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. Of course that didn’t bode well in a very tightly wound clinical internship where it’s all about not rocking the boat; fast forward to today and I’m free of that.
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. It was only after I was immersed in school that I learned about dietitians, the path to a post-grad hospital-based clinical internship (and apparently this is what I needed to do, go with the flow of my classmates who where specifically in school to become a dietitian). So I followed 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 is what I thought I’d be learning about when I went back to university in the first place; I was born-again. Integrative & functional nutrition considers the whole person AND as many factors that contribute to a given health problem using a holistic approach to client care and aims to get to the root, functional cause of illness instead of chasing symptoms. It’s a multi-pronged approach to problem solving.
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 so take a deeeeeep breath if that’s a challenge for you.
I am a guy who’s pretty much in his head – a lot – very intellectual – a GEEK at heart – and I’m the first to admit that my writing is a tad technical – BUT – I’m working on it. My goal is to provide content that isn’t just about the same boring stuff like “watch the sodium” but rather going a little deeper so you can appreciate the reason WHY behind my advice. My long term goal is to provide something enjoyable so don’t give up on me 🙂
I find a lot of my clients come to me after having seen other health practitioners and gotten nowhere. They know nutrition & lifestyle can help but haven’t found advice that works but the feedback I get is that I do make a difference and that’s awesome. I don’t sugar coat things, I’m a straight-shooter and take the fluff out of nutrition. I am not going to waste your time or my time talking nonsense.
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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 Dietician Nutritionist
- Level 1 & 2 – Integrative & Functional Nutrition – Next Level Functional Nutrition
- Member of the College of Dietitians of Ontario
- 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)
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).
I am the co-author, contributing author, nutritional consultant and nutrition reviewer/editor of 10 books on several nutrition and health-related topics and recipe books:
Nutrition for Canadians for DummiesGet the Book
175 Best Superfood Blender RecipesGet the Book
The Complete Leaky Gut Health & Diet GuideGet the Book
The Complete 10-Day Detox Diet Plan & CookbookGet the Book
Eat Raw, Eat Well. 400 Raw, Vegan & Gluten-Free RecipesGet the Book
Juice Guru. Transform Your Life by Adding One Juice a DayGet the Book
The Complete Whole Grains Cookbook. 150 Recipes for Healthy LivingGet the Book
The Healthy Slow Cooker – 2nd edition. More than 135 Gluten-Free Recipes for Health and WellnessGet the Book
250 Best Beans, Lentils & Tofu RecipesGet the Book
The 163 Best Paleo Slow Cooker Recipes.Get the Book
“you [Doug] have helped me more than any Doctor. By putting in place a few changes in my diet & using weights I feel for once in my life that everything has come together nicely. I cannot thank you enough”.
“Doug was recommended to me by a family member and his knowledge and support have been instrumental in helping me to understand the relationship between food and diabetes. Since contacting Doug, I have lost weight, maintained steady blood sugar and A1C levels and have felt much healthier and energetic overall. I would highly recommend Doug!”
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