Thunderbird power, Activate!

Its another shortened day since I’m working night shift tonight. Hey, a broke college girls gotta do what shes gotta do.

I’ve recently discovered a new brand of bars and thought I’d give them a try. This morning I enjoyed Almond Cookie Pow Wow by Thunderbird energetica. What caught my attention about this energy bar is that it was apricot based, not date based. I really enjoyed it fruit-roll-up like consistency and simplicity. It also contains coconut sap, which I’ve never seen before, and quinoa.

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The wrapper caught my eye, as well. This bar is vegan, raw, soy, agave, and gluten free, with a low glycemic index. I give this company a lot of credit since each bar is handmade. Did I mention this bar, in its compostable wrapper, is shaman-blessed.

I looked up this bar in the website and its considered the “Spirit Animal” bar. After reading the bars wrapper, it really motivate me for the rest of the day! Its about channeling your inner spirit animal to tackle the challenges of everyday life!

I tackled my first challenge of the day, but completing Julie’s Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop circuit. I felt so energized when it was done!

I had every intention at trying Katie’s Vanilla Pear Cobbler; but since I had no one to share it with, I went another route.

A really scrumptious dessert is baking a pear and topping it with ricotta and cinnamon. I decided to take dessert the breakfast way. I sliced up a pear, than cut those slices in half. I tossed them in a bowl, along with a 1/4 cup of fat free ricotta and 1/3 cup Special K Cinnamon Pecan cereal (another cereal I prefer to eat dry). Purrtty Yummers. Its was a combo of refreshing and classic!

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My goal today is to tire myself out so I can sleep before night shift. I have a long class this after noon, so I’m trying to get as much done as I can before its time to leave.

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Got to Admit its Getting Better

Happy “Monday”! I know its Tuesday, but like I said, I’m starting this week over!  Today started bright and early with clinical. My morning kick off began with a quick stretch and 20 minute workout to wake me up and get my blood pumping. I can’t really do more than that on clinical mornings or I’d have to wake up at 0330 and I’d probably be pooped by 1600. While I waited for the clinical day to start I snacked on a  Chocolate Chip Corazona oatmeal square, which I made last until lunch time. (I haven’t been able to find the Almond Brownie or the White Macadamia nut, so if you find them, holla at ya girl!)

 Wow! Its chocolately delicious!

Wow! Its chocolately delicious!

This company offers other products, such as tortilla chips and other oatmeal bars in a variety of flavors! This company prides itself on heart health, hence the name. Each serving is designed to help lower cholesterol using natural plant sterols. This oatmeal bar, for example, is equivalent to 36 bananas, or 61 tomatoes, or 30 apples, of “cholesterol-lowering power.”

Lunch was, what we call, a Tun-Egg sandwich.Its nothing fancy… just tuna and egg salad mixed together. A lot of people think this sounds weird, but I think its the best of both worlds. I ate these with some grapes I picked up at Wholefoods.

Oh, the lunch of a nursing student

Oh, the lunch of a nursing student

Tonight I went with my uncle to the UD girls basketball game! I love basketball! I’ve been playing since third grade, so whenever my schedule and wallet allows, I love to attend the girl’s games. We rock! We won! What’s funny is that I used to play against some of these girls growing up, playing basketball!

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Today was a really good day. I DID go over what I wanted to eat, but I did much better today than yesterday. That’s the important part- that I improve everyday. And when I fall, I get right back up! My patient, today, was so sweet and one of the most complicated patients I’ve ever cared for. I learned so much! He had so much going on, yet he had a wonderful attitude. Really inspiring! I have to say, though, one of the highlights of my day was dinner. So simple, yet so filling and delicious! I started by spraying a pan with some non stick spray and throwing on some cauliflower florets and baby carrots. I sprinkled garlic powder over top and gave them a toss. They baked at 400 F in the toaster oven for about 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, I threw a small chicken breast in a skillet, sprinkle with garlic powder and minced onion. I chopped it up once it was cooked through. I threw the warm roasted veggies and chopped chicken over a bowl of spinach. When I visited Meaghan in NY back in December, we picked up this homemade BBQ sauce this tempeh guru makes; so I drizzled 2 tsp of the BBQ sauce over top! I bet I’d really enjoy this with salmon, too!

