Since I was 12 years old, I knew what I wanted to do with my career path: I wanted to be a registered dietitian. After going to one myself, the passion was instantly instilled in me. Throughout the course of nine years, I’ve come across SO many new areas of interest with the nutrition field. At first, I thought I made up my mind: a private practice. Yes thats’s exactly what I wanted to do and no one will stop me!!!
Well, times can change. Opinions can change. Goals, motives, and desires….those can all change as well.
I’ve learned how important the clinical side can be. How important knowing your lab value ranges is, knowing how certain vitamin and macronutrient intakes can affect the disease of a patient.
I’ve learned how incredibly AWESOME research is!! I remember sitting in a class as an undergraduate snoozing through my research class, memorizing the material just to pass the final exam. But seriously, dabble in a topic that you really like. For me, I’ve become invested in looking up topics regarding athletic performance and diets, or supplement use versus non supplement use on the athletic performance, or simply…how beneficial is fasted cardio?
I’ve learned that having clients can be super exciting, but at the same time super difficult, especially if they have their “my way or the highway” attitude.
I’ve also learned that managing and being in charge is extremely fulfilling to me; I like to be in control, so possibly managing a business or food service is in my future? Who knows.
Another thing I learned throughout my many experiences in the food and nutrition field…..what NOT to say to RDs and RD2bes.
We’re human too…we don’t eat perfectly or know everything by heart, but here are a few things that really get under our skin:
1. Can you make me a meal plan??
We do more than just the stereotypical meal plan. Sometimes this isn’t even a part of the dietitians job. We asses, diagnose, treat, and evaluate patients depending upon the career we choose to enter with our credentials and degrees. Meal plans are more than just “okay let me tell you what you should eat and write it up in ten minutes”. It’s a lot more complicated than that. Instead, we can help evaluate your current diet and help you make better choices depending on your needs.
2. What’s the healthiest fruit I could eat?
No such thing as the “healthiest” fruit, and don’t even get me started on this “superfood” rant. All fruits have benefits to them, some more than others. Incorporating fruit in your diet is important, the recommended amount being about 2 cups for women/men under 50.
3. I just started this drink detox….
We have a liver to do the detoxing for us. Drinking, whether its fruit juices, broths, smoothies, or what have you, still contains calories. You might lose a little weight if that is your goal, but it’s potentially water weight, plus chances are once you go back to consuming whole foods (cleansing/juicing is not a sustainable, healthy diet plus chances are you are doing this as a 3-7 day phase and are not learning proper eating techniques), your weight will be gained right back. Talking to a dietitian about healthier lifestyle changes would be much more beneficial.
4. Oh don’t look at what I’m eating!
It might have been funny the first time, but it’s not funny after every person says it. It’s frustrating going out to dinner with friends when they think we’re going to judge every bite they take. We aren’t –we’re just as human as you are!
5. I only buy natural products
natural products do not mean “healthy” or “calorie free” or “sugar free” or even, ‘better’ for that matter. Natural products can still contain sugar, because sugar IS natural. Be sure you are reading the nutrition label when buying products, not just the health claims on the front of the package.
6. I only eat gluten-yeast-dairy-free
gluten, yeast, dairy, and all of the other trending “free” diets aren’t necessary for the average american unless you have to follow these diets due to medical reasons. Cutting food groups out of your diet can be detrimental to your health if you aren’t making up for it in other areas. For instance, cutting dairy completely may decrease your intake of calcium, vitamin d, and protein. It’s important to go through your health care team if you decide to omit certain food groups from your diet.
7. I avoid carbs, they’re bad
Women below 50 needs about 6 one-ounce portions of grains while men below 30 need 8 one-ounce portions and men 30-50 need about 7 one-ounce portions. Carbs are not the enemy, it’s excess calories and refined carbohydrates that we need to be weary of. Make sure half of your grain intake is whole grains. Great choices would be whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, and oats.
8. I’m starting my diet tomorrow!
Diet is word that means a short lived food intake. Dieting is only for a period of time, and something we definitely do not recommend. How about starting your “lifestyle” change NOW. Why wait for tomorrow? There is no time like the presence. Sure, may you have plans to go out tonight or go to a party or whatnot, but you can still make healthy choices no matter what.
9. I can eat whatever food I want as long as I burn it off in the end, right??
Errr, essentially, when you burn more than what you eat, you do lose weight. But we as dietitians aim for quality over quantity. So that means, yes you can have 300 calories worth of chocolate chip cookies (about 6 cookies), or you can have 4 oz of chicken breast, 2 cups leafy greens, and one baked potato which will completely fill you up and satisfy you all for the similar amount of calories PLUS loaded with nutrients! Choosing healthier food choices will help you feel better mentally and physically. On a side note, eating your days worth of calories in cookies, for example, versus a balanced diet of carbs, protein, and fats, will affect your body on a chemical level differently.
10. Eating healthy is expensive
Sure, buying everything organic, gluten free, and fresh everyday can be pricey…and that’s because many Americans feel that is what “healthy” means. But healthy does not equal pricey. Buying frozen vegetables and fruit, and not purchasing pre-cut, pre washed produce can cut down on costs. Plus, medical bills from an unhealthy diet are WAY more expensive than buying and planning healthy meals…am I right?!
11. Dr. Oz said that…
All I have to say to this comment is the following: