Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Toothy Tuesdays are back!

Apparently, teeth can keep you out of jail! In the event that you are a rap super star....

Lil Wayne reportedly got to delay his start date for prison because he had to get some oral surgery done, including root canals and dental implant placement. I don't even want to know what kind of bacteria is hiding under that grill or what kind of physical damage it's doing to his remaining dentition.

I'll add in a link to the TMZ article where I first saw this reported. The bottom line is that your mouth and your teeth can be serious routes of infection and oral health must be maintained! Take it from Weezy....


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Baby fever?

More like hot flashes and cold sweats!

On Saturday, I visited Babies R Us for the first time to get a baby shower gift. Omg, that place is bananas. I had the printed out gift registry in hand but my mind was spinning--breast pump this, boppy that...who knew there was this gigantic market feeding off parental freak out moments? There was an entire section devoted to anti-bacterial hand wash and I was in a frenzy searching for the exact BPA-free glass (or was it plastic?) single 9 oz bottle whose product ID number was no where to be found.

Very quickly I realized that having a baby is no joke. You have to have time, money and enough wits about you to know which preparation books to read and which widgets to buy. I will hereby be sticking with my decision to wait until there is a 3 in front of my age to even consider children. For now I am *quite* pleased watching other people have babies-- like Kendra, Kourtney and my dear friends in real life.

After grabbing my gift I headed swiftly for the safety of my car-- Ahhh Rod Stewart singing about his Old Motown Records--and headed directly over to the Shops at La Cantera to catch my breath. I had a nice light meal at the cafe nestled inside Nordstrom (I do NOT recommend their baked potato soup, blech, so much for going out on a limb) and read the Omnivore's Dilemma. So far I am only like 20 pages in, but things are looking interesting. Hopefully, I'll have time on Spring Break to make more of a dent and get back atcha with a review.

Saturday was just the kind of "me" day I needed. I forgot about how much time I used to spend alone and how much I enjoyed it. I definitely love having a "life-partner" these days, but hanging out with yourself is cool too. After grubbing at Nordstrom I looked at some cardigans, got some benefit eye primer and some shu uemura cleanser. I even got my eyebrows threaded!

Thre--whhaaa did you just say? Yes, threaded. It's a really simple way of shaping your brows with some twisted up pieces of thread even though it sounds scary. I've never waxed because it makes me nervous. Threading isn't painless, but at least I know my brow won't be removed in one fell swoop as these nice ladies quickly and meticulously shape my face hair. In Houston there are lots of places to have this done, especially in the Indian part of town, but in San Antonio I actually had this done at a KIOSK in the mall!! Final result pictured below.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Wishing I was...

Riding my bike a little bit more...

So I was thinking about some thank you notes I will need to be writing in the near future where a bike motif would be quite fitting. Took a look on etsy and look what I found:

How pretty are these?

Volta Press via etsy

Orange Twist via etsy

PLUS! When I was looking at the Orange Twist shop, I noticed a link to a blog with a giveaway for these very bicycle note cards!
Go check out the blog Kate and Oli to read about the artist behind Orange Twist and enter to win a set of these cards!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Well, hot dang!

My hometown is getting an Olive Garden! WE HAVE ARRIVED!

Speaking of country things, I am sitting here acting as a human pillow for Ben while he snores and I watch 19 Kids and Counting. I enjoy TLC and two out of three dentists (at least dental students who write this blog) agree that it's fun to watch the Duggar family.

I was reading an article in my beloved Vanity Fair, while in the wilderness, about this Creation Museum out in Kentucky. While I generally believe in science, I don't think these issues are all black and white and there is NO reason for the author of this VF article to be so snobby and judgmental. The author basically made fun of all the museum's guests and took some low-blows about how fat the patrons were. Just because you are wildly fabulous and have an incredible vocabulary doesn't mean you get to be mean, but I guess that's the point of magazine journalism?

Back when the show was still called 17 Kids and Counting, the Duggar Family, dressed in home-made colonial era wear, visited the Creation Museum. As I'm watching this episode now, a couple years and two more births later, I realize the editing of this show is a little different. Back in the beginning, I kind of felt bad for the Duggar children who were harassed with leading questions from producers, designed to make them seem brain-washed and backward. Now, it seems like even the camera guys have bonded so much with the family, their "crazy" ways are endearing.

The point is, even if someone's lifestyle is very different from yours or what you perceive as "normal," it's a fun challenge to step into their shoes and at least see where they are coming from. They may still be crazy, but being open-minded and truly tolerant is to be able to understand intolerance without encouraging it.

Am I still going to tell my friends Michelle should think about retiring from the baby factory? Yes. Am I still more Dixie Chicks than Toby Keith? Definitely. But, after all, I am a girl from a town that is just now getting an Olive Garden. So, even though I despised growing up feeling singled out as the only donkey in a herd of elephants, I think it was a good learning experience in appreciating others and not taking my own beliefs for granted.

"Yo, baby! Hot shooter!!"

Does anyone recognize the lingo? I'll give you a hint. It involves money, a fuzzy green table, a few dealers and some dice. If you guessed Craps you are correct! I decided to spend President's day weekend (not Valentine's weekend for me since I was with my bro the whole time) in fabulous Las Vegas. We basically had to drag ourselves to the airport Monday morning, we were having so much fun.

The highlight: Seeing the Wynn and sister hotel, Encore. Breathtaking!! They say the Encore is the Wynn's hipper, cooler sister, and I would have to 100% agree. While the Wynn has an incredible entrance and very cool lounge, the Encore absolutely stole my heart. The casino had a swanky, hipster vibe with bright red chandeliers and gold trimmed tables. The music had this jazzy, ambient, latin thing going on that I can't seem to get enough of. And the restaurants just seemed to be more welcoming and laid back than at other hotels. The entire restaurant Switch changes colors/themes/decor every 45 minutes, how cool is that?!

Total Vegas Moment: Saturday night, we were crossing Las Vegas Blvd. to go from our hotel Monte Carlo to MGM for dinner at Craftsteak. Usually I'm not big on steakhouses, but this palce is incredible! My buddy Tom Colicchio sure knows what he is doing! Anyway, while waiting to cross the street, this man comes running around the corner like a bat out of hell. I thought to myself, "wow, that guy is moving!! I wonder why he's running so fast?" Now people are in the middle of the road as the light had turned red and it was our turn to cross the street. Next thing I know, this car comes around the corner, cutting across moving traffic, causing an accident along the way, it was chaos. People are stopped in their tracks thinking they are about to get run over when the driver pulls down her window and screams "Please let me through! That man just hit my car and I'm chasing him down!! I'm gonna find him..." Only in Vegas!

How we spent most of our time: At the craps table. We gambled for roughly 24 hours of our 56 hour stay in Vegas. Kind of impressive if you ask me. We jokingly told each other that sleeping was not allowed on the trip and we were only there to gamble. Oddly enough that became our reality. We were mostly at the Aria casino. It had a very urban chic atmosphere, with dark lighting and your typical top 40's music in the background. It was full of young professionals just kickin' back with drinks and friends. Not my fav, but enjoyable none the less.

With the help of a few gallons of coffee and sugar free Red Bull, we survived our own crazy antics! We came across a lot of ridiculous characters and had some good laughs along the way.
I'd recommend the Monte Carlo to anyone planning a trip to LV, especially for it's prime location right between the new City Center and The Bellagio. After gambling through the night Sunday and catching our 6am flights home, when I reached my apartment I couldn't get in bed fast enough. I ended up sleeping 17 of the next 20 hours. If you ask me, that's the true sign of a Vegas trip done right!

Valentine's in Photos

Big plans of throwing a Valentine's party to rival the Channukah party, turned into just making these dark chocolate brownie cupcakes with cream cheese icing. They were made from a Ghiradelli box, so can't really give you a recipe. Just a suggestion that these are the best box brownies ever.

