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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Two Museums, Two Desserts, Two Blistered Feet

I did something this weekend other than “oh ya know, just layin’ low…” !!!

Not that there’s anything wrong with laying low (after all, I love kicking up my feet after work these days). But it’s nice to exit the abode and live a little, especially when the weather is as gorgeous as it was this weekend!

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Friday

There’s nothing really to share about Friday except that I worked, ate my favorite dinner of the week, and went to bed at 9.

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brown rice with eel + avocado = all the good things in sushi, amplified in a bowl

Also, BEN CAME HOME FROM SPAIN! He completed El Camino de Santiago, which is historically a Christian walking pilgrimage. There are many routes, but Ben did a super long one that totaled 890 km (553 miles) within 32 days. Casual.

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Congrats, Ben! YOU ROCK.

He actually came home at 2 AM Saturday morning, but I snuck into his room later in the morning to say hi to him before I left for NYC.

Saturday

Since I went to bed so darn early, I woke up at around 6 AM for some sunrise moves and grooves!

100 burpee workout // 10 reps of each // Click here for demos!

  • 10 tuck jump burpees
  • 10 T pushup burpees
  • 10 candlestick to chair burpees
  • 10 alternating side burpees (this one actually hurt my shoulder a bit because the pushup becomes kinda awkward, so I would not recommend this variation)
  • 10 broad jump burpees
  • 10 spiderman pushup burpees
  • 10 handstand burpees
  • 10 superman burpees
  • 10 dive bomber burpees
  • 10 plank jack tuck jump burpees

I tried to do some new/weird variations to keep things interesting, so it was definitely a fun (and tiring) one!

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banana bread baked oatmeal with plain peanut butter + “My Maine Squeeze” almond butter from The Peanut Principle

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from the farmers’ market 😀

Plus a couple pieces of my mom’s egg white pork bake.

After washing up, Pop dropped me off at the train station to head down to the city! Cue this Tori Kelly song (because she is the soundtrack to my life).

First of all, I saw an extraordinary number of dads with their kids on the train/in the city that day, and it made my heart explode.

Secondly, Park Ave looks so clean and luxurious, but it honestly just smells like manure. #overrated

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First stop of the day was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Can you believe I’ve lived in NY for 11 years, and this was my first time going there?

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I guess if you don’t live in NY, you don’t really see the big deal. But this is one of those “must see” attractions in the city.

I did my tourist thing while waiting for my friend, Christine.

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Squealing greeting + photos in front of the MET, because we’re bananas (yellow on the outside, white on the inside, in case you haven’t seen me make that joke 100 times on the blog).

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apparently this is where Gossip Girl cast ate lunch in the show??

In we went!

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We interspersed our “ooo’s” and “aaah’s” with some serious girl talk and some attempts at reading our people’s language.

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My contribution every time: “I have no idea what it means, but it looks familiar.”

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At least we’re proficient in fit fam culture.

Art eventually drains ya girls, so we headed over to lunch at Bluestone Lane for some Australian fare at around 1 PM.
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the restaurant is an extension of an Episcopalian church!
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I spy vegemite toast and the word “brekkie”
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Christine got the egg and bacon roll + I got the Aussie meat pie with mint pea puree
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dynamite
Our waiter was Australian, which really added to the experience. Arman, I could not stop thinking about you.
We made it our mission to find both ice cream and Levain Bakery for dessert, so we took the scenic route and walked around the Central Park reservoir. It was the absolute perfect day to do it! Hot, but not unbearable, and bluuuuuue skies.
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We didn’t know where to get ice cream, but we happened upon Amorino Gelato, which is famous for making roses out of their gelato! That stuff is expensive, but it is undeniably pretty and delicious.
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Christine got fruity flavors + I got pistachio, black cherry, and a cookie butter flavor!
That cone was tiny and that gelato was melting wicked fast. You would think I was a magician, that’s how quickly I made it disappear.
We continued walking and found the legendary Levain Bakery. I had been hearing about their incredible chocolate chip cookies since I moved to New York, basically. This was THE DAY.
But first, a short wait on a line that spanned half the block. Expected.
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this is my “THIS IS BETTER THAN DISNEY WORLD BUT I’M TRYING TO BE CIVILIZED” pose
We descended into the little bakery…
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…I bought one chocolate chip cookie and one oatmeal raisin scone. We desperately needed to charge our phones, so we walked over to a Starbucks, where I finally unveiled the glory…
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 these are both HUGE
…wait for it!!!
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You have no idea how long I had been waiting to take that money shot. Ladies and gents, this was one of the best things that my taste buds have ever encountered. I’m not even a big fan of chocolate.
Warm.
Crispy on the outside.
Slightly under-baked and gooey on the inside.
Melted chocolate chips.
Rich walnut chunks.
Thick and decadent.
a poem about Levain’s chocolate chip cookie by Alison
Christine and I split the mega cookie, and we had a few bites of the scone, which was fantastic as well. Not too sweet at all, but BUTTERY. The bag smelled like buttered popcorn. Mmmmm.
Afterwards, we walked back around the reservoir to where we started, and continued with some more girl talk until Christine had to leave. Next museum of the day was Cooper Hewitt Museum of Design with one of my high school dance company mates, Susie!
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had to take a pic of this
This is probably my favorite museum of all time. It’s so interactive, and the vibe is an intersection between classical architecture and modern technology.
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They give you this high tech pen that acts as a memory stick. The pen has a “+” sign on the back that synchronizes to the “+” sign on each description panel on the exhibits. When you go home, you go onto their website and enter your unique code that they gave you, and you can see pictures of all the exhibits you saved via the pen. MAGICAL.
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This immersion room is your childhood dream. You basically design your own wallpaper with the pen, and watch it come to life in front of your eyes.
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Five stars for Cooper Hewitt! Thank you so much, Susie, for suggesting it!
We worked up a good appetite playing around in the museum. Susie chose an excellent Greek restaurant called Korali for dinner.
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a rare moment when no cars are about to run you over in the city
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beet salad with grapefruit, pine nuts, goat cheese, fennel, dill and scallions
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when the manager walks up to you offering a FREE platter of melted Greek cheese, you do not refuse (such a nice gesture of them!)
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soup of the day: lentil
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Susie gave me a bite of her lamb shank, which was heavenly
We also walked by this gem of a Citi bank sign (great eye, Susie).
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This is Gabby Douglas, US Olympic Gymnast. But peep the caption in the upper left hand corner…
THIS is Allyson Felix, US Olympic Track and Field Runner:
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Alright, Citi Bank.
And then I bid NYC a good night.
Ben picked me up at the train station, and I was all excited to tell him that I walked 11 miles that day (according to the Apple Health app), but then I remembered that he had been walking an average of 20 miles per day for the past month. Overachiever.
I still gave myself a foot massage before bed.
Sunday
I got up a little past 7 to get ready for Mass and say goodbye (already!) to Ben and Madre. Not for long though. Pop and I will meet them in Florida soon for our big family vacation next week!
Breakfast after Mass:
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I also had leftover roasted broccoli while cooking this. Cravings, man.
I watched some gymnastics, read some blogs, and napped before getting up and eating again. Sundays, man.
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smoked salmon avocado toast + unpictured carrots and hummus + half a frozen banana
Then I started this blog post and FaceTimed with my beautiful friend, Briana, from college. Followed by some killer moves and grooves in the basement (which I have deemed to be my “pain cave”).
60 seconds strength/45 seconds  cardio/20 seconds  plyometric/15 seconds rest
3 rounds of each block, 1 minute rest between blocks
BLOCK #1
BLOCK #2
  • pistol squats (30 sec each leg)
  • jumping jacks
  • broad jumps over a step, lengthwise
BLOCK #3

BLOCK #4

I hadn’t done a workout that made my quads cry in a while. I stretched out before Pop and I went to one of our favorites for dinner— Bareburger!

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I made my own burger: turkey burger, spinach, sprouts, tomato, pimento cheese on sprout bun + ketchup and mustard
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sweet potato fries with their curry ketchup + special sauce
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the inner beauty of my burger
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Pop’s “Hog Wild” burger: wild boar burger, pimento cheese, frizzled chickpea onions (!?), fried egg, and pickled green tomatoes on a brioche bun
Decadence once again.
We picked up some groceries afterwards, and now I’m finishing typing this while watching sports on TV (← yay for Olympic season coming up!). ‘Twas a fabulous weekend filled with good food, great conversation, and even better people.
Back to the grind today, but one more week until vacation! Hope you all have stellar Monday. Give yourself a foot massage. You deserve it.
So tell me:
Two things you did this weekend!
What is your favorite museum?
What is the best cookie you’ve ever eaten?
Are there any sports you are following currently?
 

Five Minute Friday #16: Fitness is More Than Skills and Numbers

I just watched the US men’s gymnastics Olympic Trials, and I’m still speechless about it.

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I’m convinced that they’re not humans.

I’m also really sore from Wednesday’s workout as I type this, so anything that looks remotely strenuous sends pain waves to my brain.

4 rounds:
  • 10 squat cleans (55-65#)
  • 15 box jumps
 3 rounds each:
  • 12 curtsy lunges each leg (55#) ← died.
  • 25 plank jacks
  • 10 deadlifts (135#) ← died again. I don’t think I had deadlifted 135 in my life.
  • 20 jump lunges
Finisher: 5 min AMRAP
  • 16 alternating single arm DB swings (20#)
  • 15 goblet squats (15#)
  • 30 mountain climbers

On the food front, I was obsessed with this lunch salad this week:

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mixed greens, chopped Thai basil, mint, and cilantro, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, fish or chicken, peanut sauce

The fresh herbs are…

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^^^This photo is very obnoxious if you don’t understand the reference, I’m sorry. Actually, it’s obnoxious regardless.

