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Dietitians Don't Bite!

September 27, 2011 by Andrea Godfreyson, Registered Dietitian

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Advice from a Winner: Part One

People sometimes think of dietitians as the “food police”.

When I lived in a small northern community where everyone knew everyone, I would often sense people hiding their shopping baskets from me in fear of judgement. Cashier line conversation  included a string of explanations: “I don’t normally buy this stuff” or “my husband just wanted these chips as a treat”.

I certainly wasn’t looking in people’s carts to see what they were or were not eating.

I was usually off in my own little world, trying to decide if I should roll the dice and buy an avocado (50% of the time they were rotten inside).

For some people, the term ‘dietitian’ conjures up the vision of a fit conservatively dressed woman in a lab coat with perfect hair and heels, who only eats dressing-less salad, skinless chicken breasts and drinks skim milk. Someone who is probably going to tell you that you are eating too much of the wrong things, too little of the right things and at all the wrong times. I have actually never met a dietitian who fits this description and I certainly don’t myself! 

If you had this picture in your head though, you‘re not alone. Holly McLennan, the lucky winner of the Healthy Families BC contest in August, received a consultation with a registered dietitian as her prize (along with a years worth of groceries valued at $5000).  We asked Holly if she had ever been to a dietitian before:“I never had and always thought [talking to a dietitian] was reserved for people with more serious health concerns. It’s something anybody can do…you learn so much on how to improve health on a daily basis and you don’t need to do a lot.”

Holly’s experience with the dietitian debunked some of her misconceptions.

It helped her recognize all the healthy choices she was already making and gave her some tools to make sure her hard work was paying off.

Stay tuned for our next three blogs, as we get Holly’s take on food and eating.

You don’t need a health ‘problem’ or to win a contest to talk to a dietitian. Call 8-1-1 to reach Dietitian Services at HealthLink BC and have your food and nutrition questions answered…we don’t bite!

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