Sunday, October 4, 2009

Oats in a jar

I had a rough early start to my Sunday morning that began with me wide awake at 4:00am. I always do this on my 2nd day of work in a row. I guess I am just wired with energy from the previous day. Thank goodness for timer set coffee!

I was so excited to try the famous "oats in a jar" that has been spreading like wildfire through the blogger world. I had been saving this jar for a few days until I felt a craving for a big bowl of PB oats. Well, today was the day. I soaked 1/2c. oats with water and 1/2c. butternut squash puree overnight. The next day I zapped in the microwave then poured the hot oats into the jar. Then MAGIC! It was a glorious bowl of oats that I cannot wait to try again.

If could have licked the inside of the jar I would have =)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Where is The Ark Noah?

A view from above an Atlanta interstate on the day the "Great Floods" hit my great city.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Easy Homemade Hummus

Traditional Hummus

2 (15.5-ounce) cans no-salt-added chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Place beans and garlic in a food processor; pulse 5 times or until chopped. Add 1/2 cup water and remaining ingredients; pulse until smooth, scraping down sides as needed.

Courtesy of Cooking Light Magazine

Fall Cream Cheese Loving

Pumpkin Cream Cheese


1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Beat all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Makes 1-1/2 cups (24, 1-tablespoon servings).

Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sweating it out

I was awaken this morning to beautiful sunshine at 7:30 that made me giddy with delight because as a nurse my body is so accustomed to a 5:00am wake up call. I immediately downed a cup of coffee and headed out the door. Since I was starting my run a little later than usually I assumed it would be somewhat warmer. During my 6 miles it was not only warmer but I was sweating buckets. I guess my body has a lot of junk is needed to excrete. Typically on days that I work I tend to have of a less healthy intake.

After my run I was craving eggs and something cold so I made a quick old standby that did the trick. A scrambled egg white omelette with toast and a banana blackberry smoothie made with 8th continent soy milk and Amazing Grass chocolate greens powder.

Now I am off for a busy day of errands and cleaning then tonight I am headed to Max and Erma's for birthday dinner. See ya later!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Confession Time

Long time so talk everyone! I have been in denial for a while but the time to confess has come, I have gained 25 lbs since January. The weight has slowly but sometimes fastly gained on me. Since January my life has gone from one end of the spectrum to the next affecting every area of my life. I have always been an emotional eater as many people are but that aspect plus my decrease in exercise from last year has lead to my weight gain. As many of you know I have previously lost 100lbs and maintained the weight-loss for 2.5years. Based on my height and new weight, the time has come for me to lose a few of these pounds and put me back into my healthier lifestyle and perspective.

I slowly lost pieces of myself and heart since January and now the time has come to get it back. During the past 2 months I have begun to plan my next moves to go my own direction since my engagement was ended. I have been working as a nurse for almost 3 years in the Adult ICU and now Postpartum Mother-Baby. I have gone from one extreme to the next seeing and performing some amazing procedures in the areas of nursing. There are good days and bad days that never let me down. I have finally decided to go back to school to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. My passion is healthy and strong families in the community. So many diseases and conditions that are plaguing are healthcare system can easily be prevented by proper diet and exercise.

I am sooo EXCITED about this new adventure in my life. I plan to start next Spring 2010 or Fall 2010 then finish in 4 semesters. SO QUICK!! I have already taken my MAT, GRE and getting my application together. I get a huge smile on my face every time I think about this. So, long story short, I am going to begin losing weight and I then I am starting Graduate School.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Belgium to Italy

I started off my day before work with an amazing breakfast that took me all the way to Belgium. Yesterday at the grocery store I had a craving for waffles so I knew exactly what my creation would be this morning.

I enjoy 3 Vans Waffles topped with scrambled egg whites and syrup. A banana with white chocolate peanut butter added the right amount of sweetness to complete my breakfast. Even if these waffles were not from Belgium, they were big and fluffy enough to do the trick.

The past week or so has been a blurr with all the changes in my life but through it all I have decided to always have a running to do list for my life. I guess you could say it is my "bucket list." One of the things on my list that was easy enough to accomplish was make a dish with polenta in it. During my trip to the grocery store yesterday I spotted some pre-made polenta from the good folks and Melissa's. There were many different flavors like sun-dried tomato but I decided on the plain for my first taste. Here is what I came up with for my lunch today.

I sliced half of the polenta in to 4 sections and topped with some chickpeas, garlic pasta sauce, baby bellas, and low fat cobly jack cheese. I added a Gala apple for a small dessert.

The polenta was firm yet still creamy in texture with a flavor that was not to over-powering. After my trip in Belgium this morning, I could not believe I had already made it to Italy.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Comfort Food

During times of change and stress many people including myself use food for comfort. The past few days I have really been trying to figure out what foods I am craving and then going for it. Yesterday I felt that oatmeal was something I needed, a big bowl of warm oatmeal to start my day. I love my oatmeal to be more savory with a hint of sweetness.

Since it is a work day for me I whipped up a batch of oats in the microwave while making some scrambled egg whites. I mixed those together with a little honey and added a banana with white chocolate peanut butter. As you have noticed I do measure my peanut butter in a tablespoon so I do not get carried away and eat half the jar. My breakfast was just what I needed to start my day and hopefully keep full for the morning rush at work.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Hot One

The day has been progressing in slow motion mainly because it is SO HOT! I have been working the past few days so I have been fortunate enough to miss the heat. I decided that the best thing today was to get out and get moving. I started out my day at the gym with an easy 6 miles then weights. It felt SO GOOD to just run. I just wanted to run, without it the day would have not been complete. After my run I headed home for a light lunch that consisted of steamed broccoli/cauliflower and a tuna sandwich. Next on my day was Barnes and Noble for coffee with a friend to "talk."

It was good to see a smiling familiar face. Since it was so hot I decided on a Starbucks Vivanno smoothie to help bring down the heat. After the bookstore I headed over to Wal-mart. Word to the wise, never go to Wal-Mart the Saturday before school starts. Nightmare! My only reason for going was to buy some big Rubbermade containers to put all my wedding planning stuff and anything to do with Jamie away. I have not started this process yet. I need some time to process everything before saying goodbye to it all.

Bittersweet Day

Well I told you that I would divulge later into details about my glooming day so here goes. After 2+ years of dating and 7 month engagement, my fiance and I have ended our relationship. There are so many emotions to feel right now yet really not knowing what to feel. The decision is something that has been slowing progressing for some time now but we were to afraid to face it nor did we want to give up hope for us. But in the past few weeks since deciding to postpone our relationship it became apparent to us that we no longer wanted to marry each other or even be in a relationship. Through our relationship we have dealt with some difficult life changes that caused stress and hurt feelings. It is from those hurt feelings and inability to overcome differences that we have decided to part ways.

The day is bittersweet because my heart breaks for the loss this relationship but my faith in God has taught me that through trials and tribulations we are made stronger through His strength as he carries us. I am being shown once again that "many are the plans in my heart but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." --Proverbs 19:21

Friday, August 7, 2009

Sweet Crunching

Sorry for the late post, yesterday was a rough day for me and I just needed a break from the world last night. I will go into details at a later time. For lunch at work I enjoyed another amazing salad with diced chicken, veggies, and black/kidney beans.

As I have blogged many times, I love to mix different textures together. A great combination is cottage cheese topped with some fruit and cereal. Today I put together some Kashi Golean Almond Flax with fresh blueberries and 2% cottage cheese. It was quite tasty and gave me a nice surge of energy to complete my day.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Slow Moving Morning

Yesterday was a busy day for me that ended late with my small group bible study. Normally I shower at night before work but I decided that since last night would be a late night it would be better to push my shower till the morning. Umm, bad decision. I awoke to a heavy dead feeling throughout my body that I am still feeling after 2 hours of wakefulness and a shower. It is going to be an interesting day. Onto good eats! I knew breakfast needed to include my Amazing Grass greens powder. I always seem to have more energy when I include them into my daily eats. So I whipped up the yummy breakfast that always seems to satisfy.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Brain Freeze

Man it is a hot one outside! After my staff meeting at the hospital I was desperate for a cool off. Once I came home I put together a go to smoothie that always hits the spot.

Light Silk vanilla soy
Amazing Grass chocolate greens powder, 2 scoops
Banana, frozen
Blueberries, frozen
Dark chocolate coco powder
7 ice cubes

When I freeze the fruit before + 7 ice cubes, the smoothie comes out to the consistancy of soft-serve yogurt. Love it! Now off to a Doctor's appointment then small group bible study. See ya later!

Fiesta Lunch

My hump day has started out well with an extra hour of sleep followed by a hearty breakfast. My waffle craving is still in gear so I whipped of some honey wheat waffles topped with egg whites with a banana slathered in white chocolate peanut butter. I waited almost 2 hours before heading to the gym for a nice sweat fest. I originally planned on hopping onto the elliptical but I could feel my legs craving a run. So I decided to jump on the treadmill at a slow pace and see what I could come up with. Well, 1 hour later I cranked out 6 miles! It felt so good and not too drain.

After the gym I headed home for a quick shower before my busy day began while also deciding what I was craving for lunch. I had some black and kidney beans that needed to be used but was craving cheese. So here is what I came up with: 3 rice cakes topped with beans and melted cheese, oh yum! I also added my fave sides of carrots with roasted red pepper hummus and a Fuji apple. Hopefully the protein/fiber will be enough to hold me over until I get home from my staff meeting at the hospital.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Morning Break

My morning break is always so quick but so needed. My breakfast this morning was tasty but did not enough to keep me full for long. By 3 hours I was starting to get the shakes. I always take a morning break for 15 min after my rounds/charting is done before I start the process all over again. I knew that some sugar was in definite need but not to much with a mix of protein if I had any hopes of making it to lunch without eating my arm off. I love cinnamon and bananas so I paired them with 3 rice cakes topped Publix Fat-Free Caramel yogurt. It was just what I needed to make it to lunch a few hours later.

Monday Please Be A Fun Day

About to head out the door for another 12-hour shift of work. I am now scheduled more days during the traditional work week since I moved to working every 3rd weekend instead of every other. So back to work I go from my lovely weekend during the actual weekend. I am definitely on a waffles kick lately. I do this with many meals when I find a winning combination. This breakfast will be a staple for a week or so until I get bored with it. See you later!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sweet Ending

Just a late night staple snack for me. All I can say "to each his own." My after dinner snack was a mixture of 2% cottage cheese, pumpkin puree, coco topped with blueberries. I love my late night snacks, they are a nice ending to a long day. Good night!

Cookie Monster

I have a 12 hour shift at the hospital tomorrow and I love to make a baked good to take with me for my fellow co-workers to enjoy. It is just one way I try to show my appreciation for all the help and hard work they give. I am known as the brownie queen but today I was pressed for time because of laundry, grocery shopping, and church so I decided to cut some corners. While at Publix I noticed these little babies on sale so I jumped on them. I love the pre-cut slices because it makes so easy and precise with every cookie coming out the same size. Thanks Pillsbury!

Field of Greens

Summer food means salads to me, light and airy. I had a great 2.5 miles of speedwork outside then headed to the gym for 60 minutes of the elliptical and strength training. After the gym I had a light snack that consisted of a Kashi Honey Almond Flax bar and Golden Delicious apple to tied me over until after my shower. Once home, fresh and clean I put together this versatile salad that consisted of a romaine lettuce mix, diced chicken, chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, and cauliflower. To top the salad I used Wishbone Light Honey Mustard Dijon. After lunch I was so full but not uncomfortable. Later in the afternoon while doing housework I enjoy a chocolate green monster smoothie.

