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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Crock Pot Challenge Recap

As you know, Julie put out a challenge beginning January 11th until the end of February to complete 10 new crock pot recipes!

This challenge was something I fully excepted and enjoyed!

You can find all of these recipes in the links below or on the side bar.

Tamale Pie

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Mexican Chicken (my favorite)

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

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Roasted Vegetables

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Beef Stew

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Chicken Garam Masala

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Apple Cinnamon Oats

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Chili Jamb

White Turkey Chili

Venison (the recipe that started it all)

Also check out Julie’s recap here for more recipes!

I hope you play around with your crack pot and share with us in the comments below!

Night Shift and The Purple People Eater

Wednesday:

Another early morning. I had to finish some homework before heading to class. As I was working on the homework, I began  to think about the events of the next few days, and just how utterly sleep deprived I am going to be. (You’ll find out why.)

WP_001320Class was educational and then I had to go to a seminar. During class, I ate Dannon Light and Fit Greek Peach yogurt topped with some chis seeds. On my way to the seminar, I could feel some hungry starting to arise so I swung by Wawa. Thanks for the convenient snack packs, Wawa!WP_001321

I always have issues driving in Bear… I’m always getting lost! I found the location and we learned about stroke prevention. Our project is to conduct stroke assessments on members of our communities to evaluate their risk for a stroke.

I was starving when I got home, so I grabbed a quick bite and I’m headed to bed.

I am working night shift tonight, so I’m praying I’ll get some  sleep before then. Tomorrow night, I am attending a black and gold (ie. we wear black and gold). My girlfriends are in a sorority and I go every year, which is why I was freaking out about having a dress.

Thursday:

I was woken up by my mom and step dad last night. Must they always feel the need to talk outside my bedroom foot when I’m sleeping?
I like to start nightshift with a smoothie. All the protein and fresh fruit gives me an nice buzz to get me going. Yesterday, was National Strawberry Day, so i wanted to incorporate some in my shake. I must say, though, the blueberries took control of this one. “Mom, is it weird that I just named my smoothie ‘the purple people eater?'” “Yes.” “Thanks, mom.”

Into the bullet went:WP_001322
spinach,
frozen strawberries,
half a frozen banana,
fresh blueberries,

vanilla protein powder

raw cashew butter,

ice
When it was all mixed up, it was a purple “monster.”
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I’m pretty happy about my eating last night. Julie is always raving about Milk Chocolate Moose Munch,but last night was the first time I got to try it. Can you guess what I liked the most about it? The nuts, duh!!! I also snacked on baby carrots, these new Back to Nature Sweet Potato and Cinnamon crackers I’ve recently been obsessed with, and granny smith with Chocolate PB2 and graham crackers.

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Eight hours, three cups of coffee and a dark chocolate covered espresso bean, I kept busy most of the night and even caught up on some reading for school.

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Working a Twelve & Some Serious Cereal

Saturday:

I did not have much of an appetite this morning when I woke up, so I headed to work with some snacks, just in case. Lunch was healthy… pineapple and cottage cheese. The other day mom bought a pineapple and it was so sweet and delicious, she ran back to the store and bought 2 more! I’ve been in my pineapple glory!

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When I got to the unit, Julie was there with my girl scout cookies. I totally forgot I ordered these. Down the hatch went some do-si-dos. Those are some dangerous cookies!

Later, I made a bowl of oatmeal, that I actually meant to eat earlier in the day. I find that with a lot of instant oatmeal, with berry flavors, they are just too sweet! I mellow it out with some ground flax. I’ve never tried this oatmeal before, so I did not know its sweetness. I have to say though, the flax made it all the better!

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I never actually wound up eating dinner tonight. Not because I was too busy to eat, but because a certain chica (myself) ate a few too many cookies… and got a belly ache.

Silly Sammy… oh well, at least my dinner for tomorrow night is already at work.

Sunday:

I went home, craving real food! I wound up eating a bowl of cereal and some pineapple.

I lectored at Church this morning and it was really nice to see some friends I hadn’t seen in a while. Deacon pulled me aside to tell me how worried he was about me and how happy he was to see me put on weight. I like to hear things like that but I’m definiately ready to get rid of this belly I put on.

This morning, I ate a packet of Quaker Cheddar Grits. When I first opened the packet, the chedder smell reminded me of the Easy-Mac cheese.

it doesn't look too appetitizing but it was

the grits don’t look too appetitizing but it was

Even though its been sunny, the wind chill was just too cold for me, so Day 5 of Couch to 5K was out today. Instead I did a 12minute warm-up with Dave Sinclair OnDemand and followed it up with  Julie’s Jump Rope n’ Abs Workout.

I’ve really been on a serious cerel kick, lately. Every time I go for a snack, cereal is the winner. For lunch, before I headed to work, I finished off my Cinnamon Pecan Special K cereal. If you recall, I said earlier that I did not care for the cereal with milk, but by itself, its a keeper. Well, the same goes for Kashi’s Berry Blossom cereal. I had a bit of each left and decided on a combo deal. YUM! I don’t know if the Special K tasted better because all the nuts and cinnamon settled to the bottom of the back, or what, but it was tastey!

Dinner was what I did not eat last night: Lean Cuisine Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce. Ialso steamed some frozen oriental vegetables to soak up some of that excess sauce. I added some black pepper, like I do with most things. Myfavorite part of this frozen meal was the Italian green beans! This isn’t a favorite meal, but the added veggies helped and I could eat those green beans all day!

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Dessert came with a little sugar and some staying power. A granny smith with some hospital PB made its way into my tummy.

on some lovely Vday plates

on some lovely Vday plates

I start my new rotation tomorrow morning at a new clinical site. I’m kind of exciting since the place does similar work to my actual job, but the paperwork looks a little intimidating.

Rain Delay?

I grudgingly drug myself out of bed this morning as I heard the rain pounding on the windows of my room. As I hit play on the workout video, I received a phone call. Who the heck is calling me at 0530 in the morning?! It was my clinical instructor.

“Wow! The rain must be pretty bad to cancel clinical.” Nope, my instructor was sick.

Today has been a different kind of day. Rather than getting to the hospital at 0630, I reported to school at 0930 to assist the first semester students with the skills they were learning. This was considered my clinical hours. Breakfast was a Chocolate Caramel Special K Protein Bar.

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This bar was pretty decent. I would probably get it again. It has caramel flavored chips numerously scattered throughout the bar and it has a nice crunch.

During the lunch break, I was not hungry, so I utilized the gym. Its hard to believe that after 4 years of being here, this was the first time I used the gym. It was much smaller than I had expected, but I used to elliptical to really try to burn some calories. I completed Julie’s 20 minute Elliptical Workout.

When I got back to class I was rosey and sweaty, but I felt great! After the class finished, I headed down to the caf, turned on a lecture on my laptop, and enjoyed a Dannon Light & Fit Pineapple Greek yogurt, topped with chia seeds, and a Kashi Happy Trail Mix Cookie. The coconut from the cookie really went well with pineapple.

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I can only watch lectures so long before I need a break, plus I needed to charge my laptop, so I headed back to the gym to clear my head and played around with some strength training. I used Julie’s 30 Second Rest Workout to base my workout:

Leg Press Choose your weight 15 reps 3x
Hammer Curls 10lbs 15reps 3x
Elliptical Incline 12 10min
Shoulder Press 13lb 15reps 3x
Tricep Extensions 13lb 15reps 3x
Elliptical Incline 12 10min
Crunches Choose your weight 15reps 3x

Afterwards, I headed to my meeting. I needed to grab a bite and pick my mom up some KIND bars. Dinner was an on-the-go meal:

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PROBARs Old School PB&J meal bar tastes like a seedy peanut butter and jelly! I typically don’t like to eat bars that are more than 250 calories, but this flavor was calling my name. It had a great flavor and consistency. I either love or hate PROBARs, and this was definitely a love. One thing I really like about this brand, is the use of whole flax seeds!

This was followed by a binge. I’ve really been on a roll with these binges lately, haven’t I? I was really feeling great after working out today! It really frustrates me that this keeps happening. I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but its almost like my hand has a mind of its own. Like I verbally tell myself to stop by my hand keeps putting food in my mouth. Its the weirdest thing.

I plan on working out tomorrow after clinical. I always feel better after I work out.

I guess it was an interesting day all over. I woke up this morning hearing that the Pope was stepping down, then I see that some butthead got Wilmington on the national news for shooting up a courthouse!

Jeez!

People Are Alike All Over

Health Bloggers are all alike. The other day, I stated that mom and I took a trip to The Fresh Market. I talked about their many coffees and their addicting White Chocolate Crunch. Well what do you know? The next day, Julie posted that she went to The Fresh Market and was snacking on this decadent snack mix, too!

Similarly, besides our fanatic addictions to nut butters, we both share a snacking problem. I love that I am able to look at other health and fitness blogs, Julie especially, to see that I’m not alone when it comes to overeating, or trying to manage school, a job, and fitness.

I’m glad I remembered about the this post. Like, I said, night shift gets tricky, especially when it comes to food. Last night was no WP_000922different and I ate more than I should have. I thought a nice start would be to enjoy my new Biscolinos and Mocha Mint coffee… It went down hill from there. I began to feel guilty, and I remembered that I bookmarked this page on my phone. I know I’m not alone; and it helps even more when I know others are in similar situations.

Last night I ate a combination of random things. The thing I was most excited to eat, though, was the Vitalicious breakfast sandwiches! I was surprised by how colorful the egg was with veggies! They offer two preparation suggestions: 1) microwave, or 2) toaster and microwave. Loving some toasted english muffins, I toasted the bread before I went to work. When I was ready to eat I just microwaved and enjoyed the cheesy result.

Veggies!

Veggies!

Cheesy half

Cheesy half

All in all, it was a good night at work.. ya know, besides eating so much. After job #1, I went to job #2. Before I had any clinical experience, I was an Administrative Assistant for a family business. I still help them out from time to time, especially since I helped design some of the systems that are currently in place at the company.

Then I knew I needed to get into a good mood and get some energy to power through this day, so I completed a new circuit I found: Julie’s Super Fast, Super Sweaty Circuit Workout! Boy, it most definitely was sweaty! With each circuit, I switched things up a bit with the planks to challenge me. Round one was a simple low plank, Round two was a low plank with knee taps to the floor, and Round three was alternating low to high planks with knee taps on the low ones. This workout was quickly followed by a shower! It also did the trick to get me in my good… SMILES all around!

A few pointers for completing this circuit:

  • planks- keep your abs tight and back straight
  • planks- breath
  • reverse lunge to front kick- kick through your heel (this gets more difficult as you progress in the workout)
  • reverse lunge to front kick- keep abs tight and shoulders down and back to keep balance and engage core

The rest of the day, will be alternating between lectures (which out me to sleep) and circuits (which wake me up).

* For all you nerds who think today’s title sounds familiar… its the name of a Twilight Zone episode  🙂

Upside Down Kinda Day

Last night’s dinner was super filling! 

I woke up this morning determined to start this funky-scheduled day with some pep. When I start my day with exercise, I always feel invincible for the rest of the day. 

I began with cleaning out the fireplace and bringing in some fire wood from the 20 degree F porch to warm up the house. Once I got my pyro-fix, I started Julie’s Super Sweaty Ab Workout (one of my favorites)! Mountain Climbers kick my butt every time!

Once I completed this, I whipped out the magic bullet. I really wanted to use my homemade cashew butter today so I looked to my fellow nut butter lover, Julie, for some inspiration. The following found its way into my tummy:

half of a frozen banana

1 tbsp cashew butter

Strawberry Dannon Light and Fit yogurt

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Protein Drink Mix

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Formula 1

15g (1/4 to 1/3 cup) kale, chopped 

1/4 tsp xanthum

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After enjoying majority of this smoothie bowl and some serious brain freeze, I needed to knock out a lecture before class today. This bowl was so filling, I did not even think of food till close to 1600.

The reason I call this an “upside down kinda day” is because I work night shift tonight. Its different when you work 11pm to 7am consistently because your body adapts to that schedule, but when you work it every now and then, you just need to suck it up, sleep when you can, and power through. It also messes up my eating… like when do I sleep? What’s breakfast? Whens dinner? I feel like on days like this I eat alot of snacks, and not so much meals…

I was greeted by this view as I walked out of class:

SNOW!

SNOW!

And this pretty site on my way home:

My neighborhood is so pretty when it snows!

My neighborhood is so pretty when it snows!

After I got home from a really informative lab, I had a big bowl of fruit, from The Fresh Market, and topped it with some low fat cottage cheese! YUM!

While I am at work tonight, I will working on some reading for school, and of course, working on tomorrow’s post.

White Turkey Chili Crock Pot: Recipe #2

The past two days, I’ve slept till almost noon! I don’t know why I’ve been so sleepy!
I woke up still in a slight funk, but not as funky as yesterday. To get the ball rolling, I made a smoothie bowl, a little trick Julie taught me! The magic bullet was stuffed with the following:

2 oz frozen diced apples
1 (6oz) container Chobani Fat Free Apple Cinnamon Greek yogurt
1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Protein Drink Mix
a handful of kale
1 tsp ground flax
1/4 tsp xanthum gum
sprinkled with some apple pie spice

Voila! A yummy apple cinnamon supper smoothie bowl and a bottle of green tea!
(please excuse the messy coffee table)

While checking my email the other day, I came across a link to this recipe. I figured, “Why not crock-pot-it?” Yes, I invented a new verb:

Crock-Pot-It: ˈkräk-ˌpät-‘it
crock pot: used for an electric cooking pot
it: expresses a condition or action without reference to an agent
crock-pot-it: an action in an electric cooking pot

See how that worked?  Tehehe   🙂

I’ve never had white chili before so this was an experiment, as well. It happened to work out that my mom had cooked a turkey and was pawning off some meat onto me… I didn’t argue.. lol

I prepare everything the night before and in the morning added the broth and turned that baby to low. Since it has been so overcast, chilly, and rainy, I figured chili would be an appropriate warm-me-up.
                                    
I, of course, made some Sammy-Tweeks. Such as using 1 (4oz) can of fired roasted diced green chilies and 1 (4oz) can of chopped green chilies. Oh, and I used a can of low sodium cannellini beans, instead of dry beans. I also decided to add 2/3 cup of frozen white sweet corn for some much needed sweetness and consistency.

                            

Since I woke up late, I started the crock pot around noon and ate around six. I prepared everything in the pot before I went to sleep last night and added the stock when I turned on the heat, so the beans wouldn’t fall apart. When I got home from class today, the house smelled so good from the cumin, clove, and peppers! The “chili” was more like a turkey soup, though. Either way, it made my belly warm on this chilly day and helped make my sick dad feel a bit better 🙂

Please enjoy the following:

White Turkey Chili
makes 6 servings

  • 1 can reduced sodium cannelini beans
  • 3 cups turkey stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion (about 5oz), chopped (divided)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, stem and most seeds removed, chopped (about 1oz)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped  fire-roasted green chilies
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped green chilies
  • 2 cups diced cooked turkey (about 8oz)
  • 2/3 cup frozen white sweet corn
Combine beans, turkey, garlic and half the onions in a crock pot.
Spray a skillet with some non-stick cooking spray and cook chopped jalapeno and remaining onions. Add green chilies and seasonings and mix thoroughly. Add to bean mixture in the crock pot.
Cook on low for how many hours you’d like. Add the corn 30 minutes before serving.
The original recipe recommends different garnishes for this. My mom and I topped ours with fat free shredded mozzarella and some crumbled saltines. My dad used an Artisian cheese blend on his, along with some wheat saltines.
I had a some leftovers, too!
After plugging all of this into MyFitnessPal, I was super impressed by its stats:
for 1/6 of the recipe
Calories: 129
Total fat: 0.2g
Sat. Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Carbs: 15.9g
Fiber: 4.2g
Sugar: 2.4g
Protein: 13.6g