When Life Gives You Lemons…

… make Limoncello! Or as I like to call it: Italian Moonshine

My Uncle has been making this stuff for a few years, now. I began my first batch on Black Friday 2014, hoping it would be done in time for New Years. And it was perfect! I don’t know what it was, but its the best I’ve ever had. Even Uncle Eddie left me the best voicemail telling me how fantastic my batch of his limoncello was. “I hope you wrote down everything you did, because I’d use that recipe.” That’s a huge compliment coming from my uncle. One that made me smile ear to ear!

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(makes a small batch)

  • 750ml bottle grain alcohol (like Everclear)
  • 1/3 cup water, plus more
  • 1.4 lbs sugar
  • 10 lemon peels
  • large glass jar
  • plastic wrap or wax paper
  • food scale (optional, but helpful)

Shallowly  peel the lemons, ensuring not to include the pith (the white part of the peel). Place the peels into your large jar. Pour the grain alcohol a top the lemon peels. (Save the alcohol bottle!) Cover the jar opening with wax paper or plastic wrap, and seal the lid. Place this jar in a dark spot for at least 3 weeks. Turn the jar back and forth each day to mix the oils of the lemon peel into the grain alcohol.

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After 3 to 4 weeks of the peel steeping, strain the peels into a large pot. While the peels are draining, refill the saved grain alcohol bottle with water. Empty the water into another pot, in addition to 1/3 cup water. Weigh out 1.4 lbs of sugar, and add to the pot of plain water. Continually stirring, bring the pot with the sugar to a rolling boil, ensuring the sugar melts, creating a syrup. Let it slow bowl for 5 minutes. Remove this pot from the heat and allow it to cool completely.

Discard the drained lemon peels. Once the syrup has cooled, stir it into the lemon-infused grain alcohol. Transfer back to the large jar. Reseal with plastic wrap or wax paper and seal the lid. Place back into dark space for an additional 1 to 4 weeks, turning the jar back and forth each day.

WP_007506After the final week, transfer the completed limoncello into your empty grain alcohol and another* bottle. Place in the freezer to chill and enjoy.

(You can add more water before bottling if the grain alcohol is too strong for your liking).

*You can find empty bottles at Bed Bath and Beyond like these, in a variety of fluid capacities. Or recycle an old wine bottle, like I do. actually, empty Torani and DaVinci syrup bottles are useful to.

Salud! 

But then you’re left with a bunch of peeled lemons… so now would be a good time to make lemonade… And we did! Brett juiced all the lemons, while I was peeling the zests. We followed this recipe with a change of sweetener, and using 3 cups of water, for the most perfect lemonade! One thing I love about homemade lemonade is the pulp that sneakily makes its way through the juicer. Plus, you can make it as tart or as sweet as you like. After the finished lemonade was refrigerated, we brewed a gallon of tea… Home-brewed tea and fresh squeezed lemonade??? Best Arnold Palmers!

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Chocolate and Vanilla Cake Walk Into A Bar…

Monday

I spent the entire, and I do mean entire, day in bed! Barry and I both have night shift and neither one of us felt a real reason to get up.  In fact my “breakfast” was a sugar free oreo and a spoonful of Barry’s grandmother’s homemade apple sauce! And that’s just because Barry had them in the room! Haha!

I arrived back home, after picking up dinner for the family, and jumped in the shower. I got out just in time to whip up a shake and enjoy dinner with the family before heading to work. While the family ate their Wendy’s, I made a bowl. Frappe Away I said to myself.

Today is National Frappe Day. What the heck is a frappe? I googled and found out it is typically a coffee and ice cream based drink. Well, no ice cream went into the blender, but Cafe Latte protein powder did. Between Barry and my girlfriend, Rebecca, both of whom call me “Pumpkin,” were partial inspirations for the end result of my meal. Since I, unfortunately, did not have any open cans of pumpkin, I substituted the fiber with a handful of frozen apples. Did you know October is National Apple Month? (I know… I’m a pillar of useless knowledge…)

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The crunchy and nutty topper for this bowl was unsalted, hulled pumpkin seeds and Kashi Go Lean cereal.

I headed off to work to find out I was being pulled to another unit, a unit I have never been to before. Its always slightly nerve-racking being pulled to another unit. What are the nurses like there? Whats the acuity of the patients? Am I on the floor or a 1:1? How long will I be on the unit for?

Luckily, none of these things were a problem, tonight. In fact, the nurses were welcoming, sociable, and helpful, and my 11 patients were of managable acuity! I actually was pulled for the complete 12 hours of my shift.

Tuesday

I met with my girlfriend and co-worker, Amy, a little after 1am and we went to the caf, where I grabbed some raw vegetables from the salad bar. Rather than crushing saltines into my Wendy’s chili, I dipped these vegetables. Genius! The Wendy’s near my house was recently rebuilt and opened last week. I have been craving chili ever since. I was floored when I checked the website to find a small chili was 180 calories! I expected a small container, but was content with being able to get a chili, in the first place. When I asked the woman if she gave me the right size, she compared it to the large and I was floored, once again! Score!

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I was one happy camper as I emptied the chili hot sauce packets into my cup and dug in.

WP_004153We’ve been Boo-ed!” Huh? Apparently, theres this game going on around the hospital where units make bags of candies, and sneak them into unit’s break rooms then the game continues. Damn, Butterfingers get me every time! Luckily, I was one and done! Yay, Sammy!

My sleep was cut short today as I was awoken by a call from my manger with some not so pleasant news (more to come on that matter). There was no way I could get back to sleep and, in fact, I was up for the rest of the day before coming back to work. My breakfast? Corn chips and a Babyruth.

All day I wanted to eat, although I knew I wasn’t hungry. But then, I began feeling an emptiness in my stomach, so I ate. It turned out that emptiness was actually part of my emotions. To try to counter act this feeling, it was a two shake day.

I’m sort of childishly excited for today’s food-iday: National Fluffernutter Day! I kept swaying back and forth between making a shake or a sandwich to celebrate. I was never a fan of fluff as a kid. Well, maybe thats not the way to put it. We just never bought it. Same thing with Nutella. We never bought it so I never really developed a taste for it until I tried my little brother’s nutella one day. Same goes for the Fluff. I remember, last year during my refeeding, I would dip Nilla wafers into fluff. Sometimes, I would grab a spoonful of PB and then dip into the Fluff jar. If I wanted something extra sweet, I’d do a nutella and fluff combo!

Anyway, I decided I would feel more satisfied with a bowl:

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  • 1 scoop of Chocolate OR Vanilla shake mix
  • 1 Tbsp fluff
  • 1 tsp peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Chocolate PB2
  • xanthum and guar, optional

To substitute for the bread, I topped the sweet bowl with Fiber One bran cereal. (Its pretty shade of green is from added spinach).

A bit after, I realized my anxiety was manifesting itself. Rather than NOT eating, I WAS eating. Luckily, I recognized it, and preoccupied myself with mopping the floor and going through clothes to donate. When dinner time arrived, and heavy eyelids began, I  whipped up another bowl to hold me over until it was time to eat at work.

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  • 1 scoop Chocolate protein
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Chocolate PB2
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp SF caramel syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • 20 fat free pretzel sticks, broken

It totally hit the spot and I loved the salty sweet crunch that I constantly crave.

I was on the floor for the first four hours of my 12 hour shift. My 1:1 patient was supposed to be going home tomorrow, so I wanted to spend some time with then before they left.

Wednesday

After a breezy first four, my time ended abruptly with assisting to de-escalate an upset parent and assist a nurse with removing an IV. I felt great when I was able to help the mother stop crying and make her laugh.

When I got into my patient’s room, the patient was super excited that I’d be spending the rest of the shift with them. I, then ,found out my patient’s discharge date had been pushed back to Friday. That means I get two more shifts to see them.

After the snack I had done earlier in the day, I packed a light meal for work. Plus, my nerves were still so wrecked that I didn’t have much of an appetite. But boy, oh, boy, was I in for a rude awakening.

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Yeah!

As if I wasn’t stressed enough, and manifesting it with body hating, I had that Cajun Trail Mix and all of this candy in my face! The nurses agreed that I deserved to have day a candy. Its funny how I eat candy when I’m spazzed. I’m stress eating, but body conscience. I take a bite out of piece and throw it away. Bizarre. Nonetheless, the nibbles did not stop me from hating myself as I returned to the 1:1 after eating some leftover eggplant parm frittata around 3am.

WP_004159Deb brought this in, too! Candy Corn M &M! What a combo! These candy pieces are bigger that the typical chocolates and made with white chocolate instead. Addicting. While trying to find a link to these M&Ms for you, I found these! I’ve never seen these. Ever! Is it for real? Does anyone know? My jaw almost hit the floor and I’m enveloped in curiousity! I returned to my patient’s room, after some well-deserved ranting, and counted down until 7am when I could leave.

Full or body hating guilt and a dwindling self worth, I tried to keep my mind occupied by blogging and reading.

I must admit that I was, finally, able to finish a book that I wanted to read. Its been years since I’ve been able to read a book for fun.

After work, I couldn’t wait to hit my bed. Today, on a day when I actually feel tired after work, I had to stay up to take my uncle to a doctors appointment. His procedure required sedation and he, therefore, needed a ride to and from.

WP_004160Luckily, it didn’t take very long and I killed some time at Wawa grabbing a coffee and a packet of apples to hold me over. Upon arriving home, I snagged a few pretzel sticks and almonds and curled up into a ball to awake about 5 hours late! Victory! I had finally slept!

Once awake, I hopped in the shower and assisted Frank with making my little brother dinner, while also sending out countless resumes! Last night, I was reading up on detox soups, many of which contained beets and ginger. I figured I could work with that and wound up creating what tasted better than Red Velvet Cake!

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  • 1 scoop chocolate protein
  • 1/2 small beet, peeled, sliced thinly and microwaved for 3 minutes
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/3 cup frozen pitted cherries
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar free fat free cheesecake OR white chocolate pudding mix
  • splash of SF chocolate syrup, for added sweetness
  • xanthum and guar (optional)

I’ve never like Red Velvet Cake. It was always one of those sweets thatI didn’t understand. Its like if chocolate and vanilla cake had a baby and the baby couldn’t decide what it wanted to be when it grew up…

Once the fruits and vegetables were blended, the color reminded me of the cake, and rather than going full on “detox,” I went with the inspiration. I topped my bowl with broken pretzel sticks and chia seeds.

With the remaining half beet, I repeated the slicing, and combined it with sliced baby carrots, a chopped cherry pepper, onions, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes into a Tupperware all to be, later, used to top a bed of chopped romaine and reduced fat blue cheese crumbles. It’s National Moldy Cheese Day, hence the moldy cheese in my salad… Once arriving at work, I was greeted with this:

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“Happy Pediatric Nurse’s Week from Bayada Health!” Thanks Bayada. Start my shift with an oatmeal cookie and some M&Ms? Don’t mind if I do. One and done, baby! I was a happy camper, once again, with my self control, and felt no guilt about this treat!

Thursday

I spent my shift much like I did the night before; the first 4 hours on the floor and the last 8 in my 1:1. Before falling asleep, my patient asked if I would care to watch a movie with them. And so we laughed until the movie ended. Around 2 am I was relieved from my post to eat. I warmed the previously prepared vegetables in the microwave and tossed them with the romaine and blue cheese. I love how the warm veggies melt the blue cheese, and their juices combine to create a dressing for the salad! Its a salad with which I’ve never been disappointed! Following my meal, I snagged a mini Twix from the abbondanza supply of candy, and another half a cookie, sealing the deal with a cup of hot coffee.

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I always take time at the hospital as a learning opportunity and asked the nurse if she could explain to me the difference between “covering” for carbs and “correcting” with insulin. I was so pleased to discover that I had already had a solid understanding of how to do so, and worked with the nurse making up a few examples to ensure I had a firm grasp on the subject. Woo Hoo!

I returned to the room of the 1:1 and spent my remain hours charting on my patient, scouring the web for pediatric nursing positions, working on Be Well Bundo, stretching, and reading another book.

Following work, I drug myself to, yet another, morning appointment, but not before grabbing a bite. Who would think that soup would be the breakfast of choice? On this cold morning, it was all I could think about. I heated up a cup of Progresso’s Chicken and Barley (I’m a sucker for barley), topped with a bran crackers, and warmed myself up.

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This time, the appointment required manual labor and as I left the hospital, I prayed the rain would hold off until my task was complete. We are fortunate enough to have a home with a fireplace, my favorite feature of the house. I am planted in front of it throughout the fall and winter months. I’m surprised the floor isn’t indented with my butt print, by now. We were, also, fortunate enough to have been connected with the city to receive free wood. As the city chops trees, the lumbar is piled at a local park on the east side. If you schedule an appointment and complete the labor, yourself, you can take a truckload of FREE wood each month. We took full advantage of it, last year, and I wanted an early start, this year. I took the first available appointment and Frank and I headed over, bundled up, tiredly fighting the weather in a battle of time.

The forecast for the next four days is nothing but cold rain. Oh, joy! According to the weather tracker on my phone, between 7 to 9 there was a decreased chance of rain. Our appointment was for 830. As we pulled up, it was chilly and lightly raining. We loaded up the bed of the truck and by the time I got home, I was dead to the world and it began raining harder.

I stumbled into the house, eyes barely open, and made a B line to the couch where there was an inviting  comforter calling my name. With hoodie up and slipper socks on, I was out in a matter of seconds, contacts in and all (not smart by the way… crazy dry eyes).

I woke around 330pm, or so, trying to go back to sleep. No luck. And here I am. Catching you up on the haps.

Name Change

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

Wednesday

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

“I have question for you.”

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

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

What?! No!

“Yes!”

No!

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

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

Frank was really into it!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thursday

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

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

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

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

Yeah?

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

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

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

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

Never Too Old for Animal Crackers

After yesterday mornings excitment, I enjoyed sleeping in this morning.

Last night, Barry came over during his lunch break from night shift, around 9pm. I greeted him with a chicken sandwich, from the left over chicken we grilled the other day, a tray of broccoli and cheese, a chocolate chip cookie and a chocolate cheesecake for work, that mom had had picked up from Wholefoods.

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After Barry left, and some studying, I laid in bed for about 2 hours tossing and turning. As tired as I was, I just could not fall asleep. I think that having a disagreement with my mom, yesterday, on top of Beaut getting out, really ampted up my anxiety. I felt similar to when I was really sick… I would lay in bed, up until all hours of the night, planning my meals for the week, stressing about calories… planning my every move for the coming days.

Finally, I fell asleep!

This morning began with a shake for Frank and myself. The tricky thing about cafe latte flavored shake powders is that besides bananas, flavoring syrups are typically used to flavor them. But I like fruit in my shakes, darn it!

I used to work in a nutrition store, and a really popular shake was the Carmel Latte shake. Wanting fruit plus a little pick me up, I experimented with a Caramel Apple Latte shake.

  • half a fuji apple (about 3/4 cup), chopped, preferrably frozen
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free caramel Torani syrup
  • 1 scoop Herbalife Cafe Latte powder
  • (1/4 tsp xanthum, optional)

Not to shabby…

After Beauty’s escapades, yesterday, and some time to kill before work, I ran to the pet store to get a new name and address tag for her. It was a toss up between a pink heart and and Eagles tag. While she went to pull out the pink heart, she found a pink heart with the Eagles logo on it! Score! I think Beauty has learned her lesson, though, at least for now, because she has been a sleepy pup since she came home. While at the pet store, I also snagged her one of her favorite canned foods, as well as a free sample.

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I felt so silly while on my way to work, today. Its 95 degrees outside and I’m in a long sleeve shirt… in a car without AC…

I swung by Dunkin for an iced coffee on my way to help cool me off. (I wear longsleeved shirts to work because its always cold!!!!) It was much needed!

I arrived at work a bit early, which gave me time to cool off and grab my assignment for the night. I was in a 1:1. That shake this morning really filled me up! I didn’t have much of an appetite at all today! I finished up the left over brussel sprouts from the other night (lightly drizzled with yellow and honey mustard), and celery sticks and peanut butter for snacking. Around 6pm, when I took my dinner, I was very hungry! Luckily, I spotted animal crackers! I don’t care how old you are, but you are never too old for animal crackers!

I was surprised by how hungry I was, but I hadn’t been very hungry since my shake, so I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised. The important part, is that I recognized that I was full and I stopped eating before I lost control. Recovering from binge eating, just like anorexia or bulimia, has no boundaries. Eating disorders can strike anytime, anywhere.

Once my shift ended, I came home and snacked on some Fiber One 80 Chocolate cereal, but soon found myself nibbling on many items. I finally tasted that kick from the KIND Dark Chocolate Chili Almond. After realizing that I was beginning to have a mild binge, I quickly jumped to a warm glass of flax milk and began this post.

Strawberries and Mango

I wanted to make today a mildly productive day, and it was. It began with two super yummy shakes!

When I got down to some random frozen fruit, I diced it all up and made one big frozen fruit salad, containing bananas, apples, and assorted berries. This, combined with chocolate protein mix, made and incredibly delicious and creamy shake for Frank. Since I love froyo, oh, so much, and am constantly topping my sugar free strawberry with chunks of mango, I took the cue.

