Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday: All in One

As always a big thanks to Jenn at Peas and Crayons!

So I was on call today. What does that mean?
1. I get to wear scrubs.

Woo blurry happy morning scrubface.

2. I get to hang out with my team all day. 
3. We admit patients to the hospital, so that's good. For them. And for me I guess. I heard we're supposed to learn or whatever.
4. And...I get to eat all my meals at the hospital. SO in order to pack a day's worth of food, I have to put it all in one place. And that means there's a picture.

One Day of Food:

[In chronological eating order]
Pre-Breakfast Post-workout Protein Shake, far right.
Breakfast: Steelcut Oatmeal with Banana and Strawberry, coffee, far left/mug.
Morning snack: Almonds and raisins, 3rd from left.
Lunch: Linkett Sandwich, apple, middle.
Afternoon snack: Orange.
Dinner: Linguine Ricotta Veggie Pasta Bake, 2nd from left. 

And okay I was really hungry when I got home so I also ate this:

I'm pretty sure it's the first time I've ever had all my food in one photo. It's weird because when I look at it like that it doesn't actually look like much, but it's definitely enough. 

Have you ever looked at all your daily food in one shot?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Just a Little Stick

Fingerstick that is.

So I went somewhere today.

To donate blood!

I've never done it before. It's not that I didn't want to. It just wasn't ever convenient, and then I had all kinds of excuses like tattoos and recent international travel.

And also I was kind of scared. 

But now I think being in medical school has really made me a lot more aware (shocked actually) about the need for blood. And so I decided to get over the inconvenience and the nervousness and my roommate Molly who's a blood-donating rockstar made us an appointment and off we went. 

So I got my little fingerstick to check my hematocrit and make sure I have enough red blood cells and my blood is dense enough to handle the donation. 

And then.

My hematocrit was only 35, but the requirement for donation is 38. 
Making a rough calculation, that puts my hemoglobin at 11.6, which in really just a baby anemia. I have a complete blood count from a couple years ago when all us students got to practice blood draws and analysis. It showed that my hematocrit was 38.9 back then, so I know it shouldn't be impossible to get it back up.

I'm pretty bummed about it, but I'm going to start being more conscious of my iron intake, start a supplement, and I learned a couple useful things relevant to me as a vegan/vegetarian to which I'd never paid attention before:

- Plant-based iron is all of a nonheme type and is harder to absorb than heme iron, which makes up 40% of the iron found in meat. That doesn't mean I need to eat meat, it just means I need to help my body absorb the iron better.
- Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron. I'm thinking I could time my iron supplement with an orange. 
- Sodas, coffee, iced tea etc. sipped along with meals can inhibit the absorption, so I could try to separate my morning coffee from the food a little more. Though really that's not very likely, because my morning time's all really pretty short. 

So I'm still going to try to donate again in a while.

And that's the story of how I didn't give blood today.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I Love You Sisters, and _ Days Worth of Absence

My sisters love me. Proof? I haven't blogged in almost two weeks and these are actual screenshots from my facebook:

YES Shannon I'm still alive. Geez. I called you like not that long ago I swear. Okay it was a while ago. I'm sorry. I love you.

My life goes so much better when I talk regularly to my sisters, but we just seem to keep getting busier and now here they are on my wall wondering if I've died.

What does this mean? I need to study less and blog more. Obviously.

No chance I can catch you up on all the details of the past ___ days and honestly you'd be a little bored, so here's just some things:

We trialed some wedding nails with a gel manicure. It's still going along pretty well 2 weeks later. I LOVED not having to worry about it chipping. Wedding decision #493: check.

I celebrated my 6th Valentine's Day with John. Also our only engaged one. Hopefully. I made him steel cut oatmeal. The real kind. And much better than that he took me on dates and bought me a plant. Which might be dead. I haven't seen it in a few days. I should probably check.

Last weekend I went camping. John and I went with some new and old friends and it was a nice adventure. I've done very little camping, and this was certainly camping "light" but we still cooked everything over a fire and slept in tents and I do NOT feel that the experience was in any way cheapened by having real bathrooms.

The biggest problem is that I can't seem to completely get the smoke smell out of everything. Worth it though.

Vegan campfire hot dog: Loma Linda Linkett roasted over the fire with ketchup and mustard on a heel of Trader Joe's fiber wheat bread. 

Also enjoyed were bean burritos, Clif bars, PBJ, Linkett lettuce wraps and plenty of fruit. 

