Student Blog

More Than Language Barriers

More Than Language Barriers

Esmeralda Martinez

            My fellow interns and I are a little over halfway through our internship. It has been a very busy yet fulfilling experience. I have been able to learn so much in the last ten months of the internship. While doing all the rotations and projects it can be a little stressful and at times difficult. What I have found that has been helpful for me when I feel stressed is to think about why I decided to pursue a nutrition career. What first drew me to nutrition was when I started to realize how many people around me, who I cared deeply for, were getting diagnosed with chronic conditions like hypertension and diabetes. I also saw how little resources they had available to them. As a Mexican American, I was able to see how many barriers there were for the Hispanic and Latino/a/x population. While the language barriers are one of the most noticeable barriers, there are others such as education, financial, and cultural barriers.

            While language barriers and some financial barriers could be somewhat cleared one of the barriers that I believe is the most difficult area to cover is the cultural barrier. It can be extremely difficult to understand others’ culture and how intertwined it is with food. One of the main examples I can think of to explain why I think this area is difficult is diabetes and carbs. Through my internship rotations, I have been able to see many diabetes patients. I have also had the opportunity to see many Hispanic and Latino/a/x diabetes patients. When I see them, I ask what they know about diabetes the answers I usually get are that they have sugar in their blood and that they should watch how much sugar they eat. After they answer the question, they usually tell me how they stopped drinking sodas and juices and that they do not put sugar in their coffee, but you still see how they have high glucose levels and their hemoglobin A1c is also high.

            What you may not realize is just how many carbohydrates are found in Mexican dishes. The amount of carbs in dishes is not surprising once you realize that maize originated in Mexico and was cultivated by the indigenous population more than seven thousand years ago. This led to maize or corn becoming one of the main ingredients in so many Mexican dishes. One of the Mexican main dishes is Mole which is a sauce made with peppers and it is usually thickened with masa (grounded maize) in other versions it can be thickened with nuts, seeds, and bread. The mole is then usually paired with rice and eaten with tortillas. The next dish is tamales which are usually done with again masa with salt and lard added and stuffed with sauce and meat. For breakfast, you can have chilaquiles which are pieces of tortilla smothered in sauce and cheese, or you can have eggs with tortilla, or you can make yourself a sandwich with eggs and beans, or you can just grab sweet bread and a cup of coffee. There are also quick recipes such as tortas which is a large piece of bread that can be stuffed with anything such as ham, chicken, or steak with cheese, beans, and lettuce. Of course, you have your tacos, burritos, and tostadas which are all again made with maize. Like each culture has its main side dish Mexico’s is tortillas and Mexican rice and beans which are all carbs that can be a challenge when you have diabetes.  

            It can be difficult to talk about lifestyle changes and have not only a cultural barrier but also a language barrier. It can also be difficult to make the changes when all you know how to cook are foods that contain a large number of carbs and all the recipes and resources are in another language. I saw how difficult it could be for someone to make such a drastic change in their eating habits, so that is why I decided to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). I wanted to be able to answer all the questions people had about their food and how it affected their health without them having to worry about a language barrier. I wanted to not only help individuals receive proper care to manage their condition but also to give them adequate preventative care. Now that we are halfway through the internship, I cannot help but feel a little anxious about starting my career in nutrition as an RDN, but I also feel excited about how I can help others find health using food as medicine.

at Tuesday, June 14, 2022

How to Reduce Food Waste

Posted by Alyssa Frisby at Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Everything is Not Black and White

Discussing the science of nutrition and food as well as favorite recipes, foods, and new items is a common conversation piece for many people, and certainly for dietitians and nutrition students. As a nutrition student, I often land in situations where my own experiences with food are the topic of conversation. People are often curious about my personal diet choices, and sometimes the pressure of eating a “perfectly healthy” diet can seem heavy. I’m curious if other nutrition students feel that family, friends, and colleagues take note of the foods we choose. If a dietitian or RD2B is the nutrition expert, do they assume we all have excellent nutrition choices? The reason I question this is because I often look at other healthcare practitioners and wonder if the dentist has a great dental hygiene routine, if the physical therapist has a well-rounded workout regimen, and if a mental health counselor can healthfully manage their own emotions. And, as a student, I wonder if the credibility of my profession is threatened if my words and personal choices do not align.

The more I think about this, the more I realize the answer is far from black and white. Our Code of Ethics emphasizes “core values of customer focus, integrity, innovation, social responsibility, and diversity.” Likewise, the Code states “Science-based decisions, derived from the best available research and evidence, are the underpinnings of ethical conduct and practice.” So, if integrity and social responsibility are some of the underpinnings of our discipline in nutrition, what does that mean for my everyday food choices? Maybe you have experienced the pressure of living a faultlessly healthy lifestyle, but our fault-filled personal experiences make us relatable. Often dietitians understand the difficulties of managing a healthy relationship with food because they have faced challenges in their personal food journey, and perhaps that is why they became a dietitian in the first place. Could there be a parallel between client trust and a dietitian’s ability to relate to the client struggle by sharing their personal food challenges? We are not perfect, but does that make our counsel more powerful?

The job of a dietitian is to ensure nutritional adequacy in all aspects of life and life stage. Whether you practice in community nutrition, clinical, or administrative dietetics, the responsibility of the RDN is to make the best decisions with the best evidence and uphold the Code of Ethics. So, while  ‘healthy’ is not  black and white, health promotion is the goal. Health encompasses physical, emotional, financial, intellectual, and social well-being. A healthy lifestyle might look different from one person to the next, even between nutrition professionals. In all things “healthy”, we can practice the same moderation and balance we encourage our clients to find. The grace and patience we extend to clients is the same grace and patience we can offer ourselves. A dietitian’s worth does not rely on their ability to practice unrealistically “perfect” nutrition habits. Credibility is complex, but maybe it is most heavily influenced by how we use personal experiences to relate to, encourage, and teach those who trust our professional ability to be the expert in nutrition. What are your thoughts on this?

