4.13.2014

Recipe: Spinach, Avocado, Chicken Alfredo

Last week, I was having a week. Somehow I think I managed to strike that elusive work-life balance nearly perfectly and was feeling great! Among other things, that meant I did some proper cooking, including the following recipe adapted from various places (mainly because I am still too lazy to actually make my own Alfredo sauce).
Spinach, Avocado, and Chicken Alfredo Pasta
Servings: 2
1 avocado
2 cups spinach (I used frozen)
1/2 cup milk
3 cups alfredo sauce of your choice (about half a bottle)
lime juice
3-4 pieces of boneless chicken breast/thigh
cayenne pepper(or other spicening agent)
salt and pepper
pasta of your choice
garlic powder
grated romano cheese

Blend the spinach, milk, lime juice to taste, cayenne pepper to taste, half of the avocado, and the alfredo sauce together. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. Boil water and salt and add pasta. Boil, stirring occasionally until al dente. Add oil, garlic powder, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste and chicken to slightly-high-sided skillet on medium heat. Cook until chicken is almost done. Add sauce to the pan and bring sauce to a boil. Drain pasta. Serve in bowl with the rest of the avocado (sliced) and cheese on top! Enjoy (and trust me, you will enjoy)!

4.05.2014

GO!

Today, I was on a panel as part of a conference. The topic was "global experiences in healthcare" and focused on informing students (via our experiences) on some of the challenges and misconceptions of international health work and travel as well as providing advice on how to get the most out of their trips. We also tried to encourage students going abroad or starting new work in other countries to get out of the mind set of "I'm going to change the world and the lives of the community I go to," because that's not really how it works. Often, how it works is that you learn more and do less than you thought you would, but perhaps that is for the better, because just as much as we need hard workers out there is developing and rural and urban areas around the world, we need improved cultural awareness, ties of friendship and love, and mutual respect to make any of the change we are all focused on happen.

3.30.2014

Blustery Day

I was going to write something about how it is rather blustery (read: loudly and terrifyingly windy) outside today, because hey! I watched Winnie the Pooh as a kid, and I sure know some of you did, so this will be a good bonding moment. So then I Googled the clip from the movie that I was looking for and it turns out I'd totally forgotten the little song Pooh sings.
Oh the wind is lashing lustily
And the trees are thrashing thrustily
And the leaves are rustling gustily
So it's rather safe to say

That it seems that it may turn out to be
It feels that it will undoubtedly
It looks like a rather blustery day
Can someone tell me was lustily lashing winds are? Or thrashing thrustily trees? Those things all sound like they came from bad fanfiction (trind shippers, get at me), not from a cutesy little movie about stuffed animals. Disney haters and overzealous parents (have those circles completely overlapped yet??) would be all up on this, right? I could write my junior year of high school paper on this and would probably hate Baudrillard just as much coming out of it! This is outrageous! Actually, since I could literally care no less about hidden messages in Disney movies, I mostly just find it  amusing to imagine lusty winds and thrusty trees. You're welcome.
For reference:
 
Though, I am hoping my attitude doesn't bring down the tornado we are on watch for and kill us all.

3.27.2014

Caregivers


Last night I spent the better part of 6 hours helping to sort, organize, fold and package t-shirts for Relay for Life. This is something this Relay does every year, and even though I helped with it last year, it was definitely one of those things where time away from it makes you forget just how excruciating the task is. The horrendous feat was made infinitely better by the company, my Relay family as we call it, and as the clock rolled past 11pm, the sound of the bachata music, laughter of my friends, and small encouragements of "we're almost there!" and "just a little bit more!" made what seemed like an otherwise insurmountable task just a little bit easier to deal with (especially considering I was running on 4 hours of sleep and hadn't eaten dinner yet).

So when I got home around midnight, reliving the conversation from the night, I got to thinking about how much that experience parallels the experience of cancer patients and caregivers. Obviously, I'm not saying that having to fold some 500 tshirts in one night is anything close to the diagnosis of cancer for a loved one, but bear with me. Cancer affects everyone, directly or indirectly, and the people who have it and the people they love who care for them help each other in unimaginable ways, much like our little T-shirt group did, to get through the ordeal, which affects the peers just as much as the diagnosee. I've seen it firsthand a number of times. My mom was part of a group of ladies that helped a neighborhood family where the mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer by organizing 3-4 meals a day for weeks for the family during her chemo, and me and some of the older neighbor kids often babysat their 4 and 6 year old. That is called being a caregiver; it's not just the people who sit at a patient's hospital bedside (though they are supremely important as well), it's everyone, the entire community that helps a cancer patient (or anyone with serious illness really) and their loved ones with gracious support. The fight against cancer and support of those affected is a community effort, and a much needed one at that. Please consider joining a Relay for Life event near you or you can donate to me, if you'd like, HERE.

If you read all that, thank you very much. I appreciate it a lot.
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