Gluttony or “Just Living”?

This weekend was definitely gluttony.

Disclaimer: If you are struggling with disordered eating, I ask that you please read with caution or not read this post at all. Please take care ♥︎ 

But let’s talk about guilt over gluttony in the context of recovering from an eating disorder. I’ll start with a little fact about myself:

Before I developed disordered eating habits, I experienced guilt over eating more than I thought I should, because I felt that I was being selfish if I ate to the point of satiation. What about all the children my age who have nothing to eat for dinner tonight? My parents shut that down really quickly, but this is a real sentiment that I had when I was younger.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s prudent and good to avoid gluttony and to be mindful of our brothers and sisters who have less to eat than us. However, I know from experience that there can be uncertainty between two thoughts during recovery:

“Am I eating all this for the sake of recovery?”

vs.

“Am I just being gluttonous?”

I am neither a dietitian nor a priest, but I do know that “gluttony” is necessary for recovery from an anorexia-type eating disorder. I put “gluttony” in quotation marks because eating a lot— an amount greater than you feel like eating—during recovery from an anorexia-type eating disorder is essential for healing the mind and body. It is the only way to get yourself to reach a healthy weight and challenge restricting behaviors.

(This doesn’t mean eating until you get sick, but many of you probably understand what I mean.)

So what happens once you are completely recovered (or even 99.9% recovered)? Personally, I believe I am well past the point of “eating more food for the sake of my health”. If I eat more than I think I should at this stage of my life, it’s probably unnecessary. But am I gluttonous or “just living”? 

I think it can be argued that “just living” involves a little bit of gluttony. Most of us don’t need that extra drink or dessert, but those extra treats that put us a little over the top can be good for our mental health and social experience.

According to Google, gluttony means “habitual greed or excess in eating”. I certainly believe that eating more than you really need is not a terrible thing every now and then (if you are at a healthy stage in life). However, for ME, once it becomes habitual — once excess eating becomes…excessive — that is where I’d say I’m being a little bit gluttonous.

This is a self-reflection. I do not mean to speak for anyone else! But I’m curious to hear if anyone has similar reflections.

So let’s look at the amount of food my family and I ate this weekend.

Friday Night

Dinner at Shiki with our family friends.

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some bites of my parents’ yakitori

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squid appetizer for everyone to share

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gigantic mussels for everyone to share as well

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sushi for me!

Saturday

Back story: We and our family friends are HUGE foodies, and for whatever reason, it’s a tradition for us to go into NYC and do a “food crawl” to many different food vendors. Rule: We must walk.

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light breakfast (light for my standards): Greek yogurt with half a banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, blueberries, and pb

First stop: Chelsea Market! Also known as the land of “I can’t choose what to eat.”

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We all parted ways and bought our own dishes before reconvening, but we also shared a bunch of things. Many little bites here and there!

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little bites of a couple kinds of doughnuts from Doughnuttery — delicious!

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one of my favorite bites of the day: ginger pecan pie

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egg, ham, cheese, scallion corn muffin — totally up my alley

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Ben’s Mexican plate with cactus and beef

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I couldn’t even finish my salad after bites of all the other things!

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way too much food before noon #chelseamarket #nyc

A post shared by Alison (@alison_grooves) on

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After Chelsea, we walked uptown towards Broadway via High Line for a more scenic route. The weather was overcast, cool, and absolutely perfect!

We watched a matinee of Book of Mormon, which is a pretty esteemed musical. It was definitely hilarious, but it was also so vulgar and blasphemous that every time something funny happened, all I could do was stare with wide eyes and a dropped jaw. I may have smiled too.

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I do appreciate it as a musical, however. The music is super catchy and the acting was phenomenal.

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"Hello!" 📘👔🙏🏼 #bookofmormon #broadway #nyc

A post shared by Alison (@alison_grooves) on

We headed over to Koreatown for our post-show/pre-dinner snack. Madre and Pop suggested a Korean food court called Food Gallery 32.

I had a bite of taiyaki, which is a pastry shaped like a fish, stuffed with red bean paste. Fresh out of the iron, this thing was FANTASTIC. Crisp exterior, gooey interior, rich filling.

