dietetic intern, dietetic internship, grad school, life, nutrition, RD2Be, registered dietitian, students, studying

Stone Soup Blog Post

If you’re a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, then you receive the fabulous Food and Nutrition MagazineA bi-monthly publication, this magazine features articles written mainly by dietitians on a variety of topics. However, what some people don’t know (but should!) is that the magazine also has a blog! And lucky for me, I was able to create a post for them! I haven’t told my story about my journey to becoming a Registered Dietitian, however this post may lend some insight. Check out my post on Stone Soup to learn my tips to nailing a dietetic internship with an underwhelming GPA. Follow the live link below!

I Had an Underwhelming GPA and Still Scored a Dietetic Internship – Here’s How I Did It

I would love your feedback on the post! Please comment below or on the Food and Nutrition page 🙂 Many of the tips can apply to landing your dream job in dietetics (or any field for that matter!)

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dietetic intern, dietetic internship, dietitian, grad school, rd exam, RD2Be, studying

Studying for the RD Exam

Studying for the RD exam = the most stressful, annoying, terrifying, semi-fun (barely!) thing you get to do AFTER you have just spent 10 months as a dietetic intern/slave/student/professional handout creator. Especially when all you want to do is go outside and play beach volleyball!

I’ve never been one to love to study. I’m a procrastinator by trade and typically put things off to the last minute. However, based on everything I’ve read and advice from friends and preceptors, this was one of those circumstances where that mentality wasn’t going to work for me. So I buckled in for a long summer hanging out with Jean Inman.

I was fortunate that one of my preceptors gave me her copy of Jean Inman. It’s expensive BUT TOTALLY WORTH IT. I briefly looked online and found one on Craigslist, so older versions or used copies are available if you are looking to save some money. Girls in my internship split the cost and made copies of the materials. No matter which way you do it, I would recommend utilizing her guide.

However, I couldn’t listen to the CDs. They put me to sleep and I knew there was no way I could sit and pay attention. Instead, I focused on reading the material and creating notes and flashcards of the material I didn’t know. I think this helped me to streamline the material and organize what I knew vs. what I didn’t know.

The best way to prepare yourself is via practice tests. The practice tests were invaluable when it came to preparing me for the actual exam. I used a combination of the Inman tests and the StEp practice tests from the Academy. Fortunately, our internship paid for us to have access to the SteP guide. I liked the StEp guide because it provided feedback and cited sources for the questions. As a researched based profession, I found this especially helpful.

The final step to studying for the exam was mental toughness. This past summer, I was fortunate to watch a lot of professional beach volleyball. Watching these tournaments and athletes up close, you can tell which players have the mental edge. It’s what separates the Kobe Bryants and Kerri Walshs of the world. Those players with mental toughness, close out games and make their serve when it counts. The extreme focus and dedication are what have led them to greatness. This is the mentality I used to approach the exam.

I focused on my strengths and didn’t spend too much time studying information I already knew. I kept my cool, trying to think about what would an entry-level RD be expected to know? Most entry-level clinical RDs would not be thrown into an advanced field of dietetics practice without any resources to refer to. I used this thinking throughout most of my RD exam preparation. I did not spend my time memorizing specific lab values or medications but instead focused on understanding nutrition concepts and how to apply them in situations to problem solve.

On the day of the exam, I was nervous (who wouldn’t be????) but I knew that there was no amount of morning cramming that’s going to help you pass. I remained calm and knew that if I got to 125 questions and the screen went blank I passed. There weren’t very many surprise questions. I did get asked a few questions about steroid medications that I wasn’t as prepared for, but I think they may have been test questions. I passed and was grateful that I did not over study. After taking the exam, I realized that for me and my test taking skills, I studied the ideal amount of time.

The time frame for my studying wasn’t too long. I felt that with the amount of schooling, work experience, and the internship, I was either prepared or not. I intensely studied the exam for 1 week. The month prior, I spent a couple of hours a week reading over Inman and taking the StEp practice exams. I’m the most frustrated about how intensely I studied the first domain (my weakest area) only to discover that I got asked zero memorable/hard questions.

The best advice I can give is to know your study habits and what works best for you. Focus on the areas that you are weakest in and be open to different study material options. Don’t stress out about memorizing the material! To me, the exam was very conceptual. Focus on problem solving skills and read every question thoroughly!

Lastly, here is a round-up of blog posts from other RDs that I found helpful when studying. These helped me to formulate my study plan and also what resources are out there!

All Access Internships

Ancestralize Me

The Lean Green Bean

Hope that helps! Best of luck to any future RDs 🙂

#karionnutrition

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Stuffed Bell Peppers, Greek Yogurt Dressings, and Other Musings

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Since moving back to LA and with more time on my hands (thank the lord!), I’ve been able to work out more and COOK more! Both the cooking and working out are helping me build back the good habits and back to my previous not-constantly-stressed-out-about-the-internship-life (post about the internship coming soon!). In between studying for the RD exam and job hunting, I have been able to focus on myself and my passions- running, working out and cooking.

With a little less than 3 months until the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco, I have been trying to run, tone up, and eat healthy to lose a couple extra pounds that I gained during my dietetic internship (oh, the impact of stress!). While I like to focus on progress not perfection, I know that over the last month of my internship and the road trip back to LA, I did not make any sort of progress. So with that here I am, half marathon training and making stuffed peppers and Greek yogurt salad dressings!

Stuffed peppers are an easy go-to meal, incorporating all the food groups. I first made them while working at Camp Ronald McDonald at Eagle Lake as a food service intern. Then while living in New Hampshire, fellow my fellow intern (and roommate!) would make them for our house! Since being back  in LA my boyfriend has been the gracious recipient of my recipe experimentation and on the menu was stuffed bell peppers and salad with creamy green chile dressing! This recipe was also a use-up-all-the-leftovers-in-the-fridge kinda meal too!

I love using Greek yogurt as a dressing. Its creamy and tart texture imitate sour cream and the added dose of protein ain’t too bad either. I will add it to everything- tacos, tuna, watermelon (see my previous post!) and will make salad dressing out of it too! I’ll typically add an acid (think lemon juice/apple cider vinegar) and then spices and seasonings depending on the theme I am going with (cumin and cayenne pepper for Mexican, basil and garlic for Italian, etc). I love experimenting to create something new that will tantalize the taste buds and you typically can’t go wrong with doing it yourself! Much cheaper and healthier than buying a bottle of salad dressing!

Without further ado (thank you for reading this far!) here is the Stuffed Peppers recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 green bell peppers, tops sliced and seeds taken out (dice the tops to use with the meat)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (this was leftover quinoa pilaf that had carrots, celery, and mushrooms in it)
  • 1/2 pound grass fed ground beef (8o % lean)*
  • 1/2 c green enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 c shredded cheese
  • olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Hit a pan over medium heat. Add a swirl of olive and bring to temp.
  3. Add onions and let them saute until fragrant then add the garlic.
  4. Add the cumin, pepper tops, and tomatoes and  cook down, allowing some of the juices to release and the vegetables to release some of their water and cook down (about 5 minutes).
  5. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Throw in the quinoa and enchilada sauce and heat through.
  6. Remove from heat. Spray a baking dish and the outside of the peppers with nonstick spray. Fill the hollowed peppers with the meat mixture and top with shredded cheese.
  7. Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and browned.
  8. Serve with a side salad and avocado! Yum!

* You can also substitute ground turkey, chicken, or crumbled tofu for the stuffed peppers. This truly is a super versatile dish!

breakfast, dessert, dietetic intern, dietitian, gluten free, instagram, nutrition, RD2Be, recipe, salad, snack

Greek Yogurt with Blueberries, Watermelon & Basil

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Summer in LA has brought warm temperatures and a plethora of summer produce. On a recent trip up north to Sacramento, California’s bounty was on full display. I picked up tree ripened nectarines, peaches, apricots, plums, and pluots of every variety along with okra and a sun ripened watermelon! (See our Instagram post last week for more info on how to choose a watermelon!)

I love taking a road trip to Northern California solely so that I can visit all the farms that dot the highways! They have some of the BEST produce I have every tasted and I love that I can meet the person who grew the food that I am about to DEVOUR! This recipe makes a great breakfast, snack, or dessert! The basil adds amazing flavor without having to add extra granola or sweetener. Lots of filling protein from the Greek yogurt and antioxidants from the berries, this recipe is sure to please! Plus the colors are so pretty, how could you resist?!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 c nonfat Greek yogurt (LOVE Fage brand- absolute creamiest nonfat Greek yogurt around!)
  • 1/4 c blueberries
  • 1/2 cup cubed watermelon
  • 2 basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • honey or agave (if desired)

Directions

1) Scoop Greek yogurt into dish. Top with blueberries and watermelon. Sprinkle basil on top.

2) Can drizzle with a little honey or top with homemade granola!

dietetic intern, dietitian, instagram, main dish, nutrition, paleo, RD2Be, recipe

Lemon Basil Cod

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This lemon basil cod was a quick, last minute Monday dinner prep. After a weekend of celebrating Germany’s World Cup win (awesome game and overtime goal!), my boyfriend and I wanted to prepare a meal that was quick, healthy, and would cook while doing the P90x ab ripper! And voila- lemon basil cod was born.

Cod is a light, quick cooking fish, that when cooked is moist and flaky. Add a mustardy lemon sauce with fresh basil and it’s like summer is dancing on your taste buds! We served this with cast iron skillet sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts and oven roasted lemon cauliflower (though my food service teacher from undergrad would be disappointed in my use of a white fish with white cauliflower-oh well!). We wanted to eat light and clean, so we limited the starches with this meal to the sweet potatoes and the crushed pita chip fish topping! 

Let us know what you think in the comments! Did you try the lemon basil cod? What are you favorite ways to prepare cod or fish? Any thoughts on the P90x ab ripper (it was my first time doing the any of the P90x series!)?

#getyournutritionon

Ingredients

  • 2 cod filets (around 6 oz each)
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 heaping TBS german mustard
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-5 pita chips, crumbled

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.

2) Combine lemon juice, garlic, mustard, olive oil, salt, pepper, and basil.

3) Pour marinade over cod.

4) Top with crumbled pita chips.

5) Bake for 5-10 minutes. Fish should become opaque and flake easily.

6) Eat and enjoy!

 

dietetic intern, dietetic internship, dietitian, gluten free, instagram, RD2Be, recipe, salad, vegetarian

Greek Salad

Greek salad photo

Greek Salad

This hearty Greek salad gets even better as it marinates in the dressing. The bright and cheery colors combined with the freshness of the lemon and parsley make this salad a sure crowd pleaser! Pack this up in a to-go container to take with you to work for lunch or as a snack on a long road trip!

Ingredients

  •  1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
  •  1 cucumbers, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  •  ¼ c red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans
  • ½ c chopped parsley
  • ¼ c Kalamata olives
  •  ¼ c crumbled feta cheese

Dressing 

  • 2 lemons, juiced (about ¼ c)
  • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ c nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 TBS brown mustard
  • 2 TBS chopped red onion
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

 

Directions

1)    Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl.

2)    Add dressing ingredients to a blender, blending until the dressing is frothy.

3)    Drizzle about ¼ c of dressing over salad and toss to combine. You can add more or less dressing depending on preference.

4)    Eat and enjoy!

 

Nutrition Facts: Serving size= ¾ cup, 155 calories, 8 g fat, 6 g protein, 327 mg sodium

baking, breakfast, dietetic intern, gluten free, nutrition, RD2Be, recipe, snack

Cranberry Quinoa Power Bars

This recipe makes a delicious heart healthy snack or breakfast option for when you’re on the go. Chock full of omega 3’s, fiber, whole grains, and healthy fats, it’s filled with hearty guilt-free goodness.

Ingredients

  • 2 c cooked quinoa
  • 2 c raw oats
  • ½ c dried cranberries
  • ½ c pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • ½ c smooth almond butter
  • ½ c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 c brown rice syrup
  • 1/3 c unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ c ground flaxseed
  • ¼ c chia seeds
  • ¼ c unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions

1)     Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2)    Toss all ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine

3)    Lightly coat pan with cooking spray. Press into a 8×8 baking dish and put into the oven.

4)   Cook for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

5)    Slice into bars and enjoy. Store in an airtight container.

For a special heart health treat, drizzle with melted dark chocolate! Dark chocolate has antioxidant properties that may have some benefit to reducing blood pressure.