Thursday, May 31, 2012

You Want Me To Shred What?

Sorry I haven’t been around a bunch this week.  My life has been consumed with GYN appointments, lots of work, and all my teratogen summaries.  Thankfully I officially completed my teratogen rotation this afternoon as I turned in all these babies to my supervisor.


I killed so many trees…


But hey, it’s over, they’re done, and I’m free of that load of work.  To celebrate, and really because tomorrow’s clinic refreshments are “pitch-in” style, I decided to whip up some carrot muffins tonight (based on this recipe).  I mean, let’s face it.  I’m in love with carrot cake so naturally these muffins and I get along really, really well.  Though, about three seconds thirteen minutes into things, I remembered why I so rarely make carrot muffins…


Shredding is stupid.  Necessary but stupid.  After that was finally done I folded them, or rather whisked them, into the liquid part of my batter.


I love how pretty it looked!! I followed the recipe pretty closely but I only used four tbsp (not five) of oil and I chose the COCONUT kind for some added flavor and goodness.  Also cut the sugar in half by using Stevia for the other half and used unsweetened vanilla almond milk plus a mix of 75% whole wheat flour and 25% all purpose.  Finally, I added several dashes of nutmeg, allspice, and ginger in addition to the called-for cinnamon.


The results were incredibly smell-good!  Yes, I just made that up but seriously, you should have been in my apartment.  Nomnom!  I can’t wait to dig into these suckers tomorrow in-between my 9am and 11am patients.  The muffins are only 125 calories a piece with 3g of protein.  Not too shabby.

Now I would stick around for a bit and chat but Insurgent is calling me, mostly because it’s good but also a bit because I need to finish it.  My copy of Fifty Shades of Grey came in the mail yesterday and the ladies in my lab are RAVING about it so I need to get on that boat before it sails away… Can’t wait!

Questions: Have you indulged in the Fifty Shades trilogy?
What is your favorite kind of muffin?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

I had a lovely weekend.  I must say that being around my parents is incredibly rejuvenating.  There were mimosas.


And waffles and scrambled “egg-cakes” with freshly dehydrated herbs.


Some extra champagne to finish off the bottle.


Sushi lunches with best friends.


Smiles and laughs with a lady I haven’t seen in years.


There was a certain cute puppy too who might just be the animal love of my life.


And some pretty stellar early birthday gifts for Jack and me.  I must say that my parents have completely outdone themselves this year.  I instantly burst into tears when I read what they were giving me on this my 24th birthday.  I may be a sap but these wet cheeks were totally warranted.


So basically, this weekend was really great for me and while it is never easy to leave, it is certainly easier to do so when I know I’m going to see them again in a month at a family reunion for my mom’s side.  I must say though, the drive back to my apartment is always hours longer than the drive to my parents’ home.  Well, maybe not for real but it feels like that every time.

Back in our regular state, Jack and I wrapped up the weekend with Mexican at a local La Hacienda.  The margaritas were cold, chips were crisp, the shrimp enchiladas were scrumptious, and the fried ice cream was perfection.


Also of note, I officially started Insanity and I’m a bit worried about it being too much to handle.  Let’s just say this is what I looked like after day two (though day one really doesn’t count because it was the fit test alone).


Now, I’m off to bed.  I’m sore and I can only imagine what I’ll feel like when I wake up tomorrow morning.  Any bets on my ability to walk?  Before I go, I can’t forget today’s tuneage.  This is one heck of swing-danceable/bluesable song.  Love it!

Questions: Have you ever tried Insanity?
What is your favorite flavor of margarita?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Terrific Truffle

I love sunny days.

I love shopping days.

I love days with new food.

I love days that end with froyo.

Today, was all of those!  So naturally it was a very good day.  Jack and I spent the afternoon walking around a strip mall around my hometown.  We popped in and out of clothing stores buying Jack some new staples for his wardrobe and I picked out an on-sale sweater for cheap.  When we got a bit hungry we stopped at Bar Louie’s for lunch.  First up was the truffle butter popcorn with parmesan and parsley to knock the edge off our rumbling tummies.


Damn, this was so great. No, even better, it was scrumptious.  When we finished the bowl I may or may not have rubbed my fingers all over the bottom for the last of the truffle butter.  It was that tasty.  Next up were our sandwiches.  Jack had the Chicago Stockyard with peppercorn, parmesan-blue cheese, mushrooms, romaine, onion, tomato and worcestershire sauce on a chicken breast.


