Food or Fad?

breakfast

Do any of you follow fitness junkies on social media?  I follow several—several that I am super fans of…however, typically I am a fan of their workouts and not so much of their nutrition advice solely because many of them have not had nutrition training…and yet they are promoting nutritional advice that could ultimately be detrimental to one’s body. I will tell you why.

For instance, one of my favorite fitness guru’s recently began selling protein powder—no big deal. I am not against protein powder, especially if you truly are working out your muscles hours in a day and need the extra protein to help rebuild your muscles. I also think protein powders can be beneficial when added to smoothies or oatmeal that way you can consume protein to balance out carbohydrates. However, what I am not a fan of is when people advertise these “nutritional shakes” as a meal replacement and then promote to use it twice a day. Sure, these “nutritional shakes” may have all the nutrition a person needs—but you are getting it all from powder made in a factory. There is no true food, whole food fiber or chewing which may lead to low satisfaction and satiety (the feeling of fullness), meaning that you may be likely to overeat the next time you get your hands on food.

Let’s say you drink these shakes religiously for a while as your main source of nutrition. You lose the weight you wanted and you start eating real food again. Many people end up gaining all the weight back because they did not learn how to eat real food to get adequate nutrition and calories.  They relied so much upon these shakes that were low calorie and convenient that they either:
A) forgot how to eat or
B) never learned how nourish their bodies in the first place

Another issue with some of the faces of fitness is the promotion of “energy kickstart pills”.  These pills are supposed to increase energy, suppress appetite, burn fat, and speed up metabolism.  You know what else increases energy? ENERGY! When we eat food, our body receives energy, or “calories” that we need to maintain major organ processes in the body. Our body burns these calories so we can live! Calories are not bad, they are helpful. When we eat too many calories and do not expel extra calories by way of exercise, then weight gain occurs.

My second problem with these kickstart pills is that they suppress appetite. We want our bodies to tell us when we are hungry. A major problem with Americans is that we do not know our hunger cues, so we eat when we are bored, depressed, or stressed. Many times we go for second helpings of food because we do not wait for our body to tell us we are full. When we disrupt our already messed-up hunger cues by taking these pills, our cues get even more out of whack. It is so important to know when our bodies are hungry so we can feed them sufficiently. When you starve yourself, your body does not eat the extra body fat you’d like to get rid of…it eats muscle. We want to build muscle and burn fat—starving yourself is not the way to do that.

Ultimately, these products are selling and yes, of course they work. When you restrict calories by only drinking nutritional shakes you are going to lose weight. When you take these caffeine pills twice a day to suppress your appetite so you do not eat, you are going to lose weight and have caffeinated energy. And during this time you may go from a size 4 to a size 0…but what is going to happen when you stop using these pills? Or let’s say you use the pills and supplements the rest of your life…but you miss out on the joys of eating real, whole, nutritious foods?

Would you rather take these supplements for the rest of your life so you can be a size 0 but be empty and irritable because you are not in line with your individual hunger cues and missing out on the joys of food–or rather be a size 4 and learn how to eat mindfully & intuitively from nutrition experts (aka registered dietitians) to feed your body and have a healthy relationship with food?

beach

For me, it is a no brainer. I will nourish my body, enjoy food and choose joyful movement to make my body happy rather than take these factory supplements to lose weight…besides…you are beautifully & wonderfully made and totally capable of achieving health promoting goals WITHOUT actively pursuing weight loss.

I challenge you to learn how to eat mindfully without having to drink meal replacements and swallow diet pills…our bodies were made to eat energy, not restrict calories.

Jumpstart your mindful eating journey by downloading my 6 Steps to Mindful Eating guide here – it’s free!

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
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My Tri-Experience

Heart racing. Legs shaking. Muscles pumping. Sweat beading.

run

Those are all attributes of a race, my friends. I have completed numerous 5k’s, 8k’s and 2 half marathons…the next race on my list was a triathlon. I wanted to do one for years, but I just recently got a road bike and was able to fulfill my dream.

Initially, I had no idea where to start! I read countless blogs on tri-tips and training programs. I looked on Pinterest for a clear cut training plan, and finally I created one that worked well for me.

I chose to do a sprint triathlon for my first one consisting of a 400 yard swim, 16 mile bike ride, and 3.1 mile run. I remember thinking, “Oh, I got this! The only thing I really need to train is the biking”…boy was I wrong!

After my first bike ride of a lonely 5 miles, I realized that biking is a lot harder than I thought it would be—but it was also really fun! I made my way up to 10 miles before I realized I needed to practice the bike-run transition. I trained for about 1 ½ months before the triathlon.

bike2

On race day, my husband drove my cousin and me to the race site. We were extremely surprised when we arrived and saw tons of people with fancy triathlon bikes, tri suits, and sporting gear…and there we were…in our quick dry shorts and sports bras. I was intimidated.

Leading up to the race, I gazed over the different transition sites, as this was my biggest concern. After that, I got in the lake and started swimming to warm up. To my surprise, the water was very warm! That made it easier.

Fast forward 30 minutes, and it was time for takeoff. All the ladies 40 and under got in the lake ready for the gun shot to begin. That feeling was like nothing I’ve ever felt before…anxious, excited, and terrified all at the same time! What if I kick someone? Or worse, what if someone kicks me and knocks my teeth out!? I would not be able to complete the triathlon.

Once I began swimming, I felt confident that we would all stay safe-ish and complete…except the swim was way more difficult than I thought! I have always been a strong swimmer, but I started out too fast and before I made it to the first buoy, my heart was beating out of my chest. I had to tell myself to slow down. Swimming in a lake is completely different than a pool…for one, the water is green not clear…so you really are not sure what is around you. Second, there are multiple bodies passing you and though no one got hit, I was still very alert. Lastly, they had us swimming against the current…I definitely didn’t practice that!

Getting out of the lake and onto land was sketchy, as my legs felt like complete jello! I thought “How in the world am I gonna make it?” alas, I did…I made it to the bike, threw my shoes on and hit the road. I got this…

swim

I don’t got this! Though I trained on hills, this course kicked my tail! There were minimal downhill areas and a lot of gradual inclines. I was disappointed when I made it to the 5 mile mark thinking it felt like 10 miles already…

I somehow managed to finish the 16 miles and begin my run. Honestly, the run was the best part! Before my race, I was sure the run would be the hardest part! It was actually my favorite, and I ran it faster than I did when I was training. Crossing that finish line was such a great feeling!

place

Whether we finished first or last, we finished! I know, we compare ourselves to one another…everyone wants to be the best—that is in our human nature. However, there are so many different people in the world…people with short legs, long legs, thick thighs, thin thighs, broad shoulders, narrow shoulders…the list could go on.

In Galatians 6: 4-6, the Bible reads “Don’t compare yourself with others. Just look at your own work to see if you have done anything to be proud of. You must each accept the responsibilities that are yours.”

You see, God made us the way He wants us…that does not mean that we are all perfect the way we are, no. He inspires us to challenge ourselves in life to make us not only stronger human beings, but to be stronger in Jesus. These types of experiences help us grow spiritually.

This was one of my challenging goals—seeing that I can put my mind to something and achieve it. Without God’s help, I truly would not have had the strength or the determination through my training or my triathlon.

Be happy with where you stand regardless if you come in 2nd place or finish last. You completed something you set your mind to, and the only person you are competing with is yourself.

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What is something you have set your mind to and completed? I would love to hear!

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

 

 

What’s a Dietitian?

graduate

It has been just over a year since I became a Registered Dietitian! That was one of the happiest moments of my life (aside from my wedding, of courseJ). Throughout my education, people asked me, “What’s your major?” When I told them “Nutrition and Dietetics, I am going to be a Registered Dietitian”, many people looked at me weirdly…”what do they do? Oh, you’re the food police! You’re going to hate that because nobody will listen to you. Good luck finding a job. People already know what they should be eating …”

And yet…people aren’t.

The dietitian field is growing more today than ever before, and I truly believe it is because there is a definite need! With heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other medical conditions on the rise, dietitians are used to help treat individuals (and sometimes groups) with something everybody has in common: food.

Depending on the interest in this blog, I may share different areas of dietetics and my experiences with all of them, so stay tuned! Today, I am going to elaborate on what dietitians are and how to become one along with my education experience.

To begin the discussion, I am not a nutritionist.  I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. What’s the difference?  Though there are many nutritionists, dietitians are not only required to have a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics but also have to complete a 1200+ hour supervised practice (or internship for didactic programs) and pass National Boards through the Commission of Dietetics Registration (CDR)…and boy let me tell you—that test was not easy. So there are definitely some extra steps one has to take in order to become a dietitian. Dietitians can go on to work in hospitals, public health departments, outpatient programs, school systems, fitness facilities and many more nontraditional areas. In addition to that, RD/RDNs must complete 75 hours of continuing professional education courses every 5 years.  Registered dietitians have many more job opportunities due to being credentialed.

For my schooling, I attended Loma Linda University in a coordinated program. My supervised practice hours were incorporated into my 2 year education plan, so after I received my BS in Nutrition and Dietetics, I already had all my hours completed and was eligible to take boards.

In college, I took numerous classes from basic nutrition to biochemistry. Dietitians are nutrition scientists. We take anatomy and physiology 1 & 2, general chemistry 1 & 2, basic microbiology, basic nutrition, general psychology, and sociology all before getting into nutrition school. In nutrition school, we take those classes to a deeper level by taking biochemistry (several biochemistry classes each building on each other), organic chemistry, medical nutrition therapy, advanced medical nutrition therapy, nutrition counseling, statistics, finance, food service courses, and clinical nutrition managing courses. As you can see from that extensive list, we have a variety of courses to take in order to become a RD/RDN.

All those classes may sound a bit overwhelming and boring to many of you, but they were so informative and fun! One of my fondest memories from my education actually involves one of my least favorite classes!  In one of my food service operations courses, we were required to participate in “The Brown Bag Project” where my instructor gave us 3 ingredients: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, and 1 seasoning to create an entree in under 3 hours…kind of similar to one of those competition cooking shows on Food Network. We were able to use additional ingredients to create this meal. I was given hominy, artichokes, and coriander. Initially, my first reaction was “What the heck am I supposed to do with hominy!?” After thinking it over, I came up with an idea. My lab partner and I created a chile rellano stuffed with pureed hominy, fresh artichoke hearts, and black beans sprinkled with coriander and cheese. It turned out pretty good, and the judges gave outstanding reviews! It was in this class that I my love for experimental cooking sparked and thus my recipe development began.

kitchen dance

Through my excellent education experience, I went on and completed my supervised practice hours, graduated with honors, passed the RD exam, and now am a clinical dietitian. When looking into a school no matter what the profession may be, make sure your program has a lot to offer you. Loma Linda University had so many opportunities for me to grow professionally, personally, and spiritually.

What memories do you have from your professional program? I would love to hear them!

Would any of you be interested in reading about the areas of dietetics? Let me know!

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN