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Getting Organized!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I just started a two-month vacation, which I'm using to get myself organized and build healthy habits that can be sustained when I start clinical rotations in May. The first step was to see the medical specialists I was referred to when I saw my family doc for fatigue, leg cramps, hair loss, and a bunch of other stuff last year. It has been a productive series of appointments. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and severe sleep apnea. That sure explained a lot! The good news is that I don't have asthma after all -- the doc who diagnosed me with asthma ten years ago didn't perform pulmonary function tests -- whoops! It turns out I have great lung function, and once the sleep apnea has been treated, the wheezing and shortness of breath I get from time to time will go away. I've only been on thyroid meds for a few days, and I'm already feeling so much better. Hopefully the lost hair will grow back quickly. :)

I cleaned out the kitchen last night. The cupboards have been reorganized so that the healthy stuff (rice, pasta, beans, spices, plain oatmeal, and my tea collection) is in the lower cupboards, and the salt-laden convenience foods (instant potatoes, ramen, stove-top stuffing, microwave popcorn, instant oatmeal) is up high, out of sight. The rice cooker now has a permanent home on the counter. The food scale and measuring cups and spoons now live on the counter, too. The tupperware and their lids are organized and ready to go. I pre-chopped all the fresh veggies in the refrigerator. The root veggies, squashes, and citrus fruits (lots of limes!) are now displayed in bowls on the breakfast bar so I won't forget I have them. I was amazed by the stockpile of dry goods in my cupboards...bag after bag of pasta (including three kinds of couscous), six kinds of rice, at least a dozen different kinds of lentils and beans. Having gone through the entire kitchen last night, I realize I could probably go six months without buying anything but produce, half & half, and a little meat now and then. I appear to be something of a food hoarder!

After taking inventory of the kitchen, I spent several hours collecting recipes online. I've noticed that I don't even miss the meat, cheese, and fat when I eat intensely flavored vegetable dishes at my favorite Thai, Indian, and Ethiopian restaurants. So these are the recipes I've decided to focus on. I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of the spices needed are already in my pantry. Tonight I'll trawl the internet for some more traditional soup recipes and healthy dessert ideas. Last (and most intimidating) will be the search for good whole grain baking recipes. I won't have much time for cooking during most of my rotations, but between batch cooking and using the rice cooker, I should be able to eat really well anyway.

I tiled the floors of my entire apartment last month, so my exercise for the next few days will be grouting. Once that's done, I'll get focused on a real exercise program.

It feels really good to be starting over from the ground up. I feel so lucky to have Spark People as a resource. There is so much great information and support here. What a blessing.

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