Monthly Archives: July 2014

How to make a doctor

It is a LONG road to become a doctor, but one that has been worth it for me.

It all started when I was a little girl, going to the doctor’s office. They always had lollypops in the drawer and after you saw the doctor, you got to pick one out. My parent’s always joke that the lollypops are the reason I went into medicine and wanted to become a doctor –> to be closer to the lollypops!

Fast-forward to high school, I still wanted to become a doctor. I spent some time shadowing my family practice doctor, who had taken care of me and my family since I had been born. I really liked the diversity of the patient population and how he took care of the entire family. This really solidified my desire to become a doctor.

I went to University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire for undergrad. I got a 4 year degree with a bachelor of science in biochemistry and molecular biology with a minor in Spanish. In my junior year, I took the MCAT exam (the entrance exam for medical school). And I started filling out applications for medical school. Interviews for medical school were in the fall and winter. I got accepted to Des Moines University in January. I still remember checking my email at my parent’s house and running upstairs to tell my Mom that I was going to be a doctor!

That summer, I started medical school.


The first two years are classes. You repeat a lot of the basic sciences the first year, like biochemistry, genetics, anatomy, physiology, and physical medicine. You take your first board exam after the first year to test you on all the basic sciences.

Then, second year is more system based. So, we had a cardiology, gastroenterology, surgery, pediatrics, etc. And you take another board exam.

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Then, the last 2 years are rotations. You spend 4 weeks doing each specialty/area of medicine. And a little longer in the primary care areas (like family medicine and hospital work). It is important that no matter what area you go into, you still graduate being a well rounded doctor. i.e. even if you are an skin doctor (dermatologist), you still have an idea of how to delivery a baby or take care of a person having a heart attack.

Then, after 4 long years of lots of studying. . . graduation!


At that point, you are a ‘doctor,’ but still not able to practice on your own.. . that is what residency is for!

Residency is specialized training in the area of medicine you decide you want to practice. So, in my case, I wanted to be a family practice doctor, so that is a 3 year residency program. Each program is a different length. Like general surgery is 5 years and OB/GYN is 4 years.


In a family practice residency program you start seeing patients in your own clinic, but with supervision. For the first 6 months, you have to have your attending physician see all of your patients before they leave. So, you go to see your patient, talk to them, examine them, and then go chat with the attending physician, telling them what the patient is coming into the office for, what you think is going on and what you would like to do for them, tests to order, prescriptions to write, advice to give, etc. Then, the attending will come back to the room to double check anything that the first year resident was concerned about, and to help the resident counsel the patient.

After 6 months, the attending doesn’t have to see every patient anymore, only the ones that are complicated or that you as the resident would be concerned about.

So, as you progress further thru the program, you get more independence with your clinic patients. In addition to seeing patients in your family practice clinic, family practice residents do further rotations in each area of medicine for 4 weeks at a time. This is to get further learning in each area of medicine that we will see in our own clinic, as family practice doctors usually see the patients before they see a specialists. One of the things that is most critical that we learn when we are on rotations is when the patient needs to be referred to a specialist for further care.


At the end of the 3 years, then you take the final board exam. After you pass that exam, you are then ‘board certified.’  Board exams are repeated every 7-10 years depending on the specialty.


Medicine is a never-ending learning profession. There is no way that you can know everything about medicine in 3, 4, or 5 years. We have continuing education credits, like many other fields, in an effort to keep up on all the research and new medical information. I also read medical journals specific to family medicine. And try like crazy to keep up with the latest in medicine. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love my job. Smile

Linking up with Amanda today for Thinking Out Loud!!


Filed under Recap

Loaded Blondie Bars


So, a few weeks ago, I made these amazing bars from Averie Cooks.


In her post, she encourages you to use whatever ingredients you have leftover in your pantry. .. so even though her Oreo/m and m bars looked amazing. . .

I check out my pantry and found half of a bag of caramel bits, 1/4 bag walnut pieces and some mini marshmallows.


And you guys.. . this recipe is amazing and so easy. One mixing bowl. About 5 minutes to mix together and put in the oven. Super quick.

My new favorite go-to dessert.

And no running to the grocery store for ingredients – just use what you have!! These bars were seriously amazing. I didn’t have too high of expectations given the randomness of the ingredients that I used but Scott and I ate an entire 8×8 pan in 2 days!


The possibilities of this recipe are endless!! I am already searching my pantry for more leftover ingredients. I think my next creation will be “s’mores” – graham cracker pieces, mini chocolate chips and marshmallows. . . or I have some pretzel pieces and white chocolate chips that I think would be perfect for that salty sweet combo. So, seriously, go and make these and report back with what pantry ingredients you used! Have fun!!


Loaded Blondie Bars

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 T vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 bag caramel bits (about 3/4 cup)
1/3 cup walnut pieces
3/4 cup mini marshmallows
**or whatever you have in your pantry!!


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray 8×8 pan with baking spray.
  2. Melt butter. Let cool.
  3. Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add the flour and stir until just combined.
  5. Stir in the caramel bits, walnut pieces, and mini marshmallows.
  6. Pour into pan.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until done based on add-ins used. Top should be set and edges slightly firm. A toothpick should come out clean. *bake for longer than you think!

IMG_1313I am linking up with Peas & Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday again this week!!


Filed under dessert, Recipes

Giveaway winner

Hey guys! Happy Tuesday. Smile 

Just popping in quick to announce the winner of the Balance Bar and Walmart giveaway.  ..

Congratulations to Jessie!


Email me at and I’ll get you your Balance Bars and Walmart gift card!

And if you are interested there is an awesome Summer Shape Up Twitter Chat this Thursday at 3pmEST! Follow along with #BalanceShapeUp and @BalanceBar to ask personal trainer Holly Del Rosso any of your summer fitness and nutrition questions.

And don’t forget to come back tomorrow for an amazingly yummy dessert bar recipe! You won’t want to miss it. Smile

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Filed under Uncategorized

Weekend Update: 7/27/14

oh Monday. . . after a vacation. . . it’s the worst.

but I am making the best of it.

the start of a new week. back to normal life. back to teaching bodypump tonight. back to sleeping in my own bed. back to living the advocare lifestyle and not feeling the sugar hangover the next morning. back to work and doing the thing that I love – being a doctor.

what are you back to this week??

anyway. . . here’s a look at my weekend – the last part of our lake vacation.

My friends took off for Colorado (home) on Friday morning.


We got up early to fit in a 4 mile run in the cornfields of WI. Man, running without them next week will be a major bummer!


The ultimate balance = spark + special K bars. Everything in moderation, right?


Typical Friday night in Wisconsin – {kiddie} cocktails + cheese curds + fish.


Saturday morning we got packed up and made the trek back to Mankato.

5 miles after sitting in the car = glorious. Plus had to check out Minnesota State University for the Minnesota Vikings Training Camp. {Go Pack Go!}


Luke and I did 6 miles together on Sunday morning.


And “helped” Dad outside. . .


My latest Jamberry manicure during nap time.


And then dinner at Baker’s Square with Scott’s parents. . .


And the most important part of eating at Baker’s Square –> pie selection.


I came home with this one –> peanut butter cup Smile 


So, what were you up to this weekend?

Linking up with Katie for Marvelous in my Monday!

And don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a box of balance bars and a giftcard to Walmart –> ends TONIGHT!!


Filed under Lake, Recap, summer, vacation, weekend update

Friday Favorites: 7/25/14 {Lake Vacation}

Hey! Happy Friday. Smile

Why does a week on vacation go SO much faster than a week at work??

We are still at the Lake enjoying the sunshine and water, so I thought I would share a few of my favorite things about spending the week at the Lake. . .

–> drinking spark on vacay. Perfect way to start the day.


–> Runs with friends. (and my special husband)


–> doughnuts on a Monday morning.


–> boat activities


–> helpers in the kitchen (no food processor, no problem – just use 2 two year olds!)


–> and frosted animal cracker ice cream cake.


–> and Texas sheet cake (thanks Mom!)


–> lounging by the dock in the sunshine during baby nap time.


What made you smile this week?


Plans for the weekend??

Spreading the link love by linking up with Heather and Claire again this week.

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Filed under Lake, Running, summer, vacation, weekend update

WIAW–Balance Bars {+ giveaway}

I am linking up with Peas & Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday again this week!!

And I am talking all about Balance Bars. {Plus –> giveaway at the end of this post!!}

You’ve hear of Balance Bars, right? They are one of my favorite things to grab for breakfast. Perfect after drinking my spark on my way to work.

From Balance Bars –> “As with all Balance Bar products, the new Dark line follows the 40-30-30 nutrition principle – a proven formula developed by scientists to help stabilize blood sugar levels that represents the caloric ratio the body needs to enjoy lasting balanced energy and satisfy hunger for longer; 40% of total calories from carbs, 30% from quality protein and 30% from dietary fat.”

Balance Bar is hosting a summer shape up challenge and was nice enough to send me a Walmart gift card to purchase some balance bars and to pick up a few things for summer as well.


It was perfect timing.

Peggy and I headed off to Walmart to stock up for groceries for our week at the Lake.


And of course, I had to check out the balance bar selection. . .


dark chocolate caramel macchiato – ummm yes please.


And btw – delicious = my new favorite flavor!

But anyway, in addition to the balance bars, we stocked up for the week, including frosted animal crackers for this ice cream cake!!


Other staples were purchased, including Luke’s favorite thing right now –> m and m cookies. Winking smile 

Quesadilla casserole for dinner tonight. With Peggy’s guacamole –> she makes the best. . . it might even be better than Chipotle!

Anyway. . .

They have offered to let me do a giveaway for R4C readers –>

for a $10 Walmart gift card and a variety pack of Balance Bars!!

Awesome, right?

There are 4 ways to enter. Please make sure to leave a separate comment below for each entry.

1 –> leave a comment below telling me what flavor of Balance Bar you would most like to try!

2 –> Follow Balance Bar and Running4Cupcakes on Pinterest.

3 –> Follow Balance Bar and Running4Cupcakes on Facebook.

4 –> Tweet the following with a link back to this post:
I want to win a box of @BalanceBar and an @Walmart giftcard from @runs4cupcakes *insert link*

The contest closes at midnight on July 28th and I’ll announce the winner shortly after. If I don’t hear from the winner within 48 hours, I’ll pick someone new.

Good luck!

**I was provided with a Walmart gift card to purchase balance bars, but the opinions in this post at 100% my own. And always will be!


Filed under giveaway, product review

AdvoCare 10 Day Challenge–recap & results

So, as you know, Scott and I did an AdvoCare 10 day challenge. It was perfect timing to sneak in 10 days between the 4th of July and our annual week long trip to the Lake.

Just as with my first challenge, I meal planned and prepped like crazy the weekend before. I wanted to set myself up for success as well as my husband (his first challenge!).

And then crossed my fingers for the fiber drink on Day 1. I know I am a broken record, but O.M.G. peaches ‘n’ cream is so so so much better than citrus!

If you missed my previous posts – here was the meal plan for the 10 days and then a WIAW day of eats post too.

My thoughts:

#1. Still a huge SPARK fan. I continue to drink it every morning. I also drink it in the afternoon before and during BODYPUMP. I also use it in the afternoons if I am feeling tired.


#2. I love how the challenge encourages me to eat healthier snacks. Sure, it takes a bit more prep than just grabbing a granola bar. But I love snacking on nuts (cashews), fruit, fresh veggies with hummus, and homemade larabar balls.


#3. Yes, I really really wanted a cookie on Saturday night. And if we are being honest, some pizza too. But we didn’t have either. And we survived. And I felt SO much better on Monday morning without having to deal with post-sugar withdrawl/hangover.

#4. I loved having Scott doing it with me too. Having a AdvoCare buddy is the best.


Someone to cheers your fiber drink in the morning, to remind you about your catalyst before working out, and to notice all your hard work making changes in your body. I’m already trying to convince him to join me for the full 24 day challenge that I am putting together for October –> are you in??

#5. Scott is still loving the SPARK, he’s been drinking it every day post-challenge.

And the results:

Overall, I lost 1.6 pounds and 3 1/2 inches (waist, chest, and hips) .


Overall, I felt like my stomach was flatter and you could see more definition in my arms. My clothes continued to fit well. I feel like my energy levels are good – morning and afternoon!! And I feel strong during runs and bodypump –> which is an awesome feeling!


Scott lost 3.4 pounds and 1 1/2 inches (waist and hips). No pictures – someone forgot. Winking smile

Like I said before, already looking forward to doing the full challenge (24 days!) again in October!! Let me know if you are interested in joining in!

Linking up with Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday, because ya’ll know how AdvoCare is a great way to treat yourself!


Filed under advocare, Recap

Weekend Update: 7/20/14

Happy Monday! It’s a pretty happy day for me because I am blogging from the Lake. Smile We took the week off to spend at the lake with my friends visiting from Colorado.

They got here late on Thursday night. So, Friday morning = trip to Caribou.


5 mile run.


Play time with friends –> they were bringing top soil to the house so the boys loved watching the dump trucks and skid steers.

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Dinner at Pizza Ranch.


Cleaning up after dinner. . .


Early morning Saturday run.


And then off to Evan’s 4th birthday party. Jodi did such a great job with the Toy Story theme.


Then, road trip to the Lake. . . and look whose business blog cards I found while looking through my wallet? From Healthy Living Summit last year. Winking smile


my boys.


Saying “cheese” in front of the cheese shop. lol.


Fresh cheese curds = amazing.


4 mile run around the farm fields of Wisconsin. And this is what happens when I ask Scott to take a selfie of the group.  ..



Peggy and Finn.


All the kids.


Scott’s parents came up to visit for the day. Sunday afternoon boat rides are. the. best.


And apparently tiring too. . .


Afternoon chats on the porch.


And boys having fun.


Off to go for a run. And get some doughnuts. And then back to the boat for more lake time. Vacation is tough. Winking smile

Hope you had a great weekend (what were you up to?)!! And hope your Monday is off to a great start. Smile

And since my weekend was pretty marvelous, I am linking up with Katie today!!


Filed under Lake, Recap, Running, summer, vacation, weekend update

Friday Favorites: 7/18/14

happy friday!!!!

I am extra excited because my best friend and her family got here late last night to spend the next week with us! We are hanging out in Mankato for a few days, then heading to the Lake for sunshine, swimming and eating. I am already super excited about making this ice cream cake.

Ice Cream Cake with Circus Animal Crust {Lightened Up} - Food Faith Fitness

And yes I timed my 10 day AdvoCare challenge just riiiiiight to be done before they got here! Winking smile

Here are the little things that made me smile this week. . . as usual, please feel free to play along in the comments or by linking up with your blog post!!


–> Our house is finally painted!!


For the last 3 months, it’s been an ugly tan color and now it’s the blue-grey color we picked out sooooo long ago! I can’t wait to give someone directions to the new house so I can say – yup, we are the blue house on the left!

–> This cute bracelet.


One of our BODYPUMP instructors is moving and so tonight is her last class. So Chris and I teamed up and picked out this super cute bracelet to give her. Love all their sayings!!

–> Wearing my favorite workout shirt from my best blends to teach BP90 this week.


–>Taking “after” photos from my 10 day challenge. –> full recap next week!


and hearing yet another story of how SPARK helped someone kick their pop habit     –> nice work Joyce!!!

–> Travel time to school/work in the morning.


Usually Luke is in a pretty good mood and likes to talk and tell me lots of things – what’s out the window, what he’s going to do at school, what he dreamt about last night. I just love these conversations with him.

–> Fruit sale at the local grocery store. Stocked up. Seriously in love with the cherries right now!!


–> new running shoes. Saucony Triumph 11. And of course, my favorite socks.


What made you smile this week?? Plans for the weekend?

Spreading the link love by linking up with Heather and Claire again this week.

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Filed under Friday, Recap

WIAW–Typical eats during an AdvoCare challenge

Hey! Happy Wednesday!!

I am linking up with Peas & Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday again this week!! And to show what a “typical” day of eats looks like on an AdvoCare challenge.

Start my day with peaches ‘n’ cream fiber drink. I don’t have to plug my nose with this one, but I still chug it. Scott likes to slowly sip his. . . boys.


Grape spark on the road to work.


Morning pills – catalyst + probiotic + my iron supplement


Smoothie at my desk for breakfast. In the mix this morning: strawberries, mango and OJ.


Cashews. <love> seriously, nuts are the best snack ever.

#twss <– I’m terrible. Winking smile


Leftovers. Today it’s turkey meatloaf cups with avocado. Not pretty, but got the job done. Smile 


I wasn’t feeling the grapes after lunch.

So I had a banana with almond butter.


Plus an (unpictured) extra spoonful of almond butter. Because #necessary

Afternoon snack – wasn’t feeling super hungry, but tired and still quite a bit of work left + planning on a run after work = afternoon spark. Fruit punch this time.


Pre-run snack – protein ball = protein powder, almond butter and shredded coconut.


Dinner – Steak salads –> lettuce, carrots, celery, steak, mandarin oranges and pecans. With mustard balsamic dressing. yum!


And some cherries to end the day –> sooooo good right now, right?

So, there ya go. . . a day in the eats of “clean-eating” AdvoCare style!

What have you been eating lately??


Filed under advocare, Recap