Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Today was a good eats day!!

I started the day with oligatory oatmeal and peanut butter toast, not pictured.

For whatever reason, when I woke up this morning, I was in a total funk. Just felt down. Luckily, Mirza pulled me out of the funk when he stopped by Nature's Finest to pick us up some smoothies and salad!!

This was the "Gulfshort Sunset," which included orange, pineapple, strawberry, and keylime! It was tangy, yet sweet. And I loved the color.

I was in a much better mood after eating. Good food always makes me happy.
At 3pm, I ventured over to my CSA  to pick up my veggies. It's been a rough season for them this year with the unusually cold weather, but their greens are still in full swing. I love to support my local farmers/growers. It makes me feel like I'm doing "my part," even if small.
 I only take what I need or want. Not a fan of the red mustard, so I stopped taking it.

Lots of kale, collards, carrots, dill, rosemary, arugula, and some other lettuce..

The worst part about being a CSA member is CLEANING all the vegetables and storing them, blaaaa!

Max loves local, organic food, too:)

I also got some local, raw honey!! I wonder if this will help with my damn pollen allergies.

I love my CSA because you can just kind of wander around and pick the herbs they have scattered around in pots. And they are always saying, "Come back if you need more!!"

For dinner, I wanted to try some of the black bean burgers from Veganomicon . Along side, I boiled some small yellow potatoes and then tossed them with lemon juice, greek yogurt, garlic, pepper, and fresh rosemary. We also had some lemony carrot dill salad from It's a go-to recipe!
Lately, we've really been utilizing this chipotle ketchup. I am not a ketchup personal AT ALL, but I love this!

We both highly enjoyed this meal! The potatoes rocked, and carrots were amazing as usual. Store bought carrots absolutely do not compare to fresh,- pulled -from -the- ground -that -day -carrots!

The black bean burgers were good, too, but I think I will make them bigger next time since my buns kind of overpowered them. We also used some of the lettuce from the farm.

Lunch tomorrow will be delicious. I love leftovers for lunch, anyone else?

Breakfast #2 will be plain greek yogurt with the raw honey, local Florida strawberries, cinnamon, and blueberry/apple granola. Review to come of the honey.

My awesome lunch box; it holds a lot!

While I cleaned the kitchen, Mirza ironed my uniforms for the next two days! He is wonderful! First salad and smoothies and then he trying to butter me up for something? haha! Nope, he just rocks.

And dessert was chocolate cheesecake from the bookstore!


Tonight I did something I never do...I purchased books!! I know, it isn't weird, but for me, it is! I love the library and saving money. But today? just did not feel like caring anymore and went through and picked out some new cookbooks. When it comes to cookbooks, borrowing from the library can be helpful when you're looking for something specific, but you're under a time constraint of having to return the books, so you can never just enjoy them!!

Hmmm??? Post to follow with explanation of the cookbooks:)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Breakfast for dinner!

Lunch was more leftover snobby joes...
And dinner was breakfast, as in french toast:

I used two pieces of whole wheat bread slathered in my CSA organic eggs, topped with cinnamon, strawberries, almond slivers, and real maple syrup.
There's no Aunt Jemima 'round here.

I love breakfast for dinner.

In other news, we're supposed to be receiving a still-undetermined amount of money from our team awards on Thursday. It is supposed to be big this year. I'm thinking in the $500 range? Not sure!! maybe less with taxes.
What should I so with the cash?
-put towards car

Any thoughts?

Gorgeous day in Tampa Bay!

I just came back from a lovely bike ride on the Pinellas trail over the water and then I took a venture off into a neighborhood by Bay Pines VA. It was absolutely gorgeous outside. I wish I had room to bring my camera on rides. Florida definitely wins the prize of awesome weather today.

I'm trying to ride my bike more now since the weather is picking up. As for endurance and speed, let's just say I have none. I am SLOW and I do not ride for very long (half hour). I used to feel guilty and bad about this, but I don't care anymore. As long as I am moving and enjoying my time, then all of those other things will come with practice. Once I get more comfortable, I want to get the clip in pedals. Actually, it is time for my 30 day bike maintenance check-up with the bike shop. And today while pumping up my tires (a work out in itself!), I somehow bent the end of the valve on the tire. um, shit? I hope it holds air. Definitely will be getting that looked at.
The only thing I hate about riding my bike is preparing to go. I have a small Toyota and I stuff my beauty into the trunk. Good thing she is light.
 I need a bike rack!!
I also wish I had someone to go riding with, like Mirza. Although I do love the alone time, I know another person would probably help to motivate me to go longer and harder.

Before my ride, I made banana oatmeal with hemp milk! Anyone try it before? It had a slightly nutty flavor, but since I added walnuts to my oatmeal, it was kind of hard to distinguish.

This had: one banana, 1/2 cup hemp milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract (cap full), 3 tablespoons organic whole rolled oats, and for toppings: local Florida strawberries, toasted walnuts, and a drizzle of honey.

I can't believe I spent so long eating packets of instant crap/sugar filled oatmeal. Nothing compares to this. I <3 oatmeal. People who don't love oatmeal, just don't "get" it, you know?

Monday, March 29, 2010

feeling snobby

Tonight's meal was brought to you by "Veganomicon!"

And holy yum, it was delicious.

(I found the copes of the recipes online for your viewing pleasure, as well, but used my book when cooking).

We had  "snobby joes" with a baked potato, and a lovely romaine salad with a mediterranean olive oil and lemon vinaigrette .

I was nervous because sloppy joe's have a pretty distinct flavor, but I was feeling ambitious. These were made with lentils.
I used these buns:

Final product:

This is Mirza on his THIRD one. He actually used the words "amazing."

They taste much better than they me

The only thing not vegan about this meal was the butter/greek yogurt for the baked potato and I did grate some pecorino romano cheese into the salad.

Onto dessert, also taken from Veganomicon:
Chewy, chocolate raspberry cookies (that is a copy of the recipe I found online. didn't do any filling as it wasn't part of the book).

I love food. I love good food. And apparently, I love good vegan food, as does Mirza!

And I love Max:

Friday, March 26, 2010

she works hard for the $$

One day off in between work is not enough time. I have to work Saturday and Sunday now. I'm just tired and desperately need a break.

I tried to think of something I could make for dinner that would last the weekend, so I could have lunches. Since last week I made mushroom burgers using this recipe , I decided I wanted to somehow utilize the leftover "meat." I made these same burgers in December and they were amazing . I highly recommend them for a good vegetarian meal.
I decided to make a baked penne pasta dish. I mixed the penne with a leftover jar of tomato sauce, freshly grated pecorino romano cheese, organic arugula from my CSA chopped into tiny pieces, whole milk mozzarella on top and bread crumbs. I baked it at 350 for about 20 minutes.

Dessert was a leftover "green splash" smoothie from this afternoon:

Anyone going to watch Jamie Oliver's "Food Revolution" tonight on ABC? I watched the preview last week and it looks awesome.

I'll be watching until I go to bed, which is like..9pm! My job starts at 5:30, so I'm up a little after 4am:( *sigh*

I recently purchased Pollan's "Food Rules." Here are some of my favorites:

Eat only foods that have been cooked by humans.

 Don't ingest foods made in places where everyone is required to wear a surgical cap.

If it came from a plant, eat it. if it was made in a plant, don't.

 It's not food if it's called by the same name in every language (Think Big Mac, Cheetos, Pringles.).

Have a great weekend. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My "tweet" button on twitter won't work, so I cannot post anything. Frustrating.

In other news, I am sad:( I had to bring Max this morning to the vet for a teeth cleaning. I was so nervous for him because he's a scaredy-cat. Well, the vet called and said it went good, they did have to do a few extractions, but before the procedure, he pooped/peeped himself in the crate from being so scared!! she said they had to shave his behind a bit:( I'm so sad!!! I know it is important for his teeth to stay healthy because he has FIV, but I wonder if it is worth it to put him through so much stress.
Poor little guy. I can pick him up after 3pm. I hope he doesn't hate me.

Edit: It's been a few hours since Max has been home and he is doing great. It was so sad/cute when I first saw him. I paid and then went into the room to see him sitting in his carrier facing the door. I said, "Hi, Max" in my normal voice and he let out one of his cute high pitched meows. Everyone was like awww. I wanted to cry! I love my Max:(

They had to do 3 small extractions, but nothing major. His teeth and gums look so much better; less red and no more tartar. He needs to be on antibiotics for the next week prophylactically.
I actually went out and bought him a scratching post. Hope he uses it.

