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Season 4 Episode 6:

Dietitians Dish on Dietitians (Lovingly) with Shyla Cadogan

Episode Summary

Episode 6: Dietitians Dish on Dietitians (lovingly) with Shyla Cadogan

A radical overhaul is needed in the dietetics field. Shyla Cadogan, RD, LDN, a recent University of Maryland graduate and fresh dietitian joins Michelle to discuss the evolving role of dietitians in public and digital spaces, challenging the normalization of processed foods, and the importance of a balanced, individualized approach to nutrition.

 

Tune in to hear:

  • Shyla's education journey in dietetics and her personal evolution away from veganism [6:16]
  • Why nutrition information can be so confusing for the average consumer [17:48]
  • Are dietitians promoting evidence based guidance or just opinions based on their personal experience? [18:35]
  • Examination of diet culture vs. anti-diet culture and their impacts on nutrition professionals and clients [20:14]
  • The role of personal experiences in shaping dietitians‚Äô professional perspectives and biases [24:07]
  • How food freedom messaging can do a disservice to those with chronic illness [26:09]
  • Is teaching intuitive eating in the scope for dietitians or psychologists? [27:52]
  • The influence of clinical settings on dietetic practice [39:11]
  • Exploration of food accessibility, socioeconomic factors, and their influence on dietary choices [48:13]
  • The impact of food marketing and corporate interests on dietary recommendations and public health [55:02]
  • Why it‚Äôs imperative for dietitians to consistently expand and continue their education¬† [58:13]
  • The potential harms of nutrition recommendations on social media based on subjective experience [59:34]
  • Shyla and Michelle‚Äôs number one controversial nutrition opinions [1:05:06]

 

Shyla's Resources:

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Transcript 

 

Dietitians Dish on Dietitians (Lovingly) with Shyla Cadogan

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:01:18]:
Welcome to the pod. I can't wait to explore the magic of functional nutrition and medicine together. We have such a special episode for you today. I am bringing on my dear friend. Shyla, who you may know her on Instagram as healthy shyla.

Michelle Shapiro [00:01:23]:
And we are going to be talking about all things dietetics, talking about our actual experience through the dietetics kind of pathways of school and careers, as well as what we've seen that matched up with our expectations and didn't match up with our expectations during the degree and professionally. What's that kind of landscape around the hundred thousand dietitians, and what we're seeing primarily on social media and the experience that all of you are having as consumers of that.

Michelle Shapiro [00:01:55]:
I am a dietitian. I truly love being a dietitian. And throughout this episode, we are going.To be talking about really different subsets of dietitians and how they practice. It is not to say that we do not respect and love our dietitian comrades, we certainly do.

Michelle Shapiro [00:02:12]:
But when there's something that needs to be called out within our community, within just the healthcare space in general, Shyla is one of the first people who is willing to do it, and she is new to this career, but she is not new to being an advocate, not new to being vocal. And she doesn't seem to be new to public speaking either, because she's truly incredible.

Michelle Shapiro [00:02:35]:
Throughout my career as a dietitian, I've had so many mentors that have formed and changed the way that I practice.And change the way that I view the world.

And although Shyla is again, new and fresh in this career, the insights she has have been so valuable to the rest of us that in so many. ways, it's almost like Shyla is mentoring us as well. I cannot wait for you to listen to this episode and just some housekeeping things to keep in mind in the back of your head while you're listening. We love being dietitians.

Michelle Shapiro [00:03:08]:
We definitely talk about, again, how some of these things did not meet our expectations throughout our career with what we thought we were getting into in ways of wellness versus hospital work. But keep in mind, underneath all of this, we know that every single healthcare professional of all kinds, and especially dietitians, come into this career with the highest level of integrity and intention to help people in whatever way they think they can.

And I think what we're seeing a lot now is that people believe they can only help people in a more limited way, that it has to be kind of within the model of, hey, don't shame people for their food choices and make sure that everyone doesn't feel shamed. And I feel that it's become self limiting for dietitians who want to provide really good nutrition information. So if you're as confused as w are for what we're seeing on social media, then you are going to love this episode.

Michelle Shapiro [00:04:06]:
And let me tell you about our amazing, incredible guest today, Shyla. She is again, so profound, so intentional.

Michelle Shapiro [00:04:15]:
With everything she says. We started following each other on social media, and I've never agreed with someone more in my life.I am so excited about what she is bringing to this nutrition space, what she can bring to all of you listeners or anyone who, again, wants really fair, really middle ground content. Shyla is your girl. I have to let you know that Shyla also has an upcoming webinar that is going to be really about all those nutrition must knows and what we all can kind of agree on know to be true and then kind of giving us the down low on a lot of those more polarizing trends that we see, like the carnivore diet, the vegan diet, seed oils, hormone trends. Shyla is the ultimate decipherer of this information, and I know you are going to love this episode. I just had to give a little bit of a prereq about our dishing on dietitians who we love, and we are so excited to see you in there.

 Michelle Shapiro [00:05:07]:

The hardest challenge of this episode is going to be to control the passion that's going to come out of both of our mouths during the episode. 100%. And I do have concerns about that.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:05:33]:

Of course, I've had plenty, and I've been preparing.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:05:36]:

So you've been looking in the mirror and trying to taper your emotions for this episode.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:05:42]:

That's all there is to it.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:05:43]:

Well, so I can't believe we're here in person. We've been obsessively posting each other's everything on instagram. Shyla, I can't believe I'm so excited to have you on quite the diet. I'm so happy you're here.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:05:53]:

I'm so happy to be here. Healthy Shyla is a Michelle Shapiro Stan account, so this is very legit right now.

 

Please introduce yourself, including your professional journey

Michelle Shapiro [00:06:00]:

Olivia and I don't even have accounts outside of sending each other your posts. So please, Shyla, introduce yourself. First, I want to hear about kind of your professional journey, and then I want to hear about how you landed in this specific thought space that you're in right now as a dietitian.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:06:16]:

Yes. So professionally, I went to University of Maryland, College Park. I am very fresh out. I graduated almost two years ago next month, and then I did my dietetic internship last year. University of Maryland Medical center. Huge hospital, 800 beds, very rigorous experience. And I took my exam in June, and my one year will be this June of being an RD. And I'm so incredibly excited about it.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:06:43]:

I hit the ground running, I feel.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:06:45]:

You sure did.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:06:46]:

And I've just been so excited and passionate, and I'm just excited to see where it goes. Like, it hasn't even been a year yet. And I feel like I've accomplished a lot.

 

What are the social stratifications within the dietetics world?

