Life

A New Year, A New Direction

img_8206It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Almost 2 years to be exact. My last post was in MARCH of 2015. To be honest, there have been countless times that I’ve wanted to get back to this blog. It lost direction after my dietetic internship and there was no way for me to keep it going. I’m a different person now than I was back then. Looking back at some of my posts, which date back to 2012, makes me cringe. I was in a really bad place for a large portion of time that I wrote this blog. To me it shines through in a lot of the posts. Before I publish this post, I’m going to go back and block a lot of those old posts. They say things that I don’t stand by anymore as a dietitian.

So where am I now? Well, I’m almost done with grad school. I decided to go back to school and started my masters in public health in the fall of 2015. It’s been rewarding so far, but I’m ready to be done. I’ve continued to work at the hospital on a per diem basis. I’m working more this year than I did last year. I’ve got grad school more under control now so I have the ability to do that I guess. I’m also working on campus at the health center as a graduate assistant. I do get to see clients once a week, but I don’t do as much as a dietitian as I do at the hospital. I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do after I graduate.  I’m just going with the flow until graduation and then I’ll start to panic if I need to!

So, what was the motivation to restart this blog? Well, I’ve become very inspired by some fellow RD bloggers in the last few years. Inspired by women who challenge me to look at nutrition from a different lens. Who fearlessly share their lives for the sake of inspiring others. Even though I know I’ll never have a blog of their caliber, I really just want to have an outlet. I want to able to write down the things that inspire me and if I help one person in the process, that’s awesome. If not, I know that I’ve helped myself.

Here’s to the new adventures of 2017!

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Quinoa · Vegetarian

Quinoa Burritos

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I’m sitting here on a Friday night watching the Real World and drinking wine so I decided to finally type up some of the recipe blog posts that I’ve been accumulating. I have attempted to salvage the horrible pictures I have but they still look horrible…nothing new there!

I made these burritos months ago and stored the leftovers in the freezer for quick meals later on. I’ve eaten all the ones from my freezer and feel like I should probably make more soon because they were really good! I would mash up some avocado and smear it on before each bite for a little extra something (and because I love avocado!) and I would say that’s probably the best way to serve them.

Quinoa Burritos

From Iowa Girl Eats

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2-1/4 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 12oz frozen sweet corn, thawed
  • salt and pepper
  • 15oz can black beans, drained then rinsed
  • 1 vine-ripened tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 8oz freshly shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6-10”  flour tortillas

Directions:

  1. Bring 1-3/4 cup chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan then add quinoa, place a lid on top, turn heat down to medium then simmer until the liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender, 15 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, heat extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat then add shallot and corn, season with salt and pepper, then saute until shallots are tender, 4 minutes.
  3. Add black beans, remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth, chili powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper then simmer until liquid is nearly absorbed, 4 minutes. Add tomatoes then simmer until tender, 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat then stir in cilantro and lime juice. Set aside to cool slightly (liquid will continue to thicken and be absorbed as the mixture cools.)
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat tortillas according to package instructions to make them pliable then add a scoop of quinoa to the lower third portion of the tortilla. Add a scoop of the black bean mixture on top followed by shredded cheese. Roll once then tuck in sides and continue rolling to form a burrito. Wrap in foil then bake for 10 minutes to warm through.
  5. To freeze: Place foil-wrapped burritos in a freezer bag then freeze. Thaw overnight in fridge then microwave for 1 minute to heat, or unwrap frozen burritos from foil then wrap in a paper towel and microwave for 2-3 minutes, or until heated through.

These were super easy to make and freeze so well! If you love burritos and quinoa, try these!

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WIAW

WIAW: It’s Been a While

Hello!

I fully intended to get back into the blog swing last week…and then I forgot to take pictures of almost everything last week and the weekend got crazy and it just didn’t happen. Going into this year I wanted to spend more time with friends and I’m slowly realizing that by achieving that I have less time for the things that I used to spend so much time doing. And that’s okay! So from now on I’m just going to blog when I have time, because I enjoy it, but not feel like I have to keep a regular schedule like I had during my internship.

On that note, I finished my internship over 8 months ago. How insane is that?!?!

Anyways, onto the food!

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I started off the morning with oatmeal! I had to borrow this picture from the past because I was running late this morning and didn’t get the chance to take a picture. One of my good friends from undergrad is now my coworker and she and I both commute to work so we carpool together. Luckily, today was her day to drive so I just threw a glass tupperware of oatmeal into the microwave, topped it with some peanut butter and coconut butter, and then ate it once I got into her car.

