Good Karma

My alarm sounded at 545 pacific time. I hit the snooze alarm, and closed my eyes thinking about how long I had to before I needed to be ready to leave.

After hitting the second snooze alarm, I decided to take advantage of the early morning and took it as a sign to get motivated. I had just enough time to complete a 30 minute treadmill work out that looked like this:

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And I had ten minutes to spare to clean up and change in time for Church, grab a coffee and banana for the walk and be on my way.WP_001790

I like attending new Churches. I find that no Church, no mass is the same. Each priest, choir, altar presents differently. Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph was a large and beautiful Church. Rather than pews, the seats were circled around the altar. It was decorated with Lilly’s from the Easter season, and the priest gave a great homily!

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Afterwards, we wondered around downtown in an attempt to find something entertaining. I wanted to check out a vegan cafe, but it turns out they don’t open until 11. We wound up walking to Bijan Bakery. I ordered a mushroom and spinach quiche. The crust was flakey and buttery! I paired this with a raspberry pomegranate green tea that so unique. My taste buds went wild at the first sip!

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And look at all the beautiful treats!

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We continued to wander around the city. We had all woke up so early that it seemed so much later to us. Nothing was really open yet so we walked back towards the hotel. We split up, me heading to my room to work on some homework, and them going to the art museum.

It was time to head to the educational forums at the convention. I chose to attend “Leading with Ethics.” I’ve chosen my forums based on what I think will be useful in my career as a nurse. Nursing requires delegation and leadership, and ethics is always a controversy on the medical field. My overall summary of this session is : All ethics begin with self ethics. In order to be an ethical leader, I must first understand my own values and how to value others, and this will allow me to recognize how others would like to be treated. What is the intent of my actions? Am I bettering my community?

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After a busy afternoon of flag bearer practice, I ran to grab a quick bite. While planning for this trip, I found a restaurant called Good Karma Vegan Cafe. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast so I ran over to grab dinner. The place was very small, but had a very eclectic feel with great music playing! They served different types of beer, some organic. Their menu consisted of a rice or quinoa platters, burritos, desserts, and more. To get the experience I opted for a 3-dish platter. Rather that eating it with rice or quinoa, I asked for steamed vegetables. You create your dish by choosing one, two, or three items from their cold box, and they heat it up. I wanted to try things that I never had before so I chose the following:

  • Spicy Basil Tofu
  • Jamaican Tofu
  • PraRam

As she brought over my meal, I could not imagine finishing the whole thing. They are NOT sparing on the helpings. From the minute the first carrot touched my lips, I was sunk! I devoured every bit of this meal! The Spicy Basil Tofu contained was in mildly spicy sauce, while the Jamaican Tofu kicked it up just a bit, both dishes containing vegetables. I think the dish I was most surprised by was Pra Ram. I asked about this dish since I’ve never seen it before. Its a noodle dish with vegetables in a peanut coconut sauce. I typically stay away from all things containing coconut milk, but this seemed like an exception. Oh! My! Goodness! This was the first thing I finished off my plate! This a recipe I must make when I get home!

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After my meal, I went up to the girl behind the counter and raved about the meal. We don’t have anything like this at home and the food was spectacular! I raved about it all day. “Do you like baklava?” was her reply. “Yes.” “Here you go… on the house!” The baklava was how it should be: not drenched in honey, just sticky and sweet enough to feel like a treat!

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???????!After changing for the opening ceremonies, a representative from every state, or nation, went on stage and waved their flag. I was honored to represent Delaware, the third one called. By the time all the others were called, my arms were wearing out from waving the flag. (No need to work on my upper body today, haha).  At the ceremonies, our region won the the Distinguished Regional Officer Team Hallmark, and Regional Milestone Award!

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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!

Tamale Pie: Crock Pot Recipe #10

Yay! We did it! 10 new crock pot recipes before the end of February!

Dad seemed super excited about this one! He actually found this recipe.

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serves 8

Filling Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb lean ground turkey

3 Tablespoons chili seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) stewed tomatoes, cut-up
1 can (14 1/2 ounces)  beans , drained and rinsed (1/3 dry beans, then partiallycooked)
1 can (4 ounces) chopped fire-roasted green chiles
1/2 cup water
Cornbread Topping Ingredients:

1 box (8 1/2 ounces) corn muffin mix
1 cup fat free shredded Cheddar cheese
Directions:

Brown ground meat in large skillet on medium-high heat; drain.Place ground beef in slow cooker. Add chili seasoning, onion powder, stewed tomatoes, beans, chiles and water. Mix all ingredients well.Cover and cook 8 hours on low.

Then prepare the cornbread topping. Increase the heat setting to high. Prepare corn muffin batter as directed on package. Drop batter by spoonfuls on top of filling in slow cooker. Cover. Cook 30 minutes longer or until toothpick inserted into center of cornbread topping comes out clean. Turn off slow cooker. Sprinkle cornbread topping with cheddar cheese,  cover for 5 minutes longer until cheese begins to melt.

I browned the ground beef last night, so this morning I could just dump everything in the crock and skidaddle off to clinical.

Mom and dad both enjoyed this. I needed to add hot sauce.  Next time, I think I’ll add another can of chiles. It must have been good though, because I’ve never seen my mom eat so fast and ask for seconds!

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After clinical, I planned on stopping by campus on my way home to take advantage of their gym… well, with all the construction, I missed the exit… Therefore, I decided to tackle another day of Couch to 5K. The pace picked up on this one with longer intervals of running!

Although the day started off great, it ended miserably. This eating disorder reared its ugly head, again. Its amazing what the min can do. I actually ate and ate with the intention of purging. I so I purged.

I can’t figure out why this is still happening. I’m spiraling down and I feel like I’m falling deeper. I try so hard to remember mantras to keep my head up but theres always that other voice in my head, reminding me how much I’ve failed myself. This is all so new to me.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns: Crock Pot Recipe #8

I could not resist when I found this on a vegan recipe page!

I prepared everything this morning and headed to Church. (Yes, I woke up early on my day off). When I arrived home, after a run, the smell of fall spices was in the air!

I prepared them Sammy style, but check the original recipe for the vegan way.

Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated Splenda
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup unsweetened flax milk
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup Libby’s pure pumpkin
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 Flaxseed egg (1 TBS flaxseed to 1 1/2 TBS warm water, let it sit for 5 minutes)
1/4 tsp sugar (to help activate the yeast)
Filling Ingredients:
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp Splenda brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp ground gloves
Icing Ingredients:
4 oz fat free cream cheese, soft
2 1/2 Tbsp granulated Splenda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Directions:
Prepare flaxseed egg. Combine flour, sugar and yeast in a large bowl. Fold in milk, water, pumpkin, flaxseed egg and applesauce into dry ingredients. Form into a ball and let it sit in bowl, covered with a towel, for 30-45 minutes. Roll the dough into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface.
Mix together filling and brush the dough with it.
Roll the rectangle long side to long side and pinch the ends to seal. Slice the log into 12 to 14 rolls.
Place in wide and very well sprayed crock pot and cook on high for 60-90 minutes. Use a toothpick to determine if fully cooked.
Mix up icing and pour over hot rolls. Top with pecans, walnuts, raisins, or what ever you’d like.
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I went for a quick run to knock out another day of Couch to 5K. I’m hoping that this helps fuel me for a productive day.
Dad came over after Church to enjoy these sticky buns and a cup of coffee!
The Verdict: the consistency of the buns were perfect and I could not believe how much the buns grew; however, there was too much clove for the tastes of this family, and not enough sweetness. This recipe has tremendous potential and dad and I are excited to play around with it. (Dad is like a little kid when he bakes… he loves cookie cutters!)
I sprinkled a bit of Splenda over top to help add some sweetness.WP_001277
Don’t get me wrong, these things are most definitely edible, but they need some work.
When I was ready to roll the dough, I searched high and low for the rolling pin. Then I remembered I left it at my dads house…
So I laid down some plastic wrap over the dough and improvised.
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Thank you, Libby!

Bye-Bye Bars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I plan on some hard core cramming tonight and tomorrow.

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

Beef Stew: Crock Pot Recipe #6

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

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Toffee Chocolate Chip Harvest Power Bar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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(serves 5)

1 lb london broil, fat trimmed, cubed

4 large carrot sticks, cut into discs

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

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

2 cloves garlic, minced

black pepper, to taste

1 (28oz) jar fat free beef gravy

1/4 cup powdered brown gravy mix

2 1/2 cup water

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

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

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

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Nutrition: (1/5 of recipe)

Calories: 253

Total Fat: 8.5g

Sat. Fat: 2g

Cholesterol: 60.4mg

Carbs: 18.6g

Fiber: 1.5g

Sugar: 3.4g

Protein: 22.9g

         

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

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

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

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

Good Night!