Success

Some college senior talks about things that helped him be successful.

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Matching for the Dietetic Internships (DI) is wrapped up.  For many juniors in the program, this is a scary time.  There might be a lot of time now, but it will go by fast.  For sophomores and freshmen (maybe even the juniors or seniors too) in nutrition programs, you have a bit more time.  I have some words of encouragement for you.

  1. Find something that scares the shit out of you and do it.  You can talk about this during the DI application, how you started off scared of something (e.g. public speaking), and how you improved.
  2. Be bold.  You really want to stand out in some way.  There are a lot of ways you can do this.  Oftentimes, hobbies or lifestyle choices can benefit you if you spin it in a certain way.  For example, playing on a sports team shows dedication and the ability to be part of a team.  Being involved in student organizations shows potential leadership experience.  Hell, if you really want to, starting a blog is pretty easy.  I mean, lookit this guy.
  3. Be good at what you do.  One piece of advice I got from a professor was to pick a couple things you are good at, and flaunt them to whoever will want to see them.  For me, I tried to stay active on Twitter, WordPress, Facebook and others.  Eventually due to burnout, I stopped being so active on Twitter, and keep my Facebook for friends and family only.   I found it difficult to keep up with everything, and this was only a small smattering of social media.  However, I have also started to take up fiction writing.  It can be intimidating trying to get everything done that dietetics classes recommend, so I will be the contrarian.  Find some hobbies you like, and do them well.
  4. Be yourself.  One would think that being a potty-mouthed metal-head shows me as less professional than many of the other students in the program.  However, when I have tried to “fit-in” with the crowd, I felt very artificial.  I despised giving more professional presentations too.  However, I have found ways to maintain my sense of self, while being appropriate for work, and maintaining a professional demeanor.  I still go into class with band-tee shirts, but when the time comes I try and put on professional face, while still maintaining the quirkiness I try and provide.
  5. Have fun.  I wish this was as easy as it sounds.  Studying can be a big pain, even if it’s something you’re interested in.  Sometimes you need a break to figure out what you need.  Sometimes having fun is doing something else, like watching a movie, playing video games, or even spending time with friends and family.  I am wrapping up my fifth year of college.  If it wasn’t for my hobbies, or friends and family I would have lost my sanity a long time ago.  Or at least, the last remaining bits of my sanity.

Success can be seen in many more ways than I listed.  Success is also loosely defined.  You can do all of these things, yet fail at what you do.  Just remember, that is not the end.  Not everyone’s path is the same, and it is up to you to determine if you succeeded or not.

Where Did the Punk Go?

When it rains, it pours.  And because it’s Oregon weather, it rains for several months on end.

I wound up getting VERY busy over the last two months.  College has a tendency to do that.  The good news is that I have been refining my writing skills, and branching out.  The bad news is that it’s been two months (almost a whole term at my university) where I have not written anything here.

I branched out into fiction.  Since high school started, I focused only on non-fiction.  This includes things like literary analysis, and science papers.  In college, I focused more on writing technical documents.  However, I did take some fiction writing classes before I declared myself a writing minor.  Now, I plan on taking more.  In fact, I might even post some of my favorite assignments into a portfolio and share it with my readers!

I also got hired onto a new job.  This job is through SNAP-Ed, so instead of recruiting people to sign up for SNAP benefits, I am assisting in developing materials to publish online for those who need it, or are interested.  I’ve only JUST started working there, but so far so good.

I’ve also been working on three video projects all at once.  This was a HUGE time-sink.  One of the videos I had to do completely.  I really did not care for this one.  I started to run out of time, and had to rush it a bit.  It probably does not help that I am not super confident with video editing.  The second one I liked better.  I got to work with a group of three other people.  We made an instructional video for the university’s food service explaining why it’s important to check meat temperatures, and how to properly do so.  The last one has been the biggest time-sink of them all, as the project has spanned almost this entire year.  This one is an educational video on the changes to the Nutrition Facts panel that is happening in the summer of 2018.  We wanted to ensure all the information was accurate, and that the video was entertaining enough, while incorporating enough classroom materials for the videos to supplement a lecture.  This one has been fun!

So what is the future of The Nutrition Punk?  Right now, I am working.  This takes less time than classes, so I definitely plan on blogging WAY more.  Once next school year begins, I will probably have to be away from my blog intermittently to wrap up my last year at university, and to work on getting my materials together for a post-college life.

Lunchbox: Advice for Packing Lunches

What are some tips for making lunchtime healthier while on the go?

For many students, school has started, or is about to.  For others, it’s the same old day-in-day-out Monday to Friday grind.  Whether you are a student, a parent of a student, or someone who works, you can benefit from eating a healthy meal.  Hopefully, it can save you some money, because you would be buying more servings of food for less money, instead of buying the shit they sell at fast food joints.

Beverage:  What should you drink with your lunch?  Things like soda and juices are loaded with sugar, which can cause a sugar crash later on.  I would recommend drinking water, black coffee, or tea.  Water, by nature, is hydrating.  Coffee is less so, but the caffeine can also perk you up for the rest of the day.  So long as you do not add sugar, milk, or creamer to your coffee or tea (or I suppose, your water, but adding those to water sounds fucking nasty if you ask me) you can save Calories on your meal.  A 12-ounce can of soda is about 150 Calories.  Water is zero.

Main course:  For me, I typically go with a sandwich for lunch.  It’s highly versatile, as the interior and bread can be changed around.  Usually, I eat sandwiches with cheddar, lunch meat, and whole-wheat bread, with mayonnaise and mustard.  I would substitute the lunch meat with deli meat or things not loaded with nitrites, but I am a fucking broke college student.  That shit costs too much.  The mayonnaise and cheese can be taken away to lower the amount of Calories from fat, if that is what is desired.  The bread itself can also be substituted with lettuce leaves to reduce the glycemic load.  My goal, however, with the main course is to NOT be too messy, so as to not get food remnants all over my clothes.

Sides:  Instead of eating chips or other snack foods, why not eat something like chopped carrots, broccoli, an apple, or other produce?  A serving of produce is going to be much more nutrient dense than chips or candy.  Plus, it is much more filling for way less Calories.

To recap, what are the benefits of packing meals the way I have described?  Making simple switches from soda to water, as well as something like chips or candy to fruits and/or vegetables has already decreased the meal’s Calories while increasing the amount of nutrients present.  I suggested one main course that is highly variable and can be toyed around with to find what works for you.

Do any of you readers have tips for people on packing their own lunch?  Any advice I missed and did not put up in this post?