Dietitian Talk

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

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Management: What It Entails (and the rest of my friday)

20160205_142134000_iOSHoly meals!! We prepared, trudged through the snow, and delivered 103 meals to the staff at Indiana U of PA Campus! Full of love french toast, valentines day vanilla parfait, and cupids crunch mix all boxed up and sent out to the recepients. We even had some people email us asking what the recipe for the french toast was! Today Patrice and I were the managers in charge of the 103 orders with 9 other employees helping us delivers. What I learned about managing/management skills/what it entails to be a manager:

  1. It’s tough.
  2. You need to check. and double check.
  3. COMMUNICATION IS KEY
  4. People are slackers; employees don’t care about the finish product. If you tell them to do a task, they will do the bare minimum (usually). So sometimes you really have to check up on your employees to ensure quality.
  5. Be loud. This definitely goes with communication. If you aren’t an upfront type of person, you’ll be eaten alive in the management world.
  6. Organization is critical….like you need to be on top of you sh*t. For real.

 

Anddd this all started at 4:00AM today when I woke up, showered, and got ready to start baking the french toast and preparing the packaging at 6:00am on campus. After a successful management experience, I headed to the gym on campus and that was beyond the worst experience EVER! good thing it was only cardio day. 30 minutes of cardio plus a little shoulder action and I needed t get out of there! The campus gym reminded me of how much I dislike people (hehe kidding!). As I was leaving the gym and heading to my doctor appointment (which ended up running an hour behind schedule….), I noticed a frat had a raffle table for winning a gift basket for “the special someone”. The men’s basket had an electric razer, some candy, protein powder, a DVD, and some other “guy” related objects. The women’s had a face mask, a girly DVD, nail polish, candies, and other “female” type products. It’s crazy how we really stereotype genders nowadays. I went up to the table and was like “what’s with the protein?” (typical me only seeing the protein) and they told me how it was a raffle basket “for your special man” and I was like mmm or myself HA. and walked away.

The rest of what I anticipated to be a slow, relaxing day ended up being jam packed with errands: car wash, returns to the store, and now blogging with a cup of coffee awaiting to get some paper work done with Roddy. Hopefully we don’t get too side tracked and start rambling about the latest nutrition gossip because I definitely need t get my mind on track and get some of my homework done.

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1-16-14 Subway and Snow day!

ImageLast night was nice and relaxing; Bryan and I headed over to Kelsey’s house and watched a whole marathon on Always Sunny In Philadelphia. I never really enjoyed that show but lately I’ve been getting into it. Today however, has been nothing unusual. Typical snow day here in Indiana Pa. We actually have a parking lot salt shortage…is that even possible!?

Today I woke up, grabbed a cup of coffee and headed out the door to work from 7-1:30. I know, I know, I should have had some breakfast but my stomach just wasn’t feeling well this morning. I managed to eat some saltines while at work, but after bit my stomach was feeling much better, so Bryan and I headed to Subway!

Now Subway can be filled with calorie bombs as well as calorie angels. I opted for a salad and filled it with so many goodies!

jalapeños, spinach, banana peppers, onions, mushrooms, sweet peppers, tomatoes! I was really depressed to hear the server tell me he never heard of romaine lettuce when I asked why they didn’t have romaine as a lettuce option. We walked up main street after subway in the freezing snow and visited our friend Craig at his store, The Gingerbread Running store where I got my amazing Running shoes. He’s a really talented artist, so if you’re looking for some great artwork visit his website here

I’m currently studying for my exam and making brownies for the boy since they’re outside snowboarding. I decided to decline their offer and work on my academics. Although I’d love to freeze my butt off with them, I really think I need to catch up on studying about the effects of insulin and glucagon.

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Brekfast and lunch with a side of positivty: 1/29/14

ImageImageEverything is finally falling into place! The past few days I’ve been so busy with school and work, but I’m finally figuring out everything and I couldn’t be any more relieved. I woke up this morning around 6am and headed to work at the café at about 7:00am. Of course, I didn’t leave the house without my breakfast! I made myself 3/4 cup of bran flakes, a banana, and almond milk. After a long six hour shift of serving zero customers (I mean seriously, who wants to buy beer at 7 in the morning?) I hurried home, grabbed my backpack and am now currently sitting in my AHN class. I grabbed a bagged lunch at the POD on campus, which contained a spinach vegetable wrap and a banana. The spinach wrap had so much hummus on it, full of fiber and protein which should hold me over until I get home around 4pm. I have a Phi Eta Sigma honor society meeting at Ruby Tuesdays tonight at 6:30pm.

 

I have one of the most inspirational friends named Mandy, and I must say she is such a beautiful person both inside and out. She got me on the Herbalife Bandwagon, and now I am a distributor for Herbalife! I will be promoting the product and selling products to anyone and everyone who wants to have an amazing lifestyle! Along with this positive change, I will now be working in the organic section of my supermarket, which is entirely up my alley since I love organic food and am a strict vegetarian. My future is looking so bright, I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year holds.

