Good Days

I have picked up quite a few shifts at my new job and today I realized I am finally getting the hang of things!

At first, I was constantly behind and never even got a chance to eat! Today, however, was completely different! I ate breakfast, lunch, got done everything I needed to do, not only on time, but early! Plus I went to Zumba! It was a really good day today!

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Backing up a bit, I just had to share some pictures with you. On National Spaghetti Day, January 4th , I whipped up some gravy, with a side of steamed broccolini, onion, and roasted red pepper. It was a beautiful and delicious meal!

On my pay day, I took Barry out to breakfast and treated him to the “Ich Liebe Dich” Omlete! It was massive and tasty! I, of course, ordered my banana fosters coffee to pair. The omelet was stuffed with sausage, smoked cheddar, sauerkraut, onion, and bell pepper, topped with a dollop of guacamole, with a side of toasted sourdough, apple butter, and fruit. And “just because,” we ordered the Vegan Peanut Butter Fudge Pudding Cake! Talk about dense and rich, and we couldn’t get enough! It was quite the combination of ingredients to make our Friday breakfast!

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That Saturday, the family celebrated the Bar Mitzfah of Frank’s nephew. It was the first Jewish celebration I had attended actually in Temple. The cantor had a a fantastic voice. I wanted him to serenade me with Frank Sinatra music. Haha! The Rabii took me by surprise, as she was female! I did not know that females could be Rabbis. It was definitely a new experience, as I tried to sing the hymns and and follow along.

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Following the two hour ceremony, we drove about 10 minutes to the luncheon, that was more like an afternoon of food! It was like a 4 course meal! It began with appetizers of fried calamari, eggplant rollatini, and mozzarella rolls stuffed with prosciutto and roasted red peppers. the Eggplant was my favorite!

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This was followed by salad and penne a la vodka! I kept picking out the peas! It was delicious!

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The waitress took our orders. James, one of my brothers, and I could not decide between the chicken and the bass so we decided to split! I ordered the chicken piccatta with double veggies, and James got the Chilean Sea Bass. The bass was perfectly cooked and I loved the lemon of the piccata sauce!

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Dinner, as if that was not enough, was followed by an array of cookies, pastries, and the above cake, which was spectacular! I am not an icing girl, but I would have licked the cake clean! Despite a day filled with food, I was incredibley proud of my self control, portions sizes, and overall eating!

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Mozel Tov, Evan!

FYI: This is how excited I get for Zumba!

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Hectic Weekend

Saturday

Last night ended with a handful of grapes and a bunch of pretzel sticks with Honey Mustard Dip. I was able to get close to 900 calories in yesterday! It was because I listened intently to my body. I ate when I was hungry, and stopped when I felt full (although I could have ate that whole darn birthday pie, myself). After I reviewed what I ate for the day, I was happy with it. I didn’t eat too much of one thing, and I didn’t eat too little, but that damn number is still hauntingly and dauntingly eating away at me.

I thought about why I could be getting so paranoid. A few things came to mind:

  • Vendemmia (a big wine and food festival coming up)
  • my girlfriend’s wedding
  • Halloween candy
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas cookies

I need to be able to take these events like any other person. Just listen to myself. I know this eating disorder is something I will live with the rest of my life, but as long as there are more good days than bad, and supportive people to help get me through them, I can live with it.

Today is National Eat a Hoagie Day. Although it technically wasn’t a hoagie, I made a breakfast sandwich that was pretty tasty of eggs, Canadian bacon, hot sauce and cheddar on toast.

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A little bit later, to hold me over until work, was a bowl of Greek yogurt I i splashed some sugar free pumpkin pie spice syrup into and topped with sunflower seeds for a nutty taste. And it really did the trick!

WP_003916I couldn’t quite wait for dinner but needed something in my belly. My assignment was a bit wacky and out of the ordinary, tonight, so I decided to take advantage of a short break and enjoy a tart granny smith apple. About two hours later, I had my actual dinner.

Dinner tonight was a spinach salad topped with half a Lean Cuisine Greek-style Chicken Salad Creation (minus the croutons).

WP_003917I really liked the cucumber dill dressing that came with it! Ever since I started making dill salads I’ve started to develop a taste for the herb.

I was proud of myself. When I arrived at work, there was a bowl filled with Reese cup miniatures. I went the while shift ignoring them. 7 pm hit like a tornado and I was non stop! . When I finally got to sit down and breath, o decided a salty sweep piece of chocolate was well deserved.

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Sunday

After work, last night, dad wanted me to come over and I was surprised by how hungry I was when I left work. I went to dads house and we stayed up late snacking on veggies and salsa. We even ate half a jar of roasted red peppers! They are so tasty, plain or on a saltine. (Please excuse dad’s pile of mail… its a bachelor pad,,, what do you expect?)I even took a bite of a hoagie, and actual hoagie! It was delicious! I had the calories to spare, and I had a great time!

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The temperature seriously dropped, last night. I know I didn’t need to, but I totally put on the footie pajamas! Yes, I am an adult and adore footie pajamas!! Even my dad says how solidly I sleep when I’m in them. I love this picture dad snapped of me. Red handed with a bell pepper and a jar of salsa in my sock monkey footies! We stayed up, I don’t even know until what time, watching Monk. It used to be our Friday thing before I got sick, so I really enjoyed having that with my dad, again. Its another reminded how important my recovery is.

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The next thing I knew, it was noon, today, and my dad was waking me up. I went back to my mom’s house to grab my medication, and try to keep busy before work. I first made my Key Lime Pie protein smoothie bowl, that I’ve been craving. Instead of the usually flax or crumbled graham topping, I topped it with flax and Fiber One cereal. It was so delicious, especially paired with a coffee. I recently got a new shipment of sugar free syrups flavors and I’ve been trying them out. Today’s first mug of coffee was flavored with Pumpkin Pie Spice SF syrup, and Eggnog SF syrup. Wow!

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I ran out to the oriental market to pick up a few necessities and returned home a bit manic about eating last night at dads. I worked with my best outlet and cooked. Its not really “cooking” but I made my girlfriend a batch of the Sammy San Seaweed Salad.  I can’t wait for her to taste it! I made a final cup of joe for a pick me up before work, flavored with another new flavor, English Toffee SF syrup. I’m glad I went with a second cup of coffee, today, because work had plans to keep me busy.

WP_003923I arrived at work to a birthday cake, which I ignored the entire shift! Not like I would have had time to eat any. I barely had time to chart, let alone eat my dinner. A few animal crackers helped to finish through the night, but I could not believe how busy it was! Weekends at the hospital are usually slow! SSSSSSLLLLLOOOOOWWWWW! Its typically filled with discharges and few admissions, and a lot of coworker banter. This weekend, I was lucky if I could grab a drink or go to the bathroom. Even the nurses were feeling the heat!

I was actually kind of relieved when I had to sit 1:1 at 2030. I was finally able to chart, grab a drink, and just breath.

Nurse Cake

WP_003707As my night shift was coming to an end, my stomach began to growl around 5am. I ignored this feeling the best I could. Around 530, I caved to a sugar free fruit cup. So sue me. A 45 calorie, sugar free fruit cup is whats going to upset me? This is ridiculous.

Around 6am, some nurses began to feel the hunger. Some toast english muffins, other trail mix, but it helps me to know that I am not the only one that gets thst end of shift hunger, and it makes me feel even better to know that I made a light and wise choice of food.

Arriving home about 2 and half hours later, the 45 calorie fruit cup had worn off. I snacked on half a slice of the left over Chicken Cheesesteak Pizza, another 45 calories. How can I hate myself for that? Its like I ate a 90 calorie snack bar, but instead of it being cereal and granola based, it was fruit and veggies! Get with the program, Sammy!

I stood in the shower, praying, deep breathing, almost like I was trying to wash the eating disorder and anxiety away. I finally laid down and slept until about 4pm, Thursday (8/29)

WP_003710I woke knowing I needed to eat despite my current feelings about my body. I went with a Dannon Light&Fit Greek Key Lime yogurt and topped it with some Special K Protein cereal. Although the cereal didn’t add loads of pizzazz of flavor to the yogurt, I enjoyed the crunch and texture, and the added feeling of being full. I paired it with a large glass of sparkling water.

The remaining afternoon was spent wallowing in my own depression, laying on the couch, curled under a blanket, until Barry came over after he was done work. He spent a few hours with Frank and me watching movies. I know it wasn’t the way he hoped to spend his evening, but it was nice to have the moral support.

My dad expressed some more concern about me today. I can’t help the way I feel. The last 3 days, I have not eaten more than 600 calories. Frank suggested this could be a reason why I’ve been so tired lately. I was in the bathroom and looked at myself. All I could see, at first, was my stomach. I kept poking at at it like it was somehow pop like a balloon and deflate. I went to the scale that read 131 lbs. I like that number. I went back to the mirror to figure out why the number just didn’t seem match the body. I stared long and hard and realized that my face was beginning to thin out, again.

With an annoying headache, which I suspected to be from low blood sugar, I stir-fried some bok choy and mushrooms in 1/2 Tbsp of low sodium teriyaki sauce,1 tsp chili garlic sauce, and a splash of water. It was filling and helped rid of my headache, which was definitely what I needed before going to work.

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I headed to work, coffee in hand, still feeling like I was dragging. Its funny how as soon as I walk onto the unit, I change. I’m so lucky that I am one of those blessed people that loves their job and the people they work with! Speaking of which…

These ladies I work on night shift with completely took me by surprise! After finishing the first rounds of my 8 hour shift, I went to the break room to grab a drink. As I opened the door, the nurses were setting up a party… for Heather and me in honor of us passing our boards!

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The first thing I saw was the cake and covered my instant terror with a smile, saying, “You guys are so sweet!” They even got gluten free goodies for Heather! But then, I saw the veggie platter and salsa and fruit bowl. Heather mentioned that she could tell I had lost weight and that she was worried about me. Heather is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. I would love if Heather and I both got the newly available nursing positions for our unit.

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WP_003717After finishing up some rounds, I decided theres no harm in enjoying fruits and vegetable. An the the veggies with salsa! MMM so garliky! I continued to snack on the goods all night and even had the hot and sour soup I brought with me. I was stuffed by 3 am and stayed that way! I felt great! Like I had been revitalized! Suddenly, although I was full, I felt invigorated and was on a roll at work! I love that Heather was so honest with me. You know what? I even had a bite of cake. I’m not a cake fan, but ShopRite done good! The night shift crew put a good hurtin on the cake and fruit!

The shift ended strong and confidently and I cant wait to hit the sheets!

Happy 80th, Mr. Cassel!

Dinner, last night was in the form of a classic: grilled ham and cheese (with homemade mustard) and wonton soup. The combo is a classic, maybe not these specific flavors…

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Barry and I fell asleep mighty early, last night, but still managed to sleep in until about 830am. As Barry had a craving for blueberry waffles, I enjoyed a Dannon Greek Light and Fit Toasted Coconut Vanilla Blend topped with ground flax. I always like adding flax or sunflower seeds to sweeter yogurts, as it helps to cut some of the sugary bite.

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I always manage to find Harry Potter on TV and forced Barry to kill a little time watching it with me as he threw in a load of laundry. I find it amusing all the his and her pictures I take of our food. Today’s snack, before hitting the road, was a packet of Wawa apples for me… And a banana and chocolate shake for Barry.

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We arrived early for Mr. Cassel’s surprise party, but within the hour the birthday boy arrived!

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My aunt has a caterer friend how has been doing her parties, lately. The chicken marsala is always pretty good, but the green beans were exceptional, today! There was also a tray of baked ziti and roast beef, as well as potato salad and cole slaw… all the usual suspects…

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My boyfriend must be a big kid (but I think I already knew that) because within five minutes of arriving to the party, he and my little cousin, Olivia, engaged in a splash war.

Grandmom wasted no time in digging into the punch, that Aunt Chrissy makes. Its some sort of Bacardi based tropical-ish drink that many guests love, but thats just too strong for me! Nonetheless, mommom had pounded back a few and started to get goofy!

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Following the laughs and socializing and delicious food, and a boyfriend with a full tummy, Mr. Cassel blew out his candles and we headed home for the evening, to face some serious downpour on the highway!

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Happy 80th Birthday, Mr. Cassel!

Long Awaited

I’ve been working for 4 years, each year increasingly harder. I’ve battled eating disorders, lost and rekindled relationships,  traveled the country with Phi Theta Kappa, started this blog, and so much more! On May 22, 2013, all my hard work payed off and I graduated with my Nursing degree. Now comes the time to celebrate! The days leading up to the party were filled with excitement and a list of things to do! I have been cooking, cleaning , and preparing for 3 days straight! It all paid off! The food, the people, the environment… everything was a success!

I had a vision on my party, the OCD was kicking in, and it worked out just the way I wanted it to! Friends and family surprised me and brought deviled  and pickled eggs, cookies,  huge tray of broccoli rabe, and my grandma’s  yummy coleslaw to the party. I, on the other had, was a cooking machine! I laid out veggie platter with non-fat onion dip, POPCORNERs (delicious) and fat free pretzels with homemade black bean and corn salsa (recipe to come), and homemade honey mustard dip (always a hit at the Bundo parties). I also prepared two trays of tomato pie, Hungry-Girl’s I Can’t Believe Its Not Potato Salad (crazy good), my moms seafood macaroni salad (recipe to come), a simple garden salad, and a big fruit salad!

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I was even surprised by how much my brothers helped out, too! Dom was cleaning the house and preparing the yard, and James made lime seasoned tortilla chips for the salsa I had made.

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The day before the party, dad and came over, and together, we made some incredible food! Dad grilled 20 lbs of sausage on the grill, while I sliced up endless onions, peppers, and mushrooms, and minced a ton of garlic! I love cooking with color! As the sausage settled, I cubed up chicken breast, seasoned it, and seared it.

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The end results were 3 trays of Sausage, Peppers, and Onions, and 2 trays of Chicken Spezzato! All of it went!

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My Aunt Dona contributed her famous deviled eggs, grandma, her coleslaw, Aunt Chrissy, a small lunch meat platter, Penny, Spicy Thai Noodles, and Uncle Eddie, his famous Lemon Ricotta Cookies. Gwyn, a woman I used to work with at my old job, brought pickled eggs (the only pickled eggs I’ll eat) and 5 bottles of Spumante! She said she wanted something for everyone to toast with!

My Aunt Cathy, and godmother, the baker in the family, asked what type of cake I wanted. I love her carrot cake and her cream cheese frosting, but not everyone likes carrot cake. So what did she do? She made cake pops! Not like that ball of batter on a stick… These were like push pops! She arrived early for the party, and we assembles small cupcakes sandwiched with frosting and berries and jimmies (or sprinkles, as many call it). Chocolate, vanilla, carrot cake, strawberry! Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries! She went all out! They were delicious and the perfect size to touch that sweet tooth! She is crazy talented! (If you’re in the area and want her contact info, message me or leave a comment).

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My dad said a toast, thanking everyone for coming, for their support throughout all my highs and lows, and how proud he was of my accomplishments! Gwyn surprised ma n jumped up, stating she wanted to make a toast, as well. Her toast was more of a blessing, to have God guide me through my nursing practice to care for his children. It really meant a lot to  me!

The house was decorated with the typical graduation gear, as well as various shades of green, my school color, and a couple pictures from the past year.

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Drinks included various beers, water, sodas, and the occasional margarita. What really made me laugh was my grandma. She got pretty tipsy on the Spumante and was saying the funniest things! I had to help her to the car when she left! I was cracking up at some of the things! She also insisted that Barry ask me to marry him at the party! She apologized for being so wobbly as she walked explaining she had to take her meds differently today since she was going for blood work in the morning. She then explained she was going to get a mammogram done, exclaiming, “They want to play with the ol’ tits!” She and I stopped dead in our tracks, and just laughed! Shes a trip sometimes! When I called her this morning, she told me how much she loved the sparkling wine. She was in luck that I had 2 bottles left. I’m going to bring her one up on Friday.

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It was an amazing day, filled with special family and friend. My Uncle Eddie invited Harry, one of his friends from grade school, who I love! Hes a hoot. In fact, I go to his birthday party every year, and when we have reunions for our grade school, we jitterbug! I was shocked when he came. Another special guest was Mrs. Miller. Iv’e kept in contact with this woman for about 16 years. Why so long? Because she was my kindergarten teacher.

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The evening ended with a the neighbors and us socializing on the porch, sharing in stories and laughs.

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It was raining most of the day… but the porch and house sufficed. A lot of work went into this party, but it was most definitely worth it!

Graduation Season

Graduation season is such an exciting time! Its the ending of one chapter, and the beginning of a new chapter of your life! It gives us an excuse to reunite with old friends and family, reminisce and eat some serious chow!

This past weekend, I celebrated the graduation of two of my closest friends: Maggie and Quinn. They are brother and sister. Maggie graduated from college, and Quinn from high school!

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WP_002517I’m pretty amused that I don’t look clothed in these pictures, but that would be false! I actually felt very cute when I arrived at the party!

Their family is like my family. They are the closest, non-blood related people to me. In fact, I call their parents “mom” and “dad.” Anyway, wherever mama is, excellent food is sure to follow! But the real kicker of this party was the dessert table! Oh help me! One person brought a white chocolate coated pretzel, peanut, and chex mixture that reminded me an awful lot of the Fresh Market’s White Chocolate Crunch! Addicting! And the cookies! And the Carrot Cake! Somebody stop me! I pretty much lived near this table.

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The one healthy thing that I seriously snacked on was the white corn salsa! It was delicious and refreshing! I got the recipe to use at my grad party at the end of the month, and will share it with you then.

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I’m getting my first taste of the military, as Barry will be away for the next three weeks doing some training and drills. He was able to come home Saturday and stop by the party. And he was in uniform! He met my extended family and grabbed a bite and a drink before heading back to his house for the night.

I stayed at Maggie’s house for the night, as did many of my intoxicated friends. (Drinking and driving is strictly prohibited!) We stayed up late, as always! I began feeling mass anxiety about the over indulgence of sweet treats! I guzzled water and used my friends and text my parents for support.

The next morning, I helped the family make breakfast! It was quite a feast! Eggs, sausage, bacon, danishes, stuffed croissants from Jersey, fruit salad!

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Thats a big bowl of eggs!

I really filled up on the fruit salad since I knew we would be away for a while. We then packed up the minivan and drove Quinn down to his Senior Week house in Dewey Beach.

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Black and Gold

I was hoping to get some sleep after work, but instead, I made a trip to Wholefoods, made some Garlic and Cauliflower soup, and took a quick 45 minute nap. This nap is what powered me for the remainder of the day.

Every year, my girlfriend’s sorority host a Black & Gold Party. Each girl brings two dates. Its a way for the new inductees to meet other people. I’m a date every year.

This year was different, though. It was like I was back! I drank a little, I celebrated my friends birthday with some cake and nachos (without a panic attack), I socialized and laughed and danced, and reunited with some old friends. (And I had my first Bobbie hoagie since recovering!)

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Birthday Boy!

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The Bobbie

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Birthday Shot

So much cheese!

So much cheese!

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My crew of friends make the same cake for everyone’s birthday. Why? Because its that good! Its called the “Better than Sex” cake. I’m trying to figure out a way to make it a little healthier, but heres the jist:

Bake a Devil’s Food cake according to package instructions. While still hot, remove from oven and poke holes in the top with a fork or chop stick. Pour a can of sweetened condensed milk over top. Drizzle with caramel topping and cover with cool whip. Lastly, top the cake with chopped Heath Bars.

WP_001371I crashed at my girlfriend’s apartment and woke up early to head to campus, making a pit stop at 7-Eleven for some much needed coffee. I could feel some anxiety starting to set in as I thought about all the calories I had consumed last night. Immediately, as I arrived on campus, I headed toward the gym and had one of the best, and sweatiest workouts I’ve had in ages! I completes Julie’s Make Your Face Sweat Treadmill Workout . She was not kidding when she said “sweat.” I know I have a good workout when my shirt is wet from sweat! Minutes 32 to 40 really intimidated me but I pushed forward. I needed to adjust this just slightly. Every so often during those ten minutes or so, I dropped back down to 4.0 speed to catch my breath a bit (for about 30 seconds), but enough to still keep my heart rate up. Even with the modifications, I managed to run 3.88 miles an burn around 500 calories! SWEET!

After this, I asked the girl at the gym to make me a circuit, explaining that I just wanted to burn today! With a few modifications to her set-up, this is what was completed.

10 reps Chest Press 25lbs 2 sets
10 reps Lat Pull Down 40lbs 2 sets
10 reps Tricep Extensions 10lbs 2 sets
10 reps Row 40lb 2 sets
1 min High Plank
10 reps Weighted Squats 5lb in each hand 2 sets
8 each leg Lunges with Bicep Curls 5lb in each hand 1 set
10 and 10 reps Calf Raises (alternate 10 normal pace and 10 fast) 3 sets
1 min High Plank
15 each leg Bird Dog Crunch* 1 set
25 reps Double Crunch 1 set
25 reps Bicycle Crunch 1 set
1 min Modified Plank

* While returning to starting position touch elbow to knee to form a crunch

** I attached two links in case you were unsure about the form of these exercises

I finished with ten minutes on the elliptical. After a shower, I grabbed my laptop from the car, enjoyed a protein and fiber fix in the form of Chobani Flip Vanilla Golden Crunch topped with ground flax and hit the library to watch a lecture before class.

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