Family Dinner

For my birthday, I wanted a family dinner full of laughs and enjoyment. I didnt get that but I did tonight! Barry’s mom asked if her and his dad could take up out to dinner to celebrate my graduation from nursing school. With my binge the other night, I almost didn’t want to go. Sammy, you are a human! You need to be able eat out with family like a normal person! I graciously acceptabed the invitation, and was even more excited to find out that Barry’s sister and husband were joining us, too, to celebrate her news of her first preganancy!

My morning began with a mild dispute between mom and me as she backed out of Zumba class. Again! I used that frustration in class and shook my booty. I thought this class would be a bit easier since it was half cardio and half toning. I was wrong! Wow! After class, my tush was sore! Sitting down was a task, but I felt great after class, covered in sweat!

I immediately downed a bottle of water to hold me over until I got home. Since I just got a new shipment of Herbalife in, I couldn’t wait to break into the Dutch Chocolate shake mix! I made a sort of PB&J-esque bowl:

  • WP_0041271 scoop chocolate protein
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 Tbsp Chocolate PB2
  • 2 Tbsp SF blueberry syrup
  • xanthum, guar, and handful of spinach (optional)
  • water
  • ice

I topped the bowl with freeze-dried blueberries and some Kashi Go-Lean cereal. Awesome and filling!

Mom and I apologized for our harsh words from the morning and spent the afternoon together. After my shower, I headed to Barry’s to help put a desk together that my dad sold him! Its seriously nice! They are having a huge sale right now! Check them out and ask for Tom Bundo. Before (a hot mess)  and After (a big boy desk):

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My dad has ton of hook ups on computer chairs, which will be the next thing replaced! 25 bucks for a plush computer chair with lumbar support? Sign me up!

We then met his family at the  local Applebees. We ordered two trays of the Ultimate Trios for apps as we waited for our meals. I ordered the Grilled Jalapeno-Lime Shrimp and substituted a side of broccoli for the rice. Everything was yummy, as always, and since Barry’s parents don’t used the lettuce, tomato, and onions on their burgers, I snatched them up and made shrimp lettuce wraps. I asked the waitress to amp up the heat on the seasoning. I don’t know why they market it as spicy…

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I spent the next few hours with Barry before heading home. My eating was fantastic and I sat in bed and enjoyed the utter guiltless-ness of Arctic Zero!

Grinding Gears

After last nights slurpee, I started thinking. I laid in bed with a pen and paper and jotted down all these ideas on how to create a Key Lime pie. The gears were grinding, and I think I’ve almost got it! Now to decide how I want to attack it!

Once again, laying in bed did nothing but prolong sleep. I laid there for hours, tossing and turning. Just like last time, my tummy began to rumble incessantly around 4am. I cut a small Fuji apple in half to shut the growling up and made another mug of decaf green tea.

The other half of the apple was finished mid-morning with some Chocolate PB2 and a cup of Blueberry and Acai Green Tea. From the second I opened the tea envelope, you get smacked in the face with an immense blueberry fragrance!

WP_003325Today, Barry and I took dad to the range and then made a quick stop at Wholefoods. (I may have finished off my Arctic Zero). With this sudden fascination with Key Lime Pie, I wanted to try it. I needed to try it. I took advantage of the bakery at Wholefoods to see if there was a mini one to get, just so I could have an idea of what flavor and consistency I should be aiming for.

Barry came over after our escapades and helped me prepare for tonight’s dinner with a nicely set table. Ever since my little cousin’s Communion party, I’ve wanted to try my hand at Chicken Marsala. Running my errands on Saturday, I bought a ton of mushrooms (this family loves the shrooms), chicken breast, and finally found Marsala wine. I was always taught never to cook with a wine I wouldn’t drink, but from my understanding, no one actually drinks Marsala wine…

I based the following off the Hungry-Girl recipe:

Chicken Marsala

WP_003330serves 8

  • 3-4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3/4 of a pound)
  • salt and pepper
  • dried basil
  • 5 cups of fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2  cups fat free low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp Brummel and Brown yogurt spread
  • 1 Tbsp reduced fat grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp, plus 1/8 tsp black pepper

WP_003326Fillet the chicken breast. Place the fillet between two pieces of saran wrap, or in a plastic bag, and, using a meat tenderizer, release your frustration out on some chicken breast, flattening to about 1/2 inch thickness. Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and place the flattened chicken in the  skillet over medium heat. Season the top side of the chicken with salt, pepper, and dried basil, to your liking, Only cook one side of the breast, and remove from the skillet.

