Mindful Eating: An Interview With Sodexo Dietician Lindsay Ainsworth

Published on : 3/15/23
  • On National Dietician Day, we are revisiting this interview with one of Sodexo Canada’s dedicated dieticians, Lindsay Ainsworth. Lindsay's love of food, nutrition and culinary innovations drives her day-to-day while collaboratively implementing our Mindful program within the BC healthcare region.

    • Name: Lindsay Ainsworth  
    • Title: Director of Support Services
    • Segment: Healthcare
    • Location: Vancouver, BC
    • How many years have you been a dietitian? 12 years  


    Interviewer: Tell us about your career path.

    Lindsay: Started my career in clinical nutrition, and then transitioned into food services with Sodexo. In this role, I focused on regional menu management, program development and deployment, and project management in healthcare portfolios. In my current position, I work directly with our clients to understand their food service-related needs and innovation, and collaboratively implement Sodexo programs within the BC healthcare region.   

    Interviewer: What do you enjoy most about your career in terms of improving the quality of life through nutrition? 

    Lindsay: The ability to work with a large range of clients and customers (i.e. patients, residents, retail customers) where I can indirectly influence their quality of life through innovative menu planning, programs and offers through Sodexo. An offer I am proud to share with patients is Mindful.  

    Mindful by Sodexo is an all-inclusive, end-to-end solution that includes healthy food, education and activity-based programs that nourish, inspire and promote healthy lifestyles through engaging activities and captivating experiences. 

    Mindful is a program that is focused on nutritional criteria that are based on sound science. Developed by our executive chefs and registered dietitians, our Mindful food offer combines current nutritional guidelines with a collection of delicious and satisfying menu items. Each menu item meets specific nutrient criteria based on the latest body of scientific evidence and recommendations from leading health organizations. 

    I enjoy the fast pace, dynamic nature of my role that allows me to combine my interest in food and nutrition as well as culinary innovations.  

    Interviewer: How do you define healthy eating? 

    Lindsay: This is a loaded question… however, I feel that this is very personal and individual for each person, and want to reinforce that there is no right answer! For me, healthy eating means access to a variety of quality foods, prepared and enjoyed with family and friends.  

    Interviewer: Do you have any wellness/nutrition tips you would like to share? 

    Lindsay: Enjoy a variety of foods you love and try to see food as a means of enjoyment and not punishment!  

    Interviewer: What are some misconceptions about healthy eating? 

    Lindsay: That there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods…. I truly believe all foods can be enjoyed and celebrated. Restrictive eating and diets, in my opinion, are a thing of the past and not a sustainable way of eating.  

    Interviewer: How has your role shifted to assist people with their diet and nutritional needs during the pandemic? 

    Lindsay: In my role, I support our BC regional menus in Healthcare, so we have had to adapt to ensure we can continue to provide menus for all patient and retail populations. In some scenarios, we had to plan for emergency menus in anticipation of our teams being off sick and not having enough bodies to prepare our menus.

    Other scenarios included pre-planning for overflow in hospitals and being able to provide menu services for ‘pop-up’ overflow hospitals. Other areas included a shift in our retail focus to more grab-n-go options, reducing touchpoints and interactions in our cafeteria spaces while maintaining service.  

    Interviewer: What is the best part of your job? 

    Lindsay: The dynamic nature – every day is different, and I get to work with many different clients and customers, tying in my passion for food and nutrition and culinary innovation.  

    Interviewer: To finish, what is your favourite food?

    Lindsay: My family has an ongoing discussion on what our ‘last meal’ would be, and my answer is always PASTA! I love Italian cuisine, and one of my favourite pasta dishes is from a restaurant in Toronto, Terroni, and the dish is called Pasta Limone — it is a simple pasta dish made with spinach, capers, lemon juice, olive oil, and parmesan cheese.