New Nutritionist Brings Joy Into Diet
Atkinson Family Practice is happy to welcome Amanda Mittman, RDN, LDN to our Northampton location as our new Nutritionist. Amanda has five years’ worth of experience at Head Start and Early Learning Programs as a Nutrition Specialist and Health Manager in addition to private practice.
“As a health manager for three years, I really enjoyed collaborating with other departments to provide the best care for children and families. Being part of a team is something I really enjoy, especially learning from experts in the field.” With that, Amanda plans to bring her experience from Head Start to AFP believing that there is no one size fits all, “Sometimes people feel ashamed when speaking about their diet or their lifestyle. When I work with my clients there is absolutely no shaming or judgment involved.”
Amanda adds, “In my practice, I do not believe there is such a thing as good/bad and healthy/unhealthy and this puts people at ease.” Amanda would much rather focus on specific nutrients and work together with her client to allow all foods back into a person’s diet, ditching diet culture, and finding joyful moments. “From BBQs with family to birthday cake for your child’s birthday, our life’s moments are celebrated with food.” Amanda notes that we turn to food for many moments in our lives, whether we are happy, sad, mad, or even when we are bored.
Amanda enjoys learning about a person’s health goals and working with them on achieving these goals through healthier behaviors that are tailored to them. She has studied for many years so she is well experienced and has even achieved many of the nutrition certification options there are, making her an expert. As mentioned, Amanda does not cater to “diet culture” in which our society is exposed to every day. “The main problem with diet culture is that it is so pervasive and has damaging effects. We don’t really notice diet culture in our everyday lives and that’s why it’s so dangerous.” Adding that societal pressure is a cornerstone of diet culture, especially the media, noting there have been some improvements, but still isn’t enough.
But diet culture is not the same as making dietary changes after consulting a professional medical representative. While the former is an arbitrary decision the latter is based on scientific facts in general and medical data of the person concerned. That being the case, a qualified online nutritionist could be consulted prior to making any changes to the diet. By taking the help and advice of health and nutrition professionals like those from Nutrition Synergy, people can get the help and training required to deal with weight loss, prevention/ treatment of chronic diseases in a way that is both practical and safe at the same time.
“Many companies preach ‘body love’ or ‘body positivity’ but still cater to women wearing straight sizes. Or they may show a fuller figured woman but she is the classic ‘curvy woman.'” Stating that what the media shows is not representative of what women really look like in reality.
Amanda also likes to incorporate both Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size systems. “Intuitive Eating” is based on a book written by two Registered Dietitians and “Health at Every Size” is a set of guiding principles. This comes with the premise that health exists on a continuum that is different for each person. Amanda says that “Health at Every Size” values “a diversity of body shapes and sizes, recognizing that health isn’t just about the size of your body– rather, health includes physical, social, and emotional aspects.” Amanda states that the “Health at Every Size” system does not actively pursue weight loss. What it really does is provides the tools for practitioners to promote healthy behaviors and outcomes separate from weight.
In her spare time, Amanda enjoys cooking with her husband, attempting to play Minecraft and Pokemon with her 6-year old son. Amanda also enjoys walking, hiking, yoga, hanging out with friends, and watching Netflix.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from George Washington University in Washington D.C. and completed her dietetic coursework and internship at New York University and Keene State College in New Hampshire. Currently, Amanda is working on her Master’s degree in Functional Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut
AFP is very excited to have Amanda on board as the new AFP NOHO Nutritionist. If you are a patient at AFP and feel you need to see a Nutritionist like Amanda, contact the Front Desk for more information.
-written by Alex LaMarche