Saturday, February 02, 2013

Coursera vs. Winter

My attitude and overall mood rise and fall with the temperature. This morning we were listening to the radio and heard that the windchill would hold steady around 1 degree today, so as you can imagine my general disposition hasn't been too pleasant.

I was sitting at home feeling sorry for my sorry self when I remembered that I recently signed up for a free Coursera course called Nutrition for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Coursera is this brilliant website started by a few social entrepreneurs who decided to partner with the top universities around the world to offer courses online for free. I signed up for this nutrition class, but there are topics ranging from control of mobile robots to songwriting. My class is taught through the University of California San Francisco, but I could go to University of Melbourne or Princeton! My professor is Katie Ferraro. She's a Registered Dietitian and an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Health Care Nursing. She works as a consultant dietitian.

Believe it or not, I started watching my course lectures and like magic the learning started washing away my winter woes. Who knew learning could improve mood?

Professor Ferraro challenged my classmates and I to consider interesting concepts like malnutrition being the result of under- and over-nourishment. She also helped remind me of macro and micro nutrients and which ones yield energy. I learned helpful information about my personal diet like the fact that tannins found in tea can interfere with iron absorption. I even calculated how many calories I need (1269) and Dominic needs (1738) per day based on the Harris Benedict Equation. 

We know that poor nutrition increases our risk for chronic disease, reduces our quality of life, and impacts our financial status. If knowledge is power watch out winter!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I just read about the advantages of black tea in the prevention of diseases and now you are telling me it will contribute to anemia??? Guess I'll drink in moderation.