Gabrielle Riola, RD, Nutrition for Children & More

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Dave: Today I am happy to share the brief interview I had with Gabrielle Riola, a registered dietitian.

“Welcome Gabrielle!  It’s good to have you on board for some Q & A.  After reviewing your website, I learned that you’re a dietitian, but did not know what you specialize in.  Can you share a little bit about what you do?”

Gabrielle: “I’ve spent the last five years working in pediatric weight management.  I help overweight and underweight children normalize their weight through nutrition intervention.”

Dave: “Working with children must be rewarding, yet challenging too.  Can you share some of the common challenges that you encounter when helping overweight and underweight children, and how you have overcome them?”

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Gabrielle: “The biggest challenge I face with counseling children is a lack of internal motivation. Many times it is difficult for them to understand the importance of good health because of their age. Also

I’m not only counseling the child, but also the parent or entire family. So many habits and personalities are involved in the process, which
makes it more complicated.

The important thing to focus on is where each person is in the process of change and to work with the goals that they want to attain, rather than the goals that I have for them.  For example, a child might not be able to grasp the importance of avoiding diabetes however they may be motivated to become healthier so that they have an easier time participating in their favorite sport.”

Dave: “Sounds like you have a very personalized approach, which is essential for children these days.  There are so many children’s snacks and foods loaded with sugar.  You may have even seen 60 Minutes a month ago that aired a segment about Sugar Toxicity.  What is your take about sugar toxicity- should people be concerned?”

Gabrielle: “I think the current state of America’s health is a multifaceted issue with many causes.  Excess sugar most definitely plays an important role.  Unfortunately when there was a low-fat push in the 1970’s, we took that fat out and replaced it with sugar.  And obesity, heart disease and other conditions are rampant in society today.   This latest round of research does not surprise me.  The public should be very concerned and begin reducing their added sugar intake immediately – any added form of sugar, whether it be cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup.  I always encourage clients to satisfy their sweet tooth via natural sources – i.e. fruit, and to keep added sugar consumption to a minimum.”

Dave: “Excellent advice.  Reducing added sugar is becoming more and more critical for good health, especially with all the hidden sugars in processed foods these days.

Moving into another area here – last week, I checked out your website and saw that you offer on-line nutrition counseling.  Can you tell us a little bit about that?”

Gabrielle: “My private nutrition counseling business, Nurturing Nutrition, offers face to face consults in Colchester, but for those who cannot get to the office, and we know how busy our schedules are these days, I offer online counseling as well.  To get started, a client purchases a package based on their needs and then completes a nutrition questionnaire and three day food diary.  I analyze this diary and conduct an initial hour long consult via skype, phone or online chat.  Follow up sessions are based on individual’s need.”

Dave: “That sounds like a great service, especially for people who want the personalized attention, but do not have the time to travel to a dietitian.  Before we close this segment, do you have any final words you’d like to share with our readers?”

Gabrielle: “Good health is attainable by everyone. It boils down to making the decision to make changes to your current habits and then making the time to make them a reality. It won’t happen by accident!”

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About Dave Barnas, M.S., CES, NASM-CPT

Dave is a true health expert. He is the founder and owner of True Health Unlimited, LLC, a personal health and fitness company in Tolland, CT. Dave earned both a Bachelor's (1998) and Master's Degree (2000) in Nutritional Science from the University of Connecticut, and also holds certifications as a National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist, Aerobics and Fitness Association of America Group Instructor, and Nutrition Specialist. He's also the lead author for four published works. Dave has over 18,000 hours of combined experience in nutrition counseling, dietary supplement advising, personal training, corrective exercise training, health coaching and public speaking. In addition, he's spent over 20 years studying spirituality, meditation, and personal growth strategies. Dave's clients are all ages: youth, college championship level athletes, folks in their retired years, and everywhere in between. He's worked with three of the nation's leading physicians as a dietary supplement advisor and been a guest lecturer at Harvard University, Yale University, UConn, St. Joseph College and various church groups, health clubs, and high schools. In 2013, he was invited to Whole Foods Market to share his Real Food Therapy Guide. And in 2015, Dave's funny "Snowga" (yoga in the snow) video caught the attention of The National Weather Channel, who aired it to shake off cabin fever and bring laughter. In 2016, Dave & Hollie (his beloved) began writing evidence-based Wellness Newsletters to spread a message of health and happiness to various small businesses throughout Connecticut.

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