Still going, still eating

by Christina on March 26, 2012

Well…. that was an exciting month in the emergency department! Let’s just say I have a newfound love and appreciation for family medicine.

Thank goodness for people who thrive in this environment and love it, but here were some of my biggest challenges:

  • shift work and constant circadian rhythm disruption
  • high-volume, high-acuity, & lack of predictability
  • a never-ending stream of patients (and lack of incentive for being efficient — the more efficient you are, the more patients you have to see!)
  • slim to none food or drink during shifts
  • a minimal “team” environment
  • lack of follow up with patients (until they next come back into the emergency room)
  • high number of narcotics-seeking patients (how to deal with this?)
  • as one of my co-interns aptly said, there’s a lot of “unprocessed trauma” among emergency room workers

As I sift through all of that, I also have some recent food-related developments:

1) I really like eggs. I had avoided them for a while during my vegan days but now find them to be an almost perfect food — filling, nutrient dense, high in protein and fat, fast, and easy to cook.

egg with greens

egg with melted daiya cheese over rice cake

My only hang-up is the cholesterol question (and I can’t seem to find a satisfying answer on this).

2) I have a new tea. Per my sister’s recommendation during my ER blues:

I started drinking several cups a day, and it (or more likely the placebo effect) seems to be helping

3) This was my most colorful meal:

the jaundiced tofu is from the anti-inflammatory turmeric

4) I discovered these tasty and affordable shaker salads at Whole Foods:


Mixed with sauteed greens in a bowl it actually looks kind of appetizing:

5) I have a new friend:

thyme (she goes great in my eggs)

Tomorrow, I head back to my people for a month of family medicine inpatient wards (I’m pretty excited… we’re piloting ipads!)

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathleen Summers March 26, 2012 at 7:56 am

I think it’s great that you’re eating eggs again. They’re not contradicted in a yoga diet. While the classic texts recommend what to eat and not to eat, they don’t say anything about eggs.

They also don’t deserve the bad wrap they’ve gotten in the modern West IMHO.
What’s the cholesterol question exactly? Maybe I can help. Here’s a stab at it anyway:

Most cholesterol in the body is formed from intake of saturated fat. There’s a little added endogenously through foods like eggs, but it pales in comparison to what’s formed from saturated fat, particularly the varieties of sat fat that are of animal origin. The AHA recommends that intake of preformed cholesterol be limited to 300 mg per day. Each egg contains 200 mg. That means you can eat one egg a day without feeling guilty – or a couple of eggs every other day. Especially since, I think, you don’t eat meat, animal fat gravy, etc and therefore are likely making much less cholesterol from saturated fat, you have a little more wiggle room with eggs than the average omnivore.


Christina March 29, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Hey Kathleen,

Thanks so much for your comment! Yes, my concern has been how much egg-cholesterol intake per day is too much. Great to have your perspective… I’ll be continuing with my egg-a-day habit for now 🙂



Kim Palmer March 26, 2012 at 6:40 pm

thank you for the meal suggestions! that salad looks great. I also like putting edemame and scallions in scrambled eggs!


Christina March 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm

ooh Kim, edamame in eggs! That’s creative, I like it!


Chris Palmer March 27, 2012 at 12:17 am

Excellent blog post!
I love this: “Let’s just say I have a newfound love and appreciation for family medicine.” LOL…very graciously and tactfully put!
Also loved this: “…lack of incentive for being efficient — the more efficient you are, the more patients you have to see!”
The following caught my attention, too: “lack of follow up with patients (until they next come back into the emergency room).” That is just sad.
Finally, this intrigued me and struck me as incredibly plausible: “there’s a lot of “unprocessed trauma” among emergency room workers.”


Gail March 27, 2012 at 2:03 am

And I love that you refer to the family medicine rotation as “my people” … great that you feel that is the place for you!


steve April 2, 2012 at 2:13 am

In the ER there is all this negative emotional sediment, the exact opposite of healing that can build up on your spirit and stick in unpredictable ways. Its like that swamp in the never ending story where all dreams go to die. I still haven’t really figured out how to process it. But reminds me–if you can practice the pride that you build on say, the mat, and live that way anywhere thats a path toward enlightenment. I’m a far far way off! P.S. the ER is different and a lot more fun in rural places


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