Monthly Archives: May 2010

Foodie Friday: starring the salad!

Is there anything more beautiful than this salad, a rainbow of colors and tastes? Arranging it in layers on a platter is a great way to make your salad the star of a meal. This is a salad Niçoise, which generally includes tuna, potatoes, green beans and egg. If you look closely you can see the anchovies – I avoided them. You can find a recipe for salad Niçoise on about any website and I’m not sure if this one was made from a real recipe or thrown together on the fly (it was courtesy of my mom). Here is a nice one from epicurious. Enjoy all your Memorial Day festivities!  



[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=pizza&iid=285163″ src=”0281/23f5a958-92b7-4094-a30a-d0818d26e4a2.jpg?adImageId=12984575&imageId=285163″ width=”380″ height=”253″ /]If I want a pizza delivered, I can go online, choose my toppings and pay. The pizza (delivery person) will show up at my house. If I want to talk to another doctor about a patient, while I’m eating my pizza for lunch, there seems to be a bit of an issue. The other day I was using my “lunch” to catch up on some calls and paperwork and tried to reach a few people. One doctor’s office was closed for lunch. “Call back at 1:30 during regular business hours,” the voice told me. But at 1:30 I’ll be back in the exam room with patients. Maybe the doctor I want to reach is sitting at his/her desk, also eating pizza, and would be very happy to talk with me, but I can’t get through. Another goes to an answering service. “Is this an emergency?” Well, no, but if I want to reach this doctor before or after hours or at lunch, what do I have to do? Another doctor’s office asks me to “leave a message and a member of our care team will return your call.” No way to get to a live person. I know patients have to jump through these hoops all the time and it really seems like a waste of time all around. Let me assure you that I’ve run into my share of bureaucratic nightmares negotiating my own healthcare. It doesn’t matter to Insurer X or Pharmacy Y that I’m a doctor. Not that I tell them, but I like to think I know the right info to give to get the answers I need. In the age of technology, is customer service dead? Something to ponder while eating your pizza . . .

Paging Dr. Feline . . .

Sometimes the internet is so random. Last week I saw the following on Twitter from Dr. Ves:

Why Cats Are Not Employed As Doctors (scroll to the end of the post) 4:36 PM May 19th via web

This took me to the website of Francesco Marciuliano (link above) where I read this:

Why Cats Are Not Employed As Doctors
• Valuable minutes lost in surgery as doctor furiously paws at nearby fly.
• While informing patient’s family of their loss, doctor suddenly loses interest and walks off.
• In bid to become chief surgeon, doctor scent-marks entire hospital.
• Doctor refuses to respond to own name during code blue.
• Staff grows increasingly alarmed as doctor runs up and down hallway for no apparent reason.
• Sensing colleagues’ growing dissatisfaction with his work, doctor curls up against a radiator and goes to sleep.
• Doctor raises hackles and bares teeth whenever new interns are introduced.
• Doctor loses medical license after licking self, instruments clean.

It is cute and funny and I kept thinking about those reasons and giggling to myself. You see, I don’t own a cat. I don’t really consider myself a “cat person,” but I have a good friend who is, in fact, a cat. His name is Mitchell and he has some odd habits. I think he was embarrassed that I captured one of them on film, but luckily he does not read this blog. Last week Mitchell’s doctor told him that he is officially a “senior” cat and he’s having some trouble dealing with that. At any rate, when I read those reasons why cats are not employed as doctors, I kept picturing Mitchell and I’m still laughing. Hope all those who do consider themselves “cat people” like it too.

Foodie Friday: Cheap foodie gift.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=grocery+bag&iid=5256087″ src=”1/6/b/a/Elevated_view_of_af87.jpg?adImageId=12801938&imageId=5256087″ width=”380″ height=”380″ /]I fully realize that many of you will probably read this and say “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard!” But here goes . . .

Mother’s Day weekend I was grocery shopping with my mom and she pulled out a whole stash of those store-logo reusable shopping bags all the stores sell these days. However, closer inspection revealed that these were bags from stores I didn’t recognize or stores from out of the area. She told me that when she goes to visit friends in other states she picks up a bag from the local grocery. Or sometimes one of her friends will send her one with a gift. That way, each time she grocery shops she can smile when she sees Fresh Market or Food Lion or Meijer or Kroger with memories of friends visited or placed lived.

Are you saying stupid yet? If not, then you’re probably like me. You think going to unfamiliar grocery stores is cool and fun. Seeing all those brands you don’t have at home, going to different gourmet stores with local specialties. Of course, the small independent places are the most fun. I think a nice foodie gift would be to then fill that bag with ingredients for a meal and use the bag as your eco-friendly packaging.

Foodie Friday: FIESTA!

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=mexican+food&iid=208888″ src=”0205/faa8cfab-6c27-4ae4-8df5-648fc6e15525.jpg?adImageId=12801594&imageId=208888″ width=”380″ height=”251″ /]OK, so I’m a little late on the Cinco de Mayo theme, but I recently listened to an archived podcast and my taste buds are now craving some authentic Mexican food. The podcast is from one of my favorite NPR shows, The Splendid Table. The 2/27/10 episode was a recap of an expedition to Mexico City (emphasis on pre-Hispanic cuisine). Wow. Just wow. If you are a foodie this is a must-listen and is free on itunes. Warning: do not listen on an empty stomach. I was driving and all I had was a banana and a water. In the Boston area, my favorite place for real Mexican food is Tu Y Yo. I posted about it back in January. Can’t believe it’s been that long since I ate there. Must remedy that soon! And maybe one of these days I’ll actually try the grasshoppers.

What’s in your water?

If you live in the New England area, you may have heard about the recent report on Cape Cod drinking water. From the article on Boston Health News,

Septic systems are the most likely source for most of the 18 chemicals detected, which include nine pharmaceuticals, an insect repellent, halogenated organophosphate flame retardants and perfluorinated chemicals.  The two most frequently detected chemicals were sulfamethoxazole, an antibiotic commonly used to treat urinary tract infections and pneumonia, and PFOS, used in stain-resistant and nonstick coatings, as well as fire-fighting foams.  Levels of these compounds were among the highest reported in US drinking water, except in a few cases of industrial contamination.  The widespread presence of antibiotics has raised the possibility of promoting development of antibiotic-resistant pathogens.  PFOS and the related compound PFOA, which was also detected in this study, are hormone disrupting compounds that have been associated at higher exposure levels with effects on the thyroid, mammary gland, cholesterol metabolism, immune system, cancer, and growth and development.

This seems like a good time to remind ourselves not to flush medications or put them down the sink. I previously discussed how to dispose of medications. Photo credit: me, from my favorite Cape Cod beach!

Sleep More Eat Less

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=sleep&iid=300458″ src=”0297/bcca01c9-e38c-41a9-84ae-a0d07a715029.jpg?adImageId=12802708&imageId=300458″ width=”319″ height=”480″ /]A friend suggested I post something about the link between sleep deprivation and eating. Luckily I don’t have to write anything original since the Well blog recently did an article. Here’s the link: