Sunday, July 20, 2014

Foodie finds.

It has been quite some time since the last edition of foodie finds...and lately, I have been finding some great stuff. Without further ado, let's get to it!

We can't have a foodie finds post without some gems from Trader Joe's. I think the frozen veggies are seriously underrated - when I go I always stock up on old favorites and pick up something new to try. I am so happy I picked this up a couple of months ago! This mushroom medley has quickly become a favorite:



I like to sauté it with other veggies, or eat it taco style with a corn tortilla and egg.

The last time I went on a TJs run, I picked up this zucchini and eggplant combo, and oh my. It is awesome.



One more TJs find - trail mix, which has become my new favorite snack. Nevermind the fact that this one shown here is how I found out I am allergic to cashews.



I found this at a regular grocery store the other day, and I bought it since I've heard so much about these juices. It definitely tasted like a green juice! But it was of course refreshing and energizing, and a super convenient way to get in some green juice action.


More snacks - I am always looking for snacks. I found these chips at Costco! They are gluten-free, and the first ingredient was beans, so I was sold. They tasted pretty good with some guacamole as well, so I am definitely a fan.


Yesterday, I really, really wanted some noodles, Asian-style. Today, my goal was to find some gluten-free oriental noodles. Lo and behold! I found some buckwheat and rice vermicelli. So exciting.



I had a vision about these noodles and prepared them as closely to this vision as I could. I cooked the noodles and added to them some napa cabbage, mushrooms, and tofu stir-fried in sesame oil and tamari (gluten-free soy sauce). I had also pan-fried the cooked noodles in some coconut oil to try to crisp them up a bit before combining them with the veggies. This will be my lunch for the week, so I will definitely be looking forward to lunch time tomorrow!

Have a nice week!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sunday.

The worst part about long weekends is that they feel like a vacation. And when you're on vacation, you eat like you're on vacation. And then you wonder why you just did that (or is that just me?).

Either way, I'm sure all of us are feeling the long weekend Sunday blues! Usually I beat those with my usual Sunday cooking session. The past couple of weeks I've discovered the gluten-free beauty of polenta. And baked polenta is even better! I just slice the pre-made polenta and drizzle with olive oil before baking until slightly browned.

Pictured below: baked polenta rounds topped with sautéed veggies, black beans, and salsa.

And then I decided to get a bit fancier and try some polenta "fries" which I also baked. This polenta was basil garlic flavored, and I dipped these in marinara sauce. So good!


Otherwise, I am still obsessed with weekend green smoothies. And now I am topping them with all kinds of stuff! Including this chia/hemp seed/buckwheat cereal.


So, it's been a while since we discussed fitness. I know I mentioned a video for this post, but in my opinion, this is even better.

As I'm sure you already know, I currently teach my two favorite forms of fitness: kickboxing and zumba. Recently, I obtained an indoor cycling certification as well. The irony of this is that cycle is not one of my top workout classes. 

Even more ironically, my teaching schedule is soon changing, and I will be teaching my own cycle class! I've been recently doing a lot of research for cycle class ideas, and I super appreciate when I see song ideas and routines posted online. The more classes I attend and the more ideas I see, I will admit, the more exciting cycle becomes. Yesterday, I subbed a cycle class and below are the songs/routines I used. I thought it was a fun one - and I think the class thought so, too :).

80s Themed Cycle Class:
1. "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"//Warm-up 
2. "Beat It"//Seated with moderate resistance, standing during chorus
3. "I Wanna Dance With Somebody"//Fast pace with sprints during chorus
4. "Don't Stop Believing"//Seated climb
5. "Bust a Move"//Downhill, gradually decrease resistance from previous song
6. "Living On a Prayer"//Seated with medium-high resistance, alternate between standing and hovering during chorus
7. "Vogue"//Seated climb
8. "You Spin Me"//Fast pace with sprints during chorus
9. "Love Shack"//Jumps during chorus; alternate between standing and seated for counts of 8, 4, or 2
10. "Holiday"//Moderate pace and moderate resistance
11. "I Love Rock & Roll"//Cool down and stretch

This can even be done on a stationary bike (although I do caution trying the standing position on those bikes - some of them are not meant for that). If you give this a try, let me know!


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Veggie Love

If you didn't already know, I love food. The past several weeks have involved coming up with ways to still love food even if it doesn't include gluten! It gets better each day, but it definitely has taken some work.

I found it particularly difficult to come up with office-friendly snacks. Of course, raw veggies are always a great option, but I like being a bit more creative. Also, I'll get to the veggies in a second! 

Enter: homemade popcorn. With some nutritional yeast for bonus taste/nutrition!

Trailmix was my favorite snack last week. I will definitely be going to TJs for lots more of this:


About those veggies! Apparently my body has no problem with those, so my meals have been full of a variety of vegetables. One can never have too many veggies, right?

This was a green lettuce salad along with an egg, red peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, and cauliflower cooked with coconut oil and seasoned with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika:


My new favorite weekend breakfast food: green smoothies. The below included almond milk, mango, frozen banana, frozen spinach, and mint leaves. Delish!


And lastly, I found a new way to enjoy noodles. Tofu noodles! They take two minutes to cook, and I enjoyed them with marinara sauce with added vegetables (of course). 


This picture is the worst. It was late and post-kickboxing. But it was a great post-kickboxing meal.

No fitness videos for you today, but there will likely be one on the next post! 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The GF TFG

Don't mind the cryptic acronyms...I will explain shortly!