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Colby, you’d love this.

Plus a sip of Ben’s taro bubble tea.

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Dessert before dinner (but don’t worry, we ate dessert after dinner too).

My uncle made reservations for us at Momofuku Nishi, a trendy, modern Japanese restaurant.

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#minimalist

We were basically sitting on wooden boxes, but I wasn’t mad about it.

Family style all day!

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cold shanghai noodles

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some magical fried chicken

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butter noodles that tasted cheesy but weren’t actually cheesy

Then there was this “Impossible Burger” that we split into eight little pieces.

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Perhaps you are asking, “What the heck is this sad looking burger doing at an upscale Japanese restaurant?” Well, the burger is vegan (the patty at least). But it 100% looks and tastes like meat. Hence, the “Impossible” Burger.

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The only wow factor was that it was vegan, because otherwise, it just tasted like a really mediocre fast food burger with subpar french fries.

The main event was this 10 lb. pork roast that my uncle had to order ahead of time for our party of seven.

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the bone literally slid right out

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Ben rolling up the sleeves

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We ate it in lettuce wraps with many delicious condiments, herbs, and sticky rice. There was a good amount of meat that we got to take home for leftovers! It was a heavenly piece of meat.

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Then it was time to walk our way to dessert. Our family friends stopped at Momofuku Milk Bar to pick up some cookies to go. Then we headed to Van Leeuwen ice cream. On our way though, we got distracted by a place called Snowdays, which sells “shaved cream”.

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It’s a frozen block of cream that is shaved. My aunt shared her black sesame shaved cream with coconut and mochi with all of us. Pretty unique! It’s like ultra light ice cream.

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Had to take a picture for ol’ Disney Channel’s sake. Did anyone else watch Wizards of Waverly Place?

Finally, Van Leeuwen. Ben and I shared three scoops (I was greedy. We definitely should have just gotten two scoops). I chose ginger, honeycomb, and vegan banana nut. They were all so good! I couldn’t choose a favorite.

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Obviously, humans don’t need this much food (unless you burn calories like Michael Phelps). I did feel gluttonous (especially with that ice cream at the end), and I do not condone eating like this every day of course, but it happened, it was a wonderful time with family, and I am grateful for all the food.

So tell me:

Have you ever struggled with discerning gluttony vs. “just living”?

Have you ever done a “food crawl”?

What are you doing today? Happy Labo(u)r Day!!! 

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Weekend Confessions: So College It Hurts

Thank you for your love and support on Friday’s post. ♥ 

weekend confessions

Confession #1: My gynecology appointment on Friday was good, terrifying, confusing and disheartening all at the same time. I’m going back this Friday, and I’ll leave it at that.

Confession #2: I went to a formal workout for the first time in a long time, and it was FUN.

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A new fitness group on campus hosted an outdoor workout in the middle of campus, so I decided to stop by and join them [10 minutes late]. It wasn’t anything crazy; it was just wonderful to be active outdoors with fellow Terriers.

Confession #3: I waited in line for 1.5 hours to see a comedian I hadn’t even heard of before.

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Are any of you fans of the show Parks and Recreation? The comedian we watched was Retta from the show. We definitely had some good laughs!

Confession #4: I don’t want to say that the weather has been perfect these past two weeks because I don’t want to jinx it. But here I am saying it anyway.

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Confession #5: My roommate had her birthday dinner this weekend and I felt like I was at a celebrity’s birthday party. 40 people at a trendy hot pot restaurant for THIS MODEL.

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suitemates

suite mates

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Confession #7: I cooked the vegetables that so many people at the party didn’t want to eat, and I took them home as leftovers. Then I ate them cold. #dontwastefoodplease

Confession #8: Sandwiches are baaaaaack. 🙂 The no-fail meal option.

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Confession #9: I have dessert practically every day here in college. Apparently “sophomore spread” is a thing, (like, my fat is supposed to spread out all over the place? all I can think of with that term is Jabba the Hut), but I think we’ll be okay.

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We walk a lot.

Confession #10: I brought my own peanut butter to the Catholic Center pancake brunch on Sunday.

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“Alison, you did NOT bring your own peanut butter.”

“But alas, here it is on my pancake.”

