Food for Thought: An Interview with A Campus Dietitian
“As a society, we’ve been at war with food, it’s time to put that aside and fuel our bodies so that we can be our best selves.” —Abbigail Hickey, RDN, LD
Did you know Auburn University has a team of registered dietitians/nutritionists? You can make an appointment for a nutrition consultation with a registered dietitian and get professional, individualized nutrition advice.
Help With Grocery Shopping
They can help with grocery shopping, meal planning, weight management, food allergies/intolerances, gastrointestinal issues, disease prevention, sports nutrition, eating disorder recovery and women’s health issues such as amenorrhea and PCOS.
“All Foods” Philosophy
They work from an “all foods fit” philosophy, which means they do not recommend dieting for weight loss. They work with clients to eat intuitively — honoring hunger and fullness cues, avoiding food shaming or labeling food as “good or bad,” and eating for health rather than to see a certain number on the scale.
We talked to Abbigail Hickey, RDN, LD, a registered dietitian nutritionist about nutrition on campus.
Interview With Abbigail Hickey, RDN, LD
Be Well: If you could only give Auburn students one piece of nutrition-related advice, what would it be?
Abbigail Hickey: There are so many things I would love to tell Auburn Students about nutrition! My one piece of advice? Look at what your food can add to your health rather than what it can take away. If we looked at foods for the benefits rather than the calorie/fat/carbs/sugar content, our society would have a much better relationship with food. This advice is appropriate for everyone — all shapes, sizes, ages, and disease states. For example, a veggie pizza can be incredibly beneficial: it can contain all five food groups with a variety of nutrients (macro- and micro-nutrients), it can be satisfying, and it probably tastes really good!
Be Well: What advice would you give to students that are trying to make healthy food choices on the meal plan?
Abbigail Hickey: The easiest way to know a meal is balanced is to look at the amount of food groups it contains. The food groups are fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy. Finding a meal with 4–5 food groups and a snack with 2–3 food groups is generally a good choice. It is also important to consider hunger level, variety (try new things that provide different nutrients), food preferences and what generally sounds appetizing! You can find these types of meals everywhere on campus.
Photography: Jack P.