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“By 2040, over 640 million of us may be living with diabetes.” On November 14th, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) hosted World Diabetes Day and offered information from the 7th edition of its Diabetes Atlas. These numbers are staggering and yet we know the best thing we can do as health care professionals is to never lose sight of the fact that our patients and clients are more than a number. They are people struggling with illness, looking for answers that will speak to them and the unique and challenging lives they lead.

In its World Diabetes Day campaign, the IDF identified “healthy eating as a key factor in the fight against diabetes and a cornerstone of health and sustainable development.” The dietitian has never been more needed in the fight to curtail the diabetes epidemic.  The American Diabetes Association identifies a registered dietitian (and ideally one who is also a certified diabetes educator) as a key member of the health care team who can help a patient:

  • learn how foods affect blood sugar and blood fat levels
  • balance food with medications and activity
  • read food labels
  • plan meals including eating out and special events
  • include ethnic or foreign foods into meals
  • find good cookbooks and make food substitutions
  • and more….

Keeping Joslin Diabetes Deskbookabreast of what’s new is essential for any dietitian, but even more important in the dynamic world of diabetes prevention and management. This month we are featuring a new self-study course based on the 3rd edition of the Joslin’s Diabetes Deskbook: A Guide for Primary Care Providers (48 CPEU/ CEU). This classic resource is a must-have for your practice. The new edition has been completely revised to provide evidence-based diabetes information, as well as the most up-to-date approaches to the diagnosis, management and treatment of diabetes.

Skelly Skills also offers a range of other diabetes continuing education activities including our brand-new on-demand webinar series Mindful Eating for Diabetes Made Easy (6 CPEU/CEU) which includes a free eBook, with dialogue and handouts to help you use mindfulness techniques with your diabetes clients. Also, please sign-up for our e-newsletter to be notified of our free CE monthly webinars, many of which are diabetes-related.  

Here’s to us (“Cheers!”, “L’chaim!”, or as my aunt in Cali would say: “Chin Chin”)

love fruit and vegetable

Skelly Skills has a free CE course on Nutrition411.com called ‘5 Ways to be a Better Dietitian’. I like it, and what it represents: that we can always improve. That’s what continuing education is all about–Skelly’s raison d’etre if my high school French doesn’t fail me.

However, since Registered Dietitian Day is this month, I’ve been thinking about how great we already are. (As a parent, this kind of thinking is a decided no-no. If you haven’t heard, we are raising a generation of ‘praise-junkies’–they all want trophies and someone doing back-flips when they do a purely mediocre job.)

But here’s the thing: this does not apply to RDs. We are experts at setting the bar higher, going to all ends to improve, and generally (in my opinion) not feeling like we get any respect for the tremendous value we bring. Now that I’ve worked with educating and training RD/RDNs for 11 years, I’d like to pay homage to the 5 Ways we are Already Awesome:

  1. We really want to help our clients (really). I’m constantly astonished at how selfless RDs are when it comes to making someone’s health better. I spend a lot of time on RD listservs, and the dedication to helping clients (after-hours and at all hours) is truly inspiring.
  2. We have tremendous empathy. Let’s face it: all day long, we work with people who have often made some not-so-great choices in their lives. Many of them continue to, in spite of knowing otherwise. It could be easy to become cynical and judgmental. But we don’t. In my experience, it’s rare to find an RD who doesn’t show tremendous empathy for the clients she works with–understanding the many factors beyond their control that led to their current situation, and plugging away to find new techniques and strategies to help them.
  3. We give back. I’ve never seen a profession that volunteers more than ours. Period.
  4. We help each other. RDs shelve their egos in favor of the greater good. While sometimes we lament the larger impact this has–professions that are more ego-driven naturally get more recognition and prestige, because their members demand it. But we are looking to make each other better, regardless of whether we are acknowledged or compensated for it. For this reason, we freely share information, advice and best practices, simply to support and empower each other.
  5. We are ethical, and make ethical decisions. I love how careful and concerned RD/RDNs are about doing the right thing, and making the ethical choice. It’s this integrity that forms the bedrock of trust our profession and the RD/RDN credential need to ensure we are the nutrition expert of choice.

Happy RD Day to all of you. I’m so proud to be a part of this wonderful profession!

