Magical Meat?

Last night, I cried to my parents. I cried because everything I eat haunts me. It doesn’t matter what I eat… rice cake, vegetables… Honestly, thats all I’ve really eaten the past few days.

I’ve worked night shift the last two nights, and between the two shifts, I managed to eat a ton of raw veggies from the salad bar and 1, yes, one, complete Amy’s frozen meal. In all honesty, 240 calories of vegetables and protein, is good for a frozen entree. Amy’s Black Bean and Cheese Enchilada meal hit the spot. It had a combination of my favorite foods: beans, rice, cheese, and vegetables!

In fact, Frank has been making pilaf dishes all week long and I keep stealing nibbles out of the pot. I feel so guilty when I eat carbs like rice, beans, ans quinoa because I just want to eat it all! I miss it!

I cried to  my dad on the phone about how I longed to bite into a sandwich, a burger, something with meat! Again, I barely eat meat because of calories. I snack so much and I’m so insatiable and have so much anxiety, that I just snack. And that’s how I get into calorie trouble.

Whats worse, is that when I get this way, and get in these funks…

I want to eat everything, but I hate myself no matter what I eat.

I isolate myself.

And everyone who tries to help me, even the ones who I ask for their help, become my enemies. Especially my dad. I know they can’t stand this mind game of mine, but I don’t like it either. I don’t want to go through what I went through this time last year. NO WAY!

After work, this morning, I felt like life was on my side. The weather this week has been bitter cold and today was perfect November running weather! Thank you, God! I was pumped. I did some Refrain Running to drop off my rent and then down to Fresh Thymes.

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I really love making this part of my Friday routine! Starting my weekend with a run, today was about 2.1 miles, Bananas Foster coffee, and good company in a mellow corner cafe, puts me into a wonderful mindset!

I love buying my dad breakfast from the ladies at Fresh Thyme, too! Today, I ordered dad “The Epitome of Fabulosity with Vegan Sausage.” Dad really enjoyed the vegan sausage, red onion, and garlic and chive Lancaster cheddar on sprouted grain English muffin! I think he really enjoys the corner shop and Friday coffee tradition, as well. I adored the sprouted grain english muffin!

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After arriving back home, I headed off to my Vagina Monologue auditions, and followed it up with some strolling on Main Street in Downtown Newark. Being in such a good mood, I asked dad if he wanted to go out for dinner. It was also meant as a bit of a peace offering. Last night, dad and I quarreled, repeatedly, about food.

WP_004659Dad has had a gift card to Famous Daves for months. And for all of those months, I’ve been putting it off. I didn’t actually wind up eating until about 1230pm, when I surprised dad at work. He had a packet of Cup-A-Soups, which was only 50 calories, and some salsa, which I added to the soup. Even after the soup, I was still hungry!

I used all my self-control to push away the urge to eat anything else, knowing dad, Barry, and I would be eating at Famous Dave’s (not exactly the golden standard for healthy eating).

I planned ahead, and dad was so pleased that we were finally at the restaurant,  that he let me order something small and nibble off his and Barry’s meals. Since we had the gift card, dad ordered “Traditional Chicken Wings and “Burnt Ends as the starter. I had two wings and a few nuggets of meat. We all love trying to out-spice each other with the assortments of sauces!

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I ordered a cup of Dave’s Famous Chili and a side of “Firecracker Green Beans” (neither of which were exceptionally noteworthy). Barry ordered “The Manhandler,” which was actually much better sounding than it was. (The Hell-Fire Pickles were pretty darn awesome, though!) Dad, on the other hand, ordered a monster of a burger. I took one bite, and I felt like I could breath. Suddenly, the BBQ sauce on face and the crumbs on the plate, magically took away  my anxiety, for those brief moments of burger bliss.

