What has she gots in her pocketses?

To a clinician, the lab coat is generally more than a mere uniform or a symbol of status.

It’s a savior (from slightly-too-short-short-in-the-back shirts), a necessary layer of warmth (I’m always freezing), and…

a place to stash everything we might possibly need for the course of a working day.

Yesterday, I accidentally left my pockets at home after washing my lab coat.

I won’t be repeating that mistake.

As it was, I had to run home to grab my lab coat pockets’ contents. I just couldn’t do my job without them.

What do I keep in my pockets that’s so essential for my work?

Contents of my pockets

  • My name tag, telling residents and coworkers who I am and why (or why not) to talk to me.
  • Black pens for signing charted documents
  • Mechanical pencils for taking down notes FROM charts
  • A highlighter to highlight who I need to see that day or when a certain piece of government paperwork is due
  • A sharpie to mark out confidential information I’ve recorded in my planner or to write notes for the kitchen staff
  • A paperclip, or several, for corralling paperwork
  • My calculator, one of the most important tools of my job, useful for calculating how much energy or protein someone is actually taking in or what their approximate needs might be or whether the weight loss they just experienced was significant or not
  • Chapstick to lubricate dry lips before talking to residents. (If I’m well hydrated and my lips are moist, residents can hear me better.)
  • A hairnet to cover my hair for a quick trip into the kitchen.

That’s what I keep in my pockets. So tell me, what tools are essential for you to do your job? What do you keep in your pockets (or purse or diaper bag or whatever)?

B3,RD: Am I hungry?

Confession: I, Rebekah Menter, Registered Dietitian, don’t just eat when I’m hungry. Sometimes, I eat because I’m tired, because I’m stressed, or because I’m bored–even though I’m not hungry.

And that’s okay.

I attended a fantastic session at FNCE that dealt with this very issue. Megrette Fletcher, RD and Michelle May, MD spoke on “Improving Self-Management with Mindful Eating.”

Megrette Fletcher Michelle May

Ms. Fletcher and Dr. May had a number of insights for dietitians, but one thing Dr. May said struck me as being worth sharing with my readers. She encouraged us (and our clients) to ask ourselves one question before eating.

Before eating, ask yourself: “Am I hungry?”

Many of you are probably rolling your eyes right now, thinking “I’ve heard this before–Eat only when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full.”

But that isn’t what I said. I said, “Before eating, ask yourself: ‘Am I hungry?'”

The point is not that you only eat when you’re hungry. The point is that you are aware of whether you are hungry or not when you’re eating. The point is KNOWING. The point is being mindful.

Sometimes, we eat because we’re tired, because we’re stressed, or because we’re bored–even though we’re not hungry. But none of us should eat without knowing why we’re eating.

We can talk about when to eat and when not to later. For now, let’s just focus on being aware.

Today’s B3,RD challenge is simply to ask yourself before eating: “Am I hungry?”

I’m home

After a jam-packed weekend in Denver at FNCE (Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo), I am now home.

I talked politics with Jeff, spent way too much money on food, attended interesting lectures, got scads of free junk, and even drove the van for a while.

I did NOT jump out of an airplane, talk to a homeless person, drink alcohol, or complain to a waiter (as others in my group did).

I graded papers, collected CPEUs (Continuing Professional Education Units), schmoozed with UNL alums, saw some of my internship preceptors, watched the unfortunate football game, and slept on Dr. K’s floor.

I attended a great session on mindful eating (more on a B3-RD post later), and an almost worthless session on blogging (it was created for someone who had little to no awareness of social media). I learned about nutrition for kids with Asperger’s and about the development of the American Dietetic Association’s Evidence Analysis Library. I cleared up a question about high fructose corn syrup (look forward to this one on a B3-RD post) and collected an awful lot of simply thick (I’ll probably post about this too–even though it’s unlikely to be useful for you personally.)

All in all, it was a good conference. I enjoyed the intellectual stimulation, the company, the food, the room, the drive (except maybe the drive back). But now I’m pretty much pooped.

Thankful Thursday: FNCE details

Today I’m thankful…

  • that I have a ride to FNCE (and that I’m not the one doing the driving!)
  • that I have a roommate at FNCE (even if I’ve never met her before.)
  • that I can get CPE (Continuing Professional Education) for attending FNCE (thanks to my newly attained registered status.)
  • that I didn’t end up having on responsibilities at church this week (how often does that happen?)

And, apart from FNCE? I’m thankful…

  • that I woke up just in time for Journal Club this morning–despite forgetting to set both my alarms.
  • that it isn’t quite so cold today
  • that the dishes are all done (Thanks for finishing up, Casandra!)
  • that I currently have no fines on my library card.
  • that I’m starting to have a little more time to do things.
  • that God is faithful!