Healthy meals for clerkship – Part 2

Have no experience cooking? Want to learn to cook something that is healthy and tasty in a jiffy? This recipe has you covered!

This meal is something that can be prepared the evening before the work-week and stored for a quick and healthy lunch!

Baked Salmon with Veggies and Rice

Ingredients:

  1. Baking tray, aluminum foil and parchment paper.
  2. Veggies (I chose Green Beans and Brussel Sprouts).
  3. Olive oil.
  4. Lemons.
  5. Salt and Black Pepper.
  6. Salmon Filet.
  7. Brown rice

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees Celsius.

  1. Wash veggies. Cut the Brussel Sprouts into fourths.
  2. Cut Salmon Filet into 4-5 pieces and brush with olive oil.
  3. Line baking tray with aluminum foil and parchment paper for easy clean-up.
  4. Place green beans and cut Brussel Sprouts on the baking tray.
  5. Place salmon on the side of the veggies.
  6. Cut some lemon slices and place these on each of the salmon filets.
  7. Season with lemon juice, salt and black pepper.
  8. Cook for 25 minutes (cooking time will vary based on how thinly the salmon is sliced).
  9. Remove and check to see if the salmon is done (does it flake easily with a fork?). If not done, then return to the oven and reassess later.
  10. If done, then remove the salmon for plating.
  11. Place the veggies back in until they are cooked (the Brussel Sprouts are quite good when they are a bit charred).

Rice:

  1. I used a rice cooker to prepare the rice.
  2. Take 1 cup of brown rice and place into the rice cooker.
  3. Wash the rice 2X.
  4. Then place approximately 1.5 cups of water (1.5 times the volume of rice used).
  5. Turn on rice cooker and wait until ready.

Putting it all together:

  1. Plate and Eat!
  2. The leftovers are perfect microwavable lunches for the next week!

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Healthy & Quick Breakfast Meals

Picture1Healthy & Quick Breakfast Meals

It can seem time consuming to make breakfast in the morning, and it can get pretty boring eating the same cereal or bagel every day. My go to whenever I’m in need of new interesting recipes is Pinterest, and I found these two recipes to be quick and healthy, and provide me with enough energy to get me through the morning!

1) Chia Seed Pudding with Fruit
This is a quick snack you can make the night before so you can grab it before class or heading to the hospital!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup lite coconut milk

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

3/4 cup of fresh fruit (pineapple, mango, strawberries)

3 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp sweetened shredded coconut (optional)

*Honey to taste

Instructions:

1) Mix all the ingredients together into a small mason jar (you can blend the ingredients together if you’d like one consistency)
2) Put the jar into the fridge over night for at least 5-6 hours
3) Enjoy in the morning!

Link to original recipe: https://www.skinnytaste.com/mango-coconut-chia-pudding/

OMSA Wellness Retreat 2018: Wellness of Mind, Body, Spirit, Emotion

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Click on the follow link to view the Retreat Brochure:

Wellness Retreat Brochure

There is an exciting lineup of speakers and workshops at this year’s retreat.  See the attached brochure for details, where you’ll find options on everything from Yoga and Urban Poll Walking to Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction and Self-Care.  This retreat is open to medical students across Ontario! Mark the registration date on your calendar (March 5 at 5 pm) – it’s first come first serve with limited spots for each Ontario medical school.

Event Date:                  March 23-25, 2018

Cost:                              $90 per student for the entire weekend (incl. hotel & meals)

For more info and to register, check out the OMSA Wellness Retreat page: https://omsa.ca/en/wellness-retreat

 

Getting Creative in the Kitchen

Cooking is something that I always loved the idea of doing but was never sure if I could master. This blog post is to share some of the tips and tricks I learnt about how to cook a simple recipe for breakfast and how I learnt to boil pasta!

How I Learnt to Cook:

  1. Youtube: Youtube has recipes and tutorials on everything from boiling pasta to making french toast and having someone show you how to do it can make it a lot easier to follow than reading a recipe for visual learners like myself!
  2. AllRecipes.com : An awesome website I use to find cooking recipes; looking at the reviews is one of the most helpful ways to see if there are any recommended modifications from people who have tried the recipe!
  3. Talking to a Loved One on the Phone: When I first learnt to cook it was me in the kitchen with my mom on the phone as she told me step by step what to do; it may sound a little silly but it definitely worked!

Breakfast: Baked Avocado

  1. Scoop out the inside of half an avocado creating enough space for an egg yolk and egg white mixture to fit
  2. Inside the hole I add a cracked egg, salt, pepper and Siracha Hot Sauce
  3. Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit
  4. You have your baked egg in an avocado!

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How to Boil Pasta

I used to boil pasta on a max flame in a big pot of water, but what I learnt through a cooking article and through trial and error is that once the water starts to boil if I lower it to a medium flame the water actually absorbs better into the pasta. As a result, I only need enough water to cover the pasta itself so that it boils a bit quicker than if I overfilled the pot with water.

BAKING THERAPY

On coping: There’s no doubt that medical school is stressful – in fact, there’s no doubt that life is stressful. We all have our ways of coping with stress. Mine, for better or worse, is probably the most mundane imaginable: I love to bake. I will admit that my love of baking verges on obsession. Maybe even addiction. Between exploring new recipes and actually making the pastries, I will procrastibake for hours. Hours. When I get the itch to bake something, I will rearrange my entire schedule to do so. I have been known to run home from clinic at lunch hour to mix up banana bread batter. I have been known to show up to friends’ houses with half-baked confections and say “I’m going to need your oven, stat.” I have even been known to skip social engagements with nothing but a “sorry, I’ve got to make a pavlova!” The creativity of choosing what to make and finding the perfect recipe, the methodical process of putting the ingredients together, and the satisfaction of a beautiful outcome are nothing if not therapeutic. (Disclaimer: Not everything I bake turns out, sometimes it’s a mess that I either salvage by turning into something completely different or toss out and start over). And I think we can all agree that coming home to a house that smells like fresh baked cake/muffins/scones/cookies is incredibly comforting.

On the origin: This is not a new thing. As a child, one particular illness kept me out of school for months. My mother recalls that she couldn’t get me out of bed for anything – not to play with my siblings, not to see friends, not to even watch movies. But I would agree to get up to make cakes almost every day. She tells me that after a couple of weeks, she had given cakes to all her friends as well as filled our deep freeze, and had to beg me to stop.

On actual science: And get this – my baking therapy is literally evidence based. Talk about validating!! Turns out tons of people, with and without mental illness, use baking to help cope with day-to-day life.  Many psychologists encourage baking, and some mental health centres even incorporate it as a component of therapy. Unfortunately, while the literature is generally in agreement that daily expressions of creativity, including baking,  can increase positive affect (Conner et al, 2016), there hasn’t been any research directly into the positive effects of baking on mental health.

On art therapy: I honestly hated art class as a kid. Straight up, I was bad at it. I can’t paint to save my life, and good luck getting me to draw anything more than a stick man. I took piano lessons for years and the learning process was akin to pulling teeth. Fortunately, I realized as I got older that the concept of art isn’t limited to fine arts and music. ANY kind of art is therapeutic. What I’m trying to say is, baking is my art therapy equivalent. Maybe your passion is painting, or drawing, or singing, or dancing, or writing, or photography, or knitting, or doing logic puzzles, or any other of an endless list of creative pursuits. I wrote this blog post in part as a reminder that it’s possible to reap the psychological benefits of art without having a talent among the traditional arts.

On what I do with my baking: People always ask me this. As if I could actually eat everything I bake. I give it away, of course! I bring it to work, to school, to birthday parties (or any party really), and to friends and family. Sometimes I freeze it (my roommate and I bought a deep freezer last year, and it is always full). Usually there’s not much left to freeze.

Picture1You didn’t think I’d actually write a post on baking without including a recipe, did you?! This cranana bread is foolproof, moist, banana-y, and actually pretty healthy as far as baked goods go:

3 overripe bananas (seriously, wait till they’re pretty much black all over), mashed

2 eggs

1 ¾ cups flour (whole wheat and all purpose both worked fine)

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup milk

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

+/- 1.5 cups cranberries

Combine oil, eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla, bananas. Add baking soda/flour. Combine well. Fold in cranberries. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 1 hour. Sprinkle brown sugar over top, cook for 15 more mins or until top/sides golden brown and toothpick comes out (mostly) clean.

Healthy Meals for Clerkship

Have no experience cooking? Want to learn to cook something that is healthy and tasty in a non-time-intensive manner? This recipe has you covered!

This meal is something that can be prepared on the weekend and can be stored to be enjoyed throughout the week!

Baked chicken with salad and quinoa:

Chicken prep

  1. Ingredients needed:
    • 7-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I shop at Costco and usually purchase a package of 7-8 chicken breasts – so that I can bake a whole bunch at once).
    • 1 tablespoon of salt and the seasoning of your choice (I prefer Creole). Alternatively, various pre-made sauces can be used for flavoring.
    • 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
  3. Set up baking tray – line it with tin foil.
  4. Rub chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle salt & seasonings to both sides.
  5. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes.
  6. Then flip the chicken breasts to the opposite side.
  7. Bake for another 15 minutes OR until no longer pink in the center (internal temperature should be at least 74 degrees C).
  8. Once cooked, the chicken can be stored in containers and frozen for the week ahead.

Quinoa Salad

  1. Salad prep:
    • Baby kale OR spinach OR Mixed garden salad
    • Baby sweet tomatoes
    • Baby cucumbers
    • Hummus OR Salad Dressing
  2. Carb: quinoa, Uncle Ben’s Rice or even a piece of toast with hummus spread.
  3. Microwave one of the frozen baked chicken made above.
  4. Add a side of baby kale, baby tomatoes and cut cucumbers, with a generous serving of hummus or salad dressing.          
  5. Eat!