What are we being told is healthy? Does this look healthy to you??
I just got off the phone with a registered dietician, whom I have talked to off and on for the last several years regarding Farm Boy 1′s weight. After his endocrinology appointment about a month ago, I requested an appointment with her again, just to make sure we’re doing whatever we can to help him grow.
This dietician is reasonable and promotes real food. I like her. She looked up the GAPS Diet and went over high calorie foods that are *on the diet* with me and had no problems with that. She looked at his daily intake and said he’s doing pretty good (Yay GAPS Diet & good, healthy foods!). We came up with a GAPS legal “milkshake” idea for Farm Boy 1 together to boost him up by 200-300 calories per day to make sure he gains a little quicker (I will post about it after I make it!). I told her that we are thinking about trying some properly prepared GF grains again, slowly. She said quinoa has the highest calories for grains (the first one Dr. Campbell McBride recommends, anyways!), and told me to make sure to add “lots of butter” on it for him. I asked about potatoes (another “coming off of the diet” first food), and she hesitated and said “only if they have lots of butter.” I asked about sweet potatoes or yams, and she said that they are much better (nutritionally) than regular white potatoes, so that’s what she recommends. See what I mean? I like her!
Not all dieticians are so great, though. Before we met this one, we saw a few of the “bad” ones. You know, the ones who recommend Cheetos, Lorna Doone cookies and deli macaroni & cheese for underweight, unhealthy kids. As if that is going to make them healthier. We took plenty of that bad advice, and fed our son terrible, terrible foods. We were desperate parents & just wanted our child to grow. We really had no clue about real food and what fake food does to a person.
I am thankful for the freedom we have in this country to study nutrition for ourselves, to seek alternative practitioners, and to make the decisions we need to make for our own family. I am glad that nobody dictates what we should eat or feed our children, and that we have free will to choose these things. Had we stayed with those dieticians in the beginning, I don’t think Farm Boy 1 would be even half as healthy (or as big) as he is today. This dietician mentioned that he is eating SO MUCH MORE these days than he used to. She said that when she would go over his calorie logs before (pre-GAPS), she would think “wow, we have to get WAY more calories in this kid” (even with high calorie formulas in his feeding tube!). We tried–we added calories to everything. We were doing way more math than is really necessary. Yet, Farm Boy 1 would barely eat. It would take him FOREVER to eat one chicken nugget. He looked nauseous. Now, his calorie count is NORMAL for a kid his age (woot, woot!!!). It’s just, if we want him to gain MORE weight than the average kid his age (we do!), we need to bump him up by 200-300 calories per day. That’s it. Not bad! Not like the days when he was several hundred calories behind all of the other kids his age, no matter how hard we tried. GAPS cleared up his system and made him actually *WANT* food. Praise God for the healing that we’ve seen in our son! Praise God that even a registered dietician saw that!
So, let’s say you’re interested in food and nutrition, and you want to help kids gain weight (like this dietician does for my son). What do you study?
Currently, there are two different career paths. Becoming a:
If you want to become a Registered Dietician (like the woman I talked to today), you will be trained in counting calories (which is easiest with packaged, processed foods, of course). You will be expected to tell underweight kids to eat Cheetos. You will be taught that dehydrated, stale grains (in the form of breakfast cereal) are a part of a balanced morning meal. You will be taught that processed foods are a good thing and that the scientists who invented these foods are geniuses. Ludicrous, right? Well, not if you’re General Mills, Kellogg’s, Mars, Pepsico or SOYJOY–these are just a few of the sponsors of the American Dietetic Association. And their partners? The CocaCola Company and the Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition are two of them. They are also sponsored by big pharmaceutical companies. Can we trust the entire program, or is it corrupt? It is led by the very food companies they recommend buying from (and yet, the companies that create totally unhealthy foods). Their sponsors want to see you eating processed foods (the food companies) and needing medications as you get older (the pharmaceutical companies). The dietician that we work with is a diamond in the rough.
(And side note, Registered Dieticians are the ones who make the menus for hospital cafeterias. Have you ever tried to find real food in a hospital cafeteria? Ha! It can’t be done! I was at a hospital yesterday with one of my kids, and we tried to find lunch. What a joke! Fake cheese, low fat (corn filled, sugar filled) yogurts, gluten-filled everything, packaged junk, pre-mixed hot food fried in rancid, artery clogging, trans-fat laden soy oil. YUCK!)
A Certified Nutritionist is trained in micro and macronutrients and how food impacts the body at the cellular level. They learn about the gut brain connection, and how food impacts mood and behavior. They study the nutritional profiles of foods and learn about how foods work together. Nutritionists would never tell you to eat processed foods. They may lead you to a diet of GAPS, or Paleo, or to a Weston Price style diet where you eat soaked grains. Some nutritionists may prefer vegetarianism or low carb or gluten free, depending on their clinical experience and their studies. There is freedom within this industry, and yet, you can count on a nutritionist pointing you to whole, real foods.
I appreciate the freedoms to express different points of view as a Certified Nutritionist. Someday, I may become one (I would love to now, but my life is very full with precious children–maybe someday). That is, I might do it if the career is still around. See, the American Dietetic Association is trying to change things. As of January 2012, their new title is “Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.” They are branding themselves with the word “Nutrition” even though the food they promote is not healthy. This is their way of monopolizing the field, and having the power to “take down” anyone who practices as a Nutritionist and yet hasn’t been trained by them.
If they have their way, in the next decade or so, all “Nutritionists” will be promoting cornflakes and diet soda and anyone who teaches anything different will be in trouble. Scary, isn’t it?
Kimberly Hartke, publicist for the Weston Price Foundation, wrote a great article about this ordeal over at the Canary Party. I encourage you to read the details of this situation. And if you’d like to take action (please do!), there is information about what to do at the Alliance for Natural Health.
*photo credit: choctruffle