Are you vegan? Are there any ‘food rules’ you live by?

I am always striving to eat as many whole and minimally processed plant foods as humanly possible. That is my ultimate eating intention and when I am living it, it helps me feel my best.

I am a big fan of having intentions, as opposed to rules – but as long-time vegetarian who now eats a largely (but not strictly) vegan diet, I suppose my one rule is no meat or seafood. When I was pregnant with my son and daughter, I made the decision to eat some fish in instances where I would be protein deficient for the day without it (say, when out all day and travelling) but I didn’t really like doing it and after I had my daughter I was happy to leave that behind. Fish is a healthy choice but it isn’t the right choice for me.

I also have digestive health troubles and for me, eating a wheat (but not gluten) free diet helps me keep it in check. I believe the most important thing is to find the way of eating that suits your lifestyle and your body best…and to eat loads of veggies.

Why are your recipes vegan and gluten free…is that the healthiest way to eat?

I share mostly vegan and gluten free recipes to be as inclusive as possible – so that people following those diets can also enjoy what I share. As a wheat-sensitive vegetarian, it’s also self-serving: I create recipes that I want to eat!

However, I don’t believe that being vegan or gluten free is what makes my recipes healthy. It’s what’s in them – lots of whole plant foods – that makes them healthy. You can make some pretty unhealthy stuff that is vegan and gluten free. Like candy.

I strive to share the healthiest recipes I can because we all need more motivation to eat well, including me! Just in the way that I might enjoy some potato chips – but you would never catch me recommending you eat potato chips – I feel that our diets in North America are already saturated with meat, dairy, refined flours and sugar…so I tend not to share more recipes containing these ingredients.

What is the difference between a Registered Dietitian and a Nutritionist?

A registered dietitian is a health professional that has graduated from an accredited university program in dietetics, in addition to completing a 10 month professional internship and national licensing exam. Registered dietitians must complete and document continuing education yearly to maintain licensure. The term registered dietitian is a legally protected term.

The term nutritionist is not a legally protected term across Canada. In some provinces, anyone may call themselves a nutritionist. In others, such as Alberta, only registered dietitians may call themselves a nutritionist. A nutritionist may be the graduate of a one year private course in holistic nutrition, with or without university instruction in nutrition, or a nutritionist may have advanced (MSc or PhD) education in nutrition. If considering working with a nutritionist, ensure that you understand exactly what the nutritionist’s qualifications are, as they vary so widely.

How can I become a dietitian?

See the Dietitians of Canada website for more information on becoming a dietitian.