Life has been absolutely insane for the past year. So many exciting things have happened and I can finally share everything!
For starters, I completed my dietetic internship and passed the RD exam! No more late nights studying, no more long drives and crazy hours, and most importantly, no more "paying to work!" I landed a job as a clinical dietitian and LOVE what I'm doing. Looking back, all the stress, tears, late nights, and early mornings were well-worth it. I knew I wanted to be a dietitian when I was in high school and I think it's safe to say that I'm in the minority because I knew exactly what I wanted to do when I went to college and never changed my major. After completing my B.S., it took me 3 tries to get matched into an internship, and it took me 3 tries to pass the RD exam. I worked my butt off for this, and I feel so accomplished to finally be a Registered Dietitian.
There were countless times when I wanted to give up. Everything about this process was hard. And no matter how many times I thought about giving up, I knew I would push through. I have an amazing support system, and I didn't want to disappoint them, or myself. After not getting matched twice, I told myself I was going to apply one more time and after that, I wasn't going to do it again. I was ready to move on and enjoy life instead of constantly being asked about what I was doing and explaining to people what is required to become an RD. Those credentials don't come easily... And then, it finally happened. I got matched to Nicholls State University. I drove an hour to and from rotations everyday, completed over 1200 hours, and even won The Core Values Award. What!? And after 3 attempts to take the seemingly impossible Registration Exam, I passed. I remember the first time I was really upset afterwards, and the second time, I was really mad. I had a similar feeling about not getting matched, and I was going to give it one more shot. I felt so defeated and discouraged. I had already been hired for my clinical position, and that was my drive. I knew I was smart enough and had what it takes. I just had one last leg of the race to finish. And I finally did. It is such a relief, and honestly a little weird feeling because this is the first time in my life that I'm not studying or working on something to further my education (for now anyway). I'm just so happy I can officially do what I love and now I can focus on planning my wedding!
That's the other very exciting thing that has been going on in my life - Bill and I are engaged! In the middle of finishing my internship and taking the exam, Bill proposed to me! A couple of months before I finished the internship, we talked about going to the Panama City Beach for a long weekend to just relax after this very busy and stressful year. Little did I know, that about a month before we went, he decided that this is when he was going to ask me to spend the rest of my life with him. I was so distracted with finishing my internship and studying that I didn't pick up on any of the hints that I should have picked up on... he asked if I was going to get my nails done, made dinner reservations, and even asked what I was going to wear to dinner. Hello?! Hints were everywhere! He was also on his phone more than usual, which I didn't really pay too much attention to because I was just basking in the moment of having completed my internship. Little did I know that he was going back and forth with his sister because she was also there to help with all of the arrangements (there were a couple of close-calls with almost running into her!)
We spent the day relaxing on the beach (where he was constantly making sure I was re-applying sunscreen to make sure I wouldn't burn since he knew we would be taking pictures later that evening). We went to dinner, where I practically inhaled my food, which is very unlike me. I am normally a slow eater, but I think I was just so hungry from being out in the sun all day that I mindlessly ate my food super fast. He asked if I wanted to take a walk to the beach to take a picture at sunset after we finished dinner, and naturally I said yes. Because I ate so fast, he had to stop in the bathroom on the way out to call the photographer to let her know we were ahead of schedule. We still had 45 minutes before we were supposed to "meet" the photographer on the beach so she asked if he could stall me for a little while, even though she lived close by, he really wanted to wait until sunset so there we were... walking around a half-abandoned strip mall for 45 minutes until it was close enough to sunset to go take a picture. Once we were finally able to start walking towards the beach, we got to the edge of the parking lot and it was covered with red dirt because there was some construction and I was wearing white sandals and did not want to walk in that. He thought this was perfect because it would buy him a few extra minutes for us to walk back to his truck and drive us across the street to the boardwalk (all to save my shoes!). As we were getting out of the car, he told me to grab my phone for the picture because his camera had sort of stopped working the day before. Once we get to the sand, we both went to take our shoes off, and naturally I was just going to carry my shoes with me, but he was getting flustered and told me to put them down with his and then asked why I had my phone, which I then reminded him that he asked me to take it. He told me he'd put it in his pocket until we took the picture so I didn't have to carry it and we started walking towards the water where he turned me around and got down on one knee and pulled out a Little Blue Box! And of course, I said Yes!
