At Peace + Giveaway Winner!

Thank you a million times over, y’all. All your comments in yesterday’s post means everything to me. Your words of wisdom, support, and encouragement are so motivating, especially in the many times when I feel like none of this is really worth it.

YOU are awesome— in the most literal and genuine sense of the word.

I was nervous about posting yesterday, but after receiving such wonderful support and encouragement, I am actually quite at peace now. I will do this resting thing right.

I’m also feeling better…and stronger(!?) physically. I’m eating more and resting more, and my muscles actually feel stronger right now, since I am coming out of a week of lots of fitness in Colorado. This just goes to show how much rest and fuel you really need to grow. More than you think!!! Now I need to keep that up and get some padding on myself as well ;)

Mentally, I feel liberated. I don’t have to worry about doing a workout if I’m sleepy or about bracing myself for an intense workout that I know will wipe me out. By just moving my body gently and doing exercises and stretches that feel nourishing to my muscles, tendons, and ligaments (hey, physical therapist in me coming out), my mind feels refreshed and relaxed.

Spiritually, I also feel liberated. Throughout this past year, I knew that fitness had some sort of harness on me that was keeping me from being selfless and humble at times. I had put fitness at the front of my mind so often that it would distract me from God. I tried to fight the distraction, but my continuation of intense exercise, when I knew it wasn’t the best thing for me at the time, still made me feel very unsettled.

So thank you again for your love and prayers. Know that I am keeping you all in my prayers as well! If you ever have anything special you’d like me to pray for, please email me!

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Enlightened + Blend Swag Giveaway Winner

And now for the giveaway winner!

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Katie! Congratulations! Shoot me an email so I can send it to you ASAP :)

I hope you all have a fun and relaxing weekend. You’re the bestest.

Reflecting on My Exercise…Again

Deep breath. This post is important.

I’ll start by saying this: I genuinely enjoy exercise. I have learned this past semester especially (through my anatomy course and just through lack of time to work out) that I truly love exercising because it is a blessing to be able to move, sweat, produce endorphins, and do something good for my body. I no longer see it (primarily) as a way to burn calories or “look good.”

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While my relationship with exercise has improved during my freshman year of college though, one thing has not. My period. (Sorry, TMI for the fellas.) This is straight-face talk, and it’s very similar to my talk on this blog about a year and a half ago. I haven’t had my cycle in nine months, and I’m sure that my amenorrhea (absence of menstruation for an unusually long period of time) is due to a combination of school stress and— unfortunately—exercise stress. My history with an eating disorder very likely contributes as well.

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Another big reason why I think exercise is causing my amenorrhea is because I got my cycle last summer after only walking and doing yoga and eating more for a couple months. However, I have a hunch that I jumped back into intense exercise way too quickly, and although I had this hunch all year during school, I was in denial.

Finally, after reading Emily’s post about amenorrhea and Julia’s post about how she gave up exercise, I realized that I’m definitely putting too much stress on my body. Those two ladies are incredible— humble, honest, and inspiring. Ashley, Sam, and Courtney also have experience with hypothalamic amenorrhea, and they have been amazing resources.

(If you’re wondering why I don’t just check with my doctors, it’s because I did that last year for this same reason. All of them say my bone density is fine, my thyroid is fine, my weight is fine. They say exercise is fine, but I know in the depths of my being that my current exercise regime is not fine. See this article for more information.)

Even though I view exercise in a healthy way currently, I’m eating plenty, and I feel 100% healthy, I’m not actually quite where I need to be. Honesty is the best policy here on Moves and Grooves, and honestly, there has been pride involved in all of this too. All my friends see me as a healthy and active person, so if I stop exercising intensely, I feel as though I will lose this “image” that they all have of me.

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But I must remember that ultimately, fitness is not about lifting myself up— it’s about taking care of my body in order to lift up glory to God. Fitness is not what makes a person beautiful, and I firmly believe that. I have to believe that about myself too.

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So what am I going to do?

  1. Eat more. Like, EEEEEAAAAAATTTTT.
  2. Decrease exercise and intensity. Only walking, yoga, low impact bodyweight strengthening (barre/pilates). No burpees.
  3. Gain weight (fat, not just muscle).
  4. Pray.

Yes, I’m bummed. Yes, I question whether this is even worth it. What woman wants a period anyway? But alas, it’s important, and I don’t want my lack of menstruation to have future repercussions on my health/fertility. I am beyond thankful that I still have the sheer ability to move.

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For a while, I was disappointed that I would lose my fitness progress that I had worked so hard for in the past couple years. I’ll be losing some stamina, endurance, and strength. However, I realized that I have come to love the journey of reaching fitness goals, not just the result. I have learned to appreciate and celebrate progress. So wherever my body is when I start increasing my exercise again, I will hopefully be less frustrated with my slow start.

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Thank YOU for your support, encouragement, inspiration, and prayers. If you ever need a friend to talk to about this issue, email me at dailymovesandgrooves@gmail.com.

Hope you all have an awesome day!

So tell me: Whatever you’d like. :)

Day in the Life: Internship and Domestic Duties

Another phase in life, another one of my favorite posts!

I use the term “phase” lightly, because I’m just referring to the in-school phase vsersus summer phase. No major life changes have occurred in the past two months (unless you count the hike up Bear Peak, which was pretty life-changing IMO).

Here’s what a typical summer day has been like for me! And since I’m sharing my eats, I’m also linking up with What I Ate Wednesday— still the coolest online food fiesta around.

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5:55 AM First alarm goes off. Ignored.

5:58 AM Second alarm goes off (yes, I set an alarm three minutes after my first). Basically force myself to fall off the bed in order to get up.

6:05 AM Drive Pop to the train station.

6:30 AM Come back home and go back to sleep.

8:15 AM Wake up, take two. Go downstairs to start preparing breakfast, which was Amanda’s blueberry muffin breakfast bake!

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8:35 AM Go back upstairs to get ready for the day, pray, all that jazz.

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9:00 AM Dress up breakfast with Greek yogurt and banana cream sauce. Picture time!

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9:15 AM Blog, pack lunch, and watch the Today show while eating. Dig in with a baby spoon in an attempt to savor it, but end up taking bites that were bigger than the spoon.

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did you enter my big giveaway!?

10:15 AM Go upstairs to change out of PJs and put on makeup.

10:30 AM Leave for PT internship.

11:00 AM Arrive at PT internship and eat a Nature Valley granola bite (their new product coming out next month!) before heading in to start the day.

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need one of those rolling standing desks for school

1:30 PM Snack break for a BelVita biscuit.

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2:30 PM Lunch break. I packed brown rice with leftover pork, grilled shrimp, and veggies + the rest of the BelVita biscuits.

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4:15 PM Leave internship and go grocery shopping. Take much too long looking for Enlightened crisps in the natural section (couldn’t find) and deciding whether or not I want to buy pork butt for pulled pork later in the week (didn’t buy just yet).

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random selfie in which my eyebrows look like my eyes, or my eyes look like my eyebrows— squinty and black

6:00 PM Arrive home, put groceries away, waste time on social media, change into active clothing, and eat a few of these Somersaults that I just bought using a coupon from Blend (one of which you can win in the giveaway package!). I had to tell myself to zip up the bag before I ate them all if that says anything about how good they are.

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6:30 PM Go for a neighborhood walk. Pray some, listen to music some. Enjoy the heat and sunshine.

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7:05 PM Back home to do some bodyweight Bulgarian split squats and stretching.

7:30 PM Wash dishes that I left in the sink from breakfast.

7:40 PM Start warming up dinner. Hooray for grill leftovers! I had the same exact thing I ate for Memorial Day lunch and dinner.

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8:00 PM Eat while starting this blog post, checking Facebook, watching Chopped, and texting my friends. Aka what you’re not supposed to do while eating a meal, but #sololife.

9:25 PM Dessert time! Vanilla bean ice cream with macerated strawberries and a peanut butter honey cookie from WB Kitchen (also from Blend swag). Start typing this post in real time.

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9:45 PM Shower. Start typing this post as a pretense to what I’m about to do (actually shower at 10:05).

10:20 PM Start to wind down with reading. Brush teeth and pray.

10:40 PM Pick up Pop from the train station. This was an extra late night for him.

11:00 PM Head to sleep!

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Hope you all have a fine day!

So tell me:

Do you ever set your alarms less than five minutes apart?

What did you eat for lunch yesterday?

What do you summer days look like?

Enlightened Wherever I Go {Eat Enlightened + Blend Swag Giveaway}

Two posts in a day, whoa whoa. This morning’s post was a big weekend recap, but this post right here is more exciting for YOU.

Enlightened sent me free samples to review. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.

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Before I left for Colorado, the jolly folks at Eat Enlightened sent me samples of their new Enlightened Crisps, which are…

  1. roasted broad beans aka fava beans
  2. 100 calories per serving (although it’s hard to just have one serving sometimes)
  3. soy and gluten free
  4. high in protein, clocking in at 7 grams per serving
  5. high in fiber with 3 grams per serving
  6. portable and convenient
  7. super crunchy
  8. available in five fantastic flavors: Sea Salt, Wasabi, Sriracha, Garlic and Onion, and Mesquite BBQ (my fave)
  9. available in snack packs or bigger bags for sharing (or not)
  10. made with real ingredients: fava beans, sunflower oil, seasonings, sea salt
  11. my newest snack addiction

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I’ve been eating these crisps everywhere.

On the road:

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To the summit of a mountain:

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On planes:

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To lunch at my internship:

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You could say that I thoroughly enjoy them anywhere at any time. My favorite aspect of the crisps is their flavor—you seriously wouldn’t automatically think, “Ooo…these are healthy aren’t they?” I’m also a huge fan of their crunchiness and satiating power thanks to the protein and fiber.

My family also loves them! In fact, they love them so much that they started eating some of the samples I intended to save for this giveaway. They didn’t know, but after I saw it happening, I hid the rest. Gotcha back ;)

Hold up: Enlightened also has ice cream!

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They have ice cream bars and ice cream sandwiches that are…

  1. 80 calories or fewer
  2. available in flavors like fudge, vanilla, peanut butter, coffee, orange cream, chocolate peanut butter swirl, salted caramel swirl, mint chocolate, and more
  3. high in protein with a whopping 8 grams
  4. high in fiber with 5 grams
  5. low in sugar with only 3 grams
  6. void of artificial sweeteners

There’s no way I could hog the enlightenment of these crisps for myself, so I’m giving away some of the loot! In addition, I’m making this giveaway even better by including some of my Blend swag in the package. As you might have seen this morning, I am still happily living off the immense amount of swag we received at Blend retreat, so I thought I’d share some.

In the winning package:

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  • three thsnack packs of Enlightened crisps (Sriracha, Wasabi, and Garlic and Onion flavors)
  • Enlightened T-Shirt
  • a coupon for a free bag Enlightened Crisps
  • a coupon for a free Enlightened ice cream product
  • Nuttzo and Arctic Zero recipe booklets
  • voucher for a free Almond Breeze beverage
  • voucher for a free Dr. Praeger’s product
  • voucher for a free Somersaults product
  • three vouchers for a free Epic Seed Greek yogurt
  • Good Day energy chocolates
  • voucher for a free GoodBelly product
  • voucher for a free Iced Bhakti Chai
  • voucher for a free dozen of NestFresh eggs
  • Wellcoin iPod armband
  • Tiny But Mighty Popcorn
  • Honey Stinger Lemon Waffle energy snack
  • Chocolate Vega protein powder sample
  • Chocolate Balance Bites sample
  • three gluten free Chex instant oatmeal packs
  • chocolate chip cookie dough Quest bar
  • three mint chocolate chunk Quest bars
  • Arctic Zero ice cream scoop

Wahoo!

To enter, leave a comment below telling me which Enlightened product you want to try the most. This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents (I’m sorry, I love you, international friends!).

The giveaway will close on Friday at 12 AM.

Have a good one, folks! Huge thank you to Enlightened and all the Blend sponsors for making this giveaway possible!

 

Dad and Daughter Weekend

God bless America and God bless three day weekends. I don’t know why I said the latter; I just came back from vacation.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a lovely Memorial Day to my fellow Americans. As always, it’s nice to have a day off, but it is essential to remember why we do. Thank you to all the men and women who sacrificed their lives so that we could live ours freely and joyfully.

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Let’s catch up!

Friday

Up and at ’em early for my physical therapy internship! Brought to you by overnight oats in a jar.

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I’ve been adding chia seeds to the mix, and they increase the doughiness factor by at least 50%. I totally made that up, but chia seeds = thicker overnight oats = even better texture.

