Hiking Indian Head in the Catskills

A few weeks ago it was super cold out. My hiking friend Skyler and I decided to go hiking (go figure!) It was before the huge snow storm so we were excited to not have to use snowshoes. However, there were a few inches of snow on the ground up in the mountains, so we just wore our microspikes. The trailhead to Indian Head and Twin Mountains is about 1.5 hours south of Albany. We were planning on hiking both since it was around a 7 mile hike total. With the windchill it was -13 degrees. With the appropriate clothing and gear, we were warm!

We got to the junction after about 90 minutes of hiking. We went left to Indian Head since it was only a half mile to the summit. It was cold so we were undecided if we were going to hike Twin. Neither of us particularly care about hiking all of the Catskill 35 peaks so it was an easy decision to leave Twin for another  (warmer) day.

Right before the summit there was a very icy section. We stopped for about 15 minutes to put on our crampons. So glad we had them with us. Skyler also had his ice ax which made it a little bit easier to carve steps into the ice. We got to the wooded summit and immediately turned around and headed back down. There were very few views on this hike. It was actually kind of disappointing because I had read this hike had some of the best views in the Catskills! But maybe the views are over on Twin. I’m not as familiar with the Catskills as I am with the Adirondacks and I have to admit that the ADK are my first love.

This trail was not difficult, but the ice made for some sketchy spots. I believe this trail is part of the Devil’s Path. We left our crampons on for the hike down, which went a lot faster than going up.

Indian Head Mountain 
Distance 5.3 mi RT from Prediger Road trailhead
Ascent 1,503′
Time 4 hrs, 15 min including stops

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Sleeping Beauty Solo Hike

Last month when the weather was warmer I decided to get outside and hike Sleeping Beauty in the Lake George area. This was my first Adirondack hike back in 2008 (before I had a blog!) and I had been meaning to go back and hike it again. Since the weather was warm and it was a pretty short hike, I felt confident that I could hike solo! I parked at the Hogstown trailhead and walked the 1.7 miles to Dacy Clearing.

This road / trail is open to snowmobiles so there were a few snowmobilers driving up and down this road. It was pretty annoying. The snow was getting mushy and would have been a pain to walk in with microspikes so I wore snowshoes for the entire hike. There was probably a foot of snow off the trail.

I continued up the trail that leads to Bump’s Pond, eventually coming to a trail leading to Erebus Mountain on the left. I continued straight, hiking around the pond.

Eventually I came a trail junction. The trail went straight to Fishbrook Pond, but I took a right to go to Sleeping Beauty.   It was about 1.0 from there to the summit. The trail never got too steep!

I had the entire summit to myself!

I ate a couple bites of my lunch and then headed back down. For some reason I wasn’t thrilled to be up there by myself. Hiking with friends is so much more fun! Instead of going back the way I came, I took a different trail back down Dacy Clearing. It was 1.1 miles down and a little bit steeper than the route I took up. It came out right on the snowmobile trail I had hiked in on.

The sun was shining! It was such  a nice day. I didn’t see anyone else until I started descending, which was surprising. I think I saw maybe two people wearing snowshoes. Everyone else was post-holing their way up, ruining the packed snow on the trail. It’s so frustrating.

Sleeping Beauty Loop
Distance 7.6 mi
Elevation 2,160′
Ascent 1,287′
Time 3 hrs, 34 minutes (including stops)

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Day in the Life of a Clinical Dietetic Intern

Happy Registered Dietitian Day! By this day next year I’m planning on being part of the club. But for now, here’s a post about what it’s like as a clinical dietetic intern. Enjoy!

7:30AM Arrive at the hospital. Today I am scheduled to observe a gastric bypass surgery! Gastric bypass, or Roux-en-y surgery, is a a type of weight loss surgery. In this type of surgery, a small part of the stomach is used to create a new stomach pouch, about the size of an egg. This new, smaller stomach is then connected to the small intestine (or jejunum), “bypassing” the rest of the stomach and the top of the small intestine (or duodenum). Those that undergo this surgery have to follow a strict liquid diet afterward because the stomach is now so small it cannot handle large amounts of solid food. Eventually the diet can progress to regular food and the patient will only be able to consume small amounts at a time, resulting in weight loss. It was my first time ever inside an operating room! The surgery was done laparoscopically and a portion of it was also done with a surgical robot. It was fascinating!

12:15pm: After observing the surgery I headed back to the nutrition office to eat my lunch quickly before heading over to the Cancer Center.

12:30pm: Drive to the Cancer Center. This week I’m working with our oncology dietitian.

