Patient Birthdays

Saturday

Today, a very dear patient of mine celebrated their birthday with us at the hospital. Unfortunately, I have celebrated many patient birthdays in the hospital. At least, they are surrounded by people who love them!

This evening, my patient had loads of cupcakes that their family had brought in. I couldn’t leave the room without grabbing one. I decided to ask Amy if she would split them with me.

This is always a trouble, when patients and families give you food. You hate to say, “no,” so you take it. Even when you do say, “no,” they continue to insist, and you take it anyway. My eating had been great all day so I felt little,but some, guilt about splitting cupcakes with my one of my girlfriends for a patient who means so much to me.

It was a nice sweet treat that worried me about spiraling into a cupcake frenzy. Both were vanilla cupcakes, one from a bakery around their home, with cream cheese frosting, and the other, a homemade one with cookies n’ cream icing. With my love of oreos, I snagged the cookies n’ cream cupcake and called dibs on the mini oreo topping it! Yum!

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Backing up bit, breakfast was a smoothie bowl. Today is National Strawberry Cream. I feel like its kind of an incompletely titled holiday but nonetheless:

Strawberry Cream Protein Smoothie

  • 1 strawberry yogurt
  • 1/2 to 1 scoop vanilla protein
  • frozen strawberries
  • guar and xnathum
  • water
  • ice

I topped mine with Special K Protein cereal for crunch, at first. But then, I realized that freeze-dried strawberries were an awesome topping, too!

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Dinner was a bowl of soup, topped with salsa, and a side of celery sticks for snacking. The meal was paired with half an oreo cupcake!

I’m usually not a fan of clerking, but tonight was great because we had tons of discharges and I kept busy for majority of the night!

Sunday

With another shift of work ahead of me, I enjoyed  a yummy coffee protein bowl in honor of National Coffee Day! I actually was a coffee fiend, ironically, all day!

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The shake was a blend of Cafe Latte mix, spinach, fresh raspberries, CPB2, and SF raspberry and Kahlua syrups. To top it off, I crumbled a quarter of a Gnu Espresso Chip bar (I’m so bummed this flavor is discontinued). I love having that ability to chew, not just drink my shakes. Plus, it makes the shake so much more filling and is also a combo of chocolate and coffee.

I grabbed a cup of coffee before work, and headed off to my unit. It was another great night on the unit. It was another night of filling (Not So) soup and celery sticks. With this experimentality of mine, I tried adding a little honey mustard and BBQ sauce from the caf. It actually gave the soup a really nice flavor- almost a southwestern inspiration.

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Right before dinner, I was surprised how bad I wanted another cup of coffee. Its amazing how tastes change as you age. I was never a coffee drinker until high school- hot tea was always my thing. The only time I would drink coffee was to feel like my dad. Now, I actually am a coffee addict!

I can still remember my parents ordering a cheesesteak with friend onions, and sitting there trying to pick out all the little slivers with my fingers. Or picking off the onions and peppers off a sausage sandwich. Or Thursday Wing nights, when dad would bring home hot wings, I would wash off the sauce before eating them. Now, it seems like every day is started with a cup of the good stuff, almost every meal had peppers or onions, and hot sauce is always my go-to condiment!

They say our bodies change about every 7 years… maybe thats the reason our taste buds change, too!

WP_004058Speaking of changing tastes, I never thought I’d enjoy Cajun Trail Mix. I mean. everyone loves trail mix, but Deb, one of our nurses, brought this bag of trail mix in. I was getting hungry and gave it a try. Those butter roasted peanuts make it! That salty, sweet and crunchy combination of all the ingredients makes this stuff hard to resist!

Getting home, and having worked on the floor for my shift, I was surprised by how hungry I was. I actually would up eating a whole head of romaine lettuce! (I’m like a rabbit.) Some fabulous Rainbow Goldfish joined the party, too.

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I can feel the wave of exhaustion rushing over me and I am hoping to have a relatively early start tomorrow. With that, I say goodnight!

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Nutella with Raspberries

WP_003704Wednesday 8/28

As Barry headed off to work, I slept in for a bit until getting up to meet Frank at the farmers market at 9am. Breakfast was small and quick, as I was still shockingly full from last night. A Creme Brulee sugar free rice pudding and large glass of sparkling water sufficed.

We ran a few errands, and just as we were loading up the the truck at the last stop, the cloudy sky opened up and poured! It poured for hours! When we got home and unloaded, I headed to bed for night shift and when I woke up from my 3 hour nap,it was still pouring! In fact, it stopped just long enough for me to run the recycling and trashcans out and get to my car for work. 5 minutes after being in the car, it started pouring, again! Then, on my way from the parking garage, as I made a run for it, I saw the creek was almost to the top! Talk about rain!

The smell of Frank’s cooking is what woke me up this afternoon! I love his stir fry, so while I sat down to my snack, I stole some veggies and shrimp from the skillet. Hey, I had to make sure it wasn’t poisonous!

Frank and my dad had voiced some concerns the last few days. My dad mentioned that it looked like I was loosing weight, again, and he wasn’t pleased. This afternoon, Frank talked to me over my yogurt, as said he was worried about me. “You look on the pale side, and your WP_003705soft spoken. You’re starting to worry me. I’m not used to you being so quiet. You’re usually so boystrous.” He’s right, though, I haven’t felt myself the last few days. In fact, I’ve been doing nothing, but stressing about food! Maybe its because I was surrounded by food all weekend, and this was my way of feeling in control? I’m not quite sure, but its nice to know that I have my dads and Barry there for me.

Backing up to the yogurt. It was like a was fiending for caffeine! I had a bowl of light coffee yogurt, and crumbled half a Gnu Espresso Chip bar on top. Yum! I was definitely digging it and it really filled me up.

After changing my meals about 6 times, today, I decided to pack things that I could burn off over my shift: Be Well Nutella on toast with raspberries, steamed broccoli and petite carrots and celery sticks.

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I was clerking for the first 4 hours of my shift and as usual, my 10pm hunger was kicking in. I tried desperately to ignore it, but one of the guys, here, kept talking about how he wanted to get a Baconator! Oh man! Yes, please! That was it. I grabbed a pack of graham crackers and ate them with a bit of PB to keep me going until my 2 am lunch break. I have to say that as soon as I swallowed the last bit, I immediately began a guilt trip on myself!

The reminder of the shift was spent on the floor. The nutella and raspberries are great, by the way!

Autism Awareness Walk

A couple weeks ago, I saw a billboard for the local Autism Awareness Walk. I called my little cousin and asked if she would join me. My little cousin is a twin, and her twin sister is autistic. I registered the two of us as “Team Jacki,” but our team quickly grew. I got my mom to join and my cousin rounded up some of her friends!

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“Autism is the most common condition in a group of developmental disorders known as autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Autism is characterized by impairments in three distinctive areas:

  • Verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Social interactions
  • Repetitive behaviors

It is estimated that between 1 in 80 and 1 in 240 with an average of 1 in 110 children in the United States have an ASD.

*compliments of Autism Delaware
For those Delawarean wanting to know more, visit Autism Delaware.

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It was a great day spent with my family. After the walk, there was a BBQ and ice cream and the kids loved it! The bunch of us laid around on the grass, taking in the beautiful, sunny day!

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Upon arriving home, I really wanted a burger. I heated Morning Star Farms Grillers California Turk’y Burger (one of my favorites!), and topped it with onion, sliced mushrooms, spinach, and a slice of fat free cheese, on an Arnold Flax and Fiber Sandwich Thins .

Fiber, Ice Cream, and Indian

Today was my first day of patient care at my new clinical site. Without revealing too much, I can say that two of my three  patients kept me on my toes as soon as I got onto the unit with abnormal breathing and chest pain! But no worries! They are feeling much better!

This is a much different setting than a hospital, but I like that I get to really know my patients since I get to be with the same three patients for the next three weeks.

Since I have trouble eating super early in the morning, I took a 10 minute break around 1045 and indulged in a cup of coffee and a Vanilla Blueberry Luna Fiber Bar. Let me tell ya, as long as these are around, Nutri-Grain will never get business from me. They remind me of a Nutri-Grain bar, since its baked and fruit filled, but less calories and less sugar. The Luna Fiber bars come in three flavors, all phenom: Chocolate Raspberry, Peanut Butter Strawberry, and Vanilla Blueberry. The only down side is that I can only find these in a few stores, so when I get to those stores, I really stock up!

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Mom asked me to swing by Walgreens on the way home and I really wanted a cookie. As i wandered the store, something caught my eye.

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I ate half for an afternoon pick-me-up. Gooey caramel, chocolate, ice cream! I just wish there were more cookie crunches.

I spent the remainder of the afternoon watching lectures and working on paperwork for school. Using all that brain power builds up an appetite. Not really in the mood for any meat, I took out an Amy’s Light and Lean meal: Mattar Paneer. You know I’ve really been on an Indian food kick and this was yummy! It was perfectly seasoned and oh so savory and filling! I loved the flavoring of the peas, paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and lentils mixed with the rice.  This picture just does not do it justice. (Actually, my pictures look pretty terrible.) But if you like a dish full of savory flavor, this is where its at!

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The remainder of the night, I’m in study mode for the exam on Thursday.

By the way, today is the Day of the Mushroom. You could totally utilize those bad boys and make yesterday’s dish!

Bye-Bye Bars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I plan on some hard core cramming tonight and tomorrow.

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

Summertime Blues

One of my absolute favorite things about the summer is the fresh produce, and among this produce, Blueberries.

Oddly enough, I love blueberry everything, but I’m not a huge fan of blueberries, straight up. Blueberries are considered  a super fruit so I love incorporating them into things like blueberry muffins, blueberry banana shakes, cottage cheese, and don’t even get me started on the blueberry preserves my girlfriend brings me back from Bar Harbor! Wowza!

Some Blueberry bars that have made it into my tummy include:

Atkins Blueberry Almond Baked Square

I’m a big fan of tasty and filling snacks with so few calories and carbs! This square has real blueberries and chunks of almonds in every bite! The added drizzle of icing on top is just the sweet tip to tie to square together!

BelVita Blueberry Biscuits

I was always skeptical of the BelVita line. I mean, could they really be that filling? Would this really hold me over? I decided to give it a try after seeing them on sale at the 7-Eleven. I got the Blueberry flavor and, boy, was sure wrong! I was amazed at how much blueberry was in the breakfast biscuits. Not only are their blueberry pieces  the flavor radiates throughout the crackers. They are more like cookies, actually. And, hey, who doesn’t like cookies for breakfast?

Clif Bar Blueberry Crisp

I particularly enjoy this bar as morning meal. The blueberries really shine in this bar. Its filling from the organic oats, and powers you with the organic dates and blueberries. As soon as you tear into the package, you get hit with this unbelievable fruity aroma! The whole bar is swirled with blue, so each bite gives you that mildly sweet and chewy satisfaction. I really enjoy this bar and its great on my super busy days!

Check out the Blueberry Cobbler from Gnu Foods!

KIND Blueberry Pecan+ Fiber

Pecans can be a pretty tasteless nut by itself. I enjoy this bar, but I do wish the blueberry shown through a bit more. But, lets be honest.. you know I’ll eat it… hello, Fiber!

KIND Pomegranate Blueberry Pistachio +AntioxidantsWP_000988

I like the unique flavor the pistachios add to this bar, however, I do wish the fruit would shine through more. But, KIND can never get rid of me. I love them all! The mass amounts of vitamins in this bar helps, too!

WP_001063Larabar’s Blueberry Muffin

I made a note to try this bar twice. I’ll admit, I liked it even better the second time around. There are big pieces of dried blueberries which add texture and tartness, but the flavor is mild enough to not overwhelm your taste buds like some blueberry flavored  items.

Blueberry Bliss Luna BarWP_000989

An amazing breakfast! Its crisp like all Lunas but topped with a blueberry puree to give is some sweetness! MMMM One of my favorites!

Vanilla Blueberry Luna Fiber Bar

Speaking of Luna, once you bite into this one, you’ll never look at another baked, fruit filled bar, again. Eat your heart out, Nutri-Grain!

Rendezvous 302

On nights that I binge, I have a hard time shutting my self down. I try to utilize that energy. Last night I was quite the multitasker! I fell asleep around 0300 after alternating between watching lectures, watching Footloose, working out, and looking up crock pot oatmeal recipes (I’m determined to get my dad to like oatmeal).

Crumple, crumple, crumple… thats the sound that woke me up this morning. My mom was crumpling up papers to start a fire. Buzzzzz, Buzzzzzz…. the sound of my dad calling my cell. Do these parents have some timing or what?!

Well, it was noon…..  😛

I had every intention of taking Beauty for a run this AM but it was bitter! Instead, I did a quick 20min Dave Sinclair workout OnDemand and finished just in time to head off to class.

I wasn’t the least bit hungry till about 1630. However I did manage to sneak in one of my favorite candies: Russell Stouffer’s Sugar Free Peanut Butter Crunch! Have you ever known me to turn down PB? I think not!

I ran out of cottage cheese last night (OH NO) so dad decided to rendezvous at ShopRite to pick up a few things. Like I said, I parked further away from the doors and ran to and from my car. I walk swiftly in the stores and to my classes. In my mind, every bit of extra anything counts (at least thats what keeps me sane).

For dinner, I made the mother of all smoothie bowls, black forest cake style!

The following went into the magic Bullet, into a bog bowl, and then into my tummy:

3/4 cup frozen unsweetened pitted cherries
1 Danon Light and Fit Cherry Greek yogurt
1 scoop Chocolate Metabolife
1 Tbsp Herbalife Personalized Protein Powder
1/2 Tbsp Hershey Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp ground flax
ice
1/4 tsp xanthum
1 cup (about 20g) kale
splash of rum extract
1 sugar free oreo

After i poured it in the bowl and took a few bites, I realized what would make it even better: Ch-ch-ch-chia Seeds! I topped the bowl with about 1 1/2 Tbsp.

The bowl was so filling with 9g of fiber and 25g of protein, I ate half and had to finish the rest later the night.

I need to be an early bird for work tomorrow.

Nighy Night