Without the Blog

Without the blog… my brain feels like a tornado… Swirling around causing misplacement of thoughts, turmoil, destruction of normal thinking… utter destruction of all the progress I have made…

After the events of the last few days, I believe I have found a correlation: blogging and binging. When I don’t blog, my eating habits go down the drain, my sense of control over my life feels missing, and chaos ensues.

I know that after a day or days of little appetite, it is bound to come back and bite me in the butt. The other day, I was asked to work a double and gladly excepted. Things were going great! The shift was going well, my patients were doing well, even my eating was doing well. I packed a delicious salad for dinner.


For the night shift portion of the evening, I had a packet of miso soup with crackers.


And then this happened…


Yeah… the downward spiral happened…

Just sitting around chatting with the girls and snacking away. The indulgent trail mix got me in some trouble. Which of course really got to my head, and gave me a decent belly ache. I decided the smart thing to do would be to purge. I know! Genius, right?!

I guzzled water for the next few hours or work, trying desparatley to fill myself up and flush out my system. The brain starts to think in odd ways when things go arye.

I got home, stressing out and yet I couldn’t stop eating! Why?!

I wound up making a shake, which I figure would fill me up indefinitely and I could walk away. Nope!

I would up purging, again, and completely curling into a ball for the remainder of the day. It was terrible. Throughout the rest of this week, I’ve had times of binging. The other night, I ate until I was in physical pain! Why? I don’t know? I followed this with intense purging.

I continued to question myself. Why, after all this time of success, did I fall? Everyone has days of slips, but this was repetitive.

I honestly believe its because I have not blogged. This blog is my outlet, my sancutuary. It makes me accountable for my actions. I allows me to reflect on my day, and basque in my accomplishments.

Without this blog, I’m lost.


Lean Salad

Last night, I wanted something but just could not figure it out. After countless snacking, I realzed a binge had just ensured. A purge quickly followed. I weighed myself, which probably was not the smartest thing to do. I had gained three lobs which put me into quite a tizzy.

I woke up this morning, with a plan to be active. I needed to pick up some prescriptions from WalMart, so that became my destination. I alternated walking and running for the just over 3mile travel. Mom picked me up on my way back, to run some errands.

On the car ride home, I received a call from work asking me to come in early and work a 12 hour shift. I made a shake to fill me up, made with a can of  Pure Protein Strawberry Cream and half a banana. I took a few sips, popped it in the freezer, took a shower, and crashed for a few hours. When  I woke up, I thawed the shake a bit and re-whipped it in the MagicBullet. When it was done, it looked like soft-serve! It was refreshing, and nutritious, filling, and frothy!


I sat in a 1:1 for the first 4 of my 12 hour shift. They kept offering me pizza. UGH!  So tempting! I went on the floor for the next 4 and then back to the 1:1 for the remainder of the shift. It broke up my night a bit.

I made myself some coffee to give me a boost, and as I walked into the break room, I discovered these babies:


Lauren’s Chocolate Chunk Brownies! These are terrible; and by “terrible,” I mean, “I could eat the whole tray.”

Three of these little squares found their way into my tummy over the course of the night. I like when things are small or two to three bites big. It makes me feel like I’m still indulging without completely derailing. I also brought myself a wonderful salad! The grocery store threw Lean Cuisine on sale for $1.99. I was all over it! I picked up one of there new salad additions. For me, half the package surficed as a meal, and I’m saving the other half for night shift on Friday. I split the ingredients and served it over a big container of spring mix! Delicious! The Lean Cuisine Asian-style Chicken Salad consisted of protein, in the form of chicken breast and edemame, and veggies, such as broccoli and carrots, all topped with a sweet sesame Asian vinaigrette! So enjoyable and highly recommended!



Two nights ago, when I left work, I started feeling really weird. As I walked out to my car, my body started feeling like it did when I was sick. I felt weak and tired, like I had no strength. I think it scared me into eating when I got home. Although it was 11pm, and I do not like to eat that late, it made me nervous.

The next morning, feeling some guilt about eating so late, I wanted to started the day off right with a long overdue smoothie bowl. We have tons of apples in the house and I really had a hankering for a cheesecake shake. I decided to make a Apple Crumb Cheesecake Shake (with spinach, of course, for some added vitamins).

Apple Crumb Cheesecake Smoothie BowlWP_002358

half a diced apple

1 sheet of reduced fat cinnamon graham crackers

1 Tbsp sugar free cheesecake pudding mix

handful of spinach

1/8 tsp guar gum

1/4 tsp xanthum



This was pretty good, but a few hours later I really wanted granola. Sticking with the creamy theme, I enjoyed a Yoplait Light Banana Cream yogurt with a Kashi Pumpkin Spice Flax granola bar. Perfectly satisfying. My favorite way to do this lunch though, is with the Nature Valley Peanut Butter granola bar! Peanut butter and banana! Can this combo ever be wrong? I don’t think so.


Last night was the graduating class’ pinning ceremony. The pinning ceremony is like a right of passage for nursing students. We are presented with a pin and a candle. The candle symbolizes Florence Nightingale’s travels during the Crimean War caring for the injured  She was known as “The Lady with the Lamp.” After receiving our pins and carrying our torches, we, as new graduate nurses, recite the Nightingale Pledge.

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The lovely evening would not have been complete without a fist fight. Yeah! A fist fight! As we were walking through the courtyard, I heard arguing. I looked back and watched some guest punch one of the nursing students! What the heck!?

After we grabbed security, we left and went to the DAP (Delaware Association of Police), kind of like a VFW, but for cops. (Dad and I are both members of the club). I like to opt for the lowest calorie drink, so I ordered a Diet Sierra Mist with Citron Vodka. The bar tender went a little heavy handed on the vodka and I was feeling good after that one drink.

Not having ate in over 8 hours, probably contributed to the immense tipsiness and hunger that ensued following the drink. Frank said he would treat to Chinese food so I ordered my favorite: Steamed Shrimp and Vegetable, with a side of garlic sauce. I must have been really hungry because I NEVER eat the rice. But I ate that whole darn platter. And I was feeling the full tummy when I went to sleep last night. Oh boy, was I stuffed!

I slept in a little later today, which was a nice change. I have work at 3pm today. I decided to go with another smoothie bowl this morning for two reasons: 1) its incredibly filling and should last me until dinner time, and 2) its National Cherry Cobbler Day!

Cherry Cobbler Protein ShakeWP_002370

1 scoop Vanilla Protein Drink Mix by Herbalife

1/2 Tbsp sugar free Vanilla pudding mix

1/4 tsp sugar free Cherry Jello mix

about 5 frozen cherries

1/2 sheet of reduced fat cinnamon graham crackers

1/4 tsp xanthum

1/8 guar gum

a handful of spinach (optional)



I guess this shake looked pretty appealing because Frank asked me to make him one, too!

Being Average

Today was an early morning as I took the HESI exam. The HESI exam is a practice exam for the NCLEX and gives your rationales as to why the answer you chose was wrong. (Very beneficial.) I didn’t do terrible, I scored average, but average is not what I strive for. Therefore, I took notes on the areas I need to improve on and plan on spending some time each day reviewing practice problems.

“Being normal is vastly over-rated.”

I always remembered this quote from Disney’s Halloweentown. (I used to be obsessed with this movie.) I’ve always wanted to be that innovated, that girl that had her own fashion or started a trend. Instead, I apply it to the area of my life I know I can be anything but normal… my academics. I’ve always been an above average student. When I have a goal, such as passing my NCLEX with flying colors, I dedicate myself to it, give it my all.

Whether I’m running, studying, cooking… I am always striving for my best. When I lost weight, I wanted to be normal… the truth is, in some aspects of life, there is NO NORMAL. Body type is one of them. Did you know the average size of woman in the US is a size 12?

I guess, in some round about way, I’m saying, “What’s the point of being normal, when it feels so much better when you go beyond?”

