Ups and Downs of My First Week Back in Boston

Remember that cocktail of emotions that I was feeling right before leaving for Boston?

Well it has heightened, for better and for worse. I am filled with so much gratitude and joy seeing my friends and preparing for another year of learning, but for a few days I was also losing sleep over emotions like excitement, nervousness, anxiety, and fear. I know that’s normal for starting a new year of school, but it’s oddly intense. And I’m not even a freshman!

At first, I was just so excited to see everyone that I had to sorta numb my feelings or else I might have exploded with joy.

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But for whatever reason, I was going through a phase where my sympathetic nervous system was just ON. My heart was beating uncomfortably quickly for a few days for no good reason, my stomach felt tight, and I was breathing from my chest more than from my belly (a sign that my body is stressed).

I didn’t know what was up, but prayer, movement, music, being with good friends, and big deeeeeep belly breaths from my diaphragm all helped. Also, I’m thinking back to my own tips on how I deal with anxious feelings.

(Talk about a way to make my parents feel GREAT.)

The real medicine this time around, however, was letting go of hypersensitivity to what others thought of me. I have no idea why, but I became so preoccupied with trying to impress people (who I know and love from last year). However, as soon as I remembered that I have one person— God— in my audience, I started feeling better.

In the words of Tori Kelly: “Take it or leave it, babe, I’m not gonna change. If you don’t understand I don’t need you anyway.” <— please listen.

Now that that’s off my chest. Hello, lovely folks ♥

Despite my very minor heart palpitations, this weekend was pretty darn awesome.

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dorm breakfast feat. the breakfast trifecta

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bodyweight exercises in the great outdoors of Boston

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dorm snacks

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monster chicken, tomato, lettuce, avocado, sundried tomato, pesto pita wrap = lunch and dinner

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some steep ($5…) pistachio and nocciola gelato for the Feast of St. Anthony celebration in North End

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first dining hall meal! classic breakfast that I scarfed down because I had attend a meeting

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first dining hall dessert! they did not fail with this delicious carrot cake

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second dining hall dessert the night after — vegan apple cider oatmeal cookie mousse parfait — pretty luxurious and delicious

Lots of food. Some humans were involved too.

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It was also a productive weekend, getting lots of tasks done before classes actually start.

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including getting a head start on human physiology reading #nerd#geek#lame#sayittomyface

I genuinely hope each of you is doing well and that you have a wonderful week ahead! Today is my last Monday off before the grind begins woooooo.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
— James 1:2-4

So tell me:

Do you ever find yourself breathing from your chest more than usual?

Do you ever feel unusually sensitive to how others might perceive you?

What is your favorite kind of cake? Carrot cake all the way (WITH raisins).

What did you do this weekend? 

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Living the Suite Life

If you’re under 25 years old, don’t tell me you don’t remember The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.

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I still make references to that show in my daily conversations.

Anyway, the point of that reference is that I’m all moved into my dorm suite!

Madre and I left our house at 7AM and drove up about 4 hours to Boston yesterday. Any travel day of mine requires overnight oats if at all possible. Luckily (scarily) for me, I was polishing off yet another jar of peanut butter— perfect for overnight oats.

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brought four large, Costco-sized jars of pb to college, and that might be cutting it close

Once we arrived in Boston, we were hungry for lunch, so we stopped by our favorite cheap Vietnamese eatery for chicken vermicelli platters and egg rolls.

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fueled and fired up for moving in

Move-in went quite smoothly, thankfully! Madre was superwoman as always and helped me unpack and situate my belongings while I helped move Rachel from her summer apartment to the suite.

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my home for a while

The suite is set up as a double connected to another double, so Jordan (same roomie as last year!) + I are in one room together, and Rachel + Sheila are in the other.

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The space in the room and this view is quite remarkable. It’s quite an upgrade from our little box last year.

My only qualm is that the bathroom is in Rachel + Sheila’s side of the room. I tend to drink a lot of water, so I feel bad about walking through their room every time I need to empty my tiny tank.

Like last night at 2 AM. I woke up needing to pee, and I think I panicked for a good three minutes wondering whether I should try going to the bathroom in our suite or just going downstairs to the lobby to use the bathrooms there.

“It’s the first night, and I’m already going to piss off my roommates. Almost literally.”

“Should I just not flush? No, ew.”

“The guard in the lobby will think I’m a freak.”

The lobby idea won, and I learned my lesson to not chug half a water bottle before going to sleep.

Moving on…

The dining halls don’t open until Saturday night, so we’re doing our best with snacks and our MicroFridges.

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Jordan and Sheila cooked Rachel and me dinner last night though! A dorm-cooked meal, how lovely ♥

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They were able to cook this the night before in our dorm’s communal kitchen, which is BEAUTIFUL.

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We’re allowed to use it after 7pm on weekdays and anytime on the weekends. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, the sight of shiny kitchen appliances.

Jordan also brought us lunch from her work today. Cool roommate, that one.

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While most of my friends are working, I’ve been cleaning up the dorm rooms and doing other housekeeping things. I even got to go back to the beloved Esplanade to do some stretching and exercise. Goodness gracious, I’ve missed Boston.

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recycled picture from April when trees were still naked

Thankful.

So tell me:

Did you ever have to work out bathroom schedules/issues with roommates?

What is your favorite dorm food? peanutbuttersorrynotsorry.

Were you a fan of The Suite Life?

A Classic Day of Eats on My Last Day Home

Today’s the day I go back to Boston!

I’m pumped. I’m jazzed. I’m {sort of} ready to rock ‘n’ roll. Being a sophomore, I feel a little more comfortable moving in and getting ready for classes since I know some of the ropes and have a friend or two.

One thing I will still miss is being able to make my own food. That being said, Boston University dining hall food is pretty darn good, so I cannot complain. When other people make peach cobbler available to you, you do not complain.

So yesterday was my last day of eating at home for a while. It was a great day of farewell eats because everything seemed to be classic “Alison food” (for lack of a better term).

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linking up with the original food party of the blog world!

Breakfast

I dropped off my dad at the train station at 6 AM per usual, and then I set my alarm for 10 AM so that I wouldn’t sleep in until an absurd time (like noon or something). Next thing I know, mom comes knocking at 11 AM.

Mom: “Alison, are you picking up your contacts now? It’s 11.”

Me: “Huh?” *looks at clock* “Awww…..”

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plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon, nutmeg, chia + banana muffin, banana, granola, and lots o’ crunchy peanut butter

This morning we’re leaving for Boston at 7AM whether I like it or not.

Snack

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mixed roasted nuts

Look at that Brazil nut! I dug through half the container to get that honker.

Lunch

In the midst of a ton of packing, I ate a late lunch that was more like a snack plate.

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roasted chicken drumstick + roasted sweet potatoes + spaghetti squash + carrots and humus

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and 34 Degrees crackers with hummus

Snack

This snack puts a huge smile on my face. Or it warms my heart at the very least.

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banana with pb + glass o’ milk

Seriously though, I’m getting emotional looking at this photo. SUCH A CLASSIC. (Emotions could also be due to the fact that I’m going to be seeing my college friends soon. Ah. Ah. Ahhh.)

Dinner

You know I couldn’t be at home with Madre without a Groupon dinner. 🙂 After dad came home from work, we went out to my favorite Japanese restaurant for what I believe to be the best sushi ever.

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shared chicken lettuce wraps as an appetizer

And then Madre and I shared so much sushi! We also shared a small side salad that came with the meal.

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“Out of Control” roll: salmon, tuna, yellowtail, asparagus inside + salmon and tuna on top

The name of that roll is fitting. Houston, come in, this sushi is out. of. control.

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sushi roll combo: tuna, eel avocado, and yellowtail rolls

Fish to rice ratio is amazing.

Dessert

A two-parter, because it’s the end of summer vacation.

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my favorite dried figs with Greek yogurt

It’s been a while since I ate this combo! Good as ever.

