Get to Know Your Virtual Dietitian: Alison Friesen
Virtual Dietitian specializing in eating disorders, emotional eating, sports nutrition & fertility/women’s health
Our Virtual Dietitian Team is excited to welcome a new team member to our practice!
Empathy and kindness are two things you will notice about Alison, oh, and her love of good food and sport! Alison is known for her client-centered approach that looks at a person as a whole in all aspects of physical, mental and spiritual health. Alison is also working towards a Masters of Counselling, so the combination of her love for food and caring for individuals, you can feel safe and confident in the support you receive with her.
Areas of specialty as a Virtual Dietitian:
Eating Disorders, Emotional Eating, Sport Nutrition & Fertility / Women’s Health
My overall background as a Online Dietitian:
I have been fortunate to have had many opportunities to work with a wide range of athletes and clients. Upon graduating from my internship, I started on a year term with the Sport Medicine and Science Council of Saskatchewan that is connected with the Canadian Sport Center Saskatchewan. In this role, I saw the full spectrum of athletes at a very high-performance level to the developing level. I loved the opportunity to connect with the sport community.
After this I then continued as a consultant and started my own private practice. I have worked in collaboration with medical and sport clinics around the city of Saskatoon. I started to see more athletes and clients come in with challenging food relationships. This along with my own journey as an athlete, has allowed me to further my education and passion to support individuals with disordered eating and emotional eating. I also started a podcast, The Warrior, with hopes to inspire and educate individuals with stories from those who have overcome significant challenges.
My decision to leave my own practice and join Health Stand Nutrition was easy as the team of Dietitians share my philosophy and approaches to health and nutrition. Joining a practice has also allowed me to take off a few business hats so that I have the time to pursue the Masters of Counseling Psychology and juggle life as a working single mom.
My favourite part about being a Dietitian is:
My favourite part about being a Registered Dietitian is having the opportunity to connect with clients and support them in their health journey. During my athletic career, I had a difficult food relationship and I was fortunate to receive excellent support. I want to use my experience and education to provide this type of support to others. I also love food and cooking and get excited when I see others learning to play with food in the kitchen and reap the benefits!
One myth that I want to clear up about Dietitians is:
We LOVE carbs! Carbohydrates are one of the most stigmatized nutrients simply because diet culture has labeled it as ‘bad’. First off, there is no such thing as bad or good foods. Labeling any food bad gives that food power (not the kindness it deserves). Secondly, carbohydrates are the bodies preferred fuel source. Our brain and muscles function best with carbohydrates as its energy source.
With all this being said, let’s eat CARBS! Fruit, vegetables, grains, dairy, beans/legumes have carbohydrates AND so do your favorite foods like chocolate and French fries that can also be mixed in.
Favorite nerdy nutritious food chosen for health:
Spinach! I admit I’ve added some pretty crazy things into smoothies but spinach has to be my favorite. Spinach is very versatile and is a powerhouse of nutrients. For those that don’t like spinach, the best part about it is that in a smoothie, you can’t even taste it (unless you add way too much which I have done once or twice). I also really enjoy a spinach salad with cheese, nuts, vegetables and fruit, it is one of my favorite sides to a meal. You will always find spinach in my fridge and freezer!
Favorite soulful food chosen for taste, enjoyment and social fun:
I have a hard time choosing favorites but if I have to choose, I would say a good burger either with fries or chips. I love going with friends to a pick up burgers in the summer and then going out for a walk, fire or hitting up a competitive game of mini-golf. I also love any type of BBQ cuisine in the summer including burgers, watermelon, chips, and great company.
I also am a sucker for popcorn. Not just any popcorn, I love buttery popcorn with seasonings. My favorites being white cheddar or nacho! A big bowl of popcorn and a good movie and I am certainly happy!
Something that people may not know about me is:
I am a single mom to a beautiful little girl. I think one of the greatest forms of empowerment is in sharing our stories of struggle and success with those you trust. I certainly have a story (as we all do), but I am grateful for the experiences that have helped me to grow and realize my strength. I want to pass this on to my daughter (and my clients).
I am an active member of my church community and lead support groups for women through Doing Family Right. I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by great supports in these communities.
Lastly, I love to do anything active, but sometimes my competitive edge can get the better of me. For example, I enjoy trying out new sports like golf or tennis, but if I seem to be struggling, having a bad game or losing, I can get frustrated quickly. I guess you can never quite take the competitiveness out of an athlete.
Read Alison’s full Virtual Nutritionist bio here: Online Dietitian: Alison Friesen
If you are seeking support from an Online Dietitian for eating disorders, sports nutrition, women’s health and fertility nutrition, Alison is your gal. Alison can help you develop better meal planning and wellness for your healthy lifestyle.
Find out more about our Virtual Dietitian Nutrition Counseling Programs here.