Before Going Back to Reality

I’m going back to Boston today!!!

As sad as I am to be leaving my family, I am very looking forward to being with my friends and doing all the learning and activities back at Boston University. It’s been almost 8 months after all!

I don’t know how I’ll do jumping back into reality after what feels like a five month vacation (with study abroad and winter break), but these last few days of break have been the perfect last hurrah.

Here are some things I’ve done before going back to reality:

1) Made my favorite green silver dollar banana pancakes from The Healthy Maven on Thursday morning.

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as always, topped with Greek yogurt, peanut butter, cinnamon, maple syrup + glass o’ milk

2) Gone on long, contemplative walks around the neighborhood.

3) Had lots of solo dance parties in my room.

4) Tried a new fitness class for free with a voucher that came in the mail! It’s called Body Burn, and I think the concept is similar to that of Orange Theory Fitness. You wear a Polar heart rate monitor across your chest, and you try to keep up your HR elevated at around 80-90% of your max HR throughout the entire 45 minute circuit training class.

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Since I went to the relatively new Friday 9AM class, I was the only one who showed up, so it was basically a 30 minute personal class with a swole Italian-American trainer. It was fun! Some treadmill, rowing, TRX, weights, resistance band work, and abs. It wasn’t the hardest thing ever, but I wasn’t pushing myself that hard (my quads were still sore from Wednesday + plantar fasciitis). Hopefully I can go again one day!

5) I’ve eaten a lot of cold roasted vegetables straight out of their container. Doesn’t take much to please me.

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G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S

6) Madre and I went on a sushi and bakery date on Friday ♥︎

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7) I ate plenty of said bakery items.

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huge, buttery poppy seed rolls

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amazing apple cinnamon cake (look at all that apple! and the crumble topping 10/10)

8) I saw Daliza and Michael on Friday night! It was lovely catching up with those two.

9) The fam and I attended a 6 hour defensive drivers’ course on Saturday. #weekendthings. It’s for insurance reduction. We went three years ago to a different company’s course, but this year’s by AAA was a lot more interactive and less boring 🙂

10) We went to Mass and a huge, fancy {Groupon} dinner at  Xaviars X2O on the Hudson on Saturday night!

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just some of the goodies: brown butter pine nut ricotta ravioli for my appetizer (THE BROWN BUTTERRRRR) // Madre’s seared tuna sashimi appetizer //  my banana walnut bread pudding // Madre’s carrot cake // Ben’s warm chocolate lava cake  // delicious quail with kale, mushrooms, and fingerling potatoes for my entree // Ben’s grilled octopus appetizer // complimentary chocolate almond truffles after the whole meal (“omg they’re giving us more food.”)

We share everything when we eat out, but this was still SO MUCH FOOD (thanks to Groupon – three courses were included for EACH person!). And if what’s pictured above wasn’t enough, Pop had a pâté plate for his appetizer, Ben had pork chop for his entree, Madre had an incredible stuffed chicken for hers, and Pop had rabbit and egg noodles for his. They also had complimentary cheese biscuits to start, so you know we were on board for that.

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The food and the company were just splendid 🙂

10) I ate some refreshing soluble fiber the next morning in the form of delicious chia egg white banana oats for the first time in a long time!

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11) I’ve been movin’ and groovin’ in the good ol’ basement.

  • Saturday: Michelle and Lori’s 100 burpee workout (subbed full burpees for the side burpees) before the defensive drivers’ course
  • Sunday: 700 reps of Jess’ killer 1000 rep workout (subbed bent over rows for the T pushups)

My workouts were feeling just meh last week, which is totally fine, but it was nice to finally feel like I could attack Sunday’s workout and finish feeling totally spent!

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I was keeled over on my side right before I took this photo

12) I ate a slice of Chicago deep dish sausage pizza that my aunt sent us.

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oh hot dang

13) I packed a crap ton of stuff for college, because Megan and I are living together in an apartment, wee!!

14) I’ve indulged in watching Kyle Hanagami’s dance choreography on repeat.

I can’t wait to dance again (not this well, but I can try)!

15) Lastly, I’ve been blogging (obviously). I will miss the freedom to blog at a leisurely pace, but alas, schoolwork calls!

I hope you all have a great Monday! Dance, eat lotsa carbs, and let someone know how much you love them.

So tell me:

Two things you did this weekend!

Best thing you ate this weekend?

Have you ever tried Orange Theory Fitness or something similar?

Virtual Breakfast Date

virtual breakfast date

…I would usually hug you before we sit down, but I’ve been sick these past few days, so we’ll nix that for now.

…I would be eating leftover green banana pancakes via The Healthy Maven that I made yesterday.

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topped with plain Greek yogurt, “My Maine Squeeze” almond butter, and peanut butter + glass o’ almond milk on the side

…I would ask you if you’ve been watching the Olympics. It’s funny; I feel like I become more sedentary as I watch ALL the sports all the time on TV. I’ve been enjoying the gymnastics, tennis, beach volleyball, diving, and swimming the most so far!

…I would take a second to fan over Simone Biles and Oksana Chusovitina, that 41-year-old gymnast from Uzbekistan who is STILL KILLING IT at the Olympics. Literally almost three times older than some of the gymnasts competing.

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I just want to finish everything I do in life with gymnastics arms from now on

…I would tell you that I leave for Ireland to study abroad in less than a month, and I have very few (if any) emotions about it. I tell people that I’m excited, which is half true, because I’m looking forward to the adventures and travel. But I’m also NOT excited, because I know how much I’m going to miss my family at home and friends back in Boston. I’m just gonna go and see what happens, honestly!

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I just need to start thinking about what to pack…and stuff like that.

…I would recommend that you read Kylie’s post about why she hasn’t weighed herself in 2.5 years. Whether you have a history of an eating disorder or not, this is a great read for anyone with body image issues (which is most of us living in an affluent society). Kylie rocks.

…I would tell you that my new veggie obsession is Thai “pun” (wraps, not funny puns). Lettuce + some kind of protein + cucumber + cherry tomatoes + Thai basil + cilantro + mint + spicy peanut sauce. The fresh herbs are ESSENTIAL.

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For this week’s version, Madre grilled up some lemongrass-scallion-black pepper pork patties. For her peanut sauce, she mixes her classic spring roll dipping sauce (similar to this recipe) with peanut butter to taste.

I’ve also had the combo on a big bed of salad greens.

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JUST DO IT.

…I would tell you that I think baking skills are a prerequisite for becoming a physical therapist. All the the treats that the PTs bring in to work are phenomenal. Like these cookies and cream cupcakes for someone’s birthday:

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oreo on the bottom, chocolate cupcake, homemade cookies and cream frosting, mini oreo on top

Other treats this summer have included cake pops, homemade chocolate chip cookies, the moistest (sorry) banana bread ever, and pound cake. #help

…I would perpetuate Asian stereotypes for giggles.

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Italian pasta originated from Asian noodles anyway

…I would tell you that I got to hang out with Daliza twice this weekend! She took me to the movie Cafe Society on Thursday night, which I really enjoyed (check it out in smaller, indie movie theaters!). It stars Steve Carrell, Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, and Blake Lively.

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Then on Saturday I met up with her and our other high school friend Apaula to see our high school chorus teacher at one of his gigs. Fun to catch up with all of them!

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…I would gush over the weather we had last week and hope that it continues into this week.

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…I would tell you that eats at home recently have been on point. It’s been fun eating out these past few several weekends, but I loooooove eating home cooked meals.

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classic overnight oats

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Mom’s comforting meal on Friday night after a long, sick day at work: whole wheat spaghetti with tomato sauce, grilled spicy chicken, and fresh basil

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banana nectarine hot oatmeal with “My Maine Squeeze” almond butter

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classic avocado egg toast with sriracha

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delicious panini a la Madre: whole wheat roll with turkey, swiss, greens, homemade carrot and radish pickles, spicy hummus, and sriracha *drool*

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artichoke hummus that I finally popped open from Stowe, VT with baby carrots

…I would tell you that moves and grooves were low-key this weekend since I was sick. Thursday was yoga, Friday was rest, Saturday was Pilates + one day of the 100s challenge (sort of…I didn’t do all the sit-ups), and Sunday was some walking and random playtime on a playground.