After the HESI, we met for the graduate luncheon that the SNA (Student Nurse Association) put together in the gym. Mexican theme. They did a pretty decent job, too! I stayed away from the taco shells and nachos, and went for the pulled chicken, lettuce, pico de gallo, and refried beans (I don’t know why, but I love this stuff).


Following this, was a few peanut M&Ms and tiny sliver of a cake they provided for us.


I didn’t have much of an appetite for awhile, but I had plenty of time to kill before work. I headed to the ACME to mosey around and grabbed a pint of strawberries.

Dinner was a bit strange. I tried out a new bar today. I left it in the car, and the coating melted so it was bit messy to eat. But hey, I wont complain about using a spoon to eat of protein bar or about the melted peanut butter coating that I dipped my strawberries in. HAHA I know I’m a bit odd sometimes, but I make it work…


So the bar… I’ve had a few bars by Pure Protein, with mixed feelings overall. This bar surprised me though. The Peanut Marshmallow Eclipse bar was a chewy and filling bar covered with a peanut butter coating. It really hit the peanut butter sweet spot. The only downside to this bar is the complete lack of fiber, but the 19g of protein keeps you crazy satisfied. The low sugar count is also a nice touch.

Do you have any recommendations on what to use to study for the NCLEX?

Can Working Out Be Fun?

Today was a lazy, and I do mean lazy, day! I guess my body is finally trying to recuperate after two years of non-stop work. I started the day with a shake that tasted like Andes Mint candy! WP_002347

2 scoops Chocolate protein powder

1 tsp DaVinci sugar free Creme de Menthe 

1 Russel Stovers sugar free mint pattie

a handful of spinach



I had a difficult time getting myself motivated today. This was odd because typically on days that begin with shakes, I get up and going! I ran some errands and picked up a few things from the store.

Today was so lazy that I wound up taking a nap. When I woke up, The Chew was on (I love this show) featuring desserts. Needless to say, I quickly grew a hankering for something sweet. Rather than grabbing something like a candy bar, I ate a SlimFast Chocolatey Vanilla Blitz snack bar. It was only 100 calories and tasted a bit like cookies and cream.

I am so glad my girlfriends called me and invite me to a Zumba class tonight. Finally, I can feel productive! But guess what, when she called to verify the time, the class had been cancelled! Boo!

I remembered seeing a sign a few blocks away at Club 3 about Zumba classes. After giving them a call, I found out they offer the class 4 days a week! Although my girlfriend couldn’t make it into the city tonight, I went anyway. The instructor was engaging and incorporated both Zumba music and contemporary dance music. My favorite dance of the class was “Get Out of Your Mind.” It really pumped me up!

I love when work outs don’t actually feel like work outs! Thats why I am such a huge fan of Zumba and Hip Hop Abs. I put a smile on my face to help get me motivated and the smile sticks around until the end of the workout! Then, I smile some more because I feel good, I know I burned calories, and I got to dance my butt off!

A workout secret: smiling puts you in a better mood to work out and keeps you going. If your not really feeling a workout, fake it till ya make it and pop a smile on your face!

A few hours before heading to the Zumba class, I made some Dill Chicken Salad, which I ate with some Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper Quakes and steamed brussel sprouts.

Dill Chicken SaladWP_002348

serves 2

1 6oz plain non fat Greek yogurt

1 md cucumber, peeled and deseeded

1 tsp chopped or minced garlic

1 tsp dill

a pinch of salt and pepper

1 10oz can 98% fat freeTyson Grilled and Ready Chunk White Chicken

This is the only way I can get my mom to eat yogurt! The dill flavoring is mild and the cucumbers add a refreshing crunch!

I’m Done!

Wow! I seriously have to play catch up with you guys! It has been quite some time since I’ve blogged! I have been studying like a crazy woman for my finals! The good news? It all paid off! I am officially a Graduate Nurse!


We Passed!

