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?

Candy Bars

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

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

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Banana blueberry pancakes topped with blueberry syrup! Heck Yes!

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

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

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Delicious!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And for Dinner, I’m Making Falafel

Every time I say “falafel,” I think of Donkey from Shrek… “And in the morning, I’m making waffles!”

Waffle… -lafel… you get my connection?

After dad’s experience with Falafel at Moaz, hes been insistant on eating it for a Lenten Friday night dinner. Even at the store, he wants to buy it! I talked him into letting me try to make if from scratch!

Last night, I used the Hungry Girl recipe for it and made the dip that goes with it. Dad ate his pita-style while I deconstructed mine into a spinach salad! I was iffy about the dill dip for a few reasons: A) dill can be a really strong flvor that tends to overwhelm my palate, and B) iI’m not a huge fan of plain yogurt. Let me just start by saying how simple this recipe was and how shocked I was that this dip was perfection! After combining the ingredients for the dip, and sampling it, I actually verbally exclaimed, “Oh wow! Oh yeah! mmm…” My mom, who can’t stand yogurt of any kind actually ate this dip too! I think it had a lot to do with cuccumber. It really mellowed out the greek yogurt’s natural tang. This stuff is officially a Bundo house staple! I’m thinking it would be a great sub for mayo on a sandwich!

Any way… back to falafel.. I followed everything in the recipe, with a few minor adjustments:WP_001613

  • 1/4 tsp and both paprika and black pepper for the falafel mix
  • half a peeled and deseeded large cucumber for the dip
  • I also did not have fresh herb, so I used dry herbs

* Just a note: If you do not have fresh herbs, you can use 1/3 the amount of dried herbs. For every 1Tbsp of fresh herbs, use 1 tsp of the dried stuff.

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all mashed up

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all rolled out

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all baked

To semi mirror the variety  of toppings that Moaz has, we mixed the dill cucumber yogurt dip with some bagged shredded coleslaw  vegetables, and I sliced some red pepper and roasted them! The slaw gave it a nice crunch and the red peppers were warm and sweet!

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While the falafel baked, I cut up this monsterouly large pineapple!  Great dessert!

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If you enjoy chickpeas, check out these other chickpea recipes: Chicken Garam Masala and Chickpea based bars.

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Dad’s pita

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Sammy’s Salad

After dinner, I met up with some people from work at the bowling alley, and took dad as my date. When I was younger, and it was still affordable, dad and I went bowling every Friday night. Bowling with such good company was a lot of fun! We did a unit shot of Pucker’s Sour Apple, and majority of the group indulged in Miller Lite.

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After a few round of enjoyable, yet completely terrible bowling, Dad and I headed out to a social club he belongs to. There I drank a glass of merlot and woah did that hit me quick! I felt like I was a freshman in college, again… not being able to hold my alcohol! I get silly and giggly when I drink, and last night was no different. He was alot of fun though, spending a nice night out with my dad!

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When I got home (dad drove) I was craving the pizza my mom ordered.one of the bad things about drinking is the loss of  inhibition, causing us to make poor decisions, including food ones. I have to say though, I ate a slice of pizza and a 100 cal bag of popcorn, with nutella. I could have done worse!

This morning, I was not too hungry (since my tipsy tummy fill last night), but after a little tidying up and a cup of hot tea, I decided to try another new yogurt. I get really excited about trying new things. Thats how you know I have a passion for food. Anyway, I found Fage Passion Fruit Clementine yogurt and the combination really intrigued me! The fruit puree was tart and taste and sweet and exotic. I sprinkled some chia on top and  really enjoyed it!

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The last couples days, I’ve been in a funk and extrememly tired. Today, I was finally able to get myself sort-of moving. I completed on of my favorite circuits, Julie’s Super Sweaty Ab Workout. Although, it doesn’t sound like much, it helped make me feel like I did something. My girlfriend reminded me to be proud of my workouts. No matter what I did, its better than doing nothing. This, my friends, is called looking at the glass half full.

