STAGNANT

Okay, I have a dilemma. One that I cannot figure out by myself. Hoping you have suggestions to help me out.

For as long as I can remember, I have pride myself on self-improvement. If there were any areas of my life I felt needed to be fixed, I made an active effort to get it done. Whether it is spending extra time to read self-improvement books or working extra hard at the gym (pre-COVID). Whatever it took, I did it. In college, you could always find me reading in the basement of the library. After graduating early from college, I went directly into graduate studies and from graduate studies, I jumped headfirst into my career.

But even with these accomplishments, I desire more from life. I want to spend time traveling, learning a new language, improving medical skills, and cooking. I want to be challenged on an intellectual level. These desires are not quenched by simply reading.

I enjoy my work. I love my home-life and family. But I wonder, constantly, what more I can accomplish

I figure going back to school for another degree would be one way to break up my routine, and I am strongly considering this now. But, what about the other aspect of life.

Am I the only one? Do you ever find yourself feeling stuck?

The truth- it can happen to any of us, but we must persevere!

Comment and share below. Suggestions appreciated.

DO YOU EVER FEEL STUCK IN A ROUTINE AND HOW DO YOU BREAK AWAY FROM IT?

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I got the COVID-19 vaccine. How You Can Too.

Two vaccines were granted emergency authorization by the FDA. Both companies: Pfizer granted on December 11th, 2020, and Moderna on December 18th, 2020 have available vaccines in distribution.

For the last few weeks, I procrastinated about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Partly, because I was feeling sick and out of work for a few days. But, also I wanted to do my own research on both vaccines.

MY EXPERIENCE

I woke up on Monday morning, drove to work, and prepared myself for the day. I attended a mandatory meeting from 7-8:30 and then headed off to get vaccinated.

Arriving at the vaccination clinic, I filled out a questionnaire regarding allergies, contact information, and general health-related questions. There was a line, but it moved quickly along. Once the paperwork was completed and signed, I walk down the get your vaccine. The nurse reviewed the questionnaire once again. I sat for my vaccine. Within 1-2 mins, the vaccine was administered, and a bandaid applied.

Today I am feeling fine. I have not reacted to the vaccine. The injection site is very sore, but otherwise no other side effects.

Visual comparison PFIZER vs. MODERNA

WHY I CHOSE TO BE VACCINATED

  1. For the health and well being of myself, family and patients.
  2. Its a step towards returning to normalcy; traveling, visiting family and friends, restaurants
  3. Doing my part to alleviate some of the burden on our frontline workers

EXPECTATIONS

  • After the administration of the vaccine, I sat in the auditorium for observation. Fifteen minutes of observation for the Moderna vaccine and 30minutes for the Pfizer vaccine is required.
  • Both vaccines are given in 2-doses. The Moderna vaccine is given 28 days apart from each dose. The Pfizer vaccine is given 21 days apart.
  • Common side effects listed include injection site pain, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes in the same arm as the injection, nausea and vomiting, and fever. It is reported that theses side effects are worse after 2nd dose.

Who can receive COVID-19 vaccine

  • Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is currently authorized for people aged 16 years and older.
  • Moderna’s vaccine has been approved for individuals 18 and older. MODERNA currently doing clinical trials with patients in the 12 to 17-year range.  

INFORMATION FOR NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY and CONNECTICUT on how to get an appointment for COVID vaccine.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

  1. FDA MODERNA
  2. FDA PFIZER
  3. CDC COVID VACCINATION

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At the Intersection of Science and Religion

Wow! Heavy thoughts all week. I have really spent the last week digesting some deeper questions I needed to explore. I started off by examining my purpose this year, spoke on the pandemic and its impact on healthcare workers and today I want to dissect the role of religion on health and wellness.

Is there a relationship between science and religion? Or is it mutually exclusive? Does God heal? Or is it science that does the healing?

Now, this is a topic I’ve explored many times in my head. I have had many debates with friends and family members. Some of my colleagues agree, and well others disagree. And that’s alright! The great thing about being alive today is that we can live in a world and disagree peacefully.

I am at a point in my life where I know the answer to these questions. Now, many may argue with me, some may disagree, but I truly believe that healing comes from God.

I know, I know. How can someone who works along with science, study medicine, take care of patients, believe that healing comes from God?

It’s simple! I have seen it. I have lived it. My testimony is enough evidence for me. The testimonies of my family are enough evidence for me.

Like someone telling you that you have 4 months to live, but here you are 1 year later, not only alive but thriving.

Please do not be fooled. I am aware of how important medicine is in treating illnesses. And how many change research has brought to the treatment and management of diseases along the course of history. I support the medical community, I am apart of the medical community, and proudly so!

I will tell you this; I believe in science, medicine, and research. Also in technology and healthy debates. But, I also believe God heals.

I am not forcing you to believe, not one bit. We each choose which tenants to live by; religious or not. The life I have lived is much different than yours.

Please share your opinions on this below. What do you think?

Dear President-Elect…01/06/2021

Dr. President- Elect Joe Biden,

I longed to see changes around me. I listened to your speech yesterday and you stated “at their best, the words of a president can inspire. At their worst, the words of a president can incite.” Those words resonated. Maybe, it’s the fact that our life in America has been turned-upside-down and I crave something different. I look to you with hopeful eyes, but with concern and a discernible mind.

I want to believe that you can bring about change. I truly do. As our lives are shifted like the wind by the words of our politicians, we longed for togetherness like never before. The promises made, year after year, without much fulfillment have left me empty. The future of my unborn children needs hope. I find myself turning to the only one who can truly save me, God.

But, I still have faith in humanity. I do not care about Republicans vs. Democrats. I do not care whose fault it is! I just need it to change. We need a president for ALL. Most importantly, we need a president that unifies us. A president that hears the cry of both sides and renders help to the wounded.

Now, Mr. President- Elect Joe Biden, I do not sit around and dwell on politics. But, I know the tears and pain of our country because I am our country. I wondered where we went wrong? I considered that it started well before my time. I am afraid it will be here long after my time.

Sincerely,

-JAARA

Has anyone been able to sleep peacefully after the events of yesterday? Or are you wide awake in shock?

Share your thoughts below, how are you feeling?

Disclaimer: Photo credit to Quartz.com

Honest Review of KETO diet with KETO Bagel Recipe attached!

I was sitting at dinner with a good friend last January and she mentioned that she wanted to try a new diet. She expressed how great it would be to drop a few pounds and live a healthier lifestyle. Her explanation of this diet at the time simply highlighted fewer carbohydrates intake with higher intake of fat.

You know how it is- every few months there’s a new diet trend or fad. Many make suggestions- Often unsolicited. While scrolling through my Instagram feed (IG: Jarrablog), I constantly see the before and after pictures of individuals following a ketogenic lifestyle. Since it’s a new year, and many of us are making new year’s resolutions including weight management and diet changes, you may be considering a ketogenic diet.

History

The Ketogenic diet appeared in the 1920s as a treatment for epilepsy and was widely used for over two decades. With the advent of anti-epileptic medications, the ketogenic diet became less prescribed for seizure treatment. It is still prescribed for the treatment of epilepsy. However, this diet has become mainstream for individuals looking to lose weight.

The shift from Epilepsy to Modern day

As of today, the ketogenic diet is available at almost all major children’s hospitals for epilepsy. There is ongoing research into the role of a ketogenic diet and neurologic disorders.

Fast forward to today, 2021, a ketogenic diet has become one of the fastest-growing dietary trends: lifestyle. The basis of this diet is to eat less than 20grams of carbohydrate per day and to consume 60-75% of fat. Over time your body goes into ketosis and uses fat instead of carbohydrates for fuel. Foods typically included in a ketogenic diet are low glycemic fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Leafy green vegetables, cauliflower, and avocados are other staples of a ketogenic diet.

The Debate

Is this a safe way to lose weight? What are the prolonged side effects of a ketogenic diet with weight-loss? Is it safe for everyone?

In my opinion, no one diet is for EVERYONE. The side effects, risks, and benefits should be reviewed with your medical doctor or a nutritionist. There has been some supporting evidence for a ketogenic diet in individuals with PCOS and diabetes. I enjoy watermelon, pineapple, oranges, apples and an assortment of fruits, so I would surely fail this diet 😅. Also BREAD haha

My wish is for everyone to have a healthy and safe 2021. If you are looking to follow a ketogenic diet, please seek guidance from your healthcare team.

So on my days off, I like to experiment with different recipes. I followed the recipe from delish for their Everything Keto Bagel.

On a sale of 1-10, Ill give these bagels 5/10.

Try the recipe below.

Recipe

2 cups almond flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

2 oz. cream cheese

2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg lightly beaten

3 tbsp. everything bagel seasoning

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk the almond flour with the baking powder. In a medium microwave safe bowl, combine the mozzarella cheese and cream cheese. Microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, until the cheese is melted and combined, about 2 minutes total.
  2. Scrape the cheese mixture into the bowl with the almond flour mixture and add the two eggs. Mix until well combined. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball. Press your finger into the center of each ball and stretch to form a bagel shape. Arrange bagels on prepared baking sheets.
  3. Brush the top of each bagel with beaten egg and sprinkle with everything bagel seasoning. 
  4. Bake on the middle rack for 20 to 24 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
Almond flour mix and cheeses combined mixture
My finished product
Comparison: Side by side of regular bagel vs. keto bagel.

Reference: Wheless JW. History of the ketogenic diet. Epilepsia. 2008 Nov;49 Suppl 8:3-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2008.01821.x. PMID: 19049574.

