Be Sure To Drink Your Ovaltine

Today is National Dessert Day. It is also National Chocolate Covered Insect Day. I think I’ll refrain from the latter and begin my day with a classic dessert-inspired shake bowl:

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  • 1 scoop Chocolate protein
  • 3 Tbsp Chocolate Malt
  • 1 Tbsp SF Creme de Menthe
  • water
  • ice
  • xanthum and guar (optional)

I topped this with one of my favorite shake bowl toppings: Gnu Espresso Chip bar!

Since Ovaltine was a feature in breakfast, I just couldn’t help myself:

 

I kept thinking about what the heck chocolate covered insects would taste like. I remember my mom said that when she was a kid she accidentally tried chocolate covered ants. And they were good, apparently!!! Light bulb! I remembered theres a dessert called Grasshopper Pie, though I’ve never actually had it.

Grasshopper Shake:

  • 1 scoop Chocolate protein
  • 1 Tbsp SF Creme de Menthe
  • 1 Tbsp SF fat free White Chocolate pudding mix
  • spinach
  • water
  • ice
  • guar and xanthum (optional)

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I topped this bowl with Kashi cereal and my latest addiction, Goldfish. My friend told me about French Toast Gold fish Grahams. I would have loved to top this bowl with one of the chocolate varieties. So, some SF chocolate syrup sufficed.

With the mass quantity of ice in my body, I spent the rest of the day curled under a blanket until Zumba! Zumba, Zumba, Zumba! Since my mom keeps backing out of going with me, Barry was kind enough to offer to go with me the next time I went. I was so surprised when he actually came! Like, I thought he was just saying it to be nice.

He was a trooper. By the end of the class he was tired, hungry, and sweaty. “Every muscle in my legs hurt, but they’ve never felt better.” To me, thats a compliment!

With all this talk of Zumba, I found this article both interesting and helpful: Best Shoes for Your Workout.

Following class, we headed to Wawa. We were both hungry but not. The shopping center around the Wawa also contains a Buffalo Wild Wings, Barry’s favorite restaurant, not mine. But the longer we were in the parking lot, the more we could smell food, and the more we wanted something. Barry grabbed a meal from Wawa… I may have stole his apples. Upon arriving home, Barry introduced me to Buffalo Cheddar Popcorn. Usually, buffalo flavored foods are over powering, taste gross, or don’t taste anything like buffalo, like Buffalo Wing Pretzel Crisps… disappointment. But this popcorn was soooo good! It had the perfect amount of kick. I had to grab a drink after a handful but I wanted more! Good find, Barry!

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Chocolate and Vanilla Cake Walk Into A Bar…

Monday

I spent the entire, and I do mean entire, day in bed! Barry and I both have night shift and neither one of us felt a real reason to get up.  In fact my “breakfast” was a sugar free oreo and a spoonful of Barry’s grandmother’s homemade apple sauce! And that’s just because Barry had them in the room! Haha!

I arrived back home, after picking up dinner for the family, and jumped in the shower. I got out just in time to whip up a shake and enjoy dinner with the family before heading to work. While the family ate their Wendy’s, I made a bowl. Frappe Away I said to myself.

Today is National Frappe Day. What the heck is a frappe? I googled and found out it is typically a coffee and ice cream based drink. Well, no ice cream went into the blender, but Cafe Latte protein powder did. Between Barry and my girlfriend, Rebecca, both of whom call me “Pumpkin,” were partial inspirations for the end result of my meal. Since I, unfortunately, did not have any open cans of pumpkin, I substituted the fiber with a handful of frozen apples. Did you know October is National Apple Month? (I know… I’m a pillar of useless knowledge…)

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The crunchy and nutty topper for this bowl was unsalted, hulled pumpkin seeds and Kashi Go Lean cereal.

I headed off to work to find out I was being pulled to another unit, a unit I have never been to before. Its always slightly nerve-racking being pulled to another unit. What are the nurses like there? Whats the acuity of the patients? Am I on the floor or a 1:1? How long will I be on the unit for?

Luckily, none of these things were a problem, tonight. In fact, the nurses were welcoming, sociable, and helpful, and my 11 patients were of managable acuity! I actually was pulled for the complete 12 hours of my shift.

Tuesday

I met with my girlfriend and co-worker, Amy, a little after 1am and we went to the caf, where I grabbed some raw vegetables from the salad bar. Rather than crushing saltines into my Wendy’s chili, I dipped these vegetables. Genius! The Wendy’s near my house was recently rebuilt and opened last week. I have been craving chili ever since. I was floored when I checked the website to find a small chili was 180 calories! I expected a small container, but was content with being able to get a chili, in the first place. When I asked the woman if she gave me the right size, she compared it to the large and I was floored, once again! Score!

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I was one happy camper as I emptied the chili hot sauce packets into my cup and dug in.

WP_004153We’ve been Boo-ed!” Huh? Apparently, theres this game going on around the hospital where units make bags of candies, and sneak them into unit’s break rooms then the game continues. Damn, Butterfingers get me every time! Luckily, I was one and done! Yay, Sammy!

My sleep was cut short today as I was awoken by a call from my manger with some not so pleasant news (more to come on that matter). There was no way I could get back to sleep and, in fact, I was up for the rest of the day before coming back to work. My breakfast? Corn chips and a Babyruth.

All day I wanted to eat, although I knew I wasn’t hungry. But then, I began feeling an emptiness in my stomach, so I ate. It turned out that emptiness was actually part of my emotions. To try to counter act this feeling, it was a two shake day.

I’m sort of childishly excited for today’s food-iday: National Fluffernutter Day! I kept swaying back and forth between making a shake or a sandwich to celebrate. I was never a fan of fluff as a kid. Well, maybe thats not the way to put it. We just never bought it. Same thing with Nutella. We never bought it so I never really developed a taste for it until I tried my little brother’s nutella one day. Same goes for the Fluff. I remember, last year during my refeeding, I would dip Nilla wafers into fluff. Sometimes, I would grab a spoonful of PB and then dip into the Fluff jar. If I wanted something extra sweet, I’d do a nutella and fluff combo!

Anyway, I decided I would feel more satisfied with a bowl:

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  • 1 scoop of Chocolate OR Vanilla shake mix
  • 1 Tbsp fluff
  • 1 tsp peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Chocolate PB2
  • xanthum and guar, optional

To substitute for the bread, I topped the sweet bowl with Fiber One bran cereal. (Its pretty shade of green is from added spinach).

A bit after, I realized my anxiety was manifesting itself. Rather than NOT eating, I WAS eating. Luckily, I recognized it, and preoccupied myself with mopping the floor and going through clothes to donate. When dinner time arrived, and heavy eyelids began, I  whipped up another bowl to hold me over until it was time to eat at work.

Salted CaramelWP_004155

  • 1 scoop Chocolate protein
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Chocolate PB2
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp SF caramel syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • 20 fat free pretzel sticks, broken

It totally hit the spot and I loved the salty sweet crunch that I constantly crave.

I was on the floor for the first four hours of my 12 hour shift. My 1:1 patient was supposed to be going home tomorrow, so I wanted to spend some time with then before they left.

Wednesday

After a breezy first four, my time ended abruptly with assisting to de-escalate an upset parent and assist a nurse with removing an IV. I felt great when I was able to help the mother stop crying and make her laugh.

When I got into my patient’s room, the patient was super excited that I’d be spending the rest of the shift with them. I, then ,found out my patient’s discharge date had been pushed back to Friday. That means I get two more shifts to see them.

After the snack I had done earlier in the day, I packed a light meal for work. Plus, my nerves were still so wrecked that I didn’t have much of an appetite. But boy, oh, boy, was I in for a rude awakening.

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Yeah!

As if I wasn’t stressed enough, and manifesting it with body hating, I had that Cajun Trail Mix and all of this candy in my face! The nurses agreed that I deserved to have day a candy. Its funny how I eat candy when I’m spazzed. I’m stress eating, but body conscience. I take a bite out of piece and throw it away. Bizarre. Nonetheless, the nibbles did not stop me from hating myself as I returned to the 1:1 after eating some leftover eggplant parm frittata around 3am.

WP_004159Deb brought this in, too! Candy Corn M &M! What a combo! These candy pieces are bigger that the typical chocolates and made with white chocolate instead. Addicting. While trying to find a link to these M&Ms for you, I found these! I’ve never seen these. Ever! Is it for real? Does anyone know? My jaw almost hit the floor and I’m enveloped in curiousity! I returned to my patient’s room, after some well-deserved ranting, and counted down until 7am when I could leave.

Full or body hating guilt and a dwindling self worth, I tried to keep my mind occupied by blogging and reading.

I must admit that I was, finally, able to finish a book that I wanted to read. Its been years since I’ve been able to read a book for fun.

After work, I couldn’t wait to hit my bed. Today, on a day when I actually feel tired after work, I had to stay up to take my uncle to a doctors appointment. His procedure required sedation and he, therefore, needed a ride to and from.

WP_004160Luckily, it didn’t take very long and I killed some time at Wawa grabbing a coffee and a packet of apples to hold me over. Upon arriving home, I snagged a few pretzel sticks and almonds and curled up into a ball to awake about 5 hours late! Victory! I had finally slept!

Once awake, I hopped in the shower and assisted Frank with making my little brother dinner, while also sending out countless resumes! Last night, I was reading up on detox soups, many of which contained beets and ginger. I figured I could work with that and wound up creating what tasted better than Red Velvet Cake!

Better Than Red Velvet Cake ShakeWP_004161

  • 1 scoop chocolate protein
  • 1/2 small beet, peeled, sliced thinly and microwaved for 3 minutes
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/3 cup frozen pitted cherries
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar free fat free cheesecake OR white chocolate pudding mix
  • splash of SF chocolate syrup, for added sweetness
  • xanthum and guar (optional)

I’ve never like Red Velvet Cake. It was always one of those sweets thatI didn’t understand. Its like if chocolate and vanilla cake had a baby and the baby couldn’t decide what it wanted to be when it grew up…

Once the fruits and vegetables were blended, the color reminded me of the cake, and rather than going full on “detox,” I went with the inspiration. I topped my bowl with broken pretzel sticks and chia seeds.

With the remaining half beet, I repeated the slicing, and combined it with sliced baby carrots, a chopped cherry pepper, onions, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes into a Tupperware all to be, later, used to top a bed of chopped romaine and reduced fat blue cheese crumbles. It’s National Moldy Cheese Day, hence the moldy cheese in my salad… Once arriving at work, I was greeted with this:

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“Happy Pediatric Nurse’s Week from Bayada Health!” Thanks Bayada. Start my shift with an oatmeal cookie and some M&Ms? Don’t mind if I do. One and done, baby! I was a happy camper, once again, with my self control, and felt no guilt about this treat!

Thursday

I spent my shift much like I did the night before; the first 4 hours on the floor and the last 8 in my 1:1. Before falling asleep, my patient asked if I would care to watch a movie with them. And so we laughed until the movie ended. Around 2 am I was relieved from my post to eat. I warmed the previously prepared vegetables in the microwave and tossed them with the romaine and blue cheese. I love how the warm veggies melt the blue cheese, and their juices combine to create a dressing for the salad! Its a salad with which I’ve never been disappointed! Following my meal, I snagged a mini Twix from the abbondanza supply of candy, and another half a cookie, sealing the deal with a cup of hot coffee.

