Work Hard, Rest Hard

It finally happened this summer.

I went to bed at an ungodly hour on a Saturday night and woke up at 11. Ughhhhh.

I’m not too mad about it though, because I got to spend some quality time with high school friends who I hadn’t seen in forever.

Other weekend happenings:

Thursday

Not part of the weekend, but I made some good food that night! “Made” = throwing things in a bowl. Like this salad with baby kale mix, leftover sautéed brussels sprouts, sweet cherry tomatoes, sliced beets (from a can ➔ college d-hall memories), and avocado.

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Late night baking adventures involved Amanda’s Greek yogurt banana oat bread! I baked it in two 8×8 pans to speed up the baking time since it was late (and I’m impatient).

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I brought most of the banana bread to work on Friday, and it disappeared by the end of the day! I was that girl who brought whole grains into the midst of (freaking delicious) brownies and chocolate chip cookies.

Friday

You know when you’re go-go-go all day, and then you finally sit down? Then you realize that you never ever want to move your butt off that chair? That was my Friday after work.

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But I love days like that (after I get to sit down).

Part of the hustlin’ day included cooking up a hearty dinner. I baked some chicken thighs with half a sliced onion, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of artichokes, lots of garlic, oregano, fresh basil, sweet cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper, then topped with fresh mozzarella near the end of baking.

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that broiled, crispy mozzarella is magical

Then I boiled some whole wheat spaghetti for the base.

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TGIF.

These babies also happened:

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balsamic roasted brussels sprouts (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and pepper @ 400F for ~30 min)

Whenever I roast vegetables, I eat my fill straight off the pan when they come out of the oven. 😀

Saturday

Early morning overnight oat smoothie bowl (almond milk, Greek yogurt, chia seeds, cinnamon, blueberries, frozen banana, vanilla protein powder, greens + granola on top) before some praying and morning Mass.

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I came back home and napped before movin’ and groovin’ in the backyard. I didn’t have too much time, so I did 5 rounds of Jess’ KILLER 1000 rep workout. I used two 15# kettlebells and a 36# bar, so I made some substitutions:

This workout is quite difficult in an AC’d gym. HALF of this workout is MADNESS in the humid heat. God bless naps and rest days that allowed me to power through that.

I definitely snacked on some brussels sprouts and tomatoes before that workout too.

After showering in cold water, I headed to lunch with two of my good high school friends, Sam and Je’lyn! We met up at The Beehive for sandwiches (after a long bout of menu indecisiveness).

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I went with the turkey club (oven roasted turkey, thick cut bacon, lettuce, tomato, and pesto mayo) + side salad. I was hungry, so I wanted something hearty. I got what I wanted, because I think the earth shook when this landed on our table:

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thinking, “is this all three of our orders on one plate?”

A double-decker, half-foot-long (maybe longer) turkey freaking CLUB.

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Literally three meals. I had this portion you see in this photo (eaten as a single decker + an open-faced sandwich), Ben had another portion for his dinner that night, and I had the last portion yesterday for brunch. Talk about a deal!

The three of us caught up on our lives and had great conversation before heading home. I hung out with Ben for a bit, ate some frozen bananas and kettle corn, and then we went to Mass (counting for Sunday Mass). I was still pretty full from my late lunch/late snack, so I ate veggies and crackers with hummus for a light snack.

I dropped off Ben at the train station since he had his first overnight work shift in the city on Saturday night. Oof.

While he was over there making dough, I was spending dough on ice cream with Sam, Michael and Jordan. More long-since-seen friends!

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blueberry cheesecake + captain crunch berry ice cream

Village Creamery is amazing.

Sam invited us over to hang out at her house. We vegged out on her couches and chatted for several hours. Later in the night, Sam gave me a Tim Tam and made me Vegemite toast, since she just got back from studying abroad in Australia (‘Straya)!

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Vegemite smells like stale bread.

