Today.

This blog post is not even about today, LOL.

In its purest cliché description, this post is about living in the moment. The theme stems from the plethora of changes — mental, intellectual, spiritual, physical (← idk, maybe less so), emotional — I’ve experienced in these past few months.

I’m the kind of person who takes her sweet time (I’m the most inefficient person I know) to try to do things “right,” whatever that means.

I face normal, everyday questions:

Should I study by myself or with classmates? 

Do I take the train or Uber or walk?

What should I pack for dinner? Should I buy dinner instead? 

Should I listen to Tori Kelly or Young the Giant in the 4 minutes I have before I arrive at my destination?

And then there are some bigger questions:

Why has God placed this person/friendship/relationship in my life?

What are my professional goals?

Where will I be a year from now?

What path do I need to take in order to best serve God for the rest of my life?

What is the right thing to do so that everyone is happy in the long run?

It is these latter questions that wrack my brain 5/7 days a week, because I don’t have a single dang clue what the answers are. I have a hard enough time coming to a decent answer for the everyday questions; the big questions just sort of debilitate me.

Of course, I’m sure nearly everyone feels the same way that I do about big questions regarding the future. How can anyone be sure about the future? But somehow I still forget that the only thing I can do is love and serve God today. Our words and actions today do indeed have ramifications for the future, but your mind, body and spirit can’t be anywhere but here today. For our lives are made up of days.

SO TODAY IS GOOD AND IMPORTANT AND CANNOT BE AVOIDED SO LIVE IT, DANG IT.

That yelling was mostly for myself. A self pep talk you could say. I didn’t mean to yell at you.

All that said, here are some moments with my family that I tried to live fully in the moments they were happening.

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Ben and I took our parents out to Hemingway’s for dinner as a Christmas present, since the best gift we can really give to each other at this point in our lives is quality time and food. I got {absurdly expensive} crab cakes, which were delightful with the coconut grits underneath and perfectly cooked asparagus on top.

The rosemary sourdough rolls at the start were also fantastic, but they were no cheese biscuits (the complimentary bread that was served when we first went to the restaurant three years ago). RIP cheese biscuits. I will dream about thee forever.

We all split calamari as an appetizer and key lime pie for dessert as well. Both hit all the right spots.

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I’ve been peddle boating with Madre! There have been alligator sightings in the lake in the past, so I’m always a little on edge about that, but thus far we have not been eaten.

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On Wednesday morning, Madre, Ben and I (Pop was working from home — man of the year) went to Keke’s Breakfast Cafe for…breakfast, naturally. It’s apparently extremely popular, so we worked up an appetite and waited approximately 25 minutes for a table. ‘Twas worth it though because just LOOK at the food.

Ben got the apple cinnamon stuffed French toast with home fries and sausage; Mom got regular French toast with eggs and sausage; and I got the largest blueberry pancake in the world with eggs and {bomb} bacon.

^^^True story. I ordered two pancakes at first, but then the waiter asked, “Are you sure?? Have you seen the size of our pancakes? If I eat two then I pass out.”

In my head at first I thought, “You don’t even know me.” But then I was like #humility and #dontbegreedy, so I ordered one pancake instead. Good thing, because the pancake was like a literal 9-inch cake in height and diameter, guys. I had to take 1/3 of it home. I NEVER LEAVE PANCAKES BEHIND USUALLY.

But it was a large, high-quality pancake. So fluffy and buttery. High recommend. Butter and Aunt Jemima required.

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^^^Random: Saw this at Publix. This is bad. I hate this headline, and I don’t hate many things. If you lose 10 lbs in 48 hours, something is WRONG.

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To end on a positive note though, God is good all the time.

And as You speak
A hundred billion creatures catch Your breath
Evolving in pursuit of what You said
If it all reveals Your nature so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You say
Every painted sky
A canvas of Your grace
If creation still obeys You so will I

— “So Will I” by Hillsong United

(if you wanna hear something beautiful today, listen to ^^this song, especially the Tori Kelly version)

Enjoy today 🙂

So tell me:

Thoughts about living today.

Waffles, French toast, or pancakes?

What is something ridiculous you’ve seen recently?

 

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Why Did I Eat It?

HEY I’m blogging in the middle of a school week! That doesn’t happen very often these days, huh?

I’m even joining in on the What I Ate Wednesday fun for the first time in a few weeks!

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Today I’m showing you what I ate on Monday, a regular ol’ day in college. But I also wanted to share the reasons why I ate what I ate.

