Let’s stop talking about me; let’s talk about You, God.

I had a sick day yesterday that didn’t feel like a sick day, but I guess an abnormal day just feels normal at this moment.

I stayed home from clinical yesterday (and also today), because I must be without my sore throat and cough symptoms for at least 24 hours before returning to work. I was anticipating at least one sick day, and yes, I have symptoms, but I also feel 100% functional.

It’s the “abundance of caution” that is keeping me from work, which I totally get. But I don’t think these particular symptoms I’m having right now have ever kept me home from anything before. Hence a “sick day that doesn’t feel like a sick day.” Gotta do what ya gotta do though.

Additionally, our fridge/freezer stopped working yesterday.

What turned that around was the excuse to bake cornbread to use up some of the whole milk I bought this weekend. 🙂 Also, the fact that yesterday was a particularly cold day, so my roommates and I were able to keep our food outside on the porch to prevent spoilage.

Moves: this ab workout + this at-home HIIT workout from Natacha Oceane. I’m not usually a huge fan of just any fitness guru who puts out social media content, but Natacha was formerly a PhD student and chose to do YouTube instead. However, she still brings evidence to practice and makes the evidence very accessible and digestible, and I can get behind that.

Opportunities. Having a sick day and having more time to myself (#selfisolation) presents more opportunities to do things for which I’ve lost habit.

Exhibit A: FaceTiming my PT friend who had her clinical in Utah (hi, Elayne!)

Exhibit B: Prayer for 20+ minutes at a time. I went on a long solo walk to get some fresh air into these lungs, and just talked with God. I literally told Him, “I’m tired of talking about myself and asking what Your plan is for me. I want to know more about You… What was it like for Your people to turn against You and want to throw You headlong off a cliff?” (as that was the event of yesterday’s Gospel reading).

And that was the most fruitful prayer in a long time. It was a wonderful thing to focus on God for who He is and not myself in this time of chaos.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Say a prayer, wear green and eat something Irish. And don’t pinch anyone for not wearing green! Not because of coronavirus, but because that’s rude.

So tell me:

How are you finding “normal” in the abnormal of life right now?

What are some opportunities you are finding with the social distancing?

Summer Job + Recent Eats and Moves

I’ve had some pretty sick tan lines for the past few weeks, and I’m proud of them in an odd way.

There are two different shirt styles printed on my back though. Like, mostly a racerback tan line, but also a faint bathing suit tan line. It’s a good thing I’ll be working in business casual clothes and scrubs all summer.

Speaking of which…

Yesterday I started my job at a rehabilitation hospital!

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It’s called HELP (Health Experience Learning Program), specifically designed for college students studying to be health professionals. We’ll be exposed to various health professions through classroom and clinical learning experience, and I could not be more excited!

I felt like a nervous child on her first day of school going into it yesterday, but as the orientation went on, I felt more comfortable and made some friends (I hope)!


I haven’t done a classic show-and-tell of my eats, moves, and grooves recently. I don’t know about you guys, but these are some of my favorite kinds of posts (ex: Kath’s “Lately” posts) because I like a nosy quick and dirty rundown of someone’s food and fitness.

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Gina’s oatmeal cookie dough cereal with blueberries and bananas

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avocado, smoked salmon, roasted red pepper, artichoke, spinach in a Flatout wrap

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whole wheat toast: one with avocado, egg, sriracha + one with pepperjack cheese and egg

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overnight oat green smoothie

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spinach, tomato, chorizo, cheddar, avocado egg white omelette for Pop — I was so wishing that I made this for myself though

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Italian chicken, mozzarella, basil, balsamic toasted sandwich

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salad at a local Mexican restaurant (eaten with corn tortillas taco style) with the family

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summer watermelon

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dried figs with plain Greek yogurt!

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my new favorite pasta dish inspired by Fr. Barnes: whole wheat spaghetti tossed with olive oil, marinated artichokes, mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, spinach, Italian herbs, minced garlic, and lots of black pepper, topped with chicken/shrimp. WOWZA

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leftover oatmeal dried fruit cookies from Christmas (thank God for freezers)1

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overnight oats in a peanut butter jar on my first day of work

Moves and grooves these days have been really…organic. My workouts are chosen and done on a day-by-day basis, depending on what else I’m doing, how I’m feeling, and the weather. Honestly, this go-with-the-flow attitude allows me to have the most fun working out.

