Featured Dietitian: Wendy

Why did you decide to pursue a career in nutrition?

My family had a lot of nutrition-related illness and I wanted to learn more about ways to help them so I switched my major to nutrition.

What is your overall philosophy toward nutrition and a healthy lifestyle?

I want to see the concept of dieting go away. The “dieting” approach typically does not work because it has too much of a focus on losing weight, which can lead to unhealthy choices and even eating disorders. I encourage patients to have a more holistic approach of “intuitive eating” and “mindful eating”. This involves eating healthy, nutritious foods that we enjoy, benefits our health, and helps us function. It’s not all about your weight. There are healthy people at every size.

What are your top 3 bits of nutrition advice?

1) Intuitive eating approach

2) Reasons we choose food- we like it, it benefits our health, or it helps our function

3) Emphasize the importance of how nutrition can fuel our body. As a walker, you need to fuel your body before you walk (again, it’s not just about losing weight)

What are your favorite recipes?

I love a good bowl of vegetarian chili with black beans, pumpkin, ample seasonings to give it some pep and tomatoes, yummy. A little healthy fat, protein, and carbs all in one. I teach diabetes education and even though I do not have diabetes or pre-diabetes, I absolutely love the recipes and articles from Diabetic Living or the American Diabetes Association. The Mediterranean approach is good too.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I love Walk with a Doc. Our local doctor is a driving force for our program. Wellness promoted by docs is phenomenal (people listen to their docs more than their dietitians). I also think we should stop weighing people in the clinic – this often may cause people to not seek medical care due to fear of weighing. I would love to see an individual weighed only for clinical interventions as it relates to a specific treatment such as needed for congestive heart failure for example.