Whitney Allison, Clinical Dietitian
What made you decide to become a dietitian?
I decided to pursue a career as a dietitian after witnessing the positive effects that nutritional changes can have not only on one’s health but also our overall well-being.
What's the most important nutritional focus for the patients you serve? Why?
The population I serve is quite varied making every day different. I work with patients to ensure they are getting the nutrition they need to heal from surgery and injury, maintain and/or gain strength, and reduce malnutrition. Another important part of my day-to-day is to provide patients with individualized nutrition education to help them make sustainable changes and in turn achieve their health goals.
If there was one thing you could shout from the rooftops to educate our community on proper nutrition, what would it be?
One aspect of nutrition that I would like everyone to know is that “all foods fit”. It is all about finding a balance with portions and moderation.
Whitney's Favourite Healthy 5-Ingredient Granola Bars
-1 heaping cup packed dates (pitted // deglet noor or medjool)*
-1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (or honey if not vegan)
-1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter
-1 cup roasted unsalted almonds (loosely chopped // see instructions for roasting nuts)
-1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free for GF eaters)
-Chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, etc. (optional additions)
Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a “dough” like consistency. (Mine rolled into a ball.)
Optional step: Toast your oats (and almonds if raw) in a 350-degree F (176 C) oven for 10-15 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw.
Place oats, almonds, and dates in a large mixing bowl – set aside.
Warm maple syrup (or agave or honey) and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.
Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8-inch baking dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily. Press down firmly until uniformly flattened. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let firm up in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes.
Remove bars from pan and chop into even bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days.
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