REPOST: OPEN LETTER TO THE ACADEMY OF NUTRITION AND DIETETICS

I personally agree with the below letter regarding Kraft and Kids Eat Right… as follows:

March 16, 2015

To Mary Beth Whalen, President Sonja Connor, leadership at the Academy and Kids Eat Right (KER) Foundation:

I am a long-time members and proud supporters of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), but myself and fellow nutrition colleagues – Rachel Begun and Regan Jones, are dismayed, shocked, and saddened by the blog post in last week’s New York Times. The piece reports on the KER Foundation’s Nutrition seal— a seal that the Academy states was not an endorsement of the product, but is an indicator of the brands that support Kids Eat Right.
As dedicated Registered Dietitians/Nutritionists and food and nutrition experts, we are protesting the Academy’s position to allow the Kids Eat Right logo on Kraft Singles, as well as the possibility to allow any future implied endorsement of any product by AND for the following reasons:

Flawed Understanding of the Marketplace

We wholly reject the rationale that the Academy used in their formal press release to defend the nature of the relationship between Kraft and the Academy. A logo on a product label is an endorsement, an alignment, and recognition of a paid relationship. Simply stating otherwise in a press release, no matter how emphatically, doesn’t change this fact. Rather, AND’s actions illustrate how profoundly out of touch AND is with business principles, which has put our professional integrity and credibility at risk. It is also a decision that is out of touch with members’ values.

Failure to Provide Transparency to AND Members and Consumers

We work hard to provide full transparency in all of our own business relationships, and we expect the same from the Academy. Failure to be transparent about ANDs actions violates the Academy’s own Ethics Policy*, which calls for the highest standards of honesty and integrity, and for members to not engage in false or misleading practices of communications.

Actions Requested of the Academy: #RepealTheSeal

We ask that the Academy make available to its members, the media and the public the following:
  • We ask for full transparency regarding the process of approval to allow the KER logo on the Kraft product— including the names of those involved, the meeting minutes of the discussion, and Board’s vote on this issue.
  • We ask for full disclosure of the terms of the financial agreement between KER Foundation and Kraft. We also request full transparency regarding the status of future agreements under consideration for use of our Logo.
  • We ask the Academy to provide their plan for the discontinuation of this specific relationship with Kraft and removal of the KER logo off Kraft Singles product packaging.
Academy members deserve strong leaders who will protect the integrity of the Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist credential. This latest action is an embarrassing misstep that must be corrected swiftly in order to prevent further damage to the RD/RDN brand and to the Academy.
Sincerely,
Rachel Begun MS, RDN
Kate Geagan MS, RDN
Registered Dietitian/Nutritionists colleagues listed at change.org .
* American Dietetic Association/Commission on Dietetic Registration Cod of Ethics for the Profession of Dietetics and Process for the Consideration of Ethics Issues. J Acad Nutr Diet 2009;109(8):1461-1467.

How I Studied and PASSED the Registered Dietitian Exam

There are no short cuts in life…

I have dedicated the last 6 years of my life studying nutrition and health and can finally say out loud to the world that I am a REGISTERED DIETITIAN NUTRITIONIST! It feels so good to finally have reached my goals! I am preparing for my very first Clincal Dietitian position with Kaiser Permanente (my dream organization!) and could not be more excited to start! I have SO MUCH to learn, explore, perfect, and discover as a newby dietitian! I am willing and ready to learn! In addition, I also feel that I have a lot to bring to the table! I have my Bachelors degree in Nutrition, my Masters degree in Public Health, my DTR credential, and am officially an RDN…                                                                                   But this did NOT happen over night and the struggle was real! #thestruggleisreal #success

This is how I studied and prepared for the Registration Exam for Dietitians!

Step 1: Start with realizing your passion & dream to study nutrition.  If this is already your path, then choose a good school, hold on to why THIS dream is important to you, and take EVERY opportunity you can! Carrying this dream with you throughout your journey is pivitol in times of discouragement, long study nights, or failure! You want to remind yourself WHY YOU STARTED THIS PATH!

