Who is the Mental Health Dietitian?
Hi, I'm Dorothy! I am a Registered Dietitian (RD), Personal Training Specialist (PTS), and Healthy Eating & Weight Loss Coach (HWL) who graduated with a Masters of Health Science in Nutrition Communication (MHSc) and a Bachelors of Applied Science (BASc) in Food and Nutrition from Toronto Metropolitan University.
Why did I become a dietitian? Growing up with a love for sciences, I knew that my future would land me in the health field. The only question was - where? The answer became clear during high school when I struggled with disordered eating and mood disorders that, unbeknownst to me, would forever change the course of how I viewed food, exercise, and health. I knew then that I wanted to pursue a field within nutritional sciences. Concurrently, I noticed how years of deleterious diets and unhealthy lifestyle habits, like undereating, undersleeping, overstressing, and overexercising, wreaked havoc on my gut, mind, and body. I couldn't eat a meal without my stomach blowing up. My mood and outfits were dictated by how bloated I was. I was constantly anxious. I felt tired and lethargic even when I slept. I drank 6 espresso shots so my brain would function, only to feel like a robot on autopilot... enough was enough. I needed to take control of my health.
Over time, I pursued personal training and enrolled in a nutritional psychology course. I learned about the importance of proper nutrition and mindset for sustainable weight management, as well as the instrumental role food plays in preventing, managing, and even treating mental health disorders. I also discovered the underlying role gut health plays in all areas of well-being, including mental health. I self-handily began to reshape my health piece by piece until issues that once occupied my life slowly turned into problems of the past. I learned how to eat in a way that aided digestion and made my stomach feel good. I learned how to build balanced meals that balanced my mood. I developed a mindful, intuitive, and healthy relationship with both my body and food. No, these changes did not happen overnight. But if I could do it, why not help others? And so, The Mental Health Dietitian was born.
If my story resonated with you, if you struggle with your mental health and gut health, or if you are tired
of gimmicky unsustainable health and weight loss programs that only function to ultimately tear you down, book a FREE 15-minute consult (no referral needed) so we can begin to work together to advance your physical, emotional, and mental well-being in a manner that is safe, kind, joyous, and sustainable.
Dorothy Perelman, RD, PTS, MHSc, BASc
Brain & Mental Health
I apply my in-depth knowledge of the role nutrients, dietary patterns, and lifestyle factors play in mood, mental health, and brain function to help you
I examine the impact of your diet, eating patterns, and lifestyle factors on your gut health and gut microbiome to help you
Using a Health At Every Size (HAES) approach, focusing on intuitive eating, and an "adding > restriction" mindset, I help you
General cognitive health
Gas and bloating
Gut microbiome and gut-brain connection
Strength and endurance
Why work with a Registered Dietitian (RD)?
Being a registered dietitian means that I am a licensed health professional who is accountable to a provincial regulatory body (College of Dietitans of Ontario). Therefore, I am held to the highest principles of professional practice and standard of care.
Regulated health professional
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Trustworthy, ethical, and personalized nutrition
In addition to a nutritional science degree and master of health science, I completed comprehensive and rigorous practicum training to meet the competencies necessary to pass the Canadian Dietetics Registration Examination. Therefore, I am trained to provide medical nutrition therapy that is evidence-based, safe, reliable, and personalized to your health needs.
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Many Canadians have employee health benefit plans and most major insurers (seven out of ten) include dietitian services in their standard plan. I will submit a claim and bill directly if your insurance covers dietetic services.
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Covered by most health insurance plans
My philosophy of practice:
I provide nutrition and fitness care using the best available scientific evidence. This means that I offer advice based on sound research from high-quality literature, such as randomized control trials and systematic literature reviews, to optimize client outcomes.
I realize that physical, mental, emotional, and interpersonal trauma can have a lasting physical and psychological impact on one's health. Therefore, I aim to create a trustworthy, compassionate, supportive, and safe environment.
I prioritize clients’ unique stories, backgrounds, cultures, values, and needs when providing individualized nutrition and fitness care. As such, I collaborate with my clients throughout the entirety of their mental and physical health journeys, respecting clients' right to autonomy.
I combine my comprehensive training in clinical nutrition therapy with knowledge of nutritional psychology and fitness expertise to provide a comprehensive approach to preventative healthcare and disease management. I focus on addressing interconnected pillars of health, including sleep, nutrition, fitness, hydration, self-care, and mindfulness, to promote total physical, psychological, emotional, and intellectual well-being.
Yes, I specialize in helping individuals achieve their desired weight. However, I believe all individuals, regardless of body size, deserve respect and dignity. Rather than emphasizing appearance-centered goals, I focus on promoting balanced and sustainable lifestyles that improve total body health and enhance quality of life. I prioritize your mental and emotional well-being, no matter the journey you are on.
My mission is to help you discover the power food has on your psychological well-being and mental health. I aim to advocate for the incorporation of dietary interventions as complementary treatment therapies in mental healthcare by emphasizing the diet-mental health relationship (DMHR) and increasing attention on gut health as one key mental health determinant.
*DISCLAIMER: I am a Registered Dietitian, not a licensed therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist. My expertise lies in the field of nutrition. While I can provide valuable support and guidance in optimizing your nutrition for mental health, it is important to note that my services do not replace the need for comprehensive mental health care provided by licensed mental health professionals. If you are experiencing mental health issues, including but not limited to depression, anxiety, or mood disorders, I strongly recommend seeking guidance from a qualified mental health therapist or psychiatrist. If you are under the care of a mental health professional, it is essential to inform them of any dietary changes or nutritional interventions we discuss during our sessions. By proceeding with nutrition counseling for mental health, you acknowledge and understand the limitations of my services and the importance of seeking appropriate mental health care when needed.