Monday, April 30, 2012

Foodie Penpal Reveal

The day is finally here!  It’s time to check out the goodness I received as a result of being part of the Foodie Penpal program.  I was one lucky lady, if I do say so myself!

The Lean Green Bean

While I sent a box of goodies to Gerry at Foodness Gracious, my penpal was a fellow blogger named Dany over at Dany Gets Fit.  She is such a doll and really listened to my requests.  Actually, I didn’t really even have to make requests because Dany was so on top of everything. She asked me all sorts of questions and was incredibly enthusiastic.  A real joy, I tell you.  Anyways, I received my package in mid April and I was so pumped.


I sliced open the top and look at the peanut and fruit extravaganza I encountered!


I first pulled out two boxes of fruit leathers: blueberry and pomegranate.  These will be awesome for quick snacks at school, so much so that I’m actually thinking about stashing these above my desk for later afternoon tummy rumbles.


I next grabbed the peanutty bar from Annie’s and again, I’m thinking these may go to school with me for those long medical report writing sessions that need a boost.  Next up and perhaps the most exciting was the huge tub of peanut butter with flax seed.  After I took the flax seed plunge earlier this month, I was incredibly happy to see this in the box.  I rarely buy “specialty” nut butters because they’re more expensive than regular/natural JIF so it’s a lovely treat to have something different.


Ironically I had just opened another big jar of my normal peanut butter the day before my box came.  With that open alongside jars of cookie butter, Nutella, and walnut butter I decided to make myself wait for a bit before cracking this flax delight open.  It’s going to take some willpower!

I wasn’t done yet though!  There were two other nut butter packets hiding in the pink and orange Easter grass.  I have heard stellar things about Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter (even that it has Nutella beat!) so I cannot wait to get that in my belly!  You can’t go wrong with honey peanut butter either.  It’s delightfully rich.


In short, this was a jackpot box.  I’m so glad I participated.  I will say it was a bit on the expensive side what with buying all the food and then mailing it so I’m not sure that I can do it every month but it’s a cool thing to do maybe three or four times a year.  I think it’s a neat way to get some fun stuff I would not otherwise buy.  Plus, who doesn’t love getting a big box of food?  It’s like a random present for no reason at all!

So if the above was enough to whet your appetite, let me tell you a bit about the Foodie Penpals program put on by Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean so you can see if it is something you want to do.  Here we go: It is open to both bloggers and readers.  People get matched up with another participant at the beginning of the month (the 5th) and then are responsible for getting in touch with their penpal and figuring out what they like.  Then comes the shopping.  There is $15 limit on goodies and they can be store bought or homemade.  Each box that you send must include something written like a note, a recipe, etc.  Everyone agrees to send their boxes by the middle of the month, the 15th to be exact, and then you write a reveal blog post to be put up on the 30th of the month.  It’s that simple.

Questions: What was your favorite part of my box?
Does Foodie Penpals sound like something you would want to be a part of?

Sunday, April 29, 2012


After a long day of studying and cleaning yesterday, I was thrilled to wake up and not have to hit the books right away.  Instead I headed to church to serve up some parish breakfast.  When I got there someone was already working on eggs so I took over the juice and toast station.  Our special was apple cinnamon French Toast which went real quick.  I didn’t have any of the breakfast but rather busied myself after the rush making shortcakes for our human needs ministry.  We rolled out the dough, egg-washed the tops, and sprinkled them with sugar.  They turned out an awesome golden brown on top.


I was given one to take home with me as a thank you for helping bake.  It smelled up my whole car as I drove to and from Kroger for a few groceries.  I scored bananas, cottage cheese, some whipped cream cheese for my bagels, and some dill weed.  When I got home I was all sorts of hungry so I decided to try something new: homemade ranch dressing mix!


I then added a 1/2 tablespoon of this to a 1/2 cup of cottage cheese and a tablespoon of sour cream.  Oh boy, it was spot on delicious!  I dipped celery sticks and tomatoes in it.  I had an orange on the side as well as a pickle and some chex mix.  It was a hodge-podge but it was what I wanted.


