Heidi Moretti, MS, RD
THE HEALTHY RD
for something nutrishus
Having been an RD for 20 years and still going strong, Heidi was eager to share her career story with you. Many dietitians have started blogs (or recently podcasts) to share their expertise and passion, for Heidi that has been a focus on supplements. Her interest in research and functional medicine also shows her passion for helping people feel better.
Why did you become an RD?
Health is everything. My grandma fell ill when I was 14 and I was very close to her. She painfully died of cancer when I was 14, and even back then, I realized more could be done to keep her healthy. At the time, though, I didn’t have the tools!
I have overcome health problems — many. I was always the person looking at my own symptoms and trying to find a food plan, supplement or natural therapy that could help me or a diet change that could help me. I often found answers in food and plants when I wasn’t getting the answers in the doctor’s office. Knowledge is power, and with that knowledge, we change the trajectory of health.
What area if dietetics do you work in?
I work in clinical practice and I started a nutrition blog primarily about supplements and food trends almost two years ago. I feel that the public and even colleagues are confused about supplements. One of my favorite things to do is comb PubMed to find the scientific basis for use and risks of supplements! From there, I write blogs on various supplement and health trends.
How would you explain what you do?
I’m very busy! I’ve never lost the passion for the healing power of nutrition, so when I’m not helping a patient get empowered to make health changes, I’m writing about it on my blog.
What are your typical daily/weekly tasks?
I work full-time at the hospital in cardiology and mental health areas. In my spare time, I blog and write about supplements and food patterns.
What has been your career path?
I have worked for 20 years in the hospital setting and I also have conducted clinical research throughout my career.
What advanced education or special training do you have?
I have a Master of Science in Nutritional Science and am pursuing functional medicine certification through the Institute for Functional Medicine.
In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?
Dietitians will play a central role in reducing the healthcare burdens we have today. There will be more of us and we will have more functional medicine training. I believe all RDs should have a component of research training to help them discern the nutrition field.
What misinformation would you like to clear up?
Nutrition deficiencies are VERY common due to drug-nutrient depletion, inadequate diets, and in the case of vitamin D, lack of sun. We live in a nutrient-poor, calorie-rich environment. High-quality supplements can and should be used as an adjunct to eating a good diet with dietitian guidance.
What are the challenges you encounter as an RD?
A challenge I think we all face: the public feels that their doctors are trained in nutrition when that is often not the case. By collaborating with doctors and making our knowledge shine, I believe this will change.
What are you passionate about in dietetics?
I am passionate about helping people heal. Drugs often make patients feel bad from side effects, but the right foods and supplements can make a person feel tremendously better! That is very empowering.
What tips would you give to our readers?
People don’t always see functional and integrative medicine as compatible with conventional medicine, even in the medical field. You would think I would meet resistance, but I have not. Most doctors are very reasonable if you present them with convincing research.
I think most docs really are fed up with the current systems as well and want to do everything that they can to help a patient feel well. Payer systems don’t always support this, but I know this is why they do what they do. They want to help people. Work closely with your docs to develop a working relationship that supports the best healing.
We are also changing the way we think about medicine, as stated by Dr. Frieden from the CDC: “we need actionable data.” This means, as practitioners, we can feel empowered to use the best evidence, as long as there is little or no risk, to move forward with applying research instead of waiting 30 years.
What is your favorite meal?
This is a tough one! Variety is most important to my palate; I easily tire of repetition in my diet. Tacos are important to me and so is cobb salad.
More about Heidi:
Blog: The Healthy RD
Facebook: The Healthy RD
Pinterest: The Healthy RD
Google+: Heidi Moretti
Website: The Healthy RD