vegan, filling, simple, and amazing

Hi everyone, so I’m about 4 months into my first year of medical school and we just finished our Pulmonary exam today. I wanted to tell you a little bit about how I stay active, healthy, and semi-social while learning to be a doctor! One caveat is that first year is the least busy year!

My school schedule varies, but on weekdays I’m generally in class, studying, doing something medically/medical school related from 8am-6pm, then I work at home from from 8:30-11:00/11:30pm. Sleep before midnight! Sometimes I start class later, and on those days, I go running in the morning!

Exercise: I’ll start posting my weekly workouts again because I’ve been doing a variety of things. Currently, I’m working out 5-6 days a week, for 45-60 minutes each time.

  • I always try and walk at least 30 minutes a day. This consists of walking 1 mile to and a 1 mile back from campus each day. I’ll walk anywhere less than 2 miles. I LOVE walking! It’s so relaxing and the only thing that feels better than a brisk walk is a brisk run! It really wakes me up in the morning and lets me wind down after a long day. I also like to explore and wander into coffee shops and boutiques.
  • I take 5-10 minute walking breaks between lectures. Sometimes my classmates ask me why I’m walking around aimlessly…
  • Weekdays, I go to the gym around 6pm and take a group fitness class, do cardio on the elliptical, or use the rowing machine. Then I head home for dinner.
  • I take one day off when I have class from 8-8pm. My goal is to do 15 minutes of NTC at home on those days.
  • On weekends, I do my running!
  • I use the standing desk at school! They even installed some walking-stations!

So one week looks like this:

  • Monday: BodyJam 1 hour (FAVORITE CLASS ever! I stay late on Mondays until 7pm to take this class! It’s such a party. Shamelessly, the dance we do to J-Bieb’s Girlfriend is one of my faves!!)
  • Tuesday: Ellipitcal 45 minutes
  • Wednesday: Easy 4-5 mile run
  • Thursday: Rest day
  • Friday: BodyCombat/Pump, or CXWorx (core class) + 30 minutes ellipitcal (1 hour total)
  • Saturday: hard hills day (45-1 hour)
  • Sunday: Beach run day! ~6 miles

For me, working out is a stress reliever and the fun part of my day! I have a premier membership at my gym so I can take as many classes as I want for just $20 a month! I try and exercise in a way that’s convenient too. Also, during exam weeks, I always work-out! I’m sitting and studying so much, that I definitely need the exercise. It’s also a way for me to have fun and go outside while I’m studying.

FOOD: Okay…so I’ve been spending more on food than I should because I shop mostly at Andronico’s (a fancy store with prices comparable to Whole Foods) and buy organic items. The other day, I spent $8 on vine-ripened tomatoes! But anyways, I eat whole grains for breakfast, salad for lunch, make my own dinner, and crackers/bread for snacks. I also go the farmer’s market on Sundays after my run!

  • Breakfast is super easy: Lately I’ve been loving whole wheat bread/English muffin, PB2, bananas, and sprinkles of cinnamon and a tablespoon of pistachios! It’s sooo delicious.
  • Lunch: I get a salad at school and power it up with beans and lots of cherry tomatoes. I’ve been bad lately and have been putting in 1/4 cup of Craisins which I KNOWW have lots of added sugar to them…But it helps me finish my salad with only balsamic vinegar for dressing. I get a soup too if it’s vegan. Also, sometimes I cave and get the specialty salads at this Italian cafe at my school…especially when it has butternut squash in it..mmhmm which is expensive and has a lot of olive oil. Basically, it’s easy for me to have a healthy lunch because I frequent the salad and soup bar at school which is pretty cheap.
  • Dinners: If I’m on campus, I’ll go get another salad. If not, I try and making something easy and healthy at home. Currently, I’m eating tofu + tomato stirfry over a bed of greens and bread. I actually eat too much bread…
  • Lately, I’ve been going out to eat lot because 1) it’s San Francisco! SOO many cute, yummy places to try, 2) I want to catch up with friends, and 3) I go on dates with my boyfriend. I always get something that has a lot of vegetables, keep my drinks simple, and eat until I’m satisfied.
  • Desserts: Okay…so each week we have small group and there’s ALWAYS yummy cookies. I’m still working on limiting my cookie consumption. But for the most part, I tame my cravings on a daily basis with lemon ginger tea, whether’s original sugar-free caramels, unsweetened soy lattes, chopped up dried plums, and oranges. Sometimes, I’ll split a cookie between friends, or just eat half of it to try it! My boyfriend and I split a yummy apple-cinnamon cupcake with cream cheese frosting a couple weeks ago =). I’ve learned to define what I consider dessert. For example, fruit is my sweet snack. Also, there’s this bakery that I love which makes chocolate-cherry sourdough and fig fennel sourdough which are delicious! A slice of either is dessert for me =) It’s pretty much the same has having raisin bread if you’re craving something sweet. I’ve found that my tolerance and taste for sweet foods has decreased. Also, I always make note of what’s really good and what’s not so great so I don’t waste calories on it again later. Like the cafeteria white chocolate pecan cookie…not so great…But the cranberry-raisin oatmeal cookie from Wooly Pig Cafe…sooo perfect!
  • I actually haven’t been counting calories, but I’ve been very good at eating just until I’m satisfied. I can’t remember the last time I was uncomfortably full in med school. I list things I eat on a few days of the week.
  • Snacks are plain and healthy: carrots, whole wheat bread, low-sugar cereal, or unsalted crackers.
  • I keep track of how many hours in-between eating. I try and eat every 3-4 hours and not earlier.
  • Stop eating after 8pm (but honestly, I’ll still have a couple hard candies or a handful of cereal around 10pm if I’m up studying)
  • Buy pre-washed and pre-cut vegetables to save time and motivate me to cook vegetables.
  • I bring healthy-ish snacks for small group! Still gotta please the people…This week, I’m bringing carrots, pretzels, Somersault cookie crisps, Puffins cereal, and oranges =).

…This is a lot of information. Can I do how I maintain somewhat of a social life later?

Oh and the pictures! First one is from my birthday last month. And the other two are from post-exam meals =) Today my friends and I got sandwiches, and last time, we ordered major salads! After the salads, we went to a holiday party and had kahlua hot cocoa and cookies…

Btw, overall, I’m at a healthy weight, haven’t gained any weight…although a couple less layers of tummy chub would be nice… =/ I’m working on it! My strategy is less bread snacking and more carrot chomping!

What about you?! Here are my questions:

  • What’s the best strategy, rule, tip, or app you have for balancing a hectic schedule?
  • Also, what keeps you from exercising and eating healthy regularly?
  • How often do you eat dessert? I.e. a cookie, cupcake, chocolate, etc.?
  • Would you like to see what I order when I go out?
Let’s meet up in San Francisco!!! Suchhh good food and cute cafe’s =)