Archive | May, 2012

Semester 1 Comes to an End

31 May

Thank goodness it’s winter holidays! This has been such a massive semester for me, so I’m glad it’s over! I’m looking forward to having the next 3 weeks for some R&R! It was my boyfriend’s (and his twin sister’s) birthday yesterday – I surprised them by coming down for the night (they live 2 hours from me) and bringing them a personalised mudcake cake from The Cheesecake Shop (YUM!), and an ‘adult party bag’ each ๐Ÿ™‚ my boyfriend was stoked to just see me! It was very cute ๐Ÿ™‚ I spoiled him rotten haha.

Motivation for this week – I’ve posted Jenna Renee Webb before, but she’s just so gorgeous so I’ll post another one of her ๐Ÿ™‚

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I didn’t cook much this week – I decided to use up the leftovers in the freezer and then just grill some chicken if necessary. I just baked some protein snacks ๐Ÿ™‚ yum!

 

Orange and Vanilla Whey Protein Muffins (from proteinpow.com)

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These are super yummy! A refreshing change from the usual ๐Ÿ™‚

Serves 5 (although I divided the mixture into 6… I prefer even numbers)

1/2 cup vanilla whey

2 whole eggs

1 cup of oats

1 tbsp orange rind

3/8 cup milk (I used almond milk but any can be used)

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup quark (I subbed in skim cottage cheese)

1 tsp baking powder

1. Blend ingredients

2. Pour into muffin tray and put half a thin slice of orange on each muffin

3. Bake at 170 degrees for about 25 minutes or until cooked

Apparently these are nice served with a dollop of Greek yoghurt but I like them plain ๐Ÿ™‚

Nutritional info: per 1/6 muffins

Calories: 157

Total fat: 4.1g

Total carbs: 13.6g

Sugar: 2.1g

Protein: 15.2g

 

The next recipe wasn’t such a success… I think they have great potential but I probably overcooked them (I don’t know what was going on with my oven but these were overcooked in about half the time!). The flavour was there but the texture just went rubbery because that’s what happens when you overcook whey protein powder! I’m determined to try this again though. I got the recipe from blogilates.com

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Carrot Cake Protein Muffins

Serves 14 (I made 12)

8 egg whites

1 cup oats

1/2 cup skim cottage cheese

4 scoops whey protein powder (I used vanilla)

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup Splenda (I used 6 serves of Stevia)

3 tsp cinnamon

1 cup grated carrot

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (or crushed pineapple??)

(Optional: 2 tbsp raisins (I added goji berries) and/or almonds/walnuts)

1. Blend ingredients (except carrot, nuts and berries)

2. Gently fold in other ingredients

3. Spoon into muffin tray, then bake at 190 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden (evidently this wasn’t the right length of time for my oven…) and remove from the pan immediately

Nutritional info: per 1/12 muffins

Calories: 88

Total fat: 1.1g

Total carbs: 6.4g

Sugar: 1.2g

Protein: 12.6g

 

I need to get back to exam study, but I’ll leave you with this last message, which I have to try to remember, especially at times like this –

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๐Ÿ™‚ hope you’re all having a good week! x

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Oncology

24 May

Sorry the latest post has been delayed, I’ve been busy with assessments and starting a new rotation in oncology. The last couple of weeks have been a bit up and down for me – I don’t handle stress very well because I’m not very good at acknowledging and accepting the fact that I need to try to relax a bit. Even when I watch tv I have to play sudoku or browse facebook at the same time… the only time I really feel like I have ‘me’ time is at the gym – music pumping, sweat dripping and muscles burning – I love it!!

Motivation: Ana Delia De Iturrondo is absolutely gorgeous and I love how toned she is!!

Food for this week –

Meal 1/Breakfast:

Pancakes! This is a photo of my peanut butter and maple syrup w/e treat ๐Ÿ™‚

Meal 2:

The base of this recipe I got from proteinpow.com (the Kristen Apple, Vanilla and Popcorn Protein Cake) but I changed it just a touch ๐Ÿ˜› here’s my recipe (I call them Choc Goji muffins – not too creative :P):

Serves 7

1/2 cup vanilla whey

1/2 cup egg whites

1/4 cup cottage cheese

1/4 cup coconut flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp vanilla essence

4 tsp sugar free strawberry drinking mix

Handful of dark chocolate chips

Handful of dried goji berries

1. Mix all ingredients together

2. Pour into muffin tray

3. Bake at 160 degrees for about 20 minutes or until cooked

I think these are pretty yummy though the texture is a little bit funny, possible due to the use of coconut flour. I love the goji and chocolate mix though! Full of antioxidants (however I think I went a little bit overboard on the choc chips… I’m a chocoholic)

Meal 3/Lunch:

Quiche recipe fromย http://www.mckennagordon.com/blog/my-favorite-healthy-quiche-recipeย (I altered it slightly by subbing and adding veggies). Here’s what I did:

4 cups fresh spinach

1&1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 large red onion – diced

1/4 tsp salt

1&1/2 cups mushrooms – chopped

1/2 sweet potato – diced

1 red capsicum – diced

1/4 carrot – diced

7 large eggs (I used about 1 cup of liquid egg whites instead)

3/4 cup low fat fetta cheese (I used skim cottage cheese instead)

2 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp black pepper

1. Cook spinach and a couple of tbsp water in a frying pan over medium heat until spinach is just wilted – put aside on paper towel

2. Cook ingredients with olive oil in frying pan in the following order (don’t add next ingredient until the previous ingredient is properly cooked). Stir occasionally while cooking:

– Onion and salt (until starts to become translucent)

– Mushrooms (until lightly browned)

– Potato, red capsicum and carrot

3. Cover and cook until the potato begins to tender; stir every couple of minutes

4. Meanwhile, whisk eggs, spinach, cheese, oregano and pepper

5. (Here’s where I did it differently again) Instead of putting the egg in the frying pan and cooking it a bit like an omelette, I poured everything in a baking pan and baked it at 180 degrees for about 25 minutes (I think…) or until cooked

Meal 4:

Coconut and Chocolate Protein Bars

Meal 5/Dinner:

Healthy Chicken Souvlaki from thegraciouspantry.com

700g chicken breast – diced

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp lemon zest

3 cloves garlic

1/2 tbsp salt

1 tsp red chilli flakes

1 tbsp dried mint

1 tbsp dried oregano

1. In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients (except chicken) and then pour over chicken to allow to marinade for at least 30 minutes (even better if you’re organised enough to let it marinade overnight)

2. When ready to cook, heat over medium-high heat until no longer pink in the middle

Yummy! This is really nice in a psyllium crepe with spinach and greek yoghurt ๐Ÿ™‚

The photo above isn’t my chicken souvlaki but I had leftover turkey meatloaf muffin in a psyllium crepe with spinach, salsa and Greek yoghurt the other day and it was so yummy and looked so good so I had to take a photo ๐Ÿ˜›

Meal 6:

Ok so I know this looks like all of my other desserts but it IS different!! And it’s my new favourite! ๐Ÿ™‚

Super Dooper Mousse

30g skim cottage cheese

1/2 weightwatchers chocolate mousse sachet (10g)

1 tsp unsweetened cocoa

Dash of almond milk

1. Mix it all together and enjoy! This is so yummy and creamy and delicious!! The cottage cheese that you use might affect how it tastes though (the texture might be a bit funny?) – I use Tempo continental skim milk cottage cheese and I absolutely love it.

I was so excited to find these in the supermarket – $2 cheaper than the ‘adult’ sugar free hot chocolate yet exactly the same!! There is also banana flavour which I have yet to try. These are great to stop cravings/add to protein shakes/add to cooking (I’m still experimenting), and I’ve just discovered that when I add the strawberry flavour to Greek yoghurt it tastes quite a bit like strawberry icecream… ๐Ÿ˜€ YAY!!!

Hope everyone is having a good week… only one week left until 3 weeks of winter break and I am SO hanging out for it!!! Counting down the days ๐Ÿ™‚ x

The Magic of Confidence

14 May

Started cardiology rotation last week and I absolutely love it!! I’ve started putting cannulas in and I did my first injection – I’m really getting my confidence up and it’s fantastic!! Unfortunately we only have 2 weeks of cardiology but I’m going to make the most of it this week ๐Ÿ™‚

 

ImageIt’s incredible – as soon as I put my cannula in I felt my confidence just sky rocket – it was like a turning point for me. I took a deep breath and did something that I was so nervous about, and it turns out I had totally over-thought it and it wasn’t that bad ๐Ÿ˜€ it’s suprising how often that happens to me… I need to learn not to think to much about something! Just do it ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Motivational pic for this week:

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Oh and happy mothers day to all those mums out there!! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Meal 1/Breakfast:

As usual I’m having my blueberry pancakes, but over the w/e my boyfriend didn’t have all of the ingredients at this place so I changed the recipe a bit and it was delicious!! Here it is:

Sweet Nutty Protein Pancakes

1/3 cup oats – ground

1/2 cup egg whites

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla essence

Splash of sugar-free maple syrup

Splash of almond milk

Peanut butter

1. Blend ingredients (except peanut butter)

2. Cook on frying pan (making 2-3 depending on how big they are)

3. Once cooked smear a little peanut butter onย top, roll/fold, and enjoy!!

I think I’m going to leave these as a treat for when I’m at my boyfriend house because I can’t actually keep peanut butter at mine – I can’t resist it!!

 

Meal 2:

Ok so i’ve been wanting to try baking with beetroot for a while… and these were a bit of a disappointment haha. Maybe it was because I put too much beetroot in? I’m not sure.. but anyway here’s the recipe that I tried – it might be better if I added sugar-free maple syrup to them… this is from proteinpow.com

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Whey Protein Muffins – the Pink Version

Serves 7

250g cottage cheese

2 cooked beetroots

1/2 cup vanilla whey protein powder

1 whole egg

2 egg whites

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup instant buckwheat (I subbed this for oat flour)

1 tbsp vanilla essence

1 tbsp toffee flavdrops (I subbed this for an extra 1 tbsp vanilla essence but maybe next time I’ll put in maple syrup? I can’t find these toffee flavdrops anywhere!)

1 tsp baking powder

1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth

2. Bake until 160 degrees for about 35 minutes

3. Apparently these are nice with butter on them whilst warm, but I don’t eat butter… I tried with peanut butter but I still didn’t really like them… I don’t know haha

 

Meal 4/Lunch:

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Jamie Eason’s Meatloaf Muffins – I have posted this recipe before and have tried them with kangaroo mince, but I’ve decided I prefer the turkey version ๐Ÿ™‚ I love these in a psyllium crepe (5g psyllium husks + 55g egg whites, cooked like a pancake) with salsa + spinache + Greek yoghurt – YUM!

 

Meal 5:

Chocolate andย coconut protein bars – my boyfriend tried these the other day and he loves them too, so it shows that they’re actually nice ๐Ÿ™‚ love them with a cup of sugar-free hot chocolate!

 

Meal 6/Dinner:

Tried a new recipe and it’s pretty yummy! I altered it slightly to make it lower in carbs and it’s delicious! Different… but yum! This is my version of the recipe that I found on busybuthealthy.com

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Texan Ranch Chicken Casserole

Serves 4

1 onion

2-3 stalks of celery – chopped

1 red capsicum

1 green capsicum

2 garlic cloves – minced

600g chicken breast – diced and cooked

1 tbsp chilli powder

2 tbsp butter (I left this out and just sprayed the pan with a little canola oil)

6 tbsp oat flour

1 cup low sodium chicken stock

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

450g can diced tomatoes

Sprinkle of parmesan cheese

(I also added 1/3 eggplant and 1/3 zucchini)

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees

2. Cook vegies in a frying pan until crisp

3. Add garlic and chilli powder and cook for 1 minute – remove veggies from pan

4. Cook flour for 1 minute, add chicken stock and almond and stir until thickened

5. Add in the cooked chicken, tomatoes and vegies

6. Pour mixture into a 9×13 pan and top with cheese

7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbly and browned

 

Meal 6:

Chocolate Protein Mousse ๐Ÿ™‚

 

New Snack!! Full of antioxidants and super yummy! These are fantastic but I’ll struggle to refrain from eating them all…

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Physical Signs of Malnutrition

10 May

Sorry for the delay with this post – I’ve been crazy busy starting a new rotation at the hospital as well as having assessments due… and helping my boyfriend prepare his meals for the week, as well as my own separately, took longer than I’d anticipated! He loves it though, he says it’s so much easier throughout the week now! Hate to say I told him so ๐Ÿ™‚

Ok so I’ve decided that this week I’m just going to cover the signs of malnutrition – I originally wanted to cover sources of vitamins, recommended daily levels of vitamin intake, supplements etc, but that will be way too much to squeeze into one post! I’ll try to cover a part of nutrition each week; if anyone wants anything covered in particular please feel free to let me know!

Nutritional assessment includes finding out about dietary intake, however in this post I will be focusing on physical findings. Often malnutrition can just cause people to feel rundown, inappropriately tired, and to be certain of malnutrition it is best to get blood tests done. However here are some signs that may be seen when certain deficiencies are present:

 

Vitamin A (retinoids)

– Loss of vision, especially at night

 

Vitamin B1 (thiamine)

– Constipation

– Decreased appetite

– Nausea

– Mental depression

– Pins and needles/numbness in fingers or toes

– Fatigue

– Muscle loss (more severe stage)

 

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)

– Cracked, red lips

– Inflammation of mouth and tongue (hot, painful, swollen)

– Mouth ulcers

– Cracks at the corners of the mouth

– Sore throat

– Dry, scaly skin

– Anaemiaย ย (often presents with general fatigue, shortness of breath on little physical exertion, pale gums/nail beds, oncholysis/finger nails come away from the nail bed (see image)) – symptoms vary depending on severityImage

– Bloodshot, itchy, watery eyes that are sensitive to light

 

Vitamin B3 (niacin)

Lack of vitamin B3 causesย pallegraย which is characterised by the ‘4 Ds’:

– Diarrhoea

– Dermatitis (red, itchy, irritated skin)

– Dementia

– Death (in severe cases!)

 

Vitamin B4 (biotin) – RARE

– Rashes

– Fine, brittle hair

– Hair loss or total baldness

– Anaemia (see above)

– Tiredness

– Decreased appetite

– Inappropriate muscle pains

– Pins and needles

 

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) – RARE

– Fatigue

– Pins and needles/numbness

– Hypoglycaemia: restlessness, sleep disturbances, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps

 

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)

– Nausea and vomiting

– Mental depression

– Confusion

– Mouth ulcers/cuts

– Pins and needles/numbness in fingers or toes

– Weakened muscles

– Anaemia (see above)

– Rough/red/greasy skin (aka seborrhoeic dermatitis)

ย 

Vitamin B9 (folate/folic acid)

– Fatigue

– Mouth ulcers

– Swollen tongue (may have ‘smooth’ appearance, aka glossitis (see image))Image

 

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)

– Anaemia

– Pins and needles/numbness in fingers or toes

– Diarrhoea or gut pain

– Reduced reflexes

– Brittle hair

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

Deficiency of vitamin C causesย scurvy:

– Small bruising (may appear like little pinpricks over the body, aka petechiae (see image))

– Bleeding gums

– Reopening of scar tissue

– Sore joints/bones

– Mental deterioration

– Increased infectionsImage

 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D can be obtained from UV sunlight

– Osteoporosis: increased risk of fractures, muscle weakness, back/neck pain, bone pain/tenderness

– Premature ageing

– Decreased immune function (more infections – hence why people tend to get more sick during winter)

 

Vitamin E – RARE

– Reduced reflexes

– Pins and needles/numbness

– Confusions

– Difficulty with speech

– Anaemia (see above)

– Decreased immune function

 

Vitamin K – RARE

– Generalised bleeding

 

Calcium

– Osteoporosis (see above)

 

Phosphorus

– Weak bones/teeth

– Joint pain/stiffness

– Less energy

– Decreased appetite

 

Magnesium

– Weakness

– Confusion

– Convulsion

– Abnormal eye movements

– Decreased appetite

– Nausea and vomiting

 

Sodium

– Nausea and vomiting

– Confusion

– Tiredness

– Decreased appetite

– Restlessness and irritability

– Muscle weakness and muscle spasms/cramps

– Decreased consciousness/coma (more severe)

 

Potassium

– Muscular weakness

– Muscle cramps

 

Chloride –ย RARE

– Muscular weakness

– Tiredness

– Abnormal shortness of breath on physical exertion

 

Zinc

– Impaired growth

– Decreased immune function

– Loss of taste

– Abnormal behaviour

 

Iron

Iron deficiency is very common in females!

– Anaemia (see above)

– Impaired learning capacity

– Muscle weakness

– Fatigue

– Reduced physical activity and lower work productivity

– Decreased immune function

 

Iodine

– Lump in the neck (aka goitre (see image))Image

– Impaired intellectual function

– Hypothyroidism: abnormal weight gain, decreased physical activity, sensitivity to the cold temperature, fatigue

 

OK! Sorry about the long boring list, but I wasn’t sure of the best way to set this information out.

PLEASE keep in mind that this is a very basic list and many symptoms are extremely vague – everything in medicine is subjective!! To get an accurate knowledge of your nutritional status it is essential to get a blood test done and I strongly advise doing this if you are feeling generally unwell and run down, especially if it is for an unusually long amount of time and if you believe your diet might not quite be providing you with enough vitamins and minerals.

In other posts I will explain what the best sources of specific vitamins and minerals are, as well as supplementation etc.

PS we are told that our fingernails give indication as to our nutritional status and in SOME cases this is true – however nails can show signs of anything, from heart infection to the normal ageing process. The main sign that can be relied upon if seen in the fingernails is the oncholysis (which I mention above, and is a sign of anaemia).

I hope you found this a bit interesting and helpful – if you have any tips or topics that you would like me to cover I would love to hear from you!! blhat1@student.monash.edu, or leave a comment ๐Ÿ™‚

Finally Fifty

4 May

I am dividing this weeks post into two – one meal plan, and one about nutrients, malnutrition etc. I had time to cook next weeks food today so the meal plan comes first – I’ll post the second one either tomorrow or the next day ๐Ÿ™‚

I have reached my goal weight of 50kg ๐Ÿ™‚ YAY! I am still a little underweight but by making small goals I am slowly getting myself healthier and happier! I’m stoked ๐Ÿ™‚ my boyfriend is very proud of me.

Since mustering up the strength to finally get professional help, my health, self-confidence, and attitudes are gradually improving ๐Ÿ™‚ I strongly recommend asking for help – there is no shame in it and you will never regret it! I’ve learnt that struggling through something like this on my own just prolongs the problem and it expands until it envelopes every aspect of your life.

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Writing this blog, sharing what I know and hearing your responses shows that we all like to feel a part of something and together we grow ๐Ÿ™‚

 

On that note: here’s my food plan this week (all new recipes are adapted from mealsandmovesblog.com)

 

Meal 1/Breakfast:

Blueberry pancakes

 

Meal 2:

Blueberry Almond Chiaseed Protein Muffins

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These muffins are quite nice, but not my favourite. I thought a combination of some of my favourite foods – almonds + chia + blueberries (my personal addition) – would be wonderful, but I’m not a big fan of the flavour of almond essence. I’m tempted to sub it with vanilla essence and see how that tastes next time.

Serves 12

1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I subbed this for oat flour)

2/3 cup rolled oats

2 scoops vanilla protein powder

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

15g chia seeds

1/4 cup chopped almonds

2 tsp Stevia

1 cup fat free Greek yoghurt

3 egg whites

1 egg (I just added another egg white)

1-2 tsp almond extract

12 whole almonds (instead of almonds I sprinkled 4-5 frozen blueberries on top of each muffin before putting them in the oven)

1. Mix dry ingredients together (besides chopped almonds)

2. Add wet ingredients and mix well

3. Add chopped almonds, mix well

4. Spray 12 cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray

5. Divide batter equally among the muffins

6. Place a whole almond/blueberries atop each muffin

7. Bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean

 

Meal 3/Lunch:

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

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Yum, new recipe that I love! It’s so creamy and delicious, easy to make, reheats well, and is super healthy! Ticks all boxes :). Below is my version of the recipe:

Serves 4

500g chicken breast – diced

1 medium onion

2&1/2 cups chopped broccoli

500g can chicken, mushroom and rice soup (the original recipe calles for 1&1/2 cups of cooked brown rice, 280g can of cream of chicken soup and 280g can of cream of mushroom soup)

1 cup fat free Greek yoghurt

Salt, pepper and multipurpose seasoning (to taste)

Tinsy bit of light mozarella cheese

1. In a frying pan cook chicken and onion

2. Steam broccoli

3. Combine chicken, onion, broccoli and remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well

4. Pour mixture into a casserole dish and sprinkle with cheese

5. Bake at 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes (until warmed through and cheese is melted)

 

Meal 4:

Protein Packed Individual Cheesecakes

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YUM! These are so delicious!

Serves 10

For the crust:

42g graham crackers (I used Shredded Wheatmeal biscuits)

45g almond meal (my supermarket was out of this so I subbed in LSA – ground linseed, almonds and sunflower seeds)

1-2 Tb unsweetened almond milk

For the cheesecake:

113g fat free cream cheese – softened

85g low fat cottage cheese – blended (the cottage cheese that I buy is already blended, I love it so much more than the usual stuff!)

85g fat free Greek yoghurt

1 Tb unsweetened applesauce

1 Tb Stevia (or another sweetener)

1 Tb corn flour aka corn starch

2 tsp vanilla essence

1 egg at room temperature

2 egg whites or 6 Tb liquid egg whites at room temperature

1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder

1. Line a muffin tin with 10 patty pans and preheat the oven to 160 degrees

2. Grind biscuits and almond meal (I just pounded it with a jar)

3. Add almond milk to the mixture, a little bit at a time, until it is slightly crumbly but not too wet

4. Divide the mixture into the muffin tray and press down with a small jar/spoon or thumb

5. Bake for 10 minutes

6. Meanwhile, combine cream cheese, cottage cheese and Greek youghurtย and mix for at least 1 minute until combined (I was able to blend it by hand)

7. Add other ingredients one at a time, allowing each ingredient to mix in before adding the next

8. Reduce oven heat to 150 degrees and pour cheesecake mixture ontop of the baked crusts

9. Bake for 30 minutes

10. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes

11. Refridgerate cheesecakes for at least 2 hours, then serve with toppings of choice (I’m going to try it with frozen blueberries – yum!)

 

Meal 5/Dinner:

Chicken Parmigiana ๐Ÿ™‚ as posted last week (served with steamed vegies)

 

Meal 6:

Chocolate Protein Mousse

Check back later this w/e for information about vitamins, minerals, malnutrition, and exercise ๐Ÿ™‚ x