It is often said that when you know better, you do better.
But when it comes to diet and nutrition, it can be hard to know just what exactly is “better.” That’s something Comox Valley dietitian Tiffany McFadden wants to change.
“My top priority as a dietitian is to help people,” says McFadden. “Helping can come in many different forms whether it is helping clients make diet changes around a new diagnosis, relieving symptoms through diet or figuring out what a healthy diet is for their family.
“Ultimately my goal is for clients to be empowered with the knowledge they need to make the best decisions around their health.”
Born and raised in Campbell River, McFadden earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from UVic before discovering her true passion for dietetics.
She went on to receive a second Bachelor of Science, this time in dietetics from UBC, followed by a 10-month internship and several years of clinical experience — many at a high-acuity hospital in a major urban centre — before settling in the Comox Valley with her family to enjoy the Island lifestyle.
When people think of a dietitian, it is easy to think of someone who deals only with chronic or extreme health issues. McFadden says most of her clients come to her proactively, wanting to prevent disease or the progression of a condition.
“The main reasons that clients come to see me are for digestive issues, weight loss, sports nutrition, or a general nutrition checkup.”
She also sees all age ranges in her clinic, often seeing children for things such as food allergies or concerns around picky eating and seniors looking to regain energy after an illness or injury.
What exactly does a dietitian do?
Clients can expect to review their current eating habits, health history, exercise routines, and any concerns they have. McFadden sees the individualized plans that she develops not as short-term strategies, but as the first step to developing life-long healthy eating habits.
She even offers grocery store tours, which she calls a highlight of her job.
“I find clients get so much out of them and are always amazed at how much they have learned. We tour the store comparing and learning about food. I usually touch a little on food preparation, meal planning and budgeting. Again the tours are personalized and I always encourage lots of questions. There is no better place to discuss food than in the grocery store.”
Anyone wanting to know better and do better when it comes to food and nutrition can visit www.tiffanymcfaddenrd.com or phone 250-338-1333.
Many extended-health plans cover the cost of seeing registered dieticians, who in B.C. are classified as authorized medical practitioners.