April 30, 2009

Two new grains & an ugly confession!

Lets talk about the ugly part first. I have something to confess (not food related), I am a bad person, a bad friend. What made me think so? One of my best friend in the program won a prize (that I didn't participate) and I felt a little bit of jealousy instead of being happy for him. From one hand, I think it's human nature to feel jealousy (especially when someone close to you gets something good. I know I wouldn't feel the same if another person in the program won), from the other hand, I should be happy for him because he's my friend. The jealousy feeling only lasted few moments but the unpleasant guilty feeling about feeling jealousy keeps bothering me. It makes me feel I'm so obscure, so bad friend, so bad person. :(

Okay. now let's move to the pretty part. I tried two new grains!!! Quinoa and Spelt.
Breakfast combo
  • 1/3 c. quinoa
  • 1/2 c. almond breeze chocolate
  • 1/2 chopped apple
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin
  • vanilla/cinnamon
  • Coconut spread (from Krista)
It was a really interesting texture and flavor, fluffy, creamy, nutty and slightly crunchy texture. Some from info from WHFoods website:
Most commonly considered a grain, it is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. It is high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, this "grain" may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.
And the coconut spread is sooooo good.... perfect to add to this bowl because it's not sweetened and the nutty flavor was a little strong.
I got the book I ordered last week about Diabetes II, I hope I can learn a lot from it.
I had to go to campus in the morning and spend whole day there, so I packed this for snack (treats from Annie)No lunch pic because I had it with a visiting scholar, a professor and 3 students more. I had a Greek salad with greens, feta, walnuts and grapes. It was good, but I guess you can't really enjoy a meal when it's a "work" meal.
I came back home, bothered by the reason I mentioned above and starving! So I first had this lovely combo: strawberries, kamut puffs and almond milkAfter that gigantic bowl, I was still hungry, so I went to 1/2 muffin with LCI didn't feel like working out, not even yoga, so I had plenty of time to prepare a good dinner. Here it comes the second new grain: Spelt. It looks and tastes very similar to wheat berries. I made a pilaf with chicken broth, onions and green peasLove its chewy texture.
Also I made a variation of Maggie's sauteed squid. I used frozen octopus instead, omit the fish sauce because I didn't have it, replace sesame oil by canola oil + sesame seeds (because I didn't have sesame oil), and used onions instead of leeks which I also didn't have. The end result was amazingly good, so tasty!!!And 1/4 of baked kabocha. If you don't know what it is, Maggie just wrote a post about it.I was a delicious meal~ I enjoyed so much!!!
Dessert: another 1/4 of baked kabocha with cinnamonQuestion (related to the first part): Have you ever felt jealous about your close friends?

April 29, 2009

Heat makes me dizzy!!!!

It's so hot here in Maryland that I feel dizzy all day long. The air conditioning is still not on so I keep sleeping bad: moving between bed and floor; opening and closing windows; cursing the birds and trash truck every morning to wake me up (5am). grrrrrrrrr.......... I love summer..... but not this unpleasant side effects!!! Does anyone also feel dizzy during summer too? I think it's the low pressure that makes me feel dizzy all the time. I always have low pressure (60/90 is pretty good for me, sometimes during summer I got as low as 50/80). Any suggestion?

Feeling dizzy made me unproductive in term of work and eats. Didn't do much research and didn't do other things either... which is even worse. If I stop working when I realize that I'm not productive anymore, I could do something more enjoyable, like reading this book that I'm so fascinated and kept me going bed later than I want to. But instead, I kept trying to work a little more and end up wasting my time. :(

Anyway, lets move to my un-interesting eats.
Breakfast combo (which was the best meal of my day)
  • 1/3 c. flax seed porridge
  • 1/3 c. almond breeze chocolate
  • 1/4 c. wheat bran
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp egg white
  • 1 tbsp flax meal
  • Cinnamon swirl PB and blackberries.
AM snack: Argentinian chocolate filled with dulce de leche
(I know, I have to go to manicure urgently)
Packed lunch since I had to go to a seminar. Avocado Sandwich on a English Muffin.pretty simple: 1/2 ripped avocado + laughing cow + baby spinachThe rest of the lunch: sweet peppers + appleLunch left me not satisfied so when I came back (3pm) I had two cookies with tea.these cookies are soooooooo good.... not too sweet, crunchy and full of flavor. Thanks Krista!
Official PM snack: my latest favorite snack combo, strawberries, kamut puffs, almond milk.Then I went to a spin class, all sweat!!!!
I didn't crave anything for dinner except veggies, so another warm/cold salad
  • cold: baby spinach, tomatoes
  • warm: sauteed firm tofu, mushrooms, broccoli slaw, more spinach, light soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds. And microwaved egg white.
And a bowl of seaweed soup (cold)
Dessert was very chocolate: chocolate dairy free pudding and 1/3 bar of dark chocolate I hope either we get air conditioning soon or it starts raining to cool down, otherwise I can't go back to my productive mode!

