Over the years I’ve had many reactions to telling people that I’m a dietitian. Usually I get asked lots of questions about foods such as “Are bananas good for you” and “Uh Oh I’m eating chocolate” to “How good is …… (insert the latest “superfood” here)” along with “I’m on the ……. diet”.
I find people tend to make funny presumptions about dietitans, so here are some of the ones that just aren’t true…
1. You must be a vegetarian. I loose count of the number of people who assume I am vegetarian. The best was being refused a taster of a meaty food at a supermarket because the store assistants assumed I was a vegetarian. Bizarre as they knew nothing about me. Apparently I look like a vegetarian. So my question is: “What does a vegetarian look like?” Either I look like I may be anaemic or I look like I’m full of amazing plant protein?
Actually I used to be a vegetarian as a teenager and I would be one now if I lived alone and if sausages didn’t exist 😉 We eat meat a few times a week in our house and eat plenty of vegetarian meals too. I do agree that eating plant-based protein is a healthier and more sustainable way to eat, so I would encourage people to eat less meat.
2. No cake for you. I lose countof the number of hilarious occasions when people have bypassed me and not offered me cake/chocolate/sweets thinking that I wouldn’t eat them. Now there are lots of foods I cannot eat as I am wheat intolerant but I do enjoy a treat from time to time, all things in moderation is my mantra. All dietitians like cake, it’s in our code of conduct 😉 in fact at the British Dietetic Association Annual dinner this year the dessert was not a fruit salad… but a chocolate brownie with ice-cream. Cake is a once a week treat in our house. Homemade healthier flapjacks… now that’s a whole different story!
3. You must like diets. As soon as I say that I’m a dietitian people love to talk to me about the lastest diets they are on. However in actual fact I am anti-diet. I literally sigh inside when people start with “Oh great, I’m on the …. diet, you must know all about that” Lets avoid the fad diets and just eat healthily please.
4. You always go for the skinny option. Now I admit, most of the time I do chose the healthier option. I like the 80/20 rule where you eat healthily 80% of the time and allow yourself some more relaxed eating 20% of the time. So although I may not eat that piece of cake and do choose a camomile tea over a latte, it is not always the case.
5. You must be super healthy. Hmmm. I would say that depends on what you call super healthy. I eat a healthy well balanced diet and exercise regularly (I teach 12 pilates classes a week for starters), but I also eat dark chocolate, drink wine and eat crisps 😉 In my mind this is all balanced and healthy, in your mind it may not be 😉
Dietitian’s. Usually very into cooking, food, cake and science. Not that into fads, diets and avoidance.