Tag Archives: Easy

Combating holiday feast weight gain

To avoid holiday weight gain, people often make the mistake of under-eating during the day to make up for the feasting of the evening. This is bad because

a) you will likely be extremely hungry and mow down on rich holiday fare

b) the food you will be eating more of is probably less healthy than what you would normally eat

and c) depending on your body type and what you eat that day, you may lose a bit of muscle mass…and gain fat mass.

If you are going to work out before a feast, lift weights. The insulin coursing through your veins after dinner will be anabolic and your muscles will get ample signals to grow.

If you are going to work out after a feast, lift weights or do cardio. Preferably sprints or intervals, but try not to vomit. Doing cardio before a big meal might end up just making you hungrier, but doing it after will stimulate the hormone epinephrine (which tells the body to release fat and glycogen  stores) to balance out the ridiculously high blood insulin and sugar levels.

After our Christmas dinner tonight (Mom wanted to have leftovers for the rest of our family visit), I did a workout that anyone could do – anywhere. Not gonna lie, I started to cramp up at the beginning, but it passed quickly… Worth it.

Download the free iPhone app Seconds and create a high intensity interval timer with 1 minute hard 1 minute easy, 15 rounds, for a total of 30 minutes of work.

The Shut Up and Do It Workout

  • 10 minute jog

Choose whichever of the following exercises you feel like at the moment and do it for 1 minute, repeat with different exercises until the 30 minutes are up. If you don’t have dumbbells or something heavy, just do the ones you can.

  • Jumping jacks
  • V-ups
  • Box jumps
  • Mountain climbers
  • Fire hydrant kicks
  • Squat jumps
  • Lunge jumps
  • Booty leg lifts
  • Lunges
  • Dumbbell swings
  • Bridges
  • Dumbbell snatches
  • Alternating crunch up-toe touches
  • Leg lifts
  • Pushups
  • Pull ups
  • Bicep curls
  • Tricep dips
  • Dumbbell flys
  • Jumping jacks
  • Butt kicks
  • Long jumps
  • Step ups (one leg at a time)

GO DO IT!

A day in the life: San Fran edition!

I am finally settling into a semi-regular routine here in the city, at least during the work week. I wake up and marvel at the amount of space I have. Compared to my old room, which was literally an oversized closet, my room is a yoga studio!

yes, my old Texas license plate was BJ5 6969. classy.

Before work, I have been making paleo-ified oatmeal for breakfast. Being the rebel that I am, I occasionally throw some oat bran in there. Many people say that the number one thing they miss when going paleo is their morning oatmeal… here is your solution!

Coconutmeal [Paleo Oatmeal]

Recipe: Serves 1 – low carb, paleo, grain, dairy and sugar free

  • 5 tbsp coconut flour (can substitute half oat bran if desired)
  • 2/3 cup water (can substitute in some coconut beverage)
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk or greek yogurt (I use yogurt for more protein)
  • 2 egg whites
  • optional: 1/2 scoop protein powder
  • 2 tbsp nut butter of choice, or other toppings
  • salt, to taste

Directions – Mix the coconut flour and oat bran, if using, with the water and microwave for ~110 seconds. It will look dry when you remove it from the microwave.  Add the yogurt or coconut milk and stir. Add the two egg whites and stir until completely combined.

 Microwave for another 30 seconds. If adding protein powder, add and stir. Do not microwave again, simply add a bit of salt and stir. Top with nut butter and enjoy!

After breakfast, I commute to work using the Muni bus system, which I LOVE. With an iphone, it is super easy to navigate. You can use the directions to determine which bus to take and download MuniApp in order to know exactly when the bus is coming. You will meet every kind of person on the bus. My favorites are the sullen teenagers blocking out the world via plastic white ear buds and the extremely vocal senior citizens that have been taking the same bus for 20 years and know all the drivers.

 

really excited to get dressed for work…

At work, I am Quant coach to some of Dr. A’s patients. A Quant coach is essentially a life coach, so I aim to help people target things in their life they want to change and discover patterns that they can manipulate to bring about those changes. Since the work is only part time, I am also applying to an awesome gym to be a personal trainer and/or nutritionist. Fingers crossed!

For lunch, I have been bringing boring salads. I need to step up my game in the mornings because when it’s lunch time I get excited to chow down and then remember that I threw together a half-assed lunch. They appear even more lame when I have to go out and bring back the office deliciously expensive foie gras burgers, ahi salads, and lobster mac n’ cheese.

