This Sedentary Life

Hey there, chickadees.  It’s 2:40 on a Wednesday, so for all you working lads and lasses, your week is more than halfway done! I hope it’s been a good one.   As for myself, I’ve spent the past few days with my fingers fused to the keyboard, searching for any and every job post.  My boss forwarded me this article yesterday… talk about depressing!  I’m still optimistic, and feel like there is always something somewhere, even if it’s not exactly what I’m looking for.  There is hope!

Yesterday I got up on the very early side to finish some reading and writing for my internship.  I caffeinated myself and prepared this lovely (if not very random) breakfast.

Yogurt Muffin Mess

In the mix:

  • Stonyfield Farms organic fat free plain yogurt
  • Trader Joe’s Mangolicious mango/berry blend, warmed
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1/2 Silver Moon pumpkin muffin, smeared with peanut butter

On Tuesdays when I intern at the office, there’s usually only an hour or two of work for me to do.  When there, I file, run errands, and read manuscripts; when I’m at home, I read and write in the comfort of my bed.  Yesterday there were a few outdoor things to do; I always enjoy a trip outside to stretch my legs and a chance to re-start my energy with a snack.  On one such occasion, I snacked on a Great Date w/ Chocolate YouBar.

Great Dates w/ Chocolate YouBar

I really liked this bar! I will write up a full product review once I have tried all of the samples I was given, but should you decide to make a purchase at YouBar in the meantime, enter the code “Lilveggiepatch” at checkout for a 5% discount.

At noon, right as I was leaving the office, I got a call from an orthopedist’s office letting me know I had gotten a last-minute appointment with the doctor to figure out just what’s going on with my knee.  I had just enough time to pick up a salad at Ready To Eat, an upscale takeaway deli near work.  I picked up a curried shrimp salad, which came with mixed greens, avocado, orange, tomato, and lemon. It was on the pricey side ($9.95) considering I hadn’t planned on buying a meal (had to cancel a lunch date with my mom for the appointment), but the salad was really big and very filling.

Ready To Eat Shrimp Curry Salad

In what’s becoming true LVP-style, I inhaled my lunch on a bench in the subway in less than ten minutes.  Sadly, in my frenzy to eat and make my appointment on time, my poor tomato flipped out of the container and onto the ground. The 5-second rule does not apply in NYC public transit, sorry.  It was a good thing I took the time to sit and eat, however, because I bumped into a good friend I hadn’t seen in an embarrassingly long time, and who now lives in California!  It was a very nice surprise, but we were both in a hurry and had to rush off.

I got to the hospital an hour before my appointment to take X-Rays.

Hospital for Special Surgery

The X-Ray technician was great. Each time she moved me or took a photo, she explained exactly what she was doing and why.  Here is the X-Ray of my right knee:

Knee X-Ray

Unfortunately, the appointment with the doctor himself left me frustrated, confused, and really irritated.  He did not go over the X-Rays at all, explain what he was doing as he manipulated my leg, and only gave me information when I asked him directly.  Do I have a sprained mensicus? No. I was told that I did… is it possible that it healed itself already? No.  My knee-cap clicked a bit just now… is that normal? You have a little arthritis.   He did say that it was caused my overdoing it, and that low calcium + vitamin D is probably part of the culprit.  I should take Citrical supplements, and get a bone density scan. (I used to take a massive quantity of vitamins every morning, but didn’t want to spend the money re-stocking when I ran out.)

He left the room about two minutes later, and still didn’t know what I could and could not do.  When can I run? Can I strength train? What, if anything, should I do at the gym? Arthritis?! I got dressed and found him outside in the hallway, and, desperate for one more minute of his time, asked if I had arthritis.  He then examined me in the middle of the hallway, lifting the back of my shirt up all the way and having me bend completely over, as he stood very close to me and ran his fingers along my spine. I don’t think I need to elaborate on what that looked like from the side.  I’m sure the doctor wasn’t trying to do anything inappropriate and didn’t think that I might be a little uncomfortable in front of other patients with my shirt up, but I was really uncomfortable.  Uncomfortable, and angry that the doctor hadn’t made sure that I understood what was wrong with me, and how I could fix it without hurting myself again.  Not knowing how to improve is so frustrating.  I think I’m overly sensitive about it because running was a reliable way for me to structure my day now that I don’t have a job, and now I just feel like I’m floating in limbo.

On the way out of the office, I scheduled a bone density test for Thursday at 8:30 AM.  I also received a prescription for physical therapy, although the prescription is for work on my left knee, and not my right. (Mistakes can happen, and luckily this isn’t a serious one… I have a friend who had the wrong side of his body operated on a few years ago.) I talked to my dad, near tears, right after I left the doctor’s office.  He said this is usually how “network doctors” (doctors who are covered by insurance) work, because they have so many patients to see each day.  I understand that, but I also wanted some answers.  He called the office and asked them to call me back… the doctor’s assistant actually just called (a day later) as I was typing this post.  She didn’t know much else, except that I have a “knee sprain.”  I asked about the arthritis, and she said that, from the X-Ray, I don’t have it. I should only use the recumbent bike at the gym, and no strength training.   So now, I really don’t know what to think.  The doctor basically told me the exact opposite things that the physical therapist did last week.  I need to start seeing the physical therapist so I can gradually start running again, but I haven’t been able to get their office on the phone.

It isn’t news that doctors are overstretched and, unless they’re privately hired, don’t have time to work closely with patients.  I’m lucky to not have really needed hospital or serious doctor care until recently, and I need to learn to be patient with “the system.”  That patience needs to be transferred to my job search as well…. Om.

When I got home from the hospital yesterday, I was pretty hungry and made a yogurt bowl with a microwaved apple, cinnamon and granola.

Yogurt Bowl

After spending a couple hours decompressing, I set to work on a new baking project.  Since high school, cooking and baking has always been a way for me to relax and take a break from more stressful things like school work and job searching.  Even though the finished product might not be “perfect”, it’s finished, and I can feel good about that.  So, without further ado, I give you…

The Virtually Fat-Free* & Vegan Banana-Pumpkin-Date Tea Loaf! (And don’t let the name scare you off… it tastes pretty darn good.)

*Bananas have a very small amount of fat.

Adapted from Veganomicon‘s Lower-Fat Banana Bread.

Fat Free Pumpkin/Banana/ Date Tea Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 3 small ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin pie mix
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 crushed cloves, or 1/8 teaspoon ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup chopped dates (about 7 medjools)

Preheat the oven to 350˚ and lightly grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a fork until no large chunks remain.  Add molasses, applesauce, and pumpkin pie mix and stir.  Mix in half of the flour, spices, and salt. Stir in the remaining flour until no clumps remain.  Fold in chopped dates.

Pour batter into pan.

Fat Free Pumpkin/Banana/ Date Tea Loaf 1

It will be very thick.

Fat Free Pumpkin/Banana/ Date Tea Loaf 2

Bake on middle rack for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted through the center comes out clean.  Cool. It will be dense, but adorable.

Fat Free Pumpkin/Banana/ Date Tea Loaf 3

While the bread cooled, I made a quick and easy dinner that was a tribute to my college days of yore.

College Mac & Cheese

I mixed a cooked sweet potato and a can of tuna into a packet of Annie’s Mac & Cheese. I always enjoy Annie’s with a little more cheeze than the packet comes with, so I added a scoop of nooch as well.  A sprinkle of chili flakes made it the perfect meal, taking me right back to long days procrastinating writing papers.

Mac & Cheese w/ tuna, sweet potato & nutritional yeast

For dessert, I had two small slices of fresh low fat vegan banana-pumpkin-date tea cake, one plain and one with almond butter and raspberry jam.  It’s moist, soft, and perfectly sweet.  Possibly not the best idea to bake a whole loaf of bread when most of your roommates are on vacation, but…

Pumpkin/Banana/ Date Tea Loaf

I tried to hold out for as long as possible, but eventually went back for another plain slice.  What can I say? Blame Lexi Gray.

