“Five” Survey + National Pancake Day!

This post has more pictures than words, I feel.
TODAY IS NATIONAL PANCAKE DAY!
Can we just take a trip down memory lane to reminisce on some of the wonderful {mostly banana} pancakes that have been featured on Daily Moves and Grooves?
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green banana oatmeal pancakes via The Healthy Maven
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blueberry pancakes from a diner
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whole wheat banana pancakes via Sally’s Baking Addiction
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dining hall pancakes ♥︎ 
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Ebelskivers aka pancakes in puff form
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chunky monkey greek yogurt pancakes via Running with Spoons
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simple paleo pancake via Yeah…Imma Eat That
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egg white oatmeal protein pancake via Peanut Butter Fingers
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Catholic Center pancake brunch
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whole wheat banana pancakes via The Baker Mama
I just learned that I should be a self-proclaimed whole wheat banana pancake connoisseur. I’ll probably be celebrating this national pancake day with some leftover banana pancakes a la mode tonight 😀

Part two of this blog post…
Since I’m on spring break and have time to do leisurely things, I thought this would be prime time for a fun survey! This is the “Five” survey that Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers started.
Five Places I’m Dying to Visit:
  • Banff, Alberta
  • Santorini, Greece
  • Zion National Park
  • New Zealand
  • Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
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[source] The water is really this color. See Jo’s blog for proof.
Five Foods I Eat Every Day:
  • banana
  • nut butter
  • spinach
  • bread
  • eggs
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Five Talents I Wish I Had:
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Five healthy living bloggers who I wish could cook for me every day:

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via Pinch of Yum

Five Favorite Instagram Accounts:
  • @kaisafit ➔ amazing athlete and holistic outlook on health and fitness
  • @docjenfit ➔ inspiring and talented athlete and physical therapist
  • @3bulldogges ➔ THREE BULL DOGGIES.
  • @torikelly ➔ she’s adorable
  • @zachking ➔ incredibly unique, creative, and double-take-inducing posts
Five things I wear almost every day:
  • my cross pinky ring (from my First Communion!)
  • rosary bracelet
  • athletic pants
  • comfy top
  • underwear..? (wear this one every day for sure)
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spot the ring and bracelet?
Five Songs on Repeat:
Five Beauty Products I Use Every Day:
Five movies I can watch on repeat:
  • The Parent Trap
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • Chronicles of Narnia
  • The Help
  • Up 

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[source]

Five Books on My Current Reading List:
Five Random Things I Ate Yesterday:
  • cookie dough breakfast cereal
  • avocado and egg toast with sriracha
  • mango + clementines
  • a whole lot of roasted brussels sprouts!
  • dried figs with plain Greek yogurt

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Five Random Things I Did Yesterday (I added this section):

  • exercise physiology studying
  • have a spa day with Madre
  • roast brussels sprouts
  • move and groove
  • called some physical therapy clinics about a summer job

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real cute kneeling knees + dance feet + burpee wound from 1.5 years ago

So tell me:

Five places you’re dying to visit.

Five talents you wish you had.

Will you be celebrating national pancake day?

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Movin’ and Groovin’ for 2 Years

This whole blogging thing is pretty awesome.

Drawing inspiration from other bloggers, gaining courage and motivation from readers, venting my emotions and thoughts, pushing past my comfort zone, making new friends beyond the screen, finding healing, growing in my faith…

IMG_4127Unrelated: Does it look like I’m looking down to my left in this photo? Because I’m NOT! It’s so weird that my hood + hair + the lighting makes it look that way! I’m actually looking straight ahead.

In the past, I tried picking up journaling as a hobby a handful of times, but I could never stick to it, because I can only have a dialogue with myself for so long before I get bored.

That’s where the blogging community has filled the space in my journaling aspirations. The best thing about blogging is that other people can read about my thoughts and experiences and draw me out of myself. This online “diary”is  not only about me, but about us as weird and broken human beings who are trying our darn hardest in this world.

