Interview: “It is possible to add your own, local products and ingredients, which makes the program user-friendly in any part of the world”
One of the most time-consuming tasks for nutritionists and dietitians is creating personalized meal plans for their clients’ special needs. With NutriAdmin, South African dietitian Claudine Ryan has been able to easily adapt the meal planning software to South Africa’s dietary and cultural particularities, as well as work with its recipe management feature expanding and adapting the software’s items to her and her clients’ requirements.
How did you become a dietician? How long have you been working as a dietician in South Africa?
I started with my first-year studies in dietetics in 2001, directly after finishing high school. In South Africa, it is a 4-year course, where after you complete an in-service year at a public hospital. After my in-service year, I started my career as a private practicing dietitian. This is my 14th year working as a dietitian in SA.
What areas of nutrition do you specialize in – what kinds of services do you provide?
I am in private practice. I see patients that require nutritional intervention for weight loss, insulin resistance, diabetes, PCOS, heart disease and other diseases of lifestyle. I have a special interest in digestive issues – especially irritable bowel syndrome and have been trained in the low FODMAP diet to control IBS symptoms.
Do you work on your own as a solo-practitioner, or in a clinic/larger team?
I work on my own but hope to expand my practice in the coming years.
Do your clients tend to meet you for one-off advice, or do you typically meet them for follow-up consultations every few weeks/months?
I encourage my patients to visit the practice for a follow up every 4 weeks at least.
What would you say is different in South Africa for a dietitian versus other countries like the USA? Are there any particular advantages or challenges in your country for a dietitian?
An advantage is that South African dietitians are trained in all areas of dietetics e.g. pediatrics, clinical conditions, sport etc. We are not just trained in one aspect of nutrition. South Africa is a country that is going through urbanization, so we are seeing a substantial increase in non-communicable diseases. We are a third world country, and our public health care system is not as advanced as in developed countries. We have a diverse population and need to work with various cultures, which definitely make it interesting and challenging!
How long have you been using NutriAdmin for?
I have been using NutriAdmin for 2 years
What kinds of customization/settings do you use with NutriAdmin so that it works well for the South African market?
It is possible to add your own, local products and ingredients, which makes the program user-friendly in any part of the world. I am able to use product names and can add any food that is available in SA.
What process do you follow for creating new recipes in NutriAdmin?
I create my own recipes in NutriAdmin, and can easily make adjustments as required for clients that have unique nutritional needs e.g. allergies and intolerances and I can also easily adapt portion sizes.
How did you manage recipes before using NutriAdmin and what are the main advantages of the process you follow now?
I used to do it manually, which was very time-consuming. Now, I can create new recipes quickly and create different versions based on various therapeutic requirements and portion sizes.
What kinds of diets do you recommend to your clients most often?
Weight loss, diabetes, cholesterol lowering and digestive issues like gastritis and IBS.
What do you do in NutriAdmin to be able to use local/custom food products into your recipes and meal plans?
I simply add/ create new food items, which are stored in the program for future use.
How do you save time in creating meal plans for your clients in comparison to your previous process before using NutriAdmin?
The process is so simple – with a few clicks, I am able to create a personalized meal plan for a client. It used to take me a whole evening just to do one plan! NutriAdmin really saves time and allows you to focus on other areas of your business, instead of working on time-consuming meal plans.
Have you had to contact technical support at NutriAdmin much? How was the service received whenever you had a technical issue or question?
Yes, I have. The process was very easy – the team is always available and sorts out any issues quickly, although you don’t need much support as the program really works well as is!
If you were to recommend NutriAdmin to another dietitian, what would you tell them about the software?
If you want to create customized meal plans and don’t want to waste valuable time on manually doing meal plans, then NutriAdmin is for you! NutriAdmin is cost effective and very easy to use!
Claudine Ryan is a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist at Nutritious Living.