Healthy Eating Tips (that actually work)

Happy Wednesday loves! 

Let’s talk FOOD and how to have a HEALTHY, BALANCED diet…especially when life gets cray- cray. 

Eating healthy seems so simple….until you are STARVING and raiding the cabinets for junk food. Trust me, I get it. And my diet is FAR from perfect. But one thing I do know is that eating a healthy balanced diet makes me FEEL GOOD. It makes me feel strong and energized and healthy….the way no bag of doritos has ever made me feel. 

Y’all know that I love giving you tangible tips to tackle problems….so here are my tips to tackle your unhealthy diet. They are so simple, but incredibly effective. 

Tip #1: PLAN PLAN PLAN. If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. It’s as simple as that. Now i’m not saying that you have to have all your fancy meals prepared ALL DAY ERRYDAY… I mean if that’s your style, then go for it….but it’s totally not mine. My form of “planning ahead” involves making big batches of roasted veggies, rice and chicken (or any other protein) so it’s ready to go! I always have fresh, clean & cut fruit & veggies ready to grab in my fridge. So when I get hungry, I can grab that! It is all about making healthy food just as convenient as the junk food. 

Tip #2: ALWAYS have healthy snacks on you. I literally never leave the house without a BeachBar…or bag of almonds..or an apple. Because when I get hungry, I get crabby and I crave McDonald’s fries. Anyone else? 

Tip #3: “Dinner & DONE”. Once you eat dinner. That’s it. Be done for the night. Your body doesn’t need any more food. However, if you like late night snacking…try swapping that bag of chips for a mug of chamomile tea or  a piece of fruit. I used to be someone who ate ice cream EVERY NIGHT after dinner. So when I began to clean up my diet, I realized this habit had to go. I traded my ice cream for a mug of Sleepytime Tea and at first it was HARD… REALLY HARD. But slowly my body ( and mind) got used to it. My night time “ice cream routine” wasn’t because my body needed the extra calories, it was just a habit. & HABITS CAN BE BROKEN. Think about your eating patterns throughout the day…are you eating because you’re hungry, or because it’s a habit?

Tip #4: Eat veggies whenever you can. Not only are vegetables low in calories…but they are FULL of vitamins, minerals, fiber and other phytonutrients. They will help you stay FULL and keep you regular.  

Tip #5: Drink water. STOP DRINKING SODA. Soda is FULL of chemicals and sugar. If plain water is too boring for you…add some fruit, a lemon slice or drink La Croix (the coconut flavor is my favorite).

Tip #6: Portions matter. You definitely can overeat on healthy food too. The most common foods that I see people overeat are—> cereals, granolas, nut butters, oils and nuts! Make sure that you aren’t over-indulging in your healthy food. Eat slow..truly taste and enjoy your food. & Allow your body time to feel full! 

Tip #7: You don’t have to do it all at once. Going from a crappy diet to 100% clean is a recipe for disaster…it isn’t sustainable and you will fall off track. Instead, slowly adapt your health habits. Trade a bag of chips for a bowl of fruit…swap your hamburger for a chicken salad…swap your soda for a bottle of water. Slowly, a healthy diet will become second nature to you because you will FEEL so much better!!!

Well that’s all I’ve got. I hope these little tips give you the inspo you need to adapt your diet to a more healthful one!!! 

XOXO, 

Becca 

How to have a productive day, @home.

The timing of this COVID-19 craziness was not convenient for anyone, but tbh i’m not sure there ever would have been a convenient time for the world to shut down…

If you’re like me, you have found yourself stuck inside, stuck at home, with a CRAP TON of work to do. Maybe you have this whole “work from home” thing under control…but let me tell you, I was a hot mess when this stuff started and I am finally starting to get in my groove. FINALLY. Here are the best tips that I have formulated to make a work-day @ home positive & productive!!