While chicken is cooking, melt the low calorie buttery spread in in the microwave. In a bowl, combine the melted butter, wine, and chicken broth. Whisk in cornstarch until completely dissolve, and set aside.

Re spray the skillet and add sliced mushrooms and garlic. Toss until the mushrooms sweat down. Move the mushrooms to one side of the pan, and place the chicken breast back into skillet, uncooked side down. Re-whisk the wine mixture and pour into skillet. Continue to cook all the chicken, and plate. Combine grated cheese, salt, and pepper. Top the platter with grater Parm blend and serve.

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With amount of gravy this recipe makes, I stole some of it to steam the broccoli with and to re-moisten and steam some pilaf Frank threw together. Yay team effort. Dads contribution was “taste tester.”

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Following dinner, Barry and I sat down for a movie and dessert. Cookies and Cream Arctic Zero, for me, and a Blueberry Cheesecake Milkshake for Barry.WP_003337

Refrain Running

Last night, dad and I watched another Redbox called Not Fade Away. I picked it because it was about music and it had James Gandolfini in it. I dug the music but the movie, itself, was so-so.

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Also making an appearance was the Chocolate Peanut Butter Arctic Zero with fat free whipped cream, jimmies, broken fat free pretzel sticks for a salty crunch, and a sprinkle of  Chocolate PB2. I love that I can eat this and not have an anxiety attack about it! Arctic Zero, you are a blessing to all those in eating disorder recovery!

After dropping Barry’s dinner off to him at work, I arrived home not being able to take my eyes off the last fuji apple. I sliced it up and enjoyed the slices with Be Well Nutella sandwiched between them.

Utter Frustration

Despite all my yawning and being in bed by 10, I did nothing all night, but lay there- completely awake! I tried counting sheep, deep breathing, stretching, and even massaging pressure points to relax. Nothing worked! I was too tired to study, too tired to talk or open my eyes… I was so frustrated I wanted to scream! But I was too tired for that too.

Eventually I gave in and whipped out a pad if paper and worked on a few new recipes. By 4 am, my belly was growling! I tried to ignore it but now I know what time my food is digested by and why I’m hungry in the morning.

I mosied into the kitchen. My immediate reaction was to head to the MagicBullet, but since it was 4am, I thought that might be a bit inconsiderate to others actually sleeping! I grabbed a granola bar, which I enjoyed. But suddenly, I was hit with eating disorder anxiety. Just peachy!

I hate laying down after eating, but I became overwhelmed with fatigue after eating my Kashi and passed out until being awoken 3 hours later by a serious of noises. First, Bunny was meowing incessantly, so I got up, made sure he had food and fell back asleep… briefly, that is, until I was awoke by a claw scratching at my foot…

Next came a wake up call… apparently my little brother over slept and Frank was yelling to his room  to get up! Well, I’m up!

I text dad to see if he wanted to take a shake to work so I threw half a banana in with a  scoop of almond butter and Be Well Nutella, and 2 scoops of Herbalife Cafe Latte. Very tasty!

Around 11am, I whipped up brunch for Frank and myself. Franks shake included Cafe Latte Shake mix, chocolate shake mix, Be Well Nutella, Almond Butter, and sugar free Torani coconut syrup to make a Pseudo-Almond Joy.

After Barry’s fascination with the Blueberry cheesecake shake from our Denny’s Breakfast menu, I was in the mood for a cheesecake shake, myself. Returning to the good ol’ shakes, I threw together a coffee and a Mixed Berry Cheesecake:WP_003304

  • 1 Tbsp sugar free fat free Cheesecake pudding mix
  • 1 scoop vanilla shake mix
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup Welch’s Antioxidant frozen Mixed Berry Blend

WP_003305I like to add fat free graham crackers to my cheesecake shakes, but this morning I added about 1/4 cup multigrain Cheerios on top to give me a crunchy aspect. It worked out great! I always feel so much more satiated when I eat my shakes with a spoon… its probably all in my head…

In an ultimate procrastination mood, I did a few things around the house. I finally decided to call work and see what the unit looked like and was told I would be on the desk. Well, after my mini anxiety about the granola bar, and the recent knowledge that I would be sitting for 8 hours, I decided I needed to feel somewhat accomplished.

Frank found an old picture of his dad and some family friends. The edges were starting to brown and get tattered-looking, so I grabbed the picture and took a little brisk walk, about 1 mile round trip, got a copy and enhancement made, and returned with it framed. He really liked it!

I’m always happy when I can make others smile:)

FYI: August 1st began National Sandwich Month. I’m kicking it off with a left over meatloaf sandwich! Holla! I grabbed the last slice of Honey Mustard Crusted Poultryloaf, threw it on a slice of multigrain with BBQ sauce, and headed to work with my NCLEX book in hand. I must say, the loaf was even better the next day!