I go to class and sometimes I buy good (great, so delicious) snacks that I can't really afford. 

They sell these in the hospital cafeteria and when I pay with my badge it's like it's not real money. Right?

And the rest of the time I've been eating some version of a sandwich. Often PBJ because I can't even be bothered to buy lettuce. 

And ready-to-eat Indian food. Tonight I got wild and added peas. I seriously thank my Mom for this supply of ready-made meals every night that I don't know what to make. It was such a good Christmas present. 

Oh and right, I'm on my internal medicine rotation and trying to schedule my fourth year and Boards Step 2 and the wedding and fitting in workouts because apparently people take a lot of pictures at weddings and apply for financial aid and do my taxes and all those other things that apparently grownups do. It didn't used to feel so hard to get everything done. I can't pinpoint exactly the transition, but I constantly find myself drowning in my to-do list. 

I have lots of things coming up for the blog too, like a new page with some goals and challenges - a 25 by 25, and maybe even some more frequent posting. I shouldn't make any promises though, I still have 7 more weeks of this Medicine rotation.

I'll say it again Shannon. I'm not dead.

We couldn't have always lived like this - at what point in your life did you start to feel like there was too much to get done? 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Just an Afternoon Walk

Yesterday John and I wanted to go on a little hike in the afternoon. Just a stroll. Tennis shoes. Jeans. Don't get too crazy. I really wanted to hike at least a little on the Pacific Crest Trail. (Part of a project that will be a future post.)

We drove up to Big Bear and it was a little chilly, but still really nice. And then...what is happening?!

Snow! We were a little unprepared, but really glad we had those matching beanies. 

The Pacific Crest Trail!!

John loves snow.

We parked at the Discovery Center, hiked up the Cougar Crest Trail (about 2 miles) which took us right to the PCT.

At least we had some fuel - raisins and peanuts. They have never tasted so good. 

When we got back to the car I couldn't feel my hands. 

Have you ever gone on an outdoor adventure that didn't turn out like you expected?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday: Internal Medicine

As always a big thanks to Jenn at Peas and Crayons!

Internal Medicine is my new rotation, and since it's outpatient right now the hours are still pretty reasonable, but I know in a couple weeks it's going to blow up and I'll feel like I never see my house, so I'm trying to cram in as much studying as possible. I wouldn't say things are boring, they're just kind of routine. I do love that I don't start until at least 7:30 am, so I can work out and still have a little time in my morning, instead of leaving the house at 5 like my roommate. That part of the rotation is coming for me though, just a couple weeks away. 

Post-workout Pre-Breakfast Shake. 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 cup soymilk, 5 g vanilla rice/pea protein powder. I use the Magic Bullet short cup.

Breakfast: Granola Yogurt Bowl. This one has soy vanilla yogurt, bulk bin granola, and blueberries.

Lunch: Thai Crunch Salad. Veggie Love! This is the Peas and Thank You recipe, with a store-bought teriyaki marinade and salad dressing. I made an enormous box of it - the full recipe, without the dressing, and I'm taking it out in portions each day. There are so many veggies in here - 2 types of greens, scallions, carrots, cucumber. Plus healthy protein like edamame and tofu.

Dinner: Amy's Chunky Vegetable Soup, Gardein Mandarin Orange Crispy Chicken. More Veggie Love! I was feeling a little uninspired, and had just woken up from an awesome 2 hour nap. Minimal effort on this one.

Snacks: Apples, Orange. I actually had three of these baby apples. It may have been too many.


Favorite vegetable?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My Peanut Butter's Tachy Turns 1 Year Old!

Today my baby blog turns one year old! 

One year ago today I wrote this post to start off this blog. 

I'd been reading healthy living and food blogs for about 6 months, had recently become vegan, and realized I missed taking lots of pictures like I did in college and putting some thoughts to paper. I'd been through a hard first year and a half of medical school, I felt I'd changed a lot, but I didn't have much of a record. 

I was also just starting to get excited about my new vegan diet, cooking and baking, exercise, and writing again. 

I also kept very busy and went weeks at a time without talking to my family. I decided they might like some outside assurance that I was alive. This was true. Hi family. 

I wrote an End-of-2011 post that included several of the most significant events of the year, so for the blog birthday, I'm taking a more blog-centered look at things:

Things I've Learned (or Didn't Learn) This Year from Blogging

1. I Learned how much I like it. When I first started, I didn't tell anyone because I thought I might not like it. If it wasn't fun or felt too weird, I would've just deleted it and never mentioned it again. Clearly a year later I've gotten over the obvious weirdness of publishing my life and I love posting. 

And I avoid this problem by fascinating you all with my food. Day after day. After day. You readers are a special breed to keep going. Or you're related to me. 

2. I Didn't Learn to take pictures. At least consistently. I've certainly improved, and I like them enough for my purposes, but professional-looking photos have not really become a priority. It's supposed to be fun, so don't ever think, "Geez I'll never take good pictures so I shouldn't blog." 

This is one I took a couple weeks ago in Portland. Shining example of awesomeness obviously.

And this is clearly better, but I have plenty left to learn. 

3. I Learned to balance. Blogging takes a lot of time. Sometimes I had to push it to the back while other things went on in my life. In November and December I wrote a total of 11 times, because first I had a life-consuming OB/Gyn rotation, and then I went on a whirlwind Christmas vacation trip. 

I was never afraid to stop blogging to live life, and that's kept this fun. If it became stressful, it wouldn't work for me. 

4. I Didn't Learn how to stop embarrassing those close to me. And I have the pictures to prove it. 

5. I Learned that imperfections are important - they make us who we are. I love following other healthy living blogs and the posts that stick with me best are the ones where people struggle just like me and make it out the other side. It's encouraging, and it's hard to write about. I've written posts about feeling crushed by what I don't know, and how sometimes things were just rough (#firstworldproblems). The point is that I learned that it's worth it to be a little vulnerable and expose my problems sometimes because I can learn from the experience, and I can also remind myself that I have awesome problems - I get to struggle through medical school, how to balance all the great food I can afford with the exercises my body can handle, and I have the stress of planning a wedding to someone I love. 

I have no idea what this blog will bring in the next year, but it's been a great first one.

If you blog, how long has it been? Did your perspective on blogging change throughout your experience?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hey Girl

Had to share.

It's good to have a supportive man in my vegan life. You too Ryan Gosling.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

WIAW: In February!

As always a big thanks to Jenn at Peas and Crayons!

It's a new month. 
I'm back in Southern California. 
I've started my new Internal Medicine rotation, there's lots going on. Right now it's outpatient, but the intensity will just keep ramping up. And there's mountains to study. Mountains. 

Wedding planning is coming along pretty well. Also Honeymoon planning. Is it wrong to say that's my favorite part to research? In 6 short months I could be here:

You can't fault me for daydreaming about that. 

It's my first What I Ate Wednesday since returning, and my food is pretty much back to basics.

Pre-Breakfast Post-Workout: Almond milk/vanilla protein powder shake. Unpictured because it's super ugly. I'm going to write a separate post about this later - protein powder and protein shakes are completely new in my life. 

Breakfast: Yogurt, Muesli, Banana.

Lunch: Linkett Sandwich, Orange. I had a nostalgic moment sitting outside today eating. I went somewhere I don't usually sit, with this view of the School of Medicine building:

It reminded me of almost exactly 4 years ago when I interviewed here for med school and ate lunch in that very spot, wondering what it would be like if I got in or chose to go there. Whether I would make it, become the kind of doctor I want to be. There's still so much ahead of me I really can't say yet. 

I don't feel like it was that long ago, or like I'm that different - but I am. It's remarkable all that's happened in the past 4 years. 

But I'm pretty sure I ate a sandwich 4 years ago too. Lifelong go-to lunch. I brought a case of Loma Linda Linketts from home (thanks Mom!) and I've been slicing them up for sandwiches. So. Great. I don't want anyone who thinks they ought to taste like a hot dog to be deluded - they taste nothing like a hot dog. And that, along with all the happy childhood memories, is why I like them. 

Snack: Luna Bar, Apple. You know I needed one. Nothing sucks the energy out of me like deep thinking about hemodynamics and valve disease. I love lecture. 

This is the new Peanut Honey Pretzel flavor. I really liked it - salty and sweet never really go wrong, but it may have been a bit salty even for me. 

Dinner: Eureka burger - Happy Birthday to Natalie! I always get the Loma Linda Veggie Burger without the bun. The sweet potato fries (like in this recycled picture) are awesome, but I went a little healthier tonight with salad. 

Happy February. 

What do you think - is wedding or honeymoon dreaming more fun? Tie? Hate them both?