My “go-to” comfort food

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My absolute favorite dish is Lo Mein! I don’t really like a lot of Chinese cuisine (nothing personal) but this is the one I can’t get enough of! This recipe is so easy to make and it is quite tasty! Not to mention, it doesn’t cost too much or take too much time to cook.

INGREDIENTS:
8 oz Cooked spaghetti noodles
1/2 cup green peppers
1/2 cup broccoli
1/2 cup white onion
1/2 carrots
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sriacha sauce (optional)
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
3 cloves of garlic
1 inch of fresh ginger

RECIPE:
(Prepping the stuff first)

1. What I like to do first is chop all of my veggies and have them ready. This is the step that probably takes the longest. I make sure all of the veggies are cleaned and chopped and set to the side.

2. Next, I chop the cloves of garlic and ginger and also set aside. I mince the garlic and ginger. I don’t combine them just yet though so I chop  and place them separately.

3. I also measure out my sauces just to have them ready to go as well.

Now is where the fun starts:

4. In a semi deep pan or pot, I warm up the 3 tbsp of oil until it gets hot. I test the oil by throwing in a tiny piece of the minced garlic and once it starts to sizzle, that means its time to start!

5. Next, I lower the heater to a little less than medium and drop the rest of garlic in there. The garlic is usually simmering at that point. I saute it about 30 seconds and then I add the chopped ginger. I saute the two for another 30 seconds. The garlic will start to brown at this point but I make sure it doesn’t burn.

6. Next, I drop my veggies into the pan one at a time and saute with the garlic and ginger. I like to throw in the hard vegetables first and work my way toward the soft ones. For instance, I will throw in the broccoli first, saute for 15 seconds, then the carrots, saute some more, then the green pepper and last, the onion, etc.

7. Once all of the veggies are in there, I add the cooked noodles and mix with the veggies.

8. Next, I throw the sugar in there and mix.

9. Then I add the rice vinegar AND Soy sauce AND sesame oil and mix.

10. Last but not least, I throw in the Sriracha sauce. This one depends on how spicy you want your noodles to be. You can completely omit it or add 1/4 of a cup or just a little more depending on what you prefer.

I usually serve this with sweet carrots as well as roasted zucchini. I love to add Japanese Shrimp Sauce to the noodles after I’m done cooking and before I a

When I was first working with this recipe, I purposely left our the meat because I used to eat it as part of “Meatless Monday” meals and have never tried it with chicken or beef.

You can change the veggies or add more or replace them with other ones. This is one of those recipes that you can experiment with.

I hope you all like it! Let me know if you make any changes and how it turns out!

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Eid al Fitr 2k17

Eid Mubarak to all of my fellow Muslims out there! I know I am a few days late but I wish you all much success in all of your endeavors!

Okay, so for those of you that aren’t familiar with Eid Al Fitr. It is a Muslim holiday immediately following Ramadan (our holy month of fasting). Eid day starts off with prayer early in the morning. Prayer is usually done at a mosque or at an indoor area that can hold hundreds of people. After the prayer, we visit our families and friends starting with those who recently experienced a death or a difficult time. We spend time with them and try to make them forget about their difficult circumstance. I love this aspect because it is a completely selfless act!

Once we have done that, we spend time with those who are closest to us and eat lots of good food! Since I had to spend this Ramadan and Eid al Fitr away from home, I was fortunate enough to spend it with my Med School Muslim family. We prayed, ate, and laughed.

