Practice Blog

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


Be smart not boring: How to be an engaging and evidence-based dietitian

Abby Langer shares how she balances being bold while sticking to the science. 

abby-headshot-small1.jpgAbby Langer is a communications and consulting dietitian based in Toronto, Canada. She is a regular blogger for the Huffington Post and has been featured in radio, print, and television media in both the US and Canada. Abby loves to develop recipes and most of all she loves to eat! She’s an avid kettlebell-lifter and runner, and is always up for trying fun new foods and experiences. Abby lives with her husband, her two sweet daughters, and her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Sammy. Find Abby on Twitter, Instagram, and at

I’ve been a dietitian for almost 20 years, but only recently – about two or three years ago – moved into the media, blogging, and private practice stage of my career.

I’m already in my 40s, so I knew I didn’t have time to mess around. I needed to get where I wanted to be quickly. I’ve already surpassed my personal expectations, which is great! Although, I will always strive to be better at everything because I’m type A and a workaholic.

I’ve always been outspoken – blame it on my orthopedic surgeon father – and I thought I needed to get rid of that part of me to be in the media. I was afraid that no one would touch me with a ten-foot pole if I was my opinionated self. I couldn’t have been more wrong – it has become part of my brand. continue reading

Rethinking sodium: Reflections on research and implications for practice

A DC member from Cape Breton shares why she thinks we may need to change our thinking around sodium. 

STHS1.jpgSusan Taylor is the manager of clinical nutrition at the Cape Breton Regional Health Care Complex. Part of her role is direct patient care on the hospital telemetry unit. She is the main preceptor at her hospital for dietetic interns from three Atlantic Canada universities and enjoys the ongoing learning that being a preceptor entails. Susan decided to delve into the literature on sodium following an intern’s therapeutic update focused on this topic. Susan can be contacted at

Over consumption of salt is a global health issue. Excessive sodium consumption is linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and stroke.1,2
Considering that Canadians consume an average of 3400mg of sodium/day,1 should we be concerned? United Kingdom and France also have high intakes, which vastly exceed the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended level of less than 2000mg daily.2
Median intakes of salt in the United States are similar to Canadian levels. It is postulated that these numbers may be even higher than the research shows as studies on salt consumption are generally based on self-reported data. People are likely to underestimate the true amount of food consumed.4 In Canada, the majority of sodium consumed (77%) comes from processed food.1,2 This may explain why people may not be aware of how much sodium they are actually consuming. continue reading

What you need to know about chronic wound treatment [flow chart]

A Manitoba dietitian shares her experience researching the best evidence in nutrition therapy for wound healing.

KKHS1.jpegKimberly Knott is a registered dietitian who works as a diabetic educator in Swan Lake, Manitoba and at Ginew Wellness Center for a first nation’s community in Roseau River, Manitoba. She has worked in 11 different institutions in Southern Manitoba. Kim has always been interested in health issues, like chronic wound care, where nutrition has the potential to ease suffering and lower health care costs. She can be reached at  

Chronic wound healing has been identified as a growing problem in my health region and across Canada. It’s a problem that contributes to health care costs and, more importantly to me, to the suffering of patients. I began investigating the latest research in nutrition therapy to address this problem in January 2014. continue reading

Transforming surgical nutrition care with Enhanced Recovery After Surgery

Clinical dietitians play a key role in implementing protocols that ultimately decrease length of stay in their hospital.

LH-HS1.jpgLeslee Hilkewich is a Calgary based clinical dietitian and certified diabetes educator, working for Alberta Health Services. Leslee contributed to the implementation of Enhanced Recovery after Surgery (ERAS) protocols in Alberta. She has also explored her interest in research over the past two and a half years by conducting a study on these protocols. Leslee can be researched at

ERAS guidelines encompass best practice care elements for before, during, and after surgery to support early patient recovery. Nutrition is discussed in all of the sections! This is the first set of protocols for surgery where nutrition is highlighted, and old standards, such as long fasting times before surgery and NPO after surgery, are challenged and changed. continue reading

Reflections on practice in dysphagia management: An influential new role paper is published

The lead author of the new role paper, “Defining the Role of the Dietitian in Dysphagia Assessment and Management,” shares why this paper is so important to her and many other dietitians.

HSJG1.JPGJennifer Hemeon Garus is a professional dietitian and the Nova Scotia Dietetic Association’s executive director. She has practiced in a wide range of roles and settings, including long term care, an outpatient clinic, homecare, telehealth, private practice, public health, and industry. Jennifer applies her dietetic practice experience to her current role in professional regulation. Her interest in Dietitians of Canada’s new role paper overlaps with her role in professional regulation that addresses scope of practice issues and competencies in dietetic practice.

The recently published Dietitians of Canada role paper, “Defining the Role of the Dietitian in Dysphagia Assessment and Management,” was written to reflect the RD’s current role in this area. Work on the DC paper began early in 2014, with a review of the literature and other professions' role papers in dysphagia assessment.

With the draft versions of the paper having input from over 30 dietitians, this paper clearly reflects current practice across Canada. continue reading
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