“It’s Just Food”

This is the phrase that has helped me keep a happy relationship with food in the past month or so.

When we were still in Dublin, Megan and I were talking about the different kinds of gluttony (#CatholicConvos), and what I learned from our conversation was that there are different kinds of gluttony. It’s not just eating too much; it can be eating too little, being unnecessarily picky or elitist with food, or being too preoccupied with food.

(Important: This doesn’t mean that people with eating disorders are gluttonous by choice, but there are similar behaviors involved.)

At the end of our conversation, Megan said something so simple that stuck with me:

It is just food.

Personally, this phrase helps me fight both temptations to overeat and temptations to restrict.

  • If I’m feeling greedy for food, I can tell myself, “It’s just food. It will not bring you lasting joy.”
  • If I’m feeling disappointed that something I ordered at a restaurant was less healthy than I was expecting, I can tell myself, “It’s just food. You are not a bad person because of this food. Enjoy what you’ve been given and be grateful.”

I am nowhere near perfect, of course, but reminding myself that food is just food can be very helpful in the moment.

(Also important: Food is just food, but of course this does not discredit the value of nutrition. Dietetics is a career for a reason!)

Now, let’s see how 2016 has been closing out over here!

Wednesday

I woke up wanting to do some fun moves and grooves that were different from my usual HIIT formats, so I came up with this circuit that I could do outside with the random pieces of equipment we had on hand.

4 rounds:

  • 30 double unders
  • 10 agility skaters each leg
  • 10 bar facing burpees
  • 30 stability ball crunches
  • 20 hamstring ball curls
  • 10 bench jumpovers
  • 10 decline pushups
  • 10 bulgarian split squat to press each leg
  • 3 wall walks
  • 20 double KB squats
  • 15 side plank crunch reaches each leg

This was super fun and tiring! Props to Madre for doing a great job filming 🙂

Afterwards, I showered and ate a small bowl of Greek yogurt, banana, cereal, and pb before we set off for yet another brunch! This one was big, but not as big as Monday’s. I think we would die if we did that again.

We went to Peach Valley Cafe, which is a place Ben and Madre had visited a couple times before. They wanted us to try their famous apple fritters with strawberry yogurt(!?)!

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they shake ’em up table side and then pour them out for the hungry crowd

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Ohhhhh man. These were like those freshly made, hot cider donuts at an apple orchard, except with bigger apple chunks inside and a creamy, sweet tang of strawberry yogurt on top. Unexpected but delicious combo!

For my main course, I ordered the superfood salad with salmon, but they accidentally gave me the summer salad, which I didn’t realize until I had already eaten half of it. It’s just food though.

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It was average. BUT Madre gave me basically a whole one of her blackened cod fish tacos, which were fantastic.

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Pop also shared his amazing buttery biscuit with us.

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Plus a couple of Madre’s sweet potato fries, which were definitely from frozen, but that’s okay.

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Okay, so maybe this was just as big as Monday’s brunch.

We headed to a park after brunch to walk around and admire its intense greenery.

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Next stop was Winter Park, a very posh and trendy city. In true “us” fashion though, we perused the outrageous candy store with seven billion kinds of soda and sweets that are intriguing but also make you gag.

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a disgrace to carrot cake and pb&j

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kid in a candy store 😉

We didn’t get candy, but we did get a burger from BurgerFi, which is not even an independent, trendy restaurant. It’s a chain…and there’s even one in BOSTON. Hahaha.

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Madre gets weak at the knees if anything has wagyu beef in it, so she asked if we could split it four ways… Pop: “I can’t tell if she’s kidding or not.”

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Ben: “It’s probably only 10% wagyu beef”

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it was super tasty, but oil was driiiiipping down my hand

After our burger adventures, we walked around Rollins College, which has a gorgeous campus.

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Pop: “It’s more like a resort than a college campus.”

Our next stop was East End Market, a small hipster market with lots of local produce, artisan foods, and craft beers.

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they even grow their own greens out front!

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I didn’t get anything here, but Madre got some brisket tacos, and Ben and Pop delighted in a beer flight.

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I really wanted to try their blueberry vanilla beer that they were raving about, but I’m not legal in this country yet. The one time I actually DO want to try beer…

We visited the Gaylord Palms Resort afterwards, since Madre loves it there. And finally we ended with a late but proper dinner at a local Latin restaurant. Ben and I shared the grilled chicken plate, which was a great ending to a great day.

