Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Third Time’s A Charm

Good afternoon!

Last night after rotation, I had plans to meet for dinner with my two friends, Aimee and Gina. Well, it turned out to be quite the adventure to find a place to eat! We had originally planned on checking out the Sundance Grill and Bar since we’ve all driven by it numerous times but have never actually eaten there.

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Unfortunately, when I arrived at the restaurant I discovered that it closes at 2:30pm on Mon-Wed Sad smile. Apparently, it’s more of a breakfast and lunch joint than a dinner place. If that’s the case, then in my opinion they shouldn’t include “bar” in the restaurant name. Just sayin’.

Attempt number two at dinner took us to a place called The Establishment that just opened in November. We seated ourselves and didn’t really think anything of the fact that the “restaurant” was completely empty at 6:00pm. However, when the only menu our waitress brought us was a drink menu, we realized they weren’t serving food. The waitress apologized and said their kitchen would be opening at the end of the month, and we couldn’t help but laugh at our second failed dinner attempt.

We asked the waitress at The Establishment for some restaurant recommendations (we are always looking for locally owned places downtown to try out) and she spoke highly of a place called The Bull's Head Tavern. So it was off to Bull’s Head we went!

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Luckily, the third time’s a charm and we were finally successful at finding somewhere to eat dinner.

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(I’ve been seeing a lot more of this girl lately and I’m not complaining!)

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By the time we were seated we were all starving and Gina and attacked the bread basket.

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I had the wheat roll and it was just eh. Rolls are definitely not the this restaurant’s specialty.

When it came to choosing my entrée, I had trouble deciding between the Garden Burger

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and the Grilled Chicken Breasts.

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It seems like I get veggie burgers quite frequently at restaurants, so I decided to branch out and get the grilled chicken breasts. When I saw that they had mashed sweet potatoes, I asked to substitute those for the wild rice pilaf.

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The chicken was okay, but it was pretty spicy and I only ate one of the breasts.

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I know I managed to eat every bite of my sweet and spicy habanero chicken at Chili’s a couple weeks ago, but I guess I just wasn’t feelin’ the heat last night! The mashed sweet potatoes were awesome though and I wolfed those right down.

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Overall, my experience at Bull’s Head was alright (food-wise that is; the company was fantastic!). I wasn’t crazy about what I ordered, but Aimee and Gina both really enjoyed their meals (as did I…because I definitely stole bites of Aimee’s duck and Gina’s pasta). I’d go back again just to give the garden burger a try Winking smile.

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In other news, today was my last day of my compounding rotation!

  • August/September: Internal Medicine
  • October: Academic (elective)
  • November: Veterinary Medicine (elective)
  • December: OFF
  • January: Advanced Community
  • February: Compounding Pharmacy (elective)
  • March/April: Ambulatory Care

Tomorrow I start my LAST rotation, ambulatory care. I cannot believe how quickly this year is going by; graduation is just two months away!! I still remember my first day of internal medicine. It was seven months ago but it feels like it was yesterday. Crazy!


I’ve got the afternoon off and I’ll be using my time to get myself organized for my next rotation, work on some blog stuff, and just relax. Then later tonight the folks at the compounding pharmacy invited me to join them for dinner. Should be fun Smile.


Enjoy the rest of your day!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fluffy Greek Yogurt Pancakes

I wish I could say that I slaved away last night making delicious homemade enchiladas.

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But alas, I have Amy's Kitchen to thank for this dinner.

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Even though they weren’t homemade, I thoroughly enjoyed these enchiladas. Also, it is important to note that I didn’t notice they contained tofu (I have an irrational fear of the spongy food) until after they were already in the oven, but I decided to give them a try anyways. Well, I’m happy to report that I couldn’t even taste the tofu and still loved the meal.

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Also, in case you didn’t notice, I try really hard to make frozen meals seem more homemade. Doing little things like putting the food on a nice plate and serving them with a homemade side (sautéed onion and red bell pepper in this case) really does make it taste better, I swear Winking smile.

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Alright, enough about last night’s frozen dinner. Let’s talk about something I actually cooked: breakfast this morning!

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You all know about my little obsession with Julie’s Greek yogurt protein pancakes. Well, today I set out to create my own recipe, hoping to create a fluffier pancake as well as reduce the calories a bit (including the fruit topping and maple syrup, my Greek yogurt protein pancake that I normally make is around 500 calories). I’d definitely say I was successful!