{My roommate just read that to herself and mocked me: “And this is why I added a pinch of salt. And this is why I had three scoops of oatmeal instead of two! And this is why I had 27 scoops of peanut butter instead of 24.” So this is how I am perceived in the world.}

I said it in my NEDA week post, but I’ll say it again: it can be difficult to not analyze food to some extent, even after recovering from an eating disorder. However, my mindset towards food has shifted from focusing on restriction and calories to focusing on nutrients, fuel, and happiness.

Sometimes I choose to eat certain foods to make sure I am getting enough macros, nutrients, etc. Other times, I choose to eat foods because I’m in a rush. Still other times, I choose to eat foods because they just taste good.

So here are Monday’s eats and the answers to the question: Why did I eat it?

Breakfast 

-Two egg scramble with all the veggies in the land // For protein, fiber, and nutrients + staying power for three straight hours of classes.

-Whole wheat apple pancake with peanut butter and banana on top // For whole grains, fruit, delicious taste, healthy fats and just…peanut butter.

-Glass o’ milk // To wash down the pancake with peanut butter and for calcium.

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Lunch

Grilled chicken // For protein, and it was spiced well.

-Salad with spinach, tomatoes, carrots, sautéed veggies, whole wheat pasta salad, and honey dijon dressing // For yet more veggie power, carbs, something to eat with the chicken, and taste (man this was delicious!).

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-Apple // To keep the doctor away 😉 And because I like to end on a sweet note.

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Snacks

-Wheat Thins // Because they’re a convenient snack that I have in my dorm and I love them.

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-Bare apple chips + a couple spoonfuls of almond butter // For energy to study, fiber, healthy fats, and protein. This is also one of my favorite snacks at the moment, but now I’m out of apple chips. 😦

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-Another spoonful of almond butter // I was still hungry and I knew I would not be eating dinner in another three hours.

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[I played intramural softball with some people from the Catholic Center, which was freezing, fun, and humorous all at the same time. I strongly despise softball/baseball, so this was truly one for the team. But it was low-key, so I’d do it again!]

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My thoughts: “But I can barely catch with my good hand.”

Dinner

-Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, and gravy // Because I will eat any sort of meatloaf (okay, maybe not). Also for protein, carbs, veggies, and comfort (a good meal for thawing out from the cold outdoors).

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Dessert(s)

-Apple and raisin compote + peach cobbler ice cream // I wanted dessert.

There’s a little more explanation for this one. I grabbed the apple raisin compote in hopes to have it a la mode with vanilla ice cream, but there was no vanilla ice cream when I went to go get some. Thus, I tried this peach cobbler ice cream, but it was kinda gross to me, so I didn’t really eat it. I finished most of the apple raisin thing though.

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-Strawberry shortcake with vanilla ice cream // Because our faculty in residence baked it from scratch, so how could I say no? I also justified that I didn’t have much of my dessert at the dining hall, so…

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It was worth the Monday night sugar overload.

Looking back at my day of eats, it looks like I ate quite a lot. But as I was going about my day on Monday, this was the amount my body needed (and wanted when it came to the desserts). Even though I seek to get enough vegetables, whole grains, nutrients, etc., I am fortunate to say that I also truly enjoy the healthy foods I eat. Then I might have some (or a lot of) sugar because it’s also tasty and nourishing to my soul.

Mindful eating used to be my whole life, but with time, mindful eating has become a useful tool— an optional tool at times.

I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday!

So tell me: 

Do you consider yourself a “mindful eater”?

What is a sweet treat that you’ve eaten recently?

Do you like softball or baseball?

My Weakness Dessert + 10 Burpee Variations {Video}

Today is the dayyyyy—

the day I kick my butt into gear and actually start doing real work, because it’s the first day of school! That sounds like I’m in kindergarten… It’s the first day of my second semester of college!

My last day off (yesterday) started with a frozen banana with peanut butter and some morning moves! A jog to the gym, foam rolling, and then a leg workout that left me feeling like Jell-O.

  • 3 sets of 10 curtsy lunges each leg (50#) // 20 jump lunges
  • 4 sets of 20 goblet squats (30#) // 15-17 squat jumps
  • 3 sets of 10 angled leg press (90, 110, 120#) // 10 plank jack burpees
  • 4 sets of 8 hamstring curls (80#) // 20 side jump lunges

Afterwards, I ate a quick brunch of scrambled eggs, a whole wheat apple pancake, and a pear (I didn’t eat the cottage cheese because it was warm, and I saved the banana for later).

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My friend Rachel came back to college yesterday, so we ate lunch together after Albert and I picked her up from the airport. We ate our veggies and protein first…

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salad with baked crusted fish

…and then Rachel convinced me to have peach cobbler a la mode in the dining hall despite the fact that I ate apple crisp a la mode the night before.

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Apple crisp and peach cobbler a la mode are my two favorite desserts ever, so I just…*sigh*… It was 100% worth it.

