Dietitians Who Inspire Me

The realization of becoming a dietitian is starting to formulate in my mind, yet it is still far from this day. I’ve been on cloud 9 the past few days as I have enjoyed the fact that I have been accepted in Purdue’s Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CPD) to complete my supervised practice in 2015-2016! So, I need to complete my internship, study like a maniac for the RD exam and pass before I can say I made it. The thought excites me and motivates me to do all that I can to enrich my time as a dietetics student.

Since I’ve become interested in dietetics as a junior or senior in high school, I have learned a lot about the profession from various dietitians who are in the public spotlight. I realize these types of careers are rare and special, but it is neat to have role models and aspirations for the career based on the work of dietitians in the public eye. Four dietitians in particular have continued to inspire me throughout my education. I’ll start with the first ones who sparked my interest and then share the dietitian I aspire to be like someday in my practice.

Ellie Krieger, R.D.

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Ellie Krieger was the first role model I sought in the field of dietetics. In high school I loved to watch Food Network-and still do, as time permits-and my favorite show was “Healthy Appetite” with Ellie Krieger, a registered dietitian from New York City. I loved that she so easily shared with her viewers how to make food healthy, delicious and affordable without scaring them away with weird ingredients and unflavorful tastes. Her easy-going personality and genuine warmth exemplifies the trustworthy and relatable qualities I’ll seek to own as a dietitian.

Joy Bauer, M.S., R.D., C.D.N.

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Joy Bauer is a registered dietitian and the nutritionist for the Today Show. She has such a great attitude and her infectious energy inspired me from the beginning. She is also the nutritionist for the New York City Ballet, which would be such an amazing job to have! I can remember at one time in my life watching almost all of the ” Joy’s Diet S.O.S.” segments from the Today Show. Hearing her have all the answers made me want to be just like her someday. The way she is knowledgeable in so many areas of nutrition is a goal of mine so I can be a resource or a source for resources to others.

Kath Younger, R.D.

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It’s the age of technology and everyone seems to have a blog these days. I became an avid blog reader in high school and have come to understand now that the public does need to be aware of the validity of each blog they come across. Amongst the multitude of nutrition blogs I kept up with, Kath Younger’s blog, Kath Eats Real Food, held particular weight because of her title as a registered dietitian. Being able to follow what an RD ate every day was so inspirational and such a good example to readers that dietitians are real people too. We don’t eat 100% perfect. And Kath makes it clear that a balanced diet is necessary and does not need to be lacking in ice cream or birthday cake. If you have followed the blog world of nutrition sites for a while, you know that there was and may still be an intense obsession with oatmeal. There are blogs devoted just to this fiber-filled, warm breakfast meal (like this one). Kath has quite the arsenal of oatmeal recipes as well and I think I made almost all of them throughout the latter years of my high school career. Did I mention her food photography is insane? She motivates me in my career goals as well as my stint as a blogger!

Julieanna Hever, M.S., R.D., C.P.T.

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This last dietitian, Julieanna Hever, is the one who I aspire to be most like. As I’ve gained interest in plant-based nutrition, I naturally came across the work of Julienna Hever, THE Plant-Based Dietitian. The way she uses scientific evidence to promote a diet free of animal foods is fantastic and I love her fun-loving and encouraging demeanor. Her utter beauty is proof that her plant-based diet is fueling her from within. I recently become aware of the cooking videos she does with Chef AJ on youtube with their show “The Chef and the Dietitian.” You’ll find so many creative and nutritious recipes to keep your meals interesting, so check it out!

All four of these women have one thing in common-they are communicators of nutrition information to the public. I find this aspect of dietetics so rewarding and I hope to do something half as great as these ladies have done someday. Thank you Ellie, Joy, Kath and Julieanna! It would be a dream to meet all of you in the future!

~Anna

Summer 2014-Present: Featured Foods

For your viewing pleasure, here is a snapshot of the food I’ve eaten over the summer and up until now going from most recent to further back in time. I hope you see something that looks good or inspires your next meal. I have a great time making food and styling it to the best of my ability so the photos look at least slightly decent. Enjoy and I hope you are doing well!imageBlack bean burger in the apartment. Tahini on top is a must.

imageHomemade tortilla, sautéed kale, tomatoes, tofu, roasted chickpeas and tahini.

imageRoasted chickpeas with nutritional yeast and various herbs.

imageSalad of tofu, greens, tomato, figs and tahini. See a pattern here?

