Graduation Glory

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

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

Anyway, here are some pictures from the momentous occasion!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

XOXO, Danae


Over the Biggest Hurdle. Almost to the Finish Line.

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

WOW. Can’t believe I typed that sentence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

XOXO, Danae

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

Illinois vs. Louisiana Showdown

With my internship coming to a close this coming Friday, I have done a lot of reminiscing about everything. Since moving to Louisiana for a year after being a Illinoisan for 22 years, I have now experienced a whole new culture. Illinois and Louisiana are two completely different states, so let’s do a little compare and contrast.



Deep Dish Pizza


Concealing your beer with a paper bag while drinking it

Drinking a daiquiri while driving

Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Dr. Pepper

“Which Coke you want?”

Starbucks on every corner

Fried chicken joint on every corner

#29 obese state (27.1% of people)

#2 obese state (33.4% of people)



2 Seasons: Winter and Construction

2 Seasons: Summer and Humid Summer

Ice cream trucks in the summer

Ice cream trucks every day

St. Patty’s Day in Chicago

Mardi Gras in NOLA

Fast and reckless driving

Slow and dumb driving

City Girls

Country Boys

The Dark Knight

Duck Dynasty

Lake houses


“The higher the heels, the closer to God”

“The higher the hair, the closer to God”

Safe to say Illinois and Louisiana are two completely different areas, but I now have an excuse to wear cowboy boots and say ya’ll.

XOXO, Danae

Countdown to Graduation: 3 days

Tales from Russia

Despite what you might have thought this post was going to be about due to the title, I have not made a impromptu trip to Russia, but I might as well have.

Since Valentine’s Day, I had been working at one of the local state run hospitals doing a pre-management rotation. I had a some time to kill, so my internship director gave me some time to get some exposure to what I would be doing in my two full management rotations. The first two days I was there, it was just myself and my preceptor, but after than my roommate Kelly joined me due to some ongoing complications with another facility. Kelly did clinical stuff and I was management. Let me tell you, it was great having someone to work with, because our preceptor is a little much for just one person to handle. As of December, she has been the only dietitian working so she is very stressed. She is also like 2nd generation Russian. She is quite a character. The first day I was at this hospital, I thought I was going to kill myself. She is very high strung, gets easily stressed out, her mind goes a thousand places at once and she talks like 120% of the time. I thought  I talked a mile a minute….she overshoots me by a lot. I have heard so many stories about Russia, its crazy. I also got to meet her mom, who speaks maybe 20 words in english, so trying to have a conversation with her was interesting in itself. She did try and attempt to teach me how to read Russian. Emphasis on tried. I’ll just stick to reading  english and spanish.

However, by the end of my time, things were actually quite pleasurable. I was able to get a lot of things done for her while knocking of several of my competencies. I think we finally eased her mind. I revamped the patient menus, I conducted an in-service to the staff about proper serving sizes while on tray line, I developed a post-gastrectomy, vegetarian and neutropenic diet for the facility, I helped cook some food for the cafeteria and did some product research.  So, I would say the last two weeks were successful.

In addition to all the stuff I did at this hospital, I have also started the job hunt. I am in the process of updating my resume and cover letter and once I get the A-Okay from the career center (who is reviewing my resumed), I can start sending my stuff out to companies. I am getting very excited for this next stage, and I have found some great facilities that I would be honored to work at!! Keep your fingers crossed.

So now I have a few days off in-between quarters before I start my final quarter as a dietetic intern!! It is crazy how fast time is flying. And with all of the things happening between now and graduation, I know it will be over in the blink of an eye.

Happy last day of February. Thank goodness for short months!!

XOXO, Danae

P.S. March is National Nutrition Month!! I hope to have some fun facts or recipes for you over the next month, so keep checking back!!

6 Months of Blogging!

Wow! Six months have gone by since I wrote my first blog post about my Louisiana experience! Which also means I have been in LA for 6 months (6 months as of last Saturday) , which is craziness. If someone would have told me a year ago I would be completing an internship in Louisiana, I would have told them they were nuts. I have come so far since I first moved down here. I have been completely blessed with the opportunity to work at so many different facilities, work with passionate and intelligent dietitians as well as make some new friends that I will be able to enjoy for the rest of my lifetime. I can not wait until I can finally become a full-fledged dietitian, although I do not want to rush my internship away.

Just wanted to reflect on this half of a year anniversary of mine! I am home from Christmas now and its back to St. Francis to start my floor supervision, which is where I am given select patients from all the floors and am in charge of them. Pretty excited to be on my own. Wish me luck!

