Oh Nutritionists. Sometimes we get a bad rap, sometimes we are made out to be too good to be true. Here are a few common misconceptions about Nutritionists - now, I can only speak on my own personal experiences, and I'm sure some of the items mentioned below will not resonate with everybody in the Nutrition industry.
We Are Judging You
I don't know how many times I go out to eat with a friend, or I am at a family dinner and somebody says "I know you are going to judge me for getting a second helping" or "I'm sorry you probably think it's so bad that I ordered the Chicken Parmesan." Trust me, we are not judging you! You make your own decisions and we are there if you ever want input, but we are not judging you.
Also, feeling as though we are judging you prevents an open, healthy, fully honest conversation in our consultations. Someone who is feeling judged may not feel secure enough to give us the whole truth- this only hurts YOU in the long run. If you had a sandwich on white bread and so much mayo it was dripping through the sides- tell us! Don't pretend you had a whole grain sandwich with no sauce. We need the WHOLE picture so we can see WHY you are suffering the way you are suffering.
Our goal as Nutritionist's is to help you feel good about yourself, to teach you about nutrition, and enhance your well-being.
Which leads me to my next point...
We Eat Perfectly
I LOVE dips- spinach dip, buffalo chicken dip, chocolate fondue, ranch and hot sauce on EVERYTHING. In my opinion, every food tastes better with some sort of sauce on it. We are human too and we like to indulge just like everyone else. We might limit how much or how often we indulge, but we still do!
With this being said, sometimes WE feel like we are the ones being judged. Personally, I believe in balance of eating healthy and paying for a cooked meal you are going to enjoy that you cannot make yourself. So sometimes I will get the "worst" thing on the menu- and sometimes I feel like I am being judged because of my profession.
At the end of the day, we are all human and we all have our strengths and weaknesses. We just have to embrace that and acknowledge the decisions we are making and decide how we are going to feel about them.
We Are Healthy
What is healthy? If you feel as if healthy is eating a diet full of nutritious food, supplementing when needed, and straying away from processed food, then yeah- Nutritionists are healthy. If you view health as a state of being free from illness or disease- we are not all necessarily healthy.
A lot of times people who become Nutritionist's fell into the career because of an illness, or because they changed their own lifestyle and learned to love the field of nutrition. We may be able to relate to you better than you think because we may have dealt with the same things that you are, and if not, we may be able to relate in a different way.
When sitting with us and telling us your life, how you feel, and your eating patterns, know that we are looking at you more than your disease, illness, or faults. We are looking at you as a person who is taking a large step towards wanting to change their lifestyle habits to better themselves not only for them, but for their friends and family.
We Are All The Same
There are so many different types of Nutritionist's with many different types of views on nutrition, different diplomas, certificates and degrees. There are some who base nutrition on blood type, there are some that base nutrition beliefs strictly on science, there are some that base nutrition beliefs on mind and body practices, and a wide combination of different beliefs.
You can find Nutritionists that are really strict to routine and give you tough love. You can find Nutritionists who are more laid back and let you take control of your routine. You can find Nutritionists that base their practice around your emotions. You, as a client, need to decide what suits your needs and lifestyle the best for yourself. Don't be afraid to ask a Nutrition Professional what education they have behind them and what their beliefs are. You have the right to know who you are working with, and you want to find someone who you are going to feel comfortable telling your life to.
We Can Fix You
We do not fix you- we educate you! LEGALLY we cannot claim to fix, treat, diagnose or prevent a disease, disorder, illness or condition! We are NOT Doctors and that is outside our scope of practice. Our job is to educate you on diet and lifestyle techniques to help you live a more fulfilling, balanced, healthy life.
We can, however, put you on a nutrition protocol to assist in symptoms you may be experiencing like inflammation, allergic responses, digestive issues, skin aliments, etc. We can offer suggestions on supplements to take to compliment your needs, and some of us can check drug-herb interactions to ensure we do not recommend supplements that will interact. And we will refer you out to other health professionals if you need assistance outside our scope of practice.
Please don't ask us "What is this rash?" "How do I cure this?" or "Should I stop taking this medication?" Please connect with your Naturopath or Family Physician. If you find out what A, B and C is, you can come to us so we can compliment your needs.
We Are Weight Loss Coaches
Some Nutritionists may focus on weight loss as their specialty, but we are not weight loss coaches. Nutritionists have the ability to help individuals get on a proper routine for many aliments to help increase their overall well-being.
We can help you if you've been recently told you have a food allergy or intolerance, we can educate you on foods to eat or get rid of if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or digestive illnesses. We can assist you in increasing your nutrient dense food if you want to overall feel better, looking to get pregnant, have recently started an exercise program, etc. We can help you if you want to start eating a vegan, vegetarian, paleo, or pescatarian diet. We can help you with SO many more that I have not listed.
Ask your Nutritionist if your individual needs will fit with their nutrition protocols.
Who I Am
As I mentioned, you have the right to know who you are working with- so let me introduce myself.
My name is Cassandra, and I am an Orthomolecular Holistic Nutritionist. What in the world does THAT mean? It is a scary name for saying a combine Holistic nutrition and evidence-based science.
Holistic nutrition is viewing a human as a whole- understanding that there is more than just what you eat that affects your health. We look at what you eat, HOW you eat it, and WHEN. We also look at your lifestyle- what you do for work, your hobbies, your past and current medical history, your physical activity level, your sleep, your stress, and any other aspect that we may think is contributing to your lack of health.
We use all the information we collected, and create a protocol for you that is based on scientific-based nutrition. (Don't worry- we will not overwhelm you with science-y words!)
I have been in the Nutrition and Natural Health Industry for 5 years now. I have a few diplomas in Nutrition and Natural Health and I will continue to grow my education.
I typically have a more laid back approach to my consultations- giving you freedom to making decisions and letting you reflect on how you felt after. I will, however, tell you the truth and I will be strict if I feel you need that kind of support.
I personally fell into Nutrition when I discovered my health was at risk in High School, and took control of my own health to feel myself again.
I look forward to connecting with you, whether on a client level or just assisting you in your supplement needs at the store!