Tag Archives: University

Finals: Survival Mode

First of all, I just want to thank you all for the sweet comments on my last post. Y’all are truly the best.

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You know that biochemistry lab I have been bitching about for the last 9 weeks? Well, it is finally over. Completely. No more labs. No more lab reports. No more mid-protein-assay break downs. No more quizzes. And no more final.

I had so much anxiety about the final that it caused me to stress eat. Stress eating is something that I think is very common amongst women (especially school-aged), and is even more prevalent around midterms and finals. However, I usually don’t have much of a problem with it. I’ve found that if you fill up on mostly balanced and nutritious foods during the day, you don’t really have all that much room to cram in froyo, cookies, and brownie bars. But this lab final bypassed all that logic and sensibility and had me scouring our kitchen for anything with a 6 carbon chain and a hydroxyl group on the end. (AKA sugaaaaaa.) After a day or two of that, enough was enough. I decided to make something that was sweet, but actually satisfying and healthy to boot. And thus, the personal blueberry pie was born.

Comfort food at its best

This little pie is sugar free, made from whole grains, and packs a punch of antioxidants. Sweet and delicious. Best of all, it can be made in under 5 minutes flat, if you want. The blubes burst in the microwave (or oven) and soak the granola and coconut in sweet blueberry juice. [Since it is sugar free, all you bloggers who are doing Alex’s sugar free challenge can feel free to imbibe in this lil’ beauty!]

5 ingredients – say whattt?!

Personal Vanilla Blueberry Pie

suga free and supa easy.

Recipe: Serves 1

3/4 cup blueberries (I am obsessed with Rhythm and Blueberries, if you’re local!)

2 tbsp plain greek yogurt

4-5 drops vanilla NuNaturals stevia (or regular stevia + a few drops vanilla extract)

2 tbsp Love Grown Granola + 2 tbsp high fiber cereal (I used Fiber One Honey Clusters)

1-2 tbsp unsweetened coconut shreds

pinch salt

Directions – In a bowl, combine the blueberries, greek yogurt, stevia, and salt. Mix well. Scrape into a small ramekin. Top with granola, cereal, and coconut. To cook, either microwave for 1 minute (or until the blueberries have burst) or bake at 350 for about 8-10 minutes. Enjoy with a dollop of whipped cream!

my precious… 

Benefits:

Blueberries * have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of all fruits and veggies. Their anthocyanidins counteract free radicals, which damage cells and tissues. One study demonstrated that blueberries improve memory and learning capacity in aging animals. They also protect against all forms of cancer, especially colon and ovarian cancer.

Oats * A prime source of soluble fiber which has been proven to help lower total cholesterol levels. They also contain a unique antioxidant called avenanthramides which prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. This is good because the oxidation of LDL cholesterol is part of the atherosclerosis process. Basically, oats help prevent heart disease. They also contain selenium, potassium, phosphorous, pantothenic acid, and magnesium.

[source]

I have been meaning to do a review of Love Grown Food’s granola for ages now. They kindly sent me two flavors: Raisin Almond Crunch and Sweet Cranberry Pecan. Honestly, both were so good that this was the only recipe I was able to make with them before my housemates polished it all off! I am not usually a big granola fan, but Love Grown’s texture is really different – in a great way. It is very crunchy and light. And they don’t skimp on the goods, which is both rare and awesome. There are giant coconut flakes in every bite and each flavor had plenty of cranberries, raisins, and nuts. To top it all off, they don’t add any artificial flavors, HFCS or hydrogenated fats (blech) to their products. Definitely a fabulous granola.

Rockin’ the scrubs

The weekend has arrived! This week was incredibly hectic, but very rewarding. I began my internship at the fertility center on Wednesday. I have a very good feeling about it, and I am fully aware and prepared to do lots of filing and notsofun stuff. My feeling is that even if 80% of what I am doing is essentially busy work, as long as the other 20% leaves me feeling fulfilled and/or  like I have learned something, then it is completely worth it.

First day jitters

On my first day, one of the nurses gave me a tour and I was able to see the ultrasound rooms, the cryogenic freezer, the surgical rooms, the sperm donation room……and the room where embryos are literally made! The embryologist showed me the microscope that she works under to artificially inseminate the donor egg. It is attached to a TV screen so I will get to watch her make babies some time! I spent the rest of the time alphabetizing charts and paperwork, but even that was interesting. When I got home, I was ravenous and made a delicious dinner and dessert…

New Zealand lamb sliders on a whole wheat bun with Lori’s goat cheese brussel sprouts.

You have to make these brussels. The recipe could literally make dirt taste good. I only made one alteration because I didn’t have any juice, which for me is a huge deal seeing as I usually butcher recipes.

Balsamic Goat Cheese Brussel Sprouts

lots of brussel sprouts (for multiple servings)

1/2 sweet onion, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp goat cheese (I used a bit more)

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (I just drizzled it everywhere, Im not sure if I used a whole 1/4 cup)

3 tbsp orange juice pomegranate cocktail mixer (hehe)

salt & pepper

Directions – Saute the onions in olive oil until soft and add the brussel sprouts. Cook until soft. Scrape into a bowl and toss together with everything else!

Dessert was another blog recipe! I have actually made Joanne’s Boston Marathon Cookies twice. Once following her recipe religiously, and once changing it up a tad. Both ways were tasty, but my changes made them a bit more dessert-like and less snack-like.

Who knew sesame seeds in cookies would taste so delicious?

This photo is from when I made them according to the recipe. If you wish to try them the way I made them, sub coconut oil for the olive oil, skip the dates and lemon zest, and use more vanilla extract and sesame seeds.

On Thursday, I had my 8am biochemistry lab until 1. Knowing it was going to be long one, I made a hearty breakfast…

2 slices whole wheat toast, cream cheese, 4-oz smoked salmon, tomato, onion, salt

In lab, we extracted DNA from our own cheek cells, purified the lactate dehydrogenase enzyme, and then ran it through an electrophoresis gel. It sounds really fancy, but it actually wasn’t so bad. I didn’t do anything drastically wrong, but I did throw away the girl’s next to me test tube of purified product. I had to dig through the trash to get it out for her. Unfortunately, the trash was filled with saliva from other peoples cheek cell extractions…… Yum.

Afterwards I went to the fertility center, for a few hours and mostly did filing. I got to talk to the head endocrinologist the last half hour of my shift and those 30 minutes of conversation left me feeling so excited and in awe. I shouldn’t jump to any big conclusions, but MED SCHOOL kept running through my mind. As soon as I got out, I headed to the gym and did my usual weight lifting routine and followed it up with this bomb protein smoothie:

I could eat this e’eryday. 

Dark Chocolate Cherry Protein Smoothie

Recipe: serves 1

1/2 cup frozen cherries

3/4 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk

1 scoop chocolate protein powder (~25 grams protein)

ice

couple drops stevia + vanilla extract + pinch salt

Directions – Blend!

I am sorry this was more of a diary entry than a blog post. Hopefully it wasn’t too painful. I just got a package of vanilla beans in the mail (the envelope smelled of vanilla), so I’m thinkin’ sesame-vanilla bean cookies are in order!