Lifestyle · Medicine

Intermittent Fasting and Keto Diet: What I Learned From My Grand Rounds

It’s been WAY too long since I’ve written a blog post. I have to admit I’ve been extremely checked out since the end of residency. My motivation to use my brain for any higher thinking has been quite low. As I type this I realize this must have been a sign of burnout. Thankfully after returning from a month of traveling I’m feeling energized and back to my normal self.

Moving on to the purpose of this post: sharing what I learned from preparing my grand rounds. I chose to speak about dietary trends for a few reasons: 1.Friends and patients often ask about starting a new diet and I felt uninformed. I didn’t know what the ketogenic diet was about let alone whether I should recommend for or against it. 2. MD’s unfortunately get very little nutrition training in medical school yet nutrition has always been an interest of mine.

My research consisted of reading the latest journal articles as well as briefly trying these diets out for myself. Here’s what I learned:

Intermittent Fasting

What is it: increased time in the fasting state

Goal: to promote the use of stored fat as fuel

Typical day: there are many ways to fast. One popular strategy is an eating “window” where you have 8 hours to eat all of your calories for the day. There is also the 5:2 where you eat normally for 5 days of the week and then eat 500 calories for 2 days. See more examples below…

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My experience:

I tried intermittent fasting personally and had little success. My normal routine involves waking up at 5am to exercise and I found it nearly impossible to exercise vigorously and then eat nothing until noon (I was nearly passing out). So the popular noon-8pm eating window didn’t work for me at all. I then tried to shift the window to eat from 8am-4pm but found myself starving when i got home from work. I’m not willing to give up my routine so intermittent fasting ultimately didn’t work for me.

Evidence: Evidence is conflicting. A recent JAMA article describes obese patients randomized to alternate day fasting. “A day of fasting (eating 25% of normal calorie intake) followed by a day of feasting on 125% of normal calorie intake is as effective for weight loss as daily calorie restriction”

Risks/Benefits:

The good: Many positive effects on hunger hormones (increases insulin sensitivity, positive effect on ghrelin/leptin). Works for people who graze, especially at night or people who enjoy eating larger meals. Less time thinking about food.

The bad: May lead to overeating during feeding times. After all, it’s human nature to reward yourself after hard work i.e. exercising or fasting.  

Bottom line: Can be highly effective for certain people especially those who enjoy grazing, snacking at night, and eating large portions. The fasting window creates a ‘rule’ that puts a stop to those bad habits.

 

Ketogenic Diet

One of the more popular diets out there right now. I have frequently been asked about this diet by patients and friends but didn’t know much about it. Prior to my research, the name ‘Ketogenic’ had a negative connotation given the association between ketosis and dangerous conditions such as diabetic ketoacidosis and malnourished alcoholics.

What is it: low carb, high fat, moderate protein (5% carbs, 75% fat, 20% protein)

Goal: to burn fat (ketosis → gluconeogenesis) rather than burning stored glycogen

Typical day:

  1. Limit carbs to <20g per day (by far the most important thing for ketosis to happen)
  2. Moderate protein <1g/kg/day
  3. Eat enough fat to feel satiated
  4. Avoid snacking
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photo credit: “A Ketogenic Diet for Beginners – The Ultimate Keto Guide.” Diet Doctor, www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/keto#food.

My experience:

I attempted to follow the keto diet for one day and tracked my macros on myfitnesspal (below). I have to say this was extremely challenging since i discovered that carbs in non-starchy foods add up MUCH faster than I expected. For example, i wanted to eat fruits but didn’t because it put me over my carb limit. Eating vegetables throughout the day caused me to go over the 20g carb limit! I also went over the 20g carbs limit at 1600 calories which really isn’t enough for me. I will admit I was not hungry since i was eating plenty of dietary fats, but ultimately I found this way of eating very restrictive and not sustainable for my lifestyle.

