Two In One

I really could go on and on about my love of different fruits. Today is National Blueberry Pie Day so I wanted to do something with blueberries to celebrate. Ever since Barry and I started dating, my love of all things blueberries keeps growing. One thing that hasn’t changed is my love of bananas, as you well remember Walnana!

You know when you but fruit, thinking it will be gone in no time, and suddenly realize “Oh darn! Its mushy”? Well, thats what was happening with the bowl of bananas on the counter. Almost completely black! Which, of course is perfect for baking!

Blueberry Banana Muffins!

make 16 cupcakes (12 muffins)

  • 1 cup mashed bananaWP_005748
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp sugar free syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup flax milk
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup granulated Splenda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 to 2 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine the bananas through Splenda. In a separate bowl, combine cinnamon through oats. Fold in the blueberries and optional chia seeds. Divide amongst lined cupcake or muffin tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the centers come out clean.

Allow the muffins to cool for at least 10 minutes and dig in.

Nutrition (1/16 with 1/2Tbsp chia):

Calories: 74, Fat: 0.5g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 162mg, Carbs: 15.7g, Fiber: 1.7g, Sugar: 2.5g, Protein: 1.9g

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You will not regret the aromas that travel throughout your home! Heavenly!

For the sake of the blog, I cut each muffin in half, and experimented with toppings. So far, I can vouch for plain muffin, sweetened cream cheese (fat free cream cheese with a sprinkle of Splenda, smashed banana, and, of course, nut butter!

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Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut

Despite attending Zumba last night, which always exhausts me the next morning, I had no problem rising with the sun when I was asked to pick up a 12 hour day shift for today, which I gladly excepted. I took this opportunity to try the new SmartOnes oatmeal! The Peaches and Cream was delicious! I am so used to Peaches n’ Cream oatmeal being soooooo sweet! This was perfect! Between this, a banana, and a mug of coffee, I was satisfied until lunch.

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Lunch was refreshing and crunchy: strips of cucumbers and baby carrots with a bit of fat free dressing. I just love crudites!

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Work went well and I kept busy. My eating was fantastic and I was so proud of myself. Dinner was my favorite Lean Cuisine, Chicken Marsala. I just love the risotto and adding the extra mushrooms makes this dish fantastic!

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When I got home around 730pm, I was getting hungry again. I ate a bunch of cantaloupe. That wasn’t quite satisfying to my taste buds, so nibbling followed. Surprisingly, what did the trick was a can of almonds I found.

Come on… you know it wouldn’t be that simple… dipped in nutella, of course!

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“Sometimes you feel like a nut!” Get it? Almonds, hazelnuts, nutella????

Although I ate more than I wanted to when I came home, the day over all, was good eating day!

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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!”

Steak and Eggs and Tempeh

ImageStudying has ruled the last few days. Yesterday started with a delicious shake that kept me going and full for hours.

2 scoop Chocolate protein powder

Cherry Dannon Light and Fit Greek Yogurt

bunch of spinach

ice

water

I can’t believe how good it was. I’ve made this before, but it was exceptionally delicious today.

The reminder of my day was spent at the kitchen table. studying. pulling my hair out.

I always like to eat a protein filled meal the night before an exam, so I invited dad over for steak and eggs. I feel breakfast foods should be eaten any time of the day!

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I seasoned some london broil with montreal steak seasoning and pan-fried it. Then I combined 1/4 cup egg beaters and 1 egg, and while in the pan, fold in a slice of Bordens fat free PepperJack cheese. Slice up the meat. Top a toasted english muffin with the eggs and meat. Lastly, I sauteed some onions, peppers, and garlic for garnish.

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Dad ate a sandwich, while I kicked it topless… that doesn’t sound right…

I followed dinner with some more food: apple, cinnamon, and cottage cheese

This test day began with Raisin and Spice oatmeal and some Dunkin Donut coffee.

I studied all morning, treating my stressed out self to a chocolate chip cookie before the exam.

I managed to pull out a B! Woah! That exam actually gave me a stomach ache!

To take my mind off things, mom asked me to dye her hair. Its nice to have a mom who was a cosmetologist  I’ve never had to pay for a hair cut or dye, and shes been teaching me!

Dinner, tonight, was delicious as well! Tempeh is one of my favorite salad toppers, as are roasted vegetables. Roasted artichoke hearts, onions, carrots, and Sesame Garlic Tempeh tickled my fancy this evening and I did not regret it! Wow-zah! MMMM Good!

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My girlfriend, Meaghen, got me hooked on tempeh when I was in New York with Barry’s Tempeh! Ever since, I’ve had tons of tempeh recipes in the making in my head. I can’t wait to make them and share them with you!

Cottage cheese and apples made another appearance as dessert. I’ve been doing a lot of stress eating the last few days, but I’ve recognized it each night, which I’m happy about and have been able to stop.

I remember, now, that this is how I gained so much weight in the first place; not just stress eating, but eating when I’m not hungry, or just because the food is there.

But, alas, although the exam is over, this semester is not. I have two projects and two exams to complete for the big G-Day (graduation)!

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)  🙂

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.

Copy Cat

I started my testing morning as I typically do, with a bowl of oatmeal. Using package oatmeal is super easy on test mornings. I decided on Very Berry oatmeal by Better Oats. I find this oatmeal to be rather sweet, so I cut it down by adding some nut butter and ground flax. This brand of oatmeal already has flax seed, but a little more won’t hurt me. This morning, I used the soy nut butter. I figured the oatmeal would mask its interesting flavor. I was right, and this breakfast kept me very full. It was paired with a cup of coffee.

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After the exam, I hit the gym. As I began my warm-up on the elliptical, I checked my email. I did not really have an idea of what I wanted to do today so it worked out that I was greeted with an email from Julie, pbfingers. The idea of spending a little extra time on the elliptical appealed to me so I stayed on, like she did today, and completed her Upper Body Super Set. (Since our small school gym does not have a barbell, I used the bend for the chest presses.) There was a girl at the gym who wanted to work on her arms so I invited her to join me. Time goes by sooooo much faster when someone else is with you!

Post workout, I arrived home to enjoy a banana and finish some homework. I also steamed a very petite bowl of baby carrots.

Nap time! Literally.. thats all I got was a nap. I only slept for about 2 hours, so it looks like tonight will be a caffeined night shift. Therefore, I got my booty up, took a shower and made a shake and some coffee.

Back in January, Julie posted an energizing smoothie that caught my attention. I made a mental note to use my frozen mango for this… well, apparently I stuck that mental note way too far in the back of my head, because I just now remembered it. I figured this would be the perfect pick me up for night shift!

Here’s my take on her creative genius:WP_001421

  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1 Dannon Light and Fit Strawberry Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • a handful fresh kale
  • ice and water

Woah Mama! This was delicious! I had to control myself. Plus, it was super filling. It also turned out nice and thick and ate it with a spoon out of my tumbler. I called dad up, as I slurpped away at this tumbler full of yum, and told him that he was going to get one for breakfast tomorrow! He could not refuse!

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Roasted Vegetables: Crock Pot Recipe #7

Wednesday:

I went to class this morning and while waiting, enjoyed a Muller Mousse Parfait. A girl I’m in clinical with loves these, so I gave it a try.

WP_001225I tried the peach passion fruit, figuring if I was going to try something, I might as well try the most exotic sounding. I topped it with both ground flax and chia, and it was delicious and filling! I only have one complaint: way too much sugar! Seriously, it had a whole days worth of sugar in it!

After this cardiac cram session, I hit the gym. I had a full workout planned but as I was doing it, I realized I was not going to be able to complete it, if I needed to get some sleep for night shift. I only worked out for an hour or so. I was so bummed when that I had to leave. Have you ever been so into your routine, you just didn’t want to stop. Seriously, even the shuffle on my iPod just kept giving me great songs to power up to!

I hit the sheets when I got home, unfortunately  only getting about 2 hours of sleep for my 12 hour shift. I made something that was LONG overdue: a shake. Iv’e been checking up on this blog I found and she made a shake that sounded delicious, so I gave it a go. The following was whipped up:

handful of kaleWP_001227

handful of frozen, pitted dark cherries

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Formula 1

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla PDM

half a frozen banana

1 Tbsp sugar free cheesecake pudding mix

and lots of ice!

Pretty darn tasty… Actually, dad asked me to make him one for Thursday morning!

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Over the course of the long night, I did some pretty wise snacking choices, suck as graham crackers, sugar free pudding, and 94% fat free popcorn. I have to same, though, my favorite meal of the night, was the Raisin and Spice Oatmeal. I stirred in a little PB, and mmmmmm good!WP_001231

After I got home, I started preparing the crock pot. Tonight’s recipe is in preparation for tomorrow’s dinner (I can’t wait!)

Once all the ingredients were in the crock, I sat down to finish some homework and enjoyed a nice bowl of Banana Nut and Peanut Butter Cheerios, a cup of Pumpkin Spice coffee with some sugar free french vanilla powdered creamer and a few dark chocolate covered espresso beans to keep me going for the day!

Katie loves crock pots too and I remembered a while back she posted about roasting vegetables in a crock pot. Being the sucker for veggies that I am, I starting thinking up ways to use these veggies. Over rice? with sausage? In a pita? The possibilities are endless! Needless to say, I hit up the discount produce shelf…

Roasted Crock Pot Veggies

2 bell pepper (I like using colors)WP_001233

3 cloves garlic, slivered

half an onion, sliced in rings

a few baby portabellos

1 large carrot stick, sliced into very thin coins

handful of sun-dried tomatoes, sliced thin

1 small eggplant, sliced to 1/4 in thick

spices, to taste

Prepare all the vegetables, adding or subtracting vegetable that you enjoy, and toss them in the crock pot. Season, cover, and cook.

The original recipe calls for oil, but instead, I just gave the top of the veggies a quick spray with some non-stick pray and few shot a liquid aminos. I couldn’t find my Italian seasoning in the cupboard, so I used some granulated garlic, black pepper, parsley, oregano, and basil, and gave it all a nice toss.

WP_001235Cover the pot and look on low, stirring occasionally.

During class, I was starting to sense some hunger creeping up on me. I looked around the room, and wouldn’t you know like four people were chopping on protein bars! AHHHH! I knew this would be tough!

When I got home from class, the house smelled like a warm garden… fresh veggies in the air! I hustled into the kitchen to give them a stir and a try. I was so happy with how they turned out! The carrots were just the right consistency  the onions became translucent  the peppers and mushrooms cooked down, the tomatoes got soft and sweet, the eggplant absorbing all the flavors…

I had some leftover turkey sausage to I put a little in a tortilla with some veggies and I was in heaven! This most definitely will be a meal another night.WP_001237

As for tonight’s dinner, I was jonesing for a Wendy’s Jr. Hamburger, and mom was really eyeing up the chili. My creation was a chili dipped burger! YUM! I snacked on some mixed fruit for dessert!

Over all, the last 24 hours was pretty decent with food… only a few minor binges.

After meeting up with Mike to finish our assignment, I tried to squeeze in a workout before being detained in nursing labs for 3 hours. I was able to squeeze in the following workout, based off of Julie’s Beat Boredom Interval Workout:

Weights:

Sitting Crunches 15reps 4 set 53 lbs
Tricep Extensions 15reps 4 sets 20 lbs
Sitting Crunches 15reps 4 sets 53 lbs

Elliptical:

0-10 min 11 resistance
10-1230 13
1230-15 14
15-20 11

Repeat Weights

Treadmill:

1-5 minutes 4.2 speed 8 incline
5-630 7 1
630-8 5 1
8-10 4.2 1

Now, I ready to crash, wake up refreshed, workout, watch some lectures, and cook you all a wonderful Friday Lenten dinner!Even though, I was totally sleep deprived, I did not want to leave. These last two days I’ve really been in the workout zone!

Working a Twelve & Some Serious Cereal

Saturday:

I did not have much of an appetite this morning when I woke up, so I headed to work with some snacks, just in case. Lunch was healthy… pineapple and cottage cheese. The other day mom bought a pineapple and it was so sweet and delicious, she ran back to the store and bought 2 more! I’ve been in my pineapple glory!

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When I got to the unit, Julie was there with my girl scout cookies. I totally forgot I ordered these. Down the hatch went some do-si-dos. Those are some dangerous cookies!

Later, I made a bowl of oatmeal, that I actually meant to eat earlier in the day. I find that with a lot of instant oatmeal, with berry flavors, they are just too sweet! I mellow it out with some ground flax. I’ve never tried this oatmeal before, so I did not know its sweetness. I have to say though, the flax made it all the better!

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I never actually wound up eating dinner tonight. Not because I was too busy to eat, but because a certain chica (myself) ate a few too many cookies… and got a belly ache.

Silly Sammy… oh well, at least my dinner for tomorrow night is already at work.

Sunday:

I went home, craving real food! I wound up eating a bowl of cereal and some pineapple.

I lectored at Church this morning and it was really nice to see some friends I hadn’t seen in a while. Deacon pulled me aside to tell me how worried he was about me and how happy he was to see me put on weight. I like to hear things like that but I’m definiately ready to get rid of this belly I put on.

This morning, I ate a packet of Quaker Cheddar Grits. When I first opened the packet, the chedder smell reminded me of the Easy-Mac cheese.

it doesn't look too appetitizing but it was

the grits don’t look too appetitizing but it was

Even though its been sunny, the wind chill was just too cold for me, so Day 5 of Couch to 5K was out today. Instead I did a 12minute warm-up with Dave Sinclair OnDemand and followed it up with  Julie’s Jump Rope n’ Abs Workout.

I’ve really been on a serious cerel kick, lately. Every time I go for a snack, cereal is the winner. For lunch, before I headed to work, I finished off my Cinnamon Pecan Special K cereal. If you recall, I said earlier that I did not care for the cereal with milk, but by itself, its a keeper. Well, the same goes for Kashi’s Berry Blossom cereal. I had a bit of each left and decided on a combo deal. YUM! I don’t know if the Special K tasted better because all the nuts and cinnamon settled to the bottom of the back, or what, but it was tastey!

Dinner was what I did not eat last night: Lean Cuisine Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce. Ialso steamed some frozen oriental vegetables to soak up some of that excess sauce. I added some black pepper, like I do with most things. Myfavorite part of this frozen meal was the Italian green beans! This isn’t a favorite meal, but the added veggies helped and I could eat those green beans all day!

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Dessert came with a little sugar and some staying power. A granny smith with some hospital PB made its way into my tummy.

on some lovely Vday plates

on some lovely Vday plates

I start my new rotation tomorrow morning at a new clinical site. I’m kind of exciting since the place does similar work to my actual job, but the paperwork looks a little intimidating.

V Day

V- Day…. Sounds an awful lot like D-Day, doesn’t it?

I’m really not that cynical when it comes to February 14th. I’m just not too pleased with the result of my exam today. In fact, I came home thinking I did pretty well, checked my grade, and dug into to PB for emotional support.

So I met my girlfriends at Dunkin, as I do every test morning and enjoyed a small coffee and oatmeal. I ate Better Oats Fit Cinnamon Bun oatmeal. It really hit the spot! Before the exam, popped my Russell Stover’s sugar free Mint Pattie.

Apparently, the grades of the exam were all over the place! Luckily, I had my valentine dinner to look forward to.

My Valentine

My Valentine

Valentine’s Day is the one day a year, dad and I make sure we get to eat steak! We headed to Texas Road House! YUM!

I love the sweet rolls and cinnamon butter (no matter how high the calories are)!WP_001154

Dad can’t resist the onion blossom.

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Me? I love picking out my own steak! I got the

Dallas filet with some amazingly bright and crisp streamed vegetable and a side  salad.

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Dad got the country-fried steak with a side salad and bleu cheese and mashed potatoes with gravy.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!