An Unhealthy Health Nut

Look at that oozing goo~

Alright, my diet must change. The past few weeks in medical school has not helped. You would think that free lunches in a medical institution would at least be nutritious and delectable. But you know what hungry, cheap medical students are fed? Cheese pizza, garlic knots, Chinese food, and occasionally a decked-out Italian feast. Most of the time, it’s just plain, greasy pizza.

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Now, let’s flashback to my college days at NYU. I was pampered with good New York food all the time. I could bounce into Trader Joe’s next door in my pretty pajamas. I attended weekly Asian events where, of course, all the free Chinese food and goodies were happening. Oh, I indulged in bubble tea, Asian desserts, rice, vegetables, artichoke pizza, Italian cuisine, vegetarian wonders, etc… There were times I went a week without having to cook dinner or eat out. Aside from the hearty feasts, I had convenient access to a state-of-the-art gym facility in my residence hall. I lived at the Palladium for 3 years for that very reason. No blizzard or blustery rainstorm could hinder me from working out every day; I just toss on my shorts and T-shirt and took the elevator down 6 or 12 floors to the gym in the basement. Exercising was never this easy, again… because now I’m stuck in Stony Brook.

Back then, I was a serious health nut. I was vegetarian for 3 years, until senior year when I gave way to my cravings for the real deal. However, I still ate healthy veggie-laden meals from Trader Joe’s (plus the occasional craving for falafel over rice from down the street!) and I did cardio almost every night before hitting the books. Now, the gym is not so easily accessible and my school work fills up my schedule. The gym is not so nice and medical school keeps me buried in books, though I always make time for fun and leisure.

Now, I’ve been tracking my food intake again, to help me with my nutrition assignment due soon. I used to utilize Livestrong’s “My Daily Plate,” which helped me slim down and see what’s going into my gastric pouch. Here are a few things I learned about myself from this nutrition assignment:

1) I don’t need a lot of calories to stay alive. The ‘typical’ 2000 calorie-diet would make me fat. Instead, my calculation came out to ~1400.

2) My workouts are intense. I do between 30-60 minutes of cardio, split between the elliptical (aerobics setting) and the treadmill. With the treadmill, I gradually increase my speed over a period of 20-30 minutes, depending on my mood, up to 6-6.5 mph. An hour workout lets me burn up to 500 calories. Sweeet!!!

3) I also walk a lot. It was a lifestyle back in Manhattan, and I brought it to Stony Brook. Not the most practical out in the suburbs, but whatever. Rain, snow, sun… I like a challenge.

4) Oh, I think I just kicked my own butt today with points 2 and 3 above. Trudging through deep snow and ice + running my legs sore = stretched calcaneus, aka Achille’s tendon. Ouchies…

5) I must stop eating free food at the medical center. Yes, the food is yummy. I get hungry. I have cravings for junk food. Free lunches save me from bringing in or buying my meals. But, the medical school is ironically contributing to the nation’s fat problem. Way to expand my abdominal viscera and plump up your future doctors =/

6) This past Monday was a carb hell: garlic knots and cheese pizza filled up my day. I’m not putting myself through that absorptive state again.

7) My healthy alternatives:

– Trader Joe’s whole wheat bread, avocado relish with some chili sauce and lemon juice, lite Havarti cheese, Tofurkey deli slices, and edamane hummus

– corn, peas, carrots with lemon juice and lite basil vinagrette, sprinkled with dried cranberries and cashews

– blueberries, Fuji apple, and medium banana, drizzled in low-fat strawberry yogurt

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