A Very British Adventure.

Last night around half one I was ruggedly woken up by a fire alarm. In my dorm room. In England. Thank God it was a false alarm (which I figured out after I managed to recover from my heart attack, grabbed some clothes, ran down the hall and talked to some guy living on the same floor, who was decidedly more relaxed about it than me). Now you might wonder what I am doing in England. Believe me, last night around half one I did too. 😉

The reason I’m in England is an internship with a charity which specializes in nutritional research regarding coeliac disease. It’s an incredible opportunity to be a teeny-tiny part of this and I’m excited to learn all about it.

002

Since I’m staying in a dorm, there’s a shared kitchen but everyone is expected to bring their own kitchen equipment including pans, which I could of course not fit into my suitcase. So I’ll be living on microwave meals for the next couple of weeks. Which just reminded me of this gem:

So far, I have found a lot of interesting ready meals, salads and soups at the local supermarkets, so hopefully I won’t be needing that book after all.

I’ve been looking forward to trying Livia’s Kitchen Raw Millionaire Bites and Biccy Boms for a long time, so I couldn’t resist when I found them at Sainsbury’s.

016.jpg

The Raw Millionaire Bites were delicious with a slightly crumbly oat base, sticky date caramel and dark chocolate layer. I also like that you get three small bites instead of one large bar.

027

The Biccy Boms looked very promising, but the “cake” layer turned out to be too dry for my taste. That’s a pity, because the chocolate coating and date caramel core are lovely.

024025

I could spend hours at the grocery stores around here and just take a look at all the products. Just look at those microwaveable fries:

029

Or how about a unicorn cake?

004

And it doesn’t stop there. You know, maybe I should get this comfy one piece, just in case I feel like dressing up like a deer one day. 030.jpg

Just in case you didn’t notice, it’s got ears and antlers too…

031.jpg

Already suggested the following outfit for our next Christmas family photo. Somehow they weren’t as thrilled as I am. That patterned piece to the left is for dogs by the way. Just so they don’t feel left out I guess.

022.jpg

I also found some super handy things, like these veggies in microwaveable bags.

023

And I love the selection of healthy lunch sized salads, which can easily be turned into a more filling meal by adding steamed veggies and rice for example.

015

Or rice noodles, a spoonful of peanut butter and lemon juice to get something resembling Pad Thai:

035

Good night! 🙂

Things I’ve learned in my first year as an aspiring dietitian.

I hope you are enjoying summer and having a good time wherever you are reading this! Since the exam phase is over and summer holidays have started, I’ve had lots of time to visit my family, cook and read. And even to take a crazy swim in the Aare when the weather was still a little warmer. I consider myself an all right swimmer but the stream was so much stronger than I expected, so it turned out to be a near-death-experience (just kidding, in case my grandma reads this) but I would do it again anytime. 😀 If you are curious about how exactly Aare swimming works, take a look at this:

In a couple of weeks I’ll start my first internship at a local hospital and I am very excited to try and put the things I’ve learned during my first year at university into practice. A lot of things sound completely logical and self-understood when you hear about them in lectures, but it’s a completely different experience when you are actually sitting down and having a one-on-one conversation with a patient.

My school makes a real point of preparing students for that kind of situations. During the last year I’ve even had the chance to get communication training with actors who were playing clients. I’m more of an introverted person and really have to push myself in those moments, but it is absolutely worth it. I’ve learned so much from mistakes I made during those trainings.

For example, it is vital to listen carefully and make sure you’ve understood what the other person is trying to tell you. Sounds logical and not that hard to do, right? However, it happens so easily that someone is telling you something and your brain automatically interprets it a certain way or fills in the gaps. We are all bringing our own background, experiences and expectations into a conversation, but as a professional dietitian counseling a patient one needs to be able to let go of that “drawer system” in our heads. It’s too easy to stick labels on people and miss crucial information, because every single person you talk to is unique. Thank god, because that is also one of the aspects which makes counseling so interesting.

IMG_1191

Another thing I’ve learned: If you put your heart and soul into it, you can achieve anything. Even pass the exam on a year-long biochemistry course. 😀 I’ve plastered my kitchen cupboards with the steps of the citric acid cycle, nomenclatures of carbon compounds and lots of other funny things to look at while I wait for my rice to be cooked. If you are playing with the thought of becoming a registered dietitian, don’t let chemistry scare you off. If I can do it without having any previous education in chemistry, you can too!

Since starting to study, my eating habits have changed in certain ways. I am for example more mindful about incorporating sufficient vegetarian and dairy free protein sources like lentils and beans into my diet (shoutout to this pesto butter bean salad with pomegranate topping, which I prepare with sautéed spinach instead of rocket). 🙂

IMG_9978

And I have learned some new cooking methods which help to preserve nutrients (like using a steam-sieve for veggies) and open up new possibilities when it comes to getting the texture just right. Talking about texture, imagine if your diet was suddenly restricted to eating pureed or liquid foods. Not just for a day or two, but for the next couple of months. It is likely that even your favorite dish will not be half as appealing to you when it has been texture modified. But luckily there are ways to make it look and taste a lot more like the dish you are used to. Trying to make liquefied tofu taste delicious and pureed carrots resemble their original shape was quite an interesting experience.

IMG_1781

IMG_1783

All in all, it was a very interesting first year and I’ve been lucky to make some good friends along the way, who love to talk about food and cooking as much as I do. 🙂