My fitness journey started with a little Beyonce.

Wow, it’s Thursday already. On Monday I thought to myself, “Hmmm feels like this week is going to be kinda long.” Wrong.

Moves.

Tuesday – 100 burpees throughout the day + upper body workout

*10 burpees between each exercise

Wednesday – active recovery day

  • some walking
  • Blogilates’ extreme abs 3 (done virtually with my friend Dom!)
  • stretching and foam rolling
  • some dancing
some tulips from my walk

Beyonce and the start of my fitness journey. I started gaining interest in fitness as a sophomore in high school. My cardiovascular health was never really great, so I had very humble beginnings that started with 15 minutes on our basement elliptical. Running a mile was a sTrUgGLe for me at this time as well.

As I was still just starting out my training, if I was feeling spicy, I would do a few rounds of Beyonce’s “Move Your Body” music video dance (which is really fun btw) to get my heart rate up. Yesterday I wanted to do it just for fun on my active recovery day, and I just remembered how I used to be winded at the end of it when I was in high school.

Not that I’m super fit (especially cardiovascularly, which is still a weak point for me), but this is all to say that you should never be ashamed of where you are in your fitness journey. You are not pathetic if you can’t run a mile without stopping, do a pushup, do a squat, whatever. You are not pathetic if you get winded with 15 minutes of elliptical like I did in high school. There are benefits to increasing cardiovascular endurance, but start and build up safely and consistently from where you are. That’s perfect.

Johnnyswim. Do you guys know this artist? It’s a husband and wife who make sorta folksy-pop music that is really beautiful. Their new quarantine project is called “Songs with Strangers,” where they select a person on their Instagram Live each week. In ONE DAY, they write, produce, mix and release a new song with the help of that person (usually the person just contributes their story, which becomes the basis of the song lyrics), who ends up getting half of the rights to the song. And let me tell you, these songs are wonderful. Here’s one of my favorites:

It’s also awesome that they’ve been posting the full 7-8 hour Instagram live videos of the entire process. Musicians are amazing.

So tell me:

What do you like to do on rest days / active recovery days? (Sometimes I don’t walk or really do anything. Yesterday was still pretty active!)

Do you remember some things you found difficult at the beginning of your fitness journey?

Do you like Johnnyswim? Are there any cool celebrity quarantine projects that you fancy?

Hi, Happy Easter and Passover!

For Passover: I’m sorry I am late in wishing this to all my Jewish friends! I hope you all had a wonderful celebration.

For Easter: I would say, “Sorry I’m a few days late,” but NAY Easter is an OCTAVE, so we are still going as if it’s Easter Sunday. He is risen! He is risen indeed!

Feasting. This past week has involved celebration in the form of FaceTime/Zoom “gatherings” with loved ones, delicious food (desserts, particularly), and solo dance parties to happy music. I kicked it off with homemade carrot cake, of which I have eaten a slice every day since I made it. Yesterday I also made these banana bread blondies with brown butter frosting, which rocked my world. I’ve been sharing, but let’s be honest, a majority of the carrot cake has entered my gullet.

Fruitful. I felt that I was really falling in love with Christ in the days leading up to Easter. His perfect Love for us is unlike anything else; it is truly everything good. I am grateful that the extra time to pray, due to current circumstances, made Holy Week especially fruitful this year. Goodness gracious, He loves you so much! YOU.

Sardines. I have been eating tinned sardines in olive oil on sourdough toast with some tomato sauce, and it is just delightful. I don’t buy fish for myself besides canned tuna, because I look at the price and think, “eh, omega-3’s can wait” (for real though, don’t neglect omega-3 fatty acids in your diet). But my mother was very kind and sent me a Costco shipment that included a large pack of tinned sardines, and I feel like I’m eating a luxurious Mediterranean meal with those little fish. Tinned fish = luxury, who would have thought?

But seriously, have you ever tried smoked trout?! ūüėģ Luxury.

Day in the life. Really not that exciting. Praying, walking, cooking, eating, studying, FaceTiming / Houseparty-ing people (to chat or just do work in solidarity), moving and grooving, applying for jobs. I am looking into some volunteer opportunities to start moving outwards.

Moves. I posted this on my instagram story, but today I did 100 burpees, spread throughout the day in sets of 10-20. I now have a goal of becoming more efficient with my burpees (as I once was when I was a wee lil blogger) and to build up more stamina. In order to do this, I am going to do 100 burpees every other day until May, aiming to increase speed and the number I do within each set, but always prioritizing form and listening to my body.

I have one friend who is going to take on the challenge with me (s/o to you, Victor!), some friends who will do some iteration of the challenge, and several friends who shared with me their own ways of staying active at home. I love solidarity!

