Couscous Granola

Couscous granola??! You have got to be kidding me, right??? I had to create a sugar free recipe for one of my dietetic internship rotations. It was based on a sugar free campaign that the company created. The recipe that I was originally going to make called for quinoa…another weird grain to place in a granola recipe. I didn’t have any quinoa and instead substituted it for couscous and was very pleased with the results.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup couscous, uncooked
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 t course salt
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 T canola oil

Directions:

  1. Combine couscous, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, salt, apricots, honey and canola oil in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Pour mixture onto sheet pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
  3. After the granola has cooled, place on your favorite yogurt or smoothie bowl.
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Preceptor Profile

I know the application season is winding down and it’s coming time to hit submit for DICAS so I wanted to provide a little bit of encouragement from someone on the other side. I wrote this post for the Cal Poly dietetic internship blog and thought it would be a great look into a dietetic internship. I hope this post sparks a little bit of excitement for life as an intern!

“Learn how to work with the whole picture of nutrition. Keep in mind that you are dealing with people with a lot of experiences.” This quote by Lorna Ehrisman, my preceptor at Bayside Care Center, perfectly sums up my time in long-term care. Long-term care often gets an unfortunate reputation due to a lack of regulation in the past. Many think that long-term care facilities are filled with awful smells, elderly people tied to their beds, and unappetizing mush for food. I can tell you that none of these things are true…well the smell part is true sometimes but welcome to health care! Long-term care is a beautiful aspect of our healthcare system. It’s a chance to take care for the people that have contributed to our work force and communities. The quote above says it all, the people in these facilities are someone’s grandmother or grandfather who have experienced life and deserve to have the best care possible. I hope this post helps to shine light on the role of the Registered Dietitian (RD) in long-term care.

I had the privilege of working with Lorna, through Compass Health, for two weeks. Bayside Care Center is one of the many facilities that falls under Compass Health’s long-term care umbrella.  During my time in this rotation I found that long-term care is very different from acute care, or the hospital setting. In acute care, the focus is on the immediate problem at hand. If someone has diabetes, their diet is restricted and they are given nutrition education to help prevent any further damage to their health. In long-term care, many of these people are at the end of their lives and the only pleasure that they have is eating. Patient’s enjoyment and comfort is the number one priority to the RD. Giving residents autonomy and choice in how they want to eat, outweighs the need to restrict and provide a specific therapeutic diet. The facility is their home and the RD’s job is to decide the best plan of care possible for this individual. The RD works with a standardized process and provides individualized care.

I spent a lot of time talking in Lorna’s office during the rotation. Throughout the two weeks I worked to soak up every last drop of Lorna’s wisdom and incredible stories. I was continually in awe of the amazing life that Lorna has lived. From surfing in Hawaii to working in a bikini factory in Southern California; she gave me continual hope that life can take you anywhere. Her dietetics career began after she took 2 years off from school. She was originally a nursing student who soon discovered that nutrition was an interest of hers. Lorna grew up in a family of vegetarians before being vegetarian was trendy, which fueled her interest in nutrition. After graduating from Loma Linda and sitting for her RD exam she landed her first job in clinical at a local hospital for four years. She took some time off after having a beautiful baby girl, and moved to Hawaii with her husband. While in Hawaii she was approached by a fellow professional about taking a part time job at a long-term care facility. Lorna had never considered a job in long-term care but decided to give it a try. She accepted the job and fell in love with the atmosphere. For Lorna, long-term care gave her the ability to really get to know the residents, utilize her clinical skills, and have a hand in food service. After spending some time consulting for different facilities, taking a job at a country hospital, moving to Colorado, New Mexico and back to California, she began her job with Compass Health – and the rest is history.

During my two weeks with Lorna, I witnessed firsthand her heart for her residents. There were many mornings that we sat talking with residents in their rooms, discussing alternate meal choices in her office, and running to the kitchen to see if the chefs could change a lunch or dinner order. The residents ADORE Lorna! It was so inspiring to work with an RD who was still full of life after working in the field for many years. Lorna goes over and beyond for her residents but she also makes sure to have boundaries. Lorna continually advocates for her residents and works to make this facility into a home for the people that live there. She would walk into rooms and help however she could. I never saw Lorna back down from a challenging resident or avoid entering a room with strange smell or agitated resident. It was evident that Lorna was fearless in pursuit of exceptional care for her residents. I realized that one of the most challenging aspects of the dietetic internship has been getting over the discomfort of having to invade people’s space; both physically and emotionally. It can be so terrifying to walk into a room where someone is sick, grumpy and could very well be partially undressed. Not only do I have to cross over physical taboos but I then have to be the third or fourth medical professional to ask them personal questions about their eating habits, bowel movements, and food preferences. Watching Lorna genuinely care for her residents inspired me to let go of the fear of discomfort and provide the care that the people lying in these beds deserve.  By the end of the rotation I determined the type of dietitian I want to be; fearless, like Lorna.

Herb Butter Chicken

One of my goals has been to learn how to take frozen chicken and make it into something appetizing. I wish I had the time and money to purchase fresh meat every week but that just isn’t always an option. Frozen chicken can be a challenge because of the off texture that can result from preservation. Today I tried some new techniques to stop that rubbery consistency that is often produced.

Step 1: Put frozen chicken in refrigerator 24 hours before cook time.

Step 2: Brine the chicken for at least 8 hours. For my brine I added one chicken breast to water. Make sure that the water completely submerges the chicken.

Brine:

  • 2 T sugar
  • 4 T garlic salt
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 T fresh herbs (I used rosemary and thyme)

I put the chicken in the brine for 8 hours and cooked as followed.

Ingredient:

  • 4 t butter
  • 1 chicken breast (thawed or fresh)
  • 2 T garlic salt
  • 2 T pepper
  • 2 T Garlic Powder
  • Lemons from brine
  • 2 springs of rosemary
  • 2 springs of thyme
  • 1/2 white onion, course chop

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized pan melt 2 T of butter over medium heat.
  2. Add chicken breast to melted butter.
  3. Season chicken breast with 1/2 of the garlic salt and pepper.
  4. Turn chicken over and season with the rest of the garlic salt and pepper.
  5. Add lemons from brine and cover chicken.
  6. Periodically check if chicken needs to be turned.
  7. Once chicken has slightly browned on both sides add onion and continue cooking.
  8. In seperate sauce pan melt rest of butter. Add rosemary and thyme.
  9. Chicken will cook for approximately 30 minutes.
  10. Pour butter and herb mixture over chicken before serving.

I am so excited for how this chicken turned out! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! What’s your favorite way to use frozen chicken?? Leave a comment and let me know!

Paint Nite

Bachelorette parties are one of my favorite parts of weddings. They are a chance to be in an intimate setting with your bride-to-be doing things that represent the bride’s personality and interests. Some of the most fun parties that I have had the pleasure of being part of have included interactive activities. This October, when my cousin Katelyn suggested a paint night theme for her party, I jumped at the idea. My cousin Alyssa (and my co-maid of honor) is a high school art teacher and ooozing with talent! Katelyn provided a few ideas for the picture and Alyssa and I ran with it.

Decor

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The color scheme for Katelyn’s wedding with the rich blue that you see and gold. I tried to stick with those colors so she could utilize things for her wedding if she liked one of the decorations. Your brides will appreciate this! I also wanted to add in some fall aspects since it was a November wedding. 
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The gorgeous blue glasses that you see are from dollar tree! I know, I know dollar tree is the best! You can even order in bulk online! 
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I also added some candles and wood to add to the fall feel. Plus adding inside elements to an outside space makes everything feel a little bit more homey and warm. 
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The decor for this party was inspired by the outside venue and wedding colors. Katelyn is a country girl at heart but has a classy feel to her style. I wanted to include both Katelyn’s country and glamour. So in these pictures you will see golds and burlap next to each other; a best of both worlds for this beauty.

