Posts filed under ‘Random’
There are a lot of things you learn during your third year of medical school that are completely unrelated to medicine. A few examples…
The traffic lights in Boston neighborhoods don’t wake up until 6am. On my bike ride or drive to the hospital, I can’t help but think, “If the traffic lights don’t have to do their job, why do I?”
Scrubs are comfortable, but likely the least flattering work uniform ever invented. However, the draw of getting to wear free (to me) pajamas to work daily is the biggest appeal of surgical specialties, in my opinion.
Being awake and alert for 24 hours straight requires a lot of food, and some planning. Too often, call nights are sustained by chips, greasy fast food options, and sugary drinks. With a little planning, though, call days can be managed with healthy food choices and some sanity by the end of it! So, here is What I Ate Wednesday on my 24-Hour Obstetrics Call.
Travel mug of coffee with my last homemade bagel, half with almond butter and half with blackberry jam. Nibbled throughout my drive to the hospital and between pre-rounding tasks.
Lunch is usually the peak of a hospital cafeteria’s day, so I have found this is the best meal to purchase. The hospital I am at now has a GREAT salad bar that is not too expensive, so this tends to be my go-to option. That way, I make sure I get my veggies for the day! This salad had mixed greens, peas, chickpeas, carrots, sliced mushrooms, olives, feta, and noodle sticks with red wine vinegar and olive oil. With my student discount, it was only $4! Can’t beat that!
I never expect salads to hold me over all day, especially if things are busy and I am running around. For that reason, I always have a granola bar in my pocket for when afternoon hunger strikes! Having a healthy food option on hand helps prevent vending machine or nurse’s station munching. This Nature’s Valley Oats n’ Honey Crunch helped get me through the rest of a busy clinic session.
When the evening hours hit and the staff downsizes into night shift proportions, things become a little more unpredictable. This is when the motto, “Eat when you can, sleep when you can” comes into play. I reheated some leftover Thai Curry with Rice and started half of my dinner. Things started to get crazy though, and 2 C-sections later, I finished my dinner around 9:30pm.
Meanwhile, I had a few snacks between surgeries. A few clementines I had brought, a Ghiradelli chocolate square, and some saltines and 8-oz diet Gingerale taken from the nurse’s station helped to tide me over through a busy early evening.
My call night ended up being not busy after the early night rush, so my last granola bar served as “breakfast” to get me through morning rounds.
Some tips for new medical students planning for their first call:
Have lots of snacks. You don’t need to eat everything you have on you, but if things are busy, then you have lots of healthy food choices.
Have a few dollar bills on you. The only purchasable food options once the cafeteria closes down are from vending machines, and buying some trail mix is better than passing out in the OR from low blood sugar.
Have gum! And bring a tooth brush and toothpaste or mouthwash. You will probably want to freshen up your breath at some point…
You can try to bring all of your meals, but this can end up being a lot of food. If you do need to buy, buy lunch!
Eat when you can. Even if it is just a small snack, then you will have some energy when things get hectic.
Question: For any medical professionals reading, how do you handle planning for long hospital shifts?
Every once in a while, I get a bunch of unidentified green stuff in my Boston Organics box. I’d like to think I’m better than the average gal at green identification, but there are still occasions when I can’t quite distinguish certain species of kale from chard from random leafy greens. Last week was one of those weeks – I got a bunch of what looked like a mix between kale and Swiss chard in my box. Not sure exactly what the flavor of the greens would be, I decided to make a frittata out of them! I have posted several frittata recipes before and generally follow the same framework. For those of you who are new to this recipe, a frittata is essentially a fancy, fluffy baked omelette that is much simpler to make than its name implies. I use onions and garlic for a flavor base and 8 eggs with a splash of milk, salt and pepper for the fluffy egg center. To change the profile of the frittata, I simply switch up the veggies and cheese that I use. Goat cheese is my favorite because it is soft and melty in a freshly warmed frittata. To further switch things up, I splashed a bit of Balsamic vinegar over the greens as well. The result was a satisfying, fluffy egg dish bursting with green stuff. Who needs to know exactly what greens you are eating when it tastes this good?
Ever find that most recipes with goat cheese call for an ounce measurement instead of a tablespoon or cup portion? You’d need a scale to do that… so here is your chance to win one!
Sue from SlimKicker.com contacted me about hosting a give away so that one of you has a chance to win this amazing kitchen scale! SlimKicker.com is a calorie counter and healthy lifestyle app that turns your diet and fitness goals into a game-style challenge, complete with points and rewards. You simply track calories and your healthy food choices, as well as complete healthy challenges, to rack up points. Once you reach a certain point level, you are reminded to reward yourself with something like a “cheat food” or new fitness gear. The tracking system and supportive community are great motivation to stay on track with your fitness goals! I definitely found this type of support essential during my Game On challenge!
