Monday, March 28, 2011

Sugar Woods and Athletic Letters

Saturday, Sam and I packed up her car with my bed and headed out bright and early Saturday morning to Sackville to delivery my bed to my sister and then to visit my grandparents in Amherst. We weren't sure if my bed was going to fit into the fit so we tested it out Friday night and realized that it stuck out the end about a foot and that we'd need to bungee the trunk down to make it work. This was really the only opportunity I had to move my bed across the bridge so we made the best of it and at about 8am on Saturday morning, armed with tarps, bungees and coffee, we took my bed apart, lugged it into the driveway and crammed the mattress, boxspring and bed frame into the car, wrapped it all up in tarps so the snow on the highway (yep, a few cm of fresh snow at the end of March...not cool) wouldn't get it all wet and then bungeed the whole thing together as tightly as possible. We didn't have anything to keep the tarp secured around the mattress and box spring so being the creative girls that we are, we resorted to christmas present wrapping ribbon. I was tempted to curl the ends just like the christmas present it looked like but decided that having pretty curls flailing from the back of the car would only draw more attention to them and our gangsta car packing job. We even got laughed at by a hitchhiker who, upon seeing the car, just laughed and put his thumb down since we obviously didn't have room. I'm sure the fact that two young, giant sunglass laden girls were in the front seat sipping coffee didn't help.

We spent the afternoon walking through the sugar woods in Nova Scotia.
I have been lucky enough to have made it to the sugar woods three of the four years I've been on the island but Sam and Big Al had never been so Alex and I had the pleasure of their company. It was a tad cold for the sap to be running but by the time we walked all the way back to the very furthest camp, the sap had started to run. Grampi was our unofficial tour-guide and taught us about every single step in the maple syrup making process and I think it's safe to say that if there is ever a Jeopardy category on Maple Syrup production, he would be the champ. I'm sad that I won't be around to join in on the sugar woods tradition next year! I might need to find one closer to home to make up for missing out in Nova Scotia.

Sunday night was the UPEI Panthers Athletic Banquet. Everyone gets all fancied up and awards are given out to each team and the AUS and CIS award winners are recognized. It's normally held on campus but this year they had it downtown at The Mac and it was definitely an improvement! There's something so much classier about a semi-formal event when it's not being held in the student union cafeteria on campus. I ended up getting nominated for the "Passion For Life Award" and winning the "Coaches Award" neither of which I was expecting at all so it was very exciting! I also got my athletic letter since I'm graduating this year! I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to do with it now, but for some reason it was the highlight of the night. After 3 years of on again off again competing, I now have a lovely P to show for it. If only I had a varsity leather jacket to put it so I could kick it old school. Last night was officially my last night as a UPEI swimmer! It's sad but I'm so glad I joined the team in my second year. My only regret is not joining the team a year earlier.

And now it's back to the grind after a fun but very unproductive weekend! I thought that knowing it was my last Monday morning of classes EVER might make it easier to drag my butt out of bed this morning but no dice. I also learned that my paper on the History of Roti (yep, I'm actually writing a history of one of my favorite foods, roti and it's worth 20% of my final know you're in foods and nutrition when...) is actually due Wednesday and not Friday! Oops! Consequently I spent the afternoon joining twitter instead of finishing up my research and writing the stupid thing, which I justified by telling myself it was my last week to ever procrastinate on school work so it was ok. My yoga studio opens back up today after a week of renos so I'm pumped to sweat it out tonight and check out the new and improved facilities!

Friday, March 25, 2011


Here is a video of Steve Job's 2005 Commencement Speech for Standford University. It's kind of long (14 minutes) but definitely worth a listen. It provided me with a Friday afternoon pick-me-up and motivation and hopefully it will do the same for you!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Miss Daisy's Sewage