XOXO, Danae

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

Fall Community Rotation Part 3 of 3: Completed! (Next Stop Home!)

Well, not only is the third part of my community rotation completed, but  I have finished my second quarter of graduate school/internship!! It is crazy how fast time has flown by. It has been a hard quarter, so I have definitely earned a break!

My last week at the diabetes center was great. I love the atmosphere there– it is so laid back. I love the ability to follow up with patients and see how they are doing, yet I love it when I have some free time to sit with my co-workers and drink homemade hot cocoa. The people I worked with were so sweet and I am going to miss working with them. I would so the most interesting patient I had this week was I sat in on a lap-band surgery consultation for a girl who is just 10 days older than me! 10 DAYS! It is so sad when someone is 23 years old and they are that overweight that they need the lap band, when it actuality, with diet and exercise they could most likely lose the weight. But  I guess if you won’t put forth the effort to cut back, exercise and eat right it makes sense to take the easy way out? I don’t know if I 100% agree with that.

Because Monroe Airport is so small (Only three airlines fly into this airport and they probably have 5-10 flight in and out of there is a day), I have mucho connecting flights. You can only get to Monroe Airport via Houston Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth Airport and Atlanta Airport. I start my flight journey at 6 something in the AM, but I get into the Chi around 3:30. So and early start, but I get to spend the rest of the afternoon with my family and wine!  Below is  visualization.

Monroe–> Dallas/Ft. Worth –> Peoria –> Chicago

Gwen and Nate and myself (along with possibly some other guests) are going to Enoch’s Irish Pub tonight to celebrate a number of things like:

  1. My finishing hell previously known as Research Proposal
  2. Gwen has completed both of her management rotations
  3. Me going home.
  4. Completion of Gwen’s Management Theme Day
  5. Completion of Fall Quarter
  6. It’s the weekend!
  7. Good Final Evaluations

You get the point…there is a lot to celebrate!

I plan on having fun tonight, but I am very excited to hop on that plane tomorrow morning! I will try to at least write one entry while home.

I want to know what YOU love about Thanksgiving. Take my poll!!

And to my family that is reading this right now…I’m coming home!! Can’t wait to see you!!

XOXO, Danae

1 Day until Home!

Fall Community Rotation Part 2 of 3: Completed!

This past week was probably the easiest week I will ever having in my dietetic internship. I split my time between Eat to Lose, a private practice, and Louisiana Surgery Center at P & S Surgery in Monroe, which is a bariatric center. Both of these places had really lenient hours. The longest day I worked was probably 4 hours. It was amazing! I learned things, but I still had time to work on my research proposal, which is due this coming Friday and another assignment for my childhood obesity class. It was wonderful. I loved both dietitians I worked with. I think opening up your own business would be a lot of work and it takes a lot of man power and devotion, but I think I would like to open my own practice. I love the ability to work with people one on one and really follow them to monitor their progress. You can’t do that in a hospital: they are in one day and out the next.

Tomorrow I start at the St. Francis Diabetes and Nutrition Center. They specialized in diabetes outpatient counseling, but also do some bariatric and weight loss counseling/education. I am there for two week and then its off to Chicago for some much needed R&R. I haven’t been home since end of June…starting to miss it!

In other news, this weekend was LA Tech’s Homecoming! My roommate Gwen and I made the drive to Ruston and went to our first football game where LA Tech vs. University of Texas San Antonio. It was awesome. We got in for free, sat on the 40 yard line about 12 rows up. It was sunny and hot for a good portion of the game, but thankfully we had some fans.

FYI: Ms. Louisiana Tech (a pageant on campus) was there at the game. She is the 2nd Ms. Louisiana Tech who has also been named Ms. Louisiana. Look for her at the Miss American pageant this coming January!

This game had everything: parachuters,  band geeks, smoke machines, a cameo from Terry Bradshaw, drunks, frat boys, Gangnam style and arguing football players. Also, we won! 51-27. LA Tech is now 8 and 1. According to my brother, we will most likely be in a bowl game. That would be cool! Below are a few pictures:

Parachuters game in from the sky!

Football players getting ready to run onto the field!

This guy (from the other team) had crazy Troy Polamalu hair

Game time!

On Sunday, I forgot about daylight savings time and woke up for church an hour earlier than I planned. And before I realized I was up an hour earlier, I got ready and everything. So, I just laid and went back to sleep.

Then, on my way to throw out the trash in the dumpster, I threw my car keys into the dumpster. Luckily, my neighbor was walking past me and she held me by the legs as I am hanging in the trash can reaching for my keys. It was a great way to be introduced to my new neighbors. I am an idiot.

