Category Archives: chronic disease

herbs & spices for flavor and health


I love this time of year, (even if Ohio may be seeing its first snow fall towards the end of this week…ugh) NCAA basketball and football seasons overlap. Basketball games during the week and football on the weekends makes me a happy camper! 😀 Anyone else??

I found an interesting article yesterday on herbs and spices and I wanted to share a few tidbits. The article was written by a Registered Dietitian and discussed dried vs. fresh herbs, and the overall health benefits of herbs and spices.

First things first, herbs and spices are essential in the health-conscious kitchen. Herbs and spices come with powerful flavor and with negligible calories, fat, or sodium. Rather than adding salt, the use of herbs and spices can flavor cooking and baking for a most delicious result. The article notes that herbs and spices should be used within 6 months for the most nutritional benefit. Dried herbs and spices lose nutritional value if they lose color or scent, so it’s best to only buy what you need. Store your herbs and spices in a cool, dark, dry place to keep them fresher longer. And remember, dried herbs can always be substituted for fresh in a 1-to-3 ratio.

The Stars:

Rosemary: antioxidant, anti-cancer and helps cholesterol
Cinnamon: the most potent anti-oxidant spice, can reduce blood sugar, is anti-inflammatory, can reduce symptoms of nausea and stomach ulcers
Thyme: antioxidant, anti-bacterial, contains omega 3’s
Curry powder: Reduces joint inflammation, may help prevent heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s
Ginger: Anti-inflammatory, helps circulation, used to tread digestion, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, menstrual symptoms, headaches, and flu-like symptoms


On that note…a delicious recipe with curry powder!

Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup from Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp roasted cumin
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp madras curry powder
1/2 medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz (about 2 cups) chopped peeled butternut squash
1 cup light coconut milk
3 cups fat free vegetable or chicken broth
salt and fresh pepper to taste (1/4 tsp salt + pepper)
chopped fresh cilantro (optional)


Add oil to a medium soup pot, on medium heat. When oil is hot add onion, garlic and sauté. Add roasted cumin, masala and madras curry powder and mix well cooking another minute. Add broth, light coconut milk, butternut squash and cook covered until squash is soft, 12-15 minutes. Remove cover and using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth (or puree in a blender). Season with salt and fresh pepper and serve with fresh cilantro. Serves 3.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 158 calories; 6.7 g. fat;  0 mg. cholesterol; 374 mg. sodium; 22.3 g. carbohydrate; 4.3 g. fiber; 2.3 g. protein

Result: This was amazing! The flavors are outstanding – sweet, spicy, and a party in your mouth. When I heated up the leftovers in the break room at work, people thought it was a dessert. This soup is excellent, not sure what more to say other than it’s healthy, too!

I have a 3 mile run planned before work…off I go! 😀

Trivia Question: What is the #1 most requested pizza topping in the US?

I am planning a Q&A for next week. Send your questions (nutrition-related or otherwise) to me at!

Be well,



Filed under antioxidants, blog topic request, blood glucose, cancer, cholesterol, chronic disease, complimentary and alternative nutrition, diabetes, diet, dinner, exercise, fish oil/omega-3's, fruits and vegetables, garlic, healthy cooking, heart health, herbs, pizza, recipe, running, sodium, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetarian

A “Prevention Classic” & A Symposium Mistake

Remember how I said I was going a Diabetes Symposium yesterday and today? Well, here’s a little story from yesterday.

At my table was a type 1 diabetic, who was also a doctor. About 10 minutes before lunch I saw her check her blood sugar and take a shot of insulin. I wasn’t staring, promise. P.S. It’s probably not acceptable to draw blood and/or give yourself an injection at just any dining table, but here…totally acceptable. Anyways, lunch was served and it was a salad. On a dinner plate came Iceburg lettuce, shredded carrots, black olives, diced tomatoes, and about 4 garbanzo beans (I counted, no lie). You could add hard boiled egg crumbles and croutons, and there were dinner rolls to pass — enough for one person at each table. Lots of details, yes…but here’s why. That was lunch. Period. They cleared the spoon, forks (x2), and knife. Why lay out 2 forks for each guest when they only needed 1, by the way?

