Tag Archives: Lifting

mongolian beef

Happy Monday dear readers! I hope your weekend was both relaxing and fun and that all of you on the East coast are safe! 

My weekend was packed. Between going out dancing in costume, helping a friend move, going for a lap swim (with my Olympic qualifying room mate…), and watching the Giants win the World Series, I did not sit down! Unfortunately, the state of my room and laundry piles are extremely compelling evidence to the craziness of the weekend. Usually Sundays are devoted to things like cleaning, laundry, and food prep, but I decided to go watch the Giants game at a sports bar in the Marina. I am so glad that I went. I have never seen so many strangers bond, dance, jump, and scream like that. 

The bar after the Giants won. Champagne showers… 

making new friends!

the streets post-game

I have to admit though, I am happy it is the workweek where I can sink into my schedule, work out, and eat healthy, homemade food all week. Today’s workout is going to look something like this:

Booty Building Workout

The squat pyramid

  • 5 squats, 95#
  • 5 squats, 105#
  • 5 squats, 115#
  • 5 squats, 125#
  • 5 squats, 135#
  • to (almost) failure, 155#
  • to (almost) failure, 145# then 135#, then 125#, then 115#, then 105#, then 95#

3 sets of 8-12 at a challenging weight

  • lat pull downs
  • walking lunges holding DB in each hand
  • rows
  • incline sit ups

The recipe for today is not completely paleo but is far healthier than your typical takeout version of Mongolian beef, which is usually loaded with sugar!

Healthier Mongolian Beef


adapted from very culinary
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup NuNaturals Baking Blend Stevia
  • 1/2 tsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2-2/3 lb flank steak
  • 2 tbsp white whole wheat flour (or tapioca or potato starch)
  • 1 green onion

Directions – For the sauce, heat 1 tsp of coconut oil in a sauce pan over medium low heat. Add the fresh ginger and garlic to the pan, quickly followed by the soy sauce and water. Add the baking stevia (or sugar) to the sauce and raise the heat to medium and boil for 2-3 minutes, until the sauce is thicker. Remove the pan from heat.

Slice the steak into bite size pieces. Lightly dust the pieces of steak with the flour or starch. Let sit for 5-10 minutes so the starch sticks. During that time, heat up 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a pan on medium-high heat, until hot but not smoking. Add the beef to the oil and saute for just about two minutes or until the beef is darkened on the edges. Remove the beef and place on a clean towel. Put the pan with the sauce back on the medium heat and put the meat back into the pan to simmer for 1 minute. Add the green onions.

Serve the beef with steamed broccoli and your choice of carbohydrate (like soba noodles, quinoa, rice, potatoes, or more broccoli!). Use the extra sauce for the veggies, etc.

killer bacon broccoli salad.

Hello everyone!

I seem to have a penchant for obnoxiously long domain names, as I have purchased TheInformedHealthNut.com as the new home for this blog!

So much has happened in the last month, I can’t even fathom it. I have now been working in the doctor office for almost two months and have really been enjoying it. Although, I definitely need to go work attire shopping. But with what time?!

Those work flats are not happening anymore, though. I was beginning to experience some foot pain (eek!), so I went to see a new orthopedic doctor here in the city. We determined that it was walking around the city in my work flats and lugging my laptop that was causing the pain. Thus, tennis shoes are now being worn with my work outfits when in public. So fashionable..

Speaking of work clothes, I now get to get paid to wear spandex and knee socks to work! Last night was my first shift at Crunch Fitness on New Montgomery. I will be working there part time as a personal trainer. The vibe is awesome. It is not too frou frou like some gyms in the city, but it is still a nice facility and very high energy. People go there to work out and make changes, not merely see and be seen. I am excited to fill up my schedule with clients and work with them on their fitness and nutrition! If you live in the Bay Area, come see me for a free hour evaluation and work out! One of the trainers asked me to give him a CrossFit style workout for him last night between clients, so I put him through this wretched little number:

5 Rounds For Time

  • 22 wall balls, 20# ball
  • 30 dumbbell snatches (15 per hand), 50# DB
  • 22 box jumps, 24 inches

As far as San Fran living, I have been doing as much as possible. My logic is that if I am going to pay enough in rent to sustain a family of 4 in the Midwest, than I better live the life of four people each month. Activities have included:

attending my first Giant’s game (going to the World Series!!!!) and watching the Blue Angels fly overhead

 Hardly Strictly bluegrass festival

hiking to the beach + exploring the Mission and most of the other ‘hoods

going to the flea market with Natalie + exploring several food and cultural festivals

I have surely bored you all to tears with all my talk of stress fractures, so I am going to sum this up as quickly as possible. At the beginning of October, I got the OK to lifting weights again. Have been loving it. Started to get a bit of foot pain, but not during workouts. Saw a doc and figured it out. Am currently lifting and being cautious. Get to add in some running in November. Get to add in CrossFit style workouts/ lifts in December. Done.