Brownies packaged and ready to be delivered.

Got some sweet cards from my family.

Made some Valentine's cards for the girls and a birthday card for another friend.

Ben's card didn't get made until Sunday morning while packing for our mystery trip. I actually secretly knew all along what we were doing because it was my suggestion in the first place. We've done the romantic home-cooked meal and the fancy Valentine's dinner out, so this year I thought it'd be nice to get away, become one with nature and relax in a cabin in the Texas Hill Country. Ben acted like he wasn't feeling the idea and we didn't talk about it again. A couple days before the trip though, I caught him checking an email confirmation about a "reservation." Hmmm. I was only told to pack my Uggs (his are seen above with the essential tupperware of brownie cupcakes and Vanity Fair).

I got really into this wilderness thing and used my big camping backpack to hold all my rugged gear. *Notice the new shoes and running pants I mentioned in the previous post.* Nevermind that Ben picked me up wearing designer jeans and sandals, we were going to the wilderness!

Happy driver leading us West.

We stopped in Hondo, TX for some Barbeque at McBee's. This place so rocked, unlike this terrible place we found in Luling a couple weeks back when the place we wanted to visit was closed. Can't remember the name right now and assuming most of you guys aren't hanging out in Luling, Texas.
That cow did not stand a chance. It's a good thing my copy of Omnivore's Dilemma is still in the mail. I can definitely survive without meat every day and pretty much dislike Chicken, but gosh--steak, brisket and bacon have my heart.

We arrived at our lodgings around 3pm. I've stayed at a few places in Concan and Leakey, but I liked these property owners the best. The couple runs the office out of their home and told us a lot about the history of the cabins and the area. Also there were TWO bathrooms and a newly remodeled kitchen in our cottage--yeah we were really roughing it.

Some of our supplies.

After putting our stuff away in the living quarters we walked down to the Frio River, which was only about a five minute walk through the woods. The river was freezing, that's why they call it the "Frio," but we enjoyed playing with rocks, splashing around, hiking and talking.

Texas Hills!

Sun starting to go down and a cool front blowing in...brrr.

This is as far as we got on a puzzle before realizing we are not puzzle people and should go back to magazine reading.
Having no hair dryer gives me wilderness hair!

Our amazing, amazing steak dinner. The meat was so delectable! I ate every morsel and immediately zonked out while claiming I was just going to "rest my eyes." I am getting so old. It was only 10:00 and we hadn't had time to make our s'mores and gaze up at the stars!

Next thing I knew it was breakfast time. Ben forced me to try "Biscuits 'n' Gravy" since we were in the country. Not a fan. It's like someone hocked a loogey on your yummy biscuit.

I was determined to get this s'more thing happening so we made a fire to roast the marshmallows right before we left the camp grounds. We used my favorite chocolate.

This trip was really great and just what I needed. I encourage all of you to visit the area and get your nature on. Thanks to my loving Valentine!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Workout Wardrobe??!?

The amazing Bethenny Frankel says that most people who say they "hate cooking" really just hate the cleanup that's involved. In a similar fashion I think that I've been less-than-motivated to workout because of the overall process involved. I'm not a guy who can just slap on some tennies and hit the trail. I've got to find all kinds of special undergarmets to holster the chestal region and then go through the whole hair washing ordeal afterward.

Ben and I went for a jog on Saturday at the new trail near where we live. School was really getting me down and I thought I should start the day with some fresh air. It felt great to be out there and when my run was over I felt like I could have just kept going!

Now let's back up to an hour before this. Digging through piles of clothes to make sure I looked presentable for a run! Does anyone else go through this ordeal? I feel comfortable with my choice of footwear and I've got tons of those popular Nike running shorts. My little sister was in a sorority and those Nike shorts are part of the uniform, so thanks to her hand-me-ups I've got my bottom half covered. That's about where it ends.