Sheila

Diabetes Practice Update 2015: Continuing Education that’s Free and Fun!

diabetesOk, maybe fun is a bit of a stretch. But as we all know, it’s vitally important. What’s the constant about diabetes care? Change. Meds change, research pours in, and guidelines are updated so frequently it’s difficult for clinicians like us to keep up. This month, we’re excited to offer you a free CE webinar to update your diabetes nutrition care and education practice. Led by Lois Moss-Barnwell, MS, RD, CDE, a former AADE Director now in private practice, it’s designed to keep you abreast of all that’s new in the world of diabetes care. Here’s a sneak peek:

1. ADA’s Standards of Medical Care for Diabetes–2015 Just released, these standards–updated annually–provide the gold standard for diabetes care. Read them here, or we’ll summarize key takeaways for you in the free webinar.

2. ANAD’s Evidence Analysis Library: Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes (PDM)–Guideline: Released in December, 2014, these are targeted to the RD and RDN and should form a key component of screening, assessing and treating individuals with prediabetes, and others at risk for diabetes. If you’re an ANAD member, you can read the full report here –we’ll also be reviewing them and helping you implement them into your practice in the Feb 25th webinar.

3. Joslin’s Diabetes Deskbook (Third Edition) –here at Skelly Skills, we spend much time trying to find CE resources that will move your practice forward. With diabetes care and education, that can be a tall order. Fortunately, the newest (2014) edition of the Joslin’s Diabetes Deskbook, fits the bill. We’ll be reviewing some key research covered in the book and will help you understand the nutritional implications. An interesting example? The emerging research on adipose tissue and how it functions as an endocrine gland–further complicating the already complex web of diabetes treatment. Fortunately, RD/RDNs can play a pivotal role in helping increase production of helpful adipocytokines, and decreasing production of harmful ones through MNT and weight reduction strategies.

We hope you can join us on Febuary 25th at 12 noon ET. It’s free and you’ll get 1 CPEU, too! You can sign up here if you’re interested! We will be providing the on-demand version afterward for those who can’t attend live.

Healthy Regards,

Sheila

Welcome to the REBELution!

I’m delighted to have a guest blogger this week, and it isn’t just any guest! Kait Fortunato Greenberg is the author of Welcome to the REBELution: 7 Steps to the Nutrition Counseling Practice of Your Dreams— our newest continuing education course at Skelly Skills. Just added this week, this course is equally inspiring and practical. And, of course, earns you CPEUs. 18 to be exact!

Thanks and I will let Kait will take it from here!

photo-3-14 Welcome to the REBELution! 

We are beyond excited to start a REBELUTION and inspire like-minded Rebel Dietitians to create the private practice of their dreams. One that can be a thriving environment for successful clients and one that allows for personal growth  and self-care. In honor of our book launch this week, we will be sharing some insider tips and sneak peaks into our private practice workbook, “Welcome to the REBELUTION: Seven Steps to the Nutrition Practice of Your Dreams.

Realize Your Potential: Create a fulfilling practice by doing what you love.

When I started at Rebecca Bitzer and Associates, the first thing Rebecca had me do was self-evaluation in regards to my strengths and values that we still continue to evaluate as time goes on. This has been key to success in our practice and in my life, knowing how to align my values and utilize my strengths.

We evaluate strengths utilizing the Myers Briggs Type Indicator Assessment. It is amazing that to this day I have taken this evaluation several times and always get the same answer, even though there are 16 types! It is so interesting to see how these results align with the work I both like to do and excel at and how my weaknesses can be complimented by other team members are RBA who accelerate in other areas.

We also use mindtools.com to evaluate and prioritize our values and Rebecca has always emphasized the importance of aligning personal and professional values to focus on happiness and fulfillment.

For example, two of my values include:

  • Family-Oriented: So personally I enjoy having a flexible schedule to spend more time with my family and professionally I love helping families work together in recovery from an eating disorder or even meal planning for a busy week!
  • Making A Difference: Fostering my clients growth at work and being present in my community and church at home

Knowing that my personal and professional values align make going to “work” something that feels good.

Learn more of Kait’s wisdom and advice in our free CE webinar on January 28th at 1pm ET. Participants will earn 1 CE. Or, start learning today with your own copy of Welcome to the REBELution. This is a fabulous book that you don’t want to miss!

