Life’s a Picnic

So, currently I am in my second and final management rotation. The BIG project that normally gets completed during your second management rotation is your theme day. This is when you combine all your skills you have developed and you plan, execute and evaluate a themed meal. I planned my theme day in about a weeks time. It was a lot to get done, but I would rather than then wait to the last minute. April 24th was the day!

My theme day was Springtime Picnic themed, so I decided to have BBQ Chicken, Garlic Bread, Pasta Salad and Apple Cobbler as my menu. Here is all I had to do:

  • Develop and standardize recipes (I had to make about 120 servings).
  • Determine ingredients I needed to purchase.
  • Ordered my food items from my food distributor.
  • Develop a production schedule (What needs to happen when).
  • Determine cost per meal and selling price for the meal.
  • Receive the food from the delivery truck.
  • Prepare the food.
  • Decorate the cafeteria.
  • Develop an meal evaluation tool.
  • Advertise the meal.
  • Serve the meal.
  • Make sure everything runs smoothly on the day of and make sure we don’t run out of food.

Overall it went very very well. It was a long day to say the least (I got there at 6 am!) I am so lucky that I have a great and helpful staff. The cafeteria cook helped me with my chicken.

All my chicken!

All my chicken!

The day before my theme day, I made my pasta salad, so all I needed to do with that was scoop it into little cups for service. The cobblers were really easy to put together, as was the garlic bread. My goal for this theme day was to put together a great meal, but also make it relatively easy and simple. I didn’t want anything super high stress or technical. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

The day went smoothly except for one little hiccup…

My 2nd Degree Burn

My 2nd Degree Burn

I almost dropped a large sheet pan with two cobbler on it. Instead of letting the pan drop, I jerked the pan towards me and it slid onto the underside of my wrist. It hurt, but at least my cobblers weren’t ruined. The executive chef at the hospital assisted me in pouring some salt on my wrist. This helps draw out the moisture to prevent a blister from forming. I slide a glove over it to protect myself, but I ended up working the rest of the morning with only one arm. You do what you got to do though!

The cafeteria was very very busy during lunchtime, which is unusual for Glenwood. There is usually a steady stream of people, but there was an extra amount of people that day. It was awesome!

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After the day was over, lots of the cafeteria workers told me my theme day was one of the most well planned and smoothest theme days that had seen. I thought that was a huge compliment. They also loved my decorations!!

Overall, I thought it was a successful day, and now I get to spend my last two weeks writing up my evaluations about my theme day and doing whatever my preceptor needs. It’s all downhill from here!

XOXO, Danae

20 Days Until Graduation!


“Better Performance Through Nutrition”

Monday was a busy but fun day.

First I was at my internship. I am in the middle of planning my Theme Day for Glenwood (more on that  later), so I had a long day of prep work and organization before the actual day (April 24th).

After work I got to give a presentation to the men (and woman) of the Monroe Fire Department. For my graduate class, which is about work-site wellness, a group of us instilled a nutrition education program with the fire department. I do not remember if I talked about this earlier but a few weeks back we actually got a tour of the of the firehouse and got to sit in the firetruck and learn about all the bells in whistles. The guys even let me try on their suit and jog around in it to see how heavy it was.

Yep...this happened.

Yep…this happened.

We kind of a got a feel for the lifestyle of a fireman and then found out what some things they wanted to know more about. We decided to do a nutrition presentation centered around the work the firemen do and what they put their body through daily, hence our program title “Better Performance through Nutrition”. The four of us each talked about a particular aspect and then made a corresponding handout/recipes that correlated with our section, so that way they could keep copies of them and give them out to others who maybe couldn’t come to our presentation.

The first section talking about what a diet actually is and how the lifestyle of a fireman affects their diet and vice versa. It is so important that these individuals eat a well balanced diet because they do put their body through so much. Also, with inhaling smoke and sometimes being forced to eat food out on the road when going from job to job, it is important that they eat the right stuff so they are not putting themselves at risk for heart disease, obesity and cancer.  They have enough stuff going against them, they don’t need their diet to be one of them. We emphaized that these individuals stay on a heart healthy diet, which is low in saturated fat and sodium and high in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and mono and polyunsaturated fats

The second portion was a break down of the five main food groups. What items make up the various food groups were discussed, as were the nutrients food in those food groups, what counts as a proper serving and what that serving looks like in real life terms. (Like 3 ounces of fish is about the size of a deck of cards or 1 1/2 ounces of cheese is about 3 dice). The Paleo Diet was also touched upon, because not only is it a fairly popular diet right now, but lots of the firemen have been know to be on it. As said in the presentation, the Paleo Diet is great because it encourages high fruits and vegetable intake, but a negative is that you are often consuming higher levels of saturated fat, which can lead to high cholesterol and heart disease.

The third part of the presentation touched on the importance of hydration and how being hydrated can help them function. One fireman told me that during the summer months in Louisiana, the can literally pour sweat out of their boots. This is all water that they need to be replenishing. For the normal male and female, we need about 3 liters and 2 liters, respectively. We determined that for these firemen, for ever hour of exercise (or firefighting  they do, they need to basically double what they drink. So on a slow day where maybe they just work out for an hour, they now have to drink 6 liters. But, throw in a 2 hour time span where they are actively fighting fire on top of that, you can see how easily they can get dehydrated and how important it is that they drink water and/or sports drinks.I can barely get the two liters I need to get by (I get my water through coffee…ha).

I wrapped this whole bad boy up with applying all of the techniques and information that was talked about prior to an actual lifestyle and how they can use this knowledge when cooking food or grocery shopping (Read this previous post, where I talked about similar things)I gave a list on what some of the heart healthiest foods are (yogurt, nuts, green tea, salmon, wine (score!), pomegranates and bananas…just to name a few). I then went into healthier ways of cooking. For some reason, people in the south think the only way to cook something is to throw it in a deep fryer?! Weird. I discussed omega 3-fatty acids and the benefits to them, as well as where they could be found. I informed them of what good oils and bad oils are and a nice little trick to remember. The more liquid a fat is at room temperature, the healthier it is for you. So, your Crisco Tub of Lard hydrogenated shortening oil (yuck!) is way worse for you than your spreadable margarine, but your canola oil is going to be better than your spreadable margarine. Think Crisco –>Stick Butter –> Spreadable tube Margarine –> Canola/Olive Oil. To wrap up, I talked about salt, alternatives to salt (Remember this?!) and hydration. Drinks like coffee, soda and alcohol are fine in moderation, but you need to make sure you drink water with them, because they can dehydrate you. Make sure you replenish! Your urine will be the easiest way to tell. You want the color of water or lemonade, not apple juice.

Overall I thought it went very well. Some of the guys were even taking notes and asking questions. They seemed very receptive of the information and where very thankful for the talk. But really, the pleasure was all mine. Not only am I know halfway done with my end of the class project, but I got to stand in front of a room full of firemen. FULL. OF. FIREMEN! pretty much a girls dream (one of many). It was a good time, and definitely a different experience. I learned a new side of firemen. Who knew that there was more to it than sliding down poles and cruising in a red truck?!

XOXO, Danae

24 days until Graduation

Brain Mush

As a continuation from my last post….

The second half of the week (last Thursday through Saturday) was our internship RD exam prep course through Breeding and Associates. We met on campus for 8 hours the first two days and then about 6 1/2 hours the very last day pretty much reviewing all our nutrition courses from the past 5 years!! I definitely think a lot of us went brain dead, and would have much rather hung out and talked then listen to the information, but I did think it was very beneficial  I have a lot of information to review before the exam, which I take in a little under 3 months!

On Thursday, it rained. all day. Coincidentally, we had our internship picture day, which was supposed to be outside. Instead, we had to take it inside. The location of the picture was fine, but outside would have been better. It was also “freezing”, both outside and inside out classroom. I actually ended up bring my Snuggie the next two days, because it was cold. After our class on Thursday, our director had all of us over to her home for a crawfish boil! I got to touch a live crawfish, and then eventually got down and dirty with them. Even though it was cold outside, I think all of us really enjoyed time to relax and kick back. I think we have been very blessed that we all get along with each other (for the most part), and I don’t know if all dietetic interns can speak to that. The night ended with a bonfire and s’mores before everyone heading their separate directions. Kelly and I brought Chrystal and Grey home with us and they were our house guests through Saturday. We really enjoyed having house guests!

Me and my crawfish, Theodore Roosevelt.

Me and my crawfish, Theodore Roosevelt.

Trying crawfish with Kara and Kelly!

Trying crawfish with Kara and Kelly!

