Fascinating Friday Links #26

Good morning!

Words are escaping me in describing how grateful I am for all of your support on yesterday’s behind the scenes look at my past eating disorder. Imagine my big bear hugs through the computer 🙂

I’ve done a lot of talking on the blog this week, so I’ll keep today’s intro short. I have an awesome list of Fascinating Friday links for you all!

fascinating friday links

Health and Fitness

[Who needs the gym?] At Home Bodyweight Workouts: Broom-Assisted Glute-Ham Raise and No Equipment Tabata via Your Trainer Paige

[These look so fun!] The 27 Best Alternative Gyms in America via Greatist

[Pros and cons] High Rep Workouts: Are They Beneficial? via Cotter Crunch

[Speed up] 25 Ways to Run Faster, Stat via Greatist

[Justifying diets as “healthy living”] When Does Healthy Living Become a Diet? via The Real Life RD

[Don’t get discouraged] How to Handle People That Eat Differently From You via Fitting It All In

[I ♥ whole grains] The Wonderful World of Gluten Free Grains via Strength and Sunshine

[Nutrients > calories] Nutrient-Dense Eating via Kath Eats and Delicious Knowledge

[Move and groove] 5 by 50 Bodyweight Workout via Purely Twins + The Ultimate Staircase Workout via Greatist + TRX Workout via Peanut Butter Fingers + Power Plyo Tabata via Nutrition Nut on the Run

Food for Thought

[Love her honesty and humor so much] 5 Things I’ve Learned From a Year of Weight Watchers via I Think in Comics

[Confidence is beautiful] Body Image During Pregnancy via Itz Linz

[The mind is powerful] 15 Powerful Beliefs That Will Free You From Negativity via Marc and Angel

[Give credit where credit is due] Blogging Politics— Copycat Blogging via The Big Man’s World

Food for Belly

[Pasta and noodle love] Creamy Greek Yogurt Macaroni and Cheese via Running to the Kitchen + Penne with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Pesto Chicken Sausage via Bev Cooks + Sweet Ginger Soba Noodles with Crispy Tofu and Asparagus via Produce on Parade

[Bright twist on a classic] Avocado Pomegranate Grilled Cheese via Fit Foodie Finds

[I want to make these!!] Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins via Running with Spoons

[For breakfast? Yes.] Deep Dish Breakfast Cookie via The Body Dept.

[So much flavor] Baked Falafel with Spicy Feta Dip via How Sweet It Is

*Edited to Add— I forgot the whole Miscellaneous Fun section at first!

Miscellaneous Fun

[Cute and crafty] Instagram Wall via Gimme Some Oven

[2014 Olympics moments] Heartstring Moments from the 2014 Olympics via NBC

[All-time Olympics moments] The 25 Most Inspiring Olympic Moments of All Time via Greatist

[Great tutorial] DIY Workout Shirt via The Body Dept.

[For bloggers] How to Add Pinterest Pin-It Button Over Your Images in WordPress via WP Beginner

This Week at Daily Moves and Grooves

Weekend Moves and Grooves {MIMM #25}

That Time I Forgot To Bring Shoes to the Gym

Finding My Blogging Niche

Behind The Scenes #11: I Used To Have Hips

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you have a wonderful weekend 🙂

P.S. I need a nap.

What are you doing this weekend?

Which links did you enjoy?


Behind the Scenes #11: I Used to Have Hips

Hi guys!

Your comments on yesterday’s post seriously made my heart sing and dance with appreciation. Honestly, I was so nervous that my thoughts on the whole “blogging niche” thing wouldn’t make sense to anyone, and I would be given weird stares through the computer screen. Maybe that did happen and you’re not telling me, but whatever the case, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my peanut butter-loving heart. That’s a special place in my heart ya know. 😉

Today happens to be one of those days in which I would like to participate in a linkup (actually, I always want to participate in these random thoughts posts hosted by the amazing Amanda)! 


This week’s edition of Thinking Out Loud will be focused on one of my biggest past struggles— my eating disorder. On Monday, Amanda posted about NEDA (National Eating Disorder Awareness) week, and suggested that any bloggers with past eating disorders make their Thinking Out Loud posts about their thoughts and experiences on the issue. This will surely be a more somber post than usual, but perhaps a look behind the scenes of my disorder could help raise awareness about something that so often torments young women (and men).

1. I distinctly remember the first time I was really not satisfied with my body. I was watching a video of myself dancing that I was going to send to the Orlando Ballet School as an audition tape. The thing that made me cringe the most: my hips. They were wider than I would have liked, but in reality, they were just feminine curves. The thing that pushed me further into my negative body image was comparison. A lot of my friends were petite and skinny, and I was NOT diggin’ the fact that I didn’t look just like them.


For a little light-heartedness 🙂


2. I think I followed the path of many others who have struggled with eating disorders. Initially, I just wanted to shed a few pounds, become healthier, and exercise more. (I didn’t even need to lose weight at all. Sure, I gained some weight, but that’s what happens to growing teenagers. I failed to realize that.) Then entered the calorie counting, fitspiration, and reading up on how to eat less. Before I knew it, my initial intentions magnified month after month into a monster that just wanted skinny.

3. I would try to hide my phone from my friends and family as I counted calories on it. One chip? That goes into the log. Gummy vitamins? Those as well. I would also overestimate calories BIG time, leaving me with fewer calories in my body every day.

4. A lot of people say they never knew that I had disordered habits because I was always snacking and excited to have food. Little did they know that everything I ate was calculated, and I was so enthusiastic about food because I was starving a lot of the time.

5.. The delicious cheesy pastas, noodle soups, and fried rice that my mom made so generously for the family were never touched by me. I had eaten those things every day prior to my eating disorder, and I was fine back then! But during my eating disorder, those foods became enemies. I cut out most carbs, most meats, most desserts, and anything that had an unknown number of calories. On the rare occasion that I did eat one of those things, I would invest extra time in estimating how many calories I would have to shave off my next meal.



6. The thing that hurts me the most: I would be judgmental and critical towards my family for what they ate. It makes me want to cry thinking about my attitude. I’m so sorry, family. Please also forgive me when some remnants of those comments come out to this day.

7. I went to bed thinking about food and woke up thinking about food. I didn’t have enough of it in my system, but I still restricted myself day after day. If anything interfered with my meal plan for the day, I would secretly (or sometimes not so secretly) be angry, frustrated, and anxious. Same thing goes for workouts. No workout=not a happy Alison.

8. At the time my eating disorder began to heighten, I was dancing for 5-6 hours a day. After the summer dance program ended, I continued to increase my exercise. Ate a few too many craisins? Gotta work it off ASAP. I thought I was doing great things for myself by increasing my strength and stamina. Although this did happen to an extent, I was compromising my overall health in the process.

9. Cold. All the time. At my school’s homecoming soccer game two years ago, my body was trembling from the cold, and nothing could make me warm. I was bundled up, I was jumping around, but I was still freezing. Everyone else was cold too, but I was suffering. My body did not have enough insulation or energy to keep me warm.

10. My dance teacher called my parents, expressing concern over my lack of energy, drawn face, and weight loss. A priest at my church even asked me why I looked so skinny! That’s when you know…

11. I knew that I wasn’t doing something right for my body, but the habits were too difficult to break…on my own. As my habits became more alarming, my parents reciprocally became concerned. God intervened through my father one day when we were on vacation in Florida. My mom had accidentally bought 10% Greek yogurt instead of fat free, and terrified of all that fat, I asked her if she could exchange it for fat free. She later talked to my dad about my request, and I later learned that he became both angry and deeply saddened. The morning after this, he put on his “dad face” with raised eyebrows, and I knew that I was in trouble for something. He told me to go weigh myself, and when I did, we saw a number that was way too low. I had lost weight since my doctor’s appointment the month before, and we both knew it. Then and there, with tears in his eyes, my dad said, “As your father, I am telling you to eat. And as my daughter, you are to obey me.” As hesitant and fearful as I was, I knew I had to obey. Not just for me, but for my family and for God. Because how the heck can I serve Him if I’m withering away to nothing?

That’s when my recovery started. When we got back to NY, my dad took me to an awesome nutritionist who was able to teach me the how and why of fueling my body. I am so fortunate to have a family that was able to pull me out before my eating disorder became any worse.

12. Blog-reading and blogging myself have been gifts in this process. Without the support, love, and experience from so many bloggers and readers out there, this would have been ten times more difficult. Thank you.

…Phew. We made it to 12 thoughts, and now I’m getting teary-eyed here. All I can say is: Thanks be to God that things have changed tremendously for the better. This journey has impacted me so deeply that I actually wrote my college essay about it. It hasn’t been easy or straightforward at all, but it’s been a wonderful learning experience. 



I just found this on Pinterest— how appropriate that it’s 12 steps to recovery! Even if it is technically for Alcoholics Anonymous…It can apply to eat disorders too. 😉



I hope you all have a lovely day!

Feel free to share any of your thoughts and experiences with disordered eating if applicable.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder and would like aid and/or support, you can visit the NEDA website for more information. Also, feel free to email me at dailymovesandgrooves@gmail.com if you want to talk about anything!

Things do get better ♥ 

Finding My Blogging Niche


As you might be able to tell, this is not the usual What I Ate Wednesday post. I’ve been sharing quite a few photos of my eats in each post from the last few days, so I don’t feel the need to force out a WIAW. I’ll still show you just a few of my delicious eats from yesterday though!


Breakfast: Overnight oats in a peanut butter jar. You know how I feel about this. ❤


Dinner: Avocado toast (what else is new?) + spinach/kale salad with two soft-boiled eggs, feta, and some trail mix (included dried cranberries, dried apples, cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds)

And then I ended my evening with dried figs and Greek yogurt. If you ever want to get me something for my birthday, a bag or two of Calimyrna dried figs would be fantastic. I’ve almost polished off a whole bag by myself in less than a month. Those bags are value size, guys.

Another new snack obsession:


Mediterranean herb veggie Pop Chips

It’s one of those snacks that make you say, “just one more handful,” over and over again. I highly recommend this crack these chips!


An awesome ballet and pointe class. Those are definitely the most challenging dance classes of the week for me!

Finding My Blogging Niche

Part of the reason I’m not doing a formal WIAW post today is because I want to talk about my blog. After reading Davida’s post about what blogging has taught her and Arman’s (+ Davida’s) post about blog originality, I kinda wanted to take a step back and see what my blog was all about anyway.

Daily Moves and Grooves: It’s small, but it’s slowly growing (like me!). It can be funny, deep, weird, and cheerful. Common topics are food, fitness, school, faith, and life in general. I join in linkups, do link love posts, and throw in some other posts on miscellaneous topics.

That sounds like a lot of other blogs out there doesn’t it?

I read a multitude of blogs written by people with such diverse backgrounds, personalities, and styles. There are the beautiful food + photography blogs that make me want to be a better chef and baker. Others focus on blogging and writing tips, life hacks, home + DIY projects, or fitness.

Then there’s the majority of the blogs I read— healthy living blogs. These are by far my favorite blogs to read since I can connect so well with them (actually, they’ve influenced me to love healthy living). I would say that I follow way too many, but there is just so much great material to read from these bloggers! I always tell people that I don’t read books; I read blogs.

I love that each blogger that I follow has his/her own style— they fall into a certain niche you could say. Some post multiple times a day, focusing on daily activities, eats, and exercise. Some post almost every day with a mix of daily eats/exercise and more focused topics. Others post a couple times a week with amazing recipes and life ramblings. They’re all so different, but I love them all because of that.

However, recently I’ve asked myself: Where does Daily Moves and Grooves fit in? Do I have a blogging niche? 

The problem is that I often feel like I try to fit my blog into ALL the niches. Sometimes I just go along with trends: linkups (MIMM, WIAW, Thinking Out Loud, Spill It Sundays), link love, etcetera. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still love joining linkups and posting Fascinating Friday Links, and I will continue to do so! I just don’t want those things to be the core of my blog. Sometimes I find myself forcing a Marvelous in My Monday or What I Ate Wednesday post just because that’s what is expected. When I really check in with myself though, I find that all the miscellaneous posts are what I love writing the most. If it made it on the blog on the one day I didn’t join a linkup, it must have been something I really wanted to talk about. But why can’t I post like this all the time?

I’ve debated with myself about whether I should blog more than once a day or once a day; whether I should do linkups every week or not; whether I should talk about my life or take a shot at more intellectual topics. But all the voices inside my crazy brain have come to the consensus that this blog is called Daily Moves and Grooves for a reason. I want to share my daily life experiences, thoughts, workouts, and eats with you all. I shouldn’t feel pressured to join a linkup or talk about a certain topic just because other people are. I shouldn’t try to fit in to any one “style,” because I have a style of my own. I’m finding that if I just let my blog write itself according to my life, there is a balance between casual posts and serious posts. Because that’s how life works.  

This doesn’t mean that I’ve been forcing the content of my posts though. I like to put my own spin on each MIMM, WIAW, Thinking Out Loud, and Spill It post, and I’ve made it a priority to be 100% genuine, no matter what. All the things I talk about are real and current. I just want to remind myself that I don’t necessarily have to format these things in a manner that is similar to others. 

So what’s my niche? If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ve seen a variety of posts and perhaps a slight change in my writing style, but I’ve generally focused on healthy living. My real niche though—it’s just Daily Moves and Grooves. That’s it. 🙂

I’m not sure if that was even cohesive, or if I even needed to say any of this, but I’m glad I got that off my chest. Thanks for listening as always. You guys ROCK.

Happy Wednesday!


That Time I Forgot to Bring My Shoes to the Gym

Good morning!

The first day back at school didn’t make me cringe yesterday, which I consider a huge win. (I actually don’t mind school all that much. I feel like it sounds like I dread it, but that’s not always the case.) I was also happy to see my friends again since I was basically antisocial (besides social media) during winter break. 

Lunch at school means that sandwiches are back in style, and they really are stylish this week! Check out this marbled rye/pumpernickel bread. (Thanks for making them, Ma 🙂 )

photo 1


Rye is saltier than normal bread, so it’s not my favorite, but I’ve always wanted to say, “I’m having chicken, cheese, and lettuce on rye.” It just seems so…classic sitcom deli scene.

Anyway, moving onto story time. School was dandy, and I already had my gym bag in the car so I could head to the gym directly from school as I normally do. Admittedly, I was even wearing my workout shirt under my sweater (from Binghamton last week!) so I wouldn’t have to change when I got to the gym. Lazy butt I am.


I just wanted it for the style. Look at the button + collar! It also looks like I’m about to wink at you…but don’t flatter yourself. 😉 <— there’s your wink.

I drove all the way to the gym, excited to get movin’ and groovin’, and I even sat in the parking lot for a few minutes to quickly chow on a granola bar before going inside. Then I started getting out of the car when I realized…aw sugar nuts. I forgot my gym shoes.

Do I go back home and get them? I’m already here…

*Sigh* I’m gonna go inside anyway. Then we’ll see where it goes from there.

So I went inside, changed, and stared at my locker for a good 5 minutes. My mind went back and forth between staying and just going home, but I knew that I wanted to just do some TRX and upper body exercises anyway— nothing that involved machinery or weights or anything that could put my little piggies in peril.

I also had some thick, black socks on, so I just decided to go for it. I worked out at the gym without shoes. I completely understand that it’s not the safest thing to do, but I steered clear of any cardio machines (except the rower for 5 minutes), and I just did my thing on the turf area of the gym.

photo 2

I was definitely afraid that people would give me judgy stares, but no one seemed to notice or care. I wasn’t running on the treadmill with my socks or anything. When I looked in the mirror for a quick second, it didn’t even look like I wasn’t wearing shoes since my socks contrasted my workout clothes so drastically. I even thought that my socks could pass for those flat, toe-sock-looking running shoes. Maybe a few people had a double take when looking at my feet, but I just did my thang (with caution of course).

I kinda felt like a rebel though. Working out with JUST socks. Obviously, my life is riveting! 😉

As for my actual moves, I did supersets of upper body exercises, using the TRX for some of them. Then I finished with another ab tabata that included v-ups, leg lifts, side crunches, Spiderman planks, and knee cross tuck planks. My core was burnin’! I love that the tabata format makes for a great workout in a short period of time (usually only 8-10 minutes).

After my shoe-less workout, I had a delicious pair to refuel: apples and almond butter. I’m really starting to like almond butter now! I used to look down upon it as the inferior cousin to peanut butter, but I’ve learned to be more open-minded to it, and I’m finding it tastier and tastier every day. Amanda, the almond butter lover, would be thrilled to hear that 🙂


Well, hopefully I won’t have a brain fart and forget to take my gym shoes with me again. At least I know that it is indeed possible to work out at the gym sans shoes without getting death stares. But seriously, I probably won’t do that again if I do forget my shoes in the future. It’s just a little uncomfortable (mentally, not physically).

Hope you all have a terrific day!

So tell me:

Have you ever worked out at the gym without an essential item before?

Do you like rye bread?

Almond butter or peanut butter?



Weekend Moves and Grooves {MIMM #25}

Today? School? What the heck is school?

Yes, yes. The time has finally come to go back to the grind after a seemingly endless string of snow days and then winter break. As much as I’ll miss my days of chillaxin’, I’d say it’s about time to get back into a routine. Spring is upon us, and I need to buckle down for all the events coming up!

This last weekend before turning my brain back on included a ton of moves & grooves (naturally), and a lot of delicious eats. All marvelous things!


Linking up with Katie‘s Marvelous in My Monday!


This was technically my last day to myself since dance started back up on Saturday, so I definitely soaked up the time. My morning started off with my favorite breakfast— overnight oats. After reading blogs and doing some religious education prep, I went to my happy place and baked some banana nut muffins (using this recipe + walnuts). Does anyone else feel that baking is therapeutic? Or maybe I just think it’s therapeutic because I know I’ll have a sweet end product. 😉



I headed to the gym for a bodyweight leg workout. After a 5 minute warmup on the arc trainer, I completed 3 rounds of each set of these bodyweight exercises:

  • 10 modified pistol squats (each leg) + 20 Bulgarian split squats (each leg)
  • 60 sec. wall sit (I did hold a weight for this one) + 20 lunge pulses each leg
  • 20 hamstring ball curls + 20 single leg bridge lifts (each leg)

Short and sweet! I ended with a quick 8 minute ab tabata that included 2 rounds of: toe touches, Russian twists, Spiderman planks, reverse crunches, side plank hip raises right and left, cross knee tuck planks, and ankle touches.

Then my mom came home with sashimi. She’s the best. ❤


I also made a valiant effort to finally continue reading Catching Fire on Friday. Yeah, I’ve prolonged reading that book for about two years now. I still only read about 5 more pages…I’m not dedicated enough. But I wanna watch the dang movie, so that’s my motivation.

I was probably distracted by the awesomeness of this dinner:


Sesame soba noodles (made by Mom), bell peppers, coconut oil roasted brussels sprouts, cashews, and a soft-boiled egg.

Everything was already prepped thanks to Mom, so this dinner came together in about 2 minutes, and it ROCKED. And if I may… #eattherainbow.


I woke up thinking, “Wow. I actually have to do stuff today.” That stuff included dance from 11 AM -4 PM and then Mass at 5:30 PM. In the evening, we went out for a Groupon dinner (surprised?) at one of our favorite Persian restaurants. I totally spoiled my appetite by eating a snack at 4:30 after dance and then eating way too much of the appetizer. It was a delicious eggplant dip with house-made naan.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3

I had only a few bites of my entree because I was already so full. Amazing falafel salad! I was sad that I couldn’t eat more of it.

photo 4 photo 5

Lucky for me though, the waitress took quite a while before taking our dessert order and bringing them out, so I had time to digest and make room for the good stuff 🙂 Persian saffron ice cream and THE BEST saffron pistachio cake. I think it’s my favorite cake ever!


Compared to others’ Sundays, mine are usually pretty long and full. It kinda goes against Sunday as a day of rest, but teaching Sunday school and dancing aren’t really considered work. It’s a joy to spread God’s teachings and dance with my girls!

My friend in dance company, Rachel, baked blueberry muffins for our brunch yesterday, and it hit the spot. I am a HUGE sucker for blueberry muffins. Hers had cinnamon and so many plump blueberries! Thank you for making my day, Rachel. 🙂

photo 2

Dance rehearsal was especially tiring yesterday, so I was more than ready to relax at home with my parents to watch the Harding-Kerrigan-20-year-later special (<—did anyone else watch that? the tension is real.) and the closing ceremonies of the Olympics. I smiled at Russia’s sense of humor as they mocked their own opening ceremonies.



I’m sad that they’re over! Sochi bear’s tears almost made me cryI guess it’s a good thing though, because I would be staying up until the wee hours of school nights to watch them. My family always gets really into the games…as you can tell from our hockey-watching drama. We’re already looking forward to Rio! Oh, and the World Cup is this year too, right? So we’ll turn into soccer fans for a little while just for that. 

photo 1


So this is goodbye to the Olympics and my perpetual winter break. Unless it snows again. If it does, I can kiss my spring break goodbye.

It was a wonderful weekend though, and I hope the same is true for all of you! Have a great Monday, friends!

So tell me:

Do you find baking/cooking therapeutic?

What is the best cake you’ve ever had?

Three things you did this weekend!