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You’re supposed to butter the toast and add a super thin layer of Vegemite. Verdict? I like it! It’s just…salty. Like, extra salty buttered toast with a hint of yeast flavor. I understand why no one can really explain what it tastes like.

Arman, are you proud!?

I got home at around 1, had a dance party by myself in the kitchen, reminisced on old blog posts for old time’s sake, and went to bed after 2:30 AM. I am fully culpable for messing up my sleep schedule.

Sunday

I got up at 8 AM first to pick up Ben from the train station. Then we both hit the hay again, and I woke up at almost 11.

Big brunch it was!

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last of the turkey club with extra greens and sriracha + unpictured brussels sprouts and cherry tomatoes

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a small piece of banana bread baked oatmeal + blueberries

I decided to truly embrace Sunday as the day of rest (something that I need to work on). I watched Food Network while typing this post for a couple hours, went on a long walk, danced a little, did some reading…

“Work hard, play hard” is fun, but “work hard, rest hard” is what I needed.

Madre and Pop were away for the weekend in California for a family function, so after they arrived back home last night, we went to (a Groupon) dinner at Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse.

Me to Ben: “I don’t know if I’m ready for that much meat.”

If you’re not familiar with Brazilian Rodizio, it’s essentially meat on demand. Waiters come around to your table with giant skewers of various meats and sausages, and you can just say “yes” or “no” to the meat that arrives.

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red side of the card for “no meat, please” // green side of the card for “please bring me dat meat”

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They slice off a piece of the meat for you, and you use your personal mini tongs to grab it. So interactive, I love it.

There’s a salad bar buffet, where you can fill your plate with fresh accompaniments for your plethora of meats.

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And there are these complimentary Brazilian. cheese. puffs.

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These pao de queijo were so incredible that we asked for a second basket. Madre, Ben and I each had three, ignoring most of the other side dishes. They’re made with tapioca flour, which makes them the DOUGHIEST little nuggets of gold you ever tasted. I definitely Googled how to make them when I got home, which was a great yet terrible move, because I learned that they’re so easy to make…Cheese puffs ALL THE TIME.

Other side dishes that came with the meal included some superb rice, baked beans, pickle-y salsa, yucca flour (??), and fried bananas (← we ate as dessert).

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I must have tried 8 different meats, but my favorites were the top sirloin, chicken, bacon-wrapped turkey, and beef rib. They also had some bomb grilled pineapple at the end!

Me: “I think I’m going to go vegetarian for the rest of this week.”

^^^Lies.

What a wonderful dining experience to end the weekend!

Now Ben and I are skipping around between watching Sharknado (the most horrendously bizarre show I’ve ever laid eyes on), American Ninja Warrior, and Harry Potter. I’m also baking some more banana bread baked oatmeal for the week!

Hope you all have a delightful Monday!

So tell me:

Two things you did this weekend!

What are your favorite rest activities (oxymoron, I know)? Baking, walking, meditating, and jamming out to music are my faves.

What is the biggest sandwich you’ve ever ordered? 

Have you ever had Brazilian Rodizio? 

Fancy Food + Weekly Moves and Grooves

Thank you to everyone who recommended a bunch of podcasts on yesterday’s post! I’m looking forward to listening to all of them and perpetuating my dependence on technology to keep me from feeling lonely.

I love that podcasts can make me laugh out loud. I like laughing. 😀

Since I started my internship at 3pm yesterday, I had a little bit of extra free time in the morning to make some more “fancy” food. Fancy = takes more time.

Breakfast was Frrrreeeench tooooast (said in my pitiful, wannabe-hardy French accent). I dipped Dave’s Killer Bread in a mixture of: 1 egg, a splash of 2% milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Then I plopped the battered bread into a skillet sizzling with butter.

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Served with a pool of peanut butter and bananas sautéed in a little more butter. Plus the last of a plain yogurt container with more cinnamon, nutmeg, stevia (yeah, I used it) and the sweetest of mangoes.

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For lunch, I had another English muffin sandwich with an egg, avocado, and goat cheese + salad + an unknown number of white cheddar Popcorners + a plum!

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Around 11AM I whipped out the crockpot and almost 6 lbs of boneless pork ribs, compliments of Costco. After practically sawing off the excess fat (I left plenty on, but I took off the 2 inch strips and chunks o’ fat), I seasoned the ribs with Bobby’s rib rub and then threw them into the crockpot with some garlic and onion.

8 hours later…

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Glamour shots.

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You can see my first taste of the ribs on Snapchat.

For dinner I served the ribs on microwave-steamed sweet potatoes with kale sautéed in avocado oil, salt, pepper, a little maple syrup, and spicy brown mustard (<— do this!). Plus a dollop of Greek yogurt because the ribs were kinda spicyyy.

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What a blesséd meal.

Since I haven’t shared my weekly moves and grooves in a couple weeks, I thought it was a good time to share again! Still keeping things pretty low impact/intensity and feeling great about it.

I’ve been working on gaining some flexibility and mobility back in some (all) of my tight joints with yoga and stretching. Physical therapy interning has me inspired to stay as mobile in my joints as possible!

weekly moves and grooves

  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: lower body barre
  • Sunday: 8 min abs
  • Monday: 60 min yoga
  • Tuesday: gymnastics warmup + handstands + lower body exercises
  • Wednesday: 3 mile walk
  • Thursday: 8 min abs + 60 min yoga

Hip hip hooray for Friday!

So tell me:

What did you eat for dinner last night?

Do you consider yourself flexible?

I Love Dairy {Recent Eats}

Hi!

I don’t know about the rest of the globe, but Boston was soggy sadness yesterday. The gloom, wind, and rain was so nasty that I had to change my pants three times yesterday due to them getting soaked every time I went outside.

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But there are many brighter things to think about besides the weather! Like today being the last day of classes, which means I’m a week out from being done with this semester. Crazypants.

Also, my roommate and I decorated our door for the holidays. We went on the extremely secular side with a Santa Claus “Tinder” profile. I’ve never been on it, but apparently Tinder is some sort of speed-dating-type app. We didn’t win best-decorated door, but props to my roommate for thinking outside of the box with this idea.

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The little bio for Santa says, “Don’t just swipe right [what you do when you don’t like someone on Tinder]. I’ll put you on my naughty list. 😉 “

We’re terrible.

I haven’t shown you all what I’ve been noshing since Thanksgiving! Something that I’ve really come to embrace recently is my love for dairy. My friend Sylvia was telling me about how dairy is addicting because of the lactose, and I told her I was okay with that. Cheese, yogurt, ice cream, milk— if you don’t want it, I’m your girl.

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Linking up with Jenn!

Breakfasts

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whole wheat apple pancake with honey and butter + peaches + scrambled eggs

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oatmeal with honey, pb, banana + scrambled eggs

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egg white omelet with veggies and cheese + corn muffin + apple

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whole wheat toast with pb and banana + eggs + glass o’ milk

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whole wheat apple pancake with pb and banana + eggs + glass o’ milk

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whole wheat blueberry pancake with honey and butter + cottage cheese with strawberry yogurt, pb, and banana

Lunches

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baked fish + potatoes + salad

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roast beef, cheese, lettuce, honey mustard sandwich + sweet potato tots + shrimp salad

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pineapple pork + rice + broccoli

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whole wheat grilled cheese with tomatoes and caramelized onions + tomato and rice soup + bbq chicken on spinach

food 2

polenta and a bean veggie thing + salad with tofu and greek dressing (which has feta cheese in it!) + cottage cheese with fruit

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tofu + rice + salad with Greek dressing

Dinners

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chicken pita with dill yogurt sauce

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baked fish with eggplant caponata + butternut squash risotto

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salad with Greek dressing + roast beef, cheese, hummus, veg sandwich

Desserts

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honeycrisp apple (from home) dipped in Greek yogurt, pb, cinnamon

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peach apple crisp + vanilla ice cream

That last dessert just called to me. Not to mention some strawberry ice cream I ate straight out of the pint since my roommate bought a few for $0.25 each.

I used to freak out if I ate too much cheese or drank too much milk because the fat scared the crap out of me. ONE SLICE OF CHEESE PER SANDWICH was my rule. ONE CUP OF MILK. Like my life depended on it.

But last night I noticed that the person who made my sandwich put two slices of cheese on it. I contemplated taking a slice off, but a) the two slices were already melted together, and b) I just didn’t care. The more cheese, the merrier, am I right? As for yogurt, cottage cheese, and milk, it seems pretty obvious that I don’t skimp on those either.

I am thankful that I’m not lactose-intolerant, and I’m pretty sure veganism isn’t in my near future, but cheers to milk mustaches and not being able to sing well because of too much lactose!

^^^That sentence did not make any sense.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, compadres! (shoutout to Renee)

So tell me:

Do you love dairy?

What is your favorite form of dairy?

What is the best meal you’ve eaten recently?

WIAW: Finally Balanced

Hello, friends!

It feels as if I have not done a What I Ate Wednesday post in ages! That just means I’ve been accumulating way too many food photos on my phone, and I need to finally share them with the world. All my friends who witness me taking photos of my food ask the ever-famous question: “Is it going on the blog?!”

Yes. Right now.

I’ll be the first to admit that I self-stalk on Instagram. I look back at my feed and reminisce on memories of high school, home-cooked meals, and how bad of an Instagrammer I was three years ago (pointless selfies for dayzzz). The thing that really got me though was how much my eating has changed in the past two years. If you were not aware, I struggled with disordered eating habits just a couple years ago, and I started this blog in the midst of my recovery.

When I was scrolling through my own Instagram feed, I realized how much the quantity and substance of my meals has increased over time:

Two years ago, my dinner would be a salad with some peppers, berries, and cheese. That’s it. I’m not saying that having only a salad for dinner is bad, but I knew that I was hungry for more, and I didn’t honor that.

One year ago, my dinner was usually a bowl of whole grains, one piece of protein, and a vegetable. I was satisfied with that. I ate desserts more often, but sometimes with guilt.

Half a year ago, I would add some more healthy fats like avocado and cheese into my meals. Maybe a little more peanut butter in that oatmeal. I was satisfied, but still cautious with the new additions. I did eat dessert without much guilt at all though.

Today, I don’t always have whole grains, but I try my best to eat them more often than not. I eat red meat. I make my desserts a la mode. I eat *gasp* TWO tablespoons of peanut butter at breakfast on most days.

And you know what else about today? I’ve never felt better in my life. It’s taken me a lot of time to truly internalize that food=fuel. I could have said it all day long in the past, but I would still keep the general thought of calories in the back of my mind. Here in college I have no idea how many calories I’ve been eating, but whatever the average number is, it seems to be working out for the best!

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Linking up to Jenn‘s weekly food fiesta!

With that, why don’t we get to the food, eh? 🙂 Here are just some of the things I’ve been enjoying this past month:

Bringing more peanut butter to the table…

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Clockwise from top right:

scrambled eggs + potatoes + ketchup + apple + unpictured bowl of granola with milk // whole wheat French toast with pb + my favorite cottage cheese concoction + glass o’ milk // whole grain blueberry pancake with pb + the usual + glass o’ milk // oatmeal with jam and pb + the usual

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Dorm breakfasts: Greek yogurt with banana, honey and cinnamon // oatmeal with vanilla protein powder, banana, cinnamon, and pb

Non-meat options…

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whole wheat roasted vegetable calzone + salad with hard boiled eggs // fish with sweet potatoes and summer squash // bean stew with polenta + salad // crispy baked fish with veggies + salad

