Mimi Talks to Dawn Jackson Blatner

BATD ON Aug 26, 2009 AT 5:04 pm

Dawn Jackson Blatner

Dawn Jackson Blatner

Dawn grew up knowing she was going to be healthy, she was always in health food stores and just knew her calling was within the health food industry.  Even at school her career advisor told her she should be nutritionist and that was it. She confessed: “In college I saw a TV show that said you should do for a career what you love to do in your spare time so work never seems like dread but rather is your passion. What great advice. In my spare time I read about nutrition, hung out in healthfood stores, and prepared vegetarian meals for my friends and family. A school advisor suggested becoming a registered dietitian was the path for me.”

So how did she make her way from then to now…

So you always knew your interest was healthy eating, how did you follow your dream and make it a career?
After graduation with degree in dietetics I did a nutrition/dietetic internship for 1 year in New Mexico – this Southwestern US state is known for its more alternative, holistic, and natural remedies. I specifically went there (about a 24-hour car ride from my hometown) because I wanted to learn more about healthfood and using food as medicine for optimal health & wellness. After passing the national “RD” exam and becoming a credentialed nutrition professional – I started working in places that allowed me to use what I learned in New Mexico to naturally feed people to be healthier and happier such as – healthfood stores, exclusive spas, wellness centers, university healthclubs, cooking schools.

What kind of people do you work with now?
Anyone who wants to achieve optimal health. So people who have diseases or want to prevent diseases such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. I also have many patients who come in for help with food allergies, fertility, and vegetarian/flexitarian diets. The most popular thing patients come in for is increased energy and weight loss.

Dawn's book, The Flexitarian Diet

Dawn's book, The Flexitarian Diet

What are the most common problems that you are faced with by clients?
Not eating enough fruits & veggies, large portions, night snacking, emotional eating.

And how can those best be addressed?
Not enough fruits & veggies:
Put everyday veggie tray in fridge at eye-level – that way when you are hungry and open the fridge the first thing that you see and the easiest to grab is a tray full of cut fruits & veggies with low-fat dip.

Large portions: Eat on smaller plates with smaller forks and spoons. I have many patients who lose weight because instead of a dinner plate they eat from a salad-sized plate.

Night snacking: Have a rule that you will only eat when you have these three things: table + plate + chair. Meaning no standing and eating out of the fridge or snacking on the couch while watching TV. Having a table + plate+ chair rule will make you mindful and help you pay attention to what you are eating. You will eat fewer cookies if you put them on a plate and eat them while seated at the table with a cup of tea rather than bringing the box to the couch and mindlessly munching on them while you lounge watching your favourite show.

Emotional eating: Whether tense or tired, stressed or bored, anxious, happy, sad, or lonely…emotions can cause some people to turn to chocolate, cookies, pies, cakes, or crisps. Instead of going right to food when emotions flare…try distraction. Make a cup of tea, paint your nails, read a magazine, do stretches, brush your teeth, listen to music, e-mail a friend, etc. Doing 10 minutes of these distractions will ease the need for emotional eating.

Click here to read part two of this interview.

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