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dietetics

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

We are about to that time in the semester where the newness is wearing off, assignments are piling in, and I am gradually starting to get behind on my laundry… Welcome back to college! I am very excited to have the opportunity to post for all of you this year! First, let me tell you a bit about myself…

My name is Hannah. I made the conscious decision to accept entrance into Fontbonne’s graduate program to obtain my Master’s in Multidisciplinary Health Communication Studies (yeah, it’s a mouthful :-D). I am doing the Individualized Supervised Practice Pathways (I will refer to is as ISPP in my further posts) option, which is just a fancy way to say my Dietetic Internship (DI). I just graduated in May with my undergraduate degree from Northern Illinois University in Nutrition & Dietetics (Go Huskies!). My hopes and dreams for my future career are to be a Registered Dietitian involved in nutrition communication; whether that be public relations, health campaigns, event coordinating, or political advocacy.

A month after walking across that stage, I moved to St. Louis from Rockford, Illinois, to start in Fontbonne’s grad program! Therefore, I still consider myself a newb to the area. I have managed, however, to forgo the GPS and be an independent navigator, which is a pretty big feat I must say! Anywho, I am incredibly happy with my decision to come to Fontbonne as a grad student (although I greatly underestimated how much brain strain was involved in grad school..) and embark on this new journey! St. Louis and the Fontbonne community have been gracious hosts thus far and this seems to be a great voyage for my academic growth!

Since I am not just a dietetic-professional-in-training but also a health enthusiast, I will be using my blog posts to share (what I hope to be) helpful, healthful insight to the Fontbonne community! Since this is the first post, I will start you on a more painless note. :)

I say it is the little things in life that count; catching that green light, someone holding the door open for you, or getting that last chocolate chip cookie (yes! I do eat those!) Just as it is the small moments that make life sweet, the same holds true with your health. It is the tiny things that are often overlooked or seem insignificant that can really make or break your progress towards a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few small, simple things I try to do everyday to keep my body in tip top condition.

1. Add a spoonful of chia seeds

Chia seeds have been getting a lot of attention lately for being a “superfood.” In my mind, all foods are super in one way or another (taste, health benefit, ect.) and therefore I don’t like to put only specific ones in this spotlight. However, chia seeds can be very beneficial when looking at nutrient content. They are a great source of Omega-3, protein, fiber, magnesium, iron, calcium, and zinc! I simply add a spoonful of chia seeds to breakfast cereal, smoothies, or yogurt to give them a bit more of a nutritious punch.

2. Balance with fruits and vegetables

As I mentioned earlier, I might be a dietetic student but I also have quite a sweet tooth! Even though I know those chocolate chip cookies are not the best for me, I have a hard time saying no. Thus comes another nutrition philosophy of mine, all things in moderation! Don’t deprive yourself of sweet treats, just moderate them. I like to help quite the guilt of succumbing to my sweet tooth by adding a handful of fruit or veggies on the side. Take this morning for example; I made cinnamon rolls. I had a few (small) cinnamon rolls but I also had a few kiwis to make sure my breakfast included some beneficial nutrients. I also did not eat the entire package of cinnamon rolls (though tempted..) Pairing a small portion of a “sometimes” food with a handful of fruits or veggies is a great way to treat yourself while still getting essential nutrients as well!

3. Finding time to play!

We have all heard time and time again how important exercise is for our health. I was thinking the other day, how was it so easy to be active as a child yet more difficult as we become adults? Granted, yes less energy and busier schedules play a factor, but I believe your mental approach is key to every situation! As kids, we simply saw it as going outside to play! I find it much easier to entice myself to be active if I see it as “playing” rather than “exercising.” When I think, “I need to go exercise,” I get the immediate feeling of boredom, angst, and resistance. I find a million excuses and reasons for why I should do other things instead. But when I say, “I need to go play,” I start to feel energized and excited! Seeing it as “playing” just gives it that sense of fun and a way to release stress! It takes those same activities and gives them a more positive attitude. Also, calling physical activity “playing” opens your mind to more ways to accelerate that heart rate rather than the boring, old jogging on a treadmill (seriously.. 10 mins of that is all I can take..). So relax a while today and go play!

Are there any small tricks you try to implement into your day to stay on top of your health game?

Feel free to send in any nutrition or health questions to EddyH@fontbonne.edu and I may feature my responses in a future post! Also, I encourage you all to check out my personal health blog, The Wholey Trinity, and like the Facebook page!