Spread positivity to everyone you know, smile at every person you come across. You have no idea how much of a difference this can make!

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The busiest day of my life is finally coming to an end

20140121-214750.jpgI finally have time to sit down and write! This has definitely been one of the busiest days that I have had in a while. I woke up around 7am with Bryan and prepared myself a smoothie to bring to work at the post office this morning. The post office was flooded with kids just coming in and picking up all their textbooks for class, but luckily I had some spare time to down my smoothie. I ran out of mixed berries so I settled for just blueberries in my smoothie today. After working until 11, I headed to my first class, which was a health and wellness class. The main point of this general education class is to promote healthy decisions and healthy eating patterns, which hey, is right up my alley! After that class I had my honors science class, which I can already tell will be tough. We already have journals to write and chapters to read in the book discussing “Why we are human”. An interesting concept to think about, but not something my brain wanted to dive into at 1 in the afternoon. I managed to rush home and grab a nice salad to eat before my last class of the day, which was Advanced Human Nutrition. I’ve heard many things about that class; that it’s hard and the professor is awful, but I’m choosing to block that gossip from my ears and just do what I can to get an A. I’ve already got my work cut out for me with two online classes and three on-campus classes, plus two jobs. Hopefully this girl can handle it!

 

20140121-214812.jpgMy friend Kelsey and I, who is also a nutrition major, headed to the gym after my Advanced Human Nutrition class to blow off some steam. We ran the treadmill and worked on ab routines. As I stated in my last post, it’s always great to work out with a friend, especially a friend who is more motivated. That way, you’ll want to work extra hard to keep up!

Tomorrow’s plans include working on some homework before my first and only class, which is Advanced Human Nutrition (AHN is the new abbreviation I will use) and then off to work at the café in Martins! Wonder how many students will be purchasing beer for me this week now that it’s syllabus week and there’s “no work” for them to do. It pains me to watch students come in every day, recognizing their faces from their constant beer and alcohol purchases. Yeah, of course I want to go out and party and have a great time; yes of course I love drinking and find it fun and relaxing and I definitely think it makes parties more fun. But from a nutritional standpoint/my brain being wired all science/healthy oriented, I regret every drink I take thinking of all the empty calories I’m filling my stomach with.

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the bittersweet day-before-new-semester

ImageIt’s always a bitter sweet moment when it’s your last day of winter break and it’s back to the real world of classes and learning. Today though I spent most of my time slaving over beer and breaking down boxes in the café. I woke up around 6 in the morning with Bryan and made myself a smoothie while he grabbed some cereal. We squeezed in a game of chess before I headed off to work at 7am (stalemate game…but Bryan’s much better and probably will win tonight’s game!) After learning how to play chess from him, that’s all I’ve been interested in doing. I definitely suggest learning if you don’t know how too, it’s much more fun and entertaining than checkers.

My lunch break consisted of a banana and greek yogurt, my favorite of course. I wasn’t really that hungry at all but I knew I needed something to last the rest of the eight hour shift. Clocking out of work today was the best feeling ever, because all I wanted to do was go home and make a nice meal and relax while Bryan (as usual) played Grand Theft Auto. But instead Bryan decided to take me to Hoss’s tonight! Which meant soup, salad, and dessert buffet! The dessert part can really kill the meal, so you have to be weary about what you choose. I piled on a bunch of greens and vegetables on my salad with some grapes and a piece of bread pudding as dessert. The cinnamon bread I have pictured wasn’t the greatest, so I didn’t even bother taking a second bite. Bryan ordered a steak and a baked potato, which also came with the soup and salad bar. If you don’t have a Hoss’s near your hometown you’re missing out! Definitely one of my favorite places to dine at.

 

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Now as soon as all that salad digests In my stomach it’ll be time for Jillian Michaels ab session! It’s only day three and I can already feel some pain in my obliques. Motivation is one of the hardest things that keeps me from continuing a workout. Honestly though, if you want it bad enough, motivation shouldn’t be a problem. If you like what you’re doing, you will be motivated to do it. So make working out fun. Grab your friends or boyfriend or co workers, set dates and times and workout together. Join new classes like Zumba or Spin class, or (just like I did) buy a dvd and get off your couch! Make working out fun and you’ll be more inclined to continue.

 

 

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No gym? No excuses!

I’m one of the busiest people in the world, well that’s what I tell myself anyways. Between a full course load at school, two jobs, and all of my school work, I feel like I barely have time to breathe let alone think of going to the gym. But why not bring the gym to your house?

This dvd I bought from Walmart (roughly $10, couldn’t go wrong with it) has definitely been getting my motivation up. I was a huge biggest loser fan, and now it’s my turn to continue to get in shape with Jillian Michaels. I’ve only done one of the three thirty minute sessions, but so far I’m definitely giving this workout a thumbs up. Level one isn’t bad at all, I can’t wait to see what level two holds. I’ll definitely update you!