I procrastinated my shower and homework with blog-reading and blogging (hi), but I got myself together eventually and banged out some tour guide studying and reading for school. (Confession: I typed that before I accomplished those tasks, meaning I would have to do them to ensure I’m not lying to you. 😀 )

Dinner was another bro-sis event at new-to-us place called Crispy Crepes Cafe. It’s obviously a crepe place, but they also have Middle Eastern cuisine. They have a special where you can buy two dinner plates and get one free Nutella banana crepe. No hesitation— we were in!

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I got the chicken schwarma with couscous, and it was incredible. The portions were huge for such a great price. I loved that it came with a huge mound of hummus and so many vegetables. Ben shared some of his kafta (Lebanese meat kebab) with me, which was also delicious.

My leftovers made another meal for Ben to take home 🙂

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The crepe was delightful! When is Nutella and banana not delightful though? I had a few bites, but let Ben conquer the rest. I got my sugar fix with that peach cobbler a la mode 😀

And now for a video!

10 burpee variations

I always somewhat regret filming a video because I get self-conscious, but this one is for burpees!

It’s no question that I like burpees, and a big reason is because there are so many ways you can do them. You can’t get bored! Thus, I decided to show you ten of my favorite variations. (I filmed this when I was back at home in New York.)

Disclaimer: I am not a personal trainer or fitness professional. I am simply showing some of the exercises I like to incorporate into my workouts. Check with your doctor/fitness pros before adding anything to your fitness regime, and do these at your own risk.

I also want to offer this video about how to do a pushup correctly, since I believe a proper pushup is essential if you want to include them in your burpees. There are also CrossFit burpees, which have “belly flops” in them. I do those too!

(link to video in case you can’t see it here!)

Have fun burpee-ing! Not burping. But that could be a good thing too.

So tell me:

What is a “weakness” dessert of yours?

Have you tried burpee variations before?

What is an exercise that you LOVE?

WIAW: Taste Evolves (+ Chocolate PB Banana Protein Smoothie)

Hey-lo! (Hybrid of hey + hello. I’m trying to mix it up, ok?)

I think one of my favorite parts about blogging is participating in Jenn’s ingenious What I Ate Wednesday party. I used to spend who-knows-how-many hours clicking on every link in the WIAW linkup to see what everyone was noshing on. That’s how I found so many of the blogs that I still love reading today! So without further ado, here’s what I ate yesterday:

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Breakfast

If you saw my post about waffles and pancakes yesterday, you already know what I ate for breakfast, but here it is again in all its deliciousness:

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Shortstacks Oatmeal Raisin Cookie waffle and pancake topped with plain Greek yogurt, vanilla sunbutter, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Glass o’ milk on the side.

Workout Snacks

I had an unpictured banana before my workout, and then some bites of each of these mid-circuit:

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Some cashews and a cinnamon brown sugar BelVita biscuit

I keep these in my gym bag in case I start to slump and need a boost of energy. I’ve definitely had instances in which I feel depleted and start flailing dumbbells instead of lifting them, if ya know what I mean. Therefore, I take snacks everywhere like I’m 5 years old. You can ask any of my friends–I’m ALWAYS snacking during school, dance, whenever. I’ve learned to deal with the stares 😉

Lunch

Looked the same as all my other lunches…

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Chicken, avocado, spinach sandwich with some more of my creamy sriracha dip

The other day, my mom was surprised at how I’ve recently been adding a considerable amount of sriracha hot sauce to many of my meals. I’ve always liked a wee bit o’ spice, but I never liked anything too spicy because then I would complain that it overpowers the flavor of my food. I think I also just didn’t like the taste of sriracha. My parents and brother would say, “You don’t know what you’re missing!” and I would reply “Hahahaha have fun burning your tongues!” Can someone say catty?? Well now they get to say “I told you so.” *Kicking myself in the butt*

Now it seems like something is missing if I don’t add a little bit of the unnaturally bright red sauce to my savory foods. My tastebuds have definitely evolved as I’ve gotten older. Here are some other things that I claimed I would never like (or didn’t think I liked) that I now love or at least eat quite often:

  • Wasabi–I would CRY if the tiniest particle of this stuff would get into my mouth (sorry to my friends and family who had to deal with my dramatic reaction). I hated the taste and the nasal spiciness of wasabi. I have no idea why or when I decided to try it with my sushi, but now I enjoy a nice dab of it on each piece. Never thought this day would come.
  • Raw carrots–I never used to like the earthy flavor. I still prefer them with hummus, but I often eat them by themselves now too.
  • Avocado— I KNOW. I have no explanation as to why I didn’t like it. What a shame.
  • Mustard–The taste always turned me off because it has that strong wasabi-like flavor. Now I love it in my burgers, especially the strong whole grain stuff!
  • Raw tomatoes–The thought of raw tomatoes used to make me gag. I’ve always been okay with cooked tomatoes, but now I even eat other peoples’ raw tomatoes if they don’t want them…Extra lycopene!
  • Watermelon–It’s still not my favorite fruit ever, but I do love the refreshing taste during summer. I used to never eat it.
  • Chocolate–Yep. I used to not like chocolate. I actually DID like it when I was a baby/toddler, but then something weird happened and I stopped liking it. It’s still not my sweet treat/flavor of choice, but I enjoy brownies, some chocolate candies (Reese’s to be exact), and occasionally chocolate cake and frosting. It really just depends on how I’m feeling.

There are probably a lot more, but those are just the ones that stand out in my mind right now. It’s fun to think about how much taste can change. I want to know how your tastebuds have changed too!

Snack

One of my favorites:

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Dried figs (I had another one after the picture was taken!) and plain Greek yogurt

I actually dip the dried figs in the yogurt and eat it that way. Does that sound weird? It’s like the figs sweeten the plain yogurt, and the yogurt adds protein and creaminess.

Dinner

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Some chips and our favorite salsa from Stop and Shop

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Salmon and salsa over spinach + corn on the cob (x2)

Colorful and flavorful! That corn was so swwwweet!

Late Night Snack 

You know how I love my late snacks!

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Chocolate peanut butter banana protein smoothie

This was AMAZING. Not overly-chocolatey 🙂 I didn’t want it to end! I don’t have an exact recipe since I sorta just threw a bunch of things into the blender, but to the best of my memory:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter (or PB2 if you want it to be lighter)
  • 1/2 frozen medium-large banana
  • 1/2 scoop of chocolate protein powder
  • 2 heaping tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • (if you want an extra chocolate punch, I’m sure 1 tbsp of cocoa powder would do the trick!)

Definitely a nice way to end the night. Have a great Wednesday!

So tell me: What are some foods that you used to not like that you love now? Recent yummy eats? 

Waffles or Pancakes?

Mornin’!

Yesterday ended up being very blah because I couldn’t even fall asleep for a good nap. Ah well. I had to fall asleep to the sound of the TV last night, and ended up getting more sleep. Here’s to the new day– praise God!

Dinner 

My mom makes some mean grilled salmon. It’s very common to ask for medium rare steak, but have you ever had medium-rare salmon? That’s just how we like it in our household, because the fish just melts in your mouth, and it basically transports you to a 5-star seafood restaurant. That fabulous. She cooks it on the indoor grill for about 1.5-3 minutes per side, or until you can see just a super thin line of darker, uncooked meat in the the center. Then she’ll grill the fish on its sides for about 30-60 seconds to finish it off. And voila–perfect salmon! We seasoned it with Bone Suckin’ sauce and lots of freshly cracked black pepper.

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See that slightly darker pink in the middle? That’s the money-shot (as Guy Fieri would say).

You know I had to have some of that for dinner last night!

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Wild/brown/black rice mix with salmon + spinach with hummus (random, but good!)

We discovered another package from Groupon (what can I say, my mom loves their deals) that was at our door, which contained this awesome thing:

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It’s a Waring waffle/pancake/omelet(!) maker! Breakfast just got a whole lot more efficient.

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Pancake/omelet iron on one side

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Waffle iron on the other

My mom and I wanted to test it out right away, so we decided on a little breakfast for dessert. We used yet another Groupon purchase as our mix (I promise they are NOT sponsoring this post. But we could definitely be there spokespeople):

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Shortstacks organic Oatmeal Raisin Cookie mix

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We both agreed that we like the waffles better because they got nice and crispy all over the edges. The pancakes still worked out well though! The batter itself wasn’t too sweet and didn’t really taste like an oatmeal raisin cookie at all. I’m sure a little maple syrup would have given it some more pizzazz, but I was just in the mood to have a few bites.

My mom bulked hers up with some chocolate protein powder though!

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Look at her bein’ all fancy!

The protein powder sweetened it nicely for her, and you could barely taste the chocolate after it was cooked. We can’t wait to use our new toy some more! We’ll be using the waffle side the most probably. The crispiness just can’t be beat! However, I feel like there’s something about the stackability of pancakes that’s also appealing. It’s hard to decide….

Breakfast

…So I had one of each this morning 😀

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Topped with plain Greek yogurt, vanilla sunbutter, and a tiny drizzle of maple syrup

This was so delicious!

I have yet another doc appointment today 😦 But then I have another meetup with a dance friend! And then hopefully a workout. Have a great day!

So tell me: Have you ever had medium-rare salmon? Waffles or pancakes and why? 🙂