I can't believe this week is Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving
everybody! A few of my classmates are heading out of town, up
North, over the river and through the woods, but most of us are
staying somewhat local. Those that are going up North are getting
ready to be bundled up. I understand there are record lows --
especially up in the Northeast. We're actually expecting a brisk
temperature of 66ºF on Thanksgiving. Everyone will have their
parkas and snowboots on.
Friday night was Turkey Bowl. If you've never heard of the
infamous NUHS Turkey Bowl, here's where you'll become indoctrinated
in this time-honored tradition. Students, alumni, faculty members,
and significant others launch themselves onto the football field to
non-violently duke it out to compete for (starting this year) the
Stiefel Cup [named for the president of NUHS and former dean of the
College of Professional Studies - Florida].
This year, the victors were from Tri 1 and Tri 6 (including our
own Antoinette Stewart and Lauren Domanski) and our MVPs were Dr.
Chris Arick and Danielle Spratt. It's my understanding that no
severe injuries were met and no one went to the hospital -- so it
was a good game.
We had a HUGE turnout of people! A lot of the faculty came out
-- including some professors that I haven't seen in a really long
time. I saw new students that I'd never seen before. I met spouses
and kids that I didn't know existed. It was just a really great
"family" environment. There was really amazing food provided and
the people that weren't playing just hung out. It was really cool
and made me wish that I'd gone last year. The funniest thing was to
see our professors and Assistant Dean (Dr. Daniel Strauss) don
shorts and T-shirts and blend in with all of the "kids." We really
couldn't tell the difference between them.
So, this is the last week before finals start. Next week is
practical week and the following week has all the written exams.
I'm not looking forward to either -- but I'll be really glad to
move on. I've already taken the Marketing final, the final
practical for Rehab, and the Phlebotomy written final is this week.
I'm checking off boxes and crossing things off my list (and trying
not to go crazy).
Well, that's it from me. I hope everyone has an amazing holiday
-- that you have just as much dinner as you want, just enough
family dysfunction to seem OK, and just enough tryptophan to have a
really good nap. And of course, in true medical student style --
dissect the turkey -- don't carve it.
The marketing presentation is over. I'm really glad. I was
sweating it big-time. I put a lot of work into it -- the design and
layout of the logo, the tagline, all the wording for the sample
brochure -- all of it. Even though it made last week's schedule
pretty intense with all of the other activities, now it's done and
I can watch my classmates do theirs (and enjoy them), and also
focus on other things.
So the plan for my future practice is to
be both multi-disciplinary and integrated -- where the
practitioners not only work together, but complement each other in
abilities to provide a larger scope of practice. The basic premise
is that in order to take care of the whole person, we have to
approach the whole person. So we'll have everything integrated into
the practice from seminars, movement classes, and functional
medicine to counseling, acupuncture, and herbal medicine. My idea
is to have five practitioners to start with: Chiropractic,
Naturopathic, Acupuncture, Massage, and Behavioral Medicine. I'd
like to also have an herbal compounding pharmacy on site -- in
addition to a number of nutraceuticals available.
I've also entertained some ways to expand down the road. The
addition of hyperbarics, a medicinal and natural foods café, and
inpatient care seem more than logical. I realize that they're big
and potentially lofty ambitions, BUT I think with the right team of
practitioners, we can definitely do it. Anybody want to help?
This week I have a few things due: notes from my head-to-toe
practical; my community resources listing and BETS research (I'm
working on Alzheimer's and choline -- or hoping to); and on Friday
I have my functional rehab practical. I'm so glad I'm going early
with that one as well. That REALLY frees up my week 14. There's
nothing like having a little bit of extra time to study for things
The Master's is going well. This last week it was tough to get
everything done because of the exams, presentation, and practical.
I was scrambling to get it all done by midnight on Sunday (all of
my Master's work is due by midnight Sunday). As it was, I was
falling asleep finishing the last assignment. It could have gone
better, but that's what happens when you're falling asleep
answering questions. The topics for last week were mostly gut
immunity -- which I find fascinating. I'd really like to figure out
all of the possible permutations of gut disruption -- beyond gluten
and casein, microbes, etc. Did you know that 70% of the immune
system is located in the gut? Even inhalants are partially mediated
in the gut. If you're really interested in learning more about this
-- try the Textbook for Functional Medicine -- chapter 28. While
some of the physiology is a little tedious, putting the pieces
together is pretty fascinating.
Well, that's all from me. I've registered for next tri -- except
for electives. I'm trying to decide whether to take acupuncture or
not. The jury is still out.
Have a great week everybody. Good luck with studying, projects,
and whatever else is going on. This Friday we have the Turkey Bowl.
It's November! What? Did the time change work for you? I ended
up staying up even later.
