Jenna Bowes

Jenna Bowes
BSc Med Hons Dietetics & Nutrition (UCT), BSc Sport Science (US), BSc Hons. Physiology (US)

  1. What is your qualification?

I began my studies at the University of Stellenbosch where I obtained a BSc in Sport Science and a BSc Honours in Physiology. I furthered my studies at the University of Cape Town where I obtained a BSc Medical Honours in Dietetics and Nutrition

  1. What other working experience do you have?

I worked at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital as a clinical dietitian for one year of community service. I then joined a private practice and also continued to work as a clinical dietitian in a hospital environment.

  1. Why did you choose to be a dietitian?

I have had the privilege to play sport at a very competitive level and have represented both my province and country. This is where my love for health and nutrition grew as I gained first-hand experience from a dietitian as to how food and health can impact performance. A dietitian can function both as an individual as well as a member of a team and being a sportsman I understanding the importance of team work. I love working with other healthcare professionals to improve health on all levels.

  1. What do you enjoy most about the work that you do?

I have always loved teaching and educating people. I have coached hockey, assisted in teaching of computer courses, and now I find pleasure in teaching clients about personal food choices and their impact and effect on daily living. Seeing people achieve their goals is incredibly rewarding and in enabling them to do, I benefit from numerous opportunities for personal growth and development of knowledge, skills and experience.

  1. What does your work involve?

My days are filled with client consultations, collaboration with other dieticians / medical experts and with research. I provide my clients with individualized plans that cater for their particular food likes and lifestyles and educate them on the basics of nutrition. As a member of the Discovery Wellness Network, I conduct Discovery Vitality Nutrition Assessments on wellness days or on request.

  1. What is the most common misconception around dieting?

The general public sometimes believes that going on a ‘diet’ means only eating foods that are bland and boring and that it is necessary to give up the favourite foods they enjoy. This is NOT true. As a dietitian, and person who loves to cook and eat delicious meals, I enjoy educating clients on how to make healthy food taste really ‘yummy’. Food that is full of flavour is extremely satisfying and turns ‘dieting’ into an enjoyable and satisfying journey of developing better food habits. This is terms leads to long term achievement of healthy and sustainable eating choices.

  1. Provide three nutrition tips for healthier living                                                                                           
1.  Watch out for liquid foods
–   Avoid drinking your calories in the form of fruit juice, cappuccinos, and alcohol. These contribute a  lot  of unnecessary calories.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2.  It’s not just what you eat, it’s how you eat
–  Chew your food slowly
–  Listen to your body – eat when you are hungry, stop eating before you are too full
–  Eat with others when possible to make eating a more pleasurable event

3.  Give yourself a little wiggle room
–  Being too restrictive can often rebound in a negative way
–  Allowing yourself a treat on special occasions will do more good than harm