And now, I’m sleepy. I completed another 20 minute workout before laying down. Another busy day tomorrow and then night shift…

The Curve Ball

We all have our routines, whether its taking the kids to basketball practice, or Sunday clean up day. I am no different. My clinical schedule begins on Sunday. I wake up early and either head to Church then the hospital, or visa versa. My Sunday consists of paperwork and planning for the week. Monday morning is another early morning. This is when I set my tone for the week. I like to start with a quick morning work out to get my blood pumping and wake me up. Then its time to pack  my lunch for the day, take off my nail polish, take out my nose ring, and get my butt into gear. After clinical, the nose ringing goes back in and then its typically errand running, then home for some patient charting and lunch packing for Tuesday. Tuesday is another early morning, pretty much repeating Monday’s routine, except then I paint my nails (No jewelry or nail polish in the clinical setting). Today, I got thrown a curve ball.

It start like a normal day with my cup of hot tea and morning workout. I was ready for my day. Everything was going fine at the hospital and I started getting really hot. Cue to upset tummy. Bottom line, I got sent home for being sick. Boo! I fell into the bed as soon as I got in the house, and I was out like a light! The sleep was much needed, but still did not have much of an appetite. I knew my body needed some nutrients so I ate the lunch I had packed myself : a classic PB&J with some celery sticks. I made it on some high fiber whole wheat bread, with the new almond butter and some sugar free blackberry preserves (I wish I had my blueberry preserves that I left at dad to celebrate National Blueberry Pancake Day.)

Speaking of Peanut Butter and Jelly… Have your ever had this little beaut?

Just like the real deal... but nuttier!

Just like the real deal… but nuttier!

I was really excited when I first found Kind’s Fruit & Nut Peanut Butter & Strawberry bar a while back. With my first bite, I was immediately hooked and I snag it whenever I get the chance. It really does remind you of a nutty PB and Jelly. To make this bar even better, it has 7g protein and 4g fiber.

I had packed myself a Barre bar for my morning hold over, but since I did not get to eat it, I snacked on this throughout the res tof my day. I’ve had Barre bars before and did not care for them but this one wasn’t too bad. It has the consistancy of a Larabar. The flavor I had was called “ballerina.” This is their spirulina bar. Barre bars were created by two dancers to increase performance without feeling weighted down.

yeah, its green

yeah, its green

For it being a green bar, they did a nice job at covering up that green veggie flavor. I like the toasted coconut in this bar. I don’t think this would be my first choice for an energy bar, but its acceptable. The dates and agave add a mild sweetness. I think this is a bar that you’ll have to try and decide for yourself. I believe I need a take 2 on this one.

One reason why I say, don’t starve yourself, is because you bite the bullet later. Today for example, I did not eat all day until I felt comfortable to eat the PB&J. Then what happened? I was soooo hungry! I went for everything in the kitchen! No good!

With me, I’ve been biting the bullet hard lately! Since recovering from anorexia, my body is making up for lost time. I starved myself for long that now, just the thought of food can put me into a craze! This is not healthy either.

My week got started rocky, but I intended on throwing a curve ball back and reclaiming this week, for me! Tomorrow starts my week, and I’m powering forward with determination, education, and health!

I’m curling up in bed for the rest f the night to soothe this tummy ache with some chamomile tea. Good night!

 

DDDD

Yesterday was a Vitalicious- sort of day. On night shift, we had pizza, and all day I was craving more pizza. I never crave pizza… ever! Glad I keep this baby in the freezer:

Tomato and Cheese

Tomato and Cheese

What I like about this VitaPizza is that there is a very thin crust, so it crisps nicely in the toaster oven, theres a thin layer of sauce and tons of diced tomato and garlic!

Today is, what we in the Bundo house call, “Daddy-Daughter Date Day!”

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I had to wake up early this morning to drive to the hospital where my clinics rotation is to gather information for my patients this week. After that, I picked up the father and we headed to Philly. A few months ago, on my way to visit some family in Philly, I saw a billboard for the Titanic exhibit t the Franklin Institute. Dad and I have always had a fascination with the Titanic. We used to watch documentaries every Sunday morning on the Discovery channel. Luckily, through my recycling rewards points, I had a “buy one get one free” ticket for the museum.
We had a great time! At the beginning of the tour, you get a boarding pass with the name of a passenger. At the end of the tour, you find out if you survived the event.
Dad was 44 yr old, Mr. William Harbeck of Paris, traveling 2nd class to NY. He was a filmmaker, hired by White Star, to film Titanic’s maiden voyage. He did not survive.

I was Ms. Marie Grice Young, a 36 yr music instructor, to Teddy Rossevelt’s daughter, from NY, in first class, on my way to DC. I made it.
Some of the artifacts were amazing. They had light bulb! Yes, a light bulb, they pieced back together! It was neat to read little bios on some of the passengers and see some of their recovered belongings, including clothing, letters, business cards, and stationary. There was also a live “iceberg” for you to touch to understand how cold the water was. They recreated main rooms of the ship, like the stair case, bedrooms, and hallways. It really sucked you into the period. The only bummer, was that we could not take pictures. I did manage to snag a few though. Shhhhh… it’s a secret.

beautifully recreated doorway

beautifully recreated doorway

the coolest picture of the day!

the coolest picture of the day!

entering the boiler room

entering the boiler room

After the exhibit, we explored the remainder of the museum. One of my favorite parts ever since I was a kid is the Giant Heart! Its a huge heart that you can walk through. It takes you through all the parts of the heart through a maze of stairs, meanwhile you hear a heart beat to enhance the effect.

getting ready to head inside the heart

getting ready to head inside the heart

playing in the kids area

playing in the kids area

cheezeing it up inside an artery

cheezeing it up inside an artery

My absolute favorite area, besides the observatory, is the planetarium. Astronomy has always been a passion of mine. (Guess who owns the seasons of “The Universe?” This chick.) In fact, up until sophomore year of high school, my plan was to attend Cornell for Astronomy or the AFROTC Aeronautical Nursing program. Any way, we saw a film about black holes. Black holes give me the chills. I’ve always been fascinated by them and have written several papers on them throughout my schooling.

having an 80 yr old Singer sewing machine, I appreciate the beauty of this one

having an 80 yr old Singer sewing machine, I appreciate the beauty of this one

a fancy old music box

a fancy old music box

The museum has rooms focused on different areas of science: trains, planes, space, electricity (duh, Ben Franklin… Franklin Institute), engineering, and IMAX, and 3D theatre, a giant pendulum, any much more! So many of the staple exhibits have been there since I was a kid. It was so nice to revisit them. Plus, your inner child pokes out its head in all of the interactive “Please Touch” exhibits and games!

I turn Ben on. (get it? cause its a light switch?) *knee slap*

I turn Ben on. (get it? cause its a light switch?) *knee slap*

who needs travelocity?

who needs travelocity?

old school

old school

My father, Cpt. America, saluting USAF

My father, Cpt. America, saluting USAF

Chug-a-Chug-a Choo-Choo

Chug-a-Chug-a Choo-Choo

I'd kill for this telescope!

I’d kill for this telescope!

After a few hours in the museum, dad and I walked through the atrium to find the most adorable little girl getting her face painted! This is probably one of the cutest kids I’ve ever seen! Her mom let me snap a shot of her.

the most beautiful tiger i've ever seen

the most beautiful tiger i’ve ever seen

We said, “peace out,” to Big Ben (the guy, not the clock) and headed for one of my favorite Wholefoods. Its on Pennsylvania Ave. in Philly. Dad and I wondered around in there, grabbed a few cookies and bagels for the week, and of course, picked up this beautiful fruit salad:

Goodbye, Ben!

Goodbye, Ben!

Hello, fruity deliciousness!

Hello, fruity deliciousness!

After seeing all that food, we drove  around downtown Philly until we headed for South St. We couldn’t decide what we were in the mood for, but my dad said we should go to Maoz. (I was giggling like a little school girl, inside, because I wanted to go there all along but didn’t want to force vegetarian food on him). I explained how the ordering worked and he was willing to give it a try. Dad and I usually love anything with a topping bar. We split the #1. This is a falafel pita with hummus and eggplant, served with Belgian fries and drink. We upgraded to the sweet potato fries, then stuffed our falafel stuffed whole wheat pita with vegetable salad (tomato, zucchini and cucumbers), reed cabbage salad, cilantro sauce, sweet peppers (a must), grilled cauliflower, and later some garlic sauce. Maoz is the only place I will ever eat beets so I grabbed a little cup of that. Dad was so funny! “This is really good! I wish I had one around work. I’d get this for lunch at least once a week! Do they sell this in stores? Let’s get some.” Luckily, I can make it at home! Dad told me we are going to the grocery store to pick up falafel ingredients tomorrow after class! lol This was a really delicious meal. What made it even better, was seeing how much my dad enjoyed it! Perfect size for the two of us to split!

MMMMM... Warm falafel loaded with veggies in every bite!

MMMMM… Warm falafel loaded with veggies in every bite and sweet potato fries!

When I got home, I snacked on a Gnu Brownie, smeared with some Low Sodium Better n’ Peanut Butter. Then I completed some paperwork for clinical for Monday, and put on some jams and danced around the living room to do a little cardio.

Wow! What a fantastic day!

RIP to a Philly favorite: Sally Star!

People Are Alike All Over

Health Bloggers are all alike. The other day, I stated that mom and I took a trip to The Fresh Market. I talked about their many coffees and their addicting White Chocolate Crunch. Well what do you know? The next day, Julie posted that she went to The Fresh Market and was snacking on this decadent snack mix, too!

Similarly, besides our fanatic addictions to nut butters, we both share a snacking problem. I love that I am able to look at other health and fitness blogs, Julie especially, to see that I’m not alone when it comes to overeating, or trying to manage school, a job, and fitness.

I’m glad I remembered about the this post. Like, I said, night shift gets tricky, especially when it comes to food. Last night was no WP_000922different and I ate more than I should have. I thought a nice start would be to enjoy my new Biscolinos and Mocha Mint coffee… It went down hill from there. I began to feel guilty, and I remembered that I bookmarked this page on my phone. I know I’m not alone; and it helps even more when I know others are in similar situations.

Last night I ate a combination of random things. The thing I was most excited to eat, though, was the Vitalicious breakfast sandwiches! I was surprised by how colorful the egg was with veggies! They offer two preparation suggestions: 1) microwave, or 2) toaster and microwave. Loving some toasted english muffins, I toasted the bread before I went to work. When I was ready to eat I just microwaved and enjoyed the cheesy result.

Veggies!

Veggies!

Cheesy half

Cheesy half

All in all, it was a good night at work.. ya know, besides eating so much. After job #1, I went to job #2. Before I had any clinical experience, I was an Administrative Assistant for a family business. I still help them out from time to time, especially since I helped design some of the systems that are currently in place at the company.

Then I knew I needed to get into a good mood and get some energy to power through this day, so I completed a new circuit I found: Julie’s Super Fast, Super Sweaty Circuit Workout! Boy, it most definitely was sweaty! With each circuit, I switched things up a bit with the planks to challenge me. Round one was a simple low plank, Round two was a low plank with knee taps to the floor, and Round three was alternating low to high planks with knee taps on the low ones. This workout was quickly followed by a shower! It also did the trick to get me in my good… SMILES all around!

A few pointers for completing this circuit:

  • planks- keep your abs tight and back straight
  • planks- breath
  • reverse lunge to front kick- kick through your heel (this gets more difficult as you progress in the workout)
  • reverse lunge to front kick- keep abs tight and shoulders down and back to keep balance and engage core

The rest of the day, will be alternating between lectures (which out me to sleep) and circuits (which wake me up).

* For all you nerds who think today’s title sounds familiar… its the name of a Twilight Zone episode  🙂

Upside Down Kinda Day

Last night’s dinner was super filling! 

I woke up this morning determined to start this funky-scheduled day with some pep. When I start my day with exercise, I always feel invincible for the rest of the day. 

I began with cleaning out the fireplace and bringing in some fire wood from the 20 degree F porch to warm up the house. Once I got my pyro-fix, I started Julie’s Super Sweaty Ab Workout (one of my favorites)! Mountain Climbers kick my butt every time!

Once I completed this, I whipped out the magic bullet. I really wanted to use my homemade cashew butter today so I looked to my fellow nut butter lover, Julie, for some inspiration. The following found its way into my tummy:

half of a frozen banana

1 tbsp cashew butter

Strawberry Dannon Light and Fit yogurt

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Protein Drink Mix

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Formula 1

15g (1/4 to 1/3 cup) kale, chopped 

1/4 tsp xanthum

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After enjoying majority of this smoothie bowl and some serious brain freeze, I needed to knock out a lecture before class today. This bowl was so filling, I did not even think of food till close to 1600.

The reason I call this an “upside down kinda day” is because I work night shift tonight. Its different when you work 11pm to 7am consistently because your body adapts to that schedule, but when you work it every now and then, you just need to suck it up, sleep when you can, and power through. It also messes up my eating… like when do I sleep? What’s breakfast? Whens dinner? I feel like on days like this I eat alot of snacks, and not so much meals…

I was greeted by this view as I walked out of class:

SNOW!

SNOW!

And this pretty site on my way home:

My neighborhood is so pretty when it snows!

My neighborhood is so pretty when it snows!

After I got home from a really informative lab, I had a big bowl of fruit, from The Fresh Market, and topped it with some low fat cottage cheese! YUM!

While I am at work tonight, I will working on some reading for school, and of course, working on tomorrow’s post.

Chicken Garam Masala: Crock Pot Recipe #5

Listen up, Butter Lovers!

First things, first: Happy National Peanut Butter Day! What a marvelously delicious way to start your day… with Peanut Butter!

Since its a bit out of the way, Mom and I decided that it would be a good day to visit some of the natural food stores around here so I could finish picking up a few things to include in Meaghan’s care package back to New York.
I can’t tell you what’s it there just yet. I can’t ruin the surprise for her… But as soon as she gets it, you’ll get it.

some Wholefoods sweet treats

some Wholefoods sweet treats

One of my favorite things about Wholefoods is the bakery. By now, you all know I have a serious baked goods problem… As in, I can’t get enough of them. Whenever I visit a Wholefoods, I always hit up the bakery. Since I don’t have any vegan products at home, I especially enjoy getting the vegan cookies and muffins. Today, was no different. I celebrated National Peanut Butter Day by enjoying a peanut butter sandwich cookie! My mom went a little crazy at the dessert counter, though. But it made for a great treat after tonight’s crock pot dinner.

mmmmmmm

mmmmmmm

I love PB!

I love PB!

Wholefoods Bakery <3

Wholefoods Bakery ❤

We also stopped by The Fresh Market. You know how at the supermarket, theres a bit or organic, gluten-free, etc items thrown in the mix? Well, thats the way The Fresh Market is, but inverse. My favorite part of this place is the trail mix bar! They have this White Chocolate Crunch mix that Meaghan got me hooked on and its ADDICTING!

Trail Mix!!

Trail Mix!!

They are also known for there many flavors of coffees. Did I mention theres an old fashioned candy bar?

Candy!!

Candy!!

Coffee!

Coffee!

We also picked up this amazingly yummy fruit salad, that I enjoyed with some cottage cheese.

so fresh!

so fresh!

And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Tonight’s Crock Pot Dinner!!
Tonight’s dinner is a recipe Julie used for her part of the Crock Pot Challenge: Chicken Garam Masala. The recipe calls for chicken thighs, of which I did not have in the freezer. To take its place, I used some drumsticks. I removed its skins and figured since it still had a bone, like the thighs, it would make do.
I think I’d like to try this with chicken breast, as well; and maybe enjoy it with some naan. I’m a huge fan of chickpeas, so when I came across this recipe, I was more than excited to to give it a shot. Plus, I’ve never had cooked garbanzo beans and have recently found a little fascination with Indian cuisine after a date I went on.

If you didn’t know, garam masala is a typical Indian spice that,in Hindu, translates to “hot spices.” Its a blend of spices including, cardamom, cumin, cloves, black and white pepper, and cinnamon. So without further ado… Ladies and gentlemen…Chicken Garam Masala!!!

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Serves 4

4 chicken thighs (or drumsticks), skinless
2 (15oz) cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained

1 large onion, chopped

2 cups cauliflower florets
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes

2 1/2 tsp garam masala

fresh cilantro, or 1 to 1 1/2 tsp dried cilantro

Dollop non fat Greek yogurt or sour cream, garnish (optional)

Combined everything, except the cilantro and sour cream, in the crock pot and give it a  toss. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. After plating, garnish with cilantro (and greek yogurt or sour cream).

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I was shocked by how much each portion received  It makes about 5 cups of of the chickpea mixture. This was a really filling recipe and the chicken was fall-off-the-bone moist! I think it was definitely lacking something… maybe a bit more garam masala? red pepper flakes? If you play around with this recipe, fill us in on the comments portion, below.

Nutrition Facts, per 1 heaping cup of chicken mixture:

Calories: 238     Fat: 2.9g     Sat Fat: 0g     Cholesterol: 0mg     Sodium: 840.3mg     Carbs: 48.1g     Fiber: 15.6g     Sugars: 8.4g     Protein: 12.4g      (A 4oz skinless chicken drumstick is around 130 cal with 13g protein

Wow! 15.6g fiber, 25g protein?! No wonder I’m so full!

While we are discussing chickpeas… Did you know there are bars made from these beans? I came across this while visiting Meaghan in New York. The bars are called “The Good Bean.” They’re marked as “Fruit and No-Nut” bars. The first bar I tried was Chocolate Berry, followed by Trail Mix, then Apricot Coconut. I enjoyed how different they were from other bars. Not crispy or crunchy, but not soft like a Larabar. I did not care for the Apricot Coconut. It did not have any defining flavors, nor any sweetness as you would expect. The Trail mix bar contains dried cranberries for tartness and pumpkin seeds for a bite. Its held together with brown rice syrup, which gives a little sweetness. The Chocolate Berry has a combinations of dried blueberries, cherries, and cranberries, and sweet chocolate. It made me feel like I was getting a little treat without the bad fats and sugars ans uber chocolatey-ness. I enjoy them as a nice change of pace, especially since I can’t find them except for in WholeFoods.

right next to the Kind bars! one stop shopping!

right next to the Kind bars! one stop shopping!

Hope you all had a wonderful day! Heres a recipe that combines two stars of today: Roasted Peanut Butter Chickpeas!