While I was cranky at 3pm, that was small change compared to that doctor sitting next to me who shoveled down 2 large cookies before she hit the ground from hypoglycemia. She said that last year when she attended the event it was a soup/salad, entree + starch, dinner roll, and dessert type of meal, thus requiring a bolus (insulin dose) to cover 30-45 grams of carbohydrate, which is what she took before yesterday’s lunch. However, that salad + dinner roll was about 15 grams of carbohydrate, max. It blows my mind as to how a DIABETES SYMPOSIUM filled with DIABETES PROFESSIONALS (and DIABETICS!) planned such a poor menu!! I felt terrible for that woman…and any other diabetics attending (which there were several — I saw their insulin pumps). Anyways, just wanted to share that — it’s a great lesson in meal planning and how important it is to prepare BALANCED menus.


Mr. Prevention loves fajitas. When we lived in Italy I swear I made fajitas once a week. And no, you did not read that wrong. In Italy…making fajitas. Mr. P missed the comfort foods of home: Mexican food! Now that we occasionally go out for Mexican food, he doesn’t request fajitas at home all too often. In fact, it was me craving the fajitas and boy were they good 😉

In order to keep things fresh and new, I tried making homemade fajita seasoning…and it was a huge success! Loved it!

Fajita Seasoning from Busy Cooks

3 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp 2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp sugar
2-1/2 tsp crushed chicken bouillon cubes (3 cubes)
1-1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cumin


Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Pour into small glass or plastic container, seal tightly and store in a cool, dry place. Yield: the equivalent of 3 packets of commercial or purchased Fajita Seasoning Mix

Nutrition Information (per “packet” equivalent — serves about 4): 78 calories (19 calories per serving); 1 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 2465 mg. sodium (~616 mg. per serving); 16 g. carbohydrate; 2.6 g. fiber; 5.3 g. sugar; 1.3 g. protein

Prevention Fajitas

1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 red bell peppers, cut into strips
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, cut into strips
1 large onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 “packet” of fajita seasoning (recipe above)


Heat a wok or large pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken, 1/2 “packet” or fajita seasoning (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) + 2-3 tablespoons of water. Cook chicken until nearly cooked through. Add veggies and add remaining fajita seasoning and additional water, if needed. Cook until veggies are tender. Yield: 4 servings (about 2 fajitas)

Nutrition Information (per serving): 246 calories; 4.5 g. fat; 128 mg. cholesterol; 679 mg. sodium; 16 g. carbohydrate; 3.8 g. fiber; 4.3 g. sugar; 40 g. protein

Result: Both were YUMMY! If you’re a fajita lover, you will love these 🙂 There’s nothing hard about fajitas, just need the right seasoning!

Question: What do you order when you’re at a Mexican restaurant? And is it inappropriate if I share my disappointment in yesterday’s lunch menu on the symposium evaluation?



Filed under blood glucose, carbohydrates, chronic disease, diabetes, diet, dietitians, doctors, fruits and vegetables, healthy cooking, Italy, low-carb, lunch, recipe, salad

Don’t judge a recipe by its looks…

Kerstin’s blog, Cake, Batter, and Bowl, is one of my favorites. Her recipes always look fabulous…and healthy! Easy on the budget, too, as she provides the cost per serving for every recipe. What a saint, huh!?

When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make these muffins. Especially since berries are slowly creeping up in price and starting to lose their prime-season sweetness and quality. I will forewarn that these muffins take a bit of time to concoct, but the result is well worth the wait. My father-in-law loved these muffins and gave them a definite 5-star rating. Everyone else enjoyed them, too…especially warm 🙂

Berry Muffins very slightly adapted from Cake, Batter, and Bowl

3 cups strawberries, hulled
2 cups blueberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups white whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cups. Place 2 cups strawberries and 1 cup blueberries in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Place berry puree in a small nonstick pan and cook over medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes or until reduced to 1/2 cup, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Mix cooled puree, sugar, oil, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla extract in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Coarsely chop remaining 1 cup strawberries and fold chopped strawberries and remaining 1 cup blueberries into the muffin batter.

Scoop muffin batter evenly into the 12 prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350˚F for 24 to 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean. Makes 12 large muffins.

Nutrition Information (per muffin): 172 calories; 5.5 g. fat; 18 mg. cholesterol; 109 mg. sodium; 30 g. carbohydrate; 3.1 g. fiber; 1.1 g. protein

Result: Mmmmm mmmm good! These muffins provide at least 1/2 serving of fruit, and I think that is just awesome! I love the fiber content and low calories and sodium for muffins, too.


Thank you for all the chili recipes for the Prevention Chili Contest! I’m sorry I couldn’t accept more than 12 recipes — we would’ve been eating chili through Easter if I didn’t put a cap on the entries!! 😦 I really appreciate all of the participation and look forward to a fall season of football and chili! 😀


In the news…

Oral sprays and inhalers may replace traditional syringes for insulin administration among diabetics.

