Sunday, January 18, 2009

New Journey

Welcome to my blog ! A little about myself – I have a B.Sc. and a Ph. D. in nutrition. For several years now I have been publishing research papers, writing book chapters, consulting for food companies, lecturing and serving on the editorial boards of nutrition journals. Until recently, this was my passion – asking research questions, conducting science, mentoring students and contributing to the nutrition field. In the science field, I am referred to as a 'junior scientist' or a 'mid-level career scientist' ! In my opinion there is nothing junior about being almost 40 years old and both titles sound like I've still got a long way to go to achieve my full potential !

My real enthusiasm lies in translating the science into practical information that will help my friends and family achieve a healthier, more balance diet. Recently, my close friend and writer of the Pointy Universe (http://pointyuniverse.blogspot.com/.), Kate, shared with me that she has breast cancer. How could this happen to my young friend ? This doesn't happen to us, does it ? My immediate reaction was “How can I help” ? Kate handed me a list of 8 dietary supplements she had ordered to help boost her immune system. I got it. You just don't get this news and sit back and do nothing at all to – you fight back ! I reviewed the list and despite my background was lost as to what was included in some of these supplements, the doses and the scientific justification behind their advertising. Oh boy, if I'm confused and feel lost, I'm sure other people out there feel the same.

So this brings me to this point, ready to start a blog, ready to tackle some of the questions my friend will ask over the course of her treatment, ready to breakdown the latest headlines on diet and health, ready to write about controversial topics and ready to embark on a new career. I look forward to the journey. Before I begin, let me first disclose a couple of things about myself:

1) For the record I try to eat healthy but I have been known to drive in and order from the menu of Dunkin Donuts and other fast food establishments !
2) I am not opposed to dietary supplements – I take a multivitamin, a vitamin D supplement and a fish oil capsule. I'm just a little skeptical of claims made about some dietary supplements, given the lack of scientific evidence.
3) I have a preference for whole-grain products. Do I eat refined grains ? Yes, but I try to substitute them as much as possible with whole grain alternatives.
4) I dislike soda but I do drink the odd diet coke.
5) I am overweight. My Body Mass Index (BMI) is a 26 kg/m2. I understand the struggles of trying to maintain a healthy body weight – its difficult – especially since fast food is so available and you don't even need to get out of the car !
6) I plan to become a Registered Dietitian (RD) at some point in my 'junior' career.
7) My New Years Resolutions – eat healthy, exercise more and keep a journal. I'm struggling with all three !
8) Last but not least, I'm married and a mother of two school-aged children (ages 4 and 6).

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