This is where you come in – SlimKicker.com is in need of some new ideas for healthy living challenges. To enter this give away, simply leave a 1-2 sentence comment with your idea for a fun and creative healthy living challenge. They can be anything from drinking 8×8 glasses of water a day, to getting 30 minutes of exercise per day, to learning to snack wisely between meals. The best idea will be chosen and featured as part of the SlimKicker challenges, and will receive the kitchen scale! The contest is open for one week, so leave your comment by Tuesday, August 7 at 9am to enter. One comment per reader, please, and prizes can only be shipped within the US. Looking forward to seeing the ideas that you come up with!
Hidden Greens Frittata
1 sweet Vidalia onion, chopped
1 bunch greens, roughly chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
dash garlic powder, parsley, salt
2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup milk
2 oz goat cheese
Preheat oven to 350F. Saute the onion in the olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Add chopped greens and saute until slightly wilted. Add Balsamic vinegar and allow liquid to reduce slightly. In a separate bowl, mix eggs, milk and spices. Pour over the greens and stir slightly to distribute. Allow to cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Transfer heat-safe saute pan to the oven and continue to cook for about 15 minutes. Crumble goat cheese over the top and return to oven for 5 more minutes or until edges are browned and center is set. Immediately sprinkle with shaved Parmesan cheese, if desired. Cut into 4-6 wedges and serve warm.
It has been a while since I have posted, and even longer since I have joined a WIAW party! Forgive me, friends, but sometimes life is just really busy! My day-to-day routine is dramatically different from what it was just a short few months ago, so I thought it would be fun to give you a peek into my new life as a 3rd year medical student. (It is official now since I found out today that I PASSED MY BOARDS!) My days are long and busy, and there is not always as much time for cooking, running, and relaxing as I would like, but I would not trade this experience for anything. Enough with the chatter, let’s get to the food! (Forgive the phone pictures – I forgot my camera!)
I am a morning person by nature, but let’s be real. This is an awful hour of the morning to wake up! I am awake, showered, and out the door by 6am, 6 days a week. Thank God for coffee!
I am on an “away rotation” right now, so I have a 45 minute commute out of the city every morning. The good thing is that I drive opposite of the traffic patterns, leave before rush hour starts and come home at the tail end of it, and carpool with 2 classmates so that I have good car conversation.
I eat my breakfast as I am grabbing my white coat and stethoscope before rounds. I try to eat as close to rounds as possible, since they can often mean hours on your feet with little break. Breakfast lately has either been peanut butter and jelly roll-ups or peanut butter and banana overnight oatmeal. The protein from the peanut butter helps keep me going through a busy morning! I always have a granola bar in my white coat pocket just in case, since it would be pretty embarrassing to pass out in a patient’s room on rounds… Not like that almost happened to me on my first day or anything… My oatmeal kept me full until lunch today, so I squirreled the granola bar away for later.
Each day, we have our lectures over lunch break, or noon conference. (Ironically, noon conference starts at 12:30, but I just show up as told ;)) Lunch is provided on occasion, but most days I bring my own food. Hummus wraps and leftover dinners are my standard items, and I have started eating my bigger meal during the lunch hour so I have enough energy for a busy afternoon. Today, I had some leftover whole wheat pasta with homemade tomato-basil sauce and zucchini. It was filling and delicious, even though the carbs left me pretty sleepy. (Whoever decided a lunch conference is a good idea promptly forgot their days as an overly tired student/resident…)
I am trying to stick to one cup of coffee a day, so have switched to black tea when I need an afternoon boost. Today was just one of those days. I picked at some cherries while I did some research and wrote my progress notes.
The workday ends around 5pm, unless you are admitting patients or haven’t finished your notes for the day. After letting the overnight resident know about my patients, I am on the road. Most days, I am too hungry to survive the commute back home, so I keep fruit or a granola bar on hand. Today was a granola bar day since I knew I wanted to run when I got home.
It has been harder for me to find time to exercise with 12 hour days and commuting, but I have been trying to run 2-3 days a week. My runs are short, between 2 or 3 miles, and are unfortunately less of a priority than they used to be. On days that I don’t exercise, I get some studying done or catch up with friends or chores. I appreciate any time I have to clear my head and my lungs, though, so even today’s short 1.5 miles was satisfying. I followed that up with some ballet barre exercises and light weights at home.
I am starving most nights, and so gourmet dinners are currently infrequent on my menu. Most nights, I have a salad or pasta. Breakfast for dinner is always a good option, too. Tonight, I made Chelsey’s Over Easy Savory Oats With Kale, topped with some red chili flakes and extra nutritional yeast. I had a handful of unpictured almonds and raisins to cap off the night.
After a little more reading, packing my breakfast and lunch for the following day, and catching up with friends, I try to maintain a reasonable bed time of 10:30. No matter what time I fall asleep the night before, though, the next morning alarm still comes too early! Life is busy, but life is good. Happy Wednesday!
Despite being rather absent from the blog scene lately, I am happy to accept Sara @ My Less Serious Life‘s shout out for the Liebster Award. This is my second time being passed along this honor, and I am always happy to join in the fun! The award is passed between bloggers to recognize up and coming writers with less than 200 followers. After sharing 5 fun facts, you pass the award along to 5 more blog friends! First, the friends, then the facts!
1. Lauren @ Whole Wheat or Bust
2. Melanie @ Little Green Homemaker
3. Stefanie @ A Dash of Sugar and Spice
4. Kim @ Badger Girl Learns to Cook
5. Allison @ Allison’s Delicious Life
Now for the fun facts… This might be a challenge given the current monotony of my life!
1. I am a movie narcoleptic. If I sit down for a movie anywhere past 9pm and am remotely relaxed and/or reclined, I will fall asleep. Yet somehow, I will manage to wake up as the credits are rolling. I usually think I am sneaky enough that no one noticed, but that is never true.
2. I ran my first 5K on Sunday! I am participating in the Boston Athletic Association’s Distance Medley, which kicked off this weekend. I had been working on my speed with sprints and intervals, so was excited to clock in a pretty good time. However, the race was so crowded that I could hardly move for the first mile! After running a 10 minute mile amongst 7,000 other runners, I gave up all time goals and just enjoyed the sunshine and the fact that so many people were participating in such a fun event!
3. I failed at freezing leftovers last week for the first time ever. I thought I was being clever, freezing soup in my mason jars instead of more delicate plastic Tupperware. However, I filled the jars way too full and they cracked. Then I cut two of my fingers retrieving the glass and soup shards from the freezer. Smart. Lesson learned.
4. I also have been cooking a lot less, relying instead on salads, sandwiches and frozen leftovers. Except for when they explode in my freezer… then I have savory oatmeal for dinner.
5. I have been spending so much time in my
desk chair study throne in front of my computer that often the last thing I want to do during the last hour of my evening is come up with a blog post. I have mentioned before, but I am currently preparing to take the USMLE Step 1 at the end of May. This is the first part of my medical board examinations, and is essentially a 2 year cumulative final. It has been a stressful semester, and is culminating with what is ominously referred to as “Intensive Study Period.” Although my classes officially end Friday, I will spend the next month spending 12+ hours a day, 6 days a week chained to my study throne. I expect that my posts will be sporadic, but I will still be making time to cook, run, sleep and read a few posts now and then!
I can’t leave you without a recipe idea until the end of May! If you are in the Northeast and have found yourself with some spring dug turnips, then this soup is for you! I am more than thrilled that root vegetable season is on its way out and that more local variety is coming back, but this soup was flavorful and different enough to satiate my creative appetite! I adapted the recipe from the Boston Organics website to make it a little healthier, and accidentally vegan. The soup is hearty like any good chowder, and remarkably filling from the protein boost (thanks to tofu in place of cream). This is also the soup that caused my mason jar accident, and I am sad I will not get to enjoy the leftovers! Guess that just means I will have to make it again!
serves 6-8, adapted from here
2 tbsp Earth Balance
1 large onion, diced
1 lb parsnips, peeled and diced
1 lb potatoes, peeled and diced
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
5 cups water
1 block tofu, pressed and drained
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp dried parsley
In a large pot, saute the onions in the butter until tender. Add the parsnips and potatoes. Cover with water and dissolve the bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cubed tofu and simmer for 5 more minutes. Use an immersion blender to process into a smooth soup. Add parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to stand for 1 hour before serving to allow the flavor of the parsnips to shine through.
In honor of the last What I Ate Wednesday in March, I decided to green my meals for the day! Despite a day of studying hematology, I still managed to sneak in some fun, healthy meals and a quick run. Since I have to get back to the books, I will let the pictures do the talking! They are also the links to the original recipes, if you are interested in trying something out for yourself!
3/3 of my meals had a green veggie base – that is what I call a WIAW gone green success! To make things even greener, my roommate and I started composting yesterday! Since we are city folk with no yard, we never thought this would be an option for us. However, friends told us about Boostrap Composting, which delivers compost buckets to your door, and picks them up on a schedule. If you compost enough, you can get some of your own homemade fertilizer back! We are excited to venture into this new world of waste, and would love to hear more about your experiences if anyone has composted before!
Question: How do you go green?
Between Pinterest, stars in my Google reader, old bookmarks, and saved family recipes, I have more meal ideas than I know what to do with! To deal with some of the recipe overload, I have been making some other blogger’s meals for the past week with delicious results. The only problem is, for every recipe I try, I find three more to replace it with! Inspired eating is never a bad thing, so I am not complaining. Here are some of the things I have tried and loved lately. All of the pictures are from the original websites, since I was to lazy to photograph my recreations.
A microwaved sweet potato with a scoop of plain Greek yogurt, almond butter and cinnamon. I was inspired by Sarah at My Less Serious Life during a WIAW post. I was a little skeptical at first since I usually associate sweet potatoes with savory meals, but gave it a try anyway. I had a small sweet potato and enjoyed it for breakfast, and am so glad I didn’t let my skepticism get in the way of this delicious meal! It is definitely something I would make again.
For lunch, I have been enjoying a healthy, hearty and delicious layered salad. Angela at Oh She Glows recreated a favorite from the Whole Foods salad bar, and it is easily one of the best grain salads I have ever tasted. The quinoa and edamame help keep you full all afternoon, and the citrus dressing is incredibly light and refreshing. I didn’t follow the recipe for the dressing exactly since I didn’t have apple juice on hand, but used what I had to approximate the flavors. Check out this recipe for a week of easy, healthy and portable vegan lunches!
For all of you cauliflower fans out there, this recipe from Heather at 101 Cookbooks is for you. If you aren’t a cauliflower fan, I would bet you’d still like this meal. The chiles and cilantro give the dish a great kick, and the turmeric adds a fantastic pop of color. To make this a rounded out meal rather than a side, I added some roasted red potatoes and some adzuki, lentil and pea sprouts. My friend went back for thirds, so let that speak for the bold and amazing flavors in this vegan dish!
Looking for a dairy-free alternative for a crudite platter, I tried out Katie’s vegan Ranch dressing. It is tofu based and has a great dill flavor. I made a lot of substitutions to use what I had on hand (real onions for onion powder, Greek yogurt for vegan mayo, and a touch of extra salt) and loved the result. This recipe makes a pretty large batch of ranch dressing, perfect for a party dip. I think it would also be great thinned out a bit for healthier, protein-packed, salad dressing!
Question: What is one new recipe you have tried and loved lately?
Happy Leap Year, which means a special Happy Birthday to my best friend! She is celebrating her 6th real birthday today by going to see Wicked on Broadway, and I hope that she enjoys her special day! My 29th of February was much more mundane – studying, running, meetings, more studying… but we did finally get some snow here in Boston! After a pretty mild winter, it is kind of fun to sit inside and watch the world get coated in a sparkling white blanket outside of my window! As long as I don’t have to venture out in it right away! Here is a peek into my real Wednesday, since I forgot to take pictures on Tuesday:
I wanted to pack the veggies into my meals today to mark the end of “Love Your Veggies” month, so what better way to do that than with a Green Monster? Spinach, frozen banana, peanut butter, Greek yogurt, milk and a bit of agave blended into a green breakfast delight. My 2nd favorite way to get the day off to a nutritious start! And no morning is complete without French pressed coffee…
I snuck out for a 30-minute tempo run before the snow started coming down, but it was chilly! I warmed up with a big bowl of leftover kimchi, brown rice and tofu. I cannot take credit for the making of this Korean cuisine – it was leftover from dinner with a friend over the weekend. However, I think it would be fun to try my hand at making my own kimchi one day! If you don’t know what kimchi is, it is essentially spicy, fermented cabbage. It smells up your entire kitchen, but is really tasty and good for you!
I munched on 2 bowls of grapes while studying away a snowy evening. I also drank a ton of water, since I am trying to be better about staying hydrated!
Dinner was a quick and easy pocket sandwich. Some chopped broccoli, spinach, and adzuki bean sprouts stuffed into a toasted pita pocket with some of Katie’s vegan ranch. Simple and satisfying, especially when paired with a glass of white wine and Brazilian candies for dessert!
Question: How did you celebrate the Leap Year?
