The perfect gifts for medical students

It’s that time of the year again and if you are looking for the perfect gift for your medical student, you’ve come to the right place! Here’s a list of a few gift ideas (in no particular order) that may help you in search:

1. Stethoscope

As medical students, not only do we wan’t a stethoscope but we absolutely NEED one. A lot of us use Littman stethoscopes but there much more affordable ones out there and that doesn’t make them any less than Littman. No matter which stethoscope you purchase, you can make it more special by having the student’s initials or name engraved on it.

Make sure to check with the school before making this purchase to see which stethoscope they require their students to have.

2. UWorld Subscription

Medical students worldwide use UWorld to prepare for the USMLE (License Exam). These are a set of retired USMLE questions that help the students figure out where they stand. A subscription to UWorld is a little on the expensive side; however, almost every student who has taken the Step 1 of the license exam would recommend it!

Image result for uworld logo3. Scrubs

Depending on the school that your medical student goes to, he or she is more than likely required to purchase their own scrubs. A lot of schools have a specific company that ask their students to purchase from but if not, I recommend Cherokee Scrub tops and bottoms. I love the way these fit, the variety of sizes they have, and how comfortable they are. A lot of people opt for unisex scrubs as well.

4. First Aid book

I think most medical students can agree that is their copy of First Aid is almost practically their bible for USMLE STEP 1. From the beginning of basic sciences, we each purchase this book and annotate it so that when it is time to study for STEP 1, it’s ready…at least we are supposed to anyways. Make sure to purchase the latest edition of this book.

5. Coffee Machine / Espresso Maker

A friend of mine who was already in Med school laughed at me when I told her, I would get through medical school without drinking coffee. We are always so tired and sleepy and a coffee is the answer to our problem. A coffee maker would make a great gift for your medical student, no matter which year he or she is in.

6. Gym bag

Exercise is truly the best stress reliever and why not give the give of stress relief? I have the Adidas Squad III gym bag and I love it! It has so many pockets for literally everything that you would need to bring to the gym/locker room. Plus, the bag is really cute!

7. Stethoscope Heart Art Decal

Almost everyone I know has this art decal on their laptop. It’s just a cute way to proclaiming to the world that we are medical students. We are passionate about what we are doing! This is a cute and inexpensive gift.

8. Noise canceling headphones

If you are thinking about getting your medical student noise canceling headphones, you will definitely be appreciated I guarantee that! A lot of us use these in the library or coffee shops because event though we like the environment, we like to study in total silence. Here, here, and here are some cool ones that I’ve seen my classmates with:



9. Crockpot / Slow cooker

A crockpot would make a great gift for anyone who does not have a lot of time to cook. With the help of Pinterest, there are so many different crockpot recipes that can be made. I purchased my crockpot before coming to medical school and I use it for my meal prep every week. I just place whatever ingredients a recipe calls for, go and study and come back to a cooked meal. Most crockpots are also rice makers so you get a 2 in 1 deal. Such a great investment!

10. Dissection Kit

So this gift can be for pre-meds or incoming medical students. When we first start medical school, we start anatomy lab and our first human dissections. I purchased this dissection kit from Amazon for my anatomy lab. If you get this kit for pre-med students then I believe its a motivational/encouraging gift that says “soon you’ll get to use this!”

11. DNA Pendant / EKG Pendant

This makes a cute gift for a friend or significant other. Who doesn’t like jewelry?

12. Pens / Highlighters

Without a doubt, your medical students will need colorful pens and highlighters. I would like to argue that there is no one on earth who takes more notes than us medical students. We will appreciate this gift because 1) its practical and 2) we need it.

13. Watch

It looks really bad in clinicals if we don’t have a watch. This is another thing that we need. We learn to count heart rate, breath sounds, etc. and having a watch makes it much easier. I have had my Seiko watch for the longest time and it has definitely came in handy in med school.

14. Reusable spill-proof coffee tumblers

Like I mentioned before, we drink lots of coffee and/or tea. Over these past two years, I’ve accumulated a number of coffee mugs/tumblers but nothing beats the spill-proof ones I have. These are great for the library or computer lab where we are not allowed to have drinks unless they are in a spill-proof container.

