In Conversation With: A Lebanese Dietitian
<p>Meet Lebanese Dietitian and Member, Rafika Ghrawi. Rafika talks about all things nutrition, overcoming challenges in her role and her top tips for maintaining a good work-life balance!</p> <h2>Please introduce yourself.&nbsp;</h2> <p>Hello, my name is Rafika Ghrawi from Beirut, Lebanon. I currently live and work in Lebanon. I am a registered dietitian, work in clinical practice, manage my social media and have my podcast, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Let’s Talk Nutrition</a> on Anghami and Spotify.</p> <h2>What’s it like working as a Lebanese dietitian?</h2> <p>I chose to remain in Lebanon because I believe that good healthcare is a right and should be affordable to the masses. With the current economic crisis, many professionals are being headhunted or are leaving the country for better opportunities; it is their every right. However, I still feel that it is essential to stay in Lebanon and fight this crisis in the best way possible so the Lebanese people can still have the proper care.&nbsp;</p> <h2>As a healthcare worker, how do you prioritize your health?</h2> <p>I try to take breaks as much as possible and delegate my tasks when things get overwhelming. Learning to say no or I can’t deliver on short notice is important. As a dietitian, I am also mindful about what I eat and try to exercise as much as possible.&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img decoding="async" loading="lazy" width="820" height="312" src="" alt="Lebanese Dietitian" class="wp-image-13989" srcset=" 820w, 300w, 768w" sizes="(max-width: 820px) 100vw, 820px" /></figure> <h2>What is your top tip for our readers for looking after their health?</h2> <p>Just don’t take it for granted. Some people postpone working out, eating healthy, or going for a check-up at the doctor, and these individuals need to realize that their health is a priority. You cannot do well in your work or balance relationships without your health.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Why did you choose to become a dietitian?</h2> <p>I wanted to do something where I could help people become healthier versions of themselves. When I see patients leading a healthier lifestyle, being able to decrease their medications, or enjoy a lifestyle they missed before due to illness.&nbsp;</p> <h2>What would you consider the most challenging aspect of your job?</h2> <p>With so many people wanting quick fixes and individuals giving random dietetic advice, convincing people that sustainable results require change and time is difficult.&nbsp;It is challenging and not for everyone. However, I find it a true joy.</p> <h2>Do you see much change in your career path as a Lebanese dietitian?</h2> <p>Yes. Due to covid as dietitians, we are now giving online consults. Many dietitians have switched to online consultations and can work from the comfort of their homes. Some dietitians are doing both like myself, where I have a physical location, and do online consults. In addition, individuals who suffer from transportation barriers can easily consult with the professionals they want remotely. I believe that as the world keeps progressing into a virtual scope, the way we give consultations and diet plans will change.&nbsp;</p> <h2>What is the best piece of advice you were given to succeed in your career?</h2> <p>Never be afraid to try. If you succeed that’s great, if you fail, you will learn a new lesson.</p> <h2>Do you think CPD is important?</h2> <p>Yes, I think that is the most important. Many recommendation changes have happened since I graduated from university. If you don’t have continued education to stay updated, you will eventually give patients outdated advice.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <h2>What is your biggest achievement?</h2> <p>I won the country representative award in 2021 to be recognized for my work as the country representative of Lebanon in the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">International Affiliate of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics</a>. It was announced at the Food and Nutrition Conference Expo and it was amazing.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <h2>Who inspires you?</h2> <p>The person I look up to the most is my mother. She was a school teacher. When she passed away in 2020, I saw how her students and colleagues reacted. She inspired and supported generations on their paths and left a genuine mark. I would like to leave such a legacy. I made career shifts to do that.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img decoding="async" loading="lazy" width="820" height="312" src="" alt="Lebanese Dietitian Rafika Ghrawi" class="wp-image-13988" srcset=" 820w, 300w, 768w" sizes="(max-width: 820px) 100vw, 820px" /></figure> <h2>What do you wish you knew before beginning your career as a dietitian?</h2> <p>Naturally, I am an empath. Dealing with patients who are in pain or are suffering leaves an empath truly affected. I remember as a student, the first 3 times I entered the ICU, I left it crying. It took me a while to learn how to detach my feelings.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <h2>How do you like to unwind?</h2> <p>I am an avid reader, and if it’s a book I particularly like, I tend to binge-read until I finish it. I am also blessed with a tight-knit family and amazing friends and I love their company.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <h2>How do you maintain a good work-life balance?</h2> <p>Sometimes, I’m great at balancing work-life and sometimes, things become a bit crazy. I am learning as I go. Lately, I have been setting personal rules, which include:</p> <ul><li>I don’t work after 6 pm on weekdays</li><li>On Saturdays, I don’t work after I finish my appointments for the day</li><li>Sundays are strictly off&nbsp;</li></ul> <p></p> <h2>What is the most important message you want to send out to future generations of healthcare workers?</h2> <p>With the working hours of healthcare workers being very long, I would like to advise all future <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">healthcare workers</a> to ensure they take care of themselves and their health first.&nbsp;</p> <h2>What are your future career plans?</h2> <p>I am transitioning to a full-time freelancer instead of an employee. I have also launched my podcast and doing online courses.&nbsp;</p> <h2>How has helped you with your career?</h2> <p> helped me immensely when I hoped to transition to working in the UAE. Of course, I would recommend it to everyone.</p> <h4>Just like Lebanese dietitian, Rafika, let us help your career too by signing up for a FREE Membership today!</h4> <div class="is-layout-flex wp-block-buttons"> <div class="wp-block-button"><a class="wp-block-button__link has-text-color has-background" href="" style="border-radius:50px;background-color:#00497a;color:#f5f5f5" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Register now!</a></div> </div> <p></p>