 

imageThe classic “bring-a-sandwich-for-lunch-on-campus-because-it’s-usually-the-quickest-thing-to-put-together-in-the-morning-before-class.” Bread, mustard/tahini, tofu, greens, tomato.

imageSeason’s 52 for my sister’s 18th birthday in August. Vegetarian Tasting Plate made vegan. One of my favorite restaurants!

imageLunch at Freshii. This place is great. I ordered this rice bowl and found it humorous the receipt says ‘no protein’- just look at all the protein in the rice, edamame, and veggies!

imageGreen smoothie #279.

imageOn Wednesdays we drink pink.

imageCreamy Vegetable Curry from The Oh She Glows Cookbook. Every recipe I’ve had from this book has been fantastic and this was no exception!

imageRainbow salad to make me smile.

imageHomemade sushi! Takes some effort, but oh-so worth it!

imageAsian market finds. Huge box of mangos for $7-ish, lychee fruit, a young coconut, and a daikon radish.

imageLittle tacos for a light summer meal. Garnish was a conscious attempt for style.

imageBanana and pineapple ice cream in the Vitamix.

imageFavorite of mine: roasted sweet potato fries-> 400F oven, boil potatoes for 5 minutes before draining and placing on a parchment paper lined tray. Bake about 20 minutes each side or until crispy.

imageGreens in a cup + grapes.

imageMy favorite food is mango. Here it is hanging out with 2 other delightful fruits. Sweet as could be!

imagepretty apple.

imageNot so pretty kale/shredded carrot mixed in mashed avocado. Simple yet nourishing.

Changes to the Blog

So I’m thinking of renaming my blog and switching up the focus of my posts. My posts have sort of evolved. When I was a freshman in college I began the blog to focus on eating healthy while living the dorm life. I recognized the struggle and wanted to share how I did my best to eat well in a college setting. I’ve sort of switched gears slightly within the last several months to focus on my plant based lifestyle and why I love it. While what I post has been from a college student’s perspective, usually reflecting how I make it a goal to eat healthy, my writing hasn’t specifically targeted that topic. This summer I wrote for another blog, Foodie on Campus, that has fantastic articles written by college students about all things college and nutrition if you want to read more about staying healthy in college. However, I’d like to shift the focus on my blog to what I am passionate about which is sharing my lifestyle through what I love to eat, my latest yoga goal or just interesting information I want to share about living green and plant-strong. I may even share about my walk with Christ and my faith overall. I want it to be more of sharing my day-to-day adventures in understanding the life I’ve been given and how I make it my goal to feel blessed for every moment I’m alive.

So I’m currently in a phase with the blog where I’m trying to change the name and I want to think of the right one. I have several ideas but haven’t settled on one I love yet. So be patient as I settle into the new school year and work to find a schedule so I can devote more time to my corner of the internet.

Stay beautiful!

~Anna

Purple Monster Smoothie

This summer I am working at my local Earth Fare grocery store making smoothies and juices. It’s the perfect job for me as someone who is an avid smoothie and juice drinker! It’s tons of fun seeing what the customers can come up with for their drinks and I love being able to sneak a sample every now and then to taste their creations. It is great to be able to interact with a customer base that is often as interested in nutrition and health as I am. I have also been able to try new foods like wheatgrass and ginger shots and I’ve learned to like the taste of beets when juiced with other ingredients- I still can’t eat them on their own! 

The other day, a customer came in and ordered a smoothie for lunch and there happened to be extra so I set the remaining smoothie out in sample cups. A woman tried the sample of that smoothie and loved it so much she wanted the same one. I bet that man would be proud that he put together such a good smoothie that other customers wanted his creation for themselves! I myself also tried it and thought it was a good combo of ingredients. I wrote down the ingredients so I could make it for myself at home. I thought I’d share the recipe for this purple drink on my blog. 

Purple Monster Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen banana (or 1 whole frozen banana)
  • 1-2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1/2-1 tablespoon almond butter
  • coconut water 

Directions

  1. Add the fruit, spinach and almond butter into a blender.
  2. Pour enough coconut water over the ingredients just to cover them.
  3. Blend.
  4. If you want a thinner consistency, add more coconut water and adjust to your liking.

Enjoy!

