Back in Boston + Five Minute Friday #7

Dinner last night was leftover salad with hummus, Popcorners, a frozen banana, and two spoonfuls of cashew butter. Why did I come back to Boston when the dining halls aren’t open yet???

Well, despite the fact that dining halls aren’t open, I am both nourished and having a great time with friends.

Rewinding back to New York: On Tuesday night, my parents kindly took me out to dinner at our favorite Japanese restaurant for the best sushi ever.

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I came home and made myself some peanut butter banana soft serve (frozen bananas blended in a food processor with a splash of milk and peanut butter)— an old time fave. I ate it with a little Greek yogurt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and granola. Fabulous.

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And then this beautiful person came to visit me after her class ended (at 10 pm!)!

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Daliza! ♥︎ I fed her a pancake with half peanut butter and half nutella + glass o’ milk. Her visit would be incomplete without me giving her something with peanut butter or nutella on it.

Wednesday morning involved overnight oats, packing, and some moves and grooves (handstand walks, pushups, and a 16 minute interval workout) before preparing brunch for my friends Joe and Louis.

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French toast, scrambled eggs, and bacon

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“The bacon was very good, Alison. The whole brunch was very good, but the bacon was VERY good.” — Louis

It was my first time cooking bacon, so I’m glad it turned out well. I also blended up a green peanut butter banana smoothie (milk, greek yogurt, frozen banana, peanut butter, and spinach) and forced it down their throats convinced them to try it, since I knew for a fact that they would not be able to taste the spinach.

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They didn’t taste the spinach. #VICTORIOUS. (“There’s like a little bit of an aftertaste.” ← yeah, sure, believe what you want.)

I made myself an avocado, bacon, and egg toast + another egg + sriracha. I also ate my weight in leftover roasted brussels sprouts while I was cooking.

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This was amazing.

Joe, Louis and I hit the road for Boston and made it back in time to enjoy the FREAKING GORGEOUS weather. It hit 70 F — shorts and t-shirt weather! As soon as we arrived on campus, we joined more friends for Can-Jam until it got dark.

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Then we ate dinner at the food court on campus, chilled out on the dock, and played the Ellen Degeneres iPhone game, “Psych”, until we were all falling asleep. Good people, good times.

Yesterday’s activities included some quick moves and grooves (this ab workout), Mass, lunch at Tasty Burger, the Museum of Fine Art, and a special pre-screening of the new movie, The Young Messiah. It’s hard to pick out the best part of the day!

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This was a “dine-in” theater with the most luxurious seats I’ve ever seen in a movie theater.

And today I’m going to Mass and lunch with a friend, maybe working out at the gym, and definitely doing lots of studying.

Now that we’re all caught up, how about some Five Minute Friday action? (This post probably took you five minutes to read already…sorry.) This week I’m talking about something very random: where I would want to live after I graduate!

link to the video!

Taking a video of myself on a tire swing in a park that I’d never visited before. Sounds about right for me.

Hope you all have an awesome weekend!

So tell me:

Have you ever tried convincing someone that a smoothie with spinach does NOT taste gross?

If you could live anywhere, where would you live and why?

If you love where you live, why is that?

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I’m Bad at Creating Recipes

I have two quasi-recipes for you today!

They’re both sweet, both freaking delicious, and…both lacking in measurements.

You see, when I cook anything new (this does not apply to baking), I either follow someone else’s recipe or I just make my own recipe by eyeballing the ingredients. I don’t measure or write down how much of an ingredient I put into it. I just throw things into the cooking vessel like a mad scientist until I think:

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Upon tasting, if the recipe leaves something to be desired, then I add that desirable something if possible. It’s usually one of three things that need to be added: salt, sugar, or liquid. For cooking, those things can often be added at the end of the cooking process somehow.

Thus, I suck at creating recipes, because I never have anything exact to share with you.

Nevertheless, I’m going to share two foods I made recently! They’re flexible recipes anyway, so you just be your own mad scientist and do what you will.

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Sweet and Spicy Roasted Sweet Potatoes

(aka the best roasted sweet potatoes I’ve ever eaten if I’m tootin’ my own horn, which I am.)

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  • 3-4 medium/large sweet potatoes, washed and chopped into 1-inch chunks (about 4 cups after chopping)
  • enough oil to lightly coat the potatoes (olive, avocado, or melted coconut oil works)
  • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup (depending on how sweet you want your taters)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (more if you want a bigger kick in the taste buds)
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 375F.
  2. Place the washed and chopped sweet potatoes on a sheet pan (lined with foil if you want easy cleanup).
  3. Pour/dump/sprinkle all the remaining ingredients over the potatoes. Try to distribute evenly.
  4. Use your hands to toss around the seasoned potatoes to make sure all they are coated with the flavorful goodness.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway through. Baking time depends on your oven, the size of your chopped potatoes, and how roasty you like ’em.

Serves 2, with leftovers. Actually serves 4-5.

Note: All measurements are estimates. Follow recipe exactly at your own risk. Temperature and times are accurate.

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Strawberry Banana Almond Butter “Ice Cream”

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  • 3 frozen very ripe bananas
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1.5 tbsp almond butter (or peanut butter)
  • milk as needed
  1. Place frozen fruit and almond butter into a food processor or high speed blender with a small splash of milk (maybe 2 tbsp).
  2. Blend. Stop the blender and scrape down the sides as needed.
  3. Continue to blend and add small splashes of milk as needed to get the blender rollin’. Make sure not to add too much that the mixture becomes a smoothie.
  4. Be patient. The ice cream texture will happen.
  5. Serve up your creamy, dreamy, cold treat with a cookie, granola, more nut butter, muffin, chocolate chips, etc.

Serves 2.

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I understand that a lot of you are advanced-enough chefs to not need these recipes, but for those of you who need a little inspiration, I hope these sparked your interest!

This is why I say “nay” when my friends and family refer to me as a food blogger. That suggests that I know what I’m doing in the kitchen, but in fact, I just pretend that I do. I mostly make other people’s recipes and kinda make my own.

I like it this way though. Let the wind take you to where it blows! Or something like that.

P.S. banana soft serve checked off the food bucket list! 🙂

So tell me:

Are you an “eyeballer” when it comes to cooking, or do you like to measure everything?

What’s the best recipe you’ve created or tried recently? Please share!

Weird Facts About Last Week

Are you ready for this post!? I don’t think you are. Because I’m not.

To put everything into context, I am back in Boston after a week of touring NYC with my friend Rachel for our spring break. I shared our Tuesday adventures with you all last week, but that was just the very beginning. More food, more fun, more freakiness awaited us.

To sum it all up without boring you to death, here are some weird facts about our experiences last week!

Fact #1: I basically forced vegetables down Rachel’s throat by hiding greens in all our breakfast foods. Such a mom move.

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Davida’s green silver dollar banana pancakes (one of my absolute favorites)

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banana peanut butter oatmeal “dough boy” smoothie with greens blended in (inspired by Kath Eats)

Fact #2: We were spontaneously part of a street show in Central Park, and someone jumped over my head.

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it’s because I’m short

Fact #3: We came across some trendy, delicious places to eat in NYC, and I pretended that frozen yogurt was a healthy afternoon snack.

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Toasties Deli and Chillbox Greek Frozen Yogurt

Fact #4: Rachel and I regressed to become 5-year-olds at Dylan’s Candy Bar. Candy is so nostalgic.

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Fact #5: It was warm enough for us to be a little sweaty while walking around in NYC. HOORAY FOR SWEAT! That means spring weather!

Fact #6: My family took us out to not one, but two Groupon meals last week. The first one was at our favorite Persian restaurant…

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The Groupon came with four desserts, ok?

And then the next night we went to Ichiro, aka my favorite Japanese restaurant ever.

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Fact #7: Rachel and I dedicated a whole day to studying. I know, what nerds.

Fact #8: We took a casual study break and met a stranger who also happens to be an awesome iPhone photographer (follow him on Instagram here!).

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{PC: @neivy}

Fact #9: We could have slid on our butts down this staircase of death if we wanted to weren’t careful.

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Fact #10: We ended our study day with the sushi dinner above, Cold Stone, and more nostalgia as we watched the movie Ice Princess. I almost gagged at how bad the acting is in that movie, but I used to love it.

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shared apple pie a la cold stone with the bro

Fact #11: Daliza was our tour guide for the day on Friday as she drove us all around our county to show Rachel (and me) the pretty and hip places.

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Fact #12: See that bottom right photo? That’s Rachel and me. Freaky things happen in Sleepy Hollow… (Anyone know the legend of the headless horseman?)

Fact #13: I eat banana soft serve with Greek yogurt. And apparently with cinnamon and granola as well!

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Fact #14: Rachel and I walked outdoors all day on Saturday despite it being rainy.

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NY Public Library, High Line, and Chelsea Market

Fact #15: We decided that we could live in Chelsea Market. All the food, all the shops, all the time.

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Fact #16: Rachel had her first authentic New York bagel ever, and I have never even eaten one myself.

Fact #17: But I did have the creamiest, richest “Two Cookies and Cream” ice cream from Ronnybrook in Chelsea Market with both Oreos and Biscoff cookies. Wowza.

Fact #18: I had a salad at Bareburger. Not because I was opposed to a burger by any means but because I really wanted artichokes. REALLY WANTED THEM.

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and those sweet potato fries

Fact #19: Overnight oats are so clutch when you have a 5AM train to catch.

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stop smiling, Rachel, it’s too early

Fact #20: I saw Grand Central the emptiest I’ve ever seen it.

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Fact #21: The other people who were crazy enough to take a 5AM train into the city on a Sunday morning were the NYC Half Marathon runners. #whodoesthat 😉

Fact #22: My wallet is crying, but the adventures were worth it.

Fact #23: We didn’t eat a lot or anything. Ha.

Fact #24: Rachel and I walked a total of 35 miles, give or take, last week.

Fact #25: Rachel receives credit for a lot of the photos in this post!

Fact #26: This year, Boston has officially broken the city’s snowfall record with 108.5 inches of snow this winter! Now it all needs to go away.

Happy Monday, everyone! It pains me to say that I probably will not be posting very much this week. Schoolwork post-spring break is calling. Hope you all have a wonderful week though!

So tell me:

Three weird facts about your last week!

Have you ever eaten a NY bagel?

Have you ever watched or been pulled into a street show?

Boston University is Making Things Complicated

Good morning!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a beautiful Easter if you celebrated! We spent our weekend in Boston for some last college visits, so we also got to spend time with Ben for Easter! There was a ton of sunshine, family time, and food…of course.

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Thanks for hosting all the marvelousness, Katie!

Friday

We got to Boston pretty late on Friday night, so we went to a hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant that I found via Yelp. Even though it was a tiny restaurant, the food hit. the. spot. It was called Clay Pot Cafe, and I ordered their specialty Yellow Eel Clay Pot since eel is actually one of my favorite proteins EVER.

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Obligatory to get the crispy burnt rice at the bottom.

After our hot, filling meals, we checked into the hotel and crashed for the night. Apparently, traveling and eating is pretty darn draining.

Saturday

This day called for another early wake-up call for breakfast and the Boston University open house!

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It’s a lot easier to wake up when this is your view though.

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The hotel included an awesome breakfast, so I helped myself to some scrambled eggs with salsa, potatoes with peppers and onions, and PB&J oats. I ♥ breakfastttttt.

The BU open house I attended was actually specifically for Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences since I want to go into physical therapy. This was the only college that offered such a specific open house for one school within the university.

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The PT/AT lab in the Sargent school is very impressive!

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A super entertaining and informative nutrition lecture by Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, LDN. This definitely piqued my interest!

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The campus food at BU rocks (or at least for the open house it rocked). The quinoa dish with organic tempeh on the top left was fancy fresh.

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“Sargent Choice” cookies. Sargent’s choice is some sort of nutrition program run by Sargent college to promote healthier foods throughout the campus.

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Heart of BU.

I have concluded that if I say “never” to something, it is sure to happen. Example #1: I never thought visiting Boston University would make the slightest impact on my final college decision, but lo and behold, it sorta blew me away. I actually told my dad on Friday: “I REALLY don’t think Boston University is going to make a difference in my decision at this point. I think UMD is going to be the one.”

Well, University of Maryland has some major competition now, and I have 9 days to decide where I want to go. I might just flip a coin.

Why BU is making me go insane:

  • Hands down— best BS/DPT program (I would be able to get my doctorate of physical therapy in 6 years instead of 7 years, and the PT program is highly accredited at BU)
  • 6 years instead of 7 would mean a better financial deal over all
  • great food with tons of healthy choices
  • close to the bro, who’s at Northeastern (easier for the parents to visit us as well)
  • Boston is a pretty hoppin’ town
  • Diversity
  • Dance minor (in case I want to do that)

Just like Maryland, I can’t seem to find any outstanding cons, but I’m still very stuck between the two. I think it’s partially because I’m so stunned that BU came into the picture when I thought I was set on UMD. Pray for me, friends.

Moves on Saturday: Walking around Boston, a one mile run on the treadmill, and some lower body exercises in the hotel room. Guess what! I got my first unassisted pistol squats this weekend! The only thing that I still need to do is wear my sneakers since the slight elevation in the heel helps out my super short achilles tendons.

Then it was out to eat. Again. Ben joined us for another delicious Asian dinner at a Thai restaurant called Bangkok City.

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I ordered the steamed catfish with veggies and garlic ginger sauce. Yum!

After dinner, Victoria and Wendy took the T (subway) to Harvard Square while our family went to Easter Vigil Mass at the Northeastern Catholic Center’s church. It was an absolutely beautiful and glorious Mass—a joyful way to start off the Easter celebration indeed!

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Ben was a reader!

Easter Sunday!

Jesus Christ is risen today, Aaaaaaalleluia!

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Hotel breakfast day two: scrambled eggs with salsa + oatmeal with honey, sliced banana, and peanut butter

After breakfast, we drove home to beat the Boston traffic. Four hours later, Victoria and I ate a light lunch at home while watching funny videos from Ellen Degeneres. That woman never fails to crack me up.

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Spinach/kale salad with balsamic + avocado smoked salmon toast

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And a white chocolate egg, courtesy of Wendy and Victoria 🙂

Moves: After digesting for a bit, Victoria and I headed outdoors for a run/walk since we were tight from sitting in the car all morning and the weather was just gorgeous yesterday. We had such a great time chatting and taking in the fresh air on Easter day. It was definitely the highlight of my whole spring break!

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The only problem during our run was the presence of millions of gnats. We suspect that some flew into our mouths because we kept squealing and swatting them away like freaks.

Example #2 of why I should never say never (like Justin Bieber): I never thought I would like running, but I think I could get used to it. I’ve only been running one mile at most, but I feel like I could definitely go further if I wasn’t trying to keep it easy with my workouts. Seeing the hundreds of runners in Boston—especially on the weekend before marathon Monday— also gave me a little itch to get out there.

Dinner was courtesy of Groupon at an Indian restaurant called Chana Masala. The Groupon came with SO MUCH food, so we brought home enough leftovers for another hefty meal or two. It was all incredible though.

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Once we got home and got comfy, I made the famous peanut butter banana soft serve for Victoria and myself. We ate it while watching that 7th grader movie, The Clique, just because we wanted to make fun of it.

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She was a fan 🙂 I made her some overnight oats for this morning too, so we’ll see how she likes those!

It was an absolutely marvelous weekend for sure. Victoria is leaving us today… *tear* And I have school today… *sob* I’m actually a little behind on work, so I’m gonna have to kick my butt in gear. Have a great week, everyone!

So tell me:

What did you do for Easter weekend?

What have you done that you never thought you would do?

Do you like to run?

Do you like Indian food?

 

WIAW: Something Old, Something New

Howdy!

I want to thank you all for your support and advice yesterday. It’s assuring to hear that a lot of other people are going through similar experiences— it just goes to show how hard it really is to rest more and eat more!

Unlike last week’s WIAW, which was all about recurring food themes, I’m going to attempt to bring a little more variety to the table with some new foods and some foods that I’m bringin’ back from the past. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I’ve been posting meals like it’s my job. Maybe one of these days I’ll actually post a picture of something other than food… But food is usually more interesting than, say, my face? Or the generic sunset/fresh snow/cat-all-up-in-my-grill picture? Not that those aren’t fun to look at though! I don’t know where I’m going with this. I’m done. Food pictures.

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Check out Jenn’s linkup for some more spice of life!

{These are some eats from different days in the past week!}

Breakfasts

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Gina’s cookie dough cereal with strawberries and banana

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New: Love Grown Peach Almond Vanilla Hot Oats with a dollop of peanut butter and strawberries on the side

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New-ish: Greek yogurt with sliced banana, a strawberry banana muffin, chia seeds, hemp hearts, and a big spoonful of pepita sun seed butter. This was so good that I had it again the next morning…and again yesterday morning.

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Hot banana oatmeal in a cherry butter toffee peanut butter jar. RIP peanut butter jar.

Lunches

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Avocado toast, caprese salad, and two soft-boiled eggs with s+p

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New-ish: Turkey, cheese, lettuce, jalapeño greek yogurt dip panini + side salad with tomatoes and homemade peach jam vinaigrette

Snacks

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New: Bell peppers with jalapeño Greek yogurt dip from Costco

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New: Some bites of these Rickaroons that my mom bought via @Kayleale on Instagram. I’m telling you, my mom is a social media/foodie picture aficionado now.

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Giant, juicy oranges

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New: Strawberry banana muffins (used this recipe minus the streusel). Oh so wonderful!

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New: Not dried leaves…not goblin feet….Dried pears! Nothin’ but pears and they’re delicious, I promise.

Dinners

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New: Sushi date with a couple girl friends! Eel cucumber roll and Fantastic Roll (tuna, salmon, yellowtail, avocado, and marbled seaweed with a special dipping sauce). YUMFREAKINGTASTIC.

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Bringin’ it back: Kylie’s Whole Grain Crust Pizza Quiche! I made this once before, and I thought it was due time to make it again. I don’t make a recipe more than once very often!

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New: Homemade whole wheat crust margarita pizza! I was ridiculously close to tossing the dough when I made it, but I’m glad I stuck with it. It turned out quite tasty!

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A slice + side salad with some on-the-brink-of-too-smelly leftover salmon. 

Desserts

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More of these babies. {Recycled photo}

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Bringin’ it back: PEANUT BUTTER BANANA SOFT SERVE!!! With some Greek yogurt for added creaminess and protein. I’ll be adding the Greek yogurt from now on— so good!

I also want to add that my “little sister” from dance company, Lilly, tried overnight oats for the first time and LOVED them! I was a little too excited.

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In a sunflower seed butter jar, making it the optimal experience.

It was certainly nice to add some more fun flavors to my palate this week. Although, I could probably live off of just bananas, yogurt, avocado, brown rice, and grilled chicken.

Happy Wednesday! Yesterday was a half day because of the snow storm, and today may or may not be a two-hour delay…(I’m typing this on Tuesday night). Either way, stay safe and warm wherever you are!

So tell me:

Did you try any new foods this week?

Have you ever tried making a homemade pizza?

What kind of Instagram photos do you enjoy seeing the most?