Friday Faves 4/7

Happy Friday!! This has been a looooooooong week for me. I was in Ireland last week, and we got back Sunday night, then I went straight to work at 6am Monday morning! Phew! I think I’m finally caught up on sleep and over the jet-lag, but the beginning of the week was rough. I’ll give you all the amazing details of my trip a little later in this post, but for now let’s jump right into it! It’s been a few weeks since my last update!

Favorite Health/Fitness Articles

The ABCs of BCAAs and Why Women Need Them by Karina Elle
The Difference Between Training for Strength and Training for Hypertrophy by Joy Victoria
It’s Time for Women to Buy Into Strength Training by Meg Julian
Beyond the Back Squat by Meghan Callaway
Foam Rolling: This Is How We Roll by Dr. Nicholas Licameli
Warm-Up Smarter, Not Longer by Brit Rand
Fat Loss Tips for Spring Part 1 by Garrett Wood
The Most Effective Way to Blast Belly Fat (And Keep It Off) by Ryan Wood

Favorite Exercise

I have cranky shoulders. Sometimes they feel great and my bench is on point, and sometimes I can’t even lift my arms over my head and I have to take a break from bench for a week or 2. My bench is inconsistent because my PAIN is consistent. Over the years, I’ve learned a bunch of great shoulder rehab exercises that I do for a few months at a time and then eventually stop. I KNOW that my shoulder health would be a lot better if I consistently used those exercises. That’s why I decided last month, when I had another shoulder flare-up, that I would actually stick to my rehab exercises consistently and really work on getting my shoulders healthy. So far, I’ve stuck to it! Three of the main exercises that I do every day now are shoulder dislocations, band pull-aparts, and internal/external rotation. For the record, four weeks of consistently applying those exercises into my daily workouts has eliminated the pain I recently started having! The dislocations and pull-aparts can be seen in this video. I do 50 each a day (typically 5 sets of 10), and 20 each of the internal/external rotations.

Favorite Recipe

This week for dinner one night, I made a spiralized salad. I loosely based it off of this recipe, but made my own tweaks to keep it low-fodmap. Here’s my version:

1 spiralized zucchini
1 spiralized cucumber
1 spiralized carrot
1 spiralized red pepper
1 spiralized orange pepper
Chopped broccoli florets
Daiya dairy-free, gluten-free ranch dressing

This actually yielded a TON of veggies so I’ve been eating it all week! It was so fresh and yummy after a week of eating mostly fried food in Ireland (I did mix in a salad or two last week). I’ve never spiralized peppers before, and I actually did it differently than Ali suggested on her Inspiralized blog. I cut the stem and center seeds out, and stuck the bottom to the anchor on the spiralizer. So basically when it went through the blades, it was already hollowed out in the center. I actually wasn’t expecting it to work, but it did! I think I’m gonna spiralize all my peppers from now on instead of chopping them!

Currently Reading

I finally got off the waitlist for Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking! I started it yesterday and am already hooked. I’ll update you when I finish it, but I think it’s a must-read for anyone who was a fan of her.

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Currently Watching

If you aren’t watching 13 Reasons Why on Netflix then what are you even doing with your life?!?! Omg it is sooo good. Tim and I watched the first episode our last night in Ireland, and got so hooked than we downloaded the rest of the episodes to watch on our flight home. I finished it last night and it honestly was so moving and impactful. I think all high schools across America should show this show to their students.

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I also started season 3 of Grace & Frankie, which is one of my favorite shows. It never fails to make me laugh hysterically.

Favorite Activities

Ok well obviously, you all know that Tim and I went on vacation last week to Ireland. But there’s actually so much more that went on before we left so I’m going to start by backtracking a little bit before I get into our trip!

We signed a lease for our new apartment right before we left for Ireland. We were having a hard time finding something. The weekend before, we were scheduled to see 8 apartments….when the day came we only saw 3 because everything else had already rented! Anything less than $2k in Southie goes so fast. We felt so much pressure to make a decision that day….we put an application in for one place but didn’t get it. But as my mom says, “that just meant it was never meant to be….” because we found a place just a few days later! It’s so cute and I can’t wait to move in in May. And the best part? It’s less than a 5 min walk from State Street where I work….I can literally see my building from the living room window! This means I no longer have to wake up at 4am in order to get to work!! I am so excited.

The weekend before we left for Ireland, I had my friend Lauren’s bachelorette party and Tim had her fiancé’s bachelor party! Tim is in the wedding, which is coming up at the end of April! Tim stayed in Boston while I traveled to LBI for the weekend. We had a great time!! It was fun to get away for the weekend and meet some new people. We did a Murder Mystery on Saturday which was hilarious and entertaining. Now I am extra excited for the wedding!!

I left LBI super early on Sunday because I had to make sure I got back to Boston with enough time to get ready for our flight, which was leaving at 9:20pm. We slept as much as possible for out overnight flight because we landed in Dublin at around 8am Monday morning!

