An Interview with Our Dietician 
Emma Little

Anamaya: We are very pleased to have you joining us at Anamaya, Emma. Can you tell us a little about yourself, where you come from, how you came to be here?

Emma: I am from Johannesburg, I studied in Stellenbosch, near Cape Town and am an outdoors, nature lover! I moved to the UK in 2008, after working at the well known Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital (CHBH) in Soweto. 

Anamaya: Baragwanath? Wow, that must be an amazing place to see and learn!

Emma: Yes, I gained a lot of invaluable experience at CHBH, but my desire to travel and see more of what dietetics in the rest of the world had to offer led me to London. From 2008-2011 I did locum work in many NHS hospital & community settings throughout London to widen my experience of dietetics in the UK, before heading into the Private scene about 2 years ago.

Anamaya: Wow, that’s quite a ride! You joined London Dietitians. Tell us a little about the group.

Emma: We are a team of private dietitians specializing in many different areas. We have various clinics around SW London, and also cover a couple of private hospitals, seeing the in-patients daily.  We love helping people optimize their health and achieve personal excellence.  We are all passionate about what we do and we are all passionate about food!!   

Anamaya: So, are we right in saying that with you joining us at Anamaya, clients will be consulting not only you, but you with the wealth of experience and knowledge behind London Dietitians?

Emma: Yes, we ensure that we are up to date with current knowledge, we regularly hold CPD (continuous professional development) events, to help improve our services and to give our clients the best possible care.

Anamaya: A lot of people who come to Anamaya are suffering from the problems of a high-paced, high-stressed, time-poor modern city - they are stressed, anxious, and tired. Do you find that people’s diets in this modern city often compound the problems of the environment?

Emma: Yes definitely – career driven people often have little time to prepare fresh healthy meals, and rely on ready meals, eating out, or skip meals. Poor dietary habits contribute greatly to the “diseases” related to stress and unhealthy lifestyles. Diet plays such an integral role in improving energy levels - we love helping clients maximize their work performance through optimal health.  

Anamaya: So, do you have a formula - a one-shot big-hit cure all? The uber-super food?

Emma: I don’t believe in the “one-size fits all” answer. We work with you to develop a tailored nutritional approach to meet your specific goal, whether that is to manage a specific condition, such as IBS or weight loss, or to support treatment such as chemotherapy, or to improve performance in sport ... or just to ensure that you are meeting your nutritional requirements.  

Anamaya: Should I be scared? Are you going to change everything I eat? I love my food. 

Emma: [Laughs] Not at all. All your food preferences are taken into account (if possible!): we won’t be forcing you to eat any strange food, but rather encouraging healthy changes.  I always think learning to eat properly is very much like learning to play a new sport. It takes months and years of practice to get it right, there is a lot to learn and it takes a while for good habits to sink in.  

Anamaya: So, if you’re not going to simply tell us to go eat Goji berries or the like, what is the process? What should a client expect when they come and sit down with you?

Emma: We start with details of your current diet, given in a pre-appointment form.  In your first one-hour appointment, we get your body stats (body fat, lean muscle weight etc...), and we ask more specific questions about what you eat. We will then describe the changes we suggest, and set some goals. You receive an email with all the detail.

Anamaya: There are follow-ups I presume?

Emma: We normally encourage a 30 minute follow-up every two weeks, but this may vary depending on the client.

Anamaya: Thank you for your time, Emma. And, by the way, before you go, do you have a few moments, I think I need some guidance on the food side...!


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