Chocolate and Vanilla Cake Walk Into A Bar…

Monday

I spent the entire, and I do mean entire, day in bed! Barry and I both have night shift and neither one of us felt a real reason to get up.  In fact my “breakfast” was a sugar free oreo and a spoonful of Barry’s grandmother’s homemade apple sauce! And that’s just because Barry had them in the room! Haha!

I arrived back home, after picking up dinner for the family, and jumped in the shower. I got out just in time to whip up a shake and enjoy dinner with the family before heading to work. While the family ate their Wendy’s, I made a bowl. Frappe Away I said to myself.

Today is National Frappe Day. What the heck is a frappe? I googled and found out it is typically a coffee and ice cream based drink. Well, no ice cream went into the blender, but Cafe Latte protein powder did. Between Barry and my girlfriend, Rebecca, both of whom call me “Pumpkin,” were partial inspirations for the end result of my meal. Since I, unfortunately, did not have any open cans of pumpkin, I substituted the fiber with a handful of frozen apples. Did you know October is National Apple Month? (I know… I’m a pillar of useless knowledge…)

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The crunchy and nutty topper for this bowl was unsalted, hulled pumpkin seeds and Kashi Go Lean cereal.

I headed off to work to find out I was being pulled to another unit, a unit I have never been to before. Its always slightly nerve-racking being pulled to another unit. What are the nurses like there? Whats the acuity of the patients? Am I on the floor or a 1:1? How long will I be on the unit for?

Luckily, none of these things were a problem, tonight. In fact, the nurses were welcoming, sociable, and helpful, and my 11 patients were of managable acuity! I actually was pulled for the complete 12 hours of my shift.

Tuesday

I met with my girlfriend and co-worker, Amy, a little after 1am and we went to the caf, where I grabbed some raw vegetables from the salad bar. Rather than crushing saltines into my Wendy’s chili, I dipped these vegetables. Genius! The Wendy’s near my house was recently rebuilt and opened last week. I have been craving chili ever since. I was floored when I checked the website to find a small chili was 180 calories! I expected a small container, but was content with being able to get a chili, in the first place. When I asked the woman if she gave me the right size, she compared it to the large and I was floored, once again! Score!

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I was one happy camper as I emptied the chili hot sauce packets into my cup and dug in.

WP_004153We’ve been Boo-ed!” Huh? Apparently, theres this game going on around the hospital where units make bags of candies, and sneak them into unit’s break rooms then the game continues. Damn, Butterfingers get me every time! Luckily, I was one and done! Yay, Sammy!

My sleep was cut short today as I was awoken by a call from my manger with some not so pleasant news (more to come on that matter). There was no way I could get back to sleep and, in fact, I was up for the rest of the day before coming back to work. My breakfast? Corn chips and a Babyruth.

All day I wanted to eat, although I knew I wasn’t hungry. But then, I began feeling an emptiness in my stomach, so I ate. It turned out that emptiness was actually part of my emotions. To try to counter act this feeling, it was a two shake day.

I’m sort of childishly excited for today’s food-iday: National Fluffernutter Day! I kept swaying back and forth between making a shake or a sandwich to celebrate. I was never a fan of fluff as a kid. Well, maybe thats not the way to put it. We just never bought it. Same thing with Nutella. We never bought it so I never really developed a taste for it until I tried my little brother’s nutella one day. Same goes for the Fluff. I remember, last year during my refeeding, I would dip Nilla wafers into fluff. Sometimes, I would grab a spoonful of PB and then dip into the Fluff jar. If I wanted something extra sweet, I’d do a nutella and fluff combo!

Anyway, I decided I would feel more satisfied with a bowl:

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  • 1 scoop of Chocolate OR Vanilla shake mix
  • 1 Tbsp fluff
  • 1 tsp peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Chocolate PB2
  • xanthum and guar, optional

To substitute for the bread, I topped the sweet bowl with Fiber One bran cereal. (Its pretty shade of green is from added spinach).

A bit after, I realized my anxiety was manifesting itself. Rather than NOT eating, I WAS eating. Luckily, I recognized it, and preoccupied myself with mopping the floor and going through clothes to donate. When dinner time arrived, and heavy eyelids began, I  whipped up another bowl to hold me over until it was time to eat at work.

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  • 1 scoop Chocolate protein
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Chocolate PB2
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp SF caramel syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • 20 fat free pretzel sticks, broken

It totally hit the spot and I loved the salty sweet crunch that I constantly crave.

I was on the floor for the first four hours of my 12 hour shift. My 1:1 patient was supposed to be going home tomorrow, so I wanted to spend some time with then before they left.

Wednesday

After a breezy first four, my time ended abruptly with assisting to de-escalate an upset parent and assist a nurse with removing an IV. I felt great when I was able to help the mother stop crying and make her laugh.

When I got into my patient’s room, the patient was super excited that I’d be spending the rest of the shift with them. I, then ,found out my patient’s discharge date had been pushed back to Friday. That means I get two more shifts to see them.

After the snack I had done earlier in the day, I packed a light meal for work. Plus, my nerves were still so wrecked that I didn’t have much of an appetite. But boy, oh, boy, was I in for a rude awakening.

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Yeah!

As if I wasn’t stressed enough, and manifesting it with body hating, I had that Cajun Trail Mix and all of this candy in my face! The nurses agreed that I deserved to have day a candy. Its funny how I eat candy when I’m spazzed. I’m stress eating, but body conscience. I take a bite out of piece and throw it away. Bizarre. Nonetheless, the nibbles did not stop me from hating myself as I returned to the 1:1 after eating some leftover eggplant parm frittata around 3am.

WP_004159Deb brought this in, too! Candy Corn M &M! What a combo! These candy pieces are bigger that the typical chocolates and made with white chocolate instead. Addicting. While trying to find a link to these M&Ms for you, I found these! I’ve never seen these. Ever! Is it for real? Does anyone know? My jaw almost hit the floor and I’m enveloped in curiousity! I returned to my patient’s room, after some well-deserved ranting, and counted down until 7am when I could leave.

Full or body hating guilt and a dwindling self worth, I tried to keep my mind occupied by blogging and reading.

I must admit that I was, finally, able to finish a book that I wanted to read. Its been years since I’ve been able to read a book for fun.

After work, I couldn’t wait to hit my bed. Today, on a day when I actually feel tired after work, I had to stay up to take my uncle to a doctors appointment. His procedure required sedation and he, therefore, needed a ride to and from.

WP_004160Luckily, it didn’t take very long and I killed some time at Wawa grabbing a coffee and a packet of apples to hold me over. Upon arriving home, I snagged a few pretzel sticks and almonds and curled up into a ball to awake about 5 hours late! Victory! I had finally slept!

Once awake, I hopped in the shower and assisted Frank with making my little brother dinner, while also sending out countless resumes! Last night, I was reading up on detox soups, many of which contained beets and ginger. I figured I could work with that and wound up creating what tasted better than Red Velvet Cake!

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  • 1 scoop chocolate protein
  • 1/2 small beet, peeled, sliced thinly and microwaved for 3 minutes
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/3 cup frozen pitted cherries
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar free fat free cheesecake OR white chocolate pudding mix
  • splash of SF chocolate syrup, for added sweetness
  • xanthum and guar (optional)

I’ve never like Red Velvet Cake. It was always one of those sweets thatI didn’t understand. Its like if chocolate and vanilla cake had a baby and the baby couldn’t decide what it wanted to be when it grew up…

Once the fruits and vegetables were blended, the color reminded me of the cake, and rather than going full on “detox,” I went with the inspiration. I topped my bowl with broken pretzel sticks and chia seeds.

With the remaining half beet, I repeated the slicing, and combined it with sliced baby carrots, a chopped cherry pepper, onions, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes into a Tupperware all to be, later, used to top a bed of chopped romaine and reduced fat blue cheese crumbles. It’s National Moldy Cheese Day, hence the moldy cheese in my salad… Once arriving at work, I was greeted with this:

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“Happy Pediatric Nurse’s Week from Bayada Health!” Thanks Bayada. Start my shift with an oatmeal cookie and some M&Ms? Don’t mind if I do. One and done, baby! I was a happy camper, once again, with my self control, and felt no guilt about this treat!

Thursday

I spent my shift much like I did the night before; the first 4 hours on the floor and the last 8 in my 1:1. Before falling asleep, my patient asked if I would care to watch a movie with them. And so we laughed until the movie ended. Around 2 am I was relieved from my post to eat. I warmed the previously prepared vegetables in the microwave and tossed them with the romaine and blue cheese. I love how the warm veggies melt the blue cheese, and their juices combine to create a dressing for the salad! Its a salad with which I’ve never been disappointed! Following my meal, I snagged a mini Twix from the abbondanza supply of candy, and another half a cookie, sealing the deal with a cup of hot coffee.

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I always take time at the hospital as a learning opportunity and asked the nurse if she could explain to me the difference between “covering” for carbs and “correcting” with insulin. I was so pleased to discover that I had already had a solid understanding of how to do so, and worked with the nurse making up a few examples to ensure I had a firm grasp on the subject. Woo Hoo!

I returned to the room of the 1:1 and spent my remain hours charting on my patient, scouring the web for pediatric nursing positions, working on Be Well Bundo, stretching, and reading another book.

Following work, I drug myself to, yet another, morning appointment, but not before grabbing a bite. Who would think that soup would be the breakfast of choice? On this cold morning, it was all I could think about. I heated up a cup of Progresso’s Chicken and Barley (I’m a sucker for barley), topped with a bran crackers, and warmed myself up.

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This time, the appointment required manual labor and as I left the hospital, I prayed the rain would hold off until my task was complete. We are fortunate enough to have a home with a fireplace, my favorite feature of the house. I am planted in front of it throughout the fall and winter months. I’m surprised the floor isn’t indented with my butt print, by now. We were, also, fortunate enough to have been connected with the city to receive free wood. As the city chops trees, the lumbar is piled at a local park on the east side. If you schedule an appointment and complete the labor, yourself, you can take a truckload of FREE wood each month. We took full advantage of it, last year, and I wanted an early start, this year. I took the first available appointment and Frank and I headed over, bundled up, tiredly fighting the weather in a battle of time.

The forecast for the next four days is nothing but cold rain. Oh, joy! According to the weather tracker on my phone, between 7 to 9 there was a decreased chance of rain. Our appointment was for 830. As we pulled up, it was chilly and lightly raining. We loaded up the bed of the truck and by the time I got home, I was dead to the world and it began raining harder.

I stumbled into the house, eyes barely open, and made a B line to the couch where there was an inviting  comforter calling my name. With hoodie up and slipper socks on, I was out in a matter of seconds, contacts in and all (not smart by the way… crazy dry eyes).

I woke around 330pm, or so, trying to go back to sleep. No luck. And here I am. Catching you up on the haps.

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! 

Its the Little Things

Last night, was another sleepless and restless night. I don’t know if it was from my minor binge or if its because I had coffee later in the day, or if its because my mom and I are still on the rocks. Either way, I laid in bed for hours last night, just thinking about my upcoming day trip to seaside tomorrow… stressing about what I’m going to eat.

WP_003140I know I get excited over really trivial things, but yesterday my new scale came! I’m not sure if I shared with you that my food scale died on me last week. To test it, I put a baby carrot on it and it said it weighed like 805g! I don’t think so! After a trial of changing batteries, ensuring I was using a level surface, and weighing a bunch of random items, I had to accept that the scale was no longer working. RIP scale. You have been good to me. I ordered a new scale off cooking.com and lucked out when I saw it was on sale! Yesterday, a brown box arrived with a cooking.com sticker. “It’s here!!!” According to Barry, my excitement was quite amusing! I was so excited to actually see how many Popcorners actually equaled an ounce!

Yesterdays free sample from the pet store was an item I had never seen. I thought, initially it was a dog treat, but after further reading, it turned out to be actual dog food… freeze-dried dog food! Beauty loved it! The product is called Stella & Chewy’s. Beauty had the Stella’s Super Beef Dinner. They also make cat food, which I’ll have to try for Bunny. What I really liked about this product was that the first 6 ingredients actually were BEEF, followed by real ingredients like spinach, beets, pumpkin seeds, and cranberries. There are also frozen products and pet treats, as well as a nifty calculator to determine how much food your dog or cat will require based on weight, activity level, and type of food. To add to the already cool concept of freeze-dried pet food, Stella & Chewy’s donates a portion of their profits to no-kill shelters and animal rescues!

