Monday, December 29, 2008

: holiday season hiatus ::

So to be honest, I haven't made a dent in my weight goals for 01/29. I'm really screwed! Reflecting upon the past weeks, I must say that nutrition has taken a hit. It was not unexpected because of all the holiday eating + cooking. And also the weather really got me feeling pretty lazy although I've been sure to hit up KB workouts at least thrice a week. I hit some high moments but also had some low moments.

I wonder if i'm gaining more my muscle with the KB workouts? I dunno but I'm feeling pretty crabby today. I think I need to pay my friend the warrior diet an extended visit.

On another note, this was yesterday's breakfast blend. So delicious!!!


:: conditioning milestones ::

The last time I hiked Mission Peak it was July 27th (Day 42 of the health journey) and it took me 1:28:34 to ascend the 2200 ft (2.8 mi one-way).

Mission Peak hasn't changed much since then but I have! So we decided to hike up again yesterday and test our conditioning levels. The whole way up, I just kept telling myself - do your personal best, do your personal best. It was still frigging tough, but I forced myself to put one foot in front of the other. I stopped for no rest until just before the final peak ascent and boy am I proud of us! We made it up in 1:09:43, our personal best ever! I guess it does help that I'm lugging up alot less body weight now but still, my heart felt strong and great. Burnt 900 calories on the way up maintaining an average heart rate of 173 and maxing out at 183.

We're going to be doing MP alot more often now to train for our 4- day classic inca trail hike next year. Hopefully we'll get to sub-hour time at some point.

feeling very accomplished. and sore. haha

:: I challenge myself ::

== This entry is going to remain at the top until 01/29/09 as a reminder of my goals ==
Ever since the competition ended, I've lost another 10 lbs. But I'm still behind in my goals which was to be at 140 lbs by Dec 31st. Yeah.. that's really not going to happen. Considering there is thanksgiving and christmas season coming up, who am I kidding? The slowdown in weight loss is you know... expected. I've been pretty good about nutrition but exercise has definitely take a hit.

The system has worked itself out nicely for me. I still continue to follow warrior diet principles and undereat mostly fruits, vegs, seeds and nuts in the day. I've found that in general my appetite has diminished significantly during the day. I eat "anything" for my main meal but mostly prepare delicious meals made from fresh, organic, sustainable produce and stay away from processed foods. I'm also a flexetarian, eating meat when requested by the husband. I won't be a snobby eater at social gatherings because relationships are more important to me.
I haven't done anything in awhile. First there was the sprained ankle, and then the post-marathon recovery and then the 2 week cold. But with my running shoes in my garage and my kettlebell in the living room, erm, what excuse do I have? I need to exercise at least 5x a week which includes running, especially if i want to run a marathon in 2009. Discipline is much needed in this area. I also need more yoga to really help me balance things out. But essentially, I need to keep my body youthful, strong and supple! Especially if we plan on having kids in the near future!

While taking care of my God-given body is priority in my life, I need to take care of my spiritual being as well. I'm way behind in my new testament bible reading but I've given myself 6 months to complete it with the guide I purchased.

The New Challenge:

The chinese lunar new year falls on January 29 2009. That is my new deadline to get to 140 lbs which translates to about 2 lbs/ wk. Difficult but still doable. I was saddened yesterday to read that both Tracy and Mark have decided to stop blogging. They have both been huge in inspiring me on my journey especially when I started on the biggest loser challenge. So this is it, I have to challenge myself. No one's gonna love my body for me, I have to love it and care for it. It is my responsibility.

But if you have been inspired by my journey, and want to partner with me, let's do this together! (what that looks like, I don't know!)


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

:: merry christmas!!! ::

Send your own ElfYourself eCards


Sunday, December 21, 2008

:: lessons from hancock ::

So for those who have seen Hancock, you'll know that he's basically a superhero with an attitude problem who is not exactly the public's darling. So there's this scene where he rescues a guy who's trapped on an intersection on the train tracks... except he ended up causing extra damage to the cars and train with his poor rescue techniques. This scene persues...

Hancock: All of you people, blocking the intersection, you're all idiots.
Rail Crossing Crowd #1: You're the one that threw the dude's car at her. And what's with the train?
Rail Crossing Crowd #2: Why didn't you just go straight up in the air with the car? You've obviously injured that poor woman.
Rail Crossing Crowd #3: She's right. She should sue you.
Hancock: Okay. Well, you should sue McDonald's, 'cause they f***ed you up.

I think he makes a poignant point here. The root of the problem wasn't his rescue techniques - it was the people's poor decisions to block up train intersections. Same with the state of America's health today. Don't blame McDonalds, we only have ourselves to blame for consuming that crap. Make a choice today for your own body and don't blame anyone.

I thought Hancock would just be another one of those brainless action movies. But I actually ended up really liking it And another great movie i've seen recently is 7pounds. Wow .... but definitely should not be marketed as "the greatest christmas movie of all time". Go WILL!!!

:: 2000 swing workout ::

I said I would do it. So I'm doin' it. And I'm gonna do it to the Mamma Mia DVD so hopefully time will fly!

6 x {
40 double handed swings, 1 min
44 double handed swings, 1 min
44 11/11 x 2 single handed swings, 1 min
48 double handed swings, 1 min
44 22/22 x 1 single handed swings, 1 min
44 double handed swings, 1 min
40 double handed swings, 1 min }

44 11/11 x 2 single handed swings, 1 min
48 double handed swings, 12kg, 1 min
44 22/22 x 1 single handed swings, 1 min
40 double handed swings,12 kg 1 min

7 mins x 6 + 1 min ish = 46ish mins, 2000 swings

Friday, December 19, 2008

:: creamy butternut lentil stew ::

This has gotta be one of my favorite soups/stews ever. The base recipe came from Dyl's slower cooker cookbook, except modified for a pressure cooker. I built on it to incorporate some of the other stuff in my fridge.

1 large onion, diced
3 medium carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 bay leaf
pinch of crushed red pepper
1 cup green lentils
6-7 cups of broth, I used 4 cups broth, 3 cups water
1/4 head of cabbage
2 medium potatoes, peeled and halved
1 medium butternut squash, seeded, and cut into 3 inch chunks
1 bunch of leafy greens. I used kale.

1. Start by sauteing the mirepoix (onions, carrots, celery) until onions are soft. Coat with some salt and add the bay leaf and red pepper. After 1-2 minutes, add in the green lentils and make sure everything is well coated.

1. Stir in the liquid and add in the cabbage, potatoes and butternut squash.

2. Bring to a boil. Close the pressure cooker with the lid and bring to the first red ring.

3. Maintain at the first red ring but 9 minutes. Don't over do it or the lentils will fall apart!

4. Bring the PC down to normal pressure using the quick release method.

5. Open the PC lid and fish out all the potatoes and butternut squash chunks.

6. Throw in the leafy green veges and let soup sit for a few minutes.

7. Meanwhile, blend the potatoes and butternut squash with a cup or two of the soup liquid. When smooth, dump it back into the pressure cooker and mix well with the rest of the soup.

8. Salt and pepper accordingly.

Delicious stew ready in 20 mins. Fantastic!

:: endurance KBs ::

7am KB, 40 mins continuous set, 429 cal, HRa HRm
Argh. My palms are totally ripped up.

44 2 hand swings, 1 min.
44 transfers, 1 min
44 reps, 1 swing, 1 transfer, 1 min
44 reps, 5/5/6/6 x 2 1 hand swings, 1 min
44 reps, 11/11 x 2 1 hand swings, 1 min
44 reps, 22/22, 1 hand swings, 1 min.
30 reps, 15/15, pulls
44 2 hand swings, 1 min
48 2 hand swings, 1 min
44 2 hand swings, 1 min (12kg)

10 minx x 4 sets = 40 mins, 1720 swings!! :) :) :).. I will do a 2000 swing workout this week.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

:: they're doing it! ::

What do Katherine Heigl, Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Lopez and Lance Armstrong have in common?
They swing kettlebells!

Oh and completely out of point, but I got a new haircut! I might swing faster now!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

:: dental health ::

This is one area that I'm not exactly "proud" of. I had my dental appointment today and my gum pocket measurements varied between 2-4mm. Well the hygienist said i am in the "OK" range since I haven't hit 5mm, I'm in warning area for some. My goal for this year is to get down to the 1-3mm range. I can do it!!!

Health is not just about weight. It's everything!!! Including the health of my gummy gums!

