Thursday, June 27, 2013

Kumare - Fake guru, real truth

A must see documentary that should be on everyone list! Very thought provoking...

Monday, June 17, 2013

Residency Interviews: How to Prepare!

Residency interviews are a long and grueling part of becoming a full pledged physician. We fly around the country, with our suits, heels, and bags ready to start the rest of our lives. Residency interviews are unlike any other job. No offer is given on the spot, and the program is trying to win you over just as much as you are trying to convince them that you are a competent person.  This can be an exciting time in the life of a medical student but is also a very stressful one. Depending on the field of medicine that the applicant decided to enter, they may not have much say in where they end up in their list of programs ranked for match day. When you take into consideration family life, and long term aspirations, the matching process is life changing.

So here are a few tips for applicants and well as those interviewing for jobs in general:

1. Always look your best. Get a haircut, have a neutral hair color, and wear neutral makeup. Now is not the time to make a bold statement.

2. Find a mature suit that flatters your body type and can be used for years to come. Honestly... how often are you going to wear a suit? I prefer to play it safe and wore a plain black suit with white cami underneath. Paired with Ann Taylor Perfect Patent Pumps in Black, I was good to go for a whole day of interviewing while still looking stylish and put together.

3. If your suit does not fit properly, get it altered! There is nothing worse than having your pants drag on the ground or an ill fitting suit!

4. Do your research. Read about the program, the attendings, the city etc. This is your time to ask all the necessary questions.

5. Carry a professional bag.

6. Get business cards from everyone who interviews you! Write thank you letters within 2 weeks.

7. Smell great! The sense of smell is powerful...

8. Be confident. Don't be intimidated by those vying for the spot/ spots you really want. If you get an interview... you deserve to be there and should carry yourself as so!

9. Smile! In the end... people want to work with happy, and positive people who can also get the job done.

Good luck! 

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

My Mac lipstick collection! Shades for Indians / Asians.

From left to right:

Mac Honeylove: Matte formula. The lightest of the bunch. I little too light on it's own, but works great with a light lip gloss on top. It is a bit drying.

Mac Mocha: Satin. My first Mac lipstick. The darkest of the group. A nice brown/ pink shade. Would work well for those with skin tones darker than mine as well. 

Mac Half and Half: Amplified.This is my favorite finish for mac lipsticks and I wish they had more colors! Great neutral for work or with dramatic eyes. A nice brown/ pink shade once again.

Mac Kinda Sexy: Matte but not drying at all! I beautiful pink that works for olive/ indian/ asian skin tones. I think it works so well because it has some coral/ warmth to it.

Mac Ravishing: Cremesheen. This is my go to lipstick on vacations and in the summer. It instantly brightens up your face and I like to wear it when minimal/ no eye makeup.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ombre Hair on Indian or Asian Hair!

I recently got asked by a local salon to be a hair model. I jumped at the idea of trying a new style! During the consultation, they recommended that I try the Ombre Hair style. I've seen Ombre done great and very poorly, so took some time to do research on this hair style. Speaking with the owner at the salon, she told me why Ombre is hot right now.... One - since the color is on the bottom, you don't have to get touch ups like traditional highlights. Two- The hair is protected from the elements a little more on the underside and therefore will not fade or get damaged as quickly. Three - Ombre hair can look natural and gorgeous if done right. This is a style that i suggest you do NOT do at home - as you don't want to end up with the dipped in look. Here are some pictures of ombre colored celebs. I will post up pics when I get the coloring done!

A great video on Ombre done on gorgeous Asian hair. I would love if my hair looked like this!

Friday, April 5, 2013

True or False: I need to drink eight glasses of water a day.

OK... This is something I hear all the time... everywhere. I remember a period of time in high school when this craze began. Somehow it was wrought into all out heads that we need to drink 8 glasses of water a day! Girls would bring to school mini jugs of water to sip on all throughout the day. Along with that came multiple visits to the ladies room! We are constantly told that water is one of the keys to maintaining beautiful and youthful skin. We are told to drink water to exhaustion and if we don't there will be consequences.

So what is true?!

This statement is absolutely false. What is true is that up to 60% of your body is water, the brain is composed of 70% water, and the lungs are composed 90% of water.Our bodies have an amazing way of maintaining homeostasis, and sometimes we just have to trust that it can work itself. Our kidneys contain a complex system that control how much water is absorbed into the system and how much is excreted in urine. The kidneys also maintain salt balance and blood pressure. When your body needs water - It will let you know!

Remember, "water" is not only in what we drink, but also in the foods we eat. An apple for example is around 85% water!

In fact, drinking too much water can cause hyponatremia ( too much water and not enough salt). This itself can have negative impacts on the body.

So... while it is important to stay hydrated and drink water multiple times a day.. we should not get caught up on this figure. We should however, listen to our bodies, and use that as a gauge for what we need - whether is is more water, more sleep, or more exercise.

My Makeup must haves Part 2!

After much delay (sorry!).... Here is Part 2 of my makeup must haves!

See part 1.

5. Nars Bronzer in Laguna and Casino
- I use Casino, which is darker, for contouring 
- Laguna is great for a lighter, glowy, tan look
- quite expensive but lasts a very long time and looks natural 

6. Mac Blush is Pink Swoon
- I am not a fan of too rosy cheeks, so this is the perfect blush for me
- It may not show up on skin tones darker than mine
- light transparent pinky blush that adds just a hint of flush to the cheeks

7. Mac Concealer in NC25
- Great coverage for under eye dark circles
- although the pot looks small, there is a lot of product!

8. Smashbox Browtech 
- I love love love this product... Who knew that perfect eyebrows could make a huge difference in the way your eyes look! When I first discovered this product, I was unsure how to use it without looking like a clown. However, now that I have been playing around with it for years, I could not live without it. The key is to have the right brush - an angled brush- and to start at the arch of your brow. Don't go too heavy on the inside corner or outside tail of your brow. You want to fill in brows and slightly elongate. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

What I'm reading .. Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife

I am not much of a fiction reader... I guess it is because my head is always buried in medical books! However, I wanted to share this book. It caught my eye because I am a religious person and also because it was written by a neurosurgeon. I was actually introduced to this book by a nice southern women on my flight to Alabama for a residency interview.

In the world of medicine, we love to explain everything and have a scientific method to solve all mysteries. This book is a refreshing view into what happens after life on earth.

Happy Easter weekend!

Get your bottom checked! National Colon Cancer Awareness Month.

March is national colon cancer awareness month. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths. In the United States, our high fat diet plays a huge role in this. Fortunately, colonoscopys- provided by physicians who are called a gastroenterologist-  are a great screening tool that can be used for early detection and prevention of cancer.

When should you get a colonoscopy? It is generally recommended that you should get your first one at age 50. However, if you have a family member who has or had colon cancer, you should be screened at 40, or 10 years before the age that their cancer was detected- which ever comes first.

Sadly, many are not getting this done - a test that although not the most fun, can prevent death from cancer.
Please share the word with family members to get their screening done if they have not done so!

For those who are young, remember a low fat and high fiber diet is a great way to keep your colon clean.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mac Honeylove: Base for lipgloss

Mac Honeylove serves as a great base lipstick to wear glosses on top. My lips are pigmented, so I reach for this - too light lippy- on it's on, to wear sheer pink or coral lipsticks on top.

I am wearing a bright pink on top - from the Mac Disney collection a long time ago. The result is a light pale pink effect.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Dr. Ben Carson Prayer Speech

What an inspirational man!  Truly a great role model for all in modern society. Let's all take the time to remember the things that really matter in life. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Indian Bride: Sari or Wedding Dress?

For every Indian bride,  there comes a moment when we need to decide whether we are going to wear a traditional Indian Sari ( not pictured :-) ) or an American wedding dress. The decision is a very personal one and depends on your own preferences. I for one chose to walk down the aisle in a wedding dress- I could have never pictured myself wearing anything else! My dress- seen above- was the Pronovias Gaudi 2010 dress made in Barcelona, Spain and I absolutely loved it. This one shoulder gown was classic and unique at the same time. Wearing Indian clothes frequently, I was not about the glitz - but rather the construction and fit of the gown.

Being 100% Malayalee and Roman Catholic, my wedding ceremony was in a church. I did receive a special sari - called a Manthakodi from my hubby and made an appearance in it at the reception.

Shopping for Petites 2013!

Shopping as a petite can be a less than easy task! I used to shop at all stores, not really cognizant of what a good fit really means. I would shop at stores like Express and the Limited, as that is what my friends did. Now that I have become more aware of my fashion blunders, I have begun to shop smarter.

Here are a few stores that are great for fun-sized women on a budget!

- Ann Taylor: Always keep an eye out for sales. Great for work dresses, classic pumps that are comfortable, jewerly, and belts. Also good for silk tops.

- Ann Taylor Loft: Their pants are exceptional. Also like Loft's sweater dresses and cardigans. Some of the clothes are defiantly not for women in their 20's though!

- Banana Republic: I actually prefer Banana Republic Outlets to the regular stores. They always carry 00p and 0p in stock. Great for classic work dresses and ruffly tops!

- H&M: I am not a fan of wearing trendy clothes UNLESS it is for a night out. But... I am loving H&M's work section. They always have cute blouses. I size 2 fits like a 00 or 0p. I am not a fan of their dresses because I am definitely not a size 2 EU on the bottom. H&M also has cute bags and accessories.

- Forever XXI: I only shop here for dresses for a night out and cheap costume jewelry.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opprotunity for Women

A must watch documentary! Although the recent events in India may have come and gone, this is a problem that has been around forever. Ignorance is bliss...  talent is abundant but opportunity is not.

Cheap Alternative to the Clarasonic!

Here is a secret that could save you a lot of money!

I heard that this little gadget is very popular and very expensive! I for one love finding cheap alternatives that get the job done just as well or even better.

All you need is

              1. Un- coated Aspirin
              2. Water
              3. Honey
              4. Jojoba Oil

Dissolve the Aspirin - Maybe 3-4 in a LITTLE bit of water and mix with honey to make a thicker consistency. Rub gently on your face to exfoliate, smooth skin, treat with anti- inflammatory, and reduce pores. Follow up treatment with a little dab of Jojoba Oil. There you are! A simple and cost effective solution to clear skin.

Best Pink Lipstick for Indian / Asian skin!

Nude Lipstick Indian South Asian

Wearing NYX lipstick in Pumpkin Pie. Cheap, creamy, hydrating, pigmented. What is not to love? 
In searching for a few nude/ pink lipsticks, I notice that the pinks tend to transfer as a  little purple on me. However, as long as there is a hint of peach or warmth - the color looks great. 

NYX lipsticks are cheap and get the job done. I have been carrying this around when I don't want to wear my more expensive MAC and Nars lippies. I got this on sale at ULTA and thought it would be too light on me, but to my surprise it looks great! 

I also tried NYX Perfect - but it looked too mauve - which is a look that I despise! The same happened with NYX B52. Mac Please Me looked too bumble gum pink and NOT professional at all. MAC freckletone was too shear for my pigmented lips. Mac Cosmo also came off too mauve.

So if your coloring is similar to mine... Here are a few lipsticks I can recommend:

1. NYX Pumpkin Pie
2. Mac Half and Half
3. Nars Blonde Venus

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What is Norovirus?

Image via NPR

Norovirus is a virus that we should all be watching out for in the next couple months. A new strain is causing many to get sick with the "stomach flu." In fact, this virus is the most common cause of the winter stomach flu. Norovirus does NOT cause respiratory symptoms but can be a result of food poisoning.

You can catch norovirus by a number of ways: person to person contact, indirect contact by touching contaminated surfaces, and even through air droplets. Norovirus can live on surfaces for a LONG time, making it even harder to avoid. You only need to be exposed to a few particles to catch the disease!

So what can you do? Just like with the flu- WASH YOUR HANDS. When you are in public, avoid touching your face (mouth and eyes especially) after touching random surfaces. Carry around hand sanitizers and wash your hands before eating or right when you get home. If you are sick with the stomach flu- PLEASE stay at home, rest, and stay hydrated. Clean surfaces with LYSOL disinfectant as this will kill norovirus.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Cancer fighting foods: Kale and Brocolli

It is always difficult to force ourselves to eat healthy foods, when we don't have a taste for it. I for one can not stand the taste of cooked carrots unless it is masked in some kind of sauce. I recently discovered this simple and easy recipe for kale and broccoli: two powerful cancer fighting foods,  and plan to make it a staple in my diet. Baked kale satisfies the crunch and salty cravings I get that make me dream about potato chips or french fries.

Both Kale and Broccoli contain sulforaphane: a powerful chemical that can block the formation of cancer cells.

Kale is also packed with
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Manganese

Recipe for quick and delicious Kale chips

1. Curly kale is the best for baking. Remove stems by ripping of cutting them off.
2. Cut Kale (by ripping) into small pieces. Wash and dry thoroughly in a salad spinner.
3.  Place dry kale on a flat pan.
4. Dribble olive oil on top. Use hands to rub oil on all leaves.
5. Sprinkle with seasoning of your choice! Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Parmesan, Chipotle, Old Bay etc!!!
6. Bake in oven 15 min at 350!
7. Let cool in oven.

Brocolli recipe from Barefoot Contessa:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.
Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Doctor's Advice: Flu Shot 2013

If you have not received a flu shot this year- now is the time to do it! It is NEVER to late - until you catch it that is! Flu shots are available at your local CVS, primary care physician, or at the hospital. The flu is making a big appearance this year especially in the Mid- Atlantic area.


You can NOT get the flu from the flu vaccine. Some people may feel a little under the weather for a day or two after getting the shot, but trust me - this is NOT the flu. The flu will keep you out of action for a week or two with symptoms like : fatigue, aches, fevers, diarrhea, vomiting etc.

If you do have flu like symptoms : REST, drink water/ 100% juices and STAY HOME!

In public, carry around hand sanitizers as you can not always access a wash room.

Stay healthy! 

                     Dr. Lisa

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

How to lose weight in 2013!!

When the New Year comes around, and our bellies are stuffed with holiday food, it is time to get reminded about our goals. A common goal for everyone should be to stay fit and healthy. It is time to pull out those gym pants and tennis shoes and get back to working hard. As much as the media tries to sell us easy fixes for staying in shape - no such thing exists. Just like anything else in life that is worth it - being healthy involves dedication and hard work!!!

I've noticed that the hardest part of taking an initiative to get fit is just that --- taking the initiative! So start slow - commit to a 15 min work out, switching from coffee to tea, not buying junk food etc. Start slow and work your way up. We are all human so we WILL stumble every so often - but the key is to recognize when we get off track and get back on it!

Start incorporating healthy food back into your diet - substitute all the fried fatty foods of the holiday with fresh spinach, broccoli, yogurt, green tea, granola, nuts, fish etc.

Find an exercise that works for you! Invest in an elliptical ( my personal favorite), join a rec team, take your dog for more walks etc. You want your heart to be challenged! Get that blood flowing!

Good luck to everyone. I know 2013 will be a very lucky year!

          - Dr. Lisa