Monthly Archives: February 2010

Foodie Friday: salad bar salute

There hasn’t been much at-home food experimentation happening around here. Since I have been rounding at the hospital every day I usually get a salad from the hospital cafeteria salad bar. They have had some really great ingredients lately, like lentils, quinoa pilaf, sliced jicama, marinated mushrooms, hard-boiled eggs, hummus, roasted asparagus and sunflower seeds. There were some incredible salads this month! Adding all these toppings to a bed of fresh greens, topped with some EVOO and vinegar, easily keeps me full for the rest of the afternoon. Every once in a while I try to re-create this at home and bring one of these fantastic salad bar salads to work when I’m in the office all day.

Hoping to be back next Friday with some good home cookin’. The latest issue of Cooks Illustrated is calling . . .


Can I donate blood?

Recently a patient told me she was disqualified from donating blood due to Rheumatoid Arthritis. I had never heard such a thing and got to work emailing the Red Cross and searching the website. Lots of good information on eligibility requirements can be found HERE. As long as a patient with a chronic illness is not on any prohibited medications and his/her disease is under good control, there is no contraindication to blood donation. There is quite a bit of information on the website regarding medical conditions, medications and travel. If you have any questions, I encourage you to spend some time on the site. I also received an email from a Red Cross Medical Officer, who informed me that a diagnosis of RA or SLE on its own would not prohibit someone from donating blood. So go ahead and give blood if you’d like. The photo above? That’s the lobby of my hospital last week during a blood drive. Sometimes you need a visual reminder that you wanted to get a blog post up!

“Eyes and ears and mouth and nose”

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Winter colds and flu are still in full swing around here, so a couple blog posts I read this week caught my eye. The first is a discussion of zinc cold remedies. I’ve never used these or recommended them to patients. They probably are not helpful and may actually be harmful, potentially causing anosmia (lack of smell). From the blog post,

Of more significance is the safety profile for intranasal zinc gluconate, the key ingredient in nasal sprays/gels, such as Zicam. One study coined the term “zinc-induced anosmia syndrome,” characterized by burning and anosmia. It described a series of patients, all of whom reported sniffing deeply with gel application, followed by anosmia within hours.

The second post was about ear candling meant to remove wax.  Why is this something you can have done at a medieval festival? That’s where I’ve seen it before. The potential injury from ear candling can come from hot wax burning ears or punctured ear drums from inserting the cones. The saying “Don’t stick anything in your ear smaller than your elbow” probably holds true here.

Hoping that your winter colds pass quickly with rest, fluids and chicken soup!

Biting Bedbugs

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More info here on the NYU Blog. Ewwwwwwww.

Foodie Friday: winning lentils

I entered the super breakfast bowl challenge last week and my lentil recipe was featured! This was a total throw-together mix of lentils, onion and pear. I knew I wanted to do a lentil patty and I liked the idea of making it sweet with a really ripe pear and the cinnamon seasoning. I’m not sure it made really good patties. This isn’t something I’ve done before so if I do it again I need to play with the consistency of the patty. It tasted really good, though. Find the recipe here and these are some additional photos:

Doctors’ Lounge Memories

Reading Dr. Arora’s recent post on the disappearance of the doctors’ lounge sent me into a spiral of reminiscence from which I’m only just emerging. I fear this little trip down memory lane has been a major burden on the senior resident rotating with me this month on Rheumatology, as the phrase, “When I was a resident . . . ” has passed my lips much too frequently for my liking! However, Dr. Arora brings up some excellent points. Where HAVE all the doctors’ lounges gone? I haven’t seen one in years. I take that back. I did spend some time in a Chicago area hospital waiting for my friend to finish rounding. The lounge was lovely.  At my current hospital the doctors’ lounge is in a deep corner of the basement and I haven’t actually seen another person there unless the space was used for computer training.

Recalling all the various hospital haunts since starting medical school really did put a smile on my face. There was the medical student lounge, in the hospital where I eventually did my residency, that we shared with the chaplain residents. A few late night discussions certainly were held there! At the Level 1 Trauma Center the call rooms were on the top floor, with the student rooms just steps from the helicopter ramp. If you even got a chance to lie down, you had dreams of a helicopter landing on your head, then were jolted awake as the gurney rattled down the ramp. Our resident lounge did nothing for the waistline, as 2am carb cravings could be easily satisfied with a bounty of packaged snacks. Some Oreos, a chocolate milk, a hot blanket from the unit and a cushy recliner. That was a call night ritual too many times to admit.

Several of the hospitals where I rotated or worked had doctors’ dining rooms in the cafeteria. I agree with Dr. Arora’s impression of this area,

a lot of important business took place in that room that advanced patient care. After all, it was a place where you may run into the Infectious Disease consult resident and beg them for approval for the superdrug that would treat your patient’s superbug. Better yet, the “curbside” where you could feel like you weren’t adding to cardiology fellow’s workday but still get some guidance on whether you were reading and treating the rhythm strip correctly.

I miss these shared areas. Places where colleagues whose regular workdays might not cross paths could sit down together and make connections. These days, opportunities like this are few and far between. However, just this weekend, a quiet Valentine’s Day seeing consults, I had a few quick non-medical chats with some colleagues doing the same. It took a Sunday morning in the hospital to finally sit down and talk to the doc whose office is down the hall from mine. While I am loving this journey into social media and the virtual community, I wonder where the actual community has gone?

Foodie Friday: old lady lunch

Last weekend was my grandmother’s 93rd birthday party. She didn’t have too many tips to offer up when asked how one goes about becoming a nonagenarian. Much like many of her generation, she is of the “red meat and potatoes are for dinner” persuasion. She’s pretty sharp, loves her crossword puzzles, reading and watching “Survivor,” though she gave up on “Lost” because it got too confusing to follow. (I’d have to say that has nothing to do with being 93)! She was a RN who worked for years in the operating room and also was a nursing school instructor. The luncheon we held wasn’t fancy but highlighted grandma’s favorite comfort foods. As the host, I was pretty busy and forgot to take pictures of most of the food, but for today’s Foodie Friday I thought I’d share the menu and a few of the photo highlights:

Appetizers: Salmon mouse on potato chips (!!!) with chives, Spicy Pimento Cheese Dip with veggies and gluten-free crackers

Main Course: Honeybaked Ham! They certify a gluten-free glaze.

Sides: Homemade baked beans (beans were soaked in water and baking soda overnight which reportedly decreases some of the “effects” of beans, but the general consensus was this did not really help), bubbly and browned scalloped potatoes, cole slaw, a gorgeous antipasti, dinner rolls.

Dessert: Bakery cake with whipped cream and strawberries, gluten-free Texas sheet cake, white chocolate lime cookies baked by Hangry Pants and won in the blogger bake sale!

Wine: A delightful dry rose of sangiovese from Alexander Valley Vineyards

OK, I’m really hungry now remembering how great everything tasted. Many thanks to all the relatives who brought such wonderful food!