Saturday, April 30, 2011

Look, perfect for my favorite plant: cacti!

Check out this awesome, easy DIY modern planter!

(from Design Crush)

Asian-inspired baking links for me... and you too.

Since my computer is down, I thought of putting links I'd usually bookmark here. These are mostly Asian-inspired.

Chocolate chip cookie stuffed cupcakes

Extra dark brownies with lime and sea salt

Triple lighting

I love this idea of using three lanterns instead of just one. I like bright lighting, which brings me to the conclusion that yes, winter gives me SAD (seasonal affective disorder).

(from sfgirlbybay)

Investment in me & my favorite pasttime!

I bought my first pair of Lululemon crop pants. It set me back, but it's supposed to last 5 years.

I chose the Wunder Unders reversible in black and charcoal.

I wouldn't have purchased anything had it not been for the employee I had met at the gym previously. She's got a killer body... just enough muscles. But then again, she's been athletic her whole life. CrossFit is what gave her the push over to amazing. I'll work on trying it.

They gave me the cutest bag with their manifesto on it. :)

Eggs: whites for lunch, yolks for dessert

It's hard to recall a few days when I'm not writing it down. I've been eating eggs and lots of them for lunch, green juices in the morning still, and Shakeology to get me going in the late afternoon before classes. Of course, tons and tons of water.

I'll just share some pictures to help conceptualize the past week.

Egg whites with tomato, avocado, and feta

Egg whites with local Three Graces Dairy honey walnut goat cheese and spinach
Hungry Girl's California Love Mug

One night I made some PB chocolate banana tofu things. I didn't have any base so I just put the whipped-up tofu in cupcake liners.

Banana doughnuts with PB and chocolate ganache (at least on my 2 minis for myself)

Oh yeah, I burned cinnamon rolls. I wasn't even supposed to bake a second time this week, but my knees have been killing me and I need something to do as they rest.

I baked them double the amount of time accidentally. I don't know how I got 30 minutes stuck in my head instead of 10-15. Actually, I didn't even see the 10-15. Because cinnamon rolls are such a long process, I won't be trying any for awhile. I'm still searching for the best cinnamon roll recipe and it definitely could have been the ones I burnt, vegan cinnamon rolls from Sugarbomb Bakery. The fattie I am, I ate one even though it was burnt and it wasn't the worst thing ever. I'll just say they are the best cinnamon rolls because so far, vegan recipes for cinnamon rolls are far better than most and take less time.

For the rolls, I bought two types of vegan cream cheese: the standard Tofutti and a brand that Sugarbomb Bakery recommended, Follow Your Heart. I liked the taste of Tofutti more, but I agree that Follow Your Heart tastes more like cream cheese and also has more calories.

Anyways, I had all these egg yolks left from only eating egg whites all week. Consequentially, I bought a star fruit in hopes of making star fruit pudding, but I have a fear of buying pears and you need pears for that one. Instead, I thought: star fruit pudding! I found ONE recipe and tried it. It's not as overwhelming as lemon or lime curd but definitely much cooler right?

Of course, I had to use the star fruit curd right away. I made these mini bars with them, using the graham cracker crust recipe from a blueberry lemon square recipe. It involves graham crackers and coconut with some margarine. Simple.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My weekend in one post

Its been a few days. Thanks to my roommate, I get to blog!

Okay, so let me catch you all up. I've been cooking, juicing, and baking just once.

On Saturday, I went to the tailgates before weightlifting and yoga/Pilates and a bit of cardio. I bought honey and walnut goat cheese from Three Graces Dairy, a gluten-free cowboy cookie from Night & Day Bakery, and almond-walnut butter from Jack's Nut Butters.

I finally bought goat cheese. It was delicious, but I love goat cheese. It may be my favorite with its sourish taste. My roommate isn't a fan. The cookie wasn't too bad, but I definitely love Night & Day Bakery's pistachio olive oil cake and the cookies haven't proved to be as good. Finally, the nut butter was good, but it has a strong coconut oil taste to it.

