Graduation Glory

“You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world.” -Tom Brokaw

Wow! Can’t believe I am an intern graduate with the whole world ahead of me. Graduation was such a great time to hang out with some of my closet friends, although it was very hard to leave many of them…I wish we could have had an extra week or so to just hang out…without the graduate classes, homework or internship competencies!! Is it depressing that I am already looking forward to a reunion?!

Anyway, here are some pictures from the momentous occasion!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

XOXO, Danae

Over the Biggest Hurdle. Almost to the Finish Line.

As you are reading this, I have graduated from my dietetic internship at Louisiana Tech University.

WOW. Can’t believe I typed that sentence.

The past 11 months have been such an intense time, yet it has been one of my best years, both educationally and personally.

I’ll be the first to admit that when I found out I was coming to Louisiana for my internship…for a year….I was nervous. I had lived in Illinois my whole life and I was moving to a new area where I didn’t know a single soul — no family, no friends, nothing. That first week 6 weeks I was in Louisiana was a weird and stressful time. I was in new place, I was meeting new people, I was getting acclimated to LA summer and graduate school, plus getting ready to be a dietetic intern. There was a lot of change happening.

Over time though, things have eased up. I learned (and am learning) something new about the field of dietetics and myself every day. I thought I knew myself pretty well after my undergraduate experience, but I feel this has been one of my biggest growth years. I am pretty much a professional now. During the past year, I have gotten to work with some amazing dietitians, ones that will do anything to help me succeed and be an excellent dietitian. I have developed my skills to help me be the professional that I want to be. I have strengthened my strengths as well as worked hard to strengthen my weaknesses (because yes, even I am not perfect! haha).

I have been so blessed to have an great internship experience. I have made lifelong friends, who I will miss seeing on a regular basis, but am so excited to see where they go from here. Even though I am so excited to move back to Chi-city, I think I will miss Louisiana, because of all the memories. And the winters. Definitely going to miss the Louisiana winters..

I plan on up keeping this blog until I get a job and pass the RD exam. I enjoy having an outlet. I have found I enjoy writing and blogging, so I hope this can lead to something in the future. Maybe like a food blog! Only the future will tell.

Thanks to all my family and friends for your love and support during this exciting  yet tumultuous year. And thanks to all who have read my blog and kept up with my journey.

XOXO, Danae

Days to Graduation: 0….its finally here!!!

Happy Mother’s Day!!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO MY FAVORITE MOM IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD!!!

Yes, my mom is better than your mom.

Thanks mom for always loving me and supporting me. It is your encouragement that has gotten me through stressful times, and we both know I have had my fair share of those. Love you!! Can’t wait to see you in 4 days!

XOXO, Danae

Countdown to Graduation: 5 days (what?!)

Nutrition in the Movies: Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead

Here is a another review on a nutrition-related movie!

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead reminds me of Supersize Me, but the opposite. Instead of a somewhat healthy guy trashing his body with fast food, this is a story about  man who was unhealthy and didn’t take care of his body but then got back in shape with the help of changing his eating habits and up-ing the fitness.

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, 2010

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, 2010

Joe is very open about his past. He was overweight, an avid steroid user, drank too much alcohol and has urticaria, a chronic rash similar to hives. He decided that he needed to make a change, or his life could be over after just one more cheeseburger! With a juicer and generator in tow, he travels over 3,000 miles over 60 days to get off his pills, lose weight and maintain a balanced life.

Fun Fact: The director and star of this movie, Joe Cross, was actually in the last movie I reviewed, Hungry for a Change.

This Australian man comes to America and plans to go on a juice fast for 60 days. Blending up fruits and vegetables in the back of his SUV in order to cleanse his body and get on the right track. The first month he spends in New York, and the rest of the trip is spent drive from East Coast to West Coast on a journey to better health. He is followed by a doctor and is required to get his blood drawn every 10 days.