:: high volume workouts ::

I call this the susan-only-has-30mins workout. Inspired of course by Susan. My first non-stop workout set ever, achieving an all time high of 1,536 swings!

40 double handed swings, 8kg, 1 min
44 double handed swings, 8kg, 1 min
48 double handed swings, 8kg, 1 min
44 double handed swings, 8kg, 1 min
40 double handed swings, 8kg, 1 min
20/20 one-hand swings, 8kg, 1 min
6 mins x 6 sets = 36 mins, 1,536 swings,
440 cal burnt

And I topped things off with a 10 min fast run in 35F!!! Feels GREAT. I figured out the best way to get a run in during these winter days. First, get heated up doing KB and then head out right away for a run. I felt toasty throughout the run despite it being 35.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

HIghlights from the past week

general highlights:
- running 5.5 miles!
- staying strong despite being surrounded by sick people
- gaining traction of side project
- eagle eye strikes again! Getting the perfect sherpa hoodie for $13 from jcrew after quadruple mark downs!

- finding the perfect shoes for my red holiday dress at payless for $17.99!

nutrition highlights:
- Heidi Swanson's crusty and creamy white beans were AMAZING!!
- Laura's Ragu Spaghetti was a hit
- Heidi Swanson's salt-kissed buttermilk cake was great, but Mikee hated the salt-kissed part. :(
- Back to soups for lunch! Loved the cabbage rutabaga soup!
- favorite juice mix: Apple, Carrots, 1/8 beet, persimmon, 1/3 banana, spinach

nutrition lowlights:
- yo yo ing on weight as usual. But i'm back to clean eating this week

:: MJ Meal Plan 12/13 - 12/19 ::

Whole wheat buttermilk pancakes for our guests
Company holiday party

Cabbage Rutabaga Soup
Pot-roasted potatoes and shallots Rosemary with thyme (PBF)

Quinoa salad with green beans corn and tomatoes (PBM)

Giant crusty and creamy white beans (HS)
Gazpacho with crumbled Feta (PBF)


MSG Christmas Dinner

Garlicky braised greens with toasted pumpkin seeds (PBM)

Monday, December 8, 2008

:: transitions ::

So here's what I've decided. I'll continue to post weekly meal plans and weekly exercise round-ups. No more daily posts.

Meanwhile, I'm working on a pretty large-scale project that I hope will come into fruition in a few months. I'm sooo stoked! Please stay tuned! :) When that moment comes, you will expect a complete site overhaul!

Merry Christmas from the Chen Family!


Saturday, December 6, 2008

:: MJ Meal Plan 12/6 - 12/13 ::

This week I go back to Heidi's Super Natural Cooking Cookbook for inspiration.

Braised Tofu and Peas in Curried Coconut Milk (Mark Bittman)
Chunky Lentil Soup

Seed-crusted Anaranth Biscuits
GrX Holiday Dinner

Barley Mushroom Soup
Wheat Berry Salad

12/9 - MSG Dinner at our place
Green Onion Whole Wheat Biscuits (Bon Appetit)
Black Tea Spring Rolls
Laura's Ragu Spaghetti (Laura Fu)

Sweet Ginger Tofu with Soba (Peter Berley)
Savory Adzuki Beans

Barley Risotto
Raspberry Curd Cake

Chap Chye with Brown Rice (Laura Fu)
Giant Crusty and Creamy White Beans

Friday, December 5, 2008

:: the root ::

I recently reconnected with an old friend, B, over facebook. As we were sharing with each other about the going-ons of our lives, I had to spill about the journey I've been on. It seems like we've had similar struggles with regard to weight and health. She brought up something for me to think about - what is the ROOT of the problem? Why am/was I overweight? The answer seemed clear as day to me - gluttony. I enjoy food way too much - especially sugar. And over the past years, I've hardly controlled what I take in. Why do I suffer from gluttony and others not? She then suggested that it could be due to family of origin. I'm not entirely sure what that means yet but I do know that my dad was severely overweight and was definitely a glutton himself. Did I somehow inherit gluttony from him? It's possible... sin can be inherited, no? Or was it just a matter of years of imprinting as I watched him gorge himself? My dad himself has overcome his gluttony issues and I wonder if I could also "inherit" his resolve. Or maybe I already did as I watched him suffer through the stroke early this year?

