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Meet Daniela O’Brien Print

BC Eating Disorder Dietitian Daniela is a new member of the HealthStand Team

bc eating disorder dietitian daniela obrien

Daniela O’Brien is an eating disorder dietitian located in Vancouver, British Columbia specializing in emotional eating, weight concerns, pre/post-natal nutritionand infantkids, and family nutrition. She offers services in both English and Spanish.  

 

We asked Daniela to answer a few questions so you could get to know her better.  

 

 

What is your background as Registered Dietitian?

 

After completing the required internship at the end of my studies, I searched determinedly for a job that would challenge me to use all my skills and to develop more. I wanted to get involved with all aspects of dietetics and get a real sense of my gifts. I was delighted to join Woodstone Residence in Galiano Island, BC, a center for eating disorders. The location was remote and the learning curve was steep, but it was an excellent fit for me!  

 

I found a real sense of purpose in helping others, especially those who struggled with mental health, and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to help change the lives of the residents through the menu we crafted, the cooking we delivered and the nutrition education program we pioneered. Being able to work in such conditions really shaped me as a professional and  individual. The biggest lesson I learned: offering empathy and compassion to clients is a catalyst for behavioral change.  

bc eating disorder dietitian daniela obrien  

Memories of Woodstone Residence (now Looking Glass)  remain in me as a thrilling and exciting experience.  Helping move it’s well established program to Vancouver to allow for more medically acute patients was remarkably interesting as well. Working with a multi-disciplinary team has always been very inspiring for me. This good foundation proved helpful to work in other programs and areas of dietetics, such as the BC Women’s Prenatal Nutrition Clinic and Shapedown BC (a family-based program to help change eating behaviors for kids age 6-17). I also established a small but very rewarding private practice in 2011 that I continue to operate 

 

What is your favourite part about being a dietitian?

 

As I have always enjoyed working in one-to-one or group counselling settingsI am very comfortable building quick and trusting relationships with my clients, listening attentively to their needs and carving the terrain for a self-motivated path to change. I sit right next to you through the crazy road of nutritional behaviour change, but you hold the steering wheel! Nothing beats this, as this is the best way I know to support you and to ensure long term change at a pace you can manage. 

 

One myth that you want to clear about Dietitians is?

 

That we eat perfectly! What is perfect when it comes to food, nourishment and nutrition? This is why I joined forces with Health Stand Nutrition because as a team we believe the very act of eating goes beyond the food. It’s about how we eat not just what.  It’s about who we enjoy it with and how we make memorable moments.  It’s about adding foods wholesome in health, but also having the good stuff that keeps the soul alive! 

 

Healthy eating is a journey not a destination. Dietitians, just like you, walk this journey of balance and resilience. We constantly need to re-adjust our eating habits to changes in our health status, family routines, busy schedules, slimmer budgets, cooking skill, unforeseen setbacks, pandemics and more, in all the seasons of life. 

 

Favourite nerdy nutritious food chosen for health?

 

My favourite nerdy nutritious food changes often because there is so much to choose from, explore and love. At the moment, I would have to say medjool dates. I love them because they are nerdy enough, but satisfy the sweetness I also need. Add them to a nut based smoothie, tuck a square of 90% dark chocolate in them, sprinkle chunks of them into yogurt with chia seeds or have them with really stinky hard cheese. Mmmmm delish! 

 

 

Favourite soulful food chosen for taste, enjoyment and social fun?

 

There is so much I love, but something that’s very dear to my heart is homemade baking. If someone drops a loaf of banana bread with chocolate chips or their special one-of-a-kind baking that their grandma would make for them I will smile for ages!  

a slice of banana bread with a pat of butter next to a white mug of coffee  

Going out with my hubby for a nice meal with wine and dessert is also such a treat! Or taking the kids out for gelato in the summer, or having a hot chocolate with whip cream and cookie after a rainy walk…these are things I adore. 

 

Something that people may not know about you is:

 

As an international student at UBC I wanted to use my nutrition knowledge to help developing countries. I signed up to volunteer in India near the Himalayas, where I participated,  alongside 4 other UBC students with different professions, in research for infant and maternal nutrition. Walking through very remote villages amidst the mountains and living in a small community with a school and a massive temple awoke in me a deep sense of spirituality.  

 

I am forever thankful for the simplicity of life that I witnessed in those villages and the astounding joy of the people, even when they had so little. It moved me to deepen my own faith in an unprecedented way and to align my priorities well. Today, being a caring wife to a very hardworking husband and the lucky mother of four is my most humbling and joyful vocation.  

 

 

To read Daniela O’Brien’s full bio visit:  Meet Our Registered Dietitian Team 

 

 

Looking for a Virtual BC Eating Disorder Dietitian?  Need support with infant/kids/family nutrition or pre-natal nutrition support?  

 

We can help!  We offer supportive virtual nutrition counseling support from the comfort and privacy of your own home.  Find out more about our services here: Nutrition Counseling Services 

 

Looking for more simple meal planning tips and healthy recipes for a healthier lifestyle? Sign up for our weekly newsletter for a healthy recipe of the week (and nutrition articles and videos with a balanced living philosophy to help encourage healthy habits but still save room for your favorites). Our nutrition newsletter is written by the Online / Calgary Nutritionists on our team who each hold a professional Registered Dietitian license to ensure you are getting credible advice.

 

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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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