TeleHealth Technology

My current rotation is in clinical.  I am stationed at the Baltimore VA Medical Center.  So far, it has been a great experience.  I’m learning how to interact with patients, understanding different treatments, and how to properly document it all. 

One area of treatment that I have been able to observe while there is TeleHealth.  This involves using technology to improve medical access to veterans.  Historically, in order to be examined or even to speak to a medical professional, a veteran would need to physically go to the VA.  This can be prohibitive for many.  If a vet lives far away, doesn’t have the time or money to make the trip, or is ill and the travel would just be too demanding. 

To combat this, the VA is has been working with GlobalMed to purchase the appropriate equipment.  They had a demonstration set up so I got to see all the different tools available.  TeleHealth Collage 2

These two units are used together to connect patient to practitioner.  One is stationed in the hospital, while the other is at a clinic or primary care physician.  These clinics are located throughout the state, much closer to the patient.  They can be used for group classes or individual appointments.  The cameras allow everyone to see each other which make the interaction personal.  They also allow the practitioner to physically examine the pt.    There is an attachment that can zoom in on any part of the body.   Below is an example of the detail that can be achieved.  If there was a wound or growth, it could be clearly seen, measured and assessed from a distance.

TeleHealth 2

Below is another gadget, this one can be used in a patients home.  It is portable and can be used the same way as the stationary equipment above.  The “wand” in this photo is what can focus in on a particular area.  telehealth

Below are two shots of me through the other cameras.  The imaging is very clear and does make the whole interaction much warmer than just talking over the phone. 

TeleHealth Collage

Now how can this be used for dietetics?  The VA has a program in place called TeleMove intended for weight management from home.  As the veteran population ages, they need more support in weight management.  In the long run, this can prevent chronic illness that results in greater cost on our health care system.  By making it easy for patients to check in with Registered Dietitians, it promotes positive outcomes.  Another benefit is that women are move involved.  They are a minority in the military and tend not to seek out inpatient services as frequently as their male counterparts.  Check out the details below.


Have you used any type of technology to help manage your health?


Soundtrack to My Workouts

When exercising, music can be so important.  It can get you pumped and keep you motivated.  For my cross training/weight lifting workouts, I need music.  Below is a sample of some the songs I love.

Song Artist Year
Blue Eiffel 65 1999
Boom Boom Boom VengaBoys 1999
Dani California Red Hot Chili Peppers 2006
Dirty Little Secret All-American Rejects 2005
Every Time We Touch Cascada 2005
Float On Modest Mouse 2005
Faster Third Eye Blind 2001
Here It Goes Again Ok Go 2006
I’m Too Sexy Right Said Fred 1992
It’s Tricky Run DMC 1986
My Sharona The Knack 1979
Dragostea Din Tei (Numa Numa) O-Zone 2004
Tangerine Speedo Caviar 2000
Tubthumping Chumbawumba 1997
369 Cupid 2006

Music Collage

As you can see, my taste in music is pretty much songs that were popular during my high school years, or even earlier.  There is something about the 90’s and early 2000’s that I really like.  It was before everything got really rappy with super strong beats.  I  also have positive associations with most of these songs so it works for me.  When making your song selections, remember: you are the only one listening to it.  In addition to these, I also have a bunch of S Club 7 and music from my dance team (Indian/African/Latin).  Not the most current choices, but I like them.

Do what works for you.  And if your on the prowl for new music, do a swap with friends.  About 90% of these songs came from my friend Erica.

Now what about long runs?  When running for 40+ minutes, music can get a little boring.  I do multiple long runs per week, and with training for my half marathon, they are only going to get longer.  I just know I’ll get sick of my music. For this, I listen to podcasts.

If you’re unfamiliar with podcasts, you can download them to you iPod/iPhone to listen whenever.  They range in topics so there is something out there for everyone.  Here are three of my favorites.

Stuff Mom Never Told You

This one has 2 hosts, Cristen and Caroline, and they put out 2 episodes per week, between 20-40 minutes long.  They generally focus on women’s issues, but not in a über feminist way.  Topics range from history of nail polish and corsets, to attraction and dating, to equality in the US and other countries.  They are very light hearted and use humor in each podcast.  They also do a lot of research on each topic, using very credible studies to support themselves.   Highly recommended.



Stuff you Should Know is from the same website as Stuff Mom Never Told You.  It is hosted by Chuck and Josh and they take on pretty much any topic under the sun.  These tend to be a bit longer, closer to 40 minutes each.  They are also very funny and have great research.  This was the first podcast I got into, and that was about 3 years ago.  Some episodes are How Vampires Work, Is Stockholm Syndrome Real?, How Book Banning Works and How Diamonds Work.  Again, a huge range of topics so you are bound to find something that peaks your interest.


Wait Wait

This podcast is actually a radio program on NPR.  It’s a news game show where they talk about the weeks’ news with a panel of comedians.  They also have people call in and answer questions.  They tend to highlight some of the funnier things that have happened during the week and put a positive spin on some of the more serious issues in politics.  Very funny, if your into political humor.



There are a ton of options out there for both music and podcasts, so just pick something that motivates you and you can’t go wrong.

What do you listen to during workouts?

Good-bye sugar! See you at Easter

Easter Collage

The season of Lent is again upon us!  Thus far on my blog, I haven’t divulged too much personal information;  I am a a Congregationalist and every year I give something up for Lent.  Since high school, my dad and I have chosen to give up sugar.

Now every time I say this, I get some snarky comment, “Ummmm you know fruit has sugar, right”.  I have a degree in food, I am well aware.  What we do is give up sweets and then take it a step further and try and eliminate added sugars in our diet.  This way if I have a craving for chocolate, I wont just go and get a big bowl of sweetened cereal.  I’ll think about it a bit and grab fruit or another healthy snack.  I also try not to replace it with artificial sweeteners.  Its more about the flavor than the source.

Obviously, avoiding every gram of added sugar would be an immense commitment, so I do the best I can.

In addition to my father, my friend Jasseigh does it with me too.  Why do we do this?

Jasseigh ConfusedWhatever whatever we do what we want!

But seriously.  Originally, my dad said he lost about 5lbs every year when he did it.  That was certainly motivation to a high school girl!  I never had the same results, but I did find that it makes me very aware of what I’m eating and how frequently I indulge.  I find it refreshing and a nice restart button (like new years but without all of the hype).

While doing something like this, its great to have others that do it with you.  Support

You can support each other.  Literally.

If you participate in Lent, take this time to pick something you really want to reflect on.  From my experience, it doesn’t have to be profound, but even the little things can have a positive effect.

As an unintended consequence, you can expect me to be making more entrees and side dishes rather than desserts (the recipes page is getting a little unbalanced).  I generally enjoy baking more, so this will force my hand into cooking.

Do you give up anything for Lent?

Smithsonian Part 3: Natural History Museum

Mammals!!! I liked American History, but there is really no competing with a bunch of animals, dinosaurs, and diamonds.  It was so nice because the museums are literally across the street from each other so it makes exhibit hopping really easy. 

We started off with the Mammals room which showed a ton of exotic animals set in realistic habitats.  We got a little goofy here. 

Animal Collage

Two of us have animal last names Baier (bear) and Beaver.  Naturally we sought out our relatives. 

Me and my sisters, Rachel and Jessie.Bear

My animal instincts coming out.Bear 2

We aren’t usually shy, but when we are, we are adorable.Bear 3

I guess I’m the baby bear.IMG_0930


Bethany Beaver

I don’t even know how to describe this one SmileBethany fox

Mavis didn’t have an animal of her own, so we found the cutest one to pose with.Mavis

After the mammals, we checked out the fossils.  There were some crazy skeletons on show.  The two photos on the left side are sloths. SLOTHS! They were about 12 feet tall and had bones so thick, they looked more like transformers than animals. 

Fossil Collage

To finish off the day, we went up to the gems section and saw the Hope Diamond.  It is now over 45 carats, but when it was discovered, it was more than 120! Originally, it was cut down to be a crown jewel.  After being passed down through the royal line, it disappeared for 20 years.  When it resurfaced, it was even smaller.  I cant imagine having something that huge and record breaking diminished.  Another thing that I learned is that the diamond is flawless.  I knew it was the largest, but I didn’t realize it had such a high quality as well.  This last stop was a great way to end the day.  We got a little silly and didn’t have to read too much.  After a while, no matter how interesting something is, you just cant retain any more information.  Does that happen to you?

This whole trip is a part of me realizing that I am over halfway done with my internship.  Crazy right? I have no idea where the time went and even though I’m excited to finish, it is motivating me to see all of the sights that I can while I’m down here.  I am less than an hour from DC, home to all of these wonderful museums and monuments.  The fact that everything is free isn’t bad either.  I’ll definitely have more blogs related to the local area.  IMG_0949

What is your favorite Smithsonian?

