Experimenting in the kitchen

As I have mentioned in the past since my FUNemployment began I have a long to do list of things, including getting healthy.

And one of the many ways I am working on getting back to healthy (and hopefully lose a few pounds in the process) is by experimenting with recipes and cooking.

I will be out of town next week and the amount of blogging (and cooking for sure) will be minimal if at all.

So I thought this week I would share three recipes I have been experimenting with lately.

My friend and GFG! reader who suggested the Recipes tab told me about a soup she easily makes in the blender.

Recipe 1:

I experimented with her idea and came up with this:

  • 3 medium raw tomatoes
  • garlic
  • 1/4 onion
  • jalapeño
  • fresh basil

Throw all the ingredients into a blender. Apparently some blenders, such as the Vitamix, have a heat function. My Ninja doesn’t. If your blender has the heat function you can blend and warm your soup at the same time. I had to pour my cold soup into a pot and heat up. I guess you could also put in the microwave.

The soup was … Continue reading

Pursuing happiness

You want to know the real reason I quit my job?

I wasn’t happy.

I was also becoming a person I didn’t like.

And that definitely needed to change.

When I started my yoga teacher training about a year ago (can’t believe that was a year ago) it wasn’t my intention to quit my job and solely be a yoga teacher.

I planned to teach on the side and maybe eventually move more full time into health and wellness, which would include being a yoga teacher and blogger (and maybe a few other things I have up my sleeve), but like everything in life, things changed.

I have many things to do on my to do list. But the No. 1 item is to be happy.

I can’t be the best me if I am not happy and good to myself.

A few friends have asked me: Are you teaching full time? Where are you teaching?

No to the first question. Keep reading for an answer to the second question.

First, yoga teachers can’t possibly work 40 hours a week as a yoga teacher. Most teachers have to travel to multiple studios (or gyms) for classes, teaching can be emotionally and physically … Continue reading

Trying out HG’s miracle mashies

Since my recent “FUNemployment” began I have been trying to cook more. It’s not something I enjoy. But really to ensure I eat healthy (and not spend a ton of money) I need to cook at home often.

Because I have more time to plan meals, look up healthy recipes online, shop and execute the deliciously healthy nutritious meals cooking is much more tolerable.

A lot of my meal research comes from Hungry Girl. The website description says: healthy recipes, low-calories foods, weight-loss advice, diet tips ‘n’ tricks.

I have been a fan of Hungry Girl for years. I have a few of her cookbooks. I even went to one of her book signings.

Hungry Girl comes up with recipes we know and love and finds healthier and/or lower calorie versions of so many dishes.

My goal is to feature a recipe every week (or so) on the new Recipes tab here on GFG!

Last week one night for dinner I made ahi tuna steaks. I asked Curt what he wanted with the tuna. He requested a starch. (Don’t worry, we also had green beens.)

My research on the World Wide Web told me that mashed potatoes were a good starch … Continue reading

Celebrate Stoptober & be aware this month

I seriously had no ideas for an October Monthly Challenge. I was just not going to do one.

But I decided to post on the Monthly Challenge Facebook page asking friends if they had any suggestions. And I got two almost immediately. Thanks, Rosie and Jen!

My friend Rosie is from the UK and this month is Stoptober, which means being sober and smoke-free for the month. Read more about it here.

If you’re a smoker, this might be a great time to think about quitting. It may not happen this month. But think about how much healthier (and nicer smelling) you will be if you quit.

I told Rosie that this is my birthday month and there is no way I am gonna give up drinking even with the supposed gold pass of one time to cheat this month. I mean, I am going to Tahiti next week and plan on having a lot of fuu-fuu drinks!

But hey, it’s always a good idea to limit alcohol. So maybe keep your drinking to only the weekends. Or cut your usual alcohol intake in half. Or if you really want to get crazy, try not drinking for the whole … Continue reading

Cooking and blending my way to healthy eating

During this time I am taking off from working full time I want to get back to healthy: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and in any other way I can.

I have started eating better, drinking even more water than I was before and I am even cooking a bit. (I’ve also started back with my regular home yoga practice, regularly attending public yoga classes and getting some cardio in at my gym.)

Let’s get back to that cooking thing I mentioned above …

Even though I have two parents who are amazing cooks, I don’t like cooking. When I was a kid and my brother and I were old enough we were given the task to cook one night a week to help our mom, who was a single parent.

I absolutely hated it. I begged my mom for any other chore. So I had to vacuum the house. And to the day I still don’t mind vacuuming.

I have many goals in mind during my break. One of them is not to become a housewife–this is no offense to housewives, it is just not me.