Andie Montgomery UCA Dietetic Intern

at Friday, February 4, 2022

Student Scoop

This semester is off to a great start already! Among classes, studying, volunteering, jobs and day-to-day life, it is a busy time. One thing I am excited about is attending the annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE). This year FNCE will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania October 26-29th. This will be my second year attending and I look forward to all of the sessions, as well as the opportunities to network and meet other students. Given my role as Chair of the Student Advisory Committee for the Academy, I attend with little cost to me. Fellow students often ask how I obtained this position and I am excited to tell them that this opportunity presented itself because of my student membership with the Academy! As student liaison, I realize the importance of informing students about the many benefits with Academy membership. A list of those benefits includes:

  • Involvement in your school through the Student Liaison program
  • Application for scholarships
  • Access to the EatRight Careers job postings board
  • Subscription to Food & Nutrition Magazine
  • Access to Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (option to also download App)
  • Membership to your state affiliate
  • Access to Student Scoop, an exclusive newsletter for student’s to stay informed of relevant information
  • Opportunities to serve on Academy boards and gain leadership experience through networking

So, while you’re hitting the books hard and volunteering within your community, do not forget to take advantage of all that the Academy offers you. Look around on the website, contact local leaders for the Academy or practice groups you are interested in, and find ways to get involved. Many opportunities exist for involvement, leadership, and education, all of which can help you gain real world experience and volunteer or job opportunities. Remember, these can be added to an internship application or resume. Have a great semester!

Hilary Downey

University of Central Arkansas

Arkansas AND Student Liaison

Posted by Alicia Landry at Monday, September 16, 2019

Got Milk?!??!

Blog by: Alyssa Frisby
The popular Got Milk? advertising campaign from the 1990s may not have a strong following with today’s youth, but the message is something University of Central Arkansas dietetic interns Amanda Schluterman and Kristen Shores have not forgotten. After learning that a significant decline in milk consumption has been noted over several decades, Schluterman and Shores, along with UCA Dietetic Internship Director, Alicia Landry, Ph.D., RDN, LDN, SNS, began researching milk and dairy preferences and consumption in elementary school children.
“Whenever we were growing up, the food group that was pushed was dairy,” says Schluterman, about advertising campaigns from the 1990s-2000s. “There were celebrities drinking milk and advertisements really going for a ‘go drink milk’ message versus now, today, the message is all about eating your fruits and veggies,” she said.
Schluterman and Shores focused their dairy research on fourth and fifth grade students who participate in the National School Lunch Program. Schluterman asked students to complete a survey with questions about dairy preferences, and Shores used digital food photography to evaluate dairy consumption during school lunch periods.
The majority of the students (58.5%) in Schluterman’s study reported drinking milk 4-7 days per week. Out of the 82 complete responses collected, 36 students said they preferred to drink chocolate milk and 30 preferred unflavored milk. Shores studied data for 206 students and determined that the average dairy consumption at lunch was 1.15 servings, or 9.2 ounces.
Dairy foods provide many essential vitamins and minerals and are a key component in meals served as part of the National School Lunch Program. Milk offerings at the schools where research was conducted included non-fat and low-fat varieties of both unflavored milk and chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla flavors. Students go through the school food line and choose their own items for lunch. “It’s ‘Offer Versus Serve’ at these schools,” says Shores. “They have to stick to certain meal components to make the meal reimbursable.”
A school participating in the National School Lunch Program and using the Offer Versus Serve concept must offer five food components to students; meats/meat alternates, grains, fruits, vegetables, and milk. Students must select at least three components, one of which must be a ½ cup serving of fruits and/or vegetables, in order for the meal to be reimbursable. Milk, however, is not a required component for students to select.
“It could just be that perception is, okay I have to take a fruit or veggie, I don’t have to take a milk,” Schluterman says as she explains a popular opinion among students. Results from the research conducted show that the majority of students like milk and are consuming dairy both at home and at school, but the researchers say there was little promotion to include dairy on a lunch tray within the cafeteria.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that children, ages 9-12, consume three servings of fat-free or low-fat dairy products per day. “Milk is really important for this age group because they are still growing,” Schluterman says. She goes on to explain:
[Milk] has calcium that supports their bone and teeth structure and function. It’s got vitamin A which helps with bone growth, but also helps with their immunity and vision. It’s got vitamin D for bone growth, again it’s all about bone growth, and vitamin D also helps with calcium absorption. Magnesium is in milk and it helps with energy production and regulating calcium levels in the body. Potassium helps with cellular growth and helps maintain water balance. And then it has phosphorous, which is good for energy metabolism. Milk is a great source of protein, and is a balanced beverage as far as its protein, fat, and carbohydrate content. It’s got a little bit of everything, including B vitamins that help with red blood cells, wound healing, and immunity.
The researchers concluded that milk is consumed regularly both at school and at home. Ultimately, it is up to the students to choose milk as their beverage, and both women were surprised to see through Shores’ tray photography research that the entrées offered by the schools played a role in which days students selected milk. Schluterman mentioned that students could associate drinking milk with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich but may not think that milk goes with spaghetti, so they could choose a different beverage that day.
The United States Department of Agriculture suggests that parents and caregivers can be role models for children by drinking milk and eating dairy foods, and can show children that dairy is important for their health. Educating students about the importance of including a variety of healthy foods from the different food groups can have a positive impact on their food choices now and in the future. No catchy slogan necessary.
Posted by Alicia Landry at Thursday, May 23, 2019

AME is Coming Up Soon!