Yasi strolls into Body Pump fresh off the Lululemon runway and I feel like Myrtle Urkel in my layers of Target sports bras and Old Navy tees. I'm not trying to look like one of those gym-hotties who wears hot pink and doesn't even put her hair in a pony tail, but I want to feel confident! Going to the gym is intimidating and I think getting the fashion part down would help a lot of women who are already self conscious about their figures. I mean I just recently became comfortable with wearing sleeveless to pump iron.

The bottom line with workout attire is that it is a serious investment. I could look like Brittney Spears if I just had the money! Really nice exercise clothing is expensive. What I need from you, dear readers, are suggestions on where to find cheap but nice exercise clothes. I usually do not trust on-line stores, but could change my mind if necessary.


P.S. After my run and a lunch at Farm-to-Table (retracting all previous good review on this place, btdubs) we went to Good Sports and I got new outdoorsy shoes and running pants!

An ode to my tamale maker.

I haven't been blogging lately. I just haven't had much to say. Like Yasi said earlier, my days have become full of thinking about patients and deadlines and lab work for over 15 hours a day. The past two weeks have been bad at school and one thing after another kept piling itself on top of each other. By the time Friday evening rolled around, I was ready to crash and tuck myself under a rock for the weekend.

Good thing B was there when I got home.

Our non-planned out Valentines weekend that somehow turned into a Mexican inspired weekend was so nice. I feel recuperated, comfortable, at ease, sure of my self and ready to tackle the next two weeks ahead of me.
We honestly didn't do that much: We ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant he likes to eat at in SA, saw a movie I wanted to see, which he ended up liking better than I. Went on a hike that both we and Ti really needed. Then came the valentines surprises.
Can I just say, without getting all cheesy (unless we're talking about the cheese in the chile rellenos), that I think you've really found someone who just gets you (and you get them??) when somehow the valentines (and all other day to day and holiday) surprises they have for you make you stop in your tracks and go 'seriously?/Oh my gah/how did he ever think of this/oh that is so cute/wow-original/hehe thats creative/wow I love this!' all at the same time.
My "gift" = pretty lame but I know he enjoyed. I made his fav mexican dish chile rellenos with ground bison meat and a made up roasted red pepper/tomatillo/cream sauce.
His "gift" = genius. He made me Mexican chocolate tamales and gave me his heart in the form of a recent EKG print out. There was a palpitation on one of the waves so that must have been when he had thought about me...bahaha. Ok, this is getting too cheesy.
But seriously, if any of ya'll know me, you must know how much I loved those tamales! (well, still working on them)

Any valentines surprises out there from this weekend that made you stop and think "Wow"??

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Let me preface by stating 1. because it is the reality of the situation and 2. because I don't want you thinking I'm some brat with nothing better to do than complain...life is good. I know that. But life is definitely a little hectic right now and I'm not exactly coping well. Sleep has become somewhat of a luxury these days as images of my patients and teeth and faculty seem to haunt my every thought. Sadly the fleeting moments of shut eye I do seem to catch are usually when I fall asleep on the couch in some awkward position always with Hugo snoring nearby and some Bravo rerun I've already seen playing on the TV. Will I get all my requirements done before the end of the year? Is there enough time? Are my patients going to show up late today? Are my patients going to show up at all??
I wish there was a pause button just to take a minute and regroup.

To make matters worst, I have a bit of a knee situation brewing and that, I'm sure, is adding to my recent angst and overall inability to cope. Since I'm too scared to go to the doctor and find out what is actually going on with my knee, I'm taking the advice of an orthopedics resident and taking two weeks off from running along with following a strict Ibuprofen regimen and daily stretching exercises. That two weeks began last Sunday. And I'm officially going crazy. Running is how I've coped with dental school the past two and half years, it's an outlet. No, I don't think more clearly or get rid of my anger when I run. I just like running. Being outside, sun shining, some good tunes playing on the iPod-blissful. Plus it gets rid of my excess energy in a non-exhausting-schoolday way so my mind doesn't race and I sleep better at night.

