Before Going Back to Reality

I’m going back to Boston today!!!

As sad as I am to be leaving my family, I am very looking forward to being with my friends and doing all the learning and activities back at Boston University. It’s been almost 8 months after all!

I don’t know how I’ll do jumping back into reality after what feels like a five month vacation (with study abroad and winter break), but these last few days of break have been the perfect last hurrah.

Here are some things I’ve done before going back to reality:

1) Made my favorite green silver dollar banana pancakes from The Healthy Maven on Thursday morning.

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as always, topped with Greek yogurt, peanut butter, cinnamon, maple syrup + glass o’ milk

2) Gone on long, contemplative walks around the neighborhood.

3) Had lots of solo dance parties in my room.

4) Tried a new fitness class for free with a voucher that came in the mail! It’s called Body Burn, and I think the concept is similar to that of Orange Theory Fitness. You wear a Polar heart rate monitor across your chest, and you try to keep up your HR elevated at around 80-90% of your max HR throughout the entire 45 minute circuit training class.

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Since I went to the relatively new Friday 9AM class, I was the only one who showed up, so it was basically a 30 minute personal class with a swole Italian-American trainer. It was fun! Some treadmill, rowing, TRX, weights, resistance band work, and abs. It wasn’t the hardest thing ever, but I wasn’t pushing myself that hard (my quads were still sore from Wednesday + plantar fasciitis). Hopefully I can go again one day!

5) I’ve eaten a lot of cold roasted vegetables straight out of their container. Doesn’t take much to please me.

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G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S

6) Madre and I went on a sushi and bakery date on Friday ♥︎

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7) I ate plenty of said bakery items.

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huge, buttery poppy seed rolls

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amazing apple cinnamon cake (look at all that apple! and the crumble topping 10/10)

8) I saw Daliza and Michael on Friday night! It was lovely catching up with those two.

9) The fam and I attended a 6 hour defensive drivers’ course on Saturday. #weekendthings. It’s for insurance reduction. We went three years ago to a different company’s course, but this year’s by AAA was a lot more interactive and less boring 🙂

10) We went to Mass and a huge, fancy {Groupon} dinner at  Xaviars X2O on the Hudson on Saturday night!

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just some of the goodies: brown butter pine nut ricotta ravioli for my appetizer (THE BROWN BUTTERRRRR) // Madre’s seared tuna sashimi appetizer //  my banana walnut bread pudding // Madre’s carrot cake // Ben’s warm chocolate lava cake  // delicious quail with kale, mushrooms, and fingerling potatoes for my entree // Ben’s grilled octopus appetizer // complimentary chocolate almond truffles after the whole meal (“omg they’re giving us more food.”)

We share everything when we eat out, but this was still SO MUCH FOOD (thanks to Groupon – three courses were included for EACH person!). And if what’s pictured above wasn’t enough, Pop had a pâté plate for his appetizer, Ben had pork chop for his entree, Madre had an incredible stuffed chicken for hers, and Pop had rabbit and egg noodles for his. They also had complimentary cheese biscuits to start, so you know we were on board for that.

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The food and the company were just splendid 🙂

10) I ate some refreshing soluble fiber the next morning in the form of delicious chia egg white banana oats for the first time in a long time!

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11) I’ve been movin’ and groovin’ in the good ol’ basement.

  • Saturday: Michelle and Lori’s 100 burpee workout (subbed full burpees for the side burpees) before the defensive drivers’ course
  • Sunday: 700 reps of Jess’ killer 1000 rep workout (subbed bent over rows for the T pushups)

My workouts were feeling just meh last week, which is totally fine, but it was nice to finally feel like I could attack Sunday’s workout and finish feeling totally spent!

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I was keeled over on my side right before I took this photo

12) I ate a slice of Chicago deep dish sausage pizza that my aunt sent us.

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oh hot dang

13) I packed a crap ton of stuff for college, because Megan and I are living together in an apartment, wee!!

14) I’ve indulged in watching Kyle Hanagami’s dance choreography on repeat.

I can’t wait to dance again (not this well, but I can try)!

15) Lastly, I’ve been blogging (obviously). I will miss the freedom to blog at a leisurely pace, but alas, schoolwork calls!

I hope you all have a great Monday! Dance, eat lotsa carbs, and let someone know how much you love them.

So tell me:

Two things you did this weekend!

Best thing you ate this weekend?

Have you ever tried Orange Theory Fitness or something similar?

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Summer Food Bucket List

I feel like a new woman!

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Chopped it.

My mom said that I haven’t had my hair this short since I was, like, five years old. It’s true! If I look like a youngster, I might as well embrace it. Apparently this hair length is called a “lob”➔ long+bob.

There’s a lob on my head.

Ba da bop ba baaa, I’m lobbin’ it.

Like my lob? 

In other news, I made some fancy chicken last night. I say fancy only because it took me forever to make and I made it in a cast iron skillet. Oh, and it had mushrooms and {dried} rosemary in it.

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I used this recipe

I had it over some slightly mushy brown rice, because I’m that person who doesn’t know how to cook rice properly. WITH a rice cooker.

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Last week I shared my summer bucket list, which included a bunch of activities I’d like to do before heading back to college. This week I have another summer bucket list— for food!

I should take advantage of the blessed availability of a kitchen while I’m home. Also, I want to make an effort to find some awesome food festivals and events in my county and in NYC. I’m not naturally an adventure-seeker, so when I discovered Eventbrite, I decided to join their summer bucket list for food festivals and events. It’s a good opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and find adventures!

Why not, right? I live next to the Big Apple for crying out loud— home of some of the best and most diverse food in the world!

This is a two-part bucket list. The first part is a list of foods I’d like to make at home, and the second part is a list of restaurants and food events I want to check out.

I’m going to use the term “bucket list” lightly this time, because I know I cannot check off all the following items. But at least I have a list, a sense of direction, and motivation! Right? Just nod your head in agreement, please.

The Food to Make

  • Peach cobbler {a la mode, of course}

peach cobbler

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  • Homemade pizza
  • Homemade popsicles
  • Peanut butter cookies
  • Fresh lemonade
  • Banana soft serve

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  • Fish tacos
  • Salmon burgers/fish cakes
  • Re-creation of Mei Mei’s “Big Awesome” scallion pancake sandwich (one of the best things I’ve ever eaten)

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  • Soba noodle salad
  • Homemade shamrock shake
  • Bananas foster
  • Muffins of any kind

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  • Cheese biscuits (just because I need something to fill the space in my heart after having these ones in Florida)

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I’ll come back for you one day…

The Places and Events

  • Bareburger

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  • Rice to Riches
  • Festa Italiana at a local church (for the meatball sub ♥)

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Nope, this post is not sponsored. I just thought Eventbrite was onto something groovy. They have this cool event management page, where people and companies can create and organize events and sell tickets. I actually found a few of the events listed above through Eventbrite! Their website makes it easy to find the location and type of event you’re looking for.

So go seek adventure this summer. You might discover fun things like a gelato class or a Greek festival! You might also learn that you can’t cook a certain food. Like rice.

So tell me:

Three things you want to cook/bake this summer!

One food event you want to attend this summer.

What is your hair length right now?

Have you ever messed up cooking a food that is supposed to be dumb easy?

Weekly Moves and Grooves XXII {Long-Term Progress}

Hi!

Phew, it has been an exhausting but AWESOME spring break! I can’t wait to tell you all about how the rest of our week went tomorrow. (Hint: it involves copious amounts of food.)

Which is one reason we like to move and groove as well 😉

weekly moves and grooves

Sunday

gymnastics warmup + Julie’s Can’t Stop Won’t Stop workout

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I remember the very first time I tried Julie’s “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop” circuit workout when she first posted it three years ago, and it would KILL ME. I had to take breaks during the intervals, and I would pause the timer sometimes to catch my breath.

It is still an awesome workout and it makes me a sweaty beast to this day, but I can definitely push myself through the workout more strongly and quickly. Hooray for progress (and eating more to fuel workouts)!

Monday

dynamic warmup + circuit workouts

5 rounds:

  • 8 calorie row
  • 10 pushup burpees
  • 16 kettlebell swings (25#)

5 rounds:

  • 10 overhead press (15#)
  • 15 goblet squats (35#)
  • 20 modified v-ups/v-ups

For warmups nowadays, I’ve been doing lots of planks, sun salutations, and dynamic stretches, rather than straight up cardio machinery. I personally find that it’s more interesting, motivating, and effective to warm up this way!

Tuesday

lots of walking in NYC (approx. 7.5 miles)

Wednesday

more walking in NYC (approx. 7.5 miles again)

Thursday

gymnastics warmup + Lindsay’s Legs on Fire Tabata

The legs on fire tabata is another workout I would do often when I was becoming more interested in fitness a few years ago. I would barely be able to make it through the first two tabata sets before needing to take a longer break. This time around, I still need a break between the third and fourth sets, but I’m definitely feeling a lot more power and speed in my movements.

Friday

lots of walking all around my hometown (approx. 5 miles)

Saturday

25 pushup burpees + 25 burpee tuck jumps + pull-ups + lots of walking in NYC (approx. 7 miles)

I did the two sets of burpees and pull-ups at home before and after our NYC adventure. Although, it would have been cool if I did them in the city, eh?

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Rachel and I are on a bus back to Boston right now! Spring break is coming to a close, but it was absolutely wonderful and we’re ready to see our friends in Boston again. Whether or not we’re ready to get back to the grind is another issue…

Happy Sunday!

So tell me:

What kind of long-term progress have you seen in your fitness journey?

What is your favorite way to warm up?