About Us

At the practice we strive for excellence. Our approach to nutrition and counselling is slightly different, compared to the traditional approach of weight loss. According to research only 5% of individuals who actively try to lose weight can keep it off long term. This made us realize that more focus should be placed on improving overall health and well being, without focusing on weight loss alone. We aim to individualize each session and provide information and goals suited to your needs and everyday life. Follow up appointments are crucial to achieve your personal goals.

OUR NUTRITIONAL MODEL

MISSION

Living a healthier life, made easy (affordable and sustainable)

VISION

At Imagine Dietitians we believe that it is possible to live a healthier life by incorporating small changes into your daily life. We love food and healthy nutrition and are firm believers that eating healthy does not have to be boring or expensive. We also have two other pillars that form an important part of the practice: exercise and health promotion.

 GOALS

  • Provide knowledge and skills on ways to incorporate a healthy diet into daily living
  • Provide much needed resources to maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Assist with improving your relationship with food
  • Focus on intuitive eating and identifying body cues
  • Manage a balanced life that includes social activities
  • Set ‘SMART’ goals

Get to know the team…

Chantel Walker

Chantel Walker

Registered Dietitian

Registered dietitian, business owner, amateur baker, avid reader, keen traveller and foodie

Chantel started her dietetics career at the University of Stellenbosch in 2010. After graduating in 2013 she decided to choose a town far away from home to start her community service at, and was placed at Sabie Hospital in Mpumalanga in 2014. She gained valuable knowledge in this year as she worked in the male and female general wards, clinics, paediatric and maternity wards. After her community service she packed her bags and moved back to the Western Cape, where she started at an established private practice in Worcester. She eventually decided to start a private practice of her own – Imagine Dietitians and officially opened the doors in Stellenbosch, January 2016.

Chantel is passionate about assisting her clients with making sustainable dietary changes and lifestyle choices by following an individualized approach with each person that walks into her office. She is a firm believer of intuitive eating and practices these guidelines at each session. Her areas of interest include critical care (ICU) chronic diseases of the lifestyle (diabetes – type 1 and type 2, hypercholesterolaemia), disordered eating and emotional eaters, palliative care, weight loss, women’s health (PCOS, hypothyroidism) and gastro-intestinal diseases, as well as peri-operative nutrition.

Qualifications / Courses:

  • BSc Dietetics Honours (US) 2010 – 2013
  • Infant Feeding course, BFHI (20 hour, Western Cape, Department of Health)
  • CDE – 5 day Advanced course in Diabetes Care (CDE, Johannesburg)
  • Bariatric Accredited Dietitian (CEMMSSA)
  • Optifast accredited Dietitian (CDE and Nestle)
  • Mind the Food Space (Disordered Eating Course), Module 1 and 2 (completing the rest this of this course in 2020)
  • Role of Nutrition in Optimal Growth and Immunity (Post Graduate Programme in Pediatric Nutrition, through Boston University – in Progress, 2020)

Chantel’s activities when she is not at the office:

Chantel loves to bake and decorate cakes for friends and family’s special occasions, like birthday parties, baby showers and kitchen teas. She will gladly entertain and cook for loved ones at home as often as she can. When she is not cooking regular, everyday meals, she is experimenting with new recipes and flavours – often leaving her friends and family having to be the guinea pigs. She loves to read and has a variety of books on her bookshelf at home: ranging from love stories, autobiographies, short stories and classics. She enjoys the vineyards and mountains in her backyard and regularly explores new areas in the Western Cape with the love of her life. She loves to travel and is already planning her next trip, where she will be exploring the variety of food, traditional ingredients and recipes they have to offer.

She is registered with the HPCSA (DT0042412) and is a member of Golden Key, Allergy SA and ADSA.  

 

Maya du Plessis

Maya du Plessis

Registered dietitian

Registered dietitian, nature lover, world traveler, absolute foodie

After graduating from Stellenbosch in 2017 with a degree in dietetics, Maya went on to do her community service year at Kimberley Hospital in the Northern Cape. There she gained considerable experience by working in the various intensive care units, neonatal unit, the pediatric wards and various medical and surgical wards. After completion of her community service year she headed back to Stellenbosch and joined Imagine Dietitians in 2019. Maya is also busy with her Master’s degree in Therapeutic Nutrition at Stellenbosch University.

 Maya is a firm believer that lifestyle changes can start at any age and loves being part of her patients’ journeys to optimal health. As an avid foodie she is passionate about promoting healthy cooking without compromising on taste and appearance.

 Her areas of interest include pediatric nutrition, allergies and intolerances, nutrition in pregnancy and lactation, critical care nutrition, nutrition in kidney failure and gastro-intestinal disorders.

Qualifications / Courses:

  • BSc Dietetics Honours (US): 2014-2017
  • Masters in therapeutic nutrition: in progress
  • Infant feeding course, BFHI (Northern Cape Department of Health)
  • Role of Nutrition in Optimal Growth and Immunity (Post Graduate Programme in Pediatric Nutrition, through Boston University)

 Maya’s activities when she’s not in the office:

Maya loves cooking food and regularly hosts dinner parties for friends and family. She is also fond of checking out new restaurants and cafes over weekends. Maya enjoys nature and hiking in the beautiful mountains in the Western Cape and often goes camping with friends. Maya’s parents live overseas so during her holidays she normally travels to new countries and explores the nature, meets new people and always does a cooking class or two. 

