Purely Positivitea: 2017

Roasted Veggie Buddha Bowl Recipe

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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!)


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

-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?

MS1✓ & Medical Student Tag

I have officially completed my first year of medical school! It is seriously unreal how quickly the time flew by. It's cliche but, it feels like it was just yesterday that I hopped on a plane with a one way ticket from NY to CA, two suitcases, and no idea what to expect. Fast forward 10 short months and I can't even begin to tell you how much I've learned (!!!), grown, and experienced. 

My birthday is coming up in a few weeks and as I reflect, I can truly say that 23 has been the best year of my life. Starting medical school has been on my mind ever since I dreamed up the idea of becoming a physician when I was very young. It feels like I have been living the dream, my dream every day and I couldn't be more grateful. What an honor and a privilege it is to pursue this path. 

 I'd like to give a special shout out to all to the people who have supported me and believed in me throughout all of these years (special s/o to you, Mom & Dad I know you're reading lololll). THANK YOU! I would of course be remised if I didn't thank all of you for following along and sharing this journey with me. When I started blogging, I never expected to become a part of such an inspiring and supportive community. It's been truly amazing and I'm looking forward to what this summer, MS2, and beyond has in store!

To mark the end of MS1, I wanted to participate in this fun Medical Student Tag shared by Trisha over at Three Thousand Miles Blog (check her gorgeous blog out)! I tagged some other amazing med student blogs in my instagram post to keep it going. I hope you enjoy it! 

Who are you and where do you study? My name is Shanice and I study medicine in the beautiful state of California! 

When did you start studying medicine or premed courses? I was premed all throughout college. I was one of those weird "always wanted to be a doctor" kids hahaa There were certainly times in undergrad where I questioned being premed, especially when I was faced with challenges that made me feel inadequate. But, when I explored other fields, it always came back full circle to medicine. With the right combination of support and determination, I pushed pushed through, overcame those feelings, and achieved my goals. 

What made you choose the medical field? My initial interest came about at a young age because my mom is a nurse. Whenever I was asked that “what do you want to be when you grow up?” question, the answer was always that I wanted to be a doctor. At the time, I think I was more interested in the cool stethoscope or my "doctor" toy kit, but my later experiences are what solidified my decision to pursue the medical field. I chose medicine because I believe that health is the most fundamental human necessity and the health disparities that currently exist are unethical and preventable. As a physician, I believe I can play a (at least a small) role in righting some of the wrongs in our healthcare system and giving people the treatment they deserve. 

How did you come up with your blog name/username? Welllllll, I love (& by love I mean I'm utterly obsessed with) tea & I really wanted to create a place of good vibes/energy. The play on words with positivi"tea" was perfect for me and tbh, purely just rhymed to complete it! 

How would you describe your blog? It's my getaway! I love having this as a creative outlet and I try not to take it too seriously, which is why I pretty much post what I want (from food to med school) and when I can (if I'm busy, there's no stress about posting a certain number of times per month or anything like that).  If I manage to help a few people along the way, all the better!

What’s your favorite quote? "A river cuts through rock not because of its power, but because of its persistence." -James Watkins 

Best memory in medical school? This is a toughie! If I absolutely had to pick one stand out for now, it would be the moment my parents helped me into my white coat at the white coat ceremony

What’s one course you struggled with? Neuro was tough! Our neuro block was 5 weeks long and I had no exposure prior to starting, so learning all of that information was a massive undertaking. There were times that I thought it would never come together, but luckily it did in the end!

What’s your favorite book? Hmm, I don't think I have an all time favorite book. I'd say my favorite recent(ish) read is When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi.

What do you do in your free time? My absolute favorite thing to do is cook! I love finding new recipes, going grocery shopping for them, and whipping them up in the kitchen! I also blog, insta (probs more than I should), chronically window shop online, watch TV, and other normal/not so exciting things. 

What do you want to major or specialize in? Not too sure right now! Keeping an open mind :)

Who do you look up to? My parents! They both grew up in impoverished, rural Jamaica, then immigrated to this country, made a life, and gave us so much. I am in awe of all that they have been through and they are my BIGGEST sources of support. I hope to be half the parents and people they are someday. 

How do you study (productively)? Allow me to point ya in the right direction -> How To Study Actively

How do you stay motivated in medical school? I stay motivated by taking whatever opportunity I can to interact with real patients. It can me so easy to get lost in mountains of powerpoints and forget why you even started medical school and what your end goal is. Talking to patients and getting to know them reminds me of why I'm in this and gives me the push I need to keep moving forward. 

What are your best tips for future medical students? Get excited! This is going to be hard, but it's going to be worth it. There's a million learning styles and resources out there. Find what works for YOU. Stay inspired. Make time. For yourself, for your family, for your non-medically related hobbies. Never ever neglect your own self care. Sometimes you'll need to study all day. Sometimes you'll need a study-free day. If you need help, ask for it & ask for it early. You've worked hard to get to medical school. This is not a mistake or luck, you belong here. 

Nut Butter Overnight Oats Recipe

I know I'm not the only one that has reached the bottom of a nut butter jar and felt a pang of sadness one, because I love the stuff and two, because it's actually pretty expensive! #thatstudentbudgetthough It's just so good! I'm typically an almond butter kind of gal, but I recently picked up this mixed nut butter from Trader Joe's and it is ah-mazing! Instead of committing to single nut, I get a mixture of dry and roasted almonds, cashews, walnuts, brazil nut, hazelnuts, and pecans in this bad boy! Why have one when you can have em all!?

I had been toying with the idea of making overnight oats for a while, but never got around to it because the idea of cold oatmeal didn't sound too appealing to me. I knew you could warm them, but that seemed to defeat the purpose of quick, on the go breakfast! Well, I finally decided to go for it with this near empty jar of goodness!


- 1/2 Cup Rolled Oats
- 1/2 Cup Almond Milk
- 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
- 1 Tbsp plain Greek Yogurt (extra creaminess & protein!)
- A Dash of Cinnamon and Brown Sugar (optional)
- Topping: Sliced banana (& whatever else you want! :D)

Easy! Mix all of the ingredients in the jar and put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, add the toppings and enjoy! You can even make batches and store them in the fridge for up to a week.

I can't believe I took so long to make this because I ended up LOVING it and there are 3 mason jars full of overnight oats in my refrigerator right now! #converted It was creamy, filling, and the nut butter totally set it off! I'm not a huge breakfast person, but the taste, satiety, and convenience of overnight oats has me hooked. 

One of the greatest things about overnight oats is that they are SUPER customizable. Make it yours! Add, take away, or totally flip what I included in the recipe. Other ideas for toppings include strawberries, flax seeds, walnuts, and more. How do you like your overnight oats?

Maevn Scrubs Review

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Any medical student or health professional will tell you that getting new scrubs is like opening a present on your birthday! Is it nerdy? Yes. Can we help it? No. Do we want to be helped? DEF not! Naturally, when I saw that Maevn Uniforms was giving away 1,000 free scrubs for their #MaevnMarchMadness giveaway, I entered right away! I was lucky enough to get my first choice, a set from their Eon collection in black (I've always wanted black scrubs for some weird reason) and they arrived quickly thereafter. 

Find them here --> Top/Bottom
I just started wearing them and I am loving them! I always joke that scrubs are socially acceptable pajamas, but these fit more like comfortable athletic wear. The material is clearly high quality and durable, yet it is soft and light weight. In fact, they're so light weight that the 10 minute walk to class in the 75° California sun didn't burn me up even though I was wearing all black! It reminds me of some the expensive, moisture wicking apparel you can buy for the gym. 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I have to say, the waist band is EVERYTHING! I feel like a lot of scrub brands attempt "style" and it just ends up coming across as quite literally a (failed) stylish attempt at scrubs (high necks, buttons, etc I've seen it all lol). These are about as chic as scrubs can get and with the number of pockets available, they haven't lost their utility at all. I also really like that there is a drawstring even though there is a waistband so I can adjust it to my waist size. 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

In addition to comfort and utility, one thing I always look for in scrubs is length. I'm 5'9'' and I've suffered the plight of having my ankles out #floodready in many a set of scrubs. I was super excited when I found out that Maevn carries their scrubs in tall sizes, and they fit me perfectly! As a HUGE plus, the tag also states they are wash and wear ready without needing to steam or iron. I haven't put them through a cycle yet, but this would seriously be a life changer (no one wants crushed scrubs!) and I'll be sure to report back to ya!