One of my goals (besides tackling that atrocious unorganized pantry, cleaning up my e-mail inbox, … Continue reading

Say no to processed foods, yes to glutes

OK, it’s Labor Day and the first day of September, which means it is time for a new Monthly Challenge.

August’s Monthly Challenge was about slowing down. How did that go? I think it a great practice to continue in life moving forward.

OK, onto September’s challenges …

Nutrition: We all know that processed foods, which typically come in a can or box, aren’t great for you. They have lots of ingredients we can’t pronounce.

We are all busy in life and know that sometimes opening a can or box and throwing dinner in the microwave is easy.

We all probably can’t commit to completely eliminating processed foods for the whole month. So maybe for one meal a day, or once a week or just once this month. Try to replace it with something fresh, like fruits and or vegetables.

Exercise: The other day in a yoga class I taught we did some exercises for the glutes.  So I decided to make that the exercise challenge for this month. When you exercise try to dedicate some time to your glutes every time.

If you need more direction then just me telling you to do some exercises, how about each … Continue reading

Just slow down …

Hey, ya’ll, GFG!’s Monthly Challenges are back.

Thanks for your patience while the Monthly Challenges went on hiatus. Life is a little more calm so the Challenges will continue … on one condition … participation. I will try to keep them going for the rest of 2014 and evaluate at the end of the year.

It has been months since our last Monthly Challenge. And frankly, it took me some time to come up with challenges. How did I come up with something (nutrition and exercise) every single month?

Nutrition: Enjoy the food you are eating. How often do you drink your breakfast while commuting to work, eat dinner in front of the TV, stuff lunch down your throat while answering e-mail?

This is a tough one for me. I am a multi-tasker, which is not a positive trait to have. Yea, great you can do a whole bunch of things at the same time, but not very well.

If you can’t commit to all of your meals and snacks to just focus on the food you are eating, try it for one meal a day, one a week or if you really find this challenging, one meal the month of … Continue reading

Benefits of chia seeds

A friend at work recently recommended I try chia seeds. I have heard of them before and knew they were supposed to be good for you. But I hadn’t sought them out.

Recently at the grocery I saw them and decided to buy them and try them out.

My friend uses the seeds in her morning smoothies.

I don’t make morning smoothies. So I have been adding a tablespoon of them into my 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt snack.

I like the texture and consistency of the seeds.

I also like the health benefits. (There are some claims that chia seeds help you lose weight. Not sure if that is true. And frankly, I don’t want to explore it. A healthy and balanced diet is what helps you lose and maintain weight. There is no quick fix or pill for that.)

According to WebMD, chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, grown in Mexico dating back to Mayan and Aztec cultures. … Chia seeds are a concentrated food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants and calcium.

Livestrong lists the top 10 health benefits of chia seeds: high in fiber; … Continue reading

Tasting Amsterdam: salted herring

Curt and I along with our friend Jacob are visiting Amsterdam for the week.

On Sunday we visited our friends Esteban and Loesje and their daughter, Sofia, who live outside The Hague.

At some point we started talking about herring.

Loesje showed us the pickled herring they had in their fridge, which isn’t the typical way to eat it in these parts. Soused (salted) herring is the way to eat it around here.

According to What’s up with Amsterdam, herring is a small fish that is very popular among Dutch people. It is caught in the North Sea and the East Sea (near Denmark) from mid May to mid July. 

So we are here for the end of the season.

According to Self Nutrition Data a raw fillet of herring (184 grams) has 17 grams of fat; 33 grams of protein; no fiber; and no carbohydrates. A cup (140 grams) of pickled herring has 25 grams of fat; 20 grams of protein; no fiber; and 13 grams of carbohydrates.

According to Livestrong, having herring is one the time when you want to opt for a protein source that is higher in fat, since higher-fat fish contain more of the … Continue reading

Spring Forward

This post is brought to you by the free wifi from the Starbucks in Harrah’s in Reno.

Twice a year I write about time change. (Read last year’s Spring Forward post here.)

It’s that time again to Spring Forward (tomorrow at 2 a.m.). I am not a fan of time change. I seriously don’t get the point of it. I grew up somewhere (Arizona) that time change doesn’t occur.

So to my Arizona family members who can never quite get the time difference: Starting tomorrow we will be on the same time.

This year’s time change will be interesting for me as Curt and I are out of town with friends.

Yesterday we took the Fun Train to Reno. When we come back tomorrow we will have sprung forward.

This is the advice I like to give (which I am guessing I will pretty much ignore with being out of town) on how to deal with time change: