Fiber, Ice Cream, and Indian

Today was my first day of patient care at my new clinical site. Without revealing too much, I can say that two of my three  patients kept me on my toes as soon as I got onto the unit with abnormal breathing and chest pain! But no worries! They are feeling much better!

This is a much different setting than a hospital, but I like that I get to really know my patients since I get to be with the same three patients for the next three weeks.

Since I have trouble eating super early in the morning, I took a 10 minute break around 1045 and indulged in a cup of coffee and a Vanilla Blueberry Luna Fiber Bar. Let me tell ya, as long as these are around, Nutri-Grain will never get business from me. They remind me of a Nutri-Grain bar, since its baked and fruit filled, but less calories and less sugar. The Luna Fiber bars come in three flavors, all phenom: Chocolate Raspberry, Peanut Butter Strawberry, and Vanilla Blueberry. The only down side is that I can only find these in a few stores, so when I get to those stores, I really stock up!

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Mom asked me to swing by Walgreens on the way home and I really wanted a cookie. As i wandered the store, something caught my eye.

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I ate half for an afternoon pick-me-up. Gooey caramel, chocolate, ice cream! I just wish there were more cookie crunches.

I spent the remainder of the afternoon watching lectures and working on paperwork for school. Using all that brain power builds up an appetite. Not really in the mood for any meat, I took out an Amy’s Light and Lean meal: Mattar Paneer. You know I’ve really been on an Indian food kick and this was yummy! It was perfectly seasoned and oh so savory and filling! I loved the flavoring of the peas, paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and lentils mixed with the rice.  This picture just does not do it justice. (Actually, my pictures look pretty terrible.) But if you like a dish full of savory flavor, this is where its at!

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The remainder of the night, I’m in study mode for the exam on Thursday.

By the way, today is the Day of the Mushroom. You could totally utilize those bad boys and make yesterday’s dish!

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

When managing your weight, u should always drink water before eating if you think you are hungry. This is because your body often confused thirst for hunger. Last night, I drank lots of water in an attempt to prolong my hunger until this morning. It didn’t work, meaning I was actually hungry. I sat down and dipped blackberry pomegranate rice cakes in pb and cottage cheese. It was delicious! Afterwards, I started to plug it into myfitnesspal and realized I had literally eaten a meal! Oh man!

My eating has been great the last couple days and last night started a wave of insecurity and anxiety. Between last night and today, I’ve noticed two things:

  • I get freaked out because in terrified my screw up will derail me and my progress
  • I confuse satiety with fullness, not satisfaction and contentment

I’m glad I’ve been able identify these things about myself, because I have something to focus on to work towards improvement. Nonetheless, the guilt and fear are still with me.

Staying on the right path, I planned this weeks meals to keep me on track. Mom is away so I invited dad over and made dinner for my dads and brother.

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Serves 6

3 medium bell peppers
1 shallot, or small onion, chopped
2 Tbls dry quinoa
4 to 5 baby portabella mushrooms, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
Salt, pepper
1/2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 lb ground meat

WP_002125Bring quinoa to a bowl, reduce heat and cover for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the tops of the bells peppers. Remove the seeds and stem and chop pepper surrounding stem to use in the meat mixture. Slice peppers in half to form boats.

Spray a small Pyrex with nonstick spray. Lay pepper boats with veins facing upwards. Combine all chopped ingredients, quinoa, spices  and meat in a bowl and combine well. Divide the mixture evenly among the boats.

Cover with foil and bake at 400 F for 20 minutes. Uncover , drizzle with favorite sauce, recover, and return to over for another 30 minutes.

The peppers are perfectly cooked, and the meat is moist and savory!

Mushrooms are a fantastic bulker for ground meat dishes, especially portabellas because they are such a hearty vegetable!

Dinner was served with a big spinach salad! Mangia!

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❤ Thoughts and prayers go out to those in Boston ❤

Newark Deli and Bagel

Yesterday breakfast was oh so simple and oh so yummy: Toasted Blueberry Crumble bread, by Sara Lee, topped with Bar Harbor Blueberry Jam, my favorite! It was compliment with a navel orange and my new coffee I got when I had a layover in Denver.

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I was expecting, I guess, a syrup flavor, in the coffee, as if I would receive it from a coffee shop. Instead, it was a mild mocha flavor (I love mocha). I really enjoyed its subtle flavors.

After trying to cram in some studying, I headed off for an interesting  and semi-frustrating night at work. I can’t share much, due to HIPPA, but I can say it involved an aggressive patient. I love my job, but some days are rough.

I was thankful for my dinner break, not only because I needed a breather, but also because dinner was delicious! I was pretty darn impressed by this Lean Cuisine meal: Ranchero Braise Beef with Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes! I brought some frozen corn to have with it. It was sweet, with just a bit of spice! The corn was the perfect pair for this meal! I called dad and insisted he try this meal for lunch one day at work, just like I totally insist you, give this one a try!

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This morning, mom and I woke up early to go food shopping . While in the area, I took mom to one of my favorite breakfast spots: Newark Deli and Bagel (lovingly called “NDB”)! They make all the bagels in house, and they are delicious! They are also known for their chicken salad. Dad loves this stuff! One of his favorite things is chicken salad on a toasted asiago bagel. Their breakfast are phenomenal! Crispy bacon! Juicy sausage! They even have egg whites! This morning, I split a sandwich with mom, one they I never had before. I ordered a rye bagel with egg whites, tomato, roasted turkey, and pepperjack cheese! MMMM I’m definitely getting this one again! That half a sandwich, paired with a small caramel nut coffee, was perfect and it held me over for most of the day!

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Work tonight was consistent. Dinner was another Lean Cuisine, one, for which, I had high expectations: Roasted Garlic Chicken with creamy Parmesan spinach. I added steamed broccoli  I really expected a better flavor. There was not as much garlic as I had hoped, in fact, there was not as much flavor as I had hoped.

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I start my new clinical rotation, tomorrow, at a long term care facility for the elderly. Wish me luck!

Buonanotte

Yesterday was a really special day for the Bundos!

All start from the beginning..

I headed off to night shift Thursday night. I totally forgot that it was Kristina’s baby shower! By frozen meal went into the freezer and I went to town on the veggie platter! Debs husband also made this salad that I fo to town on! I don’t know the proportins but its imitation crab, purple onions, sliced mushrooms, buyer, old bay, salt and pepper. It sounds so simple for such a yummy dish! I also treated myself to some funfetti cake.

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When I got home from work, I had every intention of doing to mass. I figured this would be a great opportunity to get in a run. As I got two blocks away from home, the rain started. Its funny… Sometimes the rain makes me feel totally unmotivated. But other times, like yesterday it makes running fun! I ran to Church, and waited outside only to find out there was no mass this morning! On my rainy jog home, I stopped by the cemetery. By the time I got home, I was soaked. But I didn’t really care. I crawled into bed and was out till about 3pm.

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Dad came over for dinner, Friday night, and watched this past Thursday’s episode of Glee. It doesn’t typically watch it, but what a great episode!! I started having flashbacks to Degrassi! I occasionally like to have pizza night, and I’ve reply been getting into Amy’s pizzas as well Kashi! Last night, we had Amy’s Spinach Pizza, to which I added onions and red bell pepper! Sprinkled with a bit or granulated garlic and crushed red pepper flakes… Mmmmmm!

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We had an appointment for 630pm but she asked if we could come back later, as she was running behind. To kill some time, dad and I went to a social club we both belong to. I enjoyed a girlie drink of diet sierra must and citron vodka, while dad got his beer and cherry brandy.

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While at the club, I received a phone call from my mom saying Beauty got out and she couldn’t find her! Needless to say, my heart dropped into my stomach! As I pulled into the neighborhood, I found the pup sniffing around some yards. Thank, God I found her so quickly! She got out in the middle of the night once and it took a food 2 hours to find her. With Beauty safe and sound, and my heart rate finally returning back to a normal speed, dad and I headed back out.

At 840, we arrived back at our appointment. We left with these:

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Wonder Twin Powers, Activate!

Music has always been a connection between my dad and I, through good times and bad, and I’m so glad we were able to get these treble clefs on our wrists together! I couldn’t believe he actually did it! I was shocked! I think I still am shocked!