12:45pm-3:00pm Visit patients in the infusion center. We talk with patients while they receive treatment. We discuss how they’ve been eating, if they have an appetite, etc. This is a good time to talk to them because they are already here receiving treatment and are usually here for a few hours. They don’t have to worry about scheduling a nutrition appointment, we go right to them. Side effects of cancer treatment include loss of appetite, dry mouth or bad taste in their mouth, mouth sores, and nausea/vomiting all of which can result in weight loss and put the person at risk for malnutrition. Some patients are prescribed medical marijuana to increase their appetite and relieve symptoms. I spent some time going through recipes to give to them. Never in my life did I think I would be doing this as part of my internship!

3:00pm-4:00pm. One-on-one initial nutrition counseling session. Patients can also schedule appointments with the dietitian one-on-one. Like I stated above, the biggest side effect of cancer or cancer treatment is decreased appetite and weight loss. The primary goal for patients with these issues is weight maintenance. We discuss ways to increase calories and protein during the day. Eating more small, frequent meals will give them more energy, while more protein will prevent loss of lean muscle mass. Both are very important during cancer treatment.

Boost is a supplement frequently recommended to patients who don’t have much of an appetite. They also may be fatigued and too tired to prepare meals. It’s a quick and easy way for them to get adequate nutrition. Although consuming real foods is always preferred, sometimes drinking their meals are all that the patient can manage.

4:00-4:30: Write a tube feed! Today the RD showed me the demo that she uses when showing patients how to tube feed.

Some patients require a tube feeding (also called enteral nutrition) because they have trouble swallowing (called dysphagia) or eating food by mouth. The tube can either be placed through the nose to the stomach or intestine, go directly into the stomach to the intestine, or directly into the small intestine to be absorbed. Today I finally got to write a tube feed for an actual patient! This patient needs a new enteral nutrition formula to prevent weight loss. I suggested that we find a more concentrated formula for him so that he gets more calories per carton, providing him more nutrition. The RD checked over my tube feed calculations and approved it! We can now write it on a prescription pad to get signed by the MD. So cool! I have to say writing tube feeds is one of my a favorite parts of being a dietetic intern.

4:30pm Drive home. I have to say I am loving my clinical rotation. This was the rotation I was most nervous about, by far! But I am having a great experience at this hospital. Every week I’m with a different RD who has a particular specialty, so I get to see all aspects of nutrition in a clinical setting. They have been amazing mentors.

Seven years ago I sat down at an information session for a nutrition program. Little did I know it would be seven years of hard work. Back then, the internship seemed like it would be eons away. Now, I have three months left of the internship and then I can take the RD exam. It’s all going to pay off! If you are a dietetic student reading this, just know that it will all be worth it in the end!

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bites

Happy National Nutrition Month!

This year’s theme for National Nutrition Month is Put Your Best Fork Forward! Making small, healthy changes really does add up! For example, today I was craving my favorite salted caramel chocolate chip cookies. I was walking through the bakery aisle at the grocery store where they are sold and I was tempted to buy them. However, after getting in some good exercise today, I didn’t want to undo everything I’d already done. I decided against buying those cookies, instead opting to make a healthier sweet treat to curb my cravings. With fiber, protein, and probiotics, these peanut butter chocolate chip bites will satisfy those chocolate chip cookie cravings.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bites
Recipe adapted from Amy’s peanut butter cookie dough bites 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp vanilla protein powder (I used Bob’s Red Mill Vanilla Protein Powder w/ chia and probiotics)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter powder
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the flours, protein powder, and peanut butter flour until well mixed.
  2. Add the oil, vanilla, creamy peanut butter, water and brown sugar and mix well until a soft dough forms
  3. Roll into bite-size balls

Yield: ~18 balls

Nutrition Information per serving
2 bites=1 serving
Calories: 224
Carbs: 27 g
Fat: 12 g
Protein: 4 g
Sodium: 66 mg
Sugar: 18 g

*Some day I promise I will learn to take quality food photos. Now is not that time!

Small changes really add up. Whether it be setting a goal to eat at least one new fruit or vegetable every week, trying a new healthy recipe, or just working out a few times per week, these changes really make a difference.

What are you going to do to put your best fork forward?

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Winter Snowshoe to Camp Santanoni

A couple of weeks ago a few friends and I snowshoed to the Great Adirondack Camp Santanoni in Newcomb. For a few weekends every winter, they open the camp up for visitors and serve hot chocolate in one of the huts by the lake. The special thing about this Camp is that it’s only accessible in the winter by snowshoe or cross country ski! It is a five mile journey to the camp from the parking area, making it a long hike, but totally worth it! The views on the walk in were amazing!

You can see Santanoni from the trail. When we got there we checked out the inside. It was huge! So many rooms.

The walls were covered in birch bark.

 

The arrows were pointing in the direction of the hot beverages. This one had a can of coffee on it! We sat and enjoyed our beverages for a little bit before hitting the trail back out.

It was a very warm day, the snow was slowly melting all around us.

Camp Santanoni
10.5 mi RT
4.5 hours including stops

The next Winter Weekend at Camp Santanoni is scheduled to be March 18-19!

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