Otherwise, I’ve been doing whatever I feel like doing that day. My 35-pound KB has been a great addition to my “home gym” (i.e., 5lb dumbbells and a resistance band). Running outside has also been a weekly thing. One of my professors proposed a “Marathon Monday Run” wherever we are this coming Monday in honor of the Boston Marathon that has now been postposed to September. We will just walk/run however long we want and share our pics and maps with each other. More solidarity!

Loss. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the continued suffering and pain that so many people are facing in this world. It hit a little more closely today when I learned of the passing of my mom’s cousin in France from COVID-19. He was a doctor, about the same age as my parents, and he leaves behind his wife and children, who are about my age. One of my friends’ grandmother is also suffering now from COVID-19.

May we rest in the peace of Christ and never cease hoping in Him. Thank you always to those who continue to sacrifice themselves on the frontlines and for those who continue to work in any field at this time. Praying for those who are hungry, lonely, heartbroken, ill, lost, or in danger in any way at this time.

So tell me:

Did you celebrate Passover or Easter? What did you do?

How are you keeping sane and/or staying active during quarantine?

Are you interested in joining the burpee challenge!?

A random sick day vlog.

Boston University has officially made all learning remote for the rest of the semester.

The poor undergraduates who live on campus have been advised to stay home…but are also being asked to move out within 5 days. Good grief.

Yesterday I decided to film a random sick day vlog, mostly because I had very few important things to do.

Enjoy, if you so choose to watch!

The Blonde Ponytail 100s Challenge

Irish Apple Cake

So tell me:

What kind of activity do you like to do when you don’t really feel like working out?

What is your go-to food to use up a lot of milk / eggs?

What did you do yesterday?

Do you have your life together? I don’t.

An Easy and Weird Way to Make a “Chopped” Salad

Moves. This workout was quick and dirty, and it was one of my favorites in a while!

10 minutes EMOM (every minute on the minute)

~Rest for a few minutes~

10 minutes EMOM

It doesn’t look like much on paper, but if you go heavy enough on the kettlebell and high enough with the box jumps, it gets spicy.

If you’re not sure what EMOM entails… Set a timer for 10 minutes (+ a few seconds of countdown to get ready). At 10:00, start the “even” exercise, completing it as fast as possible with good form. Once you’ve completed the assigned reps, you get to rest for the remainder of the minute. At 9:00, start the “odd” exercise and do the same thing. Etc…

These are all pretty high intensity moves, so that remaining time in the minute should be much needed! If not, first check form, then increase weight/height of box, then increase reps if still too easy.

“Chopped” salad. One of the many weird things I do is make chopped salads by hacking at all the ingredients together in a large container (e.g., last night I used my rice cooker pot because it’s the largest vessel I have right now) with kitchen scissors.

If you’ve ever been to a bougie chopped salad bar, they’ll often pour out all the ingredients onto a giant cutting board and use a curved axe-saw type of thing to chop-chop the salad so that you have perfectly proportioned bites vs. large, stemmy leaves that are unflattering to eat.

Well I don’t have those tools, but I still want the chopped salad experience sometimes. I do have a large container, and I do have kitchen scissors. So last night’s super easy salad at 9pm was spinach, avocado, deli ham, homemade maple mustard vinaigrette ‚ěĒ dump into clean rice cooker pot ‚ěĒ hack at all of it with kitchen shears while occasionally tossing.

I’ll post a video example on my instagram story today if you’re interested. And yes, I ate my salad straight out of the rice cooker pot.

p.s. I definitely ate more food after my salad, so don’t go thinking I eat 300 calories for dinner.

a blurry throwback photo of a “chopped” salad a la scissor hacking

Avocado smoothie. Speaking of avocados, I went out to lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant with my friends on Sunday, and John ordered an avocado smoothie for us to share. It is literally just ice, avocado, and some condensed milk. I loved it. It was like a light, refreshing guacamole milkshake that had a subtle but sure taste of the beloved creamy fruit. I recommend it the next time you’re out eating pho!

So tell me:

Do you like to make “chopped” salads at home? If so, how? Have you/would you ever try the kitchen scissors+bowl method?

Have you ever done an EMOM workout? Do you like them?

Have you ever tried an avocado smoothie? Do you like to put avocados IN your smoothies?

Weekend Confessions

weekend confessions

Confession #1:¬†I’m currently blasting Ariana Grande’s “Right There” and belting it in my apartment (you know I’m rapping Big Sean’s part too),¬†because Megan moved out and I’m alone.

Confession #2: I miss Megan a lot. I miss the microwave and trash bin that she provided this semester too, but I miss her more.

Confession #3:¬†Finals are DONE, and I am now a senior/physical therapy graduate student!!! But I’m really feeling¬†the “responsibility drop-off” (‚Üź literally just made that up) and have been trying to balance my empty¬†study schedule¬†with my real life to-do list.

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study break last week

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crepe study break as a farewell to our friend Tom from Ireland!

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fresh out of our gross anatomy final, dying inside a little but living the dream

Confession #4: Instead of doing the online portion for my CPR course on Thursday night after my last final, I went to a summer birthday celebration (for all of us who have summer birthdays that we cannot celebrate during the school year) and a bonfire.

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Confession #5:¬†The amount of sugar I consumed that night (cake + ice cream + cookies + s’mores) is really scandalous as a future healthcare professional, but no regrets.

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Confession #6: Since I went to the bonfire, I went to sleep past 1pm, had to wake up at 7am to finish the online CPR course, literally RUN to print out my certificate and meet up with my friend Janice to go to the in-person portion of the CPR class. #responsible.

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But now I am CPR certified! “Ah ah ah ah stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.”

Confession #7:¬†Lunch on Friday was very beige. For bucket listing, Rachel and I went to Roxy’s for grilled cheese and truffle fries, followed by Toscanini’s for the B3 (brown butter, brown sugar, brownie) flavor. A meal of champions!

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Rachel and I both got the three cheese: VT cheddar, muenster, and fontina cheeses inside perfectly crispy, buttery white bread.

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The truffle fries were RICH. Truffle oil with rosemary and salt. So fantastic.

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In addition to the B3 (the required bucket list item), Rachel got marshmallow fluff and I got butter almond (so much butter that day), and we both enjoyed them thoroughly. I’d say Toscanini’s has the best ice cream in the Boston area! It’s so dense and satisfying, similar to¬†gelato.

Confession #8:¬†I didn’t finish this blog post but scheduled it to post for this morning, so it was incomplete when it went up. Whoops. Here’s the rest.

Confession #9: Instead of sleeping early on Friday night (which I needed because I was exhausted), I went to my first Red Sox game ever because one of the Deans of the school was giving out a bunch of free tickets to my friends and me while we were playing hacky sack outside earlier in the day.

Sleep vs. first (and maybe only) Red Sox game ever with friends on a Friday night?

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I don’t even like baseball, but the experience was a blast.

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My favorite part was dancing between innings to try to get on the jumbotron but failing every time. I maybe watched the actual game for a total of 5 minutes.

Confession #10:¬†It has been utterly freezing over here in Boston in the middle of May (read: 40-50*F), but since people are moved out and it’s supposed to be hot for the rest of the week, my apartment’s heat is off. That means I’ve been incubating myself in multiple layers inside my room.

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MIDDLE. OF. MAY.

What is this madness!?

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Confession #11: I worked out with Ben on Saturday, and his original workout was too hard for both of us that we had to scale it down as we went on. It was a great one though!

10 crab walk pushups // 10 plank up downs// 10 plank shoulder tap holds // 10 burpee-squat-front lunge twists

.3 mi run

15 crab walk pushups // 15 plank up downs // 15 plank shoulder tap holds // 15 burpee-squat-front lunge twists

.6 mi run

10 crab walk pushups // 10 plank up downs// 10 plank shoulder tap holds // 10 burpee-squat-front lunge twists

.9 mi run

15 crab walk pushups // 15 plank up downs // 15 plank shoulder tap holds // 15 burpee-squat-front lunge twists

1.2 mi run

We ran on the grass to mix up the terrain, which was good. Those complex burpees were apparently added in just for me, but they were killer!

Confession #12: I returned my rental book a day late, but Barnes and Noble is generous and gave me a two day grace period instead of charging me $45 right away.

Confession #13: Briana, Sarah, Dom and I watched the Hannah Montana Movie on Saturday night, and I 100% enjoyed it.

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Confession #14:¬†I took a bunch of my friends to Le’s Vietnamese for pho on Sunday because it’s cheap and good food. They let me order and advise them on how to eat everything correctly.

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Between six of us, this was less than $40! And it was so satisfying and delicious on the rainy day.

Confession #15: We went to buy froyo afterwards, and my cup was $7. So much for saving money.

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The mochi made it really heavy…okay, the amount of froyo I got also made it really heavy.

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Confession #16:¬†I worked out with Sarah yesterday morning and my butt is mighty sore today. We did some rowing, weighted step ups, split squats, and squat jumps. That’ll do it.

Confession #17: A bunch of us got together last night to watch Inside Out, which Sarah and I had watched halfway through but had to leave during a cliffhanger. We finally finished it last night, and I am unashamed to say that I shed a tear. What a great movie.

Confession #18:¬†I’m definitely not an early bird anymore. My three day streak was short-lived.

Hope you all have a beautiful week!

So tell me:

Any “confessions” from this weekend?

The best thing you ate this weekend!

Your guilty pleasure movie.

Are you CPR certified?