4/17/10

Powerful Cranberry Muffins

When I did a google search on "powerful" foods, I was not surprised by the number of websites promoting their own "top" powerful foods. Without clicking on any links, I can choose from the top 16 most powerful foods, the top 13 most powerful foods and the most intriguing, the top 29 healthiest foods on the PLANET!
I don't think we should live our life by a good food/bad food diet. There are foods which promote good health and should be emphasized in the diet and foods which have been shown to be invaluable to improving our quality life and thus, should be de-emphasized in the diet. More than anything, the more balanced the diet the more likely you will have the energy you need to stay physically active.
Thinking about all of the "diet" foods out there (sugar-free, fat-free, carb-free, etc.) I believe that these foods could be eliminated from the diet and people could still lose weight (and maintain weight). Because people like to eat, there are many processed foods available, claiming to be low in calories, fat, carbs, sugar, trans fats, etc., that people choose to eat when sitting in front of the TV, sitting at the computer late at night or sitting around the house. Sure, I love to sit at night but I am not choosing to eat a bag of sugar-free muffins because I am bored and hungry.
I am very passionate about people eating wholesome food to provide the body with a variety of vitamins and minerals, alongside complex carbs, healthy fats and lean/low fat protein. I just don't see how a glass of sugar-free apple juice w/ fat-free cheese on a rice cake (as a snack) is going to contribute to weight loss/maintenance and promote longevity? Considering that we eat for fuel, your physical performance when you are exercising or training will certainly be affected (when you don't eat a balanced diet) due to your body not receiving the right nutrients which are required to perform at an optimal level. My suggestion for this snack would be an apple w/ an ounce of cheese and 45-60 min before your afternoon/evening workout, you could do 1/2 tbsp PB and a rice cake or Wasa Cracker.
In an effort to have a healthy relationship with food and to feel satisfied with what you are eating, learn to understand your body. Listen to yourself and depending on what you are feeling (hungry, stuffed, sudden drop in blood sugar, starving) before or during the meal, evaluate your meal/snack and ask yourself if you need to make substitutions and eliminations. It's easy to add fruit and veggies to a meal to promote fullness but without healthy fats and lean/low fat protein, you may find yourself starving 30-60 min. after you finish your meal. I find that many people can look back at the previous meal/snack when you are trying to develop a healthy relationship with food. Many people skip snacks, overeat at meals or don't include a healthy balance of nutrients at meals and snacks in an effort to lose weight, tone up or prepare for or recover from workouts. This often contributes to performance-limiting food choices later in the day (not to mention overeating or going long hours without eating).
Do not expect your diet to change overnight. Everyday is a new day and with 365 days in a year, one or two "off" days/weeks of experimenting with your diet is certainly not the end of the world. Sure, it may take you a year to find out what works for you and then another year because you are becoming more lean and more efficient with your training but guess what, if your diet is filled with "powerful" and wholesome foods, you will not find yourself feeling restricted, guilty or unhappy with your food choices.
Here are some "powerful" vegetarian foods that you may want to add to your diet......see how you can fit them in as a replacement for a food that may not be contributing to your weight or fitness goals
(Certainly the list could go on.....)
*Apricots
*Avocados
*Raspberries/blueberries
*Cantaloupe
*Cranberries
*Raisins
*Apples
*Figs
*Onions
*Artichokes
*Ginger
*Broccoli
*Spinach
*Bok Choy
*Kale
*Brussels Sprouts
*Carrots
*Arugula
*Squash
*Tomato
*Garlic
*Quinoa
*Sweet potato
*Wheat germ
*Flax seed
*Lentils
*Nuts
*Low fat yogurt/greek yogurt
*Skim milk/soy milk
*Tofu
*Eggs
*Olive oil


What is your favorite powerful food?
I LOVE yogurt, garlic, eggs, tofu and ALL fruit. I'm still working on the variety of veggies in my diet but I find myself being more creative every day!


An athlete of mine, asked me to re-create her favorite Power Muffin recipe. Joan, and several of her training buddies from the TriLewis club are all training for IMKY and I have the honor of helping them all with their nutrition. I was super excited to re-create this recipe. Although this recipe isn't heart-unhealthy, my goal was to cut back on calories so that Joan and her friends could still have a tasty, satisfying and sweet muffin all while enjoying real foods before or after a workout.

Here's the original recipe:
1-1/4 cup all purpose flour
1-1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oatmeal
1 scoop protein powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 T baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground allspice
1-1/4 cup grated carrots
1 cup raisins ( I use dried cranberries instead)


3/4 cup 1% milk
1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
1/3 light ricotta cheese
1/2 cup mashed pumpkin or sweet potato (used pumpkin)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 T vanilla
1 large egg
1 large egg white

Here's my recipe which came out SUPER yummy!!


Powerful Cranberry Muffins

Dry:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup instant oats
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp all spice
1 tsp ginger (fresh or powder)
1 tbsp flax seed
1 tbsp blackstrap molasses or honey
1/4 cup cranberries (chopped)
1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used peanuts)
Wet:
1 apple shredded
1 cup carrots shredded
2 eggs (1 whole, 1 white)
1/2 cup skim milk
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp greek yogurt
1 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Mix together wet ingredients in a small bowl and add to large bowl.
4. Stir all ingredients.
5. In a nonstick muffin tin sprayed with non stick spray, fill 3/4ths full.
*I made 12 muffins and 13 mini muffins
6. Cook for 25-35 min for muffins and 12-20 min for mini muffins. Remove when top of the muffin is firm and semi-pointy.






4/16/10

Ginger anyone? Vegetarian Chinese Stir Fry

The Spring 2010 issue of SCAN's Pulse (Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition) was excellent. I learned to much! The newsletter included the following contents:
*The perils of reductionism in nutrition science: the case of acid-ash hypothesis
(I have SO much to learn in clinical nutrition...thank goodness I am becoming a RD!)
*Night Eating Syndrome: Overview and treatment
*Impact of Vitamin D and Calcium on Health Outcomes: Reviewing the Evidence
*Developing an effective statewide eating disorder coalition
*Sports Dietetics USA research digest
and a few more small articles.
If you have any questions about the above topics or you feel they may be of interest of you, email me or leave me a comment and I will be happy to send along the key points of the article, with current research.

The part of the newsletter that interested me the most was the first page, which read:
GINGER: A SPICE THAT MAY REIGN in PAIN
(by Christopher Black, PhD and Patrick O'Connor, PhD)

I've heard a lot about the health benefits of ginger and a few months ago picked up a bottle of powdered ginger from Wal-mart. Every now and then I will sprinkle it in my muffin or pancake recipe or put a little in my whey smoothie but I am certainly not religious about using it. Garlic, on the other hand, may as well be my favorite "flavor". I personally believe that garlic keeps me my immune system healthy (I probably have a clove a day, 20-25 days out of every month) because I never get sick and REFUSE to get sick.

Anyways, the article in my newsletter was great and I'd like to post a few of the paragraphs/key points (directly copied from the article) which I think you will find interesting. Considering that the majority of you enjoy living a healthy and active lifestyle or are on the quest of increasing activity and eating better (it doesn't happen over night..don't give up!) I think you will really learn to love the benefits of Ginger.
If you would like to see the research studies that the authors cited, please let me know and I will pass along the reference.
-In the US, 38 million are estimated to use natural products (echinacea, ginseng, ginkgo biloba) as an alternative therapy for a medical problem, and giner is among the 10 post popular.
-Ginger (Zingiber officinale) has been used in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine as a treatment for various ailments including asthma, diabetes, nausea and stroke as well as pain conditions such as rheumatism and toothache.
-New focus of Ginger: to REDUCE exercise-induced muscle pain.

Usefulness of Ginger:
Anti-Nausea
*Recommended to treat nausea and vomiting during pregnancy and shown to reduce nausea related to motion sickness.
*Ginger may reduce the adverse effects of chemotherapy (study was done on breast cancer patients).

Ginger and Pain Treatment
*Treatment for osteoarthritis pain (dosage of 30 mg - 500 mg/d for 4-36 weeks)
*Ginger functions similarly to NSAIDs (aspirin and ibuprofen). In vitro studies show that several of the constituents of ginger (gingerols, shogaols, paradols and zingerone - which give ginger its unique smell and taste) inhibit the actions of the cyclooxygenase enzymes 1 and 2 (COX 1 and COX 2).
*Ginger reduces the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-1, IL-12 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha. These enzymes and cytokines play a key role in the inflammatory response that leads to pain and swelling in muscles and joints.
*Ginger agonizes the TRPV1 receptor, known as the capsaicin (found in red pepers) receptor which plays a role in central and peripheral processing of noxious stimuli. Many topical creams w/ capsaicin are used for pain relief.
*Although ginger-containing creams are available, data is lacking regarding their efficacy as anti-arthritis and anti-pain creams.


DOMS (DELAYED ONSET MUSCLE SORENESS)

*Based on a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover design study, 2g of ginger was given to subjects following 24 hrs and 48 hrs of high intensity eccentric weightlifting (3 sets of 8 reps at 120% concentric 1-RM). Although ginger didn't reduce soreness or lead to improvements in function in the 60 min after consumption, ginger exerted a more delayed effect on the day to day progression of soreness. Soreness decreased by 13% on the 2nd day of testing (24 hrs later).
*This delayed analgesic effect of ginger prompted another study of 2g of ginger a day for 7 days before and 3 days after high intensity eccentric lifting (3 sets of 6 reps). Both raw and heat-treated ginger was used. Results showed that participants who supplemented for 11 days (7 days prior, the day of and 3 days later) experience 25% (raw) and 23% (heat treated) less muscle pain and soreness compared to placebo group.


Problem with NSAIDs

*Long term use of aspirin and ibuprofen may develop into gastric ulcers. Most common adverse effect from ginger consumption is heart burn.
*Because ginger is very similar to NSAIDs (is an inhibitor of COX 1 and 2 enzymes) it may lead to irritation of the gastrointestinal mucosal lining.


Application of Ginger Supplementation in Exercise

*2g dose equates to 1 tsp of powered ginger, 1 tbsp fresh ginger or 2 mL extract.
*Powdered ginger in food stores may be found in 250 mg to 1000 mg tablets/capsules.
*Look for standardized extract known to have a gingerol content of 5%.
*Although future research is needed to elucidate the minimal effective dose and whether a small amount of ginger consumed daily in drinks or foods can reduce muscle pain, there is compelling evidence that ginger is indeed an effective alternative to NSAIDs for the treatments of muscle pain and soreness.

I also found an article on ginger in Volume 33g of my Environmental Nutrition (EN) Newsletter explaining the soothing effects to the stomach. Recommendations from EN suggest:
2-4 g/d for therapeutic usage
1g 30 min. before travel, .5 - 1 g every 4 hrs for motion sickness
1-2 g/d for arthritis


Well, not sure if ginger is "the next best thing" but since it is in the vegetable aisle in the store and doesn't have an ingredient list, I would suggest trying it out (perhaps WITH your recovery protein such as a whey protein smoothie or mixed with low fat/greek yogurt or milk).

I created this recipe last night from the top of my head and I have to say that this is probably my new FAVORITE recipe. I wish I would have made more cause it was DELICIOUS!!!
Enjoy my latest creation!


Vegetarian Ginger Chinese Stir Fry

*Serves 2
1/2 container sliced mushrooms
1/2 tube extra firm tofu (cubed)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tbsp fresh ginger (shaved without skin)
1/2 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1/8 cup sliced almonds
Green beans (large handful)
2-3 stalks broccoli
Pepper
2-3 tsp low sodium ginger soy sauce
2 x 1 tsp olive oil

Optional "fried noodles"
1/2 ounce (portion) whole wheat spaghetti
1 tsp olive oil


1. On a large skillet, on medium heat, add chopped garlic and 1 tsp. olive oil. Add tofu, chickpeas, mushrooms and cook for a few minutes until brownish (toss every now and then).
2. Steam/microwave broccoli until soft.
3. Cook green beans in hot water until soft.
4. When tofu begins to brown, add almonds, ginger, soy sauce and 1 tsp. olive oil.
5. Toss mixture and add broccoli and green beans.
6. Cook for 2-3 additional minutes and turn off heat, remove pan from burner and cover until ready to serve.

