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!

Nutella with Raspberries

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As Barry headed off to work, I slept in for a bit until getting up to meet Frank at the farmers market at 9am. Breakfast was small and quick, as I was still shockingly full from last night. A Creme Brulee sugar free rice pudding and large glass of sparkling water sufficed.

We ran a few errands, and just as we were loading up the the truck at the last stop, the cloudy sky opened up and poured! It poured for hours! When we got home and unloaded, I headed to bed for night shift and when I woke up from my 3 hour nap,it was still pouring! In fact, it stopped just long enough for me to run the recycling and trashcans out and get to my car for work. 5 minutes after being in the car, it started pouring, again! Then, on my way from the parking garage, as I made a run for it, I saw the creek was almost to the top! Talk about rain!

The smell of Frank’s cooking is what woke me up this afternoon! I love his stir fry, so while I sat down to my snack, I stole some veggies and shrimp from the skillet. Hey, I had to make sure it wasn’t poisonous!

Frank and my dad had voiced some concerns the last few days. My dad mentioned that it looked like I was loosing weight, again, and he wasn’t pleased. This afternoon, Frank talked to me over my yogurt, as said he was worried about me. “You look on the pale side, and your WP_003705soft spoken. You’re starting to worry me. I’m not used to you being so quiet. You’re usually so boystrous.” He’s right, though, I haven’t felt myself the last few days. In fact, I’ve been doing nothing, but stressing about food! Maybe its because I was surrounded by food all weekend, and this was my way of feeling in control? I’m not quite sure, but its nice to know that I have my dads and Barry there for me.

Backing up to the yogurt. It was like a was fiending for caffeine! I had a bowl of light coffee yogurt, and crumbled half a Gnu Espresso Chip bar on top. Yum! I was definitely digging it and it really filled me up.

After changing my meals about 6 times, today, I decided to pack things that I could burn off over my shift: Be Well Nutella on toast with raspberries, steamed broccoli and petite carrots and celery sticks.

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I was clerking for the first 4 hours of my shift and as usual, my 10pm hunger was kicking in. I tried desperately to ignore it, but one of the guys, here, kept talking about how he wanted to get a Baconator! Oh man! Yes, please! That was it. I grabbed a pack of graham crackers and ate them with a bit of PB to keep me going until my 2 am lunch break. I have to say that as soon as I swallowed the last bit, I immediately began a guilt trip on myself!

The reminder of the shift was spent on the floor. The nutella and raspberries are great, by the way!

Name Change

I am no longer Sammy Bundo. I am Sammy Bundo, R.N.!

Wednesday

This morning (Aug. 21, 2013) began with a phone call from Barry.

“I have question for you.”

I have one for you. Why are you up? (He just finished night shift)

“I had to pee, but it this Samantha [Bundo], Registered Nurse, License Number L1…….?”

What?! No!

“Yes!”

No!

My official license had been issued and posted on the State’s registry! I began screaming, smiling ear to ear! I called my parents and whipped up two shakes! For me, a Mixed Berry Colada. I’ve really been digging  my sugar free Coconut Torani. Yesterday was National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day and I was curious to see if I could make a Pecan Pie Shake:

  • 2 scoops chocolate protein mixWP_003603 WP_003604
  • 1/2 md apple, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chopped pecans
  • 2 Tbsp sugar free pancake syrup
  • water
  • ice

Frank was really into it!

As we sipped our shakes, I called my managers at work to share the news! But, boy, did they have news for me! There is a very strong possibility that he has a job opening up on my unit for me! I am beyond excited! With all this adrenaline running, I could not fall asleep to rest for my 12 hour shift, tonight!

I laid in bed for like 4 hours before giving up and preparing a celebratory dinner! Frank had mentioned earlier in the week that he wanted Chinese food. I talked him out of the temptation and promised to make homemade for him later in the week. What better day to have a quick, and wonderfully indulgent meal, than in honor of a celebration?

Barry arrived at the house around 430pm with a nice little surprise, and my parents quickly followed behind him from work.

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I follow the Hungry Girl recipe to the T except for the egg and flour coating. Since I don’t, typically keep scallions in the house, I substitute them with chopped onion, and I always make sure to include the chopped onion and 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce as it cooks and thickens. As for the coating, I find that 1/4 cup of liquid egg substitute  and 2 1/2 Tbsp whole wheat flour suffices for 1 1/4lb (20oz) of cut chicken breast.

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With the bit of mixed vegetables left over from the Chicken Pot Pie, I made a make-shift fried rice, I cooked 1 cup of brown rice and allowed it to cool. I added the rice to a skillet, along with soy sauce, sesame oil, ground ginger and garlic, left over vegetables, chopped onion and mushrooms. Lastly, I added the remaining egg from the drained chicken breast to the mix. To finish off the meal, I steamed broccoli and garlic.

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We finished socializing at dinner just in time for dad to walk me to my car and see Sammy Bundo, RN, off to work.

When I arrived at work, everyone was congratulating me. It turns out the managers had posted signs around our unit! They did a great job of killing the spelling of my last name, but its the thought that counts!

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I am finishing up my can of beets, finally, with another salad of onion, bacon tempeh, carrots, and Walden Farms Bleu Cheese dressing. A rice pudding came with, as an inevitable emergency end of shift snack. The end of shift snack actually became my 4-hours-in snack, while grahams became the end-of-shift snack.

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Thursday

WP_003614I spent my first 4 hours in my 1:1 from the other night, and the remainder of the night on the floor. The night felt like it was dragging. I was sleepy and cramping, and it felt like my coffees were switched with the decaf stuff! When 7 am came around, I was ready to roll! I stopped for an actual decaf and passed out on the couch. I felt bad because I was going to meet Barry at his house, but apparently my body had other plans.

I woke around 1pm to get something in my stomach. Since today is National Eat a Peach Day, and I didn’t have an actual peach, I had an Activia Greek Peach Orchard yogurt topped with sunflower seeds, and reheated what was left of the mornings decaf. I love the earthy, nuttiness the seeds add to yogurt!

I fell back asleep to wake around 5 pm. I didn’t have much of an appetite but my stomach was tossing from a menstrual migraine. I haven’t had one of these in years and i felt my forehead was bulging. I explained it to Barry like this:

steinYou know how Frankenstein has that big forehead, like with the protruding eyebrow looking things?

Yeah?

Its like that… like my forehead is taking over my head.

Your forehead feels like Frankenstein? Well, I’ve never heard a headache described quite like that before…

I wound up calling out of the shift that I had picked up. I toasted an cinnamon raisin breakfast thin, and spread it with cream cheese and sugar free blueberry preserves. I added chopped celery to one side, for crunch, and a slice of Canadian bacon, for salty protein, on the other. I ate it like a sandwich and it was delicious!

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As the night went on, the headache went awake, and my appetite, and cravings returned. I went with another Lil’ Drum to satisfy the crunchy sweet, and a side of pretzel sticks for the crunchy salty. I spent the remainder of the night watching Four Weddings. (I love this show!)

Krispy Kreme First

When the going gets tough, the tough gets Reese Pieces.

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I’m a pretty strong person, but I still felt that things were unresolved. I was laying in bed, having trouble falling asleep, and decided I needed something popable: Reese Pieces. These may have been left over from Easter, as you probably guessed from the carrot shaped bag.

Prior to the Easter throw back, I began to feel down on myself about not going to Zumba and still eating. Silly, I know. Especially since I was technically, still  under my allotted calories.

I find it ironic:

WP_003346Food is a major contributor to my anxiety, but cooking levels me out. So thats exactly what I did. I called my elderly neighbor to see if he would like Chicken Marsala for dinner tomorrow night. (He eats all of his meals out at the same restaurant). One thing I love about cooking for him, is that he needs to gain weight, so it allows me to whip out my inner fat girl chef. I whipped up bacon cheddar mashed potatoes and plated the chicken breast over top.

I also prepped my dinner for night shift for tonight (recipe below).

Important Errands:

Yesterday, in my state of blah, I wanted to feel like I could potentially make myself useful. I sent out a few resumes, studied for the NCLEX, and, lastly, filled out the application to a job I’ve wanted for a long time. (Say some prayers.) This morning, after showering and getting myself pertty, I hand delivered my application and resume. I followed this up with spending entirely too much money at Walmart!

Good Eats:

WP_003357Fuel for the morning was half a Skinngygirl On the Go Bar. How can you go wrong with Dark Chocolate Multigrain Pretzel? It wasn’t too shabby. In my opinion, like the other Skinnygirl bar I tried, it contains a decent amount of sugar.

After the Walmart adventure, I settled into bed for a nap before work. This brain of mine was working hard, and I jumped out of bed to grab pen and paper about an hour or so into my nap! I had dreamt up 2 recipes and had to write them down before I forgot them! The best part is that I think these are actually do-able recipes! I can’t wait to give them a shot!

WP_003354Smart eating is a necessity after these anxiety munchies, so with big fresh peaches in the house, but a lack of vanilla shake mix, I made a Peach Melba Protein Smoothie.

  • 1 half peach, chopped, with skin
  • 1  Dannon Light and Fit Raspberry Greek yogurt
  • water
  • ice

This was probably one of the tastiest I’ve made in a while! It was delicious and filling! It kept me full for a few hours, but my tummy started rumbling and I cracked into a sugar free Creme Brulee rice pudding, topped with cinnamon, of course. It was a tad bit sweeter than the normal stuff, but not too different other than that.

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In the Walmart splurge, I picked up the Vanilla Biscotti K Cups for work and mixed it with sugar free french vanilla creamer. Its a good combo, if you were wondering.

Once I arrived at work, I got into a conversation about Krispy Kreme. They could not believe I have never had one! God Bless this mom when she told me I was a twig and could eat 6 of them! She told me I wasn’t leaving the room until I took one with me. I took my pick and and the one with the pretzel topping looked the most appetizing! I cut 1/8, yes, an eighth, of the Caramel Chocolate Pretzel donut to try and trashed the rest. This was my first and last experience with Krispy Kreme. The donut was filled with chocolate and topped with crushed pretzels. I’m actually glad I wasn’t a fan, once I saw the calorie count on the bad boy. But at least now I can say, I’ve had one.

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I never thought I’d say this, but I’ve really been digging beets. Thats why, instead of my normal salad for last night 12 hour shift, I tossed together spinach, canned, sliced beets, sliced baby carrots, onions, and crumbled fat free feta for an all-star salad!

Orange Balsamic Beet Salad

serves 1WP_003345

  • 1/4 cup beets, canned, sliced, drained
  • 1 oz baby carrots, slivered, divided
  • 1 slice onion, divided
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp light orange juice
  • black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free Balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1/2 oz fat free crumbled feta

Over medium-low heat, cover the beets, with pepper, carrots, half the sliced onions, half the slivered carrots, all the orange juice and dressing. Allow the veggies to steam and cook in a covered skillet until the juices have dissolved. Uncover, turn off heat, and allow to cool, while chopping spinach. Spoon beet mix over spinach and top with crumbled feta.

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I grabbed some balsamic vinegar to top my salad with from the caf and wound up spilling a bunch on my hand. Its hours later and I can still smell it! The good new, though, is that the salad hardly needed anything since the beets were so full of flavor! Yum!

After a busy night of crying babies and glucose monitoring, I was pulled to sit for the last four hours of my shift. I was pretty pleased since I had worked 8 hours and hadn’t had the time to even glance at my NCLEX book! I spent the last four attempting to study and review and resist blogging! (I just can’t help myself!)