Food for Thought: LWDI Blog

Welcome to “Food for Thought”, the Lagniappe Wellness Dietetic Intern Blog. Here we will share current intern “spotlights” and posts written by our interns!

LWDI Intern Spotlight: Hannah A.

Check out the AMAZING work Hannah has been doing during her Food Service Rotation.  Way to go, Hannah! The high school district I interned at hires a third party company, Chartwells, to handle a part of their food service operations. ‘Discovery Kitchen’ is something that Chartwells hosts throughout their schools. It was created to help […]

Type 2 Diabetes and Inflammation: How They’re Connected and What Nutrition Can Do to Help

By Krista McKay, LWDI Intern What Is Inflammation? Inflammation is the body’s natural response to protect itself from harm. When tissues are damaged, they send signals to increase the flow of blood and other substances to the area, which causes redness and swelling. Acute inflammation is more severe and lasts only for a few days […]

LWDI Alum Spotlight: Virginia Leads a Pantry Garden to Surpass Goals and Supply over 850 lbs of Fresh Produce to a Community in Need

Recent graduate of LWDI, Virginia, started her journey as a Dietetic Intern with a food pantry in her area. She continues to serve her community by being a leader of the team that started this community garden at the pantry. The garden has surpassed their goal of 450 lbs and has provided over 850 lbs […]

LWDI Alum, Maria, Passed the RD Exam!

💫 please join us in wishing a huge CONGRATULATIONS to LWDI alum, Maria, for passing the RD exam!! 💫 We are beyond proud to introduce Maria Arana, RDN to the world of Dietetics and we know she will do amazing things in her career!Way to go Maria!! 👏

Childhood Obesity: A look at Child Nutrition Education in schools and increasing Nutrition Education/MNT insurance referral hours for patients

By Grace Brinster, LWDI Intern Educating children regularly about nutrition can help them make good food choices, inforce positive decision making skills, and effect behavior change – behaviors that might just stick with them well into adulthood. Also, establishing healthy eating choices at a young age can decrease the risk of future health complications and […]

The importance of not following/believing social-media influencers for weight loss recommendations; learning to get accurate information from Registered Dietitians

By: Kenneth A., LWDI Intern Health Influencers in Social Media If one were to ask the average person, “Where do you get most of your nutrition information?”, I’m sure many of the responses would be one of the following: Social Media platforms, such as Instagram, TikTok, or other Family and friends  Personal trainers or other […]

Prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes in Underserved Communities

By Trey Woods, LWDI Intern What is Diabetes?      Type 2 diabetes is an impairment in the way the body regulates and uses sugar (glucose) as a fuel.(1)  This long-term condition results in too much sugar circulating in the bloodstream. Prolonged high blood sugar levels can lead to various health complications such as neuropathy, blindness, kidney […]

Diabetes & Mental Health- Is there a Connection?

By: Hourig Attarian, LWDI Intern Diabetes is a disease that affects over 30 million Americans and is no walk in the park.1 Affecting almost every age group diabetes can consume the thoughts of the people it burdens. Imagine waking up one day not feeling too good, maybe even going to the ER and then you […]

LWDI Intern Spotlight: Ivette Receives Grant from Diversify Dietetics!

We are so excited to congratulate Ivette on receiving one of the 2021 Enlightened Grants from Diversify Dietetics to help support her during her Dietetic Internship! Diversify Dietetics works to increase the racial and ethnic diversity in the field of nutrition by empowering nutrition leaders of color. We are beyond proud to have Ivette in […]

LWDI Alum Spotlight: Kim lands a position at the National Diabetes & Obesity Research Institute!

Kim has landed a position with the National Diabetes & Obesity Research Institute on their team of amazing Dietitians! LWDI’s unique affiliation with NDORI allowed Kim to intern on-site with their team. We are beyond proud of her for being offered this valuable and important position to help lead the charge in Diabetes & Obesity […]

LWDI Intern Spotlight: Grace Helps American Heart Association Win Grant for Underserved Clinics in Her Area!

While Grace was an intern with the American Heart Association, she collected data and created a Community Needs Assessment for her area. The Community needs assessment helped the American Heart Association write a grant proposal for race equity funding for low income low food access households. Grace was recently notified by her AHA preceptor that […]

Obesity and Mental Illness: Can one lead to the other?

By: Cassidy Shumway, LWDI Intern  It is commonly understood that obesity and mental health are correlated to each other. In fact, it  is almost hard to acknowledge one of these topics without eventually addressing the other. We  know that there is some sort of connection, the question that remains is: what is it?  In order […]

What are your kids drinking?

By Chantelle Fabre, LWDI Intern What are Sugar Sweetened Beverages: Are you contributing to the childhood obesity rate by allowing your children to drink sugar sweetened beverages? Sugar sweetened beverages (SSB): are considered to be liquids that are sweetened with various forms of sugars. A few Examples are sodas, fruit juices, sport drinks, and energy […]

LWDI Alum, Emily, Passed the RD exam!

We are wishing a huge CONGRATULATIONS to LWDI alum, Emily, for passing the RD exam!! ✨ We are beyond proud to introduce Emily Gerrets, RD to the world of dietetics where she will be working as a clinical Dietitian in a hospital where she did part of her internship.Way to go Emily!! 

