National Sibling Day

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Happy National Sibling Day! A big shout out to my big brother! We are two very different people but he has taught me so much throughout the years.

1). Never take life too seriously. We have quite opposite personalities and we may not see eye to eye on everything but he has definitely taught me to step back and take a deep breath from time to time and remember why I  started. Some of the best advice I’ve ever received.

2). Family has and always will be your biggest fans.

3). You can get into the best shape of your life while eating the foods you love. He always says to me…..”moderation sis”. So eating the whole pizza was a bad idea? It’s a learning process…

4). You can indeed get away with almost anything if you have an older sibling. “Sasi did it, not me!” Poor kid always took the blame. As I got older this made me realize his dedication as an older brother. He knew at the end of day his role was to watch out for me and he took/takes that role very seriously and for that I will always thank him.

5). Sharing. I had, yes I’ve grown out it now, a biggggg sharing problem when I was younger. Sasi on the other hand wouldn’t think twice about giving away anything. Food, toys, whatever else I was begging to have, he always stepped up and said “it’s not mine, it’s ours sis.” I still have some learning to do!

This is a very small list of the many lessons I’ve learned throughout the years from my big brother! There are times he would drive me absolutely nuts but I couldn’t imagine my life without him! So for all the times I’ve gotten you in trouble or convinced you to give me your chocolate cake, I thank you! It’s takes a special kind of person to be a brother and you’re one of the best around.

Much love bro.

Love….your sis

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April 6, 2016 (Food Diary)

I find that posting what I eat helps me both stay on track as well get creative with what I cook up. I have been away for some time due to Match week craziness and an ACL tear. Back to the grind now!

Breakfast:

  • 1/2 slice Feltkamp pumpernickel bread
  • 1 full egg and 1 egg white
  • 1 slice slim cut swiss cheese
  • Handful power greens

Lunch:

  • Thai Chicken Garden Wonton Broth Bowl (Panera Bread)

Dinner: Pizza Salad

  • 2 cups chopped power greens
  • 1/2 slice of pizza
  • Chopped Carrots
  • Pickles
  • Shredded purple cabage
  • 1 tbp Balsamic Vinegrette
  • Basically need to clean out the fridge before heading out for the weekend.

Dessert: Skinny Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Skinny Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ummmm….. the title says it all. Perfection!

Recipe adapted from The Skinny Fork 

Some of the changes I made:

  • Added 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • I did not have brown sugar so I used palm coconut sugar
  • Used dark chocolate chips
  • Added walnuts and cacao chips

As noted in the original recipe- do not forget to oil the muffin tins or liners.As with any recipe calling for baking soda or baking powder, be sure to check for freshness.  I had a minor issue with the muffins being slightly dry. I did some research and came across this helpful article for… dun dun dun….dry muffins.  I decided to take this opportunity to spread some goodness on these beauties.

Some ideas:

  • Jam – Basically a healthy version of PB&J!
  • Smart Balance
  • More peanut butter
  • Nutella

Exercise: 

I am a huge F45 fan! I absolutely love it! Unfortunately, due to the tear, doc thought it would be a smart idea to rest up and go with low impact exercise. Sooo for now, that leaves me with walking and upper body and ab exercises. Fitbit to the rescue! It’s a great way to keep track of steps and calories burned. Also helps to stay motivated and challenge friends!  With the weather warming up, occasionally, this gives me a chance to get some fresh air and capture a few pictures the lake!

Happy Wednesday Readers! 

Match Madness (National Match Day!)

I have been very behind on posts so I will be recapping the last few weeks!

National Match Day is the day every year that hopeful doctors wait patiently for an email that determines what the next year (couple of years) holds for them. Needless to say, its quite nerve-wrecking. I received my email at 10:58 and found out that…… I MATCHED!! Let the celebrations begin!

First celebration was with the Gutta’s! Dinner at one of my favorite seafood restaurant’s Paula’s On Main. Like usual I attacked my dinner before I could grab a picture. Great start to the perfect week!

Happy St.Patty’s Day! My Dad’s colleagues are the absolute sweetest and arranged a party to celebrate!

On Monday, I found if I had matched or not. On Friday, I found out where. Email arrived and….. I will be to heading to Milwaukee for Categorical Internal Medicine! This was one of my top choices! I am thrilled to start to part of my life. My Mom came to this interview with me and instantly fell in love with this city. She told me “I will be okay if you match here.” Well your dream has come true Mom! Off to cheer on the Badgers, Brewers, and for the next 3 years.

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Endless flowers, wine, chocolates, gifts, cards, sweet messages, and most importantly celebrating one of the most important days of my life with the people that matters most!

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At the end of this week it was necessary to get away for a few minutes and reflect on the many blessings in my life. Medical school was a lot of work, but I could not imagine making this journey without the love and support from my friends and family! So a special thank you to all those that always believed in my and cheered me on for the past 7 years!

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The many faces of lasagna

I will start off by stating the obvious, I love pasta. In particular, lasagna is my weakness. Unfortunately, healthy dining and lasagna aren’t quite compatible. So here’s a healthier, less decadent, but equally delicious take on a dinnertime (aka anytime) favorite.

This dish will help with portion control and using fresh, healthy ingredients will undoubtably add to the flavor! This dish is perfect for 2 or if you’re cooking for 1 you will have leftovers, or maybe you won’t- no one is judging!  Packed with fresh veggies, seasonings, protein, and…PASTA it is hard not to love this slightly healthier version! Change up the vegetables to make it more suitable for you.

Ingredients:

  1. Whole wheat lasagna sheets- 2
  2. Pasta sauce- 1/2 cup
  3. Part skim or fat free Ricotta cheese- 2 heaping tablespoons
  4. Part Skim Mozzarella- 2 tsp
  5. Garlic or garlic powder- 2 cloves or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (no salt added)
  6. Oregano- 1/2 teaspoon
  7. Basil- a few leaves, chopped up
  8. Salt- to taste
  9. Pepper- to taste
  10. Zucchini- half
  11. Red Bell Pepper – 1/4- 1/2
  12. Asparagus – 5 spears
  13. Chicken- 8 oz of cooked chicken

Method:

  1. Start off by bringing a saucepan of water to a boil and add in the pasta sheets ( I split each sheet in half) – cook them according to the package- usually takes 8-10 minutes
  2. While the pasta is cooking- dice and chop away at the zucchini, red pepper, and asparagus (or any vegetable combination of your choice). Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl mix together the ricotta cheese, salt, and pepper
  4. Remove the cooked pasta from the water and make sure to pat dry
  5. Let the vegetable cook until tender- roughly 8 minutes
  6. In a baking pan spread 1/4 of the pasta sauce on the bottom
  7. Now take one of the sheets and lay on top of the sauce. spread 1/2 of the ricotta mixture on the sheet and half of the mozzarella and chopped basil on top. Place another sheet on top. Repeat with the other sheets.
  8. Spread the remainder of the pasta sauce on top
  9. Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 until cheese is melted and heated throughout
  10. While the pasta is in the oven let’s work on the vegetables- Heat up the olive oil and add garlic. In 1-2 minutes (make sure the garlic does not burn) add the veggies and oregano.
  11. Let the vegetable cook until tender- roughly 8 minutes. Add the chopped chicken and let it heat through
  12. Plate the pasta and add the veggie and chicken mix on top!

 

Viola! Serve up and enjoy!

Variations:

  1. Use shrimp instead of chicken
  2. Ground turkey or beef would work too. Cook up the meat before and add in between the pasta sheets. (I will post pictures once I try this)
  3. If you are vegetarian just leave out the meat and add more vegetables
  4. Add mushrooms, spinach, kale, red onions, olives, any color pepper … possibilities are endless

Suggestions:

  1. Make sure you do cover the pasta when cooking because it can dry out
  2. Spray the baking pan with cooking spray to help with clean up
  3. You can add salt to the pasta water to season the pasta itself
  4. Careful when moving the pasta from the baking dish to the plate because it may fall apart
  5. Serve with a side salad, a chunk of warm homemade garlic bread, and a glass of wine!

I would not be a true pasta enthusiast if I didn’t mention this. If you are ever in the Columbus,OH area stop by Pastaria for a plate of their…..well anything because EVERYTHING is amazing, so take your pick! Another selling point, the opportunity to take home their in house made pastas. One final secret — try the tiramisu!

Happy eating everyone!

Cookies and Coffee- (Food Diary day 4)

Some mornings require a little extra. Extra coffee. Extra cookies. Extra sleep! That obviously didn’t happen…..hence the first two. Thank you trusty coffee mug for your words of advice.

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Cacao nib, walnut, and pecan cookies!

Ingredients

    1. Whole wheat pastry flour – 1 and 1/2 cups *
    2. coconut palm sugar- 1/2 cup
    3. Coconut oil- 1/4 cup
    4. Olive Oil- 1/4 cup
    5. Egg- 1
    6. Chopped Walnuts- 1/4 cup
    7. Chopped Pecans- 1/4 cup
    8. Baking Soda**- 1/2 teaspoon
    9. Baking Powder- 3/4 teaspoon
    10. Vanilla extract- 1/2 teaspoon
    11. Sea Salt
    12. Cacao nibs

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Have two mixing bowls- 1 for the wet ingredients and 1 for the wet ingredients. The bowl used for mixing the wet ingredients should be a little larger since all the final mixing will take place in this bowl
  3. In the smaller bowl mix together: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt- set aside
  4. In the larger bowl: Mix together Coconut oil, Olive oil, Sugar, Egg, and vanilla until well combined
  5. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until well combined and a cookie dough like consistency.
  6. Add in your walnuts, pecans, and cacao nibs and mix together. Get your hands in there and dirty!
  7. Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon , scoop out dough and roll into balls.
  8. Line on cookie tray lined with parchment paper. Be sure they are not too close together- set about 2 inches apart. Flatten for a slightly larger cookie.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes and sprinkle with sea salt immediately, gently push the salt granules into the cookie to be sure they stick.
  10. Let cool a few minutes before transferring
  11. Enjoy with coffee, tea or milk! Be sure to share!
  12. Notes: *Remember to spoon the flour into your measuring cup and not to pack the flour. **Be sure to check that your baking soda is still good. A good test: http://chemistry.about.com/od/foodcookingchemistry/a/How-To-Test-Baking-Powder-And-Baking-Soda-For-Freshness.htm
  13. Cinnamon would be a great addition as well! I will be trying that next time.

Happy Baking!

LUNCH: HERBALIFE SHAKE

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Trusty Herbalife shake. Quick and easy to prepare. Choosing which recipe to make is the tough part. I will take a nutritious chocolate shake any day of the week.

SNACK: ALMONDS AND STRING CHEESE 

DINNER: VEGGIE AND TOFU STIR FRY WITH FORBIDDEN RICE 

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I could eat this everyday! Forbidden rice is also known as black rice. A few benefits of replacing white rice with black rice:

  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Fiber

http://livewell.jillianmichaels.com/health-benefits-black-rice-5382.html

WORKOUT: F45 ATHLETICA at 5AM! 

WATER: 85 fl. oz. 

Another day in the books!

Food Diary- Day 2

Breakfast: Herbalife shake

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One scoop of each blended with 1 cup water and ice!

Snack: Turkey roll-ups

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2 slices turkey
1 low fat string cheese
Cucumber
Sriracha sauce
Dijon mustard
I love this snack! Change it up however you like. Use different veggies, different sauces, different cheeses. Make it your own! Note: Watch out for delivery meats with high sodium or added preservatives.

Lunch: Herbalife shake as above

Dinner: Celebrating my friend’s birthday at a local restaurant. I had the pork chops and forgot to take a picture before I dug in! Too good to wait

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Headed out with my favorite outfit-  loose sweater and statement necklace! Never goes wrong!

Happy Friday everyone!

You be my Gatsby, I’ll be your Daisy

I set off for a weekend getaway down south to good old Atlanta,GA. Recap of the weekend:

Started off with coffee and cookie at The Cookie Studio. A charming little bakery in Buckhead. Definitely be sure to check it out if  you’re in the area. Perfect location to work, study, or catch up with friends!

Next was dinner at The Optimist. Possibly one of the best seafood restaurants I have ever been too!  Amazing food and great company make for some memorable Friday nights.

http://theoptimistrestaurant.com/

Saturday was the anticipated Roaring 20’s Accenture Party. For someone that is always prepared, I had no accessories and no idea what I would be wearing. Off to the mall we went and luckily found everything we needed.
But first caffeine…

 

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Corso Coffeeshop- best iced mocha!

Dress: Target
Head band and pearls: Icing – they were also having a sale so found some great deals.
Another night filled with top notch food, great drinks, endless music, and most importantly, a handsome date by my sideimageimageimage

Ended the weekend with a visit to Atlanta Oysterfest!

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Now I’ve never tried oysters so here was another opportunity to try something new. So we gathered around a bucket of oysters with shuckers in hand and a bottle of hot sauce. I became quite the master of oyster by the end of day. Now, would I eat oysters again, probably not but I am glad I tried it.

Another perfect weekend in Atlanta!

 

Food Diary

Breakfast: Herbalife shake
1 scoop vanilla
1 scoop chocolate
1 scoop vanilla PDM
1 tbsp PB2 powder

Snack: Greek yogurt parfait
1/2 cup chobani green yogurt
1 tbsp nature valley protein granola
1 tbsp Cheerios!
1 tbsp PB2 powder
1/2 TSP cinnamon

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Lunch: Herbalife shake- same as above 

Snack:
Orange
1 weight watchers string cheese

Dinner: Vegetarian stir fry

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1/4 cup cooked black rice
1 cup veggies- I used zucchini, broccoli, carrots, red peppers, and sugar snap peas
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon white sesame seeds
2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
Dash of pepper

Workout: F45 Panthers!

I enjoyed experimenting with some new recipes today! I think that’s the most important part of losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle. Be creative, have fun, and enjoy what you’re eating!

The Road Untraveled

A few months ago I told myself  I would try  one thing every week that I would not typically do. In retrospect, everyday seems like a difficult task to accomplish when I spent most days in front of a computer and textbooks studying for boards. I have now come to the realization that “new things” does not have to mean exploring the wildlife of the Amazon or mimicking Anthony Bourdain’s latest culinary adventure. Now that I have more free time, and a new understanding of “trying new things” I thought I would come back to this challenge. So week 1 here I me….

For those of you that know me you know that I would never consider hiking a fun time. Well, in the past few years I have come a long way from who I was. I have quite a few people to thank in my life for that but that will be another post. For my first task of trying out new things/things that scare me I thought I would:

1). Publish my first post

2) Tell the story of my weekend hike

Number one frightens me and number two is definitely not something I would normally do.

The weather in Ohio this weekend was perfect, a beautiful 60 degrees, sunny, and just the right amount of wind to stay cool! I got in touch with a friend and we decided to go on a hike. We decided on yellow springs, a beautiful location right outside of Dayton, Ohio. Off we went to explore the hidden treasures of Ohio:

wp-1456089968334.jpg Rainbows, waterfalls, sunrays make for a memorable afternoon

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Unfortunately, the trail we planned on, Glen Helen Loop Trail,  was closed so we chose to hike through the John Bryan trail. Simply beautiful! There’s so much to see and discover if we take to time. Even in the middle of winter, on a particularly warm day, there was so much beauty in this remote ohio location.

The rest of the day was spent exploring, lunching, and enjoying Bloody Mary’s. I hear it’s the only way to replete lost electrolytes, I’m sure I have read that in one of my medical books ;).

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“And then I realized adventures are the best way to learn.”

As the day had come to an end I realized what a perfect day I had.  I am slowly discovering more about myself everyday and am so excited to see what else is out there! So however small the change may be I am confident that  Here’s to an amazing weekend and plenty more adventures in the future.

Side note: It’s important to remember that “trying something new” doesn’t have to be something dangerous or “adventurous”, it can be something simple. A few ideas: Call instead of texting a friend, try a new exercise class, eating at a restaurant alone ( this was a big one for me!). Whatever it may you find a new part of yourself when you step outside of your comfort zone. If you enjoy the experience keep with it and if you not, you can say you gave it a shot!

Find out more about these locations below:

http://www.yso.com/

http://www.johnbryan.org/mountain-bike-trails.html