Early to Bed, Early to Rise

I got up before 6 am two days in a row, and got up before 8 on a SUNDAY.

Unlike most people in the healthy living blog world, I am usually a total night owl (for no good reason except that I’m a procrastinator who likes to start things an hour before I plan on going to bed). But for the past few days, I’ve been early(ish) to bed, early to rise.

The earlier sunrises definitely help. The weather has been pretty lovely lately too! So lovely that I took a one 1.5-hour break on Thursday to take a long walk with my friend Zoe.

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The next day was not quite as nice, but I still got up to run with my friends Sarah and Moises at 7 am. ‘Twas thanks to them that I started my early bird trend.

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I actually got up before 6am because I needed to pee really badly (typical), so I did a short 12 minute circuit outside before we met up for our run.

3 rounds, 30 seconds work, 10 seconds rest:

  • air squats
  • pushups
  • bench step up hops right
  • bench step up hops left
  • elevated knee to elbow planks
  • bridges

We ran three warm and humid miles. You might know that I don’t love running, but if it’s at a manageable pace with friends, I can deal.

Continuing with the trend of non-trends in weather, the rest of Friday was sunny and gorgeous!

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I worked for most of the day, came home to break for a snack…

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…sit on my butt for a couple hours, and then walk to dinner with my dear friends (who went on that awesome cruise with me last summer!) Christie and Monica.

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We met at Umai for sushi, because it’s basically canon law that we eat sushi whenever we see each other.

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And we finished it off with ice cream from J.P. Licks. I feel like people always eat ice cream after sushi, but that seems like a horrible combo when I think about it.

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mint cookies ‘n’ cream

We weren’t complaining at all though. It was so fun catching up with these ladies! ♥︎

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Instead of going out for more social activities after saying goodbye to Christie and Monica, I went home, did a whole bunch of nothing, and went to sleep a little after 11. My roommate Megan was so impressed. I almost never go to sleep before her.

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I did have a little bit of motivation to go to sleep early because I agreed to work out with my Spartan Race buddy, Ben, at 7am on Saturday morning. I was in charge of the workout, so I came up with this:

6 rounds:

  • Partner 1: Run to end of dock and back (a little less than 400m probably)
  • Partner 2: AMRAP 5 burpee bench jumpovers + 20 tricep dips + 10 plank jacks

We both agreed that the running was the worst part of it. Then we struggled through finished with 8 minutes of core before calling it a day.

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Next on the agenda was attending our friends Piers’ and Dani’s Confirmation Mass. A bunch of us from the Catholic Center headed to Newton to witness the beautiful sacrament and show support for Piers and Dani. It was a GREAT DAY.

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one of the most beautiful things in the world is seeing my friends so earnestly speaking with God

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Congratulations, Piers (pink tie front and center) and Dani (white dress)!!

The rest of the day involved studying, breakfast for dinner…

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plus a ton of roasted broccoli straight out of the oven

…and leftover carrot cake from Easter.

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I went to bed a little after 11 again, WOW.

Sunday was another wonderful day. I slept in until 7 (what a weird statement) and made Kylie’s simple paleo pancake for breakfast.

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added blueberries, topped with sunflower seed butter and maple syrup + 1.5 glasses o’ milk

The next eight hours of my life were spent helping out for our Catholic Center chaplain’s 20-year priesthood anniversary celebration (with a two hour break for Mass in there). I would not have wanted to spend those eight hours any other way than with good people in honor of a good man.

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A few people (shoutout to Fran, Joe, and Bobby!) worked exceptionally hard to make the whole surprise come together, and so many people came out to celebrate!

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We love you, Fr. Barnes!

And now it’s time to descend into the depths of finals. We have three days of classes left, but I feel like it’s all just a straight shot to the finish line of finals.

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🎶 here comes the sun doo doo dooooo 🎶

I’ll try to keep up this early bird streak; I like the early mornings, especially when the sun is up! I hope you all have a marvelous Monday!

So tell me:

Are you a night owl or an early bird?

Something wonderful about your weekend!

Is sushi followed by ice cream a thing, or am I crazy? 

 

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“Dessert Rejuvenates Me”

My room is decorated!!

With wet t-shirts and damp underwear. They’re donning my windows, armchair, desk, and radiators because the laundry was finally installed in our dorm, but my exceptionally large load of laundry was not sufficiently dried in one dry cycle.

I honestly might go frontier-style and start washing my clothes in the sink and air drying them, since laundry will be at least 4.50 euros each time. Yikes.

These past couple days:

Wednesday

We had an orientation for our internships that will start in November, and one thing that the presenter said that struck me was, “It’s not always about what you do on the job. It’s about who you are and how you are.” In other words, in Ireland at least, it is just as— if not, more— important to be social and interactive with your coworkers as it is to be constantly diligent and focused on your tasks. Forming good relationships can be more valuable in your work experience than merely doing what needs to be done.

I know I can get so caught up in doing my job that I forget to talk to people or even refuse to go to social functions. But there’s so much more to a work/learning environment than burying your nose in the work, and I’m excited to really allow myself to do that here and find that balance between work and “play”.

I get it, universe. It’s not all about “just doing well.”

In other news, look at these bathrooms on campus.

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The vibe is, like, Hulk meets hospital. It also smelled strongly like Skittles, which was pleasant.

Lunches recently have been eggs in some form with butter and carbs in some form.

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Thursday

One of my new friends, Kendall, woke up (semi-)early to work out with me before our morning class. It was a fabulous morning too, so we did it outside. YAY. We did a 30 minute HIIT:

7 min AMRAP:
  • 10 burpees
  • 20 reverse lunges
  • 30 plank jacks
  • 100 high knees
[30 sec break]
7 min AMRAP:
  • 10 pushup to T
  • 10 broad jumps
  • 20 spiderman planks
  • 20 air squats
[30 sec break]
7 min AMRAP:
  • 10 side plank side crunch each side
  • 10 side lunge to knee twist each leg
  • 30 mountain climbers
  • 20 split jack lunges
[30 sec break]
7 min AMRAP:
  • 10 in and out pushups
  • 20 sumo squat hip looseners
  • 15 plank to ankle taps each arm

The project manager on campus told us as we walked back to our dorm, “You know you’re making all of us feel guilty right?”

I wish I had answered, “JOIN US NEXT TIME!” But that would have been weird, so we just laughed.

Another Ireland lesson: Milk and yogurt expire much more quickly here than in the States. I almost poured curdled milk into my oatmeal yesterday and then I finished my extra sour Greek yogurt last night.

Lunch was 100% safe though.

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peep the potatoes with kerrygold butter, salt and pepper ♥︎ ♥︎ ♥︎ 

The strawberries from the local grocery store here are also 5x better than Costco strawberries.

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The most frustrating moment of my Thursday was walking 45 minutes somewhere to pick up a bus card, but finding immediately upon walking into the office that the card machine was out of order. *heart drops to stomach* I hated the thought of wasting 90 minutes, but I loved the walk, and I even got to stop into a beautiful church to pray for a bit!

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This photo doesn’t do it justice. I walked in and froze for a couple seconds because I was in such awe.

We had our first Irish language lesson last night too. The professor is the sweetest and most joyful woman I’ve met in a while. The language still eludes me a bit, but it’s cool to learn about it!

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Leftover beef burger for dinner!

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split in half and eaten on top of toast with BBQ sauce, mustard, greens, white cheddar, and caramelized onions

This burger thing was the best culinary idea I’ve had in my 1.5 weeks living in Ireland (which isn’t saying much, given I’ve been living off oatmeal, chicken, and eggs).

Later, a few of us went out for dessert at Restaurant 104. They had “proper bread and butter pudding” on their menu, so I knew we had to go. And that’s just what I ordered!

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WITH raisins @Rachel

I also tried some of my friends’ sticky toffee pudding and [unpictured] “Death by Chocolate” cake.

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Everything was divine. When we all finished, Megan announced:

Dessert rejuvenates me. It’s my life source.

I’m so excited to be traveling Europe with this gal.

