Hi, I'm Heather, a Registered Dietitian living in Vancouver, BC. As a dietitian, I love all things food - eating, cooking, experimenting, sharing. I really believe that good nutrition is an investment in your future: You might not see the benefits right away but in the long run it's worth every penny. Think of nutrition like a good insurance policy. That being said, I'm a firm believer in the 80-20 rule... enjoyment is important and I love my wine and chocolate!
I am a serious nerd when it comes to nutrition and exercise - I can chat about these topics all day, and I often do - it makes me that excited! Two of my happy places are in the kitchen and in the gym. The gym is like my meditation... my place to turn my brain off and live in the physical. My kitchen is my way of being creative - I wasn't blessed with other artistic skills (my friends can attest to this), but creating and adapting recipes does the trick. When I'm not working or learning, I enjoy adventuring. My favourite places in the world are on top of any mountain, or being snuggled inside by a fire.
I also love spending time in my mom's kitchen (much nicer than mine) and my dad's garden (shown below). My parents have been a huge influence on my path in life, and for that I am grateful. They have always been strong role models for living a healthy lifestyle, and encouraged the importance of exercise and nutrition right from when I was young. Not only that, but they always encouraged me to shoot for the stars. They even listen to my advice sometimes and let me test my recipes on them.
Before I became a dietitian I completed a degree in exercise and health physiology - partly because I love learning about how the human body works, and partly because I wanted to learn how to help people become healthier or stay healthy before they get sick!
I know nutrition and exercise aren't the only pieces of the puzzle, but they are two very important pieces. I believe that everyone deserves a chance to enjoy the healthiest life possible for them, and I want to help people get there. Being proactive about your health is so important. Yes, genetics play a role, but we live in a society where more and more people have diseases caused by poor lifestyle choices each year. Sadly, so many of us take our health for granted and wait until we are sick to think about it - don't be one of those people! Find things in life that you love that also love you back in the long-term benefit kind of way.
As a dietitian I spend a lot of my time reviewing blood work, medications, supplements, food intake and medical histories. Most importantly I spend time talking with clients - to understand where they're at, how they got there, and where they want to be. Then I get to translate all this nutrition stuff into food! Together, we come up with a specific nutrition plan to meet their individual medical and dietary needs.
I love what I do, but I also love my life outside of work. When I'm not working you'll find me on an outdoor adventure, playing in my kitchen, or enjoying a good conversation with friends over a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. Nothing beats the feeling of being on top of a mountain or laughing so hard my abs hurt. I will spend my life finding things that bring me purpose and joy, and I hope this blog will be one of them!
You might be wondering - what's the difference between a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist (Holistic or other)? While you might hear some dietitians call themselves nutritionists, not all nutritionists can call themselves dietitians. "Nutritionist" is an unregulated term in Canada and in the US, meaning anyone can call themselves a "Nutritionist." A nutritionist may have very little education, and their 'designation' is not regulated by any governing body. Nutritionists can't work in hospitals and aren't clinically trained to treat patients with acute or chronic diseases. A Registered Dietitian is a licensed professional required to hold at minimum a 4 year bachelor's degree from a government-accredited University. In addition to their university education, they are also required to complete a 1 year post-graduate internship as well as passing a national board licensing exam to become licensed. They are regulated by a governing body and held to strict standards of practice just as other designated professionals are (doctors, nurses, lawyers, physiotherapists). Read more.