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How I Got the Name “The Chocoholic Dietitian” Print

By Andrea Holwegner, Nutrition Expert & Professional Speaker

Welcome to the April edition of my new e-newsletter “Bite Me,” which you can think of like an A-bomb that will… astonish, agitate, activate & advance you!

Each month I will send you a short reflection to shift your thinking and spark your motivation for wellness change. My message is not only about food, but about LIFE and achieving better balance, energy and health. Enjoy!

How I Got the Name “The Chocoholic Dietitian”

Occasionally I meet people that wonder if my title “the chocoholic dietitian” has something to do with endorsing the health benefits of dark chocolate touted in the media. While there is some truth to dark chocolate having some healthy antioxidants, the reason I have the name “the chocoholic dietitian” has nothing to do with preaching about these benefits. Here is the real scoop about how I got the name “the chocoholic dietitian.”

Eight years ago when I graduated from university and started my nutrition consulting practice I believed that I needed to model perfect eating habits for my clients. In fact I remember trying so hard to be this beacon of perfection I started to get down on myself that I couldn’t kick my enjoyment for chocolate and other decadent foods my university courses had lectured me to eat less of. Thank goodness I have come to my senses! I realized that I was happier and healthier and that my clients were inspired to succeed by striving for an imperfect diet.

I knew my new message that “imperfect is perfect” was working when I received my first chocolate treat from a client named Al that I had been working with for months for weight loss and diabetes. From my street front office window I could see Al pull up and park his Harley Davidson motorcycle. Al was a 6 foot 6 large tough looking man who dressed in black and sported long dark hair and arms riddled in tattoos. In celebration of the 30 pounds he had lost since we first met, he proudly pulled out his favorite chocolate bar for me as a gift and said “thanks for being my chocoholic dietitian.”

Funny enough I am now an advocate of ensuring all of us eat treats and foods chosen for enjoyment rather than a diet based on simply nutritional value. In fact when I meet clients that have removed all junk food and made it their personal mission to boycott white foods or higher-fat/sugar items the nutritional community tells you to eat less of; I simply ask…why?

Here is the benefit to making sure you include your favorite soulful foods that make your taste buds and soul sing. Firstly, I know you will be more committed to choose nutritious choices most of the time if you knew you didn’t have to be perfect. Secondly, I also know you will feel more positive about yourself and your relationship with food if you allow yourself permission to enjoy ALL foods.

Trying to use “will power” to not enjoy the taste of sugar, fat and salt just doesn’t work. Humans are born with a compelling attraction to enjoy these tastes. So the next time you try to give up these items think again. You don’t need to give up anything to be healthy…but consider what is really worth it. Think about what your favorite soulful foods are rather than those junk foods you may eat because they are eaten by someone else in your household, leftover in the office or because you simply didn’t plan ahead and ate impulsively.

What is really worth it to make your taste buds and soul sing? Each day choose something soulful – a food chosen for the purpose of enjoyment rather than health. Still not convinced you can be healthier than ever following this principle? Try it for a few weeks and let me know your thoughts.

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. Andrea and her team 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. Andrea is an excellent teacher and motivator. 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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