The Nutrition Internship

The internship at Jiwa Damai is a unique experience. We always invite our interns to write an evaluation of their project and learning process and an evaluation of their personal development, at the end of their stay. You can read here the thought of Rene, our intern, on her project at Jiwa Damai

During my time at Jiwa Damai, I utilized the Permaculture garden facilities and the knowledge of other volunteers in order to explore my interest in nutrition. I do my best to lead a healthy and nutritionally balanced lifestyle, but I came into my internship with very little real knowledge about the science behind nutrition. I was incredibly lucky to arrive at a time when Jiwa Damai had a volunteer who studied at the institute of holistic nutrition in Vancouver. We spend the first couple of weeks doing forty-five minute to an hour-long classes every day on basic nutrition so that I would have some background before I started my own research.

"During one of our first classes we talked about how important oil is for the proper functioning the body. I was very interested in the topic of oil because there has been so much controversy about its health benefits and risks. My first assignment was to research cooking oils and write an article that would provide information about the possible health benefits and risks of cooking with oil. I focused on the smoke point and oxidation of oils. All of my research was conducted online and I then had Lucy go over my findings and we discussed the validity of the information I found. 

Once I felt like I had enough information about why our bodies need the things they do, I began my research on coconut oil. I was able to participate in the production of cold pressed coconut oil made from jiwa damais very own coconuts. After learning about the process from start to finish, I began my Internet research. I looked at the medicinal and practical uses of coconut oil and what about its makeup makes it so amazing. I also used myself as a bit of a guinea pig, implementing coconut oil into my daily life. I ate it, used it as body lotion, rinsed my mouth with it and put it in my hair.  After a couple weeks of research and experimentation, I documented my findings in another article.

After finishing my research with coconut oil, I moved on to Moringa, another nutritionally rich plant that we have growing here at Jiwa Damai. I followed the same procedure that I did with coconut oil: Internet research, implementation into my diet and a final article documenting my findings.", - Rene. 

You can find our more about the internships at Jiwa Damai on our website. You can also listen to a talk by Rene on our blog.