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Today marks exactly two years that I’ve been writing here on Daily Moves and Grooves. I still use a WordPress preset theme, and I don’t have thousands of followers, but I am more than content with where my blog is right now.

Although I will always be an advocate for moves and grooves, I’ve moved a little bit away from the fitness realm of “healthy living.” I’ve learned how to incorporate a little more LIFE into this blog, with a sprinkle of healthy food and fitness. Just as my priorities in life have shifted, the focus of my blog has shifted towards health and fitness for living, not living for health and fitness.

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To each one of you who has commented, emailed, messaged me, or even texted me— you have truly touched my life, and for that I am so grateful. To each of you who has taken the time to read even one post of mine—I appreciate you.

You guys make me laugh, cry, and constantly re-evaluate my perspective on life. I’m a huge fan of you.

Here’s to many more years of movin’ and groovin’! God bless, y’all. (<— nothing says east coast more than that, right?)

Check out my previous post to see what I’m up to in the Midwest!

My Eating Disorder: Looking Back and Moving Forward

Hello, dear friends 🙂

After a long and busy couple of weeks, I have finally found the time to type this post for both you and me. Last week was National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and this is near to my heart because not long ago, I myself struggled with an eating disorder.

I mentioned last week that I shared my eating disorder story with a small group of people for the Boston University Nutrition Club’s NEDA week event. I had seen that the club put NEDA week as an event on their calendar, so I reached out and offered to share any sort of support or personal account. Thus, the club officers invited me to speak about my story following a discussion about eating disorders led by Jennifer Culbert, MS, RD, LD.

And now, here I am to share some bits and pieces of my story with all of you. Since I told a lot of my story for NEDA week last year, I am going to focus on some aspects of my eating disorder that I did not cover in that post. In retrospect, I’ve learned just how deep my obsessions ran and how profoundly (and negatively) those affected my life. As the theme of NEDA week states, when I was in the midst of my eating disorder, I had no idea.

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[source]

P.S. Grab a seat and some coffee or tea. This is a long one. 🙂

My obsession with body image started when I was only 7 years old. I did not even realize this until recently. The more I tell people that I used to figure skate when I was younger, the more I remember how I used to compare myself to other girls. No one ever pressured me to have a certain physique when I figure skated or danced, but I think the performance aspect of both sports comes with a hyper-awareness of aesthetics.

I distinctly remember wanting to have nicer legs and a six pack. At seven years old. I skated with one girl who had muscular quads and hamstrings, and I wondered why my legs didn’t look like hers. I was a fit young’n who trained several hours per week, supplemented with Pilates and ballet, but why didn’t my body look as toned or fit? My negative self-image made me believe I was weaker.

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[source]

My insecurities went haywire when I gained a little weight. The natural perfectionist in me freaked out when I saw in photos and dance audition videos that my hips were wider and my legs were bigger. Rather than embracing my womanly curves, I wanted to run far away from them.

I would “pull” at my fat constantly and make negative comments about myself. I know I’m not the only one who was (and occasionally still is) guilty of the fat-grabbing. I’m not saying that this kind of self-awareness is intrinsically bad, but when we pass the line of self-awareness into the territory of self-hatred, that’s when we need to make a conscious effort to change our mindset.

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[source]

I turned to healthy living blogs for my first source of advice, but I took the information completely out of context. Now, we all know that Jenn’s fantastic What I Ate Wednesday linkup is NOT about comparison, restriction, or judgement, but as a girl whose self-esteem was diminishing and desire to lose weight was augmenting, I didn’t take those rules to heart. I read blogs for a year or so before starting Daily Moves and Grooves, and when I first started reading, it was to find weight loss advice.

“She only had 1300 calories in a day, so that means I need to have 1250.”

“No more than exactly one tablespoon of nut butter at breakfast. That’s the standard.”

“She only ate one afternoon snack. I should limit myself to one as well.”

