Thursday Things

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1.) The other day I overheard a patient say, “I just need a pina colada—something to help me sleep at night!” The person they were talking with suggested a hot toddy.

Though I like the concept of a hot toddy, in practice, it doesn’t work so well—the alcohol may put you to sleep quickly, but it’s usually a fitful sleep full of disruptions. You might even say that the relationship between alcohol and sleep is a tricky friends-with-benefits setup that doesn’t actually benefit the sleeper in the long run. Call me old fashioned, but I like real, secure sleep that leaves me feeling refreshed and energized rather than sheepish and shaky the next day. And still wanting more (sleep). Of course, were it not for a period in college where I had terrible insomnia winter and only slept once every three days, I might not appreciate an honest night’s sleep quite as much. We all learn things the way we learn them.

2.) When it comes to sleep aids, I like melatonin, which can be helpful in establishing a sleep cycle (as opposed to knocking you out). It’s actually the only hormone that can be sold without a prescription in the U.S., mainly because it’s present in some foods and can be considered a dietary supplement, weird as that sounds.  It’s generally considered safe with few documented side effects. However, I’ve noticed I have especially trippy dreams when I take it. Case in point: the other night, I dreamt about participating in an art class that took place in a hot tub. Everyone had to bring a bouquet of flowers, and I was really concerned about how much space my arrangement took up. We turned on music and painted along, though a lot of folks wrote with the paint. I can’t remember what I made, but the guy next to me wrote someone’s biography in black paint on a purple background.

3.) It snowed the other day. Holy hell. I had to bust out my down-filled people costume:Photo on 1-21-14 at 3.35 PM #2

4.) Caramelized onions are my new favorite food—I could eat this by the bowlful. However, to avoid appearing conspicuous, I have instead been enjoying them in things like salad and stir-fry. Also amazing in omelets. Jan 20 salad

My favorite description of caramelization comes from Wikipedia, and actually makes it sound a lot like love: “Caramelization is a complex, poorly understood process that produces hundreds of chemical products.”

5.) Speaking of love, I need to stop listening to this song before my neighbors stage an intervention. Of note: You could probably create a drinking game around how many times a Lumineers song includes the line, “When we were young” or makes reference to being younger/getting older. Basically, you could just drink your way through the album. Not that you should. See #1 above.

What are your things for this Thursday? Do you have a favorite sleep aid? Caramelized onions—yay or nay? What song are you hooked on lately?


Snow Day by Default

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quinoa egg white bowlGood morning and happy weekend. How’s everyone faring in the snow? I was hearing all this talk on the radio yesterday about “snow-induced boredom,” but I can’t say I experienced any of that. I actually happened to have the day off from my clinical job (taking my last vacation day of 2013), so I spent it doing things like cleaning and catching up on emails (how did 600 messages pile up in my inbox?). I somehow managed not to go out until the evening, when I had drink-and-dinner plans downtown. Of course, the day involved savory breakfast: leftover quinoa salad with kale, roasted veggies, egg whites, and goat cheese. 

I also thought I’d share a new playlist, since it’s been a while since I’ve posted one. I’ll let you in on a little secret: I hate working out to music. Or more like, I love it, but I inevitably start dancing along to whatever’s playing, which is seriously embarrassing. I’d much rather humiliate myself like that at a wedding, where everyone is drinking. The only exception is yoga, which is the perfect setting for music. Remember that time I went to Pink Floyd yoga

So far, this playlist has been  great for powering through a busy workday or cleaning the bathroom or just putting something on in the background on a cold winter afternoon. Enjoy! 

  • I Am A Rock-Simon & Garfunkel
  • Clean Slate-M. Ward
  • Classy Girls-the Lumineers
  • Just Like A Woman- Bob Dylan
  • Requiem on Water-Imperial Mammoth
  • Changes-David Bowie
  • Substitute-the Who
  • Elenore-the Turtles
  • Houses-Vetiver
  • Winter in my Heart- the Avett Brothers
  • Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues-Bob Dylan
  • I Don’t Care if there’s Cursing-Phosphorescent
  • Lost in My Mind-The Head and the Heart
  • Watching the Wheels- John Lennon
  • Bring it on Home to Me- Sam Cooke
  • You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere- Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard
  • God Made Man-Young the Giant
  • Mr. Tambourine Man-the Byrds
  • Northern Lights-Bowerbirds
  • Sunlight in a Jar-the Lucksmiths
  • Buckets of Rain-Bob Dylan
  • Shine a Light-the Rolling Stones

What songs are you loving lately?

How I Spent My Snow-Weekend

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Whenever it snows, I want to call all those people who ever rolled their eyes about the way I dig my heels into Manhattan (“Your rent is soooo high! Don’t you want more space? Wouldn’t you love to have a car/a dog/children one day?”) and say, “Have fun shoveling your car out, b****.”

To those of you with cars and driveways and babies and furry critters who have never tut-tutted to me about my city life, I hope the stormy weather was kind to you and that if you did have to shovel snow, you enjoyed a good workout, followed by some well-deserved comfort food this weekend 🙂

I took advantage of the excuse to stay put and channeled any and all cabin fever into kicking the ass of my to-do list. For example, I did an RD exam practice test…IMG_1614

And wrote a research proposal.

I also cooked and ate some nice things…

soup & toast with hummus & roasted eggplant
quinoa (soaked before cooking) with chickpeas, roasted veggies, hummus, and goat cheese
quinoa (soaked before cooking) with chickpeas, roasted veggies, hummus, and goat cheese

…and drank something good once it was “safe” to venture outside. All snark/snarky-ness (?) aside, when it does snow in NYC, I truly appreciate the folks busting their asses to clear the sidewalks and streets. Without you, I would be that tiny girl with the big shovel polluting the virgin ears of children making snowmen nearby. Their mothers would thank you too if they knew what they were being saved from.

Lambrusco—one of my favorites
Lambrusco—one of my favorites

For those of you who got some snow this weekend, how did you spend your time? What are your favorite things to eat after shoveling snow? 

What I Ate Wednesday #91: Lasts

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Another week, another What I Ate Wednesday. As always, thanks to Jenn for hosting the weekly link party. To see more WIAW from other bloggers, visit Peas & Crayons.

This past Saturday was both the last Saturday of 2012 and my last weekend day working at the hospital as a dietetic intern. Reading that, I wish it meant I’d already secured a job in clinical, but with graduation still a month a way and a licensing exam in the future, it still feels a bit far away. I’ve only just begun the honest-to-goodness planning phase of my job search.

That said, one foot in front of the other, one day at a time, and always with an open mind. I’m actually really happy to have been able to wrap up all my weekend days before the end of the year—it just feels right.

So here’s what I ate on this “day of lasts.” Not too bad for a quiet, snowy Saturday.

Breakfast: Chocolate oatmeal topped with (thawed) frozen berries and chocolate PB2

Lunch: Packed salad, soup from the cafeteria

Snack: An apple, decaf coffee that was too gross to drink

Dinner: Whole wheat pasta with veggies and non-fat ricotta & grated pecorino, a glass of red
Snack: Plan yogurt with cocoa powder and a leftover red velvet Christmas cookie from the freezer

What was the best thing you ate this weekend? 

Scenes from the weekend

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This weekend has been a really nice one. I got to see a lot of favorite faces and also had a chance to unwind a little.

Some highlights included homemade stir-fry in Brooklyn…

Don't worry mom—still not a smoker!

Leisurely breakfasts…

Birthday celebrations…

Anders: "It's my birthday weekend, and I'm gonnga gnaw on this!"

Wine tasting…

…and a little reminder, courtesy of Dove chocolate…

What did you do this weekend?