Do Not Resuscitate

I’m currently sitting in the hospital in charge of taking new oncology admissions, hoping right along with all the cancer patients that none of them get sick tonight. I just finished tucking in a young man with a terrible disease, here simply because he is too sick to exist in the comfort of his home. He has a rare cancer that is metastatic (meaning spread outside it’s starting place). And it’s metastatic EVERYWHERE. Bones, liver, kidneys, stomach, even huge skin nodules so he has a visual reminder of how fast the disease is taking him over. I discussed with him the nature of his disease and what his goals might be – did he want our invasive chest compressions and breathing tube if his heart gives up while he is here?

I was just reading a couple of doctor blogs I like, Reflections of a Grady Doctor and Everything Health, and I came across this poem from JAMA, actually written by a doctor I know. It really reflects what it feels like to discuss this with patients and I thought I would share:


Say a thank you for your health!


Matt Nathanson and Mac N Cheese

Last night I attended Nashville’s Live on the Green with one of my co-residents and some other friends.  It was a great night of free music (The Mowgli’s and Matt Nathanson – it’s fun to work out to his song Modern Love!), dancing, raspberry Hefeweizen, and food trucks.  I have lived in Nashville for over a year now – my first experience in the south – and have yet to try chicken and waffles.  Well, I ate it last night.  I ATE it.  It was serious.  Hot chicken on a raspberry wedding cake flavored waffle.  Ridiculous. And ridiculously good.   I tried to take a picture, but I didn’t remember until I had stuffed my face and an empty, greasy plate does not make a very exciting photo.  Not exactly healthy – but it was my off day so I enjoyed it!

Two residents out on the town

Two residents just out on the town

Today I tried to make up for it with a decently healthy day.  Breakfast was a wheat bagel with almond butter and a fruit cup.  Lunch was catered at work (free food is our only perk).  I had a garden salad and a veggie sub on wheat with Dijon mustard.  Dinner was an experiment in healthy mac and cheese with zucchini chips on the side.  I couldn’t even tell the difference from the real stuff.  (However, I must admit that ever since I was a kid I prefer the cartoon character macaroni over the regular noodles – my theory is it has more surface area to hold cheese?).  Peaches were dessert!

Lightened up Greek Mac n Cheese


 Boil one box of whole grain Kraft macaroni and cheese (about 6 – 7 minutes).  Mix in one cup of Oikos plain greek yogurt and the cheese mix or 3/4 c reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese.  So easy, so creamy, and so much better than butter!

I’m headed for a late night circuit work out.  I’ve been saving the newest episode of Project Runway for this so I’m kind of excited.  Not exactly a crazy Friday night, but I have to work a night shift tomorrow.  Bummer.    I’ll post the work out and a review tomorrow!

Le Baie Parfait


I don’t actually know French, I typed “berry” into a French translator for a fancier title.

There are not very many good excuses for not eating breakfast (unless you skip it for brunch of course) and the parfait I had today takes exactly 2 minutes to make! I used the following ingredients:

Le Baie Parfait
– 1/2 cup frozen berries, heated in the mic for 90 sec
– Kroger CarbMaster white chocolate raspberry yogurt
Nature’s Path Coconut Chia Seed Granola ( I got this on sale, but usually I use reg granola and mix in chia seeds to get my omegas!)

Keep it in the fridge awhile and the granola and heated berries turn into this chunky mixture that makes me feel like I’m eating a piece of pie!

Make breakfast a habit… It’s been shown over and over again to reduce risk for heart disease and to reduce your risk of diabetes and obesity, specifically abdominal obesity (no one wants that!). And bonus- it dosen’t even matter what dietary qualities the breakfast has- just eat one! Check out the linked studies for more info.



Today is a celebration! Not only is it my very first blog post, but it’s also the day after my last 30 hour call in the ICU (at least for the next month or so)! This was my first ICU “block” as an upper-level resident. I survived it, but I will tell you that however terrible you are imaging that it must be to work for 30 straight hours… it is worse. Especially when you are alone in the middle of the night managing VERY sick patients and you don’t realize you tucked your scrub top into your underwear and you accidentally put your hand in somone’s pee and you can’t see through the contact lenses you put in 19 hours ago. Code Blue! Ah!

I would say that the main components of a healthy lifestyle and happiness are diet, exercise, and sleep. It is near impossible to do any of those during a thirty hour shift. I’m sure many other people work odd or less than ideal hours, and it’s one of the main excuses I hear for less than healthy habits. Here are a few things I did in the last 30 hours to combat this the best I could:

1. Pack my meals. This way I can wake up at the last possible moment the day of my shift and I don’t have any excuse to go to the cafeteria for curly fries (although I would be lying if I said I didn’t do that last week). Last night my arsenal included veggies with hummus, a broccoli slaw salad (broccoli slaw, sunflower seeds, cranberries, and feta cheese), apples, peaches, greek yogurt, odwalla bars, popcorn, and some quinoa bites (below) I made the night before. I try to bring things I can eat quickly or while doing other work, but still pack some protein, fiber, and/or energy to keep me going!


Quinoa Pizza Bites – recipe soon!

2. Take the stairs. I try to NEVER take the elevator. Make it a rule. If I have some downtime, I even go up and down just to get the blood pumping (CRaZy, right?!).

3. Drink H2O. Dehydration is the easiest way to make yourself tired and irritable. I am not a good water drinker, but I do love myself a straw. I just put the water in front of me with the straw in my mouth. You don’t even have to stop typing to be able to take a sip!
Even mild dehydration can cause decreased oxygen supply to your muscles and brain. This study shows that even losing less than 3% of your total body water can cause worsening of your mood, the perception that tasks are more difficult, lower concentration, and headache symptoms.

4. Planning ahead. I know I’ll be tired when I finally get home, but I don’t want to just lay in bed all day and miss a work out. So I tell myself exactly what workout I’ll do that day and I lay out an outfit beside my bed. When my naptime alarm goes off, I see it and it helps me get up and at ‘em!

5. Bring a toothbrush. It’s just necessary. And I guess dental health is important too!