29 Questions

Look at this pretty salad that I made for my brother and Pop!

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spinach, cherry tomatoes, pears, avocado, homemade honey dijon vinaigrette

I don’t even make salads this pretty for myself. I just throw a leftover chicken drumstick on a pile of spinach and call it a day.

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I’m an expert at making pretty avocado egg toast now though

Other colorful eats from yesterday included caprese salad (a classic fave) and fresh mango with Greek yogurt and sunflower seeds.

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yes, all those were mine

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Plus a million other snacks and eats because yesterday was one of those “bottomless pit” kinda days. I also napped for a long time in the afternoon after a couple hours of gross anatomy studying. My body is taking all this rest and running with it (oxymoronic sentence?).

Madre and I also went to a free yoga class yesterday morning! A woman in our neighborhood is offering free classes once a week since she’s practicing for yoga teacher training. It was a great 55-minute ashtanga/vinyasa class! Madre was my paparazzi apparently, because I swear I didn’t ask her to take these photos for me. But alas, they exist.

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felt as uncomfortable as it looks because my right hip flexor was SO tight yesterday

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I also got my heart rate up after yoga with the 100 burpee challenge! Here’s a video of it because a) I’m home, so I have few better things to do with my life; b) I appreciate when other people show themselves dying (not literally) during a workout, because it’s very #human.

(NOT that you have to die during every workout. Au contraire. Rest is so important! I take an average of two rest days + two walking/yoga days per week. Going “all out” every day doesn’t work for me, mentally or physically.)

And now for some lightheartedness around these parts! I feel like my posts have been pretty serious recently. I came across this “29 Questions” blog survey on Tina’s blog yesterday and thought it would be fun to do here!

1. Who are you named after? I think I’m named after a TV character that my mom really liked. I was almost named Stephanie though.

2. Last time you cried? Sunday when I was talking to my dad about faith and relationships. Just young adult things.

3. Do you like your handwriting? Yes. It’s gotten messier as I’ve gotten older and less type A about neatness, but I can deal with it.DSC_3063

4. What is your favorite lunch meat? Roast beef!

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ohhh Cutty’s roast beef 1000 ♥︎ 

5. Do you still have your tonsils? Yep. This is the most random question ever.

6. Would you bungee jump? I would if I was with other friends/family who would do it with me.

7. What is your favorite kind of cereal? Peanut butter Puffins!

8. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Only when I have to.

9. Do you think you’re strong? Yes.

10. Favorite ice cream? Cookies ‘n’ cream. (Or the carrot cake ice cream from Salt & Straw if we’re getting specific.)

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it had carrot cake CHUNKS in it 

11. What is the first thing you notice about a person? I’m not sure, but Tina said a person’s smile, so I’m going to agree with that.

12. Football or baseball? Is it un-American if I abstain from this question?

13. What color pants are you wearing? Gray.

14. Last thing you ate? Some Indian snack mix that my mom put on the coffee table.

15. What are you listening to? “I Got” by Young the Giant.

16. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Yellow. (Haha, I wasn’t even thinking about my Asian-ness at first, but hey.)

17. Favorite smell? Freshly baked pumpkin bread or cookies.

18. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone? My aunt and cousins from California.

19. Married? Nope.

20. Hair color? Black/super dark brown. I’m not picky about what you call it.

21. Eye color? Black. These are most definitely black holes. It’s so hard to see my pupils!

22. Favorite food to eat? Guess.

 

23. Scary movies or happy endings? Happy endings all the way. I’m still scared of that Disney movie Hocus Pocus for crying out loud.

24. Last movie you watched? The Shack this past weekend.

25. What color shirt are you wearing? Turquoise (the workout shirt pictured above).

26. Favorite Holiday? Christmas! Easter is a close second. Thanksgiving a close third.

27. Beer or Wine? It depends. I’ll let you know for sure when I’m 21.

28. Night owl or morning person? Night owl (as I type this at 12:48am).

29. Favorite day of the week? Sunday. I love Mass and Sunday brunch 🙂

So tell me:

Your answers to any of these 29 questions!

Do you throw leftovers on top of salad greens and call it a salad?

Two things you did yesterday.

Commitment Issues

How ’bout them Patriots!?

If we’re being 100% honest, I left to study anatomy after Lady Gaga’s (EPIC) halftime show. #WorstBostonian. Megan and I got live updates via our screaming neighbors though.

So about these commitment issues. (No, there is no boy.) I talked about “operation: say yes” while I was studying abroad in Dublin, and that worked pretty well there, but I still have trouble committing to just about everything in my life.

Back story: Last week I had an unnecessarily rough time with a TWO page response paper for my religion class. My task was to answer “What is the role of ‘religion’ in medicine, if any?” in approximately 500 words, and it took me a total of six. hours.