Sam and I decided to take a mental health day today and boycott school to road trip across the island. It was a perfect spring day and since I'll only be on the island for another few weeks we had to take advantage of it while we still can. Our mental health day was tainted slightly by having to go to our 8:30am class because we were covering slightly important material that couldn't be missed, but as soon as class was over, and as soon as Sam's car was dropped off for it's oil change, we headed out on the road. We have been trying to decide where to go for a few days now, and since there is so much of the island that neither of us has seen we couldn't decide. Every time we had thought we had the perfect place to go, we realized that it would be a ghost town and nothing would be open owing to the fact that it's March in PEI. Every thing is seasonal and only open from June - August or October. We ended up being kind of lame. We had heard nothing but good things about Miss Daisy's Victorian Tea Room and B&B in Summerside so we made that our first stop for lunch. The atmosphere was great and the food was good but not spectacular, with the exception of the homemade biscuit that was fresh out of the oven and still warm. This guy definitely stole the show. It was the best biscuit I have ever tasted. Flaky and soft and melted in my mouth with buttery goodness. Yumm! I would go back just for the biscuits!
The Best Biscuit in the Entire World

I ordered the fishcakes, salad and green tea and Sam ordered a chicken pesto panini and salad, which both looked delicious. We ended up spliting both meals and each had one fish cake and half a panini.

Fish Cakes, Salad and Green Tea

Our meals also came with dessert! It was tough to choose, but I chose the black bottom cupcake. Shocker right? The word cupcake won me over. It was more like a mini chocolate lava cake but the warm melting chocolate was the perfect companion to the cold creamy whipped cream that was piled on top!
All in all it was a successful lunch! The portions were generous and we left full but not uncomfortably stuffed. We made the mistake of not making reservations though, so although they were able to squeeze us in, our food came almost too fast and there was some pressure to head out as soon as we were done dessert. They are normally reservation only because they are typically completely booked everyday for lunch so I can't really blame them. Would have been nice to have been able to take our time leisurely sipping our tea in the totally awesome tea cups without having to rush out after dessert. I would go back to Miss Daisy's, but I would definitely make sure I had reservations and I would request an extra biscuit or two!

After Miss Daisy's, we were at a loss for what to do next. We ended up driving to Victoria to check out the Beach House property. Unfortunately, upon our arrival we discovered this bad boy poking up right in the middle of our property.

They are vents for the sewage pump that was installed under the property. Bad news bears!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

CBC Radio Interview and the Psychology of Eating

Despite that they cut out a lot of our in studio discussion, I think our interview on CBC Radio yesterday morning went really well! We've got a lot of positive feedback about it from faculty, friends and peers so thanks to everyone who woke up early to hear it, or went out of their way to provide such nice comments!
For all of you who missed it, I couldn't figure out how to get an mp3 on this silly blog so I ended up making a little slide show of pictures to go along with the audio from the interview.

On a completely random note, I was sitting in a coffee shop doing school work this morning when an elderly man sat down beside me and started spilling out his life story. Somehow we got onto the topic of school nutrition policies and soft drinks in schools. He decided to go off on a rant about how useless Dietitians were because although we're telling people that soft drinks are bad for them, we can't actually make people stop drinking them. According to him, we're simply telling people what they already know. People know that fruits and vegetables are good for them, that eating highly processed foods pumped full of sugar, salt and fat are bad for them, and that drinking 8 cans of coke a day probably isn't ideal. What the world really needs apparently, is more psychologists to figure out why people are making these food choices in the first place despite already knowing what is and isn't good for them. He likened the obesity epidemic to smoking; smokers are very aware of the health risks associated with the behaviour, but yet many of them will never even attempt to quit. Maybe eating and smoking shouldn't be placed in the same category but there is research that indicates that these processed foods are just as addictive.

I must admit I found this whole conversation incredibly annoying because a) I was trying to be productive, b) this man was so convinced he was right that I couldn't even get a word in and c) because there was some truth behind what he was saying. It's true; as a RD I can advise and lobby about healthy eating practices, and I can help those who want the help, but I cannot force anyone to eat or not eat anything. Will taking pop out of schools cause kids to drink less of it? Maybe, but not necessarily. It's so accessible every where else that kids can simply walk across the street to the nearest corner store and get it if they really want. But regardless, it's a start. By making changes like taking pop out of schools and out of community centers and hockey arenas, we are putting pressure on corporations to produce healthier products to meet the demand. Unfortunately, a lot of these so called "healthier" alternatives to soft drinks contain just as much sugar and probably aren't THAT much better for you, but we've got to start somewhere right?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Water Tanks!!

I got word today that the $1500 we raised for the Muchui Women's Group through the sale of aprons has purchased 5 water cachement tanks for members of the group. We got an e-mail from Farmers Helping Farmers with pictures of each member who received one of our tanks and their names. I am thrilled to be able to physically see the outcome of our fundraiser, and am so proud to have been able to directly impact the ability of these women to provide food for their families. One thing we learned over the summer is that the key to food security is water. I can't wait to get back to Kenya to see them and meet these women.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Quantity Induced Germophobia

If Quantity Meal Production has taught me anything, it's to Fight Bac!

I am no where close to a germophobe. In fact, I might just be the opposite.

Ya I wash my hands, I sometimes wash my fruit and veg (I know, I know, gross right?) but I believe in the 5 second rule (I'm, pretty sure mythbusters concluded that the 5 second rule was totally misguided and that food would pick up bacteria regardless of if it was in contact with it for a nano second or 2 minutes), and I am not all that concerned about the egg salad sandwich (with mayo) or yogurt that sits in my lunch bag all morning without an ice pack. There are those of you out there that are probably thinking that they never ever want to eat anything I prepare ever again out of fear that I might accidentally poison you. Obviously I make sure I don't contaminate fruit and veg with raw meat and wash my cutting board and dishes etc, but I am not nearly as cautious as some, nor as cautious as maybe I should be. I also happen to LOVE raw cookie dough, and can't resist sampling at least a taste of the batter of what ever I happen to be baking, despite the fact that it contains raw eggs most of the time. And I kind of consider expiry dates as guidelines, not rules. Expired yogurt, within reason, is totally delicious, and I generally live by the 'smell test' method of checking if food is still edible instead of the marked expiry on the package. 50% off for cheese expiring tomorrow that I won't actually finish eating for a week? SCORE!

All this being said, I very rarely get sick or even get a head cold (knock on wood) a fact that I attribute to growing up playing in the dirt outside, biting my nails and paddling slash swimming in the gross slimy Credit River. If that didn't build up my immunity to every known disease on the planet I don't know what could! I think that being too cautious might actually make you get sick more often because you are never exposed to pathogens and can never build a super strong immune system.

It's not that I was never aware of all of the germs lurking out there, and the dangers of eating raw cookie dough etc but I never really thought to much about it. My quantity food production class has made me so incredibly aware of the "danger zone" temperatures, the appropriate cooling, heating, reheating and holding temperatures of specific foods and all the ways in which food can become contaminated. I can't help but see red flags everywhere I go, or question the food handling procedure at restaurants or cafes.

Yesterday my roommate left raw meat out on the counter to thaw all day while he was at work and I really had to fight the urg to put it in the fridge for him, but a few months ago I probably wouldn't have thought to much about it. And today I was made aware that apparently you are supposed to re-sand your wooden cutting boards as soon as they get grooves in them from use because do you know how many germs and bacteria could be living in those grooves that are so small that it's virtually impossible to clean and remove the food particules from within them? GROSS! I can't help but think of the only cutting board my family has been using since I was a kid that has definitely never been re-sanded and without a doubt is covered in grooves from being used so much. While part of me is a little grossed out, the majority of my brain just thinks back to all the incredibly delicious meals that that cutting board contributed to.

While I don't think all this knowledge about food safety is going to drastically change my life, I am way more aware of all the places that germs can be lurking. To be fair a lot of this is common sense and I probably knew the majority of this information already, but having to actually study it and get tested on it makes it all sound so much more of a threat! I haven't quite reached the germophobe level of my prof (who is VERY passionate about Fighting Bac) but I am a little bit more squeamish then I used to be.

In other news, I regret to announce the death of my dad's bee colony. They did not survive the winter which is tragic and sad. He'll be buying a new colony in the spring and will be getting right back into it, hopefully learning from this years unfortunate outcome to build stronger bees for next year. I'm home this summer (YAHOO!!!) and am hoping to be his unofficial apprentice and learn some mad beekeeping skills.

But until then, Cooper and I will be waiting anxiously outside the hive for the new bees.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

CBC Radio Interview

Tuck and I just got asked for an interview on CBC radio! We're taping Friday morning and it will be aired on Monday morning. Stay tuned for an update on where/how you can hear the interview and how it goes!

