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RD Rants

I’ve been trying to make Tuesdays Q&A day (for no particular reason other than that’s when the first one was posted)…but I haven’t received any questions this week! So, if you think of something, send it on over ([email protected]) and until then… 🙂

RANT #1: “I work(ed) hard for this body.”

I think everyone has their pet peeves and triggers. One phrase that tends to lather my face with the “oh-no-s/he-didn’t” expression is when I hear someone say something along the lines of, “I work(ed) hard for this body.” I am one of those in support of a healthy balance and de-emphasizing the outer appearance and emphasizing the body, mind, and spirit from a holistic view of health. Not only this, but lab data…show me the healthy numbers — the healthy insides. You know, what matters. This is what’s important to me, and I wish it were more important to those more focused on pants sizes and numbers on the scale.

Furthermore, there are people (::hand shoots straight up in the air::) who just aren’t meant to have an anatomically correct body and shape. If I “word hard” (so subjective…but whatever “work hard” means) on my body and physique, it doesn’t guarantee me anything similar to a perfectly flat stomach or wingless arms. Does this make my hard work not enough? I hear bloggers say that they feel inadequate at times when there’s so much with which to compare yourself, and I think this is one of the very few instances where I find myself feeling inadequate, too.

Question: Is there a situation or time you can think of where you’ve felt inadequate? Or is there something (health/nutrition/fitness-related) that others say that rubs you the wrong way? Are you with me on not being “anatomically correct”? J

RANT #2: “Clean food”

There’s been such a huge influx of the term “clean” into the nutrition world, and I wanted to share the American Dietetic Association’s definition of the word. Frankly, “clean” is a term right up there with “Superfood” in my list of petty annoyances. But anyways…here’s the definition from the ADA Times Winter 2010 Issue (p. 6):

Clean Food

The term’s imagery connotes a natural implication that a good that isn’t a “clean food” must be an “unclean food”. For this reason, it is unlikely that we will be seeing references to “clean” on food product labeling in order to avoid consumer confusion that could lead to potential food safety hazards. Nonetheless, “clean food” is popping up in several diet, lifestyle and cookbooks this year, though because there is no official definition of the term, one needs to consult the individual sources for the meaning in each context. Its most common usage seems to be replacing “beyond organic” for critics who feel current USDA organic standards are too low. In this instance, “clean food” refers to that which is in season, locally grown, 100-percent organic and in its natural state. For other people, there is an additional dimension of “clean food” that incorporates harmony and love into the kitchen. “Clean food” also has a religious dimension; some Jewish and Christian groups use the term to refer to the dietary codes of the Old Testament.

Question: Was/is your perceived definition of “clean food” anything close to the ADA definition?

P.S. If you use the word “clean” – that’s okay! It is pretty catchy, if I do say so myself!

RANT #3: Dietetic Internships

I get a LOT of questions from readers who are wishing to pursue a career as a dietitian. And while the schooling and internship requirements can be grueling, I was unaware of the shortages in internships until opening the most recent issue of ADA Times. The article states, “96 percent of dietetics students plan to become RDs. Less than half of them will find internships. The rest will become RD’s competition.”

In the November 2009 dietetic internship match, 573 nutrition students were competing for 196 available internship positions, leaving 66% of applicants unmatched. While this statistic is alarming and saddening, it is also resulting in non-credentialed nutritionists filling jobs which would otherwise be held be RD’s, creating a more saturated job market for those credentialed RD’s.

I am torn on this issue. Having gone through the dietetic internship match process, I am elated to have escaped unscathed. However, the number of strong applicants failing to be matched to an internship is saddening. While I feel that being credentialed is crucial to the outlook, credibility, and autonomy of the dietitian role in the medical field, I cannot discredit these unlucky applicants from seeking non-credentialed nutrition jobs. Sigh.

Question: Knowing this, would you second guess your decision to seek a career as a dietitian? Or does this simply indicate the regard of the dietitian title among other medical professionals?

Apologies for all the rants! I think most of you know that I’m a glass-half-full kinda chick, but today…I just needed to take a load off!

Have a wonderful day!

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  1. February 23, 2010 / 6:07 am

    I think we all deserve a day to just let off some steam. And I’m glad you did because I loved reading this post!

    I don’t like the term clean eating either but I have occasionally used it. I tend to think of eating generally healthy foods as eating clean, as opposed to refined sugar or heavy creamy pasta dishes, for example, having a dish full of veggies and whole grains. I know that isn’t the REAL definition but I think it is much more approachable.

  2. lessonstolearn
    February 23, 2010 / 6:11 am

    The internship situation scares me. I am hoping (once I get through the prerequisites!) to get into a coordinated program so that I don’t have to go through the matching process. But it scares me to to put in so much time and money and then not get the internship I need to reach my ultimate goal!

  3. February 23, 2010 / 6:36 am

    The internship situation would be a turn off it I were going to become an RD. However, don’t even get me started on the unregulated fitness industry. My rant would be twice the length of yours. =) I feel you though.

  4. February 23, 2010 / 7:43 am

    I am SO with you on the RD internship process. My way of contributing is to take on one or two students to mentor and teach extra skills to, so they have a good resume to improve their chances at getting one of those internship slots. Having worked with a dietitian shows good experience, plus we have a great time and I feel like I “give back to the community” a bit ๐Ÿ™‚

    My rant worthy comment falls in line with your first one: admittedly, I’m “anatomically correct”, fit, healthy, and smack in the middle of the desirable BMI range. I’m not the type of person who shoots out the “I work hard for this body” line, and I focus on health related messages as much as possible, but it makes me see red when a seminar attendee says “oh, but you’re NATURALLY thin. You don’t have to watch what you eat.” Who are they to pretend to know me?! They don’t realize my body size comes from a decade (a DECADE!) of working out religiously without a lapse, of choosing smart foods even when it’s hard or inconvenient, of saying “no” to foods I really want to eat, etc. I don’t assume things about anyone without knowing them, that they’re lazy or stupid or have no self control, why must they assume things about me?

    Just as you feel slighted when someone struts their stuff with the nose-in-the-air “I worked hard for this body”…it stings when someone says the opposite, “oh you must not have to work hard.” (In other words, “you probably don’t take your own advice.”) When I actually do.

    Yep. I hate when people say they eat “clean” too. It’s so hoity-toity.
    I have yet to come up with a good retort. Perhaps, “how about eating healthy, do you do that?” Maybe then they will see how little their “clean” word means. ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. February 23, 2010 / 8:13 am

    Wow… I haven’t had a chance to read my ADA Times yet. Those statistics are alarming for the Dietetic Internships! And yes, the “clean” eating reference is popping up everywhere.

  6. February 23, 2010 / 9:07 am

    The internship thing really scares me. I have just started going back to school for dietetics and I know that in itself is going to be a long process as I also work full time and am a mom. Knowing that it may be really difficult to get an internship that I need to be able to become the RD I really want to be is scary. My dream is to become an RD and I really hope I can do it.

  7. February 23, 2010 / 9:36 am

    We all need to vent now and then…by gosh, you know I do it!!!! I have one of those nonanatomically correct bodies…I’ve given up!

  8. February 23, 2010 / 12:36 pm

    You’re allowed to rant. Makes you more believable in my opinion. Not everyone’s life goes along smoothly. Besides you weren’t ranting about me…lol.

  9. February 23, 2010 / 12:42 pm

    Rant away…get it off your chest! I really liked the part about “clean foods” and I kind of think that word gets thrown around A LOT and not many people know what it actually means!

  10. February 23, 2010 / 1:48 pm

    You can rant whever you want – that’s why we are here! ๐Ÿ˜€

    I just emailed you a question – it’s been on my mind lately – and hopefully you’ll have the answer!

    Can’t help you with your career direction – glad that YOU got matched though! ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. February 23, 2010 / 2:46 pm

    Great vent post! I had no idea about the internship competition. Wow. And as far as your other thoughts – very true!

  12. February 23, 2010 / 3:19 pm

    I always love your honesty Nicole. It is what makes your site interesting and fun to read. You are able to see all sides and I love that you share your voice with us. I use the words “clean” and “superfoods” a lot in my blog, but I like to learn that those words might bug some. I totally get it and I agree with your reasons for not loving those words.
    The body thing: what the heck is ideal anyway??? Bodies ebb and flow daily. The less I attach to the “ideal” physique the better off I am. Yes, a skinny outside does not always guarantee a healthy inside.

  13. February 23, 2010 / 3:48 pm

    I always think of clean food as just being whole foods. I like to say that I eat clean most of the time (yes i’m one of them!) but the definitions seemed a bit different than what I consider clean foods/eating.

  14. February 23, 2010 / 4:48 pm

    I am so guilty of using the clean word lately in my blog and food. For me it is just a way of saying I need to cut the crap processed junk and sugar out of my diet because I haven’t been feeling 100% lately. Unfortunately I will probably continue to use if because it reminds me to eat fruits and veggies instead of pretzels and packaged goods.

