Monday, July 21, 2014

Ahhh The SUN!!!!

It's summer!!

And it's been summer for a while now. I'm not kidding those of us in the southwest states have had hot weather for months, but I finally have time to write this month so this is when we're going to talk about it.

The sun is great. We need it for vitamin D, we (I) need it every once in a while to feel happy. It's not totally benign though - so today's post is a little combination of an ode for my love of the sun and a little conversation about safe sun from my doctor side. Also I'm on a Dermatology rotation - I hope they'd be proud of me.

I was noticing this morning that my arms looked kind of darker than I remembered. Not tan - let's be clear I'm ghostlike - but just less bright white than I was previously.

And I realized I have not been diligent about my sunscreen on my 8 minute walks to work. 

You wouldn't think I could tan in that time, but I do live at 1 mile of elevation, so I guess I'm closer to the sun?

I don't know I was bad at physics. And earth science.

So enough rambling - here's some things to know:

1. When in the sun, one should wear sunglasses. This isn't an issue of looking cool - though obvs you do. Really, protecting your eyes from the sun is good for your retina - the literature about exactly how to best do this is still a little controversial - but putting on some shades is more than nothing. So keep your eyes safe.

 If you've been reading for a bit you know I love my Warby Parkers . They're not exactly inexpensive, but each pair means a pair for a good cause, and they're sturdy, gorgeous and protect my eyes wonderfully. In the picture above John and I are both wearing them.

And I've had mine for ages. Here's a little throwback to Match Celebration Weekend 2013 in Las Vegas. Miss you Maria!

- Wear SPF 30 or more: there's not much convincing evidence that more than 30 is any better than 30. If you're wearing a higher number that DOES NOT mean we can skip reapplication.
- Reapply every 2 hours.
- A spray is adequate for reapplication if necessary, but creams give better coverage and should be used when possible. The base layer for the day really should be in lotion form for best protection.
- There are 2 types of sunscreen: chemical and barrier. Chemical ones mostly have ingredients ending in -one. The barrier ingredients are zinc oxide and titanium. Most of my collection is of the chemical variety and I like it perfectly fine, but sensitive skin types may react better to barrier versions.

Here's mine. Feels pretty nice. Chipped nail polish. That's real life.

3. There is no safe tan.
- Although being tan may protect you from the actual pain of a sunburn, and a severe sunburn may be worse than a gradual browning, a "healthy tan" is a bit of a misnomer. I'm pretty sad about this revelation because I definitely grew up with the notion that it was a good idea to get a base tan in the summer and I love the way I look when I'm tan. Sun exposure causes skin damage. Period.

Doesn't mean I'm going to stop going out in the sun, but this summer I'm paying more attention than ever to my sun protection.

4. Enjoy!
We're naturally attracted to the sun and need it for vitamin D. So slap on some sunscreen and get out there.

Happy Summer!

Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Simple Vegan Tofu Scramble Recipe

Happy Sunday!

Yesterday marked the beginning of a rare vacation and tomorrow I'm off to California for some ocean time, to see plenty of friends, and for my beautiful friend Tiffany's wedding.

Today I was finishing up quite a few things here at home, and made this breakfast - it's been ages since I posted a recipe so thought I'd share.

This tofu scramble recipe is super simple. I'm not posting measurements for spices - I mixed a bunch of everything up a while ago and keep it in a mason jar then add about 1/4 cup to a recipe this size. You can nix things if you don't have them, just go light at first on the seasoning - you can always add more.

Simple Vegan Tofu Scramble
Serves about 2. If you're hungry.

1 russet potato (or gold, or red, probably even sweet potato)
1 bell pepper
1 onion
1 14 oz. package firm or extra firm tofu
Spices: turmeric, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, curry powder, salt, nutritional yeast
optional: tomato, greens like chopped spinach or kale
For the main vegetables you can also use something completely different: broccoli & carrots? brussel sprouts and asparagus? Pick what you like or is in season.

1. Dice the potato, pepper and onion and sautee until veggies are soft. I prefer to do this starting with a little oil then cover the pan and let it steam, stirring occasionally. Takes about 20 mins.
2. Open tofu package and squeeze with towel to remove excess water. You can press it first if you have the forethought and time on your hands, but I never do and it's not really necessary.
3. Crumble the tofu into the pan with the hot vegetables. If you're adding softer veggies like tomato or greens, add them in with the tofu.
4. Continue to cook for several minutes until tofu is hot and begins to brown.
5. Add about 1/4 cup total of spice blend, or just throw a fair amount of the above spices in the pan and continue to cook for 3-4 more minutes until veggie and tofu edges are crispy and seasoning is well-distributed.
Serve hot.

Spices, tomato, tofu.

In the pan.


Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Things I Did Before 8 AM

Before residency I had several years of a schedule that typically started around 8 AM.

In college my perspective on whether this time is early or late fluctuated a bit. Some years I reliably swam at 6 AM, and then there was a while there when I barely (and sometimes not at all) made it to 8 AM classes. It's still a point of shame to think back on how many times I slept through Physical Chemistry in my final semester - and there were about 5 of us - my absence was noted and my Professor wasn't mad about it, he was sad. It's one of many stories I could tell you that were formative in coming to respect people through mistakes I made.

Anyway, there are certainly several rotations in residency that start at 8 AM - but a large number start at 7 or 6:30 (which is still much better than the surgeons).

I was thinking about it this morning because I was last on wards and am going to elective. For my first day I started at 9 AM.

The point of mentioning the years before residency is that in the first couple years of med school, I used to get up at 5 (with 8 AM classes) and have a lot of time to accomplish things in the morning. When my start time is 6:30, I can still get up at 5 but the time to be productive is much shorter.

So this morning I got up around 6 and realized I had that 3 hour window until I needed to be anywhere and I couldn't think of the last time that was the case on a work day - night shifts excepted of course.

In celebration of having a bit of a late start this morning, I thought I'd just list some things that were accomplished:

1. Spent some time with John
2. Spent some time with Kellie
3. Walked Luna with John
4. Updated duty hours
5. Submitted my PALS/BLS cards (certification of advanced lifesaving training)
6. Skimmed the AAP Clinical Guidelines on Acne treatment
7. Drank 32 oz of water and 32 oz of carrot/apple/kale juice and 20 oz of coffee
8. Showered
9. Put some clothes on my body and makeup on my face (the clothes pretty much happen every day - the makeup not really at all)
10. Put away all my laundry from yesterday that had been drying all around my room
11. Made the bed
12. Wrote this blog post
13. Hung out with Luna

She got a summer haircut recently and it makes her look even more like a puppy. 

So it's now just past 8 and I do have another 30 minutes or so before I need to leave. I'm not sure what I'll do with it, but mostly I'm trying to appreciate it: a calm moment never lasts as long as I would like.

Happy July!

Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Still Ok

I received a very nice comment a little while ago on my last post from 2 months ago reminding me that it had been a long time since I last wrote (and also that when we last spoke I was waking up with a bleeding nose).

I didn't mean to leave it like that, it just happened that I needed a break.

So let's talk.

In the past 2 months, here are some things:

1. I finished my intern year. I'm now a second year: I have more responsibility, I'm expected to know more and I have a supervisory role on some rotations. The most exciting part about this is just the fact that I actually survived my intern year. It has felt both longer and much shorter than a year at various points, but now Year 2 starts on Tuesday and I'm happy. For one of my early posts from intern year, see this post: "What It's Like to Be an Intern."

2. Kellie moved in with us. My sister in law Kellie is a recent college graduate and we've been fortunate enough to con her into moving in with us for the summer. It's so nice to see more of her and her boyfriend Jason and it's made our house that much more lively so far. 

A couple weeks ago I had to work while they went out to watch a World Cup game and they sent me these faces of sadness. Makes a girl feel included.

3. I bought a juicer. This is very exciting. I got this one: Omega VRT 350 HD. It's everything I wanted, and we bought the refurbished version to save about $100. The difference is about 3 years in warranty, but it's still a 7 year warranty, which is great. I've already used it quite a bit. I'll write a whole separate post about how I picked it/pros/cons and do some juice recipes later.

4. My nose stopped bleeding. It bears mentioning because it was happening at least daily and sometimes in the middle of the night when I last posted and maybe it's the swamp cooler putting more moisture in the air, I don't know but I'm glad. (The preferred cooling method here in New Mexico is the swamp cooler - draws super dry air through a film of water to cool it. It's very inexpensive compared to air conditioning.)

5. Dad and Nicola came to visit. They came for an intensive language school in Spanish. Unfortunately I was on nights and was only able to see them for a couple hours most of the days they were here but it was so nice to see them. 

6. John's Aunts Amy and Sally came to visit. Somehow I don't have any pictures - I think John does but he's at work and his phone is with him. It was really nice to have them here. One night they cooked and it was one of the best pasta dishes. I wasn't able to go with them on several of the adventures because I was either working or sleeping, but I hope they had a good time.

Also, in the course of cooking they noted a few deficits in my kitchen and very kindly bought a few things for me - so thanks so much.

7. I ate some good things. And here's some pictures:

Vegetable Pho

Out to Breakfast in Denver

Oatmeal at the Grove. I always substitute fresh berries instead of the dried - I think it tastes much better.

Tofu Scramble at Flying Star

Roasted Vegetable Salad at California Pizza Kitchen. The avocado really makes this.

And that's it - I have the rest of the day off and then my new elective starts tomorrow so today I have a few administrative things to take care of and I'm going to try to get tucked in for my week - laundry and maybe some leftovers for the fridge. 

Thanks for reading, see you soon. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bleeding For Work Morning Routine

I didn't intend to get up with my first alarm at 4:50 this morning. John can witness, I almost never make it out of bed with that one, it's usually between 5-5:20.

However this morning I woke with that dreaded feeling of something dripping down the back of my throat and by the time I made it to some kleenex the adrenaline had woken me enough to realize both sides of my nose were bleeding.

Now if you've ever tried to apply pressure to a bilateral nose bleed, you know it's hard to breathe.

And that's how I started my day.

It stopped in a pretty reasonable amount of time and I went about my morning, though I have been coughing up blood with each clearing of the throat.

So I've painted my nails, something I haven't done in almost a month. I'm using this 60 second Rimmel London in color 415 Instyle Coral. It goes pretty well with my sexy green scrubs. I've been pretty into quick dry formulations this Spring, they end up working better for me because I'm impatient but I don't end up smudging them right away because I can wait 60 seconds.

I also did my morning 10 minutes of yoga. I still use this app, All-in Yoga, and I've just been doing sun salutations lately. It's more than nothing but doesn't feel overwhelming and stretches me out nicely. It's one of very very few apps I actually paid for, but worth it.

After my morning stretches I usually spend at least a couple minutes of Spiritual time and read the verse of the day from the YouVersion Bible App. I really like today's:

The next step is a some Naked Juice with water, then a shower and then coffee and breakfast. Today a smoothie: 

Blender: Ninja. In the mix: Kale, strawberries, soy milk, protein powder, agave, 1.5-2 frozen bananas

I usually eat it with a spoon.

And it's just starting to get light outside, as you can see in the above picture that I just snapped. I have about 15 minutes until I have to leave for work, so I'm going to enjoy the rest of this smoothie, maybe throw on some mascara and do a spot of study reading, and be at work right on time by 7. 

See you soon. Working or not, I hope you have a great Saturday!

What do you look forward to most in your morning routine?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

WIAW: The Final Week of NICU

Thanks as always to Jenn for hosting.

Welcome back WIAW-ers. I'm Kari, I'm a pediatric resident in New Mexico, and I really appreciate you clicking on over.

4 more work days of NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). I like to think of it in terms of wake-ups. 4 more wake-ups for the NICU. For this academic year anyway. I'll be back in December. 

I don't want to give the impression that I don't love my job, being a pediatrician is totally my dream, but being a resident is sometimes hard to enjoy and though the NICU has been an unexpectedly positive experience overall, it's still not my life's work. 

Switch day is next Tuesday, and I go to the Emergency Room. The major advantage of that rotation is that the shifts are spread throughout the month so since I'm not taking vacation, I still have a couple stretches where I might have 2 days off in a row. 

I've taken to referring to Wednesday mornings as "Housewife Wednesday" while on this rotation because I get to send John off to work and then hang out with Luna and I don't have to be in clinic until 1. 

She's giving me these eyes because we're not outside.

I typically get some house or cooking things done, grocery shopping, laundry, though not always - sometimes I just have piles of admin stuff and work to catch up on. This morning I have a meeting for a community grant I'm writing, but after that I need to go get a gift for a friend's bachelorette party, so it will be a mix of both. 

Wednesdays this month are also often one out of maybe two days when I manage to fit in a blog post. Better than nothing?

So thanks for reading the long intro. Here's WIAW:

Breakfast: Quinoa Bran (idk what to call this, post about it coming later) with Strawberries and Banana. Naked Juice/water and coffee. Costco was closed for Easter this week so I liberated these from my hospital cafeteria to tide me over.

Lunch: Instant Minestrone. I thought it was a little ambitious of this instant soup to dry to do minestrone, complete with beans and pasta, and I had to try it. It was all right, but I think I'll stick with the asian flavors and noodle soups - they seem to lend a little better to the instant variety. Unpictured apple.

Snack: Trail mix.

Dinner: Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna. This is from More Peas, Thank You and it's a favorite. It's easy, healthy, and very easy to adapt for food allergies. This picture looks like it's glowing and all I can say is I'm grateful the days are longer and the blinding sun makes it into my house.

Dessert: Soy Creamy Ice Cream Sandwich. Chocolate.

So that's how it's going this week. I hope you're all having a good one. See you soon.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Golden Weekend

There's a thing in residency - the elusive Golden Weekend.

For many of our rotations we work 6 days a week, sometimes longer stretches, but it's definitely not common to have both weekend days off.

Thus, it's called a Golden Weekend. Depending on your program, working both weekend days might be a Black Weekend, and a regular 1 day on, 1 day off might be Gray or Brown, but we pretty much just use the Golden terminology.

Anyway, for the first time in several weeks at least - maybe 3 months? (not including vacation) I actually had a golden weekend built into my schedule.

When I'm working a schedule that gives me regular weekends, I think I don't appreciate them as much as when they are few and far between, but this weekend I really tried to make the most of it.

There were board games, breakfast out, hiking, biking, Church, long dog walks, some TV, a ton of cooking and Game of Thrones on Sunday with an ever-expanding group of friends, which makes it so much more fun.

I almost feel as though I've had a vacation.

So, sad though it was to return to work, I think I spent the time well and that made it feel easier to go back.

Breakfast at the Grove: Oatmeal with Strawberries

John got the pancakes. Apparently they were awesome.

PBJ flatbread on our hike.

And Luna feeling like we are so lame, why are we not still walking?

It's just about time to start another day, happy (belated) Easter and I hope that you had a good weekend too.