Favorite Childhood Snacks

I would say that this is my first valid “hump day” of 2015 now that I’m in classes, but we had Monday off, so I’ve only been in class for one day, so it’s not really the middle of the work week.

Anyway, happy Wednesday to you!

The first day of classes went very well for me yesterday, especially since it started with this:

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eggs + whole wheat French toast with peanut butter and banana + glass o’ milk

My first class at 9:30 AM was a freshmen writing seminar specifically for students in the Sargent College of Health and Rehab Sciences. It involves reading some fascinating books and (obviously) writing and discussing about them, so I’m excited for it!

Immediately after that was my Intro to Linguistics lecture, which was also intriguing. Language has always been a topic of interest for me, and hopefully I can apply some of the things I learn in the course to my blogging, or at least notice language patterns in casual blogs like my own.

I went to daily Mass at the Catholic center before heading to lunch with friends, where we argued about bacon and Canada. (My side: Bacon is not my favorite; I prefer Canadian bacon.)

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salad with a million beets + sautéed chicken and mushrooms with rice + unpictured apple

My quads were mighty sore from Monday’s workout, so I took a rest day with lots of walking…and standing apparently.

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I was studying with Rachel, and I spent a good portion of my time reading while standing. She knows that my butt can only handle so much sitting.

Dinner was delicious— a roast beef, pepperjack cheese, lettuce, tomato, veggie, and hummus sandwich on whole wheat bread + vegetable and chicken sausage soup (only half because it was saltayyy).

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For dessert, Rachel and I visited Albert’s dorm room. Tapioca pudding, anyone?

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The three of us agreed that this was one of our favorite childhood snacks, so Albert picked up a four-pack and shared with us. Creamy, sweet goodness.

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It was nostalgia in a plastic cup. Come to think of it, I kind of miss some of my other favorite childhood snacks and treats now. Some of them included:

  • Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • Jell-O cups
  • Go-Gurt
  • “Uncrustables”
  • Chinese egg tarts
  • Costco very berry smoothies
  • Cheez-Its
  • Ritz Cheese and Crackers Snack Packs
  • Welch’s fruit snacks

childhood treats

Those red sticks to spread the mystery cheese… And then eating all the cheese, even if there were no crackers left.

I’m joining Jenn’s web-wide food party today!

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So tell me:

What were some of your favorite childhood snacks and treats?

Do you like tapioca pudding? 

My Weakness Dessert + 10 Burpee Variations {Video}

Today is the dayyyyy—

the day I kick my butt into gear and actually start doing real work, because it’s the first day of school! That sounds like I’m in kindergarten… It’s the first day of my second semester of college!

My last day off (yesterday) started with a frozen banana with peanut butter and some morning moves! A jog to the gym, foam rolling, and then a leg workout that left me feeling like Jell-O.

  • 3 sets of 10 curtsy lunges each leg (50#) // 20 jump lunges
  • 4 sets of 20 goblet squats (30#) // 15-17 squat jumps
  • 3 sets of 10 angled leg press (90, 110, 120#) // 10 plank jack burpees
  • 4 sets of 8 hamstring curls (80#) // 20 side jump lunges

Afterwards, I ate a quick brunch of scrambled eggs, a whole wheat apple pancake, and a pear (I didn’t eat the cottage cheese because it was warm, and I saved the banana for later).

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My friend Rachel came back to college yesterday, so we ate lunch together after Albert and I picked her up from the airport. We ate our veggies and protein first…

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salad with baked crusted fish

…and then Rachel convinced me to have peach cobbler a la mode in the dining hall despite the fact that I ate apple crisp a la mode the night before.

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Apple crisp and peach cobbler a la mode are my two favorite desserts ever, so I just…*sigh*… It was 100% worth it.

I procrastinated my shower and homework with blog-reading and blogging (hi), but I got myself together eventually and banged out some tour guide studying and reading for school. (Confession: I typed that before I accomplished those tasks, meaning I would have to do them to ensure I’m not lying to you. :D )

Dinner was another bro-sis event at new-to-us place called Crispy Crepes Cafe. It’s obviously a crepe place, but they also have Middle Eastern cuisine. They have a special where you can buy two dinner plates and get one free Nutella banana crepe. No hesitation— we were in!

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I got the chicken schwarma with couscous, and it was incredible. The portions were huge for such a great price. I loved that it came with a huge mound of hummus and so many vegetables. Ben shared some of his kafta (Lebanese meat kebab) with me, which was also delicious.

My leftovers made another meal for Ben to take home :)

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The crepe was delightful! When is Nutella and banana not delightful though? I had a few bites, but let Ben conquer the rest. I got my sugar fix with that peach cobbler a la mode :D

And now for a video!

10 burpee variations

I always somewhat regret filming a video because I get self-conscious, but this one is for burpees!

It’s no question that I like burpees, and a big reason is because there are so many ways you can do them. You can’t get bored! Thus, I decided to show you ten of my favorite variations. (I filmed this when I was back at home in New York.)

Disclaimer: I am not a personal trainer or fitness professional. I am simply showing some of the exercises I like to incorporate into my workouts. Check with your doctor/fitness pros before adding anything to your fitness regime, and do these at your own risk.

I also want to offer this video about how to do a pushup correctly, since I believe a proper pushup is essential if you want to include them in your burpees. There are also CrossFit burpees, which have “belly flops” in them. I do those too!

(link to video in case you can’t see it here!)

Have fun burpee-ing! Not burping. But that could be a good thing too.

So tell me:

What is a “weakness” dessert of yours?

Have you tried burpee variations before?

What is an exercise that you LOVE?

I Eat With Gusto

Hello from Beantown!

And happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day to my American friends! Fun fact: he received his PhD at Boston University, hollaaaa. In honor of such a courageous and exemplary man, here are some of my favorite quotes of his:

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

I have decided to stick to love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.

We must use time creatively.

Thank you, MLK Jr. ♥

Friday

My train commute to Boston was smooth and swift, thanks be to God. Mom even packed me a bag full of pomegranate arils because she is sweeter than the pomegranate itself.

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complete with a plastic spoon

Ben was also kind enough to help me take my bags from the train station to my dorm since I’m a chronic over-packer and had about twice the bag/weight limit. I took him out to lunch afterwards at one of our favorite spots— Mei Mei’s!

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We both ordered “The Double Awesome” scallion pancake sandwich (Mei Mei’s special), which has local greens pesto, Vermont white cheddar, and two oozy eggs. Sounds like heaven, tastes like heaven. Ben also shared a bite of his fried pork dumplings and sriracha rice with me. Mmmm.

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That orange is not cheese. It’s yolky deliciousness that I got on my face, on my sweater, and in my hair. It’s all or nothing with this kind of food. Ben and I were sitting at the window barstools, so the world could see us grappling with our sandwiches and fighting to catch every drop of egg yolk.

Ben wants to try to make this at home, but he said, “I need to perfect the art of the egg. Like, how do you make it watery?”

Me: “You mean…runny?”

Ben: “…yeah.”

Silly dude.

So, uh, college life. I do love it, but I was living off of naked salad and yogurt for the first couple of days when the dining halls were still closed. I went to Whole Foods and picked up a small box of spring mix with herbs and five Fage Greek yogurt cups that were on sale.

Behold, dinner.

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I ate the salad with just salt and pepper because I didn’t want to spend money on dressing for just two days. It tasted…green. But honestly, these are some of my favorite foods anyway, so I’m not complaining. Protein, greens, and peanut butter. Got my food groups covered.

Saturday

Moves to start the day: 100 burpee challenge!

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Breakfast involved yogurt and oats a la microwave.

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How a proper lady would eat this: one bowl at a time.

How I eat this: dip my spoon back and forth between bowls to get some yogurt and some oats in every bite and licking my spoon clean of all the nut butter.

I worked for most of Saturday and ate more of my greens for lunch, plus two Wasa crackers with Laughing Cow cheese, curry powder, and black pepper. You need to try that combination!

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I quite enthusiastically ate handfuls of pomegranate arils immediately after work because crackers and leaves aren’t a substantial lunch for me and I was hungryyyy. Then I came back to my dorm and ate yogurt #2 of the day.

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Afterwards, I braved the cold and jogged to the gym for an upper body workout. When I jogged back, expecting to eat dinner in the dining hall, I was greeted with disappointment. Dinner was only from 5-7 pm Saturday night instead of the usual 5-9 pm.

