Heavy Foods, Light Hearts

Where there are friends, there is food. Where there is food, there are friends.

My special guest that visited this weekend (who I mentioned on Friday) was my BU BFF, Rachel!

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

She made a spontaneous trip down to New York to hang out and have some girl time. Needless to say, I brought her to places with lots of food, and I brought lots of food to her face.

Friday

Remember when I first opened that mega jar of peanut butter that I received from MyProtein? That was July 7th.

DSC_1730

I finished it on July 31st, putting it to rest the right way—overnight oats in a jar (with maybe 3 tablespoons of peanut butter left inside, sorry not sorry).

DSC_1732

Rachel arrived at night, and we enjoyed a Fish Friday meal of cajun flounder, barley, black bean corn salad, and green beans.

DSC_1735

Followed by dessert of ice cream, scones, and a looooong talk on the couch. #deepthoughts

Saturday

Late night chats means late wake up, but not too late to make some banana waffles for breakfast!

DSC_1736

topped with greek yogurt, peanut butter, strawberries, and maple syrup

Rachel and I went to a super posh and ritzy town in Connecticut, where ladies were wearing sundresses and heels, Lululemon was next to Vineyard Vines, and GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN WAS TWO FEET AWAY FROM ME.

*Geoffrey Zakarian in an off-white suit walks towards us*

Me: Oh my gosh, it’s Geoffrey Zakarian!!!

Rachel: What?

*Geoffrey definitely hears me but promptly pretends to see something across the street and walks in that direction with his two posse dudes*

Me: He’s a famous Food Network star. Oh my gosh, what do I do?

Rachel: Alison…it’s okay. He’s walking away.

Me: Wait, he’s getting farther. But I want to take a picture with him. Oh my gosh. He’s so famous.

He looked exactly like this!!!

628x471

Apparently he’s opening a restaurant on the street we were on, so he must have been doing business for that. I was only slightly, extremely bummed that I didn’t have the courage to run across the street to take a selfie with him, but at least I spared myself from being that fan.

Anyway, after coming home and doing some yoga that was a little more intense than expected for both of us, we went to Mass and dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Rachel and I split the gnocchi and veal sorrentino. We were in rich, Italian, tomato, tom-ah-toe, mozzarella heaven.

Later that night we grabbed some delicious ice cream (<— redundant, I know) with Michael. Apple pie ice cream for meeeee.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

We walked, talked, watched old videos of my chipmunk-voice days, and some Iliza Shlesinger comedy before calling it a [very late] night.

Sunday

I woke up past 10 AM, which makes me kinda sad, but hey, it’s a summer weekend.

DSC_1739

cookie dough cereal

We had a slow morning of talking and stretching before going to a local Indian festival for food cultural immersion.

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

we split a baked samosa

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

and then split this tray of yummy, oily, flavorful fun

Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

split a mango lassi as well

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

thanks, boo

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

very tempted to jump into the water for a swim on a hot day

Our weekend ended with pork chops and chicken, the movie Chef, time with Daliza, and more girl talk.

DSC_1740

Needless to say, this weekend was filled with lots of rich, heavy foods that made me want to roll into bed right after eating them. But I loved every bite, and most importantly, I loved every moment with my homegirl, Rachel. It was an awesome weekend, and I’m sad that she has to go back to Boston today… Less than a month before we actually move in together for schooooooool.

(Minus the missed opportunity to take a pic with IRON CHEF Geoffrey Zakarian.)

Hope you all have beautiful Monday!

So tell me:

Did you have any yummy rich foods this weekend?

Have you ever spotted a celebrity in public?

Indian or Italian food?

Cool Fact About Thicker Thighs

I’m glad you guys have similar sentiments on becoming a grownup.

One thing that I definitely don’t mind about becoming a grownup is grocery shopping and cooking for myself…

DSC_1728

yesterday’s breakfast: full fat Greek yogurt mixed with chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, stevia + banana, berry banana muffin, and peanut butter

So the hot weather took a turn for the CRAZY yesterday afternoon. The clouds were pouring like it was going out of style. I was driving 30-40 mph on the highway with my blinkers on, and visibility was maybe 10%. I thought the windshield might break because the rain was coming down so hard!

A thunder bolt from the fingertips of God seemed to strike right next to my car too, so that was exhilarating to say the least.

IMG_7129

While driving in the storm of the summer, I was listening to the Balanced Bites podcast (as requested by some of you!), and I learned the coolest fact from episode #191!

They talked about how having “nice, curvy, meaty thighs” as women is actually healthy. This is because the fat in our thighs is an indicator of “being a healthy, fertile woman.” Our thigh fat stores DHAs, which are amino acids that promote good neural developments for babies in the womb, and having those extra stores will contribute to a healthy baby.

Neat, eh? This isn’t to say that having naturally thin thighs is a bad thing, but having thicker thighs (holla!) is definitely not a bad thing either! Basically, just embrace your legz, ladies (and gents!).

My legs were fed by this delicious dinner last night:

DSC_1729

Jen’s honey balsamic chicken with pan-roasted brussels sprouts. Simple and tasty!

And lastly, here are this week’s moves and grooves! Wow, this post is all over the place, but it’s Friday. Everyone is loosing it, right?

weekly moves and grooves

  • Friday: 60 min. yoga
  • Saturday: Walk and lower body exercises every once in a while
  • Sunday: 8 minute abs
  • Monday: Handstands + bridges and leg lifts
  • Tuesday: Gymnastics warmup + 20 min yoga
  • Wednesday: Random exercises and stretching
  • Thursday: Rest

______________________________

Me when I’m blogging:

in the zone

A more pleasant face than I was expecting…usually I have total RBF (hi, Amanda ;) )

Photo credits to madame Daliza:

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

So tell me:

Have you ever driven in torrential rain?

Which body part do you embrace, despite some insecurities? My legs used to be my least favorite part of my body, but now I’ve never been so grateful and confident in how strong and supportive they are, regardless of their size/shape.

What are you doing this weekend? I have a very special visitor coming in tonight! :D

Chronicles of Becoming a Grownup

Thinking-Out-Loud

Head over to Spoons for lots of thinking out loud!

1) I’m very tempted to see if I can cook an egg on the sidewalk. It is blazing hot here in New York!!! It was 92F yesterday, but I’m pretty sure it felt like 110.

DSC_1726

for now I’ll stick to cooking my eggs on the stovetop

2) Let’s talk about transitioning into a grownup. I guess I’m at a point in my life where I have a million revelations about how the world works, how other people work, and how I myself work. It’s really cool to be learning so much about life through new experiences, rather than just learning about them through textbooks and lectures.

3) So here starts my chronicles of becoming a grownup. Account #1: I was taking in the trash bin from the curb, and the lid was open. As I went to close the lid, I looked inside and saw a profusion of maggots at the bottom of the trash bin. Cue ALL THE HEEBIE JEEBIES.

yuck_that_70s_show

[source]

Rather than waiting for my dad to get home, I put on my big girl pants and used our garden hose + dish soap to spray the trash bin a bunch of times and rinse out the nastiness. Biggest accomplishment of the summer, in my opinion.

3) Account #2: I’ll clean the floors meticulously, admire the newly cleaned floors, walk two feet forward, and find more dirt/crumbs/scuff marks. Then I’ll clean that spot, walk away, come back to that spot 15 minutes later, and find that I missed a whole section of dirtiness thanks to the different lighting.

wqzpzn

[source]

4) Account #3: I paid for my own year-supply of contact lenses for the first time ever ($$$$). Then I realized those contacts weren’t fitting my eyes correctly.

13-you-live-in-the-city-now

[source]

I’m getting that worked out, don’t worry.

5) Account #4: I’ve been making several doctor appointments, going to those doctor appointments, making decisions for myself (“OKAY I’LL TAKE THAT SHOT SINCE YOU SAY IT’S GOOD, DOC. I DON’T FEEL PRESSURED OR ANYTHING.”), and figuring out how insurance cards work…and stuff.

taylor-swift-gif

[source]

Copay? Erm, yes? No? Can I phone a friend?

6) I often wonder how I’m going to get through life. I’ve been raised in a comfortable, loving environment; I’ve been pretty spoiled. But I’m trying to learn as much as I can, taking each experience (no matter how ordinary) for all it’s worth, and slowly learning how to be a grownup. All with God’s grace. #LordHelpMe

7) And don’t get me started on the mental/emotional/spiritual changes and revelations that are occurring as I become a grownup. To be chronicled in the future…

8) Let’s lighten up this post with some food photos. I’d like you to know that pesto and goat cheese go together mighty well.

DSC_1717

pesto chicken, goat cheese, greens on an English muffin

And that summer peaches are one of life’s simple pleasures.

DSC_1725

9) I tried a sample Vega One French Vanilla nutrition shake (from Blend, surprise surprise) mixed with just water yesterday (since I was drinking it on the go).

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

in a Quest shaker bottle, also from Blend

I don’t know if I’m just not a fan of the whole protein powder + water thing, but this was gnarlyyy. In a bad way. It was kinda goopy and mealy, and the green color (from the veggie content of the powder?) did not help the cause. I still finished it, but it was a little bit of a choke.

I’m not discrediting Vega One. I’m sure it would have been great in a smoothie or something, but with just water? Never again.

10) This seems like such a complain-y post, but it’s all for a good laugh (if you’re not laughing, at least I’m laughing at myself). God is good, and I am grateful.

Hope you have a day filled with learning, discovery, and good vibes (<— idk, trying to be hipster).

So tell me:

If you’re around my age, what’s a recent experience that made you feel one step closer to being a grownup?

If you’re already a grownup, do you still have trouble doing grownup things? (This question is to comfort and console me for the future.)

Have you ever tried just protein powder and water? 

A to Z Survey

I’m hopping on the survey train!

It was bound to happen, because who doesn’t love a good survey? I get to talk about me, myself, and I.

But first, fajitas. I made this recipe for chicken fajitas last night, and I’d say that it’s one of my favorite summer dinners so far!

DSC_1718

The cast iron skillet creates that sizzly crust on the chicken and that super heated char on the peppers and onions. Flavahhhhh.

DSC_1721

Served over greens with avocado. We didn’t have any tortillas, but the carbs were made up with copious amounts of Popcorners. #cantstopwontstop

Alrighty, let’s dive into this A to Z Survey that started at one of my favorite blogs ever— Peanut Butter Fingers!

A — Age: 19

B – Biggest Fear: Being too far out in the ocean + all bugs

C – Current Time: 9:58 PM

D – Drink You Had Last: Water

E – Easiest Person To Talk To: My dad

photo 1

F – Favorite Song: Tie between Oceans by Hillsong United and Dear No One by Tori Kelly

G – Grossest Memory: A stomach flu breakout at our house during Christmas/New Year of 2008. I was scarred for a very long time.

H – Hometown: Westchester, New York (following 5 years in Los Angeles, California and 3 years in Overland Park, Kansas)

I – In Love With: Jesus Christ ♥

J – Jealous Of: People who live in the beautiful mountains (*cough* Jo)

K – Kindest Person You Know: I have to choose three because there’s already an epic photo of them lying down in the middle of the street The Notebook style. My friends PJ, Emma, and Fiona— the sweetest souls.

street

L – Longest Relationship: Been single all my life!

M – Middle Name: Mary

N – Number of Siblings: Uno— brother Ben!

DSC_1164

O – One Wish: To do God’s will, not my own.

P – Person You Spoke To On The Phone Last: The secretary at the doctor’s office.

Q – Question You’re Always Asked: “Did you have peanut butter this morning?” and “How’s college?”

DSC_0532

R – Reason To Smile: God gave me so many wonderful people who support and love me unconditionally.

S – Song You Last Sang: “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran

T – Time You Woke Up: 6 AM

U – Underwear Color: Super pale pink, on the brink of gray

V – Vacation Destination: Missing San Francisco. Want to visit Alberta. Going to Seattle next month!

sanfran

Golden Gate Bridge 2011. LOL.

W – Worst Habit: Leaving the house at the very last possible second.

X – X-Rays You’ve Had: Teeth at the dentist + ankle when I sprained it, like, eleven years ago.

Y – Your Favorite Food: Um.

DSC_1602

Z — Zodiac Sign: Gemini

That was fun! The underwear one stumped me the most.

Hope you all have a fierce and ferocious day!

So tell me: 

Biggest fear…

Jealous of…

Worst habit…

Any of them!

