Purely Positivitea

Make Healthy Happen in Medical School: Food Edition

In a whirlwind of new material and experiences, the “I don’t have time” attitude takes over health is often one of the first things to take back burner for medical students. In this mini series, I’ll share some practical ways to Make Healthy Happen when it comes to your food, your body, and your mind in the midst of all of that studying.

We’ll get started with one of my favorite topics, F O O D<3 We perform our best when we’re at our best, and the food we eat plays a huge role in that. It doesn’t have to be difficult, elaborate, expensive, or Instagram worthy. It just has to nourish your body so you have the proper fuel to #medschool.

1. Plan Your Meals (and snacks!): I tend to use Pinterest for inspiration! To plan for the week, I open a new note on my phone and write down what I’d like to make for the week as a heading.

Breakfast: I’m not a huge breakfast person, but I know it’s important, so I tend to have overnight oats, a smoothie, a granola bar, avocado toast, or some fruit.
Lunch/Dinner: I pick 3 interchangeable lunch/dinner meals for the week. This way, I don’t get bored by having the same two things every day, but I also don’t make way too much food since I’m cooking for myself. Some of my easy-to-prep go to meals are curried lentils, buddha bowls, salads, cauliflower fried rice, soups, roasted chickpeas with sweet potatoes and kale, homemade burrito bowls, stuffed sweet potatoes, and slow cooker meals.
Snacks: Forgetting to plan your snacks is a huge trap because you’ll find that you’re hungry during meals! Easy, healthy snacks include: hummus with baby carrots and celery, apples with almond butter, nuts, hot air popped popcorn, and kale chips.

A note on FRUITS & VEGGIES: I’m not vegetarian and I don’t currently have plans to become one, but over time, I’ve found that a predominantly plant based diet is not only more cost effective (meat is expensive!), but it also makes me feel better! I treat meat as more of a garnish and I rarely ever include it as part of my meal prep. This is just something else to consider!

2. Make a Grocery List: This is a major key! Walking into the grocery store without a list is a one way ticket to spending way tooooo much money and still managing to forget the things you need to prep your food. Under the headings I created in the last step, I make a list of each of the ingredients I need to buy to make it. Leave out the staples and other things you already have at home so that you don’t duplicate!

3. Meal Prep: #MealPrepMonday has a nice ring to it, but prepping meals on Sundays before I get into the swing of the week always works out best for me. Pick the day that works best for you and set aside a few hours to chef it up! Sometimes it feels like you’re taking a lot of time, but remember that you won’t have to do it for the rest of the week!

4. Invest in Some Containers & a Lunch Box: Since you’re often on the go, it’s important to have the right supplies to allow you to truly make healthy a habit. Temptation will be everywhere in the form of transparent to-go boxes in open refridgerators and drive throughs, but you’ll be able to resist if you already have your food packed and ready to go! I use glass pyrex containers with lids because they are microwave friendly and safer than plastic. Mason jars are also super handy. A lunch box is also a must! I have one that you can put in the freezer (it has built in ice packs, which keep salads cold & crisp all day!), but an ice pack and a regular lunch box works equally well.

5. If you like smoothies…: Boy, do I have a #LifeHack for you! Finding the time to make a fresh smoothie every morning can get difficult yet, buying premade bottles isn’t always ideal because of the price and (w/ some brands) the ingredients. I make one massive batch of smoothie then divide it amongst five mason jars and put them in the freezer. The night before I want one, I take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge. By the next morning, voila! I have a fresh, perfectly creamy smoothie waiting for me in the fridge. Fresh smoothies for a whole week AND you only have to wash a blender once! Pretty awesome, huh? I found this idea on Pinterest here a long time ago and I still use it now! 

How do you make healthy F O O D happen in medical school?

A New Pep in my Step: The Walking Company x Dansko

We've all seen doctors, nurses, physician assistants, and any other health professional who is on their feet a lot rockin' these clogs!

Dansko is undeniably one of the most iconic staples in the health care work space. In fact, Dansko shoes are about as ubiquitous as scrubs and they've managed to make them even better! Last month, The Walking Company partnered with Dansko to create and exclusively release the new, improved Professional XP 2.0 clog. They were nice enough to send me a pair to try and I'm so excited to share my first impressions with you!

Disclosure: This product was provided to me as a gift from The Walking Company and Dansko. Opinions are my own. 

I chose to go with the Black Mariner color, but in typical Dansko fashion, there are tons of fun colors/patterns available to fit your style! The first thing I noticed when I took these out of the box was how surprisingly lightweight they were! Based on how they look, I imagined that they would be much heavier and I excitedly slipped them on. I found that the footbed features prominent, yet natural arch support and memory foam for comfort! The rocker bottom of the clog is meant to fight the fatigue of staying on your feet and they maintain safety by being slip resistant. Since I've never worn a shoes like this before, walking in them took some getting used to, but it didn't take long at all! 

Just like any shoe, there's no magic to be had right out of the box with these. Breaking in your Danskos is an absolute must (someone suggested 2 hrs a day for the first few days before ramping it up to me!) in order to adjust to the technology. Since I don't have as many clinicals at the moment, I'm still in those beginning stages, but I get the feeling that these are going to be a favorite of mine on the wards and I will definitely update this post! 

If you'd like to experience they durability, comfort, and style of the Dansko Pro XP 2.0 clogs for yourself, you can purchase the exclusively at The Walking Company here!

