Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Killer tofu

Remember the time two weeks ago I promised you a super exciting recipe? Well here it is...a recipe I came up with three weeks ago. I promise it was delicious. And I promise only half of it involved the steamer aka my favorite new cooking apparatus.

Chili Lime Tofu

  • 1 block firm tofu
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • Juice of one large lime
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chili paste (or more depending on desired spice level
  • A small handful of cilantro
  • 3-4 teaspoons coconut oil

Cut the block of tofu into desired shape (I cut mine into triangles). Set aside.

In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients minus the coconut oil.

Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat, and drizzle the coconut oil over the pan. Place as many tofu triangles over the pan as can fit. Allow the tofu to cook for a minute until slightly browned, and add the chili lime sauce.

Flip the tofu and keep on the pan until both sides are fully browned.

I served this along with some steamed eggplant and collards (seasoned with soy sauce and hoisin sauce) and quinoa.

I have to tell you about the crazy workout I decided to do today during my lunch break. If you feel like getting a short burst of cardio in, I would definitely recommend this. But I'm warning you...it is painful. In a good way of course.

And it made it so much better that I was in an almost empty gym. I was so close to quitting, but pushed through and boy did I feel sweaty after that. Too bad I had to go back to work after that...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Jelly arms

Monday Tuesday, we meet again.

Thankfully I got a decent amount of rest this weekend to make up for the severe lack of sleep that I endured last week. Not only that, but I had a weekend full of food, fun, and productivity, too!

Let's rewind back to last week's workouts. It wasn't as organized as the previous week had been, but even the spontaneity did not hinder me in completing my one exercise per day goal.

Sunday - rest day
Monday - HIIT
Tuesday - weights
Wednesday - 1 mile run/crazy tabata workout
Thursday - Zumba
Friday - weights "ladder" routine (see below)
Saturday - yoga

So the Friday evening weights routine that my friend Deepa and I did was pretty intense...especially for a Friday evening. But I would recommend it - it is short and sweet and will leave your arms feeling like jelly. And your body craving Thai food (or was that just us?).

There are 5 exercises:
  1. Bent over row
  2. Dead lift
  3. Shoulder press
  4. Squat
  5. Bicep curl 

Do 7 reps of each exercise, and after the last one, take a 30 second break. Then do 6 reps of each, 5, 4, 3, and then go back up to 4, 5, 6, and lastly 7. During the 30 second rest, we sometimes did high knees to make it even more interesting :). Make sure to get some heavy weights for these exercises to make it count!

Let's move on and talk about how I am still loving my steamer. I've been mostly using it to cook vegetables but am thinking I should branch out into eggs and grains soon.

The best part about it is that you can just chop the vegetables and let them do their thing in the steamer while you prepare the rest of the meal, so it does save quite a bit of time. Last week, I steamed tomatoes and spinach, and added them to some cooked brown rice with herbed feta cheese and TJs cooked lentils.

It kept me full after lunch every day! The herbed feta made the dish, I think. This week I used my steamer to make some eggplant...and I must say it exceeded my expectations - recipe to come!

Monday, August 5, 2013

The most important meal of the day.

Today's topic is breakfast.

It may not seem like an exciting topic, but it is. Because I have an announcement. After approximately two years of eating the exact same breakfast every day, I have decided to make a change. Who would have thought I would outgrow overnight oats?!

It just happened one day two weeks ago, when all I wanted for breakfast was some toast and sunflower seed butter. With a little drizzle of honey.

This week I have stepped it up and am adding bananas instead of the honey. Also quite delicious.

So during this strange time of breakfast transition, I was thinking about other quick breakfast ideas that could work for busy weekdays.

Eggs? Probably too much effort to cook in the morning, but that did not stop me from eating them for dinner a few nights last week!

Cereal is always an option, but a little too high maintenance for an on-the-go meal. I have decided to do a bit more research on breakfast ideas...clearly I am a rookie at this!

In other news, last week, I wrote down my workout schedule, not only for organization purposes, but also to keep me on track.

And guess what? It worked like a charm. In fact, I only strayed from it slightly. No yoga on Wednesday, Friday was Zumba, and Saturday was yoga. Rest day came on Sunday instead. I strongly believe in making lists, it really helps me feel more accountable.

So, opinions please, friends! What is your breakfast item of choice? Especially for those who are on-the-go breakfasters like myself?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

New beginnings

Hello friends!

I apologize for the lack of posts over the last seven months... I would like to say I have been all around the world and back. But actually, I have been!

I recently made some new goals and wanted to share them with you. For a while, I got so caught up with minute details of life that health and fitness took a back seat. Unfortunately, it's hard to get back into the swing of things after taking a break. I decided to transition gradually which has worked well so far!

Let's first start with the eats. I decided to get back into juicing...hooray for that one, because vegetable juice makes me feel so much healthier on the inside and so energetic. So, I began juicing last week and I am still on the juice train.

Last year, I got a steamer and I never used it because it had so many parts and it was overwhelming to figure it out. (Strange I know). I decided that I would take it out of the box this weekend and do some steaming.

Of course, I had to start my first steaming experience with a fancy recipe. I made some vegetable dumplings with a side of baked brown rice. Yes, baked brown rice. The verdict? Delicious.

Baked brown rice
  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 2/3 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in a baking pan. Cover with two layers of aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Vegetable dumplings
  • 1 bag broccoli slaw
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 block firm tofu, chopped into thin slices
  • 1 1/4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 inch ginger
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package wonton wrappers

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for the wonton wrappers. Gently mix. Spoon the mixture into the wonton wrappers and seal the wrappers by brushing the corners with water.

Place the sealed wrappers into a steamer and steam for 12 minutes. I steamed them in batches of 6-7 to ensure that there was enough space between each one in the steamer.

Serve with brown rice, more soy sauce, or chili sauce.

I am quite excited to eat these for lunch all week!

On the workout front, I have been fascinated by tabata recently. Tabata workouts are the definition of short and sweet -- extremely short and extremely sweaty! I have also been doing more yoga, which has been my goal for quite sometime. Last week, I opened up this upper body workout I found in Women's Health. Don't let it deceive you! It was harder than I thought it was, and I was sore for a couple of days afterwards. That's what I like to call success!

Anyone have any new workouts to recommend? How about any recipes that use a steamer?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Happy new year!

20 days late.

It's January, and everyone is all up on new year's resolutions, but I am that lone person who never even comes up with a new year's resolution. In fact, this year, for the first two weeks of the new year, I hardly even worked out and definitely did not eat as well as I should have been.

I know, I know. What kind of fitness gourmet am I?! Well, here are my thoughts. When on vacation, or eating out, or for special occasions in general, I try not to stress out about these things. When my usual daily routine consists of a one hour workout and healthy eats (sometimes to the extreme), I think my body will allow me some leeway every now and then.

This is another reason why I don't do the resolution thing. I hate feeling pressured, and I obviously would have failed instantly this year! So I guess it did work out for the best.

And now let's talk about my latest food obsessions!

New favorite snack: edamame. I buy it frozen, and put some in a bag to defrost in the fridge, after adding a little salt and garlic powder.

New favorite quesadilla (since we all know by now that quesadillas are one of my favorite food groups!): whole wheat tortilla, grated cheese, and meatless crumbles. With a side of some spicy salsa, as always.

New breakfast discovery: chia pudding with banana. For the one below, I used 3 tablespoons of chia seeds, about 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, sliced banana, and almond milk. For the almond milk, I added enough to give it a liquidy consistency prior to putting it in the fridge. I left it in there for about 15 minutes and it gelled up nicely! More almond milk can be added afterwards if necessary, but consistency should be pudding-like. Oh, don't forget the sunflower seed butter on top :).

Other than that, today I made The Fitnessista's kale and goat cheese salad as part of my lunch for tomorrow! Definitely still loving the good ol' kale.

Last week's workout recap:
Sunday: Run (3 miles)
Monday: TurboKick (still my most favorite workout ever!)
Tuesday: Body pump
Wednesday: Elliptical and foam roll
Thursday: Rest day
Friday: Run (3 miles)
Saturday: Yoga and salsa dancing :)