Thursday, December 4, 2014

Making Sense of Antioxidants

            In recent history the words, “high in antioxidants” started to appear on food labels left and right. But what does that mean? What is considered high and why is it important to have antioxidants and what do they do? Where should they get antioxidants?

            Lindsey Getz gives people a very good first few steps into the understanding of antioxidants in her article in Today’s Dietitian. She provides lists of where to find which antioxidants, talks about supplementation, and even gives a very refreshing opinion about the fact that scientist don’t have a complete understanding of all of them or what they do so the science will continue to change with time.

Getz, L. (2008). Making sense of antioxidants. Today’s Dietitian, 10(9), 50.

Fish Oils and Cognitive Function

            It bothers to me to great extent when older Americans are roped into buying things and using things that they don’t need and can’t afford. In this case I’m talking about fish oils. Every person over the age of 50 I know is taking them. Sometimes it’s because their doctor tells them to, sometimes a friend, and sometimes just some quack who surfs the trend wave in nutrition.

            “Fish is Brain Food” looks at both the “sunrise and sunset years” of life and talks to some degree about if fish oils really do make a difference. The studies are becoming more common and the subject better understood. There is some controversy but for the most part they are linking fish oils to increased cognitive ability for longs, but scientists still can not say if Omega-3’s or something else in fish are causing the improvement, or if whatever the fish is replacing was causing the damage.


Harris, W.S. (2014). Fish oils and cognitive function. Today’s Dietitian, 16(9). 21.


Carbohydrate-Protein Intake and Recovery from Endurance Exercise: Is Chocolate Milk the Answer.

I’ve been hearing for YEARS how great chocolate milk is for post-workout recovery, but even with all of the scientific background I have I never once looked up proof. I understand from a physiological point of view how it SHOULD work and it makes sense that it does work, but without scientific proof it doesn’t matter how much sense it makes.

A recent study published through the American College of Sports Medicine looks at a variety of studies related chocolate milk and come to the conclusion that chocolate milk in fact does promote postexercise recovery and enhances subsequent exercise performance compared to the results when carbohydrates alone are used. Researchers are still not exactly sure of the mechanism. They also note that there are studies that do NOT show these results and that there is controversy. It’s important to make educated decisions when viewing information on the internet.


Saunders, J.M. (2011). Carbohydrate-protein intake and recovery from endurance exercise: Is chocolate milk the answer. Current Sports Medicine Reports(ACSM) 11(4), 203-210.


Let Them Eat Kale: Schools Get Serious about Nutrition

            This article tells the story of how Chef Greg Christian introduced fresh, healthy, organic, and locally grown foods into the school lunch program of Chicago Public schools. While this isn’t an isolated incident, a number of these school lunch transformations occur in very affluent areas, areas where the parents are willing and able to foot the bill that is typically associated with a transfer from traditional school lunches to more healthful school lunches. Chef Christian is able to do it in a mostly poverty stricken inner city area, which proves that it's possible almost anywhere.

            This is just such a critical time for developing eating habits and educating people about the risks and benefits of consuming certain food products. While some school administrators are rightfully concerned about test scores and literacy levels, they don’t realize the impact that not only food but food programs have on these aspects of school.

            “Evidence also shows that homegrown foods have a positive impact on everything from test scores to attendance”(Children’s Lifestyle and School Performance Study).


Whelan, D.L. Let them eat kale: Schools get serious about nutrition. School Library Journal, 54(6).

Food Safety Importance

During my food service management rotation, I realized the importance of educating employees on various food safety topics.  During my rotation, I witnessed various activities taking place that contradict with what I have been taught during my ServSafe course as well as nutrition classes.  However, although I way be aware of the issues, it is also important to realize that some employees may not be.  It is vital to hold in-services and employee training on food safety.  I understand that sometimes employees are in a hurry or do not have time to take the proper steps in preparing the food, you must educate the importance of serving safe food because it will affect everyone. 

I found a great brochure that can be utilized at home or in a facility on proper preparation of produce.

Partnership for food safety education. (2010). Help everyone fight back like a producepro. Retrieved from 


Monday, December 1, 2014

Surgery without the Fasting

There is a new beverage that is able to be consumed up to 2 hours before surgery as compared to the protocol now that a patient should fast for up to 12 hours before a surgery. Clearfast, a carbohydrate rich Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) beverage. It speeds up the recovery after surgery and reduces the length of stay in hospitals. Eating before a surgery “relieves the body of stress from hunger”, described by a professor from Stanford University that have done research studies on presurgical beverages on bariatric surgery patients. The Chief Executive of the Clearfast, Dr. Lou Marsh, came up with the concept when she saw a need for the product. Clearfast consist of complex sugars call maltodextrin for a long lasting fullness effect for the client.

What does Clearfast mean to the CMN job? Labor, MNT, Reimbursement d/t short lengths of stays


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics GENIE Resource

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics GENIE Resource

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation and ConAgra Foods Foundation have developed a tool for dietitians to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of nutrition education programs that they have designed. Its name, “GENIE”, stands for “Guide for Effective Nutrition Intervention and Education”. This tool can serve as a resource for the development and improvement of nutrition programs. The website can serve as a quality improvement tool for CNMs to measure ways to improve performance. The website listed below has more information and videos explaining this tool. It also contains a link to the self-assessment checklist which is free to AND members. This is also a great resource to use in grant writing to determine if your program is strong enough to potentially receive funding.