New year… new opportunities!

I’ve been in a super good mood this afternoon!

I met up with some staff from the local school district’s Coordinated School Health program. A few months ago I had emailed them, offering my services as a Registered Dietitian, since my job left me with a lot of time and brainpower on my hands. Little did I realize how much fun this could be!

They are so excited to have me on board as a free consulting dietitian. I’ve already been asked to:

  1. Analyze the menus at one of the elementary school, to hopefully implement the NHLBI’s “Go, Slow, Whoa” program for menu choices.
  2. Offer one-on-one emailing services for any school district staff member who wants help with weight management, healthy eating, or other nutrition issues… this is probably the area I’m most excited about. Working with people who are actively seeking nutrition advice is the best!
  3. Help implement free “brain food” breakfasts for the students during the week of standardized testing
  4. Teach a few high school classes on nutrition. I did this during my Vandy internship… but there were 8 of us teaching the classes, and we used several skits and games to keep the class’s attention. Teaching on my own will be a different story. The Boy said/warned me “You do realize, they’re not going to listen to anything you say, right??”

It feels so good to be doing this to help others, and to feel so appreciated. The staff said “You are a God-send!”. There may not be that many RDs around who offer this kind of work and time for free (probably not many who are in a position to afford this generous donation!), but for me, at this point in my life – I have more than enough time to give, and a nagging feeling that I need to do something more meaningful. Lord knows I’m not making a huge difference with my psych patients.

Although….. as I say that I must remember that I had a good patient meeting today. A 50-something year old man, bipolar, has had diabetes for 15-20 years and lives alone in a trailer. Poor guy, trying to do the right thing, takes his meds and insulin faithfully… but recently saw that his BMI is 31, making him obese. So he stopped eating lunch, and exercises for an hour a day…. without ANY adjustment in medication/insulin…. resulting in him landing in the ER with a blood glucose of 30. Yikes!

So I reviewed with him the importance of good glycemic control, when to check his BG, what the numbers should be, how to prepare best for exercise, and making sure to faithfully eat 3 meals a day. The obese thing has obviously really scarred him, and it didn’t seem to make sense that I’m telling him to eat MORE often. I reminded him that I’m less concerned with his BMI, and more concerned that his blood sugars are under controlled and he takes care of himself. I think I helped. He was very appreciative, and was even able to recite at the end of our discussion all the important things I told him. That’s a rarity for my patients!!

Now I’m going to get my din-din ready and maybe some TV watching. Leftover maple roasted brussels sprouts and butternut polenta. yum yum!!

Oh, and snow tomorrow!! But more importantly, I’m not in a total state of panic!

Check this sad forecast out…. I guess no 5 miles this weekend :(

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