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I always take time at the hospital as a learning opportunity and asked the nurse if she could explain to me the difference between “covering” for carbs and “correcting” with insulin. I was so pleased to discover that I had already had a solid understanding of how to do so, and worked with the nurse making up a few examples to ensure I had a firm grasp on the subject. Woo Hoo!

I returned to the room of the 1:1 and spent my remain hours charting on my patient, scouring the web for pediatric nursing positions, working on Be Well Bundo, stretching, and reading another book.

Following work, I drug myself to, yet another, morning appointment, but not before grabbing a bite. Who would think that soup would be the breakfast of choice? On this cold morning, it was all I could think about. I heated up a cup of Progresso’s Chicken and Barley (I’m a sucker for barley), topped with a bran crackers, and warmed myself up.

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This time, the appointment required manual labor and as I left the hospital, I prayed the rain would hold off until my task was complete. We are fortunate enough to have a home with a fireplace, my favorite feature of the house. I am planted in front of it throughout the fall and winter months. I’m surprised the floor isn’t indented with my butt print, by now. We were, also, fortunate enough to have been connected with the city to receive free wood. As the city chops trees, the lumbar is piled at a local park on the east side. If you schedule an appointment and complete the labor, yourself, you can take a truckload of FREE wood each month. We took full advantage of it, last year, and I wanted an early start, this year. I took the first available appointment and Frank and I headed over, bundled up, tiredly fighting the weather in a battle of time.

The forecast for the next four days is nothing but cold rain. Oh, joy! According to the weather tracker on my phone, between 7 to 9 there was a decreased chance of rain. Our appointment was for 830. As we pulled up, it was chilly and lightly raining. We loaded up the bed of the truck and by the time I got home, I was dead to the world and it began raining harder.

I stumbled into the house, eyes barely open, and made a B line to the couch where there was an inviting  comforter calling my name. With hoodie up and slipper socks on, I was out in a matter of seconds, contacts in and all (not smart by the way… crazy dry eyes).

I woke around 330pm, or so, trying to go back to sleep. No luck. And here I am. Catching you up on the haps.

Chili(y)

I went to Barry’s after work yesterday morning and immediately crashed! I couldn’t believe how tired I was. I actually slept! For like 5 hours! I woke up and it was 130 in the afternoon! Barry and I headed over to the Newark Co-op so I could pick up a few things. Hes been teaching me how to drive stick shift, so I got to drive. I think each time I drive, I’m getting better! We made it in one piece to the co-op and I found these babies!

If you recall, my first experience with POPCORNERS was addicting. I saw them on the shelves and directly below them, the words “Whole Grain.” Then came the words, “Memphis BBQ.” I thought about resisting and decided against it. Pretty darn hungry, Barry and I got in the car and dug in! Wow! Once again, POPCORNERS has me hooked!

Most of my evening was what I would consider insatiable! Once I got home, I made myself a large steamed vegetable and roast turkey salad. I microwaved bell peppers, onions, artichoke hearts, and turkey, and added them to a bunch of chopped iceberg. I finished it off with diced cucumbers and dill pickles, crushed red pepper flakes, salsa, and SF Balsamic Vinaigrette.

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Despite such a scrumptious salad, I still felt unsatisfied. I found myself nibbling. Ugh! I hate that “N” word! It really gets to me. I just felt insatiable.

Earlier in the day, every time I ate or drank, even water, I would get a sharp pain in my abdomen. Barry thinks because it hurt to eat earlier that maybe I really was hungry. I mean, it makes sense. I eventually steamed a bag of Italian blend vegetables and topped it with Walden Farms Alfredo and some spices. That helped. But my sweet tooth was not silenced!

I kept nibbling on Fiber One 80 Chocolate, celery and salsa… nothing was doing it. It was driving me crazy that I could not be satisfied. Sitting for 12 hours last night didn’t exactly help my calorie paranoia. Ahah! Pumpkin Ice Cream! After a bowl of Edy’s Slow Churned Pumpkin Ice Cream topped with Kashi Nutty Chia Flax cereal was quite satisfying.

My eating renegade ended with more sliced bell pepper and salsa. Whatever satisfies my crunch crave.

I would venture to say that salsa is probably the most used condiment in this house. I’ve actually gotten my dad pretty hooked on the stuff, too.

I spent the evening cuddled up with Beauty on the couch, struggling to stay awake for the season premiere of Glee.

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Isn’t she cute? Rub my belly, Please, please rub my belly?!?!?

I’m so glad I made it to Glee because the entire episode was The Beatles- my favorite band of all time! The music of The Beatles kept me wide awake until the end of the episode!  I crashed as soon as I saw coming attractions for next week.

I planned on accomplishing a few things when I woke up and I managed to do most of them!

Fall has been hitting hard around here, especially early AM and late PM. Before the it gets too cold and I have absolutely NO motivation to go outside, I grabbed a run and found two more great Refrain Running songs to the add to the playlist: See You Go by 3 Oh! 3 and Crazy Bitch by Buckcherry. By the time the Buckcherry song was over, I hadn’t stopped running, I was ampt, singing outloud, and completely out of breath! But I loved it!

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I ran about 2.5 miles and was pretty tired. I haven’t run in a while! When I got home, I got everything ready for my Crock Pot White Turkey Chili. I wanted to wait until October, National Chili Month, to make chili, but with the last bit of the turkey in the fridge, I figured it would be nice way to warm us up!

After the chili got started, I whipped up a shake bowl- a Four Chocolate Shake! So today is National Chocolate Milk Day, so I made a chocolate shake for dad and myself. He took his to work, and I enjoyed mine at home.

Four Chocolate ShakeWP_004040

  • 1 scoop chocolate protein
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp Chocolate PB2
  • 1 Tbsp SF White Chocolate syrup
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • handful of spinach
  • guar gum
  • water
  • ice

It was a weird color that was perfectly thickened. I had a bit of a Gnu Espresso Chip bar left, and I crumbled that on top so I had something to chew, plus it has espresso in it! Wow! I really enjoyed my breakfast.

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Frank was outside working on his car and I asked if I could help. I honestly love to learn! I wish I could have a career as a Professional Student! It doesn’t really matter what it is, but I have a constant thirst for knowledge. I was very excited when Frank said I could help. Today, I got my hands really dirty! He taught me how to rotate the tires and change the brake pads! I loved it and really it tired my arms out.

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I offered Frank some comic relief as I tried to help. At one point, while trying to loosen the caliper, I lost the grip on my socket wrench and went rolling back on my butt and then my back. I looked like a turtle lying on my back! I couldn’t stop laughing. Another time, Frank recommended I stand on the braker bar to help loosen a lug nut, so I did. Guess what? It went nowhere and I stood on the bar elevated above the tire like I was Queen of the Grease Balls! haha Everyone… my neighbor, the mailman, my dad… everyone has deemed my new nickname as “Grease Monkey.”

I wasn’t really hungry until dinner. I called dad and we both agreed we were starving! Dinner did not disappoint! So yummy with a bit of a kick, topped with a little shredded cheddar! It was served with grilled cheeses on the side, each one unique.

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Franks was provolone tomato, and turkey salad, Dad’s was Honey Mustard, a smidge of turkey salad, roasted red peppers, half provolone and half American. Mine was simply horseradish mustard, roasted red peppers, and American. I was shocked by how full we were! I was stuffed and content until close to 930pm.

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After dinner, Dad and I got a Redbox rental of “Stand Up Guys.” It was great! know these actors, their past films, their age, and the story line made it so entertaining!

We returned the movie and I ran into my elderly neighbor. He always asks me to pick out new ice creams for him and he always loves my choices. Tonight, we got Phish Food and Chubby Hubby. Finally! I get to try Chubby Hubby! I made sure that my one bite I allowed myself had the giant chocolate covered pretzel! I’m content with my bite and have no guilt! Plus this Chubby Hubby thing is finally out of my system.

But this did put me in quite the ice cream mood. After a tablespoon of my Edy’s Pumpkin, I decided that I wanted chocolate and a cone and a Lil’ Drum was the winner. I love these things. After a mild bought of nibbling (stupid nibbling), I settled down with some filling romaine and salsa. Nice and satisfied, guilt free, and feeling like I had a good day!

Enjoy your Friday night! I’m spending mine with mom and Beauty…

Out of Bed, Sleepy Head

I’ve got anxiety, yes I do! I’ve got nerves, how bout you?

Have you ever met someone who has the ability to walk into a room and change the entire mood? I compare it to ancient Native American … they would not look into mirrors or take pictures at the risk of having their soul taken from them. Its kind of like that… This person walks into the room and I feel like my soul gets sucked out of me. I know that this feeling is something I allow to happen and that I allow this person to affect me this way.

With a heavy chest, I grabbed a sugar free chocolate pudding and topped it with multigrain Cheerios and pralines and headed to my room to write and to separate myself for the trigger to my anxiety. I did feel a little silly eating this, since I just had a bowl of Arctic Zero before Barry left, but it was satisfying and a call with my grandmother finished up my night with a smile.

WP_003339I needed caffeine, protein, and stay power when I woke, this morning. After struggling at 11am to even roll out of bed, I gave a chance to a unique sounding yogurt: Alpina Revive Honey nonfat Greek Yogurt with Chai Spiced granola, and crawled back into bed with it and a mug of eggnog coffee. I’m usually not a fan of honey yogurt but this was very good, not sweet but not tart. I think the best part of the granola was the pistachio and hemp pieces and the combination of spices. Every now and then, I’d bite into a piece of crystallized ginger, which would take me by surprise. I probably could have done without that, or at least maybe smaller piece, but overall, I was pleased.

It took a lot to get me out of bed, finally. I curled into a ball under the covers on the couch. Hugging my knees to my chest for hours with absolutely  no drive to do anything. I did not have an appetite, in fact, I actually felt sick to my stomach (not from the yogurt).

After conversing with my girlfriend Maggie, I broke our plans to go to Zumba (which probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do). I need Zumba! With these late, restless nights, late night mangia, NCLEX paranoia, and just overall drama at home, I was in desperate need of some nervous energy-burning cardio. She knew something was up and came to visit me after she got off work. I broke into the last bottle of wine from trip to San Jose…

After watching a cooking show with some spectacular grilled cheeses, I really got in the mood for one! But after being in a ball for a few hours, and after a glass of wine, my nervous belly ache went away and hunger kicked in! Dinner was half a roast beef, swizz, and tomato grilled cheese with spicy brown horseradish mustard on Multigrain Fiber One bread. I’ve been thinking about KFC slaw for days, now, and with wine brain, Frank and I hopped in the car to get him a pot pie, my little brother some fried chicken, and me, cole slaw! I may still have been intoxicated in the car when I flipped myself over and asked Frank if this was illegal.

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Mom arrived home and I told her how the tension was affecting me. Things got pushed aside as we watched Chopped and enjoyed a bowl of Arctic Zero topped with Kashi and jimmies. That just wasn’t good enough. Continuing with drunken hunger and energy, I grabbed a sweet, nutty, crunchy fix: Lil Drums Vanilla with Caramel Sauce, topped with peanuts. I love these things!!!

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The night continued with well mannered conversation and shared favorites with salsa: Extra Dark Sourdough pretzels (why must they be so good?), sliced bell peppers, and deseeded cucumbers.

Refrain Running

Last night, dad and I watched another Redbox called Not Fade Away. I picked it because it was about music and it had James Gandolfini in it. I dug the music but the movie, itself, was so-so.

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Also making an appearance was the Chocolate Peanut Butter Arctic Zero with fat free whipped cream, jimmies, broken fat free pretzel sticks for a salty crunch, and a sprinkle of  Chocolate PB2. I love that I can eat this and not have an anxiety attack about it! Arctic Zero, you are a blessing to all those in eating disorder recovery!

After dropping Barry’s dinner off to him at work, I arrived home not being able to take my eyes off the last fuji apple. I sliced it up and enjoyed the slices with Be Well Nutella sandwiched between them.

Utter Frustration

Despite all my yawning and being in bed by 10, I did nothing all night, but lay there- completely awake! I tried counting sheep, deep breathing, stretching, and even massaging pressure points to relax. Nothing worked! I was too tired to study, too tired to talk or open my eyes… I was so frustrated I wanted to scream! But I was too tired for that too.

Eventually I gave in and whipped out a pad if paper and worked on a few new recipes. By 4 am, my belly was growling! I tried to ignore it but now I know what time my food is digested by and why I’m hungry in the morning.

I mosied into the kitchen. My immediate reaction was to head to the MagicBullet, but since it was 4am, I thought that might be a bit inconsiderate to others actually sleeping! I grabbed a granola bar, which I enjoyed. But suddenly, I was hit with eating disorder anxiety. Just peachy!

I hate laying down after eating, but I became overwhelmed with fatigue after eating my Kashi and passed out until being awoken 3 hours later by a serious of noises. First, Bunny was meowing incessantly, so I got up, made sure he had food and fell back asleep… briefly, that is, until I was awoke by a claw scratching at my foot…

Next came a wake up call… apparently my little brother over slept and Frank was yelling to his room  to get up! Well, I’m up!

I text dad to see if he wanted to take a shake to work so I threw half a banana in with a  scoop of almond butter and Be Well Nutella, and 2 scoops of Herbalife Cafe Latte. Very tasty!

Around 11am, I whipped up brunch for Frank and myself. Franks shake included Cafe Latte Shake mix, chocolate shake mix, Be Well Nutella, Almond Butter, and sugar free Torani coconut syrup to make a Pseudo-Almond Joy.

After Barry’s fascination with the Blueberry cheesecake shake from our Denny’s Breakfast menu, I was in the mood for a cheesecake shake, myself. Returning to the good ol’ shakes, I threw together a coffee and a Mixed Berry Cheesecake:WP_003304

  • 1 Tbsp sugar free fat free Cheesecake pudding mix
  • 1 scoop vanilla shake mix
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup Welch’s Antioxidant frozen Mixed Berry Blend

WP_003305I like to add fat free graham crackers to my cheesecake shakes, but this morning I added about 1/4 cup multigrain Cheerios on top to give me a crunchy aspect. It worked out great! I always feel so much more satiated when I eat my shakes with a spoon… its probably all in my head…

In an ultimate procrastination mood, I did a few things around the house. I finally decided to call work and see what the unit looked like and was told I would be on the desk. Well, after my mini anxiety about the granola bar, and the recent knowledge that I would be sitting for 8 hours, I decided I needed to feel somewhat accomplished.

Frank found an old picture of his dad and some family friends. The edges were starting to brown and get tattered-looking, so I grabbed the picture and took a little brisk walk, about 1 mile round trip, got a copy and enhancement made, and returned with it framed. He really liked it!

I’m always happy when I can make others smile:)

FYI: August 1st began National Sandwich Month. I’m kicking it off with a left over meatloaf sandwich! Holla! I grabbed the last slice of Honey Mustard Crusted Poultryloaf, threw it on a slice of multigrain with BBQ sauce, and headed to work with my NCLEX book in hand. I must say, the loaf was even better the next day!

As I arrived at work, I stopped by the caf to grab a drink, only to be greated my blueberry pies. Proud that I kept I walking, I came onto my unit to find a pile of temptation in the break room…

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Look away! While at the desk, I could only think of the mini blueberry scone… I cut a little piece off and walked away. Thank God! My plan was to drink lots of fluid and chew gum to keep my mind off the thought of a pastry! I ran to the caf to grab dinner for some busy nurses and grabbed some cucumbers and the like, along with a SF chocolate pudding. I love chocolate pudding with crumbled grahams! So far so good.

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One of the girls had brought peppers and cherry tomatoes in from her garden so I grabbed a few tomatoes to snack on. Finding some salsa, I decided to snack on the peppers. They looked like habeneros…

I guess I was feeling pretty ballsy or that the salsa what act as a coolant, because I bit into that thing like a champ. HOT PEPPER!!! I had to grab a drink and blow my nose… not ssuch a smart decision on my part.

With my good intake for the day, I cut a 1/4 of one of the Devils Food Crumb donuts as a chocolate treat. Damn it, Entenmanns! Why do the crumbs taste so good?!!?

I’m a really crumby person…

I have a problem with crumbs! Like I’ll be that weird person that eats thecrumbs left in the donut box, just so I can feel like I ate a donut…. Despite, still being 500 calories under what I alot myself, I still was having major calorie anxiety!

I wish I could figure out why? Is there something else manifesting itself as calorie anxiety? Am I nervous about the upcoming NCLEX? Is that why I’m not sleeping? What is going on with me?

Refrain Running

Not, refrain from running! Refrain Running. Music is very important to me. In fact, one of my first memories with my dad is him singing (he is a fantastic singer, by the way) and dancing with me. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a refrain is a part of a song, like the chorus… the part that gets repeated in between the verses…

On my brief, but most needed, run yesterday, I came up with the term “Refrain Running.” I know the right music sets the tone for my workouts. For instance, I have a difficult time running to slower songs, but some up beat songs have an off beat which throws off the sequence of my run. It sounds silly, but its true! Like Thrift Shop by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.. Ilove that song, it pumps me up, but I have a hard time running to it because the beat makes me want to strut down the street like I’m cool or something. Haha!

Anyway, with this in mind, I noticed that I run during certain parts of songs, and power walk during other parts, creating a great interval routine! Here are some songs I realized work well with this concept:

  • Pitbulll- Hotel Room Service
  • Rooney- When Did Your Heart Go Missing
  • Adam Lambert- If I Had You
  • Ludacris ft. Pharrell– Money Maker

I’ll add to this list as I come across these songs, but its a great way to coordinate intervals into running without using a distance tracker or an app.

Lastly,

WP_003306I have noticed that my hair has gotten so much thicker! And with my new hair growth, new bangs, well, fuller bangs! My mom was a hairdresser so I’m relatively savy on trimming my bangs, so snip, snip, and viola! I Love it!

This lead me to this thought:

With new health, comes new hair! 

Shout Outs

Shout Out to my mama:

I finished up my Zumba class, last night, and found a voicemail on my cell from my mom, raving about the meatloaf! About 9 years ago, my mom had the gastric bypass surgery and ever since, she has had a difficult time holding pretty much any real food down. Its amazing, really. You would think her body would crave protein, but the only foods that settle are things like chips and pizza. Its pretty bizzare.

So one of my nutrition goals is to cook food that my mom will and can eat. She devoured last night’s Honey Mustard Crusted Poultry Loaf! I think the trick with her is lean protein. When I cook soy products for her, she enjoys it. Last nights meatloaf was super lean!

Then, she began to tell me how much mashed potato she ate! She couldn’t believe it, either, that is was cauliflower!

At this time I was in the Walgreens, grabbing a bottle of water, crying in the middle of the story. I felt like such a goof, but I had never heard my mom talk about my cooking like this!

I also mentioned I dropped dinner off to Barry at work, last night, and he sent me this:

“Dinner was excellent hun. It was finished before you text me. Superb!”

The time that elapsed between me dropping it off and texting him was under 15 minutes! Haha! I think he was just hungry! Haha!

Shout Out to all you carb-counting, comfort food loving followers! This is for you!

Garlic Mashed Cauli-TatersWP_003265

  • 1 medium cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic*
  • 2 tsp Brummel and Brown light butter spread
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp low fat original creamer
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • sour cream, fat free cheddar, real lean bacon crumbles (optional)

In a microwavable bowl, add a splash of water, about 1/4 cup, and the cauliflower, cover with with plastic wrap, and microwave for 9 minutes. Carefully, spoon the cauliflower into a food processor and add all the other ingredients. Whip it up and occasionally vent the processor to relieve the steam pressure.

WP_003266Top with what ever you’d like!

*If resources and time allows, roast the garlic before adding it to the mix.

MMMM! For a carb-lover, such as myself, I was in heaven with its garlicy, creamy, potato faker goodness!

Shout Out to my girl, Alex!

Every week, you read about my time at Zumba. Well, now its time to meet the girl behind it all! Alex kicks some serious Zumba ass and I love her classes. She incorporates, not only Latin-style dances, but Indian and hip-hop. Having such a variety of styles, music, and Alex’s personality, keeps me coming back every week!

I asked her after class if I could share her Facebook page with you, so if you’re in the area, look her up, and come join the party!

After dinner, last night, I suited up and headed to Zumba. You know I’m about to go hard when the pink pre-wrap headband  comes out!

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Zumba with Alex always send me home hyped with energy and good vibes, and I sleep like a rock!

WP_003277And Alex must have worked me hard, too, because I was hungry when I got home! Yay, for Special K Chocolatey Strawberry 90 calorie cereal bars!

throwback to sophomore homecoming 2006

On the Food Front:

Shout out to my Sista from Anotha Mista (literally):

Caterina is my step-sister, Frank’s daughter. I recently found out that she began cooking. Growing up, I was always the one in the kitchen, but now, Cat has her own recipe blog with wordpress.com. Enjoy!

Soon enough, we will be teaming up for a “Sisters Who Cook” post. Keep an eye out!

As I laid in bed, last night, my tummy began to growl and I snack on a handful of pretzel sticks, which was quickly followed by a mild tummy ache. Maybe it was the duck tongue on the episode of Chopped I was watching. Either way, I tried my best to settle both my belly and my mind…

Yesterday, Barry bought me Kashi’s new cereal: Heart to Heart Nutty Chia Flax! This, topped with flax milk and a handful of freeze dried strawberries, hit my breakfast tooth, this morning. Its like cheerios with a sweetness with flax and chis seeds stuck to each “O”!

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After a late night and a very early morning, thanks to my brothers alarm buzzing for 40 minutes, I laid back down to see if a mid morning nap could happen. It didn’t, but I did give me the motivation to get myself up and going. I got changed, and took advantage of the nice breeze and went for a nice brisk 2 mile walk up to the store, where I, of course, took advantage of the discount produce!

Shorty after arriving home, I wrapped three dill pickles in some lean turkey lunch meat to replenish my sodium electrolytes. My walk made me feel a little less guilty about sitting on my tush for the next hour studying.

The tummy began to grumble, again, about 2 hours later, to which I responded with POPCORNERS (its terrible how good these are). I, then, realized a better, crunchier, more refreshing option! I felt like a genius! Celery!

WP_003278This leads me to admitting a very serious problem: My name is Sammy Bundo, and I am a salsa addict.

Yes, we know I’m a dancing fool, but I am referring to salsa of the chunky variety, especially the homemade stuff! “How filling and refreshing and yummy was my celery and salsa,” you ask? Yummy enough to account for majority of the missing salsa from this jar! New favorite health snack! 

Lunch time was not the last appearance of salsa for the day. After dinner, snacky Sammy kicked in and nibbling ensued. I introduced dad to the snack, and he couldn’t believe was good it was! We wound up finishing the celery and a bell pepper, that we used for dipping. The jar is almost empty! I’m serious when I say try this combo! It feels like your chewing and chewing and its sooooo good!

So, Tuesday was meatloaf, and potatoes, and tonight’s comfort food was pasta! Dad and I are both suckers for scallops, so when I came across this at Trader Joes, I scooped it up!

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Saucy Scallops with Mushrooms in an Emmental Cheese sauce! I didn’t know what emmental cheese was, but I was sold! (Emmental cheese is a swiss cheese, by the way).

I threw this in the skillet with salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, additional mushrooms and peas, and reduced fat Parmesan.

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MMM! The sweet peas and scallops with the earthy tones of the mushrooms was absolutely delicious with the creamy white white cheese sauce! While pops prefers pasta, I topped a bowl of Fettuccine Tofu Shirataki Noodles with the saucy mix, and served both up with a glass of wine that I had gotten on my trip to San Jose and some garlic toast.

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WP_003279The wine was a Rose wine from Napa Valley, CA called Ménage à Trois. It was a complete combination of sweet and dry and refreshing and tart! Perfect for what a rose should be! We actually finished the bottle of wine, which is probably why I had the munchies. The wine was delicious! I’m going to keep an eye out for it on the east coast.

Continuing our guilt-free snacky adventure as we watched our Redbox movie, Flight, I serve up a big bowl of the Chocolate Peanut Butter Arctic Zero, sprinkled with Chocolate PB2, multigrain cheerios, for crunch, and jimmies!

The remainder of this night, I plan on sleeping, hopefully, and studying away.

Big news: I scheduled the date, time and location of my NCLEX exam! I had a hard time clicking ‘confirm,’ I was so scared! I can do this… maybe the munchies were wine induced and nerve-related… who knows, but please keep me in my prayers!

Picking Away

Despite being super sleepy, I spent another night not being able to shut down.

Being awake and not having the mental capacity to study, I flipped through some of my favorite channels and decided on Unique Eats on Cooking Channel. This episode ended on a cupcake note, which caused a late night sweet tooth. I went into the freezer to grab spoonful of fat free cool whip to see Frank’s pint of Chunky Monkey. I never buy Ben & Jerry’s because, although, theirs flavor combinations are absolutely spectacular, their calorie counts are absolutely outrageous! Wanting an added crunch, I dug into the Chunky Monkey to pull out a piece of chocolate and a walnut. This was my first experience with Chunky Monkey and I can tell why its so popular! Banana ice cream with chocolate chunks and walnuts! If that doesn’t say “Sammy” I don’t know what does!

Dear Frank,

If you decided to have your Chunky Monkey ice cream, you may find a lack of chunky. Sorry bout that….

Sammy

I felt proud of myself for being able to stop after one serving, but I won’t lie when I tell you I made sure to make that half cup worth it, picking for the chocolate and walnuts. Luckily, I had calories to spare last night, and after a brief increase in my respirations, I reassured myself.

There is one flavor of Ben & Jerry’s that I have wanted to buy, but just can’t bring myself to do it: Chubby Hubby- vanilla malt ice cream with fudge, peanut butter, and pretzels!

Get this- 340 calories per 1/2 cup! Crazy!

It seemed last night, there was no one thing on my mind. I kept playing around with recipe ideas. I kept picking my brain about when I would eat this and that, and what to bring to work, and what was on my shopping list, and how I can play around with ingredients…

Barry picked me up around 10am this morning to meet a buddy for work at the range. It was cool because we weren’t just shooting Barry’s, but John’s also! We all took turns playing around with the guns and switching out targets.

WP_003252Following our time at the range, Barry and I headed to Wholefoods for lunch. They’re ridiculous soup bar has always impressed me, so while Barry loaded up on man foods (meatloaf, chili, and mashed potatoes), I went with the Vegan Hot and Sour soup, and we ate outside on the patio. I was a bit disappointied in the lack of hot in the soup, taste, not temperature.

Nonetheless, we continued to stroll through Wholefoods, looking for some new products on the market, which we couldn’t find just yet. I did leave, however, leave with two items I was quite excited about.

Peaches!!!! Not any old peaches, Donut Peaches, AKA Saturn Peaches. I love these things and I can only find them this time of year! The look like flattened peaches, but they are so sweet and delicious, and my mom and I can literally eat a whole basket of these! Talk about healthy trigger foods.

Top 10 Reasons to Try a Donut Peach

WP_003259Also making an appearance in my cart was Arctic Zero Chocolate Peanut Butter frozen dessert. The cool thing about these products is that the entire pint is 150 calories! I’m not kidding! My only issue is that there wasn’t enough PB flavor. So after a teaspoon of added PB and jimmies, this was aces and I couldn’t feel an ounce of guilt.

WP_003253After lunch, Barry got thirsty and ventured to pick out a drink. “I was what you called me on the blog…” Uhhhhh???? “You’re ‘blueberry fiend of a boyfriend…” Well, its true!

What do you think he wound up getting to drink? IZZE Sparkling BlueberrySHOCKER!

Dinner was a frozen pizza. I’ve really wanted pizza that past few days and I’ve always had good luck with Amy’s pizza. On the menu was Amy’s Margherita pizza. Wow! I’m pretty sure I could have eaten the whole darn thing myself! The crust is  fluffy, and the basil seasoning was tops with the light tomato and globs of mozzarella! After our last experience with Kashi frozen pizza, I was relieved when this was excellent! I may have made a trip back to the kitchen later to pick at the leftover pizza. (They make a vegan version of this, too, by the way).