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Evidence:

Evidence comparing low carb vs. low fat vs. low calories diets are conflicting. There are some good quality studies which conclude that low carb diets are more effective for weight loss. Other studies conclude that as long as there is a reduction in calories, weight loss will happen regardless of which macronutrient is emphasized.

Risks/benefits:

The good: There is a quick drop in weight for the first week due to diuretic effect, then people typically see 1-2 lbs lost per week. Encourages lean meat and veggies. Ketosis suppresses hunger.

The bad: Ketosis is meant to be a survival mechanism for your body in times of low glucose. It would theoretically put a lot of stress on the body to constantly be in survival mode. The keto diet decreases fruit consumption and may be difficult to sustain long-term.

Bottom line: Low carb/high fat may be a good option for people who want to lose weight. There is good evidence that limiting carbs leads to weight loss especially considering the typical American diet (high in white flour and sugar). This may ultimately be why low carb diets work in our society: not because of the micronutrients emphasised but simply getting rid of the most calorie-dense part of the american diet.

Can we come to any conclusions? For me, just going through the process of learning about these trendy diets has helped me to better understand my patients.  I wasn’t able to find any ‘magic’ behind these diets but I do believe that they work well for certain people. Most people have something that gets them into trouble when it comes to overeating. If that problem is overdoing it with sweets or breads then keto diet would work well. If the problem is overeating at night or grazing all day then giving yourself a “Feeding window” may prove successful.

 

Lifestyle

My Top 10 Go-To Skincare Products

I am so excited to share this highly-requested post about my skincare routine and favorite products. My skin is oily and acne-prone so my personal regimen focuses on preventing acne while also moisturizing and preventing wrinkles. Keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different so do what works for you!

Since most of these products can be found at your local drugstore, you don’t have to break the bank to have beautiful skin! There are a few splurges on here but only for products I truly think are worth the $.

  1. Cleanser

Neutrogena facewash with 3.5% benzoyl peroxide is my favorite! I leave it on my face for a few minutes while brushing my teeth then rinse in order to remove dirt, oil and bacteria.

Neutrogena makeup remover towelettes I keep these in my nightstand in case I’m reading in bed and am too lazy/sleepy to make it to the bathroom!

 

2. Facial moisturizer

Avene hydrance I apply this every morning – it’s lightweight which doesn’t cake under makeup.

3.Emollient

Cerave moisturizing cream

I use this thicker cream on my face and body before bed. I also TRY to apply it immediately after the shower but admittedly forget this way too often.

4. Retinoid

Adapalene gel

One of my biggest pet peeves is commercialized retinoids. Over-the-counter formulations are on average 1/100th the strength of prescription retinoids and are often upwards of 5x the price. There is one awesome exception – Adapalene (Differin) – which is newly over the counter and retails for about $20. I personally alternate adapalene or tazorac gel nightly (3x per week in the winter) to prevent acne as well as wrinkles.

5. Spot treat acne

I use topical prescription clindamycin foam to spot treat acne.

6. Body breakouts 

I keep Panoxyl 10% benzoyl peroxide in my shower and use it 1-2x per week to prevent body breakouts.

7. CC cream

My CC cream has SPF 50 included so I never go a day without face sunscreen! UV protection is the #1 most important ways to protect your skin from aging, discoloration and wrinkles! (#2 is to not smoke cigarettes!)

8. Body sunscreen

On rare sunny days in Boston I apply sunscreen 30 SPF or above. The efficacy of UV protection drops significantly below SPF 30 but increases only incrementally over SPF 30 (see table below). I personally use La Roche Posay brand, and it is currently the #2 most recommended by Dermatologists!

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Heliocare this is basically sunscreen in pill form! It contains Polypodium leucotomos (an antioxidant in the same family as antioxidants found in tea and coffee) which prevents DNA damage from UV light. Most effective when combined with topical sunscreen.

9. Serum

I am recently a big fan of skinceuticals HA serum. Hyaluronic acid is a natural component of the deepest skin layer and draws moisture into the skin leaving it more radiant and improving the appearance of fine lines.

 

10. Eye cream

I’ve been using Lancome eye cream since I was a teenager (thanks for the samples, mom) But am currently trying this Colorescience total eye cream and its amazing! It has multiple benefits including reducing puffiness, includes a mineral sunscreen, and brightens up the under-eye area like concealer! Gently apply to under-eye area with your ring finger to avoid applying too much pressure. 

Medicine

Why you shouldn’t waste your money on collagen peptides

Nutrition and supplement trends are changing faster than ever! One month all the B-list celebs are promoting “detox tea” and the next it’s on to collagen supplements. I was prompted to write this post for two main reasons: 1. to address the completely inaccurate trends seen on social media that make me want to pull my hair out and 2. because questions about supplements are some of the most commonly asked questions by my patients and friends.

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First, I’ll give a brief background about myself and my personal interest in supplements and nutrition:

I first took an interest in Integrative Medicine during med school when I noticed that many of my patients and friends were using “alternative” therapies and raved about them! I made it my mission in med school to find out 1. are these treatments safe?! 2. can they actually be helpful? So I took a bunch of extra electives to learn more in-depth about complementary and alternative therapies in medicine.  I became fascinated by what I learned and eventually chose integrative medicine as my area of concentration in residency! Overall, the takeaway message has been to look at each person as an individual and make sure that the benefits of any treatment outweigh the risks. To illustrate this, let’s look at some examples of popular supplements and when they might be useful:

Collagen peptides.

These are advertised all over facebook and instagram and it makes me cringe. Celebrities and manufacturers claim that collagen peptides help with bone, joint, skin and hair health however this claim scientifically makes no sense. Yes, collagen is a protein that is naturally found in the bones and skin. However when you consume any protein it is digested in the GI tract and broken down into amino acids which are then redistributed to where they are needed throughout the body (including muscles, skin). However, edible collagen does not preferentially go to the skin, it goes to wherever the body needs it the most.

The bottom line: these supplements are $$$ and have no proven benefit. Save your money.

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Apple cider vinegar (ACV)

If you google the benefits of apple cider vinegar you will find claims for improved blood sugar, mood, weight loss, acid reflux, shiny hair, smooth skin – it sounds like a miracle! But what is ACV really? Fermented juice from crushed apples. Proven benefits include improving a condition called achloremia (=insufficient stomach acid). For people with this condition, adding additional acid from ACV can help with digestion. A simple way to test whether you have insufficient stomach acid is the “burp test” illustrated below:

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Another proven benefit of ACV is that it contains probiotics, albeit a small amount. Probiotics are live bacteria which are similar to the microorganisms that live in our gut and assist with digestion.

There has been no proven benefit regarding weight loss. If you are trying to lose weight and drink a large glass of water with apple cider vinegar in the morning- as made popular by many celebs- this may help you lose weight but it’s likely simply because you are hydrating.

The bottom line: Apple cider vinegar is not a miracle drug. It will not make your hair shiny and improve your mood etc. Beware that if you have acid reflux consuming apple cider vinegar will INcrease the acid in your stomach and make this worse. Overall, ACV is cheap and not harmful so if you feel like it is helping you then keep on doing it!

Here are my most common supplement FAQ’s:

-Should i take a multivitamin?

Taking a multivitamin will provide vitamins and minerals but will not provide the phytonutrients found in whole foods. I recommend multivitamins for people who are “picky eaters” and do not eat a varied diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Ideally, a multivitamin should be derived from whole foods if at all possible. 

-Should I take vitamin D?

Vitamin D deficiency is extremely common especially in parts of the country with little sun exposure. If you live in the Northeast you should take Vitamin D supplements between October and March. If you are not sure, ask your doctor to check your levels!

-Should I take protein supplements/pre-workout supplements?

The answer is NO, at least not regularly. Most protein powders and weight lifting supplements are not regulated by the FDA aka are not required to accurately list their ingredients aka can contain ANYTHING inside of them and you will never know. Isn’t that terrifying?! Eat a balanced meal after your workouts and get your protein from real foods. Drink some caffeine or eat a snack an hour before a workout if you need an energy boost. That is all. Real foods people.

So, who needs to take supplements?

The real answer is that that every person’s body has different needs and it is almost impossible to come up with a generalizable recommendation. Consult your doctor/NP/PA/nutritionist prior to starting a new supplement regimen in order to tailor it specifically to YOU.

There are a few absolute indications such as:

-If you have a measured vitamin deficiency you should take a replacement!

-If you are a woman who is trying to get pregnant (or not on birth control because, hey, accidents happen) you should be taking folic acid.

-If you eat a very limited/rigid diet, take a multivitamin

 

Remember to keep in mind is that supplements and vitamins cannot replace whole foods and should instead be added to a balanced and healthy diet.

 

Feel free to let me know if you have any supplement-related questions or if you would like any more specific supplement reviews as I love this topic a lot and LOVE to write about it!

 

Lots of love,

Clinically Blonde

Lifestyle

Why Exercise is my #1 Prescription

As a primary care physician it’s my job to educate patients about how to live longer, healthier lives.

Exercise is my #1 prescription and without a doubt the best preventive drug.

Being physically active prevents heart disease and stroke, increases energy and bone strength, improves mood and much more! All of these benefits have been studied extensively and the conclusion is always the same: physical activity is key.

Have you ever wondered if your doctor exercises? And what this looks like?

Most doctors will tell you that finding the time to exercise changes drastically at different points in training.

Med school

I was an athlete growing up and exercise was a part of daily routine through college, but when I got to medical school things changed. With the added pressures of school I suddenly found myself feeling “guilty” for taking any time off from studying. Needless to say my physical fitness was no longer a priority. I have a very distinct memory while on clinical rotations: I was counseling a patient on diet and exercise while in my head I felt like the biggest hypocrite. This was a turning point for me and I realized that I need to prioritize my own fitness, after all shouldn’t a doctor practice what they preach?! My med school workouts were sporadic and I fit them in whenever I had time. My motto was “any movement counts.” I would wake up at 5am for a quick 20 minute run or living room workout (during the snowy Syracuse winter) before rounds. On nights when I was burnt out from studying I’d take a late night yoga class to destress. The change in my mood, stress and energy level was SO noticeable that I knew I had to continue to be active, even if that meant as little as 15-20 minutes a day.

Med school was when i discovered yoga! I started with a hip hop power yoga class recommended by a friend and was soon HOOKED. I have tried meditating countless times but have always failed to clear my mind of my to-do list. Focusing on something physical like the position of my body in a yoga pose is the only way I have ever been able to clear my mind.

Intern year

Intern year changed my routine yet again. 80 hour work weeks don’t leave much time for anything other than eating and sleeping but I knew I had to do something active for my own sanity. I was lucky enough to have a gym in my apartment building this year which made access much easier. My typical routine consisted of circuit workouts at 5am before rounds or (if I needed to catch up on sleep) a quick treadmill run at the end of the day before bed. I tend to get energized by activity so I found it VERY hard to sleep after night workouts, hence my slightly insane 5am wake-up times.

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Residency

My last year and half of residency has been a DREAM as I (mostly) work 8-5 office hours. My workout routine now consists of a gym workout or group class at 6am before work. This routine is ideal for me because it wakes me up and energizes me for my work day ahead while freeing up the afternoon for reading/seeing friends/blogging/cleaning/cooking etc. I also throw in a fitness class after work about once a week with my girlfriends, the company helps me stay accountable and is a fun way to catch up!  I am SO thankful for my specialty, family medicine, which truly values work-life balance and provides me with the free time to actually prioritize my physical/mental health and happiness (shameless plug for primary care <3)

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Medicine

“You’re too pretty to be a doctor” and other nonsense…

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“You’re too young to be a doctor”

“My cousin/daughter is a nurse too!” 

I hear these sexist and ageist remarks daily and know that I am not alone and that many of my colleagues have had similar experiences throughout their medical training. Every time I get into an uber wearing scrubs I’m asked “How do you like being a nurse?” It’s just assumed that a young female is not a doctor. (Side note: I mean no offense at ALL to nurses who are smart, capable members of the healthcare team. I couldn’t do what you do and could not get through my day without you. My point is to emphasize that many young females in medicine are assumed to be in nursing). Being a young female in medicine is TOUGH and I’ve had to work extra hard to prove myself as an intelligent, capable provider.

After being told countless times by supervisors to “tone down my looks” “make yourself look less attractive” and “stand out less” I became discouraged. In med school I used to tie my hair up in a bun and wear baggy clothes to hide my appearance in an attempt to blend in. It was terrible and I found myself feeling less confident, less energetic and not like myself at all.

I’ve finally gotten to the point where I am unapologetically myself. It has taken all of medical school and nearly all of residency to get here but here I am. My mother taught me that my outward appearance is a reflection of myself and how I present myself to the world. So yes, I like to paint my nails and do my hair and dress up. That’s ME. It’s taken a long time but I’m finally able to be myself at work. A capable, intelligent, pretty young doctor.

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Medicine

Keep calm and get your flu shot

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It’s official, flu season is here! I have already personally diagnosed multiple cases of the flu and it’s not even November! The time has come for me to obnoxiously wear a mask every time I look at a patient’s throat (ain’t nobody got time for the flu). The time has also come for skeptics everywhere to refuse the flu shot because it “makes them sick.” There may be no greater pet peeve for me as a primary care physician because the flu shot is simply so poorly understood by so many people. So here is some REAL evidence-based info, presented in an outline (dorky, sorry) because that’s just how my brain works!

What is the flu?

A contagious illness caused by the influenza virus. Symptoms usually include fevers, body aches, significant fatigue and may include cough, difficulty breathing, runny nose, headache.

How does the flu shot work?

Each year, the influenza virus goes through major genetic changes which is why there are different strains of influenza each season. Each year, researchers determine which strains of the flu will be common and develop a vaccine containing inactivated versions of these viruses. When your body is exposed to these inactivated virus particles, it forms antibodies which offer protection against infection!

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source: Wikipedia

“I always get sick/the flu after the flu shot”

This is the #1 reason that my patients refuse the flu vaccine. This sentiment is ingrained in many many Americans! The fact is: the flu vaccine cannot cause the influenza virus, it’s completely impossible for dead virus particles to cause any kind of infection. If you get sick after the flu shot, one of the following things has happened:

  • Fatigue and low grade fever for 1-2 days.
    • This is a completely normal reaction and it means that you have a functioning immune system! Your body needs to mount an immune response against the dead influenza virus present in the vaccine in order to protect you when your body encounters the live virus in the environment.
  • Cold symptoms (runny nose, cough, congestion, et.c)
    • This is a coincidence and you were going to get that cold anyway! There is absolutely no way to catch a cold from the flu vaccine since it is inactivated. Also the influenza causes much more severe symptoms than a typical cold.
  • The flu (fever, body aches, severe fatigue etc.)
    • You were unlucky and were infected with a strain of the virus not covered by this year’s vaccine.

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Why get vaccinated?

Influenza is a deadly disease! Each year hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized for severe disease and tens of thousands die. Last year, over 100 children died of the flu in the US. Thousands more were hospitalized for complications. 80% of children who died from influenza were not vaccinated.

People at risk for more severe disease include:

  • adults over 65
  • Pregnant
  • infants
  • chronic conditions such as COPD or asthma.

If you are young and healthy you may be asking: “does this apply to me?”  The answer is yes! Even if you are not at risk for severe disease, the flu vaccine prevents transmission of the virus to other should you get infected. Bottom line: if you are around pregnant people, sick people, babies or the elderly you will protect them by vaccinating yourself. Of course, every person is autonomous and can decide wether or not to vaccinate The  bottom line is: if you are around anyone susceptible to serious disease/hospitalization/death from the flu PLESE get vaccinated. I cannot emphasize this enough.

