29 Questions

Look at this pretty salad that I made for my brother and Pop!

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spinach, cherry tomatoes, pears, avocado, homemade honey dijon vinaigrette

I don’t even make salads this pretty for myself. I just throw a leftover chicken drumstick on a pile of spinach and call it a day.

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I’m an expert at making pretty avocado egg toast now though

Other colorful eats from yesterday included caprese salad (a classic fave) and fresh mango with Greek yogurt and sunflower seeds.

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yes, all those were mine

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Plus a million other snacks and eats because yesterday was one of those “bottomless pit” kinda days. I also napped for a long time in the afternoon after a couple hours of gross anatomy studying. My body is taking all this rest and running with it (oxymoronic sentence?).

Madre and I also went to a free yoga class yesterday morning! A woman in our neighborhood is offering free classes once a week since she’s practicing for yoga teacher training. It was a great 55-minute ashtanga/vinyasa class! Madre was my paparazzi apparently, because I swear I didn’t ask her to take these photos for me. But alas, they exist.

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felt as uncomfortable as it looks because my right hip flexor was SO tight yesterday

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I also got my heart rate up after yoga with the 100 burpee challenge! Here’s a video of it because a) I’m home, so I have few better things to do with my life; b) I appreciate when other people show themselves dying (not literally) during a workout, because it’s very #human.

(NOT that you have to die during every workout. Au contraire. Rest is so important! I take an average of two rest days + two walking/yoga days per week. Going “all out” every day doesn’t work for me, mentally or physically.)

And now for some lightheartedness around these parts! I feel like my posts have been pretty serious recently. I came across this “29 Questions” blog survey on Tina’s blog yesterday and thought it would be fun to do here!

1. Who are you named after? I think I’m named after a TV character that my mom really liked. I was almost named Stephanie though.

2. Last time you cried? Sunday when I was talking to my dad about faith and relationships. Just young adult things.

3. Do you like your handwriting? Yes. It’s gotten messier as I’ve gotten older and less type A about neatness, but I can deal with it.DSC_3063

4. What is your favorite lunch meat? Roast beef!

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ohhh Cutty’s roast beef 1000 ♥︎ 

5. Do you still have your tonsils? Yep. This is the most random question ever.

6. Would you bungee jump? I would if I was with other friends/family who would do it with me.

7. What is your favorite kind of cereal? Peanut butter Puffins!

8. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Only when I have to.

9. Do you think you’re strong? Yes.

10. Favorite ice cream? Cookies ‘n’ cream. (Or the carrot cake ice cream from Salt & Straw if we’re getting specific.)

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it had carrot cake CHUNKS in it 

11. What is the first thing you notice about a person? I’m not sure, but Tina said a person’s smile, so I’m going to agree with that.

12. Football or baseball? Is it un-American if I abstain from this question?

13. What color pants are you wearing? Gray.

14. Last thing you ate? Some Indian snack mix that my mom put on the coffee table.

15. What are you listening to? “I Got” by Young the Giant.

16. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Yellow. (Haha, I wasn’t even thinking about my Asian-ness at first, but hey.)

17. Favorite smell? Freshly baked pumpkin bread or cookies.

18. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone? My aunt and cousins from California.

19. Married? Nope.

20. Hair color? Black/super dark brown. I’m not picky about what you call it.

21. Eye color? Black. These are most definitely black holes. It’s so hard to see my pupils!

22. Favorite food to eat? Guess.

 

23. Scary movies or happy endings? Happy endings all the way. I’m still scared of that Disney movie Hocus Pocus for crying out loud.

24. Last movie you watched? The Shack this past weekend.

25. What color shirt are you wearing? Turquoise (the workout shirt pictured above).

26. Favorite Holiday? Christmas! Easter is a close second. Thanksgiving a close third.

27. Beer or Wine? It depends. I’ll let you know for sure when I’m 21.

28. Night owl or morning person? Night owl (as I type this at 12:48am).

29. Favorite day of the week? Sunday. I love Mass and Sunday brunch 🙂

So tell me:

Your answers to any of these 29 questions!