1. For fried noodles, boil spaghetti for 3-4 min. until soft in small pot.
2. Empty water and with noodles in pot, add olive oil.
3. Chop up noddles w/ spatula as you move around the noodles to "crisp" them up. May want to lift pan off burner and give a shake to prevent noodles from sticking.
4. After a few minutes, noodles should be brown and semi-crispy.

YUM!!!





4/15/10

Being creative with your Egg dishes!

My main sources of protein shift throughout the week. Whereas many people may eat turkey, chicken or fish for every dinner meal, I (and Karel) typically eat eggs, beans/chickpeas and tofu almost every night of the week. Whereas one night tofu may make a big part of my meal (ex. tofu w/ veggies) on another night it may just be a component of my meal (ex. french toast w/ eggs, veggies and tofu). To make sure I get a variety of essential amino acids my other sources of protein throughout the day include low fat yogurt, greek yogurt, skim milk, whey protein, cheese, cottage cheese and veggie burgers. Then for some healthy protein w/ fat, I throw in nuts, seeds and natural PB whenever I can. I do not choose bars for extra protein in my diet because the quality of protein in bars is minimal compared to natural sources of protein. More so, with all of the digesting, processing and absorbing after eating a bar, it is likely that your body does not receive the suggested amount of protein on the label. Even as a vegetarian I seek out non-meat sources of protein that are known to have a high biological value (a measurement of protein quality expressing the rate of efficiency with which protein is used for growth) in an effort to repair my damaged tissues and muscles and support muscle growth.
Here is a sample of foods with their respective biological value:
Protein Ratings & protein rating
Eggs (whole) 100
Eggs (whites) 88
Chicken / Turkey 79
Fish 70
Lean Beef 69
Cow's Milk 60
Unpolished Rice 59
Brown Rice 57
White Rice 56
Peanuts 55
Peas 55
Whole Wheat 49
Soy beans 47
Whole-grain Wheat 44
Peanuts 43
Corn 36
Dry Beans 34
White Potato 34

Because there are a lot of protein powders available to consumers (I recommend whey protein after intense or long workouts), here's another list of protein values:
Whey Protein Isolate 159
Whey Protein Concentrate 104
Casein 77
Soy 74

I always stress eating natural and wholesome foods because our body is more likely (in some cases guaranteed) to receive a good portion, if not all, of the nutrients that that food has to offer. Ask yourself what would be more satisfying and more nutritious...an apple or apple juice? How about chips or a plain baked potato? How about a fruit smoothie or a bowl of fresh fruit?
The more processing done to a food (check ingredient list) the more likely our body will not receive all of the nutrients that we are seeking Sure we will get the calories, fat, carbs, etc. but when it comes down to it, what else are you getting? For example, take the Dark Cherry Yogurt Parfait at Starbucks..sounds healthy right?

At 310 calories and 39g of sugar, you also get
nonfat cherry yogurt (cultured pasteurized grade a nonfat milk, sugar, cherry puree, water, modified food starch, whey protein concentrate [milk], gelatin, natural flavor, pectin, color [blueberry, carrot, and currant juice concentrate], caramel color), cherry mix (sweet cherries, modified food starch), vanilla granola (whole rolled oats, milled cane sugar, vegetable oil [canola and/or safflower and/or sunflower oil], rice flour, cornstarch, honey, salt, natural flavor, barley malt syrup, cardamom seed, fennel seed, fenugreek seed, nutmeg).

Wouldn't you be better off with non-fat greek yogurt, fresh cherries, instant oats and a drizzle of honey?

Certainly there are good "processed" foods out there but as we all know, there are plenty of not-so-good (yet yummy and claimed healthy) foods that have a whole lot of ingredients.

I got a little creative with my eggs the other night and made a few healthy and yummy creations for you...enjoy!

