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What Being A Dietitian Means To Me

March 21, 2018

As a registered dietitian, I find my work highly rewarding, mainly because I get to help people improve their lives by taking an active role in their own health. What I love about my work, where my true passion comes in, is when I can help someone avoid disease in the first place, mainly by working with the patient on his or her diet. I love talking to people and learning about their lives, then figuring out ways to make an impact on their nutritional status.

I love talking to the patient about their unique circumstance, what they’re experiencing, what their health concerns are, and providing solutions that work. It’s fascinating to me because everyone is different and what works for one person doesn't work for another.  The challenge of personalizing each recommendation is rewarding.

A primary focus at Orlando Health is working with patients to address preventable diseases before they become a serious problem. This initiative makes me feel that my work is truly important because I’m part of the culture change that’s going on in the healthcare field to promote good health and wellness.

For a dietitian, that means focusing mainly on what people can do to avoid diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. My expertise is in food and nutrition, especially knowing which foods can prevent specific diseases and conditions, and which ones can actually aggravate or cause them. And poor diet choices can be a major contributor to these three diseases.

When a new patient comes to me, we start with a nutritional assessment to determine where they currently stand and what their nutritional needs are. I follow that up with education about what to eat and what not to eat plus a meal plan designed just for them.

One of the big problems a lot of us have today is that we’re all extremely busy. Unfortunately, most of the quick, easy food at fast-food restaurants or at the grocery store contains high quantities of salt, fat, or sugar and is highly processed. It’s important that I take into account what’s going on in people’s lives, including how demanding their schedules are, whether they travel a lot, if they have children.

Education about food is the key to success in this field. I’ll even take a group on a tour of a grocery store and teach them how to shop for healthy food. We talk about the healthiest way to prepare food using simple recipes that don’t take a lot of time. We look closely at food labels too.

Of course, the most common request I get from patients is to help them lose weight. So many people have tried diet after diet and it doesn’t seem to do them any good. We’ll look at what they are eating so I can give them advice on ways to cut back. People don’t always realize that there are lots of hidden calories in their food. A good example would be some brands of “healthy” snack bars, which have nuts and dried fruits, but also have way too much sugar. If you eat three or four of these a day, it adds up!

For me, the most rewarding feeling of all is when someone I have worked with comes to see me and they’ve achieved their goals.  They tell me how great they feel and talk about how the numbers from their blood work have improved or how much weight they’ve lost. It’s a wonderful feeling to have that kind of an impact on people’s health and the quality of their lives!

Talk to your Orlando Health Physician Associates Primary Care Doctor to schedule an appointment with our Registered Dietitians

From routine well-care visits to the unavoidable sick visits, you’ll enjoy easy access and personalized care. We take the time to listen, answer questions and clearly explain conditions and treatment options. Moreover, our physicians practice collaborative medicine, working with you to help keep your family happy and healthy.

Request an Appointment Today

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