Now it’s Friday morning and I’m typing up this blog post! I need to do some schoolwork before going on a cliff walk later today. I did Blogilates’ Extreme Abs 3 (never gets easier) just ate some PB&J banana egg white oatmeal porridge to fuel the day:

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Have some good craic* this weekend!!! 😉

*craic is pronounced “crack” and means “fun”

So tell me:

What kinds of produce are much better abroad than at home for you? 

What is a recent frustrating experience for you?

What are you eating for breakfast this morning?

Do you like bread pudding?

Behind the Scenes #12: No Shame

Hey!

I missed you all yesterday! I don’t think I’ve ever not posted on a Wednesday before yesterday. :-0 I guess there’s a first time for everything! It was just a busy evening, plain and simple. But today I’m comin’ at ya with some random thoughts because…

Thinking-Out-Loud

With the amazing Amanda, who is probably sun-kissed in Hawaii right now! I’m kinda hoping she sends me some fresh poke and pineapples.

1. It’s like my stomach is trained to have food within 30 minutes of waking up. Yesterday, I woke up a little earlier than usual to go to 7AM Ash Wednesday Mass, and although I didn’t want to eat a full breakfast beforehand, I still needed to have a few clementine slices to keep me from being miserable at Mass. Like, if I didn’t have the clementine, I may not have said “peace be with you” to anyone. Kidding. But still, my stomach was growling LOUDLY and I think it may have freaked out some people.

2. I walked into class a couple minutes late, but the ashes explained the reason for my tardiness. My calculus teacher had actually already gotten her ashes at Mass too! I used to be afraid of people staring at my forehead, but now, I couldn’t be more proud of donning that thick cross on my forehead. 🙂 People don’t make a big deal out of it anyway.

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Breakfast was eaten at school:

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Greek yogurt, banana slices, chia, hemp, banana nut muffin, and pepita sunseed butter

I ate it while doing calculus, and I succeeded in keeping my calculator free of Greek yogurt. This time.

3. I ordered my prom dress already! Our prom isn’t until June, but I found a dress that I loved in my size, so I just went for it. My school has a prom dress Facebook page where all the girls post photos of their dresses so there are no doubles (’cause we all know that that is in the top ten list of high school no-nos), and I was the first one to post in that group. I felt slightly aggressive, considering I bought the dress on the day the group was created, butttttt, if the shoe fits…!

Actually, I don’t even know if it fits. I’m hoping it’ll work out for this girl’s pear-shaped body!

4. I opted to take an active rest day yesterday since I had to study for a bio test that I have today. My “active rest” moves consisted of speed walking to school from my car in the morning, physical education class (planks and step ups in the weight room…let’s just count it), and active study breaks. I set my alarm to ring every 15 minutes while I was studying so I could get off my butt (and get my mind off of Darwinian evolution) to do 40 prisoner squats, 10 burpees, and 20 butterfly sit-ups.

5. I realized I already broke one of my Ash Wednesday commitments yesterday when I complained in Italian class to my friends: “I’m SICK of translating these long paragraphs!” (5 seconds later) Darn it, Alison. 

6. I eat roasted brussels sprouts with my fingers sometimes. Really just whenever I’m feelin’ snacky and too lazy to make them a part of an actual meal. I do not have one bit of shame.

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i ♥ b.s.

wait………………

7. Thus, my brussels snackage before dinner led to a veggie-less meal:

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Seared tuna steak with mustard (which I mixed with Greek yogurt and honey post-pic) + avocado toast

Oh and this was my Mardi Gras/National Pancake Day dinner:

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Quinoa/rice blend, shrimp, roasted brussels, and avocado

No sign of either Mardi Gras nor pancakes. *sigh* Except maybe the shrimp, which is reminiscent of jambalaya from New Orleans, where Mardi Gras is huge. Is that a stretch?

8. I set off the smoke alarm in our house while searing said tuna.

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9. When I take my daily {adult} gummy vitamins, I always try to eat the orange ones (least favorite flavor) first, saving most of the berry and peach ones (best) for last. From a Darwinian natural selection perspective: the berry and peach vitamins have a favorable flavor, so they out-compete the orange ones, leaving a population that is dominated by berry and peach vitamins. Until Alison dominates them all, causing extinction of all the vitamins.

Look at that! I’m studying while blogging! Darwin would be proud….

10. …and I’m a freak.

Yet I’m still unashamed. 😉

Hope you all have an awesome Thursday!

So tell me:

Do you have to eat something as soon as you get up in the morning?

Do you ever eat roasted veggies with your fingers?

What do you do on active rest days?

Do you like to save the best for last when eating things?

Monday Breakfast Date {MIMM #20}

Happy Monday, friends!

I’m obviously just meandering my way through the morning considering this post is coming to you so late. After somehow losing track of time last night, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to just wait until this morning to write up my Monday blog post. I’m actually excited for this because I kind of want to make it like one of those blogger virtual coffee dates! Except I don’t drink coffee (or tea), so this is going to be a breakfast date 🙂

First off— what I’m having for breakfast:

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Hot banana oats in an almost empty cherry butter toffee peanut butter jar (unpictured cereal on the side for added crunch)

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Currently eating it and almost to the treasure at the bottom— the peanut butter!

If we were having breakfast this morning, I would tell you that using greenish bananas for oatmeal is a no-no. They don’t become those sweet, soft pillows of banana that I love! At least the peanut butter makes up for it.

If we were having breakfast this morning, I would tell you that I’m currently watching Tyler’s Ultimate on Food Network. Daytime Food Network is SO much better that some of the weird nighttime shows they’ve got going on nowadays. I just love the classic cooking shows….like Giada and her perpetual grin.

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If we were having breakfast this morning, I would tell you that on Friday evening, I found out that I got accepted into University of Virginia! *groovin’, groovin’*

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[source]

Not only is it awesome because it’s in Charlottesville (hey, blogger-town!), but I know it’s also an awesome school. The only thing is that it’s an awkward distance from my house— too close to fly, but too far to come home for a long weekend… It’s an option nevertheless!

If we were having breakfast this morning, I would tell you that my friends and I tried a new Asian fusion restaurant on Friday night, and it was deeeelicious.

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Eel cucumber roll and Fantastic Roll (tuna, salmon, yellowtail, avocado with marbled seaweed + special dipping sauce)!

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Green tea ice cream

I came in starving and left full and happy. 🙂

If we were having breakfast this morning, I would tell you that I have now finished my oatmeal (actually, you would probably be able to see that I’ve finished), and I’ll say too-da-loo for now. Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day to all the Americans! I hope you have a lovely day off if you indeed have a day off. My day will involve lots of midterm studying, a workout, and more blogging for tomorrow!

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Linking up with Katie‘s marvelous in my monday! Because having breakfast with you all is quite marvelous 🙂

So tell me:

What would you tell me if we were having breakfast?

What did you eat for breakfast?

What is your favorite Food Network show? 

Awoken By Hunger

I woke up at this unsightly hour (for a Saturday morning) with a growling tummy!

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Despite having two snacks after dinner (a protein shake and then yogurt with dried figs), I should have guessed that I would be hungry pretty early in the morning since I had dinner earlier than usual (5:20 PM). I was still sleepy, but I was really hungry! Thus, I brushed my teeth (I always brush before eating in the morning) and had a nanner with some unpictured cashews.

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I waited for about 20 minutes, but then I was still hungry (what the…?) so I ate a bowl of cereal and called it a small breakfast. I’ll probably have another breakfast when I wake up again later though! It is so important to listen to your body’s hunger cues, even if you aren’t expecting to be hungry at a certain time. In the past, I would fight my hardest to fall back asleep and wait for “my real breakfast time.” No bueno.

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Note to self: If I go to bed 7 hours after dinner (went to bed at around 12), eat basically another meal. I mean, it just makes sense. Snacks won’t quite be enough. 

Maybe my body has been repairing its muscles like mad too, because my legs are not that sore today— Hallelujah! Alright, back to bed for me!

So tell me: Have you ever been awoken by hunger?