My Last Day

I can’t believe that this day is here.

{The past 10 weeks have zoomed by.}

Today is my last day shadowing Carol Plotkin at On Nutrition.

I have learned so much from Carol.  This experience has been invaluable.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever gone into much detail about my experiences, so [without breaking any HIPAA rules] here is a general overview of my experiences.


Let’s start with an quickie, simplified breakdown of what Carol does:

Carol is a private practice dietitian specializing in weight management, sports nutrition, cardiovascular nutrition, diabetes, gastrointestinal health, and much MORE. She helps improve the health and wellness of her clients through counseling and coaching, with the goal of empowering and providing the tools to allow for change and progress toward individuals’ goals.  Carol dispenses the most recent nutrition information and research to her clients, along with specialized meal plans and guidelines for nutritional change.  She spends an enormous amount of time and effort on each client to ensure they are set up for success!


Now that you know Carol does, let’s take a look in to what types of daily activities goes on in a private practice:

March 19
+ Introduction to the Metabolic Cart to read BMRs
+ Prepped to speak to a local high school cream team about eating to support athletics, “power” foods and pickle juice (for cramping).

March 26
+ Follow-up appointments with two clients: one with low FODMAP recommendations, and the other a boxer looking to cut weight
+ Observed counseling and recommendations for a client with excessive water retention following surgery
+ Submitted SOAP notes to insurance companies
+ Explore the Nutrition Entrepreneurs Dietetic Practice Group opportunities and signed up for their ListServ e-mail

April 2
+ Composed article on Barrett’s Esophagus for On Nutrition’s blog while Carol attended the ACSM annual conference

April 9
+ Observed counseling for a Gout client
+ Observed recommendations client undergoing surgical menopause with an estrogen-sensitive tumor
+ Received an introduction to Office Ally, an electronic medical record keeping and billing system

April 16
+ Accompanied Carol to market her business at Doctor’s offices where we distributed her business cards, brochures, sticky-note pads, and cover letters with listings of her services
+ Observed a follow-up/coaching session with a weight loss client

April 23
+ Submitted insurance claims on Office Ally
+ Reviewed and discussed Carol’s recent trip to Washington D.C. for the Public Policy Workshop
+ Prepared a meal plan using the exchange system for a weight loss client using information from the metabolic cart reading and caloric expenditure calculated from METs of activity
+ Observed an initial visit for a weight loss client

April 30
+ Gave a presentation and distributed information to high school parents about healthy eating for athletes
+ Opened a bank account for the business, learned about the differences between being a Sole Proprietor vs. a PLLC
+ Observed recommendations for a weight-loss client

May 7
+ Attended the NYSDA Annual Meeting and Expo

May 14
+ Visited Congressman Reed’s office to discuss and advocate for the Farm Bill and Preventing Pre-Diabetes in Medicare
+ Follow-up appointments with an weight management clients – one looking to becoming more defined and one post-partum woman


And this is only one day out of the week! Private practice dietitians work hard!

As you can see, the clients and activities are varied.  Things are never the same day-to-day, which I love.  I also love the fact that you absolutely must stay up to date on the most current research.

I know it’s still early in my career, but private practice is totally for me!

A HUGE thank you to Carol Plotkin for donating her time, energy, and resources to allow me this amazing experience! I have learned more than I could have imagined over these past 10 weeks and I truly appreciate it!

And for those future RDs who are interested in private practice, get on the NEDPG ListServ, contact an RD in your community, and gain experience!  Your eyes will be opened and a fire will be lit in your little bellies!

Be Inspired and Do Work!

Poster Sesh

Well, hello there.

I just can’t get myself in the mental headspace to do work.

+ 10 days until graduation.
+ 5 days of classes.
+ 3 busywork assignments. {whyyyyyyy?!}
+ 2 papers.
+ 1 exam.

All I really want to do is run and stretch and read.  I long for summer.

Just gotta keep my head in the game for a little while longer.


As you may remember, I displayed my Senior Thesis – first at the NYSDA Annual Meeting & Expo, and second at the Imagine RIT Festival.  I would say that both events were a success!

Poster session!

Lots of booths & swag!

Saw President Sylvia Escott-Stump of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics speak (cool!!).

And spent some quality time with my girls.

It’s so strange going from spending every waking moment together while we struggled our way through MNT, to hardly seeing them at all on campus.  Sad.


Next up was the Imagine RIT Festival, wherein which the whole campus fills with students’ interactive demonstrations, exhibitions, and research.  It’s a day dedicated to innovation and creativity.

Jamie totally rocked it out!

A fun and educational weekend!

Alright, I’m off to run, followed by my first final exam {wish me luck! Blerg!}, and ending my day with our last Student Dietetic Association leadership hand-off meeting/party.

Wahhh! I am so nostalgic!

I love my RIT.

Pulling myself together now.

*deep breath*

Later Braniacs.

More Than the Population of Seattle…

Good morning blogosphere.

I am up a little later than usual, so I have no formal post for you today.

What I do have for you is a link to my article at On Nutrition about Barrett’s Esophagus and heartburn.

This potentially fatal disease affects over 700,000 people in the U.S.  That’s more than the population of Seattle!

Go check it out!

A Look Back at March Madness

We are back to normal.  Whatever that is…

Ugh.  I have a strong feelings regarding that {certain group of individuals} of who constantly talk about bacon.  I mean, seriously…

Okay. Getting off track here.

Anyway, the point I was trying to make was life is not so hectic and stress inducing. :)

March was a very productive productive month!

National Nutrition Month is over:

I would say all in all NNM was a HUGE success!  Keep that healthy eating up, people!

Dietetic Internship craziness is over:

Another HUGE success! I am still beaming over my match to Cal Poly, SLO!

Now what?

I’m sure I will find little side projects to keep me busy. I’m not one for sitting still. :)

Speaking of side projects, last night I did a bit of work on the ole’ blog.  Do you like the new cleaned-up sidebar and buttons?

That is all for today.

Good Day!

The Low FODMAP Diet

Hey y’all!

Hope you are having a lovely Wednesday morning!

Ever since our Dietetic Internship preference list was turned in, I have been feeling as though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  Things are out of my hands now.  What’s meant to be, will be!

Doris Day always makes things better!


Speaking of making things better, I have been having terrible, horrible stomachaches lately.  This is something that I have struggled with since I was a little girl.  It was also one of the reasons that prompted me to go vegetarian.

So in order to make myself feel better, I have made an executive decision to try out a Low FODMAP Diet.

[This is not a weight-loss diet.]

Have you heard of the Low FODMAPs Diet before?

FODMAP stands for fermentable oligo-, di- and mono-saccharides and polyols.

Okay, normal people language please:

FODMAPs are poorly absorbed carbohydrates that become the favorite foods of some of the normal, healthy bacteria living in your gut.  When the bacteria eat FODMAPs, a lot of gas is produced. Plus, FODMAPs tend to draw a lot of fluid into your intestine causing bloating, gas, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, or pain.  Studies out of Monash University show that when individuals (most often those with IBS) reduce these rapidly fermenting, short-chain carbohydrate FODMAP foods in their daily diet, they are able to find relief from these symptoms.

FODMAPs foods include certain natural sugars, as well as certain types of fiber.

  • Fructose :: fruit, honey, and juices
  • Lactose:: milk and milk products
  • Sugar polyols such as sorbitol and mannitol :: some fruits, vegetables, and artificial sweeteners
  • Fructans :: wheat, rye, onions, and garlic.
  • Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) :: legumes such as chickpeas, kidney beans, or baked beans.

Now, this list makes it sound like you can’t have any fruits or veggies, which is just not true.  Here is a list of some generally, well-tolerated foods.


  • 1/2 medium ripe banana
  • 1/2 C blueberries
  • 1/2 C cantaloupe
  • 1/2 large grapefruit
  • 1 small orange
  • 1/3 C citrus juices
  • 1/2 C pineapple
  • 1/2 C grapes
  • 1 medium kiwi
  • 1/2 C strawberries


  • 1/2 C artichokes
  • 1/2 C bell peppers
  • 1/2 C beets
  • 1/2 C baby carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1/2 C peas
  • 1/2 C kale
  • 2 C leaf lettuce
  • 2 C raw spinach
  • 1/2 C squash or zucchini
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 large pickle

Avoid the Following:

  • Agave syrup
  • Brown sugar
  • Chicory
  • Inulin
  • Coconut milk
  • Chocolate and cocoa
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • Wheat
  • Sugar alcohols

For a more comprehensive, in-depth description, check out this article at Today’s Dietitian.
How about a grocery list of Low FODMAP foods?  Check out the list complied by Kate Scarlata, RD.
I also have some printed handouts, so give me a shout out if you are curious for more!


Yesterday was my first day following the Low FODMAPs Diet, and I must tell you, I felt awesome when I woke up today.  Not gassy or heavy feeling.  YAY!

I will keep you updated on my progress and let you know if my stomachaches go away for good!

And of course, when I learn more, I will be sure to get you all the info!



Today’s Dietitian, “The FODMAPs Approach”
Today’s Dietitian, “Successful Low-FODMAP Living”
Candid RD

Winthrop Half Marathon and DI Matching

Annnnd it’s Monday again!

This weekend crept by, and I am actually really looking forward to going back school and work.  Yeah. I’m a weirdo.

So today is kind of a special day:  My Dietetic Internship match order is due.

I am so ready for this madness to end.  I seriously feel like a crazy person when I think about it.  I just want to know where I am going in 9 short weeks.

Ugh gawd. Anxiety.

I am really trying to enjoy the rest of my time here in Rochester, but this whole living-on-a-deadline thing has got me acting like a freak.  Could it be that I am actually scared & sad to leave?  I am pushing and pulling everyone around me in strange directions in order to make the move easier, when I’m pretty sure no matter what I do, it’s going to suck.  It’s time to pull it together, because there is no reason for it to suck for 9 weeks and then move.

How about everyone just follow me back to the West Coast?! Solved it!

You know it!


In other {less depressing} news, I signed up for the Winthrop Half Marathon!

I may be sore as hell (hello downhill race) for Seattle RnR, but I’m gonna take my chances!

I mean, seriously, who doesn’t want to run a race here:

It’s okay to be a teensy bit jealous…

Yeah, check out that elevation… I’m going to be flyingggg!

Run with me!!


Alright!  Off to School #8 to talk to kiddos about sugary drinks!  Re-Think Your Drink, yo!

Have a great week!

Dietary Nitrates and Athletic Performance

Hey there party people!

Today is Wednesday, Day 3: Week 2 of The Last Quarter of Undergrad.

What uppp!

So I have an interesting nutritional factoid I’d like to share with you all.

Perhaps because it’s spring and people are out moving more, I seem to be getting more and more questions about “Power Foods” for athletes.

Let’s start with the base.

Due to constant wear and tear, it has been suggested that athlete’s follow a low-inflammation diet that’s rich in omega-3s, such as the Mediterranean Diet, which I am a big fan of!

Good daily diet :: Better overall training :: Stronger performance during competition.

Makes sense, right?

So what about when you need that little somethin’ somethin’ when you can hear the competition coming up behind you?

Recent studies suggest that natural plant nitrates (which is found in all vegetables) may help enhance athletic performance without increasing oxygen consumption needs.

In the Journal of the ACSM, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, a performance evaluation of the effect of plant nitrates (specifically beetroot juice) was published.  Participants who consumed 300-500 mg of dietary nitrates two hours before cycling time trials of 4K and 16K distances improved power output by 11 seconds (4K) and 45 seconds (16K).  Therefore, it is suggested that consuming dietary nitrates has the potential to improve performance in events lasting five to 30 minutes.

Now, hold up.  Do not go out and start buying up lunch meats packed with nitrates.  When you mix protein and nitrates, a carcinogenic effect occurs.  Lunch meats = BAD!  We are talking plants only.

Let’s talk about some sources of dietary nitrates!

Very High Levels of Dietary Nitrates (more than 250 mg/100g):

  • Celery
  • Cress
  • Chervil
  • Lettuce
  • Beetroot
  • Spinach
  • Arugla

High Levels of Dietary Nitrates (100-250 mg/100g):

  • Celeriac
  • Chinese Cabbage
  • Endive
  • Fennel
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • Parsley

Normal People Serving Sizes:

  • 1 C Raw Spinach = 900 mg of nitrate
  • 1/2 C Cooked Collard Greens = 200 mg of nitrate
  • 1 C Raw Leaf Lettuce = 100 mg of nitrate
  • 1/2 C Vegetable Juice = 40 mg of nitrate

Pretty freakin’ cool, huh?

Give it a try!  I am all in for performance enhancing natural foods!  {Food being the key word there.}

Let me know if you try it and feel.the.power!

Have an awesome Wednesday!

Today’s Dietitian
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise