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Archive for January, 2009

Several times in the last week reporters, business representatives and individuals have all asked the same question: what’s the difference between a dietitian (RD) and a nutritionist? One went as far to tell me I should write about it because the difference is not well known.

The difference is big and simple, and there are differences at the state level. In California, one is not required to have any training or course work to be a “nutritionist”. Other states require licensing but that is still different than that of a registered dietitian.

A dietitian must complete (at the undergrad or post-grad level) a series of cumulative courses. At their conclusion, the candidate applies for an internship at an accredited institution (hospitals). Upon acceptance and completion, the candidate sits for their boards; once the boards are passed then the candidate is a registered dietitian and may provide services under their license. They must accumulate yearly credits toward a five-year plan that allows for the renewal of the license every 5 years.

A registered dietitian ONLY is able to provide medical nutrition therapy. This gets tricky because while heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease are recognized as medical diseases, overweight and some preconditions are not. So a nutritionist working with someone who has diabetes is clearly in the wrong according to the regulations, one working with an overweight pre-diabetic isn’t necessarily in the wrong.

So are all nutritionists less qualified and all dietitians better? Not necessarily. My advice is always to investigate the training of the individual with whom you are interested in working. Perhaps they have thirty years working with individuals and have an excellent track record, keep current by attending courses, and demonstrate a good knowledge of interactions between foods, medications, and supplements. Conversely, there are dietitians who perhaps aren’t current and don’t practice personalized nutrition; this dietitian may not be a good match for you seeking a more thorough, customized approach. Its important if you are interested in insurance reimbursement to note that only dietitian services are reimbursed (and then only according to plan and diagnosis).

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This week I got goose bumps every time I stopped to think about what this election and inauguration mean to our country, to our world view, to the world overall. Ok, I also got goose bumps cause it reached 10 degrees in NYC, and this LA resident has lost all ability to deal sub-40 …I digress

What’s struck me most? Barack’s message “yes we can!” This Tuesday and this year and for the rest of his presidency, my hope is that we all take that message and run with it.

In my world, in the health arena, “Yes We Can” means we can and should make a difference in what we choose to eat, in what we serve to our kids at school, in what we allow advertisers to tell us and what we do with that information, and above all in how we choose to treat ourselves.

Perhaps as you watch the election think about “Yes We Can” means for you, your family, your friends in terms of health. Isn’t there time for a walk each day? Isn’t there space in the freezer for some organic veggies? Aren’t there enough of you at work who realize you don’t have to have a candy bowl on the counter?

“Yes We Can” get healthier as a country – from the inside out – and its our time!

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Tis’ the season in LA. Awards season that is. While the rest of the country is bundled up and focusing on how to stay warm, celebs a are revealing almost all in their best red carpet attire, skin and bodies.

Not able to hide behind a bulky sweater or an extra layer of clothes, actors, producers, directors and studio executives alike spend much of December getting themselves “red carpet ready.” Thought I’d take this time to share a few tips you can transfer to your red carpet moments.

A) Skin health: goes way beyond the right facial…it begins with a healthy digestive system (see probiotics blog), with hydration (see hydration blog) and includes insider remedies such as slathering the body with organic coconut oil after a shower, dry brushing to improve lymphatic circulation and minimize cellulite, and even infrared saunas to “detox” and remove impurities.

B) “Body by…” In my opinion, the celebs who look the best are the ones who figure out how to make THEIR body look its best. Remember that next time when taking “advice” on what Halle does for her body especially if you are 6 feet and curvy or vice versa if you have a boy figure you might be doing squats forever and never get J Lo’s backside. That said, meeting with a trainer and spelling out what you are looking for is a great way to set a specific program and establish accountability for you and the trainer.

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Homemade Spicy Salmon sushi — sounds like an all day affair, right? No way! Grab a can on wild salmon, drain it and pour your favorite hot sauce (I live for All Spice Cafe) a tablespoon or five (ha! I like it spicy but for me even 2 tablespoons the max) and mash it up – I get creative and add gomasio (sesame seed mixture) and / or dried ginger pieces (extra anti-inflammatory) — mash it up until it sort of sticks together (its fine to be crumbly). Grab a piece or two of seaweed and fold into fours, tearing it apart at the folds so you now have 4 squares from the original sheet. Place a heaping spoonful of the salmon mid seaweed square and roll-it up for a delicious nutritious handroll. Its ok to add rice, quinoa, cultured vegetables (healingmovement.net) for extra flavor, texture and nutrients. Quick, easy and satisfying.

Almond Breeze unsweetened chocolate almond milk– I LOVE this stuff! Add it to a rooibos tea and its a divine latte or add some stevia (or agave nectar or xylitol) and cinnamon and even some extra cocoa and warm it up on the stove for a hot choco-almond treat or blend it into a protein drink or smoothie. Yum!

Applegate Farms chicken sausages – great quality and delicious. You can go spicy or sweet. Make 1 for an eating occasion or a package and use them through the week. I use them to replace pepperoni on pizzas or cut them into pieces and serve as an appetizer with different mustards or stir-fry them with greens and sweet potato pieces. Kid-tested, parent-approved here’s a staple the whole family will love.

Host Defense (New Chapter) or Mycotaki (Metagenics) – flu season, coughing and sneezing seat-mates on a plane, what better reason to give your immune season a boost! Mushrooms such as shitake and maitake help optimize our immune function. I take it all year ’round so I don’t have to worry when I bear hug a patient or friend but double up come winter and travel ’cause why should the hugs have to stop just cause someone told the flu it could come out of hiding.

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