  1. Write out a schedule the night before. I’m serious, take a few minutes in the evening to write down your thoughts and to-do list for the next day. Waking up in the morning without a plan for the day is setting yourself up for failure. Write out all the things you need to get done, write out what times you will be working…what times you will take breaks. Be very specific!! 
  1. Get up early. There is something so peaceful about sipping that cup of coffee, knowing the rest of the world is probably still sleeping. Get up early, get to work early and make the most of those early hours. Idk about you, but i love feeling PRODUCTIVE in the morning. That way, when the afternoon slump rolls around you have already gotten all the essentials done for the day. 
  1. Meal prep. We are all eating at home, so you don’t necessarily have to prep your meals for the day…BUT STILL DO IT. Stick with your normal routine (as much as you can). It will help prevent you from constant snacking and staring in the fridge looking for a snack when you aren’t even hungry. 
  1. Move your body. Working from home has its perks…but you may find yourself sitting on the couch or at your desk for hours on end. Get AT LEAST 30 minutes of exercise everyday. Go on walks. Get some fresh air. Do some pushups. So many @ home workout sites are offering free trials right now, TRY THEM!!! Don’t be a couch potato, literally. 
  1. Have set work hours. When you work from home it’s hard to separate work life from home-life. Have set work hours and STICK TO THEM. Don’t keep your phone/work computer next to you at night when you are with the fam. After you finish your work for the day….TURN YOUR PHONE OFF, SHUT YOUR COMPUTER DOWN and fully enjoy the rest of your evening/night. This will REALLY help you stay sane and not feel like you are always “on the clock”. 

I know that this isn’t easy for anyone. But take advantage of all the family time & relaxation that you have now that you are staying home. Read some books, take a bubble bath, go on afternoon walks, have an @home spa day…Just make the most of this situation because i promise that it won’t be like this forever. 

XOXO,

 Becca

WE FINALLY MOVED!

Hi friends and Happy Sunday. 

I hope you are curled up on the couch, with a hot cup of coffee enjoying the afternoon sunshine. That’s what i’m doing and it feels amazing. 

Here’s a recap of our past week::: 

Monday and Tuesday were all things MED SCHOOL. Josh and I both had lots of lectures, meetings and studying to do..super uneventful. We still went on our 2 daily walks…sadly the weather was kind of crappy early on in the week. 

ALSO, Monday was National Doctors Day! And even though we aren’t doctors yet…it was such a good reminder of WHY we want to go into this amazingly difficult field. I am so passionate about medicine & how it impacts the world and it was extremely fitting that Doctor day took place in the midst of this pandemic. 

Tuesday night for dinner we made Omaha Steaks filets. They were freaking AMAZING. If you need to buy a gift for a guy in your life, an Omaha Steaks sampler box is the way to go. SUPER YUMMY, HIGH QUALITY FOOD. 

Thursday & Friday were MOVING DAY FOR US. Those of you that have been following along with our lives for the past year or so know that I got accepted to Medical school LATE in the cycle….I actually got accepted the day that Josh and I were moving into our new apartment! SOOO….I had to move to a new city, get a new roommate and do long-distance for most of our engagement. We are so excited to finally have OUR home together. Even though our commute is going to be lengthy….it will be worth it. It’s so hard to live apart from your significant other, ESPECIALLY if you lived with them previously. 

Here was our “treat” of a dinner on Thursday….CULVER’S IS THE BEST. 

Even though we love our new apartment and are still getting settled in…moving is a pain in the butt. I love Josh with all of my heart…but I was about ready to punch him by the end of the day Thursday. Want to test your relationship? Spend 2 days carrying heavy furniture, and moving out of two apartments. I was so crabby, so sore and so OVER moving. But it’s all okay now! 🙂

Yesterday was technically our first day in the apartment where we didn’t have anything to do. So we UNPACKED, organized, decorated and I baked a delish banana bread using our NEW KitchenAid. I had been wanting one for a LONG time and was so anxious to use it!!

Here is a little pick of the Greek Yogurt Banana Bread, it turned out delicious. I got the recipe from LovelyLittleKitchen https://lovelylittlekitchen.com/greek-yogurt-banana-bread/!

I hope you had a beautiful weekend enjoying the sunshine!

XOXO,

Becca

First week at home.

The first official week of being stuck in our apartment is over. I still cannot believe how crazy life has gotten over the past month. Since I have so much time on my hands now, I am going to be sharing more of our life in these little weekly recap posts. I used to write in journals EVERYDAY as a kid….and since I’ve grown up, I no longer write as much. So i’m hoping to use these posts as a way to keep writing…and documenting my life through the crazy time of Coronavirus, medical school and wedding planning/postponing/cancelling (still up in the air what we will have to do)!!

After I dropped my mom & sister off at the airport on Wednesday morning…(THANKFULLY THEY MADE IT HOME TO HAWAII) 

I drove to Milwaukee and got to work. I had so many hours of lecture to catch up on! 

It’s crazy having ALL of our classes online….I feel like I have a ton of free time…while still having that constant “I have so much to do and can never get caught up” feeling that all medical students live with. 

In order to keep ourselves active during the day, Josh and I have been doing 2 walks a day…one in the morning and one in the evening…as well as doing our @home workouts!!! It feels so nice to get some fresh air and walk on trails near our apartment that we never even knew existed. Our walks are something that i look SO forward to everyday! 

I’m sure that you’ve seen all the posts about how US Weekly told people to stop posting their online workouts. I couldn’t believe that they would publish something like that!!! I’m sorry, but have you seen the obesity statistics for this country?! THEY ARE INSANE. So I encourage EVERYONE to share what they are doing to stay healthy. IT IS SO IMPORTANT. US Weekly—- whoever approved that article is an IDIOT. KEEP SHOWING YOUR HOME WORKOUTS PEEPS.

I found one of my “before” pictures on my phone and compared it to one from Saturday…i can’t believe how much muscle I have gained since starting these programs. I wish i could go back in time and start these programs sooner. It breaks my heart to think of all the years I wasted hating my body. 

Saturday was another day spent at home, catching up on lectures and coach work. Now, more than ever, I am so thankful to run an online business where all I need is my phone and wifi. My  heart truly goes out to all of the people and families out of work and struggling financially. Hopefully the government does something to truly help people who are struggling!

To fill our time a little bit, we watched Tiger King on Netflix…Josh and I saw so many thing about it online, we had to see what all the fuss was about!! It was probably one of the weirdest shows i’ve ever seen…I don’t know if i would recommend it…it’s just plain weird. 

***CAROL TOTALLY FED HER HUSBAND TO THE TIGERS. 

Speaking of food, Josh and I tried @OmahaSteaks this week for dinner. My parents bought Josh a HUGE gift box from Omaha Steaks for Christmas and we are just getting around to trying the meat!!! We used a cast iron pan to fry the pork chops and HOLY CANNOLI, they were delicious. Super juicy and tender! We also cooked the potatoes au gratin…YUM YUM & YUM. I can’t wait to try the rest of the stuff we have in the freezer!!!

 

Sunday was another LAZY day at home (SHOCKER) We did watch a super INCREDIBLE, FREAKY, SCARY, AMAZING, THRILLING movie called The Invisible Man. It was such a suspenseful movie!!! 10/10 recommend!!!! Since it was super windy and cold all day, we couldn’t go on our two walks…so instead we went on a long drive through the country. It was relaxing to just drive through the hills…listen to good music and talk! 

I can’t stand to watch the news anymore…but i do check up on the COVID-19 stats daily. My heart is breaking for all those families who are mourning. Stay home. Stay safe. Practice social-distancing. Let’s kick this virus.

XOXO, 

Becca

Lessons from Coronavirus

The term, “social-distancing”  was foreign to us all 3 weeks ago and NOW it is something that we all are forced to practice daily. No stores are open. No restaurants are open. No schools are open. No public buildings are open. No gatherings can occur. Everything is closed. Everyone must stay home. It is honestly something that I never thought could happen. 

I cannot even believe how much life has changed in the past 14 days. But I have taken away some major lessons from “social-distancing” thus far. 

1. I’ve rediscovered what is truly important. I will never take for granted a hug, or a date night or having the option to see my family members. With every restaurant, bar, theater and store nearly closed….we are forced to stay inside our apartment that feels smaller & smaller by the day. Although it has been extremely difficult to go from a social butterfly to a hermit in a matter of days…I have rediscovered my love for reading. I have taken more time to cook homemade meals. And we have spent countless nights playing card games, doing puzzles and enjoying life technology-free. The quality time with Josh and my family has been priceless.

2. I have learned to “let it be.” You guys all know that Josh and I have anxiously been awaiting our wedding day that is supposed to take place May 30,2020. And although it is still a couple months out, we have had to cope with the fact that we may have to cancel our special day and postpone it to a later date. And as much as it breaks my heart to wait any longer to marry the man of my dreams. I have learned to accept that i have no control over this virus and I have to do what is in the best interest in our health and the health of our loved ones. 

3. The media is fueled by panic and the nation’s gullibility. Now, I’m not saying that the news stations are evil or ill-informed. BUT, they are  businesses….that need profit. And by broadcasting the tragic news of this virus, and putting panic into the viewers, they are making big bucks. The more terrifying their news coverage, the more attention they receive and the more $ they earn. I hate the news. I can’t stand watching it. I 100% believe in being an informed citizen, but streaming Foxnews 24/7 isn’t the way to do it, especially when it comes to a medical issue. Read information from the CDC or WHO. 

4. The world is a good place. This virus is horrible. Having to shut down the world is awful. BUT, if there is any positive to take away from this time… it is how amazingly our world has come together, and worked together to beat this virus. 

5. Be optimistic. Panic breeds panic. Fear breeds fear. And HOPE BREEDS HOPE. Having an optimistic attitude will go a long way. 

6. Your health is about more than just how you look. I talk about health and fitness all the time because it IS SO IMPORTANT. Taking care of your health, eating healthy nutritious meals, getting daily movement and exercise in is SO IMPORTANT now and for your future. It is no surprise that COVID-19 is more dangerous for people with other chronic conditions (Hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes). And guess what the solution is to prevent, reverse and delay the onset of these chronic conditions? EXERCISE AND HEALTHY EATING. As an adult, taking care of your health is YOUR responsibility, nobody else’s. If you treat your body like crap, you are making yourself more susceptible to illnesses. It’s as simple as that. 

I miss how things used to be. I miss being able to see my friends and classmates. I miss walking around and shopping downtown. I miss date nights. I miss knowing that our wedding was “X  # of days away”. I miss a lot about how life was before everything got shut down. 

But we have to come together. We have to practice social-distancing, follow quarantine guidelines, stop leisure travel and beat this dang virus. 

I would love to hear what lessons you have learned from COVID-19 thus far.

How to make a relationship work… (when you both are in med school)

How to make a relationship work: (WHEN BOTH OF YOU ARE IN MEDICAL SCHOOL):

In the tradition of the month of love. I wanted to share a little relationship advice. With both of us being full-time medical students, Josh and I have learned a LOT about what it takes to make a relationship work & I can’t wait to share these little tips with you.

Flashback: So back in 2017, Josh & I started dating while we both were living in Madison, WI. I was finishing up my undergraduate degree and Josh was finishing his masters degree. We were together every day…lived 2 blocks apart and everything was magical. THEN, about a month after we started dating, Josh found out that he got accepted to The Medical College of Wisconsin. I was an eager pre-med, so I was equally excited & jealous of Josh and his new opportunity!

Time went on and Josh had to move to Milwaukee to start his medical education. So, we did long-distance (okay, not thatttt long distance…but we lived an hour apart).  In May 2018 I graduated from UW-Madison and moved to Milwaukee with Josh. I applied to a couple medical schools, but didn’t get accepted right away.  Sooo, I was working FT and enjoying finally being able to live with Josh. Again, another magical year. As we were moving into our new apartment in Milwaukee after Josh’s second year of medical school, I got the call that I got accepted to medical school…2 hours away!!!! Now here we are…both of us in medical school…constantly driving back and forth to see each other…yet, still making it work. Every stage of this journey has been difficult and amazing in its own way. But we have learned A LOT. Let’s get into it.

These tips are specifically for people who are in medical school and for people who are dating a medical student. But I suppose they could be applied to other relationships too!!!

