Consciously Avoiding Sugar Again?

It’s so pretty outside!!!

At least here in Boston. I hope it’s pretty outside for you too. It’s so pretty here, in fact, that I did some yoga-ish stuff out by the river yesterday. The crisp temperatures are perfect for keeping you cool when you start working up a sweat.


A video posted by Alison (@alison_grooves) on

All while the leaves are starting to change and I am starting to realize that getting out of bed in the morning becomes exponentially more difficult.

I haven’t shared a full day of eats in a while, so let’s look at that for this wonderful What I Ate Wednesday!


While we’re at it, I want to talk to you about sugar in my life lately. It’s present (that’s for SURE), and sometimes I feel like it’s present a little too much. I don’t hide the fact that I am head over heels for the dining hall desserts and that I have one basically every day.

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breakfast // dorm oats: rolled oats with vanilla protein powder, banana, cinnamon, and pb

I don’t eat dessert because I feel like I “deserve” it or because I feel like I need to prove that I’m not afraid of dessert. At this point in my journey, I eat dessert because it’s delicious.

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lunch // roast beef, pepper jack, lettuce, tomato, roasted veggie, honey mustard sandwich on whole wheat + pear

Needless to say, I’ve noticed that my dessert intake has been rather indulgent in the past few weeks. I should make it clear that I am not guilty in regards to the calories/sugar/fat from the desserts. Rather, I am aware that I’ve been eating a lot of sugar, and I dunno…as a health-professional-to-be, I feel inclined to do something about that.

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snack #1 // cinnamon rice cake from a stash of communal snacks in the Catholic Center

I somewhat consciously try to avoid processed sugars throughout the day when I’m walking, dancing, learning and such. However, I still do eat quite a bit of sugar overall throughout the day (often in the form of bananas…)

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snack #2 // banana with peanut butter

I try to keep my sugar sources pretty wholesome for the most part. That being said, I don’t obsess over it. I mean, some of the sauces that the dining hall uses for their savory dishes probably have just as much sugar a cupcake, but it’s guatever.

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dinner // Creole chicken (like a sweet BBQ sauce) with rice + side salad

With all this in mind—my higher consumption of desserts lately and my fairly high consumption of sugar (from wholesome sources or otherwise) throughout the day itself— I decided to take a break from all desserts for five days last week. I challenged myself to not eat dessert from Monday-Friday (I kinda cheated on Friday during retreat…so Monday-Thursday).

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dessert (last night, not last week) // carrot cake a la mode

It was obviously challenging some nights, but I didn’t feel like I was depriving myself. I know that during my recovery, it was dangerous to deny myself sweets because there was a good possibility I was avoiding sweets because of calories. But these days, I have NO FREAKING CLUE how many calories I’m eating every day, so I’m just eating what feels right for my body. Some days that includes dessert and others it doesn’t.

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post-dessert // some pineapple at a night event

Instead of eating dessert all last week, I still ate some cottage cheese with granola and more banana (I know, I know). Arguably, I was consuming just as much sugar in eating a concoction like that as I would be in eating dessert.

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post-dessert part two // a couple fried plantains with honey

So I guess, in my mind, my dessert fast last week was to lower my sugar intake, but in reality, my dessert fast was more about challenging my self control. The wonderful thing about all this is that I feel comfortable challenging my self control in regards to food again. I’m not worried that I will start having disordered intentions in avoiding certain foods.

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late night snack // spoonful of pb

I feel one step closer to that elusive 100% recovery, if that’s possible.

To clarify, the eats I just showed you were from yesterday, so I wasn’t on a dessert fast. I only did the dessert fast last week. :)

*DISCLAIMER: It has taken me a long time to get to this point at which I feel comfortable and healthy avoiding certain foods for a short amount of time. If you have a history of an eating disorder, please be honest with yourself in making these decisions.

Hope your day is sweeter than my three-part dessert last night!

So tell me:

Have you ever fasted from dessert for an extended period of time? 

