We chatted to Registered Dietitian, Kelly Schreuder who also has professional culinary experience, to find out why she became a dietitian, what she loves about her work and what the challenges are:
Why did you become a Registered Dietitian?
I was very interested in health and the prevention of disease – always reading about nutrition and fascinated about the effect of food on our health.
What do you enjoy most about the work you do? What are the most satisfying moments?
I love supporting individuals through healthy lifestyle change. Everyone is totally unique and it’s very satisfying to work out what inspires and motivates each person. Everyone also has a point of readiness they need to reach before lifestyle change starts to feel easier and I love getting people to that point.
What has been your career highlight?
Running a sustainable business – making a living doing what I love and working on things that inspire me.
What are the most challenging aspects of your career?
Running my own business! Even when you love what you do, there will always be admin, chores, and those days when you’d rather not show up.
How do you cope after a day of nutrition disaster and bad eating choices?
Get over it and start again – always going back to what I know works for me.
What are the three things that you think people should stop saying when they meet a dietitian?
- “Oooh…Don’t look at what I’m eating!” (We trust that you are able to make your own decisions and we are not always perfect either)
- “Is this fattening?” (The answer will always be “it depends”)
- “What do you think of [insert latest diet trend]?” (unless you want a long answer that will also end up being something along the lines of “it depends”!)
Generally though, we are quite used to answering these questions, so bring it on!
What should clients look out for when deciding which dietitian to work with?
Good rapport with the person. Our training is the same, and you should always feel that you can trust a dietitian, and get good advice, but when you have to work with someone long-term, it really helps to enjoy the time you spend with them.
What is your favourite dish and your favourite treat food?
At the end of the week I like to chop up all the leftover vegetables in my fridge and make a kind of fried rice (with brown rice, ideally) with spring onions, garlic and ginger. Favourite treat: Chocolate with nuts – any kind will do. I have a couple of squares almost every single day after dinner, with a cup of plain rooibos or green tea.
To find a dietitian in your area visit the ‘Find A Dietitian’ section on the ADSA website.