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Author Sarah Kirton
Sarah Kirton
Updated on Feb 16th, 2024
Fact checked by Emma Vince

Thrive Dietitian 2024: Progress Over Perfection

Ashley Krige is a registered Dietitian based in Cape Town, specializing in nutrition counseling for all ages. With a focus on mother and child nutrition, intuitive eating for weight management, and gut health, Ashley aims to empower individuals to develop a healthier relationship with food. At Thrive Dietitian, Ashley values progress over perfection and advocates for addition over elimination, tailoring her approach to each unique individual. Her goal is to help clients thrive through nourishment, offering reliable and personalized nutrition guidance to help navigate through diet culture myths. DeliveryRank has the pleasure of chatting with Ashley.

Ashley, what can you tell us about your personal journey?

It's been quite interesting because coming straight out of school, I really loved food and everything to do with it. So, I actually went to chef school straight out of high school and qualified as a chef through training in both hot kitchen and patisserie studies. My dream was actually to be a pastry chef, and now am a dietitian, which some people find surprising. But actually, what I've come to realize is that they work together so well. People need to eat food that is delicious; if it doesn't taste good, they're not going to eat it. Being able to combine my knowledge and experience in the kitchen with my understanding of the body through Dietetics studying and experience and now in my practice has been awesome. I think it has helped a lot of people understand that food is meant to and can be enjoyed by you and by your body..

In terms of my personal journey, I did my community service in KZN and worked a lot with children there. That experience really ignited my passion for pediatrics. I absolutely love it. Working with very needy kids had a huge impact on me and on how I feel about the children that walk through my doors.

Additionally, the gut approach that I have with many of my clients stems from my own struggles with gut health, eczema, and psoriasis. This was not something I had grown up with and was something that I had to learn how to manage holistically, and that’s where my understanding and passion for gut health started. These have been the three things that have led me to where my practice is today and where my career is today.

You've worked extensively in mother and child nutrition as well as intuitive eating for weight management and gut health. What inspired you to specialize in these particular areas, and how do you approach helping clients in these domains differently?

Passion is a driving force in my work. I believe many people do things just for a paycheck, but for me, it's about a genuine passion for helping others live healthy, happy lives. This passion has been with me since I was young and continues to drive me. When it comes to my clients, I have a deep desire to see them thrive. 

For younger clients, it's about setting them up for a lifetime of health. For older clients, it's about understanding that food is central to our social interactions and overall well-being. Making food delicious, exciting, fulfilling, and convenient is key to helping clients stay on track and make lasting changes.

While weight loss is a common goal for many clients, I find it fascinating to see how addressing other aspects of their health, such as energy levels, digestion, sleep, and stress resilience, often leads to weight loss as a secondary effect. In my practice, I work with a wide range of medical conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and various cancers, as well as borderline eating disorders. My work at Kingsbury Hospital exposes me to serious medical conditions, further broadening my experience and understanding of health and nutrition.

At Thrive, you emphasize progress over perfection and addition over elimination. How does this philosophy translate into your counseling sessions, especially concerning individuals' unique nutritional needs and goals?

When working with clients, I find it crucial to understand their unique nutritional needs and goals. Our approach is far from one-size-fits-all. We determine a client's personal requirements based on their basal metabolic rate, which we obtain from an InBody scan. This rate is determined by examining their muscular system, ensuring little room for error. 

The basal metabolic rate is then multiplied by a physical activity factor, accounting for their weekly activity level through exercise, job type, and stress levels. This personalized approach helps us tailor specific goals for each individual. Additionally, we emphasize meeting nutritional requirements rather than cutting out nutrients. This approach ensures the body functions properly, providing enough energy and nutrients for optimal health. Education is key, as many people lack basic knowledge about nutrition. We start from scratch, teaching the basics of nutrition without judgment, helping clients build confidence and empowering them to make informed choices about their diet.

Given your extensive experience across different ages and health conditions, could you describe a challenging case you've encountered and how you navigated the complexities to help your client achieve their nutritional goals?

Some of my most challenging cases have involved borderline disordered eating. While I don't typically see severe eating disorders, I often work with individuals who struggle with deep-seated beliefs and behaviors around food that have been passed down through generations. Breaking down these barriers can be incredibly challenging. I find that taking small steps is key. It's not about having everything figured out immediately; it's about making one small positive change each day. This approach can lead to significant progress over time. Sometimes, the most important aspect of my work is simply being present and understanding what my clients need in that moment. 

In your consultation process, you utilize tools like the InBody 270 and offer personalized meal plans. How do these tools contribute to your clients' understanding of their nutritional needs, and how does this contribute to their overall progress and success in their health journeys?

The InBody analysis has been a game changer, especially for helping people understand their bodies beyond just their weight. I believe it should be non-negotiable for everyone, especially females. There is a very common thread that I see between my clients that exists around valuing their body based on the number on the scale, or based on where they fall in a measurement such as Body Mass Index (BMI). But what people come to realize after analyzing their body composition is that there is so much more to your health, wellbeing and value than the number on the scale. Measurements such as skeletal muscle mass, bone density, fat mass, body fat percentage, visceral fat, all play a vital role in determining your starting and end point.  This understanding can lead to acceptance and empowerment. 

My approach to meal plans is focused on making them easily implementable while providing the necessary learning tools. I aim to teach clients how to build their meals themselves, while also offering examples and options for meals they can make. Flexibility is key; life happens, and it's important to allow for treats and flexibility in the plan. I often refer to the 80/20 rule, where 80% of the focus is on nutritious foods, leaving 20% for flexibility. This approach leads to sustainability, which is crucial for long-term health benefits.

If you would like to find out more about Ashley Krige, please visit https://www.thrivedietitian.com/


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We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.Advertising DisclosureThis is a user-oriented comparison website, and we need to cover hosting and content costs, as well as make a profit. The costs are covered from referral fees from the vendors we feature. Affiliate link compensation does not affect reviews but might affect listicle pages. On these pages, vendors are ranked based on the reviewer’s examination of the service but also taking into account feedback from users and our commercial agreements with service providers. This website tries to cover important meal, coffee and pet food delivery services but we can’t cover all of the solutions that are out there. Information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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