Quick easy meal for busy medical students

Recipes and Food, Uncategorized

Med student life can be pretty busy. First you gotta wake up early for ward rounds (especially them surgical ward rounds) then long hours of ward work/tutes/studying which can all be super overwhelming.

So sometimes you might feel when you go home and you just want to sleep. But not to fear, no one will be skipping meals when you can make delicious healthy dinner within 15 minutes. Below is a tortilla recipe of my own when I feel like eating something that stimulates the taste buds but I want to keep things simple. These tortillas are packed with carbohydrates, fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals that will not only keep you full in the tummy but full of energy the next day.

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Serves: 6 tortillas

  • (If you want to make double the quantity to eat for tomorrow’s dinner – double the amount of minced beef, onion, tomato and lettuce)

Duration: 15 minutes

Difficulty: easy peasy

 

Ingredients:

250g of minced beef

1/2 onion

1 tomato

1/4 lettuce

1/2 can of broad beans

Premade salsa

3 tablespoons of tomato paste

1tablespoon of mixed herbs

Shredded cheese

6 tortillas

Salt

Pepper

Optional ingredients: corn, carrots, capsicum or anything else you like

 

Method:

  1. Dice the tomato and lettuce. Leave these on a plate which will be your salad plate.
  2. Heat up some oil in a small pot.
  3. Slice the onion and cook the onion in the small pot until almost golden
  4. Add the minced beef – stir until cooked.
  5. Mix broad beans into the pot.
  6. Add tomato paste + mixed herbs then season with salt and pepper to your liking.
  7. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Heat the tortillas (20 seconds in the microwave should do the trick)
  9. Assemble your tortillas with the beef mixture, salad, cheese and salsa.
  10. Everything is ready for you to roll and eat! Enjoy! 
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Blue Week is here!

C&W Events, Mental Health, Uncategorized

As the end of the year creeps up on us, stress runs high for medical students – exams beckon, and some of us prepare for internship, thrust into the real world of being doctors. Now more than ever, it’s important to keep our mental health in line, and that’s why we have a fantastic Blue Week lined up here at C&W!

I’m sure you’ve all heard that this year we are supporting Berry Street and Lifeline, which are names that may have been dropped in conversation passing by, but what exactly is our money going towards?

Established in 1877, Berry Street is Victoria’s largest independent child and family services organisation. They are committed to making sure that all children are nurtured growing up, can feel safe and work towards a bright future. They focus on strengthening family relationships, and help victims of trauma and abuse in their recovery. Last year, Berry Street helped around 16,000 disadvantaged and vulnerable children, young people and families in Victoria through donations and support that we hope to contribute to this year at C&W.

Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. Somewhere in Australia there is a new call to Lifeline’s crisis line (13 11 14) every minute. Calls are about suicidal thoughts or attempts, personal crises, anxiety, depression, abuse, trauma and other self-help issues. Lifeline is a national charity that relies on community support.

With that background, we encourage you all to attend our Blue Week events so we can provide support for these worthy organisations, whilst all coming together and taking care of our own mental health. The activities are well under way with our BBQ at the Clayton campus complete and Comedy Night tonight! The rest of the week is set to be a blast, so head to the MUMUS Community & Wellbeing Facebook page and check out our Cocktail Night, Sh’Bam class and Enhancing Mental Health for Medical Students talk. See you all there!

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Kimchi Fried Rice

Recipes and Food, Uncategorized

Kimchi is a traditional fermented dish eaten mainly in South Korea (but increasingly around

the world!). It is rich in dietary fibre, but low in calories – one serving provides more than

50% of the RDI of Vitamin C and carotene too! This recipe incorporates kimchi into an easy

fried rice dish, that can be made in large portions and eaten throughout the week 🙂

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Ingredients(Serves 1):

100g chicken

100g kimchi

1 tbsp gochujang*

1 tbsp soy sauce

2 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp salt

1 cup cooked rice

Finely chopped spring onion

Optional 1 egg (sunny side up or scrambled)

Optional sesame seed

 

Directions:

  1. Squeeze out the juice from the kimchi into a bowl. Add the gochujang (and more soy sauce if desired) and stir until the gochujang is completely dissolved.
  2. Chop the kimchi into bite sized pieces and set aside for later.
  3. Drizzle 1tsp sesame oil onto the rice and stir to break up any clumps.
  4. Cut chicken into thin strips. Add 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp salt and soy sauce to taste. Mix well and leave for a few minutes. Heat vegetable oil on medium heat in a wok, add the chicken, and sesame seeds (optional). Cook until chicken is almost cooked through and set aside for later.
  5. Add garlic into the wok and stir for 30 seconds, then add the kimchi into the wok. Stirfry until kimchi is starting to brown and very fragrant.
  6. Add the chicken and mix with the kimchi. Add the rice and mix well. Stirfry for a few minutes – make sure the chicken is cooked thoroughly.
  7. Sprinkle with chopped spring onion and serve 🙂

*Gochujang is hot pepper paste, and can be found in the Korean food section of any Asian supermarket.

 

R U OK? Day

C&W Events, Uncategorized

Last Thursday September 8 marked R U OK? Day, where we all took a step back to check in with the people around us, and make sure they’re coping with all the stresses that life can bring.

At the Clayton Campus, C&W joined the initiatives of many other student clubs and societies, hosting a barbecue on the lawns with student musical talent on show.

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The R U OK Day Dandenong Celebration was a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of mental health, and allow the cohort of students at Dandenong the opportunity to relax and enjoy themselves.

We had some great food at the common room party, namely some cool rainbow jelly, quinoa salad and finger food! It was a nice, cosy chill out session.

Our Social Badminton session afterwards was a fantastic opportunity for all of us to finally stretch our legs out from somewhere other than behind a desk and become tachycardic (but the good kind). It was fun to see our friends in action with their badminton racquets.

Overall, the R U OK Day celebration was a really enjoyable day for all of us here at Dandenong!

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At Latrobe Regional Hospital, C&W collaborated with Traralgon site representatives to provide the ultimate feel-good feast and a talk by an esteemed Psychiatric Registrar, Dr Lionel Leong. The talk was attended by students from Year 2 all the way to Year 5, with everyone asking each other the all-important question that could save a life: ‘Are you okay?’

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Stress Less Salad

Recipes and Food, Uncategorized

The start of semester two is always a little tough. The summer holidays are depressingly far away, but at the same time, those end-of-year exams are way too close for comfort. Maybe you’ve just started university this year and you’re still navigating the transition, or maybe the thought of 10-hour lecture days after mid-year break is filling you with dread. Maybe you’ve just moved out of home, and into the scary and perplexing world of cooking and laundry and rent.

Never fear – whatever it is that’s giving you grief, this scientifically proven* stress-less salad is sure to calm and re-focus your mind and body. You might also learn a thing or two about neurotransmitters.

*based on this article (link: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20909426_2,00.html) that I read online yesterday, and also the fact that I ate this salad for lunch and I feel really good right now.

 

Ingredients

  1. Two handfuls of baby spinach

Any green leafy vegetables contain folate, which makes dopamine, a pleasure-inducing neurotransmitter. Leafy greens also contain magnesium, which has a role in regulating emotions.

  1. A small handful of blueberries

Slightly expensive for a broke med student, but packed full of antioxidants and also delicious, so treat yourself a little! You can also use dried blueberries (or cranberries) – they’re sweeter and last longer in your pantry.

  1. Half a can of mixed beans

High-protein foods such as beans contain tryptophan, which helps produce serotonin, another neurotransmitter that regulates hunger and feelings of happiness and well-being. Beans are also great for your cardiovascular health, and are an excellent source of slow-release energy.

  1. Some crushed pistachios

You only need to buy a few of these from the bulk foods section of the supermarket. Pistachios are thought to reduce acute stress by lowering blood pressure and heart rate. Take them out of their shells, wrap them in some glad wrap or a tea towel and beat them with a moderately heavy object to crush (this act in itself can be stress-relieving). Alternatively, you can use any other nut or seed.

  1. Quarter of an avocado

The good fats will satisfy your lunchtime hunger and conjure up comforting memories of holiday brunches.

  1. Dressing

You can easily whip up a vinaigrette dressing by putting 2 parts olive oil and 1 part vinegar in a bowl, plus some salt and pepper. Beat vigorously to combine (or use a salad shaker if you’re fancy).

 

Method

Toss everything together in a big bowl. Put the avocado in last so it doesn’t become squashed and coat everything in an unappetising green-brown goop.
That’s it! Enjoy!

Confessions of A Slightly Off-Her- Rocker Medical Student

Mental Health, Uncategorized

Hi, my name’s Elaine and I’m a third year medical student. First off, let me just say that this isn’t going to be one of those slick and shiny pieces about how important mental health is, with well-organised paragraphs and possibly wanky language. This article is just me saying something I’ve wanted to say for a while, in a very informal way.

Medical students have crappy mental health. That’s pretty much the size of it. We all know from our first year HEP lectures that 28% of final year medical students are burnt out by mid-year*. It rarely ever seems like 28%. Most of the time, we can’t tell when our peers are struggling. This stems from two factors: we don’t want to tell our friends when we’re struggling, and we don’t really want to hear about how our friends are struggling.

We’ve all heard the age old adage about how showing your weaknesses and being vulnerable actually make you stronger. I’m sure we all encourage others around us to do so, but we don’t do so ourselves. Instead, we suppress our stressed out state, along with our insecurities and quirks, for fear that our future colleagues will see us as weak and fragile, or weird.

I can remember countless times when I’ve been asked how I’m going, and my thought process went along the lines of: ‘I could tell them about how I’ve had a crap week, but they may judge me for not being able to cope with my problems. All my problems probably seem insignificant to other people anyways! Plus, what if I have to work with them in the future, or they tell other people in their group? I’ll just say I’m going alright. That’s the safest bet.’ I fear that my friends will view me as incapable and incompetent, especially since it’s so easy to forget that not everyone in medicine is perfect. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling this way every once in a while.

I’ve also mentioned that we don’t really want to hear about when our friends aren’t doing fine. I don’t mean to say that we’re all monsters who couldn’t care less about the wellbeing of our friends, but it becomes much harder to want to know more about how your friend Dean is behind on study and he’s got a long shift at work tomorrow plus the fact that his girlfriend is going crazy and his mum keeps nagging him about his family dinner, in addition to the fact that he got told off today by a consultant for not knowing something that he really should know but doesn’t because he’s behind on his study (phew), when you’re experiencing a similarly stressful situation. Many of us would much rather not have to deal with someone else’s stress in addition to our own.

You may be wondering what the point of this article is, seeing as how I haven’t yet told you anything you don’t already know. I wrote this to show those who feel like everyone around them is perfect, or has unachievably high standards, that that isn’t true. I believe we all know that, but there are times when it becomes difficult to remember. So here I am, putting my hand up and admitting that I am far from perfect, even though I seem mostly put together on the outside. I have anxiety and self-esteem issues, and these affect my relationships with those around me as well as my academic performance. But despite all this, I know that I am still a completely capable medical student and that I have the capacity to go on and become a great doctor. So I guess the gist of it is, no matter how lowly or flawed you feel sometimes, you have the same capacity too.

* I actually trawled through my first year HEP notes to check this so it’s legitimate.

Can Pokémon Go change the health sphere?

Fitness, Technology, Uncategorized

 

“Oh my goodness, there’s a Pikachu nearby!”

“Excuse me, if you don’t mind me asking, where did you catch that jigglypuff?”

“NOT ANOTHER SILLY ZUBAT!”

 

You’ve heard of it, you’ve seen scores of strangers playing it on the streets; perhaps you yourself are a budding Pokémon master. There’s no doubt that Pokémon Go has truly taken the world by storm, transforming the old and young alike into avid adventurers and uniting total strangers in their quest to “catch ‘em all”.

 

Naturally, some critics have accused the game of essentially ‘turning multitudes of people into walking zombies’, heads down and clutching phones in chase of imaginary creatures. But amidst stories of players walking into poles, near-misses with vehicles and even accidently discovering dead bodies, comes an enormous potential for augmented reality games – such as Pokémon Go – to positively influence gaming in a world where obesity and sedentary lifestyles are on the rise. Perhaps most interestingly, the benefits of augmented reality games don’t just cease with increasing physical activity; many players have taken to social media platforms such as Twitter to comment on the positive impact the game has had on their mental health.

 

Here are just some of the ways Pokémon Go has positively benefited the health of players:

A wholeeeeeeee heap of walking!

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Traditional videos games have long received criticism for increasing screen time and reducing physical activity in players. Pokémon Go is one of the first – and by far the most successful – games to challenge this stereotype. Players realise relatively early on that progression within the game is almost impossible without moving around – a lot. Through rewarding players who get up to move – whether it be to new physical locations to catch different Pokémon or walking a certain distance to hatch eggs (the longer the distance, the rarer the Pokémon hatched), the game proves to be an incredible motivator to encourage players to literally, get ‘out and about’.

 

My experience: I was certainly no exception to this. Within the first fortnight of downloading the app, I had walked over 71km just to catch Pokémon– (which was probably more than I had walked this entire year)! Interestingly, data from Jawbone – a wearable activity tracker – show that its average self-declared Pokémon Go user’s daily step count jumped from 6,000 to nearly 11,000 steps following the game’s release.

 

Fresh air and sunlight (in winter?!)

‘Pokémon Go is literally the only reason I decided to step out of my house and into the cold’.

It’s a statement that I’ve heard over and over again from friends and strangers alike, and words that I too can relate to. Melbourne weather, especially during winter, is notorious for being gloomy and unpredictable; for many, this is a disincentive to go out to the local park for a stroll.

Pokémon Go gives players, who may have otherwise preferred to remain rugged up indoors, a reason to step out into the real world, get some fresh air and discover new locations (and Pokémon!). There is plenty of evidence to show that breathing outdoors improves mood and health, as well as boosting vitamin D levels!

 

My experience: Since the launch of the game, I’ve observed a roughly threefold increase in the number of people at my local park (a Pokémon hotspot). It seems that players will go to any length to defend their local Pokémon gym – through rain, hail or shine.

 

Uniting friends and strangers alike – in real life

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Many popular video games have online communities, where players are able to interact with other players – such as talk, trade items and share tips – often through a pseudonym. Pokémon Go takes this to a whole new level, bringing players together in the real world, in often unexpected ways. Public locations in vicinity of Pokémon Gyms, Pokéstops and lure models are hotspots for player interactions, and interestingly, as many have discovered, Pokémon Go is an incredibly successful conversation starter. It still surprises me how small interactions with total strangers – sharing locations of where they caught their rare Pokémon or tips on Gym Battles – can lead on to fruitful conversations on just about anything and everything in life. And who knows – in a world where community division is increasingly prevalent, games like Pokémon Go might just be what we need to bring unity across people from all walks of life.

 

My experience: I was walking along the banks of the Yarra with a friend when my 10km egg finally hatched into an Onix; ecstatic, I squealed with excitement. A couple on a Pokémon date (yes this is actually a thing) ran up to us and asked us what Pokémon we had caught. Although slightly disappointed that my haul was from an egg, we proceeded to spend the next few hours chatting away about holidays and uni and life whilst taking over a few Pokémon Gyms in the vicinity. The true power (or madness) of Pokémon Go – uniting total strangers in the quest to catch imaginary monsters!

 

Improving mental health

There’s no doubt that exercise, fresh air and social interaction are part of the recipe to good mental health. Pokémon Go has been commended for being a source of motivation for many struggling with their mental health – getting players out of the house and being a bridge for interacting with friends and strangers alike – tasks which can be huge milestones for those suffering from anxiety or depression. What makes Pokémon Go so successful in this sense is the fact that the game is not presented as a tool to help treat mental illness, but rather, cultivates healthy behaviours for all players alike. Although by no means a substitute for professional treatment, the game can be the first step towards self-care and a stepping-stone towards healthier habits.

 

Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that Pokémon Go has had an unprecedented effect on society – in both positive and negative ways. As technology continues to advance, games based on augmented reality such as Pokémon Go will become increasingly numerous. As for whether Pokémon Go can change the health sphere? There’s no doubt that it does encourage healthy behaviours in players, and will be a huge step forward in the battle against obesity. And unlike other gaming innovations such as the Nintendo Wii – which similarly was commended as a physical activity booster but whose popularly quickly faded – the ‘shared hallucination’ of Pokémon Go and augmented reality provides the extra dimension of face-to-face social interactions with other players, contributing to the technology’s huge success.

 

No matter what the answer is, this is undoubtedly just the beginning for augmented reality games.