Why would a registered dietitian hire another registered dietitian to help her with her diet? Read this post and find out.
So, yeah. It’s out there now. I’m seeing an RD.
“Seeing an RD” as in I’ve become a client to an RD. (Not her date… Hello. Married mom of two boys.) She’s coaching me just as she would any other patient. Me, her fellow RD.
I know. It’s weird, right?
I thought so too, at first. I mean, don’t get me wrong. It was my idea. But it felt a little odd admitting I’d hired an RD…when I am an RD.
I had thoughts like, “Does this make me an RD fraud? Should I turn in my RD credentials? (Totally joking. #IWouldNever). Is anything I share on this blog worth anything if I’m seeking out the help of someone else in my profession?”
And then I got over myself.
Because I have goals. And I want the unbiased accountability and expertise that goes along with hiring a Registered Dietitian to achieve those goals.
Goals -- that are not solely focused on how I look in a swimsuit, but rather how I’m feeling when I workout, how much strength I’m gaining and muscle I’m building, how my digestion feels, how much energy I have, how I’m sleeping at night, what type of example I’m setting for my kids and in general, what type of eating habits I’m taking into this next 40 years of my life.
“So why not just set those goals and guide yourself through them, Regan? Didn’t you become an RD to do just that?”
Well actually no. I didn’t.
I became an RD to help other people eat better, sure. But I’ve never done that in an RD/patient-client setting, other than in graduate school. I’ve worked in a test kitchen developing healthy recipes, been an editor at two healthy living magazines, worked as a media spokesperson and consultant for years doing nutrition-based media and food marketing. And now, as you know, I humbly call this little space of healthy eating online life my RD home.
And yes. That makes me an RD expert — an expert in culinary communications and social media — but not an expert in helping a 40+ year old woman one-on-one achieve her nutrition goals.
So that’s where Emily comes in.
You may remember Emily from my IIFYM experiment a few months back. What started out as a self-guided immersion to understand a popular food hashtag and potential story idea, turned into a lot of self-realization about some not so helpful habits I’d fallen into with my own eating (and drinking) patterns. While I was working on the post for my IIFYM experience, I reached out to Emily. As an RD who specializes in macro counting and flexible dieting, she was the perfect person to give me thoughts on IIFYM since it’s such a popular plan online. Emily was so helpful and so knowledgeable that a light bulb went off in my head.
THIS is who I need to be working with.
The experiment was all for fun. But real change, directed in a positive way, needed to come from a credentialed professional. It needed to be someone who could knowledgeably assess where I am, where I want to go and help remove all my personal BS-barriers that I put up in my life keeping me from getting there.
And that’s where I am today. I’m Emily’s client. And she’s my RD.
She’s worked out a plan for me based on my goals, I’m working that plan and checking in with her regularly to get her input. She’s pointing out areas I can improve, but also helping me set realistic expectations.
Translation: She is NOT creating a regimented “diet” for me. I’ve got no interest in that and neither does she. While she does specialize in eating plans that center on creating a set of macros specifically designed for her client’s needs, a lot of what I’m doing is relearning how to eat in a more balanced way that fuels my body based on the goals I have for both body composition, functional fitness and overall health.
Here again, that may seem like something an RD can do by herself. Many can and do. But I’ve had 10 years of being a mom to a picky eater and 18 years of cooking for a spouse who doesn’t really like many vegetables. Those years have landed me at a place of eating much fewer veggies myself (It’s basically the path of least resistance) and also opting for choices that are often quick and easy, but not necessarily packed with the protein my body needs. Having an RD on the outside of my life looking in has helped me realize that leaning into that reality isn’t where I need to be healthwise.
And neither is that nightly “one” glass of wine and the 700 to 1500 calories a week it’s adding to my waistline. But that’s a story for another day.
The other cool thing Emily is helping me with is adjusting my macros based on my active days and my non-active days. If you read my IIFYM macro experiment you know that one of the biggest realizations I had was that my years of being weight conscious had left me under-fueling for exercise. I’ve shared with Emily my typical workout routine and she’s developed for me a set of macros for those days where I’m able to go all-in. But she’s also given me a more realistic goal of macros for days where life is in the way of me being as active as I want. No need to fuel up for the gym if I’m cozying up to the computer.
Which begs the question — couldn’t I just let hunger be my guide?
Yes, if I was at a place of trusting my own hunger. But I’m not. I won’t go into too much detail because I talked a lot about my hunger realizations (My “hungry” is more than a rumbling in my stomach) in this post . I fully support and recommend Intuitive Eating when guided by an RD as a beneficial concept in helping people ditch their diet mentality. But as with so many things in life, one-size-fits-all doesn’t actually fit all.
I crave structure. I need it. It gives me peace, comfort and confidence.
Maybe that’s wrapped up in some sort of self-doubt, I dunno. But I’ve accepted that fact and have found that this type of structured guidance works for me. It’s not about being regimented or having exclusionary food rules. It’s about having a framework for my goals and intuitively choosing what I want to fit in that framework.
Sometimes that means I’m fitting in sautéed peppers and onions in my egg omelette with my breakfast macros.
And sometimes that means I’m fitting in peanut butter cups with my lunch macros.
Why? Because I can. And because working with another RD helped me realize I can and should do both.
If you’re considering a macro counting plan for your eating framework or any type of new eating plan, please consult with a Registered Dietitian. Emily and a number of RDs I recommend are linked on our SHOP page. You can also message me if you’re looking for someone in particular and I’ll do my best to find you a recommendation.
And so as not to leave you completely recipe-free for the day, I’ve linked below to the recipes I’m relying on most right now to meet the macro goal I struggle with the most — protein. Each of these recipes packs a ton of protein in a tasty package and they’re some of my personal favorite recipes. Enjoy!
The ultimate healthy breakfast, this Breakfast Power Bowl is packed with fiber, protein and rich in vitamin C.
This Make Ahead Kale & Feta Frittata is the perfect easy breakfast, brunch or dinner recipe straight from your freezer.
Take eggs from basic breakfast staple to crave-worthy dish with this Turkey Sausage Sheet Pan Eggs recipe.
You won't miss the mayo in this protein packed Cottage Cheese Egg Salad recipe.
Take a break from canned tuna and try salmon instead in this simple Canned Salmon Salad Sandwich.
Dinner's never been easier than with this Slow Cooker Meatloaf recipe. It tastes great, holds together and slices perfectly.
Can you cook fish in the microwave? Yes! Here's how...
Skip the can of soup! This family-friendly recipe for Chicken Florentine Lasagna uses hummus in its rich, hearty filling. By using no-boil noodles it's the ultimate quick and easy weeknight dinner recipe.
With just 4 ingredients this slow cooker chili will quickly become your go-to for an easy chili recipe.
If you are someone who struggles with body issues, obsessive food thoughts/calorie counting, etc., or have struggled with an eating disorder, please do not read this post and think it's encouragement to adopt a self-guided “diet” mentality. If you learn nothing else from what I've shared, please take to heart how beneficial working one-on-one with a registered dietitian can be. To find one, you can start by visiting our SHOP section and finding one that fits your needs.
Why would one RD hire another RD to help her with her diet? Read this post and find out. @healthyaperture Tweet this