Whitney Harms, RD
University/Clinical Training: BHNs., University of Manitoba
Internship: Manitoba Partnership Dietetic Education Program
Special Interests: Weight Management and Chronic disease care
***Currently on Mat. leave until Aug. 2018
What I Do:
- Heart health nutrition
- High cholesterol
- High triglycerides
- Heart surgery
- Weight management/ optimal health improvements
- Weight loss
- Weight gain
- Geriatric nutrition counseling
- Eating difficulties and aging
- Healthy eating for seniors
I believe in the value that good nutrition can have on one’s quality of life and I feel that everyone can benefit from having some nutrition knowledge! I am passionate about providing nutrition education to those interested in learning how to take control over their life through nutritious eating and healthy living. By developing a private practice and the WHITTY NUTRITION blog, I have been able to do just that!
I have a Bachelor of Human Nutritional Science from the University of Manitoba, have completed a Dietetic Internship Program, and written the Canadian Dietetic Registration Exam to obtain my license to practice as a Registered Dietitian. I offer one-on-one personalized nutrition coaching for those looking for individualized nutrition education. In addition, I offer a wide variety of group education sessions, workplace wellness programs, and have a youtube channel where I post cooking videos, recipes, and fun facts about food. CLICK HERE TO VIEW
Philosophy: Your nutrition care should be as individual as you are!
You might be wondering (as people often do) what my philosophy as a Registered Dietitian is. Many people tend to think that just because you’ve studied nutrition that you now only eat ‘good’ food. Well let me let you in on a little secret – I love chips, cookies, donuts, and french fries as much as the next person, and in fact I do consider these ‘good’ foods that can be a part of everyone’s diet. The difference is that I’ve been lucky enough to spend many years studying nutrition in great detail and have been armed with the knowledge to make food choices that are right for ME. I think about what I eat, I’m conscious of my choices, but I choose not to obsess about food and I don’t encourage my family, friends, or clients to do so either. We are made to ENJOY food, and frankly, nutrition and food comes down to personal choice. When we start classifying foods as ‘good’ vs. ‘bad’ it creates an environment where people feel guilty for enjoying foods that may be linked to their culture or that are associated with great memories such as those amazing cookies your grandma makes. I feel, that as a nutrition professional, it is important to consider one’s personal beliefs and experiences about food in order to create a plan that works and is realistic to fit individual lifestyles and goals. Whether that means being empowered with the information essential in dealing with a new diagnosis such as diabetes, or just taking control of your daily eating habits to help yourself feel happier and healthier, I believe everyone can benefit from having some nutrition knowledge!
In today’s world, nutrition isn’t just a fad. People are more interested and informed about nutrition than ever. Unfortunately, with more information comes more confusion and more people promoting extreme attitudes and behaviors surrounding food. That is not what you will find here. I consider myself a realist, not an extremist. As a Registered Dietitian, I believe in working with people to develop a nutrition plan that is realistic, can be managed on any budget, and suits different lifestyles and beliefs. Not everyone has access to a large supermarket, can cook, or is able to eat supper at home every night. In my opinion, there exists far too many fad diets and too many people promoting unrealistic and unnecessary restrictions on food that many people are unable to follow. Consequently, many people end up feeling ashamed or defeated for being unable to follow such strict guidelines.
I believe that nutrition provides people the opportunity to have some control over their life in a world where we often feel out of control. I do not believe that it is a competition to see who can eat the “best” and that the “losers” are people who choose not to follow any one type of diet whether it be a gluten-free lifestyle, vegetarianism, or organic eating. These are all personal choices and can certainly be part of nutritious eating, but they are not right for everyone.
I believe that everyone needs some sort of plan when it comes to food. Unfortunately, the food environment that we live in here in North America sets us up for some pretty serious consequences from over consumption of non-nutritious foods. We are seeing many of these consequences such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and obesity at alarming rates. That’s not to mention the downright ‘blah’ feeling many of us learn to live with, day-in and day-out, when we don’t give our body what it needs to be healthy. Without a plan, and the knowledge to make that plan a reality, I have found many people feel lost in a sea of nutrition information and despite having the best intentions, still find they are unable to meet their nutritional goals. The role I intend to play in the nutrition care of others, is one of providing information in a way that people can take it and make their own choices. Not a do this, not that, approach. A dietitian I once worked with told me that we need to be ‘teachers,’ not ‘preachers’ and oh how true that is! I want people to be educated on nutrition based on what THEY want to learn and not what I THINK they need to know.
Finally, I think the key to learning anything new is to make it fun! I hope my belief that nutrition shouldn’t be just numbers and facts is evident to all of my clients. It’s the reason I called by business WHITTY NUTRITION – it not only encompasses my actual name but draws on the fact that nutrition with wit is way more fun!