“I wish that kids would work for a little bit first and do some living before just jumping right into school and then school and then masters because you can learn all you want from classes and textbooks but if you don’t have that life experience you’re not going to resonate with your clients, you’re not going to understand half the things they’re going through.” – Phoebe Lee, MHSc, RD
Registered Dietitian Phoebe Lee joins Sarah on the podcast this week to discuss her career as a community dietitian at a community health centre. Working in community care has exposed Phoebe to a varied population with a wide variety of conditions, and has offered her the opportunity to continue to educate herself beyond inherent biases. Phoebe is a huge advocate for body liberation and food security, and provides incredible insight into staying informed and culturally humble in the field of dietetics.
Phoebe moved from her hometown of Calgary to Ottawa to go to art school before settling in Toronto. While her young life was filled with a love of food, the nutrition piece didn’t come until much later, which Phoebe is grateful for — she believes the life experience she was able to gain before studying nutrition has made her a better dietitian. Phoebe completed both her undergraduate degree and masters at Ryerson, during which she was determined to get as many community placements as possible. One of these placements was at Black Creek Community Centre, which is where she still works today.
Working in community care has opened Phoebe’s eyes to not only the injustices surrounding food security, but also the pervasive whiteness in dietetics. Phoebe speaks to Sarah about practicing anti-racism in her work, and wading through concepts that have complex, and sometimes troubling paradigms, to find the good in them. When speaking to the future, Phoebe floats the idea of one day completing her PhD while continuing to work in community care, and hopes that the big picture of dietetics continues to diversify.
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