WIAW: Doctor Eats

I did it! I’m officially a PhD!

(I mentioned that I’d rather not put my last name on the site—mostly so students and future employers can’t find the blog searching my first and last name—but you can see a picture of it, because images won’t pop up in search results!): 20130521-220019.jpg

The public presentation went very well and I felt very confident during the private defense session with my committee too. After both of those portions, I was sent out in the hallway while my committee conferred. I can’t tell you how happy I was when my advisor came out to get me and addressed me as “Doctor.” With tears in my eyes, a lump in my throat, and a huge sigh of relief, I went back into the room, hugged my committee members, and went to the blackboard to write my name with my new title. I’m feeling pretty great. : )

And now for “What I Ate Wednesday: Doctor Eats Edition.” My day of eats was indulgent, celebratory, and not ideal in terms of balance and nutrition. Started out with my usual lemon water, then went to a great workout class. Came home to drink some yummy green juice, and ate some millet flat bread (recipe soon) with almond butter and banana.


Went to the defense, sipped on water and green iced tea. I baked vegan, gluten-free cookies for my committee and although I almost *never* eat sweets during the day, I ended up snacking on two of them after I heard the good news. I also brought two carrots with me and ate those before heading to the bar to celebrate (not pictured).


could not BELIEVE i forgot to paint my nails. #femmefail

As promised, I had a vodka soda with a bunch of my friends at a campus bar.


Then Mike and I had a celebratory dinner at Ghorka Palace for vegan Nepalese food. I had a delicious veggie curry. Then broke gluten-free and probably vegan edge for some of Mike’s naan. Not ideal behavior, but Mike made me promise to not beat myself up over it. It was tough, but I just let myself enjoy the whole meal experience without obsessing over whether or not it was “bad.”


We also split some veggie momos:


It was still pretty early, so we went for another celebration drink. This time to Barbette, one of our favorite places in our neighborhood to go for fancy drinks. I had this cute French Martini. Yum.


Here’s a picture of the lights at Barbette. I always think they look so dreamy, but this photo doesn’t do them justice.


When we got home, I may or may not have had another cookie. And by that I mean, I did indeed have another cookie. And by ‘another’ I mean two. Eep! I also drank lots of water and had my usual cup of Natural Calm.

It was a less than amazing day of eating, but an absolutely amazing day of experiences. I think that illustrates a good lesson for those of us who may have a tendency to obsess about food and convince ourselves that food will control our mood and well-being all the time. I had so much fun and felt great yesterday, even while eating gluten, sugar, and alcohol—things I almost never have. I’m not saying I’m going to make a habit out of that, because I do think that eating well most of the time allows for better general health and happiness, but it’s a good reminder to let go of being a perfect eater. Because when it comes down to it, I think perfect moments shared with friends and colleagues trump a perfect diet.

Just my two-cents, take ’em or leave ’em. But I’d take ’em. I am a doctor after all. ;)

Are you able to let go of your usual eating habits for celebrations or do you prefer to stick to your usual diet? What’s your favorite fancy drink to clink in a toast (alcoholic or not)?

25 thoughts on “WIAW: Doctor Eats

  1. frugalveganmom says:

    Congrats Raechel!! When I’m celebrating I’d definitely rather have a cocktail than dessert…. anything strong with high quality liquor – I love the drinks at Barbette too!

  2. Kibby@Kibby's Blended Life says:

    Congrats, Raechel! Aren’t you just precious in your HOT outfit and heels. I totally agree that you should put away the rules once in awhile on occasion and I highly AGREE with your awareness that emotions/feelings (Good, happy, joyous, positive) knock out the food choices category. If you stress about food and what might be GOOD/BAD, it can do more harm and stress the body. Look forward to your thoughts on it further down the road. So proud of you!! XO

    • raechel says:

      Aw thanks Kibby! I do love my pencil skirts and high heels! : )

      That’s so true…I know I’ve done way more damage stressing out about eating things than actually eating things!

  3. Lou says:

    Oh my goodness, you are WAY to hard on yourself, my love! A few treats eat-wise are GOOD for you, especially on such an occasion :) Congratulations, you are amazing and DESERVE a few ‘sometimes’ foods…. it’s all about balance, right?

    • raechel says:

      Thanks for that, Lou! I think it was more than feeling guilty for one (two) too many cookies, but also that I didn’t have enough of the good stuff—far fewer greens that day than usual! But, it’s done and I made a promise not to stress about it! Storing it away as a great day, regardless of food choices. : )

  4. rhetoricalcookery says:

    Gorkha Palace… How I wish I could take it with me when I move. I love the food and the people that work there. Both are lovely. My favorite dishes are the veggie Thenthuk (soup), the Navarattan Korma, and Hariyo Saag. And, of course, so much veggie pakora (which is gluten free, incidentally). They get their veggies from the Mill City Farmers market during the summer! Congrats, again!

  5. Monica says:

    I LOVE reading your blog all the time. Just wanted to say Congrats! great accomplishment! Way to go, Doctor. :)

  6. Natalia says:

    Wooooohoooooo!!! Go you, Doctor Raechel! And re: the food. I think Michael Polan said it best when he said: “…nutritionist thinking has become so pervasive as to be invisible. We forget that, historically, people have eaten for a great many reasons other than biological necessity. Food is also about pleasure, about community, about family and spirituality, about our relationship to the natural world, and about expressing our identity.” Basically, it would have been plain WRONG of you *not* to have celebrated with LOTS of cookies and alcohol. I plan on doing exactly the same when I graduate (and I ain’t even gonna be a Dr.! ;) ) <3

  7. angela says:

    Congrats! It must feel great to be done! Can I ask what your PhD. is in? Sorry if you’ve already said! Yes, there are times when one must enjoy themselves and celebrate and not worry too much about not eating perfectly. Or worry about eating perfectly ever, really.

    • raechel says:

      Thanks Angela! I got my PhD in Communication Studies with a minor in Feminist and Critical Sexuality Studies. My dissertation was on the relationship between the US labor movement and LGBT workers.

  8. A concerned reader... says:

    Hi — Someone forwarded me your blog as a source for healthy eating / vegan cooking. But I have to say I found this post in particular really disturbing. You accomplished something monumental this day, and yet your whole post seems to be shot through with guilt about not eating perfectly. What you *did* eat here, including lemon water, green juice, cookies, a couple of drinks, vegetarian food, sounds just fine but yet you seem to think it was a “naughty” day. I’m not a psychologist, but a common sense reading of this post to me borders on evidence of an eating disorder. If this represents an unhealthy day for you, I can’t imagine what a normal, healthy day is.

    • raechel says:

      Hello. Thank you for taking the time to write. The reason I focused on the food in this post is because this is a food blog. I certainly could have focused more on my accomplishment, but I was posting in theme with the “What I Ate Wednesday” blog trend, so that was the reason I focused on the food.

      I do have a history with eating disorders. I have been very open about that on the blog. The reason I described this as a less-than-ideal day of eating is because I recognized that I didn’t eat *enough.* Or at least not enough nutritious stuff. The little I did eat wasn’t the most nutritious (cookies and alcohol are undeniably not optimum choices. I continue to struggle with ED mentality, but I am very aware of it, and try to actively combat it.

      I’m sorry this post was disturbing to you. I know the whole “WIAW” trend is troubling to people, so perhaps I should reconsider my participation in it.

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