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!

Low Fat Mac

Every kid loves mac n cheese. Even as an adult, its hard to resist the carby, gooey, cheesy goodness. Of course, as an adult, I’ve now expanded my mac n cheese horizons with stewed tomatoes, tuna fish, various vegetables, different cheeses, or splurges like Valanni’s crab and lobster macaroni and cheese.

Its pretty difficult to find a mac n cheese that gives you all the bang for your calorie buck. When I’m really jonesing for it, I go with Fiber Gourmet’s Light Mac-mmm-Cheese.

Have you ever had the shells? The white cheddar? The shapes and cartoon characters? Blue cheese? Whats your favorite mac n’ cheese? Are you a Velveeta person or Kraft? Have you tried any flavors by Betty Crocker, like pizza or grilled cheese? Have you ever had mac and cheese pizza? What about mac n cheese  burger? How do you make your mac? 

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Macaroni and cheese is such a staple food in America, we are literally surrounded by it! The guys at Barry’s house go through it like its water and they frequently visit a local restaurant that only makes mac n cheese!

I’ve been on a mission to create a mac and cheese recipe, but upon googling, I found so many different ways to make it! Cottage cheese, evaporated milk, cream, half and half, mustard, bread crumbs, bake, stove top, types of cheese, sour cream, cream cheese…. I mean, how does one choose?

I was sent this low fat recipe and could not wait the try it!  (but we will get there in a second)…

I still remember how cool I thought EZ-Mac was when it first came out when I as a kid!

So, this comfort food-filled week was packed with meatloaf, garlic mashed potatoes, guiltless ice cream, and now, to wrap it up… can you guess?

This morning began in a dark room. Its 930am, why is it so dark in here? Holy smokes, its raining its butt off! It rained for hours, non stop this morning! To pass the time, I whipped up coffee and breakfast for the guys and me. I wanted to use the Fakin Bacon tempeh before it went bad, and thought, bacon is a breakfast food… this could work…

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I chopped up tomato, mushrooms, and onion, as well as the Fakin Bacon tempeh and whipped up and an omelette with swiss for Frank, and mozzarella for me. It was great with some hot sauce on top!

I decided to be a nice big sister, and Dom, my youngest brother, seemed super excited about the idea of a big breakfast sandwich! I threw some ham lunch meat and veggies in the skillet and served it up with cheddar on toast!

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Since it was pouring, I sat at the kitchen table and studied away. I guess I’ve been studying hard because I killed a highlighter. (Yay, for dad who sells them… I’ll never need office supplies).

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After a bunch of studying, my brain needed a break! After about an hour of serious procrastination on the computer, I needed to get out of this house! Thank God it stopped raining and I went for a quick 1 mile jog to clear my head and then resumed studying.

Dad came over after work and helped whip together our take on the recipe for tonight’s dinner:

Basic Fat-less MacWP_003290

serves 8

  • 3/4 cup(s) milk, fat-free evaporated
  • 1 cup Lactaid cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup fat free ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup fat free shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1//8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp reduced fat grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 12oz box Ronzoni Smart Taste elbows,cooked
  • 1 8oz Macaroni Tofu Shirataki Noodles *

WP_003291Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the evaporated milk in a saucepan over low heat. Add the cheeses until they melt, stirring constantly. Stir in the nutmeg, pepper, and salt. Remove the cheese sauce from the heat. Add the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce and mix well.

Pour the mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish that has been sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake the casserole for 15 minutes until the top is browned.

Top with what ever you’d like~ tomatoes, tuna, peas, more cheese, mustard (Barry puts ketchup on his, I don’t get it, but then again, I have some odd taste buds, too)!

*Since the recipe called for 1 lb of pasta, and the box only comes in 12oz, I improvised with the low cal, low carb option.

I decided to kick things up and made a toppings bar: WP_003293

  • diced tomatoes
  • sauteed bell pepper
  • sauteed onions
  • Morning Star ground soy crumbles, or ground beef, seasoned with taco seasoning
  • can of tuna fish seasoned with old bay
  • steamed green peas

Wow! I was so paranoid about the outcome of this dish! There are just so many different seasoning and ingredients, I did not know what I should season this with! The above recipe is a perfect mac and cheese for the simple soul and the best to dress up! Its not an abundantly creamy like a Kraft mac, but I loved the homemade taste and consistency!

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I topped mine with a bit of everything, except the crumbles ( I saved that for the men). The veggies the bowl so colorful and added so much flavor!

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To make this recipe even more meaningful to me, my mom informed me that Macaroni and Cheese was one of my grandpop’s favorite dishes! Today marks 8 years ago that he passed away. This is for you, poppop! I hope you would have liked this dish as much as we did!  We miss you and we love you!

Lost Dog

This morning did NOT start the way I had intended. I planned on waking up, having an apple and PB, a cup of coffee, maybe a dip in the pool before heading back home from Barry’s house. Instead, I received a phone call from Frank saying that he can’t find Beauty! Barry and I jumped up, got dressed and bolted onto the highway to get to my parents house.

Has your pet ever gotten out?

It is absolutely the worst feeling! Beauty, my baby, who I’ve had since I was 6 and she was just 3 weeks old… My 15 year old baby… out in this 98 degree weather…. Is she okay? She needs water! Its too hot out here for her! Where is she? God, please bring her back to me. Please let her be okay!

Tears and sweat streaming down my face as Barry, dad, Frank, my neighbor, and I scoured the neighborhood….

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she digs her baths

I was beginning to loose hope as my anxiety and fatigue and dehydration worsened. At last, Barry called my phone and I expected to hear that she was no where to be found. “I’ve got her.” Oh, thank, God!! I ran down the road, back to my car and drove to pick her up. A neighbor put her in the house so she could cool off and had called the ASPCA, since my mom had removed Beauty’s collar. I could not thank the man enough for watching out for her.

I picked her up, thanked the man, profusely, and kissed her, repeatedly, as I carried her to the car. I thought it was funny that he compliment how clean she was…  She loves a good bath!

Exhausted, I grabbed everyone tall glasses of cold beverages, and whipped up pancakes to thank the guys for their help. I, on the other hand, found myself, nibbling on random items… a slice of pineapple, some cantaloupe, a few pieces of cereal, a glass of milk…

Once I ate a cookie, I knew I was emotionally eating. I diverted my attention to job search, going into the yard to weed the garden, studying for the boards, blogging, painting my nails… Anything to take my mind off eating and anything to keep me from feeling guilty…

By the way, Beauty is a bit tuckered out and is currently passed out right in front of the air conditioner vent.

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Once my emotions settled down, and I spent about two hours sending out resumes, I still found myself trying to nibble. I drank a glass of water and began to cook dinner. When I was at the farmers market the other day, I picked up two heads of bok choy. I eat the heck out of this stuff at Chinese restaurants and wanted to try my hand at it. I cut to base and gave the stalks a good rinse, and tossed then, along with a cup of quartered mushrooms and 1 1/2 cups of frozen broccoli florets into a skillet. I poured about 1/4 cup of water and 2 Tbsp of left over garlic sauce on top, covered it and let the vegetables steam over medium-low heat. I debated adding shrimp, which would have been spectacular, but kept it veggie style and dug in with my chop sticks! Delicious! I’m so making this again! And it was sooooo simple!

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By the way, bok choy is seen in many Asian dishes and is in the cabbage family. Here is some more info on the crunchy, cancer-fighting, weightloss veggie!

WP_003124Following dinner, I sugar free fruit cup and spoonful of cottage cheese became dessert.

I also owe, you, readers, an apology. Aside from Zumba, I have not been working out much. The heat, here, has been pretty intense, and I’ve been getting lightheaded a lot lately. I know its not a super excuse from drifting away from fitness posts, but I hope you can forgive me and still find the blog enjoyable and helpful.

Candy Bars

This morning I decided to cook breakfast for everyone at Barry’s house. When I say “everyone” I refer to Barry, his two house mates, my girlfriend Maggie, another housemate’s girlfriend, and myself. Barry’s favorite breakfast food is pancakes, and his favorite fruit is Blueberries. Therefore, blueberry pancakes it was!

I mixed my normal complete pancake mix, spiked with some vanilla extract and cinnamon. After dividing the badder on the skillet, I sprinkled in handfuls of blueberries. I had a banana, so I sliced some up and threw some slices in some pancakes.

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Banana blueberry pancakes topped with blueberry syrup! Heck Yes!

We went food shopping for the guys house and obviously got a little carries away.

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In the bright side, I finally found raspberries! As soon as I walked in the house, I threw a handful in some cottage cheese, and topped it with cocoa powder and Splenda! (Its even better with chia seeds.) I have jonesing for this!

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Delicious!

I wasn’t super hungry for dinner, so I tried Fage’s Pineapple Fruyotopped with chia seeds. I really enjoyed the big chunks of pineapple!

In other catching up details, last weekend was quite busy. I participated in the NAMI Walk on Saturday and my little cousin received her First Holy Communion!

NAMI stands for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Battling depression, and having developed a sweet spot for the mentally ill during my Psych rotation, I really wanted to participate in this walk. A classmate of mine, Dave, jogged with me. Unfortunately, this walk was during the height of my allergy induced stuffiness. “Dave! Slow down! I need to blow my nose!”

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Olivia, looking too cute, received her first Eucharist, the second sacrament in the Roman Catholic religion! I was very proud of her!

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I asked dad to take a picture of us… Needless to say, I don’t think he has the steadiest hand. (Haha! Sorry, dad.)

So, you are probably wondering why the title of the post is “Candy Bars,” yet not once have I mentioned a single piece of chocolatey guilt… Time for some reviews! The two bars that I will be reviewing today, remind me of two of my favorite candies! The first is the Chocolate Caramel Cluster Zone bar; the other, the Chocolate Hazelnut Atkins bar.

I bit into the Chocolate Caramel Cluster bar on my way to work one night and was surprised at the presence of actual caramel! A Baby Ruth candy bar is nougat, peanuts, and caramel covered by chocolate, and thats exactly what I tasted when I bit into this bar! Its time for a side-by-side comparison, shall we?

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Chocolate Caramel Cluster (50g) Baby Ruth (60g)
210 cal 280 cal
4g sat fat 8g sat fat
25g carb 39g carbs
2g fiber 1g fiber
18g sugar 33g sugar
14g protein 4g protein

Not to mention all the vitamins and minerals you’re getting in the nutrition bars!

Now, onto Atkins! I remember that I had this bar before, but could not recall my opinion. When I came a cross it, again, I snatched it up. Hazelnuts are a pretty mild-flavored nut. After my first bite, I savored the bar, thinking I had tasted this before… but I wasn’t referring to the bar… It tasted like Ferrero Rocher! I love biting into those wafer bars to find a creamy chocolate with a hazelnut center!

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Chocolate Hazelnut (40g) Ferraro Rocher (3 balls)
180 cal 220 cal
4g sat fat 5g sat fat
18g carb 17g carbs
7g fiber 1g fiber
1g sugar 15g sugar
6g protein 3g protein

*Don’t forget: Atkins bars use sugar alcohols to limit the net carbs.

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.

Tofu and Eggplant Stir-fryWP_002264

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.

Raspberry and Chocolate

If there is one thing I have been craving for the past week or so, its been raspberries! Unfortunately, I can’t find raspberries anywhere under $4.99! I’ve been craving raspberries, cottage cheese, and cocoa powder!

So this morning, when I left work, I headed back to Brew HaHa, for a sugar free Brew HaHa Latte (raspberry and mocha syrups). I had a practice exam at 9am (hey, it was free), so I figured the espresso in this latte would help power me through the morning. I remembered to grab a yogurt for breakfast, too. Thank you for your convenience, Dannon Light and Fit Greek!

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After a while, the tummy wanted a little something so I tapped into the emergency trunk stash, with a Chocolate Raspberry Luna Fiber bar!

