San Francisco State University

Student Dietetic Association Newsletter
January 2017
Letter from the Editor

Dietetics students and staff, welcome back to San Francisco State! I hope you have enjoyed the winter holiday, caught up on some sleep, connected with friends and family, and prepared for the spring semester that has officially begun.   

With a new year comes new adventures and potential for improvement, change, and continued learning. Socrates said, "The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." With 2016 behind us and many possibilities for this upcoming year, let's build on the opportunities that present themselves! We have a lot of terrific SDA events in the works and would love for you to get involved! To the start of something amazing...

With Gratitude,
Lisa Hamilton, Newsletter Editor
1. Upcoming Events/Dates
2. Balanced Beings Recap
3. Nutrition Focused Physical Exam
4. Fighting Food Waste
5. Volunteer Experience
6. Locavore Recipes
7. Mindful Eating
8. Literary Lunch
9. 2017 Inspiration
Maryn Brown- Upcoming Events
Danielle Davidson- Reduce Food Waste
Richard Kleinman- SF VA Experience
Lisa Hamilton- Food Books for Thought,
Nutrition Focused Physical Exam, Mindful Eating

Patrick Newton- Recipes
Laura Zimmerman- Recipes
Upcoming Events on Campus and in the Community!

SDA First Meeting of the Spring Semester!
When: Monday, January 30th, 3-4 PM
Where: San Francisco State University Rosa Parks A-C
  • Rich Kleinman will be presenting on the seriousness of climate change and how we can take political action within dietetics
  • We'll take an SDA group photo 
  • Patrick will lead a hands-on whetstone knife sharpening demonstration (bring a dull knife to put a new edge on it!)
Please join us for CAND-BAD's mini symposium! 
When: January 28, 2017 at UC Berkeley from 8 AM-3 PM. 
Where: 101 Morgan Hall, UC Berkeley. UC Berkeley is accessible by Bart and AC Transit. Meters and hourly parking are available on the street. 

Five excellent speakers will cover a diverse range of topics in nutrition and dietetics including worksite wellness, RD's in startups, community nutrition, 2017 nutrition trends, and more!
Visit this link to register:
Additional Questions? Email:

March is National Nutrition Month!
The SDA will be hosting a range of events and volunteers will be needed for the on campus festivities. Specific activities, dates, and ways to get involved will be shared soon. 

First day of Instruction for Spring Semester: January 23rd
Spring Break: March 20-25th 
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day: March 8th
Finals: May 18-24th 
Commencement: May 25th
Attention Seniors: DICAS and Graduation Important Dates and Deadlines!

Dietetics Graduation Application Due: Friday, February, 10th

DICAS and D & D Due Date: Wednesday, February 15, 11:59 PM

Final Ranking Date: No new applications may be made, but applicant can change ranking of programs until this date: March 28,11:59 PM

Match Results Posted: April 2, 6 PM until April 3rd

Appointment Day: Accepted Applicants must confirm their internship placement by April 3rd, 6 PM in the time zone of program

Commencement: Thursday, May 25, 2017
Balanced Beings Fall 2016 Update!

We had a wonderful time teaching 36 kindergarten students about nutrition, health, and physical activity at San Francisco's Sheridan Elementary in fall 2016. Children learned about where food comes from? and how to create a healthy plate with 'MyPlate'. They taste tested pomegranate seeds and Chelsea's delicious homemade pumpkin cookies. 

Teaching young students about nutrition and physical activity to empower them to make healthier food choices and exercise daily helps to create healthier communities.