15. Reusable Water bottles

No one likes to be dehydrated! Water bottles much appreciated from all of us. I love my Camelbak water bottles!

16. iPad / Tablet

I purchased my own iPad in the very beginning of med school when I realized almost everyone had either an iPad or a tablet of some sorts. A lot of people take their notes directly on the iPad; however, I use it because it is portable and I can study from it virtually anywhere. It is probably the best investment that I made and I am sure any medical student will love an iPad or tablet as a gift. When I head off to clinicals, I will invest in an iPad mini instead of the larger one I have because it can easily fit in the lab coat pocket and can be used for quick reference.

               

17. Gift Cards

Gifts cards are always the safest gift to give. If you don’t know which kind of gift card, one to a restaurant would be PERFECT!

I hope that this list gave some of you ideas! I know a lot of these gifts are pricey and honestly, a lot of us can’t even afford them, that’s why they would make an extra special gift!

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The “I just graduated college but I don’t know what to do now” dilemma: Pre-Med Edition

Okay so, the title to this post was definitely shorter in my head lol

Anyways…

A friend of mine recently reached out to me asking for advice about what to do during a gap year between applying for medical school and graduation. Another friend reached out to me asking for advice to make herself a better candidate for medical schools now that she has finished college.

So I thought, “hmm…I wonder who else needs help with this dilemma and could potentially benefit from me sharing this bit of  type of advice?”

Let me start by first saying that I am so proud of anyone who is still chasing after that MD or DO or that PA despite the obstacles. You are going to make strong physicians because you are the ones that persevere through tough times. You are the ones that the world needs.

Not everyone has a straight path to medicine. I know I definitely didn’t. What’s important is that it is still the goal.

I’m here to tell you that even though you’re done with college and everyone of your friends seems to have their lives together, you can still reach your goals of getting into medical school.

Don’t be discouraged just because your GPA wasn’t flawless or you did not get a perfect MCAT or money is the obstacle. If you wan’t to be a doctor and you feel it from the bottom of your soul, you will become that doctor.

This dilemma is one that most of us in medical school has experienced before. Not every doctor you have met went straight from college into Medical School and if a student did go straight into medical school after college, this does NOT mean they will make a better physician than you, it just means they got there earlier and will finish earlier. But remember, it’s not a race.

Because  I have personally experienced this dilemma, I am here to offer some words of encouragement and tell you that yes, you will get into medical school and yes, you will be that doctor.

So, you just graduated or about to graduate but have no idea what to do next. Your academic advisor has told you that there is no way you will ever get into medical school with your GPA and you should explore other career options. You go home, and are both hurt and determined as ever by this news. You decide that you can’t give up on your life’s goal.

Lets pause here at this moment and figure out where to go from here. Below are some steps that I believe everyone in this situation should look at to help figure out what the next moves are”:

Realistically examine your situation

These are questions that you should step away from everything and ask yourself:

Where am I?

  • Have I finished college or am I going to graduate soon?
  • What does my GPA look like?
  • What about my MCAT score? Have I taken the MCAT?
  • Did I gain something meaningful out of my extracurricular activities?
  • Did I complete all of the medical school prerequisite courses?
  • Would getting a Master’s degree enhance my GPA and my competitiveness? What about completing a post-bacc program?

What can I do now?

  • Now that you have answered those questions and realistically examined where you stand, think about what can you do now in the short term before applying to schools. For instance, before I graduated college, I knew that I didn’t complete the pre-reqs for med school and I knew I would take about two years to complete them and I also knew that I didn’t have enough meaningful extracurricular activities. So, what I did was immediately contact places where I could volunteer so that I can start ASAP.
  • Also, start gathering information on medical schools immediately if you haven’t already been doing so.

What do I NOT want to do?

  • Are there some things that you consider deal breakers? For instance, I know a lot of people will not come to the Caribbean for medical school because they believe that it is a scam and that they will never be doctors. This is of course not true but for those that want to continue believing this without doing the proper research, then I can’t say much to you.
  • Also, do you NOT want to do a master’s program? Why or why not?
  • Do you NOT want to do a postbac?
  • Can you work and take pre-reqs or is that NOT an option.

As you are realistically examining your situation, you can kind of lean toward something whether it is completing a post-bacc or taking a break from school to work and getting back to it.

Whatever you decide to do, you should still follow the next step:

Gather information

Now that you have realistically examined where you stand when it comes to medical school requirements and how competitive of an applicant you are, it’s time to gather information based on your stats.

  • Going back to the first question, “Where am I?” you have to figure out what you need to do now. If your GPA is low or MCAT is low, you want to research schools that are more lenient in accepting students with low GPA’s and MCAT scores.
  • If there is a medical school close by, I would drive up to their admissions office, show them who you are, tell them what your intention are, why you are interested in their school and ask for advice about how to become more competitive to be admitted to that school.
  • Have you researched about Master’s programs and post-bacc programs? If not, this would be the time to do so. If so, which ones are you looking at and what are the requirements for them? What I did was make a long list of Master’s programs and another long list of post-bacc programs. From there, I started figuring out which programs would take me based on my stats and which wouldn’t and started crossing ones off.
  • Here, I would also research Masters or Post-bacc programs that are directly tied with medical schools. Some of these programs guarantee admissions into their medical schools assuming that you successfully complete the program with a certain GPA. Some of these programs also offer MCAT tutoring.

AAMC has great information on Post-bacc programs.

UAB School of Medicine has another list that is worth checking out.

Don’t be afraid

My last piece of advice is DO NOT BE AFRAID. There is a quote out there that says something like, “if your dream doesn’t scare you, it isn’t big enough.” I agree but then again I don’t agree with this quote.

Of course, the process to getting to medical school is a little scary because it isn’t guaranteed immediately; however, my biggest motivator is seeing those before me who have been successful with getting in and becoming doctors. I believe that if there is someone out there who made it, there is nothing stopping you from doing it.

Don’t be afraid to take a leap. I definitely did when I decided to move to the West Indies for Medical School. I never ever ever imagined that I would be here. But here I am.

Anything new is a little scary but keep reminding yourself of the goal. Keep praying. Keep believing in yourself. A little anxiety is normal, healthy, even because it motivates us to keep pushing.

You got this!

Email me questions/comments: Contactnilechild@gmail.com

 

How I manage my migraines

I remember my first migraine attack so vividly.

I was about 9 years old and it was a hot summer day. My mother took us to go swimming in the neighborhood pool and I remember I was having the time of my life when I suddenly got this stabbing pain on my right temple and it just kept throbbing.

The pain was so unfamiliar to me that I didn’t know how to classify it. Was it pain? Is my head going to explode? What is going on? Is my brain just bouncing against my skull back and forth? Is this normal? You know, typical questions drawn by a 9 year child’s imagination. Nonetheless, I continued to play and did my best to ignore the pain.

I remember feeling nauseated as well but I wasn’t going to let that get in the way of my swimming pool time. As we were walking back home, I remember the sun being so bright and with every step I took, it felt like my brain was literally bouncing back and forth in my cranium.

Looking back at it, “ignoring” the pain was probably the strongest thing I’ve ever done because when I get a migraine today, my whole life practically stops until I find the best way to get rid of it.

So, what is the best way to get rid of a migraine? Before we get into that, let’s discuss what exactly is a migraine and what are the causes of a migraine?

Migraines are NOT just a bad headache. A migraine it is a manifestation of neurological symptoms. This means that a chronic migraine or just any migraine involves nerves and brain chemicals or hormones.

There are so many different types of migraines and some actually occur outside of the brain. For instance, an abdominal migraine is one that affects infants and children and their abdomen is where the pain is located. And there are also specific types of migraines such as basilar migraines which we know affect specific structures in the bottom of the brain called the brainstem.

Migraines can be associated with auras, meaning they have a sign that tells you “hey, you have a migraine coming.” But just like there are aural migraines, there are migraines without auras and actually some people don’t even experience aura’s before migraines.

A typical migraine attack for me either starts as soon as I wake up or I suddenly get it in the afternoon. I’ve always had them like this. I rarely get a headache before I go to sleep or in the evening. If I didn’t get a good night’s sleep, I almost always end up with a migraine the next morning.

This past month I’ve actually had a bad migraine almost every day. Luckily, I am much better now. When someone gets migraines for over half of a month, those migraines are referred to as “chronic migraines”.

