Monday, August 24, 2015

Monday Rewind x 2!

Hello internet!  Its been a while.  These past two weeks have been pretty crazy, and I've just been doing my best to enjoy as much free time as I can before the studying really sets in.  A highlight reel of what I have been up to:

Finished up with my primary care clinic shadowing.  As I mentioned in my last update, I really enjoyed the opportunity to get to know the patients, and see some real "medicine in action." :)

Drank a ton green smoothies and counter-acted the health benefits with brunch and lots of other delicious snacks.

Attended a beautiful funeral and raised a toast for a high school teacher, mentor, and friend who will be dearly missed.

Went to my first country concert and caught up with an old friend.

Started classes and proceeded to celebrate (or mourn) the end of summer with plenty of alcohol...RIP my liver :P

Spent the weekend on the beach with BF and my family, enjoying my last days of summer.

And now time to get down to work!  MS2 is going to be killer, but they seem to be easing us into it so far.  Tell me about the start of your school year/work/life! How do you stay motivated?


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Thoughts on Food and Grocery Haul

If you've read any of my other posts you've probably caught on to the fact that I love food, but cooking not so much.  I mean, I like the idea of cooking.  If I have all the ingredients on hand and its quick to put together I don't mind.  I'm just not very good at planning ahead, making grocery lists, and blocking out time in my schedule.  Also, usually by the time I think about cooking I'm starving and need to eat NOW...resulting in me just eating the first thing I can find (frozen meals, cereal, toast, etc).  When I do make a full meal (about once a week) its typically something very simple and a variation of something I've made before.  This year is going to be even more busy than the last, but I'm hoping to have time to try a few new recipes.  I know myself though...we'll see how it goes ;)

Since I don't do a lot of planning before going to the grocery store, I usually just pick up a few kitchen staples and premade meals to get me through the week.  I don't shop at Trader Joe's every week, but I like to go there every once and a while to stock up on their frozen foods (cheap, relatively healthy, and super yummy!).  They also carry some organic and local produce, and have a few specialty items that are hard to find anywhere else. 

Here is my list:
Arugula & Parmigiano Reggiano Ravioli
Porcini Mushroom & Truffle Triangoli
Unexpected Cheddar Cheese
Fat Free Milk
Mediterranean Hummus Snack Pack with Pita Chips
Raisin Rosemary Crisps
Creamy Salted Peanut Butter
Personal Canteloupe
Fage Greek Yogurt
Baby Spinach
Light Cream Cheese
Smoked Salmon
And from the frozen section:
Vegetable Panang Curry
Vegetable Pad Thai
Organic Pesto Pizza with Tomatoes and Broccoli
Kale Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash Pizza
French Onion Soup
Cha Siu Bao
Sweet Potatoe Gnocchi
Mac & Cheese
Shells with Brie and Asparagus
BBQ Chicken Teriyaki
Mushroom Risotto
French Green Beans

This is only a glimpse into my diet, and I'll be the first to admit I'm not perfect.  But I am real!  And I'm curious to see what other real (not unrealistically trendy food/lifestyle bloggers) eat.  So what do you buy at the grocery store, and what do you like from Trader Joe's?  Any tips or favorite recipes to motivate me to cook more?

Hope everyone is having a good week!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Monday Rewind

Another week gone!  I'm halfway through my two-week shadowing rotation, and I'm really enjoying it so far! I didn't get a chance to explain too much about it in my last post, but I'm taking some elective credits that allow me to get some early exposure to primary care specialties. I don't really have many clinical skills yet (starting second year next week!) so it's just a lot of watching so far, but I'm definitely learning a lot.  The physician I work with is an internist that mostly treats patients from a tight knit, strongly religious community.  It's been a really immersive experience getting to know these people.  This physician has been seeing some of the same patients for over thirty years and know every detail of their lives, even unrelated to medicine.  Beneath the disease, and even beneath the constructs of their religion, there is so much complexity, uniqueness, and humanity.  We are all similar, yet so so different.  I'm not sure yet if primary care is for me, but if anything this experience has made me sure I made the right decision to pursue medical school! (Sorry no white coat pics this week)

As for other updates, I've hardly done any cooking and I've been eating all sorts of bad for me things (which isn't anything new haha).  One meal I did manage to make and photograph was pan-cooked shrimp and crispy brussel sprouts over Trader Joe's frozen butternut squash risotto.  Didn't involve toooo much cooking obviously, but more effort than I usually put in haha. I also made a few green smoothies, which are super yummy and make me feel at least a little healthier.  Otherwise, I've been picking up food (sushi picnic on the living room floor!) and going out a lot....not very healthy, but delicious! I should hopefully get back on a better schedule when classes start.
 This weekend I took a road trip to visit a friend in New England. I had a blast, but spent wayyy too many hours in the car. New York traffic is the worst!  Treated myself to a yummy cappuccino when we finally got there.  Even though it was stressful and I wasn't able to spend too much time there, I'm glad I was able to make the trip before I start getting busy with school again.
We have a required equipment list for school this year, and my blood pressure cuff and otoscope/ophthalmoscope set finally came in the mail a few days ago. I'm driving my family up the wall practicing on them.  Still having trouble seeing the back of the eye, but I've successfully taken a few blood pressures now! Baby steps ;)
 Even though step 1 is a way long ways away, I'm starting to think about what study aids I want to buy and use during second year.  I've ordered First Aid and I'm already subscribed to Picmonic (really only used it for biochem so far though) but I'm not sure what else to get and use along with my class materials. Any other med school bloggers/readers have suggestions?

