Carrie Lambden’s (BSNT’08) passion for nutrition came from two sources: her grandma and from being an athlete.
“My grandma actually used to be the dean of home economics at the university the last year it ended, before it went into nutrition,” said Lambden.
Along with her grandma being big into nutrition, Lambden was a member of the Huskie women’s volleyball team at USask, which kept nutrition top of mind for her.
With her focus on nutrition, a career as a dietitian seemed like a perfect fit for Lambden, who really enjoyed the flexibility of the field, one in which she wasn’t stuck in a hospital, behind a desk or counter.
Lambden moved to Prince Albert after she graduated in 2008 and started work as a primary care dietitian where she did prenatal nutrition, chronic disease management and contract work for the Saskatchewan Penitentiary.
“I worked a lot with the inmates who needed nutrition counselling on things like diabetes, HIV or hepatitis C. I also worked with the food services department to ensure that the menu they were providing was meeting the industry standards,” said Lambden. “It was actually really interesting.”
Lambden then moved to the Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) and was a community dietitian. She was able to work in communities, create food service menu planning with schools and daycares, and work with families, as well as on chronic disease management.
“I really loved being a community dietitian at STC because there was so much flexibility,” said Lambden. You're kind of a jack of all trades. I also really enjoyed working with Indigenous communities and learning about the First Nations culture.”
Lambden’s most recent career change came this past March when she took the position of contact co-ordinator for Eat Well Saskatchewan, a free provincial service that makes dietitian services accessible to all areas of Saskatchewan. It’s funded through Indigenous Services Canada and partnered with USask.
“Basically my job is to run the whole thing. So start it up, run the program, make it successful. I’m in charge of doing all the advertising, promotion, co-ordinating it all. I’m the one on the phone answering the questions, doing the evaluations, pretty much everything,” said Lambden.
People across Saskatchewan can call the toll free number to ask nutrition questions. Lambden also works at promoting nutrition facts through social media.
“I think that's the most frustrating thing about being a dietitian is that everyone is a nutrition expert. Registered dietitian is a protected term, but nutritionist isn't. So you're constantly debunking nutrition myths that are often very harmful,” said Lambden.
“There's so much misinformation out there, so this service is really important because nutrition is a science and registered dietitian is an evidence-based practice. So when people call and ask for nutrition advice, we're only going to give them information that's based on evidence.”
Lambden said she’s received hundreds of questions on the line since it started, covering a wide variety of topics. She’s really enjoying this new career path so far and is excited to see where the program could go in the future.