Rotation Weeks 17-21: MNT. Complete!

I can’t believe it’s been 5 weeks since I started my MNT rotation! I haven’t been updating too much but I had a great time and all the RDs were so nice and willing to help with anything.

I hope everyone had a great Mardi Gras! Like usual, the weekend was incredibly exhausting so it was nice that I had Tuesday off for relaxation.

It is officially lent! What have you given up? I decided on refined grains. Anything that is not 100% whole wheat. This includes biscuits, pancakes, waffles, bread, cake, cookies, pasta, rice, etc that are not brown or whole grain. The only thing I refuse to give up is cereal. I cannot give up my running fuel, oatmeal squares. It should be interesting.

I have almost finished my time at physical therapy…each week I say “hopefully this is it!” But a few set backs haven’t been helping this matter. Note to self: no more rainboots 2 days in a row. This can seriously mess up arch and calf muscles…especially when walking around like a crazy person.

Rock N Roll Half Marathon is just 8 days away…and I’m trying to a long run this morning. I have enlisted Roger to ride his bike next to me to get me thru this 10 mile route in the windy, cold weather.

Here are some pictures of what’s been happening lately:
Muses with some Tulane interns: Erin, Andrea, and Lauren


My dark chocolate cake with fresh strawberry buttercream icing! Yummmmy


Lentil Chili.. Perfect for Fridays in lent!


Next week I’m at Ochsner for my pediatrics rotation! I’ll be updating as soon as I can!

Until next time! Eat Smart and Move More.


Rotation Weeks 17-21: MNT. 4th week!

I’m into my 4th week at EJ…still exciting as ever! This week I’m in ICU and ICU step down unit.

I meant to update last week, but seeing that I came down with a horrible sinus infection, I was not in the mood for staring at a computer screen. A little update about my 3rd week:

Monday went great. Leah, a Tulane intern graduate from last year, found herself being the new RD at EJ. She does assessments for 7E, 2E, psych and NICU. I visited a particularly bossy patient early Tuesday morning to see if she needed anything extra on her tray. After telling Leah about the experience in the room, she wanted to check it out for herself so we headed up again to give a 2gr Na diet instruction. All of a sudden I felt extremely hot and needed to sit. I walked out the room to find a miracle…a chair waiting in the hall. I plopped myself down and immediately turned white. The nurse panicked and Leah came running out while our patient is screaming wondering what’s going on. Needless to say I was sent home and slept the rest of the day.

Wednesday I came in miserable but had an ENT appt at EJ mid morning. Got myself a shot and some antibiotics. I felt better each day.

Monday I walked into the office to find all the RDs sick. My heart sank…I felt horrible. Although I never had 102 fever like them, I knew I spread my germs everywhere…even if I wiped everything I touched with Lysol, germ x, and Clorox.

We are all feeling much better and are seeing only the patients we absolutely need to visit until we are back to ourselves.

Here are some things that have happened in the last few weeks:
At the casino with my mom and aunts to see Anjelah Johnson (hilarious!)


First parade of the season!


Dinner at Caffe Caffe! Avocado salad with mango vinaigrette

King Cake Latte. Not a lot of calories but all the flavor!!


I’ve had one of my last physical therapy appts today and it was so refreshing. I’m free to run whenever I want and I’ve gained a ton of strength and knowledge in the 4 short weeks I’ve been there. Rock N Roll is 3 weeks away…it’s crunch time.

Rotation Weeks 17-21: MNT Update #2

I’ve completed my first 2 weeks in MNT… and 3 more to go!

I saw a lady with a BMI of 53 this week. In case you are wondering, BMI is just a calculation that spits out a number, factoring in height and weight. She was a BMI of 57 in December but I’m sure this was fluid loss since the laundry list of diagnoses included renal, CHF, gout and other fluid retention disease states. Anyway, she was just over 5 feet and 340 lbs. This is not okay. She was significantly younger than most grandparents and already in an assisted nursing home. She was ordered a diabetic 2000 kcal diet but when I saw her, I knew a protein supplement was needed as well….seeing that her albumin was 1.6. Albumin is just a protein status marker telling us if the body is obtaining, absorbing and utilizing an appropriate amount of protein. And she had multiple stage II pressure ulcers, most likely because she cannot bare weight to walk so all she does is stay in bed.

If a patient has low albumin or other altered labs, you will mainly see them drinking ensure or glucerna….at 200-250 calories a bottle. This obviously was not an option for this lady. So I provided 2 packs of Juven at 70 calories each to be mixed in water. This provides 14 grams of protein (arginine and glutamine amino acids). Hopefully this will boost her protein intake and make some of her labs stabilize.

In other more refreshing, positive news…I’m a runner again!! Well almost….Taryn WAS going to video tape me running and work on technique last Thursday, but my body decided to revolt and the bruising from Astym only got worse throughout the week. She didn’t want me running with bruises running down my thigh. Monday it is!

After dry needling, the pain was so intense the entire night. I woke up the next morning….gone! I am officially an advocate for dry needling and would suggest it for anyone eligible. It is worth the most uncomfortable, tender feeling to be free the next day. Did you know? It can help with muscle cramping from plenty of conditions, including the most interesting: plantar fasciitis. Taryn told me she sticks the needles in the top of the leg (tibia area) to relieve pain in the foot. Interesting to note!

I will leave you with a picture of my worsening bruises.


I’m off to MS with my mom and aunts to see Anjelah Johnson (most famously known as Bon Qui Qui) in her stand up show!

Rotation Weeks 17-21: MNT Update

I’m in my second week at EJ and I’m still having a great time! This week I’m on the SNF (pronounced Sniff) unit. This stands for Skilled Nursing Floor. Many of these patients do not have a true nutritional risk, but we must assess every patient that gets admitted to the floor.

I got to leave a little early today for my physical therapy appointment. Yesterday, I stepped over the dog gate at Roger’s and I immediately knew I cramped up my glute muscles…the ones I’ve been working so hard to strengthen and unwind. As a result, I was dry needled.

Dry needling is a way of releasing cramped muscle(s) by sticking needles into the trigger points. They are not hollow and somewhat resemble acupuncture needles..they are called solid filiforms needles. I was freaking out. Not only do I not like needles, but Taryn, my PT, explained the trigger points were exactly where it was aching. I was helpless lying on my stomach as she chartered into awkward territory.

Each needle was inserted right into the muscle and moved around until a local twitch response was felt. Weirdest feeling ever. Think about an eye twitch to the 20th degree with a poking and pressure like feeling inside the skin…and in the glutes and outer thigh. My entire leg twitched with each flick of the needle. This went on until 6 twitches were finished.

After the needle torture was through, she used Asytm to finish off the upper and lower thigh muscles. This is my second time experiencing this type of torture. Proof of battle wounds:


Taryn takes a glass bulb and massages my entire thigh after spreading cocoa butter everywhere. And don’t interpret this for something relaxing. It is so painful. Then she takes a flat piece and scrapes around my knee.

I couldn’t even feel my thigh afterwards because my glutes were so sore from the dry needling. She told me by Wednesday I will feel back to normal. I sure hope so because right now I can’t explain the feeling in my leg and glute. Thursday, I’m getting on the treadmill to work on running technique and posture. Hoping to hit the pavement Friday morning!!

Don’t get me wrong…I love my PT. I may be almost obsessed with going to see what she will do next to me, but its no walk in the park.

Besides the torture, we use TRX (look it up…sooooo cool!), resistance bands, stabilizer poles and medicine balls to strength train during the appointment. I’m off to care for my aching (it’s a good ache feeling) limbs and muscles.

Until next time! Eat Smart and Move More.

Rotation Weeks 17-21: Medical Nutrition Therapy

Medical nutrition therapy – a therapeutic approach to treating or preventing diagnoses with a specifically tailored diet that is monitored and evaluated.