All in all, these scrubs are fantastic and I'd highly recommend them. They hit all of the check boxes for comfort, style, and utility. Our school issued scrubs are too short for me and the texture of news paper, so I'm feeling pretty lucky to have gotten these. I can't wait to keep wearing them! 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

P.S. If you wanna know how I made the matcha that made an appearance in this last picture (it's in one of those to go tumblers!), head on over to that post here<3

Med School-ing: Note taking? Flashcards? Apps?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
One of the most common questions I get from incoming students is "What do you use for ______?" I leave the blank open because there's a lot to cover in medical school and millions more resources, so it can be difficult to find what is most useful for you. I'm going to use this post to detail what works for me and I'll include a few things that have worked for my friends as well so that you can explore!

What do you use for note taking?
I use Microsoft One Note for my note taking. I like it because I can have everything in one place, but keep it very organized. For example, I'm able to import lecture power points in as PDFs so that I can annotate them during class (I use an iPad Pro & and Apple Pencil, that's why the handwriting looks so realistic! I'll post more about it at another time then link it here), but I can also write/draw freehand on what looks like looseleaf paper or highlight text from assigned readings. It's helpful because I don't have to click through a bunch of folders with files to find what I am looking for. You can also your handy dandy command F if you're looking for something really minute across a bunch of weeks.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I make a new "notebook" for each block and organize it into two sections, which may or may not work for you depending on your program! In the first section, I put tabs for labs, PBL, and things like histo and anatomy.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Then, I make an expandable "notes" tab for my day to day lecture notes (see above).

Microsoft One Note automatically backs up your notebooks online which is a HUGE stress reliever, especially if you get hit with unexpected computer problems. I think that the only real downside of One Note is that the free cloud storage runs out really quickly and you have to pay extra mooola for more. It's really affordable at $1.99 per month, so it's not the worst thing in the world, but it'd be great if there was more free storage!

Others use:
-Notability (iOS app)
-Microsoft PPT & Microsoft Word
-Google Docs
-Good old fashioned paper & pencil

What do you use for flashcards?
I LOVE Anki. I'll have to admit, it was super intimidating when I first downloaded it because the interface is not user friendly at all! I really liked the idea of spaced repetition for learning (which is how anki's software works), so I decided to give it a try. On the advice of an MS2, I searched up "Anki for Medical Students" on youtube and watched a few short videos to get started. Once you grasp the basics, it's actually really easy to use! I'm so happy that I gave Anki a try and it has been a staple for me ever since. Depending on interest, I could always post a short/sweet tutorial here on the blog, let me know!

Others use: 
-Regular Flashcards

What apps do you use?
If I try to explain each of them, we'll be here all day so I'll just list a few! These are all for iOS, but I'm sure some should be available on other systems too.

-Essential Anatomy 5 (3D interactive model that makes frequent appearances in my instagram story hahaa useful for class!)
-Epocrates (useful for pharmacology)
-Prognosis (nerdy medical game, but super fun & educational!)
-Flat Tomato (for pomodoro/tomato timing!)
-Pinterest (welp ya know, a girls gotta find meal prep inspo somewhere!)

What question bank/supplemental system do you use?
As a first year, there will be product after product thrown at you, "group" deals for your school, and other things like that. I managed to resist the temptation this year and I'm glad that I did. I'm definitely not downing anyone who has used products or services, but I'm acknowledging that it can be a lot of pressure to get every single thing (especially when it seems like everyone else is!) and the costs can add up quickly. When considering a product, always remember that it depends on what kind of learner you are and most services have a free trial, so try that first! Additionally, there is no magic bullet that will guarantee your success, so be weary of products that promise too much. I know that there are certain things I will be getting during second year to prep for STEP 1, but I haven't found that I needed anything supplemental for first year.

What are some _______ that YOU use?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links at the end of the post which just means that if you shop through one of the links, I will receive a small percentage of the sale :)

Matcha Green Tea, What's the Big Deal?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

You've seen it on instagram, at starbucks, on people's snapchats, and your mom is asking you about it. Everyone is drinking it and everyone's talking about it, but what is it and what's the big deal?!

