Hi everyone! I know, I know. It has been WAY too long. The best excuse that I have is that I’m still full-time at the hospital managing the nutrition department, working on my doctorate (Integrative Healthcare; tell you about that another day), and building my functional nutrition consulting business….all while trying to maintain a household and happy marriage! It’s exhausting, really, and my blogging falls by the wayside. I’m pledging to get back to this regularly, though. I promise!
Anyway, a lot of what I do in my consulting business involves conducting nutrition analyses and writing meal plans. It can be a pretty time-consuming process, especially with my relatively old-school methods of typing meal plans into Word document tables. I was recently given an opportunity to try a software called Nutrium, which is designed especially for dietitians who do this type of thing. It would be ideal for those in private practice, or clinical dietitians who work 1-on-1 doing Medical Nutrition Therapy. I will disclose right off the bat that I was offered a 6-month free subscription to the service for writing this review, but anyone who knows me knows I’m incapable of anything other than honesty. Having said that, and without further ado, here is my honest review.
I would consider myself moderately computer savvy, but by no means an expert. Making an account was easy, and there is a tutorial that is offered immediately upon signing in for the first time. I found this very useful and it eliminated pretty much any doubt I had about being able to operate the program. Everything is organized into neat little tabs so information about each patient is easily accessible. You can also upload your business logo, if you have one.
A profile can be created for each of your clients/patients, which can be saved for later reference, with sections for both new assessment and follow-up. An example of the patient home screen is below (don’t worry, it’s a fake patient — no HIPAA violations here!). Basic information about them is entered and displayed here, such as their nutrition goals, sleep habits, and food diaries.
After the client profile is done, you can begin entering measurements. This includes both anthropometrics and lab work, and these are trackable over time. It’s very comprehensive — so much so that it includes things I don’t even measure! The data makes nice, neat trend lines after two measurements are entered. (I love graphs! So visually appealing, no?) The dietitian can then move on to meal planning, analysis of the meal plan, and so on.
In the meal planning process, macros can be pre-set. While adding foods to the meal plan, a macros pie chart is displayed next to the plan and updates in real time, so the RD can ensure he or she is staying within the defined macronutrient ranges. This is possibly my favorite feature. Macros are the new “thing,” you know, and I often have clients request specific percentages. This saves me a LOT of math! (I like math, but not that much!) The foods database is pretty comprehensive, too, which is not always the case with this type of software. Because this program isn’t United States-based, some things are in grams that I wouldn’t necessarily measure as such, so my only real complaint here is I wish there were drop-down boxes that offered US measurements such as ounces, cups, etc for easier conversion. Having said that, one can do these conversions online pretty easily with a Google search, but of course convenience is key!
Recipes can also be imported here, and templates can be created as a time-saving tool for later. Once the meal plan is written, the RD can analyze it for adequacy. Again, lots of lovely pie charts appear, which even break down fats and carbs into their individual distribution, which is useful for ensuring — for example — that the patient is getting plenty of MUFAs and PUFAs and minimal trans/saturated fats. It’s brilliant, really! Physical activity recommendations are also done here.
You can then share all of this with your client electronically, which is awesome for those of who do virtual appointments. Meal plans are easily emailed or printed. Follow-up appointments can be entered and tracked, and you can send them reminders. Oh! Did I mention there’s a mobile app they can get? It’s true, and is available for both Android and iPhone formats. They can use this to track their macros, enter their daily intake, and update the RD on their progress. This keeps an open line of communication which is SO important in the dietitian-client relationship. Here’s a snapshot of some of the mobile features:
All in all, this is a fantastic software and I fully intend to make good use of that free 6-month subscription. I would even pay for it after that runs out. I truly foresee it streamlining my patient assessment and meal-planning processes, and I think any other RD working 1-on-1 one with clients would find it beneficial as well.
Thanks for reading. New recipes and more coming soon!