Category Archives: sleep

Up and at’em! (+ 5-Hour Energy Confession)

The drive in last night was long and sleepy. It was quite the week, even if only 4 days. There was a full week and then some crammed into Monday through Thursday and I found myself having trouble staying away one hour into my 5 1/2-hour drive back to Chicago. Of course, Mr. Prevention’s suggestion was 5-Hour Energy.

Well, friends, desperate times call for desperate measures. I stopped at some scary gas station in Indiana and picked up a 5-Hour Energy (pomegranate flavor…which was tolerable, by the way). I’ll tell you, the stuff really did the trick. It PAINS me to admit that, but it really did. I still don’t advocate for he MEGADOSE of B-vitamins (or 8333% the daily value of anything!), but my sleepiness was to the point I was going to have to pull over and grab a hotel room if something didn’t wake me up. And 6 hours later, I conked out the second I hit the pillow and slept through the night a full 8 hours. Hmmm?

I had told my parents last night that I wanted to sleep in. What a joke. I was up well before anyone else. I can attribute some of that to being on EST in a CST zone, but this is just another sign that I’m getting old(er). A sign I am totally okay with, so long as I get my 8 hours of beauty rest! πŸ˜€

When I got into town last night, my mom showed me a few recipes she had printed off that Taste of Home had sent this week. Of course, I had saved the very same recipes to try. Great minds think alike πŸ˜€ Sign up for Taste of Home email recipes if you haven’t already — they have healthy options, quick options, budget-friendly…it’s great!

Plans today include visiting family & friends, working out, and going out to eat at the restaurant my little brother works at πŸ™‚

I won’t leave you guys recipe-less, however. I made this recipe before teaching on Monday night. It took all of 15 minutes and was absolutely wonderful. I turned my co-worker onto one of my favorite blogs, My Bizzy Kitchen, and she raved about this soup. So of course, I had to make it, too. Tomato soup takes me back to the days of living in my sorority house: everyone was always at lunch when tomato soup and grilled cheese were on the menu! πŸ˜‰

Simple Tomato Soup slightly adapted from My Bizzy Kitchen

2-28 oz canned no-salt added tomatoes (one can diced, one can fire roasted)
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp Italian parsley, freshly chopped
1 serving Hot Sauce, Tabasco
1 cloves garlic, minced


Gently heat the olive oil over medium heat and add garlic, taking care not to brown the garlic.

Stir in the canned tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil.

Remove from stove, let cool slightly. Using a (stick) blender puree soup. Add in cream. Serves 4 (2 cups each).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 196 calories; 10 g. fat; 27 mg. cholesterol; 130 mg. sodium; 18.5 g. carbohydrate; 3.5 g. fiber; 5 g. protein

Result: This was delicious! Don’t freak out about the heavy cream…a little bit goes a long way! I used no-salt added tomatoes to knock the sodium content down and the recipe didn’t need any salt added…the cream, garlic, and oil season it beautifully. The portion is BIG and pairs so well with some homemade bread. The soup reheated great for lunches, and can be stretched to 6 servings or more as a side dish. Enjoy!

I think it’s time to get out of bed and get some coffee. I heard my mom pitter-patter down the stairs not too long ago. πŸ˜‰

Question: Do you like tomato soup? Do you pair it with grilled cheese?




Filed under age, caffeine, coffee, exercise, fruits and vegetables, garlic, healthy cooking, low-carb, recipe, sleep, sodium, travel, vegetarian, vitamins

trick or treat?

Happy Halloween! πŸ˜€

Pup-A-Ween at the dog park was HILARIOUS! There was, indeed, bobbing for hot dogs! And a costume contest! Check it out:

Lily is ready to go! How cute is that tushie?

Everyone was dressed up!

Mini Me!

There were stations set up for bobbing for hot dogs. Do you see them in there?! Some dogs just didn’t get it (like Lily) and others went to TOWN! It was hilarious! I was too busy laughing to catch any great pictures, sorry!

“I smell them, mommy…how do I GET them!?”

Lily napped the remainder of the day, ha!


As for me, I tricked myself into a workout. I put it off all morning…I was making chili and watching college football, after all. Those 2 activities always take precedence in the Prevention household! And then we had Pup-A-Ween and by 4pm I had lost motivation to workout. I said to myself, “You had 4 miles planned. If you get up now, you can do 4 miles. But for every hour you procrastinate, add a mile.” I ended up treking down to the treadmill at 5:10pm and ran a sluggish 5 miles. I felt good, just wasn’t in the mood to push it πŸ˜‰ But I TRICKED myself into that workout!

…instead of enjoying treats.

…Because I promised no candy until Halloween which has been fine, until my kitchen table looked like this in preparation for tonight’s trick-or-treaters:

Oy! The last 24 hours have been oh so difficult, but…I DID IT! I also pinky swore with a patient of mine, and I can’t let him down. His blood sugars were outrageously high and in talking to him I learned it was because he had Halloween candy laying around. I told him the deal I had made with myself, and he wanted in. We pinky swore on it! And, his blood sugars look AWESOME!

Question: What is one candy you DON’T like?

Our staff wanted to put together little Halloween goodie bags for our patients (it’s the little things in life, right?) and they asked me what the patients could have. Unfortunately, chocolate, caramel, and nuts are all no-no’s for our kidney patients and so that leaves the fruity, chewy candy like Starbursts, Skittles, gummy bears, etc. The staff were in agreement that those were their least favorite candies, and I agree. I want the chocolate!

Have a spoooky day!


Filed under blood glucose, challenge, diabetes, dialysis & kidney disease, dog, exercise, pets, physical activity, running, self-control, sleep


Forewarning: This post has nothing to do with nutrition, cooking, health, or fitness. πŸ™‚

Wow. Words cannot describe the happenings of the past week. But let me try anyways. πŸ˜‰

Last Monday the movers showed up in Tulsa. They packed us all day Monday and loaded all of Tuesday. It was a FULL 2 days of packing. Lily was totally exhausted once she got over the initial excitement of all the happenings around her.

(You guys asked for Lily pictures…you got’em!)

Before we left, I picked the remains of my Tulsa garden. And LOOK what popped up in time for our departure: JALAPENOS!! Poor timing, but that means that everything I planted produced yield!! πŸ˜€

Picked my onions at immature bulbs, but they’re a good 2″

Tuesday afternoon around 3pm we headed out for a 9 hour drive to central Illinois to spend the night with Mr. Prevention’s parents. Lily did wonderful and we got in safe and sound, albeit very late and totally exhausted. We slept in the next day and I proceeded to take a 3 hour nap. Glorious. Wednesday was just a day to relax and we got to have pizza and tour our old stomping ground, The University of Illinois. πŸ™‚ Always fun to recall those amazing 4 years!

Thursday morning I headed out before Mr. Prevention to get to my interview in Columbus. Another 5 hour drive. Off I went in my suit all prepared! Of course, somewhere along the line I got a run in my nylons. An emergency Walgreens trip and nylon change later, I was nearly late to my interview. However, it went really well. They have three second-round candidates for 2 positions and I should know something more this week. However it turns out, I was pleased with my interviews and gave it my all.

After my interview I rushed to our new house to do the final walk thru. The previous owners had taken it upon themselvesΒ  (against the contract agreements) to spackle EVERY nail hole in the entire house. I walked in to a polka-dotted house. Ugh. We got a painting estimate right away and asked the sellers pay for the painting. They said no. We were in a head-lock. And would we close first thing the next morning? Stress.

Thursday night we spent in a hotel in Columbus that allowed pets, because we had not only Lily, but also Pinky, our snake. And about 50 bottles of wine to keep cool, or at least room temperature. So we roll up to the hotel and it’s a 4-star, luxurious hotel. But, they allowed pets…the only one in Columbus. Three carts later, Lily, Pinky, and all of our wine was in our hotel room. It was a sight to see, but everyone thought Miss Lily was just the cutest thing. The hotel was SO nice that someone actually asked if Lily was a service dog. At which point I laughed and politely responded, “No, just staying here because they allow pets!” Too funny. And so Thursday night was a restless night with Lily’s snoring 10 feet from the bed. Sigh.

And as for the house, the seller’s realtor ended up forking over the money for the painting from her commission. What a saint. We closed and we started moving in on Friday morning.

Friday was a whirlwind. We unpacked all day and I was beat. It was 4pm before I had even looked at the clock, but we had made good progress unpacking. We went out to eat on a patio near our new house and just took a load off.

Saturday we continued unpacking and when I had finally stopped to just sit, I realized something. Something bad. I had COMPLETELY forgotten to go take my drug screen on Friday for my new job that I start TODAY. Oh. My. Gosh. I immediately started crying. That is precisely how busy this week has been…and I blew off something that important without even REALIZING it until more than a day later. I called immediately and everything is fine, but I just can’t believe that happened.

On a completely unrelated and happier note, I WENT TO TRADER JOE’S!!! Oklahoma doesn’t have TJ’s and so this was majorly exciting for me! I now have a fridge full of delicious foods! I really don’t know how I survived 18 months without TJ’s!! πŸ˜€

This was an insanely long post, I apologize. And unfortunately, my next post may not be for a bit. I start work today, and Mr. Prevention is due into the office, too. Meaning, getting a cable guy to come out this week probably won’t happen until Saturday. And this is where I admit to having the shakes from Internet withdrawls. No lie. Ahhh!

In the mean time, I’ll try to decompress & celebrate our new home this way:

Off to my first day of work! πŸ˜€

Thank you, Cold Stone, for letting me borrow your internet from the parking lot! πŸ˜‰

Question: Would you rather go a week without Internet or TV? Would you do okay without either, or would you be camped outside Cold Stone too? πŸ˜‰

I will do my best to check-in, but for now it’s focusing on my new job! And staying hopeful about the job I interviewed for last week! πŸ˜€

A huge thanks again to all the wonderful guest posters last week! πŸ˜€

Have a great week,


Filed under alcohol, dog, fruits and vegetables, garden, grocery store, pets, restaurant, sleep, stress, Trader Joe's, travel, work

Q&A: ginseng, hidden sodium, and raw milk

Quick update: Home inspection did NOT go well…at all (you can’t judge a book…or a home…by its cover!). Back to square one. Oh the joys of buying a home…I’ll keep you guys posted. Thanks tons for all of your support and well wishes on our big move. Despite the hurdles and big changes, I need to stay positive while we’re in transition!!

As for the job-hunt, I am trying to keep an open mind but I want to still keep my paws in diabetes…some how…some way. I am nearly 50% complete with my 1,000 diabetic education hours needed to sit for the exam and I am not giving up that easily on pursuing my CDE. Diabetes is my passion!

And on to a most excellent line-up of Q&A!

Jodie of Jodie Pilates: I would like to know your opinion on ginseng, specifically for energy. Are there any other supplements you can suggest for energy?

Prevention RD: Caffeine and ginseng are the two most natural stimulants that come to mind. I recently started taking ginseng for my blood glucose and have noticed no increase in energy*. However, ginseng is most commonly found in large doses in energy drinks, such as Red Bull and Monster and is most “famous” for its stimulant-effects. I feel both caffeine and ginseng can be a part of a healthy diet, but I think a good night’s sleep is the best energy boost of all! πŸ˜‰ Note: If you do utilize ginseng or caffeine, do so earlier in the day to help avoid sleep disturbances.

*Ginseng is working beautifully in lowering my fasting blood glucose, however! My fasting blood sugars have gone from 95-103 mg/dl into a much preferred 83-90 mg/dl range. In less than a week, I am SO pleased with the results!

