We Are…

Theres is not a day that goes by that I do not thank God for his blessings. I don’t just thank Him for family and friends and shelter, but for the strength that He gives me, the drive and determination that pushed me through school, and for the ever-growing, ever-opening heart that HE has given me.

When I see videos like this I can not help but thank God over and over and over again for blessing me to be one of the people that can make a difference in this hectic, scary world.

 

 

I LOVE what I do. It is NOT to be thanked or praised, but because we make a difference.
We are the shoulder for someone to cry on. We are the fighters that won’t stop fighting. We are here to help those who cant help themselves.

I LOVE what I do.

The Scrub Life

We’re breaking records, here, in Wilmington! My friend, Brian, posted this as his FB status that describes the way the weather has been the last week:

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Between the snow, rain, and wind, I had to drive home through the thickest fog I’ve ever driven through! Visibility was about 10 feet! Driving home from work has been pretty dangerous!  The night before, it had snowed its but off and I drove 15mph all the way home!

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But today was most extreme of them all! The threat driving home this morning was black ice, but the temperature was even more dangerous. When I left work this morning, I left with two jackets on, two hoods, gloves, a scarf, and sweatpants over my scrub bottoms. Why? Because it was 3 F! Yes, THREE DEGREES!!! And that was just the air temperature! The wind chill? Oh, just -17 F!

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“Its Brisk, Baby!”

Everyone always says how lucky nurses are to wear such a comfortable uniform. Its true, its pretty comfy. But the downside is that there is nothing to them! The wind goes right through the fabric and straight to your bones! Brrrrrr! Usually, when its cold out, I’ll wear tights under my scrubs, but sweatpants are thicker. Depending on the weather tonight, I might triple layer with tights, scrubs, and sweatpants! Even though the roads are slick, at least the drive to work is a scenic one…

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I’ve been bundled up, even in the house! Dad thinks its hilarious that I sleep with my pom pom hat on!

Lucky for me, I’ve been whipping up lots of warm goodies in the kitchen! Oh, and the forecast tomorrow? -14 F! Just great!

WP_005224On the plus side, I’ve been keeping warm with yummy foods! I’ve been hanging out at dads place alot and my eating has been great! I think its because I’m having what are called “meaningful meals.” When you begin refeeding after an eating disorder, they say to have “meaningful meals.” This means to eat meals consciously, carefully, and with meaningful people. For about 2 weeks now, I’ve eaten three meals a day and snacks!

What an accomplishment! Work is going well and I’m even eating meat,again! I eat some sort of protein at least once a day! This is a huge breakthrough for me! For instance, I organized the freezer and found two 10 oz pork loins. Which I used immediately! One night, I marinated the loin in hot pepper jelly, cooked the loin and used the juices, along with teriyaki sauce and red pepper flakes to make a stir-fry! The following night, with a jar of roasted red peppers in the fridge, and a sale of frozen veggies at the store, I was still craving pork! I seasoned the last pork loin with Italian WP_005231seasoning and thyme, and while steaming it, browned the outside of the loin. Once cooked through, I removed the loin and let it rest. I added a box of chopped frozen spinach, thinly sliced onion, garlic, seasoning, and sliced roasted reds to the pan. I thinly sliced the resting loin and I ate my meal out of bowl, and made a tasty porchetta sandwich with melted light provolone for pops! YUM!

God’s Doors

“When one door closes, another one opens.”

Right? Right? I keep saying this to myself, but all I hear is crickets. My sleep was cut short on Tuesday by a phone call from my manager. Yes, the call I’ve been waiting for! I answered the phone with a smile on my face, only to end the conversation by choking back tears. Not tears of joy. Tears of dissapointment, hurt, defeat, confusion, sinicism, anger,and utter shock.

I didn’t get the job. The unit I have worked on for over 2 years has denied me the position as a Registered Nurse. After my inital cry and mildly-sorrow-numbing Babyruth, I called my parents, only to break out into tears, again.

What was I to do? Grant it, interviewing for this position did not stop me from applying elswhere, but after my interview, last week, I knew this position was mine! How could I have misjudged this?

I called my manger back after the inital conversation and requested advice for things I should improve on for my next interview. My request was followed by a snow cloud of, excuse me, bullshit. The further my manger went into an explaination, the more I and Frank, were convinced this was NOT his real reasons for denying me.

Unfortunatley, eating disorders are very real problems that can affect anyone. This time, last year, my job was being threatened by mine. In fact, my manger has asked me to resign, to which I refused. This current conversation with my manger had me fully convinced that the eating disorder played a key role in his decison.

I was happy for Heather, who got one of the positions. I knew she was a shoein! My happiness for her, did not outweigh my own disappointment, however. I spent the entire day on an emotion rollercoaster, reviewing the time since I came back from my FMLA… my interview, my work performance,  the interactions I’ve had between my team members, patients, and families… everything. No one… not me, my parents, my co-workers.. no one could figure out why they had made this decision.

To further feel beat down, I recieved an email congratulating the two candidates that had been offered the positions. As if the email didn’t rub it in enough, I was even more devestated when I read the other girl was actually a classmate of mine, who I had just graduated with.

How? How? How could this have happened?

It took everything in me to go to work that night. Not only was I physically tired from the lack of sleep, I was mentally drained and put down.  I almost called out. How was I supposed to face these people that just rejected me? I knew calling out would be unproffessional and immature, but as I began my walk from the parking garage to the hospital, I stopped dead in my tracks. I felt like the kid that peed her pants and no is reurning back to school for all the kids to laugh at her.

I had to call my dad, who gave me a pep talk as I made my way to my unit. Is it my unit, still? Is it a unit, now? What am I doing here? I tried my best to put on my big girl pants as I entered the closed unit. I was greeted with hugs, “awwws,” kind words, and “I’m sorry Sammy”s, as though someone had died.

I think in a way, I did. My spirit died. A piece of me had gone missing. I’m empty. Where do I belong, now, if not on this unit?

The team was wonderful, as they all lent me sympathy, and validated my feelings. What will I do without this team? This is my family.

I keep telling myself that I need to let God do His thing. He has a plan for me, and although the journey has been bumpy, and the road is looking pretty bleak, He has an ultimate plan for me. And where that takes me, I’ll find true pleasure and happiness.

No matter how many times I remind myself of this, the pain is still there. The dissapointment, and ever dwindling selft worth continues to daunt my thoughts.

Something will happen. Things will turn around. I wouldn’t have been through all that I”ve been through, to end here.

When God closes one door, He opens another.

Nurse Cake

WP_003707As my night shift was coming to an end, my stomach began to growl around 5am. I ignored this feeling the best I could. Around 530, I caved to a sugar free fruit cup. So sue me. A 45 calorie, sugar free fruit cup is whats going to upset me? This is ridiculous.

Around 6am, some nurses began to feel the hunger. Some toast english muffins, other trail mix, but it helps me to know that I am not the only one that gets thst end of shift hunger, and it makes me feel even better to know that I made a light and wise choice of food.

Arriving home about 2 and half hours later, the 45 calorie fruit cup had worn off. I snacked on half a slice of the left over Chicken Cheesesteak Pizza, another 45 calories. How can I hate myself for that? Its like I ate a 90 calorie snack bar, but instead of it being cereal and granola based, it was fruit and veggies! Get with the program, Sammy!

I stood in the shower, praying, deep breathing, almost like I was trying to wash the eating disorder and anxiety away. I finally laid down and slept until about 4pm, Thursday (8/29)

WP_003710I woke knowing I needed to eat despite my current feelings about my body. I went with a Dannon Light&Fit Greek Key Lime yogurt and topped it with some Special K Protein cereal. Although the cereal didn’t add loads of pizzazz of flavor to the yogurt, I enjoyed the crunch and texture, and the added feeling of being full. I paired it with a large glass of sparkling water.

The remaining afternoon was spent wallowing in my own depression, laying on the couch, curled under a blanket, until Barry came over after he was done work. He spent a few hours with Frank and me watching movies. I know it wasn’t the way he hoped to spend his evening, but it was nice to have the moral support.

