Weekly Goals #2

20190203_130709346_iOSAlthough many of us (myself including) suffer from the “Sunday Scaries”, it’s not an excuse to lay around in bed, wasting away your precious energy on whatever it is that Monady may hold.

Over the last month I have been setting myself up for success by creating “SMART” weekly goals:

Specific: state exactly what you plan to do

Measurable: provide a way to quantify/evaluate your progress

Achievable: make these realistic and within your abilities

Relevant: set a goal that makes sense within your current goals, scope of practice, ambitions

Time-bound: state when this will be completed–deadlines!!

Silly goal: “I want to lose weight” This sets you up for failure because you literally have NO plan of action set behind these words. When? What’s the deadline? What are the specifics?

SMART goal: “By the end of March, I will have lost at least 3 pounds of body fat” This is a specific, time-oriented goal. You know what you want and when you want to have it completed by.

Although I’ve been a planner and list maker my entire life, I too suffer from the “I’ll get to that later” syndrome, and end up putting it off for months. By creating 2-4 SMART weekly goals, I’m allowing myself to “get to it later” but also providing myself a doable deadline.

How did last week’s goals go over?

  1. Update my FedLoan account for the 2019 year: Got this acccomplished right away on Monday. This is something that literally takes 5 minutes max, but is one of those “it’s so easy I’ll get to it later” situations. DONE!
  2. Donate my clothes: I’ve had these clothes bagged up for about 7 months in the corner of my living room. Knowing I was going to walk right past the donation bin on my way to the store, I brought them with me and completed this on Wednesday. DONE!
  3. Complete 2 chapters of my Ex Phys book: I am working towards my C-EP certification (more on that later), so I’m making realistic goals of how many chapters to get to each week. So far, I completed one….but hey, there’s still daylight to finish the second chapter. (almost) DONE!

Let’s see what this week’s goals consist of. These ones will be listed in a more SMART fashion:

  1. By Sunday of next week, I will have ran a minimum of 20 miles at a 9:50 pace or below.
  2. By Sunday of next week, I will have read 2 more chapters from my Ex Phys book.
  3. By Sunday of next week, I will have gotten my car washed/vaccuumed (thank you unnecessary snow days for making my car disgusting…)
  4. By Sunday of next week, I will have cleaned out my entire kitchen of any unused food/baking supplies/plateware that I have not used within the last 3+ months (I have so many unnecessary containers, pots/pans/shaker bottles that take up wayyyy too much room–they all need to GO!)

What are your weekly goals? 

10 Things To Know BEFORE You Become a Nutrition Major

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With  hundreds of colleges to choose from, and hundreds of majors to declare…it all comes down to the questions of: What College? And most importantly, what will you study?

I lucked out and knew what I wanted to do from a fairly young age, so choosing a college that carried the major of dreams was simple. For many (and most) people out there that are still questioning what path to take, don’t rush it! Having to select a major and then switch over halfway through can be a long and grueling process.

Among the long list of majors…if you scroll down to the “N” section, you might find something along the lines of “Nutrition” or “Nutrition Sciences” or “Nutrition and Health Sciences”

When I first started my undergrad career, I had a decent amount of students enrolled in the major of Nutrition. By the end of the first year, many ended up switching majors or dropping out altogether. I’m not saying nutrition is a walk in the park (hello there biochemistry and organic chemistry) but you will find a lot of concepts quite easy to grasp and understand as well.

As a Nutrition Alumni to IUP who will still be on campus working with the undergrads, I have a lot of incoming nutrition freshman asking me questions regarding tests, classes, social life, study life, etc.

So, to all of you considering pursuing a major in Nutrition:

Here are ten important facts you need to know before selecting nutrition as your major:

 

 

1) You need to know more than just the food pyramid:

Be prepared for in-depth science courses regarding enzymes, digestion, bacteria/viruses, the chemistry of food, as well as classes regarding business/management, counseling patients/clients, the mathematical equations used in food service functions.

 

2) You’re entering a competitive field

If you are choosing to major in nutrition in the dietetics track, you will basically feel as though you’re competing against everyone in the room. Upon graduation when it’s time to apply for internships, it feels as though it’s a dog eat dog world. The match rate for receiving an internship is about a 50-55% due to the increasing number of students with a lack of internship opportunities.

 

3) You’re going to school for at least five years

If you’re majoring in nutrition and going down the “dietetics” track, chances are you’ll take 4 years to complete your bachelors + a fifth  year to complete an unpaid, 8-12 month long internship in which YOU have to pay them. It’s necessary to become a dietitian, so sadly you can’t skip that last part.