If you are following a KETO diet, share with us below.

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Pandemic Burnout- We are Tired! So Let’s Talk About it

Often I get emails inviting me to attend healthcare burnout conferences. These emails usually state common reasons for burnout in healthcare and at the very end, a few helpful tips to reduce burnout. Thank you!

But, who’s really keeping track of healthcare burnout? Rather, pandemic burnout?

Imagine you spent your entire life thinking about how much change you want in the world and how you can do your part. You graduate, find a job, and start working. You work 10-12 hours a day during the pandemic to provide service, but your biggest hindrance is your patients.

We are constantly bombarded with the need to attend to patients, answer questions, round, telemedicine visits, clinic, N95, goggles. We move quickly from one location in the hospital to another to deliver excellent care. We take pride in caring for our patients and have a sense of fulfillment whenever they recover. A sense of sadness when they pass away. But has anyone stopped and examined the impact the pandemic has on our healthcare team; nurses, doctors, NP, PA, residents, physical therapist, occupational therapists, respiratory therapy, Xray technicians, environmental service workers, and cafeteria staff?

I know this issue is a work in progress. But can we take a moment and highlight the struggles of healthcare workers across the world. We see the picture and watch the videos, yet there seems to be a lack of responsibility to healthcare workers during the pandemic.

Experience of frontline worker
Continued experience from frontline worker

The Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality has listed some of the key factors leading to burnout. Burnout can cause a shortage of healthcare accessibility for patients. Furthermore, burnout leads to the inattentiveness of physicians and other members of a healthcare team.

Now, couple the demands of your career and family life. The balancing of family responsibilities, deadlines, and charting. Add your children into the mix, and by the end of the night, you are depleted.

You wake up the next morning to do it all over again.

This is the cycle.

You can put on your TV, watch the news and listen to the pleas of healthcare workers locally and across the world asking for social distancing and wearing a mask. Simply seeking light at the end of the tunnel after a long and grueling day.

This was our 2020! We look at 2021 with lots of hope and bright eyes. However, the 1st of January does not erase the issues of 2020. It takes an active and concerted effort of ALL to bring about needed changes.

Frontline workers detailed experience after a busy day

Things we can do to help with Pandemic/ Healthcare burnout

  1. Check in on your healthcare friends. If they work at a hospital or clinic, they are under an unbelievable amount of stress
  2. As best, follow the guidelines outlined for COVID-19. Wear a mask and follow rules of social distancing
  3. Consider getting your COVID vaccine once it is available to you.
  4. Be patient – when you arrive for medical care- waiting rooms may be filled, providers are running behind, staff shortages are present. They are doing the best to care for all.

So do patients owe healthcare provider and staff anything?

My answer is a simple and resounding “yes!” – common support is the bare minimum.

This post is a dedication to my fellow healthcare workers, friends, and family. To my friends in Urgent Care, ER and ICU.

We truly love our patients and want the best for them. As tired as healthcare workers may be, there’s no other job we would rather do.

Helpful Resources:

  1. TheHappyMD
  2. AAFP Foundation
  3. American Medical Academy
Mask Up my friends. Show your support by wearing your mask.

Intentional

Listen to me when I tell you my approach to this year is purpose-driven! If 2020, has done anything positive in my life, it has reinforced my need to be INTENTIONAL.

To act deliberate, calculated, conscious, intended, planned, preconceived, predetermined, meant, done on purpose!!!

I will work intentional

So many of my goals for this year is centered around career and home life. I desire to make blogging a permanent part of my life. This platform has given me the opportunity to reach so many others across the world. I am truly astonished by the reach of blogging. It is my hope to publish 2-3x a week on my blog and to build a community that shares ideas and encourages each other. In my home life, I will work to build a Christian household- I will speak positive words of affirmation to those around me, I will spend time in prayer, I will spread a little more love to my friends and family.

Looking forward to sharing my goals, triumphs, failures, career and home with you!

I will live intentional

No more getting by! No more sitting around thinking and not working. No more considering other’s opinions and feelings before my own. I will walk in the path I desire. I will assert my goals and dreams with fierceness.

BOLDNESS!!

I will be intentional in my prayers

In our usual fashion, we welcomed the new year in prayer and fasting. As far back as I can remember, I have spent NYE at church in prayer and fasting. For me, it sets the tone of the rest of my year. It is a time for communion with God. A time to reset. A time to forgive. A time to lay out my plans. A time to seek guidance. This has always been my norm. But, I wonder, how much more can I give? Instead of saying a prayer of I want”, I will approach my prayers in 2021 with purpose, using these words “I seek your guidance in my life and I KNOW you will lead me”. I will spend more time in thankfulness.

Prayer from Bible app. Will share weekly prayers on Saturday on JAARA. After a year like 2020, we can all use a little prayer

So there it is – My word for 2021 is INTENTIONAL!!

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What is yours?

Comment below