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Our Favorite Registered Dietitians on Twitter Sharing Nutrition Advice 140 Characters at a Time

Dietitians are some of the most unsung heroes in our country, and today we get to celebrate them. National Registered Dietitian (RD) Day is every March 13, an event organized by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics now in its sixth year.

These men and women are tasked with the vitally important job of keeping our country healthy and well, something many of us turn a blind eye, too. Dietitians go through extensive training and achieve a level of expertise that gives them the ability to translate vast nutritional science in to something consumable and understandable for the general public. Their extensive education can often involve multiple degrees and highly coveted internships with major hospitals and universities where practical study gives them an even broader knowledge base.

And the reality of the job isn’t as specific as you might think. Dietitians work one on one with clients (or patients) in a clinical setting, but they also work in schools, health clubs, doctor’s offices and hospitals, in the food industry for food producers and restaurants, and much more.

You’ll even find them on Twitter disseminating health and nutrition information and working hard to keep Americans healthy 140 characters at a time.
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New Year, New Career: 5 Health Professions to Explore in 2013

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) conducted a survey and discovered that for most fitness professionals, this career was not their first job. Many had pursued other avenues only to find that the fitness industry was where their true passions lied. It assumed that many find their love for fitness later in life. Many in the business will tell you that since they were devoting the hours of a full time job to their own fitness, they decided they might enjoy getting paid along the way.

“I was in banking for 15 years before making the leap to personal training full time,” said Pamela Hernandeez, a personal trainer at ThriveFit.com. “In 2009, when the financial services industry collapsed, I was fortunate not lose my job but a lot of people I worked with did. It made me step back and realize how much I had come to dislike my job.”

She kept both jobs for a while as she she pursued her ACSM CPT fitness certifications and to ensure her passion and the clients would be there to pay the bills. As a banker, she says she hated what she was doing and how it didn’t offer any real value for people’s lives. With a full-time fitness career, she gets to make a huge impact on the lives of others. “I knew I had found my calling. I was able to quit my banking career in June 2011. I have never looked back!”

Sound like you?

Some of the most popular careers in the fitness industry include health coach, personal trainer, dietitian, spin instructor, and Zumba instructor. Before you consider taking one of these paths this year, learn more about what each profession entails.
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7 Splurge-Worthy Gifts to Buy for Yourself and Your Health This Year

It’s Christmas time, when we think of others and how we can show our love through tokens of appreciation. Before going broke buying presents, however, save a little bit for yourself to spend on something that could do a world of good in your life by providing a bevy of health benefits. From getting off medications to finding a surefire way to cope with stress, these gifts promise more than momentary satisfaction, they may just inspire a completely new lifestyle.

1. Hire a Personal Trainer

Sometimes, the choice to workout comes down to accountability. When exercising with a friend isn’t cutting it, hiring a trainer can be a great choice. They know what moves to do, how many need to be done to be effective, and how to do them so you don’t get hurt. They also take care of formulating a fitness plan with your goals in mind. Missing a 6 a.m. workout is a lot less likely if you know there’s someone waiting for you at the gym ready to charge your credit card whether you show up or not. Just be sure to make sure they’re accredited and look into what kind – not all certifications are created equal. Can’t make it to the gym? Sites like Wello will do video-chat training sessions to serve clients anywhere, anytime.

2. Get a Nutritionist

Do you have fitness down, but need help with the food part of being healthy? A consult with a nutritionist may be your answer. A diet book has no concern for what foods you like and dislike, certain allergies, and current fitness levels. A dietitian will. They’ll give you a proper eating plan to follow and do all the math and science stuff, like calorie counting, for you. Before picking one, make sure you have a certain rapport with them so that you’ll feel at ease, know they give clear directions that you can easily understand, and explain why certain foods are and aren’t necessary. They don’t even have to be local. Dietitians like Mary Hartley, RD do Skype consults.
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US Olympics Team is Taking a Record Number of Dietitians to London

At the 2012 Olympic Games, you will find the most countries represented and the most athletes competing in the Games’ history. You’ll also find the most dietitians that the U.S. team has ever taken, and all four sport dietitians will be be sporting the red, white, and blue.

Team USA is headed to London next month with more than 600 athletes participating in 26 different sports, and to keep them properly fueled before, during, and after their events, some of the most well-respected dietitians in the business will be by their sides.

“We’re the team behind the team,” Jennifer Gibson told us, MSc, RD, one of the primary sports dietitians working with the USOC teams, of she and her colleagues’ involvement at the Games. “We’re all really, really excited about the amount of staff we’ll have on the ground in London.”

The dietitians are glad that the athletes value their service, and the USOC finally recognizes that value. “We’ve been working for a while to [have the USOC] understand the role we can play there,” noted Shawn Dolan, PhD, RD, CSSD, a senior dietitian for the USOC, in our interview. She said the presence of the dietitians at the Games offers peace of mind to the athletes.

“Not long ago athletes ate what they wanted,” said Gibson. “But nutritional sciences have progressed and dietitians have become an integral part of the team. We’re proud of that.”
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New USDA MyPlate Icon Fills Plate With Less, Says Cheryl Forberg, RD

Cheryl Forberg, RD is a James Beard Award-winning chef, New York Times best-selling author, and nutritionist for NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.” Her latest book is “Flavor First,” which can find out more about at Flavorfirst.com. You can follow her on Twitter @cherylforbergrd.

Why were nutritionists so happy when the USDA announced the food pyramid was dead?

When the USDA in 1992 released the food pyramid we’ve all become familiar with, many nutritionists voiced concerns with the diagram. The large base of bread, cereal and grains just gave the impression that you were supposed to eat so much more from that group. Encouraging people to eat so many grains and carbs, nutritionists argued, paved the road to an obesity epidemic.

The original pyramid had long been unpopular and in 2005 it was replaced with a new logo called MyPyramid, a nearly impenetrable glyph depicting a stick figure running up steps on the side of a vertical striped pyramid. Sensitive to fears that the hierarchy of the original could lead to an improper balance, the USDA abstracted the image and turned the breakdowns on their side. The running figure was meant to to remind people that exercise was an important component of proper diet and nutrition. Too bad nobody paid much attention to the essentially meaningless graphic.

Thursday, First Lady Michelle Obama, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Surgeon General Regina Benjamin unveiled the USDA’s new food icon, replacing the confusing pyramid with MyPlate.
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