Dork-ing It Up

I mentioned, yesterday, how important it is to surround yourself with positive vibes. Last night, I did just that. I typed up last night’s post while getting ready for bed, however the whole “going to bed” thing didn’t really happen.

Barry and I decided to stay up since neither one of us had anything to do in the morning, and that way we could sleep late.

I really enjoyed last night. We stayed up, playing Phase 10 and watching “Chopped” on Food Network until about 1am. We were googling exotic foods and talking about NASA and space travel…

It was a plain, simple night in and I loved it!

We awoke around 11am, today, and desperately tried falling back asleep. No such luck. So up we went to fix some coffee and enjoy our respective yogurts. I had the the Dannon Light & Fit Blueberry Greek and he experience Greek yogurt for the first time with OIKOS Blackberry. I also broke off a piece of a Gnu Brownie bar to give me a PMS chocolate-fix.

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We continued to dork it up after breakfast while watching an episode of “Star Trek: Next Generation” and the final “Lord of the Rings” movie. Yes, I’m aware how exciting we are, but after my freak out on Monday night, surrounding myself with positive people and events really made a difference.

I ran a few errands on my way home and grabbed another Special K cereal bar, Red berries, for a mid-day snack to hold me over until my shake, which I will make before heading to work. I also managed to pick up these little cuties from Five Below!

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Unfortunately, today is another day of belly bloat. Super uncomfortable! When I get bloated, I’m never really sure if I’m hungry or not, so I’ve been trying to keep hydrated. If I keep drinking and still feel hungry, I’ll eat, but as of right now, I feel like a bowl full of jelly. HAHA

In the world of animals, I told you I’d get back to you about the Blue Buffalo I got for the kids. Beauty scarfs Wellness, like devours it. She kind of sniffed the Blue Buffalo and walked away. She eventually ate it, but I’ll save some money and stick with the Wellness brand.

In the world of bars, I had a Maple Glazed Pecan and Sea Salt KIND bar. How good does that sound?! I wasn’t sure after my first bite, but after my second I began to pick out the maple notes, then the mild saltiness. Its nice low GI treat with 6g protein and 5g fiber.

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In the world of recipes, to keep myself busy before, I made a very anticipated recipe: Homemade Nutella! You know I’m addicted to the stuff, so based off Katie’s Healthy Nutella recipe, I created a virtually sugar free, low fat, low carb chocolate hazelnut spread. I dig it!

The day I took Barry to Wholefoods, we picked up a bag of hazelnuts to make this, but life got in the way and I decided today was the day! Sorry, Barry, I just couldn’t wait any longer!

Be Well NutellaWP_003208

  • 2 level cups raw hazelnuts (240g)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar free maple syrup
  • 2 packets Splenda
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free chocolate syrup
  • 1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened Flax milk)

Roast the hazelnuts for about 9 minutes 400 F. Rub them together in a paper towel to get the skins off. Be careful, as the nuts are pretty hot. In a food processor (I used the MagicBullet) blend the nuts until they begin to be ground very fine, almost nut butter-like, Add all other ingredients, adding 1 at a time and blending. Continue to blend until it’s smooth!

The Bullet was not the easiest thing to use for this, but my food processor at this house is a hand crank, and that just was not happening. I alternated between adding wet and dry ingredients between blending. Because the Bullet isn’t exactly full of space, I removed some of the ingredients and blended in small batched to ensure it was well mixed and smooth.

WP_003209Depending on your taste buds, play around with the sweetness and chocolate decadence.

Next time I make it, I’d like to try Hershey Dark Cocoa!

It made enough to refill my old Nutella jar, plus some! Yum!

Let us compare the chocolate hazelnut spreads that have appeared on Be Well Bundo , shall we?

 per 2 level Tablespoons Nutella (original) Hazelnut Spread GO-LO Sugar Free Be Well Nutella
Calories 200 160 130 122
From Fat 110 80 110 **
Fat 12g 9g 13g 10.7g
Sat. Fat 4g 4g 4g 0.1g
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg 0mg 0mg
Sodium 15mg 10mg 5mg 18.3mg
Carbs 21g 20g 17g 5g
Fiber 1g 0g 11g 2.1g
Sugar 21g 19g 0g* 0.9g
Protein 2g 1g 1g 2g
Vit A 0% 0% 0% 0.3%
Vit C 0% 0% 0% 2.2%
Calcium 4% 8% 0% 1.3%
Iron 4% 4% 4% 3.5%
*contains erythritol**not calculated by MyFitnessPal

Because this recipe contains milk, I would recommend to refrigerate it. Plus, the cold will help make it nice and thick.

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WP_003211In the world of work, I am working a 12. I threw together a shake using a bit of the nutella and some random frozen fruit with protein mix…nothing to write home about. I also made a mug of coffee to take with me. I totally forgot I had this 12 Coffees of Christmas box in the cupboard. I found it while digging out the ingredients for today’s nutella and butter pecan coffee sounded too good to pass up. It smelled amazing!

WP_003212Although I kept busy, time was not passing as quickly as I had hoped. I encountered a tempting blueberry muffin that everyone was snacking on. I had not had one in a long time at treated myself to the quarter that looked like it had the most blueberries! PMS loved the sweet blueberry muffin and after grabbing a soda for my patient, it also decided it wanted a Dr. Pepper. Not just any Dr. Pepper, but a Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper. I was off to the vending machine only to discover Cherry Cola and Diet Dr. Pepper! Darn it! 23 flavors it is…

Around 230am, I hit the wall! I got so tired and bolted to the caf for some coffee. The bad thing about night shift is that your body is not used to being awake, and therefore, gets those crazy late night snack urges, like oreos! Snacking smart, I packed a sliced bell pepper! I just love that crisp and sweet bite from those things! But those oreos are not easy to resist. I also packed a tempeh salad using spring mix, baby carrots, tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, beets, and fakin’ bacon tempeh. Hmmm bacon… yup, Walden Farms Blue Cheese dressing it is!

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It was a  really satisfying salad! I could have kept on eating it (ya know, if I didn’t already eat it all)!

I know…

While the guys BBQ’d burgers and dogs and made mac n cheese for dinner last night, I steamed a big bag of California blend frozen veggies, seasoned with garlic, basil, and a drizzle of light Italian dressing. “Is that good?” Barry asks. “Try it.” “Wow, that is good!” “I know….”   🙂

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We fell asleep watching Part 1 of the Half Blood Prince, last night, and awoke with a serious coffee craving. The coffee really hit the spot today. Barry and I split a Cinnamon Raisin English muffin, dipped in sugar free syrup.

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The heat has been pretty intense lately and it really got to me today. I had every intention of going to Zumba, but every time I stood, I got light headed. I tried to drink a lot of water today, but still had to blow off class.

Mid-morning, I got a crazy hankering for grilled zucchini. Dad and I headed to the farmers market. My belly was growling something fierce and I opted for some seaweed salt. Dad ans I are addicted to the stuff! I may have tapped into this container while still shopping.

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Also making an appearance this afternoon was a new KIND bar: Dark Chocolate Chili Almond.

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Dad described it really well as, “nondescript.” After having Chilies and Cherries in Dark Chocolate  by Chocolove and really catching that bite, I expected more from this bar… more of a spice or a kick.

When we got home, I lit up the grill and grilled hot dogs for the guys and zucchini for me.

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zucchini boats

Slice the zucchini in half, lengthwise. Using a spoon, deseed the vegetable to create a boat.

Spray the exposed zucchini with nonstick cooking spray and place down on the grill, so the green is facing up. Grill over medium-high heat until grill lines are evident and water has clearly been drawn out of the vegetable, approximately 15 minutes. (This may take longer depending on how well you want the zucchini cooked.) Flip the zucchini over and lightly brush with pesto, or red sauce, and sprinkle with black pepper.

Top with desired toppings.I topped mine with sliced tomatoes, turkey pepperoni, and fat free shredded mozzarella, granulated garlic and crushed red pepper flakes!

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Grill for another 10 minutes or so, or until the desired wellness of the vegetable.

“Is that good? Dad asked. “Try it.” “Wow! That’s better than I thought!” “I know…”   🙂

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Later this evening dad called me to tell me how he was still impressed with how tasty the grilled zucchini was!

I picked up a peach at the market, earlier, in honor of National Peach Ice Cream Day. Taking a cue from Hungry-girl, I sliced the peach in half, sprayed the exposed fruit, and grilled it skin side up. Still warm, with well defined grill marks, about 13 minutes on medium high heat, I served it with a scoop of Breyers Vanilla Carb Smart Ice Cream!

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Since I wasn’t going to Zumba, I sat on the porch with some fresh brewed iced tea and studied for the boards.

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I was very content, hunger-wise, for the majority of the day.Right until around 9pm… I did some snacking to figure out jut what I was looking for… the winner? Pineapple!

My accomplishment of the day: single handedly eating a whole pineapple!

I sliced up a pineapple after dinner, and throughout the night, I kept stealing slices of it. It was the best pineapple I’ve had all season! Is it bad to eat a whole pineapple in 1 day? I’m not sure, but I’d rather eat that than ice cream or cookies. (I did eat a few cookies, today, though…)   :/

And now? Well, I can’t sleep. I think all that pineapple gave me a sugar high! So until I start fading, its blog fun and Rugrats reruns on late night TV.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day was on a Monday this year, which meant no work for Dad! Instead, we took advantage of this beautiful day!

I had worked a 12 the night before and so Dad picked me up abit after 2pm. We headed to the park for some basketball! I’ve played basketball since third grade, and although I am far from an All Star, I love it!

It was a beautiful day, full of fun and laughter! Dad and I even managed to work up a bit of a sweat! After a few drills on the court, we each hydrated ourselves with a bottle of water, and drove around the city, exploring the nicer areas of the city and admiring the Brandywine River.  I figure that such a nice day, called for some further exploring and Daddy-Daughter time. I took Dad to what I had previously called The Secret Garden. Dad loved it! The last time I was there it was beautiful. This time, the flowers were in bloom, making the scene even more majestic. To further relay the essence of Spring time, baby bunnies were out to play! We finished our day with a trip to the grocery store and a snack.

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I picked up the Chobani Flip Vanilla Golden Crunch, vanilla Greek yogurt with corn flakes, oats, and pralines (the pralines are what sold me on this) . I have never been a fan of vanilla yogurt, but this was the best I’ve ever had. I added some extra crunch with some Multigrain Cheerios, and we finished our snacks with Watermelon.

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Speaking of Chobani, I finally tried some of the Chobani bites flavors. As much as I love fresh figs, I have not found a single fig yogurt that I have enjoyed, the Chobani bite Fig with Orange Zest is included. Although I coud differentiate the texture of the fig, I did not get much flavor from the fig or the zest, and was rather disappointed. On a higher note the Chobani bite Caramel with Pineapple Chunks was awesome! It was sweet with big chunks of pineapple evenly distributed in the cup, and is prefect for a guitless treat!

In other food news:

Over the course of the last blog-less weeks, I cooked Barry dinner! He had never eaten eggplant before, so I made him my favorite stir-fry and ampted it up with some chicken breast.

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I also made a super yummy and refreshing shake! I had always heard of the lemon and raspberry combination. I had a handful of raspberries that I wanted to use up and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to experiment. This tart, berry bursting shake filled me up, woke me up, and was over all a winner!

Lemon Raspberry ShakeWP_002479 (1)

1/3- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries

1/2 Tbsp sugar free Raspberry Torani syrup

1 Tbsp sugar free, fat free Lemon pudding mix

1/8 xanthum

water

ice

Another night, I knew  was going to be relatively sedentary at work, since I knew I would be working the 1:1. I opted for a protein dinner in the form of eggs. Yes, liquid egg substitute, like Egg Beaters, can be microwaved. I used 1/2 cup, and tossed it with a large handful of broccoli slaw, 2 Tbsp of shredded fat free cheddar cheese, and some hot sauce! I microwaved this baby, giving it a stir ever y 30 to 45 second or so until it was fully coked. Everyone kept entering the break room asking what smelled so good. They were so surprised when I told them it was eggs!

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I also Have been seriously utilizing Greek yogurt and cucumber. I salmon and dill salad, much like the Dill Chicken salas, but this time, added a chopped dill pickle and fat free Thousand Island dressing. I ate this at work over spring mix and sliced bell pepper. I have really been digging bell peppers lately. Not only do they have low glycemic index, but the also are very filling!

Dill Salmon SaladWP_002425       

serves 2

1 6oz plain non fat Greek yogurt

1 md cucumber, peeled and deseeded, chopped

1 tsp chopped or minced garlic

1 tsp dillWP_002483

2 Tbsp fat free Thousand Island dressingWP_002478

2 dill pickles chopped

a pinch of salt and pepper

1 5oz can salmon

Well, I guess that was a nice foodie recap of the last few weeks, plus it helped pass time on this not-so-busy night shift!