After one of my finals, Barry thought I could use some stress relief. You’ll never guess where he took me… SHOOTING! At first, I was really intimidated, since the first gun I was handed was a rifle. But once we went to the hand gun range, I felt in control and really started having fun. “If you hit the target, I’ll buy you dinner.” I hit the target! Woo Hoo!


We went to Applebees where I enjoyed one of their new items, Napa Chicken and Portabellos. I substituted steamed vegetables for the potatoes. It was a winner, smothered in onions, mushrooms, and roasted peppers!


Things have been going really well with Barry, which I’m happy about.

Last night, after  a couple dates of him treating, I took him to see Iron Man 3 in 3D IMAX. It was his first IMAX movie and Iron Man 3 was the perfect movies to see for him!

My eating was pretty spectacular last week, but last Thursday, I indulged on night shift. This past week was Nurse’s Week and every unit has a theme and a party. This year we went for a Pirate theme and I made a delicious tropical fruit salad!


But the cookies and Heath bar topped brownies were staring me down. After indulging in the brownie and cookie, and developing a serious tummy ache, I headed home feeling overly anxious. For the rest of the day, I felt so guilty, I only ate a banana and mixed berry shake.


Things regulated themselves out but ever since then, I have been feeling my anorexic mentality creeping back up. This is kind of freaking me out. It took me quite some time to get myself to eat dinner at work tonight. I’m glad I did because it was very good. My girlfriend told me her favorite Lean Cuisine was Shrimp Alfredo, so I gave it a shot. It already came with peas and broccoli, so I added about 3 oz of fresh broccoli florets, pepper and garlic to it and it was really tasty! I usually do not care for any frozen meals containing shrimp because it usually gets tough and rubbery, but this was an exception. WP_002342 Back tracking, breakfast was Sensato’s High Fiber Butter Pecan Hot Cereal. This stuff isn’t too great by itself, but I sprinkled a teaspoon of cocoa powder and a packet of Splenda, and it did the trick. I served it with a bowl strawberries on the side… YUM! WP_002340 In a nut shell, I’ve been loving not having to worry about school. I have never been so excited to clean my house or my car! I keep being asked why I’m so excited. I reply, “Because I have time now!”

Candy Bars

This morning I decided to cook breakfast for everyone at Barry’s house. When I say “everyone” I refer to Barry, his two house mates, my girlfriend Maggie, another housemate’s girlfriend, and myself. Barry’s favorite breakfast food is pancakes, and his favorite fruit is Blueberries. Therefore, blueberry pancakes it was!

I mixed my normal complete pancake mix, spiked with some vanilla extract and cinnamon. After dividing the badder on the skillet, I sprinkled in handfuls of blueberries. I had a banana, so I sliced some up and threw some slices in some pancakes.


Banana blueberry pancakes topped with blueberry syrup! Heck Yes!

We went food shopping for the guys house and obviously got a little carries away.


In the bright side, I finally found raspberries! As soon as I walked in the house, I threw a handful in some cottage cheese, and topped it with cocoa powder and Splenda! (Its even better with chia seeds.) I have jonesing for this!



I wasn’t super hungry for dinner, so I tried Fage’s Pineapple Fruyotopped with chia seeds. I really enjoyed the big chunks of pineapple!

In other catching up details, last weekend was quite busy. I participated in the NAMI Walk on Saturday and my little cousin received her First Holy Communion!

NAMI stands for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Battling depression, and having developed a sweet spot for the mentally ill during my Psych rotation, I really wanted to participate in this walk. A classmate of mine, Dave, jogged with me. Unfortunately, this walk was during the height of my allergy induced stuffiness. “Dave! Slow down! I need to blow my nose!”


Olivia, looking too cute, received her first Eucharist, the second sacrament in the Roman Catholic religion! I was very proud of her!

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I asked dad to take a picture of us… Needless to say, I don’t think he has the steadiest hand. (Haha! Sorry, dad.)

So, you are probably wondering why the title of the post is “Candy Bars,” yet not once have I mentioned a single piece of chocolatey guilt… Time for some reviews! The two bars that I will be reviewing today, remind me of two of my favorite candies! The first is the Chocolate Caramel Cluster Zone bar; the other, the Chocolate Hazelnut Atkins bar.