I also left with this on my left ribs:

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Buonanotte means “goodnight” in Italian; but it has many meanings to me. It was my grandmothers maiden name, the first word she ever taught me in Italian, and the words that my dad whispered to her when she passed away in 2008. This tattoo has been years in the making, and I’m honored to wear her name so close to my heart.

Record Breaking

I woke up this morning bright eyed, and bushy tailed! Maybe its because I slept with the windows open last night and the fresh air was enlightening?

Spring decided to to skip this year and summer is upon us! Today, Wilmington broke records! We hit 90 degrees today! And it was beautiful!

I began this morning, by making a Kahlua shake before heading to class:WP_002061

2 scoops chocolate protein powder

1/2 frozen banana

1 Tbsp sugar free DaVinci Kahlua flavoring

handful of spinach

water

ice

After class, I had a little over an hour to kill before my graduation seminar. (Isn’t that awesome to say? “Graduation!”)  It was so beautiful outside, I sat out in the courtyard with a friend and studied for tomorrows exam.

Beautiful weather, like this makes studying so much more difficult! I just want to walk around outside, ride a bike, anything but keep my nose in a book!

With this malted milk ball kick that I’ve been on, I found Reese’s Whoppers, malted milk balls in a peanut butter coating! You can bet your bottom they were awesome!

Dinner and brain food was seasoned roasted vegetables topped with an egg over easy! Yum!

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Dessert was some more brain food. Dad got me Quaker Blackberry Pomegranate rice cakes. I dipped these in some chunky PB and woah did it taste like PB&J! Heck yes!

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Nelly for a Day

Test day began with a bowl of oatmeal, as all test days do. Today was Very Berry by Better Oats (its a pretty sweet oatmeal, if you like sweet).

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After some studying at home, I met the girls at Dunkin Donuts for some pre test cramming.

It seemed like a lot of the information in this exam was review from previous semesters. Those are always the ones to watch out for because you think yeah, I got this… and it almost gives you less drive to study.

After the exam, I drove 20 minutes in the opposite direction of my house to get fingerprinted for my nursing license! That has a nice ring to it: “nuring license.”

While on my way home, I swung by a few grocery stores down that way. I am firm believer that if you find a product you really like, its worth going to that store on occasion  For instance, the Giant on Rt. is the only grocery store around me that I can find VitaPizza or FiberOne bread and tortillas!

On my way home, my phone vibrated. I had been awaiting a call from dad to see how is doctors appointment went. When I stopped at a red light, I checked my phone to see I had a text message, a picture.

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(Nelly for a day)

 

 

 

A few weeks ago, dad had a piece of tissue removed from his cheek to get a biopsy done. Today, the doc told him today, that it was pre-cancerous. The doc cut the lesion away. I’m really thankful that dad had this checked out early before it developed into something far worse. But this gives me the opportunity to get on my nursing pedestal and preach about the importance of protecting your skin.

Always use a sunblock. Trust me, you will still tan with a sunblock, if that is your concern. Also, pay attention to you skin. If one day you look at yourself and say, “was that always there?” you might want to check that out. Or if a mole looks a little different to you or if your skin has a pigment change, like a liver spot, you might want to check that out. I am not saying be paranoid about your skin, but be cautious and proactive.

To learn more about precancerous skin lesions and ways to protect your skin, click here.

(I got a B on my exam, by the way)  🙂

Steaks and Lead Vests

WP_002052A great way to be welcomed home! Dad picked me up from the airport Sunday evening and we headed over to Genos for a steak! I figures this was my welcome home and my last food splurge of vacation. You’ve probably heard of Pats Steaks in South Philly. Well, Genos is across the street. There’s a local argument between steak lovers as to who has the better steak. I personally love Genos! Pats is a bit to greasy for me and not enough flavor. The only advantage Pats has over Genos is the mushrooms. If Genos had mushrooms… Woah baby, watch out!
(FYI: “1 wit with wiz” is how its ordered. Trust me, I’ve messed that up plenty of times and its embarrassing.)

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Monday began with my last week in a medical- surgical rotation at the hospital. I must say, I kicked serious behind this week! I really took charge. It helped that my patient was awesome, despite the hand she had been dealt. On Tuesday, I got to head to Interventional Radiology and watch a tunneled double lumen catheter placed. I looked pretty shnazzy, huh?