Friends, allow me to introduce (or reintroduce) you to MATCHA GREEN TEA 🙌🏾

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which just means that if you shop through one of the links on this page, I will receive a small percentage of the sale :)

What's Matcha?
Unlike your run of the mill tea bag or loose leaf tea, matcha green tea is actually a finely ground powder. Matcha originated as a Japanese ceremonial staple. Matcha grown in an intensive process that includes shade growing to increase the beneficial properties of the leaves. When it's time to harvest, only the highest quality matcha tea leaves are taken and stone ground until they make a fine, bright green powder. Most commercially available matcha is not ceremonial grade (& ceremonial matcha is very expensive/sacred!), but if you're careful about what you buy, it can be really good for you! 

Why is it So Bomb?
It's already been well documented in the literature that green tea has amazing health benefits from its antioxidants to its anti inflammatory effects and metabolic properties (1). Matcha has all of these benefits and then some! Time to drop some science on ya & I'll be sure to cite the references at the end.

When I first started drinking matcha, I discovered that the caffeine content gave me the alertness/clarity of coffee without the jitters or the crash after. This was a huge game changer for me because I was experiencing some test anxiety in undergrad and the coffee I would drink while studying did not help! As it turns out, matcha contains a compound called L-Theanine, which increases the frequency of alpha waves in your brain (2). Alpha waves promote a focused and alert, yet relaxed state of mind and reduces feelings of anxiety that often come with coffee (3). If you're interested in the more nitty gritty details (aka the EEGs that were done & how GABA is involved, yay neuro?), check out the reference!  

Where Can I Get It?
I mentioned being careful about what you buy earlier because some "matcha" products have a ton of added sugar and fillers. Love ya Trader Joe's, but I gotta call you out on this one. I got my first batch of matcha from a local Japanese market. It's not unusual to get a super tiny container for $10+. You get what you pay for! That container didn't last me long enough, so I searched online next. I ended up getting it from a company called Nutri Vita Shop (not spon) and I really like it! I'd definitely get it from there again. It's also sold at Whole Foods and I linked a few products from Amazon at the end of this too! 

How Can I Make It?
The best part about Matcha is that it's super easy to make! My personal favorite way to have it is as an iced latte!

Iced Latte
Just blend  8-12oz of your choice of milk (almond, soy, coconut, etc) with one heaping scoop of matcha and sweeter of your choice (optional), then pour over ice!

Hot Latte*
Simmer 8-12oz of your choice of choice of milk (almond, soy, coconut, etc) on low until it is hot, but not boiling. Combine it in the blender with one heaping scoop of matcha and sweeter of your choice (optional). Blend, pour into a mug, and enjoy!

Hot Tea*
Gently heat 8-12 oz of water on low until it is hot, but not boiling. Blend with one heaping scoop of matcha and as with the other methods, you can add sweeter of your choice. Cinnamon is also a really great addition!

Add It To Your Smoothie
#LifeHackAlert, I add matcha to my regular smoothies all of the time! It gives you an extra boost where you'd least expect it!

*Sidenote for the hot methods, be careful! If your blender is glass, make sure the liquid you pour in is not TOO hot. If your blender is plastic, you should switch around the heating and blending steps (blend first, heat after). 

Have you tried matcha? What's your favorite way to have it?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
1. Chacko SM, Thambi PT, Kuttan R, Nishigaki I. Beneficial effects of green tea: a literature review. Chin Med. 2010;5:13.
2. . Mason R. 200 mg of Zen: L-Theanine Boosts Alpha Waves, Promotes Alert Relaxation. Altern Compliment Ther. 2001;7(2):91-96.
3. Higashiyama A, Htay HH, Ozeki M, Juneja LR, Kapoor MP. Effects of l-theanine on attention and reaction time response. J Funct Foods. 2011;3(3):171-178. doi:10.1016/j.jff.2011.03.009.

NOTE: The information found in this post does not constitute medical advice. Please consult a physician with questions concerning your health and prior to making any health decisions. 

Med School-ing: How to Study Actively

When you start medical school, one of the things you'll hear a million times is "the way you studied in undergrad won't work here." That statement is not ALL true. You were obviously doing something right this whole time if you've made it this far. However, there will be adjustments to make! With so much info coming your way (the old fire hydrant lololll), you'll want to study in a way that will help you to truly learn the material instead of attempting to memorize it. Passive learning (just reading the textbook, rewriting notes, etc) is the enemy in medical school because it leads to recognition instead of recall, and you need the latter to succeed. Finding ways to study actively aids recall, is more time effective, and will make you a happier medical student! There are way more strategies out there than the ones I'll share, but these are my favorite ways to study actively and they should help you get started!

 Identify Your Learning Style
The first key to success is to figure out how you're able to learn best! Once you identify the way that you process information, you can tailor your studying to max out on your strengths. I'm an audio/visual learner, so I do best when I can incorporate youtube videos and draw things out. That's just me, but if you happen to be kinesthetic learner for example, there are other strategies that may work better for you. I was able to take an assessment through the Learning Skills Office in my undergrad to figure this out, but there are a lot of free quizzes online! You may want to give one of these a try 1, 2

② Blank Paging
This could also be called "Blank Boarding" if you decide to use a dry erase board. Basically, you take a blank sheet of paper (or a blank board!) and write a main idea on top or in the middle of it. Then, without referring to any outside material, you write as much as you possibly can about that topic on the paper. It's not meant to be pretty, but it forces you to recall processes, facts, and connections cold in the same way you would have to on a test. It also helps you to identify what material you just recognize instead of really knowing it. After you've written and drawn everything that you can on the paper, you can refer to your materials and fill in any gaps in your knowledge. Ideally, you should blank page the same topic again in the near future to make sure you don't forget any of the same things again! Here's an example of a blank page that I did then filled in from Block 1!

③ Write Your Own Questions
Sometimes the best way to get prepared for a test is to think like a test maker! I write questions to get the main points out of a lecture and to make sure I can answer all of the learning objectives without referring to any additional material. Writing questions can be as simple as restating the learning objectives in question format or as complex as coming up with your own clinical vignettes. I keep it pretty simple and even though I haven't had a question I've written come up on an exam verbatim, I've been tested on the exact concepts or ideas from my questions many times! Below you'll find a few sample q's from a metabolism lecture in Block 3. When I'm reviewing for the final, I'm able to copy a blank page with the questions to make sure I can still answer them!

 photo Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 10.33.13 PM_zps1crbdq5q.png

④ Work in Groups
For all you independent studiers out there, I sympathize with you because I am one of you LOL However, studying in a group (if you find the right one) can be extremely beneficial to you! I don't do group study all of the time because I need to study on my own first before getting into a group, but when I do, it works really well! It's okay to mix it up sometimes and there's no need to solely independent study or solely group study. What's great about working in a group is that everyone has different strengths and can teach them to everyone else. Not only is it helpful for the people learning, it's helpful for the person teaching (ever heard of see one, do one, teach one!?) because it really solidifies that you have an understanding of the concept. One thing we did was write topics, structures, factors, and key words for the exam on strips of paper, put them in a container and pulled them at random. The person who pulled it would try to explain it first then others could add in. Other groups would assign topics from the week and each person was responsible for teaching a topic to the group. I also fond it very helpful to work on cases (ex: the ones from Costanzo) in groups because the discussion always went beyond the written answer rationale. 


These tips are not all inclusive, but I hope they get you started while you figure out how to study actively in medical school! What tips and tricks do you use? Comment below!

New Series Alert! (+ a quick life update)

I know I've been MAJORLY slacking on blogging (side eye @ Block 3), so I'm going to make it up to ya by launching a new blog series called "Med School-ing!!" Think of this series as an intro/crash course in some of the basics of medical school.

It's that time of year where many people have cleared the hurdle of getting into med school and are deciding on where they'll spend they next four years. I remember when I was in that position and as the reality of it began to settle in, I began scouring the web on the most random med school related things out of excitement (which is actually part of the reason I fell into the med IG community and ended up started this blog)! I'll include the things I wish I knew, what I learned from others, and of course, what I've learned along the way in year one so far. I'm also taking requests, so if there's anything in particular you'd like to see, leave a comment below! The first post will launch this Wednesday! :D

As for quick life updates, here's a few firsts & favorite IG posts from the last few months.

-first preceptorship assignment
-first med school prom
-first time learning suturing
-first time in the SIM lab
-first french press
-first time doing a paint & sip
-first time studying at the beach in the "winter"
-first time shadowing an ENT physician
-first time doing chaplain rounds
-first time ice skating in California
-first time going to a silent disco