Back from the Ash…

Made it back from Asheville today after a fun and relaxing weekend with my friends. It was just what we needed :)

Our own cottage:

My VRBO.com experience proved wise – giving us an adorable little 2 bedroom cottage that was dog friendly. With a wraparound porch complete with table, chairs, and a grill, it was perfect for catching up on a sunny Friday afternoon. And the dogs enjoyed being able to run around and play with their toys. I didn’t take any photos of the place (camera battery died shortly after arrival.. grr), but we’ll likely stay again if we return to Asheville for a weekend.

Enjoying local food:

We so appreciated Asheville’s passion for supporting local farms/businesses, and the plethora of organic, local and seasonal food. We spent our food dollars at local establishments like:

image

image

image

image

image

** Yes, we realized that Three Dog Bakery is a nation-wide chain, but we wanted to bring back some treats for our canines :)

Burning off those biscuit calories..

Regardless of our education/training/profession, we love to eat when we get together (the main reason behind my weight gain during my internship at Vanderbilt last year!). And we eat more than the reasonable portions of which the little RD voice in the back of our head reminds us.

But, as our motto reminds us (and the title of this blog) – Everything in Moderation. So what if you ate a huge cathead-sized biscuit, speckled with yellow butter and coated in homemade blueberry jam with your already large dinner? All you have to do is walk 6 miles the next day and it’s all good :)

Which brings us to the huge chunk of land in Western Carolina we like to call Biltmore. We thoroughly enjoyed our tour of the house, and the many mile stroll we took through the gardens. Due to time constraints, we were unable to visit the winery and/or farm, but it looked like a great place to return to some day for biking/picnicking or horse riding. The annual pass for only another $25 sure was tempting, but I withheld. Because knowing me, I’d never return and then feel guilty for handing over the extra dough.

Dough = delicious easy dinner

Nice transition, right? After our 13,000 step day, we decided on the perfect evening formula:

take-out pizza + redbox movie + SNL with Betty White

  • Pizza = large cheese pizza from Marco’s. Salty crust, but otherwise good.
  • Movie = The Lovely Bones, which we realized may not have been a brilliant choice for three girls in a cottage out in the mountains on their own. Luckily, any fear/freaking that the movie imposed was soon forgotten thanks to…
  • SNL with Betty White :)

Sitting in a room of therapists

Hi All!

I enjoyed my 6 hour class yesterday on Eating Disorders. I was a little surprised to be the only RD in the room – the rest of the couches (yes, we all got cozy in a small room full of couches) were filled with psychologists and therapists of some sort. It was a day very much filled with talky-feely stuff (as therapists do), and I definitely felt myself being analyzed somewhat (what, the RD is the first to grab a bagel? and she’s getting the cinnamon crunch kind? ooh lots of calories there! haha).

I found myself learning a little more about working with ED patients, but on the whole I know I will still feel baffled when I come across one at work.

I think the major difference is that the rest of the participants in yesterday’s workshop are all in private practice, so they see their patients/clients on an ongoing basis. I guess that’s the most frustrating aspects of my job – I see patients one time, for 5-30 minutes, and then never again. I have no way of knowing if I taught them anything, if they will make any changes, if they will be a healthier person because of my interaction with them.

After all, you can’t cure an Eating Disorder in one 15 minute talk with a psychiatric patient. The staff yesterday told us that the research suggests 3, 5, 7, even 10 years for complete “recovery” (and even then… there will most likely be relapses into the ED world). So it just frustrates me when the doctors at my place consult me for a patient with an eating disorder – I don’t feel like I can be very effective at working with them. Not when they have much more serious psychiatric co-morbidities, and are just at our facility to be stabilized and thrown back out into the world.

One therapist I met yesterday, who actually works in the Knoxville area, said upon hearing where I work — “Oh, you get to work with patients who are off the deep end”.

Yup, pretty much :)

But not to be all down and negative. I know that there are patients who are appreciative of my time and effort, and that I have helped some. And maybe one day I will have a job where I have the luxury of working with patients over a long period of time, and can witness that journey of change with them. As manipulative and frustrating as ED patients can be, most of the therapists yesterday agreed that it was extremely rewarding to see the patient come to the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak, and reach recovery.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After the workshop, The Boy prepared my birthday surprise – a trip to the paint-your-own-pottery place where we had our first date! Very sweet. I made a cupcake bowl (still haven’t decided what will live inside.. any ideas?) for my office, and he made a drum-themed pencil pot. Fun fun. Then off to Radio Shack (he remembered that I needed to replace my pedometer battery!) and dinner at Urban Flats.

I enjoyed our experience at Urban Flats. Especially when I learned that their flatbread crusts are all 75% whole-wheat! Awesome :)

Even though we had a good 30-40 minute wait… the TV in the bar was showing the women’s gold medal curling game, so I (finally!) got to witness my first curling game in action. Maybe I should start this as my new hobby? I hear there is a Smoky Mountain Curling group… haha

After our soups (potato for him, tomato bisque for me) and flatbreads (mexican craziness for him, classic margarita style for me) I had a delicious molten chocolate lava cake for my bday dessert. Yum.