Food & Drinks 

For the bride-to-be, we knew that she wasn’t one for alcoholic beverages but we still wanted her to have a fun drink in her champagne glass. I went to trader joes and bought their sparkling juices in apple, clementine and pomegranate…and let me tell you! These drinks are incredible! These are perfect for any special occasion!

For dinner we serve Italian food; meat sauce, Alfredo sauce, noodles, salad, and garlic bread. We felt like this was the easiest food for a big group and went along perfectly with out paint night theme. For dessert we kept it light with fruit and dip and chocolate  chip cookies.

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Activities

For the activities we obviously hosted a paint night. But we also played a few fun bachelorette party games! One of my personal favorites is to have everyone bring the bride a piece of new underwear (you can never have to many) wrapped as a gift. The bride then has to guess which guest brought the underwear. If she guesses incorrectly then she has to put the underwear on over her clothes and if she guesses correctly then she is free from the humiliation.

Shopping List 

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Matched to Morrison

Good morning and happy DICAS season! You applicants are only 1 month away from submitting your internship applications! In light of that, I thought I would provide another interview with a current dietetic intern. Jacy is one of my sweet friends from high school; we played volleyball, tap danced, and embraced our white skin and sunburns together. After a switch in schools we lost touch…until my junior year of college when Jacy walked into my healthy cooking class. Of course we were the same major! It was one of my favorite surprises of college! Jacy graduated with me from Fresno State in May and was matched with the Morrison Dietetic Internship. I hope you enjoy the wisdom and info from Jacy!

  1. Why did you choose Fresno State / Morrison?

The main reason behind my choosing to apply to both Fresno State and Morrison was the fact that they were both located in Fresno. My husband was in Fresno State’s nursing school, so at that point in time, I could only apply to internships in the area. However, with that being said, I was interested in each internship based on what they had to offer.

Fresno State offered a wide variety of experiences in every field of dietetics, which would allow for numerous connections with Registered Dietitians all over the Central Valley. Another aspect that was appealing to me was the fact that I knew that the Fresno State internship would be run in a fashion that I was used to, seeing that I completed my undergrad at Fresno State.

Morrison’s internship was of interest to me because they concentrate on the foodservice and clinical aspects of dietetics. Clinical was my concentration, so I was excited for the possibility of participating in an internship that focused on clinical. Another draw to this internship was that the education section of the internship was online, which I knew I would enjoy. I also knew that this internship would push me outside my comfort zone due to its overall unfamiliarity, which I knew would benefit my professional career.

Overall, I had connections to each internship, which is why I decided to apply to both. I completed my undergrad at Fresno State, so I knew the director personally, along with some of the members on the selection committee. For a year prior to applying, I was employed through Morrison as Catering Associate at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno and my boss made sure to mention me to Morrison’s director so that she would recognize my name when she saw my application.

  1. What was the most difficult part of the DICAS application process?

The most difficult part of the DICAS application process was writing the personal statement. Adequately portraying myself, my accomplishments, and my professional goals in 1,000 words was difficult and took time. I wrote and rewrote my personal statement about a dozen times to finally reach a personal statement I was willing to turn in. I also had had my professor, the University Internship Coordinator at Fresno State, friends, and family read through my personal statement to offer their input and advice. However, I knew ahead of time that this part of the application would be difficult for me, so I made sure to start working on it months before that application was due.

  1. What resources did you use when applying for DICAS?

The only resource I used to help my application was All Access Internships. I purchased a checklist, along with other resources from that website that helped me navigate my application.

  1. How did you prepare for the application?

Years prior to applying, I sought out specific and meaningful volunteer experiences and purposefully tried to build relationships with my supervisors to use them as references when applying to the internship. Throughout this time, I also made sure to consistently update my resume so that I could accurately portray my experiences on paper at around the time they were happening. The semester prior to applying, my professor assigned many assignments to better prepare for the application, such as organizing all volunteer/work experiences and researching each internship of interest.

