Health Shaming

Hey Slender Students. I’m interrupting our normally scheduled programming (recipes, nutrition tips, workouts, etc.) to bring up a point of discussion– health shaming. The Slender Student on "Health Shaming" | The Slender Student

A few weeks ago I was out to dinner with some friends, getting hassled for refraining from shoveling down chips and queso and choosing to order a salad with grilled chicken at Chuy’s. Now, I didn’t draw attention to any of the aforementioned facts. I didn’t question anyone’s choice to chip dip, nor did I advertise the fact that I’d chosen lean protein and greens over tortillas and cheese. And, frankly, if I’d wanted fajitas/quesadillas/nachos, I would’ve gotten ‘em.

Everything in moderation, right?

I firmly believe that everyone is control of their own choices, including what they put in their mouths. Of course I talk about what I eat on the blog and its affiliated social media accounts, but the audience is voluntary. I make a conscious effort not to push my own views on health or nutrition on anyone, my friends and family included. If a friend wants to know my opinion on bacon or artificial sweeteners or fat free cheese, they’ll ask.

And yet I still often find myself on the receiving end of some offending comments about my own culinary choices. Though they’re often said in jest, there have been multiple occasions when I’m tempted just to say “f— it” and order something more acceptable in the eyes of others, despite my own preferences.

SO, now that I’ve said my spiel, I want to know what you all think. Does anyone else encounter this during food-centric social gatherings? How do you respond? Do you ever dish it out? Are you a health shamer? Leave a comment!

Carrot Lentil Salad

Carrot Lentil Salad | The Slender Student This isn’t at all cool to admit but I’m really into lentils lately. They’re like part grain, part bean, part pea, and I’m all about them.

In actuality, they’re a legume (along with beans, peas, sprouts, and carob). Lentils are notably high in protein, with almost 18 grams in a 230 calorie one cup serving. It’s important to note, though, that they’re not a complete protein. They should be combined with a grain to achieve the same metabolic effects as an animal protein. (If you want a Nutrition Decoded post on protein, leave a note in the comments!) Carrot Lentil Salad | The Slender Student Nutritional value aside, this is just a solid recipe. It’s a great make ahead side dish or supplement/add-in to a regular green salad. If these veggies aren’t your style, feel free to add as you wish. Subtract the carrots and add roasted eggplant and zucchini. Subtract the red onions and sub-in some spiralized squash and a splash of soy sauce. Get creative with it.

Carrot Lentil Salad | The Slender Student Carrot Lentil Salad
Servings: seven 1/2 cup servings | Calories per serving: 109
Fat: 0 g (Sat Fat: 0 g) | Carbohydrate: 20 g | Fiber: 7 g| Protein: 8 g


1 cup dry green lentils

1 medium carrot, peeled into thin strips

1/2 cup diced red onion

4 asparagus spears, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar



1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and rinse the dry lentils

2. Add the lentils to the water and boil for 20-30 minutes until tender; drain

3. In a large salad bowl, place the cooled lentils, carrot slices, red onion, and asparagus

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard and vinegars

5. Toss the veggies in the dressing and chill for at least an hour before serving

If you liked this post, be a doll and take a second to nominate The Slender Student as Best Health & Diet Blog!

So You Want To Be A Registered Dietitian: Part 2

If you love the recipes, workouts, nutrition tips, and corny food metaphors on The Slender Student, take a second a nominate TSS for your Favorite Health & Diet Cooking Blog for the Homie Awards on! Just click, scroll until you see The Slender Student, and hit +1. You’ll have to register for an account on The Kitchn, but I promise you’re just doing yourself a favor with that one. Stories from my dietetic internship! | The Slender Student

A couple weeks ago, I began this series by telling you how to get from college student to registered dietitian. Today is story time.

This tale begins in the fall of 2012, my first semester in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics at The University of Texas and my last semester in Plan II Liberal Arts. So, in addition to finishing up my thesis (in which I analyzed the effectiveness of various online weight loss programs and their respective features; if you want more on this, just ask!), during this semester I completed the required coursework and a baby pre-internship that involved weekly visits to a St. David’s hospital.

Each week, we’d be assigned a new patient and had to look through their medical records and perform a diet interview. The type of patient we saw varied based on that week’s assignment– tube feeding, heart disease, diabetes, etc. After our visit, we’d work up a report that took our findings from the medical record and diet interview, creating a nutrition diagnosis and proposed treatment plan.

There are several important differences between this baby pre-internship (not a technical or official term, by the way) and an actual dietetic internship rotation:

1. Like I said, this only happened once a week for a few hours. Dietetic internship rotations are a full-blown 40 hour a week deal… Hence my recent shift to make ahead recipes.

2. Since it was just a once a week gig, we never got to put our nutrition plans into play, and since it was all hypothetical, we never got to see any real results. I think I can speak for myself and my other CPD friends that this was simultaneously comforting and frustrating. It was comforting that we couldn’t really screw anyone up with our amateur hour performance, but frustrating that we couldn’t implement anything that could actually help these people. But this practice was important and I’ll have many years ahead of me as an RD to help people out with what I’ve got up my nutritious sleeve.

3. Instead of being under the supervision of a preceptor, usually another registered dietitian, we were under the supervision of one of our CPD professors. Well, they’re RDs too, but not for the hospital where we were working. Building these connections with the CPD faculty was not only enjoyable, but crucial to the experience. The relationship fluctuated between student/professor, nutrition peer/nutrition peer, friend/friend, anxiety-riddled newbie/wise adviser, and on one occasion when I had everyone over to my house for Secret Santa, hostess/party guest. Until you’re on the precipice of your rotations, you have no idea how helpful it is to have a designated target for any and all questions that will undoubtedly arise.

4. Interspersed among these hospital visits were various “experiences” in which we either listened to a guest speaker working in the field, or visited a different type of nutrition facility. These were some of my favorite days as it always excited me to hear about a way to work in nutrition without necessarily going the well-known clinical route.

I’m currently in the last week of my first official rotation– foodservice. In part 3 of this series, I’ll tell y’all a little bit about my experience in this rotation and how it fits into the role of a RD/RDN.

So You Want to be a Registered Dietitian: Part 1

Reflections from the road to becoming a registered dietitian! | The Slender Student In a previous post, I covered the difference between a registered dietitian and nutritionist, just touching on what’s involved in actually becoming a registered dietitian, a process that I’m currently in the middle of. Before we get into my own experience as an intern, let’s review what is necessary to become a registered dietitian*:

Get a bachelor’s degree in nutrition through either a didactic or coordinated program.

  • A didactic program will ensure that you’ve taken all of the classes necessary to begin your required set of ACEND-approved internships. Finding, applying, and completing those internships is then up to you.
  • A coordinated program combines your classes (undergraduate or post-grad, in some cases) and ACEND-approved internships. Your school’s program will arrange your internships based on existing connections, though you may have some choice within those options depending on your program. This is the route I chose.

After completing your ACEND accredited internships, you must take the Registration Examination for Dietitians, offered through the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).

  • Your various internship rotations will allow you to experience many areas of the nutrition field including clinical nutrition, foodservice, and community nutrition.

I chose to apply to UT’s coordinated program for a couple of reasons:

I double majored in liberal arts and nutrition and spent a semester abroad and  applied later than is recommended, putting me a little bit behind already. Therefore, the efficiency of the CP appealed to me. I’m currently victory lapping, though these spring and summer semesters will be spent interning in the field, not in the classroom.

Also, in the summer before my senior year, I shadowed a dietitian for a few weeks. Her assistant was currently in the process of applying to internship programs and often complained of the difficulty. Looking back, I understand that this was just one person’s perspective and I honestly don’t know much about the experience moving from didactic graduate to dietetic intern, but her story definitely persuaded (if not frightened) me into applying.

Beyond that, I just love Austin. I think it’s a burgeoning city for nutrition, and I’m both thrilled and fortunate to be a part of that. This is a city that strives for health, but also appreciates good food. Needless to say, I’m a pretty good fit here.

So, while I’m confident that my experience in my CPD will make me a valuable member of the nutrition community, I encourage you to do some self-exploration to find what’s best for you, should you want to become a dietitian.

That being said, the above is all part of my past journey. I’m currently in my first of five rotations, which happens to be my foodservice rotation. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’ve been placed at Kinsolving, a UT dorm and dining hall. (FYI, this placement was based off my preferences, but other CPD members were placed in grade schools or nursing homes.) In my next post of the series, I’ll tell you more about what’s been going on here, but I think this post should be enough to get you started.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. I’m always so happy to hear from other slender students who are thinking about turning their passion into a career!

*note: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has recently introduced an optional title of RDN (registered dietitian nutritionist) in order to expand and popularize the RD brand. While this may blur the lines a bit from my previous Dietitian vs. Nutritionist post, just know that an RD can also be considered a nutritionist, but a nutritionist isn’t always considered an RD. If you want more information about the new credential, read the AND’s complete statement here. For more on the requirements for becoming an RD/RDN, check out the AND’s page on the matter.

Pro(tein)/Con: Squarebar

Squarebar protein bar review | The Slender Student

I’ve been in a bit of a snack rut lately. For awhile I was perfectly content grabbing a protein bar in the middle of the afternoon or following a workout for a little refuel, but I’ve grown pretty tired of my usual picks. This means I’ve had to get a little more creative with my between meal bites– smoothies, fruit and yogurt, or cottage cheese + hummus and veggies. Unfortunately, time does not always permit the preparation of said dishes.

Squarebar protein bar review | The Slender Student

So when I received an email from the people at Squarebar asking if I’d like to try their product– an organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, peanut-free, corn-free, chocolate-covered protein bar– I jumped at the chance.

Depending on the flavor, the bars are about 200 calories and contain 11-12 grams of protein, 18-20 grams of carbohydrate, and 9-11 grams of fat. I wasn’t thrilled with the saturated fat content of the bar, but my usual diet is low in sat fat from other sources, so no red flag was raised for me there. Additionally, I’ll admit that the calorie count is on the higher end of what I’d usually have for a snack. However, the Squarebar philosophy is that #ingredientsmattermost, or in other words, “ingredients are a better indicator of nutritional and environmental health than nutrition facts.” I can get on board with that.

Plus, like, how is any self-respecting human going to deny themselves something that’s both covered in chocolate and full of protein?

Squarebar protein bar review | The Slender Student

Calories: 200-220
Fat: 9-11 g (Sat Fat: 6-9 g) | Carbohydrate: 18-20 g | Fiber: 2 g| Protein: 11-12 g

Cocoa coconut: this bar is soft in texture and rich in both the cocoa and coconut flavor; the taste of coconut is further enhanced by the coconut flakes throughout the bar

Cocoa almond: this bar is definitely nutty, with a subtle cinnamon flavor

Cocoa crunch: this bar is definitely my favorite flavor; it’s the most dense in texture, which really makes you slow down to eat it; there’s a deep, decadent chocolate flavor; the crunchiness makes it seem more like a candy bar than a protein bar

Squarebar protein bar review | The Slender Student

If you’re looking for a chocolate-covered way to get out of your own snack rut, the folks at Squarebar have generously offered my readers 40% off their orders by entering the discount code “theslenderstudent” at checkout. This offer expires on December 31st, so don’t procrastinate!