Fascinating Friday Links #32

Hello!

So you know how I said I wanted that piglet from my dream a couple nights ago? Well, I’ve found a way to vicariously have a pet piggy— Hamlet The Piggy on Instagram. I mean….

Victoria and I are now watching every cute animal video on Youtube, “aww”-ing at every puppy and wishing we had one as we lisp through our retainers. (That was an oddly vivid description.)

We also went out to eat sushi last night. It was delicious, but we definitely did not stuff ourselves like we did two nights ago. Goin’ light, ya know? 😉

Moves yesterday included lots of air squats, pushups, and sit-ups throughout the day (basically the 100 challenge) + some fun burpees thrown in there. It wasn’t a formal workout, but I enjoyed taking study breaks to get the blood flowin’ and the muscles working!

Since I missed sharing Fascinating Friday Links with you all last week, I’m especially looking forward to this week’s list! Enjoy!

fascinating friday links

 Health & Fitness

[Keep your bones strong!] 18 Surprising Dairy-Free Sources of Calcium via Greatist

[Love TRX] 45 Insanely Effective TRX Exercises via Greatist

[Get over the bar] How to Complete a Chin-Up: 9 Tips to Help Pull Yourself Over The Bar via Your Trainer Paige

[There is a difference] Difference Between Building Muscle and Building Strength via Cotter Crunch + Workout Nirvana

[Athletes need proper fuel] Fueling for Sports via Kath Eats Real Food + Fresh Food Perspectives

[Move…] Love Your Butt Workout via Purely Twins + 30 Min Bootcamp Workout via Peanut Butter Fingers + Hop to It Workout via Fitnessista + Burpee Box Jump Chipper via Peanut Butter Runner

[…and groove :)] Full Body Workout Inspired by Grease! via The Body Dept.

[Get inspired] 5 Instagram Accounts to Follow for Healthy Eating Inspiration via Health News and Views

Food for Thought

[Let go] 9 Things to Stop Doing During Hard Times via Marc and Angel

[Don’t let your ED define you] I Am Not My Eating Disorder via Fitting It All In

[Appropriate for Good Friday] Why I Do Favors and Don’t Expect Anything in Return via Goins Writer

[Amen] I Will Never Have a Thigh Gap via Thought Catalog

[Weaknesses make us stronger] When Does Weakness Become Strength? via Olive to Run

[They balance out for some people] Inner Bitch vs. Inner Narcissist via Snack Therapy

Food for Belly

[Cookie dough for breakfast?] Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Smoothie via Edible Perspective + Nut Butter Breakfast Cookie Dough via The Big Man’s World

[Such a great idea] California Roll Amaranth Salad via Back to Her Roots

[So springy] Coconut Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf via The Healthy Maven

[Why, hello.] Coconut Syrup Banana Split via The Kitchy Kitchen

[Comfort] Sweet Potato, Kale, and Sausage Bake with White Cheese Sauce via Pinch of Yum

[Creative] Strawberry Banana Smoothie Cake via Fit Foodie Finds

[Want these] Vegan Banana Nut Scones via Cookie and Kate

[Perfect] S’mores Macarons via Budget Bytes

Miscellaneous Fun

[Help out the new mamas out there] 10 Meals You Should Make Your For Your Friends with New Babies via Pinch of Yum

[Incredible] 60 Most Powerful Photos That Perfectly Capture the Human Experience via Distractify

[Honest and hilarious] Real Life of a Newbie Runner via I Think In Comics

[For bloggers] 5 Tips to Improve Your SEO via The Healthy Maven + Photography Tutorial— Editing From Start to Finish via Fit Foodie Finds

[Be a green machine] A Guide To Salad Greens via Oh My Veggies

[So many possibilities!] 76 Genius Ways to Use Coconut Oil In Your Everyday Life via Greatist

[Not all things that say “Whole Grain” are whole grain] Decoding Whole Grain Food Labels via Cooking Light

 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Good Friday and Easter if you celebrate! I promise to not accidentally eat meat or nut butter today. I actually unintentionally went meatless yesterday now that I think about it…maybe that makes up for last Friday?? 😉 Breakfast this morning was a nut-butter-less yogurt bowl with a sliced banana, chia, hemp, cereal, cinnamon, nutmeg and honey. I also made Victoria Gina’s famous cookie dough cereal this morning and she loves it!

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After Good Friday service today, we’re all heading up to Boston for the final college visit EVER (Boston University for me, Northeastern University for Victoria). We’ll be spending Easter up there, so we’ll get to see Ben too!