This week I’m working with another dietitian splitting her work load. It’s the medical/surgical floor and oncology, and I’ve mostly been taking the med/surg patients. I had some crazy patients this morning that kept me very busy so by the time I had the chance to take a break I was more than ready for my snack!

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Lately my snack has been a fruit cup or squeezable applesauce and a cheese stick. Probably more suitable for a 5 year old, but it’s quick and easy. It’s also the perfect sweet and salty combo and seems to hold me over until lunch in most cases.

Because it’s National Nutrition Month, me and a few of my coworkers came up with some feature menu items this month that are “healthy” and are going to be served with our RD stamp of approval. Today was the first day for one of our menu items to be served in the cafeteria at work. It was fajita stuffed peppers and I originally intended to have those for lunch….but then I saw that there was burrito bar and burritos always win. Luckily, my boss is awesome and she gave us some meal tickets so every day where we have a feature item we can order an entree for all of us RDs to try at lunch. So I got to try the peppers anyways! They were really good and looked awesome. I wanted to take a picture, but everyone started diving in before I could.

So instead, I took a picture of my puppy-sized burrito.

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As usual, I ordered it sans meat and ate about 2/3 of it before I was completely full. It kept me full all the way until the drive home.

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I had a homemade cashew cookie Larabar on the way home before the gym. I took it a little easy at the gym today since I went on a run yesterday when I got home and I was still feeling a little sore from that. On that note, I’m finally able to run outside without pain! I’m trying not to overdo it but it’s so hard not to push myself because it feels so good to run.

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When I got home I heated up some leftover pasta that I made last night. Brussel sprout and bacon carbonara. It was so good and was really good reheated too! I used brown rice pasta and I couldn’t tell the difference at all! I’m in no way gluten free, but I have no objection to eating gluten free things and I like trying the different options out there because I think it makes it easier to connect to my patients.

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I heated up a dark chocolate pistachio cookie from the freezer for dessert and ate it with a glass of almond milk. Yum!

Hope your March is off to a great start!

Clinical Nutrition · Life

6 Month Job Update + Life Lately

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Wednesday was officially 6 months at my clinical dietitian job at the hospital and 10 months ago today I had my first day at the hospital as an intern.

Time. Flies.

I just read back through my 3 month job update and it’s absolutely insane how much I’ve grown since then! I still learn something new every day and know that the learning never stops, or at least it shouldn’t!  I’ve also become much more detail oriented and haven’t had any more incidences of accidentally missing someone or something important. I truly think sometimes it just takes making mistakes to learn.

In November I had the opportunity to apply for a full time position that would include my own area in the hospital. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the position. I feel really fortunate because as much as I really wanted the position and my own area, I’ve been able to see the positives of continuing to float and spend time building skills in different units with different types of patients. Plus the girl who got the position was more than deserving of it. She was a classmate of mine in undergrad and a fellow intern last year, so I’m excited to see her succeed as a young RD and be rewarded for all her hard work.

3 months ago I had just started working in ICU and since then it’s become more of a regular unit for me to work on. We have 7 full time RD positions that split the ~15 units of the hospital, but 2 of those RD positions cover ICU.  The ICU is a 30 bed unit and one RD covers 19 of the ICU beds and the other covers the remaining 11 beds plus the 18 ICU level bed on the cardiovascular care unit (CVCU). Those ICU patients on CVCU are mostly open heart surgery patients or those with serious cardiac arrest that has required CPR and left them with potential brain damage due to lack of oxygen for a period of time. For the most part, the ICU level patients on CVCU don’t require nutrition intervention but there are always a few that are having a difficult recovery and are requiring tube feeding.

In the last few months I’ve covered the ICU + CVCU position a lot. The position may have a lot of beds, but the RD rarely has more than 10-12 patients on their list, which is manageable. I’ve really grown to love the critical care setting which is funny because as an intern I was totally and completely terrified by ICU. It amazes me how much knowledge I have now compared to then and how comfortable I am with more complex situations. I still find myself asking for help pretty frequently but I’m more confident making simpler decisions on my own now. I cover ICU for ~2 weeks in February and I’m really excited! But also a little nervous!

Anyways, I still completely love my RD job. I love the hospital and I love my coworkers and I love helping my patients. Yesterday I had 6 educations, which is a lot, and every single one of those patients was super excited about nutrition. Yesterday was definitely the exception since nutrition is often not the favorite topic, but it was so nice to spend time helping my patients set goals about their health and see them so genuinely motivated. I was so busy yesterday and stayed almost 2 hours late, but those educations made every single second worth it!

