Recipes Lately

So last Friday I headed out to pick some apples with my nephews, sister and mom at Homestead Farm. It was such a perfect day to head out to the farm and we got a good load of produce!

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We got probably 5-6 pounds of apples (!!) between my sister and I, the boys just kept picking them and putting in the baskets – and you have to pay for what you pick, haha. In addition to the apples, we picked some fresh tomatoes, and picked up a butternut squash and some sweet potatoes at the market area of the farm – I just love fresh produce! I haven’t determined what I’m doing with the butternut squash yet, but I have been searching Pinterest for some ideas.

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With all of these apples, I needed to think of something to make. I came across these Zucchini Apple Muffins on Pinterest and they looked easy enough. The verdict…

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OMG, They are amazing. I added more cinnamon and even added some cloves and they are SO good. It’s like a light, fluffy explosion of apple and cinnamon and you would never even know there was almost an entire zucchini in the batch! Highly recommended. I made them with a small muffin tin which worked well. My sister used regular size muffin tins which worked well too, it just made less, duh.

In my attempt to make some healthier snacks, I also wanted to try out these Almond Joy Bites – made with dates, cocoa powder, almonds, coconut, vanilla and salt (and I added in some cashews and walnuts I had on hand). I didn’t photograph these, because they didn’t turn out the best. I think my food processor is old and not the best at “processing”, so I needed to add some more fluids to get things moving. That resulted in a mushy, chocolaty, nutty mess. It was way too soft, so when I went to make them into balls, it covered my hands more than it made a ball. I made do and stuck them in the freezer. They actually taste mighty delicious, but the technique failed and the texture was no bueno. Alas, learning experience and now I know for next time!

Work Out Recap 2

Due to my being away last weekend, I didn’t write about my work outs for last week, so let’s just catch up here and chat about my workouts for the past two weeks! Sorry this will be long and boring, but I will be back on track next week!

I guess I left off on the 5th.. so:

Monday Oct. 6th: Ran 2.57 miles at a 9:48 pace. Not too bad, just trying to work my mileage up before increasing intensity too much with interval work.

Tuesday Oct. 7th: Before class, 6:30 AM weights. I think I started off on the elliptical and ended walking on the treadmill, but did about 45 minutes total of cardio and weights. Not bad for that early in the morning with zero motivation.

Wednesday & Thursday Oct. 8-9th: I actually took both of these days off because I had felt some weird calf pain Monday and knew I had a busy workout weekend ahead of me. Listening to my body!

Friday Oct. 10: 6 mile run with Corrin around Philly. Slow and steady, only a few stops at the Rocky steps and at the dog park, naturally.

Saturday Oct. 11: Bring a Friend to Crossfit Day with Corrin which I went over in my first recap of the weekend in Philly. It was brutal and I was hurting Sunday and Monday.

Sunday Oct. 12: “Rest” day; but I was so sore and walking around in heels for hours so I consider that an active rest day. Then was walking around the fields at the tailgates a ton. It was exhausting, haha.

Monday Oct. 13: Rainy, rainy, rainy day and a drive home from Philly called for a nap and no workout – Rest day.

Tuesday Oct. 14: 2 miles at 10:10 pace.

Wednesday Oct. 15: I never make it to workout on clinic days. Being on your feet for 8-9 hours at the hospital is exhausting. Lifting patients, bending down, pushing wheelchairs, walking all over… it’s exhausting and I always want to shower right when I get home.. So, rest day.

Thursday Oct. 16: I snuck in 2.60 miles before the rain started back up again and it felt great: 9:33 pace. :)

Friday Oct. 17: So funny story about this one. I set off towards the local park I usually run to – as I’m on the trail, I run in to a frantic woman searching for her 6 and 3 year old daughters whom she can’t seem to find. I live near an extremely wooded area, so naturally I became frightened with the woman (same ages as two of my nephews). I told her I was headed up to the park and will keep my eyes peeled. Checked the playgrounds (all 4) and kept my eyes peeled during the run. No sign. When I returned down to where she was, no sign of anyone. So, I hope she found her girls. Regardless, my run wasn’t speedy because I was in search-mode for “missing” children. And my calf pain decided to creep back. But I covered 2.60 miles again – in about a 12 minute pace (basically a walk). I also walked a ton at the apple orchard with my nephews and sister prior to this incident.

Today’s workout hasn’t happened yet as I am covered in ped’s notes trying to learn how children develop from birth to five years. Exciting, I know. So, I’ll be back next Saturday with the week’s workouts!

Found My Niche

I really wanted to take a second and chat about how school is going. Well, not school in particular. But how I’m starting to feel about which direction I want to pursue with physical therapy. This semester has changed so much perspective in me and I love every second of it.

I had a feeling when we started this semester that I was really going to enjoy it. I felt differently about the material that we were learning. In past semesters, I found myself going through the motions (in hindsight), and not thoroughly enjoying what I was learning. Sure, a lot of it was really cool and interesting, but I didn’t get that passionate feeling. I didn’t get that butterflies in the stomach-giddy-ness-smiling-while-walking-out-of-clinic feeling. And that’s what I get this semester.
Lost for years, I have finally rekindled the fire in my soul. I have acknowledged and accepted this spiritual gift of mine, regardless of its rarity. And though it scares me, knowing that I possess such a powerful force, I vow to never abandon my passion again. As it's a blessing, from My Father to me- For I am His daughter, and justice-seeking warrior for now and throughout eternity.

There’s just something about the Neuro population that seriously makes me want to pick up my textbook and read it. It makes me want to go to clinic everyday and learn more techniques and learn about different patient types. It’s exciting. For those who are unfamiliar with what types of patients I would see in a Neuro setting, it ranges anywhere from traumatic spinal cord and brain injuries, stroke, and Parkinson’s Disease, to children with cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, or motor development delays.

Steve Jobs is attributed with this quote. It goes on our Customer Service Quote because you cannot treat others well if you are not impassioned in your work environment to do so.  Great customer service begins with great treatment of your own staff.

There are honestly so many things that I could list off for you as to why I truly love this profession and love the neuro aspect of it. And all of these things continue to be proven true with every clinic visit I attend. First of all, these patient’s are so grateful for us, and they make sure we know it. How can you not love when a patient continually tells you how amazing you are?! But you know what, we are amazing. And I’m realizing that more and more. We see these patients, literally, at the worst time in their life. Most have gone through a traumatic event leaving them disabled and often depressed. And we help them regain strength and confidence, relearn how to walk, facilitate motor learning, start life again as normal as possible…

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Second, the gains that you see in these patients are phenomenal and seriously awe-inspiring. Watching a patient who was told they will never walk, take their first steps by themselves. There is literally nothing in the world that can beat that feeling. And knowing that you had a hand in that? It’s incredible. You get emotional, and you may get attached because we are seeing these patients every day for hours, working to get back to a normal life. But it is so worth it in the end if they make the gains you are expecting. Lastly, the amount that you can change an individual’s life, there is nothing that replaces that. Knowing that you had that big of an impact on rebuilding this patient’s life; or in some cases, preserving their functional abilities for longer; there is no greater feeling.

I’m not saying that other directions of physical therapy are less important, I think they just aren’t for me. It’s just funny how I came in to school all about orthopedics, and now I cringe at the thought of working in an orthopedic setting with the same patients, every day, doing the same thing. It’s very monotonous to me and I think this summer’s clinical placement helped reinforce that outpatient orthopedics may not be for me. I felt like it was very mindless – or maybe I just wasn’t doing things right (which is extremely possible) – but I saw the same patient’s two times a week doing very similar things and progression every once in awhile. Neuro to me is more exciting. It changes every day. You have to adjust every day if they are more fatigued or on different medications, whatever.

This applies especially your career choices.  When you are performing work that is meaningful to you or impactful for others, you will enjoy the work more. Do not pursue something if it will not make you happy.

Honestly, who knows where I will end up at the end of all of this. You never know, I could end up in an outpatient orthopedic clinic. And I would make the best out of it and love every second because I love this profession. But I just wanted to share how excited and passionate I am feeling about this semester and about Neuro Rehab.

Serious nerd post – sorry not sorry.

 

Philly (Ph)un Part 2

If you missed the beginning of my weekend recap – it can be found here. So let’s get in to Sunday’s events!

Sunday

We woke up Sunday morning feeling rough. Saturday night absolutely got the best of us, but no regrets because it was an awesome night! We actually had coffee delivered to us from the wonderful Shannon, who had to be up and at a soccer game at 9:30 – bless her heart because I could barely stand up, haha. Once we showered and polished off some coffee and bagels, we – correction: I – was feeling just fine. We soon made ourselves pretty and headed out the door to our destination for the day:

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Corrin’s cousin occasionally will work events for Nicole Miller – a fashion designer. She was given two tickets to a bridal event down the street from their apartment and offered them to Corrin and myself. Our thoughts: a chance to dress up pretty, get free booze, free cake, free food, and watch a fashion show? Why the heck not?!

