Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rule #1: eat food.

Traveling always gets me thinking about food. Recently, a few things have got food on my mind:
- while in Florida over Easter I tried to say I didn't want meat at my wedding, thinking that omitting one type of food for one meal would not be that big of a deal. i was very wrong.
- a friend is traveling and asked me how to eat well while staying in a hotel without a kitchenette.
- last weekend I went home where my grandparents have a professional chef cooking in their house (hi B!) who cooks real whole meals with lovely fresh ingredients procured that day (at Whole Foods).

Anyway, point is, food is not something that we use to fuel our life anymore. Rather, it is something that Americans have to really spend some time thinking about. Ben has been reading a lot of Michael Pollan lately. Yesterday he was reading The Omnivore's Dilemma and kept laughing out loud. He's so cute! I digress. Anyway, Mr. Pollan has another book about the rules of eating and it is succinctly called: Food Rules. While I don't think I've ever read the whole thing i've skimmed it, read some articles, and seen the author on Oprah so I do know that his first rule is to Eat Food.

Sounds ridiculous, right? But consider your last meal or snack. How much of it was real food and how much was strange ingredients that you can't pronounce. Maybe it was even in bright colors that we don't find in nature. I've seen people without a real food in their house! Rather poptarts, snack bars, canned soups, and anything else that comes from a package fills their cabinets. It almost seems as if the middle of the grocery store where the processed foods are kept is growing while the periphery that contains fruits, vegetables, and dairy is shrinking. Ben thinks that our country is in a food crises because we do not have a strong food culture telling us what real meals we should eat (chai tea vs koolaid). Instead we're searching for anything that the television and our fast-paced lives tell us to grab. Because a lot of the things we're ingesting are not even real food we cannot know what they are doing to our bodies. We are not made to eat these things. Hence diabetes, cancer, obesity, etc etc etc that plague us.

In his book, A Life Worth Breathing (more on that soon!!), Max Strom writes:

The taking in of food is something we often take for granted, to the point where we completely forget that the food items, whether animal or vegetable, were recently living beings that now no longer live in order that we may life...Now it is all too common to use reductive terms for food in an unconscious way of disconnecting from it: A cow becomes a steak, a calf becomes veal, a chicken becomes poultry, etc. We procure our food from neon-lit markets and forget that all of these things exist due to the miracle of creation." 

So be conscious and present in your eating. If you're focusing on your meal and being present in each moment (like your yoga teaches you!) you cannot overeat. I think it goes even further than that. We eat things like Doritios (where is that neon orange color coming from!?) every single day as fuel for our bodies and our brains because we are just shoving it in our mouths without thinking. Or else, we're over-thinking it and instead of grabbing an apple and some carrots we're eating slimfast shakes and nutrigrain bars. We're so weird!!

Now, I know I could say a whole lot more on this subject. But I don't like preaching (hah). If you're at all interested, go out and learn more about real food on your own. Read about it. OR, just try to eliminate any processed and most packaged foods- shop on the outside of the grocery store or try to buy 75% of your food from the farmers market. New Orleans has such a good farmers market on Saturdays (and other days but Sat is when I go) where you can get dairy, meats, fishes, breads, sweets, vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers, sweets, grains...  You may, at first, get headaches as your body adjusts to the withdrawal of all those chemicals. But if you stop eating the refined sugars and sugar-chemicals (dextrose, blahblahblah) you will find that real food is sweet on its own (corn, peas, apples, bananas...)

But also, remember to be gentle on yourself. Extremes are never good. And, notice that I said nothing about desserts here. If you love sugar bake it into whatever form you want- just don't go to the store to buy things with huge amounts of sugars in and you can't tell what is actually in it anyway. You know i'd never say to stop baking ;)

Gotta run- no time to spellcheck or read this through-  mosquitos are harassing me in my living room! 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

better than ezra triple play

Remember that song by better than ezra- desperately wanting? This morning it just came to me. Funny things happen like that.

Sometimes it's just what you need. Listen here: Desperately Wanting- Better than Ezra

Yes, it is not at all a happy or optimistic song. It's almost difficult to listen to if you focus on the lyrics. But, It still just hits the spot sometimes.

Okay, you're not in the mood for that. Try out Under You, my all time favorite Better than Ezra song. I fell in love with it as a college freshman. Here ya go: Under You

Or, finally, you could go for King of New Orleans: King Of New Orleans

Either way, you won't regret listening to these tunes.

And, i'll give ya some lyrics to read along as you listen to Under You. They're cute:
Along the edges colors blur, it seems familiar
While you read your magazine
I was counting all the markers

And California seemed to draw you like a siren
From a postcard
In a letter
Or a frame of film melting

Under you, I feel your breath move in and out slowly
Under you, let go completely feeling you take over me
Take over me

A Hollywood flat where we'd laugh about our fortunes
Where we held jobs in this bar down at 3rd and San Vicente
And Ramen Noodles at 4:30 in the morning,
Where we barely could survive, I was never more alive

Under you, I feel your blood flowing out slowly
Under you, let go completely feeling you take over me
Take over me

You moved in slow degrees
A sudden memory
You're a Leonard Cohen song

But every now and then I'd swear
I see you standing
On a sidewalk,
In a restaurant,
From a taxi passing by

Under you, I feel your breath move in, out slowly
Under you, let go completely, feeling you take over me

Take over me... 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

medical school- T1 comes to an end

adorable, wild, little boys at the fly

Oh hayy there bloggie. I kinda forgot about you for a bit.

Well, the truth is, I didn't forget. I sometimes just wonder what I am doing on here. Initially I had two ideas about this bloggeroo- 1) to write about the recovery of Nola from an outside perspective as I had just moved here and have lots to say (Ben's mom's idea) or 2) another significant other's view of medical school...
I went with neither and just chose to ramble on about whatever I wanted at that moment. (Hope you like it!)

I haven't had much to say about medical school. Before we moved I began reading all types of blogs and articles and whatever I could find about the lives of medical school students and their girlfriends, fiances, and wives. Nothing I found was encouraging. Everyone had that "i'm gonna put a smile on my face while I'm miserable" attitude. Lots of women talked about raising children completely alone since their partner was either in class or at the hospital for days. Literally, days. Sleeping there and working and coming home for a quick shower. I also had to read about the stress that the students go through when it's time for the big tests, for instance at the end of year 2. Then when I got a little further I read about people flying all over the country and taking out loans to pay for trips to interview for residencies.


Then I got here. And, It's just not that bad at all. It's not even bad. Ben has way more free time than I ever had in graduate school. Some nights I'd get home at 7pm and have literally hundreds of pages of reading, something to write, needing to shower and eat and breathe and do it again the next day except actually seeing real live clients. But Ben is managing his time really well (not that I didn't). So far there has only been one time where I really wanted to do something (go out somewhere?) and Ben said he needed to stay in and work.

But lately I have a feeling that that is going to change. Maybe it's because last Friday he took his final test of Year 1 and moved on to be a T2. Maybe it's because he had been around a lot and now is in school 8-3:15 at least every day. Or that we only have one car so he's been leaving the house at 6:30 and walking to school or I've been driving all around New Orleans taking him places. Or, more likely, it could be that he is leaving me here for an entire month while he lives where google says is 2 hours and 10minutes away...without a car (him not me)...doesn't know how he'll get back and in a hospital... Oh and while I was going to be driving him to and from on Fridays and Sundays, I now am teaching on Friday nights. Then there's this weekend where I'll be traveling "home" without him because he is in medical school and can't afford financially or career wise to be taking off and traveling. Ugh!

Sigh. But, besides this one little blip, medical school has treated me well so far. I am looking forward to his T2 adventures and I'm sure I'll have more to say about the topic as we go along. And, a lot of fun has come from medical school. I love that they have block parties celebrating the end of a block. I like going to their fancy Owl banquet dinner nights. I liked when we did lab group potlucks (hey, we haven't done one of those in a while!).  Last weekend they got kegs at the fly and just hung around in the gorgeous Louisiana sun. I got to play with adorable, funny, tiny children. Wanna see?

one from the Owl Banquet since we love Sean and they look cute :)
ahh adorable!!
how cute! I got so lucky capturing these moments
maybe my new favorite photo ever?
girl time
this is what happens when i've been drinking...i tell other people to do things
While I don't consider "acro-yoga" to really be yoga...eek i know, sorry guys!...I still think it's super fun and want to try some more :) Look how good my med friends are at it! Take away message: Medical school is, overall, a lot of fun. Even if you're not in it ;)