“Dessert Rejuvenates Me”

My room is decorated!!

With wet t-shirts and damp underwear. They’re donning my windows, armchair, desk, and radiators because the laundry was finally installed in our dorm, but my exceptionally large load of laundry was not sufficiently dried in one dry cycle.

I honestly might go frontier-style and start washing my clothes in the sink and air drying them, since laundry will be at least 4.50 euros each time. Yikes.

These past couple days:

Wednesday

We had an orientation for our internships that will start in November, and one thing that the presenter said that struck me was, “It’s not always about what you do on the job. It’s about who you are and how you are.” In other words, in Ireland at least, it is just as— if not, more— important to be social and interactive with your coworkers as it is to be constantly diligent and focused on your tasks. Forming good relationships can be more valuable in your work experience than merely doing what needs to be done.

I know I can get so caught up in doing my job that I forget to talk to people or even refuse to go to social functions. But there’s so much more to a work/learning environment than burying your nose in the work, and I’m excited to really allow myself to do that here and find that balance between work and “play”.

I get it, universe. It’s not all about “just doing well.”

In other news, look at these bathrooms on campus.

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The vibe is, like, Hulk meets hospital. It also smelled strongly like Skittles, which was pleasant.

Lunches recently have been eggs in some form with butter and carbs in some form.

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Thursday

One of my new friends, Kendall, woke up (semi-)early to work out with me before our morning class. It was a fabulous morning too, so we did it outside. YAY. We did a 30 minute HIIT:

7 min AMRAP:
  • 10 burpees
  • 20 reverse lunges
  • 30 plank jacks
  • 100 high knees
[30 sec break]
7 min AMRAP:
  • 10 pushup to T
  • 10 broad jumps
  • 20 spiderman planks
  • 20 air squats
[30 sec break]
7 min AMRAP:
  • 10 side plank side crunch each side
  • 10 side lunge to knee twist each leg
  • 30 mountain climbers
  • 20 split jack lunges
[30 sec break]
7 min AMRAP:
  • 10 in and out pushups
  • 20 sumo squat hip looseners
  • 15 plank to ankle taps each arm

The project manager on campus told us as we walked back to our dorm, “You know you’re making all of us feel guilty right?”

I wish I had answered, “JOIN US NEXT TIME!” But that would have been weird, so we just laughed.

Another Ireland lesson: Milk and yogurt expire much more quickly here than in the States. I almost poured curdled milk into my oatmeal yesterday and then I finished my extra sour Greek yogurt last night.

Lunch was 100% safe though.

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peep the potatoes with kerrygold butter, salt and pepper ♥︎ ♥︎ ♥︎ 

The strawberries from the local grocery store here are also 5x better than Costco strawberries.

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The most frustrating moment of my Thursday was walking 45 minutes somewhere to pick up a bus card, but finding immediately upon walking into the office that the card machine was out of order. *heart drops to stomach* I hated the thought of wasting 90 minutes, but I loved the walk, and I even got to stop into a beautiful church to pray for a bit!

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This photo doesn’t do it justice. I walked in and froze for a couple seconds because I was in such awe.

We had our first Irish language lesson last night too. The professor is the sweetest and most joyful woman I’ve met in a while. The language still eludes me a bit, but it’s cool to learn about it!

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Leftover beef burger for dinner!

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split in half and eaten on top of toast with BBQ sauce, mustard, greens, white cheddar, and caramelized onions

This burger thing was the best culinary idea I’ve had in my 1.5 weeks living in Ireland (which isn’t saying much, given I’ve been living off oatmeal, chicken, and eggs).

Later, a few of us went out for dessert at Restaurant 104. They had “proper bread and butter pudding” on their menu, so I knew we had to go. And that’s just what I ordered!

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WITH raisins @Rachel

I also tried some of my friends’ sticky toffee pudding and [unpictured] “Death by Chocolate” cake.

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Everything was divine. When we all finished, Megan announced:

Dessert rejuvenates me. It’s my life source.

I’m so excited to be traveling Europe with this gal.

Now it’s Friday morning and I’m typing up this blog post! I need to do some schoolwork before going on a cliff walk later today. I did Blogilates’ Extreme Abs 3 (never gets easier) just ate some PB&J banana egg white oatmeal porridge to fuel the day:

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Have some good craic* this weekend!!! 😉

*craic is pronounced “crack” and means “fun”

So tell me:

What kinds of produce are much better abroad than at home for you? 

What is a recent frustrating experience for you?

What are you eating for breakfast this morning?

Do you like bread pudding?

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Current Mood(s)

It’s been a funky weekend.

My mood is currently a slurry of the following:

Upset, confused, uneasy, and heartbroken by the shootings (Christina Grimmie + mass shooting at Pulse) in Orlando this weekend.

I’m having a hard time just typing this blog post, because I’m watching several videos, reading tweets/statuses/articles, and just grappling with the whole situation and with the state of the world. May God be merciful to all, and may He grant rest to the souls of those who died and console their loved ones.

Friends, keep loving more deeply every day. Reflect on your purpose in this world. I don’t mean to be preachy right now, but when it comes to life and death, it’s important to ask yourself: What if my life on earth ended today? 

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Enraged, saddened, yet awe-inspired by the powerful letter the Stanford rape victim read aloud to her attacker.

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Unsure if cutting down on dairy is helping my tummy troubles. I’m currently drinking Lactaid milk (surprisingly, it’s exceptionally tasty milk) and avoiding Greek yogurt and cheese. I think I feel better with less Greek yogurt in particular (*tear*).

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the day before my mom picked up some Lactaid // carbs+pb isn’t the same without a glass o’ milk

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leftover green banana pancakes + banana cream sauce + glass o’ Lactaid (← doesn’t have the same ring to it)

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overnight oats made without Greek yogurt but with extra Lactaid milk, chia seeds, and half a scoop of vanilla protein powder — not bad!

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classic banana egg white oats (video tutorial coming soon!)

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baked banana bread oatmeal for this week’s breakfasts

I’m also unsure because I’m weak. I had a tiny bit of ice cream Saturday night with our leftover apple strudel from the farmers’ market 🙂 And I had a few cheesy jalapeño Popcorners yesterday.

I didn’t keel over or anything though, so it’s all good.

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Another likely culprit is definitely stress. I don’t notice my stress, but I think my body/mind has objectively been stressed these past few weeks.

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All that being said…

I’m ashamed and disappointed in myself. Honesty is the best policy. I feel ashamed that maybe my tummy troubles were actually coming from a few too many days of eating until I was stuffed, even if it was just a bunch of vegetables.

I have definitely not been binging by any means, but I do know that I sometimes stress eat and/or eat too quickly when I’m stressed. I was struck by the possibility that maybe my insides haven’t been cooperating because I just haven’t been too kind to them in regards to the volume I eat.

So I’ve been more aware of my stomach cues (without worrying about calories or anything), which (DUH) has been helping me feel more comfortable. I’m tempted to beat myself up about my recent eating habits, but I know that will just do me a disservice. Evaluate, learn, make the changes, and move on.

Somewhat off topic: Lunches these days have been all about eggs, which I find are easy on my stomach.

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two egg omelet with greens and onions + cherry tomatoes + avocado toast

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avocado toast with sunny egg and sriracha (among other things) for lunch on Saturday

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delicious bowl of quinoa, roasted broccoli, sautéed greens, onions, cherry tomatoes, chorizo + sunny egg + sriracha added post-pic

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Thankful that my body can move and exercise. I always try to be, but I’ve had to especially remind myself to be thankful this weekend because of some recent body image issues that I’ll talk more about tomorrow.

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Mom and I have been doing 7 minute workouts and Pilates together. So wonderful to move and groove with Madre.
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Working at a rehabilitation hospital has also done wonders for my perspective on physical ability, movement, and health.

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scene at lunch break

Saturday’s workout was a doozy! 4 rounds for time:

  • 10 burpee tuck jumps
  • 20 crazy Russian twists (10 each side, 15#)
  • 30 side jump lunges
  • 40 air squats with side leg lift
  • 50 mountain climbers

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HUSTLED on those last squats and mountain climbers when I saw that I could finish at 20 minutes

I did this yoga video yesterday, since everything was sore and my body had been craving good, organ-nourishing twists.

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Happy that I get to spend quality time with my parents on the weekends. We went out for sushi on Saturday night after Mass, followed by an evening walk.

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Mom and Pop’s sashimi for two

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cutest soy sauce dish

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my order: “Soho roll” (tuna, salmon, yellowtail, avocado, rice, roe, wrapped in soybean paper) + eel cucumber roll

Ain’t nothing like gooooooood sushi.

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Excited for friends and family in their adventures and endeavors. It’s so cool to see loved ones explore the world, learn, grow, and allow God to work through them.

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So there’s a lot happening in the head and the heart right now. A lot of it is growing pain, I think, which is encouraging and comforting. God is good, always.

I’m sorry if this post seems like a big, negative smash on your Monday, but that’s not my intent. This is just a reminder to myself and to all who read this that we need to support and uplift one another. Joy, beauty, heroism, and love exist, and it starts with you.

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So tell me:

What are your current moods?

Have you ever gone through periods of “meh” eating habits, even if you have a healthy mindset?

What are you thankful for today?

What is the best thing you did this weekend? Mass + dinner and walk with the parents ♥︎

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Tummy Troubles

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Thinking out loud with Amanda today!

1) It’s cold outside. Not that I’m complaining (the cooler days are welcome in the midst of summer heat), but I’m still a little surprised! Mild winter…now mild summer? No more seasons? End of the world?

2) But I snapped this on Monday, so apparently I’m still feelin’ that heat. 72F is great for lounging outside, but STEAMY for working out.

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3) And this tragedy.

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that little black speck = a flea

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4) Alrighty, friends. This community has plenty of experience in the area of food + GI issues, I’m sure.* I’ve had indigestion and general GI discomfort for the past couple of weeks, which is throwin’ off my appetite and, well, the comfort of my insides. (LOL this is legit poop therapy.) I can’t think of anything in my diet that could be the cause.

5) …maybe it’s stress from adjusting to a new work environment and routine?

6) …maybe it’s dairy?? (Please, Lord, don’t say it is so.) I do eat a helluvalot of that stuff.

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7) I’ve even been looking seriously into possibly doing Whole30. I’m considering this because of the GI issues, but also because I’ve been getting a lot more red spots/acne/dryness on my face + a weird rash on my back. If there’s a time to do Whole30, it’s during the summer at home (and right before my family goes on vacation in July, heh). I’m not 100% sure I want to commit, but for now, I’m taking it easy on the dairy (with sadness).

8) That means grains are still in my life, but I’m trying to keep things simple.

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*I’ll talk to a doc if this persists, but for now, I’m willing to listen to anyone with experience!

9) I never thought I’d say this, but these vegan, raw crackers taste like the delicious Parmesan crisps my mom used to buy.

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Kale Goji crackers from Healing Home Foods

I SWEAR. I don’t do imposter foods, but these are an exception. We got these from…the farmers’ market.

10) Mom has been getting into these 7-minute workout apps, and she’s been asking me to do them with her. Moving and grooving with Madre, what a dream.

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Hope you all have a great pre-Friday! Take care of your tummies 🙂

So tell me:

Do you have any experience with prolonged indigestion? What was the cause for you? Dr. Google is telling me many possible causes, of course.

Have you ever tried nutritional yeast? I can finally vouch that it tastes a lot like cheese. 

What are some of your favorite workout apps?

My Diet is the Anti-Whole30

Whole30. Have you heard of it?

Perhaps you have seen some bloggers or other social media figures try it out. I had seen a handful of bloggers mention it or try it for themselves in the past, and I noticed that Jen @ Peanut Butter Runner and Robyn @ The Real Life RD (both ladies I adore!) are currently partaking in the program.

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In case you have no idea what the Whole30 Program is, it’s essentially a 30 day eating program that cuts out certain food groups (such as dairy, legumes, added sugars, and grains) that could have a negative impact on overall health.

It’s not a diet in the sense of cutting out food groups for the sake of attaining a certain body shape or weight. It IS a diet that completely cuts out “psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days.” Learn more here.

Both Jen and Robyn are participating in Whole30 mainly for health reasons (skin issues, overall energy, etc.), and I’ve enjoyed following their Whole30 experiences so far. I especially love Robyn’s persistent message about NOT restricting on Whole30.

It got me thinking: Huh, maybe this would help with that nice zit and dry skin on my face. Or the discomfort that I currently feel in my intestines. Or my raging sweet tooth…

But then I started thinking about a few things:

  • In college, it would be a pain in the butt to scope out Whole30-approved foods in the dining hall.
  • I would really feel uncomfortable declining a whole host of foods or requesting uber-specific cooking instructions when eating out.
  • My current diet is the anti-whole30.

…And I just don’t want to change it. I could. But let’s take a look, shall we?

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Wednesday’s breakfast was Kylie’s “banana pudding for breakfast“. It includes yogurt, peanut butter, oatmeal, and honey. All foods in red are no-no’s in Whole30.

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Wednesday’s dinner was two hard-boiled eggs that were marinating in teriyaki sauce + salad with cheesy, saucy pasta.

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Yesterday’s breakfast was leftover green pancakes (made with oatmeal, milk, and maple syrup) topped with Greek yogurt and banana cream sauce.

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Yesterday’s lunch was a Flatout wrap with avocado + egg + sriracha and cheese + egg. Plus some carrots, crackers, and hummus.

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A couple more breakfasts from this week with dairy, oats, some kind of added sweetener, and peanut butter.

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Check out this fabulous late night yogurt mess with peanut butter and granola.

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This delicious and wholesome dinner was brown rice + chicken (marinated in a lime, cilantro, olive oil and honey) + zucchini sautéed in olive oil.

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A meatless lunch of quinoa, avocado, roasted broccoli, hummus, and sriracha would not make the cut.

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Nay to this gem.

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Hey, look! This could work! Salad and chicken….marinated in honey mustard and olive oil, darn.

You get the point— I need dairy, oats, legumes, and sriracha.

Now, I’m not saying that I couldn’t ever commit to Whole30, and I am NOT trying to bash Whole30 whatsoever. I think it sounds like a great and wholesome eating program that aims to help people feel better. After all, I’m writing this post because I’ve been contemplating how Whole30 could be beneficial for me.

At this point in my life, I truly believe that I could do Whole30 without the temptation to restrict (calories, carbs, or fats). However, I realize that Whole30 would be a drastic change to my diet. Maybe Whole30 would “change my life” (as their website says) for the better, but I don’t currently see the benefits outweighing the costs:

  • No oats, rice, pizza, pasta, quinoa
  • No milk, yogurt, ice cream
  • No peanut butter (← problematic)
  • I would have to make my own nut milk.
  • I would have to ask every dining hall station what kind of oil/added sugars they use to cook the food (i.e. I would not be able to eat in the dining hall).
  • I would not be able to enjoy eating out with friends.

…even if it is just 30 days. In college, that is too much added stress.

Yes, it would be awesome if Whole30 helped me have fewer skin problems, a GI tract that basically never feels icky, and a little more energy around the clock. However, for me personally right now, it is not attainable. Maybe some other time.

I do love to eat healthy foods most of the time, and I feel pretty great as a result. So I guess I will appreciate how great I feel right now and not think about how great I could feel on Whole30. 🙂


 

P.S. I’m currently very averse to many foods because when I was blending a green smoothie earlier, the motor started smoking and it made the smoothie smell and taste DISGUSTING. I sadly threw the first batch out and made it again, but I couldn’t get the nauseating odor/taste out of my head. When I ate peanut butter later, the taste of it was almost like the nasty blender taste for some reason. As a result, I’m averse to peanut butter right now and it’s freaking me out!!!

Anyway, here’s some positivity to end this post:

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Linking up with Amanda’s Thinking Out Loud party today!

So tell me:

Have you ever tried Whole30?

Would you try it?

I Am the Real Dairy Queen

I still haven’t tried a DQ Blizzard yet, but I am not hesitating to say that I am the real Dairy Queen. I’ve talked about dairy before on the blog, but I have re-noticed how much I love the liquid gold that is cow’s milk.

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My mom tells me stories about how I had no problem drinking milk when I was a baby, so I like to think I was royally born the Dairy Queen.

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OMG THIS WAS TAKEN EXACTLY 19 YEARS AGO. Not intentional, but that’s cool.

These cheeks were brought to you by milk. Sticking my tongue out was my way of communicating this: “Two options, mama. Milk now or blood-curdling baby cries commence.”

Well friends, my lactose love continues to this day, as evidenced by the amount of dairy I consumed yesterday…and every day…but especially yesterday!

Milk in an oatmeal cookie dough smoothieGreek yogurt for dipping (this much + more).

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The last of our garlic herb cheddar cheese on toast.

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Mozzarella cheese for caprese. This was my dinner appetizer, and you know what? I like having appetizers for dinner at home! Seems fancy 🙂

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Milk to wash down my peanut butter-topped pumpkin muffin.

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I’m not a Virgo, by the way. No one in my family is, for that matter…Why do we have that mug?

I was thinking about not having the milk because I wasn’t sure if I should cram so much more calcium into my body within a 14-hour period (seriously had nothing to do with calories), but as soon as I took a bite of that gooey, peanut buttery muffin, I thought to myself: Screw it. I need milk.

And then I scraped the last bit of Greek yogurt out of the container that my dad had just finished. He left a whole spoonful’s worth of yogurt in there! I will never understand why people don’t scrape their yogurt/peanut butter containers clean.

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My friend PJ has seen me scrape several PB jars clean in the dining hall. Not a pretty sight for you, but a pretty darn wonderful experience for me.

I’ve tried searching possible dangers of consuming too much calcium, but so far I’ve only seen that it can be dangerous when you take too much calcium in the form of supplements when you’re older. I’m sure some RDs out there know some precautions of eating too much dairy, but for now, ignorance is bliss.

So tell me:

Do you love dairy? I am sincerely sorry if you cannot have dairy 😦

What is your favorite form of dairy? I honestly can’t choose one. The DQ loves all her dairy subjects equally.

Is there anything I should know about high dairy consumption?