Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bidding Farewell to 2010

Happy holidays! I'm wishing you all a great and prosperous new year!
Hello. It's been awhile. I must admit: I've been neglecting this blog somewhat. There have been things that I've been wanting to post about throughout the month but just don't. I'm sorry =(

The good news is that I haven't been neglecting this blog for nothing. I started a much less personal, more informative blog about complementary and alternative medicine. One of the few things I'm ultimately passionate about. I started it on Tumblr and it's been doing relatively well. Then I decided that I'd take it onto a different interface, Wordpress. This was for the convenience of persons unfamiliar Tumblr accounts so that they could leave comments, questions and suggestions while viewing posts and quotes on a much neater website.

Please, take a look at either (according to your preference) and share the knowledge of good health with others!

That's what I've been up to lately. I, personally, think there's nothing better that I can offer you right now than the knowledge of health and healing, naturally.

After a few weeks of looking around and comparing natural health schools, I've come to a decision about the ones I'm looking to apply to in 2013. I've mentioned the Canadian College of Natural Medicine before - this is now my second choice. My first choice is Bastyr University, a natural medicine school that stands at the top of all others. This is where I have high hopes of obtaining my much anticipated Naturopathic Doctor degree.

This month has been very natural medicine oriented for me. I'm determined more than ever to complete my current degree in allopathic medicine and move forward to my naturopathic degree. And, more than that, I want to share the knowledge of natural health to the's nothing short of my largest goal in life: To educate the public about what true healthcare is.

If you know me, you'll know that this is nothing new. Although, if you know me, you probably didn't even know what it was that I'm ultimately working towards. Only after educating myself can I educate others, and so it is my "short" term goals that you may know me to have. I use the term "short" loosely as I'm planning for my naturopathic degree which I apply for in 3 years...for some, this is pretty far off. Should all go well, I could very well have an N.D. added onto my M.B.B.S. in 8 years. I can only plan...after all, many things can happen in that span of time and I will, of course, adapt accordingly.

All this to say one thing: my new year's resolution for 2011 is to continue to share what little knowledge I carry about complementary and alternative medicine with others and to learn what little I can as I continue my studies in medical school.

What's your resolution for 2011?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

mmm Cheesecake!

The main ingredients!
This is no secret: I love cheesecake.
This is also no secret: I don't cook. I don't bake. I basically don't like the heat that's exuded from every cooking surface.

I would very much like to learn how to bake a cheesecake though! So, my Mom and I embarked on a mission: to make the best cheesecake we can!

Attempt #1: crustless cheesecake. Total failure. 
We left it in too long and it ended up like a gelatin sorta dessert. It may have had something to do with the addition of flour...but I don't know. It would've been nice...if it had more sugar. We ate a bit of it and then just threw it out. It had no flavour to it really.

Attempt #2: cheesecake with crust. Semi success.
This one turned out pretty well! We left out some ingredients this time: vanilla extract and flour. We also didn't bother to leave it in the oven like one recipe had suggested. It turned out more like cheesecake and tasted more like cheesecake but it was too sweet! My Mom thought to put in a bit more sugar this time but we forgot that the crust would have sugar in it as it was too sweet! x3

I worked with my Mom on this so I can't really just take the credit for it. Hopefully attempt #3 will be a total hit! We've had to experiment with the temperature and timing of the baking process because we aren't using a regular oven. We're using a convection oven so the baking occurs at a much faster pace and would be needed at a lower temperature. The recommended 90 minutes of oven time at 325 degrees followed by 250 degrees obviously wouldn't work for us. We had to assume about half the 90 minutes would be okay timing (we went with about 50 minutes). We didn't really play with the temperature so that may be why it ended up so golden brown at the edges - the middle was a little too soft too. So, next time we'll be lowering the temperature some.

It just takes a few simple ingredients to make a simple cheesecake but a LOT of money is spent for it. I'm not sure what it's like overseas, but in Barbados the ingredients are expensive to buy (especially now that VAT is now 17.5%). The little tin of sour cream alone could cost about $5; the crust about $10; the cheese...similar to the sour cream; then there's sugar and eggs; and I couldn't believe the dressing for it sells for almost $30 in the supermarket! (We so did not buy that!) Don't forget, there's also the expense in electricity.

