18663 Ventura Blvd, Suite 202, Tarzana CA 91356

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Half Marathon Training Progress

There are 17 days until the half marathon. My longest run has been 11 miles, which I finished in two hours. That's a pace of 10:54. I felt great afterward. Now my goal is to get faster. I want to run the half marathon in 2:10; that's 9 minutes faster than my time almost 5 years ago when I last ran one. So, Mary has me doing speedwork and things of that sort. This morning I sprinted and then hopped on one foot 30 times and then hopped on the other foot 30 times. I must have looked really weird.

Did I mention that I love being in Boston? I can't think of a better place to run than the Esplanade. Seeing the river and all the other runners who are crazy like me at 7 am is inspiring.

As you can see, the cooking comes in spurts. I'm clearly not in one of those spurts right now, though I was tempted to bake some chocolate chip cookies. Maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Four food posts in 3 days... is this for real?

It's good to be back home, and I'm cooking to make up for lost time!

Pre-made pizza dough from the freezer aisle at Whole Foods, Trader Joe's pizza sauce, frozen spinach, and frozen pineapple. Stretch out the dough, add the toppings, and cook in the oven for 25 minutes at 425 degrees.

I suppose you could add soy cheese, but who needs cheese when you have good toppings?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Chocolate Mousse

To reward myself for my long run today of 11 miles, I made chocolate mousse. The recipe came from the VegNews Newsletter and was super easy. All you need is chocolate chips, silken tofu, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and almond extract. I just had some topped with mango chunks..... mmmmm!

"Meaty" Eggplant-Portobello Chil

Chili with eggplant, portobello mushrooms, garlic, and onions. I got this recipe from The Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook by Robin Robertson. I wouldn't exactly call this chili "meaty" as it is referred to in the book, but it was good. It went well with some Guiltless Gourmet nacho chips.

Soy Vay!

I love the name of this sauce.... Soy Vay!!! Tired out last night from a week of board review in Cleveland, I threw this together in my wok, spicy tofu and frozen veggies. More imaginitive stuff coming sometime soon. Really.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Boston Marathon or Bust

If I spent my year in Boston without running the Boston Marathon, only the most infamous of all marathons, I don't think I could live with myself.

I am not nearly fast enough to qualify for a number. At first I thought I'd run it as a bandit, one of the many people who try to run the race without an official number. Not only would this not be fair to the organizers or the people who paid their race entry fees to be there, my time would not be recorded and I would risk being thrown off the course.

So, I am determined to get an official number. My first try is through the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team. They have 500 numbers to give out to people willing to raise $3000 or more for cancer treatment and research. It's a competitive process. If that falls through, I found out about another worthwhile charity with a $2000 fundraising goal and an application deadline toward the end of October.

And if all else fails..... I'll buy someone's race number off of CraigsList. That's what one friend did last year.

I am back in Boston, and soon enough will be cooking again. Really. Enough laziness.

And, a happy new year to my Jewish friends and readers.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


In medicine, we learn a lot. Every so often we become a hypochondriac, wondering if we have *that* disease.

A few years ago, a patient whom I was cathing told me I looked like I had Marfan's Syndrome. I laughed -- poor guy was under sedation. Yes, I am tall, I have long arms and legs and long fingers, but those are characteristics of many people in my family, and none of them have dropped dead at a young age, as often people do with the disease.

Then this spring, I got one of the throw-away journals in the mail, the journals with review articles that are heavily subsidized by drug compaines. The topic of one review article was Marfan's Syndrome. The disease has cardiac manifestations, so it seemed like a good article to read.

The article discussed the skeletal criteria for Marfan's disease..... arm span greater than height..... check. Long face and long fingers... check that's me too. Able to bend the pinky back toward the wrist..... check. Able to wrap thumb and forefinger around the wrist.... check.

I meet the skeletal criteria for Marfan's Disease!!! Could I have the disease????

So, I had to put the issue to rest. The next day, I was in the echo lab, and at a time when there was no patient in one of the rooms, I performed an echocardiogram on myself. Of course, while I'm doing this, one of the sonographers pokes her head in.... "Uhhh, I'm just looking at one of the machines," I said.

After about 20 or so pictures of my aorta and a few others of my heart just for good measure, I concluded that my heart and aorta look okay and I definitely do not have Marfan's disease.

Just a little knowledge......

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Away for a while

I'll be in Rochester this weekend for a wedding, and in Cleveland next week for board review. So, probably not much posting will be happening for a while.

Mary Ruth or Kevin, are you cooking anything good? Or, any cute pics of my favorite niece?????

In case you were wondering, the cake was very good!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Birthday Girl

Another year...... and really, it's been an insane year. Thirty was a hard year in many ways, but in other ways it was very good, and I like to think that in the long run it's made me a better, stronger person.