Fluffy Greek Yogurt Pancakes

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used vanilla Chobani) 
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions

Mix flour, oats, and baking powder together in small mixing bowl. Add Greek yogurt, egg white, and vanilla and stir until thoroughly mixed (an immersion blender would be ideal, but I just used a spoon). Batter will be thick. Pour (or spoon) batter onto hot, greased skillet or pan, divided into three pancakes. Cook on medium heat for one to two minutes, until bottom is slightly browned. Flip pancakes and cook for one to minutes on other side. Plate and top with syrup and fruit (or more Greek yogurt!).

Nutritional information (NOT including toppings): Calories: 295.8 | Total fat: 1.8 g (Saturated fat: 0.3 g) | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Carbohydrates: 47.1 g | Dietary fiber: 2.8 g | Sugar: 10.3 g | Protein: 21.7 g

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These were seriously the best Greek yogurt pancakes that I’ve ever had. The addition of flour and baking powder makes them fluffy and taste much more like a “pancake,” but you can still taste the Greek yogurt and I like the chewiness that the oatmeal adds.

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After the addition of maple syrup (1 Tbsp) and fresh berries, this breakfast totaled out to about 400 calories. Not bad for a big old plate of pancakes! Do yourself a favor and go make these.

 

Annnnnd I’m off! I have to give a presentation at my rotation today. Today’s topic: Compounding for hospice!


Catch ya later Smile

Monday, February 27, 2012

MPA Awards Banquet

Good morning!

I’m here with my final recap from the MPA ACE! In case you’re catching up from the weekend, you can read the first two posts about the convention below:


So Saturday night was the final banquet, which is my favorite part of the whole weekend. Even though shopping for dresses is kind of a pain, I do like getting dressed up and wearing them Smile.

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Eric, Brad, Gina and I got all dolled up in our hotel rooms before heading downstairs to catch the last few minutes of the cocktail hour and take some pictures.

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By the time we arrived the drink line was out the door, but we weren’t about to miss out on our free drink! (They give everyone one free drink token.) Unfortunately, I left my ID up in the hotel room and didn’t realize it until we were almost up to the bar. I quickly bolted back up to our room and grabbed it, but by the time I got back everyone had made their way into the main ballroom to be seated for dinner. Since people were still finding their seats, I decided I had time to run over to the bar and still make use of my token – there were no lines this time Winking smile. I’m happy to report I was successful and nabbed myself a glass of white zin to enjoy with my dinner.

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Speaking of dinner, it was quite tasty!

It started off with salad and a roll.

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I wasn’t particularly excited about the main entrée when I saw what the wait staff was serving (some kind of steak and salmon combo), so I politely asked our server if there was a vegetarian option available. She told me they had a lasagna dish and kindly brought me a plate. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw my meal because this wasn’t just any lasagna: it was a spinach and artichoke lasagna!

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It was so good. I actually think I am going to try to recreate this recipe sometime in the next few weeks.

Oh, and we can’t forget the dessert.

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CHEESECAKE! Enough said. The girl next to me gave up sweets for Lent, and it took a lot of willpower not to snatch her piece Winking smile.

 

I spent about an hour eating and chatting with the pharmacists at my table, and then it was time for the awards ceremony.

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A number of pharmacists were recognized for their achievements in the profession over the past year, and the installation of this year’s MPA president took place as well. I mentioned this the other day, but my preceptor of my current rotation was actually the president last year so he got to do the installation.

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Pretty neat!

 

The awards ceremony lasted about an hour and a half and when it was over, Eric, Gina and I were invited to the president’s suite where they were hosting a little shin-dig for the members. My preceptor introduced Eric and I to quite a few pharmacists, including a few who work in Traverse City. These conventions are all about networking! We were up at the suite for about an hour and then came back to the hotel room to change before going to the downstairs bar in the hotel lobby.

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We were probably at the bar for an hour or so before we realized how completely wiped out we were and decided to call it a night.


Yesterday morning, we were up bright and early for a pharmacy law review, and then Gina and I drove back to Grand Rapids. I spent the rest of the day unpacking, lounging, and taking care of some “graduation business.”

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I cannot believe I’m actually filling out my pharmacist license application! I’ve been in college for six years, but it feels like I just started yesterday. Crazy!

Oh, and I’ll definitely be using up every last penny of those student loans.

Getting licensed is expensive!


Time for my last week at my compounding rotation. I have a presentation tomorrow, and then my last day is on Wednesday. I’m really going to miss that place!

Catch ya later Smile

Saturday, February 25, 2012

More MPA Adventures

It’s official: I’ve apparently thrown the concept of “moderation” completely out the window and have enjoyed way too many cookies and brownies over the last two days. Actually, I’m currently experiencing a bit of a sugar buzz and as you all know, when you eat sugar you crave more of it! Since it’s nearly 5:00 and dinner is at 7:00, I am going to try to refrain from eating anything else so I don’t completely ruin my appetite tonight, but I’m not beating myself up about anything. It’s one weekend and I’m enjoying myself!


Anyways, let’s rewind back to yesterday. After I last left ya, a few of us went downstairs and grabbed some dinner from the hotel food court (I rolled with Subway). Yes, this hotel has a food court.

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You can’t see it in this picture, but it’s down there. Pretty baller Winking smile.


After we finished eating we headed to the student social to mingle with the other students attending the convention, including those from the University of Michigan and Wayne State colleges of pharmacy. Some of our professors also made an appearance, so it was nice to chat with them outside of the classroom.

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Everyone was given a token for a free drink and they provided pizza and cookies for us as well. We all passed on the pizza since we had already eaten before hand, but Brad, Gina and I dove head first into the cookies.

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They served these same cookies last year, and I don’t know what it is about them but they are so good. Chewy and moist and everything a chocolate chip cookie should be Open-mouthed smile.

Even though there are students from the other pharmacy schools here, Ferris is definitely dominating the student population of convention attendees this weekend. One of our classmates managed to get everyone together for a big Ferris group picture last night. It was a little chaotic, but we managed it!

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When the social was over, we went back to our hotel room and had a few drinks before making our way down to the hotel bar to socialize with everyone else.

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I didn’t brink my camera to the bar, but we didn’t end up staying very late anyways. Eric, Gina and I were pretty tired so we called it a night around 11 or so. It was nice to wake up this morning feeling somewhat refreshed and not hung over!

 

Today started with a quick breakfast down at the food court with Eric. I grabbed some oatmeal from McDonalds and ate it along with an orange that I brought from home (I always bring fruit and granola bars from home when I travel).

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Even though it’s loaded with sugar, I really do like this oatmeal. It’s a fairly healthy fast food breakfast option and tastes pretty good!

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When we finished eating, we decided to attend one of the continuing education (CE) sessions that the convention has ongoing all weekend. Eric and I decided to attend the medication therapy management (MTM) session because it’s very relevant to both of our future careers, since we’ll be both be starting out in the community pharmacy field. In a nutshell, MTM is the concept of meeting with a patient and having a thorough discussion with them about all of their medications. The goal is to make sure they are taking them all correctly, there are no unnecessary medications or inappropriate dosages, and to address any questions they may have. 


The rest of the afternoon has been pretty busy! First we had the MSHP (Michigan Society of Health Systems Pharmacists) student luncheon.

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An MPA executive board member spoke to us about a legislative update while we ate boxed lunches that were provided to us.

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The lunches contained a turkey sandwich, chips, an apple, cole slaw, and a brownie. I gave my chips to Eric and ate the sandwich, the apple, and the brownie…and Eric’s brownie Winking smile. They were good!

When lunch was over, had about 30 minutes to check out the exhibit hall and we scored lots of free stuff from the vendors.

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Like previous years, I left with a bag full of pens, notepads, lotion samples, and candy. Good stuff Smile.

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After the exhibit hall, we went straight to the Student Self Care Competition, which is a Jeopardy style game where representatives from all three Michigan pharmacy schools compete to win free drug software (and bragging rights, of course).

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We had way too much fun at this and realized just how nerdy we actually are when we got overly excited about knowing the answers to most of the questions.

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The answer to that question is “What is Coenzyme Q-10,” in case you were wondering Winking smile.


Hey, we’re proud of our nerdyness.

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Alright, this post is getting way too long and besides that, it’s time to get ready for the banquet! See ya tomorrow with the final recap of the weekend Smile.

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