A Slow Start to the Year

We are NOT coming in hot over here, let me tell you.

2020 started with a short but sweet family trip to Toronto to visit some relatives up there. It was fantastic to see grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who I had not seen in ages it seemed.

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we're literally Maroon 5 #cousinlove #happyaccident

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Throwback photo of me and my cousins from 5 years ago (!!!) Now Kate is taller, I’m definitely heavier, and Iain has a mustache. Ben and Megan look the same.

Then I flew into beloved Boston last Saturday to get mentally and physically prepared for the start of my last batch of clinical rotations for PT school. I am currently working at an outpatient neuro PT clinic, which I am amped about!

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this pic is also from a few years ago, but the Citgo sign remains ūüôā

Day one (Monday) was great! I’m looking forward to learning from my clinical instructor and also implementing my own knowledge and skill. It’s a bit daunting knowing that I need to be at an independent level of practice in these last clinicals, but with observation and some review of my notes, it’s all coming back (ūüé∂¬†it’s all coming back to me no-o-owww¬†ūüé∂¬†– Celine Dion). My clinical instructor seems very knowledgable and skilled, and all the staff at the hospital have been so friendly and welcoming to me, which is 99% of the happiness factor in a workplace, I think.

Day two (Tuesday) started off fine. It’s been an adjustment waking up at 5:30am for this night owl, but I’ve still been getting 7+ hours of sleep. During one patient’s evaluation though, I was excessively¬†sleepy. Like, my eyes would shut and I would almost fall over (my CI was the one conducting the evaluation, so I was just observing). That’s when I started realizing something was off. I figured maybe I just needed a little food in me, but after lunch, it was downhill. I started to feel a bit nauseated, and standing felt more laborious than usual. It was rather interesting paying close attention to the increasing levels of aches and chills, honestly. After a one-hour treatment session, I went to the restroom…and I knew then that I was not well. I let my CI know, and she kindly told me that I could go home if I wanted to at that point, since there was only one more patient on her schedule anyway. At first I tried to push through for at least one more hour, but as I sat to rest, I knew I needed to go home.

Long story short, I’ve missed two whole days of clinical already in this first week due to a fever/stomach bug. I’m super grateful that my CI has been very understanding and gracious about giving me time to take care of myself (in addition to the fact that I can’t return to the hospital given my symptoms). My roommate bought me some Gatorade (thanks, Yuka!), and sleep has been my best friend. Most foods right now make me feel pretty queasy, and the GI symptoms are persisting, bleh.

Thank you to everyone who has listened to me complain, and to all those who have sent me get well wishes ‚ô•Ôłé

It’s been a slow start to 2020, but things could be worse. I hear a lot of people have been sick to some degree ‚ÄĒ colds, flus, fevers. Take care of yourselves and wash yo hands!!

Small setbacks like this definitely make me feel extra grateful for what my body and brain can normally do on a daily basis. For example, I just did 3 sets of very light, slow lunges in my room (the PT side of me is like “mooooove, so you don’t get deconditioned and atrophied!”) and subsequently needed to lie down on my bed to take a rest. ¬Į\_(„ÉĄ)_/¬Į Builds compassion for my patients, that’s for sure.

That’s the update for now. All is well overall, and even though I’ve complained enough, I really should not. I’ve got many people supporting me and a good God who is allowing me to offer up these minuscule sufferings for those who are in a much worse place than I am.

Hope your week is going a little better!

So tell me:

Have you or has anyone in your family gotten sick over the holiday season? (Every single one of my family members has been sick once since Christmas).

How has the start of your 2020 been so far? What have or have you not accomplished that you wanted to?

 

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?

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!

Fall Fever

Nothing like a little fall fever, am I right?

I’m not talking about #pumpkinspicelife fall fever. I’m talking about a legit fever‚ÄĒ the illness. This weekend I think I came down with just that, so I took it pretty easy, drank¬†lots¬†of water, and popped cough drops as if I actually needed them.

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hot soup hit the spot

Thankfully, my roommates knew exactly how to take care of me. Jordan gave me some Theraflu (her “drug of choice”), and Rachel made sure that I resisted consuming copious amounts of dairy, despite me wanting ice cream for dessert last night. She also dealt with my melodrama well.

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Besides some strange heart palpitations and achiness, this weekend involved a bunch of great events and even better people.

After lots of human physiology studying, Friday festivities were very much welcomed.

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A bunch of my friends and I attended an a cappella concert featuring a few of our talented friends. I seriously almost cry whenever I hear how beautiful their voices are. Like, how are people so amazing?

just one of the many groups we watched *heart eyes emoji*

Random fact: they gave out free chocolate-covered bacon to a few lucky winners. My friends were among them.

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My voice was giving out on Saturday, which was perfect for a day of touring and Catholic Center Phone-a-thon-ing.

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I left a lot of messages with a voice that sounded like a dying frog, but maybe that will induce pity and bigger donations. Or not.

Many meals and much fellowship took place as well.

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I figured that I should eat a lot of toast while I was sick, but I think I should eat buttered toast more often. I forgot how simple and delicious that stuff is.

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bonus points for cinnamon raisin toast

These past couple of weeks have been filled with midterms for all of us at BU, so we’re just trucking along. Nothing to¬†truly¬†complain about though. God is good!

Also, thank you all for your support and kind words on last week’s post. My relationship with exercise has been a rocky one for the past three years, so although it’s liberating to be free from obsession with exercise, it certainly took work and patience with myself to get to this point. And it’s still not perfect!

If you’re struggling with¬†an unhealthy relationship with exercise, I can honestly say that my best piece of advice is to try decreasing the amount of exercise¬†OR¬†try some less intense but really enjoyable forms of exercise (hiking, walking, yoga, leisurely bike rides) for a month or so.

the gym is unappealing when there’s fresh, crisp fall air #BUmovesandgrooves

A video posted by Alison (@alison_grooves) on Oct 23, 2015 at 2:51pm PDT

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Even if you’re not necessarily trying to gain¬†back physical health (like I still am right now), I discovered that these things aid in mental health more than anything. It might help you take a step back from exercise and refocus on other fulfilling things in life. I know it did for me!

As always, I must say that I am not a medical professional, so please take everything with a grain of salt and advice from your own doctors. ūüôā

Hope you all have a great week ahead! Take your vitamins and get sleep.

So tell me:

Have you gotten sick recently with the change in weather? 

Are you a fan of a cappella?

Do you like buttered toast?

What did you do this weekend?

Our First 5 Days of 2015

Well hey there, I haven’t talked to you all since¬†last year!

Last year being five days ago, but still! Happy New Year! I hope you all had festive celebrations and fun times with family and friends. All the good F’s.

Besides some lingering sickness (read: hacking death coughs), we’ve been having a great time ringing in the new year in Florida! So much happened, but instead of boring you with a lengthy recap of everything, let’s do this alphabet style. I would like to share the fact that I do indeed know the alphabet. ūüėČ

Ringing in the New Year: By the Letters

Avocado toast // Saturday night’s dinner along with sloppy joe meat and roasted cauliflower

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Beach trip // played frisbee for a couple hours

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Crepes // using Alton Brown’s recipe

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Ducklings // spotted in our neighbor’s backyard

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Ebelskivers // delightful Dutch round pancakes made by my aunt and uncle

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peanut butter-filled aka happiness-filled

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Forecast // looks very pleasant for the upcoming week here in FloridaScreen Shot 2015-01-03 at 8.48.38 PM

Group photos // ’tis the season

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Humbling // doing pistol squats and this leg workout after a week of being sick

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matchy matchy

Ice cream // of the cookies and cream variety on NYE

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Jokes // trying to come up with some to incorporate into my Boston University tour guide script with only minor success

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Kansas family friends // who now live in Florida and are like family to us (they came over for NYE dinner with us, and then we went to their house for dinner on Friday night!)

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Luau // Disney’s “Spirit of Aloha” dinner and show was a blast!

(Besides the fact that I had to stand outside due to intense coughing at the end. Two people thought I worked there as I stood outside and asked me to point out the bathrooms. One of them was a little boy who called me ma’am!)

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those dinner rolls would be PINEAPPLE COCONUT rolls!!!

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I spy Madre

Marshmallows // roasted over hot charcoals for NYE s’mores

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Char, peel, eat, repeat

New Year’s Eve // spent at home with family and friends eating pulled chicken sliders, salad, ice cream, and more

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Overnight¬†oats // with way too much peanut butter left at the bottom of this jumbo jar‚Ķnever thought I’d say that

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doughy, peanut butter goodness

Pancakes // green silver dollar¬†banana ones on Tuesday and “Melt-in-Your-Mouth” Bisquick ones on Saturday

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Quiet time // I need to set this aside for at least an hour before going to sleep

Ricola // cough drops are a hot commodity in this household currently

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Spinach in my smoothie // with frozen banana, vanilla protein powder, almond milk, cinnamon, nutmeg

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Typhoon Lagoon // Ben and I spent our Sunday there with our relatives

(There was a WICKED wave pool that reminded me of the huge wave that swallowed the world in the movie, The Day After Tomorrow. It was intense.

Dinner eaten at Downtown Disney, followed by the most difficult mini golf ever at Fairways.)

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Ben: “Again [with the selfies]??”

Upride down // did ten handstand pushups in a row with an abmat underneath my head!

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Visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios¬†today!

Wawa walk-through // because Ben heard so much about this high class gas station chain

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Xylophones // one of the only practical words that start with X

Zzzz’s // caught some during several naps throughout the week

To all those going back to school and work today/sometime this week, I wish you good luck! You’re all rockstars, so let. it. ROCK.

{Happy birthday to my best friend and partner in ridiculousness, Daliza!!!}

So tell me:

Some letters that describe your weekend!

Have you ever tried Ebelskivers before?

Do you like wave pools?

Are you starting work/school today or later? Or have you already been on the grind?