Starting January, South Carolina residents with the state health plan will be eligible to receive gastric bypass or LapBand weight loss surgeries.


And Miss Lily wanted to show off some cuteness today…

And some cuddles with daddy…Awwww 🙂

Question: Do you think weight loss surgery should be covered by insurance? Do you think a portion of the cost should be covered? If so, what percentage?

A co-worker asked me this question yesterday and having working in bariatrics, I’ve seen the good and the bad outcomes of bariatric surgery, and most of it depends on the readiness for change on the part of the patient, as well as their support system in and out of the health care setting. I do think it’s appropriate for insurance companies to set up guidelines for weight loss surgery candidates (e.g. BMI > 50) to help offset future health care costs of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, a very costly disease. But I can’t decide if I consider bariatrics “prevenative” or “reactive” health care — I can see arguments both ways. Just curious as to everyone’s thoughts!

Have a wonderful day!



Filed under challenge, chronic disease, diabetes, dog, obesity epidemic, pets, recipe, Uncategorized, US health care, weight loss

My New Job: End Stage Renal Disease

My new job is in renal dietetics and I will be working as a dietitian in dialysis facilities caring for those with End Stage Renal (Kidney) Disease (ESRD). Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is the declining function of the kidneys and affects more than 26 million Americans, or 1 out of ever 9 adults. As kidney function declines, CKD progresses and when the kidneys perform at about 10% capacity, a patients is considered to have ESRD, which requires transplantation or dialysis to stay alive.



What is dialysis?

There are two types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. I will be working in hemodialysis and will expand on that type, but you can read all about peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis is traditionally performed in a dialysis clinic where patients come 3x a week (either Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) and are dialyzied (blood filtered) for 3-4 hours through an access site, typically on their arm.

What do the kidneys do?

The kidneys perform a lot of vital functions of the body including filtering the blood to remove waste (e.g. urine) and the release of hormones which regulate blood pressure and bone health. When the kidneys lose filtering capacity, vitamins and minerals build-up in the blood at toxic levels. Micronutrients such as potassium, sodium, phosphorous, and calcium can cause fatalities in renal patients if not controlled in the diet. The diet is hugely important to follow for renal patients.

Why do the kidneys fail?

Chronic uncontrolled blood pressure, chronic uncontrolled diabetes, glomerular disease, and other complications such as polycystic kidney disease, drug abuse (prescription and illicit), poisons, and trauma. The rate of ESRD is increasing due to the increase of obesity and associated co-morbidities such as diabetes and hypertension.

What diet do dialysis patients have to follow?

Foods that are commonly omitted or limited from the renal diet include: beans, peanut butter, nuts, many cereals and grains, all dairy products, colas, processed meats, orange juice, oranges, bananas, tomatoes, tomato products, kiwi, pears, melon, dried fruits, potatoes, squash, avocado, mushrooms, pumpkin, chocolate, and WATER and all other fluids.

However, the renal diet is highly personalized to a patient’s needs based on their labs and may be changed on a frequent basis.

Renal diets need to be very high in protein — about 95 grams (for a 150 pound adult) or 140 grams (for a 220 pound adult). And because processed meats, beans, and nuts are discouraged in the renal population, fresh meat and eggs are the only sources of high biological value protein (HBV). A renal patient requires significant amounts of protein due to protein loss during dialysis, as well as a decline in the body’s ability to make amino acids (protein in the body) due to CKD.

What if a patient doesn’t eat enough protein?

Albumin is a protein made by the liver. This lab value has the strongest correlation to morbidity (illness) and mortality (death) in the renal population. In addition to drug therapies, the diet is the best way to elevate albumin levels.

This is a perfect example of why I support all food groups. A vegetarian/vegan would not fare well on dialysis based on their food preferences. Simply, there are NO methods available to achieve neither adequate intake, nor intake from high biological value proteins.

I hope this gives an idea of what my new job entails. Today I meet the entire patient care team: nephrologist, charge nurse, social worker, and me, the dietitian. We have rounds starting…soon! Better jet! 😀

But first a quick Lily picture. On our way to the dog park yesterday…

Question: Knowing what a renal diet aims to limit or eliminate, what would you have the most trouble omitting?

I think limiting fluids, tomato products, and bananas would be the hardest for me!

