Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dermatology topic: Acne, Part 1

The Problem
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions seen by community based dermatologists.  About 40-50 million Americans have acne at any point in time. It is estimated that 85% of teenagers will suffer from the condition; however, we are seeing it more commonly into adulthood, particularly in women.  Women in the mid-20s and up tend to show a more "hormonal" pattern of acne in which it is distributed more on the chin, jaw, and chest.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Skin care: What I'm using now

This is my current skin care regimen.  It is the most intense regimen I have ever had, but it's working for me.  Many of these things I have used for years (Retin-A...which I swear by and intend to use until the end of time).  Others are relatively new for me (Clarisonic, La Roche Posay dual treatment).  I want to give it a few more weeks, but I am planning on doing product reviews on some of these newer products.  I have very acne-prone skin, so this regimen is obviously skewed towards acne management.  For those of you out there with acne, this post is to foreshadow my upcoming topic series on acne and acne treatment.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tuna salad

Tuna Salad (Salad)
Prep time: 5 min
Serves: 1

What you need:
1 can tuna, drained
1-2 T mayo, ideally homemade 
1 T lemon juice
Red grapes to taste (I use about 10), sliced
1/4 green apple, diced
1 T chopped pecans
2-4 cups lettuce or spinach

What to do:
Mix it all together and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What to Wear Wednesdays

When starting this blog, I also wanted to incorporate some everyday fashion...the kinds of things I wear to work and out and about. I love feeling pulled together, because I feel like it truly makes my day go more smoothly.  When I have an extra big day planned, I can almost hear my mom reminding me to "dress for success." I have always viewed outfits as a creative outlet--I love to play with color and adore accessorizing. I guess I am also lucky in that I whole-heartedly enjoy shopping, and this allows me to hunt down those great deals. When I post outfits of the day, I will also include where I found the pieces, and if it was a particularly outstanding steal. This is what I wore on Monday...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Getting started in CrossFit

Some of the most common concerns about CrossFit that I hear:  It's expensive. It's intimidating. There's a lot of pull-ups. There's a lot of new lifts. I don't know how to start.

All of these things kept me from starting CF for years, even when one of our best friends started his very own gym. Eventually, he convinced me to give things a try when he described CF as just taking weight from the floor to above your head, and doing it as fast as you can. I thought that didn't seem so bad, so I decided to add in some CF to what I was already doing.

Now, even though I managed to get started on my own, I do feel strongly that a CrossFit affiliate gym is by far the best place to get the proper introduction on all of the lifts and exercises. However, these gyms are often pricey. So even though in an ideal world, we would all get training at our local CrossFit, I think the beauty of this "sport of fitness" is that it is functional movement that can be done almost anywhere. Something CF prides itself in is making fitness accessible to EVERYONE. So, I truly believe that if you are safe and know your own limits, you should be able to work your way through almost any workout. Here are a few things I found helpful when I started:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sneaky veggies

Vegetables are so good for you.  No matter what diet you follow, it seems they all recommend increasing your intake of fresh veggies.  They are full of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and filling fiber.  From a medical standpoint, there is growing evidence that these nutritional powerhouses can help prevent chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, certain cancers, and even Alzheimer's.  Many of us may be scarred from our childhood days when we were forced to eat our veggies, and this has shed a negative light on the food group.  In the last couple of years, I have come to find that, when prepared correctly, they can actually taste good.  Not to mention, they make you feel fantastic.  I have constructed this list to help us all rid veggies of their negative image and start reaping the health benefits.