*Please know that this review is NOT sponsored my Stella & Chewy’s in any way.

WP_003137As I told you yesterday, I like fruit in my shakes, and I cannot lie! I used my new scale to weigh out everything today! First, was the banana for my Blueberry Banana Latte shake.

1/2  frozen banana

1 scoop Herbalife Cafe Latte mix

2 Tbsp Da Vinci sugar free Blueberry syrup

(1/4 tsp xanthum, optional)

Frank’s shake turned out super delicious! I threw a bunch of frozen cantaloupe and some frozen mango in with vanilla shake mix!

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Tomorrow, I am taking dad to the shore, so the last few days, I’ve been trying to eat right since boardwalk food isn’t exactly known to be the healthiest… especially not  the stuff that I want to eat like pizza, sausage, and custard! (Not all together, but you know…)

Although the little binges do not help, my eating has been decent otherwise. My diet has been full of fruits and veggies lately, too! One of the many pros of warm weather is fresh produce!

I was back at work tonight. Dinner was simple and in the form of a hot pocket-esque burrito: Amy’s Tofu Scramble in a Pocket Sandwich. My past experience with tofu scrambles is that they require a decent amount of seasoning, so just in case, I brought some chili powder and crushed red pepper flakes to work with me.

WP_003139After last night’s snack attack, I wanted to be prepared, so I also sliced half a bell pepper and brought it to work with some Walden Farms dressing for dipping.

Now let me tell you what really happened… Obviously, I typed up my dinner before leaving for work. I arrived at work only to find out that our census on the unit had recently dropped. Okay, I guess either Katie or myself will get pulled to another unit. Then, I found out that the entire hospital had a low census and neither one of us was needed. One of us was being sent home. Since Katie was driving from Pennsylvania, and I knew she would be arriving shortly, I surprised myself when I offered to go home. I only live about 20 minutes away and I took it as a sign from God to study for the boards, and protect myself from the cupcakes in the break room. It also gave me the opportunity to talk things out with mom…

I decided to head back to the pet store to grab Beauty a bag of the new dog food, see what all the hype was about with this Blue Buffalo stuff, and grab Bunny a sample of Stella & Chewy’s to try.

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The cat enjoyed her Heavenly Herring and Tuna, and Beauty scarfed down her small can of Wellness, as she always does. I like Wellness food for her because like Stella & Chewy’s the first ingredients actually are meat! In the past, Beauty has really enjoyed the Turkey & Sweet Potato and the Venison & Sweet Potato. This morning, I mixed half of the small can of Duck & Sweet Potato with her dry food. On this visit, I grabbed the Lamb & Sweet Potato, as well as S&C’s Duck, Duck, Goose freeze-dried patties. As for Bunny, I recently tried him with Wellness food, and he, too, ate his bowl clean. The canned cat food happened to be on sale (woot, woot)! I’ll let you know about the Blue Buffalo. I definitely would agree that the dry food is too expensive!

It amazes me some of the food combinations that companies have for animals. I don’t believe in spending a fortune on pet food, but I do believe that my animals are my family and should be treated as such. I’m glad that there are companies that feel the same, and create foods to nourish our babies!

I came home and devoured my sliced bell pepper! I was so hungry. Barry stopped by before he headed off to work, and Frank and I began to assemble our dinners. Since I was home, we sprinkled a salmon fillet with some adobo and baked it in the toaster over. We both created a spring mix salad, mine with peppers, carrots, and onions, a piece of the salmon fillet, and a drizzle of fat free Honey Dijon. Frank kicked it Ceasar-style.

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Meanwhile, work called to bring me in at 7pm. I was not too apt to drive back to work since I had just arrived back home from there. After a discussion with the supervisor, we worked things out and I was able to stay home for the night. Now, I can go to bed early to prepare for tomorrow, do some laundry, study, and relax, plus I already picked up extra shifts for the week! I’m thankful things worked out!

Still a bit hungry, I indulged in some cantaloupe and pretzel sticks! Yeah… now that I type it out, thats a weird combination…

You can’t feel too bad about eating too much fruit… I’d rather eat that than junk food…

You know that feeling you get when you check Facebook, and you have a new friend request, or when someone invites you to an event, or when you get a new follower on Tumblr. I had that feeling waking up this morning. I received two emails from wordpress.com, the host site of Be Well Bundo. One stated that a person liked “Everyone Needs Cheerleaders” and the other, that I had gotten a new follower. Naturally, I get curious about these people and return the favor of checking out their blogs. Both people were using blogging to help cope with their eating disorders, one with anorexia, and the other with bingeing and bulimia.

I read through some of their posts, recognizing their feelings and sentiments, remembering being in those similar situations, trying to find ways out. Its the little things like that, that make me smile. Knowing that through our blogs, we not only help each other, but ourselves. We have outlets, validation of our feelings, knowing we are not alone, and most importantly, making new friends and contacts to be our cheerleaders in the fight.

Its the little things like that…

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.

Tomato Pie

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RIP Bullet

Today began in mourning. The catch on the MagicBullet cracked right in half!

WP_002860Luckily, I had a spare in the cupboard to make shakes! I made Frank and dad a Black and Muddy shake using soy nut butter and peanut butter, while I went with an Irish Creme shake, using my Da Vinci sugar free Irish Creme syrup and Cafe Latte Herbalife powder.

After shakes, Barry came over for a shooting date! He had some work done on his rifle and it was time to test it out!

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I think my aim is getting better… well… I hope it is, any way  😛

We stopped at the Dairy Palace on our way back to fix Barry’s craving for a blueberry shake. I enjoyed a Dannon Light & Fit Greek Pineapple yogurt with chia seeds back at the house.

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When we got back home, I prepared some food and realized I didn’t want it anymore… so I gave it to Frank for dinner. Instead, I wanted something to hold me over…

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Yes, its Gerber. These things are 70 calories, and I topped it with chunky marinara sauce. Its perfect enough for when I’m not really feeling up to a full meal!

Zumba came to the rescue, yet again, tonight. I LOVE ZUMBA!

In other news, I thought I’d share my Tomato Pie with you today. The key, is the sauce. A mildly sweet and garlic-filled sauce on a firm, crispy soft crust!

Easy Tomato Pie

2 tubes Pillsbury Pizza crust (I like the thin crust and the Artisan whole grain)

garlic powder, dusting

2 Tbsp minced garlic

1 can crushed tomatoes in puree

3 Splenda packets

2 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp basil

1/2 tsp oregano, plus more

crush red pepper flakes, optional

Heat a pot to medium heat and add the minced garlic. Once the garlic has heated for about 30 seconds, pour the tomatoes in the pot a stir. Follow, by adding Splenda and herbs. Continue to prepare the crust, while stirring sauce occassionally.

Preheat oven according to package directions. Spray baking pan with non stick cooking spray and roll out dough. Use fingertips to finger and press the dough to the edges to create a small crust. Dust the dough with garlic powder and bake for 8 minutes.

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Remove from oven and pour about 1 cup of sauce (gravy, as its called in these parts) in the center of the dough. Spread the sauce evenly over the dough, sprinkle with additional oregano, and red pepper flakes for a kick. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes, or more until crust is crisp, but soft.

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Allow to cool, slice, and enjoy! Mangia!

*Remember: if you’re using fresh herbs, as opposed to dried, its 1 Tbsp fresh= 1 tsp dried.

In Bloom

I tried my best to stay in bed for as long as possible. I still felt body conscious and was trying to avoid breakfast. After getting some sense to myself, I excitedly took out my new shake mix that arrived in the mail yesterday: Herbalife Cafe Latte.