To Subway I went!

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grilled chicken, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and honey mustard on wheat

Subway is so good. I followed this up with the rest of my greens, snap pea crisps, and yogurt cup #3.

I was FaceTiming with mom when I was eating dinner, and she remarked at my large mouthfuls of salad. It’s true— I can’t eat salad in a pretty manner. You either eat one leaf at a time or you look like a brontosaurus. I prefer the latter so that I can actually taste the salad.

Don’t get me wrong, I like to take my time when I eat, and I can eat like I’m with the Queen of England if I wanted. But sometimes (most of the time) I just eat with gusto.

Sunday

The dining hall was open all day yesterday, so I definitely hit that up for breakfast!

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oatmeal with coconut, honey, peanut butter, and banana + egg white, veg, cheese omelet

Fill.ing.

I went to Mass at the Catholic center and had a hug fest with all my dear friends again. Ugh, so happy. Then a couple of my friends and I made our wallets cry when we went to buy/rent books for classes. At least you get a reusable bag when you spend over $400.

I ate a super late lunch of veggies and chicken, and little later, moves were done with my pal Albert! We did abs and ran two miles on the treadmill.

Dinner was weird because I had a late lunch, but I wanted to eat before the dining halls closed. That being said, it was tasty!

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salad + whole wheat corn muffin + pear

I saved the pear for later because I wanted my fruit in another form…

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apple crisp a la mode!!!

The crust was buttery, sugary perfection. Oh, what BU dining hall desserts do to me.

We have today off for MLK Jr. day so this is my last day before we dive into the real work. If you also have a day off today, have a great one! If you don’t, still have a great one!

So tell me: 

Are you an enthusiastic eater?

I can buy three things from the grocery store to eat for the weekend. I buy___, ____, and ____. 

Motivating Myself to Work Out at Home

Boston, here I come!

Today is the day I go back up to Boston to settle in for second semester. I’m pumped and nervous at the same time. I’m definitely not as nervous as I was going into first semester (for obvious reasons), but I still get anxious about new schedules and professors, but the unknown is what makes life thrilling, right?

My last day at home was productive again! It started with a delicious and filling breakfast of course. I ended up making Amanda’s oatmeal cookie dough smoothie (plus spinach blended in) — not a new one, but certainly a great one.

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with Greek yogurt on the side for dippin’!

What do you think of THAT green color greeting you in the morning!?

After picking up my laptop (fitted with a brand new hard drive, hooray!) from the Apple Store, mom and I spent some last girl time together at the nail salon. I’m going to miss my parents.

Then it was time to come home and do some moves, which was butt-kicking at its finest.

full body supersets workout

Some of the exercises that may be unfamiliar: bench sitswalking pushups, (Bulgarian) split squatsin and out abscrab toe toucheslow jacksmodified V-ups

I used my ratchet, makeshift 25# “sandbag” (a canvas bag filled with a bunch of little free weights) and a 10# dumbbell for some of the exercises. Also, I did this while watching Aly Raisman’s documentary, which was very motivational. Some days are harder than others to motivate myself to work out when I’m at home, and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that:

a) I don’t have a workout buddy.

b) I currently don’t go to a gym when I’m staying at home.

c) I don’t go to fitness classes, a CrossFit box, etc. where there is a community of people pushing one another during the workout.

I’m not complaining in the slightest bit— I have an awesome healthy living blogger community (and Instagram) to help me get moving when I’m feeling in a slump, and I tend to be intrinsically motivated.

However, it’s not quite the same as working out with other people. Thus, I turned on Aly Raisman’s documentary because it was almost like I was working hard with someone. Actually, it was probably more that I was just plain inspired by her. Sometimes I might even put on another workout video on Youtube, even if it’s not the workout I’m doing. I just like the fact that someone else is sweating next to me…virtually.

I’M WEIRD, I KNOW. Many times I am indeed normal and I just blast some good pump up music.

I guess that’s another reason I’m looking forward to going back to Boston. There are runners everywhere and there’s always energy at the gym!

Moving on… Lunch tasted extra delicious after this workout. I found some leftover banana pancakes in the fridge, so I had three of those with sunflower seed butter and half a sliced banana. Accompaniments were two eggs with sriracha and veggies with hummus.

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Breakfast for lunch

I cooked last night too! It was salmon— my favorite fish to eat and one of the only non-breakfast foods I can cook decently. Mom bought a gigantic filet o’ salmon from Sam’s Club, so I cut that into portions and gave the fish a massage with a combo of garlic salt, cracked black pepper, spicy brown mustard, honey, lemon juice, and parsley.

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Baked at 400F in our toaster oven for 9 minutes. That probably sounds like our fish was still sushi-raw, but the smaller space in the toaster oven speeds up the cooking time, and we like our salmon “medium-rare.” It’s 10x more tender that way!

And as a “sending-off celebration” in Pop’s words, we ate this ice cream extravaganza that I created:

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Vanilla bean ice cream topped with banana slices, pomegranate arils, and graham cracker crumbs

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Yum yum yum yummm (sung to the Tums tune.)

Catch ya in Boston! The start of school means that posts will probably be on the back burner. Bear with me, I love you all and I want to blog as often as I can :)

So tell me: How do you motivate yourself to work out at home/when you’re by yourself? 

Behind the Scenes #33: Feeling Productive Again

I haven’t thought out loud in forever (at least, in numbered list form), but today we are BACK.

Thinking-Out-Loud

1) I regret calling these kinds of posts “Behind the Scenes”. It was originally my attempt to come up with something other than “Thursday Thoughts” as a title, but I ended up joining Amanda’s thinking out loud linkup every time, so why didn’t I just call it “thinking out loud”?

I make life too complicated, that’s why.

2) Speaking of Amanda and her genius ideas, I made her pumpkin pie breakfast bake yesterday and it was a wintery pumpkin spice fiesta in my mouth!

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The breakfast bake is under there. Blessed are those who do not see yet believe.

I dressed it up with plain Greek yogurt, sunflower seed butter, pomegranate arils, and banana slices. Just beautiful.

2) I contemplated running yesterday, but the cold weather just killed it for me. I’m weak. Instead, I opted to take my moves to our basement (which is still pretty cold) to do this yoga video that focuses on hip-opening. Hallelujah, did I need that!

3) As I approach the start of second semester, I’m feeling the urge to be super productive in these last few days before I leave. Perhaps it is a result of my anxiety for the workload ahead, but I’m “warming up” by making checklists with activities other than eat and go to Disney.

4) Julianna even inspired me to make a budget spreadsheet! Since I haven’t worked yet this year, I am off to a great start with zero income and all expenditure.

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Yay for adulthood! (Note the childish font and color code.)

5) You know what else I realized when I lost all my hard drive information? I no longer have my thousands of recipes that I bookmarked on Safari. All my years of recipe hoarding…poof!

That could be a good thing though, because maybe now I’ll start only bookmarking recipes I honestly WILL make. Doubt it though.

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I pin all the recipes too.

6) Still going strong with the egg, feta, and spinach + avocado toast for lunch! I bought the feta cheese in Florida, so I feel responsible for helping to finish it. (We packed it in ice on the way up, plus the car was freezing as it sat in the train. The cheese is still fine, I’m alive.)

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Also, this combo is just delicious. I ♥ fats.

7) I am currently rocking knitted socks and the fugliest sweater in the all the land, but I don’t care because I am superbly snug.

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8) We also had our first use of the fireplace this winter! I happily stationed myself right in front of the fire while I did some work.

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I kept singing “chestnuuuuuts roasting on an open fire…” in my head. 11 months ’til Christmas!!!

9) I am thinking about how bittersweet it is to be going to back to college tomorrow. Bitter because…work, less sleep, less blogging, no family. But sweet because I get to see my amazing friends and learn more about this wonderful world!

My friend Sam told me that if you’re dreading going back to college, you’re probably not in the right place. Fortunately, I’m mostly looking forward to going back!

10) What should I make for breakfast today??? #WinterBreakBreakfastMission is almost at an end. PRESSURE. I’m thinking either this “cream cheese frosting for breakfast” or the classic cookie dough cereal.

Hope you all have a thankful Thursday! (what other positive adjectives start with “th”?)

So tell me:

How will you be productive today? 

Are you a recipe bookmarking fiend?

Do you care about wearing cute clothing around the house?

What are you eating for breakfast?