Did you know watermelon has the same phytochemical, lycopene, that tomatoes have? This is what gives watermelon & tomatoes their red color. But not only that, it is an antioxidant which may help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer! Woo!

While sitting in class today, I was craving watermelon and this is what I spontaneously made of it!

I N G R E D I E N T S:

  • 1 mini, seedless watermelon, sliced
  • 1 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pkg FRESH mozzarella cheese
  • a handful of basil, chopped
  • 2 tbsp honey

 

D I R E C T I O N S:

  • drizzle watermelon slices with olive oil on both sides
  • in a small saucepan, combine balsamic vinegar and honey and bring to a boil
  • reduce heat and simmer until vinegar is visibly reduced down
  • Place individual watermelon sliced on the grill for 2-3 minutes each side, or until the fruit has nice grill marks 🙂
  • Top watermelon with sliced mozzarella, chopped basil, and reduced balsamic.

 

Easy, quick, and fresh. Enjoy 🙂

 

xx,

M

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those grill marks. 👌🏻

 

As the summer comes to an end, produce is starting to flourish! I have an abundance of zucchini and summer squash and cannot wait to use it. Grow your own, or support your local farmers! There is something about knowing where your food comes from that makes enjoying it even better.

***

Today, I am sharing a recipe with you that will put the harvest to good use!

zoodler

The secret to making veggie noodles is investing in a vegetable spiralizer. I got mine from Amazon for about $30. It is easy to use and will change your life for the better. 🙂

The link is listed below!

https://www.amazon.com/Spiralizer-Tri-Blade-Vegetable-Strongest—Heaviest/dp/B00GRIR87M/ref=sr_1_4?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1471115527&sr=1-4&keywords=vegetable+spiralizer

 

I N G R E D I E N T S 

  • 3 spirialized zucchini (or summer squash)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • about 1 c. baby shrimp (pre-cooked)
  • salt and pepper, dried herb seasoning (Mrs. Dash)
  • fresh basil for garnish
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someone loves the cores from the spirializer.

D I R E C T I O N S 

  • Heat olive oil on medium heat.
  • Once the oil is warm, place all the noodles into the pan.
  • Season with salt and pepper, and other seasonings of choice. Add red pepper flakes for a little heat (optional).
  • Toss with tongs for 3-5 minutes or until the noodles resemble al dente texture of wheat noodles.
  • Drain the excess liquid off the noodles
  • Toss the shrimp and basil in with the noodles!
  • Drizzle with a little more olive oil for serving, and garnish with remaining basil.

 

N O T E S:

  • I used summer squash in the recipe, but but zucchini and summer squash are neutral vegetables that don’t have a lot of flavor. They can be interchanged as desired.
  • This dish allows a lot of variety! Add peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, or spinach to incorporate more vegetables into the meal!
  • To make it a complete meal, serve over a bed of brown rice of quinoa.
  • Any vegetable can be spiralized. I have used sweet potatoes, cabbage, and carrots as well.

 

Happy harvest!

 

xx,

M

 

 

 

Today, I traded my usual ceil blue scrubs for the OR scrubs and followed an OB/GYN. My experience today was beyond words amazing.

 

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hi, OR!

Throughout my time at the hospital I was fortunate enough to observe multiple outpatient surgeries, round with the doctor, and witness two deliveries (for the first time)! Words do not describe how blessed I feel to observe something so beautiful.

I have always known that I loved medicine. My shadowing experiences have just confirmed my love – especially today.

I used to read every medical book I could get my hands on since I was a little girl and was always fascinated by all the seemingly minute details of the human body that work together to create a system that is beyond any machine. Once I found out I could start job shadowing and seeing some of these amazing things in action, I didn’t look back.

 

***

Let me give you a little background!

High school is where my clinical experiences began. My high school offered a 2-credit course that exposed us students to the field of medicine by job shadowing during the course period about 6 times a month for 4 months. Now that I look back, there were certain classes I could’ve taken that would have prepared me better for college academically, but the knowledge I obtained throughout my medical careers course taught me so many things beyond textbook knowledge.

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my classmates and I in our blue shadowing coats!

Throughout my senior year of high school, I observed several specialties of choice including family medicine, OB/GYN, emergency medicine, internal medicine, pathology, dietetics, surgery, pre and post-op care, cardiology, and many others that are not forgotten!

As a high school student, I knew I wanted to be a doctor. This opened my eyes to my already-eager mind and deepened my passion for medicine. I cannot thank you enough for your superior leadership, compassion, and mentorship throughout this experience, Mrs. Adams. I would not be the student, tech, or person I am today without your devotion to helping me learn and grow.

Now entering my third year of college, I have continued to shadow in both family medicine and obstetrics/gynecology as I have found these two areas to click with me the best. I don’t think it’s possible to have a “bad” experience shadowing because if you don’t like something, you can eliminate it from your list.

With my experience shadowing in many areas the past four years, I have some tips to share with you that can help to enhance your experience if you choose to shadow!

 

*5 reasons to job shadow in the medical field:*

 

  1. You will learn if you like the medical field or not.

 

Yes, really. If you are intrigued by medicine-no matter which component- you should start job shadowing. There are many glorified TV shows and movies that recreate medical scenarios which make for good entertainment, however, they don’t give you the rawness of medicine first-hand.

 

You will know right away if you enjoyed what you saw in your shadowing experience. Were you interested in the things you got to see? Did you have questions for you mentor throughout your time shadowing? Could you see yourself doing this job and being happy?

 

If you decide that the field isn’t for you, you could have potentially saved yourself money, time, and stress that is commonly associated with going into the medical field. Now, don’t get me wrong, if you are going into the field of medicine, all these things are totally worth it. But if not, you will be happy you spared yourself! It can be a process of elimination of sorts.

 

The reason many programs either recommend (or sometimes require!) logged shadowing hours is to ensure that you are going into a field that you want to commit to. It’s true, either you love medicine, or you don’t want to have anything to do with it. If you are interested in medicine, then shadowing will just reaffirm your decision.

 

2. If you like the medical field, you will learn what you like about the medical field.

 

Do you like the idea of an operating room? Or does the idea of a clinic setting sound more like your interest? Try them both (and then some!) No matter which profession you shadow in the OR, you will see all the other components- the surgeon, scrub nurse, anesthesiologist, anesthetist, surgical tech, etc. Maybe surgery itself didn’t spark your interest, but the post-op area did. Give that a go! 🙂

3. If you are dead set on a specific field of medicine, you STILL might change your mind after job shadowing.

Before I started college, I loved the idea of forensic medicine and performing autopsies.  I did a lot of research in this area and decided I wanted to pursue forensic medicine. However, after I shadowed in family medicine, I observed the physician-patient relationships and saw how vital this is to the healing process; something I am very drawn to. Though still fascinated by forensic medicine, my experience job shadowing has provoked me to switch gears and consider more hospital/clinic based specialties.

4. You will gain experience and knowledge that you can’t learn from your textbook.

Textbooks are great. The internet is great. Going to class is great. (Fellow nerds unite!)  However, things that you see through experience cannot be taught any other way. While shadowing, you may see diseases, cases, and images you have learned and read about. But the beauty of clinical experience allows you to gap the bridge from your textbook to the real word and make a concept “click.” It’s one of the best feelings ever!

Besides seeing things visually, you are immersed directly in the field. As a student, you are a bystander. You don’t have to do anything but be eyes and ears. You get to observe interactions between your mentor and their patients. You get to see what each component of the field does in the process of treating patients.

For example, you can see the extent of the work a PA or NP can do in the care process, when a respiratory therapist is consulted, what a nurse does at bedside, what PTs and OTs do for the recovery process; the list does not end.

5. Lastly, it will help you make your goals more specific.

You found an area you are set on through job shadowing?  Good for you! THAT’S THE GOAL. Now pursue it. Find out what you have to do to achieve your goals and go for it! 🙂

 

 

*J O B  S H A D O W I N G  T I P S*

  • Find a facility that is known to be a “teaching facility.”
    • Some hospitals are better about having students than others. The ones that aren’t necessarily teaching hospitals are by no means “bad” hospitals and I am not criticizing them. From experience, I know there are hospitals that are better about accepting students than others. Do your research and call the facility and ask what areas students are permitted to observe. If you find this inconclusive, try a different facility!

*Teaching facilities are strongly associated with having a health-science based university in the same area!*

 

  • “Dress for the part you want, not the part you have.”
    • Most healthcare facilities have similar dress codes for not only students, but health system-wide. Some of the more general rules to follow are:
      • Long hair tied back
      • Wear close-toed shoes
      • No strong perfumes or colognes (due to patient allergies and sensitivities)
    • Alongside these rules, ask the facility what the dress code is for shadowing. Many healthcare settings will permit you to wear scrubs while you shadow, but check beforehand.
    • If you’re in a clinic setting, consider something business casual. Scrubs are likely more acceptable in a hospital setting.

