Practice Blog

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


May
26
2016

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 mohamed@redirectnutrition.com. He also blogs on his website: www.redirectnutrition.com.


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
Nov
12
2015

8 tips to help build rapport when counselling Middle Eastern Muslims

A registered dietitian from Egypt offers insight into Middle Eastern Muslims’ eating habits and culture.

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. Mohamed grew up in Egypt and moved to Canada at the age of 20. This experience has helped Mohamed realize the importance of learning about other cultures to make his counselling more effective. You can reach Mohamed at rizk.mohamed@gmail.com.

Counselling clients from a different cultural or social background often presents challenges. Dietitians can improve their counselling skills by understanding the many different cultures in Canada and learning how to adjust their approach when working with specific populations.

However, as a dietitian, it’s very important not to assume things about our clients just because of the way they look or where they are from. Never the less, understanding common cooking practices and eating habits of various cultures can help you ask better questions and lead to better client centred care.

The beauty of Canada lies in many different cultures coming together to create a successful nation. The Middle Eastern population is a large, expanding population in Canada that has very distinct social and cultural traits. I am a Muslim from Egypt, a Middle Eastern country. I have encountered and worked with clients from many different countries in the Middle East and I want to share some of my insight with you. continue reading
 
Nov
13
2014

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

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