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I texted Rachel telling her that I could punch a wall (I was literally yelling and shedding a tear or two when Megan wasn’t in the room), because I just could not for the life of me form my thoughts into a coherent TWO PAGE ESSAY. Luckily for me though, Rachel is a stellar best friend and competent paper editor who cuts all the crap.

Alison, I feel like you’re not committing to your argument, which, considering yourself, is not hard to believe.

Long story short: Rachel helped sort my thoughts and taught me that I just need to commit, not just in my paper arguments but in my LIFE.

Commit to social events. Commit to times and places. Commit to my ideas. Commit to my thoughts and words.

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I always commit to peanut butter though

I waste so much time (like those 6 hours on a two page paper) teetering back in forth in my mind about whether I should do something or say something, because I am (often subconsciously) terrified of commitment. I don’t want to be wrong. I (ironically) don’t want to waste my time if I make the “wrong” choice of plans. I want to please everyone all at the same time.

I felt like God was yelling at me to learn about commitment last week, because two different priests spoke beautiful words of wisdom that helped me realize my commitment issues.

  • Our Catholic Center priest, Fr. Barnes, spoke one day about how we shouldn’t overthink when choosing between two good things. For example, if you are choosing between helping a sick friend or making sandwiches for people who are homeless, you don’t need to mull over the decision forever. Just PICK ONE, because they’re both good, and you’re wasting time thinking about which one is the “right thing to do” when you could just be doing it. Fr. Barnes said, “God will bless it,” whichever you choose.
  • I was listening to a podcast by Fr. Mike Schmitz (← cannot recommend enough), and he said,

“God’s will is always something you know, because God always speaks in clarity…We have this weird idea that God tries to hide his will…I think we’re more interested in getting rid of the anxiety of making a big decision…God’s not waiting for you to answer a question he hasn’t asked yet…If it’s not absolutely clear what God wants and doesn’t want, then just move!”

In other words, just commit to what you know is good and right in that moment. If what you choose ends up being terrible, then hey, it’s called life and you learn from it.

And so I’ve tried to put this all into practice.

Should I go to the gym with Christina (@foodietunes) on a whim in between my classes?

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I only had time for a 14 minute workout and didn’t get to shower before my next class (did have deodorant though, so I wasn’t putrid), but I committed and had a blast with this chick. We practiced handstands to Aaron Carter’s new song to finish our workouts 🙂

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Should I go out and buy mozzarella and tomato to cook caprese chicken even though my basil is dying? (Seriously, this could become a big dilemma for me.)

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Um, yes. This was a fantastic idea. I set aside time to grocery shop and cook this properly (committed to using the grill AND the broiler), and it was one of the best things I’ve cooked in a while.

Should I spend a few hours on Saturday night with my girl friends?

Get your work done, Alison, and commit to this time with your friends (I am known to flake at the last minute for social gatherings).

Man, was this worth it. We talked, snacked, played Just Dance…

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…did (a single) square partner pushup…

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…and played the laughing game.

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Immediately after this was taken I said, “Wait why are we holding hands!? Ew, guys.” #waytoocheesy

Should Megan and I commit to making football-shaped scones for the Super Bowl party? 

Megan pitched the idea as a half-joke, but I took the idea and ran. We committed, bought the ingredients, and made our favorite British baked good.

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“football-shaped” is just one interpretation

As Rachel reminded me several times, scones are not a situationally-appropriate food for the Super Bowl, but they were still a hit!

I’ve been committing to other, more important things than scones, but my point is that I am at a point in my life where I need to improve my decision-making skills, overthink a bit less, and trust in myself a bit more (only because I know that God has entrusted me with knowledge and skills).

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Hope you all have a wonderful Monday!

So tell me:

Do you have commitment issues?

Thoughts on the Super Bowl? (I have none to share because I didn’t really watch it.)

What was the best thing you did this weekend?

Dealing With Irritating People

It took me a few minutes to think of the title for this post.

What I really want to title it is: “What I do to calm myself down when I perceive others to be irritating, but really, I’m just hungry and tired and every little tick makes me slightly rage-y,” but that’s too long.

But first, thank you all for your feedback on my fitness post! I’m glad that it was helpful and that many of you related to my outlook on working out.

Before we get to Five Minute Friday, here are some scenes from the week:

It has been hot but gorgeous (just like you 😉 ) this week, so I’ve taken advantage of the green space at work to picnic outside during my lunch hour.

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utilizing the Sriracha 2 Go keychain that Christina (@foodietunes) gifted me at Christmas ♥︎ 

This was nice until yesterday. I think I sat on an anthill or something, because ants were crawling all over me and almost into my pants.