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Barry had to leave dinner early for work, and when I returned to my dad, at the table, he told me how proud he was of me. I know I’m a “Daddy’s Girl,” but I do everything and anything to make him happy. It kills me, it physically hurts my heart, when I hurt him. I know that every time I let this eating disorder creep back up and take control, it hurts him.

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Seeing him smile at me, taking a picture of me with this mammoth of a burger, feeling this positive energy radiating off my dad… it is an amazing feeling! “Please, babe.. take one more bite…” No, I’m good, dad… “Please? For me…”

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I savored every second of this bite, focusing on every flavor and texture of “The Ultimate Brisket Burger”: the crisp and salty jalapeno bacon, the melted sharp American cheese, the juicy beef of the burger melting in my mouth, and the sweet, tangy sauce coating the pulled pork, all between the crumbling corn bread bun.

Oh my gosh… this post sounds like food porn…

Good Karma

My alarm sounded at 545 pacific time. I hit the snooze alarm, and closed my eyes thinking about how long I had to before I needed to be ready to leave.

After hitting the second snooze alarm, I decided to take advantage of the early morning and took it as a sign to get motivated. I had just enough time to complete a 30 minute treadmill work out that looked like this:

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And I had ten minutes to spare to clean up and change in time for Church, grab a coffee and banana for the walk and be on my way.WP_001790

I like attending new Churches. I find that no Church, no mass is the same. Each priest, choir, altar presents differently. Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph was a large and beautiful Church. Rather than pews, the seats were circled around the altar. It was decorated with Lilly’s from the Easter season, and the priest gave a great homily!

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Afterwards, we wondered around downtown in an attempt to find something entertaining. I wanted to check out a vegan cafe, but it turns out they don’t open until 11. We wound up walking to Bijan Bakery. I ordered a mushroom and spinach quiche. The crust was flakey and buttery! I paired this with a raspberry pomegranate green tea that so unique. My taste buds went wild at the first sip!

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And look at all the beautiful treats!

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We continued to wander around the city. We had all woke up so early that it seemed so much later to us. Nothing was really open yet so we walked back towards the hotel. We split up, me heading to my room to work on some homework, and them going to the art museum.

It was time to head to the educational forums at the convention. I chose to attend “Leading with Ethics.” I’ve chosen my forums based on what I think will be useful in my career as a nurse. Nursing requires delegation and leadership, and ethics is always a controversy on the medical field. My overall summary of this session is : All ethics begin with self ethics. In order to be an ethical leader, I must first understand my own values and how to value others, and this will allow me to recognize how others would like to be treated. What is the intent of my actions? Am I bettering my community?

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After a busy afternoon of flag bearer practice, I ran to grab a quick bite. While planning for this trip, I found a restaurant called Good Karma Vegan Cafe. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast so I ran over to grab dinner. The place was very small, but had a very eclectic feel with great music playing! They served different types of beer, some organic. Their menu consisted of a rice or quinoa platters, burritos, desserts, and more. To get the experience I opted for a 3-dish platter. Rather that eating it with rice or quinoa, I asked for steamed vegetables. You create your dish by choosing one, two, or three items from their cold box, and they heat it up. I wanted to try things that I never had before so I chose the following:

  • Spicy Basil Tofu
  • Jamaican Tofu
  • PraRam

As she brought over my meal, I could not imagine finishing the whole thing. They are NOT sparing on the helpings. From the minute the first carrot touched my lips, I was sunk! I devoured every bit of this meal! The Spicy Basil Tofu contained was in mildly spicy sauce, while the Jamaican Tofu kicked it up just a bit, both dishes containing vegetables. I think the dish I was most surprised by was Pra Ram. I asked about this dish since I’ve never seen it before. Its a noodle dish with vegetables in a peanut coconut sauce. I typically stay away from all things containing coconut milk, but this seemed like an exception. Oh! My! Goodness! This was the first thing I finished off my plate! This a recipe I must make when I get home!

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After my meal, I went up to the girl behind the counter and raved about the meal. We don’t have anything like this at home and the food was spectacular! I raved about it all day. “Do you like baklava?” was her reply. “Yes.” “Here you go… on the house!” The baklava was how it should be: not drenched in honey, just sticky and sweet enough to feel like a treat!

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???????!After changing for the opening ceremonies, a representative from every state, or nation, went on stage and waved their flag. I was honored to represent Delaware, the third one called. By the time all the others were called, my arms were wearing out from waving the flag. (No need to work on my upper body today, haha).  At the ceremonies, our region won the the Distinguished Regional Officer Team Hallmark, and Regional Milestone Award!

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns: Crock Pot Recipe #8

I could not resist when I found this on a vegan recipe page!

I prepared everything this morning and headed to Church. (Yes, I woke up early on my day off). When I arrived home, after a run, the smell of fall spices was in the air!

I prepared them Sammy style, but check the original recipe for the vegan way.

Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated Splenda
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup unsweetened flax milk
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup Libby’s pure pumpkin
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 Flaxseed egg (1 TBS flaxseed to 1 1/2 TBS warm water, let it sit for 5 minutes)
1/4 tsp sugar (to help activate the yeast)
Filling Ingredients:
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp Splenda brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp ground gloves
Icing Ingredients:
4 oz fat free cream cheese, soft
2 1/2 Tbsp granulated Splenda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Directions:
Prepare flaxseed egg. Combine flour, sugar and yeast in a large bowl. Fold in milk, water, pumpkin, flaxseed egg and applesauce into dry ingredients. Form into a ball and let it sit in bowl, covered with a towel, for 30-45 minutes. Roll the dough into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface.
Mix together filling and brush the dough with it.
Roll the rectangle long side to long side and pinch the ends to seal. Slice the log into 12 to 14 rolls.
Place in wide and very well sprayed crock pot and cook on high for 60-90 minutes. Use a toothpick to determine if fully cooked.
Mix up icing and pour over hot rolls. Top with pecans, walnuts, raisins, or what ever you’d like.
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I went for a quick run to knock out another day of Couch to 5K. I’m hoping that this helps fuel me for a productive day.
Dad came over after Church to enjoy these sticky buns and a cup of coffee!
The Verdict: the consistency of the buns were perfect and I could not believe how much the buns grew; however, there was too much clove for the tastes of this family, and not enough sweetness. This recipe has tremendous potential and dad and I are excited to play around with it. (Dad is like a little kid when he bakes… he loves cookie cutters!)
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Don’t get me wrong, these things are most definitely edible, but they need some work.
When I was ready to roll the dough, I searched high and low for the rolling pin. Then I remembered I left it at my dads house…
So I laid down some plastic wrap over the dough and improvised.
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Thank you, Libby!

Chicken Garam Masala: Crock Pot Recipe #5

Listen up, Butter Lovers!

First things, first: Happy National Peanut Butter Day! What a marvelously delicious way to start your day… with Peanut Butter!

Since its a bit out of the way, Mom and I decided that it would be a good day to visit some of the natural food stores around here so I could finish picking up a few things to include in Meaghan’s care package back to New York.
I can’t tell you what’s it there just yet. I can’t ruin the surprise for her… But as soon as she gets it, you’ll get it.

some Wholefoods sweet treats

some Wholefoods sweet treats

One of my favorite things about Wholefoods is the bakery. By now, you all know I have a serious baked goods problem… As in, I can’t get enough of them. Whenever I visit a Wholefoods, I always hit up the bakery. Since I don’t have any vegan products at home, I especially enjoy getting the vegan cookies and muffins. Today, was no different. I celebrated National Peanut Butter Day by enjoying a peanut butter sandwich cookie! My mom went a little crazy at the dessert counter, though. But it made for a great treat after tonight’s crock pot dinner.

mmmmmmm

mmmmmmm

I love PB!

I love PB!

Wholefoods Bakery <3

Wholefoods Bakery ❤

We also stopped by The Fresh Market. You know how at the supermarket, theres a bit or organic, gluten-free, etc items thrown in the mix? Well, thats the way The Fresh Market is, but inverse. My favorite part of this place is the trail mix bar! They have this White Chocolate Crunch mix that Meaghan got me hooked on and its ADDICTING!

Trail Mix!!

Trail Mix!!

They are also known for there many flavors of coffees. Did I mention theres an old fashioned candy bar?

Candy!!

Candy!!

Coffee!

Coffee!

We also picked up this amazingly yummy fruit salad, that I enjoyed with some cottage cheese.

so fresh!

so fresh!

And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Tonight’s Crock Pot Dinner!!
Tonight’s dinner is a recipe Julie used for her part of the Crock Pot Challenge: Chicken Garam Masala. The recipe calls for chicken thighs, of which I did not have in the freezer. To take its place, I used some drumsticks. I removed its skins and figured since it still had a bone, like the thighs, it would make do.
I think I’d like to try this with chicken breast, as well; and maybe enjoy it with some naan. I’m a huge fan of chickpeas, so when I came across this recipe, I was more than excited to to give it a shot. Plus, I’ve never had cooked garbanzo beans and have recently found a little fascination with Indian cuisine after a date I went on.

If you didn’t know, garam masala is a typical Indian spice that,in Hindu, translates to “hot spices.” Its a blend of spices including, cardamom, cumin, cloves, black and white pepper, and cinnamon. So without further ado… Ladies and gentlemen…Chicken Garam Masala!!!

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Serves 4

4 chicken thighs (or drumsticks), skinless
2 (15oz) cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained

1 large onion, chopped

2 cups cauliflower florets
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes

2 1/2 tsp garam masala

fresh cilantro, or 1 to 1 1/2 tsp dried cilantro

Dollop non fat Greek yogurt or sour cream, garnish (optional)

Combined everything, except the cilantro and sour cream, in the crock pot and give it a  toss. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. After plating, garnish with cilantro (and greek yogurt or sour cream).

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I was shocked by how much each portion received  It makes about 5 cups of of the chickpea mixture. This was a really filling recipe and the chicken was fall-off-the-bone moist! I think it was definitely lacking something… maybe a bit more garam masala? red pepper flakes? If you play around with this recipe, fill us in on the comments portion, below.

Nutrition Facts, per 1 heaping cup of chicken mixture:

Calories: 238     Fat: 2.9g     Sat Fat: 0g     Cholesterol: 0mg     Sodium: 840.3mg     Carbs: 48.1g     Fiber: 15.6g     Sugars: 8.4g     Protein: 12.4g      (A 4oz skinless chicken drumstick is around 130 cal with 13g protein

Wow! 15.6g fiber, 25g protein?! No wonder I’m so full!

While we are discussing chickpeas… Did you know there are bars made from these beans? I came across this while visiting Meaghan in New York. The bars are called “The Good Bean.” They’re marked as “Fruit and No-Nut” bars. The first bar I tried was Chocolate Berry, followed by Trail Mix, then Apricot Coconut. I enjoyed how different they were from other bars. Not crispy or crunchy, but not soft like a Larabar. I did not care for the Apricot Coconut. It did not have any defining flavors, nor any sweetness as you would expect. The Trail mix bar contains dried cranberries for tartness and pumpkin seeds for a bite. Its held together with brown rice syrup, which gives a little sweetness. The Chocolate Berry has a combinations of dried blueberries, cherries, and cranberries, and sweet chocolate. It made me feel like I was getting a little treat without the bad fats and sugars ans uber chocolatey-ness. I enjoy them as a nice change of pace, especially since I can’t find them except for in WholeFoods.

right next to the Kind bars! one stop shopping!

right next to the Kind bars! one stop shopping!

Hope you all had a wonderful day! Heres a recipe that combines two stars of today: Roasted Peanut Butter Chickpeas!