What is an RD/RDN?

An RD/N (Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist) is THE food and nutrition expert. In order to become an RD/N, one must obtain a Bachelor Degree and complete coursework in nutrition from an accredited university, as well complete a minimum of 1200 supervised practice hours as part of a dietetic internship. Once this is completed, they may sit for the national registration exam and complete 75 continuing education hours every five years. This means that any RD/Ns you meet will be on top of the latest research and really know their stuff!

What is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?

“Nutritionist” is not a regulated term, therefore anyone can use it, despite any formal training in nutrition. A dietitian has gone through the aforementioned training in order to be THE food and nutrition expert, whereas your dog could call themselves a Nutritionist, if they could speak.

This is why you should always make sure your information is coming from a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and not just a “nutritionist”

Is there a difference between RD and RDN?

Nope! Just a personal preference as to which someone uses. I use RDN because I think people understand the “nutritionist” part of RDN more than simply “registered dietitian”, but when talking with people I will say dietitian in order to differentiate myself from the “nutritionists” mentioned above :P.

Where did you do your training?

I completed my BS in Nutritional Sciences at University of Connecticut (go Huskies!) and my dietetic internship which included 1500 hours of supervised practice, research, clinical rotations, community nutrition, and food service management experience at Cornell University.

If you’re a dietitian, then how do you eat?

Honestly, this question is so troublesome. I do not judge the way anyone eats and therefore I ask that they do the same to me. I am not the food police and I firmly believe that no food is “bad” for you. I like to eat everything and follow the principles of Intuitive Eating. I will say that my favorite foods are butter (specifically brown butter and no I do not eat it plain), apple pie, and pasta.

What is Intuitive Eating? 

Intuitive Eating is an approach to eating based on listening to your body and honoring its cues. It was created by two RDs who wrote a book about it (that I highly recommend!). There are 10 principles which are: Reject the Diet Mentality, Honor Your Hunger, Make Peace with Food, Challenge the Food Police, Respect Your Fullness, Discover the Satisfaction Factor, Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food, Respect your Body, Exercise-Feel the Difference, and Honor Your Health with Gentle Nutrition.

How can I practice Intuitive Eating without eating everything I think about? 

By tuning in and listening to your body, it will let you know when and what you need to eat, but first you need to trust those cues. In order to do that, you may go through a period where you eat a lot of certain foods like sweets, ice cream, french fries, etc. Once you fully trust it and trust yourself that no food is off-limits, your body will be able to regulate what you eat by telling you what it needs. This is a very difficult place to get to alone, which is why I am here to help, and it is why Gentle Nutrition is the last step of Intuitive Eating.

What happens if I gain weight with Intuitive Eating? 

I do not focus on weight and when you come to work with me, I ask that you don’t either. By focusing on weight, we cannot get through the first principle of Ditch the Diet Mentality. All bodies have a “set point” which is where their weight naturally wants to fall. When you are practicing gentle nutrition, feeling good about yourself, and engaging in a healthy routine including exercise, your body tends to reach a certain weight and stay there, this is the set point. It may be lower than when you started and it may be higher, but weight is not the end all be all, and that I what I try to help you understand.

But you can’t be saying larger people are healthy, are you? 

Yes. I am. Health At Every Size, or HAES, is a revolutionary approach (that should not be so revolutionary) that understands weight is not a factor in determining health. Someone can be in a larger body and have perfect metabolic markers and engage in a healthy lifestyle and someone can be in a smaller body with metabolic markers all over the place and not engaging in a healthy lifestyle. Weight has absolutely nothing to do with health and it is not what I focus on in my practice. HAES also focuses on celebrating all differences in bodies, not necessarily weight, but religion, gender, race, ability, and other traits.

Have any other questions? Feel free to contact me!