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Only 7 More Semesters to Go!

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Sorry Friends, 

I’ve been MIA for so long. I can make up so many excuses, but school just takes up every minute of my life. And over winter break, I really needed those 2 weeks to recharge and spend some quality time with the family and friends! I still can’t believe that I somehow managed to survive my first semester of med school. Finished up an insane 10 week anatomy course, got started in some interesting cases, and spent endless hours at the library studying. It was both mentally and physically exhausting to learn so much information in such a short amount of time. But all in all it was a good end to the year! 

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We started Spring semester back in January 6th, and in just 2 weeks, we had 6 exams and 4 quizzes. We actually wrapped up some interesting classes like Medical Ethics, Nutrition, and Medical Law. Nutrition was one of my favorites as y’all can imagine. (I can’t wait to share my lessons with you all. hopefully soon!). It was hell, and on top of that I ended up getting a mild flu, which made studying so much harder. 

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I’ve seen way too many sunrises on my way to school. And this is only the beginning.

I apologize in advance if I go missing for a while. There is so much to learn, and oh so little time. And let’s not forget, to fit in those hours of volunteering, exercising, cooking, and trying to have some sort of social life. It’s quite the balancing act! 

See you all soon. 

 

I Survived my First Week of Med School!

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Lessons learned from my First week:

1. Orientation week is long, and really boring. I’ve hear the word “professionalism” probably over 200+ times this week alone.

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2. You’ll never be ready for medical school. I’m already behind in class, and technically class hasn’t even started.

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3. I’ve a quiz in a week…and this is only a 1/8th of the muscles I need to know by then. Any by know I mean (origin, insertions, innervations, and function). I have a long way to go!

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4. I have 10 weeks to get through this book and learn the entire human anatomy. I’m pretty sure this may be a herculean task. How amazing that we all started off as a single cell, yet we grow to be so incredibly complex.

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(picture from Atlas of Human Anatomy by Frank H. Netter) 

5. This book is awful. I despise it. It’s already my nemesis. (no offense to the authors)

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But seriously…you try figuring out what these pretty blobs come from. They all look the same to me!

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(picture above from Histology: A text and Atlas  by Ross and Pawlina)

6. Be friends with the security guard! Chances are you’ll probably forget your ID badge before orientation week is over, and he/she’s someone you don’t want on your bad side.

The Bull, Head of security for safe World Security Corp.

(image source: http://www.virtuater.com/tag/guard/)

Despite the copious amounts of notes already taken, and late night studying, and spending hours with the cadavers, I’m really excited. It’s definitely a challenge. But no journey is complete without its ups and downs.

Hope y’all are doing well! Thanks for keeping up with me. I do apologize in advance if my posts become sporadic. Med school is kind of running my life. I’m determined to get an A in anatomy!

Wish me Luck! :)

Desert safari and Dubai Shenanigans

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Hi Friends, I’m alive. I know. It’s been a while since my last post, but I promise I haven’t abandoned you all. Between iffy internet connection, and the craziness of the past 2 months traveling, and other crazy shenanigans happening at home… I could barely even find time to sleep.

So let’s play a game of catch up of my travel abroad. I LOVE Dubai. Seriously. It is the perfect combination of Eastern and Western cultures. You literally have the best of both worlds.

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on our way to Jumeria Beach…

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Burj-al- Arab: the 4th tallest hotel in the world, and it’s one of the only 7 star hotels. It’s designed to look like a sail of a ship.

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Dubai is known for its skyscrapers and its majestic buildings. There is constant constructions going on. If you compare Dubai 5 years ago, to what it is today, you will be amazed by the rapid growth of the Dubai skylines.

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And nothing compares to the Burj Khalifa. The world’s tallest man made building standing at over 830 meters (2700+ft), located in downtown Dubai.

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Burj Khalifa is designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill the same company that created the Sears Tower in Chicago. The design of this building was created in such a way to represent the spiral miranet, that is predominantly found in Islamic Architecture.

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Originally called the Burj Dubai, the name was switched to Burj Khalifa, when Sheikh Khalifa of Abu Dhabi (also the president of UAE) stepped in to fund the project, when there was insufficient funds to complete the building. Sheikh Khalifa hoped that with the creation of this sensational building,  UAE could transition from strictly an oil based industry to a tourism based industry thus garnering more international investments.

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There are 163 floors in the Burj Khalifa. But tourists are only allowed to go up to the 124th floor. But even then you can get a breathtaking view of the land…

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…and the desert that spreads beyond the city.

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Can you guys spot the Burj-al-Arab? The view from the top is spectacular. It’s one of those things you have to do at least once.

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Comparing some of the largest buildings in the world. You can definitely see that Burj Khalifa beats them all.