Tomorrow my work schedule is 7:30-4, an eight hour day loaded with absolute boredom. When working long shifts that include lunch breaks, be mindful of what you eat. Packing a lunch is always the best option, so now I have all night to brainstorm what to pack. Some of my favorites:

 

  • greek yogurt (oikos or light and fit dannon are my favorite) and a piece of fruit
  • banana-berry smoothie (if you have a refrigerator access)
  • canned soup and crackers (jobs with microwave access)
  • peanut butter and banana sandwich
  • carrots/celery and hummus
  • oatmeal (I always put my oatmeal in a thermos and then reheat it at work)
  • string cheese and fruit

 

 

 

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on the go breakfast? Choose from the best

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Bryan and I made a little date this morning to dunkin donuts, which I was a little hesitant about because when I think of dunkin donuts, I automatically think of donuts and fat. But they had plenty of healthy options to choose from! My breakfast was a veggie egg white flat bread with a brown sugar cinnamon coffee, while bryan got a big a toasted and a small latte. Although small, my flat bread was fairly filling. I didn’t have any regret after eating my breakfast this morning. Afterwards we left to the gym and rode bikes together, lifted, and worked on abs. We went over to the building next to our apartments which have a huge game room, where Bryan taught me how to play chess today, I must say, I’m not as bad as I anticipated! We came home to find out our toilet has been running for the entire time we were gone 😦

 

Can’t wait to see the next water bill….

 

Bryan's a little cold from the surprise snow we got this morning
Bryan’s a little cold from the surprise snow we got this morning
lunch today was a slice of pizza, about 3-4 inches crust wise, compliments from the Pizza House. They were giving out free pizza today in the game room, and I feel as though I can indulge a little today. Now it’s time to relax until I have to meet up with my friends tonight. Wonder what the rest of the day has instore.

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breakfast and a nice dinner at hoss’s

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When I said I had no plans or priorities today, I meant exactly that. I woke up around 10:30 today and Bryan had already left for work. I made myself a delicious smoothie with these great ingredients pictured, plus some frozen mixed berries. I have been very pleased with designer whey protein. with only 100 calories, it packs 18 grams of protein and very few carbs. I’ve only tried the French vanilla, but I am definitely pleased with the versatility of this product. I’ve made smoothies and shakes and also put some in my oatmeal and pancakes, very pleased! by the time I got around to shower and get my day stared Bryan came home and we headed to the gym in the afternoon. we raced each other on the stationary bikes which included this awesome virtual bike riding television, making it seem like you’re actually riding a bike in a park! we finished with some casual hockey shooting outside of our apartment. after bit we decided on an early dinner/late lunch date at Hoss’s steakhouse. I ordered the salad bar and created an amazing salad (paired with grapes which I didn’t include) I love the variety at Hoss’s, definitely one of my favorite restaurant in indiana. after filling our bellies it was time for some relaxation under the heated blanket! currently watching Bryan play his NHL hockey 2014 game while I type away this blog. counting down, less than a week of pure nothing and no stress before the spring semester begins and I am loaded down with schoolwork, let’s hope it’s not too bad this year!

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Never let the mood your in control your eating

ImageSomedays it’s just not your day; you win some or lose some. I woke up, not entirely in the best mood ever and got myself ready for whatever my work day would hold. I made myself some breakfast of kasha cereal/honey bunches of oats with almond milk and half a banana, the same as yesterday’s. I prepared myself for the rainy day and made it to work, only to see that the night person didn’t do their shift well! I came into a messy café with the lights still on, nothing restocked, dirty and nothing put away. That really put my mood down. Luckily it’s been so slow that I had plenty of time to straighten everything out and still attend to my customers. I’m usually one of the loudest and bubbliest workers in the store, but two of my co workers noticed I wasn’t my usual annoying (hehe!) self. One of the said the storm must be coming! haha.

 

On my break I again had half a banana, an apple, and a Light and Fit strawberry greek yogurt for lunch, this time adding in some orange slices I still had from my house. On my lunch break one of my coworkers commented on how well I sound while making the announcements over the intercom, and how I’m such a natural. Maybe I should consider switching my major from Nutrition to Journalism/Public Speaking? hmmm…

 

  ImageI came home and had an early dinner of minestrone soup and my usual side bean and spinach salad, followed by four of those delicious cookies I’ve been raving about for dessert. Tomorrow I finally have a day off, and couldn’t be more excited to relax and de-stress and have absolutely no responsibilities! I’m happy to say that although my mood wasn’t my usual bubble standards, I didn’t let food comfort me and take advantage of my body today. Food doesn’t solve problems; you may think it soothes them and comforts you, but are you going to feel that way the next morning when you’re regretting everything you ate? Some of my favorite ways to de-stress:

 

taking a nice, hot shower

taking the time to paint my nails and make them look nice and maintained

play a mindless game and lose myself in it (candy crush? the sims?)

Go onto Pinterest and pin clothes, beauty, crafts, and health motivation

Clean my house- cleaning my house makes me feel calm and at peace, plus who doesn’t benefit from a nice and clean house?

Go for a nice run, walk, jog, bike ride, anything that helps clear the mind

Or my favorite, take a nice and relaxing nap!

What are your favorite ways to de-stress?

 

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