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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
- 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.
It will be very thick.
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.
While the bread cooled, I made a quick and easy dinner that was a tribute to my college days of yore.
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.
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…
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.
Alright, time to get a-movin’. If the recumbent bike is all I can use, I’m off to bike-a-way.