Dietary Scrutiny

Valentine’s day may be over, but my love is still goin’ strong. My love for my electric blanket, that is. The sun was shining this weekend, the snow was melting, and I thought that maybe, just maybe, we would be done with winter. I was seriously mistaken. Looks like it is back to the tundra-like conditions. *tear*

Speaking of valentines, I decided to get a little super cheesy crafty this weekend.


I could spend hours in specialty beer stores. It took me 30 minutes to pick out these 4 beers… oopsie. I ended up walking out with banana bread, hazelnut, chocolate and coconut varieties. I hope Jojo is in the sharing mood… hint, hint

When I got to work on Saturday morning I walked into see more sugar on one table than I have ever seen. A huge tub filled with hundreds of heart shaped sugar cookies, giant mixing bowls packed solid with icing, gallons of sprinkles, and a cart filled with donuts. All of these were leftovers from the previous day’s festivities. When I indulged in a cookie mid-morning, I couldn’t help but notice my co-workers reactions. “What is that?” “Did you break down and eat a cookie? Or were you good and not have one?” In addition to making me laugh, it got me thinking of how much judgment goes on in relation to the diets of dietitians.

People tend to think that dietitians have these complex diets and only eat foods that the general population has probably never heard of. Let me tell you first hand, this is not true. We eat pasta, packaged foods, snack throughout the day, love sweets (one dietitian told me “you can mess with a dietitian’s chips & fried foods, but never ever mess with their desserts!!”) and enjoy eating out. Basically, hate to break it to ya, but we aren’t perfect. We understand moderation and the importance of eating mostly whole, nutrient dense foods. We don’t over-complicate things or only eat carrots, like many people assume.

While searching aimlessly through facebook studying for my exam, I saw that one of my peers re-posted this article from The Huffington Post on “What a Dietitian Eats”. The RD who wrote this piece also laughed at the misconceptions of our diets. She states 10 basic principles that dietitian’s follow, and they are anything but rocket science.

  1. Never skip breakfast: Supercharge that metabolism in the morning, you’ll eat less throughout the day and feel more satisfied
  2. Never shop on an empty stomach: You think more clearly and have less impulse to grab those mint milanos off the shelf
  3. Carbs are our friend: All of these super low carb diets are silly business. Your brain needs carbs for goodness sake! Complex carbs are key.
  4. Ready made foods are OK: Yes, we eat packaged foods, sometimes ya’ just need convenience. We certainly don’t always cook from scratch. Canned chicken, pre-made spice mixes, frozen veggies & meals are super helpful.
  5. We know our weaknesses: For me it is sweets. For that reason I don’t buy them on a regular basis, I have no control, I won’t lie! You can have those things, but just not daily.
  6. We snack: We actually eat quite a lot. Gotta keep that metabolism fire goin’. Snacks shouldn’t be a full meal, just a little something to nosh on, around 150-200 calories.
  7. 3 key necessities: Milk, eggs, and versatile veggies. Omelettes are the world’s easiest meals.
  8. Keep fats simple: KISS (keep it simple, silly) You don’t need to buy into all of these trends with coconut oil and what not. Plain ol’ olive oil will do the trick, and it is cost effective.
  9. We enjoy eating out, too: We study food because we love it! And no, we don’t always order salads. We like to experiment with food, too. Heck, there is this place that serves grilled cheese donuts that I am DYING to try! Food fulfils more than nutrition, it provides enjoyment as well, don’t forget that.
  10. We don’t sit still: On the average, dietitians are pretty active. We know that a healthy diet alone won’t make you fit as a fiddle. One of my favorite phrases it “You can’t out diet lack of exercise and you can’t out exercise a bad diet” Words of wisdom right there!!

Like I said, dietitan’s diets get criticized a lot. When I first started studying I used to get worked up when it would happen to me. After years of encountering this, I have gotten over it and have learned to laugh at it.  We love food, that’s why we study it!

My two key concepts to remember: Simplicity and moderation!




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