Great thanks to our volunteers who allowed us to reach out to so many children: Alison Li Ting-Wei, Alexander Javier Sanchez, Mai Xiong, Madeline McAndrew, Rana Khatibi, Kimberly Lopez, Tiffani Anne Horn, Zainab Khalid, and Corin Luckhardt

If you are interested in gaining teaching experience and creating healthier communities please contact Sarah Schneider and Chelsea Flaherty at

Sarah Schneider
Nutrition Focused Physical Exams: Recap on December Presentation and Key Concepts
By: Lisa Hamilton
Nutrition focused physical exams (NFPE) are an emerging speciality in the field of Dietetics. A handful of SF state students along with dietetic interns were given a unique opportunity at first hand experience with one of the Bay Area's most qualified Dietitians in the field. From the VA hospital, Marilyn Benito, RD, is using this medical technique to improve patient care and diagnose malnutrition.

During the hands-on training, future registered dietitians practiced assessing multiple areas of concern such as dehydration through skin pinches, temporal and collar bone muscle wasting, and identifying edema in extremities (see photos below). The group of thirty students was led through the purpose, history, practical methods of assesment, and appropriate applications of NFPE. A big thank you is in order for Benito for taking the time to share her expertise on this cutting edge method. Dr. Gretchen George will also be introducing the topic in DFM 451 this spring for those who are interested in learning more about the clinical tool.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers the following objectives for NFPE trainings and a pocket guide for NFPE can be purchased for $13 on the Academy Website :
   Recognize the role of the NFPE in identifying malnutrition
   Assess muscle wasting and fat loss 
   Evaluate the presence of edema or fluid accumulation
   Identify clinical signs of micronutrient deficiencies 
   Measure functional status using hand grip strength
   Demonstrate basic NFPE skills on actual patients 
Jackie Gaytan learning the importance of muscle wasting in malnutrition diagnoses. 

Patrick Newton standing tall during an examination of his facial muscles and temporal region.


10 Ways To Fight Food Waste
By Danielle Davidson

1. Instead of stocking up on tons of perishable groceries all at once, try making more frequent trips while buying less at a time.

2. Plan ahead – have an idea of what meals you’ll prepare the upcoming week, and make sure to use food which spoils quicker first (such as chicken or salad greens).

3. Make sure food is properly stored and held at safe temperatures – refrigerated food should be kept below 40 °F, and reheated foods should reach an internal temperature of 165 °F.

4. Compost – it’s so easy to do in San Francisco, just throw away any food scraps and food-soiled paper into the Green Bins. If you’re interested in learning how to start at home, the organization Garden for the Environment holds free monthly classes on how to start compost in your backyard.

5. Freeze food that will likely spoil before you’re able to use it.

6. Make use of the parts of food you would normally toss out. For example, save veggie scraps and bones to make a flavorful stock; sauté beet greens; or make a curry out of the white part of a watermelon rind.

7. Save the peels of citrus fruits for turning into candy.

8. Use overripe bananas for making banana bread.

9. Download the iOS app “Love Your Leftovers” to get recipe inspiration.

10. Support organizations which divert food from the landfill and distribute it to those in need –  some local examples include SF Marin Food Bank, Food Runners, and Extra Food.

Volunteering At The San Francisco VA:
An SF State Dietetic Student's Personal Account 

By Richard Kleinman

It was my good fortune to be sitting next to current SDA president Patrick Newton in my first class at SF State. I was beginning to explore different options to work in a clinical setting and Patrick highly recommended the volunteer experience at the VA in San Francisco. I’m not an expert on all the other volunteer opportunities, but the VA stands out in that it allows student volunteers extensive one on one contact with the patients.

The VA also stands out in that there are quite a few bureaucratic hoops to jump through before you can get started. Background checks, immunizations, computer access and online training took about four months from start to finish. Whew! But well worth it.

The student volunteers primarily support the DTR’s and share an office with them. Our biggest responsibility is to interview patients and gather information that will be helpful in determining their dietary needs while they are in the hospital. Are they having any challenges regarding chewing, swallowing or other GI difficulties? Food allergies? We also ask the veterans to share information regarding their typical daily intake which can lead to nutrition education opportunities.

Working at the VA has also been valuable in that it provides an opportunity to interact with patients who have serious disadvantages in the form of economic hardship and/or mental health difficulty. Providing support for veterans with food insecurity is one of the ways an RD at a VA hospital makes a difference.

There’s much more to share and many more VA volunteers from SF State who can provide the inside scoop. If you haven’t yet plugged in to a clinical volunteer opportunity, you might want to reach out to Jessica Fruitman, the volunteer coordinator in the nutrition and dietetics department at to see if they have room for you. If you have questions, feel free to seek me out at

The VA hospital is in a beautiful setting at Land’s End in northwest San Francisco. When you finish your shift, you can take a short hike down to the beach and enjoy the view. (pictured above)

Locavore: Recipes from our Community
Patrick Newton, SDA President, shares a simple, yet flavorful vinaigrette that is a quick and delicious accompaniment to salad. SDA Vice President, Laura Zimmerman, adapted a NY times muffin recipe for a deliciously healthy snack for any time of day!

Black Garlic Vinaigrette  

1/2 cup Rice Vinegar (unseasoned)  

4 ea Small Dried Shitake Mushrooms 

5 cloves Black Garlic 

2 cloves Garlic 

1/2 cup Olive Oil oil 

1 tsp Brown Sugar 

1/4 tsp Salt 


1) Heat rice vinegar in a small saucepan, add dried Shitakes and allow to steep for 20 minutes 

2) Remove mushrooms from vinegar and add all other ingredients to a blender and puree until very smooth 

-Really good with little gems or other crisp green. Also works well with steamed or roasted veggies. 

-Can be stored refrigerated up to one month or freeze small containers to thaw as needed 



adapted from the NY Times
by Laura Zimmerman


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup shredded carrot 
  • ½ cup shredded apple 
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees & prepare/grease 12-muffin pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, dark brown sugar and eggs until smooth. Stir carrot, apple, coconut, 1/2 cup of the pecans and 1/2 cup of the dates into the wet mixture. Stir in the melted coconut oil.
  3. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cups. Sprinkle the remaining pecans evenly over the tops of the muffins.
  4. Bake 18 minutes. Let muffins cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Once cool, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Mindful Eating and How to Practice
By Lisa Hamilton

Mindful eating is defined on as the practice of bringing your full attention to your food by utilizing your senses to find true joy in the eating experience. It is based on the Buddhist teachings of mindfulness and emphasizes an appreciation and gratitude for nutritious mealtimes.

A July 2016 research study published by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics titled "An Expanded Model for Mindful Eating for Health Promotions and Sustainability" addresses benefits, concerns, and the growing popularity of mindful eating. The article states that mindful eaters use awareness to assess health choices and eating patterns. Conscientiousness empowers these individuals to make healthy choices for themselves and the environment. A Harvard Medical School publication details the growing interest in mindful eating with success being rooted in intentional thought. Improved weight loss, reduced fast food intake, and increased healthier choices have been recorded when people specifically notice the type and quantity of food they are eating.  

A few ways to start eating mindfully:
1. Slow Down- Take small bites of food and chew each bite well
2. Use your 5 Senses- Let's use a strawberry as an example. Smell the freshness- does it bring back any memories? Touch the seeds on the outside, look at the glistening red skin, listen to the sound as you chew, and taste the levels of sweetness, acidity, and richness
3. Switch Hands- Use your non-dominant hand to mix up your normal routine, it is a sure way to make you eat each bite carefully.
4. Make Conscious Choices- Is this food going to help your body perform optimally? Is it a whole food and would your grandmother recognize it as so? Are you hungry or eating out of boredom or stress?
5. Ditch Distractions- Turn off the TV, laptop, and cell phone. Be truly present and engaged in your meal and with loved ones you dine with. Have meaningful conversations or start your dinner with a few moments of silence to relax and unwind from the chaos of the day.
Looking for a free and healthy way to relax for a bit? Check out one of these foodie focused books to satisfy your hungry mind!

