WIAW: Finally Balanced

Hello, friends!

It feels as if I have not done a What I Ate Wednesday post in ages! That just means I’ve been accumulating way too many food photos on my phone, and I need to finally share them with the world. All my friends who witness me taking photos of my food ask the ever-famous question: “Is it going on the blog?!”

Yes. Right now.

I’ll be the first to admit that I self-stalk on Instagram. I look back at my feed and reminisce on memories of high school, home-cooked meals, and how bad of an Instagrammer I was three years ago (pointless selfies for dayzzz). The thing that really got me though was how much my eating has changed in the past two years. If you were not aware, I struggled with disordered eating habits just a couple years ago, and I started this blog in the midst of my recovery.

When I was scrolling through my own Instagram feed, I realized how much the quantity and substance of my meals has increased over time:

Two years ago, my dinner would be a salad with some peppers, berries, and cheese. That’s it. I’m not saying that having only a salad for dinner is bad, but I knew that I was hungry for more, and I didn’t honor that.

One year ago, my dinner was usually a bowl of whole grains, one piece of protein, and a vegetable. I was satisfied with that. I ate desserts more often, but sometimes with guilt.

Half a year ago, I would add some more healthy fats like avocado and cheese into my meals. Maybe a little more peanut butter in that oatmeal. I was satisfied, but still cautious with the new additions. I did eat dessert without much guilt at all though.

Today, I don’t always have whole grains, but I try my best to eat them more often than not. I eat red meat. I make my desserts a la mode. I eat *gasp* TWO tablespoons of peanut butter at breakfast on most days.

And you know what else about today? I’ve never felt better in my life. It’s taken me a lot of time to truly internalize that food=fuel. I could have said it all day long in the past, but I would still keep the general thought of calories in the back of my mind. Here in college I have no idea how many calories I’ve been eating, but whatever the average number is, it seems to be working out for the best!

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Linking up to Jenn‘s weekly food fiesta!

With that, why don’t we get to the food, eh? :) Here are just some of the things I’ve been enjoying this past month:

Bringing more peanut butter to the table…

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Clockwise from top right:

scrambled eggs + potatoes + ketchup + apple + unpictured bowl of granola with milk // whole wheat French toast with pb + my favorite cottage cheese concoction + glass o’ milk // whole grain blueberry pancake with pb + the usual + glass o’ milk // oatmeal with jam and pb + the usual

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Dorm breakfasts: Greek yogurt with banana, honey and cinnamon // oatmeal with vanilla protein powder, banana, cinnamon, and pb

Non-meat options…

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whole wheat roasted vegetable calzone + salad with hard boiled eggs // fish with sweet potatoes and summer squash // bean stew with polenta + salad // crispy baked fish with veggies + salad

Meaty options…

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“Shepherd’s pie” with mashed sweet potato // grilled chicken over a kale panzanella // bone-in, skin-on chicken + mashed potatoes + collard greens // Asian salisbury steak with soba noodles

Comfort food…

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whole wheat sesame chicken pizza // whole wheat spaghetti bolognese // eggplant caprese stack // brisket + mashed potatoes + roasted root veggies

ALL the plants…

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salads (which are often accompaniments to a main dish) // moroccan veggie stew over couscous

Desserts of course…

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“brownstone” chocolate cake (best chocolate cake EVER) // bananas foster crisp a la mode (holymolyamazing) // free chocolate chip cookie a la Catholic Center missionaries // gingerbread cake a la mode

I’m eating more than I ever have, but I only feel better when I am nourishing myself properly, despite temptations to eat like the girl next to me. Have I thrown nutrition out the window? Absolutely not. Do I stress about whole grains and squeaky “clean” eats at every meal. Heck no. I feel like I am finally balanced.

Well that was a long WIAW. I guess I just wanted to make up for the lack of WIAW’s these past several weeks. ;)

Hope you all have a lovely Wednesday!

So tell me:

Has your eating evolved at all?

What is your idea of a balanced diet?

What is the best dessert you’ve had recently?

