Posts tagged ‘WIAW’
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?
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!
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?
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?
Yesterday was a very special occasion: I got to spend the day at home and meet my best friends’ brand new baby! I was lucky enough to have the day off from my scheduled clinical classes, so I drove home Monday night and am leaving bright and early today to head back for Boston! A quick trip indeed, but I made the most of my day! Here is a peak into a day where I’m not stuck behind my desk:
I woke up early to get some studying done, and so was already a cup of coffee and a few pages into studying before breakfast rolled around. I couldn’t pass up a family breakfast now, so I took a study break to enjoy some banana bread oatmeal with my parents before Dad left for work!
Mom took the day off, so we had a lunch date to the Loving Hut in Matawan, NJ. We were excited to try out a totally vegan lunch place, since Mom is trying to stick to a more plant-based diet since our vegan challenge. This lunch was a treat!
We split spring rolls for an appetizer – tofu, carrots, cucumber, and lettuce wrapped in rice paper with a peanut dipping sauce.
For lunch, we each ordered a sandwich and then traded halves. Mom got a Portobello panini, which came on a great seedy bread with avocado, a chipotle veganaise, and a side arugula salad. I ordered the Philly cheesesteak, which was soy sauce-marinated soy protein with mushrooms, onions, and a nutritional yeast vegan cheese sauce, served on a great toasty bun with sweet potato fries. We split the sandwiches and sides so we could try a bit of everything!
Since it was Valentine’s Day, we couldn’t pass up dessert, so we ordered a piece of Coconut Cake to share. It was a bit heavy for my tastebuds, but that didn’t stop us from polishing off our shared piece. Mom and I both agreed – all vegan food should be this flavorful and creative! If you live in NJ or near a Loving Hut, definitely check it out. There is some really great food to be tried!
I can’t mention meeting a little one without sharing some pictures! Baby Ben was the point of my visit home… It killed me to not be able to be home through labor, delivery, and get a chance to visit in the hospital, but it was nice to be able to be the first house guest! I got to spend an hour holding him as he slept, giving her time to unpack, change, and relax! I am so excited for both of my friends, and cannot believe that they are parents! I am honored to hold the title “Aunt Jen” and look forward to watching this cutie grow in front of our eyes!
After baby bonding, Mom and I spent some girl bonding time. We picked up some necessities at Costco, and then got manicures and pedicures. We came home to enjoy a glass of red wine while waiting for Dad for dinner!
After a large lunch, we kept dinner light and healthy. We roasted some broccoli and cauliflower with tumeric, garlic and onion, served with a side of brown rice pilaf (a mixture of brown rice, sprouted beans, leeks and pine nuts). My portion was pretty small after such a huge and filling lunch, but there were a few unpictured broccoli florets speared from my Dad’s plate!
A small dinner left room for a small dessert – a scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream with sliced strawberries, enjoyed while watching Chopped with my mom. I’ll be a more studious med student
Question: Did you love your veggies and your sweets this Valentine’s Day? Who did you spend your day with?
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?
Happy Wednesday! My week has flown by, since a good chunk of Monday was spent in the ER with my roommate (who knew washing dishes could be so dangerous?! 4 stitches and 4 hours later, she was fine!) and Tuesday catching up with school. I ate – nothing too exciting, but I still enjoyed every bite, I ran, I studied, I did yoga. A peek into my eats:
Breakfast: oatmeal cooked in water and almond milk, with pumpkin butter, raisins, cinnamon and sunflower seed butter. Morning workout: 4.5 mi run. Lunch: Pan-fried polenta, steamed Swiss chard, and black beans, topped with nutritional yeast and salsa. Dinner: Oven-roasted snap peas, pita chips, and Sriracha swirled hummus. Evening workout: 1 hr power yoga class. Pre- and post- yoga snacks: Trail mix with peanut butter filled pretzels, raisins, granola, and peanuts; a rehydrating orange and chamomile tea.
The focus of this post, however, is not about me or my day. I recently received a copy of the book of poetry, Jump, written and published by the girl that I mentored in college. Even though we are no longer formerly involved in the mentorship program, we still meet up from time to time to catch up on life, her college applications, and hopes and dreams for the future. I could go on and on about how amazing she is, but I think her poetry speaks for itself. If you are interested, she has copies of her book for sale for $10 – email me (email@example.com) for information about how to purchase one!
I wanted to share this poem because I think it is particularly applicable to the healthy living community. Often, healthy diets and vanity are confused. A strong motivation for what we put on our plates is purely motivated by trying to fit into a certain pair of pants or meet certain expectations. While vanity can kickstart our motivation for healthy living, it cannot stop there. If we are never satisfied with our weight or our shape, then we are not healthy. Being healthy is more than just being thin: it is about self-acceptance and loving the body you have been given, no matter the number that is written on your pants tag says. My favorite seventeen year old articulates this much better than I ever could, so I will share her words.
The Marshall’s Fitting Room
from Jump, by Yolandi Cruz
Sorry I’m late
I just came back from the most wonderful date with myself
It was love at first sight
In a Marshall’s fitting room with dancing chandeliers,
flying monkeys and a pair of frozen cacti
For the first time in my life I had butterflies in my stomach
like we were meant to be
You know you are a med student when:
A. you ask for highlighters and notecards for Christmas
B. you get excited about going to an outside-of-school lecture on the link between diabetes and obesity
C. you view a day off as an extra reading day for your upcoming exam
D. all of the above.
Guilty as charged. Even nerds have to eat, though! Here is a glimpse into my MLK Day!
I started Jillian Michael’s “No More Trouble Zones” – but I couldn’t finish! I need lighter weights, stronger arms, or a longer attention span… or maybe this is another all of the above question ;)
My aunt had me over for dinner on Saturday, and graciously found a vegan friendly recipe for me! It was absolutely incredible the first time, so I was happy to take home some leftovers! The recipe is from her Sicilian hair dresser, and contains cauliflower, raisins, pine nuts, bread crumbs and saffron. I would love to try to recreate it for myself sometime! I had some mixed salad greens and spinach with almonds, cranberries and balsamic viniagrette on the side.
My afternoon was spent doing work with a friend at Panera. Unfortunately, not the most vegan friendly if you have a craving for something sweet, but I was satisfied with a handful of peanuts and raisins, an orange, and a bottomless mug of hot tea!
Dan was complaining about how his veggie and rice dinners are getting boring, and so I recommended this peanut sauce to him. I used to make it a lot in college, and would always share the recipe with guy friends who were new to cooking. It is easy and the ingredients are something most people always have on hand. I spiced up the basic sauce recipe a bit, and was amazed by the results. I may or may not have used a spatula to scrape up every last drop… give me peanut butter and veggies in one meal and I am a happy girl. You can be happy, too, since the recipe is below!
I needed to make cookies to bring to a friend’s house on Tuesday, which needed to be vegan friendly and use only what I had on hand. Enter these Skinny Fig Bars from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. Of course taste testing was in order! I was shocked by how well these turned out. They have almost no added sugar, and are reminiscent of Fig Newtons, but have an even better texture. I used some fresh squeezed orange juice instead of lemon juice and anise extract, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly!
Question: Did you have off for MLK day?
Thai Peanut-Ginger Stir Fry
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp + 1 tsp lime juice
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp ground giner
1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
1/2 tsp garlic powder
for stir fry:
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 red and 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
2 large handfuls snap peas, cut in half
1 cup brown rice, cooked according to instructions
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
Mix together all of the ingredients for the peanut sauce in a small bowl. Set aside. Over medium heat, sautee onions in olive oil until translucent. Add mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the snap peas and bell peppers and sautee for 3-4 more minutes. Stir in the peanut sauce until vegetables are well coated. Serve over cooked brown rice and top each bowl with 1 tbsp chopped peanuts.
An exciting development occurred in my kitchen over the weekend: we have a new fridge! Well, a new-to-us fridge, but it has still made me so very happy! We have a door with shelves that stays shut overnight, no duct tape in sight, and no gross mold or rust. The little things in life that make you so happy… A quick shout out to my adopted family for their generous gift! My cousin read my brief complaint in a previous blog post, who told my aunt, who called to offer me the extra fridge they had in their basement! After a lot of coordinating and a few friends with a truck and brute strength, we got the fridge transferred! We learned a little bit about ourselves during the food transfer process: we seem to have a selective memory loss for mustard acquisition, since we somehow ended up with 6 bottles of yellow mustard (both of us are vegetarians and neither of us use yellow mustard, so figure that one out…) I also discovered my frozen food horde. My tendency to freeze leftovers for “too busy to cook” nights has caught up with me! I could feed a small army with the number of meals I have frozen away. Okay, maybe not an army, but definitely myself for a few weeks! To cut down the stash, I am eating whatever vegan meals I have frozen away! This is a glimpse of things I have eaten from my freezer this week, not all necessarily on a certain day. Hopefully my horde will be gone soon so I can freeze away new recipes! ;) All pictures are originals from the recipe posts, since frozen leftovers don’t make for the most photogenic of food days.
I have at least 4 frozen bananas, and a bunch of frozen blueberries, so I decided to make smoothies the last few mornings! I based my smooth off of Angela’s classic green monster, the only change being a handful of blueberries and a bit of agave. Warning: the blueberries make the smoothie a weird black color, but it tastes even better! Though I am normally not a smoothie person because I like to chew my breakfast, this is very filling, and is a good way to get some extra green stuff in your day with the hidden spinach.
I made these Curried Potatoes and Peas a while back, and broke out the frozen leftovers for lunch! Enjoyed with a piece of flatbread, this made for an excellent lunch during a busy day at school! Plus, it made for a very easy morning, since I just had to grab the container from my freezer and go!
I made Thai Carrot Soup during our cold snap in October, and froze more than half of the recipe away. There are at least 4 containers in my freezer, so I needed to make a dent in it! Good thing it is thickened with coconut milk, so it is friendly to my vegan challenge this month!
Question: Are you a food hoarder? What one item do you always have in your fridge/freezer/pantry?