2014 In Review (aka Sheila Gets Sentimental)

2014

Thanks to all of the mindfulness work Skelly Skills does, I try my best to live in the present moment. But I make an exception right around this time of year (and who doesn’t?). ‘Tis the season to reflect on the past year and prepare for the next one. With that in mind, let’s take a quick stroll down memory lane, continuing education style:

Best New ‘Trend’:

Functional/Integrative Nutrition! Much like the slow-food movement, which had many gardeners and chefs saying, “Finally the rest of the world is waking up!”, functional and integrative nutrition is a common-sense, inside-out approach to health whose principles our grandmothers used but didn’t have a fancy name for. Now, it’s kicked up a notch or two with the fascinating addition of nutrigenomics, and new and sophisticated lab testing and supplements that can fine-tune your diagnostic and treatment efforts. When our ancestors chewed garlic from their backyards for its immune-boosting and circulatory effects, they truly embodied the functional medicine concept of ‘health care, not disease-care’. And, now what’s old really IS new again. When we launched The Disease Delusion (23 CPEU/CEU) CE course in August, the avalanche of emails from all of you saying it was the best book you ever read convinced us that more dietitians are seeing the tremendous potential of functional medicine. We hope all of you will continue on this journey with open and inquiring minds. A related and fascinating read? “The Excrement Experiment” in last week’s New Yorker. You can learn more about the OpenBiome project here–fascinating stuff!

Most Rewarding Project:

Discover Mindful Eating for Kids (35 CPEU/CEU) Working with Megrette is always a fun and revelatory experience, and this was no exception. We’ve been concepting this book for two years and watching it evolve was something that–as Megrette would say–filled me with gratitude. As the mom of a child with some sensory issues (which I now recognize in myself as well!), I understand so well that eating for kids goes waaay beyond hunger and satiety. ‘Pickiness’ can often mask sensory issues; overeating can indicate stress; and crunchy foods can be calming and regulating for many kids (it’s about helping them find the right crunchy foods)! Our goal with this book was for dietitians to understand that kids also bring a lot of things besides hunger to the metaphorical and literal table, and that adopting a mindfulness approach can help them explore and be creative with healthy food and eating choices–a natural for kids!

If you’re a parent, you know that awareness is the ultimate goal for so much in life, and eating is no different. This book is about cultivating awareness.

Thanks to those of you who helped us pilot-test the activities with your clients–your feedback was so helpful in making this book the best it could be!  If you’re curious about some of the activities, you can watch Megrette’s latest webinar on using mindful eating for kids to increase self-control here: http://www.skellyskills.com/articles.asp?ID=327

Best New Addition to the Skelly Team:

She doesn’t know she’s getting a shout-out, but I couldn’t have managed the second half of 2014 without Sutton. She is a 22 year-old dynamo, who belies every derogatory statement made about Millennials. Before I hired her, I wanted to be sure she would be ok with me throwing a variety of projects at her that my other assistant couldn’t take on, and she ran with all of them (and a cheerful attitude to boot). Thank you, Sutton! Do you have a Millennial on your team? Here’s a great article about how to capitalize on their enormous potential for your organization: http://humanresources.about.com/od/managementtips/a/millenials.htm

Also, a huge thank you to the wonderful team at Arlington Strategy, who have been a tremendous help with social media and many other projects here at Skelly!

When I think back over 2014, my overarching sentiment is one of appreciation. I feel so fortunate to do the work I do, to be always learning and growing along with all of you! We hope you find what we have planned for 2015 to be just as rewarding. Happy Holidays!

Healthy Regards,

Sheila

A Delusional Dietitian’s Confessional

disease

I was smug. And kind of a nutrition know-it-all. That is, until age 31, when I started experiencing miserable back and neck pain that started pretty much of out of nowhere. This painful journey led me down an ultimately very rewarding path to understanding and applying concepts of functional and alternative medicine to improve my health.

Ironically, around the same time this was happening, I was in the process of starting Skelly Skills as a continuing education provider. I knew I wanted to focus on creating CE courses on emerging trends and hot topics in nutrition and dietetics to meet my mission of helping RDs have the most effective and fulfilling careers possible. Little did I know how that goal would ultimately change ME and my health. And also my know-it-all attitude.

I’m older, wiser and humbler now. Since those early days, I’ve conquered my back and neck pain (by studying and using trigger point therapy, combined with herbal supplements to improve circulation and reduce inflammation). I’ve completed food sensitivity training (LEAP) and am a certified LEAP therapist, (which I would encourage every RD to investigate). And, in the process of running Skelly Skills, I’ve increasingly oriented our focus toward helping dietitians understand and integrate functional nutrition principles into their own practices and philosophies.

In short, functional nutrition changed my approach to my own and my loved ones’ health. I’ve used it to treat longstanding sinus issues, uterine fibroids, chronic pain and more. Each time, I marveled at how limited and ineffectual the traditional Western approach to treating the symptoms is. Now, when presented with a health problem, I reflexively ask “What is the CAUSE of this, and how can I use my knowledge of functional nutrition concepts to address it?”