Overnight breakfasts made my {sleepy} mornings a little more exciting.

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Kylie’s banana pudding for breakfast

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overnight oats in a Nuttzo jar

Madre has been killin’ it with meals this week. I love cooking, but it’s nice to have dinner cooked and ready for you when you get home from work 🙂 Thanks, Madre!

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quinoa with mok fish (salmon and a little bit of egg binding steamed with lemongrass in a banana leaf) and roasted vegetables

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Last night’s dinner was easy, simple, and so satisfying.

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caprese + avocado toast

…followed by Greek yogurt + pb with dried figs.

p.s. my dinners look so puny here, but I promise I eat so many things before I get home for dinner…and then after dinner (I’m just trying to simulate those multiple-course cruise meals I guess).

And lastly, I just noticed that my leg looks painted with bruises. I was trying to “feel the steel” on my squat cleans yesterday, and I think I succeeded. Here was yesterday’s workout (after two lovely days of rest):

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This might mean absolutely nothing to you. Decoded version:

I actually did three squat cleans at 85#, because I was feelin’ good (I had a good amount of rest between sets while changing the weights). Not heavy by any means for avid weightlifters, but I just started squat cleans with an empty bar just 6 weeks ago, so I’m proud of myself! If I went to the actual gym more than once per week, I could speed up the progress, but…eh it’s guatever.

Now for the vlog!

link to video!

Hope you all have a fun weekend! Madre just poured a crap ton of kettle corn right in front of me so imma eat some.

So tell me:

How do you deal with irritating people/situations?

What was the best dinner you ate this week?

Have you eaten al fresco recently? 

Any accomplishments/progress (fitness or non-fitness-related) you’d like to share!

Overcoming My Fear of Being a Couch Potato

I just realized that the past three photos on my Instagram all include peanut butter, banana, and carbs.

Well, anyone who goes to my profile will immediately know the top three foods that sustain me. Truly, there is rarely a breakfast of mine that does not include all three of those things: peanut butter, banana, and carbs.

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Friday morning breakfast: Greek yogurt with cinnamon, nutmeg, chia seeds, banana, berry banana muffin, and peanut butter

You know how carrots + onions + celery = mirepoix, and celery + onions + bell peppers = “The Holy Trinity” in Cajun cooking? Well I hereby proclaim that peanut butter + banana + carbs = The Breakfast Trifecta.

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Saturday morning breakfast: mango banana overnight oats

I’ve been watching the CrossFit Games this weekend, and I have nothing to say but “WOW”. I could actually say “ouch” because I’d probably be out of commission for a week (or dead) after just one of the thirteen grueling events those athletes completed.

While I was watching the fittest people on Earth doing their thing, I was eating dessert and being a couch potato.

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Friday night’s sweet treat was Cookie and Kate’s vegan banana nut scones that I un-veganized with 2% milk, butter and honey. I think I added too much milk, resulting in more of a cookie-cake texture, but they were still fantastic topped with peanut butter and almost-burnt pecans(<— SO TASTY.)

Back to this whole couch potato situation. Now, I still generally do not like sitting for long periods of time because my butt starts hurting or I get very antsy.

That being said, up until very recently, I would almost never let myself just veg out on the couch for a night, even if I really wanted to just kick my feet up and relax. I would try to get up and do some squats, push-ups, burpees— all to “stay active.” No matter how much activity and exercise I had done during the day, I just forced myself to keep moving. That’s what healthy people do, right?

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There was definitely an underlying, insanely irrational fear that being horizontal on the couch for a couple hours would somehow make all my food turn into fat or that I would get out of shape.

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Crazy stuff happens in my brain sometimes.

(All the time.)

Seriously though, literally giving my body REST— not just active rest— has done me more good than making sure I’m moving and grooving at all times. I have overcome my fear of being a couch potato.

Moving on to dessert numero dos. Saturday night’s CrossFit Games grub of choice was vanilla ice cream with mangoes, cinnamon, nutmeg, and toasted pecans.

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New favorite thing!!! This combination blew me away.

I also tried some of this Righteously Raw dark chocolate that I won from Jessie’s birthday giveaway.

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I ate that little piece on the top right. I’m sure dark chocolate lovers would very much enjoy Righteously Raw chocolate, but speaking as someone who doesn’t like chocolate that much in the first place… EW.

How do people like dark chocolate??? It’s like chocolate that you would give to someone for April Fools’ Day. “Jokes on you! It’s dark chocolate, not tasty milk chocolate!”

I guess you could say it was not smart of me to enter a giveaway for dark chocolate, but I thought I’d give it a try. Ya never know if you might like something you thought you hated, but this time, I still hated it. Don’t worry though, I’ll be sharing these!

Okay, I’ll just finish up this long post with some other scenes from the weekend.

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grilled pesto chicken for Saturday night dinner

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Amanda’s chunky monkey Greek yogurt pancakes for Sunday morning//HOLY MOLY DELICIOUS

Dad and I went to (yet another) local Italian festival yesterday, but this one had even more food and fun!

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cups of mini meatballs // Dad’s cacciatore meatballs and my caprese meatballs

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sun gear: sunglasses + cowboy hat

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pistachio and hazelnut gelato

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the best batch of strawberries we’ve ever bought

Food photo dump complete.

Hope that you all had a fabulous weekend and you have a kick-butt week ahead! But don’t forget to kick your feet up every once in a while.

So tell me:

Are you okay with being a couch potato sometimes?

Which three foods do you always eat together? Bread, avocado, and eggs is the Lunch Trifecta.

What is the best thing you ate this weekend?

Fueling for a Day in the City

The city is exhausting!

New York City in particular has the most draining effect on me. I definitely love the city, and I’m so lucky to be living close to one of the greatest cities in the world.

Besides the walking and heat, there is so much stimulation from the millions of people, cars, lights, sounds, and smells. If you try to slow down, you will either get run over by an automobile or pushed over by busy people. That being said, walking, dodging flying objects/people, and climbing stairs for a few hours requires lots of fuel.

Starting with breakfast!

Actually, starting with pre-breakfast. I woke up hungry at 5 AM. Why.

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spoonful of Nuttzo power fuel

I tried going back to sleep, but then 6 AM came before I could. After dropping off dad at the train station, I was READY for breakfast.

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Greek yogurt with cinnamon, nutmeg, chia, and maple syrup // banana, strawberries, granola, and a giant scoop of peanut butter

A little while later I warmed up a couple of strawberry cornmeal griddle cakes that I had froze, and I snacked on one with some maple syrup as a morning snack. I did get to sleep a little more too!

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I took the day off from my {flexible, volunteer} internship to join up with some good friends from BU who are also NY/NJ locals, health professionals to be, and…Asian 🙂

By the time I had arrived at Grand Central and then walked 19 blocks to Shake Shack, I was a hungry, hungry hippo (<— always wanted that game when I was a kid).

We surprised our friend Dana with cupcakes and horridly off-pitch singing (on my part) for an early birthday celebration before ordering and chowing down on our burgers from Shake Shack.

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My first Shake Shack burger! It was perfect and I miss it already.

Tina and Cassandra were kind enough to pick up Georgetown Cupcakes for Dana, and Dana was kind enough to share with all of us!

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happy early birthday, Dana!

We trekked it over to High Line Park, where we took touristy pictures despite not being actual tourists. Before that though, we stopped by Eataly to use the restrooms, and LOOK WHAT WE FOUND.

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A NUTELLA BAR {inside Eataly, not inside the restroom}

Take deep breaths, I know it’s a lot to take in. We didn’t buy anything, but I need to go back to try it out soon!

Back to High Line… (thanks for the photos, Cassandra!)

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{posed}

After High Line and a quick walk through Chelsea Market, we parted ways and went home. I took a nap on the train because I was dead meat. I think I felt almost as tired as I did after our 7 mile hike in Colorado!

My stomach felt weird when I got home, but I knew I needed a snack. Or two.

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steamed veggies + 34 Degrees poppy seed crackers with hummus

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more Nuttzo (this spoonful + more because this spoon has limited space to hold drippy nut butter)

A couple hours later I ate caprese again as a dinner appetizer, along with the other cornmeal griddle cake from the morning.

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I was kinda full by the time I ate real dinner, but I didn’t stress out about it, ate slowly while conversing with Pop, and finished every last bite enjoyably!

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salad with homemade maple mustard dressing + ginger cilantro lime / pesto turkey meatballs + roasted sweet potatoes + corn on the cob

Huzzah for leftovers!

Night snack was this cinnamon roll Quest bar from the never-ending Blend swag bag.

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I microwaved it for 23 seconds (as suggested by a reader), and the Quest bar morphed into a Quest lava flow.

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I should start making Quest sculptures when they’re hot

And that’s a wrap! ‘Twas a blessed day of eats as always.

I have one more day of my internship this week before I head up to Boooooooston for the weekend! 😀 Hope you all have a wacky Wednesday in the best way possible!

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joining the WIAW party on Peas and Crayons!

So tell me:

Do you ever wake up hungry? It used to happen a lot more when I was depriving myself, but I guess it still happens once in a blue moon!

What is your favorite fast food burger joint?

Something sweet that you ate yesterday!