Stress-blanking

This past weekend amidst all the studying (or perhaps because of all the studying), I realized I had somewhere close to a million food items that needed my attention. You may (or may not) recall that I left dinner at Quercy last Thursday night with half a loaf of sourdough bread. I could have eaten the whole thing in one sitting without batting an eyelash, but I didn’t want to do that. I needed to instead incorporate it into a portion-controlled meal (meal = group of foods eaten together with satisfaction potential) that still let me enjoy the bread. And what is the best possible use for day-old bread??

Bread pudding, of course!

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Featured Breakfast: Leftover Banana Bread Pudding

Ingredients (and sources)

– 3 cups cubed bread, not packed (obviously, I used my sourdough from Quercy)

– 3 eggs, beaten (Eggland’s Best, of course)

– 3 cups liquid (I used 1 cup unsweetened soymilk and 2 cups water)

– 1/2 cup oat bran for a nutritional boost (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

– shakes of nutmeg and cinnamon, to taste (from cabinet)

– 3 sliced bananas, separated (I used Holiday Inn breakfast buffet bananas)

img_9161– 1/3 cup-ish raisins (I used Just Tomatoes raisins.)

About these raisins from Just Tomatoes. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I opened the package because I was unaware that raisins could be so plump and juicy. Just Tomatoes raisin on the left;  SunMaid raisin on the right.

Note: You’ll notice I did not use any sweetener. I find that the bananas and the raisins make it sweet enough. If you think you need sweetener, obviously add it however you like.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9×13 baking dish.
  2. Spread bread cubes out in the dish.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat together eggs and liquid.
  4. Stir oat bran and spices into wet mix.
  5. Gently stir in two of the sliced bananas and all of the raisins.
  6. Pour this mixture evenly over the bread cubes in the baking dish.
  7. Arrange the slices of the third banana neatly over the top.
  8. Baked covered (you can use foil) for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove cover, and bake 20 minutes more until “pudding” is firm. If you like things crispy on top (like I do), broil for an additional 5 minutes.

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I sliced my bread pudding into seven pieces because that’s what seemed to fit.

My serving preference:

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One slice of warm bread pudding on a bed of 1/2 cup yogurt/ricotta/Pb2 with a chopped Hershey’s Kiss on top and a tsp of homemade pineapple-coconut-ginger peanut butter:

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Or froyo the yogurt/ricotta/PB2 and have it on the side 🙂

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I’ve been waking up every morning with visions of this dessertforbreakfast in my head, and it’s literally the only thing that has been pulling me out of bed. Well, that and the news ticker of things to do that’s also scrolling through my head.

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Featured Contributions: Monday

Of course, a day would not be complete without giving credit to those whose food helped power me through. This is obviously not an exhaustive list of all I ate — just the pleasant food surprises I encountered yesterday!

Tropical fruit salad (papaya, mango, pineapple, kiwi, watermelon, honeydew) from Myrna:

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Wrinkly grapes I found and co-opted for myself in the work fridge:

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Baby carrots from Jessica:

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Class dinner: leftover lunch chicken that Mildred and Myrna gave me at work, an entire chopped cucumber and an entire pint of tomatoes (first a whole bag of arugula, and now this!) that I picked up from the grocery store (I stress-produce-shopped yesterday, too), and manchego cheese samples from the gourmet deli

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Post-photo, I mixed it all together salad-style. I don’t think I actually intended to eat the entire pint of tomatoes when I bought them, but these things happen.

Are you more likely to (1) stress-cook, (2) stress-eat, (3) stress-shop, or (4) stress-sleep?


While I’m gone

Warning: this is going to be a long post! Feel free to read it in pieces over the course of several days because I might not be back for a while (ahhhhh final papers). You can even comment multiple times if you get overwhelmed. I won’t mind 😉

Yesterday was a looooooooooooong day full of unfixable issues with families. I wish I had a magic fix-it button because some things are not fair. At least my office knows the healing powers of food. I’m way luckier than I deserve! 🙂

Before the office and after the gym, I had breakfast at home and used up some things I’ve had hanging around. I toasted the little piece of ciabatta with tomato pesto (from the sandwich leftovers Emily gave me in class on Monday) and topped it with a hard-poached EB egg (and sprinkles of cayenne and freshly ground black pepper).