  1. Trust is BY FAR the most important thing. Trust is essential in all relationships, but especially in medical school relationships. Medical school is SO BUSY & OVERWHELMING! You constantly have classes, clinicals and requirements to get done. As the  significant other of a med student…you have to understand that your S/O won’t always have their phone on them, they won’t always be able to make it to events, they will need to spend a lot of time studying, they won’t be able to binge watch shows every night with you and they definitely won’t be able to talk for hours on the phone every day. If you don’t have a trust-filled relationship, OH MAN, it’s going to be very difficult for you. There are days where Josh has to be in the hospital ALL DAY (literally 24 hour shifts) and there are big chunks of time where he can’t respond to my texts. If I didn’t trust him, it would make both of our lives 100x harder. If you aren’t going to trust your significant other, then you might as well break up right now…just saying.


2. You’re dating a medical student, NOT a doctor. They don’t have a lot of money. Medical school is crazy expensive, and you don’t get very much money to live off of…so be prepared to live on a tight budget. Don’t expect fancy presents or expensive restaurants. This one is easy for Josh and I because we have always had to live on a pretty tight budget. But having false expectations of the financial status of your med student S/O could totally ruin things.


3. You need to have your own interests (that don’t include your S/O). If you are a dependent person and can’t do anything without your S/O….you’re going to be miserable waiting around for them to have time for you. During my gap year, I knew that Josh would need to be studying all the time. So, I started coaching as a way to fill my schedule. Having my coach work to do every day helped to keep me occupied while Josh was studying.


4. Communication about schedule/boundaries is key. Josh and I are super open about what we need to get done every week. So, if I have exams, he knows that I need to study A LOT and if we’re together, he has to be okay with sitting at a library all day with me. If he has a long week in clinicals…I have to accept that he won’t be home for dinner with me every night. It really comes down to a mutual understanding.


5. When you are together, BE PRESENT. No phones, no computers, focus on each other and make the time meaningful! When Josh and I get our school stuff done and are ready to relax for the night…we don’t just sit on the couch scrolling Instagram or Facebook. We intentionally put our phones on the kitchen counter and focus on just being together! Start to pay attention to how often you and your S/O are on your phones when your together. Is it too much?

6. COMMUNICATION. Josh and I are constantly talking about our relationship and how to make it even better. When problems come up, we address them right away. If he is feeling off about something, we talk about it ASAP. And vice versa for me. Don’t let little problems linger, you’re just making them worse. If something in your relationship is bothering you, BRING IT UP AND TALK ABOUT IT. Being open about what’s going well and not well in our relationship has allowed Josh & I to grow stronger as a couple and has allowed us to overcome problems without letting feelings fester.

7. Don’t add more stress. Medical school is stressful. The last thing your S/O wants is a relationship that causes them even more stress. If you are fighting constantly, it’s time to do some serious evaluation on if this relationship is truly going to work

8. FOR THE MEDICAL STUDENT: I know that medical school is hard and stressful. But if you want a relationship to work, you have to create boundaries between your school life and your personal life. You can NOT put all the responsibility onto your S/O to make the relationship work. Set the hours that you are going to study every day and work efficiently during that time. During your “off” time focus on your S/O, make them feel special and loved. Before I started medical school, Josh would tell me the times that he needed to study so that I knew when he’d be done. And as soon as he was done studying, I knew he was all mine! J


Medical school is a BEAST and having a relationship in medical school may seem stressful… but honestly, it isn’t as scary as it seems! Being engaged to Josh has been FREAKING AMAZING and he helps me to manage all of my medical school stress. We are each others biggest supporters, therapists and comforts. Honestly, I don’t know what I would do without him. ❤ Hope this gave you a little peek into what it takes to make a relationship work in med school!

XOXO,

Becca

Wedding Planning on a Medical Student Budget

Planning a Wedding on a Medical Student Budget.

Medical school is expensive. Like, crazy expensive. And if you’re like Josh and I you will rely on financial aid to get you through these treacherous years of becoming a doctor.

So when Josh and I got engaged last summer and began to dive into the depths of wedding planning, we realized something REAL FAST…WEDDINGS ARE CRAZY EXPENSIVE TOO. I think the average cost of a wedding in the US is about $30,000. WTF. FOR ONE DAY?! We were absolutely shocked by how much businesses and vendors JACK UP the price of their services when they know that it is for a wedding. I mean…how is this the social norm?

Since Josh and I come from average, median family households….who don’t have an extra $30,000 to spend on one day to feed all of our family friends. We had to do our wedding planning on a super strict budget.Here are the tips and tricks that we used to keep our wedding planning as low cost as possible….while still getting everything we wanted out of our special day.

Plan it yourself. This one is super obvious…save some of the $ that you would spend on a wedding planner….and DO IT YOURSELF. Get some of your girlfriends, sisters and moms to help with a bulk of the planning/preparing.

Have your ceremony/reception in a small town. For the past couple years Josh and I have lived near the Milwaukee area. So naturally when it came to picking a venue…we looked there first. And HOLY COW, the prices for renting a space, food and beverage minimums and literally everything else…were at least double what the prices for similar venues were in a small town outside of Milwaukee. We are going to be having our wedding in northern Wisconsin (the small town where I’m from)…and it’s going to be beautiful. I would take a rustic, country wedding over a city wedding any day.

  • Buy your dress at a department store or David’s bridal. This one might offend some of you ladies who are all about designers and high-end fashion. But I totally am not. I wanted a dress that I felt beautiful in, that’s it. The first (and only) bridal shop that we went to was a David’s Bridal and I found the dress of my dreams within an hour…and it was on sale…so it was only $290. WHAT?! I personally know women who have spent more $$$ on their wedding dress, than we are going to spend on our entire wedding. If you have all that extra cash, more power to you…but id rather spend less on my dress and have those extra hundreds/thousands go towards our honeymoon. Plus…you’re only going to be wearing it for 8ish hours. So is a $5,000 dress really worth it? In my opinion, no. Wedding shoes? Make them cheap too because you probably will never wear them again. Tbh, I really want to get a pair of Birkenstock sandals with white straps so at least I will be able to wear them all summer.
  • Hire a budding photographer.  The amazing girl who is going to be capturing our wedding for us was actually the younger sister of someone that I went to undergrad with. She is just starting her photography business and is eager to get experience!!! And her prices are much less than most other photographers in the area.
  • Don’t waste your money on super fancy save the dates, rsvp cards or invites. I was absolutely shocked when I saw how expensive some wedding invitations are!!! Um, excuse me…I don’t want to spend $5.00 on an invite that someone is going to hang on their fridge for a month and then throw away. No thanks. Josh and I bought our save the dates from Snapfish….they looked super great and were super cheap (because Snapfish always has amazing sales)!! We just ordered our wedding invites from Shutterfly because they had an amazing sale. And instead of ordering the matching RSVP cards for the invite….we are ordering RSVP cards from amazon because they are SO MUCH CHEAPER. Who cares if the invites and rsvp cards don’t match, they are all going to end up in the garbage anyway.
  • Rustic decorations. We are using mason jars, candles, water, leaves, branches and flowers as decorations for our reception. SIMPLE, BEAUTIFUL and CHEAP.
  • Keep your guest list minimal.

*Obviously there are a lot of ways to save $$$ on food and drinks based on your own opinion and what catering options are available in your area. But I figured those ways to save $$$ were more obvious .

I hope that you guys enjoyed reading these tips on how to plan a wedding on a medical student budget. If you have any questions or thoughts, I’d love to hear them!!!

XOXO,

Becca

The dreaded MCAT

THE DREADED MCAT::::: 
I took my MCAT a longggg time ago, during the finals week of my senior year of undergrad ( bad timing, I know). 
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I’m sure some of you are in the midst of studying for this test right now… so I thought I’d share some of my best tips for what to focus on & what helped me be successful the first try! 
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Let me just start by saying that I  prepared for the MCAT in 4 months….but if you have the time I would recommend giving yourself at least 5 or 6 months, just so you don’t have to cram as much as I did…& it never hurts to start early! 
Studies say that most people spend at least 400-500 hours studying for this 7-hour exam, so plan your study periods accordingly. 

