Summer Memo

I know its not winter, but by the way Mother Nature has been treating us, I don’t think she got the memo… So on such a cold, rain day as today, I believe a warm, cozy, creamy meal is well called-for.

After seeing this recipe on Pintrest, I thought… I like veggies.. I like cheese… Makeover!!!

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Winter Veggie Casserole

6 servings

  • 12 oz package frozen Winter Blend vegetables (broccoli and cauliflower)
  • 12 oz package frozen California Blend vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots)
  • 1/2 7.5 oz pkg fat free shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 7.5 oz pkg fat free shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 4-5 oz can (2 servings per can) water chestnuts, sliced, drained
  • 1 8 oz can bean sprouts, drained
  • 1 can 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/3 cup plain non fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup Dijionaise
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Dash of Pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 F. In one bowl, combine the vegetables. In another bowl combine the cheeses, and in a third bowl combine the remaining ingredients (I also added a finely chopped jalepeno for heat). Add half the cheese mix to the bowl of food glue (the soup-yogurt-egg- spice combo). Once well-combined, evenly coat the mixed vegetables.

Spray a 9 x 13 dish with non-stick cooking spray. Transfer the coated vegetables to the dish, and evenly spread into the corners. Top the casserole with the remaining cheese blend.

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Bake for 1 hour, uncovered.

Nutrition: per 1/6

Calories:207, Fat: 1.1g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Sodium: 1503mg, Carbs: 21g, Fiber: 5g, Sugars: 5g, Protein: 24g

I served this with steak, and a doggie bag for pops to take with him. You could probably add the protein to the actual casserole, as well, and then bake it…. Or for a meatless meal, like I did, eat 1 1/2 servings for about 300 calories!

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Whats not to like? The crispy cheese shell? The creamy blend hiding just beneath it? Exactly! Dig in!

I started thinking about how versatile this recipe is. With the water chestnuts and bean sprouts, I began to think about playing on the Asian influences and tweaking this with Asian sauces and seasonings. I think my favorite part of the this were the carrots. I just love how cooking carrots brings out their naturals sugars and sweetness!!

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?

A Blue Goat?

If you weren’t sure, I am a huge Triple D fan! Barry and I were watching one night and I was so intrigued when I saw one chef make a pie using goat cheese and blueberries… Does that even go together? Oh yeah, and there was basil in it, too!

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I know, right?

Anyway, I was super intrigued and immediately had to play with the concept. As I googled, I was lucky enough to find the recipe on foodnetwork.com! The owner of 3 Sister’s Cafe, on my “Too Visit and Eat” List, gave their recipe! Thanks, Moira Sommers, for the recipe and inspiration!

After review, I did my normal brainstorming and created my version: A calorie, fat, and sugar slashing torte-like pie that can be eaten as breakfast, brunch, or dessert. I warn you, though, its pretty damn delicious!

Basil and Blue Goat Torte

serves 12

Crust:

  • 1 cup Fiber One bran cereal
  • 2 sheets (8 crackers) cinnamon graham crackers, low fat
  • 3 Tbsp Splenda, granulated
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • zest of 1 lemonWP_005579
  • 1/4 cup soft buttery spread, like Blue Bonnet Light
  • 2-3 Tbsp water

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup Chavrie sweet basil goat cheese*
  • 1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1 Tbsp basil, fresh, finely chopped*
  • 5 cups blueberries

Streusel:

  • 1/2 cup almonds, whole
  • 1/4 cup Splenda, granulated
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp, plus 1/2 tsp unsweetened applesauce

* If unable to find goat cheese with basil, simply use plain chavrie and add an extra tablespoon if chopped basil.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine cereal, graham crackers, Splenda, cinnamon, and 1/2 the lemon zest in a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are a crumb consistency. Melt the butter spread. Add 2 Tbsp water to butter (add extra tablespoon of water, if needed), and pour butter mixture onto crumbs. Using your hands, combine the mixture and press onto a ceramic torte dish, that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Once the crust has been pressed, bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the goat cheese, yogurt, liquid egg substitute, Splenda brown sugar, salt, the remaining lemon zest, and flour. Once combined, fold in the basil and blueberries.Set aside until crust has baked. Once the crust has baked, transfer the blueberry cream into the crust. Side aside while making the topping.

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Place the whole almonds in the food processor and pulse until the almonds have crumbled, but not the point of utter pulverization. Combine the remaining streusel ingredients. Using your fingers, sprinkle the topping over the settled pie. Don’t be afraid to get your fingers dirty and evenly spread the topping. Return the pie to the oven and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Turn the pie 180 degrees and bake for another 10-12 minutes.

Allow the pie to cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting.

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As I took my first bight, my mom couldn’t take her eyes off me. Words began to stumble out, as I continued to put more of this dish in my mouth. MMMMM, savory, tart, sweet, delicious, MMMM… “What is wrong with you?” Oh man! It’s just so good!

I was dazzled by its beauty! The way the yogurt and goat cheese firmed up marbled the pie through the blueberries! And the crust and the almond streusel that sandwiched that tart torte! Oh man! Just, wow!

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Nutrition: (per slice, 1/12 recipe)

Calories: 154, Fat: 5.7g, Sat. Fat: 1.4g, Cholesterol: 7.1mg, Sodium: 116g, Carbs: 23.4g, Fiber: 4.8g, Sugar: 11.5g, Protein: 4.5g

I hope you all enjoy as much I do!

Indulgent Weekend

After my solid nap and trip with dad to the grocery store, Frank called and offered to buy dinner. I seriously debated saying “no” but I can’t go wrong with steamed shrimp and vegetables. To help me out, dad and I split my Hot&Sour soup and my shrimp and vegetables. I ate the soup and steamed up some more veggies and saved the shrimp and vegetables for my night shift. After a nice dinner and some bill paying, I tiredly went to the couch to attempt a power nap before work. I did not get a power nap, but I got out a good cry. Last night’s episode of Glee had me balling my eyes out from the second it started. I think I cried even harder because, in all honesty, its been a pretty emotional week. I think Glee just provided me the outlet.

I can’t help but dwell on lacking a position as a nurse. I think I’m the only one I know that has not gotten hired, yet. I just don’t understand. Dad says its because I’m so used to exceeding at everything I put my mind to, that this is new concept to me. I guess he’s got a point. Since I’ve been dwelling, I can’t help but think I’ve not only let myself down, but my family… my grandparents, in particular.

I need to stop this self-pity crap! Let’s move onto the goods…

I always call work before arriving for an 11pm shift. The night shift nurses come on at 7pm and I like to see if anyone needs anything on my way in. My girlfriend, Natasha, a major support person throughout my recovery, asked if I would grab her a coffee. No prob! Easy peasy! I though I was clever, at home, before leaving as I brewed my coffee with SF french vanilla creamer and a splash of SF Pumpkin Pie syrup. Natasha is a genius! “A 16oz pumpkin coffee with Irish cream and 2 Splenda.” After I gave it a try, I felt defeated, but in a good way… This was sooooo good! My coffee had been out-done. I can’t wait to grab another!

WP_004169The weather continued to be dreary, rainy, dark, and terrible… all in time for my alternator to die! Frank was kind enough to take me to my dads at 10pm, and my dad was kind enough to lend me the truck to take to work. Thanks, guys!

Despite the miserable weather and hour-long Glee cry fest, with my adorable cuddle-buddy, I came to work in a great mood! In fact, my shift began with a fun size M&M and  a Dum Dum sucker. I was expecting to be on the floor tonight, but, alas, I would spend my final night shift of my four day span in my 1:1. My patient decided  that they wanted to stay up all night. Once your patient falls asleep on night shift, you kind of want to fall asleep, too; so I was kind of okay with that, and we began our 8 hours together with a game of Phase 10.  I made a solid point to remain standing and walking around, despite being in a single room. I took a bathroom run every 2 hours or so, refilled my water bottle frequently, and even read my book and charted while standing. I think having all the lights in the room on helped , too.

When I was relieved for my break, I went down to caf to scope out the goods. There wasn’t really much in the way of what I would consider “goods.” Nonetheless, I hit up the salad bar, grabbing an assortment of vegetables, like bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and beets. The snack machine also caught my eye with Smartfoods Cinnamon  Brown Sugar popped chips. 100  calories for the whole bag? I’ll give it a shot…

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They weren’t great, but they weren’t terrible, either. Instead, I completed my vegetables with a miso soup packet, and later snacked on some white cheddar popcorn. ( I guess it was a Smartfoods kind of shift). Oh yeah, there was a snack size snickers in there, too… Damn bag of chocolate. As Barry says, “Chocolate makes the world go round.” My reply, “Chocolate, too, makes my belly go round.”

It was quite a fiberful and satisfying meal and I, then, returned my patient’s room. When I’m in 1:1s, I notice my posture sucks, so I made a conscious effort to try to use my core muscles to both sit and stand tall. The result was a sore pack for most of my shift. I’m glad I was standing most of the night so I could continually twist and stretch to try to relieve some pain.

After a quick powernap at dad’s he drove me to Barry’s on his way to work. We have some errands to run to get ready for the weekend ahead of us.

This weekend is going to be a doozy and all this past week I’ve been preparing myself for it. In fact, next week will probably be part of the recovery process.

Tomorrow, one of my best friend from nursing school is getting married and I could not be more happy for her!

The following day is Vendemmia (which I’m thinking might be postponed due to this terrible weather Wilmington is having)!

Oddly enough, since I’ve been stressing about calories in preparation for these events, I’ve actually eaten close to 1000 calories everyday.  I really don’t know how I feel about that…

Today is National Sausage Pizza Day. Dad and I happened to find Al Fresco Chicken Sausage on sale at the store last week and I came up with the idea to combine the best of two pizzas…

Buffalo Sausage Pizza

The Crust:WP_004183

  • 1 md to lg head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 3/4 cup fat free shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 Tbsp corn meal

The Toppings:

  • 1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Laughing Cow Light Blue Cheese Wedges, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, granulatedWP_004181
  • 1 Tbsp ranch dressing mix
  • 3 Tbsp OIKOS plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fat free shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 Al Fresco Buffalo-style  Chicken Sausage burgers
  • 4-5 tsp hot sauce, or tobasco/pepper sauce, divided, plus more for taste, if desired
  • 1/2 tsp oregano, dried
  • 2 Tbsp reduced fat crumbled blue cheese

Preheat the oven at 400 F. Steam the chopped cauliflower. Drain and transfer to the food processor and briefly pulse the cauliflower until it is riced. Combine the warm riced cauliflower with the shredded mozzarella, liquid egg, and spices. Sprinkle a heated pizza stone or pizza pan with the cornmeal and spread the cauliflower dough evenly over top to form the crust. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the crust is baking, add the onion to a small pan, sprayed with non stick cooking spray, and cover, remaining on a low heat, tossing occasionally. Sprinkle with pepper, to taste. In another small skillet, sprayed, add the patties. Break up the patties using two spatulas, and cook over medium heat just enough to begin browning. Drain the meat, and place in a bowl. Toss the slightly browned meat with 1 tsp hot sauce, and set aside.

Remove the set crust and reduce oven temperature to 350 F. Using a spatula, slide around the crust to ensure it is not sticking to the stone. In a small cup, stir the cheese wedges, garlic, ranch, red pepper flakes, 1 tsp hot sauce, and yogurt together, until smooth. Spread the mixture over the hot, baked crust, followed by the caramelized onions. Further chop the shredded mozzarella and top the pizza. Finally, add the seasoned ground chicken. Pour any remaining hot sauce from the bowl over the top and sprinkle with oregano.

Bake for 8 minutes, turn the pizza 180 degrees, top with crumbled blue cheese, and additional 2 tsp of hot sauce. Return to the oven for another 8 minutes, slice, and serve.

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Nutritional Facts: (1/8 pizza)

Calories: 104, Fat: 2g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 621mg, Carbs: 8g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Protein: 12g

I served the pizza with a tray of celery sticks and baby carrots on the side. I made a quick dipping sauce using 1 LC Blue wedge, lots of hot sauce, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1 tsp ranch mix, some red pepper flakes, and 2 Tbsp of a light blue cheese dressing (like Walden Farms).

The night was completed with some marble cake our neighbor gave us. Oh my gosh, the frosting was amazing! Tempting! Fudgey! Decadent! Thats what kept us going back for nibbles.

I am completing the rest of the night with my mom and a movie!

Pink Pancakes!

As a female, I love pink. The color just makes me smile. As an Italian, Irish, Polish, and German, I love carbs! As a Bundo, I love breakfast. As a health nut, I love fruits and vegetables.

All of that being said, these pancakes are right up my ally.

My skeptical family asked why the the pancakes were red. I told them I pureed some blueberries into the batter. They believed me… (feel free to puree some blueberries into the batter, though). The pink is from pureed beets!

Are you still with me? Okay, good! I thought I may have lost you there.

My dad freaked when I told him there were beets in these! “What would pocess you to do that?” he kept exclamining! Well, guess what! You ate a ton of these silver dollar pancakes and said how berry flavored they were. So “Ha” to you, sir!

Blueberry (and Beet) Pancakes

make 29-30 silver dollar pancakes

Wet Ingredients:

  •  2 md-lg beets (enough to make 3/4 packed cups, pureed)
  • 1/3 cup OIKOS plain yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/4 cup flax milk
  • 1/2 cup water, or milk
  • 1/4  cup liquid egg substitute
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/5 Tbsp Splenda brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 packets Splenda
  • 1 cup blueberries, or more

Roast the beets. (This may take a while. I roasted mine the night before). Dice and puree the beets in a food processor until smooth.

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Beat the wet ingredients. Sift the dry ingredients (excluding the blueberries) into the wets ingredients and whisk. Fold in the blueberries. Its pretty, huh?

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Scoop 2 Tbsp, or an 1/8 cup, onto a skillet over medium heat, that has been sprayed with non stick spray. Once the bottoms are firm and the pancakes “pouf,” give them a flip.

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You know how to make pancakes…

To about half the batch, I added white chocolate chips to since the day I made them was National White Chocolate Day. I topped mine with my copycat Panera cream cheese.

Shout Outs: I was trying to figure out what else I could do with beets besides put them in my salads. Turning to Dr. Google, I came across a bunch of posts and adapted one specific recipe to make mine. Thanks, fellowbeet lover!

Happy National Pancake Day!

Night After Night Shifts

Tuesday

I tried to begin today early. Frank and I began chit chatting and spent the morning together. We both had some delicious coffee, but the entire morning was spend in the kitchen! It was very productive and although the recipe I was working on took about a total of three hours, from start to finish, the final result was well worth it. I cannot wait to share it with you, next week. I am also incredibly excited about a Be Well Bundo first! We, Frank and I, filmed the first video tutorial for the website! It turned out great and that, also, will be posted next week!

WP_004025My appetite will minimal today, as was Franks. Neither one of us ate anything until dinner time. I laid down around 2 pm in an attempt to catch some ZZZss before my shift at 11 pm. Unfortunately, two hours of sleep was all that I obtained. My dad started getting on my case about my calories and I hate it! I’ve been trying to listen to my body and eat when I was hungry. I decided to eat a Raspberry Greek Dannon Light & Fit and topped it with Fiber One 80 Chocolate cereal and chia seeds. This wasn’t good enough for dad. I tried to explain to him that I had my entire shift ahead of me to eat! I am already hard on myself about calories, so when others get on my case , I  get even more paranoid.

Before heading to work, I had some roasted red peppers, garlic, and cucmbers on a rice cake. One thing that put me in a good mood was the delicious coffee I brewed before leaving for work. It was a Vanilla Caramel Creme K cup, with SF french vanilla creamer and a splash of SF caramel syrup! Wow! Delicious!

Wednesday

WP_004026My shift went great! I kept busy and got to care for some great little kiddos. I also got to care for one of the most beautiful babies I’ve ever seen! And so well behaved! Dinner was half a Smart One Tuna Noodle Gratin. Honestly, even if I had eaten the whole thing, it would be pretty tasty for 220 calories. Rather I split it up and added a little broccoli. Once at work, I topped it with salsa since it was a little dried out by the time I reheated it, and paired it with celery sticks.

My food paranoia has definitely carried over into today. When I arrived home from work, this morning, I was starving. After all, the last time I ate was 230am, and it was, now, 730. I whipped up an egg, and put it on a slice of wheat toast, spread with my copy-cat Panera cream cheese. Its was tasty and I scarfed it! I was starving!

WP_004027With Frank being awake, we ran a few errands to pick up necessities for my little brother. When we arrived back home about three hours later and I needed to sleep! My manager asked it I could work a 12, tonight, since we had a patient that required a 1:1. I was hungry. At least I thought I was. I need to be okay with eating. I took out the turkey salad I made the other day and combined it with salsa. I placed it on a rice cake and had a side of cucumbers. It was delicious! But as soon as I finished, I went to sick girl mode. Oh my gosh! 200 calories! Really, Sammy? 200 is perfect for a small meal. Its lean meat, with light mayo, on an unsalted rice cake! How much healthier can you get?

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I laid down, took deep breaths and prayed. Sometimes, that all I can do. Thanks to the turkey, my stress, and my previous night shift, I actually slept! Thank, God! I slept for a solid 5 hours, or so! I woke up, knowing that if I didn’t get something in my system to hold me over until 230 break, I’d be tempted to snack all night! I made a mini shake. I wanted to use up my blueberries left over from Sunday’s pancakes, and wanted a flavor to refresh me and put me in a good mood. Just filling enough to do the trick.

Blueberry LemonWP_004030

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar free fat free Lemon pudding mix
  • 1/2 Tbsp SF blueberry flavoring syrup (for an extra pop)
  • 1/2 tsp ground flax
  • water
  • ice
  • 1/4 tsp xanthum

Just double the recipe for a full size. Double-fisting, I brewed some Kahlua flavored coffee. I’m glad I had my shake on the way to work because I was greeted with a box of Philly Pretzel Factory pretzels and the content feeling of satiety made it easier to resist the temptation of the doughy, salty carb.

Thursday

Last night, I ate the other half of my Smart Ones. Rather than topping it with salsa, I drizzled a little Walden Farms Creamy Bacon Ranch dressing on it. Hey, bacon… tuna… sounded good to me! Celery sticks accompanied the meal. I find it is so much easier to just bring the same thing two nights in a row. It saves time and I don’t have to think about food and calories. The Waldens didn’t quite give it enough pizzazz, so I added a bit of spicy brown mustard from the Philly Pretzel Factory to the mix.

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The refrigerator was rocking cold and my food got pushed all the way to the back. My food had gotten iced over. While I ate my warm tuna, I attempted to de-ice my celery sticks. It was rather interesting… frozen celery… I wouldn’t recommend it.

Typically, an Aide doesn’t sit in a 1:1 for 12 hours. It almost never happens. Well, last night was a first. I spent most of the night chatting with my patient, who likes to stay up late, and watching movies with them. By 4am, my tailbone was killing me. Since my patient was asleep, I brain stormed some recipes for my birthday. I think I just about have them down. As 7am rolled around, I was stoked to be able walk around. I mean, I walked around my patient’s room and stretched a bit but its not the same as actually being on the floor. If it weren’t for being so tired, I almost didn’t want to sit in my car to drive home.

You know its been a long night when you try to unlock your car door with the locker key attached to your ID badge, thats clipped to your hip. Its not even in the general area as my car keys… you know, those things in my other hand!

Oh, by the way, today is National Pancake Day! Do you know what that means? That means a new recipe for you all to try! I’ll be posting it soonly!

I’d Rather Go Green than Be Blue

After a wonderful birthday party, last night, Barry and I came home. While he mowed the lawn, I unloaded some bags and really got in the mood for something. I’ve said it before… Trail mix can be mighty dangerous! I grabbed a handful of mix and a  big spoonful of Edy’s slow Churned to satisfy this sweet crunch tooth. Unfortunately, I kept nibbling on the trail mix (I love the nuts and raisins so much). It wasn’t like a binge, and it wasn’t like a I couldn’t use calories. If it weren’t for the trail mix I would not have gone over 600 calories, today. This did not stop my guilt and after walking outside to vent to Barry, I went to the bathroom for a small purge. Stupid, I know, and unnecessary.

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After and interesting attempt at making some not very attractive, homemade Blueberry PopTarts (I’m sure we’ll get it next time! ), and splitting a banana, Barry and I headed back off to bed, as we both have night shift tonight.

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It was a pretty scatter-brained afternoon for me. I forgot my phone at Barry’s and, of course, when I got back to the house, I couldn’t remember the security code, so the alarm went off! On my way home, I began an anxiety attack. I arrived home just in time for Frank to help talk me down. “I can’t eat! I can’t eat!” I kept yelling between hyperventilations.

I did what I do best and cooked. Well, its not so much cooking, as assembling, and playing with measurements, but however you look at it, I made a pretty mean broccoli salad.

Bundo Broccoli Salad

makes 4 large servings

  • 2 boxes 45 calorie raisins, by SunMaid (or 90 calories of raisins)
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fat free shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup OIKOs plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Hellmans light mayo
  • 2 to 2 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, more to taste
  • 1 packet Splenda
  • 2 Tbsp roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbsp real bacon crumbles, like Oscar Mayer
  • 12 oz bag fresh brocolli florets
  • 1.5 oz broccoli slaw

Chop raisins, shredded cheddar, and onions. Combine with yogurt, mayo, Splenda, vinegar, pepper, sunflower seeds, and bacon. Pour over top broccoli and slaw and thoroughly mix.  Add pepper to taste, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutrition:

Calories: 148, Fat: 6.7g, Sat. Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 4.1mg, Sodium: 282mg, Carbs: 14.8g, Fiber: 3.6g, Sugar: 9g, Protein: 8.1g

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After a quick taste test, my nerves were calmed a bit and made the decision that I needed to eat. I whipped up a Sam-Rock Shake, for something low-cal and filling. Its going to be a rather green night, but I’d rather go green with health than blue with depression. To top off the night, I spilled a mug of hot tea on myself. Just great!

Before leaving work and before my mom’s boyfriend, if that what you’d call him, came over, I told her we needed to talk! She’s been acting like nothing ever happend. You know we’re not okay, right? She has been trying to make plans with me, but I’m just waiting for her to back out at the last minute. Don’t think because we spend a few hours together tomorrow that nothing happened this week. She kept responding with “I know… I understand…” No! You don’t understand! You have never had to experience with your mother what I have with you, It hurts and its NOT okay!

We ended the conversation on a good note and I pray it didn’t just go in one ear and out of the other. We supposedly have plans for tomorrow…

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?

OIKOS Smoothies Morning

I was sent a recipe for a South Beach Mango Lassi a week or so ago, and with my recent obsession with Indian food, I was more then apt to try it.  Lassies are a traditional yogurt-based drink that you will find on any Indian restaurant menu.

I whipped out a plain OIKOS and told Frank I was making a smoothie, to which he replied, “Will you make me one, too? I just bought yogurt.”

I typically like to add a scoop of protein to my smoothies for staying power, but since I’m out of vanilla, I had to stick with the God gave me.

Frank has been wanting me to make him a Key Lime shake for a while, now and since he had OIKOS Key Lime Greek yogurt, thats what I whipped up. (By the way, if you’ve never had Greek yogurt, this is the stuff to suck you in!)

Key Lime Smoothie/Shake1 5.3oz OIKOS Key Lime Greek yogurt

1 tsp sugar free lime jello mix

ice

1/3 cup milk

water

protein, optional

Combine and blend!

Mango Lassi Smoothie3/4 cup frozen mango

1 5.3oz plain OIKOS Greek yogurt

1 Tbsp granulated Splenda

ice

water

pinch of cardamom

Blend away!

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I planned on taking a walk to the supermarket to pick up some ingredients for some recipes, but as I currently type this post on the pouch, thunder and rain has set in. Change of plans, I guess.

Warning: Gross Alert! 

Before the wind picked up and retiring from the porch, I was typing away, when out of the corner of my eye pounces Bunny. In mid-air, this crazy cat caught a bird! Are you kidding me?

I couldn’t believe it! I was stunned and mortified, and disgusted, and for some awful reason, I could not look away! I called Barry and told him what happened. Only one word found its way out of my mouth, “Ewwwwww.”

“Can you say anything else?” he asked. “Ehhhhhhhhhh.”

I was disturbed. The image is scared in my head as Bunny chomped away at the poor birdie.

Later today…

It really came down today, so I went to the store to pick up the last few things I needed for this weeks recipes! Something was on my mind today, I don’t know exactly what, put something we definitely there. To keep myself busy, I decided to, can you guess, did a little cooking. Stay Tuned!

WP_003251Barry came over after work and I left terrible that I didn’t go to his place tonight. Barry leaves this weekend for army duty and he and I both work this week, so our time is pretty limited together. I was in a funk, with a knotted stomach, and a little dizzy.

After Barry headed home, mom and I ran to Wawa to grab a little gingie (ginger ale), and i finally found it! Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper! I finally got my fix. Knowing I needed something in my tummy, mom and I split a can of Campbell’s Chunky Split Pea & Ham soup.

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With a little salt and pepper, this stuff was delicious! It was probably the best canned split pea I’ve ever had. There were big chunks of potato and carrots, and ham! Not little pieces of ham… big chunks of ham! And it was filling!

Repeat Movies

It seemed as though the animals were conspiring against me, last night. If it wasn’t one, it was the other, getting me up to go to the bathroom. Oh, and apparently, I was well hydrated, as well, because when the animals let me sleep, my own bladder woke me up.

My plans for today were cancelled. It was supposed to be an early start with a trip to moms work. Apparently,  she talks about me quite a bit and wanted me to meet every one. Well, the people she wanted me to meet weren’t in, today, so away I slept.

I woke up in a daze. I couldn’t believe I slept so late. The weather changed yesterday and the temperature dropped last night. I guess I was just too cozy in my blanket to notice the sun peaking in through the window blinds.

Breakfast, at 1pm was an anticipated slice of toast spread with Be Well Nutella. This stuff is my new addiction. Along with this was a bowl of pineapple.

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Mid-day, around 4pm, or so, I finished my Gnu Brownie bar, and vindicated my inner child with a chocolate milk made with Flax milk and sugar free chocolate syrup.

Despite all of my sleep, nothing could get me going today. I curled up on the couch with my glass of chocolate milk, studying for the boards, and discovering the classic “Forrest Gump” on TV. I adore this movie! Some movies I can watch repeatedly! I never get tired of them. Its funny, though, I only watch them when the are on TV…

What movies can you watch over and over again?

Armagedon and “Independence Day are two that are constantly on FX and are always watched in our living room. Yes, we have the DVD, but we only watch it on FX. I literally sit there, completely mesmerized, saying the lines before the movie does!

Stardust is frequently on the Shotime network. I think the magical aspects of the movie are what suck me in.

We all know I’m a dork and a complete sucker for the Harry Potter movies! Yes, I own the books and the movies, and watch the Harry Potter weekends on ABC Family channel. The only time I will not watch these movies is during the 25 Days of Christmas. Come on, ABC Family! What the heck does HP have to do with Christmas? There is literally 1 snowy scene in each movie! One! Give me Snow Meiser, of Nestor the Long Eared Donkey! (Ironically, a marathon was on when I got home from work).

Pretty much any Marvel Comic movie, expect for the Hulk, will pretty much do me in. Fantastic 4, Iron Man, X-Men! Bring it! I think it may stem from my Power Rangers fetish as a kid. I used to pretend to be Kimberly, the Taradactle, the Pink Power Ranger! I used to stand on the couch and body slam my dad, I mean, Ivan Ooze! Yeah, I was kind of a bad ass…

Disney shows the old movies that I grew up watching; the ones that were Disney Original movies when they aired and I watched them. Ironically, one of them was on last night, during work: Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century! I’ve always been fascinated by space and the future, if you couldn’t already tell by my Star Trek and Twilight Zone obsession. Just thinking about Zenon makes me sing, “Zoom, zoom, zoom, make my heart go oum, boom. My super nova girl!

All in all, I was pretty lazy for the afternoon, but was able to squeeze in a nap before mom got home from work. I sat her down and expressed my feelings regarding her actions. She understood how the trigger foods effect me, emotionally, and said she would make a conscious effort to not bring them home. She also acknowledged how the trigger foods she brings home are not healthy and that she needs to make an effort to make better food choices.

After a shower and an effective conversation with mom, I headed off to work, with a coffee in my hand, for an odd shift: 11pm to 11am. The unit needed coverage from 7am to 11am and I offered to help. To power me through the night, I brought a Peachy Pistachio Chobani Flip. Frankly, I was curious. I’ve never been impressed with peach yogurt, and have never even thought out peach and chocolate together. This flip cup was peach Greek yogurt with dark chocolate chips and pistachios. Mild is the only way I can describe it. The bitterness of the dark chocolate paired well with the tart and sweet yogurt.  There was just the right amount of chocolate to satisfy my raving but not make me want to go into chocolate overload. The pistachios were like the surprise at the bottom of a cereal box: you forgot it was there, but what a nice treat it was!

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My only qualm is the amount of sugar in it, but sugar content is an issue with any flavored yogurt, really.

The girls and I also split a bag of 94% fat free kettle corn. (We are popcorn people on my unit).

My assignment was more than I usually have so I kept incredibly busy. This worked out for me because it allowed me to listen to my body cues and not snack! I was so busy, that in the 12 hours at work, I never even was able to pick up my NCLEX book!

Around 7am, I sat down to give myself a bit more fuel to power me through the end of my shift. I love this individual packages by Oscar Meyer. They are the perfect size for someone like me, plus, they freeze and defrost great, so I can buy them when they are on sale and eat when I ‘m ready for it. With this 6 slice packet, I made turkey roll-ups, filled with dill pickle halves, celery, and bell pepper slices. I love the crunch from the veggies, the sweetness from the peppers, and saltiness from the lunch meat. A packet of graham crackers also joined the party.

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I was surprised by how awake I was for the last four hours of my shift. I think what really helped get me through the night, was not my 2 cups of coffee, but a combination of two beverages. I’ve noticed the carbonation in the soda helps make me feel full, so when I picked my girlfriend up a Diet Cherry Coke on the way to work, I thought I’d second that notion. Also, my green tea concentrate from Herbalife always perks me up, fills me up, and boost my metabolism, as an added bonus!

I felt so on top of my game, this shift. So much better than last shift! The 12 hours flew by! Now its 11am, and I have dilemma… To sleep or not to sleep? That is the question…