Inspired By A Cake

Sunday night, the 15th, was my final shift at the Pediatric Hospital. I will be starting a new chapter of my life tomorrow as a Registered Nurse… a paid RN, that is! The wonderful people I work with through me a going away party packed with goodies. The first thing that caught my eye when I walked into the room, was the bowl of shrimp! “Oh my gosh, who the heck brought shrimp?”

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Kim answered… “I know you love it…” But its expensive woman! She just blew me off and told me to enjoy. Kim, also baked a cake and brownies. Other things on the menu included pizza, chips, salsa, fruit salad, and veggies. Even the color of the decorations were “ME” to a T! They presented me with a card and a gift certificate, and I must say that my entire shift was spent choking back tears.

The cake was dynamite! I had never had a Creamsicle cake before! And the frosting (I am not a frosting girl) I could have eaten by the spoonful! Ask Kim for the recipe for the icing and the following conversation took place:

Kim: You don’t want to know… It’ll kill YOU... (everyone chuckled as she emphasized me, in particular)

Me: No, tell me.. Its fantastic!

Kim: Crisco… (everyone burst out in laughter)

She proceeded to tell me the ingredients and I requested the proportions. However I have been sworn to secrecy (Sorry, bloggers).

I went to town! I still can’t believe the mass quantity of food I ate!

When I woke this morning… I felt the need to try to burn off some of my over indulgence from the party and went for a run. Stupid Sammy didn’t check to see that it was 30 F outside… Only after I arrived at the store did I realize how tight my lungs were… I should have kept that damn albuterol inhaler I thought to myself…

Upon arriving home, and with the cake still on my mind,  I was inspired to make pancakes:

Creamsicle Protein PancakesWP_004940

serves 1

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein
  • 1 tsp sugar free Orange jello mix
  • 2 Tbsp cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp water

Blend in a food processor until completely smooth. Spoon onto a sprayed griddle pan over medium heat and flip and cook accordingly…

I topped the pancakes with 1/2 Tbsp fluff. The fluff melted, add the perfect sweetness and was like the icing on my (pan)cakes!

After a complete afternoon of manic baking… shocker… I was hungry and refused to wait any longer for someone to get home to decide dinner…

With some pumpkin remaining from cooking, and with today being National Chocolate Covered Anything Day.. I opted for yet another protein pancake.

Chocolate Pumpkin PancakesWP_004948

serves 1

  • 1 scoop Chocolate protein
  • 2 Tbsp pure pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1 packet Splenda
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Blend in a food processor until smooth and spoon to a sprayed griddle over medium heat. Flip and cook accordingly.

I just drizzled syrup over mine and chowed down!

I then went to some much needed ZUUMBA!

Chocolate Covered Anything

OK, lets think this through…

Pretzels + Chocolate= salty sweet

Peppermint + Chocolate= refreshing

Cherries/Raisins/ Nuts + Chocolate= bring it on

Peanut Butter + Chocolate= no brainer

Ants + Chocolate = uhhh, not so much

The point of the story? Today is National Chocolate Covered Anything Day! In honor of this tasty day, I’d like to share one of the winning recipes I made last week during my baking frenzy! Its no secret that I love Chocolate Chunk Rice Krispie Treats, but I will admit that they are NOT satisfying. Luckily, this recipe is sweet, salty, and filling!

Butterfinger Krispie Treats

makes 12 large squares

  • 1/4 cup Brummel & Brown, or Blue Bonnet Light, soft spread, divided
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup Better n’ Peanut Butter, low sodium
  • 1 Tbsp toffee bits, or more
  • 5 cups Chocolate 80 Fiber One Cereal
  • 1 cup puffed wheat cereal
  • 2 Tbsp Butterscotch chips
  • 2 Tbsp mini semi-sweet chocolates

In a large pot, over medium-low heat, melt 3 Tbsp of the buttery spread. Stir in marshmallows and peanut butter, stirring frequently. Once the mallows and peanut butters melt together, add the toffee bits, the remaining 1 Tbsp of buttery spread, and the cereals. Mix until thoroughly combined!

Spray a 9 x 13 pyrex generously with non-stick cooking spray. Transfer the cereal mix into the pyrex and flatten into all corners of the pan. Add water to the empty pot and bring water to a boil. Place a bowl over the pot to create a double bowler. Add the butterscotch and chocolate chips to the bowl and continuously whisk until smooth and melted.

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Once melted, use a basting brush to brush the melted mixture over top the cereal treat. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting.

This was a big hit with everyone who tried it: Dad, Barry, the girls at work….