*I also could not afford to take one of the in-person MCAT prep courses, so I had to rely on my self-motivation to get all my studying in! It taught me so much about discipline and self-reliance…even though it was difficult at the time! 
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My typical study schedule during this time was 
4:00am-7:00am- MCAT PREP
7:15am–9:00am -work 
9:00AM-12PM class 
12-2:00PM-work
2:00-4:00PM-class
4:15-6:00PM-work
6-6:30-walk home and eat dinner
6:30PM-8:30PM MCAT PREP
8:30-10:00PM-Study for my classes
*& every single day before starting to study, I would write down affirmations about why I wanted to become a doctor….it helped to keep me focused and reminded me why I was putting myself through this hellish schedule when all my other friends were out partying and having fun every night! 
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I used the Kaplan book set because that is what Josh already had and I didn’t want to have to buy any other books….(cheapo over here.) Plus, it got him into med school…so maybe they had good luck….at least that’s what I was hoping. 
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I began my MCAT prep by reading through every single page, of every book. But I didn’t do one book at a time…I studied a few different subjects everyday! 
Monday&Wednesday&Friday—were biology & gen chem & physics
Tuesday&Thursday&Saturday—psych, biochem, and o. chem
***I did about 5 CARS practice passages & questions everyday. 
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I was very focused during my MCAT prep and read every page and completed every problem in these workbooks. I highlighted & took notes too, because writing things down in my own handwriting is one of the key ways that I learn!! 
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Reading through these was something that I didn’t finish until about 1.5 weeks before my test. So I didn’t use any other books to help with prep because I just didn’t have the time!
Along with reading these books, I did a full-length exam every other weekend until the day of my test. Some of the exams were through AAMC, and the other ones were through Kaplan. The AAMC exams were much more representative of what the actual MCAT was like. 
 I learned 10x more by going through the full-length exams and reviewing them, than I did from reading through the Kaplan books. But I think having the base of knowledge that those books provide is obviously super essential, I just wish I wold’ve started reading them in the fall of my senior year, rather than in the spring! 
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Overall, the MCAT is something that is extremely challenging, BUT VERY DOABLE. If you PREPARE and start the studying early enough so that you don’t have to cram and put yourself at risk  for burnout! 
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HAPPY STUDYING PRE-MED FRIENDS!!

XOXO,

Becca

My Gap Year Experience

Let me just start by saying that taking a gap year was a blessing in disguise. I had never really planned on taking a gap year, until my junior year of college…. when courses/jobs/life was too overwhelming to even consider studying for the MCAT. So, I pushed my plans back a year and decided that maybe a year off between undergrad and med school wasn’t such a bad idea. 

I graduated with my B.S. in May of 2018 and immediately went on a month-long Hawaiian vacay. ( I was visiting my parents, who live on the Big Island of Hawaii) So the stress didn’t sink in until Josh and I got back from Hawaii and I had no school, no job, and no idea what the hell I was going to do for a year…I didn’t plan well for this gap year.  After lots of stressful days/nights trying to soul search and figure out what I was doing with my life…. I enrolled myself into a CNA (certified nursing assistant) course, began waitressing at Buffalo Wild Wings and starting my online health coaching business. Yes, my life was going in a million different directions…and it felt that way, especially because I had no guarantee that I was going to get accepted to medical school on my first application cycle. Plus my chances were very low because I only applied to two medical schools!!!
As the weeks and months went on, I eventually began working as an ER-technician at a Milwaukee Community Hospital. 

So why was this gap year so incredible? 

Looking back, the past year has taught me SO MANY things about my life and myself. Completing the 3-week CNA course was extremely frustrating to me because it seemed very elementary and in my arrogant mind I just kept thinking, “ I just graduated from UW-Madison, and now you are expecting me to wipe butts and spoon feed people for 8 hours a day”. But throughout the 3 weeks…I learned humility. I learned how essential and important the work that CNA’s do is. I learned that sometimes helping people with the most basic life activities can completely change their attitude. I learned that I will never be able to be a successful physician without the help of a team…. not just a healthcare team. But the help of hospital staff, janitorial staff, housekeeping, kitchen staff, nutritionists, volunteers, the list goes on & on. I learned that having empathy for people is one of the most important skills a healthcare worker can have. I learned that CNA’s do SO MUCH underappreciated work. 

