Where Have You Been?

Sorry, folks! I can promise you that despite my lapse in posts, I have been keeping track of my creations. I am laying in bed, right now, and you guys are on my mind. So here is a recipe that has actually become a wicked stand by for a meal or a side dish, so much so that dad made me make another batch the same week!

It is quite simply, yet hearty. Its a bit sweet, but you can add some heat (of course, I did).

Beans and Greens

Make 7 (1/2 cup) servings

  • 4 cups chopped collard greens, ribs removed
  • ¾ cup chopped onion20160728_151116
  • ½ Tbsp minced garlic
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 ½ cup chopped button mushrooms
  • ½ cup honey BBQ sauce (40 cal per 2 Tbsp)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • ¼ cup water
  • 15oz black beans, or any beans, drained and rinsed

Wisk together the tomato paste, BBQ sauce, and water. Set aside.

Combine greens, onions, garlic, water, salt and pepper (and optional red pepper flakes) in skillet, covered, over medium heat, for 10 minutes until greens wilt.

Add mushrooms, beans, and sauce to wilted greens. Recover the skillet and lower heat to low for about 5 minutes to warm the beans and sweat the mushrooms.

20160724_103454Grub as is or  add sausage, hot dogs, chicken, etc.

Per ½ cup:

Calories: 90, Fat: 0.4g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 246mg, Carbs: 18g, Fiber: 3.7g, Sugars: 6.5g, Protein: 4.4g

 

Where have you been, Sammy?

Well, I started an accelerated online program to get my next nursing degree. I am still working full time, I moved out of my moms (I really needed to, it became too toxic), a visited South Korea… Oh! and while I was there, this happened!

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Time to add wedding planning to the  To-Do List!

The Simple Things Aren’t So Simple

The United States of America.

The Land of Endless Opportunity.

Education… Careers… A Home… Love…

“Ummm….What are things we take for granted?”

Whether an immigrant or a natural born citizen, growing up in the USA shapes a mind full of aspirations and the idea that anything is possible.

When I look around, I don’t see that anymore…

Every day this week, on the 12 Noon News, I have heard a headline covering a gun in a school, a college on lock down, a suspicious person being taken into custody from a high school… Its not about drive and opportunity, anymore. Now, you need to worry about safety, and if you will even make it to graduation day in one piece! I’m appalled!

I’ve written before about love, and what I look for in mate… so on and so forth… but it still seems that even the most basic of qualities is too hard much to ask.

I don’t ask for wealth, just employment.

I don’t ask for adoration, just love.

I don’t ask for age, experience, or monotony, but maturity and responsibility.

I don’t need the royal treatment, I’m not a princess.

I don’t need to be handled like a flower, I’m not that delicate.

I don’t ask for a caretaker, I can take care of myself.

Just the partner God made for me.

Love has changed. It has been confused with lust. It has been corrupted. It has been misunderstood as “What can you do for me?” Some people will “love you” (and I say that loosely), as much as they can use you. Once they stop benefiting from you, they move on. People will schmooze and woo you, just for a gain.

Every day this week, on the 12 Noon News, I have heard a headline covering a gun in a school, a college on lock down, a suspicious person being taken into custody from a high school… Its not about drive and opportunity, anymore. Now, you need to worry about safety, and if you will even make it to graduation day in one piece! I’m appalled!

Success is measured by the number of cars, homes, or pairs of shoes you own. Before that, success was working in a position you love.

Even the men and women who claim they want to make a difference in this country revert to mud slinging. They answer “What can you do for our country?” by telling us what they’re opponents will do wrong for this country. Do you think that responding to me like this makes me want to elect you? News flash…

Your job is acquired by who you know, rather than what you know.

What happened to drive? Hard work? I can’t imagine that social media and technology have brainwashed the society with instant gratification so much so that people just expect things to happen. That others should do the work, and you can just reap the benefits… Get a job, grow up, learn responsibility, discover independence (rolling a blunt all by yourself does NOT count), and learn what “accomplishment and pride feels like!

Keeping a roof over your head requires moving back in with your parents, because they, too, need help keeping a roof over their head.

Obtaining a degree is like entering a vicious circle. You want more money, so you want to go obtain a degree. But you can’t obtain that degree, because you don’t have the money to pay for schooling. So then you apply for financial aide or loan, while you work and go to school, spreading yourself thin between family, work, and school work, forgetting what a social life is, trying to provide shelter and security, potentially being indebted to the bank for your school loan, and most definitely pulling your hair out, crying alone in your room, putting on a strong a front so no one thinks your weak…

Feeling like your life, which you once saw as simple and manageable tasks, is spiraling…

All because you wanted to better your life and the life for your family.

What happened to us? What happened to US?

I’m Done!

Wow! I seriously have to play catch up with you guys! It has been quite some time since I’ve blogged! I have been studying like a crazy woman for my finals! The good news? It all paid off! I am officially a Graduate Nurse!

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We Passed!

After one of my finals, Barry thought I could use some stress relief. You’ll never guess where he took me… SHOOTING! At first, I was really intimidated, since the first gun I was handed was a rifle. But once we went to the hand gun range, I felt in control and really started having fun. “If you hit the target, I’ll buy you dinner.” I hit the target! Woo Hoo!

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We went to Applebees where I enjoyed one of their new items, Napa Chicken and Portabellos. I substituted steamed vegetables for the potatoes. It was a winner, smothered in onions, mushrooms, and roasted peppers!

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Things have been going really well with Barry, which I’m happy about.

Last night, after  a couple dates of him treating, I took him to see Iron Man 3 in 3D IMAX. It was his first IMAX movie and Iron Man 3 was the perfect movies to see for him!

My eating was pretty spectacular last week, but last Thursday, I indulged on night shift. This past week was Nurse’s Week and every unit has a theme and a party. This year we went for a Pirate theme and I made a delicious tropical fruit salad!

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But the cookies and Heath bar topped brownies were staring me down. After indulging in the brownie and cookie, and developing a serious tummy ache, I headed home feeling overly anxious. For the rest of the day, I felt so guilty, I only ate a banana and mixed berry shake.

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Things regulated themselves out but ever since then, I have been feeling my anorexic mentality creeping back up. This is kind of freaking me out. It took me quite some time to get myself to eat dinner at work tonight. I’m glad I did because it was very good. My girlfriend told me her favorite Lean Cuisine was Shrimp Alfredo, so I gave it a shot. It already came with peas and broccoli, so I added about 3 oz of fresh broccoli florets, pepper and garlic to it and it was really tasty! I usually do not care for any frozen meals containing shrimp because it usually gets tough and rubbery, but this was an exception. WP_002342 Back tracking, breakfast was Sensato’s High Fiber Butter Pecan Hot Cereal. This stuff isn’t too great by itself, but I sprinkled a teaspoon of cocoa powder and a packet of Splenda, and it did the trick. I served it with a bowl strawberries on the side… YUM! WP_002340 In a nut shell, I’ve been loving not having to worry about school. I have never been so excited to clean my house or my car! I keep being asked why I’m so excited. I reply, “Because I have time now!”

Night Shift and The Purple People Eater

Wednesday:

Another early morning. I had to finish some homework before heading to class. As I was working on the homework, I began  to think about the events of the next few days, and just how utterly sleep deprived I am going to be. (You’ll find out why.)

WP_001320Class was educational and then I had to go to a seminar. During class, I ate Dannon Light and Fit Greek Peach yogurt topped with some chis seeds. On my way to the seminar, I could feel some hungry starting to arise so I swung by Wawa. Thanks for the convenient snack packs, Wawa!WP_001321

I always have issues driving in Bear… I’m always getting lost! I found the location and we learned about stroke prevention. Our project is to conduct stroke assessments on members of our communities to evaluate their risk for a stroke.

I was starving when I got home, so I grabbed a quick bite and I’m headed to bed.

I am working night shift tonight, so I’m praying I’ll get some  sleep before then. Tomorrow night, I am attending a black and gold (ie. we wear black and gold). My girlfriends are in a sorority and I go every year, which is why I was freaking out about having a dress.

Thursday:

I was woken up by my mom and step dad last night. Must they always feel the need to talk outside my bedroom foot when I’m sleeping?
I like to start nightshift with a smoothie. All the protein and fresh fruit gives me an nice buzz to get me going. Yesterday, was National Strawberry Day, so i wanted to incorporate some in my shake. I must say, though, the blueberries took control of this one. “Mom, is it weird that I just named my smoothie ‘the purple people eater?'” “Yes.” “Thanks, mom.”

Into the bullet went:WP_001322
spinach,
frozen strawberries,
half a frozen banana,
fresh blueberries,

vanilla protein powder

raw cashew butter,

ice
When it was all mixed up, it was a purple “monster.”
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I’m pretty happy about my eating last night. Julie is always raving about Milk Chocolate Moose Munch,but last night was the first time I got to try it. Can you guess what I liked the most about it? The nuts, duh!!! I also snacked on baby carrots, these new Back to Nature Sweet Potato and Cinnamon crackers I’ve recently been obsessed with, and granny smith with Chocolate PB2 and graham crackers.

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Eight hours, three cups of coffee and a dark chocolate covered espresso bean, I kept busy most of the night and even caught up on some reading for school.

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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…..  😛

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