Step 2: Choose a great RD internship after graduation! For MOST this will involve a lengthy, tedious, and arduous matching process in order to obtain a much sought after RD internship! An alternative (that I took) was to go for a combined graduate program and dietetic internship! In only 2 years and several months, I was able to get my Master of Public Health degree and complete my dietetitc internship (though this was very pricey). Choose the path that is BEST for YOU!

Step 3: THE REAL BATTLE BEGINS! Do your research and ask around to fellow classmates, teachers, work buddies in the field, and friends who have already passed the RD exam for great tips, advice, and suggested study material and methods! Don’t be shy, 99% of these people WANT to help you and support you! I used the Inman Study Guide (~$400) which comes with CDs & written study material that takes you through the 4 domains that the test WILL cover. I remember thinking that this material seemed pretty old school, especially with all the online material that is available today. However, coming from an age where we appreciate books and hand writing our school notes, I really enjoyed this material and think it was the MOST helpful!

Step 4: Additional material –> Because I believe in a well rounded approach to studying and did not want to somehow have to take the exam a 2nd time, I also spent $120 on “rdstudy.com” for 1-month access to the materials, quizzes, and games they offer. Overall, I found the randomized practice tests that were domain specific very helpful in getting me to review, the rest of the study material was structured in a confusing way, so I stuck with Inman for that part.

Step 5: Study groups vs. alone time –> This all depends on your RD cohort, your friends, and the way you study! I personally study best alone with a little bit of group time for some awesome feedback! I studied predominantely on my own (WHICH I THINK IS VITAL!) and then got together with a couple different friends weeks leading up to the exam to review more difficult sections & discover answers. This was great to alleviate stress because we got coffee, food, laughed, and learned! Much needed!

******* STUDY METHOD TIPS********

  • Go through the entire study guide 1x reading it thoroughly and taking notes (rewrite your notes if that helps you memorize). Try NOT to actually memorize too much but understand WHOLE concepts
  • Especially write down facts, numbers, and equations that you MUST memorize to review later
  • Go throughout the entire study guide a 2nd time (but somewhat faster) and review
  • Focus on your weaker areas & skim your stronger areas
  • Personally, I spent the last 4 days before the exam by myself cramming after 1-2 months of slow progressive studying (while working a part time job)

Step 6: Breath, pray, and practice ❤ Recall all you’ve learned & studied, eat a healthy balanced breakfast the day of and in general! (you, afterall, are becoming a dietitian!) 😀 During the exam, you get scratch paper, so take your time (for the most part) and answer these the best you can! Narrow down your answers & eliminate obvious wrong ones! Remember once you answer, you cannot go back to them!

GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY STUDIES! I pray that anyone who reads this or who does NOT read this and takes their RD exam does well! We all got into this field for a reason… so don’t quit when you are righ at the finish line!

❤ always:  Nichole MPH, RDN

#rd #registereddietitian #health #healthy #nutrition #nutritionlove #nutritionspark #wellness #happiness #happy #food #foodie #rdexam #studyhard #workhard #youcandoit

FORGET your New Year’s Resolution and let’s set REALISTIC goals instead

According a 2010 poll by the American Psychological Association, only 1 in 5 adults who made a health related New Year’s Resolution were able to make a significant difference in their health habits.  I for one am an advocate for setting GOALS, especially HEALTHY GOALS!   Sometimes, we view New Year’s Resolutions as a magical CURE ALL for the coming year that if we somehow cut out all fast food, avoid ALL sweets, never eat a drop of fat again, and start working out 7 days a week, that we WILL become a better person…

As you can see, these goals are not reasonable, nor are they likely to be long lasting! Most people who start and maintain health related goals do so by making a lifestyle change that is small and progressive. THESE types of goals cause a change in HABITS and change in LIFESTYLE that cause people to reach beyond their goals and strive to live healthier lives overall. How do they do this?

