Tuesday, August 30, 2011

O-week Day 4 recap

Yesterday had an early start as I headed to the gym for weights & a HIIT workout. Later in the morning I met my preceptor for this coming semester. I'm doing cardiac & vascular surgery and am PUMPED!!! As I left they gave me a present!

What could it be??

My own suture kit! So excited to practice!

On my walk back I walked through Public Gardens and admired the beautiful flowers

Then I enjoyed a cup of coconut creme tea. Yummm!

After tutorial I headed out for sushi with some classmates. My roomie ordered some sushi pizza while I ordered the atlantic roll and shrimp tempura roll.

Be still my beating heart!!!

The evening event was skit night and I gotta say I'm impressed by all the talent of the Med I's. They delivered some pretty awesome skits! Even though my group didn't win I was blown away by their amazing performance which had a gripping plot, medical puns, and revised lyrics to Don't Stop Believing.

So proud of these guys and sad to see the New Brunswickers go in the morning :(.

O-week Day 3 recap

Yesterday officially marked the first day of Med II for my class. It was a bit surreal and I found myself remembering back to where we all were a year ago. We've gone from being complete strangers to bonding through post-exam parties, procomp frustrations, and peglegging.

First day of Med I

We've started off the unit with some head & neck anatomy which was great for the first 30 minutes...and then I had to make a conscious effort to focus! Attention span, where have you gone?? I even zoned out during tutorial a couple times. I may have to resort to pinching myself every 2 minutes.

During the evening, the DalMed vocal groups sang a few pieces for the Hippocratic Oath ceremony. It was great to be together again but sad at the same time since it was our last performance with the Med IIIs. I am excited though to see the talent that comes from the first years.

The Vocal Chords & Testostertones during last year's PEI concert

We chose all mostly upbeat pieces to rope in new recruits including Bugle Boy, For the Longest Time, Love of the Sea, and Watching the Apples Grow. I hope it worked ;)

When I got back to my apartment, I may or may not have indulged in some leftover ice cream sandwich cake. Fine...I did! I had to refrain from dairy all day so it wouldn't affect my singing voice! The cake was 100% delicious!

It's off to the gym now. Have a great day!

Monday, August 29, 2011

O-week Day 2 recap

Yesterday marked one of my favourite events of orientation week and med school life in general: Progressive Dinner. It's a great way to get to know people and bond over a delicious meal. It also gives a chance for the Med I's to ask people in my class about anything and everything.

It was my first time hosting and I had a blast. On the menu was homemade guacamole and brie cheese/crackers for appetizers, build-your-own-fajita for dinner and ice cream sandwich squares. Ok, please bear with me as I talk about this guacamole for a sec. It was amazing, as in if I had one more day to live I would make this guacamole. I got the recipe from Michael Buble. Ok, ok...not the real Michael Buble. His look-alike gave it to me :).

To make Buble's guacamole, you will need:
  • 4 avocados, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • chopped onions
  • cilantro, chopped
  • lime juice
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chili flakes (optional)
All you have to do is mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and voila! You have guacamole! I didn't put a quantity for the onions and cilantro because it really depends on preference. I probably used about 1 cup of chopped onions and 3 springs of cilantro.

And once again, my stomach's willpower was stronger than my camera's. This won't be the last time I blog about these though :).

Dessert was ice cream deliciousness that I first experienced last week. It was incredibly easy to make as well and our guests loved it.

What is your "staple dish" to serve friends or bring to potlucks?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

O-week Day 1

Woohoo! Orientation week is finally here! Despite a poor sleep Friday night I woke up before my 7:30am alarm and had a good start to the day. When I say poor it's really by my own high standards. It usually takes me less than 5 minutes to fall asleep from when my head hits the pillow. For some reason I kept tossing & turning and wasn't able to relax until an hour later!!

The morning started with a modified HIIT workout.

3 min3-4 (warm up)1x
6 min 5-6 (90 sec)

7-8 (30 sec) 3x
1 min5-61x
2 min9-10 (10 sec)
5-6 (50 sec)2x
2 min9-10 (20 sec)
5-6 (40 sec)2x
1 min5-61x
2 min9-10 (10 sec)
5-6 (50 sec)2x
5 min7-8 (15 sec)
5-6 (45 sec)5x
3 min 3-4 (cool down)1x

I ended up shaving 15 minutes off my regular routine which suits me for a pressed schedule :)

Shortly after my roomie and I headed to the Farmers Market where I picked up some kale, cucumber and tomatoes...and quite possibly a bag of oatcakes as well ;). They are amazing!!

It was then off to school to help welcome the Class of 2015. I gotta say...my group is pretty awesome. We're the Pubic Arches and we dominated in The Amazing Race yesterday.

Your friendly Pubic Arch O-week leaders

Like our sign? Yes, that is the Arc de Triomphe glued on. We thought it was a nice touch of class.

The Amazing Race was a photo scavenger hunt, with emphasis on quality vs quantity of pictures. We got pretty creative with some of them.

Group shot in the elevator


Sneaking into the theatre...and failing

Doing some group yoga

Bench pressing

Group shot in the air

In the evening Tish (chef extraordinaire) came over and we made some amazing pizza. Would you believe that I didn't have a rolling pin?!?! You learn a lot of what you don't have when you host friends for dinner! We were able to improvise though. A wine bottle makes an excellent substitute :). Pizza was topped with artichoke hearts, mushrooms, black olives, and italian salami over a homemade pizza sauce.

The night ended with a themed party "brought to you by the Letter D". I gave a hint yesterday of what my costume was. I ended up being a doll! Like the costume?

It's a little sad looking. Haha.

More to come of o-week adventures throughout the week!

Have you ever been to a themed party? What was your costume?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Running in circles!

It's been a busy yet productive "last day" of summer vacation. Yes, I know...school doesn't start until Monday but things will be hectic tomorrow & Sunday as my class welcomes the Med I's!!

For the majority of the day I felt like I was running around in circles!

Breakfast --> Doctor's appointment --> blogging --> meeting with a previous preceptor to talk research --> making a team sign for my orientation week group --> grabbing groceries for a progressive dinner I'm cohosting this Sunday --> meeting my med buddy for the first time and chatting over coffee --> quick veggie burger dinner (still not a fan of 'em!) --> Vocal Chords practice --> incline workout & strength training --> post-workout protein shake --> cleaning the apartment --> blogging

Oooph...my "to do" list was the only thing that kept me on track and on schedule!

Groceries for 11 people!

Practice with the Vocal Chords, the med school female singing group

Me & my roomies also did something involving heavy makeup...it was practice for a special themed party tomorrow...all shall soon be revealed ;)

Tomorrow will be another busy day but I'm looking forward to it already! Stay tuned for the first day of o-week!

How do you stay organized during hectic days?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Summer days drifting away...

Although classes for med school don't start until Monday, this is realistically my last day to experience the calmness of summer vacation. And it's been a great one! Some highlights for me were:

And last but not least:
  • the revival of my blog!
I realize with the busyness of school that it may no longer be possible to post everyday, but I'm going to try my darndest (it will probably mean shorter posts...and maybe a few school-related rants :P)! Throughout the summer it's been a great way for me to keep memories fresh while sharing them with others. The blogging world has literally opened up to me and I do feel so much support from this community. Ok...ok...I'll stop getting all emotional on you ;).

But I'll leave you with this (along with some Alberta pictures that I never posted) - whether you read my blog everyday, once a week, stumble upon it here and there, or if this is your first visit, I really appreciate you! Thanks for sharing in my ups and downs. And Orientation Week....bring it on!!!

What has been the highlight of your summer?

P.S. I'm officially in love with mountains...can you tell? ;)

Hello to a new workout!

Have you heard of Jamie Eason's 12 week LiveFit trainer? It's "a simple 3-phase program for transforming your body and your life in 12 short weeks". Now that I'm back at my apartment during the weekdays I can take full advantage of the building's gym (and I have additional support and motivation from my roommate!).

The program is broken down into 3 phases:
  • Phase 1 focuses on weight training & clean eating
  • In Phase 2 you add cardio and cut carbs to sculpt muscle and burn fat
  • Phase 3 includes HIIT training, carb cycling and super-setting

I finished Day 3 today, which worked my legs and calves. I did 3 sets of 12 for the following exercises:
  • leg press
  • leg extensions
  • wide stance barbell squat
  • seated leg curl
  • standing calf raises
  • seated calf raises
As far as meals, I haven't really changed anything. I try to eat clean when I can, but at the same time I'm not going to say no when a delicious dessert comes my way ;).

For lunch today I ate a warm kale salad, topped with carrots, green pepper, and mushrooms. All from the farmer's market :). On the side I had bread from ACE bakery. I think I bought the loaf at the beginning of July...good thing it keeps well in the fridge!! haha.

The ingredients were very friendly as well. Don't see anything I can't identify!
Stoneground whole grain wheat flour, water, sour starter (stone-ground whole grain wheat flour, water), honey, kamut, amaranth, soft wheat kernel, flax seeds, millet, sunflower seeds, salt, yeast.

For dessert I had an apple and some plain Stonyfield yogurt. This is my first experience with Stonyfield and I gotta say I love it. The yogurt is very smooth & creamy and doesn't have a sour taste to it. It actually felt like a dessert...I even went back for 2nds ;)

Do you keep your bread (or other items) in the freezer? I keep everything there because I buy in bulk for sale items!

Veggie Burger Fail

This morning in my excitement of turning over a new leaf in my life, I went to the supermarket to pick up some veggie burgers for a BBQ tonight.

When I arrived there actually wasn't too much selection...only 4 to choose from! I ended up getting the Almond Grain Burger from SOL Cuisine. It boasts 130 calories, 7g of protein and 6g of dietary fibre.

And the ingredients?
Organic spelt, organic soybeans, organic okara, almond butter, filtered water, carrots, onions, green lentils, tomato powder, organic amaranth, olive oil, almonds, sea salt, yeast, tapioca starch, modified cellulose, spice, dehydrated garlic, and xanthan gum.

Pretty good if I do say so myself!

Now, I am by no means a veggie burger expert. I have probably had a whopping total of 5 in my entire life! That being said, I do have expectations...not high ones, but there are a few musts. Where this burger failed was in the areas of texture and salt content. When I have a burger, I expect them to give me something to bite into. This one unfortunately had the same consistency and texture as the hamburger bun. And while a little salt is good, too much will overpower the natural flavour that the burger offers. At 310 mg per serving, Sol Cuisine's Almond Grain Burger will give you 13% of your daily sodium intake.

Now I'm starting to sound like a burger snob! Haha. And sorry if you like this brand. It just didn't cut it for me. On the positive side, there were a variety of textures within the burger itself, and once you got over the salt, the natural flavour was pretty good!

I have a confession though...



I ate a REAL hamburger prepped with blue cheese after the veggie burger. Apparently I have no self-control. But the aroma of the real burgers was torture and everyone was raving about how good they tasted! Now technically this doesn't go against the vow I made to myself, which was to personally buy local meat. I have still upheld my end! It just means I have to go buy some local ground beef soon!!

And just because I have 100% good things to say about the dessert provided tonight, I am going to share the experience :).

Say hello to a dessert that will receive 5 star reviews. We'll just pretend it's healthy ;). And the best part? It is quick to prepare but if you say nothing your guests will probably think that a lot of labour went into making it. This beauty is comprised of layers of cool whip, ice cream sandwiches, more cool whip, skor bars, and even more cool whip, topped with caramel & chocolate drizzle. Props to my classmate Leslie for whipping it up for the BBQ!

Post-dinner & dessert with satisfied tummies :)

Do you like veggie burgers? Have you found a supermarket brand or recipe that satisfies your burger cravings?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Encounter with a dragon

Meet Ruby. She's a dragon!

Ok fine, she's a lizard, but technically she IS a bearded dragon!

I met her today when hanging out with my friend Jess. Ruby is a new addition to the family :).

We spent some quality time with Ruby (including self portraits, of course). She's hard to spot, but would you believe she will grow to be 2 feet long?!?! I don't think she'll fit on my shoulder when she's that size!

Afterwards, Jess and I went for a walk, admiring the beautiful Halifax harbour.

Jess also made a bouquet of wildflowers. I think she has a knack for it ;).

Hope you are having a lovely Tuesday!

What is the most unique pet you have encountered?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Random facts in 5-4-3-2-1!

It's a bit of a blustery day outside (tornado system heading to the East Coast) so I'm borrowing an idea used by a fellow blogger, Tina @ Faith, Fitness, Fun!

5 words to describe myself
  • determined
  • thoughtful
  • perseverent
  • optimistic
  • loving

4 favourite foods
Ohhhhh, this will not be healthy by ANY stretch of the imagination :P
  • dim sum
  • pizza (donair in particular)
  • chocolate chip cookie dough
  • cheesecake

Can you tell I have a sweet tooth??? :D

3 things I'm most proud of accomplishing
  • getting into medical school
  • volunteering in Benin (West Africa)
  • learning French and speaking it for 3 months
2 favourite workouts
  • Abs - I love doing them! Ask my roommate and she'll confirm. Crunches, stability ball crunches, bicycle crunches, reverse crunches, planks. My six-pack is there...it's just shy.
  • Running - as far as pleasure-running, I go more for short distances (5k) and love being in nature.

1 blog fact
  • This is actually my 3rd blog!! I started the first in March 2006 (obsessive compulsive blogging, which failed at a total of 4 posts) then another in September of the same year (chacun son gout, which also failed at 39 posts). I started this one back in October 2009 but started posting on a daily basis when I did a medical observership in Bridgewater. Not only did I want to share my experience with others but I also wanted to document it for myself, as a kind of "life journal".

There you have it! Hope you enjoyed getting to know me a bit better :). And if you already knew all those things about me then thanks for reading through :).

Question of the day: Share something in your 5-4-3-2-1!