Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Finding the Rhythm

(It's not awesome.)

My meals these days are fairly redundant.

Breakfast: 2 eggs, usually scrambled with minced garlic & salsa (threw in some baby spinach to wilt first today on a whim)

Lunch: sammich. I've been rotating PB & J with avocado/red pepper/spinach and hummus/red pepper/spinach since anatomy started.

Dinner: beans. Sometimes with corn tortillas, sometimes with rice.

I know, super exciting, right?

Still the upside is since I've discovered the MAGIC that is coffee I've been going to the gym every morning of the week before class. Yes, on uptown 8.30 days this means the alarm goes off a 5.30 but hey. I'm getting back in shape and it feels awesome. Plus I walk to and from class every day. Well, I walk everywhere, actually.

I'm feeling super energetic at this moment because a) I just ate and I had been starving before, and b) I had a medium iced coffee (soy milk no sugar) after the gym this morning (3.5 miles in 33 minutes, getting back in the zone!) I'll still probably get a second coffee after the second half of dissection this afternoon so I can power through studying tonight.

On my plate at the moment:

- Biochem exam Friday at 11am. 50 multiple choice questions. "Not easy."
- Anatomy exam Monday at 9.30am. Written = 40 multiple choice questions, practical = 30 questions.
- Take home PA Seminar exam to be turned in on Friday by 1pm. 10 short answer questions (I've done 9, just need to finish and type them up.)
- Group project, presentation TBA. Next Tuesday after class sitting down with my group to just bang it out. Fo' realz. Topic: sexual orientation and discrepancies in health care. To presented in the form of 3 skits.

In conclusion: AHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Oh Hi

Oh goodness, how I've neglected this blog!

Here's why:

a. Anatomy started. Hence my life as I know it has ended.

b. My loan money (and everyone else's) still hasn't come through. This means I was basically out of money this past week and living very sparsely on rice, beans, eggs, and PB & J.

The good news is I received a forward from the Bank of Dad which means I bought groceries today. Tomorrow's sammich = avocado, baby spinach, sliced red pepper. Also class doesn't start until 8.30 which means I get to run for 30 minutes tomorrow.

Yesterday my new MD friend (finished Tuft's Medical School on Thursday!) talked me into taking a break and getting brunch. We went to Kyotofu in Hell's Kitchen which is adorable - plenty of soy & tofu options. Plus they had a list of their gluten-free options! I got the warm mushroom salad with citrus rice and green tea cème brûlée. Lots of flavor, perfect serving size! Catie's dessert was a sample of 5 different desserts - what they're known for.

I really have nothing else to report. My cooking has been bland. Sorry to disappoint ...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Unsure of My Grip

I've lost some inspiration to cook.


'Not you,' you cry. Alas, tis true. It used to be that I had extra time and energy which I devoted to cooking. Now both of those commodities are being used up by school. Though I must be doing something right, I got a 92 on my first exam(!) But for lunch that day I purchased a salad. Though vegan, this goes against the spending rules I set for myself. Bad Laura. So for a budget-friendly dinner I munched on some more granola (running low.) Unable to bring myself to study I went for a 2 hour walk and ended up buying a piece of carrot cake from Risotteria and some cheese from WFM as I passed back through Union Square. Oops.

Yesterday was a bit better. I woke up full after all that cheese and just had a Vitamin Water. Lunch was a hastily consumed PB&J (1/2 sugar Smuckers grape) on a new brand of GF bread I'm trying. SUPER fluffy but that's because of egg whites. I just can't win, it takes far too much out of me to eat vegan all the time when I have to be gluten-free.

Dinner was 1/2 can black-eyed peas with some peach mango salsa and random herbs & spices mixed in. Then Roomie Britt came home and we purchased some red wine to consume with brie, pineapple, rice crackers, spicy hummus, and some walnuts that I tossed with agave nectar and some spices. Decided against going out since I have much studying to do today.

Off to the library.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Mixed Bag

Things got worse then better.

Tuesday night I had much to do in the way of studying after my OR orientation which lasted until 6. That plus a raging low blood sugar headache left me no other option beside grabbing a quick bite uptown. Found an Indian "fast food" place a block from the hospital which had a main dish, rice, and 2 sides for $8 - not terrible. I got saag paneer, some dal, and some aloo gobi. Of course it was too late to avoid the headache so I could only suffer through studying until 9.30ish before giving up and going home.

Yesterday my clouds began to lift (for an all-too-obvious reason) and I repeated my PB & agave rolls, skipped the gym, and settled in for a long day of class. Not having had a chance to make any food this week (which I will absolutely rectify this weekend) I got a big ol' salad for lunch from a salad bar with chick peas, corn, tofu, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a spot of avocado. Dressing = a quick drizzle of oil & balsamic vinegar. Tres yummy! and $5.

