Many of you have been curious to learn more about the SOSCuisine team. Behind the website, recipes, newsletter and professional services, there is a multitude of talent and expertise to inspire you and help you to eat better. This week, we introduce Keren Reiser, a dietitian based in Ottawa, who takes care of our VIP Dietitian’s clients in Ontario.
My interest in nutrition began during my teenage years. I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at 16, and I think that’s when I really began to understand the links between diet, digestion, and health. Subsequently, I completed a bachelor’s degree in human nutrition at McGill University in 1998, and then did a master’s degree in health administration at the University of Ottawa. Today, I work in Ontario, but as I am originally from Montreal, I still have a very strong connection with Quebec!
What I like about nutrition is that it’s not “one size fits all”. It must always be personalized and adapted to each person. With my clients, I like to use motivational interviewing. I use an approach in psychology called Acceptance Commitment Therapy or ACT. We focus on behaviors: I help people to identify habits that bring them closer to their goals and those that move away from them, and then make the necessary adjustments. Many people already know that they need to change their eating habits, but it’s not always easy to take action! That’s why we want motivation to come from ourselves rather than from external pressure.
I love learning and training. This is very important to me. I completed Monash University’s Low FODMAP Diet Training to better help people with irritable bowel syndrome. More recently, I have also been trained to better understand people living with eating disorders. With the pandemic, many people have developed eating disorders that while they are mild, but still bring a lot of distress. We need to help these people before it becomes severe.
I would say that the biggest challenges for dietitians come from social media. There is a lot of information circulating, but what is good for one person is not necessarily good for everyone. In addition, with algorithms, people are exposed to content that can be biased. There are also celebrity diets that people want to try, without knowing if it is healthy for them. It is therefore a challenge for dietitians to help the population to be well informed.
I had already known about SOSCuisine for several years beforehand. I loved using the meal plans in my practice as a dietitian. I also often consult the blog, and I find the articles very useful, as they are always based on science. I reached out to discuss a partnership together. It’s important for me to partner with people who share my values and SOSCuisine really shares my philosophy.
In Canada, each province has its own professional order of dietitians. So you can’t just practice anywhere you want. As SOSCuisine was looking for a dietitian for their Ontario subscribers, we became partners. I now take care of the VIP members in Ontario.
If I were a food, I would be… a raspberry. Yes, raspberries can be a bit expensive at tomes, but it’s a quality investment! In addition, I love the taste.
My culinary specialty is… to prepare a meal from anything (laughs)! I’m creative and bold in the kitchen.
In my kitchen, I avoid … poisoned foods (laughs) Joking aside, there are no “forbidden” foods for me. Food is a matter of choice.
My preferred SOSCuisine recipe … Cheesy Vegan Popcorn. I think it’s a great example of a healthy snack and it’s delicious.