What is the key to setting and reaching your goal for the new year? HAVE A PLAN & BE REALISTIC! I listed the 5 ingredients to setting and reaching your health related goal this year! This is my strategy and I want to share this:

#1 Set a couple of reasonable goals, start small, and progress your way up as you hit your targets! It is also a good idea to make your goals measurable. By this, I mean come up with a way to measure your progress (and not just pounds on a scale!) Choose a time frame, a dress size, your mile time, or something fun to show how far you have come!

#2 Share your goal with others! Accountability does wonders for motivating and pushing us to do bigger and better things!  Post your goals on social media, tell your family and friends (for support), and write down the goals for yourself, like a contract!

#3 Don’t be too restrictive! Set a little wiggle room and allow yourself to be okay with a set back. Just start again!

#4 Reward yourself! (Not with food)! Choose a healthy way to treat yourself when meeting goals and making progress! Examples include buying yourself that outfit you’ve been wanting, going to the movies with friends, or getting new work out gear!

#5 REMEMBER to choose goals for the right reason and not because we think it will help or impress others.  Eat healthier for yourself, start working out for yourself, or begin a stress reduction plan to be a better YOU!

So, now that the new year has begun, let’s make 2015 THE YEAR we changed our bad habits into healthy ones!!!! My personal goal this year is to eat out LESS OFTEN (measured by no more than 3 food outings a week) and trying to cook at home or bring my meals with me more often! In this way, I hope to spend less money, eat less junk food, and hopefully improve my nutrition and HEALTH with this one small goal!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! ❤

I wish everyone the BEST OF LUCK with their New Year’s Goals!

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Public Health Nutritionist

FOUR weeks ago, I put on my cap and gown… I walked across that stage and accepted my degree. I am now officially a public health nutritionist holding my Master’s in Public Health Nutrition. I will be studying for the RD exam this summer and passing it toward the end of August. I have always considered myself a determined person.   NEVER let anyone tell you “you probably can’t do it”…or “You aren’t good enough” or even hint at the fact that they expect LESS of you… PROVE THEM ALL WRONG! Everyone is capable of more than they know!
❤ I am so HAPPY that I am passionate, driven, and persistent!
I can truly say I DID IT! 🙂

I will let you all know when I pass that exam! I have been readingstudy  tips and really just started reviewing for it last week! It has been a slow moving process jumping back into the grind but it will be WORTH IT!

-Sincerely,

Nichole “The Angry Cupcake” blogger

Food Synergy Please

Understand the nutrients, but focus on the FOOD :)

Understand the nutrients, but focus on the FOOD 🙂

A while back, nutrition became slightly complicated to the general public and even to many nutrition professionals. Scientists started discovering (and talking about) the benefits to singular nutrients and other biochemical substances within our foods.
Before we knew it, nutritionists, Dietitians, and medical practitioners were emphasizing SPECIFIC nutrients for certain ailments or benefits of health. The problem here is that most people do not view food as a nutrient… Most people do not pick up carrots and say YUM beta carotene and fiber…
In this respect, it became rather confusing to most people that we (the nutrition professionals) were tossing out complex words like antioxidants, ascorbic acid, anthxanthin!
So, what does food synergy have to do with this little rant?
Food synergy is the consumption of food in COMBINATION in a way that nutrients compliment eachother and help facilitate optimal absorption, bioavailability, and provide us with their best nutritional value! So, instead of thinking of individual nutrients 24/7… think about some of the key nutrients you need that will optimize your nutrition. Once you have an idea of what you need to be healthy, focuse on only the food items and less about the nutrient itself.
Eat a variety (a rainbow of colors) in your diet. Try new foods that are more obviously healthful (not just the newest fried food at the OC county fair) however tasty that may be!
EAT in such a way as to be purposeful with your health!

-Sincerely,

Nichole “The Angry Cupcake” blogger

NUTRITION YET TO COME!

