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!)…


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


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


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


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.


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….


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


Lots of studying for functional anatomy.


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


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


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



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



♥︎ ♥︎ ♥︎

…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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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!


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.


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!


Feelin’ Like Wonder Woman


I feel so accomplished. I actually buckled down and got some serious work done this weekend, and I’m proud of myself. Now all I have to do is get into the mindset of studying like this every weekend….College is laughing at my face right now.

Even though it was a nicely packed weekend, it was nothing short of marvelous (and full of sunshine)!


Katie‘s got the marvelousness all in one spot!


Once I got home from the gym, I was ready for a hefty snack— one that involved all my favorite things:


Greek yogurt, apple banana muffin, half a banana, chia, hemp, and peanut butter. Are you tired of seeing this?? I’m not. 😀

Fast forward to 8:30 PM at a restaurant called Bistro Z, for which my mom had a Groupon. Expected. This time, we weren’t just going for our sheer foodie selves! Ben was home for a couple of days, so we wanted to have a farewell dinner with him before he left back to work in Boston for the summer.

Dinner was fantastic and super filling, as all Groupon dinner deals are. I could have been completely content going straight from appetizer to dessert!


I started with crab cakes because they’re my all time fave. These were awesome!


I also had a bite of mom’s brie with lingonberry jam on seedy baguette. Fruit and cheese is a match made in heaven.


For my entree: Griddled polenta tofu cake with black bean ragou and jicama + anaheim chili slaw

When I asked the waiter if he would recommend this, he said: “I’ve never tried it. I only eat real food.” He was half joking, half serious, but I say that this is all “real food”, thankyouverymuch. And it was flippin’ delicious (even though I could only fit a little bit of this in my stomach➔ leftovers for the next day)!


Apple tart with vanilla ice cream. Just…YES.


Chocolate soufflé with vanilla ice cream. Just…meh. Although, chocolate lovers would LOVE this.

Thanks for coming home, Ben. 😉


Wake up. Type out to-do list on my Reminders app. GO.

Oh wait, we gotta take a half hour or so for breakfast and Saturday morning Food Network.


Greek yogurt + hot banana berry oatmeal + a luscious pool of sunflower seed butter

THEN I got started on my homework! I knocked off a bunch of things from my to-do list before noon, which made me feel like Wonder Woman. Is that sad?

Moves: I set my phone alarm to ring every 15-20 minutes so that I could chip away at the 100 challenge (100 squats, 100 pushups, 100 sit-ups) throughout the day! I also added 10 burpees of different variations every time I took my study break. I love doing this when I have a lot of homework to do because it’s a great way to stay moving (and have an excuse to step away from the work).

After some more AP Calc studying and evening Mass, I came home and had a home-cooked meal thanks to Mom.


Malaysian chicken, coconut oil sautéed asparagus, and quinoa/wild rice

Mom, can you come to college with me? (<— I might regret that statement later.)

I was thinking of having my usual dried figs with Greek yogurt for dessert, but then my dad pulled out our long lost tub of vanilla bean ice cream from the fridge…


…and that sounded absolutely fabulous with some fresh fruit. Yumyumyum.


This Sunday was my last day of teaching religious education for probably a very long time (since I’m going to college next year). It’s another bittersweet end-of-the-year event for sure. Bitter because I absolutely love sharing my faith with the little munchkins, and sweet because, let’s be honest, third graders wear me out. But it was definitely more of a bitter goodbye with notes like these from my students:


*sniff* It’s incredibly humbling to get such sweet notes from them because, in the grand scheme of things, I’m also still an inexperienced child learning more and more every day just like them. I give them whatever I have, and I can only pray that they’re walking away with something from the class.

Alright, moving on from the sappy stuff. Let’s take a look at this phantasmagoria of fruit that my mom assembled:


Yup, I just said phantasmagoria. Look it up and add it to your daily vocabulary to see how many weird looks you get 😉

I had a 3-hour practice AP Calc exam on the agenda yesterday, but I wanted to let out some energy before I sat down for the torture...wait yes, torture.

