Monthly Archives: April 2014

Snacking Lately

Patrick and I have adopted (well, we’re working on it) an elimination diet over the past couple weeks. The goals are two-fold, we chose an elimination diet in the hopes that eliminating some typical trigger foods for auto-immune issues (namely gluten and dairy, though soy and processed sugar have been implicated in these kinds of issues too) we could improve Patrick’s allergies. The second goal is to help me clean up my diet and get in bikini shape by the time we leave on our summer vacations. Being based in the house all day for nearly a year has taken a major toll on my activity level, and I’ve gained a few pounds since the wedding. Joining a gym last August has helped in some ways—so much more fit! I have abs! I don’t feel tired all the time! But I also think my increased muscle mass has contributed to my weight gain, so now it’s a matter of losing some the extra padding I put on before I got my gym routine off the ground.

Finding gluten and dairy-free snack foods that aren’t all sugar or fat has been tough. We’ve been going through eggs like its our job (18 in a week), and I’ve had my homemade Lara bars to snack on, but neither of these are great for when the munchies attack. Patrick is also allergic to peanuts and isn’t a huge fan of most other nuts, so trail mixes and most gluten-free snack bars aren’t an option for him. I did a bit of snack-prep last week in an attempt to give him things to snack on at work that are diet friendly.

Stop #1 was Jessica’s roasted chick pea recipe. I prepped a can of chick peas for Patrick to munch on at work as an alternative to his usual afternoon granola bars. Unfortunately, one can’s worth of chick peas looks like such a small serving, it’ll probably take a Costco sized can to last him through the week.

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Keeping with Patrick’s favorite snack bar theme, I also cooked up some gf Rice Krispy treats. Homemade is always better than store bought, and sprinkles make them feel a little more festive. I cut them up and individually wrapped treats, so I hope they’ll be the perfect grab and go snack.

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My final new snack option (and probably my favorite) is peanut butter stuffed dates. I originally bought them for Lara bars, but they’re amazing with peanut butter and make the perfect bite size snack. Patrick can’t have any, but that doesn’t slow me down! In a pinch, it works almost as well to just scoop a spoonful of pb and grab a handful of dates, and dip and eat!

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We definitely “cheat” on special occasions, and I have a review of a HoCo Blogs event at Petit Louis that was a totally worthwhile cheat afternoon that I’ll be posting later today or tomorrow. Stay tuned!

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Hunting for a Job with A Bio PhD

I’ve been job hunting full-time now for almost 4 months. I’m not going to lie, it’s been pretty tough. Even considering that I’ve probably averaged over one job application per day, I’ve only had real interviews for 2 positions. While I’m pretty excited about those options, I’m still really nervous about whether or not they’ll pan out, and if I’ll need to manage 3 more months of applications before racking up any more interviews.

Two weeks ago, the American Society for Cell Biology released an infographic illustrating the career path typically taken by Biology PhDs. The data was based on surveys of bio post-grads and only reinforced my goal of trying to get started on my career path without getting stuck in the post-doc loop. While I can appreciate the new skills and benefits a post-doctoral position would impart, I feel like it’s 2+ years of consolidating my scientific knowledge even further, and I’m not sure if such a narrow scientific focus will really help me get where I eventually want to be long term. Doesn’t it make more sense to join a company or organization and focus my knowledge further there on what they do, rather than on something that might not be as directly related to company goals beforehand as a postdoc? It’s a tough call, especially since I’m pretty sure I’m competing against post-docs who have given up on trying for those rare academic and other typical research positions, and are going after my “dream jobs” as a second choice.

Bio Careers

Source.

I’m definitely proud I’m one of the 63% who finished my PhD, and that I finished in five and a half years, instead of the average of 7-ish. I’m still hoping that I can be one of the 30% to proceed to my career path without a post-doc, but I’ll probably start writing letters to PIs in June if I haven’t heard anything promising before then. I know there are definitely labs nearby that are doing exciting work, so with any luck, finding something I’ll love doing for the next few years will happen, whether it’s a post-doc or what I like to call a “real” job!


Friday Faves- 4/18/2014

Even though I don’t have a job yet, I’m super excited for the weekend. Weekdays are full of errand running, job applications, and, lately, yoga. It’s always nice to know I can take it easy and relax with my favorite person on the weekend.

Here’s what has been making this week a good one!

1. My best friend from junior high and high school got engaged!

We haven’t been able to have a real conversation since she started her residency last year, but I’m super excited for her and am now wrangling even harder for a trip to Philly to see her. Hopefully I’ll manage it before our summer travel picks up!

2. My garden.

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I planted tulips and crocuses last fall and the tulips are finally blooming! My container herb and veggie garden is doing well too, in spite of the snow and sleet we had on Tuesday night.

3. Scandal.

I still haven’t watched last night’s season finale yet, but the last few episodes have really turned this season around (I wasn’t feeling the first half of the season), and I’m excited to see what happens to Olivia’s dad, and how the bomb plot plays out.

