Reinforcing Lessons About Exercise

There is currently a fly buzzing around the kitchen, which makes me equal parts mad and sad. Mad because it wants to get at my banana bread mug cake. Sad because flies are gross.

Alright, I have some foodie talk this morning before we get into the meat of the post.

First of all, I ate classic overnight oats in a sunflower seed butter jar (with 2+ tbsp left in the jar) for breakfast yesterday! It might be one of my all-time favorite breakfasts. I enjoyed it in my backyard since it was such a gorgeous and mild morning. Very few things could have made it more perfect.

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Secondly, I think pita bread needs to be on people’s grocery lists more often. That’s right, I’m asserting my opinion over your grocery list. *smiling purple devil emoji* For good reason though! Pita bread takes sandwiches to a new level. The fluffy, doughy factor is superb, AND you can fit more oddly shaped foods inside.

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inside the pita: avocado, pork souvlaki, mint yogurt sauce, tomatoes, and sriracha added later

Let me know if you buy some pita bread now. If you do, I’ll look into marketing and advertising as a side job.

Speaking of jobs, I want to talk about some lessons that my physical therapy internship has taught me/reinforced. There is very little doubt in my mind that physical therapy is what I want to continue pursuing as a career, and it’s thanks to my summer internship experience and what it has taught me!

Besides everything I’ve learned about anatomy, diseases, and therapy techniques, I’ve sort of re-learned a lot of lessons about taking care of our bodies through movement.

Health Lessons Reinforced Through My Physical Therapy Internship

  • Do not dismiss seemingly easy exercises. Go back to the basics and re-check your form/range of motion. Try an exercise that you’ve never done before, even if it looks easy. You’d be very surprised how well certain exercises can work those smaller (yet still very important!) muscles.

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like these…they kill those smaller glute muscles you never knew you had

  • Flexibility is essential. This doesn’t mean you have to be able to bend backwards until your head is through your legs, but flexibility is certainly important for your overall health and fitness. A full range of motion will help you in your fitness endeavors as well as in injury prevention.
    • P.S. Hold a stretch for at least 30 seconds. That is the minimum for lengthening to actually occur. You can hold it longer, but it won’t make any difference. 30 seconds is the magic number!
  • Almost every injury or anatomical issue can be aided by core strengthening. Planks, y’all. Your core protects your back, promotes good posture (which also protects your back), supports your legs, and helps with balance.

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speaking of form…

  • Form is everything. I’m sure you all knew this already, but this is just to reiterate. Don’t go for another rep or for the advanced variation of an exercise if your form is off. Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Oh, unless…DON’T DO IT. I’m guilty of bad form, and I have indeed injured myself as a result.
    • Also, make sure to learn proper form before performing an exercise. I’m guilty of this as well, and guess what. I hurt myself because I didn’t know what I was doing.
  • Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. This is especially for people recovering from injury or getting back into an exercise routine after some time off. You might feel great when exercising, so it is easy to over-do it and agitate your body. You have to think about how your body might respond later. 
  • It’s all about progressThe looks on patients’ faces when they can walk without a limp or raise their arms completely overhead for the first time in months— it is the best part of the job. Exercise and movement is about YOUR progress. You will be filled with so much more joy if you just concern yourself with that rather than everyone else’s abilities.

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even if it’s literally one step at a time up a mountain

  • Be thankful for the ability to move. Exercise is nourishing for our bodies (in healthy amounts, of course). Whatever you do to move, keep safety first and rest when you need to. Exercise doesn’t have to be about getting big, getting skinny, or hitting PRs. It can just be about joy. It can just be about necessity for health. In any case, be thankful for movement and don’t disregard the “easy” stuff. Every form of exercise has its place.

With all that said, my PT internship has helped encourage me realize that there are so many ways I can move my body and improve its fitness without pushing it too hard. I can work on flexibility/mobility, balance, and strengthening those smaller muscles.

Kayyyy I’m done talking…typing…whatever. Hope you all have a grand ol’ day!