Pumpkin/Banana/ Date Tea Loaf 1 Pumpkin/Banana/ Date Tea Loaf 2

Alright, time to get a-movin’.  If the recumbent bike is all I can use, I’m off to bike-a-way.

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27 responses to “This Sedentary Life

  1. the bread looks amazing. and I totally ate annie’s all the time in college, too!

  2. I’m sorry you didn’t get any great answers. I did take my calcium and vitamin D supplement this morning for the first time in months, so I’ll definitely be following through with that. Generally in cases like your, I diagnose myself on the internet. So you could have a sprained miniscus or you might have a rare and unnamed disease of your big toenail that travels up and causes knee pain. I’m making that up by the way.

    I’m sending job vibes your way. Doesn’t the Upwelling need a stylist?

  3. wow, I’m so sorry about that gnarly doctor experience. I was getting frustrated just reading about it! I hope you manage to get in touch with the physical therapist again, and get your diagnosis straightened out.

    so glad you didn’t observe the 5 second rule in the subway. very good call 🙂

    that IS an adorable loaf! I love the ingredient list. I think this might be my next baking project…

  4. Wait, your BOSS forwarded you that article?? Hmm… haha.

    Ay yay yay, I’m terribly sorry about the frustrating doctor’s appointment 😦 You know I’m here for you!! xoxo

  5. That tea cake sounds delicious.

    I’m sorry about your doctor’s appointment. You certainly are not being overly sensitive about it. It’s your body and he is a doctor. They’re supposed to be helpful. There is nothing wrong with wanting answers. I’d really ignore what the assistant said because they didn’t look at you or talk to you. Honestly, the best person to trust here is probably the physical therapist.

  6. Ha so Little Gray is the banana bread culprit? I seeee.

    It looks SOOO good! Do you think I could sub whole wheat flour for the all-purpose?

    I’m so sorry about your doctor’s appointment. I’ve been there, and it is SO frustrating. Appts like that make me feel like doctors have no idea what they’re talking about. Would you consider changing to different one? Also, I’ve had similar problems–poppping and such–and I’ve also been told it might be due to calcium deficiency/bone density. I’m considering the scan, too. If you ever feel like coming to Brooklyn, you we can go to the gym and be gimpy workout buddies and chug crazy calcium shakes. sounds appealing, no?

  7. Ugh, I’m sorry about the doctor’s appointment… some doctors really just have an awful “bedside manner” and do not know how to deal with people at all. I hope your upcoming medical encounters are better!

    As an aside — you eat kiwi skins? I didn’t know that you could do that… does it affect the taste any?

    ❤ ❤

  8. that bread looks great! i am all about the annie’s too =) sorry about the bad hospital experience, that sucks.

  9. Oh my katie. I am sososo sorry I wish I could give you a hug! I really hope this wasn’t my recommendation, but I fear it was! I will email you soon!

  10. Ok sweetie the easy part is the food, I made something so similar to what you just made in case you missed it, here it’s really easy and yummy
    http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2009/10/vegan-peanut-butter-banana-bread.html

    The hard part is what you’re going thru with your health. Keep your chin up, I know it’s hard. I have had surgery on my knees twice and have some chronic medical conditions that I dont blog about but that cause me chronic pain and it’s very hard and I totally understand what you’re going thru. Write me on email if you wanna vent or chat. Dr’s suck pretty much too and they contradict each other all the time, so frustrating but big hug 🙂

  11. I’m really sorry your appointment didn’t give you the answers you were hoping for…the doctor sounds pretty unprofessional (examining you in the hallway?!) Good luck with the bone scan and getting hold of the PT office *big hugs*

  12. Nom. I want your bread. Please?

    Sorry about the knee, KatieBee. I wish I had a quick-fix answer for you… I hope you hear back some sort of concrete news soon!

    As for the job sitch, I am sure I could find a lil’ somethin somethin for you in Russia… Yeah?

