We're nearing the end of the trimester. It's the calm before the
storm. Since my classmate Lexxi just reminded me, I'll remind you.
Did you: do your FAFSA? Taxes? Register for classes?
This week starts the last minute projects and presentations
before practicals and finals. Actually we have part of a practical
on Friday for PT. I'm going to rehab a knee with Rheumatoid
Arthritis -- which I'm finding as a bit of a struggle. How do you
give someone exercises for a degenerating joint, when they have to
move the joint? I've been pondering it quite a while. Here's hoping
I come up with something good.
This week and next week, our program hosts a cadaver lab
demonstration for the nursing, PA, and other health professions
programs that we share space with. For those who aren't familiar,
we share some campus space with the St. Petersburg College health
profession programs and Barry University PA programs. Since some of
our classroom space is at the St. Pete Caruth Health Education
Center, we see a lot of students from other programs running around
-- including RN, PA, EMT, etc. Unlike our program, they don't have
cadaver exposure, which always surprised me.
So, since we do, we host workshops toward the end of each
trimester to expose those students to what the body really looks
like. Several of our students will spend an hour or more in the lab
going through some general parts of the anatomy, and explaining
function, etc. I've always been surprised that the other programs
don't have cadaver exposure. I honestly feel that dissecting has
given me invaluable information that there's no way I would have
known otherwise. Even still, when someone asks me a part of the
anatomy, my mind automatically goes to the cadavers to visualize
it. I do this during classes; I've done this during boards. It
helps to actually SEE where the origins and insertions are, how the
vasculature and nerves surround and penetrate the muscles, and how
the muscles layer and invest in each other.
I haven't been in the cadaver lab since I finished that portion
of basic sciences several tris ago. I'm REALLY looking forward to
it. I think most of the other student-instructors will be from
basic science tris. It'll be fun to get to interact with them.
That's a privilege I don't often get.
On Saturday, I went to the Gluten Free for Life Expo. Last year
Grey and I went, walked through, and received a ton of samples,
coupons, and business cards from local gluten free businesses. This
year, I was by myself, as Grey was at an FBLA conference. I ran
into Julia, my classmate, and her daughter-in-law, Stephanie.
Beyond running into them and seeing my friend who runs a local
acupuncture clinic, the expo was a total waste. And it wasn't just
because of the samples and coupons -- which I guess were there --
it was because of the quality of products. If you've ever been to a
health food store (and I'm guessing all of us have), you've seen
that there's just as much junk food there, as there is at any other
store. It's labeled as "organic" or "all-natural" or "healthy", but
the difference is only that they use sugar instead of corn syrup,
organic versus conventional, and substitute refined with less
refined. That doesn't make any of it healthy.
So, I talked with the reps for a company (that I won't name),
because they recently reformulated their products. They are
dedicated to having gluten free, GMO free products. I respect this
tremendously, however, they still have some pretty big problems.
Previously, they were using sorghum flour -- which has been a
staple in gluten free cooking for a while. Even I have used it on a
regular basis (although not for several years). The rep mentioned
that they were having problems with their sorghum flour becoming
contaminated with GMO soy. So they changed formularies and started
using buckwheat and millet instead. The problem is, that these
other grains contain lectins, in very high quantity. Lectins, in
brains, beans, and potatoes, cause disruption of the tight
junctions in the gut -- leading to leaky gut. Leaky gut leads to
food intolerance, inflammation, and lipopolysaccharide invasion
(toxins from gram negative bacteria that naturally live in the
gut). Big problem. Check this out: The
Lowdown on Lectins. And if you're a real glutton for punishment
Dietary Lectins as Disease Causing Toxicants
for far more in depth information.
So, I talked to the rep about how the choices they've made in
substitutions are likely to affect their customers. The lady didn't
have a clue what I was talking about. But she seemed pretty scared
in response and said she'd pass it on to their recipe people. I'm
sure it won't go any further. I looked through the ingredient list
on EVERY product they had there. The few that didn't have millet or
buckwheat had TONS of sugar. *sigh* Gluten free isn't always healthy.
Since my "conversion" to mostly Paleo, I just can't look at food
the same way. I'm always thinking about the grain or carbohydrate
content, how much I'm allowing my gut to be exposed to the lectins
and sugar, and what it's doing to me. I'd say I'm about 80% Paleo
now. I go back and forth -- trying to only have rice a couple times
a week, and sugar maybe once. It IS a struggle sometimes,
especially when I'm stressed out. But I feel SO much better.
And before I go, I've wanted to share this guy with you all for
quite some time. He stands outside a defunct mini-golf turned car
dealership parking lot. I often wonder why he's still here -- maybe
it's because he's so awesome. I haven't come up with a name for him
yet. I'm willing to entertain suggestions. There are lots of
oddities around St. Pete.
Have a great week everybody.
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!
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. :)
January is almost over! It's REALLY hard to believe. We're at
the start of the 4th week of school and midterms are right around
the corner. This Tri is screaming by.
Friday night marked the Tri Mixer. We have one every tri,
usually in the first month. Some turnouts are better than others
(this one was not so great). Regardless, a good time was had by all
at Ferg's sports bar. There were about 15 of us, mostly
representatives from the upper tris. We did see a couple from Tri 2
(thumbs up from the blog chick for showing up, kids!). It was a
relatively early night, although I was there long enough to see
some of my esteemed colleagues make a run at "the wobble." I'll
protect their identities. Suffice it to say, it was a good
Round 2 went on at the Bishop in downtown St Pete. I sat that
one out. I claimed "old lady" and went to sing karaoke instead
(yes, I sing karaoke, and I'm not bad, either). The Tri-mixer is
one of the few times when the earlier tris can meet up with the
upper tris (after Tri 4, the classes are in the Annex and not in
the Caruth building). I highly encourage everyone to go. Although I
firmly believe, what goes on at the mixer should stay at the mixer
(kinda like Vegas). It's a time to cut loose and have a good time,
and of course--forget all the work that we have to (and are about
to have to) do.
This week, and next week, I'll be focusing on my diet and
nutrition presentation--polyunsaturated fats. I know, I know. It
sounds SOOO exciting. But think of it this way--Omega 6s vs. Omega
3s. (Are you getting excited yet?) I haven't finished my research
yet (it's hard to get much done with Moose the supercat laying on
my hands/laptop), but I'm feeling like it's going to be almost
entirely functional medicine oriented.
I'm totally infatuated by the anti-inflammatory/pro-inflammatory
focus that Dr. S is giving us in Diet and Nutrition. It's making me
rethink what I put into my body. I've always been pretty focused in
that direction, given that I'm a Celiac with multiple food
sensitivities already. I have to be so careful. It's somewhat
reassuring that medicine/science is starting to figure out that
there are other reasons why we probably shouldn't be eating grains
(especially wheat). I know that I'm highly biased in that
department. It's made me want to research the Paleo-oriented
diet--but also Paleo as it pertains to my heritage
(German-Scotch-Irish--remember I'm from the pale people). I keep
wondering how I will feel if I can convert my diet over to
something that I was actually meant to eat. (Maybe it's time
to find out!?!)
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
• Marketing Project
• First Week in Student Clinic
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