Ode to Kathleen and Drinks Before Noon

I can honestly say, that even as a college student, I have never once drank before noon.

This week started off with excitement: the LAST two days of clinical of nursing school!

Mondays features were coffee and cafe… I saw OIKOS Cafe Latte Greek Yogurt, and I was curious. But I really liked it! It was smooth ans creamy with a mild coffee flavor, not espresso like I was expecting.

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Monday was miserable! It was pouring and gloomy. The best way to combat one of these days is with some soup: Lentil soup with some grilled ham and cheese! I still can’t find affordable raspberries, so I improvised for dessert to get my kick: Breakstone’s Raspberry Cottage Cheese Double, sprinkled with cocoa powder.

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Now, onto Tuesday!

This is it! Its so surreal! I finished all my paperwork and projects, and this is the day. The LAST day of clinical as a nursing student! I was very attached to two of my patients and both they and I were said that I was leaving. I feel like I will visit them, though. I was actually contemplating applying for a job at this facility. I work with kids, but maybe my calling is to be with fragile patients. I’m not quite sure if a nursing home is the right start for a career for me, though.

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After we were finished on the unit, I hugged my patients, and met up with friends at Border Cafe, as we had done a few weeks earlier. I learned, today, that I really am a light weight. One rum and coke and I was toast! And it wasn’t even noon yet! Oh boy!

After I sobered up I headed home to prep tonight’s dinner.

Kathleen is a nurse that I work with. She also happens to be a Kappan alumnus (referring to Phi Theta Kappa). Anyway, Kathleen and I have a lot in common. She has been very supportive of me throughout my entire illness and recovery, as well as a cheerleader for my continued education. One thing Kathleen and I have consistently found in common is our love of food, especially ethnic foods!  Although Kathleen and I usually talk about sushi and Indian food, I’m dedicating today’s recipe to her, as Kathleen is a vegetarian, and newcomer to the blog, and today’s recipe uses tofu.

I’ve made this recipe before and loved it! Now, for a little tweeking.

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serves 4

Sauce: (you will be making this recipe three times)

1 tsp. cornstarch

1/4 cup cold water
1 tbsp. reduced-sodium/lite soy sauce
2 tsp. sweet Asian chili sauce
1 no-calorie sweetener packet (like Splenda or Truvia)
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Meat:

1 large peeled eggplant cut into 1″ cubes
1 (14oz) package lite firm tofu

2 tsp. minced garlic

Vegetables:

1 md. onion, cut into thirds and then quartered

2 bell pepper

4 cups frozen broccoli

3 oz baby carrots

6 button mushrooms, quartered

Combine all ingredients for the sauce except the cornstarch and set aside. Drain the water from the tofu and slice into 8 slices. Lay the slices between a towel, and weigh the tofu and towel down with a pan (I used a nursing text book). Allow the tofu to sit for 30 minutes and for the towel to absorb the excess moisture.

Spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray and “dry-fry” the tofu (AKA brown the tofu), pressing with a spatula occasionally to remove excess liquid. Once one side is toasty brown, flip and press the tofu again. When browned, remove from heat and let cool. When cool, cut each slice into 6 pieces. Place cubed tofu in a resealable baggie and pour in the sauce. Allow to marinate at room temperature, turning the tofu occasionally. (The longer the tofu has to marinade, the more flavor it will pick up. I marinated mine for about 4 hours).

Meanwhile, roughly chop vegetables into large pieces and cube the eggplant. After marinating the tofu for a while, its time to cook.

Spray a wok or large skillet with non stick spray, and on medium high heat, add the cubed the eggplant. Toss every so often to brown the sides and until the eggplant becomes fragrant. Add the minced garlic and empty the contents of the sealed marinating bag (tofu and marinade) into the skillet. Meanwhile, steam the vegetables as you would prefer to do so. (I used the stove).

Make two batches of the sauce. Combine the water and cornstarch and stir until dissolved. Add the remaining sauce ingredients. (Remember to make two batches). Toss the eggplant and tofu and pour one completed batch pf sauce over the “meat” and toss. Lower the heat to medium/ medium-low. Add the last batch of sauce, toss, and allow to thicken.

Toss all ingredients together and enjoy!

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cube up the eggplant

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press and dry-fry the tofu

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cool and cut the tofu

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marinate

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rice boiling, vegetables steaming, and “meat” cooking

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Reading this recipe back, it sound a lot more complicated than it actually is. I promise!

I love the sweet and spicy notes of this meal! Plus, I got dad to eat tofu! (Another added bonus: each serving is around 200 calories). I served dads meal over brown rice and mine over the remaining bag of Miracle Rice. I also made a samosa salad with a thinly sliced cucumber, some onion, and a tablespoon of seasoned rice vinegar.

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100 and Counting! Sweet and Sour Pork Stir-fry

I am so excited! This is Be Well Bundo’s 100th post!

This blog has helped me so much with managing my crazy, hectic life, growing as a person, reflecting on my life, holding me accountable for my actions, and most importantly, helping to enjoy life again. I am truly thankful to the readers for helping be through my eating disorder.

As hard as I tried, I could not get warm today. Everyone of my patients said to me, “Your hands are so cold! Were you living in an ice box?” Temperatures have really dropped in Wilmington. Where are you sunshine and warmth? I miss you! I took my break early today, just to warm up with some coffee. I also enjoyed a Chobani Pear greek yogurt, that my friend Barbara got me hooked on. To even us out, I brought her Yoplait 100 greek Tropical yogurt. She loved it!

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As of today, I have two more clinical days left. I must say that I never thought of loving a nursing home, but I have really fallen in love with my patients. With the clock running down, I starting to feel the pressure of getting all of these assignments completes, lectures watched, and exams aced! Staying focused on school is the key, not on food and exercise.

To celebrate, the 100th post, lets enjoy:

Sweet and Sour Pork Stir-fry

(adapted from Food Network)

serves 4WP_002188

1 lbs pork tenderloin, fat removed, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

2 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

pinch of salt

1 Tbsp corn starch

3 Tbsp ketchup

3 Tbsp Splenda, granulated

1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce

1/3 cup water

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp salt

2 large carrots (or about 6 oz), sliced

1 bag frozen stir fry vegetable blend

1 1/2 to 2 cups frozen broccoli florets

Toss the pork with 1/2 Tbsp vinegar and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Mix the remaining 2 Tbsp vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch, ketchup, Splenda, and water and remaining salt in another bowl.

Spray a large skillet with some non stick cooking spray, over medium high heat. Add the pork and slowly stir until pork is mostly opaque. Remove the pork using a slotted spoon. Wipe out the skillet and re spray with non stick spray.

Add the garlic, carrots, broccoli, and stir fry blend over medium heat, and cover. Add a bit of water if garlic is starting to stick to the pan. Once the vegetables start defrosting, add the pork, and pour the sauce over the mixture. Stir and cover. Frequently shake the covered skillet to move the ingredients around. Occasionally stir the mix, until sauce thickens. (Its important not to over cook the pork.)

(Confession: I forgot the cornstarch! Which is probably why the sauce didn’t thicken, but it was still delicious!)

WP_002189Nutrition

1/4 recipe, without rice:

Calories: 277

Total fat: 4.1g

sat. Fat: 1.2g

Cholesterol: 81mg

Sodium: 385.9mg

Carbs: 24.8g

Fiber: 4.8g

Sugar: 12.1g

Protein: 31g

Frank wanted rice with dinner, so I made him and dad brown rice, while I got the opportunity to try out my new shirataki rice by Miracle Noodle that came in from netrition.com a few weeks back.

First of all, I was surprised how much I liked this rice! I was pretty darn skeptical. It looks like a weird caviar, doesn’t it? In fact, I’m going to order more!

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Now, onto what you really want to know: Yes, this recipe was great! It was filling, a little sweet, a little sour, full of veggies, and pork, and a winning way to celebrate the 100th post!

Enjoy, everyone! I know I did!

Fiber, Ice Cream, and Indian

Today was my first day of patient care at my new clinical site. Without revealing too much, I can say that two of my three  patients kept me on my toes as soon as I got onto the unit with abnormal breathing and chest pain! But no worries! They are feeling much better!

This is a much different setting than a hospital, but I like that I get to really know my patients since I get to be with the same three patients for the next three weeks.

Since I have trouble eating super early in the morning, I took a 10 minute break around 1045 and indulged in a cup of coffee and a Vanilla Blueberry Luna Fiber Bar. Let me tell ya, as long as these are around, Nutri-Grain will never get business from me. They remind me of a Nutri-Grain bar, since its baked and fruit filled, but less calories and less sugar. The Luna Fiber bars come in three flavors, all phenom: Chocolate Raspberry, Peanut Butter Strawberry, and Vanilla Blueberry. The only down side is that I can only find these in a few stores, so when I get to those stores, I really stock up!

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Mom asked me to swing by Walgreens on the way home and I really wanted a cookie. As i wandered the store, something caught my eye.

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I ate half for an afternoon pick-me-up. Gooey caramel, chocolate, ice cream! I just wish there were more cookie crunches.

I spent the remainder of the afternoon watching lectures and working on paperwork for school. Using all that brain power builds up an appetite. Not really in the mood for any meat, I took out an Amy’s Light and Lean meal: Mattar Paneer. You know I’ve really been on an Indian food kick and this was yummy! It was perfectly seasoned and oh so savory and filling! I loved the flavoring of the peas, paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and lentils mixed with the rice.  This picture just does not do it justice. (Actually, my pictures look pretty terrible.) But if you like a dish full of savory flavor, this is where its at!

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The remainder of the night, I’m in study mode for the exam on Thursday.

By the way, today is the Day of the Mushroom. You could totally utilize those bad boys and make yesterday’s dish!

Steaks and Lead Vests

WP_002052A great way to be welcomed home! Dad picked me up from the airport Sunday evening and we headed over to Genos for a steak! I figures this was my welcome home and my last food splurge of vacation. You’ve probably heard of Pats Steaks in South Philly. Well, Genos is across the street. There’s a local argument between steak lovers as to who has the better steak. I personally love Genos! Pats is a bit to greasy for me and not enough flavor. The only advantage Pats has over Genos is the mushrooms. If Genos had mushrooms… Woah baby, watch out!
(FYI: “1 wit with wiz” is how its ordered. Trust me, I’ve messed that up plenty of times and its embarrassing.)

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Monday began with my last week in a medical- surgical rotation at the hospital. I must say, I kicked serious behind this week! I really took charge. It helped that my patient was awesome, despite the hand she had been dealt. On Tuesday, I got to head to Interventional Radiology and watch a tunneled double lumen catheter placed. I looked pretty shnazzy, huh?

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This ensemble wouldn’t be complete without the cheetah print lead vest!

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Despite my desire to return to normal eating this week, I found myself utterly addicted to Robin Eggs. I’ve never like malted milk balls but for some reason, with a bit if chunky peanut butter, these are hitting the spit! Nonetheless, I have given myself tummy aches the last two days from over eating. 😦

Tuesday was my last day of med- surg rotation. To celebrate, Nikole and Tommy and I met my dad at a locale hit spot for our school for celebratory drinks. Sangria on the rocks for me, frozen sangria for Nikole, and Corona Light for the guys. Of course this was accompanied by chips and salsa. I also ordered a platter of catfish etouffe. Yum!

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Im hoping things improve,food-wise, this week. In the meantime, I have a ton of work to catch up on and two exams to study for!

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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Silly

My belly was feeling much better after a rough night of tossing and turning.

I heard on the news that it was going to snow. (Fingers crossed schools would be closed.) No such like. But by the time I got to the hospital the snow was coming down! School wound up closing at 12 but clinical operate on a separate schedule. We didn’t get to leave until about 2:20pm. We didn’t get lunch so I was pretty hungry despite the graham crackers I snacked on mid-morning.

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view leaving the hospital

The roads were pretty dangerous, and yet people still insist on speeding and cutting people off. Silly drivers…

Since my brother had off from school today, mom made blueberry pancakes. When i got home, I finally got my pancake fix. I got a little cocky, being able to hold this and some apple down, and then split a can of Progresso Light Beef Pot Roast Soup with Mom.

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with some goldfish

Weird combo… pancakes and soup…

Now who’s the silly one? Ugh so full!

Speaking of being silly… Let me just mention how weird Bunny and Beauty are acting today. Since I’ve been home they have been in and out of the house and when they are in the house they following me around everywhere I go. According to mom, they’ve been doing this all day. Even when I was doing some stretches on the floor, I opened my ears to see Beauty’s nose in my eye! HAHA! Is it a full moon or does slushy snow fall do this to everyone?