Losing control over my appetite is the same as losing control over anything. I should have been likened to an alcoholic. But somehow society gives the alcoholic the bad rep while the obese gets sympathy. Whether or not this problem is a product of my family of origin, more importantly, I have faced this head on and I know I can overcome this. I want to say I already have (90% of the time). I've come a long way but I'm not a perfect person. I on occasion still succumb to the devastating effects of refined sugars (like yesterday). I'd call them mini-relapses but they don't push me down a path of no return and I don't beat myself up over it. I think the reason is that after experiencing what I've experienced, there's just no way I would ever get back to where I was - having utter disrespect for the condition of my body.

Where does my faith fit in? Everywhere.

When I think about previous attempts to lose weight, it was always been motivated by the media, societal pressure or my mum/grandma telling me I am too fat. I would post up pictures of myself in the skinny days as a reminder of how great I used to look. Time and time again, I would fail and yo-yo in my weight. I suffered from serious self-image issues. By the time I started on this journey in 2008 however, I had completely changed - inside. I was utterly in love with myself, even at 200lbs. I honestly didn't hate the way I was - I felt loved and accepted the way I was. By God, by my husband by my family (slight exception about mum's nagging) and my friends. What I hated however, was the possibility of leaving my dear husband and kids (to be) behind, like my dad nearly did. And that, I couldn't live with. It is no longer about me, it's about the people I love.

As I went through the journey of self-discovery, God started to speak to me through various people/books and I began to see my body very differently. I saw it as a perfect creation of God that has been made toxic by the poor decisions I have made. I saw that God created wonderful foods in natural form for my body's nourishment and protection against sickness, which was undeniably the best defense. I saw that while God loved me unconditionally and irrevocably (familiar line? :P), my body isn't how He intended it to be. I saw that He knew I had control issues with my appetite but still loved me.

This is why I can still do what I am doing now - Love. Love for others and God's love for me.

:: where should I take this? ::

This initially started out as an accountability blog and a way to keep my friends posted of my progress in the competition. It also seemed a worthy enough cause to be blogging about. These days, readership has dwindled significantly, not a big surprise - but I am left wondering - why am i blogging?

Some big questions...
1. Food journaling is one of the best ways to stay on track to a goal. But... do I really need this to stay on track? Haven't I made permanent nutrition changes that should stick regardless of the journaling? I feel like I need to experiment with not journaling to see how things go. Can I still pull it off and stay true to myself? And isnt the most boring part of my blog the "what did i eat" part of it. Do people even care?

2. There used to be a fair bit of discussion around the KB training I was doing but that also has kinda died down. I doubt anyone is even reading my blog for KB advice so is there a point?

3. And in all honesty... after 172 days, it is getting tiring. Day in day out, what did I eat?

4. Can there be something else that I write about? That might be interesting to readers? I'll have to think about that one.

I wont be journaling about what i eat/do for the next week but will spend time in reflection about what the next steps are. Comments are welcome. :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

:: Day 169 - Summary ::

Activities: 6pm KB with Mikee. The problem with combined workouts is that we have to alternate weights!
1 min double-handed swings, normal pace, 12 kg, 40 swings
1 min double-handed swings, hard pace, 12 lb, 48 swings
1 min double-handed swings, normal pace, 8 kg, 40 swings
1 min double handed swings, hard pace, 8kg, 48 swings
1 min rest
6 sets x 5 minutes = 30 mins, 1056 swings

8am: 1 persimmon (oh poor vitamix is not getting any play!)

11am: 1 apple

1pm: Cup of Dyl's spicy lentil stew

Main meal @ home

:: MJ Mealplan 11/30-12/5 ::

Sweet Ginger Tofu
Garlic Broccoli
Chawan Mushi

Friendsgiving Dinner Menu


Mushroom Barley Casserole (Heidi Swanson)

Soba Miso Soup (Peter Berley)

Mikee's Holiday Party at work

Chap Chye with Brown Rice (Laura Fu)

:: Day 168 - Friendsgiving Dinner ::

Every thanksgiving, I bring together some old friends for a "friendsgiving" dinner. Last year I followed Rachel Ray's Thanksgiving in 60 recipes. This year, I pay homage to Heidi Swanson and Peter Berley and whipped up a 9-course (almost) vegetarian feast. Dyl contributed dish #10 which was a hearty spicy lentil stew!
Persimmon Salad with Pine Nuts

Baked Beans Tomato Soup
Green Onion Whole Wheat Biscuits
Firecracker Corn Bread
Golden-crusted Brussels Sprouts with Carrots
Vibrant Tasty Green Beans
Potato Leek Cabbage Gratin
Lasagna with Fall Vegetables with Gruyere and Sage Bechamel
Spaghetti with Turkey Specialty Sausage, in crème fraiche and Fresh Herbs
Fresh Baked Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies served with Vanilla Ice-Cream

Lasagne with fall vegetables in a sage bechamel sauce

My fave Heidi Swanson dish ever - Golden Crusted Brussels Sprouts

Green beans, turkey meatball pasta, tomato soup, persimmon salad with sesame seeds

homemade pomegranate tea (6 teabags, 1 pom, 1 lime, 1 orange)

Heidi Swanson's firecracker cornbread

Dyl's spicy lentil stew

Nikki's healthy bake cookies


Saturday, November 29, 2008

:: Day 167 - Summary ::

Holding steady 160. Phew. Just one more feast to get through tmrw!!!

8am: 1 apple

12pm: Turkey broth with veges at MIL's

Main meal @ home

MIL came over for dinner so I whipped together a few asian style dishes and she brought a "ti pang" over. (pork shoulder?)
Garlic broccoli, chawan mushi (steamed japanese egg custard), sweet ginger tofu (baked)


Friday, November 28, 2008

:: Day 166 - Summary ::

Yay!! No weight gain after TG Dinner! The planned worked!!!

Hmm...I think a movie with the husband is in order!

1 apple

2pm: Bowl of wheat germ soup

Dinner at the Higgins, clean up TG dinner leftovers
My plate and some fruit

My sliver of apple pie

Incidentally, this is my favorite thanksgiving dish... chinese sticky rice!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

:: Thanksgiving Day! ::

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

Activities. None. Rolled up in bed. Tummyache. :( But I did spend 3 hours this morning cooking for thanksgiving diner.

8am: 1 apple, a few macadamia nuts

11am: Bowl of clear homemage vegetable broth, few spoonfuls of tomato baked beans soup

Thanksgiving Dinner

Our contributions: Nikki's Sweet Potatoes Recipe, Firecracker Cornbread (Heidi Swanson), Tomato Baked Beans Soup, Golden-crusted Brussels Sprouts (Heidi Swanson)


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

:: fresh off the press! ::

Remember my partner-in-crime, Aylin? She started off her journey at 156 lbs. After the biggest loser competition, she was at 140ish. Its been 3 months since she's been back at Berkeley and now she's at 130.5 lbs. I could not be more proud of this girl!!!

Her strategy, in her own words:
Nutrition - Warrior diet on the weekdays, more fruits and veges in general.

She's now finding that she just eats less food in general. :) Go Aylin!!!

:: Holiday Anti-Weight Gain Plan ::

For both TG and Christmas holiday weeks
-exercise every day

On big-eat days (TG, Christmas eve, Christmas, NYE etc):
- ABC juice in the morning
- Starvation mode in the day with access only to a handful of nuts
- Big eat dinner starts off with a medium salad and then followed by 1-2 tbsp of each dish. I am allowed to repeat until I am full
- Avoid fillers like bread and mashed potatoes
- Dessert ideally should be shared and avoid the ice cream
- Say NO to leftovers being taken home except for lean turkey meat and turkey/ham bones for broth

On post-big-eat days:
- ABC juice in the morning
- Soup in the afternoon
- And soup and salad for main meal

Got any tips?? Please share!!!

:: Day 164 - Summary ::

This has gotta be the best diet plan ever! I eat light fresh live organic stuff during the day and then get to enjoy gourmet meals for dinner! I don't even feel like I'm dieting! Life is good - 160!
I went to Costco a couple of days ago and picked up a size 8 pair of pants. In my mind, I willed myself to fit into it. Got home and hurrah, it fit like a glove. Small victories. Now I just have to figure out how not to gain weight over holiday season.