Nutrition: per square (1/12 recipe)

Calories: 193, Fat: 6.5g, Sat. Fat: .7g, Cholesterol: 0.2mg, Sodium: 162mg, Carbs: 34.4g, Fiber: 5.6g, Sugar: 16.2g, Protein: 3.1g

Emotion-Coaster

It was rather a rollercoaster of a day. It started out great, then got bad, then it got better, and then it was just okay.

Before I get into that, I have to share with you some of my mad scientist brain. My hot chocolate did not quite satisfy my sweet tooth last night. I popped a mini bag of popcorn, for crunch, drizzled a bit of SF chocolate syrup, for the sweet, and a handful of raspberries for juice and tartness! Sounds crazy but it was pretty awesome and did the trick!

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I got up to make dad breakfast before he headed off to work. Today is National Scrapple Day, so I made his favorite: scrapple, egg whites, and cheese on a toasted everything bagelthin with hot sauce!

After a mug of coffee and some resume sending, I thought scrapple sounded great! How dare I, a Delawarean, not celebrate National Scrapple Day?! Right as I was about to toss a slice of toast in the toaster oven, it hit me! While picking out my bell peppers, yesterday, at the farmers market, a woman mention stuffed peppers. I could totally make a breakfast stuffed pepper! I could stuff it with anything! Its genius! (If you want stuffed peppers for dinner, try out my Quinoa Stuffed Peppers!)

Breakfast Stuffed PeppersWP_004540

serves 2

  • 1 medium bell pepper, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup liquid egg substitute, divided
  • 2 oz scrapple (or meat of choice), divided
  • hot sauce (or condiment of choice)
  • cheese (optional)

Spray a pan with non stick cooking spray, and lay the pepper halves, boat style, and bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, brown 1 oz of scrapple, or meat of choice. Once browned, roughly dice the meat, spray the pan with non stick cooking spray and pour 1/4 cup egg over top. Top egg with condiment (and cheese). Quickly, fold the eggs over to just barely cook. Transfer the egg mix into a pepper half. Repeat with the remaining meat, eggs, and pepper. Bake at 350 F for another 15 minutes.

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I sprinkled mine with reduced fat grated parm! MMMMM!

It really was a great idea! A few hours later, I knew I needed to get food in my stomach before work. There was no way I could run my shift with some little calories in my system. Some peanut butter and pretzel sticks later? An anxiety attack!

Not only was I frustrated, for some reason, about eating lunch, I was frustrated with myself for this stupid anxiety attack! I had been doing so well! Why now? Darn it!!!!

I pulled myself together, enough, to get ready for work. My thinking was Sammy, if your at work, your moving, which means you’re burning calories…

As always, work pulled me out of my funk and I threw myself into my patients. I kept myself busy until, my stomach told me it was time to eat. Amy and I headed down to the caf and I was pleased to find steamed broccoli on the menu. I dug into some steamed broccoli, sprinkled with Old Bay, and raw mushrooms and baby corn. I grabbed the plum for mom.

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WP_004543Around 830, I sat down, once more, to the last slice of Sweet Pumpkin Quiche, which I topped with toasted coconut and raisins! I felt a little leery about eating, but I knew that it was best for me! How can I take care of my patients and set an example if I’m not healthy and taking care of myself? 

I had to have been the most hydrated I have ever been, tonight! Early in my shift, I grabbed a 32 oz cup so I could refill it throughout the night. I drank FOUR of these! FOUR!

Indulgent Weekend

After my solid nap and trip with dad to the grocery store, Frank called and offered to buy dinner. I seriously debated saying “no” but I can’t go wrong with steamed shrimp and vegetables. To help me out, dad and I split my Hot&Sour soup and my shrimp and vegetables. I ate the soup and steamed up some more veggies and saved the shrimp and vegetables for my night shift. After a nice dinner and some bill paying, I tiredly went to the couch to attempt a power nap before work. I did not get a power nap, but I got out a good cry. Last night’s episode of Glee had me balling my eyes out from the second it started. I think I cried even harder because, in all honesty, its been a pretty emotional week. I think Glee just provided me the outlet.

I can’t help but dwell on lacking a position as a nurse. I think I’m the only one I know that has not gotten hired, yet. I just don’t understand. Dad says its because I’m so used to exceeding at everything I put my mind to, that this is new concept to me. I guess he’s got a point. Since I’ve been dwelling, I can’t help but think I’ve not only let myself down, but my family… my grandparents, in particular.

I need to stop this self-pity crap! Let’s move onto the goods…

I always call work before arriving for an 11pm shift. The night shift nurses come on at 7pm and I like to see if anyone needs anything on my way in. My girlfriend, Natasha, a major support person throughout my recovery, asked if I would grab her a coffee. No prob! Easy peasy! I though I was clever, at home, before leaving as I brewed my coffee with SF french vanilla creamer and a splash of SF Pumpkin Pie syrup. Natasha is a genius! “A 16oz pumpkin coffee with Irish cream and 2 Splenda.” After I gave it a try, I felt defeated, but in a good way… This was sooooo good! My coffee had been out-done. I can’t wait to grab another!

WP_004169The weather continued to be dreary, rainy, dark, and terrible… all in time for my alternator to die! Frank was kind enough to take me to my dads at 10pm, and my dad was kind enough to lend me the truck to take to work. Thanks, guys!

Despite the miserable weather and hour-long Glee cry fest, with my adorable cuddle-buddy, I came to work in a great mood! In fact, my shift began with a fun size M&M and  a Dum Dum sucker. I was expecting to be on the floor tonight, but, alas, I would spend my final night shift of my four day span in my 1:1. My patient decided  that they wanted to stay up all night. Once your patient falls asleep on night shift, you kind of want to fall asleep, too; so I was kind of okay with that, and we began our 8 hours together with a game of Phase 10.  I made a solid point to remain standing and walking around, despite being in a single room. I took a bathroom run every 2 hours or so, refilled my water bottle frequently, and even read my book and charted while standing. I think having all the lights in the room on helped , too.

When I was relieved for my break, I went down to caf to scope out the goods. There wasn’t really much in the way of what I would consider “goods.” Nonetheless, I hit up the salad bar, grabbing an assortment of vegetables, like bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and beets. The snack machine also caught my eye with Smartfoods Cinnamon  Brown Sugar popped chips. 100  calories for the whole bag? I’ll give it a shot…

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They weren’t great, but they weren’t terrible, either. Instead, I completed my vegetables with a miso soup packet, and later snacked on some white cheddar popcorn. ( I guess it was a Smartfoods kind of shift). Oh yeah, there was a snack size snickers in there, too… Damn bag of chocolate. As Barry says, “Chocolate makes the world go round.” My reply, “Chocolate, too, makes my belly go round.”

It was quite a fiberful and satisfying meal and I, then, returned my patient’s room. When I’m in 1:1s, I notice my posture sucks, so I made a conscious effort to try to use my core muscles to both sit and stand tall. The result was a sore pack for most of my shift. I’m glad I was standing most of the night so I could continually twist and stretch to try to relieve some pain.

After a quick powernap at dad’s he drove me to Barry’s on his way to work. We have some errands to run to get ready for the weekend ahead of us.

This weekend is going to be a doozy and all this past week I’ve been preparing myself for it. In fact, next week will probably be part of the recovery process.

Tomorrow, one of my best friend from nursing school is getting married and I could not be more happy for her!

The following day is Vendemmia (which I’m thinking might be postponed due to this terrible weather Wilmington is having)!

Oddly enough, since I’ve been stressing about calories in preparation for these events, I’ve actually eaten close to 1000 calories everyday.  I really don’t know how I feel about that…

Today is National Sausage Pizza Day. Dad and I happened to find Al Fresco Chicken Sausage on sale at the store last week and I came up with the idea to combine the best of two pizzas…

Buffalo Sausage Pizza

The Crust:WP_004183

  • 1 md to lg head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 3/4 cup fat free shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 Tbsp corn meal

The Toppings:

  • 1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Laughing Cow Light Blue Cheese Wedges, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, granulatedWP_004181
  • 1 Tbsp ranch dressing mix
  • 3 Tbsp OIKOS plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fat free shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 Al Fresco Buffalo-style  Chicken Sausage burgers
  • 4-5 tsp hot sauce, or tobasco/pepper sauce, divided, plus more for taste, if desired
  • 1/2 tsp oregano, dried
  • 2 Tbsp reduced fat crumbled blue cheese

Preheat the oven at 400 F. Steam the chopped cauliflower. Drain and transfer to the food processor and briefly pulse the cauliflower until it is riced. Combine the warm riced cauliflower with the shredded mozzarella, liquid egg, and spices. Sprinkle a heated pizza stone or pizza pan with the cornmeal and spread the cauliflower dough evenly over top to form the crust. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the crust is baking, add the onion to a small pan, sprayed with non stick cooking spray, and cover, remaining on a low heat, tossing occasionally. Sprinkle with pepper, to taste. In another small skillet, sprayed, add the patties. Break up the patties using two spatulas, and cook over medium heat just enough to begin browning. Drain the meat, and place in a bowl. Toss the slightly browned meat with 1 tsp hot sauce, and set aside.

