Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Foodie Penpals

In case you didn't know, I'm a huge twitter lovah/geek/weirdo whatevah. It connects me with so many wonderful people I have yet to meet, and the health/wellness community there is especially rich. So when I saw Lindsey-another dietetic intern, posting about her newest project-Foodie Penpals I had to investigate further.

When I was younger I actually had quite a few penpals. LinkUnfortunately we lost touch past the age of 11 or so, but I quite enjoyed writing back and forth, and sending fun things like Liz Frank stickers. (Yes I had a stamp, barbie AND sticker collection. be jealous). I've also always loved giving people presents-i adore birthdays, and would most of the time rather buy something for a friend than myself. Oh and in case you didn't know, I love food. So basically I HAD to join Foodie Penpals.

The basics- 100+ blog readers and writers get together and are matched to send each other packages. The spending limit is $15, which won't break the bank-and remember you get a hand-picked package too. Beyond worth it.

This was my first "match" and Lindsey herself sent me a fantastic foodie present from Ohio.

First- DELICIOUS 100% whole grain crackers and TOFU noodles from a local bakery. very impressed.

second: delicious whole grains that I adore: homemade muesli, wheat berries and millet

Third; The much adored barney butter and pure organic bar-mmmmmm. As well as an assortment of health magazines and an adorable note!

Thank you Lindsey! I loved it all and can't wait to be on board in February too!

I know you want in on the fun too. Email Lindsey (theleangreenbean@gmail.com) and join the party in February!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Adios Houston

Diploma. Check

such a great group of interns!
I can't say I am sad to leave Houston. I am beyond excited to be heading back to beantown, to start the next adventure in my life. A lot of unknowns lie ahead of me but I'm ready to face them head-on. Luckily I'm not alone. So I'm back to my collegetown, and second home, to create a real life, with a real job, with a real boyfriend (not that he was fake before..)

There are however some things I will miss about Houston. And I would be remiss to leave them out.

I will miss:
  • Shiner Beer. This stuff is pure gold, and only their Bock is distributed outside of Texas, which is just a travesty. Their seasonal ales are unparalleled. Actually Texas has a lot of great breweries. I'll also miss St. Arnold's, especially their Pumpkinator.
  • Define Body. Best Barre classes I've ever taken. better than Core Fusion and that's saying a lot. Toned. Can't wait to check out more new barre classes in Boston!
  • Specs. The best liquor store ever.
  • Mr Bear and Coco. Two of the sweetest most lovable mutts you could ever know and best running companions i could ever ask for. (and yes, Coco can be the alpha dog)
  • Friends I'll leave behind and made my time here much much more bearable. Thank god for airtravel!
  • El Gran Malo, The best infused tequila, ever. I shall also be missing Happy Hours. Why Boston Blue laws, why??

who doesn't want a pb & j shot?
  • Memorial Park, and trail runs within city limits
  • HEB, Kroger, Central Market- farewell Texas Supermarkets
  • LinkRunning in a t-shirt and shorts in January. That was nice. But I earned it after this summer!

Yes, they are mostly all food and drink related.

Farewell Houston. Land of pickup trucks and cowboy boots.

Boston is calling. I made this collage 4 years ago, and I find it rings truer as time goes on:

Over time, slowly it will burrow beneath your skin, lodge yourself in your heart, and head... As you cross the Mass Ave bridge on foot or bike, your heart swells to see Boston, rise above the river, in all its grace and majesty. You've got a lot to learn; Boston's got a lot to teach you.

Let's get this Adventure started!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Life of a Dietetic Intern: Sports Nutrition at the Ironman Sports Institute

My final two weeks of internship were spent with Penny Wilson RD at the Ironman Sports Institute of Memorial Hermann. Pretty awesome. I always like ending things on a good note and this was definitely a fantastic final hooray!

First day: got to observe hydrostatic weighing (underwater-the gold standard of body composition), a BodyGem-resting metabolic rate, and lactate threshold-to test the limits of your current aerobic and anaerobic capacity.

I got to work on race day nutrition plans, nutrition tips and presentations for endurance athletes-mostly triathletes. People whose athletic performances were always inspirational, and just need some help with getting the right fuel, and enough of it, into their bodies.

I mean who doesn't want to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and then complete
a full marathon?

Penny was a fantastic dietitian to get to work with. She is a true nutrition entrepreneur who has really made a name for herself in sports nutrition. It was great to be able to take the knowledge I have gained from running my own races, personal research and courses and apply it to the real world.

And with that, my dietetic internship is complete. In case you missed the other pages in this chapter of my life, read the rest of them here. Tomorrow is graduation, and then I'm heading home. Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Healthy Teff Breakfast with Recipe Redux

I'm a fan of smoothies, oatmeal and tofu scrambles. Sometimes I shake it up with some other grains-like quinoa for a protein kick or amaranth to get a lil nutty. So when I found out that this month's Recipe Redux was to do a healthy breakfast makeover, I was ready to try something new.

Enter cleaning out my cabinets in my final Houston countdown. Hiding in the corner I found some Teff, Tahini, and Molasses. Perfect.

T-T-What?? Oh you haven't met my friend teff? This lil guy is the world’s smallest grain and he migrated from Ethiopia (and plays a starring role in their delicious bread-Injera). Nutrient rich, the whole seeds make a delicious porridge. I decided to boost up the calcium and iron content even more by adding tahini, molasses (one of the few sweetener that provides minimal nutrient value), and raisins. And tastes spectacular.

don't be afraid of this lil dude

Teff Breakfast Porridge

  • 1 cup teff
  • Tahini
  • Raisins
  • Molasses
  • Milk of choice (I chose the new Almond Coconut Milk by Blue Diamond)

so wonderfully creamy
  1. In a 2 quart pan, over med heat, add 1 cup teff and stirring frequently toast for 1-2 minutes. When you start to smell a sweet nutty aroma pour in 3 cups of water. Stir well and cook at a gentle boil for 20 min. Stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.

no one likes naked teff though...
2. Add 1/2 cup cooked cereal, 1/4 c milk 1 T tahini 1 tsp molasses and 1 T raisins to each bowl Swirl together and enjoy!

told ya it looked better dressed as the milky way

And there is one heck of a calicium and iron loaded vegan breakfast, that tastes amazing.

Check out these other fantastic breakfast recipes by RDs:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lentil Soup

I think I should start a blog "Delicious Recipes My Mother Sends Me." Because I have a lot of them. In the meantime I'll just continue to share them there, since she provides much of my culinary inspiration. Like this "absolutely delicious" lentil soup that came in an email with a reminder to take a moment to go look at the beautiful full moon. I have a pretty great mother. I of course tweaked a few things (have to add kale to everything!!) and it still turned out "absolutely delicious"

Lentil Soup (inspired by Mary Jarrard, who was inspired by Joy of Cooking)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 carrots
  • 1 bunch curly kale
  • 4 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 cups green lentils (picked over and rinsed)
  • 1 tsp of dried thyme
  • 4 tsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of ground black pepper
Saute garlic until brown in olive oil. Strain garlic out, and saute carrots, and kale in now garlic-infused olive oil. Add garlic, carrots and kale to large pot with lentils and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the lentils are tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Stir in spices. Simmer for 5-10 more minutes. Enjoy!

The olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt make this entire soup taste so rich and buttery! Best served with a hunk of rustic whole wheat bread. Or a kale salad. You can never have enough kale.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hello 2012

2012 is shaping up rather nicely.
I got to ring it in with a long weekend with this guy

San Antonio is pretty adorable for Texas. The Alamo was smaller than expected, but the riverwalk is fantastic. Definitely worth the 3 hour drive (that included a stop to Buc-ee's of course). And there's nothing like soaking up some sunny rays on a 75 degree December 31

and then I got a visit from another J-perhaps you recognize her from this lovely blog?

We walked all over Austin, got Torchy Tacos, drank some Moonshine and hula hooped at Lustre Pearl, got her cowboy boots, ate kimchi fries, and slept in a pretty sweet airstream, while discussing our future coffeeshop plans.
Excuse my lack of posting. Right now, and for the next week my life is studying for the exit exam, final 2 weeks of rotation, moving and then the RD exam. Phew.
Gotta get some sleep
But this lil lovebug keeps waking me up at 5am to run. Can't say no in a Houston January!

How's 2012 going for you?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Life of a Dietetic Intern: Clinical at Memorial Hermann

Can't say I didn't love getting back into scrubs (those things are addictive!) And while I much prefer the preventative side of nutrition than the acute care setting, my time at Memorial Hermann Southwest were very beneficial to my growth as a dietetic intern.

Of course it wasn't all rainbows. On the worst days the hospital reminded me of all the flaws in our healthcare system. The time that gets wasted during "productivity tasks" that assists no patients. The doctors' chicken scratch that gets mistyped during dictation leading to poor communication at best. When the MD consults you for nutrition recommendations and then writes an order for the exact opposite. Or just the fact that the dietitians can't write nutrition orders (especially when most MDs get only 23 hours of nutrition education in their entire career). And then there was my last day, when a patient in the ICU decided to light his room on fire. Seriously. Tylenol overdoses do crazy things apparently. (no one was killed, thankfully).

yes i know you can wear nail polish at a hospital. I was creating powerpoints in the office all day, i went a little adventurous. no patient contact don't worry.
On the best days the hospital reminded me of all the different kinds of love that exist in the world. I know, that sounds super cheesy, but there's no way I couldn't smile or get goosebumps when I heard some patients' stories. Like the 90 year old man I went for a consult on poor intake. He was fast asleep so I turned to the next available person that could answer my questions-the woman sitting by the window.
"Are you his wife?"
"Yes. I'm here to take care of him. You see he was a widower in '90 and I a widow in '05. We got married in '08 to take care of each other. He is such a good friend."
The only way to be happy after sadness of patients with no support or visitations is to see a patient surrounded by love.

And with that, my Clinical section of my dietetic internship is over with. I learned a lot about different disease states, work with some fantastic dietitians, and got to educate and treat a variety of fascinating patients. I got to create treatment plans for patients, and then follow-up to see their progress, and then wish them the best once discharged. I got more experience charting and billing (and deciphering MD notes. Why say "drinks occasionally" when you can say "rare social ethanol imbiber"??) While I will be doing my best to stay out of the hospital from now on (from both a personal and professional standpoint) I did learn quite a bit.

what we're made of
And.... It's the final countdown! 4 more weeks of outpatient nutrition counseling and then I'm hopping on a jetplane and saying adios one last time to Texas. I'm heading back where I need to be right now-Boston.