“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


Healthy Eaters of Louisiana Unite!

Well, Louisiana might not be full of healthy eaters, but I would like to think the dietitians that attended the annual Louisiana Dietetic Association meeting are. This past Tuesday and Wednesday, I was in Lafayette for the LDA Conference “Responding to the Challenge“.

The Monday before the conference, Gwen, Nate and I drove to Alexandria and stayed with Derrick. We had great bonding time as we drove an hour and a half back and forth. During the conference, I really enjoyed meeting new people, hanging out with my fellow interns and seeing some old faces, like fellow student dietitians from Diabetes Camp. Since the conference was in Lafayette, the dietetic interns from University of Louisiana @ Lafayette were there, so it was fun to see how they have been since July.

On the first day, there were two seminars that I really enjoyed. The first one was Mary Lee Chin, MS, RD, a dietitian that talked about sustainability. The presenter talked about the impact that environmental concerns and food sourcing trends have on how the public purchase foods and what foods they purchase, especially with fresh produce and meat products, like beef and chicken. She told us the truth about claims and benefits of local organic foods versus modern and conventional foods and how they are each different in the way nutrition gets to the consumers and the sustainability of each. She also gave a comparison about foods from the local, regional and national realm and their impact on the economy and nutrient composition. She made sustainability sounds interesting, and she was a very good speaker.

In-between some of the talks, we made two trips to Starbucks within probably 3 hours. haha We needed some caffeine.

The second lady that I liked was Molly Kimball, RD, CSSD, a dietitian in the New Orleans area. She is a part of this awesome project where she has gone to local restaurants in NOLA and gotten their executive chefs to give her recipes of their dishes  where she then does the nutritional analysis of them. Then they work together to develop either healthier options of the of the dishes, or even develop a whole new “Eat Fit” menu listing. I think this would be a cool thing to bring to Chicago. I believe that while Chicago people love their deep dish pizza and steak, they are also fairly active and enjoy eating healthy. Many restaurants I think would want to be a part of something like this. We learned about the criteria she uses to designate healthy menu items and gave us some strategies are working with local restaurant owners. This is something I could see myself doing. Nutrition AND eating out — sounds like a dream job!

After the conclusion of the first day, the four of us went to this Mexican restaurant called El Pasado. The food was good, except at the time we ate dinner, there was very little patrons in the restaurant, yet our service was somewhat slow.

On the second day, there was really only one speaker I enjoyed. She was a dietitian, Heidi Greenwaldt, MS, RD, LD, CNSC, that worked at a large hospital in Minnesota that has their dietitians placing tubes for tube feedings. In most hospitals, the nurses are the ones that place the tubes. At this hospital, the dietitians place the majority of tubes, and they are doing them well. In 2012, there were 454 tubes placed, and 414 of those were placed by dietitians. They get trained and have all the proper certifications. At first, I was scared about the idea of RDs placing tubes, but I feel that it is good that we learn how to do this as a profession. Because we care SO much about feeding patients, I think it is great if we could just place feeding tubes ourselves. That way we wouldn’t have to bug the doctors or the nurses. I thought it was interesting.

On the last day of the conference there was a business meeting where recipients of all of the various scholarships were recognized. I actually won a scholarship that was given by the Louisiana Dietetic Association. I was one of the recipients for a $500 dollar Graduate Studies Scholarship. My roommate Kelly was the other winner! I even got to meet the President of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Ethan Bergman, PhD, RD, CD, FADA (who is from Seattle! Snaps for Ethan!) and the president of the Louisiana Dietetic Association, Bridgett Scott, MS, RD, LDN. And THEN, I won one of the raffle prizes, which was a Diabetes Education book. Granted, it was written in 2003, so it’s a little dated, but maybe it is a sign that I really am supposed to be a CDE (certified diabetes educator). It was exciting and I felt so important! I got a picture with the two of them, plus we also got a group picture with them at the end.

Here is the Crew at LDA (minus one..or two)

Here is the Crew at LDA (minus one..or two)

It was an exhausting couple of days, but it got me excited for this next chapter in my life. This is only the first half of my busy week. I will soon tell you about the second half.

XOXO, Danae

March might be over, but eating healthy shouldn’t!

Well, March is at an end, which means so is National Nutrition Month.

Erin over at Mojitos & Handbags said she wanted some recipes as well as some health tips. I’ve given out some recipes, so to wrap this month up, I am going to leave you with some general tips on eating healthy, easy ways to cut some calories and some guidelines on physical fitness.

The New "MyPyramid"

The New “MyPyramid”

  1. Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. They are low in fat and calories, but high in vitamins, minerals and fiber. According to the diagram above, at least half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables.
  2. Half of the grains you consume on a daily basis should be whole grains. This includes whole grain bread and pastas, brown rice and multi-grain cereal. Whole grain products have the whole part of the grain (bran, endosperm and germ), which means they are richer in fiber and nutrients.
  3. If you drink whole milk or 2% milk, try switching over to skim milk and low fat dairy products. By going from eight ounces of whole milk to eight ounces of skim milk, you can save 66 calories and 8 grams of fat.
  4. Choose lean forms of protein, like chicken, fish, deer and turkey. Beef is good to, but when purchasing it at the grocery store, purchase meat with ‘loan’ or ’round’ in the name. These are the leaner cuts of beef.
  5. Limit sugary drinks and sodas, like Coke, Sweet Tea and Kool-aid
  6. The more liquid a fat is, the healthier the fat is. For instance, extra virgin olive oil is better for you than Crisco.
  7. Studies show that 150 minutes of moderate physical exercise a week can improve an individuals risk of developing heart disease, osteoporosis and of course, helps fight obesity.
  8. The best fats are Omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. Salmon, albacore tuna, walnuts, flax-seed and canola oil are great sources of omega-3’s and avocados, olive oil, peanut butter and nuts are good sources of monounsaturated fats.
  9. Baking, stewing, broiling or roasting are some of the healthier ways to cook food, like poultry, fish, potatoes and vegetables.
  10. Use reduced sodium or no-salt added products when cooking, or use other ways of seasoning food!
  11. Fat free, low fat and reduced fat are not the same thing. Reduced fat means that the product’s fat content is 25% of what the original version’s fat content is. Low fat means that the product can not have more than 3 g of fat per serving. Fat free means 0.5 g  or less of fat per serving. Make sure to read the label!

I hope you all have been enjoying the food and nutrition posts this month!! If you have any suggestions for future topics, feel free to leave them in the comments section!! I hope these posts have encouraged you to maybe make some small changes when it comes to your eating habits!!

XOXO, Danae

P.S. Happy Easter!

Drive-Thru Smarts

While I am not fast food’s biggest fan, I understand that sometimes you can’t help but answer the question “May I take your order?”


So, for those times when you need to squeeze through the drive-thru, here is what I have found to be some “healthy” meal ideas at various fast food chains.


Arby’s had some pretty high caloric food items. Like 90% of their sandwiches (and even salads) were anywhere between 400 and 800 calories. Now, this can be normal for a meal, but when you add curly fries and  a large coke, you have used almost half of your days worth of calories on one meal! So, here is the best option I could find.

3 piece prime-cut chicken tenders (350 calories, 17 g fat, 970 mg sodium*)

*I swear, everything on the Arby’s menu is above 1000 mg of sodium. But I guess that is what you get with processed foods.

Side Chopped Salad w/ Dijon Honey Mustard Dressing (use sparingly)* (171 calories, 21 g fat, 355 mg sodium)

*All the dressings where either high in calories and/or high in sodium. I went with one that was kind of in the middle.

