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


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….)

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

I ‘mustache’ you a question. Or shall I ‘shave’ it for later?

A lot of things happened this past week. The city of Monroe practically shut down due to “inclement weather“. University of Louisiana-Monroe closed for 2 days and Louisiana Tech closed down for 1 day. They were expected this huge ice storm, but all it did was rain.

My car’s engine light came on, so I had the wonderful joy of fitting taking my car into the Toyota dealer to have it operated on. Luckily, they had a courtesy car drive me and pick me up from work.

I have finally completed my last clinical rotation. On Wednesday I presented my clinical case study on Acute Myeloid Leukemia. AML is a type of leukemia that is fairly severe and is caused by a mutation in the white blood cells and develops mainly in the bone marrow. On Thursday I finished up my last day of my 2 week floor supervision. And Thursday was probably the easiest, funnest day I have had at St. Francis. In total, I got a total of 3 patients that I had to see. 2 of them had to be educated and one was just a follow up. The first education was easy, the follow up was easy, and the other patient I had to educate was at the in-hospital dialysis center. Around 11:15 am,  the three younger dietitians  Hannah, Jessica and Sarah took me out for my intern lunch. We went to Raw Sushi in Monroe. For 4 girls, we had hella food at the table. We each ordered an entree and a roll of sushi. Then we decided to get Orange Leaf, which is a popular (especially among the Monroe dietitians) frozen yogurt shop. I really enjoyed hanging out with the girls, laughing, talking wedding planning (Sarah just got engaged and is planning her August wedding), jamming in the car to the XM radio and embracing our young-ness! We took WAY longer than our allotted time for lunch. We didn’t get back to the office until 12:45 pm. WHOOPS! I tried one last time to educated my dialysis patient, but he was still gone. Then the dietitians went over my final evaluation with me. I got mostly fours (which is the best you can get)! And then I went home around 1:30 pm. Easiest day of work ever!

Friday we had class in Ruston. Good to see everyone since I haven’t seen them since we got back from Thanksgiving. Everyone loved my new haircut and thought I looked older. I appreciated the positive feedback! We had a short presentation on NG Tube placement by a nursing professor at Tech. The NG tube goes through the persons nose and exits into the stomach. It can be used to decompress the stomach, suction the stomach or short-term nutritional feedings.  This was our assistant…

He looks a little TOO happy to be getting an NG Tube.

He looks a little TOO happy to be getting an NG Tube.

After Ruston, our fellow intern and Alexandria resident, Chrystal came to stay at our humble abode in Monroe. Chrystal went to a Mardi Gras ball on Saturday and was looking for a dress. Kelly, Chrystal and I decided to make a fun time of it. We grabbed Starbucks, went to three dress shops in Monroe, went to Sam’s Club because Kelly’s car had a deflated tire, went to the mall and tried on Mardi Gras masks and did other shennanigans (like get mustaches..)

I mustache you, do Chrystal and I look good??

I mustache you, do Chrystal and I look good??

After the mall, Jon met the three of us at Olive Garden for wine samples and dinner!! Then we went back to the apartment, cracked open a bottle of wine and watched the movie “The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia“. This family makes Honey Boo Boo‘s family look normal. Kelly and Chrystal had already seen it, so I was the only newbie. We decided to make it into a drinking game…it’s that bad. If you have Netflix, hop on there and watch it…They are as redneck as redneck gets.

In the morning, I went to my cardio kickboxing class and then watched Clueless as I did Chrystal’s hair for her Mardi Gras ball. Apparently I am know as the “Hair Master” around here, so Chrystal didn’t want anyone doing her hair but me. haha We did an Audrey Hepburn inspired hairstyle. I have to say…I did a pretty good job. I am sure Chrystal rocked he do at the ball that night.

The rest of the night was pretty laid back. I have tomorrow off due to MLK Jr. Day, but I start at the Dialysis Center on Tuesday. Looking forward to a different atmosphere.

Hope everybody is doing well. Hang in there….January is almost over!!

Less than 4 months until my internship is complete!

XOXO, Danae

20 days until Mardi Gras in NOLA!

I’ll be Home for Christmas

Welp, the year is coming to an end…literally, but not. Today, 12.21.12 was the supposed “end of the world” as predicted by the Mayans and their calendar. And as expected, the world did NOT end and I still had to go to work. Bummer…

But, good thing it didn’t end, because now I can go HOME FOR CHRISTMAS! After the start to this new quarter, I have been counting down the days until Christmas Break…especially after this week. Things have been crazy with school and work, so I am looking forward to some downtime with my family and friends! I fly out this Sunday afternoon and I will hit the ground running with family Christmases and holiday traveling.

Internship-wise, I have been rotating around with the dietitians. It is good to see how different dietitians work and I enjoy seeing a variety of patients. However, at this point, I am so excited to be on my own. After talking with my DI director, I managed to get my 2 weeks of floor supervision rather than the week that the dietitians originally gave me. Thank goodness.

Graduate school-wise, this financial management course is not how I thought it would be at all. Luckily, in college I took both financial accounting and food systems management, so this is not my first time around with this type of information. Everything is coming back to me, but slowly. My one frustration: my professor assigns homework but then how to do the problems is not discussed in the powerpoints nor in the book. I spent legit 3 DAYS working on  one problem. After several emails from me, and probably other classmates, the professor sent an email with instructions on how to do the problems. It then took me 20 minutes. If I had those instructions at the start, I would have saved so much time and frustration.  I can do the problems fine, just gimme a little guidance. Other then that, the class isn’t half bad.

I just hope that everyone has a safe and happy Christmas holiday. So many people have showed up at the hospital. I just hope they are all able to get discharged this weekend so they do not have to spend the holidays in a hospital– because that isn’t fun for anybody. Merry Christmas!

XOXO, Danae

P.S. My roommate, Kelly, wrote a  recipe article for College Lifestyles Magazine. Brownies in a Jar!! An easy and inexpensive gift for the bakers in your life, or someone who likes desserts!!

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

New Rotations. New Quarter. New Start.

Hope everyone had a great thanksgiving! I had a wonderful time at home seeing friends and family. Won’t boar you with the details but here is an overview of what went on.

1. Left Monroe 6:50 am and got to Chicago at 3:35 pm. My whole family + my brother’s girlfriend picked me up then went to eat at Toby Keith’s I ❤ This Bar & Grill for a (very) early dinner.

2. Shopped with my sister and mother.

3. Went to one of those eat and drink movie theaters with one of my best friends at saw Breaking Dawn Part 2.

4. Went to the Turkey Trot, a bar crawl in Chicago in honor of Black Wednesday. I went with my friend Greg and his co-worker Tyler. All you had to do was pay 20 bucks and you got beer, “Pilgrims Punch”, food and free trolley rides that took you to all of the bars. We managed to make it to all six. It was a good time.

5. Drove to Champaign and ate Thanksgiving at my grandma’s house.

6. Saw the movie Flight. Scary as s***, but still really good. (Note: If you hate flying, do NOT see this movie)

7. Went Black Friday Shopping.

8. Saw family from TX, CA, IL and WI in honor of my great-aunts 90th birthday! We had a party at an italian restaurant. It was a lot of family for such a small room (There were over 20 of us!)

9. Got sushi at my favorite spot, RA Sushi.

10. A woman behind me threw up on the plane on the way from Dallas to Monroe. It smelled.

It was a very good break, but looking forward to starting my new set of rotations. I start tomorrow at St. Francis for clinical rotations. Should be interesting getting to know a whole new, and larger facility.

XOXO, Danae

P.S. Fellow intern, Katelyn, wrote a recipe for Fruit Pizza for College Lifestyles Magazine! Check it out!

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

Danae: 1. Research Proposal: 0

Well, I did it.

My research proposal that I have been working on since August is finally complete!!! All 58 pages of it. It was the best feeling to handover that stress inducing assignment over. 🙂 It was a highlight of my quarter.

Fresh off the printer!! Feels soo good!

Just so you can see how thick it is. A paper clip wouldn’t even hold it together.