We're being interviewed as part of World Home Economics Day (I'm pretty sure?) and because we're giving a big presentation to the Home Economics Association on Monday about our trip.

I've been emailing the CBC guy a bit tonight and in a request for background information from our trip he asked what our presentation was about and if we had actually been to Kenya, ha!

Should be super fun and we're both pumped for the interview. I hope I don't embarrass myself!

Just some background info about the Home Economics Association - Nutrition and Dietetics stem from home economics. Before nutrition degrees even existed, dietitians had degrees in home economics. A lot of RDs are still members of Home Ec societies and organizations as a tribute to our humble beginnings. In fact, most of my profs here at UPEI have Home Ec degrees, so the switch to foods and nutrition is fairly recent! As much as I'm glad to be getting a Bsc in Foods and Nutrition (it's got a bit more street cred than a Home Economics offense to those Home Economists out there) but it would have been pretty rad to have been able to take classes in sewing and fashion and stuff too! Talk about super fun electives!

Fabulous Feast of Fiber

Yesterday was my very last lab as a University student and so I can officially retire my lab coat! I have a feeling the next two and a half weeks (eek!) are going to contain a lot of "lasts as a student." Tuesdays are Quantity Food Production days, which I have posted about once before when talking about my Buy Local themed meal. Today was the last time I had to suit up in my lab coat and hair net and actually be in lab all day preparing the meal. Next week is the last official lab day but it's my week off so all I have to do is show up and eat! I was the baker this week and made chocolate walnut cake with whipped cream, drizzled in chocolate sauce. This week's theme was High Fiber, and as such, all of the recipes were modified to be high fiber versions of everyday foods. The menu was:
Appetizer: White Bean Dip with Toasted Pita Crisps
Main: Caesar salad and Lasagna
Dessert: Chocolate Walnut cake with Whipped Cream and Chocolate Drizzle

It was a bit of a coincidence that this week's meal was fiber themed. I've been on a quest to amp up the fiber in my diet and have spent the last week trying to find a high fiber breakfast cereal that also had no added sugar. I thought this would be easy, but it turns out that EVERYTHING has added sugar these days! In an attempt to cut out unnecessary sugar from my diet, I embarked on a non-religious lent challenge of consuming no added sugar. I didn't think it would be very hard - I don't typically eat breakfast cereals, I don't add sugar to my coffee, I try to limit my processed food intake to virtually zero and with the exception of oatmeal, I don't typically add sugar to foods. Little did I realize that pretty much every single food on the planet that comes in a box, a wrapper or container has sugar added to it! My other major obstacle in this challenge was my love of baked goods which was particularly challenging during a FANS potluck last week and at Quantity meals which all include dessert. I'm not going to lie, I have failed miserably at not eating any added sugar (I definitely did not pass up the quantity dessert!), however I am definitely more aware of it now and am reading labels more carefully and trying to make sugarless choices when buying pre-packaged foods. I have indulged in a baked good or two since the beginning of lent but I think I am eating less sugar than I was before, so that counts right?

Anyways, back to the fiber! It occurred to me the other day that I started this blog to document my internship and my path to becoming a Registered Dietitian, but at no point in this blog have I really shared anything I have learned. One of the things I love most about dietetics is that it can be applied to anyone, anywhere at any life stage. Everyone eats, and the fact that everyone's eating habits differ based on food availability, income, culture, age, etc makes the profession that much more dynamic and challenging. But one thing that is consistant across the planet is the importance of fiber!

Dietary Fiber is essentially the portion
of plant foods that can't be digested. Because it is not digested, it is not absorbed into the body. There are two types: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibers absorb water in the GI tract, are fermented by bacteria in the large intestine and help soften stool. Insoluble fibers are not fermented, provide bulk and speed up the movement of food through the GI tract promoting regularity. Both of these help keep your GI tract moving and clean.

Fiber has a long list of benefits, including (but not limited to):
  • It may reduce appetite because it provides food volume without many calories and takes longer to digest. The longer it takes to digest, the longer you will feel full.
  • Can help lower cholesterol
  • Diets high in fiber have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease
  • Prevents constipation
  • Has been shown to help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and helps regulate blood sugars in people who already have diabetes
Dietitians of Canada recommend that men get 38g of fiber per day and women get 25 g of fiber per day. Foods that are high in fiber are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and lentils. There is tons of fiber found in the skins of fruits and veg, so when possible try to leave the skin on your apples, potatoes, carrots etc. Some easy ways to add fiber to your existing diet are to add ground flax seed or chia seeds or hemp seeds (or any other seed or nut) to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt or cereals. You can find tons of recipes online for dishes that have been altered slightly to contain added fiber. For example, the chocolate cake we made in lab yesterday had pureed black beans and ground flax in the batter, which you couldn't even taste. Swapping your usual white noodles, rice and bread for whole grain varieties and eating more fruits and veg will all increase your daily fiber intake.

To avoid discomfort, I suggest amping up your fiber intake gradually over about a week, and make sure you drink plenty of fluids to accompany the high fiber intake. Another thing to note (that I learned the hard way) is that if you are physically active, running in particular, you may want to increase your fiber intake even more slowly, as exercise increases that rate at which food passes through your body as well. I can assure you that the post high fiber meal run isn't always fun, and should only be attempted along a route that contains lots of places to stop if needed.

I finally did find a high fiber cereal without added sugar (Fiber 1) but I mistakingly only read the front of the box that screamed NO ADDED SUGAR, 14G of FIBER PER SERVING! at me in huge bold bright letters and didn't even look at the nutrition facts panel or ingredients list which was bad news bears because although there is no added sugar, it's sweetened with sucralose (AKA Splenda) which I could taste as soon as I put it in my mouth and which I happen to strongly dislike. So lesson of the day: Eat lots of fiber and read the nutrition facts panel and ingredient lists carefully. It's so easy to be mislead by fancy advertising and front of the box claims that aren't always as accurate as they appear.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Relay For Life

In less than a month I'll officially be done school, and anxiously awaiting my final marks to determine if I'll actually be walking across the stage in May to accept my diploma. It doesn't feel as though I'm almost done, classes are still in full swing, even fuller swing since we've hit end of term everything is due all of a sudden madness. I don't seem to have nearly as much to do as everyone else, or I'm just way less stressed out about it so it's actually been a bit of a breeze so far. I've likely just jinxed myself.

This past Friday was UPEI's Relay for Life. It's a 12 hour walk-a-thon to support and raise money for Cancer research, organized through the Canadian Cancer Society. The swim team had committed to volunteering at the event before I knew that FANS (Family and Nutritional Sciences) was putting a team in. I showed up a couple hours into the event and lucky for me there seemed to be way too many volunteers and no one noticed me slip onto the track to walk with my FANS team. I didn't end up actually doing any volunteering at all. I showed up, they gave me a name tag and a free t-shirt and then told me they'd come find me if they needed me, which they never did. I walked for a few hours, hung out at our tent with the team and ate delicious snacks that every one contributed and pretended like I was part of the team for a few hours. The FANS girls each dressed up like a different sandwich topping and ended up winning the "Most Team Spirit" prize! I keep wanting to say "we won" instead of "they won" because the team was awesome and I wish I had been a part of it. Realistically, I could have stayed all night if I had REALLY wanted to and technically been part of the team. I wimped out though. I stayed until about 1am, got to see the Luminaria ceremony where they turned off the lights and lit candles in honor of, or in memory of participant's loved ones, followed by some live bands playing "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen and "Arms of the Angel" by Sarah McLachlan which accompanied tears and high emotions for many. I packed it in and headed home around one because I wanted to get up in time for my 8am Spin class followed by my 10am hot yoga class downtown. I felt a little bit guilty for leaving for such selfish reasons but in retrospect it was the right choice.

I'm loving my membership at Dynamic! I've been hitting up spin classes, total body blast class, pilates and hot yoga almost everyday last week and am planning to do the same this coming week. It's so fun to switch up my workout routine, especially since I'm not really training anymore. All I know how to do it the same things I've always been doing in the weight room, and while I still love lifting weights and training, I think I needed a break from it. The membership has allowed me to push myself in completely different ways than I'm used to! It feels as though every single muscle in my entire body has been sore since last Saturday, which feels amazing after an eight week hiatus from all things physical.