Ten Ways to Eat More Veggies:

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Week Ahead: The Cook-Up


I hope everyone has had a great weekend! We had a fantastic one with lots of sunshine and warm spring weather. Husband's parents were here and we had a blast running around town. Ate at one of our favorite restaurants (The Pantry), got some frozen yogurt, saw the Hunger Games, and even got pampered with a pedicure! 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Daily skin care

I have gotten many requests for skin care recommendations, so this will be the first post of many!  Before I delve into addressing skin care regimens for specific skin concerns, I wanted to give my personal recommendations on skin care in general.  I typically recommend the following to patients with dry or sensitive skin, but these recs are also important for anyone being treated for other skin conditions (such as acne, rosacea, or on anti-aging regimens) as well:

Week of Workouts and Sleep

Week of Workouts:
--Friday: leisurely run around San Diego bay area outside our hotel. Total: 40 min
--Saturday: Walked a lot. Quickly. In the rain.
--Sunday: travel day (= very sedentary)
--Monday: warmup and 5-5-5-5-5 shoulder press (45, 55, 55, 65, 55lbs). Total: 25 min
--Tuesday: 21-15-9 reps of: 25" box jumps, 45lb power snatch, pull ups (14:15). After I recovered, I did 5 rounds of: 20 bosu situps and 5 toes to bar. Walked a mile. Total: 1h 5 min
--Wednesday: 5 rounds for time: 15 45lb thruster, 15 burpees (14:30). This workout left me flat on my back exhausted.  I then jumped rope, walked a little, and did 3 sets of 20 tricep dips on our paralettes.  Total: 48 min
--Thursday: AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) in 20 minutes of: 5 pull ups, 10 14lb wall ball throws, 15 1pood KB swing.  (Made it through 9 rounds).  After recovery, walked a mile. Total: 52 min.

On my Friday run, I snapped these photos of the San Diego coast and skyline.  I also found the names of the boats very entertaining.

On Sleep:

I have always valued sleep. My husband and family can vouch for that.  I experienced the effects of sleep deprivation during my Internal Medicine intern year, and have vowed "never again!"  Fortunately, dermatology is a much better world for those that value sleep as much as I do. Since reading on paleo, I have learned so much more about the importance of quality and quantity of sleep.  Mark Sisson has many great articles like here and here.  To summarize some of his main points: lack of sleep can undo all of our healthy diet and exercise by pumping out cortisol and other "fight or flight" hormones that make us store fat and want to eat more. Sleep helps prevent chronic diseases, stabilizes mood, improves memory, and maintains weight (amongst many other things).  Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night, but quality counts too.  Here are some things I have tried to do to improve my sleep quality:
  • Sleep in a DARK, cool room.  This means blackout curtains and no alarm clock light.
  • Try to keep the same hours as much as possible, even on weekends.
  • Limit caffeine after noon.
  • If sleep deprived or just extra exhausted, I try not to set an alarm for that 5AM workout.
I encourage everyone to read up on sleep, so you can use it as an excuse to get as much of it as possible!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Two minutes thirty seconds

In 2 minutes 30 seconds, you can have delicious chocolate cake. Sound too good to be true? I found this recipe on PaleOMG last night, and naturally could not stop thinking about it since then.  Perfect for anyone unable to make a whole cake or pan of brownies secondary to risk of eating them all in one me.  Built in portion control! 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A trip to San Diego and some loot

Alright yall, so it is no secret that one of the greatest parts of the American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting (held this year in San Diego) is the serious loot that attendees can collect. Imagine grown-up trick-or-treating in a huge convention center, and this is what you get:

Now. That's not to say that attending lectures is not thrilling and educationally stimulating, but this was definitely the best part of the trip. After over three hours of this trick-or-treat, I came away with these samples to try. Most of these items are newer products, so I am anxious to let everyone know how they work. I plan to do product reviews on many of them, so let me know if you want to hear about any in particular.

Here are some other snapshots of our trip.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Spring!

Spring has definitely sprung in Little Rock!  It is already 80 degrees here and the humidity is out in full force.  This will be my third summer in the South, and I'm still not adjusted.  The flowers outside the UAMS Medical Center sure are pretty, though!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Week of Workouts: There's a reason they have a name...

In CrossFit, some workouts are named. Whether it's "the girls" (benchmark workouts) or the hero workouts (these carry a fallen heroes name), I came to the conclusion that there's usually a reason why they are worthy of a name...they are usually super tough. Even if you look at the workout and think it doesn't seem so bad, you should be very leery...

