Summer Job + Recent Eats and Moves

I’ve had some pretty sick tan lines for the past few weeks, and I’m proud of them in an odd way.

There are two different shirt styles printed on my back though. Like, mostly a racerback tan line, but also a faint bathing suit tan line. It’s a good thing I’ll be working in business casual clothes and scrubs all summer.

Speaking of which…

Yesterday I started my job at a rehabilitation hospital!

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It’s called HELP (Health Experience Learning Program), specifically designed for college students studying to be health professionals. We’ll be exposed to various health professions through classroom and clinical learning experience, and I could not be more excited!

I felt like a nervous child on her first day of school going into it yesterday, but as the orientation went on, I felt more comfortable and made some friends (I hope)!


I haven’t done a classic show-and-tell of my eats, moves, and grooves recently. I don’t know about you guys, but these are some of my favorite kinds of posts (ex: Kath’s “Lately” posts) because I like a nosy quick and dirty rundown of someone’s food and fitness.

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Gina’s oatmeal cookie dough cereal with blueberries and bananas

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avocado, smoked salmon, roasted red pepper, artichoke, spinach in a Flatout wrap

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whole wheat toast: one with avocado, egg, sriracha + one with pepperjack cheese and egg

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overnight oat green smoothie

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spinach, tomato, chorizo, cheddar, avocado egg white omelette for Pop — I was so wishing that I made this for myself though

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Italian chicken, mozzarella, basil, balsamic toasted sandwich

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salad at a local Mexican restaurant (eaten with corn tortillas taco style) with the family

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summer watermelon

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dried figs with plain Greek yogurt!

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my new favorite pasta dish inspired by Fr. Barnes: whole wheat spaghetti tossed with olive oil, marinated artichokes, mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, spinach, Italian herbs, minced garlic, and lots of black pepper, topped with chicken/shrimp. WOWZA

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leftover oatmeal dried fruit cookies from Christmas (thank God for freezers)1

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overnight oats in a peanut butter jar on my first day of work

Moves and grooves these days have been really…organic. My workouts are chosen and done on a day-by-day basis, depending on what else I’m doing, how I’m feeling, and the weather. Honestly, this go-with-the-flow attitude allows me to have the most fun working out.

Last week involved a lot of rest and light hikes at Fiona’s summer house, but there were some other great workouts sprinkled in there!

Last Monday I knew I wanted to go outdoors for a workout. I also really wanted to use this wall, so I put on my creative cap (which I don’t have with me more often than not) and did this doozy of a workout:

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.jsI broke that dumbbell at the very end of the workout because I dropped it on the ground in my exhaustion. At least it was 25 years old and had a good life.

On Friday, I did Tina’s At-Home Chipper Workout outside also. For the squats and lunges, I used my makeshift sandbag (a canvas bag filled with a bunch of random free weights ~26 lbs.). The burpees and pushups were the hardest!

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Also, I know how I should do hollow rocks, but I feel like I am a useless, cranky banana when I do them.

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Sunday’s workout involved these:

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The stairs may be going up, but it kinda feels like hell.

3 rounds:

  • STAIRS UP
  • 5 pistol squats
  • 10 pushups
  • 15 v-ups
  • 20 tricep dips
  • STAIRS DOWN
  • 5 pistol squats
  • 10 pushups
  • 15 v-ups
  • 20 tricep dips

And then up the stairs uno màs.

My body still felt like a stone from Friday’s workout, so I let myself take decent breaks in between rounds.

those DAM stairs are always killer. nice to be back home for the summer 🌞 #fituniversity @gofitu

A video posted by Alison (@alison_grooves) on May 22, 2016 at 9:54am PDT

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.jsI also took a 1 hour walk on Saturday night in the drizzly dark while jamming out to music. Pretty sure all my neighbors thought I was an angsty teen.

Lastly, this yoga video saved my body from the tension and antsy-ness of sitting in orientation all day yesterday.

Hope you guys have a lovely day!

So tell me:

College students: What are you up to this summer?

What was your favorite summer job you ever had?

Do you like these kinds of posts?

Best way you moved this week!

Best dish you cooked this week.

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I’m {Actually} Not Obsessed With Working Out Anymore

Winter is HERE.

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Freezing temperatures hit us like a brick wall this week! However, since mother nature likes to think she has a sense of humor, she’s making it 70 degrees on Thursday. Keepin’ us on our toes.

For the time being, nothing warms you up like some poutine!

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My beautiful friends and I were on a mission to eat poutine from Saus— one of the foods on the bucket list that Rachel and I are determined to complete by graduation.

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If you’re not familiar with poutine, it’s a Montreal specialty that involves French fries covered in gravy and cheese curds. It sounds repulsive, but ohhhh man, it is delicious umami delight.

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Three of us shared a regular order topped with bacon and stout-braised beef, but I’m 99% sure they gave us pork belly instead. We didn’t complain.

I also ate something a little more nutritious—the lemongrass chicken in a whole wheat pita with “Pindasaus” (peanut sauce). So good!

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Thank you so much to Lauren’s dad for treating us! We and our college student wallets are grateful.

Other things from the weekend included…

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My lovely friend Fiona’s pass-in review for Army ROTC!

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street show watching

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a trip to Whole Foods for two jars of peanut butter, two boxes of peanut butter Puffins cereal, and two tubs of Greek yogurt. #Alison’sArk

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THIS.


Moves and grooves. I haven’t talked about them very much recently, huh?

This whole summer, I took it easy in terms of exercise in order to get my cycle started— only doing some bodyweight strength exercises, yoga, handstands, Pilates, and walking. I gained 10-15 pounds, felt more energized, and most importantly, started feeling more comfortable in my body than ever before.

After I messed up at the gynecologist office here in Boston, I finally got my lab work done and the results soon followed. The results evidenced that there’s nothing wrong with me so far. I know this doesn’t really say anything about something like hypothalamic amenorrhea (if that’s what I have), but being well past a healthy BMI and a very healthy body fat percentage, I just don’t have a clue what’s up. I apparently just need to give my body more time, but in the meantime, I have been exercising more (while making sure to fuel even more).

I mentioned several weeks ago that I’ve been participating in modern dance class twice a week as a physical education class, and I am loving it. I had forgotten how happy dance makes me. The dance class is definitely a step up from what I was doing this summer, in terms of intensity. I’ve also been working out at the gym once a week and doing some bodyweight/yoga workouts whenever I feel like it.

Now, I completely understand if this raises concerns about my whole amenorrhea situation, but in 100% honesty, my workout “regimen” (if you can call it that) is keeping me sane and happy amidst schoolwork and activities. Additionally, my attitude towards working out has transformed in the past year.

Just last year, I would often force myself to go to the gym, even if that meant sacrificing sleep. This year, I work out if I have the time and energy.

Last year, I would take a substantial amount of time to think about the workouts I should do that day/week. This year, I am completely going with the flow. 

Last year, I would do high intensity workouts multiple times a week. Yesterday, I did burpees for the first time in four months and I will probably keep those HIIT workouts to once a week, if at all. 

Last year, I would get anxious at the prospect of missing a workout. This year, I think about exercise, but stress is no longer an automatic response to the thought.

Last year, I would set a timer for myself to do some air squats, pushups, or burpees every 20 minutes if I was studying for a long time. This year, I don’t do that. I do like standing while studying still, but that has to do with my antsy-ness, not fitness.

Last year, I would do workouts that didn’t make me happy. This year, I have never loved exercise so much, because I allow myself to do what genuinely makes me feel good.

Last year, I would kinda-sorta monitor my body. This year, I’m only monitoring how healthy and energetic I feel.

Last year, I was still somewhat obsessed with working out. This year, I’m finally not.

To give you an idea of what a week of workouts looks like these days, here are moves and grooves from last week and this week so far:

  • Sunday: 45 min. yoga
  • Monday: apple picking 🙂
  • Tuesday: stretch and massage day for dance class
  • Wednesday: modern dance
  • Thursday: bodyweight exercises/yoga outdoors
  • Friday: leg strength at the gym
  • Saturday: rest
  • Sunday: 60 min. yoga
  • Monday: 100 burpees (← thought I’d try it. cardiovascular system was hurting ever so slightly. won’t be happening again soon.)

So that’s my update for you. My next gynecologist appointment is next month, so we’ll see what that brings. At this point, I really don’t know what’s wrong with my lady system. For now, I’m moving and grooving, but with a healthier mindset than ever…in my entire life.

Thank you for all your support and understanding in this ever-changing journey. It’s pretty crazy how recovery unfolds itself more, even when you think you’re already at a great place.

So tell me:

Have you ever eaten poutine?

One fun thing you did this weekend!

How has exercise/relationship with exercise been for ya? 

Overnight Breakfast Obsession

God bless refrigerators.

Some of you might know how much I love overnight oats (<— I need to update that recipe a little!), but in the past couple years I’ve discovered some other overnight breakfasts that are making me dance before I’m fully cognizant in the morning.

Not only are these breakfasts delicious (thanks to the breakfast trifecta), but they require little to no effort in the morning when you’re running late so ready to eat breakfast. Here’s a look at some of the overnight breakfasts I’ve been loving lately.

“Banana Pudding for Breakfast” via Yeah…Imma Eat That

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One of the most ingenious and impressive-looking breakfasts ever. It’s basically a peanut butter oatmeal cookie – yogurt parfait. Praaaaise.

Next up is this banana bread “custard” oatmeal, inspired by The Big Man’s World.

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Get this: You cook oatmeal on the stovetop the night before, and you add a whole egg and some coconut flour to make it the most doughy, fluffy oatmeal ever. Then you chill it in the fridge overnight, which makes it this dense, cake-like dish.

The night before, I cooked 1/2 c. rolled oats in 1/2 c. water and 1/2 c. milk. Then I stirred in half a very ripe banana, 1 tbsp. coconut flour, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, a pinch of salt, and a drizzle of honey. Once it was thickened, I turned off the heat and whisked in a whole egg.

Optional: eat with a side of plain Greek yogurt for some more texture and creamy dreaminess.

Last one is something you’ve often seen: overnight oat smoothies, inspired by Kath Eats.

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This is what I ate this morning, and it was the most luscious smoothie ever. I’m sad it’s gone.

In the blender last night:

  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/3 c. oats
  • 1/3 c. plain greek yogurt
  • cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1-2 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • pinch of salt

Pop it in the fridge. Then in the morning, add half a frozen banana and half a frozen peach (~1.5 c. frozen fruit total). Add more milk as needed to blend your concoction into a magical cloud of peachy, peanut buttery goodness.

The chia seeds and frozen fruit MAKE this smoothie.

I’m done fan-girling over my breakfasts.

(for today.)

Now onto Weekly Moves and Grooves! I’m still keeping workouts low-key and feeling pretty awesome. I’ve loved working on mobility and skills such as handstands this summer.

weekly moves and grooves

  • Friday: handstands and mobility in the hotel
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest
  • Monday: 8 minute abs
  • Tuesday: 45 minute yoga
  • Wednesday: 1 mile walk, (probably too many) air squats and other bodyweight leg exercises, handstands
  • Thursday: Rest

Today is my last day at my physical therapy internship! It’s been an amazing learning experience, and I’m grateful for the people with whom I’ve worked.

Tomorrow starts early for Dad and I, since we’re driving up to Ontariooooo. It’s been a hot minute since we visited our relatives in Canada, so I’m stoked!

Happy Friday! Let your hair loose, let your foot loose, don’t let your dog loose.

So tell me:

Do you like overnight breakfasts? Any favorites?

How did you move this week?

What are you doing this weekend?

Fancy Food + Weekly Moves and Grooves

Thank you to everyone who recommended a bunch of podcasts on yesterday’s post! I’m looking forward to listening to all of them and perpetuating my dependence on technology to keep me from feeling lonely.

I love that podcasts can make me laugh out loud. I like laughing. 😀

Since I started my internship at 3pm yesterday, I had a little bit of extra free time in the morning to make some more “fancy” food. Fancy = takes more time.

Breakfast was Frrrreeeench tooooast (said in my pitiful, wannabe-hardy French accent). I dipped Dave’s Killer Bread in a mixture of: 1 egg, a splash of 2% milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Then I plopped the battered bread into a skillet sizzling with butter.

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Served with a pool of peanut butter and bananas sautéed in a little more butter. Plus the last of a plain yogurt container with more cinnamon, nutmeg, stevia (yeah, I used it) and the sweetest of mangoes.

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For lunch, I had another English muffin sandwich with an egg, avocado, and goat cheese + salad + an unknown number of white cheddar Popcorners + a plum!

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Around 11AM I whipped out the crockpot and almost 6 lbs of boneless pork ribs, compliments of Costco. After practically sawing off the excess fat (I left plenty on, but I took off the 2 inch strips and chunks o’ fat), I seasoned the ribs with Bobby’s rib rub and then threw them into the crockpot with some garlic and onion.

8 hours later…

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Glamour shots.

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You can see my first taste of the ribs on Snapchat.

For dinner I served the ribs on microwave-steamed sweet potatoes with kale sautéed in avocado oil, salt, pepper, a little maple syrup, and spicy brown mustard (<— do this!). Plus a dollop of Greek yogurt because the ribs were kinda spicyyy.

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What a blesséd meal.

Since I haven’t shared my weekly moves and grooves in a couple weeks, I thought it was a good time to share again! Still keeping things pretty low impact/intensity and feeling great about it.

I’ve been working on gaining some flexibility and mobility back in some (all) of my tight joints with yoga and stretching. Physical therapy interning has me inspired to stay as mobile in my joints as possible!

weekly moves and grooves

  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: lower body barre
  • Sunday: 8 min abs
  • Monday: 60 min yoga
  • Tuesday: gymnastics warmup + handstands + lower body exercises
  • Wednesday: 3 mile walk
  • Thursday: 8 min abs + 60 min yoga

Hip hip hooray for Friday!

So tell me:

What did you eat for dinner last night?

Do you consider yourself flexible?

Sandwiches Taste Better Outdoors + Weekly Moves and Grooves

It’s TRUE.

When Jen from Peanut Butter Runner said, “sandwiches taste better on the beach,” I started hoping that I could experience a better-tasting sandwich based on the location at which I ate it.

Even though I didn’t go to the beach yesterday, I did eat lunch outside under the hot sun. The cars passing by sounded like waves washing ashore (Boston University Beach reference!), so it was close enough.

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whole wheat pita with avocado, hummus, pork souvlaki, mint, and sriracha

Lo and behold, my sandwich tasted ten times better than any sandwich I’ve eaten indoors this summer. Any psychologists out there wanna get a PhD in this matter? I can be one of your experimental subjects.

Another reason it could have tasted that much better is the fact that I had an unexpected day off my internship. I was only there for an hour before the PTs sent me home, since they forgot to tell me that they had a 2 hour meeting in the middle of the day.

Since it was such a nice day, I decided to walk around and explore the town. My internship is in a cute, quaint town half an hour away from my house, so I was excited to have a spontaneous date with myself. 😀

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I felt like the Barefoot Contessa walking into a boutique cookware shop and an organic, local market. I also wish I was a better food photographer so I could have an excuse to get ALL THE PRETTY THINGS.

I went home and napped for almost two hours. Excuse me?

I mean, I’ve usually been getting fewer than 8 hours of sleep per night, so maybe my body just wanted to catch up. But I was knocked out during this nap. I know because I don’t remember turning off my alarm after the first 45 minutes. I always feel slightly guilty when I indulge in such a long nap, but I know I need to honor my body and focus on rest this summer!

On that note, let’s move on to another edition of…

weekly moves and grooves

Saturday: 30 minutes pilates

Sunday: gymnastics warmup + 1 mile walk

Monday: 2 mile walk

Tuesday: 8 minute abs + messing around with dance choreography (missing dance like CRAZY this summer)

Wednesday: 20 min lower body barre + 2 mile walk

Thursday: donkey kicks and bridges + handstands

Friday: maybe a complete rest day, maybe some yoga, whatever feels right!

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Happy Friday, folks!!! Take a nap if you need it 🙂

So tell me:

Do you think food tastes better in a certain location/situation? Besides food tasting better when you’re hungry 😉

Do you like napping when possible?

How did you move this week?