    Glad you ranted. People underestimate how good it feels to just rant sometimes!

  15. February 23, 2010 / 4:50 pm

    I dislike clean foods too. Unless, of course, you mean foods that you wash the dirt off of. In which case I’m all for clean fruits and veggies. I also prefer chicken without salmonella, which means I also like clean poultry. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Enough sarcasm…I didn’t realize there were so few internships. That must be discouraging. Though like most industries it seems the number of open job positions just keep getting smaller and smaller.

  16. February 23, 2010 / 4:50 pm

    You always have such great thought provoking opinions to share. It does seem like recently the amount of interest going into health and nutrition related careers have sky rocketed. MAN, those are not encouraging numbers. Do you think there’s a reason for this huge increase and if there’s anything the government can do to intervene/help people out? It seems awfully scary that there are so many hard working individuals going through SO much school and work just to end up without a job?!?!? That’s just not fair!!

  17. eaternotarunner
    February 23, 2010 / 4:57 pm

    I agree with you about the “work hard for this body.” I also couldn’t have that ridiculously skinny body no matter how hard I worked out! Focusing on the inside and how I feel makes a world of difference ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. February 23, 2010 / 5:23 pm

    THREE CHEERS!!! For those rants. I hate the perception of outward appearance being the definition of health and the whole “clean” food movement as well. I hate foods being labeled as good or bad, and the clean food idea does that in my opinion. Balanced is where healthy living is at!

  19. February 23, 2010 / 6:02 pm

    What a great post! No need to apologize for your rants, I completely agree! The term “clean food” is a little strange…I have always thought of it to mean food that is as close to it’s natural state as possible…but I guess if there’s “clean food” there has to be “unclean food” too, which could be very confusing!

  20. February 23, 2010 / 6:29 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more!!!!

    Especially on Rant #1. I’m a firm believer that not everyone is meant to look like a skinny, small waisted supermodel. Your body will tell you where it’s comfortable weight wise and that won’t be the same for every person!

  21. February 23, 2010 / 6:52 pm

    I totally agree with rant #1. I am really working on knowing that simply fueling my body with healthy food and working out most of the time is good for my health, not just for my outside appearance. I used to be ONLY focused on numbers like weight, pant size and now I find myself getting excited about choosing proper foods to keep my blood sugar regulated and energy levels satisfactory. Thanks for bringing this up!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. February 23, 2010 / 7:09 pm

    Everyone needs to rant every now and then, right? What else are blogs for? ๐Ÿ™‚

    That matching rate of RDs with internships is startling– I didn’t know it was so unbalanced!

  23. February 23, 2010 / 7:37 pm

    I have issues with the whole “nutritionist” label. I can go on and on and on about it.

    The intern stats are pretty scary. I also have issues with the matching system as well…

  24. February 23, 2010 / 7:43 pm

    i enjoyed your rants! even in your frustration you still manage to be so darn informative! i agree so much about bodies that are not “anatomically correct,” some people are naturally svelte, some people can easily get lean by working out, but most people are built in ways that are not considered “fit” looking by society’s standards. does that mean that they’re not healthy or in shape? hell no! do ou know who lynn cox is (i think that’s her name?) she’s a long distance swimmer who literally SWAM TO ANTARCTICA..she is NOT what you’d call thin or fit looking, but holy shit what an athlete that woman is! i don’t care how long someone can elliptical, good luck racing lynn cox in frigid waters! that takes real fitness. i actually share the same def of clean eating with the ADA. while the term annoys me because i think it connotes superiority over other people and their “unclean” foods, i do understand and love the concept of eating fresh, local, seasonal, organic WHOLE foods! but i do not eat exclusively that way, and i don’t think it’s (mentally) healthy for other people to do that either! sad about the internships, i hope supply can catch up with demand, lord knows we need more credentialed dietitians around!

  25. February 23, 2010 / 8:19 pm

    What’s inside is what matters the most! I honestly feel that the main purpose of working out should be to make yourself mentally feel good and boost your endorphins. Until we can be happy with ourselves emotionally, the outside will make absolutely no difference! Not everyone’s meant to fit that cookie cutter shape, and everyone has to “work hard” to stay healthy. But the point shouldn’t be to solely stay slim, rather it should be to stay happy and healthy!

    As for the dying number of internships…I don’t think that should stop anyone! As a journalism major, I’m definitely going into a dying, relatively low profiting job. But there’s always exceptions if you “work hard”!