After the North Asheville Tailgate, I headed to the City Market for a parsley plant, a strawberry-chocolate pie turnover from Pies in Disguise, and a mushroom pate turnover. Everything was just okay and oh, now that I mentioned it, I need to water my parsley plant.

Parsley plant

My roommate and I went downtown for a walk on the sunny day and then to the All Go West Fest where we listened to a few sets of some unknown band. We're not much into music is so we couldn't get very excited.

I went for a Easter Hike & Flow with Asheville Community Yoga. It was a nice 2.5 mile hike up, yoga, and then we came back down. Because it was Easter and most people spend that day with their families, the people who went were new to the area. Some were older and had amazing experiences like cross-country road tripping and farming.

Hike & Flow

Today is my day off working out cause step made my knee hurt a little, but I can tell and I need to be concerned cause once knee pain comes, it never goes away. Right?

Anyways, I'll just start sharing pictures.

Creamy green smoothie

Kris' go-to smoothie

Carrot cake smoothie

Easy cashew cream: equal parts water and cashews with a bit of vanilla

Carrot cake cinnamon rolls

It has been so long that I don't even remember how to use a PC. I can't get all the pictures up, but I made a creamy green smoothie, Kris' go-to smoothie and a carrot cake smoothie. The green juices and smoothies have given me more energy and working out in the morning is giving me back my body confidence.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Do what you want: this is a good day.

Yay, it's Friday and it was a half day. I didn't even work the full 4.5 hours. I went to work at 9:30 and left at 12:15. Screw work.

I got up early and decided that since I get off early, I should relax. Last night, I fell asleep with just 15 more minutes left of "Crazy Sexy Cancer" so I finished it off this morning while hula hooping. I did the 25 minute yoga practice in the special features. It was exactly what I needed to start my morning. That, and green juice. I ran out of cucumbers and pears so I bought some later.

For lunch, I had some steamed asparagus and finally ate at Gypsy Queen Cuisine. It's a food truck providing us with Lebanese/Middle Eastern food. I got a chicken shawarma and ate all the chicken with tomatoes and parsley. It was really filling. The pita was thinner than your typical pita. Since I'm off wheat for digestive purposes, I threw that out.

I came home with macadamia nuts and made a little macadamia nut butter with vegan white chocolate chips I procured at Amazing Savings. I also made another batch of sesame tahini laced with white chocolate (the best thing to make it edible). The macadamia nut butter wasn't as successful though. Too grainy. Maybe I overdosed on chocolate chips.

Afterwards, I took a nap. Funny how I'm tired at work but wasn't as tired when I came home. I forced an hour of nap time and it felt restorative.

I hit up the gym for 20 minutes on the elliptical, Turbo Kick, yoga, and Hip Hop Hustle.

Now I'm home, showered, and even dry brushed myself. I'm ready for a movie ("The Girl Who Played with Fire") and reading (The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest). I just made myself my Shakeology with strawberries and some chai tea with honey and almond milk. Fancy.

In other important news, my power adapter is frayed so it works not very often. But I'm planning to go camping tomorrow. I'll miss a few other going-ons, but camping is on my to-do list (at 23)!

All in all, a good day!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I need some inspiration!

Tonight wasn't great. I felt weak in Power, almost crying because of it then I wasn't 100% in Turbo because of it. Anyways, tomorrow will be a better day. I was going to start reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest and watch "The Girl Who Played with Fire," but not only did I start on a nut butter experiment, I came home and found "Crazy Sexy Cancer" in my mailbox from Netflix. I'm super excited now that I've finished playing with tahini and almonds.

I bought tahini from the market today. It was on sale ($2.99) and I've never had it. I tasted it and it was gross. Maybe because it was unsalted so when I came home from the gym, I added salt. Still gross. I put it all in a blender, put in sugar... gross. Cocoa powder? Not good enough. Real vegan white chocolate chips did the trick.

Then I decided to make raw almond butter. But not just regular raw almond butter, dark chocolate of course.

Now this is more edible. It was also pretty fun.

