Never Too Old for Animal Crackers

After yesterday mornings excitment, I enjoyed sleeping in this morning.

Last night, Barry came over during his lunch break from night shift, around 9pm. I greeted him with a chicken sandwich, from the left over chicken we grilled the other day, a tray of broccoli and cheese, a chocolate chip cookie and a chocolate cheesecake for work, that mom had had picked up from Wholefoods.

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After Barry left, and some studying, I laid in bed for about 2 hours tossing and turning. As tired as I was, I just could not fall asleep. I think that having a disagreement with my mom, yesterday, on top of Beaut getting out, really ampted up my anxiety. I felt similar to when I was really sick… I would lay in bed, up until all hours of the night, planning my meals for the week, stressing about calories… planning my every move for the coming days.

Finally, I fell asleep!

This morning began with a shake for Frank and myself. The tricky thing about cafe latte flavored shake powders is that besides bananas, flavoring syrups are typically used to flavor them. But I like fruit in my shakes, darn it!

I used to work in a nutrition store, and a really popular shake was the Carmel Latte shake. Wanting fruit plus a little pick me up, I experimented with a Caramel Apple Latte shake.

  • half a fuji apple (about 3/4 cup), chopped, preferrably frozen
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free caramel Torani syrup
  • 1 scoop Herbalife Cafe Latte powder
  • (1/4 tsp xanthum, optional)

Not to shabby…

After Beauty’s escapades, yesterday, and some time to kill before work, I ran to the pet store to get a new name and address tag for her. It was a toss up between a pink heart and and Eagles tag. While she went to pull out the pink heart, she found a pink heart with the Eagles logo on it! Score! I think Beauty has learned her lesson, though, at least for now, because she has been a sleepy pup since she came home. While at the pet store, I also snagged her one of her favorite canned foods, as well as a free sample.

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I felt so silly while on my way to work, today. Its 95 degrees outside and I’m in a long sleeve shirt… in a car without AC…

I swung by Dunkin for an iced coffee on my way to help cool me off. (I wear longsleeved shirts to work because its always cold!!!!) It was much needed!

I arrived at work a bit early, which gave me time to cool off and grab my assignment for the night. I was in a 1:1. That shake this morning really filled me up! I didn’t have much of an appetite at all today! I finished up the left over brussel sprouts from the other night (lightly drizzled with yellow and honey mustard), and celery sticks and peanut butter for snacking. Around 6pm, when I took my dinner, I was very hungry! Luckily, I spotted animal crackers! I don’t care how old you are, but you are never too old for animal crackers!

I was surprised by how hungry I was, but I hadn’t been very hungry since my shake, so I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised. The important part, is that I recognized that I was full and I stopped eating before I lost control. Recovering from binge eating, just like anorexia or bulimia, has no boundaries. Eating disorders can strike anytime, anywhere.

Once my shift ended, I came home and snacked on some Fiber One 80 Chocolate cereal, but soon found myself nibbling on many items. I finally tasted that kick from the KIND Dark Chocolate Chili Almond. After realizing that I was beginning to have a mild binge, I quickly jumped to a warm glass of flax milk and began this post.

Date Week

By some stroke of luck, Barry and I actually had like 9 days off… Together! For the past week or so, we had been working opposite schedules so we wanted to take advantage of the vacation.

The Philadelphia Zoo

Monday, July 15, we began the week with some monkeying around. Seriously, I love the primates at the zoo! We arrived at the Philadelphia Zoo around 11am or so to begin our wickedly humid day. I felt like I was 5 again! The entire drive to zoo, I was singing, “We’re going to the zoo! We’re going to the zoo!”

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Barry was starting to get a bit hungry, so we made a pit stop to the nearest kiosk and he ordered chicken finger n fries. I love this picture, mid-chew!

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Yeah, Barry, it is hot! Right out of the fryer! Barry and I both have little things that get us oddly enthused, especially when it comes to food. So when he saw the blend-your-own-ICEE wall, he needed to get one!

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Seaside

Tuesday began around 9am, with the Dunkin Donut breakfast sandwich for Barry. We spent the next 2 hours driving until we reached my favorite place in the world: Seaside Heights. I love being able to share this place with others. Although the hurricane wiped out all the rides, just being there and walking the boardwalk was a nice time!

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I introduced him to Kohrs Bros. Orange Cream, with jimmies, or course.

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Last week, I mentioned that place that fries everything so Barry got deep fried Reeses, and a deep fried cannoli to appease me. Not impressed….

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WP_003086He was reunited with Sawmill Pizza! MMMMM Buffalo chicken pizza and a beer! And I took him to few of my favorite games, like Shoot the Geek (its a paintball game that dad and I are obsessed with), the old carousel, and a few super ancient games, like Bimbo. And lastly, delving into his sweet tooth a bit more, I introduced him to Berkeley’s fudge!

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Valanni?

Thursday, begin in my house with one of my favorite shakes: White Chocolate Pear, inspired by Harry and David’s Chocolate covered pear collection. I made dad and Frank shakes, too.

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Rather than going back to Valanni as planned, I suggested we stay home, to save money (and calories), and cook. To stick with the Valanni theme, I tried my hands at those delicious Brussels sprouts! I found a recipe for Roasted Balsamic Brussel Sprout and Toasted Walnuts and used that as my base.

WP_003112After buying a pound of fresh brussel sprouts and cutting them into quarters, I sprinkled black pepper, a touch of salt and granulated garlic, and 2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar over them, shook them up, and let them sit. Meanwhile, I chopped 2 Tbsp of slivered almonds, and finely diced half a large granny smith apple. (The other half found its way into my tummy.)

I sprayed a baking sheet with non stick spray, emptied the sprouts on it and baked them uncovered for 20 minutes, tossing occasionally, at 375 F. Sprinkle the chopped almonds over top and bake for another 5 minutes. Removed from the oven and toss with the apple.

While these were baking, I marinated some chicken breast in Annie’s Hot Chipotle BBQ Sauce and threw them on the grill.

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Although the sprouts weren’t like the ones at the restaurant, I still enjoyed them. I, did, however, learn a few things in the process of making these:

  • fresh brussel sprouts take much longer to roast than frozen ones
  • Valanni must dowse the sprouts in balsamic vinegar, because the sprouts that were well coated tasted the closest to the originals
  • try and try again… Since I know I’m on the right track, it only gives me more incentive to try to get this down!

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Harry Potter

Every night for the past week, Barry and I have watched a Harry Potter movie. Needless to say, when Barry found this shirt at the zoo, I just couldn’t stop laughing!

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I also truly love this glass! It took everything in me not to buy it! If you have to, click on the picture to enlarge it. Its hilarious!

To finish off Date Week, we watch Deathly Hollows Part 2, and each enjoyed a bowl of Edy’s Slow Churned Caramel Praline Crunch Yogurt Blend, topped with jimmies! We’ve been having a debate, since Seaside, as to call them sprinkles or jimmies…. Its okay, I know the truth… Jimmies (wink).

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Morning Surprises!

Today is the first day in a few that I haven’t gotten sick and still felt comfortable with my eating. Yesterday, after my trip to Philly to bury a copy of my diploma to my grandfather, I kind of had some issues. I always swing by Wholefoods on my way home, and the bakery is to die for. Down the hatch some cookies went and, bam, here came the break down!

I received some bad news late last night of the passing of a family friend. It was so sudden! I just saw him a few weeks ago and he said, “I’ll see you on the 22nd at the graduation party!” RIP. You’ll be missed.

This upset my stomach and I attempted some crackers to settle it. No luck. I fell asleep curled in a ball feeling miserable.

This morning, although my stomach was slightly uncomfortable, I proceeded to make a shake. Frank knows I love making shakes, so he always ask me to make his. This not only boosts my self esteem, somehow, but also helps me cope.

When I’m stressed, I cook. I’ll expand more on that in a second.

Frank got a shake that did not look super attractive, but was yummy and full of vitamins: Mixed berries, banana, spinach, and chocolate protein mix.

A month or so ago, I decided to dip my strawberries in OIKOS Toasted Coconut Greek yogurt to make a strawberry colada of sorts. It was a success. The other day, I found Dannon Light and Fit Greek Toasted Coconut and imediatly snatched it up! I threw that with some strawberries in the Magic Bullet, along with xanthum, spinach, ice and water to create smoothie bowl. The bowl was topped with chia seeds, and paired with a cup o’ joe!

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It was a dreary day here, but I did not want to waste the day. Frank, James, and I decided to run so errands to pick up some things for the graduation party. While we were out, we treated ourselves to Serpes. They were just pulling out tomato pie out of the ovens! And of course, I needed to grab one of my favorite cookies from them. Its like a shortbread thumbprint with a dollop of peanut butter. The cookie is covered in a thin layer of chocolate and finished with shaved almonds! Heavenly! I’m determined to make a healthy version of this delicious cookie!

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While out shopping, I picked up some ingredients, went to the kitchen and made my own tomato pie! MMMMM! It was a winner! This is definitely something I will be making for my grad party as an appetizer. I was really surprised how good the sauce turned out!

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With some left over dough and sauce, I opted to make some garlic knots!

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You would think with all this baking, I would have had a bad eating day. NOPE! In fact, for dinner, I roasted some brussel sprouts, and covered it in  mushrooms and Trader Joe’s Creamy Corn and Red Pepper Chowder! Delicious!

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I couldn’t believe how slow it felt time was moving today. Luckily I was able to keep semi busy.

Oh, and I forgot the surprise of the day!

Frank woke me up around 8 this morning. “Sammy! Samantha, theres flowers at the door.” I stumbled, confused, out of bed to see what he meant. A man was on the porch with a vase of pink roses and lillies! Barry is away at camp, still, and surprised me with these beautiful flowers! I was shocked! A great way to start my day!

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Easter Sunday

Happy Easter, everyone!

This morning began with Easter mass, one of my favorite masses of the year. I love seeing a packed Church, all the little kids in their Easter outfits, and reuniting with people I haven’t seen in years (like kids I went to grade school with, and people my dad when to grade school with! Yeah, its a pretty tight congregation)!

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The beautiful altar. I belong to the most beautiful Church I’ve ever seen!

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One of my best friends, Paul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After stopping by the cemetery, I headed home to prepare Easter breakfast. I found a recipe for Carrot Cake Waffles a while back and immediately knew that  I had to make these today! Using Katie’s recipe, I adapted them to be whole wheat and low fat waffles. I also made a cream cheese drizzle to go on top (whats carrot cake without cream cheese frosting?), and accented the dish with some crushed walnuts. I hope you enjoy!

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makes 8-10 waffles

Waffles:

3/4 cup Heart Smart Bisquick

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2/3 cup shredded carrots

1 cup flax milk (milk of your choice)

2 Tbsp sugar free syrup

2 Tbsp unsweetened apple sauce

1 1/4 tsp cinnamon

2  1/2 tsp vanilla extractWP_001723

Cream Cheese Drizzle:

1/4 cup fat free cream cheese, room temp

4 Splenda packets

1/4 cup flax milk

1 tsp confectionery sugar (I use Ideal brand)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all the waffle ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Heat your waffle iron and heavily coat with non-stick cooking spray. Pour 3/4 to 1 cup of batter on heated and sprayed waffle iron. (You can add more milk if you want to thin out the batter). Cook until your liking. Whisk all ingredients for cream cheese frosting together. Drizzle frosting over waffles and top with shopped walnuts.

After some operator difficulties, they were beautiful! I loved the coloring of these waffles and the bit of natural sweetness that carrots release when they are cooked. I really enjoyed these and cant wait to make them again. The drizzle was just sweet enough to really play off the carrots. I served these with some super quick and easy Banquet Brown n’ Serve Maple Sausage Patties. The maple sweetness accented the syrup in the waffles!

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Using the ingredients above, each waffle only contains about 80 calories or so! And you get a some vegetables early in the day!

I bet these would be pretty spectacular Belgium waffles, too!

With it being the end of Lent, I took a nibble of a protein bar today while dad got back his chocolate! We both messed up once on Lenten promises, which I think is pretty good.

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A typical Easter dinner in the Bundo house is a bake spiral ham, fingerling potatoes, cabbage and green beans. This year, I will be working. Frank surprised me and baked a ham just in time for me to take some to work. To substitute for the cabbage, I brought some brussel sprouts. I think I’m the only person in my house who loves these little balls of leafy goodness! I finished this meal with an Easter brownie!

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It doesn’t look too appetizing in this picture, but it most certainly was!

I thought I'd try bring the Easter Bunny to work

I thought I’d try bring the Easter Bunny to work (looks more like a cat)

As arrived home after a busy shift, I had two feelings: sleepiness and a hankering for ham. I entered to kitchen to find 1 left over waffle from this morning. I folded this in half and laid a few slices of spiral ham while some lemon tea brewed! A great way to end my Easter night!

As I drove to work and reflected on the day, I started remembering some Easter memories from my childhood. The one I can see most clearly is when I was about 9 years old. My mom said, “What else did the Easter Bunny bring you? Whats behind the picture?” The picture she was refering to was one of those RoseArt velvet coloring pictures… anyway… I peak around the back of the picture to find two rectangular papers. As I read the tickets to myself, it clicked and I began jumping up and down. “What is it?” my mom said. “I GOT BACKSTREET BOY TICKETS!!!!”

HAHAH yes, I was a BSB junkie back in the day and BSB was my first concert! What are some of your favorite Easter memories?