Signposts. Lessons Along the Trail

This was the first week of spring semester classes.  The workload has yet to dig in and leave marks on my shoulders, so for the present I feel foolishly enthusiastic to run, skip, and leap ahead into every class, assignment, and reading.  But hold on-let me turn around and peer back to the beginning, way back to the trailhead.  Where have I trekked, and what have I learned?  I'm glad this blog can help me remember the signposts along my trail.
 December 2009, Davis CA.  
Exploring a new [muddy] trail one fine afternoon.
Get ready for some more random pictures..
Signposts along the Dietetic Internship
What's a dietetic internship?  Short answer: Learning the skills to become a Registered Dietitian through 1200+ supervised hours of clinical nutrition training.  Long answer: please see the American Dietetic Association.
Here's the rotations I've done so far.

  1. Tufts Weight and Wellness Center-a multidisciplinary approach to weight loss and bariatric surgery.  What did I do?  I donned scrubs and observed a gastric bypass surgery.  I [unsuccessfully] attempted a meal-replacement diet by eating high protein bars from 3 days.  I watched a lot of nutrition counseling.  But most importantly, I learned respect from the clients that I met.  Behavior change is HARD!  Also, the dietitians here introduced me to greek yogurt.  A lovely substance.
  2. Tufts Research rotation.  These dietitians and researchers are investigating the relationship between HIV and nutrition.  I did my first diet recall here!  (I had one convicting assignment involving omega-3 fatty acids. I went home and bought walnuts, and I am still on the search for cashew butter.)
  3. Outpatient Head and Neck Oncology.  Chemotherapy and radiation makes for some unhappy patients.  This was my first chance to read medical charts-so many abbreviations!
  4. Dental rotation at Tufts Dental School- I learned about preventative oral nutrition.  You know-don't eat hard candy, avoid soda, brush those pearly whites, and floss.  Yay for a free toothbrush! 
  5. Administration Rotation- mock staffing schedule and quality control exercise...tedious but very relevant.
  6. Management Rotation- mock budget exercise, and a lesson on the politics of hospital bureaucracy...scary.
  7. WIC Office.  I never thought I would like community nutrition.  But here I was truly touched.
  8. Joslin Diabetes Center.  Ahh, 3 weeks of diabetes overload at Joslin-what a priviledge!  I counted my carbs and tracked my sugars (yay for a free glucometer!), I observed insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring training (wow, high tech stuff), I learned about Vitamin D and UV exposure, and I met a very cool pediatric dietitian.  Now here's someone who rocks her job! 
  9. PRIORITY- a new pediatric weight clinic at Tufts Floating Hospital for Children.  I gathered materials for a nutrition education handout on healthy restaurant eating tips.   Pretty *shocked* by the Cheesecake Factory and Uno's menus.  5000+ mg of salt and 30+ grams saturated fat in ONE dish?!  

    Farmers market at Point Reyes, CA.  I want some of this!  
    Signposts from the classroom.
    I've learned so much from my classes, but here's two things I'd like to share.
    First.  I'm thankful that my classmates are my future colleages.  In my biochem class I enjoyed hearing the opinions of my peers as we tore apart the new cookie diet, debated the soda tax, or questioned the front of package food labels.  I'm constantly humbled by their accomplishments and ideas.  What an optimistic future.
    Secondly.  I've been thinking about the field of nutrition, and I have a lot of questions.  Online nutrition information is like an unchartered frontier.  How can I sort through the inaccurate junk and dig up the nutrition truth?  Nutrition is a multi-disciplinary field crossing into government policy, food industry, marketing, and scientific research.  Thus, is there such a thing as a nutrition expert?  Nutrition is a hot topic, and everyone wants to get their hands dirty: the food industry, sports and fitness professionals, physicians, researchers,...and every person who eats is their own nutrition expert, right?   As a future dietitian, where is my place?
    Summer 2009 Farmers Market.  
    It snowed yesterday, and I'm longing for some color!
    For the next 4 months I'm out of clinical rotations.  This means my posts will be related to the masters classes, and not so much the dietetic internship.
    Here's my Sping semester lineup:
    Public Policy of Health Claims for Foods
    Regression Analysis for Nutrition Policy
    Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy
    Communication Strategies in Health Promotion
    Design of Epidemiologic Studies for Nutrition Research
    Crumbs of Advice: for Dietetic Students [and myself!]
    Get friendly with Pubmed.  This search portal for scientific literature is the ultimate resource for nutrition research, or any research!  Reading, understanding, and translating research literature is an art and an essential skill.   I'm slowly getting better.
    Have you tried Google Reader?  Stay on top of real time nutrition news by subscribing to RSS feeds of the NYTimes, Wall Street Journal, other major newspapers, and government health agencies (USDA, NIH, non gov't IOM).
    Plunge into social media.  It's pulling out to sea, so get on board.  No I'm serious!  Blogs, twitter, linked in.  Yup-even if you don't like it, at least be aware of it.  I believe this skill set will be critical in our internet-fueled economy.
    Get aquainted with Microsoft Excel.  Quite frankly, I struggle with Excel and wished I had learned it sooner.
    Battery Park, NYC.  January 2010.  Hey little guys!  You cold up there?
    Thank you to those who read my blog, or for anyone who is stopping by for the first time.  I enjoy processing my thoughts, sending them out into the void, and sometimes hearing echoes and answers.
    I'm happily munching and crunching along this trail, and I'll try my best to keep spreading the crumbs of what I'm learning.

    Giveaway Winners!

    Good morning!
    I fell asleep at 8pm last night.  (I was trying to study US health claims policy for food labeling, and clearly it knocked me out.)  When I woke up 4 hours later, it was time to choose two lucky winners on for my book giveaway!
    Congratulations to:
    Jenn of Jenn Cuisine.  1st place winner for Michael Pollan's newest book Food Rules!
    My entry prompt was, "What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book?"  Jenn is currently reading only French workbooks, since she is trying to improve her French skills!

    Brooke of Famished to Fantastic.  2nd place winner for More Vegetables, Please! 
    Brooke is currently reading Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think.  (By the way, this book is great!)

    Thank you to everyone who participated!  This was fun, and I enjoyed hearing what books you are reading.  I have a few additions for good ole' Boston Public Library : )
    Have a lovely Tuesday,

    Aloo Gobi-Intro to the Indian Potato and Cauliflower

    Last night pots were banging and knives were flashing, since it was my second Indian cooking lesson!  The head chef was my roomate Nikita.  The featured guests were Mr. Potato and Mr. Cauliflower- old buddies in her kitchen, but newer acquainances to me (growing up I never ate cauliflower!).  But there was no awkwardness.  For Nikita flawlessly handled the introductions, and together with our honored guests we pooled forces and created a mouth-watering north Indian vegetable dish called Aloo Gobi (literally translated to "Potato and Cauliflower").
    Cheerio!  Let the Fun Begin.
    1 small yellow onion, chopped
    1 tomato, chopped
    1 potato, cubed
    1 head of cauliflower, broken into large florets
    1 tsp whole cumin seeds
    3 tsp turmeric powder
    3 tsp coriander powder
    3 tsp garam masala
    2-3 tsp chili powder (modify for desired spice level)
    salt to taste
    Add 2 tablespoons of oil and sizzle whole cumin seeds for a few seconds.  Add chopped onion and cook until onions are completely transparent and brown (it looks burned but that's perfect).  Keep the heat on medium so that the onions don't blacken.
    Add all spices, except salt.
    Add chopped tomato and 1/4 cup water.  Stir and cover pan to steam for 5 minutes on medium heat.  This medium heat allows the spices to infuse into the mixture, without cooking off the flavor.  The goal is to create a pasty onion-tomato-spice mixture.

    Add salt.
    Precook potato by microwaving for 3-4 minutes in a bowl with a little water.
    Add the semi-cooked potato and the cauliflower.  Stir in with onion-tomato mush.  Add a little water and cover pot to steam cook for 5 minutes, or until cauliflower is almost cooked.   To finish off the cauliflower, allow the aloo gobi to cook uncovered.  This will dry out the mixture.

    Enjoy with roti (pictured below) or naan!

    Nikita explained that a traditional Indian dinner consists of 4 things: roti/naan, yogurt, vegetable, and a lentil/curry dish.  The vegetable dish, such as Aloo Gobi, is usually a dry side dish to complement a curry-like lentil or legume dish.  Yogurt is an essential side for any wet dish, such as the lentils.
    Naan is bread made from white flour.  Think of the traditional bread served at an Indian restaurant.
    Roti is a bread made from whole grain flour.  Tonight I ate my Aloo Gobi with roti.
    Don't forget!  I'm giving away Michael Pollan's newest book Food Rules!  Deadline to enter is midnight (EST) January 25th.  Click here to enter!

    Giveaway! Michael Pollan's New Book and More...

    This giveaway is closed.  Thank you!
    Two Fabulous Books for the Taking!
    1st Place
    Food Rules: An Eater's Manual 
    I am delighted to give away Michael Pollan's latest book.  Pollan, (bestselling author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food) starts Food Rules with seven words of wisdom: Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.  He then embelishes this manifesto with 64 rules for eating wisely.

    I like Rule #19, "If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't."  Since publication the book has sparked controversy, as some people question the simplicity of Pollan's rules.  For example, adhering to Rule #12 (Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle.) exludes many healthful foods such as whole grain pasta and dried fruit from your shopping cart.  Although I love this book (I am in total awe of Pollan's writing career and nutrition influence), I feel that his numerous "do not's" and "avoids" may overshadow other important food factors such as flavor, taste, and enjoyment.  For other perspectives check out Pollan's article on The Huffington Post or Nutrition Unplugged "Some Rules Are Meant to be Broken."
    This book is hot!  Enter to win, and read it for yourself!
    2nd place 
    More Vegetables, Please!
    I have a friend from a dieting website company who recieves lots of free books for promotions.  He passed on this book, and I'm excited to give it to you!
    This veggie-friendly cookbook provides delicious answers for those who struggle to incorporate green crunchies into family meals, or for those who simply need some novel veggie-licious recipes.  Seasonal eating tips, kid-friendly variations, and health notes scatter the margins of every page.  Plus a vegetable glossery kindly explains the difference between leafy greens, stems and stalks, and roots and tubers.  Published 2009.  Enjoy!

    *Note: I am not being paid by any publisher to market these books.*
    To Enter 
    1. Please comment on this post by answering one of the following questions: What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book (fiction, nonfiction, cookbook, picturebook)?  Please leave an email contact too.
    2. Follow me on Twitter and tweet @CoconutCrumbs Food Rules book giveaway.  Please link your tweet back to this post.
    Each method will count as a separate entry, doubling your chances to win.   The deadline to enter is midnight (Eastern Standard Time) on Monday, January 25th.  I'll use to pick two winners, and announce them next week Tuesday, January 26th!  Good luck : )
    This giveaway is closed.  Thank you!

    My Sweet Romance

    Sticky, lumpy, creamy, milky.  And sweet, oh so sweet.  What could it be, but rice pudding!

    Today I had a sumptuous adventure in New York City.  (Rotations ended on Friday and spring semester classes don't start until next Thursday, so I jumped on a bus into the city!)  This afternoon I walked in the drizzle to the heart of SoHo in search of Rice to Riches, a rice pudding haven recommended by two of my fellow Tufts dietetic interns.  What an adorable place it was!  Even as I type this out, I'm tempted for a second taste tomorrow...Oh dear, I'm head over heels.
    Rice to Riches
    Old-Fashioned-Romace Traditional flavor with Toasted Coconut Topping.

    What are your thoughts on rice pudding?  Any new sweet adventures in your life?  

    Start Your Day with a Slurp!

    I made a colossal pot of miso soup on Monday night.  I love this stuff, and the whole week I've been eating it for dinner and breakfast.  Am I strange?  I don't know.  But my morning dose of soup has been doing me some good!  So then I got to thinking, and sometimes thinking leads to blogging.  
    So here I am with  5 reasons to start your morning with a slurp,  and then I'll share my miso soup recipe.

    My Miso Soup.  Does this look healthy, or what?!
    Starting Off Savory
    Soup can be the breakfast of champions!  Here's why:
    • Veggies in the A.M.!  With soup, it's never been so easy to get an early start on your daily veggie count!  I  struggle to eat the recommended 5 servings of veggies per day, so starting with some cabbage at meal #1 certainly helps!    
    • Protein for the long haul.  Carbs take 1/2 an hour to digest, while protein takes 2 hours.  Protein wins, and leaves you satisfied for longer.  So pack in the protein with soup!  My miso soup has tofu, but any soup with lentils, beans, or chicken can also power you through the morning.
    • Fiber for fullness.  I added white rice to my miso soup, but if I was smart I would've added barley for soluble fiber.
    • A warm wake-up call.  A steamy bowl of soup warms my belly on these chilly winter mornings.
    • Savory trumps sweet!  I'm usually a sweet-tooth, but sometimes it's nice to change the daily routine of cereal or oatmeal.  Even poptarts can get old after a while.  : )
    So what do you think?  What's your favorite soup, and would you eat it for breakfast?   Well, I have two more breakfasts left in that big pot of mine.  I guess after I'm done with the miso, I'll go back to oatmeal, hehe!
      Miso Soup...or Stew?
      Maybe you've had the dainty bowls of miso soup that come with the bento meal at a Japanese restaurant.  These palate cleansing elixers feature snippets of green onion and whisps of seaweed with cutie squares of tofu-all served in a delicate lacquer bowl.  Well, if that is miso soup then my version must be miso STEW!
      Let's Mix It Up!
      1 Tbsp Hondashi-fish stock
      2 Carrots-chopped
      Extra Firm Tofu-cut into squares (add as much as you want!)
      1 head of Napa cabbage- cut into large pieces
      1/2 cup Miso paste, white or red kind
      Enoki mushrooms, optional
      1/8 cup dried Wakame (seaweed), optional
      1. Boil 6 cups of water with 1 Tbsp of hondashi fish stock.
      2. Add chopped carrots.  When carrots are halfway cooked, add Napa cabbage.
      3. If adding seaweed, soak peices in water to hydrate.  Then drain and add seaweed after Napa cabbage.
      4. Lastly, add tofu and enoki mushrooms.  These do not need to cook, but simply heat up.
      5. Turn off heat and stir in miso paste at the end.  It is best to dilute miso paste with a little water in a coffee mug first, and then pour the miso into the large pot.
      6. Serve with rice.  Enjoy!
      Miso Paste on Foodista

      Stuck on the Subway-with Anthony Bourdain

      No, no, no.  Not in real life.  But his sarcastic, humorous voice has been my primary entertainment on the frustrating subway hold-ups these past two days.  It took the subway 15 minutes to inch from Central Square to Harvard (I could've walked in half that time) two nights ago, but with Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential I didn't mind one bit.

      Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
      by Anthony Bourdain
      published 2000
      "Cooking is a craft, I like to think, and a good cook is a craftsman-not an artist.  There's nothing wrong with that: the great cathedrals of Europe were built by craftsmen-though not desigend by them.  [...]  Personally, I'd prefer to eat food that tastes good and is an honest reflection of its ingredients than a three-foot-tall caprice constructed from lemongrass, lawn trimmings, coconuts and red curry.  When a job applicant starts telling me how Pacific Rim cuisine turns him on and inspires him, I see trouble coming.  Send me another Mexican dishwasher anytime.  I can teach him to cook.  I can't teach character.  Show up at work on time six months in a row and we'll talk about red curry paste and lemongrass." -Chapter 4, "Who Cooks?"
      Just Finished Reading

      Life Without Ed: How one woman declared independence from her eating disorder and how you can too.
      By Jenni Schaeffer with Thom Rutledge
      published 2004
      Two weeks ago, during winter orientation for the dietetic internship, one of the dietitians mentioned this book as a useful resource when counseling patients with eating disorders.  Though cheesy at times, the content is convicting.  Dietitians play an integral role in the recovery of individuals with eating disorders.  Thus as a future dietitian, I'm glad that I read this book.  Also, looks like Jenni Schaeffer has a new book. Goodbye Ed, Hello Me: Recover From Your Eating Disorder and Fall in Love with Life.
      On Hold at the BPL

      Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating From America's Farmers Markets
      by Deborah Madison
      I love libraries.  I LOVE the Boston Public Library.  Every week I stop by, and it's always fun to see what new books are waiting for me on the hold shelves.  Just want to give a shout-out to libraries everywhere-big or small!
      On My Wish List

      The Clinical Dietitian's Essential Pocket Guide
      by Mary Width and Tonia Reinhard
      One of my friends, also a Tufts dietetic interns, just bought this.  I leafed through her copy, and it looks very handy.  Plus it fits right into your lab coat pocket.  Sweet!
      Coming Soon: MY FIRST GIVE-AWAY!
      Be on the lookout, because I will be announcing my first give-away shortly (as soon as I figure out how to do the selection process).
      Here's a hint: It's going to be some books!
      So get ready, and get excited!
      bye for now,
      P.S. -I'm curious.  What are you reading these days?  Anything interesting?

      Get Your Spice On!

      Welcome to the World of Spices!
      Enter.  *Sniff*  Ahhh....

      Good morning, and welcome to the second post for The Indian Diaries!  This weekend my roommate Nikita gave me a tutorial of her spice box, so I'm sharing what I learned.
      "The secrets of Indian cooking begin and end in the spice box."  Nikita explains, "Indian food owes its flavors to spices.  In an Indian household it is common to find a spice box which holds anywhere from 5-10 main spices that form the backbone of most dishes.  My spice box contains salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, whole cumin seeds, dry mango powder, and garam masala.  Although these spices go in the majority of my Indian dishes, other important spices include green cardamom, black cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, star anise, black salt, fenugreek, safron, poppy seeds, mustard seeds, mint, fennel seeds, seseme seeds, and bay leaves."  The list goes on.

      "Most spices have an herbal and medicinal use in Indian culture.  For example, turmeric is used as an antiseptic or antibacterial to treat cuts and wounds.  It is used in many skin creams and cosmetics.  However spices for medicinal use may be greatly exploited in practices like ayurveda and household remedies."
      Nikita's Beauty Tip: Mix yogurt with gram flour and turmeric and apply to skin.  Leave on for 10-15 minutes and wash for a quick cleanser and fresh glow!
      Hope you found this interesting!
      With love,
      The spice girls.
      (aka Nikita and Rachel)

      The Indian Diaries: Pulao Rice!

      Tonight I'm inaugurating The Indian Diaries Project!
      Featuring: Nikita Kapur (my roomate!)
      Nikita hails from New Delhi, India.  She moved to California for her undergraduate studies in nutrition at UC Davis.  There Nikita and I became friends, and now we are continuing our journey together in Boston as Tufts dietetic interns, nutrition graduate students, and roomates.  She is a fabulous cook, and I am getting spoiled with the great Indian cooking.  It's time to document what she is teaching me, and to share her recipes!
      The Mission: To bring you authentic Indian recipes spiced with historical tidbits. 
      It's a team.  Nikita will cook and I will blog.
      Tonight's Special: Pulao, Indian Vegetable Rice
      2 cups rice, cooked.
      1.5 cup mixed veggies (frozen is ok!-peas, carrot, cauliflower, potatoes, green beans)
      1/2 onion, chopped
      2.5 Tbsp vegetable oil
      2 tsp cumin seeds
      2 small cinnamon sticks
      3 cloves
      1 tsp red chili powder
      1 tsp coriander powder
      1.5 tsp turmeric powder (for the fabulous yellow!)
      salt to taste
      (Optional: lamb or chicken)
      1. In pan, heat vegetable oil and add cumoin seeds, cinnamon sticks, and cloves.  Oil should be hot enough so that these whole spices immediately "crackle,"  
      2. Once spices crackle, immediately add chopped onion.  Cook until onion is transleucent and lightly brown.
      3. Add vegetables and lower the flame.
      4. Once the vegetables are cooked and tender, add the dry spices (chili, coriander, turmeric).  Add salt.
      5. Stir in rice and mix well.  Remove from stove.
      6. Dig in!  If desired, garnish with raisins, cashews, and a scoop of plain yogurt.
      The Local Taste
      Nikita loves to eat pulao with a dollap of homemade plain yogurt (wow, homemade!) and a side of mango pickle.  Mango pickle?  
      "Mango pickle is a pungent Indian condiment made from unripe mangoes, tons of Indian spices, and mustard oil," Nikita explains. In the summer I tried authentic mango pickle made from Nikita's grandmother (pictured in the bowl at left).  It is powerfully salty and intensly sour, making it the perfect compliment to pulao or any rice dish.  "I honestly don't know what she puts in it." Nikita says.  "My grandmother takes a big pot and mixes everything together.  Then she transfers it to jars and leaves it in the sun for 3 days."    

      Historical Tidbits 
      Today's featured recipe is a variation of a Mogul rice dish known as "biryani."   Biryani refers to a broad category of rice-based dishes that incorporate meat, eggs, whole spices (whole cloves, cardamom, cinnamon), vegetables, and cashews.  However Pulao is a simpler, lighter modification of biryani.  Translated to English, "pulao" means "pilaf."  So the next time you find yourself in New Delhi on a Sunday, stop by Nikita's house.  Most likely her family will be eating pulao, a Sunday brunch favorite.
      Coming next on the Indian Diaries...The Secrets of an Indian Spice Box!

      Sing Out Fiber! An Ode to Oatmeal.

      flickr photo Kristin Brenemen
      Oatmeal's famous virtue is its fabulous fiber content.  Here's a quick nutrition whirl about fiber, and then I'll tell you about my oatmeal journey. 
      Fiber is an umbrella term for all the various parts of a plant that cannot be digested by humans.  (Since it cannot be digested, it has no calories.)  Fiber is found in the plant cell wall, and contributes to the plant's structure.  As a plant componant, fiber is in fruits, vegetables, and grains.  There is no fiber in meat, poultry, fish, milk, or cheese.
      How Much Fiber?
      Adults need 25-30 grams per day. 
      Children up to 18 years need an average of their age + 5.  So a 10-year-old will need 10+5= 15 grams of fiber per day.
      Fiber comes in 2 flavors.
      Soluble Fiber
      • Gums, mucilages, and pectin.  
      • What does it do?  Soluble fiber absorbs water, creating a gel.  This keeps food in the stomach, slowing digestion time and making you feel fuller for longer.  Soluble fiber also reduces the risk for heart disease by lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the Lousy cholesterol).  Soluble fiber regulates blood sugar in people with diabetes.
      • Where is it?  OATMEAL!  Also oat bran, barley, flaxseed, beans, peas, oranges, and apples.
      Insoluble Fiber
      • Called "roughage." It is cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. 
      • What does it do?  Insoluble fiber "bulks up" your stool and increases stool transport through the intestines.  Goodbye constipation.  *Note: fiber alone will not prevent constipation.  Adequate fluid is needed too!*
      • Where is it?  You guessed it: prunes!  Also the dark green leafy vegetables, fruit skins, root vegetable skins, whole wheat, corn bran, seeds, and nuts.
      My Oatmeal Journey
      Oatmeal and I have a four year relationship.  I started with Quaker instant oatmeal packets in freshman year of college.  Always late for morning class, I would grab an oatmeal packet and heat it up at school (10 cent cup and free hot water at the cafeteria!).  It was instant satisfaction and a full tummy until lunch.
      In junior year I began toting extra oatmeal packets in my purse, always ready for the afternoon snack (so convenient and light!).  Senior year of college I started adding plain quick oats to bulk up the tiny packets.
      However as of fall 2009 I have finally outgrown the instant oatmeal packets and switched to the plain stuff.  Why?  One of the Tufts dietitians mentioned the outrageous amount of added sugars in the oatmeal packets compared to plain oats.  Really?  I investigated the matter, and look at the sugar difference:

