Friday, September 30, 2011

Massages Make My Day

It’s Friday!!!

Get happy!

I woke up super early in order to make sure I could get through city traffic and to my prenatal genetic counseling observation on time.  I took with me a sweet potato pie smoothie for breakfast.


It tastes great and was the perfect thickness.  Definitely was true to it’s name also.  It was like drinking a slice of pie.  In my book that’s fairly awesome.

When I arrived at my observation I got to witness an ultrasound on a woman who had undergone selective reduction of twins as well as a routine first trimester screen with nuchal translucency testing.  The first was harder to watch obviously because the “reduced” fetus was still present in the womb but the second was also pretty neat because I had never seen a nuchal done before in person.  I see pictures all the time but never a cooperative fetus right in front of me.  Neato.

After the ultrasounds I sat in on the counseling session for the couple who had the first trimester screening and we were able to give them reassuring news.  I love those kinds of sessions when you can be so positive.  Also, this couple had been through IVF and they were just happy to be pregnant so I’m very glad we didn’t have to deliver any less-than-stellar news.

After the appointment was over I headed to Whole Foods where I grabbed some oat bran and Turkish dried apricots.  Then I went to the post office, Chase bank, and Staple where I got a FREE ream of paper (after super easy rebate).  I was excited but by the time I was done and finally back to my apartment I was hungry and really needing to study for my metabolism test on Monday.  Also, I had been needing to clean the apartment for a week so I was worked up over that too.

First up: a lunch of baked bean salad with a side of grapes.


This bowl came together really quickly because the other night when I was making a salad I had cut up extra veggies so they were already mixed in a bag waiting to be dumped onto a salad.  Of note: these poor little grapes were really on their last legs.  Glad I ate them when I did.

Next up: cleaning!  I vacuumed the whole apartment and then washed all the surfaces.  I felt worlds better when I finished and because I was so relaxed then I got to work on studying glucose, fatty acids, etc.  I worked for a while and then headed out to get going to my massage appointment.

The massage went wonderfully and I felt so loosey goosey afterwards.  The doctor also adjusted me and said I felt much better than a month ago.  I am making progress!!  Despite the errands I ran earlier in the day, I had more to do.  I snacked on an apple on the way.


I ended up swinging by a natural health food store to pick up some bread flour and chia seeds and then a market to grab a jar of Biscoff spread.  When I walked in to this place I had to take a moment and breathe.  Wow.  Check it out.


They had all sorts of things in bulk including every kind of candy, M&M, etc.  I was knocked backwards a few steps.  Then I found these babies:


Wow, if only they weren’t over $8 a bar.  Maybe one day for a super duper special treat.  =D

When I arrived home I got started on dinner.  I had been eyeing this Eggplant Coconut Curry for a while and finally got my butt down to the market and bought an eggplant.


The recipe is really simple and involves this lovely can of coconut milk which makes it incredibly creamy and dreamy.


Then I got to break out this bottle for the first time: Liquid Smoke!!!


Man, I could just smell this stuff forever.  So great.

The pot finished simmering and Jack had arrived to make 5-minute naan from scratch to go with the curry.  Finally, we sat down to this delish dinner.


This curry was unreal.  It smelled just like an Indian restaurant and tasted wonderful.  We added peanuts to the top as well.


They added just the right flavor and believe me what it lacked in “photogenicity” the curry made up for in flavor.  I was super impressed and because this dish is really easy, fairly mindless to make, and 3-4 full servings I will definitely be making this again.  The naan however will be a recipe I would rather buy than make.

After dinner I needed to study so Jack and I took some time to work and then settled down for a movie.  We broke out dessert part one first: chocolate peanut butter pretzel nuggets.  I’ll admit, I was only going to buy Biscoff at the market but I got sucked in by this bulk bin and bought just four pieces ($0.85).








They were so worth it and it’s probably a very, very, very good thing I only had four in the house.

We watched The Nanny Diaries.  Cute movie.  Sad story about mothers who don’t mother/raise their children at all.  I think this movie might be the root of why I really don’t like the idea of having a nanny. 

Dessert part two came halfway through the movie in the form of Reese’s s’mores for two.


Scrumptious as always.

With that, I’m out.  Good night all.  This girl needs some sleep before her race tomorrow!!!

Question: What are you feelings about having a nanny?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thunderstorm Thursday


Who gave a presentation? ME

Who had two assignments due today? ME

Who made significant progress on homework? ME

Who had great food? ME

So let’s get down to it, huh?  Breakfast was a delightfully decadent bowl of oatmeal/oat bran.  You know how I love s’mores so I decided to have one first thing in the morning.


Chocolate protein powder, a dash of chocolate syrup, one graham cracker sheet crumbled, and marshmallows.  Perfection.

I walked to school on a happy stomach and arrived just in time for Foundations class.  We talked about prenatal genetic counseling outlines and how to structure a session.  We also addressed how much and what kind of information to give.  It was an incredibly packed class and I’m a little overwhelmed.  It seems we always have moments like this.  We figure out exactly what is expected of us and then we, all the first years, freak for the rest of the day.  Then we get over it and do it.  So, I suppose, this is par for the course.

While I worked on polishing my presentation and my prenatal role play prep I had lunch.  I had some leftover Santa Fe casserole with Old Bay seasoning added in.


A bit later I snacked on a gala apple.


I skipped PreClinic conference (wasn’t required this week) and worked instead so by the time I got to giving my presentation in dysmorphology I had gotten a lot of work done and was in a pretty good spot.  Just check out the list!


During our professor’s portion of the lecture I was hungry again so I had a peanut-scotch banana muffin and mozzarella string cheese to tide me over.


When it was my turn I ran through my talk.  It only took a short time because a) the professor stole most of my thunder and b) my syndromes had already been covered by a fellow classmate last week.  Oh well.  I did my best.

I was planning on walking home after but I literally got seven steps out the door and it started to pour.  I decided instead to take the bus which, of course, was totally late…by 10 minutes.  Finally when it came I realized why: rush hour traffic.  It was 5p and everyone was trying to leave the city.  When I was dropped off I had to walk three and a half blocks to get back to my apartment and when I arrived I was soaked to the bone, right through my clothes.


Ugh.  Not happy at all.  I stripped off the wet clothes, they were totally stuck to me, and changed into workout gear.  I did 25 minutes on the elliptical followed by 12 minutes on the stationary bike.  To keep myself busy I watched Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and they were redoing a house for a family with a 12-year-old girl who has a “giant hole in her heart”.  Call my silly but I spent the whole time trying to figure out what kind of hole she possibly had.  =D

Back at the apartment, I showered and then whipped up dinner.  I sauteed onion and garlic in some sundried tomato infused oil and then added spinach, peas & carrots, and shrimp.  To that I threw in bowtie noodles and then coated it all in ranch.


Very nice though something was slightly off in the taste.  I think it might have been the oil.  Perhaps sundried tomato doesn’t go particularly well with ranch.  Oh well, still good enough to gobble up in 10 minutes.

I worked for a bit after dinner and looked over my prenatal role play outline.  I also watched a ridiculous number of episodes of Mad Men.  Around 9:30 I was ready for dessert so I heated up another peanut-scotch banana muffin and nestled it with Kentucky Delight ice cream and caramel.


The brown sugar ice cream really worked with the muffin.  Awesome.

I have an early morning observation tomorrow so bed is in my near future for sure.  I do not feel like driving in the city with all the morning traffic but I don’t have much choice.  In other news though Friday is a pre-race rest day and I have an hour long massage scheduled followed by a chiropractic adjustment.  Cool beans.

Fun Fact: Today was two days before my race (the same time frame as my accident in August) so you should all be pleased to know that I was not hit by a semi and therefore will be running on Saturday.  Can’t wait!

Question: What are your plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Baking for the Broken

Today was the day of the big Human Genetics exam.

It was also a What I Ate Wednesday!

I woke up and thought a nice filling breakfast would be a good way to start the day so I whipped up an oatmeal/oat bran mix with almond milk, chia seeds, and stevia.  I topped with some peanut butter (half a JIF to go container) and maple syrup.


Don’t you just love how runny and gooey peanut butter gets when it’s heated?


I know I do!

I headed on walking to school and printed off some of the assignments that were or are soon to be due.  Communications class focused on self-disclosure and self-involving responses which at the moment, as a new student counselor, is pretty uncomfortable.  We’ll see how I feel about those topics when I get a chance to try them out in role plays.

After class the first years split up and hunkered down to study.  Do you think I have enough notes to go over?


Ugh.  We studied for two hours and then went to seminar from 12-1p.  Before we went though I grabbed lunch.  It was a hodge podge of stuff today.


Carrot and celery sticks with both peanut butter (the rest of the JIF to go container from this morning…) and garlic hummus to dip them in along with strawberry greek yogurt (which I got for free) topped with vanilla granola.  It was very nice.  I liked the yogurt and how creamy it was and I had absolutely forgotten how much I LOVE carrots and peanut butter together.  Nomnom.

Seminar was boring and to be honest we all sat there are studied while half listening. I snacked on some candy corn to keep myself motivated and awake.


When the presentation finished, I went back over some notes before sucking it up and taking the test at two o’clock.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that I knew mostly everything.  I stumbled on 2 questions out of 45.  I’m interested to see what my grade turns out to be.  Hopefully he’ll have them done by Monday…

On my walk home post-test I consumed a Mojo bar because I was starving.


These are really good and was the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.  I made my way home in the cloudy weather and spent the next two-ish hours doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  Wow, I haven’t had the ability to do that for a good while.  It was nice.  I’ll admit I started to lose all motivation around 5p because I really wanted to go out to dinner but I really shouldn’t be spending money right now and I had no one to go with.  Instead of going out, I consoled myself with an 18 minute elliptical/18 minute bike workout.  Afterwards I felt a little better (yay endorphins) and used that slight upswing in mood to get going on dinner.

On tonight’s menu: veggie fried rice based on this recipe.  I deviated from the original just a bit.  I used canned peas and carrots, added in freshly chopped white onion, and used Bragg’s Liquid Aminos rather than tamari.  I also “scrambled” my egg a new way tonight.  I cracked it into the hot pan and then broke the yolk and spread it out to cook. Then I mixed the whole thing together.


Hey, it may not look pretty but it meant you got some yolk pieces and some white pieces which was a nice contrast.  I also used brown rice that I had left in the fridge.


The whole thing was a) pretty heaping and b) nicely flavored.  The coconut oil/sesame oil combo was yummy.

I did work on physics test coding after eating and ended up doing it wrong, kind of.  Thankfully my mistake should be okay in the long run or might only require a few little tweaks.  So it wasn’t a total loss…I hope.

When I had had my utter fill of that, I hoped in the shower and then drowned in dessert.  Honestly, I may have an ice cream problem.


These are half gallons and there is a whole other unpictured quart in the freezer…

*nervous giggle*

Now in order to understand my dessert you need to see what I baked to mend my broken attitude this afternoon.  Peanut-scotch chip banana muffins based on this recipe started with hand-creaming butter, peanut butter, and sucanat/Stevia.


They say you need a stand mixer for this.  Please, you just need my biceps. =)


Light and fluffy…all with a little elbow grease.

Next step: the addition of eggs and some pretty sad looking bananas.


Then it was time for the dry ingredients to be combined into the wet.


Next was the fun part: I always do my chips by hand to ensure the maximum distribution among the final product(s).  So I layered batter with peanut butter chips then more batter and butterscotch chips.


This recipe was originally written to make one loaf (or three mini loaves) but I wanted muffins because they are the perfect portions and way more portable.  So I winged the baking time and temp: 335F for 20 minutes. It worked PERFECTLY!


I also used a bit of the extra batter to make myself a little muffin top in a ramekin.  This was my base for my gigantic cavern bowl of ice cream.


I heated it for 10 seconds then topped it with all three kinds of ice cream, chocolate, and caramel.



I also had the last dark chocolate cookie in my chocolate drawer.  I need to make more.


With that my dears, I am going to check over my dysmorphology presentation (that I give tomorrow) and head to bed.  I was tired today.  Have a lovely night!

Questions: Do you like straight up banana bread or do you appreciate all sorts of variations? If so, which is your favorite?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hermione, You Were Right

I yelled at my mother last night.

This is typically a sign that I have really reached the end of my rope.

This week is packed with tests, presentations, massive amounts of homework, regular work, and reading.  I’m tired.  I’m stressed.  I’m angry.  I’m saddened.  I’m exhausted.  I’m overwhelmed.  I’m just bogged down.

Couple all this with the fact that I feel pretty alone and isolated down here in the city and you get a fairly worn-out young lady.

I remember from reading Harry Potter this fantastic line from Hermione Granger.  She is chastising Ron for his indifference to Cho’s huge variety of feelings and she says “Just because you’ve the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have.”  Couldn’t be more true.  It’s incredible to me how many emotions we feel on a daily basis.  Just take a look above for example. 

Hopefully things will settle once the homework slows and the exams are over and tole plays are finished.  *crosses fingers*

Now, as you can imagine today called for comfort food so check it out:

Breakfast was a vanilla protein breakfast cake topped with Nutella, maple, and chia.


Foundations class was over within an hour so I spent the rest of the day at home.  I went grocery shopping before hunkering down for good old study time.


Lots of yummy stuff including liquid smoke on sale!! Yay!  Can’t wait to use it in my eggplant curry on Friday.  Going to be scrumptious, I can tell.

Lunch consisted of a grilled BTGC (bacon, tomato, and goat cheese) with some bold chex mix, sesame sticks (I’m a total sucker for these), and honey twist pretzels.








For dessert, a Reese’s s’more.  Seriously, this is a love of my life for sure.


I studied and studied all afternoon then took a break to go to the fitness center.  I ran 2.33 miles and then biked for a bit as well.  After that nice break I went back to going over my notes.  While I was doing that I refueled with some cheese and crackers, honey roasted peanuts, and my last pear.


By the time 6:30p rolled around I realized I definitely needed a shower so I jumped to the bathroom and then subsequently out the door for my study group at 7p.  I parked just down the street and walked to the student room where we asked each other questions and such for a few hours.  I ate my “dinner” while we were working.  It was a yogurt mess with five kinds of cereal (I’m a bit ADD when it comes to breakfast food), chia seeds, and Reese’s Pieces.


Just the kick I needed to keep focused and keep going through all the lectures we’re responsible for tomorrow at 2p.

We broke up soon after and I returned home to finish polishing my patient letter due tomorrow morning at 9a.  With that finished and some more definitions stuck in my head I thought I deserved an awesome dessert.  Remember when Jack made me these bad boys?  They were great but a bit hefty on the calories.  Also, the recipe makes twelve and let’s be honest, I do not, or rather no one needs a full dozen 400 calorie bombs (delicious though they are) lurking in the kitchen.  So single serve it was!!

I used this brownie recipe I found and my Halloween double stuf oreos.


Into the oven the lone soldier went for 18 minutes and look how beautiful it came out!


Now, dessert wouldn’t be complete without some ice cream so I nestled my single serve peanut butter oreo stuffed brownie bite in Rocky Road.  I topped it with chocolate sauce, caramel, and sprinkles.


Oh baby, oh baby.


Super orange insides!

Oh, and some marshmallows probably were consumed while that masterpiece was baking…


So, I should get back to studying…

I can’t wait until this week is over.

A killer accapella version of Grenade for Tune Tuesday:

Question: Do you have any recipes that you have “single-served”?

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