- XOXO Hannah

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This week, instead of looking back on my storied college career, I’ll be looking forward to the future. As you might know, I have been a dietetics major since first setting foot on the Fontbonne campus, and I’ve never once wanted to deviate from that path.  Although most people have a general concept of what a dietitian is, I often get asked what a dietitian does, and of course specifically what I want to do.
There are three major areas of dietetics: Clinical, Food Service, and Community. The majority of dietitians are clinically based, which means they work in an outpatient facility or hospital and plan diets for the sick. People with kidney failure have special dietary needs that are different than people with liver disease, and so on.  It’s a very critical job, as a wrong diet could easily do great harm to someone.  Food Service dietitians work in places like nursing homes, cafeterias, and restaurants.  The concept is similar, but they mostly plan meals in large quantities for a specific population of people.  For example, school districts often hire a dietitian to help plan menus that meet the government’s standards for a free/reduced price student lunch.  Finally, there are dietitians that work out in the community.  This area is more diverse, and includes such places as fitness centers, grocery stores, public health clinics, food banks, and even private practice.  Their work is mostly to cater to the needs of individuals who seek their help, but they also run events that target the community as a whole, such as health fairs or screenings.
Personally, I want to work out in the community.  I really like the idea of helping people, and I like the flexibility and diversity of working with the general public.  I could see myself working in a health foods store, helping people pick out groceries that fit their needs, or planning meals at a fitness center or spa.  Perhaps one day I’ll even open my own practice.  It would be cool to specialize in a naturalistic approach that centers on vegan and vegetarian eating, but I’m flexible.  Also, I still have a lot to learn from my experience as a dietetic intern next year (an additional requirement one needs in order to become an official Registered Dietitian), and I am keeping my options and my mind wide open.  Regardless, I’m looking forward to a career full of helping people to improve their health through eating good food!

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WELL here we are back in school again. Is it really my last semester in college? Welp, as long as I don’t accidentally fail something, it sure is. Medical Nutrition Therapy II, Experimental Foods, Microbiology, and HES Senior Synthesis are all on the schedule for the next few months, and then that’s all, folks!
So far I’m digging my classes. I’m learning about how to treat various diseases and conditions with diet, experimenting with vegan pound cakes, swabbing bacteria on agar dishes, and writing a FAT paper to sum up my college career in the HES department. I’m still Environmental Club president as well, so expect plenty of posts geared in that direction.
Basically, I’m planning to live it up and enjoy the remainder of my time at Fontbonne. It’s been a great 3.5 years so far, and it just keeps getting better. Looking forward to a rad last semester!

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Last week I started my internship at Valley Park School District. You might be wondering what am I doing there?… Well, I am a graduate student doing my dietetic internship in several sites. Right now, I am in the school system overseeing how they run their food service.
Finish Reading

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Just Do Your Best, Do Everything You Can

by Alumni Posts July 26, 2013

As I approach my final year at Fontbonne, I have to start thinking about my life post-grad. Like most dietetics majors, I’ll be applying for an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics-certified internship this spring and then preparing to take my exam to become a Registered Dietitian. The internship selection process is notoriously cutthroat, so it […]

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Into the Great Wide Open

by Alumni Posts April 2, 2013

Now that April – and hopefully warmer weather – is upon us, it’s time to begin the registration process for next year’s classes. As usual, I’ll be knee-deep in dietetics! There will be some clinical nutrition classes, some family/consumer science-based classes, and a class that will prepare me for the dietetic internship application process (which […]

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Shadow Days Are Over

by Alumni Posts February 4, 2013

I have good news, everyone: I am pleased to report that on February 2nd, 2013, Punxsutawney Phil did not, repeat DID NOT see his shadow, which means that we are ON TRACK FOR AN EARLY SPRING!!! I’m beyond pumped. Even besides that, though, I’d have to say the semester is off to a good start. […]

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I Bet You Never Thought Your World Would Come to This.

by Alumni Posts January 25, 2013

As cliché as it may sound, if there’s one thing I’ve learned during the course of my time in college so far, it’s that this really is a time of self-discovery. If you had told the straight across bangs-sporting, ballet dancing, high school version of myself that once I went to university, I would quit […]

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The Four Year Plan

by Alumni Posts November 5, 2012

It’s that time of year again…. Advising Week! Everyone has to meet with their advisor to plan out what they want to take next semester and get approval to register for classes. Although it hasn’t always been easy to fit together the classes I want to take into my schedule, I do enjoy Advising Week. […]

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Confused? Me Too.

by Alumni Posts October 29, 2012

As I mentioned in my first post, I’ve changed a lot since first entering college. While my looks have changed (in my opinion) quite astronomically, I think the biggest change I’ve experienced has been in my personal interests. For example, had you told me as I went through my first semester of general chemistry as […]

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.