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” — 1 Peter 2:24

So tell me:

What are you doing this weekend?

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Do you like watching videos of cute animals?

 

 

 

I Have Awesome Friends

It’s official.

I, Alison, can live off of Greek yogurt. I had it in every meal and snack (except lunch) yesterday, and I wasn’t even trying.

Breakfast:

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Finishing off one container with bananas, chia, hemp, cinnamon, nutmeg, apple banana muffin, and pb

Snack:

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With bananas, cinnamon, nutmeg, stevia, and almond butter

Dinner was another one of these awesome tacos, which I topped with Greek yogurt again. Dessert was dried figs and Greek yogurt (duh).

If I am what I eat, I should be turning into a bowl of white, tangy, high-protein yogurt any day now. I wouldn’t be surprised if I was wearing bananas and nut butter too.

Moves

Yesterday’s moves consisted of a ten minute incline walk (hello, burning shins and calves) followed by some lower body exercises. The usual:

  • 12-10-10 pistol squats each leg (those 12….oof) + 20 Bulgarian split squats each leg
  • 20 hamstring ball roll ins + 20 light and slow KB swings
  • wall sit
  • 20 lunge pulses each leg

Then Julie’s 8-minute ab workout— that thing never fails to make my core burn.

Moving on to the reason for the title of this post…

My friend, Veronica, said yesterday, “I have awesome friends.” Of course, I’ve always felt the same way about all my friends from school, dance, blogging, and family connections. But her simple statement, and the sincerity with which she said it, was enough to make me think about how grateful I am for such awesome friends all day yesterday.

True story: When I was in kindergarten, my family moved from California to Kansas in the middle of the school year, and I had to make new friends in this place that people back in LA thought was in the middle of nowhere (let’s face it— everyone thinks Kansas is in the middle of nowhere). 5-year-old me wanted to do what every other girl did, so I would follow this “popular” group of girls and copy what they did. But then they told me to stop following and copying them, so I went to the swings by myself. Womp womp.

Then came elementary school, where life was full of drama over boys, note-passing, and who’s-friends-with-who. I would still try to please different groups of friends and act a certain way. The same sorta happened in middle school, except in 8th grade, I thought I was hot stuff because we got to go on a field trip to Washington DC for three days. Ooooooo. (It was actually so fun though.)

High school is when I started to shift friend groups and really learn to embrace originality. This year especially, I have learned to not care about what others think of me, whether I go to a party or not, whether I talk about food on a daily basis on the internet (hi!), or whether I’m considered a nerd/goody-goody/try-hard.

Part of the reason I think I feel so comfortable in my skin is because I have such loving, considerate, and understanding friends.

They don’t judge me. (eh, sometimes they do, but only jokingly…I think) 😉

They make me laugh until I cry, which I had never experienced until this year.

We can all have civilized conversations about our very different opinions on social issues and religion.

They are always waiting for me at the end of class, since I’m a snail when it comes to packing up my stuff.

They are polite, but not too polite, because that would be boring.

They brighten my mornings.

My friends are the peanut butter to my jelly. <— That’s saying A LOT.

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It is such a blessing to have a family outside of my blood-relatives, because I know how hard it can be to find the “right” people.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

So tell me:

Which food could you probably live off of?

Finish the sentence: My friends are the _______ to my ________.

 

 

WIAW: Full Day of Dance

Hey there!

It’s another crazy week around here, and yesterday I was so domestic that I barely did any homework (I didn’t have much yesterday anyway). I did laundry, cleaned the bathroom, baked muffins, and cooked this rockin’ sriracha chicken all before ballet, and I felt like SUPERMOM. Minus the mom part, so, just super.

I’ll save any rants and thoughts for tomorrow’s Behind the Scenes. Today, I’m joining the WIAW party to show you all what I ate on Sunday, the day of my last dance company rehearsal ever. EVER. It still hasn’t hit me yet, so I won’t talk about it too much. I could burst out in tears at any second at this point.

Anyway, our last rehearsal before a show always involves running our dances multiple times, so it was a long, tiring day. Here’s what fueled me through teaching religious education and 4.5 hours of groovin’!

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Jenn‘s got the linkup for some fabulous eats!

Breakfast

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Fuel for proclaiming God’s word, shushing third graders, and picking up paper and pencils off the floor: 

Amanda’s oatmeal cookie dough smoothie (plus spinach, minus chia seeds) + side of Greek yogurt. Dipped like so.

