Why Did I Eat It?

HEY I’m blogging in the middle of a school week! That doesn’t happen very often these days, huh?

I’m even joining in on the What I Ate Wednesday fun for the first time in a few weeks!

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Today I’m showing you what I ate on Monday, a regular ol’ day in college. But I also wanted to share the reasons why I ate what I ate.

{My roommate just read that to herself and mocked me: “And this is why I added a pinch of salt. And this is why I had three scoops of oatmeal instead of two! And this is why I had 27 scoops of peanut butter instead of 24.” So this is how I am perceived in the world.}

I said it in my NEDA week post, but I’ll say it again: it can be difficult to not analyze food to some extent, even after recovering from an eating disorder. However, my mindset towards food has shifted from focusing on restriction and calories to focusing on nutrients, fuel, and happiness.

Sometimes I choose to eat certain foods to make sure I am getting enough macros, nutrients, etc. Other times, I choose to eat foods because I’m in a rush. Still other times, I choose to eat foods because they just taste good.

So here are Monday’s eats and the answers to the question: Why did I eat it?

Breakfast 

-Two egg scramble with all the veggies in the land // For protein, fiber, and nutrients + staying power for three straight hours of classes.

-Whole wheat apple pancake with peanut butter and banana on top // For whole grains, fruit, delicious taste, healthy fats and just…peanut butter.

-Glass o’ milk // To wash down the pancake with peanut butter and for calcium.

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Lunch

Grilled chicken // For protein, and it was spiced well.

-Salad with spinach, tomatoes, carrots, sautéed veggies, whole wheat pasta salad, and honey dijon dressing // For yet more veggie power, carbs, something to eat with the chicken, and taste (man this was delicious!).

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-Apple // To keep the doctor away 😉 And because I like to end on a sweet note.

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Snacks

-Wheat Thins // Because they’re a convenient snack that I have in my dorm and I love them.

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-Bare apple chips + a couple spoonfuls of almond butter // For energy to study, fiber, healthy fats, and protein. This is also one of my favorite snacks at the moment, but now I’m out of apple chips. 😦

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-Another spoonful of almond butter // I was still hungry and I knew I would not be eating dinner in another three hours.

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[I played intramural softball with some people from the Catholic Center, which was freezing, fun, and humorous all at the same time. I strongly despise softball/baseball, so this was truly one for the team. But it was low-key, so I’d do it again!]

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My thoughts: “But I can barely catch with my good hand.”

Dinner

-Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, and gravy // Because I will eat any sort of meatloaf (okay, maybe not). Also for protein, carbs, veggies, and comfort (a good meal for thawing out from the cold outdoors).

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Dessert(s)

-Apple and raisin compote + peach cobbler ice cream // I wanted dessert.

There’s a little more explanation for this one. I grabbed the apple raisin compote in hopes to have it a la mode with vanilla ice cream, but there was no vanilla ice cream when I went to go get some. Thus, I tried this peach cobbler ice cream, but it was kinda gross to me, so I didn’t really eat it. I finished most of the apple raisin thing though.

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-Strawberry shortcake with vanilla ice cream // Because our faculty in residence baked it from scratch, so how could I say no? I also justified that I didn’t have much of my dessert at the dining hall, so…

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It was worth the Monday night sugar overload.

Looking back at my day of eats, it looks like I ate quite a lot. But as I was going about my day on Monday, this was the amount my body needed (and wanted when it came to the desserts). Even though I seek to get enough vegetables, whole grains, nutrients, etc., I am fortunate to say that I also truly enjoy the healthy foods I eat. Then I might have some (or a lot of) sugar because it’s also tasty and nourishing to my soul.

Mindful eating used to be my whole life, but with time, mindful eating has become a useful tool— an optional tool at times.

I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday!

So tell me: 

Do you consider yourself a “mindful eater”?

What is a sweet treat that you’ve eaten recently?

Do you like softball or baseball?

I Failed at Thanksgiving

Although I did have a minor Thanksgiving cooking fail (which I will melodramatically get to in a second), yesterday was wonderful in every way, and I am incredibly thankful for the family time and delicious food. I hope you all had relaxing and love-filled Thanksgivings as well!

My Turkey Day started earlier than I preferred after going to sleep at 2 AM. But sleep is for the boring, and it was time to go to Mass and be thankful, dangit! 😉

Breakfast was calling my name when we got home from church, so I made an old favorite that I had been missing in college—Gina’s cookie dough cereal. It hit every point of peanut butter-oat-banana craving in my body (aka the perpetual craving).

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I contemplated doing a quick workout before the cooking commenced, but my body was feeling tired and sore so I opted to work out in a more casual way. I spread out 5 sets of 20 air squats, 20 pushups, 20 sit-ups, and 20 burpees throughout the day for a total of 100 reps of each exercise. I went on a quick walk with Pop as a cooking break later too.

