Welcome to the Dietitians Explore! Blog

The DE! Blog shares news about DE!, profiles innovative dietetic work around the world and offers tips and insights about travel. Basically, the focus is on opportunities to travel, learn and grow. Our favourite things here at DE!

Please email me at info@dietitiansexplore.ca if you would like to contribute to the blog or if you have topic ideas.

I hope you enjoy reading the blog as much as I enjoy putting it together!


Director and Co-Founder, DE!


How does Master’s level research apply to an RD career?

Written by Lilisha Burris
Posted Jan 2018

People often ask me about my educational background and how it has helped my career; to find out read my recent post on the DC Practice Blog: Three reasons why doing Master’s level research can benefit your career in unexpected ways.


Self-reflection: Living abroad

Written by Lilisha Burris
Posted Jan 2018

The idea of living and working abroad can be exciting! There are countless articles and blogs about life-changing ‘gap years’ spent back-packing around exciting places, meeting new people, trying new food, learning new skills and building new relationships.

In addition to all of the excitement, the idea of building a life in another country, even temporarily, can be so daunting that many people don’t even dare to consider it.

In the blog post “Do you have what it takes to live abroad? 3 vital questions to determine the answer”, Thida Ith, a well-travelled registered dietitian who works in Canada, offers some food for thought to help determine your readiness to live in another country.

Like all worthwhile journeys, self-reflection is the first step!


Hosting a DE! trip at home in Toronto

Written by Lilisha Burris
Posted Sept 26, 2017

“Welcome to Toronto!”, I exclaimed, as the visitors from Hungary entered our Ryerson meeting room/classroom; their expressions a mixture of excitement and jet-lag.

I couldn’t have imagined better circumstances for DE! to be hosting our first “at home” trip: partnering with Ryerson University School of Nutrition – my alma mater and having dietitians and students from Hungary be our first guests – since Hungary was the first place DE! travelled to in 2014.

You can read about the details of the Toronto trip in the Adventure Diaries, but to sum it up: we had a blast! I was impressed by how the dietitians and the food and nutrition community in Toronto saw themselves as co-hosts and offered us a window into their work. For all but one of the visitors it was their first time in North America and they earnestly took on the role of explorers by navigating the TTC and sampling everything from asparagus to poutine.

The visiting students made the most of being immersed in the English language and they valued the opportunity to practise. Although they were nervous about their presentations on the last day of the program, they appeared confident as they took turns describing their key learning outcomes.

Throughout my time as DE!’s director I have learned the most about the importance of strong partnerships. For years before DE! even existed I had been envisioning what a T.O trip would be like, but it took true partners like Ryerson School of Nutrition and the Hungarian Dietetic Association to make it happen!

By the way, Ryerson Faculty of Community Service wrote about DE! in their latest magazine. See page 37.


Turn a setback into an opportunity

Written by Lilisha Burris
Posted Apr. 24, 2017

One of the challenges dietitians face when they pursue work abroad is the issue of having their credentials recognized. A dietitian who is registered to practice in one country may not be able to easily transfer her or his credentials in order to continue that career in another country.

In the blog post “London Adventures: Working as an unlicensed dietitian abroad”, Laura Ledas, a Registered Dietitian who was trained in Canada, chronicles her experience working in London, England before getting her UK credentials.

I enjoyed Laura’s take on approaching this time in her career as an adventure, rather than as a setback.

Way to travel, learn and grow!


What to do about travel costs?

Written by Lilisha Burris
Posted Feb. 5, 2017

Costs for flights, trains, buses, accommodations, meals, programs, souvenirs and more are a reality of travel.

My friends and colleagues at ENDiets (European Network of Dietetic Students) and EFAD (European Federation of the Associations of Dietitians) shared this list of creative fundraising ideas:

Possibilities on how to get money to finance a registration fee:

  • Make a list of your current expenses. Is everything on the list something that you really need?
  • For Christmas gifts, holiday gifts or birthday gifts ask your parents, relatives and friends not to buy you anything and to instead give you the amount of money they would have spent on a gift.
  • Give tutorials or evening classes to earn extra money.
  • Host a donation-dinner: Prepare a nice dinner and invite your friends or family; ask that they pay a fair price or give a generous donation.
  • Get together with some classmates from your university and host a bake sale. Offer biscuits, sandwiches or other foods that are easy and affordable for you to prepare.
  • Use your bike instead of public transport to save money.
  • Sell books, clothes, CDs, or other items that you no longer need.
  • Walk your neighbour’s dog for a fee.
  • Babysit your neighbours’ children toe earn extra money.
  • Contact your national dietetic association and ask about support that may be available for you, such as grants, or offer to write an article for their magazine, newsletter, etc.
  • Contact with your university and ask about support that may be available such as grants.

(Modified for length and clarity.)


International Congress of Dietetics, Granada, Spain 2016

Written by Lilisha Burris
Posted Jan. 30, 2017

In September 2016 I travelled to sunny, hot (41 degrees Celsius when I arrived – yikes!) Granada, Spain for the 17th International Congress of Dietetics (ICD). The Congress ran from September 7th to 9th and was a unique opportunity to connect with dietitians from all around the world. The opening ceremonies were a show of Olympic proportions with a live flamenco performance, acting, singing and the debut screening of SustainablEating, a documentary film produced by the Spanish Foundation of Dietitians-Nutritionists.

I had the pleasure of presenting “International Professional Development: Building Cultural Competence and Sharing Dietetic Knowledge Through Travel” with two German dietitian colleagues, Manuela Thul and Ursula Lukas. Our presentation was about a DE! trip that took place in the summer of 2015 when myself and 3 Canadian food and nutrition students travelled from Toronto, Canada to Essen, Germany and spent one week learning about dietetics in Germany. This experience was made possible by a collaboration between DE! and The German Association of Dietitians. Read more about our trip in the Adventure Diaries.

The theme, “Going to Sustainable Eating”, offered many opportunities for reflection and discussion amongst colleagues. One of the best sessions I attended was a workshop hosted by Dr. Clare Pettinger of Plymouth University and  Elizabeth Atherton of Medact called “Mainstreaming sustainable food as a health issue? A workshop to share best practice in sustainable public health food policy”. This workshop left me pondering important questions about what the dietitian’s role(s) could or should be in establishing sustainable diets for communities and whether or not we are prepared for action in this important area.

I was the grateful recipient of a Dietitians of Canada Travel Award which partially covered my trip expenses.
There were more than 60 Canadian dietitians at the Congress! Watch this 2-minute video about our trip.


So, why DE! anyway?

Written by Lilisha Burris
Posted Jan. 22, 2017

During my dietetic internship I completed a practicum in Monterrey, Mexico that had a lasting impact on my practice. Being outside of my comfort zone was intimidating, thrilling, and, ultimately helped me to approach dietetic practice with an openness that I’ve tapped into ever since. For (many) years following this trip I thought about how I could offer this unique type of experience to other dietetic students and interns … and eventually Dietitians Explore! was born.

Read Souvenirs from Mexico in the Dietitians of Canada Practice Blog for the full story.

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