Manly (and Slimming)

Hey all you Manly Men out there! Take a bite of this! 

20151203_204614_001-1[1]London broil is a rather inexpensive piece of beef, can easily be frozen and thawed, and doesn’t get tough in the soup-making process. It was also convenient since I happened to find a ton of it in the freezer… Cubing the steak is super easy when cutting a partially thawed piece.

Vegetable Beef and Barley Soup

makes 16 servings

    • 1 1/2 lb london broil, trimmed of fat
    • 6-8 Tbsp brown gravy mix, low sodium
    • 2/3 cup onion, chopped
    • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
    • 2 Tbsp paprika
    • 1 Tbsp thyme, dried
    • 2 tsp oregano, dried
    • 1 tsp parsley, dried
    • 1 Tbsp minced/chopped dried onion
    • 1 tsp ground rosemary
    • 3/4 to 1 tsp black pepper, to taste
    • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt, to taste
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 6- 7 cups water
    • 4 cups chicken broth, fat free, low sodium
    • 2 cups beef broth, fat free, low sodium
    • 3/4 cup barley
    • 1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes, low sodium
    • 2 1/2 cups celery, chopped, including leafy ends
    • 1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
    • 2 cups kale greens, rough chop
    • 2 (10oz) mushrooms, white button, chopped
    • 1 cup green beans, cut (frozen will work)
    • fresh parsley, chopped, to garnish (optional)
    • oyster crackers (optional)

Cube the london broil into equal bite-sized pieces and place in a large pot. Add the onions through rosemary. With a large spoon, toss everything in the pot to coat the meat and onions.

Place the pot over low heat, add water and broth and cover. Allow to simmer for 40 minutes, or so. Add barley, cover, and bring to a boil. Once at a boil reduce heat back to low, add vegetables, cover and allow soup to simmer for 1 to 2 hours.

*I’m curious if using Italian seasoning could substitute many of the green herbs… let us know in the comments if you try!

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Keep covered, remove from heat, and allow soup to cool. Refrigerate, freeze, or my favorite recommendation… Mangia! Top and garnish to your liking.

Nutrition based off 6 Tbsp gravy mix

119 calories!

Ha! I’ll take TWO!

Pin-tresting

Apples and cheese are a classic fondue pairing. So on Pintrest, it really doesn’t surprise me that there are so many apple-cheddar pies. Some put the cheese in the crust, others in the pie, and others on top. And it didn’t just stop at cheddar and pie. There was Brie, and gallettes, and hand pies, soups, and dips.

You all know my experimentality and how much I adore playing in the kitchen. Needless to say, Pintrest got my gears turning… Some food combos just taste odd together, like this grapefruit protein shake I made one time (not a good post, Pintrest)… But lets face it… bacon goes with EVERYTHING!

Apple-Cheddar-Bacon Pie

serves 8

  • 11 slices thin slice turkey bacon (2 slice for 35 calories)
  • 3 apples (enough to yield 4 cups)
  • 1 medium onion (about 2 1/2 in diameter), finely diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely choppedWP_008337
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 tsp ground sage
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp thyme, to taste
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Splenda Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp granulated Splenda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, apple pie spice, or pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cup fat free shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup Fiber One bran cereal
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • salt and pepper, to top

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-in pie pan with nonstick cooking spray and weave 8 slices of turkey bacon. Line the last three slices of bacon around the walls of the pie pan to create the crust. I found that making a little tear in the middle of those three slices helps keep the bacon from rolling down the sides of the pan. Bake for 20 min.

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In the meantime, core and thinly slice the apples. Then, cut your slices in half and measure 4 cups. Combine the apples, celery, and onion in a large skillet on medium heat with 1/2 cup of water. Cover with a lid for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and sprinkle with thyme, sage, garlic, Splendas, cinnamon, salt, pepper, vanilla, and lemon juice. Toss the mixture. Whisk the cornstarch with cold water until dissolved and pour over apple mix. Recover with the lid until bacon crust finishes baking.

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Meanwhile, in a food processor, chop 3/4 cup shredded cheddar. Set aside. Next, process the cereal until extremely fine. Add the remaining 3/4 cup cheddar to the processor, and blend until evenly distributed.

