Chocolate · Clinical Nutrition · Cookies · Dietetic Internship · Life · Running · Weekly Recap

Week 30 Recap

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I feel like all of my weeks are busy but this week was way busier than most of them are!

On the bright side, there are only 8 weeks left and then I’m done…which is both terrifying and incredibly exciting.

This week started like almost all my other ones do, work for 8 hours and then go to the gym before going home.  When I got to the gym on Monday I changed into my workout clothes in the locker room and then right as I was putting on my shoes the power went out….

Now, Corvallis is a special place.  When we get power outages, they are going to last a few hours.  Not the 10-15 minute max ones I used to experience as a kid in California.  I ended up heading home and going on a run instead since I was already in my workout gear and determined to get a workout in.  It was a beautiful night and the weather was perfect for a short 4 mile run.  I had to snap some pictures while I was running but in no way to they do this state justice!

Anyways, I started this week in ICU on Monday and Tuesday and then on Wednesday I started in intermediate care (IMCU) and neuro-trauma (NTCU).  My preceptor on Wednesday was actually one of my TA’s from undergrad and it ended up being a lot of fun working with her that day.  It was kind of a transition to get away from critical care but we still had some tube feeders so it wasn’t a complete shift away from that kind of charting.

Thursday I got to attend the Oregon Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics conference in Portland.  Dietetics is a very small field, the national group, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, only has a little over 75,000 members.  Of course, not every dietitian is a member, but that is still a small group!  It was great to have the chance to get together with 200 other dietetics professionals and talk about our field.

Dietetics really does offer a very unique set of skills and dietitians are trained to do a job that no one else can do.  It was great to hear dietitians talk about how we can promote ourselves and protect our careers and spot in healthcare, especially since there are so many pseudo-nutrition specialists out there who are attempting to offer our services with minimal training that would allow them to do so.   Part of claiming our place is making the public aware of who we are and what we are trained to do.

No one would take medical advice from someone who isn’t trained in medicine, or financial advice from someone who isn’t trained in finance, so why take nutrition advice of any kind from someone who isn’t specifically trained in nutrition?

It’s something I’ve honestly never understood and diet is linked to so, so many preventable diseases that is absolutely blows my mind that the public is either uninterested in the expertise dietitians can provide or they’re willing to take advice from the media, which is advice that is rarely backed up with evidence based research, and take it without question.

I could go on, but I’ll step off my soap box now….

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We also got to present our internship research project in the form of a poster at the OAND conference which was pretty neat.  A lot of the dietitians were really interested in what we found during our focus groups and were excited to see that we were working with the college population. It was really cool to see my name on a poster!

Thursday when I got home from Portland the weather was incredibly beautiful (around 85 degrees!!!!) so I decided to go on a long bike ride since I just really didn’t feel like going on a run.  I rode my bike all around Corvallis for around 45 minutes and then did some Nike Training Club workouts when I got home.  If you’re looking for some workout inspiration, I highly recommend the NTC app.  The workouts are killer!

Much to my displeasure, I had to return to the hospital on Friday to finish off the week.  I was actually working with one of the younger dietitians and we ended up encountering a very complicated patient.  A doctor was interested in starting peripheral parenteral nutrition (PPN) on a patient I had been following all week and it was something neither me or my preceptor had encountered outside a textbook.  It was an incredible learning experience and a great chance for me to get used to communicating with doctors and pharmacists.

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Since this week was so incredibly busy and hectic, I spent my Saturday night making cookies instead of doing anything exciting.  I am pleased to report that for the first time EVER I did not over bake my cookies and they are still soft today!  I went with the classic Nestle Toll House recipe and used chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips.  It was an excellent way to end the week!

 

Chocolate · Coconut · Cookies

Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies

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My roommate turned 25 on Thursday and I wanted to make her some kind of chocolate treat to celebrate.  She’s gluten and soy free, which can be a bit of a challenge sometimes, so when I saw this recipe posted by Smitten Kitchen I was so because it has few ingredients and not trace of soy or gluten!

These cookies are amazing! They are super rich and chocolatey, moist on the inside, and a little crunch on the outside.

Plus, they are super easy to make and use ingredients that everyone probably has on hand, maybe with the exception of coconut.

Try these cookies! They are so simple and so delicious!

Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 14 ounces sweetened, flaked coconut
  • 2/3 cup  granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 325°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Heat approximately half of chocolate chunks in a small saucepan until just melted, then, off the heat, stir in the remaining chunks until they’re smooth. The residual heat should be enough to melt them and leave the mixture lukewarm; if it’s not, heat the mixture again until just melted, but not very hot.
  3. In a food processor, blend the coconut for one full minute. Add sugar and cocoa powder, blend another full minute. Add egg whites, salt and vanilla and blend until combined, then the melted chocolate until smooth.
  4. With a tablespoon measure or cookie scoop scoop batter into 1-inch mounds.
  5. Bake cookies for 15 minutes, until the cookies are shiny and just set. Let them rest on the tray for 10 minutes after baking (or you can let them fully cool in place, if you’re not in a rush to use the tray again), as they’ll be hard to move right out of the oven. They’ll firm up as they cool, but still remain softer and less dry inside than traditional macaroons.
Beaver Football · Chocolate · Cookies · Holidays · Ruby · Weekly Recap

I’ll Be Home for Christmas

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  I know I was beyond thankful to be home this year.  I drove home on Monday and the ten hour drive seemed to take forever because I was so anxious to get home!

I got greeted by a happy puppy as usual and I made it home in time for dinner so I got to have a chicken tostada from my favorite Mexican restaurant almost immediately.  I was a happy happy girl!  If there is one thing I really miss about my home town it’s the authentic Mexican food that is so easy to find.  I love Mexican food, I could live off of it.

After a full day of driving and a full belly of food I ended up going to bed fairly early.  I was exhausted!  Before I went to bed my dad told me he would be going to Body Pump at the gym at 5 AM and asked if I wanted to join him.  My first thought was no way because of how early it was, but then I thought about how much I love Body Pump so I told my dad I would set my alarm and then see how I felt in the morning.

At the ungodly hour of 4:30 AM, my alarm went off and I got up.  I threw on some workout clothes, pulled my hair up, and cut up a pear for my dad and I to eat on the way to the gym.  I was definitely glad that I forced myself to get up once I got there.  Body Pump is such a great class!  It totally kicks my butt but it helped me lose weight fast after college so I can testify that it really will change your body if you stick with it.  I love the challenge of it.  When it starts to get easy all you have to do is increase your weight and the challenge is back!

The instructor that taught Body Pump also teaches spin classes, so even though there wasn’t a class being offered at 6 AM, she told us if we wanted we could “congregate” in the spin room and she would put on music.  So my dad and I went and did a makeshift spin class after Body Pump.  Holy cow, I thought I was going to die!  My legs were on fire!

After a morning of working out I spent the rest of the morning relaxing.

Someone thought I could use a cuddle buddy, apparently…

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She’s not supposed to get on the couch.  She listens so well…

My mom put me to work picking lettuce from the garden so I picked a ton!  We’ll have plenty for the rest of the time I’m home.

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So much lettuce!

The Beavers played in the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve night so we made a quick meal of leftover frozen lasagna and then watched the Beavers win! It was great to relax and watch a football game with my dad.

Christmas morning started early, I got up a little after 7 and we ended up starting presents around 8:30.  We had quiche for breakfast, as usual, and then all sat down to unwrap presents.  My grandma came over around 9:15 to join us.  I think the best part of the day was watching Ruby unwrap her presents and prance around with them.  She is just too cute sometimes!

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She got so spoiled.

I got a ton of chocolate like I usually do, not complaining at all about that!

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My parents are totally feeding my chocolate obsession haha.

Once presents were done I got going on some gingerbread cookies.  My dad had some dough that he bought so all I had to do was roll it out, cut out the cookies, and bake them.

I’m not the best at decorating cookies, they all looked  a little bit silly…

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They tasted good though!

After we stuffed ourselves with Christmas dinner, complete with ham, scalloped potatoes, peas, rolls, jello, pear crisp, vanilla ice cream, wine and coffee, it was time to do a million dishes and then crash on the couch for the rest of the day.

I’ve been eating leftovers for the last two days so I’m really excited to go out to dinner tonight!  I’m a little tired of ham and potatoes….

 

Chocolate · Cookies · Pumpkin

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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In the spirit of pumpkin everything, obviously it makes sense to have another pumpkin recipe.

And what’s better than chocolate chip cookies?

Chocolate chip cookies AND pumpkin!

I used coconut oil instead of butter, which in my opinion doesn’t make them healthier because they are still a cookie and still loaded with saturated fat.

However, it gives them a different texture.  They don’t flatten like a normal cookie and with the pumpkin they’re super moist and cakey.  I’m not usually a huge fan of cookies like this, but these are fantastic.  I think the pumpkin is to thank for that.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found the recipe here

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and spices. Set aside.

3. Using a mixer, combine the coconut oil and sugars together. Add vanilla extract and pumpkin and mix until combined, about 3 minutes. Slowly add in the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

4. Drop by large, rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to brown around the edges. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for two minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

 

I had to bake mine longer than the original recipe called for (it said 10-12 minutes) so I would say watch your cookies and see how they are around that time.

I’ve made these twice and doubled one of the batches.  They have been a HUGE hit with everyone I’ve shared them with and it’s a good thing I did share them or I would have eaten them all!