Spotlight on: Cindy MacNeil, RD
Simply for Life, Dartmouth
Cindy is a graduate of UPEI, and has been working as a Registered Dietitian since 2012. Cindy understands that each person’s relationship with food and struggle with healthy eating is different, so she works with each client to find ways for them to reach their health and wellness goals that fit in with their personal health beliefs, lifestyle, and comprehension of nutrition. This involves sessions focused on hands-on interactive learning, development of S.M.A.R.T lifestyle goals, and food record review. She also makes personalized meal plans based on the client’s health, activity, family life, cooking skills, and tastes. Cindy’s goal with clients is to help them make healthy eating normal in their busy lives. Cindy enjoys making evidenced-based educational materials and finding creative fun ways for clients to learn about how nutrition affects their health.
What is your favorite place to find new recipes?
I love making up my own recipes, and playing with ones I find on Pinterest. I am notorious for not following the recipe 100%. I have definitely put the food chemistry aspect of my education to good use. I love baking and cooking. My fiancé and I spend a lot of time prepping meals together. We love trying new foods, flavors, and cooking techniques.
What skill or talent would you most like to have?
I have been working on developing skills in two personal hobbies, ballet, and surfing. Both are new adventures for me and I am certainly not a pro at either, but absolutely love them. I have always wanted to try them since I was a little girl. Growing up in rural Cape Breton provided me with many opportunities, but surfing or ballet was not among them. I would love to someday be able to say I am somewhat graceful at either one.
What do you love most about your job?
I LOVE helping my clients understand nutrition in fun and memorable ways. I focus on the “why”. Why is vitamin D good for bones, how does soluble fiber help with heart health, why is breakfast the MOST important meal of the day? I love making hands-on learning activities for my clients. I turn nutrition facts into games, taste tests, and science experiments for my clients to learn in unforgettable ways.
What do you look forward to each day in your job?
I love all of their questions about what they hear in the media/ social media and read online. I like giving them the full story and pulling trusted research into practice and making it matter to my clients. I look forward to helping them not only understand the facts but how to really apply them in their real lives and a meaningful way.
What is one tip you could share with future/current dietitians?
Nutrition is an amazing young science that is ever evolving and there is a lot of public interest in what is happening and new in the nutrition world. It seems everyone has a fascination with one part of our profession or another. We need to be up to the challenge and ready to offer the public trusted and reliable nutrition advice. I think dietitians have to work on communicating to the world what dietitians have to offer! We are an incredible resource that I do not believe is fully utilized by the medical system, industry, or the public.