“Wounded healer” is the term that functional nutritionist Kathie Madonna Swift, MS, RDN, LDN, author of The Inside Tract, uses to describe someone who has experienced a personal health crisis, and through it emerges determined to help others heal using similar principles. That’s a great description of me, and many other RDNs who are increasingly discovering functional medicine to help treat their own health challenges, and then begin using it in their practices and with their clients.

So, welcome to my warrior’s fight: to bring the concepts of functional and integrative medicine through continuing education for dietitians and to unleash the tremendous healing power it can bring our clients. That’s why I’m especially excited about this month’s newest CE course! The Disease Delusion: Conquering the Causes of Chronic Illness for a Healthier, Longer and Happier Life (23 CPEU / CEU) is the best book I’ve read this year. Written by Dr. Jeffrey Bland­­, the ‘Father of Functional Medicine’, it will leave you hungry to apply its principles to your practice and your life. As Dr. Bland sums it up: “Disease care versus health care: which would you choose?”

“At last! A book that introduces and clearly explains functional medicine! It is well articulated and takes a very complex model and breaks it down so that we can see the big picture. It is exciting to see the critical role diet (and dietitians) has in improving common health complaints. The CPE program is now an essential quick reference in my practice.” – Renata Mangrum, RD, CLT, Kensington, MD.

This week we’re offering 25% off The Disease Delusion (23 CPEU / CEU) continuing education program. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity: you’ll be amazed at what you’ll discover­­ about health and your own preconceptions.

Healthy Regards,

Sheila

Does Your Website Work for Your Nutrition Business?

webskillsIf you think your local nutrition consulting or private practice doesn’t need a website, think again: a full 51% of users searching for health information online searched specifically for information on diet, nutrition or nutritional supplements (Pew Internet Life, 2012). They’re looking for you, so make sure you’re online!

Here are three ways to make sure your website will bring you the clients you’re looking for:

1. Make sure your site is easy to navigate and user-friendly. Have all the information a potential client might be looking for, and make sure it is presented in a professional and credible way. In a recent Pew Internet study of consumers using websites for health-related information, far and away the top two reasons a user returned to a particular health site were because the ‘site was easy to use’ and ‘I trust the advice and information on the site’. To make sure your site is credible and easy-to-use, have at least five people in your target test it! Give them five tasks to complete, from finding a particular blog post, to learning about your services, to making an appointment with you. Another great way to learn how to make your website easier to is by subscribing to Jakob Nielson’s—the guru of web usability—free e-newsletter at useit.com.

2. Make sure your website is optimized for use on a mobile device, as 51% of Americans now own a smartphone and, of those owners, over half have used their smartphone to look up health information (Pew Internet Life, 2013).

3. Take advantage of online search engine marketing (SEM) capabilities to drive visitors to it. This is how your clients will find you: 77% of online health seekers say they began their last session at a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo (Pew Internet Life, 2013). Since most of you will probably see clients in your geographic area, make sure your business is listed properly on Google Local, Yahoo! Local and MSN Local. It’s easy and free. Consider taking advantage of paid local SEM opportunities through these search engines as well—you can test it for just pennies a day and see the results immediately. It’s easy to tweak your campaigns and test new ones, too, based on the feedback you get.

Want to know more?  Earn 20 CPEUs and learn exactly how registered dietitians and CDEs can create and market a great website, and counsel clients online.   It doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming!

This step-by-step Continuing Education program gives you all the tips, tricks and secrets to making your website a magnet for the clients you’re looking for. And this week it’s 30% off! You can learn more/purchase this here.

Here’s what others are saying about Web Skills for Dietitians: A Guide to Creating and Marketing Your Website and Counseling Clients Online:

“It was easy to understand and actually the first information I have read on website building that was really interesting and applicable to my needs. To be honest, it was the first time I really enjoyed answering the questions at the end of a course.” Clara Iuliano, RD, LDN, Mohrsville, PA

“Excellent! I couldn’t put this book down. My website-building knowledge has soared. Now I am ready to build my website.” Gloria A. Petoskey, MS, RD, Detroit, MI.

“It was the best program I have done. It helped me create my website! Thanks for a really relevant, informative, up-to-date course!” Kristin Eising, RD, LD, Owner–Pomelo Wellness, Rochester, MN

And while you’re at it, sign up for our mailing list and get notified of other CE webinars and courses we offer for dietitians and nutrition entrepreneurs!

Healthy Regards,

Sheila