When on the streets, Joe would often go up to pedestrians and ask them about diet or ask them what they thought fasting was and I had to laugh at some of these diets people went on. One man said for like four or five years, he only ate on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Another guy said he just bought a diet plan for a diet where you can loose 12 lbs in 4 days. This is how he described the diet:

  • Day 1: Nine hotdogs and all the liquids and diet soda you wanted.
  • Day 2: Nine apples and other fruit.
  • Day 3: Nine or Ten hardboiled eggs.
  • Day 4: A mixture of the previous 3 days

There was one time when Joe walks into a pizza place and New York. I felt like I was watching a scary movie. I was yelling at my computer screen screaming, “NO! DON’T GO IN THERE!! IT’S A TRAP!!” But, he walks in there and just looks at the pizza and smells the aroma. He says that normally he would eat two whole pizzas. He manages to make it out without buying anything. Whew!

I liked in this movie how the did have a registered dietitian talking about juicing and fasting.  Juicing is great because you are getting a concentrated source of vitamins and minerals. Juice also hits the blood stream faster, so it gets to your body faster.

“61% of the american diet today is from processed foods. “

By Day 31 of his diet, Joe had lost 47 lbs and reduced his prednisone (a steroid for his skin rash, that also has the side effect of weight gain) by 2.5 mg.

One of the funniest things I heard in this documentary was a larger gentleman on the street was talking about his eating habits and he said he was a “meat and potatoes kind of guy” and the he eats fruits and vegetables in moderation. I thought it was interesting how backwards it was. meat is good because it contains iron and protein, but are we really in a world were people forgo the fruits and vegetables and they are seen as the “enemy”?

There was another girl that said she mainly eats “Pepsi, Mexican and Coke”. When Joe asks her if she ate fruits and vegetables, she said no. When he said “What if I told you eating fruits and vegetables would improve your health, would that change your outlook?” She said no and when he asked why, her answer was, “Because I’m 16.” I see a need in educating the youth on how what they eat when they are young can truly have an affect on them when they get older.

By Day 49, Joe’s total cholesterol went from 204 mg/dL to 135 mg/dL and his LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) went from 132 mg/dL to 86 mg/dL. And, at this point he has lost 20 more pounds since Day 31 and his medication is now at 3.5 mg per day as opposed to 10 mg a day when he started his fast.

This movie not only shows Joe’s path to  a healthier life, but it also sheds light on what people really think about the importance of good nutrition and the affects of healthy eating on lifespan. Joe interviewed several people who were overweight and asked them how long they expected to live if they followed their current diet path. Many said they expect to live to be about 55 years old. One man said 45..and he was a nurse! Many of them said they know they should change, but they mostly likely won’t, because its hard and they have no will power. I thought it was very sad that people are happy living to 60 years old, as long as they can eat their fried chicken and french fries.

By Day 61, Joe Cross had lost 82 pounds and reduced his prednisone prescription to 2.5 mg per day. I really enjoyed looking at his before and after photos. A picture is worth a thousand words, and his pictures truly show it. 2 months after he ended his juice fast, Joe went completely off his medication.

The last 45 minutes or so of the movie then focuses on how Joe helps a truck driver  named Phil, whom Joe met while on the road during his juice fast, get healthy with the help of a 10-day juice cleanse. Phil actually has the same disease that Joe does, plus he is extremely obese. Joe works with him to try and get healthier. It’s quite amazing the changes that happen with Phil, but you should watch this movie to find out for yourself!

I give it 3 out of 4 juices!

I give it 3 out of 4 juices!

Complaint: One of the doctors in the film said a blood pressure of 136/70 was a normal blood pressure. SURVEY SAYS NO! Blood pressure should be under 120/80 mmHg.

The movie does a good job at talking about the difference between macronutrients (carbs, protein and fat) versus micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants). It also talks about what can happen if our body doesn’t get enough micronutrients and how that affects the development of diseases, like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead can be found on Netflix and Hulu.

Watch the official trailer below! (Trailer is from Joe Cross. Credit goes to him)

Now I don’t suggest that anybody drink juice forever, because your body does need more that that, but this movie has gotten me interested in juicing and doing like a 10-day juice fast. I think it is a healthier way to reboot your body and cleanse you. Joe said in the movie that he actually had more energy by drinking juice and it got him excited to eat fruits and vegetables after his 60 days were up. I think this would be an exciting thing to try! Except for I don’t know how I would feel about giving up my coffee. Maybe I can make a documentary…in Australia  (This movie really makes me want to live in Australia. It looks beautiful!)

XOXO, Danae

Nutrition in the Movies: Hungry for a Change

I recently watched the movie Hungry for a Change, which I found on Netflix.

Hungry for Change, 2012

Hungry for Change, 2012

The basic premise of this documentary is it discusses secrets from all of these different industries (food, diet, weight-loss, advertising) that are used to keep consumers using their products and believing the lies they put into the media.

“As much as 2/3rds of individuals who are on a diet regain MORE weight than when they started.” -UCLA

The people that talk during this movie are not only health professionals, authors and doctors, but many of them have had a history of being overweight/obese, having poor eating habits or had bad perceptions of how or what to eat. These are real stories, not those fake weight loss stories you see on those quick weight loss products infomercials, like Zantrex.

The average American consumes 150+ pounds of sugar/sweeteners each year, according to the USDA. That is like some people eating their body weight in sugar annually!!

In the documentary  they talk about how when humans were in the stage of hunting and gathering, our bodies got used to putting on fat because there was a food shortage. Our bodies are  preparing for the winter months. But nowadays, we have an abundance of food in our society, yet our bodies still crave fat and sugar. We aren’t consuming the right fats and everything we eat is high in calories. They brought up the point that in countries where their main food sources are from homegrown produce and meat, they are getting better nutrition with lower calories, but in America where we have 50 different types of sugary cereal and an entire aisle dedicated to soda, we are in-taking more calories, but not the most nutritious calories. There is a great difference between calories and nutrition. You can be in-taking enough 2200 calories, which is a normal amount of a adults, but they are “empty” calories.

68% of American adults are either overweight or obese.” -The Journal of the American Medicine Association

Even though many Americans may not be starving, the cells and bodies could be starving because they are not consuming what nutrients the body really needs, like vitamins and minerals. All they consume is highly processed and fatty foods. Our bodies crave proper nutrients, but if a person keeps eating the wrong foods, they will continue to eat the wrong things because their body is looking for those vitamins. They will always be hungry. You might be getting fed, but your body isn’t.

Another point that was brought up was about how the manufacturer’s main goal isn’t always to give you a healthy product. They need to sell a product that looks appetizing and will be shelf stable so that way the stores and the manufacturer don’t lose money. If that means telling a few lies and not being truthful on their label, then so be it.

“It is not fat that makes you fat. It’s sugar that makes you fat” -Dr. Christiane Northrup (I agree with this, but fat isn’t totally guilt free either…..)

What I thought was really great about this movie was that they really harped on the fact that diets are temporary and they don’t work. Eating healthy is NOT a diet, it is a lifestyle. Don’t think of changing your eating habits as a diet. When changing your dietary habits, think of it as improving your quality of life and developing new habits.

In summation, this documentary covers a variety of different topics/areas like the psychology behind food, addiction, how America’s lifestyle is related to the rate of obesity, health related diseases, how the food manufacturers think, additives (listed and not listed) in foods, stress and food, the chemical alteration of foods, the affects of food marketing/advertising on consumers and foods that are appropriate for detoxing the body (and no, its not the Master Cleanse!).

If I had a dollar for every time someone made a comparison of food to some sort of drug (cocaine, smoking) or alcohol, I would have like 60 dollars!! But I think they are right. Food is right up there with becoming addiction alongside cocaine, alcohol and smoking. In our world, food is becoming a drug.

I also liked the fact that they interviewed people who have  higher education in nutrition, but was disappointed none had an RD, LDN behind their name.

I won’t give to much away, but you should really watch it for yourself, and maybe recommend it to a friend! I give in 3 1/2 out of 4 apples!

3.5 out of 4 apples!

3.5 out of 4 apples!

I liked the message behind the movie, but I also think that there needs to be a bigger change than just with ourselves. Food companies and marketing companies are just as much of the problem as our eating habits are to ourselves. We need a makeover.

Watch the official trailer below.

(Trailer is from Food Matters production. Credit goes to them)

Just a movie to get you thinkin’….

XOXO, Danae

P.S. Happy first official day of spring!!

Daily Prompt: Menagerie

There is a very special man in my life. Nope, its not a boyfriend. It’s my dog 🙂 And it is very fitting that this post is today because it is actually my dog’s 12th (or 84th) birthday today!

I have a cocker spaniel and his name is Bentley. He is actually the second Bentley we have had. My parents had the first Bentley when they first got married and he passed away when I was younger. We got this Bentley when he was a puppy. I was in 5th grade when he came into my life. He means so much to me. He has really been like my childhood dog. He has gotten a little grouchy in his old age, but I remember the days when he would curl up with me and jump on me when I walked in through the door. I still love it when he sleeps in my bed with me, even though he lays in the most inconvenient spots. It has been sad to be away from him, but I am looking forward to seeing him in less than 2 months!!

Bentley on V-Day 2013

130319_0000

Photo taken this morning on is B-Day!

Happy Birthday Bentley!! Sister loves you!!

XOXO, Danae

And the Oscar Goes To…..

Welcome to Part 3 of my Award Season Fashion Blog “Series”

(Read Part 1: The Academy Awards)

(Read Part 2: The SAG Awards)

This go around is for the 85th Oscars…the Award Show to end all Award Shows.  This is my Superbowl and the awards shows before this were just the Playoffs.

For this post, I am going to do comparisons of best and worst in various categories of my choosing. Let’s take a look!

—————————————————————————————————————————-

Dressed by Versace

BestHalle Berry. Not what I would pick out normally, but with her rocker hair and this metallic dress, I think she pulls the look together. 

In Versace.

In Versace.

Worst: Jane Fonda. I love yellow, but I don’t think I like this dress. I could do without the metallic strips. It ages it a little bit. It also kind of looks like a pant suit, but a dress.

In Versace.

In Versace.

Pretty in Pink

Best: Maria Menounos. Love the hair, love the dress. Simple elegance!

In Romona Keveza

In Romona Keveza

Worst: Fan Bingbing. Nope. I don’t like it. Maybe it is the bust area. or maybe it’s her name. (hope its a stage name)

In Marchesa.

In Marchesa.

The “Look Like an Oscar”

Best: Catherine Zeta-Jones. Glamour Queen. She looks awesome in gold!!!

In Zuhar Murat. (With Husband Michael Douglas)

In Zuhair Murad. (With Husband Michael Douglas)

Worst: Jessica Chastain. She looks pretty and I love her hair, but I am just not quite sure how I feel about the diamond pattern over the gold. I would have liked it more if it was just the plain gold.

In Armani.

In Armani.

“Heyyyyyy Sexxxy Lady!”

Best: Sandra Bullock. I love this lace dress with the peek-a-boo see through. She looks classy but sexy at the same time.

In Elie Saab.

In Elie Saab.

Worst: Brandi Glanville. 1) why are you here? You aren’t even married to an actor anymore 2) C”mon we know your sexy, but you don’t have to show your boobs to prove it. Choose 1, show off “the girls” or show off the legs. I love the bottom of the dress, but its “ehh”

In her own design (BranB)

In her own design (BrandB).

Floor Length

Best: Amy Adams. Gorgeous floor length. Love the princess bottom with all the ruffles!!

In Oscar de la Renta.

In Oscar de la Renta.

Worst: Melissa McCarthy. She looks beautiful, but her dress looks like one of those thin off-the-shoulder sweaters and stuffed a couple diamond brooches on it. The rooching is in the wrong places, which draws attention to the wrong places. This dress does not do anything for her.

In David Meister.

In David Meister.

Love Birds

Best: Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck. They look so glamorous. Jen’s hair looks the same from a previous award show, but I love color and the ruffles that go around the back onto the side.

Both In Gucci.

Both In Gucci.

Worst: Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton. No explanation needed.

In Vivienne Westwood (Helena)

In Vivienne Westwood (Helena)

Winter White

Best: Jennifer Lawrence. She knows how to hit the nail on the head, and she did it again at the Oscars. Absolutely breathtaking.

In Dior Haute Couture.

In Dior Haute Couture.

Worst: Charlize Theron. I hate the two piece dresses. It also is like a less blinged out version of what Anne Hathaway wore to the Academy Awards.

In Dior Haute Couture.

In Dior Haute Couture.

Bling

Best: Naomi Watts. Gahh…I am dying over this dress. I love anything that sparkles and this dress is no different.

In Armani.

In Armani.

Worst: Nicole Kidman. I would like this better if it was a different color scheme. Or maybe get rid of the swirls on the bottom. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it.

Nicole

In L’Wren Scott.

Male

Best: Eddie Redmayne. This one is for my sister, but I do think he looks great in this suit. I’m a sucker for a bowtie. I’m kind of diggin’ his shoes too. But they look like they wouldn’t be so good to wear in the rain.

In Alexander McQueen.

In Alexander McQueen.

Worst: Joseph Gordon-Levitt. This kid is boyishly handsome, but I don’t think his jacket and pants match, in color or infabric.

JGL

In Gucci.

Female

Best: Reese Witherspoon. I love this girl and she looks totally Hollywood glam!! I wish I could get my hair to look like that.

In Louis Vuitton.

In Louis Vuitton.

Worst: Sally Fields. I love the color red but this dress is very matronly and the bottom looks like a bed skirt  or something.

In Valentino.

In Valentino.

For the most part though, I thought the fashion was great and while I say some of these people are the “worst” I still think they look beautiful. I’m just jealous I wasn’t invited to attend…..

Hope you enjoyed the fashion!! Did any of your favorites win??

XOXO, Danae

1 more day until winter quarter is over!!

Satisfying Dishes

As a dietitian (or a future one) I could not help put take this prompt for the Daily Post!!

I have eaten many an awesome dish and have enjoyed them for many different reasons. Many meals have satisfied me but I would have to say my MOST satisfying meal would have to be when I ate at Sergio’s in New Orleans during Mardi Gras.

Maybe it was the fact that I was starving to just angry at the traffic coming into the city and trying to find a decent place to eat, but when I got my Shrimp Po’Boy (with an ice cold beer), there was nothing better!!! Even though Sergio’s isn’t know for their po-boys (their Muffaletta is the grand supreme), it was a freakin’ good sandwich.

THe bread was this crunchy french bread, but it was still soft in the middle. The sandwich itself had had fried shrimp (gasp…I know…I ate something fried), lettuce and this awesome dressing stuff, probably some kind of mayo. Even though I don’t like mayo, this sandwich does need it. I have had a shrimp po-boy at another location in NOLA and it was super dry because of the fried shrimp and the french bread. I ate that sandwich so fast, I practically inhaled it.

Definitely one of my most satisfying meals.

XOXO, Danae

Challenge: TAG! You’re it!

So, I saw this post from rarasaur and because I had a half day from work today, I decided to do this questionnaire to pass the time!!

The Rules
1. Post the rules. (CHECK!)
2. Post a photo of yourself and eleven random facts about you.
3. Answer the questions given to you in the tagger’s post.
4. Create eleven new questions and tag new people to answer them.
5. Go to their blog/twitter and let them know they have been tagged. (Ehh..lets skip it. If you read this and want to participate it, leave me a link to your post in the comments section or ‘ping” me back to it!)

Me in my favorite place...Seattle!

Me in my favorite place…Seattle!

Eleven facts about myself?  (1) I am the oldest of 3 children, (2) I took modeling classes when I was in 8th grade, (3) My greatest fear is falling on the concrete face first and breaking my two front teeth, (4) Coffee is my blood, (5) If I wasn’t going to be a dietitian, I would love to be Pediatrician….or be the next Giuliana Rancic and do celebrity news (6) I HATE spiders, (7) I hate when people chew their nails , (8) It is physically impossible for me to whistle. (believe me, I have tried) (9) I have over 90 pairs of shoes, (10) I don’t balance my checkbook (I like living life on the edge), (11) I want to move to Seattle within the next few years.

Rarasaur’s Questions for Me!

1. Name a smell you love, a smell you hate, and/or a smell you never really notice.

I love the smell of freshly brewed coffee and rain. I hate the smell of West Monroe, LA (smells like poop and sulfur). A smell I never really notice is the smell of my perfume. After I spritz it, I just don’t smell the smell anymore.

2. Name an interest or hobby you wish more of your friends shared with you.

A interest/hobby I wish more of my friends shared with me is eating sushi. I have like 3 close friends that will eat sushi with me. I wish more friends liked it. 

3. Name something you can teach, that you’d enjoy teaching.

An obvious thing I enjoying teaching is nutrition. But something else I would love to teach is Zumba. If I had time, I would to become a certified Zumba instructor. I feel like I get a great workout from it and it is so much fun!

4. What is something you’d really like to learn?

I would really love to learn how to film and edit my own videos. I think it could be a skill I could use in future endeavors. 

5. What do you do when you’re off-line?

When I am offline, I am doing homework or working for free at my internship! I also like to watch Grey’s Anatomy.

6. Do you sing in the shower? If so, what type of music?

Of course I sing in the shower!! I usually sing the most recent song I heard on the radio. Some faves of mine include Britney Spears, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. 

7. Would you rather be a raccoon or a fox? Why?

I would rather be a fox because I am a fox. 🙂 Also I don’t want to eat garbage.

8. If you had to choose between a million dollars and superpowers, which would you choose?

If I had to choose between a million dollars or superpowers, I would chose the million dollars. I know it sounds superficial, but I could do so much with the money like help this orphanage in Honduras, pay back school loans, finish my masters and give back to schools I have attended. I feel like I could do more with a million dollars than with superpowers. 

9. What’s your favorite day and why?

I would have to say April 25th. Because’s its not too hot and its not too cold. All you need is a light jacket! 🙂

10. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

The hardest thing I have ever done was write my research proposal back in the fall. It took so much brainpower and I hated it so much. But I did it and I felt successful. 

11. To whom would you (or to whom did you) dedicate your first book?

I would dedicate my first book to my family (like my parents, siblings  grandparents, aunts & uncles and cousins) as well as a few close friends that have supported my throughout my time in college and my internship. Also my second mom while in school, Dr. Anstrom. I couldn’t have done it without the support and encouragement of them all! 

My Questions for You!! Have fun!

  1. If you could live in any decade, which one would you choose?
  2. Bath or Shower?
  3. What is your favorite season?
  4. If you could have brunch with three people (dead or alive) who would it be? (I know…it’s cheesy)
  5. What is your favorite book and why?
  6. If you couldn’t be anything in the world (career-wise), what would you do?
  7. Describe your perfect first date.
  8. Are you more of a follower or a leader?
  9. What’s your sign?
  10. What outfit would you want to be buried in? (A little bit morbid, but I just watched a video on this subject)
  11. If you could change one thing about your life, what would you change and why?

TAG! You’re it!!! 

XOXO, Danae