 

  • Eat before you arrive.
    • Not only does this help you be more alert and attentive instead of groggy, but it will decrease your risk of feeling faint. When you eat breakfast, you are quite literally breaking the fast between the last time you ate the night before. Our blood glucose levels drop while we sleep and need to be replenished to get us feeling ready to take on the day (regardless).

 

  • Come prepared.
    • What area are you shadowing in? Catch up on the field. Find a job description of the profession so you have an idea of some of the things you might see. Is there a specific procedure that is routine for your mentor’s profession? What is a typical day in the life? Could you potentially see shocking or traumatic things? Reading up gives you an idea what to expect beforehand.

 

  • Ask questions.
    • Your mentor will likely ask you if you have any, but ask them as you go! No question is a dumb question.The best mentors show their passion for their career and are happy to teach you why they enjoy their field so much.

 

  • Get involved.
    • It could happen that those who are allowing you to  shadow are so used to doing their job without a student they may forget to include you. Easy solution! Be proactive and ask if you can step in and see what’s going on. If you can’t see something and want to, ask! In my past experiences, I have been allowed to use the fetal heart monitor to listen to heart tones, feel the fundal height of  postpartum patients, and look at x-rays.

 

  • Do not be scared or offended.
    • If you are feeling faint, ill, or something grosses you out, LET SOMEONE KNOW. Do not let it to get to the point of you fainting. Passing out would be lots more embarrassing than taking five minutes to step out of the room and gather your composure.  If you don’t feel comfortable enough to come back to the room after you’ve stepped out, IT’S OK. You are a student, not a trained professional who is expected to do this as your job (not until much later!). 🙂
    • Be prepared to know that not all patients will give permission to having a student in the room. Do not be offended. It is their choice. Patients are the reason you get to be shadowing; they are the business. Health can be very personal, so if someone requests not having a student in the room, accept it, move on,  and hope the next patient will allow you to shadow!

*Side note *

Some specialities will not allow high school students in their practice (for various reasons), but are more flexible about allowing college students. My advice is to wait your turn because your opportunity will be there before you know it. 🙂

 

* R E F L E C T I O N *

 

  • Keep a log of your hours and get a signature from your mentor.
    • As your program may require a specific amount of shadowing hours, do not let them go to waste! Write them down as soon as you’re done. It doesn’t hurt to get a signature from your mentor as well!

 

  • Make a list of the things you liked and disliked about your experience.
    • This is useful for your own personal decision-making that you might make down the road. Writing a brief reflection may help make your career choice easier! What were you favorite things about what you saw? Did you absolutely hate it? Write it down!

 

  • WRITE A THANK YOU.
    • This is probably the most important component of the entire experience. Your mentor has taken time out of their (often busy)  day to share their career with you. Write a sincere thank you card explaining what you enjoyed and how thankful you are for letting you shadow them. Taking the time to thank your mentor will mean a lot to them.

***

So, here’s to you, the future of medicine. Get out there! There is an entire world of knowledge out there for Y O U to learn about  Get your feet wet. Spark some interests! You have nothing to lose!

 

Xxx,

M

IMG_9950.JPG
Maybe one day I’ll have my own OR!

 

~ Medicine is for those who cannot imagine doing anything else ~

Dr. Luanda Grazette, MD

* gluten free, vegetarian *

Classic. Gluten free. Lightened up.

in this case, that means no butter, cream, or even milk added.

don’t doubt me just yet. 🙂

I N G R E D I E N T S:

  • 1 box gluten free pasta of choice
  • 2 c. low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1-1 1/2 c. shredded cheese(s) of choice
  • 3-4 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
    • {yes, that’s s e r i o u s l y  all there is to it}

D I R E C T I O N S:

  • Prepare pasta al dente according to the box. Drain the noodles and set aside.

 

  • Return the pot back to the warm burner and add the chicken stock. Add a generous pinch of pepper and bring to a boil. Then add garlic.

 

  • Once the stock is boiling, add the cornstarch and stir continuously until it reaches desired thickness. (It will produce larger bubbles as it thickens).

 

  • Add the cheese and continue to stir (a whisk works best) until all the cheese is melted. At this point, it should be a creamy cheese sauce.

 

  • Return the noodles back to the pot and stir stir everything together. Lastly, add the basil!

 

  • Serve immediately BUT, also makes for great leftovers!

 

And there you have it!

IMG_9865
N O T E S

  • shredded chicken or crab meat would be an excellent source of additional protein in this dish.
  • cornstarch is an ingredient everyone should have in their kitchen. It serves to help thicken liquids without adding heaviness or extra calories.
  • I did not choose to salt anything in this dish because cheese is naturally salty. No need for excess!
  • To add more color and nutrients, add cooked green peans, peas, or broccoli!
  • I used pasta made of a rice & corn blend. The cheese I used was cheddar, parmesan, and mozzarella. But seriously, use whatever is your favorite! Asiago sounds pretty good too. 🙂

 

Try it! You will be happy you did!

xxx,

M

As we are well into the month of January, we are also in the midst of cold, flu, and stomach bug season. Beside these temporary, productivity-inhibiting ailments alone, we have to also deal with colder temperatures, less sunlight, and not much sun exposure to absorb vitamin D. Our immune systems are already working hard, and barely stand a chance against these pathogens in this season, so do your immune system a favor and give it a vitamin C boost!

This is one of my favorite smoothies because it is a hybrid between an Orange Julius and and an orange creamsicle, two REALLY refreshing things that are full of empty calories (including large amounts of fat and sugar) where mine is just as good, minus all that bad stuff. 🙂

I N G R E D I E N T S:

  • 1 orange, peeled
  • about 1/2 c. vanilla greek yogurt
  • about 1/c c. ice
  • 1/2-1 c. milk of choice (I used almond)
  • 1-2 tsp honey at room temp (preference)
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • orange zest
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)

Blend thoroughly, and enjoy! 

Ps, did you know that one orange contains 97 mg of vitamin C which is 15 mg more than the recommended daily allowance for women (75), and 7 mg more than the RDA for men? (90)

Vitamin C is important for many processes throughout the body such as:

  • aiding in the absorption of iron (important in carrying oxygen in the blood)
  • helping to repair cells and form scar tissue
  • a component in collagen, the body’s building block
  • AND, it’s an antioxidant, which helps protect cells from DNA damage due to free radicals

So, there you have it. Vitamins, protein, hydration, immunity, and a healthy taste of summer in a glass!

Happy blending!

xx,

M

It’s the last week before 16 more weeks of tests, quizzes, and HOURS of study each day. I am relishing in the fact that I can lay in bed a few extra minutes, binge watch Grey’s Anatomy, and not spend a minute thinking about anything academic. In a sense, it’s like hibernating, but my version, unlike the bears’ winter behavior, includes lots of good food.

So this morning, I made a little brunch and this is how I did it!

Baked Eggs & Spinach:

You’ll need-

  • 3-4 good handfuls of spinach
    • (it looks like a lot, but it cooks down immensely!)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • about 1/4 c. parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 eggs (preference)

To make-

Add about a teaspoon of coconut oil to a large pan and warm on medium heat. Add the spinach and spices. To determine that the spinach is cooked, you’ll know right away as the leaves shrivel and lose their size. When it’s done, remove from the heat and place in a casserole dish.

Preheat the oven to 400º.

Crack an egg (or two) over the spinach and add the cheese to the remaining visible spinach.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until the egg(s) is thoroughly cooked.

Banana Pancakes:

*yes, the entire time I was making these, I was listening to the Jack Johnson song.*

You’ll need-

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 c. oats
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp almond milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (VERY important)
  • generous pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

To make-

Place everything but the almond milk in the food processor. Combine. Then, add the almond milk after everything is combined.

Ladle the pancake batter into a pan or griddle on medium-low heat. They usually take about 2-3 minutes per side. Flip, cook the other side, and enjoy!

I topped mine with fresh berries, but you could also top with greek yogurt, pure maple syrup, BANANAS, cinnamon, or mini chocolate chips. 🙂

 

LASTLY,

 

Herbed Potatoes

You’ll need-

  • 2-3 baby potatoes (already cooked) sliced into rounds
  • about 1 tablespoon of either rosemary or basil
  • salt & pepper to taste

To make-

On the stovetop, heat about a tablespoon of olive or coconut oil along with the herb of choice. Once it heats up, add the potatoes, and salt & pepper. Cook until the potatoes start to brown. That’s it, that’s all!

If you too are starting school again Monday, I wish you the best semester possible! Remember to get enough sleep, fuel your body well, drink lots of water, exercise, and take a little time for yourself each day! Set yourself up to succeed.

Happy eating!

xxx,

M

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Currently wishing I could eat this again…