Friday, August 24, 2012

Apparently, I never blog!

So guys, I have a list of posts to write about!

I made curtains!
I did my first food crawl!
Everyone's getting married!

Alas. I have no time.

However, I was getting questions about these, so this is what I will blog out: 
vegan cupcakes.

Worst-sounding combination EVER, right?

I work with a group of really healthy people, one of whom is a vegan. It's her birthday... so... I made her vegan cupcakes. You can love or hate that idea, and I don't care. It's her birthday, not yours. On your birthday, I will make you steak cupcakes with veal frosting, okay?

Chocolate Vegan Cupcakes


* 2 cups flour
* 2 TBSP chia seeds (as requested by my coworker instead of flax seed, and she provided them, so I didn't aruge)
* 2/3 cup cocoa powder 
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
* 1 tsp salt
* 2 1/2 cups Libby's canned pumpkin
* 1/2 cup safflower oil
* 1 1/2 cup white sugar 
* 2 tsp vanilla
* 2 TBSP water
* 1 TBSP vinegar
* Ghiradelli Chocolate Chips to garnish (or other vegan-ok chips)
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. (*my oven runs strong, so I did 340)
1. Mix together dry ingredients. 
2. Dump in pumpkin. Add in other wet ingredients. Blend with a hand blender until smooth. Batter will not be thin & runny, it will be thicker, like a muffin.
3. Line muffin pan with paper liners. Scoop in batter. Add chocolate chips on top.
4. Bake for 15-18 minutes.
I didn't frost them because the chips looked pretty (and people where I work are too skinny for frosting). However, you could do a vegan glaze or ganache without too much trouble. 
My healthy co-workers ADORED these. I think they taste like a muffin -- not too sweet, but still good. They had a great, moist texture. They taste like chocolate, but not exactly like a chocolate cake (in my opinion). 
So... enjoy! Love on your vegans, people.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The new job

For those of you who want to know, this is what you need to understand about my new job...

I use a very specific and very interesting form of behavior change counseling known as "motivational interviewing". It involves actively listening and helping the patient embrace both their ambivalence towards change and finding their own solutions to their health problems.

It's amazing. It's like cheating.  I sit and listen, they solve their own problems, they embrace change. Granted, it's not that easy, but the technique is astoundingly simple and effective.  It's also very effective on your husband the guy who lives with you, until they figure out what you are doing and tell you that you aren't allowed to MI at home. However, MI is sneaky and effective, so I am secretly still doing it :).

I do one and one counseling, support groups, group exercise, follow-up constantly with each patient, and a bunch of random administrative stuff.  That's what my day to day looks like, and it's both pretty challenging and right up my alley.

I wear tennis shoes almost everyday with my work clothes. It's both a fashion disaster and awesome.

I work for the public health system of the most populated county in the state of Indiana (and probably the most urban). I realize a title like "Bilingual Lifestyle Wellness Coach" may sound a little glamorous, but I can't get gas after dark in the majority of neighborhoods where I am working. Providing health care to underprivileged people is one of my passions.  It's also a part of Wishard's mission statement.  Lots of people will work with the clean, sane, and rich population, and they don't need me. I have a weird love of working in what most people would call the ghetto, with what most people would consider a difficult population. I don't say that to be cool or trendy, or to make me seem like some superhero. I say it as an acknowledgement of what gifts God has given me, and how I stand in complete awe that he has chosen a course for my life that involves serving others in this fashion. It has been a long journey to get to this point, and everyday I feel so humbled to be doing what I do.

That being said, I am sure I will have some funny stories about happens, about what I see and experience. I may or may not be able to share them here, as HIPPA is strict and I have a ton of respect for my patients.  What I will share is my new journey and the things I learn along the way.

Finally, my new job has made me so grateful. Again, this was a long journey. I am so excited to start doing something that embraces my passions and skills.  I realize a lot of people work jobs they don't love because it's what they need to do, and in some cases, what God has called them to do. I realize a lot of people would just be grateful for work. Additionally, as I hear about the very scary health concerns of the patients, I realize how much our health is a blessing.  I can work out. Even my husband, who has a permanent back injury, has it a lot easier than most of the people I see.  I can afford to buy fresh fruits and vegetables pretty much whenever I want, and that makes me incredibly fortunate. I drive through neighborhoods that look desolate compared to our high-end, Fisher's community.  I get to live in a beautiful, safe home with a loving husband, a great friend, the world's best dog. I live better than I deserve, and I am reminded everyday of how much I have, and how shallow I am about whining for more.  It is very convicting.

So that's the update. Thanks for sharing the journey with me.