I totally rocked my IV push medication today, which I was freaking out about! It was a great learning experience and I think I will be much more comfortable next time around!

I spent the night with this full tummy catching up on last weeks episode of Glee (one of my guilty pleasures). Ironically, this episode was called “Guilty Pleasures.”

 

Some Things Have to Be Made More Than Once

Some things NEED to be made over and over again… and tonight’s dinner is one of this things. I love roasting veggies and tossing them over some greens! Tonight was cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli roasted with garlic powder and basil over spinach. I wound up throwing in some purple onion, left over chicken, and fat free Thousand Island dressing to top it off! I Never get tired of this meal!

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This morning, I rolled out of bed at the time I normally am leaving the house.. Yeah…. someone was sleepy!

Not having any time for anything, I snagged a banana and ran out the door. Today, I started my new rotation on a respiratory unit, where majority of the patients are trached and vented. My instructor is great! She said, “I have five more days with you until you are out on your own.” It hit me. I AM GOING TO BE A NURSE! She is giving us so much independence and it makes me feel so competent and confident in my skills! What an amazing feeling!

WP_001585With my lack of breakfast, I’m glad the inner girl-scout in me is always prepared. I keep an Atkins shake in my car, which was perfect to hold me over while I ran a few errand after leaving the hospital. But when I got home, I got right down to business on tossing some discount produce in the oven! I was a beast today! With my bargain shopper-ness I saved like 40 bucks on my groceries! Woo Hoo!WP_001586

I’m in a bit of a funk today, maybe from the lack of sleep, so I’m retiring early tonight, and catching up on some lectures…

When It Rains, It Pours

No, really… Its pouring outside…

Even though I went to sleep around 8pm last night, I woke up feeling really uncomfortable and immediately got sick. I decided I was to tough it out, since I did no want to miss any clinical. While at clinical, I got sick and got really flush and the nurse sent me home. I was so disappointed because this nurse was going to have me administer medications and respiratory treatments!

I headed home and crashed for a few hours. When I woke up, I still felt gross. I finally smacked on some apple that i had packed for lunch to see how that felt. The remainder of the day was mostly carby foods. They just made me feel better… Like crackers, bread, and popcorn.

And once again, no gym for Sammy! Grrrr! I have class in the morning so I hope I can get to the gym after class.

Tomorrow will be another weird scheduled day…

Just like last Saturday, I will be working a 12 but this time, on night shift…
I’m hoping to get some reading done for school…

Tonight, I also decided on what crock pot meals I will be making this weekend to close up the crock pot challenge! I’m so excited!

Like Its My Job

One thing that drives me crazy about getting off work at 11pm is that I’m typically asleep at that time. By the time I get home, my belly is growling. Last night, I tapped into the Reduced Fat Cheez-Its like it was my job!

Ugh! I can’t win!

Since I went to sleep late, getting up early for clinical was not exactly easy. I hit that snooze alarm like it was my job! Today has been pretty good though! I started my new rotation and I love it! Its just like being at work, surround by all these little kiddos! I even got to suction a trach today!

Before I left for clinical, I popped an Apple Crumb VitaTop into the toaster oven, and topped it with some PB2.

I packed myself a roast beef and swiss sandwich with some baby carrots for work. The dijonaise really made the samwich! I started driving to school to use the gym, but just kept yawning. I decided against the gym today and I’d do a workout at home. WP_001218

When I got home I enjoyed some almond butter and apple. This is probably one of my favorite snacks!

Dinner was so simple! Left over soup. It was the Progresso High Fiber Chicken Tuscany. It was really filling!

I needed to pick up some staples for the kitchen, plus, if you haven’t noticed, I’ve been slacking on the crock pot recipes and the end of the month is right around the corner.

Warning: Crock Pot recipes will be taking over this blog!

Anyway, dad and I headed to the grocery store and it gave me a brain break from studying.

The workout never did happen, by the way… You know what did happen? Cereal snacking… like it was my job! Since I have practice for a show I’m in tomorrow, I won’t be home all day, which means my butt is working out!!!

 

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.