Back to School

how to become a registered dieticain

 

It’s been my dream for a while now to become a registered dietician although I’m not sure I fully recognised how much I wanted to do it until I took a workshop with Lululemon in January 2014 where we had to envisage ourselves 5 years and 10 years from now. Then work backwards to the present day to work out how we were going to get there.

I saw myself in a warm kitchen in a nice town near a body of water, just back from a run, fixing myself a healthy breakfast before going to work. A work that I loved that involved teaching people about food and getting the most from it. A job that helped people become healthier and happier.

I wanted to become a nutritionist.

However the more research I did, I discovered that you don’t have to have a degree to be a nutritionist, in fact many online courses gave you the right to call yourself a nutritionist without a huge amount of proper training. This sounded sort of great except for the fact that I didn’t want to limit myself- I wanted the option of working in a hospital or with athletes to enhance their performance naturally, which you can’t (as far as I am aware) do without an accredited degree. I didn’t want to cut myself off by not having the right qualifications. So I started researching dietetics and speaking with those that I knew already working in the field.

It soon became clear that to become a Registered Dietician I would need to study chemistry and biology before I could even apply for a place on one of the respected dietetics courses. I had been recommended the Certificate of Higher Education in a Life Sciences for Subjects allied to Medicine by a friend and sent an application in March. I had an interview in May and enrolled to start the year long evening course in September (the day after the Berlin marathon).

how to become a registered dieticain

how to become a registered dietician

I’m a few weeks in to the course and it is heavy going. The twice weekly 3 hour classes are fast paced with plenty of homework and extra reading. Our labs remind me of why I dropped chemistry aged 15 in favour of humanities subjects. But I will keep working to achieve my goals.

I’ve been revising this week for a quiz as well as writing up my chemistry practical to hand in. My social life has already taken a hit but I’m hoping to find a balance between work, study, blogging, exercise and seeing friends (those with relevant science skills may be seen a little more often!!)

It’s going to be tough but anything worth having is worth working for.

If you could study again, what would it be for? Is there anything you really want to do/learn? Do you have any advice for studying as a mature student? (that makes me feel old!!)

how to become a registered dieticain

Day in the Life

I love reading ‘Day in the Life’ posts, to see how different, or similar people’s daily lives are to mine. I thought I would share a day with you, this one is from the week before the Berlin Marathon, and shows a pretty average day at work.

6am- Alarm goes, get up, and dressed in running stuff that I put out the night before. Make a cup of tea and grab a banana to eat on the tube. Pick up the bag of work clothes that is packed and ready to go.

6.20 am- Get on the tube to go to a Bloggers running and bikram yoga event hosted by HumanRace and Hot Bikram Yoga.

Hot Bikram Yoga London

7.05am- arrive at the Hot Bikram Yoga in London Bridge, and meet up with Megan the PR from Human Race who chats a little about their new Winter Run, a 10K around London in Feb. It sounds awesome, and I make a mental note to add it to my race calendar.

7.15am- A group of four bloggers, including myself, set off on a 3.5 mile run with the run club leader from Hot Bikram Yoga. He takes us on a scenic tour over Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. He thinks we’re ridiculous for stopping to take photos whilst we run.

Tower Bridge London Run

 

Tower of London Run

8.10am- Back to the yoga studio, and whilst the other girls get ready for the class, I have to shower and change to head off to work.

9am- Quick catch up coffee with my boss that is on maternity leave, we both enjoy our first PSL (pumpkin spiced lattes) of the season- I always opt for just 1 pump of syrup to keep the flavour light and not too sweet.

Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte

 

Raspberry Overnight Oats

9.30am- Get to work, eat the Overnight Raspberry Oats that I prepared at home and have a cup of tea in the mug Sophie gave me the previous day whilst I check my emails.

10am-1pm- General work stuff; checking proofs, writing recipes, booking photographers for upcoming shoots.

1pm- Nip out to Carnaby Street to grab a salad and juice for lunch. I usually try to bring my lunch but I haven’t bought much food this week as we’re away for the weekend, and I have just been too busy to be organised enough to make lunches. Must do better in future.

Carnaby Street London

1.25pm- Back at my desk, continue to work whilst eating which isn’t ideal, but I know I have to leave bang on time today. My main task this afternoon is to proof read a major feature for our December issue, and to upload some copy for the February issue.

5.30pm- Leave work, get the tube to my friend Jo’s house for her to paint my nails for the Berlin Marathon. We’ve been emailing during the day discussing what images to have on the nails; a flag, a German beer, 26.2 and a moustache is all we’ve come up with.

Berlin Marathon Nails

8pm- Jo cooked us a delicious chicken and lentil curry which we eat infront of the Great British Bake Off. All I can think about afterwards is how much I want to eat a doughnut!