Hello! I am currently finishing up my Master’s degree and dietetic clinical internship over the next 2 weeks! After this time is successfully done, I will most definately be writing on here more often! Until then, I hope you all have an amazing start to summer! ❤ I cannot wait to dive more into nutrition topics! I think I will write about gluten soon! 🙂

 

-Sincerely, 

Nichole “The Angry Cupcake” blogger

 

The Paleo Diet Breakdown

The “Paleo Diet” has been out for a quite a while now, but recently I have been getting more and more questions or comments from friends, family, and patients. Overall, without knowing much I really sort of shrugged it off as another FAD diet, but probably not a very bad one since it emphasizes increased fruits and vegetables, while eliminating processed junk foods. Sounds like the PERFECT plan to most people! So… what’s the problem then?
After doing some research and because I have been studying nutrition for the last 6 years, I feel that it is appropriate to analyze this so called wonder diet so that people can be more aware about what they are eating (or WORSE, not eating). Peer-reviewed studies on the Paleolithic diet stated many healthful benefits to the diet, but commented that it would be difficult to maintain long term and may be difficult to adhere to. Through my research I discovered that even U.S. News ranked the Paleo Diet toward the bottom of their “Best Diets Overall” list. 

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While all diets attempt to offer some strategic intention of healthy hopeful miracles, it is obvious that any diet that over emphasizes or restricts a particular food group is not considered to be a balanced diets that nutrition experts recommend. Yes, one could argue that cutting all processed refined carbohydrates, sweets, and candies is like cutting out an entire food group, but this is not accurate. Food groups consist of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. To be so extreme as to say, “no more bread, pastas, or a grain” is just as much a FAD diet as the Atkins diet promoted “high protein, low carbs”. This diet did not work long term then, and it may not work long term now. 

My biggest “issue” with this diet is that it lacks whole grains, which is a major carbohydrate that includes B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate), iron, magnesium, selenium, fiber, and other essential nutrients. Yes, people have said “well there are carbs in my fruit and vegetables”. While this is completely true, there is still a wealth of vitamins and high quality fiber found primarily in whole grains. Soluble fibers found in oats, beans, and barely decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease and reduce cholesterol. Insoluble fiber found in whole wheat, rye, and bran has similar effects and helps you stay full longer, preventing overeating. Getting enough variety in the diet is also important. Fruits, vegetables, AND whole grains are part of a balanced diet, in which getting enough fiber (25-35g/day) is essential for gut health, decreasing risk of cancers, heart disease, and excess weight gain. In addition to cutting whole grains, this diet emphasizes avoidance of dairy. About 60% of adults cannot digest milk, but eliminating that food group eliminates a major source of calcium. Not all calcium foods are created equal, which means absorption rates vary. Plant sources of calcium are GREAT, but are typically less bioavailable due to oxalates and phytates that slow the absorption rate. You would need to supplement that food group for a calcium rich source.

But what about all the successful people out there that look AND feel great from the Paleo diet? Of course, there are fitness gurus and health nuts out there that are going to have success with any kind of diet where commitment is had! Lasting success is to be celebrated! But, the majority of the population cannot maintain this kind of diet long term. Exclusion of a single food group will almost always create a sense of guilt or havoc for many people, which could lead to restrictive eating habits, binge eating, or worse. 

If you are part of the Paleo diet craze, just play it safe and modify the diet now and again. I am not saying you should go out and eat a Twinkie once a week, but take some healthful precautions! If this is a long term lifestyle choice, make sure to plan a well-rounded diet, include some supplements (but talk with your doctor first), choose leaner cuts of meat more often, find a variety of calcium rich sources to improve absorption, and be flexible with the diet plan! 
Overall, I believe some of the core concepts of the Paleo diet are PRETTY GOOD, but remain flexible to some food groups, have a variety, and use common sense.

-Sincerely, 

Nichole “The Angry Cupcake” blogger

A New Direction

Hello Readers,

I have decided that I would like to create a web-based place for me to shine light on the latest hollywood fad diets, trends, and nutrition folklore, while offering professional advice along the way! I hope to create an edgy or at the very least, a quick informative blurb for nutrition nuts to get some real evidence based advice. 🙂 I hope this will pick up some viewers and offer some insightful tips to face the wild wild world of hear say and popular diet trends. So pleas, if you like what you read, pass on the love and spread the word! 

-Sincerely, Nichole 

“The Angry Cupcake” Blogger