Sunday, March 28, 2010

Boo Yeah!

I'll make this post fast. Last Wednesday, my friend Adam and I decided to start running. Our goal, 5 Km non stop. We've gone running only 5 times since last Wednesday. I am happy to report that last night we ran 5.4 Km without stopping!!!!! It's amazing how quickly the body adapts! Next week, when I have more time, I'll explain everything in more detail.

Me Ka Aloha

Friday, March 26, 2010

Recipe Friday - Veggie Lasagna

Ok, I need you all to trust me that this lasagna is REALLY good. You'll probably see the list of ingredients and think "What the heck? No way am I making that!" It honestly tastes better than it sounds. Dave LOVES it, and Rosie LOVES it. I'm actually going to make it for dinner tonight. Oh and sorry about the picture, I was in a rush.

1 bunch of fresh swiss chard
2 small bunches of fresh basil
4 cloves of garlic
1 med onion, chopped
1 300 ml jar of roasted red peppers, drained
1 pkg soft tofu, drained
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cheese Sauce
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper

In a blender mix, roasted red peppers, olive oil, both bunches of basil (leaves only, no stems), and 3 cloves of garlic, until smooth. Add tofu and Parmesan cheese and blend.

In a frying pan on medium heat, cook chopped onions until translucent. Add 1 clove of garlic (crushed through a garlic press) and cook for another minute. Wash and rip up the swiss chard into 1 inch pieces (no stems). Add to the onion and garlic and heat until the leaves are slightly wilted. Allow to cool slightly.

Add the swiss chard mixture to the roasted red pepper mixture. Blend for about 10-15 seconds.

Cheese Sauce
In a sauce pot, over low heat, melt butter. Add flour and whisk. Add milk and whisk until smooth (no flour chunks). Add grated mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper, and whisk until a thick and creamy cheese sauce forms (about 5-10 minutes).

Assembling the lasagna layers
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Use a deep casserole dish and spread 2 tablespoons of cheese sauce evenly on the bottom. Add one layer of cooked lasagna noodles. Spread 4 tablespoons of cheese sauce over the noodles. Add 1/2 a cup (or more if you want) of swiss chard mixture and spread evenly. Add another layer of lasagna noodles. Continue layering in this manner until all the filling has been used up. Pour the remaining sauce to the top of the layers. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the over for 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Feelings about Baby Food

What are my feeling towards jarred baby food? Well, I'm kind of against it. Yes, it's true that there is a few jars in my cupboard right now, and yes, I do take the free jar of baby food that comes with an adult meal at Ikea. However, I really don't think buying jarred baby food, even organic. Have you ever mashed a fresh banana yourself and noticed it's color, texture, and taste? Now compare that to the color, texture, and taste of a jar of banana baby food. It's TOTALLY DIFFERENT!!! Honestly, that's all the proof I need to know that there's something wrong with jarred baby food. When the factory prepares the food to go into a jar of baby food, they over cook it until it's total mush so that it's easier to puree and strain, and to avoid ANY chance that there could be any hard chunks that a baby could choke on. Ok, I understand that they don't want to harm any babies, obviously that's a GOOD thing. But food doesn't need to be cooked that much. They're destroying all the vitamins and minerals when they cook the food for so long. Besides, the strainer should catch any chunks that might be hanging around. Aside from that, once the fruit or vegetables, or meat (yuck! jarred meat??) has been put in the jar, they place the jar into a bath of hot water to kill any bacteria and basically, it kills a lot of nutrients in the process. Now, whatever is left nutritionally in that jar is then left on a grocery store shelf, under artificial lighting for who knows how long, until even more nutrition is lost. By the time you feed it to your baby, it absolutely does not resemble the original product in taste, texture, or nutritional value.

