Stephanie Hnatiuk RD, CDE, PTS
NUTRITION CONSULTING & PERSONAL TRAINING
for something nutrishus
I met Stephanie at a Dietitians of Canada conference in Winnipeg. She was involved in active break times and hosted a morning workout that I attended. Like many dietitians, Stephanie tries to uncomplicate things and make healthy/active living practical and realistic for her clients. Her education and skill combination allows her to offer expert advice in various settings. She also makes me curious about her taco tradition/celebration, so we’ll have to follow and see if she posts the 12 days for us!
Why did you become a RD?
My journey to becoming a Dietitian started in childhood. I was very fortunate to grow up in a home that valued cooking, and I remember spending most of my time in the kitchen helping my mom when I was young. I’ve definitely been a foodie from the beginning! As I got older the science side of nutrition caught my interest as well- I actually attended a high school that offered several nutrition science courses and as soon as I started taking those classes I knew exactly what I was meant to do with my life. And I’ve never looked back!
What area of dietetics do you work in?
Most days of the week I’m seeing clients as part of my nutrition counseling and personal training business. In addition to being and RD I also hold a certification as a Certified Personal Trainer so I offer a combination of nutrition and fitness services to my clients. I also have my Certified Diabetes Educator Designation and do diabetes education part-time, as well as a small amount of acute care as a clinical Dietitian.
How would you explain what you do?
Some days I feel like I do it all! To put it briefly though, I help my clients reach their health and fitness goals by providing them with individualized fitness plans and personalized nutrition advice.
What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?
On a daily basis I’m seeing clients for nutrition counseling and personal training, creating and updating fitness plans, blogging, and doing all of the background tasks necessary to run a successful business! Each week I also spend a few days doing diabetes education with a community program, and working at one of my local acute care hospitals. What I absolutely love about this line of work is the variety. No two days are the same!
What has been your career path?
While I was in University working on my nutrition degree I became interested in fitness and decided to get certified as a personal trainer. Throughout the rest of my University years I was already working as a personal trainer first at a local gym, and then I quickly made the move into starting my own business. When I graduated with my nutrition degree I began offering private nutrition services as part of my business, because there is such a need for good-quality nutrition advice in the fitness industry. No matter where my career takes me as an RD, having a little additional knowledge about fitness and exercise has been unbelievably beneficial.
What advanced education or special training do you have?
In addition to being an RD I also have a certification as a Personal Trainer, and my Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) designation.
In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?
5 years from now I’d love to see more people seeking out Dietitians as their trusted source of nutrition advice. I’d also love to see more Dietitians getting out there on social media showing off how awesome we are!
What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?
That we aren’t the food police! Especially being a personal trainer on top of an RD, there’s this big misconception that I don’t eat any fun foods, or that I follow some kind of crazy restrictive diet. Trust me, I’m just like everybody else! I love to cook, eat, and enjoy all of the tasty things life has to offer.
What would you like people to know about RDs?
That we only teach people about Canada’s Food Guide (CFG)! Most Private Practice Dietitians can offer so much more to our clients than just generalized nutrition information like CFG. We love creating nutrition plans that are individualized toward each client we meet. It’s our passion!
What are challenges you encounter as a RD?
The biggest challenge I think Dietitians face right now is the competition between RDs and the other nutrition practitioners out there, especially online. Whether it’s naturopaths, chiropractors, or the various holistic nutritionists, everyone thinks they are the best ones to be offering nutrition advice. Even most personal trainer are offering meal plans and nutrition advice to clients despite their lack of nutrition education. As Dietitians I think we’re always having to put out fires and clear up nutrition misinformation people have heard online or from these other folks. It’s a full-time job!
What do people think that you do for a living?
Follow people around slapping junk food out of their hands and make them do burpees until they puke.
What makes RDs unique/different from other nutrition/wellness professionals?
I’m so passionate about what Dietitians do because we understand that there is no one best diet or way of eating for everyone. We can see beyond fads and trends in wellness and dieting and truly see the client sitting in front of us and figure out what’s best for THEM. Because we all have to experience a wide variety of clinical areas as interns I think it really demonstrates the vast array of nutrition therapies we might one day need to help a patient, client, or resident optimize their health.
What is your favourite meal?
Tacos! I even have a necklace with a Taco-shaped charm in it. My partner and I also created our very own taco celebration called “The 12 Days of Tacos”, where we make a different type of tacos every day for 12 days!
I also must give an honorable mention to pizza. Can’t forget about pizza!
More about Stephanie:
Website and Blog: www.stephaniehnatiuk.com