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?

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Being Careful With So Much Free Time + Recent Eats

Remember Facebook/AIM/Twitter statuses like this?

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Translation: “Someone hit me up, I’m bored as !@#$.”

For the record, I never posted statuses like this, mostly because “af” was a little too rebellious for me. I did post photos like this though…

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ONLY five years ago!?

…which are 100x worse in my opinion. This is NETC, the Italian class “pet”. I’m in physical pain looking at this/thinking about the fact that I posted this on Facebook.

Anyway, I’ve been trying not to fall into that “bored af” mode. I’m keeping busy by meeting up with friends, catching up on blog stuff, chores, errands, exercise, and reading. My planner is really helping me stay accountable for daily tasks.

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That being said, I’d be lying if I said I’m not looking for things to do sometimes. Living in this age, when I’m looking for things to do, I almost robotically turn to social media. It pains me to say that I don’t turn to a good book or calling a friend or doing something else productive, but it’s true. I open up Facebook or Instagram.

Katherine from The Peanut Butter Lover just posted an incredible reflection on how subconscious scrolling is the norm these days. I am most definitely in that camp, and as hard as I strive to be more present (said everyone, always), I can’t help but fall into the trap of the hypnotic newsfeed, especially when I’m not as busy like I am during school.

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Besides the problem of not being present, I have to be careful with how much time I spend looking at fitness accounts on Instagram. I’ve recently found myself watching minutes, half-hours, whole hours browsing various fitness accounts.

Please let me be clear. I only enjoy following fitness accounts that are uplifting, genuinely inspiring, and balanced (for example, @kaisafit, @shaunaharrison, and @fitphotographermom). When I’m spending time on such accounts, I’m not comparing my body to theirs or thinking about how I can burn more calories. If I was, I would certainly express that (honesty is the best policy on Moves and Grooves after all). I’m more so thinking things like, “How can I get to where they are? What exercises do I have to do to achieve that? Should I do that today even though I’m sore? I want to be that strong too.”

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Even though my mind is in a much healthier place when I’m looking at social media these days, I still need to be wary of the comparison trap. I have come a long way throughout recovery, and the major lesson I’ve learned is that I don’t need to be her. I know this, but I need to remind myself of it often.

I do believe that I can find fitness inspiration without disordered thinking, but I just have to be careful not to become so immersed in it. I have an obsessive personality, so I need to use my extra free time prudently while I’m on break.


Now that we’ve had a nice heart to heart (or, my heart to yours…), let’s look at some of the good eats from this week!

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A classic: toast, pb, banana, cinnamon + glass o’ milk

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spaghetti squash, tomato basil sauce, and grilled Italian chicken (carbs were had before and after :))

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new favorite: Kylie’s simple paleo pancake with peanut butter, Greek yogurt, cinnamon + glass o’ milk

I met up with my dear friend Fiona (from college) on Monday. We went to the outlet mall, ate some Shake Shack, and had our own heart to heart conversations. She’s studying abroad this coming semester, so I’m gonna miss her like crazy!

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“Concrete” at Shake Shack. I got vanilla frozen custard with strawberry puree and “crispy crunchies”.

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chicken, avocado, mixed greens, colby jack cheese, and sriracha sandwich to go

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good ol’ overnight oats topped with granola

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avocado, egg, cheese, sriracha sandwich + salad with homemade honey mustard dressing

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clementines are off the CHAIN right now

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strawberries ‘n’ cream protein smoothie

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this was so good: quinoa, honey balsamic chicken, and roasted broccoli

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dried figs with Greek yogurt!!! bringing back the good stuff

Additionally, I’ve been eating leftover cookies that overfloweth in our refrigerator and caramel popcorn that my aunt gave us. It’s a hard life, eh?

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my aunt’s delicious oatmeal fruit cookie mini muffins

Hope you all have a great day! I mean it.

So tell me: 

What do you find yourself doing if you have too much free time?

Did you post embarrassing things on social media in your younger days?

Are you still eating leftover holiday treats? “New Year, new you” is not a thing here.

Have you tried any delicious recipes recently? I’m thinking that honey balsamic chicken and roasted broccoli will be regular recipes for us!

Rest and Digest

I love the kitchen.

I’m no chef, but I have been loving my time spent cooking and baking in the kitchen this summer. I don’t know if you picked this up from my blog/Facebook/Instagram (new handle by the way! @alison_grooves), but I love food! I am immensely grateful to have access to so many different kinds of food that are both good for me and good to me.

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lemonade and cookies from a stand run by some boys and their mom ♥ 

I also love my mom and her cooking, but not gonna lie, two is a crowd in the kitchen. #BattleForTheFrontBurner

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Simple Mills almond flour pumpkin muffins + Justin’s vanilla almond butter, courtesy of Blend swag

For the most part nowadays, I have the privilege of eating whatever I want, whenever I want. The only meal I consistently think about is breakfast, but that’s only because it’s my favorite meal of the day…because it always involves nut butter, banana, and dairy.

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Thursday morning oatmeal cookie dough cereal with banana

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Friday morning hot banana chia egg white oats in a {glass} Teddie peanut butter jar

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Sunday morning banana oat French toast bake topped with peanut butter+ Greek yogurt 

Then there are those few-and-far-between days when I start thinking about what I should be eating, when I should eat a snack, or whether I’ll be hungry enough for a scheduled meal out at a restaurant. It makes me anxious.

When I get anxious, my mind focuses on my stomach— in a bad way. I overanalyze my fullness or any sort of signal that might mean hunger. I physically feel stress and tension in my stomach because my mind is on it. When this happens, I usually feel full and crappy for the rest of the day. Any time I want to eat feels like I’m stress eating, because I don’t feel quite hungry enough for food, and then the cycle continues.

I don’t know why these rare days come up out of nowhere, but they do. Recently, it could be the fact that I have fewer obligations during the summer, lack of sleep, a combination of a few things…

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caprese grilled chicken {“This is better than a restaurant!” — Dad ➔ if I could physically blush, I would}

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best sweet roasted potatoes again!

I had a couple of those wonky days this past week, but what I’ve learned during recovery is to not be anxious about being anxious. It happens, and I’ll be okay. “This too shall pass.”

You know what else I’ve learned? Rest and digest (that whole parasympathetic nervous system at work, for all you biology geeks) is LEGIT.

For those of you who might not be familiar with “rest and digest”, digestion is not a priority for our survival when we’re in a stressful situation, so that’s one of the first processes to halt when we’re under stress.  When our bodies return to a normal, non-stressed state, digestion can continue.

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strawberry milkshake at the diner with Daliza 🙂

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making her own “coffee affogato

Thus, when I’m not stressed about food (or anything), I have more of an appetite! For instance, whenever I take a nap (like that crazy two hour nap I took last week), I almost always wake up ready to eat something.

Former me would have thought: There’s no way I can be hungry. I was out on the couch for two hours doing absolutely nothing with my body.

Current me knows: Napping gives my body the opportunity to rest and, therefore, digest. {which is why breakfast is such a fun meal, because I (most of the time) pop out of bed like eyyyy let’s eat!}

In addition, I feel that eating enough calorically also helps my digestion, or at least my comfort. When I eat a lot of volume but not a lot of calories (unintentionally!), my stomach feels like an inflated balloon, but the rest of my body feels like it needs some energy.

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crockpot bbq chicken with pasta + salad with homemade mustard vinaigrette + suhweeeeet corn!

And when I feel digested, I feel more comfortable throughout the rest of my day. I don’t have to focus on my stomach anymore.

Side note: I’ve also lowered my veggie intake. As in, I don’t need to have a monster salad and a freaking garden of vegetables for both lunch and dinner. Some peppers with hummus at lunch and a normal side salad at dinner is good enough, allowing my GI tract to be like, HALLELUJAH.

TMI? Sorry, not sorry. Gut talk is important.

With that said, I hope you all have a rockin’ Monday! Rest and digest.

So tell me:

Have you ever felt the difference in your digestion between when you’re stressed and when you’re not?

Do you like having the kitchen to yourself (or are you less selfish than I am)? 

What was the best thing you ate this weekend? For me, it’s a tough call between the caprese chicken, french toast bake, and sweet corn!

Behind the Scenes #20: iDance

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One of my favorite times of the week, hosted by Amanda!

1) Thank you all for the well-wishes on my AP Calc exam yesterday! After the test was over, I did the following:

  • Yell, “Hallelujah!!!” in my head.
  • Run to the bathroom.
  • Stretch my hip flexors because we had been sitting for 3 hours and 20 minutes (not straight through, but still).
  • Think I might have done a decent job on the exam.
  • Listen to what my friends answered on some of the questions.
  • Second guess my initial reaction to the exam.
  • Think GUATEVER I TRIED MY ABSOLUTE BEST, DANG IT.

2) At least I had my breakfast yesterday morning.

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Overnight oats in a peanut butter jar. The REAL reason I got up yesterday morning.

3) My AP Calc class also celebrated the end of such a painful test our hard work and achievement at lunch after the exam! We decided to go to the restaurant owned by our AP Calc teacher’s family…naturally 🙂

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“Big Bird” sandwich with chicken, caramelized onions, swiss cheese, and honey dijon sauce. So good! Enough to bring home for mom to have lunch too.

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I was trying to decide on a non-awkward sitting position for this picture. I don’t think I decided well.

4) I found this gem of a video on my phone from ballet class earlier this year. One of my friends (I think Livv?) thought it would be a funny idea if we all took selfie videos while we were dancing. (The topic came up because a lot of us were filming arts supplements for college applications.) Thus, we have…iDance.

If you’re wondering why my head is making a weird spastic motion, it’s because I’m spotting while I’m turning. If you think it looks bizarre, that’s okay, because I think we all look like freaks. Joyful dancing freaks though! 😀

4) It took me over 2 hours to finish my dinner last night. I don’t know why I was just NOT hungry. It was a delicious dinner too!

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Avocado toast with smoked salmon + spinach salad with sautéed onions

I took a break from homework to make this dinner because I was hungry at first, but then I ate some fruit while I was waiting for the bread to toast, and before you know it, I felt full. So I chipped away at dinner over the course of two hours, in the style of the cool and casual Europeans who are still conversing over dinner by 10 PM (is that a stereotype?).

5) You wanna know which exercise makes me SO sore? You probably wouldn’t guess.

I did 50 reps of this simple little side jump lunge exercise as a warmup on Sunday, and my derrière was hurting for two days. It’s happened before with this exercise only, and it just boggles my mind how sore it makes me every time! Foam rolling was a bleepity bleep.

6) Currently grooving to (like, literally dancing to it while I’m typing this):

Sing by Ed Sheeran. Loveeee it.

7) Is it greedy of me to want to buy maybe two bunches of bananas just so they can ripen and I can freeze them for smoothies? Or use them for baking. Ripe bananas are my best friends.

8) I’m out of thoughts. Either that or I’m just brain dead. At least first period AP Calc is just gonna be a big party from now on 😉

Hope you all have a nice Thursday!

So tell me:

What are some of your post-exam celebratory measures?

Thoughts on iDance? 😉

Which exercise almost always makes you sore?

What do you like to do with ripe bananas?

 

WIAW: Benefit Week Eats

Good morning!

I hope you all had a good-spirited April Fools’ Day! Nothing much happened around here. The only thing some people (including myself) did in school was turn on our cell phone alarms for 2:23 PM, and then we left them in our lockers to make a commotion right before school ended. Apparently it caused a little bit of concern, since I guess it is alarming (literally) when all the lockers seem to come to life. It wasn’t anything groundbreaking though. After all, we’ve gotta save some juice for senior prank 😉

With the lack of posts all last week, I have not shown my recent eats! What a shame since I obviously love posting food pictures (*cough* Instagram). So naturally, I’m joining this week’s WIAW party to share what fueled me through my moves and grooves during Benefit Week!

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As always, hosted by my hero, Jenn. 😉

In absolutely no particular order, here are some of the things I’ve been eating:

Breakfasts

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Overnight oats in a mug

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Overnight oats in a peanut butter jar. GAHHH. (Perfect for transporting to early morning AP Calc review.)

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Overnight oats in an almond butter jar. Also taken to early AP Calc review. I’m sure people were judging, but guatever. 

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Gina’s cookie dough cereal with bananas and strawberries

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Banana bread English muffin with nut butter, banana slices + glass o’ milk (haven’t had one of those in a while!)

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Strawberry banana oats with a heavenly puddle of peanut butter.

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Amanda’s oatmeal cookie dough smoothie (with spinach for green powahhh) + Greek yogurt for spoon dipping

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Friday’s nut butter-less breakfast: Greek yogurt, strawberries, banana, chia, hemp, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey

Lunches

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Whole wheat wrap with avocado, spinach, soft boiled egg, feta, and salsa added later. SO GOOD. I had another variation of this for dinner one night with two eggs and spicy brown mustard instead of salsa. I highly recommend this combo!

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Crab cakes on Benefit day!

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Chicken, cheese, spinach, spicy brown mustard sandwich on some weird-looking, but delicious, purple fruit/seed bread

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Naked Juice samples at school!

Snacks

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Cute cookies and goodies from the “Eloise at the Plaza”-themed dressing room

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A crapton of white cheddar popcorn and animal crackers from our circus dressing room

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I brought a Greek yogurt mess to dance almost every day last week. Included strawberries, banana slices, and nut butter.

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Green tea frappuccino from Starbucks on Benefit day (Thanks to Susie and others for picking up 15 orders!)

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I tried it! Carrots and almond butter— pretty darn tasty!

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Greek yogurt with banana and pineapple. Loving the summery produce!

I’ve also been having lots of dried figs and Greek yogurt per usual. 😉

Dinners

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Farro, spinach, grilled chicken

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Multigrain pasta, spinach, soft-boiled egg

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Grilled chicken, spinach, feta + avocado toast

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Farro, spinach, ground turkey, avocado, sriracha

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The best tomatoes I’ve ever eaten. Just wash ’em and eat. So fresh and flavorful!

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Dinner with the family (Ben was home for a day!) on Sunday! Ben got Sambal chicken and seafood. The other three of us shared a huge Sushi for Two platter. We also had some spring rolls as appetizer. Mmmmm.

How’s THAT for a recent eats recap?! It’s a good thing I just ate dinner, because otherwise, I would be hangry right about now. 😉

I hope you all have a great day!

So tell me:

What is the best vegetable you’ve eaten recently?

What do you like to put in wraps?