Today’s salad was romaine with shredded carrots, roasted squash, a tomato, and grilled chicken with blue cheese dressing. On the side I had a juicy, organic fuji apple and my fave Kind bar.

After work, I typically go to whichever gym I am trying out and either swim or do my usual stress-fractured-lifting routine.

Also, a few of you have asked how about me feetsies (how sweet of you!) and I am coming up on three months of recovery. On Friday the 28th, I have the doctor appointment that is supposed to give me the okay to begin lifting, running, and whatevering again. Toes crossed.

Post-workout I had a nasty protein shake. I ordered some personalized protein powder from True Nutrition and made the mistake of using the “double flavor” option. All I can taste is aspartame, with a hint of cake batter. I think that is what an aluminum cake would taste like.

After all that, I usually try to explore a bit and study for my personal training exam, which I am taking this week. Alternatively, today I spent an hour guarding a parking space for my car while waiting for my roomie to return home to help me.

Dinners have been very simple, healthy and tasty.

1 small sweet potato mashed with 2 Tbsp almond and peanut butter and topped with scrambled eggs, bacon, onions, and mushrooms

sauteed onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and kale scrambled with 3 egg whites and 2 whole eggs and topped with lots of mozzarella cheese (salsa and sour cream sometimes too!)

After dinner I always have some kind of yogurt bowl. I like to tell myself its to help heal my bones, but it’s really just to satiate my dairy urges. At least suboxone isn’t prescribed for that kind of addiction!

guns n’ ice cream  [Humphrey Slocombe peanut butter bacon brittle banana, to be specific]

And that was..

a quick, healthy, and filling lunch

I hope everyone is having a leisurely Sunday. I woke up early, made coffee and breakfast, and perused recipe blogs to choose this weeks recipes. I have been way too excited to go grocery shopping; it’s pretty much my favorite de-stressing activity (besides lifting weights, I suppose). I hopped on over to Trader Joe’s to gather the ingredients – still goin’ strong as a Trader Joe’s Hoe. I can’t believe I used to spurn TJ’s! It is so cheap… And yet the quality seems to be quite high. The only thing that is a bit odd is the produce being suffocated by seran wrap. Why do they do that?  And some of their frozen meals are pretty crappy, but that doesn’t effect me too much!

For lunch, I just made this wonderful crab salad in a mere 5 minutes. It happens to be essentially carb free, high protein, and oozing mono and poly-unsaturated fats.

cilantro and lime crab salad in avocado

recipe: serves 1

from for the love of cooking

  • 1 can lump crab meat
  • 1 tbsp light mayo
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp red onion
  • 1-2 tsp jalapeno, diced
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • squeeze lime juice
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • big pinch cumin
  • 1 small or medium avocado

Directions – Slice the avocado in half and remove the pit. Drain the crab meat and place in a bowl. Mix in all the other ingredients. Scoop into the avocado halves and enjoy!

Benefits

Crab * extremely high in protein and low in fat and carbohydrates. The fat that crab does contain is largely omega 3 unsaturated, which helps prevent heart disease. Also contains high amounts of selenium which is anti-carcinogenic and chromium which helps regulate blood sugar.

 Avocado * contains vitamins A, B, C, and E. Also contain phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, folic acid, zinc, and iron. Their greatest asset is their monounsaturated fat content, which is linked to lower cholesterol levels, reduced risk of heart disease, weight loss, and even alleviating depression.

How anal perfectionists avoid self-destruction:

Ahem, this is week 2 of me sticking to my New Years resolution. Pat on the back right there!

So, I definitely had a meltdown earlier this week. There was self-doubt, worry, anxiety, fear, and salty tears everywhere. Just thinking about everything I needed to cram into my schedule was making me ill, and it was the first day of the quarter! The way I got over it was to first list all the things I needed to make time for in the week:

  • 4 classes at UCD (really just 3 though)
  • 4  2.5 hour MCAT classes per week
  • ~3 hours of MCAT studying per day
  • ~3 study allotments for UCD classes per week
  • an hour to lift weights 3x per week and an hour to exercise in some other way another 2 or 3x per week
  • time to SOCIALIZE or have ME time  e v e r y  s i n g l e  d a y

Next, I drew out the plan. This is mostly accurate, with a few exceptions. And its color coded! Green = class, orange = workout, pink = study, purple = MCAT class.

To get this schedule the way it is, I had to make some sacrifices. Unfortunately, they are very self-serving sacrifices, but, frankly, I don’t care. I will remain sane. I quit my food sampling job to free up 4-8  hours each weekend, and I have at least postponed my internship at the fertility center until I get the hang of everything. I figure I have acquired almost everything I can from it and I can still put it on my application!

