I’ll take coffee in my veins and several dark chocolate bars in my purse. Kidding… kind of.

It’s hard to believe that my grad school years are coming to close. This semester I had a packed schedule Monday-Wednesday, so most weeks have been me working my butt of Saturday-Wednesday and being lazy Thursday-Friday. I am certain that I would have been less stressed if I spread it out a bit more, but my brain hits a wall after a while.

Today I thought I’d share a little bit of what I’ve been doing in school lately. Most of these are projects that are do this week or next. Finals start April 28th! :O PS If me nerding out to nutrition bores you, hopefully my food tomorrow will not! 

Presentation on oncology & vitamin therapy: last night my group went over a handful of research articles on this topic. We found that while antioxidant  vitamins (vit. C & E) may have the capability of reducing side effects of chemotherapy, they may also decrease the efficacy of treatment. Vitamin D supplementation may be able to reduce inflammation in cancer patients. This is a hot field of study at the present time and unfortunately not enough clinical trials are being done (they are expensive & timely), but it will be very interesting to follow as the knowledge base expands.

Research paper on B-vitamins & depression: this paper was a literature review of primary studies on the topic. The studies are mostly conflicting and there is no strong evidence to suggest that B-vitamin supplementation can treat depression. However, low folate levels can lead to decreased effectiveness of anti-depressants and depressed individuals tend to have low folate levels and sometimes vitamin B12 levels. If there is a deficiency, correcting the deficiency may improve depressive symptoms. Most of these studies are correlation studies and not causal studies. Depression can lead to a decreased appetite which could be the cause of the low serum levels of the B-vitamins.

Article review on soccer players & body composition: For my sports nutrition class, as a grad student I had to complete articles reviews on specific topics. The most recent topic was body composition. The study I reviewed found that soccer players of different field positions had varying body compositions, suggesting that there is no one ideal body type for all soccer positions. Goal keepers tended to have higher amounts lean body mass as well as be taller and heavier.

Nutrition assessment for national guard member: This was probably my favorite project. Each person in my class was assigned a national guard member to do a nutrition assessment and counseling session with. The sessions were very basic and were more like a nutrition overview, since we aren’t qualified to be giving out nutrition prescriptions. My ‘client’ had a pattern of consuming a lot of fast food and found it difficult to get any fruits/vegetables in, so I found some cool handouts to share along on those topics, but also plan to share a few tips for healthier eating overall.This project made me excited for the day I am a nutrition counselor.

Nutrition education project: My friend Kelly and I made an educational poster for our nutrition education class. Our poster gave information on “healthy snacking for busy teens” (will show you the final result asap!). I am glad Kelly was my partner, because while I am a fine writer, she is way more artsy. She made our poster look real cute.

Lesson plan for daycare workers: Another project Kelly and I teamed up on was designing a lesson plan that would assist daycare workers in learning how to fit 60 minutes of physical activity for their children into each day. This project reminded me of ones that I did as a public health major in undergrad. The field of health promotion is so rewarding.

Business plan for Healthy Chef, a business offering cooking classes & grocery store tours: the fun part about this project is that I get to do it with 3 of my close friends. It’s neat making up all the details of a business, especially one that is similar  to what I would love to do one day. The financial stuff, however, is another story.

Research paper on mothers with eating disorders: I haven’t made it very far on this one, but I plan to explore the effects on daughters who grow up with mothers with eating disorders. The research I’ve found so far is really interesting, I will definitely share more once I am done.

Well…. I’d say that’s enough for now. Even though school is often stressful and sometimes the work feels like a drag, I am truly grateful I get to study and grow in a field I am passionate about. Digging through research has helped to stretch my brain, while these projects are helping to refine my skills. However, it’s no lie, the finish line looks awfully shiny!

So you tell me-

Do you have a memory of school project or paper that stands out to you in your mind as something significant in your life?

38 thoughts on “Caffeinated

  1. I would love to hear the results of your research on mothers and eating disorders. I’m also curious about all your other projects, as nutrition, body composition, and the human body in general. I’ve never heard that about B vitamins and depression before, and that’s actually really interesting. You can do IT Kate!!! I’m loving following along on your journey.

  2. So fascinating!!! And how cool is it that you got to do some nutrition counseling! I can’t wait to hear the results of some of your other projects. Good luck on this home stretch!!!