Lights Out

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toasty…

Since yesterday was an early day, I feel asleep super early! But, of course, my phone started ringing at 2000. I tried to ignore it, but it just kept ringing. Then, as I hung up with the person on the other line, the power goes out. We made it through Hurricane Sandy with only a few flickering lights, but for some reason, the power lines couldn’t stand up to the cold. My mom went into manic-mode, lighting candles and such. Me? My phone was charged and the alarm was set. I curled up next to the fire place for some warmth, and relaxed. But unfortunately, I could not fall back asleep, especially with mom calling the power company, on speaker phone, every 25 minutes! So I whipped out my phone and started working on some posts for you all!

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Apparently power outages have
no effect on this Sleeping Beauty…

The power came back on around 0130. Just in time for me to watch a great movie, called Canvas! I finally fell back asleep around 0300, I would say. Apparently, the universe prefers me sleep deprived…

On another subject, I found this link last night after I mysteriously developed an overwhelming appetite. The article discusses seeing food as “good” or “bad.” I began to feel really guilty about not working out, yesterday. I felt even worse after eating so much later in the night. A few sentences really stood out to me so I thought I’d highlight them for the overly anxious, bingers and  health seekers, like me.

the quality and the balance of what you eat may play a bigger role in weight control and the regulation of your metabolism than the calories alone.

A study found that a daily variance of as much as 600 calories won’t reflect on your waistline, as long as you maintain a healthy diet in the long run.

                Researchers believe that little to no weight gain occurs because healthy individuals usually “undereat” one day and “overeat” on another. So in the end, it all evens out. As long as you’re eating healthy most of the time, having an occasional treat won’t wreck your diet.

I need to remember that although I’ve been rather over indulgent this week, I can even it out. I can’t stress or crawl in my corner.

Now lets get into the goods. Good as in tasty, that is…

I planned this breakfast a few days ago while making the Walnana Muffin Cookies. I decided to use Katie’s melted banana trick in my oatmeal. I was surprised when my mom ask me to make her one too! I was really impressed with how it turned out! If I wasn’t so full from this stick-to-your-ribs breakfast, I would have eaten another bowl! Yeah, its that good!

Walnana (Banana Bread) OatmealImage
serves 2

1 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup Flax Milk (or milk of your choice)
1 1/2 to 2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 bananas
1 Tbsp Artisana Walnut Butter
1/2 tsp Splenda brown sugar, or 1 tsp brown sugar

Combine oats through cinnamon in a pot, stir, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring often. After 15 minutes, cut bananas in half, place in a bowl and microwave for 45 seconds. Pour the fruit into the simmering oats, add the walnut butter. Stir really well ensuring the butter is fully dissolved. Sprinkle the brown sugar over top. Give it a quick stir and serve. Each bowl gets a heaping cupful!

ImageNutrition Facts, per serving:
Calories: 303
Fat: 8.7g
Sat. Fat: 1.1g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 21.4mg
Carbs: 52.9g
Fiber: 7.5g
Sugar: 14.2g
Protein: 7.4g

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melted banana

Melting the bananas really brings out their natural sugars and allows the fruit to really distribute evenly throughout the oatmeal; and adding the walnut butter while it was cooking, gave the oats a smoother texture. I topped mine with some chopped walnuts to add a crunch. I was going for a banana bread feel, but the milk added a creaminess that made it a bit of banana creme pie-like. Wow this was good!
Speaking of pie. Today is National Pie Day! Being the nerd that I am, I usually celebrate Pie Day on March 14th. Get it? 3.14?
I thought about it… Pizza pie or fruit pie? But banana creme pie-ish oatmeal counts, right? Sure, why not? I won’t tell if you don’t.

I enjoyed the oatmeal with a mug of some new herbal tea I picked up at the co-op, yesterday.

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While I waited for my oatmeal to fluff up and cook, I tried my hand at some homemade cashew Imagebutter. I used about 1/2 lb raw cashews, and soaked them in water over night. I was surprised by how much water the nuts soaked up.

I drained the cashews and popped them in the Magic Bullet. Every so often I removed the whipped cashews and gave the whole nuts a shake. As the butter accumulated I removed it from the bullet. Never having had store-bought cashew butter, I wasn’t really sure how it was supposed to taste. I will say, I loved the smooth consistency  I also sprinkled a little less than 1/4 tsp of salt into the mix.

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Dinner tonight was the Lean Cuisine I’ve been putting off eating! I added some of the baby carrots, as planned, to the broccoli,a sprinkled some black pepper. The meal was pretty decent. Theres a lot of the gravy and I wasn’t quite filled enough. If I get it again, I’m going to need more veggies. The flavor was good and the steak tender, but lacking in mushrooms. This frozen meal has a lot of potential.

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I snacked on some graham crackers and PB, the best hospital snack ever! And tapped into the homemade chips and salsa one of the nurse’s brought in. I love fresh, homemade salsa!

Even though the oatmeal was pretty darn spectacular, the highlight of my day was booking my flight to San Jose, for my trip in April! Every year I try to attend the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society International Convention. I’ve been blessed with being able to afford Seattle, two years ago, and Nashville, last April. I’m glad I have some time to save up some dinero for the trip!

Going Bananas with Snow Mieser

Early bird catches the worm? More like, early bird requires an afternoon nap. When I left the house this  morning, it was 19 degrees F outside and there was a coating of snow! BRRRRR! Glad I brought some hot tea with me. My mom was so sweet! She got up before me and started my car so it would be warmed up for me! Thanks, mom! Mr. SnowMieser needs to take a chill pill.

Mondays and Tuesdays are tricky for me. I have to be at my clinical site by 0645 and I’m there until about 1330. We get  a lunch break, but until then, theres not much time to eat. These are the days I tend to bring my bars, so I can snag a bite on a “bathroom break.” I also tend to bake bite size/ snack size muffins and things that I can nibble on throughout my morning.
Thats what I did today. Yesterday, I took advantage of my new Walnut butter and adapted a recipe from Julie and made these babies:

ImageOatmeal Banana Nut Butter Cookies! Julie’s recipe used PB, but I wanted to incorporate my new nut butter! And, duh, banana and walnut? Wal-nana! Always a winning combo!
Since Walnuts, and Walnut butter aren’t super flavorful like peanut butter, I did a 1:1 mix and voila!

Oatmeal Walnana Muffin Cookies
makes about 4 dozen

2 ripe bananas, mashedImage

2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp creamy peanut butter

2 Tbsp plus 2tsp Artisana Walnut Butter
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup Splenda brown sugar
3 Tbsp liquid egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray or use a mini muffin tin.
Mix bananas, nut butters, apple sauce and Splenda together. Add egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly add the oat mixture into the banana mixture until everything is combined. Place spoonfuls of dough on the cookie sheet or into the tins and bake for approximately 10 – 12 minutes.
ImageNutrition for 48 cookies: 1 cookie:
Calories: 43
Fat: 1.3g
Sat. Fat: 0.1g
Cholesterol: 5.2mg
Sodium: 55.2mg
Carbs: 6g
Fiber: 0.6g
Sugar: 1.4g
Protein: 1.1g
This batch gave me around 52 pop-ables. This recipe also gave me the opportunity to use my new cookie scoop that I got myself for Christmas, too! I get excited over the weirdest things, don’t I? haha
They turned out better than I expected! The banana flavor shown brightly and the nut butters were complimentary, not overbearing, as some nut butters can be! I can’t wait to try other nut butters! But, oh man, were they good!I got out of clinical early today and decided to bring dad some lunch at work. I stopped by ImageClaymont Steak Shoppe (known for their cheesesteaks) and picked him up some lunch! This thing was huge! I dressed it Philly style: fried onions, mushrooms, and wiz. For lunch, I packed Banana Chobani flip and Multigrain PB Cheerios and Chocolate Fiber One 80.
What can I say? “So nice, I ate it twice!” But don’t get me wrong, I definitely helped dad finish that steak. 😉
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And to add to out filling lunch: Chia Seed Cookies!
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These cookies were like sugar cookies that melted in your mouth! I love Newark Natural Foods (the “co-op” as we call it)! I always get amazing baked goods from them!
I also picked up a new addition to the Bundo Nut Butter Family:
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When I got home, I welcomed the almond butter by spreading it on one of the walnana nuggets! MMM!
While we are on the subject of bananas, still, have you ever had Larabar’s Banana Bread? You know I have a freakish obsession for bars, so I’ve decided to start a bars files on the page reviewing some bars.
The Banana Bread wasn’t what I expected. I has an almost burnt taste? Yeah, I guess thats the word…
What I like about Larabars, is what I like to call “pure.” There is nothing artificial in the bars and most of them are quite delicious! As for the Banana Bread, I’ll pass. The Bananas Foster Uber Bar is a little better and a lot nuttier. Its difficult to include banana into bars, unless its baked in. A lot of bars containing banana, use banana chips, which, in my opinion, take away some of that natural sweetness that attracts me to the fruit. I’ll keep on trying banana bars, but as of now, they’re not my first choice.
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I’m super stoked to try Thursday’s crock pot meal! Dad and I grabbed the last of the ingredients today! I stopped by the co-op in Newark to pick up some garam masala and Good Karma Flax  Milk.
Lots of studying to do tonight. With all this work in my life, I’m going to go bananas!

Apple Pie Oats: Crock Pot Recipe #4

Another restless night! Grrrr! I’m not sure why I’ve been having such a difficult time sleeping lately. I wonder if I’m a little stressed about school… Hopefully, tonight I sleep solid since I have to be at 0430 Tuesday morning…
I adore oatmeal! And  I’m a firm believer in “an apple a day.” This recipe combines the two loves! I also have never made oats in a crock pot, but I’ve heard about it for years! This day off was not only the perfect opportunity to try a new crock pot recipe, but also to get dad to eat oatmeal!
I found this recipe here, which Julie adapted from Alton Brown’s Overnight Oatmeal.

Heres the Sammy adaptation:

Apple Cinnamon Crock Pot Oats

2 md to lg apples, finely dicedWP_000849
1/2 cup steel cut oats
1 cup rolled oats
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp apple cinnamon spice
4 1/2 cups water
1 tsp Splenda brown sugar (or 2 tsp regular brown sugar)

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot, toss, and cook on low overnight. Top with whatever you’d like. (serves 4)

WP_000848Nutrition (without toppings):
Calories: 215
Total Fat: 2.8g
Sat. Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 5.3 mg
Carbs: 43.7g
Fiber: 6.7g
Sugar: 12.6g
Protein: 5.2g

Since I had an abundance of apples from my uncle, I chose the two largest and chopped them up. I did not have any nutmeg in the house, so I substituted apple pie spice! Oh my gosh, I had not even added the water and turned the pot on yet and it smelled like a fresh baked apple pie!

Julie was right… it doe look a little funky when you first take off the lid. Give it a good stir and serve it up! It wasn’t sweet enough for

Don't they look so cheery in the morning...

Don’t they look so cheery in the morning…

this family, so we sprinkled some Splenda brown sugar or sugar free syrup over top. My dad and step both enjoyed theirs with just brown sugar. Mom and I topped ours with raisins and sunflower seeds. I also stirred in half a scoop of Herbalife Vanilla Formula 1 to give it a little more sustenance. Since I was determined to get my dad to like oatmeal, I was nervous about him digging in. He liked it! Victory!

WP_000858I was shocked by how much the oats grew over night! It basically doubled in size and each bowl was filled! The apples melted right into the oats. I kept the skin on mine, but feel free to give them a peel.

I decided to do a workout from Julie’s site today, 5×50 Workout. After yesterday’s 1000 Rep Workout, my hamies and tush are pretty sore, so I spaced the 5×50 throughout my day.

Today, I did a little baking, watched some lectures, and ran a few errands to pick up some things before the chill settled in for the next few days. Among some of these things are items for Thursday’s crock pot dinner!

As for tonight’s dinner, in honor of New England Clam Chowder Day, I wanted to have some to warm me up. I discovered that I did not have any, so I kicked it Manhattan style (with a side a Light and Crisp Wasa Crackers)!WP_000863
Speaking of Manhattan, a package came on Saturday!
My girlfriend, Meaghen and I are both extreme foodies! I went to visit her in Brooklyn back in December and I wound up bringing home food more than anything else. As we discussed some of our favorite finds, we realized their are things in DE you can’t get in NY, and things in NY you can’t get in DE. We decided to start a food exchange. I shipped her out a box a while back, and Saturday I got a goodie box, with a cute little letter! Among the items included were:

  • dark chocolate covered espresso beans (from the coffee shop she works at),
  • Divine Organics Gojiberry Brittle
  • Indian-style Lentils and Beans
  • Artisana Walnut butter (since she knows I’m a nut butter freak)
  • Hateva Sugar Free Vanilla Almond Pudding (she knows my love for Sugar Free)
  • King Sobe Organic Buckwheat Ramen
  • Biscolinos Coconut and Cacao Nibs

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I ate an espresso bean this morning (since I woke up so darn early), and wow! They were the best I’ve ever had. The Biscolinos I had to take a nibble of. It reminded me of the raw food truck Meaghan and I ate at in Brooklyn. I was like a less chocolate-y Almond Joy. I bought some Dunkin Donut Mocha Mint Coffee and I can’t wait to enjoy these two together! I’ve never had Buckwheat noodles, but I’ve contemplate buying them many times! I’m already brainstorming meal ideas! Knowing my love of fiber, you had to have known I was excited about the beans and lentils. Any recipe suggestions? The brittle wasn’t bitter like some dark chocolate and the Gojiberries added the most mild sweetness. I’m very excited to try the pudding! I’ve had soy pudding before and wasn’t a huge fan, but I’m most definitely open to this!

Thanks so much Meaghen! I miss you and can’t wait to see you!

I’m spending the rest of the evening watching “Ted” with my dad, followed by some studying, and light strength training.