Practice Blog

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


Fasting during Ramadan: What dietitians need to know & how to help your clients

Mohamed, a dietitian from Egypt, shares tips for working with clients that participate in Ramadan and provides an example meal plan.  

MRHS1.jpgMohamed Rezk completed a B.Sc. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Waterloo before completing his dietetics degree at Mount St. Vincent University. He currently works in his private practice, Re-Direct Nutrition Counselling, in Toronto. Mohamed grew up in Egypt and moved to Canada at the age of 20. This experience helped him realize the importance of learning about other cultures to help make his counselling more effective. You can reach Mohamed at He also blogs on his website:

Ramadan is the one month per year where Muslims fast from dawn until sunset every day by refraining from food, water, smoking, medications, and even gum. Pregnant and breastfeeding women, children, seniors, and those on important medications or requiring nutrition care (such as people with diabetes, renal failure, or patients on tube feeds) are exempt from fasting.

During this month, Muslims spend more time getting closer to God, refrain from bad habits, and focus on spiritual growth. This year, Ramadan starts on June 7th. In Canada, Muslims will be fasting 16-17 hours per day, which allows for only 7-8 hours to nourish their bodies and sleep. While Muslim countries cut down their workdays by half during Ramadan, this is not the case in Canada. The combination of high expectations at work or school, long fasting hours, and poor nutrition could be a disaster for Muslims’ health. continue reading

Bridging the divide: Key qualities and attitudes for working in remote areas

Cynthia Fallu, MSc, RD holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences from McGill University and a Master of Science in International Nutrition from the University of Montreal. Over the years, Cynthia has worked in clinical roles, primary care and in international nutrition. She was also a research coordinator for a food, nutrition and environment study with First Nations populations in British Columbia and Ontario. She has spent time in Tanzania volunteering with a medical caravan. Cynthia currently lives in Montreal and enjoys the outdoors while biking, hiking, camping and skiing. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Travelling and learning about different cultures have always been key interests of mine. During my undergraduate degree, I had the opportunity to take courses in social studies of medicine in which health and nutrition were viewed through an anthropological lens. The different ways other cultures perceived and adopted approaches to nutrition and health were especially interesting to me. Cree and other indigenous cultures were high on this list.
I was fortunate to get a placement at the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch during my dietetic internship, which led to my first job as a dietitian on a First Nations reserve in Northern Ontario. As the sole dietitian for the west coast of James Bay, my practice touched on many aspects of dietetics from clinical work to hospital menu changes and facilitating workshops. It was thrilling to put my freshly acquired skills into practice while travelling to various communities and experiencing life in the north – including taking a helicopter to work! continue reading

Dietetics in the land of the midnight sun

TLheadshot.JPGTabitha Lichty is the Regional Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator working at Inuvik Regional Hospital in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. She works in 13 small, remote communities in the Western Arctic ranging in size from 126 to 3500 people. Most communities are accessible only by plane, so travelling has its challenges! Tabitha has learned a great deal about adapting to and understanding a new culture through these experiences. She previously worked three years as a diabetes educator at an Aboriginal health access centre in Kenora, Ontario prior to moving North. She can be contacted at and would love to hear from other dietitians working in remote communities.

I have always been fascinated by different cultures. Perhaps that is inherited by many Canadians as we grow-up in such a diverse and multicultural country. As a dietitian, I tend to look at food though a health and nutrition lens, but I also understand that food is so much more than that, it is deeply entrenched in our culture and identity.

Since moving to my new home in Inuvik, Northwest Territories last fall, I have been exposed to the distinct and rich cultures and food traditions of the Inuvialuit, Gwich’in and Dene in this corner of the Western Arctic.  I learned quickly that I needed to become familiar with the food traditions of the North in order to be effective in my work as the Regional Dietitian. Little did I know about the huge variety of “country foods” that are still eaten on a daily basis including caribou, musk ox, whale, seal, berries (akpiks, blueberries, currents, cranberries, etc), geese, arctic char, ducks, arctic hare, and much more. Most of which I had never tried before moving to the North. continue reading

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