Why I Left Nutrition

For those of you who know me personally, this is old news.  But for those of you who don’t, this will be new.  As you can see on my about me page, I obtained my undergraduate degree in Food Science (with a specialization in human nutrition).

But before that, when I first started at Clemson- I was on the Dietetics track.  What’s the difference, you ask?  Well, nutrition and dietetics have the same fundamentals, but dietetics tends to be more clinical- and therefore requires more accreditation.  In the US, a nutritionist does not require extra accreditation, and there is a very loose definition for this label.  However, dietitian is a very strictly regulated field, and one can only be labeled as such after taking special courses and internships at accredited Universities/medical schools/hospitals.

So, back to freshman me. I was (and still am) a huge proponent of using natural remedies/ food as preventative measures and sometimes treatment for acute illnesses and overall wellness.  This can be considered a holistic approach.  I wanted to be a holistic practitioner, and a great place to start was in dietetics.

 However, late in my sophomore year, I changed my mind.

 The main reason is simple, and quite unfortunate.  When it comes to health, everyone is an “expert”

I had determined at the relatively young age of 20, that I could not work with the general public in matters of health and wellness…because, well…they won’t listen to someone with a degree.  They are happier reading from a magazine with bright colors and fun pictures.

I’m going to start ranting now, so you may want to step out…or put on your understanding hat, and try your best not to get offended if you are a self-made nutrition/health “expert”.  Because I have a few things I would like to say to the majority of people out there who googled saturated fat and now know everything.

 Who do you think you are?

In this day and age, where everyone wants to be involved in managing and understanding their health (a very admirable trait), something has gone terribly awry.  A fog has settled in, mixing up the very important distinction between fact, theory, and opinion.  People read an article on crunchygreenearthmother.com and think they suddenly understand everything there is to know about triglycerides, what they are, where they come from, and how they are good/bad for your health.  There is no need for accredited dietitians anymore, not now that there are experts studying under Drs Google and Wikipedia.

I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but there’s a reason people go to University for this topic.  It’s because it isn’t simple- there is a lot more to nutrition than the latest fad.

For a less ranty/more informative post, check out my public service announcement about research articles and food science in general.  I’ll go ahead and leave my conclusion here, since it’s the same as this one…

knowledge>fear

and leave it to the professionals (the real ones)

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It’s About That Time

This comic post is a little late since we got so busy packing the last week… for those of you who don’t follow me on instagram, we left Florida yesterday morning- for the last time.  We are now in South Carolina, staying with my mom, waiting on the final word regarding our delicate situation… yes, it has been a many-months-long process.  Inshallah the news will be good!

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Throw Back Thursday: The End of an Era

 Yesterday I received an email telling me that my thesis has been accepted by the graduate school.

 My status has been changed to final clearance.

 What does that mean?

 It’s over!

The era of higher education, for me anyway, is done.  Complete.  Finished.  Beginning around six years ago, this month, my technical graduation will be August, but for all practical purposes, I’ve completed my schooling.

 It’s been a long journey.  Starting in upstate South Carolina and eventually finding my way to Florida, I’ve had many experiences as a student.  Realizing that my studies have completed, I became a little nostalgic.  There is so much I miss about my undergraduate experience… the city of Clemson, the friends that I had there, meeting the love of my life (and marrying him), summer Sundays at Lake Hartwell, and fresh fall Saturdays spent on the hill with 80,000 of my closest friends (only fellow Tigers know what I’m talking about).

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  Those are days I will never forget.  Let alone the less pleasant memories…my first failing grade, thinking my love was going to have to stay in Turkey right after meeting him, professors who couldn’t teach their way out of a paper bag…

But the good memories are so much more than the bad ones.

And then I came here.

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  Most of the memories I’ve made since moving to Florida revolve around married life.  Like I had said before, Hubby and I married a week before moving further south…so I wasn’t surrounded with the friends one can only make during their undergrad, but I did experience so many other things that only graduate school can provide.  That incomparable rush when you make an A in the hardest class in the department, spending every waking moment working on your research, forgetting what the outside of the lab looks like, and second guessing why in the world you are here.

 But I came.

And now it’s done.

  Of course there were lots of vacation/ beach trip memories to be made too, but those aren’t over.  There are plenty of beaches to enjoy in Turkey (can’t beat the Mediterranean, am I right?)…but school, formally, is done.  I can’t even wrap my head around it!  What will I do with my time?
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You never stop learning, really.  For instance,  I will be learning Turkish, sewing, cooking methods, etc (inshallah)…but there is something so heavy about finishing something you have been working on for years.  Six years, to be precise.  I wonder if I will look back on Florida the way I look back at Clemson…with fondness, and a pang of longing. Time will only tell, I guess…

 It’s the end of an era.

Vertigo? Verti-NO!

  And I’m not talking about the movie…

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As of two days ago I’ve had a nasty battle with vertigo.  If you aren’t familiar with that term- it refers to dizziness that is not associated with nausea or passing out.  I’m talking about full tilt, world spinning on it’s ear, running into walls dizziness.  It first started on Sunday afternoon when getting up from a nap.  When I woke up the following day (yesterday) for suhoor I ran into a wall… we were afraid that this vertigo was from fasting and I chose to skip fasting on Monday and make it up along with my -lady time- fasting later.  I went to the doctor today and they said I had a viral infection in my inner ear.

  I guess the good side is that nothing else feels bad?

The doctor told me not to fast for a few days so that I can fight the virus before it gets worse.  Lots of fluids and good eating were my prescription- but I am rather upset.  I very much enjoy fasting and feel very in touch with my creator when I do it.

Fortunately the only way that fasting could have caused my dizziness is that my immune system dropped (as does everyone’s) when putting excess stress on your body.  Fasting coupled with my Masters’ defense tomorrow was a stress cocktail that resulted in a viral infection…ick!

Fortunately the doctor said that after I have one full day of no dizziness I can return to my fast! YAY!

But I do want to stress that if anyone out there is feeling dizziness during their fast- they should seek medical help.  There could be a blood pressure or blood sugar problem that has reared it’s head now that you or fasting…or you could have an infection due to a lowered immune system!  Fasting is intended for our goodness and not to make us sick- so don’t be afraid to visit the doctor and take a few days off for your wellness.  Surely Allah is the most Beneficent and Merciful indeed… and you can always enjoy reading Quran or listening to tafsir (lessons) to keep your iman and taqwa boosted during this blessed month.

Ramadan Mubarek!

Art- A Painstaking/Love Taking Process

Maybe I’m being conceited a little- but I consider myself to be an artistic autodidact.  Studio art (i.e., painting, pencil sketching, charcoal sketching, marker art, and of course my comic!) is a beloved hobby of mine that has been nurtured by my family, particularly my maternal grandmother, since I was a toddler playing with crayons.   My grandmother herself is a very accomplished sculptor, but she doesn’t have the strength to work clay anymore.  We used to do paint-by-numbers together when I was in elementary school…

anyway, getting a bit nostalgic here,

I was required to take an art class in middle school, as is everyone else in the world (am I right? lol.) and the teacher didn’t like how I would draw how I wanted.  That turned me off to art classes, and my family never had the money for classes outside of school anyway.  I would always just draw/paint for fun.

Recently I have been getting back into my art, predominantly pencil sketching and painting.

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  and usually animals (especially the fat and fluffy kind) or nature scenes.  I used to focus only on people…but I decided I wanted to expand my craft!  I observed speed paintings and sketches online to develop better techniques…and it is a long process to develop a skill, even if it is natural.

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My graduate school adviser saw me sketching in the laboratory once and insisted I show him all of my work.  He was impressed and later told me he was jealous of my ability, hahaha!  He requested I “make a drawing” for him before I graduate.  Well, he ruined the surprise, because that was going to be his gift (in the US we give a gift to our advising professor when we graduate for grad school).  I’ve spent two days working on a baby cow painting, which was actually spread between several weeks.  I thought I’d show the progression, and how I create a painting!CAM00851

First, a wash with green, denoting where I want light and shadow…but I always end up changing what I do…
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Using a fan brush I create grass, using two shades of green, black, white, gold, brown, and violet…I had never done close-up grass before, so it took me a while to figure out how to create dimension.

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Next, I did the same as the grass for the cow…washing the white space with the shade of brown I want the cow.  I delineate spaces of light and shadow accordingly…again, this is prooobably going to change.

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Fill it in and voila! Awe, look at that baby cow!  I haven’t decided if I’m happy with it yet…so it may change. I’ll put an update here if I do!

Let me know if you would like to see more of my work!

Back to Work

I returned home from…home? Well, I went back to South Carolina to visit my family for a long weekend, and returned to my hubby yesterday.  It was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO nice not having to stress about all of the complexities in our lives!  I’ve been talking up Turkey to my family to make them less worried about my eventual move there- and I think they are starting to understand why I am looking forward to it :).

We are still dealing with that delicate situation I mentioned a month ago, so I am unable to divulge any details yet… and I will be working on my thesis and wrapping up my graduate work in the coming months.  It will be slow goings here on When In Turkey until all of this work gets caught up…but inshallah I will have more comics coming soon 🙂

A Delicate Situation

At the moment hubby and myself are in a very delicate situation related to his studies.  I hope to inform everyone of the details at a later time, but for now we need to keep this balancing act private.  However, if there’s one thing certain, things are going to be changing soon, and in a BIG way.  Inshallah I will be graduating in July without a hitch.

Stay tuned for more comic strips until things settle down!