Meet the Dietitians: Rosey Lombard & Jenna Spooner

We spoke with ‘softie’ Rosey and ‘ants-in-her-pants’ Jenna as they referred to themselves. These best friends are not only dietitians, but also triathletes and they both competed in IronMan. We had a chat with them to get to know them a bit better:


Jen_Rosey 1


  • Tell us a bit more of yourselves?

Rosey: My name is Rosanne (everyone calls me Rosey) and I was born and raised in Stellenbosch. I went to primary school, high school and varsity in Stellenbosch and then moved to Cape Town to study Dietetics. I got placed in Johannesburg for my commserv year (2017) and have been here ever since. I am a fitness addict, nature lover and a big “softie”.

Jenna: I am a very energetic person who absolutely loves and family, friends, outdoors and adventures. I tend to have ants in my pants and seriously lack the ability to sit still. I love understanding how things work and I am more inclined to watch a documentary or read an article than get stuck into a good book. I am not scared of some alone time doing the things I love, including; cooking, baking, getting outdoors and simply soaking up some sun.


  • Why did you become a Registered Dietitian?

Rosey: Sport has always been a massive part of my life, which I think sparked the interest in food, nutrition and the impact on performance. I got to know Jenna at Stellenbosch (we played Maties Hockey together). We instantly became friends. She was 2 years ahead of me, went on to UCT to study Dietetics and that is when I started learning even more about what it entails. This made me even more curious and I then decided to follow this route as well (thanks Jen)!

Jenna: I have had a love for food and sport for as long as I can remember. I saw a dietitian in high school when my academic load and sporting commitments became extremely taxing. I was constantly exhausted, falling asleep in class and no longer achieving on the sports field. Counting the number of grapes and almonds I could eat to achieve portion control still haunts me but wow, what a difference. The role that food played in my energy levels and ultimately performance was amazing.


  • What would you have wanted to do if not Dietetics?

Rosey: I would have studied to be a Doctor.

Jenna: I find the human body fascinating so it would have to be medicine.


  • Where did you study (degree and/ or postgrad)

Rosey: BSc Sport Science (Stellenbosch) | BSc Honours in Kinderkinetics (Stellenbosch) | BSc (Med) (Sci) Honours in Nutrition and Dietetics (UCT)

Jenna: I started my studies at the University of Stellenbosch where I completed a BSc Sport Science followed by an BSc Hons. in Human Physiology. I furthered my studies at the University of Cape Town where I completed a BSc Med. Hons. in Nutrition and Dietetics.


  • Where do you work and what does your job entail?

Rosey: I work at Nutritional Solutions which is a private practice in Johannesburg (I am based at the Bryanston branch). My passion is paediatrics, gut health, general weight loss and sports nutrition. So I often see clients/patients related to those things specifically. But private practice definitely requires a lot more than just “making people skinny”. There is a lot of work for corporate clients, writing articles on nutrition, doing nutrition education for companies/corporate, recipe development and analysis. There really is a lot of variety.

Jenna: I work in a beautiful wellness centre in Bryanston where I have my private practice. I am part of a multidisciplinary team made up of biokineticist, chiropractors, physiotherapist, psychologists, and beauticians. I also work in the RMB Wellness Centres and occasionally get the opportunity to locum in Morningside and Milpark hospitals. I consult with the media on a regular basis; writing articles, analysing recipes and occasionally appearing on a television channel, radio show or health promotive podcast.


  • Walk us through a day in your life?

Rosey: It really depends what I am training for. I prefer morning exercise, so on most days I would wake up at 04h45 to get to exercise by 05h20/05h30 for 1h-1h30 mins. I will get to work by 07h20/07h30 for the first patients (depends if there are early birds or not, but I will always be there by about 08h00). I will then be at work until 17h00ish (sometimes stay later if there is a need from patients) and then may go an do another exercise session for the day. It all actually depends on the races ahead. At the moment, Jenna and I have full ironman coming up, so weeks are full on with training. 1-2 sessions per day and then long sessions of 4-6 hours on the weekend. This doesn’t always happen, but in the 4-6 weeks leading up to full ironman, it gets pretty hectic. We love it though. It definitely is my drug and my coping mechanism. When I can’t exercise = MOODY Rosey.

