or 16 fl. oz., of water per day. You will be responsible for setting your goals and making the change, but your dietitian will be there to give you helpful strategies, hold you accountable, and cheer you on each step of the way.

Paying For Your Visit

The cost of visiting a dietitian varies, but medical nutrition therapy is covered by many different insurance plans. Medicare covers medical nutrition therapy for diabetes and kidney disease. If you do not have Medicare, then you can check with your individual plan by calling the number on the back of the card for specific coverage details. Ask them how many hours you are allowed each year for billing codes: 97802 or 97803 if you have diabetes or prediabetes.
If you believe working with a dietitian will be helpful on your journey to wellness, then ask for a referral from your doctor. You can also get started now by finding a dietitian in your area—find one here.

March 2018 Share

The latest stats show that more than 70 percent of Americans are overweight or obese, and while many regain that weight, an important study that tracked successful dieters via the National Weight Control Registry found that over a ten-year period, the majority kept it off. I’ve spent much of the last two decades helping people on their weight-loss journey, and through my endless hours of research and writing, plus one-on-one coaching, I’ve picked up some important insight and great tips. Let me share them with you!

1. Forget What You Know About Calorie Math

I’ve spent much of my career talking about the calories in vs. calories out equation but I now know that you can’t rely on this paradigm. Instead, what the science shows is that as people lose weight, their metabolism changes so the calorie rule doesn’t hold up. This cool online tool is based on that research, and shows you how you would need to adjust your calories over time in order to maintain the weight you lost.

The other thing I’ve learned about calories is that there are plenty of high-calorie foods that can help a dieter out. For instance, there is good evidence that the Mediterranean diet, with unrestricted nuts and olive oil, can lead to improvements in body weight over a five-year period compared with a low-fat regimen. And while nuts themselves are high in calories and fat, studies show that they are helpful with weight loss. Importantly, nuts taste good — even indulgent — so including them on your menu may help you stick with it.

2. Eat More Veggies

The one thing all diets have in common is veggies, and if you want to lose weight, you should start eating more of them. You may say, as many have said to me, that you hate vegetables, but I challenge that assumption. In my view, you just haven’t found ways to enjoy them yet! If you grew up rejecting steamed broccoli, perhaps broccoli roasted with garlic and olive oil might be more enticing. Or maybe you’d like to try riced cauliflower in place of grain with your favorite stir-fry. If you can’t live without pasta, maybe you’d consider blending spaghetti or linguini with spiralized veggie noodles. (You can buy the pre-spiralized noodles in many supermarkets if you don’t want to invest in the gadget.)

Why You Should Eat More Protein at Breakfast

July 26, 201701:07

I’m not saying you need to eat like a rabbit — munching on carrot and celery sticks. You don’t. Instead, try new ways to cook veggies or experiment with fresh, filling, and seriously delicious salad combos. The key is to keep exploring the wide world of veggies until you find ways to enjoy them every day.

3. Don’t Be Afraid of Carbs

Sure, a low-carb plan can help you lose weight, but plenty of research also supports carbohydrates — even whole grain wheat — for slimming down. One recent study comparing grain avoiders to grain eaters found that the people who ate grains were less likely to be overweight or obese, and had a lower risk of metabolic complications, like type 2 diabetes. By contrast, avoiding grains was linked with a higher BMI and waist circumference, despite the fact that it was also linked with consuming fewer calories.

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Another recent study showed that people who eat whole grains burned close to 100 more calories per day compared to people consuming similar calories but eating refined grains instead.

What I’ve learned is that you don’t need to take an all-or-nothing approach to grains. Most often, I consider grains a side dish rather than an entrée, but I still eat them every day. What is important is that you consistently choose whole grains over their refined counterparts. That means eating brown rice instead of white, whole grain bread over the pillowy, white sandwich bread you may have grown up loving, and choosing whole grain cereals, whether cold or hot, over hyper-processed refined versions.

4. Don’t Attempt to Out-Exercise a Bad Diet

Exercise has many benefits, and everyone needs to do it, but the truth is, your workout routine may not be helping you slim down, and even worse, it may be stalling your weight loss. There are a few things at play here. First, we tend to drastically overestimate how many calories we burn while exercising, particularly if we’re doing something intense, like spinning or running. Even our high-tech watches and other devices can overestimate the calories we’ve spent working out. That can lead to the reward mentality. Put another way, it’s that voice in your head that tells you, “You can have that cookie, you worked your butt off during spin!” Personally, I’ve never given myself permission to go for it (pizza! ice cream!) as often as when I was training for a half marathon. And though I was logging more than 30 miles in weekly runs, I put on a noticeable amount of weight.

Women, in particular, tend to eat what we expend in exercise, according to research on the matter. In plain terms, our bodies are well-regulated to know when we’ve done a session of HIIT or spent time on the elliptical. Unknowingly, we put a little more food on our plates or have a heftier snack in order to replenish what we burned off.

Other notable research found that for those new to exercise or those exercising less frequently, there may be a slight impact on energy expenditure, meaning it might provide a small (but meaningful) drop on the scale. But here’s the bad news: Workouts among people doing the most exercise didn’t show up on the scale. They likely experience other benefits — improved mental health, lower risk of heart disease, for instance — but they don’t have an edge when it comes to weight loss.

