Well, you wouldn't know it by looking outside. We've had a few
really nice days, but it's expected to be in the 50s one day this
week. It's almost April! What is going on? I know everybody up in
the Midwest has had snow. I just keep looking out the door
bewildered and checking the Weather Channel on my phone. I never
know what it's going to be! Bundle-up or flip-flops, or my personal
favorite, blue toes in flip-flops? We just take it day by
I thought for sure that I'd make it outside for something this
weekend, but it didn't happen. I did, however, make a cameo at the
Gluten Free Expo at the St. Petersburg Coliseum. Grey and I showed
up about an hour before it was over, wondering if they'd have some
great speaker at the last minute or some new revolutionary
products. There were, of course, TONS of giveaways and coupons and
brochures. I did grab a few business cards from vendors and talked
to a health coach while I was there.
I must say, though, that I was disappointed. While I'm grateful
that I now have free snack fodder for the boys' lunches for the
next month plus, I'm not sure how healthy it all is. There's just
so much processing going into gluten-free products these days.
Nothing they were giving away or selling was anywhere near simple
or resembling anything homemade.
I talked to a baker about Paleo cooking. She said that the
biggest problem for them was cutting out the sugar. She wanted to
substitute Stevia--which in some Paleo circles is forbidden (no
artificial sugars or regular sugars). Although I'm not sure what
other ingredients she was going to substitute, the sugar, I think,
was the least of their worries.
In Diet and Nutrition, Dr. S has been teaching us all the
pathways and extolling the dangers of grains, sugars, and
indirectly, processing. We've linked all these starches, Omega 6s,
and sugars to everything from heart disease to Alzheimer's. Of
course that doesn't make it all so easy to give up, but the
argument is getting more and more persuasive. So I have to
think--just because something is gluten-free, that doesn't make it
healthy. Whether it's the canola oil, the high fructose corn syrup,
or the ingredient that I can only dissect with a piece of paper and
a chemistry textbook, it may still be gluten-free, but it's also a
science/health experiment. I know for a fact, that gluten-free can
still be simple. The more ingredients, the more likely that there
might be a problem, and that doesn't work for anyone.
I'm beginning to explore the ins and outs of the Paleo diet and
trying to marry it with my own sense of nutrition. I suspect I'll
be more restrictive in many ways than what the standards are. I
still can't see/justify eating huge amounts of bacon. Something
just doesn't seem right about that. I'm not sure whether it's the
huge amounts of fat, the salt, or the nitrates. Yes, I know that
all of those are available nitrate-free, but last time I
checked--we were all students, yes?--I also know that I will never
eat beef or eggs again. I think there has got to be a way to
balance nutrition and our evolutionary developments with the limbic
system. Otherwise, we'll all end up eating only 35 cups of Romaine
lettuce with steaks wrapped in bacon. And between you and me, none
of that sounds all that appetizing.
Last but certainly not least, I want to congratulate everyone on
making it through midterms. We finally had our last one on
Thursday. I'll spare you all the drama involved, but I know we are
all extremely glad that that is over. I want to offer Dr. Ott my
undying gratitude for being, perhaps, the coolest-headed professor
I've ever come across. I must find for you, Dr, Ott, 5 million gold
toilet stickers. You deserve them. (And if you want to know the
story about the gold toilet stickers, you can email me).
Everyone also deserves congratulations for making it through
Mercury retrograde. Thankfully, Mercury went direct on St. Patty's
Day--and not a moment too soon. I was tired of fixing everything,
fighting and mediating fights, and just generally being in a
Happy First Full Week of Spring to everyone and Happy Easter,
Ostara and a Blessed Passover to all who celebrate.
This week's pictures are from Lake Maggiore--which is not far
from my house. I was hoping to get some gators in there, but it was
a bit too cloudy. If you enter through Boyd Hill and take the
trails, I PROMISE you'll see some BIG gators. To my classmate
Lauren, here's where you (don't) want to go. :)
It's been unseasonably cold here for the last several days. I
know; I know. For those of you that live in the "Great White North"
(any place above Orlando, pretty much), you'd think this was a
picnic. But for those of us that have been down here long enough to
have "thin blood", it's freezing.
When I think back to when I was a kid--we'd go outside in 3+
feet of snow barefoot. I can't even imagine doing anything like
that now. Now it becomes parka weather when it's below 60. I take
solace in knowing what the weather will be like next weekend (at
least the predictions) and also that I've had to be inside studying
for midterms--so it's not like I've missed anything. Next weekend
will be a different story--a welcome break in between sets of
exams. Ahhh. Yes. Thank You.
I've admittedly been having a tough week. Trials and
tribulations with my own issues as well as issues "back home". We
all hope and work for the best, but sometimes it doesn't happen
that way. We do what we can and try to remind ourselves that it's
all going to be OK. I was writing that on the chalkboards in some
of the classrooms. It's not just midterms and finals that stress us
out. I don't know how many pep talks I've given over the last 2
weeks, but I'm extremely grateful for the ones I've received. A
special thanks to Super Vito. I'm gonna make you a cape, my
It's a rarity that any of us come through this unscathed.
Whether it's a health issue, a break up, a family member, a new
relationship, a child, or any number of other reasons--there are
more than enough things to distract us from what we're trying to
do. Sometimes it's hard to keep those priorities straight.
Sometimes all of those other things take priority over school.
Above all, it comes down to taking care of ourselves. It's a new
thing for me to stop and take a step back when I'm reaching my
breaking point. I'm still working on that.
The most important thing to remember, when I'm NOT coming
through unscathed, is to be a little gentle with myself. Forgive
myself. Take care of myself. It really does make all the
Our pictures today are of the St. Pete Pier--from either
direction. The pier building itself is set to be demolished
sometime soon. It's been an icon of the town for decades. I've seen
the designs for its replacement. It's interesting--somewhere
between the Jetsons, the Sydney Opera house and tinker toys--but
I'm going to reserve final judgment for when it's all done. We
shall see. If you're around town for the 4th of
July, they usually do an AMAZING fireworks show over the pier and
on either side of it. Of course, I know the best spots to watch
it--without being stuck in all the traffic. But those are pics and
stories for a different day.
Study hard, folks. But most importantly, remember what's
important. Only you can decide that.
If I sit there quietly, for long enough, they'll forget that I'm
there and walk right up to me. Only disrupted by the errant
passers-by, the herons and gulls wander around the beach, picking
at freshly washed up scallops and bubbles in the sand. Snowbirds
randomly dot the shores baking themselves in the sun and the cutest
elderly couples hold hands, while wearing lovely straw hats and
Bermuda shorts (they must be locals!).
I'm forever grateful for having MLK day off. Perhaps that's not
what it was intended for, but days off during the tri are few and
far between. It's an opportunity to stretch out the weekend study
schedule (just a wee bit) and give a last hurrah to guiltless
goofing off. I chose to spend just a little bit of time at the
beach. It's a good place to clear the head, reconnect, write a
little bit, and try to catch up on the Vitamin D. For near-albinos
like myself, only a few minutes will do, as many more gets me
extra-crispy (with or without sunscreen). I have a nice rosy glow
at the moment, as time got away from me and I spent about an hour
out there (yikes!).
I try to make it a point to never take study materials with me
to the beach. Some might think it'd be great to study there, but
I've found it extremely important to keep at least one "space"
sacred. That's one of mine.
This week, even though it's a "short" week, there's a "quest"
(that's a cross between a quiz and a test) in Cardio-Respiratory
Physiology, and another of those scary diagram quizzes (I hope this
one is as enlightening as the other was!) in Nutrition. I can't say
I'm really looking forward to either one, but the whole studying
process is when it all starts to make sense to me, the pieces of
the puzzle come together, and all the links begin to form.
I look forward to solving many, MANY more puzzles over the next
13 weeks. It'll be over before I know it. Right now, it's a matter
of putting the pieces together. Somehow I think the 5,000-piece
puzzles will be easier (and less fun), than this.
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
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