In summary…

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References:

CDC 

American Academy of Pediatrics

Medicine

Breast Cancer Awareness

In October we wear pink! Sorry Regina George, but pink isn’t only for Wednesday’s. October is breast cancer awareness month, a cause very near to my heart.

Breast cancer, more specifically the BRCA1 gene, runs in my family. Most of the women on my mom’s side of the family have had breast cancer and, thankfully, all have survived. Even without a genetic predisposition, 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in their lifetime. Aka this is a problem that affects everyone!

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Statistics

  • Breast cancers occur most commonly in women over the age of 50. About 10% occur in women age 45 or younger.
  • most women who get breast cancer have no known family history and no additional risk factors
  • What about men?
    • Men can get breast cancer too, although it is much more rare. About 1% of all breast cancers occur in men and approximately 1 in 10,000 men will be affected.

Some things that may increase your risk

  • mutations in breast cancer genes (BRCA1 or 2)
  • family history of breast cancer in a first degree relative (parent, sibling, child)
  • radiation to the chest
  • personal history of a prior breast cancer

What to look out for

  • Any new lump in the breast or armpit
  • Dimpling or breast skin
  • Pulling in of the nipple
  • Nipple discharge other than milk

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Screening and prevention

What can you do about it? The answer is screening!

Screening (definition) – a strategy used to identify the presence of an undiagnosed disease in individuals without signs or symptoms.

Mammograms are currently the best way to screen for breast cancer

  • Current guidelines from the USPSTF recommend screening with a mammogram every 2 years starting at age 50 for most women without additional risk factors. This is a relatively recent change as previous guidelines recommended starting screening at age 40, however studies show that screening earlier can actually cause more harm than benefit. Risks of early screening include false positive results as well as biopsies and unnecessary procedures. In my practice I have a shared-decision making conversation with each female patient about when to start screening. The decision to screen with mammograms before age 50 is an individual one as some women place more value on the potential benefits than the potential harms.

What about breast exams?

  • Being familiar with how your breasts look and feel can help identify any new lumps or changes. At this time, screening with self-breast exams or clinical breast exams (performed by a medical professional) are not recommended as they have not been found to lower the risk of dying from breast cancer.

 

If you think you may be at high risk for breast cancer or are having any concerning symptoms, talk to your doctor!

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For more information please visit the CDC website

Out of the Office

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday everyone!

I have officially survived my first week back from vacation and am beyond ready for the weekend.
This post features a random collection of things I’m loving this week, hope you enjoy.

  • Heliocare

Guys, this stuff if life-changing. It is basically sunscreen in pill form. Sun damage is the #1 cause of wrinkles and skin cancer and while I use a daily moisturizer with SPF, it does wear off by the end of the day. Heliocare protects your skin from the inside out against uva and uvb rays, amazing.

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  • Koffie straw

Thanks to awful reflux I limit myself to one cup of coffee a day. Somehow this one cup is STILL enough to stain my teeth horribly. I discovered these reusable silicone coffee straws and fell in love instantly. Highly recommend.

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  • Leather jackets

I’ve been terribly confused about what to wear with this in-between weather. I find myself freezing on the way to work and sweating on the way home from work. I own an embarrassing amount of leather jackets so now is my chance to layer! I may have also just bought this faux-leather drape-front jacket for only $30, how could I say no?!

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  • Donating clothes

My personal rule is I’m not allowed to buy more hangers: if I want to buy new clothes I have to donate old ones. This past week I went through and donated anything I hadn’t worn in the past year. I found this extremely difficult as I get very attached to my clothes but wow does it feel good to get rid of clutter! I did want to get rid of some items that were in better condition, and for these I opted for a sell-by-mail consignment store called Crossroads Trading. There’s an option to donate the clothes if they don’t sell which is perfect for someone trying to make room in their closet and hoping to make some extra money if possible.

 

  • Laser hair removal

As a dedicated waxer for the past few years I got fed up with the expense and decided to try a Groupon for Laser MD medspa. After 6-8 treatments I may never have to shave again! Granted, I’ve only had one treatment so far so tbd if this will really work for me. But wow this seems like such a better investment for my money, especially using the Groupon. Has anyone else tried laser hair removal and liked or disliked the experience?

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Out of the Office

Vacation Recap

Happy October!

I’m getting back into my routine after a full week of blissful vacation. The week ended up being more of a stay-cation with a few smaller trips mixed in to keep things interesting.

Saturday-Sunday

My best friend/coworker Christina and I drove down the cape to celebrate my friend Sonja’s birthday. We went out for a girl’s night dinner and drinks and had a blast catching up. Sunday was Sonja’s actual birthday and she got her ultimate birthday wish: a bonus beach day at the end of September!

 

 

Monday-Wednesday

I met my mom in NYC for some mother-daughter time. My parents live in upstate NY where I grew up, so Manhattan was an easy place for us to meet. We had the absolute best time together, probably because my mom and I enjoy doing all the same things! Our days were packed with walking (over 26,000 steps a day), shopping, eating and visiting family. One of the highlights was visiting the 47th street diamond district where my mom worked when she first moved to America over 25 years ago. We saw the booth where she used to work and even met some of her old co-workers who now own the booth. It was so special to see that piece of my mom’s life and we both left New York with amazing memories together.

 

 

Thursday

My boyfriend took the day off to spend time with me before he left for a weekend work trip, isn’t he the best?! We both did our own workouts (it felt so good to get back to the gym after almost 5 days off!) and then met up and made breakfast together. We spent the rest of the day out and about and went to see the movie “IT” in theaters, did some shopping and ate seriously amazing sushi. Admittedly, scary movies are not my thing and I watched half the movie between my fingers but it was still fun! I can’t even remember the last time I had seen a movie in theaters.

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Friday-Saturday

I picked up a moonlighting shift at the hospital. I know, I know it’s supposed to be my vacation. But this was such a great opportunity I couldn’t say no! Working a PAID shift on a rainy day when, let’s be honest, I would have just spent the day binging Netflix on my couch. While earning extra income is amazing, I’m honestly most interested in moonlighting so that I can practice working independently before I graduate from residency. It’s too easy to ask my supervising doctor if I have any doubt or question about a patient but moonlighting really challenges me to learn what I know vs. what I don’t know, when I have to look something up, when do I ask for help.

 

 

Sunday

Typical Sunday here. Started my day off at the gym, I did a quick 2 mile treadmill warmup before completing a sweaty and challenging Aaptiv strength workout. Has anyone else tried this fitness app? It’s one of my favorites! Aaptiv is audio-only so a trainer walks you through your choice of workout along to some upbeat background music. My favorites are the strength, cycle, and treadmill interval workouts. After the gym I had a productive day filled with grocery shopping, meal prepping for the week and laundry.

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Now it’s back to the grind of residency and back to real life. Part of me will miss vacation but another part of me is excited to get back to being productive again. Am I a crazy person?!

Hope everyone has a great week!

Lifestyle

First Blog Post

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One of the best parts of my job as a physician is simply being able to talk to people all day. I never wanted a “desk job” sitting behind a computer and am so privileged to get to chat with others all day and have people speak to me freely about their lives. I’ve noticed that my favorite encounters with patients are the ones where we discuss wellness – how to be “healthy” and optimize a person’s lifestyle in order to live longer and feel better. One of my hopes for this blog is to connect with people on a bigger scale and maybe even bring some inspiration or empowerment to readers.

I started journaling privately earlier this year when I was going through a rough patch in my life and found it remarkably helpful for reflection. Admittedly, my writing trailed off as that temporary crisis resolved and life got busy. My more selfish goal for this blog is that it simply holds me accountable for my own writing and reflections, if I am able to positively affect a few lives in the process then that is a bonus (and, after all what doctors are supposed to do!)

xoxo

Clinically blonde