Granola Day

While thinking about what to pack for night shift, I was suddenly struck with a desire to have a bagel sandwich. I packed an everything bagel thin, which I toasted at work and topped with spicy brown mustard, lettuce, onion, and a few slices of chicken lunch meat. To join the party, I sliced a small red bell pepper and dipped it into Walden Farms Creamy Bacon Ranch dressing! A handful of caramel popcorn was my treat if the night.

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I managed to squeeze in about a 2 hour nap when I got home from work. Once I woke up, my tummy was yelling, “Feed me!” Yogurt was my fancy. I topped a Stonyfield Super Fruit Greek yogurt with a tablespoon if sunflower seeds. This was my first time trying this yogurt and I was surprised by how sweet it was. The sunflower seeds really helped mellow the flavor and give a nutty accent.

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I spent the remainder of the day trying to tidy up the house, and my car, which was very much needed, as well as run a few errands. I also managed to whip up a few batches of granola. I really love granola but it is so easy to over eat it! I got my mom pretty hooked on a granola I picked up, which I was not particularly impressed with. I made Mom a small batch and then proceeded to do a little experiment. I made Barry some blueberry granola!

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Lunch was some delicious baby carrots and cauliflower drizzled with a bit a warm garlic sauce. It was just what I needed to keep me going.

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Dinner was a surprise. I wasn’t exceptionally hungry so I decided for the ol’ standby of cottage cheese and raspberries. “Danger, Will Robinson!” I only had two tablespoons left! Cottage cheese turned into yogurt. Yeah, yogurt twice in a day…

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I topped a plain OIKOS Greek with a splenda packet, a handful of raspberries and some freshly made  granola. It was so filling! For fresh! It was delicious!

I’m pretty pleased with my eating today. I pray that it gets better every day!

Lean Salad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Being Average

Today was an early morning as I took the HESI exam. The HESI exam is a practice exam for the NCLEX and gives your rationales as to why the answer you chose was wrong. (Very beneficial.) I didn’t do terrible, I scored average, but average is not what I strive for. Therefore, I took notes on the areas I need to improve on and plan on spending some time each day reviewing practice problems.

“Being normal is vastly over-rated.”

I always remembered this quote from Disney’s Halloweentown. (I used to be obsessed with this movie.) I’ve always wanted to be that innovated, that girl that had her own fashion or started a trend. Instead, I apply it to the area of my life I know I can be anything but normal… my academics. I’ve always been an above average student. When I have a goal, such as passing my NCLEX with flying colors, I dedicate myself to it, give it my all.

Whether I’m running, studying, cooking… I am always striving for my best. When I lost weight, I wanted to be normal… the truth is, in some aspects of life, there is NO NORMAL. Body type is one of them. Did you know the average size of woman in the US is a size 12?

I guess, in some round about way, I’m saying, “What’s the point of being normal, when it feels so much better when you go beyond?”

After the HESI, we met for the graduate luncheon that the SNA (Student Nurse Association) put together in the gym. Mexican theme. They did a pretty decent job, too! I stayed away from the taco shells and nachos, and went for the pulled chicken, lettuce, pico de gallo, and refried beans (I don’t know why, but I love this stuff).

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Following this, was a few peanut M&Ms and tiny sliver of a cake they provided for us.

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I didn’t have much of an appetite for awhile, but I had plenty of time to kill before work. I headed to the ACME to mosey around and grabbed a pint of strawberries.

Dinner was a bit strange. I tried out a new bar today. I left it in the car, and the coating melted so it was bit messy to eat. But hey, I wont complain about using a spoon to eat of protein bar or about the melted peanut butter coating that I dipped my strawberries in. HAHA I know I’m a bit odd sometimes, but I make it work…

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So the bar… I’ve had a few bars by Pure Protein, with mixed feelings overall. This bar surprised me though. The Peanut Marshmallow Eclipse bar was a chewy and filling bar covered with a peanut butter coating. It really hit the peanut butter sweet spot. The only downside to this bar is the complete lack of fiber, but the 19g of protein keeps you crazy satisfied. The low sugar count is also a nice touch.

