Reflection: Week Five


We have officially made it to the halfway point! It’s been very interesting seeing all of our progress with the end in sight. I can tell that our last few weeks are going to be buzzing with activity, with the client satisfaction survey coming in, daily calls to make, finalizing the menu, and creating the intern video!

Van counts and temperature testing this week had an added component as we included our new Nutrition Services Manager, showing her what we’ve been doing, why, and how. There were also lots of site visits last week, and I got to drive to Crowley and evaluate the meal distribution there, which is always fun. Any time we can get out of the office is very much appreciated.

There was a speaker this week on chronic disease & food insecurity, and her presentation was entirely research-based with tons of evidence to back up every point. This was a drastic difference from last week’s speaker and the entire cohort loved it.

Another fun part of the week was celebrating Independence Day with the other interns! We all went to Caitlin’s house in Plano where her parents cooked out and we swam, played volleyball, and had a great time. The next day drive to work was a little rough, but it was worth it because it was my 20th birthday! My parents took me to my favorite restaurant for dinner and got me a bunch of travel-related items for my upcoming trip to Europe, so it was a really nice day.

Clarice led a discussion on the Whole30 diet on Thursday that I found interesting. I’ve had a lot of friends at Montevallo do the Whole30 diet but I had never done research on it, and now I feel informed enough to offer my professional opinion on the diet. Honestly, it’s not the worst diet I’ve seen, and with some modifications could become a lifestyle rather than just a 30 day ‘cleanse’. For example, the Whole30 rules eliminate grains, dairy, legumes, refined sugar, alcohol, and junk foods/baked goods. I admire encouraging fresh fruits and vegetables, but complete elimination of important food groups isn’t necessarily the best way to push to focus back on to whole foods. In addition, eating one cookie wouldn’t completely erase all of the good things a person has eaten, simply because that’s not the way the body works.

Another principle of Whole30 is to avoid making regular foods into something Whole30 approved, like a cauliflower pizza crust or banana pancake, because that will just “make you crave the real thing”. I disagree with that, because finding healthy substitutions in things I already enjoy is a really fun part of studying nutrition for me. While I recognize that it may ‘work’ for some people, I wish that popular diets had more flexibility and promoted healthy eating from an evidence-based standpoint.

Overall, this week had more highs than lows and we got a lot of things done. (40 six month phone calls in one day!) Another week down!

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