My dad expressed some more concern about me today. I can’t help the way I feel. The last 3 days, I have not eaten more than 600 calories. Frank suggested this could be a reason why I’ve been so tired lately. I was in the bathroom and looked at myself. All I could see, at first, was my stomach. I kept poking at at it like it was somehow pop like a balloon and deflate. I went to the scale that read 131 lbs. I like that number. I went back to the mirror to figure out why the number just didn’t seem match the body. I stared long and hard and realized that my face was beginning to thin out, again.

With an annoying headache, which I suspected to be from low blood sugar, I stir-fried some bok choy and mushrooms in 1/2 Tbsp of low sodium teriyaki sauce,1 tsp chili garlic sauce, and a splash of water. It was filling and helped rid of my headache, which was definitely what I needed before going to work.

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I headed to work, coffee in hand, still feeling like I was dragging. Its funny how as soon as I walk onto the unit, I change. I’m so lucky that I am one of those blessed people that loves their job and the people they work with! Speaking of which…

These ladies I work on night shift with completely took me by surprise! After finishing the first rounds of my 8 hour shift, I went to the break room to grab a drink. As I opened the door, the nurses were setting up a party… for Heather and me in honor of us passing our boards!

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The first thing I saw was the cake and covered my instant terror with a smile, saying, “You guys are so sweet!” They even got gluten free goodies for Heather! But then, I saw the veggie platter and salsa and fruit bowl. Heather mentioned that she could tell I had lost weight and that she was worried about me. Heather is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. I would love if Heather and I both got the newly available nursing positions for our unit.

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WP_003717After finishing up some rounds, I decided theres no harm in enjoying fruits and vegetable. An the the veggies with salsa! MMM so garliky! I continued to snack on the goods all night and even had the hot and sour soup I brought with me. I was stuffed by 3 am and stayed that way! I felt great! Like I had been revitalized! Suddenly, although I was full, I felt invigorated and was on a roll at work! I love that Heather was so honest with me. You know what? I even had a bite of cake. I’m not a cake fan, but ShopRite done good! The night shift crew put a good hurtin on the cake and fruit!

The shift ended strong and confidently and I cant wait to hit the sheets!

Its Almost Here

Wednesday

Food and Emotions

As proud as I was of my eating last night at work, one thing was on my mind when I left: those donuts from the morning. I decided that slicing a quarter would be a nice treat. Although it didn’t do the trick like I thought it would, it put a sweet tooth in me that needed to be satisfied. I traveled around the kitchen biting into crackers, cheerios, Reese pieces… Anything with a salty sweet crunch. I realized it was anxiety, not hunger. I wish I would have realized it earlier but at least I realized it, and still did not go over my calorie allotment.

I’m finding the closer my exam gets, the more anxious eating I want to do but the more calorie paranoid I get. Yeah… A catch 22 kind of thing. I really am quite nervous for my exam. Just scheduling it made me nauseous and now that everyone has been passing, I have this nightmare that I’m going to be the one that fails.

I have faith in myself. Most importantly, I have faith in the Lord. I know the Lord wants me to be a nurse, to care for His children. I have trial through so much during nursing school, at work, home, and school, and there is no doubt in my mind that I shouldn’t pass. God will guide me.

Start back on track at the next meal.

WP_003387With today being National Creamsicle Day, I honored it by making a Creamsicle Shake using half a packet of Betty Lou’s Low Glycemic Orange Cream powder, water, ice, 1/2 tsp SF orange jello, and 1/4 tsp xanthum. Yum!

Before laying down, in an attempt to sleep before work, I ate a big bowl of watermelon to fill me up!

I’m packing  a Smart Ones Chicken Marsala for my night shift meal to see if it can compare to my beloved Lean Cuisine version.

At this point, in the studying game, I have officially killed two highlighters and am working on #3. I couldn’ t sleep because all I could think about was the exam. I am literally sick to my stomach over this thing. I’m have chest pain and I just want to cry from this nervousness!

Thursday

Although everyone’s meals smelled delicious, my stomach was too upset to enjoy my intended Smart Ones meal. I opted for my emergency soup with saltines. I saved some celery sticks and PB2 for a later snack. The shift went rather quickly as a I spent all my down time studying for the upcoming exam.