4) You’re going to have the stigma of being a food nazi

If I had a dollar for the amount of people who were afraid to eat with me, claim I only eat salads, or tell me “not to judge their food” …. I’d be out of college debt.

5)  You’re going to learn more than just the five basic food groups

A lot of misconception regarding classes has become prevalent to me. I get asked all the time if I learned about food labels and the food pyramid (now known as MyPlate). Of course we do, but we also learn about vitamins and minerals, how the digestive track works, the monotonous glycolysis and TCA cycle lectures and also medical nutrition therapy. If I don’t stress this enough, I probably should…but nutrition is not a walk in the park as it may seem.

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6) You’ll probably get mistaken for being a “chef”

 

I’m not the best cook—I swear. I can probably estimate the amount of carbs, fats, and protein in your meal using the exchange list, but I probably am not the best cook you’ll meet.

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7) Be prepared for everyone asking you for a meal plan/diet evaluation

Most people assume that because you’re majoring in nutrition you can whip up a meal plan and that’s all you’re good for—haha! Our courses range from microbiology to anatomy/physiology, to organic chemistry. We know a lot more than just what a person should eat.

8) Expect to have specific GPA minimum requirements

Nutrition isn’t the major you should choose if you plan to just snooze through class. For my school we had to maintain a minimum of 3.0, which sounds quite easy but the fact that most internships won’t even consider you unless you have a 3.25 is something else you have to think about. If a specific course is a prerequisite to another course needed for the major, you have to get at least a C in the class. My tip is to take class seriously—it’s going to be your profession!

9) Start looking for volunteering opportunities as soon as you can (if you haven’t already started)

Start building your resume as soon as you can! If you’re heading down the dietetics track of nutrition, volunteer and work experience in the field of health/nutrition is ranked high the list the internship coordinators want. Whether it’s a job/volunteer work at a local hospital or nursing home, teaching children about fruits and vegetables, or being able to shadow a dietitian for a few weeks, anything counts!

10) You will have endless opportunities to do with your degree:

Do you want to be a registered dietitian? Or maybe you want to start a health and wellness business. How about opening a gym? Doe working with athletes in the collegiate and professional level sound enticing? Or maybe you’re leaning towards research and labwork. There are ENDLESS opportunities, and the great thing to know is that our field is expanding every year!

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Most importantly, know that if you’re passionate about health, wellness, and nutrition, you ARE on the right path by choosing this career! Smile

contact me with any questions/advice at: tdaley91811@hotmail.com

New School Year, New You: 2016-2017 Goals

Good morning everyone! In my last post I mentioned how important journaling is, and how it can really help you reach your spiritual sense of happiness, so I’ve decided to get back on my blogging game as this is a sense of journaling for me. I had my cup (or two) of coffee paired with my bowl of oatmeal + 1 scoop of cinnamon protein powder, and now I’m just typing away before I set off for the typical eight hour work day. Life’s been moving at a fairly fast pace lately. I feel like it was just last week that I was crying in Shawn’s arms when he left for basic military training, but that was over 3 MONTHS ago already! Now it’s time to really buckle down lately with so many upcoming events:

The start of the new semester

The start of a new job working under two professors

The start of a new major (exercise science)

The start of a whole new type of relationship (long distance)

Prioritizing people, places, events, and ideas has always been a struggle with me. I tend to put academics over everything, which sounds like the best thing in the world…I mean hey it’s gotten me this far, but mentally it’s a struggle bus.

I put together a simple list of goals that I aim to achieve and nail for the 2016-2017 upcoming school year.

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Some people may look at my list and think “ok laugh..that’s easy to do. and eating when you’re hungry? Come on that’s easy too” But when you’re mind works like mind, sometimes those two things happen maybe once or twice a month. Making a list of things you want to accomplish based off of YOUR needs is key. No matter how little or silly they may be. Sometimes it’s just the feeling that you can cross it off at the end of the day—that accomplished feeling, that makes everything that much better.

 

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Healthy: Are you?

Healthy—what exactly does that short, simple word mean? Many people associate the word ‘healthy’ or ‘good health’ with looking fit, not being obese, being able to run a mile, eating an apple, and/or being free of sickness. But what exactly does being ‘healthy’ truly entail? I can remember sitting in my undergrad class learning about the topic of health. At this time my caloric intake was about 1000 on a good day accompanied by intense strength training workouts, so my mind was usually falling asleep or not entirely grasping any concepts by this 11am class.