Frank’s Chocolate Walnana Latte shake consisted of:

a banana

1 scoop chocolate protein mix

1 scoop of cafe latte protein mix

a dollop of walnut butter

water

ice

Since I’ve been digging the peanut butter scene lately, I made a PB Cafe:

1 scoop cafe latte

1 Tbsp Chocolate PB2

1 Tbsp Torani sugar free Irish Cream

1/4 tsp xanthum

water

ice

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After trying to tidy up around the house, body hating set it in. I am was so frustrated! I curled up in a ball and allowed fatigue to overwhelm me. Talking things out with my mom and taking a shower helped a bit. Still sleepy, I made a caramel iced coffee. (Thank you, Torani, for your sugar free goodness!)

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I prepared my dinner, still being body conscious, and went with my classic stand-by: eggs! I love the simplicity, healthfulness, and ease of tossing some veggies and salsa in a tubberware and microwaving it! And its always delicious! Tonight, I must say, really hit the spot!

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My energy level picked up after my bit of protein and veggies, and although I was asked to work overtime tonight, I can’t wait to head home, and head to bed!

PS. One thing that really made me smile today was walking outside to see my lilies had bloomed!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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cube up the eggplant

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press and dry-fry the tofu

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cool and cut the tofu

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marinate

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rice boiling, vegetables steaming, and “meat” cooking

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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.

Playing Catch Up

This rainy Tuesday morning (3/12) started out with a shake and hot tea. The Black and Muddy recipe calls for chocolate shake mix, coffee syrup, cappuccino mix, peanut butter, and chocolate pudding mix. I dumbed it down this morning:WP_001516

1 Cafe Latte Muscle Milk Light
2 Tbsp ChocolatePB2
1/2 Tbsp sugar free Chocolate pudding mix

I must say, it was very similar to the original and I got my chocolate fix early in the day.
Speaking of chocolate and peanut butter, I also got a fix with a 90 calorie chewy Fiber One bar! Mmmm! Chocolate and Peanut Butter… Is there any better combination?

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I wasn’t quite in the mood for a workout, but not working out all weekend was really starting to  get to my head. I figured this would be  good way to clear my head and prepare for endless studying! However, I feeling rather uninspired. Thank goodness for Courtney, who asked if I wanted to do today’s circuit. I asked if I could share it with you and without further ado…

Courtney’s Total Body Circuit: complete 1 minute of each, following the laps

4 laps around the gym (basketball court)run backwards

plank extensions

heel to the heavens, with exercise ball

360 degree shoulder raise

2 laps runningjumping jacksbicep curls with isometric hold, alternating sides

elbow to high knees

chest flies

 ↓  ↓
3 laps runningside shufflesquat press

mountain climbers

standing incline chest press

fast feet

1 lap running

1 lap walking

 

I’ll tell ya, out of everything in this, I felt the Heels to the Heavens burn the most! Intense! (Definitely use an exercise ball to feel this one!) By the end of this workout, I could could feel the sweat dripping down my nose! It was just what I needed today: something quick and something to burn!

After a much needed shower, I hit the caf to enjoy my dinner, a salad and post workout orange. The tempeh really stole the show on this one! Wowzah! It added so much flavor and texture to the salad!

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After a few hours of learning about traumatic brain injuries, I headed to practice. To hold me over I tried a new yogurt: Fage flip Orange Cinnamon. When I saw it, two things popped in my head a) must add flax, and b) I hope it doesn’t taste like potpourri. I know thats a weird thing to think, but its the first thing to pop in my head.. hello.. orange… cinnamon… fall… potpourri…

Anyway, I rather enjoyed it.

So I’ve been referring to “practice” for the past few weeks now, and I suppose that since this week is the big event, I should come clean…

I am in the Vagina Monologues! I saw them last year and felt so empowered, so invigorated . I needed to be part of this. Today was a dress rehearsal and I can not believe how fantastic it has come together!

PS. My eating was fan-freaking-tastic today! Not too much, not too little! Things are definitely turning around! Yay!

Friday:

Over the next few days, nothing but studying was endured. In fact, I could not make it to dress rehearsal for the Monologues and they almost cut my out of the show! I know, crazy, right.

