Pssssssssst! Here are some secrets that can save big bucks for registered dietitians looking to fulfill CPE requirements. First, online tutorials at eatright.org/cpd are free for members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Look around and you may find a lot of discounted or free CPE opportunities! The Commission on Dietetic Registration has a (long) list of CPE providers at cdrnet.org.
If variety is the spice of life, then add a dash to your favorite everyday meals by getting familiar with an herb or spice you don’t regularly use. Learn where it is from, how it is cultivated, how to use it in your dishes—and give it a try! Members of the Food & Culinary Professionals DPG suggest choosing a spice that is less-common in typical American cuisine but still reasonably available, such as paprika (as an ingredient and not just a garnish!), turmeric or cumin seeds (common in Indian fare) or pimenton pepper (smoky, sweet dried powder used in Spanish cooking). You can also take a look in your pantry and choose a spice you already have but don’t quite know what to do with.... perhaps coriander seed, cardamom or fenugreek. Or re-explore the classics by grinding spices yourself. Whole spices are more flavorful and keep longer than powdered spices.
How does that saying go? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of… agony? Spend an hour to make a file on yourself. List your credit cards (card number and the customer service phone number listed on the back), driver’s license ID number, and passport number and expiration date. Photocopy your Social Security card. Void a check from your checkbook and add it to your file. Most cell phone service providers can recommend address book back-up software, or you can scroll through your contacts and write down their names and numbers. This is good emergency preparedness practice—even if the emergency is losing your purse.
Going green is a lot like eating right: make small improvements one step at a time so your new lifestyle will be more likely to stick. The Hunger and Environmental Nutrition DPG suggests selecting food or other products with minimal or recyclable packaging, which can significantly reduce the volume of waste generated. Another suggestion is to make an effort to buy local products when possible. Whether you find a farmer’s market, join a co-op or ask your grocer where products are from, buying local supports diversified farming systems and recirculates wealth in the community—not to mention putting fresher food on your plate.
There is a lot of nutrition research out there—some of it is good, some of it is not so good. This year, learn how to separate the scientific evidence from the less reliable research by using the Academy's Evidence Analysis Library. Complete the Evidence Analysis Library Tutorial and earn a Level 1 CPE while you are at it. You will understand how research is analyzed and summarized on the library, use the Evidence-Based Nutrition Practice Guidelines and companion Evidence-Based Toolkits and learn how this innovative resource can save you time and help your practice. There are four tutorial modules—each 12 to 15 minutes long so you can complete them at your convenience.
According to the ancient Chinese practice of feng shui, how you arrange your physical surroundings has profound metaphysical effects on the outcomes of your goals. But even if balancing the yin/yang elements to strike the right spiritual energy in a room isn’t your thing, consider giving your work space a good old-fashioned cleaning. Clutter—especially paperwork—can raise your level of anxiety, not to mention hinder efficiency. Clear surfaces by relocating items that don’t need to be out in the open to a cabinet or drawer. Take a look at your walls and remove any outdated announcements or notices. Buy or borrow a shredder and recycle bin and tackle those piles of paperwork. If you cannot file it or forward it, shred it. While you are at it, sort through your filing cabinets. (Do you really need paycheck stubs from 1998?) Once your space is organized and tidy, wipe down your phone, computer keyboard and surfaces, and finish it up with something you enjoy—a cut flower in a bud vase, a nice room spray, a picture frame or a cool wall calendar (which usually go on clearance after the first of the year).