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That first day is a little hazy…we took a cab from the airport to my friend Nikki’s apartment where we were staying. We tried so hard not to nap, but ended up sleeping until about 12:30. Then we got up and took the bus to City Centre. Nikki lives just about 3 miles from the center of Dublin, so it was so convenient! There was a bus stop right down the street and the busses were fast and efficient. We spent most of the first day wandering around Dublin, trying to learn where things were and get our bearings in a new city. Let me tell you, it’s tough when you can’t use google maps! We walking along the River Liffey and saw some of the famous bridges like the Ha’Penny. We ate lunch at The Blarney Inn and stopped for a drink at O’Connell’s Pub, which had been recommended to us. After that, we met up with Nikki after she got out of her clinical rotation (she’s in vet school!) and headed back to her place to order dinner in. Tim was out cold by like 8pm, so Nikki and I chatted a little and caught up before I went to bed as well. We were so tired from traveling and the time change!

Tuesday morning, we were up super early because we were taking a bus tour to the Cliffs of Moher. This was Tim’s birthday gift to me! The tour left at 6:50am from city center, so we took a cab in pretty early to make sure we didn’t miss it. Honestly, this was my favorite day of the entire trip. The ride was about 3 hours, but we stopped once along the way at Barack Obama Plaza…yeah you read that right. Moneygall is Obama’s ancestral village, and they are so proud of that that they built a rest stop on the side of the highway and named it after him. It was hilarious. Once we got to the Cliffs, we had an hour and a half to explore. We got so lucky with weather…it was clear, sunny, and warm (although pretty windy). The view was absolutely incredible…it honestly took my breath away. I have never seen anything like that in my life and probably never will again. Tim and I walked both sides of the Cliffs and made sure we saw it from all angles. After that, it was back to the bus to head to Doolin for lunch! We ate at a cute little restaurant where we had one of the best meals of the trip: turkey with mashed potatoes, veggies, salad, and more potatoes. From there we travelled to Burren National Park, which is a rocky stretch of beach covered in glacial-era limestone. It was pretty cool! On the way home we stopped at a castle in ruins and a small chocolate factory. It was an amazing, breathtaking, long, exhausting day but I am so happy we did it!

The next two days we spent exploring Dublin. We did one of those hop-on, hop-off bus tours around the city. We stopped off at the sites we wanted to see, which included the Molly Malone Statue, Christ Church Cathedral, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, The Guinness Storehouse, Kilmanhaim Gaol, Phoenix Park, St. Stephen’s Green, and Temple Bar. The cathedrals were so beautiful…Tim wasn’t thrilled that I was dragging him into churches, but there is so much history there! The Guinness Factory was also pretty cool. We learned how to pour a Guinness and relaxed in the Gravity Bar, which is at the top of the storehouse and overlooks the entire city of Dublin. Kilmainhaim Gaol is a former prison (now more like a museum), where the Irish revolutionaries and leaders of the 1916 Easter Uprising were held and eventually executed. The history was fascinating and moving. St. Stephen’s Green was also beautiful. It reminded me of the Public Garden in Boston, because it had many fountains, flowers, and statues throughout. Temple Bar is a district of Dublin that houses many popular Irish pubs, including one of our favorites of the trip, The Temple Bar Pub. Another favorite was The Stag’s Head, which wasn’t in Temple Bar.

On Friday, we had planned on taking the train to Kilkenny, a small town about an hour and a half from Dublin. However, when we woke up, Nikki informed us that there was a public transportation strike happening and no trains or busses were running! We couldn’t even get a cab outside the city because so many people were requesting them! We ended up walking to a car rental place and renting a car, which is something I absolutely did NOT want to  have to do. Driving in Ireland is opposite! I was so nervous, but Tim did a great job driving and we had no major issues. We made it to Kilkenny by mid-morning and had the entire day to explore. We saw the Kilkenny Castle, which was absolutely beautiful. Next, we walked the Medieval Mile to make sure we saw everything Kilkenny had to offer. We stopped at Smithwick’s Brewery, St. Canice Cathedral, Hole in the Wall Tavern, The Black Abbey, and the Craft Walk. We ended the day with tea and coffee at the Kilkenny River Court Hotel, whose outdoor patio is across the river from the castle. It was so awesome.

Saturday we finally got to spend a day with Nikki! She’d  been in her clinical rotation all week. We met for dinner every night but I was so happy to get a whole day with her. We started the day taking a train to Howth for the morning. We walked around this cute little part of Dublin that’s right on the ocean, and had lunch at a great restaurant. Howth is known for their fish and chips. I hate fish but Tim got it and said it was really good! We headed back towards Dublin in the early afternoon for a rugby game! It was the quarterfinal of the European Champion’s Cup, aka a pretty big deal. None of us knew the rules to rugby (lol), but we had fun! The environment was crazy! The home team, Leinster, won! After the game, we headed back to Nikki’s apartment to rest and have dinner before heading out to pub-hop in Dublin. We actually only hit 2 pubs because we were all so exhausted, but it was the only time we really experienced Dublin nightlife the whole trip!

I am so grateful and thankful to Nikki for allowing us to stay at her apartment for free! It was really the only reason we were able to take a trip to Dublin at all. I’ve wanted to go for awhile, since she’s been in grad school there for 4 years now, and I’m so happy I was finally able to go! And having Tim with me was really special too. It was the first time he was meeting her (even though he’s met pretty much every other member of her family already-Nikki’s brother is the same age as my sister!) THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, Nikki, for everything you did for us this trip! It was amazing and a once in a lifetime experience.

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OKAY, PHEW, that was really long! That’s all I have for this week, but my next post will include a year-long transformation and success story from my amazing client, Jill! So definitely keep an eye out for that!

 

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