I’m not saying you should take a lifelong pass on fitness in order to slim down. What I am saying is that if you’re killing it on the cardio machine merely to burn calories and squeeze into your extra-skinny skinny jeans, you may need to re-think this strategy. When it comes to losing weight, it’s more about what you put in than what you’re burning off. Among participants in the Weight Control Registry, walking is the most frequent form of exercise, and there was no difference in weight maintenance after three years among people who participated in the most physical activity compared to those exercising the least.

Your brain on a diet

March 16, 201802:32

5. Make Peace with the Scale

For most people, I recommend weighing yourself often — even daily, and no less frequently than once a week. Your scale provides great data points, allowing you to recognize when you’re trending in the wrong direction. At that point — let’s call it the 5-pound mark — it’s time to analyze where you may have gotten too relaxed. Have you eaten out more frequently? Are you skimping on the veggies? Perhaps you’ve had a few extra causes for celebration lately. Whatever the case, once you’ve noticed that you’ve put on 5 pounds, it’s time to take action. You don’t need an expert to recognize that it’s easier to lose 5 pounds than it is to lose 10 or 20.

Why Even Healthy People Should Work with a Nutritionist

I’ve heard it a million times: “I know what to eat-it’s just a matter of doing it.”

And I believe you. You’ve read the books, you’ve downloaded the diet plans, maybe you’ve counted calories or played around with tracking your macros. You know very well which foods are healthy and which ones aren’t doing you any favors.

So here’s the obvious question: Then why aren’t you getting the results you want?

Health information (some reliable, some not) is more widely available than ever. If you want to educate yourself on what to eat, it’s never been easier. Yet people continue to struggle with meeting their health and fitness goals.

I often hear people say they don’t need a dietitian because they already know what to eat and what to avoid. (Spoiler: Many people are actually quite off-base about what’s really “healthy.”) Some people look at dietitians as “glorified lunch ladies” (that quote comes courtesy of an OkCupid prospect who had no idea he was talking to someone with the credentials M.S., R.D., C.D.N.). While I do have an extensive collection of name tags and hairnets in the closet where I keep the other skeletons (and my old lab coats), I actually refer to myself as a “nutritionist” and “health coach.” It’s not that credentials don’t matter-they communicate that someone has the proper training. It’s just that most people don’t even know what those letters after my name mean.

By assuming that all you can get from working with a dietitian is a lecture that sounds like “eat this, don’t eat that,” you’re dismissing what could be a valuable resource. Food is just one part of the big picture. It’s really about behavior change, and a dietitian can serve as a coach to help you apply what you know (or think you know) to your real life.

Here are just a few things that can happen when you work with a nutritionist:

You can identify and work through barriers.

Everyone has their stuff. Sometimes you’re so close to it that it can be hard to notice when you’re holding yourself back from being and doing better. A nutritionist can serve as an outsider who can see things from a different perspective and point out what’s working toward your goal and what’s not. It’s normal for your eating patterns or healthy routine to need a little maintenance as you progress with a diet or new path. Someone who has seen all kinds of setbacks and challenges can help you successfully troubleshoot problems or push through plateaus.

Getting sick of smoothies? Looking for some exciting snack ideas? I’m your girl. A dietitian can also share different strategies to help you navigate tricky situations-travel, family festivities, or a hectic schedule that makes it hard to cook.

You aren’t doing all the work alone.

You don’t have to do this all by yourself. (Except maybe don’t diet along with your roommate, okay?) Having someone else to be accountable to when you set goals can be a great motivator when it comes to sticking to those action steps. For example, clients have told me that knowing they have an appointment coming up reminds them to make a choice they’ll feel good about sharing. I’ll also periodically check in to remind someone of what they’re working on and offer support so they don’t lose sight of their goals or feel like they’re drowning when life gets overwhelming and meal planning seems impossible.

You have a trusted resource on call.

Yeah, I could Google how to do my own taxes and go down the Internet rabbit hole when I need to find out if something is tax-deductible or not. But working with an accountant who can answer all my “sorry, just one more” questions makes the process so much easier. It also gives me peace of mind that I didn’t totally mess something up.

It’s the same kind of principle when you decide to work with a dietitian to help you meet your health goals. My clients know they can come to me with nutrition questions, to get the scoop on diet trends they’re reading about-like the anti-diet trend-or if they want a recommendation on which protein powder would be the best for them. You’ll save time and money by making sure you buy the right foods and put your cash toward ingredients and ideas that are actually going to get you closer to your goal.

You gain emotional support (even if you think you didn’t need it).

Because food is central to so many aspects of your life, there are a lot of emotions that come up around it. Happy stuff, sad stuff, angry stuff-food is something most people have strong associations around, whether consciously or not. As you get into changing your habits and establishing new ones, you’re going to have some feelings. Whatever they may be, talking them out can help you work through it and make sure you stay on course.

Plus, how you feel has a big impact on appetite and how and what you eat, so getting a handle on what your personal challenges may be with emotions and food can make it easier to navigate and keep you from falling into the same old traps. (P.S. Here’s how to tell if you’re emotional eating.) For those times you’re feeling down, having someone there to point out how far you’ve come and how capable you are can turn your mood around and help you stay motivated.

The Benefits of Working With a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Living Healthy January 18, 2018

Food is fuel for your brain. It’s the thing that keeps you going and it directly affects the function of your entire system. When you upgrade to a premium diet filled with high-quality foods pumped with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, you ward off long-term disease, decrease weight gain, lower blood pressure, and increase energy and emotional health.