Overcoming My Fear of Being a Couch Potato

I just realized that the past three photos on my Instagram all include peanut butter, banana, and carbs.

Well, anyone who goes to my profile will immediately know the top three foods that sustain me. Truly, there is rarely a breakfast of mine that does not include all three of those things: peanut butter, banana, and carbs.

DSC_1694

Friday morning breakfast: Greek yogurt with cinnamon, nutmeg, chia seeds, banana, berry banana muffin, and peanut butter

You know how carrots + onions + celery = mirepoix, and celery + onions + bell peppers = “The Holy Trinity” in Cajun cooking? Well I hereby proclaim that peanut butter + banana + carbs = The Breakfast Trifecta.

DSC_1702

Saturday morning breakfast: mango banana overnight oats

I’ve been watching the CrossFit Games this weekend, and I have nothing to say but “WOW”. I could actually say “ouch” because I’d probably be out of commission for a week (or dead) after just one of the thirteen grueling events those athletes completed.

While I was watching the fittest people on Earth doing their thing, I was eating dessert and being a couch potato.

DSC_1696 DSC_1701

Friday night’s sweet treat was Cookie and Kate’s vegan banana nut scones that I un-veganized with 2% milk, butter and honey. I think I added too much milk, resulting in more of a cookie-cake texture, but they were still fantastic topped with peanut butter and almost-burnt pecans(<— SO TASTY.)

Back to this whole couch potato situation. Now, I still generally do not like sitting for long periods of time because my butt starts hurting or I get very antsy.

That being said, up until very recently, I would almost never let myself just veg out on the couch for a night, even if I really wanted to just kick my feet up and relax. I would try to get up and do some squats, push-ups, burpees— all to “stay active.” No matter how much activity and exercise I had done during the day, I just forced myself to keep moving. That’s what healthy people do, right?

tumblr_inline_ml9v7roQ8g1qz4rgp

[source]

There was definitely an underlying, insanely irrational fear that being horizontal on the couch for a couple hours would somehow make all my food turn into fat or that I would get out of shape.

giphy (1)

[source]

Crazy stuff happens in my brain sometimes.

(All the time.)

Seriously though, literally giving my body REST— not just active rest— has done me more good than making sure I’m moving and grooving at all times. I have overcome my fear of being a couch potato.

Moving on to dessert numero dos. Saturday night’s CrossFit Games grub of choice was vanilla ice cream with mangoes, cinnamon, nutmeg, and toasted pecans.

DSC_1708

New favorite thing!!! This combination blew me away.

I also tried some of this Righteously Raw dark chocolate that I won from Jessie’s birthday giveaway.

DSC_1703 DSC_1704

I ate that little piece on the top right. I’m sure dark chocolate lovers would very much enjoy Righteously Raw chocolate, but speaking as someone who doesn’t like chocolate that much in the first place… EW.

How do people like dark chocolate??? It’s like chocolate that you would give to someone for April Fools’ Day. “Jokes on you! It’s dark chocolate, not tasty milk chocolate!”

I guess you could say it was not smart of me to enter a giveaway for dark chocolate, but I thought I’d give it a try. Ya never know if you might like something you thought you hated, but this time, I still hated it. Don’t worry though, I’ll be sharing these!

Okay, I’ll just finish up this long post with some other scenes from the weekend.

DSC_1705

grilled pesto chicken for Saturday night dinner

DSC_1711

Amanda’s chunky monkey Greek yogurt pancakes for Sunday morning//HOLY MOLY DELICIOUS

Dad and I went to (yet another) local Italian festival yesterday, but this one had even more food and fun!

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

cups of mini meatballs // Dad’s cacciatore meatballs and my caprese meatballs

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

sun gear: sunglasses + cowboy hat

italian fest4

pistachio and hazelnut gelato

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

DSC_1713

the best batch of strawberries we’ve ever bought

Food photo dump complete.

Hope that you all had a fabulous weekend and you have a kick-butt week ahead! But don’t forget to kick your feet up every once in a while.

So tell me:

Are you okay with being a couch potato sometimes?

Which three foods do you always eat together? Bread, avocado, and eggs is the Lunch Trifecta.

What is the best thing you ate this weekend?