Potomac Post – Winter 2018

Letter from the President

Happy 2018, everyone!

I hope you are all rested and recharged for what promises to be a busy 2018 for DCMAND.

In case you haven’t heard, DC is hosting FNCE 2018! We hope you will all join us October 20 to 23 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center downtown. A group of us recently met with the FNCE planning team when they came to town for a site visit to the convention center and we learned so much about what it means to be a host city. We look forward to sharing that with you soon so keep an eye out for opportunities to volunteer and opportunities to help us plan our free booth. And I hope you’ll also block off October 24 for what promises to be the largest Academy lobby day ever!

Speaking of policy, DCMAND will also be reviving our annual state legislative day later this spring. This event will offer opportunities for CEUs, professional development, networking, and meeting with members of the DC Council and their staff to promote our profession. This is a great opportunity to practice your advocacy skills and a very approachable first step for anyone who has been unsure about joining AND’s quarterly advocacy days on Capitol Hill. And if you’re interested in policy leadership, email We are looking for a diverse group to help coordinate visits with all 13 members of the Council.

Lastly, we will soon be unveiling our organization’s new strategic plan, developed by a group of current and past board members (Whitney Bateson, Carolyn Wait, Robyn Douglas, Tricia Psota, Kris Sollid, and myself) with the expert guidance of DCMAND Executive Director Carrie Kiley. To help develop this plan, we surveyed our entire 2016-2017 membership, current and past board members, area non-member dietitians, and local leaders in food and nutrition to see how we can best serve our members and our profession. This roadmap will guide our programming and member benefits over the next several years and we look forward to hearing from you as we work to maximize the value of your membership.

Hannah Martin, MPH, RD
DCMAND President

Letter from the Editor

Greetings DCMAND members!

Part of our responsibility as nutrition professionals is staying up-to-date on all things nutrition…which means not only the new research, but the new consumer trends.  As 2017 came to an end and 2018 began, I have noticed an influx of the top trends to watch out for in 2018 in the media.  So in case you have tried not to pay too much attention to the latest nutrition trends, I wanted to share what I gathered as the important (or interesting) trends as we head into 2018.

  1. Probiotics.  This one seems like old news, but if you are like me, the gut microbiome remains a top interest in my own professional development. A Today’s Dietitian survey polled a group of dietitians who agree that fermented foods are a true superfood.  Read this article to find out what other foods that group of dietitians like to recommend.
  2. Adaptogens.  These natural substances have been recognized for around 60 years in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.  Adaptogens help mediate stress responses within the body.  New research will continue to develop in order to understand more about the in vivo mechanisms of action. [Panossian, A. (2017). Understanding adaptogenic activity: specificity of the pharmacological action of adaptogens and other phytochemicals. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.]
  3. Raw water?  This has to be the most interesting trend of the three.  Especially when the filtration and marketing of drinking water has transformed filtered water into a money-making industry.  Read this article for more information.

Now for what to look out for beyond the trends…

In order to stay in the loop with all the latest nutrition information, don’t forget about the annual meeting DCMAND offers.  So don’t forget to mark your calendars.  April 20, 2018 will be DCMAND’s annual meeting at the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, DC.  Expect announcements in future E-blasts for information on registration.

This years theme is  “The Whole Package”,  looking at the body as a whole to improve the effectiveness of our nutrition practice.  Speakers will be exploring topics like how nutrition affects body systems, uncommon collaborations, and work-life balance.  I look forward to seeing you all there!

Early-Bird Registration: February 1-28
Normal Registration: March 1- April 17

Brittany Wood, RDN
Potomac Post Editor

What has DCMAND been up to?

On December 1, 2017, 30 members of DCMAND were treated to a half-day CPE event at one of the most iconic buildings in the DC metro area: the Pentagon. The event, entitled Health and Nutrition: A National Security Issue, included a 1 hour guided tour of DoD headquarters, followed by an invigorating 1½ hour seminar presented by LTC Victor A. Suarez, U.S. Army. In the seminar, LTC Suarez, who currently serves as the Chief of Staff at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, discussed research he conducted in 2016-17 as an Army War College Fellow at George Washington University, Milken Institute School of Public Health. His project focused on ways and means to optimize health readiness of the force by incorporating lessons from the most successful corporate health and well-being programs and by creating an aspirational culture of health during all stages of one’s service to improve health outcomes, lower healthcare costs and produce healthier service members, veterans, and beneficiaries. The DCMAND Board of Directors sincerely appreciates LTC Suarez’s dedication to health and nutrition promotion, as well as his willingness to speak our members about this exciting movement within the DoD community. DCMAND would also like to extend our appreciation to LTC Mark Paolicelli, U.S. Marine Corps, who was instrumental in coordinating the logistics for this exciting event.

Meet the Board Member

Name: Stephanie Johnson, RDN, LD
BOD Position: PDC Chair and Webmaster
Education: Montana State University
BS – Food and Nutrition, Dietetics
BS – Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Biomedical Sciences
Dietetic Internship- Virginia Tech, Falls Church
Current position: Associate, N. Chapman Associates and Nutritionist, Advocates for Better Children’s Diets

What you like most about your position? 
In my current positions, I get the opportunity to work with all types of clients including private businesses, non-profit organizations, government, schools, professional organizations, and individuals in the DC community. I love that I get to stay up on current events and that every day is different. I enjoy the creativity and critical thinking that this position requires. They also let me do some graphic design on occasion, which I love.

Favorite activities outside of work:
When not working, I try to spend my time exploring all of the wonderful and interesting events and places available around the District. They seem to be endless. When at home, I enjoy making my boyfriend try vegetarian dishes, painting, and small design projects.

Favorite thing about (or to do) in DC:
Amazing free events (i.e., Gloria Gaynor concert and disco at the Library of Congress!)

Meet the Cindy Reeser Award Winner of 2016-2017

Name: Jenny Dang, RD
Education: B.S in Nutritional Sciences from Penn State (December 2015), Internship at Virginia Tech, Northern Virginia location (May 2017)
Current Position: Nutrition Coordinator of Early Childhood Education for Northern Virginia Family Services and Food Policy Associate for Food Directions

What you like about your position?
I’m actually starting the Nutrition Coordinator position early January! I really enjoyed my Head Start rotation during the internship, and am excited to pursue this area full time. I look forward to implementing nutrition programs for young children and their families because I believe this is the stage where I can empower them to develop a strong nutrition status and lifestyle habits. In my Food Policy position, I like that I can work on a variety of topics such as the nutrition facts panel and food labeling.

Favorite activities outside of work:
Hiking, painting, playing the piano, cooking

Favorite thing to do in DC: 
I love visiting the monuments at dusk. There are few tourists around at that time, so you can really soak in the experience. In the metro area, I love having a picnic by the water in Old Town.

Persimmons: The New Flavor of the Winter

Article and Recipe by Jenny Dang, RD

Step over pomegranates, clementines, and pears. There is a new, popular winter fruit and its name is persimmon.

Persimmons have a reddish-orange color and different varieties are round like a tomato or resemble more of a heart shape. The two most common types are hachiya persimmons (astringent) and fuyu persimmons (non-astringent). Astringency creates a dry or puckering sensation in the mouth.

Hachiya are more heart shape and contain tannins, creating a bitter and astringent taste if not eaten ripe. When ripe, they taste sweet and have a jelly-like consistency. To speed up the ripening process, place hachiya in a brown paper bag with an apple or a banana because these fruits produce ethylene gas, a ripening agent. Hachiya are ripe when they have a deep orange color and will feel very soft and plump to the touch.

Fuyu persimmons are round like a tomato and have an orange color similar to a pumpkin. They taste crunchy like an apple or a pear, but they can also taste similarly soft to hachiya when ripened longer. They can be eaten fresh as a snack or sliced up and used as a topping for salad, breads, pie, yogurt, oatmeal, and toast.

Both varieties can be eaten raw or pureed for ice cream, jam, and baked goods. Persimmons can be found at Asian grocery stores but are also popping up in stores like Safeway, Whole Foods, and Costco.

Spiced Persimmon Oatmeal
½ cup oats
½ cup milk
½ cup water
1 persimmon
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla extract

Bring milk and water to a boil, add oats, and reduce to medium heat.
Finely dice the persimmons, reserving ¼ to ½  for a topping.
Add diced persimmons, cinnamon, and vanilla extract to the oats and stir occasionally.
Cook to desired consistency and transfer to a bowl. Top with diced persimmons, nuts, nut butters, dried fruits, coconut flakes, or honey.

In Case You Missed It…

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has announced this years theme for National Nutrition month.  Believe it or not, but March is right around the corner.  The theme this year is “Go Further with Food”.  The messages of this year reflect the need for cutting back on food waste, and putting that responsibility directly in the consumer’s hands as well as emphasizing food safety.

Public Policy Update

The Academy will be seeking input from Academy members and DPGs over the next two years as we make recommendations on the upcoming Dietary Guidelines 2020-2025.

Additionally, the Academy will select nominees to serve on the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC). Nomination criteria for the most recent 2015 DGAC was detailed as:

“Prospective members of the DGAC should be knowledgeable of current scientific research in human nutrition and chronic disease and be respected and published experts in their fields. The prospective members also should be familiar with the purpose, communication, and application of the Guidelines and have demonstrated interest in the public’s health and well-being through research and/or educational endeavors. Expertise will be sought in specific specialty areas that may include, but are not limited to, cardiovascular disease; type 2 diabetes, overweight and obesity; osteoporosis; cancer; pediatrics; gerontology; maternal/gestational nutrition; epidemiology; general medicine; energy balance, which includes physical activity; nutrient bioavailability; nutrition biochemistry and physiology; food processing science, safety and technology; public health; nutrition education and behavior change; and/or nutrition-related systematic review methodology.”

If you would like to nominate any qualified experts, including yourself, who meet the criteria for DGAC nominations, please submit their name(s), credentials and contact information to Nate Stritzinger at Contact Pepin Tuma at for additional information.

Upcoming Policy events in Washington DC:

  • The  2018 National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference will take place February 25-27 in Washington, DC. Join the more than 1,200 individuals who have registered to attend what is expected to be the largest anti-hunger conference. It’s not too late to register today. The draft agenda and additional information can be found on the conference website.
  • Obesity Care Advocacy Day and Congressional Briefing will take place on Capitol Hill, February 27. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in conjunction with Obesity Care Advocacy Network (OCAN) leaders will host the second annual Obesity Care Network Advocacy Day on Tuesday, February 27 in Washington, DC. Participants will attend meetings with Capitol Hill offices between 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., and a lunch briefing at noon. The day’s events will conclude with an ANDPAC and ObesityPAC reception 4:30 – 6 p.m. to honor legislators who have championed efforts to promote patient access to, and coverage of, obesity treatment services. Register today and join us!

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