4. Under Armour’s Heat Gear See It Through Tank.

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I bought two of these Wednesday in the hopes of finding something that would handle super sweaty hot yoga sessions better than my Lulu No Limits tanks (they’re great until cool down, when they stay sopping wet until I hang them up to dry, which means I’m usually freezing when I get home). I tried one out yesterday and loved it, it was already mostly dry by the time I got home, and I didn’t have to half dislocate my shoulders to get it off (a downside to most fitted yoga tanks I’ve tried). As an added bonus, UA is a local company and I got a great deal on 2 at the factory store!


Friday Faves -4/11/2014

Hi all! This week has really flown by—I had an interview Monday (I think it went well, but it’s kind of tough to tell, since it was on the phone and only stock interview questions), and have made my return to yoga post-cold! With the weather so warm outside, these past few day of classes have felt even warmer than usual. I have to make an extra effort to stay hydrated after all that sweaty yoga! Zulily had a deal on mat towels this week, so I’m hoping that’ll come soon.

1. Sushi kit!

We finally got around to using a sushi kit we got as a wedding gift almost a year ago. The sushi was delicious, and a lot easier to make than I thought. Now that we know how, I think sushi night is going to become a more regular event!

2. Container garden.

With the weather so nice lately and a busy few weeks coming up, I couldn’t resist starting my summer garden. I stuck to herbs and spring friendly plants, since I’m not 100% convinced we’re done with chilly nights, but I can always add my tomato and zucchini later in the season.

The strawberries already have fruit growing and the lettuce is looking impressive after less than a week in the pot. Hopefully I’ll be able to make some fun homemade salads soon!

3. Summer travel plans.

Our summer travel is shaping up and it’s looking like it’s going to be a fun filled few months! We’ve had a week in the Outer Banks booked since August of last year, and we finally booked a trip to Greece this week! I’m tagging along for one of Patrick’s work trips, but it looks like he should have some free time to explore with me. It’ll be my first trip to Europe, with (I hope) many more to follow!

We also might have a chance to spend some time in the Hamptons with Patrick’s sister and family. They’ve rented a house for a few weeks and invited us to stay. With any luck I’ll have a job and time to take off to make the trip.

4. Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series.

I finished a library copy of the first audiobook last week, and just checked out the second earlier this week. The first was definitely slow to start, and felt a little like a retelling of the Romeo and Juliet story, but it’s definitely one of the better books I’ve come across lately. I’ve been finishing up other books before getting started on the second, but I’m hoping now the scene is set it’ll be even better than the first.


That’s all that’s new this week! With any luck I’ll have something fun to report before next Friday’s update!


Friday Faves- 4/4/2014

These past two weeks have flown by. We had a little weekend trip to Tampa for the last couple Yankees spring training games this past weekend, and it was a lot more fun than I was expecting! We’ve got a busy few months ahead of us, with a decent amount of traveling. Here’s hoping it all goes as smoothly as this last trip!

1. Tampa foodie scene.

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Crème Brule French toast and Pastrami Benedict at Datz. Everything was delicious!

There were so many good places to eat in Tampa! I’m glad Patrick wants to go back for future spring training trips, because there’s plenty more eating to do. We managed to visit during the weekend of the Largest Food Truck Rally Ever (I didn’t manage a pic, but my grilled cheese filled with mac and cheese and pulled pork was pretty awesome), loved how tasty (and healthy) Ciccio’s/Water was so much we visited twice, and stuffed ourselves over brunch at Datz. Of course, we can’t forget the deliciousness we found out in Plant City either: amazing strawberry shakes and shortcakes, along with some surprisingly tasty Florida fruit wine at Keel and Curley Winery (still a little sad we ended up with the wrong wine in our bag, the mixed berry was delicious, but finding the Key Lime in MD is next to impossible).

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Parksdale Farms strawberry deliciousness!

2. Yoga mornings.

I haven’t been able to go as much as I wanted this week due to a cold, but I’m a big fan of my am 90 minute hot yoga sessions. They get me out of bed much earlier than I’d get up on my own, give me an excuse to work on headstands, and I feel great for the rest of the day so long as I hydrate right and get out of my sweaty gear asap. I’m definitely not a fan of sweating (I’m pretty sure people who actually enjoy being drenched in sweat are just a little crazy), but the yoga itself makes up for it, so it all balances out. I’m hoping I get over this cold fast so I can get back to it!

I’m also loving my new Glyder Mantra Crop leggings I mentioned in my last Friday Faves. They’re super comfy, cute and quick drying (which is great after a super sweaty yoga session!).

3. Spring!!

The crocuses I planted in the fall have bloomed and the daffodils are starting to peek out here and there! I’m looking forward to more blooms and green trees that I’m sure will make their appearance later this month. I’m hoping to get some gardening done this weekend, so fingers crossed we don’t get anymore late-season snow storms!

4. Job Interviews.

I’ve been applying to every job I can find that’s even a semi-decent fit for the past 3 months, so it’s nice to FINALLY be getting some positive response in the form of interviews. I’m really hoping to have something ready to go by early June, so it would be great if the “when it rains it pours” cliché would hold true for my job hunt, because suddenly there seems to be a job draught online.

5.  Homemade Lara bars.

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Patrick’s not a huge fan, but these have managed to keep me out of our stash of marshmallow crispy and cookie dough oreos when I’m craving sweets at night. I used this base recipe to make a coconut-fig version and a cherry version, but there will definitely be more flavor options on the way!