As for my January so far:

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I successfully donated blood for the 8th time last week and I’m now officially a gallon donor. If you can give blood, please do! It’s so important and only takes an hour of your time. Go to the Red Cross website to read about the eligibility criteria and find a blood drive near you!

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I bought these beautiful Alex and Ani bracelets for myself as a late Christmas present and I am obsessed. Don’t mind my dingy looking lab coat sleeve…

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I got to spend time with some church friends on Wednesday and play Clue and drink tea. It was a rager! Haha. But seriously, there is nothing more fun that bundling up on a cold winter night and playing a classic board game!

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My BirchBox (<–referral link) subscription continues to be one of the best decisions I have made in the last 6 months. I love opening these every month! Plus I’m obsessed with the “Let’s Do This” slogan for 2015.

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This Buzzfeed quiz had me laughing so hard. I literally just told someone the other day that I could never be vegan because I love cheese too much. 035

This is how my day started yesterday, with my coffee leaking everywhere. I got to work to find a puddle of coffee in my cupholder. Only on a Friday…

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Life

Hello 2015!

How did this happen? How is it already a new year?

I apparently decided to take a hiatus from blogging for a little over a month. I think I needed it, honestly. Somehow this site still managed to get a fair amount of traffic during that time period which surprised me, but I’ll try to start posting more often now. This blog turned 2 years old on Thanksgiving but if feels like I’ve been blogging for so much longer than that!

The last 5 weeks haven’t been too incredibly exciting, just working a lot (what’s new), cooking when I can, and trying not to go crazy in this tiny town. There has been no one here since the university is on winter break and a lot of my friends are from out of state and have traveled home for the holidays. People will be returning this weekend and I’m super excited to be surrounded by humans again! My family came up to Oregon for Christmas which actually ended up being a lot of fun! I was worried since my apartment is so small and they stayed with me on Christmas Eve and then all of Christmas Day, but it ended up working out. They ended up staying a few days longer but my parents stayed in a hotel so my apartment wasn’t so cramped!

I had to work on Christmas Eve and December 26th and they were some ridiculously crazy work days! I’m pretty sure I consumed way too much caffeine both days but it helped me stay productive! Red cups for the win!

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I bought an artificial tree this year and after my parents arrived and we put out all the presents it looked so small!

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And of course Miss Ruby tagged along and was up to her usual antics.

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I just love her so much!

I’m pleased to report that I actually stuck with my New Years Resolution in 2014. My faith has always been an extremely important part of my life but during college I found a way to make excuses and let it slip to the side. I still was active in bible studies and church but I wasn’t living like a Christian. In the fall of 2013 I started making some good changes in my life and by the new year I wanted to make 2014 a year of spiritual growth. I bought the devotional Jesus Calling and challenged myself to read all the way through it in 2014. And I did it! Intentionally reading through the Word on a daily basis was life changing for me this year and I would highly recommend this devotional to anyone whose looking for an easy way to ease back into reading scripture!

I didn’t really do much for New Years this year. In fact, I was in bed at 11:00 PM and fell asleep before midnight. I won’t get into specifics as to why that happened, but I think it was a good thing for me. I definitely did not intend to spend my New Years Eve the way I did, but that’s okay 🙂

This year I’m making 2 resolutions. The first is to read the She Reads Truth #365DaysOfTruth. Unfortunately they are having some technical difficulties with their WordPress site today so I can’t actually begin it fully right now, but once I’m able to access it I will. They have an app too, which is great! Check it out, both the site and the app are fantastic!

Yesterday when I was listening to the radio on my way to work they were talking about choosing one word and focusing on it all year long. I decided that would be an awesome resolution as well, so I’ve chosen my word for 2015: LOVE.

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I think this verse, 1 John 3:18, really shows what I mean when I say I want to focus on “love” this year. Not the romantic love, although I wouldn’t be opposed to that (haha), but truly loving people and living out my life in a way that shows I care deeply about those around me. I would also like to work more on accepting love and allowing others to love me. I truly think that what this world needs is more love and people living like they love each other. Isn’t that what God put us here to do, anyways?

Besides contemplating how I can better myself in 2015, I also got to do some cooking today! I got a new food processor for Christmas and I got to use it for the first time today. I’ll post the recipe later this week, it was a super simple vegetarian soup. I’ve been eating a lot of meat lately so it feels good to get back to a meatless diet!

I hope you all had a wonderful New Years Eve and have had a great first day of 2015! I’m so excited to see what this year has in store!