1. Author Calvin Trillin's The Tummy Trilogy, is a collection of his three culinary classics detailing a gastronomical journey across the United States. Described as the Walt Whitman of American eats.

2. The Art of Eating by M.F.K. Fisher is another collection of works containing five divine books. The female author includes recipes, memories, and thoughts. The essays are a must-read for any quintessential foodie.

3. Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly is the behind the scenes look at the famous chef's history and escapades in the culinary world. You probably know Bourdain from the popular, No Reservations TV series about travel and food. In this book he has a no holds barred attitude and will leave you with an honest look at a chef's struggle, hardships, and the amazing food along the way.

4. No food-centered book list is complete without at least one of local Berkeley professor, Michael Pollan's, highly renowned titles. In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, and The Omnivores Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals are all great places to start an in-depth consideration of the modern diet. Pollan's unique ability to challenge the status quo without sounding pretentious will give you a sense that maybe we have been doing this whole modern diet thing wrong. A few of his pieces have also been released on Netflix and as PBS specials if you are interested in a film rather than book format. 

Inspire Your Mind in 2017

What are some of your goals for this semester? S.M.A.R.T. goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realisitic, and timed. By using this equation you can track your progress in a measurable way and truly determine how effective your methods of change have been!
A Few Free Bay Area Hikes:
1. Sweeney Ridge Trail from Sneath Lane in San Bruno features views of the Pacific Ocean and an old missile site at the top of the 2.0 mile hike. The trail is dog friendly and can be accessed at a few points but the easiest is off of Sneath Lane. You will take the same path up and back for a total of about 4.0 miles.

2. Angel Island is an uninhabited little gem in the middle of the SF bay. It is accessible by the blue and gold ferry twice on weekdays and thrice on weekends from Pier 41. The sunset trail is about 5 miles and features unbeatable views!
Hot tea has been used since 2737 B.C. in the Chinese empire for relaxation, soothing temperament, and its calming effects. Currently, about 50% of Americans are enjoying a cup each day. 

The health benefits of tea were recently reviewed in an Academy article by Neva Cochran, MS, RD. The most notable evidence-based research is found in the antioxidant effect upon heart health. Drinking black tea may reduce heart attack incidence and green tea was shown to lower LDL, Triacylglycerols, total cholesterol, and increase the protective HDL levels.
Look out kale, some new hot foods are coming onto the scene in 2017. According to a BBC article, 5 popular foods for this year are tacos from all cultures, sea vegetables like Wakame, pickled products such as kimchi and sauerkraut, smart tech like a coffee roaster connected to your iPad, and edible insects! .  
Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids from the British Dietetic Association:
1. Heart and Blood Vessel Protection
2. Proper development of fetus
3. May improve depression treatment and protect memory 
1. Oily fish such as salmon, trout, fresh crab, mackarel, herring, fresh or frozen tuna and sardines. Eat two servings of fish per week and try to purchase sustainably caught seafood. The benefits of eating oily fish outweigh risks from pollutants.
2. Nuts and seeds, vegetable oils like rapeseed and linseed, soy and soy products, beans, milk and tofu; and green leafy vegetables.

This year, set goals that challenge and push your boundaries. The poet Rumi reminds, "what you seek is seeking you." All of the hard work you put into studying dietetics, giving back to your community, and achieving success is part of your plan. Embrace your worth, let your brightness shine, cheers 2017! 

Thank you for reading the January Newsletter! if you have any events, photographs, news stories, tips, or recipes to share please email me at to be included in our March issue. 

All works have been acknowledged in this publication. Image Credits: All images sources from searches using the name of the picture. "Food Trends", "More 2017", "Omega-3", "tea is always a good idea", "doing what you like is freedom", "my goal to build a life", "book on the beach", "mindful eating", "carrot muffin",, " vintage fight food waste", "goals are dreams with deadlines", "upcoming events"  

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