Doing Better

I’m now in my third official week of summer. I just started a new two week rotation on Radiation Oncology and I’m unsure of how I feel about it at this point. It’s definitely a change from the last two weeks when I was on OB-GYN. I get to come home for lunch though, which is really nice. I haven’t gotten to do that since I started medical school. It’s nice to have a little personal break in the day to relax and get a few things done. I don’t have to get to “work” until eight now, so I’m going to try to wake up early for my running instead of waiting until the end of the day when I’m tired. I ran yesterday afternoon and managed to get up at 6 am today and run as well. While it’s still a little difficult for me to get up early and get going, I really like being more productive in the morning. I think it makes my day more enjoyable. My sister, Caroline, has moved in with me for the summer and she has been running with me, hopefully we can keep each other motivated to be healthy throughout the summer. Since finishing school at the end of May, I’ve had trouble getting back into my routine of cooking and regular exercise. I finally feel like I’m getting back into the swing of things and I’m hoping I can keep it up. I had gotten to the point where I was letting myself start to sneak bites of sweets or snacks here and there, telling myself that I’d been so good over the past year that it didn’t matter. I think it does matter though. I could feel myself slipping back into eating until I was full instead of really controlling my portions and being mindful of how healthy something was. I’ve decided to start counting nutritional facts and measuring my serving sizes again, just so that I can make myself aware of what I’m eating each day. Writing it down or keeping track with a calorie counter helps you hold yourself accountable and makes you think twice if you’re considering something unhealthy. I found this iPhone app called My Fitness Pal. Today is the second day I’ve used it and it seems to be helpful so far. It has a database with the nutritional info for just about any food you can imagine. Plus, you can put in your own recipe and it will calculate the numbers for you. I’m not totally sure how accurate all the calorie counters are, but they at least give you a baseline to go by. If you decide to start keeping track of your nutritional info, set appropriate goals for yourself and don’t get too upset if you exceed your goal every now and then, it happens. Now for a few recipes.

Baked Salmon
I made this recipe up on my own. Last week I was house sitting and wanted some kind of fish. My sister and I decided on salmon. Since I wasn’t at my house, I didn’t have my chili lime rub that I normally put on my salmon. I just peeked around the spice cabinet for a couple minutes and decided to try at cajun style dry seasoning. I can’t remember exactly what was in it, but I’m sure you could find something similar at any grocery store. I just sprinkled some olive oil first then coated the fish in the seasoning. You should be aware of the salt content in the seasonings that you use, many come sodium free now so you should always choose that option if it’s available. Caroline and I decided to pair it with steamed green beans and some fresh cucumbers and green bell peppers from the garden. It turned out to be a great little experiment.

BIG Burger
So, this probably doesn’t look like the healthiest thing on the planet, but I can tell you it’s definitely not the worst thing. I went over to Raysha and Tyler’s, friends from high school, house for dinner the other night and really wanted to share the zucchini fries that Raysha made. She just cut up fresh zucchini bathed it in an egg and milk wash and then coated the pieces in panko bread crumbs seasoned with a little cayenne pepper. Then they were baked in the oven, I’m not sure of the temp or the time (Raysha, if you read this comment so we’ll know!). They were so delicious! It’s a great alternative to regular french fries and a great way to get stubborn kids to eat their veggies. As for the rest of the meal, I didn’t have a bun with my burger and I didn’t finish the whole patty, that thing was huge! We had fresh avocado and tomato to go with it as well. This was a really great summer meal, perfect for a cookout with friends.

Black Bean Burgers
This is another recipe that I got from cooking light. Caroline and I tried it last night. You pretty much toss the ingredients into a food processor, make patties, and cook them in a skillet. I followed the recipe exactly on this one except I used italian bread crumbs instead of making my own and I added a little cilantro for added spice. They were delicious. We didn’t do buns with these burgers either, and I really think it would have been too much if we had. The burgers themselves are pretty dense and filling, so we just had a fresh spinach salad on the side. They were quick and easy to make and make good leftovers (I just had one for lunch). They are completely vegetarian (not vegan, they do contain eggs), so they would be great to have at a cookout as an alternative. Desert was one cup of sliced fresh strawberries. I’ll definitely be making these again. Click here for the recipe.

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