Triggers

The first step in getting migraine relief is figuring out what triggers your migraines and working toward minimizing though triggers to prevent migraine episodes. A trigger is anything that can cause or induce a migraine episode.

The older I get, the more I learn about my migraine triggers, what they are, and how to deal with them so that I can avoid a migraine. Here are a few triggers for me and can very well be yours:

Hormones

Ladies, those of you who get migraines associated with your menstrual cycle, you know how these migraines are. THEY ARE THE WORST. I hate these migraine attacks…not that I have a particularly favorite migraine attack but I mean these are just horrible.

To me, they are the most debilitating out of the migraines I get. These definitely are a 10/10 on the pain scale for me. I get constant, throbbing pain that does not go away until I finally fall asleep. And unfortunately, there isn’t anything that I have tried that seems to make them go away or to prevent them from recurring every cycle. Of course, I am always open to suggestions!

Caffeine withdrawal

Because I am Sudanese, tea is basically a component of my bloodstream lol. I drink at least 2 cups of tea every day, especially in the morning and when I don’t, I have a migraine to look forward to that day.

Some people drink tea but I always drink tea in the morning but there are times when I’ve run out of milk and couldn’t make my tea (yes, we drink tea with milk and it’s delicious!!) so I end up suffering the whole day.

The first week of Ramadan is usually the toughest for me because I stay away from tea so I have a migraine almost every day that week and then my body adjusts to the no caffeine and I no longer get migraines.

I also drink green tea throughout the day and the week before exams, I drink a cup of coffee a day for the extra energy boost. Now to think of it, I think I may have a slight caffeine addiction but that’s another story lol

Stress

Stress literally destroys the body in all aspects.  STRESS LITERALLY DESTROYS THE BODY IN ALL ASPECTS. I had to repeat that and capitalize it to make sure it is getting the proper emphasis.

Around exam time, I get severe migraines and I also get them after exams because I get so anxious about finding out my grades for the exams. Final times is really stressful, I would get migraines all the way until finals and the day of my exams, are really intense. I’ve noticed this trend about my body and stress definitely comes in all forms.

If you are prone to getting headaches, I’m almost positive that stress makes them worse.

A little bit of relief

Because migraines have an unknown cause, this makes treatment difficult. When I was younger and before medical school, I’ve done my best to avoid prescription medications for migraines.

I didn’t want to get into the habit of taking medications regularly but what I didn’t realize was that the more I tried to avoid medications, the more and more migraines I started to get.

I even stopped taking over the counter meds for migraines because I was scared I would damage my liver since I got migraines so frequently. It seemed that my migraines were getting worse.

I spoke to my neuroscience professor about this and I was told that the more I avoid the medication, the more my body becomes sensitized to triggers and getting migraines. This means that the more migraines I get that I don’t treat, the easier my body will react to a trigger and the easier I will get a migraine. This was completely new to me! I never knew this.

As of now, my professor has advised me to see my physician because he believes that I get chronic migraines. In the meantime, here are somethings that I have tried that have offered some relief in terms of migraines for me:

Over the counter medications

Over the years, I’ve tried so many different over the counter medications to help with pain relief. For example, Aleve, Excedrin, Extra strength Tylenol, Advil, Motrin (which by the way is the same thing as Advil) and they have all been great but eventually, they stopped working for me so I move on to the next one.
                                                                 

Currently, Midol and Goody’s extra strength powder are my go-to over the counter meds until I get home and see my physician to get placed on a prescription.

Black seed oil

Black seed oil is the apple cider vinegar for Sudanese people. Muscle aches? Black seed oil. Headache? Black seed oil. Sinus problems? Black seed oil.

According to my people, it cures numerous ailments. I’m not sure if there is research to back that up BUT I have definitely tried this before and I still do every time I get a migraine because honestly, I do get some relief when I apply black seed oil to my temples and forehead whenever I get a migraine attack. I also put it on my scalp and it helps.

Black seed oil has a strong smell and can stain clothes so be careful not to get it on your clothes. I find that the smell of it is what actually helps me with the migraines.

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This is the black seed oil I use. I get it from my local Halal Market. It’s imported and I have only been able to find it a Halal Market. You probably will not find it on Amazon or online.

