You might be wondering (as people often do) what my philosophy as a Registered Dietitian is. Many people tend to think that just because you've studied nutrition that you now only eat 'good' food. Well let me let you in on a little secret - I love chips, cookies, donuts, and french fries as much as the next person, and in fact I do consider these 'good' foods that can be a part of everyone's diet. The difference is that I've been lucky enough to spend many years studying nutrition in great detail and have been armed with the knowledge to make food choices that are right for ME. I think about what I eat, I'm conscious of my choices, but I choose not to obsess about food and I don't encourage my family, friends, or clients to do so either. We are made to ENJOY food, and frankly, nutrition and food comes down to personal choice. When we start classifying foods as 'good' vs. 'bad' it creates an environment where people feel guilty for enjoying foods that may be linked to their culture or that are associated with great memories, such as those amazing cookies your grandma makes. I feel that it is important to take every client's personal beliefs and experiences into consideration when developing a nutrition care plan, in order to set individualized and realistic goals that ensure success. Whether that means being empowered with the information essential in dealing with a new diagnosis such as diabetes, or just taking control of one's daily eating habits in order to feel happier and healthier, I believe everyone can benefit from having some nutrition knowledge!
In today's world, nutrition isn't just a fad. People are more interested and informed about nutrition than ever. Unfortunately, with more information comes more confusion and more people promoting extreme attitudes and behaviors surrounding food. That is not what you will find here. I consider myself a realist, not an extremist. As a Registered Dietitian, I believe in working with people to develop a nutrition plan that is realistic, can be managed on any budget, and suits different lifestyles and beliefs. Not everyone has access to a large supermarket, can cook, or is able to eat supper at home every night. In my opinion, there exists far too many fad diets and too many people promoting unrealistic and unnecessary restrictions on food that many people are unable to follow. Consequently, many people end up feeling ashamed or defeated for being unable to follow such strict guidelines. I believe that nutrition provides people the opportunity to have some control over their life in a world where we often feel out of control. I do not believe that it is a competition to see who can eat the "best" and that the "losers" are people who choose not to follow any one type of diet whether it be a gluten-free lifestyle, vegetarianism, or organic eating. These are all personal choices and can certainly be part of nutritious eating, but they are not right for everyone.
I believe that everyone needs some sort of plan when it comes to food. Unfortunately, the food environment that we live in here in North America sets us up for some pretty serious consequences from over consumption of non-nutritious foods. We are seeing many of these consequences such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and obesity at alarming rates. That's not to mention the downright 'blah' feeling many of us learn to live with, day-in and day-out, when we don't give our body what it needs to be healthy. Without a plan, and the knowledge to make that plan a reality, I have found many people feel lost in a sea of nutrition information and despite having the best intentions, still find they are unable to meet their nutritional goals. The role I intend to play in the nutrition care of others, is one of providing information in a way that people can take it and make their own choices. Not a do this, not that, approach. A dietitian I once worked with told me that "we need to be teachers, not preachers" and oh how true that is! I want people to be educated on nutrition based on what THEY want to learn and not what I THINK they need to know.
Finally, I think the key to learning anything new is to make it fun! I hope my belief that nutrition shouldn't be just numbers and facts is evident to all of my clients. It's the reason I called this company WHITTY NUTRITION - it not only encompasses my actual name, but draws on the fact that nutrition with wit is way more fun!