Friday Five – Five Favorite Treats to Take to the Station

December 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

Okay, so this might seem like a bit of a bad post when put next to my Nutrition focus on Monday’s, but come on it’s the holidays!  And while I’m not a great cook, I certainly love to bake. And since today was my office Christmas Party I’m kind of focused on the whole baking thing. One of the best things about being married to a fireman and being in Emergency Services myself is that there is never a shortage of places to TAKE my baked goods.  So, I’m not necessarily eating everything, but I”m certainly not promoting healthy eating with my treats either 🙂


Five Favorite Treats to Take to the Station

1.  Apple Pie – It’s a staple for most holiday celebrations isn’t it? A good apple pie can make anyone feel good and can certainly taste even better warmed with a little ice cream on top. I’m a big fan of apple pie, but have to say that a few months ago I was able to make an apple pie from apples I had picked, peeled, and cut up myself (truly HOME MADE). While the effort was ridiculously huge, the end result was WELL enjoyed by many!  The recipe I used can be found here: (and no my pie didn’t have all the cute cut outs on top)

2.  Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake – This is one of my husband’s favorites. It’s a simple recipe that involves chocolate, chocolate, and well, chocolate.  It’s simple, quick, easy, and better a little warm with a cold glass of milk.  Here is the recipe:,166,157175-241193,00.html

3.  Cake Balls – If you have NEVER heard of a cake pop, much less had one, you are TOTALLY missing out!  Cake balls are basically balls of cake (I know, shocking!) make with cake and icing mixed together, shaped into a ball, and then coated in chocolate.  These are a fantastic treat that can be made in a variety of flavors with a variety of toppings, and if talented enough, in a variety of shapes. I’m certainly not talented enough (or at least brave enough) to try the shapes, but circle, square, or otherwise, the cakeballs are a hit at my husband’s fire station (and well, everywhere I’ve taken them).  Here’s a link to a HUGE selection of cake pops:

4. Apple/Pumpkin Pie – This one is actually a new treat for me. I made this today for the first time for the work party and while not everyone liked the idea of it, it was enjoyed by those willing to try it. If you are like me, you truly enjoy dessert and especially during the holidays, pumpkin and apple pie (as stated above) are staples in my house. My biggest problem is having both without feeling like a glutton.  So, someone came up with the genius idea of making the two pies one.  Here is a picture to Pumpkin Apple Pie: Here’s a picture in case you are curious:


5.   Chocolate Chip Cookie Squares – The chocolate chip cookie is a staple and a guaranteed hit at any event. However, out of pure laziness I stopped making individual cookies and actually turned a homemade chocolate chip cookie recipe into a 9×13 pan and made them brownies. It’s quick, easy, and simple to serve. It makes just as many cookies in this way (as long as you don’t make them too big) and the chocolate seems extra concentrated in each square. And once again, it’s always best paired with a glass of cold milk!


So, those are my five favorite treats to share with my extended EMS/Fire family. I hope that you are treated to some special treats in recognition of everything you do throughout the year!

Don’t forget to follow on twitter – @stickysidedwn


EMS Nutrition #3 – Choosing the right foods

December 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Now that we’ve spent some time looking at what we have been eating and recognizing what we should eat, how do you go about shopping for it?

I have joked that I”m goign to begin skipping meals because the cost of groceries is just TOO high. It really surprises me every time I go to the grocery store just how much prices change in such a short period of time. But I also know that skipping meals is not the answer. That and I love food too much to actually skip a meal. So, I have to be cautious about how I buy and what I buy.  But, as we all know, eating healthy isn’t always a cheap or easy thing to do.

1.  Before you even leave the grocery store – eat a snack!  Have you ever shopped hungry?  I have, and let me just say, that I normally end up with buyer’s remorse when I get home. By eating a snack you are curbing your impulse buys just because you feel hungry as you shop

2.  Make your list (and if you are like me, remember to take your list with you). This will ensure that you don’t buy something just because it looks good on the shelf. It also helps if you make your list based on a planned menu. This will help you have a bit more control, and also make healthy meal choices. Plus it can save you money.

3.  Use the outer edge of the store to do most of your shopping. This is where the food with the highest nutrition can be found. Your fresh fruit, fresh meats, organic foods, etc. are on the outer edges of most standard grocery stores. If you are walking the aisles you are increasing the probability that you are getting higher processed foods, which means they lose nutritional value.

4.  Stick to your list. Don’t free-lance. If you stray from your list you are probably buying snack foods, or other foods with less nutritional value than you really need. You are also probably going more on impulse and buying things you don’t really need.

5.  If you have a craving, shop for that specific craving.  For example, if I want ice cream it’s normally chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. I don’t buy vanilla ice cream or rainbow sherbert, I buy chocolate chip cookie dough, but in a smaller container, so that I’m not OVER indulging.

From here we will look at various shopping needs – snack foods, good foods high in protein, etc., and some good healthy/easy recipes for cooking while on duty.  Until then – watch what you eat 🙂

remember to follow on twitter – @stickysidedwn

Friday Five – Five Items I Pack Each Shift

December 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

While my shifts have been few and far between recently thanks to class, work, and family obligations, when I do pull them, I have some times that I pack. My husband and the crew I run with will probably tell you that I pack as if I am moving in.  Well, you have to have the comforts, right?  This is my list:

Five Items I Pack Each Shift

1.  Movies – I’m often the white cloud when I show up. We get very few calls, or none at all when I’m there (at least that is what it feels like). I’ll pack a variety of movies (scary, action, drama, cartoons) because I never know what mood I’m in or what mood my crew mates are in. Thankfully my home dvd collection is over 300+, so there are plenty to choose from!

2.  Snacks – Okay, so I know that my monday posts normally focus on nutrition, but we all know that during shifts we definitely snack. While I try to keep the foods I have access to healthier, I always like some comfort food. I prefer gummy bears, swedish fish, sour patch kids, or some other fruity gummy type snack. Hey, we all have our vices!

3.  A spare uniform – It never fails. The few times I’ve forgotten my spare uniform, I’ve needed it. Either it’s rained/snowed/sleeted/stormed of some sort, or I’ve come back from a call covered in mud/dirt/sweat/body goo (the patient’s, not mine). So, now, I never forget to pack the spare uniform

4.  My phone charger  – This is one of those…”Well duh!” items. It seems like it would be a constant on the packed list, but it’s not. I always try to pack both my car charger and wall charger. On those few occasions where we might actually run a large number of calls, i don’t want to find my phone battery dying when I need to call the hospital or check in with the family! Plus, I use it as my alarm clock, so I like to know it’s charged to wake me up the next morning.

5.  My computer/work/class work – Again, this is more to fill the void when I’m not running calls. I like to make sure I’ve got plenty to keep me busy, so I’ll bring work. Whether it’s homework for class (that I’m taking or teaching), work from the office, or just bills/family work I need to catch up on, I always try to bring “busy” work so that I’m not staring at the clock watching it go backwards!

So, that’s my list. While it may take me 3 trips to bring everything in, I know when all is said and done, I’ll be able to keep myself occupied and happy 🙂  So, what’s on your list?

As always remember to follow on twitter – @stickysidedwn

EMS Nutrition – What’s on Your Plate?

December 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

As an EMS provider/Firefighter, heck shift worker, finding the ability to eat a well-balanced meal while on shift or at work is definitely not an easy task. My husband and I had a conversation the other day about eating on shift and temptation.  I admit to having a very hard time resisting.  I like food. So, turning down dessert, soda, sweet tea, etc. is hard for me.  And boy, do I LOVE Carbs!  My husband is a much healthier eater than I am. He admits though, that when a 2 a.m. call takes him to the EMS room at the hospital that stocks Ice Cream, self-pity (for being awake at 2 a.m.) makes it easier to choose the Ice Cream as a “midnight” snack than skipping eating anything.  So, what do you do?