Step 3: ACTUALLY FOLLOW THE PLAN. Or at least complete the necessary daily tasks.

I really am sorry to bore you all with that, but maybe it can help some of you find sanity within a crazy schedule. Also, putting it on here holds me more accountable ;)

Now, for the recipe.

See that quiche crust? Looks like brownie, don’t it? But its not! There are no grains, gluten, or nuts (for you, Mark!) in this recipe. The quiche is high protein, high fiber, and filled with veggies! The sweet corn and red bell peppers go well with the cheddar topping and black bean base.

Southwestern Quiche with a grainless, black bean crust

Recipe: Makes 4 large, filling servings

For the crust

  • 1 cup black beans, extremely well drained
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp ground flax

For the filling

  • 3 eggs
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 cup onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • “Baja seasoning” or a combo of garlic powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, dash onion powder, dash oregano

Topped with 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or a ‘Mexican blend’

Directions -

First, preheat the oven to 400. Drain the black beans extremely well, press firmly to the point of squishing them a little bit in the can. Combine the beans, egg, and flax in a bowl and mix until homogenous. Grease a quiche dish or baking pan and spread the batter evenly over the bottom. Bake for 10 minutes, until cooked but not yet browned. While the crust is cooking, saute the onions and bell pepper on the stove top with a dash of butter or oil until soft and the onions are lightly browned.

Next, combine all the eggs and yogurt in a bowl and mix well. Fold in the bell pepper, onion, salsa, corn, and spices.

Pour on top of the crust. Reduce the oven heat to 375. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the quiche. Bake for 35 minutes or until cooked all the way through.

SO EASY.

Benefits:

Onion * Contains quercitin, an antioxidant that halts the growth of tumors! Also, studies have linked regular onion consumption with lower cholesterol and reduced risk of colon cancer. A prime source of chromium.

Eggs * the yolk is where all the nutrients are! It contains tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B vitamins, and phosphorous, many of which are necessary for optimal metabolism. The egg white has 6 grams of complete protein!

Black beans * High in folate, fiber and protein. They also have antioxidants called flavonoids and small amounts of omega 3′s.

Flax * A great source of fiber and omega 3’s!

my current favorite breakfast

Black walnuts remind me of my paternal grandfather. He and the rest of my family lived in a precious house in a small town in Illinois. It was surrounded by corn fields, and like most midwestern homes, had a large basement. In the back corner of the basement was his nut cracking station. It was a wrap-around desk that had a large, stationary nut cracker, hand picks, a radio, a magnifying glass, and boxes and boxes of nuts. The family favorite was and still is black walnuts. They are more abundant and large in the midwest than in California. Here, they are tiny and don’t have much meat, so farmers don’t bother growing them because they don’t want to put in the effort to pick out the little bits of walnut from its hard shell. At the farmers market, I have been harrasing all the nut vendors about black walnuts. They all say the same thing, they aren’t worth it. Finally, one of them surprised me last weekend with a plastic baggy of 8 ounces of black walnuts. It was worth the 8$, easily. English or “Chandler” walnuts can’t hold a candle to the complex and deep flavor of black walnuts. Good luck trying to find them, but I guarantee they are worth the effort.

so filling and satisfying

Maple  bacon and whole grain waffles with cream cheese and black walnuts

Recipe: Serves 1

4 slices turkey bacon (I adore Trader Joes’)

two whole wheat frozen waffles

~3 tbsp full fat, whipped cream cheese

~2 tbsp black walnuts, chopped

maple syrup (I use Josephs sugar free)

Directions – Microwave the turkey bacon for 3.5 minutes, covered with a paper towel. Check it at the end and if you want it to be crispier, blot the grease and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Meanwhile, toast the waffles according to the package’s directions. Smother in cream cheese. Top with black walnuts. Drizzle the waffles and turkey bacon with maple syrup. Enjoy!

Benefits:

Turkey bacon * a great source of B vitamins and lean protein. Make sure you find a brand that has about 30 calories and 6 grams of protein per slice! NOT JENNY O.

Walnuts * a fabulous source of 0mega 3 fatty acids. Walnuts have been found to decrease LDL cholesterol, decrease inflammation, improve endothelial cell function, and decrease risk of excessive blood clotting, all of which decrease heart disease risk. They may also help reduce metabolic syndrome symptoms and decrease tummy fat. They are rich in antioxidants and may help protect against some cancers.