  1. Describe your confidence level in your application.

Though I knew my application was thorough, I had doubts regarding my competitiveness compared to the other applicants. However, when I submitted my application, I knew that I turned in the very best application I could at that point in time.

  1. What was the strongest part of your application?

I believe my two strongest aspects of my application were my work experiences and my GPA. For two years I was a Registered Behavior Technician through Kings Canyon Unified School District and one of the kiddos I worked with dealt with a carpet eating behavior. Through my time working with him, we were able to decrease his behavior. This experience gave me a unique opportunity to understand and implement behavior therapy in a real-life experience. My next job, a Catering Associate, gave me experience in both foodservice, as I built trays for patients, and clinical, as I delivered food to patients and interacted with hospital staff. Both experiences showed that I had dedication to expanding my knowledge in various aspects of dietetics. My GPA was also another aspect of my application that I focused on throughout my entire college career. My GPA at Reedley College was 3.75 and my GPA at Fresno State at 3.88.

  1. What was the weakest part of your application?

I felt the weakest part of my application was my lack of specific leadership opportunities, such as being a leader of a club, organization, or project. I also was not confident that my application had a wide enough variety of experiences, as I purposefully did not take every experience offered to me in fear of becoming too overwhelmed and negatively impacting my GPA.

  1. Discuss some of your volunteer experiences.

One of my volunteer experiences was volunteering at a WIC office in Clovis with the Breastfeeding Coordinator through United Health Centers. Through this experience, I was able to gain a greater understanding of WIC and all they do for their participants, while also increasing my knowledge of the importance of breast feeding. Some of my jobs were to create promotional material, create content for meetings, and I also created a study guide for the staff to ensure that they understood the logistics of breastfeeding education. Another experience I had was through the Community Food Bank. I entered data into their software system that helped them keep track of their participants and also kept track of important details such as how many lived in their household and their education level.

Jacy is an incredible person and is going to make an absolutely AMAZING RD! I am so glad that you all had the opportunity to learn from someone who successfully was matched to such a competitive program! Jacy also shared her personal statement and resume with all of us! Feel free to take a look and get some inspiration from a polished example.

jacy beckenhauer’s personal statement 2

jacy beckenhauer’s resume

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Easy Roasted Carrots

Happy January Everyone! More importantly, happy National Carrot Month! I thought it would be fun to highlight this well-loved vegetable this month. I wanted to kick off carrot month with a simple recipe that would showcase their pure flavor. There isn’t much seasoning or fuss in this recipe, but I think the carrot’s favor speaks for itself.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large carrots
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil

Directions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Place carrots on sheet. Drizzle oil over carrots.
  4. Add salt, pepper, paprika and parsley.
  5. Gentle toss the carrots in oil and spices to evenly coat.
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until a fork can be easily inserted.

 

Fun facts about carrots:

  • Excellent source of beta-carotene (needed for vitamin A)
  • Carrots have higher sugar content than any other vegetable.
  • Americans eat an average of 10.6lbs of carrots every year.
  • There’s no such thing as a “baby carrot.” It is simply the type of cut

 

oatmeal cookies

 

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2019

Welcome 2019! I’m so so happy that you are here! I wanted to write a blog post that would sum up one of the most influential years of my life. I wanted to provide a vulnerable and life giving perspective to the highs and lows of 2018. So, here it goes….

2018 has been a year of extremes; from weddings to funerals, pregnancies to hospital visits, break ups to new friends, graduations to first days, goodbyes to nice to meet ya’s and everything in between. The highs of 2018 were high and the lows were oh so low. That neutral in-between feeling, of most years, never made an appearance in 2018. Whether joy or sorrow; emotional were always high. God has taken my life, that once felt certain and constant, and turned it into an unrecognizable place. This year I have experienced 5 close family/friend weddings, 2 engagements, 3 family pregnancy announcements, a break up, two moves, graduation from college, a dietetic internship, and one death, and two hospital visits – on top of the normal transitions into adulthood. Sometimes I look at my current position with confusion; life seemed so set and consistent for so long, and within one year everything has changed.