Michelle Shapiro [00:06:53]:

I think you have accomplished so much. So this is really interesting in the dietician world for people who are not dietitians. I'll tell you, you gave some kind of qualifiers during it that were really interesting. Like you said, I was at an 800 bed hospital because within the dietician world, there's kind of stratifying factors of, like, a person who works at a larger facility probably has more robust experience or has more experience with complex cases. So there's a lot in the world of dietetics that we have judgment over this type of practitioner. There's a lot of hierarchy. And I want to talk about the social stratifications within the dietetics world with you.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:07:33]:

That's very, very real. But before how I kind of got into this. Thoughts, please? I can't tell you how I got into dietetics because I don't quite remember. I changed my major three times. Did you? Yeah. And I think it's because I was vegan at the time in college, and I was like, wait, nutrition's kind of cool. Okay. And so I think it just became a dietetics major.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:07:57]:

And so I was like, okay, let's see where this goes. Didn't know anything about an internship, nothing. I was like, okay, great. And so I kind of threw myself in and then essentially I fell into some sort of extremism when it came to veganism. And so then that started to lift it as I started studying nutrition. And then I stopped being vegan three years ago. I was vegan for six years and vegetarian for a year and a half. And I kind of went on the opposite end.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:08:26]:

You know, it, you love it. And so meat. And then I was like, okay, no. And that didn't last long at all. And then I kind of just started to center out and I just zoomed out. And that's what I wish. That is my central message. I just want everyone to zoom out, like.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:08:42]:

And so that's kind of what I did and how I came to my thought process of, we cannot teach nutrition. We can't learn nutrition from our own lens. We are not everyone. And so that's what I carry now into practice.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:08:57]:

So it's interesting because I found that my dietetics degree, so we have a ten year gap in age and in schooling. So when I went to school to be a dietitian, I was vegan too. I was vegan for like twelve years or something. We have a very, very similar timeline. Like, I stopped being vegan the same year that you stopped being vegan, basically. But in school at the time, it was very positive to be vegan and vegetarian within the schooling. It was like actually the most heart healthy, best for diabetes, best diet ever. And there was a big like turn your nose up experience of being vegan at the time.

 

Did your program promote the vegan diet?

Michelle Shapiro [00:09:30]:

It felt very snobby to be vegan and it was like very accepted. Did you find that was not the case in your dietetic schooling where you started to open up your mind? Was it being promoted as the healthiest diet ever?

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:09:41]:

I would say no. I feel like my program didn't really promote diets, really. I think it was more plant forward talk, but it wasn't like, oh, vegan is amazing, but I will call myself out. I thought vegan was amazing. I was vegan and it was everybody's problem I was written about in the Baltimore sun. It was very legit.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:10:04]:

What was the article about?

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:10:06]:

Vegan teen. I don't even remember what I did. Goodbye, shyla, you know, I just. I was in it. Okay. So I held that attitude for sure. And so I definitely had to have a self talk discussion moment with myself and had an identity crisis when I stopped being vegan, for sure. But I think it was necessary for the growth 100%.

 

Did you feel like you were judged at all for not being vegan anymore?

Michelle Shapiro [00:10:30]:

Did you? So, first of all, I completely agree that veganism can be so wrapped up in our identity, and people can also feel like they're leaving a community and their identity when they stop eating vegan food. Did you feel like you were judged at all for not being vegan anymore after your identity was wrapped up in it? Did you feel like people were excited you were eating meat again? What was your transition into meat like?

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:10:52]:

To this day, I still have people that I haven't seen since high school. Oh, are you still vegan? No. They're like. Like, they're shocked. Utterly shocked. I feel like people were. Honestly, I think people were kind of, I don't know, happy or indifferent that I started eating meat because I was so intense about it. I had.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:11:10]:

There's a few people that I feel like I don't talk to anymore, but if I. If I told them that I wasn't vegan anymore, I'd be on their list for sure. They're. They're hit lists. But, you know, for. My mom is very happy. My family's like, great.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:11:24]:

Yeah, you can eat with us again. This is great.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:11:26]:

Literally. And I just feel good. Like, I just do. And it's just always funny, though. Cause then there are some vegans, especially online, they'll try and lecture you, and it's like, I was you. I've been there. Every argument that I used in 2016, you're using, so you don't have to.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:11:39]:

Preach to me 100%. You're like, I know the whole you're consuming flesh situation. Like, it's. There's.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:11:45]:

Enjoy your rotting flesh.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:11:47]:

Exactly. There's so much. There's, like, taglines. And that's a lot of, I think the conversation we're having, and you and I always have, is that the societal perception of nutrition and the. I'm not calling it propaganda, but I'm kind of calling it propaganda that we even ourselves feed into. I get really excited when I see a practitioner like yourself, who's pulled back from all of it and is making decisions based on their actual health and can really unlearn a lot of what we hear in the social space. But also just, like, literally in school, we have to unlearn some stuff, too.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:12:21]:

We do. I feel like I've lived many nutrition lives, I like to say. And I also think a lot of what I know is from my experience, but also not, like you said, on learning in school? A lot of what I know is not from school at all. It's stuff that I learned on my own, through experience, through just reading, learning from. Honestly, not even people that are dietitians, like, just think there's so much to gain from beyond our education.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:12:48]:

Absolutely. I would say most of the work that I do with clients is actually outside of the education that I learned. I would, I would say literally most, actually. And there are many nutrition professionals much like yourself, that I trust as much, if not more than dietitians, which is a very controversial statement.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:13:10]:

Extremely.

 

Are RDs the only nutrition experts?

Michelle Shapiro [00:13:11]:

Tell me about your experience in school. One specific avenue I want to explore with you is I found that in school there was this phrase, rds are the only nutrition expert. Was that similar to the experience you had where it was constantly said, you know, we only want people going to dietitians for nutrition information. Tell me your take on that and your experience.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:13:30]:

I'm so grateful for my program because really, they didn't make any, like, strong statements about really anything, which I really appreciated in learning. But internship afterwards, it was definitely, you're the nutrition expert, you're the nutrition professional, which obviously feels good, you know, feels great. And, you know, generally speaking, a dietitian will know more than the average person.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:13:53]:

Sure.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:13:54]:

But I definitely think to say that we're the only is really flawed.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:14:00]:

Yeah, I think it's.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:14:00]:

I do. I mean, I've learned so much from phds in nutrition. I've learned so much from people who have degrees in something else.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:14:08]:

Absolutely.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:14:09]:

Like, you know what I mean? Something else health related or science related or something. Just researchers. There's just so much to learn beyond our field, and I think our curriculum in itself is quite limited, and so. And you have to keep up. Nutrition's not something that you can really stay stagnant in as far as information goes. And I just find that our practice doesn't really keep up. And so if you don't keep up, you don't learn, you'll fall behind.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:14:35]:

Yeah, basically. So there's a perception of dietitians. For people who are listening, who don't know this, there's a perception that dietitians are only hospitalists, that dietitians are clinical exclusively, and that they don't have their finger on the pulse of wellness. I have seen that before. By the way, why do you believe that sometimes dietitians can be lagging a little bit in the information that they have.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:15:00]:

So I think especially on social media and things like that, a lot of people didn't really know who dietitians were. I feel like as much as they do now. Like the last five years, we built up such a social media presence, and we're just in the media a lot more. So I think a lot of people know who we are, but with that, in learning of us from social media, they don't know that. Most dietitians are in the hospital, they're doing tube feedings. They're feeding people through iv's. Like, they're not really educating people on nutrition beyond maybe the random heart health, five minute education. Someone at the bedside, they're not following people's progress and seeing if they're making tangible changes.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:15:39]:

It's just not like that. So I think a lot of dietitians being in that career path, that inherently will just. That will inherently be part of why, because they're not using those skill sets in their day to day. And because if that's what you're interested in and that's what you're working in, you're not really going to look elsewhere for your education and learn a different way.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:16:00]:

And they're also probably quite tired because they're in the hospital during the day, which is already a stressful environment. And I believe that dietitians are quite bound by the not really the Academy of nutrition Dietetics, but in the hospitals, there's something called the nutrition Care manual, which you still use in hospitals, right? So there's certain handouts that you can use, certain ones you can recommend, for instance, in a hospital for a heart healthy diet, they would still be recommending low fat and low sodium. And the reason is that by the time something is approved to go through, like, new science to go through a hospital, it could be 20 to 40 years, essentially. I think that's what studies show for when we kind of accept something as consensus. By the time it actually gets through to the hospitals, it is delayed because they have to be very sure of the science, so to speak.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:16:47]:

Exactly. So it's like the nutrition care manual. If you get a consult and you're like, hey, I've got to do this. Kidney health, nutrition education for chronic kidney disease. You've got to print out that sheet from the nutrition care manual. That's your reference that's given to you that you're expected to use and what you're expected to educate on. You know, even if in a hospital, you're interested in bringing a little more nuance in the conversation. You're pretty cut off.

