Unless you've spoken with a dietitian before, you probably think you don't need to. šWe all know that eating healthy can be a bit of a chore, but even if you think you're getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals, and that your biweekly pizza addiction doesn't have that much of an impact, a dietician might say otherwise. I thought all of these things too, until I visited the Queen's dietitian on campus the other week and learned that there are certain things I could be doing better. 

If you've ever wondered if your eating habits are on the right track, visiting a dietitian is a great way to get those questions answered. Jessica Bertrand is Queen's University's new dietitian, and I would highly recommend booking an appointment with her. It's free for all Queen's students, even those not in residence. 

You might be wondering—what is a dietitian? According to the Dietitians of Canada, a dietitian is someone trained to give advice on diet, nutrition, and exercise. As opposed to nutritionists, dietitians are regulated health professionals. That means that their advice is trustworthy and based on research.

Queen's University makes it easy for students to access these resources since Jessica is a registered dietitian on staff. I decided to book an appointment through the university because I've been worried about maintaining my iron and protein levels.

When I attended my meeting, Jessica asked a lot of great questions about my diet, exercise, and eating habits. We looked at the nutrients in my everyday food and whether or not I was meeting those pesky protein and iron minimums.

The great thing about the Queen's dietitian is that Jessica's job involves a lot of collaboration with the meal plan and dining halls. Instead of listing general foods I could be eating, Jessica was able to point to certain stations or meals that are readily accessible to me through my meal plan

Before the end of the appointment, Jessica will go over your goals for the future and help you to outline what a healthy diet looks like for you. I found that the meeting was very adaptable and the fact that I'm a vegan was taken in stride. I was also given some charts and lists to help me stay on track.

I learned a lot from that appointment, like how soy milk has more nutrients in it than almond milk, and that Leonard Dining Hall has vegan pizza on Wednesdays! It was also very comforting to hear that my daily diet had a decent amount of nutrients in it.

So, why should you book an appointment see the Queen's dietitian? If you have allergies or food sensitivities, follow an alternative diet, are worried about your food's nutritional value or have any questions about your eating habits, then I would definitely encourage you to reach out.

At the end of the day, your health is one of the most important things to maintain. If you have any questions or concerns about the things you're eating, it's always helpful to get a second opinion.

If you're interested in booking an appointment with the Queen's dietitian, you can fill out the form here and someone will reach out to you. Stay healthy, Gaels!