Fried Tofu and Brown Rice

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This dish is made from firm tofu and brown rice. The versatility of tofu allows it to be used in soups, stir frys, etc. In this dish it was seasoned with cornmeal, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne. It was then fried in extra virgin olive oil until brown and slightly crispy. Various recipes suggest frying in canola or vegetable oil, but olive oil is a slightly healthier option because it includes more unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. However, too much of it can be dangerous. As always, moderation is important. I also used brown rice as a slightly healthier option to white rice. This is a light snack that for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Enjoy.

Egg and Avocado Sandwich

Egg and Avocado Sandwich on Wheat bread w/ cheddar cheese.

This is a healthy breakfast option packed with protein, unsaturated fats, and carbohydrates. It works for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Eggs are versatile and can create so many dishes. If you have high cholesterol, be careful with egg yolk. One egg (with the yolk) has about 70% of the daily allowance of cholesterol.

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My Future with Primary Care

NOTE: This post was influenced by Brian Klepper, Chief Development Officer of WeCare TLC. He blogs at Care and Cost. Please see his article: “How can primary care be a policy leader?”

Primary Care and Preventative Care As a recent graduate of the USC School of Social Work and a future medical school applicant, my desire to be a primary care physician (PCP) and a policy leader are goals I hold dear to my heart. I believe that in order for the quality of healthcare to improve in our country, preventative care must be emphasized. For this reason, primary care physicians are extremely important in helping educate and care for patients regarding their present and future health outcomes. Studies demonstrate that the number of primary care physicians have declined in recent years. However, with an increase in geriatric patients, in combination with the increase of insured patients due to the Affordable Care Act, the need for physicians, especially primary care physicians, should be emphasized

Stigma Associated With Primary Care On the whole, I have received support for my desire to work on the front lines of medicine; however, a certain stigma exists in relation to primary care. Sometimes when I tell people I want to be a primary care physician, they tell me I should be a surgeon. I support surgeons and other specialties. Individuals tell me I should be a surgeon because it is cooler or because it makes more money. Although my current goal is to work with families and children in underserved communities, I am open my interest in cardiology and oncology. However, at this point in my life/career, I can honestly say my desire to develop long-term patient-physician rapport through family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, or internal medicine is important to me.

Light at the End Of the Tunnel In the end, I know many of my peers desire to pursue medicine and other health care professions for all the right reasons. They do not care about money as much as the well-being of the patient, and they believe that health care is a human right. We are passionate about our dreams and goals and are constantly thinking of ways to improve the provision of health care in our communities, our state, and our country at large. We seek the next program or organization that benefits more patients, while evaluating those that are no longer optimal. It is this desire and passion that will propel the future of health care in this country and combat diabetes, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, mental health, and cancer-among others. We will continue to fight. I will continue to fight to be an agent of change and a policy leader in health care.

Positively Influence, Key

Griffith Park on A Friday Afternoon

After a long week at Keck Hospital of USC for my health social work internship, I decided I need to be back in nature. It was a beautiful Friday afternoon, and what a better place to go for a hike than Griffith Park. I am currently rotating in oncology and in just three weeks, it has been one of the most profound experiences of my life. I have the unique privilege to meet with individuals at the one of the most vulnerable times in their life. I have enhanced my ability to be patient, vulnerable, to advocate, to take breaks, and to be deeply human. I digress, below are a couple pictures from my momentary escape.

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Health Care Reform

This is a very big week for health care reform. Many opinions exist as to whether Obama’s proposed healthcare bill will harm or improve healthcare in the United States. Some deem the universal mandate as unconstitutional, while others applaud the idea of universal healthcare. Provisions are already being carried out, but the bulk of changes are not scheduled to be implemented until 2014. To the readers, do you have any feelings regarding this topic? Regardless of one’s feelings, it is understood that the disparities in health care provisions and costs in this country are imperfect, especially in certain underserved or low income communities. Please share your feelings in the comments.