There is something positive that has come from all of this. Yoga in San Antonio. Though I discovered the studio a few months back, I have been attending classes more frequently in hopes of burning some calories with very little impact on my knee. Yoga Shala reminds me of the yoga studio I attended in Austin when I first fell in love with Vinyasa classes. The studio is modest, people super friendly and the instructors inspiring. Plus it's in one of my favorite parts of San Antonio so I'll use any excuse to visit the Stone Oak area more often!

This posture scares me a little bit.
Also, another positive because I'm no negative Nancy! I'm going to Vegas this weekend. Yay.

Yes, that says strategy book. You can judge me.
An aside-this may seem silly but I'm oddly comforted by my realization that the reason for my recent crazy spell is most likely due to the self-inflicted lack of activity. If my knee doesn't get better soon, I'm going to run anyway. It's just a knee, right?

What's in a Name?

So as to distract myself from the sads I currently have because of my patients/dental school/running out of time for the year...I'll get on a blog post I've been meaning to write. And by the way, sorry we skipped out on Toothy Tuesdays this week, our material is running thin. Ask us some questions or something, people!

As I near the end of dental school (hopefully) and my friends are starting to settle down around me, I've been thinking a lot about the future. One tiny detail--amongst many-- that I've wondered about is what I'll be called.

When I was in junior high it was cool to practice writing your first name next to your crush's last name, as if one day you'd grow up, marry this puppy lover and take his name. As that possibility of marriage and name change gets closer, I just don't think I want to change! I've always been my name and it is my identity. Plus, the legality of becoming a licensed dentist doesn't give you a lot of freedom to go switching your name around.

I really feel strongly about forming a unified family unit so I will definitely be okay with an add on last name (no hyphens though as I think it looks forced). I've known other women to be "Dr. Maiden Name" in the office and "Mrs. Married Name" at home, which is a compromise I think I can roll with and will actually end up less confusing if there is another Dr in the house. Ultimately, I think it would make my parents very happy to have a "Dr Maiden Name", but I'm guessing it'll be important to the future Mr that I legally become part of his family.

So here's how I've heard of other, non-Dr people handling this and I'd like to know what everyone thinks. Luckily, Beyonce and Jay-Z made themselves examples and I won't have to out this real-life couple.

The pair will now be known as Beyonce Knowles-Carter and Shawn Knowles-Carter. I think this is really outstanding! Didn't see that coming from Mr. 99 Problems. Maybe I'm a little old-fashioned because I probably wouldn't expect my spouse to do this, but I think this is a good way to be fair and there's no confusion when "Mrs. This" tries to pick up her kid "Little That" from school. If a woman has to stand in line at the DPS or whatever terrible steps you have to go through to get that change legal, then the man should have to also. Maybe in the past he's been too busy bringing home all the bacon to wait in the DPS line, but it's 2010 now and we're working too.

I could go on forever about how female roles are changing, but also kinda staying the same. Now that my classmates and I are making decisions about working and moving to new cities, all this business I read about in feminist theory classes in college is coming to life and it's so exciting! I could get real used to the idea of working at a clinic I am passionate about and having lots of days off knowing that my partner will bring in the big bucks that I'm not making...but isn't that a little sexist of me?

P.S. Is facebook totally changing the rules for name changing? So many people include their maiden names and I wonder if that is just for facebook or if that reflects their real life identity. By-the-by it's getting really confusing now when people change their facebook last names without warning and I can't remember who they are.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Restraurant Review: hmmmm

We had been dying to try out the restaurant, Citrus, in the Hotel Valencia downtown. As we left the restaurant last night, the jury was still out on how I felt about the experience as it was a lot like a roller coaster ride of up and downs. About thirty minutes after our departure from Citrus, the final minus came in. Let me start from the beginning...

Hotel Valencia is in a good location, down the street from the Majestic Theater, and they offer complementary valet-- yay the first plus. The entry way is less than impressive and the smell of an old hotel fills the air--minus. I thought I'd let that slide because B didn't seem to notice a smell and the entry floor wasn't even the main floor. We walk past the bar/lounge which seemed lively (plus), but when we get to the small restaurant the hostess asks if we have a reservation. We say no and she says, "well let me go ask the manager if we will be able to accomodate you." "Umm lady, there are eight people in your restaurant, do you really need to ask permission to seat us?" Minus. The woman finally comes back and miraculously shows us to our table. The decor was really pretty--plus. I am not crazy over the color red, but I liked the tall vases with calla lillies and the romantic atmosphere. Not sure if this is a plus or a minus, but as B said you could hear a pin drop in that place. Minus because there was no music to help set the mood, but at least it was quiet enough to hear each other--plus.

So we are seated and get complementary bottled water--plus. We also got fresh warm bread with butter--plus, plus. Our waiter Michael (Hispanic Dana Carvey) was very nice and helpful in describing the dishes. I ordered Riesling and B got a Shiraz and waiter Michael filled these bad boys up to the brim-plus. We enjoyed the bread and wine, but it took a while for Michael to come and get our dinner order. From the reviews I read online people seemed to enjoy that the waiters were not all up in their business so as not to rush their dining experience, but I was just feeling flat-out ignored at times-minus.

Eventually I ordered the broken arrow antelope with blackberry goat cheese sweet roll and sauce poivrade for my first course and eggplant mousakka for the second. B (okay his name is really Ben and calling him B is getting weird, he says he doesn't mind) ordered the crab cake with toasted pumpkin seed, avocado and mesclan salad and the
crisp rack of karabuta pork with seared cheddar grits and glazed mango. We twiddled our thumbs for an hour before we ever saw our food--minus, minus, minus.

When the food finally came it seemed like everything was worth it. The textures and flavors were amazing. We actually filled up on our first courses--plus. I mean we sure should have filled up, that single crab cake cost SIXTEEN dollars-major minus. The second set of dishes came out and we couldn't even make a dent in them. Ben's pork was cooked to perfection, juicy with a crisp sweet outside, and I joked that pig was a sinful, dirty meat. It was my first time to eat antelope, but I was sure loving it, plus.

We took the rest of the main courses to-go and finished the dinner off with the cinnamon croissant bread pudding and two decaf coffees. Dessert was a big plus and we were feeling pretty content. I visited the bathroom and thought it was better decorated than the rest of the hotel, which was minimalist in a bad way. The best part of the bathrooms, beside the terry cloth hand towels and bowl-sink things was that there were mirrors in every stall! Plus! You could stare at your hair and outfit for as long as you want and no one would notice! Uh, or so I thought. On my second trip to the bathroom I really got into my secret-stall poses. As I walked out of the stall this girl was mad muggin' me and at first I thought she was non-verbally acusing me of the foul odor lingering in the area, but then I noticed the opaque glass pannel on the stall door. Although you cannot completely see in, that girl was most definitely aware of my private runway, probably from the shadows coming through the door. oops.

The nice guys at valet held on to our leftovers and told us the next place we wanted to hit up was within walking distance and we could leave our car at their hotel--plus. We briskly found our way to the Riverwalk's best kept secret, Delores del Rio. This place is only about as large as a post office waiting area and it looks like from the interior that it was never supposed to be an indoor space. This place is so quirky--there isn't really a normal menu and you have to walk through the kitchen to get to the bathroom. There were two guys playing live music and after a couple of songs they actually got taken over by a group of Toddler's in Tiaras contestants (there had to be some kind of convention going on because I saw lots of little cheerleaders) who sang acoustic versions of I Gotta Feelin' and Boom Boom Pow. When I have been to this place in the past there was cajun music and belly dancing.

Ben and I each get a glass of Chianti after the friendly manager guy jokes with us about Ben being a "soulja" who he would gladly accompany to Iraq and that behind every good man was a good woman--me. We didn't really get it, but he was just so nice and giggly we went with it. Just when we are really enjoying ourselves, being all romantic and vibbing the music, I feel a tight pressure/ache in my lower abdomen. I attribute it to all that I just ate and maybe a little feminine troubles. I look over at Ben and he is looking a little more pale than usual. His eyes start to water and he bolts for the bathroom.

Turns out Citrus rears its ugly head for a final minus. A la Charlotte and Harry and their "f-ing fromage" the rest of the night was spent taking turns in the bathroom, with Ben bearing most of the burden. It had to have been the dirty and sinful pork because I only had a taste. Looks like we will not be eating our leftovers nor will we be paying an arm and a leg for food poisoning ever again.

P.S. I totally saw the lastest Millionaire on Millionaire MatchMaker on the Riverwalk!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Why do I need someone to teach me how to eat?

First off--apologies for the lack of entries this week. Things have been hectic with crowns and dentures and cavities, oy.

As I drove to lab late this evening I was listening to a bit on the radio. This guy, John Tesh, is always giving tips about life (health, finances, relationships). For some reason he annoys me, but he actually has decent things to say. Tonight he was listing three ways in which you can lose weight, which were things like switching to whole wheat, avoiding high fructose corn syrup and eating many small meals. As is the case with many nutritionists, his language revolved around terms like "training yourself to feel full," and what kind of chemical reactions go on that cause you to have certain cravings or store fat.

For a moment I stepped away from concentrating on the molecular level and what I know about the body...and I just laughed. Is society really that far gone that we need to be taught how to eat? Something so basic in human nature has gotten away from us and made a gateway for a multi-million dollar self-help, diet industry. Why are we willing to buy into these crazy gimicks and disgusting cleansing routines when the answer seems so simple: Eat well and stay active.

As Americans we have the luxuries of all-you-can-eat, free refills, never ending buffets and we've become gluttonous and lazy, sitting at our computers and taking breaks to simulate bodily movements at indoor work out facilities. Do you think our ancestors back in the day had to schedule a break for "bootcamp," or "body pump" or "spinning?" No. They hunted and gathered and ate whatever they could come up with. They actually ran on solid ground and lifted things that weren't manufactured for the sole purpose of lifting a specified amount.

I'm definitely not knocking gyms and convenient dining establishments, just trying to examine why Americans look and feel the way we do about our bodies. For me, I was always pretty active, involved in sports and jogged by myself after team sports were out of the picture. Why I had put on extra pounds in college, despite my workout efforts, never really clicked until two specific events. One, our crazy aerobics instructor one summer (fashion stuck in the 80's, overly committed to energy drinks) said, "Fitness and weight is 99% what you put in your body. It's not about exercise." And two, Bob Greene's Best Life Diet changed my life. I realize this is dramatic to say and Bob wasn't working single-handedly, as a change of scenery and starting professional school also did my body good. This book really gets scientific and helps prepare you for a lifetime of health and hapiness. I didn't follow the book precisely but I was able to make a few subtle changes and really see results without making much of a change in exercise.

Before you even start making changes, the book helps you to figure out why you have become less than thrilled about the current state of your body in the first place. Knowing where you are coming from really starts the problem-solving ball rolling. For me, and probably many others, it was about having a sense of entitlement and basically being spoiled during childhood. Now, now I didn't get ridiculously expensive toys or wild vacations, but my parents and grandparents gave me whatever they could. Treating us with food in a big way. I remember my gramps specifically saying "nothing but the best for my granddaughters," and somehow this translated to dessert and steak and starbucks. Our grandma's form of love currency is bagels and cheesecase. In my mind, I was awesome and deserved to eat awesome stuff. I felt like I had the right to spoil myself with desserts and fancy drinks. This continued into college when unfortunately, my body started going through that second puberty no one tells you about. What the heck? Woman hips?

When I studied abroad in Barcelona and traveled around Europe I really had a field day. Nutella on white bread for breakfast, pastries in every country and no time for exercise. My American mentality did not translate on a continent where "non-fat" is non-existent and people just have enough wits about them to call it quits when enjoying a fatty piece of ham. I was on a six month vacation and I'd always been taught to load up on junk food on vacation-- grab your snickers ice cream bar and get back in the suburban. Before I knew it I came home and weighed in at 30 pounds more than I do now.

This post could go on forever, but that's just a little piece of my health history that I thought of this evening. I now treat my body like a temple and definitely enjoy food without abusing it as another outlet to spoil myself or compensate for attention deficits. It feels really good.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Toothy Tuesdays: Why do you care?

So, for this week's Toothy Tuesdays we will not be talking about teeth!

Before we see any patients, we have to ask a million questions that most patients glaze over and don't always reveal the answers to because they don't think they are important. Questions about past surgeries, any and all medications you are taking, personal and family history of diabetes, acid reflux disease; the list we use here at the DSchool is probably more in depth than most doctors' offices. And many will just say no, no, no thinking that it just doesn't matter for the dentist to know. It does!! So, how does diabetes affect my teeth or high blood pressure affect you drilling on a tooth?
Here are the top things we will ask you and why we care:

Diabetes: Ok, so this is major. I'm hoping that if you have Diabetes (Type 1 or 2) then you have learned enough about controlling it that you know how this affects you and your dental health. First of all, control your diabetes! Please! If you have meds for this, then take them. Uncontrolled diabetes really affects your healing time from any sort of infection or wound. Even a little irritation to your gums can turn into a big deal if your body is not able to bring the right healing factors to the site of injury. And then the infection can very easily enter into the blood stream and turn into a major infection spreading elsewhere since you're body just can't control it. If you go to the dentist with uncontrolled diabetes or an extremely high blood sugar level, they probably won't treat you that day and instead send you to your doctor to get that under control.

Blood pressure: One of the things we use almost every time you come to the dentist is Local Anesthesia, the lovely injection that makes treatment painless for you. One of the ingredients in most of these is epinephrine. Epi is added for a variety of reasons; one is that it provides a local effect in the blood vessels of gums that leads to less bleeding when we have to nick them for one reason or another. If you already have high blood pressure, putting more epinephrine into your system, mixed with the rise of blood pressure due to anxiety can send your heart into overdrive.

Pregnancy: We need to know if you are pregnant so that we can take extra precautions and avoid the laughing gas. You need to know that if you are pregnant you can expect to see changes in your gums. They might get puffier or more red. True story: Jamie's B's mom was told by her dentist that little B was in the oven.

Medications: One of the number one side effects of the most common medications is a dry mouth. Hopefully we're starting to stress enough how important a wet mouth is in keeping bacteria and cavities at bay. So know that if you are taking a daily medication and starting to experience dry mouth, the med is probably the cause and you should make sure to sip water and use fluoride. Sugarfree gum is also helpful. Many people forget to include birth control and vitamins/supplements. If a dentist prescribes an antibiotic he or she should inform you that this medication will render your birth control ineffective!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Musica Nueva

I've been told that my music taste is, "geriatric." Whatever. Everyone loves Rod Stewart. Well my lil sis introduced me to a guy my own age, Eric Hutchinson. His style is like Rufus Wainright + Michael Buble + John Legend + Keith Urban, so I dig it.

I'm not ready to add EH to my list of all time favorites, but he's something new to jam to in the car. I don't quite want to wear out John Mayer's Battle Studies and my car passengers (B) are getting very tired of The Definitive Collection by Stevie Wonder. I love music in the car almost as much as I love driving to a restaurant, so we'll save music posts for another day.

As for now...I need travel advice! The plan is to go to Denver for Spring Break. Anyone know of unique, low-priced, centrally located hotels? I'm looking at The Curtis and The Magnolia, and wishing I was rich and could have bubble bath turn down service and in-room yoga sessions at Hotel Teatro. (In the meantime I will stick to pampering myself with the one-dollar-magical-mexican-masks from HEB.) For those of you looking for cool spots in other cities, we had an A-MAY-ZING stay at Hotel Max in Seattle two spring breaks ago.