Hot Chocolate

Seriously, though, who doesn’t love hot chocolate? I mean, the whole concept of hot cocoa, next to the fire place, with cookies just screams Christmas!

December 12 was National Cocoa Day. I, therefore, made pancakes….

WP_004887Hot Chocolate Protein Pancakes

serves 1

  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 packet hot chocolate, reduced calorie, diet or fat free
  • 2 Tbsp cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute, or 2 egg whites
  • dash cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Blend in a food processor until completely smooth. Spoon the batter onto a warm pan, over medium heat, sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Flip and cook accordingly.

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Marshmallows are a classic hot chocolate topper, so I tried adding a few mini marshmallows to the pancakes and found that the mallows melted when you flip them. SO, out came the fluff! I topped these chocolatey pancakes with some fluff, that melted over the cakes and added the perfect sweetness!

Heck! Hot Chocolate is so good, Tom Hanks sings a song about it!

Hope that made you smile ¬†ūüôā

Protein Pancakes Two Ways

While picking up some things at the farmers market, in preparation for Thanksgiving, I ask Barry what kind of fruit he wanted in our pancakes, since his initial craving for raspberries was no longer an option. (They were out of raspberries.) “Blackberry,” he said. I’m not usually a fan of blackberries, but I gave in since Barry wanted them and thought of a way to incorporate the fruit into brunch.

Since I use cottage cheese in my pancakes, I thought about the time I made blueberry lemon ricotta pancakes and how delicious they turned out! I threw a bag of lemons in the cart and when we got home, I got to work. The pancakes I made for Frank and Barry, a little heartier and stick to your ribs kind, were based off Julie’s Banana Bread Protein Pancakes.

Blackberry Lemon Oat Protein Pancakes

serves 2WP_004686

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 packets Splenda

Blend all ingredients in a food processor, until completely smooth, about 5 minutes. Pour the batter on a skillet, sprayed with non-stick spray, over medium heat, and pour batter by the 2 Tbsp, and cook accordingly.

Nutrition: (1/2 recipe)

Calories: 256, Fat: 3.4g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 4.5mg, Sodium: 362.5mg, Carbs: 36g, Fiber: 6.7g, Sugar: 3.4g, Protein: 20g

This recipe made lots of pancakes and were quite filling, as Frank and Barry left three on the serving plate.

The ones I made for myself were based off my Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes. I little softer and lighter, but every bit as delicious.

Blackberry Lemon Protein Pancakes

serves 1

  • 1 scoop vanilla ¬†prWP_004688otein
  • 2 Tbsp cottage cheese, fat free (about 80 calories per 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup blackberries
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1 packet Splenda
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Nutrition:

Calories: 88, Fat: 1.1g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 1.5mg, Sodium: 264.5mg, Carbs: 8.8g, Fiber: 1.2g, Sugar: 4.5g, Protein: 10g

I liked the texture the blackberry seeds gave the pancakes. I really loved the occasional sweet, but tart, bite of lemon zest!

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No one needed any butter for these babies. Frank ate his plain, in fact! Barry and I did a smidge of a drizzle of SF syrup.

And we were super full! Plus, I adore the purple hue!!!

Tofutti!

My week began with a food mishaps. I woke up and the only thing on my mind was mac n cheese. I had an Easy-Mac-style bowl bowl of low-carb mac n cheese I ordered offline. One bite and Beauty got the bowl. Unfortunately, Beauty wouldn’t even eat it. Ha! I began to think, and a light bulb went off! I have instant grits! Oh and I have apple butter!

So, I originally tried grits for the first time when I was about 10 years old and my mom’s boyfriend at the time took us out for breakfast. Grits were totally new to me. I really wasn’t a fan until my mom asked for apple butter for her biscuit. I tried the apple butter the Cracker Barrel that the waitress brought and it was sweet and even better on the warm biscuit. With this in mind, I placed a bit on my spoon and then tried ¬†the grits once more, and ever since then grits and apple butter go hand and mouth in my mind. Get it? Like hand and hand?¬†

Okay, after that drawn out story… you can guess what was for breakfast:

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I debated having a can of soup for lunch. Once I heated up this soup that I’ve never had before by a brand that I’ve never tried and it, too, went right into Beauty’s bowl. This, too, Beauty turned her nose up to. I grabbed some crackers and PB to hold me over and the¬†went to Zumba, as I usually do on Monday evenings. I came home with a growling stomach, with every intention of making a shake. After experiencing this first evening of the Fall chill, a shake was the furthest from my mind. I rushed home to warm up and steamed up a Green Giant box of green beans and almonds (one of my absolute favorites), followed by some more steamed vegetables. My food plans didn’t work out the way I planned, but it makes me happy that I made things work.