Endurance Focused Lifting Workout

5 sets of:

  • 20 backsquats, 95#
  • 12 military presses, 45#

4 sets of: 

  • 20 deadlifts, 115#
  • 15 lateral DB raises, 10#

Between my two jobs, I now work from 10:3o am to 9 pm with a break to work out in there. Thus, I have to bring both my lunch and dinner with me each day. This is going to make recipe posts more difficult, but hopefully it will be a great way to learn how to make portable meals that are suitable for work  that are actually tasty and healthy. Expect that in the near future! A recent fave…

Addictive Bacon Broccoli Salad

Recipe: Serves 2 as a side

  • 3 cups raw broccoli, chopped
  • 2-3 slices of bacon
  • 3 tbsp sweet onion, finely diced
  • 3 tbsp light mayo
  • 1 tbsp greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • salt, to taste

Directions – Cook the bacon in the microwave for 2 or 3 minutes, until very crispy. Lay on a paper towel to drain. Once cooled, crumble into bits. Combine the broccoli, bacon bits, diced onion, mayo, Greek yogurt, honey, apple cider vinegar, raisins, and salt in a bowl. Mix well. Taste and adjust to personal preference. Enjoy!

What I Ate Wednesday: Moving edition!

Moving time always brings about my most creative, disgusting, and occasionally accidental-genius meals, so this

is all about using up the random ingredients in the fridge. Breakfast has been a desperate attempt to finish up all my various protein powders. I didn’t realize I was such a whey protein ho?…

protein waffles topped with coconut butter, almond butter, brasil nut butter, and suga free maple syrup!

After breakfast, I read for a while, packed more, and then hit the gym. Since studying for my personal training certification, I have realized that I need to change up my lifting workouts! I always was aiming for high weight, low reps in order to get stronger and build more muscle, but now I am understanding the importance of having days that are aimed at muscular endurance. It was so much fun to do something new(ish) at the gym!

Foot Injury Friendly Lifting Workout 

If possible, do each pair of exercises by alternating sets. AKA, do a set of 15 reps of one exercise, then a set of 15 reps of the other exercise, and repeat 5 times. Pick a weight that you can complete the full 15 reps. 

  • Bench press and Leg extension machine
  • Lat pull down and Hamstring flexion machine (where you are on your stomach and pull your feet back) 
  • Back extensions holding weight plate and tricep raises holding weight plate

After that workout I was ready for lunchLindsay inspired me a while ago to use broccoli slaw mixed with canned tuna, greek yogurt, and spices to make a healthy salad. This has turned into a go to meal that is easy, quick, healthy, and satisfying both physically and mentally. The possibilities are endless!

The Go-To Lunch Salad

Recipe: Serves 1 – high protein, low carb, grain free

  • the protein: canned tuna or sardines or salmon
  • the sauce: 1 tbsp mayo + 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • the veggies: my favorite is broccoli slaw + chopped red bell pepper + diced onion. or any salad greens, sprouts, shaved carrots, tomatoes, etc.
  • the spices: my favorite combo is curry powder, salt, pepper, raisins, and a splash of red wine vinegar and worchesire sauce. or mustard, honey, and a dash of red wine vinegar with slivered almonds. or lemon juice, lemon pepper, honey, a pinch of cumin, and a dash of white wine vinegar.

Dinner was left over chicken breast and roasted sweet potato with the a green bean salad on the side. I had this recipe pinned for months now and realized it was the perfect opportunity to use up the rest of my blue cheese and make a dent in my walnut oil and walnut stash. I was not expecting it to be fabulous – but it was. So much so that I immediately made another batch for tomorrow!

green bean salad with walnut oil, black walnuts, and blue cheese

Recipe: Serves 2

slightly adapted from cooking spree

  • 1 bag of green beans
  • 1 1/2 tbsp walnut oil
  • 1/4 cup black walnuts, chopped
  • handful of blue cheese, crumbled
  • salt, to taste

DirectionsHer directions are totally different than mine and will probably yield tastier beans, but I wanted to make this quickly. Add the beans to a large bowl with a drizzle of water, cover, and microwave until softened, about 3 minutes. Drain the water. Add the oil, salt, and blue cheese and toss so that the beans are evenly covered. Sprinkle with the chopped walnuts and enjoy!

And we mustn’t forget dessert….





Clearly, I can’t contain my excitement.

Recipe to come… ;)

“What I Ate” Wednesday…

I haven’t done a

in a while, so I thought I would!