And even though it seems simple, sometimes navigating the grocery aisles and nutrition labels can be overwhelming. Working with a registered dietitian nutritionist can help you sift through the information overload and devise a plan that’s ideal for you.

Nutrition is more than merely counting calories, it’s a complex science that’s very specific to you. Here are a few ways working with a registered dietitian can holistically help you, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

  • Personally tailored nutritional advice
  • Help managing chronic diseases
  • Guidance navigating food allergies, sensitivities, weight gain, self-image and overall nutritional understanding.

Whom to Seek Out

When seeking out a registered dietitian, remember to look for the RD (Registered dietitian) or RDN (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist) title. Registered dietitians may use either title to show they have completed their education and training established by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. If the nutritionist you are thinking about does not have the RD or RDN title, ask about their credentials to ensure they have proper training.

Why It Can Help

Working with a dietitian means getting a personal nutrition plan just for you. An RD or RDN will spend a lot of time learning all about your health, your family history, your needs, and your goals before devising a plan. Then they help you set goals and stick to them with follow-up visits. Sometimes visits can involve keeping a food journal and confronting emotional eating.

The Long-term Benefits

Annual visits to the doctor are a good way to assess if you have high blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes, but sometimes you need a closer look to fully understand how food could be affecting your health. An RD or RDN can assess any lab results and help create a comprehensive eating guide to keep you on track, with the potential to lead to healthier lab results each passing year.


The 6 Benefits of Working with a Dietitian

Dietitians are known for providing nutrition information, but their role is better defined as part clinician, part detective and part counselor. Seeing a dietitian provides benefits beyond nutrition education.
1. Food Experts
Dietitians are the food experts. No one knows food like they do. At minimum, dietitians must hold a degree in nutrition from an accredited university, have completed a supervised practice program, and have passed a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. Additionally, dietitians are required to take continuing professional education in order to stay up to date on the latest nutrition evidence.

Studies have shown that working with a Registered Dietitian can increase your chances of losing weight and keeping it off. Sign-up with a FitDay Dietitian today!

2. Professional and Science Based
Dietitians adhere to a code of ethics provided by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and its credentialing agency, the Commission on Dietetic Registration. According to this code, dietitians are expected to practice dietetics based on scientific principles and current information; present substantiated information and interpret controversial information without personal bias; and continually strive to increase and apply professional knowledge and skills to their practice.
When you see a dietitian, you can be confident in knowing that you are getting the most up-to-date and reliable information. While there are many research articles containing contradicting information, not all studies are conducted in a broad or unbiased manner. Dietitians know how to locate, interpret and deliver scientifically-sound research to you in an understandable way.
3. Food Facts
Major changes in how food is grown, processed, cooked, served and marketed have created mass confusion surrounding food. Further complicating the way we choose and eat food are fad diets and misinformation provided by unqualified individuals.
Dietitians are able to demystify food and eating by providing accurate information about nutrients, calories, serving sizes, food groups, labels, marketing tactics, food ingredients, allergies, interactions and more.
4. Personalized Nutrition
Because each person is a unique individual, there is not one nutrition plan that will work for everyone. Age, height, weight and gender are just a few factors that determine your nutrient needs. Other personal aspects such as physical activity, special needs, family health history and present health conditions require further specialization. Dietitians take all of these things into consideration and are able to create a personalized plan that aligns with your specific health needs and goals.

5. Problem Solving
Dietitians not only consider the physical aspects surrounding food, they also work with personal and emotional aspects. If you find that eating healthy is difficult to work into your lifestyle because of certain road blocks, a dietitian can work with you to find solutions to problems and barriers. Additionally, they can provide tips, tricks and resources that can assist any individual in reaching their full potential.
6. Motivation and Support
Besides giving nutrition information and advice, dietitians also provide motivation, support and accountability to their clients. Because eating is so personal and often requires behavior change, it’s helpful to have a trusted and resourceful health professional to talk with that will help you celebrate, solve and/or adjust any of the many things that may occur during your journey to achieving your health goals.

Mandy Seay is a bilingual registered and licensed dietitian who holds both a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and in journalism. After gaining 30 pounds while living abroad, Mandy worked to lose the weight and regain her health. It was here that she discovered her passion for nutrition and went on to pursue a career as a dietitian. Mandy currently works as a nutrition consultant and freelance writer in Austin, Texas, where she specializes in diabetes, weight management and general and preventive nutrition. She recently published her first book, Your Best Health, a personalized program to losing weight and gaining a healthy lifestyle. If you would be interested in working with Mandy one-on-one, sign-up for FitDay Dietitian.

Top 10 Reasons to Consult with a Registered Dietitian

Have you hugged your registered dietitian today?

March is National Nutrition Month and every year there is one day during this special month dedicated to recognizing registered dietitians.

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day is celebrated on the second Wednesday in March, thanks to the American Dietetic Association.

Recognition That’s Well-Deserved

As the nation’s food and nutrition experts, registered dietitians are committed to improving the health of their patients and community. Registered Dietitian Day commemorates the dedication of RDs as advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world.

Registered Dietitians are Experts

The American Dietetic Association(ADA) expresses that registered dietitians are the food and nutrition experts who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living. There are many people out there that call themselves “nutritionists” but RDs have degrees in nutrition, dietetics, public health or a related field from well-respected, accredited colleges and universities.

