Welcoming Fall

Last night, I noticed something. Most of my calories are eaten after 5pm, but I can’t quite figure out why. Am I hungry? Am I anxious or nervous? Am I bored? I’m not quite sure. For instance, despite my delicious veggies, and a bowl of grapes, I found myself snacking on goldfish. Not that I ate anything terrible for me, but just the point. Why do I eat more at night?

Speaking of snacking… I have got to tell you about this new cereal I bought yesterday. It was super on sale and it took serious self control to not just sit on the couch with my hand in the box. Apparently, Raisin Bran has two new styles out: Omega 3 with Flaxseed, and Cinnamon Almond. The serving size was bigger in the Cinnamon Almond and I, technically, bought it for dad. Well, it didn’t make to dad’s house, yet. Heck, its lucky it made it home from the store. It was like Special K Vanilla Almond and Raisin Bran Crunch combined into a magical cereal!

I ended my night and began my morning trying to decide between a bowl of the new cereal or a shake for breakfast. I opted for the shake to ring in the first day of Fall.

WP_004011Before my shake, I threw a turnkey into the oven. After last weeks turkey sandwich-made-salad, and dad relentless requests, I threw a whole turkey into the oven. My secrets to a juicy, tender, and evenly cooked turkey? Use a turkey bag and bake the turkey up-side-down (as in breast facing the bottom of the pan). Another turkey trick is to always keep empty jars on hand. Don’t throw out those old salsa jars. Keep them for easy disposal of grease. It never ceases to amaze me how much fat comes off a turkey, even when I remove excess fat before baking!

Breakfast was a pumpkin pie shake! It was so yummy, and, surprisingly, the banana makes it. I made one for Frank and my dad! Thanks for the recipe, Julie. I followed it up with a Caramel Vanilla Cream K cup, spiked with SF white chocolate syrup.

WP_004003After breakfast and some bill paying, I welcomed the new season once more with a zip up and my  boots! Boot season is among us, people! I’m not a particular fan of cold weather, but I love boots! Frank and I headed out for a few errands, and I got two more things to welcome the sudden change of temperature: 2 new sport bras and a pair of fitted long workout pants!WP_004013

Arriving home was splendid! The smell of the roasting turkey hit us like a wall as we opened the door. Frank and I made ourselves some lunch and basked in the turkey aroma! I made a bowl of broccoli soup, topped with goldfish, and Frank heated up a Healthy Choice frozen meal.

WP_004007To kill some time, I prepared the ingredients for my dinner and future lunches. Cranberry sauce is not that popular of an item in this house, so when I do open a can, I freeze whats left, by the tablespoon. I took out 2 Tbsp of the jellied cranberry sauce out of the freezer and, when defrosted, mixed it with 1 Tbsp light mayo. As the flavors blended, I chopped up celery and scallions, and mixed it with mayo, black pepper, and a bit of garlic powder. All that was left was for the turkey to finish!

It finished just in time for dad to come over! Baked to perfection! The best part about being the one who cleans the turkey, is being the taste tester! After I cleaned and divided the turkey, I put some aside for dad, some aside for chili, and some in the celery, scallion, and mayo mix from earlier. Following dad’s departure, I chopped a bunch of iceberg lettuce, tore up turkey, and tore apart 1/2 slice of wheat bread. I drizzled half of my cranberry/mayo mix over top and dug in! Oh my gosh it was just like a Bobbie!

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Something came over me. I went into a frenzy! I ate a cucumber and grapes to chill out. I just had to get out of the house, before I ate any more. I had called dad to see how he was feeling (his knee had been bothering him), and told him about my salad. He exclaimed how awesome it sounded and I offered to come over and make one for him. I think he liked that idea.

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WP_004012I was beginning to feel to turkey’s tryptophan kicking in and debated not going to Zumba. After feeling so manic, I needed to go! I arrived at Zumba decked out in my new gear, ready to go. Wouldn’t you know the sound system was acting up! Come one, universe, really?! After talking, standing around, goofing off, and making phone calls, we were finally patched, and Alex, the instructor, lead half a class and gave us all a free class. Yay! I came home, feeling a bit better, and went to town on some cucumber and salsa to get my crunch and nervous energy out of my system.

After a shower, a few phone calls, and the season premier of “How I Met Your Mother,” I am ready for some chill time.

Our New Deacons

It was all about the Barry’s and berries, today.

It began with a stop at 7-Eleven to grab coffee and a light breakfast. I spiked my coffee with my sugar free blueberry Torani, before heading to Barry’s. Look, His and Hers blueberry breakfast! Barry loved blueberry poptarts so I liked that I was able to enjoy my version of poptarts with him with the blueberry Special K Crisps.

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Today was a day of celebration for our diocese! I am so happy to say that our friend, Barry, was ordained, along with 8 others, as a Deacon. It has been a 5 year journey for him and his family. Its such as admirable dedication he has made to our community. I know that he has gone away for for retreats every month for the past 5 years, working for this.

Barry is not only a family friend, but also the owner of the company my dad works for. While dad manded the fort at the business, Barry, my Barry, and I represented the family at the ordination. We arrived at St. Margaret of Scotland Church, and after giving hugs and kisses to familiar faces, we took our seats.

The ceremony lasted about an hour and a half. He began with his family, garbed normally. Throughout the mass, we witnessed Barry promise to the Church and be sworn in as a Deacon.

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We watched the Bishop lay his hands on each candidate, swear them in, and provide them with their own Book of Gospels.

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We watched the priest of each candidates home parish, along with the candidates wives, help to dawn them with their stoles and dalmatics. It was a lovely ceremony!

WP_003654I ran into my parish’s priest, who is also the Chancellor of the Diocese, and was one of the selected few to provide Communion to the congregation. I also saw my old grade school principal, my parish’s deacon and wife. My favorite person that I ran into, today, was Dora. When I saw her, I immediately began to tear up. I hadn’t seen Dora in about 5 years. Dora was one of my grandmother’s best friends, one of the “Club Girls” as they were called. Every Thursday, the girls would get together with their bags of pennies and play Pokeno and Uno, and eat jello and pie, and various fruits and sweets. I loved catching up with her!

WP_003655After the mass, their was a gathering at the Church’s school, but Deacon Barry’s family invited us to attend the luncheon they were having at a local Italian restaurant. The reservations were not until 2pm, and Barry and I decided to kill an hour at the farmer’s market. This place is a dangerous place for foodies! The Amish section is full of sweets, pastries, meats, sausage, and all around deliciousness! Before leaving, I needed to introduce Barry to one of the oddest, savory, and sweet desserts I have ever had. There is a Mexican ice cream shop in the market that sells Cheese ice cream. You read that right. CHEESE ice cream! It smooth and creamy, a little chunky from the cheese, like cottage cheese curds, and so buttery in your mouth! We both just wanted a bite since we were heading out to lunch, but its a when-in-Rome kind of thing.

We arrived at Cucina di Napoli and were greeted by Deacon Barry and his family. We sat down to a table full of apps: Bruschetta, mussels in white wine, sauteed broccoli and spinach, mozzarella sticks and fried calamari, and chopped antipasto salad. Dad met us there after he locked up the shop, and we enjoyed socializing with everyone. I was pretty pleased with my eating! I stayed clear of the bread and butter, ate lots of lettuce and tomatoes, enjoyed some mussels, and broccoli, and avoided the fried foods. Thats a lie. I ate 1 fried calamari to apease my dad. Barry and I were both dragging, despite our coffee earlier in the day.

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Barry and I parted ways until he picked me up to attend a BBQ. Barry has kept in contact with one of his old teachers from high school who throws a pretty bitchin pool party every year. It was such a nice time! Barry and I both had a few drinks and I was so pleased with my eating! I chose wisely. I knew there was going to hot dogs, and not my 94% fat free ones. Rather than eating it plain or on a roll, I grabbed a leaf of romaine, spread it with a little black bean hummus, and topped it with corn salad. It was delicious!

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??????????????I stayed clear of the ridiculously gooey, chocolate chunk brownies, but I did take a bite if the PBJ mini cupcakes. I was so proud of myself that I filled up romaine and didn’t let the temptations get to me. I met some of Barry’s friends from high school and when I met Kevin, I saw a side of Barry I had never seen before! A complete and total BROMANCE!

Towards the end of the night, as we were heading out, the homemade moonshine and karaoke came out. One of the moonshines was peach and the other was apple. I’ve had homemade shine before, and it was rough, but the apple smelled like an apple pie! Both were delicious.

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The night ended with Barry and I falling asleep to a little Twilight Zone!

Shout Outs

Shout Out to my mama:

I finished up my Zumba class, last night, and found a voicemail on my cell from my mom, raving about the meatloaf! About 9 years ago, my mom had the gastric bypass surgery and ever since, she has had a difficult time holding pretty much any real food down. Its amazing, really. You would think her body would crave protein, but the only foods that settle are things like chips and pizza. Its pretty bizzare.

So one of my nutrition goals is to cook food that my mom will and can eat. She devoured last night’s Honey Mustard Crusted Poultry Loaf! I think the trick with her is lean protein. When I cook soy products for her, she enjoys it. Last nights meatloaf was super lean!

Then, she began to tell me how much mashed potato she ate! She couldn’t believe it, either, that is was cauliflower!

At this time I was in the Walgreens, grabbing a bottle of water, crying in the middle of the story. I felt like such a goof, but I had never heard my mom talk about my cooking like this!

I also mentioned I dropped dinner off to Barry at work, last night, and he sent me this:

“Dinner was excellent hun. It was finished before you text me. Superb!”

The time that elapsed between me dropping it off and texting him was under 15 minutes! Haha! I think he was just hungry! Haha!

Shout Out to all you carb-counting, comfort food loving followers! This is for you!

Garlic Mashed Cauli-TatersWP_003265

  • 1 medium cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic*
  • 2 tsp Brummel and Brown light butter spread
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp low fat original creamer
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • sour cream, fat free cheddar, real lean bacon crumbles (optional)

In a microwavable bowl, add a splash of water, about 1/4 cup, and the cauliflower, cover with with plastic wrap, and microwave for 9 minutes. Carefully, spoon the cauliflower into a food processor and add all the other ingredients. Whip it up and occasionally vent the processor to relieve the steam pressure.

WP_003266Top with what ever you’d like!

*If resources and time allows, roast the garlic before adding it to the mix.

MMMM! For a carb-lover, such as myself, I was in heaven with its garlicy, creamy, potato faker goodness!

Shout Out to my girl, Alex!

Every week, you read about my time at Zumba. Well, now its time to meet the girl behind it all! Alex kicks some serious Zumba ass and I love her classes. She incorporates, not only Latin-style dances, but Indian and hip-hop. Having such a variety of styles, music, and Alex’s personality, keeps me coming back every week!

I asked her after class if I could share her Facebook page with you, so if you’re in the area, look her up, and come join the party!

After dinner, last night, I suited up and headed to Zumba. You know I’m about to go hard when the pink pre-wrap headband  comes out!

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Zumba with Alex always send me home hyped with energy and good vibes, and I sleep like a rock!

WP_003277And Alex must have worked me hard, too, because I was hungry when I got home! Yay, for Special K Chocolatey Strawberry 90 calorie cereal bars!

throwback to sophomore homecoming 2006

On the Food Front:

Shout out to my Sista from Anotha Mista (literally):

Caterina is my step-sister, Frank’s daughter. I recently found out that she began cooking. Growing up, I was always the one in the kitchen, but now, Cat has her own recipe blog with wordpress.com. Enjoy!

Soon enough, we will be teaming up for a “Sisters Who Cook” post. Keep an eye out!

As I laid in bed, last night, my tummy began to growl and I snack on a handful of pretzel sticks, which was quickly followed by a mild tummy ache. Maybe it was the duck tongue on the episode of Chopped I was watching. Either way, I tried my best to settle both my belly and my mind…

Yesterday, Barry bought me Kashi’s new cereal: Heart to Heart Nutty Chia Flax! This, topped with flax milk and a handful of freeze dried strawberries, hit my breakfast tooth, this morning. Its like cheerios with a sweetness with flax and chis seeds stuck to each “O”!

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After a late night and a very early morning, thanks to my brothers alarm buzzing for 40 minutes, I laid back down to see if a mid morning nap could happen. It didn’t, but I did give me the motivation to get myself up and going. I got changed, and took advantage of the nice breeze and went for a nice brisk 2 mile walk up to the store, where I, of course, took advantage of the discount produce!

Shorty after arriving home, I wrapped three dill pickles in some lean turkey lunch meat to replenish my sodium electrolytes. My walk made me feel a little less guilty about sitting on my tush for the next hour studying.

The tummy began to grumble, again, about 2 hours later, to which I responded with POPCORNERS (its terrible how good these are). I, then, realized a better, crunchier, more refreshing option! I felt like a genius! Celery!

WP_003278This leads me to admitting a very serious problem: My name is Sammy Bundo, and I am a salsa addict.

Yes, we know I’m a dancing fool, but I am referring to salsa of the chunky variety, especially the homemade stuff! “How filling and refreshing and yummy was my celery and salsa,” you ask? Yummy enough to account for majority of the missing salsa from this jar! New favorite health snack! 

Lunch time was not the last appearance of salsa for the day. After dinner, snacky Sammy kicked in and nibbling ensued. I introduced dad to the snack, and he couldn’t believe was good it was! We wound up finishing the celery and a bell pepper, that we used for dipping. The jar is almost empty! I’m serious when I say try this combo! It feels like your chewing and chewing and its sooooo good!

So, Tuesday was meatloaf, and potatoes, and tonight’s comfort food was pasta! Dad and I are both suckers for scallops, so when I came across this at Trader Joes, I scooped it up!

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Saucy Scallops with Mushrooms in an Emmental Cheese sauce! I didn’t know what emmental cheese was, but I was sold! (Emmental cheese is a swiss cheese, by the way).

I threw this in the skillet with salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, additional mushrooms and peas, and reduced fat Parmesan.

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MMM! The sweet peas and scallops with the earthy tones of the mushrooms was absolutely delicious with the creamy white white cheese sauce! While pops prefers pasta, I topped a bowl of Fettuccine Tofu Shirataki Noodles with the saucy mix, and served both up with a glass of wine that I had gotten on my trip to San Jose and some garlic toast.

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WP_003279The wine was a Rose wine from Napa Valley, CA called Ménage à Trois. It was a complete combination of sweet and dry and refreshing and tart! Perfect for what a rose should be! We actually finished the bottle of wine, which is probably why I had the munchies. The wine was delicious! I’m going to keep an eye out for it on the east coast.

Continuing our guilt-free snacky adventure as we watched our Redbox movie, Flight, I serve up a big bowl of the Chocolate Peanut Butter Arctic Zero, sprinkled with Chocolate PB2, multigrain cheerios, for crunch, and jimmies!

The remainder of this night, I plan on sleeping, hopefully, and studying away.

Big news: I scheduled the date, time and location of my NCLEX exam! I had a hard time clicking ‘confirm,’ I was so scared! I can do this… maybe the munchies were wine induced and nerve-related… who knows, but please keep me in my prayers!

Bundo-ized Mama’s Mustard

The decision? Stay awake.

Well not so much stay awake of sleep, as relax and let what happens, happens. After running a quick pit stop, I arrived home around lunch time. Keeping it simple, and only having a bit of an appetite, I repeated yesterday’s Be Well Nutella on toast, this time with a bit of PB. (Life is always better with peanut butter.)

          Except for that one time when I was refeeding and ate half a jar…

After finalizing the post, I fell asleep watching the Harry Potter marathon. It was the perfect nap- right about an hour- enough to refresh and regroup.

Since I had fallen asleep the other night watching the new Die Hard, I asked dad if her wanted to come over to watch it after work. He came over, but not after I sent him on a mission. I have been dying for Mexican food! NOT that Tex-Mex mess- REAL Mexican Food. There are two places that have made my list: El Toro, for take out ( I’m addicted to the Chili Rojo de Puerco and guacamole salad), and El Jefe, for dine in. I made dad swing by El Jefe to get me fried scallions, also known as cebollitas. I’m on a mission to find out just what the spices are that season these onions, so I can try to make them at home. Anyone got any ideas? From what I can find on Mr. Google, its just lime juice and sea salt… That just sounds too simple.

In the midst of keeping things simple, I reached in the freezer and pulled out two Healthy Choice meals Dad and I had gotten a while back.

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The cebollitas were perfecto with The Salisbury Steak meals! Although these meals smelled great, I really was not impressed. The eat was small and a little tough, there wasn’t much flavor to the gravy, the mashed  potatoes are never a good idea in any frozen meal, but  I always enjoy the veggies.

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It was interesting having both my parents watching the movie with me, all of us getting along.

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Snacky-Sammy began to set in, in which I ate a Special K Chocolatey Pretzel cereal bar. Barry came over after work and ordered Chinese food for dinner, so did Frank and my brothers. I ordered a small hot and sour soup, shocker, and stole one of the guys dumplings (I love that dipping sauce!) Thinking f I treated myself to a small craving, the urge would go away, Barry and I picked up Reese Whoppers. Thats right, peanut butter coated malted milk balls! A few of these, and I was set!

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Moms mood quickly change after my dad left. She went to the store and returned with this:

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I immediately approached her about the recent conversation we had regarding bringing home trigger foods, and she began accusing me of telling her what to do. I’ve said it before, its just not easy when you are not surrounded by support.

To take my mind off the full pizza sitting on my kitchen table and the minor anxiety that followed my soup, I cooked. I decided to whip up some homemade mustard sauce to be used in a recipe later this week. (By the way, be prepared for a few Bundo-ized comfort foods).

I promised this recipe about a month ago, so here it is. Its actually my moms recipe, that I altered. Every party we host or attend, this mustard is always requested. Yeah, its that good! My mom’s recipe calls for  sugar and  eggs, and very un-precise measurements of the remaining ingredients.

When I made this for my grad party, I used a 50/50 mix of Splenda and sugar, last night I tweaked it a bit more. The granulated Splenda, as awesome as it is, does not have the same melting point as sugar. The more sugar, you use in this recipe, the silkier, the mustard looks. I’ve made this before using all Splenda, and the taste does not change. The mustard just looks a bit thicker, rather than silky.

Bundo Honey Mustard SauceWP_003237

yields approximately 3/4 cup

3/4 cup liquid egg substitute

2 Tbsp white sugar

1/4 cup, plus 2 Tbsp granulated Splenda

5 level Tbsp of Colemans dry mustard powder

pinch of salt

1/2 cup distilled white vinegar

WP_003239Combine all the ingredients, except vinegar and blend until smooth. Allow the blend to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, reblending the mix, occasionally. Reblending and settling at room temperature ensures the eggs do not immediately cook once over the heat and the flavors are evenly distributed. In a small pot, over the lowest heat setting, pour the mustard in. (Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure you get all of the blend in the pot- every drop counts). With a spatula, continuously scrape the sides of the pot and stir the the mustard, until it begins to thicken. Once the mix begins to slightly stick to the spatula, pour in the vinegar and continue to scrape the sides of the pot and stir continuously. This is the longest process of the recipe, but the end result is worth it. Continue the stirring on low heat to ensure the eggs are fully cooked and the vinegar cooks out.

WP_003241The mustard continues to thicken and take on a sheen (The more sugar in the recipe, the shinier the mustard). Once at a smooth thickness, pour into a separate bowl, cool, and refrigerate for storage.

Nutrition per 2 Tbsp:

Calories: 51, Fat: 0.7g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 43.1mg, Carbs: 4.5g, Fiber: 0g, Sugars: 3.4g, Protein: 2.2g

This mustard is probably one of my favorite condiments! I’ve put it on grilled cheeses, grilled chicken breast, and later in the week, I will be crusting a meatloaf with it! Stay tuned and enjoy!

Dork-ing It Up

I mentioned, yesterday, how important it is to surround yourself with positive vibes. Last night, I did just that. I typed up last night’s post while getting ready for bed, however the whole “going to bed” thing didn’t really happen.

Barry and I decided to stay up since neither one of us had anything to do in the morning, and that way we could sleep late.

I really enjoyed last night. We stayed up, playing Phase 10 and watching “Chopped” on Food Network until about 1am. We were googling exotic foods and talking about NASA and space travel…

It was a plain, simple night in and I loved it!

We awoke around 11am, today, and desperately tried falling back asleep. No such luck. So up we went to fix some coffee and enjoy our respective yogurts. I had the the Dannon Light & Fit Blueberry Greek and he experience Greek yogurt for the first time with OIKOS Blackberry. I also broke off a piece of a Gnu Brownie bar to give me a PMS chocolate-fix.

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We continued to dork it up after breakfast while watching an episode of “Star Trek: Next Generation” and the final “Lord of the Rings” movie. Yes, I’m aware how exciting we are, but after my freak out on Monday night, surrounding myself with positive people and events really made a difference.

I ran a few errands on my way home and grabbed another Special K cereal bar, Red berries, for a mid-day snack to hold me over until my shake, which I will make before heading to work. I also managed to pick up these little cuties from Five Below!

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Unfortunately, today is another day of belly bloat. Super uncomfortable! When I get bloated, I’m never really sure if I’m hungry or not, so I’ve been trying to keep hydrated. If I keep drinking and still feel hungry, I’ll eat, but as of right now, I feel like a bowl full of jelly. HAHA

In the world of animals, I told you I’d get back to you about the Blue Buffalo I got for the kids. Beauty scarfs Wellness, like devours it. She kind of sniffed the Blue Buffalo and walked away. She eventually ate it, but I’ll save some money and stick with the Wellness brand.

In the world of bars, I had a Maple Glazed Pecan and Sea Salt KIND bar. How good does that sound?! I wasn’t sure after my first bite, but after my second I began to pick out the maple notes, then the mild saltiness. Its nice low GI treat with 6g protein and 5g fiber.

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In the world of recipes, to keep myself busy before, I made a very anticipated recipe: Homemade Nutella! You know I’m addicted to the stuff, so based off Katie’s Healthy Nutella recipe, I created a virtually sugar free, low fat, low carb chocolate hazelnut spread. I dig it!

The day I took Barry to Wholefoods, we picked up a bag of hazelnuts to make this, but life got in the way and I decided today was the day! Sorry, Barry, I just couldn’t wait any longer!

Be Well NutellaWP_003208

  • 2 level cups raw hazelnuts (240g)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar free maple syrup
  • 2 packets Splenda
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free chocolate syrup
  • 1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened Flax milk)

Roast the hazelnuts for about 9 minutes 400 F. Rub them together in a paper towel to get the skins off. Be careful, as the nuts are pretty hot. In a food processor (I used the MagicBullet) blend the nuts until they begin to be ground very fine, almost nut butter-like, Add all other ingredients, adding 1 at a time and blending. Continue to blend until it’s smooth!

The Bullet was not the easiest thing to use for this, but my food processor at this house is a hand crank, and that just was not happening. I alternated between adding wet and dry ingredients between blending. Because the Bullet isn’t exactly full of space, I removed some of the ingredients and blended in small batched to ensure it was well mixed and smooth.

WP_003209Depending on your taste buds, play around with the sweetness and chocolate decadence.

Next time I make it, I’d like to try Hershey Dark Cocoa!

It made enough to refill my old Nutella jar, plus some! Yum!

Let us compare the chocolate hazelnut spreads that have appeared on Be Well Bundo , shall we?

 per 2 level Tablespoons Nutella (original) Hazelnut Spread GO-LO Sugar Free Be Well Nutella
Calories 200 160 130 122
From Fat 110 80 110 **
Fat 12g 9g 13g 10.7g
Sat. Fat 4g 4g 4g 0.1g
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg 0mg 0mg
Sodium 15mg 10mg 5mg 18.3mg
Carbs 21g 20g 17g 5g
Fiber 1g 0g 11g 2.1g
Sugar 21g 19g 0g* 0.9g
Protein 2g 1g 1g 2g
Vit A 0% 0% 0% 0.3%
Vit C 0% 0% 0% 2.2%
Calcium 4% 8% 0% 1.3%
Iron 4% 4% 4% 3.5%
*contains erythritol**not calculated by MyFitnessPal

Because this recipe contains milk, I would recommend to refrigerate it. Plus, the cold will help make it nice and thick.

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WP_003211In the world of work, I am working a 12. I threw together a shake using a bit of the nutella and some random frozen fruit with protein mix…nothing to write home about. I also made a mug of coffee to take with me. I totally forgot I had this 12 Coffees of Christmas box in the cupboard. I found it while digging out the ingredients for today’s nutella and butter pecan coffee sounded too good to pass up. It smelled amazing!

WP_003212Although I kept busy, time was not passing as quickly as I had hoped. I encountered a tempting blueberry muffin that everyone was snacking on. I had not had one in a long time at treated myself to the quarter that looked like it had the most blueberries! PMS loved the sweet blueberry muffin and after grabbing a soda for my patient, it also decided it wanted a Dr. Pepper. Not just any Dr. Pepper, but a Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper. I was off to the vending machine only to discover Cherry Cola and Diet Dr. Pepper! Darn it! 23 flavors it is…

Around 230am, I hit the wall! I got so tired and bolted to the caf for some coffee. The bad thing about night shift is that your body is not used to being awake, and therefore, gets those crazy late night snack urges, like oreos! Snacking smart, I packed a sliced bell pepper! I just love that crisp and sweet bite from those things! But those oreos are not easy to resist. I also packed a tempeh salad using spring mix, baby carrots, tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, beets, and fakin’ bacon tempeh. Hmmm bacon… yup, Walden Farms Blue Cheese dressing it is!

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It was a  really satisfying salad! I could have kept on eating it (ya know, if I didn’t already eat it all)!

Back on Track

My last post was a bit all over the place. It was very manic-depressive. I’m sorry about that… like I said, “PMS… What a bitch!” Darn mood swings…

Set backs happen. How will I deal with it?

Listening to my body cues

“Theres scrapple in the fridge,” dad said to me as he left for work. I spent the night at dad house, last night, to complete our awesome DDDD (Daddy-Daughter Date Day). I wasn’t sure if I was hungry this morning, so I made a big cup of coffee to see if I was actually hungry or just thirsty. My large mug did a great job of curbing my appetite! I enjoyed the french vanilla coffee, while catching up on Spice Goddess. I love that show! Bal is really pleasant and bubbly and passionate about her native spices and traditions! Plus, I’ve really been interested in Indian cooking techniques, foods, and spices, and found a few things she made that I can’t wait to try my hands at!

Resuming my normal meals

Following the show and ignoring my inner scrapple-lover, I headed back to my mom’s house, where I enjoyed a refreshing Banana Cream Dannon Light & Fit Greek yogurt Blend, sprinkled with 1/2 tsp Chocolate PB2, and about 6 broken fat free pretzel sticks. I enjoyed the sweet and salty crunch that my PMS craves, and loved that it was filling and healthy.

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For a mid-day snack, a 90 calorie Fiber One Lemon bar did the trick, as did a mug of peppermint tea.

WP_003195Today it National Hot Dog Day! I’m a little excited about this because I’ve really been wanting hot dogs and baked beans! Ironically, I had planned on taking this as a meal to work tomorrow night, but no sense in denying this “holiday”! I pulled out a Hebrew National 97% fat free frank and a small can of fat free baked beans and ate mine in a bowl topped with chopped onion.

WP_003202Frank wanted it sandwich-style.

Go to Zumba

Following dinner, I had a bit of unsweetened applesauce and met my girlfriend, Maggie, at Zumba. I did not attend Zumba at all last week, and it makes me feel lost. I need it in my life. I also enjoy leading Zumba, as I did a few dances tonight. I love to look at their faces and I love knowing that my enthusiasm can power them through a workout, too!

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It was one humid hour, tonight! The AC is broke! We were drenched in sweat after the first dance. We looked like steamed lobsters by the end of the class. But, boy, were we feeling great!

Surround myself with positivety

Why else is today special? Not just because its National Hot Dog Day… Not just because its National Vanilla Ice Cream Day…. But because its Frank’s 56th Birthday! Before I left for Zumba, I whipped up a cake mug for him! Yay, Hungry-girl, for teaching me about cake mugs! I made a Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cake mug (recipe below).

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Zumba releases endorphins, which makes me happy. As does being with my friends. After sweating it out, I met Barry to do a little grocery shopping for the house, took a shower, and am currently in the midst of attempting some sleep. Surround yourself with positive people, places, events, and you’ll be positive too! Things just start to fall into place.

I typically do not eat after Zumba, but PMS was rearing its head. The entire trip to ShopRite I was thinking about peanut M&Ms. I resisted. We swung by 7 Eleven on the way home to down another bottle of water and while I was there, a light bulb went off! Special K Chocolatey Pretzel cereal bar! 90 calories, salty, sweet, crunchy…. Perfect!

Raspberry Chip Cake Mug

3 Tbsp yellow moist cake mix

1 Tbsp liquid egg substitute

1 1/2 Tbsp water

1/2 Tbsp Nestle mini semi-sweet morsels, or semi-sweet morsels, chopped

5 raspberries, sliced in half

2 Tbsp fat free Cool Whip, thawed

1/2 tsp sugar free, fat free Chocolate pudding mix

Combine everything except cool whip and pudding mix, and mix well. Spray mug or ramekin with nonstick cooking spray and pour cake mix in. Microwave for 1 minute and 15 seconds, or so*. Allow mug to cool, as it will be hot! Meanwhile, combine cool whip and pudding mix. Spread over cooled cake mug and enjoy!

*Microwaving chocolate chips is tricky business, as they tend to burn.

Calories: 179,  Fat: 3.1g, Sat. Fat: 1.9g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 270mg, Carbs: 35.2g, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 18.9g, Protein: 3g

Idea: White Chocolate Chips, instead!

Happy Birthday, Frank!

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New Special K and Skinnygirl

On my way home last night, I stopped by 7Eleven and I found new Special K Products! When I got home, I had to look them up! It turns out, theres a whole new line of products called “Nourish!” There are three new bars in Cranberry Almond, Dark Chocolate Nut, and Lemon Twist. I picked up the cranberry and lemon. The lemon reminded me of the Luna Lemon Zest (one of my favorites) bar: zesty and refreshing! In addition to the three bars, there are three hot cereals! Thats right, hot cereals! I cannot wait to try these: Cinnamon Raisin Pecan, Cranberry Almond, and Maple Brown Sugar Crunch!

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I forgot to mention one of the coolest things about this line: its made with quinoa, not to mention barley, wheat, and oats! Yeah, so that means more protein, more nutrition, more fiber, more filling, and more staying power!

I also stumbled across a bar with the Skinnygirl label on it. Wait a second! Skinnygirl makes drinks, not bars! Well guess what! There are four 180 calorie bars: Banana Oatmeal Dark Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Multi-Grain Pretzel, Coco-Nut with Peanut Butter and Greek Yogurt Blueberry Crisp with Probiotics. I’m dying to try them all! Apparently, VitaminShoppe is starting to carry them. I do believe my local VS will be receiving a visit from me soon.

7Eleven had the Banana Oatmeal Dark Chocolate. I could totally see myself eating this for breakfast! I loved how strong the banana taste is!

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Keep me updated if you try any of these new fabulous products!

Hefty Hefty Hefty

WP_001648I don’t think my body likes to eat at 6 am, because every time I do, I feel ridiculously uncomfortable… I know… I’m a mess. But at least, I really enjoy these Special K Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pastry Crisps. Even as a kid, I’ve always liked PopTarts. What I like about this product is that I get the feeling like I’m eating a PopTart without the guilt and calories!

I’ve really been on a yogurt kick, lately… but I don’t hate it!

Today, I was inspired by Black Forest Cake and topped my Chobani Black Cherry yogurt with some Fiber One 80 Chocolate cereal and sunflower seeds. It was really tasty, crunchy, sweet, and nutty!

WP_001651 As I entered the hospital cafeteria, a basket of little red spheres caught my eye. I bought one of these and was going to save it for later snack. As I finished up my yogurt, this ball of health whispered, “you know you want to… just do it.” “Ok,” I said. CRUNCH! MMMMM What a delicious apple!

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Today was a great day at clinical! My patient paid me a great compliment by recommending that I become a doctor. “I’ve lived 81 years. Take it from me. I know personalities and what you’ve got is natural. Its a gift from God. Wonderful natural personality! You’ve made me smile… first time since I’ve been here. You’re making me better. You’ve really got a gift from God.”

Oh wow! I was blown away!

Tonight, Frank cooked dinner: Chicken Alfredo with onions, mushrooms, and broccoli ( You know I LOVE some broccoli!) Frank and I have very similar tastes, when it comes to food… but he wouldn’t let me make a healthy alfredo. Boo…. Still yummy though. I ate mine over Tofu Shirataki Macaroni style noodles! I love this product!

I’m still rocking a bit of a stomach bug, but getting better every day! To end tonight, after hours of research for school, heres something I found a bit humorous… While in the bathroom I saw this sign on the door at the hospital.

Every time I see this: Scrub, Scrub Scrub… Flush, Flush, Flush…

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I think of: Stinky, Stinky, Stinky… Hefty, Hefty,Hefty…

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Oh, and if you didn’t know… UD girls are going to the Sweet Sixteen! Right On!!!

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Backstreets Back

Yesterday, when I packed my salad and yogurt, I wanted something to keep it cold, well, cool, at least.

I could not find my lunch box, however, I could find my very old lunch box.

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I thought you’d all get a kick out of that.

I woke with one thing on my mind… breakfast, specifically a  breakfast sandwich! In honor of National Frozen Foods Day, I compromised and whipped out a Special K frozen Sausage, Egg, and Cheese on Multigrain Flatbread breakfast Sandwich (with hot sauce, of course). Ok, two things on my mind…. Coffee!

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Lunch was a shake. I found a recipe awhile back made it today:WP_001409 WP_001414

3/4  cup  chopped kale, ribs and thick stems removed

1  small stalk celery, chopped

1/2  banana

1/2  cup  apple juice

1/2  cup  ice

1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice

I was really excited because my shake looked like Christmas (the green from the veggies and the red from the apple skins). It was a filling shake, but definitely not tops. I can’t see myself making this again. However, it did give me another throwback to my childhood As I cut up the fruit, I could not help but to sing….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFfvbu02JTI

I was a big Barney fan back in the day!

Today is a studying kind of day! I need to kick some serious butt on these next two exams!

The remainder of my day was spent with my nose in the books. Snacking of course, was necessary to give me some brain power. Two snacks were particularly aces in my book:
Wasa Light and Crisp cracker with sunflower butter and nutella, sprinkled with sunflower seeds! A banging 100 calorie snack!

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My dessert for the night was a makeshift parfait. I was all out of fresh fruit but I still had some fruit cups and thus a fruit cup and cottage cheese parfait was born. It was topped with some ch-ch-ch-chia seeds for a little texture!

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Working a Twelve & Some Serious Cereal

Saturday:

I did not have much of an appetite this morning when I woke up, so I headed to work with some snacks, just in case. Lunch was healthy… pineapple and cottage cheese. The other day mom bought a pineapple and it was so sweet and delicious, she ran back to the store and bought 2 more! I’ve been in my pineapple glory!

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When I got to the unit, Julie was there with my girl scout cookies. I totally forgot I ordered these. Down the hatch went some do-si-dos. Those are some dangerous cookies!

Later, I made a bowl of oatmeal, that I actually meant to eat earlier in the day. I find that with a lot of instant oatmeal, with berry flavors, they are just too sweet! I mellow it out with some ground flax. I’ve never tried this oatmeal before, so I did not know its sweetness. I have to say though, the flax made it all the better!

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I never actually wound up eating dinner tonight. Not because I was too busy to eat, but because a certain chica (myself) ate a few too many cookies… and got a belly ache.

Silly Sammy… oh well, at least my dinner for tomorrow night is already at work.

Sunday:

I went home, craving real food! I wound up eating a bowl of cereal and some pineapple.

I lectored at Church this morning and it was really nice to see some friends I hadn’t seen in a while. Deacon pulled me aside to tell me how worried he was about me and how happy he was to see me put on weight. I like to hear things like that but I’m definiately ready to get rid of this belly I put on.

This morning, I ate a packet of Quaker Cheddar Grits. When I first opened the packet, the chedder smell reminded me of the Easy-Mac cheese.

it doesn't look too appetitizing but it was

the grits don’t look too appetitizing but it was

Even though its been sunny, the wind chill was just too cold for me, so Day 5 of Couch to 5K was out today. Instead I did a 12minute warm-up with Dave Sinclair OnDemand and followed it up with  Julie’s Jump Rope n’ Abs Workout.

I’ve really been on a serious cerel kick, lately. Every time I go for a snack, cereal is the winner. For lunch, before I headed to work, I finished off my Cinnamon Pecan Special K cereal. If you recall, I said earlier that I did not care for the cereal with milk, but by itself, its a keeper. Well, the same goes for Kashi’s Berry Blossom cereal. I had a bit of each left and decided on a combo deal. YUM! I don’t know if the Special K tasted better because all the nuts and cinnamon settled to the bottom of the back, or what, but it was tastey!

Dinner was what I did not eat last night: Lean Cuisine Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce. Ialso steamed some frozen oriental vegetables to soak up some of that excess sauce. I added some black pepper, like I do with most things. Myfavorite part of this frozen meal was the Italian green beans! This isn’t a favorite meal, but the added veggies helped and I could eat those green beans all day!

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Dessert came with a little sugar and some staying power. A granny smith with some hospital PB made its way into my tummy.

on some lovely Vday plates

on some lovely Vday plates

I start my new rotation tomorrow morning at a new clinical site. I’m kind of exciting since the place does similar work to my actual job, but the paperwork looks a little intimidating.