Lately Obsessed #5

I’ve been home for spring break for five days now, but these five days have been jam-packed with good food (that’s always the highlight of coming back home 😉 ).

So I decided to share some of the food I’ve been eating in the beginning of break in the “Lately Obsessed” format.

Ready for a picture overload? Let’s go!

ONE // Lunch dates with my mom @ Nordstrom Cafe

Nordstrom Cafe isn’t anything special, but my mom and I have been going there for lunch ever since I was in 3rd grade, so it’s pretty much a staple in our books. Whether it’s lunch after I get let out of break, after a play, after field day, after finals, after a long and tiring shopping trip, my mom and I love to eat at Nordstrom Cafe. There are perennial favorites such as the penne pasta or the vegetable panini. They had a few months ago a kale and mushroom salad special and it was so good! Please bring it back!

This time around (we literally went to Nordstrom Cafe the first full day back home haha), we got the penne pasta but we decided to order the prosciutto arugula salad. We were pleasantly surprised – the pizza was really really delicious! Funny though because both my mom and I took off the prosciutto which we joked was probably why the pizza was on the pricer end, haha.

 

TWO // Healthy snacking

Some say three solid meals a day, some say five to six small meals a day. I go back and forth, ranging from three to six meals, but the past few days, I’ve been snacking on some crackers. I’ve eaten Terra chips before, but these kale crackers!!!! They are soooo good. They have a lot of flavor and are great to go with hummus. My mom and I finished the entire container that afternoon we bought them from the grocery store, haha (although to be fair, there weren’t a lot of crackers to begin with).

 

THREE// The salad bar at my dad’s workplace

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I’ve definitely ranted about this before in previous blog posts and in my Instagram stories (follow us at @avolicious_blog), but my dad’s office has THE BEST salad bar. Like seriously…  Today, I brought an avocado from home since the one thing that the salad bar doesn’t have is avocado, which is understandable (that’s called dedication haha). But otherwise, everything is from this insane salad bar. I have arugula as the base, quinoa, barley, roasted butternut squash, pesto cream chicken, hard boiled egg, tomatoes, and sunflower seeds drizzled with olive oil. <insert face with heart eyes emoji here>

FOUR// Dinner’s at home

Nothing beats mom’s cooking! My mom makes THE BEST japchae (a Korean noodle dish). She made it the first night back (she knows me and my tastebuds too well haha). And also, despite being allergic to crabs and lobsters, tonight we had crab cakes for dinner. Argh…so good! She also got lots and lots of grapefruit for me from Costco (grapefruits are my favorite winter fruit). So yeah…I’m just in tastebud heaven right now.

 

FIVE// Lots and lots of avocado toast

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What did you expect? Of course, I’m chowing down on my avocado toasts! I think I’ve had one at least once every day I’ve come back home. I mean look at that color! Together with the chia seed (and sometimes smoked salmon if we have it in the house) and perfectly toasted bread, ugh it’s a feast for the stomach!

What are your latest obsessions?

xoxo,

Stephanie

 

 

 

 

Lately Obsessed #4

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I usually edit my blog and Instagram posts on VSCO, but this picture is wholly UNEDITED. Isn’t this beautiful?

ONE // drinking tea

Not only do I love drinking tea as the weather is so cold, tea helps both in calming me as well as rejuvenating me. The hot aromatic taste allows me to take a mental break from my busy school day. At the same time, I drink green tea (black black tea like earl gray for times that call desperate measures) instead of coffee. 

It’s also a great idea to drink tea in order to keep your body warm during the extremely cold temperatures (are any of you guys facing EXTREMELY cold temperatures?!)

TWO// moderate exercise

After being cut from winter track, I vowed that I would do as much work and running as winter track. That I would be fit just like the distance runners in my track team. However, after feeling pain creeping up onto the same place I got my stress fracture from XC, I decided against this extreme plan and turned to exercising for the purpose that I actually started loving it. To do it for stress relief and to find energy and happiness. 

Thus, instead of madly scrambling for the gym / from an outside run back inside to finish my homework, I’ve decided to exercise when my schedule allows for it. Right now, my priority is being a student and maybe there was a reason i got from track. Maybe I was being too obsessive over exercise (that I exercised everyday without fail over summer and thanksgiving break) and that this obsession for exercise, a healthy activity, was turning into an unhealthy one. 

So instead of working out six days a week, for at least over half an hour, with only cardio, I’ve been trying to do 3-4 workouts a week that are relatively short and mix cardio AND strength training. 

Read my blog post about workout plans if you haven’t already – I’ve been sticking to this regime, but the moderate version. 

THREE // meditation

I don’t necessarily meditate, but after our church’s youth group went on a retreat this winter break, I’ve been trying to do quiet time (dubbed QT) for 3-4 mornings every week. 

I’ve done it for one week now back in school (whereas back at home over winter break I had did it after I slept in and had my breakfast/lunch). I’ve set my alarm 20 minutes earlier than usual for QT. I go downstairs to the common room, plug my earphones to my Mac and listen to some Christian pop music and journal my thoughts and notes and I read the Bible. It’s only been a couple of weeks, but having this sort of routine has helped me so much. It has helped me become more calm and relaxed before I start my hectic day. It has helped me to complain less and be grateful for a day full of opportunities. It has helped me become a more selfless person and find areas where I can improve as a student, friend, daughter and human being. I really encourage y’all to try mediating this year. Even just for five minutes. 

What are you guys obsessed with this week?

Xoxo,

Stephanie

P.S.: Check out my other Lately Obsessed posts here, here, and here.

My 2016 Health and Fitness Faves

2016 is over in a couple of minutes (or might be already over by the time you read this), BUT I wanted to share a couple of my 2016 health and fitness faves.

ONE// Wearable tech

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While I personally don’t have any wearable tech items (as my mom fears about radiation…) I think 2016 was the year for wearable tech. I’ve seen from Jawbone, FitBit, Polar, Garmin and more on the arms of fitness junkies and ordinary people alike! It’s great that these wearable tech items are slim, pretty discreet, and easy to use. I really hope to persuade my mom to let me get one!

TWO// Foam rolling

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Now this is something I’ve personally experience and reaped benefits of. I had extremely tired quads at the end of summer after a sudden increase in running mileage. My old running coach (that I still contact to this day) recommended that I take a break from running and instead, foam roll for a good 40 minutes. 10 minutes for quads, 10 minutes each for side of the leg, and 10 minutes for hamstrings. While it was a mundane motion, foam rolling definitely helped me recover quickly!

 

THREE// Yoga

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While yoga has always been touted as a healthy practice for the body and mind, I feel like it has gotten a lot of hype this year. I’ve personally love to do yoga as a nice way to stretch my body and challenge my body in a different way.

 

FOUR// Healthy and cute food restaurants

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from my What I Ate in Korea blog post 1 and 2

I personally am so happy about this! I feel like recently there’s been so many healthy restaurants that are both cute and popular, although they are on the expensive side. When visiting NYC or Seoul this year, I’ve definitely seen a lot of places to eat where there are green-colored and fresh foods instead of brown and fried ones. Especially, meals with avocado has been getting the hype recently!

 

FIVE// Superfoods

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from Serena’s “detox” juice

My maternal grandmother and my mom is a huge fan of superfoods, so I’m definitely one as well. I think during 2016, we’ve seen a lot of acai, goji, maca, noni, and cacao from the media.

In addition, not really a superfood, but chia seeds and hemp seeds have been getting a lot of praise as well.

 

SIX// Green juices/smoothies

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Oh. my. goodness. How could I not list green juice? I think this is a pretty self-explanatory item.

But one thing to note: some green juices can have a lot of sugar so watch out. It’s always best to make your own one (check out my green smoothie recipe from this year)!

SEVEN// Vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, gluten-free …

There’s also been a lot of encouragement, support, and development into diets and lifestyles that are necessarily the standard carnivore or American diet. I love taking a peek into “What I Eat in a Day” videos where the eater has a certain/specific diet.

I personally still eat red meat and all, but I truly respect all who make the choice to eat a certain way.

Check out Serena’s blog post about her diet switch!

EIGHT// Body confidence

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I feel like during 2016, the media as well as celebrities spread messages about body confidence and body image. So necessary in this day and age. #preach

Check out some of my body image posts here and here.

 

Hope 2017 can be another health and fitness filled year!

How did you ring in the New Year?

xoxo,

Stephanie

 

Lately Obsessed #3

I haven’t done these posts in a while — I totally forgot I had this category!

I’ve definitely accumulated some favorites over the past few months and can’t wait to share with you!

ONE // Asics Running Shoes

Screen Shot 2016-12-30 at 11.23.51 PM.pngIf you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know I’ve been struggling with my running injuries. I’ve usually always stuck to Nike for running shoes, but based on some recommendations, I decided to try out Asics. OH MY GOODNESS They are not the most aesthetically pleasing shoes, but they are super comfy. You are literally walking on clouds.

Highly recommend.

These are the current (but definitely not last) pairs I have: Asics Gel Kayano

 

TWO// Salad bars

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If you’ve been following our Instagram, but more specifically our Instagram stories, you know I’ve been obsessed with the salad bar at my dad’s workplace. It’s been a tradition now that we go down to get lunch, see who has the heavier salad, and then after a nice lunch to catch up, get some chai tea before heading back to work.

My dad’s workplace has salmon, chicken, tofu, quinoa, black beans, roasted butternut squash, and mushrooms EVERYDAY and arugula. My lucky dad…

 

THREE// Journaling

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I am a journaling fanatic. I love all stationery… Moleskines and Muji pens anyone? I’ve personally written in diaries ever since I was young – ranting about my crushes and my dreams to be a princess, lol.

But now, I journal a lot about my feelings. As humans, it’s natural for us to think, worry, and overthink a lot. So I personally find it’s therapeutic to write my feelings down so I feel somewhat put together. It really makes a world of a difference. Sort of like meditating, which is all the range these days.

I journal personally about my body image, my self-esteem, and my confidence both in my capabilities and appearance.

 

What are you currently obsessed with?

Or what have been your 2016 faves?

xoxo,

Stephanie

Lately Obsessed #2

This week has been a bit more low-key but nevertheless crazy week. I’m heading back to boarding school next Saturday so our family is in get ready mode (read: creating lists of what we need to buy, but not really going out and getting those things … does anybody else do that?).

The weather’s been also a lot nicer here in D.C. – my morning runs have significantly become a lot more tolerable.

Anyway, this is what I’ve been obsessed with this week (check out last week’s if you haven’t already!):

 

ONE// Lunch dates with my family

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Summer roll @ Sushi Taro

Being that I’m leaving for school in a week, I’ve been trying to relish and take advantage of every opportunity I can in spending time with my family. While during middle school, I wanted to get out of the house and spend minimal time hearing their nagging and nitpicking, after being 300 miles away from them, I just miss everything about my family – even their nitpicking and anger tantrums.

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Quinoa + mushroom salad and penne bolognese @ Nordstrom Cafe

Therefore, I went to Nordstrom Cafe with my mom the other day because it’s one of our favorite places (super convenient when we’re shopping and need of a pick-me-up). My mom went to the Cafe a few days before with her friends and said she tried a new salad in the Chef’s Special menu and that I NEEDED to try it out. So we did and boy, was it amazing. The mushrooms in the salad are crispy (almost like a kale chip) but has that salty kick of the mushroom … LOVE. We also ordered our perennial favorite the penne bolognese.

 

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Salmon & Avocado roll and Chirashi @ Sushi Taro

And just yesterday, my whole family went to our (or really my) favorite sushi place in DC called Sushi Taro. It was DC Restaurant Week so instead of getting my regular Chirashi order, I ate the lunch special. My mom ordered the lunch special as well, while my dad, another creature of habit (I guess like father, like daughter) ordered Chirashi. Let me tell you, my stomach was on cloud nine that day.

 

TWO// Indulgences (without feeling guilty)

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While my past “health nut” self would gasp and shudder at the sight of my eating “naughty” things, these days, I’ve loosened the grip up when I realized I needed to nourish not only my body but my emotions which includes giving into some indulgences once in awhile.

I’ve had this week: a slice of pizza, a cracker/biscuit sort of thing (pictured above), mochi ice cream, and went out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant. May not seem much, but for a rigid health nut like me, it is.

 

THREE// Workout Playlist

While the weather has been cooperating and I did mention last week that I’ve been loving my morning runs, I have to say, I don’t think I could have done it without my workout playlist.

Now, my taste in a music is mediocre so please don’t judge, however, for me, I am OBSESSED with it (and that’s what counts right?). The only motivation I have when my alarm rings at 6:20 is to listen to my jams.

 

FOUR// Healthy lunches on-the-go

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Salad w/ balsamic glaze on the side after volunteering at hospital

This summer has been pretty busy with volunteering, math tutors, viola lessons, golf lessons and practices, running and also catching up with friends from back home. So sometimes, I have to eat my lunches or even dinners in the car.

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Salad and noodles and watermelon (dinner) whilst going to golf practice

While this may mean doing “to-go” at fast food restaurants for some, for me, my super super sweet mom packs them for me. They’re exactly what I would eat at home, except all in my mom’s neat Tupperwares. And these are all easy enough to make that I don’t necessarily need my mom to make them, but being at home from school I do take advantage of having my mom around.

 

How was this week for y’all?

 

xoxo,

Stephanie

 

Lately Obsessed #1

“Lately Obsessed.” I’m hoping to start a mini-series on my blog where every Wednesday (where the first post is already a day late…) I share my favorites, my obsessions, or anything under my radar.

Hopefully I can maintain this throughout the school year. I wanted to start this series because this week, I’ve been completely obsessed with these five things. I just can’t get enough.

  1.  Colorful Salads | I’m a creature of habit so my salads don’t differ much from the go-to salad I shared on the blog, however, I love preparing the salad as much as eating them! As I add the bright peppers and the lush avocado, I feel like an artist who sprinkling colors on her masterpiece!

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  1. Muesli | This happened on a whim. My family ran out of oatmeal one day, but I only had ten minutes to eat breakfast until I had to go to volunteer at the hospital. We found a stash of granola in our pantry so we took the granola and almond milk and put on top our regular oatmeal toppings. OMG – so good! And this granola doesn’t have a lot of sugar but together with the almond milk, ahh…heaven. And it’s super filling too – for me even more than oatmeal. I obviously realize that real muesli is made from muesli. Hopefully I can buy some muesli before I head to school on the 27th!

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  1. Food Journaling | I’ve been journaling for over two years now in my trusty Moleskine. Journaling is such a therapeutic and healing activity for me so it’s a must in my daily routine. However, recently, I’ve been food journaling. While I’ve vowed to never go back to track calories again, I think having a view at what I’m eating is super helpful. On some days, I realize that I didn’t eat for a really long time which probably caused my huge “binge” during dinner. It has the benefits as calorie tracking in that you’re mindful of what you’re eating but not restrictive.

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  1. Early Morning Runs | My scheduled 6:20am morning runs were not voluntary let me tell you that. I had to do them then because of my busy schedule. However, today for some reason, I had to do something else in the morning so moved my run in the afternoon at my gym’s treadmill. Ugh…I did not enjoy it. I think something about waking up in the early morning where the air is still crisp and fresh (and somewhat cool) and where there’s not a lot of hustle bustle is refreshing. While I feel extremely tired waking up for the run, once I finish the run and come home for a shower, I feel super energized with the bonus of feeling productive too!

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***TIP: Lay out your equipment – clothes, hat, earbuds, CHARGED phone, socks, underwear the night before. It makes the morning so much easier.

  1. Olympics | Has anyone been watching the Olympics recently? USA is killing it right now – especially in the gymnastics and swimming arena. Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Michael Phelps (he’s defying age…like I just can’t even handle…) and Katie Ledecky. I’m not a huge sports fan – I don’t voluntarily watch the Super Bowl or March Madness but something about the Olympics with national pride is so addictive.

www.teamusa.org

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source: http://www.teamusa.org

What have been your obsessions this week?

xoxo,

Stephanie