So what's the solution? Make it yourself!!! It's easier than you think, cheaper, and WAY healthier. All you need is a blender (I like the Magic Bullet, found at Canadian Tire or Costco), a sieve, some fruits and vegetables, meat or tofu, and water, juice or broth. This morning I peeled a pear, cut it up, threw it into the magic bullet with 2 tablespoons of water, pureed it for 45 seconds, and VOILA! Joseph ate half, and the other half went into ice cube trays for tomorrow's breakfast. For lunch I'm going to cook (but not over cook) a sweet potato, then mash it and press it trough a sieve, mix in a bit of breast milk to thin it out and save the extra in the freezer for another day. Besides the nutritional benefits, and cost savings that come along with making your own baby food, you also get the added bonus of being able to make your baby whatever you think is appropriate. Your choices are no longer limited to what the store sells. I like to make my baby zucchini baby food, or watermelon-mango baby food. You'll never see those choices at the grocery store. When my baby gets older, I plan on serving, carrots and lentils, or broccoli and tofu, or fruit and yogurt smoothies.

I'm not saying that jarred baby food is evil or anything. I totally understand that sometimes it's just more convenient. Like when we go to visit Grandma, or when I need to grab something to bring to church. I'm also totally ok with organic baby cereals. I think a jar of baby food is ok sometimes, but making it yourself really is the healthier choice.

For more information and to find more tips on making your own baby food visit

- Elisabeth

Friday, March 19, 2010

Recipe Friday - Slow Cooker Beef

Hurray, another recipe with meat in it AND it's so easy you'll be making it every week! Now I have to admit that this isn't the healthiest of all my recipes (I actually debated posting it) however, it's so easy and fast that once you throw everything in the slow cooker, you'll have lots of extra time to go to the gym, have a relaxing bath, read to your kids, whatever. Here it is..

1 pkg of stewing beef
1 can tomato soup
1 cup of water
1 cup of baby carrots (or more if you're a carrot lover)
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
salt and freshly ground pepper

Throw everything into a slow cooker, starting with the EVOO. Turn the slow cooker to high and let it cook for 4-5 hours (or until carrots are done). Once it's done stir it up a little, breaking apart some of the beef chunks. Serve over a bed of brown or wild rice. ENJOY!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Run, Run as Fast as You Can. You Can't Catch me I'm the Gingerbread (wo)Man - made with whole wheat flour of course ;)

Rolls, Muffin top, love handles, spare tire, flabdomen... whatever you call it, I have it. See, I'm half Chinese, and Asian women are know for their "lack of curves". Asian women have rectangle shaped bodies, flat and straight... ya that's me, well half of me. I managed to get boobs from my Dad's gene pool, along with long legs (chicken legs according to Dave). I got the minimalist hips and butt gene from my Mom, but I lack severely in the "hour glass" figure department. I have no waist line at all, meaning that my waist is the same size as my hips, pretty much. To make matters worse, I had 2 babies in 18 months. Not only did I start off with a not so desirable waist-line, but now I have a mummy tummy to work on. Just imagine an apple with legs, and you've got me.

Alright, so obviously I'm not a fan of my flabdomen, so what's my plan of attack you ask? I'm going to run, run, RUN!!! No amount of sit-ups are going to shrink my waist line. They'll make my abs stronger, but I need to shed the surrounding fat, and the only way to do that is CARDIO! I posted a want ad on facebook "running buddy needed to help shed muffin top" and I got a lot of response. Mostly people saying, "what's a muffin top" or "I love muffins" or "I would if we lived closer". Then I got the golden facebook message from my friend Adam, who too is looking to get back in shape. Hurray!!

I charted out a 5Km run, and we went out last night. The run was going around the block twice to equal a little more than 5Km and we did the "run for one minute, walk for one minute" technique. It was SO EASY at first, but the last stretch was pretty exhausting (man I need to work on my cardio) haa haa haa and we only went around the block ONCE, (or something like that. I'm terrible at directions and forgot which street to turn on, but ended up back home somehow). Ya, that's right, we only did 2.5Km. Pathetic? Yes! But we will get better, that's for certain. My goal is to A) loose the muffin top B) Run the Peach Bud 5Km race on June 29th C) Get in tip top shape before I dare get pregnant again.