Here is Max practicing his tricks from the other day. He hasn't quite mastered "lay down," yet, but we're getting there...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

food, glorious food

Although it is no where near perfect, I am happy that we finally got health care reform rolling. Besides the main parts of the bill, such as insurance coverage, etc., I think it is also important to note one cool part of it: a NATIONAL MENU LABELING POLICY! 
Now, any chain of restaurant with more than 20 sites will need to have nutritional information posted on their menus, etc.  It is section 4205 of the bill, if you want to read it:

Here is another article:

Friday, March 19, 2010

what's for lunch?

Well, my lovely 4 days off is coming to an end. I did exactly as planned and what I wanted: absolutely nothing. Sometimes you just need some days to sit around and do NOTHING.

Ok, I didn't just sit in the house the entire time. I did accomplish a few things. I ate dinner with my parents, brother, and Mirza on St. Patrick's Day. And yesterday, I refinanced my auto loan from 11% rate to 5%! Gotta love credit unions. My initial rate was so high because of my limited credit history. I had to take what I could get from a bank. I do not have credit card debt, but at the time (one year ago this month), I did not have many lines of credit. I worked hard over the year to change that and now my credit score is in the 730's, which I am happy about. Still, the only thing "against" me is my short history. I guess we all start somewhere, right? I'm happy that I finally joined the credit union associated with my hospital though.

For breakfast this morning, I made some banana oatmeal with blackberries:

For dinner, I wanted to use up as many CSA veggies as possible; that, and I've been eating like ca-ca the last week (aka--I made cake...), so I made a purple kale and white bean soup.  I added red potatoes to mine and we enjoyed it with some nice crusty bread. I picked up a loaf of this artisan whole grain from the local "health food" store. It is a local bread.
No real photos, sorry.

However, I packed my lunch for tomorrow, which will include:
Morning: greek yogurt with blackberries, honey, cinnamon, granola.
Lunch: left over soup, hummus with pita chips, pineapple, "ants on a log."

Hopefully it will all fit in my bag!:)
I'm working the weekend :^p. I'm off to bed shortly. I bought some new sheets with a higher thread count, so I cannot wait to slide into my nice, soft bed.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Who's gonna watch you die?


For a non-believer in things such an all-powerful god or magical make-believe places you go when you die, death is a perplexing concept to me.

When I'm standing in the back of the ICU room of a patient recently given the designation of Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)/ Comfort Measures Only (CMO), with the monitors facing the opposite of the families, and anxiously waiting for the ECG rhythm to go asystole so I can print a strip for time of death, I'm more than likely in another world. Besides the fact that I am trying to emotionally distance myself from the situation for fear that I will go sit next to the sobbing family member holding their dying loved one's hand and break down with 'em, I am also questioning everything about life. Everything is just so...fleeting. And when the patient finally passes, and the times comes to remove all of the lines, tubes, and dressings, I just look at the lifeless person and wonder, "Where ARE they? Where did they go!?" You almost expect them to blink or move at any moment, but they do not.

And I find it hard to not cry. There is a fine line between being professional and also being a caring professional nurse and providing families with adequate comfort/grief. I don't want to cry in front of them, yet I don't want to seem...cold? Deep down, I'm thinking, "fuck, this sucks." Honestly.


... it's hard to stay mad when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much. My heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst ...
And then I remember ... to relax, and not try to hold on to it. And then it flows through me like rain. And I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life. You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. Don't worry ... you will someday.
Another tidbit: last week when one of my patient's died, just moments later, the lullaby music played on the overhead indicating that a baby was born. I immediately sung in the my head, "And babies are born in the same buildings where people go to pass away..."

I was browsing you tube videos to try and find a video about ICU nurses to give an accurate image of what I do at my job. I happened to come across this instead. I don't know the song, personally, but the video is well-done. For someone who has actually watched the monitor as someone dies, I find the music to be a good interpretation.

I also love this story done by CBS a few months ago about the cost of dying:

Made a lovely chocolate cake today. Enjoyed it warmed with moose-tracks ice cream:)

Sorry, I'm feeling a bit emo at the moment...:)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

organization is your friend

Organized my kitchen today and stocked the pantry.

It was a disaster.


(don't judge!)






Junk drawer

There's more, but I don't want to bore everyone...

I am actually using my pantry for food now, as opposed to...garbage?? I also went on a huge grocery shopping spree to stock up on "pantry" items, like beans, sauces, salsas, etc. I'm sick of being at the store so much.
I also purchased: new measuring spoons/cups, towels for the kitchen, cutting boards, toothpick holder, silverware organizer, new oven mit, etc.