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samedi 9 juillet 2011

The difference between a Holistic Nutritional Consultant and a Nutritionist or Dietician

When I meet people and tell them that I work in holistic nutrition, I am often faced with the question: How is what you do different than a nutritionist or dietician?

In fact there are many differences - both in our approach and in terms of the acts that we can legally perform.

First, let's start with my approach towards nutrition from a holistic standpoint. Holistic nutrition connects mind, body and spirit and recognizes the important role that each plays in our overall health. In many ways holistic nutrition is about getting back to basics, to how “we” used to do things. It’s about eating whole, natural foods that are fresh, tasty and full of goodness. It’s about taking the time to prepare our meals, to cook from scratch and to enjoy eating again. It’s about getting away from dissecting every food to figure out how many of this vitamin and that mineral we’re getting and instead, eating a variety of foods that will help provide us with an overall balance.

Many of us have become so busy in our lives that basic nourishment has taken a back seat and instead, we rely on fast food and prepared foods to keep us going. We expect dinner to be ready in 5 minutes or we don’t bother cooking at all.

With so much refined foods and sugar in our diets, it’s no wonder we lack energy, feel sick all the time, have dull skin and experience a whole host of digestive problems. 

Holistic nutrition offers a comprehensive approach to diet and lifestyle that can result in a real difference and often substantial improvement in the quality of your life. But be warned - making real changes to your diet and lifestyle takes commitment, motivation and time. You didn’t get to where you are overnight and so you can’t expect results overnight either. I believe in “slow and steady wins the race” so my nutrition plans are broken down into stages which we implement over time; together we work on taking the small steps that will ultimately help you to reach your much larger goal.

With regard to the more legal side of things...

In Québec, the titles ‘nutritionist’ and ‘dietician’ are reserved for members of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec. According to the Quebec Professional Code, only nutritionists, dieticians and dietitians are able to:

- determine a nutritional plan, including the feeding route, where an individual prescription indicates that nutrition is a determining factor in the treatment of illness; and 

- monitor the nutritional status of persons whose nutritional treatment plan has been determined.

As a graduate of the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and a member of the Canadian Association of Natural Nutritional Practitioners, my focus is not on treating illness but rather on preventive nutrition with a view to helping people achieve and maintain good overall health.

I consider each client on an individual basis and take into account the whole person: their current diet, lifestyle, and their emotional and spiritual well-being.

I am not a medical doctor and do not diagnose or treat medical conditions or illnesses - even those which may have already been diagnosed by your doctor. However, in looking at the symptoms you are experiencing currently, I can work with you to suggest dietary and lifestyle changes that will help to (re)balance your body and mind and, in so doing, help to contribute to an improved overall health and wellness.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me!

Sandra Power, RHN, NNCP

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