P.S. Have you entered the Arctic Zero giveaway?

Arctic Zero Review + Giveaway!

Disclaimer: Arctic Zero sent me 6 pints of their newest flavors to try in exchange for a review. You bet your bottom dollar all opinions are completely honest and my own as usual!

Once upon a time, I finished 6 pints of Arctic Zero ice cream in two weeks all by myself.

This post is quite a bit overdue since that time was several weeks ago, but I knew I wanted to write a review on the frozen treats that Arctic Zero so kindly sent to me. It was a great day when I got back from the gym to a package filled with dry ice and pints of sweetness!

I think the fact that I polished off every single one of these babies within two weeks without a problem indicates that I really liked these. I promise I shared some with my roommate/floormates!

Arctic Zero’s Mission

Arctic Zero sought from its inception to offer families across America a low calorie dessert that would allow them to indulge in their frozen sweet tooth cravings without sacrificing a healthy lifestyle. As health issues rise across the country such as diabetes and obesity, Arctic Zero confronts this trend by providing a product that displaces the myth that a dessert must be high in fat and calories in order to taste good.

{From the “About Us” page on the Arctic Zero website!}

Arctic Zero’s frozen treats are made with minimal ingredients (purified water being the first on the list!) that are wholesome and meant to boost your health rather than pull you into that dairy/sugar coma. All their ice creams are 150 calories per PINT, fat free, lactose free, and gluten free! 

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For the Salted Caramel flavor

What did I think?

Arctic Zero sent me three of their brand-spankin’-new flavors: Coconut, Orange Cream, and Salted Caramel. Yeah, the sound of those flavors made me pretty stoked. Here’s what I thought about each of the flavors:

  • Coconut: This was the first one I tried from the batch. The coconut flavor is definitely present but without the fatty richness you would typically get from coconut desserts. It’s more like a milder coconut sorbet.
  • Orange Cream: Creamsicles were my JAM when I was younger, so I was super excited about this flavor. The AZ version wasn’t quite exactly like the classic creamsicle, but I enjoyed it as a low-sugar option.
  • Salted Caramel: I think this was my favorite! The ingredients actually include a little bit of cocoa powder, so the flavor seemed like a mixture of caramel and mocha (I don’t even like coffee!). It worked.

Overall, the flavors are true to how they are advertised on the pints. That being said, the low-sugar, fat free aspect of Arctic Zero frozen treats makes the flavors much more mild and “watered down” than what you would normally get in regular ice cream. I didn’t mind though, because these are almost like palate cleansers. Sweet, but not so sweet that you can’t have it as an afternoon or midnight snack!

As for the texture, I must note that Arctic Zero ice cream (or any ice cream for that matter) tastes best when you let it thaw for 5-10 minutes. I was expecting AZ to be icy because of the lack of fat, but it’s surprisingly creamy! I think that can be attributed to the whey protein powder in it. It’s not like classic ice cream for sure, but it’s almost like a thick frosty if you wait until it’s slightly melty on the sides (that’s the best!).

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Would I buy Arctic Zero?

Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed the Arctic Zero frozen treats (evidenced by how quickly I consumed them), so I would totally try some of their other flavors if I found them in a store. That being said, Arctic Zero ice cream does not compare to real deal ice cream, so I would not expect a Haagen Dazs experience when you eat these. It is a nice sweet, frozen treat to have when you’re craving just that, except you have nutrition benefits too!

And c’mon, it’s fun to finish a whole pint in one sitting for only 150 calories ;) I do miss digging my spoon right into the pint.

Where can you buy Arctic Zero?

I have never actually seen Arctic Zero in stores, but they have a store locator on their website right here! You can also order online here.

Giveaway!

Arctic Zero is being awesome per usual and giving away two vouchers for Arctic Zero products to two lucky winners (two vouchers per person)! If you would like a chance to win, comment below telling me which flavor of Arctic Zero you would most like to try! I will announce the two winners on Sunday.

{Open to U.S. only}

Have a fabulous Tuesday, everyone!

 

Notes on College {Chapter 3}

Another weekend, another Monday! I’m adding the exclamation point as a means of forcing myself to sound cheerful!

Just kidding, it’s not really forced. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. I hunkered down and caught up on studying and blogging for most of my weekend. And since I only blogged twice last week, I want to catch up with y’all on life happenings around here!

Here’s life as of right now— in the style of notes:

On peanut butter:

  • What do you do when you’re almost done with a large Costco-sized peanut butter jar?
    • Answer: You fill it with oatmeal, scrape it clean, and buy an even bigger jar of peanut butter from Whole Foods.

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The rate at which I go through peanut butter— it’s a talent really.

  • When eating in the dining hall with friends, one of two questions will come up:
    • “Where’s your peanut butter?”
    • “Peanut butter and banana as usual?”

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You rep that peanut butter waffle, bro.

On missing home:

  • Greek yogurt + dried figs = taste of home. My weird Alison taste of home.

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Where are my eyes?

  • Seeing all my friends’ photos from homecoming back at my high school this weekend ➔ feelin’ emotional
    • It will feel so weird going back home. SO WEIRD.

On life:

  • Sleeping in without an alarm is wonderful on so many levels.
  • Boston decided to grace us with warm, beautiful weather last week.
    • This is kind of torturous because you never know when the frigid weather will suddenly hit.
  • I’ve been told that my spirit animal is a jackrabbit.
    • What do you think that means?
      • Apparently, their ears are big like those of donkeys.
      • But they’re also powerful and fast, and they eat plenty of vegetables.
      • Ya win some, ya lose some.
  • Pump-up song of the moment: “Fireball” by Pitbull
    • I may or may not pretend to do Zumba to that song in my room by myself.
  • CrossFit Games athlete/Asian invasion/Jesus lover JAMIE HAGIYA follows me on Instagram now.
    • *hyperventilate*
    • Is this real life?

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That comment at the bottom though. ♥ 

And that wraps up this edition of notes on college! I know I’ve done this kind of post a couple times already, but I still want to know if you guys like these. Is it too random and/or confusing? Or do you guys enjoy the random notes style? Let me know!

Have a fantastic day, everyone!

So tell me:

What food do you go through in the blink of an eye?

Do you have a spirit animal?

(I didn’t know what a spirit animal was until 3 days ago.)

What is your current pump-up song?

Weekly Moves and Grooves VIII

It’s nearly unfathomable to me that we’re over halfway through October, y’all (my Georgia roommate is influencing me).

I also can’t believe I only blogged twice last week! That makes me sad. But college happens, life happens, and sleep sorta happens. I promise this week is beefing up in regards to my posts! I’ve typed them up and scheduled them, so I can’t fail. Unless something hiccups in the scheduling, which might happen knowing me and my tendency to mess up those kinds of things.

Anyway, as usual, the first post of the week is my workouts from last week!

weekly moves and grooves

Sunday

5 min. stair master warmup + leg workout

3 supersets of each:

  • 10-12 pistol squats each leg + 20 Bulgarian split squats each leg
  • 13-15 squats (90#) + 20 squat jumps
  • 10-12 hamstring curls (70/80#) + 20 jump lunges

A relatively quick one, but my legs definitely still felt it. Efficiency!

Monday

Apple picking + 100s challenge

Ya know, walking and climbing trees and carrying bags of apples ;) When I got back to studying in my dorm, I did 5 sets of 20 air squats, 20 pushups, and 20 sit-ups as study breaks.

Tuesday

5 min. row warmup + 7×10 workout from Purely Twins + dumbbell swing-burpee ladder

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Wrote it out on my dorm whiteboard

There are actually no kettlebells at the BU FitRec (I should totally put that in the suggestion box), so I just used a 35# dumbbell for everything. The dumbbell swing-burpee ladder was KILLER after doing the 7×10 workout. I was flopping through some of those burpees. I did the 7×10 workout in 15:22 and the DB-burpee ladder in 18:36.

Look at me acting like I know something about CrossFit.

