Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Grim Reality Sets In

What a week! I say that and it's only Wednesday, but this week seems to just be heading down hill faster and faster. On Monday we had surgery lab, and it was a wreck!!! I had forgotten to watch the video before the lab so I had no idea what was going on. We had six stations which included draping the patient, learning to suture, practicing suturing, learning to scrub (ourselves), sterile patient prep, and knots and instruments. Suturing was a disaster! I got so overwhelmed by the terminology, patterns, and proper handling of the instruments tears sprang up in my eyes, and I had to hold them in. It only got worse as we went from station to station and I felt like I was surrounded by people who knew exactly what they were doing. The last straw was when we were at the last station and I accidentally used a scrub sink that was broken and wouldn't turn off. Luckily we had Dr. Baker for that station, and he had actually used the sink earlier himself, so I didn't feel so bad afterwords, but at the time it seemed monumental. As soon as we were done I grabbed Max and made I beeline for the car. Once inside I let it all out in huge wracking, gasping sobs of frustration, anxiety, and distress. Poor Max just held my hand and drove us home. He tried to talk about it but I just cried until I felt empty. When we got home I cried some more, and everyone pitched in to make me feel better. Things ended up alright, but I am still terrified of surgery.

Yesterday I had high hopes for lecture. We had 3 Zoo lectures which I was sure would be fun and enlightening. Once again it was an epic fail. We have a visiting professor and for the life of me I can't figure out what he is trying to get across to us. By the time the third lecture came around I was bored and thoroughly disappointed. Most of my classmates were vainly trying to listen, while others gave up and studied other subjects, Facebooked, or slept. At the end of the day I heard many students discussing how disappointing the lectures had been. I wasn't the only one who had been looking forward to some new insights. Pretty much the whole class was frustrated. Sigh. It makes me feel bad for our speaker. Especially when I heard from students at other schools that they had similar issues with his lecture style. He probably doesn't even realize his teaching style is a problem for students.

Friday morning is our Medicine Exam. Renal stuff, eeep. Hopefully it will go well. I have confidence, I just have to make sure everything is set straight in my mind. Anyways, time to get studying. Wish me luck.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weight, Plans, and Goals

So I have been actively losing weight for the past few weeks. I am happy to report that I am down from my start weight by a definite three pounds, even though I haven't been very faithful to my healthy eating. I am also happy to say that I am building muscle as, my legs are much stronger than what they used to be. So overall I am pleased, but I still have a long way to go, and I still have a lot of improvements to make.

The first issue I have is making sure I exercise regularly. To do this I need to exercise in the morning before school. No more sleeping in!!! I also need to make sure I am well hydrated at night before bed so I am not overly thirsty when I work out in the morning. My plan this week is to work out every day with cardio and three days with strength.

Nutrition wise, I have been failing. I have been alternating days of starvation with eating to much, and I haven't been getting enough fruits or vegetables. So this week the goal is 1300 calories a day, no exceptions. I also need to take my multivitamin, as I am not getting what I need from the foods I am eating. Hopefully that will improve when I go to the store next, and buy more produce.

As far as my Diabetes goes, its out of control. I have had a lot of highs lately, and I can't afford that. I must figure out a way to balance evrything and get back in good control. I would like my average to be in the 120s by the end of October.

Mentally I am doing well. My self confidence is up, my brain is working, and my stress levels are down. I have been paying attention in class more, and taking breaks when I need to to facilitate studying. I am doing things I like, and studying to learn. I am exceptionally happy about that! I just have to keep thinking positive, and not panic when I do something new and intimidating.

So in Summary:
Weight Goal: 165 lbs. by the end of September
Exercise Goal: Cardio daily, Strength 3 times a week (more if I feel like it)
Nutrition Goal: Make sure I am getting enough vitamins and minerals, vegetables and fruit
Diabetes Goal: Keep a sharp eye on it and make good food choices.
Mental Goal: Keep learning, don't stress too much

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Toga! Toga! Toga!

This Friday was awesome!!! It was my first ever Toga Party, and we had a blast!!! Everyone came over to our house at 6:00 for pizza. Max and I manned the cooking . We made six pizzas of various types, everything from plain pepperoni to garlic brie with onions and tomatoes (Who new brie could be so good on a pizza?). We watched Big Bang Theory, ate and talked. Michelle brought her boyfriend and his cousin, who we had been waiting to meet for awhile, and Iris and Evan came as well. Then there was the usual crowd of JACK (Jenna, Adrian, Christine, Katie), Max, Derek, Ann, and Elizabeth. After our beer and pizza all the girls went upstairs to get dressed. Michelle graciously dressed all of us, as we had no idea what we were doing when it came to pinning/draping our togas, and then we all went about accessorizing and fixing our hair. Even the boys got into the spirit and dressed up! By the time we finished getting ready it was about 9:00, so we all piled into our cars and took off!

The party was being put on by four of our classmates/friends, and luckily it was only a 10 minute ride to their house. At the house the living room had been cleared of furniture,except for the sound system table, there were black lights everywhere, and the garage had the keg and Beer Pong Tables. I was the DD so no beer for me! That was ok though, because I just really wanted to dance! After greeting our hosts we mingled for a bit, before heading in to the living room. Once there we danced and sang along to the music for about 2.5 hours! We snapped lots of pictures and the only mishap was that my toga began to fall. Yep you heard right, it began to fall off! I guess I was dancing a bit too much because suddenly I felt the bottom layer twist awkwardly around my legs so I could barely move! Luckily the marvelous Michelle had brought extra pins with her, and she took me n the pantry to rewrap me. We thought I was good to go, but unfortunately, the same thing happened again! Back to the pantry we went. This time Michelle changed the whole Toga design, and it ended up looking great and staying firmly secured the rest of the night. Finally we all decided to go to the bars, so at 12:00 we all piled back into the cars and took off for Aggieville.

When we got to Aggievville, we went to the "Vet school bar", Kite's. There we jam packed ourselves on to the dance floor and managed to get a bit of dancing done. While there I actually saw Max's roommate, several guys from a highlighter party and lots of older vet students. It was nice to see that the seniors actually do get out once in awhile. After an hour of dancing we went to Daylight Donuts, and even though they weren't open (They changed their hours) the man let us in and sold us a huge box for $8.00. I allowed myself one doughnut and several doughnut holes, which worked out very well since my blood sugar was low! Many people were excited by the fact that we had both Togas and doughnuts and we got comments all the way back to the car!

We finally made it home and changed into our pjs. Christine wanted pizza so we made one more pepperoni pizza and some garlic bread. Then we all sat down to watch Big Bang Theory again , before falling into bed.

Recipe Number Two: Lemon Melting Moments

Sometimes a recipe just looks too good to pass up! When I was searching for recipes to add to my list for this fall I stumbled upon a web site called Itty Bitty Kitchen. It seems to be a relatively new web site, but there are some very nice recipes and the design is great! When I saw the pictures of the lemon Melting Moment Cookies, I knew I had to try them. My only problem was the measurements. Not being from Australia I converted everything online, and hoped for the best.

Lemon Melting Moments (from Itty Bitty Kitchen)


200g unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of one lemon

1 cup confectioners sugar
50 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
juice of one lemon

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F. Cream sugar, butter and salt. When fluffy add vanilla and lemon zest. Sift in flour and cornstarch and mix until fully combined, scraping the bowl. Form dough into small balls, about 1 Tbsp. dough per ball. Place on a metal baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and squish them slightly with a fork to get the ridged look. Bake for 20 minutes.

In the mean time, stir together the butter, confectioners sugar and lemon juice for the filling. If the filling seems too wet add some more confectioners sugar or place in the refrigerator to harden.

When the cookies are done allow them to cool for about 15 minutes. After that, frost the cookies on the flat side and cover with another to make small sandwhiches.

My filling came out very wet and when I used it on the cookies it gooped out everywhere. I think I may have accidentally added in a bit too much butter, or perhaps I had a much too juicy lemon. The cookies were very good though, and they looked pretty, so I think it was rather successful!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lab Diagnostics FTW!!!

Today is Lab Diagnostics day. Every Tuesday afternoon Max and I go to our lab, listen to a lecture on blood, urine, etc. and then perform the tasks they require us to do. It is a very satisfying class because it proves that you actually know something concrete. Last semester I was convinced that our Clinical Pathology course would do that, alas, Clin Path only confused and befuddled me. So when I heard we had Lab Diagnostics I was minorly horrified, sure I was doomed to another semester of feeling like an idiot. Happily this is not the case. Lab Diagnostics is all about seeing, doing and understanding. Not memorizing and interpreting strange blood data sheets. I get to apply things and it helps me learn what I need to know for this class and it helps me learn what I should have learned last semester. Today is a relatively short lecture and then we have to stain a slide, do a CBC, and do microhematocrit and total protein. I learned how to do all of that when I was in undergrad, so hopefully we will get out early and I can get some extra things done this that pesky surgery reading I have had to put off, or that Medicine homework that needs doing, or....well you get the idea.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Recipe Number One: Healthy Cornbread

Recipe number one of my fall baking fun is done. This recipe is simple, low calorie, and a great side dish for chili or with cottage cheese (yeah I know I'm weird). If you haven't read the rest of my blog, you should know that I am trying to be healthier (aka: Lose weight, build muscle). However, just because you are trying to lose weight doesn't mean you can't enjoy your favorite foods. Sometimes you just have to modify, or eat your sinful desire and move on. Cornbread is one of the things I find I can modify and still enjoy. This recipe came from I only modified one thing and that was that I changed the plain non-fat yogurt to vanilla non-fat yogurt. I feel the vanilla yogurt makes it a bit sweeter, which I like better. So here it is, next week the recipe will be a bit more sinful.

Healthy Cornbread

1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup vanilla non-fat yogurt
2 eggs, beaten


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8x8 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, sugar, soda and salt. Stir in yogurt and eggs. Do not over mix, stir only until well blended, make sure you scrape the bowl. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the bread passes the toothpick test.

This recipe would also be great spread with honey, or dried and used for cornbread stuffing. It doesn't have much moisture, so if you don't want it to dry out cover it well. Or you can always call Dr. Horrible's friend Moist.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Pirates of the Periosteum!!!

It's Friday!!! And not just any old Friday, it's the Friday before Labor Day! Which means 3 days of freedom!!! Not only that but last night was the Shaft party for the first year vet students!!! It was so much fun, and things got really wild. See every first year class at K-State has their first test over all the bones in the body of the dog. It's not just the bones though. Every small tubercle or indentation in a bone, every tiny hole in the skull, has a specific name. So you end up having to memorize about 300-400 names and locations in 2 weeks. It's the right of passage to the K-State vet school. SO after the bones test the second years throw a huge party for the first years, with free alcohol, food, and dancing. The party is always an anatomy or a bone theme so this year we had Pirates of the Periosteum. There were a lot of pirate costumes and drinks featuring rum and tropical flavors. It was a really great theme!

Anyways, all the classes are invited to Shaft, and this year we had a great turn out! Our first year was a bit sparse on third year students. Our class (third year) has a reputation for being a party class and we didn't disappoint. I think the majority of our class was there, and on the dance floor, all night. In addition, when the lights came up at 1:00 a.m. We were the people straggling out last, as most of the first years had already been whisked away by the designated drivers.

I was really excited to go to Shaft. In addition to having a great time, I also got to actually see and talk to my other friends in the sophomore class. I was the designated driver (by choice) so I had 1.5 beers while my friends were eating dinner and then we hit the dance floor. We danced and sang along to the songs, but as people became progressively more tipsy the drinks started spilling, and so did the people! Soon there were puddles of fruity smelling mixed drinks all over the place. People tried to mop them up with excess napkins, but unfortunately this was woefully inadequate. Soon people were sliding and falling all over the place. Half way through the music stopped and the floor was mopped, but it really made no difference as people were now so inebriated the floor was pretty much made wet and fruity 5 minutes after the music started up again. Thank goodness I didn't fall.

Eventually the last song was played and we had to leave. Luckily Aggieville was open until 2:00 a.m. So after dividing up we drove over went dancing at Kite's. We didn't last long as Adrial, Jenna and I were all pretty tired. Not to mention there were loads of creepers at the bar. So at 1:30 we called it good and went to Jimmy John's to get sandwiches. I snagged a table while the girls ordered, and watched the other patrons throwing food at their adjoining table of friends. Finally the food was ready, and we were soon in the car and on our way home.

By 2:00 I was beat. The girls stayed up to eat their sandwiches and watch TV. I said goodnight, took my hair down, washed the makeup from my face, and threw my drink besmattered dress into the laundry pile. Comfy and warm in my pjs I fell quickly and happily asleep.

P.S. There were actually quite a lot of misadventures and funny stories from this night. I decided, however, not to post them, in honor of the not so innocent. ;)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bake Me A Cake As Fast As You Can!!!

I have never made a strawberry cake before. So when one of my friends asked me to bake her a cake, and she mentioned she liked strawberry I though it would be a good experience. I found the main recipe on and modified it ever so slightly. The results were pretty good! The cake was moist and sweet and the ganache was well balanced. I also added some dipped chocolate strawberries, and of course, rainbow sprinkles. For what dessert could be complete without the rainbow sprinkles? (Ok, maybe a few, but it makes things so much more fun!)

Super Strawberry Cake with Chocolate Ganche

2 cups white sugar
1 (3 oz) package of strawberry gelatin
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs, room temperature
2 3/4 cups cake flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup of strawberry milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1/2 cup of strawberry jam or preserves + extra

9 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour* two 9 inch round cake pans.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and dry strawberry gelatin until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Combine the flour and baking powder; stir into the batter alternately with the milk. Blend in vanilla and strawberry jam. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 30-50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a small knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in their pans for at least 10 minutes, before removing to cool completely.

In the mean time prepare the ganache. Chop or break the chocolate into a small-medium bowl. Place the heavy cream in a small sauce pan and heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate. Stir until the cram and chocolate come together and the mixture looks shiny. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

When the cakes have cooled, place one on a large plate (The plate should be large enough to to hold the cake and contain any extra ganache which flows down the side of the cake). Spread the top with a thin layer of strawberry jam. Place the second cake layer on top of the first. After the ganache has cooled pour it slowly over the cake starting in the middle and allowing it to spread out and over the sides of the cake. Add sprinkles. When the cake has cooled place the strawberries around the edge and in the center.

* When baking, if you need to dust a pan for something sweet, like a cake, you can use powdered sugar instead.