Lost Dog

This morning did NOT start the way I had intended. I planned on waking up, having an apple and PB, a cup of coffee, maybe a dip in the pool before heading back home from Barry’s house. Instead, I received a phone call from Frank saying that he can’t find Beauty! Barry and I jumped up, got dressed and bolted onto the highway to get to my parents house.

Has your pet ever gotten out?

It is absolutely the worst feeling! Beauty, my baby, who I’ve had since I was 6 and she was just 3 weeks old… My 15 year old baby… out in this 98 degree weather…. Is she okay? She needs water! Its too hot out here for her! Where is she? God, please bring her back to me. Please let her be okay!

Tears and sweat streaming down my face as Barry, dad, Frank, my neighbor, and I scoured the neighborhood….

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she digs her baths

I was beginning to loose hope as my anxiety and fatigue and dehydration worsened. At last, Barry called my phone and I expected to hear that she was no where to be found. “I’ve got her.” Oh, thank, God!! I ran down the road, back to my car and drove to pick her up. A neighbor put her in the house so she could cool off and had called the ASPCA, since my mom had removed Beauty’s collar. I could not thank the man enough for watching out for her.

I picked her up, thanked the man, profusely, and kissed her, repeatedly, as I carried her to the car. I thought it was funny that he compliment how clean she was…  She loves a good bath!

Exhausted, I grabbed everyone tall glasses of cold beverages, and whipped up pancakes to thank the guys for their help. I, on the other hand, found myself, nibbling on random items… a slice of pineapple, some cantaloupe, a few pieces of cereal, a glass of milk…

Once I ate a cookie, I knew I was emotionally eating. I diverted my attention to job search, going into the yard to weed the garden, studying for the boards, blogging, painting my nails… Anything to take my mind off eating and anything to keep me from feeling guilty…

By the way, Beauty is a bit tuckered out and is currently passed out right in front of the air conditioner vent.

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Once my emotions settled down, and I spent about two hours sending out resumes, I still found myself trying to nibble. I drank a glass of water and began to cook dinner. When I was at the farmers market the other day, I picked up two heads of bok choy. I eat the heck out of this stuff at Chinese restaurants and wanted to try my hand at it. I cut to base and gave the stalks a good rinse, and tossed then, along with a cup of quartered mushrooms and 1 1/2 cups of frozen broccoli florets into a skillet. I poured about 1/4 cup of water and 2 Tbsp of left over garlic sauce on top, covered it and let the vegetables steam over medium-low heat. I debated adding shrimp, which would have been spectacular, but kept it veggie style and dug in with my chop sticks! Delicious! I’m so making this again! And it was sooooo simple!

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By the way, bok choy is seen in many Asian dishes and is in the cabbage family. Here is some more info on the crunchy, cancer-fighting, weightloss veggie!

WP_003124Following dinner, I sugar free fruit cup and spoonful of cottage cheese became dessert.

I also owe, you, readers, an apology. Aside from Zumba, I have not been working out much. The heat, here, has been pretty intense, and I’ve been getting lightheaded a lot lately. I know its not a super excuse from drifting away from fitness posts, but I hope you can forgive me and still find the blog enjoyable and helpful.

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Strawberries and Mango

I wanted to make today a mildly productive day, and it was. It began with two super yummy shakes!

When I got down to some random frozen fruit, I diced it all up and made one big frozen fruit salad, containing bananas, apples, and assorted berries. This, combined with chocolate protein mix, made and incredibly delicious and creamy shake for Frank. Since I love froyo, oh, so much, and am constantly topping my sugar free strawberry with chunks of mango, I took the cue.

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1/3 cup halved, frozen strawberriesWP_002900

2/3 cup cubed, frozen mango

1 Tbsp Torani sugar free coconut syrup

Wowzah! That was a tropical dream!

After my shake and a cup of coffee, I grabbed Beauty and pampered her! She got her nails trimmed and a nice bath! It always amazes me how much a dog can shed! Nonetheless, she got a little pep in her step and went to show off how clean and fluffy she was to Bunny.

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I think that little pep tired this old gal out… nap time for Beauty!!!

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Following her bath, I checked on my discounted pears I had picked up. Perfect consistency for my Bakeri-inspired coffee cake! I’ve cooked for Barry, but never baked for him. I made a slight alteration to the recipe. Rather than layering the thinly sliced apple, I finely diced it and incorporated it into the batter. I then layered the pears, since they cook down a lot easier.

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I did have some pears left over, so I did the same and tossed them into the last layer of batter. I feel like the cake was so much moister this time around, since the juices from the apples were evenly distributed.

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Barry stopped by after work and I gave him some. It must have been good because he didn’t have any left by the end of the night and told me it was “delicious” and that I should feel free to make it anytime.

I did not have much an appetite today… but Frank wanted to take me out for dinner… for sushi… Dilemma. I compromised. We ordered a large hot and sour soup (always with added hot sauce) and a large shrimp with steamed vegetables, with garlic sauce. Much healthier and portion controlled than going to a sushi buffet.

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I love this stuff! I could eat it all day! Its just so refreshing, and I’ve really gotten Frank hooked on the stuff, too!

To finish off my night, a little Zumba! I mentioned last week that the instructor invited me to help lead the class. I did it for the first time, today! It was funny, at first, because I had to remember I needed to be the mirror image of what I usually do. It took a few seconds, but it finally got it. Dancing really gets me going and I think the instructor could tell how much fun I was having. Plus, it makes me go harder knowing that people are watching me, and that if I’m having a good time, they will, too!

After showering off my Zumba stank, and folding some laundry, and posting this post, of course, I will spending the rest of the night in bed sending out resumes.

Chocolate Rain

Today began early with working day shift. I woke to a gloomy Friday morning, much like most of the east coast. Once I arrived at work and received my assignment, I made a mug of coffee (thank you, Mr. Keurig) and grabbed my breakfast.

WP_002566It has taken this paranoid mind of mine a while to come around to trying this mornings breakfast. I have heard rave reviews about this yogurt from everyone I’ve spoken to about it, but thought 230 calories was a bit much for yogurt. Nonetheless, I finally tried out Chobani flip Almond Coco Loco. This was actual coconut yogurt with actual shredded coconut in it! So sweet! The add-ins were shaved dark chocolate and almond slices. It was quite the rich breakfast, but very filling.

As I entered the break room, I was greeted by sourdough pretzels, red velvet iced sugar cookies, Hershey kisses and Italian chocolates. One of the girls on night shift was raving about this Italian chocolate called Baci so I made a point to grab one. Wow! Smooth velvety chocolate, draped over chopped hazelnuts!

I must admit that my eating was not ideal today. I offered to work overtime to help out the unit, so my dinner wound up being sourdough pretzels and dark chocolate Hershey kisses. Dessert, was a red velvet cookie. I don’t even like red velvet, but there is something about these cooked that get me every time. Yes, I know, I am the pillar of health.WP_002567

Cautiously battling the rain home, I passed a family of geese. It reminded me of how even during these miserable days, there is always something beautiful. Always something magical. Always something to make you smile. The weather was miserable, but the baby geese followed their mom and it reminded me how excited I was to spend the evening with my mom and how thankful I am that her and I battled our addictions and illnesses together and how much stronger a relationship we have now.

On the way home, my body craved more chocolate… veggies. Luckily, there was no guessing what I wanted. A small order if steamed veggies with garlic sauce, no rice, and a small hot and sour soup. Finally, some actual nutrients!

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PS. Do you remember that song “Chocolate Rain?”

Pinning

Two nights ago, when I left work, I started feeling really weird. As I walked out to my car, my body started feeling like it did when I was sick. I felt weak and tired, like I had no strength. I think it scared me into eating when I got home. Although it was 11pm, and I do not like to eat that late, it made me nervous.

The next morning, feeling some guilt about eating so late, I wanted to started the day off right with a long overdue smoothie bowl. We have tons of apples in the house and I really had a hankering for a cheesecake shake. I decided to make a Apple Crumb Cheesecake Shake (with spinach, of course, for some added vitamins).

Apple Crumb Cheesecake Smoothie BowlWP_002358

half a diced apple

1 sheet of reduced fat cinnamon graham crackers

1 Tbsp sugar free cheesecake pudding mix

handful of spinach

1/8 tsp guar gum

1/4 tsp xanthum

water

ice

This was pretty good, but a few hours later I really wanted granola. Sticking with the creamy theme, I enjoyed a Yoplait Light Banana Cream yogurt with a Kashi Pumpkin Spice Flax granola bar. Perfectly satisfying. My favorite way to do this lunch though, is with the Nature Valley Peanut Butter granola bar! Peanut butter and banana! Can this combo ever be wrong? I don’t think so.

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Last night was the graduating class’ pinning ceremony. The pinning ceremony is like a right of passage for nursing students. We are presented with a pin and a candle. The candle symbolizes Florence Nightingale’s travels during the Crimean War caring for the injured  She was known as “The Lady with the Lamp.” After receiving our pins and carrying our torches, we, as new graduate nurses, recite the Nightingale Pledge.

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The lovely evening would not have been complete without a fist fight. Yeah! A fist fight! As we were walking through the courtyard, I heard arguing. I looked back and watched some guest punch one of the nursing students! What the heck!?

After we grabbed security, we left and went to the DAP (Delaware Association of Police), kind of like a VFW, but for cops. (Dad and I are both members of the club). I like to opt for the lowest calorie drink, so I ordered a Diet Sierra Mist with Citron Vodka. The bar tender went a little heavy handed on the vodka and I was feeling good after that one drink.

Not having ate in over 8 hours, probably contributed to the immense tipsiness and hunger that ensued following the drink. Frank said he would treat to Chinese food so I ordered my favorite: Steamed Shrimp and Vegetable, with a side of garlic sauce. I must have been really hungry because I NEVER eat the rice. But I ate that whole darn platter. And I was feeling the full tummy when I went to sleep last night. Oh boy, was I stuffed!

I slept in a little later today, which was a nice change. I have work at 3pm today. I decided to go with another smoothie bowl this morning for two reasons: 1) its incredibly filling and should last me until dinner time, and 2) its National Cherry Cobbler Day!

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1 scoop Vanilla Protein Drink Mix by Herbalife

1/2 Tbsp sugar free Vanilla pudding mix

1/4 tsp sugar free Cherry Jello mix

about 5 frozen cherries

1/2 sheet of reduced fat cinnamon graham crackers

1/4 tsp xanthum

1/8 guar gum

a handful of spinach (optional)

water

ice

I guess this shake looked pretty appealing because Frank asked me to make him one, too!

(Not) Down with the Sickness

Did you know March is National Noodle Month? Neither did I.. but it worked out that I brought a noodle dish for dinner last night. Last night I brought Smart Ones Shrimp Marinara and bulked it up with some Fettucine Tofu Shiritaki Noodles and broccoli. I’m glad I spiced it up a bit. The shrimp was a little chewy, also. I don’t see myself getting this one again…

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Eating was pretty decent last night, thank God! I got all my work done so quickly that in my down time I watched a lecture! Woo Hoo!

I have sooo much work to do this weekend! I need to kick some serious butt.

Today came with sleep deprivation, stress, but uber excitement! I was watching my goddaughter today! It has been so long since I’ve seen her and she got to play with all her Christmas presents over here!

Before I picked her up, I made dad and myself a cup of coffee. I also whipped up last night’s smoothie for dad, while I enjoyed a little sweeter Apple Crunch shake:WP_001432

1/2 frozen apple, cubed

1Tbsp toffee bits

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla PDM

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Formula 1

1 Tbsp sugar free Vanilla pudding mix

ice

water

1/8 tsp xanthum

I loved having Kinley over! She is so smart! She shocked me when she grabbed a coaster and put her cup on it, or at lunch when she out her napkin on her lap! She only a year and a half! My baby girl is a genius!

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Isn’t she beautiful?

But I have to say, I felt exhaustion kick in around 11am. Luckily, mom said she would watch Kinley while I took a power nap! I haven’t seen my mom with this much energy in a long time! I woke up with a bit of a scratch throat. Oh no! I can not be getting sick! I immediately brewed up some ginger and lemon tea and shot back a glass of Airborne. It was only a matter of time until the stress of the past few weeks, plus working with kids with respiratory illnesses, caught up with me. Fingers crossed- I’ve nipped this in the bud!

Right as we arrived back at Kinley’s house, she was passed out! And I had worked up quite an appetite! Frank, my step dad, called while I was out at the supermarket picking up a few things and asked if I wanted Chinese food. I LOVE Chinese food! On the occasion  I’ll make it from scratch, but I had been wanted Chinese food for the past few weeks, and, hey, he was treating! I opted for one of my favorite and more health conscious choices: Steamed Vegetables with Shrimp, and a side of garlic sauce! This meal NEVER disappoints! I love the sweet and spicy bite of the garlic sauce, the protein from the shrimp (no meat of Fridays), and the fresh, crisp, crunch of the veggies. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, “I just don’t know how these places get their veggies so perfectly steamed!” (My stepdad always gets the ribs, so I had to sneak in one of those!)

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The immediate dessert was, duh, a fortune cookie. Later, it was a salty sweet favorite: 94% fat free Kettle Corn popcorn and nutella drizzle!

The remainder of the evening is going to be spent ATTEMPTING to watch renal failure lectures, without falling asleep (I’m in desperate need of solid sleep!) and winding down with some chamomile and honey tea.