Happy spring!
As we come to the end of the semester things can become hectic and stressful so it is important to take a deep breath, find a healthy way to relieve stress, and push on through. The beautiful spring weather makes it hard for me to stay indoors and study so I have been trying to sit outside and study as much as I can so I can be enjoying the sunshine. It is especially vital to eat healthy during times of high stress because your immune system can become impaired from high levels of stress. Drink plenty of water, try to get a good amount of sleep, and don’t forget your fruits and veggies!
There is a good article on the page called, “8 Ways to Beat the Freshman 15” that has practice tips for all college students that I think is helpful during the stressful end of the semester! I saw another article called, “4 Types of Foods to Help Boost Your Memory” that gives some examples of different foods that are good for brain function and memory, which will especially be very helpful for finals week! I will take all the brain boosting benefits that I can get! 
We also need to remember how blessed we are to major in something that we are interested in and passionate about. It will all be so worth it in the end and we learn so much each step of the way. I am so proud of you guys and all of your hard work! Let’s continue to do good things! 
A few things to remember:
  • April is National Preceptor Month! Take a few minutes out of your day and thank your preceptors for all they have done and are doing for you! 
  • Don’t forget about the scholarship opportunities! The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation scholarship is accepting scholarship applications through April 22nd! Find more info at
  • The Arkansas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting and Exhibits is THIS month and it is not too late to come! You can still register at the door. It is April 25-26th at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. This is a great way to network and meet new people and learn from some incredible speakers. There will also be refreshments and a special time for all of the students to interact. I will be speaking to the students about my time as the ArAND Student Liaison and letting you all know how you can apply to be the next Student Liaison! I look forward to seeing you all there! 
Posted by Alicia Landry at Thursday, April 18, 2019

Happy National Nutrition Month

Happy National Nutrition Month and almost Spring Break!

Things have been very busy around here! A fellow nutrition student friend of mine and I were guest speakers at the local Jr. High School where we taught about MyPlate and food labels. I love teaching kiddos about nutrition and the importance of being healthy and active! It is always fun to get creative and come up with a fun and interactive lesson. We used some of the resources that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has for their members. Another bonus for being a student member of the Academy! They have so many resources and materials.

We also went with a big group of students from UCA to the Arkansas State Capitol in celebration of Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day. We got our picture taken with the governor and the proclamation that he signed regarding National Nutrition Month and RDN Day. There was such a great turnout of dietitians from Arkansas! It was fun to visit with everyone. Have you all done anything fun to celebrate National Nutrition Month?

Next week is spring break! I am so excited to spend time with family and friends. I was browsing around on the page the other day and found a good article for healthy eating while traveling. It is called “Health Takes Flight” and talks about healthy eating at airports. Very interesting and helpful for those who are traveling by air. If any of you are lucky enough to travel abroad this spring break, there is an article for you as well! It is called “8 Food Safety Trips When Traveling Abroad.” 

There is a great opportunity for student members of the Academy to be featured in a newsletter! Stephanie Bassett said they are looking to feature students in each of their quarterly weight management newsletters. If you are interested, please contact Stephanie Bassett at I really encourage you guys to get involved with this! It would look really good on internship applications and is good way to get your name out there and network! 

Don’t forget about the ArAND Annual Meeting and Exhibits at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock on April 25th-26th, 2019. To register please go to, See you all there! 

Posted by Alicia Landry at Monday, March 18, 2019

Undergrad Coming to a Close

Congratulations, fellow senior students! 
We are finished applying to dietetic internships and have completed everything on DICAS. It feels so good!! Now we just have to finish the semester on a strong note and enjoy the last few months of undergraduate. I encourage you all to continue volunteering and gaining more experience in the field. Now is also a wonderful time to be checking out the page and reading the neat articles on there. It is fun to see what other people are doing and makes me excited to think about the future and how I could help. 

Hope you all enjoyed Valentine’s Day! I absolutely love celebrating all of the seasons and holidays. My roommates and I put little heart decorations around our house, the Student Dietetic Association at UCA made Valentine’s Day cards for the kids at AR Children’s Hospital, and I went to a few different “Galentine’s” celebrations with my friends. It was a great week! 
One of my favorite articles from this year is the one called “9 Candy Free Ideas for Valentine’s Day Classroom Parties.” It has wonderful ideas on fun Valentine’s Day goodies that are good for you! I used some of these cute ideas this year and I am planning on continuing to use them for the years to come! You guys should check it out. They have practical and cute ideas that are easy to implement. 
I also want to give you guys a heads up on some fun things that are around the corner. March 13th is Registered Dietitian Day and we are going to celebrate and promote awareness of the importance of our jobs at the Arkansas State Capitol. Check with your local DPD Director to see if you can get a group together to come.
April 25th-26th is another date you all need to write down. It is the Arkansas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting and Exhibits located at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. For more information and to register, go to the “member center” then to “annual meeting and exhibits” on the ArAND website. 
Posted by Alicia Landry at Monday, February 18, 2019

Happy New Year!