After taking some pictures and calling all of our family and friends, we went back to the condo where his sister had gone in and put flowers everywhere, along with bunch of pictures hanging on some twinkle lights from when we started dating. It was so thoughtful and sweet, and way more than I could have ever imagined. It was truly perfect. The photographer he hired, Laura Jennings Photography, to capture the moment was also amazing. She was so fun to work with and would recommend to anyone in the PCB area looking for a photographer. This past year has been filled with so many exciting moments, and none of it would have been possible without the support of my family and Bill. I am forever grateful and thankful for them. Now time to celebrate!
The weather the last 2 days has been less than desirable for running outside... and if you're anything like me, running on the treadmill just doesn't cut it. Not to mention that I just want to bundle up under a blanket and watch Christmas movies. But the fall semester is about to end for me so it's the perfect time to get back to the gym, and I'm using this time to get for focused on my weight training again.
Weight training can get boring and there are so many exercises that you can do, so which ones are best? We all have busy schedules, so the other half the battle is time. How do you get the most out of your workout? Well, good news... I have a new Winter Workout to help get you through these cold, gloomy days!
Squat Press (4x10 reps)
Lunge + Curls (4x10 reps)
Push-Up + Row (4x10 reps)
Mountain Climbers (4x20 reps)
Plank Front Raise (4x5 each side)
Elevated Leg Raises (4x10 reps)
Standing Oblique Crunch with Weight (5X10 each side)
And don't forget to stretch and stay hydrated!
I love the holiday season because I get to spend time with my family and friends - It's a much needed break between school semesters and I cherish every moment.! People always ask what I want for Christmas (and my birthday, since it's shortly after Christmas) and I have a hard time giving an answer. What do you get for the health fanatic one in the group? Well, here is a gift-giving guide for the health-enthusiast in your life!
1. Foam Roller (with trigger points) - These are the BEST. I use mine every day!
2. Basically anything from The Sarcastic Nutritionist!
3. Eat Healthy Designs
5. A FitBook
Life has been so hectic lately - and it's only about to get even crazier with the holidays quickly approaching. Between my internship, studying, training, and just life in general, I've been finding it very challenging to balance everything and stay motivated.
This past week, I had a little break from my usual schedule and it was SO nice. I felt like I was sort of back to a somewhat normal routine. Because of the overload of things I've had going on lately, I haven't been as diligent about my training - I've been slacking BIG time. I ran a half marathon last Saturday, and I was not prepared for it, although I did much better than I thought I was going to do. I have another one in 2 weeks, as well as one in December and January. I went into the race last weekend with the mindset that this was just going to be a training run for the next 3 races. I think that's what helped push me through the race. It was cold, rainy, and I would have much rather been at home in sweatpants watching Netflix all day!
The thing I love about these runs though is that everyone is so encouraging and motivating along the way. I think this run helped me feel like I was back on track. Now to keep that up...
I started a new thing (and maybe it's a little cheesy), but it's made a big impact on how I get through the day. I write myself little notes in my planner (which I cannot live without) to remind myself that no matter how stressful my day may be, it's all worth it. No matter how bad I may think my day is, I know that someone has it way worse, someone is more stressed than me, and in the midst of all that - there is still something good in everyday!
Go the extra mile - It's never crowded.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend FNCE (Food and Nutrition Conference & Expo) in Chicago for their 100th Anniversary! I learned so much and met so many people who share my passion for food and nutrition. I came back with all sorts of fun new products to try, so be on the lookout for posts about those. Anyone who's ever been to FNCE will understand just how much you get to sample. I left room in my suitcase knowing I would be coming back with a lot.
