Month: April 2014

This post has nothing to do with nutrition but I hope it will make you laugh. Today was my last day at my current job(s) and I’m feeling a little nostalgic. I thought I’d do something a little different today and share some of the craziest, sweetest, most hilarious and oh-my-goodness-worthy quotes from my beloved patients. Enjoy!

1. Patient: Where do you get your cream of rice? I’ve checked all the stores. I looked at Sears, Home Depot, and Staples and none of them have cream of rice.


2. Patient: You have a fiance, don’t you?

Me (wearing gloves – my engagement ring is not visible): Well yeah, actually, but why do you say fiance instead of boyfriend or husband?

Patient: You have that ‘engaged’ look. I can tell.


3. Me: Would you like me to take your blood pressure?

Elderly male patient (with strong German accent): Vhy yes…do you vant to sqveeze me?

Me: Umm….nope.


4. Patient (to another dietitian): Thank goodness it’s you. That other dietitian (me) was so scrawny.


5. Elderly female patient: Your eyes are so pretty. I don’t know why you wear your hair over your eyes like that…it covers up the pretty part of your face.


6. Me: Well, that’s all of my questions. We’ll check on you tomorrow and see how you’re doing. Have a nice day!

Elderly male patient: Don’t leave! You’re pretty!


7. Me: We have several types of nutritional supplements if you’d like to try any of those to help increase your calorie intake.

Older male patient: Do you have Boost?

Me: We sure do!

Older male patient: I love Boost! What flavors do you have?

Me: We have chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

Older male patient: Strawberry! I love strawberry!

Me: Great! Would you like me to have one sent with each of your meals?

Older male patient (takes my hand, looks at me very seriously): I love you.


8. Patient: Are you skipping school to be here?

Me: I’m sorry?

Patient: You look like you’re fourteen!

Me (to myself): Make mental note not to wear braids to work. Ever. Again.


9. Me (working on teaching some diabetes education): The next thing on the nutrition label you need to look at is Total Carbohydrates.

Patient: Yes. Carbohydrates. Got it. How much money do you make?

Me: Why do you ask that?

Patient: Because I want to know. How much do you make?

Me: Well, I’d rather not say, actually. Is that alright?

Patient: Okay. How many hours do you work?

Me (teasing): Well, that depends on how long it takes to get through your handout.

Patient: How many hours do you work each week?

Me: Well, it is different every week, but these aren’t really relevant topics. Is it alright if we go back to looking at the nutrition label?

Patient: Okay. So how much money do you make?


aaaaand my personal favorite…

10. Older male patient: You look so pretty with your hair up. You should wear your hair up every day. If you were my girlfriend and you wore your hair up I’d say, “Da**, you’re a gorgeous wench!

Me: Umm…thanks?




Picture from

Normally I love to use legumes (beans, peas, lentils, peanuts) as fiber and protein sources in my diet, so I got to wondering why it is that legumes are not allowed on the paleo diet. Honestly, I have no clue how they were introduced into our diets in the first place and thus no clue whether the hunter-gatherers would have had any or not. So I set off to do some research and found an article entitled “Why No Grains and Legumes?” on a paleo blog (eureka!).

So the author was claiming that legumes are out on paleo for a variety of reasons, one of them being their lectin content. I had never heard tell of such thing so of course, further research ensued. Come to find out lectins are proteins that hang out on the outside of plant and animal cells and bind carbohydrates. They just so happen to be found on legumes, particularly beans, as well as wheat, potatoes, and some other foods. It seems that one of their purposes is to prevent insects and critters from eating the plants. The lectins are actually toxic and they cause hemagglutination – which is a fancy word for “they make blood cells stick together.” When animals are fed raw bean diets, they develop lesions, fatty livers, and digestive/absorptive problems among other appetizing maladies. Other researchers have suggested possible (though not proven, as far as I can tell) links between lectins and diseases such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Now I’m thinking, “What the heck? Why have I never heard about this before?

Well most likely that is because according to the Cornell University agricultural website, wet cooking methods including soaking coupled with adequate boiling are sufficient to eliminate the toxicity of most of the lectins and render them safe for human consumption. Several paleo blogs I found, however, disagree that cooking eliminates all of the harmful potential of these little proteins.

What I find interesting (aside from all the disagreement) is that it seems these foods are not being eliminated from the paleo diet because the hunter-gatherers didn’t eat them, but rather because of these lectins. Since that is what I understand to be the premise of the paleo diet in the first place, the elimination of foods such as beans and potatoes seems beyond the scope of the diet itself. In fact, according to the Wikipedia page “Bean” (I know, we’re using big-time science here), beans have been around since 7th millenium BC. On top of that, the “Paleolithic” Wikipedia page says that we suspect humans in the Paleolithic era ate a substantial amount of tubers. Potatoes are tubers. So, I’m not exactly sure how the “paleo diet” crew latched on to the elimination of potatoes and legumes, but nonetheless, lectins have proven to be an interesting topic of research. I tend to agree with the following statement, courtesy of my fiance: “I’m pretty sure the cavemen ate whatever they could get their hands on. If they found some good eats they probably didn’t pass them up because of their lectin content.”

I gotta tell ya, this is the kind of stuff that makes being in the health field so difficult. Everybody is always saying something different from the next and unfortunately even well-done research is not perfect. We have to do the best we can with what we have and press on to the next topic. If you know anything more about lectins that you’d like to share, be sure to let me know in the comments!


Paleo Diet