Question: Do you get annoyed with yourself when you're not productive?

April 28, 2009

An old lesson: Live/focus the moment!~~

An old lesson for me was learned yesterday and I want to share my thoughts about it with you. Yesterday I went to the swimming pool (campus gym). I haven't swum for about a year because I usually get cold in water. I began to swim and after 20 min I was tired and felt that I was not moving correctly or breathing correctly. But I thought, maybe it was because my body lost memory about how to swim and I just need to do it more often and it will come back to normal eventually. I took a mini test to see how I was doing by counting how many times I need to change breath in each half lap (15 miles). That's my own way to measure my performance and I counted 13! Woooo... that confirmed I was doing bad, I usually take about 10-11. So, I focused on how I was swimming... how I was moving my legs and arms and how I was coordinating them. As I focused on what I was doing instead of thinking anything else (what to have dinner, what I have to do tomorrow, what's in my research agenda, how can I deal with hot weather tomorrow, etc) I improved immediately, from 13 to 12 the first lap and then after few laps I was doing 11. And the best part was I enjoyed more and I feel less tired! Bottom line: we can only do things well if we really focus on what we're doing. We often do one thing and think about other things, which makes us act like a machine doing just what we should be doing instead of enjoying it. How many times you workout and think about other things than working out itself? How many times when you eat you think about what's coming next instead of savor every bite of the food? That's so normal and I'm sure everyone does it.... but try to focus on what you're doing in the moment, and it really feels different. You perform better and enjoy more. If the purpose of we do is to relax ourselves from other things in our life, what's the point of thinking those stressful things when we're supposed to be relaxing??
And then I asked myself what are the things that when I do, I am 100% in it. I could only be sure about doing research and yoga. And by no surprise I enjoy so much both of them and I do well on both of them. I guess it's not a coincidence that we focus doing what we enjoy and because of that, we do them well.
I'll definitely apply this concept into others things in life and I hope by this way I can live/enjoy each moment of the short life.
What do you think? Do you live the moment?

okay. now to eats
Breakfast: I wanted to try Krista's mango oat combo the night before I read her post but when I woke up I was craving toast. So I listened to my body and went to my old favorite combo: strawberries, mango, Tj's english muffin, Cinnamon Swirl PB and laughing cow.Before leaving home to campus I had an orange and packed left half pack of the crackers because my presentation was going to finish at 2pm.Back home assembled a quick cold-warm salad since I was starving. Cold part: Spinach + sprouts + tomatoes. Warm part: sauteed celery, tofu and peppers with Country Bob's BBQ sauce and sesame seeds. It was perfect, I love it.And an oatmeal bagel with laughing cow.Dessert: ice cream + cookie (treat from Krista)Perfect combo!!! ^_^
PM snack: a bowl of kamuf puffs, almond breeze chocolate and fresh blackberries.
Dinner: a fusion of italian, chinese and japanese meal! Leftover vegetarian lasagna, scrambled egg with cucumbers and seaweed soup.And 3 course dessert: dairy free chocolate pudding, white fungus and argentinian chocolate.STUFFED but happy~~ ^_^

Question 2: What do you do with your old clothes?
I have a lot of used cloth that I don't think I'll use again, but each one brings some memories so I'm reluctant to throw them away.