After this short spurt, I cut into a fuji apple. This baby was perfectly ripe! Mmmm so crisp! And a teaspoon of raw almond butter was a nice touch! (I finished this apple when I got home from work!)

WP_001639I am working for a girl tonight, since she covered my shift last weekend when I was in the Vagina Monolgues. I brought Pacific Food’s Hearty Corn Chowder, and ate this with saltines. While here, I also snacked on some dangerously delicious decedent trail mix! I recognized my fullness and went back to work! (I don’t think I’d recommend this soup.)WP_001640

I am sitting with a patient tonight. This patient ran out of the room and I ran after! I had no idea I could run that fast. Another nurse ran down the other side of the hallway! It was great team work and an unexpected way to break up the night.

Speaking of teamwork, I have never experienced such great teamwork than I have tonight! Six of us in a room! All working together to accomplish a task! Beautiful!

I’m heading to bed with a full tummy! Good night!

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Playing Catch Up

This rainy Tuesday morning (3/12) started out with a shake and hot tea. The Black and Muddy recipe calls for chocolate shake mix, coffee syrup, cappuccino mix, peanut butter, and chocolate pudding mix. I dumbed it down this morning:WP_001516

1 Cafe Latte Muscle Milk Light
2 Tbsp ChocolatePB2
1/2 Tbsp sugar free Chocolate pudding mix

I must say, it was very similar to the original and I got my chocolate fix early in the day.
Speaking of chocolate and peanut butter, I also got a fix with a 90 calorie chewy Fiber One bar! Mmmm! Chocolate and Peanut Butter… Is there any better combination?

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I wasn’t quite in the mood for a workout, but not working out all weekend was really starting to  get to my head. I figured this would be  good way to clear my head and prepare for endless studying! However, I feeling rather uninspired. Thank goodness for Courtney, who asked if I wanted to do today’s circuit. I asked if I could share it with you and without further ado…

Courtney’s Total Body Circuit: complete 1 minute of each, following the laps

4 laps around the gym (basketball court)run backwards

plank extensions

heel to the heavens, with exercise ball

360 degree shoulder raise

2 laps runningjumping jacksbicep curls with isometric hold, alternating sides

elbow to high knees

chest flies

 ↓  ↓
3 laps runningside shufflesquat press

mountain climbers

standing incline chest press

fast feet

1 lap running

1 lap walking

 

I’ll tell ya, out of everything in this, I felt the Heels to the Heavens burn the most! Intense! (Definitely use an exercise ball to feel this one!) By the end of this workout, I could could feel the sweat dripping down my nose! It was just what I needed today: something quick and something to burn!

After a much needed shower, I hit the caf to enjoy my dinner, a salad and post workout orange. The tempeh really stole the show on this one! Wowzah! It added so much flavor and texture to the salad!

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After a few hours of learning about traumatic brain injuries, I headed to practice. To hold me over I tried a new yogurt: Fage flip Orange Cinnamon. When I saw it, two things popped in my head a) must add flax, and b) I hope it doesn’t taste like potpourri. I know thats a weird thing to think, but its the first thing to pop in my head.. hello.. orange… cinnamon… fall… potpourri…

Anyway, I rather enjoyed it.

So I’ve been referring to “practice” for the past few weeks now, and I suppose that since this week is the big event, I should come clean…

I am in the Vagina Monologues! I saw them last year and felt so empowered, so invigorated . I needed to be part of this. Today was a dress rehearsal and I can not believe how fantastic it has come together!

PS. My eating was fan-freaking-tastic today! Not too much, not too little! Things are definitely turning around! Yay!

Friday:

Over the next few days, nothing but studying was endured. In fact, I could not make it to dress rehearsal for the Monologues and they almost cut my out of the show! I know, crazy, right.

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Test Day breakfast: Peaches and Cream Oatmeal with flax and a cup of tea

Sometimes in life, you need to make a judgement call. I stand by mine. As much as I love the show, my education comes first! Luckily, God blessed me with both! I passed my exam, and last night was opening night of the Monologues! It was a brutal exam and an excellent show! For the next few nights, I will be in the show! All the money we raise goes to Project Life Line, and organization aiding rape victims and those victim of sexual abuse or assault. It covers a wide variety of problems, and its an amazing feeling to know that I am helping bring awareness to such issues.

during intermission of opening night

during intermission of opening night

Have you ever had to make a judgement call? What was it? Did if have the desired outcome? 

or

What kind of events have you participated in that support projects you are passionate about?

After the show, I went straight to work… talk about dedication! Just kidding! Yay for 7-Eleven and the endless supply of coffee and mixed fruits!

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Since I ate “dinner” Friday morning, it was meat free. I love Amy’s meals for a meat free option! This morning I ate Amy’s Mexican Tamale Bowl. I WP_001545always add a decent amount chili powder and hot sauce to spice it up! I split a veggie omelette with a friend at work and made it like a huevos ranchero with the tamale pie! Genius!

As I came home from work this morning, I could not decided whether to hit the sack or indulge my growling belly. Belly it was and I dug into a big bowl or assorted cereals (Cheerios, Kix and the like) and a fruit salad!

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I have to say though, one of my favorite things I ate this week was called a Crazy Apple. They are apples that have been flavored. I tried out the Pomegranate Grape and couldn’t get enough. It wasn’t an overwhelming overly sweet grape flavor like I was afraid of. I can’t wait to try the Tropical flavor!

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I’m In Love

Its official. I’m in love… with a little boy I’ve been caring for at my clinical site. Some of the children at this site are up for adoption. I would take him home in a heartbeat! In fact, the nurse said that he could totally pass for my son, and when his family came to visit, I said “come on, lets go see your mommy!” He ran to me! Ugh! Every time  his family held him, he cried and reached for me! Hes melting my heart.

If only…..  ❤

Since today is a long day, I wanted to start my day with some caffeination. A started another chilly morning with a shake. When I use this liquid, I don’t like the icey consistency  that it makes, so I add guar gum to smooth it out:

1 Cafe Latte Muscle Milk LightWP_001402

1/2 half frozen banana

1/8 tsp guar gum

This kept me going for the morning, as did a cup of hot green tea. Lunch was welcomed this afternoon: A salad, carrots, onions, green peppers, topped with chicken, sunflower seeds and sugar free honey mustard dressing! I love this line by Maple Grove Farms! Their sugar free balsamic vinaigrette is to die for!

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After clinical post conference, I hit the gym and completed a workout. I drew this up during some free time in clinical.WP_001404

It began and ended with 5 minutes on the elliptical, riding backwards. A 20 minute interval treadmill workout was samwiched in between two strength circuits. The progression of events look something like this:

Elliptical– 5min- 11 resistance (backwards)

Strength

Sitting Crunch 53 lbs 60 reps
Chest Press 25 lbs 60 reps
Leg Adductor 50 lbs 60 reps
Double Crunches   25 crunches
Bicycle Crunches   25 crunches
Tricep Extensions 30 lbs 60 reps

(I could really feel the burn in my arms and legs!)

Treadmill

Minutes

Speed

Incline

1-4

4

8

4-8

4

12

8-10

6.5

1

10-12

7

1

12-15

4

8

15-17

6.5

2

17-20

4

8

(I love the incline! Just like last time, as soon as I hit the 6 minute mark, sweat started pouring down!)

Repeat Strength

Elliptical– 5min- 11 resistance (backwards)

On my way to rehearsal, I tried a new Fage 0%: Apple Cinnamon Raisin. Of course, flax accompanied this to play off the autumn tone of the yogurt fruits.

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My eating was fantaabulous today! I was so proud of myself! Until the munch set it. I didn’t have anything else to eat so I stopped by Rite Aid. My favorite candy was on sale for 88 cents! Its normally almost 4 dollars!

That was my mistake. I went to town on some sugar free Russell Stover’s candy and finished off a bag of Teddy Grahams. Grrrrrrrr!!!!

Other than this binge, today was great! I’m really starting to feel like the nurse I want to be!