Fall Fever

Nothing like a little fall fever, am I right?

I’m not talking about #pumpkinspicelife fall fever. I’m talking about a legit fever— the illness. This weekend I think I came down with just that, so I took it pretty easy, drank lots of water, and popped cough drops as if I actually needed them.

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hot soup hit the spot

Thankfully, my roommates knew exactly how to take care of me. Jordan gave me some Theraflu (her “drug of choice”), and Rachel made sure that I resisted consuming copious amounts of dairy, despite me wanting ice cream for dessert last night. She also dealt with my melodrama well.

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Besides some strange heart palpitations and achiness, this weekend involved a bunch of great events and even better people.

After lots of human physiology studying, Friday festivities were very much welcomed.

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A bunch of my friends and I attended an a cappella concert featuring a few of our talented friends. I seriously almost cry whenever I hear how beautiful their voices are. Like, how are people so amazing?

just one of the many groups we watched *heart eyes emoji*

Random fact: they gave out free chocolate-covered bacon to a few lucky winners. My friends were among them.

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My voice was giving out on Saturday, which was perfect for a day of touring and Catholic Center Phone-a-thon-ing.

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I left a lot of messages with a voice that sounded like a dying frog, but maybe that will induce pity and bigger donations. Or not.

Many meals and much fellowship took place as well.

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I figured that I should eat a lot of toast while I was sick, but I think I should eat buttered toast more often. I forgot how simple and delicious that stuff is.

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bonus points for cinnamon raisin toast

These past couple of weeks have been filled with midterms for all of us at BU, so we’re just trucking along. Nothing to truly complain about though. God is good!

Also, thank you all for your support and kind words on last week’s post. My relationship with exercise has been a rocky one for the past three years, so although it’s liberating to be free from obsession with exercise, it certainly took work and patience with myself to get to this point. And it’s still not perfect!

If you’re struggling with an unhealthy relationship with exercise, I can honestly say that my best piece of advice is to try decreasing the amount of exercise OR try some less intense but really enjoyable forms of exercise (hiking, walking, yoga, leisurely bike rides) for a month or so.

the gym is unappealing when there’s fresh, crisp fall air #BUmovesandgrooves

A video posted by Alison (@alison_grooves) on Oct 23, 2015 at 2:51pm PDT

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Even if you’re not necessarily trying to gain back physical health (like I still am right now), I discovered that these things aid in mental health more than anything. It might help you take a step back from exercise and refocus on other fulfilling things in life. I know it did for me!

As always, I must say that I am not a medical professional, so please take everything with a grain of salt and advice from your own doctors. 🙂

Hope you all have a great week ahead! Take your vitamins and get sleep.

So tell me:

Have you gotten sick recently with the change in weather? 

Are you a fan of a cappella?

Do you like buttered toast?

What did you do this weekend?

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I’m {Actually} Not Obsessed With Working Out Anymore

Winter is HERE.

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Freezing temperatures hit us like a brick wall this week! However, since mother nature likes to think she has a sense of humor, she’s making it 70 degrees on Thursday. Keepin’ us on our toes.

For the time being, nothing warms you up like some poutine!

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My beautiful friends and I were on a mission to eat poutine from Saus— one of the foods on the bucket list that Rachel and I are determined to complete by graduation.

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If you’re not familiar with poutine, it’s a Montreal specialty that involves French fries covered in gravy and cheese curds. It sounds repulsive, but ohhhh man, it is delicious umami delight.

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Three of us shared a regular order topped with bacon and stout-braised beef, but I’m 99% sure they gave us pork belly instead. We didn’t complain.

I also ate something a little more nutritious—the lemongrass chicken in a whole wheat pita with “Pindasaus” (peanut sauce). So good!

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Thank you so much to Lauren’s dad for treating us! We and our college student wallets are grateful.

Other things from the weekend included…

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My lovely friend Fiona’s pass-in review for Army ROTC!

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street show watching

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a trip to Whole Foods for two jars of peanut butter, two boxes of peanut butter Puffins cereal, and two tubs of Greek yogurt. #Alison’sArk

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THIS.


Moves and grooves. I haven’t talked about them very much recently, huh?

This whole summer, I took it easy in terms of exercise in order to get my cycle started— only doing some bodyweight strength exercises, yoga, handstands, Pilates, and walking. I gained 10-15 pounds, felt more energized, and most importantly, started feeling more comfortable in my body than ever before.

After I messed up at the gynecologist office here in Boston, I finally got my lab work done and the results soon followed. The results evidenced that there’s nothing wrong with me so far. I know this doesn’t really say anything about something like hypothalamic amenorrhea (if that’s what I have), but being well past a healthy BMI and a very healthy body fat percentage, I just don’t have a clue what’s up. I apparently just need to give my body more time, but in the meantime, I have been exercising more (while making sure to fuel even more).

I mentioned several weeks ago that I’ve been participating in modern dance class twice a week as a physical education class, and I am loving it. I had forgotten how happy dance makes me. The dance class is definitely a step up from what I was doing this summer, in terms of intensity. I’ve also been working out at the gym once a week and doing some bodyweight/yoga workouts whenever I feel like it.

Now, I completely understand if this raises concerns about my whole amenorrhea situation, but in 100% honesty, my workout “regimen” (if you can call it that) is keeping me sane and happy amidst schoolwork and activities. Additionally, my attitude towards working out has transformed in the past year.

Just last year, I would often force myself to go to the gym, even if that meant sacrificing sleep. This year, I work out if I have the time and energy.

Last year, I would take a substantial amount of time to think about the workouts I should do that day/week. This year, I am completely going with the flow. 

Last year, I would do high intensity workouts multiple times a week. Yesterday, I did burpees for the first time in four months and I will probably keep those HIIT workouts to once a week, if at all. 

Last year, I would get anxious at the prospect of missing a workout. This year, I think about exercise, but stress is no longer an automatic response to the thought.

Last year, I would set a timer for myself to do some air squats, pushups, or burpees every 20 minutes if I was studying for a long time. This year, I don’t do that. I do like standing while studying still, but that has to do with my antsy-ness, not fitness.

Last year, I would do workouts that didn’t make me happy. This year, I have never loved exercise so much, because I allow myself to do what genuinely makes me feel good.

Last year, I would kinda-sorta monitor my body. This year, I’m only monitoring how healthy and energetic I feel.

Last year, I was still somewhat obsessed with working out. This year, I’m finally not.

To give you an idea of what a week of workouts looks like these days, here are moves and grooves from last week and this week so far:

  • Sunday: 45 min. yoga
  • Monday: apple picking 🙂
  • Tuesday: stretch and massage day for dance class
  • Wednesday: modern dance
  • Thursday: bodyweight exercises/yoga outdoors
  • Friday: leg strength at the gym
  • Saturday: rest
  • Sunday: 60 min. yoga
  • Monday: 100 burpees (← thought I’d try it. cardiovascular system was hurting ever so slightly. won’t be happening again soon.)

So that’s my update for you. My next gynecologist appointment is next month, so we’ll see what that brings. At this point, I really don’t know what’s wrong with my lady system. For now, I’m moving and grooving, but with a healthier mindset than ever…in my entire life.

Thank you for all your support and understanding in this ever-changing journey. It’s pretty crazy how recovery unfolds itself more, even when you think you’re already at a great place.

So tell me:

Have you ever eaten poutine?

One fun thing you did this weekend!

How has exercise/relationship with exercise been for ya? 

Virtual Breakfast Date {A Fruitful Week}

“The devil’s beating his wife” right now!

^^^Has anyone used/heard of this expression before? Apparently it’s a Southern regional way of saying that it’s raining while the sun is still shining. I’m not from the South, but it’s fun to say and freak people out up here in the Northeast.

I was meaning to blog earlier this week, but activities and schoolwork caught up to me, blah blah, normal excuses. But here I am with my breakfast, ready to share a late virtual breakfast date with you.

virtual breakfast date

…you would see that I’m eating a classic “me” breakfast.

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two eggs scrambled with veggies + whole wheat pancakes with peanut butter and banana + glass o’ milk

…I would tell you that I ate the same thing earlier this week.

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except with Sriracha! ♥ 

…I would tell you that this week has been fruitful. Firstly, it has been fruitful in a very literal sense, since I went apple picking with the Catholic Center on Columbus Day.

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…I would tell you that there are few things better than eating fresh apples on a beautiful sunny day with the most loving friends.