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On the side, I mixed the apple half I forgot to eat yesterday morning with half of a banana I had languishing in the fridge and topped it with 1/3 cup yogurt-PB2 sauce and cinnamon/cardamom:

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I washed it all down with soymilky almond sunset tea and iced white peony tea.

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At the gym, I did 20 minutes on the new arm-y elliptical, hips and glutes on the Cybex, and 20 more minutes on the regular elliptical, plus abs/stretching and the walk there and back. Stats: 1 hour and 8 minutes, 339 calories, ave hr 116, max 155.

First snack of the day at work was my yogurt (plus ricotta, flax, and sliced banana) which, if you can recall, I had topped with the other half of my Just Fruit Munchies from Just Tomatoes when I packed lunch on Thursday.

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Because I had placed this freeze-dried fruit on top of the yogurt, half stayed crunchy and half got soft. I loved the textural variety! Plus, it got all swirly when I mixed it in:

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Lunch was leftovers from my dinner Thursday night. I cooked up 1/2 cup of dry lentils to mix with the cup of couscous I brought home in order to convert it into a nutritional powerhouse. I had about 1/4 cup of the couscous-lentil mix with the little piece of salmon from Gina’s meal:

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Along with a cup of the veggie stew:

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So good! Leftovers are the best.

Nydia also brought in a TON of beans, rice, and pork for me to taste (made by her very culinarily-gifted mom). These containers were FULL when they arrived with Nydia this morning:

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I didn’t want to put off eating the salmon because fish leftovers don’t stretch as long as other foods, so I packed up a bunch of this masterpiece to take home and shared the rest with everyone else. I also had several spoonfuls. So good! You’ll be seeing more of this soon, for sure.

Beryl wanted me to take a picture of her spicy chickpeas from the Indian restaurant, so she let me have a tasty tasty tasty tasty bite 🙂

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We ate lunch during the every-other-week optional staff brown bag, so desserts also made an appearance. I had a piece of cinnamon sugar muffin, a piece of chocolate-tangerine cookie (and another piece unpictured), more muffin, and a piece of oatmeal raisin cookie:

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Later in the afternoon, Belkis split an extra orange and gave half to Jessica and half to me:

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And Carlos came around selling chocolate bars for his son’s school. I did not buy any, but Rosalie (aka my chocolate fairy) bought two and materialized at my desk asking which I wanted: chocolate almond or chocolate caramel. That’s right — she was offering me an entire bar! I opted for half and half, so we split and shared each bar. I had a square of each (no, not the whole thing!):

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The rest is now safely in my freezer 🙂

I also ate the orange I had packed. Peeler in action:

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At 4:30, one of my favorite announcements of all time came over the loudspeaker: Attention staff, the informal staff gathering in the lobby has begun! I don’t know how I wasn’t aware of this one in advance (especially after the sushi success at the last one), but it was definitely news to me! I grabbed Katty, and I think it took us negative 10 seconds to fly down the four flights of steps. Here’s what was waiting:

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YES, homemade taquitos (“por favor, dos por cada persona”), fresh salsa, fruit, cheese, crackers, crudite, chips, cookies …

Here’s my first plate:

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And my second plate (don’t tell!):

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Check out the expertly crunchy wrappage:

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I also had a slice of cheddar. It was so sharp it made my jaw ache. I LOVE good cheddar.

That was obviously dinner, but I still had room for dessert (number 3?) when I got home. I finished off my yogurt (1/4 cup), my chocolate-pb-flax egg custard (2/3 ramekin), and my last bits of Holiday Inn cinnamon bun (1/2 bun). It’s a dessert jungle!

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Frostiiiiiiiiiiing:

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Perfecto. I spent the rest of the night sipping tea and NOT eating any leftover pieces of Easter candy or anything … Umm, right.

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And a late-night snack of 1/2 cup Kashi golean crunch with 1/4 cup soymilk and water:

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I’m off to my second (and last) Physique 57 class followed by free tangomonium (thanks for the tip, Kate!). From there, I’ll be disappearing for real into a black hole of final-paper-disastrousness, probably until Monday morning. Don’t miss me too much!

What will you be doing while I’m gone?

P.S. I’m famous!

Dancer and prancer and donner …

And that title does not in any way refer to me actually dancing. Because you should know that I absolutely cannot dance in a way that doesn’t make me look like I need to be in a hospital stat.

Anyway, breakfast …

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Breakfast was none other than the dazzler I’ve been eating all week: cinnamon bun on flax-oat bran.

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This time, I put 2 tbsp part-skim ricotta in the center (instead of mixing it in) to increase visual appeal:

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Part 2 was half of a sliced apple with 1/2 cup yogurt/ricotta and a tbsp PB2 (ahhh addiction alert!):

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I also made it to the gym this morning. I had to walk there because of the groin issues, and it was much colder out than I had anticipated. Could have used my fleece! Anyway, once there, I did 20 minutes on the new elliptical that has an arm workout setting (yay for multi-tasking), hip ab/adductor and glutes on the Cybex, 20 minutes on the regular elliptical, stretching/abs, and the jog ouch walk back.

No shocker on my morning snack around 10:30. I had yogurt/ricotta with flax (some mixed in and some on top), PB2, and sliced banana:

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At noon, we had a meeting with snacks provided. Here’s my plate (I am considering this my lunch appetizer course) with carrots, salsa, tortilla chips, and an apple:

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After that, I had two more chips and two more helpings of carrots with salsa (and I also grabbed another apple to take home!).

Main lunch course was Thai seafood coconut curry with the repurposed veggies:

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And a piece of Jessica’s orange:

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And about an hour later, there seemed to be a second wave of lunch going on. My afternoon visit had gotten cancelled, so I joined the group with my donation salad:

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In the process, Nydia hooked me up with about two cups of grapes. Obviously, they’re not all pictured.

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Grapes are so easy to pop. I’ve mindlessly eaten two pounds of grapes on more than one occasion in the past … just because they’re there and so yummy. Like popcorn.

And then, Pura, the trouble-maker, came up and dropped some donated Dancing Deer cookies on the dreaded conference room table. Once again, the infamous view from my desk:

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I wrapped up one of each (sugar Cookie-Lime, Chocolate-Tangerine, and Molasses-Clove) for later and then broke off a bite of each from the remaining cookies:

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The cookies kept taunting me throughout the afternoon. I had this peanut butter Fiber One bar that Jessica gave me yesterday because I was actually feeling hungry (sometimes, several pounds of produce leaves me with an emptyish feeling in my stomach that I just can’t tolerate!) and I didn’t want to accidentally eat all three packages of cookies.

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I won’t lie, though. I kept going back for one more bite and one more bite and one more bite until I had eaten the rest of that Molasses cookie. Eric from the environmental department came by (I can usually count on him to house food upon request when I need it to disappear from my sight) and finished off the pack of chocolate cookies. I claimed the crumbs:

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When I left work at 5, there were three cookies left. Rosey, Rosalie, and Nydia forced me to take them home with threats that the cleaning lady would just end up throwing them out. I had no choice! So the pile of sugar in my freezer is now six cookies larger. It’s a rough life …

Whew, this post got really long really fast. And I still have way more to say because the food didn’t end there. I think I need to save it for tomorrow, though!

Obviously, there’s a stockpile of cookies and caked in my freezer. Do you have anything stockpiled?

Intermission

I’m surfacing for just a moment to do a quick recap of the day, and then I’ll be back into the school/work/sleep abyss for the next 24 hours!

Breakfast was more cinnamon bun on flax-oat bran:

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With 1/2 sliced apple and 1/3 cup yogurt for dipping, all dusted in cinnamon:

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To hold me over until lunch, I had yogurt/ricotta with flax, pb2, banana, and strawberries (from Hunter’s lobby last night):

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Lunch was more Thai coconut seafood curry, mixed with the veggies from Hunter’s lobby:

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Veggies make everything prettier, don’t they?

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I also had a spoonful of Belkis’ perfect perfect meat and rice:

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And a salad composed of leftover salad bits from Mildred, Jessica, and yesterday’s mangu lunch. I topped the salad with some of the innards of the chicken, tomato, basil, and mozzarella sandwich piece Emily gave me in class last night:

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I have an identical salad waiting for me in the fridge for tomorow 🙂

Later in the afternoon, I had an orange:

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And another pb-chocolate-apple parfait:

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I also opened up my first tin (as opposed to roll) of Newman’s Own Organics peppermints. They’re so cute — just like little Altoids:

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I had a bunch during the day. I did not count.

When I got home this evening, I prepped food for tomorrow and then headed out for some exercise. I jogged for 25 minutes until the pain won out, and then I switched to walking for another 20. Somewhere in there, I did 10 reps of the inchworm exercise that Olga told me about.

When I arrived back at the apt, I had a serving of the same chocolate-pb-flax custard that’s in the parfait above with a couple little slices of banana, a sprinkling of unsweetened coconut, and a tsp of pb2:

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OK, off to report for bed duty so I can wake up tomorrow and do it all again. Ahh, I can’t wait until this semester is over and the papers are behind me!

A non-mentally-taxing question for tonight: How many separate things did you eat today? According to this entry, I ate 10. That might be a record low!

A thousand cakes

There was more work with eggs to be done this morning!

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I made french toast with two slices of whole wheat bread that my coworker Jessica gave to me earlier in the week and a batter that consisted of an EB egg, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a splash of soymilk. I turned the french toast into a sandwich with a tbsp of the spicy “south of the border” pistachio butter I made yesterday:

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Salty, sweet, and spicy … my favorite combination!

On the side, I immersion blended 1/2 cup yogurt, just under 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta, 1/2 cup pumpkin, the usual spices, and one chopped date. Joining the pumpkin yogurt this morning was a tbsp of ground flax and a sprinkle of unsweetened coconut:

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One at work, I broke out my Passover sponge cake and, coincidentally, Heather had brought in some farfel kugel that she had made from leftover Passover ingredients as well. Our second Passover took over the conference room. Here’s the view from my desk:

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Have I mentioned that the agency where I work was started by nuns?

Moving on, I had some Jewish cake and kugel:

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And then I had seconds of each:

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Since I sit right there, I kept taking more teeny pieces of each all day long. I don’t even want to guess how much of that is in my belly right now!

Lunch was my last serving of the mushroom agnostuff:

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And a couple of spoonfuls of Mildred’s gandules:

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And a piece of her bollo, which is made of cornmeal and milk, among other things. The texture was like polenta, but the taste was more like slightly sweet cornbread to me.

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And the piece of cheesecake flan that Vianni made and brought in yesterday in honor of Mildred’s birthday. I had asked her to save me a piece since I knew I would miss it!

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It was amaaaaazing. I shared a couple bites with Deborah, but mostly I inhaled the whole thing.

After lunch, I headed downstairs to work on an event I had helped organize. Some volunteer moms and their children came to the agency to do an art project with our families. At the end, we had snacktime with oranges and Girl Scout cookies …

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I had two plates like that … and then about four more of those little cookies in the background. Out of control, I tell you!

When I came up from the event, Mildred had put out leftovers of her actual birthday cake from her celebration at home. I know, does it ever end? 😀

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It was a pineapple cake with marshmallow frosting and sugar flowers. Maybe I’ll be sick of cake someday, but it hasn’t happened yet!

When I got home tonight, I had the final piece of sponge cake (I rescued it from its solitary perch on the conference room table as I walked out of the office) with the pumpkin banana yogurt I brought to work today but never got a chance to eat. The yogurt turned the cake healthy by association.

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And to end this post on a slightly healthier note, I did go to the gym this morning. I have special strength plans for tomorrow, so I focused on cardio today with 20 minutes on the Stepmill, 10 minutes on the rower, and 15 minutes on the elliptical (plus the usual jogs there and back, stretching, and abs). Stats: 1 hour and 16 minutes, 536 calories, 137 average heart rate, 174 max.

While at the gym, I did some interesting reading. Did you know that you would have to eat 11 pounds of rhubarb leaves in order to die of rhubarb poisoning? That’s word on the street, according to The Oprah Magazine. I had always kind of envisioned taking one bite of rhubarb leaf and collapsing unceremoniously to the ground. I guess I was wrong. Interesting fact #2 from the same magazine: apparently, the fatty acids that are stored in hip fat aid fetal brain development. So, ummmm, let’s get the fat flowing. Enjoy your cake!