Ahoy, Foodies!

Today is National Butterscotch Pudding Day, so lets begin our Thursday with a little, shall we Mateys?

Sammy, what’s wrong with you? Why are you talking like that? Oh, because its also National Talk Like A Pirate Day. To avoid the scurvy, let add a little Vitamin C into our meals, today, too!

WP_003957Cinnabon Protein Bowl

  • 2 scoops cookies n cream protein (1 and 1 of chocolate and vanilla will do)
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter buds
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar free fat free butterscotch pudding
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp xanthum
  • water
  • ice

WP_003956My vitamin C came in the form of spinach, if you couldn’t tell by the green colored bowl. Oh, and I topped it with ground flax! I experimented with making this into a smoothie by substituting 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt for the vanilla shake mix and 1 tsp cocoa powder. I prefer the shake version better, but not bed.

Frank’s Ascorbic Acid was made with a ton of cantaloupe and half a banana.

I grabbed a shower, hoping that it would get me out of this lazy funk I’ve been. I felt like I was falling asleep in the shower, but after a good facial scrub, smoothie bowl, and a cup of caramel coffee, I felt a little more like myself. I threw on my sneakers and iPod and took a 2 mile walk. My fitness goal was not to go full on running, but rather work on form. It so easy to lean forward when power walking. Instead, I focused on keeping my shoulders back, and my abdominals tight. After a few blocks, you can really feel the muscles on your stomach, obliques, and shoulder muscles!

I felt even better coming home to a bottle of water and having enjoyed a brisk walk on a beautiful day!

WP_003958I made sure to set aside a solid hour and a half to send our resumes! But after that, I actually felt hungry! I had discussed the possibility of making seafood for dinner, with my dad, and he had put in the idea of a tuna melt. Simple! I mixed together a rather delicious tuna salad!

  • 1 can solid white albacore
  • 2 Tbsp light mayo
  • 1 oz roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 3 large black olives, chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp reduced fat grated Parmesean
  • black pepper, taste

I ate mine just microwaved, and I made Frank a tuna melt! Not only was it tasty, but its colorful! Spectacular!

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After Frank and I ran a few errands, and a little tidying up was done, I got a hold of mom to see what her plans were for the night. I’m really in the mood for Saladworks, I said. “Do you want a turkey sandwich?” No, because then I’ll wind up eating it. “Well, I’m going to get one anyway. You can just eat the turkey.”

Thanks, mom! But it worked out really well! I ate half a Luna Carrot Cake bar to hold me over until dinner, and when it was time, I offered to pick it up. I power walked another half mile, and was pretty stoked that I ran the last block uphill! I ordered a turkey sandwich with extras pickles and onions, American cheese, lettuce, on rye bread, with sweet peppers on the side. Mom typically orders extra mayo. No way, woman! You can add your own mayo!

I took this….

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And transformed it into this….

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A delicious salad over spinach! And Beauty got the treat of rye bread and a slice of cheese.

WP_003967This was so good, that I made another small salad! Every time mom and I get a hoagie from Degnar’s Deli, we get into onion mode. They have the best onions! They are perfectly sliced, crisp, strong and mom and I always wind up slicing onions as a snack. To the second salad, went a whole cucumber, two sweetened gerkins, and a bunch of onion, all topped with salsa! Sooooo good! I thought the combination of pickles in my salad was odd until dad reminded me that they technically are the same thing… duh, Sammy.

This meal put me in quite a veggie mood, and I snacked on celery and sugar snap peas with salsa until mom and I met up with dad and Barry for the Eagles/Chiefs game.

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I stuck with my pirate theme and got Captain and Diet Pepsi. Barry got a little intoxicated! But on the bright side, I got to drive his car. (It’s a stick shift, and hes been teaching me.) But I drove home and didn’t stall! Woo Hoo! And Melissa, my favorite bartender made bacon mac n’ cheese, which was good sober-up food. She also let me play around with two new Pinnacle vodkas on the shelf. The first was Caramel Apple, but the one that grabbed my eye was the Pumpkin Pie! Yes, Pumpkin Pie vodka! We started thinking about things that you could drink it with. I suggested Rum Chata and it worked beautifully! Like a pumpkin egg nog!  Melissa, then, added a few drops of Bailey’s. It cut some of the alcohol bite, and I would have poured that shot right into a cup of coffee! MMMM!

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A Side Note:

Teresa mentioned to me that I used pigeon peas to make yesterday’s Split Pea Soup. I forgot to address why. Thanks, Teresa!

I grabbed the wrong bag of peas from the farmer’s market, but did not realize it until they had already been soaking overnight. I watch shows like Chopped, Cupcake Wars, and Iron Chef because I believe a great chef goes with the punches. I always challenge myself when I watch the shows to try to come up with what I would do if I was on the show. Therefore, once I realized my mistake, I rolled with it, and made it work!

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Dork-ing It Up

I mentioned, yesterday, how important it is to surround yourself with positive vibes. Last night, I did just that. I typed up last night’s post while getting ready for bed, however the whole “going to bed” thing didn’t really happen.

Barry and I decided to stay up since neither one of us had anything to do in the morning, and that way we could sleep late.

I really enjoyed last night. We stayed up, playing Phase 10 and watching “Chopped” on Food Network until about 1am. We were googling exotic foods and talking about NASA and space travel…

It was a plain, simple night in and I loved it!

We awoke around 11am, today, and desperately tried falling back asleep. No such luck. So up we went to fix some coffee and enjoy our respective yogurts. I had the the Dannon Light & Fit Blueberry Greek and he experience Greek yogurt for the first time with OIKOS Blackberry. I also broke off a piece of a Gnu Brownie bar to give me a PMS chocolate-fix.

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We continued to dork it up after breakfast while watching an episode of “Star Trek: Next Generation” and the final “Lord of the Rings” movie. Yes, I’m aware how exciting we are, but after my freak out on Monday night, surrounding myself with positive people and events really made a difference.

I ran a few errands on my way home and grabbed another Special K cereal bar, Red berries, for a mid-day snack to hold me over until my shake, which I will make before heading to work. I also managed to pick up these little cuties from Five Below!

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Unfortunately, today is another day of belly bloat. Super uncomfortable! When I get bloated, I’m never really sure if I’m hungry or not, so I’ve been trying to keep hydrated. If I keep drinking and still feel hungry, I’ll eat, but as of right now, I feel like a bowl full of jelly. HAHA

In the world of animals, I told you I’d get back to you about the Blue Buffalo I got for the kids. Beauty scarfs Wellness, like devours it. She kind of sniffed the Blue Buffalo and walked away. She eventually ate it, but I’ll save some money and stick with the Wellness brand.

In the world of bars, I had a Maple Glazed Pecan and Sea Salt KIND bar. How good does that sound?! I wasn’t sure after my first bite, but after my second I began to pick out the maple notes, then the mild saltiness. Its nice low GI treat with 6g protein and 5g fiber.

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In the world of recipes, to keep myself busy before, I made a very anticipated recipe: Homemade Nutella! You know I’m addicted to the stuff, so based off Katie’s Healthy Nutella recipe, I created a virtually sugar free, low fat, low carb chocolate hazelnut spread. I dig it!

The day I took Barry to Wholefoods, we picked up a bag of hazelnuts to make this, but life got in the way and I decided today was the day! Sorry, Barry, I just couldn’t wait any longer!

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  • 2 level cups raw hazelnuts (240g)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar free maple syrup
  • 2 packets Splenda
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free chocolate syrup
  • 1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened Flax milk)

Roast the hazelnuts for about 9 minutes 400 F. Rub them together in a paper towel to get the skins off. Be careful, as the nuts are pretty hot. In a food processor (I used the MagicBullet) blend the nuts until they begin to be ground very fine, almost nut butter-like, Add all other ingredients, adding 1 at a time and blending. Continue to blend until it’s smooth!

The Bullet was not the easiest thing to use for this, but my food processor at this house is a hand crank, and that just was not happening. I alternated between adding wet and dry ingredients between blending. Because the Bullet isn’t exactly full of space, I removed some of the ingredients and blended in small batched to ensure it was well mixed and smooth.

WP_003209Depending on your taste buds, play around with the sweetness and chocolate decadence.

Next time I make it, I’d like to try Hershey Dark Cocoa!

It made enough to refill my old Nutella jar, plus some! Yum!

Let us compare the chocolate hazelnut spreads that have appeared on Be Well Bundo , shall we?

 per 2 level Tablespoons Nutella (original) Hazelnut Spread GO-LO Sugar Free Be Well Nutella
Calories 200 160 130 122
From Fat 110 80 110 **
Fat 12g 9g 13g 10.7g
Sat. Fat 4g 4g 4g 0.1g
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg 0mg 0mg
Sodium 15mg 10mg 5mg 18.3mg
Carbs 21g 20g 17g 5g
Fiber 1g 0g 11g 2.1g
Sugar 21g 19g 0g* 0.9g
Protein 2g 1g 1g 2g
Vit A 0% 0% 0% 0.3%
Vit C 0% 0% 0% 2.2%
Calcium 4% 8% 0% 1.3%
Iron 4% 4% 4% 3.5%
*contains erythritol**not calculated by MyFitnessPal

Because this recipe contains milk, I would recommend to refrigerate it. Plus, the cold will help make it nice and thick.

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WP_003211In the world of work, I am working a 12. I threw together a shake using a bit of the nutella and some random frozen fruit with protein mix…nothing to write home about. I also made a mug of coffee to take with me. I totally forgot I had this 12 Coffees of Christmas box in the cupboard. I found it while digging out the ingredients for today’s nutella and butter pecan coffee sounded too good to pass up. It smelled amazing!

WP_003212Although I kept busy, time was not passing as quickly as I had hoped. I encountered a tempting blueberry muffin that everyone was snacking on. I had not had one in a long time at treated myself to the quarter that looked like it had the most blueberries! PMS loved the sweet blueberry muffin and after grabbing a soda for my patient, it also decided it wanted a Dr. Pepper. Not just any Dr. Pepper, but a Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper. I was off to the vending machine only to discover Cherry Cola and Diet Dr. Pepper! Darn it! 23 flavors it is…

Around 230am, I hit the wall! I got so tired and bolted to the caf for some coffee. The bad thing about night shift is that your body is not used to being awake, and therefore, gets those crazy late night snack urges, like oreos! Snacking smart, I packed a sliced bell pepper! I just love that crisp and sweet bite from those things! But those oreos are not easy to resist. I also packed a tempeh salad using spring mix, baby carrots, tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, beets, and fakin’ bacon tempeh. Hmmm bacon… yup, Walden Farms Blue Cheese dressing it is!

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It was a  really satisfying salad! I could have kept on eating it (ya know, if I didn’t already eat it all)!

I know…

While the guys BBQ’d burgers and dogs and made mac n cheese for dinner last night, I steamed a big bag of California blend frozen veggies, seasoned with garlic, basil, and a drizzle of light Italian dressing. “Is that good?” Barry asks. “Try it.” “Wow, that is good!” “I know….”   🙂

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We fell asleep watching Part 1 of the Half Blood Prince, last night, and awoke with a serious coffee craving. The coffee really hit the spot today. Barry and I split a Cinnamon Raisin English muffin, dipped in sugar free syrup.

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The heat has been pretty intense lately and it really got to me today. I had every intention of going to Zumba, but every time I stood, I got light headed. I tried to drink a lot of water today, but still had to blow off class.

Mid-morning, I got a crazy hankering for grilled zucchini. Dad and I headed to the farmers market. My belly was growling something fierce and I opted for some seaweed salt. Dad ans I are addicted to the stuff! I may have tapped into this container while still shopping.

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Also making an appearance this afternoon was a new KIND bar: Dark Chocolate Chili Almond.

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Dad described it really well as, “nondescript.” After having Chilies and Cherries in Dark Chocolate  by Chocolove and really catching that bite, I expected more from this bar… more of a spice or a kick.

When we got home, I lit up the grill and grilled hot dogs for the guys and zucchini for me.

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zucchini boats

Slice the zucchini in half, lengthwise. Using a spoon, deseed the vegetable to create a boat.

Spray the exposed zucchini with nonstick cooking spray and place down on the grill, so the green is facing up. Grill over medium-high heat until grill lines are evident and water has clearly been drawn out of the vegetable, approximately 15 minutes. (This may take longer depending on how well you want the zucchini cooked.) Flip the zucchini over and lightly brush with pesto, or red sauce, and sprinkle with black pepper.

Top with desired toppings.I topped mine with sliced tomatoes, turkey pepperoni, and fat free shredded mozzarella, granulated garlic and crushed red pepper flakes!

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Grill for another 10 minutes or so, or until the desired wellness of the vegetable.

“Is that good? Dad asked. “Try it.” “Wow! That’s better than I thought!” “I know…”   🙂

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Later this evening dad called me to tell me how he was still impressed with how tasty the grilled zucchini was!

I picked up a peach at the market, earlier, in honor of National Peach Ice Cream Day. Taking a cue from Hungry-girl, I sliced the peach in half, sprayed the exposed fruit, and grilled it skin side up. Still warm, with well defined grill marks, about 13 minutes on medium high heat, I served it with a scoop of Breyers Vanilla Carb Smart Ice Cream!

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Since I wasn’t going to Zumba, I sat on the porch with some fresh brewed iced tea and studied for the boards.

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I was very content, hunger-wise, for the majority of the day.Right until around 9pm… I did some snacking to figure out jut what I was looking for… the winner? Pineapple!

My accomplishment of the day: single handedly eating a whole pineapple!

I sliced up a pineapple after dinner, and throughout the night, I kept stealing slices of it. It was the best pineapple I’ve had all season! Is it bad to eat a whole pineapple in 1 day? I’m not sure, but I’d rather eat that than ice cream or cookies. (I did eat a few cookies, today, though…)   :/

And now? Well, I can’t sleep. I think all that pineapple gave me a sugar high! So until I start fading, its blog fun and Rugrats reruns on late night TV.

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).

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

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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…

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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

water

ice

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.

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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!

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.

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Banana blueberry pancakes topped with blueberry syrup! Heck Yes!

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

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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!

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Delicious!

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!”

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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?

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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!

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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.

Simple Days and Giant Strawberries

Eating was simple today.

The first half of the day amounted to about 4 net carbs. HAHA

During break, today, in clinical, I sat down to a cup of coffee and an a Blueberry Almond Atkins Baked Square. I liked how filling it was and the big chunks of almonds and blueberries in every bite! The drizzle of icing was a nice sweet touch, as well.

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Not having something to drink after clinical, I enjoyed my emergency lunch that I always keep in the car: Atkins Wild Berry Day Break Shake.

Dinner was far too simple, as it was a bowl of Campbell’s Chunky Healthy Request Grilled Chicken and Sausage Gumbo with some Brown Rice Sweet Tomato Basil Triscuits.

The highlight, or should I say shocker, of the day was the strawberries! I went to the store on my way home to grab strawberries, which I saw were on sale. I couldn’t believe how big these babies were! I bought two pints.  I had to! I couldn’t pass it up!

Check it out! Its the size of my palm! And, boy, it was good!

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I have so many strawberries in my tummy right now!

So like I said, a pretty simple day.

But what is NOT so simple, is the paperwork due by next week! It feels like all I do is sit in front of my laptop!

On the bright side, I submitted my first job application for a nursing position! Wish me luck!

Heres a little picture I acquired during my geriatric rotation that I found humorous:

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A Sucker for Staying Power

I spent the night at dads last night. When I am over, I like to make sure we eat breakfast together before he heads off to work. While brewing a pot of coffee, I played around in the kitchen and created a breakfast pizza! Its not your typical breakfast pizza that you would get at a deli, but its very similar.

A couple weeks back, I discovered 80 calorie, low carb, low fat Everything wraps by Tumaro. I thought this would be a nice incorporation with breakfast since it reminded me of an everything bagel. I sprayed a large skillet with non still cooking spray and laid the wrap over medium high heat. Meanwhile, chop up your choice of toppings. Today, we had peppers, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach. Combine 1 egg with 1/4 cup of egg whites, or egg substitute. When the wrap has started toasting, remove from the pan. Spray the skillet again and lay the wrap, uncooked side down. Pour the eggs over top, sprinkle toppings and seasonings, reduce heat to medium low and cover. While the eggs are solidifying, I cut up a slice of Borden’s fat free PepperJack cheese,  and scattered that over top the egg.

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Keep the eggs covered until cooked completely through. We are hot sauce and egg people in the Bundo house, so that was the final touch. Slide the fully cooked pizza out of the pan, slice and enjoy! I didn’t have an appetite for hours!

Can you tell dad was really digging it?

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After dad left for work, I met up with my other dad, my stepdad, and we headed to the Farmer’s Market. I like going here for a couple reasons:

  • cheap! (lots of good stuff, for low prices)
  • ridiculously scrumptious pizza (Mama Gina’s is the best!)
  • Amish market (need I say more?)
  • produce (yum!)
  • puppies (theres a pet store and groomers in the  market, I just want to take them all home!)

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Its also just a nice way to spend an hour or two out of the house.

On the way home, I stopped by the grocery store to see if I could grab some fruit cups. I didn’t find my fruit cups, but what I did find was a new bar to try!

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I’ve really been on a malted milk ball kick, so when I came across Kashi’s Go Lean Dipped Chocolate Malt Crisp bar, I had to indulge! Oh my gosh! Love it! Its like candy! This whole bar has the same ammount of calories as a serving of Whoppers, but with less fat, less sugar, and more protein that actually fills you up, makes you feel satisfied, and has some serious staying power! I wasn’t hungry again until close to2 am at work!

I got to work early tonight to meet a friend at the Oncology Prom. Every year my hospital host Prom for the Oncology kids. I friend of mine is a former patient and invited to come! They really go all out for these kids! They serve dinner, theres a DJ, everyone looks beautiful! Last year, David Akers was the guest. This year, it was Miss Teen Delaware. After a couple dances, I helped clean up and headed to work. (Did I mention that I woke up at 5pm and could not fall back asleep today!?)

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Like most meals at work, this one had to be microwaved. It was another Lean Cuisine (I think I prefer Lean Cuisine over Smart Ones): Grilled Chicken Ceasar. But wait! Thats a salad, not a frozen meal! What I liked about this meal, was the light,  cheesey sauce and the broccoli! The ceasar sauce was not rich, like many cream gravies. I added some chopped frozen asparagus to the mix for a variation in texture. It worked out quite nicely. I finished the meal with a small, refreshing navel orange.

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During dinner, I saw one of the nurses, Kris, make a face and grab her belly. “Are you okay?” Guess what? She was having contractions! I’ve delivered babies, but its pretty cool seeing someone who belly you watched grow, start having contractions!

I was pulled to another 1:1 on my night shift. I usually dread night shift 1:1 because I’m terrified that I’ll fall asleep. This one was different. This patient shared a very similar background with me. We got to talking. While my patient sleep, I drew a picture about the true meaning of “beauty”, and wrote a note on the back. Ironically, this patient drew a picture of me and wrote a note on the back. Great minds think alike. We shared our email addresses. They say to be careful what information you share with your patients, but I find that sometimes, in order to deliver your best care, you need to bend this rule a bit. Sharing a similar story with your patient, makes them trust you. Its like give and take: they share, you share, they share even more. Anyway, I love making connections with my patient’s and trying to be there for them, not just when I am on the clock. I’m glad I met this patient.

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(My patient is obviously much more artistically inclined than I am.)

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!

Good Karma

My alarm sounded at 545 pacific time. I hit the snooze alarm, and closed my eyes thinking about how long I had to before I needed to be ready to leave.

After hitting the second snooze alarm, I decided to take advantage of the early morning and took it as a sign to get motivated. I had just enough time to complete a 30 minute treadmill work out that looked like this:

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And I had ten minutes to spare to clean up and change in time for Church, grab a coffee and banana for the walk and be on my way.WP_001790

I like attending new Churches. I find that no Church, no mass is the same. Each priest, choir, altar presents differently. Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph was a large and beautiful Church. Rather than pews, the seats were circled around the altar. It was decorated with Lilly’s from the Easter season, and the priest gave a great homily!

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Afterwards, we wondered around downtown in an attempt to find something entertaining. I wanted to check out a vegan cafe, but it turns out they don’t open until 11. We wound up walking to Bijan Bakery. I ordered a mushroom and spinach quiche. The crust was flakey and buttery! I paired this with a raspberry pomegranate green tea that so unique. My taste buds went wild at the first sip!

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And look at all the beautiful treats!

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We continued to wander around the city. We had all woke up so early that it seemed so much later to us. Nothing was really open yet so we walked back towards the hotel. We split up, me heading to my room to work on some homework, and them going to the art museum.

It was time to head to the educational forums at the convention. I chose to attend “Leading with Ethics.” I’ve chosen my forums based on what I think will be useful in my career as a nurse. Nursing requires delegation and leadership, and ethics is always a controversy on the medical field. My overall summary of this session is : All ethics begin with self ethics. In order to be an ethical leader, I must first understand my own values and how to value others, and this will allow me to recognize how others would like to be treated. What is the intent of my actions? Am I bettering my community?

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After a busy afternoon of flag bearer practice, I ran to grab a quick bite. While planning for this trip, I found a restaurant called Good Karma Vegan Cafe. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast so I ran over to grab dinner. The place was very small, but had a very eclectic feel with great music playing! They served different types of beer, some organic. Their menu consisted of a rice or quinoa platters, burritos, desserts, and more. To get the experience I opted for a 3-dish platter. Rather that eating it with rice or quinoa, I asked for steamed vegetables. You create your dish by choosing one, two, or three items from their cold box, and they heat it up. I wanted to try things that I never had before so I chose the following:

  • Spicy Basil Tofu
  • Jamaican Tofu
  • PraRam

As she brought over my meal, I could not imagine finishing the whole thing. They are NOT sparing on the helpings. From the minute the first carrot touched my lips, I was sunk! I devoured every bit of this meal! The Spicy Basil Tofu contained was in mildly spicy sauce, while the Jamaican Tofu kicked it up just a bit, both dishes containing vegetables. I think the dish I was most surprised by was Pra Ram. I asked about this dish since I’ve never seen it before. Its a noodle dish with vegetables in a peanut coconut sauce. I typically stay away from all things containing coconut milk, but this seemed like an exception. Oh! My! Goodness! This was the first thing I finished off my plate! This a recipe I must make when I get home!

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After my meal, I went up to the girl behind the counter and raved about the meal. We don’t have anything like this at home and the food was spectacular! I raved about it all day. “Do you like baklava?” was her reply. “Yes.” “Here you go… on the house!” The baklava was how it should be: not drenched in honey, just sticky and sweet enough to feel like a treat!

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???????!After changing for the opening ceremonies, a representative from every state, or nation, went on stage and waved their flag. I was honored to represent Delaware, the third one called. By the time all the others were called, my arms were wearing out from waving the flag. (No need to work on my upper body today, haha).  At the ceremonies, our region won the the Distinguished Regional Officer Team Hallmark, and Regional Milestone Award!

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