Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Feel Better Healthy with Cori

Hello all! My name is Cori and I am a Registered Dietitian [RD]. I was pretty excited when I learned Holly wanted me to guest post because I am an advocate for doing what I can to get the dietitian name out there. I don't know if it's just me being slow on the uptake or if this is most people, but I hadn't even heard of dietitians until I got to college and began my classes to work toward becoming one! It seems we have been in the public eye a bit more these days, but we have a long way to go.

There is a wide range of jobs, practices, specialties, programs, etc. that dietitians can be involved in, but the most common response I get once people find out I'm a dietitian is some variation of the following:

"So you make sure people eat healthy?"
"Do you make meal plans?"
"I need you to help me lose weight!"

Since this is most of what I hear from people, and for the sake of this post, I am here to tell you what meeting with a dietitian might be like in regards to the above responses.

Let me first tell you a few things I would want to know from you:

1. Why are you visiting with a dietitian? What is it you want to get out of the visit?
2. What have you done or tried [if anything] to help you reach your desired outcome?
3. What is a typical day of eating like for you?
4. What is your activity level, height, and weight?
5. What are some attainable goals you would like to work toward?

Now that you know some of the information I, as a dietitian, would like to know, you are already ahead of the game. I feel it important to say: we are not here to judge you.  In my experience, the clients I've seen appear to be overly self-conscious when I ask them to tell me what they eat, and ofttimes they do not tell me the truth! And it's obvious. Please tell the truth when you come to see us, it's the only way we will be able to really help, and I repeat, we are not here to judge you. That is not why we became dietitians. I guarantee not one person thought, "I want to be a dietitian to judge and make fun of people." We really are in the business to help. With that said, come prepared to be brutally honest with your eating habits, activity level, and your struggles. We want you to be specific, too. What kind of cereal was it? How much of it did you eat? Where were you when you were eating it? What was your mood during that time? Write down everything you eat. Keep a food journal. I promise it will help bring things to light you did not notice before. And if you had that to bring into your dietitian visit?! We would be so impressed.

Some of what you can expect from the dietitian at your visit [this may vary from dietitian to dietitian and what it is you want exactly]: tips including healthy cooking, appropriate portion sizes, individual meal plans, your calorie needs to maintain, lose, or gain weight, suggestions on how to change and how to reach your goals, etc.

If you are interested, you can find a Registered Dietitian in your area by going to and clicking "find a dietitian" on the top right. If you're not quite ready to make an appointment with a dietitian, start by answering the questions above and try to keep a food journal. So much of eating right means changing current not-so-good habits into better ones, which is really up to you. We can help you along the way, but we can't make the changes for you.

I hope this has been at least a bit enlightening to those interested in meeting with a dietitian. Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments at feelbetterhealthy [at] gmail [dot] com. Good luck with your healthy endeavors!

Thanks, Holly, for having me! What a treat to be a guest on So Dang Brilliant.

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