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Stir just the processed cheese into the apple mix, and transfer mix to the baked bacon, spreading the cheesy blend evenly over crust. Return to the 350 F oven for 15 minutes.

Lastly, add the unsweetened applesauce to the processor of cheese and Fiber One crumbs and blend until a crumble is created. Get messy, and use your hands to crumble on top of the warm pie. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and return to the oven for a final 25 minutes. Let it cool for about 10 minutes, while you make the optional sauce.

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What really is the icing on the pie is this sweetened thyme yogurt sauce!

Thyme Yogurt Sauce

  • 1/4 cup plain non fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free syrup
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme

Blend and dollop!

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Rather than sticking with the sweet/tart, salty feel, I wanted something a little more savory. I was really impressed that the bacon crust stayed perfectly together when the pie was sliced. I was  even more impressed by the the afterthought of dressing up some yogurt. Thank goodness for that afterthought, too, because it tied all the sweet and savory flavors if the pie together.

Nutrition: (1/8 of pie and 1/2 Tbsp sauce)

Calories:119, Fat: 2g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 14mg, Sodium: 391mg, Carbs: 17g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 9g, Protein: 10g

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I would imagine that this could also be served with an over-easy egg, where the yolk would act as the yogurt sauce.

I’ve sort of rediscovered my love for apples recently so you may see another apple pie riff sooner that you think.

In Bulk

I had three goals today, all of which I accomplished!

  • Exercise
  • Make soup
  • Make today better than yesterday

I woke up and began making today’s recipe. I figured that it could simmer while I went to my Zumba toning class. I arrived at Zumba toning only to find out it had been cancelled! I guess thats what happens when you don’t check your facebook…

Nonetheless, I was determined to be active! As I drove home, I thought of what I could do and the chores I needed to do. Well, I need to pick up flour for tomorrow’s recipe… I decided to take the opportunity to continue to train for a 5K and ran 2.6 miles down to The Riverfront, where the ShopRite is. I always enjoy mixing up my running trails. Its like 5 Gum.. It “stimulates” my senses! Haha. I just enjoy the different scenery, smells, people….

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I was so proud of myself for making it there in 35 minutes, as opposed to the navigators estimate of 58! Yay for Refrain Running!

Frank picked me up and I treated him to a breakfast of “The Kim” from Fresh Thymes (bagel, cream cheese, onion, tomato, and lox), and grabbed a cinnamon coffee for myself. When I arrived back home, I whipped up a Black Forrest bowl, topped with Gnu’s Espresso Chip, and spent some time sending out resumes, and checking my email.

  • 1 scoop chocolate proteinWP_004603
  • 1/4 cup frozen cherries
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Splenda packet
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp rum extract

It was just what I needed to fuel my day even further! Suddenly, I was Suzy Homemaker! I did tons of work! I began vacuuming and suddenly I realized this kitchen floor needs to be cleaned. I got on my hands and knees and began to scrub away. We have a textured floor and so much dirt gets stuck. Such a pain in the butt! Then, the old girl, Beauty, peed on the carpet. Poor baby. After I used the carpet cleaning machine to clean up the pup’s mess, decided the carpet could use a one over, too! Next thing I knew, the carpet was scrubbed and smelling good!

WP_004608It was also a good today because I had a lunch, a dinner, and a snack! Yes! Normalcy!

Dinner was a chicken cheese steak with onions, ketchup, and cheddar! The day flew by! I couldn’t believe how quickly it went! I ate like a real person, kept busy, got shopping done, cleaned the floors, did some laundry, and cooked one heck of a brunch for tomorrow!

In my opinion, cold weather has the best food! Sure I love fruits and veggies fresh from the garden, but I love chilies, soups, dumplings, turkey, pumpkin, and, hello, Christmas cookies! This is one of those recipes that means Jack Frost is in the air! Its a set and forget recipe, minus the crock pot, that yields beaucoup (boo-koo) amounts of soup! This family has no clue how to cook for a family… we cook for an army! We freeze this stuff and eat it year-round, but its usually gone by March… I use a 32 cm pot, about a 2-3 gallon pot, with lid.