Smithsonian Part 2: American History, Wars, Inventions and Random Artifacts

Time for part 2 of this weekends excursion.  while at the American History Museum, I explored three more exhibits.  The first was Gunboat Philadelphia. This boat was built in 1776 and used against the British troops in the Revolutionary war.  The Philadelphia was sunk during battle and remained underwater in Lake Champlain until 1935 when it was recovered.  It was dark in the exhibit so I didn’t get any good photos of the boat itself, but it seemed to be in incredible condition.

They had some other artifacts, including pieces of an old military rifle.  Below is everything they found, laid out to show what the gun looked like whole.  I did my best to link the photos together.  I think that there is something so cool about old firearms.


Gun Collage

  The next stop was actually in the hallway.  They had a bunch of mini-collections with topics including turn of the century store front signs, colonial china, surgical tools and memorabilia from Celia Cruz. 

The china had an interesting backstory.  Each item represented a different state and had an historical scene depicted upon it.  There were five us attending the museum together and we were each from a different state including Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania.  And wouldn’t you know, they had a dish from each of our states! We are all so historically significant.  Smile 

Another favorite is in the center of the collage below.  It was a chair that could be converted into a table just by pulling the back down.  Isn’t that neat?  Impromptu guest? Lets just make another table.  No company? You have a throne-like chair that fits comfortable against the wall, out of the way.

Hall Exhibit Collage

The final exhibit featured inventions.  At this point, I was more taken with looking at all the gadgets than reading the descriptions.  Here were some highlights:

An array of meters, batteries and generators.

Inventions 1 Collage

Original patents issued to Thomas Edison.  I found this particularly interesting because my dad was recently issued a patent for a medical device he invented with his colleague.  He has a spot right next to Edison Smile. The top right picture shows an area of New York that he illuminated to market his new new light bulb. 

Inventions 2 Collage

Some more things from Edison.

Invention 3 Collage

And finally, something food related (you had to know that was coming).  The evolution of the toaster! There were so many different models.  And what is interesting, is that the design for the modern day toaster was made around 1935.  The one on display looked like a cousin of the one I have right at home. 

Inventions 4 Collage


And that about sums of the American History Museum.  There were a few other exhibits that we did not get to, and it looks like they are adding a great deal more.  On the map, each floor had a large section that was scheduled to open in 2015.  I’m curious to see what they will feature in the future. 

American History

What exhibit would you want to see at the American History Museum?

Smithsonian Part 1: American History, Stories on Money and War



This weekend, the interns took another trip to the Smithsonian! This time, we hit up the American History Museum and the Natural History Museum.  I always take way too many photos (I literally took 150 in 4 hours). I realized,this blog lets me share them, rather than just having them take up space on my computer. Yippee!

Because I took so many pictures and we went to so many exhibits, I am going to spread out my recap over a few different posts.

One of the featured exhibits was Food: Transforming the American Table, which I had already been to with Melissa.  You can read about it here.  While everyone else checked it out, I wandered over to another exhibit, Stories of Money, which had some neat artifacts including historic coins and bills.  Below are some examples of old coins.  My favorite was the knife money used in BC China.

Coin Collage

Aside from coins, they had a variety of old bills.  These were produced all over the country.  I am convinced that Benjamin Franklin had his hands in absolutely everything, as he developed special designs that would prevent counterfeiting (middle bottom photo shoes 13 concentric circles which represent the colonies, his design.  To the far right is the evolution of the 5 dollar bill from 1899 to 2006.Paper Money Collage

Growing up in Connecticut, I have been to the Mashantucket Pequot Museum, so I had heard of wampum (different types of shells) being used as payment.  This exhibit expanded upon other ‘alternative’ forms of currency used around the world.  Below are samples from Germany, California, Russia and China.Alternative Money Collage

The exhibit was pretty small, only a single room.  If your planning on going, pop by.  They had a lot of rare coins, most of which have 5 or less in existence worldwide.  They also discussed the controversy over the penny and had a voting station.  You could put a penny in one bucket to support the penny and into the other if you think we should ditch it.  I personally don’t care for the penny and think it’s a waste of resources. 

In high school, I visited my sister in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where they did away with the penny.  When shopping, everything was just rounded to the nearest nickel and it seemed to work fine.   When I went to grab a penny to vote, I didn’t have one.  I thought it was fitting somehow. 

Another exhibit we visited was all about American wars.  It took you through from the revolutionary war to modern day.  Some things that stood out to me were in the WWII section, the propaganda of the time period.  They had a ton of old posters to encourage rationing including food, fuel, and limiting your wardrobe.  They even limited the number of colors used by fashion designers to conserve materials for the war.  In high school I did a research paper on WWI propaganda and since then I always get intrigued when I see that style of art. 

Rationing Collage

That concludes part 1 of this weekends ventures into DC.  Stay tuned for more!

What is your favorite type of museum to visit?

Practical Pinterest–Christmas Cookies

So obviously, this is a little late but they are just too cute to keep to myself.  Just look at them!

Reindeer Collage

Before Christmas, all of the interns got together for a cookie swap.  I found these on Pinterest and just had to give them a try.  I got the recipe from BakerGirl.

Reindeer Cookies

3/4 cup peanut butter

1 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup shortening

3 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 egg

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon saltReindeer Collage 2

Chocolate-covered mini pretzels/full size

Mini brown M&Ms/mini chocolate chips

Regular-sized red M&Ms

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Combine brown sugar, peanut butter, shortening, milk, and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until well blended. Add egg; beat until just blended.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended.

Form dough into 1-inch balls. To make reindeer-shaped cookies, pinch the bottom of the ball slightly to form a point, then gently flatten with your hand. Space cookies about 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 7 to 8 minutes, until set or just beginning to brown.

Remove from oven and immediately (and gently) press two mini pretzels into the tops of the cookies for the reindeer’s antlers. Press two mini brown M&Ms in for the eyes and one red or green M&M for the nose.

Allow to cool 2 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack or paper towel to cool completely. Reindeer Collage 3

Makes about 40 reindeer cookies.

When I was shopping for ingredients, I was unable to find mini- M&M’s and mini-chocolate covered pretzels.  For the antlers, I used full size pretzels, leading to me making pretty large cookies.  They ended up being about 3 inches tall and a solid 1 1/2 in wide.  For the eyes, I used mini-chocolate chips.  I also used chunky peanut butter rather than smooth which gave them more texture, which was nice considering how large they were. With my substitutions and enlargement, they still turned out great!  I Ended up getting a little under 20 per batch.

They were a hit at the party and didn’t fall apart during transit (my greatest fear).  We had a lot of variety at the party including lemon cookies, biscotti, blueberry muffin top cookies, gingersnaps and herb shortbread.  By pure chance, no one made any duplicates!  We got 2 of each variety.

Cookie Swap

Nutritional Information for 20 servings per batch (without the candy):  Calories 198, Fat 10g, Cholesterol 12mg, Sodium 173mg, Potassium 136mg, Carbohydrate 29g, Protein, 4g.

Final review: delicious! Perfect for any holiday/winter party. For the creative out there, I’m sure that this can be modified to fit a variety of occasions (maybe make an Easter bunny?) The chocolate, peanut butter and pretzel worked really well together.  Next time, I will probably try to find the smaller pretzels so that each bite has all three components.  Highly recommended to eat, and very fun to prepare.


ZOOMA Half Marathon

It is official – I am going to run my first half marathon! 

Lucy Suprised

This has been in the works for a while now, but last night my friend Erica and I officially signed up.  Running has become a big part of my life over the past year or so.  After I ran my first race, I knew that I was hooked.  It was such a fun environment to be in and I wanted more!  I looked around and contemplated a 10K or doing some more short races, but I decided that I wanted something a little more ambitious and just went for it.  Over Christmas break, I proposed the idea to Erica and she was totally gung-ho so that just sealed the deal.

lets do this


I heard about the ZOOMA Half in Annapolis from Melissa, who is an ambassador for the race.  She made the point that for my first race, it should be an amazing one, and that ZOOMA definitely fit the bill. 

  • The course is right on the water and is very scenic
  • Its in early June so the weather should be pretty mild
  • It comes with a sweet swag bag (yoga mat, water bottle and custom necklace)
  • It’s a party!

Party? you may think skeptically.  How could running for over 2 hours be a party?  It looks like ZOOMA does their very best to make it as fun as possible.  After the race, there is an expo with shopping and massages, yoga classes, and wine.  If that isn’t motivation to finish, I don’t know what is!

In order to prepare for the race, I made myself a training schedule.  I got this off of the Hal Higdon’s website, Novice 1.  It was only for 12 weeks so I doubled up a few to stretch it out to June.  Zooma Training Schedule

To make sure I wasn’t going to wimp out, I completed the first week before I signed up.  I found that having this schedule makes it so much easier to workout. When I check the schedule, I just know what I have to do, and I do it.  Mentally, this thing is gold.


I will periodically post updates on how I’m doing and any tips I may learn along the way!


What are your long term running goals?