Hi friends! It has been a while, and a lot has happened since we last met, which is actually the reason I am providing you with this update today. So, let's get to it!

As I'm sure most of you know - I am not much of a fan of "fad diets," one of which happens to be the gluten-free diet. Obviously, for those people who are diagnosed with Celiac disease, that is a different story altogether. What I mean is going gluten-free for the sake of weight loss, etc.

And then, the craziest thing happened. Due to stomach issues and blood tests and doctor advice (which I could not bear to believe!), I am now on a gluten-free diet.

What?!?! No. It can't be.

At first, it was a tough adjustment, but when I began doing more research, I realized that I just had to bring out my inner creative cook! And I will admit, it has been fun coming up with new GF recipes.

My favorite weekend breakfast usually involves pancakes. This weekend, I experimented with cornmeal and came up with this recipe which is a little reminiscent of cornbread.


Cornmeal Pancakes
(Makes four medium-sized pancakes)

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or regular milk)
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2-3 tsp coconut oil for cooking

Directions:
In a bowl, combine all ingredients except for coconut oil. Add the oil to a non-stick pan, and place on the stove over medium heat. Spoon batter onto pan and cook evenly on both sides until slightly browned.


Serve with honey, maple syrup, or nut butter.

And to conclude, I have a new Zumba choreography video to share with you - one of my originals. Hope you enjoy!




Saturday, February 1, 2014

TFG Speaks

Hi friends!

TFG is coming back to life (again). Mostly because I had to make a little recipe video and I figured...I might as well share it with all of you.

First and foremost, can I just announce my love of sweet potatoes? I think I've been eating some form of sweet potatoes every single day for the past couple of months. Quite excessive, I know. But if you know me, I do love my winter root vegetables. Usually it is winter squash. This year, it is sweet potatoes.

The best part about sweet potatoes is that they are extremely versatile. They can be baked (or twice baked!), fried, microwaved, mashed...and combined with pretty much any ingredient ever. The possibilities are endless.

Without further ado, here is my recipe for sweet potato fries. I've been making these for the past few weeks and I never fail to eat the entire batch all at once. The written recipe is below the video. Enjoy!





Sweet Potato Fries


Ingredients:
  • 1 large sweet potato 
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder 
  • Salt/pepper to taste 

Directions: 
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Slice sweet potato into thin wedges, and mix in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Place the wedges on a lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Flip the slices over and bake for 15 more minutes or until the slices are crispy on the outside. 

Serve with condiment of choice. My favorite way to eat these is to arrange them on a place and top with some shredded cheese and jalapeno slices!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Killer tofu

Remember the time two weeks ago I promised you a super exciting recipe? Well here it is...a recipe I came up with three weeks ago. I promise it was delicious. And I promise only half of it involved the steamer aka my favorite new cooking apparatus.

Chili Lime Tofu

  • 1 block firm tofu
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • Juice of one large lime
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chili paste (or more depending on desired spice level
  • A small handful of cilantro
  • 3-4 teaspoons coconut oil

Cut the block of tofu into desired shape (I cut mine into triangles). Set aside.

In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients minus the coconut oil.

Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat, and drizzle the coconut oil over the pan. Place as many tofu triangles over the pan as can fit. Allow the tofu to cook for a minute until slightly browned, and add the chili lime sauce.


Flip the tofu and keep on the pan until both sides are fully browned.


I served this along with some steamed eggplant and collards (seasoned with soy sauce and hoisin sauce) and quinoa.


I have to tell you about the crazy workout I decided to do today during my lunch break. If you feel like getting a short burst of cardio in, I would definitely recommend this. But I'm warning you...it is painful. In a good way of course.


And it made it so much better that I was in an almost empty gym. I was so close to quitting, but pushed through and boy did I feel sweaty after that. Too bad I had to go back to work after that...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Jelly arms

Monday Tuesday, we meet again.

Thankfully I got a decent amount of rest this weekend to make up for the severe lack of sleep that I endured last week. Not only that, but I had a weekend full of food, fun, and productivity, too!

Let's rewind back to last week's workouts. It wasn't as organized as the previous week had been, but even the spontaneity did not hinder me in completing my one exercise per day goal.

Sunday - rest day
Monday - HIIT
Tuesday - weights
Wednesday - 1 mile run/crazy tabata workout
Thursday - Zumba
Friday - weights "ladder" routine (see below)
Saturday - yoga

So the Friday evening weights routine that my friend Deepa and I did was pretty intense...especially for a Friday evening. But I would recommend it - it is short and sweet and will leave your arms feeling like jelly. And your body craving Thai food (or was that just us?).

There are 5 exercises:
  1. Bent over row
  2. Dead lift
  3. Shoulder press
  4. Squat
  5. Bicep curl 

Do 7 reps of each exercise, and after the last one, take a 30 second break. Then do 6 reps of each, 5, 4, 3, and then go back up to 4, 5, 6, and lastly 7. During the 30 second rest, we sometimes did high knees to make it even more interesting :). Make sure to get some heavy weights for these exercises to make it count!

Let's move on and talk about how I am still loving my steamer. I've been mostly using it to cook vegetables but am thinking I should branch out into eggs and grains soon.



The best part about it is that you can just chop the vegetables and let them do their thing in the steamer while you prepare the rest of the meal, so it does save quite a bit of time. Last week, I steamed tomatoes and spinach, and added them to some cooked brown rice with herbed feta cheese and TJs cooked lentils.


It kept me full after lunch every day! The herbed feta made the dish, I think. This week I used my steamer to make some eggplant...and I must say it exceeded my expectations - recipe to come!