Have a great week everyone!

XOXO, Danae

13 Days Until Home!

Fall Community Rotation Part 1 of 3: Completed!


Today was my last day working at Womens  Infants and Childrens (WIC) for my public health rotation. Coming into the rotation I was not super thrilled. Now, Public health is an interest of mine, but because of my previous experience at WIC during college, I knew it was going to be a lot of down time. Believe it or not, some people do not show up for their appointments! However, I did enjoy myself. The dietitian(s) I worked with were really nice, and even the other staff members that I interacted with were really nice.

What amazed me the most is how people can so easily work the system. People would try and find ways to manipulate the WIC program. They felt entitled to their vouchers and would get very worked up about things that did not matter. It was never quiet at WIC either. There was always screaming kids, coughing kids and yelling kids (and parents).  Then, people come in for WIC vouchers, yet they have weaves, perfectly done manicures and pedicures, iphones, ipads and drive an Escalade with rims. Really??!! Okay. Then they have like 5 kids. This is my opinion, take it or leave it: If you can’t afford kids, do not have them. I know that you are never truly financially stable to have children because kids take A LOT of money, but be smart. Birth control is cheaper than raising a kid for 18 years. Just sayin’…..

Some people truly do belong on WIC and it really is beneficial for them, and I can appreciate that. Some people have really crazy stories and are going through some pretty crazy things. My heart goes out to those individuals.

So, WIC is over with and now I am off to a private practice dietitian and a bariatric surgery dietitian. Looking forward to hanging out with them this week. Hope everyone has a great weekend. It is gunna be a “chilly” weekend in Monroe.

XOXO, Danae

22 days until home!

Shhh….Dietitians can eat fried chicken.

Hey Ya’ll…I haven’t forgotten about you…promise!

Things have been surprisingly busy for me.

If you guys have been following my blog/posts, you know I started clinicals last Thursday. I am mid-way through my first full work week and after sitting on my butt preparing for the past three weeks, it feels great to be active. I feel like I have finally started my dietetic internship instead of summer school and watching episodes of Paula’s Best Dishes.

My first day in the hospital was nerve-racking, just because it was my first day in a new environment. It was more of a hospital orientation. Friday though, I hit the ground running. I was following one of the dietitians. We went into patients rooms and asked how they had been eating, how their appetite was and made sure they were getting by okay.  I went on hospital rounds, which is where the head nurse, case manager, physical therapist, dietitian (obvi) and pharmacist go around to different floors and units and talk with the nurses about the patients. If they are on a tube feeding or parenteral feeding, it is a great time for us as dietitians to make sure everything is going smoothly.

Now, because if HIPAA (human privacy rules), I am not allowed to discuss patients, ESPECIALLY on the internet. So I can’t describe situations, but I can talk about how I handled situations and even particular things I did.

Starting this past Monday, I was given particular patients that I got to screen and assess, visit with and then eventually chart on. The most I have been given has been 3, which is a good number for someone just starting out.

Yesterday I did my first patient education. I educated the sweetest old lady on a gastroesophageal reflux disease diet. My preceptor scored me and I got a perfect 🙂

This is exciting: Also on Tuesday, I had to attend a local dietetic meeting (Northeast Louisiana Dietetic Association).

The topic: how to handle the critical obese patient in the hospital setting.

The location: Cotton Restaurant!!!

The head chef, Cory Bahr, was on the Food Network show “Chopped” and WON!!!

Head Chef Cory Bahr of Cotton (He ain’t bad on the eyes either)

Cotton specifalized in creative southern cusisine…and boy are they right. Catfish, Grits, red bean hummus and you drink out of freakin’ mason jars!! And the decor of this restaurant…BEAUTIFUL. I am not a southern girl by any means and my style isn’t really southern, but I loved the design of this restaurant. It really is awesome. And it is in this old building in “downtown” Monroe. It really fits in well.

I probably ordered the most southern dish on the menu (Side Note: I was the first person to try this dish. They released new dishes during lunch on the day we went and I was the first to order this dish)

  • Fried Chicken (People that know me are having  heart attack about now because I haven’t eaten fried chicken in years…but this was fried chicken done right).
  • Collard greens
  • Black eyes peas
  • All on top of a sweet potato waffle with a light honey drizzle!!

the picture doesn’t do it justice

I about died. It was so good.

So that was my quick update. My birthday is on Saturday and after a busy week, I am looking forward to letting my hair down and getting out of Monroe for a weekend (Going to NOLA)!!

Hope all is well you!

XOXO, Danae