I'll post pictures of me on race day. Wish me luck!

Adam, if you're reading this, there's no turning back now. It's been blogged about, now we have to deliver.

Me Ka Aloha (with love)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Oprah's website is full of GREAT nutrition advice.

A few times a week I get Oprah newsletters in my inbox. I'm not really sure when I signed up to receive such emails since I RARELY tune into Oprah's church - er, I mean show, but I have to admit that her show has some pretty good nutrition advice from time to time. Now, most of the time I delete those emails telling which jeans to buy or talking about some celebrity, but today's email was all about nutrition. I found it pretty interesting and thought I'd share.

The first story is about a woman attempting to eat healthy on a budget. Sound familiar? That's a major struggle in our home, especially with a financial planner for a husband. After reading her story, I think I'm going to watch Food Inc, WITH my husband so we can both hear what it has to say about the foods we eat. Maybe after watching it Dave will think twice about getting a McDonald's $1.39 double cheeseburger and instead spend a couple more dollars on a whole wheat sub.

The second is about a man named Thich Nhat Hanh, a World-renowned Buddhist master, who teamed up with nutritionist Dr. Lilian Cheung to change the way we eat with their book Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Living. I really want to buy this book (maybe I'll buy it for myself when I loose 10 pounds, ooohhh and a pair of Lululemon pants). A lot of the strategies sound easy, while others will take time to adjust. In any case, I'm a strong believer that health and nutrition is a lifestyle, not a fad, gimmick, or fake foods, and this book is all about that. I really like this quote "This is an unprecedented time in history. Globally, there are more people who are overweight than who are hungry and underweight. Scientists have already warned us that if the overweight and obesity trend is not turned around, this generation of youth will have a lifespan shorter than their parents." To read the full story see

I really wish I has seen her show today and hear everything Thich Nhat Hanh had to say, but I totally forgot to PVR it and instead went on a walk on the beach with my family (I think that's probably better anyway). Did any of you see it? Did it inspire you at all? What did you think?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Recipe Friday - Chicken with Pineapple Salsa and Bean Couscous Salad

It's about time!! I've been blogging for over two months and every recipe so far has been meatless. You were all probably wondering if I even eat meat. Well I do! I was going to wait until the summer to post this one because it's so fresh tasting and light, but pineapples were on sale at the grocery store... so I made this yummy recipe for dinner last night and snapped a few pictures so that I could share it with you today. Now before I give you this recipe, can I just say that I LOVE pineapples? Not only does it remind me of Hawaii (and we all know that I'm totally obsessed with Hawaii- see profile picture)pineapple is my favorite fruit and has a host of health benefits. Pineapple is an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese and rich in bromelain (protein-digesting enzymes) These enzymes aid in digestion, effectively reduce inflammation and swelling, and break down mucus in respiratory conditions, such as pneumonia and bronchitis.

To make this recipe easier on you (I know how busy everyone is) I suggest making the salsa the night before, marinating the chicken in the morning (keep it covered in the fridge) and 10 minutes before dinner, throw the chicken on the George Foreman Grille, and prepare the couscous and bean salad.


Pineapple Salsa
1/2 pineapple cut into very small pieces
1 tomato cut into very small pieces
1 clove of garlic pressed through a garlic press
2 Tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro
juice of 1/2 a lime
1/2 a jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 onion cut into very small pieces
salt and pepper to taste

Pulse all ingredients in a food processor for a few seconds, until you have a chunky salsa. Transfer to a bowl, cover and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

zest from 1 lime
juice from 2 limes
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons honey
3 cloves garlic pressed through a garlic press
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoons chives
1 teaspoon onion powder
dash of cayenne pepper

Whisk all ingredients in a large bowl. Place boneless skinless chicken breast (or salmon steaks, or pork chops) in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour, but no longer that overnight.

Remove chicken from marinade and discard leftover marinade. Grille chicken on a George Foreman grille or BBQ until no longer pink inside, 6-10 minutes. Top with pineapple salsa.