PS:

I went to a “What’s Your Fantasy” party last Thursday. Any guesses as to what my costume is?

PPS:

I went to Foodbuzz Fest this weekend (recap soon) and was convinced by Bobby McCormick that I need a Twitter. I caved. If you want me to follow you, tell me your name! And if you want to hear me say minimal things that are hopefully but doubtfully entertaining, follow me…

WholeWheatrBust

[to die for] Lemon Basil & Honey Egg Salad

Good afternoon! I am blogging right now from school because we still don’t have interwebz in our new house. I took my Calculus final on Friday, which went really well! Afterwards, I met up with a new friend and went rock climbing for the first time. It was the perfect de-stressor and a surprisingly good workout! Two hours flew by. I didn’t feel exhausted until I tried to climb up the inverted wall. It is tilted towards you so it is much harder than a vertical wall, or a wall that is tilted away. My arms literally gave out as I struggled to cling to the little rocks. And I had only made it up a few feet… You really have to trust whoever you are attached to! I was mildly hesitant to let go of the wall off at 30 or 40 feet high, but I did and I alive to blog about it. Afterwards, I went home and packed for the big move. Saturday morning, Chelsea, her parents, Kristi, and I spent all  day packing up and moving to our new house. It is just down the street, but that doesn’t make it any less work! We cleaned the crap out of our old house. I seriously spent three hours on just my bathroom. I hadn’t cleaned it the entire year. At least, not really. I was down on my hands and knees scrubbing the grout and I practically had to sandblast the soap scum off my shower. Sorry. I now understand why some housewives get off to hardcore cleaning products. Works in 60 seconds never sounded so good.

All the hard work paid off though, and Zabace is forking over the entire deposit! Pretty sure we deserve a medal of some sort.  If you are a hardcore reader, you may remember that I painted my wall 6 months ago a royal blue. Since that is technically really not okay, I scrambled to paint it back to cream earlier in the week. During the final walk through, the landlord walked into my room and got a puzzled look on her face. She said “Oh…. I thought this wall was blue. I apologize. You must have thought I was crazy.” I guess she had heard from a repairman or gardener that I had painted my wall blue and was planning on nailing me for it. Not a trace of evidence remained, suckaz!

Since then, I have celebrated, organized my room, started Genetics, and made dinner with my dear friend Dina. She finally came home from Palestine after being gone for over a month. We had a precious date that included dinner, wine, and a trip to my favorite ice cream shop. Dinner was an Italian stir fry, which I have never done before. We sautéed zucchini, onions, snap peas, and chicken with olive oil, garlic, fresh basil, salt and pepper and added fresh mozzarella balls to the mix at the end so it was just melted. On the side we had basil-tomato-marinated mozzarella salad, Chilean red wine, and a slice of her mothers jam cake!

Okay. Down to the recipe that got me through one hell of a weekend. IT IS THE BEST EGG SALAD I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. I have eaten this sandwich for 2 of my 3 meals 2 days in a row and then some. It is that good. Don’t question the ingredients, just make it and love it.

Lemon Basil & Honey Egg Salad

Recipe: Makes 2 servings

6  hard-boiled eggs (using 2 or 3 of the 6 yolks)

2 tbsp mayo

fresh basil, shredded

1 tbsp honey

squeeze of fresh lemon juice

dash cinnamon

dash dill

dash salt

whole wheat bread

tomato, sliced

Directions -

To prepare the eggs: Place eggs in a medium pot and cover with 1 inch (above) of cold water. Bring to boil on the stove. Once at a solid boil, remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 12 minutes. Immediately transfer eggs to bowl of ice water and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Peel.

Combine eggs with basil, honey, lemon, mayo, dill, and cinnamon (the two spice are optional but add if you have them!). Toast whole grain bread and top with tomato slices and half of the egg salad. Save leftovers in the fridge!

Make this. Change your life.

Blogging…. online friending?

Happy Monday! The last couple weeks have really flown by; the first summer school session is almost over! I have been working on continuing to be a Yes Woman, and it has been fairly successful. On a whim, I drove to the state capital and met a new friend at the state fair on Wednesday night. We went on most of the rides, including my favorite – the one where you lean up against the wall as the room spins faster and faster to the point where you can turn side ways and upside down without falling off. On Thursday, I cajoled one of my hardest-to-convince-to-go-out friends to see some live music with me and try my favorite ice cream at the local creamery… avocado coconut! Finally, on Saturday, my roomy and I drove to San Francisco for food, exploration, and to meet up with Natalie from Cinnamon Bums! We went to the farmers market and I purchased a fabulous lox sandwich for lunch. It had crisp sourdough, cream cheese, tuna lox, slivered red onion, yellow tomato slices, and walnuts. Unique, no?

