Friday, September 30, 2011

Life of a Dietetic Intern: Lessons on Wellness from Life Long Weigh

Clinical may not have been my cup of tea, but I was very excited to start my Wellness rotation at Life Long Weigh with RDs Ali Miller and Jess Zimmerman. This is the part I love about nutrition; the chance to work one-on-one with patients for 45-70 minutes, helping to facilitate behavior change, and follow-up frequently to ensure that we are assisting them in becoming both healthier and happier. I learned A LOT from both Ali and Jess, especially about diabetes management, weight loss, motivational interviewing, and digestive disorders. I love that they both take a whole foods approach, emphasizing REAL foods over processed "diet" foods. Ali has her degree from Bastyr University, a wonderful college near Seattle that teaches not only whole foods nutrition, but natural foods culinary skills, and naturopathic medicine, including herbal sciences and acupuncture. They also focus on a HAES approach, and I even saw some Me First principles shine through!

I got a chance to not only observe many counseling sessions, but assist with patient interviewing and nutrition education. I also got to attend, create and teach two classes for their medically supervised weight loss patients- one on adding anti-inflammatory foods and one on why fad diets don't work. Because blogging, marketing and tweeting are my other loves, Ali had me write blog posts for their website on sugar, and vegetarian nutrition-obviously two of my favorite topics! (I'll share them once their new website is live). Ali also teaching monthly cooking classes at Sur la Table, which I got to play a role of sous chef in. It's amazing to see how just preparing and sharing the meal together can often initiate an "AHA!" moment for clients. Food heals, and food can most definitely be medicine.
Having Mondays off was an unexpected pleasant surprise, allowing me to fit in errands, a doctor's appointment, and a trip to Boston, while completing my 40 hrs in 4 days. I could get use to that as a life-long work schedule!

Not going to lie-after my first rotation I wasn't feeling as enthused about nutrition as I was when I left Boston-surrounded by inspirational dietitians making huge changes in their community. But Life Long Weigh re-ignited my passion and I am excited to head over to my next rotation-at Texas Children's Hospital- in food service management. We'll see what fun awaits me there!

Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spicy Tahini Dressing

The challenge for this month's Recipe Redux is dressing, dips and sauces! I love love love condiments so I was thrilled.
(get the shirt here )
I was getting a little bored of my olive oil massaged kale (delicious as it is!) so I decided to switch things up with a Tahini Dressing. Trying my best to emulate the amazing Annie's Goddess dressing i concocted this easy-peasy dressing

  • 1/4 cup Tahini
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 1 TBS Tamari Soy Sauce

  • Juice of 1 small lemon

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • salt and chili pepper to taste
-Stir everything together, vigorously, and then pour over salad! (could it get any simpler?)
One of the things I love about Tahini is how well it emulsifies with water. If you want a more watery dressing-simply add more-want it thicker-add less.

The only way I've been getting through 12 hour work days is by packing all my lunches and dinners on Sundays. It's actually working quite well!

My Wellness rotation of my DI is going wonderfully. I'm learning a lot, and getting to work on some really fun projects. You'll get a full recap in a couple weeks because I'm a working machine this week and then heading back to Boston to see my loves Friday!

Check out some other fabulous ways to spice up your meals with these recipes written by RDs!

  • Carlene Helble-Carlene's Figments - Roasted Eggplant Pepper Schmeer

  • Deanna Segrave-Daly - Teaspoon of Spice - Sicilian Relish

  • Cherie Schetselaar Grain Crazy - Fry Sauce

  • Dr Barb - Nutrition Budgeteer - Jalapeno Ranch Dressing is Versatile & Healthier

  • Elizabeth Jarrard- Don't (White) Sugar-Coat it - Spicy Tahini Dressing

  • Kara Lydon - Peace, Love, and Food - Edamame Hummus

  • Kat Lynch - Eating The Week - Citrus Sesame Avocado Dressing

  • Emma Stirling - The Scoop on Nutrition - Recipe Redux Kitchen Garden Salsa Verde

