Usually people think of ways they can reduce stress for themselves, but what about you, yourself, serving as a stress reliever to your clients? Having recently completed a dietetic internship rotation at a pediatric metabolic disease clinic, I realize how stressful food can be, especially with diseases such as phenylketonuria, or PKU, a birth defect that causes an amino acid called phenylalanine to build up in the body. In instances like these, people truly look to RDNs to help with managing their stress related to food.
Here are three ways RDNs can serve as a stress reliever:
Grocery Shopping Guru
The grocery store can seem like a hustling city — being bombarded by products claiming various health benefits as you meander the aisles. However, we can teach people how to read food labels, ways to navigate the store by shopping mostly on its perimeter, and ways to purchase foods that reduce food waste while maintaining nutritional value, such as buying frozen vegetables.
Taking the Worry Out of Preparation
Many times people don’t know how to prepare foods that are new to them, so they shy away from doing so. As nutrition professionals we can take away that worry, providing simple recipes along with preparation tips and tricks to prove preparing healthy foods is actually attainable, and quite rewarding!
There’s a Swap for That!
Often when people are told about a new health diagnosis that involves changing their diet, they think they can only basically eat rabbit food. WRONG! They might just be lacking the knowledge of how to swap ingredients and still eat their favorite foods.
Next time you’re feeling stressed about work or the dietetic internship, remember that you are the warming, lemon-lavender scent to your clients and that they appreciate you!