I love setting goals for the new year. As I took my time getting ready this morning, I read through my journal from the beginning of last year. I had listed out specific goals for 2018. Some included the obvious, such as graduate from college, get into a dietetic internship, read the whole Bible in a year, go somewhere you’ve never been. I was proud to be able to cross off a lot of accomplished goals. One that I am extremely proud of is reading the Bible in a year! I have never done that and I finished the challenge today! As my eyes scanned to the next page I saw that I had written a little prayer about the new year.

“For 2018, I don’t want to have the same mediocre relationship with Christ that I’ve been fine with. I want to see true growth and change. I want to walk out my calling and not get wrapped up in non-sense and lies or schemes from the devil. I don’t want to allow fear to be my direction. I want 2018 to be a year that I remember as a turning point in my life. A year that changes me for the better and opens up the giftings and callings that I’ve been sitting on for all these years. Lord, let 2018 be the year of progress, growth, change, healing, newness, and giftings. Give me the ability to learn and a spirit that is teachable.” – 2018 Goals from my 2018 Journal

I can’t help but laugh at my prayer for 2018. I was so clueless asking such a bold request from God. When I wrote this prayer, I had no idea how God was going to answer it. I’m sure I thought it would be this glamorous transformation, like I always do! I thought God would miraculously change my heart and mature me. Little did I know, my whole world would have to be shaken in order for “true growth and change” to occur. I can truly tell you that 2018 has been a turning point in my life and has changed me for the better, just like I asked for. God has “let 2018 be the year of progress, growth, change, healing, newness and giftings.” Wow, has God answered this prayer!

I want to share a small portion of how God has answered this prayer. In one week, I broke up with the man I was dating for 2 years, graduated from college, almost ended a friendship of 8 years, signed for a house in SLO, and moved back in with my parents. The rest of the year would continue the pattern of extreme highs and lows. As I stated above, I was part of 5 different weddings (including bachelorette parties and showers), received 3 pregnancy announcements, buried my uncle, spent Christmas night in the hospital with my great grandmother, started my dietetic internship, moved to San Luis Obispo and even today watched my sister get taken to the hospital by paramedics. There were plenty of times that I stopped and asked God what He was doing? I didn’t understand the necessity of taking away everything that I knew and completely bulldozing it.

The things that used to bring me so much joy, didn’t. And the things that used to be so important, weren’t. Life felt like those cities that you see on TV after an incredible storm. But something so beautiful happened in the middle of this crazy year; God answered my prayer above. During the break up, deaths, changes, and moves I found intimacy with God. I sat at His feet with tears streaming out of me, begging for Him to change the circumstances and take away the pain. During the wedding celebrations, new adventures, and births He brought joy that could only come from Him, in the purest form. No one can comfort you in the middle of a storm like the one that has the ability to make it calm. In the middle of these changes, God’s intimacy produced this new maturity and growth. The maturity and growth came from a place of brokenness and uncertainty. Looking back at the prayer that I prayed for 2018, I didn’t realize that my prayer could be answered through brokenness and uncertainty, but it was.

It’s a painful process when God begins to prune. That “true growth and change” came from God removing toxic relationships and fruitless habits. Even though all of those things were bringing nothing but death it still was one of the most painful things I have experienced to date. God had to remove all of the things that were causing confusion and stagnancy in my life in order to grant me the newness that I was asking for.  I can truly say that I have experienced God for myself in 2018. In the process of being pruned, I found the maturity, growth and change that I longed for at the end of 2017. Do I wish things could be different? Absolutely! But there’s a beautiful maturity that comes from the battle that can’t be gained in the victory.