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Chicken and Barley (Noodle) Soup??????????????

  • 10 chicken thighs
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • celery, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp dried pot herb*
  • 2 cups uncooked barley
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • abobo, to amp up the flavor, if necessary**

Place chicken, water (to the top, about 40 cups) , carrots, celery, and pot herb*, cover, and simmer over lowest heat for 3 hours. In the meantime, bring a pot of water to a boil and add barley. Boil the barley, skimming off the starch as it forms, for about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse the barley, return to the pot with water, bring to a boil, again. Skim off the starch, boil for another 8 minutes, rinse and drain, until the water is clear.

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After 3 hours, the chicken will begin to float to the top of the pot, as will fat and marrow byproducts. With tongs, remove the chicken thighs and set aside, allowing to cool. While the thighs are cooling, add ketchup, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Remove the skin and bones from the thighs, and discard. Shred the chicken with your fingers, removing any fat or grissel. Return the shredded chicken to the pot, as well as the drained barley, recover and allow it to simmer for another 2 hours.

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Your heart and waistline will thank you.

Your heart and waistline will thank you.

Optional, but highly recommended: Working in batches, spoon the soup into containers and refrigerate. This allows grease and fats to float to the top and solidify, so it can be removed. This may take a few hours, I recommend letting sit over night. Skim the fat off the top and discard. Return all skimmed containers back to the pot, cover, and heat through.

If you are a noodle person, boil some pasta, we use farfelle (AKA bow tie). Once al dente, drain and rinse the pasta and divide amongst the bowls. It can also be served, as is! Ladle the soup on top, and finish with a sprinkle of reduced fat grated Parm!

WP_004702*Pot herb: Pot herb is, technically, any green grown for the use of its leaves, including kale, collards, parsley, ect. Typically, mom and I use fresh pot herb, which is hard to find, but some grocery store have it in the produce department. If using fresh, place in a paper bag over night before using. Snip off most  of the pepper, with just a piece of the pepper still in tact, and throw the whole thing in there! If using dry, place two tablespoons in a cheese cloth and create a spice ball, and throw the whole thing in!WP_004607

**Abodo: The broth in this recipe is from scratch and sometimes the chicken flavor may not shine through. If this is the case, sprinkle some adobo in, to taste. It brings out all the flavors in the soup!

Sorry bloggers! Its a huge vat and goes pretty quickly! A rough estimate would be around 135 calories per serving. Even without the noodles, its keeps you seriously full!

Night After Night Shifts

Tuesday

I tried to begin today early. Frank and I began chit chatting and spent the morning together. We both had some delicious coffee, but the entire morning was spend in the kitchen! It was very productive and although the recipe I was working on took about a total of three hours, from start to finish, the final result was well worth it. I cannot wait to share it with you, next week. I am also incredibly excited about a Be Well Bundo first! We, Frank and I, filmed the first video tutorial for the website! It turned out great and that, also, will be posted next week!

WP_004025My appetite will minimal today, as was Franks. Neither one of us ate anything until dinner time. I laid down around 2 pm in an attempt to catch some ZZZss before my shift at 11 pm. Unfortunately, two hours of sleep was all that I obtained. My dad started getting on my case about my calories and I hate it! I’ve been trying to listen to my body and eat when I was hungry. I decided to eat a Raspberry Greek Dannon Light & Fit and topped it with Fiber One 80 Chocolate cereal and chia seeds. This wasn’t good enough for dad. I tried to explain to him that I had my entire shift ahead of me to eat! I am already hard on myself about calories, so when others get on my case , I  get even more paranoid.

Before heading to work, I had some roasted red peppers, garlic, and cucmbers on a rice cake. One thing that put me in a good mood was the delicious coffee I brewed before leaving for work. It was a Vanilla Caramel Creme K cup, with SF french vanilla creamer and a splash of SF caramel syrup! Wow! Delicious!

