Thursday, September 9, 2010

Get On Your Feet

HOLY HOLY!  Sorry for that more than brief absence.  I am glad I bought comfortable shoes because they are the only thing keeping me standing--along with fear, adrenaline, motivation and a healthy reliance on Diet Dr. Pepper (love this Texan Dr. Pepper phenomenon).   The theme of my residency seems to be MOVE!  GO! GO! GO! Faster, faster, faster.   Don’t breathe, don’t stop, don’t sit down.   As one of my senior residents told me, “Don’t tell me you’re going to do it, just do it!”

It’s been incredible.  I feel exhausted, but satisfied at the end of the day.  I’m learning how to give appropriate, effective care, and the whole environment of frenetic energy is encouraging the more manic side of my personality to emerge.   I really hated sitting around in medical school waiting for things to happen, and I’m happy to be working at work.   Besides, doing C-sections and deliveries couldn’t be more fun.

Didn’t you know standing at work is good for you?   Sure if I keep this up I’ll probably have varicose veins by the age of 30.  Even so, I feel energized.  A couple of months ago, the New York Times profiled a certain type of desk that is adjustable for people to work standing up.  One recent study from Canada showed that in a cohort of 17,013 people, those that spent almost none of their time sitting had a significantly reduced mortality rate compared with those that sat more, even when sedentary subjects participated in vigorous exercise (1). 

So, what to eat to keep you on your feet?  Well, I don’t get to eat much during the day, but I made some food that is great for any meal of the day be it breakfast, lunch, dinner or a midnight snack.  There is nothing quite as delicious as some high fiber, well seasoned black beans and brown rice to give energy and not drag you down. 

I know, if I were on Top Chef and I served canned beans I’d probably get sent home, but let’s be honest, I’m not the queen of dried beans and they take forever.   This recipe uses black beans and cooks them with veggies and spices, topped off with a little vinegar, fresh cilantro and queso fresco for a vibrant, warm and delicious meal. 

Black Beans and Rice

1 medium onion finely chopped
1 carrot finely diced
1 jalepeno finely chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 tbsp veggie oil
salt to taste
½ tsp dried marjoram
½ tsp Mexican oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tomatoes diced
2 cans 15 oz black beans drained and rinsed
¼ cup – ½ cup water (depending on how soupy you like your beans)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp (or more for spice) hot sauce
fresh cilantro and queso fresco for garnish

Over medium high heat, preheat the oil in a saucepan.  Add the vegetables, salt generously and cook until carrots are soft.  Add the spices and cook until aromatic about 30 seconds.  Add the tomatoes and cook until begin to release juices.  Add beans and water, salt to taste.  Turn heat down to medium-low and simmer beans for about 15 minutes until canned taste has disappeared and flavors are melded.  Add vinegar and hot sauce.  Serve with brown rice and garnished.

Or, just do what I do and shove a string cheese in your mouth when nobody is looking.

1.Katzmarzyk, PT.; Church, TS.; Craig, CL.; Bouchard, C. “Sitting time and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, v. 41 issue 5, 2009, p. 998-1005.


  1. Have you discovered the wonders of brown rice cooked this way? Awesome! So soft yet earthy with substance and a little bite. My world is transformed!

  2. Yea!! Energized by working hard -- life does not get much better. "I'm happy to be working at work."

    Love ya tiger, Mom