Weekly Moves and Grooves XVI {Listen To Your Body}

 Just popping in (very late) this evening to share…

weekly moves and grooves

Studying for finals swallowed me up this weekend. We are almost home free, fellas!


20 min. bodyweight workout from Jess + leg strength

I loved this two-part bodyweight workout from Blonde Ponytail! I did it in my dorm at 7 pm because I wasn’t about that dark and cold mile trek to the gym on Sunday night.


For the AMRAP, I did 9 or 10 rounds, I believe. I love how it moved quickly and incorporated simple yet effective functional movements. Like my favorite—burpees!

I also did three rounds of 10 pistol squats each leg + 20 Bulgarian split squat hops each leg. Those hops burnnnn.


5 min. row warmup + 400 Heavy Rep Workout from Hilary



This was fun and tough! I used a 20# dumbbell for the single arm high pulls, a 30# bar for the thrusters, and a 35# dumbbell for everything else (the gym here does not have kettlebells). Also, instead of jumping rope after each round, I did 10 pushup burpees. It was quick (under 30 min.) but effective! Just what a college student needs!


30 min. arc trainer + 8 min. ab tabata

I did steady state cardio and it felt like an eternity, but it was a nice way to loosen up after Monday’s workout.

For the ab tabata, I did 4 rounds of 20 sec. work, 10 sec. rest:




5 min. stairmaster warmup + leg workout

This workout was all over the place because I was kind of tired and my back was bothering me, so it was all about listening to my body.

I started with 8 weighted pistol squats each leg + 30 side jump lunges, then 10 regular pistols each leg + 30 side jump lunges, and then I stopped with the pistols there because my lower back wasn’t happy about it.

3 rounds of each set:

  • 12-15 Bulgarian split squats each leg (25#) + 20 jump lunges
  • 20 plie squats (35#) + 8 pulses in plie + 10 pulse squat jumps (pulse five times in squat position before jumping up)
  • 8-10 hamstring curls (90#) + 20 surfer jumps

And then I started this burpee/arm ladder workout with goblet squats instead of swings, but I stopped short because my body was just done. Yes, I could have pushed through, but I wanted to be kind to myself and just stretch.


arm workout

I warmed up with some pushups and shoulder mobility exercises before jumping into a “wing it” workout.

  • 4 sets: 8 lat pull downs + 12 arnold presses
  • 10 pushup burpees (random)

3 sets of each:

I finished with an 8 minute ab tabata with reverse crunch leg lifts, mountain climbers, and side plank hip raises L/R.



I will be posting a HECK of a lot more once finals are over because then I’ll be on winter break, during which I will have zero homework. Hallelujah!


Weekly Moves and Grooves II

Hello, beautiful people!

Just checking in on this glorious Sunday (at least in Boston) to tell you all how I’ve been gettin’ my moves on. I definitely found that less circuit workouts helped me avoid feeling fatigued later in the week. Although, my legs still never feel totally fresh, so I’m trying to listen and have more “take it easy” days.

weekly moves and grooves




5 min. stair master + leg workout

3 sets of each:

Again, this left me quite sore for a few days! Those Bulgarian split squats, let me tell you. Lifting heavy (heavier than in the past months) weights ➔ legs are like, HELLO.


Walking + 8 min. ab tabata

I walked all the way to the FitRec (almost a mile from my dorm) to find that it was crowded AND I needed to go to some meetings pretty soon after, so I just did 8 minutes of abs and then speed-walked back to my dorm.

4 rounds of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest:


Arm workout

5 min. jump rope warmup

2 min. jump rope between each set (3 rounds of each):

I really do not remember the number of reps I did of each exercise, but it varied anywhere from 8-20 depending on the exercise and how fatigued my arms were. 😀


Yoga + circuit workout 

I had my physical education class, which happens to be Hatha yoga, so that was a glorious stretch. Later in the evening, I ran over to the Charles River to do this circuit workout with modifications (alternating lunges instead of jump lunges, squats instead of squat jumps, etc.), since my whole body was still kind of sore from the past few days! Favorite part was the burpees of course. Not the single-legged ones though— those were painful.

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Rest + a few sets of burpees

Burpee study breaks in the dorm! 😉


Walking + 100s challenge 

I went on a service project with the Catholic center in downtown Boston, which was totally awesome, and it happened to involve a good deal of walking. Plus, I got some elevation just bringing up a mini fridge to my brother’s apartment, which is on like, the fifth floor, and there are no elevators.

Then in the evening while I was studying, I did 5 sets of 20 air squats, 20 pushups and 20 sit-ups as study breaks.

I hope you all have nice day! I just got back from Sunday Mass, and the rest of my day entails studying and hopefully blogging! 🙂

So tell me:

How have you been moving?

What do you like to do on rest days?


That Time I Forgot to Bring My Shoes to the Gym

Good morning!

The first day back at school didn’t make me cringe yesterday, which I consider a huge win. (I actually don’t mind school all that much. I feel like it sounds like I dread it, but that’s not always the case.) I was also happy to see my friends again since I was basically antisocial (besides social media) during winter break. 

Lunch at school means that sandwiches are back in style, and they really are stylish this week! Check out this marbled rye/pumpernickel bread. (Thanks for making them, Ma 🙂 )

photo 1


Rye is saltier than normal bread, so it’s not my favorite, but I’ve always wanted to say, “I’m having chicken, cheese, and lettuce on rye.” It just seems so…classic sitcom deli scene.

Anyway, moving onto story time. School was dandy, and I already had my gym bag in the car so I could head to the gym directly from school as I normally do. Admittedly, I was even wearing my workout shirt under my sweater (from Binghamton last week!) so I wouldn’t have to change when I got to the gym. Lazy butt I am.


I just wanted it for the style. Look at the button + collar! It also looks like I’m about to wink at you…but don’t flatter yourself. 😉 <— there’s your wink.

I drove all the way to the gym, excited to get movin’ and groovin’, and I even sat in the parking lot for a few minutes to quickly chow on a granola bar before going inside. Then I started getting out of the car when I realized…aw sugar nuts. I forgot my gym shoes.

Do I go back home and get them? I’m already here…

*Sigh* I’m gonna go inside anyway. Then we’ll see where it goes from there.

So I went inside, changed, and stared at my locker for a good 5 minutes. My mind went back and forth between staying and just going home, but I knew that I wanted to just do some TRX and upper body exercises anyway— nothing that involved machinery or weights or anything that could put my little piggies in peril.

I also had some thick, black socks on, so I just decided to go for it. I worked out at the gym without shoes. I completely understand that it’s not the safest thing to do, but I steered clear of any cardio machines (except the rower for 5 minutes), and I just did my thing on the turf area of the gym.

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I was definitely afraid that people would give me judgy stares, but no one seemed to notice or care. I wasn’t running on the treadmill with my socks or anything. When I looked in the mirror for a quick second, it didn’t even look like I wasn’t wearing shoes since my socks contrasted my workout clothes so drastically. I even thought that my socks could pass for those flat, toe-sock-looking running shoes. Maybe a few people had a double take when looking at my feet, but I just did my thang (with caution of course).

I kinda felt like a rebel though. Working out with JUST socks. Obviously, my life is riveting! 😉

As for my actual moves, I did supersets of upper body exercises, using the TRX for some of them. Then I finished with another ab tabata that included v-ups, leg lifts, side crunches, Spiderman planks, and knee cross tuck planks. My core was burnin’! I love that the tabata format makes for a great workout in a short period of time (usually only 8-10 minutes).

After my shoe-less workout, I had a delicious pair to refuel: apples and almond butter. I’m really starting to like almond butter now! I used to look down upon it as the inferior cousin to peanut butter, but I’ve learned to be more open-minded to it, and I’m finding it tastier and tastier every day. Amanda, the almond butter lover, would be thrilled to hear that 🙂


Well, hopefully I won’t have a brain fart and forget to take my gym shoes with me again. At least I know that it is indeed possible to work out at the gym sans shoes without getting death stares. But seriously, I probably won’t do that again if I do forget my shoes in the future. It’s just a little uncomfortable (mentally, not physically).

Hope you all have a terrific day!

So tell me:

Have you ever worked out at the gym without an essential item before?

Do you like rye bread?

Almond butter or peanut butter?



Weekend Confessions {MIMM #19}

I feel like I haven’t blogged in forever, but it’s only been 3 days! Maybe it’s because this weekend has been packed with activities, or maybe it’s because this is one of the most social things I’ve done this weekend. #loser.

I’m only [half] kidding. 😉

This weekend involved a lot of things that I think would be fun to include in a “Confessions” post. I absolutely love it when bloggers do these kinds of posts because it gets personal (but not too personal— this isn’t the Sacrament of Penance here), and they’re often pretty darn funny. I don’t know if my confessions will be funny, but you can humor me. ….Please?


I’m linking up with Katie‘s Marvelous in My Monday party!

Confession #1:

I procrastinated like a boss on Friday and Saturday. (How’s that for an ironic sentence?) I totally could have knocked out a lot of homework on Friday evening, but I decided to take my sweet time reading blogs and looking at prom dresses. All of a sudden it was 11:00 pm and I wanted to sleep. Then on Saturday night, I was glued to my bed with the biggest food baby I’ve had in a while (details below), so I just watched a bunch of Jimmy Kimmel and Ellen Degeneres on Youtube. At 10:30 pm, I finally got myself together and prepared my lesson for Sunday school.


The shame.


I ended up getting homework done on Saturday morning before dance and Sunday evening after dance.

Renewed policy: Do work first. THEN relax. (<— Easier said than done.)

Confession #2:

My abs were soreeee on Saturday! I did a longer-than-necessary tabata ab workout on Friday that consisted of 40 rounds. Why 40 rounds? That’s how my Gymboss App Timer was already set, so I just went with it. And the price was paid.

I went through these moves until the time was up: leg raises, reverse crunches, spiderman plank, side plank hip raises right and left, ankle touches, Russian twists, and ball roll-ins. I’ve actually been enjoying doing ab exercises in a tabata fashion because it keeps me from getting bored, and it keeps up the burn!

Confession #3: 

I finished a whole plate of pasta at a restaurant, and I flippin’ LOVED it. My mom had yet another Groupon (surprise, surprise 😉 ) for an Italian restaurant, so we put it to use for dinner after church on Saturday night.

We started with some delicious bread and salads:

photo 1 copy 2

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Then came some appetizers dal mare (We thought the Groupon came with two appetizers, but in fact it only came with one…whoops):

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Then came the entrees. My parents thoroughly enjoyed theirs, but I think I went to Heaven and back when eating my dish. I ordered the “Gnocchi Ala Sasa,” which was homemade gnocchi in a tomato and basil sauce, baked with mozzarella on top.

photo 2

Pillows of tomato-y, cheesy goodness.

I think this was the best gnocchi I’ve ever eaten. My mom and dad shared a few bites with me, but I still housed that baby. A year ago, I would never have even thought of ordering a pasta dish as an entree because it would be “way too many carbs.” Thank God things have changed significantly, because this gnocchi was on the verge of life-changing.

Dessert was also a huge hit:

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Peach cobbler a la mode. More like yellow cake with a couple peaches in it, but I seemed to have enjoyed it, considering I ate most of by myself.

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I also had a bite of the real winner— Nutella Banana Calzone. That crispy cinnamon crust with the warm, oozy Nutella and sweet bananas? All in one bite with some cool vanilla ice cream? I can’t. 

Cue the food baby!

Confession #4:

Even though I’ve been packing on the cocoa butter moisturizer, I still have those pesky hangnails. I wish I could wear spa gloves in public.



On a similar note, my feet, along with the feet of all my fellow company members, are burning. It has been a while since we’ve danced on our bare feet for four hours, so the calluses are nonexistent right now and we have to rebuild them. We’re all waddling and currently obsessed with socks.

Proof: I just laughed out loud at all the Snapchats I just received from some of my dance mates. I sent one out saying, “Waddling through the house. Feeeet,” and these were some of the responses:

  • “Same. I have four pairs of socks on right now.”
  • “Body. is. dead.”
  • “Everything hurts.”
  • “I’m so sore it’s embarrassing.”
  • “I feel so bad for my feet.”
  • “Can’t function.”

Sums it up pretty well.

Confession #5:

I’ve been drinking a ton of water recently, which I’m quite happy about since I’m usually terrible at getting enough H2O. But I’ve also been needing to go to the bathroom all. the. time.

Confession #6:

When I came home, I accidentally opened the other garage door instead of closing the one through which I entered…so both of them were open for a good 5 hours. Our neighborly neighbor called at 10 pm to let us know. Nice move, Alison.

Confession #7:

I still haven’t made a huge dent in reading Catching Fire. Why can’t I just read the darn book?! I’ll go do that now.

Confession #9:

I’m still probably not going to read it tonight.

Alrighty, I think that’s all the confessing I have for you today! Maybe you guys can relate to some of these and make me feel better. 🙂

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Happy Monday!

So tell me:

Do you have any confessions?

What is the best pasta dish you’ve ever had?

Any other chronic procrastinators out there? (How do you keep yourself in check?)

It’s All About Perspective + Ab Workout


I hope everyone had a lovely Labor Day and a nice three day weekend if you had the day off! We had a relaxing time at home, which involved some delicious baked goods, movies, exercise, and quality family time. I’m one of the lucky ducks that doesn’t start school until next Monday, so I’m still a free bird this week. I am trying to get some college essay stuff under my belt, but the inspiration is still falling in place. Ya can’t force a story that expresses yourself, right? I’ve got some ideas though…

Some things have happened in the past year that have allowed me to find a new perspective on certain aspects of life.  For instance, my rocky journey with food and fitness has brought me to focus more on whole health–physical, mental, and spiritual. Not just physical.

Even my struggle with insomnia a couple weeks ago has made me a more grateful, positive person. I don’t exactly know how, but perhaps that was just God’s way of helping me out a bit 😉 I think not being able to sleep put me in such a Negative Nancy mood, and that just spiraled into more sleeplessness. The less I moped and felt sorry for myself, the better I was able to sleep. I am thankful for every good night’s rest I am given! The experience has also helped me just feel more and value others’ experiences, no matter how small they seem. I’m reading the content of blogs more thoroughly, and I connect with people more closely during conversation. Kelly Clarkson was right–what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

The real inspiration for all this personal talk is actually an email titled “It’s all about perspective” that my uncle sent us. It was a short, sweet, and hilarious dialogue between him and his 2.5-year-old daughter, who we call CC:

Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 8.04.22 PM

I was CRACKING UP. Life through a 2.5-year-old’s eyes.


My mom cooked up some delicious food yesterday including potatoes, chicken, sautéed onions, and pesto rice. For lunch, I decided to assemble a brunch-y hash of sorts:


Sautéed red potatoes, caramelized onions, wilted spinach, and two sunny-side up eggs. Sriracha added post-photo-snap 🙂


Yesterday I went back to the usual 20 minutes on the elliptical, because my knees are feelin’ it from running more than usual. Does that mean I’m doing something wrong? Maybe. I gotta check with some of my trackie friends. Anyway, my arms and abs were sore from Sunday, and my legs were actually still sore too. So I went with this workout from Julie that would keep me moving from one exercise to the next. I was pooped by the end (actually even by the end of round 5)!

I tried another new-to-me Chobani flavor afterwards:


Passion fruit

I’ve never even had a real passion fruit before, but it was tasty! I added cereal on top for crunch of course. I also added more plain yogurt when I got to the bottom of the container because there was more fruit left. No wastin’ here!


Last night’s meal hit the spot!


Chicken, pesto rice, and caramelized onions.

I also had a side salad of spinach and balsamic vinaigrette for some produce.

For dessert:


Reheated coconut banana muffin! Yum.

In my post yesterday, I mentioned that I did some burnin’ ab work on Sunday, so I decided to share what I did! I called it the ’13 Ab Workout because there are 13 exercises (if you count right and left side plank separately) and it’s 2013. Lame, I know, but I’m not known for having cool ideas anyway. This was also my first time making a workout on Pic Monkey too. It was fun!

2013 abs

Here are demonstrations of the exercises:

Sitting toe tap crunches

Weighted Russian twists

Spiderman plank


Ankle touches

Clock abs

Mountain climbers

Butterfly situps

Plank cross knee tucks

Side plank hip lifts

Burpee pushups


Hope you love (or despise 😉 ) it!

I also made some desserts last night for la famiglia:


Fruit “snow” for mom. Just blended up frozen fruit in a food processor and voila!


That would be banana s’mores. Ben was my taste tester (ok, I had a bite too upon Ben’s urging) and they were delicious! Too sweet for me, but I’m sure that could be fixed. Maybe I’ll post the recipe later!

Have a terrific Tuesday!

So tell me: Is there anything you’ve experienced that has changed your perspective? What did you do this weekend?