This weekend was one of the best in a while – especially since classes are now over for a bit and I have some extra-ish brain space on weekends to completely devote to resting and recharging without homework at the back of my mind.
I was back in clinical rotations this week to work with the ketogenic diet for seizure control in pediatric patients (more info here) and it was a perfect rotation to get back into the swing of hospital life. In short, keto is a diet that is high fat, moderate protein, and limited carbohydrate that results in your body producing ketones to fuel your brain (instead of the glucose it normally uses) and that in turn helps control seizures in people with epilepsy. This rotation also helped me sort out some feelings about medical diets vs. “everyday diets” (aka, counting macros, paleo, and other trendy eating patterns) and while I’m still firmly anti-diet when it comes to the healthy general population, extreme circumstances call for extreme measures and I think it’s amazing how much this diet helps improve quality of life in those with epilepsy.
Here’s a ketogenic pizza I made with the help of the clinic’s sweet chef educator, who made the crust at home and brought it in to me to try. The “crust” is actually an egg white whipped until it’s stiff, then pan-cooked on both sides and topped with tomato sauce, lots of butter, lots of cheese, and TWO pepperoni. Normally it would be broiled, but I settled for microwaved since we were in the offices. I calculated the composition of this pizza myself and clearly it was a greasy disaster (it actually tasted fine, thanks to some liberal shakes of garlic and oregano), but it was a great learning tool to show me not only how labor-intensive the ketogenic diet can be for families, but how unpalatable the food can be (mostly when an intern makes up a recipe… the chef does a wonderful job of making keto delicious).
I took Friday off to drive down to Springfield, MO for my friend Erin’s graduation from Missouri State and kicked off my day with a 6am Americano and breakfast wrap from Starbucks in the car. I stopped by her apartment when I got into town and she had more coffee waiting for me (she’s a keeper) and we hugged a ton and caught up before heading to my wedding dress fitting with another one of my bridesmaids.
For obvious reasons, I’m not sharing a photo of my dress until after our August wedding, but after buying my dress forever ago at a sale, it felt so amazing to put it on again with all my accessories and play dress-up for an hour. I kept getting excited about how much I loved the finished look that I was gesturing wildly with my hands as I was talking and ended up sticking myself several times with all the pins attached to me… although the sweet seamstress had Band-Aids on hand so I can’t be the first bride to get overly excited during a fitting, right? And of course I spent too long thinking about wearing my dress for my wedding and teared up which caused Erin and Audrey to tear up and then I spent the next few minutes apologizing to the shop owner and explaining we hadn’t seen each other in a year.
After my fitting, Aud and I split with Erin so she could go get ready for graduation, and headed to lunch at The Grotto where I grabbed this chicken teriyaki bowl that was extra-satisfying when paired with an outdoor table and a breeze. I actually only ate about half since I was getting full and was headed to meet up with a former professor (why I scheduled myself two lunch dates was beyond me, but they were both delicious and YOLO). I went for a small cup of soup at Panera and chatted with my professor about intern life before heading back to campus to see Erin’s nursing school pinning ceremony!
My goodness, I missed these sweet girls something fierce over the last year. We lived together with our friend Lauren (also my MOH) for two years in undergrad and I hadn’t seen them since last summer when I graduated so I was thrilled to be there to cheer on Erin who graduated Friday, and Audrey who graduated in December.
After the pinning, Aud headed to a graduation party for another of our friends while I ended up waiting out a tornado warning with Erin’s family in a weather shelter, then sprinted the half-mile to the arena for graduation in pouring rain. As annoying as it was to be soaking wet for the two-hour ceremony, it felt fitting since the first time I met these two as potential roommates, I had to run in a downpour from my apartment to the student union to meet them at Chick-Fil-A (the first sign that they had good taste in food).
I ran back to Audrey’s house after the ceremony to change clothes and she handed me a LaCroix to sip while we walked around the neighborhood between storms and waited for Erin’s party to start. It was so good to just chat about life and love and school and Harry Potter – I love when I haven’t seen someone in a while and we can just pick up where we left off. Unfortunately, more rain cut our walk short but we needed to head to the party anyway so I wasn’t too torn up about it.
BBQ/picnic food is basically the only food I want in the summer, so I was ecstatic about my plate and the brownie/pumpkin chocolate chip cookie that followed it. After lots of chatting and hugging, there was a break in the thunderstorms so Audrey and I sped back to her place and I crashed hard until 8:30 am, which is a rare occurrence for me.
Audrey woke up at the crack of dawn to see her boyfriend off on a road trip, so she already had coffee waiting for me (she’s a dream) and all the fixings for breakfast tacos (once again… a dream). We hit up a barre3 video so I could show her my new favorite workout, then lounged around and caught up before our stomachs told us to find more food.
We hit up Ruby’s Market for lunch and groceries and I spent the whole time in the store being mad that it hadn’t opened when I still lived in Springfield. They had a billion fun produce options, a killer dessert bar, and dietitian-designed packaged Crockpot/skillet/premade meals to grab on the go. Genius. I went for this brown rice/quinoa spicy salmon roll that was perfection with a farro salad from the cold bar that I didn’t love – something about the blend of flavors wasn’t doing it for me at all. Thankfully, we’d also grabbed some snacks at the store so I was able to graze after my sushi to hit a more sustainable level of fullness. I also got coffee and chocolate macarons at the dessert bar, so I snacked on those while we settled in for a double Netflix feature and chatted on couches.
For dinner, we mixed up cauliflower pizza crust and paired it with tons of fresh mozzarella and wine on the side. The whole evening we were talking about how it had been ages since either of us had had a full day to relax/lay around, so we decided to lean into the rest and started Girlboss on Netflix after running out so I could get a cone of Pineapple Whip. Aud also played with some eyeshadow on me since she’s doing my wedding makeup, and we crashed at 10pm.
Today, I woke up early enough to meet my friend Taylor for Hurts Donut and coffee so we could catch up. I have tons of favorite restaurants in Springfield from my college days, but everything was flooded with families in town for graduation, so I opted to hit up P-Whip/Hurts since they were faster and less crowded, and I’ll get to some entrees when I’m back to pick up my wedding dress in August (Bambino’s is #1 on my list).
After donuts, I headed back to KC and had time for a quick run + arm circuit before meeting up with Katie Proctor! Katie is an amazing dietitian who also helps other dietitians with their businesses/private practices, and she’s been mentoring me for a few months and helping me prep to launch some products and services later this year. Our video chats always leave me fired up (come to think of it, I should probably schedule those for the morning when I have time to act on my motivation instead of at 8pm before I get ready for bed…) and it was great to see her in person instead of Instagram!
And tonight my biggest plans include Mexican takeout and reading through some materials for my genetics nutrition rotation this week. This weekend was exactly the kind of rest I needed to be able to power through 4 more weeks of rotations before moving into more structured studying for the RD exam. Here’s to a productive week and lots of learning!
What were y’all up to this weekend? Let me know in the comments!