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I changed the sheets on my bed to flannel ones, took a hot shower, and snuggled up under the fresh covers in my toasty pajamas and crashed. I sent this picture to my parents because it reminded me of my childhood anthem:

Tuesday was a relatively early morning of giving. I headed off to the Blood Bank to donate blood. I try to do so as often as I can.

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After running a bunch of errands, I was super hungry when I got home. I was so tempted  to pick up a donut for National Donut Day, but all I could think about was a Boston Cream Pie protein bowl! Bring it! I topped it with some crumble Gnu Espresso Chip! Then some fresh raspberries! Delicious!

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I went off the work around 3pm and , like I’ve said before, being clerk for the evening is hit or miss. Wow! ¬†I don’t think that in the two and a half years I have been at the hospital, I have EVER been as busy on the desk as we were Tuesday! It was nuts!

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Luckily, I had some savory pumpkin quiche and roasted veggies to power me through the shift, and a chips ahoy cookie for a treat. I headed to Barry’s after work, having a heck of a time kicking a headache and belly ache. I even woke up Wednesday still feeling a bit out of sorts.

WP_004507To get out of a funk, Barry and I headed off to the mall, again. We have been to the mall so much, lately. Last week, we got hooked on a store called Teavana! Barry has been dying to go back since last week. We went back and grabbed a few flavors to take home and a brew to walk around the mall with. I never thought that I would drink hot tea without sweetener, but Teavana proved me wrong.  Last week, I had one that smelled like hot oatmeal, and this trip I combined Zingiber Ginger Coconut and CocoCaramel Sea Salt to make a tea that smelled like an almond cookie fresh out of the oven! Last week, we picked up White Chocolate Peppermint Tea! It smells fantastic and tastes like holiday! Ahh! Its magical!

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WP_004509Before heading home to make lunch (steamed veggies for me and mac n cheese topped with steak-umms for Barry), I came across a few awesome and intriguing coffees. Hot Buttered Rum? Mhmm… Tiramisu? Duh! Candy Corn? Uhhh…….

Has anyone had that??? Fill a sista in!

WP_004511I took a nap at Barry’s to try to rid of my headache, only to be woken up by a car alarm 3 hours later. On my way home, I stopped by the local Payless store to pick up an order. I had a birthday coupon and ordered a Christmas present my parents will be giving me (some new work shoes), along with a new pair of kicks. With the coupon and BOGO special, I would up paying a little over 10 bucks for these cross trainers! Sweet! I couldn’t wait to break them in!

I killed time before work by sending out more resumes and experimenting with SF syrups. I added white chocolate and creme de menthe to my hot chocolate/coffee mocha, and it was awesome! I attempted to catch a few Zzzs before my night shift, but not even this cuddle buddy could shut my brain down for a nap!

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WP_004516I headed off to work a little anxious about food and finding a job, but like always, work put me in a better mind set. I finished off the very last bowl of Hot and Sour Soup. I must make this, again! Soon! The caf surprised me, also, when they switched up the veggie options. Last night, there were radishes and asparagus! I was a happy camper. Two dum-dum suckers and a coffee also helped power me through my shift.

I must say that the highlight of my shift was at 0500, when one of the nurses asked me if I would mind drawing her labs. One stick and I was in! Sweet! I’m always asking if they have labs they want me to do so I was stoked when she asked me! I was even more excited when I kicked butt on the lab draw!

I came home from work knowing I was hungry and actually eating like a normal person! Yay! While I whipped up a 2 egg white omelet with hot salsa, I snacked on a handful of waffle pretzels and a tsp of the best peanut butter, Peter Pan’s Crunchy peanut butter. Never, ever, have a found another PB with soooo many peanuts! Ahh, its delicious! Once dad woke up, I brewed us some coffee and whipped him up a Higgins breakfast classic.

My grandmother, my mom’s mom, makes stuffing loaves every Thanksgiving, and give everyone in the family one to take home. The next morning, Black Friday, we slice up the stuffing, fry it, put a slice of cheese on it and top it with an egg over-easy. I took out two slices from the freezer, and fried one up for dad, and topped it with scrambled egg whites, fat free cheese, and hot sauce.

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WP_004524After dad left for work, Barry came over, and I whipped him up a similar dish with two eggs, over-easy. I spent the rest of the day waiting at my dads place for a package from DaVinci (you know I love my SF syrups). After a can of green beans and onions, I headed back to moms, battling the rain.