All I can say now is, what in the flippin’ heck!? I wish I could take younger Alison by the shoulders, give her a nudge on the forehead, and tell her, “YOU’RE NOT THAT PERSON. You’re an active, growing person. Your future self needs you to EAT.”

This was my dinner on a regular basis in the midst of my eating disorder. Lettuce leaves, fruit, a smidgen of cheese, and a drizzle of dressing to end a day of school, activities, dance, and studying.

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Had a major salad for dinner! 🍴

A post shared by Alison (@alison_grooves) on

Calorie counting escalated my obsessions very quickly. Calorie counting works for some people, and that’s great! But it absolutely did not and still does not work well for me in terms of my mental health. Where there are numbers, there is critical analysis for me.

I would hide my phone whenever I was counting calories at the table. Day by day, I would cut back just a few more calories, and if I went over my “daily allowance,” I needed to compensate by restricting even more the next day and exercising ASAP.

did have an idea that what I was doing was unhealthy. There were a lot of signs pointing to the fact that my behavior was unhealthy. I mean, I knew to hide my calorie-counting. My dance teachers called home. My hair fell out excessively. I was always cold. A priest told me I was getting skinny. I wasn’t completely naive, but my behaviors became ingrained habits, and they continued to snowball.

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[source]

I felt a false sense of discipline and pride in the fact that I allowed myself to starve. All the signs that I just mentioned meant that I was getting skinnier, and that’s all that mattered to me anymore. “What was health if I wasn’t skinny? I feel like I’m about to faint? Good. I have self-discipline.”

I had to see that someone else was hurting due to my actions in order to change. My big turning point occurred when my dad confronted me with tears in his eyes and slight anger in his voice. He told me once and for all that I what I was doing to myself was unhealthy and that I had an obligation as his daughter and God’s daughter to stop my habits.

I realize today that eating disorders do not only hurt the victim himself/herself; they hurt the victims’ loved ones too. The more I meet people, especially close friends, who struggle with eating disorders, the more I realize how painful it is to watch them seemingly trapped in an unhealthy, self-loathing mindset. I also remember being cranky, stubborn, and hostile to others who changed my eating habits/schedule, even if they did not intend to.

Healthy living blogs have taken a new and improved role in my life. Both blogging and reading blogs have been a huge part of my support system during recovery. Whereas my focus was on calories and comparison when reading blogs before, my focus now is on overall health of the mind, body, and spirit. I cannot express how much I thank all of you for your support, whether you blog or not, comment or not. You all keep me going.

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[source]

The way I look at food will never be the same. And that’s not a bad thing. I feel as though once you’ve experienced an eating disorder, food never really has the same role in your life as it once did before you ever fell into an eating disorder.

When I was younger, food was fun, delicious, and often just a necessity.

During my eating disorder, food was something I so desperately wanted, but I made it the enemy.

Today, food is again fun, delicious, and a necessity, but I appreciate 100x more how important it is in keeping our incredibly created bodies in motion every day. I still know the number of calories in many foods, and there are the rare occasions when I feel guilty about eating something. But overall, my mindset has made a complete 180.

I’ve learned when I need to eat, even if I’m not hungry. I’ve learned that dessert in moderation (and sometimes not-so-in-moderation) is a good thing. I’ve learned that healthy food makes me feel good, junk food makes me feel meh, but there’s a place for both in my life/stomach, because they’re both delicious.

I am stronger, both physically and mentally now. Besides gaining a lot more physical strength now that I’m feeding myself properly, I’ve gained more mental and emotional strength than ever before thanks to recovery.

Just a few months ago, one of my close and beloved family members expressed that he thinks my legs are fat. If I had heard this at any point before last year, I probably would have spiraled into depression because my legs used to be the body part of mine which I despised the most.

But when I heard this comment a few months ago, I honestly just laughed it off. Yes, I was slightly hurt, but I know myself. I know my legs are naturally chunkier, but hey, more power to them. They carry me through an insane amount of activity throughout the day, not even including my workouts. If my legs’ abilities and strength have to be compromised in order for them to look skinny, then to hell with that. That being said, if they never look like a CrossFitter’s legs, that’s fine too.

If you have naturally skinny legs, embrace them. If you have naturally thicker legs, embrace them. If they’re somewhere in between, embrace them. They do a lot for you.

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[source]

If we can find beauty in others, then it is indeed possible to find beauty within ourselves. <— This right here is paraphrasing what my friend Lauren said during a Bible study last semester. We tell our friends how beautiful they are and how great they look all the time, and I like to believe that we’re genuine in saying these comments. So why not genuinely believe that we ourselves are beautiful too? Not just our bodies, but our personalities, our spirits, our smiles.

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[source]

The human body is an amazing instrument, which is why we want to treat it well. Treating the body well does not equate to attaining a certain shape or size. Rather, treating the body well equates to energizing, moving, resting, and loving it. And I believe that the body is just one element of God’s crowning creation of the whole human person. Energize, move, rest, and love your soul too. ♥

Holy moly.

The End.

Love you.

So tell me:

Anything about everything on this topic.

Boston-Bound + Fascinating Friday Links #41

I’ll try not to be dramatic…

…But this is the last post I’m posting from my New York home before I go to Boston. From now until Thanksgiving, I’ll be posting from college— sometimes via ethernet cord, sometimes from a library, often when I’m procrastinating work. YAY!

I’m moving in on Monday, but I actually don’t start classes until September 2nd. Next week I’m participating in a volunteer program for freshmen called FYSOP➔ First Year Student Outreach Project. It’s an optional program during which you get to volunteer in a certain focus area with some of the current Boston University students and of course, fellow first-year students.

My roommate and I are both doing the “Hunger” focus area (hmmmm…wonder why I chose something relating to food), which explains the #NOMaste I posted at the end of this week’s WIAW. They want us to use that hashtag along with #KungFoodFighting on social media. I love these people already!

So that’s what I’ll be doing this coming week. I’ll do my very best to update you all on what I’m doing and eating sometime! If you don’t hear from me though, you’ll know what’s happening.

Alrighty! I’ll catch ya on the flip side, but in the meantime, check out some of these awesome links from the blog world!

Since there is a slim chance I will be doing these Fascinating Friday Links every week from now on, I’m making this week’s roundup slightly longer! (I also just found a ton of great links I needed to share with you all.)

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Health and Fitness

[Assess your workouts] Top 5 Reasons Your Workout Isn’t Working via Eating Bird Food

[Drastic restriction just does not end well] This is What Dieting Does To Your Body via Better With Sprinkles

[Drop it lowwww] 40 Squat Variations You Need to Try via Greatist

[Core strength is essential] 5 Core Exercises That Will Take Your Adventures to the Next Level via Sierra Social Hub + Your Trainer Paige

[For mind and body] 6 Easy Ways to Be Healthier via I Heart Vegetables

[We all wonder this at some point] WTF Does It Really Mean to “Listen to Your Body?” via Greatist

[Move and groove] 30 Minute Dumbbell Workout via Your Trainer Paige + Dumbbell Circuit Workout with 10 Min. HIIT via Fit Foodie Finds + Cardio Core Circuit via Run Pretty

Food for Thought

[“Yes” isn’t always good for us] The Small But Soul-Crushing Word You Use Every Day via Goins Writer

[Life.] 25 Things to Remember When Life Gets Tough via Marc and Angel Hack Life

[You absolutely cannot judge a book by its cover] Rethink Homelessness via LifeBuzz

[Fitness for life, not looks] Fitness Isn’t About Building a Better Body, It’s About Building a Better Life via Peanut Butter Fingers

[For new moms and dads] 12 Things I’ve Learned in My First Year of Parenting via Sweet Tooth Sweet Life

Food for Belly

[Who wouldn’t like these?] Healthy Cookie Dough Bites via Yeah…Imma Eat That

[Heck yes] Gluten-Free Peach and Oat Pancakes via Cookie and Kate

[Flaaaavor] Garlic Butter Salmon with Caramelized Shallot Relish via How Sweet It Is

[Brunch at its finest] French Toast with Pear Chutney and Mascarpone via Pinch of Yum

[All of it] 9 Gourmet Grilled Cheese Recipes That Are Totally Easy to Make via Greatist

Miscellaneous Fun

[So…don’t go to a club?] Admit It: Clubbing is LAME via Youtube

[For real?!] Can You Grow Oats at Home? via Kath Eats Real Food

[Gotta get me some mason jars] Ways To Use Mason Jars in the Kitchen via The Lean Green Bean

[Build a business] How to Grow Your Blog and Make Money via Peanut Butter Fingers

Ta ta for now, folks!

 

Fascinating Friday Links #41 + Giveaway Winner

Hi there!

I feel like I have so many things to tell you guys before I leave for Boston, but I just don’t know where to start. I rarely plan my posts, but that’s what I’ve done for the coming week. I might even throw in a couple more posts than usual, but I’ll do my very best to keep them short and sweet (something I can’t always do).

In the meantime, hopefully you all have some time to wind down and catch up on rest and family time this weekend. Here are some Fascinating Friday Links for your reading pleasure!

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Health and Fitness

[Great info on portions] Portion Control and Sizes via The Fitnessista + What Does 100 Calories Look Like? via Kath Eats Real Food and Live…Don’t Diet

[For overall health] 5 Simple Diet Changes via The Lean Green Bean

[I didn’t know what free radicals were until this post!] Foods That Fight Oxidative Stress and Aid in Recovery via Cotter Crunch

[Healthy, delicious and quick] 15 Lunch Ideas for Busy Professionals via The Almond Eater

[Move and groove] 12 Minute Lower Body Interval Workout via Purely Twins + Weight Plate Workout via Run Pretty + Bodyweight HIIT Workout via Your Trainer Paige

Food for Thought

[Your past should not define you] I Am NOT My Past via Story of a Girl

[We’re all guilty of many of these] 12 Toxic Behaviors That Push People Away From You via Marc and Angel Hack Life

[Women are not objects] These Are The Things Men Say To Women On the Street via Huffington Post

[Two powerful words] The Secret to a Strong Marriage After Kids via A Healthy Slice of Life

Food for Belly

[She just knows] Cookies and Cream Banana Soft Serve via The Healthy Maven

[Totally what I want] Cookie Dough Banana Pudding Breakfast Parfaits via Yeah…Imma Eat That

[Fresh flavors] Pesto Squash Noodles and Spaghetti via Cookie and Kate

[Sunday morning…] Baked Whole Wheat Peach Pancake via Cookin’ Canuck

[I like saucy rice] Unstuffed Bell Peppers via Budget Bytes

Miscellaneous Fun

[I’m mostly Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Iyengar!] Quiz: What Style of Yoga Is Best For You? via Greatist

[So awesome] Automated Thanking Machine Video via San Francisco Globe

[Interesting to know the less glamorous aspects] The Cons of Blogging via The Healthy Maven

[Definitely me] Any Other Fake Adults Out There? via The Lunchbox Diaries

[I’ll need these soon enough] 8 Tips for Navigating Grad School via Better With Sprinkles

Giveaway Winner

Thank you to all of you who commented on the Beauty in Christ book giveaway post! The winner [picked randomly] is:

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Congratulations, Natalie! Email me at dailymovesandgrooves [at] gmail [dot] com so I can get your info to send the book to ya!

{P.S. I used to never know why bloggers typed out their emails like that, but apparently it prevents spam!}

 Hope you all have a wonderful Friday! Happy Feast of the Assumption, fellow Catholics!

“And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” — Revelations 12:1