Sick Day Eats

In the past four days, I have only left the house to go to church, the grocery store, and the train station.

I wish I could say I’ve gone on some fun hometown excursions with friends, but alas, I have come down with something. I’ve had flu-like symptoms, but nothing too serious. Just enough to make me want nothing but sleep, soup, and bread. (I just looked back at a post at this exact time last year, and I was sick, haha.)

It’s weird that I don’t have a million things to do, people to see, and places to walk. Nevertheless, I am enjoying this change of pace. I think that’s why I’m sick. Thanks to human physiology, I now understand that my immune system is repressed in times of stress, so when I am no longer stressed, my immune system starts to fight whatever pathogen has been lurking in my body.

I proudly told that to Pop, and he was like, “I know that.”

WELL.

Cooking in the kitchen has also been making me happy. Today I’m sharing my day of eats from Monday. It’s been a mighty long time since I participated in What I Ate Wednesday (aka WIAW aka wheeee-awwww)!

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630 am: Hot honey lemon water

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After I dropped off Pop at the train station, I went to the grocery store to get some lemons. All my throat wanted was some hot honey lemon water, and boy was it soothing.

9 am: Green overnight oat smoothie

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Festive, yeah? The night before, I put into a blender:

  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. rolled oats
  • 1/3 c. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 HUGE tbsp. peanut butter (so like, 2 tbsp. probably)
  • 2 tsp. chia seeds
  • cinnamon and nutmeg
  • pinch of salt

Stirred it together straight in the blender and put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, I added another splash of milk, a frozen banana, and lots of spinach. Blend, pour into a bowl, top with granola, eat with a spoon.

1 pm: Avocado, cheddar, egg, mustard sandwich

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I went on a 20 minute run jog around the neighborhood before I decided that I was very done. I had worked out the night before, so I was sore and also achy from being sick. Thus, I came home and made this beautiful thing. I even got fancy and broiled the cheese on the toast. DREAMY.

I also ate some colorful pomegranate seeds and carrots with hummus.

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A package came in the mail during lunchtime that included no-bake balls from Arman, so I obviously had to try one. I think this was a cinnamon bun no-bake bite. Basically everything good all rolled into a convenient ball. Thank you so much, Arman!

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5 pm: Nuts

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Balls and nuts, good. (12 year-old boy.)

630 pm: Theraflu

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I appreciate that Theraflu makes tasty medicine.

730 pm: Split pea soup, leftover pesto chicken, peppers and hummus

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I made a big batch of slow cooker split pea soup during the day, and it totally hit the spot for dinner. Also, the thought of raw peppers kinda makes me queasy while I’m sick, but I ate them anyway.

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Split pea soup is my FAVORITE soup!

10 pm: More hot honey lemon water

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(I washed my mug between uses :)) I think I might even have hot honey lemon water even when I’m not sick. It’s so comforting yet refreshing from the zing of lemon. At the same time though, I might want to keep it as a sick day “treat”. Kind of like mom’s chicken noodle soup, ya know? Maybe. I dunno.

Two more days until Christmas!!! It’s 60 degrees outside right now. It’s like a Florida Christmas or something!

Hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday! Go broil some cheese toast.

So tell me:

What do you like to eat or drink when you’re sick?

What is your favorite kind of soup?

What is the best thing you’ve eaten this week? It’s a tie between that sandwich and the split pea soup!

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Consciously Avoiding Sugar Again?

It’s so pretty outside!!!

At least here in Boston. I hope it’s pretty outside for you too. It’s so pretty here, in fact, that I did some yoga-ish stuff out by the river yesterday. The crisp temperatures are perfect for keeping you cool when you start working up a sweat.

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A post shared by Alison (@alison_grooves) on

All while the leaves are starting to change and I am starting to realize that getting out of bed in the morning becomes exponentially more difficult.

I haven’t shared a full day of eats in a while, so let’s look at that for this wonderful What I Ate Wednesday!

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While we’re at it, I want to talk to you about sugar in my life lately. It’s present (that’s for SURE), and sometimes I feel like it’s present a little too much. I don’t hide the fact that I am head over heels for the dining hall desserts and that I have one basically every day.

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breakfast // dorm oats: rolled oats with vanilla protein powder, banana, cinnamon, and pb

I don’t eat dessert because I feel like I “deserve” it or because I feel like I need to prove that I’m not afraid of dessert. At this point in my journey, I eat dessert because it’s delicious.

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lunch // roast beef, pepper jack, lettuce, tomato, roasted veggie, honey mustard sandwich on whole wheat + pear

Needless to say, I’ve noticed that my dessert intake has been rather indulgent in the past few weeks. I should make it clear that I am not guilty in regards to the calories/sugar/fat from the desserts. Rather, I am aware that I’ve been eating a lot of sugar, and I dunno…as a health-professional-to-be, I feel inclined to do something about that.

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snack #1 // cinnamon rice cake from a stash of communal snacks in the Catholic Center

I somewhat consciously try to avoid processed sugars throughout the day when I’m walking, dancing, learning and such. However, I still do eat quite a bit of sugar overall throughout the day (often in the form of bananas…)

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snack #2 // banana with peanut butter

I try to keep my sugar sources pretty wholesome for the most part. That being said, I don’t obsess over it. I mean, some of the sauces that the dining hall uses for their savory dishes probably have just as much sugar a cupcake, but it’s guatever.

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dinner // Creole chicken (like a sweet BBQ sauce) with rice + side salad

With all this in mind—my higher consumption of desserts lately and my fairly high consumption of sugar (from wholesome sources or otherwise) throughout the day itself— I decided to take a break from all desserts for five days last week. I challenged myself to not eat dessert from Monday-Friday (I kinda cheated on Friday during retreat…so Monday-Thursday).

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dessert (last night, not last week) // carrot cake a la mode

It was obviously challenging some nights, but I didn’t feel like I was depriving myself. I know that during my recovery, it was dangerous to deny myself sweets because there was a good possibility I was avoiding sweets because of calories. But these days, I have NO FREAKING CLUE how many calories I’m eating every day, so I’m just eating what feels right for my body. Some days that includes dessert and others it doesn’t.

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post-dessert // some pineapple at a night event

Instead of eating dessert all last week, I still ate some cottage cheese with granola and more banana (I know, I know). Arguably, I was consuming just as much sugar in eating a concoction like that as I would be in eating dessert.

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post-dessert part two // a couple fried plantains with honey

So I guess, in my mind, my dessert fast last week was to lower my sugar intake, but in reality, my dessert fast was more about challenging my self control. The wonderful thing about all this is that I feel comfortable challenging my self control in regards to food again. I’m not worried that I will start having disordered intentions in avoiding certain foods.

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late night snack // spoonful of pb

I feel one step closer to that elusive 100% recovery, if that’s possible.

To clarify, the eats I just showed you were from yesterday, so I wasn’t on a dessert fast. I only did the dessert fast last week. 🙂

*DISCLAIMER: It has taken me a long time to get to this point at which I feel comfortable and healthy avoiding certain foods for a short amount of time. If you have a history of an eating disorder, please be honest with yourself in making these decisions.

Hope your day is sweeter than my three-part dessert last night!

So tell me:

Have you ever fasted from dessert for an extended period of time? 

Do you prefer sweet foods over savory foods? I do indeed. If that wasn’t obvious.

Does anyone else eat bananas like insanity?

What did you eat yesterday?

A Classic Day of Eats on My Last Day Home

Today’s the day I go back to Boston!

I’m pumped. I’m jazzed. I’m {sort of} ready to rock ‘n’ roll. Being a sophomore, I feel a little more comfortable moving in and getting ready for classes since I know some of the ropes and have a friend or two.

One thing I will still miss is being able to make my own food. That being said, Boston University dining hall food is pretty darn good, so I cannot complain. When other people make peach cobbler available to you, you do not complain.

So yesterday was my last day of eating at home for a while. It was a great day of farewell eats because everything seemed to be classic “Alison food” (for lack of a better term).

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linking up with the original food party of the blog world!

Breakfast

I dropped off my dad at the train station at 6 AM per usual, and then I set my alarm for 10 AM so that I wouldn’t sleep in until an absurd time (like noon or something). Next thing I know, mom comes knocking at 11 AM.

Mom: “Alison, are you picking up your contacts now? It’s 11.”

Me: “Huh?” *looks at clock* “Awww…..”

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plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon, nutmeg, chia + banana muffin, banana, granola, and lots o’ crunchy peanut butter

This morning we’re leaving for Boston at 7AM whether I like it or not.

Snack

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mixed roasted nuts

Look at that Brazil nut! I dug through half the container to get that honker.

Lunch

In the midst of a ton of packing, I ate a late lunch that was more like a snack plate.

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roasted chicken drumstick + roasted sweet potatoes + spaghetti squash + carrots and humus

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and 34 Degrees crackers with hummus

Snack

This snack puts a huge smile on my face. Or it warms my heart at the very least.

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banana with pb + glass o’ milk

Seriously though, I’m getting emotional looking at this photo. SUCH A CLASSIC. (Emotions could also be due to the fact that I’m going to be seeing my college friends soon. Ah. Ah. Ahhh.)

Dinner

You know I couldn’t be at home with Madre without a Groupon dinner. 🙂 After dad came home from work, we went out to my favorite Japanese restaurant for what I believe to be the best sushi ever.

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shared chicken lettuce wraps as an appetizer

And then Madre and I shared so much sushi! We also shared a small side salad that came with the meal.

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“Out of Control” roll: salmon, tuna, yellowtail, asparagus inside + salmon and tuna on top

The name of that roll is fitting. Houston, come in, this sushi is out. of. control.

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sushi roll combo: tuna, eel avocado, and yellowtail rolls

Fish to rice ratio is amazing.

Dessert

A two-parter, because it’s the end of summer vacation.

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my favorite dried figs with Greek yogurt

It’s been a while since I ate this combo! Good as ever.

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the last of this carton of vanilla ice cream with cinnamon and nutmeg added post-photo

I’m basically the only one who eats ice cream in the house (when Ben isn’t home), so I thought I’d do my parents a favor and clean up this carton to make more room in the freezer. 😀

Catch ya in Boston!

Blogging will progressively get more sparse as these next couple of weeks go on. Summer has been a fun time to blog as much as my heart desires, but obviously, school work will get most of my time from now until the end of the year. I’ll get into a groove (duh) of sorts eventually, so hopefully I’ll be able to blog somewhat regularly still!

Either way, I love you all. Praying for you, and please pray for me!

So tell me:

Are you a fan of sushi?

Did you eat dessert last night? What was it?

What is a classic snack or meal that you love?

Athlete’s vs. Non-Athlete’s Day of Eats

I have a friend taking over the blog today!

Fellow blogger and Boston University Terrier {alum}, Gemma, reached out to me about a WIAW blog switch-up a couple weeks ago. At first, I wasn’t sure how that would fit in with either of our blogs, given the fact that she’s a rockin’ track star and I’m just…not. But she made the point that it could be interesting for our readers to compare the eats of an athlete and a non-athlete (who is trying to get her hormones in check).

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WHAT A BEAUTY.

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I hope that you can see between our posts that food intake truly depends on an individual’s body and goals, and you should not criticize the amount of food you need, just because someone else is eating a lesser or greater amount.

Head on over to Gemma’s beautiful blog, Actively Gemma to discover the life of a “semi-pro” athlete, life motivation, balanced living, hilarious vlogs, and Gemma’s amazing hair.

Also, you can check out my half of this WIAW collab while you’re there! I show how I eat just as much (if not, more) than Gemma, even if my only “workout” of the day was chores and 8 minutes of abs.

Spotlight on Gemma now! (Green = me talking because I can’t keep my mouth shut.)

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Hi, everyone!  I’m Gemma from activelygemma.com! I’m a semi-professional athlete for Ghana and a recent grad of Boston University. (YAAAASSS.) I wanted to show what an athlete eats on a pretty daily basis and how it can differ (or be pretty much the same) as you!

For those of you that don’t follow my blog (which I’m assuming is a lot of you), I started a new training cycle last week to help me get ready for the All-Africa Games in September. Last week was pretty tentative as I got back into the training mindset, but this week felt like I pretty much jumped head first into things. I wanted to share what I ate to keep myself fueled all day!

I start every day with breakfast, of course!  Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 9.08.31 PMmulti-grain whole wheat toast, 3 sausages, a handful of grape tomatoes, an omelet with spinach and cheese, and green tea

Usually I don’t eat anything elaborate for breakfast. Most of the time it’s just two fried eggs, toast, and green tea, or oatmeal and green tea. Each day has been difficult in it’s own way, so I’ve been trying to eat a bit more to make sure I have the energy to tackle everything. (Hang in there, girl!)

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2 chicken egg rolls with a side of duck sauce and spinach salad with grape tomatoes and Caesar dressing

I had a late practice Wednesday, so when I got home I wanted something quick and filling, so that I could spend a little more time on actual cooking. I bought the egg rolls because they were on sale in the freezer aisle, and figured they’d be the protein portion of my meal. (<— I love the way she thinks.) I paired them with a simple spinach salad and my favorite dressing, Caesar.

And for those that may want to know what my workout was:

  • 3x Standing Long Jump, Standing Triple Jump
  • 3x15m Alternating Bounds, Right Right Right…, Left Left Left… Each w/7m run in
  • 4x30m Alternating Bounds w/ 15m run in
  • 4x60m Straight Leg Bounds w/30m run in

(Editor’s note: In my head I just see Gemma flying across the track like a gazelle.)

It’s definitely more of a track and field centered workout – I don’t think I’d expect just anyone to do a purely bounding workout, unless they wanted to, of course, haha.

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tortilla with seasoned ground beef, spinach, sour cream, and cheese

Second dinner was just a re-styling of some leftover meat from Taco Tuesday. (Awesome that she had this second dinner, not worrying about “right times” to eat.) I just warmed up the tortillas and beef, and through on the toppings I was in the mood for. I had about 3-4 of these before I got full.