I like Miss Smart’s term: Vegan with Benefits, because that best describes how I have been eating for the past week! Now that the vegan challenge is over, I am still eating pretty much the same at home. However, I am enjoying not having so many restritctions on friends and families, and the easier ordering process at restaurants. I enjoyed a Greek salad wrap for my first non-vegan meal, and loved it. Oh how I missed feta! The other half sandwich I ate at the catered lunch meeting, however, was not as satisfying and I actually picked the cheese off! Granted, it was fake American cheese slices, but it definitely surprised me how little cheese I crave anymore!
My food today was random and on a weird schedule, which I blame on cravings, a weird class schedule, and my evening yoga class. WIAW isn’t about presenting your perfect day, though, so here is a peak into my eats! In keeping with Jenn’s theme for this month, let me restate how much I really do love veggies. Despite being all over the place, I did a decent job of getting my greens. One way to get extra veggies is to incorporate them into snacks (I am not a fan of raw veggies, so like to roast broccoli or snap peas or Brussels sprouts first), add them to your sandwich (like the lettuce leaf over my hummus crackers), make up a quick side salad with dinner, or enjoy a huge stir fry. Join us for the month to try and get more veggies in your daily meals!
I finally obeyed my alarm clock and got up before the sun to get some work done. Lately, I have been able to get an hour of studying done before getting hungry for breakfast, but not this morning. That meant a really early breakfast of a pumpkin muffin with a bit of peanut butter, kept on the lighter side in case I decided to go out for a quick run. The other weird occurrence: I didn’t have coffee! I slept a lot this weekend, so my body hasn’t craved its caffeine jump start the past two mornings! Doubt that will last long…
After getting bogged down by work, a phone call, and a few distractions, my run never happened. I snacked on half an apple to tide me over, but needless to say I was starving by lunch! I heated up some leftovers: Mama Pea’s Thai Fried Quinoa (my 2nd time making the recipe!) made with edamame instead of peas and topped with a few peanuts and Sriracha. Still hungry, I munched on a handful of peanuts, and then heated up the other half of my apple with some local honey, cinnamon and almond butter.
I walked over to campus for a long afternoon of cancer screening seminars. My body responded to all of the information being thrown at me with a few loud stomach growls. I responded with dinner part 1: caramelized Brussels sprouts leftover from the other night, and a big juicy orange.
After a hard yoga class, I was about to gnaw my arm off. I turned to the quickest dinner part 2 possible: hummus on rice cakes with a lettuce leaf ripped over top, with some Veggie Chips from Trader Joe’s on the side. Those were promptly inhaled before I even reached the table… Still hungry after dinner, I roasted up half a crown of broccoli. Normal people crave broccoli for dessert, right? Regardless of what meal category this fits into, roasted broccoli with BBQ sauce hit the spot! Real dessert, 2 squares of dark chocolate, followed to end my random day!
Question: Do you ever have random food days?
How quickly a month goes by! Somehow, it is already February 1st, punctuated by the fact that it wasn’t pitch dark when I left the clinic at 5pm yesterday, and by the end of our month long vegan challenge! I will be back soon to share thoughts from my mom, dad, and friend, but for now, my food and thoughts on my last day as a vegan!
I had a full day yesterday, scheduled to shadow a clinical pharmacist from 8:30am-12:30pm and perform an observed physical exam from 1-5pm. A busy day must start with a good breakfast! I enjoyed some reheated whipped banana oats with a few blueberries, fresh banana slices, and sunflower seed butter stirred in.
Breakfast must have been good because I wasn’t hungry until I broke out my salad! A big bed of greens with green bell peppers, carrots, chickpeas, avocado and balsamic viniagrette. A pear as a palate cleanser, all enjoyed with a bottle of iced tea from the cafeteria. (I left my water bottle at yoga on Saturday and my hydration has seriously been lacking since then! Good thing my friend grabbed it for me so I should have it back soon…)
I definitely got hungry midafternoon, but was too busy to have time to take care of it. By the time I got home, I was ravenous! Good thing I could make 5-minute microwave soup… all from scratch! Check out Monday’s post about my vegan broccoli cheddar soup, which I made and enjoyed again after my long day.
I munched on some air popped popcorn, dusted with cocoa powder, cinnamon and sugar. A sweet treat to end the night, along with some chammomile tea and a handful of trail mix for good measure.
I have enjoyed exploring vegan eating over the past month, and am surprised at how quickly I adapted to a life without cheese. If I could live in my own insular apartment and always cook for myself, I would love to stay vegan. However, I am still in a very social part of my life right now, and potlucks and being hosted by friends and family is a greater priority for me. I do not want to wear the label of vegan, but will continue to cut back on the amount of dairy I consume. I am striving for balance, not perfection, and this is what seems right for me. I will be back soon with my parents thoughts on how they will continue!
Question: How do you handle hunger when you don’t have time to take a break?