Change of Plan

Last night I set my alarm for 5:00 am with good intentions as most of us do but sometimes you just never know how you are going to feel when you get up. As my loud radio went off I arose and immediately felt that my early morning run was out of the question. I felt tired and drained with dead legs, probably because I worked a 12 hour shift at the hospital yesterday. So instead I decided to have coffee and breakfast first in order to allow time for my body to wake up and decide what kind of workout it wanted. I used to always have the mindset of running running running as the best workout for my body. But I have found that a change of pace is always good and challenging for your body. So many times when I wake up my body seems to be telling me that a run is a no go for that day. For breakfast I had a staple combination that always keeps me going. I am a lover of toast so I topped 2 slices of 100% whole wheat with pumpkin, 2% cottage cheese and cinnamon. Paired with this is a chocolate monster smoothie that consists of 8th Continent light oringal soy milk, frozen blueberries/banana, dark coco powder, and Amazing Grass chocolate greens powder. Many of you are familar with the green monster smoothie craze which I am totally for but in the morning my love for chocolate always seems to arise. I guess it is the whole sweet/salty combination that I love so much. So I make my green monster smoothie with a chocolate twist to satisy my love rather obsession with chocolate. Yum Yum!

Break room Insight

Hospital break rooms, a place that should be a quiet resting place and time to "break" from the messy settings of the hospital. For me, in most cases that is not always possible. The pictures above are a view of what I usually walk into everytime I enter the break room for my floor at the hospital. I am not pointing fingers at anyone because we are all guilty of contributing to this environment with myself included. I have always wondered what other break rooms look like elsewhere. My hope is that they do not all look like this.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Taste Like Chicken and Waffles

So I have never had the beloved southern food combination of chicken and waffles. I have always been intrigued by it but never took the food dive, mainly because of the fried chicken. But I have always been drawn to a sweet and salty combination such as chicken and waffles like many others, hench the popularity of the dish. Lately I have been craving waffles but just having waffles did not seem that appealing to me. So I decided to take an old classic and give it a healthier twist. So I give you eggs and waffles with sugar-free syrup. The Kashi Honey Wheat waffles with syrup were just enough sweetness to balance the saltiness from the eggs. I am always a big fan of mixing different textures with my food combinations and this was a great one. My morning breakfast was also very filling and keep me full for 4.5 hours. Word to the wise, protein/fiber are your friend because they slow down your digestion=fuller for longer.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Weight Loss Journey Begins

Well, I have been avoiding this topic for quite sometime but I feel it is time to face the facts that I have gained weight. Too much weight to be exact. I will not get into the nitty gritty numbers but my current BMI just puts me into the overweight category. A place I always feared I would end up again. I decided to go public with my new journey in hopes for accountability from fellow bloggers and readers.

I am also hopeful that by beginning this weight loss journey once again, it will get me motivated to blog more. As many of you know I have lost weight, a lot of weight before. For the first time around, I found myself stuck in the world of bars and p lanned meals that left me feeling trapped. After maintaining my 100 lbs weight loss fir 2.5 years without the use of bars/planned meals programs, I would like to continue this style of eating as I begin my new weight loss journey.

During my weight gain I have slowly been running less, going from an average of 40 mpw to around 20 mpw. This mileage decease first began as a time of rest and change for my body. To be honest, now I am not running as much because the added weight is hurting my knees to much.

Though I am not completely focused on a number, I would like my BMI to fall into the healthy category. I am so excited to head back in the right direction of being a avid runner who is fueled properly.

More to come...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Just Call Me Lance

For quite some time I have been debating about getting a bike. For 3 years my mind and body have been so focus on running as the best type of exercise for my body. Well, my body is beginning to say otherwise. The boredom and complacency is beginning to creep up on me. Please, do not get me wrong I love running and always will. If you ask many seasoned runners, they to go through times of peaks and troughs with there running schedule. My body is craving for a "shock" to recharge itself.
In my suburb area of Atlanta I have seen many biking groups that have greatly peaked my interest in buying a bike and joining a cycling group. I love individual activities that you can participate in groups with others. After deciding on my goals for cycling and completing some research I headed to my local bike shop for the big purchase.
When I first walked in, the many racks filled with bikes was a bit overwhelming but I was not going to be deterred. After browsing and discussing with the store about my cycling needs they found the perfect bike for me. Guess what, it was on SALE! I will say that cycling can be a very expensive sport but after I patched the whole I just burned into my wallet I walked out of the store with a huge smile on my face.
I immediately took my new "baby" home, put my supplies away, and hopped on the bike for our first ride together. I needed to make a Target run so I decided to hit two birds with one stone. It always amazes me that no matter how long it has been since your last bike ride, you never forget how to do it. The bike felt a little awkward at first, mainly because it was so lightweight. I have always rode mountain bikes which are much heavier as to better handle the harder terrain. After my Target run I was still in riding mode, so I hopped back on and headed to my fiance's house for a surprise visit. After he took the bike for a test spin he said that, "I am going to start calling you Lance."
For anyone who is needing a change in exercise scenery, cycling is a great way to do it. I love the feeling of getting some exercise in but not feeling like I am exercising. I am so excited to take it for early morning rides to discover the many different areas of Atlanta.

P. S. I bought a Schwinn Le Tour GSW '08

Friday, July 10, 2009

Need Some Loving Friday

Finally Friday!!

I have been a "Debbie Downer" this week so I thought I would dedicate a post to many things I love. Oh how I love these, let me count the ways....

Creme in my coffee
The color of blueberries
Baby chicks
Polka dots
Shades of green
Old T-shirts
Historical buildings
Post-it notes
My messy Jeep
The smell of the fall season
Black and white photographs
Cinnamon and pumpkin flavors
Workouts before sunrise

Sunday, June 28, 2009

GDay Mate!

In any city it is amazing what you can find when you take the time to research a city. The Kangaroo Conservation in Dawsonville, GA being one of them. A good friend of mine mentioned this place a few week's ago but I did not really think much of it. But lately I have been in a exploring and adventurous mood so I thought why not, ROAD TRIP!! Dawsonville, GA is about 1 hour north of Atlanta, GA and it is home to the Kangaroo Conservation Center. The facilty is the largest one outside of Australia and houses over 300 kangaroos. They come in all different sizes from the smallest of 2lbs. to the largest at 200lbs. Located near the Appalachian Trail the mountain filled area had some amazing views and hiking trails within the grounds. Anyone in or near the Atlanta area should definitely check this place out.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sweet Snacking

Summertiming with some fresh fruit for a sweet snack. The taste was just enough to satisfy my craving.

Friday, June 12, 2009

You Make Me Smile

I saw this photo on another blogger site I just couldn't help myself. LOL!

Recovery Break

Many people think that it's all about the workout, that improvement happens all during the sweating. How you recover from those hard workouts is just as important because that is where the magic happens in your muscles. One of the key components to great speedy recovery is a good snack or meal within 30-60 minutes after you finish a workout or long run. A mix of carbs and protein 4:1 is usually what is recommended. The lovely spread I had this morning after my 8 miler was a Lender's blueberry bagel topped with 2% cottage cheese and a very crisp Braeburn apple. Ice cold water was needed to quench my great thirst after my long run. The lovely mess behind my delicious meal is all my wedding stuff that consist of sample invitations, fabric, magazine, monogrammed thank you cards, etc. and so on. I cannot wait for the next 4 days off from work, I am need of a break. Headed to my favorite lunch spot Panera for a great chat session with a great friend.