I attended sessions on Alzheimer's, Intermittent Fasting Effects on Cardiometabolic Disease and Cancer, PCOS, and Food as Medicine in Malnutrition and Eating Disorders. I also attended a job fair to learn about different career paths... and then there was the Expo. There was so much food and so many samples to try - I literally ate all day long (but we walked a lot too, so it balanced out).
Thankfully, my fellow interns and I had some time to explore the city a little too! We had a rough start with our airbnb - but we ended up staying right in the middle of the theater district which was so fun! And of course we had to try the deep dish pizza at Giordano's - DELISH!
I've been so incredibly busy lately with internship that I haven't been keeping up with posts, but come May that will change! Being a dietetic intern has been very challenging and I wanted to share a little bit about my experiences so far!
I knew this wasn't going to be a walk-in-the-park, but this has been a lot tougher than I thought, but not in the way I was expecting it to be. There are the early mornings and late nights, trying to work every second I'm not at the hospital, and the obvious... tremendous amounts of coffee!! I've unexpectedly been faced with quite a few negative experiences, but I've been trying my best to make them positive and learn from them. I have to journal about my experiences and all the things I'm doing, so I'm trying to focus on what I would do differently in those situations and how those situations could be handled differently.
I'm learning so much, and gaining so much experience, and I can't wait to practice. I've completed all my community rotations and now I'm on to food management, and it's been quite the challenge. I did a lot of food management in undergrad, and I'm continuing to learn new things every day. The hardest part is that when I say I'm a dietetic intern, people don't understand what that means. They think I'm still in undergrad, that I just cook, that I'm volunteering, and my favorite, that I'm getting paid (HaHa!). When I explain what I'm doing and what I want to do, I get questioned... Why would you want to do that? Why not just be a doctor? Well... because I don't want to be a doctor and I love what I'm doing!
The work that I'm doing is so rewarding, and I'm finally starting to put everything I've learned into practice and see things happen. The people that I'm working with have taught me so much so far, and it's helping me narrow down the direction that I want to go in.
I'm so excited for all the things to come the rest of this semester and next semester when I move to my clinical rotations!
Life has been a little hectic lately, so I haven't been able to stick to my usual workout/running routine, and it's driving me crazy! Just a few more days of recovery before I can ease myself back into running after a couple weeks off. I've been suffering with some severe asthma issues and I'm finally almost done with the prednisone (Ugh!) and I can take my time getting myself back to where I was. Like many diseases, asthma wears you out. I have a pretty rough history, but I've come such a far way from where I was. This flare-up brought back some not-so-fun memories from when I was a kid and the countless hours doing breathing treatments and anxiousness that came as a side-effect with the medication, but at the end of the day, I was so thankful. I have accomplished things that I never thought I would, and here I am today, anxiously waiting until I can put my running shoes back on.
As I was laying in bed until 5pm last Thursday afternoon, and after sleeping pretty much the entire day (which drove me crazy because I never do that and it made me feel so unproductive, although I clearly needed the rest), I had to remind myself not to get frustrated because I wasn't getting my miles in. Hitting the pavement in the brutal heat of summer when I couldn't breathe, was probably not going to help me get any better... This is why it's so important to listen to your body. I took the weekend to watch some movies, sleep, and just rest! It's amazing what our bodies are capable of, but that doesn't mean we can just go and go and go...
This minor setback is giving me more motivation to achieve my time goals for the 3 half marathons I'm running this fall. It's going to take me a little time to get back to where I was with my time, but I know it's not impossible, and I know I'll have to push myself a little harder, but I know how amazing it will feel when I cross that finish line!
So! I am working on a research proposal for school and I'm looking for some participants to help me complete my research!
- must be 18 or older
- must be a diagnosed asthmatic
- must be willing to participate for 12 weeks
- must be willing to keep a food log
My study will be to monitor the effects of a high fat/low carb diet on asthmatics. Let me know if you are interested! I'll give the details individually.
The study will begin late August/September.
Who doesn't love pancakes?! I just don't love all the sugar they can provide - What if I told you there is a delicious pancake mix that provides lots of protein, very little sugar, and is a good source of fiber? Well it's true... Kodiak Cakes do exactly that! They are made with whole grains, can provide up to 21g of protein, has 3g of sugar, and 5g of fiber per serving! There are quite a few flavor options, and while I haven't been able to try them all yet, I love the dark chocolate!
