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Disordered eating, emotional eating, weight concerns, pre/post-natal, infant/kids/family nutrition

Registered Dietitian Saskatoon Alison Friesen Online Nutritionist

Daniela O’Brien BSc, RD

Registered Dietitian & Online Nutritionist

Specialty: Disordered eating, emotional eating, weight concerns, pre/post-natal, infant/kids/family nutrition

Daniela is known for her contagious smile, warm approachability and collaborative approach to nutrition counselling for individuals and families. Her non-judgemental, calm demeaner mixed with confidence and clear direction is especially helpful when families are struggling with meal planning challenges, picky eating, health issues and complex eating disorders.

Daniela is fascinated by the natural complexities of family life among which food plays a central role. Feeding a family well is not just about serving health conscious meals, rather it is an art that requires good humour, plenty of joy and practical ideas that fit the flow of messy and sometimes crazy family time. Daniela is determined to help families thrive, take away the dread and power struggle of meals and enjoy delicious, simple creations and memorable table connections.

Daniela was born in Mexico City and raised in several Latin American countries. Her exposure to different foods and traditions captivated her interest in understanding how food shapes people and society. Her inquisitive approach to life and her delight in deepening her studies helped her land in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia (BC) with a full-ride scholarship where she completed a Bachelor’s of Science in Food, Nutrition and Health. She completed her dietetic internship in the Fraser Health Authority in Greater Vancouver; of course, with more questions than answers!

Daniela set out to work in the field of eating disorders in BC at the Woodstone Residence in Galiano Island and at Looking Glass Residence in Vancouver where she was a highly respected member of the multidisciplinary care team. She developed, implemented and fine-tuned the nutrition program in her role as a Clinical Dietitian and Nutrition Team Lead for residential treatment of anorexia, bulimia and other specified feeding or eating disorders. This challenging yet fascinating role quickly developed her into a compassionate listener, a caring professional and a true advocate for viewing a person beyond the shallow parameters of mere physical health.

Eating disorders would remain a big part of her career through her part-time private practice since 2011. Daniela has also served as a Dietitian in the Perinatal Nutrition Clinic and Reproductive Mental Health in BC’s Women’s Hospital, where she helped women achieve healthy pregnancies and an understanding of post-partum and infant nutrition. She has also worked at the BC Children’s Hospital for the Centre for Healthy Weights / Shapedown BC where she supported kids, teens and their families with weight concerns in collaboration with physicians, psychologists and exercise specialists. Her individual counselling and group programs always advocated for establishing a healthy relationship with food and positive body image.

Daniela is a current member of the College of Dietitians of BC, the College of Dietitians of Alberta and Dietitians of Canada. Daniela is currently working towards her certification as a Certified Craving ChangeTM Facilitator specializing in strategies for problematic and emotional eating. She offers services in both English and Spanish.

When not helping clients, Daniela is busy being a dedicated wife and a mother of four! She knows first-hand the challenges of eating well when expecting, feeding picky eaters and the daily-grind of figuring out what to make for dinner tonight!

Success stories

"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. They really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

“I am a busy mom, with kids in high level sports, working full-time downtown, and running our home acreage outside the City. I now have the knowledge and tools I need to plan for and manage the chaos of meal planning.”
Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Excellent teaching and motivation. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant
 

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