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1/3 cup halved, frozen strawberriesWP_002900

2/3 cup cubed, frozen mango

1 Tbsp Torani sugar free coconut syrup

Wowzah! That was a tropical dream!

After my shake and a cup of coffee, I grabbed Beauty and pampered her! She got her nails trimmed and a nice bath! It always amazes me how much a dog can shed! Nonetheless, she got a little pep in her step and went to show off how clean and fluffy she was to Bunny.

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I think that little pep tired this old gal out… nap time for Beauty!!!

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Following her bath, I checked on my discounted pears I had picked up. Perfect consistency for my Bakeri-inspired coffee cake! I’ve cooked for Barry, but never baked for him. I made a slight alteration to the recipe. Rather than layering the thinly sliced apple, I finely diced it and incorporated it into the batter. I then layered the pears, since they cook down a lot easier.

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I did have some pears left over, so I did the same and tossed them into the last layer of batter. I feel like the cake was so much moister this time around, since the juices from the apples were evenly distributed.

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Barry stopped by after work and I gave him some. It must have been good because he didn’t have any left by the end of the night and told me it was “delicious” and that I should feel free to make it anytime.

I did not have much an appetite today… but Frank wanted to take me out for dinner… for sushi… Dilemma. I compromised. We ordered a large hot and sour soup (always with added hot sauce) and a large shrimp with steamed vegetables, with garlic sauce. Much healthier and portion controlled than going to a sushi buffet.

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I love this stuff! I could eat it all day! Its just so refreshing, and I’ve really gotten Frank hooked on the stuff, too!

To finish off my night, a little Zumba! I mentioned last week that the instructor invited me to help lead the class. I did it for the first time, today! It was funny, at first, because I had to remember I needed to be the mirror image of what I usually do. It took a few seconds, but it finally got it. Dancing really gets me going and I think the instructor could tell how much fun I was having. Plus, it makes me go harder knowing that people are watching me, and that if I’m having a good time, they will, too!

After showering off my Zumba stank, and folding some laundry, and posting this post, of course, I will spending the rest of the night in bed sending out resumes.

Not So Hot and Spicy

After I left work last night, I headed to Barry’s. We fell asleep watching the first Star Trek movie (the remake, not the ones from the 80s, although those are awesome, as well).

My body must really need some sleep, because I slept until 1130am, again, today!

After a shower, in an attempt to perk up, Barry and I headed out for breakfast. When we went to visit grandma on Friday, we saw a billboard advertising the new Hot and Spicy breakfast sandwich at Dunkin Donuts. With out equal love of spice, we headed to Dunkin, where I got the wake-up wrap and he got it on a cinnamon raisin bagel. Joining the party was a mocha iced coffee for Barry and a sugar free vanilla iced coffee for myself. (I may have snuck some of my Torani syrup into the Dunkin).

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The breakfast was an egg with jalepenos, pepper jack and habenero cheese (YUM), and bacon. It was decent for a 190 calorie wrap. And it was most definitely cheesey, but I  wish it had more of a kick! It just tasted like a pepper omelete, to me.

Nonetheless, we had a nice breakfast and headed back to the house for another round of Phase 10. Darn it, Barry! He just had to redeem himself! I lost 😦

But, hey, 2 out of 3 isn’t a bad record!

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We finished just in time  for me to battle traffic and humidity on my way to work. To aide in my efforts, I went back to Dunkin for another iced coffee. I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of blueberry coffee, so blueberry it was. It tasted like blueberry, but I don’t think I’d get it again. (Wow,  I look hot and tired).

I made it to work just in time. Since I was pulled last night, Amy was pulled tonight and I stayed on the floor with my kiddos.

Dinner was a Lean Cuisine, bulked with some broccoli slaw: Roasted Chicken with Lemon Pepper Fettucini.

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It was your normal microwave pasta dish…

I’ve come to the conclusion that frozen meals need for veggies and less crappy noodles and sauce!

In Bloom

I tried my best to stay in bed for as long as possible. I still felt body conscious and was trying to avoid breakfast. After getting some sense to myself, I excitedly took out my new shake mix that arrived in the mail yesterday: Herbalife Cafe Latte.

Frank’s Chocolate Walnana Latte shake consisted of:

a banana

1 scoop chocolate protein mix

1 scoop of cafe latte protein mix

a dollop of walnut butter

water

ice

Since I’ve been digging the peanut butter scene lately, I made a PB Cafe:

1 scoop cafe latte

1 Tbsp Chocolate PB2

1 Tbsp Torani sugar free Irish Cream

1/4 tsp xanthum

water

ice

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After trying to tidy up around the house, body hating set it in. I am was so frustrated! I curled up in a ball and allowed fatigue to overwhelm me. Talking things out with my mom and taking a shower helped a bit. Still sleepy, I made a caramel iced coffee. (Thank you, Torani, for your sugar free goodness!)

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I prepared my dinner, still being body conscious, and went with my classic stand-by: eggs! I love the simplicity, healthfulness, and ease of tossing some veggies and salsa in a tubberware and microwaving it! And its always delicious! Tonight, I must say, really hit the spot!

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My energy level picked up after my bit of protein and veggies, and although I was asked to work overtime tonight, I can’t wait to head home, and head to bed!

PS. One thing that really made me smile today was walking outside to see my lilies had bloomed!

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Berry Muddy

Based off of my Black and Muddy recipe, I started the day with a Berry Muddy Shake:

frozen mixed berries

1/2 pkt Nature’s Plus Spirutein Cappuccino protein powder

2 Tbsp Chocolate PB2

1 Tbsp sugar free Torani Raspberry

Franks consisted of both vanilla and chocolate protein powder, bananas, and blueberry preserves.

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That Berry Muddy is pretty dark, huh? And VERY peanut buttery!

The rest of that day, was once again, a lazy one. I randomly snacked on things like pickles, crackers, and cantaloupe until it was time to head to work. I couldn’t quite figure out if I was hungry or not today, but I kept the snacking in check and drank plenty of water!

I arrived to work to find I was assigned to work at the desk tonight. As the clerk, it was a relatively uneventful evening and I could not wait to curl back up in bed!

Since I was feeling quite bloated today, (I drank a TON of water), I opted for a guilt-free soup, although I’m sure the sodium content did not help with the bloating issue. I refer to it as guilt-free because I can eat the whole can of soup for a measly 100 calories! Thank you, Progresso French Onion!

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For a snack to hold me over, I brought half a large cucumber! I love cucumber! Especially during the summer. They are so crisp and refreshing,and oh so guilt-free! I tried an interesting combination, I will admit. I had a small pack of strawberry preserves, and dipped a slice of cucumber in it. I was surprised with the refreshing, moist, and mildly sweet treat. (I’ve warned you many times… I’m a weird one.)

To finish my night, a Special Dark Chocolate Hershey Miniture and some nutella and Suzies!

Another good eating day! Thank you blog world! You make my mind right!

I’ve always wanted to try making homemade French Onion soup! I love making soup! What are some of your favorite soups to make?

Summer Flavors

This morning began with my stomach feeling well and an excitement to utilize some fresh fruit from the fridge! I made Frank a Berry Colada Smoothie

frozen mixed berries

OIKOS Toasted Coconut Vanilla Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp Torani sugar free coconut syrup

Me? I grabbed some cantaloupe from the refrigerator for a Peach-Loupe Shake:

cantaloupe

1 scoop Vanilla protein powder

1/2 cup Bai 5 Panama Peach

3g (1 serving) sugar free Peach jello mix

xanthum and guar

water

ice

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It was so filling and refreshing! 

Frank went with me to run some errands. Beauty was in need of dog food and Walmart is the ONLY place I can find Dannon Light and Fit Greek Blends Toasted Coconut Vanilla! They only had 2 left, which I quickly snatched up! Its so hard to find the Greek Blends

Once we arrived home, I made a batch of tuna fish, which Frank really enjoyed! He loved the Greek yogurt, cucumber, and dill combination. He ate it on wheat saltines, while I served mine on Suzies Corn, Quinoa, and Sesame Puffed ThinCakes

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The remainder of my day was a pretty lazy one. I just kept counting down until Zumba! Thank goodness it was a 6pm, and not a 7pm, class tonight. I made a cup of coffee around 3pm in the hopes it was give me a boost. No luck. An afternoon nap, maybe? I usually refuse naps because  I’m notorious for not sleeping later that night. I attempted a nap, but it just didn’t help.

It was definitely the sleepiest Zumba class I’ve ever done! Half way through class, my belly was growling. I drank water but I guess it was legit hunger. I walked in the house after class around 715pm to Frank grilling BBQ pork chops and homemade brown pilaf with sun-dried tomatoes, corn, and capers! Heavenly! 

