I sat down with Hy-Vee’s Certified Dietitian in pursuit to learn more about Celiac, Gluten free
foods and how he has adapted in his career to the changes in those industries. After the Q & A session, I was given a tour of the Health Market of Hy-Vee containing sections of organic and gluten free, and other food-allergen foods. While touring, Dean informed me they are going to beginexpansion of the Health Market as they feel the increase in food allergens and healthy food choices is something that could change the grocery store industry in major ways.
Q: How did you decide on this career path?
A: I was always into running, started training for trialthalons and realized I needed to be putting the right things in my body to keep up my energy. I was 23 before I started college though so I was a non-traditional student and chose to attend the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point for my Undergrad, then attended Iowa State University to complete my Dietetic internship.
Q: How often do you meet with people with gluten intolerances or people who have Celiac disease?
A: It varies. Some weeks, I may not talk to anyone with it, some weeks I may talk to 6 people. I also recommend gluten free diets to people who may be having stomach problems or problem losing weight, so it comes up in a lot of my conversations.
Q: What changes have you had to learn to adjust to in the gluten free or allergen industry?
A: Simply put, there’s a lot more people being diagnosed so a lot of changed had to be made, awareness being the biggest thing. I now go to yearly conferences and a lot of meetings in the community about celiac awareness and the gluten free lifestyle. We also have a much more accurate listing of GF ingredients and cookbooks for people since 1 in 133 people will be diagnosed.
Q: Why do you think it’s important for people with celiac to meet with a dietitian?
A: Since the statistic is so high for people who will get celiac or an intolerance, it is important for them to fully comprehend what it means to be gluten free. Also, people are diagnosed so much later in life sometimes, so people have been consuming foods their entire life that are hurting them. We are able to provide them with resources and support of how to make that lifestyle change and make them feel worlds better.
My tour with Dean can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jaum_cfFTbo&feature=youtu.be