P.S. I am a writer for the Examiner in Columbus! I cover cooking! It’s been a slow start simply because I haven’t had time or Internet, but I look to put out a lot more articles soon! 😀

Happy Monday,



Filed under chronic disease, diabetes, diet, dietitians, Examiner, fruits and vegetables, hormones, hypertension, meat consumption, obesity epidemic, physicians, protein, sodium, vegan, water, work

Communicating a Healthy Message

On our flight back from Columbus, I was catching up with my Today’s Dietitian (are you seeing a trend with my reading on flights?). In May’s issue there was an interesting article entitled, “Keys to Clear Communication”. I found this article not only relevant to a conversation Gina and I had on Thursday, but also because it’s pertinent to my current role as an out-patient dietitian. Plus, an old professor of mine from the University of Illinois, Karen Chapman-Novakofski, was quoted in the article. Neat!

In my day-to-day work, I see patients of varying ethnic background, varying education levels, varying health concerns, and various other potential barriers to communicating a healthy message. With over half of the leading causes of death linked to poor nutrition, dietitians have an important task of tailoring nutrition messages in a way which they can not only understand, but put to use in their lives.

It’s fair to say that if you’ve made it this far, you are not illiterate. However, the National Adult Literacy Survey from 1993 indicated that approximately 25% of US adults may lack the literacy skills to function at an “average” level in today’s modern society. Sad, isn’t it? I have encountered several patients who could not read or write, making it a challenge to teach concepts of nutrition and disease management. And to make the dietitian’s task even more challenging, up to 80% of patients forget everything their doctor told them by the time they leave the office. It has happened more than once that a patient comes in with some “concerning lab work”. Was it the cholesterol? Blood pressure? Blood sugar? My guess is as good as the patient’s. Good thing for medical records, huh?

When I was talking with Gina , she shared how much she enjoys speaking to large groups about nutrition and that she’s able to breakdown complex concepts to an easy to understand message. When speaking to groups, I do the opposite – assume that I’m over-simplifying concepts that people are already familiar with. And sadly, that has never been the case. I shared with Gina that I am more comfortable in a one-on-one setting because I like to “feel out” a patient and individualize the session based on the patient’s needs.

The Today’s Dietitian article lists several tips for counseling patients, particularly those with limited literacy:

  1. Limit the number of concepts you teach. As the practitioner, it is up to you to decide what change will make the most impact on the patient’s health and nutrition status. Hone in on that topic.
  2. Use simple jargon. A patient will much more likely understand “average blood sugar” than “HbA1c” or “weight for height” than “BMI”.
  3. Organize your message to highlight your most important message(s). For example, don’t relay an important message at the beginning of your 60-minute session and not address it in the remaining 50 minutes.
  4. Ask patients to summarize or teach back important messages. Ask leading questions such as, “So what are some of your favorite foods that you now know contain too much saturated fat? What might be a healthier alternative?”
  5. Listen. Truly listen. Patients know whether or not you’re listening. You can chart during your session, but remember to make good eye contact and non-verbal cues that you’re paying attention – nodding your head, smiling, etc.
  6. Use demonstrations and hands-on teaching tools. In my job, food models, nutrition labels, and empty food boxes and containers are essential to have on hand. I use my food models and food labels on a daily basis, all day long.

In addition to handouts to review with patients, I am sure to add my own personal notes, asterisks, and highlighting. I also encourage literate patients to take notes of anything they find important or wish to record. And I typically end counseling sessions with goal-setting and send the patient home with a copy of goals they set.

I believe individuals all learn in different ways and it’s imperative to relay a message in the appropriate way for it to be most beneficial and apt to drive change. In the past year, I’ve noticed a profound growth in my ability to relay complex messages and empower patients to make healthy changes in their lives. Just as my old professor was quoted in saying, I too find it most rewarding when a patient says to me, “I’ve been a diabetic for so many years, and this is the first time any of this has made any sense to me.”

Talk about rewarding.

Question: Have you ever left a medical appointment or counseling session of any sort feeling as though you gained nothing? Or that it was a waste of your time? When you think of your doctor, why or why not do you like he or she?