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It was a beautiful event at the Bellevue in Philadelphia. There were vendors set up all around the Ballroom, including multiple cake vendors upstairs with free samples of so much cake. Waiters were walking around with appetizers, there was a fondue station, and there were 3 bars with complimentary champagne and cocktails. We took the time we had there to walk around to different vendors and check out the things they had to offer – however, when they asked us who was engaged, and we awkwardly responded with neither of us, they seemed to get disinterested in our presence. I don’t blame them, they were there to talk to potential clients and we both are no where near that stage in our lives. It was still an awesome event and I’m so happy that Corrin’s cousin offered us the tickets!

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The event ended with a fashion show of Nicole Miller’s most recent bridal and bridesmaid designs. It was my first ever fashion show and it was so cool! We were sitting in the second row and had a great view of all of the models. They were all so gorgeous and the designs were (for the most part) beautiful! Besides the fact that I was shoe-less by hour 2 in my heels (holy blisters), it was a great event to attend!

As soon as we returned to the apartment, we waited for Corrin’s cousin to arrive home before we quickly headed out to the stadiums to tailgate! Corrin’s extended family always puts on a huge tailgate for all of the Eagle’s home games. There was such an amazing spread of food, tons of friends and family, and lots of booing of anyone and everyone rocking Giants gear.

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We only drank a bit and we headed home before the game started because we were exhausted. A few of her friends headed to the bar that is right near the stadium, but we had had a long weekend and Corrin had to work in the morning. So the night ended curled up on the couch, watching the Eagles beat the Giants and just relaxing.

Whew. What an activity packed weekend! It was the perfect blend of relaxation, working out, eating good food, and having a great time with one of my best friends and her friends. It was just what I needed before getting on top of my studying for these upcoming exams. I have been off of school yesterday and today, and tomorrow I head to the National Rehabilitation Hospital in DC for my last part time clinic of the semester.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Philly (Ph)un

Helloooo and happy Monday! I don’t know about you all, but I had a great weekend and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. So let’s skip the nonsense and get right in to it!

Friday

After class Friday, I hit the road and made my way up I-95 until I found myself in Philadelphia. One of my best friends from college lives here and I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to spend my fall break hanging out and relaxing up in PA. We actually had perfect timing and as I pulled up, she arrived home from work! We immediately started figuring out what our game plan was: and we decided we just didn’t want a game plan.

We hung out for a bit, chatted, caught up on each other’s lives, snacked, watched some TV. Then we made our way out for a run. I love running in other cities and just exploring and that’s exactly what we did. She took me through Center City and we eventually reached the Rocky Steps!

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View from the steps – there was a carnival going on down there!

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We went a roundabout way to get back to her apartment and took a trail past some water (no idea what it was) and we took a pit stop at a dog park and just watched a bunch of dogs running around. We ended up covering nearly 6 miles! That’s way further than I had been running so I was struggling a bit near the end, but Corrin was a great sport and we slowed our paced when I needed to. We actually only walked a little bit, probably with the help of all of the crosswalks we had to stop at – but it was a great run!

We knew when we returned to her apartment that we needed to find some food. After showering, we made our way to Eat-a-Pita! Oh my goodness, guys. It was so good!

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So I got a wheat pita, filled with chicken, lettuce, chick peas, tomatoes, red peppers and selected the Charred Tomato Vinagrette on the side. It was HUGE and incredible. I only ate about half of it. We also got a side of hummus with pita chips – or should I say, hummus with a side of pita chips. Two huge ice cream scoops of hummus with delicious homemade pita chips. This place was fantastic – if they have one near you, go! It was also the perfect fuel after a nice long run.

We ended Friday night catching up on some TV shows and watching the movie, The Neighbors. We headed to sleep early in preparation of Saturday morning’s festivities.

Saturday

Corrin belongs to a CrossFit gym and they were having a Bring-A-Friend day – so we went to check it out! It was my second experience with CrossFit and I loved it. I still battle back and forth with how awesome it is vs how expensive it is. Currently, the price is winning and I haven’t signed up yet, but after this weekend I may be swayed.

