Homemade Butternut Squash Soup

I actually got off the couch today, and made some Homemade soup!

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I know I’ve said this before, but homemade soup (or any soup really) is my comfort food.

I’ve been wanting to use my butternut squash for a while now, and BFF Debbie sent me her recipe for butternut squash soup!

First, I cut a butternut squash in half, placed it in a glass casserole dish filled with 1/2 an inch or so of water, and let it cook for 30 minutes on 425 F.

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Meanwhile, I sauted in a large pot:

  • 1/2 TBL smart balance butter
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 yellow onion

Once the squash was done, I added the rest of the ingredients, and let it simmer.

  • cubed squash (the whole thing)
  • diced tomato
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 3 cups veggie broth

I then took about 2 cups of the mixture out of the pot and placed it into my blender. Instead of putting the entire lid on it, I took the center out of the top, covered it with a paper towel  so that the hot air would have a way to escape. 

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Once the mixture was blended, I added it back into the main pot.

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I then added an entire can of rinsed kidney beans, and half a bag of spinach. I let it simmer until the spinach wilted.

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My soup was then ready to eat! I used the other half of my acorn squash (it was about to go bad…) as my soup bowl.

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On the side, I had a piece of toast with butter.

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It was delicious, and even better in the edible bowl! 😀

I bagged up the leftovers in individual servings for quick meals.

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I LOVE SOUP!

When Jason brought home my antibiotics, and more gauze, he also brought home cookie making stuff! He knew that cookies would cheer me up! He even made them for me!

This is a plate of lies… I actually ate three!

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They are so good. Little mini PB cups and chocolate chunks of heaven. I think it was store bought dough… oh well, its the thought that counts! I appreciate my man thinking of me!

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Camera news…

Jason finally got his camera fixed! Hooray for awesome food photos again!

Toe news…

My toes are looking good! I had to replace the bandages today, and they are healing nicely. However, I think I’m allergic to the antibiotics they prescribed to me. Ten minutes after taking them, my palms and soles of my feet felt on fire! It was like EXTREME itching, which then spread up my arms and legs. Jason called the doctor, who said to stop taking the medication immediately! Hypersensitivity is apparently a bad side effect. 😦

 

I’m off to spend time with my man! He’s been awesome and taking care of me through this whole thing. I love him so much!

 

Have a great weekend!

❤ MegaNerd

Busy and Unmotivated

I’ve been a busy bee since I last posted!

Yesterday afternoon, my sister and I worked on our Halloween costumes. It took up a good chunk of the afternoon, and before I knew it, it was time for class!

I struggled to come up with something to eat, since it was about 3:30 when I had to make dinner. I made a bunch of pasta so that Brielle and JasoNerd would have plenty when they were ready to eat (I have to eat at school since I have class from 4:30-10:30).

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My pasta included:

  • Penne pasta
  • white beans
  • broccoli (steamed)
  • marinara sauce
  • parmesan cheese

I have to eat my dinners cold, which is getting so old! I also have to break it into two parts, since I have two ten minute breaks. I can’t wait to be on a normal schedule again!

By the time I got home, it was almost 11:00 and I was wiped! I knew that I had a 6.0 mile run on the marathon training plan and I was feeling VERY unmotivated to set the alarm and wake up to run. I immediately texted Caitlin to see if she would run with me!

I met at her apartment, and we ran a total of 6.0 miles. We took a few walking breaks, but still managed to run in just over an hour.

 

When I am feeling unmotivated to get out and run, I’ve found that it helps to:

  • Run with a friend– This is especially great if you have a lot to chat about!
  • Change the scenery- I like to run somewhere different than usual.
  • Download new music onto your ipod, listening to the same stuff tends to get boring
  • Think about the run in smaller chunks– Today I thought about running two 3.0 mile runs, out and back. It made the time pass faster.

 

What are your tricks for motivating yourself, when you just don’t feel like exercising?

Before I left, I fueled up with a piece of Almond Butter and Organic Jelly toast. Normally I wouldn’t need such a big snack, but I had not eaten anything since dinner, which was 14 hours prior!

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By the time I got home, I was pretty hungry. I made a big yogurt bowl!

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My bowl included:

  • container of Stonyfield Black Cherry yogurt
  • 1/2 cup granola
  • banana

YUM!!

 

I have a LOT to get done today!!! It’s already 11:00 am and I haven’t even showered. Must get on that.

❤ MegaNerd

Fundamentals of… What Exactly?

I do not feel ready for the FE tomorrow. It’s as simple as that.

Here’s what I’ll be doing tomorrow:

 

Morning Exam- 120 questions

  • Trig/Algebra/Geometry
  • Calculus
  • Differential Equations (iffy)
  • Matrices (iffy)
  • Vector Analysis
  • Probability and Stats
  • Chemistry …bahaha I never understood it
  • Computers… twitter doesn’t count
  • Ethics
  • Economics
  • Statics (easy peasy)
  • Dynamics (iffy)
  • Strength of Materials
  • Properties of Materials
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Electricity
  • Magnetism
  • Thermodynamics (funny how I’m failing that class, but understand everything)

Afternoon Exam- Civil- 60 questions

  • Surveying
  • Hydrology
  • Hydraulics (haven’t taken this class yet)
  • Soil Mechanics (haven’t taken this class yet)
  • Environmental Eng.
  • Transportation
  • Structural Analysis
  • Structural Design
  • Construction
  • Materials

Fun, huh?

 

I am really not comfortable with a LOT on this test. I’m going to try my best, and go in with a positive attitude! Each exam lasts four hours, for a total length of 8 hours of testing!!

If I don’t pass, I still can try again in April. I am probably making a bigger deal out of this than it actually is, but I just want to get it over with. Plus its $$$$$. It’s possible to pass, but I’m not expecting it. I’ll just guess “C” when I don’t know the answer. LOL.

 

I tried to study a bit more today, but I decided that it was just better to relax. I’ve been studying for four and a half years for this test. I get worked up about it really easily, so I’m chilling out. I made a nice pasta lunch today to keep me out of the office:

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I used whole grain penne pasta, broccoli, peas, white beans, pesto, and this little guy:

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It was quite a filling lunch!!

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However, 15 miles requires extra food.

For my second lunch, I made an entire large sweet potato worth of fries! I don’t mess around with the ketchup! LOL.

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My tummy was full and happy.

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After e-mailing with another engineer and friend (we met at the blogger lunch), I realized that I needed to stop thinking about the test, calm down, and relax tonight. Thanks, Gloria!  I had a Sam Adams Octoberfest to take the edge off. 😀

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We did the easiest possible thing ever for dinner. I picked up a rotisserie chicken from Publix, whipped up a Caeser salad (with only a smidge of dressing), and mac n’ cheese.

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I went back for more salad, and more pasta. Not really hungry but it tasted good.

Delicious, yes. Nutritious? Well… It’s not too bad. I just haven’t felt much like cooking the past week. I can’t wait to get this test over with!!!

 

I’ll see you tomorrow night! Keep your fingers crossed!

❤ MegaNerd

Late Start

Sorry for the delay in posting.I didn’t get home from class until 11:00 pm, and I let myself sleep in!

I woke up around 8:30 this morning, and felt really sluggish. It took me an HOUR to get out the door for my run! I really didn’t feel like running this morning, which was shocking, considering the past two runs I have been super excited about!

I saw 6.0 miles on the marathon training plan and got a little freaked out. Why? I don’t really know. I told myself just to get out there and run at any pace that felt comfortable. I think that worked for me, because basically I was lazy and didn’t feel like pushing it this morning. I ended up completing 6.25 miles in a little over an hour, because I walked a bit (and didn’t stop the watch).

Before I left, I had half a blueberry crisp CLIF bar. I swear it tastes like a Blueberry Muffin!

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I am just now eating breakfast! (Yes, it’s really 11:00 am).

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I used up the last of my Kashi H2H cereal, which was probably two servings, plus a banana, and fat free milk.

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Yesterday…

After lunch, I worked on a project for school, and munched on pretzels and PB straight from the bag. My appetite is still pretty low, so I didn’t worry about eating the whole bag or anything. I love this snack!

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I was SERIOUSLY dragging yesterday. Waking up for a 7:30 am class… and then having to go to class again from 4:30-10:20pm is painful. I stopped for some caffeine!

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Pumpkin Spice Latte! It’s basically a nonfat latte, with one pump pumpkin spice, no whip cream. The real thing is SO sweet, and adds like 200 extra calories. Not necessary at all.

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I packed two leftover tacos for dinner, which I had to eat cold. They got a little soggy, but it was better than paying $$$$ for food on campus.

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I made them before I left:

  • soft taco shells
  • black beans
  • pepper jack cheese
  • green bell pepper
  • tomato

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I wrapped them individually to make it easier to eat and walk.

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When I got home, I needed a little snack. I cut up an apple, sprinkled with cinnamon, and microwaved it for 30 seconds. Delicious!

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Ok, It’s almost 11:30 am. I need to get my day started!!!

❤ MegaNerd

Ready to Eat Healthy

Today I realized just how busy this week is going to be!

I have two test this week, several assignments due, meetings, lab reports, you know how it goes.

I also realized just how unprepared I am in the nutrition department! I’m always in such a rush that it’s hard to make healthy choices. Bad idea when you are trying to ensure a good balance. 😦

Take this morning, for instance. I made some Kashi Hot Cereal, with a banana and a kiwi in a to-go travel mug.

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Good choice! Plenty of carbs and protein…but eaten at 6:30 am.

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Bad choice: Not thinking to pack a snack because I was FULL at the moment!

I stopped at the little on-campus convenience store and picked up a Balance/mocha chip protein bar. My stomach was basically eating itself by 10:00 am, and the only other option were nutri-grain type bars. I digest those things before I’m done swallowing them.

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This bar was actually amazingly tasty! While the ingredients list was quite long, it didn’t taste like artificial junk. It was the density of a reese’s cup, with 15g of protein!

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It held me for 2.5 hours, which I consider amazing for a snack. I came home and made a salad using leftover ingredients from the fridge:

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  • spinach
  • 1/2 tomato
  • 1/2 bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup refried beans
  • handful of cheddar cheese
  • black bean chips, crunched up

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I warmed the beans, so the sort of sunk mid-picture. I mixed it all up and didn’t even need dressing!

After I finished up lunch, I decided to solve this problem of buying snacks and meals on campus by spending 30 minutes to prep some food for the week. What kind of engineer would I be if I didn’t solve problems!? I know that things are going to get crazy, but I think I have at least some stuff under control now.

First, I used these little containers to portion out some chili and other leftovers to heat and eat during the week:

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I then chopped up some veggies and put hummus in individual to-go containers. This saves so much time! I hate getting the cutting board out just for a carrot stick.

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I cut up fruit, washed grapes:

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Individually packed some nuts and Clif bar halves:

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I think I’m all ready for the week now! That only took 20-30 minutes, and minimal effort. No excuses to eat unhealthy food!

What do you pack to take to class/work? Do you prep your food in bulk ahead of time?

❤ MegaNerd

No Expectations

Tomorrow is the big day! Well, just a 15k (9.3) race. Who am I kidding, that is awesome!

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I have never raced this distance before, and I’m really excited! I honestly have NO idea how I will do, but no matter my speed, I’m automatically going to PR! I am thinking of pacing like I was in a half marathon, just finishing 4 miles early. 😀

I have no expectations for tomorrow other than to try my best and have fun! I put way too much pressure on myself during the Rock N’ Run 5k two weeks ago, and I didn’t enjoy that race as much as I normally would have. I finished and said, “meh, 24:23”… when honestly that is a great time for me! I think it’s important at this to remember why I am there, to have fun!!

 

My body was begging for extra sleep, so I stayed in bed until 8:00am. That might not sound late, but I am used to waking up at 5:00-6:00 every single day including weekends, so I greatly appreciated the extra rest!

I finally got up and moving and made some breakfast. Purple Peanut butter oats!

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In the bowl:

  • 1/2 cup Oats
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk (so good!)
  • 1 TBL peanut butter
  • thawed out berries

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I love it when I mix it all up and it gets purple!

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Lunch was a refried bean and cheese burrito:

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side salad with spinach, tomato, green pepper, avocado

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…and some black bean chips (x2) 😀

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I’m trying to focus on including a little carbs/protein/fat in each meal. I think this does a good job!

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Have you ever run a 15k? That distance seems so odd to me. I once ran an 8k… even weirder!

 

In Other News….

Jason’s camera battery died, so I guess I’ll be back to using my 4.0 mega pixel brick 6 year old junk camera until he finds the charger!!! Good-bye beautiful food photos… see you soon! ***cough, Jason find the battery!!, cough***

 

❤ MegaNerd