The Job Search

Some of you may be aware that I am now unemployed since I finished the internship. Though I am studying for my RD exam at home, I find that finding employment is almost, in itself, a full-time job. Irony.

So due to some clever networking, I was to meet with a holistic/integrative/complementary and alternative medicine clinic that helps people with common conditions like food intolerances/allergies, depression, GI distress, menopause, fibromyalgia, etc. These patients come here because Western medicine has failed them.

This clinic uses LEAP therapy (Lifestyle Eating and Performance Program), which really interests me, so I was interested immediately. LEAP involves taking a blood sample and analyzing it for markers that indicate food allergies and intolerances. It’s 90% accurate (more accurate than the test they give at the doctor, called the Alcat test, that’s 60% accurate). They even have their own pharmacy. I’d love to see how they make the meds/supplements, kinda like we saw the TPN compounding. I felt like I really hit it off with the employees I met.

Basically, this was everything that I would want as a company…it’s established, treats clients/patients as individuals (not numbers) and it has an integrative approach to healthcare. It calls to me, almost literally. I think that the future of nutrition is individualized diets. Not “oh you have cardiovascular disease? Here’s a cardiac diet. You don’t have to follow it in a few months.” More like “oh, you have cardiovascular disease? Let’s test you for other insensitivities so we can make an integrative eating plan that will work for the rest of your life. You said you crave bread like crazy? Let’s create a 7-day meal plan together and see what works and what doesn’t.” It’s the team approach, folks!

Problem is that the interview went great. GREAT! We talked about hiking, sports nutrition, food politics, GMOs, Michael Pollan…the inner workings of Christine!

Then comes the line “we’ll put you in our file.” Might as well drop-kick me out the back door. Devastating. That phrase kills me.

Leaving in utter devastation now that my hopes and dreams have been built up and smashed again in 45 minutes, I turn on the tunes. Guess what song comes on the radio? Just what I needed to hear. “You can’t always get what you want” by the Rolling Stones. Okay, I get it. God has a sense of humor. I knew this.

That song came on after we purchased my Rav-4 too. How ironic. And everything turned out fine with that car, never failed me (minus the slight acceleration, er, problem it had on the freeways Minor problem).

So this too, shall come to pass. Even though I would have loved that job with my soul.

Organizing/Donating Stuff

After today’s sermon on decluttering our lives to make room for God and a recent viewing of A&E’s show “Hoarders,” I was inspired to clean out my old toys, juvenile trinkets, and random keychains that I collected throughout the years.

Here is the list of relatively important/exciting things that are now at a local Goodwill store:

1. Rapping Microphone

Imagine a small speaker and "beatbox" button on the side, and this was my tool

I mean, right, who didn’t have one of these? Little Christine, walking around the house doing beatbox. I could’ve been the next Eminem. There was so much potential there. I probably have this on VCR somewhere.

Speaking of VCR…

2. Authentic 1982 Video Camera

We never bought a digital one, probably because my parents grew out of the “let’s video tape EVERY-THING” phase after about the 8th year of my life. When we visited Disney World at age 10, the technology museum had one of these. Museum. It was then that I realized how incredibly outdated our camera was.

Still, no shame. Represent.

3. Unpainted Ceramics

Can I tell you how many painting parties I went to as a kid? I also took 3-D art for 3 semesters in high school. I would overextend myself and have to put in extra time in after school to get the project done, hence why monkey, giraffe, and rhino heads plus and unpainted ark dwelled in my closet for 5 years. Guess the theme there.

4. 8th grade-freshman year diary

Wasn’t middle school just plain weird for everybody? We were all knockin’ on puberty’s door, learning where we fit in (a lifelong process, really), and discovering the “popular” cliques. I transitioned from one friend group to the next, went from one fashion statement to another, yet somehow came out relatively unscathed with only minor scars for a therapist to heal. Ok, fine, half kidding about the therapy part. Minus the band-nerd label.

Man, childhood certainly wasn’t boring.

Sports Nutrition

This morning I did a brief nutrition talk to the Jeff Galloway training group here in Jacksonville. I had beginning runners in the Getting Started program and I received a group who had just finished their run, so it was a mixed batch. I had a big poster that sat on the hood of a car and talked about eating before/during the run and a bit about weight loss. Many runners came

From news.bbc.co.uk

up afterwards and asked specific questions about carb/protein ratios, protein supplements, lycopene, weight loss, and recovery formulas, among other things. I was certainly kept on my toes and was glad that I had a bit of experience counseling clients as these folks certainly gave me some good questions!