Do you have any recommendations on what to use to study for the NCLEX?

Hefty Hefty Hefty

WP_001648I don’t think my body likes to eat at 6 am, because every time I do, I feel ridiculously uncomfortable… I know… I’m a mess. But at least, I really enjoy these Special K Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pastry Crisps. Even as a kid, I’ve always liked PopTarts. What I like about this product is that I get the feeling like I’m eating a PopTart without the guilt and calories!

I’ve really been on a yogurt kick, lately… but I don’t hate it!

Today, I was inspired by Black Forest Cake and topped my Chobani Black Cherry yogurt with some Fiber One 80 Chocolate cereal and sunflower seeds. It was really tasty, crunchy, sweet, and nutty!

WP_001651 As I entered the hospital cafeteria, a basket of little red spheres caught my eye. I bought one of these and was going to save it for later snack. As I finished up my yogurt, this ball of health whispered, “you know you want to… just do it.” “Ok,” I said. CRUNCH! MMMMM What a delicious apple!

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Today was a great day at clinical! My patient paid me a great compliment by recommending that I become a doctor. “I’ve lived 81 years. Take it from me. I know personalities and what you’ve got is natural. Its a gift from God. Wonderful natural personality! You’ve made me smile… first time since I’ve been here. You’re making me better. You’ve really got a gift from God.”

Oh wow! I was blown away!

Tonight, Frank cooked dinner: Chicken Alfredo with onions, mushrooms, and broccoli ( You know I LOVE some broccoli!) Frank and I have very similar tastes, when it comes to food… but he wouldn’t let me make a healthy alfredo. Boo…. Still yummy though. I ate mine over Tofu Shirataki Macaroni style noodles! I love this product!

I’m still rocking a bit of a stomach bug, but getting better every day! To end tonight, after hours of research for school, heres something I found a bit humorous… While in the bathroom I saw this sign on the door at the hospital.

Every time I see this: Scrub, Scrub Scrub… Flush, Flush, Flush…

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I think of: Stinky, Stinky, Stinky… Hefty, Hefty,Hefty…

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Oh, and if you didn’t know… UD girls are going to the Sweet Sixteen! Right On!!!

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Sweat It Out

Bet you thought this would include some awesome workout, huh? On the contrary…

The worst part about feeling under the weather, is my absolute lack of motivation! I don’t want want to stay awake or work on my projects, let alone work out. So the rest of the night was spent attempting to finish up some of this school work!

While on the phone with pops last night, I asked for him to decided today breakfast shake… He seemed adamant about cherries. So I took out a Dannon Light and Fit Cherry Greek yogurt. On a side note, I like to buy yogurt when its really cheap and freeze it. I use these in my shakes.. it adds to the thickness of the shake, like using ice cream… Anyway, the following went into the bullet:

1 Dannon Light and Fit Cherry Greek yogurtWP_001496

1 oz frozen cherries

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Formula 1

handful of raw, unsalted almonds

handful of kale

ice

I was going to use my almond butter, but when digging in the freezer for the yogurt, I saw this out of the corner of my eye… it had to be done…

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I spent my day with dad at his office. I knew I’d get work done if I was not home. It was a nice day seeing dad in action. To help nurse this… whatever congestion thing is going on with me… dad pulled out this nifty Cup of Soup instant soup packet. As much as I’m not a fan of these because of sodium content, it was just what I needed! That and another mug of hot tea!

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A little school work was completed but mostly I watched Hallmark movies and ate Chinese food. Yes, we ordered out again. Frank was so impressed with my dinner last night that he wanted it for himself tonight. So he ordered that and I ordered the veggies with chicken. Woah baby, that was a lot of chicken! There’s just something about eating all those veggies and protein that just makes ya feel good! Mmmm I also ate a big bowl of hot and sour soup, my favorite Chinese soup to help me feel better. I think it worked since half way through it, I took off my robe from sweating! That’s the way I like it!
Hot and sour soup has always been of of those foods I’d love to make but never got around to doing.

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Double the Crock Pots, Double the Fun: Mexican Chicken: Crock Pot Recipe #9

This is so funny! I’ve never had dueling crock pots before!

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This is the easiest of all the crock pot recipes of this challenge. Since breakfast was  a bit more involved, I’m  glad this was a simple one. And just like the roasted vegetables, the possibilities are endless!

Mexican Chicken

serves 4

12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 jar salsa, or 1 1/2 cups

1 packet low sodium Taco Seasoning

Remove the fat from the breast and lay in the crock pot. In a bowl, combine the salsa and taco seasoning. Pour over top of the chicken, cover, and cook on low. When ready, remove from crock pot, shred with two forks, and place back into crock pot until its time to be served.

Is that simple or what?!

I used a jar of Southwest Black Bean and White Corn salsa. Dad really wanted soft tacos, but I couldn’t help but create a salad with mixed greens, shredded chicken, fat free shredded cheddar,  and a few Guiltless Gourmet Spicy Black Bean tortilla chips.  I stuck with the mexi- theme and combined some avocado with some fat free sour cream and cilantro for a dressing!

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Rave Reviews! Dad went back for seconds! (so did I).

I’ve been in a kind of freak out mode! I have some dresses that do not fit me anymore! Ugh! This is the worst feeling a girl with an eating disorder can have! Situations like these really make a girl want to relapse. The worse part, is that I have to energy or motivation to get moving! The weather has been super crap-tastic lately, so I have not been able to go running and the house just looks so dark and gloomy without any sunlight. Thank God today was a nice day! It was the first day in a while I could walk outside without gloves and a scarf.

I’m hoping this dress incident can snap me back to normal eating habits!

Working a Twelve & Some Serious Cereal

Saturday:

I did not have much of an appetite this morning when I woke up, so I headed to work with some snacks, just in case. Lunch was healthy… pineapple and cottage cheese. The other day mom bought a pineapple and it was so sweet and delicious, she ran back to the store and bought 2 more! I’ve been in my pineapple glory!

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When I got to the unit, Julie was there with my girl scout cookies. I totally forgot I ordered these. Down the hatch went some do-si-dos. Those are some dangerous cookies!

Later, I made a bowl of oatmeal, that I actually meant to eat earlier in the day. I find that with a lot of instant oatmeal, with berry flavors, they are just too sweet! I mellow it out with some ground flax. I’ve never tried this oatmeal before, so I did not know its sweetness. I have to say though, the flax made it all the better!

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I never actually wound up eating dinner tonight. Not because I was too busy to eat, but because a certain chica (myself) ate a few too many cookies… and got a belly ache.

Silly Sammy… oh well, at least my dinner for tomorrow night is already at work.

Sunday:

I went home, craving real food! I wound up eating a bowl of cereal and some pineapple.

I lectored at Church this morning and it was really nice to see some friends I hadn’t seen in a while. Deacon pulled me aside to tell me how worried he was about me and how happy he was to see me put on weight. I like to hear things like that but I’m definiately ready to get rid of this belly I put on.

This morning, I ate a packet of Quaker Cheddar Grits. When I first opened the packet, the chedder smell reminded me of the Easy-Mac cheese.

it doesn't look too appetitizing but it was

the grits don’t look too appetitizing but it was

Even though its been sunny, the wind chill was just too cold for me, so Day 5 of Couch to 5K was out today. Instead I did a 12minute warm-up with Dave Sinclair OnDemand and followed it up with  Julie’s Jump Rope n’ Abs Workout.