Activities: 7am KB, 36 mins, 381 cal, HRa 150, HRm 168 I feel like these days with more 12kg work, its testing my grip more than anything. I wonder if those dragonball bells with smaller handles would help this problem?? Susan?
40 2-hand swings, 12 kg, 1 min
44 2-hand swings, 12 kg, 1 min
48 2-hand swings, 12 kg, 1 min
44 2-hand swings, 12 kg, 1 min
40 2-hand swings, 12 kg, 1 min
Rest = 1 min
6 sets x 6 mins = 36 mins

8am: ABC juice blend

12pm: Small bowl of cauliflower and cabbage soup

Main meal @ home
Toasted Wheat Germ Soup (Heidi Swanson)
Caramelized Fennel (Peter Berley)


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

:: Day 163 - Summary ::

7am: ABC Juice, blended with 1/3 banana

12pm: Bowl of cabbage potato soup.

Main meal @ home with Derek

Risotto Barley with Winter Citrus, Pan fried organic potatoes, sweet potatoes and apple puree


:: Day 162 - Summary ::

8am: ABC Juice

leftover vege soup, leek base

Main meal @ home

Spring white wheat risotto


Monday, November 24, 2008

:: the life changing moment

You know why it's so hard to lose weight and be healthy? Because you have not experienced the life-changing defining moment in your life yet. The motivation is... just not there yet.

For me - it was when my dad had a stroke and I started to witness what it could be like to leave your loved ones before, especially my 4 year old sister. I didn't want to be an irresponsible human being and I wanted my family to be healthy. Stepping on the scale at my largest ever, 200, didn't help either.

What could the moment be for you? Sky-high cholesterol levels? Constipation? Not fitting into any of your clothes anymore? Whatever your moment is, I hope you don't wait too long for your moment and bypass all the signs that come your way. In some cases, it can be too late.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

:: 1-step grain-ola ::

My husband is a heavy heavy consumer of cereal... yeah the extruded kind. His argument is that "it's organic" and is a healthy snack option. I guess if you compare it to chocolate, cookies and cake, it is a better snack option. But...look at the flowchart below.

That is what the corn needs to go through before it is spat out in it's cute donut shape. Do you seriously think there could be any nutrients left and think about the harmless toxins that could've gone in? That is the prime reason why I follow super natural cooking ... I want all the nutrients I can get and minimal toxins as possible!

Today, I made 1-step grainola for Mikee. Mix it all together and bake in the oven at 300F. I am hoping he will fall in love with this heidi swanson grain-ola and forget about his cute extruded cereals. It is also 100% organic and best of all... super natural. All that his body needs! Contains: rolled oats, sunflower seeds, raw walnuts, dried cranberries, orange zest, unsweetened shredded coconut, agave nectar, coconut oil.

For those who want to research more,
And of course the movie, King Corn, is very educational!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

:: Day 161 - Summary ::

I'm kinda bummed that Tracy has locked access to her fitness blog. Now I wished I paid more attention to her workouts that she blogged about. Sometimes you take things for granted... and then they're gone. On the flip side, she did post a little about a recent workout. I'm gonna copy! Hopefully my skin doesn't get ripped off!

7am KB, 4 1/2 minute swing combination w/12kg, 33 mins, 383 cal burnt, HRa 162 HRm 176. Wow the 12kg really challenges my grip, my hands are totally shaking right now.... but dang, it feels good.

10 transfers, 10 2 hand swing repeat (40 reps)
15 transfers, 15 2 hand swings, repeat (60 reps)
20 transfers, 20 2 hand swings (80 reps)
1 minute rest x 6 rotations
Total 32 minutes, 1080 swings

8am: Classic ABC (apple, beet, carrot) blend

12pm: Tracy's Live trail mix if needed.
Vibrant green beans wrap

Main meal @ home with the Marquez
Pepita Salad (Heidi Swanson)

Winter Veges Gratin (Peter Berley)
Golden Crusted Brussels Sprouts (Heidi Swanson)

Sweet Potato Puree with Apples (Martha Rose Shulman)

Firecracker Cornbread (Heidi Swanson)


:: you can do it! ::

I was pleased today to check out Cafe Muse in Berkeley known for their "raw food". But for the most part, I try to have people over as much as possible so that I know exactly what our bodies are consuming - good stuff. Over the long run, it is cheaper! Especially since I focus on vegetarian dishes.