Hope you all enjoyed your break. This was my last Christmas break as an undergrad student and I really enjoyed it. I got caught up with a lot of friends and family back home, ate lots of yummy food, and worked on my applications for dietetic internships. I cannot believe it is almost time to hit “submit” on DICAS. Good luck to all of you who are finishing up tweaking your applications! We are almost there!
I also cannot believe that it is already 2019. Have you all made any New Year resolutions? Entering a new year is a great time to reflect and make goals but many times people set themselves up for failure with their resolutions, I know I have! We like to make big goals for the New Year and often times we set too many of them at one time. Don’t get me wrong, New Year resolutions can be a great thing but we need to set ourselves up for success. We need to set SMART goals and plan out how we are going to accomplish our resolutions. The acronym “SMART” stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time bound. When making SMART goals it always helps me to write everything out on paper. It is also is helpful to have an accountability partner!
As my friends and family start to make goals about health, I send them here 10 Reasons to Visit an RDN. This is a great article from AND that will help clarify the importance of seeing an RDN and reinforces why we are working so hard now!
One of my New Year resolutions is to be more mindful when eating out. The Academy has a great article on that I think you guys should check out. It is called “7 Tips for Healthy Dining Out.”
Hope you guys have a great start to this semester!
Posted by Alicia Landry at Monday, January 14, 2019

Holiday Break

Happy Holiday Break! I hope you guys enjoyed this semester and did well in all of your finals. I cannot believe we are finished! This semester flew by! 

The holiday season is a time of joy, giving, and spending time with loved ones but, unfortunately, it can also bring some stress. Many people get too caught up in the “hustle and bustle” of things and are stressed about getting all of the right gifts, balancing their time, and money can be a source of stress this time of year as well. Some people may even get stressed about gaining the dreaded “holiday weight.” Let’s all slow down a bit and really enjoy each moment of the season. Here are a few tips for making this holiday season a healthy one!

  1. Get plenty of sleep. Now is the perfect time to catch up on some sleep that we missed out on during the semester.
  2. Drink water. Aim for at least 10-13 cups of water each day. Try adding some fruit to flavor your water!
  3. Remember to eat your fruits and veggies. 
  4. Enjoy all of your favorite foods in moderation. Be mindful when you are eating and really enjoy each bite!
  5. Exercise. I have made a goal to exercise every day for 25 minutes for the 25 days leading up to Christmas. It is a great way to relieve stress and maintain balance. You can go for a walk with your friends/family and check out the Christmas lights, lift weights, go for a run or bike ride, hike, or maybe even go ice-skating!

Hope you guys have a wonderful, healthy break!! Talk to you next year.

Posted by Alicia Landry at Wednesday, December 19, 2018

What Are You Thankful For?

We all have so much to be thankful for and this is the perfect time of the year to reflect and to share why we are thankful with others. What are you thankful for? I encourage you to express your thankfulness...every day! A quick, “thank you for always being there for me,” “thank you for taking out the trash,” “thank you for driving me to work…” whatever it is, could be what a friend or family member needs to hear in order to feel appreciated. Take note of the little things! 

The Thanksgiving season is always a fun time to visit with friends and family, relax, catch up on sleep, maybe watch some football, and eat yummy food! All of the great food is part of the fun during the holidays, but it can be difficult to keep from overindulging. The turkey is not the only thing that is “stuffed” at Thanksgiving. I usually end up feeling pretty “stuffed” as well. This year I encourage everyone to be intentional to eat slowly (I tend to “gobble” my food down real fast when I am distracted by all of the fun conversations) and really enjoy all of the different flavors. Focus on what your body is telling you and stop eating when you are almost full. Then enjoy the leftovers later on! The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has an article on called, “5 Tips for Enjoying the Holiday Without Gaining Weight.” The author talks about portions of food at meals, the importance of movement, and several other helpful strategies! 

Besides spending quality time with my family and friends, eating delicious food, and catching up on some much-needed sleep, I am planning on getting my materials together for applying to internships. I have been so busy this semester, but I made a checklist of what I needed to do and then started working on it. I went to both the University of Central Arkansas and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Dietetic Internship Open Houses last week and LOVED them. Participating in these Open Houses really got me excited for the future and gave me some motivation to finish out the semester on a strong note. We only have a few more weeks of school left! We can do it!

Enjoy your Thanksgiving break!

Posted by Alicia Landry at Thursday, November 15, 2018

Happy Fall

Am I the only one that can’t believe it is already October? This semester is going by so quickly but I am very excited for the fall season. I am loving the cooler weather, fall leaves, and yummy fall flavors. I have been eating lots of soup (my favorite right now is the Autumn Squash soup at Panera… SOOO good!) and pumpkin spice goodies. I love all of the cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg that are in pumpkin spice. So far I have made pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin muffins. If you guys have any good pumpkin recipes please send them my way!

October is Farm to School month. Schools will buy locally grown foods and serve them at school. It is a great way to promote healthy eating and give more options to children. The Academy has a page on their website called “kids eat right” where they give healthy tips for kids, provide recipes, and neat articles to read. There are some great ideas for getting kids interested and involved in making healthy snacks and foods. Our children are going to grow up and be the next leaders of our country so we need to provide nutrition education to help them have a healthy and happy life! What are some ways that you guys can get involved with Farm to School? I am about to help out with a school garden next week. I think school gardens are a wonderful idea! It gives children an opportunity for hands on learning and kids are more likely to try foods that they have helped take care of and watched grow.

This is also the time of year for Dietetic Internship Open Houses. So exciting! Mark your calendars for November 8th, 2018. The University of Central Arkansas has their open house on November 8th from 9:00-11:00am and the University of Arkansas for Medical Science has theirs on November 8th from 1:30-3:30pm. You can find more information and how to RSVP on the school websites. I am looking forward to learning more about the programs and what I need to do to start applying for internships.

I hope to see you all there!

Kaylee O’Hare

Posted by Alicia Landry at Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Malnutrition Month

Hey guys, we are back to the full swing of things! 

The “firsts” of the semester (the first test, first project, first assignment, first quiz) have come and gone for me, I am now going full speed ahead! I hope everyone is enjoying their classes as much as I am. One of the fun things about being a nutrition major are the classes that have a food lab portion to them. Who doesn’t love cooking and eating for a class?! We had a sensory lab in my experimental food science class last week that involved sampling food, so fun! 