April 27, 2009

A hot Sunday! ~~ ^_^

Yesterday we hit like 90F here in MD....sooooooooo hot!!!! And the worst part is that the air-conditioning was not on in my apartment!!! I couldn't sleep at night even I opened all the windows. grrrrrrr.......... not having own air-conditioning system sucks!!!
Anyway, my day went very well... A challenge 90 min vinyasa power yoga class in the morning doing new posesI finished around 1pm and had to meet Carmen at 2pm so I was planning to go to WF for a quick lunch. But the GPS was driving me crazy, and DC area isn't so driving friendly so I ended up in a sandwich place near her home (Georgetown) around 1.40pm and had to put into my mouse a turkey sandwich (pic from google pic, I didn't shy to take pic with all people around wondering me eating alone)Meeting with Carmen was good and she was nice to offer me some coffee and biscotti (my fav. tea cookie and hers too). From google pic again, Then I went to WF and TJ's for some groceries. When I was driving back, there was an accident in the highway so I was stuck there for about 30 min... not fun! But I got some good company with me. ^_^ I enjoyed the 30 min having these amazing crackers from Tj's.After almost 1/2 package of crackers I was so thirsty and craved something fresh and sweet. So I had a big gala apple once home.Then Qiao called me for a walk... I love walking around the neighbor with her. I used to walk a lot when I was in Argentina with Star, it's a really a good moment to talk and to connect to the other person.
Once home I assembled dinner in <15. style="font-style: italic; color: rgb(204, 0, 0);">craving salad... yes, after 14 days having salad, I couldn't break the habit suddenly. So I made a smoked salmon salad with 3 oz. package of Tj's smoked salmon, spinach, broccoli sprouts, cucumber, red peppers and white fungus (Maggie, I'm following you), and some olive and lemon juice. It was delicious!!! I love love love smoked salmon!! Although they're pricey, but totally worth it. And the addition of white fungus was so interesting! I've never had it this way, I'll definitely make this again. oh.... I almost forget to mention that I also had oatmeal bagel that Krista sent me. I remembered to take pic of it after munching 2/3 of it, so I took it together when my dessert.... my latest favorite: dairy free chocolate pudding!!! Heaven!!! You'll see more of this, I bought 3 package of silken tofu this week!!! ^__^
And then I had what I missed these last two weeks... chocolates!!! I had to have this (from Krista)it's just the kind of dark chocolate that I love, bitter and not so sweet! It melted perfectly in my mouse. oh.. heaven!!!
oh... I've never show you the amazing breakfast that I had... This beauty
  • 1/3 c. oat bran
  • 2 tbsp wheat cream (thanks to Krista)
  • 1/2 c. almond breeze chocolate
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 3 tbsp egg white
  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon Swirl PB
It was a big bowl of yummy fuel! Love it!~~~okay. this disorganized post has reached its end. It's still going to be very hot today.. but I'd better get moving, I have a presentation at 12.30pm and haven't studied yet!!! Not my style at all, but as this is just for a reading group that I'm in (financial crisis related), I'm just giving the attention that it deserves! (I'm sure the professor will be mad if he reads this).

Question: Do you take pics when you eat out alone? How do you deal with wondering faces?

April 26, 2009

Day 14: last day of the ChallageS and round up!

I can't believe that 2 weeks just flew by and I'm done with all those challengeS. I'll say it wasn't hard for me so maybe I shouldn't call them as challenges, because actually I enjoyed a lot. It made my meals easier to make (lunch usually was ready in <15min), class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb(102, 0, 0);">dairy free chocolate pudding and cheese-less pesto. It was really fun! Now, let's break down one by one:

Leng's salad challenge: needless to say I really enjoyed this one and learned how to make satisfying salads. The key is to add enough protein, fat and carbs, otherwise you'll feel hungry right after eating the salad. Another plus of this challenge is the visual pleasure... adding different colors of veggies makes every meal prettier, so I enjoy it even more.

Clean eating challenge: this one is tougher than the others because it requires you to prepare all the meals and be careful about ingredients. Another inconvenience is when you have to pack something for snack when you're not home. We are used to grab a bar and go. I work at home most of the time so it wasn't too hard for me. When I had go out, I just grab an apple and a packet BB. But if I have to do it more in the future, I'm thinking of making bread/muffin/bars for snack. The good thing about this challenge is that I could savor the food in its pure/natural form, since no artificial sauce/flavor was used. When our taste get used to natural flavors, we eat lighter and enjoy more the food.

Dairy free challenge: this one ended up easier than I thought. I was a HUGE fan of greek yogurt, I ate one cup everyday religiously and sometimes two. So, the first couple of days were hard to find desserts that I like to replace it. But... when I discover the magic of silken tofu to create really creamy, light, smooth puddings.... giving up yogurt was a piece of cake. Besides of yogurt, cheese was something that I don't eat much but crave it sometimes. There were few days that I really crave it. Luckily I found nutritional yeast to be a good substitute of cheese to make sauce. So, cheeseless pesto was born! ^_^ I'll make more cheeseless recipes with it in the future, it's really fun to create new recipes this way!

Only Organic challenge: this one was the easiest one because all I had to do is buy Organic. You might think it's a lot more expensive... but not too much. Just look at different organic store to buy their best deal.

Changes on me:
1. Feel lighter even after a big meal.
2. My belly felt better, felt less often bloated.
3. Less breakout after the first week. Maybe clearer? not sure. I might need more time to see effects on my skin.
4. I didn't feel less energy because I tracked my food intake to make sure I get enough cal and nutrients.

That was my round up of the challengeS. I'll continue to do most of them but let me indulge little treats whenever I crave it. I will continue with the dairy free challenge for 2 weeks more to see if my belly keeps feeling better and to see if my skin improves more.

Quick recap of yesterday. The massage was great!!! It was in the most chic place in MD, look where it is located, just in the same building as Louis Vuitton and Jimmy Choo!And look insides, where I lied down for 60 min and fell into half sleep! ^_^
In term of eats, let pics tell the story.

Today's plan:
- work
- yoga
- meeting with Carmen
- ..... TBD
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