Sharing Food and Sharing Life in NYC

I am wearing fuchsia yoga pants right now and I feel fabulous.

IMG_9844

trying not to pull my tight hamstrings

I decided to attend ballet class at my old dance school tonight last night, but I don’t think I fit into any of my leotards and tights anymore. Ergo, these bright and fun capris! I never wear this color, but I’m a fan.

(Thanks for buying them for me, Madre ♥︎)

These past couple of days I have been meeting up with a few friends to share food and share life. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in college, it’s how to be a better listener and sharer. Last year, I developed a deeper and much more sincere interest in other people’s lives (especially people I don’t know that well).

I’ve also come to believe more that my own life experiences are worth sharing in conversation. I mean, I share my life to the whole world on this blog, but no one has to read it if he or she doesn’t want to. In real time conversation, however, I used to be afraid to talk about my life because I didn’t think it was interesting or that the other person wouldn’t care. Sometimes that’s true, but you never know which little stories could turn into great conversations.  It sparks human connection. I’ve said it before: Your story matters and it’s beautiful!

WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONS

Anyway, let’s talk about Monday. It started off with breakfast, an 8 minute ab workout, and a train ride to Grand Central.

DSC_2091

whipped banana oatmeal: 1/2 c. oats, half banana, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, chia seeds, an egg, and peanut butter

I was on my way to see my girl Colby, who was one of my cabin-mates at Blend Retreat last year! We met up at Grand Central before walking to The Picnic Basket for some bomb-dig sandwiches.

IMG_9803 IMG_9801

French Goat Cheese – chicken, sundried tomato pesto, grilled zucchini, figs, tomatoes and fresh greens on multigrain

This thing was massive and so tasty. I ate one half and saved the other half for later (ended up being Pop’s dinner on the train ride home!). Then it was time for the 50+ block walk to get the beloved…

IMG_9804

Lloyd’s carrot cake! Remember when Ben and I detoured to get this over Thanksgiving break? Colby saw my snapchat at the time and told me she wanted in on it.

IMG_9805

I wasn’t mad about it.

IMG_9841

does she love me or the carrot cake?

We housed our hefty slices of carrot cake WITH raisins and walnuts (major key) while our fingers froze off. FUNNY STORY: When we were walking back, we stopped at a Barnes and Noble to use the restroom, and my fingers were so cold that I couldn’t re-button my jeans. I am telling you, I could. not. do it. My fingers were deprived of the energy to do any sort of fine motor movements. Luckily, I was wearing a big ol’ belt, so I just buckled that over the button and called it a solution.

Moving on.

We walked only 20-ish blocks back before we decided to take the subway to Grand Central where Colby and I parted ways. It was such a privilege to spend the day with this girl! She is so genuine and kind, and I admire her balanced outlook on food and fitness.

IMG_9816

From there, I had two hours to kill before dinner with my lovely friend, Christine. After half an hour of catching up with some things on my phone, I explored Grand Central.

IMG_9826

casual squash tournament of champions going down

IMG_9832

Grand Central Apple Store

IMG_9829

Grand Central Market

You literally have everything you need there.

My phone was running low on battery, so I walked to a Duane Reade pharmacy and stood awkwardly behind a wall of paper towels and nail polish to charge my phone at an outlet. Then it was time for dinner at Lan Larb with Christine!

IMG_9837 IMG_9836

spicy basil pork with rice

I thought I was still full from carrot cake until I finished this whole thing. I guess that’s what walking over 23,000 steps does to ya!

IMG_9840

p.s. I never check this app, but I was interested on Monday since we walked so much!

It was so fun catching up with Christine and having some great girl talk. She is such a sweetheart (with substantial sass!).

IMG_9838

I need lessons from Christine on how to pose in photos

Bonus: Yesterday I met up with an old friend from high school for lunch! She was kind enough to reach out to me so we could catch up.

IMG_9843

tuna cucumber and eel avocado roll (my faves!)

And that, my friends, is how to share food and share life. 

Just kidding, do it however you like. This was all a grand time though. I am so grateful for good people and nourishment.

So tell me:

Are you an open book, closed book, or somewhere in between when it comes to sharing life stories in conversation? I’m still somewhere in between, but I’m more of an open book than before! Also depends on the person/context obviously. Fun fact: I used to be more introverted, but according to my most recent Myers-Briggs test, I’m an extravert!

Have your fingers ever been SO cold that you literally couldn’t move them?

What is the best thing you ate Monday/yesterday? The carrot cake for me. Duh.

The brightest color of clothing you own!

Advertisements

WIAW: Fine, I Love Almond Butter

Hi!

I’m typing this on Tuesday night as I often do, so I don’t know if I’m currently chipper as a spring bunny or if I’m a zombie right now. Probably the latter. My moves yesterday consisted of 3.5 hours of ballet since I decided to sleep through class last week. It hadn’t danced ballet for that long straight through since the Orlando Summer Ballet Intensive two years ago. It’s a good thing I love ballet!

For this week’s WIAW, I’m just going to focus on one food that I’ve been eating A LOT recently: almond butter. (I’m actually so excited. Any excuse to talk about nut butter is a good one to me!)

WIAWbutton

With the queen of food parties and adorable things, Jenn!

You see, when I first started becoming obsessed with nut butter (thanks to healthy living blogs— I’m such a conformist), I stuck to fan-girling over the classic peanut butter. I then ventured into the land of sunflower seed butter, which is now one of my favorite things ever. I even made my own cashew butter once, but that didn’t hold my fancy for long.

DSC_8106

Greek yogurt with banana slices, chia, hemp, cinnamon, nutmeg, a pumpkin muffin top/scone, and almond butter

I had eaten almond butter in the past, but that was when I was still eating spoonfuls of sugary Peter Pan peanut butter (which is still awesome), so plain, unsalted almond butter was kinda gross to my typical middle schooler palate. Plus, what the heck was that weird grainy texture from the almond skin?

DSC_8127

Cookie dough cereal with banana, chia, hemp, and pepita sunseeed butter

Thus, I stayed away from almond butter for a good while. I was perfectly content with my roasted peanut butter goodness (I made the switch from Peter Pan to the kind with just peanuts). Other than that, change was never my strong suit.

DSC_8130

Overnight oats in a coconut peanut butter jar

Then I started seeing bloggers such as Amanda eating almond butter on the daily, Julianna bringing spoonfuls of it from her dorm to the dining hall (GENIUS. I’m gonna be that person in college.), and just everyone gushing over this peanut butter imposter convenient and healthy food.

DSC_8135

Hot oatmeal with mangoes, banana, and sunflower seed butter

So I decided one day at Trader Joe’s: I’m gonna take the leap of faith and try almond butter again. I tried it. I liked it, but I didn’t love it, so I tried to “get rid of it” by using a big half cup of the stuff in these granola bars.

DSC_8137

Greek yogurt with banana slices, banana muffin, chia, hemp, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pepita sunseed butter

But my dad loves almond butter, so he would eat a lot of it with muffins and toast, which prompted me to keep buying more for him.

DSC_8077

Oatmeal cookie dough smoothie (which has a big spoonful of almond butter in it!) blended with spinach + Greek yogurt for dipping

The more I bought it for him, the more I started to add it to my toast and bananas…But it was still the “inferior” nut butter. I always secretly wished I was having another nut butter instead of that one.

DSC_8105

Self-explanatory

Then one night, I needed a quick, satisfying snack before bed, so I grabbed a spoonful of almond butter. “Hm, this is really good.”

DSC_8131

Greek yogurt with the works + almond butter

That spoonful of almond butter has become a very regular snack for me lately, and now I can’t seem to keep my spoon out of the jar.  Almond butter has also found its way onto many a muffin…

DSC_8136

Banana muffin with almond butter

Now, I’m hooked. I ♥ almond butter.

Not as much as peanut butter, but it’s up there now. I’ve talked about it before, but I think it’s amazing how much my taste buds have changed in the past two years. Could be growing up, could be food blogs, probably both.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

So tell me:

Do you like almond butter? What is your favorite way to eat it?

What is your all-time favorite nut butter?

How have your taste buds changed in the past few years?

WIAW: Day in the Life Take Two

Hello, friends!

Yesterday wore me out, but definitely for good reasons! I also finally took pictures of {nearly} all the food I ate so that I could compile a cohesive WIAW post for you today.

WIAWbutton

Linking up with my veggie-love inspiration, Jenn at Peas and Crayons!

I did a “day in the life” post for WIAW back in January, but I thought I’d do another one since they’re my favorite kinds of posts, every day is different, and last semester senior high schoolers start getting super lazy about everything, so it’s a different perspective. I guess we get excited for the end of the year too, but we’re still a little too far from there to start celebrating. Anyway, here’s what my life and eats looked like yesterday!

6:55 AM

Wake up (definitely NOT feelin’ like P-Diddy), freshen up, say morning prayer, change, put on makeup.

7:05 AM

Paint my toe nails super duper quickly so that I can wear open-toe shoes and not have ogre feet.

7:20 AM

Eat my favorite breakfast while packing lunch and reading blogs in between bites.

DSC_8079

Overnight oats with sunflower seed butter, banana, and berries + cereal for crunch!

7:45 AM

I’M LATE! Leave home and drive to school.

8:03 AM

Wee bit late to AP Calc, but we’re not doing much anyway since the AP exam is over!

*In class doing work…ish*

10:30 AM

Snack time in business calculus per usual. I forgot to take a picture, but I had a bag of mixed nuts.

*In class {not really} doing work*

11:45 AM

Lunch!

photo 1

Chicken, sauteed onion, cheese, and green bean sandwich a la madre (so good, ma!) + sugar snap peas

1:00 PM

Physical education was the highlight of my school day because we just got to walk around the track and the weather was beautiful! I got more of a workout from laughing with my friends than walking.

2:27 PM

Last bell rings. I go to a quick meeting with my English teacher before driving home.

3:15 PM

Snack time and some work.

DSC_8080

2% Greek yogurt (incredible— so much creamier and more satisfying than 0%), half banana, pepita sunseed butter

4:45 PM

Go to Haagen Dazs for free cone day with my friends Susie and Charli from dance company!

photo 2 photo 3

Cookies and cream!

photo 4

5:00 PM

Pick up some nut butters from Trader Joe’s next door. We peruse other stores in the plaza, including Best Buy:

photo 5

I left this beautiful snapshot on one of the laptops. You’re welcome, whoever finds this.

6:00 PM

Ballet starts and I feel dead. My lack of quality sleep the night before plus the Haagen Dazs sugar crash made ballet class look VERY unappealing. Ballet is usually my faveeee.

7:00 PM

“Wow I really want this to be over.”

7:30 PM

Still have pointe class. Strongly consider going home, but I stay. It went well.

8:10 PM

Get home and dig into some FOOD!

DSC_8081

Mom made a fresh, cold shrimp salad that was ready to eat, so I thankfully ate that with some sriracha.

DSC_8082 DSC_8085

Dried figs and Greek yogurt to cool down my mouth from the spice. And just because I love this duo.

Type this blog post!

9:20 PM

Shower, brush teeth, say evening prayer, and go to bed.

I can study for business calculus tomorrow morning 😀 (No really, I have a study hall, don’t worry!)

I promise I’m not slacking. We’re really just not doing much in school, and everyone’s energy is shifting towards summer. I can literally SMELL summer in my house. Does anyone else ever notice that things start smelling distinctly different when seasons change? And it’s not B.O.

Happy Wednesday!

So tell me:

What did your day look like yesterday?

Did you get free ice cream from Haagen Dazs?

What did you have for lunch yesterday?

Does it smell like summer/winter (depending on your hemisphere)?

Behind the Scenes #20: iDance

Thinking-Out-Loud

One of my favorite times of the week, hosted by Amanda!

1) Thank you all for the well-wishes on my AP Calc exam yesterday! After the test was over, I did the following:

  • Yell, “Hallelujah!!!” in my head.
  • Run to the bathroom.
  • Stretch my hip flexors because we had been sitting for 3 hours and 20 minutes (not straight through, but still).
  • Think I might have done a decent job on the exam.
  • Listen to what my friends answered on some of the questions.
  • Second guess my initial reaction to the exam.
  • Think GUATEVER I TRIED MY ABSOLUTE BEST, DANG IT.

2) At least I had my breakfast yesterday morning.

DSC_8062

Overnight oats in a peanut butter jar. The REAL reason I got up yesterday morning.

3) My AP Calc class also celebrated the end of such a painful test our hard work and achievement at lunch after the exam! We decided to go to the restaurant owned by our AP Calc teacher’s family…naturally 🙂

IMG_4221

“Big Bird” sandwich with chicken, caramelized onions, swiss cheese, and honey dijon sauce. So good! Enough to bring home for mom to have lunch too.

IMG_4223

I was trying to decide on a non-awkward sitting position for this picture. I don’t think I decided well.

4) I found this gem of a video on my phone from ballet class earlier this year. One of my friends (I think Livv?) thought it would be a funny idea if we all took selfie videos while we were dancing. (The topic came up because a lot of us were filming arts supplements for college applications.) Thus, we have…iDance.

If you’re wondering why my head is making a weird spastic motion, it’s because I’m spotting while I’m turning. If you think it looks bizarre, that’s okay, because I think we all look like freaks. Joyful dancing freaks though! 😀

4) It took me over 2 hours to finish my dinner last night. I don’t know why I was just NOT hungry. It was a delicious dinner too!

DSC_8063

Avocado toast with smoked salmon + spinach salad with sautéed onions

I took a break from homework to make this dinner because I was hungry at first, but then I ate some fruit while I was waiting for the bread to toast, and before you know it, I felt full. So I chipped away at dinner over the course of two hours, in the style of the cool and casual Europeans who are still conversing over dinner by 10 PM (is that a stereotype?).

5) You wanna know which exercise makes me SO sore? You probably wouldn’t guess.

I did 50 reps of this simple little side jump lunge exercise as a warmup on Sunday, and my derrière was hurting for two days. It’s happened before with this exercise only, and it just boggles my mind how sore it makes me every time! Foam rolling was a bleepity bleep.

6) Currently grooving to (like, literally dancing to it while I’m typing this):

Sing by Ed Sheeran. Loveeee it.

7) Is it greedy of me to want to buy maybe two bunches of bananas just so they can ripen and I can freeze them for smoothies? Or use them for baking. Ripe bananas are my best friends.

8) I’m out of thoughts. Either that or I’m just brain dead. At least first period AP Calc is just gonna be a big party from now on 😉

Hope you all have a nice Thursday!

So tell me:

What are some of your post-exam celebratory measures?

Thoughts on iDance? 😉

Which exercise almost always makes you sore?

What do you like to do with ripe bananas?

 

WIAW: Day In the Life of a High School Student

Hello!

I hope your week has been going well so far. The busyness of the weekend has definitely spilled into this week, but it’s all good!

I’ve been seeing a few bloggers do a day in the life post (which is actually one of my favorite posts to read), so I felt like posting one this week as well. Maybe I’m just super nosy, but there’s something fun about knowing what others do on a regular day. Daily life happens, so why not talk about it and share the similarities and differences with one another? I feel like a day in the life post is also a way to reflect on all the little things that brightened our day 🙂

Some of you adults may not want to re-live the high school days, but that’s what I’m bringin’ for ya on this WIAW. Here is a typical day of eats and activities for this high school senior!

WIAWbutton

Hooray for Jenn, the host of the wonderful WIAW party!

6:34 AM — Internal alarm wakes me up one minute before the phone alarm rings. Turn off alarms and decide that I can actually roll out of bed right away. Freshen up in the bathroom.

6:45 AM — Morning prayer + change + makeup.

7:00 AM — Open the fridge excitedly to get my favorite breakfast waiting for me!

DSC_7511

Overnight oats!

Enjoyed while reading and commenting on blogs per usual.

7:35 AM — Kiss mom goodbye and drive off to school.

7:40 AM — Traffic on one of the busier roads + stuck behind a truck stopped in the middle of the road and taking up a whole lane.

7:45 AM — Realize the senior parking lot is full. Go to park at the other lot that’s a little farther away. A little morning walk in the frigid air never hurt anyone…just keep your face down from the burning cold wind.

8:00 AM — School starts.

9:30 AM — Snack in Italian class. Discreetly open the wrapper…

DSC_7509

{Photo taken at home before school} Taste of Nature Polynesian Coconut Breeze bar that my parents brought from Canada. This tasted like a lemony coconut macaroon! So delicious.

10:30 AM — Snag some Cheerios from Kristi in Business Calculus (see my Cheerio algebra here). 😉

photo 2 copy 2

We obviously had an extremely productive class taking statistics of what each student preferred at Chipotle.

photo 3 copy 3

I also learned that I would be in deep trouble if I actually bought stocks in the real world. I’m losing over $3,000 right now. WHOLE FOODS IS LETTING ME DOWN.

photo 1 copy 3

11:50 AM — Lunch tiiiiime!

photo 4

Turkey, cheese, spinach, mustard sandwich {recycled photo}

DSC_7517

Clementine {photo taken at home because I forgot to take one at school}

2:45 PM — Drive my friend home because it’s too flippin’ freezing outside for her to walk home.

3:00 PM — Afternoon snack while reading some blogs and catching up on emails.

DSC_7513

Fage strawberry yogurt

DSC_7514

Popcorn (this handful times, like, 7)

3:30 PM — Conjure up the courage to be somewhat political. I call NY Representative Nita Lowey’s office in DC to tell her that I want her to vote for a certain bill. A young guy at her office answered, jotted down the request, and it was over. I feel like such a citizen! 😉

3:35 PM —  Do homework and study for Italian midterms. I never leave the space heater during this time. I pace back and forth and even do squats in front of it to evenly heat my body, all while trying to memorize Italian phrases.

5:00 PM — Discreetly smile and jump up and down when I find out I got into the University of Maryland and their Honors College! My mom is in the kitchen with me, but I don’t want to tell her about it quite yet. She’s cooking and I’m finishing studying.

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 5.12.07 PM

5:10 PM — Give mom a big hug and quickly say, “I got into the Honors College at Maryland.” Her immediate response is to take a picture of the letter on her iPhone and text it to Dad and Ben (she’s obsessed with technological communication, I swear).

A celebratory/pre-ballet snack:

DSC_7516

Homemade granola bar

6:00 PM — Ballet and pointe!

7:30 PM — Eat a few pita chips on the little break transitioning from ballet to pointe.

8:15 PM — I am hungry for dinner! Ballet is the dance class that always leaves me super hungry.

DSC_7518

Farro, leftover Chinese food (fish/tofu), blanched Chinese greens.

Write up this blog post while eating.

9:40 PM — “Dessert” and some more college discerning.

DSC_7519

Dried figs and Greek yogurt

10:15 PM — Shower and get ready to hit the sack. But I actually go to bed within an hour or so.

That’s a wrap! I hope my day was at least a little bit interesting or relatable to you. 🙂 Have a lovely Wednesday!

So tell me:

Do you enjoy day in the life posts? 

What have you been eating recently?

What is your favorite snack/granola bar?

Tell me something that you did yesterday!