Friends Pushing Me to Be Better

I just ate a dinner of popcorn, Chex Mix, celery, chocolate cake, an apple, “gorilla dip”, and a singular chicken wing.

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#nutrition

Also, the only thing I watched from the Super Bowl last night was the halftime show and the Honda commercial with the singing sheep, and that was everything I needed.

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I love Coldplay, Beyonce, and Bruno Mars, but did anyone else feel like the halftime performance as a whole was a weird combo?

Anyway, I have nothing more to say about the Super Bowl, so let’s talk about how my wonderful friends have been kicking my butt in the best way possible.

Rewind to Friday: I had biomechanics in the morning, a good lunch with friends, bible study, a workout, homework, and productive procrastination (working on a birthday gift for someone!).

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Two of my dear friends, Mai and Kelsey, are in my bible study, and listening to their perspectives and insights on Scripture and faith in general was so inspiring. Most of all, their willingness to share their own doubts and trials humbles me to face my own doubts and trials.

Saturday started off with a walk through winter wonderland to get to work (unintentional alliteration).

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I tried to pack more substantial snacks so that I wouldn’t be so lightheaded and cranky like I was last week at work, but I guess all the walking, cooking, and cleaning I do (and the fact that I end at 2pm) just does me in. Needless to say, lunch was again demolished.

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While I was studying, my pal Connor came up to chat with me for a bit, and he gave me nuggets of wisdom to deal with my academic stress. His words were simple and things I knew logically, but I still needed someone to tell them to me in order to internalize it. 1) Happiness is important. 2) Don’t stress out because other people have more knowledge than you. Do what you need to do, but there’s no good in comparing and worrying.

Good stuff.

Saturday night involved a workout, some studying, and Tasty Burger (!!!) with the best friend.

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A cheeseburger from this joint was on our food bucket list, and Saturday night was the night to crush it.

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We liked their milkshakes as much as we liked their burgers! The shakes were uber thick and creamy. Like, you had to work those cheek muscles to drink it through the straw.

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love at first bite

Rachel and I talked about our Lent resolutions since it starts this Wednesday, and one of my things to “give up” is makeup. I don’t wear a lot, but I do wear a little every day. I told Rachel with hesitance that I would give up makeup, but the next day I told her I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it. She insisted that giving up makeup would be good for me, and that I shouldn’t cave just because it’s hard (it’s definitely not supposed to be easy!). I agree. Wearing no makeup will help me focus on my character and fight vanity.

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My roommate Jordan also gave me a great slice of humble pie when I told her that I’m not always early (and sometimes a little late) to things, especially if I’m meeting with a close friend. She told me that everyone, close friends or professional mentors, should have their time respected. Duh, common sense, right? But it’s easier said than done for me these days (punctuality is slacking). Jordan is 100% right though. I should never take advantage of my friends’ time just because I’m close to them.

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Lastly, my amazing friend Christina invited me to do mobile soup kitchen with her last night. I joined her and some other kind volunteers, but I knew that I wanted to make it back in time for the Super Bowl halftime show. Towards the end of the route, I started to get impatient and antsy to make it back to campus, but just watching how patient, considerate, and kind Christina was with all the people we met was a humbling and beautiful sight. A lesson in selflessness right in front of me.

I am constantly in awe of my friends and the beauty of their souls. God is definitely shaping me up through their example and words. And of course, so many bloggers push me to be better too. Thanks, guys ♥︎

Hope you all have a happy week! We’re kind of hoping that BU calls in for a snow day today…

So tell me:

Do your friends keep you “on track”?

What is one lesson you learned/were reminded of this weekend?

Thoughts on the Super Bowl/halftime show?

Best thing you did this weekend. Probably Tasty Burger with Rachel!

How Can It Be…?

Finals got me like…

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I am typing this at midnight after a long day of studying, but honestly, I have nothing to complain about. Finals always suck, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. Instead, let’s look at the positive things that happened last week. Theme: How can it be…?

How can it be that I’m going home in five days?

How can it be that my best friend gave me the most thoughtful Christmas gift in all the land? Rachel put together a beautiful scrapbook consisting of letters written by all my friends here at college, as well as family and friends from home.

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too many emotions!!!

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I love you, Rachel! ♥︎ And thank you so much, friends who contributed!

How can it be that Christmas is less than two weeks away?

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How can it be that friends who I’ve known for a year or less have become like family?

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How can it be that my engineering friends are so brilliant?

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fireplace inside the gingerbread house thanks to iPhone technology

How can it be that my friend Emma and I made it to the roof of the Arts and Sciences building before 10AM on Thursday?

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How can it be that my friends and I survived skating without falling on our butts?

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How can it be that Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage delivered into my life everything I needed and more on Saturday night? It took Rachel and me 1.5 hours to get to this place (unexpectedly), we were hangry and fading, and I was dead tired. By the grace of God we made it to the restaurant and this meal made all things right.

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pumpkin pie frappe (milkshake)! there were graham cracker pieces.

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“iPhone burger” with boursin cheese, grilled onions, mushrooms, lettuce, and tomato + sweet potato fries (p.s. crushed that burger)

How can it be that the dining hall spoils me too?

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African sweet potato, peas, and lentils

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holiday dinner night: herbed chicken with apricot pomegranate sauce, sweet potatoes, and green beans

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BBQ lentil “meatball” sub

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baked fish with mashed sweet potatoes and sautéed kale

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salad from the food court

How can it be that my friends are so hilarious?

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How can it be that my brain and body are still functioning right now?

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How can it be that God is so good to us “squishy mortals” (← favorite phrase ever via Geraldine)?

There is nothing more attractive in the world than my bed, so I’m gonna go there now.

Hope you all have a fantastic week ahead! This time of year is stressful for nearly everyone, but I hope you find some light in the darkness 🙂

So tell me:

How can it be that…(insert something wonderful)?

What is the best burger you’ve ever eaten?

Is this a stressful time for you?

Rest and Digest

I love the kitchen.

I’m no chef, but I have been loving my time spent cooking and baking in the kitchen this summer. I don’t know if you picked this up from my blog/Facebook/Instagram (new handle by the way! @alison_grooves), but I love food! I am immensely grateful to have access to so many different kinds of food that are both good for me and good to me.

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lemonade and cookies from a stand run by some boys and their mom ♥ 

I also love my mom and her cooking, but not gonna lie, two is a crowd in the kitchen. #BattleForTheFrontBurner

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Simple Mills almond flour pumpkin muffins + Justin’s vanilla almond butter, courtesy of Blend swag

For the most part nowadays, I have the privilege of eating whatever I want, whenever I want. The only meal I consistently think about is breakfast, but that’s only because it’s my favorite meal of the day…because it always involves nut butter, banana, and dairy.

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Thursday morning oatmeal cookie dough cereal with banana

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Friday morning hot banana chia egg white oats in a {glass} Teddie peanut butter jar

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Sunday morning banana oat French toast bake topped with peanut butter+ Greek yogurt 

Then there are those few-and-far-between days when I start thinking about what I should be eating, when I should eat a snack, or whether I’ll be hungry enough for a scheduled meal out at a restaurant. It makes me anxious.

When I get anxious, my mind focuses on my stomach— in a bad way. I overanalyze my fullness or any sort of signal that might mean hunger. I physically feel stress and tension in my stomach because my mind is on it. When this happens, I usually feel full and crappy for the rest of the day. Any time I want to eat feels like I’m stress eating, because I don’t feel quite hungry enough for food, and then the cycle continues.

I don’t know why these rare days come up out of nowhere, but they do. Recently, it could be the fact that I have fewer obligations during the summer, lack of sleep, a combination of a few things…

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caprese grilled chicken {“This is better than a restaurant!” — Dad ➔ if I could physically blush, I would}

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best sweet roasted potatoes again!

I had a couple of those wonky days this past week, but what I’ve learned during recovery is to not be anxious about being anxious. It happens, and I’ll be okay. “This too shall pass.”

You know what else I’ve learned? Rest and digest (that whole parasympathetic nervous system at work, for all you biology geeks) is LEGIT.

For those of you who might not be familiar with “rest and digest”, digestion is not a priority for our survival when we’re in a stressful situation, so that’s one of the first processes to halt when we’re under stress.  When our bodies return to a normal, non-stressed state, digestion can continue.

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strawberry milkshake at the diner with Daliza 🙂

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making her own “coffee affogato

Thus, when I’m not stressed about food (or anything), I have more of an appetite! For instance, whenever I take a nap (like that crazy two hour nap I took last week), I almost always wake up ready to eat something.

Former me would have thought: There’s no way I can be hungry. I was out on the couch for two hours doing absolutely nothing with my body.

Current me knows: Napping gives my body the opportunity to rest and, therefore, digest. {which is why breakfast is such a fun meal, because I (most of the time) pop out of bed like eyyyy let’s eat!}

In addition, I feel that eating enough calorically also helps my digestion, or at least my comfort. When I eat a lot of volume but not a lot of calories (unintentionally!), my stomach feels like an inflated balloon, but the rest of my body feels like it needs some energy.

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crockpot bbq chicken with pasta + salad with homemade mustard vinaigrette + suhweeeeet corn!

And when I feel digested, I feel more comfortable throughout the rest of my day. I don’t have to focus on my stomach anymore.

Side note: I’ve also lowered my veggie intake. As in, I don’t need to have a monster salad and a freaking garden of vegetables for both lunch and dinner. Some peppers with hummus at lunch and a normal side salad at dinner is good enough, allowing my GI tract to be like, HALLELUJAH.

TMI? Sorry, not sorry. Gut talk is important.

With that said, I hope you all have a rockin’ Monday! Rest and digest.

So tell me:

Have you ever felt the difference in your digestion between when you’re stressed and when you’re not?

Do you like having the kitchen to yourself (or are you less selfish than I am)? 

What was the best thing you ate this weekend? For me, it’s a tough call between the caprese chicken, french toast bake, and sweet corn!

“Berfday” Weekend

“Go shawty, it’s your birthday. We’re gonna party like it’s your birthday.”

Whenever I think of this song, I think the lyrics should spell it “berfday” instead of “birthday.” I don’t know why. But then I found this version, which is my favorite:

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have you ever seen such perfect scoops of *sherbet?

I turned 19 yesterday, woo! 19 is an awkward number, because it’s sandwiched between the legal 18 and the double-decade 20. Nevertheless, I have hope for awkward people, awkward situations, and now awkward numbers, so here’s to year number 19!

18 was a beautiful year for me. It was dense. Graduation, promFlorida with Daliza, freshman year of college, Blend, and most importantly, all the lessons learned. It’s almost weird for me to say that I’m only 19 years old, because I feel like I’ve gained many more years worth of wisdom in the past 12 months! (I know what you’re thinking: “Awww the baby thinks she’s wise, das cute.”)

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inspirational hiking photo to sum up my 18th year of life on this blessed planet

I asked my dad if time passes this quickly for the rest of your life, and he said, “It only accelerates from here on out.” OH MY GAWSH.

Many thanks to you, friends, for supporting me on Moves and Grooves. When I pray for you, I consider you friends, not just readers or followers. ♥

I can only take so much sap. We’re done. 😀

Scenes from the Weekend

I made these Asian quinoa meatballs on Thursday night, which we enjoyed throughout the weekend.

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Fish Friday lunch of quinoa, sweet potato, and shrimp + Somersaults.

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Two part breakfast on Wednesday (not a part of the weekend, but this was too good not to share): the last of a 2% Greek yogurt tub with my General Mills trail mix from Blend, strawberries, and cinnamon + Sweet Blueberry My Oatmeal sample packet with extra berries and sunflower seed butter.

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Friday breakfast: Amanda’s oatmeal cookie dough smoothie (with greens added) + full fat Greek yogurt for dippin’. Aw yeah.

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Still going strong with Memorial Day leftovers, and loving them just as much.

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Pop and I went to a day of recollection retreat on Saturday at the seminary. We heard Damon Owens speak about theology of the body— he was awesome!

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Post-evening walk dessert: Amanda’s banana bread mug cake with a side of blog reading and a Justin’s mini dark chocolate peanut butter cup. As you can tell, I really hate Amanda’s recipes. 😉

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Berfday 🙂

My birthday started out with a yogurt mess. I would have made something a little more exciting for breakfast, but I wanted to save myself for lunch at Cooked & Co. with Pop!

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For lunch I ordered the market salad (included beets, corn, edamame, dried cranberries, almonds, parmesan, and other yummy things), the edamame burger, and a corn muffin bigger than my face.

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Delicious.

Afterwards, I did a whole lot o’ nothing at home before Daliza came over! She made me watch How I Met Your Mother starting from episode 1, since I had never watched the show before. It’s hilarious. 

When it came time for dinner, we met up with our pal Michael at Smashburger, which was also a first-time experience for me. I had the grilled chicken, spinach, feta sandwich with a strawberry milkshake.

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I can’t even remember the last time I had a milkshake, so this was the perfect time to make it happen. ‘Twas good stuff.

I also can’t remember the last time I went bowling, but luckily, Michael and Daliza hadn’t bowled in a while either. We were on a {low} level playing field, and we each won a game! With bumpers.

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So much love and thanks to Michael and Daliza for treating me to such a wonderful night! And thank you to all my friends and family for the heartfelt birthday wishes. Overwhelmed (in a great way) would be the word that describes how I feel. ♥ God is good.

For all those who hoped I ate lots of nut butter yesterday, I had at least three spoonfuls total, thanks 😉

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Back to work today! Surround yourself with awesome people. Then go spread your awesomeness too.

So tell me:

When is your birthday?

Are you good at bowling?

What did you do this weekend?