Hey, I’m Doug Cook

I’m kind of a rebel.

When I was younger, people told me I was argumentative because I questioned everything. I later embraced this gift of skepticism; not wanting to blindly toe the party line.

I’m an accidental dietitian. I never set out to be one. In fact, when I went back to university to study nutrition I had never heard of the word ‘dietitian’. All I knew was that I loved food, had a nerdish inclination for biological sciences and I valued health. Once I was immersed in school, I learned about dietitians, the path to a post-grad hospital-based clinical internship and later found myself working in the health care system. You might imagine my disappointment when the goal of nutrition therapy was nothing more than managing symptoms and trying to get patients to eat according to Canada’s Food Guide within the limitations of their given disease.

I later found my niche in Integrative & Functional Nutrition – THIS approach, I thought, was why I went back to university in the first place; I was born-again. Integrative nutrition considers the whole person using a holistic approach to client care and aims to get to the root, functional cause of illness instead of chasing symptoms.

I definitely don’t follow the herd and am known for that. I keep a very open mind; explore any and all theories to nutritional therapy to see what pearls of wisdom there are to be found, will consider anything that might help my clients as long as it’s safe, ethical and evidenced-informed/backed by research, especially if my clients have nothing to lose and possibly everything to gain.

Yes, I eat butter and bacon, use cream in my coffee and coconut oil and coconut milk in cooking and I don’t freak out about how much sodium I get. Of course I value and emphasize eating more plants/plant foods – most of the food I get everyday is plant food – but you’ll never hear me turn the phrase ‘plant-based/plant-centric‘ in a morally superior way or use the word ‘foodie‘; a word that smacks of elitism that tends to divide people. I personally use natural health products, a.k.a. “supplements” and use them in my practice.

The credentials…

Education & membership
  • BASc Food & Nutrition [Hons] – Ryerson University, Toronto, ON
  • Post-graduate Internship in Clinical Nutrition – St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, ON
  • Masters of Health Science in Nutrition – University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
  • Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
  • Level 1 & 2 – Integrative & Functional NutritionNext Level Functional Nutrition
  • Member of the College of Dietitians of Ontario
Employment
  • Centre for Addiction & Mental Health – Toronto, ON
    • Geriatrics, Medical Detox, Concurrent Addiction Services
  • St Joseph’s Health Centre – Toronto, ON
    • Out-patient Mental Health
  • St Michael’s Hospital – Toronto, ON
    • Diabetes & Nephrology (kidney disease), Respirology (adult cystic fibrosis)
  • Donvalley Integrative Digestive Clinic – Toronto, ON
    • Digestive health: Celiac, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colits, Food Sensitivities/Intolerances, SIBO, IBS, GERD/reflux, ulcers, liver & gallbladder disease
    • Mental & Brain Health: mood disorders, nutritional support of psychiatric disorders & brain disease risk reduction

When I’m not helping clients I

  • Have my nose in the latest research. Left to my own devices, I’d never move from my computer
  • Am at my favourite indoor cycling studio sweating it out with the other die-hards
  • Try to hit the weights at the gym; I’m uber lean by nature so I can’t pack on muscle but it’s more about remaining strong and fit as I age
  • Am watching some mindless, guilty pleasures like Big Brother, The Amazing Race, The Strain, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Elementary, anything Star Trek (except Deep Space Nine – unspeakably awful) but I also expand my mind with The Nature of Things with David Suzuki, TVO and anything on the History Channel or Food Network
  • Fantasize about having a vegetable garden again
  • Try to make time with friends for some fine dining but love a great slice of pizza too
  • Am contemplating my next book
  • Make lists, and lists of lists and am constantly tweaking my calendar – organization rocks!

My practice is grounded in science not dogma. I provide evidence to substantiate my views and nutritional advice; I’m told by others that my strength is my ability to interpret research and translate it into easy-to-understand language and concepts that my clients can apply to improve their health and well-being. I have co-authored, been a contributing author and a nutrition editor & reviewer of 10 books including Nutrition for Canadians for Dummies (Wiley, 2008) and is a contributing author to The Complete Leaky Gut Health & Diet Guide. Manage Your Health by Managing Your Gut (Robert Rose, 2015), & co-author 175 Best Blender / Nutribullet Recipes & Health Book (Robert Rose, 2017).