Have you guys given much thought to malnutrition? Well, September is malnutrition month. It is a great time to become educated and get involved in helping those who are malnourished. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a great article posted online called, “What is Malnutrition.” I encourage you all to look it up, it is a short and easy read. The author talks about how people can be malnourished even though they consume plenty, or even too many, calories. This happens when people live off of “junk food” and do not get the vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and protein that are found in healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, lean protein, and whole grains. They have enough “energy” from their diet but their body is starving for the nutrients it needs. Brain function is also impaired without the correct nutrients and we need all as much brain power as we can to get through these classes and learn the material that we will need for our future careers. I can see where a lot of college students would fall into this category of malnutrition. Many college students live off of pizza, fast food, and packaged snacks because it is fast, convenient, and cheap. But this does not have to be the case! There are some ways we can get involved on campus to help college students get the nutrients their body needs. We can volunteer at our college food bank, promote healthy options in the cafeteria, and share resources on ways to eat healthy on a budget. The Academy also has great resources on their website for ways to eat right on a budget, just type in “eating right on a budget” in their search bar and some great videos will come up! 

I encourage you guys to look around on the website in between classes, there are some great reads! 


Posted by Alicia Landry at Monday, September 17, 2018

Back to School with a New Student Liaison

Hey guys!

Welcome back to school! I hope all of you had a wonderful summer.

My name is Kaylee O'Hare and I am the new Student Liaison for the Arkansas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. I am looking forward to serving you guys this year! I hope to get to know more students in our field, so don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions, ideas, or just to say hi! I think it would be great if we can strengthen the community of nutrition students in the state of Arkansas. We will end up working together one day!

I am about to start my senior year of college at the University of Central Arkansas. I cannot believe how quickly the past few years have gone by! I have been blessed with wonderful professors, my classes have been great, I have learned so much, and have met so many amazing people. I really want to encourage you guys to start out strong this semester. It always helps to try and stay on top of everything from the beginning so you are not scrambling around at the end of the semester. Right now is also a great time to look for ways to get involved on campus. Be sure to join the Student Dietetic Association at your school, if you haven’t already done so.

Now is also a great time to become a member of the Arkansas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. There are so many resources available to you through the academy. As members, we receive newsletters with nutrition information and a nutrition magazine that help us stay up to date on everything in our field of study. We also have access to journal articles that are great resources to use when writing papers and doing research. Being a member is also a good way to meet other people in the field of dietetics.

Until next time,

Kaylee O’Hare

Posted by Alicia Landry at Thursday, August 23, 2018

April Blog Post

Hi Everyone!

I hope you had an amazing and relaxing spring break! I travelled to Amarillo, Texas to see my family and my best friend, Tori. She graduated from the University of Arkansas last year and has started her dietetic internship in August. I did absolutely no homework over spring break, and that was the best decision ever. By the time spring break was over, I was struggling trying to get motivation to finish out the rest of this semester, but I think I have finally found it, which is a good thing too. It seems as though everything imaginable is due at the end of this month, so it might explain why I have been so scatter brained lately.

On April 8th, many of us discovered whether we were matched in a Dietetic Internship or not. For those of you who matched with an internship, congratulations! I am excited for you as you start this new journey.  If you did not match, it is going to be okay. I would recommend talking to your advisor to figure out your next step. I know I am not much help, but I will be praying for you and everything is going to work out. I am blessed to say that I successfully matched with University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.

The ArAND conference is coming up, and I can’t wait to see you guys there! I’ll be attending the awards ceremony on Thursday evening and the conference on Friday. If you are there, please stop by and say “hi”! I would love to meet you!

Posted by Alicia Landry at Friday, April 13, 2018

Why Dietetic Licensure: An Intern Perspective

Let’s start out, my name is Sarah Jane Frick a current Dietetic Intern at UCA. Several of my classmates and I attended National RD/RDN day at the Arkansas State Capitol. Every year we have a proclamation signed by the Govenor and get pictures made. This year was a little different as we were also promoting the critical importance of Dietetic Licensure within the state of Arkansas. Wow! I was so surprised at the number of RDN's and future RDN's that came to support our profession and our licensure.

Licensure for healthcare professional is very important! For dietetics, it is important to ensure that a qualified RDN is responsible for the integration and application of human nutrition - RDN's are THE professionals in nutrition care services like Medical Nutrition Therapy. An RDN has earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited university (many RD/RDNs have advanced degrees), has completed a supervised practice program (Dietetic Internship), has passed a registered exam and maintain continuing education hours for recertification. We are HIGHLY qualified. The RDN title is very prestigous and should be treated with the utmost respect when working with other professionals and patients. An RD/RDN is known as the expert in food and nutrition. 

I was so encouraged by the outpuring of support that dietetics professional showed on March 14th! We are an integral part of healthcare and management teams. I know that my time spent obtaining the RDN credential was worth every minute. In August, when I graduate with an MS and obtain my verification statement, I want to be employed at a place that values my contribution to human health and longevity. I hope that students and future RDN's will remain concerned and protective of our licensure and our scope of practice. We are THE food and nutrition professionals!

--Sarah Jane Frick, UCA Dietetic Intern

Posted by Alicia Landry at Thursday, April 5, 2018

Take a Break

Hi everyone!

I hope this month has been good for you! For those of you who have applied for dietetic internships, we made it! While school isn’t over yet, I hope you can somewhat relax. If you don’t have time to relax, like me, Spring Break is coming up soon and we can really relax then! But until Spring Break, stay motivated to study for midterms.

Y’all, it is National Nutrition Month! I am curious to see what other schools across the state are doing to celebrate. Please share with what your dietetic program is doing to promote National Nutrition Month in the comments of this post (on Facebook). By sharing your program’s ideas, schools from across the state can brainstorm for next year. For instance, the University of Arkansas Student Dietetic Association is working with our dietitian on campus, Ms. Ashley Meek, to promote nutrition to our campus. We are also planning on promoting National Nutrition Month on social media. Don’t forget that March 16th is National RDN Day! To all of the Registered Dietitians reading this, I want to thank you for all of your hard work and passion for nutrition and helping others.

Also, the ArAND conference is coming up and will be on April 19th through 20th. Registration ends on March 31st…a perfect way to wrap up National Nutrition Month. If you are a student and an Academy member, the cost is $70 for both days. If you are a student and not an Academy member, the cost is $100 for both day. It is another perk to becoming an Academy member, because you can save $30 and use it to buy food, or pay for a school parking ticket. Overall, it is a great opportunity for networking with dietitians across the state and learning interesting evidenced based nutrition information! If you would like more information, visit

Posted by Alicia Landry at Thursday, March 1, 2018

Hang in There!

Hi Everyone!

I hope school is going great so far! If you are like me, you have tests coming up soon. I don’t normally drink coffee during the day, but it has become my best friend since I have three tests this week. I don’t have much advice for school except timed breaks are very important and setting goals in your studying will help you so much. Also, find a study buddy if you haven’t found one. They will help you so much!

If you are applying for DICAS, I also wish you luck. It is a process, but you can do it! Don’t forget to review your application and have your advisors help you too! They are there for a reason, and they want to see you succeed. You’re almost at the finish line; finish strong.

Valentine’s Day is also coming up. Whether you are going out with someone special, or getting a cupcake and relaxing (totally my plan), then I hope you have a good evening. Remember, dark chocolate is heart healthy, so treat yourself!

I do have some opportunities to share. If you are an Arkansas resident and a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, there are scholarships available! Applications are due on May 1st. Also, if you are a freshman, sophomore, or junior looking for an amazing volunteer opportunity that looks great on DICAS, then I encourage to apply to become a Student Liaison for the Arkansas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. With this position, you promote the academy to many dietetic students across the state. You get to write blogs, which has been a new experience for me and I have learned so much. I have enjoyed writing to you all, and I hope that my advice has helped. This application is due on March 12th, so it is coming up! For more information, go to

Posted by Alicia Landry at Saturday, February 10, 2018

Happy New Year 2018!

Hi everyone! Happy New Year! I hope you all have had an amazing break so far, whether it be very relaxing or getting a lot of things accomplished. I also hope that your holidays were great. My family gave me a crockpot for Christmas and I can’t wait to use it.

The best thing about a new year is the fact that you can do things to improve yourself. It is the perfect time to get more sleep, be more active, eat healthier, or be more productive. It is also a great time to improve your career path as a future dietitian by becoming a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It is great, because it provides you with weekly emails about nutrition in the news, helps develop you professionally in the dietetics field, and also looks good on a DICAS application. Also, DICAS is coming up, and for those seniors out there who are applying, I wish you the best of luck!

I am excited and nervous for the due date, February 15th. I’m ready to start a new chapter in my life. I have been tackling a section of DICAS each week and putting it into an Excel file. This way, it helps me check the spelling and can be easier to read. This is a huge lifesaver to me; my family doesn’t have internet access at home, so I have to get creative. So, if you are having to travel anywhere or your internet isn’t working, I would highly suggest this tip. Also, whenever I get ready to put all the information into DICAS, all I have to do is copy and paste.

I am personally ready for school to start back. I’m ready to get back into my groove of schoolwork, extracurricular activities and work. I’m really excited about my classes this last semester at the University of Arkansas and I know that this semester will pass fast. It is honestly hard to imagine that I will be graduating in May. It seems like yesterday I was moving into my freshman dorm. I hope you all have a good rest of the break, safe travels back to school, and a good semester!

Lauren Ince

Posted by Alicia Landry at Friday, January 12, 2018

Here's How-To By: Miranda Schrock

I remember the feelings of sheer adrenaline and fear as I hit ‘submit’ on DICAS, on February 15, 2017.  I sank into my chair and released a long, deep breath that I had subconsciously been holding in, while a wave of serenity washed over me.  I congratulated myself, since no one else was around that was older than the age of 4.  I had strategically planned that night to where I could snuggle sweet babies once my application was submitted. A little baby therapy never hurt anyone right?

To put it simply, I had no idea what the next couple months, and even years, were to look like after I had submitted that application.  I was totally and completely at the mercy of God, and every internship director and selection committee of the schools I had applied too.  Finally, on April 2 of 2017, I was given the answers to the questions that had been consuming my every waking thoughts for months and months. I could finally start making concrete decisions and also give the people who were constantly badgering me to know my ‘post-graduation plans’ something more satisfactory than, ‘I’m still not sure yet!” Needless to say, April 2, 2017 was a massive turning point in my life, as it was the day that my first big ‘life question’ was finally answered and my desire to advance in my vocation was fulfilled.  When I read “Congratulations! You have been matched with the University of Central Arkansas!” my life was infinitely changed, for the better.

There are several things I wish I had known however, through the application process and even through the first several months of beginning the internship.  Firstly, request your transcripts as soon as possible, and get those bad boys sent to your internships of choice! It takes longer than you would expect, trust me.  Secondly, do your research on the schools you are applying to. If you are primarily interested in clinical nutrition, I wouldn’t suggest applying to schools that are centralized around say, foodservice.  However, I would suggest keeping an open mind as you apply, because you may actually change your mind as you go throughout each rotation! Thirdly, as you are accepted into an internship, embrace the journey.  Embrace the challenges and the triumphs that will inevitably come.  This is a monumental time in your life, and it should be enjoyed, but not without a little bit of blood, sweat and tears (literally-you will learn to draw blood, you’ll sweat as you turn in your first menu project, and well, tears go hand in hand with graduate school).  I don’t mean to frighten you, but as one of the top most-educated professionals in the healthcare field, you can and should expect rigorous academic work. However, the rewards for your tireless efforts and hard work are very well worth it. Lastly, develop some sort of organizational method that suits you, and then actually use it.  Organization coupled with time management can either make you or break you in an internship.  As a dietetic intern, you will have a million different things running through your mind, because you will have a lot required of you! That being said, I would recommend finding a planner, or other alternative task organizer, because I promise you, you will need something of the sort.  You have been in school for years and years now, so you know how to do this; if you don’t there are plenty of books and videos on the web that can teach you how to get organized!

Posted by Alicia Landry at Sunday, December 3, 2017

The End is Near

Hi Everyone!

I hope your Thanksgiving was great! Hopefully, you ate a lot a great food and spent time with your family. For many of us, finals are just around the corner. While I can’t tell you what questions will be on the exam, I can tell you how I have survived finals week throughout my college career. Sleep and nutrition are very important, especially when we need to perform at our best. I have yet to pull an all-nighter in college, and I have eluded that by starting early. So, if you want to be your best during finals week, start now!

If you are a senior, you have probably started working on DICAS or will start working on it soon. What I am hoping to do is tackle a task every week. For instance, last week I worked on my resume. This week, I am going to work on personal statements and visit the Quality Writing Center on the University of Arkansas Campus to make sure my resume is the best it can be. If you aren’t sure if your school has a writing center, ask your advisor for help. Find a system that works for you, stay organized, and discipline yourself to stay on task and get the job done! Remember to stay positive and have fun too! Just don’t forget that February 15th will be here faster than you think!

I am also promoting an amazing opportunity for y’all. This is a great opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. If you are a student member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, you have probably received a student newsletter. If you read the email, you would have noticed that the Academy is looking for student liaisons. If you aren’t a member, now is a good time to become one! Being a student liaison looks great on a resume and is a lot of fun. I am currently the Arkansas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Student Liaison and the Northwest Arkansas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Student Liaison. It may seem like a lot of work, but the rewards are huge.

Lauren Ince

Posted by Alicia Landry at Wednesday, November 29, 2017

RD or Bust - Guest Blog

Hi everyone! I am currently a dietetic intern at UAMS. Hazing at its finest, lemme tell ya. Just kidding, but really, I’m busier than a mosquito at a nudist camp.

First of all, I want to say to any of you undergrads who might be reading this – if you are currently applying to internships or preparing yourself for that process, props to you. It’s a lot of work and I know you have worked really hard to get to this point. Best of luck with it! Something I wish someone would have told me before I applied is to make sure you have someone proofread EVERYTHING you send out to schools or include in your application. Trust me. 

As for me, right now, my fellow interns and I are currently in week 14 of 40 of our internship! So were making through! In the UAMS internship, our 40 weeks are split into a 20-week clinical semester and a 20-week administrative semester. I am currently enduring the clinical semester. So far, my most interesting rotation has been the pediatric rotation at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. I learned SO much and everyday was something completely different. We spent each morning and afternoon with a different specialty of dietetics and each one comes with its own challenges and rewards. I loved working with all the kids!  

I can say, without a doubt, my preceptors have all been splendid. The RDs in Arkansas are sincere and kind and so willing to help interns succeed in this field. The other girls in the internship are also the greatest. We have all bonded so well, whether it’s hiking Pinnacle Mountain, grabbing Mexican food, or celebrating birthdays during our Monday class time with all the food – we have become really good friends. It is really important to lean on each other because we need all the help we can get sometimes!

Being in a dietetic internship is like a crazy mystery adventure where you meet like ten new people every day and then stay up late staring at the Quizlet you made, trying to absorb as much as you can so you are prepared for the rotation the next day.  But it’s all so worth it. I am so happy I have the opportunity to further my education here in Arkansas and I keep telling myself that one day I WILL BE AN RD! It’ll be here sooner than I think!

--Haley Ruffin

Posted by Alicia Landry at Thursday, November 16, 2017

Hang In There!!

Hi everyone! I hope everything is going well. The semester is almost over, and Christmas will be here before we know it. So, hang in there!

I got the opportunity to go to FNCE this year, and I had a blast. The expo floor was full of samples and it was amazing. I went to a few sessions, and they were so interesting. One session I went to was the U.S. Army and the initiatives they are doing to improve the health of service members. Even if you are not interested in the military, the techniques they are doing are very applicable to the dietetics career. For instance, the presenters made the comment that one-fourth of the individuals in the military are discharged because they do not meet the weight requirements and cannot pass their physical fitness exam. Therefore, obesity is not just a national health issue, it is also a national security issue.

Another session I went to was to help students apply for a dietetic internship and how to make their application meet the standards for the internship programs. For those of you who were not able to attend this session or FNCE, some of the comments the presenters stood out to me and will help me when I start applying for internships in February. If you are still trying to figure out where to apply to, no worries, I took notes! First, you need to clarify our goals, specifically where do you see yourself in two years and five years. Then, determine which programs will help you get there based on the program’s emphasis. Think about where you want to live once you have become a RDN, and also think about the cost. You don’t want to get matched to a location that you can’t afford and then have to decline the internship position. Once you have found some places you want to apply to, look at their websites. If you still have questions that are not answered on the website, email the DI director, and be specific. Then, if you can, attend the program’s Open House. Once you have attended the Open House, don’t forget to send a thank you!

