Friday, January 21, 2011

The BIG 21

Good morning, nutrition nerds!

I have blogged for 21 days straight!  And to think that I only blogged 5 times in the past 2 years, that's such a huge step!

You may have noticed that this site has not been updated since I got sick a few weeks ago.  I'm still coughing but other than that finally able to get back to normal.

During that time, I still kept up with my food photography mini-blogs on Tumblr - check 'em out!  I talked to my dear friend @sonnypatel last night and he wasn't able to see my posts when he clicked on the Tumblr link.  If you can't, let me know!  My profile should be public and you should be able to see them.

I'm about to start a long 10-day process of moving and organizing in my new apartment!  My blogs will probably be short until February, but I'm BACK!

Love to you all! - Jenn

P.S.  Something beautiful to inspire you this morning: Inspiration in a Parking Garage

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Same Story, Different Day

Another day, another missed blogging opportunity :S No Internet on top of this virus is not helping!

Today is going to be a better day - I can feel it!

Hope you had a great start to your week yesterday!


Sunday, January 9, 2011


Hi nutrition nerds! How did three days pass me by?  I've been posting on Tumblr all weekend and completely spaced on also blogging here.  I've been sick and, apparently, forgetful.  Forgive me?  ;)

I'll try to do a summary post tomorrow so you can see all the cooking and food photography I've been practicing while trying to lay low and get better.

Horrible things in the news this weekend.  Let's hope for a more positive week.  Love and hugs!

The Nutrition Nerd

Thursday, January 6, 2011


That is literally all I can think of right now :) Now I'm off to catch those few winks.

Really cool blog post should be finished tomorrow. Excited to share it!

Night! Zzzzzzzzzzzz

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Featured Nutritionist?! :) :)

So cool!  I was featured today on Organized Wisdom.  Super, super, super totally rad!

And who knew that someone could write something so awesome about me?!

"5. @NutriNerd Jennifer Jackson, MPH, specializes in preventive medicine and is an MS/RD student 'creating my own brand of public health and nutrition.' She writes a blog and explores nutrition resources, specific foods, recipes, and incorporating nutrition into your way of thinking."

It's so nice that they totally get me!  What a great start to the day.  Thanks, Julie and @organizedwisdom!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Car free

Something I've always wanted to do is be car free.  Today I found the perfect apartment to let me park my car (not ready to fully give it up yet) and be a 5 minute walk from the metro.  Perfect.

Now I'm one step close to shedding the car altogether and being a happier, healthier me.

After an exhausting day, tonight's post will be short.  I can still feel the adrenaline pumping, but it's time for some chamomille tea and a hot bath. :)

Anyone else trying to be car free?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Eat in Month Challenge 2011

One month without going out to eat, buying Starbucks, purchasing anything from the vending machine or movie concession stand, and cooking and preparing everything for myself.  Although I mostly cook for myself and pride myself in my ability to sneak homemade snacks in to the movie theater ... I didn't realize how much I spent on food outside my house and how often I did it now that I'm back in school.  Once I heard about @thechiclife's Eat in Month 2011 Challenge, I was in!

It's day 3 and since I made homemade green chile stew last Friday I've had plenty of motivation to eat in.  One of my goals for 2011 is to improve my photography.  So I've started a Tumblr to help me do just that.  They're only on my iPhone camera so far (and man are they rough), but I have a new camera ready for using!  It's so fun to combine multiple goals (practicing more of what I preach, and photography) into one bigger goal.  This green chile stew is also meat-free so I can still use it for Meatless Monday, too.  I love multi-tasking!!! :)

Thank you to @thechiclife for today's motivation and inspiration :)

I'm off to my first day of classes for Winter 2011 quarter.  Can't wait to share more info with all you nutrition nerds!

Thanks for reading.  You make my day every time you do :)

The Nutrition Nerd

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A healthy reminder ...

I was just tweeting back and forth with Andy Bellatti (if you do not follow him on twitter - @andybellatti - then you must!) about nutrition class requirements in medical school.  A staggering 75% of medical schools do not even require a single nutrition class in their curriculum. Most of the remaining 25% that do only require medical students to complete a whopping 25 hours.  In the discussion that follows this post on his Facebook page, Andy also described that 40% of US hospitals have a fast food chain in their cafeterias.

Although this has me scrambling to think positively, it reminded me of why I am studying to be a Registered Dietitian and why I left my last two careers behind.  I used to work at an unnamed government set of institutes with the same initials as Nutrients Inwardly Heal (hint hint).  I was fresh out of college and excited to start my career in cancer research as a post-baccalaureate researcher.  My institute was inside of the main hospital building and I ate at the same cafeteria as the doctors and used the same money from drug companies to find cures for cancer.  It was awful.  Not only was I not seeing patients (as promised), but I felt completely unfulfilled.  Not to mention the health habits of almost everyone I worked with seriously left something to be desired.  Did they not know the same risk factors I did?! I just didn't want my mentors to be people who did not practice what they preached.  On top of the individual health habits, there were at least 5 different fast food chains in the basement cafeteria and a fattier, unhealthier selection in the "faster" cafeteria for hospital staff only.

As part of my job, I attended a weekly brown bag seminar.  I got to see the best of the best in every aspect of cancer research once a week.  It was the highlight without a doubt.  Then, an expert from UC Berkely came to our brown bag.  He was not a cancer drug researcher, but a nutrition researcher!  He spent the next hour completely blowing my mind and relating nutrition to the prevention of everything that we worked on in our labs.  Sadly, a much smaller number than usual asked questions and many of those I thought needed to hear his thoughts the most were in a rush to leave the auditorium. This is not to say that clinical cancer research in the laboratory is not valuable (because it most definitely is), but this was the turning point when I realized that I was at the wrong end of the health spectrum.  I remember feeling lost at the time, but also incredibly focused and motivated.  It was a strange dicotomy.

I switched gears (albeit with the complete support of my PI, who saw the passion in my eyes :) and applied to and attended an MPH program on the west coast in Preventive Nutrition.  I left that program in 2008 with the knowledge and skills I wanted to start my career in nutrition.  I knew I had more school to go, but wanted to get experience while I began the clinical portion of my education. I began working at the local children's hospital for an RD and thought - THIS IS IT!  I'm at a great DPD (Didactic Program in Dietetics) program and I'll get experience while I'm in school without loans!  This is the life. Unfortunately, having no clinical experience meant that I could not enter rooms where patients were being seen, I could not sit in with the 7-part multidisciplinary team (that I had taken the job to get experience with) to debate cases, and I could not attend clinical nutrition seminars because they weren't in my "job description."  And as many of you know from working in salaried hospital jobs, 40 hours quickly turns into 50 then 60 (and sometimes 70).  There just isn't enough staff, money or time in the non-profit world sometimes.  My school suffered and I almost put school on hold for this job that was taking me away from what I knew I should be doing (and what I was good at!).

Then I started using my Twitter again like I had in the beginning - as a way to enhance my education while connecting with those around me that share my passions.  Not only that, but sometimes I learn more from Twitter than I do from the classes I pay for.  I knew I needed to make a change and do things my way.  I was so fortunate, again, to have the support of my coworkers and mentors at my job. I've realized that being a little chatter box can be very helpful - people know who you are and what you're about.  They can tell when I'm happy and fulfilled ... or not.

I found the strength to quit my job, shell out my savings for school, and I haven't looked back.  Now I'm ready to make blogging a priority in 2011 (while still using Twitter, of course!).  It's only the second day of 2011 and I already feel like it's going to be a great year.  And becuse I said that, it definitely will be!

This is kind of a rambling post, but I think I really needed to have this conversation today.  I feel completely refocused and re-energized ... just in time for the first day of the quarter tomorrow.

Thanks, Andy!

The Nutrition Nerd

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Seems like the absolute perfect date to start my 1st of many consecutive blogs.

I'm not a big fan of New Year's resolutions (mostly because I never keep them), but I am a big fan of planning!  I'll write more about this tomorrow ... but my big plan of 2011 is blogging every day!  Even if it's only a single word that I can write, I'm going to do it.  I want more confidence in my own writing and more practice.  So let's do this!

Tomorrow's post will be all about the rest of the steps towards my goals so you all can help keep me accountable.  2011 is going to be my year of practicing what I preach.  I'm giddy with the prospect of it!

Love and hugs to you and yours!

- Jenn