Practice Blog

To share practice related stories, create connections and engage readers in the amazing diversity of dietitian experiences.


Leverage your core strengths: 7 tips to consider when starting a business

A dietitian from Toronto shares her solid approach to starting your own company.

LisaMina-HS1.jpegLisa Mina is a dietitian from Toronto who recently founded her own nutrition and health consulting company, FoodHealth.  She has over 20 years of experience in various sectors. Lisa’s led work on consumer and health professional nutrition communication, nutrition policy, regulatory affairs, public-private collaborations, issues management, nutrition research, and business strategies. She completed a BASc. in Applied Human Nutrition at the University of Guelph and an MBA at Royal Roads University, BC. Lisa is a mom, loves to travel, and to run long distance. If you’d like to stay connected with her, please visit her website at and sign-up to receive her new newsletter. Lisa's email is

In 2015, I launched FoodHealth, a nutrition consulting company that helps organizations take action on nutrition and health strategies that reach the public, health professionals, and other stakeholders.
Why did I start my own business? Being able to lead my work, my opportunities, my time, and my learning inspired me. I was personally and professionally ready to take more risk and explore a less charted path. continue reading

5 considerations for working with populations with mental illness

Rachel, a dietitian in the Hamilton/Toronto area with a passion for working in mental health, shares insights from her recent practicum experiences. 


RHHS1.jpgRachel Hicks recently completed her Master of Public Health in Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly Community Nutrition) at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. She is interested in many areas of nutrition on a local and global scale and has developed a passion for working with vulnerable populations in diverse communities. Connect with Rachel on LinkedIn.  

Nutrition and its association with mental health and mental illness is becoming more and more recognized. Compared to the general population, individuals with complex mental illness (CMI) are at a greater risk of developing disease comorbidities (abnormal triglycerides, hypertension, glucose dysregulation, and abdominal obesity) and subsequent chronic disease (cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes). This is significant, especially considering 1 in 5 Canadians experience some sort of mental health issue. continue reading


Les Diététistes en mission agissent d’une façon innovatrice pour améliorer l’environnement alimentaire dans leur communauté!

Melissa Couture-Leger, a dietitian from Moncton, explains how a group of driven dietitians worked together with their municipality to drive policy change. 

MC-HS1.JPGMélissa Couture-Léger occupe présentement un poste de diététiste en nutrition clinique au Centre hospitalier universitaire Dr-Georges-L.-Dumont à Moncton, N.-B. Elle a entrepris ses études post-secondaires en nutrition à l’Université de Moncton. Passionnée et très engagée, Mélissa Couture-Léger est aussi une agente de  changement. Comme diététiste et comme mère de trois enfants, elle est préoccupée par le fléau de l’obésité au Nouveau-Brunswick et par la problématique de la malbouffe dans les environnements alimentaires de sa communauté.  Elle a donc décidé de passer à l’action en mettant sur pied, il y a quelques années, Diététistes en mission, un regroupement revendiquant pour des environnements sains dans la région du Grand Moncton.
Melissa Leger Couture currently works as a clinical dietitian at Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton, NB. She did her post-secondary studies in nutrition at the University of Moncton. Melissa is a passionate and commitment agent of change. As a dietitian and mother of three children, she is concerned about the burden of obesity in New Brunswick and the issue of junk food availability in the environments of her community. A few years ago, Melissa decided to take action by launching “Dietitians on a mission,” a group that advocates for healthy food environments in the Moncton areas. You can reach Melissa by email at

C’est en 2011 que j’ai décidé de mettre des efforts publiquement en me rendant visible en tant que diététiste pour aider la population locale à faire de meilleurs choix alimentaires.  Après avoir travaillé plusieurs années en tant que clinicienne, j’ai réalisé à quel point l’obésité  touchait une grande partie de ma clientèle et qu’il était temps d’agir dans ma communauté pour prévenir ce fléau au lieu de le traiter!!  
In 2011, I decided to go public in a big way, making myself visible as a dietitian to help people in my community make better food choices. After several years working as a clinician, I realized just how many of my clients were touched by obesity and it was time for me to take action in my community to prevent this problem instead of treating it. continue reading

Use of thickened fluids in long term care: Is there a better alternative?

A dietitian working in long term care discusses achieving a balance between safety and quality of life for residents.

WHHS1.jpgWinnie Hung is a consulting dietitian, with a Master of Public Health, based in Vancouver. She has been a long term care dietitian since 2009. Winnie received the BC Regional Morgan Medal Award from the Canadian Foundation for Dietetic Research in 2010 for her work in acknowledging the gap between theory and practice in menu planning for residents in care. Receiving this award helped deepen her commitment to improving the quality of food for this vulnerable population. You can follow Winnie on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter or get in touch with her at

“Winnie, Mr. B had excessive coughs when drinking his apple juice yesterday. Can you assess if he would benefit from thickened fluids?”
This is the type of message I receive on a regular basis from nurses and other care team members.  The demographics in long term care have changed in the past few years: people are being admitted at a later age with more complicated medical conditions, such as dysphagia.
When I was still a new dietitian in long term care, swallowing assessment referrals would lead to me going to see a resident with a tray of foods and liquids in various textures and consistencies by my side.  During the bedside swallowing assessment, I would observe the resident to see if any relevant symptoms were presented and recommend the appropriate textures to help minimize the risk of aspiration and/or pneumonia.  This is a standard scenario in a clinical setting, but I felt like something was missing. continue reading

Publishing a cookbook: Answers to your top questions

Published author Cara Rosenbloom dishes secrets that may help get your cookbook to market.

CR-HS1.jpgCara Rosenbloom, RD is the owner of Words to Eat By, a nutrition communications company based in Toronto. As a seasoned writer and nutrition educator, Cara is a regular contributor to the Washington Post, Today’s Parent, Food and Nutrition Magazine, and many other publications. She’s sought after as a keynote speaker and TV personality, and has appeared on Breakfast Television, Canada AM, CTV News, The Morning Show, and many other programs. Her first book, Nourish: Whole Food Recipes featuring Seeds, Nuts and Beans, launched in March 2016 and recently became a best-seller. Find Cara on Twitter @cararosenbloom, on her Facebook page WordstoEatBy, or on Instagram

My first cookbook, Nourish: Whole Food Recipes featuring Seeds, Nuts and Beans, was co-authored with Chef Nettie Cronish. The cookbook features 100 expertly crafted and tested recipes with tidbits of practical nutrition advice dispersed throughout.

To share some insights about book publishing, I co-presented the “Cookbooks 101” session at the Dietitians of Canada 2016 National Conference with literary agent Sally Ekus. We discussed how to properly write recipes and collect your work into a formal book proposal for publishers. 

Since the session, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to receive many questions from dietitians about the publishing process. continue reading
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