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homemade granola bars and vanilla yogurt

30 minutes later I was hungry again, so I grabbed a quick snack of vanilla yogurt and homemade chewy granola bars. It’s just regular yogurt. I keep telling myself to try to switch to Greek, but I just can’t get past the flavor of it. I think I just need to find a brand with the right vanilla taste.

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To finish up the night, I had about a bowl and a half of my favorite cereal — bran flakes! (Where are the raisins!?)

By this time (around midnight), I was pretty tired and forgot I was documenting my food, and I gobbled up the cereal before I remembered to take a photo of it. (Me. All the time.) So here’s what the box looks like instead 😛

Welp, that’s pretty much it.  I wanted to show that athletes eat about the same things as most people do on a day to day basis.  I have no special restrictions or anything, so my general rule is to avoid obvious sugars (candy) and just try to stick to the healthier options. I hope you enjoyed! You can check out my blog activelygemma.com to catch more of what I eat, as well as find my weekly workouts, recipes, vlogs, and more!

And of course a special thanks to Alison for the collab! (Thank YOU, Gemma!)

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I hope you all enjoyed and found value in this neat WIAW switch-up. I am truly inspired by Gemma’s balance, poise, and athleticism. Thanks for being here on DMAG today!

Follow Gemma on Instagram and Twitter!

So tell me:

Have you ever done track and field? Have you ever done track workouts?

If you’re an athlete, do you have a special eating protocol?

What is your favorite cereal? Lucky Charms or Raisin Bran for me.

WIAW: Then and Now

You wanna know what’s pretty darn cool?

These photos of Pluto.

Wanna know what else is pretty darn cool?

Looking through my blog and seeing progress in my health, faith, and maturity. I’ve only been blogging for {almost} two years, but what an eventful two years they have been!

I’ll save the teary-eyed talk for my actual blogiversary (which I have not even memorized), but today for What I Ate Wednesday, I want to do a little “then and now” comparison of my eats. The “then” photos are from early 2014, and the “now” photos are from yesterday. So this is comparing my eats between a 1.5-year period.

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What I am taking away from this comparison of eats is that:

a) The eats don’t look all that different between then and now.

b) The volume of eats is more or less the same between then and now.

c) The caloric density of my eats is much greater now. (My eats last year were very “clean” with minimal sugar and oils.)

d) I’m doing much less activity now.

e) I’m pretty sure that I feel more energized now.

Breakfast

THEN

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plain 0% Greek yogurt with a crumbled banana muffin, banana slices, and nut butter

NOW

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full fat Greek yogurt + chia seeds with a crumbled berry banana muffin, banana slices, and giant scoop of nut butter

Snack

(In this instance, my “then” snack was more calorically dense than my “now” one.)

THEN

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Coconut nut bar

NOW

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finished off a bag of Enlightened wasabi crisps*

Lunch

THEN

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grilled chicken on undressed spinach + grapes + carrots + BelVita

NOW

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two fried eggs with goat cheese and honey on an English muffin + zucchini sautéed in sesame oil

Snack

THEN

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plain 0% Greek yogurt with banana slices and nut butter // I would often only add the nut butter if I had just worked out

NOW

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handful of almonds and the last Quest bar from Blend (finally!) // not post-workout, just hungry

Dinner

THEN

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farro with baked salmon and steamed greens // little to no oil or sugar

NOW

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quinoa with turkey meatloaf (included eggs and panko, topped with a sweet ketchup maple glaze) + salad dressed in a homemade maple mustard vinaigrette

Dessert

THEN

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Greek yogurt with dried figs // I still eat this and love it, but today there’s a lot more of this…

NOW

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peach blueberry cobbler a la mode + some unpictured 2% milk

Like I said, the eats may not look that different, but when I keep in mind the caloric density of my foods today and the absence of formal, intense workouts lately, I have to say that I’m proud of my progress.

And guess what. I feel so much better now. I don’t agree with those who say “clean eating” makes you feel better than ever. Yes, eating nutritious foods most of the time makes me feel great, but getting rid of sugars and oils from everything makes me feel crabby, not better than ever.

My goal in this comparison is not to judge my past self or ridicule myself for being a little restrictive, because that time period was just another part of my journey. I’ve learned that recovery seems to keep unfolding itself, even if you think you’re just about done, which is why I say I’m 99.9% recovered.

So tell me:

Do you notice any differences between your eats now and your eats a year (or two) ago?

What did you eat for lunch yesterday? That goat cheese, honey, egg sandwich hit the spot.

Do you like meatloaf? I LOVE MEATLOAF, and the one I made last night was fantastic.

*My friends at Enlightened sent me more of their crisps because I’m in love with them and I blogged all about it. Honesty = best policy.