Lunch was eaten in the parking lot after my internship. It was tuna salad I had made that morning (with Greek yogurt, mustard, honey, olive topping, paprika, and black pepper) on mixed greens, alongside 34 Degrees cracked pepper crackers from Blend.

Cracked pepper crackers that are like crack.

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I saw my partner in crime (Daliza) on Friday night! I greeted her with egg yolk dripping down my face/hands/arms as I ate this for dinner:

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Once you break the yolk, there’s no turning back. You just have to inhale the rest of the toast so you don’t lose the dippy goodness.

P.S. I’m going to convince Daliza to do another vlog with me!

Saturday

I slept in and made a rather patriotic breakfast for Dad and myself— Greek yogurt with blueberries, raspberries, banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, stevia, chia seeds, a leftover whole wheat banana pancake, and Nuttzo power fuel.

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I don’t remember everything I did on Saturday, but I do know that I finally decided to unpack my luggage, did some moves with a leg strength circuit, and attended Mass. I also ate some delicious things in the afternoon!

Lunch was a salad with homemade tahini dressing, leftover pork chop (buried under there), and a sweet potato with melted garlic herb cheddar. Weird but YUM.

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I was feeling lunch dessert that day (…like every other day), so I broke into my stash of mint chocolate chunk Quest bars from Blend. I followed Aimee’s suggestion in my last post’s comments and microwaved it for exactly 23 seconds before topping it with peanut hazelnut butter.

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Yep, I’ll be doing that again! :)

Oh! I got new sneakers in the mail too! I won these in a huge raffle at the end of Blend retreat. Lucky for me, because I left my other sneakers in Boulder since they were so muddy from hiking all week.

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Thanks, Wellcoin and Puma!

After Mass, Pop and I went to my favorite Japanese restaurant for dinner! I went with the classic sushi combo that comes with yellowtail, tuna, and eel avocado rolls. All gone into my tummy.

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The waiter also surprised us with a complimentary dessert! Chocolate souffle cake with raspberry ice cream. Ohmahgoodness. I know I say I don’t like chocolate that much, but this was dreamy.

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Pop and I hunkered down for the night and watched not one, but two movies— The Giver and Macfarland USA. I totally loved both!

Sunday

Another sleep-in day, another breakfast for Pop and myself. I hadn’t eaten cookie dough cereal in a long time, so it wasn’t difficult to choose what I wanted that morning.

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I cleaned the floors on Sunday, and look at this horror.

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This is a picture of cleaning done in the highest shoe-traffic area of our house, but still, yuck! (Two-year-old word, I know.) You don’t really notice the dirt until you get down and scrub.

Moves involved yoga and a quick walk around the neighborhood. The weather was perfection!

I babysat at night and actually enjoyed my snack-time-esque dinner.

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I brought all the snacks myself, except for the cheese :) (I was given permission.)

Monday

Pop and I started our Memorial Day with Mass and the local Memorial Day parade.

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Then we headed back home to cook and eat for the rest of the afternoon! Pop and I have never grilled without mom being around, since she is Mrs. Chefmaster Hospitality. But we had a successful cookout, I’d say! I shopped for the food, prepped it, and then left the grilling for Pop. He nailed it.

We had simple beef burgers with garlic herb cheddar and caramelized onions + tons of grilled vegetables. We also ate outstanding grilled shrimp using this marinade recipe.

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glass o’ vino in hand, what a natural
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Having a BBQ for two people also means lots of leftovers for the week!

Moves included grooving to music in the kitchen and a two mile neighborhood walk. I see a tan emerging!

After eating more of grilled goodies for dinner, we ended the night on a sweet note, as every night should end in my book. I macerated some fresh strawberries in lemon juice and honey for a few hours, and then we ate those on top of vanilla bean ice cream with a slice of the blueberry poppyseed mini loaf from Flagstaff House in Colorado!

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Me: I macerated some strawberries.

Dad: That sounds like it hurts.

[5 minutes later]

Dad: What did you say you did with these? Masqueraded?

Me: No, macerated. But masquerading them sounds fun.

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Hope you all have a great day! Clean your floors perhaps, eat string cheese, and say thank you to more people. *Also, stay tuned for an awesome giveaway later today!*

So tell me:

One productive thing you did this weekend.

One fun thing you did this weekend!

Do your floors ever get this dirty? We clean them often, I swear.

Americans, what did you eat for Memorial Day?