Get to know one of our BC Dietitians
Meet Olivier Yergeau – a new addition to our team at HealthStand
In my career as a Registered Dietitian and during my schooling in nutrition, I have had the opportunity to work in many areas of the profession and in many parts of the country and beyond. This variety has allowed me to work with many cultures and age groups to adapt my practice accordingly.
I studied in New Brunswick where I was immersed into the Acadian Culture. It was for me the first experience living outside the province of Québec and the first time trying “Grated Poutine”!
By the end of my university studies, I had the opportunity to participate in a research project studying the nutrition status of a teen group in Senegal, Africa. While I really enjoyed my time there, I realized that rather than research which involved lots of computer data analysis, my passion was working to education people one on one.
Looking for personal and professional challenges, I moved to the Yukon where I had the pleasure of owning my own private practice in nutrition. Working out of a fitness facility gave me the opportunity to help people with meal planning, assistance to help them move towards their personal best weight and to increase their sports performance.
I was the only Dietitian in the territory in private practice, as there were only 3 other Dietitians who worked in a hospital setting. I provided nutrition counseling for a variety of health concerns such as diabetes, heart disease and much more. I also had the opportunity to collaborate with different not-for-profit and government organization such as the anti-poverty coalition, child care organizations and First Nation bands.
Wanting to be closer to a bigger center for personal and career opportunities, I left the Yukon in 2019. I now work for a government health organization in a hospital setting and a long-term care facility in Fort St. John, northern British Columbia.
In my current position, I have seen and dealt with many different health conditions such as unintentional weight loss/low weight, digestive issues and stomas, tube feeding and TPN, cancer, liver and kidney diseases, dysphagia and dementia. I also completed a certificate from the Monash University on the low FODMAP diet which enables me to support people living with IBS.
I am very happy to join the Health Stand Nutrition team as an Online Dietitian in BC. Living in a small city, having the opportunity to support people outside of a hospital facility is limited. I am glad to be able to share my knowledge with people throughout the country.
Q&A With Olivier Yergeau
My favourite part about being a Dietitian is:
Supporting and improving someone’s quality of life.
At my job in long term care, I love to ensure my residents have a good time at the dining room, receive their soulful food (with some nutritious tweaks) and stay healthy.
In my job with Health Stand Nutrition, as one of the BC Dietitians on the team, I love to help my clients solve challenges and bring them peace of mind. Whether it is struggles with body image, digestive health symptoms/IBS, kidney disease or stress around meal prep, I enjoy troubleshooting.
Food is much more then bringing nutrients to the body and I see my role as a Dietitian to help people balance healthful eating with also enough fun and flexibility to live a good life.
One myth that I want to clear up about Dietitians is:
“You’re a Dietitian, so you must be vegetarian?”
Yes, but no it’s not related!
Almost all the vegetarians I know are not Dietitians and most of the Dietitians I know love their meat.
Yes I am vegetarian, but, for me, it has nothing to do with health. I am vegetarian since 2011 since I never liked meat. As a kid the texture of meat never sat well with me and was very hard to get down. I also have a soft spot for animals in general. I have family members that love meat and because of this I have lots of experience figuring out ways to navigate family meals that serve both vegetarians and meat-atarians.
Favorite nerdy nutritious food chosen for health:
There are so many food items I could list here, but my go to is definitely hemp seeds.
I love hemp seeds as they add a nice texture to food, and can be added everywhere. Literally everywhere!
Being vegetarian for many years now, I had to find a way to ensure I get all the essential nutrients. Hemp seeds help me get protein and omega 3 fats into my diet. I add them to soup, yogurt, breakfast cereal or on a salad.
Every day, I sprinkle hemp hearts into my partners smoothie… and it has never been noticed (but this is our secret)!
Favorite soulful food chosen for taste, enjoyment and social fun:
The love of ice cream runs in the family. I don’t know anybody on my paternal side of the family who is not crazy about ice cream.
As a kid when we were visiting an aunt or uncle, I remember having a dessert, such as a pie accompanied by 6 flavors of ice cream. The dessert on the plate was not even noticeable.
The love of ice cream for me was so intense that I could eat a whole 2L of ice cream in a day. When I got some knowledgeable in nutrition, I realized that the portion was obviously too much. Now, I am able to enjoy a portion that I find reasonable for me (but that people around me find too big still). But it makes my soul happy and I balance this out with lots of healthy foods.
Something that people may not know about me is:
I am an open book. There’s really nothing that people around me don’t know; I share everything with everyone around me.
But for people whom I have just met, they might not know some of things about me. Here is a little list…
I am outdoorsy. I love to hike, bike, canoe and snowshoe. Despite being born in Quebec a culture that enjoys winter sports, I cannot skate well… my balance is just not good enough.
I have IBS which means that when I am stressed or I eat some food items, I experience abdominal cramps and discomfort. To manage my stress and symptoms, I usually head outside for fresh air. I also enjoy baking. As a Dietitian that specializes in digestive health, I’ve also learned along the way the best way to manage my symptoms through balanced nutrition
Lastly, I love winter, the snow and the cold. My best hikes have happened under a nice blue sky… at -50°C.
Looking for BC Dietitians / Online Nutritionists that can help you with personalized nutrition advice?
We can help! Contact us.
Learn more about our services here: Nutrition Counseling Services
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Olivier Yergeau is a Registered Dietitian in Prince George, British Columbia.