By the grace of God

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Instead of running Boston and spending the week in Watertown, I stayed here in NOLA. My rotation this week consisted entirely of teaching third and fourth graders about hand washing and snacking (one asked me on a date and told me I was cute), and creating this poster to accompany the grains lesson. The bran and endosperm are Velcro so you can refine the grain yourself, the Petri dishes come off so kids can look at the grains closer, and the whole right panel is a game. Sweeeeeeet.

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REAL TALK: Boston

boston

April 15, 2013 has been on my radar since the summer of 2011, when I decided I would sign up for the Hartford Marathon exactly a year and a half beforehand.  I wanted to qualify for Boston, and I wanted to race it.

Well, one of those things happened.  And it was awesome.

The actual running of the race part, well, not this year.  To be honest, I’m okay with that.  I really got to thinking about what Boston means when one of my running friends said to me: “You were going to run Boston?  You don’t need that!  You’re an athlete“, implying that my qualification for Boston, though an accomplishment to be sure, is just one little milestone in a running career that will be long and fruitful if I listen to my body and keep working hard.  Which is true – though Boston qualification is a coveted thing in the world of recreational runners, it’s the same standard for everyone and what makes a person truly great is pushing their own limits, not the ones set by someone else.  Maybe telling people that I qualified for Boston will earn me some admiration, but who really needs that?  I should be running for myself, not so that people think I’m cool (because let’s be honest…I gave up on that a long time ago)

Some may argue that the atmosphere of Boston is something to be missed, which obviously is true because the Irish Catholics in my home state sure do know how to bring the party (hollaaaa!) and turn out in droves to spectate this race.  But when I really think about it, I’d rather have a few more marathons under my belt so that I can truly appreciate it.

So if you’re one of the scores of people who has told me, “Well, there’s always next year…” I appreciate the sentiment but actually, there is always right now.  Today is a perfect time to strive to be a better athlete, to push yourself just a little harder, to fuel your body properly, to actually stretch for once, or to start cross training like a good little girl.  I probably won’t see you in Boston next year, but you can bet I’ll be racing wherever I am.  And to those who are (hopefully sleeping) in Boston right now, anticipating the morning, I hope you have one hell of an awesome day.  Enjoy it.  You earned it.

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DNSing Boston… in GIF form.

It’s official…not even going to Massachusetts. Here is a hilarious account of how one should feel in this situation (replace knee pain with whatever pain you’re having)

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Study study study!!

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Yesterday, today, and tomorrow is the Breeding and Associates RD exam study course. Aka stuck inside from 8-5 during French quarter fest on beautiful days. Kind of a bummer. BUT my inner nerd is secretly loving the academic nature of the days and my inner fat kid is really appreciating the food.

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Product Alert!

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Hiya from the Louisiana Dietetic Association conference in Lafayette, LA!

In our little goodie bags, we got this packet of calcium and vitamin D supplement powder, so obviously I had to try it out. It is AWESOME! Not too sweet, light flavor and fizz (which I love) and completely dissolves. Plus it’s got TONS of calcium (1500mg 150% DV) and vitamin D (2000 IU, 500%).

Although excessive calcium intake can be dangerous, it takes megadoses to cause issues. Try this out!!

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Bein’ a BRAT

As previously mentioned, I had a pretty bad stomach virus last week that caused me to lose what little food was in my stomach. At times like that it can be nearly impossible to even think about food, much less eat any, but it is essential to replace fluids and nutrients lost. Enter: the BRAT diet.

The BRAT diet is just an acronym used to remember foods that are good to eat or feed to your child whenever there is a lot of GI distress (nausea/vomiting/diarrhea) going on. The next time you’re feeling like total crap, remember this

B bananas: soluble fiber (but not insoluble!) is easy on the system and can slow the movement of food through your digestive system without causing cramping and pain. Especially good if you’re experiencing the D part of N/V/D.

R rice: white rice is easy on the stomach and digests quickly to get some nutrients in there

A applesauce: same deal as bananas

T toast: again, white toast – insoluble fiber is not your friend right now. Easily digestible foods are best!

Also, remember to avoid caffeine and spicy foods, and to replenish electrolytes with a sports drink. Normally I am not a big fan of sports drinks except during 2+ hours of intense activity but this is an exception. Your choice whether you think you need the sugar or low carb version.

Hopefully you don’t need to use this info any time soon!

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What’s going on?

Good question.  I’ve been up to a lot lately, including spiking a 101-degree fever while stuck in a secure parking lot and projectile vomiting into a trash can (tmi?), running back to my car soaking wet from the pool with earrings poking my heel because I forgot they were in my shoe in my hurry to get home to retrieve the bra and underwear I so idiotically forgot to pack with the rest of my post-6AM swim clothes and almost making it to work on time anyway except that I was the first person in line for the railroad crossing just about .05 miles from the hospital I was working at, and crisping up my shoulders because my little bit of biking followed by swimming followed by shower and change for Freret Street Festival turned into a “bike forever because it is so nice out, bike straight to Freret because friends are there, realize your shoulder skin is on fire 5 hours later”, then hurrying home to change and shower in time to counsel a client then realizing that my door (which doesn’t lock) is somehow locked (broken doorknob) and I am on the outside without clothes.  OOPS.

