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My Rebirth as a Nutritionist

05 Jul

I took the week off after giving birth to my son. So I thought it was time to talk about my rebirth or reincarnation from my previous life as a low fat fanatic to a balanced health guru.

It has been an evolving process but it started with my work as a nutritionist for Dr. Atkins. I kept it quiet because Dr. Atkins was, and maybe still is, every dietitian’s worst nightmare. At least this is what I always believed until I was able to allow myself to think beyond what I was taught in the classroom and beyond conventional wisdom.

If I had not seen it myself I would likely still believe that low fat diets are optimal nutrition plans and fighting against low carb today. Working as a clinical nutritionist in Dr. Atkins medical practice was the beginning of my rebirth. It helped prepare me to use the low carb diet approach and the use of natural supplements in addition to what I had already learned from other dietitians.

It is quite possible to benefit from a low carb diet. I have helped thousands of people lose weight and improve quality of life with this approach especially those with diabetes, heart disease and a number of other health conditions. Almost none of my colleagues will even attempt to discuss this with me. Experts claim there is little or insufficient evidence but I did my own research and it was just sitting there waiting to be read and used in practice. Besides, before there were grocery stores, ovens etc…what did humans eat?  Pretzels? Bread? Cereal? Probably not. 

At first I was skeptical, people eating fat and meat without counting calories was preposterous. But I learned fast, for many it was the only way to sustain their weight and improve their health. For those who committed, clinical health parameters improved and clients were passionate about how they felt: increases in energy levels, controlled cravings, less of an appetite just because they cut carbs to a minimum.  Who could deny what seemed to be a miracle? Not me! At that point I was a believer and was not going to keep quiet anymore.

I certainly understand the concerns about many of the philosophies that make low carb diets controversial but the fears quickly diminish once you trust your abilities as a clinician to monitor health parameters and make changes as needed.

There is no controversy with recommending real foods that are low carb such as green leafy and salad vegetables, balancing fats and cutting out concentrated sweets and excess amounts of commercially prepared foods to include healthier fats (olive oil, nuts/seeds, and avocado).

There is nothing wrong with making simple shifts in the types of food you consume. Many of the people who speak out against low carb diets have very little if any experience with using them. Maybe afraid of the unknown, maybe misinformed or just righteous in their own mind, very likely political and monetary factors are underlying factors but clients who would benefit most suffer because conventional wisdom is stubborn and it may just be too difficult to realize that for all these years there may be more than meets the eye when it comes to nutrition.

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