…I would tell you that the apple cider donuts (WITH cinnamon sugar) might be one of my favorite seasonal treats ever.

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…I would tell you that I need to learn to keep my mouth closed in photos.

…I would tell you that we all donated some of our apples to baking apple crisps for the Boston Rescue Mission! Fruitful apple picking in a more profound sense, am I right?

…I would tell you that I’ve battled some tough inner demons this week. However, talking with my dearest friends and my spiritual director has been very fruitful. There have been many tears, but “tears are a gift,” as my friend Lauren says.

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Thank you, dear friends.

…I would tell you that it has been lovely getting to move and groove outdoors this week.

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…I would tell you that there’s some funky debris in my milk cup right now and I’m a little concerned.

…I would tell you that there have been some good eats this week!

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Thai chicken wrap

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beef stir fry

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triple berry cobbler a la mode OMG

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baked fish and carrots + salad + butternut squash, caramelized onion, arugula, and BLUE CHEESE pizza!!! 

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loaded salad with beets, carrots, tomatoes, peas, orzo, roasted red peppers, beef, and a hunk o’ burnin’ love bread

…I would tell you that I have a lot of studying to do this weekend, but I’m also looking forward to some a cappella shows tomorrow!

…I would tell you that you’re awesome.

…I would ask you to tell me:

What do you call it when it’s raining and the sun is still shining (if you even have a term)?

Have you ever gone apple picking? 

How has your week been fruitful?

What’s up this weekend? 

I Should Be Embarrassed About These Things…

…But I’m not.

I’ll get to the embarrassing things in a second. Firstly, Happy Columbus Day to my fellow Americans! If you have the day off, I hope it is relaxing and filled with good people. If you’re not American or you do not have the day off, I hope it is filled with productivity and good people.

I actually have a 2.5 hour Holocaust lecture tonight because my professor took a couple days off for high Jewish holidays these past couple weeks, so we’re catching up tonight. The first half of today will involve apple picking though! I even bought a flannel just for the occasion.

Anyway, let’s catch up by sharing some embarrassing antics and moments! That’s one of the best ways to catch up, in my opinion. Here’s my end of the conversation:

I should be embarrassed that I still don’t really know how to get around downtown Boston. Luckily, I have friends who do. “Independent” is what I call myself.

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shopping with my oh so beautiful and talented friend, Adrienne

I should be embarrassed that I trip on the sidewalk at least twice a day, despite wearing sneakers 90% of the time. I have a routine: trip ➔ nearly faceplant ➔ say in my head, “that didn’t happen” ➔ avoid eye contact with all other pedestrians ➔ move on.

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I should be embarrassed that I still want to take a photo of my lab partner and our matching breakfasts, even though I already did the exact same thing last weekBut c’mon, how cute?

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awkward handling of tea bag

I should be embarrassed that I have completely finished three Costco-sizes jars of peanut butter within two months. To be honest, I am slightly embarrassed, or maybe just dumbfounded. I don’t know how it goes so darn quickly! I’ve got talent.

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putting this third jar to rest the right way — with oats

I should be embarrassed that I can only hold my attention for two pages at a time when reading my Holocaust textbook. According to Rachel, I would have been a much better and faster reader if I read Harry Potter when I was younger. My human physiology textbook, on the other hand, I could read all day!

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I should be embarrassed that I spent $30 on dinner on Saturday night. I went out to dinner with some friends at a restaurant called The Barking Crab (does that not sound like it’s from a comedy show?), which had the ambiance of a dive but the prices of a Ritz restaurant. Rachel and I shared the salmon and scallops, which were both amazing, but my wallet felt a little betrayed.

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I should be embarrassed that I take a photo of this view every single time I work out outdoors. But it’s just so pretty!

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I should be embarrassed that I nearly cried listening to this song while studying. But there was a dude sitting across from me, so I couldn’t let my guard down.

Thanks for introducing me to Sleeping At Last, Adrienne. I’m OBSESSED.

I should be embarrassed that I eat Raisin Bran. Just kidding, I shouldn’t be. Sugar-coated raisins for life.

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I should be embarrassed that I was actually blogging while “hanging out with my friends”. But they were playing video games.

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Men.

That’s all from me today! I hope you all find the humor in your embarrassing moments this week ♥︎

So tell me:

I should be embarrassed that ____, but ______.

