Before Going Back to Reality

I’m going back to Boston today!!!

As sad as I am to be leaving my family, I am very looking forward to being with my friends and doing all the learning and activities back at Boston University. It’s been almost 8 months after all!

I don’t know how I’ll do jumping back into reality after what feels like a five month vacation (with study abroad and winter break), but these last few days of break have been the perfect last hurrah.

Here are some things I’ve done before going back to reality:

1) Made my favorite green silver dollar banana pancakes from The Healthy Maven on Thursday morning.

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as always, topped with Greek yogurt, peanut butter, cinnamon, maple syrup + glass o’ milk

2) Gone on long, contemplative walks around the neighborhood.

3) Had lots of solo dance parties in my room.

4) Tried a new fitness class for free with a voucher that came in the mail! It’s called Body Burn, and I think the concept is similar to that of Orange Theory Fitness. You wear a Polar heart rate monitor across your chest, and you try to keep up your HR elevated at around 80-90% of your max HR throughout the entire 45 minute circuit training class.

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Since I went to the relatively new Friday 9AM class, I was the only one who showed up, so it was basically a 30 minute personal class with a swole Italian-American trainer. It was fun! Some treadmill, rowing, TRX, weights, resistance band work, and abs. It wasn’t the hardest thing ever, but I wasn’t pushing myself that hard (my quads were still sore from Wednesday + plantar fasciitis). Hopefully I can go again one day!

5) I’ve eaten a lot of cold roasted vegetables straight out of their container. Doesn’t take much to please me.

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G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S

6) Madre and I went on a sushi and bakery date on Friday ♥︎

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7) I ate plenty of said bakery items.

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huge, buttery poppy seed rolls

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amazing apple cinnamon cake (look at all that apple! and the crumble topping 10/10)

8) I saw Daliza and Michael on Friday night! It was lovely catching up with those two.

9) The fam and I attended a 6 hour defensive drivers’ course on Saturday. #weekendthings. It’s for insurance reduction. We went three years ago to a different company’s course, but this year’s by AAA was a lot more interactive and less boring 🙂

10) We went to Mass and a huge, fancy {Groupon} dinner at  Xaviars X2O on the Hudson on Saturday night!

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just some of the goodies: brown butter pine nut ricotta ravioli for my appetizer (THE BROWN BUTTERRRRR) // Madre’s seared tuna sashimi appetizer //  my banana walnut bread pudding // Madre’s carrot cake // Ben’s warm chocolate lava cake  // delicious quail with kale, mushrooms, and fingerling potatoes for my entree // Ben’s grilled octopus appetizer // complimentary chocolate almond truffles after the whole meal (“omg they’re giving us more food.”)

We share everything when we eat out, but this was still SO MUCH FOOD (thanks to Groupon – three courses were included for EACH person!). And if what’s pictured above wasn’t enough, Pop had a pâté plate for his appetizer, Ben had pork chop for his entree, Madre had an incredible stuffed chicken for hers, and Pop had rabbit and egg noodles for his. They also had complimentary cheese biscuits to start, so you know we were on board for that.

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The food and the company were just splendid 🙂

10) I ate some refreshing soluble fiber the next morning in the form of delicious chia egg white banana oats for the first time in a long time!

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11) I’ve been movin’ and groovin’ in the good ol’ basement.

  • Saturday: Michelle and Lori’s 100 burpee workout (subbed full burpees for the side burpees) before the defensive drivers’ course
  • Sunday: 700 reps of Jess’ killer 1000 rep workout (subbed bent over rows for the T pushups)

My workouts were feeling just meh last week, which is totally fine, but it was nice to finally feel like I could attack Sunday’s workout and finish feeling totally spent!

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I was keeled over on my side right before I took this photo

12) I ate a slice of Chicago deep dish sausage pizza that my aunt sent us.

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oh hot dang

13) I packed a crap ton of stuff for college, because Megan and I are living together in an apartment, wee!!

14) I’ve indulged in watching Kyle Hanagami’s dance choreography on repeat.

I can’t wait to dance again (not this well, but I can try)!

15) Lastly, I’ve been blogging (obviously). I will miss the freedom to blog at a leisurely pace, but alas, schoolwork calls!

I hope you all have a great Monday! Dance, eat lotsa carbs, and let someone know how much you love them.

So tell me:

Two things you did this weekend!

Best thing you ate this weekend?

Have you ever tried Orange Theory Fitness or something similar?

Work Hard, Rest Hard

It finally happened this summer.

I went to bed at an ungodly hour on a Saturday night and woke up at 11. Ughhhhh.

I’m not too mad about it though, because I got to spend some quality time with high school friends who I hadn’t seen in forever.

Other weekend happenings:

Thursday

Not part of the weekend, but I made some good food that night! “Made” = throwing things in a bowl. Like this salad with baby kale mix, leftover sautéed brussels sprouts, sweet cherry tomatoes, sliced beets (from a can ➔ college d-hall memories), and avocado.

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Late night baking adventures involved Amanda’s Greek yogurt banana oat bread! I baked it in two 8×8 pans to speed up the baking time since it was late (and I’m impatient).

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I brought most of the banana bread to work on Friday, and it disappeared by the end of the day! I was that girl who brought whole grains into the midst of (freaking delicious) brownies and chocolate chip cookies.

Friday

You know when you’re go-go-go all day, and then you finally sit down? Then you realize that you never ever want to move your butt off that chair? That was my Friday after work.

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But I love days like that (after I get to sit down).

Part of the hustlin’ day included cooking up a hearty dinner. I baked some chicken thighs with half a sliced onion, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of artichokes, lots of garlic, oregano, fresh basil, sweet cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper, then topped with fresh mozzarella near the end of baking.

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that broiled, crispy mozzarella is magical

Then I boiled some whole wheat spaghetti for the base.

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TGIF.

These babies also happened:

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balsamic roasted brussels sprouts (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and pepper @ 400F for ~30 min)

Whenever I roast vegetables, I eat my fill straight off the pan when they come out of the oven. 😀

Saturday

Early morning overnight oat smoothie bowl (almond milk, Greek yogurt, chia seeds, cinnamon, blueberries, frozen banana, vanilla protein powder, greens + granola on top) before some praying and morning Mass.

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I came back home and napped before movin’ and groovin’ in the backyard. I didn’t have too much time, so I did 5 rounds of Jess’ KILLER 1000 rep workout. I used two 15# kettlebells and a 36# bar, so I made some substitutions:

This workout is quite difficult in an AC’d gym. HALF of this workout is MADNESS in the humid heat. God bless naps and rest days that allowed me to power through that.

I definitely snacked on some brussels sprouts and tomatoes before that workout too.

After showering in cold water, I headed to lunch with two of my good high school friends, Sam and Je’lyn! We met up at The Beehive for sandwiches (after a long bout of menu indecisiveness).

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I went with the turkey club (oven roasted turkey, thick cut bacon, lettuce, tomato, and pesto mayo) + side salad. I was hungry, so I wanted something hearty. I got what I wanted, because I think the earth shook when this landed on our table:

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thinking, “is this all three of our orders on one plate?”

A double-decker, half-foot-long (maybe longer) turkey freaking CLUB.

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Literally three meals. I had this portion you see in this photo (eaten as a single decker + an open-faced sandwich), Ben had another portion for his dinner that night, and I had the last portion yesterday for brunch. Talk about a deal!

The three of us caught up on our lives and had great conversation before heading home. I hung out with Ben for a bit, ate some frozen bananas and kettle corn, and then we went to Mass (counting for Sunday Mass). I was still pretty full from my late lunch/late snack, so I ate veggies and crackers with hummus for a light snack.

I dropped off Ben at the train station since he had his first overnight work shift in the city on Saturday night. Oof.

While he was over there making dough, I was spending dough on ice cream with Sam, Michael and Jordan. More long-since-seen friends!

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blueberry cheesecake + captain crunch berry ice cream

Village Creamery is amazing.

