My journey as a nutrition student so far

This year has challenged me in ways I never encountered as a bio major at my undergrad, but I love it.

After all, what’s life without a little challenge right?

Hello everybody! I hope you had a great week. My semester’s definitely wrapping up – the end is near! So I thought I’d take the opportunity to reflect on this last year and how this adventure is going so far.

Being a nutrition student in the unique position I’m in has been a surprisingly challenging experience that has simultaneously stressed me out and made me proud. I’ll admit when I first entered the program I was fairly confident things would be a breeze – I wasn’t right, not exactly. Having a bachelor’s in bio is no small feat, and I am forever grateful that I have that background because I feel as though it prepared me so well for tackling these past two semesters – and the semesters yet to come. Being a nutrition student isn’t just learning about what you should be eating and what you shouldn’t. It isn’t just about learning your vitamins and minerals or MyPlate. Everything my professors do has a purpose, and it’s to prepare us to be the best RD’s we can be.

fad-dietsThe program is a slight step outside of what I’m used to as a bio student. It’s more than just listening to lectures and taking tests. In every nutrition class there’s been group work, projects, and other practical experiences that have provided me with so much more substance than a class that focuses mainly on tests and lecture material. Not to say that group work and projects are unfamiliar to me, but the emphasis that is placed on them is different. And I appreciate the practicality of these experiences because they resemble what I will someday be doing as an RD. Applying the knowledge I learn and not just spitting it back on a test is something I have to continue developing, and this program is allowing me the opportunity to do that. For that I am thankful. It’s reassuring to know the decision to change career paths, and choosing this school, was the right one.

My greatest challenge in terms of this program so far this year has been adjusting to a different way of thinking that’s broader than a scientific base. Science is very analytical, very factual, and very logical. Science backs the information we give our clients, but it’s always changing. There’s also a very personable element to the field which is a outside of rote memory. It’s different information with a scope of directly helping others change their lives instead of just doing research that perhaps one day impacts the lives of others. Nutrition is a balance between these two ideas: science and communication. And it’s a balance I need to develop still.

Main-Image-600x400Growth takes time and I still have time to continue doing so through my program. So far they have offered me the opportunity to do so, and that is my entire purpose for being in school so they have succeeded. I only hope to continue this path into next year, my internship, and the years after.

So to sweeten the deal, I thought I’d pass along the recipe to one of our dishes from the food science project my group completed last week!

IMG_2180Farro Salad with Beets, Arugula, and Feta

Ingredients

2 medium sized beets, roasted
2 C arugula
1 C farro, soaked in water for 1hr and drained (farro should be just covered with water)
2T apple cider vinegar
1t balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt, to taste
1t Dijon mustard
Β½ C olive oil
Β½ C chopped walnuts
2oz feta
ΒΌ chopped fresh herbs – based on availability (parsley, chives, tarragon, marjoram, etc.)

Preparation

1. Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a medium saucepan, and add the farro. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes, stirring from time to time, or until the farro is tender. Remove from the heat and allow the grains to swell in the cooking water for 10 minutes, then drain.
2. While the farro is cooking, make the vinaigrette. Whisk together the vinegars, salt, garlic and mustard. Whisk in the oil(s). Add to the farro.
3. Peel and dice the beets and add, along with the arugula, feta, herbs and walnuts. Toss together, and serve warm or room temperature.

Question of the week: what do you feel was an area where you improved over your time as a student?

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