 

Are dietitians promoting evidence based guidance or just opinions based on their personal experience?

Michelle Shapiro [00:17:14]:

You are bound to that. So I would say in the nutrition social media world, and even with the academy nutrition and dietetics, the one thing that dietitians do not have is a consensus. So it's really confusing to people because some dietitians online can post information and say, you have to have a vegan diet or you have to eat a paleo diet, or you have to not diet at all. And you need to be body positive and or you need this because people, two different dietitians, can post exactly opposing information because we don't have that consensus. Can you speak into that a little bit?

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:17:48]:

Yes. As a dietitian, on social media especially, you could follow five of them. Three of them say one thing, the other two say the complete opposite things. And for the average consumer that's looking for nutrition and education and is following, dietitians get multiple trains of thought, it can be confusing. And I think part of the reason, though, that we have such opposing views is a nutrition science is just a lot, and there is no consensus in that either. But I think the other part of it is that so many dietitians are passionate about what they talk about and being a dietitian because of their own personal experiences. So they will teach from that. And that is one of the surest ways to have so many different points of view.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:18:35]:

If part of why you're a dietitian and part of what you're saying is so personal to you.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:18:40]:

Absolutely. So I see also, I love that you use the word passion, because it truly is. For instance, if you and I ate a vegan diet, we were like, we feel freaking amazing. But after, there's a timeframe with vegan diets where you stop feeling so amazing. And I'm sure. Exactly. So then both of us were like, huh, five years in, six years in, we're like, wait a second. And then you start eating a tremendous amount of meat, you're getting all those nutrients.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:19:02]:

You're like, this is amazing.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:19:04]:

Surcharged.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:19:04]:

After eating a steak, you're feeling like a million in bucks. You had that steak. And then I think we not only witness the experience in ourselves, but we're witnessing it in other people. So in my ten years of experience as a dietitian, I'm watching patterns happen with clients, right? So I'm like, oh, if people eat these foods, they generally feel better. If they. It's really, there's no better scientific experiment than working with clients weekly because you are literally watching these changes happen. So if I watch someone, let's say they did go to a body positive dietitian, a health at every size dietitian, and they came to me super sick because that does happen sometimes. And then I see them getting better.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:19:44]:

I'm going to be really passionate about the work that I'm doing. So I can be, as everyone can be quite biased in approach because those body positive dietitians, those health at every size dietitians also see people experiencing food freedom and more body confidence. So everyone thinks it's kind of the right path, is their path.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:20:05]:

Exactly, exactly. It's so prevalent on social media, you can just tell when it's like a huge passion project.

 

What is your theory about diet culture, anti diet culture, and the intuitive eating movement?

Michelle Shapiro [00:20:14]:

So you have a very interesting and controversial, I think, take that. Diet culture and anti diet culture and the intuitive eating movement have similar roots because of their specific narrow minded view. Tell us the Shyla theory on that.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:20:34]:

The Shyla theory is as so, so diet culture as we know is extreme. It's something that I think we should all be against. I really do. Of course, hopefully that's not controversial. Not on this podcast, you know, like that's telling us to be so slim and telling us to eat the least amount of things possible. All of fat, just all of the trend fad things that come with just like wanting to beef in and diet eat.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:20:59]:

Exactly.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:21:00]:

But, and that's an extreme view, as I said, but being anti diet has turned into this huge extremity in the opposite direction. I think it started out as something good anti diet culture, which I am so for. Come on, like, don't get it twisted. But it also has turned into this go be free. Like, eat these things, it's fine. And so there's so many nutrition professionals that are coming on the Internet and they're just filming themselves biting into cookies and cakes and pizzas all the time. It's okay. As the only caption, I'm kidding.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:21:37]:

But you know what I mean? It's just like, eat this, it's fine. That's going to confuse the general public. If your core message is to be anti diet culture, that's one thing. But if you're posting, eat all of these things, do all of these things, it's fine. That's not the message that you're sending, even if you want to send that message, you know what I mean? Because you can be anti diet culture and really don't eat a lot of ultra processed food. You know what I mean? You could still do that.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:22:09]:

Absolutely.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:22:09]:

And it seems like it's a prerequisite to be anti diet culture to have such a loose attitude when it comes to what you eat. And it's promoted shame towards people who don't want to eat those foods. And I feel like it's coming into this additional dogmatic thing that they're trying to go away from. And I just, I can't prescribe to that idea at all. Absolutely. Like, I just can't.

 

What is your theory about intuitive eating professionals and old school diet culture?

Michelle Shapiro [00:22:33]:

So you have this also within this, the Shyla theory is this radical idea that a lot of the intuitive eating professionals are actually old school diet culture kind of people who maybe felt most prey to diet culture and are now saying, you know what? My main nutritional issue is that I have an eating disorder. I have a poor relationship with food, but they never had the experience of having chronic illness or any other condition. Go deeper into the Shyla theory on that, that it's like kind of the same people tell me the caricature of that person happily, Michelle.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:23:08]:

So I feel like what I've noticed, especially as a young one, I'm coming in. I'm just observing. I'm quite the observer. A lot of dietitians just noticed offline, I've noticed online around, you know, middle aged ish, something like that.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:23:25]:

And so mid thirties, forties.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:23:27]:

Yeah. So, you know, they were teenagers. They were preteens when that early two thousands, diet culture was coming in strong, you know what I mean? And so they, a lot of them, I feel like, and they post about it. So I know they were victims of that. And, like, it was real and it was scary and it was harmful and I can't even imagine. And we still see variations of that stuff today, of course. But I think, you know, they used that experience that kind of propelled them into the field of dietetics. And they've gained a media presence and they see people still promoting those types of messages and so they get passionate about dismantling them.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:24:07]:

But I do think we have a duty as nutrition professionals to keep it professional, if that makes sense. Totally. There is a line between, you know, using your personal experience to enhance your practice and experience, but also not letting it take it over, if that makes sense, letting us ignore things that we know objectively to be true. And I find that to be the blur.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:24:32]:

Yeah. So you're saying basically, even though in every episode of Amuls talked about this, because it really triggered me. I did an episode with Nikki on this and I saw a dietitian drinking a frappuccino. And in it, it was like a 70 grams strike. I looked it up after. It was like 70 75 grams of sugar. And she said, this frappuccino healed my relationship with food. And I always have to think, and I know you think about this, too, Shyla, who was receiving this message right? And who is this message right for? I think the prevalence of eating disorders is around 10% of the country suffers from some sort of eating disorder, which, as we talk about on every single episode of this podcast, they can be life threatening, they are immediately necessary to treat, absolutely cannot dismiss.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:25:16]:

And then those who suffer from some level of disordered eating, it's probably, I think the numbers they say are like, between 30 and 50% of women specifically suffer from some sort of disordered eating or having an unpleasant kind of relationship with food. And then when we look at people who are chronically ill, we're looking at close to 60% of the population is suffering from at least one kind of chronic illness. So the question is, like, what about the person who has disordered eating, but also has some sort of chronic illness? When you're seeing the people who are promoting, you only have to focus on your relationship with food. You can't wanna lose weight. Is there like, a prototype of that person you're seeing? Do you think there are people who just haven't experienced chronic illness before, or they don't believe you can heal from chronic illness? What's your take on that?

