Congratulations QUT Nutrition and Dietetics Class of 2012!…and jobs!

I’d just like to take this opportunity to say a word of congratulations to all my fellow dietitians graduating from dietetics at QUT in 2012. Our graduation ceremony was on 12/12/12, a memorable date indeed!

I requested for a class photo after 4 yrs; the first and last one! But not everyone was there as it was the last class on the last day of our degree :P

I requested for a class photo after 4 yrs; the first and last one! But not everyone was there as it was the last class on the last day of our degree 😛

This year has been a truly amazing one full of new experiences. I did my placements while juggling assignments in-between (two in Brisbane, Australia, another two overseas). I went to Auckland City Hospital (NZ) for my clinical placement and saw the quaint and beautiful sights around Auckland, went to Vietnam (Can Tho and Ho Chi Minh City) to do my research project on the prevalence of malnutrition in hospitals and enjoyed the delicious Vietnamese food. In September, I attended the International Congress of Dietetics in Sydney as one of the >2000 delegates from dietitians all over the world. And I made a lot of new friends I’ll never forget along the way.

Thanks to everyone for the support, and thank you to those who could make it to my graduation. Thank you to my family and friends, without whom I wouldn’t be here today. Thank you to everyone I’ve met throughout these four years of study, including my fellow dietitian colleagues, teachers, and everyone who’s shared some part of my life journey, as short as a few days or as long as decades. Whether we’re still on the same path or have diverged our own ways, you have all left footprints in my heart and shaped who I am today.

Photo credit to Chris Huang (amazing photographer friend!)

Photo credit to Chris (amazing photographer friend!)

Humorous incidents as a new nutrition student

So this week has been my first week in studying my degree. The subjects that I am studying now include Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology, Contemporary Public Health and Australian Health Care Systems. It’s been interesting, to say the least, and I still enjoy learning about the Biology subject the most. That said, the Chemistry is a bit of a challenge to get my logical side out, while the Public Health subjects provide a bit of relief from Science and provides a more worldly, right-brained view. I’ll try hard to learn as much as I can, avoid excessive procrastination, and… well those are my two main problems, laziness and procrastination… So yeah, will work hard!!

Comic little things that happen to a nutrition student in her orientation week.

I’m sure stuff like this happens to a dietitian on a daily basis, I’m just new to this. The amusement will fade after a while :).

Free pizza slices: nutrition student goes and grabs 3 slices, plus fairy floss and pop corn. Some random Christian uni representative comes.”Hi! What’s your name? What are you studying?” “Oh hi, I’m Bonnie, I study nutrition.” She stares down at the slice of pizza.

Accompanying her friend doing Optometry to an information session, the spectacled nutrition student helps herself to some free KFC chicken. She chuckles to her friends “Hey, I bet the nutrition information seminar tomorrow won’t be giving out free KFC.” (her friends are not amused.)

Meeting new people, the nutrition student finds out the name of her fellow student: Candy the dietitian (to-be).

Chocolate was given out as prizes in the nutrition seminar, “It’s not carrot, but it’s high in antioxidants and also increases endorphins!”

In her first Chemistry lecture, the lecturer attempts to highlight the relevance of the subject in our fields. “So the course coordinator has decided that this unit is needed for people doing Nutrition and Dietetics… we call them ‘nuts and dieters’…” And then people start laughing in amusement.

While spending some time with her high school friends in the CBD, they all go and have cake for ‘lunch’, buy 5 different Korean snacks to nibble on while loitering in Borders bookshop, and drink a sugary energy drink that was a freebie. All the while, nutrition student exclaims, “Gee, we are such bad examples of dietitian and oral hygienist-to-bes!” Staring at the Pharmacy student, “Well, drugs can cure everything!” (cough).

Corny, I know. 😛

Bachelor of Health Science (Nutrition and Dietetics)

From now on, I need no longer be uncertain about my future as a dietitian, for I have been offered my first preference. Two nights earlier, I was rather stunned to receive an email from QTAC during my continual updating of email. Anxiously, I opened the email. “You have been made an offer in the latest QTAC offer round.” This was something that could affect my life forever, so I was quite nervous in finding out whether or not I had made it. I opened the window, and it read:


Application For: 2008/2009 Admissions Entry

In the Mid December offer round you have been offered:
425442 – Bachelor of Health Science (Nutrition and Dietetics) – full-time – Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove Campus
Start Month: February 2009
You must respond by Tuesday, 23 December 2008.
Your offered course is currently listed at preference 1.

If you want to respond to this offer and do not wish to be considered in any further offer rounds click “Accept”
If you want to be considered for other preferences in any further offer rounds you must change your preferences before responding to your current offer, click “Change”

I pondered about this for a while, wondering whether I could just get back to it later, but decided this is the last thing I should procrastinate. I clicked “Accept”. There wasn’t quite the hesitancy I experienced last year when I clicked to accept the offer for Landscape Architecture.

You have firmly accepted this offer and you will not be considered in any further offer rounds.

There it goes. The first step taken to my future career.

I was told after I quit Landscape Architecture, that if I didn’t complete a full year of university study, my O.P. would be used. Which came as a huge relief, since I hadn’t quite performed as well in that course  (expected since I really disliked it). Despite this, I was still quite anxious about whether or not I could get in, because it is a very competitive course.

A sigh of relief. But it’s strange how I got the offer so early… it’s supposed to come out January next year I believe.

Even though, for this moment in time, I am resolute in my desire to become a dietitian, I have to admit I cannot guarantee I will persevere with it for the rest of my life. In fact, there are high chances I won’t. But what I can guarantee is that I will always enjoy food, try to live a wholesome life, and encourage others to do likewise.

Glossary

Foodie

Oxford Dictionary

“foodie |ˌfuːdi|
noun informal
a person with a particular interest in food; a gourmet.”

Or a jazzier one from wordreference.com:

“a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment (especially good food and drink)”

Oh a definition from another one of those self-confessing addicts “Anonymous” clubs! (but of course, foodies.com won’t stigmatise itself like that!)

“The foodie lives to eat, and eating to live is definitive boredom. A true foodie clings to all things culinary.”

Wikipedia

Foodies differ from gourmets in that gourmets are epicures of refined taste who may or may not be professionals n the food industry, whereas foodies are amateurs who simply love food for consumption, study, preparation, and news. Gourmets simply want to eat the best food, whereas foodies want to learn everything about food, both the best and the ordinary, and about the science, industry, and personalities surrounding food.

Typical foodie interests and activities include the food industry, wineries and wine tasting, food science, following restaurant openings and closings, food distribution, food fads, health and nutrition and restaurant management. A foodie might develop a particular interest in a specific item, such as the best egg cream or burrito.”

In short, the foodie loves to eat. :mrgreen: The second paragraph sums up what I might cover in this blog, though I doubt you’re going to get much about my stalking escapades of wineries, restaurants or burritos. 😈

Dietitian

Oxford Dictionary’s lovely concise answers

“dietitian |dʌɪəˌtɪʃ(ə)n| (also dietician)
noun
an expert on diet and nutrition.”

And Dietitians Association of Australia’s long-winded one

“Accredited Practising Dietitians (APDs) are recognised professionals with the qualifications and skills to provide expert nutrition and dietary advice. They know about food and health and can help you sort through the maze of nutrition information.

APDs are qualified to advise individuals and groups on nutrition related matters. They also have clinical training to modify diets to treat conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, cancers, gastro-intestinal diseases, food allergies and intolerances and overweight and obesity.

APDs have sound university qualifications accredited by DAA, undertake ongoing training and education and comply with the Associations guidelines for best practice. They are committed to the DAA Code of Professional Conduct and Statement of Ethical Practice, and to providing quality service.

APD is the only national credential recognised by the Australian Government, Medicare, the Department of Veterans Affairs and most private health funds as the quality standard for nutrition and dietetics services in Australia. It is a recognised trademark protected by law.”

I wish here to differentiate between the terms ‘dietitian’ and ‘nutritionist’

“Accredited Nutritionists (AN) are tertiary qualified nutrition professionals that have expertise in a range of nutrition services including public health nutrition, community health and tertiary education related to nutrition, but excluding individual dietary counselling, group therapy and medical nutrition therapy. APDs can choose to use the APD and/or AN credential.”

Compounding to this confusing maze of jargon is the annoying differing spellings of ‘dietitian’ and ‘dietician’. Previously I had always spelt it ‘dietician’ but after reading up so much about the topic, I figured ‘dietitian’ is a more common spelling.

I can hardly claim to be a dietitian, and my gastronomical knowledge is rudimentary, at the most. Oh, that’s another fancy word, I was surprised to learn such a word existed! 🙄

“gastronomy |gaˌstrɒnəmi|
noun
the practice or art of choosing, cooking, and eating good food.

Back to the point. This blog will chronicle my experiences in becoming a foodie and dietitian. Sounds like such a paradox doesn’t it, foodie dietitian. 😯

I’ll try to update it at least on a monthly basis (I would hope more!), but the problem with me is I get obsessive-compulsive about blogs. The idea of a new post would pop into my head and I’d keep thinking about it, unable to concentrate on other (possibly more important!) things! My perfectionistic tendencies also creates problems as I can’t lack the self-control to cease constant reflections on how to improve my writing. Nevertheless, I would hope that uni will keep me busy enough to restrain such self-indulgences…

Preamble

After having spent a considerable amount of time surfing food blogs, I was inspired to create one myself. My name is Bonnie Lau, and I had studied Landscape Architecture at university for one semester before quitting as I realised how much I disliked it. After deliberating over a range of alternative career paths, I finally decided to become a dietitian. So that would be nurturing the soul through means of food rather than the beauty of nature! It was excruciatingly difficult for me to choose, because I am the sort of person with numerous passions in life: visual art, humanities, science, language, teaching, and of course, food. I guess being a dietitian had always been one of those things that I shoved to the back of my mind (when my friend Linda had told me she wanted to do that when we were in Year 10, I had thought it was a cool career), for I had assumed I would not be knowledgeable enough in the field of science. But if one persists, anything is possible. I hope that my abiding love of food, even as a child, and inner desire to help others attain good health, will help to guide me through a fulfilling career.

But on to less weighty matters, this is a food blog that I will try to maintain amidst my studies. Some posts may be about recipes I would like to share, about particular foods I love, about my gastronomical adventures, about interesting facts on nutrition that I may have learnt… Anything related to food, really! One thing you’ll notice though, is that my food blog will be less photo-intensive than others, because I can’t call myself a pro photographer, and in all honesty, I think I’m more interested in ideas and notions than pretty pictures (although they do help!). Hopefully I will be a balance between the devout foodie who owns a yogurt maker/coffee grinder/equally as obscure kitchen gadget and has tried and meticulously reviewed every dish from every restaurant in town, and the health freak that has an obsession with counting calories and daily intake of nutrients, bans junk food and will only ever touch organic produce, and throws away the egg yolk just for the whites. Balance is the key!

I hope that I can share my journey as a foodie and aspiring dietitian with you all.

Blog+food=alphabet soup!

Blog+food=alphabet soup!