I spent the afternoon studying much to my dismay.  I got a bit tired (like I couldn’t keep my eyes open) so I took a twenty-five minute nap.  When I got up I was in much better shape to memorize 36 hereditary cancer syndromes and tumor types with all their causative genes, symptoms, surveillance and management options, and associations.  In the late afternoon I got my interval on  in the gym.  I set myself up on a treadmill with my interval sheet (taken from on one side and my big pack of cytogenetics notes on the other.


I must admit I like interval runs because it goes by so quickly.  You run the same amount as “normal” but then it over way before you know it.  It felt really nice.  After my run I walked over to the weight room and did some circuits:

  • Bicep curls with 10lb dumbbells
  • Tricep dips under own bodyweight
  • Sumo squats with 15lb dumbbell
  • Lat pull down with 40lbs
  • Inverted pike with exercise ball
  • Chest press with 40lbs
  • Olympic press with 10lb dumbbells
  • Jump squats (only 8 per round of these, my legs were pooped)
  • Knee roll-ins with exercise ball

I was super sweaty when I went home but I was also hungry so I put off my shower in order to make up some food.  I sautéed some minced garlic, onion, and green pepper in a bit of olive oil while two servings of lentils cooked.  I’ve found it’s easier to cook lentils if you cook at least a dry cup (which is technically four 1/4 cup servings but I eat them as two 1/2 cup servings) because then there is enough to boil and simmer well plus it makes leftovers!  Anyways, I added teriyaki tempeh to the sauté and let it brown up.  I then threw in lentils and some sweet and sour sauce and mixed it all.  It was very delicious and just what I needed after my run.  On the side were some rather large green grapes.


The rest of the evening, the whole of it really since I ate around 5:30p, was spent studying even more until I took a break to write this blog and have a sweet treat.  I sliced up half the shortcake and stuffed it with sauced strawberries and whipped cream.  I had some chocolate peanut butter cheesecake ice cream in the same bowl.


Man, the shortcake was incredible.  It was one of the best study breaks ever.  However, it’s over now and I need to get back to it.  I think I’m going to tuck into bed and do some more memorizing.  I don’t have to go into school tomorrow so it’ll be nice to not have to be up at 7am.  I think I’ll let myself sleep in and then I’ll study.  Maybe I’ll make pancakes too…

Friday French –>

Phrase: Je déteste l'étude pour les finales.
Translation: I hate studying for finals.
Story: It’s finals week and I’m overwhelmed. ‘Nuff said.

Questions: Are you coming up on finals week too?
What’s your favorite interval workout?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I Get By…

…with a little help from my friends.  Thursday and Friday were full of friendship and festivities.  Today was sadly full of studying and cleaning, like we’re talking the entire apartment, you can seriously see the floor and countertops and everything!  So check out the last few days in pictures –>


{Thursday breakfast of mini whole wheat bagel with cottage cheese and strawberries.}


{Thursday’s lunch of a giant salad with teriyaki tempeh bites.}


{My co-workers getting their pizza on in my kitchen.}


{The delicious baked pizzas with dough courtesy of The Joy Of Cooking.}


{The signs of company by the front door.}


{My ticket to see The Hunger Games with the gang for the second time.}


{Treats in our seats.}


{Random pictures in the utterly deserted theater pre-movie.}


{The boys and the girls at the cookout we first years threw for the second years as their going away party.}


{My plate of cookout food: I had a mushroom cheeseburger, two kinds of pasta salad (I whipped up this BLT version to share), and then some fruit salad with my ambrosia topping made with cool whip, yogurt, coconut, and marshmallows.}


{My classy blue solo cup of boxed white wine.}


{Gorgeous bonfire shots and “newspaper satellite” attempts.}


{Cookout desserts: campfire roasted s’more with peanut butter and then a healthy dose, or seven, of cherry pineapple dump cake.}


{The great croquet player lineup. I was orange, obviously.}


{One of the casualties of super long studying hours.}


{Brain food breakfast of a mini whole wheat bagel topped with a thick smear of peanut butter, some sliced strawberries, flax, and chia.}


{The box of Reese’s I totally forgot to slip into Jack’s overnight bag as a finals gift.}


{My sadly broken watch.  Now I need a new one and I’m usually a $10 Walmart watch kind of girl but I think I’m going to spring for a nicer one this time.  Any ideas?}


{The mound of wonderfully warm-from-the-dryer clothes that I wanted to bury myself in with all the rain outside and studying going on inside.}


{I obviously didn’t lay in the clothes though.  I folded them instead and got back to studying for the rest of the evening.}

Question: Would you be interested in a “clinic clothes” feature where I document the cute clothes I where to clinic during my rotations?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bagel Buster

Last night was rough.  I’m fairly sure I spiked a fever because I was all bundled up trying to sleep.  I also woke up, and we’re talking completely awake, at six in the morning.  I was more than perturbed.  Thankfully I got myself to go back to sleep only to wake up to my alarm at seven.  I was moving like molasses when I finally got out of bed.  I was hurting all over and my head felt like it was going to explode.

I just barely made it to the bus at 7:30 with breakfast in tow.  I’ll give you three guesses as to what I had…and your first two don’t count.  That’s right, I had banana pecan coconut oatmeal with peanut maple glaze and flaxseed.


Let’s just say I’m a bit over this breakfast choice but it has been nice to not have to do anything but stick a bowl in the microwave before running out the door.  At school I edited some reports and started a preclinic sheet for the patient I’m going to see on Friday.  By 8:30 it was time to go to Psychosocial for our last class.  We presented cases we had seen that had strong psychosocial components and the whole thing flew by really quickly.  When we got back to the student room, I snacked on some tomatoes before we trekked over to the seminar room to listen to Krysten’s talk.  She did so well and we were so proud of her.


After the presentation I was hangry for lunch so I reheated some cabbage curry and loved every single bite.  I totally want to get more of this or I should figure out how to make some. 


The rest of the afternoon was spent trying to convince myself to study.  When that didn’t work I did more work on my preclinic paper and then some organization of my patient records.  I headed home at 4:30, in the rain, and when I got back I immediately went to the fitness center for 18 minutes on the elliptical and another 18 on the stationary bike.  I followed that up with 1/2 an abdominals circuit.  Then it was time for dinner and boy was it a good one!  I chopped up a salad with romaine, tomatoes, red pepper, carrots, celery, red onion, and flax seed.  On top I placed some broiled teriyaki tempeh I started marinating yesterday.  I then drizzled the whole salad with toasted sesame dressing.  How’s that for an extra cup of veggies, WIAWers?!?


Let me just tell you that this tempeh was so GOOD!  It was so full of flavor and saltiness.  Broiling the tempeh was perfect and gave it just a little bit of a pleasant char.  Basically I didn’t want to have to roast the tempeh for 30 minutes (and preheat the oven) so I stuck it under the broiler on high for five-ish minutes.  Way quicker and easier, for sure.  Post dinner I hopped in the car and went to pick up some groceries for a fruit salad and a pasta salad I’m making on Friday.  Like always, I ended up with more than I had originally intended.  Oh well.  I got three kinds of onions and that may sound crazy but I like different ones for different dishes.  Red onions are for salads; yellow onions are for scrambled eggs, stir-fries, and loaded macaroni and cheese; and scallions are for the pasta salad.


I also got a can of enchilada sauce because I’m hankering for some tempeh enchiladas sometime soon!


Finally, to bust me out of my breakfast rut I snagged some delicious looking whole wheat mini-bagels.  I can’t wait to try one out tomorrow.


I guess I should go and pack up the fruit I washed tonight in a vinegar-water solution.  I tried to pick the least offensive strawberries but there were some gross looking berries in the back on the shelf.  I decided I should play it on the safe side and just kill any crazy bacteria/mold right away in the hopes that everything lasts longer.


With that my dears, I’m off to force myself to study.  I figure a good hour before bed will be enough to feel like I haven’t completely wasted the entire night.  I really wish finals were already over.

Questions: Ever been in a breakfast rut?
How do you use onions?

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