This cake was made by Theresa of Sweet T's Bakery. I don't think she has a storefront, but she bakes delicoius brownies that are sold at TJ Scallywaggles in Allston. I'll be sampling this cake later, and if it's good, I'll be raving about it here.

Monday, September 11, 2006

First Place!!!!

I just checked the results of the Hale Reservation Duathlon that I did yesterday.... I came in FIRST PLACE for my age group, 30-34 women!

I think that's pretty cool. But, there were only 4 women in my age category. Further, I think that my placing may have been a function much of me just getting less lost on the bike course than the others did. Also, watching people in transition, I got the feeling that most of these folks weren't too experienced with triathlons.

Nonetheless, this is an awesome way to end the triathlon season! First place -- whoo hoo!

Blood and Guts -- A Student Speaks

I posted about the "Blood and Guts" course for gifted Virginia high school students. One of those students found my blog and this is his/her comment:

Are you kidding me? I am a former student of this program AND THIS CLASS and it was the most insightful class of my life. How DARE you comment on our integrity? Half the people in that class will one day be YOUR physician and I hope they give you more respect than you give them. You whine and complain about how disrespectful we are when you're being disrespectful to us. Oh, and I am a vegetarian, so don't feel that you can use that against me. Shame on you and shame on PCRM for destroying some chance for high schoolers to learn about future opportunities.

No disrespect is intended toward you as a student. My complaint is with the adults who designed the course because cutting up animals doesn't teach you about being in medicine.

I am a physician. Once upon a time, I did dissect a cat. Did that help to make me a better doctor? No.

But there are many experiences that I had along the way that did inspire me to go into medicine and shaped my career path. Working as a hospital volunteer with adults recovering from strokes and accidents. Shadowing a cardiologist, listening to heart murmurs, and watching heart catheterizations. Talking to medical residents and students. Dissecting real human bodies.

Bottom line: if the Blood and Guts course is what you consider a great opportunity to learn about careers in medicine, you're missing out on so much more.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Kids-2-Camp Tri

My last triathlon of the season was interesting to say the least. This was a trail and mountain bke race. The swim got cancelled due to poor water quality, so at the last minute it was converted to a duathlon, with an initial run of 1.9 miles, bike 6 miles, and run 2.5 (though I think this leg was far shorter than 2.5).

The trail ride was extremely rocky, and negotiating it with my piece of garbage Toys R Us mountain bike was a scary proposition. I nearly wiped out a few times and walked my bike several times. On top of this, about ten of us took a wrong turn on the poorly marked trail.

But, tri season is over. I'm so glad -- now I can run all I want and focus on the half marathon in October.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Pushing tri season one more week

Sunday's Boston Triathlon was cancelled. I thought about ending the triathlon training there and moving on to my next goal, a half marathon in October. But, I couldn't do it. I couldn't end the season with a cancelled triathlon.

So I decided to push through one more week of tri training and do a triathlon this weekend coming up. That way, I can't consider two weeks of training wasted.

Problem is, I'm really tired of triathlon training. Nothing makes me feel better than coming back from an hourlong run on the Charles River. On the flip side, I can't get myself to swim or bike. I'm tired of both of those.

Part of me regrets signing up for a tri this weekend, when I could be done with all of this. But I think in the long run, I'll feel better accomplished. And then, next week, I can run all I want.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Sweet n Sour Stir Fry

Eggplant, mushrooms, onions, and seitan strips stir fried in a little bit of sweet and sour sauce. I don't use much sauce because it is very sweet. I ate this with whole wheat pasta swirls. Leftovers as usual are lunch for tomorrow.

English Muffin Mini-Pizzas

Easy enough. This was lunch today. Trader Joes pizza sauce and various veggies or pepperoni. On Sunday, I made one with Follow Your Heart "cheese" and veg pepperoni too.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Total Bummer!

The Boston Triathlon was cancelled because of the high winds and rain that we are supposed to experience tomorrow. This was going to be my last tri of the season. I was all ready to go and rearranged my call schedule so that I wasn't on call.

I suppose I could do *another* tri as my last of the season. But at this point, I just want to get ready for the half marathon in the middle of October.

Friday, September 01, 2006

I'm in shape!

Ok, maybe I knew that already. I'm a research subject for a study on fitness level and blood markers. So far, I had some blood work and a VO2Max test. The results are good:

My total cholesterol is 138, down from about 190 about 2 years ago, before I was a vegan. Unfortunately they didn't measure my HDL cholesterol directly, but assuming it is between 55 and 75, where it's been measured in the past, my LDL is between 40 and 55.

VO2 Max is a measure of the volume of oxygen you can consume while exercising at your maximum capacity. Mine is 44. For a 30 year-old woman, that ranks as "superior".

Just had to toot my horn :) The Boston Triathlon is on Sunday. Cold weather and swimming in the Boston Harbor.... should be interesting. This will be my last triathlon of the season, and then I get to focus more on running.