So tell me:

Do you like pita bread? What would you put inside?

What is one way you’ve progressed with your exercise/fitness recently? Resting more counts 🙂 

{Disclaimer: All information I learned is from two physical therapists with their doctorate in physical therapy. One is also a certified personal trainer.}

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Hot Oats on a Hot Day

I ate hot oatmeal for the first time in a while yesterday!

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Part of me feels like hot oatmeal is not appropriate for the summer time, but the other part of me is okay with it because of the gift and privilege of air conditioning. Also, it was a dreary day yesterday, so hot oatmeal seemed cozy.

In case you’re wondering how I make my hot oats, here’s what I did:

Fluffy, Voluminous Banana Oats with Chia and Sunflower Seed Butter

(if I want to be creative with naming, I’ll call these “Ray of Sunshine on a Cloudy Day” Oats)

  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • half a very ripe banana, sliced
  • dash o’ cinnamon
  • pinch o’ nutmeg
  • splash o’ vanilla extract
  • drizzle of maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • heavy sprinkle of chia seeds
  • big spoonful of sunflower seed butter
  1. Chuck the oats in a small pot over medium heat. Add the water, milk, and banana.
  2. Once the pot bubble bubbles, toils, and troubles, start stirring. Add spices, vanilla, and maple syrup, and keep stirring until the oats are a little bit thicker than you’d like. It will become more fluid once the egg is added.
  3. Whisk the egg in a small bowl and then turn off the stovetop heat.
  4. Slowly and gradually pour whisked egg into the oatmeal while stirring vigorously (unless you like scrambled eggs in your oatmeal, I won’t judge)
  5. Once the egg is fully incorporated, add the chia seeds.
  6. Pour your fluff-tastic oats into your favorite bowl and use your favorite spoon to lay a generous scoop of sunflower seed butter (or any nut/seed butter) into the warm pillow of oats.
  7. Feel the warmth of the oats like a ray of sunshine and the fluff factor like that of a cloud. Your ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. The end.

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In other exciting news, I think I have a super tiny fish bone lodged into the side of my tongue/tonsil/Eustachian tube/all three. We took my uncle out for sushi last night at my favorite Japanese restaurant, and I guess there was a fine little bone in one of my pieces of eel avocado sushi that decided to make itself comfortable in my mouth. It kinda hurts and I don’t know what I’m going to do.

For now, I’m going to try brushing it out/waiting it out. If the pain escalates or the discomfort continues, I might have to go to the doc. That won’t be embarrassing.

“What brings you to the office today?”

“Sushi.”

Do any of you have any suggestions? I’ve heard that eating bread or bananas may help catch the bone to pull it out. I tried the banana, but that didn’t help a bit. I feel like the bone is completely buried.

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Lastly, head on over to my dear friend Emily’s blog, Beauty in Christ, if you would like to read my guest post about Healthy Living and Fulfillment. 🙂

Hope you all have a wonderful day! Watch out for fish bones!

So tell me:

Do you eat hot oatmeal even in the summer?

Have you ever gotten something stuck in your throat for a prolonged period of time? 

 

Virtual Breakfast Date

Have a seat and join me for some Monday morning conversation and delicious breakfast!

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…We would give thanks to God for having food to keep us nourished 🙂

…You would see that my breakfast has peanut butter and banana in it, and you’d roll your eyes at me because what else is new? If you have peanut butter and banana in your breakfast too, consider us best friends. If you don’t, consider us frienemies (just kidding, still best friends).

…I would tell you that Boston University has not had a full week of school yet this semester, and we will not have a full week of school until at least the week of February 23. Why? Because we have another snow day today (CRAZY!) and it’s President’s Day next Monday, so we have the day off.

…I would tell you that this is a sign to just adopt the four day work week.

…I would tell you that I’ve been eating bacon for breakfast sometimes, and I don’t hate it.

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…I would tell you that I’m a flippin’ DOOFUS. Exhibit A: I almost wore socks and sandals outside on two occasions (and apparently with the same pair of jeans). I wear socks with sandals inside my dorm because it’s convenient and so Gucci, but I’m not willing to share that kind of style with the rest of the world.

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Exhibit B: I was trying to do a little oats-in-a-jar action in the dining hall with my almost empty sunflower seed butter jar, but I didn’t wait long enough for the hot oatmeal to cool down before I put it into the plastic jar. I took a few bites of the oats and immediately noticed a plastic-y taste. I reasoned that consuming carcinogenic material was not worth the sunflower seed butter goodness, so I chucked it and ate French toast instead. Goooooo me!

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…I would tell you that Tori Kelly’s new single, “Nobody Love”, came out yesterday and it’s perfect.

…I would tell you that I love foods smushed between bread.

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(and that the sandwich guy was totally judging me for wanting guac on my roast beef sandwich)

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vegan bbq meatballs on a wheat roll!

…I would tell you that anatomy is really testing my brain capacity (and patience).

…I would tell you that my roommate knows me well. She brought back peanut butter cookies for me one night last week.

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…I would tell you that life is super busy but oh so beautiful. I am blessed.

…I would tell you that I must go now and take advantage of this extra time to study!

…I would ask you to tell me:

What is a doofus moment you’ve had recently?

Are you a huge fan of bacon?

Anything about your life!

WIAW: My New Favorite Thing

So there’s no Greek yogurt here at BU. Y’all know how much I love the stuff and tend to get a lot of it in my tummy…and on my laptop and calculator.

Since I’m currently separated from the creamy, tangy dairy product, I’ve found another thing that is quickly rising on my OMG-I-Want-It-Every-Day list (you have a list like that too, don’t lie).

It’s cottage cheese.

The sound of the words cottage and cheese together kind of make me squeamish, but I have been opened to a whole new world during this time of adaptation without Greek yogurt. You’ll see below how I like my cottage cheese.

I’ve also thrown in some of the other things I’ve been eating in the past week!

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Sharing my eats on Jenn’s WIAW!

Breakfasts

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Dorm oatmeal with vanilla protein powder, banana, and peanut butter

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Makeshift overnight oats: warmed up some quick oats with water, added protein powder and banana, put it into an almost-empty sunflower seed butter jar, left in fridge overnight, enjoyed in the morn!

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And again in a pb jar 🙂

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My new favorite thing: cottage cheese with strawberry yogurt and peanut butter + whole wheat apple cinnamon muffin with more pb + an apple + glass o’ milk

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Weirdest brunch ever: two eggs with veggies and whole wheat toast + three pieces of dim sum (dining hall special of that day) + my new favorite thing

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Whole wheat apple pancake with pb and a glass o’ milk + my new favorite thing…again.

Lunches

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Huge salad + roast beef, provolone, lettuce, tomato, honey mustard panini on multigrain

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Lunch with brother Ben: cornmeal-crusted fish tacos + a few bites of his “El Guapo” burrito that contained everything and anything (beef, rice, beans, veggies, sweet plantains…and probably more)

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Snacky lunch in the dorm: apple + Wheat Thins (a lot more than what’s pictured here) with sunflower seed butter (delicious!) + mixed nuts + unpictured banana

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Baked pollock with roasted potatoes and bruschetta + salad with a hard boiled egg, feta, and light honey mustard dressing

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Moroccan chicken with quinoa + salad with some sort of bean tuna salad and balsamic dressing

Snacks

LOTS of fruit and nuts!

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Post-workout oatmeal with vanilla protein powder, half a banana, and sunflower seed butter

Dinners

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Turkey breast + mashed sweet potatoes + cornbread(?) stuffing + broccoli {I did it all for the carbs. YUMMM.}

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Butternut squash risotto with vegan chicken + salad with lentils and honey mustard dressing

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A different kind of Moroccan chicken + squash (and later I ate spaghetti and a meatball with more veggies at the Catholic center!)