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This ensemble wouldn’t be complete without the cheetah print lead vest!

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Despite my desire to return to normal eating this week, I found myself utterly addicted to Robin Eggs. I’ve never like malted milk balls but for some reason, with a bit if chunky peanut butter, these are hitting the spit! Nonetheless, I have given myself tummy aches the last two days from over eating. 😦

Tuesday was my last day of med- surg rotation. To celebrate, Nikole and Tommy and I met my dad at a locale hit spot for our school for celebratory drinks. Sangria on the rocks for me, frozen sangria for Nikole, and Corona Light for the guys. Of course this was accompanied by chips and salsa. I also ordered a platter of catfish etouffe. Yum!

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Im hoping things improve,food-wise, this week. In the meantime, I have a ton of work to catch up on and two exams to study for!

Hallmark Awards Gala

After a brief 15 minute attempt for a power nap, I hopped in the shower, and headed off to the Hallmark Awards Gala!
Phi Theta Kappa operates off a platform based on four hallmarks: scholarship, leadership, fellowship, and service. These awards honor advisors, students, and teams for their hard work.

The Middle States Region walked away with the following awards:WP_001913

  • Distinguished Chapter Officer Team
  • Distinguished Chapter Officer
  • Paragon Award for New Advisor
  • Continued Excellence Advisor
  • 3 Distinguished Honors in Action Projects
  • 2 Distinguished Chapter Awards
  • 5 chapters recognized in the Top 100 Chapters

In addition to the awards win the other night: Distinguished College Project to my chapter and the Regional Milestone Award!
Plus one of my advisors, the former middle states alumni chair, and direct middle states coordinator was honored!

My friend, Jesus, was elected Division I International Vice President! I;m so proud of him!

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In past years, we have done sooooo much better, but like we have discussed all week at this convention: do not look at things as failures, look at them as opportunities to learn, and focus on the things that were done correctly and with passion.

Following the awards gala, is a complementary, catered dinner. I was hoping my stomach was felling better by this time. I was invited to join the prestigous alumni and the Executive Director for dinner to honor my advisor, Pattie.

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Our meal began with a small spring salad with almonds, cherry tomatoes, and mandarin oranges with a raspberry dressing, accompanied by  glass of Cabernet.

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This was followed by chicken over polenta, wish squash, scallions, and broccolini. I wish there were more veggies, but the meal was delicious!

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The meal was completed with chocolate mousse and coffee.

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One of my favorite events of the evening is, of course, the Farewell Dance at the end of the night! Let me tell ya… I can’t boogie ooggie ooggie till I just can’t boogie no more!

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With my crew of friends, its always a great time! I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like to, so when we get together, we REALLY live it up! I also love all of the people from all over the world that you meet at these conventions. By the time you’re heading home, you have 30 new friend requests on Facebook.

Belly Aches

Have you ever given yourself a stomach ache?

Last night was so much fun reuniting with some of my friends. We went out for Indian food and then headed to the bar. I am not a big drinker, but since im on vacation and with my girlfriends, I figured ‘What the heck?’

We went to Billy Berks Cocktail Bar. Kristin ordered an X-Rated Martini, while I went with a Mango Mojito. YUM!

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Then Kristin talked me into what’s called a Chocolate Cake Shot. I’ve never had this before, but it really did taste like chocolate!

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We continued some shenanigans and when I woke up this morning, I began to feel some anxiety about I’ll of the calories I took in last night.

I met up with some friends for breakfast at the hotel buffet, then walked with my advisor to Bijan Bakery. I grabbed a few cookies to try and ate two delicious chocolate cookies filled with chopped nits. On my walk back to hotel, I began to feel even more stressed about the calories, that by the time I reached the hotel, I worked up quite a stomach ache. So much so, I got sick.

My dad keeps reminding me that I am on vacation and shouldn’t stress about a few days of splurging. During this trip, I have done very well with choosing healthy options for my meals.

I don’t typically drink because I feel like I’m wasting calories, and I feel like my splurging is catching up.

It takes 3500 calories to gain a pound. It take me 300 calories over my typically daily allotment to have an anxiety attack. Sad, isn’t it?

After getting sick, I decided that I couldn’t let this rule my day. I called my parents to talk things through, to settle me down, and look forward to the rest of the day.