I bit into the Chocolate Caramel Cluster bar on my way to work one night and was surprised at the presence of actual caramel! A Baby Ruth candy bar is nougat, peanuts, and caramel covered by chocolate, and thats exactly what I tasted when I bit into this bar! Its time for a side-by-side comparison, shall we?


Chocolate Caramel Cluster (50g) Baby Ruth (60g)
210 cal 280 cal
4g sat fat 8g sat fat
25g carb 39g carbs
2g fiber 1g fiber
18g sugar 33g sugar
14g protein 4g protein

Not to mention all the vitamins and minerals you’re getting in the nutrition bars!

Now, onto Atkins! I remember that I had this bar before, but could not recall my opinion. When I came a cross it, again, I snatched it up. Hazelnuts are a pretty mild-flavored nut. After my first bite, I savored the bar, thinking I had tasted this before… but I wasn’t referring to the bar… It tasted like Ferrero Rocher! I love biting into those wafer bars to find a creamy chocolate with a hazelnut center!


Chocolate Hazelnut (40g) Ferraro Rocher (3 balls)
180 cal 220 cal
4g sat fat 5g sat fat
18g carb 17g carbs
7g fiber 1g fiber
1g sugar 15g sugar
6g protein 3g protein

*Don’t forget: Atkins bars use sugar alcohols to limit the net carbs.

Its Official

Its officially allergy season. Delaware has had a high pollen count for the last few days and this nose has been-a-sniffling.

So, I mentioned that last week a had a blind date and that we wanted to go out again. Little did I know, that our next date would be so soon. We metfor lunch on Wednesday and talked for about two hours straight. Without awkward silence! (This is a real special event for me because I am quite awkward and silence tends to follow when I talk with guys).

Anyway, the lunch date went well, and I was invited back to his house by the girl who introduced us. I spent a few hours there, met his friends and then was invited for a BBQ on Thursday.

I picked up his favorite beer, as well as some skinny drinks for me (I love Master of Mixes Lite line!!!), and helped with the BBQ. It was day 3 and already the house mates were calling when we were going to get married. HAHA! Crazy!


It was so nice! We sat around a bonfire, just talking. I felt like I was already accepted into this family they already had. Amazingly, we stayed up until 2am talking! 2am!! I felt terrible since he had to be up at 4am to go to work. (I won’t talk about his vocation, just yet).


Besides allergy season, we, too, are official. He officially asked me be exclusive! (I’m screaming like a little girl inside!)

He is away this weekend from work and I’ve never been with someone who texts me in the morning and calls me at night. Its so nice. Its so different from what I’m used to. This guy is so different. I keep telling him, “There has to be something wrong with you.” He just laughs at me. He is a real gentleman. I’m still kind of in shock at how things worked out and how quickly we clicked. He keeps saying, “I just keep waiting to wake up.” Its true though. Its surreal. All I know is that I’m really happy!


My dad reads my blog, so I know this probably mad awkward for him to read, but I am really happy. I feel like my dad thinks this a phase, of maybe hes just in denial that his daughter is growing up.

Ode to Kathleen and Drinks Before Noon

I can honestly say, that even as a college student, I have never once drank before noon.

This week started off with excitement: the LAST two days of clinical of nursing school!

Mondays features were coffee and cafe… I saw OIKOS Cafe Latte Greek Yogurt, and I was curious. But I really liked it! It was smooth ans creamy with a mild coffee flavor, not espresso like I was expecting.


Monday was miserable! It was pouring and gloomy. The best way to combat one of these days is with some soup: Lentil soup with some grilled ham and cheese! I still can’t find affordable raspberries, so I improvised for dessert to get my kick: Breakstone’s Raspberry Cottage Cheese Double, sprinkled with cocoa powder.

WP_002253 WP_002254

Now, onto Tuesday!