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Upon arriving home this morning, I was definitely hungry. Since the temperature serious dropped this morning, I opted for something warm. I came across this by accident, one day, I brewed coffee in the Keurig and mixed it with an Atkins Mixed Berry shake.

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The box was kind of banged up and I wanted to use it soon, so I took advantage of this cool morning. While sipping on this, I channeled my nervous energy into baking. I was inspired by my Strawberry muffins, the other day, to make a different type of muffin. I, of course, I had to try them out.

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Take One wasn’t bad. I think I know what alterations I need to make to satisfy your and my muffin craving.

After studying the day away, after being told I should take the day off, I finally fell asleep for a brief hour or so. Upon waking up, although my anxiety had messed with me to the point of losing my appetite, I wanted to keep with my plans for dinner.

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serves 4

  • 2 Tbsp Honey Mustard sauce, or mustard of choice
  • 2 tsp non fat sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp Braggs Liquid Aminos, or reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • half 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • half 1/8 tsp dill
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, in shell (15g out of shell)
  • 4 4oz salmon fillets

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine mustard through spices and mix well. Set aside. Remove the pistachios from the shells and chop. Place the salmon fillets, skin side down, on a baking sheet covered in foil and sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Divide the mustard mix over the salmon fillets and top with chopped pistachios. Bake uncovered for about 8 minutes-10 minutes, until salmons center is opaque.

I served mine with a side of spinach, onion, and mustard, like a pseudo-salad,

After a cinnamon covered almond, I came up with the idea of topping a 100 calorie bag of kettle corn with cinnamon and a packet of Splenda. Kind of genius!

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Friday

Recipe for Success

I woke up in the right mindset. I called my Alarm the “Alarm of Success.” I began the day as I do all exam days: with Dunkin and oatmeal. I took a brief jog to the Dunkin to burn off some nervous energy, grabbed my coffee, and like always, I grabbed dad one and a toasted everything bagel with cream cheese. I even got my little brother a little something.

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I sat down at the kitchen table and stuck with tradition. Dad came over to give me good luck hugs and to enjoy a bit of breakfast. I made sure to take a nibble of the bagel, like I always did. I knew I needed to stop studying! I brought Barry lunch at work and killed some time there. As he walked me back to my car, I could feel a panic attack setting in.

I sat in the car trying to breath and divert my attention elsewhere. I checked my email, and it was just what I needed! It was from my manager. Usually I cringe when I get emails from him (you never know whats in store):

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“I’m gonna be a nurse! I’m a nurse!” I shouted this in the car as I drove away from Barry’s work!

I headed home, called my grandma for some calming words of wisdom and inspiration, and headed off to the exam. I sat in the car, music playing, singing loudly in the parking lot, and enjoying my sugar free mint pattie, as I always do, pre exam.

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This thing was more intense than nursing school exams. I was only allowed my ID and ATT card. They asked me to remove my necklace, but wrote a note that I kept it on since it was a cross. I removed my watch and hair ties off my wrist and locked them in a provided locker. They even noted any visible tattoos! It was intense. Now, I play the waiting game. The nauseous waiting game causing me nervous snacking and more anxiety! The nauseous waiting game causing me nervous snacking and more anxiety and body issues! Yeah… its like that.

Eggplant Pie

It was nice to sleep in yesterday and not have anything to do! I spent all day studying for the NCLEX, filling myself with brain food, like Saturn peaches, sugar free chocolate pudding, and a delicious dinner! (recipe to follow) My family has really been lucking out these past few weeks. Since I’ve found an outlet in cooking, my family has been eating really well. During my studying, I reward myself with breaks to cook, or prep to cook. Yesterday the result was baking Strawberry Muffins, and Eggplant Pie. Both were so good! Frank, my biggest critic, said the muffins were very good and the Eggplant Pie was,”Outstanding!” Having the word “outstanding” come from him was definitely a treat!

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The muffins came in handy when I woke up this morning to find a tray of donuts on the table from an apparent late night craving they had while out on the town… To resist the urge, I warmed up a strawberry muffin, sliced it in half, and added to the already gooey strawberries inside it with some sugar free strawberry preserves. Take that, donut!

