As a dietitian people often ask me about my own ‘diet’. What I eat, what I don’t eat and what I think about a particular food or diet. I have come to accept it now as part and parcel of being a dietitian. And I certainly don’t blame people for asking either. I’m always intrigued to know what workouts PT’s do, what toothpaste dentists use and what skin products dermatologists use. But lately my responses have made some people question my credibility as a dietitian. It is usually when I say that I don’t actually follow a particular diet, or when I say that I eat grains, dairy, wheat and sugar everyday. And especially if I say I had a few drinks the night before (gasp!). ‘But you don’t advise that other people do the same…do you’? Well actually yes I do and I don’t apologise for it. I don’t apologise for what I eat and I don’t apologise for practicing what I preach. I’m not going to be made to question myself for encouraging people to:
Have a good relationship with food,
Not to feel guilty about eating,
Eat what they enjoy mindfully,
Explore what style of eating best suits them,
Eat foods from all food groups,
Eat wholesome, fresh foods and plenty of fruit and veggies,
Not to get caught up in the latest fad or dietary craze,
Not to be brainwashed about toxic this and that,
And to ensure their eating habits positively influence their physical, social and emotional health.
My 6 years of university education, years of practical experience plus my minimum 30 hours of professional development each year to maintain my status as an Accredited Practicing Dietitian makes me feel confident that I am a credible, reliable and a well educated dietitian. My advice and approach is based on evidence and takes into account all aspects of health. So if people are questioning me because my approach isn’t in line with the latest ‘health guru’ who has done a 12 month course in nutrition, it’s not going to keep me up at night. I am not going to change my practice, what I eat or what I teach to keep up with the latest trends, for self promotion, to be cool, hip or trendy. I am a dietitian. I eat cake (and you can too). And that’s not going to change anytime soon.