The earliest Eid memory I have was when I was really young, I was about 4 or 5 years old. My family and I were living in Sudan at that time and there was some Eid Carnival going on. All I know was that I really wanted to ride on a swing because I never rode one before. I drove my mom absolutely crazy during the day until she finally agreed to take me. I was determined to get on that swing and was quite persistent in my nagging lol when I finally got to the swing, I felt like my dream came true LOL

Here’s what I wore to the prayer and lunch for this Eid:

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Watch (Almost Exact , Similar), Shirt, Bag (Same style but different colors), Hijab (Similar), Dress

My skincare Do’s and Don’t’s

A lot people compliment my skin and ask me if I have some sort of secret product that I use in which I will recommend. My answer is always NO. Truthfully, I feel as though I neglect my skin and would like to change that. I do, however, have a lot of things that I abide by to maintain clear skin. Although these may seem generic, I have religiously followed these Do’s and Don’ts ever since I can remember. The important thing that I have realized when it comes to skincare is that consistency really does go a long way. Patience is also very important because clear skin does not happen over night. It takes time for cells to regenerate and marks to fade. Any of these things below have worked for me specifically and may or may not work for everyone; however, I do believe that they will help somehow.

DO: Drink water.
This is such an obvious one. You have probably seen this everywhere and on almost any website when you have searched for clear skin. I tend to drink about 3 liters of water a day. When I don’t drink a lot of water, not only do I have a headache but I notice that the skin on my face is dry and so are my lips. I definitely don’t recommend drinking gallons and gallons of water a day for clear skin but the standard 8 glasses a day is a really good start.
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DON’T: Pick pimples.
I am so guilty of this!! Every once in a while, I will have that one annoying pimple that is just so tempting to pop. I do everything in my power to avoid popping it but eventually, temptation gets the best of me and then I pop it, and I’m left with a dark mark and then I spend the following weeks angry at myself for creating a mark on my skin that could have easily been avoided! So, my point is please don’t pick or pop your pimples because the mark on the face will be more annoying than the pimple!

DO: Wear Sunscreen.
I have worn sunscreen ever since I was 16 years old. Now that I think about it, that is a really long time! I’m not sure what or who got me into wearing sunscreen because I’ve never been to a dermatologist for my face but ever since I was young, I’ve made the habit of wearing sunscreen every single day. Almost all of my friends were puzzled when I revealed to them that I have worn sunscreen for that long. They’re confused why I wear sunscreen because of the “do black people need to wear sunscreen?” mentality. My answer is yes. Simply put, the has UV rays which can damage your skin regardless of your color. Obviously the darker you are, the more protection you have; however, I believe that frequent sun exposure does increase wrinkles.
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DON’T: Over or Under moisturize
So this one really depends on your skin type. I know that for me, I rarely use moisturizers because as soon as I do, I start to notice more pimples on my face. This does not go for everyone though. For instance, my sister uses a moisturizer daily because if she doesn’t, her skin immediately starts to show dryness and she ends up with flakes of dry skin.

I’ve read a lot about dermatologists recommending a moisturizer for everyone; however, that really hasn’t worked out for me but it’s not to say it won’t work for you! Because wearing moisturizer has been recommended by so many dermatologists, I think my issue is finding the right moisturizer not just a problem with all moisturizers. Until then though, I think over moisturizing can be a bad thing because you’re putting more oils on the skin which clog up pores but also under moisturizing promotes skin dryness. So, find your balance!

DO: Eat your fruits and veggies
I’m sure there is a saying somewhere out there about how it’s better to tackle a problem from the root rather than from the surface. I’m a huge believer in that saying. I truly believe that what we put into our bodies makes its way to the surface eventually. For instance, when I eat a lot of sugars and oily foods, I start to have pimples but when I eat all of my greens and fruits as well as drink plenty of water, I notice that my skin is clear with no problems. Remember, it starts from within!
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DON’T: Eat too many sweets
I don’t believe that eating sweets directly causes acne but I do believe that consuming too many sweets make the acne worse, if that makes sense. We all have different skin types, this means that we react differently to different things we ingest. I knew a friend who used to get acne break outs whenever he ate a lot of chocolate. I get acne breakouts on my face when I eat oily foods and I am sure a lot of people are like that as well. It all depends on our skin types.