Wednesday

WP_004026My shift went great! I kept busy and got to care for some great little kiddos. I also got to care for one of the most beautiful babies I’ve ever seen! And so well behaved! Dinner was half a Smart One Tuna Noodle Gratin. Honestly, even if I had eaten the whole thing, it would be pretty tasty for 220 calories. Rather I split it up and added a little broccoli. Once at work, I topped it with salsa since it was a little dried out by the time I reheated it, and paired it with celery sticks.

My food paranoia has definitely carried over into today. When I arrived home from work, this morning, I was starving. After all, the last time I ate was 230am, and it was, now, 730. I whipped up an egg, and put it on a slice of wheat toast, spread with my copy-cat Panera cream cheese. Its was tasty and I scarfed it! I was starving!

WP_004027With Frank being awake, we ran a few errands to pick up necessities for my little brother. When we arrived back home about three hours later and I needed to sleep! My manager asked it I could work a 12, tonight, since we had a patient that required a 1:1. I was hungry. At least I thought I was. I need to be okay with eating. I took out the turkey salad I made the other day and combined it with salsa. I placed it on a rice cake and had a side of cucumbers. It was delicious! But as soon as I finished, I went to sick girl mode. Oh my gosh! 200 calories! Really, Sammy? 200 is perfect for a small meal. Its lean meat, with light mayo, on an unsalted rice cake! How much healthier can you get?

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I laid down, took deep breaths and prayed. Sometimes, that all I can do. Thanks to the turkey, my stress, and my previous night shift, I actually slept! Thank, God! I slept for a solid 5 hours, or so! I woke up, knowing that if I didn’t get something in my system to hold me over until 230 break, I’d be tempted to snack all night! I made a mini shake. I wanted to use up my blueberries left over from Sunday’s pancakes, and wanted a flavor to refresh me and put me in a good mood. Just filling enough to do the trick.

Blueberry LemonWP_004030

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar free fat free Lemon pudding mix
  • 1/2 Tbsp SF blueberry flavoring syrup (for an extra pop)
  • 1/2 tsp ground flax
  • water
  • ice
  • 1/4 tsp xanthum

Just double the recipe for a full size. Double-fisting, I brewed some Kahlua flavored coffee. I’m glad I had my shake on the way to work because I was greeted with a box of Philly Pretzel Factory pretzels and the content feeling of satiety made it easier to resist the temptation of the doughy, salty carb.

Thursday

Last night, I ate the other half of my Smart Ones. Rather than topping it with salsa, I drizzled a little Walden Farms Creamy Bacon Ranch dressing on it. Hey, bacon… tuna… sounded good to me! Celery sticks accompanied the meal. I find it is so much easier to just bring the same thing two nights in a row. It saves time and I don’t have to think about food and calories. The Waldens didn’t quite give it enough pizzazz, so I added a bit of spicy brown mustard from the Philly Pretzel Factory to the mix.

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The refrigerator was rocking cold and my food got pushed all the way to the back. My food had gotten iced over. While I ate my warm tuna, I attempted to de-ice my celery sticks. It was rather interesting… frozen celery… I wouldn’t recommend it.

Typically, an Aide doesn’t sit in a 1:1 for 12 hours. It almost never happens. Well, last night was a first. I spent most of the night chatting with my patient, who likes to stay up late, and watching movies with them. By 4am, my tailbone was killing me. Since my patient was asleep, I brain stormed some recipes for my birthday. I think I just about have them down. As 7am rolled around, I was stoked to be able walk around. I mean, I walked around my patient’s room and stretched a bit but its not the same as actually being on the floor. If it weren’t for being so tired, I almost didn’t want to sit in my car to drive home.

You know its been a long night when you try to unlock your car door with the locker key attached to your ID badge, thats clipped to your hip. Its not even in the general area as my car keys… you know, those things in my other hand!

Oh, by the way, today is National Pancake Day! Do you know what that means? That means a new recipe for you all to try! I’ll be posting it soonly!

Dangerous Cream Cheese

I slept. Boy, did I sleep! I fell asleep on the couch, like mid-conversation with my mom. Talk about a food coma.

I never plugged my cell in and it died, and therefore, no alarm for Sammy. I stirred a bit when I heard mom in the living room and asked her what time it was. “Ten of 11,” she said. What? I need to make breakfast! Dad’s coming over! “I called and told him you were sleeping.” Just as I reached for the phone to tell dad to come over, he was calling me! ESP! Yup, I’m up! I making pancakes! Get over here! 

I just have to say it. I was a culinary queen, today!

I prepped part of the pancakes last night before crashing. The pancakes were a hit and no one knew that there was a secret ingredient. This week hosts National Pancake Day, so I’ll share today’s beautiful pancakes with you then! Since today happens to be National White Chocolate Day, I added some white chocolate chips to a little less than half of the pancakes for Frank, my dad, and my little brother, Dom. Everyone enjoyed breakfast, even my picky mother! We all had our own cups of coffee, and since no white chocolate was in my pancakes, I made sure a little SF white chocolate syrup made it into my coffee mug.

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I was inspired, while cooking pancakes, this morning. I kept thinking about that yummy Panera Honey Walnut Cream Cheese! I kept thinking how good it would taste on blueberry pancakes. I had half an 8oz container of fat free cream cheese in the fridge and went from there.

Advisory: This is the most dangerous and ridiculously delicious cream cheese you will ever eat.

Healthy Panera Sweet Walnut Cream Cheese

makes 16 Tablespoons

  • 1 8oz container non fat cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp sugar free pancake syrup
  • 2 packets Splenda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp diced walnuts

Combine all ingredients together until smooth and enjoy!

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Needless to say, I topped my pancakes with my cream cheese!

I asked my mom to test it, since she loves the original stuff. “If I didn’t know better, I would swear it was directly from Panera.” “That’s damn good,” dad said at the dining room table. “Frank, try this!” Its always a pleasure to here compliments like that!

Following breakfast, my godfather and cousin swung by for a quick visit and then dad and I were off to the park. We decided to take the pup with us for a little fresh air. It was brief but an absolute fun filled morning with my dad, shooting hoops. I love getting Beauty out in the fresh air! She always crashes when we get home, but when shes out, she really enjoys herself. And I got some great pictures of her today! I think dad just liked our trip to the park because he beat me in a game of Horse- only by ONE, though!

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Frank and I ran some errands today, and by the time we got home, we were both chomping on the grapes in the car. Neither of had eaten since brunch, and with the sun dried tomato wraps I just bought, a felt a wrap was the way to go. Frank said he had some chicken breast and then we decided to add some shrimp. Oh man! Frank, mom, Dom, and myself loved these wraps. I through the sliced chicken breast and shrimp, about 4 1/2 oz of each, in to a skillet and then topped it with the following and covered it, only tossing it a few times:

  • WP_0039971 1/2 oz broccoli slaw
  • 3 oz spinach,
  • 1 oz sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp adobo seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp oregano

After dividing the mixture among 3 wraps, I topped each with a little fat free shredded cheddar, 1 oz a roasted red peppers (each wrap), and a leaf of ice berg lettuce. I served them with sliced cucumbers for a side dish. Frank kept saying how much he enjoyed it, and he could have eaten another.

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WP_004002I must also admit that I created a monster, this morning. I went with an after dinner snack of celery and cucumbers. I always heard how celery and cream cheese went so well together. Well, I have never enjoyed this combo, but having made my Healthy Panera copy-cat, I get the combo another try.

THIS STUFF MUST GO ON EVERYTHING!

Its a winner!

Raspberries On The Mind

Saturday (8/31)

Just as I began to think the stress if the night had died down, it flared back up. Mom blew me off twice in one night and then made the excuse that it was because of my eating disorder that she didn’t spend time with me. Calling my dad for some moral support wasn’t mush help either and he too got on me about it. By this point, I was hurt, frustrated, confused, tired, and crying. “Everyone is tired of it,” both my parents yelled. Don’t you think I am, too?! Thank, God, for Frank who came in my room as I cried. He calmed me down, and after a while, I finally fell asleep.

I began the morning with a White Chocolate Raspberry Shake! It was a beautiful shade of pink until I added a handful of spinach. Then, it WP_003728looked like a big grey blob.

  • 1-2 scoops vanilla protein
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free, fat free White Chocolate pudding mix
  • water
  • ice
  • handful of spinach (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp xanthum (optional)
  • extra splash of sugar free raspberry syrup or sugar free raspberry jello mix, for extra flavor (optional)

Frank started the day off with a shake, as well. Still drained from last night, and my dinner for work prepared, I went to take a brief nap. I’m not sure if I actually fell asleep, but I felt better when I woke up.

I made myself a mug of coffee and a snack before heading off to work. The snack really held off my hunger at work. My shift was great, actually! I discovered something that the nurses before me did not find! I felt so empowered! Nurse Sammy! Saving Lives! One of the night shift nurses who took over commended me on finding it!

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WP_003731I sat down around 7pm for a simple dinner. Before leaving for work I had drained a bag of shirataki noodles and cooked a frozen Green Giant box, the digestive health one with yellow carrots, beans, and spinach in a garlic herb sauce. I divided both the box and noodles into two containers for tonight’s dinner and tomorrows. I was a bit bummed that the beans had absorbed so much of the sauce by the time I ate. Luckily, the shift before me ordered hoagies for lunch and I was able to add some sweet peppers, my favorite condiment, to the bowl. It really made this dinner pop!

WP_003730I had a great night of discharging kids to go home, making the patients and parents laugh, and feeling so positive after days of feeling so insecure. I was even surprised my how filling dinner was! Around 930pm, I sat down for some celery and PB, and a quick break that led to working on a birthday treat for dad. I kept with this idea when I got home, and had some more celery and PB.

Sunday (9/1)

I can’t believe how quickly this year has flown by, and now its the first of September! Wow!

After a shower to wake me up, I attempted to create a Brew HaHa Latte with my shake. It was pretty good for Take 1:

  • 1-2 scoop Cafe Latte shake mixWP_003732
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp sugar free raspberry jello
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar free chocolate DaVinci
  • water
  • ice
  • handful of spinach (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp xanthum (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp guar gum (optional)
  • dash of cinnamon

Last night at work, the girls were snacking on Cool Ranch Doritos. I wasn’t hungry so I ignored the bag, but as the night continued I tried to remember the last time I actually tasted Cool Ranch Doritos. I took one bite. And then another. Wow! Its been years. A little fix and I was done, and I was proud of myself for listening to my body.

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Before heading to work, I had a small bite to keep me going. I brewed a mug of Blueberry green tea, and with the last of the raspberries, smashed them on a rice cake, along with some Be Well Nutella. I’ve officially fallen in love with raspberries and nutella! Haha!

Dinner repeated itself, tonight. This time, rather than the sweet peppers, I added a bit of Brummel and Brown, red pepper flakes, and steamed slices of bell pepper and onions. Yum! It was quickly followed by celery sticks and PB2 before I was pulled to another unit at 7pm and completely lost my mind.

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WP_003737I desperately tried to ignore my hunger at 9pm, and was able to deter it for a while. I wanted fruit, apples or a peach, but no such luck in the work pantry. After caving, I ate a 90 calorie pack of Teddy Grahams and half an apple sauce. I know and you know, that it was a smart food decision, but tell that to this eating disorder. As soon as I chewed the last teddy graham, my mind went to hell. But why? I WAS hungry. I listened to my body, and it said feed me, even after trying to trick it with lots of water. All I wanted to do was cry. I was mad that I ate, I was mad that I couldn’t hold out for an apple at home, I was mad that I was approaching 600 calorie for the day. I text my dad, Frank, and Barry from whom I received both support and anguish. Frank is a recovering addict, so he understands what its like to mind-screw yourself. Dad doesn’t quite understand that.

Unfortunately, I did the unthinkable… I purged… at work…

I haven’t done that since the height of my bulimia. I can NOT regress! I will NOT regress! My first action in response to this BS disease? Text my sponsor! I should have done that days ago.

Ciro is 5!

My morning started out the way I love to start my Sundays: with Church! Today, was special, though, because Barry went with me! It means a lot to me to be able to share something so personal, like my faith and Church family, with him.

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WP_003666After mass, Barry and I came home, after a brief stop at my uncles, for a little breakfast. I was heading to a party in a few hours, but was definitely hungry. I made an egg with spinach and salsa to hold me over, and a veggie omelet for the boyfriend.