My lunch was the bacon and fried egg sandwich with swiss, lettuce, tomato, and maple mustard mayo on multi-grain bread.  Holy crap!  I cannot explain the awesomness of that condiment.  I need to start mixing maple syrup, mustard, and mayonnaise.  It made the sandwich, hands-down.


I will say though, the one thing that would have put the sandwich over the top would have been a broken yolk.  It was cooked all the way through and that was alright but that creamy yolk would have been the best thing ever.


Basically lunch was fantastic, really.  We continued to shop afterwards, now fueled and full. More clothes were bought, stores were perused, prices were prohibitive.  You know, same old, same old.  The chance to walk around outside was what really made the afternoon nice.  Much better than a traditional mall visit, I think.  On our way out to my car we stopped at Menchie’s for some yogurt goodness.


In my cup was coffee, peanut butter, red velvet, and dulce de leche frozen yogurt with all manner of toppings from caramel and Reese’s to Cinnamon Toast Crunch and cheesecake.  It was the perfect end to the perfect afternoon. =D

Questions: How do you like your yolk in your egg sandwiches?
Ever had truffle butter before?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Manicure Me

Ever had one of those days where you found so many more reasons to love your coworkers?  Well, I hope you have because today was one of those days for me and it was awesome.  Despite the fact that I spent the whole morning on my feet amid cockroaches and dusty old rusty pipes, I have a wonderful time.  We laughed.  We giggled.  We probably divulged too much but it was all in good fun.  Made the time fly.

My mood was slightly saddened by lunch though.  First, I had to eat alone because all my coworkers went to the hospital cafeteria for lunch.  I didn’t have the time due to preclinic in less than a half hour so I wasn’t super pumped to eat by myself.  Second, my salad was not delicious.  It wasn’t really even tasty.  It probably had to do with the fact that this baby sat in a fridge for two days.  Everything tasted pretty similar, not freshness, no individual tastes of the veggies.  Honestly, not even salt and pepper could save this salad… Believe me, I tried it.


After lunch preclinic happened and I was not as well prepared as usual.  One of my patients needs an interpreter so I didn’t call them beforehand and the other I called yesterday but didn’t get a chance to connect with them.  They apparently called this morning while I was across the street at work and said they were coming but that they couldn’t answer any questions today.  So yea, I went into preclinic kind of naked on the information front.  To make things worse, the referral reasons for the both of my patients wasn’t super specific either.  We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

The next thing that happened really ruined my day though.  I went to catch the 4p bus and it wasn’t there, and it didn’t come.  Not until I called the dispatch for the company and complained.  Then a bus came around, a full forty minutes after I had started waiting.  I was less than pleased and all the bus driver could say was “Are you going to complain us?” Yes, that’s not grammatically correct but the driver is from another country so I let it go though every part of me wanted to correct him.  Anyways, I wasn’t in a great mood when I finally got home.  I figured some exercise would be good so I did 45-50 minutes of toning/cardio circuit training with Sexy Circuit by Flirty Girl Fitness.  Then I did another 20 minutes of cardio on the bike in the fitness center.  I started Insurgent (the sequel to Divergent) while I was pedaling and I am already sucked in.  It picks up right where the first one left off and I was already raring to go!

After my workout, my shower, and some chow I decided to return myself to that good day good feeling with a manicure.  But not just any manicure, an ORANGE one!!  I used this trick I found on Pinterest to help me out.  While I can freehand it, it’s much easier to not have to be so steady the whole time.


One thing: when I pulled off the hole guards I had to edge some of the nails with a toothpick.  Basically some of the color bled a bit underneath the guards but it honestly came off really easy.  I love the crisp edges.  I am very pleased with results and honestly, anytime my nails are done, I feel better.  More put together if you will.  =D  And now I’m off to sleep.  8am class is coming wayyy too quickly!  On a happier note though, this weekend is a family weekend!!

Questions: What color would you use for your nontraditional manicure?
What are your plans for Memorial Day weekend?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Nacho Regular Workout

Today was nacho day at work.  Man, by the time lunch rolled around I was super hungry so this big batch didn’t last long.  I skipped the meat and just had beans instead with some Mexican rice as well.  Ranchero sauce, sour cream, nacho cheese, and salsa topped it off.  Nomnom!


I promise they weren’t as bad as they looked.  I mean I did have lettuce and tomato on there too…

Anyways, I’m sorry that’s all I photographed for the day.  I feel like today was hectic and sort of fast paced.  Even my workout was upbeat.  I decided to skip my traditional go-to cardio routine and instead utilize the glorious wealth of YouTube.  I did a HIIT workout followed by a 20/20 workout.

I was sooooo sweaty people.  It was crazy.  I was really tired afterwards too.  My legs were screaming!  Good times, right?


I thought so.  Seriously though, I carried that energy right into teratogen summary work and I managed to edit my whole chloroform one and make my Toradol® one submission ready for changes from my supervisor.  On fire I tell you.  Speaking of, I think need some of the last chapters of Divergent in my life…

Questions: How was your hump day?
What was your favorite eat today?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pain Be Gone

Tonight was spent writing up a teratogen summary on Toradol® (ketorolac), my favorite kidney stone pain-killer.  Believe you me, this is the stuff you want when your body is trying desperately to get rid of a stone that is too big to move out of your kidney.  I speak from experience and I ask for this stuff by name.

Because of that, this summary has actually been really interesting to write if a bit hard to find material for.  I think I got really far on it tonight though so I am pleased.  Basically I didn’t want to have to do a whole lot of work over this gorgeous weekend.  Jack and I are going home and I can’t wait!  Anyways, I apologize for the quick post due to my homework time taking up blog time.  I did want to leave you with a song though.  Don’t hate, it’s J. Biebs.  =P

Now I’m off to read more of Divergent before bed because I seriously cannot get enough of this story.  I want more of the plot and I want more of a certain someone in the story.  Mmm, mmm.  Good night all!

Question: Do you have Bieber fever?

Monday, May 21, 2012


This post contains the a discussion of sex and the organs related to it in the context of babies and how children are raised.  If you’re sensitive to said subject please feel free to bail and come back tomorrow for more of the usual: food and fun!  =D


I feel like if there is one decision in life we don’t believe we will ever have to think about it’s how to raise our children, whether to raise them as boys or girls.  This is because most of the time they are born already identified as a particular sex: male or female.  We take our cues from that and begin to treat them as such from the beginning.  But what about when the unexpected happens?  What about when a baby is born with
ambiguous genitalia?

In these cases, babies are born without clear external sex organs.  They don’t look like a male or a female in particular below the belt.  This leaves the parents with the a decision to make: raise the child as a girl or raise the child as a boy.  Can you imagine choosing a singular path for an individual, choosing whether or not they will wear pink or blue or be in ballet versus paintball??  Now I realize that seems pretty narrow-minded as I’m sure there are boys in ballet and paintballing girls but I use those examples for simplicity.

We use external cues to help us determine where we fit in the scheme of things.  I acknowledge that we don’t go walking around with everything hanging out but remember that a lot of the time the reason for the ambiguous genitalia is hormonal and hormones affect essentially everything.  The way our hair grows on our faces, our underarms, and our legs/arms; the way our breasts grow; how high pitched our voice is; our pubertal development; and potentially even some of our brain connections are all influenced by our hormones.  Therefore, while most of us don’t walk around pant- or shirtless advertising our sex, there are plenty of ways to do that with our clothes on.

I critiqued myself earlier for using narrow definitions and examples of what is male and what is female.  I think that cognizance may actually make this decision easier in today’s world though if you think about it.  Say you chose to raise your child as a girl but as she grows she feels more pulled toward things considered more “masculine” in nature.  Now-a-days her participation in things like dirtbiking or hockey may not be as “weird” as before.  Plenty of women and men everyday cross convention gender boundaries to pursue their hearts’ desires.  I think this freedom may alleviate some of the stress, if only a little bit, that parents may feel when being faced with this decision.

So don’t think this discussion came out of nowhere.  I certainly don’t sit around and think about genitalia all-day everyday.  However it's come up lately in the office.  People wonder if things wouldn't be easier if there were conclusive test results, like a karyotype that distinctly says males or female.  I think I would hope for that.  I would hope for that kind of help.  Most of all though I would hope that I had the strength and peace of mind to be okay if (or when) my child came to me and told me they were feeling more like the sex I didn’t choose for them.  Because you know, I might get it wrong.  People do get it wrong.  But perhaps the most important thing to remember is, that baby is your child no matter what.  Male or female, it doesn’t/shouldn’t matter.  They’re a part of you, a new member of your family, and they are to be loved and cherished as such.

Questions: What do you think you would do?
What information would help you make that decision?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Solo Froyo

Today was a really productive day.  Man, it felt good.  I woke up immediately busted out a four mile run followed by a weights session.

  • Cross body hammer curls
  • Weighted squats
  • Tricep dips
  • Lateral lunges

I came back to the apartment and refueled with a bowl of cottage cheese, pineapple, strawberries, blackberries, flax, wheat germ, and chia seeds.


I ate it while I called a potential new employer.  A few days ago I was contacted regarding being a specialty baker for a family who has a child with a metabolic disorder.  Essentially I will be going over to their house twice a month to bake up a storm and replenish their pantry and freezer with baked goods and foods that the child can actually eat.  How neat is this?  I get paid to go and bake with a wonderful family.  Yes, please, I’ll take that opportunity.  The mom was really happy to see my profile on because it said I was a genetic counseling student.  She told me on the phone she was so excited that she had found someone who wouldn’t be intimidated by all the big medical words she would be throwing around.  It was really cute to hear the relief in her voice.  I’m pretty pumped to start work for her family!

I figured after I finished my late breakfast I should get going on my teratogen summary on chloroform exposure.  My goal was to finish it by the day’s end.  I worked and worked and not two-ish hours later I was hungry.  I cut up some cheese and apple slices for a snack.


More work ensued.  I have never looked up so many primary articles in my life.  Seriously, I found some lactation research on mom who ingested chloroform from 1908… Thank you med school for having such an awesome subscription library!!  Man, I must have been hungry today though because literally in another two hours I was hankering for food again so I warmed up some leftover sour cream nooch TVP casserole.


Though I felt a little weird eating something so dinner-like at 4:15 in the afternoon it was seriously delicious.  I love that I have a ton of leftovers of this.  It’s going to make great lunches next week.  Finally a bit after 7 o’clock I called it a day.  My summary was done and that baby was something like six pages.  I was told these summaries would take more time than I expected but dang, six and a half hours is kind of crazy and that doesn’t count the work I did a few days ago on it.  I’m not particularly looking forward to the next two.


To give myself a much needed break I decided some froyo was in order.  It was such a beautiful and sunny day out that I slipped into flip flops and walked to the shop down the street a few blocks over.  I must say I listened to some pretty relevant music while I enjoyed the weather.


I ended up filling my cup with red velvet, peanut butter, original tart, and chocolate frozen yogurt along with all manner of toppings from golden Oreo crumbles to peanut butter cups and chocolate espresso bean to something like four kinds of sauces.  Yea, go big or go home right?


I continued to enjoy the sunshine while I scooped the goodness out of my bowl.  It was so warm out on the bench that I couldn’t eat it quick enough.  Things got a bit soupy but it was no less scrumptious.


I took my time walking home and when I got there I read some more of Divergent.  I am really sucked in at this point.  The plot is thickening and I’m wondering what’s next.  I did have a great moment though this evening when I was sitting there and all I could think was “yea Will, you’re my kind of boy.”


I love it when books make me smile.  Not even half a page later, this wonderful quote emerged:


So, yea, I’m digging Divergent.  If you haven’t jumped on this train, you should.  Quick.  Before the rest of the world gets too far ahead of you and you don’t know what’s going on.  You don’t want to miss this read.

Friday French –>

Phrase: Je vois deux patients ce matin.
Translation: I’m seeing two patients this morning.
Story: Now that I have started honest to goodness rotations, I need this phrase in my vocabulary since I see two patients on Fridays now for a while.

Phrase: Voulez-vous obtenir du yogourt glacé avec moi?
Translation: Do you want to get frozen yogurt with me?
Story: I could have used this tonight.  While solo frozen yogurt is fine, froyo with company is way better.  Sadly, there is no translation for “froyo”…

Questions: Have you read Divergent? Thoughts?
What did you do today that was productive?

Friday, May 18, 2012


Yesterdays happenings:

1. Lots of database work.  I processed some 400+ samples at work.

2. Fun rounds with one of the doctors.  He let me present the patients I had seen on consult with him on Monday.  I felt pretty cool.

3. Divergent reading.  I’m hooked.

4. Ascension Mass at church with confirmations, receptions, and reaffirmations.  I did the last one in front of the bishop.  I’ll admit I almost cried.  I’m sappy like that.  Afterwards we had cake.  It was delicious.


Today’s goings-on:

1. It’s Friday and that, in and of itself, is awesome!

2. 8am class which I get out of at 8:30 to see my first patient of the day.

2. I get to have dinner with my best friend who will have defended his thesis this afternoon.  He will officially be done.  I’m so proud of him!

Questions: How thankful are you that it’s Friday!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

[Sour] Cream [Stout] For Me

Well, ladies and gentlemen, if I don’t see another Excel worksheet for a good long while that would be okay with me!  Today I did nothing but stare at one and manipulate it’s filters and sorting capabilities.  That and I looked through old paper records that were literally as old as me.  I had to correlate the two.  It was nuts…and I’m doing it again tomorrow and for the foreseeable future.

Anyways, the day started with another awesome breakfast cake.  This one was made with chocolate protein powder and covered in Nutella.  Seriously, everything is great with Nutella.  It’s a “cure-all”.


The morning was spent at work and finally at noon-ish Phillip came and unburied me from my stack of old records for lunch.  We were the only two in the break room so we had a pretty quiet time, both of us eating in silence and playing on our phones/the work computer.  I had a salad with scant veggie toppings (I really needed to hit up the produce section), nutritional yeast, flax seed, salad seasoning, and honey roasted peanuts.  I dressed it in sweet and spicy French. (Sorry for the awful cell phone picture.)


I worked a bit more after lunch and then headed over to the student room to learn about congenital hearing loss.  The genetics are so complicated that I printed off a nice big packet to familiarize myself with it and man is there a lot to know.  Lordie!  I also read up on agenesis of the corpus callosum.  Crazy stuff.  There are some that think there are more people walking around this world with no corpus callosum but we just never have a legit reason to look at their brains so we never find out.  Weird huh?  While I was prepping I snacked on my apple.

Then, after remembering how hungry I was almost immediately after only having an afternoon apple yesterday, I munched a peanut granola bar to help tide me over.


I then caught the shuttle home and proceeded to take a leisurely stroll down to the supermarket.  I bought some produce to amp up my salads again (seriously, lettuce, celery, carrots, and green pepper hardly constitutes a good one) as well as some beer in preparation for a recipe this weekend.  Last night, David and I went out for dinner and to watch the basketball game and it was there are the local pub that I found a beer I really liked: Bell’s Double Cream Stout.  So at the grocery today, I found another cream stout and figured I would try it.


Delicious.  It has a bit more acidity than the one from last night but I like it still.  And that is saying something coming from me, Miss Wine and Hard Liquor Liker.  Anyways, before I got my cook on (and before I tasted the beer) I did a quick workout of 18 minutes on each the elliptical and the stationary bike as well as 15 minutes of abdominal exercises.  I may have started Divergent while I worked out and I may already be kind of sucked in.

I had seen a great sour cream and rice casserole in my Google reader yesterday and I knew it had my name written all over it so I set out to make it tonight.  I made some tweaks to the recipe to make it my own, and to make it vegetarian.  I added in sautéed onions, green peppers, and mushrooms.  I used rehydrated TVP instead of ground meat and I split the cup of cheese into half a cup freshly grated cheddar and a fourth a cup of nutritional yeast (“nooch”).  I also added minced garlic, cumin, onion powder, and paprika to the plain tomato sauce.  Lastly, I used brown rice rather than white, you know, it being a more complex carb and all.  The results: deliciousness.  It was fabulous.  The creaminess from the sour cream and cottage cheese with the great TVP crumbles and soft veggies.  I loved my portion.  And of course, the best part is the seven servings of leftovers I have!  Because, seriously, that’s what happens when you have a single girl in the apartment and a 9x13 pan of casserole.


I ended up freezing three scoops and keeping four in the fridge figuring I’ll have one tomorrow for dinner before Ascension Mass at 7p and then the other three will make great lunches at school next week.  Now I’m off to read more about hereditary hearing loss before I fall asleep.  See everyone for Thursday then it’s only one more day till the weekend!

Questions: What is your favorite dish for leftovers?
Do you know anyone who has hearing loss?
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