Massage

When I used to live back home and would get a migraine attack my mom would massage my shoulders lol it was amazing and within 30 minutes I would get sooooo much relief and sometimes the migraine would go away.

I was surprised this worked and of course, but my mom was the one who told me to try it and moms are always right.

Vicks VapoRub

Okay, first, I didn’t know it was called Vicks VAPO-Rub. I’ve always called it “Vick’s Vapor Rub.” Smh you live and you learn lol

Anyways, most foreign moms and grandmas prescribe Vicks VapoRub for about 90% of all sicknesses and ailments. There isn’t a thing my mom would not prescribe Vicks VapoRub for. So, when she first told me about it, I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised.

As of yet, there isn’t a thing my mom has suggested that I have not tried so naturally I tried this, I mean…mom’s know everything after all, no matter how silly it may be sound.

Surprisingly, it really does reduce my pain I get with a migraine. When I get a migraine, I would apply it to my temples, and just lay in the dark for a little bit and would get a lot of relief afterward. I’m not sure if this is a placebo effect or we are on to something here.

Long term prevention

Now that we have talked about migraine triggers and some tips for pain relief, how do we prevent the frequency of migraines long term? Here are some long term strategies that I am implementing to help me cope with migraines. Try them and see how much of a difference they make for you:

Reducing and coping with stress

This will not just reduce the frequency of your migraines but I strongly believe that it will improve your quality of life. Like I’ve said before, stress is inevitable so we are bound to get stressed by something. What’s important is how to deal with that stress.

Whether it’s yoga and meditation or sprinting and lifting weights, whatever makes you feel better is ultimately reducing your stress. The more you do the things that make you forget about how hectic life is for a moment, the better off you will be.

Get more sleep

How many times have you heard that 8 hours a day are beneficial? Sleep, or lack thereof, has been implicated in so many health issues. I try my best to sleep at least 7 hours a night because I know from experience what lack of sleep does to my body.

If you get frequent migraines, try looking into your sleeping habits first. Let me know how that goes!

Consistency and balance are key

You don’t have to suffer from migraines. Yes, they can be extremely debilitating, annoying, and overall just frustrating to have because they can slow you down. Trust me I know. I used to blame my headaches for everything.

Educate yourselves and get in tune with your body. Know your triggers. This is what made such a huge difference for me. Once I started to become proactive in my health, I have noticed my episodes don’t last as long and I get them less frequently.

Read up on migraines because science is constantly changing. Get help and get treated.

As always, I’m happy to answer any questions via email at contactnilechild@gmail.com

What it’s like to be a second year Medical Student:

What it’s like to be a second year Medical Student:

My first semester of medical school was probably the most stressful with adapting to a new country and the amount of course work that I had. But by now, I have routine so its a lot less stressful trying to balance everything.

I’m sure that most schools differ in when they schedule their classes and labs but all medical students generally take the same classes so that we can be prepared for Step 1 of the USMLE and ultimately be ready to treat our patients.

With this being said, my day usually starts early at 5:30am on weekdays. I start to get ready for classes, pack my lunch, drink my tea, mentally prepare for the day, and head to campus. I usually get to campus right at 7:30am and I study for an hour or so then I eat breakfast right before my 9:30am class or lab. On weekends, I wake up at 7:30am and start studying at 9:30am.

My first lecture or lab (depending on the day) starts at 9:30am everyday until about 11:20am. We get a 10 minute break halfway through the lecture for a quick snack or restroom break. After this lecture/lab, I get an hour break for lunch. During this hour, I usually eat lunch, call my mom, and go over flashcards before my next lecture if I have time. We also have a farmer who comes to our campus to sell fresh fruits and veggies so I make sure I visit them when they come once a week.

My second lecture is from 12:30pm until 2:30pm and afterward I stay on campus until about 3:45pm either to go to office hours or just wait for the school bus. Because I attend school at a Caribbean medical school, transportation is provided to the students at my university and the majority of us don’t have cars because 1. we can’t afford to have one or 2. we don’t feel comfortable with driving in a foreign country because of our lack of experience driving here. While I’m waiting for the school bus, I usually study my flashcards.