  3. I love to hear about all these – you sure are busy, but all is fascinating to me! I think the most significant project I did in grad school was planning an intervention in a low SES area outside of Raleigh – we had to do key informant interviews and take lots of day trips to research our “intervention.” Though it was only a class project, we were implementing physical activity projects for kids at the YMCA after school daycare centers, and I think it would be a great real life intervention strategy!

    1. That sounds like such a fun project. I love the projects that translate to the actual world. The interview aspect is especially cool. We talk so much about needs assessments, the few that I have done haven’t been super involved like that.

  4. WOW! You are so busy yet manage to stay so poised and so calm. You really amaze me. Caffeine in the veins sounds like something I need. Your nutrition guard project sounds so cool and congrats for ALMOST being done your years of grad school! What are the next plans in your journey? 🙂

      1. HOLY amazing! I feel so proud for you and you should definitely be super, super proud of yourself 🙂 All the hard work is paying off.
        I look forward to seeing what you do in the near and distant future!

  5. I have to say that your research in health is a lot more interesting than what my husband shares with me about dental school! It sounds like you’ve been busy, but at least it sounds like you’re enjoying a lot of it!

  6. I find this all so very interesting. I definitely went to nutrition school – for a year and a half – because I had a genuine passion for it. It just didn’t end up being my life calling I think. So I’ll have to resort to living through those like you sharing their recent studies!! 🙂 What’s coolest about these studies is that a lot of them seem so “hands on” and very very practical – which I think is so necessary in this last part of your education to really start getting you into what the career will/can look like. The fact you got to work with/interview people outside the school must have been so fun and interesting.
    Was the “Healthy Chef” business project for an existing business or one you guys made up!? Its brilliant! And the Daycare physical activity lesson plan should also be a real thing, if it isn’t already.
    Sending you all the caffeinated vibes as you plow through this last chapter!! Good luck!!! (and have fun)

    1. Good for you for following your passion!!
      I love the hands-on aspects of these assignments. Learning to critique research articles has been super helpful too.
      Health Chef is a made up business! I wish it was mine though 🙂

  7. Is it weird that I squeeled a bit when I read you were studying soccer player bodies? Cause I totally did 😉 As someone who has played soccer since she was 8, I know first hand the differences of a soccer player in terms of bodies and strengths. That must’ve been a fascinating study though. Just further proof that there is no one size fits all body!!

  8. All of this sounds so interesting. Would love to learn more about children’s moms who had EDs. Best of luck with the rest of the semester- we are almost done!! xoxo

  9. I wrote a 50 page paper for my Obesity and Society class about the impact of food marketing and advertising to children and how that has contributed to the obesity epidemic. I was so into it and fascinated that I could have kept going! Nothing gets me fired up than companies tricking kids and making them sick. All your projects sounds really interesting. Good luck with the final push

  10. Wow you are definitely very occupied. It seems that your nutrition assessment with the national guard is very similar to something I have done! I met with a “patient” in a simulation center who was wheel chair bound and had poor access to food and had to assess his nutrition and perform a teaching intervention, definitely stressful but definitely helped me a lot!
    Good luck with all of this, when do you finish school officially?

  11. It’s hard to say which of your projects sound the most exciting because I genuinely think all do. However, that last one in here – mothers with EDs – as I’ve been contemplating to write an article [not blog-related] about it for quite some time myself. Or rather pregnancy of women with [past or present] eating disorders.
    Also amazing that you got to work with a national guard as an actual client already. I hope you’ll share some more about at least some of these projects when you’ve got a little more time again.

  12. I find all of this fascinating. Gah I miss school…
    I chuckled at the soccer project because I remember having to sub for goalie in intramural soccer (I’m barely 5’3 and petite) and this giant of a girl (don’t mean that negatively, just factually compared to me!) came barreling into me and knocked the breath out of me! A goalie I am not… 😉
    The daycare and national guard projects are so interesting, too.
    Good luck on your finals!

  13. That`s the cool topics! I am huge nerd inside – I love scientific point of view on everything. Unfortunately, my education don`t relate with nutrition so I do research by myself in free time.

  14. Wow you are crazy busy! All these topics are so intriguing, especially the vitamin therapy and oncology. I am always interested in the latest health findings.

  15. I love this stuff–sometimes i wish i had studied this instead! Hope the rest of your work goes smoothly!! You can do it!

  16. Whoa, this sounds intense! I often consider studying something in dietetics after my bachelors but I don’t think my brain is equipped for the scientific nature of it. When does the semester end for you?

  17. Hi Kate! Loved this little glimpse at your school life! There’s so much variety in this recap alone which is something I love so so much about the field. Looking forward to updates 🙂

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