Coaching:
Starting my coaching business was a HUGE milestone in my life that would’ve never happened if I didn’t take a gap year. Starting a coaching business has been on the back-burner of my mind for the past 6 years…and It took finally having no direction for me to pursue it. My coaching business allowed me to finally have a consistent fitness routine and taught me how to eat. I know it sounds silly, but I had no structured meal plan or diet before…I would just eat what I wanted when I wanted….and my waistline proved that. These fitness programs gave me my self-confidence back. They made me feel my absolute best and coaching has allowed me to help other women finally gain their confidence back! Because coaching is based on social media…I began sharing my life on my stories! (I have probably met most of you through social media) The financial aspect of coaching is incredible too. I have coaching to thank for paying my rent and car payment for the last 12 months!!  

The final incredible experience of my gap year was working in the ED. I have always dreamed of working in the emergency department…because I loved the unpredictability. I learned so much working as a technician. For those of you who don’t know– ED-Tech’s start IV’s, do phlebotomy, splints, cath’s, transports, EKG’s and lots of random other things. Basically, an ED tech is someone who helps the nurses and doctors with whatever they need.  
Working in the ED gave me a real, inside look into patient care and the shortcomings of our healthcare system. For uninsured and underinsured, going to the ED is cheaper than going to a primary care physician so there were a lot of non-emergent cases daily. I also got an inside look into the drug and alcohol abuse problems in the Milwaukee area. I truly enjoyed my time in the ED…but I don’t know yet if I would want to become an Emergency Medicine Physician…. time will tell. 

My gap year was full of unanticipated, incredible situations and it was truly a great reminder of WHY I wanted to go to medical school in the first place. If you are a pre-med who is considering doing a gap year…I strongly recommend it and I would love to talk to you about it! Email me or DM me on Instagram so we can chat! 

XOXO,

Becca

What is “Pre-Med”?

Josh and I on my Graduation Day from UW-Madison!

You may have heard the term “pre-med” before…but if you are not planning on going into the medical field, you likely don’t know what it entails. Pre-med is short for pre-medical….aka before going to medical school. When a student is planning on becoming a doctor their undergraduate years are also referred to as the “pre-med” years. 

If your school was anything like mine, about 99.9% of 18 year olds come into university declaring that they are “pre-med”. Naturally because of the rigor and difficulty of the pre-med courses, MANY students get filtered out of this declaration. 

So what exactly do the pre-med years entail? 

Freshman year of college–> General Chemistry 1 &2 , English literature & usually a math course

Sophomore year–> (The dreaded) organic chemistry 1 & 2, Biology 1 &2, Statistics

Junior year–> Anatomy & Physiology, Anatomy Lab, Biochemistry

Senior year–> Physics 1 & 2 

*Now-this might not seem like a lot of courses….because it’s not. These are just the courses that are required to enter medical school. But students also have to fill their schedules with classes that fulfill their major requirements. 

In order to get into medical school, you have to do MUCH MORE than just pass these courses with high scores. In addition to getting good grades, students must add other extracurriculars to their resume to show that they are good community members and have a passion for leadership, service & medicine. 
This was my list of extracurriculars: 
-Exec board of Cardiology Club
-Volunteer at community hospital
-research assistant at cancer center
-research assistant in a pediatrics lab
-research assistant in an exercise physiology lab
-employee of the UW-Madison athletic department
-AP Bio & Chemistry tutor for high school students
-HOSA member
-German club member
-Women in Science member
-Emergency Room Tech 

*Some medical school applicants have MANY, MANY MORE extracurriculars to mention. 

Another major factor of the pre-medical years is taking the MCAT. This is an 8 hour exam & your score on this exam is a big factor on your medical school application. 
Students spend anywhere from 300-700 hours studying for this exam…because IT IS A BIG DEAL. 

Nothing about my pre-medical years was easy…but it really was a lot of fun and I learned how to be an EXPERT at time management! 

Hope this helped give you a better understanding of what “pre-med” actually means! 🙂