I passed my RD exam on September 8th and graduated from my Dietetic Internship the following week, which makes this post extremely overdue. I thought perhaps it was a little to late to write about it, but so much of this blog has been building up to me becoming an RD, and I finally have a little downtime today as I relax before the Marine Corps Marathon tomorrow. As usual, things have been very busy since I last posted in August, mostly relating to my new full-time job as a clinical dietitian at Montefiore medical center as well as fall semester classes (I will finally be done with my Master’s in May). After such an intense year in the internship and then cramming for the RD exam, I admit my motivation to study is on the lower side, but thankfully, getting straight A’s is no longer top priority now that I have my credentials.

Taking the RD exam was a terrifying experience; I was literally shaking the entire time. I hadn’t taken a standardized test since high school (that was a LONG time ago) and had never taken an adaptive computerized test, so I was pretty freaked out. I knew I couldn’t have studied any harder (I crammed extremely hard for two weeks, with a few weeks of on/off studying before that) and I also knew going into it that a lot of people felt like they were doing horribly and ended up passing without a problem. So I tried to stay calm, as much as that was possible. My mantra was something along the lines of “all I have to do is pass,” but believe me, I did not feel like I was passing! The questions seemed very different from all my test prep materials (Inman, MedPreps, RD in a flash) and I only knew the answer right off the bat for a handful of questions. For the rest, I was guessing between two (or more) answers, in many cases because the wording was so confusing. However, I will note to anyone reading this who is preparing to take the exam that many of my friends did not think it was as tricky as I did. More importantly, despite the emotional roller coaster, I still ended up passing with flying colors!

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Getting my score report was the best feeling ever – what a high. I also haven’t felt that relieved in a VERY long time. Finishing the internship in early August was great, but I knew I wouldn’t really feel like it was over until I earned my credentials. We are able to call ourselves Registered Dietitians (RD), or the recently added Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). I am choosing RDN, although in the hospital, RD is more familiar and thus used more often.

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It worked out that my exam was scheduled right when my family had planned to visit, which made the post exam celebrations even more wonderful. I met them uptown at Alice’s tea cup and enjoyed a lovely high tea lunch, followed by a stroll around Central Park and an awesome dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Mermaid Inn East Village, before having to run off to class (unfortunately it was my first class of the semester that day too).

I hadn’t yet started my new job yet the week of the exam (just medical clearance appointments and training sessions), so it was nice to have some time off to spend with my Mom, before the craziness started up again. The weather was gorgeous for most of the week and although it wasn’t the same as having actual time off for a real vacation, we had fun wandering around and eating our way through NYC. One of the things my mom and I did was make ice cream in my new ice cream maker. We used the NY Times Master ice cream recipe – we figured we would start nice and simple with vanilla. IT WAS AMAZING and although slightly time consuming (you have to make the base and then chill it before putting it in the machine), it was SO worth it. I put the ice cream in individual containers, some with almond butter in the middle, to help with portion control, because otherwise we would have eaten the entire batch in one sitting! I haven’t had time to make ice cream again but am definitely going to after the marathon – perhaps will try pumpkin to make it a bit more seasonal!

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Speaking of pumpkin, I made a great batch of pumpkin banana pecan whole wheat muffins a couple weeks ago. They made wonderful pre/post running snacks, perfect as E and I completed our last long training runs for the MCM. I loosely based the recipe on Kathy’s cinnamon pumpkin muffin recipe from Happy Healthy Life, using whole wheat pastry flour, a real egg and skim milk (so mine was not vegan), ripe mashed banana instead of applesauce, some pumpkin pie spice as well as cinnamon, pecans, a small handful of rolled oats and no frosting. I’m looking forward to baking more pumpkin goodies once I’m back in NYC!

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