clinical staff relief

At the end of the dietetic internship’s clinical rotation, there is something known as the “3 week staff relief.”  What this means, basically, is that the intern takes over all responsibilities of the dietitian.  She takes on the role and the pager.  The duties, obligations, frustrations, and limitless questions, faxes, requests.

Yes.  It is a little insane.

Yesterday, I had the entire hospital to myself.

Becoming the sole “dietitian” of the day might sound like a good thing, but if we’re going to be completely honest here, it’s actually kind of frightening.  Patients need renal diet education.  A woman just got placed on level 3 of the dysphagia diet and has no idea what to do when she goes home.  A man just found out he has diabetes.  Notes need to be written before a certain time.

Go, go, go!!

And then, of course, there’s the whole issue of having confidence or lack thereof.  My clinical rotation has brought out a whole new level of self confidence that I never even knew I had.  But then, at the same time, I feel this strange lack of confidence because I know there are so many things that I still don’t know.  So many things to learn and understand.  Counseling skills that need developing.

You know, it’s true what they say.  The biggest road block in life is oftentimes ourselves.

The hard part is trying to convince ourselves that we DO know what we know and speaking with absolute confidence.  Of course, nobody knows everything. But whatever it is that we don’t know, should never be thought of as a fault.  It is simply a learning opportunity.

Perhaps one of the greatest life lessons that I’ve learned came from a professor who told me never to be afraid to admit when I don’t know something.  “Look it up, Sarah.  Learn more about it.  Never stop learning.”

As you can imagine, most days of clinical staff relief have been a little insane.  There really hasn’t been much time spent in the kitchen, but (sigh) that is okay for now.  Because sometime, very soon, I will be back in the kitchen with full force and gusto and my little yellow apron.  Yes.  There is a whole lot of food in my near future (i.e., this weekend.)  Maybe I’ll try something new that I’ve always been afraid of.  Maybe I’ll even make a souffle.

Because it’s okay to admit that you don’t know how to do something.   But it’s never okay to be afraid to try.

QUESTION: What is one thing that you KNOW you’re good at? Don’t be afraid to brag a little. 😉


dreaming of december

Signs that December is just around the corner…

Fluffy flakes of white are falling from a soft gray sky.

A vase filled with bright, smiling sunflowers graces the table.  A reminder of warmer days. 

The wood stove emitts a (wonderfully) endless supply of warmth. 

The warmest of warm north face jackets, gloves, scarves, mittens come out from hiding.   

Where rose petals have fallen, bundles of seeds take their place.  Preparation for next summer.

Squirrels fatten up.  However they can. 😉

I’m forced to keep an eye out for ice patches on my morning jaunt.

Signs that December is right around the corner.

I love the gentle changes in season.  The subtle warnings of an upcoming winter.  The chilly bite of a sharp wind.  How snow flakes feel as they fall against my face on a pre-dinner walk.  The warmth of a wood stove.  The promise of upcoming holidays and celebrations. 


I love to paint.

I’m sure that I’d think very differently if I was forced to paint this entire wall (which my dad deserves credit for!)  I’d think differently if it were my job, or if I was being judged on the quality of my work.

But when it comes to touching up, spreading out a fresh coat of paint, and marveling at how different (how NEW!) everything is beginning to look, I love it.

Painting is a long process, especially when it involves an awkward wall along a stairway.  But it’s fun, fresh, and exciting all at the same time.

I don’t know.  It might have something to do with the fact that the name of the paint is called “Oatmeal.” 😉

Dad spent his entire afternoon painting.  I jumped in to help midway.

The both of us were starving by the time lunch rolled around.  And I was definitely feeling too lazy to cook.  No.  Erase that.  I was feeling too lazy to clean the dishes that were bound to be an unwelcome side effect of cooking.

We decided to go for take out!

Sushi can be a perfectly healthy take out option.  I like to go for the veggie roll made with brown rice, for added nutrients and filling fiber.

To make lunch a bit more filling, I made us each a larger than life leftover salad.  It included fresh lettuce and lots of the remaining leftovers from Thanksgiving.

  • turnips
  • brown sugar glazed carrots
  • dollop of cranberry sauce
  • grilled salmon
  • cucumbers, tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. white beans
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • sea salt

Everything was so filling and satisfying.  The perfect fuel for painting. 😀

Off to relax!  I began reading a new book called “Commuters,” and I’ve just started getting into it.   

Happy Weekend! 😀

Question: What is your favorite way to use up the leftovers from Thanksgiving?

a walk in the woods

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could grasp on to a moment whenever we felt like it?  Stop time in its tracks. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could bring the day, the hour, the second to a halt?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we all could live just one day as if it were our last?  How would we live?  What would we try to change?  Try to fix?

Or maybe we wouldn’t change anything.  Maybe we would just suddenly realize how in love we were with life itself.  How much we enjoyed the simple, everyday things that don’t always seem to warrant a second glance.

On first appearance, there isn’t much to appreciate about an autumn walk in the woods right now.  As I was strolling through the crunchy leaves in my backyard, I noticed that there was no color.  No pizazz.  Everything looked kind of…well…drab.

Fallen branches.  Old, decaying leaves.  Bare tree limbs.

But then I found the hidden beauty.  A splash of color here and there.  Something new.  Something completely unexpected.

In a way, a nature walk isn’t so different from real life.  Sometimes there are days that feel kind of drab.  Horribly ordinary.  Nothing special.

But usually—more times than not—if you open up your eyes, stop time for just a second, and look around you, you’ll notice there’s a lot of beauty to be found.  Waiting to be discovered.  Waiting to be seen.

And, so, here is your challenge…

…if you choose to accept it. 😉

From here until Thanksgiving, start each morning—each breakfast—with a prayer of thanks.  For something.  Anything. 

Because we all have so much to appreciate.  So much to enjoy.  So much beauty to savor.

So much to be thankful for.

Question: What are you thankful for today?

I need…

I like to think I’m a low maintenance kind of gal.  You know, someone who appreciates the simple things of life, without too many wants.  Too many needs.

But I still do need a few things.

For example, I need nature.  A peaceful getaway, complete with a lake, lots of woods for trekking, and plenty of spots for sitting.  Thinking.  Breathing.  Living. 

I need family.  I’m blessed enough to have two of the most amazing parents who enjoy many of the same things that I do.  Dad is a regular runner.  An avid hiker.  He loves reading and being out in nature as much as I do.

My mom is my go-to walkin’ partna’. 😉  She’s also my shopping partner and I go to her with all my recent vents, questions, concerns, excitement, and/or cooking questions.

Yes.  I need my family.

(Dad just bought a new pair of Nikon binoculars, and they were put to good use on today’s nature walk 😀 )

I need a good morning yoga session.  Inhale.  Exhale.  Stretch.  The basic routines that keep me feeling flexible.  Strong.  Relaxed.

I need a few good, close friends.  Not a lot.  Not too many.  Just a few. 

I need this.

I need a creative outlet.  Blogging.  Photography.  Writing.  Piano.  Cooking.  I don’t need to be an expert at these things. I simply need to love them. 

I need to hear the water hit the pebbles gently.  Softly.  I need to close my eyes and savor the delicious sounds of nature..  The intoxicating smells and sights.

I need to be with people who constantly encourage me.  People who constantly lift me up and say “yes you can.”  There’s enough negativity in this world to hang around with people who don’t believe in you.  Believe in yourself and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

I need to experience all four seasons.  Katie asked her readers today, if you could live anywhere, where would you live and why.  My first thought?  California.  Or France.  And then I realized that I love New England for more reasons then one.  But the greatest of reasons is the four brilliant seasons.  What would a warm summer day be without a preceding chilly winter?  And how could I ever enjoy fall the same way, without the beautiful foliage. 

Nature’s Fruit Loops. 😀

I need to constantly remind myself to stop.  Slow down.  Enjoy the day.  It’s way too easy to rush through life.  It’s the journey, not the destination.

I need to exercise.  Get the heart pumping.  Wave at the regular walkers, the regular runners.  Scratch a few dogs behind the ears.  Leap across a field just for the pure joy of it.  Do a few pushups just because I can. 

I need to feel the wind on my face on a cold fall day, bunching my thick warm hoodie closer to my face.  Warmth.

I need to feel loved.  Wanted.  Needed.  Even if that means feeding a stray cat or giving a little boy some extra change because he doesn’t have enough money to buy a bunch of flowers for his mom.  I need those kinds of things.

 I need healthy foods.  They make me feel energetic, focused, and good about myself.  From greens to grains to garbanzos. 

I also need to never feel deprived.  😉

I need my sleep.

I need to always listen to my heart and some good common sense. 

And most of all, I need to just relax.  Life isn’t meant to be taken too seriously.  Seriously!! 😀

Question: What do you need in your every day life?