Hi Muscles and Munchkin Readers! I’m so pumped that Hollie asked me to share with you all! I met Hollie last year, just before BlogFest, when we found out we lived just a town away from each other. Since then we’ve both helped each other with various aspects of growing out blog and fitness business! Hollie is such a strong, awesome SuperMom, a great role model and one fit lady! Have you seen her bust out push-ups?! Today, I’m sharing a little bit about my experience working with a Dietitian (or an RD) and 4 tips to help you decide how to choose one!
I shared my nutrition journey on my blog a couple weeks ago. The short story is that I spent a good 2+ years with some crazy stomach issues. Just when I thought they were over, I suspected I had a case of Candida, or yeast overgrowth. Due to gut issues, years on a steroid inhaler for asthma and a recent bout of thrush, it was no surprise to find out I was correct in my suspicion!
Because I had a few not-so-great experiences with a doctor and because I read that diet and nutrition can play a big role in healing, I made the choice to look for a Dietitian to help me become Candida free! I did a few searches on Google, as I knew many did RD’s did virtual sessions. In narrowing my search to local practitioners, I stumbled upon my current RD. She was able to help me through not one, but two stints of candida, 1 bout of adrenal fatigue and has been available for small pop-up tummy issues.
How Do You Know If You Should Work With a Dietitian?
Good question! While doctors are incredibly knowledgeable, many did not take a much in the way of nutrition course throughout their schooling. For this reason, it’s important to work with an RD, IF you believe that nutrition plays a role in healing. I’d been thrown different medication for so long that I didn’t want to go to the doctor with my candida issue and have them through even MORE pills at me! This is not to say that medication is not necessary, in some case! Just that, sometimes, food and healthy supplementation can be the best medicine.
So, the answer to this question has to do with your personal feelings to wellness, nutrition, medication and such. If you haven’t been getting healing from a doctor, it might be time to partner with an RD. I do think that anyone with gut issues can greatly benefit from partnering with an RD and it’s often when I recommend if I have a nutrition client that needs assistance beyond my scope of practice.
Where Do I Start?
Knowing where to start can be half the battle! There are so many different practitioners out there and so many different specialties that it’s important to choose an individual that you feel comfortable with AND that can offer (holistic) healing. Here are a few tips to get your started.
Do Your Research (regarding their Nutrition Philosophy)
There are so many different RD’s, with so many different approaches to food, nutrition and wellness. The most important thing I can tell you is to find a practitioner that shares your same food philosophy. My dietitian specializes in working with individuals with gut issues, food sensitivities, CANDIDA and kids with autism. This means she has a great deal of knowledge on the effects of gluten and other food groups that can negatively affect the gut. If I’d picked a dietitian that followed the FDA Food Pyramid Guidelines, we would NOT mesh well at all. I don’t do gluten, dairy or soy. If my practitioner and I don’t have the same view on an approach to healing, I’m not going to heal. If the practitioner you are interested in does not share some of their nutrition philosophy on their website, then ask. The worst thing would be to pick a practitioner, (potentially) pay out of pocket (see #2) and then completely disagree on nutrition. Choosing an RD is a big deal, so make sure you ask as many questions as you need, in order to make an educated decision.
Do Your Research: (regarding payment)
There are a handful of RD’s that are not covered under insurance plans, meaning, you are paying out of pocket, meaning, depending on the scope of work, it could be pretty pricey. My Dietitian does not take my insurance, so I pay out of pocket for each visit. To me, make sure my gut is working properly is a high priority for me. So, spending a little more on supplements and food is something that I budget for. Plus, my RD also offers a couple different options, so I can choose what fits my budget at the time.
Be Detailed With The Information You Provide
Before I had my appointment, I filled out something like an 11 page guide of paperwork, including a 3 day food diary. I was as detailed as possible with all this paperwork, sent over previous tests and went through my entire gut issue saga with her on my first session. This is key! If you have gut trouble mid- afternoon, every single day or after you eat a certain food, and don’t share that information, your practitioner could be missing an important piece of the puzzle! With my own clients, if I don’t get detailed information, I ask questions and I ask a lot! It’s really the only way to truly understand what is going on and be able to provide a plan for healing. Give all as many details as possible – down to the consistency of your poo!
Do you Know, Like and Trust Them
This is incredibility important for an individual that you work with. Say they have a good nutrition philosophy, but you don’t love their personality. Likely, not going to be a good fit. Is this person doing positive things in the nutrition community? Are they continuing their education? Are they interested in your life, aside from what you are seeing them for? I talked to my dietician for the first time a couple months ago, after not seeing her for nearly a year, and she asked how my wedding went and my business, BEFORE having me go into the adrenal issues I was experiencing. This is what keeps me coming back to her…along with all her recommendations, of course!
Hopefully these tips can help you navigate picking an RD that you are most comfortable with. A partnership with an RD can be so beneficial in the healing process. A quick note on nutritionists: While a nutritionist has a great deal of nutrition knowledge and should be certified, they do not hold the same credentials and licensing as an RD. Often times, client needs can go far beyond the scope of a nutritionist. As you are doing your research, keep this in mind!
Jen Elliott is a Wellness & Nutrition Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Blogger, Small Business Owner and coffee loving #GirlBoss. Her passion is to educate and inspire women to live their most awesome life! She also loves avocados, green smoothies, playing tennis with her husband and reading on her patio! Connect with Jen:
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