I've started to hear people say "wow, i wish i could cook like you!". Hmm... guess what, you can!!! I'm not a natural born cook like say Chef Laura who's been cooking since she was five. In fact, I only figured out how to properly chop an onion maybe a few years ago. The point I'm trying to make is that anybody who knows how to read and follow instructions, should be able to cook! That's what I do, read blogs, buy cookbooks, and follow the recipes to a T. :) I guess that's why making a weekly meal plan helps me buy exactly what I need, with no wastage. And wow, what a week coming up ahead to look forward to. Challenge yourself... cook X number of meals at home and focus on super natural cooking and stay away from processed foods. Your body is gonna LUV it! ;)

:: Day 160 - Summary ::

7am: 1/2 granola bar on the road to Berkeley

11am: Lunch at Cafe Muse (Raw food fame) with Aylin
We shared... cup of italian meatball soup, quesidilla, "raw" lasagne, salad. Clearly we didn't finish all that food but it was nutritious and hearty.

Mini slice of Cheese Board's pizza of the day
Since i Was in berkeley, i just had to finally make a visit to cheeseboard. Yummy :)

Main meal @ home
Vibrant Tasty Green Beans (Man, green beans never tasted this good!!!)
Leftover risotto, Mikee's easy eggs, Rosemary chicken tenders


:: MJ Meal Plan 11/22-11/29 ::

Vibrant Tasty Green Beans (Heidi Swanson's blog)
Brown Rice
Chawan Mushi (Steamed japanese egg custard)

Sunday: Dinner with The Marquez Family
Pepita Salad (Heidi Swanson)
Winter Veges Gratin (Peter Berley)
Golden Crusted Brussels Sprouts (Heidi Swanson)
Sweet Potato Puree with Apples (Martha Rose Shulman)

Spicy Leek Soup (me!)
sprint white wheat and black soybean risotto with spinach (Peter Berley)

Toasted Wheat Germ Soup (Heidi Swanson)
Risotto Style Barley (Heidi Swanson)

Firecracker cornbread (Heidi Swanson)
Caramelized Fennel (Peter Berley)
Spicy Leek Soup leftover

Thursday: (Thanksgiving potluck at SIL's)
Boston Style Baked Beans Tomato Soup
Golden Crusted Brussels Sprouts

Lasagne with Fall vegetables, Gruyere and Sage Bechamel - Peter Berley (I'm making fresh pasta for this so it's gonna be a half day endeavor!)

Friday, November 21, 2008

:: Day 159 - Summary ::

Still stuck at 162. Sigh.

Activities: Night KB with Mikee
"Colorful workout",
40 2-hand swings, 8kg
40 2-hand swings, 12kg, 1 min
burpees, 1 min
plank hold, 1 min
12R/12L snatches, 8kg, 1 min
rest, 1 min
7 sets x 6 mins = 42 mins

8am: few bites of lasagne, out of the door

10am: 1 apple

12pm: 1/2 bowl of butternut squash soup

random snacks: Live trail mix

Main meal @ home with Bruce and Frank

Lima bean and spinach gratin (lima bean mashed tastes like potatoes!)
Golden-crusted brussels sprouts with sliced carrots
Winter vege gratin: 2 potatoes, 1/3 cauliflower, 1 yellow cauliflower


Thursday, November 20, 2008

:: Day 158 - Summary ::

Activities: 7am KB, 394 cal, HRa 148 HRm 167
40 2 hand swings, 2 min. Felt like a somewhat sloppy workout. HR pretty low.
40 transfers, 1 min
40 reps, 1 swing, 1 transfer, 1 min
40 reps, 5/5 x 4 1 hand swings, 1 min
40 reps, 10/10 x 2 1 hand swings, 1 min
40 reps, 20/20, 1 hand swings, 1 min.
40 2 hand swings, 1 min (12kg)
40 2 hand swings, 1 min
windmills for a minute
10 min work w/0 min rest x 4 = 40 mins (1,440 swings)

8am: ABC Juice blended with spinach

As needed snacks: Live trail mix, carrots, raw almonds, raisins

12pm: Bowl of homemade butternut squash soup

Main meal @ home with Marcela & Dan
Spring white wheat and black soybean risotto with spinach - It was my first time making risotto. Dang, so much work. But so worth it. I loved the addition of the black soy beans, the protein ends up making it a square meal! Love it! Topped it with some parm reg. :)
Leftover autumn gratin
Persimmon Salad