Recap of my day:
7:15-8:15 workout: Slim in 6
8:45-9:15: trip to Amazing Savings to buy all their packet's of Tera's Whey dark chocolate
9:15 breakfast: green juice, raw Nutella
9:30-5:30 work
12:30 lunch: hard boiled egg with asparagus
5 snack: Shakeology, almonds
5:40-5:50 workout: 10 mins stationary bike
6-7 workout: Power (weights class)
7-8 workout: Turbo Kick
8-9: shower
9-10:30: nut experiment
10 dinner: oops, I had so much fun, I ate my small Fuji apple and had my Tera's Whey pretty late tonight...
10:45-11:45 movie: "Crazy Sexy Cancer"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Apartment Therapy's small houses!

LonAnne's Vintage & Modern Texas Charmer

So awesome, I want to live in Julia's A-Frame!

The usual

It's already Wednesday. And guess what? I got a great surprise Friday; I only have to be at work from 9:30-2, but I'm hoping to get out early.

Anyways, eh it's the usual today.

9AM breakfast: Make Juice Not War
9:30AM-5:30PM work
12:30PM lunch: steamed asparagus; one Sriracha deviled egg
3:30PM snack: 1/4 cup pumpkin on Scandinavian crispbread
5:40-5:55 workout: sculpt or what was left of it
6-6:50 workout: Turbo Kick
7:15-7:25 workout: thigh machine
7:30-8:30 workout: yoga
shower then...
9:30PM snack: small Fuji apple with raw hazelnut spread
10:15PM snack: Tera's Whey in dark chocolate

Ms. Karen brought me the next book in Stiegg Larsson's series, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. Perfect since I finished the second book yesterday, but I got home late so I'm watching the rest of the first season of "Bones." I'll watch the movie to The Girl Who Played with Fire tomorrow.

Oh yeah, I'm supposed to rewrite my goals (yesterday) so here they are this week. I've decided on 5 this week. All others are kind of steps to these bigger goals.
  1. Get down to 115-118 by working out daily, eating greens/healthier food.
  2. Get a teaching job by first applying for jobs ASAP
  3. Teach a Turbo Kick class before I leave for California
  4. Be emotionally happy by a) making friends b) being pleasant at the gym
  5. Become an RD thus, go back to school

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Substitution for baking

I'm searching for more hobbies to replace baking. My roommate suggested gardening. Uh, I'm the girl who killed a cactus. Plus, our outdoors is gross. Our garage is gross as is our basement too. In any case, I don't want to invest in this house anymore. I want a hobby that satisfies my soul, like reading and watching movies or going to the gym and experiencing the world by going outside. Anyways, it was a bad suggestion (sorry), however, I would like to garden someday.

I decided I want a simple garden like this one:

Finding a balance, a new look & feel

This blog is a lot of things. It's mostly anything I want to post. I have lots of different interests: baking, working out, interior design, eating, etcetera.

When I started this blog, I wanted it to be about baking because I was baking a lot. Sorry pals, but that's on the backburner now. Instead, you'll see more cooking or juicing!

What happened? I've always been overweight.

I was up to 185 at my most in college then I lost 25 pounds between 2007 and 2008.

In 2009, right as I was graduating from college, I went down to 150.

Student teaching led me to lose 10 more pounds by the fall of 2009. 140 pounds.

I was working out and substitute teaching in the spring of 2010. I slowly lost 10 pounds. I was at my initial goal weight of 130 by spring 2010. Then I lost 15 more when I stopped substitute teaching and worked out an insane amount. I don't know how I came to work out so much in one day (5-6 hours?!). Who would've thought.

I was happy at 115, but I didn't know how to not lose weight. At my lowest, I was 111 pounds! I guess my body couldn't handle it, the stress of a sucky job, and my new hobby: baking. All of a sudden, and I'm not joking, in mid-October and early-November of 2010, I gained back 15 pounds!

I went back to California in the winter of 2010 and felt terrible at 130. I wasn't strong anymore. I decided to lay off and eat more. It didn't work to lose weight, but I maintained.

A few more months of work and I was up to 135! Oh crap. Thankfully, I went to California for a week. It was for my grandfather's funeral, but I decided to go HIGH RAW. I lost 5 pounds and only worked out once a day, in the morning.

I'm maintaining 130 or thereabouts, but I figured out a few things.
  • I've worked out about 5 times a week for more than a year. This isn't the problem. Just don't get bored... and weight train.
  • I need to stop eating sweets. Baking will need to stop.
  • Eat more greens. Going high raw is a great way of doing this. For some reason, I see going raw as fun and exciting. It's a challenge and I think of things I can eat not things I can't eat.
  • Protect my knees. I was doing great and all of sudden my knees have been hurting. I hear once the pain comes, it never goes away...
  • Find new hobbies to replace baking, including reading and researching health.
  • Try to enjoy working...
Only one workout today. I felt fantastic and awake all day, but still, Tuesdays are my least favorite at the gym because it's not all that exciting. Instead, I went to the tailgate market, looked at goodies, and came home. I wanted flowers...

Showered, I'm now in the process of making my own Nutella without powdered sugar (looking for a recipe) then prepping for tomorrow (veggies for my green juice), finishing The Girl Who Played with Fire, watch "Bones," and making sure I get enough sleep to wake up for class at 6AM tomorrow (since I skipped it tonight and I enjoy sparse AM classes).

7:30-8:30 workout: Slim in 6
8:45-9:15 breakfast: Make Juice Not War, green tea

9:30-5:30 work: the usual
12:35PM lunch: one simple Sriracha deviled egg, Brown Cow plain Greek yogurt
3:45PM snack: 1/4 c. pumpkin on slice of Scandinavian crispbread
5:35PM: tailgate market! woo!
6PM snack: Shakeology
8PM snack: a taste of the raw Nutella I made and a few dates!
10:30PM snack: Tera's Whey in dark chocolate

Monday, April 18, 2011

Back to the grind

But Sunday evening brings a feeling completely unlike, say, Tuesday evening. The slower pace on the sidewalks feels like reluctance. The traffic seems almost melancholy. You suspect that the dogs, out for the last walk of the night, can smell the Sunday-ness of it all.

Though I plan all my meals, I always allow room for extras. You can tell because I don't seem to eat very much...

  • 7:30-8:30 workout: Bob Harper's Cardio Conditioning
  • 8:45AM tea: generic green tea
  • 9:15AM breakfast: Make Juice Not War, 5 almonds
  • 12:40PM lunch: sweet potato w/ miso served with 2 stalks of bok choy
  • 3:30 snack: 1/4 cup pumpkin on 1 slice of Scandinavian bran crispbread
  • 5PM snack: Shakeology
  • 5:40-5:55 workout: 15 mins on stationary bike
  • 6-6:50 workout: step/tone
  • 7-7:20 workout: obstacle course circuit
  • 8:45PM dinner: 3 oz silken tofu w/ 0 cal & organic sugar; decaf mango green tea
  • 9:30PM more: Tera's Whey Fair Trade Dark Chocolate
  • 10PM more: small Gala apple with 1/4 cup pumpkin; 1/2 banana with 1 tbsp Peanut Butter & Co White Chocolate Wonder
Okay, so it's heavy on grams of sugar, but I got more than enough fiber and enough protein today!

Now on to boil eggs, brush my teeth (I figured out that the replacement heads for my toothbrush has a contraption that takes off the old one... duh and I hadn't changed it because I couldn't take the old one off), and read more of The Girl Who Played with Fire. My super awesome roommate rented me the movie version so once I get done, I can watch it. Till then (Wednesday I think), I'll get to watch "Bones." It seems like something I'd be into...

Oh, before I'm off. I bought hazelnuts because they were 20% off and I want to make my own Nutella this week!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Should plan on Sunday

Why do I call it meal plan Monday when it really should be done on Sundays and planned for the rest of the week? Anyways, I never finish these for Saturday or Sunday.

I bought a ton of asparagus at the farmers' market so that will have to be incorporated into my meals. Sadly, I'm not sure what adventurous ways I will cook them.

