My name is Vira Lemaire-Havrylova, and I’m a registered dietitian based in Charenton-le-Pont, just 5 minutes away from Paris. I am Ukrainian and moved from Ukraine to France in 2017. In 2020, I obtained my diploma in dietetics (BTS diététique).
Since my student years (my first degree is in translation from Italian and English), I’ve been passionate about nutrition. I started traveling: first to Texas, where the food culture differed greatly from the European one, and then to Italy, where despite eating pasta every day, the locals appeared slim and healthy to me. At the same time, I had been suffering from GI problems since my school years. In Italy, I began exploring nutrition on my own, starting with biology and anatomy. Additionally, the vegan diet was quite popular at that time. So, as soon as I read the China study, I gave up meat, then dairy. Unfortunately, my already painful GI condition didn’t react well to the changes, and I felt awful instead of better. I later learned that I have irritable bowel syndrome, and through trial and error, I discovered how to manage and minimize my symptoms. But it was quite a long journey.
In 2017, I moved to Paris to join my now-husband. Finally, a real opportunity to study nutrition presented itself! I was able to pursue my passion and become a registered dietitian. You might wonder why I didn’t do this in Ukraine. Well, there are no certified nutrition studies or registered dietitians there (at least not yet). The only professionals who can help with diets are doctors specialized in nutrition, usually endocrinologists or gastroenterologists.
As a dietitian, I love to cook and enjoy delicious and nutritious food! I also have a passion for traveling and taking long walks in nature, especially with my dog. I incorporate regular movement into my lifestyle through walking, yoga, and pilates. Moreover, dietetics is not just my job, but also my hobby. I constantly seek to deepen my knowledge in this area and eagerly learn about the results of new promising studies.
My projects and dreams
I have numerous nutrition-related ideas and projects. The first project was creating this website. In the Blog section, I’ve been creating articles to answer common questions related to nutrition and food. And since I brought up this website, I’d like to explain the name of the website to you. Diet in French is short for diététicienne, which means dietitian. So Vira Diet represents just me 🙂
Currently, my team and I are working on the FEEL mobile application, which allows users to track not only their food intake but also hunger and satiety cues, as well as any symptoms and emotions related to meals. This is a valuable tool that will provide solid support for my patients.
I would define my global mission as improving the quality of life for anyone who struggles with a difficult relationship with food or is stuck in restrictive dieting. My approach is to gradually improve eating habits without eliminating any food groups, with a strong focus on how food makes you feel to enhance both physical and mental health. I aspire to share my knowledge and experience of truly healthy eating not only in France but also in Ukraine. Especially in Ukraine, I dream of establishing a decent level of nutrition education starting from school, as well as European laws that would regulate food quality, advocate for certain categories of food, and promote education and the profession of RDs (registered dietitians).
For me, nutrition is not only about providing fuel to the body, but also about pleasure, valuable time with loved ones, routine, it is also an integral part of culture and identity, and even a natural relaxant 😀. This is why I make a clear distinction between nutrition and a healthy diet. To me, nutrition is the science of nutrients, while a healthy diet is an integral part of lifestyle that will vary for each individual. I help my patients achieve a healthy diet that benefits both physical and mental well-being. Although healthy eating takes different forms in practice, I also recognize some common features, including respect for food and its sensations, respect for the body and its needs, as well as moderation and…pleasure! It may sound strange, but if you have burgers or chocolate every day, it is no longer a pleasure or a sign of respect for the body. As for weight loss, my philosophy is to give your body time to adjust and to approach the process with kindness and understanding, as it is gradual and may fluctuate.
I will be happy to welcome you on this website or in my office!
Don’t hesitate to contact me to book an appointment or discuss collaboration opportunities.