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:
- 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.