Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN
NATIONAL NUTRITION EXPERT, COOKBOOK AUTHOR & MEDIA SPOKESPERSON
for something nutrishus
As luck would have it, today happens to be the day that Toby's cookbook comes out! I'm serious, we didn't plan it, but I'm also seriously going to try her Pomegranate-Pistachio Bark from The Easy 5-Ingredient Healthy Cookbook: Simple Recipes to Make Healthy Eating Delicious, which she kindly shared the recipe for. Toby is a 'celebrity' in my eyes; a dietitian whose name I have known and recognized and someone who works hard to help the public sort through all the nutrition misinformation and to cook deliciously at home. I love when such trailblazing dietitians are willing to share their stories and support new dietitians. Toby has a variety of experiences and the expertise to match.
Why did you become a RD?
My mother and father sat me down one day and asked what I wanted to do. My mother had done research and found dietitians listed as the next successful career. I decided to take a few classes, and loved the information I was learning and was inspired to become a RD!
What area of dietetics do you work in?
I work in media, communications, and mainly B2B consulting
How would you explain what you do?
I do a salad of things, pun intended! I contribute regularly to 4 national media outlets, give expert quotes to numerous national publications each week, consult on various nutrition and food safety projects, teach at several universities as an adjunct, work as a spokesperson, speaker, and write cookbooks.
I also make sure to take care of me by playing competitive tennis in the US Tennis Association league and practicing pilates.
What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?
I am usually writing articles or blog posts, completing projects, testing recipes, getting on calls with clients or potential clients, and sifting through emails (email sifting takes hours!).
What has been your career path?
I don’t think I ever had one path. I enjoy new challenges and wanted to try out every path this career in nutrition offered me. I was lucky enough to become the nutrition expert at FoodNetwork.com 10 years ago, which opened up a lot of doors for me, and also helped me grow and evolve as a writer and consultant, and open doors that I never even knew existed.
What advanced education or special training do you have?
I have a M.S. in clinical nutrition and dietetics, am a registered dietitian, and am a Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist in the state of NY.
In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?
Ideally I wish for less noise and online pollution from those who aren’t experts in the field. In addition, I would like to see more regulation on who can disseminate nutrition information and RDs better tolerating and understanding differing opinions, as long as the information is backed up by science. Over the years, however, I am proud to say that more publications and food companies are looking for that RD credential. Over the years, some big name brands I have worked for and served on advisory boards finally evolved the way they work with those disseminating nutrition information.
What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?
I don’t think that many folks understand the depth of our training, including those on tube feeds, various disease states, and on various medications. Many folks think RDs just give info on how to eat healthy, but it goes much deeper than that. Sometimes I wish they sat in my biochem class to learn the details on the Krebs Cycle!
What would you like people to know about RDs?
We are the experts in the field of food and nutrition. This means we can explain how food works and interacts within the body, and it’s truly backed by science. Oftentimes the public thinks that nutrition information has changed over the years but if you look at the 1977 McGovern Report listing 6 dietary goals, it is very similar to the dietary guidelines and information deemed healthy these days. Here are the 6 dietary goals from 1977:
1) Energy balance to avoid overweight
2) Increase consumption of complex CHO (carbohydrates) and “naturally occurring sugars”
3) Reduce consumption of refined and processed sugars, total fat, sat fat, cholesterol, and sodium
4) Increase consumption of fruits, vegetables, & whole grains
5) Decrease consumption of refined and processed sugars, foods high in total fat and animal fat, eggs, butterfat and high-cholesterol foods, and salt and foods high in salt
6) Choose low-fat and non-fat dairy
What are challenges you encounter as a RD?
I want to do everything, but I have learned to say no. Recently I have gotten a lot of emails requesting phone conversations about my career or advice, and this is something I can never say no to. As a pioneer in the world of blogging and communications, I never had someone to look up to or a mentor I could ask so I refuse to ever turn my back to someone who asks for my help.
What do people think that you do for a living?
Cook all day :) Basically that I live at the super market and then go home and play in my kitchen.
What are you passionate about in dietetics?
Besides food fueling our bodies, there is so much misinformation out there that someone needs to have a voice and debunk myths and concepts that make it through the mass media. I have found my voice and am able to disseminate credentialed, science-based nutrition information to millions of readers. I am proud and passionate about that aspect of dietetics and my practice.
What is your favourite meal?
A few of my favorite meals include pizza, filet mignon with baked potato and asparagus, and ice cream for dessert with either one of those.
Anything else you’d like to add that you feel would be valuable:
I am thrilled to announce that my new cookbook The Easy 5-Ingredient Healthy Cookbook: Simple Recipes to Make Healthy Eating Delicious will be released today (4/3)! Part of my passion is to show people that healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated and my cookbooks allow me to do so.
More about Toby:
Link to new cookbook:
The Easy 5-Ingredient Healthy Cookbook: Simple Recipes to Make Healthy Eating Delicious
Link to best-selling cookbook: The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook: Easy and Wholesome Meals to Cook, Prep, Grab, and Go
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