WIAW

WIAW: Hello Thanksgiving

Can you believe Thanksgiving is tomorrow? I worked Thursday – Monday (and had the most ridiculously busy work weekend of my entire life) and then made the long, 10 hour drive home yesterday. I arrived home before dinner and got to enjoy a delicious meal with my family. We had salmon that my dad caught in Alaska a few months ago and it was so so good!

I wanted to sleep in this morning, but I got woken up by this needy creature…

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She got herself trapped on my bed (because there is a lot of extra crap shoved in my room right now) so I had to get up and carry her off my bed and into the hallway.

I love mornings at home because they’re so slow and I can enjoy my coffee and make myself whatever I want for breakfast and now worry about any other obligations. Sometimes it’s hard being at home because my parents choose foods that I no longer choose for myself and try as I might, I haven’t been able to convince them to make many changes yet. But change is slow and I know that. So I guess all I can do is lead by example.

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This morning I decided to make myself a breakfast burrito with two eggs, some cheese, and salsa. This tends to be a common breakfast for me when I’m at home because it’s easy and it’s delicious. Of course I had some coffee with it and since my mom buys the flavored coffee creamer I had some “gingerbread latte” creamer in it. Those creamers used to be my weakness but after trying some this morning I’m glad I kicked the habit. I couldn’t even taste my coffee!

I had a doctors appointment this morning and then I had to go to the store for some food so I picked up a kombucha while I was there.

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Of course, as soon as I got home and sat in a recliner the dog crawled up on my lap again and tried to see what I was drinking. I think she liked the mango smell.

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We didn’t have much to make a meal out of for lunch, so since my brother decided to open a can of refried beans for a quesadilla I decided so eat some with some chips and an apple. Soon after lunch my mom got home from work and the Thanksgiving prep began!

Our menu tomorrow includes turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, artichoke-parmesan stuffing, quinoa salad, cranberry sauce, rolls, olives, and pumpkin pie. I already made the cranberry sauce, prepped for my quinoa salad, and prepped for the stuffing.

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I ate a baby bell and some Belvita biscuits with peanut butter and almond milk for a snack after I was done with most of the prep.

For dinner we had takeout from one of my favorite Chinese restaurants and since we don’t do cell phones at the dinner table, I didn’t take a picture. I had potstickers, kung pao chicken, rice, and chow mein. So good!

My brother’s girlfriend came over after dinner and brought a chocolate creme pie so I had to have a slice of that too, obviously. She was asking me about what I would be eating for Thanksgiving tomorrow (ie, would I be going all out) and I think that’s a common question for holidays that revolve around food. I wrote a post about holiday meals last year and basically, I will be enjoying my meal tomorrow and go back to my normal after. And my normal will include lots of leftovers 🙂

Have a fantastic holiday and eat something delicious!!

 

 

Breakfast · Oatmeal · Snacks

“Glo Bar” Granola Bars

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Lately I’ve been struggling to find a morning snack that works for me. I’ve had problems tolerating dairy in the past and they seem to have returned in full force, so yogurt and granola has been cast to the side. I tried protein bars like Clif or Luna bars, but they put so many unnecessary additives in them and have so much added sugar that those didn’t sit well either.

I bought the Oh She Glows cookbook a few weeks ago and when I saw this recipe I knew I had to give it a try. These are really quick to throw together and they don’t require any baking, just a chill in the freezer and they’re ready to go. Plus, they don’t have any funky additives and give you energy from real, whole foods. Of course there is some sugar in the form of brown rice syrup, which is an incredible binding agent, but if you use a nut butter with no added sugar then the syrup will be the only added sugar in the recipe.

I think it would be really easy to change out the nut butter and seeds in this recipe and make it your own. Go ahead and give them a try!

“Glo Bar” Granola Bars

Servings: 12

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cup rise crisp cereal
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 cup sunbutter (or nut butter of your choosing)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions: 

1. Mix the oats, rice cereal, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, sesame seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, and sea salt together in a large bowl.

2. In a small saucepan, heat the brown rice syrup and sunbutter until it just beings to bubble and is well combined. Don’t let it bubble too long or it will start to burn on the bottom of the pan! Add the vanilla extract.

3. Pour the syrup mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well. It will get sticky!

4. Pour the mixture into a 9×9 pan lined with parchment or wax paper. Press mixture down with wet hands. Make sure it’s packed well.

5. Place pan in freezer for 10 minutes, or until bars are hardened. Remove from pan using the parchment and cut into 12 squares. You can store these in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.