Lunch

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Fuel for jumping, running, and turning…all at the same time (aka dancing): 

PB & J. Holy moly I hadn’t had one of these babies in such a long time and it hit the spot like no other.

Snacks

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Fuel for more dancing: Carrots and hummus

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Post-dance fuel: Greek yogurt, sliced banana, crapton of cinnamon and nutmeg, stevia

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Plus nuts

Dinner

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Fuel for finishing homework, blogging, cleaning, and chatting with Dad:

Lime-cilantro salmon on spinach + sriracha + avocado toast

The salmon turned out well! It’s always a celebration when I don’t under-season meat. For this one salmon filet, I put on some fresh lime juice (from half a lime), about 2 tsp. honey, sea salt, pepper, and cilantro. Baked at 400*F for 8 minutes (in our small toaster oven).

Desserts

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Fuel for baking: Half of this juicy navel orange

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Fuel for sleeping 😉

Sample of homemade apricot-orange Irish soda bread

There ya have it! A busy day’s worth of delicious eats. The PB&J was the highlight, without a doubt. Those will be returning to my life with a vengeance; I bought some new strawberry jam a couple days ago just for the cause. 😀

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

So tell me:

Do you like PB&J/AB&J’s?

What has been fueling you through long days?

Have you tried a great new recipe recently?

Behind the Scenes #10: I Could Be at the Olympics

Good morning! I’m feelin’ some more behind the scenes action this Thursday.

Thinking-Out-Loud

Head over to Amanda‘s blog for more thoughts from some great noggins

1. Ladies figure skating last night?! Naturally, the ladies single competition is my favorite event of the winter Olympics. All I have to say about last night is: Yuna Kim is a goddess, Gracie Gold is a sweetheart (go USA!), and I felt so sad for Mao Asada and Yulia Lipnitskaya. Oh and Adelina Sotnikova literally came outta nowhere!

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If you didn’t watch skating last night, I apologize for possibly making you feel out of the loop. Or maybe you don’t even care. I’m moving on now.

2. Actually, I’m still talking about skating, BUT it’s a fun fact that doesn’t have to do with last night’s competition. When I was still competitively figure skating, my dad told me that I should work towards making it to the 2014 Olympics. That seemed like an insanely long ways away at the time he told me that, but here we are in the midst of the 2014 Olympics. And here I am, sitting on my couch…not there. Guatever, I’m still a superstar.

3. BREAKFAST YESTERDAY. *Jumping up and down* My mom and I picked up some Thomas’ Banana Bread English muffins from Wegmans at Binghamton over the weekend, and I tried them out yesterday morning.

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‘Twas as scrumdiddlyumptious as it looks. I topped one half with almond butter and the other half with sunflower seed butter. Plus a small bowl of Greek yogurt and sliced bananas, cinnamon, and nutmeg as an accompaniment. Three words: I want more. Although the English muffin isn’t quite like the real stuff, I love the hint of banana bread goodness in it. The texture is doughy too, which I love!

4. I really feel like I’ve been doing absolutely nothing this winter break. I stayed home yesterday and Tuesday, and both days involved the same things. I did homework, exercised (the only time I left home was to the gym yesterday), cleaned, read blogs, blogged, watched the Olympics, and ate. I’m totally not complaining though. I know I’ll be craving this down time once spring comes— I was updating my calendar yesterday…I’m a little scared.

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Kinda true.

5. Thanks to those who reassured me that I’m making the right decision about not going to the Blend Retreat this year. I want to be able to enjoy my time with my school friends and blends, but I know that my time with each will be better spent if I’m not trying to rush from one place to another. I guess my last days of high school are kinda important too. I’m definitely hoping to go to Blend next year though!

6. New addiction alert: pistachios. Luckily, we have the unshelled ones so it takes longer to shove pop them into my mouth.

7. I’ve been loving this Coffitivity app on both my iPhone and Macbook. I saw that Emily was using it a while back, and I loved the concept of it. You know how some people get the most work done at a coffee shop? The gentle murmur and bustle acts as a nice background noise, right? Well, Coffitivity provides that background noise for you on demand! So even though my AP Calc homework took, like, half a day to do, at least I was able to imagine myself in a cute coffee shop while I was at it.

8. It RAINED yesterday. Hallelujah! I would have crawled into a hole if it snowed more. Then again, the snow is practically burying us alive, so I wouldn’t even have to do that. (I’m so melodramatic.) The downside to the rain is that everything is slushy and nasty outside now.

