My name is Samantha, and I am the new Registered Dietitian here at 6SFitness! I am so excited to start working with you to help you set and achieve your nutrition goals. Today I want to share my journey to becoming a dietitian and give you the chance to learn more about me!
Since the age of 3, I have been a part of the sports community. As a competitive dancer and gymnast, I spent many hours training, practicing, and competing. Some will argue that dance is not actually a sport, but those who say that have never participated in a dance competition. The most incredible thing about dance and gymnastics is the combination of sports and arts to create a challenging sport that uses endurance, strength, flexibility, and technique. I especially loved being on stage, getting to wear all of the beautiful costumes and makeup and performing under the bright lights. These sports taught me discipline, time management, and dedication and, most importantly, introduced me to the world of nutrition.
After switching gymnastics coaches at the age of 12, I learned how food can impact my body and athletic performance. My coach asked me what I was eating on longer training nights, as I spent most Thursdays training at dance from 4:00-10:00 PM with just a 45-minute break for dinner. My usual dinner was frozen lasagna from the grocery store, packed with protein and saturated fats. He told me that these macronutrients weighed me down during my training, made me tired, and hurt my training because they took too long to digest. He showed me what foods I could eat instead, and I immediately noticed a difference! I no longer felt exhausted right after my break and instead felt energized and ready to train.
Once I got to high school, I took a nutrition class that completely changed my career path. Before this class, I wanted to be a Mechanical Engineer. When I was younger, I really thought I was going to invent the flying car one day. But after taking this course, I knew that this was exactly where I was supposed to be. About a year later, I watched a video put out by the Montreal Canadiens about their sports dietitian. She described what a dietitian does, how they help athletes using nutrition, and what it’s like to be a part of the sports community. I knew from that moment on that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
After high school, I went to Brescia University College to pursue my dream of becoming a dietitian. I volunteered at many places during those four years, but the most influential was my internship with the London Knights Hockey Club. As the largest and most successful team in the Ontario Hockey League, the internship presented me with many opportunities. I started as a Promotions Intern, where I helped with game-day promotions and meet-and-greets with the players. After one season, I was determined to become the team’s Nutrition Intern and did so for the next two seasons. After graduating and returning home to Toronto, I became the Mississauga Steelheads Hockey Club’s first-ever Nutrition Intern. In these roles, I consulted one-on-one with the players to help them reach their nutrition goals and delivered team education sessions throughout the season. I produced resources for the athletes and billet families, developed adaptable meal plans, and helped find and adapt recipes that met the athletes’ nutrition needs. I learned how to make long-lasting changes that increase their performance and nutrition knowledge. It was incredibly rewarding to watch the athletes I worked with succeed, some of which have already gone on to win gold at the World Juniors and even the Stanley Cup!
In the fall of 2019, I started my Master’s degree in Nutrition Communication at Ryerson University. While learning about nutrition, best practices for adult learning, and completing my internship with the Mississauga Steelheads, I also continued my athletics journey by taking gymnastics classes and coaching young gymnasts. Unfortunately, the pandemic hit halfway through my degree and delayed my graduate placements for the summer term. However, if not for that, I would have never made my way to 6SFitness!
My final placement in my Master’s was working alongside Alysha here at 6S! I counselled clients one-on-one to help them reach their nutrition goals, created resources, and developed social media content. I also joined Alysha on two live streams to talk about kitchen gadgets and recipes for the spring. I learned so much through my experience and loved the nutrition programs the gym had to offer. After my internship concluded and the summer went by, I officially joined the 6S team as their second Registered Dietitian, and now here we are!
In addition to dietetics, I absolutely love baking and cake decorating. While it may seem ironic that the dietitian loves to bake cakes, I think those two go perfectly together. To me, it shows that dietitians are not just the food police and that there’s no such thing as “good foods” and “bad foods.” I believe that all foods have a place in our diet, including cake! Food is not just about fueling our bodies or meeting weight goals. Food is a part of culture, traditions, celebrations, and can provide us with a sense of happiness. My goal as a dietitian is to show you how you can incorporate your favourite foods into your diet while still reaching your nutrition goals. That’s why I love my apron: Registered Dietitians Eat Cake!
I am so excited to start working with you to begin your nutrition journey! I hope you’ve learned a bit more about me, and I can’t wait to learn more about you as well!
Interested in chatting with Samantha about your nutrition?
**BOOK A FREE 15 MIN NUTRITION INTRO HERE** (virtual or in-person)