On my way home, I’m usually flipping through my Quizlet flashcards. I love Quizlet so much because I can access any of my flashcard decks on the go. I also flip through these cards as I’m waiting for the bus in the mornings before school. I get home at about 4:00-4:15 everyday. I sit down to study for about 1 and 1/2 hour then I give myself 45 minutes to eat dinner, meal prep, and clean up a little bit. Then I study from 7-9:30 and I work out from 9:30-10 on some days. I wish I could give myself more time to exercise but because of the demands of med school, I can’t. After I workout for a little bit, I shower and get in bed and continue studying.

My schedule differs day to day but is consistent every week, if that makes sense. For instance, I grocery shop once a week, either on Wednesday or Thursday but I have an allotted time for grocery shopping. I do my laundry once a week as well on the weekend and I do the majority of meal prepping with the exception of salads on the weekend. I’m grateful for the weekend because that’s when I get everything organized for the week in terms of my personal life and academics. The weekend also gives me a lot more time to catch up on school work. Yay!

With my experience, I’ve learned t’s all about balance in medical school. I’m the type of person who plans her meals ahead of time and makes lists for every little thing but I can honestly say that that has helped me maintain my sanity because it can all get so overwhelming so fast. My routine isn’t really set in stone and flexible because it’s important to realize that there are unforeseen circumstances that arise every once in a while. With that being said, I like to try to get ahead as often as possible with school work because in case something happens that throws me off of the schedule, I’ll know that I’m not really too far behind.

I keep mentioning my flashcards because that is the study method that works the best for me. Flashcards and drawing diagrams are what I usually do to help retain the information and Quizlet has helped me so much with this.

I hope this post gave some of you guys some insight on what a day in the 2nd year of medical school is like. If you have any questions, get in touch (:

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I’m sure that somehow, somewhere, we’ve all heard about a prostate. Perhaps you know someone who had prostate cancer or you know that because you’re a male, you have a prostate. Or, if you’re like me and my sister, you had to do your own extensive research about what “benign prostatic hypertrophy” is so that you could explain it a loved one. But what exactly is this mysterious thing and why is there so much fuss about getting it checked at age 50?

When you google the word “prostate” you get the general definition of the prostate being a walnut sized gland that is found ONLY in males and it secretes something that helps nourish the sperm. This definition pretty much sums it up. Having dissected the prostate in Anatomy Lab during my first year of med school, I would say that it is a li than a walnut but then again, my person could have had an enlarged prostate because he was elderly. If you have an Iphone, look at the port of your charger. The prostate is just a little bit bigger than that. It looks like a ball. It looks so harmless.

So now that we have established what it looks like, what does it mean for the prostate to be a gland? A gland is “something” in the body that secretes these special chemicals called “hormones” which go to other places in your body and perform certain functions. Our bodies are FILLED with glands and we have MANY different hormones in our bodies. For instance, the PINEAL GLAND our brains secrete a hormone called MELATONIN that helps us fall asleep. With this being said, the prostate is a gland that secretes a special substance (a fluid) which nourishes the sperm. This fluid that the prostate secretes is what makes up semen. With all of this being said, it’s important to know that the prostate is not REQUIRED for life but it is only required for reproduction.

Normal_Prostate_BPH
I found this image on google to help illustrate where the prostate gland is located.

In terms of where it is located, the prostate sits right underneath the bladder. Think of the bladder as a bubble that holds the urine. There is a hose that that is connected to the bladder which takes the urine out of the bladder and eventually out of the body. That hose is called the “URETHRA.” This hose runs right through the middle of the prostate. Now, we can see why an enlarged prostate can cause some problems with urination but we will get to those in a later post.

It is important to note that the prostate normally gets larger as the male ages and it is also important to note that an enlarged prostate does not always mean cancer. The doctor usually performs SEVERAL tests before confirming a diagnosis of prostate cancer or benign prostatic hypertrophy. Younger males generally don’t have to worry about prostate cancer unless there is a family history of it.

There is a screening test at AGE 40 for males. Remember, screening tests are important because they help catch a disease early so that it can be treated earlier!

I’ll definitely go in depth about this gland in a later post but I hope that you found it helpful in understanding what exactly a prostate is. If you have any questions or need a more in depth understanding about prostate, don’t hesitate to email me at: Contact@nilechild.com

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!

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:

Me

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