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Thursday

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breakfast: overnight oat smoothie with oats, yogurt, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, pb, pinch of salt, frozen banana, and greens + granola

Mall day with Madre! We spent a long time at the Mall at Millennia, Marshall’s, and Costco (probably my favorite place out of the three, honestly). At the mall, we had lunch at California Pizza Kitchen.

At night, we joined the boys to watch Sing (Tori Kelly is in it hehe), which was a fun and very well done animated movie with a lot of talented voices. Definitely recommend!

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from Monday at Universal Studios 🙂

I may or may not have cried when Tori’s character, Meena, sang “Hallelujah”.

Friday

I started the day with a warmup and 16 minute workout before breakfast and a shower.

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the return of Gina’s cookie dough breakfast cereal!

Then Ben, Pop and I were off to Blue Spring State Park to see some manatees! The temperatures were frigid for Florida (read: low 60s with a breeze), which is perfect manatee spotting weather.

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tail spotted

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peep the little big guy’s snout

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these poor sea sausages are endangered 😦

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the spring really does look blue!

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We walked around and observed the gentle giants for an hour or so before I got really hungry and needed a big sandwich. I found Laspada’s on Yelp, so we drove there to get some bomb cheesesteaks.

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because why not have Northeastern cuisine in the South?

Ben got an original philly cheesesteak combo, I got the chicken cheesesteak supreme, and Pop got a grilled chicken salad.

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very hungry girl + eating a hot and fresh chicken cheesesteak = extremely satisfied

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Shoutout to all my Southern friends who are obsessed with authentic sweet tea:

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It really is better than Arizona iced tea.

When we got home, I laid in bed for a solid 20 minutes, on the verge of a nap. But then Pop asked if I wanted to walk to the driving range with him, so I agreed.

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We practiced “chipping”, which is a bit easier than “driving”(?) the ball. I might be getting okay at golf.

We are packing in the fun into the last of 2016 while it lasts! Be back soon with an end-of-the-year post 🙂

So tell me:

Thoughts on the “it’s just food” mantra?

Three things you’ve done to close out 2016!

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Virtual Breakfast Date

virtual breakfast date

…I would usually hug you before we sit down, but I’ve been sick these past few days, so we’ll nix that for now.

…I would be eating leftover green banana pancakes via The Healthy Maven that I made yesterday.

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topped with plain Greek yogurt, “My Maine Squeeze” almond butter, and peanut butter + glass o’ almond milk on the side

…I would ask you if you’ve been watching the Olympics. It’s funny; I feel like I become more sedentary as I watch ALL the sports all the time on TV. I’ve been enjoying the gymnastics, tennis, beach volleyball, diving, and swimming the most so far!

…I would take a second to fan over Simone Biles and Oksana Chusovitina, that 41-year-old gymnast from Uzbekistan who is STILL KILLING IT at the Olympics. Literally almost three times older than some of the gymnasts competing.

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I just want to finish everything I do in life with gymnastics arms from now on

…I would tell you that I leave for Ireland to study abroad in less than a month, and I have very few (if any) emotions about it. I tell people that I’m excited, which is half true, because I’m looking forward to the adventures and travel. But I’m also NOT excited, because I know how much I’m going to miss my family at home and friends back in Boston. I’m just gonna go and see what happens, honestly!

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I just need to start thinking about what to pack…and stuff like that.

…I would recommend that you read Kylie’s post about why she hasn’t weighed herself in 2.5 years. Whether you have a history of an eating disorder or not, this is a great read for anyone with body image issues (which is most of us living in an affluent society). Kylie rocks.

…I would tell you that my new veggie obsession is Thai “pun” (wraps, not funny puns). Lettuce + some kind of protein + cucumber + cherry tomatoes + Thai basil + cilantro + mint + spicy peanut sauce. The fresh herbs are ESSENTIAL.

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For this week’s version, Madre grilled up some lemongrass-scallion-black pepper pork patties. For her peanut sauce, she mixes her classic spring roll dipping sauce (similar to this recipe) with peanut butter to taste.

I’ve also had the combo on a big bed of salad greens.

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JUST DO IT.

…I would tell you that I think baking skills are a prerequisite for becoming a physical therapist. All the the treats that the PTs bring in to work are phenomenal. Like these cookies and cream cupcakes for someone’s birthday:

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oreo on the bottom, chocolate cupcake, homemade cookies and cream frosting, mini oreo on top

Other treats this summer have included cake pops, homemade chocolate chip cookies, the moistest (sorry) banana bread ever, and pound cake. #help

…I would perpetuate Asian stereotypes for giggles.

