central park

Sunny Sunday

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This weekend has been the perfect remedy to a rough, emotional week. Saturday, I had to go get my spots checked at the derm in NJ, and then my mom and I had lunch (thank you, Karen for the great recommendation!) and indulged in a little retail therapy. I got some great deals on a few work things that will be perfect for the transition into fall.

When I got home, I took a disco nap and then joined some friends for BYOB karaoke. We hadn’t been since my birthday, and it was so much fun! Our vague theme was breakup songs, and we toasted to my cat allergy—at least if/when I die alone, I will most likely not be covered in cat piss. Medicine is great and all, but never underestimate the healing power of singing and dancing like a complete fool with your nearest & dearest. I had many favorite moments (my friends are hilarious), but especially  getting the whole room dancing to the Supreme’s “You Can’t Hurry Love.”

Though I always act my age responsibly and stay well hydrated, I was a bit surprised to wake up bright-eyed and energetic, having enjoyed a good dose of whiskey. And bourbon. And champagne (see toast, above). Yes, champagne at karaoke. Anyway, taking advantage of the gorgeous weather and my good mood, I took a long rambling walk through the park. I also cleaned the eff out of my apartment and prepped some food for the week. Burned some incense to clean out any lingering bad vibes. Yes, I have a Masters of Science, and I still believe in that stuff.

If nothing else, I can tell I’m well into the “moving on” mindset, as I was craving pumpkin at breakfast—and chocolate, but nothing unusual there. Chocolate pumpkin oats in an almost-empty peanut butter jar totally happened. Perfect timing, like, culinary destiny or some sh*t like that. September is next week! This is both exciting and terrifying.

Do you like karaoke? What are your favorite songs to dance and sing to? 

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Thursday Thoughts: Habits

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Good week to be a gin-drinker. Am I right or am I right? What the eff, universe?

For the record, when I talk about needing a drink, I’m kind of kidding. Don’t get me wrong—I like a good glass of wine or a well-crafted cocktail same as the next person, but when I’m stressed, it does absolutely nothing for me in terms of problem-solving. My real go-to’s are actually exercise and sleep (if I can get it). A phone call or a coffee with a friend helps a lot too, not to mention time-outs in the park to read a good book from the library on a beautiful afternoon or taking a notebook and sitting near the reflecting pool at Lincoln Center at dusk.

The impulse I wrestle with is the intense need to get to the bottom of a situation ASAP and be in intense communication with the person or persons it concerns. Sometimes that accomplishes something, sometimes not—I’ve had to learn how to ask myself when it’s a good idea to follow that impulse. Oh, the life of a Sagittarius…

Even if I didn’t know exactly why, I’d still be able to tell I was stressed, given my difficulty sleeping and my inability to take a freaking rest day lately. When I was younger, I didn’t really know how to deal with that, so I’d end up wearing myself the f*** out. Luckily, I’ve learned to recognize when I’m “in it,” and do things to balance it out. For example, when I woke up at 5 a.m. yesterday morning mentally eager to hit the gym, I acknowledged that my body was tired and did some gentle yoga while listening to music that made me feel ready to take on the day, wound rounds and all. I also take melatonin sometimes to help myself get into a better sleep cycle, Benadryl for the occasional sleep emergency. I breathe deeply, watch movies—years of trial and error and tips from trusted sources.

I think that as women, we’re conditioned to think first of food/things we consume when it comes to vices/coping mechanisms, but in truth, it is so much more complex than that. I think we do ourselves a disservice when we lament our chocolate cravings or the way we gravitate towards certain kinds of unhealthy food when we’re needing some comfort and leave the rest in the dark—what about the more insidious, emotionally destructive impulses? Like, um, texting toxic influences or beating ourselves up over things we wish we had or hadn’t said? Over-apologizing when we shouldn’t apologize at all?

I know that I work with food, but if there’s one thing I continue to see it’s that it is rarely about food—that’s just a socially acceptable way of talking about difficult things. It’s so much easier to be, like, “Omfg, I just ate [   ] !!!” than it is to be like, “So, I just did that thing I know I shouldn’t do but feel like I can’t help doing because…”

Anyway, on the positive end of the spectrum, I found a ring that had been missing for a year–it was in a plastic bag hanging from a hook in a closet where I’d been storing other plastic bags. IMG_3093I also enjoyed a lovely dinner with a girlfriend the other night. It doesn’t get much better than thinly-sliced steak with arugula and grilled tomatoes & zucchini. If nothing else, at least my iron stores are happy. IMG_3101

What are some of your “vices?” What are some of your go-to good habits for tough times? 

While you were grilling

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overnight oats (Greek yogurt, oats, chia seeds, ground flax, cinnamon, and blueberries)
overnight oats (Greek yogurt, oats, chia seeds, ground flax, cinnamon, and blueberries)

So I know I did my fair share of grumbling about working on Memorial Day, but it was actually pretty productive and mellow. I”m one of those weirdos who doesn’t mind working a weekend because everything is so much quieter. For example, I actually had time to sit down and chat a while with some of my patients, and I also caught up on some super-exciting pressure ulcer notes for a monthly report. I also happen to really like the other RDs I work with and had a nice time working alongside a few who were also spending the holiday at their desks.

They are also awesome for not looking at me like I was/am crazy for photographing my breakfast and lunch.

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kale & quinoa salad with black-eyed peas

I actually got out on time, so after a catnap, I spent a while relaxing in Central Park before coming home to clean, catch up on Mad Men, and make breakfast for the next couple days. Another David Bowie dance party  may have happened.

I’m not going to pretend I wasn’t a little jealous of the happy shiny people walking around with beer and sex in their faces, but hey, I don’t even really like beer.

One big highlight: At least I was getting paid for my time at work, unlike when I was a dietetic intern working Labor Day

What did you do for Memorial Day? Ever work a holiday? 

So Far So Good

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Hope you’re enjoying a lovely weekend. Mine has been very restorative so far. My Saturday started with a morning yoga class. One great thing about being an early riser is not having to fight for mat space at a 9 a.m. donation-based class.

Then I had a picnic in the park with a few of my fellow interns. It was great to hang out, eat good food, and get in some girl talk . 

After running some errands, I finally settled in for a night of studying and project-tweaking. I covered a lot, and though I’ll still be happy if I get above a C, at least I feel confident I won’t totally fail. It’s so weird—I have no problem explaining biochemical concepts to people who ask about them, but when it comes to exams, I just can’t make it happen. I know there are some folks who strive for all A’s, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that for me, the real goal is to learn the material and just freaking pass the class. Screw what everyone else is doing.

Later this morning I’m headed to see my family to celebrate yet another Libra birthday—my grandfather is 81 today!

How’s your weekend going? Do you like picnics? 

Recharging

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It’s been gorgeous in NYC this weekend, and I’ve enjoyed the chance to recharge my batteries and spend time outside.

Saturday morning, I did an easy workout (aka-used the elliptical machine as an excuse to read fiction) and then had breakfast while reading the paper. 

After getting my hair cut (finally)… 

I rambled around Central Park. It was quite the people-watching excursion. Clearly, I wasn’t the only one seeking some green space. 

I found a few more excuses to get outside, but eventually came in to paint my nails and experiment with a new veggie burger recipe. I worked loosely off this recipe from Mama Pea, but I worked the food processor a little too hard. So I poured the too-thin batter into into a muffin tin. What the hell? White bean burger muffin things could work…

And they did, quite well. Seriously, why do I not use basil more often in things? I had one of the muffin burger things (I have no idea what to call them) with whole wheat pita, hummus, roasted brussels sprouts, and salad in miso-tahini dressing for dinner.  

While looking for a line, I opened up my copy of Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem and found a dollar bill (with extra “0”s drawn on after the 1) I’d taped inside the front cover some years ago. My younger self really cracks me up sometimes. Gotta love the positive thinking, though  I wish I could remember why I chose that book. I’m glad, at least, that I didn’t put my money on/in, say, Bukowski’s Love is a Dog from Hell

How’s your weekend been? Do anything fun?