Last week’s post talked about writing a food diary. Have you started? If you have, have you looked back at what you are eating?  Now that you have a better idea (don’t stop tracking though), we’ll move on to the next step.

What’s On Your Plate?

When given an opportunity to choose, I’m probably going to choose an extra helping of meat, two starches, and double dessert. Not exactly a “well-balanced” diet.  So, how can I make better choices for each meal?  I use the USDA’s “My Plate”.  You’ve probably heard of the Food Pyramid. The food pyramid shows the amount of servings you would need during each day, not necessarily how to get it over the course of three meals and snacks. 


In recognizing that people may not be able to take the Food Pyramid and break it down into individual meals the Federal Government created “My Plate”.  My Plate breaks down what your plate should be filled with at each meal, providing a visual representation of how to fill your plate.

The website: also provides great information on general nutrition and meal planning/eating tips:

Balancing Calories

1.  Enjoy your food, but eat less
2.  Avoid oversized portions

Foods to Increase

1.  Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables
2.  Make at least half your grains whole grains
3.  Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk

Foods to Reduce

1.  Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals – and choose foods with low numbers
2.  Drink water instead of sugary drinks

So, start looking at your plate, document what portions you are eating, and keep on making those little changes!

Don’t forget to follow on twitter – @stickysidedwn

Friday Five – Top Five Items on My EMS Wish List

December 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Sorry for missing last week, but Black friday Shopping took over my psyche 🙂  I hope all of you had a fantastic Thanksgiving and were able to celebrate, whether with family, friends, coworkers, or by yourself. I hope you were able to reflect on the things you are truly thankful for.

Today’s Friday Five is in honor of the fact that it is December 2 (only 23 more days until Christmas) and the fact that it’s always nice to have a wish list.  Today’s friday five is:

Five Items on My EMS Wish List

1.  A first aid kit for my car –  I used to have one of these and then the great flood brought about by Hurricane Gaston made my beautiful Ford Escape a Ford submarine, and everything (including my nice car kit) went with it.  At this point in my life/career I don’t want anything too complicated. Enough that if someone needed my help, I could render aid. Now, I’m not talking about stopping for every accident I pass on the road, but at this point I couldn’t even give my own children a band-aid if they fell while we were at the park! It’s pitiful, don’t judge me 🙂

2.  A nice pair of steel toe boots – Now, I have about three pair of steel toe boots in my closet, but not a one of them would I consider my favorite, nor would I choose them as my preferred footwear.  In fact, most of the time I go with the boots that AREN’T steel toed because they provide more support. I want something that provides arch support, back support, breathes, and isn’t too heavy.  I also want them to fit the same when I wear the soles out and take them to be resoled. I’m not picky am I?  Heck, at this point I’d also take any suggestions.

3.  A quality stethoscope – Okay, in all honesty I was given the gift of a GREAT stethoscope by a salesman that I’m friends with when I started intermediate class, so this is actually on my wish list so that my husband (who would probably use it much more) could ALSO have a great quality stethoscope.

4.  Thermometer – This is obviously NOT for my ambulance EMS needs, but as a parent, I definitely play EMT at home a plenty. I think the worst I can never seem to find a thermometer, and when I do find it, it doesn’t function. I would love to have a thermometer that works, is functional, and is easy to use with my 2 and 5-year-old. Again, I’m not picky!

5.  Fluency in other languages – It is amazing the number of times I’ve come across a scene where another language has been a necessity. I once transported a patient who only spoke Mandarin Chinese.  Honestly, the only thing I’m fluent in that is mandarin, is mandarin oranges (I know, bad joke). I would love to be fluent in at least two other languages. I think most beneficial in fire and EMS would be Spanish and American Sign Language. I think I have with some regularity come across the need for those services. I now have one of those handy-dandy Smartphone programs that can translate what I need to be said (in Spanish only), but that certainly doesn’t help me in translating what they have said back to me.

So, what’s on your wish list? If you could have any 1 (or multiple) things, what would they be to help you provide medical care?

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