Thoughts on raisins?

What was the last song that made you cry? I actually love listening to beautiful songs that make me cry.

What are you doing today?

Consciously Avoiding Sugar Again?

It’s so pretty outside!!!

At least here in Boston. I hope it’s pretty outside for you too. It’s so pretty here, in fact, that I did some yoga-ish stuff out by the river yesterday. The crisp temperatures are perfect for keeping you cool when you start working up a sweat.

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breathin'

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All while the leaves are starting to change and I am starting to realize that getting out of bed in the morning becomes exponentially more difficult.

I haven’t shared a full day of eats in a while, so let’s look at that for this wonderful What I Ate Wednesday!

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While we’re at it, I want to talk to you about sugar in my life lately. It’s present (that’s for SURE), and sometimes I feel like it’s present a little too much. I don’t hide the fact that I am head over heels for the dining hall desserts and that I have one basically every day.

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breakfast // dorm oats: rolled oats with vanilla protein powder, banana, cinnamon, and pb

I don’t eat dessert because I feel like I “deserve” it or because I feel like I need to prove that I’m not afraid of dessert. At this point in my journey, I eat dessert because it’s delicious.

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lunch // roast beef, pepper jack, lettuce, tomato, roasted veggie, honey mustard sandwich on whole wheat + pear

Needless to say, I’ve noticed that my dessert intake has been rather indulgent in the past few weeks. I should make it clear that I am not guilty in regards to the calories/sugar/fat from the desserts. Rather, I am aware that I’ve been eating a lot of sugar, and I dunno…as a health-professional-to-be, I feel inclined to do something about that.

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snack #1 // cinnamon rice cake from a stash of communal snacks in the Catholic Center

I somewhat consciously try to avoid processed sugars throughout the day when I’m walking, dancing, learning and such. However, I still do eat quite a bit of sugar overall throughout the day (often in the form of bananas…)

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snack #2 // banana with peanut butter

I try to keep my sugar sources pretty wholesome for the most part. That being said, I don’t obsess over it. I mean, some of the sauces that the dining hall uses for their savory dishes probably have just as much sugar a cupcake, but it’s guatever.

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dinner // Creole chicken (like a sweet BBQ sauce) with rice + side salad

With all this in mind—my higher consumption of desserts lately and my fairly high consumption of sugar (from wholesome sources or otherwise) throughout the day itself— I decided to take a break from all desserts for five days last week. I challenged myself to not eat dessert from Monday-Friday (I kinda cheated on Friday during retreat…so Monday-Thursday).

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dessert (last night, not last week) // carrot cake a la mode

It was obviously challenging some nights, but I didn’t feel like I was depriving myself. I know that during my recovery, it was dangerous to deny myself sweets because there was a good possibility I was avoiding sweets because of calories. But these days, I have NO FREAKING CLUE how many calories I’m eating every day, so I’m just eating what feels right for my body. Some days that includes dessert and others it doesn’t.

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post-dessert // some pineapple at a night event

Instead of eating dessert all last week, I still ate some cottage cheese with granola and more banana (I know, I know). Arguably, I was consuming just as much sugar in eating a concoction like that as I would be in eating dessert.

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post-dessert part two // a couple fried plantains with honey

So I guess, in my mind, my dessert fast last week was to lower my sugar intake, but in reality, my dessert fast was more about challenging my self control. The wonderful thing about all this is that I feel comfortable challenging my self control in regards to food again. I’m not worried that I will start having disordered intentions in avoiding certain foods.

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late night snack // spoonful of pb

I feel one step closer to that elusive 100% recovery, if that’s possible.

To clarify, the eats I just showed you were from yesterday, so I wasn’t on a dessert fast. I only did the dessert fast last week. 🙂

*DISCLAIMER: It has taken me a long time to get to this point at which I feel comfortable and healthy avoiding certain foods for a short amount of time. If you have a history of an eating disorder, please be honest with yourself in making these decisions.

Hope your day is sweeter than my three-part dessert last night!

So tell me:

Have you ever fasted from dessert for an extended period of time? 

Do you prefer sweet foods over savory foods? I do indeed. If that wasn’t obvious.

Does anyone else eat bananas like insanity?

What did you eat yesterday?