Beach Day+ Dietetic Internship Shout-Out!

Manchester, MA
Last week was spring break, and all I wanted was the sight, smell, and sound of the ocean.  I got my wish.  The clouds parted on Thursday and set the scene for a blustery yet lovely day on the New England coast.  50 minutes on the Commuter Rail brought my friend and I to Singing Beach, Manchester in northern Massachusetts.  What a refreshment from the brick and cobblestone of Boston city.
Singing Beach...tra la la!

Holla for the Dietetic Internship...Good Luck!
I was recently reminded that Monday April 5th is the nationwide Dietetic Internship Match Day- one week away!  In honor of all the applicants (and many of my dear friends), I dedicate this post to everyone who applied for a dietetic internship this spring!  GOOD LUCK!  *Scrambles on top of a chair and claps hands.  Bravo!*  I'm rooting for you.

While I'm at it, I might as well spread a little dietetics love and awareness.....
What Are The Steps to Becoming a Registered Dietitian?
  1. Bachelor's degree, and completion of certain classes as approved by the Commission on Accredidation for Dietetics Education
  2. Complete the Dietetic Internship, a supervised practice program.
  3. Take the national registration examination to earn the professional RD credential, "Registered Dietitian."
What's a Dietetic Internship (DI)?
A DI is a postbaccalaureate program that provides a minimum of 900 hours (soon to be increased to 1200 hours) of practical experience in dietetics.  This encompasses a wide variety of skills from outpatient diet counseling, to tube feed calculations, to managerial roles in food service kitchen.  There are  about 250 programs nation-wide typically running from six to twelve months, although combined graduate degree-linked programs go longer.  I am doing a combined dietetic internship and graduate degree through Tufts Medical Center, Frances Stern Nutrition Center.

What's DI Match Day?
This year Match Day falls on April 5th.  It is the momentous midnight hour when dietetic students across the country find out their placement to dietetic internship programs through a national computer matching system.   
Ice cream at Singing Beach.

Here's a shout-out to some blogs I enjoy by other dietetic interns:
The Health Nut by Emily at St. Louis University.
Foodie Nutritionist Emily at UConn/Hartford Hospital.  
Healthy Blog Snack Lindsey, fellow Tufts Dietetetic Intern!
Green Grapes Blog Corinne, another Tufts intern!
Off the Wall Food blog by Tufts dietetic intern Renee, and her roommates Kelly and Stephanie!
Around the Plate by Kati from Central Michigan University
J and J Take Charleston: One Veggie At a Time Julie and Johanna, Medical University of South Carolina
Peace, Love, and Food Kara Lydon, Mount Auburn Hospital, Massachusetts
All Access Internships Blog  This blog is but one resource from All Access Internships, a great online community for dietetic students and interns!

Do you know of other dietetic intern bloggers or blogs?  I know I'm missing many more, so pass them along!
And just out of curiousity...
I'll take sand over trees any day.  But given a holiday, would you go to the beach or the mountains?

A Macaroon Correspondence

Dear Mr. Macaroon,
It was a pleasure to make your acquaintance this past week.  Our brief but short encounter has left a most powerful impression on my palate.  I was thrilled to meet Apricot and Pistacchio, and have reason to believe that your other flavors will be equally delightful.  When can we meet again for another sweet rendezvous?  Please wait for my return.  Until then, I will cherish the sweet memories.
Last week my spring break happily coincided with Boston's Winter Restaurant Week, which offered the ideal opportunity to skip over to the Boston's North End for some Italian indulgences.  I have been pining for fine dining, and the visit from an out-of-town friend gave perfect justifaction for a luncheon at Ristorante Fiore ($15 dollars for a top-notch 2-course meal!).  
My friend Emily was visting from Connecticut, where she is doing her dietetic internship.  I know her from our California undergraduate nutrition days at UC Davis, and it was so good to see her.  (Also, I found out she also has a blog, Foodie Nutritionist!)  Little did I know that perfect bliss awaited us at our post-lunch adventure at Mike's Pastry.
I've frequented Mike's Pastry many times for their famous cannolies, but last week I diverted my attention to the outer shelves of their display case.  Lo and behold, I discovered macaroons.  I loved their almond-esque taste and color!  (These were not like the coconut macaroons from the grocery store.)
Are macaroons easy to make?
Are you currently in correspondence with a particular food love?
With love from a new fan,

A California Girl Concludes Her First New England Winter

Early morning run along the Charles.  Sunrise view of Boston.
This past weekend was simply sublime, marked by warm temperatures and the re-discovery of my forgotten flip-flops.  But spring was playing with our hearts, for Monday ushered in cold drizzles.  I'm donning a pea coat and gloves once again.
The End of Winter...
I moved to the Boston area July 2009, and it has been an adventure.  In January I wrote about the weather adjustment in my post, "A California Girl Comments on her First New England Winter."
Now a follow-up post is necessary, since this weekend's sunshine has left puddles, and the winter thawing has begun.  I've completed my first New England winter!  Here's some celebratory pictures from the weekend, and a few observations.
Sign #1: Pop Those Shades...or Sandals?
Any weather change will reflect first in the wardrobe.  I started seeing people wearing sunglasses in late February.  Nevermind the long coat, scarf, knit cap, and boots- we demand sunshine, and will take whatever we can get!  Perhaps more painful is the sight of an overeager girl with "premature sandal syndrome."  You've seen it too, right?  Brr.. cold feet!
Sign #2: Race Those Crew Boats
I know nothing about crew.  But the Charles River has thawed out, and the rowers are back!  Running along side them makes for a brisk pace. I try to race them to the Boston University bridge, but they win every time!
Look at this crowd!  Everyone was out running along the Charles this weekend.

Sign #3: Smile At Random Strangers on the Street!
After a long winter, the sun does strange wonders to the temperment.  It's lovely.  : )

Locals congregate on the Cambridge City Hall lawn to soak in the sun.
Picnic lunch!  
Are you enjoying spring weather yet?
Thanks for reading friends!

My Fiber Tally + Whole Grain Alert

Do you know how much fiber you eat each day?
Is it between 25-38 grams, the recommended daily amount for adults?
Last week the dietitians and dietetic interns at Tufts Medical Center celebrated National Nutrition Month with a Fiber and Fluid theme.  All the talk about fiber got me wondering how much of the good stuff I'm actually consuming on an average day.
My Fiber Tally
Monday. March 15, 2010
Fiber Total= 26.1 grams
Yay, I'm meeting recommendations!  Bob's Red Mill saved me.
*Nutrient info taken from USDA Nutrient Database and USDA Nutrient Database Standard Reference Fiber List.
Whole Grain Alert 
Remind me again, why the fuss about whole grains?
Whole grains have higher amounts of fiber than refined grains.
And since I'm so forgetful, what is a whole grain?
A whole grain includes the whole grain kernal-the bran, the germ, and the endosperm.  In comparison, refined grains removed the bran and germ, striping the grain of important B vitamins, iron, and fiber.
Unfortunately food companies often label their products "mulit-grain,""stone-ground," "100% wheat," or "bran" when there is no significant amount of whole grains.  
KEY POINT: The only way to ensure whole grain authenticity is to read the ingredients label!  "100% Whole Wheat/Oat/Bran/Rye/ect" should be the first ingredient, and the only type of flour on the list.  "Wheat Flour" or "Enriched Wheat Flour" does not garuntee 100% whole grain.  

More whole grain and fiber resources:
The package of my Arnold's Sandwich Thins claimed "made with whole grains," yet the first ingredient on the label was unbleached enriched wheat flour.  Nope, no good Mr. Arnold!  I think you could learn a lesson from my dear friend Bob.
Have You Met Mr. Bob?
Whenever I go grocery shopping (basically once a week), I drop something new into my shopping basket.  I've been forming a slow friendship with Mr. Bob, and I love everything his Red Mill produces.  Last week I took his High Fiber challenge: Organic Whole Grain High Fiber Hot Cereal.
Wait for it...
8 grams insoluble + 2 grams soluble fiber (yes TEN total) per 1/3 cup!!  
Can my gut handle it?
 I'm glad to report that my gut is working hard, but doing just fine!
Unlike Mr. Arnold's Sandwich Thins, Bob's High Fiber cereal is a great example of a whole grain.  The ingredients list speaks for itself: Organic Whole Grain Oats, Organic Wheat Bran, Organic Flaxseed Meal, Organic Oat Bran, Organic Wheat Germ.
ANOTHER KEY POINT.  As you increase your fiber intake, remember to stay hydrated!  Your body won't appreciate an extra 10 grams of fiber all at once, so increase slowly over several days to avoid bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
How do you fill up on fiber?
Happy Friday!
Rachel ... and Mr. Bob!

Pilli Daal-Our Indian Lentil Party!

That's right.  When my roommate starts cooking Indian, it's a celebration at our apartment!  In continuation of The Indian Diaries, my roommate is featuring a classic staple of her native cuisine: Pilli Daal, a yellow lentil curry.  It is traditionally eaten with rice, roti (thin Indian wheat flat bread), and any other vegetable dish.  
Pilli (Yellow) and Daal (Lentil) 
½ cup Indian yellow lentils
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large tomato, finely chopped
2 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 tsp ginger, chopped
1.5 tsp turmeric powder
1.5 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp garam masala
salt to taste
2 Tbsp oil
Pour 2 Tbsp oil into the pressure cooker.  Once hot, add whole cumin seeds and ginger. 
Lightly stir for a few seconds and add onion.
Cook onion on medium heat until transparent, but be careful not to burn.
Add spices (turmeric, coriander, chili, garam masala and salt). 
Add tomato.  Cook down and stir until the mixture becomes a spicy paste. 
Add ½ cup yellow lentils and 3.5 cups water.
Cover pressure cooker and cook on medium heat until you hear the cooker whistle.  This may take 20-30 minutes.
After the whistle, turn off heat but let lentils cook. For another 10 minutes.  Once pressure has decreased, take off the cover and evaluate.  Lentils may need more water if you want a soupy consistency.  Lentils may need more cooking if you want a chunky consistency.
Enjoy over rice or with roti.  Best served with plain yogurt and hot mango pickle.
Pilli Daal Toasty... My Breakfast Twist.
1. Toast a piece of bread.
2. Spread toast with a light film of plain yogurt, or a light layer of cream cheese.
3. Spoon Pilli Daal onto toast.
4. * crunch* Enjoy!
Visit Registered Dietitian Janel Ovrut at Eat Well With Janel for other breakfast ideas using lentils.   Her Lentil Breakfast Muffins sound intriguing, right?  They look scrumptious too. 
Of course, I have to give a nutrition plug as well.  These lovable legumes are bursting with dietary fiber, folate, protein, and even some iron.  A quick look at the USDA Nutrient Database revealed that cooked lentils have 7.8 grams fiber per 1/2 cup, but cooked sprouted lentils have none!  Wow, who knew.  Looks like it's best to get the mature seed lentil for maximum fiber.
More nutrition info on sprouted lentils from Nutrition Data!

Happy Thursday!
With love from the Lentil Ladies,
Nikita and Rachel  : )

I'm Moving to Paris!

This was my mantra for exactly five days: the amount of time it took me to devour David Lebovitz’s book The Sweet Life of Paris.  I found his blog from my friend Sweet Foodie, then I promptly reserved his 2009 book at the BPL.  
The Sweet Life in Paris:
The Recipe for Living in the World's Most Delicious City
by David Lebovitz
It is a sophisticated read, made even more delightful with a heavy dash of recipes and French vocabulary sprinkled throughout.  The story of a San Francisco chef who packs everything up and moves to Paris is not only novel and intriguing, but his observations on French cuisine, French culture, and (best of all) French people are simply hilarious.  Whether re-telling his mornings of brief “employment” at the local fish stand, to his daily defense against the French "line-cutters" (with strategic weapon of choice-a grocery basket!) his day-to-day stories are told with endearing wit.  I think Lebovitz is an excellent writer, one who makes you pause and re-read his figures of speech, often savoring the humorous aftertaste long after you close the book, exit the subway, and enter life again.  I'm inspired.  
Dessert, yum!  His flickr photo, at daveleb.
No, I’m not moving to Paris.  Yes, the momentary fantasy has blown away.  After dropping the book into the library return-bin, the winds quickly changed.  Perhaps it was the flood of schoolwork that distracted me, or the excitement for National Nutrition Month® that once again diverted my attention to dietetics.
Some books leave tangible remains, long after we finish them.  Julie and Julia prompted me to start cooking with real butter once in a while, while Lobel's Meat Bible got me excited about my new chef knife.  After readingThe Sweet Life of Paris, have a small memento in my cupboard: one tin of natural unsweetened cocoa powder. 
His flickr photo, at daveleb
I’m not a baker, but perhaps you already know and love some of David Lebovitz' other books: 
Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes
The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments
The Great Book of Chocolate
Room for Dessert
Ripe for Dessert
The Baker's Dozen Cookbook

As always, please tell me of any sweet reads you find!
Have you been to the land of baguettes and cheese?  If so, what did you think?
Au revoir!

Happy RD Day!

March is National Nutrition Month, and today is Registered Dietitian Day!
Here's a shout-out to all the registered dietitians, dietetic interns, and dietetics students out there!  I know that each of you is doing wonderful work to promote healthy eating and healthy living.

Check out this link from the American Dietetic Association to learn about:
  •  Registered Dietitians: Bringing Food and Nutrition Expertise to the Table
  • 10 Reasons Why Consulting a Registered Dietitian Can Benefit You
  • RD Day Fact Sheet
 flickr photo from mcsdwarken
The dietitians and dietetic interns of Frances Stern Nutrition Center are promoting fluid and fiber today at Tufts Medical Center. Here's some awesome info.

Have a lovely, and nutritious day!

Cookware Winner and Library Love

Looking across the Charles River to Boston.  
The sailboats came out this weekend, so does that mean spring is here?
Giveaway Results
Thanks everyone for your entries!
From your comments, it looks like the yogurt maker won the popularity contest.  In addition, it seems that most of you would rather beat the eggs and bake a cake, than chop the veggies and stir the stew!
I'm also proud to congratulate the cookware giveaway winner, Alison Vaux-Bjerke!
She chose the Baguette Pans and Silicone baking mats.  Alison, please email me at with your address.  Thank you everyone for participating!

A Weekend Discovery
How was your weekend?  Mine was full of note-writing, computer screen-induced headaches, and pitiful do-it-yourself neck massages; I felt like I was holding my breath.  For class I'm working on a research proposal analyzing adolescent bariatric surgery, and I spent this weekend scouring PubMed for the background literature.  After turning in the first part this morning and then cramming for an afternoon midterm, I'm finally ready to exhale.
But some good came out of all that studying.  I ventured into MIT land!
The MIT Dome.  
Best of all, I discovered the MIT Hayden library!  Last week I went there for the first time to borrow a book, but I didn't linger to explore.  So on Saturday I sauntereed into the science and humanities library.  It didn't take long for me to become enthralled with the wall to ceiling windows and the plump armchairs tucked into sunny corners, just beckoning for a cozy afternoon immersed in a book.  Did I mention the free wireless and the pungent scent of "smartness" that clings to your clothes?  Oh yeah...I love libraries.  Next week I'm going to infiltrate Harvard.  Shh, don't tell.
  Soaking in the late afternoon sun with a crunchy snack.  
I didn't realize how much I missed the sunshine.
Where did you go this weekend?

Take Your Pick: Cookware Giveaway!

Culinary Treats, Just for YOU!
This giveaway is closed.  Thanks!
March is National Nutrition Month®, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate than with a culinary give-away!  Let's give a round of applause to the sponsor, from CNS Stores.  They also own a kids furniture store at  I'm very thankful, so please check out their sites!
As you can see, I had great difficulty trying to narrow down one item for the giveaway.  So I've selected a sample of culinary treats for you to choose from.  Thank you for your comments on the giveaway preview- I tried to feature some of your requests!
Have fun shopping!
Rival 3 Qt. Stainless Steel Fondue Set List Price $52.99*
*The list price and actual price will vary.  But I wanted to promote the higher value of each item!*
(Comes with the Mold Pan, above!)
Cuisinart Spice and Nut Grinder in Brushed Stainless.  List price $54.95
Chef's Choice Pronto Diamond Hone® Manual Knife Sharpener List Price $52.99
I need one of these!  Do you?
Tribest Yolife Yogurt Maker.  Originally valued at $50.
I've recently wanted to try making yogurt!  This looks fun. didn't have french bread pans, but this is awesome too!
(Comes with Paderno Baguette Pan listed above!)
Perfect for measuring food portions.  Yes please!
I love this color!

(Dipping cups come with the above yellow Skillet!)
To enter
1. Please comment and tell me which ONE item you want. (Note-the Paula Deen set, the Paderno World Cuisine set, and the Rachael Ray set come with two items!)  Also, please humor my curiosity by answering this question: Although cooking and baking both produce happy endings, which do you prefer and why?
2. Earn a second entry by mentioning this giveaway on your blog!  Please comment again to let me know if you've included the link in your blog.

This giveaway is open to residents in the Unites States and Canada.
The giveaway will end at midnight (EST) on Sunday, March 7th.  I'll use to choose one winner and announce it on Monday, March 8th.

Cookware Giveaway Preview!

Good morning!  
What a weekend.  The people of Chile are in my prayers, and I'm thankful for the safety of everyone in Hawai'i.
With a fresh week ahead, I'm glad to greet you with some exciting news: I'll be hosting a new giveaway!
CNS Stores contacted me last week about doing a giveaway from one of their online stores.  The first site that I went to features all kinds of kids furniture  (  Too bad I'm not a mommy blogger, because I would love to do a giveaway from their extensive collection of decor, furniture, toys, and games.  However in the honor of nutrition and food, I thought you might enjoy a culinary treat.  So I'm going to select a giveaway item from one of their other sites,  

What's on your culinary wish list?  (I can't promise anything, but it's helpful to get ideas.)
I'll announce the giveaway details either tomorrow or Wednesday.
Also, March is National Nutrition Month!  
I'm Blogging National Nutrition Month

Happy Monday, and Happy Nutrition!
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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