I wasn’t surprised when I woke up yesterday to see that, not only was it International Women’s Day, but also National Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day. A day to celebrate all women, but especially the women who are committed to providing sound evidence-based nutrition education to people daily? Oh heck yes. March is also National Nutrition Month, a specific month of the year that we as RD’s dedicate towards helping spread nutrition and health knowledge. So, I personally can’t think of a better time to talk to you about putting your best fork forward, and how to interpret the large amount of nutrition-related media we as a generation see daily.
What makes a dietitian, a dietitian? What is a health coach? Can a nutritionist work in a hospital? These are questions I hear OFTEN. And if I hear them surrounded by medical professionals, I know the general public is also confused. First and foremost, a dietitian is a nutritionist, but a nutritionist/health coach/life coach/holistic nutrition coach, is not a registered dietitian. Our credentialing requires a four year degree in Nutrition & Dietetics, a clinical-based internship program consisting of 1000+ supervised, accredited hours, a registration exam (medical boards), and continuing education. In addition, over 50% of licensed registered dietitians hold a master’s degree in nutrition, or a closely related field. Why am I telling you this? The answer is simple. A dietitian is a sound, medical professional to use as an outlook for nutrition therapy. Everyone else, take any nutrition advice (especially any seen on social media) with a grain of salt, and reach out to your dietitian or doctor before putting that advice into action.
Putting your “best fork forward” means, making the conscious decision to be mindful of what is going into your body. Every bite counts, and making small shifts in our food choices can help to set us up for a healthy and most importantly, a happy lifestyle. Changing our eating habits can appear to be overwhelming, but with the help of a dietitian, can be easy. This does not mean you have to change your daily routine completely, but maybe slightly, focusing on small changes to help you reach your larger and more long-term health goals.
For the next several weeks, I will be focusing on 3 goals for you, the reader.
- Practice cooking at home 3-4 days per week (Home Cooking)
- Be physically active most days
- Balancing act: how to provide our bodies with balanced meals, intuitively
Hopefully you stick around, knowing that I will never tell you to sacrifice your sanity when it comes to food. Gluten, cake, pasta all fit. And your meals don’t have to look as perfect as they appear on your social media feeds.