 

Foodie on Campus: Summer Internship

Hello! I’m writing for an online magazine called Foodie on Campus this summer so I wanted to share what it’s all about. The goal of the blog is to help college students make informed food choices when the dining halls and grocery trips seem dizzying! It is a really great experience for me to be working with a registered dietitian, Faye Berger Mitchell, who started Foodie on Campus with a vision to help make eating well more clear for college students. I’m super excited I was able to write my first article about how to stay plant-based in college. Check out the link here:

Vegan on Campus

You will find all sorts of topics on food, fitness, mind, body and soul. We also write about topics “beyond campus.” All of the writers are students in college, so they have experience learning how to stay healthy on campus. This summer we plan on focusing on summer topics as well as information for starting the upcoming fall semester off on the right foot in terms of nutrition. Hope you find something helpful or that you can share with a college student you know! I hope the magazine reaches incoming freshman as they prepare for their first year at a university!

~Anna

Update!

Hi readers! Long time no blog! Oops! I think that after finals and finishing up sophomore year I was burnt out from writing and cramming my brain with knowledge so I took a short break form my little blog. Now I’m back and ready to share some of the food I’ve been mixing up and what I’ve been up to.

I am not free from school since I’m currently taking microbiology at IUPUI, but it keeps me busy. And honestly it’s super nice only having to focus on one class. In a few weeks I’ll start my macronutrient metabolism class which I’m taking online through Purdue. I hear that class is challenging, but I am actually excited to be able to learn some interesting things about nutrition and the macronutrients we consume!

In other news, I caved and bought a Vitamix! I bought a reconditioned one from the Vitamix website and it is like brand new but for a slight discount. It came in the mail two days ago and I’ve been super impressed with the way it has worked so far. I knew I could expect greatness from this beast of a blender. I can’t wait to experiment more with my new kitchen tool. I foresee lots of smoothies in my future-more than now!

I’ve been busy making lots of yummy food now that I am home for the summer. I am being inspired by all the delicious fresh food that is coming into season. The farmer’s market is full of vibrant greens that beg to be put into smoothies and salads. Here is some of the food I’ve eaten lately:

20140517_120507Summer squash noodles with tomato/onion/cilantro topping.

IMG_20140516_093031I eat fruit whenever I can for breakfast. Two of my favorites: bananas and mango!20140518_084407I’ve been downing fruit infused water lately! Normally I just throw some berries and lemon slices in a mason jar at night and it’s ready in the morning to quench my thirst. Here I let a few frozen raspberries and a slice of lemon sit over night and in the morning I gave it a stir and strained out the fruit pieces for a beautiful pink drink.20140520_112843 I love when apples still have their leaves!20140520_115022Spiralized carrots with shredded kale coated in mashed avocado and a little lime juice. Heavenly!
IMG_20140520_102804 I’m excited about our garden. Besides kale and arugula we also have spinach, green beans, tomatoes, lettuce and cilantro growing!20140520_161813These raw ‘fig newtons’ taste just like the real deal! I saw the recipe on compassionateclimber’s Instagram. I linked the recipe if you want to give it a try! They are made from dried fruit, various flours, and other things including orange juice-interesting!

20140521_085311 First smoothie in the Vitamix! 2 cups kale, 2 cups spinach, orange juice, 1 mango, 2 cups berries. Smoothest smoothie ever! I love how the Vitamix can pulverize the seeds in berries so they don’t get stuck in your teeth. This also releases all the nutrition in the seeds :)ABM_1400701478These zucchini noodles are the best kind I’ve made. This is a recipe from Fully Raw Kristina and I would eat this every day! I spiralized 2 zucchinis. I use this tool to turn zucchini into noodles.  The sauce is 2 mangos, a sliver of avocado, 1 green onion (mostly the green parts) and a bit of cilantro. So sweet!

Enjoy this beautiful day! God bless!

~Anna

Finals Week Stress Eating

fb3da5ad2bf9d45948fdd0e6ac7f1bb9Finals week is coming up! For Purdue students, it’s a week away, but many other colleges around us are finished after this next coming week. Studying for important exams like finals can cause a lot of stress to the body. Everyone deals with it differently. Some people don’t eat anything, which is bad. Some people eat everything they see, which is bad. What is key to dealing with finals is to limit the extent to what you can eat to fuel late night studying by carefully choosing healthy snacks to have on hand. It is also helpful to find an activity to reward yourself with for a study break. I’ll suggest some good snacks to have available as well as some healthy break ideas. Accept the challenge this is finals!

