Refreshing Shake

So who’s ready for the first protein shake recipe of the year????

I’ve made shakes since the new year but, wow, was this one blog worthy! So much so, that I dropped everything I was doing to write this up!

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Outside the original Starbucks! Best Caramel Macchiato ever!

I was watching Unique Sweets, last night, and they highlighted a cheesecake business, The Confectional, located in Pike Market! I love Pike Market! I spent a week in Seattle a few years ago with Phi Theta Kappa at my first International Convention! Every morning, I walked down to the Market to get fresh produce.

Anyway, they mentioned this lemon white chocolate cheesecake and the gears started to turn… Dang, that sounds good…

Lemon White Chocolate CheesecakeWP_007575

  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp cheesecake pudding mix, sugar free, fat free
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar free white chocolate syrup
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I used cookies n’ cream)
  • Ice
  • Water
  • 1/4 tsp xanthum gum (optional)

Blend everything and enjoy! Top with a sprinkling of cinnamon, if desired.

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I topped mine with some cinnamon and Fiber One bran cereal to complete that cheesecake feel! I loved it! It was refreshing and unbelievably fragrant!

I started thinking about the many ways you could make this using any combination of the following:

  • lemon pudding mix, sugar free, fat free
  • white chocolate pudding mix, sugar free fat free
  • lemon syrup, sugar free

Let me know how yours turn out!

 

The Bucket List

Today was all about thrills. After I saw the movie “The Bucket List,” like most people, I immediately started thinking of things I want to do before my time comes. Some items are extravagant, others are simple. Some cost a lot, others are free. Some I have completed, others still require time.

The more I thought about this list, the more lists I started forming. Now I have a notebook full of lists: Restaurants to Eat At, Books to Read, States to Visit, Countries to Visit… My list of lists is endless and ever-growing!

I wanted to sing the National Anthem at a Blue Rocks game (Wilmington’s minor league baseball team). I did that a little out of high school.

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I graduated college! I did that this past May!

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I wanted to fly in a plane. Three years ago, not only did I take my first flight, but I flew across the country to Seattle, WA for a Phi Theta Kappa Convention!

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Today, I not only was in a plane, but I jumped out of it! That’s right!  I crossed “skydiving” off my Bucket List. I could not believe I went through with it! Barry did it, too! I couldn’t believe it! My mom started crying as we boarded the plane. It was freezing! Oddly enough, I wasn’t thinking “Oh my gosh! Am I crazy? I can’t wait to get back on land.” I was thinking, “Oh my gosh its freaking freezing up here! I can’t wait to get in the car to warm up!” Hahah! Looking back on it, I don’t think I was ever scared, just full of excitement and adrenaline!

DSCN0524After an hour drive to Free Fall Adventures, endless initially of paperwork and saying that we won’t sue, we were briefed by an instructor with an incredibly thick New Zealand accent. Next, we met the instructors we would be flying with. This is Brian… He reminds me a Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) from NCIS:LA… He took great care of me! Plus, he was super attractive! Good a girl ask for more? Haha!

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After about a 15 minute accent into the sky, we shuffled our way to the door of the plane and out we went. There was no turning back! The view still plays back in my head like a movie. It was so surreal! We descended 2 1/2 miles to the ground. The wind whipping at my face. At one point, after we first jumped, I opened my mouth to “woo hoo” and I don’t actually know if anything came out! “Oh my gosh! I’m falling! WP_004350I’m flying! Lord, keep us safe!” When we reached a certain altitude, Brian pulled the cord and the parachute deployed. After a brief delay and upward tug, we were floating.

It was so peaceful and tranquil. I could see Atlantic City on one side and Philadelphia on the other. Brian and I had a normal conversation on our way down. He even asked if I wanted to to steer the chute. “Nope! I’m fine! Thanks, though!”

When we landed, I kind of messed things up and fell to my knees like a dork, but at least I didn’t face-plant! Once we were unhooked from each other, I had to give him a hug! Then, I thanked God for a safe landing! I reunited with Barry, and then with my tearful mom, who would not let go of me!

Here’s the video of us coming in for a landing. Barry’s chute is the one that looks like a German flag. His instructor was from Germany and before we boarded the plan gave Barry the best advice:

Range (the instructor):Is this your first jump?

Barry: Yeah.

Range: Can I give you some advice? Don’t F*** this up.

We started laughing our butts off! Brian and I are the last pair to land.

Other things still on my list are marriage, children, and Master’s degree.

What’s on your Bucket List?

Following our adrenaline rush, we met up with dad for a “We’re Alive” dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant, El Jefe. I greeted dad with a chest bump and a big hug! We sat down to chorizo con queso and 3 orders of cebollitas (my favorite). The four of us, then, dug into El Molcajete Estilo, AKA “El Jefe! This is the molten rock bowl filled with a hot reed sauce, chicken breast, steak, queso fesco, cebollitas, and jalepenos (we asked for extra), served with a side of salad, rice, and refried beans, along with four warm tortillas.

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MMMMM! I love Mexican food!

It was a great day! Currently, I’m catching up on blogging, uploading videos and photos, sending resumes, and chowing on some celery!

Oh yeah, on our way to New Jersey, we drove past the Weinermobile!!!

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Hope that made you smile as much as it did me!

Lights Out

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toasty…

Since yesterday was an early day, I feel asleep super early! But, of course, my phone started ringing at 2000. I tried to ignore it, but it just kept ringing. Then, as I hung up with the person on the other line, the power goes out. We made it through Hurricane Sandy with only a few flickering lights, but for some reason, the power lines couldn’t stand up to the cold. My mom went into manic-mode, lighting candles and such. Me? My phone was charged and the alarm was set. I curled up next to the fire place for some warmth, and relaxed. But unfortunately, I could not fall back asleep, especially with mom calling the power company, on speaker phone, every 25 minutes! So I whipped out my phone and started working on some posts for you all!

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Apparently power outages have
no effect on this Sleeping Beauty…

The power came back on around 0130. Just in time for me to watch a great movie, called Canvas! I finally fell back asleep around 0300, I would say. Apparently, the universe prefers me sleep deprived…

On another subject, I found this link last night after I mysteriously developed an overwhelming appetite. The article discusses seeing food as “good” or “bad.” I began to feel really guilty about not working out, yesterday. I felt even worse after eating so much later in the night. A few sentences really stood out to me so I thought I’d highlight them for the overly anxious, bingers and  health seekers, like me.

the quality and the balance of what you eat may play a bigger role in weight control and the regulation of your metabolism than the calories alone.

A study found that a daily variance of as much as 600 calories won’t reflect on your waistline, as long as you maintain a healthy diet in the long run.

                Researchers believe that little to no weight gain occurs because healthy individuals usually “undereat” one day and “overeat” on another. So in the end, it all evens out. As long as you’re eating healthy most of the time, having an occasional treat won’t wreck your diet.

I need to remember that although I’ve been rather over indulgent this week, I can even it out. I can’t stress or crawl in my corner.

Now lets get into the goods. Good as in tasty, that is…

I planned this breakfast a few days ago while making the Walnana Muffin Cookies. I decided to use Katie’s melted banana trick in my oatmeal. I was surprised when my mom ask me to make her one too! I was really impressed with how it turned out! If I wasn’t so full from this stick-to-your-ribs breakfast, I would have eaten another bowl! Yeah, its that good!

Walnana (Banana Bread) OatmealImage
serves 2

1 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup Flax Milk (or milk of your choice)
1 1/2 to 2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 bananas
1 Tbsp Artisana Walnut Butter
1/2 tsp Splenda brown sugar, or 1 tsp brown sugar

Combine oats through cinnamon in a pot, stir, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring often. After 15 minutes, cut bananas in half, place in a bowl and microwave for 45 seconds. Pour the fruit into the simmering oats, add the walnut butter. Stir really well ensuring the butter is fully dissolved. Sprinkle the brown sugar over top. Give it a quick stir and serve. Each bowl gets a heaping cupful!

ImageNutrition Facts, per serving:
Calories: 303
Fat: 8.7g
Sat. Fat: 1.1g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 21.4mg
Carbs: 52.9g
Fiber: 7.5g
Sugar: 14.2g
Protein: 7.4g

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melted banana

Melting the bananas really brings out their natural sugars and allows the fruit to really distribute evenly throughout the oatmeal; and adding the walnut butter while it was cooking, gave the oats a smoother texture. I topped mine with some chopped walnuts to add a crunch. I was going for a banana bread feel, but the milk added a creaminess that made it a bit of banana creme pie-like. Wow this was good!
Speaking of pie. Today is National Pie Day! Being the nerd that I am, I usually celebrate Pie Day on March 14th. Get it? 3.14?
I thought about it… Pizza pie or fruit pie? But banana creme pie-ish oatmeal counts, right? Sure, why not? I won’t tell if you don’t.

I enjoyed the oatmeal with a mug of some new herbal tea I picked up at the co-op, yesterday.

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While I waited for my oatmeal to fluff up and cook, I tried my hand at some homemade cashew Imagebutter. I used about 1/2 lb raw cashews, and soaked them in water over night. I was surprised by how much water the nuts soaked up.

I drained the cashews and popped them in the Magic Bullet. Every so often I removed the whipped cashews and gave the whole nuts a shake. As the butter accumulated I removed it from the bullet. Never having had store-bought cashew butter, I wasn’t really sure how it was supposed to taste. I will say, I loved the smooth consistency  I also sprinkled a little less than 1/4 tsp of salt into the mix.

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Dinner tonight was the Lean Cuisine I’ve been putting off eating! I added some of the baby carrots, as planned, to the broccoli,a sprinkled some black pepper. The meal was pretty decent. Theres a lot of the gravy and I wasn’t quite filled enough. If I get it again, I’m going to need more veggies. The flavor was good and the steak tender, but lacking in mushrooms. This frozen meal has a lot of potential.

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I snacked on some graham crackers and PB, the best hospital snack ever! And tapped into the homemade chips and salsa one of the nurse’s brought in. I love fresh, homemade salsa!

Even though the oatmeal was pretty darn spectacular, the highlight of my day was booking my flight to San Jose, for my trip in April! Every year I try to attend the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society International Convention. I’ve been blessed with being able to afford Seattle, two years ago, and Nashville, last April. I’m glad I have some time to save up some dinero for the trip!