Sunday, April 17

breakfast: Jump Start (beet, carrots, parsley, etc.) from Whole Foods, Yerba Mate tea from Dobra Tea
snack: Vega Sequel Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer, berry flavored
dinner: Miso, Sesame, & Sweet Potato dip w/ bok choy (1/4 recipe)

workout: 8:45 30 mins elliptical; 9:30 yoga; 3:15 30 mins stationary bike; 4 Zumba; weights; 5:30 yoga

Monday, April 18
breakfast: Make Juice Not War

lunch: Miso, Sesame, & Sweet Potato dip w/ bok choy (1/4 recipe)
snack: Shakeology
dinner: Apple
workout: Bob Harper's cardio conditiong; 6 step

Tuesday, April 19
breakfast: Make Juice Not War
lunch: Turkish egg (egg w/ Greek yogurt)
snack: Shakeology
dinner: Apple
workout: No More Trouble Zones; 6 spin, 7 step

Wednesday, April 20
breakfast: Make Juice Not War
lunch: Steamed asparagus w/ Sriracha deviled egg
snack: Shakeology
dinner: Apple
workout: Slim in 6; 6 kickboxing; 7 abs; 7:30 yoga

Thursday, April 21
breakfast: Make Juice Not War
lunch: Steamed asapargus w/ Srirarcha deviled egg
snack: Shakeology
dinner: Apple
workout: Turbo Round 43; 6 Power; 7:05 Turbo Kick

Friday, April 22
breakfast: Make Juice Not War
lunch: Asparagus
snack: Shakeology
dinner: Apple
workout: Cardio conditioning; 6:30 hip hop

Saturday, April 23
workout: 8:30 step; 9:30 Power; 10:30 Centergy

Sunday, April 24
workout: 9:30 power yoga/spin; 4 Zumba; 5:30 yoga

This would be my blog.

Not only did this blog teach me how to complete a half moon manicure, she must be in my head. Cause look at this! Matcha cookies, and not just regular matcha cookies. These are cookies with matcha chocolate chips! Oh I'm excited.

I'm out of matcha so I'll need to find some and then I have to purchase more vegan white chocolate chips.

Okay, but I have to say that this won't happen too soon. I need to get my meal planning in order.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Need more hobbies

Let me just make it quick and dirty. I woke up at 6:15 AM, tried to do Turbo Kick but got tired halfway through (probably from throwing around a medicine ball), went to tailgates, bought a lot/ate a lot, came home, took a nap, skipped the gym, and finally went downtown.

I went to the Earth Day Celebration downtown at Pack Square Park and caught Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, a kid-friendly rapper. Not bad.

I liked this song the most.

And come on, the lyrics are pretty inspirational even for adults.

"Take a breath, then take the fear and face it
Remember who you are and that you’re real strong
Remember life is good and nothing feels wrong...
Both love and fear are living right where your soul is
But it’s your life and you’re the one that controls it
So just forget about your fears and then they
Will go away" - "Boogie Man"

I went home after a couple hours, first buying Sriracha hot sauce. I made dinner of three large shrimp and Sriracha cocktail sauce. Easy dinner.

Of course, being bored, I didn't stop there. I made myself half a batch of peanut butter Sriracha cookies. They bake quick so 10 minutes, the recommended amount of time, was far too much and made the cookies burn on the edges. Instead, I microwaved one for myself. The batter is freezing, but when I get perfectly baked, I'll snap a shot for ya.

Yikes. No more eating. This is what happens when I don't work out... I eat.

I can't wait for meal planning.

I haven't lost weight and my clothes aren't fitting any better. I need work on my inner thighs. This isn't the last of me. I'm not settling. I'll just have to keep doing my best and keep learning.

So, while I'm doing that, I need to lay off thinking about food and working out and find other hobbies. For example, I painted my nails tonight with a half moon manicure!

I found three awesome colors at Walgreens so got excited. Oh yeah, I totally didn't buy shampoo which is why I went in the first place. :/

My pointer finger messed up thus I decided to invert the colors to see if it looked better. Eh, I think it just depends on the steadiness of my hand.