I spent the remainder of my afternoon sending out resumes. I’ll tell you… job hunting is a job in and of itself. Its really a bummer, too, because I’m fully in love with my job and the company I work for, but I need to use this license that I’ve worked so hard to obtain.

I started not to feel so great so I grabbed a shower and dad picked me up to run to the store. Ginger ale to the rescue! When we got back, I found out dad had not eaten since the breakfast I had made him. With the remaining tofu, left in the fridge from the Hot and Sour Soup, I whipped up the following based off a recipe I saw on Everyday Health.

Spicy Peanut Tofu Stir-fry

based off Tofu With Peanut-Ginger SauceWP_004527

serves 2

  • 2 1/2 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp Better n’ Butter, low sodium
  • 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1 tsp sugar free pancake syrup
  • 1/4 tsp ground, dry ginger
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp sriracha, more if desired
  • 7 oz ¬†firm tofu
  • 1 12oz bag frozen stir-fry vegetable blend
  • 2-3 cups spinach
  • 1 cup mushrooms, largely chopped
  • 1/4 in slice onion, chopped

Whisk together the water, peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, syrup, ginger, garlic, and sriracha. Set aside.

Drain the tofu, and slice into 8 slices. Place on paper towels and pat dry. Continue to change out paper towels to remove moisture, about 4 paper towels.

On medium-high heat, spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Break the slices of tofu into about 6 pieces each and lay in the pan in a single layer. Allow the pieces to turn golden brown on the bottom, then toss and brown the other side. Meanwhile, microwave the frozen veggie blend for 4 minutes.

Once both sides have turned golden brown, add spinach, onion, and mushrooms. Carefully transfer the microwaved vegetables into the skillet, and toss with previous veggie and tofu mix. Pour the previously-made peanut sauce over top, toss the contents of the skillet, and lower the heat to medium low.

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Serve as is or over brown rice, like dad did.

“I’d eat that, again.” Can I quote you on that? That you want to eat tofu, again? “Oh yeah!”

Ladies and gentleman, dad wants to eat more tofu!

I loved this dish! It had the mild saltiness from the peanut butter and soy sauce, and the slightest kick from the siracha! MMM! I actually grabbed some bell pepper slices and lapped up the sauce left at the bottom of the dish. It was just that yummy!

After my mom had her gastric bypass surgery, she has had a ¬†hard time digesting meats. Throughout my cooking, I’ve found that soy products, like tofu, are the only things that don’t upset her stomach. She was eating her meal chanting, “Tofutti!!!! Tofutti!!!”

I guess that means she likes it!

This Thursday evening is ending with a mug of hot decaf mocha, with SF pumpkin spice syrup, and a ginger snap.

Veggies and Vitamins

Wednesday

Since I could not squeeze in my cat nap, I took my (lack of) energy into the kitchen, along with my laptop, and channeled my racing mind into something constructive. I spent about 45 minutes sending out resumes before whipping up a fiberful and filling shake bowl, that kept me full for countless hours! It was just what I needed to power my 12 hour night shift.

Carrot Cake Protein Shake

(adapted from CCK’s Milkshake)WP_004311

  • 3 oz carrot, chopped and steamed
  • 1 frozen, very ripe banana (if not very ripe, use the frozen banana trick)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp Splenda brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • slightest pinch of salt
  • 1-2 packets Splenda, added sweetness, if desired
  • water, or milk (for richer taste)
  • ice
  • guar and xanthum (optional)

I was going to top the bowl with raisins and chopped walnuts. Sound delicious, right? Instead, I crumbled a quarter of a Cinnamon Raisin Gnu bar (Gnu makes a carrot cake bar, but I’m not a real fan of it). The bowl serious hit the spot and I wasn’t hungry for almost 8 hours!

Hard At Work

Hard At Work

My shift began a little rocky. Not because I had a tough assignment, just because I was still in a funk, dwelling over the missed job.  After getting my head back on straight, the night went great.

I brought the last piece of Eggplant Parm Frittata and topped it with Chipotle salsa. I brought a bundle of celery¬† sticks for snacking, and loaded up on raw veggies from the caf. I even had a bite of a butterfinger cake one of the nurse made. (Come on… did you really expect me to pass up anything with the word “butterfinger” in it?) But it only added to my¬† pride when I was one little sliver and done for the night! It was just enough to satisfy my sweet tooth and to say I had some!

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Later in the night, I required something… I wasn’t hungry, but I couldn’t stop thinking about eating something. Rather than hitting up that cake in the fridge, I grabbed a dum dum sucker from the basket and few Teddy Grahams, and was completely unphased!