9.30pm- Get home, pack for Berlin and put together a few days worth of #chuckit piles to throw away. A group of us are taking part in The Minimalist Blog’s Min’s Game, where for 30 days you throw/donate/recycle items from your house and life that you don’t need and are effectively clutter. On the first day you throw away 1 thing, day 2 is two things and so on. I’m in Berlin for days 19, 20 and 21 so I get those piles ready, photograph them and put them in big bags/boxes ready to go.

10.30pm- Tom gets back from the football match he’s been watching and we go to bed. Actually later than usual, I love going to bed early and getting up early, so we usually go to bed around 10pm most nights.

What is your normal day like? Do you like to get up early and go to bed early, like me? Or you a start late or end late?

Climbing the Pitons

Hiking the Pitons Fit Holiday

Hiking the pitons St Lucia Fit Holiday

Although I knew I’d given Hiking the Pitons as one of our activity options, we had both come to St Lucia completely unprepared for hiking. We didn’t have a backpack, hats, snacks or water bottles, and no idea of the intensity of the climb.

After a 2 hour drive along some of the windiest, most terrifying roads, we reached the base of Gros Piton, the larger but easier to climb of the two Pitons. We borrowed a backpack from our tour leader, and filled it with water and cameras.

The climb itself was 2 miles up, and they estimated it would take about 2 hours, with four mini stops along the way.

I think we weren’t the only ones who had underestimated the intensity of the hike, as people dropped out along the way, preferring to wait for us at the quarter and halfway points for us to pick them up on the way back down.

Hiking the Pitons St Lucia Fit Holiday

 

Hiking the Pitons St Lucia Fit Holiday

The views at the stopping points were huge incentive for us to keep going, despite the sweat pouring off us. The 31 degrees and high humidity meant we were all dripping almost as soon as we started.

The hike is classed as moderate to hard, with the first half as the moderate bit. This includes some quite steep scrambling over boulders and grabbing at trees to hoist yourself up to the next bit with some interludes of flatter parts. The second section is steeper with no flat bits. I didn’t snap any photos on the way up because my camera was in the bag, and I definitely needed both hands free.

Reaching the top was incredible- with views across the North of St Lucia, and most importantly a light breeze to help us cool off. I sat enviously watching others tuck into their snacks wishing we’d brought something to eat, until a lovely British couple shared their bananas with us. Word to the wise- bring snacks or at least cash to bring snacks, street vendors don’t take credit cards!!

Hiking the Pitons St Lucia Fit Holiday

 

Hiking the Pitons St Lucia Fit Holiday

 

hiking the pitons

 

Hiking the Pitons St Lucia Fit Holiday

The way back down was easier on the lungs, but just as tough on the legs and took even more concentration. It took us around an hour and a half to descend the mountain, watching out for every foot hole to ensure we didn’t twist an ankle.

It was such relief to make it back to the base, and head off in the van for some lunch. I was absolutely starving. Our guide took us to a local cafe overlooking the Pitons so that we could admire our morning’s work whilst eating Caribbean cuisine, before a dip in the sea.

Hiking the Pitons St Lucia Fit Holiday

If you’re in St Lucia and after a challenge, then climbing Gros Piton is brilliant, however do not underestimate how tough it is. The guide told us that our group did it faster than most, however I do think that a few signed up without the level of fitness required for it.

When we returned back to our hotel, Sandal’s Le Toc, there was a freshly run bath waiting for us to jump in to soak before our massages (the best planned massage ever!). Tom had his first massage, and I think he enjoyed it, although he was horrified by how much they cost. Completely worth it in this case! Our evening was rounded out by an incredible 5 course meal on the beach- I would gladly hike Gros Piton again for the amazing post-hike treatment!

Honestly…

Hiking the Pitons Fit Holiday

On the internet we often present ‘our best life’. The things that are photoshopped, the workouts we smashed, the carefully constructed meals and outfits, and while that is what people want to see (I certainly look out for beautiful pictures of food and fashion), it’s often not an honest reflection of that person’s life. So here are a few honest truths from me to you. Thank you for reading.

  • I just got back from the most amazing holiday, yet my stress and anxiety meant that I don’t think I ever fully relaxed. It’s keeping me awake at night, and is really horrible at the moment, and the more I think about it, the more I stress out.
  • Our flat is being redecorated at the moment, which is really exciting, however it means that Tom and I have had to move out for a month. I am currently swapping between staying at a friend’s house and staying with my parents.
  • I haven’t really done any exercise, certainly no running since the Berlin Marathon 3 weeks ago.

Running the Berlin Marathon

  • I’ve written up a couple of blog posts but uploading the pictures is driving me mad- they keep having errors.
  • I really want to run the Chicago Marathon 2015, or at least enter the ballot and cross my fingers, but Tom has said no to a marathon next year. He finds it quite stressful, and to be honest training for a marathon puts quite a lot of strain on our relationship and tests his patience. I wish it didn’t but that is the truth.
  • Tom got into the London Marathon for next year (ironically). He has said he categorically does not want me to run it as this is his marathon, his time to shine. Completely fair enough, but I am sad that we can’t do my hobby together. He doesn’t want my advice on training, which I think could get quite stressful in March/April.
  • I am a little scared of the dark, but love sleeping in a total blackout.
  • I love my new WordPress site, but I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing on the backend. I keep having to text Leah to ask for help.
  • I’d really love to develop my blog further, but it feels really overwhelming and I’m not sure where to start. It’s quite scary to put yourself out there, and even scarier to think that no-one is reading content that takes a lot of time and effort to produce.
  • I want to run 1.45 half marathon next year.
  • I’ve just finished The Minimalist’s #minsgame http://www.theminimalists.com/game/, where you throw one thing away on the first day, two things the second and so on for 30 days. We played as a group of 6, and I am ashamed yet a little proud to say that I was the only one to last all 30 days. I threw away/recycled/sold a lot of crap, including more clothes than I care to mention. The sad thing is, I could keep going with this. I have hoarded things for years, my clutter has taken over the flat and enough is enough. Tom hates my mess, I hate my mess. Time for more minimalist living.

tower of books

  • I’ve streamlined my wardrobe and still have too many clothes, yet I always feel like I have nothing to wear. (A common dilemma.)
  • I worry that the more I change, the more distant I’ve become from some of my friends. I hate it.
  • I want to be nicer, more patient, kinder.
  • I love quotes. They make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. And sometimes make me cry.

Kindness quotes

Fueling for a Marathon: Eating in Berlin

Before stepping on a plane to somewhere new, I will have usually googled places to eat a few hundred times, and written down a list of options for breakfast lunch and dinner. This doesn’t always work out, as often they are fully booked, closed for refurbishment with no notice on their website (thanks Fraulein burger) or just not convenient when we are actually hungry. And sometimes I get a little stroppy about this.

But other times it works out perfectly, or you receive a great recommendation whilst in the new city/place and you end up having the best cinnamon bun of your life.

Breakfast in Berlin

For Breakfast/Coffee: Zeit Fur Brot 

This place was so very trendy, with Berlin’s equivalent of yummy mummy’s enjoying breakfast with their perfectly behaved babies in tow. Inside the grey painted, Scandi looking, urban cafe were rows of cinnamon buns of varying flavours, some of which we could translate from German, many we couldn’t. Other options included Birker muelsi (huge, you can share), sandwiches, pretzels and freshly baked bread from the onsite bakery. The coffees are also delicious, although the place to go for the best coffee in Berlin is apparently The Barn- one of those slightly pretentious, actually not open when you want coffee, sort of places. We tried, it was closed.

Breakfast in Berlin, Berlin Marathon

Breakfast in Berlin

Breakfast in Berlin, Berlin Marathon

For Burgers: Shiso Burger

After unsuccessfully trying Fraulein burger, we stumbled upon Shiso burger, a Korean burger joint around the corner. It was buzzing, which we took as a good thing and joined the queue. Burgers, fries, edamame and the like are served promptly in bamboo steamers. Service is friendly, and if you don’t mind potentially sharing a table with strangers, then the queue moves quickly. My Bulgogi burger, rather than a patty, was tender strips of beef marinated in a slightly spicy Korean chilli sauce. Delicious, and great value.

Berlin marathon fueling

Berlin Marathon fueling

berlin marathon fueling

Berlin Marathon Fueling

For organic, veggie, sustainable food: Lokal 

I’d been recommended this by a few people on twitter, so booked it as a post-marathon dinner treat. The portion sizes were epic, and I couldn’t finish any of my courses, despite having run a marathon that day. The food was delicious, fresh tasting, with real flavour in the veggies. There were some interesting combinations, and plenty of raw food, which wasn’t my Mum’s cup of tea, but I loved it. The staff were incredibly friendly, and impressed with the medal (come on, the only time you can wear it is that evening)! I’d highly recommend Lokal for a romantic supper or a boozy dinner with friends.

berlin marathon fuelling

DSC_0459

Berlin Marathon fueling

For Schnitzel and Beer: Augustiner am Gendermenmarkt

After the marathon, we congregated at Augustiner am Gendermenmarkt for the best salty schnitzel, chips, beer and coca-cola of my life. German food never tasted so good. Located within walking distance of the marathon finish line, and right next to Ashley’s hotel, it was the perfect meeting point for post-marathon recovery food. The service wasn’t brilliant, but everyone arriving with a medal got a rowdy round of applause from those dining. Its classic German menu had everything you could possibly want from Pork knuckle and sauerkraut to currywurst and pretzels, plus a huge selection of Steiner’s.

 

Ashley and me with our medals!

Berlin Marathon runners