  13. YO. I’m seriously about to castrate the living shit out of that horrible physician. Bed side behavior. Ever heard of it? That is so repulsive and I am so sorry that happened to you! You should call the hospital and tell them, if you are comfortable. Or have your dad do it 😀

    And that bread looks SO DIVINE! I WANT!

    I love you so hunnychild. SO SO MUCH.

  14. -ps- You should get your nerves checked out- My mommy had a pinched nerve btw the 4th and 5th vertebrae of her spine and the pain created a cyst in her leg. Xango (this crazy antioxidant drink) completely cured her. She had the date set for Spinal Fusion surgery and cancelled it two weeks later 😀

  15. that doctors appt does sound frustrating! there is nothing worse than not knowing, and people not helping just makes things worse. crossing my fingers for you that you get everything figured out soon 🙂

    in other words, i LOVE your dinner. ummm why have i never thought to add sweet potato to mac n’cheese. lovely!

    have a good night dear!

  16. omg reading the recap of the whack doc appt. after hearing about it first-hand just solidified how INSANE that experience must have been! i know you’ll be in top shape in no time though. that’s just my diagnosis though…

    love you and our dates! and the fact that i already chowed down on some of that amazing bread — i’m ALL about being your taste tester anytime! thank you so much for the sweet present 🙂

    see you ASAP? great!

  17. breadandwithit

    I saw that jobs article too, and that is so not going to be you.

    Keep going, and never give up. Sounds like the knee thing isn’t going to mean surgery, and might just mean some PT and gradually getting back into your running routine.

    Too bad you had to cancel lunch with your mom.

  18. I’m so, so sorry that your appointment was that awful! That’s why I hate going to the doctor. Sure there are some awesome ones but there are far too many that aren’t helpful and don’t answer your questions. I understand that they’re busy but it’s their job to care for people not just pass them along. Ugh, I could go on! I hope you get some answers soon. In the mean time, keep baking those fabulous loaves of bread. It will help make you feel better 🙂

  19. Hey hun, i’m sorry about the doctor. sometimes they can be so cruel…not realizing that how they act/react is totally affecting another’s life in so many ways! but I hope that you find some answers soon and stay positive! i think a smile will help the healing!

    and that bread looks awesome! bookmarked so i can make when i get home!

  20. Sorry about your doctor. They can be so frustrating sometimes. They sometimes seem to not care at all! Why be a doctor then??

    On a better note, that bread looks amazing!! Good luck with the job hunt!

  21. What a frustrating appointment! No love for his patients at all….I hope you get the answers you need next time around!

    On the food front- that shrimpy salad looks fantastic, as does your yogurt/apple/cinnamon/granola mix.

    Best of luck on the job front- I know you’ll get something! Keep pushing girl!

  22. arrrghh, that doctor visit frustrated even me. even if what your dad said is true, you’d think that the doctors would want to actually help his patients such as answering some questions! hope everything works out!

  23. Best of luck on rehabilitating your leg…I know that pumpkin bread would cheer ME up a bit:)

  24. Oh gosh, I’m so sorry about the doctor situation. I have totally been in the same boat and I agree that it royally sucks. Keep pushing to get what you need! Best of luck – I’ll be thinking of you.

  25. That banana bread looks SOOO good! I love having fresh baked anything with dried fruit in them because the fruit gets all warm and tart and soft and chewy…
    …you can tell I haven’t anything like that in a while haha no access to baking in college sucks!

    I’m sorry everything going on with your knee is so frustrating, but keep up your optimism!! 🙂 best of luck with everything

  26. Aww girlie, don’t worry, you are going to find an amazing job that you will love. How could you not, considering your fine PS 199 education;) I told my mom about that too and she thought it was hilarious!

    That doctor sounds absolutely terrible, I certainly would not return to him. Healthcare in this country definately needs a complete overhall. Hopefully the bone scan will reveal some helpful results.

    Sorry this is such a long comment but, yes, we definitely need to meet up again soon! Elise should come as well to make it a real par-tay:)

  27. Oh sweetie! I hope you feel better! That’s terrible frustrating. As always, your food looks amazing!!!

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