This is it! Its so surreal! I finished all my paperwork and projects, and this is the day. The LAST day of clinical as a nursing student! I was very attached to two of my patients and both they and I were said that I was leaving. I feel like I will visit them, though. I was actually contemplating applying for a job at this facility. I work with kids, but maybe my calling is to be with fragile patients. I’m not quite sure if a nursing home is the right start for a career for me, though.


After we were finished on the unit, I hugged my patients, and met up with friends at Border Cafe, as we had done a few weeks earlier. I learned, today, that I really am a light weight. One rum and coke and I was toast! And it wasn’t even noon yet! Oh boy!

After I sobered up I headed home to prep tonight’s dinner.

Kathleen is a nurse that I work with. She also happens to be a Kappan alumnus (referring to Phi Theta Kappa). Anyway, Kathleen and I have a lot in common. She has been very supportive of me throughout my entire illness and recovery, as well as a cheerleader for my continued education. One thing Kathleen and I have consistently found in common is our love of food, especially ethnic foods!  Although Kathleen and I usually talk about sushi and Indian food, I’m dedicating today’s recipe to her, as Kathleen is a vegetarian, and newcomer to the blog, and today’s recipe uses tofu.

I’ve made this recipe before and loved it! Now, for a little tweeking.

Tofu and Eggplant Stir-fryWP_002264

serves 4

Sauce: (you will be making this recipe three times)

1 tsp. cornstarch

1/4 cup cold water
1 tbsp. reduced-sodium/lite soy sauce
2 tsp. sweet Asian chili sauce
1 no-calorie sweetener packet (like Splenda or Truvia)
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes


1 large peeled eggplant cut into 1″ cubes
1 (14oz) package lite firm tofu

2 tsp. minced garlic


1 md. onion, cut into thirds and then quartered

2 bell pepper

4 cups frozen broccoli

3 oz baby carrots

6 button mushrooms, quartered

Combine all ingredients for the sauce except the cornstarch and set aside. Drain the water from the tofu and slice into 8 slices. Lay the slices between a towel, and weigh the tofu and towel down with a pan (I used a nursing text book). Allow the tofu to sit for 30 minutes and for the towel to absorb the excess moisture.

Spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray and “dry-fry” the tofu (AKA brown the tofu), pressing with a spatula occasionally to remove excess liquid. Once one side is toasty brown, flip and press the tofu again. When browned, remove from heat and let cool. When cool, cut each slice into 6 pieces. Place cubed tofu in a resealable baggie and pour in the sauce. Allow to marinate at room temperature, turning the tofu occasionally. (The longer the tofu has to marinade, the more flavor it will pick up. I marinated mine for about 4 hours).

Meanwhile, roughly chop vegetables into large pieces and cube the eggplant. After marinating the tofu for a while, its time to cook.

Spray a wok or large skillet with non stick spray, and on medium high heat, add the cubed the eggplant. Toss every so often to brown the sides and until the eggplant becomes fragrant. Add the minced garlic and empty the contents of the sealed marinating bag (tofu and marinade) into the skillet. Meanwhile, steam the vegetables as you would prefer to do so. (I used the stove).

Make two batches of the sauce. Combine the water and cornstarch and stir until dissolved. Add the remaining sauce ingredients. (Remember to make two batches). Toss the eggplant and tofu and pour one completed batch pf sauce over the “meat” and toss. Lower the heat to medium/ medium-low. Add the last batch of sauce, toss, and allow to thicken.

Toss all ingredients together and enjoy!


cube up the eggplant


press and dry-fry the tofu


cool and cut the tofu




rice boiling, vegetables steaming, and “meat” cooking


Reading this recipe back, it sound a lot more complicated than it actually is. I promise!

I love the sweet and spicy notes of this meal! Plus, I got dad to eat tofu! (Another added bonus: each serving is around 200 calories). I served dads meal over brown rice and mine over the remaining bag of Miracle Rice. I also made a samosa salad with a thinly sliced cucumber, some onion, and a tablespoon of seasoned rice vinegar.