It is with excitement that we welcome Lisa Podlecki, a Registered Dietitian to our practice! I first came to know Lisa through running as we share the same running coach. Lisa is also a regular contributor to the Running Room magazine. What impressed me is her wide experience, having expertise in managing many medical conditions. As well, Lisa’s passion in athletic performance and nutrition led her to successfully complete the International Olympic Committee Diploma in Sports Nutrition. This places her at the forefront of expertise in Sports Nutrition and Performance.
As a Physiotherapist who works upwards of 10+ hours a day plus the training that occurs either before or after a long day of work, I know personally how proper fueling is key if I am to be successful for work and for sport. Also, for many of our patients, musculoskeletal conditions are but a tip of the iceberg when it comes to their health. Many struggle with pre-existing conditions like diabetes, hypertension, collitis and hyperlipidemia and the resulting side effects from the use of medications that treat these conditions affect a patient’s ability to move, to exercise and to have sufficient energy for cardiovascular and strength training that is vital for musculoskeletal rehab. So, as Physiotherapists we are often asked if and how a specific diet or supplement plan can assist with their recovery. For questions, like these, I can now refer my patients to Lisa.
What impresses me as well about the work of Dietitians is their emphasis on empirical evidence and peer reviewed research to inform their practise, just like a good Physiotherapist. As you know, the world of food and nutrition is fraught with fads, celebrity diets and slick marketing, most of which are not based on science and are effective mostly at emptying your wallet. Are supplements necessary and if so, when and which ones? Protein is important for muscle recovery but how much? Carbohydrates fuel sports performance but is there a difference between “good” carbs and empty calories? Registered Dietitians have an ethical obligation to use the best available research evidence to help their clients make informed choices when it comes to food.
When I say the word, “dietitian” what comes to mind? Weight loss? The food police? Sometimes guilt or worrying about making drastic changes to your diet can prevent people from seeking help. Weight control, however, is only a very small part of Lisa’s work and in fact, her passion is to work with people to create a good relationship with food and show that all foods can be part of a healthy diet. By working together as part of a team and creating realistic, sustainable and personalized goals, Lisa can help you with the following:
- Blood sugar levels with diabetes
- High cholesterol levels or blood pressure
- Gain a healthy relationship with food and their body
- Feel healthy and improve energy levels
- Periodized fueling across training cycles for athletes
- Gain muscle mass
- Manage digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome or celiac disease
- Understand nutrition needs during pregnancy
- Choose foods that will decrease inflammation as experienced in conditions such as arthritis
- Provide advice when following a vegan or vegetarian diet
So, what do sessions with Lisa look like? The first session allows Lisa to meet you, gain an understanding of your goals, your current lifestyle and the potential barriers or reasons that are hindering you from meeting your goals. This first meeting is not meant to be stressful and there will never be any judgment on Lisa’s part. It’s simply the start of a conversation to help you begin your journey towards change. Each session may end with one or two realistic goals that you can work towards until the next session. Follow up sessions will help answer any questions you may have, cover new topics and uncover obstacles to achieving your previous goals.
Many insurance companies or extended health care plans now cover dietitian services. Check with yours to see how much yours may cover. As well, during this current global pandemic, the best part of this service is that it can all be done online via Telehealth, in the comfort, convenience and safety of your own home.
Welcome Lisa, to our practice! We look forward to our collaboration together as health care professionals to help our patients live, play, work and thrive!
Submitted by Lisa Podlecki and Albert Chan