Here’s to a great week,



Filed under BMI, chronic disease, diabetes, dietitians, doctors, physicians, work

Not so private push-ups

So I had my medication check-up yesterday. For the past month, I have been taking 500 milligrams of Metformin twice daily to help control my insulin resistance from PCOS. Sadly, I have noted little to no change in my blood glucose or my weight (1 pound down – woot! *eye roll*)…

Quick embarrassing story: While I was waiting for the doc to come into the exam room yesterday, I decided to get my push ups out of the way for Heather’s 100 Push-Up Challenge. Yes, doctor’s offices are germ-laden, but I work in a health clinic…nothing there I’m not already exposed to day-in and day-out. As I was on the floor doing my push-ups, my doc walked in. With a medical student. No knock to warn they were entering.They both had a puzzled look on their face and as I climbed up to my feet, blushing, I explained that I was doing push-ups. They thought I was quite committed to be utilizing my wait time so effectively! 😉

Anyway, my doc doubled my dose and I am now prescribed 1,000 milligrams twice daily. While I’m bummed, I understand that I have to do what it takes…and that also means not giving up on weight loss and giving more attention to my eating habits and exercise regimen. What was a tad VERY depressing was the fact that I will likely be on Metformin for the rest of my life. Did I mention I hate taking pills? 😦

On that note, I have FINALLY started my page on PCOS and Insulin Resistance. Check it out! After reading A Patient’s Guide to PCOS, I feel assured that I’m doing so much right…and that I am NOT alone. There are so many PCOS sufferers out there, and I feel so much better about the situation when I tackle it head-on versus throwing pity parties for myself. So yep, check out the info on PCOS. I put a lot of thought into it and hope that it can help other women and PCOS sufferers find answers and comfort.


And in honor of my hosting BSI this week…another recipe featuring PAPRIKA! This one, I swear, was a surprise! Cooking Light and I were on the same page with paprika this week, apparently!

Smoky Spanish-Style Pan Roast from Cooking Light June 2010

1  pound small red new potatoes, halved
2  tablespoons  olive oil
3/4  teaspoon  salt, divided
1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper, divided
3/4  pound  unpeeled large shrimp
1/4  pound  Spanish chorizo, thinly sliced
1  pound  green beans, trimmed
4  garlic cloves, chopped
1/2  cup  pilsner beer
1/2  teaspoon  Spanish smoked paprika
2  red bell peppers, cut into thin strips
1/4  cup  fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Directions:Preheat oven to 400° F.

Combine potatoes, oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a large roasting pan, tossing well to coat potatoes. Arrange potatoes in a single layer, cut side down, in pan. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned.

While potatoes cook, peel shrimp, leaving tails intact. Devein shrimp, if desired. Set shrimp aside.

Stir chorizo, green beans, garlic, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper into pan. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Add beer, paprika, and bell pepper, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Nestle shrimp into vegetable mixture. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until potatoes and green beans are tender and shrimp are done. Sprinkle with fresh parsley leaves. Serves 4 (approx. 1 1/2 cups per serving).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 392 calories; 15.5 g. fat (3.8 g. saturated, 8.5 g. monounsaturated, 2.4 g. polyunsaturated);
28 g. protein; 36.6 g. carbohydrate; 7.7 g. fiber; 129 mg. cholesterol; 590 mg. sodium

Result: Again, easy and delicious! I planned this recipe to use the leftover chorizo from last night’s Grilled Salmon with Chorizo and Fingerlings. I will definitely be making it again. The dish was light with a huge punch of beer and paprika flavor…right up my alley!

Don’t Forget!!

I’ve already received several paprika recipes for the Blogger Secret Ingredient Contest! You have until Sunday at 5PM Central Time to submit yours!

Random questoin: What’s something you know a lot about, or would consider yourself an “expert” in? What topic do you wish you knew more about? Doesn’t have to be nutrition, fitness, or health-related at all…just curious!

Have a wonderful day!



Filed under beer, blood glucose, book, carb-controlled, challenge, chronic disease, Cooking Light, diabetes, diet, dietitians, doctors, exercise, healthy cooking, hormones, MUFAs and PUFAs, PCOS, physical activity, physicians, prescription drug, recipe, weight loss

A Day in the Life of an RD

I recieved a lovely email from a reader this week who wanted me to write up a little something on a “Day in the Life of an RD”…so, I did! I get a lot of emails about people pursuing a career in dietetics, or a career change to dietetics, and various questions about the educational and career paths for dietitians…and I am always happy to help! I am passionate about what I do and truly, whole-heartedly LOVE my work. It’s not work if you love what you do, right? 😉

As a little background, I work as a dietitian in an out-patient clinic in a rural community outside of Tulsa. For patient safety and to remain compliant with HIPPA laws, I cannot disclose identifiable information on patients or my place of work. We do have several physicians on staff as well as 8 nurses, 4 pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, 2 dietitians, ultrasound technician, radiology technician, physiologists, ophthalmologists and optometrists, phlebotomists (and a laboratory), as well as per diem podiatrists, endocrinologists, pediatricians, etc. Basically, we are one-stop shop for health care and accept all major medical coverage and insurance.

