Sweet 16

Today is a most wonderful day for this family! Beauty is 16, today! Can you believe it? My beautiful beagle is sixteen years old!

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When I was turning 6, my uncle worked for a company that tested on animals. He rescued his dog and for my 6th birthday, grabbed me her half sister: The most beautiful pup I’ve ever seen! I got her when she was just 6 weeks old and I feel so blessed to have 16 years with her, now!  It seems surreal! We weren’t sure if she was going to make it to her 16th birthday with the health problems she was having earlier this year, but we were all wrong!

This was a big day in our house and I was prepared to celebrate!

Our day began with… uh, oh… where are the eggs? We opened the fridge and had to run out to the store so we could have our omelets this morning. My girlfriend Maggie was here so I made breakfast for the three of us, plus a sandwich for dad for work.

I browned up some turkey sausage links while I cooked Barry a jalapeno and spicy cheese egg, which I served with the sausage on toast. HE was ballsy enough to try out new ghost pepper hot sauce on the sandwich, too! For Maggie and myself, I used the the liquid egg substitute, salsa, spinach, and chopped turkey sausage with fat free cheese. She enjoyed hers with ketchup, and I with hot sauce. My breakfast was completed with a mug of coffee, while Barry’s ending with a glass of milk to cut some of the fiery hot sauce.

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After assembling a shopping list, and dropping off dad’s breakfast sandwich at his work, we ran our errands and arrived to see the birthday girl! She was sleeping, of course, but her loud mommy woke her with balloons and kisses!

By far, Beauty’s favorite treat is peanut butter! Duh! Isn’t it every ones? Every year, we typically get a coffee cake or sticky bun to celebrate, but this year, I made a peanut butter creme pie, compliments of Hungry Girl. It was delish! We all were in PB heaven.

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While this was firming up in the freezer, the birthday girl got to lick the spoon… and the bowl, while her mommy made dinner.

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Today, also happens to by National Cheese Pizza Day. I had left my scale at Barry’s and made this without weighing a simple thing, only measuring spoons, same with the salads that accompanied dinner and the PB Creme pie. This was a big step for me. So much so that I needed to take a walk while it was baking…

The pizza was one of the best I’ve made yet! The humans loved it and went back for seconds. The canine of the house was treated to a special meal, as well. I found in a health magazine a while back a recipe for heart healthy food patties for dogs. Both meals were cooking.

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WP_003760Salmon Patties for Pups

makes 8 cakes

  • 1 14.75 can salmon
  • 3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs, or panko
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Combine the first three ingredients and form 8 patties. In a hot skillet, drizzle with half the olive oil and brown one side. Drizzle the remaining oil and flip patties until the other side is browned and patties are warmed through.

These can be frozen and refrigerated.

She, too, wanted seconds! Its her birthday, so, of course, she got them!

Cheese Pizza

serves 4-8WP_003761

The Crust:

  • 1 medium to large cauliflower, chopped
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 3/4 cup shredded fat free mozzarella, further chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp minced)
  • 1/2 Tbsp cornmeal

The Topping:

  • 1/4 cup fat free ricotta
  • basil, to taste
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp pizza sauce
  • 1 cup fat free shredded mozzarella
  • granulated garlic, to taste

Steam the cauliflower with 1/3 cup water in a microwave safe bowl covered with plastic wrap. Microwave about 9 minutes. Carefully transfer the steamed cauli into a food processor and blend until the cauliflower is a rice consistency. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of “riced” cauliflower. Mix that with egg, cheese and spices. The mixture will form a dough like consistency. Sprinkle the cornmeal over the hot pizza stone or pizza pan. Spread the dough on a hot pizza stone and bake for about 20 min at 400 F.

Check, using a spatula, that the crust is not sticking to the pan/stone. Allow the crust to slightly cool while you lower the temperature of the over to 350 F. Once slightly cooled, top the crust with an even spread of ricotta, and sprinkle that with basil. Next, spread the pizza sauce, and, finally, the shredded mozzarella. Sprinkle the granulated garlic over the top and bake at 350 F for about 8 minutes.

Slice and serve.

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After our pizza and salads, we digested while Beauty took her full belly to Nap Time Land.

We eventually got the pup up, lit the candles, sang Happy Birthday, and dug in! She was so cute as she kept trying to lick the pan. This picture looks like she is trying to blow out the candles!

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She seriously loved her pie! We could not top watching how much she enjoyed it!

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Happy Birthday, Babygirl!

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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)!

Its the Little Things

Last night, was another sleepless and restless night. I don’t know if it was from my minor binge or if its because I had coffee later in the day, or if its because my mom and I are still on the rocks. Either way, I laid in bed for hours last night, just thinking about my upcoming day trip to seaside tomorrow… stressing about what I’m going to eat.

WP_003140I know I get excited over really trivial things, but yesterday my new scale came! I’m not sure if I shared with you that my food scale died on me last week. To test it, I put a baby carrot on it and it said it weighed like 805g! I don’t think so! After a trial of changing batteries, ensuring I was using a level surface, and weighing a bunch of random items, I had to accept that the scale was no longer working. RIP scale. You have been good to me. I ordered a new scale off cooking.com and lucked out when I saw it was on sale! Yesterday, a brown box arrived with a cooking.com sticker. “It’s here!!!” According to Barry, my excitement was quite amusing! I was so excited to actually see how many Popcorners actually equaled an ounce!

Yesterdays free sample from the pet store was an item I had never seen. I thought, initially it was a dog treat, but after further reading, it turned out to be actual dog food… freeze-dried dog food! Beauty loved it! The product is called Stella & Chewy’s. Beauty had the Stella’s Super Beef Dinner. They also make cat food, which I’ll have to try for Bunny. What I really liked about this product was that the first 6 ingredients actually were BEEF, followed by real ingredients like spinach, beets, pumpkin seeds, and cranberries. There are also frozen products and pet treats, as well as a nifty calculator to determine how much food your dog or cat will require based on weight, activity level, and type of food. To add to the already cool concept of freeze-dried pet food, Stella & Chewy’s donates a portion of their profits to no-kill shelters and animal rescues!

*Please know that this review is NOT sponsored my Stella & Chewy’s in any way.

WP_003137As I told you yesterday, I like fruit in my shakes, and I cannot lie! I used my new scale to weigh out everything today! First, was the banana for my Blueberry Banana Latte shake.

1/2  frozen banana

1 scoop Herbalife Cafe Latte mix

2 Tbsp Da Vinci sugar free Blueberry syrup

(1/4 tsp xanthum, optional)

Frank’s shake turned out super delicious! I threw a bunch of frozen cantaloupe and some frozen mango in with vanilla shake mix!

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Tomorrow, I am taking dad to the shore, so the last few days, I’ve been trying to eat right since boardwalk food isn’t exactly known to be the healthiest… especially not  the stuff that I want to eat like pizza, sausage, and custard! (Not all together, but you know…)

Although the little binges do not help, my eating has been decent otherwise. My diet has been full of fruits and veggies lately, too! One of the many pros of warm weather is fresh produce!

I was back at work tonight. Dinner was simple and in the form of a hot pocket-esque burrito: Amy’s Tofu Scramble in a Pocket Sandwich. My past experience with tofu scrambles is that they require a decent amount of seasoning, so just in case, I brought some chili powder and crushed red pepper flakes to work with me.

WP_003139After last night’s snack attack, I wanted to be prepared, so I also sliced half a bell pepper and brought it to work with some Walden Farms dressing for dipping.

Now let me tell you what really happened… Obviously, I typed up my dinner before leaving for work. I arrived at work only to find out that our census on the unit had recently dropped. Okay, I guess either Katie or myself will get pulled to another unit. Then, I found out that the entire hospital had a low census and neither one of us was needed. One of us was being sent home. Since Katie was driving from Pennsylvania, and I knew she would be arriving shortly, I surprised myself when I offered to go home. I only live about 20 minutes away and I took it as a sign from God to study for the boards, and protect myself from the cupcakes in the break room. It also gave me the opportunity to talk things out with mom…

I decided to head back to the pet store to grab Beauty a bag of the new dog food, see what all the hype was about with this Blue Buffalo stuff, and grab Bunny a sample of Stella & Chewy’s to try.

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The cat enjoyed her Heavenly Herring and Tuna, and Beauty scarfed down her small can of Wellness, as she always does. I like Wellness food for her because like Stella & Chewy’s the first ingredients actually are meat! In the past, Beauty has really enjoyed the Turkey & Sweet Potato and the Venison & Sweet Potato. This morning, I mixed half of the small can of Duck & Sweet Potato with her dry food. On this visit, I grabbed the Lamb & Sweet Potato, as well as S&C’s Duck, Duck, Goose freeze-dried patties. As for Bunny, I recently tried him with Wellness food, and he, too, ate his bowl clean. The canned cat food happened to be on sale (woot, woot)! I’ll let you know about the Blue Buffalo. I definitely would agree that the dry food is too expensive!

It amazes me some of the food combinations that companies have for animals. I don’t believe in spending a fortune on pet food, but I do believe that my animals are my family and should be treated as such. I’m glad that there are companies that feel the same, and create foods to nourish our babies!

I came home and devoured my sliced bell pepper! I was so hungry. Barry stopped by before he headed off to work, and Frank and I began to assemble our dinners. Since I was home, we sprinkled a salmon fillet with some adobo and baked it in the toaster over. We both created a spring mix salad, mine with peppers, carrots, and onions, a piece of the salmon fillet, and a drizzle of fat free Honey Dijon. Frank kicked it Ceasar-style.

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Meanwhile, work called to bring me in at 7pm. I was not too apt to drive back to work since I had just arrived back home from there. After a discussion with the supervisor, we worked things out and I was able to stay home for the night. Now, I can go to bed early to prepare for tomorrow, do some laundry, study, and relax, plus I already picked up extra shifts for the week! I’m thankful things worked out!

Still a bit hungry, I indulged in some cantaloupe and pretzel sticks! Yeah… now that I type it out, thats a weird combination…

You can’t feel too bad about eating too much fruit… I’d rather eat that than junk food…

You know that feeling you get when you check Facebook, and you have a new friend request, or when someone invites you to an event, or when you get a new follower on Tumblr. I had that feeling waking up this morning. I received two emails from wordpress.com, the host site of Be Well Bundo. One stated that a person liked “Everyone Needs Cheerleaders” and the other, that I had gotten a new follower. Naturally, I get curious about these people and return the favor of checking out their blogs. Both people were using blogging to help cope with their eating disorders, one with anorexia, and the other with bingeing and bulimia.

I read through some of their posts, recognizing their feelings and sentiments, remembering being in those similar situations, trying to find ways out. Its the little things like that, that make me smile. Knowing that through our blogs, we not only help each other, but ourselves. We have outlets, validation of our feelings, knowing we are not alone, and most importantly, making new friends and contacts to be our cheerleaders in the fight.

Its the little things like that…