MNT as dietitians like to call it, is the clinical approach to mastering this field of work. I am at EAst Jefferson Hospital for the next 5 weeks practicing MNT. So far, so good.

Monday was introduction…and a very quick one at that. I had my patients waiting for me by 9am. 6 East Med Surg, Rehab and CCU are the units I will be rotating through this week. I have spent most of my time on 6 East and it has been pretty pleasant. Patients are typically alert and ready to talk. And seriously…they will talk. I have absolutely no problem with this. In fact, I talked to one patient for a good 15 minutes because she just seemed lonely. Charting is easy enough and recommendations are always passed through the doctor for approval.

I must say I feel so official in my lab coat with all my fun reference manuals, note pads, pens, ID, and calculator.

My preceptor Sandy, fellow wellness center member, is great. She gives me patients and sends me on my way while she works on the other half of them.

Like I predicted, I’m having a great time. The next 4 weeks will be through different units.

How do you know it’s carnival time? When there are multiple king cakes in the house at once. Yummmmm


Until next time! Eat Smart and Move More.

Rotation Week 16: Media/Communication/Elmwood Fitness

Although the name of my rotation contains many different tasks, I have been doing just a few things so far. Actually this rotation started last Thursday (still my vacation) for me. Molly Kimball contacted me about starting on the WGNO nutrition segment called Love it, Like it, Hate it. This week we are doing fast food French fries. We are also doing a segment on “3 Kitchen Tools that Make Healthy Eating a Breeze.” Stay tuned for the video link.

Since I have been hard at work during my vacation, I got to relax a little yesterday (Monday) and today. I got my nails done and I went to PT (see below!). The brunt of this rotation comes Wednesday morning when we report to WGNO set at 6am for the news segment. Then I head straight to Elmwood to give the lecture “Get Fit in the New Year.” I have been making this presentation since before the New Year. I’m really exciting about using what I’ve learned and researched and giving my own presentation from scratch to the older generation Elmwood members. Then after the speech I head straight to 3 different Popeye’s in the city to order 3 Wicked Chickens from each location.

Molly has heard there was confusion over the nutrition facts on the Popeye’s website. So, I am bringing the chicken to a food lab on Causeway to have the menu item analyzed. I cannot wait to tell you about that! This information will be used in Molly’s Times Picayune article next week.

I am also going to Elmwood sometime this week to help in the lab and witness the most awesome machine (aside from hyperbaric chamber). VO2 max is the capacity at which the body can carry oxygen during exercise and spitting out a fitness level of the person. Can’t wait to see it! More on that to come.

I just want to take this time to tell everyone about my love for physical therapy. My entire left side (from my tail bone to my ankle) had knots throughout the muscle that runs through said area. Taryn, my amazing PT, kneaded the hell out of my calf, thigh, ankle, tail bone, and buttocks. She realigned my hips and we strengthened the unknotted muscle to keep it that way. It was the most incredible feeling not to have an urge to crack my knee or groin. I am going 2-3x/week and it is worth every second.

Because I was resisting the plead from Lauren to go, I must admit my pride hurt to say she was right. But it is the truth…do not keep hurting yourself because you don’t think pain or tenderness or uncomfortableness is a big deal. Although I was just ignoring my uncomfortable feeling in my knee, the rule applies to everything. Do not just buy a band or muscle relaxer because you think it will help. Do not home remedy your problem. Go see a PT! What I thought was my knee was actually my hip. I would have never thought this would be true but the knee is just a pathway between the hip and ankle, making it an area where most feel pain and most put the blame. It’s worth the slightly outrageous price…even with insurance.

And now some cooking: I made lentil sloppy joes last night. Dinner success! This was the perfect meal for a boost in my iron consumption: lentils and ground meat. Carrots, bell pepper, onion, garlic and Greek seasoning rounded off the flavors as well as a few squirts of ketchup.

Adapted from Food Network. Changes: double the vegetables (I cut up what I wanted…triple the garlic), a little more ketchup, green lentils instead of brown, canola oil instead of vegetable oil, drained the ground meat, Greek seasoning instead of oregano.



Tonight I am channeling my inner Buddha and feeding my oriental craving. Sesame chicken stir fry…I’ve got some bok choy, snow peas and peppers to mix in there. Pictures to follow.

And I will leave you with this picture. Dessert from le Crepe Nanou. Roger and I go every Christmas time to feast. We ate apple, walnut blue cheese salad, French onion soup, steamed mussels, lump crabmeat crepe and this delectable dessert…banana and strawberry chocolate crepe.


Until next time! Eat Smart and Move More.

An update…I’m still here!

Sorry for the 2.5 week hiatus. It was well deserved and needed after 4 months of this internship. Here are some things that have happened since before Christmas.

The girls at Roger’s graduation party. Great night!


Christmas gift from Aly, fellow intern. Made by her extremely talented sister. It was fate that I randomly picked the bag with avocado earrings. Everyone got something different and they were all individually adorable.


Went to see the Nutcracker at Tulane’s Dixon Hall…family tradition for 20 years now. With Roger and Erin, my wonderful cousin. Thanks for the dress Lauren!


Roger and I took a trip downtown to see the Roosevelt. This is a replica of Storyland in City Park. So. Awesome.


Ugly Christmas Sweater party. Roger won honorable mention in the contest. Woop! Go Christmas dogs!


Reveillon dinner at The Pelican Club in the French Quarter. I didn’t snap pictures of my seared black drum, my Mom’s rack of lamb, my Dad’s lobster, or Roger’s duck 3 ways because we ate them so quickly. One of the top reveillons we have been to! Pictured here are my chargrilled oysters and Rogers’s quail. These are appetizers. I’m not kidding. We finished off the meal with banana and Grand Marnier creme brûlée…yum yum yummy.


Reveillon comes from the French word meaning “awakening.” Early New Orleans was almost entirely filled with Catholics, who would attend midnight mass on Christmas Eve. After coming home famished from the mass, the families would gather for a feast that was prepared and just needed heating. An early reveillon menu typically included egg dishes, breads and puddings, but could also include turtle soup, oysters and grillades of veal. And of course, the Creoles accompanied these rich delicacies with wines and spirits. Each year in the month of December, restaurants around the city have a fixed menu with 3-5 courses to celebrate the season.

Christmas Eve at the Southern Yacht Club with Roger’s family.



It was a bit blustery out on our way to Atlanta for the LSU bowl game. Good thing we had a plush blanket to keep warm!


Zach and Ali, great friends, traveled with Roger and I to Atlanta to witness the game I will not mention anymore. We did have a great time: Coca Cola museum, awesome BBQ at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack in Buckhead, free beer at TacoMac from a fellow TigerBand alum, and breakfast at the cutest diner ever!

We stopped at Auburn on the way to stay with Zach’s friend, Will. Here are the house doggies, Bo (totally spelled wrong) and I forget the Chihuahua’s name but it had a blanket for every season of the year…and they each had a name (hoho for Christmas, bobo for baseball season, seersucker for summer). It was all around hilarious and strange.

Beautiful tree in Centennial Olympic Park

BBQ feast. Best greens I’ve ever had.


We stayed at the Omni in the CNN Center. Didn’t see Anderson Cooper but his spirit was there…I could feel it.


Game souvenirs. Stuffed cows parachuting in the stadium. Weird, I know.

Eggs over extra easy with delicious hash browns at the Landmark Diner in downtown Atlanta.

Roger’s egg Benedict


As far as this internship thing goes…I’m rotating with Molly Kimball, local celebrity dietitian, next week. I’ve already received word that I will be giving the Get Fit in the New Year lecture to Elmwood members. I’ve been working hard on the presentation..I hope the participants don’t drill me with questions!

Then for 5 weeks I’m at East Jefferson Hospital for my clinical rotations…yay!

In the meantime, I’m still running (next half February 24th) and weight training like a crazy person with Roger. I am also attending physical therapy for my misaligned hip and cracking and popping groin…it is as weird feeling as it sounds. #runnerproblems

Until next time. Eat Smart and Move More. AND STICK TO YOUR RESOLUTION! Don’t give up!

Rotation Week 15: NO AIDS Task Force


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This week I find myself at another HIV clinic in town. It has been going by quickly but I must mention 1 thing: my preceptor types with her pointer fingers…not one other finger touches the keyboard. This drives me insane and I get anxiety watching her.

Side note about today: when calculating calories needs I drew a blank. This is second nature to any dietitian but for this patient I found myself asking, “Do I calculate for a male or female?” You may be asking yourself why I am so ridiculous…male or female..not much to it…but really! Do you calculate male or female on a transgender patient?! Why don’t they teach this in MNT???

Answer: if patient has been on opposite gender hormone therapy for over 1 year, the gender associated with the hormones is used. Who knew?!

Officially less than 1 week until Christmas!! Merry Christmas from Santa Paws! Everyone was traumatized in the making of this photo.


Until next time! Eat Smart and Move More.

Rotation Week 14: Long Term Care. Complete!


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I had a very successful week starting off my clinical rotates. Becky was the perfect preceptor to have and encouraged me the whole way through the week.

I found myself calculating tube feedings and visiting my own(!!)patients daily while the time in the day was flying. I literally had no idea lunch had come and gone and neither of us ate a thing because we were so wrapped up in the calculator, books, computer system and distractions (PT, OT, nurses all needing answers to something).

Friday I got to take the day off and head to Baton Rouge for Roger’s graduation!


I made a beautiful fruit tart and car bomb cupcakes for dessert. Yummmmy!


This week I’m going to NO AIDS Task Force on Tulane Ave. I don’t know exactly what to expect but I’m sure it will be similar to my HIV rotation. Just have to get through Thursday and I’m free for Christmas!

Until next time! Eat Smart and Move More.

Woman’s Hospital Half Marathon 12-9-12


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This last Sunday I participated in my 3rd and final half marathon in this calendar year. Being that this race was scheduled for December, I assumed that it would be the perfect temperature and condition for a road race.


It was 70 degrees, 100% humidity by 6:30am and increasing by the minute. That is not normal. Research has shown the perfect running temp to be around 55. Not even close.

The race was miserable the entire time…an absolute disaster on my part BUT at the same time, it was semi fun and I finished.

Not only did I finish but I was in the top 9% and 5th in my age group (21-24)!! Unfortunately the nasty weather and extremely incliney route was everyone’s Achilles heel because my time at the Jazz Half beat the #1 in my age group by 8 minutes. I could have won a wine glass!!

Although the top 7 of us were right behind the other, it was disappointing to see the top 3 be taken just because I couldn’t move my little feet a little faster at any point on the route.

I definitely ran slower for this race but not by much. I started the race at goal pace and slowed it down big time come the 9th mile when I had to run up a bridge. I almost died when I turned the corner and saw that stupid thing. After the bridge came hills. Did you know there are hills in Baton Rouge? I didn’t. But now I do. They are evil. Don’t be fooled because you are in the south. They are mountains by mile 11 and 12.

I finished the race and immediately ate an entire bagel the fastest I have ever eaten something in my life. It was so satisfying and I was ready to continue on with the day.

Here are the pictures of me before, during (dying even at mile 3), and celebrating after. Warning …the photographers on the sides of the road took SOO many pictures.

Pre race dinner!



“Are you done taking pics yet?!”


About to start!


And we are off!



Roger caught me at mile 3!



Mile 11!


Finishing the most miserably muggy race on the planet!







Next race: Rock N Roll half marathon February 24th!

My medal collection from this year.


Added the half Pandora charm to my bracelet.