  • Emma Cutfield-The Hearty Heart - Go-Go-Goji: Blood Building Salad Dressing

  • Lisa @ Healthful Sense - Sweet Peanut Sauce & Dressing

  • Regan @ The Professional Palate - Ponzu Sauce

  • Danielle Omar - Food Confidence RD - Recipe Redux: Your New Favorite Vinaigrette

  • Stephanie Howard - Give Them Something Better - Creamy Garlic Feta Dressing

  • Nicole Ferring Holovach - Whole Health RD - Mapple Salad Dressing

  • Kristen @ Swanky Dietitian - Italian Vinaigrette Artichoke Dressing

  • Ann Dunaway Teh - Eat to Nourish, Energize & Flourish - Thai Basil Peanut Pesto

  • Kristina @ Love and Zest - Spiced Pumpkin Dip

  • Meg @ Meg's Food Reality - Sweet Potato Hummus

  • gretchen kumquat - dairy-free ranch dressing

  • Everyday Tastiness - Pistachio Butter

  • Alysa Bajenaru - Inspired RD - How to Roast Garlic & a Recipe for Roasted Garlic Hummus

  • EA Stewart-The Spicy RD - Creamy Triple Pepper and Kale Dip

  • Liz Weiss & Janice Newell Bissex - Meal Makeover Moms' Kitchen - Garden-Fresh Tomato & Avocado Salsa

  • Jessica Fishman Levinson - Nutritioulicious - Butternut Squash Cream Cheese Spread
  • Saturday, September 3, 2011

    Life of a Dietetic Intern: Lessons from Clinical 1

    Part 1 of  6= Complete!

    I spent the first 5 weeks of my dietetic internship doing my first part of my clinical rotation-at LBJ Hospital, Ben Taub, and Quentin Mease in Houston. They are all part of the The Harris County Hospital system, which serves over 1 million under and un-insured patients, each and every month. Harris County (which is all of Houston) is the 3rd most populated county in the US. It was a patient population I had thus far in my career, had no experience with. It was far more common to see Spanish speaking patients than English-speaking, and I've never seen fewer teeth in a ward. It was eye-opening to hear the stories of people with BMI's greater than 70 (normal is 18-22), triglyceride levels of 1500 (normal is <150), and Glucose levels through the roof.

    I did my share of diabetes, renal failure, and heart disease educations, cramming in as much information as a 20 minute session could allow. I met people who hung on every word, sure I held the secret to their recovery, and people who found my talking more annoying than a mosquito. I consulted patients everyone from the wheel-chair bound paraplegic (drunk-driving accident), to pysch patients who said "the only thing to do here is eat", to mothers with gestational diabetes. I was part of interdisciplinary care teams, and went on wound care rounds (for the first and hopefully last time. There's a reason I didn't go to Medical school).I calculated tube feedings, advised renal, low sodium, and low cholesterol diets. I shuttered at the food that is served in the hospital cafeteria (nothing like chicken-fried steak, french fries and slurpees to "promote health").

    Sometimes it could be a very sad place to work-seeing patients with a list longer than a page of aliments, people with broken homes, or uncertain living conditions. But it could also be a place of great love and great hope. I think my patients taught me way more than I taught them.

    1 thing I do have to say: Scrubs are the most comfortable work attire ever.
     (Well maybe secondary to working at Lululemon). I'm going to miss that.

    I admire the hard work clinical dietitians do. They help heal their patients, and get them on their way to (what we hope is) a speedy recovery. And while I'm pretty sure it's not where you'll find me in a year, I do value their work.

    Next: Wellness Rotation at Life Long Weigh- a private practice by a dietitian who believes in the power of whole, real foods. Can't wait!!!

    For other dietetics students, my good friend and superstar RD-to-be, Carlene wrote a great post about facing the challenges during dietetic internships. Read it!