Desserts

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Yes. My new favorite thing for dessert too. With granola!

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Freshly baked apple pie and a brownie from one of the faculty in residence living on our floor! She even read us stories as we ate her baked goods. She’s the sweetest (pun intended)!

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Cookies and cream ice cream at bro’s apartment

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Vanilla soft serve with granola

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Free peanut butter Insomnia cookie before watching the hypnotist

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Banana cake. WOW so good.

Plus a bunch of other free cookies and treats that EVERYONE KEEPS PUTTING IN OUR FACES. I mean, I’m not complaining (I’m so grateful for such generous friends!), but this week has definitely been a little more sugar-coated than normal. I guess I can just stop getting things like banana cake from the dining hall…I guess…

Holy crap, so much foooooood. It’s a good thing we walk a lot here 😉

Happy Wednesday, friends!

So tell me:

What have you been obsessed with lately? 

Do you like cottage cheese? How do you like to eat it?

This is Why I Love Working Out

“Whoa.”

That’s how I feel about yesterday! It was tiring and busy, but incredibly joyful and blessed all the same.

My day started with breakfast and some moves outside since it was a picture perfect day. I did this arm workout from PurelyTwins and it burned my shoulders and core! I love that it was short and sweet too, because I was anxious to get this over with:

#ALSicebucketchallenge (<— click on the link to learn more)

That woke me up for sure! My uncle that I nominated thinks I didn’t pour enough ice water onto myself though. He said my bowl “ain’t no bucket. That’s more like a soda fountain cup.” I’m expecting him to stand under an ice cold waterfall now.

I air-dried pretty quickly while I got to work baking Jenn’s fluffy flax, fruit, and veggie bread (zucchini banana walnut bread)! It looks like chocolate, but it’s just dark because of the whole wheat flour. It’s not burnt either, I promise.

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End slice while it’s still warm and crispy with sunflower seed butter— a life necessity

After lunching and munching, moving and grooving, Mom and I tackled the next house project on our list: removing all the carpets from our rooms. Guys, I felt like I ran a half marathon (or something strenuous like that since I’ve never run that far in my life) after the 3.5 hours of cutting, ripping, rolling, carrying, and stair climbing. That stuff was a full body workout! So much respect for contractors.

This, my friends, is exactly the reason why I love working out. I can help my mom move heavy furniture, carry things up and down the stairs, and fold up huge pieces of splintered foam for hours. I felt every part of my body working yesterday, but I felt strong!

I also credit the large amount of nut butter I ate in an effort to keep my energy up but…The point is that I love to work out because it helps me kick butt at daily life. We can be great servants of God through very ordinary deeds.

I’ll step off my soapbox now.

When we finished all the work, I listened to “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” since it was going through my head all afternoon. Then we showered and collapsed in the living room, where our beds are currently located.

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I’m only smiling because I was overtired and giddy as heck. Mom even said, “You must be drunk.” I assure you I drank nothing but water and a peanut butter banana smoothie. But seriously, I was just so happy to be spending quality time with my mom and to be exhausted in a good way!

After chatting for a while with limp bodies, we pried ourselves from the mattresses to go eat dinner a la Groupon.

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We went to one of our favorite Korean restaurants and ordered a lot of food (all the things on the left besides the sushi on top came with our meals— they’re Korean side dishes!) because we needed to use the full value of the Groupon and we were so dang hungry. We shared all the side dishes, a tuna-yellowtail-salmon roll, broiled eel, and bibimbap. That crispy rice on the bottom of the bibimbap is GOLD. The eel was also amazing.

We cleaned up every single plate. The owner of the restaurant seemed kinda scared yet thankful when we stacked up all our dishes continuously.

I was full, but not too full for some more apple pie a la mode when I got home! 😀

{Mom is already fast asleep as I’m finishing this post. Knocked out!}

Hope you all have an awesome day!

So tell me:

Why do you love working out?

Have you ever eaten Korean food?