 

What is the prototype of the person you're seeing within disordered eating and chronic illness?

Shyla Cadogan [00:26:00]:

I think people that are saying those messages the most are people who have not struggled with chronic illness, but they have struggled with an eating disorder.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:26:09]:

So from. You believe that, from their worldview, they believe that the most important and only important thing you can work on nutritionally is your relationship with food?

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:26:18]:

Yes, I think a lot of them, maybe not even just only, but coming before everything else. And I will say that a lot of people who are battling with chronic illness, they might find that they need to correct that through some means that may not be healthy or sustainable in the long term. But I think we hone in on relationship with food so incredibly hard and to a point where it trumps other things. And I think as dietitians, especially given that some of the largest voices of nutrition in the dietetic space on social media, our food freedom, our intuitive eating, I think in some ways, it does a disservice to most people which have chronic illness.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:27:04]:

Yeah, I would say so, too. And I think that where it's left, people is feeling really afraid to say that they want to lose weight and really afraid to say, I want to make this health change. Nikki and I, in an upcoming episode, actually talk about how people started changing the way they would write into our applications and be like, I want to have a better relationship with food, but also become smaller because they're scared to say to a dietitian that they want to lose weight. Because I have seen so many clients who have gone to health at every size. Practitioners who, again, health at every size should, is a political movement. It's not a nutritional, a clinical nutrition framework. And I don't know how it trickled into one, but they've gone to those practitioners and said they wanted to lose weight, and they said that's the. A disordered way of thinking.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:27:52]:

You're not actually allowed to think like that. And I will not help anyone pursue weight loss in any capacity. But they were hiring a nutritionist. So my question is, and what I, I want us to explore is, where's the scope of dietitians here? Because if you're practicing and preaching intuitive eating, isn't that really psychology and not nutrition and kind of dismissing nutritional science? What do you think about that?

 

Where's the scope of dietitians within intuitive eating and nutritional science?

Shyla Cadogan [00:28:13]:

I think, first and foremost, a lot of people are struggling with disordered eating patterns or have just a full blown eating disorder. So much of that is psychological. And if you look at eating disorder centers, inpatient, outpatient settings, they have psychologists, they have psychiatrists, they have dietitians. But it's not just dieticians, and that's for a good reason, because so much of it is mental.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:28:40]:

The dietitians, in my opinion, play not the central role in an eating disorder facility. What dietitians would do, there's a couple different roles dieticians play, and, I mean, I think they're essential everywhere they are. But what they would play in an eating disorder facility is really helping with, like, sitting and eating with people and making sure people are eating meal planning and being at meal times. But dietitians who work in eating disorder facilities will be the first to tell you that. It's, you have to defer to the psychologist and psychiatrists first because they're more on the emotional end than the nutritional end. So it's interesting that we know these conditions to be psychologically mediated, but we're trying to treat them through nutrition care and completely dismissing nutritional science.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:29:23]:

Yes. And I think that's where on social media, things just get murkier even more, and how I find it to often just not be practiced in a thoughtful way, because a lot of dietitians online, they've had eating disorders in that space, and that's their credential for working with people with them. Like, they haven't worked with people with eating disorders outside of it, you know what I mean? They've had one, so now their business is helping people with them. But a lot of them have not actually worked in those centers or been in the field with these people.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:29:59]:

Wow. Okay. What you just said is, like, mind blowing to me. And you're. And you're so right on with what you're saying. So we have this degree, and let's talk about the dietitian degree, because I'm going to lead into what you just said, because I'm going to pull a lot out of what you just said because it was so important. We have this dietitian degree, which is anywhere from six to seven years long. Now it has to be seven, basically, because you need to do a master's degree in addition to your bachelor's, and then a one year internship program.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:30:24]:

And then you take a test, basically, which is an extensive education.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:30:27]:

Yes.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:30:28]:

In our degree, Shyla, do we learn? Do we have even one entire class on intuitive eating?

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:30:34]:

No. And specifically on eating disorders? We will learn about them, but it's about it.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:30:41]:

So let's hold this idea for a second. We have a seven year degree. We're all boasting online. We are, dieticians are the only nutrition experts, the only people you can go to. We're using 0% of that degree when we're working as a food freedom person, when we're working as an intuitive eating person, make that make sense for me.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:31:00]:

I wish I could. I wish I could. Genuinely, it's a thing. Like, I. I don't feel equipped to work with people with eating disorders. I simply don't. And I've had my struggles with food as well.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:31:16]:

Sure.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:31:16]:

But I don't think that makes me equipped to help other people with it. I don't. I would need more expanded education on it, like our degree. To me, it did not set me up for that.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:31:30]:

Did it set you up for working in private practice?

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:31:33]:

No. No, it didn't.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:31:37]:

Also. No.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:31:38]:

Yeah.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:31:38]:

So again, listen, we're two dieticians. You're a new dietician. You're excited about the field. There's so much we love about being dietitians. I think there's so much about the degree that is so fantastic. And I think it gives you a really good biological chemical framework for what you can build and work on.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:31:55]:

Yeah.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:31:55]:

I don't know if you know this, but in the, like, functional medicine community, everyone is very. Has a lot of hatred towards dietitians because they're like, oh, we don't want, like the myplate dietitians. We don't want the. My pyramid. Dietitians.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:32:07]:

We don't want miss Usdi food pyramid.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:32:09]:

Exactly. Exactly.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:32:11]:

Yeah, I know.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:32:11]:

So it's, and so it's like the. But we kind. You and I kind of also feel that way, too. I don't want a dietitian who's going to necessarily give government food recommendations, because I believe that the government food recommendations will lead to illness in almost every situation. I think what people don't understand about the government food recommendations, like, like the USDA kind of like that. My plate, my pyramid is that people are actually very compliant with them. It's not that people don't eat them. When they said, eat ten servings of whole grains a day, everyone was eating ten servings of whole grains a day.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:32:44]:

When they said, stop eating red meat, everyone stopped eating red meat. And the rates of chronic illness have continued to skyrocket. Do I think it's exclusively from that? No, of course not. Of course it's many, many different factors, but I think people think, oh, we're getting the right information, we're just not doing it. And that's actually not true. I want you to your take on that, too.

 

How has the government regulations and guidelines impacted our food culture?

Shyla Cadogan [00:33:03]:

Yes, definitely. I think, I mean, we can just see it in our culture since she brought up red meat. Like, red meat is something that people are scared of. Like, people don't want to eat it. It's heart disease, it's too much fat. People, cancer, literally, it's looked down on. And it started with guidelines, really. And that has continued to just seep into our food culture and how people eat and adhere to the guidelines.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:33:28]:

It's the same thing with salt. Like, the second someone finds out their blood pressure's a little high. Oh, I gotta cut that salt out for good. Like, you know what I mean? And people will listen to them. If they know them, they will listen to them.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:33:44]:

Exactly. And dietitians are many of them who work. I want to talk about the clinical experience, too. So I also worked in. I worked clinically. Every dietician has to work clinically for some period of time. Um, usually in our internships, it'll vary between, like, like, five months, six months. You had a more probably clinically intensive internship, so you might have been in it for longer.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:34:03]:

Yeah, I was there for, like, eight.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:34:05]:

You were there for, like, eight months?