Do you throw leftovers on top of salad greens and call it a salad?

Two things you did yesterday.

Day in the Life: Internship Abroad

There are only a couple weeks left of my Dublin study abroad experience, can you believe it!?

I shared a day in the life post a couple months ago when we still had classes all day, but now we are well into the internship phase of the program, which involves a full day (more or less) of work Monday through Thursday.

I intern at a private physiotherapy clinic that focuses on dry needling, manual therapy, massage, and Pilates classes. I am loving it! The people are wonderful, the patients are so kind, and I am learning a lot about the international physiotherapy scene. I even get to massage patients who are willing to let a li’l student knead them out.

Here’s what Monday looked like this week. This was actually an unusual day because we had a conference in the evening, which threw off the work hours a bit, but it’s still a general idea of what goes on.

7:55 AM – First alarm goes off. Snooze.

8:04 AM – Second alarm goes off. “I could get up now. But I don’t have to and I could use more sleep.” Reset alarm for 8:30.

8:30 AM – THIRD alarm goes off. Drag butt out of bed. Go to the bathroom, brush teeth, say morning prayer.

8:50 AM – Head to the kitchen for breakfast. There is never a day when I am not excited for overnight oats.

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so ugly, but the value is within.

9:05 AM – Decide that I should roast my broccoli that’s been sitting in the fridge for days. I get home late on Mondays (and especially this particular day), so I know I’ll be happy to have it already roasted when I get back at night.

9:30 AM – Start typing this blog post as I wait for my broccoli. (Somewhat unrelated: Ever since I read Paige’s post on her productivity secret, I’ve been using the “Pomodoro Method” to get work done this past week, and I am a believer! Definitely check out Paige’s post if you’re interested.)

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I use this pomodoro method app

9:45 AM – Broccoli is out of the oven. I taste test as always, no matter how hot it is.

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olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper at 400F for ~30 min

9:50 AM – Let the broccoli cool for a bit, pack it up, wash the dishes.

10:10 AM – Squeeze in a very quick warmup + workout. I was feeling energetic and willing to sprint, but you know me. I don’t actually run (plus I have my bursitis as an excuse), so I sprinted in the form of burpees with Lori and Michelle’s 100 burpee challenge. It’s one of my favorite workouts of all time!

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10:35 AM – Stretch and figure that I would be cutting it too close to shower before I need to leave to catch the bus. I’m not sweating that much…

10:40 AM – Comb hair, put on makeup, pack my bag, and put on a good dose of deodorant (I promise I am a hygienic person).

11:00 AM – Leave the dorm to catch the bus. I walk to a farther bus stop because the bus would take a little while to get to the closer stop anyway, so I might as well meet it farther down.

11:20 AM – Hop on the bus and pull out this honker of a book.

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People probably think I’m actually 12 years old, but HP is worth it ♥︎

11:40 AM – Hop off the bus and walk a couple blocks to work.

11:50 AM – Arrive at work. My bosses didn’t have too many patients in for the day since they were preparing for the conference, so my day involved helping them with the prep, researching for my paper on trigger points, and the usual desk duties.

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I also snacked on these “milk & cereals” flavored BelVita biscuits throughout the early afternoon. They kind of taste like coconut biscuits, which is a-okay with me.

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3:30 PM – The biscuits held me over quite well, so I had a very late lunch. ‘Twas this ugly-looking egg and sausage scramble that I had made the night before. It tasted like stuffing since I used the same sausage and herbs I used for Thanksgiving, so in other words, it was delicious.

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pork and apple sausage + one egg + egg white + sautéed onion + spinach + thyme + sage possibly?

I followed this with a big, juicy orange.

4:20 PM – Leave with one of the physiotherapists for the conference at a hotel in Dún Laoghaire (pronounced “Dunleary”).

4:40 PM – Arrive at the hotel and help set up and sort through all the logistics of the night. I ate a Cadbury caramel chocolate at some point. My supervisor told me, “This is the only kind of chocolate. America does sweets well, but they don’t do chocolate well.”

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I must admit that this stuff is LUSCIOUS

6:00 PM – Head downstairs to the exhibition tables for tea and biscuit hour (a fine practice which I’ve come to love in Ireland).

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I put milk in my tea and I don’t know why. It does nothing.

7:00 PM – Conference begins! It was hosted by a woman from Parliament with the Migraine Association of Ireland, and our physiotherapy company gave a presentation about myofascial trigger points as a potential source of migraines, which can be relieved through massage and dry needling.

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7:30 PM – We give our presentation to the first session. When I say “we” and “our”, I mean the owner presented and I was the guinea pig for dry needling. It was fun having a couple dozen people staring at my trap muscles twitching like crazy.

8:15 PM – Second session presentation.

9:00 PM – The therapists stick around to answer questions before we clean up everything and head back to the clinic to drop it off.

10:00 PM – Back at the clinic, where we unload everything. They kindly call me a taxi to get home.

10:20 PM – Get home ready for FOOD. I warm up my pre-roasted broccoli (*ding*) + leftover pizza from Sunday night.

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11:00 PM – Shower after reading blogs for a bit.

11:30 PM – Pray and head to bed.

So this might not be a true “day in the life,” because I don’t usually have work until 10 pm, but it was still an exciting day of interning!

So tell me: 

Three things in your daily routine. 

What is your favorite chocolate brand? 

Have you ever heard about trigger points as a cause of migraines?

The Comparison Trap Revisited

Another night, another internet cafe session in the dark.

Our wifi isn’t installed in the dorms yet (praying that it gets up tomorrow!), so a few of us are outside using our laptops in the nippy air. It may seem like I’m complaining, but I kinda love it. For an hour. Then I can’t move my fingers anymore.

Waking up yesterday was hardddd. I stayed in bed for a while to answer blog comments and search for parks in Dublin where I could work out (and found this awesome link of “The 16 Best Places in Dublin to Do Your Outdoor HIIT Workouts“!). I probably won’t be getting a gym membership here, not because it’s too expensive, but because it will be expensive to pay for transit to get to the gym.

After finally rolling out of bed, a quick warmup and 100 burpees for time was all I had time for.

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I have to write down how many burpees I do per set so I don’t lose count lol

Oatmeal cookie dough cereal for breakfast!

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This weather has me smitten with Ireland so far, lemme tell ya.

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After a shower and couple hours of orientation, we broke for lunch. I made an egg sandwich with white cheddar, spinach, and mustard. The Irish mustard I found is STRONG stuff. I licked a little off the knife at first, and it stung my nose like wasabi.

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I love it though.

We had some time to kill between orientation sessions, so I took advantage of the nice day (before it started pouring later) to nap on the lush green grass on campus.

pre-nap jump on this #grand Dublin day (shoutout to @bostonu, I miss you) // #DublinMovesAndGrooves

A post shared by Alison (@alison_grooves) on

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thanks for the pic, Megan haha

Dinner last night was a simple chicken, tomato, spinach salad with hummus on top. I feel like I’ve been eating less here in Ireland, solely because I have to budget and cook for myself all the time now. Don’t get me wrong— I eat what I need, and I definitely don’t go hungry. However, now that I’m sharing a kitchen with so many people, I’m also observing how little my peers [seem to] eat.

Part of me thinks, “HOW the heck are you not starving!?” And then I get a little self-conscious over how much I eat. Example: my hefty sandwich packed with fats and protein (plus a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie) vs. the other girl’s bowl of yogurt with fruit. Yet I will certainly be more hungry than the other girls by the time dinner rolls around. “What’s wrong with me??”

But then I reel it in again.

a) I don’t know how much other girls actually eat.

b) I know how much I need.

I’ve been doing this eating/recovering/balancing thing for a little while now, and it seems to be working pretty well. So I’ll leave it at that and not let the comparison trap affect how much I eat.

Speaking of balance, a few of us walked a couple miles into Dublin city centre for gelato at Gino’s! It was raining in the evening, but that didn’t stop these ice cream lovers.

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white chocolate pistachio YUM

A lovely evening jaunt if you ask me.

Today we are off to Glendalough for a class field trip (← “Hold on to the rope, kids!”). I’m excited for a little hiking action!

THANK YOU SO DEARLY to all of you for making great suggestions for places to go around here and beyond. I am stoked to adventure everywhere and share the experiences here!

So tell me:

Has the comparison trap snuck up on you recently for anything?

What is your favorite workout outside of the gym?

What did you eat for lunch yesterday?

Weekly Moves and Grooves XXV {When School Gets Crazy}

This weather has me OFF THE WALLS right now.

In a good way! I’ll gush about it more tomorrow, but today I’m coming at you with a recap of weekly moves and grooves from the past two weeks since I skipped last Sunday for Easter!

I’ve gone to the gym three times in the past two weeks just due to a hectic schedule. But I always feel better when I exercise, so I fit it in when I can!

weekly moves and grooves

Sunday

jog to the gym + leg workout

My butt and hamstrings were sore for THREE DAYS after this. Oh my word.

Monday

Rest

Tuesday

gymnastics warmup + circuit workout a la dorm

4 rounds:

  • 10 modified handstand pushups
  • 15 burpees
  • 20 modified v-ups
  • 25 plank jacks
  • 20 straight leg tricep dips
  • 15 supermans
  • 10 side crunches each side

This took about 23 minutes. I wanted to do a quick workout focused on upper body and core exercises to give my sore posterior chain some more rest. Oof.

Wednesday

sun salutations (lots of down dogs, planks, pushups) + bodyweight circuit + random burpees

4 rounds for time:

  • 10 pushup burpees
  • 16 jump lunges
  • 20 pushups
  • 30 mountain climbers
  • 40 air squats

This was another workout in the dorm. I usually go to the gym with my buddy PJ on Wednesday mornings, but I skipped it this week because I needed an extra half-hour of sleep and extra time to study.

I still enjoy working up a sweat and getting my blood flowing before sitting in class for three hours straight though, so I did another bodyweight circuit workout. The pushups are what got me on this one! I finished in 15:00 flat.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Active rest/bodyweight workouts

I really don’t remember what I did on these days because Holy Week festivities are dominating any other memories of those three days.

{Easter} Sunday

Tabata workout in the dorm

4 rounds of each // 20 seconds hard work: 10 seconds rest

It was a glorious Easter morning! I slept in didn’t have much time to spare before choir practice, so I got the blood flowing in the dorm.

Monday

gymnastics warmup + 100 burpee challenge

I PR’d again!

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Wiped.

This time I broke it up into sets of 35, 15, 20, and 30. I had to dig deep to do 30 in a row for that last set.

Tuesday

circuit workout in the dorm

3 rounds:

A great, quick workout! This took about 18 minutes.

Wednesday

jog to the gym + upper body workout + rowing thruster workout

The upper body workout consisted of assisted pull-ups, arnold presses, bent over barbell rows, decline pushups, seated rows, and lat pull downs.

The rowing thruster workout was 20-18-16-14-12-10-8-6-4-2 cals on the rower with 8 thrusters (40#) between each set.

Thursday

Rest

Friday

12 minute HIIT from Purely Twins + 8 minute ab tabata

I had approximately twenty minutes to fit in a workout [before showering] before class, so I went for it! The 8 minute ab tabata included v-ups, ankle taps, cross body mountain climbers, and spiderman planks.

20 minutes is all it takes these days!

Saturday

dynamic warmup + lower body + 8 minute ab tabata + squats and burpees

I went to the gym with my friend Christine (who has a blog too!) yesterday!

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We started off doing our own workouts first. So I did some lower body weights:

  • 4×12 lunges each leg (50#) (two sets reverse lunges, two sets front lunges) // 30 side jump lunges between each set
  • angled leg press: 1×10 (180#), 1×8 (200#), 1×6 (210#), 1×5 (220#) // 10 pushup burpees between each set

Then we met up for an 8 minute ab tabata:

  • weighted Russian twists
  • leg lift crunches
  • mountain climbers
  • spiderman planks

And Christine requested that we do squats and burpees, so we ended with 3 rounds of 15 goblet squats + 10 burpees.

We were both sweaty beasts beauties. 😉

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Off to do homework and stuff. I’ve been using the nice weather as an excuse to procrastinate all day ahh!

So tell me:

What was your favorite workout/way you moved this weekend?

Have you recently had a workout that made you sore for DAYS?

Weekly Moves and Grooves XXIII {100 Burpee Challenge PR}

HI I’VE MISSED YOU.

School. That’s my only excuse. And maybe some nights when I did not want to do anything at all except watch YouTube videos, but that’s good for sanity, right?

More to come tomorrow! But today is Sunday, which means…

weekly moves and grooves

Sunday

1 mile jog to the gym + leg workout

  • 1×8 (115#), 5×5 (125#) squats // 10 squat jumps between each set
  • 5×5 trap bar deadlifts (135#) // 10 box jumps between each set (20 inches)
  • 3×8 Bulgarian split squats each leg (30#) // 16 jump lunges between each set
  • 3×20 hamstring ball curls // 30 side jump lunges between each set

Walking was a little painful on Monday.

Monday

gymnastics warmup + Purely Twins’ 18 minute plank workout

That plank workout is one of my favorite quick, low-impact workouts ever. It makes my whole body shake every single time.

Tuesday

Rest

Wednesday

jog to the gym + 500m row + “WOD” + jog back from the gym

My impromptu “WOD” was 5 rounds of:

I always go to the gym with my friend PJ on Wednesday mornings, but I was so tired this week. I texted him saying I would go later in the afternoon, but then I changed my mind and just went in the morning since I was already up (I was majorly conflicted—it took me so long to decide what to do with myself). I also needed to study a little bit more for an anatomy exam I had at 11AM, so I was in and out of the gym in about 20 minutes. Whatever works!

Thursday

100 burpees for time

It had been a long while since I had done 100 burpees for time, but I think it might have been one and a half years ago! I came across the 100 burpee challenge again on Krista’s blog, 12 Minute Athlete, so I thought it would be a good, fast workout to do in my dorm (since I slept in that morning). Plus, I ♥ burpees.

My PR in 2013 was 7:54, but this time I completed 100 burpees in 6:40! Just less than seven minutes, but I was feelin’ it for the rest of the morning.

burpee PR 3:19:2015

I broke up the burpees into sets of 30, 10, 10, 20, 15, and 15. Now if only I could run a mile in this time… Just the thought of that makes me cringe.

Friday

jog to the gym + dynamic warmup + three 10 min. AMRAP workouts

First 10 min. AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) inspired by this one from The Blonde Ponytail:

Second 10 min. AMRAP:

Third 10 min. AMRAP:

I finished either 4 round or just under 4 rounds for each of the mini workouts. This was a really fun way of keeping me interested during my time at the gym!

Unfortunately though, I had a slight pain in my upper (inferior cervical, to be exact, yay anatomy) spine area that started before spring break, and the overhead motions in these workouts seemed to tweak that pain even more. Thus, I’m going to take it easy on my shoulders and neck, and I hope to do some yoga this week!

Saturday

Active rest

Some walking, air squats, pushups, sit-ups, burpees…

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I’ll talk to you all tomorrow! Hope you have a lovely Sunday. (Palm Sunday is in ONE WEEK and Easter is in TWO WEEKS!)

So tell me:

Have you ever tried the 100 burpee challenge?

What is one way you like to make your workout extra fun? Besides circuit workouts, I love pyramid workouts, dance, and ultimate frisbee!