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Italian pasta originated from Asian noodles anyway

…I would tell you that I got to hang out with Daliza twice this weekend! She took me to the movie Cafe Society on Thursday night, which I really enjoyed (check it out in smaller, indie movie theaters!). It stars Steve Carrell, Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, and Blake Lively.

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Then on Saturday I met up with her and our other high school friend Apaula to see our high school chorus teacher at one of his gigs. Fun to catch up with all of them!

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…I would gush over the weather we had last week and hope that it continues into this week.

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…I would tell you that eats at home recently have been on point. It’s been fun eating out these past few several weekends, but I loooooove eating home cooked meals.

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classic overnight oats

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Mom’s comforting meal on Friday night after a long, sick day at work: whole wheat spaghetti with tomato sauce, grilled spicy chicken, and fresh basil

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banana nectarine hot oatmeal with “My Maine Squeeze” almond butter

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classic avocado egg toast with sriracha

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delicious panini a la Madre: whole wheat roll with turkey, swiss, greens, homemade carrot and radish pickles, spicy hummus, and sriracha *drool*

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artichoke hummus that I finally popped open from Stowe, VT with baby carrots

…I would tell you that moves and grooves were low-key this weekend since I was sick. Thursday was yoga, Friday was rest, Saturday was Pilates + one day of the 100s challenge (sort of…I didn’t do all the sit-ups), and Sunday was some walking and random playtime on a playground.

…I would tell you that it’s already been a year since I went to the local Indian festival with Rachel! I went with Ben and Pop yesterday, where we shared some Indian grub and walked around the park.

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 …I would ask you:

Which Olympics sports are you following?

If you studied abroad, how did you feel before going?

What is your favorite way to eat vegetables lately?

Have you seen any good movies recently?

Weekend Confessions

weekend confessions

It’s been a while since I confessed to you all (because I don’t already bare my innermost thoughts to you on a weekly basis already).

So some confessions from the weekend:

Confession #1: I watched Me Before You with Daliza on Friday night, and I was crying my eyes out with all the other middle school girls in the theater. In my defense, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room except for Daliza’s. She was laughing at the rest of us.

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Confession #2: I loved and hated the movie. Loved because it was a very sweet romance (I’m a sucker). Plus, British accents. Hated because I have some qualms about the ending.

Confession #3: After the movie, I went home for a really cute baking date at home with a British guy ❤

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Cookie & Kate’s banana bread in muffin form

That guy would be Jamie Oliver. On Youtube. It was like a Skype cooking date, except we were cooking different things and he has no idea I exist.

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fresh out of the oven with a big smear of cinnamon raisin peanut butter from Stowe + glass o’ milk!

Confession #4: Dad’s birthday was on Saturday, but he did more work and service than I (and many people) did that day. He’s a star.

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Saturday’s breakfast: full fat Greek yogurt with cinnamon, nutmeg, chia seeds, banana, banana muffin, and almond butter

Confession #5: Mom and I bought so much {rather expensive} food at the farmers’ market on Saturday with the reasoning that “we are supporting the locals.”

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I’m sorry, how many dollars?

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foraging in my natural habitat

I love special nut butters, but there are very few times I am willing to drop $13 for a standard jar.

Confession #6: I totally snacked my way through lunch at the farmers’ market. I love how you never fail to get excessive amounts of carbs and cheese at farmers’ markets.

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side confession: this fresh apple waffle was probably the best waffle I’ve EVER eaten — so doughy!

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this apple strudel is legit

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side confession: this tasted no different from chocolate cow milk, but that’s not a bad thing

Confession #7: I may never get tired of tacos.

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one carne enchilada + one chicken taco

Pop chose a local Mexican restaurant for his birthday dinner, and Mom and I could not be more pleased with his decision 😉

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he got a huge frozen margarita for his special day — atta boy

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chicken and pork chilaquiles as an appetizer to share

Confession #8: I always forget how wonderful one-on-one walks are. Pop and I took a late night walk through our humid and dark neighborhood. Good convo with a great man.

Confession #9: I indulged in more sweets on Pop’s birthday than on my own birthday. The farmers’ market lured Madre and I into buying many baked goods, sooooo, like, you gotta eat some while they’re fresh, right?

