Five Minute Friday #3: Making Changes to Fulfill a Purpose

I have a new companion who comes with me to all my meals, but I’m not really sure I want him there… He kinda weighs me down sometimes, but I can’t let go of him, and I always pay attention to what he has to say.

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See him? Mr. Exercise Physiology. I have an exam for on Tuesday, and I need all information about metabolism to saturate my brain.

Other recent happenings include lots of sandwiches with guac…

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…and Lent! It started this Wednesday, so this week’s Five Minute Friday vlog has to do with making changes in one’s life in order to fulfill a purpose (not just from a Catholic perspective).

link to the video here!

Catholics do have set rules for fasting and abstinence throughout Lent. Here are some infographics if you’re curious!

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Ooo Valentine’s Day is this weekend, isn’t it? Flashback to when I wrote a letter to my future husband on this blog for Valentine’s Day two years ago. “Dear No One” is still my theme song.

Happy weekend!!!

So tell me:

If you participate in Lent, what are you giving up/adding? Giving up: makeup and scrolling Instagram (I can post but that’s it). Adding: Must be at least 5 minutes early to everything if I can help it and a decade of the rosary each day.

If you do not participate in Lent, do you feel called to make any specific changes in your life to meet your goals?

What are you doing for Valentine’s Day/President’s Day/the weekend?

I’ll be celebrating “Galentine’s Day” with Rachel tomorrow night! 🙂 The only way I might choose a guy over Rachel is if he comes up to me with a single rose in his mouth, Coldplay/Tori Kelly tickets, and a box of chocolates jar of peanut butter within the next twenty-four hours.

Friends Pushing Me to Be Better

I just ate a dinner of popcorn, Chex Mix, celery, chocolate cake, an apple, “gorilla dip”, and a singular chicken wing.

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#nutrition

Also, the only thing I watched from the Super Bowl last night was the halftime show and the Honda commercial with the singing sheep, and that was everything I needed.

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I love Coldplay, Beyonce, and Bruno Mars, but did anyone else feel like the halftime performance as a whole was a weird combo?

Anyway, I have nothing more to say about the Super Bowl, so let’s talk about how my wonderful friends have been kicking my butt in the best way possible.

Rewind to Friday: I had biomechanics in the morning, a good lunch with friends, bible study, a workout, homework, and productive procrastination (working on a birthday gift for someone!).

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Two of my dear friends, Mai and Kelsey, are in my bible study, and listening to their perspectives and insights on Scripture and faith in general was so inspiring. Most of all, their willingness to share their own doubts and trials humbles me to face my own doubts and trials.

Saturday started off with a walk through winter wonderland to get to work (unintentional alliteration).

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I tried to pack more substantial snacks so that I wouldn’t be so lightheaded and cranky like I was last week at work, but I guess all the walking, cooking, and cleaning I do (and the fact that I end at 2pm) just does me in. Needless to say, lunch was again demolished.

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While I was studying, my pal Connor came up to chat with me for a bit, and he gave me nuggets of wisdom to deal with my academic stress. His words were simple and things I knew logically, but I still needed someone to tell them to me in order to internalize it. 1) Happiness is important. 2) Don’t stress out because other people have more knowledge than you. Do what you need to do, but there’s no good in comparing and worrying.

Good stuff.

Saturday night involved a workout, some studying, and Tasty Burger (!!!) with the best friend.

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A cheeseburger from this joint was on our food bucket list, and Saturday night was the night to crush it.

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We liked their milkshakes as much as we liked their burgers! The shakes were uber thick and creamy. Like, you had to work those cheek muscles to drink it through the straw.

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love at first bite

Rachel and I talked about our Lent resolutions since it starts this Wednesday, and one of my things to “give up” is makeup. I don’t wear a lot, but I do wear a little every day. I told Rachel with hesitance that I would give up makeup, but the next day I told her I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it. She insisted that giving up makeup would be good for me, and that I shouldn’t cave just because it’s hard (it’s definitely not supposed to be easy!). I agree. Wearing no makeup will help me focus on my character and fight vanity.

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My roommate Jordan also gave me a great slice of humble pie when I told her that I’m not always early (and sometimes a little late) to things, especially if I’m meeting with a close friend. She told me that everyone, close friends or professional mentors, should have their time respected. Duh, common sense, right? But it’s easier said than done for me these days (punctuality is slacking). Jordan is 100% right though. I should never take advantage of my friends’ time just because I’m close to them.

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Lastly, my amazing friend Christina invited me to do mobile soup kitchen with her last night. I joined her and some other kind volunteers, but I knew that I wanted to make it back in time for the Super Bowl halftime show. Towards the end of the route, I started to get impatient and antsy to make it back to campus, but just watching how patient, considerate, and kind Christina was with all the people we met was a humbling and beautiful sight. A lesson in selflessness right in front of me.

I am constantly in awe of my friends and the beauty of their souls. God is definitely shaping me up through their example and words. And of course, so many bloggers push me to be better too. Thanks, guys ♥︎

Hope you all have a happy week! We’re kind of hoping that BU calls in for a snow day today…

So tell me:

Do your friends keep you “on track”?

What is one lesson you learned/were reminded of this weekend?

Thoughts on the Super Bowl/halftime show?

Best thing you did this weekend. Probably Tasty Burger with Rachel!

Recent Eats {and the Lowdown on Lent}

Hey we didn’t have a snow day this week yet! And it’s Ash Wednesday!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while the past week, you might know that I’m Catholic and incredibly proud of it. Today is the start of Lent, aka 40 days of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving in preparation for Easter. That means yesterday was Fat Tuesday, aka Mardi Gras, aka do and eat everything you want to give up for the next 40 days.

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In case you want the lowdown on what we Catholics even do during these 40 days:

We only really need to fast (only one full meal and two smaller snacks that do not add up to one full meal) on the first Wednesday and last Friday of Lent, so it’s nothing crazy. We abstain from meat on every Friday though (meatless Friday instead of meatless Monday!). Also, we are strongly encouraged to give up unnecessary things that we love and/or do something extra as a sacrifice throughout the 40 days. It forces us to remember that there is nothing that can satisfy or fulfill us like God’s love and mercy can.

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^^^Not what Lent is.

Even if you’re not Catholic, it could be a refreshing experience to give up something for a month or so that will help you stay more focused or grateful. It doesn’t have to be food-related at all— it could be trash TV, profanity, petty complaining, gossip, looking at your phone at the table, etc.

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Just for the record, here’s what I’m doing this Lent:

  • Giving up music (I won’t voluntarily play music for myself, even when I work out ahhhhhhhhhh) and spending my quiet time praying instead.
  • Giving up scrolling through Instagram (I might still post photos of my own, but I won’t look through my feed at all.)
  • Reading Scripture every day

So yes, I was listening to music and looking at Instagram all day yesterday.

Some other things I’ve heard people are doing or have done for Lent: only getting one plate of food at the dining hall, giving up complaining, elevators, social media, makeup, meat, cheese, hot water (that means cold showers!)… People can be hard core.

I want to focus on making sacrifices that don’t have to do with food, so I’m not going to make any changes to my eating during Lent. With that said, here are only some of the delicious things I’ve been eating in the past few days!

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whole wheat French toast with banana and pb + scrambled eggs + glass o’ milk

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oatmeal with shredded coconut, pb, banana, and honey + scrambled eggs

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lentil and veggie African stew with sweet potatoes (YASSS) + some saucy-brothy Italian chicken 

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a five pound salad with romaine, carrots, tomatoes, roasted veggies, beets, and blue cheese(!!!)

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chipotle chicken (buried under there) with greens, barley salad, and feta

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roast beef, provolone, hummus, and veggie sandwich on wheat + more veggies and hummus + major veggie food baby 😛

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pork gyoza + scallion pancake + ramen with pork and a soft-boiled egg at Shabu and Mein when my parents came to visit!

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vanilla soft serve with frozen blueberries and granola (like, 10x this amount of granola)

Ahh food is so good. But not nearly as good as God.

Have a blessed day, everyone!

Side note: Fasting can be tricky if you are struggling (or have struggled) with an eating disorder. Fasting should be a challenging sacrifice, but it should also be reasonable and attainable in regards to your individual situation. If you are struggling with an eating disorder (which can be categorized as a mental disorder), you are exempt from fasting [source]. We fast to reiterate that our earthly needs cannot give us anything as valuable as God’s love, not to make ourselves miserable or unhealthy. Take care ♥

So tell me:

If you’re Catholic: Are you giving up anything/doing anything special for Lent?

If you’re not Catholic: What would you give up or do as a sacrifice for 40 days?

Do you like blue cheese?

Do you ever wish you didn’t eat so many vegetables at a meal?

Behind the Scenes #12: No Shame

Hey!

I missed you all yesterday! I don’t think I’ve ever not posted on a Wednesday before yesterday. :-0 I guess there’s a first time for everything! It was just a busy evening, plain and simple. But today I’m comin’ at ya with some random thoughts because…

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With the amazing Amanda, who is probably sun-kissed in Hawaii right now! I’m kinda hoping she sends me some fresh poke and pineapples.

1. It’s like my stomach is trained to have food within 30 minutes of waking up. Yesterday, I woke up a little earlier than usual to go to 7AM Ash Wednesday Mass, and although I didn’t want to eat a full breakfast beforehand, I still needed to have a few clementine slices to keep me from being miserable at Mass. Like, if I didn’t have the clementine, I may not have said “peace be with you” to anyone. Kidding. But still, my stomach was growling LOUDLY and I think it may have freaked out some people.

2. I walked into class a couple minutes late, but the ashes explained the reason for my tardiness. My calculus teacher had actually already gotten her ashes at Mass too! I used to be afraid of people staring at my forehead, but now, I couldn’t be more proud of donning that thick cross on my forehead. 🙂 People don’t make a big deal out of it anyway.

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Breakfast was eaten at school:

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Greek yogurt, banana slices, chia, hemp, banana nut muffin, and pepita sunseed butter

I ate it while doing calculus, and I succeeded in keeping my calculator free of Greek yogurt. This time.

3. I ordered my prom dress already! Our prom isn’t until June, but I found a dress that I loved in my size, so I just went for it. My school has a prom dress Facebook page where all the girls post photos of their dresses so there are no doubles (’cause we all know that that is in the top ten list of high school no-nos), and I was the first one to post in that group. I felt slightly aggressive, considering I bought the dress on the day the group was created, butttttt, if the shoe fits…!

Actually, I don’t even know if it fits. I’m hoping it’ll work out for this girl’s pear-shaped body!

4. I opted to take an active rest day yesterday since I had to study for a bio test that I have today. My “active rest” moves consisted of speed walking to school from my car in the morning, physical education class (planks and step ups in the weight room…let’s just count it), and active study breaks. I set my alarm to ring every 15 minutes while I was studying so I could get off my butt (and get my mind off of Darwinian evolution) to do 40 prisoner squats, 10 burpees, and 20 butterfly sit-ups.

5. I realized I already broke one of my Ash Wednesday commitments yesterday when I complained in Italian class to my friends: “I’m SICK of translating these long paragraphs!” (5 seconds later) Darn it, Alison. 

6. I eat roasted brussels sprouts with my fingers sometimes. Really just whenever I’m feelin’ snacky and too lazy to make them a part of an actual meal. I do not have one bit of shame.

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i ♥ b.s.

wait………………

7. Thus, my brussels snackage before dinner led to a veggie-less meal:

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Seared tuna steak with mustard (which I mixed with Greek yogurt and honey post-pic) + avocado toast

Oh and this was my Mardi Gras/National Pancake Day dinner:

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Quinoa/rice blend, shrimp, roasted brussels, and avocado

No sign of either Mardi Gras nor pancakes. *sigh* Except maybe the shrimp, which is reminiscent of jambalaya from New Orleans, where Mardi Gras is huge. Is that a stretch?

8. I set off the smoke alarm in our house while searing said tuna.

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9. When I take my daily {adult} gummy vitamins, I always try to eat the orange ones (least favorite flavor) first, saving most of the berry and peach ones (best) for last. From a Darwinian natural selection perspective: the berry and peach vitamins have a favorable flavor, so they out-compete the orange ones, leaving a population that is dominated by berry and peach vitamins. Until Alison dominates them all, causing extinction of all the vitamins.

Look at that! I’m studying while blogging! Darwin would be proud….

10. …and I’m a freak.

Yet I’m still unashamed. 😉

Hope you all have an awesome Thursday!

So tell me:

Do you have to eat something as soon as you get up in the morning?

Do you ever eat roasted veggies with your fingers?

What do you do on active rest days?

Do you like to save the best for last when eating things?