Speaking of foodie recaps, there are two things I must share with you. SmartOnes has oatmeal now! I’m a huge stickler for breakfast, and am I firm believer in this jump starting your metabolism, and setting you up for a productive day. The oatmeal comes in 3 classics flavors: Apples and Cinnamon, Maple and Brown Sugar, and Peaches and Cream. Also, KIND has released a few new flavors as well: Maple Glazed Pecan & Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate Chili Almond! I haven’t seen either products on shelves yet, but keep your eyes peeled, and comment with your opions on the new products!

Bye-Bye Bars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I plan on some hard core cramming tonight and tomorrow.

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

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!

Summertime Blues

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

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

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

Atkins Blueberry Almond Baked Square

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

BelVita Blueberry Biscuits

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

Clif Bar Blueberry Crisp

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

Check out the Blueberry Cobbler from Gnu Foods!

KIND Blueberry Pecan+ Fiber

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

KIND Pomegranate Blueberry Pistachio +AntioxidantsWP_000988

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

WP_001063Larabar’s Blueberry Muffin

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

Blueberry Bliss Luna BarWP_000989

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

Vanilla Blueberry Luna Fiber Bar

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

The Curve Ball

We all have our routines, whether its taking the kids to basketball practice, or Sunday clean up day. I am no different. My clinical schedule begins on Sunday. I wake up early and either head to Church then the hospital, or visa versa. My Sunday consists of paperwork and planning for the week. Monday morning is another early morning. This is when I set my tone for the week. I like to start with a quick morning work out to get my blood pumping and wake me up. Then its time to pack  my lunch for the day, take off my nail polish, take out my nose ring, and get my butt into gear. After clinical, the nose ringing goes back in and then its typically errand running, then home for some patient charting and lunch packing for Tuesday. Tuesday is another early morning, pretty much repeating Monday’s routine, except then I paint my nails (No jewelry or nail polish in the clinical setting). Today, I got thrown a curve ball.

It start like a normal day with my cup of hot tea and morning workout. I was ready for my day. Everything was going fine at the hospital and I started getting really hot. Cue to upset tummy. Bottom line, I got sent home for being sick. Boo! I fell into the bed as soon as I got in the house, and I was out like a light! The sleep was much needed, but still did not have much of an appetite. I knew my body needed some nutrients so I ate the lunch I had packed myself : a classic PB&J with some celery sticks. I made it on some high fiber whole wheat bread, with the new almond butter and some sugar free blackberry preserves (I wish I had my blueberry preserves that I left at dad to celebrate National Blueberry Pancake Day.)

Speaking of Peanut Butter and Jelly… Have your ever had this little beaut?

Just like the real deal... but nuttier!

Just like the real deal… but nuttier!

I was really excited when I first found Kind’s Fruit & Nut Peanut Butter & Strawberry bar a while back. With my first bite, I was immediately hooked and I snag it whenever I get the chance. It really does remind you of a nutty PB and Jelly. To make this bar even better, it has 7g protein and 4g fiber.

I had packed myself a Barre bar for my morning hold over, but since I did not get to eat it, I snacked on this throughout the res tof my day. I’ve had Barre bars before and did not care for them but this one wasn’t too bad. It has the consistancy of a Larabar. The flavor I had was called “ballerina.” This is their spirulina bar. Barre bars were created by two dancers to increase performance without feeling weighted down.

yeah, its green

yeah, its green

For it being a green bar, they did a nice job at covering up that green veggie flavor. I like the toasted coconut in this bar. I don’t think this would be my first choice for an energy bar, but its acceptable. The dates and agave add a mild sweetness. I think this is a bar that you’ll have to try and decide for yourself. I believe I need a take 2 on this one.

One reason why I say, don’t starve yourself, is because you bite the bullet later. Today for example, I did not eat all day until I felt comfortable to eat the PB&J. Then what happened? I was soooo hungry! I went for everything in the kitchen! No good!

With me, I’ve been biting the bullet hard lately! Since recovering from anorexia, my body is making up for lost time. I starved myself for long that now, just the thought of food can put me into a craze! This is not healthy either.

My week got started rocky, but I intended on throwing a curve ball back and reclaiming this week, for me! Tomorrow starts my week, and I’m powering forward with determination, education, and health!

I’m curling up in bed for the rest f the night to soothe this tummy ache with some chamomile tea. Good night!