I work Monday through Thursday, 7am to 5:30pm and for the most part schedule my own patients. If a referral is made for the dietitian, a receptionist books a patient in for a 1-hour appointment. I see primarily diabetic and bariatric patients, as well as those needing diet assistance to manage other conditions such as hyperlipidemia, hypertension, anemia, non-alcoholic fatty liver, metabolic syndrome, gout, renal insufficiency, pre-natal nutrition, and digestive health (i.e. Crohn’s, Celiac disease, etc.). But it is fair to say 80% or more of my time is spent on diabetes and bariatrics. I work on 30-minute slots and bill for medical nutrition therapy in 15-minute increments.

Let me set the scene…

Currently, I am pursuing the Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) credential. I currently have 445 hours and need 1,000 to sit for the exam. Logging my hours:

This is (part of) the form RD’s use to chart in my clinic. We are making the switch the Electronic Health Records (EHR) in the coming months.

Here is how insulin pens work:

Breakfast at my desk:

My work station:

Lunch at my desk:

Employee Taste Test Sign-Up!

Tuesday went something like this…

7-8am: Check my schedule (no 7:30am appointment – woo!), catch up on emails, eat breakfast at my desk, and finish any charting left from the previous day

8am: New onset type 2 diabetic wanting to control blood glucose through diet and exercise. Full diabetes diet and glucometer education completed. Discussed the role of oral agents to help control diabetes (45 minutes)

9am: Weight management follow-up – patient is trying to lose 40 lbs for her 50th birthday in 5 months – down 9 lbs in 3 months so far (60 minutes)

10:30am: Uncontrolled diabetic on insulin – discussed recommitting after “falling off the wagon” (45 minutes)

11:20am: Uncontrolled type 1 diabetic following up regarding carbohydrate to insulin ratio. Food journals and insulin regimens reviewed, glucometer downloaded to analyze. Recommended no changes in insulin dosing as fasting and post-prandial blood glucose goals were being met (45 minutes)

12:30pm: Surprise appointment! I went out to my car to get my water bottle and a patient asked me in the street to download his glucometer and give him more testing strips. The patient is a controlled type 2 diabetic who I have worked closely with over the course of 9 months to get his blood glucose levels within normal limits. He now journals all of his intake and checks his blood glucose up to 6x a day (45 minutes)

1:15pm: QUICK 5 minute lunch at my desk

1:20pm: Weight management follow-up. Patient lost 4.3 lbs in 2 weeks on a 1,800 calorie diet. Patient is considering bariatric surgery through our clinic (30 minutes)

2pm: Weight management follow-up. Patient lost 3.5 lbs in 2 weeks. Young, disruptive child present at session. Patient goals include meal planning and making food stamps last longer throughout the month (45 minutes)

2:45pm: Patient was rescheduled – he did not bring his glucometer or food journals/pattern management to meeting and therefore no insulin adjustments could be made.

3pm: Follow-up with uncontrolled type 2 diabetic on insulin and strict pattern management. Called patient’s physician and recommended a change in Levemir (long-acting insulin) – verbal order given over the phone (30 minutes)

3:45pm: Follow-up weight management and uncontrolled hypertension; 0.8 lb weight gain in 2 weeks. Patient was seeking advice on diet pills and how to manage “dieting” with unsupportive friends, co-workers, and husband (45 minutes)

4:30pm: Weight management follow-up – I have been seeing this patient for 9 months without significant weight loss, yet she attends all of our appointments and wants to continue coming to RD meetings (30 minutes)

5-5:30pm: Catch-up on charting, returns urgent emails and phone calls, and head home!


There were 14 appointments scheduled on this day – 2 called to cancel, 2 no-showed, and I had 1 walk-in patient.

Likes and Dislikes

I love the critical thinking and intense patient-provider interaction involved in diabetes care. Plus, I do have some of the best patients :). And most of you know I am passionate about diabetes, I love working in diabetes. I hate the early hours…mornings are rough…and the fact that most blogs are blocked at work 😦 And…I can always want more money, right? 😉

There you have it…a Day in the Life of an RD!

Question: What is your current profession? What do you love and hate most about YOUR current role?

Work hard 😉 ,



Filed under blog topic request, blood glucose, breakfast, chronic disease, diabetes, diet, dietitians, healthy cooking, hypertension, lunch, physicians, prescription drug, Uncategorized, US health care, weight gain, weight loss, weight maintentance, work