Jenna: Training is a huge part of my life and always has been. It is often (if not always) how I start my day. I may start with a run, a cycle, a swim or even a combination of the three. This is followed by a very quick shower-change-blow-dry routine which I have mastered over time. My day starts with breakfast followed by patients at 340 on Main Health & Wellness Centre. Most of the time breakfast is eaten at work and is by far my favourite meal of the day. My day is spent consulting, calculating, and updating meal plans, developing content for social media or for my patients to use. I also spend a fair amount of time on admin and keeping up to date with all that needs to go on behind the scenes of running a private practice. Some days, not every day, I may get in a second training session. This all depends on upcoming races or what my coach has set out for me. From there it is home time and supper time before I complete the final bits of work that I need to do to make sure I am on track for the following day. Before bed I always pack my bag to avoid rushing in the morning and forgetting to put in a set of underwear which has happened more often than I would like to admit. I aim to get into bed by 21:00/21:30 which isn’t always possible and a daily goal I set myself.


  • What do you enjoy most about the work you do? What are the most satisfying moments?

Rosey: I enjoy the people aspect, that I get to meet a lot of different people from all walks of life. I REALLY love when patients are successful and finally come to the realisation that the weight loss/health journey doesn’t need to involve an “all or nothing” approach. I really enjoy when they reach their goals and when their lives have been transformed through this process.

Jenna: I love teaching and empowering my patients with knowledge and skills. Losing weight, overcoming their fear of food, breaking binge eating cycles, achieving blood glucose control, no matter what the goal or outcome is, the journey requires trust, patience and a special bond between a patient and a practitioner which honestly is something I cherish.


  • What has been your career highlight?

Rosey: In terms of work or sport?

  • Work: I think getting the job at Nutritional Solutions has been the biggest blessing. I am able to work with and learn from the best dietitians in the business.
  • Sport: Qualifying for Ironman 70.3 World Champs which is in New Zealand in November 2020. Although the race to qualify (East London 70.3) was VERY tough and not that enjoyable, I am still very grateful for what I went through and how it all turned out.

Jenna: I had the opportunity to be a guest judge on a Disney children’s cooking show which was quite exciting and very different to my normal day-to-day activities.


  • What are the most challenging aspects of your career?

Rosey: Work: the most challenging is dealing with the public/media. But, if you are up to date with knowledge and research then this becomes a lot easier to deal with.

Jenna: Private practice is tough. Staying up to date with literature, keeping patients on track with their goals as well as running a business is hugely time consuming and stressful.


  • What is something that people don’t know about you?

Rosey: I LOOOOOOOVE Carrot Cake and I eat it almost every Sunday. I know all the spots in Joburg with the best carrot cake 😉

Jenna: I think that sleeping is a waste of time. I know how important it is and hence why I set a daily goal of 7-8 hours a night for myself, but I feel like I can achieve so much more when days are longer and nights are shorter.


  • What are your favourite foods?

Rosey: Sushi, Mexican and Carrot Cake

Jenna: I am mad about Thai food but It would have to be my mom’s (or actually my great grandmother’s) carrot cake.


  • What are the three things that you think people should stop saying when they meet a dietitian?

Rosey: “Oh my gosh, I better watch what I eat because the Dietitian is here” | “What do you think of Banting?” | “What do you reckon about this whole Game Changers thing?”

Jenna: I only cheat on my diet over weekends. | Wine and chocolate are the reasons I do not lose weight. | What do you think about “this” diet – aka the latest diet fad.

Apple Flapjacks

The latest NutritionConfidence recipe from the authors of Food for Sensitive Tummies, registered dietitians Cath Day and Gabi Steenkamp!


Makes 15 flapjacks

(3 per serving – 175 g)



  • 1 large egg
  • 10 mL (2 tsp) sugar
  • 2.5 mL (½ tsp) salt
  • 1 ripe banana (80 g)
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) vanilla essence
  • 250 mL (1 cup) skim milk (0.5% fat)
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) olive/ canola oil
  • 180 mL (¾ cup) cake flour
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) bicarbonate of soda
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) baking powder
  • 60 mL (¼ cup) wheat bran (digestive bran)
  • 125 mL (½ cup) oat bran
  • 4 medium apples (320 g), preferably green as they are lower GI
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 125 mL (½ cup) full cream plain yoghurt (3% fat)
  • 30 g nuts, chopped



  1. Place the egg, sugar, salt, ripe banana and vanilla essence in a mixing bowl and beat with a fork.
  2. Add half the milk to the egg mixture.
  3. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into the egg mixture, without stirring just yet.
  4. Add the wheat bran and then stir gradually using a wooden spoon, until smooth and lump-free.
  5. Add the rest of the milk and oat bran and mix in carefully.
  6. Core the apples and cut into thin round slices. Sprinkle the cinnamon over both sides of the slices.
  7. Add a teaspoon of canola / olive oil to a non-stick frying pan and spread the oil around the base of the pan with some paper towel, to coat the pan evenly, ensuring the crumpets go a wonderful golden brown colour.
  8. Place the four to five (depending on the size of your pan) apple slices onto the non-stick frying pan, allowing the apple slice to cook for 1-2 minutes.
  9. Using a tablespoon, spoon one tablespoon of flapjack mixture onto each apple slice.
  10. Cook the crumpets over medium heat until they start to bubble on the top. Place another apple slice on top of the bubbles then turn over the crumpet using an egg lifter. The crumpet should be golden brown in colour on the cooked side. Repeat the process until you have used up all the batter and apple slices.
  11. Serve three crumpets per person topped with full cream yoghurt and chopped nuts.


Nutritional Analysis per 175 g serving

Energy 1210 kJ (290 Cal)  |  Protein 9.8  g   |   Carbohydrate 39.9  g   |  Added Sugar  1.6 g  |  Total Fat 8.4 g | Saturated Fat 1.6 g  |  Monounsaturated Fat 4.0 g |  Polyunsaturated Fat 1.9 g |  Cholesterol 51 mg | Dietary Fibre 5.6 g  |   Sodium 607 mg  |   Glycemic Index 46  |  Glycemic Load  19


Dietitians Notes:

These high fibre crumpets are easy to make and do not require the batter to stand before cooking. They contain both soluble fibre (oat bran) and insoluble fibre (wheat bran), as well as one fruit portion per 3 crumpet serving, making these a healthier alternative to regular crumpets.

Because of the flavour and natural sweetness of the banana and apple slices, very little sugar is added to this recipe, resulting in a good low GI breakfast of delicious crumpets.

These crumpets can also be served as a delightful snack for mid-morning or afternoon tea with the family.



We’ve had an overload of fake news over the past pandemic months.  One of the most damaging falsehoods to emerge has been that COVID-19 + moms can transmit the virus through breastmilk to their little ones, and should stop breastfeeding.    Spokesperson for ADSA (The Association for Dietetics in South Africa), Andiswa Ngqaka, a registered dietitian says, “There are anecdotes from various countries indicating that this misinformation is causing moms to avoid breastfeeding during the pandemic. While some may see infant formula as a ‘safer alternative’ during this time, this is not the case. Breastmilk is the safest and most nutritious food for babies, and COVID-19 does not change that.”


There is no evidence of COVID-19 transmission through breastmilk

As the medical profession’s foremost experts in nutrition, registered dietitians are constantly keeping up to date with the latest scientific evidence. Worldwide, there is currently no evidence that breastfed babies have been infected by mothers who have tested positive to COVID-19. Andiswa explains, “The WHO cites one study where there was a detection of non-infectious COVID-19 viral RNA in breastmilk, and this is definitely not the same thing as finding viable and infective virus.  Therefore, there is unanimous agreement across international health organisations that moms can have complete peace of mind breastfeeding their children through the pandemic, even if they are COVID-19 + or suspect they might be infected.  The benefits of skin-to-skin contact with your baby and breastfeeding as normal are overwhelmingly immune-boosting and protective of your baby’s health.”

Lisanne du Plessis, Associate Professor at Stellenbosch University and ADSA spokesperson, gives her top 5 tips for breastfeeding moms during the pandemic:

  1. Mothers should breastfeed on demand, whenever baby wants to breastfeed, day and night.
  2. Breastfeed exclusively for 6 months. Breastmilk provides all the food and water that babies need during this time. Breastmilk also protects babies against sickness or infection.
  3. Do not give any other food or liquids to babies, not even water, during the first 6 months of life. Even during very hot weather, breastmilk will satisfy babies’ thirst.
  4. Giving babies under 6 months anything other than breastmilk will cause them to suckle less, will reduce the amount of breastmilk that a mother produces and may make babies sick.
  5. Practice hygienic measures to protect moms and babies against COVID-19 and other harmful bacteria and viruses in our environments.


Breastfeeding is food security for babies

Breastfeeding from birth supports the healthy development of babies and plays an important role in prevention of all forms of childhood malnutrition including wasting, stunting, obesity and underweight and micronutrient deficiencies.  Breastmilk protects against many infections including COVID-19. At a time when many South African families are facing serious food shortages, breastmilk provides complete food security for babies under 6 months, and boosts nutrition and health for other young ones.  Breastfeeding saves on the food budget, making more money available to feed the family.  When it comes to food, you can’t get anything safer, more convenient and more economical than breastmilk. “It would make good sense to see a boost in breastfeeding across South Africa at this time,” says Lisanne.



What precautions should a COVID-19 + mom take?
The WHO provides the following breastfeeding guidelines if you suspect or know you have COVID-19:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand rub and especially before touching the baby;
  • Wear a medical mask during any contact with the baby, including while feeding;
  • Sneeze or cough into a tissue. Then dispose of it immediately and wash hands for at least 20 seconds again;
  • Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces that you have touched.

It is vital that partners, family and friends support breastfeeding moms who may be COVID-19 infected.  They need to understand that there is no evidence that the virus is transmitted through breastmilk, and that by continuing breastfeeding, the mother is doing the best she can do to protect her baby from COVID-19.


What should happen if you’re just too ill to breastfeed?
Andiswa says, “If you’re too ill to breastfeed, try to express your milk for your baby and give it with a clean cup or spoon and cup. Expressing breastmilk is important to sustain your milk production so that you can carry on breastfeeding when you recover.  If you can’t express your breastmilk, you can consider donor human milk.  Wet nursing is another option if culturally acceptable to you.  Your last option would be to provide a breastmilk substitute. Reunite with your baby as soon as your recover. Get support if you need help re-lactating and bonding with your baby.”



Get Messages for Mothers – M4M

A global pandemic is certainly not the easiest time to be a new mom and the mom of young children.  Mothering babies and small children is often an isolating experience at the best of times, so now, with social distancing and staying-at-home, you may need to make some extra efforts to ensure you are well-supported at this critical parenting time. Grow Great, a campaign to prevent stunting by 2030, partnered with other NGOs Embrace, ilifa labantwana and the Perinatal Mental Health Project, to launch Messages4Mothers, a new digital platform to connect with South African moms during the pandemic. Messages for Mothers can be accessed at M4M or you can connect with Grow Great on social media @GrowGreatza on both Twitter and Facebook.  Grow Great Communications Specialist, Duduzile Mkhize says, “Some of the biggest concerns for mothers are around how they can safely continue to breastfeed their children while dealing with COVID-19.  Some mothers are essential workers and they worry about how they can continue to keep their families safe. Mothers of small children worry about taking them for immunisations as they fear clinics might not be safe. Pregnant mothers who have to go for checks ups also worry about this. COVID-19 lockdown has caused a lot of anxiety for many people, so many mothers ask questions about how to cope with anxiety and depression.”


You’re not alone

On a daily basis, the M4M platform provides accurate and reliable information for mothers by answering frequently asked questions. These questions are gathered from social media platforms of all the partners and the Grow Great WhatsApp groups and campaigns. You will find reliable updated COVID-19 information as well as support for breastfeeding and practical advice for coping with the challenges of motherhood during the pandemic.


World Breastfeeding Week takes place from Saturday, 1st August to Friday, 7th August. The local 2020 campaign theme is Support breastfeeding for a healthier South Africa.  The Department of Health and its partners, including ADSA, appeal to the country to fully support and encourage breastfeeding mothers who are protecting their babies against many infections, including COVID-19.  Through breastfeeding on demand, mothers also protect their baby’s vital source of immune-boosting breastmilk and help their babies thrive through close mother-and-child contact.


Breastfeeding pamphlet

Breastfeeding Q&A Booklet