Confession #12: I spent $5 for public transportation to see fireworks. ‘Twas worth it because of these beautiful people.

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Confession #13: I’m reading more text (that’s not on a blog) than I have in a long time. SO MUCH DENSE READING. SO LITTLE TIME.

Confession #14: I went to the gym for the first time in several months. I felt somewhat lost because a) they moved and added a lot of equipment; b) I hadn’t touched a weight in forever. I’m still not doing anything near what I used to do, but I did use some light kettlebells.

Confession #15: It took me a total of 4 hours to do laundry because apparently, college students like to do laundry on a long weekend. Who would have thought? Not me, evidently.

This weekend was so college, it hurts— studying, dining hall food, and events that require investments I would deem unreasonable outside of a college setting.

I hope you all had a fantastic Labo(u)r Day if you celebrated. Full force ahead!!! (<— me pretending to be enthusiastic about 8AM classes)

So tell me:

What is the most exciting thing you did this weekend?

Do you bring nut butter with you where you know it will be applicable?

Have you ever eaten at a hot pot restaurant?

Please explain what “sophomore spread” is supposed to mean. 

It’s All About Perspective + Ab Workout

Morning!

I hope everyone had a lovely Labor Day and a nice three day weekend if you had the day off! We had a relaxing time at home, which involved some delicious baked goods, movies, exercise, and quality family time. I’m one of the lucky ducks that doesn’t start school until next Monday, so I’m still a free bird this week. I am trying to get some college essay stuff under my belt, but the inspiration is still falling in place. Ya can’t force a story that expresses yourself, right? I’ve got some ideas though…

Some things have happened in the past year that have allowed me to find a new perspective on certain aspects of life.  For instance, my rocky journey with food and fitness has brought me to focus more on whole health–physical, mental, and spiritual. Not just physical.

Even my struggle with insomnia a couple weeks ago has made me a more grateful, positive person. I don’t exactly know how, but perhaps that was just God’s way of helping me out a bit 😉 I think not being able to sleep put me in such a Negative Nancy mood, and that just spiraled into more sleeplessness. The less I moped and felt sorry for myself, the better I was able to sleep. I am thankful for every good night’s rest I am given! The experience has also helped me just feel more and value others’ experiences, no matter how small they seem. I’m reading the content of blogs more thoroughly, and I connect with people more closely during conversation. Kelly Clarkson was right–what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

The real inspiration for all this personal talk is actually an email titled “It’s all about perspective” that my uncle sent us. It was a short, sweet, and hilarious dialogue between him and his 2.5-year-old daughter, who we call CC:

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I was CRACKING UP. Life through a 2.5-year-old’s eyes.

Lunch

My mom cooked up some delicious food yesterday including potatoes, chicken, sautéed onions, and pesto rice. For lunch, I decided to assemble a brunch-y hash of sorts:

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Sautéed red potatoes, caramelized onions, wilted spinach, and two sunny-side up eggs. Sriracha added post-photo-snap 🙂

Moves

Yesterday I went back to the usual 20 minutes on the elliptical, because my knees are feelin’ it from running more than usual. Does that mean I’m doing something wrong? Maybe. I gotta check with some of my trackie friends. Anyway, my arms and abs were sore from Sunday, and my legs were actually still sore too. So I went with this workout from Julie that would keep me moving from one exercise to the next. I was pooped by the end (actually even by the end of round 5)!

I tried another new-to-me Chobani flavor afterwards:

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Passion fruit

I’ve never even had a real passion fruit before, but it was tasty! I added cereal on top for crunch of course. I also added more plain yogurt when I got to the bottom of the container because there was more fruit left. No wastin’ here!

Dinner

Last night’s meal hit the spot!

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Chicken, pesto rice, and caramelized onions.

I also had a side salad of spinach and balsamic vinaigrette for some produce.

For dessert:

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Reheated coconut banana muffin! Yum.

In my post yesterday, I mentioned that I did some burnin’ ab work on Sunday, so I decided to share what I did! I called it the ’13 Ab Workout because there are 13 exercises (if you count right and left side plank separately) and it’s 2013. Lame, I know, but I’m not known for having cool ideas anyway. This was also my first time making a workout on Pic Monkey too. It was fun!