Medium brewed unsweetened Iced Tea (5 calories, 0 g fat, o mg sodium)

Total: 526 calories, 38 g fat, 1325 mg sodium

Burger King

Whopper Jr. (No mayo) (260 calories, 10 g fat, 440 mg sodium)

Apple Slices (30 calories, 0 g fat, 0 sodium)

Small Strawberry Banana Smoothie (200 calories, 0 g fat, 20 mg sodium)

Total: 490 calories, 10 g fat, 460 mg sodium


Chick-fil-A had a lot of high sodium items. Food items would be relatively low in calories, but high in sodium. Even some of their wraps had over 1,000 mg of sodium.

Chargrilled & Fruit Salad w/ reduced fat berry balsamic vinaigrette* (330 calories, 10 g fat, 770 mg sodium)

*use dressing sparingly. Dressing can make a healthy salad go unhealthy.

Medium Lemonade (230 calories, 0 g fat, 10 mg sodium)

Total: 560 calories, 10 g fat, 780 mg sodium


KFC actually had some healthy options despite being a place known for their fried chicken! Your fried options are going to be higher in sodium than the grilled options. Also, anything dipped or covered in gravy is going to be high in sodium as well.

Grilled Chicken Drumstick  (90 calories, 4 g fat, 290 mg sodium)

Corn on the Cob (70 calories, 0.5 g fat, 0 mg sodium)

Mashed Potatoes w/ gravy* (120 calories, 4 g fat, 530 mg sodium)

*Tip: Dip fork in gravy, then in mashed potatoes. You can save 30 calories and about 200 mg sodium

Small iced peach green tea (160 calories, 0 g fat, 50 mg sodium)

Total: 440 calories, 8.5 g fat, 870 mg sodium


Seems like an oxymoron, but a healthy option CAN be found at McDonald’s. Just don’t super-size anything.

Hamburger with lettuce, tomato and ketchup (250 calories, 9 g fat, 480 mg sodium)

Fruit and yogurt parfait (150 calories, 2 g fat, 70 mg sodium)

Small sugar free iced french vanilla coffee (80 calories, 4.5 g fat, 65 mg sodium)

Total: 480 calories, 15.5 g fat, 615 mg sodium

Sonic Drive-In

Sonic’s food is awful if you have high blood pressure, heart disease or kidney disease. I think the only think that didn’t have sodium levels over 1000 mg was either the shakes or condiments. Fat levels were also really high! So, here is the best thing I could find…

Chicken strip sandwich (420 calories, 21 g fat, 810 mg sodium)

Medium low-cal diet cherry limeade (20 calories, 0 g fat, 15 mg sodium)

Total: 440 calories, 21 g fat, 825 mg sodium

Taco Bell

Word of advice: Stay away from the XXL stuffed burritos.

Chicken Chalupa Supreme (340 calories, 18 g fat, 530 mg sodium)

Cinnamon Twists (170 calories, 7 g fat, 200 mg sodium)

Small diet Pepsi (0 calories, o g fat, 50 mg sodium)

Total: 510 calories, 25 g fat, 780 mg sodium


Half-size Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad w/ lemon garlic caesar dressing (no croutons) (360 calories, 24 g fat, 800 mg sodium)

Apple slices (40 calories, 0 g fat, o mg sodium)

Brewed Sweet Tea (110 calories, o g fat, 10 mg sodium)

Total: 510 calories, 24 g fat, 810 mg sodium

Hopefully this gives you some guidance on what to order at some typical fast food joints. Make good choices!

XOXO, Danae

Eat This. Not That.

This post is a classic “Eat This. Not That.” I got some of the information from  the Eat This, Not That book, but I also did some of my own investigation.


Eat This: Steak N’ Shake Bacon Cheese Fries

360 calories, 6 g saturated fat (1.5 g trans fat), 710 mg sodium

Not That: Steak N’ Shake Large Chili Cheese Fries

1,170 calories, 22 g saturated fat (3.5 g trans fat), 2,150 mg sodium

Eat This: Outback Steakhouse’s Classic Cheesecake

334 calories, 16 g saturated fat, 23 g carbohydrates

Not That: Outback Steakhouses’s Chocolate Thunder from Down Under

1,554 calories, 53 g saturated fat, 133 g carbohydrates

Eat This: IHOP Simple & Fit Chicken Sandwich with fruit

500 calories, 3.5 g saturated fat, 840 mg sodium

Not That: IHOP Chicken and Spinach Salad

1,530 calories, 30 g saturated fat (2 g trans fat), 2,400 mg sodium

Eat This: Applebee’s Blackened Tilapia with vegetables

410 calories, 4.5 g saturated fat, 1,410 mg sodium

Not That: Applebee’s Fish N’ Chips

1,930 calories, 24 g saturated fat, 1.5 g trans fat, 3,180 mg sodium

Eat This: Outback Steakhouse’s Shrimp on the Barbie

319 calories, 5 g fat, 589 mg sodium

Not That: Outback Steakhouse’s Bloomin’ Onion (You knew this was coming…)

1,959 calories, 48 g saturated fat (4 g trans fat), 4,100 mg sodium (2 days worth of sodium)

Eat This: Ruby Tuesday’s Baked Potato with 1 Tbls. sour sream

275 calories, 4 g fat, 112 mg sodium

Not That: Ruby Tuesday’s Loaded Baked Potato

568 calories, 28 g fat, 536 mg sodium

Eat This: The Cheesecake Factory’s Skinny-licious Pasta

540 calories, 1 gram saturated fat, 660 mg sodium

Not That: The Cheesecake Factory’s Chicken Fettucini Alfredo

2,300 calories (a whole day’s worth!), 103  g  saturated fat, 1,297 mg sodium

Eat This: Red Robin Banzai Burger (without mayo or cheese)

617 calories, 21 g fat, 1,272 mg sodium

Not That: Red Robin Whisky River BBQ Burger

1,138 calories, 70 g fat,  1,450 mg sodium

Eat This: Starbucks Grande non-fat Sugar-Free Cinnamon Dolce Latte

260 calories, 6 g fat (4 g saturated), 38 g sugar

Not That: Starbucks Venti Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with Whip

660 calories, 22 g fat (15 g saturated), 95 g sugars

Eat This: Steak Toscano

590 calories,  20 g fat (4.5 g saturated),  1460 mg sodium

Not That: Olive Garden’s  Grilled Sausage and Peppers Rustica

1320 calories,  80 g fat (30 g saturated),  2860 mg sodium


Food isn’t always as healthy as you think. Especially the salads. You think you are doing good for yourself, but you could actually be eating as much as a burger with fries! Always think twice before your order.

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!!

Is it a bird?! Is it a plane?!

Nope, it’s SUPERFOODS!!


Blueberries are a great snack on the go!

On my blog post that kicked off National Nutrition Month, I asked that if any of my readers had an idea or topic they wanted to learn more about, they could send a comment my way!

Shadoza: In my World gave me a few ideas, but I am picking one of the ideas for this blog entry: “….point out the benefits of the super-foods'”. So, let’s talk about superfoods!!

What are “super foods”?

Super foods are specific foods that are packed full of nutrients and antioxidants. Consider these foods powerhouses. Some food items may be small in size, but they sure do pack a punch!

What are some common super foods?

Cranberries aren't just for Thanksgiving!

Cranberries aren’t just for Thanksgiving!

Fruits: Apples (leave the skin on), Blueberries, Cranberries, Kiwi, Oranges, Pomegranates and pomegranate juice (POM),and any of the previous fruits dried.

Vegetables: Avocados, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Kale, Onions, Pumpkin, Spinach and Tomatoes (yes, I consider tomato a vegetable even though technically it is a fruit).

Starches, Nuts & Legumes: Beans, Oats, Soy and Walnuts.

Meat, Fish & Poultry: Turkey and Wild Salmon.

Other: Dark Chocolate (*every girl cheers*), Honey, Tea (Black or Green) and Low fat yogurt.

What are the benefits to consuming super foods?

Avocados are a creamy treat!

Avocados are a creamy treat!