Last week involved a lot of rest and light hikes at Fiona’s summer house, but there were some other great workouts sprinkled in there!

Last Monday I knew I wanted to go outdoors for a workout. I also really wanted to use this wall, so I put on my creative cap (which I don’t have with me more often than not) and did this doozy of a workout:

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.jsI broke that dumbbell at the very end of the workout because I dropped it on the ground in my exhaustion. At least it was 25 years old and had a good life.

On Friday, I did Tina’s At-Home Chipper Workout outside also. For the squats and lunges, I used my makeshift sandbag (a canvas bag filled with a bunch of random free weights ~26 lbs.). The burpees and pushups were the hardest!

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Also, I know how I should do hollow rocks, but I feel like I am a useless, cranky banana when I do them.

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Sunday’s workout involved these:

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The stairs may be going up, but it kinda feels like hell.

3 rounds:

  • STAIRS UP
  • 5 pistol squats
  • 10 pushups
  • 15 v-ups
  • 20 tricep dips
  • STAIRS DOWN
  • 5 pistol squats
  • 10 pushups
  • 15 v-ups
  • 20 tricep dips

And then up the stairs uno màs.

My body still felt like a stone from Friday’s workout, so I let myself take decent breaks in between rounds.

those DAM stairs are always killer. nice to be back home for the summer 🌞 #fituniversity @gofitu

A video posted by Alison (@alison_grooves) on May 22, 2016 at 9:54am PDT

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.jsI also took a 1 hour walk on Saturday night in the drizzly dark while jamming out to music. Pretty sure all my neighbors thought I was an angsty teen.

Lastly, this yoga video saved my body from the tension and antsy-ness of sitting in orientation all day yesterday.

Hope you guys have a lovely day!

So tell me:

College students: What are you up to this summer?

What was your favorite summer job you ever had?

Do you like these kinds of posts?

Best way you moved this week!

Best dish you cooked this week.

Motivating Myself to Work Out at Home

Boston, here I come!

Today is the day I go back up to Boston to settle in for second semester. I’m pumped and nervous at the same time. I’m definitely not as nervous as I was going into first semester (for obvious reasons), but I still get anxious about new schedules and professors, but the unknown is what makes life thrilling, right?

My last day at home was productive again! It started with a delicious and filling breakfast of course. I ended up making Amanda’s oatmeal cookie dough smoothie (plus spinach blended in) — not a new one, but certainly a great one.

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with Greek yogurt on the side for dippin’!

What do you think of THAT green color greeting you in the morning!?

After picking up my laptop (fitted with a brand new hard drive, hooray!) from the Apple Store, mom and I spent some last girl time together at the nail salon. I’m going to miss my parents.

Then it was time to come home and do some moves, which was butt-kicking at its finest.

full body supersets workout

Some of the exercises that may be unfamiliar: bench sitswalking pushups, (Bulgarian) split squatsin and out abscrab toe toucheslow jacksmodified V-ups

I used my ratchet, makeshift 25# “sandbag” (a canvas bag filled with a bunch of little free weights) and a 10# dumbbell for some of the exercises. Also, I did this while watching Aly Raisman’s documentary, which was very motivational. Some days are harder than others to motivate myself to work out when I’m at home, and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that:

a) I don’t have a workout buddy.

b) I currently don’t go to a gym when I’m staying at home.

c) I don’t go to fitness classes, a CrossFit box, etc. where there is a community of people pushing one another during the workout.

I’m not complaining in the slightest bit— I have an awesome healthy living blogger community (and Instagram) to help me get moving when I’m feeling in a slump, and I tend to be intrinsically motivated.

However, it’s not quite the same as working out with other people. Thus, I turned on Aly Raisman’s documentary because it was almost like I was working hard with someone. Actually, it was probably more that I was just plain inspired by her. Sometimes I might even put on another workout video on Youtube, even if it’s not the workout I’m doing. I just like the fact that someone else is sweating next to me…virtually.

I’M WEIRD, I KNOW. Many times I am indeed normal and I just blast some good pump up music.

I guess that’s another reason I’m looking forward to going back to Boston. There are runners everywhere and there’s always energy at the gym!

Moving on… Lunch tasted extra delicious after this workout. I found some leftover banana pancakes in the fridge, so I had three of those with sunflower seed butter and half a sliced banana. Accompaniments were two eggs with sriracha and veggies with hummus.

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Breakfast for lunch

I cooked last night too! It was salmon— my favorite fish to eat and one of the only non-breakfast foods I can cook decently. Mom bought a gigantic filet o’ salmon from Sam’s Club, so I cut that into portions and gave the fish a massage with a combo of garlic salt, cracked black pepper, spicy brown mustard, honey, lemon juice, and parsley.

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Baked at 400F in our toaster oven for 9 minutes. That probably sounds like our fish was still sushi-raw, but the smaller space in the toaster oven speeds up the cooking time, and we like our salmon “medium-rare.” It’s 10x more tender that way!

And as a “sending-off celebration” in Pop’s words, we ate this ice cream extravaganza that I created:

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Vanilla bean ice cream topped with banana slices, pomegranate arils, and graham cracker crumbs

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Yum yum yum yummm (sung to the Tums tune.)

Catch ya in Boston! The start of school means that posts will probably be on the back burner. Bear with me, I love you all and I want to blog as often as I can 🙂

So tell me: How do you motivate yourself to work out at home/when you’re by yourself? 

Good Food + A Run That I Loved?!

Three more days until Christmas and only two more days until Christmas Eve!!!

Thought I’d do the math for you, you’re welcome. Stats didn’t help with that at all, by the way.

This past weekend has been all about seeing high school friends and spending time with family. I really only have these next few days to see New York friends before my family heads to Florida for 2.5 weeks! I guess that’s why I feel like I have to squeeze in all my friend time ASAP. Luckily, I think I accomplished that this weekend!

Friday

I met up with some dance friends for dinner at Bareburger on Friday night. It made me smile so hard to catch up with these wonderful ladies!

Processed with Moldiv

That meal also made me smile real big. I had a black bean burger with spinach, tomato, goat cheese (yaaassss), and stone ground honey mustard on a multigrain bun. The panko-crusted fried zucchini sticks and sweet potato fries were also perfection.

And guess what! Before Bareburger, I ran for the first time since November 22! It was dark and cold outside, but I had just gone on a walk and started running home on my last lap around the neighborhood. I actually came inside to do a strength workout, but I was sore, so I went back outside and ran. It just felt right. I currently only run if I’m feeling in the groove, and on Friday evening I was feelin’ it!

According to the RunKeeper app my pace was 9:08 for the 3.6 miles I ran, but I felt like I was flying, so I don’t give a darn about what it says. I think I actually loved that run.

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My reaction to myself.

Saturday

Moving back to food…

Saturday morning’s breakfast was brought to you me by my food idol, Kylie @ Yeah…Imma Eat That. I prepared this “banana pudding for breakfast” on Friday night and dug in on Saturday morning. The only thing I did differently was rather than using vanilla Greek yogurt, I used plain Greek yogurt mixed with apple sauce, honey, and cinnamon.

Holy smokes, life will never be the same.

I’m on a mission to make as many unique breakfasts as possible during this winter break. #winterbreakbreakfastmission <— can we trend this? yes? yes?

My moves on Saturday: This “triple 8” workout from Purely Twins. All the incline exercises really worked the upper back! It was a fun one, and I finished in about 27 minutes.

After my workout, I visited my dance school’s holiday party where I reunited with old and new dance company members and instructors. Oh how I miss dancing! (Groovin’ has fallen on the wayside in college.)

I also went on a freezing-cold walk with my good friend Samantha in the afternoon. She understands my love for walking, especially now that we don’t have a big wide campus for roaming.

Nighttime came, we went to Mass, and then this family dinner happened:

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Mom’s homemade shrimp pad thai

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Arman’s balsamic roasted brussels sprouts (I also added some honey  for some sweetness!)

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A pumpkin gingerbread bar with vanilla ice cream

Everything about this meal was comforting and satisfying. It was so nice to sit down with the whole family at the dinner table, holding hands, saying grace, singing kumbaya…

Sunday

The Greek yogurt bowl is BACK.

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plain Greek yogurt mixed with maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chia seeds + half a sliced banana + pumpkin gingerbread + almond butter

Tip: Under-bake muffins ever so slightly. It results in a soft, doughy, delicious muffin that is perfect for things like the above yogurt bowl.

I had lunch only two hours after breakfast because I woke up at 10, ate breakfast, and then went to my church for a religious education staff/faculty luncheon at noon. I taught third grade Sunday school for two years in high school, and the principal was kind enough to invite me back!

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My dad took me to his gym in the evening, where my moves included 5 min. on the arc trainer + 12 minute tabata + kettlebell burpee pyramid workout. I loved this workout!

I also appreciated the fact that the CrossFit Invitational was on TV at the gym. How could you not be inspired to work out when you’re watching the fittest people on earth?

{10pm snack as I type this post}:

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green smoothie made with ½ c. almond milk, a huge handful of spinach, half a frozen banana, and half a scoop of vanilla protein powder

Brother: “Why spinach and banana?”

Me: “You can’t taste the spinach.”

Brother: “But there’s spinach in it.”

Me: “Taste it!”

Brother: *tastes it* “Oh, you really can’t taste the spinach.”

Me: “You’re welcome.”

I hope you all have a fabulous day! Eat (or drink) your spinach!

So tell me:

What did you eat this weekend?

Do you ever feel like you’re flying during a run, even though you’re not going THAT fast?

Where will you be spending Christmas?

Quads on Fire Home Workout {VIDEO!}

I am both super excited and super embarrassed about this post.

I finally decided to film a video for you all! It’s just me and my less-than-stellar videography skills showing you the exercises for a workout, but it was made with love. And three takes.

Before I get to that, let’s take a look at some Great Leapin’ Lentils!

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In honor of the New Year, I prepared a big pot of lentil soup last night. A quick check on the ever-wise Wikipedia told me  that lentils represent prosperity for the coming year because of their coin-like shape. Making the soup was a breeze thanks to the handy dandy instructions from this box. I just used some leftover grilled chicken in place of the Kielbasa.

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I enjoyed my bowl of lentils with some crumbled tortilla chips on top for added crunch. I ♥ crunchiness.

Moves

Yesterday afternoon, my dad and I decided to go on a super short walk to get some fresh (FREEZING) air.

I couldn’t even chat with him because I didn’t want to take the scarf away from my mouth. It’s okay— we felt each other’s presence. Or something cheesy like that.

After arriving home and cooking up the lentil soup, I was in the mood to get in a leg workout. I didn’t want to venture out to the gym, so I did a little home workout instead. This one was a quad killer! Hence the name:

quads on fire home workout

This workout requires minimal equipment (just a chair/bench, weights, and a timer) and minimal space. But you can still do this in the gym of course! It’s also all low impact since that’s what I’m jammin’ with right now.

Then I came up with the crazy idea to film the exercises for the world to see. Even though it is very, very far from perfect (I filmed it in one fell swoop because I’m too lazy to edit), I hope the video gives you an idea of some of the movements. I also love it when I get to see bloggers in action because I get to hear their voices and get a greater sense of their personalities.

So here it is in all it’s humble glory:

I know you love that cat picture in our guest room.

My brother helped me film this the first time, but after seeing that I looked like an awkward chicken, I decided to film it again myself using Mr. Tripod so that I wouldn’t bother him. Thanks though, bro!

It’s back to school for me today. At least it’s only a two-day week, right? We might luck out with a snow day tomorrow as well, so we’ll see!

So tell me:

Did you eat any special New Year food?

Do you do home workouts often?

More videos— yay or nay? (I’ll try to make them better next time.)