Happy Wednesday! Another great line-up of questions…here we go!
Brooke: Hi Nicole, It is so strange that you posted the question about the internship. In was going to email you a similar question. I know the internships are often picked by computer, how does that work. I am a single mom trying to figure out how to go back and finish my degree and I would like to do it in dietetics. I do not have the luxury of moving for an internship so it would have to be close to home. Is this something you usually have to move for. Also what can you do with the degree if you can not get an internship? I know you can not be an RD. Thank you!
Prevention RD: Hi Brooke! Great questions! Dietetic internships and the entire process is…confusing. Basically how it works is that you apply to various programs that you would like to attend (in your case, close to home) and then rank them based on your preference. The schools then rank their applicants and through a “mutual matching process” the “match” is generated. At that point, you either accept or deny. Since you applied and ranked that school, it is basically assumed you go there unless there are extenuating circumstances. I’ll be honest. I applied to 6 programs. My first choice was ranked #1 because it offered a comfy stipend. My second choice was “comfortable” because I had interned at that particular hospital one summer. My third choice was close to home and a good, but very expensive program (internship + master’s + thesis). I got matched with my 3rd choice and attended…and it cost me a lot of money…money to the tune of $70k in 15 months (which included my very modest living expenses)! That said, the “match rate” is about 50% — if you’re matched and want to be an RD…you go. I wish I could speak more on nutrition professionals that are not RD’s, but I do know that jobs exist. At the wellness center associated with my hospital, there’s a nutritionist who works 8 hours a week and has another great job working for the state’s dairy council. She is wonderful and loves her jobs. While I don’t think the opportunities are as abundant for nutritionists who are not RD’s, there are opportunities. I hope this helps some. Good luck pursuing the path. If it’s the right fit, it will all come together 🙂 Please keep me posted!
Samantha of Samantha Menzies: My brother-in-law has Crohn’s disease and it is very severe. Unfortunately, his diet is craptastic and consists of lots of fast food, caffeine, sugar, and refined carbs. He says that eating a lot of vegetables can be painful to his stomach but I’m pretty concerned that his bad diet combined with the inability to absorb nutrients because of his damaged intestines is causing him to be nutrient deficient. I can even witness this in his inability to focus and his poor sleeping patterns (and those are just the problems that I see!). I know that part of the problem is just getting him to eat right to begin with, but I’m also curious what sort of diet is recommended for someone with Crohn’s to ensure that they are getting all their nutrients?
Prevention RD: Hi sweetie 🙂 (I’ve been a bad blog friend…I blame the cookbook! Forgive me! Hope all is well!). I am sorry to hear about your brother-in-law. Crohn’s is…terrible. The “general rule” I tell people to go by is that when they feel good, they need to be eating their best — fiber, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, etc. As soon as symptoms start to flare up, it’s best to eat what is tolerated and every Crohn’s patient will DEFINITELY be able to tell you what works and what doesn’t…it’s very individualized. The vegetables he eats should be very well cooked (think canned soup vegetables soft…or softer) and eaten in small, but frequent measures. His fast food/high fat habits are likely promoting flare ups, so perhaps encourage lean meats, eggs, dairy? Protein is very important and the leaner the better. I would also HIGHLY recommend a daily multivitamin. Adding a Boost or Ensure or two to his daily regimen may be a great option, as well. These products are calorie and nutrient-dense and generally tolerated very well, even during flare ups in many patients. I hope that helps a bit…poor guy 🙁
Danielle: My husband and I are trying to make a baby but ever since we started trying, my period has become irregular (go figure). I’m wondering if you have and diet recommendations to increase fertility, ovulation or to help regulate the monthly visitor! Thank you so much!
Prevention RD: Hi Danielle! Congrats on beginning to try for a baby! While there is no “fertility nutrient”, a balanced diet, a prenatal vitamin, regular exercise, and a healthy body weight are of utmost importance when trying for a baby. If you’ve had any weight changes or increases in stress (even the idea of trying for a baby may be stress-inducing!), this can also cause your period to go a little wonky. I would use temperature tracking to see if you’re ovulating and let things work themselves out for a few months before worrying too much. Getting pregnant is a different story for each and every woman. Other than a healthy weight, healthy eating, and a prenatal, the rest is up to mother nature! Best wishes!
Karina: I wanted to know what your thoughts are about drinking apple cider vinegar. It seems to be very popular in the blogging world but I have never heard about any real scientific studies done with it to see if it actually does what they claim it does (fight acne, diminish bloating etc.)
Prevention RD: Hi Karina! You know, I was told this same myth about 10 years ago when I was losing weight. It took me about one swig to figure out that vinegar tastes horrible on its own. I now know that apple cider vinegar is a cure-all for nothing, the pH of my stomach is just fine, and apple cider vinegar has no calorie or “fat burning” (as if that exists!) powers. Wouldn’t that be nice? Some of the advertising and “research” out there seems so compelling but the truth is…it’s all a big fib! I’m sorry!
Samantha: I am learning about heartburn in my nutrition class and heard that tums can help it, but that they’re not good for it. My professor said tums are not bad -they just don’t help the problem enough if it’s happening very frequently. My boyfriend has heartburn and he heard that tums are bad and should be avoided because of the calcium which leads to kidney stones. Who is right??
Prevention RD: Hi Samantha! Great question! Tums are very effective for indigestion and heartburn — they “neutralize” the acid. Your professor is right in that frequent acid reflux or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) needs to be addressed proactively (diet/lifestyle and perhaps drug therapy) rather than reactively with an antacid. Tums are basically just calcium, but taking that much calcium on a regular basis can be harmful and can lead to serious issues, such as kidney stones like you mentioned. Incorporating diet and lifestyle changes to aid in acid reflux/indigestion relief are highly effective. Avoiding large meals and tight fitting clothes, not exercising after eating, drinking fluids between meals (rather than with), limiting highly acidic foods (tomato products, chocolate, citrus, etc.), not eating late at night, smoking cessation, limiting alcohol, and avoiding high fat foods are helpful for relief. There are also drugs such as Prilosec (omeprazole) that are great for treatment of chronic acid reflux. I hope that helps!
Thanks for another great Q&A session! Please feel free to pass along YOUR question to me at preventionrd (at) gmail (dot) com!
Work and then heading to Kalamazoo for a Southwest Michigan District Dietetic Association mini conference!