Another session was discussing Malnutrition in individuals with Eating Disorders. It was very interesting, and probably my favorite session of FNCE. A physician presented three different case studies and explained the interventions for the patients. A dietitian later discussed how to present information to patients who have eating disorders. For instance, instead of saying “calories”, say “energy”, or instead of saying “food” say “fuel”. We know we should do this, yes, but just having that conversation gave me confidence as I pursue to become a Registered Dietitian. It is also important to not stop the nutrition counseling too soon due to the risks of reinjury of the patient. When working with these patients, it is important to realize that they will be displaying stomach pains, and it will hurt. If we can explain to the patient that this is their body’s way of giving them a hug and saying “I love you”, then hopefully this will be received by the patient in a more positive way. The speaker also used a really neat analogy to use with patients. She took two sponges, one was extremely dry and wouldn’t absorb anything, and the other was a typical sponge. The typical sponge was able to absorb more water, and it weighed more but it doesn’t expand. This analogy can be used to help patients with eating disorders.

Our Northwest Arkansas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics had their fall seminar this month too. There were eight presentations including the Infant Nutrition Lab at Washington Regional Hospital, GMO Labeling Laws, Alpha Gal Syndrome, Alternative Proteins, Advanced Diabetes, Using a Health Focused Approach in Nutrition Counseling, School Lunches can be Healthy and Delicious, and Perky Pantry. Many of the presentations were very interesting, and I learned so much.

If it sounds like this past month has been jam packed with nutrition it is because it has and I have enjoyed every bit of it. I am going to be honest though, I am ready for a break. Thanksgiving can’t come any faster, and I can’t wait to try out this new recipe my mom shared with me. Both her and my dad said it was very delicious, and I could say it is a healthier cake. It is a Pumpkin Praline Cake, so it has a lot of Vitamin A. Below is the recipe y’all! I hope you try it!

Posted by Alicia Landry at Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Happy Fall Y'all

Hey y’all! Fall happens to be my favorite season. There is nothing better than cool, crisp air, beautiful leaves, hot tea, scarves, boots, and fuzzy socks. I also enjoy apples with caramel. It is a delicious snack that is semi-healthy. I’ve actually provided one of my favorite caramel apple dips that you can use for any Halloween party or get together this fall.

Speaking of fall, I hope school is going well for you! The first round of exams should be over by now and midterms are coming up. If you are struggling in some of your classes, it’s okay! You got this! You will figure out how you study best for your classes; I’ve always found that I know the information better when I write out my notes after each class. I guess the muscle memory helps me understand the information.

Since a lot of us are going to school to become Registered Dietitians, there is an amazing opportunity for dietetic students to help us further our education. This opportunity is the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE). I am so excited to be attending FNCE this year! If you don’t know what FNCE is, it is where dietitians across the US and from other countries attend a conference to learn about new nutrition information that can be used in the dietetic field. While it may be too late to start planning now to attend this year, you can start planning for next year if you are interested in attending. If you are a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, you will get a discount in comparison if you are not a member. There is a student internship fair where dietetic internship programs provide information, so you can find the program you are interested in and visit the program’s table to get more information. Next year, FNCE will be held in Washington D.C.

Enjoy this recipe while you are studying!

Posted by Alicia Landry at Monday, October 9, 2017

ArAND Student Liaison

Dietetics is not an easy major. Along with maintaining a high-grade point average, gaining work experience and being involved in volunteer opportunities, we as students have to learn time management and organizational skills just to stay afloat. I am sure that we can all relate to the academic stress and the stress of preparing for our futures, but I am here to tell you that you are not alone.

This year, I am a senior Nutrition and Dietetic student at the University of Arkansas from Nashville, Arkansas. When I am not studying, I am spending my spare time working as a Principles of Foods Lab Teaching Assistant, president of the Student Dietetic Association, Student Liaison of the Northwest Arkansas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Student Liaison of the Arkansas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I am still wondering how I am successfully surviving college, but I am pretty sure coffee is the answer.

Throughout my college career, I have been asked why I decided to major in dietetics. I grew up in 4-H where my main project was Foods and Nutrition since I was five years old. I was involved in many community projects that related to my main project like helping build the bathroom facility at our Farmer’s Market. I did not figure out that I wanted to major in dietetics until I presented an illustrated talk about eggs. I enjoyed learning about the different nutrients found in eggs and I thought it was neat how research changes over time. When I figured out there was a career where I could help people and work with food, I knew I was in the right spot.

 I, like most dietetic seniors, am preparing for my dietetic internship. To be honest, I am making a Pros and Cons lists for each school that I am interested in pursuing a dietetic internship with. I am studying to take the GRE and trying to organize my resume. I am also taking Advanced Nutrition and Medical Nutrition Therapy, and those are my favorite classes this semester. While they will be difficult, I am up for the challenge.

I mentioned that I am the Student Liaison for the Arkansas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. I am really excited for this opportunity. A board member, Jessica Bradley, visited our Community Nutrition class to share with us the importance of public policy in the dietetic field. Throughout college, dietetic students are learning about working in a clinical setting. But behind most nutrition policies, there is a politician, and somebody has to convince them of what will be best for our field. I knew I wanted to get involved with dietetics on the state level, and ArAND is great opportunity for that. While I will not be charging Capitol Hill, I will be working with my fellow dietetic students in Arkansas. We are the future of our profession. I encourage you, if you have not already, to become a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. You get access to journal articles and a nutrition magazine. You also get weekly newsletters about recent nutrition information. We are a bunch of food nerds and we should be jumping all over this. These resources, in turn, will help prepare you to become the dietitian you want to be.


Posted by Alicia Landry at Friday, September 8, 2017