Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Long Time Coming Dinner

Every since I was a little girl I have wanted to make spaghetti squash. It all began many years ago as a young child when I read about spaghetti squash in a kids gardening book my mother had bought me. Spaghetti from a vegetable sounded so cool to a young aspiring (still aspiring) chef. I have thought about it many times but never got the nerve to do it but here I went. There are few times in my life when I feel a "man" is needed to do something but this was definitely a time. The squash was almost impossible for me to cut, I was so afraid that I was going to slice my hand off (sorry for the graphic image). The first picture is the squash after baking in the oven at 350 degrees for about 60 minutes. I then gave it some cooling down time before scrapping the inside out, as seen in picture 2. Voila, spaghetti squash! The last picture is the finished product that includes organic pasta sauce, chunks of tofu, and melted low-fat monterey jack cheese. My yummy creation was most definitely worth the wait.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A New Creation!

I am always looking for new after work snack ideas. All day I get to think about new creations to try because let's face it, cereal does not always cut it. I had some blueberries from the market that needed to be eaten. For a salty/sweet combo to jazz up my Kashi Sunshine I added a base of 2% cottage cheese, blueberries, drizzled with honey. It was heaven in a bowl! A good way to make a late night snack go a long way, pair protein with fiber and carbs. The protein and fiber will slow down digestion to leave you fuller longer.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thankful Lunching

To me, those pictures above are a thing of beauty. When I was 100lbs heavier, I would attempt to satisfy myself with unhealthy foods and materialistic things. Now, 100lbs lighter and so much healthier/happier, the pictures above give me such greater satisfaction than I ever knew I could feel. It has been a long journey, that God has lead me through for so many reasons that all add up to His Will. Not my will be done, but His Will be done. God has shown me that my body is a temple, a holding place for the Holy Spirit. What I put in it, will affect how I am able to function. I want to function in an effective way to be a worker for Him and his Glory. Without him, I am nothing, with Him I can do anything He needs.
  • Nature's Organic Whole Wheat bread
  • Athenos roasted red pepper hummus
  • Turkey slices
  • Tomato
  • Broccoli sprouts
  • Public Greenwise baby spinach
  • Mustard
  • Baby carrots/Hummus
  • Steamed okra and brussel sprouts with Mrs. Dash garlic/tomato seasoning
Between my workout and delicious lunch I headed to Publix for some good shopping deals. I have learned if you plan ahead, read the weekly ads, you can save so much money. During this shopping trip I spent $63 but saved $23! All was done by stocking up on Publix buy 1 get 1 free specials.
Afternoon Snack
  • 1/2 cup 2% cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup organic butternut squash puree
  • 1 Tbsp. dark chocolate coco

All mixed together and topped with Kashi Sunshine, side of fresh cherries.

Suprise Reading Material

As I headed to the gym this morning I checked my mail and found this lovely gift waiting for me. I love having a good magazine to keep me entertained during a workout in the gym. I am a visually oriented person so I do not so much as read the articles, I just need to look at the pictures to keep me occupied. I love Runner's World, Cottage Living, InStyle. I ran an AWESOME 8 miles of speed work this morning followed by some strength training.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Grad School Bound!

Graduate School here I come! I took my entrance exam and received a score acceptable for entrance. Though I would have liked a higher score than what I received, I will take it anyway. Oh my gosh, the room was so hot! I do not think I have ever sweated that much in a non-workout setting. By the time I was done, my mouth was so parched (no drinks, even water allowed), I guzzled my water bottle. Before my test I had a nice filling mild snack of a Kashi granola bar dipped in 1 Tbs. Organic Kirkland Creamy Peanut Butter and a Valencia orange. In my lunch box I also packed a peanut butter & strawberry jelly sammie on Nature's Own Organic Whole Wheat bread, Red Delicious apple, and Baked Cheetos for on the way home from the test in lovely downtown Atlanta traffic. I am starting to get excited about school, who knows what God holds in my future. All I know is that He created me, He knows what is best for me, let His Will be done.

Edible Loot

I do not know if it is just me but I love to go to the grocery store. You just never know what you are going to find both in terms of food and people. Here are a few pictures of my lovely loot that I brought home with me. My new favorite item that I picked up are brussel sprouts. Everyone who is skeptical of them, they are a diamond in the rough. A neat find that I have grown to love are Bagelfuls, a handy and quick breakfast that I can eat in the car on the way to work. My favorite flavor is blueberry but they were out so cinnamon it it.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Normally when I am studying, then I am studying. I can do some great short study sessions if I am not distracted but that was then and this is now. The now being, I am not in college, I work a full-time job as a Registered Nurse, I have an apartment, and no Mom around to help me out. With that said, while studying I did some laundry as you can see from the above picture. I took a quick break for a snack.
Chocolate Oatmeal
  • 1/2c. Quaker oats
  • 1 Tbs. Hershey's dark chocolate coco
  • Cinnamon
  • Splash of vanilla extract
  • 1/4c. SF syrup
  • 1/4c. Feed raisin nut granola

T-One Day

Tomorrow is my Miller Analogies Test for Graduate School entrance. I am not really "studying" but more of reviewing. I have heard many people say that you cannot really study for it, that it is just like a game of Trivial Pursuit. I had a quick breakfast before my workout at the local gym. I ran a great 8 miles that had a little speed work thrown in. I really need to buy some warmer clothes so I can run outside again. The 30 degree weather is a bit much for my current running attire.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My Best-Morning-Friend

Oh coffee, how I love thee! I have been drinking coffee in the morning since I was in high school. After many attempts to give up the habit or switch to tea.....I just cannot not do it. There is just something about the smell, the sound of the coffee maker, and the taste of good coffee in the morning. Nothing else can compare. Busy day of Christmas shopping, SEC championship football game to watch.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Smells like chocolate

I love to cook but I am a baker at heart. I love to bake for others especially my co-workers. We work in an area where patient satisfaction is in high demand with a quick patient turnover rate. Needless to say, a 12-hour shift can be rough. To make their work day a little easier I love to bring in treats for my co-workers. Here are the before and after pictures of these delicious brownies that I made to take into work tomorrow. I used Betty Crocker Hershey's version and added Nestle Milk Chocolate Chips.