…I would tell you that it’s already been a year since I went to the local Indian festival with Rachel! I went with Ben and Pop yesterday, where we shared some Indian grub and walked around the park.

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 …I would ask you:

Which Olympics sports are you following?

If you studied abroad, how did you feel before going?

What is your favorite way to eat vegetables lately?

Have you seen any good movies recently?

WIAW: Feelin’ Fancy in the Kitchen

Hello!

One of the many benefits of summer is being able to spend more time cooking and trying out some of the hundreds, maybe thousands (seriously) of recipes I have bookmarked.

I also did some research for volunteer opportunities for this summer and found a meal program at the local Ronald McDonald House. I called them up because I read that the volunteers cook for families staying at the home, which I would have loved to do! But then I learned that volunteers also have to buy all the ingredients to feed 25-30 people…Oh. Cool. The lady on the phone laughed at me when I realized this.

If I was volunteering with a large group of people, I definitely would have done it. Since I would be going solo though, buying food for 25-30 people is totally not feasible for an ongoing volunteer job. So now I’m looking into volunteering at a hospital. I have the itch to DO THINGS.

For now, I’ll just stick to cooking for my family and me.

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Sharing my eats at Jenn‘s weekly WIAW party!

Here’s what I ate yesterday as I got all fancy in the kitchen!

Breakfast

I woke up hungry, but I also had a craving for pancakes, which takes time. I could have made a usual green smoothie to satisfy my hunger quickly, but I sucked it up, ate a nectarine, and got to work on some pancakes.

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Green silver dollar banana pancakes from The Healthy Maven to be exact.

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Topped with Greek yogurt, sunflower seed butter, and maple syrup 

I threw in that maple syrup in honor of Canada Day yesterday. Just kidding, maple syrup is just required for pancakes.

I had one extra pancake… #becausefutbol #beacausepancakes. They’re silver dollar pancakes too, and mini things are irresistible.

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Lunch

As I was stretching and doing some core work in the family room, I was watching Ten Dollar Dinners on Food Network. Melissa D’Arabian was making salmon cakes, and all I thought was: I could go for some of those right now. So I made some tuna cakes with whatever we had in the house!

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Topped with a spicy relish {Mom had two and I had two} 

I only cooked up four for us to eat at lunch yesterday, but the recipe makes about 14 cakes (we refrigerated the rest). Here’s what I used:

Crispy Tuna Cornmeal Cakes

{adapted from this recipe}

  • two 7-oz. cans tuna, flaked with a fork
  • heaping 1/4 c. cornmeal
  • 1/3 c. finely diced bell pepper
  • 1/3 c. diced vidalia onion
  • 1/3 c. plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp. spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. dried dill
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 egg

Combine all ingredients well. Form into patties using ~2 tbsp. of mixture per patty. Cook in a skillet lightly drizzled with olive oil on medium heat for 3-5 minutes per side (until crispy!).

These were darn tasty for an impromptu kitchen creation by someone who can’t make sweet potato fries.

Sides:

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There are only three here, but LOTS o’ carrots and unpictured Wheat Thins with hummus

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Dried pineapple rings

Snacks

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Summer’s rubies

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Cinnamon Puffins

Dinner

Sam and Michael came over to chill at my house near dinner time, so I kept it simple and quick. I wasn’t that hungry either.

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Spinach salad with olive oil-s+p-honey dressing + two hard boiled eggs

Dessert/Midnight Snack

After Sam and Michael left at around 1 AM (party animals here. watching Fantastic Mr. Fox and talking about awkward middle school memories), I got the munchies.

dried figs and greek yogurt

Three dried figs + Greek yogurt. Duh. {recycled picture}

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Spoonful of almond butter {recycled picture– it was smooth last night, not crunchy}

So I guess I was only feeling fancy in the kitchen for the first half of the day, but two out of three meals is fair game! I also apparently like circular foods.

Hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday!

So tell me:

What was the last recipe you tried?

What was the last thing you created in the kitchen?