And then we came home and I pretty much went straight to sleep. haha. I just can’t stay up all hours of the night like The Boy can. Especially with the time difference.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now it’s Saturday:

  • Oil Change for The Boy’s precious car
  • Taking Sheff to the park for a nice walk
  • Buying lotion for my incredibly dry, itchy skin
  • Eric Clapton tonight!

Later!

Tummy full of pizza

Just got back from a delicious dinner at Grimaldi’s Pizza. Yummy coal-fired pizza, like straight from New York! It was a celebratory dinner in honor of my sister’s 4.0 semester at the University of Texas! Way to go Jenna!!

 

DSCN0048

My sister and I split a pesto, mushroom and sliced tomato pizza. ‘Twas very good! The restaurant had wine bottle light fixtures:

DSCN0050

Today was a nice Sunday… nothing too crazy. Some errands/shopping with my sister, cooking baking with the sister, catching up on Big Bang Theory with the family, and a little help out in the yard with my Dad.

I’ve been surprised by the 70 degree weather here… I don’t think I packed the right clothes for this! haha, but I’m not complaining!! I hope East Tennessee gets the cold weather out of its system this week. I’m not putting up with anymore of these snow showers when I return!!

Weekend in Nashville!

Sheff and I took a road trip to Nashville for the weekend, celebrating The Boy and I’s 6 month anniversary.

It was absolutely beautiful weather all weekend – mid 70s in mid November!?!?! I remember this time last year it was already down into the 30s and 40s. We were so lucky!

I was really hoping to have Friday dinner at the new Chuy’s restaurant – the first outside of Texas, might I add. Like any good Texan, I love love love me some Chuy’s. It’s always a treat to go there. In fact, when I was in the hospital a few years back with my mysterious viral illness, that was my first restaurant meal post-discharge.

But… sad to say we didn’t get to eat any Chuy’s. By the time we got there (6pm… I felt it was early enough), we were worried by the men directing traffic, cars parked along every nearby street, and a kajillion people milling inside and outside the restaurant. Yeah… a 2 hour wait!? No thanks. So we left Cool Springs, headed back up to Green Hills and went to Kalamata’s. I’ve been begging The Boy to eat there; afterall I haven’t had falafel since the day I passed by RD exam, and I was having serious withdrawals! It was delicious as always!! I was tempted by their seasonal pumpkin cheesecake, but had no room at all.

But… I did get some pumpkin cheesecake Saturday night at….. Germantown Cafe! We had a reservation there as our nice anniversary dinner. I chose the place and had communicated with the general manager about vegetarian options. It was a great choice – lovely restaurant, great view of the Nashville skyline (and not downtown with the horrendous weekend traffic that almost caused The Boy to lose his cool), and of course wonderful food.

I know, I know, where are the pictures? I brought my camera to Nashville…. and took zero pictures. Terrible! And too bad… because we were looking quite smart. I even bought a dress for the occasion! haha

We started with appetizers: clam chowder (him) and squash fritters (moi). The squash fritters were delightful… imagine balls of squash casserole, battered and fried, served with a buttermilk cream. yum!

My main dish was their pasta of the day: fettucine with a parmesan mushroom sauce, with side salad. It was excellent. Of course, by the time I made it through my fried squash, salad, and bread, I was pretty full and couldn’t get too much of the rich pasta dish in my belly.

Oh… the bread. If anyone knows about Germantown Cafe’s bread secret… do tell! The Boy proclaimed it was “the best bread I’ve ever had”. They were small muffin size bread balls…. and somehow reminded you of a funnel cake. Surely the bread wasn’t fried!?? Whatever it was, it was amazingly good.

So… if I could hardly eat my pasta dish, how did I manage the pumpkin cheesecake? Well when we heard it was on their dessert menu (and my jaw fell open), The Boy suggested we order it and take it home for later. Brilliant idea.

Oh.. how I miss Nashville and it’s many restaurants. :(

Food in the Music City: this week’s recap

So I think I’ve had a pretty amazing week in terms of Nashville’s food scene:

  • Breakfast at The Pancake Pantry (finally!) to try the sweet potato pancakes. Well worth the wait :)
  • Assorted donut holes from Fox’s Donut Den, brought to work by my fellow interns
  • Dinner at Kalamata’s (for the third week in a row… yes I’m obsessed, but the falafel pocket is to die for!)
  • Las Paletas – could you pick a better recovery snack for half-marathon training than a double chocolate chip cookie popsicle? Yeah, I didn’t think so
  • GiGi’s Cupcakes: today’s special was spectactular – devil’s food cupcake with buttercream frosting, topped with a Hershey’s kiss.
  • Starbucks (OK, this one is the only non-local place) after dinner with the interns for a night of stories and laughter. I highly recommend the new London Fog latte – lovely and made me think of the gray and rainy city itself!

I’m not sure this week can be beat. There’s still a list of food places/experiences I have yet to cross off though… including the restaurant of choice for my upcoming birthday dinner. Hmmm….