It started with just an intro and chat, then we started to warm up with some simple movements – squats, walking lunges, ring rows, etc. Followed by the strength portion of the work out: my nemesis, pull ups. I ended up using one green band for assistance and got 3 sets of 5 repetitions of pull ups down. They are hard and I don’t have the scapular stability/strength to do them very well. Whereas Corrin was busting them out like a champ! Seeing how well she could do certain things was definitely a motivator for me – I want to be able to do a pull up!!

Our WOD looked like this:

For number of repetitions total: 1 minute wall ball, 1 minute box jump, 1 minute sit ups, 1 minute push press, 1 minute burpees, 1 minute rest.

I ended up with a total of 221 reps through the three rounds. I used an 8 pound medicine ball for the wall balls, 20 inch box (18 for the last round) for box jumps, and I think the 35 pound bar for push press. I had the second highest number of reps out of the “friends” and that felt pretty awesome!

Overall, it was a great experience and a great workout – my legs are still feeling it today, that’s for sure. We walked over to grab some coffee after the workout, then headed back to her apartment. Our other college friend, Shannon, had to work in the city on Saturday so we decided to meet up with her and grab brunch. I failed to snap any pictures because I was famished by the time the food was in front of me. But we went to National Mechanics and I had the egg white omelette with spinach and tomatoes – so good!

We actually failed to take a lot of pictures on Saturday because we took zero that night! After brunch, we showered and hung around the apartment before making our way to the bars. We met up with a few of Corrin’s friends at one place and had so much fun dancing to the guitarist who was from Dublin – and so good looking. He played a mix of current songs, old songs, and Irish songs.. Even that song from P.S. I Love You that I love! So. Much. Fun.

We ended that night at another bar with some friends that I had met before – lots of dancing, too much drinking, and tons of screaming/singing songs causing me to lose my voice. Never a dull moment.

This post is getting mighty long… so I’ll finish up the weekend recap tomorrow with our Sunday festivities!

 

Friday Things

It’s Friday! And I have been slacking yet again with posting – sorry. For some reason, even though the work isn’t much different and I feel this semester is going well, I feel like I have been so much more stressed this semester so far. I always have something to do and lately I have been struggling to find the energy to just about anything. So here we are at Friday, and I guess I’ll just take you through some life lately:

1. Today starts my Fall Break and I don’t have to be back at class until next Thursday. I’ll be at NRH (National Rehabilitation Hospital) in DC on Wednesday which I am so excited for. I was at INOVA Mt. Vernon this past Wednesday and I loved it. Just another reminder that Neuro Rehab might be my love and I think I finally find my niche.

2. I am headed to Philly today right after class to visit Corrin! It was a spur of the moment decision and I’m so excited to spend the weekend with one of my best friends. Plans for the weekend: running to the Rocky steps, Bring a Friend to Crossfit Day, running to the Jersey bridge, watching movies, painting our nails, and attending a fashion show (more on that in my recap Monday).

3. I made this pumpkin oatmeal this week and it is amazing!! I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a quick easy recipe to make for breakfast (or snacks). It will definitely get made again.

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4. The Orioles play tonight. And here is why you should be rooting for them. This year reminds me of when I was little and knew every single player, each of their numbers, and watched every single game. #WeWontStop. Okay. I’m done.

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5. It’s about to be grind week around here. Four exams in less than 2 weeks at the end of October. Here comes the stress!!

6. Wednesday night I was exhausted after being on feet all day at the hospital, so I got some FroYo for me and my sister and headed over to her house to chat and hang out with B-Mack.

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Yep, he is perfect.

I don’t have much else for you all. I’ll have a good recap of the weekend’s activities when I get back on Monday. I can’t wait to get out of this class and be on my way!!

Tuesday Tunes

Happy Tuesday y’all! Since my weekend didn’t consist of anything too exciting, I didn’t feel the need to post a weekend recap. But here we are at Tuesday and it’s been awhile since I’ve given you some tunes I’m liking lately.

First up, (this is a no judgement zone, right??)…. One Direction – Steal My Girl

I love it. I’m not a huge One Direction fan, but something about this song. I seriously love it. I can’t stop listening to it. It has sort of an old school sound to it – a friend said she thought it was a Bruce Springsteen song, just listening to the opening chords before the vocals.

Next song I’ve been jamming to on my commute lately: MKTO – American Dream

So there ya have it! Andddddd I can’t leave you hanging.. so here’s B-Mack, in all his one week old glory :)

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