Challenged

I’m forgetting that the weather usually gets colder once fall hits.

I have to wear socks and sweaters in my dorm room, which currently seems like a foreign concept to me. Like, I can’t just be in athletic shorts and a t-shirt all the time now? I have to “keep warm”!?!?

That doesn’t mean I’m giving up cold overnight oats though.

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strawberry banana peanut butter overnight oats overfloweth

Also, who knew strawberries were so good in Ireland!? I feel like I already talked about this. Deja vu.

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Lunches have been looking mighty similar these days, but I don’t hate it. Eggs and veggies are always welcome in my belly.

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As are cheese and carbs.

Lunchtime is a madhouse these days, because we often only have a one hour break to come back to the kitchen, prepare our meals, eat them, and then walk back to class. Plus all the cleaning and maneuvering around 10 other people doing the same exact thing. It sounds like I’m complaining, but I kinda love the rush of “we all have to eat! NOW!”

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Food brings people together ūüôā

I would say that the challenge of sharing a kitchen is nothing compared to the moral and mental challenge of my classes so far. It’s not that they are too academically difficult (yet), but¬†all my courses (contemporary Irish society, ethics in healthcare, and healthcare practice and policy)¬†have something to say about¬†the Catholic Church and all the hot topics that surround it these days.

And I get itРjust a mention of the Catholic Church stirs up a lot of hubbub.

Sure, I get uncomfortable in class being one of the two practicing Catholics here (especially because everyone knows¬†that I’m a devout Catholic),¬†but I’m loving every minute of it. Not because I want to get all defensive or play the victim, but because I¬†need¬†to be challenged in my beliefs. I¬†want¬†to know what others think of “people like me”. I¬†need to dig deep into why I believe what I believe, and facing the (sometimes stinging) commentary of those who oppose my beliefs is one effective way of doing that.

(p.s. I’m not leaving the Church anytime soon.)

The best part? We all still get along and respect each other. And there have been a couple of very kind people who have shown their appreciation for my POVs, even if they¬†don’t necessarily agree. This was especially¬†comforting yesterday after I expressed my opinions in class, practically shaking with nervousness. (I’m not kidding, but I’m also not asking for pity.)

I might make a vlog expanding on all my thoughts later. My brain is exploding with thoughts and reflections all the time these days!

Anyway, let’s get back to food for some relief from this rather serious topic. Dinner this week has been pork chops with saut√©ed onions, potatoes with red pesto, and roasted broccoli. A delicious and satisfying meal. Yay for fats!

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Moves and grooves have been short and sweet. Except on Monday when I did a 50 minute Fitness Blender HIIT workout. Tuesday was 35 minutes of yoga + a slow and easy 12 minute lunchtime workout, and yesterday was a 100 burpee workout! ūüôā

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that’s all the time it took! gotta leave time for stretching!

It’s nice to get in some kind of movement before I sit for 5-6 hours of class throughout the day. But sleeping is also a priority, which is why my workouts have been “squeezed in” so much lately. I’ve been waking up wanting to go back to sleep FOR.EV.ER. (whoa, that sounds¬†more morbid than I intended).

I used so many parentheses in this post.

I hope you all have a fabulous Thursday! I will be playing Gaelic football and possibly some other Irish sports today for class. God help me.

So tell me:

Have you ever felt challenged in your beliefs in school?

What have you been eating for dinner this week?

Do you forget that the weather changes too?

What is your favorite quick workout?

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Heavy Foods, Light Hearts

Where there are friends, there is food. Where there is food, there are friends.

My special guest that visited this weekend (who I mentioned on Friday) was my BU BFF, Rachel!

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She made a spontaneous trip down to New York to hang out and have some girl time. Needless to say, I brought her to places with lots of food, and I brought lots of food to her face.

Friday

Remember when I first opened that mega jar of peanut butter that I received from MyProtein? That was July 7th.

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I finished it on July 31st, putting it to rest the right way‚ÄĒovernight oats in a jar (with maybe 3 tablespoons of peanut butter left inside, sorry not sorry).

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Rachel arrived at night, and we enjoyed a Fish Friday meal of cajun flounder, barley, black bean corn salad, and green beans.

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Followed by dessert of ice cream, scones, and a looooong talk on the couch. #deepthoughts

Saturday

Late night chats means late wake up, but not too late to make some banana waffles for breakfast!

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topped with greek yogurt, peanut butter, strawberries, and maple syrup

Rachel and I went to a super posh and ritzy town in Connecticut, where ladies were wearing sundresses and heels, Lululemon was next to Vineyard Vines, and GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN WAS TWO FEET AWAY FROM ME.

*Geoffrey Zakarian in an off-white suit walks towards us*

Me: Oh my gosh, it’s Geoffrey Zakarian!!!

Rachel: What?

*Geoffrey definitely hears me but promptly pretends to see something across the street and walks in that direction with his two posse dudes*

Me: He’s a famous Food Network star. Oh my gosh, what do I do?

Rachel: Alison…it’s okay. He’s walking away.

Me: Wait, he’s getting farther. But I want to take a picture with him. Oh my gosh. He’s so famous.

He looked exactly like this!!!

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Apparently he’s opening a restaurant on the street we were on, so he must have been doing business for that. I was only slightly, extremely bummed that I didn’t have the courage to run across the street to take a selfie with him, but at least I spared myself from being¬†that¬†fan.

Anyway, after coming home and doing some yoga that was a little more intense than expected for both of us, we went to Mass and dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant.

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Rachel and I split the gnocchi and veal sorrentino. We were in rich, Italian, tomato, tom-ah-toe, mozzarella heaven.

Later that night we grabbed some delicious ice cream (<‚ÄĒ redundant, I know) with Michael. Apple pie ice cream for meeeee.

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We walked, talked, watched old videos of my chipmunk-voice days, and some Iliza Shlesinger comedy before calling it a [very late] night.

Sunday

I woke up past 10 AM, which makes me kinda sad, but hey, it’s a summer weekend.

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cookie dough cereal

We had a slow morning of talking and stretching before going to a local Indian festival for food cultural immersion.

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we split a baked samosa

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and then split this tray of yummy, oily, flavorful fun

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split a mango lassi as well

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thanks, boo

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very tempted to jump into the water for a swim on a hot day

Our weekend ended with pork chops and chicken, the movie Chef, time with Daliza, and more girl talk.

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Needless to say, this weekend was filled with lots of rich, heavy foods that made me want to roll into bed right after eating them. But I loved every bite, and most importantly, I loved every moment with my homegirl, Rachel.¬†It was an awesome weekend, and I’m sad that she has to go back to Boston today… Less than a month before we actually move in together for schooooooool.

(Minus the missed opportunity to take a pic with IRON CHEF Geoffrey Zakarian.)

Hope you all have beautiful Monday!

So tell me:

Did you have any yummy rich foods this weekend?

Have you ever spotted a celebrity in public?

Indian or Italian food?

Getting Back Into a Routine {Recent Eats}

The altitude got to me in Colorado, but now the two hour time loss in New York is getting to me.

I’m such a wimp, I know. I’m mostly just bad at managing my time right now, so I end up going to sleep at midnight when I need to wake up at 6 AM to take my dad to the train station.

{Oh look, it’s 11:30 PM as I type this. Good.}

Luckily I have been keeping busy with my physical therapy internship, which I am¬†loving¬†so far! By observing and being in the clinical setting, I can really see myself in the career. I’m relieved that I don’t hate it ūüôā

Moves¬†have been on the slower side with some stretching, foam rolling, and strength exercises. It’s just what I need right now. I also went to a modern dance class at my good ol’ studio¬†last night! It felt amazing to dance again. AMAZING. It also felt a little tight, because I haven’t been stretching enough…

Of course, the domestic duties are also keeping me busy. Since¬†food is more exciting than¬†chores and errands, I’m sharing some of the things I’ve been cooking up this week.

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leftover whole wheat banana pancakes from before Colorado (I froze ’em!) with 2% Greek yogurt, a trio of nut butters, and maple syrup + an unpictured glass o’ milk

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honey mustard pork chops with caramelized shallots + blanched broccoli with tahini sauce

For the tahini sauce (roughly): 1/4 c. tahini, 1 tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. lime juice, 1 tbsp. maple syrup, water to make it drizzle-consistency

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lunch for a long day of interning and errands: salad with sweet potato, leftover pork, homemade honey mustard dressing // carrots and hummus // orange // BelVita biscuits // Balance Bar // Enlightened mesquite bbq crisps

Stay tuned for an awesome giveaway featuring Enlightened products! I’m addicted to their roasted broad beans, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

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whole grain seed toast with melted Cabot garlic and herb cheddar and two sunny side eggs + a storm of cracked black pepper

This was brunch-y, cheesy, salty, dippy goodness that I ate for dinner one night.¬†Get the cheese. I’m not sponsored by Cabot, but I just want to announce that I love their garlic and herb cheddar.

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Kozyshack tapioca pudding with cinnamon and nutmeg

Y’all know how much I love tapioca pudding. Add cinnamon and nutmeg, and you won’t have to worry about anything ever again. (Ha, if only.)

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overnight oatmeal smoothie: oats, Greek yogurt, milk, chia seeds, and peanut butter stirred in the blender the night before // greens, frozen banana, frozen grapes, more milk added in the morning // blend and eat out of a bowl with a spoon!

I know it looks like swamp water with algae growth, but this was so delicious and quick in the morning. Normally I would also add granola for crunch, but we were out.

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Spaghetti squash!

This was my first time roasting spaghetti squash! I cut off the stem, sliced the squash in half lengthwise, scooped out the guts, rubbed each half with olive oil + salt + pepper, roasted them face-down for 40 minutes at 375F, let them cool, and then raked away with a fork until it looked like this:

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I added some caramelized shallots

I never wanted to try spaghetti squash in the past because I knew it wouldn’t taste like real spaghetti, but it’s still tasty! It’s tastes like other squashes except in string form.

I thought it would be a good time to try spaghetti squash since there was one left in the grocery store, and my dad is eating low carb right now (I can assure you that I am not eating low carb), so it was good base for something like my favorite sriracha chicken.

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sweet and spicy goodness

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coconut cashew Quest bar with sunflower seed butter

I still have tons of Quest bars from Blend (many of which my brother took to Florida as well), so I decided to have one for dessert last night. I followed Quest bar protocol and microwaved it before spreading the nut butter and eating it with a tiny fork. I Snapchatted my Blend roommate Colby to ask if I was doing it right, and she approved.

It’s already Friday! I hope all my fellow Americans have a fantastic Memorial Day Weekend. Pop and I will hopefully be doing a small barbecue for ourselves and any of my friends who want to come. You’re invited!…but I’m not giving you my address. Sorry.

So tell me:

Do you have trouble adjusting to different time zones?

Have you ever tried spaghetti squash? What do you like to eat with it?

What is your favorite way to eat Quest bars?

What are you doing this weekend?¬†I’ll be cleaning the house, seeing Daliza (!!!), blogging, reading, BBQing, and eating ice cream, among other things.