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After the exam, I had to get my car looked at because my battery light came on. (Luckily, it was just a bad sensor, and the battery was fine.) I stopped by Pathmark while I was in the area and the tummy was growling. I finally gave the Fig Newton Fruit Thins a try. Can you guess which flavor I grabbed? Yup, Chocolate Raspberry. I must say, not too shabby.

I was able to cuddle up ans squeeze in a two hour nap. Really? Two hours? I’ve been up since 5pm yesterday, and all I got is two hours? I think its because I have so much on my mind, so many projects to finish, so many lectures to watch… Well, I up now, so lets bang these out!

Oddly enough, when I woke up from my nap, I had a ravenous appetite! I wound up eating Kashi Pumpkin Spice Flax granola bar and a Peach Cottage Cheese Double. My dad said some days we are just hungrier than others. Yeah, try telling that to this crazy girl. When I’m that hungry, I get crazy self conscious and paranoid.

Take a deep breath. Listen to my body. Focus. Okay.

Since I was up, I made my dinner for tonight’s shift. Last night, I got talking to one of the nurses about my love for tempeh, so I made a tempeh wrap for dinner. I used half an Everything wrap, an ounce of broccoli slaw, spinach, onion, green pepper, Sesame Garlic Tempeh, and a drizzle of fat free honey dijon dressing.

WP_002213This was so packed that the wrap broke as I rolled it up. Oh well, messy food is usually tasty food. Heck, look at sloppy joes!

Steak and Eggs and Tempeh

ImageStudying has ruled the last few days. Yesterday started with a delicious shake that kept me going and full for hours.

2 scoop Chocolate protein powder

Cherry Dannon Light and Fit Greek Yogurt

bunch of spinach

ice

water

I can’t believe how good it was. I’ve made this before, but it was exceptionally delicious today.

The reminder of my day was spent at the kitchen table. studying. pulling my hair out.

I always like to eat a protein filled meal the night before an exam, so I invited dad over for steak and eggs. I feel breakfast foods should be eaten any time of the day!

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I seasoned some london broil with montreal steak seasoning and pan-fried it. Then I combined 1/4 cup egg beaters and 1 egg, and while in the pan, fold in a slice of Bordens fat free PepperJack cheese. Slice up the meat. Top a toasted english muffin with the eggs and meat. Lastly, I sauteed some onions, peppers, and garlic for garnish.

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Dad ate a sandwich, while I kicked it topless… that doesn’t sound right…

I followed dinner with some more food: apple, cinnamon, and cottage cheese

This test day began with Raisin and Spice oatmeal and some Dunkin Donut coffee.

I studied all morning, treating my stressed out self to a chocolate chip cookie before the exam.

I managed to pull out a B! Woah! That exam actually gave me a stomach ache!

To take my mind off things, mom asked me to dye her hair. Its nice to have a mom who was a cosmetologist  I’ve never had to pay for a hair cut or dye, and shes been teaching me!

Dinner, tonight, was delicious as well! Tempeh is one of my favorite salad toppers, as are roasted vegetables. Roasted artichoke hearts, onions, carrots, and Sesame Garlic Tempeh tickled my fancy this evening and I did not regret it! Wow-zah! MMMM Good!

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My girlfriend, Meaghen, got me hooked on tempeh when I was in New York with Barry’s Tempeh! Ever since, I’ve had tons of tempeh recipes in the making in my head. I can’t wait to make them and share them with you!

Cottage cheese and apples made another appearance as dessert. I’ve been doing a lot of stress eating the last few days, but I’ve recognized it each night, which I’m happy about and have been able to stop.

I remember, now, that this is how I gained so much weight in the first place; not just stress eating, but eating when I’m not hungry, or just because the food is there.

But, alas, although the exam is over, this semester is not. I have two projects and two exams to complete for the big G-Day (graduation)!

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Today has been a filling day! As always on Wednesday mornings, I woke up and made a shake to start off my day, give me some brain power for a study session and an energy boost for a post study workout!

