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Recipe ReDux: Kahlua & Cream Oatmeal [sponsored]

Did you know that 99% of Americans do not meet the daily whole grain recommendations and 85% fall short of dairy recommendations? That means you and your family could be missing out on calcium, Vitamin D, potassium and fiber! Ward off that osteopenia/osteoporosis and keep your GI tract happy! (Your body will thank you for it.)

Quaker Oats and The National Dairy Council challenged me to make a ReDux members to develop creative and tasty breakfasts, snacks or side dishes featuring the power of whole grain oats with the goodness of reduced/low-fat dairy. (By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by National Dairy Council and theย Quaker Oats Center of Excellence and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was notย compensated for my time.)

I adore oatmeal, and although I may or may not be very slightly lactose-intolerant, it has not stopped me from drinking the milk from Homestead Creamery. (Apparently, they sell it here too!) I very, very rarely drink alcohol (think 1 tbsp every couple years, if even, and by tablespoon, I mainly just mean Kahlua in a dessert of some sort), but my favorite “drink” is a White Russian without the vodka, which…is essentially just Kahlua & Cream. :P

My favorite way to add some protein to my oatmeal (and to give it a fluffier, creamier texture!) is to throw in an egg, and the chilled sliced bananas add a nice contrast to the hot oatmeal! You can adjust the kahlua:water/milk ratio if you’d like more than just a hint of it in your oatmeal. :] This recipe makes about two servings!

Kahlua & Cream Oatmeal

Ingredients:
-1.5 ripe bananas (1 mashed, 0.5 sliced + chilled)
-1 tsp pure vanilla extract
-1 cup old-fashioned oats
-1 cup 2% Homestead Creamery milk
-1/2 cup water
-1/4 cup Kahlua
-1 egg
-ground cinnamon, to taste
-dash of sea salt

Instructions:
1) Fill a bowl with hot water and place the egg (still in shell) in for ~1 minute.
2) Combine milk, kahlua, water, 1 mashed banana, and oatmeal into a pot on medium/low heat.
2) Crack the egg into the pot and bring the oatmeal to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Stir continuously until the oats soften and the liquid thickens.
3) Add the vanilla extract and sea salt.
4) Cook to desired consistency. If it’s too thin, cook it a little longer (may get somewhat mushy though). If it’s too thick, add a little more liquid.
5) Top with sliced bananas and sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

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Ultimate Coffee Date – August

Hey everyone! The last (and only) one I did was back in May; I had to miss the last two coffee dates due to boards studying, but…I passed, so it was all worth it!

Coffee is rampant everywhere I go. (Luckily, hospitals/clinics/pretty much every place we go to understands that we’re all chronically sleep-deprived individuals.) I actually haven’t had any yet, but I’ve only just finished my first week of clinical rotations, so there’s definitely still time!

If we were having coffee/tea this morning, I’d just like to say that I really, really love being out in the real world and getting to interact with living human beings once more. It’s a wonderful feeling, especially after the last 2 years of somewhat-solitude from my various study hibernations. That is not to say that it’s no longer an uphill battle anymore. Life in terms of constant-book-studying is over…in a way. In its place is learning “on the job.” This is good news to me because I’m very much a kinesthetic learner; I retain information much more easily if it’s something that I can actually do (hence, why the last two years were such a struggle). My preceptor’s really great about explaining things to me, the nurses are super helpful, and the patients are really sweet. They bring in fresh vegetables and home-canned foods for the staff. :] Our break room looks like a cafe, and drug reps come in and feed us 2-3x/week!

If we were having coffee/tea this morning, despite how awesome this is, I can’t shake the feeling that I feel like I know nothing. I feel pretty incompetent–there’s so much that I feel like I should know, and I’m sure my being nervous plays into it when my preceptor asks me questions that I don’t answer correctly, even though I definitely know the answers to them. But it’s just the first week, so as long as I continue to improve, mayhaps it’ll be okay!

If we were having coffee/tea this morning, I’d tell you that even though it’s difficult, I really love this. My preceptor started sending me in to do H&P’s for patients on Wednesday, so I’ve been getting a lot of practice in and learning a lot. Not knowing the answers motivates me to look things up so I’ll never get it wrong again. I’m getting better at asking questions (something I never used to do). Even though I feel like I don’t know anything, her patients seem to really like me, so I’d like to think I’m doing something right. :] Yesterday, one of the ladies told me I would make a great doctor and also told me that I was really pretty, haha.

If we were having coffee/tea this morning, I’d tell you that I’m getting really fed up with GoogleMaps. While it’s never failed me in the past, I guess there has to be a first for everything. Whilst trying to get to the hospital, I was led to the middle of two train tracks and it told me I’d arrived. There was a car dealership on the other side of one set of tracks, and a row of very small, fairly run-down houses on the other. (I wish I were kidding about this.) I’m going to a psych clinic in a little over a week, so I figured I’d prevent myself from getting into such a predicament again. (I wasn’t late, but that was not a fun experience.)

After sending me on a narrow and frighteningly pothole-ridden road through a cemetery…

…this is where Google sent me. At a population of 12k, this town is 4x the size of the one I came from. No, Google, I am not about to believe that I’ve arrived at the medical clinic.

If we were having coffee/tea this morning, I’d tell you that…I’m famous again! (This is what I meant about #6.) Hooray hooray!

If we were having coffee/tea this morning, I’d tell you that I’m secretly envious that my preceptor’s wearing jeans/flip flops, and it makes me wonder if that means that I don’t have to dress up every day either. I am notoriously low-maintenance (to a fault). My idea of dressing up is changing out of my yoga pants/sweat pants/shorts to a dark pair of jeans and a t-shirt, so for me to put on dress pants and a nice shirt or button-down each morning is a struggle. There’s only one thing that’s not true on this list, and it’s because I don’t drink beer (or any alcohol, for that matter).

(Seriously, this is my life.)


So there we have it! I hope everyone’s been doing well! Things that I’ve been wondering lately:

  • What’s an absolute dealbreaker for you when you’re choosing your doctor? (Or something you absolutely would not tolerate with an established doctor?)
  • What’s something your doctor has done or said to you that made you feel much more comfortable with them, and that s/he was really just there to do whatever s/he could to help you get better?
  • What’s something you think your doctor could improve upon?

 photo coffeedate_zps1b941bec.jpgThis linkup is hosted by fellow GGS ambassadors–Nikki, Jill & Lynda!

Foodie Friday: Caprese Salad with Roasted Beets

Welcome to our weekly Foodie Friday link up! I’m linking up with Montana from Pretty Lil Mudder, Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama, Emily from Whatever Floats Your Oats, and Esther from Chocolate Runner Girl to create awesome healthy recipes each week! Today’s theme is Perfect Picnic (since summer is great for enjoying picnics + the awesome weather :D ). Make sure you hop around to check out all the amazing recipes in this link up and feel free to add your recipes as well!

I’m generally not a fan of turning on my oven in the summer, but my spoils of war from my midnight raid were calling. I needed to find a use for the beets, beet greens, tomatoes, and fresh basil, so I decided to do a little twist on one of my favorite salads. However, it kinda sucks to turn on your oven just for the sake of roasting one beet, so you can either make them in bulk, or if you have any other veggies you’d like to roast, they might as well join in on the fun! (I roasted several eggplants + 2 beets. To save time while I was waiting for those to be done, I prepared the rest of the salad and also made a beet green + egg scramble.)

Caprese Salad with Roasted Beets

This (obviously) isn’t the whole recipe. I was trying to artfully arrange a small portion of it, but pretty much gave up. :x

Ingredients:
-2 large tomatoes, sliced
-1 large beet
-fresh mozzarella, shredded
-fresh basil, shredded
-generous drizzle of EVOO
-generous drizzle of red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
-freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions:
1) Preheat oven to 375.
2) Cover beets in aluminum foil and drizzle with red wine or balsamic vinegar and EVOO. Let it hang out in the oven for ~1 hour.
3) Slice tomatoes and shred mozzarella + basil into a bowl/plate.
4) When beets are done roasting, dice them and let cool, then add to the other ingredients and mix well.
5) Sprinkle with pepper and serve!

This is the rest of it (with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and…without the beet because I hadn’t diced it yet)!


 


Interested in getting to know more about any of your super-awesome co-hosts? :]

Together, our first initials could spell out E-FAME. heh heh heh.

(…Alright, I’ll show myself the door. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Next week’s theme is smoothies! Hope you’ll join us!)

Fitness Fav on Friday | Inspiration

I can’t believe it’s nearing the end of July already. Where did all the time go?! This marks the last of this month’s Fitness Fridays.

This week’s theme is on where (or what) we draw our inspiration from.

My first two years of undergrad were frighteningly unhealthy, mostly because of my course load (let’s just say that I had enough units to graduate by the end of my second year) and the fact that I didn’t know any better. Granted, I’m sure it could’ve been worse. I ate healthily (usually), but in large quantities. (Alright, fine. This really hasn’t changed too much. ._.) I didn’t drink alcohol, but I didn’t exercise very often. My second year was the worst. I was slaving through organic chemistry and very heavily questioning my life choices. A typical day consisted of many, many cups of green tea, Nature Valley Oats n’ Honey granola bars throughout the day (I consumed over 500 that academic year. I am unfortunately not exaggerating.), and some sort of hopefully healthy-ish dinner. To this day, I can’t eat those granola bars anymore because it reminds me of ochem.

If you’ve ever happened upon the “fitness” section of my frighteningly long “About” page (forgive me; I love to write), you’d know that once upon a time, I made the glorious decision to change my major from Biological Sciences to Exercise Biology. It was easily one of the best decisions of my life, and those last two years of undergrad still remain as some of the best times of my life.

I absolutely fell in love with the major, and also had a little more freedom with my schedule, so before I knew it, on top of the Tahitian + hula dancing I was already doing, I was also taking kickboxing classes, abs/back conditioning, archery, tumbling, learning to lift weights, running…I tried it all and loved most of it (I really did try with long-distance running, but my apparent lack of type I muscle fibers just makes weightlifting so much more appealing). One of my most recent pipe dreams would be to be able to compete for WBFF, but given the amount of time and dedication it would take (coupled with the current road I’m taking), I don’t think it’d be a viable option. :[

I love the way lifting weights/exercise makes me feel, and it’s great to set state records and be awesome and all that. I will admit that I draw part of my inspiration from my dreams of badassery…but what matters more to me goes beyond that.

I want to lead by example. My hope is to go into family medicine (possibly sub-specializing in sports medicine) and to really be able to show my patients what I mean when I counsel them on incorporating exercise into their life, or tell them to start or maintain a healthier diet. I’d like to be able to give them concrete examples and tailor it to their individual needs. (I basically did this throughout the last two years, even though all my patients were fake.) I learn best by doing, so the past two years of medical school were really difficult for me. Matters were not helped by the fact that we were the guinea pig class to the new curriculum, but what matters is that we made it through. (I like to refer to our class as the “spirited survivors.”)

I’m always the first to admit that I am definitely not a genius (nowhere close :[ ). I got to where I am today because of my persistence and determination. I hope that continues to pull me forward, but for now, LEMME BASK IN THE GLORY OF NEVER HAVING TO TAKE THIS MONSTROSITY AGAIN. <3

I get to start my clinical rotations and start seeing real patients on Monday! Words cannot express how ecstatic I am right now. :]


This marks the last of Fitness Fav on Friday–go check out jvkom next week for a Feature Friday!

JVKom Chronicles
Also, starting next week, I’m really excited to announce that I’ve teamed up with several other ladies from Girls Gone Sporty for a Foodie Friday linkup! Each week will be a separate theme, so feel free to join in! :D More details will be up later on this/next week!

Mid Year Review | Start, Stop, Keep

July’s PDBA blog hop theme is a mid-year review on what’s been going on in our lives, whether it be from a personal, business, or poler’s viewpoint. I’m going with personal because my poling has become so sporadic. :[ Darn life for getting in the way. (I’m still devising a way to sneak my pole up 2 flights of stairs without anyone in my complex noticing it. ._.)

  • Start: being more proactive, studying every day, working out regularly
  • Stop: negative self-talk (I noticed how gifted I was at this during my 1.5-month long study hibernation; it’s horrible) + making excuses for myself/other people
  • Keep: on truckin’ (+ in touch with + maintain relationships with family/friends, volunteering, and venturing out of my comfort zone)!

There’s been a lot that’s happened over the past 6 months, although there’s really just one thing on my mind right now. Remember my 1.5-ish-month long study hibernation that pretty much sucked all the life and joy away from me?

I PASSED MY BOARDS!!!

I officially get to call myself a third-year medical student, which means I’m finally permitted to re-join the land of the living/interact with human beings again. I’m one step closer to finally becoming a physician, and I am absolutely overjoyed. <3 I can’t wait to start my rotations!

Here are highlights from the first half of this year!

January: Coping mechanism for the polar vortex

February: Raising money at the International Festival so PAX could bring more supplies/medications to the DR (see next month).

March: Volunteering in the Dominican Republic (we managed to raise >$5000 to buy supplies/meds to bring over!)

April: My unintentional half-move into the cat shelter that later became an official move

May: Snuck back to CA for a week to half-live at Twirly Girls and see my family/friends before disappearing into the catacombs forever

June: My life as a basement dweller