  26. February 23, 2010 / 8:37 pm

    That ADA Times article was super depressing. Especially the part where it said 1/3 of applicants with a 3.68 GPA or higher weren’t even matched . . . and stories of girls who had been trying for a match three years in a row . . . terrible ๐Ÿ™

  27. February 23, 2010 / 9:00 pm

    Rants are allowed. It’s your blog after all ๐Ÿ™‚
    “Clean” eating is definitely a pet peeve of mine.
    I have similar terms that bother me in my own field… i.e. “smart growth” and “McMansion” Ahh gets under my skin!

  28. February 23, 2010 / 9:23 pm

    I really appreciated reading your rants!!! And you make a good point with the whole “clean eating” thing…I go crazy with all the clean eating posts on The Nest!!!

  29. February 23, 2010 / 9:34 pm

    Oh, but I do love a good rant! And I loved yours. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Couldn’t agree more about #1. I was thinking about how/why so many people feel the need to share numbers: I weigh XX, I ran XX miles, I am a size XX – I mean, isn’t it all about health in the end? Not to be a hypocrite because I know I think about my own numbers at times, but I REALLY WISH the focus would shift off of them.

    Haha and I guess I have thrown around “clean eating,” but in my head I just mean wholesome, healthy foods. That is a great point, though!

  30. February 23, 2010 / 9:58 pm

    Good points!

    When I was younger, I would have to admit, a main motivator to work out was often how it helped my outside appearance. (But I never said that I worked hard for my body!). But as I have been getting older, it’s truly about the inside. And the little aches, pains and stiffness that creep up with age… Also, being an “older” mom, makes me want to stay young(er) for the toddler… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    As far as “clean eating” is concerned, I think since there isn’t one definition, it truly means something different to everyone. I don’t regularly use the term, but my own, personal definition would be to choose local, organic produce whenever possible and to not eat a lot of processed food. When I think about keeping my diet “clean” it actually helps me to choose unprocessed foods, etc….

  31. February 23, 2010 / 10:13 pm

    You asked if there is something people say that rubs me the wrong way? It bothers me a lot when people say they BINGED if they eat half a box of crackers. I think bingeing is a serious issue and I thik the word binge is thrown around indulgently when someone feels they’ve eaten too much. Overeating and bingeing are worlds apart.

  32. February 27, 2010 / 12:52 pm

    Re: Rant #3- I agree, sooo sad. I think schools need to support their students. I went to McGill University (Montreal) and they have an integrated internship program. The program is 3.5 years and within this time, we fit in 52 weeks of internships. We simply put in our top 3 choices of internships and that’s it- no competition- we have guaranteed placements. Spreading it out over 3.5 years, we also get lots of varied placements (we don’t always return to the same hospital each year)… I don’t understand why more universities don’t do this for their students…

  33. March 1, 2010 / 12:03 am

    Super interesting.. For #1: I have to say I agree with your points but not necessarily the statement. I think saying ‘I worked hard for this body’ applies to every single person who pays attention to their health by working out (in whatever way, whether it’s a walk, yoga, weights, etc) and being mindful of their eating habits. #2: I think you’re right that ‘clean’ has been way overused, and the ADA’s is not my definition.. ah well, just confusing! #3: Wow, I had no idea. As someone who is looking to go into a nutrition related field, I know it is essential for me to make it very clear that I am not an RD or nutritionist. I know I’ll be an outsider in so many ways, but it is my interest to combine nutrition with other aspects of health that being an RD might not allow… that and I can’t go back to school again right now :p

  34. Julie Findley
    April 7, 2013 / 10:35 pm

    Comments on Rant #3: My daugher just found out tonight for the third time that she was not matched up for an internship. My advise to her was to go on with her life and forget the RD title. I based my suggestion on a number of factors. The most important one is that I feel that the matching system is a money pit. There are no guarantees, no feedback on why there wasn’t a match and applying twice a year to be denied can cost as much as $600. Recent graduates can’t afford to keep applying and putting their lives on hold, not to mentionn the time and money they put into fulfilling the requirements of applying for the internships.

    There has to be a different method of determing acceptance into an internship because this one doesn’t work! My daughter has a better chance at a medical internship than she does at a dietetic internship.

    Her response to my suggestion was that she is going to keep trying because this is what she wants to do. So I have no doubht that eventually she will receive her RD

  35. Julie Findley
    April 7, 2013 / 10:37 pm

    Sorry for the spelling errors, I just hate it when I do that!

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