September and October have been two whirlwind months, and so I apologize to my readers out there who have been wondering where I went- I promise I’m still here! You can blame all things food and nutrition for keeping me away from writing, so I wanted to catch you up on what I’ve been doing.
Even though I am only taking two classes this semester (my last to complete my Masters degree!) school still comes first. I have been getting my first taste of clinical nutrition through my Medical Nutrition Therapy class, and I must say I’m loving it. I’ve always seen myself going into the public health/community nutrition world, but the enthusiasm and passion my professfor exudes for different disease states and how nutrition becomes such a key component in prevention and treatment has made me think differently in regards to my future career. After completing an utterly torturous case study about a patient with chronic kidney disease (CKD) we have been learning about disease states of the gastrointestinal system. The gut is a stubborn and mysterious place. I have always been fascinated by the bacteria, good and bad, that dwell there and create a delicately balanced environment that has the ability to affect the entire body. Today, more and more people are being affected by malabsoprtion issues- think celiac, Crohn’s, colitis, food allergy and intolerance- and it drives me crazy that people are prescirbed these super restrictive diets, devoid of many essential macronutrients as well as vitamins and minerals! Many of these problems have evolved over time as our body’s adaptation to our increasingly modified and processed food system. The ideal answer to all the bloating, constipation and nutritional deficiencies would be to fix the source, de-toxify our food so to speak, but that doesn’t seem likely anytime soon. I guess in the meantime, as a dietitian in training, I can do my best to modify and enhance the diets of those with malabsorption issues. If you’re interested in what I’m reading for class right now I highly suggest checking out the books Gluten Freedom and Do You Believe in Magic? for a look into celiac disease and the utterly shocking and false world of alternative medicine.
Outside of school I have been in the thick of all things nutrition education at the farmers markets. Here’s a peak of what we’ve been cooking. For detailed recipes visit Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables.
Green Bean and Corn Stir Fry and Stewed Cabbage
An onion heart to start off a Glazed Beet recipe we cooked on a rainy day.
Between school, the farmers market, babysitting, the Climate March, a wedding in Amish country, and lots of football watching, I have still been dedicated to cooking at home. Many recipes are “clean out the fridge” creations combining leftover produce from work, while some are planned and inspired by favorite blogs, cookbooks, and Pinterest stumbling. I’ve also been posting some snapshots of my food on Twitter to contribute to the Food Day challenge to eat real food hosted by the Tisch Center for Food Policy and Environment at TC- next Friday is Food Day if you didn’t know!
From top to bottom, I’ve made a Roasted Fennel and Carrot soup from the wonderful Cooking Close to Home cookbook (thanks, Sarah!), written by a dietitian and Executive Chef of Vermont’s Fletcher Allen Hospital in Burlington. A personal recipe of oven-roasted cabbage “steaks” with a schmear of white miso and fresh cracked black pepper- you could use this recipe as a guide. A brussels sprout salad inspired by How Sweet It Is. An Asian style steak and mushroom salad that my mom recommended to me- and bonus, Danny liked it! And finally, I always try and sneak in a relaxing breakfast once or twice a week; today it was smashed avocado on sunflower seed toast with a crisped over easy egg, sprinkled with red pepper.
Dedicating yourself to spending time in the kitchen is not always easy. When school, work, friends, and family are calling your name it’s tempting to cut corners and spend a few bucks on food from outside. And while the Shacktober special burger from Shake Shack can be immensely satisfying and heart-attack inducing
it is oh so satisfying to sit down to a meal that you are proud of and enjoy a plate of delicious and nutritious food with others.
With that, I’m off to the kitchen!