“In order for nutrition counseling to be successful, there cannot be one generic approach, it is all about the individual.”
What was your path to becoming a nutritionist? What inspired you to choose this profession?
When I was 12, my role model was my best friend’s mom who did yoga 5x a week and was a vegetarian. So naturally, I became a vegetarian and a yogi. As I got older and learned more about our food systems and healthcare landscape, I understood that she had it right all along. Though my days as a vegetarian are over, I still stand behind the powerful and critical role of nutrition in prevention of chronic disease. The importance of understanding food as the information our bodies need, provides us with the foundation for an incredible life.
What would you want someone to know about working with you?
Funny enough, sessions are not always about the food. In one follow up we might discuss morning routines or how to begin practicing mindfulness. Sometimes we might spend time doing online food shopping or “shopping” for a new positive mantra, it is always changing based on how the client begins to change. 90% of the time it’s not even really about the food it’s about how we use it. Creating a fun environment where individuals (and couples) feel that they can be honest and free of judgement is super important to my sessions. We encounter food all day long, we might as well learn to respect, enjoy and be able to laugh at it rather than fear it.
What do you think is the biggest barrier today for people seeking care?
Fear. Food is so charged. It brings us so many things other than just nourishment. Food is something we bond over, it is something we use for comfort, control, excitement, identity the list goes on and on. In my experience, people generally know what they should eat but there is this fear of deprivation that blocks them from execution. When working with clients, I look at what we can add to someone’s diet and how we can tweak the items in their diet that are not serving them.
If there was one thing you wish people knew about nutrition counseling who might be hesitant to try it, what would that be?
You will not be given a “yes” food list and a “no” food list. So many of my clients come in expressing frustration that they have tried giving up x,y,z and it worked until it didn’t. In order for nutrition counseling to be successful, there cannot be one generic approach, it is all about the individual. I have clients that hate to cook and those that love it and they are both equally successful. Love chocolate? Cool! We will keep it but learn how to respect it and pick the best chocolate to support your goals.
What is your approach when it comes to nutrition and diet?
There is no one size fits all guide to health. We all have a different genetic makeup, lifestyle, medical history, taste, background and goals. To think one overarching diet can serve the masses does not make sense. I like to take the good from all of the “trendy” diets out there and blend them to create the perfect recipe for success for anyone that comes through my door. If there is one thing I think everyone can do, I would say: eat more vegetables!
“I like to take the good from all of the “trendy” diets out there and blend them to create the perfect recipe for success for any individual that comes through my door.”
Interested in speaking with Sydney?