The Dietitian As Your Copilot
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We are thrilled to share this blog post from the newest member of the Health Stand Nutrition team – Kate Chury, RD. Kate’s bio can be found here: Kate Chury Bio

Kate has over 10 years experience as a Registered Dietitian, in a wide range of areas, including a keen interest in functional gut disorders, such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), and has been trained by the prestigious Monash University in the Low FODMAP Diet. Using her nutritional, culinary and technical knowledge she troubleshoots strategies to help those struggling with digestion issues. It is a pleasure to welcome Kate to our team, and to introduce her to you.

The Dietitian as Your Copilot

When seeing a Registered Dietitian (RD) regarding your nutritional health, you may be tempted to sit back and let them tell you what to do. Maybe they’ll give you a meal plan to follow and a list of foods to eat, and you’re done, right?


I’m here to tell you that this is only partially true. While dietitians do provide you with the education, tools and strategies needed to make significant dietary changes, it is really you that is in control. The dietitian is merely your guide, or copilot.

The dietitian is your copilot. We are here with you, beside you. We are riding shotgun in your healthy eating journey. We’ve got the map, or at least operating the GPS, while you’ve got your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.dietitian as copilot

So, why is this? I mean, dietitians are the experts, right? You’re paying us to tell you how to eat, aren’t you? The answer to both of these questions is YES. We are the experts in nutrition but there are two things that you may be forgetting:

  1. You know yourself best
  2. You’re going to be doing all the real work.

For these two reasons, it is you that is in control. Dietitians do have the nutritional, culinary and technical knowledge that you may not, but it is you that needs to put our recommendations into action. We need to work together to find out what will work for YOU, as an individual. No two people alike, nor will one generic nutrition recommendation cut it for every client. We have to work together but you are in the driver’s seat, you are in control. We are merely there to guide you, with our expertise.

Ultimately, you are the one in control of your life and your eating. We can support you with knowledge and evidence-based recommendations. We can be your sounding board and offer you many alternative suggestions to make our recommendations relevant to you. But, again, you are in control. We aren’t there when you are grocery shopping, planning or cooking meals. We aren’t there when you are hungry and need to make a quick decision about what to eat. That’s all you. It’s your health journey. We are there to help guide you during sessions but you must do the real work in between these sessions. The work done in between appointments is far more important.

To really get something significant out of working with a dietitian, something more needs to be done. It may even take more time than you think. It may take several sessions of troubleshooting, titrating advice and suggestions to better find what works for you.

If we are working on blood sugar management, it may take several sessions to see which meal patterns and what level of carbohydrate intake is best for you.

If we are working on discovering food intolerances, it may take several sessions to isolate which foods are troubling you, and to ensure your diet is adequate once you eliminate them from your diet.

If we are working on weight management, it may take several sessions to tease out which dietary strategies keep you satisfied and nourished, while at the same time don’t make you feel like your are in a state of deprivation.

If you have IBS and want to start a Low FODMAP diet, it will take a number of sessions to provide education, troubleshoot the elimination and re-challenge stages of the diet, and determine what your diet will look like long-term.

If you’ve just been diagnosed with celiac disease, it may take several sessions to provide education, ensure all sources of gluten have been eliminated, and that your diet isn’t missing any essential nutrients.

And so on…

For all of these situations (and more), we need your feedback. Without your observations and input into what works and what doesn’t, our advice isn’t as effective. Nutrition is both a science and an art. We need your help to find out what works for YOU. The dietitian is your copilot, providing you with the knowledge, tools and strategies to improve your nutrition but it is you who is ultimately in control.

grocery store, dieititan as copilot

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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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