Meaty options…

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“Shepherd’s pie” with mashed sweet potato // grilled chicken over a kale panzanella // bone-in, skin-on chicken + mashed potatoes + collard greens // Asian salisbury steak with soba noodles

Comfort food…

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whole wheat sesame chicken pizza // whole wheat spaghetti bolognese // eggplant caprese stack // brisket + mashed potatoes + roasted root veggies

ALL the plants…

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salads (which are often accompaniments to a main dish) // moroccan veggie stew over couscous

Desserts of course…

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“brownstone” chocolate cake (best chocolate cake EVER) // bananas foster crisp a la mode (holymolyamazing) // free chocolate chip cookie a la Catholic Center missionaries // gingerbread cake a la mode

I’m eating more than I ever have, but I only feel better when I am nourishing myself properly, despite temptations to eat like the girl next to me. Have I thrown nutrition out the window? Absolutely not. Do I stress about whole grains and squeaky “clean” eats at every meal. Heck no. I feel like I am finally balanced.

Well that was a long WIAW. I guess I just wanted to make up for the lack of WIAW’s these past several weeks. 😉

Hope you all have a lovely Wednesday!

So tell me:

Has your eating evolved at all?

What is your idea of a balanced diet?

What is the best dessert you’ve had recently?

P.S. Have you entered the Arctic Zero giveaway?

Meat Lover’s Dream

Meat lovers, where you at?!

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My mom, dad, brother, and I went out for a FEAST at Rodizio Grill last night. It’s a Brazilian steakhouse, and if you’ve ever been to one, you would know that there is pretty much a life supply of meat in the restaurant. There are several servers who constantly walk around to all the tables with large metal skewers of various meats that have been cooked to perfection, cutting off pieces for customers to enjoy as they please. Yep–all you can eat, fellas. There was also an unlimited salad bar that came with the fixed price. The salad bar was actually quite wonderful with things like chickpea salad, quinoa salad, different cheeses, rolls, and toppings. That in itself would have been good enough for a mighty tasty meal. But of course, the meat took center stage.

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The red and green object is used to let the servers know when you’re ready for meat (green) and when you’re finished (red). We kept that thing on green for quite a while 😉 I filled up my salad plate with some goodies and didn’t even have to return to the salad bar for the rest of the evening, because the servers started and kept coming with the meats! I only took a picture of the very first one that came, but there were so many different types that made it to our table including sweet and salty chicken, sausage, white wine chicken, tri-tip steak, pork tenderloin, chicken hearts (which I tasted for the first time–not bad), tilapia, marinated chicken, sweet ham, bacon covered turkey, lamb, parmesan-crusted steak, carne asada, chicken sausage….and possibly more. Yeah. Talk about protein! There was also some tasty grilled pineapple.

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Tilapia

I tried tastes of most of these, but my favorites were the ham, chicken, carne asada, and tilapia. Everything was incredibly tender and flavorful. Best of all, they were always hot and fresh out of the…rotisserie? Grill? I’m not quite sure, but it was amazing.

Oh and there were appetizers that came with everything too!

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Mini cheese biscuits (that had the most unique, gnocchi-like texture inside! Supah starchy and delicious) and polenta fries

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Fried bananas with cinnamon sugar (we just treated this as dessert)

Obviously, we were stuffed, but the whole dinner was a killer deal with the Groupon. We only had to pay for my dad’s wine, really! ‘Twas quite the culinary experience.

Moves

Not that it even matters (as in, you probably don’t care), but before church, I did this quick burpee workout from Talk Less, Say More:

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You know how I love burpees!

Happy Sunday!

So tell me: Are you a meat lover? Which of the meats mentioned above would you try? Have you ever been to a Brazilian steakhouse?

I’m actually not a huge meat lover, but if it’s done as well as it is at Rodizio, I’ll eat it! I’ll gravitate more toward chicken though.