I was looking forward to spending my very first entire weekend work-free by writing a paper and getting ahead on next week's readings and assignments and by getting a chance to enjoy the sunny spring weather! The snow is melting at a speedy rate and the boardwalk downtown along the ocean is finally snow free. I've been itching to get out for my 6km boardwalk run and thought this weekend would be the perfect opportunity. Unfortunately for me, I ended up going into work for 6 hours on Saturday. LC's is run by a family and as such, the majority of staff are siblings, cousins, sons, daughters etc. Unfortunately there was a death in the family, and since everyone is related, it affected all but 2 staff members, which left the restaurant short handed this weekend and for part of next week. As a result, I guess I'm coming out of retirement? It's hard to say no in a situation like this, as much as I'd rather not be working. Maybe as a treat to myself for being nice and working 17 hours this week after quitting I'll use my unexpected paycheck to buy myself something nice from lulu lemon. I've been eying a couple of items at the yoga studio! It probably ended up being a good thing I worked yesterday; by the time I got home at 7pm I decided it was to late to get school work done and promptly feel asleep at 8pm and stayed asleep until this morning. I clearly needed the sleep!

Today was daylight savings and although we lost an hour, I can't help but be excited by it. It means it's almost summer! And summer means:


Family Picnics / Reunions



Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Today I saw some grass. And the sun came out. Not only did the sun come out, but it was warm enough to make me sweat as it shined through the window at the coffee shop I was at onto my table.
I'm afraid to jinx it but I think these signs might mean that maybe, just maybe, it might possibly be almost spring? I've been told that the island only has 2 seasons: Winter and Summer. So far I've seen this to be true. It will snow one day but then be almost 20 degrees the next day (As evidenced by the Easter long Weekend last year!).
I know it's still early for Summer but my fingers are crossed that we've finally seen an end to all the snow!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Unemployment Bliss

Today is my first day as an unemployed student since September of last year. I've been working at a little locally owned pizza place for the last year and a half. The pizza place is awesome; the ingredients are all fresh, absolutely everything is made from scratch and they use Island raised meats. I honestly couldn't have asked for better employers either - they were completely flexible with my swimming schedule and still gave me the hours I wanted / needed, they were fine with me going home every chance I got for weeks at a time and there were no questions that I would have my job back in September after leaving for 3 months to go to Kenya. Not to mention we have amazing regulars who I look forward to seeing every Friday (like my fav Mr R!) for their greek salad and pepperoni pizza, or every Wednesday for their pizza sub. Not only do our regulars come in for food, but they take a genuine interest in the staff and what we're studying, how exams went, how the swim team's doing etc and in return we remember their orders and have them placed as soon as they walk in the door without having to be reminded what toppings they like. As far as jobs go, despite the fact that it was a lowly fast food job, I got pretty lucky.

All this being said, working is time consuming, sometimes exhausting and stressful, not to mention it can severely restrict what social endeavors I am able to pursue. So I decided that I would spend my very last month as an undergraduate university student unemployed. I wanted to have more time to focus on school, which has an extremely heavy workload this semester, and I wanted a chance to be able to actually enjoy being a student while I have the chance, without always being stressed out about cramming all my homework and swim practices into the few evenings every week that I am not working.

To celebrate my newfound free time (wait what? free time?) I decided to splurge on an unlimited monthly pass at Dynamic Fitness downtown. They have great spin classes, hot yoga and pilates classes, all at the one facility, and they give students 20% off! I've been contemplating getting an unlimited month of hot yoga for a while now but it's expensive! This ended up being cheaper, and gives me access to way more variety in terms of classes. So this morning, my first morning as an unemployed student (my last shift was last night) I went to a spin class followed by an hour of hot yoga, followed by some java at Starbucks do accompany some homework. I'm afraid to stand up though, I'm not sure I have any muscles in my legs that have enough energy left in them to hold up my body weight.

My last shift was uneventful. We were super busy, I got to say goodbye to a couple of regulars and that was about it. Not sure what I was expecting...a cake maybe?

