My Mug Overfloweth

I was greeted with some disappointment, this morning. As Frank and I headed out for our bike ride, I discovered a flat tire! My bike ride was cancelled for today, but luckily I was hungry.

In honor of National Banana Lover Day, I whipped up a Banana Creme Pie Shake Bowl, with a handful of spinach.

Banana Creme Pie BowlWP_003699

  • 1/2 to 1 frozen banana
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein
  • 1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar free fat free Banana Creme Pie pudding mix
  • 1/4 tsp xanthum (optional)

I enjoyed this bowl while sitting on the porch and chatting with Frank! It was a beautiful morning with the sun shining and a light breeze.

For some reason, despite my cup of coffee, I could not wake up today. I tried keeping busy until Barry came over on his lunch brake. I saved him some of the Chicken Cheesesteak Pizza from last night’s dinner. It was his first experience with a cauliflower crust and he liked it. I think each time I make the crust, I get better and better at it.

WP_003700As noon approached, the sun began to hide and a mildly grumbling tummy came out. Frank made a tuna sandwich for himself and I finally gave into my nutella desire with a slice of oatmeal toast and Be Well Nutella. It hit the spot and was just enough to satisfy my hunger.

The entire day was spent in an odd funk. I just could not get with the program. Frank and I watched movies all day! I was quite lazy, but maybe my body just needed that.

Dad came over for dinner before I headed to Barry’s. I had picked up cebollitas at the farmers market and had been itching to make them. They are typically made on a grill coated in salt and olive oil. Every time dad and I go to a Mexican restaurant, we go to town on these babies, and we always dip them in the chorizo con queso! This was my first time making the cebollitas and they could not have turned out any better!

Cebollitas (Spring Onions)WP_003701

  • 8 cebollitas
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp, divided, plus 1/8 tsp seasoned salt

Heat a cast iron grill pan, or skillet if you do not have a grill pan, on medium to medium high heat. While the pan is heating up, snipthe top stems of the onions down until there is about 2-3 inches from the bulb. Spray the pan with non stick cooking spray and lay the onions down. Sprinkle1/4 tsp of seasoned salt over the onions, followed by squeezing half a lime over top. Quickly cover the onions with a lid. After 5 minutes, turn the onions to the other side,sprinkle the remaining 1/4 tsp salt and squeeze the other half of the lime. Recover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Removed the lid and toss the onions every 3 minutes or so for an additional 10 minutes. On the last toss, sprinkle the last 1/8 tsp of seasoning salt. Serve them up!

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Dad and I ate our with a bowl of soup! It was one we had never had before by Campbell s, but it is definitive one we will be getting again! Campbell’s Chunky Kickin’ Buffalo Style Chicken Soup was creamy, with a kick of buffalo sauce and blue cheese flavors! MMMM! And I dipped my cebollitas in there and the creamy consistency worked great as a substitution for the chorizo con queso! The soup even had carrots, tomatoes, celery and potato like the classic home-style chicken soup.

Dad wanted a grilled cheese on the side. I’ll tell ya, just the soup and 4 cebollitas kept me full for the rest of the night!

I met up with Barry, still feeling in a haze, but being with him and getting out of the house helped perk me up. His house was bareso we headed off to the grocery store, as opposed to my usual Tuesday night Zumba routine. We are spending the rest of the night in movie mode.

Morning Surprises!

Today is the first day in a few that I haven’t gotten sick and still felt comfortable with my eating. Yesterday, after my trip to Philly to bury a copy of my diploma to my grandfather, I kind of had some issues. I always swing by Wholefoods on my way home, and the bakery is to die for. Down the hatch some cookies went and, bam, here came the break down!

I received some bad news late last night of the passing of a family friend. It was so sudden! I just saw him a few weeks ago and he said, “I’ll see you on the 22nd at the graduation party!” RIP. You’ll be missed.

This upset my stomach and I attempted some crackers to settle it. No luck. I fell asleep curled in a ball feeling miserable.

This morning, although my stomach was slightly uncomfortable, I proceeded to make a shake. Frank knows I love making shakes, so he always ask me to make his. This not only boosts my self esteem, somehow, but also helps me cope.

When I’m stressed, I cook. I’ll expand more on that in a second.

Frank got a shake that did not look super attractive, but was yummy and full of vitamins: Mixed berries, banana, spinach, and chocolate protein mix.

A month or so ago, I decided to dip my strawberries in OIKOS Toasted Coconut Greek yogurt to make a strawberry colada of sorts. It was a success. The other day, I found Dannon Light and Fit Greek Toasted Coconut and imediatly snatched it up! I threw that with some strawberries in the Magic Bullet, along with xanthum, spinach, ice and water to create smoothie bowl. The bowl was topped with chia seeds, and paired with a cup o’ joe!

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It was a dreary day here, but I did not want to waste the day. Frank, James, and I decided to run so errands to pick up some things for the graduation party. While we were out, we treated ourselves to Serpes. They were just pulling out tomato pie out of the ovens! And of course, I needed to grab one of my favorite cookies from them. Its like a shortbread thumbprint with a dollop of peanut butter. The cookie is covered in a thin layer of chocolate and finished with shaved almonds! Heavenly! I’m determined to make a healthy version of this delicious cookie!

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While out shopping, I picked up some ingredients, went to the kitchen and made my own tomato pie! MMMMM! It was a winner! This is definitely something I will be making for my grad party as an appetizer. I was really surprised how good the sauce turned out!

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With some left over dough and sauce, I opted to make some garlic knots!

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You would think with all this baking, I would have had a bad eating day. NOPE! In fact, for dinner, I roasted some brussel sprouts, and covered it in  mushrooms and Trader Joe’s Creamy Corn and Red Pepper Chowder! Delicious!

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I couldn’t believe how slow it felt time was moving today. Luckily I was able to keep semi busy.

Oh, and I forgot the surprise of the day!

Frank woke me up around 8 this morning. “Sammy! Samantha, theres flowers at the door.” I stumbled, confused, out of bed to see what he meant. A man was on the porch with a vase of pink roses and lillies! Barry is away at camp, still, and surprised me with these beautiful flowers! I was shocked! A great way to start my day!

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Pinning

Two nights ago, when I left work, I started feeling really weird. As I walked out to my car, my body started feeling like it did when I was sick. I felt weak and tired, like I had no strength. I think it scared me into eating when I got home. Although it was 11pm, and I do not like to eat that late, it made me nervous.

The next morning, feeling some guilt about eating so late, I wanted to started the day off right with a long overdue smoothie bowl. We have tons of apples in the house and I really had a hankering for a cheesecake shake. I decided to make a Apple Crumb Cheesecake Shake (with spinach, of course, for some added vitamins).

Apple Crumb Cheesecake Smoothie BowlWP_002358

half a diced apple

1 sheet of reduced fat cinnamon graham crackers

1 Tbsp sugar free cheesecake pudding mix

handful of spinach

1/8 tsp guar gum

1/4 tsp xanthum

water

ice

This was pretty good, but a few hours later I really wanted granola. Sticking with the creamy theme, I enjoyed a Yoplait Light Banana Cream yogurt with a Kashi Pumpkin Spice Flax granola bar. Perfectly satisfying. My favorite way to do this lunch though, is with the Nature Valley Peanut Butter granola bar! Peanut butter and banana! Can this combo ever be wrong? I don’t think so.

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Last night was the graduating class’ pinning ceremony. The pinning ceremony is like a right of passage for nursing students. We are presented with a pin and a candle. The candle symbolizes Florence Nightingale’s travels during the Crimean War caring for the injured  She was known as “The Lady with the Lamp.” After receiving our pins and carrying our torches, we, as new graduate nurses, recite the Nightingale Pledge.

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The lovely evening would not have been complete without a fist fight. Yeah! A fist fight! As we were walking through the courtyard, I heard arguing. I looked back and watched some guest punch one of the nursing students! What the heck!?

After we grabbed security, we left and went to the DAP (Delaware Association of Police), kind of like a VFW, but for cops. (Dad and I are both members of the club). I like to opt for the lowest calorie drink, so I ordered a Diet Sierra Mist with Citron Vodka. The bar tender went a little heavy handed on the vodka and I was feeling good after that one drink.

Not having ate in over 8 hours, probably contributed to the immense tipsiness and hunger that ensued following the drink. Frank said he would treat to Chinese food so I ordered my favorite: Steamed Shrimp and Vegetable, with a side of garlic sauce. I must have been really hungry because I NEVER eat the rice. But I ate that whole darn platter. And I was feeling the full tummy when I went to sleep last night. Oh boy, was I stuffed!

I slept in a little later today, which was a nice change. I have work at 3pm today. I decided to go with another smoothie bowl this morning for two reasons: 1) its incredibly filling and should last me until dinner time, and 2) its National Cherry Cobbler Day!

Cherry Cobbler Protein ShakeWP_002370

1 scoop Vanilla Protein Drink Mix by Herbalife

1/2 Tbsp sugar free Vanilla pudding mix

1/4 tsp sugar free Cherry Jello mix

about 5 frozen cherries

1/2 sheet of reduced fat cinnamon graham crackers

1/4 tsp xanthum

1/8 guar gum

a handful of spinach (optional)

water

ice

I guess this shake looked pretty appealing because Frank asked me to make him one, too!

Forgot My Carrots

I wanted a filling but not too heavy dinner for work tonight so I opted for my garlic cauli soup and saltines. I really enjoy eating this soup with some baby carrots. As I walked out if the house, on my way to work, I could feel like I was forgetting something, but just couldn’t put my finger on it. Literally, as I turned into the parking garage, it hit me! Carrots!

At least my breakfast had some carrots! Breakfast was a smoothie bowl that had intrigued me:

1/3 carrots, microwaved for 30 secWP_001389
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
2 scoops vanilla Herbalife
1/4 tsp xanthum
Ice

It was actually really tasty! I added some ground flax to play off the earth-tones of the carrots. This was paired with not one, but two, cups of coffee!

WP_001390Have I mentioned im exhausted?

After my drowzy play with the MagicBullet, I watched a bit of a lecture then headed back to work.

I was surprised,again, when I got to work. That patient I told you about yesterday, who named her stuffed puppy dog after me, made me a thank you cars and got me lotion and Lindor truffles! How sweet is that!?

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Mom asked for my email address to keep me updated on her and so she could come visit me when I work. This is an amazing feeling!

 

On my way home, the late night munch kicked in. A trip to 7-Eleven resulted in a product I have never seen but that I needed to buy: Chex Mix Snickerdoodle Muddie Buddies! Yes, you read that correctly and might I say, absolutely phemon!!!!

Antioxidants

You know I never let anything go to waste. I had blanched a pear in some lemon juice and frozen it a while back. I woke up really wanting to use this pear in a shake this morning. I had seen a couple shake recipes using pears so I played of of those to make this mornings shake:

1/2 frozen pearWP_001074

1/4 to 1/2 frozen banana slices

2 -3 tsp cashew butter

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Formula 1

1/2 pkt Fruitein Rainbow Shake mix*

1 cup Bai5 Brasilia Blueberry

handful of kale

1/4 tsp xanthum

ice

I wanted something filling, with some natural sugars to keep me powered through this study day. This shake is like an antioxidant heaven!

Studying ensued for the rest of the day. I realized I needed my first study break after a period of delirium when I began baby talking to Beauty… a quick little circuit should do the trick.

Back to studying until hunger kicked in… As I grabbed some Wasa, nutella, and Planters Berry PB, mom went and got Arby’s for dinner (Yay, coupons!). French dip with a bit of horsey sauce! Yum!

I also had an Orange Cranberry Gnu bar, which did a great job holding me over for a while! (look for the Gnu review, coming soon!)

Studying for the rest of the night! Wish me luck tomorrow!

* I found Fruitein at the co-op and wanted to give it a try. The Rainbow flavor caught my eye as a power house of health! It has over 115 Whole Food Concentrates. I mean, the ingredients list blows my mind: white fig, carrot, pomegranate, yellow pepper, pineapple, garlic, spirulina… and things I’ve never heard of: noni? mangosteen? wolfberry? The shake is vegetarian and gluten free.

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.

Peachy Keen x 1000

After my cookie spree and the rest of the amazing foods at Immediato’s Bistro, I woke up still full and in the mood to work out. I’ve completed all of Julie’s circuit work outs, except for one: The 1000 Rep Workout! Frankly, it has always scared me a bit. I don’t know what came over me but I did it! I felt victorious! I was sweaty and smiling!
I thought the squats were going to be the hardest part for me, but it was actually the 50 seconds of wall sits! i wanted to scream! For the rest of the day I was filled with energy! I even called my dad and he came over and we took the pup for a walk! For the next week the high is about 25 degrees so we really needed to take advantage of this weather!
I love taking a walk with dad and Beauty. Beauty is getting old, so I love seeing that she still has some pep in her step. Dads getting old, too, so I like to see that hes got some spunk left, also. Just kidding, dad! But in all sincerity, I love walking with my dad. Sure we talk on the phone or over dinner, but its like a different kind of conversation. I don’t know, but its just different and I love it!
After we got back, Beauty decided it was nap time. Me? I decided it was food time. I’ve been on a bit of a yogurt kick lately and wanted to try this:

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I really wasn’t that impressed. I like the chunks of peaches, but there wasn’t much of a peach flavor. Therefore, I decided smoothie bowl was the route to go. The following was whipped up in the Bullet:

1 (6oz) Chobani Non-fat Peach Greek Yogurt
100g of frozen sliced peaches
20g of kale
1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Protein Drink Mix
1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Formula 1
1/4 tsp xanthum
ice

I find that the bowls where I use greek yogurt, keep me the most full and satisfied. Like with the bananas, when I notice fruit is starting to turn, I’ll slice it up and freeze it for my shakes. I remembered I had some slices of peach in the freezer. I think in today’s case, I used too much kale and did not have enough peaches.

The shake was decent, but it was missing some sweetness… Lightbulb!

In this post I discussed how I really was not a fan of thePeach and Raspberry Honey Bunches of Oats, but I enjoyed it dry… I topped the shake with this cereal. It added that fruitiness and crunch it was missing.

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
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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

Panera Made a Liar Out of Me

I finally got my lazy dazy butt to do something: Julie’s Sweaty Abs Circuit (one of my favorites!)

Last night was my first night back with patient care. It was like I never left. I felt on top! I even had a nurse ask my opinion on one my patients!

Work has been hosting seminars for the past week, catered by Panera. My manager brought back some salad, wheat baguette, and some sandwiches. I made a small salad and a small piece of bread. I was full. I snacked on my baby carrots a bit later and left the Lean Cuisine in the freezer…

One of the nurses brought this baggie in… Mint Chip Brownie Cookies… ADDICTING! Kudos to Nurse Kathleen.

I was proud of myself that I did not indulge in them! I treated myself and went on with my night.
When I got home, I snacked on various food items, PB and cottage cheese are always key players. I laid in bed thinking though… “I wasn’t hungry. Why did I do that?” Thank goodness I did not go to town like I used to in the past!

I’ve noticed that each day, I’m getting better with my eating habits and food choices. I think a lot of it has to do with this blog. MyFitnessPal helps me keep track about what I eat, but writing about it allows my to have fun with my food and not obsess about.

A big thank you for reading the blog and helping to keep me healthy and sane. I hope the blog is able to help you like it is helping me. My hopes for this blog are to share healthy recipes, exercises and experiences with each other to broaden our horizons, connect, live well and happily together!

This morning I woke up determined to start today on the right foot. I stripped my bed and threw the sheets in the wash, prepared the tonight’s crock pot dinner (recipe to follow), did a quick 30 min Hip Hop Abs workout, made myself a smoothie bowl and peach berry green tea, and got down to business (lectures and what not).

Nutella, for some reason has been on my mind lately. I never liked Nutella when I was a kid but when I saw in the ads that it was on sale for $1.99, I decided to give it a second chance. Since I enjoy PB in my shakes I decided to try Nutella today. I went with the obvious combo, banana and Nutella, and I have to say, this is one of the most delicious shakes I’ve had in a while!
I combined the following into the MagicBullet to create this green bowl of gobbity-goop:

1 scoop Metabolife Chocolate
1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Protein Drink Mix
1/2 tsp ground flax
1/4 tsp xanthum gum
a handful of kale
1/2 frozen banana
2 tsp Nutella

 

MMMMMMMMMMM!!!! Delicious!!!!

Off to learn!