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Then it was time to tackle the food! I was in charge of the cornbread, stuffing, and brussels sprouts, so I started with the one that took the most time and the one that is the star of Thanksgiving in my eyes— the stuffing.

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Now in your mind’s eye, multiply this amount of stuffing by ten. I kid you not, that’s how much stuffing I made. Mom and I thought it would be a good idea to overshoot and double this stuffing recipe (totally recommend the recipe by the way!), so that’s what I did. If any of you stuffing lovers out there have a second wind, please hit me up. We have three large containers completely full of the stuff…ing.

Veggies were also in the works! I’m not even trying to be an overzealous, healthy living, hip hip hooray person right now, but the vegetables probably tied with the stuffing for best dish in my opinion.

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Mom roasted sweet potatoes and butternut squash with just olive oil at 400F for 45 min.

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Brussels sprouts halved and pan roasted in coconut oil // salted and peppered with // tossed with walnuts and dried cranberries.

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I later ended up being responsible for taking the turkey out of the oven, but that was apparently a bad idea on everyone’s part because I left it in the oven for a weeeee bit too long. I was just waiting for the thermometer to get to 165F, but somewhere along the line I allowed the turkey to cross the line from juicy and tender to kinda dry. What’s with me and overcooking meat?! 

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Connecting to Mulan even more on this day.

At least it looks pretty.

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It really wasn’t bad either. It was on the drier side, but not terrible. Pop even said it was his favorite part of the meal, but that’s such a dad thing to say. Thanks anyway, Pop 🙂

I attempted to drown my disappointments in cornbread until I spotted the jar of honey on the counter…I forgot to put honey in the cornbread batter, and I didn’t realize until the cornbread came out of the oven. The recipe is sweet honey cornbread. #AlisonRuinsThanksgiving2014

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I quickly remedied the situation by pouring a generous drizzle of honey on top of the cornbread when it came out of the oven, which formed a sweet crust on top as the bread cooled. Then a small extra drizzle of honey on each slice made all things new. Phew!

My cooking job was done after that (thank the Lord), and after mom finished the mashed potatoes, we said our prayers of thanksgiving and feasted!

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At 4 PM, we had a laid back Thanksgiving dinner. I loved that there was no feeling of “stress” to eat ALL THE FOODS. There was enough room in my stomach for a late night snack even! Oh, and dessert of course.

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Classic apple pie a la mode. Perfect!

We got the apple pie at a church fundraiser (which got the pies from a bakery), and it was on point. The flaky crust was the best part because…carbs!!! I don’t need turkey. I just need stuffing, cornbread, veggies, and pie.

The rest of our evening involved cleaning, relaxing, snacking, and watching The Help. It’s one of my new favorite movies. I laughed and cried, which is a sign of a winning movie to me!

‘Twas a lovely Thanksgiving indeed.

Oh hey, it’s Black Friday. But Black Friday started on Thursday apparently, so I’m a day late? I’ll be spending my day catching up with some of my high school best friends at breakfast, homework, and maybe a workout.

I hope you all have a fabulous Friday!

So tell me:

American friendsWhat was the best thing you ate for Thanksgiving?

Turkey or side dishes?

Did you go/are you going Black Friday shopping?

International friends— What did you eat last night? 

A Lovely Thanksgiving

Here is the story of our Thanksgiving…

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Super quick breakfast before Mass

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Talking to one of my religious education students from last year (you can’t see him…maybe that was obvious)

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Bought our Christmas wreath!

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Ready for action. This time, knowing what the heck I’m holding.

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Using the laptop for recipes

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Peelin’ and choppin’ 

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Macy’s Parade in the background. Ben was already tired.

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First dish finished: Gina’s Cranberry Quinoa “Stuffing”

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Snack

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Hour-long walking break with Dad

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I thought my face was going to fall off. The wind was freezing.

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Quasi-lunch

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Nibbles from mom’s beautiful appetizer spread

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Homemade honey cornbread hot out of the oven

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Corner piece

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Brussels all set

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Homemade rosemary parmesan mashed potatoes with roasted garlic

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Bird’s the word

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Mom’s Asian-inspired brown rice with turkey giblets

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Feelin’ fancy, but not too fancy (note the “non-alcoholic”)

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All together now

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Centerpiece

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The company— my great-aunt and her friend, both of whom are Maryknoll nuns. Ben took the photo.

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Blessings

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Dig in! 

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My favorite. Apple pie a la mode. Plus some berry pie.

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De-seeding a pomegranate using the water method for the first time. So helpful.

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Rubies

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Blazing

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Classic

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Tryptophan

I am beyond thankful for everything that happened on this day— my family, the cooking, the eating, the conversation, and the relaxation. May the gratitude extend to each and every day throughout the year.

So tell me: How was YOUR Thanksgiving (if you celebrated)? Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions?