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.

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  • 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!

Nurse Cake

WP_003707As my night shift was coming to an end, my stomach began to growl around 5am. I ignored this feeling the best I could. Around 530, I caved to a sugar free fruit cup. So sue me. A 45 calorie, sugar free fruit cup is whats going to upset me? This is ridiculous.

Around 6am, some nurses began to feel the hunger. Some toast english muffins, other trail mix, but it helps me to know that I am not the only one that gets thst end of shift hunger, and it makes me feel even better to know that I made a light and wise choice of food.

Arriving home about 2 and half hours later, the 45 calorie fruit cup had worn off. I snacked on half a slice of the left over Chicken Cheesesteak Pizza, another 45 calories. How can I hate myself for that? Its like I ate a 90 calorie snack bar, but instead of it being cereal and granola based, it was fruit and veggies! Get with the program, Sammy!

I stood in the shower, praying, deep breathing, almost like I was trying to wash the eating disorder and anxiety away. I finally laid down and slept until about 4pm, Thursday (8/29)

WP_003710I woke knowing I needed to eat despite my current feelings about my body. I went with a Dannon Light&Fit Greek Key Lime yogurt and topped it with some Special K Protein cereal. Although the cereal didn’t add loads of pizzazz of flavor to the yogurt, I enjoyed the crunch and texture, and the added feeling of being full. I paired it with a large glass of sparkling water.

The remaining afternoon was spent wallowing in my own depression, laying on the couch, curled under a blanket, until Barry came over after he was done work. He spent a few hours with Frank and me watching movies. I know it wasn’t the way he hoped to spend his evening, but it was nice to have the moral support.

My dad expressed some more concern about me today. I can’t help the way I feel. The last 3 days, I have not eaten more than 600 calories. Frank suggested this could be a reason why I’ve been so tired lately. I was in the bathroom and looked at myself. All I could see, at first, was my stomach. I kept poking at at it like it was somehow pop like a balloon and deflate. I went to the scale that read 131 lbs. I like that number. I went back to the mirror to figure out why the number just didn’t seem match the body. I stared long and hard and realized that my face was beginning to thin out, again.

With an annoying headache, which I suspected to be from low blood sugar, I stir-fried some bok choy and mushrooms in 1/2 Tbsp of low sodium teriyaki sauce,1 tsp chili garlic sauce, and a splash of water. It was filling and helped rid of my headache, which was definitely what I needed before going to work.

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I headed to work, coffee in hand, still feeling like I was dragging. Its funny how as soon as I walk onto the unit, I change. I’m so lucky that I am one of those blessed people that loves their job and the people they work with! Speaking of which…

These ladies I work on night shift with completely took me by surprise! After finishing the first rounds of my 8 hour shift, I went to the break room to grab a drink. As I opened the door, the nurses were setting up a party… for Heather and me in honor of us passing our boards!

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The first thing I saw was the cake and covered my instant terror with a smile, saying, “You guys are so sweet!” They even got gluten free goodies for Heather! But then, I saw the veggie platter and salsa and fruit bowl. Heather mentioned that she could tell I had lost weight and that she was worried about me. Heather is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. I would love if Heather and I both got the newly available nursing positions for our unit.

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WP_003717After finishing up some rounds, I decided theres no harm in enjoying fruits and vegetable. An the the veggies with salsa! MMM so garliky! I continued to snack on the goods all night and even had the hot and sour soup I brought with me. I was stuffed by 3 am and stayed that way! I felt great! Like I had been revitalized! Suddenly, although I was full, I felt invigorated and was on a roll at work! I love that Heather was so honest with me. You know what? I even had a bite of cake. I’m not a cake fan, but ShopRite done good! The night shift crew put a good hurtin on the cake and fruit!

The shift ended strong and confidently and I cant wait to hit the sheets!

Back on Track

My last post was a bit all over the place. It was very manic-depressive. I’m sorry about that… like I said, “PMS… What a bitch!” Darn mood swings…

Set backs happen. How will I deal with it?

Listening to my body cues

“Theres scrapple in the fridge,” dad said to me as he left for work. I spent the night at dad house, last night, to complete our awesome DDDD (Daddy-Daughter Date Day). I wasn’t sure if I was hungry this morning, so I made a big cup of coffee to see if I was actually hungry or just thirsty. My large mug did a great job of curbing my appetite! I enjoyed the french vanilla coffee, while catching up on Spice Goddess. I love that show! Bal is really pleasant and bubbly and passionate about her native spices and traditions! Plus, I’ve really been interested in Indian cooking techniques, foods, and spices, and found a few things she made that I can’t wait to try my hands at!

Resuming my normal meals

Following the show and ignoring my inner scrapple-lover, I headed back to my mom’s house, where I enjoyed a refreshing Banana Cream Dannon Light & Fit Greek yogurt Blend, sprinkled with 1/2 tsp Chocolate PB2, and about 6 broken fat free pretzel sticks. I enjoyed the sweet and salty crunch that my PMS craves, and loved that it was filling and healthy.

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For a mid-day snack, a 90 calorie Fiber One Lemon bar did the trick, as did a mug of peppermint tea.

WP_003195Today it National Hot Dog Day! I’m a little excited about this because I’ve really been wanting hot dogs and baked beans! Ironically, I had planned on taking this as a meal to work tomorrow night, but no sense in denying this “holiday”! I pulled out a Hebrew National 97% fat free frank and a small can of fat free baked beans and ate mine in a bowl topped with chopped onion.

WP_003202Frank wanted it sandwich-style.

Go to Zumba

Following dinner, I had a bit of unsweetened applesauce and met my girlfriend, Maggie, at Zumba. I did not attend Zumba at all last week, and it makes me feel lost. I need it in my life. I also enjoy leading Zumba, as I did a few dances tonight. I love to look at their faces and I love knowing that my enthusiasm can power them through a workout, too!

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It was one humid hour, tonight! The AC is broke! We were drenched in sweat after the first dance. We looked like steamed lobsters by the end of the class. But, boy, were we feeling great!

Surround myself with positivety

Why else is today special? Not just because its National Hot Dog Day… Not just because its National Vanilla Ice Cream Day…. But because its Frank’s 56th Birthday! Before I left for Zumba, I whipped up a cake mug for him! Yay, Hungry-girl, for teaching me about cake mugs! I made a Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cake mug (recipe below).

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Zumba releases endorphins, which makes me happy. As does being with my friends. After sweating it out, I met Barry to do a little grocery shopping for the house, took a shower, and am currently in the midst of attempting some sleep. Surround yourself with positive people, places, events, and you’ll be positive too! Things just start to fall into place.

I typically do not eat after Zumba, but PMS was rearing its head. The entire trip to ShopRite I was thinking about peanut M&Ms. I resisted. We swung by 7 Eleven on the way home to down another bottle of water and while I was there, a light bulb went off! Special K Chocolatey Pretzel cereal bar! 90 calories, salty, sweet, crunchy…. Perfect!

Raspberry Chip Cake Mug

3 Tbsp yellow moist cake mix

1 Tbsp liquid egg substitute

1 1/2 Tbsp water

1/2 Tbsp Nestle mini semi-sweet morsels, or semi-sweet morsels, chopped

5 raspberries, sliced in half

2 Tbsp fat free Cool Whip, thawed

1/2 tsp sugar free, fat free Chocolate pudding mix

Combine everything except cool whip and pudding mix, and mix well. Spray mug or ramekin with nonstick cooking spray and pour cake mix in. Microwave for 1 minute and 15 seconds, or so*. Allow mug to cool, as it will be hot! Meanwhile, combine cool whip and pudding mix. Spread over cooled cake mug and enjoy!

*Microwaving chocolate chips is tricky business, as they tend to burn.

Calories: 179,  Fat: 3.1g, Sat. Fat: 1.9g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 270mg, Carbs: 35.2g, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 18.9g, Protein: 3g

Idea: White Chocolate Chips, instead!

Happy Birthday, Frank!

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Happy 80th, Mr. Cassel!

Dinner, last night was in the form of a classic: grilled ham and cheese (with homemade mustard) and wonton soup. The combo is a classic, maybe not these specific flavors…

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Barry and I fell asleep mighty early, last night, but still managed to sleep in until about 830am. As Barry had a craving for blueberry waffles, I enjoyed a Dannon Greek Light and Fit Toasted Coconut Vanilla Blend topped with ground flax. I always like adding flax or sunflower seeds to sweeter yogurts, as it helps to cut some of the sugary bite.

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I always manage to find Harry Potter on TV and forced Barry to kill a little time watching it with me as he threw in a load of laundry. I find it amusing all the his and her pictures I take of our food. Today’s snack, before hitting the road, was a packet of Wawa apples for me… And a banana and chocolate shake for Barry.

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We arrived early for Mr. Cassel’s surprise party, but within the hour the birthday boy arrived!

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My aunt has a caterer friend how has been doing her parties, lately. The chicken marsala is always pretty good, but the green beans were exceptional, today! There was also a tray of baked ziti and roast beef, as well as potato salad and cole slaw… all the usual suspects…

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My boyfriend must be a big kid (but I think I already knew that) because within five minutes of arriving to the party, he and my little cousin, Olivia, engaged in a splash war.

Grandmom wasted no time in digging into the punch, that Aunt Chrissy makes. Its some sort of Bacardi based tropical-ish drink that many guests love, but thats just too strong for me! Nonetheless, mommom had pounded back a few and started to get goofy!

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Following the laughs and socializing and delicious food, and a boyfriend with a full tummy, Mr. Cassel blew out his candles and we headed home for the evening, to face some serious downpour on the highway!

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Happy 80th Birthday, Mr. Cassel!

Summer Flavors

This morning began with my stomach feeling well and an excitement to utilize some fresh fruit from the fridge! I made Frank a Berry Colada Smoothie

frozen mixed berries

OIKOS Toasted Coconut Vanilla Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp Torani sugar free coconut syrup

Me? I grabbed some cantaloupe from the refrigerator for a Peach-Loupe Shake:

cantaloupe

1 scoop Vanilla protein powder

1/2 cup Bai 5 Panama Peach

3g (1 serving) sugar free Peach jello mix

xanthum and guar

water

ice

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It was so filling and refreshing! 

Frank went with me to run some errands. Beauty was in need of dog food and Walmart is the ONLY place I can find Dannon Light and Fit Greek Blends Toasted Coconut Vanilla! They only had 2 left, which I quickly snatched up! Its so hard to find the Greek Blends

Once we arrived home, I made a batch of tuna fish, which Frank really enjoyed! He loved the Greek yogurt, cucumber, and dill combination. He ate it on wheat saltines, while I served mine on Suzies Corn, Quinoa, and Sesame Puffed ThinCakes

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The remainder of my day was a pretty lazy one. I just kept counting down until Zumba! Thank goodness it was a 6pm, and not a 7pm, class tonight. I made a cup of coffee around 3pm in the hopes it was give me a boost. No luck. An afternoon nap, maybe? I usually refuse naps because  I’m notorious for not sleeping later that night. I attempted a nap, but it just didn’t help.

It was definitely the sleepiest Zumba class I’ve ever done! Half way through class, my belly was growling. I drank water but I guess it was legit hunger. I walked in the house after class around 715pm to Frank grilling BBQ pork chops and homemade brown pilaf with sun-dried tomatoes, corn, and capers! Heavenly! 

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I Skyped with Barry a bit and I’m looking forward to relaxing in bed the rest of the night. 

This sleepy head is signing off! 

What do you do when you need to get motivated for a workout? Nap? Coffee? 5 Hour Energy? Music?

Morning Surprises!

Today is the first day in a few that I haven’t gotten sick and still felt comfortable with my eating. Yesterday, after my trip to Philly to bury a copy of my diploma to my grandfather, I kind of had some issues. I always swing by Wholefoods on my way home, and the bakery is to die for. Down the hatch some cookies went and, bam, here came the break down!

I received some bad news late last night of the passing of a family friend. It was so sudden! I just saw him a few weeks ago and he said, “I’ll see you on the 22nd at the graduation party!” RIP. You’ll be missed.

This upset my stomach and I attempted some crackers to settle it. No luck. I fell asleep curled in a ball feeling miserable.

This morning, although my stomach was slightly uncomfortable, I proceeded to make a shake. Frank knows I love making shakes, so he always ask me to make his. This not only boosts my self esteem, somehow, but also helps me cope.

When I’m stressed, I cook. I’ll expand more on that in a second.

Frank got a shake that did not look super attractive, but was yummy and full of vitamins: Mixed berries, banana, spinach, and chocolate protein mix.

A month or so ago, I decided to dip my strawberries in OIKOS Toasted Coconut Greek yogurt to make a strawberry colada of sorts. It was a success. The other day, I found Dannon Light and Fit Greek Toasted Coconut and imediatly snatched it up! I threw that with some strawberries in the Magic Bullet, along with xanthum, spinach, ice and water to create smoothie bowl. The bowl was topped with chia seeds, and paired with a cup o’ joe!

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It was a dreary day here, but I did not want to waste the day. Frank, James, and I decided to run so errands to pick up some things for the graduation party. While we were out, we treated ourselves to Serpes. They were just pulling out tomato pie out of the ovens! And of course, I needed to grab one of my favorite cookies from them. Its like a shortbread thumbprint with a dollop of peanut butter. The cookie is covered in a thin layer of chocolate and finished with shaved almonds! Heavenly! I’m determined to make a healthy version of this delicious cookie!

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While out shopping, I picked up some ingredients, went to the kitchen and made my own tomato pie! MMMMM! It was a winner! This is definitely something I will be making for my grad party as an appetizer. I was really surprised how good the sauce turned out!

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With some left over dough and sauce, I opted to make some garlic knots!

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You would think with all this baking, I would have had a bad eating day. NOPE! In fact, for dinner, I roasted some brussel sprouts, and covered it in  mushrooms and Trader Joe’s Creamy Corn and Red Pepper Chowder! Delicious!

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I couldn’t believe how slow it felt time was moving today. Luckily I was able to keep semi busy.

Oh, and I forgot the surprise of the day!

Frank woke me up around 8 this morning. “Sammy! Samantha, theres flowers at the door.” I stumbled, confused, out of bed to see what he meant. A man was on the porch with a vase of pink roses and lillies! Barry is away at camp, still, and surprised me with these beautiful flowers! I was shocked! A great way to start my day!

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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!

Night Shift and The Purple People Eater

Wednesday:

Another early morning. I had to finish some homework before heading to class. As I was working on the homework, I began  to think about the events of the next few days, and just how utterly sleep deprived I am going to be. (You’ll find out why.)

WP_001320Class was educational and then I had to go to a seminar. During class, I ate Dannon Light and Fit Greek Peach yogurt topped with some chis seeds. On my way to the seminar, I could feel some hungry starting to arise so I swung by Wawa. Thanks for the convenient snack packs, Wawa!WP_001321

I always have issues driving in Bear… I’m always getting lost! I found the location and we learned about stroke prevention. Our project is to conduct stroke assessments on members of our communities to evaluate their risk for a stroke.

I was starving when I got home, so I grabbed a quick bite and I’m headed to bed.

I am working night shift tonight, so I’m praying I’ll get some  sleep before then. Tomorrow night, I am attending a black and gold (ie. we wear black and gold). My girlfriends are in a sorority and I go every year, which is why I was freaking out about having a dress.

Thursday:

I was woken up by my mom and step dad last night. Must they always feel the need to talk outside my bedroom foot when I’m sleeping?
I like to start nightshift with a smoothie. All the protein and fresh fruit gives me an nice buzz to get me going. Yesterday, was National Strawberry Day, so i wanted to incorporate some in my shake. I must say, though, the blueberries took control of this one. “Mom, is it weird that I just named my smoothie ‘the purple people eater?'” “Yes.” “Thanks, mom.”

Into the bullet went:WP_001322
spinach,
frozen strawberries,
half a frozen banana,
fresh blueberries,

vanilla protein powder

raw cashew butter,

ice
When it was all mixed up, it was a purple “monster.”
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I’m pretty happy about my eating last night. Julie is always raving about Milk Chocolate Moose Munch,but last night was the first time I got to try it. Can you guess what I liked the most about it? The nuts, duh!!! I also snacked on baby carrots, these new Back to Nature Sweet Potato and Cinnamon crackers I’ve recently been obsessed with, and granny smith with Chocolate PB2 and graham crackers.

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Eight hours, three cups of coffee and a dark chocolate covered espresso bean, I kept busy most of the night and even caught up on some reading for school.

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