2013 abs

Here are demonstrations of the exercises:

Sitting toe tap crunches

Weighted Russian twists

Spiderman plank

V-ups

Ankle touches

Clock abs

Mountain climbers

Butterfly situps

Plank cross knee tucks

Side plank hip lifts

Burpee pushups

Plank

Hope you love (or despise 😉 ) it!

I also made some desserts last night for la famiglia:

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Fruit “snow” for mom. Just blended up frozen fruit in a food processor and voila!

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That would be banana s’mores. Ben was my taste tester (ok, I had a bite too upon Ben’s urging) and they were delicious! Too sweet for me, but I’m sure that could be fixed. Maybe I’ll post the recipe later!

Have a terrific Tuesday!

So tell me: Is there anything you’ve experienced that has changed your perspective? What did you do this weekend? 

On Cloud Coconut {MIMM #3}

Good morning!

How in the world is it September? I kinda shiver when I think of September because I immediately associate it with school. BUT I should probably look at the bright side since it’s the month of so many birthdays in my family!

This weekend has been a lovely mix of productivity and leisure, which is such a blessing. It’s been fun hanging out with my family and friends before we get down to business for the start of the school year (next Monday–gah!). I also did quite a bit of cooking and baking this weekend! I can still smell the flour, bananas, and cinnamon. ‘Twas marvelous!

MiMM

Thanks again, Katie, for hosting!

Marvelous is…

THIS:

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Saturday afternoon, I baked and indulged in the most delicious banana coconut muffins from Cookie & Kate. I am still amazed at how good they are. Wow. Literally–moist clouds of not-overly-sweet banana coconut goodness with a kick of lemon/lime zest and a crispy topping of toasted coconut. (I feel like I could make the descriptions for menus at fancy restaurants…Oh there’s an idea!)

Swoon. 

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My mom and dad really enjoyed these too. I will definitely be making these again!

Marvelous is…

Nine hours of sleep on Friday and Saturday night! Haven’t gotten that much in a while. Very grateful indeed.

Marvelous is…

Toast + avocado + smoked salmon=winning comb.

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Three li’l piggies fishies.

Marvelous is…

Finishing all my summer homework, woohoo! Now it’s time for college essays. Oh boy.

Marvelous is…

More baking! My mom requested some kind of treat that incorporated her chocolate protein powder for when she goes to the gym. Thus, I made Taralynn’s Protein Brownies. They have a strong banana flavor, but we’re cool with that!

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Marvelous is…

Soft boiled eggs + toast (a.k.a. “Eggs and Soldiers.” All I need is Ben so I can speak in a British accent!)

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Marvelous is…

Ciao Bella deliciousness. I shared a little bit of coconut sorbet and pistachio gelato with mom. Oh how I love frozen treats.

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Marvelous is…

This new-to-me Chobani flavor–lemon! Chobani was on sale at Stop and Shop, so I got five flavors that I’ve never tried before. To be honest, lemon Greek yogurt sorta turned me off because I was afraid of eating sour with sour, but this was awesome! It was kind of like lemonade.

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Marvelous is…

Oats 🙂

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Note: I found the perfect spot to take pictures of my food when it’s light outside! My mom has this little table on our front steps that she painted white, so it helps create a rustic, yet clean background for my photos. I’m definitely FAR from a pro, but it’s better than taking pictures of my food on the kitchen floor next to the back door. Although now the neighbors will regularly see me in my pajamas taking pictures of bowls and plates of food. There are weirder things I could do.

Marvelous is…

Mom and Dad having a date-night-in watching What to Expect When You’re Expecting. They were laughing a lot! I admire my parents for still devoting quality time to each other (even though I totally squeezed in on the couch to watch too). I hope to have a relationship like that one day if God calls me to be wife!

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Adorable.

Marvelous is…

Making buckwheat pancakes for the first time!

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I used this recipe from Edible Perspective, making some slight changes based on what was available in our pantry and fridge. They were fantastic! The buckwheat flour made them dense and fulfilling, and the hint of cinnamon was perfect.

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I highlighted the cinnamon with some vanilla sunflower seed butter (which has some cinnamon in it), Greek yogurt, and a drizzle of maple syrup.

I got kind of excited with my camera around my neck, phone held by my chin, and plate in hand. So this happened:

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Fail. I said it.

The ‘rents enjoyed the waffles as well!

Marvelous is…

A random workout yesterday!

It began with 10 minutes on the elliptical and 5 minutes on the treadmill again! But there’s some sad news. I tried a different treadmill to see if the other one was defective and I was going at speed 7.0 again. Boo. However, I will continue trials at this empirical experiment (nerd alert) because today my legs were more sore than they were on Friday, so maybe that affected my speed as well. We shall see.

Then I loosely followed this arm workout from Julie and did some ab work that burned.

That’s all for now, folks!

PS: I updated my About page yesterday! It gets a little raw and you can read about my more personal story. *Suspense*

I also added a Blogroll page so you can see some of the super spectacular blogs I follow!

Have a great week! (Good luck to those starting school this week.)

So tell me: Have you baked anything recently? Do you like waffles? What did you do this weekend? What are you doing today?

Are We Prima Ballerinas Yet?

Howdy!

How has your Friday been? I hope it’s been a good one! Who’s ready for the long weekend?! (Even though I’m still on summer vacation, so there’s no difference to me…sorry.)

Today started with the usual blog-reading while standing at my counter. I took a nice long time, because I was waiting until my mom came back from her gym (that she’s attending with a Groupon deal–typical) with the car so I could head to my gym. This week has been filled with dance, and I’ve been loving moving artistically again. But it was also fun to get back into “workout-workouts” today.

Breakfast

Classic:

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Moves

I started with 10 minutes on the elliptical and then GUESS WHAT? I ran on the treadmill! As you may know, I am not a fan of running, but I wanted to challenge myself and step outside of my comfort zone. I only ran 10 minutes, but it went surprisingly well! I usually run at a speed no greater than 7.3 maybe, but that felt slow to me today, so I ran at 8.0 and increased the speed throughout the 10 minutes. I even went at 10.0 for the last 30 seconds! The weird part was that I didn’t feel quite as tired as I usually do when I’m running. My mile was around 7:30, which was my PR earlier this year..but I feel like I could have ran faster today! Maybe that bootcamp class helped? Or burpees? I dunno. Actually, I’m skeptical and think that perhaps that particular treadmill was defective or something. Like maybe the treadmill went slower than the speeds shown on the monitor. Well, let’s just massage my ego and say that maybe I’m getting better at running. 😀

Moving on. I completed one of my favorite circuit workouts from Jess at Blonde Ponytail: You Can Ring My (Dumb)Bell Workout. Cute name, right? Ya won’t feel so cute after you finish though. This kicks my butt every time! I’ve gradually cut down my rest time in between workouts and increased the weights so that it keeps challenging me. ‘Twas a doozy!

I came home, showered, and then got ready to host my “little sister” from company, Lilly! We both dread sewing our pointe shoes, so we decided to have a little date so that we could eat healthy food and sew our shoes together (does that make us sound like prima ballerinas or what?!).

Lunch

Options for our sandwiches (Lilly’s a vegetarian, so it’s pretty easy to find food for her 🙂 )

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Lilly’s creation:

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I believe it contained pesto, mozzarella, tomato, and spinach! I may have missed somethin’.

She even added that basil leaf for garnish. She’s got the presentation aspect down-pat.

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And mine:

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Two sunnies, toast with mozzarella and roasted bell peppers + basil for garnish (inspired by Lilly)

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Plus sides

It was a beautiful day for eating outside and everything was delicious! The best part was this though:

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Peanut butter banana soft serve. I’ve got Lilly hooked. Muahaha.

And then we watched Youtube videos and old dance DVDs while we tediously sewed our pointe shoes.

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Pointe shoes: hurt your fingers when you sew ’em, hurt your toes when you wear ’em. But it’s all for the love of dance.

We had a nice time bonding! Now I’m going grocery shopping with mom and then it will be dinner time for me. Have a nice Labor Day weekend!

So tell me: Have you ever had a breakthrough with running/exercise? What was for lunch? Any fun Labor Day weekend plans?