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  • Writer's pictureJulie Hagan

Diagnosed with a Chronic Disease? Here’s Why You Need a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Updated: Sep 4, 2020

If you have a health condition that you want to improve, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, prediabetes or diabetes, you may feel frustrated, sad, angry or confused about what to do next. Maybe you are just starting out and need lots of information or you may have tried other things like: 

  • Diets 

  • Medication

  • Healthcare providers 

No matter where you are in your journey, diets or supplements that promise quick fixes rarely lead to long-term, sustainable success. With the help and support  from a registered dietitian nutritionist, you can learn how to make small changes in how you eat and your lifestyle. It can be the very solution you need! 

Credible, scientifically sound advice from a professional registered dietitian nutritionist can help not only improve your health, but you can feel amazing and comfortable in the changes you’ve made. You can make changes that are sustainable for years to come. I am here as your dietitian partner to guide you on your journey, and help you decide what makes the most sense for you and your life.  

Why Work with Me?

Julie Hagan, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Registered Nurse, and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist

I am your diabetes education and nutrition partner. I have broad experience in nursing, nutrition and diabetes, including degrees from Columbia University and the University of Tennessee. I have worked in many top medical centers including the University of North Carolina Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. 

I have worked in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, weight management and cardiovascular health and lipids. I have conducted type 2 diabetes group programs, countless individual counseling sessions, and published papers in Diabetes Forecast on eating for diabetes and in professional journals on Type 2 diabetes and lipids (ex.cholesterol, triglycerides). You can learn more about my credentials and my experience on my About Me page of my website, but suffice it to say, I have the experience and the knowledge that will help you see the health results that you want, while living the life that you want.   

But my credentials are only a piece of the pie. 

My Nutrition Counseling Philosophy

Growing up in the south, I grew up eating all kinds of foods: fried chicken, fried cornbread, homemade macaroni and cheese, pies of every kind and wonderful farm fresh vegetables often seasoned with bacon grease, fried or creamed. Yes, I eat a wide variety of food - healthy food and sometimes not-so-healthy! And you can too!

I listen and understand you, my clients, and then help you learn what works for you. I’m here to be your advocate, your partner, your teammate. I want to work with you to help you first understand and learn more about your condition and what works. If you don’t understand it, everything that comes afterward will not make sense! 

Many of my clients tell me that they just want to feel better, less tired and healthier. When your condition is well-managed and you are eating better, you will feel better and more energetic. Perhaps you are motivated because you want to be there for your family – my clients share this value with me as well. Maybe you just want results… we can do that too.  I help people everyday overcome the feelings of pain, frustration, anger, and sadness and start feeling knowledgeable, confident and hopeful instead.

Making Small Lifestyle Changes: From Potato Chips to Peanuts 

I do not subscribe to the “all or nothing” approach. We’re all different; there is no single diet for diabetes. You’ll learn how much you have to change your diet to get great results.  It’s different for everyone. 

Lifestyle and moving more helps too. For one of my clients who did not exercise prior to meeting with me, this meant starting to take walks and going from lots of cookies to one or two. This was something small that he could commit to. 

I didn’t tell him to walk seven days a week. See the difference?  

Diabetes is not only my profession, but it is part of my personal life as well. 

My husband of 33 years is slim but has pre-diabetes. His twin has prediabetes too  and his mother has type 2.   My husband is definitely at risk for developing type 2 in his lifetime and so we have done a few things to lower his risk, with just a few dietary snack tweaks. He loved to eat tortilla chips and potato chips in the afternoon, despite being married to me! After switching this daily snack to peanuts, his A1C went from 5.8 down to 5.1, that is the same as lower average daily blood glucose by 20 mg/dl! Not bad! (A1c is a measure of blood glucose control over 2-3 months) 

My husband and my clients are good examples of how small changes can make a big difference.  Being more conscious of the amount and type of foods that you eat can greatly improve blood glucose. No keto diet needed! 

My clients tell me that I am compassionate and supportive, open minded, flexible and non judgemental.  I encourage you when you may feel like giving up. I give you strategies to try instead of  telling  you what to do.   I have lots of tips and tools to guide you as you decide what steps will work best for you. I am also honest with you in order to support you on your journey.

Why I Provide Nutrition Counseling Services

People who are recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and not on any (or many) medications sometimes do not receive the diabetes education and support that they need to make the many lifestyle choices that will help their diabetes control. DId you know that diet can improve blood glucose control as much as metformin, a common medication for Type 2 diabetes?  Many people are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes by their primary care provider. You may have been told to eat fewer carbs or to lose weight and given a trial period or else your doctor wants to start you on medication. But you weren’t given very much help and dietitians and diabetes educators are not always easy to find. In fact, ninety-three percent of people with diabetes do not receive diabetes education. 

I help fill the gap for those of you who have recently been diagnosed with diabetes by giving you information about what you can do, how to do it and then supporting you along the way. I welcome the opportunity to work with you, to walk with you on your diabetes journey, to meet you where you are, to help you feel better, and to help you improve your blood sugar

Introducing: How to Eat for Type 2 Diabetes Join the Waitlist! 

Early management of blood sugar levels prevents and supports how you feel today and your risk for long term health problems. By making some changes in how you eat, you can feel more in control and feel better. And it is not about deprivation, food can be both healthy, delicious, and enjoyable while it's works it's wonders on your mental and physical health. 

If you have been recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, my new course, How to Eat for Type 2 Diabetes, will help you control your diabetes and learn to make decisions about what to eat. Stay tuned for more information about How to Eat for Type 2 Diabetes, but until then, make sure that you join the waitlist so that you don’t miss out! 

I lookforward to working with you!

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