Lots of potentially frustrating situations lately that I have found to be hilarious (except for the puking, but I got over that in ~14 hours and everything was great again) which means that I am definitely livin’ well.  The ability to make not-so-great situations into little jokes with yourself is a skill that I try to hone whenever possible, and the past week gave me plenty of opportunities.  Sure, I might be a poor unpaid intern with an insane schedule and a pain in the ass injury that has messed with some plans that were important to me, but really, life is pretty darn great.

Let’s review.

Swimming

I don’t feel like I am going to die anymore!!!  I still suck (obviously) but the learning curve is so steep at the beginning that I feel like a champ.  One of my friends said it well “Running is easy, you take a step and you go forward.  With swimming, you take a stroke and you might go forward, backwards, or down.  Sometimes it just doesn’t work out the way you want it to, but just stick with it!”  I know I’m getting better, and seeing as I really couldn’t care less about being fast, life is good.  I can feel my body changing with the new exercise and I like it a lot – feeling much stronger in the arms and core (not teaching HIIT classes three times a week, I’m not getting as much core work as I used to) and leaner all around.  Pretty awesome!

Injury

Folks, I am happy to say that MY LEG FEELS AWESOME!!!  Now, I have yet to run on it but I can jump, skip, and dance without pain, and this was not the case a few weeks ago.  I am giving it another week and then starting up slowly with a couch-to-5k type run/walk progression that will build my mileage a tiny bit at a time over a lot longer than I took to get back into it from the last injury.  I have promised myself not to sign up for any races until I’m running at least 30 MPW solidly without pain, and I want to try to keep swimming in the routine more often to get in the cardio without all the pounding.  And vitamin D, I started taking my supplements again…why I always let that fall by the wayside even though I am an up and coming dietitian I will never know.

Internship

I have had two charting-heavy rotations as of late.

Long Term Care is just another way to say nursing home.  My LTC rotation was a little bit different – instead of going to one place for the week I went to four different facilities and was able to see the way people do things at a few places.  The main difference between LTC and inpatient clinical nutrition is that in LTC facilities, this is the day-to-day life of these people, so quality of life is a main concern.  There is a push to liberalize diets (so take the cardiac patients off 2g sodium restrictions, etc) and control chronic diet-related diseases and conditions with drugs.  When people are at the point that they need to be in one of these facilities, therapeutic diets are often more trouble than they’re worth.  It’s a little bit disheartening, but totally understandable.  We need to figure out a better way to reach people before they get to these places.  So what does the dietitian do, if not to tell people not to eat the good stuff (joking, of course)?  Every resident’s chart and labs are reviewed, mainly keeping an eye on weight, anemia, and bone health labs.  Supplements and snacks are often recommended and a note is written and signed.  The RD may also be in charge of writing the menus and ensuring that they comply with certain nutrient standards.

Inpatient Pediatrics and NICU up until this past week I had only done clinical nutrition with adults, but at Oschner, I worked with the peds dietitian for a week, who happened to be also covering the NICU.  I’m glad she was, because there was far more work to be done in the NICU than in general pediatrics.  Nutrition-wise, kids are totally different than adults, and infants are totally different than older kids.  Because they are growing, their nutrient needs per kilogram are far greater than adults, and a deficiency in almost any vitamin or mineral can have much more significant effects.  My favorite kid that I saw in peds was a 6 year old who was newly diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, so I went in and spoke with his mother about how to deal with the disease (he was chowin down on some watermelon and didn’t have much to say).  It feels awesome when the information that you have to tell someone is so vitally important to the well-being of their child, they are eager to listen and learn more, and so thankful for everything you teach them.  I really loved that.  In the NICU, things are a little different.  Most of these babies weigh less than 2kg (4.4 pounds), and are really sick.  Almost all are on tube feedings and TPN (nutrients given intravenously) to help them gain weight.  These kids need to be seen almost every day, their average weight change calculated, nutrient needs calculated, the exact amount of calories, grams of protein, and mL fluids that they are getting calculated, and the rates of their tube feedings or TPN adjusted accordingly.  Nutrition is so essential in getting these kids better that the demand for the NICU dietitian is extremely high.  It was a lot of math and charting, and though I know my role was extremely important in helping these kids, I don’t really like the NICU.  I want patients who talk to me!!

Boston

I have decided to neither run the race nor go to Massachusetts.  It’s just not in the cards right now, but I’m not too upset.  I will be back, and it will be glorious.

Life

Y’all, I have been having a blast.  I think that the combination of the weather (laying outside on this 75 degree partially cloudy as I type this post) and the impending end of the internship, which may mean moving away, has got me appreciating this city and my friends a lot more than I had before.  Here are some photo snippets of my life as of late:

Wednesdays at the square

Wednesdays at the Square with the interns – music, beer, food, YAY!

 

CCC 10k

Day-of CCC10k volunteer duties included hangin’ with my friend Roland the banana

 

easter spread

A true Louisiana Easter, at the house of one of my preceptors. So much fun!

 

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Happy graffiti in the bathroom at a little neighborhood bar

 

poison ivy

My costume for the Happy’s Running Club biannual costume run and party (theme – heroes and villains)

 

HRC NOLA april party 1

The whole crew!

 

brass band freret

My friend Michael killin’ it on the trombone at Freret Street Festival (taken while hula hooping. GREAT DAY)

 

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