Being Careful With So Much Free Time + Recent Eats

Remember Facebook/AIM/Twitter statuses like this?

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Translation: “Someone hit me up, I’m bored as !@#$.”

For the record, I never posted statuses like this, mostly because “af” was a little too rebellious for me. I did post photos like this though…

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ONLY five years ago!?

…which are 100x worse in my opinion. This is NETC, the Italian class “pet”. I’m in physical pain looking at this/thinking about the fact that I posted this on Facebook.

Anyway, I’ve been trying not to fall into that “bored af” mode. I’m keeping busy by meeting up with friends, catching up on blog stuff, chores, errands, exercise, and reading. My planner is really helping me stay accountable for daily tasks.

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That being said, I’d be lying if I said I’m not looking for things to do sometimes. Living in this age, when I’m looking for things to do, I almost robotically turn to social media. It pains me to say that I don’t turn to a good book or calling a friend or doing something else productive, but it’s true. I open up Facebook or Instagram.

Katherine from The Peanut Butter Lover just posted an incredible reflection on how subconscious scrolling is the norm these days. I am most definitely in that camp, and as hard as I strive to be more present (said everyone, always), I can’t help but fall into the trap of the hypnotic newsfeed, especially when I’m not as busy like I am during school.

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Besides the problem of not being present, I have to be careful with how much time I spend looking at fitness accounts on Instagram. I’ve recently found myself watching minutes, half-hours, whole hours browsing various fitness accounts.

Please let me be clear. I only enjoy following fitness accounts that are uplifting, genuinely inspiring, and balanced (for example, @kaisafit, @shaunaharrison, and @fitphotographermom). When I’m spending time on such accounts, I’m not comparing my body to theirs or thinking about how I can burn more calories. If I was, I would certainly express that (honesty is the best policy on Moves and Grooves after all). I’m more so thinking things like, “How can I get to where they are? What exercises do I have to do to achieve that? Should I do that today even though I’m sore? I want to be that strong too.”

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Even though my mind is in a much healthier place when I’m looking at social media these days, I still need to be wary of the comparison trap. I have come a long way throughout recovery, and the major lesson I’ve learned is that I don’t need to be her. I know this, but I need to remind myself of it often.

I do believe that I can find fitness inspiration without disordered thinking, but I just have to be careful not to become so immersed in it. I have an obsessive personality, so I need to use my extra free time prudently while I’m on break.


Now that we’ve had a nice heart to heart (or, my heart to yours…), let’s look at some of the good eats from this week!

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A classic: toast, pb, banana, cinnamon + glass o’ milk

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spaghetti squash, tomato basil sauce, and grilled Italian chicken (carbs were had before and after :))

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new favorite: Kylie’s simple paleo pancake with peanut butter, Greek yogurt, cinnamon + glass o’ milk

I met up with my dear friend Fiona (from college) on Monday. We went to the outlet mall, ate some Shake Shack, and had our own heart to heart conversations. She’s studying abroad this coming semester, so I’m gonna miss her like crazy!

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“Concrete” at Shake Shack. I got vanilla frozen custard with strawberry puree and “crispy crunchies”.

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chicken, avocado, mixed greens, colby jack cheese, and sriracha sandwich to go

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good ol’ overnight oats topped with granola

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avocado, egg, cheese, sriracha sandwich + salad with homemade honey mustard dressing

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clementines are off the CHAIN right now

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strawberries ‘n’ cream protein smoothie

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this was so good: quinoa, honey balsamic chicken, and roasted broccoli

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dried figs with Greek yogurt!!! bringing back the good stuff

Additionally, I’ve been eating leftover cookies that overfloweth in our refrigerator and caramel popcorn that my aunt gave us. It’s a hard life, eh?

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my aunt’s delicious oatmeal fruit cookie mini muffins

Hope you all have a great day! I mean it.

So tell me: 

What do you find yourself doing if you have too much free time?

Did you post embarrassing things on social media in your younger days?

Are you still eating leftover holiday treats? “New Year, new you” is not a thing here.

Have you tried any delicious recipes recently? I’m thinking that honey balsamic chicken and roasted broccoli will be regular recipes for us!

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26 thoughts on “Being Careful With So Much Free Time + Recent Eats

  1. When I have too much free time, I find that I’m aimlessly scrolling through Instagram or Twitter, which I really want to stop. I want to start some other hobbies like coloring or get into a good book; or even work on the blog more.

  2. Like you, I wish I could say I spend my totally free time reading or doing something enriching, but I often turn to scrolling through Twitter and Instagram, which definitely can lead to falling into the dreaded comparison trap. Over break, I combatted this by cleaning my parents’ house and baking ALL the things. 😉 I think it’s a good thing to be mindful of and try to change. Still, I usually struggle to remember that I don’t have to be productive all the time, so I try not to beat myself up about at least some of that “lost” time.
    I made super tasty cheesy chicken fingers a few nights ago! And I might have to try out that honey balsamic recipe – yum!

  3. I’m SO glad that social media wasn’t a huge thing when I was growing up, because it really can be a negative influence if we’re not being careful. As it stands, I feel like I’m a little too old and set in my ways to really fall into the comparison trap on there, and I think it’s awesome that you’re so aware of the potential of it happening and sticking to accounts that inspire you in positive ways. I think social media can be an amazing tool for motivation and inspiration, as long as we’re selective with who we follow.

  4. Alison you look 3 in that photo.
    Lol, remember when I waited until you were 18 to swear on your blog? haha. I’m glad you’ve made this realisation but it doesn’t surprise me either 🙂

    If you are still bored, come to LA 😀 Oh and…refrigerator cookies = bomb.

  5. This was like reading something from inside my head! I definitely am the type of person that needs to be productive or else I get too caught up in obsessive thoughts. I have really been trying to spend less time looking at those accounts and unfollowing them if I find myself comparing. Glad to see you are mindful of that and keep on taking care of yourself 😉

  6. Thank you thank you thank you. I’m so so so glad I read this today and Katherine’s post that you linked. Sometimes I need a break but feel like if I don’t like or see someone’s post I’m missing out or they are going to wonder what’s wrong. It’s exhausting. Sometimes I just want to delete all my accounts and go back to how it was before all this but then I would miss so many people. I’m with amanda and am so glad I grew up (mostly) before all this social media garbage. And my parents too! I can’t stand when I see
    Parents constantly on their phones. My mom just got a cell phone a few years back and I’m really thankful I never had to worry about that!

    Anywho I Gotta find some kinda balance right?! Somehow? I am a libra after all😉
    So thank you Alison! Time to unplug. 🙂

  7. Using “af” is so rebellious for me too, so I’m so glad someone under 86 feels the same way ahahha! And that picture of you 5 years ago is adorable. I want to be best friends with baby you (and adult you for that matter). You are so kind for sharing my post. I feel like we all scroll way too much, so I loved hearing your thoughts on the matter. I end up on the weirdest Instagram pages due to mindless scrolling, so at least you kept a fitness theme hehe. I’m glad you don’t compare yourself to all the people you see on social media! You are absolutely lovely inside and out!

    On an off note, you have been so sweet with your endless love and support. You’ve been commenting on my blog and always encouraging me, and I’ve been reading yours, but I noticed I haven’t been commenting! I need to tell you how much I appreciate you and your honesty and willingness to learn and grow. I sometimes don’t comment because I assume you know what a great person you are, but sometimes we all forget how great we can be. So this is my comment saying you are a wonderful person. I’m so glad I stumbled across your blog so many years ago. Your perspective of the world is absolutely beautiful. I feel like you can find the light in anyone/any situation, and that’s something very rare. Thank you for always sharing your heart and letting people in so easily. I’m positive I speak for so many people when I say this. So thank you from all of us you beautiful girl!

  8. OMG do you remember the pouty face that was rampant on facebook and Myspace? Oh wait, I’m dating myself you were probably too young for Myspace hahaha. Embarassing! I tried to hide my braces with awkward toothless smiles. Not proud of those days lol
    When I have extra time I usually attempt to clean some part of my house, blog or plan for the future (an idealistic future of course). I do like to scroll Twitter and read stuff. It’s kind of fun to do that. After like 5 minutes I get tired of Instagram. Maybe I don’t follow the right people =P

  9. Completely relate and know what you mean about the social media stuff! I think theres a fine like also with the comparison – it’s cool to be inspired by others, but it’s all too easy to start thinking less of yourself for not being where they are. I have found a better balance with being on and off social media, but have days I am way too consumed and realize it’s anything BUT social.

  10. What do you find yourself doing if you have too much free time? — Unfortunately, I too absentmindedly scroll through social media. But I’m trying to work on that this year and be more present! In my spare time, I’ve been crocheting more and more and I also like to read. It gives me something else to do with my hands!

    Did you post embarrassing things on social media in your younger days? — Thankfully those images haven’t resurfaced (yet!!!). But I’m looking back to pictures of only two years ago when I was a freshman in college and even those are a tad embarrassing! Yikes!

    Have you tried any delicious recipes recently? — My family & I had an Indian night this past week & made saag paneer from scratch. We served it with roti, basmati rice, chicken tikka & lentils. It was SO good! 🙂 Here’s the recipe if you wanna try it: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/aarti-sequeira/saag-paneer-spinach-with-indian-cheese-recipe.html

  11. I totally fall into the scrolling groove, and it is really something I am trying to change! Even if some don’t think it’s that different, I’ve recently been following more people on YouTube, and when they are a good “fit” for me (meaning, don’t make me compare), I actually think they bring a lot of happiness and, sometimes inspiration, to my own life! Speaking of being selective, I’ve started to go through who I follow and weed out ones where I notice negativity coming into my life when I look at their photos. Anyways… I also just need to say your eats = amazing in this post.

  12. I do not do well with too much free time. I typically thrive when I have more scheduled/routine time. Charlotte’s nap times have proven to be quite difficult for me over this past year as I haven’t used the time as productively as I had hoped. While pregnant, I figured I’d have two-three hours each day to get stuff done and be ‘productive’ (whatever that means); however, I typically spend the time (over)eating and watching Netflix. My goal for this upcoming year is to structure the time more wisely. 🙂

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