After parting, I drove to celebrate Frank’s nephew’s 5th birthday! I love Frank’s family! Plus, Cal’s family, his niece, is Filipino and make yummy food! There is always a nice spread. On the menu this year was lamb and feta sliders with tzatziki, grilled chicken and bratz, mei fun noodles, veggies, fruit salad, cookies, blueberry cobbler, hummus, barley salad, pork lumpia, seasoned potatoes and more!

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I made sure to fill up on loads of celery and fruit!  I was feeling pleased with myself.

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Cal really outdid herself on the desserts. Everything was Angry Birds themed for Ciro. Cal baked carrot cake cupcakes, red velvet cupcakes, and the most delicious Angel Food Cake I have EVER eaten! I typically despise Angel Food Cake, but Cal’s was airy, light, and delicious! I, of coursed, begged for the recipe! Frank and I split the carrot cake cupcake and a small slice of Angel.

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We only get to see the family a few times a year, so I love catching up with everyone and being interrogated about the whereabouts of Barry! That was my fault :/ I didn’t know I could bring him. Haha!

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WP_003688After meeting up with Barry and providing him with party delicousness, I was so hungry! But why? I had drank a bottle of water, and decided to try some fiberful steamed broccoli with garlic powder to curb whatever I was feeling. Despite finishing another bottle of water, I still felt hungry. I snacked on some of my moms trail mix, making sure to stay within a serving size, which is so difficult with trail mix!

I began to fell anxiety, so I called dad. He has helped ease my mind enough where I can now fall asleep!

Good night blogworld!

Shout Outs

Shout Out to my mama:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Garlic Mashed Cauli-TatersWP_003265

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

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

WP_003266Top with what ever you’d like!

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

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

Shout Out to my girl, Alex!

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

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

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

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

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

throwback to sophomore homecoming 2006

On the Food Front:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bye-Bye Bars

Happy Fat Tuesday! My exciting plans, while girlfriends are enjoying wine and chocolate? Writing a paper and studying my butt off with some exercising thrown in there.
I took control of the clinical manager position in clinical today and I think I did pretty well. The gears were definitely turning as I examined the pathophysiology of my patients. I welcomed lunch times, which was pretty tasty for being a canned soup: Progresso’s High Fiber Chicken Tuscany Soup with some hospital grade saltine crackers.

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I started thinking this morning… What do I want to give up for Lent? For those of you who don’t know, Ash Wednesday starts the 40 days of Lent. Ideally, we, as Catholics, try to give something up during these days to better ourselves and to feel like, we, too, are sacrificing something.

Growing up, I always gave up things like chips or soda in an attempt to “be healthy.” But this year, I’m giving something up that is going to be a BIG challenge! I’m giving up the things I spend a ton of money on, and eat entirely too many of. Its one of the items that I binge the most on. Protein bars. I’m an addict. I get twitchy when I see one and impulsively buy it! I run to my car and scarf it down. I’m on the run all day long and by the time I get home an want to enjoy REAL food, I’ve already eaten my days calories in bars. These things truly are my weakness and I know this is going to be a challenge. I’m not giving up snack bars or fiber bars because they are so great for clinical mornings, but I know I need to do this. I need to prove to myself that I am in control of my life, my eating habits…

To say “see ya later” to the bars, I enjoyed 3 today: a Lemon Zest Luna bar, a Chocolate Peanut Butter Special K Protein bar, and a Fruit and Nut Delight KIND bar. Wow! This is going to be rough! I think the KIND bars are going to be the hardest to refrain from, especially the Peanut Butter & Strawberry (I review it here) and the Almond Cashew and Flax.

I forget my veggies for lunch today, so after clinical I stopped by Wawa and picked this up:  Veggies with Light Ranch Dip. I  added a handful of Dutch Cocoa Sumersault snacks for dessert (I love these things! Dutch Cocoa and Cinnamon are my favorite flavors.) WP_001142

What a great packaged snack! I was so surprised by how fresh and crisp the veggies were and the sugar snap peas were so sweat! My dad would have loved this!