As I arrived at work, I stopped by the caf to grab a drink, only to be greated my blueberry pies. Proud that I kept I walking, I came onto my unit to find a pile of temptation in the break room…

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Look away! While at the desk, I could only think of the mini blueberry scone… I cut a little piece off and walked away. Thank God! My plan was to drink lots of fluid and chew gum to keep my mind off the thought of a pastry! I ran to the caf to grab dinner for some busy nurses and grabbed some cucumbers and the like, along with a SF chocolate pudding. I love chocolate pudding with crumbled grahams! So far so good.

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One of the girls had brought peppers and cherry tomatoes in from her garden so I grabbed a few tomatoes to snack on. Finding some salsa, I decided to snack on the peppers. They looked like habeneros…

I guess I was feeling pretty ballsy or that the salsa what act as a coolant, because I bit into that thing like a champ. HOT PEPPER!!! I had to grab a drink and blow my nose… not ssuch a smart decision on my part.

With my good intake for the day, I cut a 1/4 of one of the Devils Food Crumb donuts as a chocolate treat. Damn it, Entenmanns! Why do the crumbs taste so good?!!?

I’m a really crumby person…

I have a problem with crumbs! Like I’ll be that weird person that eats thecrumbs left in the donut box, just so I can feel like I ate a donut…. Despite, still being 500 calories under what I alot myself, I still was having major calorie anxiety!

I wish I could figure out why? Is there something else manifesting itself as calorie anxiety? Am I nervous about the upcoming NCLEX? Is that why I’m not sleeping? What is going on with me?

Refrain Running

Not, refrain from running! Refrain Running. Music is very important to me. In fact, one of my first memories with my dad is him singing (he is a fantastic singer, by the way) and dancing with me. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a refrain is a part of a song, like the chorus… the part that gets repeated in between the verses…

On my brief, but most needed, run yesterday, I came up with the term “Refrain Running.” I know the right music sets the tone for my workouts. For instance, I have a difficult time running to slower songs, but some up beat songs have an off beat which throws off the sequence of my run. It sounds silly, but its true! Like Thrift Shop by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.. Ilove that song, it pumps me up, but I have a hard time running to it because the beat makes me want to strut down the street like I’m cool or something. Haha!

Anyway, with this in mind, I noticed that I run during certain parts of songs, and power walk during other parts, creating a great interval routine! Here are some songs I realized work well with this concept:

  • Pitbulll- Hotel Room Service
  • Rooney- When Did Your Heart Go Missing
  • Adam Lambert- If I Had You
  • Ludacris ft. Pharrell– Money Maker

I’ll add to this list as I come across these songs, but its a great way to coordinate intervals into running without using a distance tracker or an app.

Lastly,

WP_003306I have noticed that my hair has gotten so much thicker! And with my new hair growth, new bangs, well, fuller bangs! My mom was a hairdresser so I’m relatively savy on trimming my bangs, so snip, snip, and viola! I Love it!

This lead me to this thought:

With new health, comes new hair! 

Shout Outs

Shout Out to my mama:

I finished up my Zumba class, last night, and found a voicemail on my cell from my mom, raving about the meatloaf! About 9 years ago, my mom had the gastric bypass surgery and ever since, she has had a difficult time holding pretty much any real food down. Its amazing, really. You would think her body would crave protein, but the only foods that settle are things like chips and pizza. Its pretty bizzare.

So one of my nutrition goals is to cook food that my mom will and can eat. She devoured last night’s Honey Mustard Crusted Poultry Loaf! I think the trick with her is lean protein. When I cook soy products for her, she enjoys it. Last nights meatloaf was super lean!

Then, she began to tell me how much mashed potato she ate! She couldn’t believe it, either, that is was cauliflower!

At this time I was in the Walgreens, grabbing a bottle of water, crying in the middle of the story. I felt like such a goof, but I had never heard my mom talk about my cooking like this!

I also mentioned I dropped dinner off to Barry at work, last night, and he sent me this:

“Dinner was excellent hun. It was finished before you text me. Superb!”

The time that elapsed between me dropping it off and texting him was under 15 minutes! Haha! I think he was just hungry! Haha!

Shout Out to all you carb-counting, comfort food loving followers! This is for you!

Garlic Mashed Cauli-TatersWP_003265

  • 1 medium cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic*
  • 2 tsp Brummel and Brown light butter spread
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp low fat original creamer
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • sour cream, fat free cheddar, real lean bacon crumbles (optional)

In a microwavable bowl, add a splash of water, about 1/4 cup, and the cauliflower, cover with with plastic wrap, and microwave for 9 minutes. Carefully, spoon the cauliflower into a food processor and add all the other ingredients. Whip it up and occasionally vent the processor to relieve the steam pressure.

WP_003266Top with what ever you’d like!

*If resources and time allows, roast the garlic before adding it to the mix.

MMMM! For a carb-lover, such as myself, I was in heaven with its garlicy, creamy, potato faker goodness!

Shout Out to my girl, Alex!

Every week, you read about my time at Zumba. Well, now its time to meet the girl behind it all! Alex kicks some serious Zumba ass and I love her classes. She incorporates, not only Latin-style dances, but Indian and hip-hop. Having such a variety of styles, music, and Alex’s personality, keeps me coming back every week!

I asked her after class if I could share her Facebook page with you, so if you’re in the area, look her up, and come join the party!

After dinner, last night, I suited up and headed to Zumba. You know I’m about to go hard when the pink pre-wrap headband  comes out!

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Zumba with Alex always send me home hyped with energy and good vibes, and I sleep like a rock!

WP_003277And Alex must have worked me hard, too, because I was hungry when I got home! Yay, for Special K Chocolatey Strawberry 90 calorie cereal bars!

throwback to sophomore homecoming 2006

On the Food Front:

Shout out to my Sista from Anotha Mista (literally):

Caterina is my step-sister, Frank’s daughter. I recently found out that she began cooking. Growing up, I was always the one in the kitchen, but now, Cat has her own recipe blog with wordpress.com. Enjoy!

Soon enough, we will be teaming up for a “Sisters Who Cook” post. Keep an eye out!

As I laid in bed, last night, my tummy began to growl and I snack on a handful of pretzel sticks, which was quickly followed by a mild tummy ache. Maybe it was the duck tongue on the episode of Chopped I was watching. Either way, I tried my best to settle both my belly and my mind…

Yesterday, Barry bought me Kashi’s new cereal: Heart to Heart Nutty Chia Flax! This, topped with flax milk and a handful of freeze dried strawberries, hit my breakfast tooth, this morning. Its like cheerios with a sweetness with flax and chis seeds stuck to each “O”!

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After a late night and a very early morning, thanks to my brothers alarm buzzing for 40 minutes, I laid back down to see if a mid morning nap could happen. It didn’t, but I did give me the motivation to get myself up and going. I got changed, and took advantage of the nice breeze and went for a nice brisk 2 mile walk up to the store, where I, of course, took advantage of the discount produce!

Shorty after arriving home, I wrapped three dill pickles in some lean turkey lunch meat to replenish my sodium electrolytes. My walk made me feel a little less guilty about sitting on my tush for the next hour studying.

The tummy began to grumble, again, about 2 hours later, to which I responded with POPCORNERS (its terrible how good these are). I, then, realized a better, crunchier, more refreshing option! I felt like a genius! Celery!

WP_003278This leads me to admitting a very serious problem: My name is Sammy Bundo, and I am a salsa addict.

Yes, we know I’m a dancing fool, but I am referring to salsa of the chunky variety, especially the homemade stuff! “How filling and refreshing and yummy was my celery and salsa,” you ask? Yummy enough to account for majority of the missing salsa from this jar! New favorite health snack! 

Lunch time was not the last appearance of salsa for the day. After dinner, snacky Sammy kicked in and nibbling ensued. I introduced dad to the snack, and he couldn’t believe was good it was! We wound up finishing the celery and a bell pepper, that we used for dipping. The jar is almost empty! I’m serious when I say try this combo! It feels like your chewing and chewing and its sooooo good!

So, Tuesday was meatloaf, and potatoes, and tonight’s comfort food was pasta! Dad and I are both suckers for scallops, so when I came across this at Trader Joes, I scooped it up!

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Saucy Scallops with Mushrooms in an Emmental Cheese sauce! I didn’t know what emmental cheese was, but I was sold! (Emmental cheese is a swiss cheese, by the way).

I threw this in the skillet with salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, additional mushrooms and peas, and reduced fat Parmesan.

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MMM! The sweet peas and scallops with the earthy tones of the mushrooms was absolutely delicious with the creamy white white cheese sauce! While pops prefers pasta, I topped a bowl of Fettuccine Tofu Shirataki Noodles with the saucy mix, and served both up with a glass of wine that I had gotten on my trip to San Jose and some garlic toast.

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WP_003279The wine was a Rose wine from Napa Valley, CA called Ménage à Trois. It was a complete combination of sweet and dry and refreshing and tart! Perfect for what a rose should be! We actually finished the bottle of wine, which is probably why I had the munchies. The wine was delicious! I’m going to keep an eye out for it on the east coast.

Continuing our guilt-free snacky adventure as we watched our Redbox movie, Flight, I serve up a big bowl of the Chocolate Peanut Butter Arctic Zero, sprinkled with Chocolate PB2, multigrain cheerios, for crunch, and jimmies!

The remainder of this night, I plan on sleeping, hopefully, and studying away.

Big news: I scheduled the date, time and location of my NCLEX exam! I had a hard time clicking ‘confirm,’ I was so scared! I can do this… maybe the munchies were wine induced and nerve-related… who knows, but please keep me in my prayers!

Picking Away

Despite being super sleepy, I spent another night not being able to shut down.

Being awake and not having the mental capacity to study, I flipped through some of my favorite channels and decided on Unique Eats on Cooking Channel. This episode ended on a cupcake note, which caused a late night sweet tooth. I went into the freezer to grab spoonful of fat free cool whip to see Frank’s pint of Chunky Monkey. I never buy Ben & Jerry’s because, although, theirs flavor combinations are absolutely spectacular, their calorie counts are absolutely outrageous! Wanting an added crunch, I dug into the Chunky Monkey to pull out a piece of chocolate and a walnut. This was my first experience with Chunky Monkey and I can tell why its so popular! Banana ice cream with chocolate chunks and walnuts! If that doesn’t say “Sammy” I don’t know what does!

Dear Frank,

If you decided to have your Chunky Monkey ice cream, you may find a lack of chunky. Sorry bout that….

Sammy

I felt proud of myself for being able to stop after one serving, but I won’t lie when I tell you I made sure to make that half cup worth it, picking for the chocolate and walnuts. Luckily, I had calories to spare last night, and after a brief increase in my respirations, I reassured myself.

There is one flavor of Ben & Jerry’s that I have wanted to buy, but just can’t bring myself to do it: Chubby Hubby- vanilla malt ice cream with fudge, peanut butter, and pretzels!

Get this- 340 calories per 1/2 cup! Crazy!

It seemed last night, there was no one thing on my mind. I kept playing around with recipe ideas. I kept picking my brain about when I would eat this and that, and what to bring to work, and what was on my shopping list, and how I can play around with ingredients…

Barry picked me up around 10am this morning to meet a buddy for work at the range. It was cool because we weren’t just shooting Barry’s, but John’s also! We all took turns playing around with the guns and switching out targets.

WP_003252Following our time at the range, Barry and I headed to Wholefoods for lunch. They’re ridiculous soup bar has always impressed me, so while Barry loaded up on man foods (meatloaf, chili, and mashed potatoes), I went with the Vegan Hot and Sour soup, and we ate outside on the patio. I was a bit disappointied in the lack of hot in the soup, taste, not temperature.

Nonetheless, we continued to stroll through Wholefoods, looking for some new products on the market, which we couldn’t find just yet. I did leave, however, leave with two items I was quite excited about.

Peaches!!!! Not any old peaches, Donut Peaches, AKA Saturn Peaches. I love these things and I can only find them this time of year! The look like flattened peaches, but they are so sweet and delicious, and my mom and I can literally eat a whole basket of these! Talk about healthy trigger foods.

Top 10 Reasons to Try a Donut Peach

WP_003259Also making an appearance in my cart was Arctic Zero Chocolate Peanut Butter frozen dessert. The cool thing about these products is that the entire pint is 150 calories! I’m not kidding! My only issue is that there wasn’t enough PB flavor. So after a teaspoon of added PB and jimmies, this was aces and I couldn’t feel an ounce of guilt.

WP_003253After lunch, Barry got thirsty and ventured to pick out a drink. “I was what you called me on the blog…” Uhhhhh???? “You’re ‘blueberry fiend of a boyfriend…” Well, its true!

What do you think he wound up getting to drink? IZZE Sparkling BlueberrySHOCKER!

Dinner was a frozen pizza. I’ve really wanted pizza that past few days and I’ve always had good luck with Amy’s pizza. On the menu was Amy’s Margherita pizza. Wow! I’m pretty sure I could have eaten the whole darn thing myself! The crust is  fluffy, and the basil seasoning was tops with the light tomato and globs of mozzarella! After our last experience with Kashi frozen pizza, I was relieved when this was excellent! I may have made a trip back to the kitchen later to pick at the leftover pizza. (They make a vegan version of this, too, by the way).

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After some loving from Lily, Barry’s dog, the night is ending on a rather exciting note: Studying for the boards. Since I am terribly entertaining, Barry whipped out his Nook.

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