Manic Mind

Last night was finished off with a Lil’ Drum so I could get my ice cream fix.

Today, is National Apple Dumpling Day. In honor of such a decant sounding dessert, I attempted to make a decadent shake bowl . And it worked! BooYah!

Apple Dumpling Shake BowlWP_003930

  • 1/2 an apple, chopped (frozen preferably)
  • 1/4 cup frozen cranberries (microwaved for 30 seconds)
  • 1 tsp sugar free fat free vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp guar gum
  • 3/8 tsp xanthum
  • water
  • ice

I topped it with some Fiber One bran cereal for crunch!

My belly has been bothering me all day! and my appetite has been minimal. I did manage to do some snacking on a rice cake and roasted red peppers.

I became a bit manic early this afternoon and began to use up the last of the green beans from yesterday’s discount snack attack! I tried my hand at Hungry Girl’s Oat-Standing Veggie Patties. They weren’t quite to my liking, so I ampted up the flavor with scallions, teriyaki sauce, ginger, and garlic. Once I formed the burgers, I kept them in the fridge until I was ready to eat.

WP_003931 WP_003932 WP_003934 WP_003939

I finished up the last of some miscellaneous veggies from the refrigerator: bok choy, bamboo shoots, baby carrots, scallions, bell peppers, and broccoli slaw. After my first batch of veggies, I made another since it was just so good! All of the stir-fried vegetables were cooked in teriyaki sauce, kung pao sauce, and chili garlic sauce  for a kick!

WP_003940 WP_003941

WP_003942I finished off the night with a bowl of Vanilla Maple Arctic Zero sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice and SF DaVinci pumpkin pie spice syrup. I finished the bowl with some praline pieces!

My stomach started to feel much better as the night went on. As much as I wanted to head to Zumba, tonight, I just couldn’t get there. I think I’m in a workout rut. I haven’t felt like doing much besides cooking and working.

I can’t dwell on my lack of exercise, but I can capitalize on what I can do, like clean up my cluttered bed room, and I’ve been creating variations of today’s veggie patties all day! There are just soooo many possibilities!

I’ve also been thoroughly enjoying the last few days with my mom. I’ve noticed a huge correlation between my mental health and eating habits and my relationship with my mom. Did you ever realize that when things between my mom and me are rough, my eating habits get totally out of whack?

Anyway, tomorrow is mom’s birthday and I have a special birthday treat for her. The recipe I am making takes two days to make. The first day is a pour and forget it day, but the second day requires a bit of attention. This recipe is a coveted one in the Higgin’s household. Its one of those recipes that my grandmother makes once every few years, and the family stocks up and freezes it to have. Here’s where I might lose you: Split Pea Soup.

I’ve never made it before, but I’m a big fan and I’m praying I can do it some justice.

Sammy San

There are two things I take very seriously when I enter an Asian restaurant: the Hot & Sour Soup and the Seaweed Salad. I have had soup with absolutely NO flavor. I’ve had salad that tastes like room temperature salted seaweed. Unacceptable!

I am pleased to bring you Sammy Seaweed Salad!

Sammy Seaweed Salad

serves 4

  • 1 1/4 oz dried seaweedWP_003888
  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar (not seasoned)
  • 2 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp ginger grated, or paste
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 packets Splenda
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 oz carrots, or 2-3 large baby carrots
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, more for garnish

Soak seaweed in warm water while preparing the rest of the ingredients. In a medium bowl whisk together vinegar through Splenda. Drain the seaweed, and add fresh warm water. Prepare the vegetables. Chop 1 large scallion stalk. Using a vegetable peeler, create strips of cucumber and carrots to produce about 1/2 cup of loosely packed short cucumbers strips and 1/2 cup loosely packed carrot strips. Drain the seaweed once more and rinse. Take scissors and snip through the green bunch to produce some smaller pieces. Squeeze the excess liquid out of the seaweed (it gets slimy) and transfer to the sauce bowl. Toss the contents together. Add the vegetables and sesame seeds, toss and refrigerate. Once chilled, serve, and garnish with additional sesame seeds, cucumber, and carrots strips.

WP_003887

Nutrition: 1/4 recipe

Calories: 63, Fat: 3.7g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 832mg, Carbs: 6.6g, Fiber: 5.8g, Sugar: 0.7g, Protein: 0.2g

For those of you who are skeptical about eating seaweed, here are some interesting benefits of the salt water plant:

Seaweed contains vitamins A and C, and is also a source of calcium, which is one of the reasons some red seaweed supplements are included as part of some treatment plans for osteoarthritis

I also learned that you don’t have to be Japanese to make a kickin’ seaweed salad!

Its mild and sweet, refreshing, and crisp, and I could have eaten the whole damn bowl! I actually ate about half of it!

PMS… What a Bitch!

After dad and I were greeted back to Delaware with a brief down pour of rain, we heated up the remaining pizza from the Sawmill, and a small buffalo chicken cheesesteak for dad and I went for some frozen veggies.

WP_003186

The last few days, I’ve been wanting all things sweet, salty, and crunchy. Peanut M&M! Pretzel sticks! Semi-sweet morsels! Almond Joy! Butterfinger! Cookie dough! Crunchy ice cream! Chinese food!  Yeah, I was all over it, last night!

Give me Sweet, Salty, Crunchy, Indulgence! NOW!!!!

Last night was it! Yesterday was a fabulous day with dad in seaside! It began with breakfast, which I pre-planned in MyFitnessPal the night before. I also planned on having a bite or so of Sawmill pizza, which I put into my calorie counter. By the time I had gotten home, last night, my calories were enough to allow for dinner and a treat! Time to play it safe.

I microwaved some green beans and broccoli. That just wasn’t cutting it. Ah, some cantaloupe from the farm market should help… Nope. Popcorn! 94% fat free… safe choice, good for chewing, and popping… Still not doing it. Maybe a few semi-sweet morsels… Mmm salty popcorn and chocolate. That’s what I want! I need salty, sweet, crunch! 

I allowed myself a nice treat! I quickly popped a few M&Ms and dialed the Chinese restaurant around the corner. Dad and I split a Hot and Sour soup and an order of shrimp toast. Many people have no clue what shrimp toast is. Essentially, its a shrimp- “imperial” like mixture on a slice of bread that is covered in panko and deep fried. I like to dip mine in the mustard and duck sauce mixed together. Here’s the deal… It’s not exactly in the lowest calories, lowest fat content categories…

WP_003189

I haven’t had shrimp toast in almost two years. When my eating disorder set in, I swore off all things fried, breaded, and ordered out. I’ve learned that even though I usually have melt downs after tasting any of these foods, its okay to treat yourself. I don’t do it every day… I’m  slowly learning to incorporate treats in my life in a way that is in moderation and good for my mind and body. (I have lots of recipes for shrimp toast so I think I’m going to Bundo-ize this typically unhealthy splurge).

Back to the point of this post… PMS is a bitch. I’m human, and a female, at that. Before I got sick, I was never really a sweets person. I was big because my portions were large and I didn’t exercise. Ever  since recovery, I have loved chocolate! In fact, I was snacking on semi-sweet morsels all night! So…

chocole

Female+Recovery+PMS= Oh crap!

If you’ve ever seen or read The Vagina Monologues, “Angry Vagina” pretty much sums its up…Its a hilarious monologue about all the things women put up with. In general, I highly recommend for everyone to check out the monologues! But as I write up this post, its all I can think about that accurately portrays my feelings.

The cramps, the bloating, the cravings, the mood swings, the fatigue… and its almost uncontrollable! Like a tic! What a bitch!

In fact, yesterday actually started at 330am, for me, as I woke up with cramps. I laid in bed, desperately trying to fall back asleep, curled into the fetal position. No such luck…

As I cracked into my fortune cookie, I thought my fortune was most fitting:

WP_003193

“Our perception and attitude toward any situation will determine the outcome.”

I don’t look at last night as a failure in my eating or my progress. I look at it as normal. Everyone get the munchies. Everyone has indulgent times. Everyone just needs chocolate sometimes! It happens! Even with my mini-binges the last few days, my calorie count has still been within limits. I allowed myself these treats yesterday, knowing that I am allowed to enjoy a little indulgence. I know it sounds like I’m trying to convince myself of this, and I partly am. It takes 3,500 calories to gain 1 lb. I eat to live, not live to eat. Cooking and eating are passions of mine. How can I let these eating disorders destroy my passions. I am in control.

But, wow, did I really need last night’s munchie-fest. It was good for the mind and it made my body shut up with the cravings. Plus, it made my dad smile to see me really enjoy what I was eating and not stressing about calories! (He actually asked me the calorie count of the shrimp toast! Good job, daddy!)

With all of this rambling and pseudo-inspirational mindset, I am always honest with you. After dad headed to bed and I thought I could trust myself, I began to pop a few semi-sweet morsels. After a bit of this, despite being on the phone with Barry, I knew I was getting out of hand. I was testing my own boundaries. How far could I take this? Why didn’t I tell Barry? Instead, I put on a front to him like everything was fine; Like I was proud that I allowed myself the indulgence. (I kind of was.) Bottom line, I purged. Not all of it, but the shear action, after not doing for weeks, proves I still have a long way to go.

With that said, I am sorry, dad. It was a selfish action and I know it hurts you when I hurt myself.

I just realized that many of my posts have a similar pattern: inspirational and then spiral into a black hole!

Eating disorders are a bitch!

PMS… What a Bitch!

Lean Salad

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

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

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

WP_002495

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

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

WP_002497

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

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

WP_002496

Ode to Kathleen and Drinks Before Noon

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

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

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

WP_002252

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

WP_002253 WP_002254

Now, onto Tuesday!

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

WP_002260

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

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

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

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

Tofu and Eggplant Stir-fryWP_002264

serves 4

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

1 tsp. cornstarch

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

Meat:

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

2 tsp. minced garlic

Vegetables:

1 md. onion, cut into thirds and then quartered

2 bell pepper

4 cups frozen broccoli

3 oz baby carrots

6 button mushrooms, quartered

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

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

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

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

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

Toss all ingredients together and enjoy!

WP_002255

cube up the eggplant

WP_002256

press and dry-fry the tofu

WP_002257

cool and cut the tofu

WP_002261

marinate

WP_002262

rice boiling, vegetables steaming, and “meat” cooking

WP_002263

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

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