Having had my last shift makes graduation seem that much closer, and I think I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Food, Nutrition and Diet Through TIME

Time Magazine Turns 88 Years Old! The Magazine was first published on March 3rd, 1923. I stumbled upon a blog about the various nutrition, diet and food related covers since the first in 1972. I think it's super rad to see where we have come as a profession of dietetics and as a society in terms of our relationships with food and our attitudes toward certain foods. I'd love to be able to go back and read some of these! The author of the blog summarized a bunch of the articles (which I stole and re-posted here):

Monday, Oct. 08, 1923, Medicine: Vitamin X
Discovered by Dr. Herbert M. Evans and Dr. Katharine S. Bishop, of the University of California.* They call it ";Vitamin X." "Vitamins," now so popular, were unknown ten years ago. They cannot be seen or weighed. They came to light only when it was found diets are not providing proper nourishment and in some cases deficiencies would occur, such as scurvy, beriberi and pellagra.

Monday, Mar. 31, 1924, Medicine: Vitamin D
Dr. Walter H. Eddy, Professor of Physiological Chemistry in Teachers' College, Columbia University showed a group of his colleagues four test tubes containing 70 milligrams of a crystalline substance, Vitamine D. Their work may lay a basis for future synthetic foods to form a scientific diet, though the authentic vitamin scientists have nothing but condemnation for the various commercial tablets, cakes, etc., now on the market. The best diet can still be secured from natural foods.

Monday, Jun. 09, 1941, Medicine: The Nation's Food
Nine hundred doctors, dietitians, chemists, industrialists met in Washington last week to tackle an immense problem: the U.S. diet. As a whole the U.S. today is probably better fed than any other nation, but at least 45,000,000 people in the U.S. are undernourished. Another 50,000,000 people drag along on four cylinders, but cut a good five years off their work-life by not eating the right foods. Of the 35,000,000 remaining, quite a few suffer from overeating.

Monday, Aug. 06, 1956, Medicine: Crazy About Reducing

U.S. experts on diets and reducing are in a tizzy. For years they had been preaching the gospel that the only way to reduce is to cut down the amount of fuel (expressed as the number of calories) stoked into the body.

Friday, Nov. 25, 1966, Food: Everyone's in the Kitchen

Julia Child, 54, is the 6-ft.-2-in.-tall star of the Emmy-winning half-hour program, The French Chef. Her viewers on 104 educational TV stations across the U.S. watch her every move, forgive her every gaffe and, in a word, adore her.

Dec 18, 1972, The Perils of Eating, American Style
Whether they are simply trying to get thin, or whether they are pursuing health or even salvation through diet, Americans are perhaps more preoccupied than any other nation with what to eat, what not to eat, how to eat and even when.

Monday, Sep. 17, 1973, FOOD: The Burger That Conquered the Country
The destiny of nations depends on the manner in which they nourish themselves. - The Physiology of Taste, Jean Brillat-Savarin (1826). If so, America's destiny manifestly depends to no small degree on the hamburgers, French fries and milkshakes served beneath the golden arches of Mc Donald's. Last year the chain of drive-ins and restaurants rang up sales of $1.03 billion, passing the U.S. Army ( 1972 food volume: $909 million) as the nation's biggest dispenser of meals.

Monday, Nov. 02, 1981, Diet and Exercise Dangers
Regular exercise is good for the heart rate, blood pressure, respiration and metabolism. Says Jim Barnard, research cardiologist at U.C.L.A.: "It's similar to tuning up your car's engine to make the car run more efficiently." Vigorous physical effort helps release tension too. But it can also do a lot of damage, especially if the athlete is a neophyte or weekend warrior, both of whom tend to try to do too much too soon.

Dieting poses a whole set of different hazards, especially the quickie weight-losing schemes that separate U.S. dieters from a few pounds each year. Among the current In diets are the Pritikin, the Atkins and the Beverly Hills Diet. Nutrition experts insist that many fad diets are not really diets at all but bizarre and temporary ways of depriving the subject of adequate nutrition.

Mar 15, 1982, Salt: A New Villain?
KILLER SALT screams the book cover from a huge display of volumes with titles like Shake the Salt Habit!, Cooking Without a Grain of Salt and Halt! No Salt. These days they are selling in the the hundreds of thousands.

