Recharged

Beautiful people of the earth, how are you?

Yes, I guess you could say I had a freaking-fantastic-wonderful-awesome time on retreat in Maine this weekend! Although we always experience a Jesus “high” during and right after retreat, the point of the retreat was to equip and instruct us on how to go out and proclaim our faith through our daily lives— through the highest of highs and lowest of lows. Our speaker for this retreat, Michael Lavigne (he has a blog!), called it “the art of living.” Dig it.

The weekend was packed with delicious food made by the most amazing kitchen team, lots of laughs, contemplation, community, and of course, deep conversations with Christ through prayer. I cannot put into words how much I enjoy retreat and love Jesus.

That being said, we’re back at school and work awaits. It’s going to be a loooong week, so if I don’t post again this week, please forgive me. Life is rolling faster than I can keep up sometimes!

Here are some scenes from the weekend:

Rachel’s birthday was on Friday, but since we left for retreat on Friday night, we celebrated on Thursday night at a lovely little Mexican restaurant. I ordered a beef taco and fish taco, and my soul was happy.

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FYI— bottom left pic is us trying to imitate the statues behind us. In case you were wondering what we’re doing.

Several wonderful people kept us {more than} well-nourished during retreat. French toast, chili, CHEESE BISCUITS OMG, trifles, pesto pasta, carrot soup… They put the dining halls to utter shame.

Carbs were my best friend this weekend and I am so okay with that.

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P.S. they also had peanut butter ♥ 

Last but not least, the people with whom I spent the weekend are truly a gift from God. My friends here, there, and everywhere (I’m talking to all you readers out there!) are constantly inspiring and humbling me. Thanks so much.

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From far away, it looks like we have mustaches on our shirts. They’re not mustaches.

Not gonna lie, I feel slightly anxious for the week ahead because of all the work and studying that needs to get done, but the retreat has certainly recharged me and prepared me to take on each day the Lord gives us.

Oh! I cannot forget to address the fact that this week is National Eating Disorders Awareness (NEDA) Week. Gah, now I definitely want to try to put up a post regarding that. Tonight I will actually be speaking at the BU Nutrition Club’s NEDA lecture and discussion, where I will be giving my personal account of my past eating disorder following a lecture by Jennifer Culbert, RD, LDN. Pray for us!

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Hopefully, I will be back later this week to recap my talk that I will be giving tonight, as well as discuss more about eating disorder awareness. It’s something that I am passionate about, and my recovery journey is what led me to create this blog. So stay tuned!

You’re beautiful. Catch ya later, kids.

So tell me:

What are three things that made you smile this weekend? 

Weekly Moves and Grooves XIX

Greetings from Maine!

That was kind of a lie. I typed this on Friday evening in Boston before leaving for Maine, where I am currently on the Catholic Center’s spring retreat!

Some of you might remember me talking about the retreat we attended in New Hampshire last semester— it was one of the best college experiences I’ve had so far. Maybe this retreat meets or even exceeds it?? I’ll let you know tomorrow :)

But as for right now, here’s how I’ve been moving and grooving this past week!

weekly moves and grooves

Sunday

shoveling snow // rest day

Some friends and I faced the bitter winter wind to shovel out a bunch of snow for the staff at the Catholic Center. I thought my fingers and face were gonna fall off, but it was fun being with my friends and watching the sunset over what used to be the Charles River (now a frozen field of nothing).

Monday

5 min. stair master warmup + leg workout

  • 5 sets: 8 Bulgarian split squats (30-35#) + 16 jump lunges
  • 3 sets: 8 angled leg press (180#) + 10 plank jack burpees
  • 5 sets: 8-10 trap bar deadlifts (115-125#) + 15 single leg elevated bridges each leg

This one was short and sweet killer. My legs were already jello after the Bulgarian split squats. Those own me. Also, this was my first time using the trap bar, and I liked it! It feels like a more stable way to deadlift.

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Tuesday

8 minute ab tabata // active rest

I attempted to do a dorm workout in the morning, but my leg fatigue/soreness traveled throughout my body, so I just did some ab work and walked around for the rest of the day.

Wednesday

walking and basketball // rest

Since we were fasting for Ash Wednesday, my workout buddy, PJ, and I decided to just play some basketball for 30 minutes in the morning so we wouldn’t overexert ourselves and feel famished the rest of the day. A good call, I’d say.

Thursday

AMRAP dorm workout + cardio and core workout 

To warm up: 100 jumping jacks and my favorite warm up video

And then this workout that I came up with:

20 minutes AMRAP (as many rounds as possible)

Then I did a cardio and abs circuit that looked very similar to this one from Julie.

Friday

5 min. stair master + 20 min. AMRAP workout

I did another 20 minute AMRAP, except this time at the gym! It was inspired by this workout from Tina.

20 min. AMRAP:

This was a good one for sure! Again, quick yet effective.

And I don’t know what I’m doing for the rest of the weekend, but I’m sure we’ll be moving and grooving well enough :)

Have a wonderful Sunday, friends!

So tell me:

What did you do this weekend?

Did you do a quick and effective workout this week?

Recent Eats {and the Lowdown on Lent}

Hey we didn’t have a snow day this week yet! And it’s Ash Wednesday!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while the past week, you might know that I’m Catholic and incredibly proud of it. Today is the start of Lent, aka 40 days of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving in preparation for Easter. That means yesterday was Fat Tuesday, aka Mardi Gras, aka do and eat everything you want to give up for the next 40 days.

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In case you want the lowdown on what we Catholics even do during these 40 days:

We only really need to fast (only one full meal and two smaller snacks that do not add up to one full meal) on the first Wednesday and last Friday of Lent, so it’s nothing crazy. We abstain from meat on every Friday though (meatless Friday instead of meatless Monday!). Also, we are strongly encouraged to give up unnecessary things that we love and/or do something extra as a sacrifice throughout the 40 days. It forces us to remember that there is nothing that can satisfy or fulfill us like God’s love and mercy can.

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^^^Not what Lent is.

Even if you’re not Catholic, it could be a refreshing experience to give up something for a month or so that will help you stay more focused or grateful. It doesn’t have to be food-related at all— it could be trash TV, profanity, petty complaining, gossip, looking at your phone at the table, etc.

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Just for the record, here’s what I’m doing this Lent:

  • Giving up music (I won’t voluntarily play music for myself, even when I work out ahhhhhhhhhh) and spending my quiet time praying instead.
  • Giving up scrolling through Instagram (I might still post photos of my own, but I won’t look through my feed at all.)
  • Reading Scripture every day

So yes, I was listening to music and looking at Instagram all day yesterday.

Some other things I’ve heard people are doing or have done for Lent: only getting one plate of food at the dining hall, giving up complaining, elevators, social media, makeup, meat, cheese, hot water (that means cold showers!)… People can be hard core.

I want to focus on making sacrifices that don’t have to do with food, so I’m not going to make any changes to my eating during Lent. With that said, here are only some of the delicious things I’ve been eating in the past few days!

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whole wheat French toast with banana and pb + scrambled eggs + glass o’ milk

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oatmeal with shredded coconut, pb, banana, and honey + scrambled eggs

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lentil and veggie African stew with sweet potatoes (YASSS) + some saucy-brothy Italian chicken 

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a five pound salad with romaine, carrots, tomatoes, roasted veggies, beets, and blue cheese(!!!)

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chipotle chicken (buried under there) with greens, barley salad, and feta

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roast beef, provolone, hummus, and veggie sandwich on wheat + more veggies and hummus + major veggie food baby :P

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pork gyoza + scallion pancake + ramen with pork and a soft-boiled egg at Shabu and Mein when my parents came to visit!

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vanilla soft serve with frozen blueberries and granola (like, 10x this amount of granola)

Ahh food is so good. But not nearly as good as God.

Have a blessed day, everyone!

Side note: Fasting can be tricky if you are struggling (or have struggled) with an eating disorder. Fasting should be a challenging sacrifice, but it should also be reasonable and attainable in regards to your individual situation. If you are struggling with an eating disorder (which can be categorized as a mental disorder), you are exempt from fasting [source]. We fast to reiterate that our earthly needs cannot give us anything as valuable as God’s love, not to make ourselves miserable or unhealthy. Take care ♥

So tell me:

If you’re Catholic: Are you giving up anything/doing anything special for Lent?

If you’re not Catholic: What would you give up or do as a sacrifice for 40 days?

Do you like blue cheese?

Do you ever wish you didn’t eat so many vegetables at a meal?

Things I Learned Last Week

HI!

I know I checked in with Weekly Moves and Grooves yesterday, but I missed sharing life happenings with you all and hearing about your lives too. Last week was jam-packed with studying and activities, so blogging just couldn’t happen.

But now I’m here and ready to share some of the crazy-fun-weird things I learned last week!

Studying with a friend really does do wonders.

I usually like studying by myself, but the night before our anatomy exam, my friend Cassandra and I reviewed all the material by testing each other and using a white board to draw bones, tissues, and muscles. It definitely made me feel more confident during the test!

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Breakfast for dinner in the dining halls should be a weekly occurrence.

Carbs and dairy and carbs. The essentials.

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Two snow days in a row doesn’t mean a thing anymore.

We had another blizzard last Monday, which resulted in cancelled classes on Tuesday as well. That would be a total of five snow days this semester! What is school?

Some professors are holding classes on a couple Saturdays to make up lectures and labs, which is good from the academic standpoint as well as the *ahem* tuition standpoint.

Oh we had a blizzard yesterday too. It’s time to migrate, like, last month.

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Officially taller than me.

Boston wears snow beautifully though.

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A snow day does not mean more free time.

Holy smokes, last week was BUSY. The snow days were used to catch up on work, and then the work/appointments/meetings kept coming, which is why I didn’t get to blog.

Busy, but good busy (for the most part). :)

Grilled cheese + tomato soup is one of the greatest food combinations.

I already knew this, but I learned that I should have it more often, especially during the winter.

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This grilled cheese was swiss, tomato, and caramelized onions on wheat. Mmmm.

My friends talk about my blog when I’m not around.

Rachel told me, “I was telling Cassandra that if I were Alison, I would be making my dessert look pretty and taking a picture of it.” I am both flattered and embarrassed.

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I will go the distance for brussels sprouts.

I don’t usually like tempeh, but the dining hall was serving orange maple tempeh with brussels sprouts and zucchini, so I got it just for the brussels sprouts.

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The tempeh was bland, but the brussels were worth it.

I am a certified Boston University tour guide!

Come to Boston University so that “I can show you the worldddd…shining, shimmering, splendid!” (<— Aladdin, anyone?)

A little bit o’ love can mean so much to someone.

Some people at the Catholic Center got together to put together Valentines for people who are homeless in Boston. The joy of the recipients is always a reminder of what love is all about— giving. #cheeeeeese

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How to dissect a cat.

For anatomy. My lab partner and I named our cat Larry (is it terrible that we named him?).

I have a new favorite way to eat cottage cheese!

Remember my usual concoction of cottage cheese with strawberry yogurt, banana and peanut butter last semester? I guess I wanted a new combo along with this new semester. Now I’m loving it with frozen blueberries, peaches, and granola!

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Cheetah Girls 2 is still fabulous.

Rachel and I had a little “Galentine’s” night in with popcorn and classic Cheetah Girls 2. We knew all the words to the songs and loved every minute.

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I have a banana problem.

I feel the need to stock up on bananas whenever I leave the dining hall, so now I have enough bananas in my dorm room to make a pyramid out of them.

Chill pill. I’m on it.

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Luckily, there are no fruit flies in the winter!

I’m evil for liking raisins.

A loving Valentine’s snapchat from Rachel (who does not approve of raisins at all):

raisin lover

Hope you all have a rockin’ Monday! Happy President’s Day to my fellow Americans! My parents are coming to visit Ben and me for our day off :)

So tell me:

One thing you learned last week!

How did you spend your Valentine’s Day?

What is your favorite childhood movie?

Please tell me you like raisins.

Weekly Moves and Grooves XVIII {Dorm Workouts}

Frieeeeends!

I haven’t talked to you all week, and that makes me sad. I’m checking in today with my moves and grooves from this week, but I’ll be back tomorrow to tell you all about {my hectic as heck} last week! I LOVE YOU.

weekly moves and grooves

Sunday

5 min. stair master + leg workout

  • 3 sets: 15 reverse lunges each leg (50# barbell) + 16 jump lunges
  • 3 sets: 20 plie squats + 10 pulses (35#) + 10 plank jack burpees
  • 5 sets: 10 box jumps (~20″ box) + 6 hamstring curls (100#)
  • 3 sets: 8 Bulgarian split squats each leg (30#) + 20 squat jumps

I was so excited to find a couple boxes to stack for the box jumps! Boxes and kettlebells are two things I wish FitRec had, but I can’t complain with all the equipment that they have already.

Also, pulsing after plie squats is crazy hard.

Monday

Rest (snow day!)

Tuesday

Lee’s 1000 rep workout

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I didn’t know that the gym was open from 1pm-8pm (snow day hours), so I just did this in my dorm room. It took nearly 40 minutes! Definitely a great bodyweight workout that requires minimal space.

Wednesday

5 min. row warmup + “burpee arm burner” workout + 8 minute ab tabata

I did Hillary’s burpee arm burner and then went back up the ladder with goblet squats instead of pushups. My sweat kept dripping everywhere so I had to wipe my workout area very well. Glam.

For the ab tabata, I did 4 rounds of 10 seconds rest, 20 seconds work:

The spiderman kick through exercise is so fun and works your obliques like no other.

Thursday

Random burpees // Rest

Friday

100 jumping jacks + “Run the World” warmup + bodyweight circuit workouts

Part 1:

3 rounds for time (finished in 15:55):

Part 2:

4 rounds for time (finished in 13:32):

I slept in until 7 am because I wanted to get enough sleep for my anatomy exam that day, and since my roommate was away for a couple days, I just decided to work out in my dorm. One of the most helpful things I’ve learned from fitness blogs and YouTube videos is that you really don’t need much space (or time) in order to get a great workout!

Saturday

upper body workout + row and burpee workout

1) Warmup: shoulder mobility, pushups, planks

2) Upper body workout:

3) This Crossfit workout I found somewhere:

20-18-16-14-12-10-8-6-4-2 calories on the rower // 8 burpees between each set // 12 minute cap

I loved this row and burpee workout! I got through 90 calories of the rowing + 4 burpees before the 12 minutes were up. I usually try to row for time, but any time I get to add burpees into the workout is a fun time.

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone! We have a blizzard on schedule today here in Boston (what’s new?).

So tell me:

What was your favorite workout this week?

Do you like bodyweight circuits when you’re running short on time?