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the last of this carton of vanilla ice cream with cinnamon and nutmeg added post-photo

I’m basically the only one who eats ice cream in the house (when Ben isn’t home), so I thought I’d do my parents a favor and clean up this carton to make more room in the freezer. 😀

Catch ya in Boston!

Blogging will progressively get more sparse as these next couple of weeks go on. Summer has been a fun time to blog as much as my heart desires, but obviously, school work will get most of my time from now until the end of the year. I’ll get into a groove (duh) of sorts eventually, so hopefully I’ll be able to blog somewhat regularly still!

Either way, I love you all. Praying for you, and please pray for me!

So tell me:

Are you a fan of sushi?

Did you eat dessert last night? What was it?

What is a classic snack or meal that you love?

2015 Summer Bucket List Review

Time passes these days like:

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I was never even a Harry Potter fan (sorry), but somehow this gif makes me feel like I should be emotional.

Speaking of emotions, I have a whole cocktail of those happening inside me right now.

  • Disappointment that summer is over
  • Contentment with how much I’ve learned this summer
  • Excitement for going back to my beloved Boston
  • Nervousness for how things will unfold this school year
  • Sadness that I’ll have to say goodbye to my family (…and the kitchen)
  • Gratitude for everything

I made a summer bucket list back in May, and it is now time for tasting and judgement to see how well I did! Before I take a look, I’m going to say that I think I got at least 50% of the items done. Fingers crossed.

1) Go to the beach (with Colby hopefully!)

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not with Colby unfortunately, but with friends at BU!

2) Get a decent spot at a Tori Kelly concert

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almost got stuck behind a 6’5″ dude, but Tori was incredible

3) Go on an easy hike with friends

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I’m counting the one in Portland…with family

4) Watch a movie in the theater

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5) Watch The Parent Trap ➔ {sadly, I never found the opportunity to find and watch this classic}

6) Meet up with Arman in New York City

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wish I had time to meet up with him again!

7) Improve my handstand and other yoga arm balances

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still working on it! trying to get proper alignment first and foremost

8) Come up with at least three new recipes ➔ {got at least four!…even though I almost never measured the recipe exactly}

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energy balls

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mango banana chia seed pudding

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best roasted sweet potatoes ever

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strawberries ‘n’ cream smoothie

9) Get my full splits back (semi-comfortably) ➔ {you’ll just have to believe me on this one}

10) Re-read The Story of a Soul ➔ {nope…but I did start Unbroken!}

11) Eat a Dairy Queen Blizzard

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12) Learn most of the muscles in the body (there is a diagram on the wall at my PT internship, and I’ve been studying it every day when I have free time) ➔ {wrote them down but didn’t LEARN them}

13) Go to a farmers’ market ➔ {I feel like I did, but I don’t think I actually did…}

14) Find an occasion to which I could wear a maxi dress, and wear a maxi dress for said occasion ➔  {wore a maxi skirt to the wedding rehearsal dinner in Seattle, which is good enough}

15) Watch the sunrise ➔ {I’m counting my watching the sunrise while driving to Toronto}

16) Hold an L-sit for 10-15 seconds ➔ {I think I may have underestimated myself, because I think accomplished this the day after I posted my bucket list}

17) Do another vlog with Daliza

Questions Nobody Asks

18) Have a picnic with a friend ➔ {I wish!}

19) Gain weight (for real) ➔ {update on that whole shebang coming soon}

20) FaceTime with bloggers ➔ {FaceTimed Julia from Lord Still Loves Me!}

I completed 15/20!! I’ll take 75%.

I can’t forget about the food bucket list either! I completed…six. I made peach blueberry cobbler a la mode, chili, peanut butter cookies and fish cakes, and I ate Bareburger (twice) and a meatball sub at Festa Italiana. But I also cooked up a lot of new things this summer that were not on the list, so I’m happy!

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Liv’s sweet potato lentil chili!

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I also accomplished a lot this summer that I did not originally set out to accomplish!

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Needless to say, it’s been a fun and blessed summer. Now it’s time to move ahead into the school year for more adventures!

So tell me:

Two things you accomplished this summer that you wanted to accomplish.

Two amazing things you ate/cooked this summer.

Two things you accomplished this summer that you weren’t planning on doing.

It’s Okay to Crave Healthy Food Too

I SLEPT IN PAST NOON.

What am I? A growing teenager?? (Please say yes, Lord.) I guess a long of day of traveling + a three hour time loss made me a little tired…

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I won’t be here for long though. I’m moving back up to Boston in T minus two days!

Mom, Dad and I traveled all day yesterday due to two connecting flights. It started at 2:30AM Pacific Time and ended at 7PM Eastern Time, but we made it back safely. Home sweet home.

In case you missed what was happening these past five days, you can check out our Portland and Seattle adventures from yesterday’s post.

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If you read it yesterday, you probably noticed some a lot of typos and mysterious floating fragments. I was rushing to publish it from my phone right before the plane took off, so I took the leap of faith and hit publish without editing it a single bit. It kinda looked like tipsy typing at some spots.

You also may have noticed a lot of heavier, more indulgent foods than usual. Actually, that has been a trend throughout the past three weeks, since I’ve been traveling to every corner of the continent (not really) for fun family functions.

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The beauty of traveling and being with loved ones is that it’s harder to worry about food and exercise. You eat out at a restaurant you normally wouldn’t choose, you eat two desserts instead of one, you go longer without eating a snack, but then you eat a huge meal later….

It’s liberating and nourishing to be able to eat foods with lots of sugar, grease, and salt without feeling stressed. It adds enjoyment and adventure to the travel experience.

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It’s wonderful to know that I can eat out with family and friends on more than one occasion without worrying about how the food will make me look in the minutes, hours, or days afterwards.

However, just as I crave something sugary, salty, or greasy after eating lots of salads, plain grains, and lean meats, I also crave something fresh and healthy after eating lots of heavier foods.

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Not too long ago, I would be afraid that craving healthy foods meant I was reverting back to disordered eating, because all I would eat during my ED was salad, plain grains, and lean meats.

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely had my days when I said I was craving a light and fresh meal, but I was honestly craving a more meat-and-potatoes meal. This year though, I have continued learning to trust my body, and I’m finally at a point where I’m not mad at myself for eating foods that make me feel kinda crappy afterwards. Throughout basically three weeks of vacationing and eating foods that I’m not used to eating, my body has felt a little more “bleh.”

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I developed three huge zits on my forehead, a canker sore, and an irritated palate. I could go cry under my blanket, feeling guilty about all the salt and oil that made this happen; I certainly would have in the past. But God has slowly shaped me to be so at peace with myself that I just acknowledge these facts and move on.

Just after two days of eating a little less fried food and a little more fresh vegetables, my zits have almost all cleared up, and the roof of my mouth isn’t burning every time I eat something crunchy. I still had my share of sweets and grease in those couple of days, but I let my body gravitate towards, quote on quote, “cleaner” foods to make my face feel better.

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last night’s dinner with whatever we had in the freezer/fridge

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this morning’s breakfast afternoon’s lunch of cookie dough cereal + more unpictured chicken and spaghetti squash shortly after

I’ve said in the past that I’ve “finally found balance,” and I truly believe that I did back then. Nevertheless, God is constantly improving me {in all aspects of life}, so I think I can say that I’ve learned even more about balance.

I can go a little bit past the point of “indulgence” but not feel horrible about it. Instead, I can bring myself back to healthy eating without swinging into the “compensation” mindset. It’s not about calories, it’s solely about quality.

Sometimes I want peanut butter cookie a la mode. Sometimes I want peanut butter, banana, and milk.

So tell me:

What is the latest you’ve slept in until (that you remember)?

Do you notice that eating greasy, salty, sugary foods frequently makes you feel “bleh”?

What is your favorite greasy/salty/sugary food? And what is your favorite “healthy” food?