You can add plain water to the mix, or use milk and add an egg for extra protein. I like to top mine with fresh fruit and sometimes a little sugar free syrup. And honestly, they don't even need the syrup! It's the perfect amount of sweetness and provides a protein-packed breakfast. They can even be purchased in on-the-go cups - you just add water and heat in the microwave for those busy mornings!
For those of you with a gluten intolerance - they have gluten free mixes, as well as organic and superfood options! Check out their website linked below to see everything they have to offer!
So I guess it's time that I post on here that I was accepted into the Nicholls Dietetic Internship. I'm incredibly excited to finally start this journey to finishing my education to become a Registered Dietitian. This has been a dream of mine and it's finally happening!
I often hear people refer to me as a nutritionist and a dietitian - but did you know there is a difference? While I have my bachelors in dietetics, I'm not a registered dietitian, YET! But once I complete my internship and pass the National Registration Exam for Dietitians, I will be an RD!
"All registered dietitians are nutritionists, but not all nutritionist are registered dietitians"
-Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Who doesn't love an easy recipe?! This is the perfect weeknight recipe when you have lots to do - not to mention, super easy clean up!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time 45 minutes
1 pork tenderloin (season to taste)
1 onion, cut
1 bunch asparagus
2 sweet potatoes (cut as desired - as you can see Bill and I had differing opinions on cutting them)
Olive oil (as desired)
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Wash and cut vegetables. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread out vegetables and lightly coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place pork tenderloin in center. Place in over for 45 minutes. DONE!
This article was written by Personal Trainer, Paige Johnson - She offers excellent tips and advice!
Some people look at the beginning of a new year to focus on fitness and healthy eating while others may be motivated by the summer and swimsuit season approaching or a special upcoming event. No matter what time of year it is, there are some great strategies that can be incorporated into your lifestyle to help you achieve your health and fitness goals, and these can typically be applied all year long.
Use the change of seasons as an excuse to try new activities.
Everyday Health points out that different seasons can impact people and their ability to achieve their health and fitness goals in different ways. Some people embrace winter and the opportunity to do cold-weather activities like skiing and snowshoeing, while others are invigorated by the summer warmth where they can get out to run or bike under the sun's rays.
Even if you tend to embrace exercise during one season more than others, it is possible to adjust your habits to be consistent with year-round activity. Adjusting the time of day that you work out might be helpful if you are struggling to stay on track, and if you belong to a gym, consulting with a fitness trainer for a session or two could be the jolt you need to reset your fitness focus if you’re in a slump.
When you are looking for motivation to exercise during a season where you normally struggle, trying a new activity or two might be just what you need for some inspiration. Swimming is a great year-round activity that can be fantastic exercise (especially with some helpful equipment) for all ages and skill levels, and some people utilize what may otherwise be an off-season to try out different types of sports leagues or fitness classes. Shaking things up can keep your fitness routine from becoming too drab month after month.
Make adjustments to embrace what foods are in season
There are numerous approaches you can take when it comes to healthy eating, but Mayo Clinic points out that it is key to choose plans that will fit nicely within your budget, tastes, and lifestyle. Trying to go with an eating style that you hate typically will only backfire and long-term, year-round success comes from picking something that is both healthy and that will suit your tastes.
Typically, choosing everyday items that you can find at local stores is important, and be sure to incorporate a wide variety of whole grains, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins and low-fat dairy items. As you load up your plate, it is important to be mindful of the size of your portions. Experts recommend focusing on vegetables and fruits first.
When you are looking to be fit and continue healthy eating habits all year long, incorporating a few basic strategies can go a long way. Find exercise styles that fit your tastes and can be done in multiple seasons, or try different types of exercise during different times of the year. Embrace the fresh air of the outdoors when you can, but don't forget that many great exercise options exist indoors as well.
Healthy eating habits typically incorporate a variety of foods, making adjustments at times to accommodate what fruits and vegetables are available at different times of the year. Be sure to focus on choices that are easily available and suit your tastes while packing the best nutritional bang for your buck. Many people face some slumps with their fitness and eating plans at various times of the year, but with some determination and strategizing, year-round success is definitely possible.
[Image by PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay]
So I spend a little more time on social media than I would like to admit - however, I primarily use it for my blog. But is constantly checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snap Chat really all that healthy?
First of all, think of all the other productive things we could be doing - not necessarily fun things that we want to do, but much more important things than taking a quiz to see the first letter of the name of the person you are destined to marry!
Not only does it reduce our productivity, but it makes us miss things happening around us. If we constantly have our heads bent down, blankly staring at a screen, we are probably missing so much that's happening right in front of us. I travel around the city for work, and I had the opportunity to work at the Ace Hotel this week - and it was probably one of the coolest places I've gone in a while! There is a rooftop pool with an outdoor bar, so I went up to check it out. When I walked up there, almost everyone was on their phones. You are sitting at a rooftop bar overlooking New Orleans, but Facebook is more entertaining? I personally love going places in this city just to people watch - you never know what you are going to see! I guess I found it disappointing because there are so many things happening around us and we aren't aware of them because social media has us distracted.
This past weekend I went camping and the beauty in that is that I left my phone sitting in my purse the entire time and had absolutely no need for social media. It was nice to get away, enjoy the fresh air (minus the bug bites), and relax!
And my favorite part of social media - distorted body selfies! You can flex, turn, and pose all you want - but very few people actually look like that on an everyday basis. But I will say, I enjoy progress pictures - real people, making real progress. No weird poses. No sprayed on tan line.s. No comparing ourselves and making unrealistic body image goals. Those posed pictures are part of the reason some people don't see themselves as "fit" or "in shape" because they are comparing themselves to something unrealistic. So how is that healthy? Newsflash! It's not.
The point is - spending so much time on social media and posting everything we do, isn't exactly healthy. Sharing pictures of meals, workouts, and other exciting things you are doing is fun, and allows you to keep up with everyone, but it's something that we should balance, just like everything else we do!
As of late, Greek yogurt has become a very popular nutrition trend. The problem is there are SO many options - so what's YOUR best option? It seems that just about every time I walk into the grocery store, I find new brands, and of course I have to try them! Yogurts tend to have a lot of added sugar, which isn't great, but Greek yogurt can be a good source of protein, as well as calcium, so it makes for a great snack, especially when topped with fruits like blueberries, or even some almonds. It's also a great replacement in some recipes for dips, soups, and even desserts! The general rule of thumb is to buy brands that have more protein than sugar. So these are my top 4 choices/recommendations:
Siggi's - 0% Milkfat, 11g sugar, 16g protein
Trader Joe's Nonfat Greek Yogurt - 6g sugar, 22g protein
Fage Total 0% - 7g sugar, 18g protein
Yoplait Greek 100 - 7g sugar, 14g protein
Now that Mardi Gras is over, and everyone has had their fill of King Cake, fried food, and alcohol, it's time to get back on track - Although the boiled crawfish make living in New Orleans a little easier during Lent! I'm sure it won't be long before we will get on social media and start seeing everyone getting "bikini ready" for summer. This is a good time to detox from all the not-so-healthy things we have been eating the past few weeks. I like using this time of sacrifice as a time to start a lifestyle change. If you're tired of always starting over - don't stop. Once these 40 days are over, why go back to those same habits you were trying to stop or change? And maybe you aren't trying to break a habit, maybe you are trying to start a new one!
I'm using these 40 days, not only as a time of sacrifice, reflection, and prayer, but as a way I want to continue to live even when these 40 days are over. I am constantly trying to improve the way I live and the healthy choices I make, so when I start something new, I go into it with the mindset that it's not just something temporary. This is just the start to an even healthier life!
It's also National Nutrition Month!! So starting those new habits, breaking old habits, and starting to live a healthier lifestyle should be a breeze with all the nutrition posts that will be posted this month! Be sure to check them out at eatright.org!