Some surprising things you should know about our dietitian team…
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Fun facts from our Calgary Nutritionist / Online Dietitian team #dietitiansday

March 20th is Dietitians Day! Yes, this means for the nutrition nerds around the country we celebrate our love of food and our love of our profession. Earlier this month I shared an article about our fascination with food here: March is Nutrition Month: Canada’s Top Dietitians Unlock the Potential of Food.

To further build on this discussion since many people are curious about what dietitians actually eat, I asked our Calgary nutritionist team to answer some questions. I also asked them to share some fun facts about themselves and a myth about our profession they would like to clear up. Read on to find out more:

Kate Chury

calgary nutritionist and online dietitian Kate Chury

Areas of specialty as a dietitian:
Digestive issues, disordered eating and meal planning

My favourite part about being a dietitian is:
My favourite part about being a dietitian is helping people enjoy eating again. This could be simply learning to enjoy food without worrying about calories and macronutrients or finding a good balance of foods that don’t cause gastrointestinal discomfort. Seeing people find satisfaction in their food choices brings be a lot of joy.

One myth that I want to clear up about dietitians is:
One myth that I want to clear up about dietitians is that we teach using Canada’s Food Guide! Most dietitians I know use a more individual approach and you won’t be handed a Food Guide if you see the majority of dietitians.

Favorite nerdy nutritious food chosen for health is:
My favorite nerdy nutritious food chosen for health is (unpasteurized) sauerkraut. Not only do I love the taste of sauerkraut but it contains so many good bacteria (or probiotics) which are great for gut health.

Favorite soulful food chosen for taste, enjoyment and social fun is:
One of my favorite soulful foods chosen for taste, enjoyment and social fun are chicken wings.

Something that people may not know about me is:
Something that people may not know about me is that my husband, son, and I lived in Paraguay for 3 year and were featured on an episode of House Hunters International tv show (I try not to let the fame go to my head, though!)

Lindsay Rieger

Areas of specialty as a dietitian:
Pediatrics, family nutrition, chronic dieters, chronic health.

Calgary dietitian and online nutritionist for pediatrics Lindsay Rieger

My favorite part of being a dietitian:
When I can see that I have made a client’s life better, easier or more enjoyable.

One myth that I want to clear up about dietitians is:
That I care what you order, what’s in your grocery cart, or what you send your kids for lunch. No judgment here. I’ve very likely ordered, bought or sent worse at some point.

Favorite nerdy nutritious food chosen for health:
Arugula. Yes please. Healthy, but more importantly- so tasty. I eat it almost every day.

Favorite soulful food chosen for taste, enjoyment and social fun:
Wine, freshly baked white bread with lots of butter, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake, cheese, Thai food…. too many to list!

Something people may not know about me is:
I have a personal goal to see one new country for every year I’m on earth. I’m currently sitting at 33 countries (I’m behind and I fully blame my children for this setback however I’ll get back on track eventually). I have the same goal for all three of my children.

Jana Spindler

Areas of specialty as a dietitian:
Sports Nutrition, Body Image, Eating Disorders, Athletes with Eating Disorders / Disordered Eating

calgary dietitian, sports dietitian and eating disorder nutritionist jana spindler

My favorite part of being a dietitian is:
The connections I get to build with my amazing clients and empowering them to be confident in their body and what it can do when they learn to listen to it. I love seeing clients improve their relationship with food and discover just how good they can feel in their bodies.

One myth that I want to clear up about dietitians is:
We eat all our veggies every day. Some days, I just don’t want to eat a salad or carrots or beans or whatever, so I don’t!

Favorite nerdy nutritious food chosen for health:
Lentils! As a proud University of Saskatchewan alumni, I learned about the many benefits of and discovered how to cook with lentils when I was there and I love using them still.

Favorite soulful food chosen for taste, enjoyment and social fun:
Freshly baked, slightly undercooked, and still a little doughy baked goods like banana bread or cinnamon buns.

Something people may not know about me is:
I coach club basketball so I can further share my true passion… that is teaching girls to be powerful, be confident and most of all, own the skin they’re in!

