No Hunger, No Problem

Did any of you watch the CrossFit Games this past week!?

In-freaking-sane. I was on the edge of my seat eating kettle corn watching these superhumans do the impossible.

In other news…

Three of my high school dance company friends got together for a reunion at Bareburger. It had been forever since I’d seen Pam and Charli (I saw Susie not too long ago in the city), and it was so fun catching up with these girls! We’re all talking about our jobs and intense research projects these days. TOO MUCH (quasi-)ADULTING.

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what radiant women

As Charli said, we came with our eager stomachs for some kickass burgers. Pam also spotted these incredible brussels sprouts on the menu that we shared. Get this: brussels sprouts with sriracha, blue cheese, pork belly, and butternut squash.

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Whoever thought of this combo is out of his/her mind, yet so brilliant. For my burger, I got the El Matador: bison burger, queso fresco, pickled jalapeños, guac, pico de gallo, and green leaf lettuce on a sprout bun.

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it looks like a guacamole sandwich tower at first sight, which is very pleasing

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Demolished that.

Warning: the rest of this is going to be very first world problem. 

When my family went out for our Groupon dinner (that was postponed last week) at North Street Tavern after Mass, I was not hungry at all. Lunch at Bareburger was fatty and filling, but it was also pretty late (we finished at around 3:30).

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I could have eaten a salad at Bareburger, but I didn’t want to be “that person” to order salad at a burger place, especially while dining with good friends. Not that they would have judged me, but I knew that we chose this reunion to be at Bareburger for a reason (read: dang delicious burgers).

I also really wanted a burger because I had just worked out and I wanted hearty foooooood.

If I’m honest, I was almost…disappointed that I was so full by the time dinner rolled around. We were about to eat at this fancy restaurant, and I had zero desire for any food. This would have stressed me out to NO END a couple years ago.

“Why did I eat so much at lunch? I will definitely only have a salad now. Maybe I just shouldn’t eat at all. Should I just try to stuff all this food?”

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crab cakes with mango salsa for the table to share ➔ 1/2 a cake for each person

But as intro anatomy taught me, rest and digest is the way to go. It’s easier said than done for some of us (trust me), but there’s no need to stress over food. In my recovery, there was a weird phase where I unsure whether I was stuffed because I actually overate or because I just needed to adjust to this new amount of food that I should be eating. This made me hyper-attentive to my stomach at all times, and I would stress about having to eat a certain amount for each meal, even if I wasn’t that hungry.

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tuna tartare ➔ mom shared a bite with me

Sometimes that anxiety still creeps up on me, even though I’m certain that I’m eating a healthy amount overall. Or maybe it’s just anxiety that I need to eat all this good food while it’s in front of me. Either way, I’ve learned to CHILL.

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mom’s fave: sweet potato fries ➔ I had a few of these

If I’m not hungry at all, no one is forcing me to eat. Don’t eat. If I have a few bites of food— because, hey, I’m at a nice restaurant with my family— that’s still okay. God gave us food to live and to enjoy, but He definitely did not give it to us to stress over it.

If you’ve struggled with food in any way, you know that it’s hard to naturally accept those thoughts “like a normal person”, but I can attest that it is possible to work through it.

Luckily for me, the rest of the family didn’t have nearly as much food as I did during the day, so they were ready for this meal.

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my wood-fired personal pizza with roasted red peppers, mushrooms, ricotta, and basil ➔ 2 slices of this

As I relaxed into the meal more, I found that my appetite started to appear (it had been ~4 hours since I finished at Bareburger by then).

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a bite or two of Ben’s lobster mac and cheese

I knew to save room for dessert, don’t you worry. This I finished all by myself.

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carrot cake!

A few disclaimers:

  1. We ordered so much food because the Groupon was worth a LOT.
  2. Hooray for leftovers.
  3. We are humbly grateful to have so much delicious food available to us.
  4. We also don’t usually eat out every weekend, but I dunno, I guess we have Groupons to use.

Other eats at home have involved peanut butter and banana (but I didn’t need to say that).

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brown rice breakfast bowl

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overnight oat smoothie with blueberries added in

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whole wheat banana pancakes for Sunday morning breakfast

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topped with Greek yogurt, nut butter, and blueberries

I also taught Ben how to make and eat avocado egg toast. It is truly an art and a skill. Let me know if you want a tutorial.

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I’d say the young lad needs a bit more practice, but not bad for a rookie.

Hope you all have an awesome Monday! Rest and digest.

So tell me: 

Thoughts on this first world problem of mine.

What was your Sunday morning breakfast?

Did you watch the CrossFit Games?

What are you thankful for today? Well, if I do indeed wake up after I go to sleep tonight (typing this Sunday night), then I’m thankful for another day of life and for the opportunity to go a job that I find enjoyable and fulfilling.

 

I Failed at Thanksgiving

Although I did have a minor Thanksgiving cooking fail (which I will melodramatically get to in a second), yesterday was wonderful in every way, and I am incredibly thankful for the family time and delicious food. I hope you all had relaxing and love-filled Thanksgivings as well!

My Turkey Day started earlier than I preferred after going to sleep at 2 AM. But sleep is for the boring, and it was time to go to Mass and be thankful, dangit! 😉

Breakfast was calling my name when we got home from church, so I made an old favorite that I had been missing in college—Gina’s cookie dough cereal. It hit every point of peanut butter-oat-banana craving in my body (aka the perpetual craving).

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I contemplated doing a quick workout before the cooking commenced, but my body was feeling tired and sore so I opted to work out in a more casual way. I spread out 5 sets of 20 air squats, 20 pushups, 20 sit-ups, and 20 burpees throughout the day for a total of 100 reps of each exercise. I went on a quick walk with Pop as a cooking break later too.

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Then it was time to tackle the food! I was in charge of the cornbread, stuffing, and brussels sprouts, so I started with the one that took the most time and the one that is the star of Thanksgiving in my eyes— the stuffing.

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Now in your mind’s eye, multiply this amount of stuffing by ten. I kid you not, that’s how much stuffing I made. Mom and I thought it would be a good idea to overshoot and double this stuffing recipe (totally recommend the recipe by the way!), so that’s what I did. If any of you stuffing lovers out there have a second wind, please hit me up. We have three large containers completely full of the stuff…ing.

Veggies were also in the works! I’m not even trying to be an overzealous, healthy living, hip hip hooray person right now, but the vegetables probably tied with the stuffing for best dish in my opinion.

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Mom roasted sweet potatoes and butternut squash with just olive oil at 400F for 45 min.

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Brussels sprouts halved and pan roasted in coconut oil // salted and peppered with // tossed with walnuts and dried cranberries.

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I later ended up being responsible for taking the turkey out of the oven, but that was apparently a bad idea on everyone’s part because I left it in the oven for a weeeee bit too long. I was just waiting for the thermometer to get to 165F, but somewhere along the line I allowed the turkey to cross the line from juicy and tender to kinda dry. What’s with me and overcooking meat?! 

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Connecting to Mulan even more on this day.

At least it looks pretty.

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It really wasn’t bad either. It was on the drier side, but not terrible. Pop even said it was his favorite part of the meal, but that’s such a dad thing to say. Thanks anyway, Pop 🙂

I attempted to drown my disappointments in cornbread until I spotted the jar of honey on the counter…I forgot to put honey in the cornbread batter, and I didn’t realize until the cornbread came out of the oven. The recipe is sweet honey cornbread. #AlisonRuinsThanksgiving2014

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I quickly remedied the situation by pouring a generous drizzle of honey on top of the cornbread when it came out of the oven, which formed a sweet crust on top as the bread cooled. Then a small extra drizzle of honey on each slice made all things new. Phew!

My cooking job was done after that (thank the Lord), and after mom finished the mashed potatoes, we said our prayers of thanksgiving and feasted!

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At 4 PM, we had a laid back Thanksgiving dinner. I loved that there was no feeling of “stress” to eat ALL THE FOODS. There was enough room in my stomach for a late night snack even! Oh, and dessert of course.

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Classic apple pie a la mode. Perfect!

We got the apple pie at a church fundraiser (which got the pies from a bakery), and it was on point. The flaky crust was the best part because…carbs!!! I don’t need turkey. I just need stuffing, cornbread, veggies, and pie.

The rest of our evening involved cleaning, relaxing, snacking, and watching The Help. It’s one of my new favorite movies. I laughed and cried, which is a sign of a winning movie to me!

‘Twas a lovely Thanksgiving indeed.

Oh hey, it’s Black Friday. But Black Friday started on Thursday apparently, so I’m a day late? I’ll be spending my day catching up with some of my high school best friends at breakfast, homework, and maybe a workout.

I hope you all have a fabulous Friday!

So tell me:

American friendsWhat was the best thing you ate for Thanksgiving?

Turkey or side dishes?

Did you go/are you going Black Friday shopping?

International friends— What did you eat last night? 

What It Feels Like To…

College is all about new experiences. We have the big ones like moving into the dorm, joining new clubs, passing those incredibly difficult exams, and graduating (whoa, far into the future, eh?). But we also have all the little ones in between. This weekend I reflected on some of the small, new things I experienced, both good and not so good.

After this past week, I now know what if feels like to…

Have Thanksgiving dinner before Thanksgiving day.

It feels kinda wrong, but oh so right. Thank you, dining halls!

Stuffing ♥ ♥ ♥ 

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pumpkin pie + white chocolate cranberry cookie!

Cook a steak.

I felt so flustered. Have you ever thought about how you might feel if you were thrown into the show Chopped and you got choked up? Yeah, this was that feeling.

The people for whom I work asked me to cook up two steaks that they had in the freezer and I agreed since they had so much faith in me. LOL.

I was looking up “how to cook steak” and “how to defrost frozen steak” on my phone and trying to decide the best/safest ways to do both and ahhhhhhhhhh. I think I did okay with the defrosting and the initial sear on the steaks, but then I overcooked the steaks in the oven. I gave them well done when they requested rare and medium rare. *facepalm*

They said it was really good, but I think they were being nice. Maybe the baked potatoes and tuna salad I also made for them redeemed me.

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This was actually delicious!

Be at a hockey game where Boston University Terriers pull out an awesome win!

So much pride.

We won 3-2 against University of Maine at overtime!

Watch a quality romantic comedy.

ALL THE FEELS. I watched About Time with a bunch of friends on Saturday night, and it might be one of my new favorite movies. Watch it if you have not yet!

Have America’s Next Top Model as a roommate.

It’s fantastic for the self-esteem, really. (jokes jokes.)

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© Christina Chu

(I also know what it feels like to basically have a pro photographer as a friend!)

She might not actually be America’s Next Top Model, but she totally could be, right?! She modeled for a fashion show this weekend and I heard many rave reviews that she killed it on the runway. Evidently. I live in the same room as this beautiful person!!!

Run five miles.

Besides feeling kinda uncomfortable because I needed to go to the bathroom the whole time, I felt amazing! That’s the longest I’ve run without stopping to date. Yay!

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I started the GPS about ½ a mile into my run, so the 5 miles were hit, I promise!

Oh, and for the record, a “running high” is quite similar to a burpee high… But the view and fresh air that comes with running is a wonderful bonus 🙂

Pay over $3.00 for just the dry cycle for my laundry.

That feeling would be rage-y.

One extra long cycle apparently wasn’t enough for my load of laundry (which wasn’t especially large or anything), and I was still left with super damp clothes by the end of it. I contemplated air drying it all, but there’s no space in the dorm for that and all the clothes were too wet anyway. Thus, I bit the bullet and paid for another full dry cycle. That totaled to $4.75 for laundry.

Life.

So there you have it! Some of my latest and greatest new experiences!

Something I’ve been thinking about doing is posting shorter yet more frequent update/musings kinds of blog posts instead of longer, spaced out dump-my-life-on-you posts. I don’t want to sacrifice quality for quantity, but I’m hoping to spark interesting conversations about things that pop up during my day that I find worthwhile putting into a post. Does that make sense?

Basically, I want to try to post more often with less content (unlike this lengthy, random post) while having a more specific focus in each post. If that still doesn’t make sense, then we’ll just see how this all unfolds, won’t we?

Have a marvelous Monday, friends! I’m going home for Thanksgiving tomorrow what whattttttt.

So tell me:

After this weekend, I now know what if feels like to_________.

Do you like tuna salad?

(I can post the recipe for the tuna salad I made if ya want! It’s pretty bomb if I do say so myself.)

What is your favorite romantic comedy?