Friday was another day. We managed to get some sunshine and warmer temperatures compared to the day before. After the class was over, I was able to indulge in some great sushi at Rawz Sushi with Gwen, Nate and Derrick. After dinner, I came back home and watched Sister Wives with my favorite girls while we ate Funfetti Brownies, made by yours truly!!

Saturday was the last day of a VERY long week. I was bummed I had to miss my cardio kick-boxing class, but I guess cardio kick-boxing won’t help me pass the RD exam, so maybe it was beneficial that I was there. After class was over, Chrystal stayed with us an extra night. While Kelly was at work, Chrystal and I had a girls night!! We spent about an hour and a half in TJ Maxx perusing the aisles and exploring. We then made our way over to the mall, where we visited Kelly at work, and wandered in and out of stores, making a few purchases along the way. Before heading home, we grabbed some Chinese food to go from the food court and rushed home to watch…yup, more Sister Wives.

I felt like overall, it was a good week. Time is of the essence right now, so I really enjoyed just hanging out with some of my best friends and enjoying each other’s company  During this time, I was in-between internship rotations, so I didn’t have any competency stuff to worry about, I just had to worry about learning, which was sort of a breath of fresh air. I am enjoying being at Glenwood right now, but more about that later.

So in the end, I’m a couple under dollars shorter, yet an extra 22 hours smarter…I hope everything pays off in the end!

XOXO, Danae

Countdown to Graduation: 28 days! (wow….)

We Need A Little Christmas

Well, I have just concluded my first week working at St. Francis Hospital. St. Francis has  a bigger nutrition support staff than at Glenwood (Glenwood has 3 dietitians, St. Francis has 7!) This is good for me in that I get to work with different dietitians and see how they do things. Each dietitian has a different process in how they do things.

The way that St. Francis dietitians screen and assess patients is very systematical and organized, which is totally up my alley. And while I love getting to know other dietitians and learning how they do things, part of me wants to be on my own. Even though I am at a new hospital, with it being my 2nd clinical rotation, I feel like I am in the groove and I know my way around a medical chart. This is nothing against them, but I can tell that they do a little bit more hand-holding then Glenwood. I do appreciate everything they help me with. 3 of the dietitians were in the internship last year, so they know my situation. They have been really good about helping me get competencies done. I have done some educations, I developed an educational material, I have my oncology concept map done and currently working on my multi-disease state one. On Sunday, we are getting a new charting system, so I have the honor of helping write some policies and procedures on the program. While I love working at the hospital…

We (or I) need a little Christmas.

It has been unusually warm here, according to the locals. Last weekend it was 80 degrees! Although it seems that the natives are actually wanting it to stay cooler. This is the only time they get to wear sweaters and scarves. I can understand that, I want to wear my sweaters too. I will definitely be wearing sweaters when I go home for Christmas, and then some.  Still looking forward to being home again!

Hope all is well.

XOXO, Danae

16 days until I’ll be home for Christmas {Break}!

P.S. All my blog posts during the month of December are going to be titled after Christmas songs.  I’ll try my best to have them correlate with blog content, but I may just throw one out from left field!

One with Nature

Yesterday was a beautiful day. It was around 85 degrees, few clouds and  a nice breeze. Even though I was feeling a little less than my normal self (I am feeling  a little under the weather), I decided to get out and enjoy the day!

Monroe is really trying to become more cutesy and have a more “developed” downtown area. Today was the opening of the Monroe River Walk. It it on the Monroe side of the Ouachita river right in downtown. It really is pretty. Every Saturday from now until beginning of December, there will be this river walk where vendors can come and sell their stuff. On this Saturday  there was music, food trucks, food vendors, crafts, and adult and kid beverages.  It was nice being able to take pictures, people watch and sample some wines and ciders all the way down the River Walk.

After the river walk, I drove over the river to West Monroe and explored Restoration Park. It is an “urban wetland” that all serves as a basin for excess runoff and flood water. It used to be a place to mine sand and gravel until people used it to illegally dump trash. After the City of West Monroe bought it in 1989, the transformed it until what it is now. I wore the wrong shoes and I wish it was  a little crisper outside, but other than that it was really pretty. Below are some pictures.

Happy Sunday! Starting my rotation at WIC tomorrow! I am going to miss Glenwood, but excited for this new experience!

XOXO, Danae

34 days until home!

Friday Favorites

Get ready for it…..Second installment of “Friday Favorites

Favorite TV Show

Grey’s Anatomy

After 4 months without., my favorite medical/love drama is back on TV!! I am so happy to see all my good lookin’ doctors again…(SPOILER ALERT)  too bad one of them dies in episode one!

Favorite News Story

I read an article back in September that said Louisiana people have the second shortest lifespan, next to Mississippi. People in Hawaii live the longest. Guess where I am leaving and moving too…

Favorite Food

Candy Corn Pumpkins!! It is finally that time when I can indulge in candy corn like candies. Like pumpkins!! And I discovered I can get them at the dollar store, so its cheap!

Favorite Drink

Even though in Louisiana we do not really get a fall, I can at least pretend like its fall when the STARBUCKS PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE (I’m sensing a theme…) I love this drink. It’s not fall until the PSL comes out.


Favorite Happening

Last week, I got to watch a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube placement.


This is a feeding tube that goes directly into the stomach. It is a more permanent solution to long term feeding. I got to stand in the room while the doctor did it bedside, plus I got to watch it on camera. I got to see the inside of a man!! It was crazy and I surprisingly didn’t vomit or pass up. I did gag a little bit..(I’ll spare you the dets)

Favorite Product


I bought the season on the release date, but it is tempting me so much to open it. But I have hid it in my closet so I won’t open it. I have to wait until Thanksgiving break….

Favorite Song

This song has gotten a lot of press lately. I was weirded out by it first time I saw the video. But I love this song and it is one of my new car jams. Plus we danced to it in Zumba. It was fun watching all the older ladies do the GANGNAM STYLE.

Hope ya’ll had a great week! It’s the weekend.

Only one more week at Glenwood and then its off to my next rotation.

XOXO, Danae

A much needed update

So I may have forgotten I had a blog have been really busy getting stuff done. I have finished all my concept maps, completed two homework assignments for my graduate class, started work on my clinical case study and developed an educational material for the patients at Glenwood Hospital. Whew! It has been a crazy couple weeks since my birthday. The work doesn’t stop there however. I have the “wonderful” task of writing my review of literature for my research proposal. I am totally dreading it, but I know once I start diving in and writing, it will flow. Although 10 pages with 25 sources is a lot worry about. fingers crossed I get it done.

Also on the agenda is laundry, write a blog entry (checking one thing of my list as we speak. 1 point me) and work in the nursery at my church. It is my first time working at First Baptist. I am excited to get involved and play with little kiddos!!!

In internship news, I have been succeeding. I had my mid-point clinical evaluation with my preceptors and my DI director. Good News: I am still in the program!! I seem to be on the right track and have completed a good chunk of my competencies. My preceptor first gave my 6 of my own patients that I was in charge of. I assessed them, looked at their chart, talked with them, educated them (if needed) and followed up with them. It felt good. Today, I got three FLOORS! One of my preceptors told me that they only give people floors during their floor supervision. Safe to say I am well ahead of schedule.

Yesterday I got to see a PEG tube placement (a long-term feeding tube that feeds into the stomach). I have been trying to see one since I have started at Glenwood and I just happened to kind of stumble in on one. I was doing rounds in one of the ICUs and I saw a doctor and a few nurses setting up for a PEG tube placement. I went up and asked the nurse if I could watch and she was willing! They did the placement bedside. I got to not only watch it be done, but I got to watch the TV that showed the actual inside of this person’s gastrointestinal system. It was awesome to be able to see something be done that I have only learned about via textbook. I am surprised I didn’t vomit or pass out though. I was even MORE surprised that I was able to go downstairs and eat lunch immediately after watching the procedure. It is very sad that this individual had to get this procedure done, but I am thankful for the learning opportunity.

Something I have been thinking about over the past two weeks and maybe even challenged in a way, is that people in the hospital after some crazy stories and are in bad situations. There was a patient who was 14, pregnant and diagnosed with two STDS, a man who took one too many pills, individuals being put on hospice, deaths and people paralyzed my car accidents. People in the hospital are in some of the worst conditions they will ever be in. Some make the best of it and some are just plain grouchy. I have made it a challenge to pray for all the patients. I pray for them to get better and to know that even though some of them don’t have family come and visit them, that they are loved. It is tough working in a hospital, but I still feel called to be in this field.

XOXO, Danae

P.S. I know I owe you pics from my birthday weekend in NOLA. Soon…..I promise!