Practice Blog

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


Strength in numbers: How SickKids tackled Nutrition Month 2016

Two interns from SickKids Hospital collaborate with a number of different departments to organize an exciting Nutrition Month for staff, volunteers, and the public. 

Mara_HS1.jpgMara Alexanian-Farr is a dietetic intern at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.  She completed her MSc in Human Health & Nutritional Sciences from the University of Guelph. Mara was one of the interns that organized Nutrition Month events for SickKids, alongside the wellness program for hospital staff and volunteers. You can contact her by email at

CSmithHS1.jpgClarissa Smith completed a Bachelor of Science at Memorial University, followed by her Bachelor of Science in Applied Human Nutrition at Mount Saint Vincent University. She is currently a dietetic intern at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. For her population and public health rotation during her internship, Clarissa and her co-intern worked with the wellness program at SickKids to plan Nutrition Month activities. To contact Clarissa, please email her at

As nutrition professionals, we like to think that everyone gets as excited as we do about an entire month dedicated to nutrition and health. But, in reality, empowering and engaging others during Nutrition Month this March proved to be a challenging undertaking.

When initially faced with the task, it seemed daunting. Where do you start? Luckily, planning Nutrition Month at SickKids is a team effort, with input and help from many different people and departments. continue reading

Blackbox cooking challenge: A creative & inspiring Nutrition Month event

Thunder Bay’s Nutrition Month committee plans an exciting event with local celebrities and chefs! 

headshotjuliestachiw1.jpgJulie Stachiw is a food service and clinical registered dietitian at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Julie is pursuing a Master of Public Health at Lakehead University part time and is involved with the Thunder Bay and Area local food strategy.  Every year, she preceptors food service, clinical, and research dietetic interns and is responsible for coordinating orientation and placements, as well as preceptor training. Julie has been part of Thunder Bay’s Nutrition Month committee for three years, and had the opportunity to chair the committee this year.  You can reach her by email at  

Every year in Canada, we celebrate Nutrition Month in March as a way of promoting healthy eating to the public and to identify registered dietitians (RDs) as a key source of trusted nutrition information. 

In Thunder Bay, one of the public health dietitians chairs a community wide Nutrition Month committee.  In past years, she has taken the lead on planning exciting nutrition month events, such as grocery store scavenger hunts, cooking challenges for families, and workplace healthy eating passport programs.  However, she is on maternity leave this year! We had no choice but to embark on our Nutrition Month journey without her. continue reading

Living with diabetes: Walking a mile in my patients' shoes

Laura Baum shares her unique experience “living” with type 2 diabetes for a week. 

LB-HS1.jpgLaura Baum completed her undergraduate degree at Brescia College, at the University of Western Ontario.  She is currently completing the final months of her Master of Science in Foods and Nutrition, also at Brescia College.  Laura’s interests include running and all things active, cooking for friends and family, and traveling.  Special areas of interest in dietetics include paediatrics, diabetes education, and bariatric surgery; however she is open to all opportunities!  To contact Laura, email her at, or connect with her via LinkedIn.

Health is a privilege.  Health is luck.  Health is genetic.  Health is life.  After completing my diabetes rotation at Sunnybrook Hospital in the outpatient diabetes education centre, I have realized how lucky and thankful I am to be healthy.  It is truly a miracle how all the systems in one’s body work cohesively to sustain a healthy body.
In the final week of my placement, I participated in a program called, “Living with Diabetes.”  Essentially, I was supposed to live for a week mimicking the life of someone with type 2 diabetes.  Participants in this program included four family practice residents, a family practice physician and myself.  We met every morning and were presented with the progression of our diabetes, which would likely have taken years, but for this simulation, it only took a few days. continue reading

YouTube: A great nutrition communication tool that most dietitians know nothing about

Abbey Sharp, who has had over 50,000 views on a single YouTube video, shares insider tips that may inspire you to join her online.

ASHS100.jpgAbbey Sharp is a registered dietitian, an avid food writer and blogger, a TV and radio personality, a food brand spokesperson, a recipe developer, a food event hostess, and the founder of Abbey's Kitchen Inc. Abbey believes that a pleasurable relationship with food is inherently essential for good health and shares this unique philosophy through her regular contributions to The Marilyn Denis Show (CTV), Best Health Magazine, and her hit YouTube series, Abbey’s Kitchen. Check out her blog, subscribe to her YouTube channel, or follow her on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram).
A lot of people ask me what I do for a living, and I never really know what answer to give them. I usually begin by describing myself as a “media registered dietitian,” but if I go into a further description it is often pretty lengthy. I’m a blogger, spokesperson, recipe developer, freelance food and nutrition writer, TV expert, and now, I’m a relatively successful (yet still pretty new) YouTuber.
Moving to digital video communications seemed like a natural progression for me after I had reached a level of stability and readership with my blog, Abbey’s Kitchen. I had done a short 12-webisode series three years ago upon launching myself full time into blogging, but had shied away from it after that because of the financial commitment.
Shooting 12 short videos meant hiring a film crew, editor, and a makeup and hair stylist. After that, I needed to buy music, groceries, props, and rent film equipment. I easily sunk over $10,000 into the whole thing and got somewhere around 500 minutes of video. continue reading

Why being diagnosed with cancer was an incredible gift

A dietitian uses her personal experience with cancer to launch a mentorship program and an on-line coaching and support community.

JLHS1.jpgJean LaMantia is a registered dietitian who goes by, “The Cancer Survivor’s Nutrition Voice of Reason.” She combined the experience she gained as a cancer patient and a caregiver with her passion for helping others into an online community, and one-on-one and group mentorship programs. She wrote a best-selling book called, “The Essential Cancer Treatment Nutrition Guide and Cookbook.” You can connect with her through Facebook, follow her Cancer Bites Blog, or join her Thriving After Cancer Coaching and Support Program.

When I was diagnosed with cancer, I had no idea it would turn out to be such a gift. That might sound awfully strange to you, but if you read on you’ll understand why I feel this way.
I was a new dietitian when I was diagnosed with cancer. I had finished my Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.) at the University of Guelph, my clinical dietetic internship at Toronto Western, and two full-time temporary job contracts. Then, when I was 27 years old, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (stage IIB extensive), a cancer that originates in the white blood cells (lymphocytes) and spreads to the lymph nodes. continue reading
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