WP_004317On my drive home, all I wanted was stewed tomatoes. I know it sounds odd, but I could just burst waiting to get my hands on that can! Upon arriving home, there were no cans of stewed tomatoes. I could have sworn I had a can! Diced? NO! Crushed? No. Fire Roasted? Gah! Where are my stewed tomatoes? Alas, I pulled a pepper out of the refrigerator and bit into it like an apple, in disappointment and defeat. I went with the flow and here I am. I just finished my shift up and am blogging away, dipping bell pepper and romaine into one of my favorite brands of sauce, Rising Moon Organics!

Hopefully,¬†looking at a computer screen will tire me out so I can catch some Zs before tonight’s shift!

Thursday

With the success of yesterday’s Carrot Cake shake, I decided to make it for dad, today! After his first swing he said, “Hey, thats pretty good!” Following another gulp, “Cinnamon… mmmm… and I can’t taste the carrots! ” Dad doesn’t like cooked carrots… at all… same as beets… so I love when I get those veggies and vitamins in him! Later, I received a text from dad, “Damn good shake.” I think he liked it!

I had a few beets left in the fridge and definitely wanted to utilize them before they started to go bad.

Beet Berry Burst ShakeWP_004321

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein shake
  • 1/2 beet, peeled, chopped, and steamed
  • frozen mixed berries and fruit
  • 1/2 tsp SF orange jello powder
  • 1 packet Splenda
  • cinnamon

I wasn’t hungry but, then again, I haven’t been hungry for two days, now. I needed to eat just to try to maintain normalcy. I topped it with pretzel sticks, shredded coconut… I was so indecisive. I wound up topping it with PB2, goldfish… I just couldn’t make up my mind. Probably because I wasn’t really hungry.

I got two call backs, today, for jobs. Guess what? I didn’t qualify because I don’t have experience! It so frustrating! I was getting really down on myself. I tried to channel my feelings into a brisk walk. When I arrived at Wawa, I grabbed a coffee

Since the jar of sauce was open, and today being National Pasta Day, I drained a bag of Tofu Shirataki Spaghetti, chopped up a bunch of spinach, and topped the lot with Garlic and Chantrelle Mushroom Pasta Sauce, and bit of Chipotle salsa for a bite! However, my body had other plans. My stomach started bothering me and I felt so out of it. Well, my dinner turned into rice cakes and crackers. I guess I have dinner for tomorrow.

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The Caramel Custard Experience

Thursday

I had a tricky time sleeping last night… just too much nervous energy and making mental notes of things to say in my interview.

Today was the day I have been looking ofrward to for over 2 years: interviewing for a nursing position on my unit. There were so many candidates! I believe there are 12 people interviewing for 2 positions! Talk about pressure!

I woke up before my alarm went off and took the early rising as a sign to be productive. I turned on OnDemand and completed a few 10 minute workouts, and followed it with some hula hooping. I felt energized, and get showered and stressed for my interview with a clear mind. The nerves did not kick in until I walked into the conference room, where I was greeted by 7 familiar faces: my 2 managers, the head CNA, and 4 nurses. I don’t think I stopped smiling the entire time! I bet I looked like a complete idiot! I couldn’t help it! Not only was getting this interview like a dream, but I felt great about my interview! I walked out feeling calm and confident. I pray that this is sign of good news to come!

Please keep me in your prayers.

Arriving home, I was surprised how hungry I was, despite my late night nervous eating, I whipped up a shake. Today is National Caramel Custard Day. I recalled a Hungry Girl recipe for quick caramel custard, but I thought of one myself to experiment with. My final decision was to make both and decide which one I liked best. I opted for the experiment for breakfast and assumed it would keep me full until my next meal, and that the unusal ingredient was add a different texture to the shake bowl.

  • 1/2 to 1 scoop vanilla proteinWP_004113
  • 1 sugar free Creme Brulee¬†rice pudding cup
  • 2 tsp SF caramel syrup
  • water
  • ice
  • few dashes of cinnamon
  • Spinach and xanthum, optional

I was right! It kept me full until I later woke up from a nap to head off to work! I expected the rice in the rice pudding to add a thicker consistancy, but it actually just blened with everything else. I quite enjoyed it.

I was soo thankful to¬†have slept this afternoon! I woke up feeling refreshed and pleased that my hair and makeup still looked great. Don’t you love when that happens? Especially if you wake up that way! It was time for the Hungry-girl version:

  • 1/2 to 1 scoop vanilla proteinWP_004117
  • 1/2 cup OIKOS non fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp SF caramel syrup
  • 1 Splenda packet
  • water
  • ice
  • few dashes of cinnamon
  • spinach and xanthum, optional

This one felt a little lighter, but I had to add sooo much xanthum to thicken it. Both were tasty! The rice pudding-based bowl was a bit thicker and sweeter, while the HG bowl had that Greek yogurt smoothie tartness.

WP_004118I thought the protein from the yogurt would keep me super full but after my rounds at work, I scarfed a Granny Smith! It was delicious, tart, and hit the spot! I also brought my Bubba Keg again, filled with coffee. I fell in love with a new sugar free creamer from Coffee Mate. The name “Italian Sweet Creme” caught my eye and when I read the nutrition label and saw it was on sale, it was a done deal! I haven’t regretted my decision! It soooo good!

So, fellow foodies, which do think would taste better? Try them out and and let me know!

Friday

WP_004115I was on the floor for the first 4 hours of my shift and spent the remaining 8 in the 1:1. Around 3am or so, I was happy to step out of the room to eat. I was pretty hungry! Either that, or I was really looking forward to my meal! I actually ate a meal of 250 calories! Thats a pretty big accomplishment for me on a night shift! I had packed a romaine salad and including a bunch of different add-ins: chopped pickles, cucumbers, onions, baby carrots, some roasted and unsalted sunflower seeds, bacon crumbles,¬†and dried fruit. The dried fruit was something I forgot I had! It was a Raw Superfruit Mix by¬† Extreme Health USA. Before buying this blend, I had no idea¬†some¬†of these berries existed: mulberries, sweet and tart golden berries, goji berries, and blueberries. To finish off the salad, I warmed up the Tostito’s Cantina Chipotle Salsa. It was spectacular! I wanted something else throughout the remainder of my shift and ate a knock-off Apple Cinnamon Nutri-grain bar. I typically, don’t find these satisfying, but the mix up¬†from my normal snacks made it pretty enjoyable.

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The killer of my shift was working with some of the nurses that I interviewed with earlier in the day. They were completely stone-walling me!  A hint!  Anything! Throw me a bone!

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! 

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!

Upside Down Kinda Day

Last night’s dinner was super filling!¬†

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

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

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

half of a frozen banana

1 tbsp cashew butter

Strawberry Dannon Light and Fit yogurt

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Protein Drink Mix

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Formula 1

15g (1/4 to 1/3 cup) kale, chopped 

1/4 tsp xanthum

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

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

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

SNOW!

SNOW!

And this pretty site on my way home:

My neighborhood is so pretty when it snows!

My neighborhood is so pretty when it snows!

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

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

Rendezvous 302

On nights that I binge, I have a hard time shutting my self down. I try to utilize that energy. Last night I was quite the multitasker! I fell asleep around 0300 after alternating between watching lectures, watching Footloose, working out, and looking up crock pot oatmeal recipes (I’m determined to get my dad to like oatmeal).

Crumple, crumple, crumple… thats the sound that woke me up this morning. My mom was crumpling up papers to start a fire. Buzzzzz, Buzzzzzz…. the sound of my dad calling my cell. Do these parents have some timing or what?!

Well, it was noon….. ¬†ūüėõ

I had every intention of taking Beauty for a run this AM but it was bitter! Instead, I did a quick 20min Dave Sinclair workout OnDemand and finished just in time to head off to class.

I wasn’t the least bit hungry till about 1630. However I did manage to sneak in one of my favorite candies: Russell Stouffer’s Sugar Free Peanut Butter Crunch! Have you ever known me to turn down PB? I think not!

I ran out of cottage cheese last night (OH NO) so dad decided to rendezvous at ShopRite to pick up a few things. Like I said, I parked further away from the doors and ran to and from my car. I walk swiftly in the stores and to my classes. In my mind, every bit of extra anything counts (at least thats what keeps me sane).

For dinner, I made the mother of all smoothie bowls, black forest cake style!

The following went into the magic Bullet, into a bog bowl, and then into my tummy:

3/4 cup frozen unsweetened pitted cherries
1 Danon Light and Fit Cherry Greek yogurt
1 scoop Chocolate Metabolife
1 Tbsp Herbalife Personalized Protein Powder
1/2 Tbsp Hershey Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp ground flax
ice
1/4 tsp xanthum
1 cup (about 20g) kale
splash of rum extract
1 sugar free oreo

After i poured it in the bowl and took a few bites, I realized what would make it even better: Ch-ch-ch-chia Seeds! I topped the bowl with about 1 1/2 Tbsp.

The bowl was so filling with 9g of fiber and 25g of protein, I ate half and had to finish the rest later the night.

I need to be an early bird for work tomorrow.

Nighy Night