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:34:06]:

Yeah. Yeah.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:34:07]:

So when I first became a dietitian, I mean, when I first went to school to be a dietitian and like yourself, I also was a marketing degree. And then I switched to dietetics and they were like, listen, either you switch freshman year or you're never going to finish on time because it is a very regimented program and that it's like, exactly. You need extra time because you have to take this food science class this semester, then you have to take this specific class.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:34:27]:

You know, this community nutrition only offered in spring.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:34:29]:

It's only offered in spring. And it's like you have to get every single class. And so they said, you have to switch. And then when I went to school to be a dietitian, it was me being an anorexic vegan at the time who was like, I'm going to find the answers to weight loss and I'm going to tell everyone I'm vegan and cool. You know, that was my way of going into the degree. And then I found I was like, oh, most of these people work in hospitals. What? I didn't even think a dietitian would work in a hospital. We went into the degree.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:34:54]:

You know, you have such a similar personality to myself. We wanted to be in wellness. We wanted to be in private practice. I really wanted to preach veganism, much like yourself. Baltimore tea needed my soap. That's what I want. And I found out nutrition was really so much more about listening to people than preaching and so much more about someone else's experience than my own, which I hope for every practitioner. But in the degree I was very surprised at, a lot of it was learning about tube feeding and a lot about calories and very little about more about macronutrients, less about micronutrients, more about how nutritionists work in communities, how nutritionists work in food service, and found it was a lot less about working in private practice.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:35:35]:

I actually did a poll on my Instagram stories and I asked 200 dietician to answer. I said, how prepared did you feel as a registered dietitian when you left school to start seeing clients in chiropractic? Zero of them answered yes.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:35:49]:

One major barrier that I see with my clients is their ability to get comprehensive and functional lab testing.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:37:43]:

So we have this really weird thing happening because everyone who's a dietician seems to have an ego about being a dietitian. They're saying, I'm the only nutrition expert. You have to listen to me. But at the same time, they feel woefully unprepared to work with people when they're in that mindset. Tell me what you think about that and what your experience has been like.

 

What do you think about the ego amongst dieticians?

Shyla Cadogan [00:38:00]:

Definitely. I think there's a lot of reasons why dietitians carry themselves that way. I think one is that it is a female dominated field. Like, we're talking pushing 90%, 90% are women. So inherently, you feel like you have to get taken seriously. And I think the field in general does have a problem with being taken seriously. So obviously, for women, we're gonna hold our ground. So I get that.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:38:31]:

I think other parts of that is that, again, nutrition. There's so many, like, moving parts, and I think dietitians, some of them don't do the best job at making sure they're with the moving parts. Got it. And so they're saying, hey, I'm the expert here. But then people are looking at them like, well, do you know XYZ? Can we talk about XYZ? And their experience is here. You know what I mean? They're working in the hospital here, which is such a unique experience in itself. And I always say, like, the hospital. Like, living the hospital life is like a completely different life as a dietitian.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:39:11]:

Absolutely do things outside of the hospital. And so I feel like holding that view is one thing. And the other part of that, I would say, is that there's just some inter jealousy things.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:39:27]:

It's competitive within itself in a weird way that I don't really understand.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:39:31]:

It's like the knowledge Olympics. People want to have the knowledge Olympics.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:39:35]:

But you know what, Shyla, you brought up a really good point, which is that the reason why dietitians are acting like that is because they don't feel respected as a profession. And there are some very specific reasons why that is. First of all, in a clinical setting, in many states, dietitians cannot even give nutrition recommendations without a medical doctor signing off on them, which makes literally no sense, obviously. So even the only job that they have, which already feels in a lot of ways, like, they don't have flexibility or control, the one thing they can do, they can't even do. So they feel like, and they feel bound by the nutrition care manual recommendations and all these other things. So. And quite honestly, dietitians get paid a lot less than physical therapists or similar. Physical therapists have one extra year of school over dietitians now, but they get paid a lot less.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:40:27]:

And the reason I suspect, or I know is because I know people who work in hospital administration is because physical therapists can reimburse, so they make the hospital money. Dietitians just have to see people, because it's a requirement by the state that dieticians have to see people nutritionally. So it puts dietitians in this very accessory kind of role. You already have a male dominated. I'm sure that there's more male doctors than female still. I'm sure we're still working on that, even though those numbers, I'm hoping, are going to equalize. So dietitians have to assert themselves against doctors, they have to assert themselves against the public, and it puts them in a kind of backed up against the wall kind of feeling, probably.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:41:04]:

Yes, it does. And I've just noticed, like, even in my internship, like I mentioned before, was a bustling hospital and lots of moving parts. It was a teaching hospital trauma center, so lots of. Lots of brains there. And so there was a big, what, 30 dietician team there. Unbelievable.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:41:24]:

Yeah.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:41:24]:

You know, and so as a big dietitian team, who's smarter than who? You know what I mean? Like, who could do these orders better? Who has better parental nutrition orders? Like, you know, it's like this unspoken thing, very competitive. I think it kind of stifles us in some ways, honestly. Cause I think we want a lot of people to get behind us, but we need to get behind ourselves. And we are like, we don't do.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:41:52]:

We're two dieticians talking on podcasts, and I'm basically talking smack about dietitians the whole time. But I love them.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:41:56]:

Yeah, but I like us to be better.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:41:58]:

That's the idea. So, in the nursing home setting that I worked in, some people have listened to the podcast will know this about me. But the reason that I left clinic, I went into clinical dietetics because I do like the math part of it. I do like the calculations. I like seeing people in critical states. I do feel like there's parts of it that I see people in critical states and hoping to be some level of softness for them in those states. So there's some pieces of the clinical experience that I liked. I worked in nursing homes, frankly, because nursing homes paid more than hospitals and was working with Alzheimer's patients who had basically, like, multi system organ failures at that point.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:42:35]:

So, like, end stage Alzheimer's. And in my experience, I felt really frustrated within the confines of the system because I would be working with patients and I would. They would have a certain amount of weight loss, and you have to prescribe ensure when they have weight loss. The ingredients of ensure to me, like, it's like high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup solids, like soybean oil, everything that I know to be potentially inflammatory to the brain. So it felt like a real ethical issue for me. And at the same time, when you're in a clinical environment, the dieticians who are there are like, you have to be here at 07:00 a.m., very, uh, I think they feel like I've had it really unfair. Now you have to have it really unfair. And I just said I'm going to leave the system altogether because I don't work.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:43:22]:

So, like, the dietitians who work for me know, they always have flexible schedules. Like, our whole team is like, what makes people feel good is most important because I don't think that having the experience of being a dietitian should be like that because it's going to make you resentful after 20 years of kind of being, you know, people kind of pushing you a little bit and challenging you.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:43:42]:

Yeah, I noticed that in training in the hospital, like, it was. I'm having not really a good time right now working in this hospital. And I know you as an intern look up to me, your preceptor. So I'm going to make sure you know where you are and where I am.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:43:56]:

Exactly.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:43:56]:

And Howard. Yeah. And it was clear as day, and it was just like, I kind of feel bad for you, you know what I mean? But, like, I'm going to be your colleague in two months, so let's.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:44:10]:

We're going to have the same job. And by the way, even if you've been there 20 years, our pay is going to be pretty similar because the pay doesn't go up that much from dietitians. And I think they are really frustrated. They don't have a lot of power. They don't make a lot of money. So a lot of dietitians try to advocate for licensure for dietitians, which would make it so that they would be the only nutrition professional could give advice in the state. That's the goal of licensure or one of the goals. And then also dietitians can potentially get paid more.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:44:34]:

And I'm almost like, that's not the fight I want to be in. I need to leave all of that because I can't undo the system. Felt so much bigger than me that I was like, I can't do this now. You're still a clinical dietitian, so it's really interesting because there's also this big dietitian thing, and, you know, this where you have to do clinical for a year to kind of like, earn your stripes. Tell us about that.

 

Tell us about your year of clinical.

Shyla Cadogan [00:44:58]:

I definitely fell into that, that if there was one thing my. My college career taught me was, do your year of clinical, get your experience. Let's learn what we need to learn here. And I knew even in college that clinical was not gonna be for me. I knew it, and I'm in it right now, and I'm having a good time. I'm learning, of course, you know, but I think there's so much more, and I think that it's an experience to have. I don't think every single dietitian needs to do it, but I do think it's a valuable experience to have just because of how vastly different that perspective is from so many other different areas of nutrition and just getting. Being able to just explore different disease states and figure out how your care can benefit their overall care.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:45:47]:

It's just a perspective thing, I think, and how I try to approach it, but it's definitely a culture thing that's like, pushed on you and pushed on you and pushed on you. And what happens is a lot of dietitians just stay stuck in that. Yeah, they just do their year. They do 510, 1525. It's time to retire.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:46:02]:

And that wasn't. It became that they're not doing anything they thought they were doing. I have another example, too, like my best friend Dan, who I begged to come on the podcast, but he just doesn't care, doesn't want to come on, whatever. I love him, but he's just not coming on. It's just too. It's too bad for me. Dan works specifically for a company that sells. He's a CNSC, so he does nutrition support specialists, which means that he works with tube feedings and he works with peripheral parenteral nutrition.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:46:26]:

So basically, for people who are new to this information, it's like you would be calculating the exact protein, carbs, electrolytes that go into any kind of nutrition that is not taken orally, essentially tube feedings or through an iv. Dan was working in hospitals doing this, and I do think it's a very specialized and fascinating degree. But what is crazy about Dan's experience is he now works for a company that basically has real food versions for tube feedings. Yeah. So they have. There's one company, and they will literally use. I can't name the company because he's switching companies, but basically they'll use, like, turkey and sweet potatoes and the tube feedings, which is so incredible, because even if someone's getting a tube directly into their digestive tract, they can still have an aftertaste in their mouth. So if you're having those kind of chemical laden foods, you know you're still going to taste it.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:47:18]:

And if you already can, of the.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:47:19]:

Joy of food, it's such a pleasure to have that. Also, it's real food, which is amazing. Dan sells these blends to hospitals, and he gets Shyla crazy feedback from dietitians who say, listen, food isn't sterile. We can't use real food in the tube feedings. It's not sterile. So this brings us to a different part of the conversation, which is that ensure, and for people who are hearing me say this because of my accent, e n s u r e, we've seen it, like, boost or ensure those nutritional shakes you can even buy in stores. There's so much marketing work that these companies do to make themselves seem like the only option, not only in hospitals, but outside of hospitals that ensure and boost are now viewed as accessible versus other things, even though they're more expensive. Can we start our conversation about the accessibility piece of all this?

 

The impact of food marketing and corporate interested on dietary recommendations and public health

Shyla Cadogan [00:48:13]:

Yes. So. And I also think this is a really big argument, in my opinion, somewhat of a straw man that a lot of dietitians use on social media when they talk about ultra processed foods, how we shouldn't, you know, demonize, which honestly. Yeah, I think you can get a point across without demonizing. Agreed. And especially with like ensure and boost and all these things. Hey, listen, in my internship at work, people come in and they're like, I kind of need to get these, but I cannot afford them because they're not affordable. 30, $35 more sometimes, like, that's not for drinks, really.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:48:52]:

That's not affordable for a lot of people. And so I feel like that argument sometimes is just a little bit lacking. Additionally, when a lot of dietitians are kind of talking about like, oh, well, you know, we can't really like, say all these things about ultra processed foods. Like, we have to, you know, normalize them because people can't afford other things. Is that the hill you want to die on like that? We just, okay, don't say anything because some people cannot afford them. That lets me know that you're not one of those people.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:49:23]:

Exactly.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:49:24]:

Like, people want to afford things, they want to do better for themselves and we're not even giving them the chance. Like, to me, I don't prescribe that idea. I come from an immigrant family, families that they can only afford whole foods back home. The ultra processed foods are too expensive.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:49:40]:

Exactly.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:49:41]:

And even here now, ultra processed foods are getting expensive. They don't fill people up. And when we try and justify with those ideals, we give room for corporations like Kellogg's to say, eat cereal because nothing else is as affordable, which just.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:49:53]:

Happened slap in the face. WP it is. So this idea of pitching information to make it accessible I find very condescending. If there's any group of people who understand, who understands that the government is trying to harm them, it's people who are marginalized. They understand more than anyone that the government's trying to harm them. So if you told people, hey, the government's working alongside food companies to make recommendations to support intake of highly processed foods and now working alongside anti diet dietitians, potentially to normalize these foods, I think it would be very clear to marginalized people that that's the case.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:50:32]:

Yeah. Like, I, I do not agree with making, like, if someone can only afford x, Y and Z, I'm not in the business of making them feel bad for that. I'm definitely not. But I think education is power. And I don't think us saying like, oh, these poor people they don't know any better. Poor people are not dumb. No, they just don't have money. Exactly.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:50:55]:

Okay. And with the lack of money, they just may not have the education either. Because with money, with ability comes education. It comes being able to learn, opening those doors. And when they have education, a lot of them will try to do better.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:51:09]:

Why would they? I mean, we're talking about human beings. We all want the same things as human beings. Every single one of us deserves, in my opinion, health and happiness and. And whatever the pursuit of happiness, whatever american thing. But I think every single person deserves these things. And when we normalize processed foods, and by the way, I'm sure the food companies are laughing their way to the bank about that. That there's literally nutrition professionals who are recommending processed foods to people in the name of accessibility. It is a slap in the face to people whose family members are suffering from chronic illness.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:51:43]:

Those are the exact people who need the information the most. And it's to say that you need to have cereal because it's accessible, or you need to have ensure boost. You can have a potato and oats and all these things and rice, which is culturally more aligned. What we're doing is taking away culturally aligned foods and experiences and putting instead in place highly processed, disgusting foods and then gaslighting people and telling them these foods are actually normal.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:52:11]:

Yeah. So just pick up the box. And I definitely think it's a huge slap in the face. And it's rich coming from dietitians who are usually mid to high socioeconomic status, who have never experienced that. And so it just. When they're like, wait, well, cultural and weight, you know, some people don't. They can't afford things. Poor people.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:52:32]:

You've never experienced that. You've never experienced that. And besides coming on social media and saying these Reese's PCs cereal, this is normal. Where are you to help on an administrative level? Where are you on a political level? Where are you doing the groundwork so that we can get some more farmers markets in inner cities? I don't see you.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:52:53]:

Not at all.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:52:54]:

And it's part of it is because you can't connect with those people. It was like that in my internship where I was just an intern, I was a fly on the wall in the diabetes clinic, and I was with my preceptor, who is the typical blonde, white dietitian, and she's in Baltimore City, you know, and that's her population. And there's me on the corner and, you know, I'm just shadowing. So I don't. I don't have anything to say. I'm just watching her counsel this person, and the patient just goes, she's just trying to, you know, just talk about, like, the types of foods that she eats and different things like that. This black patient, she looks over at me, she goes, you understand, though, I do get it, right? Like, to me, like, you get what I'm trying to say, right? Because the patient couldn't convey it to the dietician. Well, the dietician wasn't understanding where she was coming from.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:53:37]:

Her lived experience as a black person in the inner city, the types of food she eats, the types of food she has access to. The dietitian was more so talking at her from the perspective of her education and her own lived experience rather than the patients. And they looked at me and they were like, you understand what I mean, though? And I'm like, yeah, I understand, but I'm not the dietitian. So you know what I mean? It's so unfortunate.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:54:00]:

Are you thinking or expressing that potentially, if there's someone who's living a very privileged experience that they truly don't like, they actually don't. They actually think they're helping people when they're not? Maybe, like, it's not as malicious.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:54:15]:

I feel like they want to. Like, that's why a lot of people.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:54:17]:

Yeah, they want to, right? I think they want to.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:54:19]:

They want to help people. I just think if you don't, there's limitations inherently from our own lived experiences. And I think if you don't push past that, you don't try to get there somehow. You won't really reach. And so I think a lot of dietitians don't try to push past that. And so we have problems in disconnect.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:54:38]:

Because they're trying to assert themselves as the experts still. And they're like, the people that struggle.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:54:42]:

With chronic illness the most look like me. They don't look like them, which a lot of them do look like them. But if you look at any chronic illness, black people, hispanic people, of which I'm both, we're going to struggle with it more. You know what I mean? So we need to have care that kind of aligns with our lived experiences. I think that's a crucial part of fixing it.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:55:02]:

We also know that food companies, particularly target marginalized communities to sell their products to. They will particularly play ads in certain demographics, in certain areas, who they feel are most vulnerable and most likely and really like what food companies are so scary because. And so brilliant because they align themselves within government recommendations. We have one of the only countries that allows corporatism and, like, food lobbying and all that. So they embed themselves into the idea set and into our tv screens and into our minds that processed foods are made for, like, those who are marginalized or in, you know, lower income communities. Like, I don't know how this happened. And all of us now, and now dietitians are ignoring nutritional science in favor of pushing the agenda of these food companies. But I will tell you, it's not a joke to me, and it's not.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:55:56]:

It's not like, fun and games to post something on social media glorifying processed foods when there's a real person looking at that whose family member is in the hospital because they just got newly diagnosed with diabetes or their family member had a heart attack. And we feel so privileged and so above people that we decide that they're not worthy of the information it is.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:56:19]:

And I think that especially with the recent article that just came out about anti dietitians and the Washington Mills. Yes. And kind of how that's converging a little bit. I think there's a lot of moving parts there. One being that I think as dietitians, we aren't exactly realizing how much room we're giving these corporations. And I don't know if it's because we don't want to. I don't know why, but I don't know why. We can't realize that corporations will find their money in, in any other aspect except when it comes to that.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:56:49]:

For some reason, then it's, oh, that can't be happening. Like corporations once profited off of diet culture. They realize that's not the move anymore. Now they're profiting off of this. It's clear as day. Exactly what gives. You know what I mean? Like, let's get with the program.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:57:10]:

Exactly.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:57:10]:

I don't understand.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:57:12]:

What you're seeing also is I almost feel like I'm seeing dietitians and other nutrition professionals and people fervently defending processed foods and they're defending these food companies. Shyla, how are we going to turn this around? What do you think is going to work here?

 

How are we going to turn this around? What narrative would you love to see on social media?

Shyla Cadogan [00:57:31]:

I wish.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:57:31]:

I think you're the answer. By the way. It was a trick question.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:57:37]:

I will say. I think first it has to start with a narrative shift.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:57:42]:

What is the narrative shift you'd love to see the narrative you'd love to see prevalent on social media?

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:57:47]:

I would love. It's very hard because human nature, I think we like to live in groups and extremes and tribes. Yeah. And so I think that'll be hard to free us from those shackles. But I just would love us to realize, hey, diet culture is crazy. It has taken a toll on generations of mainly women. Okay. Like, that's horrible.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:58:13]:

Deplorable. However, we are living in an age that we have never lived in before. These food companies are coming out with new things left, right, and center, and they see the largest faces of nutrition on social media willing to welcome them with open arms. We have to let go of that. Like we. We simply do. Our education was in some ways quite limited. And like I said, you have to kind of really expand on your own, continue your education as a practitioner.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:58:45]:

But we know the core of what, we know the core of what we should be talking about.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:58:49]:

We know real foods over processed, and.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:58:51]:

A lot of people are just acting.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:58:52]:

Like they don't know. And I think we need to reel it in, and I think we need to stop saying these hyperbolic messages for clicks and views. And so people can feel, to be honest, good about themselves.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:59:05]:

It's to be good to feel good.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:59:06]:

About themselves, bad about themselves. They shouldn't feel shamed because they had.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:59:10]:

A cookie at a party.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:59:11]:

Like, no, but, like, I think we're tailoring to people's emotions to such an intense degree. And like we talked about, that's not our job. We have a job, and objectivity is a big part of our job, and a lot of us are putting that to the side. So let's bring it in even a little bit.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:59:31]:

Exactly.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:59:32]:

To me, that's how we start to change the tide.

 

Michelle Shapiro [00:59:34]:

And I think we have gotten to a point where we're catering recommendations, like you said, based on subjective experience, and people are lasered in on the recommendations that they think fit the experience they've had or what that person needs. And we need to think about the general public of what they need. And we need to think about, like you said, what they need more than what we need from social media.

 

Shyla Cadogan [00:59:56]:

Like, you know, you can't answer everyone's questions on social media. You cannot tailor yourself to every. Because you know people on social media. You see a video. Well, what about me? I have Sibo. I can't talk to you. I can't.

 

Michelle Shapiro [01:00:05]:

You know what I mean?

 

Shyla Cadogan [01:00:05]:

Like, you can't tailor yourself.

 

Michelle Shapiro [01:00:07]:

Yeah, like, stop talking to people with CBO, all my clients, let's stop talking to them, though.

 

Shyla Cadogan [01:00:10]:

Like, the thing is, on social media, if I make a video, you know, you can't. In other directions. You can't tailor to everyone's needs and information to them. You know what I mean? And you can try and be as specific as you can, but obviously, some people will fall through the cracks, but we have to think about the general population, and that is that, like, not everybody needs to or should learn about nutrition from a recovery mindset, an eating disorder recovery mindset. Not everybody has something to recover from. There are people who have never even struggled with that before. But some of the biggest phases of nutritional.

 

Michelle Shapiro [01:00:42]:

Almost 90% of people have never struggled with them.

 

Shyla Cadogan [01:00:43]:

Yeah. Some of the biggest faces on social media are teaching from the lens that people need to do that. And it's like, hey, what I mean, all I could say is, what exactly.

 

Michelle Shapiro [01:00:56]:

Yeah, it's. We. Now, I will say this. I have worked a very long time to be the middle ground person. Like, that's been my whole thing. You have found a way that I believe caters information to everyone. And I don't think that you exclude anyone in your information. And that's always my goal, is that there's no one who can read my information that's gonna feel attacked, no one who's gonna feel othered.

 

Michelle Shapiro [01:01:20]:

And I think that's. That's exactly what you do. And you do it so gorgeously, like, the most. Much better than myself, the most I've ever seen someone do it. And I mean that.

 

Shyla Cadogan [01:01:30]:

I really. Yeah, really. I say to myself, because the people closest to me can tell you there was a time where I was so extreme, and I'm glad I did not become a dietitian in that sense, because it just would not be good. But, yeah, I say the same thing about myself. I talk about it a lot, and something that I've noticed, like, I got carnivores that follow me. I got vegans that follow me. Like, you know what I mean? I got the holistic girlies following me. I got the conventional, as you could ever imagine, following me.

