Let Me Brag About My Friends Again

I’m currently sitting outside on this last day of spring break, and I’m feeling all kinds of emotions.

Sad that spring break is over, overjoyed that the weather has been beautiful, grateful for amazing friends, anxious for the second half of the semester, and excited for what’s to come.

But can I brag about these people in my life who I call my friends (I think they call me their friend too, but who really knows)? These last few days of spring break have been wonderful in every way, but mostly in how down-to-earth, fun, and faithful my friends are. I’ve said this so many times before, but they constantly inspire me to be better and grow closer to God.

Friday

Friday started with some homework, maybe? I don’t remember. Regardless, the important part of the day was Mass and lunch with my friend Katie!

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perfect weather

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We chatted about the very depths of our souls over some bomb salads from Sweetgreen. I forgot to take picture with her, so my type-A-blogger self is sad.

The rest of the day involved Kan-Jam, a trip to the gym (too many heavy squats ➔ sore for DAYS), homework, and early bedtime.

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Saturday

I worked from 10-3 before playing outside in the perfect weather (again). I also stopped by Whole Foods to buy a box of salad greens, Fage Greek yogurt (that was on sale!), fresh strawberries (also on sale) and Nature’s Path mixed berry buckwheat freezer waffles (also on sale #collegebudget). Those four things were my sustenance for the weekend.

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crumbs everywhere on my bed

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Yogurt, nut butter, waffles, berries, and leaves— nothing out of the ordinary for me anyway.

Saturday night brought some fun festivities! My friends and I went out for drinks…

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…and I was the only one in our group under 21, which explains my Shirley Temple pictured above.

*waitress taking orders*

Friend 1: Guinness, please.

Friend 2: I’ll also have a Guinness.

Friend 3: Guinness.

Friend 4: Guinness for me too.

Me: …Can I get a Shirley Temple?

Honestly, that’ll probably be me when I’m 21 anyway.

Nevertheless, ’twas a grand ol’ night, complete with live Irish music and dancing. I’m grateful for my older friends who let me have fun with them despite me being an infant.

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They went to another bar at 11, at which time I actually needed to go home. #NoFakeID

Sunday

That one hour loss, guys. IT GOT ME.

Nothing a good breakfast can’t fix though!

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Better yet— Mass with friends… and more perfect weather!

After Mass, I knew that I had to move and groove outside. It seemed like all of Boston was saying hello to the blue skies!

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I ran into more friends, who were willing to put up with my selfie shenanigans in the middle of their workout.

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We all burpee’d a lot.

Lunch was the rest of my salad greens, Snap Pea Crisps, and an almond butter Perfect Bar.

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I was planning on doing some more studying, but I didn’t need to do any work… So I went back outside 😀

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As soon as I whipped out my phone, this squirrel that was stuffing its face stared me down and looked like it was about to kill me.

More frisbee!

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It was also my friend Lauren’s birthday!!!

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four-eyed friends ♥︎ 

The dining halls opened last night (praaaaaise), so a few of us chowed down.

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Then I joined my saintly friends for Back Bay Mobile Soup Kitchen for a little while before coming back to do some work attempt to do work while waiting for RACHEL TO COME HOME!

She was on a mission trip in Guyana for spring break, so I had not talked to her/seen her/contacted her/known every detail of her life for what seemed like FOREVER. She shared her experiences from the mission trip, and I almost cried. God worked through her in such profound and incredible ways.

She also saw a lot of stars 🙂

Back to the grind today. Sophomore year will come to a close in just six weeks, help.

Hope you all have a kick-butt week! I’m going to need a couple kicks in the butt just to get out of bed.

So tell me:

Something you loved about this weekend.

Something you love about your friends.

Have you ever been “that” person under 21?

Have you ever been on a service or mission trip?

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My Diet is the Anti-Whole30

Whole30. Have you heard of it?

Perhaps you have seen some bloggers or other social media figures try it out. I had seen a handful of bloggers mention it or try it for themselves in the past, and I noticed that Jen @ Peanut Butter Runner and Robyn @ The Real Life RD (both ladies I adore!) are currently partaking in the program.

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In case you have no idea what the Whole30 Program is, it’s essentially a 30 day eating program that cuts out certain food groups (such as dairy, legumes, added sugars, and grains) that could have a negative impact on overall health.

It’s not a diet in the sense of cutting out food groups for the sake of attaining a certain body shape or weight. It IS a diet that completely cuts out “psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days.” Learn more here.

Both Jen and Robyn are participating in Whole30 mainly for health reasons (skin issues, overall energy, etc.), and I’ve enjoyed following their Whole30 experiences so far. I especially love Robyn’s persistent message about NOT restricting on Whole30.

It got me thinking: Huh, maybe this would help with that nice zit and dry skin on my face. Or the discomfort that I currently feel in my intestines. Or my raging sweet tooth…

But then I started thinking about a few things:

  • In college, it would be a pain in the butt to scope out Whole30-approved foods in the dining hall.
  • I would really feel uncomfortable declining a whole host of foods or requesting uber-specific cooking instructions when eating out.
  • My current diet is the anti-whole30.

…And I just don’t want to change it. I could. But let’s take a look, shall we?

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Wednesday’s breakfast was Kylie’s “banana pudding for breakfast“. It includes yogurt, peanut butter, oatmeal, and honey. All foods in red are no-no’s in Whole30.

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Wednesday’s dinner was two hard-boiled eggs that were marinating in teriyaki sauce + salad with cheesy, saucy pasta.

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Yesterday’s breakfast was leftover green pancakes (made with oatmeal, milk, and maple syrup) topped with Greek yogurt and banana cream sauce.

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Yesterday’s lunch was a Flatout wrap with avocado + egg + sriracha and cheese + egg. Plus some carrots, crackers, and hummus.

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A couple more breakfasts from this week with dairy, oats, some kind of added sweetener, and peanut butter.

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Check out this fabulous late night yogurt mess with peanut butter and granola.

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This delicious and wholesome dinner was brown rice + chicken (marinated in a lime, cilantro, olive oil and honey) + zucchini sautéed in olive oil.

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A meatless lunch of quinoa, avocado, roasted broccoli, hummus, and sriracha would not make the cut.

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Nay to this gem.

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Hey, look! This could work! Salad and chicken….marinated in honey mustard and olive oil, darn.

You get the point— I need dairy, oats, legumes, and sriracha.

Now, I’m not saying that I couldn’t ever commit to Whole30, and I am NOT trying to bash Whole30 whatsoever. I think it sounds like a great and wholesome eating program that aims to help people feel better. After all, I’m writing this post because I’ve been contemplating how Whole30 could be beneficial for me.

At this point in my life, I truly believe that I could do Whole30 without the temptation to restrict (calories, carbs, or fats). However, I realize that Whole30 would be a drastic change to my diet. Maybe Whole30 would “change my life” (as their website says) for the better, but I don’t currently see the benefits outweighing the costs:

  • No oats, rice, pizza, pasta, quinoa
  • No milk, yogurt, ice cream
  • No peanut butter (← problematic)
  • I would have to make my own nut milk.
  • I would have to ask every dining hall station what kind of oil/added sugars they use to cook the food (i.e. I would not be able to eat in the dining hall).
  • I would not be able to enjoy eating out with friends.

…even if it is just 30 days. In college, that is too much added stress.

Yes, it would be awesome if Whole30 helped me have fewer skin problems, a GI tract that basically never feels icky, and a little more energy around the clock. However, for me personally right now, it is not attainable. Maybe some other time.

I do love to eat healthy foods most of the time, and I feel pretty great as a result. So I guess I will appreciate how great I feel right now and not think about how great I could feel on Whole30. 🙂


 

P.S. I’m currently very averse to many foods because when I was blending a green smoothie earlier, the motor started smoking and it made the smoothie smell and taste DISGUSTING. I sadly threw the first batch out and made it again, but I couldn’t get the nauseating odor/taste out of my head. When I ate peanut butter later, the taste of it was almost like the nasty blender taste for some reason. As a result, I’m averse to peanut butter right now and it’s freaking me out!!!

Anyway, here’s some positivity to end this post:

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Linking up with Amanda’s Thinking Out Loud party today!

So tell me:

Have you ever tried Whole30?

Would you try it?

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? 

Boston to New York to Boulder

Good morning, sunshine (from Boulder, Colorado)!

Before I give you the lowdown on how I got to Boulder, I want to wish all the mamas in the world a {belated} Happy Mother’s Day! Y’all are real life superheroes— ones who are beautiful, strong, and loving. Of course, I am especially thankful for my own mother. I love you so much, Madre!

Alrighty. What the heck is up!?

I finished my freshman year of college!!! All I can think is: “That just happened” and “IT’S BLOWING MY MIND.” I’ll expand more on my feels tomorrow.

Final exams came and went, and so far they went well, despite organic chemistry being a sweaty and sniffly experience. While I was taking my last final on Friday, Madre helped me move out all my stuff from the dorm (I’m telling you— superwoman), and then we departed from Boston.

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I had a heavy heart saying goodbye to my friends and to the city of Boston, especially when my roommate threw this sap bomb on me:

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the cutest way to ask me to be her roomie again // love you, girl!

Also, Rachel wrote me the most heartfelt note that triggered some waterworks. But I’ll be back in Boston a couple times this summer to visit some friends, so it won’t be long until I return!

Upon arriving at home in New York (which almost feels like my secondary home now— whoa), I was craving my favorite oatmeal cookie dough smoothie, so that’s what I ate for dinner.

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with plain Greek yogurt for dipping, like old times

I also picked up some tapioca pudding at the grocery store. I’d say I got it because it’s my childhood favorite, but I probably got it mostly because I was feeling emotional/moody/tired. No regrets.

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Saturday was pretty busy, but I made sure to start it off right by “makin’ banana pancakes…” (I used this recipe from Cookin’ Canuck.)

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eaten with plain Greek yogurt, Nuttzo power fuel, and maple syrup // these were fat and fluffy pancakes! 🙂

And lunch was mama’s home cooking, which is always a win.

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curry catfish with sautéed tofu and zucchini over salad

After a long day of unpacking from Boston, packing for Colorado, working on a top secret Mother’s Day project for Madre, and Mass, my family and I went out for dinner at an upscale Laotian restaurant in the city called Khe-Yo.

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We ordered the special tasting menu, hence the epic amount of food (which we almost totally finished). So much delicious fish and so much sticky rice— Laotian food done right.

Our 4:45 AM wakeup on Sunday came much too quickly after I stayed up late packing, but I was still pumped to be en route to Colorado with my mom and brother. We’re here to explore Boulder for a few days, and then I’m going to Blend at the end of this week!

I very much appreciated this treadmill desk // found in the Minneapolis airport during our layover 

We traveled all yesterday morning, and then the rest of our day in Boulder involved lunch at Whole Foods, shopping, a workout, dinner, and blogging!

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Today we’re going to Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater! I am so excited for our Colorado adventures. I love seeing the mountains and breathing in the fresh air. The only thing that is throwing me for a loop is the SNOW that’s on the ground. Cue flashbacks to our snow-tastic Boston winter that lasted a little too long.

I hope you all have a lovely day!

So tell me:

What food were you craving this weekend?

Have you ever been to Denver or Boulder, CO? What do you love to do there!?

If you went away for college, did you feel like college became your home?

I Eat With Gusto

Hello from Beantown!

And happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day to my American friends! Fun fact: he received his PhD at Boston University, hollaaaa. In honor of such a courageous and exemplary man, here are some of my favorite quotes of his:

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

I have decided to stick to love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.

We must use time creatively.

Thank you, MLK Jr. ♥

Friday

My train commute to Boston was smooth and swift, thanks be to God. Mom even packed me a bag full of pomegranate arils because she is sweeter than the pomegranate itself.

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complete with a plastic spoon

Ben was also kind enough to help me take my bags from the train station to my dorm since I’m a chronic over-packer and had about twice the bag/weight limit. I took him out to lunch afterwards at one of our favorite spots— Mei Mei’s!

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We both ordered “The Double Awesome” scallion pancake sandwich (Mei Mei’s special), which has local greens pesto, Vermont white cheddar, and two oozy eggs. Sounds like heaven, tastes like heaven. Ben also shared a bite of his fried pork dumplings and sriracha rice with me. Mmmm.

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That orange is not cheese. It’s yolky deliciousness that I got on my face, on my sweater, and in my hair. It’s all or nothing with this kind of food. Ben and I were sitting at the window barstools, so the world could see us grappling with our sandwiches and fighting to catch every drop of egg yolk.

Ben wants to try to make this at home, but he said, “I need to perfect the art of the egg. Like, how do you make it watery?”

Me: “You mean…runny?”

Ben: “…yeah.”

Silly dude.

So, uh, college life. I do love it, but I was living off of naked salad and yogurt for the first couple of days when the dining halls were still closed. I went to Whole Foods and picked up a small box of spring mix with herbs and five Fage Greek yogurt cups that were on sale.

Behold, dinner.

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I ate the salad with just salt and pepper because I didn’t want to spend money on dressing for just two days. It tasted…green. But honestly, these are some of my favorite foods anyway, so I’m not complaining. Protein, greens, and peanut butter. Got my food groups covered.

Saturday

Moves to start the day: 100 burpee challenge!

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Breakfast involved yogurt and oats a la microwave.

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How a proper lady would eat this: one bowl at a time.

How I eat this: dip my spoon back and forth between bowls to get some yogurt and some oats in every bite and licking my spoon clean of all the nut butter.

I worked for most of Saturday and ate more of my greens for lunch, plus two Wasa crackers with Laughing Cow cheese, curry powder, and black pepper. You need to try that combination!

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I quite enthusiastically ate handfuls of pomegranate arils immediately after work because crackers and leaves aren’t a substantial lunch for me and I was hungryyyy. Then I came back to my dorm and ate yogurt #2 of the day.

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Afterwards, I braved the cold and jogged to the gym for an upper body workout. When I jogged back, expecting to eat dinner in the dining hall, I was greeted with disappointment. Dinner was only from 5-7 pm Saturday night instead of the usual 5-9 pm.

To Subway I went!

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grilled chicken, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and honey mustard on wheat

Subway is so good. I followed this up with the rest of my greens, snap pea crisps, and yogurt cup #3.

I was FaceTiming with mom when I was eating dinner, and she remarked at my large mouthfuls of salad. It’s true— I can’t eat salad in a pretty manner. You either eat one leaf at a time or you look like a brontosaurus. I prefer the latter so that I can actually taste the salad.

Don’t get me wrong, I like to take my time when I eat, and I can eat like I’m with the Queen of England if I wanted. But sometimes (most of the time) I just eat with gusto.

Sunday

The dining hall was open all day yesterday, so I definitely hit that up for breakfast!

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oatmeal with coconut, honey, peanut butter, and banana + egg white, veg, cheese omelet

Fill.ing.

I went to Mass at the Catholic center and had a hug fest with all my dear friends again. Ugh, so happy. Then a couple of my friends and I made our wallets cry when we went to buy/rent books for classes. At least you get a reusable bag when you spend over $400.

I ate a super late lunch of veggies and chicken, and little later, moves were done with my pal Albert! We did abs and ran two miles on the treadmill.

Dinner was weird because I had a late lunch, but I wanted to eat before the dining halls closed. That being said, it was tasty!

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salad + whole wheat corn muffin + pear

I saved the pear for later because I wanted my fruit in another form…

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apple crisp a la mode!!!

The crust was buttery, sugary perfection. Oh, what BU dining hall desserts do to me.

We have today off for MLK Jr. day so this is my last day before we dive into the real work. If you also have a day off today, have a great one! If you don’t, still have a great one!

So tell me: 

Are you an enthusiastic eater?

I can buy three things from the grocery store to eat for the weekend. I buy___, ____, and ____.