The weather was gorgeous, so I knew I had to take my moves outdoors! I warmed up with 50 squat jumps, mountain climbers, and side lunge jumps, and then completed this KILLER 18-minute plank workout from Purely Twins. I just don’t get how Lori and Michelle do it with such ease. If you don’t think planks can’t make you huff and puff, I dare you to try this workout. It will actually make you feel like Wonder Woman/Superman.

After getting some exercise and fresh air, I ate lunch, showered, and hit the books. The practice exam was alright I guess. I sorta failed on the short answer part (my utter weakness), but I’m just glad I did it so that I know what to study and how to pace myself for the real exam on WEDNESDAY!!!

And there’s my weekend for ya! If I only I had the willpower and self-discipline to feel like Wonder Woman every weekend. But even superheroes need a break, right?

I hope you all have a marvelous Cinco de Mayo!

So tell me:

Best thing you ate this weekend?

What/Who do you feel like when you accomplish a lot?

Do you use a fancy word in your daily vocabulary? 

Shortcut Puerto Rico {MIMM #10}

Hey, everyone!

I hope your weekend was restful, especially with the extra hour gifted to us for the ending of daylight savings time. I personally didn’t necessarily get any extra sleep because I just end up going to bed one hour later than usual. Even if I did go to bed earlier, I would probably just wake up earlier because my internal clock is basically set on 7.5-8.5 hours. Oh well!

This weekend consisted of quality family time and the usual activities: dance, homework, Sunday school teaching, and church. Some more exciting things happened though, like a “shortcut to Puerto Rico” on Friday night…


Thanks for hosting, Katie!

Marvelous is…

Dinner at Don Coqui, a fabulous Puerto Rican restaurant with amazing food and fun Latin dancing to a live band! But guess the main reason why we went there. Groupon, of course. We should seriously star in a TLC show called “Extreme Grouponers” or something. My mom finds the deals like no one’s business, and the rest of us are definitely not complaining. We decided that we would go out on the occasion of All Saints’ Day 🙂 The amount of food we get for such a great price is outstanding. Don Coqui was no different with their HUGE portions. They know it too, because they charge extra if you want to share! Just order for yourself and take the leftovers. You’ll get a few awesome meals for the next day or two!

The “bread basket” was actually a basket of plantain chips with two dips—black bean and an amazing salsa.


Appetizers: calamari and mussels with chorizo.

I was actually kind of full after the appetizers. Those things were definitely larger than entree portions even! We managed to polish them off because they were so good though.


My entree: yuca-crusted red snapper with yuca mash and grilled vegetables

This was absolutely fantastic. Puerto Rican flavors never fail to make my taste buds dance (cha-cha-cha). The crust of the red snapper had a little bit of coconut—perfection. And the yuca mash was really good! The taste is similar to mashed potatoes, but the texture is a little more glutinous. I took the leftovers home and they were just as good on tope a bed of spinach and kale!


Mom’s entree: Shrimp mofongo!

I’m just going to show my mom’s entree because mofongo is a Puerto Rican dish that I think everyone needs to try. It’s basically a mash of green plantains, pork cracklings (no wonder it’s so good), garlic, and broth, and it just rocks. The first time we tried mofongo was in Puerto Rico, and we’ve ordered at least one whenever we go to a Puerto Rican restaurant. It’s the most hoppin’ party that will ever go down in your mouth. Also, it makes for great leftovers!

Other dishes included braised oxtail (Dad’s), rib and chicken combo (Ben’s—such a bro meal), and tres leches and coconut flan for dessert. For the first time ever I think, we couldn’t finish dessert. Colossal meal, guys. My parents still had the energy to get up and do some salsa dancing though! They used to take ballroom dance lessons, so they’ve got some fancy footwork.

Marvelous is…

Tori Kelly on REPEAT. I think se has real talent unlike many of those hyped-up Hollywood folks. Plus, she seems like a really down-to-earth girl, which is always so nice to see! I highly recommend listening to her new EP here.


Marvelous is…

Oatmeal. Never gets old.


Marvelous is…

The Camera+ app that I used to edit the above picture of oatmeal. I need to use that app a lot more! I got it for $0.99, and I totally think it’s worth it. The filters, borders, and user-friendliness conveniently help to make my food look more appealing. I really wish I could photograph food better, but my impatience and usual lack of good sunlight often results in amateur pictures. Occasionally, I like to pretend I’m a food photographer, and Camera+ aids my daydreams 😉

Well, that’s about it for now. Nothing too exciting. I am really excited for all the things that are happening this month though! November is definitely one of my favorite months, so I’ll be talking more about the upcoming events I’m looking forward to.

Have a lovely Monday!

So tell me: Have you ever tried Puerto Rican food? Mofongo? What kind of music are you loving lately? Do you use photo-editing apps?

WIAW: Second Celebration

The fall weather is upon us, everyone! I broke out the boots today (and almost missed the bus trying to get them off the top shelf of the closet…actually Ben got them for me. Thanks, bro!). The ONLY thing that I don’t like about my whole family being home is that I can’t take the car to school. But that is so trivial in the grand scheme of things.

So here we are with another Wednesday in which I show you all the fun stuff that made my belly sing (words taken from my Dad). I actually think food makes my taste buds sing….

Anyway, thanks Jenn as always for being a super(mom) host! I formatted this WIAW like last week’s--just a compilation of some of the most interesting meals I’ve had. The MOST interesting EPIC meal was my mom’s second birthday dinner at an incredible Italian restaurant through Groupon. Read on to see the feast 😉




English muffin with pb, sun butter, banana slices, and a glass o’ milk.


Kath’s peach dough boy smoothie (one of my FAVORITE things ever) + cereal on top for crunch!


Raspberry banana oatmeal with sun butter


Confession: I think all of these are actually dinners because lunch has recently been a turkey, cheese, and spinach sandwich at school. I figured these are a little more exciting and meals I would have for lunch at home anyway.


Eggs, avocado toast, and another toast for necessary yolk dippage 🙂


Pork chop, sauteed onions, corn + roasted bell peppers, lettuce for wrapping


Grilled salmon with lime dill yogurt sauce, carrots, and rice



Honey Oikos Greek yogurt (thanks to our generous neighbors!) and a peanut butter dark chocolate KIND bar (reminded me of a PB cup–YUM).


Vanilla, mixed fruit protein smoothie

Plus lots and lots of dried figs dipped in plain Greek yogurt. That is my go-to snack of the evening. I think I’ve nearly finished a whole bag of dried figs by myself over the course of this month. Oh and grapes–the huge, black, seedless, two-bite kind. I get grape belly far too often…


As I mentioned before, we went out for a second birthday dinner for my mom thanks to good ol’ Groupon. We actually went on Monday night because the deal was only valid Monday-Thursday. Who says you can’t have a full-out Italian feast on a Monday night at the beginning of the school year?!

This can’t even be called dinner. This was literally like Thanksgiving…or more. Yes, more. My dad didn’t even eat lunch because he had been to this restaurant with my mom (through Groupon also) before and knew what to expect. Not only are the portions at this place ginormous, but since the Groupon included one appetizer, one entree, and one dessert for EACH person, there was a flippin’ copious amount of food. AND they served a bunch of antipasti and bread, which were just standard pre-appetizer munchies. I kept saying how boggled I was at the amount of food we were getting for such a great deal. I actually feel the need to take you through the steps of this culinary experience:

1) You sit down and they immediately bring you parmesan cheese and prosciutto.

photo 11

2) Then comes some fabulous bruschetta:

photo 12

3) There was also bread and some green bean antipasto.

4) The appetizers definitely could have been meals themselves (probably because four people should be sharing one appetizer, but we were getting a bang for our buck). No joke. I was asking for dessert after I finished mine.

photo 7 photo 6

Mine (L): Burrata and tomatoes with olive oil. So creamy and heavenly.

Ben’s (R): Beef carpaccio salad. That thing was huge. And good.

photo 5

Mom’s coconut shrimp with dijonnaise sauce. Dad had clams in a tomato sauce, but I didn’t get a picture of it.

4) Alright, you could probably imagine that we were pretty full already. It was like a food marathon. All about the pacing. The entrees were ahead.

photo 4

I got the seafood special of the night–Oreganta-crusted orange roughy. Guys. This was AMAZING. I ate/shared a little more than 1/3 of it and took the rest home. (I just ate it for dinner and it made for a big meal still!)

photo 1

Mom’s filet mignon with mushroom sauce. “Like buttah,” says Dad. My mom will never order steak anywhere else.

Dad had a delicious panko-crusted baby lamb chop and Ben had some intense veal dish in a cream sauce. I’m definitely not a huge red meat fan, but I tried a bite of everyone’s and they were all fantastic.

photo 2

They brought complimentary scalloped potatoes. We ate about 3 slices of this and took the rest home. So full.

5) Capacity had basically been reached at this point. But how could you leave out dessert, right?!

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I got the peach melba (polished it off…I made sure to save room ;)) and Ben got the “#1 cheesecake in the county” as claimed in their menu. It was fluffier than traditional NY-style and less sweet.

photo 10

The birthday girl got a chocolate truffle cake, which was a hit around the table. And dad had Florida orange slices with Grand Marnier (prepared table side)!

Are you stuffed just looking at all of this?? I couldn’t think of food afterwards. It was so amazing, so fulfilling, and so worth the oompa-loompa feeling I had walking outta there. I was wearing a maxi dress and I told me family that I felt like I was in a maternity dress (hellooooo, food baby)! Bonus: we left with a solid 3 more meals of leftovers. *Thumbs up*

Well that’s enough food-photo-dump for ya today. Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!

So tell me: What was your most recent huge culinary experience? What have you been eating lately? 

Waffles or Pancakes?


Yesterday ended up being very blah because I couldn’t even fall asleep for a good nap. Ah well. I had to fall asleep to the sound of the TV last night, and ended up getting more sleep. Here’s to the new day– praise God!


My mom makes some mean grilled salmon. It’s very common to ask for medium rare steak, but have you ever had medium-rare salmon? That’s just how we like it in our household, because the fish just melts in your mouth, and it basically transports you to a 5-star seafood restaurant. That fabulous. She cooks it on the indoor grill for about 1.5-3 minutes per side, or until you can see just a super thin line of darker, uncooked meat in the the center. Then she’ll grill the fish on its sides for about 30-60 seconds to finish it off. And voila–perfect salmon! We seasoned it with Bone Suckin’ sauce and lots of freshly cracked black pepper.

DSC_5726 DSC_5727

See that slightly darker pink in the middle? That’s the money-shot (as Guy Fieri would say).

You know I had to have some of that for dinner last night!



Wild/brown/black rice mix with salmon + spinach with hummus (random, but good!)

We discovered another package from Groupon (what can I say, my mom loves their deals) that was at our door, which contained this awesome thing:


It’s a Waring waffle/pancake/omelet(!) maker! Breakfast just got a whole lot more efficient.


Pancake/omelet iron on one side


Waffle iron on the other

My mom and I wanted to test it out right away, so we decided on a little breakfast for dessert. We used yet another Groupon purchase as our mix (I promise they are NOT sponsoring this post. But we could definitely be there spokespeople):

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Shortstacks organic Oatmeal Raisin Cookie mix

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We both agreed that we like the waffles better because they got nice and crispy all over the edges. The pancakes still worked out well though! The batter itself wasn’t too sweet and didn’t really taste like an oatmeal raisin cookie at all. I’m sure a little maple syrup would have given it some more pizzazz, but I was just in the mood to have a few bites.

My mom bulked hers up with some chocolate protein powder though!


Look at her bein’ all fancy!

The protein powder sweetened it nicely for her, and you could barely taste the chocolate after it was cooked. We can’t wait to use our new toy some more! We’ll be using the waffle side the most probably. The crispiness just can’t be beat! However, I feel like there’s something about the stackability of pancakes that’s also appealing. It’s hard to decide….


…So I had one of each this morning 😀

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Topped with plain Greek yogurt, vanilla sunbutter, and a tiny drizzle of maple syrup

This was so delicious!

I have yet another doc appointment today 😦 But then I have another meetup with a dance friend! And then hopefully a workout. Have a great day!

So tell me: Have you ever had medium-rare salmon? Waffles or pancakes and why? 🙂