**Disclaimer: Please be aware that this post contains content that some readers may find triggering. This is not intended to be dietary advice. Anything written here is not necessarily appropriate for the Enara program you are on or consistent with your particular goals.
Tuesday January 21, 2020
My work week starts on a Tuesday. I usually have a cup of coffee with creamer for breakfast. Despite all the research behind the benefits of having breakfast, I am just not a breakfast person. I grew up rarely eating breakfast, and I find myself getting hungrier when I do eat breakfast. You’ll see throughout my week that my mornings usually just consist of coffee. I get into Enara around 8 am and the first thing I do when I get in is make my cup of coffee. I get started on my various projects and the next thing I know, lunch time is almost here. I didn’t do any meal prepping over the weekend, so I pop over to Trader Joe’s to grab something quick for lunch. It’s been pretty cold so my go-to meals are their soups. I grab their Kettle-Cooked Chicken Soup along with a couple grocery items and head back to the office. I usually eat lunch around 12 pm, so I heat up the soup with a frozen barley/brown rice medley, and that’s my meal. I work on more projects in the afternoon, and then it’s time to go home. For dinner, I decide to put together a mini meal prep with kale as a base, harissa-marinated tofu cubes (TIP: to get them crispy, throw them in an air fryer!), roasted cauliflower, and black barley brown rice medley (Trader Joe’s ran out of farro, so this is my other go-to). The dressing is super simple: 2% plain Greek yogurt, 1 teaspoon of tahini, squeeze of lemon and salt/pepper.
Wednesday January 22, 2020
Again, my morning begins with a cup of coffee with a little creamer. Today I am doing orientations in the morning, and after that, I start on my list of projects again. This morning, I’m feeling a little hungry so I help myself to a small handful of almonds because I don’t want to eat lunch too early. Lunchtime rolls around fast, and I heat up the kale bowl that I made the night before. I could eat it cold, but since the weather is a bit more chilly, I want a warm lunch. I add my Greek yogurt tahini dressing after I heat up my meal prep. As my day wraps up at work, I head home. For dinner tonight, I have cauliflower, oyster mushrooms and preserved pickled radish stir fry. After dinner, my boyfriend and I jump on a FaceTime call to plan our Hawaii vacation itinerary.
Thursday January 23, 2020
On Thursdays and Fridays I work at the San Francisco Veterans Affair (SFVA) Medical Center. I start my day with that same cup of coffee and creamer. Today at the SFVA, I am working in the long-term care unit with the hospice veterans. As the morning ends, it is time for lunch! Today for lunch, I have my kale bowl, but instead of tahini, I made a minced garlic Greek yogurt sauce (same ingredients but i just swapped the tahini with minced garlic – simple!). My day wraps up and I head home. I usually have dinner around 5:30-6:30 pm. For dinner, I finish up the second half of that Kettle-Cooked Chicken Soup I had earlier in the week; again I add some black barley grain medley to it to make it more hearty. After dinner, I make a hot cup of elderberry tea and meet up with my best friend for a late night Target run where I grab some last minute travel toiletries for my Hawaii trip.
Friday January 24, 2020
Today I’m at the SFVA again, but this time I am working with veterans in the outpatient setting and also doing some training in the Hemodialysis Unit. The work day starts with a cup of coffee, and then I chart review and begin seeing veterans. I finished my kale bowl meal prep yesterday, so I did not have anything to bring for lunch. I head down to the SFVA’s cafeteria to see what my options are for lunch. I decide to go with spicy tuna sushi with a side of seaweed salad. After lunch, I continue seeing veterans until my workday ends. Today is Lunar New Year’s Eve, so I have dinner with my family. My parents prepare a family style dinner with steamed Chinese broccoli, Chinese BBQ pork, pan-fried fish and steamed chicken.
Saturday January 25, 2020
Saturday morning begins just like any other day: a cup of coffee with a little bit of creamer. Today I head back to Enara to do orientations for new and returning patients (Hi! You may remember me from your orientation!). After my orientations, I head over to Trader Joe’s for our weekly grocery store tour. Usually my workday ends here, but I have a couple new patients to meet with after the tour. I quickly head back to the office; it’s a little past 12 pm now, and I am feeling hungry. Luckily, I packed some sliced almonds and two tangerines for a quick snack. After my appointments, I head to my sister’s house to eat a late lunch. It is a Buddhist tradition to eat vegetarian on the day of Lunar New Year’s. My sister prepared a mixed vegetarian dish with clear rice noodles, tofu, dried soy bean curd, carrots, shredded cabbage, wood ear mushrooms, young oyster mushrooms, dried jujubes and dried lily flowers. This is one of my mom’s recipes that I remember eating since I was young. My boyfriend arrives in San Francisco to join my family in Lunar New Year festivities. Since I had a late lunch, I don’t eat a full dinner. My boyfriend and I share the leftover vegetarian food for dinner that night.
Sunday January 26, 2020
Today is a family day. My family and I are going to the East Bay to visit extended family. Before we take off for the day, we grab some quick dim sum to go: shiu mai, ha gow, pork and corn dumplings, and shrimp and chive dumplings. We arrive at my grandmother’s home, where we catch up, and then it’s time for lunch. My aunt suggests we have sushi. She enjoyed Sushi House in Alameda the last time we went. There’s a big party of us (~10 people), so everyone chooses something from the menu, and we share everything family style. We order sushi rolls, bento boxes and donburi bowls. It was delicious, but so much food! I make sure not to overstuff myself…good thing I have a growing teenage nephew who has a big appetite!
Dinner tonight is a feast! My family comes over to my parents house to have a big family dinner to start the Lunar New Year. My parents cook up a feast of dishes, including steamed tilapia with soy sauce, ginger and green onions, ginger green onion stir fried dungeness crab, crispy roasted pork, Chinese BBQ pork, cauliflower stir fry, glass noodles, steamed chicken, braised pork knuckles, stewed sea cucumbers and abalone on a bed of steamed iceberg lettuce. I also enjoy a glass of wine with my siblings during dinner.
Monday January 27, 2020
As you’ve noticed, I typically don’t eat breakfast, but I’ll occasionally eat it when my boyfriend visits. He makes us eggs and potatoes for breakfast, while I catch up on some work. Today is another day of family time. The plan is to have lunch in Chinatown with my uncle and aunt. Because we had so much food yesterday, my boyfriend and I decide to be more active. We take public transportation out to San Francisco downtown and walk into Chinatown. For lunch, my aunt and uncle want to do a simple meal, so they choose a nearby Vietnamese restaurant, Golden Flower. I order a small beef pho (I love pho broth!!!), and I add a bunch of bean sprouts to get in extra veggies. We finish up our visit in Chinatown and then it’s time to go visit my grandma. After a whole day of being out, I finally make it home, but there’s no time to relax because I have to pack for my weeklong vacation to Hawaii! My boyfriend and I have leftovers for dinner. We end the night with The Bachelor while I finish packing.