Liz in Dallas: My grandmother and my dad have both recently been put on low-salt diets. It is easy for them to deal with at home, since my grandmother and my mom cook all their own food and very rarely eat anything processed. The problem seems to be out at restaurants. Both of them eat out for lunch pretty much every day, and my grandmother also goes out to eat for dinner quite frequently. What should they be ordering to avoid sodium overload? Are there dishes that they should always avoid? What do you think are the most sneaky sources of sodium?

Prevention RD: Low-sodium β€œdiets” are tough…really, really tough. Restaurants are notorious for using exorbitant amounts of salt. If it’s possible, your grandmother and dad could decrease the frequency of meals out, or dine at restaurants with published nutrition information (e.g. Chili’s, Applebees, Subway, etc.) so they are sure to make a salt-friendly meal selection. If meals out are a must, there is plenty to know, however! Anything breaded or fried is going to have more salt, so looking for key words on menus such as baked, broiled, steamed, and grilled can be helpful in reducing salt. Chips, fries, and other side dishes such as potato salad are also high in sodium, as are sauces, dressings, and other condiments. Because sodium is hidden in just about everything, the best thing to do at restaurants is to exercise portion control, especially since the portion sizes are generally rather large. When ordering food at a restaurant, they can ask the server to put dressings and sauces on the side so they can control how much they consume. And it’s always an option to take home half their meal and have a small snack before and/or after dining out. Sharing meals is another great option. Best of luck to them! Great question πŸ™‚

Lena of LMC in the World: I read an article in a recent Economist magazine about the trend of raw milk. It was saying there are some nutritional benefits which are eliminated in the pasteurization process and some people are selling/buying raw milk. Had you heard of this trend? It also said the FDA has not identified any nutritional benefits and there are still a number of laws to restrict the sale of raw milk because it can be dangerous. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Prevention RD: What a great question! This is a HOT trend right now, you betcha! Raw milk and dairy simply not been pasteurized, as you stated. Unpasteurized dairy can contain harmful and potentially fatal bacteria including E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. The National Dairy Council, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control, American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among others, endorse pasteurized milk and dairy. According to the National Dairy Council there is no scientific evidence to suggest that there is any nutritional benefit to raw milk and dairy of that which has been pasteurized. In fact, pasteurized milk is fortified with vitamin D, making is a more nutritionally desirable product over raw milk. And did you know that it is actually illegal to sell raw milk in some US states? Check out your local raw milk and dairy laws if you choose to consume raw dairy. While raw milk and dairy carries some risk of bacterial contamination, I think the larger issue is knowing where the products come from and the cleanliness of the site. I know there are many raw milk and dairy advocates out there, but I tend to side with the majority on this one. Would I try raw milk or dairy from a dairy I trusted? Probably. Is it recommended for the young, old, or uninsured? Probably not. πŸ˜‰

I’ll leave you with a picture of my sleepy girl after her day at camp. She snored ALL night!

Question: What supplements do you take and why?

Happy half-way to Friday!


Filed under blog topic request, blood glucose, coffee, complimentary and alternative nutrition, condiments, diabetes, dietitians, dining out, enriched/fortified, farming, fast food, food safety, hypertension, minerals, raw food/rawism, restaurant, sleep, sodium, supplements, vitamins

I’m a scrub

Thank goodness today is the last day to my work week…yesterday was SOOOO busy! I had a packed schedule of patients and our docs kept coming in with walk-ins, it was crazy busy! My busiest day as an RD yet, believe it or not! And of course, I felt like poo. But, alas, I AM finally feeling better. πŸ˜€ I even managed to get in some weeding and a short 2-mile run last night. While I didn’t want to run at all whatsoever…I did anyways. I don’t want to get behind on my 101 Days of Summer challenge goal to run at least 70 of the 101 days of summer. And it’s never a bad deal to catch up with The Hills while jogging πŸ˜€

I typically don’t “crave” certain meals because I meal plan through the week. Last night, however, I was craving waffles! And since I am yet to grocery shop (it’s been nearly 2 weeks!), I threw together Cinnamon Apple Waffles!