Obviously, the day started out with a high protein, whole wheat Belgian waffle. I was feeling frisky and couldn’t decide which fat to smother it in, so I just put ’em all on there. Half was smothered in coconut butter, a quarter in peanut butter, and a quarter in cake batter cashew butter.

After breakfast, I went to the ARC and had a particularly de-stressing lifting session and followed that up with a small protein shake of just 1/2 scoop of TBC cinnamon bun whey protein mixed with vanilla almond milk.

Current Favorite Lifting Workout 

  • Back squats, 155 lbs – 3 sets of 6 or failure
  • Deadlifts, 155 lbs – 3 sets of 6
  • Pull ups, bodyweight – 3 sets until failure
  • Tricep dips, bodyweight – 3 sets until failure
  • Butt (kick back) machine, 190 lbs – 3 sets of 6 per cheek
  • Lat pull downs, 85 lbs – 3 sets of 6
  • Hamstring curl machine, 70 lbs – 3 sets of 8
  • Abs + pushups

Then, I went to biology lab and was bored outta my gourd for 2 hours. I raced home to make lunch and was so hungry I just kinda winged it. Usually that turns into an epic fail, but this

curry & coconut oil fried chicken and root vegetables

hit the spot.

Recipe: Serves 1

  • ~3/4 cup sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 cup butternut squash, cubed
  • 5 oz chicken, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • handful snap peas
  • yellow curry powder
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • handful shredded coconut
  • salt

Directions – Add 1 tbsp of the coconut oil to a pan on medium high heat on the stovetop. Fry the potatoes and squash until slightly soft. Add the other 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil as well as the chicken and snap peas. Sprinkle the spices liberally over everything. Stir fry until the potatoes are crisp and the squash and chicken are cooked through. Garnish with shredded coconut. Enjoy!!

Then,  I ran to the grocery store, snacked on an apple + black walnuts, and studied some.

For dinner, I was craving sweet potatoes again and wanted to try a cuisine from a country I had never been before.


Lomo Saltdado

Recipe: Makes 2 servings

adapted from A Cozy Kitchen

  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • 2 tbsp garlic olive oil
  • ~2/3 lb sirloin steak, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 handfuls cherry tomatoes
  • 1 serrano pepper, de-seeded and minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • fresh parsley, minced
  • salt & pepper to taste
Directions –  Heat 2 tablespoons of garlic olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. While the oil is heating up, sprinkle a liberal amount of salt and pepper over the strips of meat. Fry the potatoes in the oil until slightly soft. Add the meat and cook on first side for 1-2 minutes, until slightly browned. Flip and cook on opposite side for an additional 30 seconds. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside. Add in the onions and tomatoes. Cook until slightly translucent, 2-3 minutes. Throw in the diced pepper, garlic, cumin, ketchup and soy sauce. Cook mixture for an additional 2-3 minutes. Salt to taste. Add in the cooked beef strips and garnish with minced Italian parsley.

After dinner, I went to a DG meeting and got some ice crame with a couple friends. As we were leaving the shop, one of them accidently smashed her boyfriends car into the car next to her in the parking lot :(. It was understandable though, the parking spots were really strange. Instead of being rectangles in parallel to one another, they were diagonal and deceivingly long… But she left a note with all of her information and its all being sorted out!

Question: Do y’all ever make traditional recipes from countries you want to travel to?? Have a lovely Wednesday!

an amazing lunch

So, I started a Pinterest account.

Not because I want followers, not because I want to follow, but because I needed to do something about the sick amount of recipes I have bookmarked on my browser and starred in my Google Reader. It was getting ridiculous – and they weren’t even useful because the mass quantity of unorganized information was daunting. Plus, there were no pictures with the titles, only boring text – which is not inspiring in the least. (I realize this is something I need to fix with my own blog.)

Since this Pinning has started, my recipe-following has skyrocketed! One thing I have learned though, is that just beacuse something is published in print or online does not mean that it is actually going to taste good. Some recipes have bombed, some have been decent, and a couple have blown my mind.

This one is my favorite thus far and will certainly become a staple ’round hurr…

Chicken, Green Bean, Corn, and Farro Salad with Goat Cheese

Recipe: Makes 4 servings

slightly adapted from epicurious

  • 1 cup cooked farro (I used a quinoa mix!)
  • 2 large chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 4 cups green beans, cut and steamed
  • 2 cups cooked corn kernels
  • 1-2 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp minced marjoram [Yes, you must go out and find this. I bought dried but the original calls for fresh.]
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp minced shallot
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 4 oz. goat cheese

Directions – Mix farro, chicken, and green beans in a bowl. Add corn and green onions. To make the dressing, combine the oil, marjoram, and salt. Press with a spoon to release flavor. Whisk in vinegar, shallot, and mustard. Pour over salad and toss. Crumble in goat cheese and toss again. Season with salt and pepper.