After class I snacked on some granola while jump starting my studying 'on campus' and then for dinner around 8.15 I ate most of a fruit & cheese plate from my favorite Starbucks. Yes, beyond overpriced, but they trap you. It's such a hassle to go get something somewhere else and going home to cook was out of the question, I had an exam this morning!

Speaking of this morning, I went to sleep earlier so I could get up at 6 and run 3 miles on the treadmill without IT band pain! Super exciting. Stretching and yoga really do make a difference, I believe. Treated myself to a breakfast (low on food supplies) of scrambled eggs with hot sauce at some random place for $2.25 and some 100% pure juice OJ.

Wow, I have energy!!! Granola for lunch, ? for dinner since I have to go study Biochem immediately after class today at ze library.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Where There's Smoke

If I slack on posting it's usually because I'm misbehavin'.

Sunday was a mess. I was starving, craving cheese again. Is my calcium super low? I did start taking multivitamins again ... hunh. So I gave in, fighting cravings is hard when you're in grad school and living such a restricted life to begin with. Grabbed 2 slices at Mozzarelli's (one artichoke, one bruschetta, if you were wondering.) This happens to be my favorite NON-thin crust GF pizza ever. Then I also bought a box of cookies for the surprise birthday I was off to in Brooklyn.

PS thanks, R train, for making my trek to 86th St. so interesting.

During my brief stay I managed to eat 3 Cadbury cream eggs (egad!) as well as a few chunks of brie and smoked gouda. I never could say "no" to a cheese plate. Plus some grapes and some hummus (eaten on way over-salted corn chips.) Oh, and 3 of the cookies (oreo-sized) I'd brought. And a can of kosher Pepsi (no corn syrup.)

Oy, and I almost forgot - my friend's mother had made a Chinese noodle dish for everyone and had sweetly made me my own GF veggie plate which was ginormous and I in no way ate an entire HALF of it, I swear ... ok, I'm lying.

In other news, after that fiasco I did go dance my butt off for an hour and a half at my first hip hop dance class at BDC. And had a little bag of those soy/yam flour noodles (the name escapes me) with a drizzle of evoo and some obscure spices.

Yesterday was far more reasonable. Until dinner, anyway.

I started my day with another Trio bar and had my oatmeal with almond milk for lunch. My birthday friend, his real DOB being yesterday, had one more celebratory gathering in mind at City Crab. Yikes, more like City CRAP. The service was atrocious. My salad was flavorless. The only flavor in my pasta-turned-rice dish was from butter. Ew. They're called herbs and spices, look into it. Plus with a party of 5 or more they add on 20% gratuity. Ballsy much?

So that was my one dinner out this week. If you read that I've eaten dinner out again before Sunday hits judge me. Judge me fiercely.

Honestly, I believe my eating fails of late are only compounding my overall crappy mood. What am I missing?

Breakfast today: 2 corn tortillas with 1 Tbsp PB each and a drizzle of raw agave. Lunch: my leftover pasta from this weekend.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Say Ahhhh ...

It turns out that Dr. Hajjar, one my our Biochem professors and Executive Vice Dean at the Medical College, is from Lowell. I finally placed his accent when he said "lawr of physics" in lecture yesterday morning.

YTTP was wonderful - after a six month hiatus I have lost much of the flexibility yoga helped me achieve but no worries, I'll get it back! Oh, and my vegan lunch at Candle Cafe was superb. Very filling and flavorful.

After yoga I realized my body was screaming "dairy" at me. I must have been low on calcium. I attempted (yes, for the fourth time in as many weeks) to grab a few arepas but both the take-out and sit-down waits were ridiculous. Instead I grabbed a medium original Red Mango with strawberry and decided to go investigate Pie, which I'd always walked by when I lived at 10th & Broadway but never actually patronized.

Much to my ecstatic joy, there was not only thin crust GF pizza available (though pricey, eesh! I forgot how expensive this intolerance is!) but 5 GF beers and 4 ciders! Holy wow! And the Green's are more than reasonably priced at $9 a bottle. I am absolutely going to submit a write-up to Celiac Chicks. I went for the Fresh Cubed Pie which has cubed tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, cubed arugula, olive oil, garlic and basil.

I kid you not, this is the b.e.s.t. GF thin crust pizza I've ever had. Hands down. Eat here. Now.

While I was waiting and subsequently eating I was privy to a lovely conversation with Jeffrey, Pie's owner, who also happens to live gluten-free. And yes, I completely devoured my 10" personal pie with a complimentary Bard's Tale. Perfection.

Much later that night, after enjoying some Kid Sister at Webster Hall, my girl Wendi and I split some small nachos and I had a warm goat cheese salad at my favorite 24-hour locale. Like I said, a total dairy craving. And as always, I paid for it all day. I wasn't even remotely hungry until 5pm (though I did make myself have a Trio bar around 1.30 when my vision got all fuzzy upon standing to stretch.

Oh yes, that's right - I spent roughly 8 hours at the library today. I got through all of derm and nutrition and almost 3 biochem lectures. I'll do some more tomorrow morning before my Sunday plans kick in. Tonight, after stopping by the crazy Food Emporium under the Queensborough Bridge, I made some Tinkyada pasta for dinner with:

oyster mushrooms drizzled with raw agave nectar and tossed c corn starch
chopped asparagus (~1 in.)
frozen peas
minced garlic
fresh basil leaves

Though the corn starch didn't give the texture oomph I was looking for, I always consider my meal more successful if my roommate Brittney gushes over it, which she did tonight. On the side: a few corn tortillas heated in the leftover oil rolled up with some peach mango salsa. Tomorrow I'll be making this tasty baked cauliflower dish my mother found and doing something with that tempeh and the rest of the asparagus.

Friday, April 9, 2010


I guess I haven't left all of Boston behind: the free newspaper is AM NY, not Metro. Oops.

Both Wednesday and Thursday I had this week's lunch of homemade granola with almond milk (which, bee tee dubs, is only 35 kcal per cup.) Yesterday, though, it being so nice out a number of us (us = classmates) sat outside during the lunch break and I was craving crunchy salty things so I got a tiny bag of high fiber "chips."

Wednesday I did not make the awesomest decision ever. Instead of going home then to Starbucks to study I went with 5 of my new peers to Stag's Head for a drink and some bonding. Cut to 4 (5?) ciders and 2 tequila shots later, most of us were drunk and too tired after the long day of class + 8am exam (I got a 98%, thankyouverymuch!) to actually do any studying. So I went home, stuffed my face with the remaining 4 frozen waffles, 1 with preserves, 1 with salsa. Oh, and a bowl of leftover dal. Win?

Last night was not as bad drink-wise, seeing as the majority of our class went to O'Neil's for PAHH (PA Happy Hour.) 3 ciders and my departure at 6.30 ... though dinner was all kinds of ridiculous. I made enough guacamole for 3 people then ate it ALL. That's right. 3 avocados worth. And an entire bag of corn tortillas. With a little salsa on each one. Who am I?

Today all 3 classes are at NYP which means lunch has to be eaten out (no fridge or break room uptown.) I've already chosen my healthy, GF option. Plus I woke up early to do a little workout this AM. And I'm going to yoga with a new classmate (Michelle) downtown at 7.30 so double bonus points for Friday.

Now I just need to get my study on wicked hard all day tomorrow. I must become one with nutrition and dermatology. Plus some extra Biochem wouldn't hurt.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

But I Always Pick Myself Back Up

Yesterday turned out to be quite the fruitful day!

I did give in and caffeinated myself (iced dirty soy chai from the 'bucks) but the rest of the day went according to plan, i.e. my homemade granola with organic unsweetened almond milk for lunch.

And since class got out early (3pm, huzzah!) I did in fact make it to the gym for a hard 30 minutes in the elliptical-esque machine and some solid core work. Before diving into the cram session for the medical terminology exam I just took (I'm guessing a grade in the low 90s) I got my chef on and finally made the dal I've been going on about. I'm pretty certain at this point that almost every dish ever cooked should have garlic and ginger in it. Side dish: broccoli with spicy hummus.

I woke up before my alarm went of again. And as I've been recently reminded, when this happens the best thing to do is just GET UP. Which I did, thank you, and began to mope about my granola being at school but then - gasp! - I remembered that on Bad Decision Monday I'd purchased some frozen GF vegan waffles at D'Ag! A short trip in the microwave later and I have tasty breakfast, thank you very much. On one of them I spread all-natural PB (ingredients: peanuts) and the other I smothered in my favorite brand of preserves (multi-fruit.)

Now I am feeling good. And full. And I think I may have to go get a Metro NY so I can crossword because class doesn't start up until 10.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sometimes I Stumble

Result of all that caffeine I consumed Saturday night? Not falling asleep until nearly 4am. Smooth, Laura. Really smooth.

Since I was awake I made a batch of granola:

2 cups certified GF whole oats (Bob's Red Mill)
~1/2 cup organic unsweetened dried cranberries
1 cup organic unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup organic walnut halves (whacked a few times with a mallet)
1/4 cup veg. oil
1/2 cup agave nectar

Toss dry ingredients, mix wet separately, combine in a baking pan of your choice depending on if you double the recipe or not, bake for ~45 minutes at 350F, stirring every 10 minutes. While still warm spread to cool on parchment paper. Store in airtight container. Feel free to replace/mix-up the type of nut and dried fruit. Nom nom nom, excellent breakfast/lunch/snack!

Yesterday I was treated to a simply scrumptious (and mimosa-filled) brunch at Bar Breton with my friend Helen, by our friend Tony. That's my kind of Easter, that is. After reading a little bit for class (not enough, I'm sure) I chose to revel in the perfectness of the Spring evening and join my friend Seth on his roof deck, complete with a posse of chill people and a Brazilian style grill (I had my own little section - tempeh, onion, tomato, and broccoli on a whim. A tasty whim.) Although I probably shouldn't have coated all my eats in Parmesan garlic butter. Or imbibed so much bourban. Which led me to purchasing and consuming that tiny little individual-sized Ben & Jerry peanut brittle ice cream.

Needless to say, I've been suffering the consequences of over-dairy-ing all day today.

And in a terrible, amateur move I went to D'Ag hungry. Which led to a purchasing of Pirate's Booty-esque crunchy cheesy things. AND an actual block of cheese which at this point, I'll be honest, has already been completely consumed.

THIS is why I have to do all my cooking for the week on Sundays. End of story. No more Sunday slacking. And obviously no more blocks of cheese. Though I did manage to haul my ass to the gym this AM ... won't happen tomorrow, though. I think I'll bring my kicks along to jog at lunch. Which will be granola again. Like both breakfast & lunch were today.

Oy. Back to studying.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hard Work

Blah. Tomato & beans over rice for breakfast yesterday. Super condensed 2 hours of Biochem lecture.

Had that picnic lunch. My first ever guacamole came out fairly tasty. Spicier in the future, for sure. Ate the guac with some corn tortillas I had grabbed at Trader Joe's on 14th St. - which, by the way, is still the only TJ's in Manhattan. Holy ginormous line, Batman! My buddy Tony surprised me - I'd asked for GF (obviously) and veggie. He brought some soy crisps, hummus, an apple, and blackberries - vegan delight!

I attempted to study in the warmth of the radiant Spring sun at Bryant Park but was oh so tired - I almost face planted a number of times into the endocrine system. So instead I grabbed a few needed items at Lord & Taylor (sale! don't judge me) before heading downtown for karaoke. 2+ hours of singing makes one hungry so while my friends got Crif Dog I grabbed dos arepas at Caracas (yes, AGAIN.) So much for my vegan Friday ... and of course I topped it off with a small plain fro-yo from Red Mango before walking home. At least I had an early (for NYC), sober night.

Spent 6-7 hours at the library today with Biochem and medical terminology (3 chapters of note cards left, the exam is on Wednesday. Gulp!) Breakfast was veggie flax chips with salsa. Snack time was some crunchy corn/rice things by that company that makes Pirate's Booty. Dinner was veg sushi from Whole Foods, the rest of my veggie flax chips with the rest of my salsa & hummus, an iced chai from the 'bucks (I'm such a sucker) and heavens forfend, I'm drinking a Coke Zero right now (for the caffeine - I plan to study more tonight.)

At least I ate vegan today. And I'll be making some super yummy vegan dishes tomorrow evening to last me the week: tempeh-veggie salad, that red lentil dal I adore so much, and granola (with certified GF oats!) Of course I will be having non-vegan EastOver (Easter/Passover) brunch with Tony and our friend Kate who's visiting from Boston, but ...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Food, Inc.

Ew. Ew ew ew ew ew.

My pseudo-vegetarianism has now morphed into full-fledged vegetarianism. This film ... oh man. What have I been putting into my body for the past 25ish years? I'm now questioning every single thing that enters my mouth. I had a Tropicana pulp-free OJ on my walk home from the library tonight. Ingredients: oranges. Still - when how and where were they grown? Were pesticides used? Growth hormones? Were they genetically modified to be bigger and juicier? My brain hurts just trying to think about it.

Solution: grow everything myself. Or in a community of like-minded individuals where we each grow/raise a handful of things and barter. (Hmmm, this sounds vaguely familiar ...)

In other news I realized this morning that I'd eaten my last yogurt. As a solution I threw some pinto beans, the rest of my canned tomatoes, and some ginger in a pan with evoo and ate it over rice. Then I had half my leftover pasta for lunch, half for dinner. I've eaten far too much rice this week.

Got home now with some munchies so I finished off my corn chips with some hummus. (I bet that corn was genetically modified ... wow, will I ever stop thinking this way?)

One class tomorrow, in the morning. Then a picnic lunch (I'm making guacamole), studying/notes, karaoke. No word from Crif Dog on what's in their veggie dogs and how they cook them. This doesn't seem promising.