Remove the set crust and reduce oven temperature to 350 F. Using a spatula, slide around the crust to ensure it is not sticking to the stone. In a small cup, stir the cheese wedges, garlic, ranch, red pepper flakes, 1 tsp hot sauce, and yogurt together, until smooth. Spread the mixture over the hot, baked crust, followed by the caramelized onions. Further chop the shredded mozzarella and top the pizza. Finally, add the seasoned ground chicken. Pour any remaining hot sauce from the bowl over the top and sprinkle with oregano.

Bake for 8 minutes, turn the pizza 180 degrees, top with crumbled blue cheese, and additional 2 tsp of hot sauce. Return to the oven for another 8 minutes, slice, and serve.

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Nutritional Facts: (1/8 pizza)

Calories: 104, Fat: 2g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 621mg, Carbs: 8g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Protein: 12g

I served the pizza with a tray of celery sticks and baby carrots on the side. I made a quick dipping sauce using 1 LC Blue wedge, lots of hot sauce, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1 tsp ranch mix, some red pepper flakes, and 2 Tbsp of a light blue cheese dressing (like Walden Farms).

The night was completed with some marble cake our neighbor gave us. Oh my gosh, the frosting was amazing! Tempting! Fudgey! Decadent! Thats what kept us going back for nibbles.

I am completing the rest of the night with my mom and a movie!

Family Dinner

For my birthday, I wanted a family dinner full of laughs and enjoyment. I didnt get that but I did tonight! Barry’s mom asked if her and his dad could take up out to dinner to celebrate my graduation from nursing school. With my binge the other night, I almost didn’t want to go. Sammy, you are a human! You need to be able eat out with family like a normal person! I graciously acceptabed the invitation, and was even more excited to find out that Barry’s sister and husband were joining us, too, to celebrate her news of her first preganancy!

My morning began with a mild dispute between mom and me as she backed out of Zumba class. Again! I used that frustration in class and shook my booty. I thought this class would be a bit easier since it was half cardio and half toning. I was wrong! Wow! After class, my tush was sore! Sitting down was a task, but I felt great after class, covered in sweat!

I immediately downed a bottle of water to hold me over until I got home. Since I just got a new shipment of Herbalife in, I couldn’t wait to break into the Dutch Chocolate shake mix! I made a sort of PB&J-esque bowl:

  • WP_0041271 scoop chocolate protein
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 Tbsp Chocolate PB2
  • 2 Tbsp SF blueberry syrup
  • xanthum, guar, and handful of spinach (optional)
  • water
  • ice

I topped the bowl with freeze-dried blueberries and some Kashi Go-Lean cereal. Awesome and filling!

Mom and I apologized for our harsh words from the morning and spent the afternoon together. After my shower, I headed to Barry’s to help put a desk together that my dad sold him! Its seriously nice! They are having a huge sale right now! Check them out and ask for Tom Bundo. Before (a hot mess)  and After (a big boy desk):

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My dad has ton of hook ups on computer chairs, which will be the next thing replaced! 25 bucks for a plush computer chair with lumbar support? Sign me up!

We then met his family at the  local Applebees. We ordered two trays of the Ultimate Trios for apps as we waited for our meals. I ordered the Grilled Jalapeno-Lime Shrimp and substituted a side of broccoli for the rice. Everything was yummy, as always, and since Barry’s parents don’t used the lettuce, tomato, and onions on their burgers, I snatched them up and made shrimp lettuce wraps. I asked the waitress to amp up the heat on the seasoning. I don’t know why they market it as spicy…

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I spent the next few hours with Barry before heading home. My eating was fantastic and I sat in bed and enjoyed the utter guiltless-ness of Arctic Zero!

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!

Pregnant Combinations

Friday

WP_003977I reluctantly woke up this morning after a wrong night of sleep. Oddly enough, I began my morning with my (Not So) Split Pea Soup. I topped it with broccoli slaw and FF shredded mozzarella. Yum!

I have one, and only one, problem with the show Cupcake Wars. Every time I finish an episode, I really want to eat. Today was no different. I went to the kitchen around lunch time, knowing I wanted something to eat, something to hold me over until 7pm, but not knowing in the slightest what I wanted. I wound up nibbling on a few things, trying to find my taste. The concept of nibbling really gets to me! As soon as ate, I immediately was swamped with a heavy chest and anxiety. Ok, breath, relax, your fine. I tried to clear my mind and fall asleep.

I, again, could not sleep. I kept waking up and tossing. I woke around 530pm, reviewed my resume and cover letter with my mom, and somehow felt incredibly behind.

