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The Role of a Registered Dietitian

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An important part of National Nutrition Month® is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day, a time to increase awareness of this important role and recognize them for their commitment to helping people enjoy healthy lives. Since eating disorders are complex, it is important to have a diverse, and collaborative treatment team. In addition to therapists, psychiatrists, nurses, and family members, an experienced and knowledgeable dietitian is vital to positive treatment outcomes.

What does it mean to be a dietitian?

Amy Good, RD, LD, River Centre Dietitian, shares, “Being a dietitian, to me, is an important role. More than ever before, we are being inundated with nutrition information, much of which is conflicting and confusing to the layperson. Working with individuals with eating disorders has really opened my eyes to this problem. Before, I understood there was a lot of misinformation regarding nutrition, but it wasn’t until I saw this misinformation pushing someone into disordered eating that I realized how significant of an issue it is.”

At River Centre, Amy meets with clients to evaluate their nutritional deficiencies, unhealthy food, and weight-related behaviors. Using a thorough assessment, she learns more about the client’s current dietary intake, eating patterns, beliefs about food and weight, supplement use, and overall weight history. In addition to assessing clients, Amy listens to clients to gain a better understanding of their emotions around food and helps set goals to meet their specific needs. The valuable insight she gains about client’s emotional connection to food helps therapists and psychiatrists work through the contributing factors related to their eating disorder.

With many myths around food and nutrition, Amy uses one-on-one nutrition counseling sessions to help educate clients as they work through these misconceptions. “I take my role of deciphering nutrition information very seriously. My goal is to help individuals understand how nutrition plays a role in their health and how they can improve their nutritional status and take back the control over their life that they had previously been giving to food. I have found immense satisfaction in observing my clients have “aha moments” where they are able to connect the dots of nutrition misinformation they believed, the truth about nutrition that I’m able to teach them, and the connection this has to their disordered eating habits. This moment is a catalyst for change in the recovery process and I couldn’t be more honored to help someone discover it.”

In addition to working directly with clients, she monitors weight trends, creates nutritional activities, and researches guidelines and nutritional information to incorporate into the treatment program.

Nutritional Care at River Centre

Our approach to re-nutrition is non-judgmental, allowing our clients to explore the fundamental psychological issues causing or maintaining their eating disorder. A supportive, structured meal plan is individually tailored to each client to help them achieve and maintain healthy body weight, but more importantly, to help them become more comfortable around the process of eating. We focus on helping clients feel secure in expressing the emotions triggered food and eating. The family plays an important role in successful recovery, therefore; we encourage their involvement. When clinically appropriate, we provide hands-on training to family members in learning and practicing skills to make off-campus meals a success.

We know that most people suffering from an eating disorder have great apprehension around meals. We are committed to providing a clear rationale and explain the details behind our nutritional rehabilitation.

If you or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder, River Centre can help.  Call our admissions team today at 866.915.8577 or complete our contact form for more information.

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