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.

ILLINOIS

LOUISIANA

Deep Dish Pizza

Crawfish

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)

Snowpocalypse

Hurricanes

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

Camps

“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

“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

Internship Update!

Hey everybody!!

Sorry I haven’t been posting in  while. I am at the end of my first real management rotation and I have been wrapping up a lot of projects!

Since I spent all of March focusing on giving you guys some nutrition information, I neglected writing about my internship experiences. Tomorrow is my last day at St. Francis Hospital in Monroe. I have actually really ended up liking management. It has given me “confidence” that if I got thrown into a management position, I could do it. I still don’t feel comfortable with firing people, but I know that I could do management. I love how every day is something different and you never know what is going to happen. I like problem solving and using my critical thinking skills. I may not be the most critical thinker, but I have loved discussing issues and problems with my preceptors.

During the past five weeks, I have done everything from sat in on interviews, firings, employee arguments/counseling sessions, developing a business plan for a salad bar, doing a cost analysis for a Coke Freestyle, doing some studies with the tray line and how fast they put trays together, ordering tube feedings, taking inventory, helping with shipment, analyzing the budget and developing a HACCP plan

 

And by the way, I love my preceptor right now. She has been really encouraging to me and I have gained great knowledge and advice from her. I am in awe of how accomplished she is, it almost intimidates me. But I have really enjoyed my time here. I will say I am looking forward to finishing up at Glenwood!

The rest of this week will be crazy. I will be in Lafayette for a nutrition conference for two days and then the next three days are dedicated to prepping for the RD exam. Safe to say my brain will be overloaded with information. Granted, it will be useful information, but my brain will be fried.

Really short post this time around, but I’ll have more for you soon.

XOXO, Danae

1 month and 10 days! It’s crunch time!

Laissez les bons temps rouler

or “Let the Good Times Roll”

This phrase is a cajun saying often said around Mardi Gras time, which kicked off this weekend! It has been quite the eventful weekend so far.

First, Friday started off with my last day at the Dialysis center. I really enjoyed my time there and the dietitian I worked with was awesome! I learned a lot from her and am really sad I only go to spend 2 weeks there.

I also had to take a pre-RD exam. It was 100 questions modeled after sample RD exam questions. I did not have time to study for the exam due to competency stuff as well as school stuff. The test went well, but if I had studied, I felt like I would have known more. This test is not for a grade, for which I am thankful. I should get my psuedo-grade back soon!

Last night was the Krewe of Janus Mardi Gras Parade in Monroe-West Monroe. People were starting to camp out in the early afternoon with their campers and grills and RVs. There were a lot of rednecks. Kelly, Jon and I went to the parade at 6pm. We didn’t see any of the floats until about 7:45pm. Once the parade started, it was crazy. Beads were flying, kids were running into the street and yelling and music was blaring. The floats were really cool and all lit up. There were also local marching bands and dance teams. There were even some Confederate there shooting off their gun. Then the night ended with a robbery at Walmart with about 10 cop cars. We witnessed it all. The Monroe police were busy last night. Overall, we had a great time. I got over 40 strands of beads…and didn’t even have to flash anybody! haha Below are pictures…

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And today of course is Super Bowl Sunday!! We are making tons of food and our friends from Shreveport and Alexandria are coming over to watch it with us! My roommate Kelly and I love entertaining and are having too much from cooking and getting ready for all of our friends to come over! Should be a fun time trying to squeeze everyone in into our tiny apartment.

After the party, I am driving over to Shreveport to spend 4 days at LSU Medical Center. I am excited for the switch-up!

XOXO, Danae

6 days until Mardi Gras in NOLA!

P.S. Have you checked out my recipe on College Lifestyles.com? Here’s the link –> http://collegelifestyles.org/2013/01/quick-easy-super-bowl-vegetarian-chili/

Also, changed my background. It isn’t the colors of Mardi Gras, but I though it looked New Orleans-ish.

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!

Does Someone Need a Hug??

Well, I have just finished my first week of floor supervision at St. Francis. I am so glad to be on my own. Don’t get me wrong, I like the dietitians that I work with, but I was ready to get into my own groove and not work with people over my shoulder. But they still have to sign of on my chart notes, but that I can handle. Just can’t wait until I get to be the one in charge, writing notes like no body’s business.

The hospital has been fairly busy, what with the huge flu/influenza A breakout. There are so many patients that are under precautions. I have to either where glove, a gown and gloves, a gown and face mask, or all of the above. In addition to the flu theme, this week’s theme is old people. You got it…old people.

I love old people. They have so much to tell and enjoy it when you stop and say hello. I had several patients that were over the age of 70 this week. Many of them were very friendly. I had this one old man who was so cute, I just wanted to hug him. He was just crackin’ jokes left and right. But I went from someone like him to this 97 year old woman who is essentially dying. She just lays in this bed all by herself. Her breathing is labored, she can barely talk and can’t hold her head up without shaking. It just breaks my heart. I know I can’t cure any of their diseases, but I try to be pleasant with them and make sure they have a great day.

