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!

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XOXO, Danae


Cinco de Mayo (AY-o, AY-o)

Happy Cinco de Mayo amigos and amigas!!!!

Yo quiero Taco Bell... y margaritas


Also, Happy 1 Year Anniversary to me of me graduating from college!!

Me walking across the stage a year ago today

Me walking across the stage a year ago today

Pretty soon I will be graduating from my internship. Ready for the real world!!!

XOXO, Danae

Countdown to Graduation: 12 days!

“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

And a Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! (Well, New Year’s Eve). What a crazy year it has been.

I have graduated from college


Graduation Day: 5-5-2012

I got accepted into a dietetic internship – the final step to becoming a real life dietitian

That's Me!!!

That’s Me!!!

Went to St. Louis for a Cardinals Game..and to see the 2011 World Series Trophy with my parents

My Dad and Me with the World Series Trophy!

My Dad and Me with the World Series Trophy!

I attended a family reunion in the Lake of the Ozarks, MO.

I moved to Louisiana.


I started graduate school.


My brother and myself at my new school!

I turned freakin’ 23 years old. When did I grow up so fast?

I wrote a research proposal that can eventually turn into a thesis!

Fresh off the printer!! Feels soo good!

Research Proposal Dominated!

My great aunt turned 90!! Got to see family from California that I haven’t seen in many years!

I started a blog (and have actually stuck with it!)

All About Me!

All About Me!

Thanks to my supportive family and friends for being there to be my support system and who love me unconditionally. Thanks to the readers of this blog and those that comment. It makes me feel good when I know people are reading my blog and like what I have to say. I have really had a great 2012, but 2013 is going to bring about so many awesome things (and by awesome things, I mean completing my 5 year journey to becoming a dietitian to ACTUALLY taking the test and becoming a legit dietitian). I am looking forward to all that 2013 will have to offer.

My new year’s resolution? I overall want to be a better person than I was the year before. I want to  stay true to myself, make wise decisions and be a brighter light in this world. I also am going to start reading daily devotionals in my Jesus Calling devo book by Sarah Young, given to me by my college roommate, Rachel.

Hope everyone has a great NYE. Stay safe, but party hard!!

XOXO, Danae

Diabetes & Presidents

Hey all. It’s Thursday. More specifically, “Cussing” Thursday, according to my co-workers. It is the day to let loose and say all the swear words. Say how you feel. Hold nothing back. No judging.

Well, I will thank you very much.

I just need to vent about the recent presidential election. (This is my personal opinion, it is not meant to offend anyone). I do not think the right person was put into office. I feel like the individual that was elected has done nothing but lied to the American people and the american population are blinded by his talk of change and hope. Well guess what, the economy has gotten worse, gas prices have gone up and employment rates are higher than ever. I thought change meant making a difference. I see no change and I have no hope. I was hoping to have a job after I get done with this internship and now I will be lucky if I do. And don’t even get me started on healthcare. As a working healthcare professional, I see individuals that come into places that I have worked who believe they are “entitled” to things (i.e. WIC and food stamps). I do not appreciate having my tax dollars spent on people who do not apply themselves, do not have  a job, have tons of kids and receive handouts. I feel like this country is going to go down hill and in 4 years, it will be really hard to turn it around. (Random Thought-  I will be 27 in 4 years. Soo old…..). As a Christian though, I know that God is in control of all of this and for some reason  this is in His plan, even though it is hard to understand. I have to trust in Him.So all in all, we are totally screwed and I think I will move to Canada. Whew….good to get that off my chest.

Anyways, I am finishing my first week at the outpatient diabetes and nutrition center. I have really enjoyed myself. I work with two dietitians and two nurses, all of which are certified diabetes educators (CDE). I hope to be one of these someday! I have my own nickname- “Mocha Latte” and I have my own make-shift office.

My very large corner office. You like?!

I have already gotten to do some educations. On my second day at the facility, I did a gestational diabetes education. I have found these to be the most dedicated clients and the best listening clients because there is a secondary party involved. They will do anything you tell them to do. It is refreshing. I really loved doing it and I figured out I love community. The setting is so relaxed and I love just talking with the clients as much as I love educating them on diabetes. I could sit and talk to them forever, I forget we have to talk about diabetes. I really enjoyed it. I then did another GD education yesterday. I am getting the hang of it.

Yesterday, I also taught a cardiac rehab class. It is a really laid back setting where I talked with individuals who have many types of heart issues, like hypertension, aortic aneurysms , coronary bypass surgery, stent placement, pacemakers  heart attack etc. I had four listeners and the topic was “Healthy Holiday Eating”. I discussed tips on how to stay healthy during the holidays and how to prevent unintentional weight gain,rise in blood pressure, cholesterol or blood glucose levels. The conversation went from that to talking about diabetes, reading labels and discussing the pathophysiology of diabetes. It was a good talk, and having my preceptor there allowed me to bounce ideas off of.

Then today, I just got done observed a speech therapist to fulfill one of my competencies. I have had to also observe an MD, a nurse, a occupational therapist, a physical therapist and case manager. Speech therapy was the last on my check list. It was interesting. The client was a child that was deaf and couldn’t read or really talk. Over the course of many sessions with the therapist, she was in the office today reading simple words, pronunciations and sounds. She was very hyperactive, but if she actually focuses, she can do a lot.

So, that has been my week. Tomorrow I go to Ruston for seminar class. I find out what I am doing for the Winter Quarter and I turn in the death of me AKA my Research Proposal. The Research Proposal will eventually [Key Word: EVENTUALLY] turn into a research trial which will then turn into a Thesis! Gahh…Friday will be the day it is turned in! I am so excited! Safe to say I will have a good weekend.

XOXO, Danae

P.S. I learned how to change my background, so now it is the more appropriate “Autumn” theme. At least I have a little taste of fall now.

9 Days Until Home!

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!

Thesis or Non-Thesis? That is the question.

So, after two full days of graduate school, I am pretty much really smart. Really.

Totally joking. But seriously I am.

Currently for this summer quarter, I am taking three graduate course: Methodology in Human Ecology Research, Applied Dietetics and an internship class, which basically prepares me for the actual rotation where I am out in the field.

So far the classes that I am taking sound really interesting and what I love about it is that I am strictly taking dietetic related classes. None of these dumb “Intro to Fine Arts” classes. We can just get down to business. No more dumb crap fluffy stuff.

But the question that is boggling my head right now is, when I complete my masters, am I going to go the thesis route or the non-thesis route?? For a while I was like “Heck no!!! There is no way I am writing a book! That is too much work” But our professor brought out like 15 examples of theses that are hardback covered and in the library. I was flipping through them and it actually made me feel a lot better about the possibility of writing a thesis paper. And the best part is that I have from now until May of 2018 to get my master’s done!!! Jack Pot! So, by the end of the fall quarter (November) I will have my whole research proposal written, which according to my professor, is the first three chapters of my thesis book!!! So maybe I just answered my own question. Time will tell though….

In other Louisiana news:

  1. It has thunder-stormed three days in a row!
  2. The hours of the food places to eat blow.
  3. My roommate and I went out for dinner of the weekend. Louisiana is not the best at Italian cuisine.
  4. Myself, my roommate Katelyn and fellow interns Grey and Kelly went to Aqua-Zumba this morning. (It is exactly how it sounds)

Dramatization of my friends and I doing Aqua Zumba.

So, that’s what is going on right now. Ill blog in a few days!

XOXO, Danae