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After some loving from Lily, Barry’s dog, the night is ending on a rather exciting note: Studying for the boards. Since I am terribly entertaining, Barry whipped out his Nook.

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Spontaneous

I slept… until 1130am yesterday! I couldn’t believe it! Actually, I could. I’ve been taking cat naps the last few days and have been feeling super exhausted so it makes sense. I really must have needed some sleep.

I woke up feeling really great. I did 50 push ups and 50 crunches,  ate a yummy bowl of cereal with Kashi Go Lean, Fiber One Chocolate 80, and sliced strawberries, took a shower, tidied up a bit and waited for Barry.

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Barry arrived with my graduation present, which he had been waiting for from Fed-Ex. He got me  a new stethoscope!!! Woo Hoo! Its pink and engraved!

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After beating him at another game of Phase 10 (he got me my own deck), we decided it was time for him to experience a real Philly steak. I’ve said it before, but I’m definiatly a Geno’s fan. “Four wit with wiz, please, and a cherry soda.”  (I was buying for the folks back home, too). I told him he had to eat it with the provided cherry peppers, as well. Barry enjoyed his first experience with Geno’s.

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We took a visit to grandma’s house to drop off her coleslaw container, and her precious Spumante. She was surprised by our visit and stayed there chit chatting for a bit. My aunt, who lives with her also told us the news of her adopting two puppies from a shelter in Georgia. She explained that the dogs were brother and sister, had come from an abusive home, and were about to be put down. They are absolutely loveable! I believe they were dalmatian and bulldog mixes, but they looked a lot like pitbulls with spots.

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By the time we arrived back home it was about 830 or so. The day really flies when you  sleep until noon!

We, for some reason, were pretty sleepy, so we laid down until we heard back from our friends. After Lauren got off work, we met her and her boyfriend for frozen yogurt at Yogurt City. I got the usual. Also delicious!

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I just realized, after looking at the picture, that our bowls all really fit our personalities!

During the conversation, Barry said, “Its weird… the longer I go since I’ve eaten Geno’s, the more I really want another.” A little fact about Mike and Lauren: if you mention Philly cheesesteaks… we are getting Philly cheesesteaks. In this burst of spontaneity, we piled into Mike’s car and drove back to Philly around midnight. Although Pat’s was open, Barry wanted another steak from Geno’s. Despite my warning about the hot sauce, Barry put it on his steak. When they state “hot,” they really mean it! Thank goodness he had a cup of Sprite!

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Following, yet another delicious steak, we drove around Philly to kill some time. We finally made it back home around 330am! Guess what we did. NOT SLEEP! We went swimming in the pool and played a round of pool basketball. Can you guess who won? The Girls, of course!

Finally, being the sleepy party pooper, I initiated the mosey out of the pool. Finally, sleep!

If you’d like to learn more about the shelter, Middle Mutts,  or donate to help fund the adoption of other pups like Buster and Coco, please visit their facebook.

Fitness Goals

“50 push ups.”

Thats what I woke up to this morning. The great thing about having a boyfriend in the military, is that you both want to stay in shape. He has two personal fitness goals: work on his pushups and run 2 mile in under 14 minutes.

While my personal fitness goals are no where near as as Barry’s, my fitness goals are to tone and to run a 5K. I am really happy that I have someone to help me achieve my goals, while I can help him achieve his.

What are your personal fitness goals?

We were supposed to be on the road rather early this morning so we decided on protein shakes. Hes a chocolate peanut butter affinity, like I do, so I made him a super chocolatey PB cup shake, with a banana thrown in. The same went for myself, although spinach was in mine, as well. After our cups of coffee, we headed to dads work to drop off the left over blueberry pancakes from yesterday. He was very appreciative.

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WP_002745After some time in the car, Barrys inner man set in, and we made a pit stop to Burger King. We continued our drive for another hour or so, as I stared out my window, watching farmers, and animals, and beautiful scenes, almost from a picture. After a final pit stop, we finally arrived at a hidden little house, with cats, chickens, and deer in the front yard. We arrived in Reading, where I was introduced to Barry’s grandmother. She was so welcoming. It may have helped that we came bearing sweets from a local shop called Sweet Street.

Barry mentioned this place last night, and after checking out their website, I needed to check this place out! We were greeted with three boxes, each containing a free sample. I immediately went for the cube of blondie, followed by the big apple pie. We picked up a slice of blueberry cheesecake for the boyfriend, a slice a snickers pie for his Pops (grandfather), a slice of triple chocolate cheesecake (which almost put Barry into a sugar coma), and a slice of the caramel apple pie (which was spectacular.)

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Barry’s grandmother was so funny, as she sat down with a fork and took a bite out of each one! Thats my kind of taste testing!

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She insisted Barry and his mom show me around, so I went out back with two bananas and fed the deer. Yes, I fed deer! It was so cool! I never thought I’d be able to do that! They even licked my hands~ Deer Kisses!

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We spent some time socializing before we heard some thunder, and decided to skidaddle before the storm hit.

We finally arrived home, with a growling stomach, I might add. Since dad wasn’t too keen on trying my Kashi Mediteranean pizza. Check this out: “spinach, fire-roasted red onions and sweet red peppers, four signature cheeses including feta and a zesty roasted red pepper sauce on our wood-fired crust made with whole grains…Made with our signature blend of 7 Whole Grains & Sesame with flaxseed.”

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Flaxseed crust? Feta? Spinach? Peppers, onions, and tomatoes? Sound delicious right? WRONG! I was so disappointed! I added some extra spinach when I realized how little there actually was. After the first bite, Barry and I tried to season up this circle of cardboard with garlic, red pepper flakes, even BBQ sauce! Nothing helped! I really hate to give bad reviews and I am always a fan of Kashi, but this was just no good.

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!

Cherry Cobbler Protein ShakeWP_002370

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!