The last week's workouts
--Friday: For time: Run 1 mile, 30 65lb thrusters, 30 pullups (17:30). Total time: 40 min
--Saturday: 5 rounds for time: 15 ring rows, 15 45lb bench press, 15 90lb back squat (16:00). I also worked on my back squat strength, doing 5 sets of 5 65% 1RM squats. I then walked a mile for a cool down and some vitamin D. Total time: 1h15min
--Sunday: Rain interfered with our weekly hike, so I took a rest day
--Monday: double WOD! "Jeremy" 21-15-9 reps of overhead squat (I did 55lb) and burpees. Then I did 50-40-30-20-10 reps of double-unders and sit-ups. Walked a mile. Total: 1 hr
--Tuesday: long warm-up. Front squats 5-5-5-5-5 reps. I did 45-55-65-75-95 lbs. Foam roller. Total: 40 min
--Wednesday: Griff: run 800m, 400m backwards, 800m, 400m backwards (15:30).Yes, both times I've done this I have felt ridiculous...and almost tripped. Total: 30 min
--Thursday: Workout on the beach! We jogged half a mile then did an "Indian" run half a mile--all in the sand...ouch. We then did sprints to the water x 5 (about 200m each) then practiced long jumping. Light and playful workout!  Total: about an hour.  Here are some action shots:

I have been getting many questions about getting started in CrossFit or this style of exercise, so I plan to post a few tips on how to get started. Please post below if you have any specific questions. Thanks!


The Week Ahead

We made it home late last night from sunny rainy, windy, stormy San Diego.  We still had a great time and I had a blast at my first American Academy of Dermatology conference.  We look forward to making that a yearly tradition--next year's in Miami!  Even though I try to plan ahead before leaving town, it's always a little rough to start a week with no groceries, clean laundry, etc.  Here's my plan for the week.

This Week's Meals

Breakfasts--I'm still on the spinach and kale smoothie kick...with eggs for protein, of course.  By the way, I have been seasoning my scrambled eggs with Penzey's "Sunny Paris" spice is delicious.

Lunches--Asian chicken salad, tuna salad salad.  Today I had leftovers.  On those days when the refrigerator is completely bare, one of my favorite things is remembering that I have something waiting for me in the freezer. I always try to freeze whatever I can if it looks like we won't be able to finish it that week.  If possible, I freeze things in single portion sizes, so that way it is like my own (healthier) convenience food.

-Monday: leftover Rogan Josh (from Well Fed) with cumin-roasted carrots
-Tuesday: salmon cakes (from Everyday Paleo), served atop red and green cabbage
-Wednesday:  Paleo chicken piccata (also Everyday Paleo) and side salad
-Thursday: meatballs and spaghetti-sauced zucchini noodles
-Friday:  Out!
-Saturday: grill out (probably chicken) and purple cabbage slaw
-Sunday: Pollo con salsa roja (once again, Everyday Paleo...did I mention I adore that cookbook?) and veggies, salsa, and guac

I hope everyone's week is off to a great start!


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Video: Melanoma and Self Skin Exams

Melanoma is the #1 cause of skin cancer-related deaths, and it can even affect young people. My video below discusses the basics of melanoma and what to look for when performing a self skin exam.

I would love to hear your thoughts!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

On the go

Since we are traveling this week, I thought I would talk about how we try to eat right and stay fit while on the go.

We try to be prepared, otherwise, Husband may resort to this...
I think it goes without saying that traveling and vacation is a great time to cut loose and splurge a little. However, if you really ask yourself why you are eating this way, sometimes I decide I want to feel great on my vacation rather than be in a sugar hangover. I generally set out to be healthy, and have some cheats here and there. I have found eating out (in theory) more straight forward since going paleo. Here are some things I find helpful:
--Every meal is basically meat and veggies, and if you can resist the other tempting items on the menu, you can almost always find something that will work. I have found that Mexican (fajitas) and American (salads, grilled meats) are easier places to find something, and Italian and pizza are usually harder.
--When eating out, I just do my best and don't worry too much about the rest (i.e.-on the Whole30, they really emphasized what oils your food is cooked in and what it may have come in contact with) I find this to take all the joy out of eating out, and isn't that the whole reason why we eat out?? It is a meal that you don't have to plan, shop for, cook, or clean up after! Awesome! So while on paleo, I resist breads, most cheeses, salad dressings, and creamy sauces.
--Most chain restaurants have gluten free menus available, and even if they don't, it is generally safe to stick with grilled meats and veggies.
--I often ask if I can sub no-no foods for extra veggies, and no one has told me no so far!
--I would also like to note that one of the beauties of paleo is that you can pretty much eat as much as you want of the right kinds of foods. This is because your body's satiety signals work properly if you are eating nutrient-rich foods. So, this means that I don't feel bad when our waiter at Outback Steakhouse not-so-politely told me "wow, I've never seen a girl actually finish that whole salad." Yep. That's right. I guess I do eat a lot.
--Have snacks readily available. Nuts, dried fruits, jerky, and a few Lara Bars. I would also recommend some chocolate. Just sayin.

Also a great time to give your body some recovery time; but once again, sometimes it helps get your day off to the right start to get a little exercise in. Things Tom and I have done:
-Find a hill. Run it. Repeat.
-Run some sprints. This works wherever you are!
-Tabata. Pick a few exercises. Do 8 sets of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. Repeat for each chosen exercise. Some suggestions--squats, tuck jumps, push ups, sit ups, mountain climbers, jumping jacks
-CrossFit Omaha has a list of Workouts on the Road

Almost anything can be used to get a little exercise in!

It's coming

CrossFit is coming...and probably going to take over the world (wouldn't that be awesome?!) Has everyone seen this commercial?

Or this one...

Sorry for the worse than normal picture, but I also just saw this ad in my Women's Health magazine:

I read a recent article on the popularity of CF, and the author came to the conclusion that quite simply, it is "the sport of fitness." When we were little, we stayed in shape by playing, whether it was organized sports or around the neighborhood. When we got older, staying fit became a chore and a means to an end. CF puts the sport back in fitness and makes exercise fun again!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Green smoothie

Spinach, Kale, and Fruit Smoothie

1 cup spinach
1 cup kale
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (for this I use the So Delicious refrigerated kind)
1/2 cup frozen mixed fruit (I have strawberry, mango, peach right now)
1/2 banana

Throw it all in the blender or magic bullet...

This is more tart than the pear version.  If you like smoothies sweeter, you could add a splash of orange juice or a little honey.  I will keep posting variations of this smoothie because it is such an easy and delicious way to get a serving of veggies in the morning. Kale and spinach are nutrient powerhouses, full of folate, vitamin A, fiber, and calcium. There are reports that the calcium in kale is actually better absorbed than from dairy! Yay, kale!



Monday, March 12, 2012

Greek salad

I don't know how it took me so long to discover Greek food.  Well, actually, I do know:  it was the feta cheese (I know, I know, it seems most people love feta).  Once I figured out there is so much more to Greek, now I can't stop eating it! I particularly like Layla's, a little family run Greek restaurant in Little Rock.  When I make it at home, this salad is one of my favorites:

Greek Salad Recipe
Romaine lettuce and spinach leaves (as much or little as you want--I prefer a lot!)
Grilled chicken breasts or thighs
Sliced pepperoncinis
Kalamata olives
Red bell pepper strips
Cherry tomatoes

Lemon Dill Dressing:
2 tbsp homemade mayo
1 tsp lemon juice
Dill, garlic powder, salt, pepper to taste

I like to bring my salads in Glad containers with these little attachable cups. The cups are perfect for dressings and prevent soggy salads.  Because I eat a lot, I bring the 6 cup bowls.
For the salad, you might also consider hard-boiled egg, capers, or feta cheese (if you're a bigger fan than me.) The dressing also makes a fantastic dip for veggies. I recommend everyone tries making homemade mayo at least once. It is delicious, rewarding, beautiful, and a great lesson in patience!



Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Week Ahead

Hope you all have had a great weekend! I can tell it might be rough adjusting to this time change.  We ended up making bacon-guac paleo burgers last night (a change to the meal plan, gasp!) because it was too nice to not grill out.