The point of this post, what I’m trying to say, is that I really enjoyed myself. It was energizing to be around these 75-100 people and discuss nutrition with them. I felt like I was passing on knowledge and that they were listening, like a nutrition sensei (ha!). Wait, let me explain something. I enjoy counseling patients in the hospital, yes. However, sometimes when we counsel patients in that setting, it’s quite obvious that they are not interested. That’s fine, and there are other factors that influence the patient’s interest level, I understand. I still want to give them the information, talk about it, and leave room for questions before they call security on me (and as I leave kicking, screaming shouting, whole grains for a wholesome you!). You never know if your consult could spur them to think about lifestyle changes and reflect on what their intake is. Maybe we are the catalysts for change, even if we don’t see the change directly. But with this population today, these runners, it was nice that they had that built-in desire to learn more about nutrition.

All in all, I enjoyed myself and had a great time with it. The “presentation” was at 7 and I even had time to work out before hand at 5. Whew!

Life update: August

Well it’s certainly been a while-a while since I wrote last, but I’m just gonna go with it!

The internship is really getting down to the end here with about a month and a half to go. For a while, I was counting days, contemplating how many hours, weekends, nights, drives to work! I had left until graduation day on September 3rd. I re-read my journal just to see all the things that we’ve accomplished, barely made it through, and successfully Triumphed (with a capital “T”) over since mid-January.

Then, I realized, Christine, counting days? Really? That’s so…negative! And my inner voice was totally right, whadidya know? Counting days is like building up the end date in my mind, it makes every day until graduation worse because it feels like an eternity until the next day begins. Does that make sense? It’s like when we were kids and we made those red and green Christmas-count-down-link/chain things out of paper. It made Christmas day this highly anticipated event, and then when it came, and went, it was like, that was it?

So until graduation, I am vowing not to count days, not to look at the automatic countdown timer on my Mac. Instead, I want to enjoy each day as it comes and really savor the last bit of the internship. Believe it or not, inner self, there is an end to this thing and you will have appreciated the whole thing in hindsight. (I talk to myself sometimes. Don’t worry about it. We’re cool with it. Haha!)

Not just in hindsight…heck, I knew that in foresight before I even began it in January. Yes, it’s been a hard and long road. Yes, I’ve had battles with others, friends, parents, us (me, myself and I), but it’s all been worth it.

Isn’t that what we always say in the end?

Upcoming Trip to Mexico

Some of you know that I am traveling to Mexico at the end of June for my week of vacation (we get a whole week off, so nice!). I rearranged my vacation week (it was supposed to be the last week in May with the other interns) so I could go on this trip. Below are some specifics about what we will be doing, but first, a little background.

Last summer, I was nominated for a scholarship from the Beck Group, an architecture/development group located in Dallas. They give 2 scholarships a year to service-minded BU students who are nominated. I applied for the scholarship by writing out my life history of service (though I hope to gather more soon since I’m only 22!), and..whaddyaknow, I got it! I received a certain financial scholarship to help pay for undergrad but I also received the opportunity to travel with them on one of three annual trips to Mexico to work in the community that they support. I think it’s fantastic that they support this community financially and physically, by actually being there. That’s so key in development…ok…tangent. I could say much more on the subject, but moving on….

Not only are my expenses paid for, but they granted me the blessing of bringing someone else along with me. I asked my dad to come along, figuring that it could be one more grand adventure to add to our list! (Previous adventures include 2 road trips to Big Bend National Park, Carlsbad Caverns, El Paso, West Texas, etc.). So Dad and I will travel separately to Dallas where we will meet up with the group to fly Mexico City. From there, we take a bus to Puebla, Mexico, where our adventure begins.

The bus ride to Puebla takes about 1 1/2 hours and is through some pretty scenery; over mountains, through forests and close to an active volcano.  I am told that the bus is modern and comfortable, so no school buses here  😉

We’ll be picked up at the downtown Puebla bus station, by our local contact, and taken to our hotel.  The hotel is located about a few blocks away from the ruins of an old Toltec/Aztec pyramid, which is purported to have been the largest in the world when the entire structure was intact.  The hotel is close to the “zocalo” or town square and plaza.

We’ll begin our work on Monday morning.  Most of our team will go to the small village where we will complete the concrete roof structures on a new principal’s office and classroom at the elementary school, and install the slab-on-grade for new restrooms and a principal’s office at the kindergarten (translation: POWER TOOLS. *Grunt*).  A few of us will go to an orphanage on the southeast side of Puebla, where we will build an outdoor covered shelter and some new picnic tables for the children there.  The group has previously worked at both locations, completing several projects over the past three years. During the third trip in October, the group will complete the superstructure and roof for new kindergarten facilities.

If we’re diligent in completing all of our scheduled work, we’ll be able to take a day or afternoon off in order to visit the old square and cathedral in downtown Puebla and tour the pyramid in Cholula. Puebla is located in the desert highlands at an elevation of about 7,000 feet (AMSL), so the temperature is pretty mild and can even be cool at night, even in summer, but it can also become very warm during the day.

AND despite the ongoing violence throughout Mexico, the group has never experienced any incidents or felt threatened at any time on any of our trips.  The Puebla area appears to be a relatively safe location.  Good to know!

Anyways, I am really excited to have this opportunity to travel, meet new people, and have a completely new experience. It certainly won’t be dietetics-related, that’s for sure. I am so blessed to be able to do this and use a little bit of my barely-functioning Spanish. I can’t wait! I will take pictures, of course, but I won’t be updating the blog or Facebook, (not that you really expected me to do that anyways!).

Blessings to all  🙂

Trying to relax

So the countdown begins…102 more days. You will tell me “oh wow it’s gone by so quickly.” Yeah, maybe for you it has…but anyways.

Needless to say, I am a bit overworked. That’s a good way to put it. My boss told me I need to relax, basically. And if your boss tells you that you looked stressed and are on the verge of an emotional breakdown, then maybe it’s time to listen.

So I did what an “normal” person would do and I took an afternoon to do non-worked related things. No work (not to say I

Welcome to Narnia!

didn’t work this morning!) for the moment and I did other stuff. I started off by visiting the Chronicles of Narnia exhibit downtown at the Museum of Science and History (MOSH). I was shocked at:

a) free parking

b) I could walk around downtown and feel completely safe

c) I could cross the stress without getting run over or have a homeless person ask for money

You might say I’ve experienced d) all of the above in Houston.

Anyways, no photos allowed inside the exhibit, thus I took a picture outside of the exhibit. Let’s prevent lawsuits, shall we? It was really neat inside. Saw lots of original costumes, even the ice queen and her dress! Did you know that her crown shrinks as her power fades? I had no idea! And did you know that they built a real-live castle set for Prince Caspian!?! WHO KNEW!? Disney, please start disclosing these super-cool facts STAT. And there was a section devoted to C.S. Lewis and WWII, regarding how he started the books and took in kids just like the professor in the books. There was also a section about the makeup and the centaurs, really neat. Wish I could’ve taken more pictures. Mom loves the centaurs 🙂   Ow ow.

I then strolled through the “Jacksonville Through the Ages” section. Now, Florida ain’t exactly a spring chicken, it’s history spans several hundreds/thousands of years. Thousands if we account for the Native Americans/Indians (let’s cover all the PC bases). Did you know that Florida used to be cold? Seriously, Florida marketers need to get on this. And that it was named after Pascua Florida, a flower? Again, more marketing needed.

Anyways, the exhibit stretched from thousands of years ago to recent. I wish I could’ve spent more time there, but I really had to go to the RR (story of my life) and so I fast forwarded through the last 300 years, pretty much after the Spanish defeated the French and the British tried to invade and take over and yadda yada. But the Indians are always the best part anyways. Guess they didn’t have buffalo runs like we do in Texas. No mountains/valleys/cliffs over in Florida.

Then I went to the St. John’s Town Center, which is basically an outdoor shopping mall. It’s where I

Thou has disappointed me with your inability to be prepared with more waffle cones

bought my Macbook. I went into Marble Slab, full expectant on getting a no-sugar added chocolate frozen yogurt in a waffle cone, but no luck as they were out of waffle cones and I refuse to pay $5 for a dinky little 1/2 cup of frozen yogurt with no cone. So I walked next door and got a Starbucks Frap, decaf, instead, still paying about $4.50. Right. Somehow it felt “Free” because I had a giftcard, which somehow justified spending the same cost I would’ve spent over at MS. Kinda tasted weird because they just changed their formula so that you can make it “However you want.” I had to get a decaf because caffeine beyond 3pm means I can’t sleep. And going to bed at 9pm these days, I need to distance myself from caffeine around that. I am a frapp pro, trust me, I bought one every day last summer for almost the entire summer. Let’s not talk about how much money that resulted in. Ssshhh.

And then I saw these cute little ducks. And I liked ’em, so I shot a pic with my iPhone. And then I saw the loner duck. And I kind of chuckled at him (or her!).

102 more days. That’s like, a trimester. I can totally make it. Right?

After re-reading this post, I realize that I refer to myself in the third person a lot. I was a little crazy before I came here (we can all agree on that!). But I’ve officially lost it. All of us (that is, me, myself, and I) are on the verge over here.

Alllll byyyyyy myyyyssseelllllffffffff