Today I have a Five Minute Friday vlog! It’s been a hot minute. This week I’m talking about three lessons I’ve learned at work so far, including the lesson that fitness is more than skills and numbers.

Sure, competitive athletes measure fitness/performance based on race times, weight lifted, and reps accomplished (and I am a proponent of the attitude that what you can do > how you look when it comes to fitness), but let’s take it one step deeper…

link to the video in case it doesn’t work here!

Yes, there are baseline levels of fitness that we measure and need for health, but those little steps to get there are indispensable and worth celebrating! 

Happy weekend, friends! I’m going to be hanging out with a couple friends in NYC tomorrow, and I’m STOKED.

So tell me:

What are your thoughts on the “fitness journey”? What does it mean to you?

What is the best thing you ate for lunch this week?

Have you ever had a secretarial job?

What are you doing this weekend?

 

7 Random Facts About Me {Inspiring Blogger Award}

Fancy checking in with you this Saturday!

I don’t usually post on the weekends, but I’m making an exception on this last (!!!) full week before I head to Boston. I literally just started hyperventilating, so excuse me as I just INHALE….exhale….

Moving on. The lovely Katherine @ The Peanut Butter Lover and Jess @ Story of a Girl nominated me for the Inspiring Blogger Award, and I think it’s about time I posted my facts! Thank you so much, ladies! ♥ If you have not yet, you gotta check out their blogs. They’re both so witty and thoughtful. I just want to be their BFFs.

Here’s how it works:

Link the blogger(s) that nominated you 
List 7 facts about yourself
Tag 5 other bloggers

So let’s jump into these crazy, exciting facts, shall we?

1) Becoming a nun is not out of the question for me.

All my friends know I’m a devout Catholic, so there are jokes thrown around that I could become a nun one day, but little do people realize that…yeah, I could become a nun one day! Whichever vocation to which God is calling me is where I want to go. I mean, can we get a woot woot for Mother Teresa? I think yes.

2) I have a crooked pinky.

Most of my friends know this as well, but all you friends through the inter webs might not know about it.

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It’s not terribly crooked, but it’s noticeable for sure. I got it from my mama’s genes and I like it. The pinky has character.

3) I do not know how to knit, garden, or use a sewing machine.

Help. I need these skills if I want to be that mother/grandmother/nun. My mom taught me how to knit when I was little, but I’ve forgotten how. As for the other two, we cannot garden in our little NY backyard right now, and sewing machines just scares me.

4) I kind of wish I continued gymnastics.

Out of all the performance sports in which I’ve been involved (figure skating, gymnastics, and dance, which I plan to continue), I kind of wish I continued gymnastics. I do wish I continued because the sport encompasses so many skills and strengths. On the other hand, I’m happy I did not because it requires an incredible amount of time and dedication, and I don’t think I would want to devote my life to a sport.

Some of my favorite athletes are gymnasts though! Shawn Johnson is amazing.

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5) I’ve always been headstrong and competitive about accomplishing athletic feats.

When I was a little competitive figure skater, I would do Pilates and yoga with my mom and get quite frustrated when I couldn’t do the moves/positions like the lady in the video, so I would practice over and over until I could do it with ease. Also, my friends and I used to have contests for how long we could hold a supine flexed arm hang on the playground bar, and I would keep trying to beat the next person.

I’m definitely less competitive now, but I’m still quite determined to do things on my own. Working on that darn handstand now…

6) Before becoming obsessed with blogs, I was obsessed with beauty gurus on YouTube.

My friend Kristi introduced me to the vast world of beauty vloggers a while ago, and I was hooked throughout freshman and sophomore year of high school. Some favorites: MacBarbie07 (now the mega-famous Bethany Mota), Arden Rose (Kristi and I even went to her meet-up in NYC), and HelloKatyxo.

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I’m happy I went through that makeup/beauty/fashion phase (I can put on eyeshadow without looking like a panda bear}, but I’m happier that it has faded and that blogs have taken its place! Except the blog phase has stuck a little longer 😉

Actually, I’m watching Bethany Mota now. Reminiscing. She’s still my favorite.

7) I carry a water bottle with me everywhere.

If I don’t have it with me, I start feeling as if I don’t have my phone with me. I don’t really need it, but in a case of minor dehydration, I might start panicking a little. Then when I have it with me, I end up not drinking a sip from it. It’s like my security blanket.

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Along with me on my walk yesterday

There ya have it! 7 very random facts about Alison. Hope you enjoyed knowing about my past, present, and possible future.

I now nominate:

Ashley @ Miles on Oats

Jo @ Living Mint Green

Julianna @ Julianna Bananna

Julia @ Lord Still Loves Me

Linda @ Fit, Fed and Happy

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend! Another post is coming tomorrow hopefully!

So tell me:

A super random fact about yourself!

Do you have any extraordinary physical features?

What is one skill you’d like to learn?