Planning Ahead

For those of you who do not know, I am nurse here in Atlanta, GA who has made it her mission since losing 100lbs. to live the most healthy life as possible. The motto goes with me and my work food. I refuse to give into the grab and go vending machines, pre-made hospital food, McDonald's located through the hospital. In order to do this I do lots of prep work to make and plan my food for the days I work. By doing this, it saves me time on the actual work days to devote myself to other things such as relaxing on the couch after a hard 12-hour shift. Here are 2 pictures of my menu scheduled for the next 2 days of work.
  • Breakfast- 2 Fiber One Chocolate pop tarts, banana
  • Snack- Orange
  • Lunch- Roast beef/Turkey with roasted red pepper hummus, tomato, and lettuce on Nature's Own organic whole wheat, carrots dipped in olive hummus, and steamed green beans
  • Snack- Weight Watcher's fat free vanilla yogurt topped with Feed Raisin Granola and orange
  • Dinner- Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup, Red Delicious apple, Kashi Trail Mix granola bar
  • Snack- Banana dipped in 1 tablespoon of Smucker's Creamy peanut butter

Brrh, it's cold out there!

I currently have my thermostat set for 65 degrees but this early morning I awoke to a heater that was constantly on because it was so cold outside. Even living in a 3rd floor apartment where heat rises was still not to my advantage this morning. As I headed to LA Fitness (above pic), I found my Jeep covered in ice. I need to remember to keep some bottled water in the Jeep to help speed the process of de-icing. I ran a easy 10 miles at the gym with some light strength training. Lots to do today as I prepare my house and head for 2 days of work.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Study Hard, Play Hard

After I voted and finished my trip to Whole Foods I decided to head to the bookstore for a study session. I am scheduled to take the Miller Analogy Test, needed for my Graduate School admissions. The change of venue was inspiring and I was able to accomplish a lot. I took a study break for a snack that included the above Fiber One Bar, Red Delicious apple, organic creamy peanut butter. I wanted to push back the test date, scheduled for Dec. 9th, but being done before Christmas sounds so much better. I have plenty of time to retake the test if I need a better score. As I have grown older, I have learned that it is better to work hard until you are done so as to enjoy your break that much better. Nobody likes a rain cloud hanging over their head.

Treat Trip

My home away from home Whole Foods was on the agenda for the day. The atmosphere and staff there are very invigorating and cheerful that just makes the experience that much better. The first picture is my bundle of goodies that I brought home with me. The Feed Granola I bought because of a special I watched on CNBC about entrepreneurs that included the creators of this product. Hearing their story and work they put into the company was very touching and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. The Israeli Couscous is something that I have been wanting to experiment with after having a side dish at one of my favorite restaurant's J. Alexanders. I will update with pictures when I begin trials in the kitchen lab. The other items are very versatile staples in my food intake that I needed to buy.

Ode to a Sandwich

My lunch was simple yet delicious that made for a winning combo. During my trip to the grocery store yesterday I bought my Nature's Own Organic Whole Grain bread for a buy 1 get 1 free special so many sandwich's are to come.
  • 2 slices of organic whole grain bread
  • Athenos roasted red pepper hummus
  • slices of tomato and lettuce
  • Pepperidge Farm slices of roast beef and turkey
  • side of Chex chedder mix
  • steamed corn/peas topped with Mrs. Dash tomato/basil/garlic seasoning

Good Early Morning Meg

I love the feeling of getting up early in the morning because it allows for more time to enjoy my day and accomplish my goals. First on the agenda is a quick breakfast of a Chocolate Chip Cliff and banana then headed to the gym for a light run and some cross-training on the elliptical. While losing weight I always headed to the gym early in the morning and that habit has just stuck with me. The benefits of working out in the morning are increasing your metabolism early in the day to burn more calories, little time to talk yourself out of it, and it can help put you in the mindset of healthy eating. Well, at least for me, it is hard to eat a big cheeseburger and fries after I just ran 6 miles. To me, the cheeseburger defeats the purpose of the 6 mile run. Just because you ran 6 miles or 10 miles or 2 miles, does not mean you can eat whatever you want. After lunch I plan to head to the polls to vote for the run-off election in Georgia then headed for a treat trip to my home away from home, Whole Foods store.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Long Time No See Everyone
Wow, it has been so long since I have been here. So long that I cannot even remember the last time. I am blessed to be busy working and spending time with family and good friends. Currently contemplating/searching for a new job that maybe in nursing or not while also studying for Miller Analogy Test, in case I decide to attend Graduate School. I love the feeling of have a hard day of work, coming home, collapsing and just relaxing on the couch as I munch on a yummy treats. Last nights treat was 3 Quaker salt-free rice cakes topped with pureed butternut squash/cinnamon/coco.