The most important thing for you to know is that, as dietitians, we are just like you – we aren’t saints! I eat pizza and chocolate and I drink wine. All in moderation, once in a while and in small portions. Being a dietitian doesn’t mean I am immune to craving delicious foods, it just means I have a better understanding of what I’m eating, and how those foods will affect my body. I often tell my patients that maintaining healthy eating habits is all about manipulation – having an understanding of what you are eating, and knowing how to balance your choices.
I hate the thought that many people hesitate when thinking about seeing a dietitian because they feel they may be judged for the way they are eating. I emphasise the importance of an open, honest relationship with my clients and strive to create a relaxed, comfortable space to discuss problems, goals, frustrations and aspirations.
I graduated as a Registered Dietitian from the University of Cape Town in 2009 and went on to do my Community Service in Mpumalanga, where I gained experience in community health with a primary focus on the management of chronic diseases of lifestyle. After my community service I moved to Durban where I worked at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital – South Africa’s only super-specialised, quarternary level hospital. For any dietitian who enjoys clinical work this was a dream job – I gained experience in every sphere of clinical nutrition, from renal to oncology, neonatal ICU to bariatric surgery. I worked there for five years before making the move back to my hometown in 2015 where I joined a private practice and began working in the corporate and private areas of dietetics.
Although I see clients with a wide variety of challenges, I have developed a special interest in the management of clients with diabetes, an area which I have worked in for almost ten years. The more I work with my clients living with diabetes, the more I see how complex, frustrating and demoralising this medical challenge can be. From a dietary perspective, diabetes poses several challenges. As a consequence of these challenges, many people living with diabetes neglect their eating habits as well as other important lifestyle habits such as exercise and stress management, choosing to rather focus on managing their condition with medication alone. This is an approach that, more often than not, will be sure to fail. For those living with diabetes, the importance of a multi-faceted approach to managing their condition, including dietary and lifestyle management, is absolutely imperative.
I am a CDE accredited dietitian.
BSc Human Biosciences majoring in Biochemistry and Human Physiology – University of Cape Town
BSc Med (Hons) Nutrition and Dietetics – University of Cape Town
MSc Nutrition and Dietetics – University of KwaZulu-Natal
CDE Optifast Training for Very Low Calorie Diet
CDE 5 Day Course in Advanced Diabetes Management
Treating the Emotional Eater Courses:
Functional Medicine – Institute of Functional Medicine
Foundations of Nutrigenomics
Masters research – Nutritional status of children with Wilms Tumour on admission to a South African hospital and its influence on outcome
Presented at the 47th Congress of the International Society for Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) in October 2015 and the Biennial National Nutrition Congress in 2016.
Abstract accepted for a poster presentation at the African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) congress in Morrocco in November 2015.