Something's missing under my Egg
(I didn't have a good name for it)

1 egg
2 slices French Bread
non-stick spray

1. Lightly toast bread in toaster.
2. On low-medium heat, spray a non-stick pan w/ a little spray.
3. Cut out a hole in the bread and remove hole.
4. Place bread on pan and crack egg onto the bread.
5. After a few minutes, carefully flip bread and cook the other side for 1-2 min. (less time for a runnier egg).





Horseradish spread
2-3 tsp beet horseradish
1-2 tbsp greek yogurt

1. Mix together and spread on other piece of bread.



I added the strawberry for a special presentation before topping the egg with the other piece of bread.


Veggie Omelet w/ roasted red potatoes
Rather than serving a piece of toast or hashbrowns w/ my omelet, I decided to do roasted red potatoes w/ onions and herbs.

2 red potatoes
Onion slices
1 clove garlic (crushed/shredded)
2 tsp olive oil

For Omelet:
Spinach
Onion
Tomato
Garlic
Tofu
Mushrooms
1-2 tsp olive oil
2 eggs (1 whole egg + white) per person
2-3 tbsp skim milk or 1 tbsp greek yogurt (Creamy omelet)

1. Cook filling ingredients for omelete on medium heat for a few minutes.
2. Scramble eggs in a bowl.
3. Remove fillings and add eggs to pan. Give a little scramble for fluffy eggs until the eggs begin to stick.
4. Flip omelet and cook other side.
5. Add fillings and top with a little fresh shredded cheese.




For potatoes:
1. Cook potatoes in microwave for 3-4 min. until semi-soft. Cut into cubes.
2. On a non stick pan on medium heat, add oil and garlic.
3. Add potatoes and cook for 8-10 min. or until golden brown.
4. Around 4-5 min, add onion slices and toss.
5. Add your choice of non-salt seasonings (I used marjoram, pepper, Italian herbs and basil)



4/14/10

Life goes on....

Marine Biologist, Facial Surgeon, Strength & Conditioning Coach, Exercise Physiologist, Sports Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian.

Since I began High School in 1996, I have wanted to be all of the above. Funny how life changes as we grow up. Although I still find myself in the "science" field, I am really happy that I landed in the field of health and wellness.

I have always been an athlete and have always been active. Perhaps Strength & Conditioning wasn't the right fit for me but I wouldn't take back my Graduate Education for anything! I learned so much about the physiology of the body during exercise and I learned so much about myself. I also learned that just because you have MS behind your name, doesn't mean you can get a job. I wish someone would have told me (before graduate school) that the field of Exercise Physiology is very competitive!

After spending a year out of school, working as the Wellness Coordinator of the North Pinellas YMCA (as well as teaching spin classes and personal training) I was not happy. My stressful and overwhelming, but well worth-it, education was not being used. Having recently completed the Boston marathon and my first Ironman (IMFL), I believed that my recent success (in my opinion, a "finish" for an endurance event is no other than a "success") in endurance sports was due to my in depth education of the physiology of the body during exercise. As my own coach, I was enjoying my lifestyle of endurance sports but wanted to help others to reach their personal fitness goals.

I knew that training was only one part of completing a triathlon or running event. As we all know, nutrition plays a tremendous role in how we feel on a daily basis. With an injury-free and enjoyable (and energy-filled) experience training for my first IM (which qualified me for the World Championships) I wanted to help others with their nutrition in an effort to help people train more efficiently.

With a reputable Sports Nutrition certification behind my name (CISSN), as well as a MS and BA in exercise science (with a minor in psychology) I figured I had some knowledge to help others. Furthermore, as an athlete myself, I felt confident in my ability to understand exactly what others experience/feel during exercise.

After learning more about the world of sports nutrition, I realized that there was very little formal education available for people seeking a sports nutrition credential. Therefore, if I wanted to really set myself apart from other exercise physiologists, I would need to obtain some type of education in nutrition....aside from reading books, magazines and website.

After doing a little research, I decided that I would need to become a Registered Dietitian in an effort to receive an education in nutrition.

