Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday Mantra: Do What Makes You Happy

It's Monday again and I worked this past weekend, but that's okay! I spent the weekend doing things I love and one can't complain with that :)

National Nutrition Month continues and this Wednesday also happens to be National Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) Day! I think ya'll have figured out by now that I LOVE being a registered dietitian, but there are certainly days and aspects of my job that are undesirable and not fun too. In fact, if we're confessing, I never really aspired to do any of my current main job responsibilities (clinical RD & food service manager). When I jumped into this current job, it was with a leap of faith that I would learn a lot and make the most of it ... and I feel as if I have by incorporating many of the things I do love and that make me happy.

Let's talk about what I do love, shall we?

I love blogging and seeing where this adventure has taken me. Blogging and the recipes and photography that goes along with it fulfills the creativity that I have missed in the past few years. Throughout high school and early college, I was big into scrapbooking and all that artsy stuff... but life got busy and it's hard to drag all those materials around when you're moving often. So this blog has evolved into my personal 'scrapbook'... an outlet for the creative me and and also a great way to organize my thoughts, kitchen creations and share nutrition outreach messages that would otherwise go untold.

Photography is nothing new to me... I have always had a heart for pictures and creative shots, props, angles, lighting, filters, etc. Certainly technology makes all those things more convenient and fun, but I am also learning and growing in terms of my skills and it has been fun to cultivate that passion. I've enjoyed experimenting with photo-editing programs more recently!

Another nutrition-related passion I have been cultivating is regarding wellness outreach. While this is not part of my current job description, at the recommendation of my very wise supervisor I have been making the time to do it anyways. I look forward to my monthly Chef Center Stage cooking demos and Food for Fuel lectures, and lately I've taken on the task of writing an article for our monthly newsletter, making nutritional handouts, and being the newsletter editor for the SVAND (Southwest Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics). I love sitting down and talking with my residents, educating them on proper nutrition and helping them to develop a deeper understanding of the role their daily food choices play in their overall well-being.

While many of these things are 'extras' and take up precious time and energy that I could be putting towards the tasks I AM responsible for, the point is these are things that I LOVE doing and contribute towards my overall job satisfaction. They balance out the monotonous tasks (like that never ending pile of paperwork on my desk) in making Kristen happy... and that's what matters most :)

Today kicks off the first of many events I am hosting/ participating in to celebrate NNM and I can't wait! I'll be giving a short talk on the importance of protein followed by a food activity (duh) in the form of making yummy greek yogurt parfaits :) 

  • March 10- Power Up! With Protein (Assisted Living Residents)
  • March 12- Savor the Flavor of Eating Right with Herbs & Spices (Independent Living & Employees)
  • March 18- Southwest Virginia Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics Spring Meeting (hosted at my workplace!)
  • March 26- National Nutrition Month Theme Meal (LTC/ALF Residents)

And while this post is mainly about nutrition, it would not be complete without a shout out to my first love, running! Lucky me, I get to celebrate that this week also with the Shamrock Marathon on Sunday! I've been waiting 1.5 years to toe the line for another marathon... and I can't wait to both "run happy" and push limits and see what I can do!

Food for Thought:

What do you do that makes you happy? 

Better yet, how can you do MORE of it?!

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