      USDA Nutrient Database  *Total fiber= soluble fiber + insoluble fiber*
      Three weeks ago I accidentally bought Irish Steel Cut Oatmeal.  My usual 3-minute microwave zap left it VERY crunchy.  Oops!, learned my lesson.  Eventually I hope to transition to old fashioned oatmeal.  Although old fashioned oatmeal takes longer to cook, it has gone through less processing and may have just a little bit more fiber!
      The Fun Begins: Oatmeal Mix-ins!
      Unleash the imagination, beacuse plain oatmeal is just the base for an array of scrumptious mix-ins!  Here's what I've played with these past 4 months:

      • banana+walnuts
      • almonds + currants
      • raisins + brown sugar (this is old, I know)
      • frozen strawberries
      • frozen mango
      • vanilla yogurt (hot and cool at once!)
      • applesauce
      • canned pumpkin + cinnamon (this didn't work out so well)
      • dried cherries + walnuts Newest experiment!
      • shredded coconut + ____? My next concoction....

      How do you like your oatmeal?  What's your favorite mix-ins?

      No Impact Man

      "A guilty New York liberal decides to practice what he preaches for one year; turns off the electricity; stops making garbage; gives up TV, taxis and takeout; and becomes a walking, biking, composting, tree-hugging, polar bear saving, local food-eating citizen; all while taking his baby daughter and caffeine loving retail-obsessed, television-addicted wife along with him." No Impact Man, the film
      *Phew* That is the longest sentence ever! I saw this documentary last semester at school.  Basically, this film is about one man who eats locally and decreases his trash output for one year in an effort to eliminate his personal impact on the environment. By the way, it all takes place in Manhattan. Introducing Colin Beavan-The No Impact Man.

      film by Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein.
      Check out No Impact Man's official blog or book.
      Colin's 6 Guidelines for a No Impact life:
      1. Save the World by improving your diet
      2. Get your drinking water for FREE
      3. Observe an eco-sabbath
      4. Tithe a fixed percentage of your income
      5. Get there under your own steam
      6. Commit to eco-service
      Have you seen it? What do you think?

      A California Girl Comments on Her First New England Winter.

      I started my morning by googling "how to run in the snow."  There's a first time for everything, right?   I'm happy to report that my first snow run was quite successful, with only one slip but no dampened spirits.

      Six months ago I moved from California to Boston, Massachusetts to start a dietetic internship and nutrition graduate school.  The weather change has been an adventure, and here's a few tips I'd like to share.
      Tip #1: Copy the Locals.
      It's ok to stalk people on the subway.  This is especially true if you admire any aspect of their winter wardrobe, and want to ask them where they puchased it.
      Speaking of winter wardrobes....
      Tip #2:The Perfect Winter Wardrobe is an elusive mystery.  It requires lots of time and money.  
      October:  On the phone.  "Hi Mom.  I got a wool pea coat at Old Navy.  This is fine for winter, right?"
      November: "Hey mom.  Today I bought a water resistent slicker and long johns, so I'm set for winter."
      late November: "Mom, I'm on a first name basis with the sales clerk at the Macy's coat department!  She hooked me up with a long puffy down jacket.  I think I'm finally ready now."
      December: "Earmuffs. ASAP!"
      late December:  "Mom, all I want for Christmas is winter running gear."
      January: Scrambling for winter snow boots.
      February:  Prediction: I'm broke!
      Tip #3: Baking!  An easy solution when your heater breaks.
      A cup of tea, oatmeal, steamed sweet potatoes straight from the pot, and pipin' hot miso soup are other easy ways to warm up from the inside out.
      Tip #4: Remember, there are no dumb questions!
      "So, what's windchill?"
      But prepare yourself.  Some questions have no answers, and should be left unspoken.
      "Excuse me.  Why are people still buying Dunkin Donuts iced coffee when it's 21 degress outside?"

      Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes are NOT one of my favorite things.  However, I am enjoying this white winter so far!

      What do you eat to stay warm in the winter?
      Any wardrobe tips for a New England newbie?

      Disclaimer. I am not a Registered Dietitian yet. I provide nutrition information intended for the general public, not for the treatment of a specific medical condition. I try to use scientific research and reliable sources when forming my opinions and messages.
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