I'll be honest, when I started my dietetic program in 2008, my main goal was to learn and get the RD behind my name. Because I really do love learning, I wasn't too concerned about the time and effort of going back to school just to put the RD behind my name. When I started my schooling, I knew a little about what it took to become a Registered Dietitian but I had no idea what I was really in for.

Over the next year of obtaining the classes and credits that I needed to be eligible to apply for an internship (which comes before you are eligible to sit for the National RD exam) I learned way more information than I ever thought I would learn. Coming from a strong exercise physiology background, I can be honest and say that I did not learn hardly anything about "Sports nutrition" and I was aware of this before I started the program. While I absolutely LOVED by Advanced Nutrition and Biochemistry courses, the majority of my education was dedicated to clinical nutrition, community nutrition and food service/production.

After a few months of taking dietetic classes, I began to think more like a dietitian and less as an exercise physiologist. Actually, let me re-word that. I began to think more like an active individual who absolutely LOVED nutrition and all things related to nutrition, health and wellness.

As you know, my blog has really allowed me to display my love for nutrition and exercise. I have discovered the power that nutrition plays on the human body during exercise and the effect (both positive and negative) that food plays on the human body on a daily basis. I have learned to develop a healthy relationship with food and I feel as if my life is much more balanced because of my dietetic education.

Towards the end of my dietetic program, before applying for internships, I did a lot of soul-searching. Whereas my initial goal was to only receive the RD behind my name, I found myself really appreciating the value of food to prevent disease, to cure disease and to improve the quality of life. Five years ago I would have never thought that I would be applying to a clinical internship, after finishing the course work to become a Registered Dietitian.

Fast forward from Sept 2009, just a few days after completing IMKY, I discovered that the internship process to get into an internship was more competitive than I could ever imagined. I did not get into the Mayo Clinic on my first try of applying to internships in Sept 2009 (you can apply 2 times a year, Sept and Feb, depending on the program you are applying to). This was a long shot because it was local so I wasn't too terrible upset that I didn't get matched.

The second try was a bit more stressful. I applied to both VA's in Florida (Tampa and Bay Pines) and received a 30 min. phone interview to both (top 25ish candidates out of 140 applicants received a phone interview) on the 3rd from last week in March.
April 5th was match day.
If you know anything about becoming a MD, becoming an RD is very similar. Once you finish your course work, you apply to internship programs and you use a computer program to pick your first, second, third, etc. choice. Then, depending on whether or not the internship thinks you are qualified (these internships are VERY competitive), they will either rank you or not even consider you. If the internship ranks you, then the computer program will match up applicants to their internship depending on the rank. For example, if I picked Tampa as my first choice and Bay Pines as my 2nd choice and 7 other people also picked Tampa as their first choice, it would be up to Tampa to decide the order of applicants to be picked for the Tampa VA internship. If Tampa picked me as 2nd, I would get in. If Tampa picked me as 7th (and had the other 6 people ahead of me, with them also picking Tampa as their first choice) I would be bumped out.
Make sense??? Didn't think so.

I waited all day on Mon and it was the LONGEST day of my life. 7pm EST came around and when I clicked on the matching tab, my heart dropped to the floor.
I cried as I texted Karel and I cried a little more that evening. Considering that around 50% of potential interns DO NOT get matched (can you believe that!!) I was bummed that I didn't get into the internships that I really sought after in order to obtain a top-notch, yet challenging, education.
I was really upset that I didn't get matched to my only two choices but after a few hours of being sad and trying to put pieces together, I was able to move on. I was really upset that I would have to do this whole process over again in 12 months and I was even more upset that I could not be in the field which I am so very passionate about.
Life was back to normal on Tues and Wed and I was looking forward to the Iron Girl event and seeing my parents that weekend. I figured I would improve my volunteer hours in clinical and food service and hopefully have a better chance next year when I applied again for the VA. My GPA is over 3.5 in both my Masters and Dietetic program so unless the VA seeks perfection, I had a feeling that my "dietetic" experience was not up-to-par.
Well, Thurs morning came around and I knew that the matching site would post internship programs that didn't fill up. I had a feeling that nothing would be open but I woke up at 4:30am and saw that over 10 programs still had openings. Most of the programs offered Master degrees with the internship (most internships are 8-12 months with Master degrees taking up to 2 years) but there were several distance programs available. I started contacting internships (that I felt I would gain the most from) in order to not miss an opportunity to get into a distance internship (where I would get to pick the preceptors to help me fulfill my 1200 hrs of dietetic field work, including clinical, community and food service work, based on the programs requirements). I wasn't really sure how the second round matching worked so rather than stressing myself out and re-doing applications to apply for any and ever internship, I focused on the distance internships that I thought would be best for me. Although I would take an on-site internship over distance, I really wanted to start an internship as soon as possible Because my dietetic information is still fresh in my head....and I am READY to write a book and cookbook, but not without that RD (and education) behind me. I mean, I read a lot of journals and enjoy keeping up with current research but after finishing my dietetic program in Aug '09, I'm eager to apply my education to real-world settings, specifically in the areas of clinical nutrition and food service/production.

