Less Salad, More Bacon

Now, now. I still love vegetables.

But bacon has made its way into my heart (figuratively, maybe literally too, it’s all okay). It has helped fuel life lately, and life has been a blast! A busy blast and not always an easy one, but c’est la vie.

I used to eat salads every single day. If you’ve followed me for a long time, you might remember that a typical meal might be a huge bowl of spinach with leftover meat/pasta/stew just thrown on top (Rachel thinks that’s so weird, BTW).

For example:

Green, leafy (edible, non-smokable) things are obviously great for you, and I highly recommend them. However, I don’t recommend stressing over eating a salad a day. There are other ways you can reach your veggie intake each day, such as…

…rainbow colored carrots (how fun! from Trader Joe’s!)…

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…arugula in an avocado, egg, BACON, sriracha sandwich…

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…OR with tomatoes (actually a fruit, but for all intents and purposes a veggie) in a homemade BACON cheeseburger…

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…frozen brussels sprouts heated up in a pan with some spices…

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with leftover Annie’s mac and cheese, some rice, and turkey meatloaf

…OR you could eat almost-dead arugula as a side salad, just to compliment your avocado, BACON, egg toast.

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If you’re wondering, I get the uncured apple smoked bacon from Trader Joe’s!

Bacon has honestly helped me recognize that adding flavorful (often fatty/dense) foods to my meals makes me 10x more satisfied, so I’m less likely to think about food in the hour or two after I’m finished eating. I do love food, but it is so nice to not think about it all the time.

All this to say: Tune into what will truly satisfy your body at the moment. Is it really a salad? Or is it really something more dense like a bacon cheeseburger? It can be either one (I do still crave salads sometimes), but try to be honest with yourself. 🙂


What else has been happening this week!? (spoiler: so much.) Here are the highlights.

A much-needed Friday night hanging out with my BFF, Rachel. Complete with Annie’s mac and cheese for me….

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…and banana bread mug cakes a la mode for both of us.

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Lots of studying for functional anatomy.

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Studying is much better with friends like Elayne and study spaces like these.

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Sunday was Colby’s birthday, so she hosted a little picnic at Boston Public Garden! This lady is 21! *glasses clink*

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We drank mimosas out of Dunkin Donuts cups and ate fruit, Terra chips and scones…

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although I made these scones from a box mix and 75% of the people at the party were gluten-free and dairy-free, soooo…. 

…handstanded…

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♥︎ ♥︎ ♥︎

…and I got to meet Nancy from Approaching Paleo (@approachingpaleo)! I’ve “known” her through social media and Fit University for so long now, but I finally got to hug this wonderful woman in person on Sunday.

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The internet can help us meet the most marvelous people, lemme tell ya.

Sunday evening involved the usual (yet always extraordinary) Mass and “ice cream Sunday” tradition! We went to Cold Stone.

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“cheesecake fantasy” that was melting so fast I nearly drank it like a milkshake

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We finished the night off with The Game of Things (NOT Game of Thrones), which never fails to make me double over in laughter.

I developed a pesky and painful blister under my second left toe that caused me to limp a lot earlier this week, so I bought some moleskin and got to work on taping that baby up.

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It’s not a gigantic blister, but the location was awkward and I had to make the taping biomechanically sound.

Lastly, one of the best parts of my week was last night when Ben, Rachel and I went boxing at The Ring.

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After LOVING boxing at Everybody Fights via ClassPass last week, I found a Groupon for The Ring last week and recruited friends to join me. We went to our free trial class last night!

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It was a doooooozy but so. freaking. fun. I am seriously such a big fan of boxing (haven’t sparred in my life, though, so don’t let me get too far ahead of myself), and the HIIT workout these gyms do to train are right up my alley.

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So now we get to box for free for a week and then get 5 extra classes with our Groupon on top of that. I’m SO STOKED. We even got our own wraps and gloves to keep!

Oh! One more thing that is long overdue. I was a guest on Emily’s podcast from Beauty in Christ a few weeks ago. We talked about intuitive exercise. Check out the podcast here if you’re interested! (p.s. Emily is a wonderful friend of mine and a beautiful light in the world, bringing both body positivity and the Love of God to everyone she meets.)

I hope you all have a great pre-Friday! Eat some bacon (or, like, full fat coconut milk if you’re vegan).

So tell me:

What is a food that is flavorful and satisfying that you like to add to your meals?

Have you ever tried boxing?

Two things that you’ve done this past week!

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Permission

On this Memorial Day, let us never forget those who served our nation for the sake of our freedom and safety.

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A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.

– Joseph Campbell

How was the weekend!? Or how IS the weekend (for those who have today off!)?

This weekend (alright, this whole week), I’ve given myself permission to embrace this period of almost zero obligations. I had to get over the phase of discombobulation of having nothing to do, but it’s been a pleasant week of acclimating to living farther from campus and relaxing.

Friday

There have been some errands and work in there too (keeps me sane TBH), like on Friday. I gave a campus tour, since a lot of BU’s tour guides are out of town these next few weeks. In classic me fashion, I was running late and had to speed walk for 1 hour to make it right on time.

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Luckily it was a beautiful day for rush-walking + touring!

Afterwards, I gave myself permission to do a quick 16-minute workout, even though I had all the time in the world and all the gym space in the world (three cheers for the summer lull!).

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‘Twas a fun one! 4 rounds, 30 seconds work, 10 seconds rest:

Then I nommed on the lunch I packed that morning (part of the reason I was running late). I gave myself permission to take my time to eat this. I’m sure some of you understand that weekday lunch is often more or less inhaled on many days.

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leftover peas and roasted broccoli + egg, avocado, pepper jack, sriracha sandwich + blackberries

I had big plans to get a lot Brideshead Revisited reading done for book club, but I got through thirteen pages before I gave myself permission to take a nap in the library’s armchair.

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never goes to the library during the school year // falls asleep in the library during the summer

Before going to the library, though, I tried being that person to read on the stationary bike at the gym, but doing that kinda nauseated me. That + gym music = entirely ineffective reading.

I was awoken by an announcement that the library was closing in an hour. Thankfully, my friend Ben welcomed me to hang out with him before dinner, because I was groggy and without anything to do (what a nice problem to have).

Lauren, Nico, Ben and I went to Shawarma King for dinner. I got the vegetarian combo plate, which had falafel, hummus, babaganoush (omg so good), stuffed grape leaves, tabbouleh, cucumber tomato salad, rice, and pita. HOT DANG. I finished 85% of it.

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Then we went to Athan’s Bakery for dessert! I got their pistachio gelato, which was the most sub-par gelato I’ve ever had, but it was still a delicious frozen treat.

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We finished the night watching the original Grease movie. It’s the best bad movie of all time.

Saturday

Overnight oats to start the morning!

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strawberry banana overnight oats topped with the last of my KIND peanut butter granola

This fueled another nice long walk towards campus…

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please interpret this art

…for another Saturday Spartan workout with Ben!

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Ben planned out this fun workout for us:

4 rounds:

  • run around baseball field
  • 15 triangle pushups (slightly inclined)
  • 2 flexed arm hang holds, any grip (15 seconds each or until failure ← definitely only held it for 5 seconds at some points)
  • 25 Roman chair leg lifts
  • 15 inverted rows
  • 10 step up hops each leg

Topped it off with 10 minutes of core work.

I packed a snacky lunch to eat between the workout and a meeting with my spiritual director (basically someone who teaches me how to better give God permission to speak to me through prayer and to work in my life — the most important permission I could ever give).

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rosemary Triscuits with pepperjack cheese + carrots with hummus

I gave myself permission to actually think about the taste of this snack (I guess people call it “mindful eating”), and it was 10x more satisfying than any other time I’ve eaten carrots and hummus/crackers and cheese.

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loads o’ popcorn

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I rushed through the popcorn and KIND bar, but they were still tasty.

I also gave myself permission to buy water from Starbucks for $0.27 because all the places where I usually fill up my water bottle on campus were closed.

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This was less about permission and more about a fundamental need for water. I am endlessly grateful for constant, easy access to clean drinking water.

After spiritual direction, I video chatted with my uncle, aunt and cousins for two hours. We had a beautiful conversation. Ugh, I love them. I got to spend most of the two hours outdoors before I had to charge my phone.

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The only downside was standing up and realizing that the bench I was sitting on gave me splinters all over my backside.

I picked up some groceries afterwards and gave myself permission to take an Uber back home instead of walking or taking the bus (the fact that an Uber was only $2.20 at the time was also a big factor).

Look what I found at the store!

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Burpee plants!

Back at home, I showered, warmed up some leftovers for dinner, and spent time with Christie’s boyfriend’s dog, Koga. I got a taste of the neediness that most dog owners talk about. It’s annoying in the most adorable way.

Sunday

I gave myself permission to SLEEP. IN. I slept until 9:40! I promised I’d make French toast for all of us in the morning though, so I quickly got to work on that.

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one whole wheat + one brioche topped with butter sautéed bananas, peanut butter, maple syrup, and slivered almonds + strawberries + glass o’ almond milk

Definitely taking full advantage of Christie’s pretty dishes and silverware for my food photos 🙂

I planned on running to the park ~4 miles away to meet my friends for a picnic in the afternoon, but my hip/quads/knee (!?) have been hurting these past few days, and running was a solid no-go yesterday. So I gave myself permission to pass on the picnic, walk home and do yoga instead.

The pain? Google says it could be some muscle tightness. Could be a labral tear. Hopefully not the latter.

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I forget what I did for the rest of the day, but in the evening I walked to campus for Mass, and my friend Evan kindly drove me home afterwards (God bless gentlemanly friends).

Chopped salad for dinner! (Read: Salad cut up with a pair of kitchen scissors.)

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spinach, feta, strawberries, avocado, sunflower seeds, and homemade honey mustard vinaigrette

Followed by dried figs with peanut butter and Greek yogurt. A classic.

Now I’m going to give myself permission to continue lying in bed and read Brideshead Revisited for real this time.

Hope you all have a wonderful Monday/Memorial Day!

Give God permission. — St. Teresa of Calcutta

So tell me:

Do you find it hard to give yourself permission to relax?

What is one thing you gave yourself permission to do this weekend?

Any good books you’re reading? 

 

Day in the Life: Study Abroad

You knew this post had to come sooner or later.

Here’s a day in the life of a student (me) studying abroad in Ireland.

7:50 AM — Wake up, mostly because I need to pee. Roll out of bed and stumble down the long hallway to go to the bathroom. Come back to the room to brush teeth and change.

8:20 AM — Pray.

8:30 AM — 8 minute abs.

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lol

8:38 AM — Change into longer pants, put on makeup, and gather my stuff to go.

8:55 AM — Breakfast! I finished up my tub of Greek yogurt with some cinnamon, nutmeg, and golden syrup (doesn’t taste like anything special), and I ate a sweet potato breakfast bowl that I prepared the night before, following Jen’s recipe. It was a nice change from oatmeal!

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baked microwaved sweet potato (mashed) + mashed banana + cinnamon + nutmeg + almond milk + peanut butter

9:15 AM — Head off on a long walk to the National Museum of Decorative Arts & History at Collins Barracks for our sociology field trip! ‘Twas a gorgeous day to walk.

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10:15 AM — Arrive at the museum. We are assigned a worksheet to fill out as we go through the museum.

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11:30 AM — Finish the worksheet and feel like I didn’t really learn that much, since we were all kinda rushing to finish and head back for lunch. #badstudents. It was fun though!

11:45 AM — Walk back to the dorms with Megan. Snack on an orange as we’re walking.

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in case you forgot what an orange looked like

12:35 PM — Stop by the grocery store for some essentials.

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12:55 PM — Make it back to the dorms on the verge of ravenous. We had already walked 6 miles by lunch! Prepare a quick and easy lunch.

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two slices of buttered soda bread + two eggs + so many carrots with hummus

1:30 PM — Hang out in the kitchen and talk with people while washing dishes. Listen to a friend practice her ethics presentation.

1:45 PM — Walk to class.

2:00 PM — Sit back and relax as I listen to all my peers’ ethics presentations for 2.5 hours. (I got mine over with last week 😀 )

4:30 PM — Class is over. Walk back to the dorms and spend some time catching up on emails, but mostly wasting time on social media.

5:00 PM — Snack on salad that my friend gave me since she doesn’t like arugula. With the last of my carrots, as if I hadn’t eaten enough beta carotene in the day. I ate the equivalent of three small, whole carrots that day.

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5:15 PM — Work on my sociology essay.

5:50 PM — Walk over to the chapel on the campus across the street for the first student Mass of the semester! I meet Megan there.

6:10 PM — Mass (with people under the age of 25, hallelujah).

7:00 PM — Pizza and socializing (after many minutes of awkwardly waiting to see if any Irish students would approach us. We learned that Irish people are not super confrontational and are “afraid of American confidence,” as our sociology professor explained to us).

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plus one more slice (“they’re tiny slices!”) + a piece of intensely sweet chocolate orange creme candy

7:50 PM — Head over to the library to finish my essay.

8:15 PM — Finish essay, type up the references (DEATH), read, edit.

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9:40 PM— PRINT IT.

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9:45 PM — Walk back to my dorm.

10:00 PM — Chat with some friends on Facebook, answer emails, do some other random things that are obviously not important enough for me to remember.

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decided to check the health app since I knew I walked a lot that day— wooohoo!

11:30 PM — Practice handstands and realize that my head position needs to be tucked a little more to help my body stay stacked (gotta love late night revelations).

11:45 PM — Get ready for bed and pray.

12:00 AM — Try to read an article for ethics class but cannot for the life of me process any of it. So I go have a snack instead.

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12:30 AM— Brush teeth again and go to sleep.

I need to be better about having more order to my nights.

So tell me:

What did you eat for breakfast yesterday?

Two things you do in your “day in the life”! 

What is your nighttime routine? 

Sick Day Eats

In the past four days, I have only left the house to go to church, the grocery store, and the train station.

I wish I could say I’ve gone on some fun hometown excursions with friends, but alas, I have come down with something. I’ve had flu-like symptoms, but nothing too serious. Just enough to make me want nothing but sleep, soup, and bread. (I just looked back at a post at this exact time last year, and I was sick, haha.)

It’s weird that I don’t have a million things to do, people to see, and places to walk. Nevertheless, I am enjoying this change of pace. I think that’s why I’m sick. Thanks to human physiology, I now understand that my immune system is repressed in times of stress, so when I am no longer stressed, my immune system starts to fight whatever pathogen has been lurking in my body.

I proudly told that to Pop, and he was like, “I know that.”

WELL.

Cooking in the kitchen has also been making me happy. Today I’m sharing my day of eats from Monday. It’s been a mighty long time since I participated in What I Ate Wednesday (aka WIAW aka wheeee-awwww)!

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630 am: Hot honey lemon water

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After I dropped off Pop at the train station, I went to the grocery store to get some lemons. All my throat wanted was some hot honey lemon water, and boy was it soothing.

9 am: Green overnight oat smoothie

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Festive, yeah? The night before, I put into a blender:

  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. rolled oats
  • 1/3 c. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 HUGE tbsp. peanut butter (so like, 2 tbsp. probably)
  • 2 tsp. chia seeds
  • cinnamon and nutmeg
  • pinch of salt

Stirred it together straight in the blender and put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, I added another splash of milk, a frozen banana, and lots of spinach. Blend, pour into a bowl, top with granola, eat with a spoon.

1 pm: Avocado, cheddar, egg, mustard sandwich

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I went on a 20 minute run jog around the neighborhood before I decided that I was very done. I had worked out the night before, so I was sore and also achy from being sick. Thus, I came home and made this beautiful thing. I even got fancy and broiled the cheese on the toast. DREAMY.

I also ate some colorful pomegranate seeds and carrots with hummus.

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A package came in the mail during lunchtime that included no-bake balls from Arman, so I obviously had to try one. I think this was a cinnamon bun no-bake bite. Basically everything good all rolled into a convenient ball. Thank you so much, Arman!

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5 pm: Nuts

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Balls and nuts, good. (12 year-old boy.)

630 pm: Theraflu

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I appreciate that Theraflu makes tasty medicine.

730 pm: Split pea soup, leftover pesto chicken, peppers and hummus

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I made a big batch of slow cooker split pea soup during the day, and it totally hit the spot for dinner. Also, the thought of raw peppers kinda makes me queasy while I’m sick, but I ate them anyway.

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Split pea soup is my FAVORITE soup!

10 pm: More hot honey lemon water

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(I washed my mug between uses :)) I think I might even have hot honey lemon water even when I’m not sick. It’s so comforting yet refreshing from the zing of lemon. At the same time though, I might want to keep it as a sick day “treat”. Kind of like mom’s chicken noodle soup, ya know? Maybe. I dunno.

Two more days until Christmas!!! It’s 60 degrees outside right now. It’s like a Florida Christmas or something!

Hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday! Go broil some cheese toast.

So tell me:

What do you like to eat or drink when you’re sick?

What is your favorite kind of soup?

What is the best thing you’ve eaten this week? It’s a tie between that sandwich and the split pea soup!

WIAW: A Poem

Every Wednesday there’s this fun party

About bloggers’ eats, both junk and healthy.

It’s hosted by a cool chick named Jenn,

Whose spunk will never run out ’til God knows when.

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Some people call it WIAW (wee-aw), because it’s “What I Ate Wednesday,”

But since I’m such a huge a rebel, I’m showing what I ate on Monday.

Just like Maria, we’ll start from the very beginning, a very good place to start.

Cookie dough cereal with bananas and sunflower seed butter; adding blueberries was also quite smart.

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I believe I also had half a nectarine,

But the photo is nowhere to be seen.

My midday meal happened late in the afternoon,

Since I woke up super late and a normal lunchtime would be too soon.

So after some yoga and chores, I ate a delicious meal,

With simple ingredients, supah fresh, and supah real.

{Except the ketchup I added to the eggs afterwards.}

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A monster spring mix salad, in a bowl the size of my head,

And a toasty wheat roll with avocado and perfect scrambled eggs.

Since I always need cheese in life, I also had some brie

Atop my favorite crackers, Wheat Thins, slightly sweet and so crispy.

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I had quite a few— too many to count

Later on, the same thing happened with these peanuts

I had three times this amount.

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{Sweet and Salty Valencia Peanuts from Costco!}

I took a walk and visited Daliza

Because I always like to see her (say that in a British accent so it rhymes with Daliza).

Despite a late lunch and lots of snacking,

I was hungry for dinner pretty early, and my food’s flavor was not lacking.

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I had leftover pasta salad with extra parmesan cheese

Plus a couple ravioli Mom cooked up, which made me quite pleased.

I used to be afraid of all these carbohydrates. I thought it would make me fat in my sleep.

How foolish that conception was, for without pasta today, I would weep.

Some veggies were thrown in there for nutrients and fun

Hey look, I could still take a picture at night by the light of the sun!

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After going on a lovely evening walk with mom and dad,

I was ready for a sweet treat that’s tasty and rad

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It was peanut butter banana soft serve, cool and creamy.

It’s incredibly easy to make, and it always tastes so dreamy.

I ate it with a side of Greek yogurt, because would you expect anything else?

It added a lovely tanginess, plus some extra protein for myself.

Since I’m basically nocturnal and I stay up pretty late,

I needed a little something to satisfy and satiate.

Of course, I turned to a trusty ol’ classic that never fails me:

Dried figs and Greek yogurt, the best snack that ever could be.

dried figs and greek yogurt

{recycled photo}

That concludes my day of yummy eats. I hope you enjoyed!

My poetry skills are terrible, and my brain is starting to become void.

So tell me:

Are you a good poet?

Fun fact: I won a national pro-life poetry contest in 8th grade (those skills were not reflected here today…), so I got to go to Washington D.C. to be honored for it. I met Dr. Alveda King, who is Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece!

What has been your favorite snack recently?