“How would you classify someone as being healthy?” asked my professor.  I started to wake up and think about it. I knew I wasn’t healthy, but I really wasn’t sure what a “healthy person” entirely consisted of.

 

“To be healthy” she continued, “five areas need to be fulfilled: you need to be satisfied socially, intellectually, physically, emotionally, and spiritually”

Socially: being able to connect with others and build positive relationships that make us feel good about ourselves

Intellectually: having the ability to open our minds to new thoughts, ideas, and experiences; having the drive to try new things and take on new tasks

Physically: being able to maintain a healthy lifestyle that doesn’t keep us fatigued/worn out by daily life stressors

Emotionally: Understanding that life can bring about stressful situations and understanding how to cope with such events. This also includes the ability to share joy and love with others but also grief and pain

Spiritually: The ability to establish peace and wellness within ourselves and others–having values and acting upon them.

 

I looked at her and kind of sunk in my seat.

– I never felt I had time to make friends or partake in social activities (and my social anxiety is about 7/10, so that didn’t help haha) so my social health suffered

– Being overworked in school, at work, and in the gym, my desire to try new things and take on more tasks suffered

– I overworked myself in the gym, so I wasn’t physically healthy

– I understood that life had it’s ups and downs, but handling them correctly (and not just isolating myself/skipping class for a month) was very weak

– there was no such thing as peace and wellness in my mental dictionary

 

I realized that most of those five components weren’t being satisfied! No wonder I never could classify myself as happy, even with all the success I’ve had.

I decided to reflect on my undergraduate lifestyle and am putting a new outlook on life: HEALTH.

 

Here are some ways that I plan to be healthy this year, and ways you can be too:

  • Exercise! Whether you’re interested in hardcore strength training, running a 10k, a cool dance class, or just a light walk on the treadmill, all of these options are great! (physical)
  • Exercising…..with a friend. If anyone knows me, they know I dislike working out with a person. I like to go in, do my things, and finish up feeling accomplished. After sitting  down with Katie over some coffee the other day, we both realized how isolated we can be when the school year starts up. So we made a pact to have our Monday Morning Cardio Sessions together. By including a friend, you have set plans and cancelling is NOT okay! If either one cancels, make an agreement that he/she has to buy lunch for both of you Winking smile (physical, social)
  • Talking with Shawn: Although I am a HUGE fan of communication in relationships, I tend to keep mine inside in hopes to prevent an argument or fight…aka not good! After talking with Shawn about my goals to be healthy this year, he really coaxed me into always telling him how I feel, what’s on my mind, what I fear, and if I’m uncomfortable/don’t agree with things. Sometimes I just try to keep them inside because I don’t want to come across as this rude, obnoxious girlfriend but in his words: “you can tell me these things without being rude” and that’s when it kind of hit me–of course I can! This may be easier said than done, but in the long run it’ll be the most beneficial task I take on (emotionally, intellectually)
  • Keeping a journal: I always have a lot to say, but sometimes I just don’t have anyone to say it too, or I’m too nervous to speak. Journaling is a great way to get your thoughts out, get your ideas on paper, and sort of vent. Buy a cute notebook, cute pen, and set aside just 15 minutes a day! (intellectually, emotionally, spiritually)
  • Joining a club: Freetime for me will be fairly limited with the amount of work I’ll have piled up, but whether it’s taking on an exercise science club or maybe the Health&Human Services Student Advistory Council, doing so will allow me to stimulate my mind, talk with others about ideas I am passionate about, network, and enjoy the company of others (intellectual, socially)
  • Eating healthy—this one is a no brainer for me! Eating healthy always makes me feel better; both physically and mentally. Fueling my body right always makes my performance in school, work, and the gym THAT much better (physically)
  • Reading for growth: Again…little free time but I’ve become very interested in self help/self awareness books regarding leadership lately. Reading to better yourself is a great tool, and a great way to satisfy the (spiritual) component. Currently working on reading The Alchemist

 

This is a great visual representation of the five components of optimal health.

Ask yourself: Are you healthy?

 

 

 

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Back to School Essentials: Snack Edition

Living in a college town, it’s quite obvious when school is either IN session or OUT for the summer/winter breaks. As the summer begins to wind down, slowly and slowly I see more and more college age students walking downtown at night, grocery shopping, or simply walking through the campus grounds. With relationships, social life, parties, academics, and extra curricular taking over a students life, usually nutrition and what is going into their mouth is the last thing on the priority list to care about, am I right?! Three top reasons as to why I believe what you eat is SO critical and important:

  • Weight Control: Being mindful of your food choices is an important factor in maintaining a healthy weight. Eating in excess will cause an increase in weight; and if the weight gain continues, potential health concerns may arise (next bullet!)
  • Disease Prevention: Not only may obesity cause potential health problems, but consuming too little or too much of nutrients may create health concerns as well. Examples may include too much saturated fats or too little calcium.
  • Efficient Energy: Fueling your body with the right foods will, in the end, provide your body with adequate energy to stay focused and keep trekking through those 3 hour long seminars Eye rolling smile

 

As an undergrad in college, nutrition and eating healthy was a no brainer to me (being a nutrition major and all), so I never really could understand how people could just pack on the pounds and eat whatever their heart desired without giving a single care in the world. As time went on I realized that not everyone saw food as numbers, percentages or specific values like I did…but they just saw food as well, delicious! Although I do believe in the whole “everything in moderation”, I think it is important to be eating whole, healthy foods 75-80% of the time.

Coming back to a new school year gives most people the “new year new you” vibe—so why not start that whole new you in the kitchen? Here’s some great snack ideas that are college friendly/easy on the go for classes/crazy schedules Smile

  • Greek yogurt cup + piece of fruit (my fav is the Oikos Triple Zero collection)
  • Cheese stick + serving of whole wheat crackers
  • Overnight oats—legit the smartest idea in the world for busy mornings!
  • 1/2 a PBJ sammy on whole wheat bread
  • granola bar + piece of fruit
  • packet of tuna + whole wheat crackers
  • serving of whole grain cereal + milk in a small tupperware
  • 1/2  a turkey & cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread

 

What are some of your favorite snacks/meals to bring on the go?

My Experience with the RD exam

So, after years of schooling…and an internship that consists of over 1000 hours of supervised practice in long term care, acute care, management, and intervention rotations, it all comes down to passing or failing the 125-145 question exam.  Now of course I’m not going to go and tell you whats on the exam, because everyone’s is different. Before I took my exam, I went online to look up “how to breathe during the exam” and “how not to puke while taking the RD exam” because in my opinion, it’s a really HUGE deal. Yes, you totally can take it again. and again… but the $$  you spend taking it plus the time you spend studying…let’s just say it’s better to pass it come the first time around.

So I’m just going to give a brief perspective of my experience taking it and how I prepared for it myself!

My class graduated from the internship on Wednesday May 25th and I took my exam Tuesday July 19th. That gave me about eight weeks to prepare, but realistically I didn’t start preparing until say 3-4 weeks out. I enjoyed my Memorial Day weekend (Shawn left for basic that weekend so I was glued to HIM, not so much my notes), and I did take a spontaneous trip to Florida with Christyna for a week, in which I didn’t study at all for the exam. Originally I scheduled my exam for August 9th, but when June 15th hit I was like okay Tabitha, let’s start studying and move your date closer. By making my date sooner it really got me to studying and actually not procrastinating.

 

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How I studied:

  • I am SUCH a visual learner; listening/audio never helped me. I was lucky enough to go to one of Jean Inman’s 2 day course in  Pittsburgh and be given her book of information regarding what to study and know for the exam (essentially a bible for any person who is taking the RD). If you can go to, her course OR simply purchase the jean inman book (pricey I know, you will be happy you did so.
  • I went through Jean’s book and everything she told us to note or highlight I put on flashchards. I had over 500 flashcards! Writing the notes on the flashcards helped me remember it better than simply reading the book over and over.

 