Mar 26, 1984, Hold the Eggs and Butter
Cholesterol is proved deadly, and our diet may never be the same This year began with the announcement by the Federal Government of the results of the broadest and most expensive research project in medical history. Its subject was cholesterol.

Dec 24, 1990, Health: Red Alert on Red Meat
The link between high-fat diets and colon cancer gets stronger.

Jul 15, 1991, The Fight over Food Labels
By launching a holy war against misleading claims, the government could clear up some of the confusion on supermarket shelves and help Americans become healthier consumers

Apr 06, 1992, The New Scoop On Vitamins
They may be much more important than doctors thought in warding off cancer, heart disease and the ravages of aging and, no, you may not be getting enough of these crucial nutrients in your diet

The FDA is about to decide whether you can eat these chips. They are fried in a fake oil that can't make you fat. Dip, Anyone?

Nov 01, 1999, The Low-Carb Diet Craze
Fad diets come and go, but this one is exploding. Can you really lose weight by feasting on beef, eggs and bacon? And should you?

Jan 21, 2002, 10 Foods That Pack A Wallop
Eat, drink and be healthy! Scientists are rapidly identifying the natural chemicals that give preventive punch to a rainbow of ordinary edibles.

Jul 15, 2002, Should We All Be Vegetarians?
Would we be healthier? Would the planet? The risks and benefits of a meat-free life.

Jul 07, 2003, Cracking The Fat Riddle
Should you count calories or carbs? Is dietary fat your biggest enemy? The latest research may surprise you.

Oct 20, 2003, Health: How to Eat Smarter
In a world that is raining food, making healthy choices about what and how to eat is not easy. Here are some rules to live by.

Jun 07, 2004, America's Obesity Crisis: Activists: The Obesity Warriors
What will it take to end this epidemic? These experts are very glad you asked

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Quantity Meal Day

One of the required courses in order to be eligible for a dietetic internship is called Quantity Food Production. It consists of a class component in which we learn about commercial scale food preparation and operations and a lab portion. For the lab portion, we have 40 guests (university staff and faculty) come into our dining room on campus every Tuesday and we feed them a three course meal. We also feed the 20 ish students that are in the class. This year's class is particularly large, so we are only responsible for being in lab every other week, but we still get to eat the meal every week which is awesome because the food is always delicious. We each get a turn performing the various tasks in lab, such as making either the appetizer, the dessert, the main course or the side dishes or serving the dishes to the clientele. Most importantly, we each get a turn to be manager. The manager picks the menu based on a given theme, picks the recipes, makes sure the recipes are yummy and make enough food to feed everyone and makes sure that meal day goes off without a hitch. Needless to say, being manager is extremely time consuming and stressful. And today was my turn!

My theme was "Buy Local" which was awesome because I'm totally a supporter of buying local produce, meat, dairy etc. Luckily, even in the winter, PEI has an abundant variety of all three!

My Menu
Sweet Potato Salad with Toasted Pecans, Dried Cranberries in a Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette

Yorkshire Pudding

I didn't get a chance to take a picture of the blueberry walnut crisp or the beef stew but they were both delicious.

I got to use Parkes Family Honey in my sweet potato salad which was really exciting! It's not local to PEI, but I figured it totally counted. The feedback was all positive except for 3 complaints (out of 40) that there was too much turnip in the stew relative to other vegetables. Minor detail in the grand scheme of the meal. A few people even said that it was the best meal yet!

Everyone else in the class has a partner and they worked as a team to manage a meal. My partner ended up dropping the course so I was flying solo. Due to bad weather yesterday and graduated internship interviews, I had 3 staff members absent. Two were supposed to serve and one was supposed to make my appetizer. Despite being short staffed, everything ended working out! The lab instructor ended up making my app, and I ended up serving and everything was great.

Even though the majority of our mark is based on a portfolio we hand in a few weeks after our meal day, having the meal day over with feels like such a huge weight off my shoulders. It's one of those things that loom over you all semester, constantly reminding you of the work you haven't done and the amount of work you have yet to do. In celebration, I'm taking the night off! I'm reading a magazine, watching tv and eating the classic grilled cheese and tomato soup. I might regret it tomorrow when the work load from my other classes hit me, but right now I'm enjoying a night off.