To make a long story short, I faxed my application to Marywood University (distance) which is geared towards wellness nutrition and it even has a Master's track for sports nutrition!! I had to hop on the road before 12pm in order to get to my parents (4 hr drive), drop off Campy and head to Tampa to speak at the mall by 6:30pm. It was approaching 11:30 when I was still trying to fax my application!!!
It finally faxed and before I left, I called the director, to confirm if she received my faxed application form. She said "Yes" and with me on the phone, she said she should would look over my application while she had me on the phone to ask questions. She asked me about my background, my education, my goals and if I applied to other internships and when I told her that I heard from the Tampa Va that I was one of their top candidates, with an excellent application but just didn't get matched up due to the competitiveness of the internship, she said that she would be happy to accept me in the program!
With 4,169 students applying for dietetic internship positions this spring (2010) only 2,076 receiving a match I was counting my blessings that I didn't give up after not being matched on Mon.
I really can't believe it! I am really happy that I didn't give up but you know, that isn't my personality or part of my character. I have no trouble saying "I can't do it" but I never say and will never say "I quit". I just don't quit what I start. Well, I guess everything works out for a reason. I am really excited about this opportunity but the next thing for me to do is to find/confirm some of my preceptors (that part makes me a little nervous but I hope that I can find enough local dietitians to help me with this internship). I have a few on board so I hope everything works out. I can start the program in July/Aug this summer and I should be finished in 10 months (if all goes well). I am just happy that I can continue my education and more than anything, learn and be in real-world settings! :)
I never thought that I would love becoming a dietitian. Knowing the competitiveness of the internship program and the difficult material presented before applying to internships (I haven't yet thought about passing the national exam) I give RD's A LOT of credit and I have so much respect for people who pursue this credential.
There are a lot of nutrition guru's out there that do not want to take the time or spend the money (this internship will cost me over $12,000!!!) to become a licensed RD and because of that, there are a lot of "personalities" out there presenting their own personal views on nutrition with no solid education (or credential) to back them up.

Well, I can now continue my journey of becoming a Registered Dietitian and I can not wait for the next year to soak up every minute of this internship.

4/13/10

Need a good laugh?

I've been swamped lately. I wake up at 5:30am and before I know it, it's 5:30pm.
In an effort to not abandon my blog for a day, this video is hilarious!
Karel showed it to me yesterday and I was laughing so hard my cheeks hurt.
What would you do if this ever happened to you???

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4/12/10

Afternoon out w/ Zucchini bread (& homemade icing) and fruit pizza

I stayed busy on Sat after the race. On the couch in my Zoot compression tights, w/ Campy napping by my side, I finished up a few training plans for my athletes. For dinner, I made my parents and myself French Toast. After the race in the morning, we were all (including my dad) craving something comforting and I knew French Toast would do the trick. I topped mine w/ greek yogurt and added blueberries, strawberries, banana slices and a few walnuts. I forgot to take a pic but it was GOOD!

On Sunday morning I was anxious to spin my legs. For me, I need sleep and light exercise in order to recover. Depending on the race (usually less than half ironman distance) I like to do a long-ish ride after a race (I hardly ever run the day after a race) if the race is on a Sat. If the race is on a sun, I either take off on Mon or just swim (which I would do regardless of when I raced or if I didn't race). Because Mon is my "recovery" day, I look at this day as a way to recover my body through non-weight bearing exercise (<60 min Swim or an occasional spin) in order to get stronger by repairing damaged tissues and prepare my body for upcoming weekly workouts or I use the day to rest my mind (which means a day off!).
One thing I ALWAYS do on Mon is wake up without an alarm. Because many of us wake up early on Sat and Sun (or most days during the week) in order to squeeze in workouts earlier in the day, I make sure my body is well rested (that means my body tells me when I need to get up rather than me telling myself I need to get up). I typically need 7-8 hrs of sleep a night and since my sleeping routine is fairly consistent (+/- 30 min.) I am usually up and wide awake by 6 - 6:30am.

So, in order to spin my legs after the race I decided to join my favorite group of cyclists for a group ride. I met the Gearlinkers (this is the group who set Karel and me up in 2006) about 11 miles down the road from my parents and I was excited to catch up with everyone. The Sunday ride is an easy group ride and when we ride we stay two-by-two on bike-friendly roads (Suncoast trail). Each group takes turns pulling and then goes to the back. There is lots of talking during this ride and with everyone around 20+ years older than me, I always seem to learn something new about life during this ride. They are such great people!
I had no plans for the ride and paid no attention to my distance. Because I hardly ever pay attention to my speed, I just kept my eye on my power to make sure I didn't get into the tempo zone. I stayed aerobic for most of the ride (well, until the last 10 miles which I did alone, into the wind, in order to get back to my parents).
When I got back to my parents I had a little under 3 hours and 60 miles and that was just perfect for a recovery spin. After the ride I apologized to Campy that "mommy's legs don't want to run right now" so we went on a 20 min. walk around the block. He was still happy.

Later in the day it was time to prepare my homemade Zucchini bread w/ homemade icing and make my fruit pizza for a party that we were going to at 4pm.
Fruit pizza is super easy (once again, forgot to take a pic!)
1 package reduced fat or regular cookie dough
2-4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract.
Fruit

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Press cookie dough on a nonstick baking sheet to make a large cookie (or cover the baking sheet).
3. Bake for 8-10 min. (or until outside is firm and center is a little soft. It will harden when you remove from oven).
4. Let cookie cool and mix together cream cheese (may want to microwave for 15-20 sec.), cinnamon and extract.
5. Spread on cookie dough and top w/ Fruit.

I made my Zucchini Bread on Sat and made homemade icing for the party to go on top. I had a feeling that the people at the BBQ party would probably not be big fans of my normal Zucchini bread so I added a little sweetness for this occasion. I think people were BIG fans of my pizza and not so much the Zucchini bread, but I sure LOVED The Zucchini bread with the icing!

Zucchini bread
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 eggs (1 whole egg, 1 white)
1/2 c. plain nonfat yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/8 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 c. shredded zucchini (about 2 large Zucchini's)
1/4 cup skim milk
1/3 cup water (optional - if your batter is too thick to stir, add a little water, up to 1/3 cup)
1 tbsp chocolate chips (chopped/shredded)
2 tbsp walnuts (chopped)
2 tbsp raisins (chopped)

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs and beat. Add yogurt and vanilla, then add rest of ingredients. Spray loaf pan with a little non stick spray. Bake in 350 degree for 45 min - 1 hour.




Icing:
1/8 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp butter (melted 10-15 sec.)
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Mix together w/ whisk.
2. Add a few tsp water as you are whisking to get the consistency of icing (I think I used less than a 1tbsp of water).

I cut most of the Zucchini bread into 1 inch slices and then cut into cubes. Once again, forgot to take a pic but it looked pretty when it was topped with 1-2 tsp of the icing. I promise I will make this again and take a pic.



Campy had a GREAT time. I think he was in heaven barking at the Jet Ski's, running up and down the boardwalk to the water and enjoying the food scraps from the friendly party guests. Thanks to Kevin (who is an avid cyclist and does pilates with my mom at the Y) for inviting us (and Campy!).
Enjoy the pics!