Corn * gets its yellow color from its antioxidant content, carotenoids! Also has a high fiber content, particularly insoluble, which aids in regularity!

Green beans * are full of carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamin C, and beta carotene, all of which have antioxidant activity and thus reduce oxidative damage. One study showed green beans to have potent anti-inflammatory action.

Marjoram * is rich in vitamin C, A, and antioxidants. It is also one of the richest herbal sources of vitamin K, which is very important for bone health!

Quinoa *  This super food has more protein, fiber, and nutrients than rice, oats, and almost every other grain.


Also, just so y’all know, I have added a workout tab to the blog! It made me realize I haven’t posted my most recent lifting routine. I am actually just about to get my 90% hangover-recovered self to the gym to do it…(First and last Thursday night outing of the quarter – don’t judge!)

Full Body Lifting Workout

This takes me about 50-55 minutes, starting with a half mile warm up jog on the treadmill. Follow with a delicious whey protein shake!

Back squats – 145 lbs – 5 sets of 6 reps (always take a break if your form begins to slip! Remember: Duck ass!)

Pull ups – 3 sets of as many as possible

Dead lifts – 120 lbs – 3 sets of 8

Kickback machine – 190 lbs – 3 sets of 6 for each leg cheek

Lat pull down – 75 lbs – 3 sets of 8

Leg curl machine (hamstrings) – 75 lbs – 3 sets of 8

Tricep dips – bodyweight – 3 sets of 8 (or failure)

One legged lunges (with other leg on bench) with barbell over upper back – 50 lbs – 3 sets of 8 per leg

Hanging leg raises – 3 sets of 15+

Other ab work/pushups if you’ve got the energy!

Hello from Lake of the Ozarks!

I have immersed myself in summer and it feels so good. This means going to summer school in the morning, workout  in the afternoon, and dividing the rest of my day to studies and fun with friends. I have been lifting weights 2-3x a week and doing most HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardio 2-3 days a week. For your workout inspiration…

Track Intervals #1

12 minute warm up jog (for me, this is running to the track near my house)

200 meter SPRINT

200 meter SLOW walk/shuffle/jog (this totals 1 lap)

repeat 4x or 9x

12 minute cool down jog

Mix Up Workout

This workout was inspired by Lori. It truly is a workout that you have no excuse to not do. No matter where you are or how little time you have, you can drop and do this little routine!

15 minute warm up jog

10 pushups

10 deep squats

10 jumping lunges

10 situps

repeat 4x or 10x

5 minute cool down jog

Lifting #1

1/2 mile warm up jog or run

5×10 squats, 125 lbs  [booty]

3×10 dead lifts, 80 lbs   [lower back/hamstrings]

3×10 lat pull down, 50 lbs  [upper back]

3×10 seated double arm cable pully rows, 40 lbs [mid back]

3×12 seated leg press, 185 lbs [booty/hamstrings]

3×10 military press, 30 lbs [shoulders]

3×10 cable push down, 30 lbs [triceps]

3×12 (on each side) side bend, 45 lbs [abs]

3×12 hanging leg lifts [lower abs]

1×1 whey protein smoothie

If you aren’t sure what some of these are, this is a great website!

My current favorite whey protein smoothie is

Blueberry PopTart Protein Smoothie

1/2 cup frozen blueberries (Rhythm and Blueberries is the best)

1 scoop cinnamon bun whey protein powder

2 tbsp greek yogurt

handful ice

3/4 cup vanilla almond milk

pinch salt

optional toppings: shredded coconut

Blend away!

I updated my Recipes page, so it should be much easier to find the type of meal you are looking for! I have been lacking in the inspiration department as far as cooking goes, but when I return home from my family reunion (from now until Sunday!) in Lake of the Ozarks, I plan on getting back into cooking REAL meals. I have been feeding on very simple things that I almost feel silly posting because they are so simple. For example, breakfasts have included Texas style breakfast tacos…

whole wheat tortilla, 1 egg + 3 egg whites, full fat cheddar cheese, sour cream, cherry tomatoes, onions

yogurt messes…

high fiber cereal, corn puffs, vanilla almond milk, greek yogurt, mixed nuts

And lunches have included homemade spring rolls, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and…

Summer Strawberry & Almond Chicken Salad

1/2 grilled chicken breast (cold), shredded

2-3 tbsp sour cream

~5 strawberries, sliced

2 tbsp slivered almonds

Toss ingredients together and serve on a salad or as a whole grain sandwich or wrap!

perfect for a hot summer day

My housemates thought it was strange I was using sour cream instead of mayo for chicken salad, but I thought it was grreat. Ill be back in a few days, enjoy your weekends!

Parting words of wisdom from last weekend’s adventure in SF…

as I wear my heels…