Positively Influence,

Key

Energize The World

Humans are such fragile things. I heard that over 90% of
the earth’s population suffers from mental illness. I guess a topic
such as mental illness should be taken more serious than hearsay,
but I believe in this phantom statistic. One of the main goals of
mental health organizations is to offer services that allow
individuals and families to function in society. However,
functioning in a world full of malfunctions is a daunting and an
almost futile task. Of course, individuals have congenital
disorders, but in some situations psychosocial factors contribute
to the inability of individuals to “function.” A tumultuous world
filled with violence, poverty, hunger, misunderstanding, and a lack
of compassion often breeds the so-called mental illness so
prevalent in our world. Disorder begets disorder. However, I
believe that even disorder has a pattern. It may be beneficial or
conducive to more chaos. Entropy is believed to increase unless
energy is input to the system to contribute to its stability. In
this world we live in, we have to be the energy contributing to the
balance of. In order to contribute to a world full of mental
illness there must be a way in which the mentally ill are not
leading the mentally ill. Take care of yourself in the least
detrimental way possible. I do believe everyone is a little
“crazy.” If we were not, then we would not be human. As humans, we
hurt, we cry, we fail, we smile, we laugh, we live, and we die.
However before we die maybe we can input energy into this world to
make it a little more stable than it was before we were born.

Positively Influence,

Key

What kind of fundraiser is this?!

I REALLY do not know how I feel about this World Aids Day Fundraiser going on with celebrities “digitally dying” and begging there fans to donate money for their “resurrection.”
How do you feel? Please, I’d like to know.
As for me, I guess it’s plausible that the same amount of money spent on a CD can be donated to fight HIV/AIDS. Right? Let’s think about this. Is this exploitation? Is this a bribe? So you’re saying that if I do not donate money that you’re not going to tweet? Quite frankly, I could care less if a celebrity tweets or not. I must note that I unfollowed DIDDY-no one cares about ciroc that much! This “punishment” makes it seem as if celebrity tweets are the end all be all of our lives. It makes it seem like if they do not tweet, we do not live. Please do not get me wrong. I am one of the biggest social justice advocates out there, and I often believe that desperate times call for desperate measures. However, in a recession, the most powerful tool-and what will always be the most powerful tool- is knowledge. Now one can argue that the one million dollars raised will help educate, promote awareness, and promote research, (and I can argue for this point as well) but as a celebrity and someone with so much more power, why not live this message? Why not integrate social justice into your twitter timelines more often? Just because it’s WORLD AIDS DAY does not give you the platform to promote your intermittent socially conscious ways.
AND
Why is the minimum $10? What if I really want to donate money and cannot afford that much?
AND
Why is the cap 1 million dollars?
At the rate things are going, I guess Kim Kardashian won’t be tweeting until….actually, I’ll get back to you on that.
AND
Well that’s it for now….
Check out: intothelightfilm.com by Peter Glenn <—blog coming soon
Thanks for reading!

Positively influence,

Key

To Treat or Not to Treat HIV

I am not sure how long the debate has been going on, but if scientists have been arguing about whether to treat HIV or not, then the moral and practical importance of their scientific outlook needs to be addressed. According to an article by Caitlin Cohen at change.org, there are two groups of scientists in relation to HIV prevention, those who think treatment will increase the spread of HIV and those who believe treatment will decrease the spread of HIV. A study http://www.montrealgazette.com/mobile/iphone/story.html?id=3293155 done in Canada provides evidence that treatment of HIV patients actually lowers the spread of HIV. The medicinal treatment, Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) lowers the amount of HIV present in the bloodstream of the host, thus making it harder to spread to sexual partners. This fact counters the idea that a longer life span with HIV allows for increased incidents. In other words regardless of how long you live, the chances of you spreading HIV decrease. This research demonstrates it’s functionality and importance in disease prevention and health promotion, specifically in regards to HIV.

For those scientist who do not advocate treatment, I have a question for you. Why not? It may be expensive, but if we want to tackle one of greatest and most devastating diseases the world has ever known, then what other option do we have then but to treat it. Why do we have AIDS WALK? Why do volunteers spend hour upon hour at AIDS clinics? Why do public health workers and social justice activists spend hours in Kenya, the United States, and Tanzania, educating the people about the disease and how to slow its spread? Now, for those scientists that do not support treatment, please do not tell me these practices are not as important as sitting on your lab bench looking for a cure. Everyone has a job in this fight and in most cases the number one gift we can all give is education. Educate ourselves to educate others and let others educate us.

Positively Influence,

Key