Friday was a seminar class, so myself and all the other interns met up in Ruston for class. Our guest speaker was a dietitian, Shelly Marie Redmond, who is the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of College Lifestyles Magazine. She talked about social media, marketing and writing articles and recipes appropriate for online and print magazines. I have the opportunity to write a recipe for their magazine, which is really exciting, so when something comes of that, I will be sure to inform you. I also found out my rotation schedule for the winter quarter. I will be finishing off my clinical rotations and floor supervision at St. Francis Medical Center, hopefully spending a week at the LSU Medical Center Burn Unit in Shreveport  and then EA Conway Hospital for some clinical and some management rotations. This will take me through February. Then its just three more months until I am home free!

We also had a CPR/First Aid certification class to take a part in. So, I am now certified to save a life.

In addition to the research proposal, I also had a last assignment and final in my Childhood Obesity class. I submitted my assignment on Friday and took my final on Saturday (oh the joys of online classes). So now, I am pretty much home free until I go home. Besides a two concept maps, my final evaluation and other internship-related competencies to complete, I am in a really good spot.

With some extra time to chill this weekend, my roommate Gwen and I made cupcakes AND cookies because we were craving frosting. I also worked in the nursery at my church again. I just loving working with the kids. They are so much fun and I have a really good time playing with them! Although today, we had five kids and out of no where, they all start crying at the same time. There was only myself and another worker there, so thankfully the nursery coordinator and another help came in to help. Thankfully we had a bubble machine, so they entertained them for a little.

Hope everyone has a great week! I am loving working at the diabetes center, but I am REALLY looking forward to some time in Chicago!!

XOXO, Danae

6 Days Until Home!

Here Comes Nae Nae Boo Boo

Last night I celebrated Halloween. Myself, my roommate Gwen and her boyfriend/fellow intern Nate went to a local gay bar in Monroe. (Both of Nate’s roommates work there, so this is how I ended up there).

Everyone was dressed up: there was a lesbian softball team, woody & buzz light year, three drag queen Victoria Secret Angels, just plain drag queens, Adam & Steve and a whole mixture of things. Gwen went as a peacock. Nate went as a cowboy. I advised him to stay with either Gwen or myself the whole time, or else people were going to think he was one of the guys from Broke-back Mountain. Who did I go as? If the title wasn’t good enough, here are a few clues.

Clue # 1

Clue # 2

Clue # 3

Got a guess?? If you guessed the most famous chicken nugget HONEY BOO BOO CHILD, you are correct!! You better redneckognize I had a good time..

Gang’s all here!


We had a blast dancing. Gwen and I both joined the costume contest. I was in the funny category and she was in the creative category. Sadly neither of us one. I got beat out by a nun and Gwen got beat out by some person I can not remember. If I was a dude dressed like honey boo boo, I probably would have won.

What are you going as for Halloween???

XOXO, Danae

20 days until home!

Falling into Place

Hey blog-o-sphere,

I have arrived in my last week of the summer session. After countless quizzes, homework assignments, study groups and trips to Counter Culture, I am almost done with three graduate classes. It is crazy to think that by this Friday, I will have 6 of my 15 graduate credits completed. These six weeks (five if you don’t could Diabetes Camp) have gone  by super fast and it is amazing that it has only been, well, six weeks. I feel like I have been in Louisiana for a while and going to class and eating at the cafeteria and studying just feels normal. I feel like I am back in undergrad, which is weird, although I do not feel like a graduate student to begin with.

Random note: I was in the cafeteria and was standing in line next to a football player and he said he was a freshman. in college. this guy was massive standing next to me. I felt like a shrimpy first year graduate student.

Back to current life: I have become such fast friends with my fellow interns and it feels like we have known each other longer than six weeks. I will be sad when everyone goes their separate ways for our 3 1/2 week hiatus as well as when we are all divided among our three cities.

I will be throwing myself into my studies for the next few days and making sure loose ends are all tied up before I move out of the dorm on Saturday and into my new apartment!!! Once I get pictures of our new intern pad, I’ll pop them up in a new blog post, but the cable/internet guy is not coming until Wednesday, so it may be a while, unless I go to Starbucks (which lets be honest, will happen).

So right now everything is working out. I just got to get through the next few days.



Let’s do the Fork in the Garbage Disposal!

Oh, the lord is good to me.

And so I thank the lord.

For giving me the things I need.

The sun, and the rain, and the insulin.

The lord is good to me.

Amen! Amen!

Sorry I haven’t written in a few days. I was at diabetes camp in Leesville, LA for eight days and then hit the ground running the minute we got back. I am finally taking a homework break to write a little bit about my experience at diabetes camp, what I did and what I learned. I will try not to make it boring. Short, sweet and to the point.

This diabetes camp is composed of two one-week session. The first week is the younger children. They are anywhere between the ages of 7 and 11. The first set of interns from my program worked during that week. Myself and eight other interns went the second week, which is the 11-14 year olds. This camp is sponsored by the American Diabetes Association in partnership with the Lions of Louisiana. This camp is at no charger to the campers and their families. All they need is to get a Lions member to sponsor them, and a sponsorship is 15 dollars. Lots of these kids don’t get the kind of one-on-one attention that they need. Some kids have been newly diagnosed and need help understanding carbohydrate counting, insulin and the importance of the balance of carbs throughout the day.

There were dietetic interns from LA Tech, University of Louisiana at Lafayette and North Oaks Health System. We also had the pleasure of working with nursing students and pharmacy students. We were all assigned to a patrol to work with. A fellow intern, Kara, and I were on the G4 patrol. We had the younger of the girls (12 & 13 years old). We were supposed to have seven girls in our group, but only ended up with four wonderful girls, Bre’Naysia, Teliyah, Daijah and Lauren (which one of these is not like the other…) and two counselors, Kaitlyn and Faith.

Our main job at the camp was to develop a “meal plan” for the campers. It basically was how many carbs they could have at each meal. During meals, we had to educate the girls on carbohydrate counting, although our girls all knew how to do it, as well as keep track of how many carbs they ate at each meal. At first we tried to keep them at the carbohydrate level they followed at home, but we soon eased up on them, because they are so active at camp, extra carbs do not hurt. In addition to helping at meal, we also all were in charge of snacks and 2 am rounds for one day. We had Monday, so it was nice to get it done early in the week. Snacks were three times a day: after breakfast, after lunch and bedtime. During 2 am rounds, we went with the nurse and pharmacist and checked blood sugars. If they were low, the dietitians (US!) were in charge of giving them the correct amount of carbohydrates and make sure they eat it all. We then would have to get their blood sugar 15 minutes later. That next morning after rounds was rough. I drank lots of coffee!

While we weren’t at meals, we had time to hang. We visited with our kids, stuck our feet in the pool, did homework, and went into town (and by town, I mean Wal-Mart). After dinner, there was always a night activity. There was a carnival night, swim time, the Great Escape (basically a huge scavenger hunt), the big dance and a campfire.

I will say I have a huge respect for the counselors that do this camp. The six weeks before diabetes camp even starts, they help with the special needs/handicapped camp. By the time our week was over, they were finished their eight week of campcounseloring which is incredible. During the week, we sang a lot of song. Really. A crap ton of songs. I loved how involved all the counselors were. Even though they were probably ready to go home and see loved ones and such, they were still on all the time. They really showed the joy they had for this camp. I was exhausted by day four, and to think they have been doing this for 2 months. It is incredible.

So that was diabetes camp. I learned so much more about diabetes and realized that I truly love it. I plan on getting my CDE (certified diabetes educator) after I get my RD. Maybe I’ll come back and do diabetes next year as a true dietitian, although I am going to try it in Chicago next time.

Only a week and a half left of classes, then its summer break until September. Getting excited to move into my new apartment next week!

XOXO, Danae

Daijah called me “Miss Danae Dietitian” Felt so right!

Week Two Crew! Front Row (L-R): Nathan, Gwen, Chelsey, Carly, Jenny
Back Row (L-R): Kara, Derrick, Rhiannon, Me!

G4 Patrol in all its glory!

Note that the G4 patrol wrote. They gave it to us on our very last day. So sweet!!