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a slice of apple strudel a la mode + a piece of this gluten/dairy/grain/everything-free blueberry scone

Confession # 10: I play eenie-meenie-miney-mo (sp?) for a lot of my trivial life decisions. Example: yesterday’s breakfast was a toss-up between three of Amanda’s recipes: oatmeal cookie dough smoothie, banana oat french toast bake, and chunky monkey pancakes.

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banana oat french toast bake won – topped with cinnamon raisin pb + glass o’ milk

Confession #11: I put Greek yogurt on my beef yesterday.

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LISTEN. It’s like sour cream if it’s full fat Greek yogurt (I’m saying this mostly to defend myself from my non-blogger friends, who think that even peanut butter with yogurt is weird).

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also had a hunk of a huge cheese biscuit…from the farmers’ market

Confession #12: The workout I did on Saturday left me quiiiiiite sore on Sunday. It was:

5 rounds of 10 Bulgarian split squats each leg + 3 wall walks. Then…

3 rounds (30 sec work, 10 sec rest):

  • burpees
  • alternating split lunges with 10# DB
  • toe touch + split sit-up
  • push-up with knee tap
  • high knees
  • heel tap burpees

I’m sorry. Half of those exercises probably mean NOTHING to you, because they are not conventional exercises that have real names.

Confession #13: When I did this 60 minute vinyasa yoga with Leigha Butler yesterday, I spent about 25% of the time staring at her doing poses beyond my anatomical capacity.

Confession #14: When I went on a walk with Madre yesterday, I was walking at maybe 2 mph because my butt was so sore.

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a slow incline that felt like a mountain – but look at how mystical this is!

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Confession #15: We secretly live near a rainforest.

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…that happens to have evergreens

Confession #16: I decided to watch home videos with mom last night because all I wanted were warm fuzzies.

Confession #17: Dinner last night was pita bread and veggies with hummus, these baked zucchini, and desserts…from the farmers’ market.

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Hope you all have a fantastic week! Support local businesses 🙂

So tell me:

What is your experience with farmers’ markets? Do you get giddy like I do? Do you give in to buying more expensive things than you normally would to #SupportLocal?

Do you ever play eenie-meenie-miney-mo to make life decisions?

Two fun things you did this weekend!

What do you think of Me Before You if you read/saw it?

Virtual Breakfast Date

virtual breakfast date

…I would wish you a blessed Memorial Day (if you live in the US)! If you have the day off, I hope it’s filled with relaxation, sunshine, reflection, and good food! If you’re working/not living in the US, I hope you have a great day anyway 🙂

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Always grateful for the valiant and selfless men and women who protect our nation.

…I would tell you that I can check off week one of work at the rehab hospital! It was a looooong week, (but not luxuriously long like our time at Fiona’s summer house the week before). Starting a new job, meeting new people, and not doing anything stupid being on my best behavior is exhausting, which is to be expected. That being said, I am so stoked and thankful for this job. Example of excitement: I get to help with pool therapy!!!

…I would tell you that breakfasts this past week have been fabulous. With work, I’ve had to make a lot of quick yet filling breakfasts. And they must have the “trifecta” because I’m stubborn and obsessive.

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Greek yogurt with cinnamon, nutmeg, blueberries, banana, granola, and maple walnut peanut butter (probz one of my favorite peanut butters ever)

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overnight oats with berries and granola

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peanut butter banana toast + Greek yogurt with cinnamon, nutmeg, and berries

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Kylie’s “banana pudding

…I would tell you that weekend breakfast = pancakes.

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Kylie’s simple paleo pancake with Greek yogurt + maple peanut butter + maple syrup + glass o’ milk

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Davida’s green silver dollar banana pancakes with all the same works

…I would tell you that I will be that gal who wears dress pants with sneakers. I am on my feet all day at work, and I care about my feet (as a future physical therapist and as a bipedal human being), so fashion will have to take the back seat. Not that I’m fashionable anyway.

…I would tell you that I get employee gym perks! The employee gym is a dungeon, but it’s nice to have access to some heavier weights and machines.

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…I would tell you that moves and grooves have been downright sweat fests thanks to the hot weather.

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On Wednesday, I walked + did some random plyometrics and drills outside, and I’m pretty sure tiny bugs were flying into me and dying in my sweat.

…I would tell you that I had something akin to baby food before my workout yesterday.

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My girl Christina @foodietunes gave it to me one day this past semester (or two semesters ago?), and I actually really liked it!

…I would tell you that I had these Performix BCAAs (that I won from a Fit University giveaway) after a couple workouts this weekend. I need to go back into my exercise physiology notes to see what BCAAs actually do, haha. They’re super tasty though! “Blue Razz Ice” flavor— so nostalgic.

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thank you for sending me these, Sarah!

…I would tell you that I need to shower so badly as I type this, but I locked a fat fly in my bathroom, and I don’t want to deal with it right now.

…I would tell you that I saw Daliza this weekend!!! She got us into a movie for free since she works at the theater. We watched Love & Friendship, which is a smaller-scale movie based on an early Jane Austen novella.

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I was expecting the movie to be very serious, and I could barely understand the characters’ old-fashioned British accents at the beginning, but as the movie went on, I was pleased to discover that this film is HILARIOUS. If there’s a small indie-film-theater around you, check this out! (Julia, I feel like you’d love this!)

Then Daliza treated me to Cold Stone (I got “Cheesecake Fantasy” in a waffle cone, OMG), and we walked around, catching up and inadvertently pouring melted ice cream all over the streets/our hands/faces.

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…I would thank you all very deeply for your condolences and love regarding Katie’s passing ♥︎

…I would tell you that I’m going to go shower now and face that fly. With God, all things are possible. Matthew 19:26

If we were having breakfast, what would you tell me?

What is your favorite quick and filling breakfast?

What is the best movie you’ve watched recently?

What are you doing today?

Back in Boston + Five Minute Friday #7

Dinner last night was leftover salad with hummus, Popcorners, a frozen banana, and two spoonfuls of cashew butter. Why did I come back to Boston when the dining halls aren’t open yet???

Well, despite the fact that dining halls aren’t open, I am both nourished and having a great time with friends.

Rewinding back to New York: On Tuesday night, my parents kindly took me out to dinner at our favorite Japanese restaurant for the best sushi ever.

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I came home and made myself some peanut butter banana soft serve (frozen bananas blended in a food processor with a splash of milk and peanut butter)— an old time fave. I ate it with a little Greek yogurt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and granola. Fabulous.

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And then this beautiful person came to visit me after her class ended (at 10 pm!)!

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Daliza! ♥︎ I fed her a pancake with half peanut butter and half nutella + glass o’ milk. Her visit would be incomplete without me giving her something with peanut butter or nutella on it.

Wednesday morning involved overnight oats, packing, and some moves and grooves (handstand walks, pushups, and a 16 minute interval workout) before preparing brunch for my friends Joe and Louis.

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French toast, scrambled eggs, and bacon

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“The bacon was very good, Alison. The whole brunch was very good, but the bacon was VERY good.” — Louis

It was my first time cooking bacon, so I’m glad it turned out well. I also blended up a green peanut butter banana smoothie (milk, greek yogurt, frozen banana, peanut butter, and spinach) and forced it down their throats convinced them to try it, since I knew for a fact that they would not be able to taste the spinach.

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They didn’t taste the spinach. #VICTORIOUS. (“There’s like a little bit of an aftertaste.” ← yeah, sure, believe what you want.)

I made myself an avocado, bacon, and egg toast + another egg + sriracha. I also ate my weight in leftover roasted brussels sprouts while I was cooking.

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This was amazing.

Joe, Louis and I hit the road for Boston and made it back in time to enjoy the FREAKING GORGEOUS weather. It hit 70 F — shorts and t-shirt weather! As soon as we arrived on campus, we joined more friends for Can-Jam until it got dark.

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Then we ate dinner at the food court on campus, chilled out on the dock, and played the Ellen Degeneres iPhone game, “Psych”, until we were all falling asleep. Good people, good times.

Yesterday’s activities included some quick moves and grooves (this ab workout), Mass, lunch at Tasty Burger, the Museum of Fine Art, and a special pre-screening of the new movie, The Young Messiah. It’s hard to pick out the best part of the day!

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This was a “dine-in” theater with the most luxurious seats I’ve ever seen in a movie theater.

And today I’m going to Mass and lunch with a friend, maybe working out at the gym, and definitely doing lots of studying.

Now that we’re all caught up, how about some Five Minute Friday action? (This post probably took you five minutes to read already…sorry.) This week I’m talking about something very random: where I would want to live after I graduate!

link to the video!

Taking a video of myself on a tire swing in a park that I’d never visited before. Sounds about right for me.

Hope you all have an awesome weekend!

So tell me:

Have you ever tried convincing someone that a smoothie with spinach does NOT taste gross?

If you could live anywhere, where would you live and why?

If you love where you live, why is that?