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I Skyped with Barry a bit and I’m looking forward to relaxing in bed the rest of the night. 

This sleepy head is signing off! 

What do you do when you need to get motivated for a workout? Nap? Coffee? 5 Hour Energy? Music?

Memorial Day

Memorial Day was on a Monday this year, which meant no work for Dad! Instead, we took advantage of this beautiful day!

I had worked a 12 the night before and so Dad picked me up abit after 2pm. We headed to the park for some basketball! I’ve played basketball since third grade, and although I am far from an All Star, I love it!

It was a beautiful day, full of fun and laughter! Dad and I even managed to work up a bit of a sweat! After a few drills on the court, we each hydrated ourselves with a bottle of water, and drove around the city, exploring the nicer areas of the city and admiring the Brandywine River.  I figure that such a nice day, called for some further exploring and Daddy-Daughter time. I took Dad to what I had previously called The Secret Garden. Dad loved it! The last time I was there it was beautiful. This time, the flowers were in bloom, making the scene even more majestic. To further relay the essence of Spring time, baby bunnies were out to play! We finished our day with a trip to the grocery store and a snack.

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I picked up the Chobani Flip Vanilla Golden Crunch, vanilla Greek yogurt with corn flakes, oats, and pralines (the pralines are what sold me on this) . I have never been a fan of vanilla yogurt, but this was the best I’ve ever had. I added some extra crunch with some Multigrain Cheerios, and we finished our snacks with Watermelon.

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Speaking of Chobani, I finally tried some of the Chobani bites flavors. As much as I love fresh figs, I have not found a single fig yogurt that I have enjoyed, the Chobani bite Fig with Orange Zest is included. Although I coud differentiate the texture of the fig, I did not get much flavor from the fig or the zest, and was rather disappointed. On a higher note the Chobani bite Caramel with Pineapple Chunks was awesome! It was sweet with big chunks of pineapple evenly distributed in the cup, and is prefect for a guitless treat!

In other food news:

Over the course of the last blog-less weeks, I cooked Barry dinner! He had never eaten eggplant before, so I made him my favorite stir-fry and ampted it up with some chicken breast.

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I also made a super yummy and refreshing shake! I had always heard of the lemon and raspberry combination. I had a handful of raspberries that I wanted to use up and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to experiment. This tart, berry bursting shake filled me up, woke me up, and was over all a winner!

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1/3- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries

1/2 Tbsp sugar free Raspberry Torani syrup

1 Tbsp sugar free, fat free Lemon pudding mix

1/8 xanthum

water

ice

Another night, I knew  was going to be relatively sedentary at work, since I knew I would be working the 1:1. I opted for a protein dinner in the form of eggs. Yes, liquid egg substitute, like Egg Beaters, can be microwaved. I used 1/2 cup, and tossed it with a large handful of broccoli slaw, 2 Tbsp of shredded fat free cheddar cheese, and some hot sauce! I microwaved this baby, giving it a stir ever y 30 to 45 second or so until it was fully coked. Everyone kept entering the break room asking what smelled so good. They were so surprised when I told them it was eggs!

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I also Have been seriously utilizing Greek yogurt and cucumber. I salmon and dill salad, much like the Dill Chicken salas, but this time, added a chopped dill pickle and fat free Thousand Island dressing. I ate this at work over spring mix and sliced bell pepper. I have really been digging bell peppers lately. Not only do they have low glycemic index, but the also are very filling!

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serves 2

1 6oz plain non fat Greek yogurt

1 md cucumber, peeled and deseeded, chopped

1 tsp chopped or minced garlic

1 tsp dillWP_002483

2 Tbsp fat free Thousand Island dressingWP_002478

2 dill pickles chopped

a pinch of salt and pepper

1 5oz can salmon

Well, I guess that was a nice foodie recap of the last few weeks, plus it helped pass time on this not-so-busy night shift!

Speaking of foodie recaps, there are two things I must share with you. SmartOnes has oatmeal now! I’m a huge stickler for breakfast, and am I firm believer in this jump starting your metabolism, and setting you up for a productive day. The oatmeal comes in 3 classics flavors: Apples and Cinnamon, Maple and Brown Sugar, and Peaches and Cream. Also, KIND has released a few new flavors as well: Maple Glazed Pecan & Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate Chili Almond! I haven’t seen either products on shelves yet, but keep your eyes peeled, and comment with your opions on the new products!