Saturday, April 30, 2011

My motivation

I have become a fitness and health addict.

It's true. Nowadays, I step into a grocery store and can't seem to stop myself from steering myself over to the organic produce or admire the fitness bar sections. Instead of anticipating mounds of books, gift certificates, chocolate or anything else for Christmas, all I can think about is a pretty pedometer watch that I can utilize on my runs. Or some workout clothes from Lulu or Nike. New shoes (Nike+) would be awesome too.
But these are things that I'll probably get for myself. I can't wait that long, you kidding?

But to my surprise, Christmas or some sort of gift-giving holiday came early:
a) My new pedometer watch. It's the MIO Drive Petite Heart Rate watch. I couldn't wait to use it so I went for a run last night along the seawall. Ran all the way from the Cambie Bridge (Yaletown, Nelson St) to Stanley Park.
That's a total of 10.77 km or 6.69 miles.
- Accurate heart rate measures
- Has a stop watch
- Simple and somewhat easy to use.
- Shows how many calories I've burned

- I have to literally stop to get my heart rate
- Doesn't have the distance on the watch

b) A coffee mug with my love, the Eiffel Tower, drawn on it. And it's HUGE too.

Exercise for the day:
- 1 hour run: 8.48 km/5.26 miles

Oh, and there was a question regarding the smoothies that I drink. For nutritional value, I drink this smoothie that's made up of fruit, milk (soy or almond for me), flax seeds and spinach/kale. You can't even taste the kale or the spinach.
I usually add one cup of almond milk, 2 cups of spinach, 1 banana, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1 tbsp flax seeds. If I get bored, I put in different fruits.
I found there's a huge difference in my energy and it's extremely filling (great for post-workout drink)
**If I'm out of milk, I use juice.

Loving this: Speaking of watches, I really want a normal watch. They're so sexy. The only complaint I have is that men's watches are sexier. I think I'm going to go watch shopping in NYC. Something silver and sleek. Nothing dainty, cute or small please. Bring on the chunky time pieces. 

Some sexy watches I found:
Sexy Nixon watch 1. How sexy is this? Sleek, bold and will go great with a suit or even just a t-shirt.

- Nixon watch 2, sexy, a bit of sexy shine that will catch your eye

- Nixon watch 3, simple.

Citizen watch. The watch that exercises simplicity and dominance. I love this watch. 

Watches are great gift ideas for your boyfriends. Or for me. Haha. With this, there will be NO excuse to be late.

Not loving this: The Royal Wedding. What the hell. Why in God's name would you spend up to 70 million on a wedding? $315 000 dress? Check. $800 000 in flowers? Check. $32 million in security? Check. $78 000 sugary cake? Check. Seriously, your highness.
I'm sure it was absolutely can feed a country with that amount. It boggles my mind.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Zucchini, peas, almonds, oh my!

Zucchini, Peas and Almond Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is, again, very simple to make. I'm not making anything too complex because well... I don't really have the ingredients since I'm leaving for NYC in 2 days and the fridge is a little lacking.
This baby took about 20-30 minutes to make and it was filling and tasty. 
The side of cucumbers (with balsamic vinegar) and humous on bread were responsible for the delighted stomach and taste buds as well. 

**I think next time I'll put in some white beans and maybe try some asparagus slivers. Yum.

*** Mine didn't have cheese and it was pretty good. I think I'll add some daiya cheese next time though.

Serves: 4-6 as light mains, or 2-4 as main dish

- 2-3 zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- Juice of one lemon
- 1/2 pound pasta of your choice, cooked, drained and cooled
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds (I used blanched slivers), toasted and cooled (leave them in the oven for 9 minutes in 300 degrees)
- 4 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 cup of peas, boiled and drained
- pepper & salt
- Feta cheese or parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, desired amount (for non-vegans)

1. Stir zucchini, almonds, peas and pasta together.

2. Whisk together olive oil and lemon juice. Season dressing with fresh pepper and salt as desired.

3. Toss with salad and adjust seasoning to taste.

4. Put desired grated/sliced cheese on salad. It would probably be about 1/2 cup.

5. Eat your little heart out.

Friday Fever

I don't get that itch anymore. That ITCH to go out to the bar or an event on weekends. It's not that I don't want to, it's just that I've become so accustomed to being low-key these past four weeks. I haven't been drinking in four weeks.

The reasons are simple:
a) My liver is thanking me and will have to return the gratitude by letting me have my ways in NYC (and this weekend)
b) Health. Drinking and the day after always gets me in a pickle. I lose my sense of routine and control.
c) Money. Enough said.

Tomorrow shall be a grand old time. A night of debauchery with my girls. It's kind of my "going away" soiree. Needless to say, we may drop by George (where it is a requirement for the bartenders to be attractive) and then just hop from bar to lounge. All I require is a good time, good music and vodka martinis, please.

Anyways, I'm going to finish this post, drink my coffee, catch up with my favourite blogs, then go for my run.
Workout today:
- 2.0 miles (At incline 7-15)
- 30 crunches
- 30 chest flies
- 30 leg lift crunches
- 30 bicycle crunches
- 10 push ups
******ran outside instead- 7.08 km run

I also need to add that my thoughts are already bloated with arousal, racing through the endless possibilities of what to devour for lunch. I went grocery shopping yesterday night and bought deliciously fresh and organic vegetables. Hummus. Flax bread. Almond butter. Almond milk.

Here's what I had for lunch yesterday. Simple and good:

 Almond butter, whole wheat bread, cinnamon sprinkled apples. Green Monster Smoothie.

Loving this: Stumbling upon old tunes on your playlist. Remember the days when Linkin Park was cool? Well, STILL IS. I love them along with Perfect Circle, Tool and Nine Inch Nails. How can you not? They're all sexy bands with a wide selection of sex(y) songs.

Loving this 2: The weather. The sun showers are kissing every inch of my apartment. Loving this a lot. Also going to take advantage and run on the seawall (thanks for the push, N!)

Loving this 3: I mapped my run on this website I just discovered. But I will also make note to get a pedometer. (unless someone wants to get little old me a pretty pedometer...)

Not loving this: I imagine this is what tar tastes like. Don't look at me, I blame my coffee machine entirely. Heh....


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Recipe time

Potato Tortilla
**Adapted from Smitten Kitchen**

I made this potato tortilla for my family today for lunch. I couldn't have any because it included eggs but it smelled and looked tasty.  I also made a side of orange almond herb salad with a honey vinaigrette. They loved it.

Serves: 4-6 as light mains

- 3 potatoes, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
- salt
- 1 cup of olive oil 
- 1 small onion, quartered and sliced
- 6 eggs (I used 6 egg whites)
- 2 tbsp vegetable or chicken broth/stock

1. Thinly slice the potatoes.

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat until very hot. About 3 minutes. Reduce heat to med-low and cook potatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally so they don't stick, for about 7 minutes. Stir in the onion, reduce heat and cook for another 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, transfer the onions and potatoes to a colander. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the oil.

3. Mix eggs and chicken stock in a large bowl and beat. Gently stir in potatoes and onions. Mash the potatoes gently just a little with a fork. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.

4. Heat the reserved oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and flatten out the potatoes with a spatula until it's levelled. Reduce heat to med-low. Push the edges of the tortilla in. Let it cook for 6-9 minutes, undisturbed. Run the spatula under the tortilla to ensure it's not stuck to the skillet. Top the skillet with a large plate (bigger than the skillet), quickly invert the tortilla onto the plate. Carefully slide the tortilla back into the skillet, uncooked side down. Shake the skillet to straighten the tortilla and push the edges in with the spatula again.

5. Reduce heat and cook for another 3-4 minutes. 

6. Slide the tortilla onto a serving plate. Let cool then cut wedges for serving. 


A New York state of mind

I'm going to be like this in NYC, everyday for 16 days!

You can just IMAGINE how excited I am about my trip to New York City. 6 more days and I'll be on that plane (if only that trip was one-way) to the Big Apple.

Here's my list of things to do so far:
- Union Square Park visit
- Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and have pizza at Grimaldi's
- Go shopping at Bedford Avenue
- Go to Julliard's School at Lincoln Center and watch a dance show
- Be gently coerced by my friend from New York to do naughty things
- Eat donuts at The Doughnut Plant on Grand Street with my friend and her NYPD boys
- Seduce a NY policeman
- MomaMoMaMoma, of course. Moma. (Free admissions on friday nights!)
- Go take pictures on every damn street
- Picnic at Central Park
- Go for runs in New York
- McQueen exhibit at Met Museum's Costume Institute
- Shoe shopping and a LOT of it

I'm still in the process of making more additions to this list. I haven't included my "restaurant" list because it's WAY too long. Let's just say there will be a lot of burgers, cheesecake and more burgers. (I have to find the best burger in New York. Obviously.)

If anyone else has suggestions, I will gladly jot them down.

Now I won't be going THAT crazy with the food in NYC because I still want to maintain my current diet at a healthy level. Additionally, I want to try my best to squeeze some runs during my trip.

Of course, I know full well that there is no way I could run 3 miles every morning during this trip (or...could I?!) but there is no reason not to try my best to incorporate a ton of exercise in.

Anyways, this morning was amazing. I got up, checked my emails, made a fresh pot of coffee and went for my run.
What I did at the gym:
- 2.70 miles (HIIT at incline 7.0)
- 10 push-ups
- 30 crunches
- 30 bicycle crunches
- 30 leg lift crunches
- 30 chest flies

Loving this: David Sedaris's book, 'When You Are Engulfed in Flames'. A mosaic of short essays about awkward moments. I started reading this on public transit and couldn't stop snickering. Note to self: do not read his books in public, ever. I am looking forward to his other books.

Not loving this: Oh please, PLEASE, Vancouver. Please show me some sun. I want to go on a long run on the seawall.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Downtown Girl

So it's not even 9 in the morning and I've accomplished a lot already.

After my first cup of coffee, I skimmed through some vegan recipes online (FatfreeVeganVegan Yum Yum), did some crunches/bicycle crunches (30 each) and now I'm going to quickly jot down my to do list for the day before I head for the gym.

Yesterday, I sauntered over to the book store to purchase a novel for the day. I ended up picking "The Master and Margarita" by Mikhail Bulgakov. Came home later in the evening and upon seeing my new purchase, my sister exclaimed she already had the book. Well, looks like I'm returning it.

Then a thought came over me, why buy a book when I can just walk over to the library (2 minutes away from my apartment) and lug back however many books I want for FREE? Wow, the idea of "borrowing books" from the library hasn't entered my mind since middle school. I've been so immersed in the great idea of buying books all these years after seeing reviews on forums and amazons that I overlooked this.

I'll make my way over there later today after my intense workout Day 2:

Here's the plan:
- 2 mins walking warm-up (4.0 mph, incline 7.0)
- 1 mile run (6.0 mph, incline 7.0)
- walk (4.0 mph, incline 7.0)
- 1 mile run (6.0 mph, incline 7.0)
- 1 mile cool down (4.0 mph, incline 7.0)
- 2 mins cool down walk (3.0 mph, incline 7.0)

An addition to the workout, I'll be doing some push-ups ; I'm trying to strengthen my "real" push ups opposed to the "girl" ones I used to do on my knees.

Workout goals for the week:
- Push-ups- 10/a day
- 12 miles for the week (That's 2 miles a day for 6 days)
- Bicycle crunches- 30/a day
- Crunches- 30/a day

As for the weight, I'm making a conscious effort to NOT focus on the numbers. Numbers shouldn't define who I am and how successful I am. It's really hard to do since my mind has been fixated on this for a very LONG time.

Working on it. You gotta walk before you run, right?

Loving this: Homemade Larabars. I'm going to make some today with dates, bananas and almonds. This idea was definitely ignited by Oh She Glow's Larabars!. I'm also very excited to try some other variations. Luscious flavours like: coconut, walnuts, cashews, chocolate, peanuts, plums...choices, choices! Will post picture later today.

Loving this 2: Hawaii Five-0 is on tonight. YES!

Loving this 3: Easter dinner tonight. They're serving fish so I guess I'll be munching on the veggies. Mmmm....grilled veggies.

Not loving this: My playlist on my blackberry. Listening to the same songs every day is not my idea of a heart pumping good time when working out. New songs anyone?


Sunday, April 24, 2011

The day of chocolate and meat: Epic Meal Time.

With my alarm (my sister) waking me up at 7, we headed for the gym. After five minutes, I wanted to leave but I just kept going. Today's the first day of this challenge and I wasn't about to give up. I did about 25 minutes on the treadmill today, doing intervals (nothing like HIIT for fat burn) on a very high incline (I switch from 8.5 to 15).
Recounting every moment in the past when I've started something and gave up would take forever so to put it shortly, I have been running for 3 years or so. I also struggled with balance in nutrition and weight for four/five years with a very distorted focus on food.

This blog will hopefully help me with my goals and keep me going.
With that said, I hope you enjoy my daily adventures, fitness rants, recipes, and occasional rage or happy vents about everything in life.

Loving this: Bad ass men and women, fiction or non fiction, I love them all. The shows, Nikita and Hawaii Five-0 are receiving a lot of love from me right now; Mainly because Nikita is such a bad bitch (with a hot body) and Steve McGarrett is a sex god with killer personality. You can probably grate cheese on his abs.

I love you, Nikita. Seriously sexy.

And you, McGarrett. Can you exist in real life so we can get married?

Lunch today was great. Peas, a bed of brown rice, cauliflowers. Tofu with quick teriyaki sauce. Squeeze of lemon juice with salt and pepper. Delicious and so filling.