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Meeting with the Dietician

Monday, May 13, 2013

At 7am this morning, I had an appointment with a dietician. She is well-known in the DC celiac community as *our* RD. She is the dietician-in-residence for the all-volunteer DC Celiacs Support Group, writes for all of the gluten-free themed magazines, and is often quoted in the Washington Post on all things nutrition. That said, I really trust her experience and expertise. I went to see her 2x after I was first diagnosed with celiac disease. And though she can be a bit scattered, I enjoy the sessions and the learning that takes place while talking to her.

I started off by saying that I wanted to talk about weight gain in general. She agreed that gaining 9 pounds in 13 months was a lot -- nearly 100 extra calories a day. She had asked me to keep a food diary for 3 days, and thought that I had too many simple carbs and not enough fiber, fruits or vegetables.

I've been noticing that I eat great up until the time I get home from work. Sometimes when I get home I am so hungry I overeat on snacks. I have been trying to incorporate a snack before leaving work -- usually almonds. Dinner is my biggest meal of the day and I feel like I blow all the good I do while at work. And I can blame my boyfriend for always wanting to eat dessert. emoticon (He does! I say no sometimes!) emoticon

What I liked the best about the visit was that she asked me questions about my behavior.
* "Looking at the list [what I ate for 3 days], what stands out for you?"
* "What kinds of desserts did you eat before you moved in with your boyfriend?"
* "How do you think you can incorporate more veggies onto your plate at dinner?"

She gave me a list of 32 suggestions to reduce portion size/calories. She had me mark which things I already do and which seem reasonable for me to try. She did not provide meal plans or say anything was restricted, just provided thoughtful ways I can improve my diet.

Here's a basic overview of what she told me to do:
* Include a piece of fruit with the almonds as my post-lunch snack (protein + fiber) -- for this, she gave me a list of fruits and proteins to consider
* Pay close attention to my thyroid levels each year; women with celiac disease have a greater chance with thyroid issues. Even without celiac disease, the thyroid can cause weight gain as we age
* If I want to continue tracking my food intake, measure everything 1-2x a week. Estimate the rest.
* Calorie range should be 1600-2000 calories a day.

Have you ever been to a dietician? What was your experience?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • v DHINDS2
    Thanks for the information. I have celiacs as well and keep trying to find a dietician who is comfortable with the requirements of a gluten free diet without any success. All I can say is that it seems like excellent advice. I have been gf (or trying) for over 5 years (lost track of the time) and I remember when I first started the issue of not having enough fiber. Also if you replace gluten foods with gf versions you will be less healthy, have too high levels of carbs and not enough fiber. (You will also be quite broke given the price of gf food.) I am still struggling with balance and reducing the risk of being glutened but have learnt that having a salad with every meal, (e.g. I put pieces of fruit in my lunch and dinner salad and have sliced tomatoes or cucumbers with breakfast) helps with the fiber and for protein I have learnt to loved boiled eggs ( not such a big fan of yolks but egg salad make a good veg did) and boiled eggs are a easy convenient snack. Try some of the other grains as well.

    PS. Do watch out for your thyroid because imagine my shock when I learnt that I was hypothyroid (no one in my family had thyroid problems) and with thyroid issues you have to be careful of the type of raw vegetables you eat. e.g broccoli.

    Good luck in your journey. Living gluten free can be an everyday learning experience.

    1141 days ago
    Your dietitian sounds great! I'm going to try the protein + fiber snack in the afternoon.

    I have never been to a dietitian, but both my best friend and fiance have for different reasons. When they went to their respective dietitians, they were both told they knew more about food and healthy eating than most people and already had a lot of good habits in place. When asked how they knew so much, they both credited me - when I lived with my best friend and now with my fiance, I did/do most of the cooking, meal planning, and am general nutrition guide for both of them.
    1144 days ago
    I'm glad she could give you practical ways to look at and adjust what you're doing instead of giving you a set of rules. It's nice to not feel boxed in!
    I too have my worst craving time after work. I've started taking some grapes along to eat between work and workout, and I take almonds and raisins to eat between workout and home. It's been making a huge difference!
    I'm still eating crap during the day, but working on that. emoticon
    I hope you can get in a groove that suits you!
    1144 days ago
  • v CC3833
    Interesting. Simple easy ways to make a healthy decision. I like it. I think I am going to try to get at least one fruit or veggie at each meal. I also like that she is being practical.
    1144 days ago
  • v ELIDET
    Snacks for me were the biggest calorie suckers, too.

    When I crave chocolate now, I eat apples with peanut butter instead of a Snickers! It was enough for it to make a difference.

    emoticon emoticon
    1144 days ago
    It sounds like your dietitian is awesome! I am on a program that includes a weekly visit with a dietitian and I think it is awesome! I have NEVER been one to really pay attention to what I eat or do and she has been awesome to assign me tasks (aka homework) and then she has helped me start making new habits. She even helps talk about the emotional eating that I have been so bad at doing. I wish I had gone to her years ago! :) I'm so glad you have a good one too!
    1144 days ago
  • v SHANNONY84
    I hope you can get a plan and get going on it! Keep sparking!
    1144 days ago
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