This week is the calm before the next storm. We have one more,
big round of exams and projects due next week--including the
Marketing project. This is the culmination of all of my
mind-ramblings of the last couple of months, and the chance to pull
some pie-in-the-sky ideas into my project.
Last week we had a speaker in Marketing that had been on the
show "Shark Tank." Unfortunately, I took pictures for everyone else
and not myself. He spoke about what it was like to start up a
business, some of the struggles associated with it, and some of his
experiences since his business started. I'll go ahead and give a
shout out to him (and his brothers) who own Nardo's Naturals. They
make natural skin care products and they're centered here in St.
The geek botanical person in me was intrigued by some of the
ingredients they use in their products--lots of essential oils and
coconut oil. You absolutely cannot lose with those. And of course
it just reminded me how much I want to include natural products in
my future clinic--which brings me back to the Marketing
When the speaker last week asked us what we wanted our future
practice to be like, I opened my mouth and said something like: "I
want a multi-disciplinary practice with Functional Medicine,
Chiropractic, Naturopathic, Acupuncture, Physical and Massage
Therapy, Well-being classes, and an Herbal and Compounding
Pharmacy." I think his eyes nearly fell out of his head. Big
ambitions, I suppose. I'm not sure what will be more difficult,
setting up the practice, or finding the right people to work with
me. Either way, these plans will be coming together in paper,
brochure, website, and business card form--in the next 10 days.
Boy, I sure have my work cut out for me. I don't have anything
finalized, except the ideas, which have been floating around in my
head for quite a while. When I get it all done, I'll share it with
you guys. I have no idea where all it will go.
I hope everybody had a Happy and Safe Halloween. On Wednesday of
last week, MoPal (Motion Palpation) hosted a Halloween potluck. We
had some great costumes. My tri's very own Lexxi (dressed as Ms.
Pacman) and Dave (dressed as Walter White from "Breaking Bad")
stole the show and won best costumes. This is where the pictures
for this week hail from. It was nice to see so many people get
together and be festive.
I, for one, am glad that most of the candy is gone. No more
temptation. I have a small handful left. I'll feed it to the kids
and make them run around the neighborhood about 80 times--and then
brush their teeth. We have a few weeks to behave ourselves before
Thanksgiving--which really should be renamed to something that
involves "gluttonous intake of food and falling asleep on the
couch." It looks, though, like we might actually have a Fall/Winter
here this year. The temperature has been erratic and sometimes cold
and sometimes hot--but it's more acting like it's trying on the
cold for size. Layer. That's my recommendation. Today I'm wearing
flip-flops and a sweater. Go figure. That's Florida.
Have an amazing week everyone. May your feet be warm, and your
sleep be plentiful. Remember to take a little bit of time out for
yourself this week. It's important.
This is one of those times when writing the blog is tough,
because I can't remember all of the things I've done over the last
week! I'm to the point where I'm keeping daily lists so things
don't fall through the cracks. There's just so much to do and so
much to study for.
Last week I had 2 exams, and this coming week, 2 exams and 2
quizzes. Next week (brace yourself), there are 5 exams. I've always
wondered why we do things this way. Five exams in one week are too
many. It's just as if it were finals. But, here we are.
I was able to join some of my classmates out on Friday night. It
seems that a good time was had by all. We were able to meet some of
the first trimester folks that I'd missed from the First Tri Mixer.
They all seem really great. One of the drawbacks to the way our
campus is set up here is that the students are spread out to four
different places. We have the basic science students in one
location, the clinical science students in another, and the interns
in two different clinic locations. So, once someone crosses over
into a different area, we don't always see each other again--unless
we make an effort to do so. So that's why the mixers and impromptu
get-togethers are really important. It gives us a chance to meet
some of the other students from different locations.
I like how cohesive our group is in particular. I've mentioned
this before, but we really do become somewhat of a family. After
all, we spend five days a week, together, ALL day. If we don't love
or hate each other by the end, there's something wrong. Those that
have joined our original four members have been welcome additions.
And of course we miss those that have left us--whether they
transferred campuses to Lombard, or decided to slow down. Most of
my original class is now in the same building. It's good to see
them every day again. I've missed them.
As if I didn't have enough going on, last week, I started the
Master's Degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine through
the University of Western States. The program is all online and we
have students from literally all over the world. The program there
is a wonderful complement to the program here. Since my goal is to
have an integrative, functional medicine practice, it's a great fit
for me. My goal is to complete the master's about the same time I
finish here at National. I'll let you all know how that's
Time management and prioritizing are absolutely key to
maintaining some semblance of sanity with all this coursework. I'm
not sure I'm there yet--but I'm working on it. Of course, anyone
that knows me knows that I'm at least partly insane, so I must have
lost something somewhere. Calendars, schedules, lists, planning,
and keeping track of everything that has to be done is extremely
important. On top of that, checking all of those things off the
list is extremely fulfilling. I have to remember to ONLY put things
on the list that HAVE to be done--no lofty ambitions, week-long
projects, or 5-year goals. My lists sometimes get out of
control--admittedly, and sometimes they end up with the weirdest,
most random thoughts written on them--like philosophical questions.
And THAT could go anywhere. :)
(Image source: redlandrambles.wordpress.com)
I took a few minutes out of studying on Saturday to go to a
ROOTS seed and plant share event. We grew a lot of our own food
when I was growing up, and as I've had space, have tried to do the
same off and on. Now that I have some yard space, I'm working on it
again. Let me just say that this event was absolutely amazing.
People from the local area bring seeds they've collected,
cuttings, plants, trees--you name it--and they just give it away. I
took some Aloe seeds that my plant had put out last year. I'd been
saving them for quite a while. I honestly didn't even know that
Aloe seeded; I'd only seen people plant Aloe by cutting. The Aloe
plant that produced the seed was gifted to me a few years ago from
a fellow student, so it only seemed fitting that I gift its
progeny. In return, I was gifted pumpkin seeds, stevia seeds,
loofah seeds, and heirloom squash seeds. I was hoping for loofah,
but couldn't believe how much was there!?! A lady tried to send me
home with a bag full of about 500 seeds! People were so generous.
I'm eternally grateful, and hopefully my garden will be booming
here in a couple of weeks. Since I've never had a fall garden
before, I have no idea what to expect. We shall see.
Happy Studying and Organizing everyone! Have a great week!
The calendar says it's fall. I never would have known. I'm
honestly ready for the weather to be cooler. It's about this time
that I start missing Home. Around this time of year the leaves
would be falling, it would be sweater weather, and somebody,
somewhere, would be throwing a hayride in a pumpkin patch. Surely
the scents of firewood and burning marshmallows waft through the
air somewhere on this planet right now.
(Image source: timeatthetable.org)
Midterms have already started. So far there's been one. There
are two this week and the week after and I don't even want to look
at my schedule after that because I know it's UGLY. Things are
going so fast. My fellow students are already making plans to go
Home on Thanksgiving break. I'm inclined to bake and sew and do all
the things I used to do when the weather would normally cool off.
One of these days I might have to turn the AC down to 60º in the
house and curl up in a blanket just to get the same effect. I guess
there's something that I'll never get used to about being here in
We're coming up on Halloween and there's a big Halloween potluck
sponsored by the Motion Palpation Club. We're all discussing
costumes for the event. I don't want to ruin it for anyone--so I
won't drop ideas or tell what I've heard. I imagine we'll have some
amazing costumes. We've got some crafty and creative
people--especially in my tri. So, I can't imagine what they'll come
I'm still working on my marketing project. I present right
before Thanksgiving and I have so much work left to do. I'm
inclined to go off the deep end and jump headfirst into my most
ideal practice's business plan. I've got some pretty lofty
ambitions with a pretty broad scope. Some may not even be feasible.
I don't know that it will ever happen, but a girl can dream, can't
she? My classmates and I have traded ideas in the hallway, while
waiting for class to start, and in the parking lot - but I don't
think that anyone has actually laid everything down in some type of
Special thanks to Dr. Jourdan, who is letting me exercise my
baking muscle and have someplace to share my baked goods (so I
don't eat them all myself). We've been having "Breakfast Friday" or
this next week "Coffee Monday." This week it's cheesecake (gluten
free, of course). I'm hoping to convert more of my recipes to
Paleo--including this one. It shouldn't be too hard. This
recipe is VERY simple--few ingredients and easy to adapt.
Andrea's Favorite Simple
The conversion to Paleo will probably start with using coconut
sugar in place of regular sugar. I'm not sure that vanilla is Paleo
friendly, but I could probably use powdered vanilla bean instead of
liquid vanilla (never use imitation vanilla--it contains
The crumbs could be anything. I'm sure I can come up with a
Paleo friendly cookie of some sort. I've made cheesecake crusts
with everything from brownie crusts to homemade graham crackers.
Hopefully by the end of the year I'll have accomplished this. I've
also made this recipe gluten free and vegan before. Just substitute
Tofutti cream cheese or rice based cream cheese (if you can find
it) instead. It was actually richer than the dairy based version.
You can also add an orange oil or lemon oil to the cheesecake to
make it more flavorful.
Good luck on all the midterms coming up, everybody. I'm planning
a series of blogs with something unique for all of you--maybe
starting next week. We shall see.
If you make the cheesecake, drop me a line and let me know how
you like it and what ingredients you used. Enjoy!
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
• Marketing Project
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