Hello fellow Sodexo interns! My name is Katie and I am an intern in region 4. For my concentration, I choose to spend it in functional and integrative nutrition. I got super lucky in finding my preceptor, who was semi-local to me. She started her career as a registered dietitian, but then went on to become a medical doctor. She now owns her own integrative private practice and maintains her credentials as both a medical doctor and a registered dietitian.
During my time with my preceptor, she had partnered with another integrative practitioner, and they were running a 6-week comprehensive elimination diet program for their patients. My preceptor was doing a plant-based version, while the other practitioner was incorporating animal-protein into her version of the elimination diet. The comprehensive elimination diet required participants to eliminate all major allergens and inflammatory foods from their diets. They restricted those foods for 3 weeks, and then began the process of reintroducing those foods they had eliminated. The ultimate goal of this experience was to not only identify what foods may be bothering them, but to also allow the gut to heal itself to potentially resolve symptoms that participants could have been experiencing in relation to over-all inflammation or leaky gut.
The majority of my time during this rotation was spent meeting with participants of the comprehensive elimination diet program either over the phone or via zoom to conduct nutrition assessments and address any nutrition needs. Since my preceptor was leading a plant-based version of the elimination diet, a lot of her participants were concerned about their protein needs. I would begin by meeting with participants to conduct a 24-hour diet recall and ask if they had any other nutritional concerns or questions. I would calculate their macros and total calorie intake for the day. Then I would meet with my preceptor twice a week to review all the people that I had met with. We would discuss recommendations based on the person’s macro results and I would bring up any additional nutritional concerns that the individual had. After that, I would schedule a follow-up appointment with each participant to review the recommendations and conduct any nutrition education required. A lot of the nutritional education that I conducted was on how to incorporate more protein and how to maximize your nutrients in the morning. One way that we talked about a lot was smoothies and what to add into a smoothie to make it nutrient dense.
While this was the major project that I worked on, it was also my favorite. I loved being able to meet with people one-on-one and have that sense of independence while also knowing I had the support of my preceptor who was always able to offer a wealth of knowledge. This rotation was able to open my eyes to a whole other realm of dietetics and I loved every minute of it. I am so thankful to have had such an amazing preceptor on this journey!!