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Test Day breakfast: Peaches and Cream Oatmeal with flax and a cup of tea

Sometimes in life, you need to make a judgement call. I stand by mine. As much as I love the show, my education comes first! Luckily, God blessed me with both! I passed my exam, and last night was opening night of the Monologues! It was a brutal exam and an excellent show! For the next few nights, I will be in the show! All the money we raise goes to Project Life Line, and organization aiding rape victims and those victim of sexual abuse or assault. It covers a wide variety of problems, and its an amazing feeling to know that I am helping bring awareness to such issues.

during intermission of opening night

during intermission of opening night

Have you ever had to make a judgement call? What was it? Did if have the desired outcome? 

or

What kind of events have you participated in that support projects you are passionate about?

After the show, I went straight to work… talk about dedication! Just kidding! Yay for 7-Eleven and the endless supply of coffee and mixed fruits!

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Since I ate “dinner” Friday morning, it was meat free. I love Amy’s meals for a meat free option! This morning I ate Amy’s Mexican Tamale Bowl. I WP_001545always add a decent amount chili powder and hot sauce to spice it up! I split a veggie omelette with a friend at work and made it like a huevos ranchero with the tamale pie! Genius!

As I came home from work this morning, I could not decided whether to hit the sack or indulge my growling belly. Belly it was and I dug into a big bowl or assorted cereals (Cheerios, Kix and the like) and a fruit salad!

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I have to say though, one of my favorite things I ate this week was called a Crazy Apple. They are apples that have been flavored. I tried out the Pomegranate Grape and couldn’t get enough. It wasn’t an overwhelming overly sweet grape flavor like I was afraid of. I can’t wait to try the Tropical flavor!

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I’m In Love

Its official. I’m in love… with a little boy I’ve been caring for at my clinical site. Some of the children at this site are up for adoption. I would take him home in a heartbeat! In fact, the nurse said that he could totally pass for my son, and when his family came to visit, I said “come on, lets go see your mommy!” He ran to me! Ugh! Every time  his family held him, he cried and reached for me! Hes melting my heart.

If only…..  ❤

Since today is a long day, I wanted to start my day with some caffeination. A started another chilly morning with a shake. When I use this liquid, I don’t like the icey consistency  that it makes, so I add guar gum to smooth it out:

1 Cafe Latte Muscle Milk LightWP_001402

1/2 half frozen banana

1/8 tsp guar gum

This kept me going for the morning, as did a cup of hot green tea. Lunch was welcomed this afternoon: A salad, carrots, onions, green peppers, topped with chicken, sunflower seeds and sugar free honey mustard dressing! I love this line by Maple Grove Farms! Their sugar free balsamic vinaigrette is to die for!

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After clinical post conference, I hit the gym and completed a workout. I drew this up during some free time in clinical.WP_001404

It began and ended with 5 minutes on the elliptical, riding backwards. A 20 minute interval treadmill workout was samwiched in between two strength circuits. The progression of events look something like this:

Elliptical– 5min- 11 resistance (backwards)

Strength

Sitting Crunch 53 lbs 60 reps
Chest Press 25 lbs 60 reps
Leg Adductor 50 lbs 60 reps
Double Crunches   25 crunches
Bicycle Crunches   25 crunches
Tricep Extensions 30 lbs 60 reps

(I could really feel the burn in my arms and legs!)

Treadmill

Minutes

Speed

Incline

1-4

4

8

4-8

4

12

8-10

6.5

1

10-12

7

1

12-15

4

8

15-17

6.5

2

17-20

4

8

(I love the incline! Just like last time, as soon as I hit the 6 minute mark, sweat started pouring down!)

Repeat Strength

Elliptical– 5min- 11 resistance (backwards)

On my way to rehearsal, I tried a new Fage 0%: Apple Cinnamon Raisin. Of course, flax accompanied this to play off the autumn tone of the yogurt fruits.

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My eating was fantaabulous today! I was so proud of myself! Until the munch set it. I didn’t have anything else to eat so I stopped by Rite Aid. My favorite candy was on sale for 88 cents! Its normally almost 4 dollars!

That was my mistake. I went to town on some sugar free Russell Stover’s candy and finished off a bag of Teddy Grahams. Grrrrrrrr!!!!

Other than this binge, today was great! I’m really starting to feel like the nurse I want to be!