WP_003978Today is National Punch Day! Not exactly a significant food holiday, but nonetheless, I began my shift with a punch-inspired shake and a coffee, flavored with SF raspberry and SF white chocolate syrups. We had a ton of cantaloupe in the fridge and it needed to be used. I also had a jello mix that I’ve never even touch and felt this would be the perfect opportunity for it!

  • 2 scoops Vanilla shake mix
  • cantaloupe
  • 1 tsp sugar free fat free Strawberry-Banana jello
  • water
  •  ice

My manager asked me to a work a 12 tonight, which I gladly accepted. I packed myself a bowl of Split Pea Soup from the other night for dinner. I sat on 1:1 for my first 8 hours of my shift. I was pretty happy once 4am came! I ate my soup and topped it with salsa and mozzarella! Total genius! The more I eat this soup, the more I love it and the more I realize how filling it is! And the beauty, is that it keeps me full!

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I must say, I was kicking some serious butt at work. I love when I feel completely on point!

Saturday

WP_003982I stopped by the supermarket to pick up a few things for some upcoming recipes. When I got home, I finished my celery sticks that I was too full to eat at work. It was pretty funny. My mom and I, ever since I was a kid, have loved snacking on scallions. I bit into one this morning that rocked my senses! It was so strong! My eyes were watering and my nose was running!

Despite not sleeping well yesterday, and being at work for 12 hours, I wasn’t tired when I got home. I started unloading the dishwasher, and prepping for tonights dinner and tomorrows breakfast. Soon enough, Frank was up and I whipped him up a smoothie. I, then, gave my dad a call, and requested a favor. I’ve been working on some “manly” shake recipes and dad was more than game to be my guinea pig!

WP_003983I debated making myself a shake for breakfast, as well, and thought I deserved a switch up. I toasted a low fat Nutri-Grain Eggo, smeared it with Chocolate PB2, and mashed raspberries! The remainder of my morning was not how I imagined it would be. I never did go to sleep. I anticipate a full on crash later tonight. Mom and I spent like 2 hours listening to music, as I danced around the room and hula hooped. I hula-ed so hard my abs started to get sore.

We slept the rest of the afternoon running errands. Food anxiety only struck once today. Mom had gone to Panera for iced tea and came out with a baguette and my favorite cream cheese ever: Honey Walnut! I decided it was okay to treat myself and tore off the butt of the loaf and dipped it into the cream cheese, and there we went. Oh boy!

The good news, is that after I went to mass, which was the anniversary mass for my grandmother’s death, I was feeling much better. I headed home and created a dinner only pregnant chicks and myself could enjoy. Mom really wanted mashed potatoes and creamed corn, which is one of my all time favorite food combos! I tricked mom and made a batch of my Garlic Cauli-Mash, and topped each bowl with creamed corn. Delicious. I paired my bowl with a spinach salad with chopped roasted red peppers, pickles, and cucumbers, topped with salsa. It sound gross! And it sounds like a crazy combo, but somehow the saltiness of each produce played off each other. This started a frenzy, but in a good way!

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I actually got to 900 calories today, not that I was counting or anything…

I reignited my adoration for creamed corn! Oh gosh! I just love that stuff! I haven’t had in in, geez, probably a year. The night was filled with mother-daughter time, celery, the most crisp and fresh bell pepper I’ve ever eaten, some crackers, salsa, Jax (a snack I haven’t had in ages), and lots more produce. By the time I realized that a food coma would be evident, I was sort of painfully full! At least I had a great night with my mom, she was pleased to see me enjoy eating, and I didn’t freak out.

Like I said, with a complete lack of sleep and a full stomach, only an episode of Star Trek is in my near future. Good night, everyone! I hope your Saturday was as enjoyable and mama-filled as mine!

September 13

Some pretty interesting things happened on this day in history:

1224 – Francis of Assisi is afflicted with stigmata.

1503 – Michelangelo begins work on his statue of David.

1788 – NY City becomes 1st capital of US

1948 – Margaret Chase Smith (R-Me) elected senator, 1st woman to serve in both houses of Congress

1963 – “Outer Limits” premieres on ABC TV

1965 – Beatles release “Yesterday”

1974 – Phillies set NL record, using 27 players in a game, St Louis uses 24, tying record of 51. Phils win 7-3 in 17

To make today even cooler… Its not just September 13th… And its not just National Peanut Day… Its Friday, September 13th!

Do you know what else happened?

1960– My daddy was born!

I follow a law in my head that I call “Experi-mentality.” Its another word I made up. I like to do that… Remember “Crock-Pot-It?”

Experimentality: ik-ˈsper-ə-mənt, men-ˈta-lə-tē

experiment: an operation or procedure carried out under controlled conditions in order to discover an unknown effect or law

mentality: a particular way of thinking

experimentality: the operation of thinking up procedures to be carried out to discover an unknown outcome

Sound pretty scientific, huh?