Do you prefer sweet foods over savory foods? I do indeed. If that wasn’t obvious.

Does anyone else eat bananas like insanity?

What did you eat yesterday?

Your Story Matters and It’s Beautiful

I am alive and well, and I hope that you are too!

This weekend I went up to New Hampshire with nearly 70 other students searching for one or more of the following: alone time with God, fellowship with friends who are seeking God, fresh air and serenity away from Boston, a new experience, and/or answers to any deep, personal questions. Whatever the reason, I think it’s safe to say that everyone who went on retreat is coming back to campus with something new and good.

Even if you’re not Catholic (heck, even if you’re an atheist), I am willing to bet that you can connect with some of the lessons I learned from this retreat and which I am about to share with you presently.

Wait, first, can we just appreciate how my lab partner (Christina, a nutrition major) and I order the same breakfast and bring our own peanut butter to the dining hall? There are many signs of friendship, but this one takes the [whole wheat pan-] cake.

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two eggs scrambled with mushrooms, tomatoes, bell pepper, and broccoli + whole wheat pancake with peanut butter

The difference: she doesn’t like banana and I don’t like coffee. Fair enough. There’s something wrong with both of us.

Anyway, back to this retreat and all the beautiful things that it entailed.

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The theme of the retreat was “Called to Greatness,” which sounds inspirational to many, but also kind of daunting. As someone who is extraordinarily ordinary (and often sub-ordinary), I knew I would be challenged by the messages I would hear on retreat. But challenge = change, so leggo.

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Dreams. We all have ’em, and we want to chase after them. Whether that’s an “MD” at the end of your name, creating a world-famous blog, making “gainz”, having a family, becoming Beyonce’s personal assistant, or becoming Beyonce, our dreams drive us.


Some people find peace in chasing that dream. Peace doesn’t mean it’s easy, but through all their hard work and sleepless nights, they know that their work is truly fulfilling.

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But sometimes (probably often), chasing those dreams can disappoint us. Even if we get what we want, there is something gnawing at us that the success and happiness is just skin deep.

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brought my own peanut butter (and shared!) #notsorryatall

An example from my own life: Fitness. I’m sure many of you are familiar with my love of exercise, which I believe is at a healthy state now. However, just a few years ago my life was consumed with a dream to achieve approval, attention, success, and self-worth through fitness. I literally worked myself sick to obtain a body that was not my own.

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I dreamed about being fit. Even after my disordered thoughts started to dissipate, fitness was at the forefront of my mind more often than not.

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I mean, look at my blog title. “Daily Moves and Grooves” is a reflection of how much I love to move. Although this blog has been a wonderful outlet for my fitness and health journey, and although I am in a healthy place mentally and physically, food and fitness just can’t fill my heart.

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Maybe you’ve felt this way about a certain path in your life.

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Or maybe not. But for those of you who have, how did you come to realize that your life was a little empty? Where did you turn?

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For me, God directed my footsteps towards Boston University–the Catholic Center in particular.

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kitchen staff rockin’ it as always ♥︎ 

He taught me through the people I’ve met that my pursuit of a life fulfilled by food and fitness was completely in vain. Health is important to me, but I was letting health be a part of my life for the sake of health, not for the sake of being a better student, friend, daughter, sister, or servant of God.

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I may have taken risks. I may have been bold in doing physical tasks that I never thought I could do (and don’t get me wrong, I’m proud that I did). But that kind of boldness was for myself. It was a selfish boldness.

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As I spent more time with the people at the BU Catholic Center, I observed how they channeled their energies, talents, conversations, trials, and joys towards helping others− helping others and themselves draw closer to Love (aka God).

[k, so maybe this isn’t for atheists too, but feel free to stay anyway]

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These people have been humble and generous enough to share their stories with me and their other peers, and each story that I hear is unique, glorious, and ever-unfolding. Like my story, each of their stories has elements of confusion and disappointment. But most of all, each of their stories involves being called to transcend something that “should have” been fulfilling.


And in sharing their stories, they reveal one piece of their journey in answering the Call to Greatness. In continuing to live each day with courage and trust in God, they are saying “yes” to that call. They are filling a space in their lives that cannot be replaced by anything or anyone but Love.

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To sum up what this weekend’s speaker, Fr. Eric, said so well: Our stories are unique and beautiful, but they are not about us. Nothing that we do deserves praise. Rather, our stories of greatness and boldness are ways that God uniquely and beautifully works through us to bring others to fulfillment in Him. Our stories are about God.


What you choose to do impacts more people than you know, and even the littlest acts of love can have the biggest impact.

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That seems like a lot of pressure, especially since we’re weak, “squishy mortals” (in the words of Geraldine). But He called you to greatness, and like any loving parent, He’s not going to leave you alone in your journey. He came to the earth and poured His life out for us, so there’s that.

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This got a lot more religious than I originally intended, but I guess I just want to say that your story matters, and it’s beautiful. It’s still unfolding, as all of ours are, but you are called to greatness. Whatever that means to you, strive and pray to answer the call with boldness. Share it with others, because that only reveals more beauty and hope to the world.

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one of these is not like the others…for a few reasons

My call to greatness is to leave behind my pride and selfishness. There are many specific ways I can do that, so with every part of my day, I can depend on God to help me along.


Blogging is just one of the many ways I can share my story, and I am eternally grateful for all of you who listen, share with me, and encourage me to be better.

Literally don’t know if any of this is coherent, but hopefully it makes some sense. If not, just know that you’re great, and that’s the truth.

Thank you to all who made this retreat amazing. You teach me so much. Thank you to God for being faithful (and for letting us see the stars, despite clouds on Friday and all of Saturday :) ).

Have an awesome Monday!!!

So tell me:


What did you do this weekend?


A few notable moments/things since I last posted (p.s. check out a day in the life here!):

  1. Lunar eclipse. There were some nerds in front of the honors college with telescopes and cameras staring at the blood moon…so I knew I could join them and fit in.Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset
  2. Temperatures cold enough to make me want a jacket heavier than a sweater.
  3. Drinking tropical drinks despite said temperatures.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
  4. I have a new lab partner/breakfast buddy who also brings her own peanut butter to the dining hall and allows me to eat some when I forget to bring my own. #friendship.

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Besides those things, I thought this would be a good time to share some other things that I’m diggin’ and feelin’ currently. [Love reading these kinds of posts from bloggers like Spoons!]

Current book: Human physiology textbook and I don’t hate it. Also, currently getting through lots of pages in my Holocaust textbook. Reading about history has always been difficult for me attention-wise, but this content is interesting and heavy.

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Current music: “Conrad” by Ben Howard. One of my friends kept talking about how excited he was to see Ben Howard at Boston Calling (an annual local concert that features a ton of rising/already huge artists), so I decided to check out his music. Verdict: in love.

Current guilty pleasure: Studying in the communal kitchen. This sounds hella weird, I know. It’s my guilty pleasure because there are so many study rooms from which I can choose, but I choose the kitchen because there usually isn’t anyone in there, so it’s quiet, and I can stand or sit at the countertop.

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Rachel was judging me so hard. I’m high maintenance, I get it.

Current nail color hair style: Straight (natural) or in a ponytail. My hair is stubborn, so I just let it be free most of the time. I kinda want to curl my hair, so I’m waiting for a special occasion to do so.

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Current drink: H2O. Still carry around my water bottle like a security blanket.

Current food: I’m really enjoying these burritos that PJ’s Organics so kindly sent me!* I found out a couple weeks ago that I actually don’t have the unlimited meal plan (even though I thought I did this whole time); I actually have the 14-meal plan (14 meals per week + other dining points). Thus, any food that I can eat outside the dining hall in my dorm/on the go that is nutritious and delicious…sign me up.

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I think this breakfast burrito had rosemary or sage in it. Fantastic.

Current obsession: My fuzzy red blanket. It gets chilly in our dorm at night these days, so the extra fluff and warmth is much appreciated.

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Current wish: That I could read more blogs. Studying and activities say nay many a time.

Current need: I would say a massage, but that’s not really need. I would not object a massage offer though.

Current triumph: Deciding on leading a Bible study. I was on the fence about it at first, but with the prayers and encouragement of my friends, I have decided to lead a Bible study for freshmen girls starting next week!

Current bane of my existence: “Bane of my existence” always sounds so melodramatic, but I guess mine would be the fact that nothing has happened in terms of my normal, feminine processes yet.

Current indulgence: A heck of a lot of sugar in general, which is something I want to talk about in another post this week. But for now, I’m just reflecting on how much I love dessert.

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Current procrastination: Studying for my human physiology exam and instead typing this post. (Don’t worry, mom and dad, it’s under control.)

Current blessing: Really good friends. Always a blessing.

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Current excitement: Catholic Center retreat in New Hampshire this weekend! In addition to spending some deep, quality time with God and friends, I’m SO EXCITED FOR STARS. Living in New York and Boston, I don’t see stars that often, but the New Hampshire skies seem to display the universe and it makes me want to cry of happiness.

Current mood: Content, anxious, excited.

Current link: Instead of a link, I have a few quote photos from Pope Francis’ address at the Festival of Families. Even if you’re not Catholic, I think it’s safe to say that Pope Francis’ words during his visit to the US hit every person’s heart in one way or another.

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Hope you all have a lovely Tuesday!

So tell me your current:

…guilty pleasure.




*PJ’s Organics sent me some of their products to try. Review coming soon! All opinions and content are my own.

Day in the Life of a Third Semester Sophomore

What am I? First semester sophomore? Third semester sophomore (since this is my third semester of college)?

do know one thing I am: frazzled. School is starting to pick up with exams and such, but so are activities. It’s such a blessing to be busy doing things that I love, but hellllloooo, long days.

Now that it’s been almost a month since I started classes, I thought it this would be a good time to share a day in the life again. I managed to document my whole day on Wednesday, which was one of my more packed (but fun!) days.

7:05 AM— First alarm goes off. Check emails on phone.

7:15 AM— Roll out of bed and go to the bathroom.

7:25 AM— Pray.

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7:35 AM— Change and try to look presentable for the day.

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8:00 AM— Walk to my favorite dining hall for breakfast in the gorgeous weather. Praaaaaaaise.


8:15 AM— Nosh on eggs, French toast with peanut butter and banana, and a glass o’ milk while studying a bit.

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9:00 AM— Move outdoors to study in the [again] GORGEOUS weather.

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10:00 AM— Head over to the admissions office to get ready to give a campus tour!

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courtesy of the admissions office // also, this was taken a couple weeks ago, but this is the essence

11:45 AM— Finish up touring [in the gorgeous weather] and talking to a family from the tour. Walk back to my room to change into athletic clothes because: a) sweating in my jeans; b) dance later; c) living in anything other than stretchy, comfy clothes is overrated. Pick up a special package on the way home.

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11:55 AM— Get back to my dorm room, open up the package {from the awesome folks at PJ’s Organics!}. Rip off my jeans like they’re going completely out of style and change into yoga capris and a t-shirt.

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the joy of free pits and aeration

12:10 PM— Meet my friends (badass, Division I soccer playas) for lunch at the dining hall.

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12:45 PM— We all walk to human physiology lecture (favorite class this semester).

1:50 PM— Get out of class and head to the Catholic Center to do some studying. Eat a banana sometime there. Talk with people because they’re really cool and fun and I like them. Ugh, so distracting.


3:10 PM— Walk to the gym for my modern dance class. ‘Twas an amazing and challenging class, leaving me feeling spent.

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5:00 PM— Dance class ends. RUN [literally] back to the Catholic Center for a 5:00 meeting.

5:10 PM— Inhale a granola bar before walking into the meeting a sweaty, smelly mess.

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5:50 PM— Meeting ends. Eat a peach that I snagged from the dining hall earlier.