Snacks to fuel your brain

  • When you have large bags of snack foods, like pretzels, crackers, popcorn, chips etc, it is so easy to open the bag and mindlessly eat food due to stress. I know I’ve done it! I won’t even be hungry, but I keep shoving pretzels in my mouth while I work on a paper because the food can be a comfort for me. To prevent these binge sessions, make sure to only buy pre-portioned bags of these foods, or not buy them at all. There are plenty of other options for snacking.
  • My go-to snacks are always fruit. If I have ample fruit on hand, I go for the grapes, bananas, or oranges. Fruit is sweet so it satisfies your sweet tooth but offers so many more benefits as nature’s candy. Blueberries are particularly good for your brain. Feel the need for extra brain power? Blueberries help prevent degenerative diseases as well as improve neural communication, memory, and comprehension.
  • Healthy fats are integral to brain health. Plant sources of these fats include avocados, chia seeds, nuts flax seeds and sunflower seeds. Most of these sources, especially chia and flax seeds, contain omega-3 fatty acids which improve blood flow to the brain for clearer thinking. Look for these ingredients in packaged foods like granola bars and cereals.
  • Make sure to get enough carbohydrates. It’s simple. The brain runs on glucose. Ever wonder why when you are low on carbs from not eating in a while you’re body feels lethargic an your brain struggles to function? Your brain uses glucose since it is the most efficient source of energy. Carbs from fruits, vegetables and grains are all healthy choices so think of them when going for lunch at the dining courts or your own kitchen prior to an exam. Complex carbs that come with fiber are important for slowing the rate of absorption of glucose. High amounts of refined sugar increases insulin’s response which leads to a sugar crash, and therefore, a tired brain and body.
  • Stay hydrated to prevent deviations from focus and short-term memory loss. The brain is composed of fat and water. Water increases circulation in the brain and prevents overheating. I came across an article that said by the time you feel thirsty, you have experienced a 10% decline in cognitive function. I always like to have my water bottle next to me while working on school work. Drinking water can also make you feel fuller and less inclined to eat mindlessly.
  • If stress is tearing you down, bananas are a great option! They contain tryptophan which is converted into serotonin in the body. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter in the brain related to mood and encourages a relaxed state of mind.

Study breaks

  • Exercise. Get your blood pumping and you’ll be more apt to think clearly after your sweat session. Exercise is also a common stress-reliever for many people.
  • I love to put in my headphones, sit on the floor and stretch. It loosens up the tenseness in my body and I feel great after stretching. Listening to music drowns out the racing thoughts in my head about schoolwork and allows me to get the most out of my break. I’m still working on those splits for my New Year’s resolution!
  • Watch a favorite t.v. show. Right now I’m hooked on Scandal. I use it as motivation to get work done so I can watch an episode. (Or two!).
  • Similar to exercise, go for a walk. It’s been beautiful out recently and taking leisurely walks with my roommate are fun and a great way to take a break from the busyness of college.
  • Read a novel.
  • Do anything else that you love! These are just suggestions of what I do on my breaks. Breaks keep me sane.

Oh, and one more suggestion. Make sure you are getting ample sleep! Sleep is so important for alertness and feeling prepared to take an exam. Being tired is one of the worst feelings you can have before an exam if your brain is not fueled and reseted. Sleep! I know my limits for staying up late and studying. For me, I will not be productive at anytime past 11 or 11:30. I prefer to go to sleep and then wake up a little earlier to fit in more studying before and exam.

Good luck to all you smarty pants college students out there! Remember to fuel your brain and provide your body with quality nutrition! You made it through another year! Keep being awesome, friends!

~Anna

Super Smoothies

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Smoothies: 5 Ingredients or Less

My lovely friend Katie from high school thought of the great idea for me to write about my favorite smoothies, seeing as the warm weather is ahead of us and summer is just around the corner! I don’t know many people who don’t like smoothies and they are pretty much the perfect food for maintaining a plant-based lifestyle. You can easily make them vegan and they are always full of energizing and smile-inducing ingredients! They are perfect for on the go- just what college students need! I’m really thinking about investing in a Vitamix for my apartment next year since I know I’d use it often if not daily! Compiling my favorite smoothie combinations is making me crave a giant blender full of fruit! For the ideas below, I do not list amounts for each ingredient. Don’t worry-there really is no way to mess up a smoothie! Add however much of each ingredient you like to taste! That is the best part about simple recipes like these. There is no right or wrong way to make a smoothie. Here are my favorite smoothie concoctions:

The Oh-So-Simple OJ&B

From the name you may be able to guess at least one of the 2 ingredients!

  • Orange juice
  • mixed frozen berries

That’s it! I love this one because it is super quick to make. Just throw everything in and blend! If you don’t have frozen berries, use fresh and add some ice!

Banango

Mango is my favorite fruit (for now…) and I love to combine it with sweet banana! This one will fill you with energy and the sweetness of the fruit will satisfy you like a dessert.

  • Frozen (or fresh) mango
  • ripe, spotty bananas
  • spinach for a green color and a boost of iron, calcium and Vitamin K to name a few!
  • nut milk of choice, or water. I add enough water to cover the fruit first, then if I want it to be thinner after I’ve blended, I add more liquid as I see fit.

*A trick about adding greens: if you don’t want to see the green color, use mixed berries in the smoothie since the dark red and blue colors will mask the green!

Pink Refresher

One of the most refreshing fruits is watermelon. It is 92% water and full of vitamin C and lycopene! Stay hydrated with this slushy-like drink.

  • ripe watermelon chunks
  • coconut water (full of hydrating electrolytes)
  • a squeeze of lime, if you desire

Blend! If you want to add ice, go for it. I’d just make sure my coconut water was cold!

Health Kick

If you’re feeling daring, or if you love when you can taste the health in a smoothie like me, give this a shot!

  • 2 oranges
  • 2 bananas
  • 2-3 dense handfuls of greens like spinach or kale-or both! (get fancy with basil, arugula or swiss chard!)
  • water, nut milk or coconut water
  • Chia seeds for a helping of healthy fats

If you don’t have a super great blender, adding tougher greens like kale or swiss chard may leave chunks in your drink. That’s fine if you can get past the texture but use your judgement if you want it to be smoother.

Tropical Tang

This one will remind you of an island vacation!*Paper umbrella optional*

  • Pineapple
  • Orange
  • Coconut water

The coconut water will add even more sweetness. You can even use pineapple coconut water to add more fruity flavor!

*    *    *    *    *    *    *

These are just a few of the smoothies I’d think about making when going to whip up something good! I really decide what to put in my smoothies based on what I have in the freezer/fridge. I love smoothies and I will often make them into a meal! They are filling, nutritious and the easiest food to make! Just throw everything in a blender and blend! Don’t forget to do a dance while blending! Hope you enjoy one of these!

~Anna

 

Question Me

Hi. If you’ve found yourself on my blog, first of all thanks. I appreciate every reader.

Second, I’m so happy to see you probably have even the slightest interest in your health through nutrition. If you weren’t aware, this blog is about maximizing your life one plant-based meal at a time. It’s about myself too; how I am growing as a person, in knowledge as a dietetic student as well as personally.

I’ve said this before, but I don’t care about the amount of people that see my posts. All I want to know is that I can help just one person out or encourage just ONE PERSON in realizing their full potential health-wise.

Therefore, I really want anyone who happens upon this humble little blog to know that I love to give advice on vegan diets, being a college student in dietetics, where to find a certain product, ETC. Are you wondering about my protein? Are you wondering why I eat SO MUCH DARN FRUIT!? Won’t that make me fat from all the sugar? Ask it!!! If you keep questions bottled up and continue to wonder about things you’ll never know!

My brother just texted me today about where to find a recipe for zucchini noodle pasta he loved. He also asked about suggestions for food processors- a had so much fun researching for him and giving him my thoughts! Things like that, I love to do!

If you ask me a question and I don’t know the answer, I will research it and find one or refer you to a resource I trust.

I would also love to see suggestions on improving my site or what to write about. The times that this blog has been most rewarding is when I have interacted with readers. I absolutely love talking to people about nutrition.

I just wanted anyone who stumbles on to my site to know that this blog can be a helpful resource to you. Ask me questions if you feel the urge- I’d be more than delighted to answer them!

Sending love,

~Anna

Don’t Touch Your Phone for 10 Minutes, Provide a Day of Clean Drinking Water For a Child In Need

Dorm Foodie:

This is so neat, I had to share! I love how little projects like these can help make a difference. It also makes you realize you don’t need to check your phone every time you have a second to spare. Love this!

Originally posted on Higher Learning:

UNICEF recently teamed up with clothing designer Giorgio Armani for the latest campaign in the UNICEF Tap Project, which has been striving to increase access to clean water for children worldwide since 2007.

For this latest scheme, they have created a mobile website app (you don’t have to download anything) that can tell when your phone is not being used. For every 10 minutes you leave your phone alone, Armani will provide a day of clean drinking water to a child in need.

According to UNICEF, 768 million people lack access to safe, clean drinking water, 2.5 billion people live without proper sanitation and 1,400 children die every day from diseases linked directly to unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation.

Millions of children lack clean water. How long could you go without something far less vital… like your phone?

Visit the homepage of the UNICEF Tap Project on your phone and…

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