The Greek Wars

I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials for Yoplait calling out Chobani yogurt. I know my yogurt preference, so I thought this was kind of a neat idea. I decided to host a Greek War at my house.

WP_005368Five Greek Yogurts, Five brands, Five tasters…

I kept the challenge completely blind. I wrapped each yogurt container with paper and labeled them A through E. I gave mom, dad, Frank, Barry, and myself a piece of paper listing A to E, ranking 1 through 5 stars, and comments for each yogurt… Oh yeah, I was legit!

The lowest total score a yogurt could receive was a 5 and the highest was 25. It was pretty interesting how honed in your taste buds gets when you’re comparing. I’ve eaten all of these individually, but my opinions surprised me during the tasting.

By the end of the tasting, I was able to rank the Cherry flavors of Yoplait, Chobani, Fage, Dannon, and Shop Rite brand. The real judgement came from mom. She really does not like yogurt of any kind, so her opinion of which tasted the best was one I took seriously. Surprisingly, she was really focused during the testing, more descript than any of the yogurt lovers of the house.

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The comments ranged from texture to color to appearance to flavor. Drum roll please…

Mom

Dad

Barry

Frank

Sammy

Comments

Total

Yogurt

A

2

4

4

5

3

Mild, thick

18

Shop Rite

B

5

5

5

4

5

Chunks of fruit, very sweet, creamy, delicious, thick

24

Dannon

C

1

1

1

1

1

Sour, terrible, no taste

5

Chobani

D

4

2

3

3

4

Sugar alcohol, smooth,

16

Yoplait

E

3

3

2

2

2

Dense, bland, take it or leave it

12

Fage

I, honestly, was NOT surprised that Dannon had won our tasting. Its my favorite. I do not care for Fage, never really have, but I never thought I’d rank Chobani lower than the “original” Greek yogurt.

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Now, I’m wondering…

what is it that makes one Greek yogurt better than another… ?

What is your favorite?

Middle Names

The Highs and Lows, The Hots and Colds

With everything going on at home, I went back to my dads place after work, last night. On my way, dad called and asked for me to pick up Chinese. I agreed on the condition that he deseed a cucumber for me while I picked it up the food. I ordered the steamed veggies with chicken and a soup. Dad really loved the mix that I threw together for him, so much that we pulled out broccolini from the freezer and steamed them up. I was really proud of myself. I can’t feel bad about eating steamed vegetables. I was at my calories for the day. Okay, the fortune cookie out me over. Haha! To end on a sweet note, I made a mug of Diet Swiss Miss. Because I love you, readers so much, I’ll tell you my secret for irresistible hot chocolate… Cinnamon and vanilla extract.

With my belly full of veggie, not jelly, I ended the night with some daddy- daughter Monk time, as in we yawn and belch and attempt to watch the end of the episode.

The thing about eating disorders, depression, and just over female-ism is that you become almost plagued by highs and lows. I had a great night but as the night went on, anxiety  started to creep up.  I ignored it and fell asleep.

This morning, it wasn’t so easy to shun away. Sundays at dads usually begin with a nice omelet, meat, and coffee, but since I’ve had some late night splurges these last few days… Way to pray on my late night weakness, dad! (just kidding)

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It began with a toasted morning glory scone that I made a few month back ( they freeze pretty well) and a Dannon Light &Fit Toasted Coconut Vanilla Greek yogurt Blend, and a mug of mocha.I love how the sweet coconut and carrots and earthy flax and figs in my scone played off the sweet and tart yogurt. The day began as normal for dad with scrapple, egg, and cheese sandwich, and a mug of coffee. The sandwich must have been pretty darn good because by the time I had toasted my scone and came to eat it, half of dad’s sandwich was already in his tummy. This was the only pic I was able to snap of it! Haha!

(Want to make a simple mocha? 1 packet of Diet Swiss Miss, stirred into a mug of hot coffee and 1 Splenda packet!)

I spent my morning at his place… but the pressure in my chest wasn’t going away. Before I left for work, I tried to be good, so I put a little PB on a slice of light rye. Stop freaking, Sammy! I headed off to work, knowing that what I packed for tonight was great, and praying no one was bringing in any treats!

WP_003322After finishing a bunch of work, my belly started to growl.  I switched it up a bit, tonight, with sugar free vanilla pudding, instead of chocolate, with grahams! (I know… I’m a rebel!) It hit the spot and held me over for the new few hours, while I was busy at work. Eventually, Claire pulled me out of busy work to head down to the caf. I grabbed some condiments for dinner, a diet iced tea, and a decaf coffee, and headed back to my unit to finally enjoy my Amy ‘s Tofu Scramble Pocket for dinner!

WP_003323Since I have never had this before, I had no idea how it would take. While in the microwave, I sprinkled it with chili powder. (My history with tofu scrambles is that hot sauce and chili powder are necessary). A scoop of salsa? Hot sauce? Ketchup? Sweet and Sour Sauce? What is a girl to do? Try them all, duh!

I was surprised that I did not care for the hot sauce with this pocket, but the ketchup, the sweet and sour, and the salsa all were decent pairings. I really enjoyed this pocket and was surprised by how much I actually did like it! In fact, I told dad that I’m picking up another one when we go to Wholefoods, tomorrow!

I finished my late shift with a positive attitude, happy with my eating for the day. I headed to 7-11 to grab myself a sugar free Key Lime Creme Slurpee! Ya know, ironically, despite my love of all things Key Lime flavored, I’ve never actually had Key Lime Pie!

WP_003324I do believe I will have to make a Bundo Key Lime Pie… what do you think?

My Sunday is winding down now, even though its technically Monday morning, now. As I am laying in bed, finishing this post, I wanted something sweet and crunchy. I remembered that on my grocery store trips, yesterday, I found these awesome 110 calorie drumsticks called Lil’ Drums! Theres a bunch of different flavors, but I got the Cinnamunch: vanilla ice cream with a touch of caramel and cinnamon, a small sprinkling of pralines and caramel drizzle. It was awesome and the perfect size! No guilt, just a crunchy cone, and sweet treat! It even had the chocolate plug at the bottom of the cone! Awesome!

Want to talk about hot and cold? Now I’m drinking a mug of decaf hot green tea to relax. Either way, today started a little rocky, emotionally, and is ending well!

Middle Names

The other day, I got into a conversation with a woman in the caf about names. “I have a Samantha at home, too,” she says to me, “but you go by Sammy?” I replied jokingly, “Yeah, except when im in trouble, then my mom yells, ‘Samantha Marie’!” “Thats her name, too,” she said!

What a coincidinck! It got me thinking about names. Every year, they, I don’t know who ‘they’ are, but they release the baby names of the year. I know a lot of the older names or new aged names have been popular the last few like Aiden and Emma. But what about middle names? Growing up, I knew many girls with the middle name, Marie, and at work last night, the nurses and I were talking. A lot of them have Marie as their middle names, too!

Samantha Marie, Kimberly Marie, Kristina Marie, Jillian Marie, Claire Marie…

I got curious and according to ChaCha, the most common female middle name is Marie, and the male is Alan. I wasn’t to surprised by Marie, but Alan kind of threw me for a loop. I was expecting Matthew or Joseph, but not Alan!

What’s your middle name?

Dork-ing It Up

I mentioned, yesterday, how important it is to surround yourself with positive vibes. Last night, I did just that. I typed up last night’s post while getting ready for bed, however the whole “going to bed” thing didn’t really happen.

Barry and I decided to stay up since neither one of us had anything to do in the morning, and that way we could sleep late.

I really enjoyed last night. We stayed up, playing Phase 10 and watching “Chopped” on Food Network until about 1am. We were googling exotic foods and talking about NASA and space travel…

It was a plain, simple night in and I loved it!

We awoke around 11am, today, and desperately tried falling back asleep. No such luck. So up we went to fix some coffee and enjoy our respective yogurts. I had the the Dannon Light & Fit Blueberry Greek and he experience Greek yogurt for the first time with OIKOS Blackberry. I also broke off a piece of a Gnu Brownie bar to give me a PMS chocolate-fix.

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We continued to dork it up after breakfast while watching an episode of “Star Trek: Next Generation” and the final “Lord of the Rings” movie. Yes, I’m aware how exciting we are, but after my freak out on Monday night, surrounding myself with positive people and events really made a difference.

I ran a few errands on my way home and grabbed another Special K cereal bar, Red berries, for a mid-day snack to hold me over until my shake, which I will make before heading to work. I also managed to pick up these little cuties from Five Below!

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Unfortunately, today is another day of belly bloat. Super uncomfortable! When I get bloated, I’m never really sure if I’m hungry or not, so I’ve been trying to keep hydrated. If I keep drinking and still feel hungry, I’ll eat, but as of right now, I feel like a bowl full of jelly. HAHA

In the world of animals, I told you I’d get back to you about the Blue Buffalo I got for the kids. Beauty scarfs Wellness, like devours it. She kind of sniffed the Blue Buffalo and walked away. She eventually ate it, but I’ll save some money and stick with the Wellness brand.

In the world of bars, I had a Maple Glazed Pecan and Sea Salt KIND bar. How good does that sound?! I wasn’t sure after my first bite, but after my second I began to pick out the maple notes, then the mild saltiness. Its nice low GI treat with 6g protein and 5g fiber.

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In the world of recipes, to keep myself busy before, I made a very anticipated recipe: Homemade Nutella! You know I’m addicted to the stuff, so based off Katie’s Healthy Nutella recipe, I created a virtually sugar free, low fat, low carb chocolate hazelnut spread. I dig it!

The day I took Barry to Wholefoods, we picked up a bag of hazelnuts to make this, but life got in the way and I decided today was the day! Sorry, Barry, I just couldn’t wait any longer!

Be Well NutellaWP_003208

  • 2 level cups raw hazelnuts (240g)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar free maple syrup
  • 2 packets Splenda
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free chocolate syrup
  • 1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened Flax milk)

Roast the hazelnuts for about 9 minutes 400 F. Rub them together in a paper towel to get the skins off. Be careful, as the nuts are pretty hot. In a food processor (I used the MagicBullet) blend the nuts until they begin to be ground very fine, almost nut butter-like, Add all other ingredients, adding 1 at a time and blending. Continue to blend until it’s smooth!

The Bullet was not the easiest thing to use for this, but my food processor at this house is a hand crank, and that just was not happening. I alternated between adding wet and dry ingredients between blending. Because the Bullet isn’t exactly full of space, I removed some of the ingredients and blended in small batched to ensure it was well mixed and smooth.

WP_003209Depending on your taste buds, play around with the sweetness and chocolate decadence.

Next time I make it, I’d like to try Hershey Dark Cocoa!

It made enough to refill my old Nutella jar, plus some! Yum!

Let us compare the chocolate hazelnut spreads that have appeared on Be Well Bundo , shall we?

 per 2 level Tablespoons Nutella (original) Hazelnut Spread GO-LO Sugar Free Be Well Nutella
Calories 200 160 130 122
From Fat 110 80 110 **
Fat 12g 9g 13g 10.7g
Sat. Fat 4g 4g 4g 0.1g
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg 0mg 0mg
Sodium 15mg 10mg 5mg 18.3mg
Carbs 21g 20g 17g 5g
Fiber 1g 0g 11g 2.1g
Sugar 21g 19g 0g* 0.9g
Protein 2g 1g 1g 2g
Vit A 0% 0% 0% 0.3%
Vit C 0% 0% 0% 2.2%
Calcium 4% 8% 0% 1.3%
Iron 4% 4% 4% 3.5%
*contains erythritol**not calculated by MyFitnessPal

Because this recipe contains milk, I would recommend to refrigerate it. Plus, the cold will help make it nice and thick.

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WP_003211In the world of work, I am working a 12. I threw together a shake using a bit of the nutella and some random frozen fruit with protein mix…nothing to write home about. I also made a mug of coffee to take with me. I totally forgot I had this 12 Coffees of Christmas box in the cupboard. I found it while digging out the ingredients for today’s nutella and butter pecan coffee sounded too good to pass up. It smelled amazing!

WP_003212Although I kept busy, time was not passing as quickly as I had hoped. I encountered a tempting blueberry muffin that everyone was snacking on. I had not had one in a long time at treated myself to the quarter that looked like it had the most blueberries! PMS loved the sweet blueberry muffin and after grabbing a soda for my patient, it also decided it wanted a Dr. Pepper. Not just any Dr. Pepper, but a Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper. I was off to the vending machine only to discover Cherry Cola and Diet Dr. Pepper! Darn it! 23 flavors it is…

Around 230am, I hit the wall! I got so tired and bolted to the caf for some coffee. The bad thing about night shift is that your body is not used to being awake, and therefore, gets those crazy late night snack urges, like oreos! Snacking smart, I packed a sliced bell pepper! I just love that crisp and sweet bite from those things! But those oreos are not easy to resist. I also packed a tempeh salad using spring mix, baby carrots, tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, beets, and fakin’ bacon tempeh. Hmmm bacon… yup, Walden Farms Blue Cheese dressing it is!

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It was a  really satisfying salad! I could have kept on eating it (ya know, if I didn’t already eat it all)!

Late Night

After our midnight escapades, I skipped my morning Zumba class to sleep in. Barry and I got up around 1130am and quickly made some coffee. For some reason, it really was delicious today.

This cup of coffee was quickly followed by a drive home, a wardrobe change, and another cup of coffee. To perk me up and hold me over until dinner, I enjoyed a Raspberry Dannon Light & Fit Greek yogurt with chia seeds and a glass of aloe.

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It was hot today! Humid and hot! Luckily, I don’t have a working air conditioner in my car. Yay, 100 degree weather!

I was so sweaty when I got to work. I didn’t want to stroll in smelling like a wet dog. It was actually a relief to get out of my car and walk from the parking garage to the hospital. The breeze really helped!

I arrived at work and got pulled to another unit for the first 4 hours of the shift. I sat with a kid thatI have had in the past. It breaks my heart to see kids so frequently in this place.

I went back to my unit to work on the desk the remainder of my shift. Today gave me the oportunity to catch up on some writing and recipes for you guys!

The real highlight of the shift was dinner. The yogurt did an excellant job at holding me over.

When I went to visit Barry last month in New Jersey, I stopped by a Wegmans. I’ve seen the Garden Lites souffles before, but never this: Veggie Chili & Cornbread Melt.

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I heated this up tonight and topped it with some chili powder. I was, first, impressed by how appetizing it looked! Then the taste! The corn and corn bread was sweet, it was well seasoned… Wow! I was impressed! I’m glad I bought two boxes when I went to Wegmans. One was supposed to be for dad, but I don’t know if thats happening now. Hahah!

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It was awesome eating cornbread and chili for 200 calories and being satisfied! I would drive back to Jersey for this stuff!

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)!

Sweat It Out

Bet you thought this would include some awesome workout, huh? On the contrary…

The worst part about feeling under the weather, is my absolute lack of motivation! I don’t want want to stay awake or work on my projects, let alone work out. So the rest of the night was spent attempting to finish up some of this school work!

While on the phone with pops last night, I asked for him to decided today breakfast shake… He seemed adamant about cherries. So I took out a Dannon Light and Fit Cherry Greek yogurt. On a side note, I like to buy yogurt when its really cheap and freeze it. I use these in my shakes.. it adds to the thickness of the shake, like using ice cream… Anyway, the following went into the bullet:

1 Dannon Light and Fit Cherry Greek yogurtWP_001496

1 oz frozen cherries

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Formula 1

handful of raw, unsalted almonds

handful of kale

ice

I was going to use my almond butter, but when digging in the freezer for the yogurt, I saw this out of the corner of my eye… it had to be done…

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I spent my day with dad at his office. I knew I’d get work done if I was not home. It was a nice day seeing dad in action. To help nurse this… whatever congestion thing is going on with me… dad pulled out this nifty Cup of Soup instant soup packet. As much as I’m not a fan of these because of sodium content, it was just what I needed! That and another mug of hot tea!

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A little school work was completed but mostly I watched Hallmark movies and ate Chinese food. Yes, we ordered out again. Frank was so impressed with my dinner last night that he wanted it for himself tonight. So he ordered that and I ordered the veggies with chicken. Woah baby, that was a lot of chicken! There’s just something about eating all those veggies and protein that just makes ya feel good! Mmmm I also ate a big bowl of hot and sour soup, my favorite Chinese soup to help me feel better. I think it worked since half way through it, I took off my robe from sweating! That’s the way I like it!
Hot and sour soup has always been of of those foods I’d love to make but never got around to doing.

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Rain Delay?

I grudgingly drug myself out of bed this morning as I heard the rain pounding on the windows of my room. As I hit play on the workout video, I received a phone call. Who the heck is calling me at 0530 in the morning?! It was my clinical instructor.

“Wow! The rain must be pretty bad to cancel clinical.” Nope, my instructor was sick.

Today has been a different kind of day. Rather than getting to the hospital at 0630, I reported to school at 0930 to assist the first semester students with the skills they were learning. This was considered my clinical hours. Breakfast was a Chocolate Caramel Special K Protein Bar.

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This bar was pretty decent. I would probably get it again. It has caramel flavored chips numerously scattered throughout the bar and it has a nice crunch.

During the lunch break, I was not hungry, so I utilized the gym. Its hard to believe that after 4 years of being here, this was the first time I used the gym. It was much smaller than I had expected, but I used to elliptical to really try to burn some calories. I completed Julie’s 20 minute Elliptical Workout.

When I got back to class I was rosey and sweaty, but I felt great! After the class finished, I headed down to the caf, turned on a lecture on my laptop, and enjoyed a Dannon Light & Fit Pineapple Greek yogurt, topped with chia seeds, and a Kashi Happy Trail Mix Cookie. The coconut from the cookie really went well with pineapple.

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I can only watch lectures so long before I need a break, plus I needed to charge my laptop, so I headed back to the gym to clear my head and played around with some strength training. I used Julie’s 30 Second Rest Workout to base my workout:

Leg Press Choose your weight 15 reps 3x
Hammer Curls 10lbs 15reps 3x
Elliptical Incline 12 10min
Shoulder Press 13lb 15reps 3x
Tricep Extensions 13lb 15reps 3x
Elliptical Incline 12 10min
Crunches Choose your weight 15reps 3x

Afterwards, I headed to my meeting. I needed to grab a bite and pick my mom up some KIND bars. Dinner was an on-the-go meal:

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PROBARs Old School PB&J meal bar tastes like a seedy peanut butter and jelly! I typically don’t like to eat bars that are more than 250 calories, but this flavor was calling my name. It had a great flavor and consistency. I either love or hate PROBARs, and this was definitely a love. One thing I really like about this brand, is the use of whole flax seeds!

This was followed by a binge. I’ve really been on a roll with these binges lately, haven’t I? I was really feeling great after working out today! It really frustrates me that this keeps happening. I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but its almost like my hand has a mind of its own. Like I verbally tell myself to stop by my hand keeps putting food in my mouth. Its the weirdest thing.

I plan on working out tomorrow after clinical. I always feel better after I work out.

I guess it was an interesting day all over. I woke up this morning hearing that the Pope was stepping down, then I see that some butthead got Wilmington on the national news for shooting up a courthouse!

Jeez!

Upside Down Kinda Day

Last night’s dinner was super filling! 

I woke up this morning determined to start this funky-scheduled day with some pep. When I start my day with exercise, I always feel invincible for the rest of the day. 

I began with cleaning out the fireplace and bringing in some fire wood from the 20 degree F porch to warm up the house. Once I got my pyro-fix, I started Julie’s Super Sweaty Ab Workout (one of my favorites)! Mountain Climbers kick my butt every time!

Once I completed this, I whipped out the magic bullet. I really wanted to use my homemade cashew butter today so I looked to my fellow nut butter lover, Julie, for some inspiration. The following found its way into my tummy:

half of a frozen banana

1 tbsp cashew butter

Strawberry Dannon Light and Fit yogurt

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Protein Drink Mix

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Formula 1

15g (1/4 to 1/3 cup) kale, chopped 

1/4 tsp xanthum

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After enjoying majority of this smoothie bowl and some serious brain freeze, I needed to knock out a lecture before class today. This bowl was so filling, I did not even think of food till close to 1600.

The reason I call this an “upside down kinda day” is because I work night shift tonight. Its different when you work 11pm to 7am consistently because your body adapts to that schedule, but when you work it every now and then, you just need to suck it up, sleep when you can, and power through. It also messes up my eating… like when do I sleep? What’s breakfast? Whens dinner? I feel like on days like this I eat alot of snacks, and not so much meals…

I was greeted by this view as I walked out of class:

SNOW!

SNOW!

And this pretty site on my way home:

My neighborhood is so pretty when it snows!

My neighborhood is so pretty when it snows!

After I got home from a really informative lab, I had a big bowl of fruit, from The Fresh Market, and topped it with some low fat cottage cheese! YUM!

While I am at work tonight, I will working on some reading for school, and of course, working on tomorrow’s post.