9. Do you ever have a lyric/line/phrase stuck in your head that always pops up in every situation? Well, for me right now, that would be #lololololololololol. I don’t even say it out loud, but it’s always just ringing in my head when something funny happens. Speaking of that hashtag video, there’s a new one now. It’s not as good as the original with JT.

10. My brain was absolute mush yesterday. I just felt like my brain was working super slowly, and it just took a wee bit longer to process everything. I slept and ate well, so I dunno what was going on. Hopefully my brain is a little sharper today!

Alright, the noggin has {mostly} been emptied out. I hope you all have a joyful Thursday!

So tell me:

Figure skating last night?

Which food can you not keep your hands off right now?

What kind of background noise (if any) do you prefer when you’re working/studying?

Ever have a lyric/line/phrase stuck in your head? 

Overnight Oats {How I Make My Favorite Breakfast}

Good morning!

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What should one do with an almost empty peanut butter jar? (I’m sure every healthy living blogger is thinking, “sheesh, nothing new.”)

Well I’m going to say it anyway–overnight oats! I’ve said it at least a couple times before on here, but overnight oats is my favorite breakfast. I tried it one day over a year ago before practicing driving with my Dad on an early Sunday morning, and I have made it about a thousand times since then. I used Kath’s recipe for a long time, but I’ve made little changes here and there to make it perfect for my palate. I highly recommend visiting her recipe link because you can see all of her overnight oats variations, which look 10x more appealing than mine. Check out The Oatmeal Artist for some yummy ideas too!

As Kath says in the recipe, there is NO COOKING involved! So if you and the stovetop don’t get along well, this takes care of ya! Also, once you prepare the oats at night, there is really nothing else you have to do with them when you wake up. Just take them out of the fridge, put on desired toppings, and devour enjoy!

This is exactly how I like to do mine:

Basic Banana Overnight Oats

by Alison Y.

adapted from the Basic KERF recipe

Serves 1

  • 1-2 tbsp. nut or seed butter of choice (or an almost empty nut/seed butter jar)
  • 1/2 c. rolled oats
  • 1/4 c. Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 banana
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • agave/honey/maple syrup
  • 1/4 c. cereal/granola (optional for topping in the morning)

Spread out nut/seed butter around the bottom of a bowl or large mug [mug>bowl because it mimics jars better!] (or just start out with an almost empty jar of nut/seed butter). Add in oats, greek yogurt, and milk. Thinly slice in the half banana. Add cinnamon and nutmeg as desired (start with a little first, then add more if needed). If using plain Greek yogurt, add sweetener to taste if desired. Mix all ingredients together well, incorporating some of the nut butter at the bottom, but not all of it (I like to have a nice amount of nut butter to eat almost by itself at the end!). Taste a little bit to make sure it is spiced/sweetened to your liking. Place in the fridge covered or uncovered overnight. (Optional: Place a note warning your family what the heck is in there if you’re trying this for the first time. They might be suspicious and throw it out.) In the morning, take it out of the fridge, stir it up, throw on the toppings, and EAT!

Here is a step-by-step photo demo for you visual learners:

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Line ’em up!

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Choose your vessel. (Again–mug>bowl if not using a jar! 🙂 )

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Oats.

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Greek yogurt and milk.

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Thinly sliced banana.

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Cinnamon, nutmeg, and agave.

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Stir it up (optional: using favorite breakfast spoon).

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Making sure to leave a little peanut butter at the bottom! Best part.

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Tuck it in the fridge and say goodnight.

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Take it out, give it a stir, dish out your toppings (I add a little bit at a time so each layer has a fresh batch of toppings).

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ENJOY!

Texture: Something you might have to get used to. Very thick, like a really thick rice pudding. If you want it a little thinner, you can add more milk.

Taste: Hm. A mix of cereal, a yogurt parfait, and nut butter.

Appearance: You can make your own judgements.

Other notes: Don’t be surprised if it feels really filling the first time you eat it. When I first had it with only 1/3 c. oats, my stomach wasn’t used to the filling feeling of the milk, yogurt, oats, and nut butter all together. But now I can have 1/2 c. just fine. Also, don’t microwave it. Just don’t. It was a sad day when I did.

I often add different fruits such as berries, peaches, or pineapple, and then I just decrease the banana size to about 1/3 instead of 1/2. But this recipe is what I do when there aren’t any other fruits in the house.

And finally, I would be thrilled to hear if you love overnight oats, but I wouldn’t be offended if you really hate them after trying. 😀

It’s a rainy, thunderstorm-y day here. But I’m still happy! Have a good one!

So tell me: Have you ever tried overnight oats before? If not, would you consider trying them?