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nutrition

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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Last week, we made Butternut Squash Macaroni with the first graders at Maplewood Richmond Heights Early Childhood Center. Every single kid loved it!  We had no picky eaters at all.  While I was cooking this recipe with them, I thought about us college students. How hard it is to cook a nutritious meal.  This recipe is easy, affordable, nutritious, and quick.  Try it at home!  If you freeze it, it can last up to 3 weeks.

Ingredients:

1     lb. macaroni/ elbow noodles

2     cups cheese sauce

2     cups of butternut squash

½ tsp. garlic

Directions:

-       Preheat the oven 350 F.

-       Wash the butternut squash.

-       Cut it lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and crud (The Pre-school children actually helped in this step).

-       Put the butternut squash in cookie sheets and place it in the oven.

-       After the butternut squash is cooked, take remove the peel and blend the meat part of the butternut squash.

-       Boil 1 lb. macaroni pasta and put it in the pot with boiling water. (9 min with added salt).

-       In a pot heat the cheese sauce, garlic and the butternut squash.

-       Once the cheese and squash sauce has boiled, add the macaroni.

-       Mix well.

-       Enjoy!

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Every day I check my Fontbonne email, hoping that maybe one of my friends decided to leave something exciting in my inbox (and with friends like fellow bloggers Courtney and Elizabeth, this does in fact happen pretty much on a daily basis. Seriously, you guys make my day with your emails, and I should probably start returning the favor, yes?). With that idea in mind, today’s post is partly inspired by the link that WebMD-addict Courtney (and I say that in a very loving way, of course!) forwarded to me today: a slideshow about acupuncture from none other than webmd.com.

Last semester, in addition to crying in frustration and stress about the large workload I had to do, I spent a lot of time crying over the fact that for some reason, I couldn’t seem to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with my life. The idea of working as a dietitian in a clinical setting has never meshed with me personally. While I will have to do volunteer work in a hospital setting and it’s highly likely that my nutrition internship will likewise be with a hospital, it’s not where I see myself ultimately working. I always knew that if I was going to be a registered dietitian, I wanted to open my own private practice. Despite having all of that figured out, though, I still felt as though something was missing. “Maybe the nutrition field isn’t for me,” I thought. So I began entertaining the idea of entering a different career field altogether and becoming a physical therapist. Still, that didn’t feel right, either.

Late last summer, I started receiving acupuncture treatments. My acupuncturist in Webster Groves is pretty awesome; when she talked about my qi (or chi) during those first appointments, I was mystified. What did all of these ancient terms mean? How could sticking needles behind my ears, or one right in the middle of my forehead, or one in the inside of my foot (that one always hurts, but none of the others do!) reset my body and heal me from within? How did she know about food and nutrition as well? The pieces were starting to slowly come together. I definitely had an interest in this incredible medicinal practice, but I still wasn’t totally sure if I was interested in pursuing it.
My grandma gave me the inspiration I needed to make my decision. Despite having skin cancer and leukemia, she’s never undergone a Western form of treatment for her illnesses, turning to acupuncture and other natural treatments instead (and it’s working…her skin looks better every time I see her! It’s truly amazing!). Whenever she would talk about the acupuncturist who she’s currently seeing and the wealth of knowledge he possesses, I knew that I wanted to be able to heal people naturally, too, and that I wanted to be not just an average professional, but rather, an expert in my field. That’s when it all finally came together: my goal is to attend my dream nutrition internship (which I found a couple of weeks ago online) and become a Registered Dietitian, before going to graduate school to get my Master of Science in Oriental Medicine. Someday I hope to have my own private practice where I can educate my clients about natural nutrition and heal them with ancient techniques that really work.

So, long story short, if there’s one thing that I’ve gotten out of this school year, in addition to being able to synthesize various organic compounds and toss around fancy food science terms to annoy my mother while she cooks, it’s definitely the fact that I think I’ve found my passion, considering I’ve never been this excited about a potential career before. And as the school year slowly comes to an end (spring break = the week after next!), I’m excited to see what I can do this summer to help me achieve my future goals.

Have an awesome rest of the week, everyone! And thanks, Courtney, for giving me something to blog about! I owe you…as usual.

-Carly

“Genesis” by Grimes (My song obsession of the week…)

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My major!

by Alumni Posts February 16, 2012

I chose my major for many reasons. I love psychology and always have. In high school, it was my best subject, and I was just able to grasp the information better than any other subject — so it was kind of like this major was calling me. When I first started at Fontbonne, I was […]

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