Sam invited us over to hang out at her house. We vegged out on her couches and chatted for several hours. Later in the night, Sam gave me a Tim Tam and made me Vegemite toast, since she just got back from studying abroad in Australia (‘Straya)!

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Vegemite smells like stale bread.

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You’re supposed to butter the toast and add a super thin layer of Vegemite. Verdict? I like it! It’s just…salty. Like, extra salty buttered toast with a hint of yeast flavor. I understand why no one can really explain what it tastes like.

Arman, are you proud!?

I got home at around 1, had a dance party by myself in the kitchen, reminisced on old blog posts for old time’s sake, and went to bed after 2:30 AM. I am fully culpable for messing up my sleep schedule.

Sunday

I got up at 8 AM first to pick up Ben from the train station. Then we both hit the hay again, and I woke up at almost 11.

Big brunch it was!

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last of the turkey club with extra greens and sriracha + unpictured brussels sprouts and cherry tomatoes

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a small piece of banana bread baked oatmeal + blueberries

I decided to truly embrace Sunday as the day of rest (something that I need to work on). I watched Food Network while typing this post for a couple hours, went on a long walk, danced a little, did some reading…

“Work hard, play hard” is fun, but “work hard, rest hard” is what I needed.

Madre and Pop were away for the weekend in California for a family function, so after they arrived back home last night, we went to (a Groupon) dinner at Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse.

Me to Ben: “I don’t know if I’m ready for that much meat.”

If you’re not familiar with Brazilian Rodizio, it’s essentially meat on demand. Waiters come around to your table with giant skewers of various meats and sausages, and you can just say “yes” or “no” to the meat that arrives.

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red side of the card for “no meat, please” // green side of the card for “please bring me dat meat”

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They slice off a piece of the meat for you, and you use your personal mini tongs to grab it. So interactive, I love it.

There’s a salad bar buffet, where you can fill your plate with fresh accompaniments for your plethora of meats.

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And there are these complimentary Brazilian. cheese. puffs.

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These pao de queijo were so incredible that we asked for a second basket. Madre, Ben and I each had three, ignoring most of the other side dishes. They’re made with tapioca flour, which makes them the DOUGHIEST little nuggets of gold you ever tasted. I definitely Googled how to make them when I got home, which was a great yet terrible move, because I learned that they’re so easy to make…Cheese puffs ALL THE TIME.

Other side dishes that came with the meal included some superb rice, baked beans, pickle-y salsa, yucca flour (??), and fried bananas (← we ate as dessert).

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I must have tried 8 different meats, but my favorites were the top sirloin, chicken, bacon-wrapped turkey, and beef rib. They also had some bomb grilled pineapple at the end!

Me: “I think I’m going to go vegetarian for the rest of this week.”

^^^Lies.

What a wonderful dining experience to end the weekend!

Now Ben and I are skipping around between watching Sharknado (the most horrendously bizarre show I’ve ever laid eyes on), American Ninja Warrior, and Harry Potter. I’m also baking some more banana bread baked oatmeal for the week!

Hope you all have a delightful Monday!

So tell me:

Two things you did this weekend!

What are your favorite rest activities (oxymoron, I know)? Baking, walking, meditating, and jamming out to music are my faves.

What is the biggest sandwich you’ve ever ordered? 

Have you ever had Brazilian Rodizio? 

Pray, Eat, Move, Groove, Nap, Repeat

When this happens during spring…

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…you think…

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…so when this finally becomes real…

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…you GET THE HECK OUTSIDE.

I’m typing this on Monday night, but it feels like a Sunday because we had an extra day off for the Boston Marathon! But the weekend fun definitely kicked off on Friday…

Friday

Class, lunch, bible study…

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tuna salad, artichokes, lettuce, tomato, roasted vegetables, and pesto in a whole wheat wrap

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corn muffin 🙂

…and some moves and grooves outside with mah girl Christina from @foodietunes and Fit University! We warmed up and started with a 12 minute HIIT workout. 3 rounds of 30 sec work, 10 sec rest:

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12 minutes can take it out of ya

Then we messed around with some yoga-y moves and partner pistol squats!

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She also convinced me to have force-fed me a couple bites of her Zinneken’s waffle with chocolate, cookie butter, and whipped cream. Life isn’t fair sometimes.

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It was decadent and amazing

Then I cleaned myself up for dinner with my friend Zoe, followed by my roommate’s fashion show that night!

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She is FIRE. Always so cool to see her rock that runway (← sounds like an ad for a new Target teen clothing line).
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I have never felt more awkward posing for a photo than in this moment. I have a lot to learn from Jordan in terms of effortlessness:

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via Mint Julep Facebook

Saturday

I went to bed way too late for getting up at 6:30 on Saturday. I joined some friends for BU’s Global Day of Service for the morning and early afternoon. We went to the houses of senior citizens to help them with yard work. It was a lovely day to be outside, and we all enjoyed meeting new people, serving, and reflecting on the day!

Afterwards, Rachel and I proceeded to shower and take long, delicious naps. I set my alarm for a 45 minute nap, but 90 minutes later I woke up not knowing anything.

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“5:45…am? Wait no, it’s sunny outside.”

After grasping a sense of reality, I did some random things before going to dinner with my friend Mai. We had some beautiful convo ♥︎

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that quinoa-stuffed tomato was fantastic

I spent the night in my room by my lonesome, so I watched this Crossfit “Behind the Scenes” movie on Youtube, practiced handstands, did this ab workout, did laundry, and worked on a paper. I really enjoyed the “me time” to recharge (extravert who is secretly an introvert?).

Sunday

Up and at ’em early-ish again for a fabulous girls’ brunch at Sarah’s (one of the Catholic Center missionaries) house!

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THIS WOMAN. Not only a radiant and inspirational woman of God, but a killer chef. She made us a crockpot egg/sausage/bacon/hasbrown casserole, blueberry cream cheese french toast casserole, and roasted potatoes. Whaaaaaaaat. Thank you so much, Sarah! ♥︎

‘Twas a beautiful day again, so a few of us took the 25 minute walk back to campus.

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We went to Mass and lunch before doing some work (TBH, I just folded my laundry from Saturday night and took a 20 minute nap). Then I went on a short run with Zoe before we met up with  Joe for the 1000 REP WORKOUT (← caps for dramatic effect).

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I’d been asking my friends to work out with me for a while now, so I was stoked that they joined me for some moves and grooves outdoors. They made it a fun and funny workout 🙂

Refueled with milkshakes (milk = protein, so essentially protein shakes).

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The rest of my evening consisted of Back Bay Mobile Soup Kitchen, dinner, a much needed shower, and homework.

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the finish line the day before the race!

Marathon Monday!

Since Boston University is in the heart of Boston (unlike the arch nemesis, Boston College) and the marathon course runs right through campus, we get a day off of school! Some of my best girl friends and I started the holiday with a lovely pancake breakfast in the morning. Rachel was in charge of pancakes, I sautéed the bananas, and Zoe cooked the eggs. Dream team.

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I loved Rachel’s impressionist pancakes.

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one with almond butter, one with peanut butter (and then another with blueberry syrup…and another with more almond butter) + glass o’ milk!

Then we hung out before heading to the Mile 25 marker of the marathon course!

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Atsede Baysa— first place woman!

I can’t get over how fast and resilient these people are. Holy cow.

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I screamed a lot again this year, but not as much as last year. Sparing my vocal cords was a smart decision. But my favorite things to yell at the runners are:

  • “YEAHHHHHH!!!”
  • “COME ON!”
  • “YOU’RE ALMOST THERE!”
  • “YOU GOT THIS.”
  • “DIG DEEEEEEEP!”
  • “KILLIN’ IT!”
  • “KEEP IT UP!”
  • “YEAH CANADA!!!”

My friends reprimanded me for that last one.

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We also got to see one of our friends running in the marathon (he finished in 3:00:05!!!), which was so awesome.

After a couple hours of cheering, I went to eat lunch and take a nap. I felt like I could nap for an eternity, but I got myself up after an hour and went to do some errands, move and groove a little bit outside, and do some work before having dinner with my brother and typing this up.

TL; DR — pray, eat, move, groove, nap, repeat.

Hope you all have a marvelous week! Cheer someone on (including yourself).

So tell me:

Did you get to go outside this weekend?

Have you ever spectated a big race? Are you a big cheerer?

Two things you did this weekend!

How do you feel about naps?

Fasting and Feasting

He is risen!! He is risen indeed!

Happy Easter, friends! ♥︎

Phew, wow, I cannot tell you what’s going on inside of me right now, because you would have to physically shut me up (or pry my fingers from the keyboard in this case). Joy, gratitude, stress, fullness, tiredness.

Last week was a stressful week, but powering through the stress made the Holy Triduum and Easter all the sweeter.

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*Disclaimer: These next few paragraphs include content relating to fasting and restriction. Please take caution ♥︎ Those with mental disorders (including during recovery from eating disorders) are not required to fast from food.

In light of Good Friday (the day we commemorate Jesus’ death), I fasted from Thursday night until Saturday (not a full fast, just less food than usual). Obviously, it was challenging. The point of fasting in the Catholic Church is to feel hunger and weakness as our Lord did in His time of suffering for our sins, and to unite our (minor) sufferings with His.

When I fasted for the first time last year, I was in a more delicate place regarding my relationship with food. I was a lot more worrisome about making sure that I was eating enough but not more than I was supposed to. This year, fasting was 100% sacrifice mode for me. You don’t have to tell me twice to eat enough at this point in my life, so I didn’t have to worry about mixing up restriction with fasting at all.

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Although sacrifice is involved, we’re encouraged to be smart with fasting. I had a three hour class and then a campus tour on Friday, so I made sure I had just enough energy to get through those things. Fasting should not cause you to be utterly incapacitated nor make you feel super lightheaded/nauseated.

The most significant thing I noticed while fasting this year was that it was freeing to feel that hungry yet know that my hunger pangs were volitional not for restriction but for sacrifice. It empowers me to be okay with being very hungry sometimes, because I know the hunger doesn’t have to be connected to the intention of losing weight. Does that make sense?

Anyway, I was planning on doing a quasi-fast on Saturday, but I went out to lunch with my parents and family friends, and this happened:

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I couldn’t be rude and say no to their generosity and kindness….

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I also took— not one— but two naps on Saturday. They were both 20 minutes, so I don’t feel too bad.

The weather cleared up nicely by late afternoon, and I hadn’t moved and grooved in a while, so I did this workout (one of my favorites!) by the river.

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For whatever reason, I think my body produces a HECK of a lot of gas after I eat a big, fatty meal and then work out later that day. ‘Cause my GI tract was hurtin’ from after I worked out until much later that night. (It felt just like this day last summer!) The gas just stays inside of me and it feels like pins and needles are poking me from the inside out.

TMI, but welcome to the blog.

Saturday night involved the coolest Mass of the year—the Easter Vigil! Followed up by a late night Easter celebration, which commenced the FEASTING. It was also fun to wear makeup again 🙂

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I went to bed at 3 AM, haha. I got 6 hours of sleep that night, and now I’m typing this at midnight the night after. I’m so prudent with my life decisions.

Easter Sunday started with a 30 minute walk to brunch with the family + family friends!

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THIS PLACE. Dreams. Check it:

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apple donut holes for appetizer, because Easter

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cast iron skillet cornbread with honey butter *moment of silence*

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my entree: cornmeal crusted cod + mango salsa slaw sandwich on brioche

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also shared some of my mom’s “Breakfast Club” waffle sandwich (triple decker with fried chicken and fried egg + syrup for dipping)

Heart-stopping on so many levels. It was so wonderful seeing my family again too. Thank you for making the trip up here, Madre and Pop!

Then I went back to the dorm to do some homework (blah) before hanging out with friends from the Catholic Center and eating MORE.

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air saxophones

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WOMEN.

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radiant souls

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tradition ♥︎ 

It looks like it was warm outside, but it wasn’t. We sucked it up #ForThePics.

What a blessed day. I am at a loss for words except “Alleluia!”

The rest of the day involved me rushing to get in an assignment due at 5pm, mobile soup kitchen with my inspirational friends, and late dinner.

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spinach artichoke dip to share (we all burned the roofs of our mouths devouring this)

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arugula salad with golden raisins, candied walnuts, blue cheese, red onions, and Italian herb vinaigrette

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my aunt’s homemade zucchini bread with almond butter

Plus another cookie and more almond butter.

Thank you, family. Thank you, friends. Thank YOU for reading this and supporting me so lovingly. Thank you, Lord for your Death and Resurrection and Love beyond imagination.

Hope you all have a splendid Easter week!

So tell me:

Three things you did this weekend!

The best thing you ate this weekend!

Do you have any insights on fasting/feeling very hungry after having experienced an eating disorder?

Weekly Moves and Grooves XXIV {First Run of the Spring}

Friends!

It is truly therapeutic to be blogging right now. Thank you for being here to listen to me. I hope to be back with a post tomorrow, but just for now, here are the usual…

weekly moves and grooves

…!!

Sunday

jog to gym + dynamic warmup + 8 minute ab tabata + leg workout

The tabata was 10 seconds of rest/20 seconds of work:

  • weighted Russian twists
  • reverse leg lift crunches
  • mountain climbers
  • spider man planks

Leg workout:

Ended with lots o’ stretching!

Monday

Active rest // walking and jumping around outside to keep warm during intramural softball

Tuesday

gymnastics warmup + 1000 Rep Workout from Peanut Butter Runner

Jen’s 1000 rep home workout might just be my favorite bodyweight workout ever. It’s fast-paced, has some of my favorite exercises (*ahem* burpees), and it leaves you feeling accomplished! I finished in around 35 minutes.

Wednesday

jog to the gym + dynamic warmup + upper body + stretching 

For the upper body portion, I started with a 10 minute EMOM (every minute on the minute) workout:

  • Minutes 0-3: 5 assisted pull-ups + 10 squat jumps
  • Minutes 4-10: 3 assisted pull-ups + 20 jump lunges

For the pull-ups, I alternated between regular pull-up grip (palms facing away from you) and neutral grip (palms facing towards each other). I used 70# assistance to help me get up there. I don’t work on pull-ups as much as I did when I was at home, but slowly and surely I will get an unassisted pull-up again!

(My lats were so sore the next day!)

Then I did:

  • 3×12 alternating side and front shoulder raises // 15 tricep dips between each set

After trying a few more random exercises to see what else my body was feelin’, I decided that I just needed to stretch, so that’s what I did for the rest of my time at the gym. Flexibility has been on the back burner recently, but I need to change that! Not only do I want to maintain a little bit of the dancer flexibility in me, but I also want to make sure I can prevent injury through mobility and flexibility.

Thursday

4.31 mile run

WHAT. I ran again!? First run of the spring, folks! It was a “hot” 43F here in Boston in the morning, so I took advantage of the beautiful temperature to go for a run by the Charles River.

I must admit, I loved the run. I turned on the RunKeeper app, but didn’t check it at all during my run, and I think that’s why I loved it so much—I didn’t feel any pressure to keep a certain pace. I just ran for about 40 minutes and enjoyed the peaceful morning and fresh air. I ended up running 4.31 miles with an average 9:10 pace. I’ll take it!

Friday

Active rest

I did 4 sets of 20 air squats, 20 pushups, 20 sit-ups, and 10 burpees throughout the day.

Saturday

12 minute burpee workout + random exercises throughout the day

Yesterday was a long day of homework for me (and it was also blizzarding outside— yay spring), so I did a quick and intense workout in the morning and then took study breaks to do some more plyometrics, pushups, and burpees.

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Cheers to another week ahead! And happy Palm Sunday/Holy Week to those celebrating!

Trying to count the blessings rather than the paragraphs of my essay I still need to write. BANE OF EXISTENCE x100000.

So tell me:

Do you ever run without a Garmin or app telling you your pace?

Did you have active rest days this week?