What is a vegetarian?
Someone who never eats meat, fish, or poultry. There are lots of different types of vegetarians including those who just try to minimize their consumption of animal foods (semi-vegetarians) or those who avoid all animal foods entirely like milk, cheese, yogurt, gelatin and chicken broth.
Why did you decide to become a vegetarian?
I started cooking more of my own meals with my college apartment-mates and realized I was grossed out by the process of trimming and cooking chicken. My mom had pretty much taken care of it up to that point in my life, and I hadn’t made the connection in my mind between living animals and Shake and Bake chicken on my plate. At the same time I was studying nutrition and learning about the negative health effects of the standard American diet. It all came together and seemed like a sensible way to go with my diet.
How long have you been a vegetarian?
What kind of vegetarian are you?
While I don’t really fit into any category perfectly, my day-to-day diet is closest to a lacto-vegetarian. (Officially, a lacto-vegetarian includes dairy but no eggs, meat, fish, or poultry.) I don’t eat meat or fish, of course, but I do include cheese. We choose soy mik instead of cow’s milk and I very rarely eat eggs or butter, but sometimes include them in baking.
Is your husband a vegetarian too?
Yes, and I feel very grateful. When I came home and told him everything I was learning about nutrition in the early 1990s, he made the choice right along with me. He will occasionally eat fish when we go out, which works out nicely. We don’t have any of it in the house but he gets to enjoy one of the animal foods that offers health benefits.
What is an RD or RDN?
An RD is a Registered Dietitian and an RDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. They’re different names for the same thing. RDNs are considered the experts on food and nutrition. They must meet educational and professional requirements and then take a registration exam to use the credential. If you’re familiar with RNs, or Registered Nurses, it’s very similar. You can learn more about the profession from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
What is a CDE?
A CDE is a Certified Diabetes Educator. It is a certification that health professionals can get which signifies that they have passed a diabetes-specific exam or accrued diabetes-specific continuing education. You can learn more about the certification from the National Certification Board of Diabetes Educators.
Do you practice what you preach?
Most definitely. I think to be credible you have to. However, a good friend said she knew right away when we met that we’d get along because I was a dietitian who liked cotton candy. I would say our breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are balanced and nutrient-rich, but that we occasionally like to splurge with treats and snacks.
Do you give workshops or talks?
For sure. I’ve spoken to local businesses, support groups, college classes, government agencies, and church groups. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.
Do you offer nutrition counseling to individuals?
Not any more. But, I’m happy to answer questions via email and you might find general answers to vegetarian and nutrition questions on this site. You can also use the Find a Registered Dietitian Tool at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics site to see if someone in your area offers one-on-one counseling.
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