WP_003882With all of these things falling on one day, all of our shakes followed a theme. We’ll start with the birthday boy and his Birthday Cake Shake:

  • 2 scoops cookie n cream shake mix (1 scoop vanilla and 1 scoop chocolate will do)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free fat free white chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free fat free cheesecake pudding mix
  • 1 Tbsp jimmies/ sprinkles, more for garnish
  • water
  • ice

WP_003885I created a Black Cat Shake for Franks:

  • 1 scoop chocolate shake
  • 1 scoop cafe latte shake
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • Black berries (mixed berries will do)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free fat free chocolate pudding mix
  • 2 Tbsp sugar free licorice syrup
  • water
  • ice

I was expecting Franks shake to be much dark, but it turned out reminding me of  the color of red velvet ice cream. For myself, I call it a Mexican Jumping Bean. There were no peanuts to be found in the house, but of peanut butter, there is plenty…

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I got myself to eat some chips and salsa last night and with the pb being in reach, I’m  always one to experiment. What a combo! I would have never thought salsa and peanut butter would pair! It could be because I’m PMS-ing, but it worked for me. Frank tried it and WP_003886immediately said “No way…” I guess its a love it or hate it shake…  It reminded me of chili chocolate. So heres the Mexican Jumping Bean Shake:

  • 1 scoop chocolate protein
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free fat free chocolate shake mix
  •  3 Tbsp mild salsa
  • 1 tsp peanut butter
  • the slightest pinch of cayenne pepper (a little goes a long way)
  • water
  • ice
  • xanthum and/or guar (optional)

I kept busy for the entire day! I even ate! I made a seaweed salad for the first time, to surprise dad with one of his favorite foods. It turned out great! I spent most of my day cleaning the carpets, however.

WP_003889Frank began to whip up a seafood gravy, and its always delicious! But I haven’t eaten it since he used sooooo much olive oil! With his weight loss goals, he has been cutting back on a lot of fattening ingredients in his cooking. Frank said it could be dads birthday dinner. I pulled out the last box of Paul Sorvino’s spaghetti. I’ve been saving it for a special occasion. I figured dad’s birthday would suffice. I wanted to to be able to eat dinner with my dad, so I sucked it up, cooked up a bag of Spaghetti Tofu Shiratki noodles, and topped it with a bit of seafood sauce. Frank was happy that I ate his cooking. He knows I enjoy it. Dad’s plate looked like a tour around the world. I had prepared the seaweed salad for him earlier in the day, and Frank made the pasta. I finished his meal off with a birthday drink of Diet Rum and Coke.

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up, I’ve always been a daddy’s girl! Pretty much every childhood memory involves my dad. My first memory of music is my dad popping in the cassette to Locomotion in the stereo, and us dancing around the living room. Music has always been one thing that always has tied us together…

If you couldn’t tell by our matching tattoos… Haha

No matter the song, no matter the situation, my dad would always come up with a song, or a spoof off a song with my name in it. One song he still sings is “Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie… I kiss Sammy Bundo’s eye!” Its silly, I know, but it works.

In honor of the birthday boy and in honor of our daddy-daughter bond over music, I created a special birthday surprise for him:

Apple Peaches Pumpkin Pie

serves 8

The Crust:

  • 1 cup Fiber One bran cereal
  • 2 sheets (8 crackers) low fat cinnamon graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup Brummel & Brown
  • 3 Tbsp granulated Splenda
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • ground flax, optionalWP_003901

The Apple Peach Pie:

  • 2-3 Fuji apples (enough to yield 2 cups once sliced)
  • 2 4oz NSA peach snack cups, like Del Monte (do not drain)
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp plus 1/2 tsp Splenda brown sugar (not packed)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 Tbsp plus 1/2 tsp granulated Splenda
  • 2 tsp apple pie spice
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

The Pumpkin Pie:

  • 3/4 cup pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 3/4 cup evaporated fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 Tbsp granulated Splenda
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar-free pancake syrup
  • 1/2 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine butter with 2 Tbsp water. Microwave until just melted. In a blender or food processor, grind Fiber One and graham crackers to a breadcrumb-like consistency, along with the Splenda. Once its ground, pour the melted butter and blend well.

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Spray a 9-inch pie pan with nonstick spray. Evenly distribute crust mixture, using your hands or a flat utensil to firmly press and form the crust. Press it into the edges and up along the sides of the dish. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 425 F.

Meanwhile, prepare the apple and peach filling. Peel, core, and thinly slice apples to produce 2 cups full. In a large nonstick pot on the stove, combine all ingredients for the filling except apples and peaches.  Add 1/3 cup water and mix until ingredients have dissolved. Bring to medium-high heat stirring frequently. Add apples and stir. After about 5 minutes, empty the peach cups, undrained, in the pan and stir. Lower the heat to medium low and stir occasionally until sauce thickens for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and  set aside, while making the pumpkin filling. Combine all the pumpkin filling ingredients and set aside.

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Carefully transfer the apple and peach filling into the cooled pie crust and evenly spread. Top with the pumpkin mixture. Bake for 12 minutes at 425 F. Lower the oven temperature to 375 F, rotate the pie 180 degrees and bake for 25 minutes. Rotate the pie 180 degrees, again, and finish baking for a final 15 minutes, until the center has just set. Remove the oven and allow to cool.

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Slice and top with whipped cream and pecans (optional).

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Nutrition: (1/8 of recipe)

Calories: 165, Fat: 3.1g, Sat. Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 259 mg, Carbs: 33.3g, Fiber: 5.1g, Sugars: 17.8g, Protein: 3.8g

WP_003902My kitchen smelled amazing! It took everything out of me not to cut into this baby! “Can’t we sing happy birthday, today, dad???” I said yesterday.

We apparently didn’t have a number 3 candle! But we all loved this pie! It was mildly sweet, the flavors went well, it was light, and the crust was crisp….

We finished this wonderful day with playing Apple, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie, doing a birthday jig, and watching the new Star Trek movie on DVD!

WP_003904 ?????!

I loved  seeing dads face as I ate my dinner, and hearing him talk about how happy he was to see me in such a good mood! I am so blessed to be one of those lucky girls in the world that gets to be so close to her dad.

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Cleaning Out My Addiction

I was able to squeeze in about 4 hour of sleep before being woken up by some family quarreling outside my bedroom door. I was pretty nervous that this shift was going to be a long one. I wasn’t sure what today would have in store for me either. If you recall, the last night shift I worked went great and went to hell when I got home.

Some days coffee really hits the spot. Before heading off for night shift last night, I brewed a mug of Chocolate Cherry coffee and added a splash of sugar free Kahlua flavored syrup. Delicious!

I arrived at work to find that I was, again, on a 1:1. Okay, this is looking a lot like last Friday night…

After reading a few chapters of a book I brought, it was lunch time. A nice filling helping of Bundo Broccoli Salad, with slices of apples and cucumbers and PB on the side. I was very full at the end of this meal and prayed that this recognition of fullness would last for the remainder of my shift. And it did! It was a water-filled, fiberful meal!

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I was freezing upon returning to my 1:1 and was so thankful for the hot green tea I had just brewed! I’ve noticed a mildly sore throat the WP_003867last two days, and I’m positive its from the Fall allergies and crazy weather fluctuations. I’ve been trying to stay proactive in the fight buy drinking hot green tea. I managed to get a few chapter read, however, and finalize a project I’ve been working on.

I had a sense that today, too, would be a long one. After getting done work at 7am, I wanted to attend a forum at 730, since it had to do with a large number of my patient population on my unit. My plan was to go home afterwards and whip up a shake.

WP_003869I have been wanting to make a Key Lime smoothie for a while now, but I wasn’t about to pass up National Chocolate Milkshake Day! On my way out of my meeting, I saw someone had brought in a huge bag of Halloween candy… Snickers of all things! I was so proud of myself for ignoring it, but when I arrived home, I attempted a Snickers shake for breakfast. It definitely did not taste like a snickers, but it was very filling and I went with it. In fact, I came back to finish it while working on dad’s birthday surprise. I wound up adding it my mug a coffee to create a mocha latte of sorts. Frank had requested a Pina Colada shake, and I have to say, it was one of the best I’ve made. But, alas, it still was NOT bedtime! It was bake time. For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on a recipe for dad’s birthday. Today was the day I finally got to put my creative juice into fruition. I was praying for success and thats what I got! Thank you, God! The house smelled heavenly an I got to use one of my favorite fall ingredient!

WP_003870Around 1pm, I snacked on some dry cereal and sparkling water. Something did not sit right and I actually got sick! I’m always keeping it interesting, aren’t I?

Since I had time at work, I decide to go through my phone. I had so many  favorites that I had created when I was in the height of my illness. I went through, deleting so many things. Why did I save that? I’m never going to cook that. Oh that sound good! I did the same thing when I got home and began weeding through my recipe binders, throwing out useless recipes and things I knew would never be made. I was hoping this might help refocus some of my attention and inspire some healthy meals to come.

Half Moon

I awoke this afternoon to more temptation. I feel like if you have support people, they won’t surround you with your trigger foods. My mom, although I know she cares, is not what I would call the most helpful in this aspect of my life. I woke to a bag of Taco Bell filled with Caramel Apple Empanadas. Every time I confront her about bringing these home, she always says she got me one. I hate that because she knows its a trigger food! Nonetheless, my lunch, which started as a Red Berries Special K bar dipped in Be Well Nutella, ended up in half an empanada down and a heavy chest full of anxiety.

Barry called me at work last night and asked for a lunch date, today, and I gladly accepted since its was to a place I’ve been wanting to go to: Half Moon in Kennett. Barry offered to postpone the date since I had a rough time at work, but I refuse to let these disorders disrupt my life all the time!

WP_003218Half Moon Restaurant and Saloon is a small place in the town of Kennett, about 20 minutes from my house. Barry and I drove past it! Whats nifty about this place is that it specializes in wild game meats. Each day is a different special.

I lucked out when I called the restaurant to find out the specials for today. Kangaroo burgers and Buffalo chili! I’ve had buffalo in the past, but I was most excited about the Kangaroo! Barry has been trying to get me to eat burgers (I’ve really wanted one since I haven’t eaten one in over a year). Kangaroo is the leanest cut of beef Half Moon offers (93 calories, 0.5g fat per 100g). All of the burgers are 6 oz portions, of which Barry and I split. We opted to split the Kangaroo burger, substitute the house made kettle chips for a salad, and split a bowl of the buffalo chili…

When in Rome!

WP_003214We strolled up West State Street and entered and narrow saloon. Greeted by a perky hostess, we were asked if we would like to be seated upstairs in the atrium-like setting or in the main dinning saloon. Since it was a temperate day with a nice breeze, we walked up the stairs to be greeted by another friendly face, Emily, who seated us and attentively served us. She was very patient with us, as I was so indecisive after viewing all of the specials! After questioning the waitress, there was no doubt about it… Chili and Burger special!

First up was Barry’s beer. This place is no joke when it comes to their alcohol. Theres a whole book full if specialty and imported beers and the wines are broken down into white and red, and then by place of origin. Barry tried Hop Devil. I’m not a beer drinker, but this was rather bitter in my opinion. We awaited a delicious salad on spring mix, with cucumbers, shredded carrots, and baby heirloom tomatoes, and side of Greek Goddess dressing. I love that they used heirlooms, since they are in season!

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My girlfriends told me how dry kangaroo meat was and suggested the elk. I’ve had elk and it reminds me a lot of roast beef. I had my heart set on the roo. They don’t cook the burger past medium rare, which is fine for us. I was surprised how moist the burger was, despite being so lean. It wasn’t sweet but it had a more mild flavor than a beef burger, and it was definitely a lot less dense. The burger is served on a kaiser-type bun with lettuce, tomato, purple onion, and a pickle spear. I ate mine topless, while Barry used my spare bun half for chili dipping.

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The Buffalo Chili was topped topped with jack cheese, It was a hearty chili with lots of meat and beans. I could not imagine eating this whole bowl by myself! I would have been stuffed! The tomato base was a mildly sweet and nutty, with a faint heat.

We really enjoyed the atmosphere of the atrium setting. We sat at rustic tables, surrounded by fresh air and potted plants. After chatting with out waitress, we decided we will most definitely be back for the Gator Gumbo! Apparently, its got a nice kick to it!

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We drove out of Kennett and into Hockessin to grab a bit of froyo from Berriyummi. Barry went to chocolate peanut butter heaven. I think it wound up being more like a hell for him in the long run. His chocolate and raspberry froyo was topped with cheesecake pieces, cookie dough, brownie bites, jimmies, peanut butter sauce, blueberries, hot fudge and loads of mashed peanut butter cups. By the end of it all, the peanut butter cups had formed rock sold balls of sweet and salty indulgence. From the little bite I took, I had my fill. I am honestly impressed by Barry’s sweet tooth! I had never seen so much reese in one bowl! I guess this was pretty fitting since its National Fudge Sundae Day.

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Mine was the typical sugar free vanilla with mango, raspberries and sliced almonds, with smidge of cheesecake crust.

After the creamy froyo, I had a hankering for coffee. When Barry and I arrived home, I made a mug of decaf with sugar free chocolate DaVinci syrup. With my sweet tooth in full swing, I remembered my Philly Swirl Sweet Delites. These are perfect size creamsicle bars that are sugar free and only 14 calories a piece! Talk about guilt free desserts!

I am spending the rest of the  night bonding with mom over “A Good Day to Die Hard,” and should be hitting the hay soon.

Happy Almost Friday!