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!


Kerry said...

Glad you really enjoyed this rotation! Helping people make long term changes is really hard, but so important. (And you got to play sous chef too, I am so jealous!)

Kristi @ Sweetly Fit said...

Hi! I am majoring in dietetics (just a freshman!) and have been thinking a lot about internships, so this info is really interesting to me! It makes me excited for what I have to look forward to. Glad you are enjoying your new rotation. It sounds like a lot of fun. :)

Dina Misjaya said...

I hope everyone like this information they shared as I do. Really great information.

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