Lately

I have been the WORST with blogging recently.

I have good and bad excuses, but here’s the lowdown on what’s been happening these past couple weeks!

Before retreat, one of the missionaries at our Catholic Center, Courtney, cooked a killer breakfast (before 7am!) for our little junior Bible study group.

img_7117img_7118

Complete with eggs, bacon, cinnamon rolls (!!!), toast, fresh berries, and the most unassumingly tasty frozen heart waffles from Whole Foods.

img_7119img_7120

Courtney, you are wonderful. Thank you so much!

The night after retreat was the countdown to Rachel’s 21st birthday! A bunch of us rallied enough energy to play Just Dance in a common room too tiny for our large group before all the 21+ peeps (including Rachel now!) took a shot at midnight.

screen-shot-2017-02-27-at-9-36-51-am

in this moment: “It’s midnight!!!”

‘Twas an exciting night! I was alllll about the dancing (even without booze in me 😉 ).

On Rachel’s actual birthday (which happened to be a day off for President’s Day hallelujah), I took her out to UBurger for some good food and great chats. As we do 🙂

img_7347

big papi burger for her, cheeseburger for me, sweet potato fries to share

img_7348

The rest of the week was GLORIOUS.

img_7369.jpg

Boston was teased with the most gorgeous spring weather last week. I got nostalgic, thinking about all the fun spring things from last year. It actually made me kinda sad too, because I know that although it felt like April/May (aka Easter season + end of the semester), I knew it was only February.

img_7362

Nevertheless, people around campus were so much happier and more energetic! It’s like the universe changes for the better when the weather gets warm.

img_7364img_7365

There was still a little bit of snow on the ground, but that all disappeared by the end of the week. I even got to play hacky sack with my friends outside #quintessentialcollegethings. Plus yoga by the river on Thursday morning between classes!

Aaaaaand this week there’s a forecast of snow again.

Random update: I cooked this fantastic pasta dish for my meals last week.

img_7352

Whole wheat spaghetti with sundried tomatoes, artichokes, lots of fresh basil, olive oil, and herby chicken. All my faves.

The food and birthday celebrations for Rachel continued over the weekend!

Fish tacos + the BEST honey ale cornbread on Friday:

img_7370

there were not enough napkins for this goodness

img_7372

check that margarita in front of Rachel eyoooo

Rebecca, Fiona, Rachel and I brunched at Lulu’s on Saturday, which was another beautiful day.

img_7376

donut holes with warm chocolate sauce to start

img_7379img_7377

I got the vegan buddha bowl: mesclun greens, sweet chili noodles, spiced chickpeas and button mushrooms, grape tomatoes, avocado, and sliced almonds. So tasty!

On Sunday, I gave my big gift to Rachel. I took her through a day of 21 meaningful things for her 21st birthday. Some of those things included a breakfast of yogurt + pb, Mass, a trip to El Pelon for the outstanding El Guapo burrito (from our food bucket list)…

img_7382

rice, beans, grilled steak, fried plantains(!), salsa, lettuce, jack cheese in the most doughy tortilla in all the land

img_7383

you bet we housed each of ours completely

img_7385

Sarah also surprised Rachel when she joined us for burritos 🙂

…a 2.5-hour walk through Boston…

img_7387

…a homemade dinner of soba noodles with chicken, peppers, and peanut sauce (soba noodles are one of Rachel’s favorite things ever)…

img_7389

Her boyfriend, Austin, was a surprise guest for the night! God bless the dude. He had raced 6 miles at a 6:23 pace earlier that day after 4 hours of sleep. Casual.

img_7392

…and we finished the day by watching Step Up and eating this PB&J flavor from Ben & Jerry’s, because she’s the jelly to my peanut butter 🙂

img_7395

p.s. highly recommend this flavor to all your pb&j lovers

Good times with good people, man.

Speaking of peanut butter though, I’m giving it up for Lent. And not just peanut butter but ALL nut/seed butters. Whaaaaaaaaaaaat!?

img_7398

banana pudding for breakfast via Imma Eat That

I’ve contemplated giving up nut butter for Lent in the past, but I was always afraid because I consumed many of my calories from peanut butter, and I wanted to be sensitive to my disordered eating recovery. This year, I feel absolutely sure that giving up nut butter is truly out of sacrifice and not out of any restrictive mindset.

I’m really not excited about it, but that’s a sign that it’s something good for me to give up for Lent 🙂

Megan: “Feel the loss, Alison.”

Hope you all have a great Monday!

So tell me:

How’s the weather where you are?

Does nice weather make you nostalgic about anything?

Three things you did this weekend!

If you observe Lent, what are you thinking of doing/giving up?

A Look Into My Interesting First Week of Second Semester

Thinking-Out-Loud

Thinking out loud today with my fave!

1) We’re almost done with our first {short} week of classes, and I’m pretty pumped up!

173e9bd335d3cbab4a328b9337dc57cd

[source]

It’s been exciting to reunite with friends, and my classes are equally as exciting. I’m taking intro to nutrition, behavioral biology of women, exercise physiology, biomechanics, and modern dance (again!). Geeking out!

2) There have been some less exciting things happening this week as well though. I (and a lot of my friends) came down with a cold, and I strained the back of knee somehow after my extra long day of physical activity on Sunday. The latter gave me a limp for a few days, but I think it’s on the mend… Except now there’s a huge knot in my mid back that kinda hurts when I breathe.

giphy

[source]

^^^I’m really okay though.

3) Rachel and I got right back to work on our food bucket list on Monday. We chose Anna’s Taqueria for some burritos!

IMG_9917

My burrito: rice, chicken, grilled vegetables, lettuce, salsa, cheese and guacamole lovingly hugged together by a warm, whole wheat tortilla.

IMG_9916

Rachel and I agreed that these weren’t the most flavorful burritos we had ever eaten, but we were hungry and cold, so these totally hit the spot!

4) Although I miss cooking my own meals, I certainly cannot complain about the food here at Boston University.

IMG_9918

lighter breakfast of whole wheat toast with almond butter and banana, blueberries, and a hb egg

IMG_9923

part of a sick day lunch: tomato kale florentine soup + cornbread

IMG_9925

free pasta supper at the Catholic Center!

IMG_9928

salad + pork and rice with mango salsa

IMG_9929

plain yogurt with granola and banana

5) I ate three bananas yesterday.

cool-story-bro_542

[source]

6) Speaking of food and classes… For my nutrition class, I will have to record a whole day of my typical eats for a project. This includes breaking down the calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients, and then we will analyze what we should add/subtract from our diets.

IMG_9930

I’m not really nervous about the project, but I’m definitely thankful that I’m taking this class now rather than earlier, when I may not have been as secure in my eating habits. Nevertheless, I will take all analyses with a grain of salt!

7) Scenario #1 from yesterday:

Girl at the gym: *points to the small bottle hanging off my backpack* “Is that antibacterial hand  stuff?”

Me: *embarrassed* “…Uhh no it’s hot sauce.”

Girl: “It IS Sriracha! I thought so. I was going to be so disappointed if it wasn’t.”

People get me sometimes.

8) Scenario #2 from yesterday:

*I’m walking down the street bundled up in the frigid cold while listening to music.*

*A middle-aged, white-haired man wearing a Big Bird costume (carrying the head part) walks past me. He looks frazzled and seems to be asking another student for directions. It all just looks like part of a montage as I listen to my music.*

*My jaw drops slightly.*

7Jsw1lq

[source]

Pretty sure this was my exact reaction.

9) To end on a meaningful note… There’s an ongoing service project that a few of my dear friends help organize every week called Back Bay Mobile Soup Kitchen. The participants make sandwiches and bring snacks, socks, blankets, gloves, and other clothing items around downtown Boston by foot to people who are homeless. I walked with them for the first time this past Sunday, and it was a humbling, upsetting, joyful, and inspiring experience all at once.

If you live near a fairly large city and are looking for a way to reach out personally, I think this is a simple yet effective service project. (Strength in numbers! Make sure to bring friends, both male and female.)

10) Hope you all have a marvelous day! Dance like Brad Pitt a little.

So tell me:

What were/are some of your favorite college/high school courses?

Has anything surreal happened to you recently (like my Big Bird encounter)?

What do you like in your burritos?

Do you have a favorite service project?

Favorite Dorm Foods

It’s not time for me to head back to school quite yet, but I know that some college students are already packing up to hit campus again. Bless your souls.

In honor of the start of a new semester/quarter, I thought it would be cool to share some of the foods that kept me alive in the dorms (since you all know that I’m so darn spoiled in the dining halls) and maybe give my fellow college students some ideas!

fave dorm foods

Peanut Butter

IMG_9293

Obviously. I finished SEVEN jars after all. Accompaniments of choice include bananas, apples, crackers, tortillas, and straight up spoons (I don’t eat the spoon).

Oatmeal + Protein Powder + Banana + Peanut Butter

I had a couple 8 AM classes, so a quick dorm breakfast was necessary on days when I wanted to get out of bed at the last possible minute. My go-to breakfast was 1/2 c. rolled oats cooked with water in the microwave, a whole sliced banana, a scoop of vanilla protein powder, cinnamon, and a big spoonful of peanut butter.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Sometimes I would actually make this concoction the night before, let it cool, and then put it in the fridge to eat cold the next morning (to avoid waking up my roomie!). Sounds strange, but it was sort of like overnight oats. Bonus points if you put them in an almost empty pb jar.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Popcorn

Some nice, light microwave popcorn smells great, tastes great, and lures friends into your buttery-smelling dorm room. That being said, I was uber lazy and just bought a huge bag of white cheddar popcorn for myself. Finger-lickin’ good.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Roasted Chickpeas

Any sort of roasted beans are like CRACK to me. I bought a bag of these roasted chickpeas from TJMaxx over Thanksgiving. I felt bad that these were so loud when I ate them in the dorm…but not bad enough to not eat them. 😀

k2-_76b00fb8-0aea-46c9-bd65-e68ce08deaba.v1

[source]

I also love Enlightened Roasted Broad Beans and roasted edamame. Mmmmmmmmmm.

Bars

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Oatmeal bars, KIND bars, granola bars, Larabars… I’m not super picky.

Mixed Roasted Nuts/Trail Mix

picstitch-2

Essentially, nut butter in its original form, sometimes with other dried fruits. This photo also happens to include Wheat Thins, which are also a fabulous snack choice.

Apple Chips

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Especially with almond butter!

Greek Yogurt {Sweet}

I love oats, but when I wanted to mix it up, Greek yogurt did the trick. Plain Greek yogurt with chia seeds, cinnamon, banana, peanut butter, and Barbara’s Peanut Butter Puffins (fave cereal).

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Puffins by themselves were also a convenient and sweet snack.

IMG_9310

also extremely crunchy and loud

Greek Yogurt {Savory}

The generous folks at ADF Foods Lmtd. sent me two bags of Nate’s Mediterranean Bites — one Southwestern flavor and one Garlic and Pesto flavor. They’re freezer falafel bites, and the packages even come with a container of tzatziki sauce that you can thaw/microwave.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset IMG_8791

I liked the Southwestern ones better than the Garlic and Pesto, probably because the Southwestern ones had a spicy kick 🙂 They also have a Kale flavor and Sweet Potato flavor!

These made for an easy and tasty lunch or dinner in the dorms if I was running short on time or if the dining halls were already closed for the night. For a light meal I would warm up four of these in the microwave (although an oven would have been ideal!) and eat them dipped in plain Greek yogurt.

IMG_8792

I tried the tzatziki the first time (pictured above), but warming up frozen tzatziki in the microwave made the sauce separate. A little stir helped it out a bit, but I still preferred dipping the bites in thick and creamy Greek yogurt. Also, thawing the tzatziki in the fridge would have probably been a wiser decision.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Overall, I’m a fan of the falafel bites. For someone with limited time during school and a desire to eat as healthfully as possible, these Mediterranean bites delivered. These babies have 5 grams of protein per two falafels, and they’re made with wholesome ingredients. I dig. They’re delicious too!

Freezer Burritos

^^^Those two words can sound sketchy. However, ADF Foods reassured me that good freezer burritos exist. Enter: PJ’s Organics. This company makes both classic burritos and breakfast burritos that are frozen and microwaveable.

IMG_8229

These are GREAT! Perfect for a quick snack, very tasty, and also made with wholesome ingredients. They sent me the Turkey & Eggs Breakfast Burrito, Traditional Chicken Burrito, and the Steak and Cheese Burrito. I can’t tell you which one was my favorite, but know that they were all mighty delicious.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

turkey and cheese breakfast burrito

Again, this is no Chipotle-level burrito, but it’s definitely a step up from other freezer convenience foods I’ve eaten (scary flashbacks to Marie Callendar’s chicken pot pie). One of the best things about PJ’s burritos is that they’re not too salty. HALLELUJAH for less water retention!

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

steak and cheese burrito

Honestly, I was sad when I finished the last one. So do not fear the freezer food! These ones at least.

*Disclaimer: ADF Foods Limited sent me Nate’s Mediterranean Bites and PJ’s Organics Burritos for free. All opinions are my own.

So tell me:

If you’re in college, what are your favorite dorm/apartment snacks?

Do you have any favorite freezer foods? I would love to hear about them! 

Currently

A few notable moments/things since I last posted (p.s. check out a day in the life here!):

  1. Lunar eclipse. There were some nerds in front of the honors college with telescopes and cameras staring at the blood moon…so I knew I could join them and fit in.Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset
  2. Temperatures cold enough to make me want a jacket heavier than a sweater.
  3. Drinking tropical drinks despite said temperatures.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
  4. I have a new lab partner/breakfast buddy who also brings her own peanut butter to the dining hall and allows me to eat some when I forget to bring my own. #friendship.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Besides those things, I thought this would be a good time to share some other things that I’m diggin’ and feelin’ currently. [Love reading these kinds of posts from bloggers like Spoons!]

Current book: Human physiology textbook and I don’t hate it. Also, currently getting through lots of pages in my Holocaust textbook. Reading about history has always been difficult for me attention-wise, but this content is interesting and heavy.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Current music: “Conrad” by Ben Howard. One of my friends kept talking about how excited he was to see Ben Howard at Boston Calling (an annual local concert that features a ton of rising/already huge artists), so I decided to check out his music. Verdict: in love.

Current guilty pleasure: Studying in the communal kitchen. This sounds hella weird, I know. It’s my guilty pleasure because there are so many study rooms from which I can choose, but I choose the kitchen because there usually isn’t anyone in there, so it’s quiet, and I can stand or sit at the countertop.

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 9.40.51 AM

Rachel was judging me so hard. I’m high maintenance, I get it.

Current nail color hair style: Straight (natural) or in a ponytail. My hair is stubborn, so I just let it be free most of the time. I kinda want to curl my hair, so I’m waiting for a special occasion to do so.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

Current drink: H2O. Still carry around my water bottle like a security blanket.

Current food: I’m really enjoying these burritos that PJ’s Organics so kindly sent me!* I found out a couple weeks ago that I actually don’t have the unlimited meal plan (even though I thought I did this whole time); I actually have the 14-meal plan (14 meals per week + other dining points). Thus, any food that I can eat outside the dining hall in my dorm/on the go that is nutritious and delicious…sign me up.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I think this breakfast burrito had rosemary or sage in it. Fantastic.

Current obsession: My fuzzy red blanket. It gets chilly in our dorm at night these days, so the extra fluff and warmth is much appreciated.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Current wish: That I could read more blogs. Studying and activities say nay many a time.

Current need: I would say a massage, but that’s not really need. I would not object a massage offer though.

Current triumph: Deciding on leading a Bible study. I was on the fence about it at first, but with the prayers and encouragement of my friends, I have decided to lead a Bible study for freshmen girls starting next week!

Current bane of my existence: “Bane of my existence” always sounds so melodramatic, but I guess mine would be the fact that nothing has happened in terms of my normal, feminine processes yet.

Current indulgence: A heck of a lot of sugar in general, which is something I want to talk about in another post this week. But for now, I’m just reflecting on how much I love dessert.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Current procrastination: Studying for my human physiology exam and instead typing this post. (Don’t worry, mom and dad, it’s under control.)

Current blessing: Really good friends. Always a blessing.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Current excitement: Catholic Center retreat in New Hampshire this weekend! In addition to spending some deep, quality time with God and friends, I’m SO EXCITED FOR STARS. Living in New York and Boston, I don’t see stars that often, but the New Hampshire skies seem to display the universe and it makes me want to cry of happiness.

Current mood: Content, anxious, excited.

Current link: Instead of a link, I have a few quote photos from Pope Francis’ address at the Festival of Families. Even if you’re not Catholic, I think it’s safe to say that Pope Francis’ words during his visit to the US hit every person’s heart in one way or another.

12042668_954537211252073_2879778192634066862_n 12033034_954672931238501_1525297356531465234_n 12074761_955029391202855_6108484253115597976_n 12038084_955029517869509_5832939589076313337_n

[source]

Hope you all have a lovely Tuesday!

So tell me your current:

…guilty pleasure.

…obsession.

…wish.

…mood.

*PJ’s Organics sent me some of their products to try. Review coming soon! All opinions and content are my own.