After dinner, and along day of brain overload, I rewarded myself with Zumba. Unfortunately, my booty shaking was cut short when a girl got light headed and fainted. I ran to help her. Behind me, I hear my girlfriend yell,”It’s okay! She’s a nurse!” It was thrilling hearing someone yell that so close to my exam!

WP_003511Following Zumba, I got really hungry. Thank goodness Zumba is early on Monday nights and I went home to enjoy an Orange Cream Dannon Light & Fit Greek, with cheerios for crunch. I got antsy and wound up finishing a head of romain with salsa, filling up on water. I’m such a bunny rabbit…

I headed to bed with a mug of chamomile tea and fell asleep in NCLEX-mode.

After Sunday’s adventure at the Ren Faire, and my brief time at Zumba, last night, my calves we starting to feel it today. I began the WP_003512gloomy day with my normal routine of a shake. Since my vanilla protein powder has been replaced, I began with an Apple Eggnog Shake:

  • 2 scoops Vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 md fuji apple, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp sugar free Eggnog Da Vinci syrup
  • spinkle apple pie spice
  • water
  • ice

A total winner that Barry didn’t think would work! I made Frank a very bright Watermelon Shake.

Today was so gloomy that my dad’s boss told him not to come to work because there was so much flooding! It was also gloomy in my kitchen when my spare Magic Bullet bit the dust. I’m glad I had my smoothie maker to fill in.

Before heading to work, I filled up on some watermelon and I’ve really been digging the beet scene lately. I actually made another beet salad for dinner tonight, for work. I even used some Fakin’ Bacon Tempeh! And what goes well with bacon? Bleu Cheese! I steamed together sliced onion, chopped tempeh, sliced petite carrots, and chopped, sliced beets and served it over a bed of spinach, topped with crumbled reduced fat bleu cheese. The warmth from the vegetables warmed up the cheese and this salad was “no dressing required!” I’ve been trying to talk dad into trying beets, but I haven’t quite gotten there. Maybe I’ll sneak it into something one day. What can I say? You can’t beat beets!

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Usually, being clerk at work makes me want to eat. Not because I’m hungry or burning calories, but because I’m bored. Tonight was great because I ate my delicious salad for dinner, and had some grahams and PB for a snack! Plus, with studying and all the paperwork at the desk, I kept busy!I’m serious! As soon at 7pm hit, this place went crazy, like full moon crazy! Eureka!

I picked up a pack of sliced eggplant from the farmers market last week and wanted to use it up before it began to turn. My intent was to make an eggplant parm pizza, but then this brain of mine began to crank some gears and this little beauty was born. Its like if eggplant parmesean and spaghetti pie had a baby…

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Serves 4

1 large eggplant, sliced 1/8in
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2/3 cup bell pepper, chopped
2 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 cup fat free ricotta
1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 pkg Fettuccine Tofu Shirataki noodles
3/4 cup fat free shredded mozzarella, divided
4oz 96% lean ground beef
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh spinach, packed (25g)
1 Tbsp reduced fat grated Parmesan

Peeling the eggplant is your preference. Over high heat, in a skillet, cook slices of eggplant until they begin to shrivel from the water loss, flipping to ensure both sides cook. Transfer to a paper towel while cooking the remaining slices of eggplant. While eggplant is still pliable, lay the eggplant strategically in a sprayed 9in pie pan to create a pseudo-pie crust (about 7 slices). Sprinkle the bottom on the pan with 1/4 cup of mozzarella.

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Empty the noodles into a colander, rinse, and snip through the noodles with scissors, as these these noodles can be pretty long. In the hot pan, after the eggplant has been cooked and removed, briefly toss the noodles in the pan, tossing constantly to remove excess fluid, and return to the colander.

Spray skillet with non stick cooking spray and briefly cook down onions, garlic, and bell pepper, until onions are
mildly translucent. Transfer warm vegetables into a bowl with uncooked mushrooms, ricotta, spices, and egg. Then add the noodles to the ricotta mix. Transfer into eggplant crust and distribute evenly.

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Brown the ground beef. Once crumbled and browned, add the can of diced tomatoes. Stir together and top over the noodles in the crust. Sprinkle a pinch on mozzarella and the grated cheese. Add the chopped spinach and cover with the remaining eggplant (about 5 slices). Top with remained shredded mozzarella and bake in a preheat oven  at 350 F for 15-20 minutes.