Med School-ing: 3 Quick Tips for Adulting While Med School-ing

Adulting (v): to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups. (urban dictionary)

Let’s face it, medical school obviously isn’t your standard 9-5. As a matter of fact, it can often feel like a 6am to 11pm! You’re in that #twentysomething category, but sometimes you feel like you’re stuck in this strange adult-like purgatory where you’re in the 18th grade while all of your friends climb their career ladders.

Even though you’re still a student, you’re now what they call an “adult learner,” which comes with lots of ~adult like~ responsibilities you probably didn’t have as an undergraduate! Unless you had a number of gap years before medical school, figuring out how to balance school and living an adult life can be quite the challenge when you’re getting started.

What can you do to get on the right track!? I've got you covered!

Budget, Budget, Budget: Money management is NO JOKE. If you’re on financial aid, most programs disburse your $$$ for living expenses twice per academic year, once at the very beginning and once more midway through. Since it’s such a large amount each time, it can be a recipe for disaster if you’re not careful. This is such an important section that this tip has some subtips coming your way!

·      Set aside your rent/utilities/car payment, etc: Running out of money for your rent and other important revolving payments would be stressful and is totally avoidable. I always multiply the payment by the number of months and set it aside in my savings account to avoid any mix ups. This way, I know I have it tucked away and I just transfer it each month when I’m ready to make a payment!
·      Work Those Numbers: With what you have left, decide how much you want to spend on groceries, gas, clothes, make-up, Netflix, the gym, and other daily expenses. It would be wise to set aside some “savings” for a rainy day because you never know what may come up! I track some things on a weekly basis (ex: $40 per week on groceries) and others on a monthly basis (ex: $5 /month for Apple Music).
·      Keep Track: The apps that are available these days make keeping track so much easier! The most popular one seems to be Mint, but I’ve really taken a liking to an app called Daily Budget. I’ve discovered that I’m really bad at setting and sticking to discrete amounts of money for categories like clothes, entertainment, and eating out. With Daily Budget, I can input the total I’m able to spend each month and my important recurring charges such as rent. It takes the remaining funds and divides it amongst the number of days in the month to give you a “daily budget”. If you don’t spend your full “budget” for the day, it rolls over to the next day and continues to do so throughout the month. I like it because it’s a more realistic view of my spending and I can easily balance the times I spend very little with the times I spend more.
·      Practice Good Spending Habits: Instead of buying coffee every day, make your own. Meal prep/Cook at home. Make a grocery list. Buy your toiletries in bulk. Avoid impulse buys. All of these little things will save you money over time!

Plan Ahead: Use your calendar! Med school is chock full of lectures, labs, interest group meetings, and more. When you have to schedule meetings, (your own o__0) doctor’s appointments, oil changes, or time off for your best friend’s wedding, your life will be so much easier if you keep track of everything in a calendar. I also put in alerts for my bills and credit card payment deadlines so I never forget them! Double booking something or missing a payment is no fun, but it is so easy to stay on track with a calendar! Make your life even easier by using one that syncs across your phone, computer, and tablet!

Take care of yourself: There will be easy days and there will be really hard days. It is so important to recognize that taking care of yourself is just as important as your academics/adulting at any given point. Take breaks. Naps are still a thing. Practice some serious #selfcare. Your mind and your body will thank you!

How do you balance adulting with med school-ing?

Roasted Veggie Buddha Bowl Recipe

I have been eyeing these buddha bowls on Pinterest for some time and I finally decided to go for it and make one. I'm one of those people who loves eating out of bowls just because (can't explain it lol), so this was perfect for me! It's basically a bowl filled with plant based goodness and a great idea for #MeatLessMondays! I couldn't find a recipe that was 100% right for me, so I just roasted a bunch of veggies with my favorite seasonings and threw it together. It ended up being super tasty and filling! This recipe makes 5 Roasted Veggie Buddha Bowls aka HELLOOOOOOO MEAL PREP :D I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

(Be forewarned, I'm no professional food blogger so recipes are structured casually and my measurements are often "to taste," because that's how I do it! lol I certainly don't have this thing down to a science, but I want to share manageable, healthy things I cook with others!)


-Two Large Sweet Potatoes
-Brussels Sprouts
-Two Heads of Broccoli
-Cauliflower rice (I used a bag of Trader Joe's Frozen Cauli Rice)
-1 Can of Organic Chickpeas
-Baby Spinach 

Seasonings By Vegetable
Sweet Potatoes: Trader Joes' 21 Seasoning Salute, Garlic Powder, and Chilli Powder
Chickpeas: Curry Powder, Garam Masala, Salt, & Pepper
Brussels Sprouts: Balsamic Vinegar, Garlic, and Pepper
Cauliflower Rice: Tumeric and Black Pepper
Broccoli: Garlic Powder, Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Salt, and Pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 450°
2. Wash all of the vegetables and drain/rinse the can of chickpeas.  
3. Dice the sweet potatoes, clean and cut the brussels sprouts in half, and cut the broccoli florets.
4. For the sweet potatoes, chickpeas, brussels sprouts, and broccoli, toss with olive oil and the seasonings listed above. 
5. Place sweet potatoes on separate baking sheet. Roast for 35-45 minutes. 
6. The other vegetables can be roasted together for 20-25 minutes. (Depending on the size of your sheets, you may need multiple! I needed two).
7. Sautee the cauliflower rice with the tumeric and black pepper. 
8. Once everything is done, place a bed of baby spinach at the bottom of a bowl and top with all of the yummy roasted veggies! 
9. Optional add ons: Avocado (take it from me & do it!!!), Trader Joe's Cilantro Dressing, and/or Sriricacha. 
10. Enjoy!

How do you like to make your Buddha bowls?