It's been awhile! Welcome back. The blog has a new look, new name, and (soon) new content! I am still exploring the blogesphere to find my niche--but I think I've found where I want to be. I will still be blogging about my dietetic internship, but it will be tucked under the nutrition category, and new contact will be about my nerdy interests (how excited are we for Rogue One?). I will be talking about anime I'm watching (unless it's too embarrassing--then I'll talk about the other things I watch on netflix), video games I want to play (or do play, although my boyfriend has the xbox one currently and the xbox 360 I have has two red parts of the ring of death and YES BRANDON I HAVE UNPLUGGED IT AND TRIED AGAIN and it still doesn't work), and other general things like the awesome Marvel movies coming out (get it together DC) or my dreams of going to SDCC.
If that doesn't sound exciting or interesting to you--you might want to skedaddle. Or just click the "nutrition" category every time you stop by ;)
Preventative Cardiology at Domino's Farms was an amazing rotation. A few things before I dive in...
1. It is not related to Domino's Pizza, although there is a training site here.
2. I'm not farming--there's a lot of green space though with some cows, which always looks extremely peaceful.
3. Everything is about the lipid profile and hemoglobin A1c. A1c is life yo.
This post will probably be a doozy because I've been here for four weeks! Time has gone by so fast. I've observed many mini-teaches for people in cardiac rehab, many different appointments, and four different dietitians. I've worked on my counseling skills to the point where I ran an appointment almost entirely by myself (new lipid patients can be complicated). I've met so many people will so many different stories--many of them heartbreaking, some of them victorious. There's also a Metabolic Fitness program here that I've gotten to see a few classes of, as well as be in their initial nutritional counseling appointments.
The first few days I was pretty intimidated. These dietitians know their stuff! I didn't realize just how haywire fat metabolism could go. I also didn't realize the lack of nutrition knowledge out there. People are definitely worried about the wrong things. No, if you eat grapes in moderation they do not have too much sugar (but can we talk about all the white flour products you're having?). No, eating a non-organic apple is not like consuming poison (but can we talk about the fast-food you've been having?).
Side note: Coconut oil (or coconut products in general) is not a cure-all.
If you are still interested and don't want to chase me throwing coconut water on me like holy water on a vampire, I do have more to say. I will do a separate post on it (soon-coming) because it's such a hot topic.
I have found that I really like outpatient counseling -- I enjoy getting to know patients and develop a relationship with them. Not only are you giving the tools to make changes in their lives but you get to help them fine tune them and work out kinks along the way. I learned a lot about fat metabolism and dyslipidemia -- but I think I learned the most about practical skills in this rotation. What's important to share with someone when you check in with them once a week while they are on an exercise bike, and how to make realistic changes with people. I also gained a lot of experience charting, which I have found is incredibly valuable for my hospital inpatient rotation.
With T2D, obesity, and a salt-saturated food system, these cardiovascular problems are only going to continue to increase. I know I'll be able to use this work throughout my life in different areas.
But how does restrictive eating fit into my sphere? I'm not sure. That's something I struggled with in this rotation -- people want to cut things out, they want a specific diet plan, they use MyFitnessPal to count calories... As someone who stresses the concept of food and dismissing the morality of it (good/bad labels), this clashed with my instincts. I was able to reconcile these two systems by emphasizing that losing weight can mean caring for our body, putting good things in it so we feel better, and treating the lab values as signs from our body saying, "I give up! I can't handle what we are doing anymore!" I think it's still a very tricky line to navigate -- obesity prevention could very well be introducing an eating disorder in the process. This is something the other interns and I are hoping to explore at our winter conference.