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Slice and enjoy!

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Nutrition (1/4 recipe):

Calories: 149, Fat: 0.8g, Sat. Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 22.5mg, Sodium: 294mg, Carbs: 15.8g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4.7g, Protein: 16.8g

I’m a Nurse, but what do I know?

I a so tired of having an upset stomach! I left work early last night around 3am. When I arrive home I snacked on bread and pretzel sticks in the hopes of absorbing any acid that could be irritating my stomach. For the past few days, saltines and diet ginger ale have been m best friends. But its just unnatural for this to be a diet for 3 days straight.

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I curled in bed and had the hardest time falling asleep. I finally fell asleep in the fetal position, with my behind up in the air and my face in the pillow, around 5:15am, I believe. I slept until about 9am and enjoyed a small fuji apple. In fact, the apple hit the spot so well I ate another for dessert later in the night. After my apple, I whipped up a bunch of shakes! For Frank and James, a filling Banana and Nutella shake for their fishing trip; for dad, a Cherry Cheesecake Shake for is drive to work!

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I walked down to the Dunkin Donuts for Customer Appreciation Day, and got a free medium iced coffee. It was just what I needed to start the sunny day! With a little caffeine and an apple in my belly, I was motivated to start my day! I went for about a 3mile walk to the store to pick up a few items. On the shopping list was PopTarts. I never buy PopTarts, but a little birdie, named Barry, told me about the new ones filled with peanut butter. Did you really think I could resist this?

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They were great! My one problem with PopTarts, not just this particular flavor, but all of them: the CALORIES! 200 calories per pastry. Hello! There are two pastries per pack! Do think people only eat one? PopTarts are delicious! Come on! Nonetheless, both of the Chocolate Peanut Butter PopTarts found their way into my stomach throughout the day.

To off set the sugars, I snagged the last BBQ chicken thigh left over from the guys dinner last night, shredded it up, and tossed it with roasted bell peppers and cauliflower.

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Midway through the day, the stomach aches started back up. Before I knew it, I was back to the saltines. In the last two days, I’ve eaten two sleeves of saltines! Oh yeah, then I got sick. Yay. :/

After lying on the couch for a little bit, a craving hit me that I had last night: a calzone, panzarotti, or stromboli. I just wanted something related to pizza, but not pizza. I think its because everyone on Facebook keeps talking about the Festa (the Italian Festival) around the corner from my house. I mentioned it to Frank, and a small ham and spinach calzone arrived about 45minutes later. We split it four ways, and my stomach felt mysteriously better.

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Wait a second…. saltine and ginger ale = stomach ache. Cheese, ham, dough, and grease= feel better?

Hmmm…. Interesting… I’m a nurse, but what do I know???

Simple Days and Giant Strawberries

Eating was simple today.

The first half of the day amounted to about 4 net carbs. HAHA

During break, today, in clinical, I sat down to a cup of coffee and an a Blueberry Almond Atkins Baked Square. I liked how filling it was and the big chunks of almonds and blueberries in every bite! The drizzle of icing was a nice sweet touch, as well.

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Not having something to drink after clinical, I enjoyed my emergency lunch that I always keep in the car: Atkins Wild Berry Day Break Shake.

Dinner was far too simple, as it was a bowl of Campbell’s Chunky Healthy Request Grilled Chicken and Sausage Gumbo with some Brown Rice Sweet Tomato Basil Triscuits.

The highlight, or should I say shocker, of the day was the strawberries! I went to the store on my way home to grab strawberries, which I saw were on sale. I couldn’t believe how big these babies were! I bought two pints.  I had to! I couldn’t pass it up!

Check it out! Its the size of my palm! And, boy, it was good!

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I have so many strawberries in my tummy right now!

So like I said, a pretty simple day.

But what is NOT so simple, is the paperwork due by next week! It feels like all I do is sit in front of my laptop!

On the bright side, I submitted my first job application for a nursing position! Wish me luck!

Heres a little picture I acquired during my geriatric rotation that I found humorous:

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Some Things Have to Be Made More Than Once

Some things NEED to be made over and over again… and tonight’s dinner is one of this things. I love roasting veggies and tossing them over some greens! Tonight was cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli roasted with garlic powder and basil over spinach. I wound up throwing in some purple onion, left over chicken, and fat free Thousand Island dressing to top it off! I Never get tired of this meal!

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This morning, I rolled out of bed at the time I normally am leaving the house.. Yeah…. someone was sleepy!

Not having any time for anything, I snagged a banana and ran out the door. Today, I started my new rotation on a respiratory unit, where majority of the patients are trached and vented. My instructor is great! She said, “I have five more days with you until you are out on your own.” It hit me. I AM GOING TO BE A NURSE! She is giving us so much independence and it makes me feel so competent and confident in my skills! What an amazing feeling!

WP_001585With my lack of breakfast, I’m glad the inner girl-scout in me is always prepared. I keep an Atkins shake in my car, which was perfect to hold me over while I ran a few errand after leaving the hospital. But when I got home, I got right down to business on tossing some discount produce in the oven! I was a beast today! With my bargain shopper-ness I saved like 40 bucks on my groceries! Woo Hoo!WP_001586

I’m in a bit of a funk today, maybe from the lack of sleep, so I’m retiring early tonight, and catching up on some lectures…

Fleece-Lined Leggings

Probably one of the best investments I’ve ever made was buying fleece-lined leggings at the New Castle Farmer’s Market. They are amazing! They are thick enough to wear as bottoms with a long top, flexible enough to work out in, thin enough to wear under my scrub pants (scrub pants aren’t exactly the warmest), and, oh gosh, I live in these things! I wear them under my scrub pants at clinical and work this time of year and they keep me toasty but not sweating. I ran my 5 miles yesterday in them. They kept me flexible, unrestrained, warm, but breathable.

They are like the ultimate transition wear: wake up, put on tights, work out, slide on scrubs, come home take off pant, work out…

I HIGHLY recommend getting yourself some of these babies!

Today, I worked day shift. One my cold drive in, I snacked on a Nature Valley Recharge granola bar, Cranberry Almond. I was surprised how much I liked it better than the Cherry Dark Chocolate!

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I really liked the cranberries in this bar. They weren’t dried out, but juicy. Plus the bar had a nice chewy crunch, which I love!

The highlight of my day, though, was when I decided to assess one of my patients and while doing so, found some skin breakdown that no one had caught before. The nurse said, “Good job, Sam! I’m glad you caught that!” This just made me feel like I was another step closer to becoming a nurse!

Food-wise, I ate a Muller greek strawberry yogurt. I kept seeing this brand on sale 10 for 10 so I gave them a shot. With yogurts that have fruit purees, I tend to cut the sweetness with ground flax. I did so today, and yum!!!

all blended up!

all blended up!     

perfecto!

perfecto!

 

I got hungry a bit later at work and snacked on a Honey Almond Flax Kashi bar. I had never had this before. The honey was so mild but the bar was crunchy, enjoyable, with just a touch of sweetness!

Dinner was one of my favorite breakfasts! I had it the first time at a local restaurant because it just sound like an interesting combination: asparagus and chicken in my omelet? I chopped up two frozen asparagus spears and 2 oz of cooked chicken breast from a roast Joe Reda brought over. Pop these in a pan, pour 1/2 cup liquid egg whites, sprinkle some black pepper, and cover on low. When the egg starts to solidify, sprinkle 2 Tbsp on fat free shredded mozzarella and flip the omelet closed.

mmmmm so good!

mmmmm so good!

I like mine with hot sauce. Yum!

My snacks for the day were a hodgepodge of things like cottage cheese, graham crackers, fruit, etc.

Food wise, the last two days have been pretty good! I’m determined to keep this up!

Mom and I did a quick 10 minute cardio video tonight, since I was too sleepy to do one this morning before work, and I followed it up with Julies Sweat It Out Cardio and Abs Circuit!

Before bed, I prepped tomorrows crock pot dinner… Beef Stew. I know I’ve been slacking on the crock pot recipes, but time is running out and I still have a few more to make before the end of the month. Any suggestions?