Presenting the “Academy” of Nutrition and Dietetics

It’s no longer the ADA. It is now the “Academy” of Nutrition and Dietetics. The AND? This was just announced at the annual Food and Nutrition conference I just attended. Not sure how I feel about it yet, or even if I care, but there it is.Well, my blogging has not been very regular yet again, but do not fret, I’ve been re- inspired and renewed!  As I mentioned, I’ve just returned home from our annual national dietetic conference, this year in San Diego, and what another great conference it was. Not only did I learn new tidbits of the latest in nutrition research and trends, but I also gleaned an immense amount of knowledge from fellow entrepreneurial dietitians and fellow LEAP dietitians. What inspiration! In fact, it was almost exactly a year ago at last year’s conference in Boston that I was first inspired to start this blog. And it was only a couple months ago that I finally became a LEAP Therapist. As slow as I feel I’m moving in the world of nutrition, I realize I am making progress. Whenever I feel overwhelmed I review my “work” priorities: Number one priority is to grow my little 2-1/2 year old son. Second is to grow this little business. Given my circumstances I’m happy to see that things are actually progressing on all fronts.
Check out this growth!
Thought I’d also quickly share a few tidbits about the conference. First my gripe. Oh holy product companies. Seriously. Who let Monsanto in the exhibit hall? And Coca Cola? And  Hersheys? I know the ADA needs money, but we’ve got to figure out a way to separate ourselves from these companies. Yes, they may make some decent products here and there, but they also make a lot of crap and spend a lot of time buying favor from us and other professionals. You know why it’s bothering me the most? Because all of these companies are encouraging us to promote their “product.” It’s not food. It’s a product. A processed product. It has no business in our stomachs. Not even in moderation, as they love to tell us. I’m going to try and be more vocal about this. We’ve got to stop eating stuff in wrappers, boxes and cans and get our food from the good ol’ earth as much as possible. It’s the only way we are going to get ourselves out of this health care mess with skyrocketing levels of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and obesity. EAT REAL FOOD.

Now for the good stuff. Went to some extraordinary lectures on public health. Dr. David Kantz ( is my new hero. I recognized his name from research studies I’ve read but never thought it would be THE actual Dr. Kantz coming to present to us. Not only does this doc have a family and 5 kids, but he’s pioneered community nutrition programs, started a new labeling system for evaluating foods (, continues his contribution to published research,  writes for several popular health publications, speaks on health and nutrition globally, and still finds time for woodworking and poetry memorization, which he recited at length in his talk. When does this man sleep? Oh, and he did not read a single note during his entire 75 minute presentation. Say what? Like I said, new hero. I think my main take away from his lecture was that we have to stop taking snippets of research and running with it to the next trend or fad product. Omega-3 and Vitamin-D enriched cheetos, anyone? We have to look at our health problems from a macro prospective, taking into consideration current research, and work together to help individuals and families make healthy nutrition and lifestyle choices. That’s what it’s all about.  Please go home Coca Cola, and take all that processed garbage with you.

Another fascinating talk I went to involved more research on choline, my
new favorite micronutrient, and its effect on brain development. Specifically they did work with rat models to see if choline, which is known to be extremely important in the developing fetus brain and as well as in brain development through childhood and adolescence, could help mitigate the effects of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). What they found, basically, is that it could. Mice supplemented with choline post-natally saw improvement in cognitive function more than FASD rats that were not supplemented. Wow! Certainly not a free pass for those who abuse alcohol during pregnancy, but what potentially promising help we might be able to give kiddos who are the unfortunate recipient of  their mother’s poor choices. Even more reason to promote healthy, whole foods diets for kids to increase their intake of a wide spectrum of macro- and micronutrients.
I’m sure there is tons more I could share and bore, I mean, enlighten, you with, but I’ll stop there. This post is long enough already. But this is why I blog. I’m passionate about this stuff, and if you learn anything out of these rants and change your diet for the better, even in the smallest way, that makes me happy. Thanks for indulging me. I will post more shortly about LEAP/MRT, my test results (yes, I have them!) and my upcoming … gulp … elimination diet. The hubby will not be pleased with this. Ciao!

About Danielle VenHuizen

Registered Dietitian, Certified LEAP Therapist