The author in action, teaching kids about healthy food choices.
Photo credit: A Healthier Michigan

We have also completed an internship, which is usually at least one year long and passed a board examination to be able to have the RD credentials. Registered Dietitians use their nutrition expertise to help individuals make unique, positive lifestyle changes. RDs work throughout the community in hospitals, schools, public health clinics, nursing homes, fitness centers, food management, food industry, universities, research and private practice.

Many dietitians also get advanced degrees and specialize in certain areas. As you know, I am a registered dietitian. I also have my MBA and specialize in weight management and have an extra certification as a CDE, certified diabetes educator. I am also a certified health coach and teach fitness classes.

One of the beautiful things about choosing a career as a registered dietitian are the various paths you can take with the knowledge you have. You can truly find your own niche. My favorite thing about being a dietitian is helping others and watching them become healthier and happier.

Top 10 Reasons Why Consulting with an RD Can Benefit You

  1. You have diabetes, cardiovascular problems or high blood pressure. An RD serves as an integral part of your health care team by helping you safely change your eating plan without compromising taste or nutrition.
  2. You are thinking of having or have had gastric bypass surgery. Since your stomach can only manage small servings, it’s a challenge to get the right amount of nutrients in your body. An RD will work with you and your physician to develop an eating plan for your new needs.
  3. You have digestive problems. A registered dietitian will work with your physician to help fine-tune your diet so you are not aggravating your condition with fried foods, too much caffeine or carbonation.
  4. You’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant. A registered dietitian can help make sure you get nutrients like folate, especially during the first three months of pregnancy, lowering your newborn’s risk for neural tube or spinal cord defects.
  5. You need guidance and confidence for breastfeeding your baby. A registered dietitian can help make sure you’re getting enough iron, vitamin D, fluoride and B vitamins for you and your little one.
  6. Your teenager has issues with food and eating healthfully. A registered dietitian can assist with eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia and overweight issues.
  7. You need to gain or lose weight. A registered dietitian can suggest additional calorie sources for healthy weight gain or a restricted-calorie eating plan plus regular physical activity for weight loss while still eating all your favorite foods.
  8. You’re caring for an aging parent. A registered dietitian can help with food or drug interaction, proper hydration, special diets for hypertension and changing taste buds as you age.
  9. You want to eat smarter. A registered dietitian can help you sort through misinformation; learn how to read labels at the supermarket; discover that healthy cooking is inexpensive, learn how to eat out without ruining your eating plan and how to resist workplace temptations.
  10. You want to improve your performance in sports. A registered dietitian can help you set goals to achieve results — whether you’re running a marathon, skiing or jogging with your dog.

If you are looking for a registered dietitian in your area, go to the American Dietetic Association’s website and click on “Find an Expert.”

I am accepting all hugs today too. If you have any questions about becoming a registered dietitian or any health and wellness questions, I am here for you.

If you enjoyed this post, read these:

  • Be Our Guest: Healthy Party Tips from a Dietitian
  • Recipes to Fuel Your Body for Exercise
  • The Ketogenic Diet: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Main image photo credit: Yelena Yemchuk

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People are often confused as to why it may benefit them to see a registered dietitian (RD) or have the impression that they will be put on a “diet.” Sure, certain medical conditions warrant specific guidelines to keep your health in check – but our job as dietitians is to guide you in learning more beneficial ways of eating. Below are just a few of the many ways a dietitian may be of help to you or your loved ones!
1. You want to try or just started going “________”
Thinking about going on a vegan, vegetarian, gluten free or paleo diet? Make sure you get a healthy dose of advice before starting or make sure all of your nutritional bases are covered now!
2. You have constant stomach woes.
Whether you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (colitis, crohn’s), an RD can educate on what is helpful to eat and when, as these can be quite tricky, and painful! These conditions can be very specific to each person and a dietitian can aid in identifying trigger foods & situations – and help provide you with some relief!
3. The media’s nutrition messages have left you utterly confused.
The constantly changing messages about food from the media can be mind boggling – and even influence our eating habits. Set any questions straight with some scientific, evidenced based info.
4. You have high cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar…
You may know what to eat, but it’s just too hard to stay on that restrictive diet. A dietitian can work with you in producing small changes, with a resultant big impact on your health. Whether your diagnosis is new or old, having an RD to keep you motivated & accountable will help you to stay on track with your goals!
5. You or your loved one has an eating disorder.
A dietitian plays a critical role as a treatment team member in counseling those suffering with eating disorders. An RD will assess your nutritional status & needs and determine a healthy weight for you, in addition to creating and updating your individualized meal pattern. Some of the many ways an RD may work with you are on intuitive eating, dispelling myths, providing education on metabolism & how food effects your body & weight, and encouraging a variety of food choices.
6. The “picky eating” stage in your child went beyond childhood.
Your older child or adolescent may still be a “picky eater” and the kitchen remains a battleground. A dietitian is a crucial part of the team in determining nutritional status & needs, and strategizing meal & feeding ideas to put you at ease.
7. You don’t have an ideal relationship with food & your body.
Eating can and should be a pleasurable experience! Learn some mindful eating techniques in order to have a more positive connection.
8. You are generally healthy and don’t drink milk, sun bathe or eat red meat.
Many people are at risk for nutrient imbalances or deficiencies – even if we’re trying to be healthy! Among the most common in the US are Vitamin B6, Iron, and Vitamins D & C. Learn if you may be lacking in a nutrient and problem solve the best ways to fit some in to your day!
9. You think your eating habits are contributing to fatigue & not feeling like your best self.
Understand how food choices impact your mood & energy levels. An RD can assist you in establishing & maintaining a pattern of healthy eating.
10. You were diagnosed with Celiac disease or a food allergy or sensitivity.
Now what? Your doctor just gave you the news or you’ve been trying navigate on your own. Get some guidance on restaurant dining, label reading, resources and meal & recipe suggestions – you don’t have to do it alone!
Nutrition Counseling with Sheila:
I am passionate about helping others get optimal enjoyment & nutrition out of the foods that they eat. Contact me if you would like assistance in achieving your health goals!

10 Reasons To Hire a Holistic Nutritionist

As many of you know, I’m a board certified holistic nutritionist in Vancouver, BC. I also offer nutrition consultations by phone, skype or facetime, which enables me to work with clients all over the world. I’m passionate about plant-based eating, longevity, liver support and women’s hormone balancing. I see clients (humans) for all different imbalances and help them find the root cause of why they’re not thriving.

I’ve been consulting with clients one on one since 2015 and in that time I’ve been providing lifestyle and nutrition suggestions to inspire growth. I’ve seen clients for follow-ups and their IBS is gone, they no longer have panic attacks and their eczema isn’t a concern. The power of small changes over time has big impacts. We do not treat, we support imbalances in the body and focus on longevity.


1- The Root Cause
You want to know why you have an imbalance, disorder or symptom. Let’s face it, the Western medical system is overloaded and there often isn’t time to share your story. There also isn’t time for them to explain the root cause of your illness and how to support it naturally. You want answers. You want to be in control of your own health and try to prevent further imbalances. Food is medicine and can help with sleep, digestive upset, parasite cleansing, liver detoxification, hormones health, skin, gut health and stress.

2- Inspiration
My client said it best, “I always feel inspired after appointments with you.” Sometimes, we just need someone else to look at how we are living our life and what we are eating and give us new ideas. It’s easy to buy the same things at the grocery store and make the same recipes, but it can get boring. By eating a varied diet, you get different nutrients, which help you stay health.

3- Ask Questions
After seeing a nutritionist, you gain clarity. There is so much information on the internet, how do you know what is right for you? Vegan, Keto, Autoimmune Protocol, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Mediterranean, intuitive eating. A nutritionist will explain the best way of eating based on your health goals and current symptoms. You will have the time to ask questions and won’t feel rushed in appointments.

4- Personalized Wellness Plans
You want a personalized wellness plan based on your goals or symptoms. You are in charge of the direction we take! You could buy an e-book on the internet with tips or go off free info on Instagram, but is that best for you? My plans include lifestyle suggestions, body mind spirit and recipe suggestions.

5- Integrative Approach and Education
Holistic nutritionists take an integrative approach and do not rely on the food guide. Our knowledge comes from in depth training at school, scientific research and real life consulting. We learn anatomy, chemistry, biochemistry, chakras, mind body spirit, food energetics, sports nutrition, nutrition for mom and baby, mental health support and more.

If I based every action on a scientific study, there would definitely be information excluded from my plans. The US District Court just released that glyphosate is linked to cancer, it took them that long to admit it. Until now, many thought health professionals were conspiracy theorists because there was no concrete evidence. There is a reason there isn’t research for some topics and sometimes it’s just not ethical to conduct a certain nutrition study.

I also would like to point out that a lot of people on the internet have no qualifications or schooling to be educating and giving advice on wellness topics. Always ask the person if it’s not advertised what training they have. Just because someone has 300,000 Instagram followers doesn’t mean you should do everything they suggest.

I’m proud to also offer Live and Dry Blood Analysis included in all Initial Consultations. Click here or here to learn more.

6- Hormone Imbalances
Hormone imbalances are so common, but they aren’t normal. What I’m trying to say, is that isn’t homeostasis, it’s not the state the body wants to be in. I’m seeing so many clients with irregular periods, PCOS, PMS , blood sugar dips, thyroid changes, fertility concerns and cortisol spikes in the evening. We can help with this and there are reasons this is occurring.

7- Digestion
Overall digestive upset and unhealthy bowel movements are the most common reasons clients come see me. We are all so busy in today’s society and sometimes we eat out of convenience or when rushed. We may feel bloated, heartburn, loose bowels, constipated and gas. We will help access your lifestyle, diet and maybe even your chakra that’s blocked to help you make change.

8- Let’s Go Slow
We don’t need to overhaul your entire life, that is SCARY and isn’t going to last. My business motto is ‘Planting Seeds For A Healthy Life” which to me means moving slowly. If you are drinking 5 cups of coffee a day, but you feel very anxious, I’m going to ask if you think you can reduce it to 2 or 3. Then a month later, we can access it again. After cutting down to 3 a day, you may find 1 a day totally approachable, but if we go from 5 to 1, that is extreme.

9- Ongoing Support
If you wanted support from your physio, counsellor or RMT would you go once or twice and think everything is in balance? Probably not. Nutritionists take detailed notes about you and you will feel your BEST if you continue to check in. I almost didn’t offer clients the ability to purchase sessions alone as I almost feel it is a disservice to them. I fully believe we should invest in our health because without it, what do we have? You take your car in often without questioning it and you are more important. There is example on instagram going around that says “Your body will be around a lot longer than an expensive handbag. Invest in yourself. You are worth it. – Gemma Atkinson. It’s an investment that is worth it because without taking care of you, you can’t fully be there for others. We all hit dead ends and you can only go so long before the body will give you warning signs. We are invested in your health, we care.

10- We Can Work With Other Health Professionals
I’m not offended when my clients are working with others, my goal is to inspire and educate you to live your best life. If you are seeing other professionals, it’s a sign you care. I would love for doctors, naturopaths and holistic nutritionists to work together more. We need doctors, let me repeat, we need doctors, however, sometimes they just don’t have the time to investigate or educate their patients. Prescription medication often depletes our body of vitamins and minerals. Some of my clients are on medication when they come to see me and we work around this by focusing more on lifestyle and food versus natural supplements. It saddens me that some clients are experiencing terrible side effects from the medications they’re on, especially when there is a natural route that is safe and effective.

Information: The most common medication that impacts our microbiome are antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors and non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Sometimes, we do need antibiotics, but on the whole, we should be stepping back and figuring out why our client continually needs prescription medication. The easiest one to shift here is evaluating why a client is reaching for pain medications. I can definitely think of healthier safer options to Aspirin and Ibuprofuen.

Thank you so much for stopping by, I appreciate all of you.

Jordan Bruce, RHN LBA BA

— — intro: Kim Kardashian recently revealed to Entertainment Tonight that she hired a nutritionist to help her learn how to cook and eat more healthfully after she gained 15 pounds.

Up front I have to say that I’m a nutritionist/RDN with a private practice, so I’m biased on this matter, but I’ve seen one-on-one counseling work wonders for my clients, from breaking weight-loss plateaus to improving athletic performance, upping energy, boosting immunity, digestive health, sleep and mood, and transforming skin and hair.

If you’re thinking of working with a nutritionist or dietitian, here are six things you should know.

15 Things Nobody Tells You About Losing Weight

quicklist: 1 category: Things You Should Know About Working With a Nutritionist title: It’s more complex than it seems url: text: Nutrition is far more involved than calories in versus calories out. I often see clients who aren’t getting results because they aren’t eating enough, or the timing and/or balance of their meals isn’t in line with their body’s optimal needs. Others are eating healthfully, but are unknowingly taking in more than they need to get to — and stay at — a healthy weight. After assessing your eating routine, an experienced nutritionist or dietitian will probably know right away what’s holding you back from reaching your goals, and can guide you in the right direction. In terms of a strategy, I talk with my clients to determine what’s best. Some want a structured plan, complete with personalized meal plans, recipes, and grocery lists. Others do better with simple, concrete goals to work on, such as making specific changes to their usual meals, or modifying their meal timing. Be clear about what feels right for you: If you don’t respond well to structure, a structured eating plan isn’t going to work.

16 Ways to Lose Weight Fast

quicklist: 2 category: Things You Should Know About Working With a Nutritionist title: Follow-up is critical url: text: In my private practice, if weight loss is the goal, I ask clients to commit to working together for a minimum of one month. For some, follow-ups involve weekly check-ins, while others send me a food journal every day for 30 days. Your nutritionist or dietitian needs to ensure that the strategy you’ve agreed upon is right for you. For example, if you dine out or travel often, or you have very limited free time, a plan that requires you to cook at home won’t be a good fit. Also, he or she may need to tweak your plan or approach based on feedback from you regarding your results and how you’re feeling. Follow-ups are also an opportunity to ask questions, prepare for challenging situations, learn about new tools, resources, or products, and feel supported. A one-time visit can’t possibly offer everything you need to succeed.

5 Fat-Burning Body Weight Exercises

quicklist: 3 category: Things You Should Know About Working With a Nutritionist title: Sessions may not take place in an office url: text: Many nutritionists and dietitians work in an office setting, but the new norm also involves real-life situations. I often meet clients at their homes so we can go through their fridge and cupboards, and talk about what they eat where they eat it. I also take many of my clients on grocery trips, so we can walk the aisles together and discuss products with dozens of examples at our fingertips. I’ve even gone to restaurants with clients — particularly those who dine out often — because they wanted to have the experience of talking through ordering from a menu with me present. I’ve cooked with clients, which is really fun, and I also work with clients by phone, email, and even text. Sometimes they’ll text me a photo from the supermarket or a restaurant with a question, or text from a get-together to ask which party fare is best. Not every nutritionist or dietitian may be open to this kind of communication, but if that’s what you’re looking for, be sure to make it clear before you start working together.

quicklist: 4 category: Things You Should Know About Working With a Nutritionist title: It goes beyond food url: text: As part of my master’s degree in nutrition science, I completed 21 credits in counseling psychology, and my master’s degree in public health included an emphasis on how families and communities impact the ability to make healthy choices. I’m not a therapist, but I often find myself talking to clients about issues related to food that go beyond nutrition. Some encounter a lack of support, or even sabotage, from their significant other, friends, or family. Others feel that their job, workplace, or community get in the way of following through with healthy changes. And many of my clients struggle with emotional eating. In many cases, a nutritionist or dietitian’s role is to help coach you through what gets in the way of following his or her advice. In other words, if you were “good” all day, and wound up binge eating while binge watching Netflix, don’t be afraid to talk about it. A nutritionist or dietitian worth their salt is going to empathetically coach you, not judge or scold you.

quicklist: 5 category: Things You Should Know About Working With a Nutritionist title: Credentials are key url: text: In many states the nutrition profession isn’t regulated, so literally anyone can call him or herself a nutritionist and charge clients for services, even with no formal training. Before hiring someone, no matter how healthy they look, ask about their education. The letters RD or RDN (registered dietitian or registered dietitian nutritionist) after someone’s name indicate that they have, at the very least, earned a bachelor’s degree, completed a 1,200-hour supervised internship, passed a national credentialing examination, and they complete ongoing continuing education. An RDN’s education involves extensive coursework in the science of nutrition, including biology, chemistry, biochemistry, anatomy and physiology, food science, metabolism, courses in vitamins and minerals, nutrition through the life cycle, and medical nutrition therapy, which involves the nutrition-related prevention and treatment of everything from digestive disorders, to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other health conditions. In other words, it’s thorough, standardized training in how the human body works and the understanding of nutrition science.

If the nutritionist you’re thinking of hiring isn’t an RDN, ask about his or her credentials — do they have a degree, where is it from, what is it in, how long did it take to complete, and what type of coursework did it include? I bet you wouldn’t want to go to a dentist or veterinarian who wasn’t thoroughly credentialed, but those professions are regulated to ensure proper training — in this case, you have to do your own homework.

quicklist: 6 category: Things You Should Know About Working With a Nutritionist title: It may or may not be covered by your insurance url: text: Nutrition counseling may or may not be covered by your insurance. Some nutritionists and dietitians are set up as providers under various plans, just like physical therapy, acupuncture, or mental health counselors. And in some cases your insurance company may reimburse you after you’ve paid out of pocket, but there may be a dollar limit, or stipulations — for example, they may require the RDN credential or a physician referral. If you’re looking for coverage, call the number on your insurance card and ask about your options. If it’s not covered, consider the cost carefully.

I’ve had clients tell me they wish they would have contacted me sooner, because they spent money on products or gym memberships that didn’t give them results. Others have told me that the while they first thought nutrition counseling was expensive, they realized the value after considering the cost compared to other things they spend money on, like beauty treatments, dinners out, exercise classes, and clothes. Only you can determine if it’s right for you, but if you do decide to work with a nutritionist or dietitian, don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions, and take the time to find the best practitioner to match your needs.

This article originally appeared on

Food food food. Everyone is always talking about food…what to eat, what to never eat. Our relationships with food can be quite complex. And the relationship between how healthy we feel and the food we are eating (or not eating) can be equally as complex.

If you are feeling like food or your health is a yucky and loaded topic then working with a nutritionist could be just the thing to help lighten the load and make food a great part of life again.

One of our in-house experts, Licensed Nutritionist, Susie, tells all:

#1 What does a nutritionist do?

The role of the nutritionist is to educate and assess. I spend a lot of time educating clients during appointments. Whether it be how much water to drink, or what trans fats are and why they should be avoided, education is one of the most important things a nutritionist does. Another thing that we do is to assess your nutrient status and nutritional needs. We take into account your health history and medical diagnoses from a doctor, and we also want to know about your physical activity levels, lifestyle, and stress. Based on all of this information, a nutritionist will then provide individualized diet and lifestyle recommendations to address nutritional needs as well as address any existing lifestyle habits/practices that are not serving you or are hindering progress to feeling your best.

#2 What’s the difference between a dietician & nutritionist?

That’s a tough question and it’s really hard to answer because it is very subjective. In general, the major differences are the credentialing boards, rules for practice (which vary from state to state), and sometimes education level and post education experience. When deciding whether to work with a nutritionist or dietician it’s important to look for a practitioner that will not just look at your diet and calories but someone who will look at you as an individual person with individual experiences in order to assist you with your nutrition goals.

#3 Why does what I eat matter?

Food is energy and food is fuel. The body is made of cells that require nutrients to function optimally. Also, there are many different pathways running in our body at all times; these pathways create energy, filter toxins, and determine what needs to be absorbed in the body and what needs to be excreted, and the list goes on. We require nutrients in order for these pathways to run. We must eat a nutrient dense diet in order to get all the materials we need to help our cells function and our pathways run. We need protein, carbohydrates (from whole grains and vegetables), healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. When we eat these foods and add varied colors of fruits and vegetables we will also get necessary antioxidants and plant nutrients that protect the body from illnesses and promote health.

#4 Is seeing a nutritionist safe?

Yes seeing a nutritionist is very safe. However, it is important that you disclose all health and medical information to your nutritionist, including medications and medication changes, supplements, medical diagnoses from your doctor, and all symptoms.

#5 Do you believe in diets: like gluten-free? Paleo? Mediterranean? Atkins? And stuff like that?

I always have a really hard time answering this question and it’s a very personal question. When I ask about your diet I’m concerned with what you eat and what you do not eat. I’m then concerned with why. For example- if you say I don’t eat eggs I want to know why. Are you allergic? Are you vegan? Understanding what you eat, what you do not eat, and why you eat what you eat provides me with a wealth of knowledge about you. Then, I need to know is that diet working for you? Is it helping you achieve your goals? For example, person A may be thriving as a vegan and person B may not be thriving. There is no one “diet” for everyone. But everyone can benefit from the wise words of Michael Pollen, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” In summary, then the universal rule would be eat real food (whole foods), don’t over eat, and eat a lot of vegetables. Now, to get back to your question, there are many diets, so many it can be overwhelming. Some diets are sound and nutritious and some diets are fad diets and lacking nutrients. So, do I believe in these diets? Some of them and some of the time. At the end of the day it’s about finding the right diet for you.

#6 What will my appointments be like? How often will I work with you and how quickly will I notice a difference?