Cinnamon Apple Topping

2 apples, red variety
2 Tbsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup


Peel and dice apples. Mix apples, cinnamon, and syrup in a sauce pan over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until softened and caramelized. Serve over waffles or pancakes. Serves 2.

Nutrition Information (per 1/2 of recipe): 150 calories; 0 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 0 mg. sodium; 41.5 g. carbohydrate; 5 g. fiber

The actual waffle was made from Bob’s Red Mill Buttermilk Pancake and Waffle Mix. Bob’s sent me this mix a few months back and finally got around to trying it. Good thing it stays good for a long time! It was wonderful! πŸ™‚ And the nutrition stats weren’t bad, either! The HUGE Belgian waffle was 400 calories; 20 grams of fat; 200 mg. cholesterol; 525 mg. sodium; 42 g. carbohydrate; 6 g. fiber; and 15 g. protein. While the meal was delicious, I was over my carbohydrates for that meal.

…It was worth it.

I have to show off my garden a bit more today…it’s growing SO fast! Oklahoma = awesome gardening weather!

I spy squash…do youuu?

Heirloom tomatoes… πŸ™‚

Random Question #1: What is your workplace attire? Are you okay with it, or do you wish it were something else?

Random Question #2: Pancakes or waffles? Tough one, I know!

I currently wear scrubs and love it! However, I know that won’t always be the case 😦 RD’s typically wear business casual with a lab coat, and it’s fine…but not as great as scrubs!

Be well,


Filed under breakfast, carb-controlled, carbohydrates, challenge, diet, dietitians, dinner, doctors, exercise, fiber, fruits and vegetables, garden, low-carb, physical activity, recipe, running, sleep, work

Sore, stiff, sniffly, and stuffed up…

…that’s me.

Aren’t summer colds the worst? Don’t get me wrong, colds in the fall, winter, and spring stink, too…but summer colds are by far the worst. Needless to say, I saw a quick 6 patients yesterday morning before heading home for the afternoon. Again. I am hoping I make it through today and start to get some relief. Poor Mr. Prevention dealing with my NyQuil zombie-induced state Monday night. Apparently I snored like a banshee through the night. What a trooper…for a night. I graciously offered to sleep in the guest bed room last night to allow everyone sound sleep. Now who’s the trooper?

Lunch was sheer comfort food:

And after catching up on bad TV (Kasey, you are a MORON for tattooing that on your wrist for The Bachelorette), I decided to make more comfort food. But really, I was just bored…not hungry πŸ˜‰

Chocolate Oat Jumbles slightly adapted from Weekly Bite

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
2 tablespoons flax meal (i.e. ground flax)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2/3 cup chocolate syrup made with Splenda
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup soy milk fat-free milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 275ΒΊ F.

Combine flour, oats, flax meal, baking soda, sugar, and cocoa powder. Whisk together until combined. Add chocolate syrup, soy milk, vanilla, oil, and chocolate chips. Stir until all ingredients are mixed well.

Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray, or use a silpat. Drop cookie dough onto pan using either a melon ball scooper or a teaspoon. Slightly flatten each cookie with you fingers.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for a couple minutes. Remove cookies from pan onto cooling rack. Once cooled, store in airtight container. Yield: 2 1/2 dozen (30 cookies)

Nutrition Information (per cookie): 57 calories; 2.1 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 3.4 mg. sodium; 8.7 g. carbohydrate; 0.9 g. fiber; 0.6 g. protein

Result: Very good! Not the best cookies ever, but I’m a fan…especially for the calories and carbs. I substituted in the sugar-free chocolate syrup made with Splenda because 1) it’s all I had…never use the stuff, and 2) it’s lower carb for my carb-controlled diet. If you use regular chocolate syrup the cookies are 72 calories and 12.6 g. carbohydrate.

Question: What’s your soup of choice when you’re sick? Any other comforting foods or drinks you gravitate towards when you’re under the weather?

Sniffle sniffle,


Filed under carb-controlled, carbohydrates, dessert, flax, recipe, reduced-calorie, sleep, Splenda, work

Back at it!

Nicole has her grooove back! πŸ˜‰

What a relaxing, wonderful weekend! Mr. Prevention and I spent the long, holiday weekend in Lincoln, Nebraska visiting his side of the family. We got to visit, eat, sleep, read, walk, and run…a perfect weekend in my book! We stayed with Mark’s aunt (thanks again for everything!) and she was quite the hostess with the mostess. She lives near to a walking path that we were able to utilize over the weekend. I did a combination of walking & talking with the gang and running on my own. Saturday ended up being 4.3 miles (3 miles of running) and Sunday was 5.05 miles (3 miles of running) according to my Garmin.

I loved the change of pace, flexibility to get my workout in during the morning hours, and the new scenery and company πŸ™‚ I guess you could say I’m feeling up to my 101 Days of Summer Challenge to run AT LEAST 1 mile 70 out of the next 101 days. Last night started the challenge off with a 2 mile run + 1 mile walk. I’m also participating in Heather’s 100 Push-Up Challenge. I did 5 sets: 10-12-7-7-13. I hope to see these numbers climb through the challenge!

It’s going to be a busy summer!

In addition to burning off some calories over the weekend, I came back craving healthy, homemade meals. It’s been 2 weeks since I’ve been in the kitchen!! I paged through and ripped out most of the recipes in June’s issue of Cooking Light somewhere between Topeka, Kansas and Nowata, Oklahoma. I’ve got some exciting stuff on the menu this week, starting with last night’s supper: Grilled Salmon with Chorizo and Fingerlings.

Grilled Salmon with Chorizo and Fingerlings by Cooking Light June 2010

Cooking spray
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
3/4 pound fingerling potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 ounces Spanish chorizo sausage, diced
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves
1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shallots and garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add 1/4 cup chicken broth. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 3 minutes or until shallots are tender. Stir in remaining 1 1/4 cups broth, potatoes, and chorizo; bring to a simmer. Simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add spinach to pan; cover. Remove from heat; stir to combine. Keep warm.

Sprinkle remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and paprika evenly over fillets. Lightly coat fillets with cooking spray; arrange fillets in a single layer, skin side up, on grill rack. Grill 2 minutes. Rotate fillets a quarter turn on the same side; grill 3 minutes or until well marked. Turn fillets over; grill 5 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.

Place 1 fillet in each of 4 shallow bowls; ladle 3/4 cup potato mixture over fish. Drizzle 3/4 teaspoon oil over each serving. Yield: 4 servings.

Nutritional Information (per serving): 462 calories; 25.5 g. fat (5.5 g. saturated, 10.8 g. monounsaturated, 7.7 g. polyunsaturated); 39.9 g. protein; 17.7 g. carbohydrate; 3 g. fiber; 100 mg. cholesterol; 543 mg. sodium

Result: Wowza! This gets 5 starts in my book! Mr. Prevention’s, too! The spinach was so flavorful and the dish was rich with the flavor of paprika and chorizo. I especially loved the 5-minute prep and 20-minute cook time. Oh, and only one pan used…easy clean up! If you love salmon, this is a must-make recipe!

Speaking of paprika

I am hosting this week’s Blogger Secret Ingredient Challenge. If you didn’t check-in yesterday, be sure to get all the details here. Basically, make a recipe that includes paprika and submit it to me by Sunday, June 6th for a chance to win a fun prize!!

Question: Did you eat anything “special” for Memorial Day? Any grilling going on?

Have a great (short!) week! I have to work this Friday because we had off yesterday, BUT I only work 8-5 this week! It’ll be nice to sleep in a bit! πŸ˜‰ I have lots planned blog-wise this week…keep an eye out!

Be well,


Filed under blog, challenge, Cooking Light, dinner, exercise, fish oil/omega-3's, grilling, healthy cooking, holiday, MUFAs and PUFAs, physical activity, protein, recipe, running, sleep, travel