 

Shyla Cadogan [01:02:01]:

And I don't think that's hard to do. Like, when you're not, like, all over the place, it shouldn't be a hard thing. No, exactly like, you know what I mean? But I'm so happy to be able to have that sort of environment because, like, that's the only way that you grow, like, when it. Part of why I think nutrition in and of itself is so stifled is because everyone is just in their own pods, like I said. So everyone's trying to propel their own beliefs and stuff like that. But, like, we don't get anywhere, because all we do what we the vegan crowd goes up, the carnival crowd goes up, the keto crowd, the paleo crowd, the frugivore. And then we all just meet each other up here and fight like, you know what I mean? So how are we going to grow that way? We're all going to be stuck eventually.

 

Michelle Shapiro [01:02:43]:

It's like, yeah, and also, I think when you've worked with clients for a long time, it's so obvious that the same thing doesn't work for one person, that works for another. I see trends. There's trends and patterns. Like, if women are under eating carbs, their hormones get weird. Like, there's things I see that are obvious and patterns. But for the most part, every single one of my client plans, it's completely different information because everyone's different.

 

Shyla Cadogan [01:03:06]:

Everybody is different.

 

Michelle Shapiro [01:03:07]:

But as we show up on social, I think we can cater information to everyone because there's some nutritional truth that are gonna have been. We just know.

 

Shyla Cadogan [01:03:15]:

We just know.

 

Michelle Shapiro [01:03:15]:

Ten years ago, they're the same. Ten years from now, they're the same. Give me one of your nutritional truths that you know will always be true.

 

Shyla Cadogan [01:03:21]:

We really should not be eating all this added sugar, man.

 

Michelle Shapiro [01:03:23]:

That's it.

 

Shyla Cadogan [01:03:24]:

Like, that's it exactly. Like, that's something that I'm pretty sure. Well, a lot of people can agree with, you know, that's one of those.

 

Michelle Shapiro [01:03:31]:

Things that we just know 100%, I would say, at this point, we can also say that consuming real foods is gonna be easier to digest and probably be more supportive than consuming highly processed foods. Yeah, no, I can just, you know, screw that. Eating whole foods is better than eating processed food every single time.

 

Shyla Cadogan [01:03:50]:

Michelle.

 

Michelle Shapiro [01:03:52]:

Yeah. Exactly. Where I'm. The way I get concerned is not from the accessibility perspective, which, again, I think is gross, is from the point of view that I don't also want people to believe that food is the only root cause of illness.

 

Shyla Cadogan [01:04:03]:

Oh, yeah.

 

Michelle Shapiro [01:04:04]:

Like this idea of food being medicine. I think food has medicinal properties, but it is not. I don't think food is medicine, because I also don't believe in what medicine is and that medicine is a fix for something. I think food is an amazing tool that we can use to support our overall health, but I don't believe that. And I'm a functional dietitian. We're the first people who say food is medicine all the time.

 

Shyla Cadogan [01:04:26]:

I know. I made a video on. On that, on the talk once, and I said, food is not medicine. It has medical properties, but it isn't medicine. People were like, what? I was like, yeah, think about it. Sit with it.

 

Michelle Shapiro [01:04:43]:

Exactly.

 

Shyla Cadogan [01:04:43]:

I didn't say it wasn't medically relevant. I just said it wasn't medicine.

 

Michelle Shapiro [01:04:47]:

Right. Which is, people think that to heal from chronic illness, you might only need food, and in many cases, you need a lot more of a push than that. It can possibly help you to maintain your health. It can possibly help to turn around your health. But in and of itself, it's not often the only thing you have to do in order to heal, because it's going to take, let's say you're going from zero, from negative 100 back to zero. It's going to take a lot more than just one type of intervention, and food is one type of intervention. And I also believe if we look a long way from now, we're going to look back and say, yeah, fiber is great. I think these kind of things that are, and I know you're a fiber girly.

 

Michelle Shapiro [01:05:25]:

Tell us your bean obsession in life. Tell us your bean situation.

 

Shyla Cadogan [01:05:28]:

Everyone knows that. I know and love beans, all of them. Okay? I mean, what, I grew up in a latin household. Beans are part of me. Like, I love them. Lentils, specifically, and chickpeas. Okay. Yes.

 

Shyla Cadogan [01:05:43]:

And I just think, I honestly, like I said, nothing's going to be for everyone, but I think a lot of people could benefit from eating more beans, more fiber, you know what I mean? A lot of people don't get enough.

 

What is your most controversial nutrition opinion?

Michelle Shapiro [01:05:56]:

As we wrap up, one of your most controversial nutrition opinions that you think is, like, a nutrition truth, the cmos.

 

Shyla Cadogan [01:06:02]:

Claim that people have is that it has 92 essential minerals that your body needs. They can never count them. They can never tell me what's essential about them. They can't even pronounce them. We only need less than 20 guys. You're counting arsenic, you're counting gold. You're counting bismuth, you're counting silver. Wow, I love that scene.

 

Shyla Cadogan [01:06:27]:

So, to me, and it seems like that's, like, not. It shouldn't be controversial. It's just literally, like, that is just factually untrue. But it is. It gets onto people.

 

Michelle Shapiro [01:06:38]:

I know. And sea moss is so hot right now and tastes so, so bad. Also, when you made that post, I, like, actually had to, like, run to the bathroom to pee. Cause I almost peed in my pants laughing at that. And then I commented underneath it, I was very proud of this, honestly. I was like, I can name the minerals selenium, zelenium, polenium, like, literally, like, just making ones up because that's so. I love that.

 

Shyla Cadogan [01:07:00]:

Tell me why you need that mineral.

 

Michelle Shapiro [01:07:02]:

I love that controversial take. I feel like my controversial take right now. So this is a big thing that's happening online right now, is that there are nutrition professionals who believe that the consumption of carbs themselves causes diabetes and causes insulin resistance. This was like an idea that we didn't even learn in our schooling. I really view these diseases as cellular communication issues, insulin signaling issues. So I. My controversial belief is that carbs themselves do not cause illnesses, and it really still leads into what is my bigger one that we talked about before, which is that food is not medicine. Food is a tool in the toolbox.

 

How do people find you and work with you?

Michelle Shapiro [01:07:42]:

Okay. We had our little controversial takes. Shyla, you are the shooting star of the nutrition world. Everyone already knows you, but now they're really going to know you because I also constantly talk about you. And now every dietitian is so obsessed with you. How do people find you? Do you have any exciting potential opportunities for people to work with you or learn from you that are coming up healthy?

 

Shyla Cadogan [01:08:04]:

Shyla on Instagram and TikTok. Soon to be YouTube, very soon so I can go on my long, little, long form rant. And I'm also gonna be having a webinar. Woo hoo. I'm so excited.

 

Michelle Shapiro [01:08:16]:

What's the webinar about? Tell us, please.

 

Shyla Cadogan [01:08:18]:

The webinar is basically gonna be about breaking down the nutrition myths, how we can center ourselves and kind of block out noise on social media, since that's very hard to do. And we're gonna cover all the big picture topics, all the big stuff everyone wants to talk about and whatever. But it's gonna be exciting. Not whatever, but it's not gonna be.

 

Michelle Shapiro [01:08:37]:

Also, if you know Shyla, you know the level of detail that will go into this and the level of thought and care that will go into this. So I am recommending anyone who listens to this please join Shyla's upcoming webinar. You can have the link to sign up below in the show notes. And you'll be hearing a lot more from Shila on my Instagram because my Instagram is a Shila stan account. We just post each other's stuff. We don't even have to post anymore because we just post each other's stuff the entire time. Thank you so much for coming on.

 

Shyla Cadogan [01:09:02]:

I'm so happy to be here. Thank you so much.

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