My roommate Kristi, Me, and Natalie

We sat down to chat while I ate and ended up talking for so long that when we stood up to return to the farmer’s tents, the whole place was cleared out! Desolate! As it turns out, Natalie is just as cute, witty, brilliant, and charming in real life as she is on her blog. :) It was amazing how easy it was to talk with her, despite never having met before. Of course blogging and food was discussed, but most of our conversation revolved around life on the different coasts, our [uncertain] futures, school, relationships (slash-lack thereof), and… secret societies! After saying good bye to Natalie, Kristi, her friends Tiff and Vince, and I went for ice cream at Bi-Rite. Apparently it is muy famoso, and now I understand why. It really is just. that. good.

Me, Vince, Tiff

Im just a little too excited about my balsamic strawberry, brown sugar with ginger infused caramel, and vanilla with toasted cookie chunks and chocolate stripe

In the last few months, and especially last few weeks, it seems as though I have been connecting with people more and in a deeper manner (at least, I feel that way!). This weekend, it seemed as though every conversation I partook in left me feeling both stimulated and at peace, and as though I had grown. I am not sure if it is that I have been surrounded by a different type of person than in the past, or if there is something different with me, but I am loving the outcome either way. My favorite topic of discussion this weekend was the imagination’s role in true love. Tiff’s boyfriend was talking about the book he was reading, Intimacy and Solitude, and said that it talked (“in the man-hating chapter”) about how women tend to be more empathetic than men and use their imagination for the benefit of their relationships. He said it had never occurred to him that imagination is an element of relationships. I think I do.. when you deeply love someone, you put yourself into their shoes, mind body and soul, so that you can figure out what their deepest needs, desires, fears, and hopes are. By recognizing those things, you can help them achieve or overcome them. Imagine every person as a composition of puzzle pieces, but we are all missing a few here and there. An edge piece on our arm, and perhaps a few middle pieces around our heart and mind. Our significant other can help us find the pieces and fill those gaps. Dependence seems to be bred when the other person becomes the pieces, rather than helping their other find their own.

Uhhhhh… anywho! Breakfast this morning was bomb? I was too lazy to make a homemade crust for the quiche, so I simply used a slice of whole wheat bread as the base!

Southwestern bread quiche with corn on the cob

Recipe: Serves 1

For the quiche-

1 slice whole wheat bread

2 eggs

2 egg whites

1 tbsp sour cream

1-2 tbsp onion, chopped

1/2 green jalapeno, chopped [seeds removed]

~4 cherry tomatoes, chopped

dash salt, pepper, and fajita seasoning (chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic salt, cayenne, red pepper flakes)

1/4 cup cheddar (or ‘Mexican blend’) cheese

For the corn-

1 corn on the cob

sliver of butter

fajita seasoning (chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic salt, cayenne, red pepper flakes)

salt & pepper, to taste

Directions – Preheat the oven to 375. Peel back the husk of the corn, remove the hairs, and rub with butter and spices. Replace the husk (or just wrap in tin foil). Place in the oven and bake at 375 for about 30 minutes, or until roasted to your liking.

While that is baking, grease a Pyrex dish and place a slice of bread at the base (I tore off a bit to make it round). In a bowl, mix together the eggs, spices, and sour cream. Fold in the veggies. Pour the mixture on top of the bread and top with cheese. Put into the oven with corn. It is done when the eggs have puffed up and everything looks cooked! Perhaps about 30 minutes.

Benefits

Tomatoes * also contain a LOT of vitamin A and C. Vitamin A is a potent antioxidant that has been shown in studies to reduce the effects of smoking. This does not mean it is okay to smoke, but if you do, it is a VERY good idea to make sure are getting lots of vitamin A daily. Tomatoes are also rich in lycopene, which has been proven to halt the growth of cancer cells!

Onion * Contains quercitin, an antioxidant that halts the growth of tumors! Also, studies have linked regular onion consumption with lower cholesterol and reduced risk of colon cancer. A prime source of chromium.

Eggs * the yolk is where all the nutrients are! It contains tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B vitamins, and phosphorous, many of which are necessary for optimal metabolism. The egg white has 6 grams of complete protein!