Though it is extremely hard because I have a giant sweet tooth, I try to stay away from sweets because I believe too much sugar is bad for our overall health. I used to have dessert every single day after both lunch and dinner but diabetes runs in my family and genetics are strong so I try my best now to avoid them. I believe in eating in moderation so every once in a while, I demolish a slice of cheesecake or a brownie. I’m not perfect lol. Anyways, consuming a lot of sugars triggers all of these reactions in the body which may or may not provoke acne breakouts in some people. Just to be safe, I stay away!
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DO: Cleanse daily
So you know those days when you come home and you’re so exhausted that you practically collapse in bed only to wake up the next morning to find you did not remove your make-up the night before? Me neither. In fact, this has never happened to me because 1. I don’t wear make up and 2. I make sure that I wash my face every single night before I fall asleep. I make sure I remove all the bacteria and dried up sweat that I accumulated during the day. This is another habit that I have developed early on.

DO: Wash/Swap pillow cases regularly
Okay so this one doesn’t directly have to do with the face yet it does! I like to wash my pillow cases once a week sometimes twice a week. I do this because I moisturize my hair regularly and I know that the oils from my hair always end up on my pillow cases and ultimately, my face. And as I mentioned before, any additional oils on my face cause breakouts for me.

DON’T: Drink Soda
Oh man! I can write a 10 page paper on this but I’ll try not to. If you were to google “Reasons to avoid drinking soda” you will, without a doubt, get so many links that range from blogs to research articles to newspaper articles. I think this goes under the “don’t eat to many sweets” topic; however, soda is a category of itself. I know plenty of people who don’t eat a lot of sweets but it is an absolute requirement for them to have a soda at lunch or dinner or during the day. When I was younger, I used to drink soda plenty of times and drink I still drink a ginger ale once in a while (like once every 6 months) but for the most part, I don’t drink the typical sodas. Not only does the high sugar content scare me but so do the other ingredients.

As a general rule, I avoid things where I don’t understand the ingredients on the food label. The artificial ingredients, specifically aspartame, in diet sodas scare me. Since aspartame has been linked to so many chronic diseases and seizures, I know it must be bad for the skin. If you do drink soda, I urge you to educate yourselves about the effects of it and please please please try to avoid it. Normally, I don’t like to tell people what to do because I believe that everyone should live their lives; however, this is the exception. When something is bad for your entire body I am completely against it! soft-2262307_640

DO: Use a toner
So, this is a habit that I did not develop until my about my junior year of college. I use a toner everyday, twice a day now. I use this after I wash my face to remove excess oils and dirt from my face. It’s prefect for sensitive skin and its natural. I feel that it really cleanses my pores without drying my skin.

DO: SLEEP!!!!
Sleep 7-8 hours a night every night and watch your life change in so many ways. I don’t play with this one. Sleep is probably the most important thing for the body. When you sleep, your body gets stronger in a sense. It rests. It gets better at fighting things off. It gets better at repairing damage including things like acne scars.

DON’T: Buy into “quick fix” deals
Have you ever heard of the phrase, “If it’s too good to be true, then it is?” I believe that this applies to so many things in life. I can’t tell you how many times I have researched “how to remove dark marks” from my face and came across a post or a product that stated it could remove my acne marks in as little as 1 week. I never bought into those things because I know how long it takes for the skin cells to regenerate. I know how the body works and I try to stay away from anything that alters the natural functioning of the body so I figure that these products do just that! Knowledge is power.

I know that this list is pretty generic but those are mainly all of the rules that I abide by when it comes to my skin. I do notice that my skin is better when I am on a routine. We are all humans and aren’t perfect so there would be times when I completely forget to do these things but as result I notice the difference in my skin automatically.

Following a routine is a huge aspect of my skin care and I always stress this to my friends because it does take about a month for the skin cells to regenerate. So if we have a dark mark or pimple, the key is to let it run its course, naturally. If we are constantly switching products every week or two, we technically aren’t getting the complete benefit from that product. When I try a new product, as a rule I generally finish the product before I can can offer an opinion on it and that gives me plenty of time to figure out if that product or method works for me.

I would love to hear what you all think about these tips! Let me know if you have anymore tips to recommend!

A valuable lesson for aspiring physicians

So, today I learned what I believe to be a very valuable lesson that I will take with me as I finally become a practicing physician. My professor stressed the importance of spending just 5 minutes getting to know our patients. His mother, who was in her 70’s, suffered from heart problems. When she went to see her cardiologist every once in a while, all he would do is inspect her heart and send her away until the next appointment. At one point, she started to get pain in her armpit region. The pain was progressive so every day it got worse. My professor then decided to switch his mother’s doctor to a close friend of his and the new doctor was able to examine her thoroughly. He discovered that she had breast carcinoma. A breast carcinoma is a malignant cancer. A malignant cancer is one that has already started to spread. It was then too late for my professor’s mother.

The moral of my professor’s story is that no matter what specialty we find ourselves in, we must take just 5 minutes to thoroughly examine the patient from head to toe. This will help us in a few ways. It will give us better insight on the patient so that we can better treat the patient and it will help us detect a problem earlier so that we may begin to help our patient heal faster. So, it helps the doctor and the patient.

My professor ended his story with “we all have mothers.” And this really struck home for me because felt his pain in a way. My mother is diabetic and having learned about the disease (and still learning), I would want the absolute best care for her. Then I remember, all of my female patients will be either someone’s sibling, someone’s mother, or someone’s daughter. Because of this, I will strive to give all of my patients the best possible care I can possibly give!

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What should I major in to become a doctor?

This answer is simple: Anything that you like.

Seriously.

To become a doctor, you don’t necessarily have to major in the sciences. You don’t need to be a Biology, Chemistry, or Physics major. You do, however, need to take science prerequisites before applying to medical school. I started off as a biology major in undergrad and took random courses until I found out that I really enjoyed Medical Anthropology and next thing you know, I am graduating from university with a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with the intentions of going to medical school.

I actually recommend majoring in something that you absolutely love while being Pre-med at the same time. This will give you a chance to do two things:

1.) enjoy your classes and
2.) Following your dreams.

For instance, if you absolutely love European History, why not become a history major and take your Pre-med classes at the same time? If you love art or music, why not major in those?

The benefit to going to a liberal arts college is you get to be exposed to different fields of study through the electives requirements. At my university, we were required to take a couple of courses from different disciplines to fulfill the electives requirements and that is where I found out that I loved Medical Anthropology.

Before I applied to medical school, I watched a series of seminars and visited a few schools and the various admission departments all shared one thing: they all wanted a well-rounded applicant. I’ll discuss what it means to be a well-rounded medical school applicant in a future post but one thing to take from this is that medical schools aim to diversify their classes.

Medical schools want to train doctors who knowledgeable about many different things and can relate to different people. This doesn’t mean that one should pick a major that they think will help them get into a medical school but choosing one that you love to learn about.

With that being said, don’t stress it when it comes to majors and what medical schools wants in terms of it. They would much rather hear you talking about your passionate about and what you can contribute to medicine!

Easy & Nutritious Chickpea Salad

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Ingredients:
1 Can of chickpeas OR 1 cup of cooked chickpeas
½ cup of finely chopped parsley leaves
½ cup of diced tomatoes
¼ red onion
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 tbsp cumin
Juice from 1 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil

Recipe:
1. Drain the chickpeas and rinse with cold water. Do this if you’re using chickpeas from a can or chickpeas that are cooked. I usually put them in a strainer to rinse them and leave them on the strainer while I prepare the rest of the recipe.

2. Remove the stalk from the parsley and finely chop the parsley leaves and place in a bowl.

3. Add the salt, pepper, cumin, tomatoes, and onions to the same bowl.

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4. Add the chickpeas, olive oil, and lemon juice to the bowl and mix.

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5. Serve and enjoy!