Today, as sleepy as I was, I completed Day 3 of the Couch to 5K Challenge. My chest, but especially around my shoulders, were really sore today because of yesterday’s upper body weight training.

Dinner tonight was nothing spectacular. In fact, it was not that attractive, nor very impressive. I ate a Lean Cuisine: Fajita- style Chicken Spring Rolls. It definitely does not look anything like its picture.

It actually reminded me of the taquitos you buy from 7-Eleven when your drunk and have the munchies. I ate these with some chunky salsa to try to improve them a bit.

I plan on some hard core cramming tonight and tomorrow.

Wish me luck ( on both my exam and my Lenten Promise)!

Beef Stew: Crock Pot Recipe #6

I got everything ready for tonight’s crock pot dinner, then left mi casa. Breakfast was on-the-go this morning as I was on my way to the hospital to gather information on some patients for clinical this week. I stopped by 7-Eleven a grabbed a small coffee, with a shot of sugar free hazelnut syrup, and a protein bar. It was definitely filling, with just the right amount of toffee and chocolate.

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Toffee Chocolate Chip Harvest Power Bar

This week, my instructor chose me to be Clinical Manager. This is kind of my opportunity to take the management roll of Charge Nurse. I assigned two patients to each of my two classmates.

In the hallway, there was an older couple holding hands. I overheard one of the nurses asking how long these two patients had been married… 76 years! WOW! And still so in love! This gives me so much hope that marriages can last! It was a beautiful sight.

After I got home, I completed Day 2 of my Couch to 5K challenge. 3.3 miles feels great! It is so needed for this girls mental health!

My mom’s beef stew is pretty Plain Jane, but always a stick to ribs mouthful of yummy!

After making it with her for the past 20 years, I wanted to see if I could add a Sammy flare.

Typically, mom uses a whole bag of potatoes. I wanted to cut down on the white starchy carbs, so I substitute a few baby red potatoes and some cuber butternut squash. I don’t see why sweet potato wouldn’t work, as well. I like my stews full of veggies so theres a lot of carrots.

There are very few ingredients to my mom’s recipe, but it makes for a winner.

Bundo Crock Pot Beef StewImage

(serves 5)

1 lb london broil, fat trimmed, cubed

4 large carrot sticks, cut into discs

4-5 baby red potatoes, washed, roughly peeled, cut into fours

1/2 to 1 cup butternut squash, cubed (found in produce department)

2 cloves garlic, minced

black pepper, to taste

1 (28oz) jar fat free beef gravy

1/4 cup powdered brown gravy mix

2 1/2 cup water

Spray a skillet with nonstick cooking spray and toss in cubed meat for a quick sear. Remove meat and set aside. In the same skillet, empty gravy in skillet and whisk in the dry gravy mix. Fill the jar with the water, swirl and empty into skillet. Simmer until power is dissolved. Pour into crock pot.

Spray skillet again and add the potato wedges and squash cubes. Brown the outsides, especially the squash since this will dissolve easily in the stew.

Add all the ingredients into the crock pot, give it a light stir, cover, and cook on low.

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Nutrition: (1/5 of recipe)

Calories: 253

Total Fat: 8.5g

Sat. Fat: 2g

Cholesterol: 60.4mg

Carbs: 18.6g

Fiber: 1.5g

Sugar: 3.4g

Protein: 22.9g

         

Mom makes Bisquick dumplings to serve on top, which makes this even heartier. I just topped mine with some gold fish crackers. The expert, my mama’s, review? “Excellent!” Woo hoo!

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I spent my Sunday night watching lectures. During one of my study breaks, I completed Julie’s Super Sweaty Ab Workout. This must have done me in because for the rest of the night I had the munchies. Nothing seemed to do the trick. Even drinking water wasn’t helping. I took out some celery sticks, as a debated packing them for lunch tomorrow, and it hit me. Celery and PB, the perfect crunchy snack! Why didn’t think of it before?! Its elementary! No, really… it used to eat this all the time in elementary school…

I feel so silly that I did all that snacking only to remember the best snack of all!

I have an incredibly busy day tomorrow, so hopefully I burn off some off some of this snack attack.

Good Night!