Dietitian Rehab Podcast

Dietitian Rehab Podcast

Dietitian Rehab2 300x300 - Dietitian Rehab Podcast

Dietitian Rehab

Detoxing from dogmatic dietitian education and attitudes for a mind wide open


Dietitian Rehab was borne out of a twenty-year career as a hospital-based dietitian and my desire to detox from the heavily dogmatic teachings of traditional dietetics. My interest in nutrition was always one of pure curiosity.


My mom and nana unknowingly instilled the value of food and health in me while I helped with the cooking. I had never heard of the word “dietitian”. All I knew was that I was interested in nutrition with an interest in basic sciences like chemistry, biology, and physiology. I went back to school to learn all that I could.


I landed a job in a well-respected teaching hospital. Then, disillusion and disappointment hit. I knew there was more, and I knew I wasn’t going to get it through traditional dietetic educational channels.


Follow me, Doug Cook RDN, author, health nerd, and nutrition expert to learn from some of the amazing thought-leaders of our time about healthcare, diet, supplements, nutritional sciences, and wellness. We’ll tease out the details and get to the truth.


But first, “you must unlearn what you have learned” YODA.


Why a podcast?

I’ve been a dietitian nutritionist for over 21 years.


During that time I explored anything and everything I could, saying “YES” to every opportunity. I wanted to try it all.


During that time I’ve:

  • Worked as a clinical dietitian in three different hospitals in Toronto:
    • St Michael’s Hospital
      • nephrology [kidney disease], diabetes & adult cystic fibrosis
    • St Joseph’s Health Center
      • nephrology
      • out-patient psychiatry
    • Center for Addiction & Mental Health
      • geriatrics, concurrent addictions in-patient treatment services [‘rehab’], medical withdrawal (“detox”) & in-patient forensics
  • Private practice for 18 years
  • Co-authored, been a contributing author, content expert, and editor on 11 books
  • Written for various websites (the Province of Ontario’s former health site “Healthy Ontario”), other blogs, magazines, medical publications (The Medical Post), and more
  • Had a newspaper column in the Toronto Star & Hamilton Spectator called ‘The Vice Squad”
  • Done countless presentations and workshops, been a brand spokesperson for several products, and media (TV, radio, and print)

I could go on.


At some point, it was about trying something brand new RATHER than continuing with the tried and true.


I wanted to go outside of my comfort zone. I’ve been secretly thinking about a podcast for over 2 years. I love the idea of them because I love doing radio interviews. In the era of social media, TV, etc, I think radio has become an underappreciated medium. We’ve lost the art of verbal communication in my opinion.


Research shows that people love to listen to genuine conversations.


So a podcast for me is about carving out time to talk to real people about the things I love and want to talk about, that others (the listeners) will find interesting too, and more importantly, learn something.

Getting back to my roots

I always say I grew up in the kitchen with my mom and nana who included me in cooking from a young age. I loved food and cooking but also developed an interest in health and the basic sciences.


When I was 16, my mom was diagnosed with cancer and at the same time I was starting my lifeguarding training; together those two events meshed with my love of food and interest in health; studying nutrition became the next logical step in my mind.


After a few years of working a minimum wage job, I decided to take the next step. I had never heard of the word “dietitian” so that was NEVER my goal. All I knew was that I was interested in the subject matter, nutrition, so I did what one does, go to university to study.


By the time I went back to school as a mature student, I had already been exposed to a ton of different nutrition-related ideas, concepts, research, and more.


I was informally studying and learning all that I could about nutrition. During my first undergrad, I bought various health and nutrition textbooks and consumed them at the expense of my other homework.


I was also hanging out in so-called ‘health food’ and supplement stores and reading all those free magazines that they have – factual or not, I was exposed to a wide range of concepts, ideas, and more.


But, I went to school and was hit with disappointment, disillusionment, and quite frankly sadness. The undergrad curriculum sucked.


It didn’t get much better in grad school and while I learned a ton during my internship, it was highly restrictive, conservative and didn’t fulfill my insatiable hunger to learn more – I knew there was so much more than writing in-depth chart notes, ordering a ‘therapeutic’ diet order, or worse, Boost or Ensure.

Who’s this podcast for?

The reality is, most of the audience will be other dietitians and nutritionists, and other health professionals BUT, as with my social media and newsletter tribe members, there’ll be lots of everyday folks too.


People who are super curious by nature and interested in a bunch of different topics, like me!


Right off the bat, DO NOT let the name of the podcast throw you…Dietitian Rehab IS NOT just for dietitians


As I say, it’s for anyone who:

  • Has a genuine and pure desire to learn as much as they can
  • Wants to hear as many points of view and perspectives from different people, professionals, and backgrounds on different health and nutrition topics
    • The reality is each profession has its own lens that they see the world through, and no one discipline has all the answers

What’s up with the podcast title?

The idea of the show is about my rehab as a registered dietitian. It’s:

  • My journey of detoxing and purging from the dogmatic education and mindset of traditional dietetics education and training
    • It’s about shaking off a lot of the conventional wisdom and conservatism
  • My freedom to explore all things health and nutrition in any way that I want to rather than being made to feel that I’m wrong for doing so, or to only talk about certain topics or to guests whom others deem worthwhile for the dietetic profession to consider. I’ve been pressured to play small and fall in line for over 20 years. Sadly, the elephant in the dietetic’s profession room that no one is talking about is bullying in the form of conformity.
    • Regardless of the topic or source, I want to learn and talk about it
  • Our opportunity to explore all things nutrition
    • The good, the bad, and the ugly
      • We’ll cover anything from the tried and true and all the way to the controversial
    • We’ll challenge assumptions, traditions, and conventional wisdom

In short, it’s time to stir up some shit.

No topic is off-limits.

  • I’m gonna talk about WHAT-EVER I want to, and NOT just what’s talked about in traditional dietitian circles or what’s filtered to us through pharmaceutical and food industry-influenced “continuing education”
    • If I want to talk about IV vitamin therapy – I will
    • Or I may critically look at long-standing ‘truths’
      • Did you have wonder how they arrived at “5” as the recommended number of servings of fruit and veg in the “5 a day campaign”?
        • Is it even based on evidence? You might be surprised
        • Is fruit even necessarily healthy? There are some interesting ideas out there that might make you think twice.

Certainly no motherhood statements with this show.


And, gone are the days of being belittled, dismissed, or made to feel ridiculous for even asking questions about ‘alternative’ points of view by my dietitian preceptors.

What can you expect with the podcast?

So, what’s coming up on the Dietitian Rehab show?

  • We’re going to have rich discussions on a variety of topics such as healthcare, food, supplements, nutritional science, health and wellness, and much more.
  • It’s not going to be edited or shaped in a way to make any particular profession, or persons feel safe.


I’ll be talking to thought leaders in various areas of practice, research, and more including nutrition scientists, journalists, dietitians, nutritionists, and other health professionals including medical doctors who also don’t automatically toe the party line either but rather who pushing medicine to think differently.


Upcoming interviews include:


And many more to come!

So, when I launch on February 25th, please hit “subscribe” and get an alert whenever a new episode is posted and ready to expand your nutritional world, your perspective and gain knowledge and confidence on all things nutrition in ways you didn’t know you could.


Doug Cook RDN is a Toronto based integrative and functional nutritionist and dietitian with a focus on digestive, gut, mental health.  Follow me on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.