I had some pumpkin left over in the fridge so I used some of that in this morning’s smoothie. Between the protein from the yogurt and the fiber from the pumpkin, I was stuffed for hours!WP_001663

3/8 cup (or 1/4c plus 2 Tbls) canned pure pumpkin

6oz Honey Greek yogurt

handful of spinach

1 Splenda packet

a couple dashes of pumpkin pie spice

water

ice

After an informative study session, I NEEDED to hit the gym! Being sick puts a major damper on working out, and I needed to get my mojo back. (Plus, I figured it would tire me out so I could sleep this afternoon before night shift). I used my Couch to 5K app to create today’s treadmill routine, followed by some core and lower back work.

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I good workout to me is one where I leave the gym drenched in sweat and a smile on my face! And today was one of these days!

When I got to my dads I got crazy hungry, and dad just happens to have Super Chunky Peanut Butter. A spoonful down the hatch!

Dad asked if I wanted to take a quick visit to the store. Ladies and gentlemen… the reason why I love discount produce oh so much:

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$1.97 for all of these ginormous strawberries! I went to town! Oh boy, are you all going to love this treat: cottage cheese, nutella, and fresh strawberries! Protein… fruit…. so full! So yummy!

Forget those frozen berries in the freezer! These are going into a shake tomorrow for sure!

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.

Like a Skyscraper

Today’s Anthem:

I went to sleep late last night, but I woke up around 0830 with a feeling of renewal! Like anything was possible.

Running and music used to be outlets when I was healthy. So I laced up my sneaks, popped on some music and downloaded to couch to 5K app on my phone. I knew that this was what I needed! I opened the from door,and its raining. I looked up, said “Really?! Rain?!”

This was my cue to stick it to the universe. Half way through the run, Skyscraper came on my phone and I felt empowered. I typically don’t care to run to slower songs because it slows me down, but WOW! Today, this song was just what I needed. Demi and I are close in age and have both struggled through depression and eating disorders. I think this song is supposed to be about the media, or applied to a lover, but today, I was talking to myself, this disease. It keeps trying to tear me down. “I will be rising from the ground like a skyscraper.”

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The 5 miles felt great!

As I ran back toward my house, the rain starting becoming a bit ice-like, getting ready for the Noreaster.

I was excite for breakfast. I poured a glass of Aloe and ate a Kashi 7 Grain waffle, with 1/2 T Brummel and Brown’s Yogurt Spread and 1/2 T of the most delicious Blueberry Jam of all time! This stuff is from Maine. My girlfriend Maggie goes there every year with her family and they bring this stuff back by the case-load!

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Yeah… its just that good!

After my run, I could tell today was going to be a good day!

I ran to the store today because I finished the last of the water the other day. I try not to use plastic bottles, but I’ve had to the last few days. Can lifting 3 five gallon jugs of water count as my strength training for the day? Just kidding.

I did a little tidying up around the house and sat down next to the fireplace to start watching a lecture. No success. This turned into nap time.

Next thing I knew, my dad was ringing the doorbell for dinner. I made a roasted vegetable and spinach salad. I did like last time and sprayed some cauliflower florets, baby carrots, and mushrooms with cooking  spray and tossed in some garlic powder and basil. I baked these in the toaster oven at 400 until the carrots start to dry out and the the cauliflower gets a mildly golden crust. Then I topped the warm veggies over a bed of spinach and drizzled some of the BBQ sauce for NY over it. To finish this beaut off, a sliced some onion and sprinkled some chia seeds.

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To complete the meal, I baked a VitaPizza, pepperoni supreme style. (I prefer the tomato and cheese one better). Yum!

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I’m really glad dad liked the salad because he most def is not a fan of cauliflower.

Then, the most amazing thing happened. The doorbell rang and there stood a man with a box of food. I looked at him, confused. It was Joe Reda, the district representative. He knows we are having some financial troubles, as most families are these days, and he and his wife brought us staple foods, like pasta, cereal, milk… I was floored. I did not know what to say. With everything we hear about the world, its hard to believe that there are still generous and chivalrous human beings out there.

Thank you, Reda Family! You’ll never know how grateful we are! God Bless You!

After the Reda’s left, dad and I dug into a fruit salad and some cottage cheese!

MMMMM

MMMMM