Richelle Tabelon

Areas of specialty as a dietitian:
Eating disorders, disordered eating, emotional eating, chronic disease.

calgary dietitian nutritionist richelle tabelon

My favourite part of being a dietitian is:
Getting to know each individual client personally and developing a relationship with them. Also, the point in nutrition counselling when you know your client trusts you enough (they know I won’t judge or shame them) to ask or tell me anything and everything about their food relationship and behaviours so I can better support them. Lastly, seeing my clients experience true food freedom and enjoyment again(I love when they send me food pics).

One myth that I want to clear up about dietitians is:
We do way more than just create meal plans. Food and eating can become complicated for some people but it doesn’t have to be that way. Dietitians can help you improve your relationship with food and support you in changing problematic eating behaviours which can affect your quality of life.

Favourite nerdy nutritious food chosen for health:
Beets. I hated them as a child but it must be my Ukrainian blood because now I can’t get enough. I especially love home-made borscht as a great vegetable option!

Favourite soulful food chosen for taste, enjoyment and social fun:
Hands down: Salt and vinegar chips. Specifically the kettle cooked variety.

Something people may not know about me is:
I served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve as a Boatswain and Cook. I cried after the first few days of boot camp but persevered, loved it, and served in the military for 10 years.

Andrea Holwegner

Areas of specialty as a dietitian:
Professional speaking, workplace wellness, media relations, industry consulting, online course creator and facilitator to help people create a healthful and soulful relationship with food.

andrea holwegner, online dietitian, nutrition speaker and nutrition course creator

My favourite part of being a dietitian is:
Helping people create a healthful and joyous relationship with food and their body. This means if you have been following unnecessary restrictions I want to help you break out of diet prison and love eating again. This also means if you are a junk-food-aholic that eats poorly I will make it my mission to find vegetables that you will love.

One myth that I want to clear up about dietitians is:
That we all work in hospitals, wear white lab coats, pose for photos holding apples and only give out the food guide when we educate. Many of us have never worked in a hospital since our internship and have never worn a white lab coat to work unless this is required for a research job. And when it comes to the food guide, thank goodness we have a new one this year that is far better than the old outdated one but that doesn’t mean a dietitian in private practice uses this for counseling. We see the food guide as a general population tool and prefer to customize much more specific guidance for the clients we serve. Finally, I can also say I’d much rather hold chocolate or a glass of wine in a photo than apples.

Favourite nerdy nutritious food chosen for health:
Anything grown in my backyard vegetable garden. Carrots, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, kale, chard, beets and more. I am a total garden geek and farmers market fanatic.

Favourite soulful food chosen for taste, enjoyment and social fun:
As the chocoholic dietitian you can bet that my vote is chocolate (not chocolatey items like cake or desserts, instead I prefer just plain old chocolate – both milk chocolate and dark chocolate. I’m also a fan of wine, cheese, nachos and cheese, air-popped popcorn with butter as well as ice cream.

Something people may not know about me is:
I am a sucker for a good challenge and women doing awesome things. This may sound humorous but years ago I watched the movie G.I. Jane starring Demi Moore and became inspired. I made it my mission to learn how to do the one-arm push-ups seen in the movie. After some failed attempts on my own, I hired a trainer who helped me build my shoulder strength and I learned to crank out a dozen of these at a time. I’m planning on continuing these until I die:)

Need some personalized help and inspiration from a team of dietitians that enjoys the same fun food you do and won’t expect you to be perfect? Book a free phone call to discuss your needs and which Calgary Dietitian or Online Dietitian in our practice can help.

As Registered Dietitians that specialize in meal planning, weight concerns, emotional eating, eating disorders, digestive health, heart health, diabetes, pediatric nutrition and sports nutrition we can see you in our local Calgary nutritionist office or as an Online Dietitian by phone or video conferencing for virtual nutrition counseling. Find out more about our Dietitian Nutrition Counseling Programs here.

As university trained top Registered Dietitians, you can count on us for credible advice and practical meal planning so you don’t have to stress about food anymore. You can achieve a healthy and joyous relationship with food and your body. Let’s talk about what this can look like for you. CONTACT US.

PS You may also be interested to read this previous article earlier this month: March is Nutrition Month: Canada’s Top Dietitians Unlock the Potential of Food

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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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