The first appointment will last for 90 minutes. During this time we’ll discuss your concerns and goals, go through your completed intake form, discuss your diet, and I’ll perform a brief physical assessment. I will assess your nutrient status and symptoms and you will leave the appointment with recommendations that we will collaborate on together, based on my assessment and your goals/concerns. The recommendations may include, but are not limited to, any of the following: diet modification, lifestyle modification, supplementation through whole foods or whole foods based supplements, mindful eating, and/or referrals for other complimentary therapies. Follow-up appointments are 60 minutes. At the follow-ups we will review the previous recommendations and determine what is working and what is not working, and we’ll review your symptoms and see if there are any changes, and discuss any new concerns/goals. At the end of each follow-up you will receive recommendations. We’ll determine together how often you should come in based on your goals and your financial availability. How quickly you notice a difference will be based on putting the recommendations into place.

#7 Why should I work with a nutritionist? What can you help me with that I may not realize?

Working with a nutritionist can be beneficial if you experience any of the following:

  • Lack of energy/low energy
  • Burping, belching, bloating, gas
  • Constipation/diarrhea
  • Heart burn
  • Headaches
  • Pain/inflammation
  • Doctor’s diagnosis of: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, autoimmune disorders, allergies, eczema, anxiety
  • Stress
  • Problems sleeping

#8 What can I expect to change from working with you?

The relationship between a nutritionist and a client is very collaborative. The changes that are experienced are going to vary from person to person and will depend on how you put the recommendations into practice and modify your daily habits. Some changes you may experience may include: better sleep, improved energy levels, less inflammation, less digestive symptoms (burping, bloating, and gas), and weight loss.

#9 Dieting is hard for me, how will this be different than what I do on my own?

When I hear the word “dieting” I always think “restriction” and it has a negative connotation to me. I like to focus less on the idea of “dieting” and more on the idea of building healthy habits. Every situation is going to be different and I like to start by adding more in at first (like more vegetables or water) and then potentially removing those foods or food items from the diet that are not serving you, and these items will vary from person to person. Although this may still seem restrictive, this will contribute to feeling better and building healthier habits.

#10 I hate taking pills and stuff- I don’t want to be on a million vitamins, can you still help me?

Yes! Not all nutritionists recommend supplements. Through our appointment I’ll assess whether there are any nutrient deficiencies in the diet. I personally like to start by recommending supplementation through the diet, meaning eating foods that are high in the nutrients you may be deficient in. If you dislike or are unable to eat the foods that contain the nutrients you need I may recommend a supplement at that time. Also, depending on what you are experiencing there are some supplements that may be beneficial in the short term to assist with digestive issues. However, my goal is to only recommend supplementation with pills for short terms use, if any at all, and there may be circumstances where long term supplementation is advisable. However, if there is one supplement I tend to recommend to everyone it is a probiotic because it is good for our digestion, our immune system, and many individuals are not consuming fermented food on a regular basis.

Have more questions for Susie? You can email her at [email protected] Ready to book your first appointment? Call us at 301.328.5326 or book online.



It’s difficult to have a full understanding about what your body needs to be healthy mostly because there are so many different vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, enzymes, and much more components of your diet and nutrition. Nonetheless, it is essential to develop a dietary plan that is suited to your individual health requirements and achieve complete nutrition and wellness. Nutritionists play a critical role in this important process, and at the Grossman Wellness Center, our nutrition team works with a majority of our patients.

Developing a Nutrition Plan

A qualified nutritionist can help you craft a plan that helps you understand the changes taking place in your body as a result of your diet. They will be your teacher and coach as you begin to understand the types of food that are healthy for you. It’s their goal to ensure you develop healthy eating habits that form your individualized and ideal nutritional plan.

At the start of your time as a patient in our care, you will take certain tests that help our team of practitioners and nutritionists learn about your body’s dietary needs and restrictions. After that test, your nutritionist will make special dietary recommendations based on their findings. They can work with you to see which foods are causing weight gain or specific health issues and then help you to remove these food items from your diet. Their expertise can allow you to see the impact that certain foods have on your body, and enable you to ease these foods out of your diet over time.

Accurate Information on New Foods

Because of the changes taking place in the way we manufacture food, we now rely nutritionists to help us understand the origin of specific foods and the impact these foods can have on our body over time. With the rise of gluten allergies and intolerances and of processed meats and other foods causes us to depend on the intellectual expertise of nutritionists.

Motivation and Support

Another principal advantage of working with a licensed nutritionist is that they can provide you with the motivation and support you require to achieve your dietary goals and fitness goals. Our nutritionists have considerable experience working with patients in nutritional therapy and in exercise science.

You can book regular meetings with them to discuss your food cravings and get science-based answers to your common diet questions. This support can be ideal during challenging times and can help ensure you don’t fall back on old habits as you try to become healthier.

Meal Planning

In addition to crafting a comprehensive nutrition plan, your nutritionist can help you plan individual meals to suit your unique dietary requirements. This ensures that you’re not tempted to cheat and go for an easy option. You’ll have all the meals ready for you to fit into your day-to-day schedule.

It’s the ideal way to remain healthy and diet-focused as you take on your daily challenges. Working with a nutritionist can help keep you healthy and happy over the coming years.

Our expert nutritionists are continually using the latest research to educate patients. Their latest work is the Paleo dietary guide. To learn how a Paleo diet can help you reach your ideal physical condition, today!

Benefits of a dietitian

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