Hi there! My name is Maddy Van Dussen, and I am an intern at the New Bedford, MA campus. Right now, I am in my intermediate clinical rotation at Tobey Hospital. The hospital is small, which I like because it has allowed me to get to know more of the members of the interdisciplinary team that I am collaborating with to care for patients. I learn so much about different disease states every day. I also get to see how nutrition interventions can help people avoid, combat, and manage disease and lead healthier, happier lives. I’ve learned how to apply motivational interviewing when meeting with patients to be able to help guide them in setting their own goals for themselves. A valuable thing I’ve learned during clinicals is to ask questions. There are no stupid questions. Being curious and asking questions will help you to get the best out of your experience. It’s also important to ask if you are unsure about something, especially when it comes to the care of a patient!
My concentration is wellness, which fits in perfectly with my interests and has allowed me to explore different ways in which I can help individuals and communities to explore and learn more about nutrition and wellness. For example, I love teaching about health through cooking. I often find myself talking with patients about different recipes they can try and how they can make their favorite meals healthier! Sodexo has a great program called Cooking for Wellness, which is a resource for Sodexo chefs and/or RDs to find cooking demo guidelines to follow to implement a cooking demonstration on a recipe. These cooking demos include talking points on the benefits of the ingredients in the recipe. I’ve had the opportunity to work with Beth Winthrop, the National Wellness Director for Campus Services at Sodexo, to create a recipe with a cooking demo guide that University Campus RDs can follow to put on a cooking demo for their students! I chose a recipe on Sweet Potato Toasts. This is an awesome option for people with a gluten intolerance, celiac disease, or who want a boost of vitamins, minerals and fiber from sweet potato. Here’s the recipe below if you want to try it for yourself! I have also worked with the Wellbeing Program Manager at Southcoast Health, to create a bulletin on Mindful Holiday Eating and Healthful Holiday eating, complete with healthier versions of popular Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes. The Wellness concentration has allowed me to experiment and be creative. I love coming up with ways to keep nutrition education exciting and to grab people’s attention with something that they haven’t seen before or make them think in a way they might not have thought before.
Sweet Potato Toast
Sweet Potato Toast
- 1 medium sweet potato
- Toppings of choice
- Wash and scrub the potato. Pat dry.
- Slice off about ½ inch from both ends of the potato
- Slice the potato lengthwise into ¼ inch thick slices
- Place the slices into the toaster oven or toaster. Cook until it begins to brown and get crispy and the slice is cooked through. If no toaster or toaster oven is available, place slices on a lightly oiled baking pan and broil on high on the medium rack for 10 minutes or until slices are cooked through, and start to brown and become crispy.
- Let cool for 5 minutes then eat plain or garnish with your choice of toppings. The options of endless!
- Greek yogurt + pomegranate seeds or berries + granola
- Nut butter + chia seeds + cinnamon + apple or banana
- Pesto + mozzarella cheese
- Hummus + cucumber or tomato slices + nutritional yeast
- Cream cheese + capers + smoked salmon
- Nutella + strawberries
- Tahini + beets + feta
- Fried egg + avocado + salt & pepper