I also had some other things going on during the week. I was asked to give a talk on healthy eating to the Pilot Club of the Twin Cities, a service oriented club that is run by women. They are most known for organizing the Taste of the Twin Cities and the Fleur de Lis, Miss Heart of Pilot and Miss Taste of the Twin Cities pageants. I talked to the 20 women about the importance of healthy eating and what to look for at the grocery store. I don’t mind public speaking, but it is when I can’t read the crowd that I get nervous. I even tried making a few jokes. They laughed, but they all looked so serious, I couldn’t tell if they liked me. But after my talk, they did give me a little gift, so it was much appreciated. It was good experience. After my talk, I stayed for the meeting. It was interesting to hear what they were planning, but when you get 20 southern women in a room, GIRLLLLL, they never stay on topic  everyone is talking over each other and they are loud. I am a woman, and I was starting to go crazy listening to everyone…

Last, on Saturday I drove over to Ruston to help with a grant project called Youth4Health, in hopes to correct childhood obesity and get families to eat more meals together. We had families come in to get weight, measured and nutritionally interviewed. I was in charge of measuring their height and then helped the younger kids fill out surveys, they were way to extensive for them in my option. Information covered included attitudes toward food, their self,  eating habits and environments and family medical history and family social issues. We also did a 24-hour recall with all the kids. I really loved working with the kids. I was amazed by how open the kids were with me. Some questions talked about how they felt their parents felt about them and how they feel about themselves and how others treat them.

So ready for this next week to be done and completed. All I have left is my final case study presentation and my final evaluation, then 3 day weekend (Thx MLK, Jr.)!! So ready.

XOXO, Danae

P.S. On Thursday, it will be 4 months until I am done with my internship! It will go by so fast!

Airlines: Screwing People Over Since Forever

Oh the woes of traveling by flight…

When it comes to flying home, I have been 9 for 9 (6 flights over Thanksgiving, 2 for traveling home for Christmas and 1 for working my way back to LA). I was almost 10 for 10, but United Airlines didn’t feel like giving me 100%.

I flew from Chicago to Houston with ease. When I got off the plane, I made sure that the flight to Monroe was on time…and it was. By the time I walked to the gate, the flight had been cancelled!! How can a plane break down in under 6 minutes??!!!

Credit to: CartoonStock

Credit to: CartoonStock

After talking with fellow flyers, arguing with the United ticket guy and calling my parents, it had come to the conclusion that the only way for me to get to Monroe the same day was to fly into Shreveport. The evening flight to Monroe was overbooked and the earliest they could get me into Monroe was 3 pm….THE NEXT DAY! Yeah…I am not using one of my three sick days because United Airlines can’t have a working plane.

The flight to Shreveport left at 3 pm, so I only had to wait in the Houston airport for 3 hours (Thank God for Starbucks and free WIFI). Thankfully, Jon (Kelly’s boyfriend, who was picking me up anyway at the Monroe Airport), graciously drove out to Shreveport to pick up stranded, little old me! We managed to make it home by 6 pm, giving me enough time to unpack, eat dinner, and enjoy what was left of my relaxing evening. I am just glad my luggage didn’t get lost.

I may be 9 for 10, flight-wise, but at least percentage-wise, I still get an A!

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

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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.

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I started graduate school.

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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

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

With it being the middle of December, holiday festivities are in full swing!! The holidays are a crazy time, but hey….it comes with the territory. I even wake up to frost on my windshield. I thought it was NEVER going to get cold down here, but it gets pretty chilly. These are the Decembers that I am used to.

Chelsey, a fellow dietetic intern who lives and does her rotations in Shreveport was doing a one week rotation in Monroe at P&S and Eat to Lose, so she was our house-guest for the week. It was so nice to have someone else in the house. Plus, she is in my graduate class, so we were able to bounce ideas off of each other for our homework. She brought some excitement to our little apartment in the ghetto. It was nice having  a visitor. I just hope we didn’t bore her 🙂

Thursday night was the Northeast Louisiana Dietetic Association Christmas Party. NLDA treated us to a dinner at Long Horn Steak House. I went, along with my roommate Kelly and Chelsey. It was nice to see the dietitians from Glenwood. I always enjoy seeing them and finding out how things are going. Long Horn fed us good. They brought us bread, then we got two hot appetizers. I got  a salad with my meal. The salad was a meal in itself. it was huge! THEN the meal came. I got this tuscan chicken which was covered in tomatoes, mushrooms and artichokes. If it wasn’t so dark in the restaurant, I would have taken a picture of it. I also got a sweet potato on the side. DELISH! So delish I had to take half of it home to eat later. Nothing like two free meals!

Then last night, the St. Francis Nutrition Support team had their Christmas party. It was all the dietitians, their husbands/boyfriends along with the nutrition managers in the St. Francis kitchen. The party was in Simsboro, which is about 15 minutes past Ruston. On the way to Simsboro, my check engine light came on, so I had to make a pit stop at the Toyota dealership in Ruston. Quite an adventure. The house where the party was was out in the middle of nowhere, no joke. It was beautiful though. It was good to eat good food, get to know the dietitians more, and the men they are always talking about! One of the dietitians husbands even jumped in the pool for a Starbucks gift card and coffee mug. It was a hilarious end to the evening.

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So, ABC Family always plays Christmas movies for the 25 days of Christmas. Elf was on the other day. It is one of my favorite Christmas movies. What is your favorite movie?? Let me know!

Hope everyone had a good week and is in the progress of having a good weekend. Only 10 days until Christmas!! Who has two thumbs and hasn’t started their holiday shopping….THIS GIRL!

XOXO, Danae

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

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!