Thank you for visiting my website. My name is Rhonda O’Brien; I’m a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with a private practice in Boise’s North End. For over 24 years, I have been helping people adopt healthier eating habits so that they can live healthier and more fulfilling lives.
I pursued the field of nutrition in college because I wanted to make a difference in people's lives - to help people improve their health and longevity, and have a better quality of life. I've stayed in this field because it's tremendously rewarding to work with individuals who are motivated to change - whether it's eating healthier to prevent a heart attack, making food changes to reach optimal blood sugar levels, or stopping the destructive yo-yo diet cycle and making peace with food.
Healthy eating is so much more than knowing "what to eat". It's also having a healthy relationship with food. Restrictive diets are not healthy, and can actually worsen your health. Losing and then regaining weight over and over has been shown to contribute to several chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. 95-98% of dieters who lose weight will regain that lost weight plus additional weight within 5 years.
Dieting teaches you how not to eat, and to ignore your body’s built-in gauge of when and how much to eat - hunger and fullness. Diets also teach you to be afraid of certain foods. Have you every heard an adult say something like “I’ve been naughty” (referring to the doughnut or ice cream they just ate)? This way of thinking promotes a dysfunctional relationship with food, which in turn creates a vicious yo-yo cycle of restriction followed by binge eating. The experience of several "failed" diet attempts causes guilt and wears at your self esteem, creating a love/hate relationship with food and your body.
Why, if dieting is so ineffective and detrimental, do Americans continue to try diet after diet? Dieting has become the “norm” in our culture. It’s a terribly dysfunctional way to interact with food, yet “everybody does it”. You can bet that every January 1, you will hear people talking about the “plan” or latest diet they are starting. And with the media constantly reminding us that we are in the middle of an “obesity epidemic”, the guilt, shame and desperation increase until we decide to try the next great thing that comes along - hoping that this is the “one”. If guilt and shame were effective motivators for weight loss, we’d all be “thin”.
I use an approach called Health at Every Size (HAES). You can read more about this approach in the HAES section of my website. In a nutshell, this approach encourages you to work on optimizing your health through healthy / supportive eating, a healthy relationship with food, controlling stress, and enjoyable physical activity. Success is not based on weight loss, but instead by measures of metabolic fitness such as blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and resting heart rate, in addition to energy, stress level and general sense of well being. Weight may or may not change, however with healthier eating habits and consistent physical activity, health will improve. In addition to helping you make healthy, livable changes to what you eat, I will also help you transform your relationship with food and get off the diet roller coaster.
Eating is pleasurable and is something you need to do every day for the rest of your life; it makes sense to make healthy eating as enjoyable and attainable as possible.
When I'm not working, I enjoy scrap booking, gardening, yoga, bicycling, spending time in the mountains camping and backpacking, caring for my 3 cats and 2 dogs, and relaxing with a good book, preferably on a warm, sandy beach.
1414 W. Franklin St., Boise, ID 83702
Phone (208) 342-2228 Fax (208) 343-0889