Wednesday

Rest

Thursday

Random pushups + 8 minute ab tabata + yoga

I was busier than I anticipated on Thursday, so I just did some pushups and core before my usual yoga class. We’re working on headstands now!

Friday

Burpees in the dorm + 5 min. row warmup + two 10 min. AMRAP workouts + upper body strength

First 10 min. AMRAP (as many rounds as possible):

I completed 3 rounds + 59 reps.

Second 10 min. AMRAP:

I completed 4 rounds + 10 reps..I think.

And then I finished off with 3 sets of arnold presses + tricep dips!

Again, LOL at myself acting like I’m a CrossFitter. I try, I do.

Saturday

Random dancing/handstanding/headstanding/jumping/twerking in the dorm

I was pretty sore from Friday’s workout, so I just partied in the dorm by myself since my roomie was gone.

Can I just mention this new fitness Instagram with which I’m OBSESSED? It’s @TwoBadBodies. They’re two former track athletes, and their workouts look super intense but still groovy and fun. And yes their bodies are pretty bada$$.

I’m going to steal so many of their moves.

Hope you all have an awesome Sunday!

So tell me:

Do you like CrossFit-type workouts?

Do you have a favorite fitness social media account? 

Virtual Breakfast Date

Good morning, friends!

I hope you’ve all had a joyful if not restful weekend! Happy belated Thanksgiving to my Canadian homies!

I did not get to type up a post all weekend, so I thought it would be nice to catch up with you all over breakfast. A virtual breakfast date instead of a virtual coffee date because oatmeal >>> coffee. Just because it has peanut butter.

This is what I’m eating to break the fast!

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Oatmeal + vanilla protein powder + cinnamon + banana + peanut butter (+ some roasted salted almonds!)

If we were having breakfast together this morning…

1) I would tell you that I went hiking in the rain with the Catholic Women’s group on Saturday! It was wonderful in every way except for the fact that it was raining and I did not bring a raincoat with me to college. What was I even thinking not bringing a raincoat to Boston? Brain fart at its finest. Luckily the rain was not torrential, so us sweatshirt folks escaped being dripping wet and were instead just soaking wet. :D

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I haven’t gotten pneumonia yet, dad! 

2) I would tell you that some of the best times I had this weekend with my friends included just chilling out, talking about life, baking and eating banana bread, watching Grease, and playing the terrible yet hilarious game Cards Against Humanity.

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Baking some BOMB banana bread with Cori!

I’ve eaten the equivalent of about 1/2 of a whole loaf this weekend.

3) I would tell you that the majority of my dorm tissue consumption goes towards killing fruit flies. I blame myself for leaving so many bananas and apples on my desk, but dang it, there are two more fruit flies for every one I kill. I’ve finally come to the genius realization that I should put my fruit in the fridge and that I should not throw out any pieces of banana/peel in the trash can in my room. I go to college— I can figure out those kinds of things now. ;)

4) I would tell you that I went apple picking for the first time ever yesterday! I don’t know how I’ve lived in New York for 10 years and not gone apple picking, but the time finally came, and it was a blast!

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I failed by not wearing flannel, but my friends did a good job of reppin’ the plaid. We got a ton of apples, climbed trees (and did not fall out), and ate the heaven-sent cinnamon sugar cider donuts.

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I swear I could have finished all six of those babies, but I restrained myself to two so that I could eat real food for lunch later. But man, those donuts are what dreams are made of.

5) I would tell you that apples fresh from the tree are also the epitome of fall bliss. My workout buddy Albert exemplifies that.

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6) I would tell you that yesterday could have been National Apple Picking Day instead of Columbus Day because EVERYONE EVERYWHERE went apple picking! It also could have been brussels-sprouts-for-dinner day as I saw so many people posting on Instagram that they were making my favorite vegetable for dinner last night. I was jealous.

7) I would tell you that I gotta go to my psych lecture NOW!

Have a lovely day, folks!

So tell me:

Have you ever gone apple picking?

What did you do this weekend?

What’s your favorite fall produce?