The convention, for me, today, began with the 4th General Session, consisting of a C4 speech and International Officer candidate speeches. C4 stands for Community College Completion Corp working toward encouraging all college student complete their degrees! Edit the past few years, this has been a major platform for Phi Theta Kappa, and Dr. Rod Risley, the Executive Director, the big cheese of headquarters delivers a speech. This year he had a great speech about engaging faculty and staff in the effort as well as students.

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“Be the change you wish to see to see in the world,” says Gandhi.  We are all committed to complete our degree, help others complete their degrees, and to continue to make PTK even better!

Following some recognitions  were the candidate speeches. This was difficult because two of my friends from my region are running for Division I International Vice President.

I met up with my girlfriends after this, at their hotel and utilized the hot tub! Following this, I went to the gym in my hotel. I was tired and still nursing my stomach ache, but I wanted to feel like I had done something, anything.

 

Geoff Colvin, Billie Jean King, and Tandoori Oven

This morning began with being woken up by a Telemarketer at 545am pacific time… I guess since my number is from the east coast it was 845 there. I laid in bed trying to fall back asleep with no luck.

My roommate and I decided to get up and get breakfast. When deciding what to wear today, I popped on my yoga pants, these particular pants, don’t like to stay up when I run. And they are at a super awkward length, so they’re nit quite pants, but not quite campris. I hiked up my pant legs, liked the look and whipped out my travel sewing kit. Using the tiny travel scissors, I cut off the pant legs and voila!

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Who needs pants when you can have Bermuda shorts?

With today’s events beginning so early, I took advantage of the free breakfast buffet. I wound up going back multiple times grabbing small played of things for a well rounded and very filling breakfast. I made a mini parfait using oatmeal, strawberry yogurt, mixed dried fruit with a bit of granola. They had one skillet with half a croissant topped with an egg, mushroom, spinach, and muenster cheese. Julie would have loved this! I grabbed this for the veggies and muenster, one if my favorite cheeses, but I wish it had more vegetables. I went back for fruit a bunch! You know I can’t resist a fruit salad!

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The buffet ranged from fresh fruit to yogurt and cottage cheese, to oatmeal and fix-ins, a variety of pastries and breads, eggs, potatoes, waffles and French toast. They also provided a ton of refreshments like juices, milks, water, teas, coffees, and to my surprise, tomato juice.

After giving a holla at the parents on the east coast, I headed to my first forum of the day. I decided on “Building an Officer Team.” Working in a magnet hospitals, there are many organizations to belong to and I figured this would be useful in leading a team, using appropriate delegation,and finding each members strengths. I took alot if notes and I was happy to realize that we, on my unit, are utilizing some of these team building exercises discussed in this forum.

Following this forum, I went to the 2nd General Session to hear Geoff Colvin speak on great performance. I began to connect his speech not just to the global economy and sports but to myself, my goals. For instance, running is something, despite playing basketball for years, has never been a strength it something I even enjoyed. As I set off on my initial weight loss plan, a began walking, then incline walking, then interval running… Now I,m training for a 5K. He says this is due to deliberate practice.

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The 3rd General Session’s speaker was Billie Jean King! She was so engaging and full of life! She was motivating, inspiring, made me proud to have the courage to speak my mind, and thankful for innovators and motivators like her! At the end of her speech, she brought out a crate full of tennis balls that she had signed. The music cued, Philadelphia Freedom by Sir Elton John, and she began hitting the balls out into the audience! (Fun Fact: Elton John wrote that song for her).

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My friends finally flew into San Jose and I met up with them for dinner around 7pm. We headed towards Tandoori Oven, and Indian restaurant.

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We kicked it buffet style, each of us picking a meal and then sharing it with the table. We also decided to try some Indian beer. I’m not a big fan of beer, but it was something to try (plus, Kristin and I really like spicy food, and the beer helped to cut it down a bit).

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The table shared the following:

  • Angry Tandoori Chicken

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  • Chicken Tikka Masala

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  • Saag Lamb

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  • Curry Fish

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  • Chicken Korma and Matter Paneer

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The Angry Tandoori Chicken breast was so perfectly seasoned! The Lamb Saag was so tender, with a great flavor! What I was super impressed with, however was the Matter Paneer.