So, here's a lesson to learn: when you see a whole cheesecake selling for $45 BDS, that's CHEAP (though, it may be more like $50-something now). Especially when it comes with the tasty lovely $30 topping. And don't forget, people are paid for manual labour as well! 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Break Ahead

In precisely 5 days, I will be freed from the stress presented by final examinations. Then, Christmas break begins.

It's only too often that I speak about what I want to do with my future. If you ask me what I plan to be doing in 5 years, I'd say "I'll be in a naturopathic school." In 10? I'll be a graduated naturopathic doctor working hard to fulfill my goals.

But what of the near future? Say...Christmas break? Don't worry, I've got that all planned out as well. I don't focus only on the distant future. The unfortunate thing is that I don't tend to keep to the plans of the near future quite as well. I wonder why. Regardless, I've got a ton of things to do this upcoming break and less time to do it in. As I progress through medical school, not only is my summer vacation disintegrating, so is my Christmas. This year, I've got a solid 3 weeks or so. Here's what I've got planned in no particular order of importance:

  • Read! With 3 weeks before I start clinical rotations, I'll need to catch up on whatever information I possibly can! I'll probably sit and read Macleod's Clinical Examination...maybe 30 minutes a day? If possible, I'd quite like to include some more relaxing titles. I have yet to complete my read of the Left Behind series so I'd like to get a little further!
  • Create DVDs! You're probably wondering 'why' and 'what for?'. I have still to complete the editing for the incredibly fun karaoke night the M.S.A. had planned during freshers week for an M.S.A. events DVD! I also have to look through and edit the 100+ videos I took while in Shanghai for DVD placement. A slideshow with my hundreds of photos as well. All of that, for my family (and friends too if they care to watch).
  • Shanghai scrapbook! I have a ton of little tidbits that I picked up here and there during my trip to Shanghai and brought it all home with me. I figure it would be nice to put together a little scrapbook of it all rather than throw it all out.
  • ND schools scrapbook! Or something like it. I've chosen my favourite 4 N.D. schools that I plan to apply to in just less than 3 years' time. But first, I want to find out as much information as I possibly can for each!
  • Get caught up on TV series! There are a few series that I've been neglecting over the past few weeks so I'll be catching up on those. In addition to that, I started watching The Big Bang Theory and so I'll continue watching until I'm all caught up.
  • Watch anime! Psh. As if I could not include anime in my vacation plans! It's always there, it's just a matter of having the time for it.
  • Learn to bake cheesecake! I'll actually be making the first attempt with my Mom this weekend. Or...she may just make the attempt on her own since I have to study. I'll probably help though! But I'll learn to make it myself, for sure!

It's a fairly long list filled with a number of time consuming activities. How much of it will I be able to complete in 3 weeks? Only time will tell. We'll see how it goes. As long as I don't waste my days away playing The Sims 3.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Days Come & Go

The days are passing by quickly and slowly. Quickly, because I haven't been studying much for the exams I have which start in 2 days. Slowly, because there's so much I'd like to do but can't since exams are coming up and I need to be studying. You know how it is, when you want something after a particular date, it just seems to come too slowly.

It's December. The final month of the year. The month honoured to usher in the new year...on the Gregorian calendar, at least. The month with the festive holiday celebrated in most places around the year. The month that children look forward to presents and cookies and cakes and all sorts of holiday foods. The month I have final examinations.

Time has passed so much faster than I could anticipate. It seems like just yesterday I returned from my Shanghai trip. To me, those memories are still fresh as ever in my mind: the scents, the emotions, the environment, the food, the language, the people. This is why I like to travel - for the new and rejuvenating feeling, the fun and adventures that I'll never have at home. It saddens me to know that I won't be travelling this Christmas holiday.

The next week and half will come and go, faster than I'll anticipate yet slower than I'd like. These days will be filled with the strains of examinations and studying and will hold no more than 5% fun (because I refuse to miss out on watching The Vampire Diaries - otherwise there'd be 0).

StressSee you in a few days.