Couscous and bean salad

1 cup whole wheat couscous
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
can mixed beans, drained

Bring chicken stock and garlic powder to a boil. Add couscous and remove from heat. Stir for 2 minutes until water is absorbed. Add drained beans and mix.

The thing I love about this meal is that it's totally energizing. You won't feel all sluggish and bloated after eating it. For dessert I think I'll throw the rest of the pineapple in the magic bullet with some ice cubes and orange juice, to make a fresh sorbet. Enjoy!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Weight Loss Update

You've all probably been wondering what I've been up to since my post about the 30 Day Shred, and if I've lost any weight. Well... it's been going ok. I started to wean Joseph off nighttime feedings because he was waking up every 45 minutes to nurse and driving me crazy. I would be totally exhausted every morning and too tired to workout. Joseph is sleeping a lot better now, BUT since he hasn't been nursing as much, I haven't been getting rid of as many calories as before when he was sucking the life out of me. My weight loss has been slow, but I'm still losing. I've also been doing some power yoga workouts to help with flexibility and to strengthen my stability muscles. I LOVE doing yoga but it's one of those things that I find difficult to fit in with kids. The yoga workouts take about an hour and I need the kids to be quiet so I can enjoy the relaxation aspect. I usually do yoga when the kids have gone to bed and when Dave is working late so I can truly relax and enjoy. Any way, Joseph will be 1 year old in June and I REALLY want to achieve my weight loss goals by then. As promised, the before and after pictures will posted when Joseph turns 1 (yikes, I better get cracking). How's the weight loss going for the rest of you? I'd love to hear about it.

Here's a picture of my thinspiration. I doubt I'll ever look this good, but it's good to set your goals high.

Me Ka Aloha


Friday, March 5, 2010

Recipe Friday - Carrot and Red Lentil Soup

If you haven't noticed already, I love to make soups. This is one of the first soup recipes I made as a newlywed, and I was afraid Dave wouldn't like it because it's so healthy. Thankfully he loves it and anyone else who's tried it, loves it too. It's so simple to make that I've honestly made it with a baby under one arm. It doesn't matter how you cut the vegetables because the soup is pureed anyway.

Carrot and Red Lentil Soup

1 red bell pepper, chopped
3-4 large carrots, chopped (or you can throw in 2 cups of baby carrots to save time)
1 med onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 tablespoon ginger
7 cups veg stock (or chicken stock if you aren't totally strict on being vegetarian - I use chicken stock)
1 cup RED lentils (MUST be red or it won't turn out very well)
splash of olive oil
salt and pepper

In a large pot, heat olive oil, chopped red pepper, chopped carrots, chopped onion, chopped garlic, ginger, salt and pepper for 5 minutes on med heat.

Add stock and lentils and bring to a boil. Then cook for 25 minutes until carrots are tender.

Blend soup in a blender until smooth and ENJOY!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dry Brushing isn't Just a Paint Technique

Earlier today I was online looking for some painting techniques for a DIY project that I'm working on and ended up finding a few very interesting videos that had nothing to do with painting! Dry brushing is a powerful form of detoxification. The skin is the largest organ in the body and responsible for one quarter of the bodies detoxification each day. Dry brushing can:

1. Remove cellulite (yay!!)
2. Stimulate detoxification of the skin, gut, kidneys, liver, lungs, lymphatic system, and mucous membranes
3. Cleanses the lymphatic system
4. Remove dead skin cells
5. Strengthen the immune system
6. Stimulates the hormone and oil-producing glands
7. Tightens the skin preventing premature aging
8.Tones the muscles
9. Stimulates circulation
10.Improves the function of the nervous system
11. Helps digestion
12. AND it’s easy, inexpensive and invigorating!

I've been looking for a way to detoxify, but a lot products out there are not suitable for breast feeding mothers. I think I may have found the solution.Check out this youtube video that explains the technique.

My Zimbio
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