Resources

  Habit tracking apps and documents can really help you stick to your daily health and wellbeing goals.   Try our habit tracker FREE: HABIT TRACKER Imagine Dietitians Covid-19 Lockdown meal planner: Lockdown meal planning Imagine Dietitians Let us know what...

Kidneys, a Bean-shaped Gem

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It is Kidney Awareness week from 1 – 7 September and throughout this week we are going to look at kidneys and its function in our body.

Women Empowerment Morning

Guest Speakers from left to right: Liezl van Rooyen (Clinical Psychologist), Marciel Hopkins (Model and Motivational Speaker), Chantel Walker (Registered Dietitian), Jean-Mari Hellig (Image Consultant) and Maya du Plessis (Registered Dietitian) Working with women...

10 TIPS TO STAY HEALTHY THIS HOLIDAY

Travelling to a new destination is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and try new foods. When on a healthy eating plan this can oftentimes be very daunting, but it can be done! 1. RESEARCH THE DESTINATION Find...

GROWING YOUR OWN FOOD

  One of my highlights over the past few months was Checkers’ “Little Garden” initiative that was introduced to South Africa. WOW, what an amazing initiative – it was so much better than the previous ‘spend R150 and get free’ initiatives. No more useless plastic...

HEALTH FOR EVERYONE

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It is world health day and the theme of this year is Health for everyone. Health can be defined as being free from illness or injury. Nutrition plays a big role in the contribution towards health. Yet nutritional needs are different for each individual. Our nutritional needs are based upon our gender, age, weight, height, ethnicity and health status. In South Africa we have general guidelines to lead us towards meeting our nutritional needs and have optimal health. This article will explore the South African Food-based Dietary Guidelines.

ROASTED VEGETABLES

ROASTED VEGETABLES

  Serves 4 - 6 This roasted vegetable recipe is so easy to make - any variety of vegetables can be used.   Ingredients: 1 Onion, medium 125 g Mushrooms, roughly chopped 6 - 8 Carrots, baby, whole OR 3 - 4 Carrots, medium, roughly chopped 400g Broccoli and...

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POTATO, CAULIFLOWER AND LEEK SOUP

POTATO, CAULIFLOWER AND LEEK SOUP

  This is a deliciously creamy soup, it is easy to make and really satisfying.   Ingredients: 4 Potatoes, medium, diced 200 g Leeks, baby, chopped 1 kg Cauliflower, roughly chopped into smaller pieces 2 Tbsp. Canola or Olive Oil 1 tsp. Onion Powder 1 1/2...

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CREAMY BUTTERNUT SOUP

CREAMY BUTTERNUT SOUP

Serves 2 - 4 Ingredients: 1kg Butternut, peeled and diced 2 medium Carrots, roughly chopped 3 Gem squash, halved, seeds removed 2 Tbsp Canola oil 1/2 tsp. Garlic, crushed 2l Water, boiling 3 tsp. Stock, powder, chicken 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon 1/4 tsp. Cumin 2 - 4 Tbsp....

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CREAMY ROASTED TOMATO AND BASIL SOUP

CREAMY ROASTED TOMATO AND BASIL SOUP

  Serves 4 – 6 Ingredients: 600g Tomatoes, Rosa, small, halved 1 tsp. Garlic, chopped 2 Tbsp. Olive oil 2 Tins Tomato, diced 6 – 8 Basil leaves, chopped 250ml Stock, vegetable or chicken 1 – 2 tsp. Sugar 1 tsp. Vinegar Salt and pepper to taste 4 – 6 Tbsp. Cream...

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BOBOTIE WITH FLAVOURED RICE

BOBOTIE WITH FLAVOURED RICE

BOBOTIE WITH FLAVOURED RICE Yields 6 portions   INGREDIENTS: 1 slice white bread, thick 125ml milk 25ml oil 2 onions, in slices 2 garlic cloves, chopped fine 15ml ginger, fresh, grated 30ml curry powder 5ml tumeric 3ml cumin, fine 3ml coriander, fine 1kg mince,...

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Back to School – Lunchboxes Made Easy

This week is back to school, and this means back to routine for parents. Don’t get caught off guard with lunchbox prepping, providing snacks after school or after sport. Follow our tips to ensure your lunchbox is in tip top shape.  Tip 1: Choose a food from each food...

VITAMINS AND MINERALS NEEDED DURING PREGNANCY

It is important to consume an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals when pregnant.  This ensures benefits for both the mother-to-be as well as for her child. The big question is which vitamins and minerals are important and in which food sources can they be found? ...

CHILDHOOD OBESITY

Childhood obesity is a reality. A South African survey reported that 18.1% of children between the ages of two and five years are overweight - that is almost one in every five! Being overweight or obese at a young age puts children at a greater risk of developing...

ALLERGIES vs. INTOLERANCES

Many of us believe food allergies to be relatively common, largely because of the continued attention it receives on social media networks. Food allergies are in fact quite uncommon. The confusion increases when “food allergy” and “food intolerance” are mistakenly...

FEEDING INFANTS AND YOUNG CHILDREN

WHAT IS COMPLEMENTARY FEEDING? Complementary feeding is the process of gradually introducing other foods and liquids along with breast milk once breast milk alone is no longer sufficient to meet the nutritional requirements of infants.   INTRODUCING SOLIDS When...

HEALTHY LUNCHBOXES FOR SCHOOL

  Before we focus on the food that goes into the lunch box, we have to make sure we have the correct lunchbox. The best option is a lunchbox with various compartments to ensure the food, flavours and sauces do not mix. If you do not have this you can also use a...