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  • After all my flashcards were made I had about 1.5 weeks until my exam…so I really had to kick it in full gear. I spent 5 days doing the 1000 practice questions and reviewing the answers from the Jean Inman book she had given us. I circled the ones I got wrong and went back to see why I had gotten them wrong.
  • The last 4 days before my exam I spent reading each of the four domains out of that book of hers. Each day I read 1 domain each and made sure I understood the concepts. Reading outloud to myself was very helpful.
  • The morning of I had to drive 1 hour to my closest testing center and my heart was just beating the whole time. I arrived 45 minutes early (they recommend 30 minutes early) and I was able to sign in and wait outside the door. The room I would be using consisted of several people, yet I was the only one sitting for the CDR exam. Everyone else were waiting to take their 7 hour surgery board exams (thank god my exam was only 2.5 hours!!)
  • I had to lock up all my stuff, turn my phone off, have my finger prints and palms scanned and then she let me begin my exam at 8am. She provided me with headphones and ear plugs, which ever I preferred use. The headphones worked so well.
  • During the entire exam I was just clicking the next button and wanting to cry because I felt like each answer was wrong. 80% of me thought I failed, and the 20% was just hopeful I passed. As I finished the exam within the hour, I clicked finish and had to take a short survey at the end regarding my exam and man…although It was “short”, it felt like FOREVER since I couldn’t get my results until the end of the exam.
  • I got my results saying pass and I just sat there in shock, and rose my hand to be dismissed. She came in and asked “all done?” and I just looked at her and said “….I passed……” still in disbelief!!
  • She printed out my results and I called my mom right away crying as I walked to my car. I sat in my car for about ten minutes because my hands were still shaking from the fact that my ten year goal of becoming an RD was accomplished!!

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What’s on the list for the next goal I need to accomplish?? Hopefully this helps anyone considering the exam!

Traveling healthy? Is that a thing?

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OK OK OK EVERYONE! BIG NEWS!

I am now a REGISTERED DIETITIAN!

How this differs from the “nutritionist” you may ask? A nutritionist can be ANYONE: i.e. your mother can call herself one, your grandfather can call himself one, an accountant can be one…you don’t need a certification for that. HOWEVER, a dietitian on the other hand requires the following (info taken from eatright’s website:

  • Completed a minimum of a bachelor’s degree at a US regionally accredited university or college and course work accredited or approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • Completed an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program at a health-care facility, community agency, or a foodservice corporation or combined with undergraduate or graduate studies. Typically, a practice program will run six to 12 months in length.
  • Passed a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). For more information regarding the examination, refer to CDR’s website at www.cdrnet.org.
  • Completed continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.

 

Anyways, this means I am now a professional, and have to abide by the code of ethics and am actually well, legit. I must say that exam was SO tough for me….another blog post about that later tonight. This post is dedicated to traveling, and how to not kill your diet while flying. Diet is SO important to me, and traveling/being away from my own stove/microwave makes me super anxious. So, as I prepare to fly down to Texas this afternoon for Shawn’s graduation, I’ve decided to write a post on how I’M sticking to a relatively relaxed yet still healthy diet.

Tips on Traveling Healthy:

WARNING: So I still have my competition prep mindset to an extent, so my diet still consists of the sweet potatoes, broccoli, and chicken staples, but these rules can apply to aything!

  1. I’m flying  to Texas for 5 days with 1 carry on, 1 little lunch bag, and 1 security bag. In my security bag is most of the food ill be eating: I packed oats and protein powder in my isolator fitness containers, several cans of tuna, light wheat bread, a container of BCAAS, peanut butter, a bag of almonds (natural of course hehe)
  2. in my lunch bag I prepped: 4 individual bags of 4oz chicken and 1 bag of 1/2 sweet potato. I wasn’t planning on doing this, but because I am extras left over in my house I didn’t want to toss them out! These went right through security and I’ll be eating that right before my non flight and at my connecting flight at 3pm. I also packed a quest bar and tuna pouches (couldn’t bring a can opener on the plane, so ensuring you have easy to eat food is key)
  3. The first time I flew, I had a 7am flight and I went nearly all day without eating because I didn’t want to buy airport food and ugh I don’t even want to think about it. it was the worst! AWLAYS PACK FOOD!
  4. My hotel is within walking distance of a Walmart, so I luckily have access to food when I get down there to buy (like more tuna!)
  5. Take advantage of any fruit/yogurt that your continental breakfast may have…seriously! Apples, pears, anything and keep in your room for a healthy snack! From 6:30 am until 5 pm I will be in the airport/flying/no access to electric cooking devices. Here’s what my day will look like with how I packed:

 

6:00AM: breakfast (before I left): oatmeal with protein powder and 2 cups of coffee (because coffee = life)

9:00: 1 oz nuts, quest bar

12:00 pm: 4 oz chicken, 1/2 sweet potato, 4 oz chicken

3pm: 4 oz chicken

By the time I get to my hotel it’ll be 6pm and I will be able to hit walmart for anything dinner related (veggies).

 

Important note: If you’re traveling to a new area, chances are you will be eating out occasionally…and that’s OK! This weekend is Shawn’s basic training for the air force graduation, and I am definitely going to go out and treat him and have him show me delicious places to eat. Just be mindful when you’re eating out. What do you guys pack when you fly?