I’ve really been on a serious cerel kick, lately. Every time I go for a snack, cereal is the winner. For lunch, before I headed to work, I finished off my Cinnamon Pecan Special K cereal. If you recall, I said earlier that I did not care for the cereal with milk, but by itself, its a keeper. Well, the same goes for Kashi’s Berry Blossom cereal. I had a bit of each left and decided on a combo deal. YUM! I don’t know if the Special K tasted better because all the nuts and cinnamon settled to the bottom of the back, or what, but it was tastey!

Dinner was what I did not eat last night: Lean Cuisine Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce. Ialso steamed some frozen oriental vegetables to soak up some of that excess sauce. I added some black pepper, like I do with most things. Myfavorite part of this frozen meal was the Italian green beans! This isn’t a favorite meal, but the added veggies helped and I could eat those green beans all day!

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Dessert came with a little sugar and some staying power. A granny smith with some hospital PB made its way into my tummy.

on some lovely Vday plates

on some lovely Vday plates

I start my new rotation tomorrow morning at a new clinical site. I’m kind of exciting since the place does similar work to my actual job, but the paperwork looks a little intimidating.

Fleece-Lined Leggings

Probably one of the best investments I’ve ever made was buying fleece-lined leggings at the New Castle Farmer’s Market. They are amazing! They are thick enough to wear as bottoms with a long top, flexible enough to work out in, thin enough to wear under my scrub pants (scrub pants aren’t exactly the warmest), and, oh gosh, I live in these things! I wear them under my scrub pants at clinical and work this time of year and they keep me toasty but not sweating. I ran my 5 miles yesterday in them. They kept me flexible, unrestrained, warm, but breathable.

They are like the ultimate transition wear: wake up, put on tights, work out, slide on scrubs, come home take off pant, work out…

I HIGHLY recommend getting yourself some of these babies!

Today, I worked day shift. One my cold drive in, I snacked on a Nature Valley Recharge granola bar, Cranberry Almond. I was surprised how much I liked it better than the Cherry Dark Chocolate!

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I really liked the cranberries in this bar. They weren’t dried out, but juicy. Plus the bar had a nice chewy crunch, which I love!

The highlight of my day, though, was when I decided to assess one of my patients and while doing so, found some skin breakdown that no one had caught before. The nurse said, “Good job, Sam! I’m glad you caught that!” This just made me feel like I was another step closer to becoming a nurse!

Food-wise, I ate a Muller greek strawberry yogurt. I kept seeing this brand on sale 10 for 10 so I gave them a shot. With yogurts that have fruit purees, I tend to cut the sweetness with ground flax. I did so today, and yum!!!

all blended up!

all blended up!     

perfecto!

perfecto!

 

I got hungry a bit later at work and snacked on a Honey Almond Flax Kashi bar. I had never had this before. The honey was so mild but the bar was crunchy, enjoyable, with just a touch of sweetness!

Dinner was one of my favorite breakfasts! I had it the first time at a local restaurant because it just sound like an interesting combination: asparagus and chicken in my omelet? I chopped up two frozen asparagus spears and 2 oz of cooked chicken breast from a roast Joe Reda brought over. Pop these in a pan, pour 1/2 cup liquid egg whites, sprinkle some black pepper, and cover on low. When the egg starts to solidify, sprinkle 2 Tbsp on fat free shredded mozzarella and flip the omelet closed.

mmmmm so good!

mmmmm so good!

I like mine with hot sauce. Yum!

My snacks for the day were a hodgepodge of things like cottage cheese, graham crackers, fruit, etc.

Food wise, the last two days have been pretty good! I’m determined to keep this up!

Mom and I did a quick 10 minute cardio video tonight, since I was too sleepy to do one this morning before work, and I followed it up with Julies Sweat It Out Cardio and Abs Circuit!

Before bed, I prepped tomorrows crock pot dinner… Beef Stew. I know I’ve been slacking on the crock pot recipes, but time is running out and I still have a few more to make before the end of the month. Any suggestions?

Got to Admit its Getting Better

Happy “Monday”! I know its Tuesday, but like I said, I’m starting this week over!  Today started bright and early with clinical. My morning kick off began with a quick stretch and 20 minute workout to wake me up and get my blood pumping. I can’t really do more than that on clinical mornings or I’d have to wake up at 0330 and I’d probably be pooped by 1600. While I waited for the clinical day to start I snacked on a  Chocolate Chip Corazona oatmeal square, which I made last until lunch time. (I haven’t been able to find the Almond Brownie or the White Macadamia nut, so if you find them, holla at ya girl!)

 Wow! Its chocolately delicious!

Wow! Its chocolately delicious!

This company offers other products, such as tortilla chips and other oatmeal bars in a variety of flavors! This company prides itself on heart health, hence the name. Each serving is designed to help lower cholesterol using natural plant sterols. This oatmeal bar, for example, is equivalent to 36 bananas, or 61 tomatoes, or 30 apples, of “cholesterol-lowering power.”

Lunch was, what we call, a Tun-Egg sandwich.Its nothing fancy… just tuna and egg salad mixed together. A lot of people think this sounds weird, but I think its the best of both worlds. I ate these with some grapes I picked up at Wholefoods.

Oh, the lunch of a nursing student

Oh, the lunch of a nursing student

Tonight I went with my uncle to the UD girls basketball game! I love basketball! I’ve been playing since third grade, so whenever my schedule and wallet allows, I love to attend the girl’s games. We rock! We won! What’s funny is that I used to play against some of these girls growing up, playing basketball!

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Today was a really good day. I DID go over what I wanted to eat, but I did much better today than yesterday. That’s the important part- that I improve everyday. And when I fall, I get right back up! My patient, today, was so sweet and one of the most complicated patients I’ve ever cared for. I learned so much! He had so much going on, yet he had a wonderful attitude. Really inspiring! I have to say, though, one of the highlights of my day was dinner. So simple, yet so filling and delicious! I started by spraying a pan with some non stick spray and throwing on some cauliflower florets and baby carrots. I sprinkled garlic powder over top and gave them a toss. They baked at 400 F in the toaster oven for about 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, I threw a small chicken breast in a skillet, sprinkle with garlic powder and minced onion. I chopped it up once it was cooked through. I threw the warm roasted veggies and chopped chicken over a bowl of spinach. When I visited Meaghan in NY back in December, we picked up this homemade BBQ sauce this tempeh guru makes; so I drizzled 2 tsp of the BBQ sauce over top! I bet I’d really enjoy this with salmon, too!

And now, I’m sleepy. I completed another 20 minute workout before laying down. Another busy day tomorrow and then night shift…

Chicken Garam Masala: Crock Pot Recipe #5

Listen up, Butter Lovers!

First things, first: Happy National Peanut Butter Day! What a marvelously delicious way to start your day… with Peanut Butter!

Since its a bit out of the way, Mom and I decided that it would be a good day to visit some of the natural food stores around here so I could finish picking up a few things to include in Meaghan’s care package back to New York.
I can’t tell you what’s it there just yet. I can’t ruin the surprise for her… But as soon as she gets it, you’ll get it.

some Wholefoods sweet treats

some Wholefoods sweet treats

One of my favorite things about Wholefoods is the bakery. By now, you all know I have a serious baked goods problem… As in, I can’t get enough of them. Whenever I visit a Wholefoods, I always hit up the bakery. Since I don’t have any vegan products at home, I especially enjoy getting the vegan cookies and muffins. Today, was no different. I celebrated National Peanut Butter Day by enjoying a peanut butter sandwich cookie! My mom went a little crazy at the dessert counter, though. But it made for a great treat after tonight’s crock pot dinner.

mmmmmmm

mmmmmmm

I love PB!

I love PB!

Wholefoods Bakery <3

Wholefoods Bakery ❤

We also stopped by The Fresh Market. You know how at the supermarket, theres a bit or organic, gluten-free, etc items thrown in the mix? Well, thats the way The Fresh Market is, but inverse. My favorite part of this place is the trail mix bar! They have this White Chocolate Crunch mix that Meaghan got me hooked on and its ADDICTING!

Trail Mix!!

Trail Mix!!

They are also known for there many flavors of coffees. Did I mention theres an old fashioned candy bar?

Candy!!

Candy!!

Coffee!

Coffee!

We also picked up this amazingly yummy fruit salad, that I enjoyed with some cottage cheese.

so fresh!

so fresh!

And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Tonight’s Crock Pot Dinner!!
Tonight’s dinner is a recipe Julie used for her part of the Crock Pot Challenge: Chicken Garam Masala. The recipe calls for chicken thighs, of which I did not have in the freezer. To take its place, I used some drumsticks. I removed its skins and figured since it still had a bone, like the thighs, it would make do.
I think I’d like to try this with chicken breast, as well; and maybe enjoy it with some naan. I’m a huge fan of chickpeas, so when I came across this recipe, I was more than excited to to give it a shot. Plus, I’ve never had cooked garbanzo beans and have recently found a little fascination with Indian cuisine after a date I went on.

If you didn’t know, garam masala is a typical Indian spice that,in Hindu, translates to “hot spices.” Its a blend of spices including, cardamom, cumin, cloves, black and white pepper, and cinnamon. So without further ado… Ladies and gentlemen…Chicken Garam Masala!!!

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Serves 4

4 chicken thighs (or drumsticks), skinless
2 (15oz) cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained

1 large onion, chopped

2 cups cauliflower florets
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes

2 1/2 tsp garam masala

fresh cilantro, or 1 to 1 1/2 tsp dried cilantro

Dollop non fat Greek yogurt or sour cream, garnish (optional)

Combined everything, except the cilantro and sour cream, in the crock pot and give it a  toss. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. After plating, garnish with cilantro (and greek yogurt or sour cream).

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I was shocked by how much each portion received  It makes about 5 cups of of the chickpea mixture. This was a really filling recipe and the chicken was fall-off-the-bone moist! I think it was definitely lacking something… maybe a bit more garam masala? red pepper flakes? If you play around with this recipe, fill us in on the comments portion, below.

Nutrition Facts, per 1 heaping cup of chicken mixture:

Calories: 238     Fat: 2.9g     Sat Fat: 0g     Cholesterol: 0mg     Sodium: 840.3mg     Carbs: 48.1g     Fiber: 15.6g     Sugars: 8.4g     Protein: 12.4g      (A 4oz skinless chicken drumstick is around 130 cal with 13g protein

Wow! 15.6g fiber, 25g protein?! No wonder I’m so full!

While we are discussing chickpeas… Did you know there are bars made from these beans? I came across this while visiting Meaghan in New York. The bars are called “The Good Bean.” They’re marked as “Fruit and No-Nut” bars. The first bar I tried was Chocolate Berry, followed by Trail Mix, then Apricot Coconut. I enjoyed how different they were from other bars. Not crispy or crunchy, but not soft like a Larabar. I did not care for the Apricot Coconut. It did not have any defining flavors, nor any sweetness as you would expect. The Trail mix bar contains dried cranberries for tartness and pumpkin seeds for a bite. Its held together with brown rice syrup, which gives a little sweetness. The Chocolate Berry has a combinations of dried blueberries, cherries, and cranberries, and sweet chocolate. It made me feel like I was getting a little treat without the bad fats and sugars ans uber chocolatey-ness. I enjoy them as a nice change of pace, especially since I can’t find them except for in WholeFoods.

right next to the Kind bars! one stop shopping!

right next to the Kind bars! one stop shopping!

Hope you all had a wonderful day! Heres a recipe that combines two stars of today: Roasted Peanut Butter Chickpeas!