🌸 Spring Fling and Wild Things

34*F in April makes me question what I used to call my favorite season of the year. ❄️ That said, I am ironically grateful for the past weeks’ bad weather because it forced me to stay inside, work, and finally finish(!) my thesis that was due last week April 5th.

With the exception of defense in May, thesis is now officially done and over with, and after a chilly start to the season, NJ weather is finally getting warmer;  I feel as if I can shake a leg again, and I mean that (almost) literally.

Spring Fling
Spring Fling

Since the beginning of 2016, I’ve been pretty consistent with my high-intensity circuit-style workouts, but ever since thesis took over my life, I haven’t been doing much yoga or stretching or general flexibility training. 🙆

I know many people utilize yoga as a stress relief, but when I’m preoccupied or just very stressed out, I’d much rather hash out a high-intensity workout with many repetitions of strength and plyometric exercises while listening to crazy EDM music than do something relaxing like yoga.

This probably isn’t a “good” thing, and I should learn to do yoga when I am very stressed because it could be very helpful. Thing is, I have tried, and I just can’t bring myself to concentrate on relaxing when I’m super stressed. I’m an all-or-nothing sort of person. When I’m in an “extreme” sort of mind, I’ll do “extreme” high-intensity workouts, whereas when I’m relaxed, I’ll do relaxing workouts like yoga.

Wild Things
Wild Thing

HIIT workouts are really my type of stress relief. So as annoying and stressful thesis life was, I think I actually I got fitter during (except for the last couple of crunch time days in which I pulled my first academic-related college all-nighter the night before my thesis was due!). Many exercises, particularly chin ups and pull ups, got a lot easier for me.

Speaking of which, these photos are from last April 2015, but I’m only really looking at them until now and realized that I actually do have a semi-defined upper back! 🌸 Total surprise because my back muscles is probably one of the weaker part of me.

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Spring gives me Wings

I guess those push ups and pull ups are doing their thing. I work particularly on my pull muscles (which target your back) one-to-two times per week (workout link below) but also try to squeeze in a couple of chin ups almost everyday (even if it’s just one chin up).

I’ll post a few of my favorite upper back exercises below in this blog post, just in time for Spring to show off those wings. 😉

Also, you can find my typical back / pull muscle workout that I’ve been doing almost every Saturday for the last couple of years here. It’s a bit outdated but hopefully will still give you an idea of what exercises I do to tone my back (basically just rows and pull ups).

 Aaaand… if y’all are interested, let me know, and I’ll update my new back workout in another blog post!

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Clinging onto Spring

That said, this week, I’m trying to “shake a leg” back into yoga before spring ends because I want to be ultra flexible for the summer (main reason being I think hot weather and stretching goes together? haha). Hence, I am deliberately taking a break from HIIT strength workouts. Although yoga is not my go-to exercise when I am stressed out, I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE yoga as a leisure activity. Stretching while listening to deep house music = my cup of tea, and I haven’t been doing much of it as I’d want to. 🌸

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Basil and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese

Happy National Grilled Cheese Day!

I actually no longer eat dairy on a regular basis for both environmental and health reasons; however, I do enjoy organic dairy here and there… like a grilled cheese sandwich, which I am seriously craving right now.

So… “Inception throwback” to March 2015 when I shared what is now one of my most popular recipes that I made in 2012 when I was in high school! Basil Mozzarella Grilled Cheese. Just in time to start using those springtime herbs!

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Say Cheese because spring is here! 😀

Walking outside without freezing. Eating dinner while it’s not dark yet. Enjoying spring blossoms and food.

Speaking of food, one of my favorite things about this season is the fresh spring herbs! Especially basil. Back home in Texas, my family grows basil in our garden starting springtime, and by summer, the basil plant grows into this gigantic bush. It makes the garden smell amaaazing.

Thing is, it is a lot of basil; almost too much. So I make pesto, add it into pasta, make spa water (!), top it in summer soups and curries, and, of course, put it in a sandwich.

Basil and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese is a sandwich that’s easy and super quick to make. I actually came up with this sandwich when I was in high school back in 2012 (throwback!). That said, I am serisouly craving this right now!!

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To make a healthier grilled cheese, this is what…

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🐰 Egg Hunt Brunch (Crispy Kale & Carrot Omelet)

Go on an edible scavenger hunt with this egg hunt brunch: open-faced omelet with crispy kale & sweet carrot ribbons in case your need somebunny to help you find the eggs. 🐰

Hidden Egg Hunt Omelet

Although my family has never been religious, we celebrated Easter because it was just a fun way to spend a Sunday. As a kid, my parents would take me to the Easter “Eggtravaganza,” and I loved all the fun and games like balancing an egg in a spoon with your mouth while walking across the field, getting my face painted, and of course the Easter egg hunt, which was very exciting for the competitive little monster that I was. 😉

One Sunday I woke up and found a plastic egg in the bathroom or somewhere unexpected like that, only to realize that my mom had hidden them all over the house. We also hosted fun little egg hunts for my friends in our backyard, hiding plastic eggs in shoes, tree logs, and fun places like that.

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I think I loved Easter not for the candies and chocolates but because it’s a day of discovering little bundles of joy in unassuming places (or really just racing other little children and to fill my basket with the most eggs).

I stopped doing those fun Easter activities maybe in 3rd grade, and now, as a burgeoning adult, I celebrate Easter through my only fun activity these days: food… 😦 But seriously, when your life is all about work, as it is for me because I’m trying to finish my thesis, food is the best part of the day. 😆 Sunday brunch is always a good ideas, but still I miss the egg hunt!

So I made a little egg hunt with my omelet. Kale for the “bush” or “grass,” if you will, and sweet carrot ribbons in case you need some-bunny to help you find the eggs because if you look at it, it seems as if this isn’t an omelet but just a pile of veggies.

But then you’d lift up and see….

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Found the eggs. 😉

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Served with homemade colorful steamed buns made by my mom. I always bring a few of these from home to school!

100% whole wheat, vegan, 100% naturally dyed (matcha, ube, and turmeric). Soft, chewy, and light: sooo perfect for spring!

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Recipe for the egg hunt brunch below!

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Carrot Cake Oatmeal 🐰 with Yogurt Frosting

🐰 Frosted Carrot Cake disguised as porridge. Basically, breakfast that feels like dessert but is actually a nutritious bowl full of healthy goodies like oats, flax, walnuts, and even a vegetable. 😉 While this is not a cake per se, its carrot cake flavors are spot on, so you can satisfy that springtime craving first thing in the morning!

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I haven’t done any baking for almost 5-6 weeks now. 😦 Considering that I normally bake every week, that’s waaay too long of a time for me! There’s so many things I’ve been craving to make, like: my pink lemonade flower cakes, my homemade banana bread, my protein brownies… And some healthy spring desserts like carrot cake. Sadly,  these last few months of school has been so stressful, and baking just seems like a complete waste of time. Less than 2 months…

Even now, and especially now, I way too busy with uni work, specifically my senior thesis which I need to finish in order to get my degree.

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All the Springtime desserts popping up on my Instagram feed isn’t helping either. (Maybe if I stop using Instagram, then I’d have time to bake haha 😂.)

I actually am going to stop using Instagram starting Friday night, so I can spend my entire weekend locked up in 🔥 Thesis Hell 🔥, but, anyways, even though I don’t have time to bake, I’m not going to let my dessert cravings go unquenched!

People ask me very often how I manage to eat healthy all the time. Don’t I have cravings? Do I ever NOT eat healthy? Yes and yes, but whenever I have a not-so-healthy craving, I make a healthier version of it, and I always end up enjoying my homemade healthy version so much better!

This is how I can have my dessert and eat it too.

While this recipe is not cake per se, it has the flavor of carrot cake, and makes me feel like I’m having a luxurious dessert for breakfast when it really is just a bowl of porridge (with lots of nutrition of course!) 😆

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🍌 Individual Banana Cream Pies! With Tofu Cream Filling | Happy Pi Day

Mini banana cream pies! 🍌 With a peanut butter oatmeal cookie crust, filled with fresh & creamy banana tofu custard, and topped with fluffy whipped meringue. Not only are these healthy, dairy free, refined sugar free, high protein, and 100% whole grain, these are ABSOLUTELY yummy.

I think they are the perfect spring and summer dessert, and they’re healthy enoguh for breakfast. Because why not start off Pi Day with the dessert itself? Best yet, you get to eat an entire pie all for yourself!

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For this recipe, I also put together a fun little cooking video of me showing you how I made this pie. Please try to ignore the awkwardly tight shirt that I had since high school, as well as the dorky hipster glasses. I filmed this last year, and I don’t know why I thought it was a good idea to dress up as a nerd. 🙈 Guess I was really got into the idea of Pi Day last year…

Anyways, enjoy the video! Recipe is also below. 🙂


When it comes to March 14, there’s two types of people: those who celebrate 3.1415…, and those who, well, eat pie.

Guess which group I fall in. 🙈

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But if I’m honest, I actually miss taking geometry and calculus. Those were the days I thought I was actually good at math and had the guts to take linear algebra in college only to find out that I legitimately suck at math. Ugh. The worst semester of my life!! 😂

So good thing on this π Day, I’ll be making Pies you can eat instead of using Pi you calculate with. 😉

Healthy Banana Cream Pie

And on this Pi Day, I am presenting… miniature banana cream pies with a peanut butter oatmeal cookie crust and topped with fluffy meringues.

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So far, already sounding a lot more pleasant than 3.141592653589793… 😏

These mini banana cream pies are not only delicious, you can’t tell that they are actually healthy!

First of all, they have a whole grain oatmeal and flax crust.

Second, there’s freaking TOFU in the these banana pies. Traditional custard pie recipes use a ton of eggs and cream, but I’ve come up with an easier and more nutritious custard using tofu!

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That’s making the cream filling high in protein, lowering the fat, yet light and creamy. Also, it’s 100% vegan! The banana cream filling is so good I eat it on its own. It literally tastes like those banana pudding cups I used to eat as a kid, so if you’re here for the pie filling, it’s all good too. 😉

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Lastly, you get an entire pie all to yourself! These individual pies are single serving, and for one pie, it’s roughly 425 kcal; 13g F; 60g C (8.5g fiber), 24g Protein! Additionally, they are full of nutritious stuff like oatmeal, flax, peanut butter, banana, etc. To me that sounds like a great breakfast.

I mean, why not start off Pi Day with the dessert itself? 🙂

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I actually developed this recipe last Pi(e) Day 2014, but lately I could not stop thinking about banana cream pie… I mean, they look don’t look bad, right? And as in “don’t look bad” I mean they look damn delicious, right?

That’s ’cause they are! 😉

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So damn delicious that I think they need their own soundtrack… You know that Peanut Butter Jelly has a song? Yeah I need one for these pies haha.

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Anyways, here’s my recipe!

Banana Cream Pies

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Embrace the Drench 😅| Sweaty Workouts + Sore Core

💪 Just sharing two of my sweatiest workouts from this past week!

Warm weather 🌞, pretty flowers 🌸, and sweet strawberries 🍓 are all things I love about spring, but one of my favorite things is how sweat just pours out whenever I do a tough workout. Yup, I’m disgusting hahaha. 😅

It’s not that I don’t sweat in winter, but sweat just dries up soon after a workout due to the colder temperatures. Come spring and summer though, a tough workout means being drenched and dripping in sweat. GROSSSS I know hahaha. I love it.

Case in point: this past couple of days in workouts. I got in a workout every day of this week (actually have been working out every single day this month – feeling sort of proud of my self for not slacking off 🙂 haha), but Thursday’s and Friday’s were the best days because of the unusually warm 75+ degree weather.

Thursday’s amazing sweat session was: 20 min strength, 10 min elliptical warm up, 1 hour of lifting (focused on back + booty), 30 min run, 10 min elliptical cool down. Afterwards, my goodness, my shins were sweating. How I miss sweating in the weirdest places hahaha. Thursday’s workout also left my back + backside feeling strong and sore. 🙂

(See below for Thursday’s Strength + Cardio Workout!)

(1) Post-Run vs (2) Post-Cool Down


On Friday, as usual, I worked abs, which I usually just do the workout in my dorm room, even though my dorm isn’t very big because I like doing ab exercises barefoot. I think doing it without sneakers on helps my form and lets me target my abs better. I also keep in my dorm room my own stability ball and ankle weights, which are two of my favorite ab exercise equipment.

👉 Going off a tangent, I’m thinking about writing a blog post some time in the future on how I keep fit in the dorm room. I do go to the gym very often, but I actually do a huge chunk of my workouts in my dorm room because a lot of my workouts are bodyweight-focused, and I enjoy the privacy and ability to workout without having to wear my wireless earbuds that keep falling off (screw you Jaybird…).

👉 I normally go to the gym if I for either lifting, cardio, or both. So… If interested, I can share what I think are the essential workout equipments for keeping fit in college that are both dorm-friendly and storage-friendly. Let me know in the comments below if you want me to share this kind of stuff!

Anyways, I didn’t have much time that Friday morning to workout because I had an afternoon class (I know… Friday classes? boo-hoo), and I’m the kind of person who has to workout before class or else I won’t be able to concentrate.

But, just 30 minutes of ab exercises + jumping around left me like THIS.

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DRENCHED.

It was an amazing and very challenging 35 minute core workout that I did my in TINY dorm. Now, I rarely get sore abs. Sore legs, sore back, sore arms are weekly things that I’m already used to and look forward to as well lol, but sore abs? Want them but barely get them. Maybe I don’t challenge my core enough, but this particular workout made my core so sore that laughing became a workout the next day. 😂

I did this workout right before heading to class (after a shower of course lol & a quick lunch). 💪

Friday’s sweaty sore core workout is below as well!


On Saturday, I felt like doing lots of burpees for some crazy reason. Like who actually craves burpees? Only weirdos (like me).

So… I did a workout similar to the one I shared last week’s Saturday, but I did not do any sprinting at all and did a loooooooot of burpees instead, including this Burpee Pyramid, which I’ll share some time in the future.

Saturday was also a crazy day for me. I woke up later than planned because I stayed up writing a paper, got in a morning workout, cooked up a late healthy lunch / brunch before packing literally to the last minute, hopped on the train to the airport, had to be *that* person who asks everyone if I could skip them in security, and finally got in a second workout by sprinting across the terminals to make it to my flight juuuuust on time. ✈️ 

Literally dead tired now. Anyways, see below for the workouts!

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❄️ Where is Spring? ☃ March Fourth Snowga

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NJ weather is the biggest fckboi ever. Excuse the explicit language, but seriously? Spring break is less than a week away, and it starts snowing. I guess Spring needed a break too.

This was on March 4th. I woke up 7:30 to an unusually bright light filling the bedroom. Peeked out the window to find the entire campus blanketed in white. It’s snowing. I was in awe but unsurprised, as the same thing happened March 1st of last year.

I was hoping for spring but nonetheless mildly welcoming towards the unsuited weather solely because, well, snowga pics. ☃

Snow + yoga = not a bad equation.

Pretty scenery can be very spiritually motivating. Makes your temporarily forget all your worries and to just stretch on. Case in point, I don’t think I’ve done the below stretch (standing side splits / standing compass pose) in months, and that morning, it just came easy to me like a hot spoon scooping coconut oil (because I don’t eat butter very often haha.)

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Like I mentioned, the same thing happened March of last year, so here’s a “before and after” comparison of March 2016 and March 2015. The photo on the left is from two days ago, and the one of the right is a photo that I took from last year’s blog post.

Not much of a visible change, but I can tell you that I am struggling less on the left picture. 😉 This stretch has gotten so much easier for me after consistent and almost-daily stretching. You can also tell that my right leg is closer and more parallel in the left-side picture, if you look closely.

👉 By the way, if you want to give this pose a try, first start with compass pose in the seated position (google it).

After morning yoga, or snowga as I should call it, it was time to eat breakfast and enjoy the scenery while it last.

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Something about a fresh snow fall and fresh strawberries just don’t go together…🍓❄️ Spring fruit amongst a winter landscape. This was a first for me. I’m not complaining though.

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Thinking about Spring Break while Spring is literally on break.

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Feeling hungry for yo…ga

While the snow’s nice, I glad it’s gone. Not because I hate snow but because I hate dressing for it. Wearing layers of just… stuff is so cumbersome for me, and considering that the nicest items in my wardrobe are all ill-suited for cold weather, I look pretty much like a hobo all winter.

This week, however, is supposed to reach 74!!!! degrees. Can’t wait to be back in shorts and tank tops again! That’s when I’m most comfortable.

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💪 Saturday Strength | Upper Back Pull, HIIT, and Sprint Workout

Sort of a pointless post, but it’s not every day my daily ponytail gets a braided upgrade. Plus, sharing the workout I did today below.

During the week, my workouts are usually just 35 minutes long, not including the warm up and post-workout cardio. On Saturday’s, I typically do a longer workout (because the weather sucks right now, so why not spend that weekend free time at the gym haha) focusing on pull strength with HIIT sprints 💪. Anyways, it was nice to not have hair fly all over the place for a change. I’ve had long hair for some time now (and needing a chop off soon *gasp*), so why didn’t I wear my hair like this sooner?

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💙 Blueberry Protein Waffles and Homegrown Kale!

Happy Waffle Wednesday!

Ok. So this waffle is from the past Sunday…. And this is also not made by me. I can still share the recipe though right? 😉 Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside protein waffles (also gluten free).

This past Sunday, after I’d finished the usual Sunday morning cardio, I received a picture text from my mom showing me her post-cardio Sunday brunch… Waffles!

Protein Waffles Brunch

They looked so good, and to my surprise, the recipe she used for this waffle was my fluffy Blueberry Protein Pancakes recipe. I didn’t even know that my protein pancake recipe could be made into waffles. 😱

Sadly, I don’t have a waffle machine here with me at school, so I’ll have to wait until the next time I am back home to try this recipe out!

So… just a disclaimer, I didn’t taste these waffles, but both my Strawberry protein pancake and Blueberry protein pancake recipes taste AWESOME. So I’m pretty sure this waffle is equally, if not even more, delicious. 😉

My mom also sent me a picture of our HOMEGROWN red and curly KALE that she made into a Banana + Coconut water + Lemon juice + Avocado smoothie.

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Making me wish I was back in warm sunny Texas!! ❤

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