I'm hoping to get at least one other post in this week, besides my weekly update. Anything that you guys would like to see?  Tell me how you have been wrapping up your summer!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Monday Rewind

I can't believe another week is over!  I've probably said it ten times, but summer is going SO fast.  These past few days have been busier than usual.  I've been wrapping up my research for the summer, and as I mentioned in my last post, I had to give a presentation about it at a research conference last Friday.  I absolutely hate giving presentations.  Even in front of people I know, my voice shakes and I talk so fast that no one can even understand me.  I was especially nervous because I knew my research mentor was going to be there to watch, and I was worried about saying something wrong.  I practiced about a million times for my sister over Skype though, and I think it went well overall.  I'm pretty sure I still talked a mile a minute, but people seemed really interested and asked a lot of questions, so I must have been somewhat comprehensible (haha). 

Friday night I went out with some friends, and the next morning I headed home to hang out for a bit with my family.  This was probably one of my last weekends home for a while.  I'm going to miss snuggling with my puppies and having someone cook for me!

Saturday I helped my mom make dinner.  Asparagus is one of my favorite veggies!

My sister and I did some late night baking, and then had these lemon squares for breakfast the next morning (very healthy haha). 
....followed by half a cantaloupe, each.  Based on my pictures, I spend most of my time at home eating.  Which is mostly true ;) 

On my way back to school I stopped at Loft and made a bunch of returns that have been piling up.  Even though the summer season is almost over, I couldn't resist picking up these cute little shorts off the sale rack!  They are SO comfy, I'm going to be living in them for the rest of this month.  I can't seem to find this color on the website, but they have them in grey right now for 50% off $45 if you want to grab them!    

But its back to the real world for me today.  I'm doing two weeks of shadowing in an internal medicine clinic before school starts.  Hopefully it will help switch my brain back into the "learning" mode!  I also need to figure out some good things to pack for lunch.  If I were a more organized and motivated person I would have meal prepped over the weekend...but I didn't so today I'm winging it!  Any suggestions?  What have you guys been up to this week?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wednesday Whimsy

Happy humpday everyone! This last week has totally gotten away from me. There are only a few weekends left until school starts, so I've been cramming in as many fun things as possible while I still can!  Unfortunately it means I also have a lot of research work to catch up on before the end of the summer. :(  A big pile of textbooks/step 1 books just came in the mail for me yesterday, and I am NOT excited to open them.  Can it just be summer forever?

I don't have too much else to report, but I thought I would share a few things that I've been loving lately!

First are these oh-so-soft jogger pants (pictured above) that I ordered from Loft last week.  Its like wearing pajamas, but in your real life!  They were a steal at $18 during a 70% off sale, but I think they are still 50% off now.  Unfortunately I didn't end up liking anything else in the order, so back it goes.

 I got one of these water bottles in a gift bag for a lecture I attended last week.  I always thought fruit infused water was kind of a gimmick, but after trying it I do have to say that its really good!  Definitely helps me to drink more water during the day.  I've been using lemon and strawberries because that's what I typically have in my fridge, but I'm looking forward to trying some different combinations after I pick up some more things at the grocery store.

Bought some donut peaches at the farmer's market yesterday, and they might be one of the cutest things I've seen in my life.  Like little squashed peach pumpkins.  And so sweet! 

Someone in my class posted this article to facebook, and I thought it would be a great read for incoming first year medical students (or anyone in medical school!).  After experiencing anatomy dissection last year, I agree that it can be difficult to hold on to the "personhood" of your cadaver.  In terms of my education, my donor's death had meaning.  I would have liked to meet his family and learn about the meaning he gave his life, though.  Our anatomy cadavers are really our first patients, and thinking of our patients as human and not just as a disease is what makes good doctors.

What are your favorite things in life and on the internet right now?  I'll tell you what is not my favorite thing: public speaking.  I have to present my research at a conference on Friday and I'm so nervous.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Unicorn Eggs

They way you cook your eggs is a very personal thing for a lot of people.  The BF likes his scrambled, on the dry side.  Every time he orders eggs benedict with with his eggs SCRAMBLED and the waiter gives him a weird look I moan again in disbelief about how he can possibly enjoy his eggs without those glorious, velvety, soft, runny, yellow yolks!?!?!?! RUNNY YOLKS 4 LYFE.

I was converted to a runny yolk believer by my dad, who used to make us breakfast on Saturday mornings when I was a kid.  To this day, his preferred egg type is sunny-side-up with crispy edges and runny centers (perfect for toast dipping).

While sunny side up eggs are still near the top of my list, I am not an egg purist, and I enjoy my eggs many different forms when the occasion calls for it.  And today, the occasion called for poached eggs.  Poached eggs are a special thing.  The unicorn of eggs, if you will.  Because (for me, at least), they are one of the damn hardest things to cook.  In fact, every time (okay, the two times) I've tried to make them I end up with less than spectacular results.

But today was different than those other days (I told myself), and I wanted a unicorn.  So, after doing some extensive research on the subject (i.e. pinterest), I decided to attempt Julia Child's trick for poached eggs during my lunch break. 

The directions were essentially this:
Poke a tiny hole in your egg with a pin.

Boil for 10 seconds.

Remove and crack into individual small bowls (...cups is all I had)

Slide eggs into simmering, swirling water and cook for 3-4 minutes. 

And the end result was .........(insert drumroll here)

...slightly overcooked.  3-4 minutes was definitely too long.  Still pretty yummy with some brussel sprouts (left over from last nights dinner) and a piece of Ezekiel toast, but disappointing nonetheless.  Thus, the unicorn remains elusive.  I'll just have to give it some more practice!

I hope whoever is reading this (if anyone is reading this haha) doesn't mind if I write about foodie stuff now and then.  I don't have much experience cooking, but one of my goals for this year is to cook more of my own (somewhat healthy) meals!  What are your favorite things to cook, and how do you like your eggs?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Hello Again!

Its been a while!  To be honest, after my first post I still wasn't sure if blogging was something I wanted to pursue.  Then life got in the way, and writing another blog post got pushed further and further down my to do list until I forgot about it entirely.  But yesterday, when checking up on some of the other blogs I follow (check out franish, a little bit of lacquer, and a doctor in the house!), I got the itch.  The blogging itch! So here I am with blog post #2 :) 

Since I've been a little MIA and you don't even know much about me yet, I figured I'd start by sharing a little about what I've been up to this summer.  At my school, the 12 weeks between MS1 and MS2 is the ONLY summer break we get during our four years here.  Like most of my classmates, I've been spending a lot of this time working on a research project.  My responsibilities involve recruiting patients from a nearby hospital's ophthalmology clinic.  During the first year of medical school we didn't get to interact much with patients, so my white coat didn't get much use. But this summer I am with patients in the clinic almost every day, so I always have to dress up and wear my white coat.  

Even though I've been working a lot, I have a lot more free time now than I did during the year when I had to study all the time.  Most weekends I hang out with my classmates in the city, visit friends from college, spend time with the BF (boyfriend ;P), or go to my parents house.  This past weekend the BF and I found an awesome brunch spot and then went home to cuddle with my mom's new puppy.  Doesn't she have the cutest yawn? :) 

 I try my best to stay active and healthy (especially after learning what happens to you when you don't!), but it's definitely been a challenge with the summer heat and all the social happy hours and eating out I have been doing.  I've never been much of a runner, but I ran my first 5k last October and I'm trying to get back in shape to run another one this fall.  I did a short 2-mile run by the water last week but then I caught a cold, and its been really rainy, and I'm just full of excuses ;)  I'm going to try and get back into it this week! (.....I always say.  But actually this time!!).  
Also, since I've been out of the house so much, I've done hardly any cooking and only the bare minimum of grocery shopping.  Last week my pantry was pretty empty and most of my breakfasts were just a bowl of cheerios.  Not very nutritious or filling!  I was hungry halfway through the morning.  When I have time to do shopping, though, I try to stock up on all the summer fruits! Peaches are my favorite, paired with a cup of peach green tea (for my cold).

Summer is going so fast.  School starts again next month!  I'm already getting anxious about all the reading I need to do before classes start (but not anxious enough to crack open a book yet ;) ). What have you been up to this summer? 

Until next time!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Down the Rabbit Hole

Hello! I'm Hannah :) I am a 23 year old, soon-to-be second year medical student (MS2, we call it) at a school in a fairly large city on the East Coast.  Welcome to my little corner of the internet. 

I think I've written this first post about 5 times over, and each time I haven't been able to bring myself to publish it.  I've always had a hard time writing about myself.  And though I actually really enjoy writing, I haven't done much of it since high school.  Letting people I know read things I've written is scary.  Putting myself out there for the whole internet to read is down right terrifying.  But this is something I've been wanting to do for a long time (blogging, I mean).  I want to be able to look back on my experiences (in life and medical school!) and remember what I was feeling in the moment. I want to hold myself accountable for goals I set, small and large.  I want to have a safe place to share my hopes and dreams and the more mundane things in life. I want to connect with and learn from other people in the world doing similar and entirely different things.  

So here we go, down the rabbit hole and into the unknown!  I'm not going to start off by telling you my whole life story, because what's the fun in that?  I'll let you figure it out along the way.  After all, I'm still figuring it out myself. 

Until next time!