Super foods are to help you live a longer and healthier life. Many of these foods are low in calories but high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other various nutrients. Many of these nutrients have been found to reverse effects of aging (like maintain elasticity of skin and prevent wrinkles), lower blood pressure, prevent cardiovascular disease, lower cholesterol levels and better manage blood sugar levels. Many antioxidants found in these foods can prevent free radicals, which have been shown to lead to cancer. Plus, eating plenty of super foods can improve your mood! Who doesn’t want to be happier?! There is really no down side to eating super foods.

How much should I eat?

Since many super foods do tend to be either a fruit or a vegetable, it is important that the average adult consumes at least 5 servings a day. These could be 3 fruits and 2 vegetables or 4 fruits and 1 vegetable. Also, consume food items of different colors. Do not just consume only green vegetables or only orange fruits. Different colors mean different levels of vitamins and minerals, so you do not want to miss out on anything.

Set a goal for yourself at consume at least one super fruit per day, and then increase from there!

Now go out there and be super!

XOXO, Danae

Number of times I said “super foods”: 11

Eat Right, Your Way, Every Way.

March is National Nutrition Month®, the one month dedicated to healthy eating and improving dietary habits headed up by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This year’s theme, for its 40th Anniversary, is Eat Right, Your Way, Every Way!

Logo for 2013 National Nutrition Month

This theme focuses on individualized eating plans and are unique to your lifestyle, health concerns and taste buds! There is more to a healthy diet than just eating all the right foods. Its about eating right in your life and living a healthier lifestyle. You shouldn’t have to fit your eating habits into a “one-size-fits-all” diet plan. Changing dietary habits is a lifestyle change, so you want to make sure it works for you!

Over the course of this month, I plan on giving you eating tips, easy (yet healthy) meal options, maybe talk about some new food products and whatever else I decide to do. Let me know in the comments if there is anything you want to read or know more about! I hope you can learn something new during this month that could kick-start a change in your current eating habits.

XOXO, Danae

P.S. Changed my blog theme to “Bananas” in honor of NNM. What’s your favorite fruit?!

Hot for Teacher

This past Monday I taught a 100-level class at LA Tech on eating disorders and fad diets. The class contained 21 students, all from different grade levels as well as different majors.

I had the opportunity to teach this class because of a competency requirement. I had to complete a community education requirement, so this counted for that.

My zebralicious number I wore to teach my class.

My outfit I wore to teach.

I think everybody gets a little nervous when they are about to get up and talk to a group of people. I mean..public speaking is the number one fear in most people. I got a little bit nervous before hand, but I actually felt comfortable doing this presentation. I think my only complaint (at least from me) was that I talk fast. It is not even because I get nervous..I just talk fast. People may say its because I am from the north, where everything is fast paced, but I know I talk fast normally. However, this time around, I did a pretty good job. I feel like when I talk to a group of people I don’t know, I don’t get nervous, but when I talk to those I do know, I get nervous. It is like I don’t want them to think less of me after giving my talk. You would think I would be more nervous in front of people I didn’t know, because I would want them to have a good first impression of me. I don’t know…..maybe I’m backwards. I did get “talk fast” written on my evaluation form though….guess I just can’t shake it.

The talk discussed fad diets, like the Macrobiotic Diet, the Baby Food Diet, the Cabbage Diet, the raw food diet, the master  cleanse and much more!! I also had an activity that went along with this subject matter. Check out Everyday Diets for a huge compiled list of diets.

Weight in the eyes of an anorexic

Weight in the eyes of an anorexic

I then led into eating disorders, who is affected by them and described different eating disorders, like anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating. Signs were also talked about for each disorder. An activity where they had to spot signs of an eating disorder in three scenarios. I left the students with basic healthy weight management tips and guidelines for weight loss. Overall, I thought the class was successful and I really enjoyed the added experience.

I haven’t written of teaching as a career path, but I think it would be cool to teach college in the future. The possibilities for my career are endless.

XOXO, Danae

3 more days until the end of the quarter, then “Spring Break!”

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