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6:00 PM— Go to another meeting. My lovely friend brings snacks (thank the Lord).

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this x50 (not a hyperbole)

7:45 PM— Go to dinner with my friend. Salad, pork with mango salsa, oatmeal raisin cookie a la mode, and a bite of my friend’s chocolate fondue, because the dining hall had FONDUE!!!

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8:30 PM— Walk back to my dorm. Showerrrrrr.

9:00 PM— Sit down to do work. Get semi-distracted talking to Rachel. Try to do more work. Give my roommate a massage. Mentally give up. Get ready for bed sometime in there. Pray.

12:35 AM— Hit. that. hay.

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Phew. I was aware that I was eating kind-of-a-lot-of sugar, but heck, my body needed it.

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you have a fun weekend :)

So tell me:

Is it jean weather yet for you?

Are your days short, average, or long recently?

What do you like to dip in fondue?

What are you doing this weekend? Today: class and catching up on work. Tomorrow: touring, jazz fest, celebrating a friend’s birthday, and a movie night! Sunday: choir, Mass, studying, laundry, and dinner with family friends.

How to Be a Good Friend in College

I’m feelin’ this beautiful fall weather at the core of my soul and I LOVE IT.


I just broke out the boots this morning since they were calling my name from the back of my shoe collection bottom of my shoe pile.

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Let’s catch up by talking about how to be a good friend in college. The edition that doesn’t have to do with carrying your friends home after a frat party (although, that’s also what good friends do).

My friends here in college are honestly some of the best people I’ve ever met, and I am constantly inspired by how much they want to be better people through education, self-sacrifice for the good of others, wholesome experiences, and nourishment of their faith.

Thanks to these wonderful people, I’ve compiled a semi-serious list of…

{how to be a good friend in college…and at any stage in life}

Forget the age/year difference. Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate students can all hang out and their social lives will not be tainted. In fact, they will flourish.

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freshmen, sophomores, seniors, and grad women gathering for our freshman friend’s birthday

Have an early breakfast date with a friend. (Walk to the farther dining hall just to eat good omelettes. Bonus points if you both bring your own peanut butter and then take pictures of one another.)

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Be a good lab partner, because college labs can be deathly tedious.

Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. That’s when the deepest and best connections happen.

Sing and dance like a fool around your friends. If they tell you to stop, you can stop. But try it anyway, they might join you.

Set goals with one another. Whether that’s going to the gym five times a week with a buddy, acing a class, going to church every Sunday…or checking off food bucket list items together.

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#42: Spicy Food at Thai Dish — check!

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Tell your friend if he/she has something in his/her teeth. That feeling of looking into the mirror after talking with lots of friends and seeing stuff stuck in your teeth. You know.

Reserve judgement. We all do silly, stupid, sinful things.

Embrace spontaneity and don’t be afraid to ask your friends to join you. I’m always afraid to ask people to do things with me on a whim because I’m afraid of rejection, but I have learned that I love when people reach out to me to do spontaneous fun things.


like a movie night and epic hair braiding feat. Lauren’s gorgeous locks and Rachel’s mad skills

Don’t pressure your friends. Peer pressure is real in every way. It’s easy to be pressured and it’s easy to fall into the trap of pressuring others. It’s not the end of the world if either one happens to you. Just be aware.

Pray for your friends. Especially when you kinda don’t want to talk to them/you’re annoyed with them.

Ask for prayers from your friends. You need ’em too.

Branch out. Having a close friend group is so important and good to have. That being said, cliques are overrated, and there are people who really want to know you but are too scared to approach you. You might even be that scared person. Launch out and just talk to people. The people worth having as friends will reciprocate.

Hope you all have a fabulous day!

I don’t know what your hair looks like today, but however it looks, ROCK IT.



So tell me:

What is one way you can be a good friend/one way your friends have been good to you?

Do you believe “age is but a number” after a certain point in life?

What did you do this weekend?

Where should Rachel and I go next for our food bucket list!?