Pros and Cons of Trendy Diets and Weight Loss

By Emily Gerrets, LWDI Intern Weight loss is a huge trend in today’s society. Many popular diets continue to be created to help people achieve this goal. “Trendy” diets can be harmful for those who don’t have all the information before they start. Diets that claim to aid in weight loss can long-term side effects […]

LWDI Intern Spotlight: Taylor

What’s Taylor up to in her rotations? I just finished my community rotation at a grocery store chain that employs dietitians. While I was there, I helped promote healthful grocery items and sat in on phone calls and virtual consultations with clients. Currently, I am in my medical nutrition therapy rotation at a hospital nearby. […]

The Effects of Weight Loss in Adolescents Diagnosed with Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes

By Maria Arana, LWDI Intern Adolescence is one of life’s most challenging transitions. This stage of life is filled with new emotions, changes, relationships, and unforgettable lessons. As if these struggles were not challenging enough, dealing with obesity and type 2 diabetes can add to the stress. A diagnosis of this magnitude can be overwhelming […]

Intern Spotlight: Jessica interning with Hy-Vee

I am currently interning at Hy-Vee, which is a Midwest grocery store. I previously worked at Hy-Vee for four years as an assistant manager. My preceptors are dietitians that work for corporate. Some of the big projects I will be working on include hosting cooking classes via Zoom, 3 seminars for Drake University via Zoom, […]

Obesity and Gut Health

By: Alexis Villaret, LWDI Intern Ahhh… the holidays festivities have finally ceased. Family gatherings may have not inspired the finest eating moments. Usually, temptations are reserved for an occasional birthday or anniversary but with the consecutive holidays indulgences of eggnog, cookies, cakes, holiday roasts and alcohol are hardly avoidable. We are all aware by now […]

Portion Control and Eating Your Favorite Carbs

By: Kimberly Cruz, LWDI Intern A commonly discussed topic among many adults is diets and foods that should be avoided in order to reach a goal. What if I was able to talk to you about all of your favorite carbohydrate filling meals, the ones seen as “off limits” of your “guilty pleasure”.  For example, […]

Living with Type 2 Diabetes in an Alcohol-centric Culture: Simple Guidelines to Follow for Safely Balancing Cocktail Hour and Diabetes

By: Amanda Rugg, LWDI Intern Being able to enjoy alcoholic beverages while managing diabetes often seems intimidating at first. These simple tips will guide you to safely enjoying your favorite diabetic-friendly cocktail just in time for the holiday season!  Alcohol & Diabetes:  Understanding Main Factors Contributing to Blood Glucose Levels: The effects of drinking alcohol […]

The Importance of Early Detection and Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes

By Ryan Jeannotte, LWDI Intern

Ninety to ninety-two percent of people with diabetes have type 2, which is largely preventable. This means that with early detection, nutritional interventions, and an increase in physical activity we can prevent the condition and symptoms associated with uncontrolled diabetes from occurring. Intervening when an individual has a pre-diabetes diagnosis can significantly reduce the risk of developing a variety of serious health conditions.

Intern Spotlight: Kenzie

Here’s how LWDI intern and Tennessee Tech University grad, Kenzie, will add “something extra” to the dietetics world: “My background in personal training and working with clients has helped me prepare for incorporating fitness and nutrition together. I would like to show the community the benefits of not only nutrition, but fitness as well and […]

Intern Spotlight: Liat

Here’s how University of Tennessee grad, Liat, will add “something extra” to the Dietetics world! “Hello, my name is Liat Koenig and I am a dietetic intern at Lagniappe Wellness. I believe good nutrition is key to a healthy lifestyle and can prevent many common illnesses. As a future Registered Dietitian, I would like to […]

Intern Spotlight: Emily

Here’s how Emily will add “something extra” to the dietetics world! “I’m Emily, an intern from New Orleans, Louisiana. Being from New Orleans, food surrounds everything we do and is an integral part of our culture. Something extra that I would be bringing to the table would be to show that eating a healthier diet […]

Exercise: The Missing Link to Insulin Resistance

By: Virginia Pearson, LWDI Intern

Exercise is an important factor in metabolic health. During physical activity, our muscle cells can easily take in glucose in response to insulin from the food we eat (1), which helps maintain blood glucose at normal level. Choosing not to be active throughout the day triggers our muscles to become insulin resistant, which decreases the ability for our body to use the food we eat as fuel (2,1). Over time, insulin resistance slowly causes metabolic health complications to emerge. In order to prevent chronic diseases, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, we should engage in daily healthy eating behaviors along with regular physical activity to support our overall health (3,4).

Intern Spotlight: Hourig

Here’s how Hourig will add “something extra” to the Dietetics world! “As a future RDN I want to make sure I advocate for my patients and make sure all their needs are met. My lagniappe or “a little something extra” I will bring to the world of dietetics will be my own personal cultural background. […]

Intern Spotlight: Virginia

Here’s how Virginia plans to add “something extra” to the Dietetics world:” ¡Hola! I am Virginia Pearson, a distance Lagniappe intern completing my rotations in St. Louis, Missouri. I love food, not only for its foundation to our overall health, but its complexity in our lives. Food is cultural, personal, and a great medium in […]


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