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Along with some of the largest buildings and amazing skyscrapers, UAE is know for its malls and shopping centers. In fact, the Dubai Mall (not pictured yet) is the world’s largest mall…(Do we see a trend here…apparently UAE is out to beat all sorts of world’s records). The above is one of the smaller malls…Ibn Battuta mall.

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Ibn Battuta is one of the world’s famous travelers known for traveling all over Africa, Europe and Asia. This mall is named after him and is designed to showcase at least 6 of the places he visited. (Egypt, Tunisa, Persia, India, Andalucia, China)

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The architecture is simply brilliant. And it varies depending on which country you’re visiting.

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Only in a middle of a desert can you find a ski resort filled with snow and igloos and penguins. Ski Dubai, located in Mall of the Emirates, is a tourist favorite. It’s the first indoor ski resort in the middle east. Luckily you don’t have to bring your own boots, and jackets and gloves. You can ski and snowboard and all the equipment is provided including jackets and gloves.

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On the other hand, you can’t come to UAE and not go on a desert safari. This was probably one of my favorite parts of UAE. Because you get to experience a little bit of what life is like outside of the city. If you think about it, UAE started off as a nomadic culture where people relied on camels and what little they could find in the desert to sustain themselves. The discovery of oil radically changed people’s lifestyles. After becoming an united emirates, and controlling the oil supply, and becoming a major supplier of oil internationally, it became an incredibly wealthy nation. In the midst of the desert, you can escape the glittering city lights and realize how far this nation has come and how far it still has to go.  We started our desert safari with a dune bashing ride…driving through the large sand dunes. Having a good driver is really important and part of the fun!

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Camel farms! They’re everywhere in the desert. (I can’t imagine how anyone traveled in the desert during the ancient times. Not only is it really hot. But there is nothing but sand everywhere. And at night, it’s really cold, and dark. It’s peaceful until you realize you could easily get stranded and no one would know.)

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Going on a camel ride. Not going to lie, it’s a little bit scary when they decide to get up and sit down. And they really are stubborn. But it’s a lot of fun, and a little bumpy.

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Say CHEESE! (Those teeth are quite dangerous.)

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The camp site we arrived at. They had lots of activities planned including henna tattoos, trying shisha, watching belly dancers, and traditional Arabic dances, and fire acts. They provided dinner, both vegetarian and non vegetarian like kebabs, tandoori chicken, kubuz (like pita bread) and hummus, and all sorts of different salads.

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Shisha time…aka…hookah. It really is a common household items. And they’re sold in any store and for relatively cheap too.  They have some really pretty ones.  (See below)

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Colorful shisha pipes!

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Climbing dunes is quite a workout. But it’s all worth it for seeing amazing sunsets in the desert.

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On our way back, I was able to quickly snap this picture of the Burj Khalifa at night. It’s a breathtaking piece of architecture.

Enough for now. Sorry for the picture overload. I’ll try to come back to a regular posting. Hope you all are doing well.

Salaam Alaikum Dubai!

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Hi friends! Sorry it’s been a while. A quick update, again. Currently I’m in Dubai, and it’s breathtakingly beautiful. Spending 10 days here before leaving for India.

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Arrived at JFK in the evening to catch my flight to Dubai. My goodness is New York extremely crowded. Look at all those houses all packed together.

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If you’re traveling, I definitely suggest using Emirates Airline. OMG spectacular service. They pride themselves in being on time. And apparently amazing food. Seriously. Especially for plane food. This was dinner, an hour after we took off. We had an option of vegetarian, chicken and fish, and I ended up getting vegetarian. We call this biriyani (Rice pilaf with vegetables and a cashew garnish on the top). There was a yogurt vegetable salad, and a chocolate mousse for dessert. The mousse was pretty delicious. And I’m picky with my desserts. Throughout the flight, they give snacks, and the hosts are extremely friendly and they give the best drinks too. I could go on and on about how amazing Emirates is.

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More meal time pictures. I was so full, I nibbled on this. Plus we were arriving shortly in Dubai, and I knew I would eat some delicious food when I arrived.

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 Can you guess this movie? It has Gerard Butler look absolutely handsome! There were so many brand new movies playing, that I had a hard time selecting. This was “Playing for Keeps” and I ended up staying up to watch “Argo”  which was fantastic. I highly recommend it! I started “Lincoln” but wasn’t able to finish it. Like I said, I love Emirates airlines. And no they didn’t pay me to say that. I wish they did though :P

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This is one of the views that greets me from my Aunt’s place. If you squint really hard, if you can see the Burj-khalifa: the tallest building in the world. It’s the one in the leftish area.

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It amazes me that everyone has access to this kind of view. This is the view from my Aunt’s place. Seriously breathtaking. The pictures can’t even express the beauty.

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These mosques like the one behind me are everywhere, and each just as pretty as the other. There is a mosque every mile all around the city to ensure that those who want to pray can be within walking distance of a mosque. And every few hours you’ll hear the imam start praying from these loudspeakers all over the city. The chanting is beautiful, even at 5 am.

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My cousins took a long walk around the city the other day, and we were greeted by this light show in the downtown area. I ran into several Starbucks, McDonalds, and a lot of other American restaurants. It’s amazing how far American companies have spread.

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Henna time with my cousins! Arabic tradition says that the darker the color becomes, the more passionate and better your relationship with your significant other will be. Hmmm…hopefully my future husband will be passionate and loving! ;)

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Went to this hole in the wall Indian restaurant. It was absolutely delicious. Simple Indian food. With extremely fresh roti’s and delicious daal and saabji (vegetables).

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Sunsets in Dubai. Good night for now friends. So much to do, and so little time. Going on a desert safari tomorrow. I can’t wait to ride a camel! I know this is a random post. Bear with me since I’m so new to the whole blogging while traveling. Lots of love!

Travel Thyme!

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I’ve caught the travel bug, and it’s keeping me up. Butterflies in stomach and I’ve been hit with insomnia  Nothing a little country music and cleaning and excessive packing can’t cure.

Love me some Luke Bryan. That gorgeous smile! :D

Love me some Luke Bryan. That gorgeous smile! :D

The bags are packed.

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The drug store is bought.

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And now the 2 month journey to INDIA begins.  I am really excited and nervous about this trip. I’m thankful I have this awesome opportunity and the most amazing and supportive parents. I’ve never traveled internationally by myself before. So it’ll definitely be an awesome and exciting adventure. I apologize if I can’t update regularly. I’ll try my best depending on when I have access to internet.

Freakin’ Burpees: Understanding the Physiology Behind the Torture

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Let’s talk about one of Crossfit’s favorite calisthenics exercise: the dreaded burpees. Seriously. I dislike them. With Passion. And every time I’m late for class, which is almost always my coach makes me do several burpees for every minute I’m late. You would think I would learn…

I come to class last week, and find this on the WOD board:

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100 burpees for time. Are you serious?! I was ready to boycott this WOD, but I pushed through and was able to finish it in a little over 15 minutes. It wasn’t pretty, but at least I finished!

And then if that wasn’t worse enough a WOD, the crossfit games started 2 days later, and lo and behold our WOD 2 days later:

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MORE BURPEES!?!! and add Snatches to that?! Yikes. I had no idea where I found the strength to push through this insane WOD, but I did it. It was painful. But it was over.

And it got me thinking…Burpees suck. I have yet to meet anyone who truly loves burpees. Yet they’re part of our workout at least once a week. I had to find a way to appreciate burpees despite how much I despised them. So I did a little research and was surprised to learn some cool facts about this powerhouse exercise that really works your entire body: your arms, core, legs, and even challenges you mentally. I mean something that sucks so royally and leaves you so exhausted even after 5 reps has to have some rewards at the end right?!

Nifty video on the History of Burpees

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=eqkQ7azPm5c)

5 cool facts about Burpees

  1. It was founded in 1930’s by American physiologist Royal H. Burpee who created the burpee test for a Ph.D thesis to test for fitness
  2. The actual burpee consists of a combination of jumping jacks, squats, and pushups
  3. They burn a lot of calories. Because of the high intensity of the exercise, researchers say that if done properly, burpees can burn 50% more fat than moderate exercise like walking and jogging. (instead of spending hours on the elliptical, do 100 burpees instead!)
  4. No equipment necessary! It’s all about using your own body’s resistance and going at your own pace. You can do burpees anywhere. It’s what makes it such a versatile little exercise!
  5. 1,840: The Guinness World Record for most burpees performed in an hour. This was done by Paddy Doyle in the United Kingdom on Feb. 4, 1994

Performing a Burpee (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UU9vmUk8jUg)

Physiology behind the Burpee

Step 1: From Standing to Squat position:

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Muscles Used:

  • Quadriceps, Hamstrings, and Gluteus Maximus: contracting and lengthening at the same time (eccentrically)
  • Squatting causes knees and hips to flex and ankles are moving to dorsi flexion position.
  • Using your muscles in the back to maintain an upright position
  • Using core to prevent excessive forward bending

Step 2: From Squat to Push up or Chest to the ground position:

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Muscles Used:

  • Biceps/Triceps of arms to support upper body and elbow as you push your legs back to start the pushup
  • Quadriceps allows you to move your knee forward
  • Hamstrings and Glutes allow you to move your hips back.
  • Upper chest muscles: pectoralis major, anterior deltoid, and rotator cuff all contract to keep your body off the ground.
  • Shoulder muscles: trapezius, rhomboids, serratus anterior and pectoralis minor all contract to stabilize shoulder/scapula area.
  • Rectus abdominis contract to keep core stabilized

Step 3: The actual Pushup:

Muscle Used:

  • Pectoralis major and anterior deltoid muscles contract to stabilize shoulders while performing the actual push up. 
  • Tricpes contracts allowing elbow flexion
  • Rectus abdominis stabilizes core and keeps them contracted

Step 4: From Push up to Squat Position:

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Muscles Used:

  • This is one of the worst part of the burpees. 
  • Gastrocnemius (calves) contracts allowing feet to be lifted and knees/hips rapidly flex to the squat position
  • Rectus femoris (part of your quadriceps) and hamstrings contract as well as lower part of the core to maintain upright position

Step 5: The Jump

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Muscles Used:

  • Gastrocnemius, quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes all used to forcefully jump before landing on your feet and repeating the motion again and again. 
  • Back muscles and core used to stabilize the core and the back.

So when all is said and done, Burpees suck. But they suck for a reason: They really work out the whole body. Not only physically but mentally as well. It takes dedication and perseverance to really finish all 100 burpees.  Do it long enough, and you’ll definitely see some radical changes. I appreciate burpees for their potential, but I’ll still complain and curse each time I do one.

References:

1.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burpee_(exercise)

2.http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/the-burpee-or-squat-thrust-what-this-exercise-is-and-how-to-do-it/2011/08/11/gIQAY995IJ_story_1.html

3.https://www.biodigitalhuman.com/home/

4.http://blog.spartanrace.com/muscular-analysis-of-the-burpee-wod-fundamentals/

Restaurant Review: Eola Wine Company

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Truth: I love to cook. I do. It might not appear that way, since I’ve yet to post any recipes or of anything I’ve made. But I love being in the kitchen and coming up with new dishes. I credit my mom for my love of being in the kitchen. When I was little, I would stand in a stool and watch her whip up dinner from all the freshest ingredients. And that hobby passed on to me. I experimented a lot, especially in college when I refused to be part of the freshman 15 club, and opted out of the meal plan and started cooking regularly. But as much fun cooking is, it’s always fun to give the cutting board and knife a rest, and get all fancied up for a dinner or lunch date. This weekend, my friend Margarita and I decided to get lunch after our aerial class. We decided to try Eola Wine Company  in Winter Park. It was a gorgeous day outside, and we opted to sit outside and catch as much Vitamin D as possible!

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So many choices, and everything looks so delicious. It was tough making a decision. I was stuck between the veggie and roasted chicken flat bread, and getting a veggie salad wrap. I decided to go with the roasted chicken flat bread.

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$8 mimosa sampler. Too good of a deal to pass up! 4 samples, and then you get a free full sized mimosa on the house. Yes please! The first yellow one is banana, followed by orange, and peach and finally the last red one was raspberry. I didn’t think I would like banana, but it turned out to be surprisingly really good. It beat out the orange and peach, which was really tarty, and the flavors seemed off. The raspberry was definitely the winner though.

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 I love mimosas. This may have been the best part of the entire meal. And it’s such a great deal! Especially since just one glass of mimosa was $5. This whole thing, along with your complementary full sized mimosa of your choice was only $3 more.

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On to the main part of the meal. I ended up getting the roasted chicken flatbread, filled with artichokes, and feta cheese. And let’s not forget that delicious avocado on top. The chicken was a bit overcooked and really tough and chewy, which was a disappointment. But I did enjoy the crust. It was flaky and crispy. The flatbread was definitely flavorful, and all the ingredients definitely meshed really well. I love the mediterrean flavors, and you could tell that’s what they were trying to go for.

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My friend Margarita ended up creating a salad with a steak. The salad looked delicious with the extra blue cheese. She said it was really good, and that they were great with creating her salad since hers was not one of the choices on the menu.

Eola Wine Company I would give:

  • For drinks: 5/5
  • Food: 2.5/5
  • Service: 2/5
  • Overall: 3/5

It’s a great place to just grab drinks and appetizers and catch up on a Saturday afternoon. The food is decent for it’s price. But it took a long time for everything to appear, especially since there were very few customers when we were there. We waited for almost 45 minutes for our drinks to arrive, and even later for our meal. I was with great company and it was a beautiful day outside, so I didn’t mind. But I know a lot of people can get frustrated. But I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they were short staffed for a Saturday crowd.

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