Monday, January 31, 2011

coconut, chocolate chip banana bread

Recipe modified from

I got this recipe for banana bread from my friend's website, and I loved it! The only reason I didn't use the coconut flour is because it's pretty expensive compared to the other alternative flours I already have on hand. In doing so, I just added another banana and decreased the amount of eggs to get the right consistency and flavor.

1/2 cup gluten free all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 eggs
2 T honey
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 bananas, pureed
handful coconut flakes
handful dark chocolate chips
handful of chopped walnuts
raw cane sugar

Mix the dry ingredients together, and mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Blend the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and add in coconut, walnuts, and chocolate chips. Pour into a loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. As soon as you pull it from the oven, sprinkle the raw can sugar on top and allow to cool.

gluten free graham crackers, oh my!

Yes, I know. It's really strange to make your own graham crackers. However, I really wanted to make my key-lime cheesecake for my family and friends, and be able to eat it too. So I gathered up some ingredients and here is the delicious recipe!

1.5 cups plus 4 T Gluten Free All Purpose Flour1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 T cold butter
1/4 cup honey
1 T brown sugar3 to 6 tablespoons cold water
cinnamon sugar 

Mix all dry ingredients down to salt, then cut butter up and blend it into the dry ingredients. Mix together the honey, brown sugar, and cold water, then blend into the dry ingredients. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place dough into the refrigerator for a few minutes, so that it may be rolled out and worked with like sugar cookies. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and roll dough out onto paper, to about 1/4 inch thin. Poke holes into the flattened dough with a fork, slice into squares as large as you like, and sprinkle on cinnamon sugar, if desired. Bake for 15-20 minutes. 

key-lime cheesecake... if heaven were a dessert, this would be it

Key Lime Cheesecake on the Food Network
I LOVE this dessert. I got this recipe from the Food Network. Click on the link above for it. This is the first recipe I have ever used in my life that I didn't modify. Every bite is so amazing. I'm not going to lie, this is the most complicated recipe I've ever made and takes so much time it seems like it's not even worth it, until you eat it. For the crust, I used my own graham cracker recipe and then crushed up the crackers for the crust and used those in the above recipe's instructions for the crust, in order to make it gluten free. Have at it and ENJOY!!!

tubu kimchi

If you ever have slightly soured kimchi laying around and you don't know what to do with it, make tubu kimchi! This dish is incredibly healthy, tasty, and easy. The tubu is packed with protein and the kimchi is just vinegared cabbage with spice, come on, that's a healthy dish.

Just toss in a tablespoon of sesame oil into a skillet and add the kimchi, once the pan is hot. While heating, cut up a block of tubu and place on a plate. Next to the tubu, place the kimchi. I eat this with brown rice, simply because of the salty flavor of the dish, but it's not completely necessary. Yum!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

sunday funday food routine

I mentioned previously that I prepare my food for the entire week on Sunday, so that when I'm super tired from work or whatever else I don't have the excuse to not be in the mood to make food. I do this when Jake is gone, because that's when I tend to not feed myself because I get too lazy to cook for myself. To have variety, I make a couple of things:

Grilled Chicken (normally my lunch): I grab about 2 packages of chicken breasts, each containing 3 breasts. Cut them all in half, holding the knife sideways so that you're cutting through the thickest part of the breast. East breast should then be roughly 3-4 oz each. Marinate them in the fridge overnight (you can do this on Saturday night so that you can cook everything on Sunday if you really don't want to do anything Monday). Pull the breasts out and grill them the next day. Throuout the week, I eat this with 1/3 cup of brown rice.
2/3 cup GF low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/2 jalapeno, if desired
1 T sambal sauce
1 tsp. honey or brown sugar

2.  Salad chicken (normally my dinner): I posted the recipe for this earlier, see previous post for Asian Chicken Salad. Just put all the chicken in tupperware after baked and cut into slices and keep to throw on salad for the rest of the week. If you really want to be prepared, you can put all the salads without the chicken in separate tupperwares so you can pull them out and have them ready to eat that much more quickly.

3. Fish (whatever meal you want): I have a bag of frozen fish in my freezer. I pull out a piece for dinner when I feel like I need to change things up, toss it into blackening seasoning, and throw it into the pan and let it sizzle for a few minutes and serve it on a bed of steamed veggies or brown rice. I also LOVE to make them buffalo-style- recipe to follow in a couple of days.

4. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks:
I make sure to have food every couple of hours to keep my metabolism buzzing. I put all my snacks in plastic baggies or in tupperware to throw in my lunchbox. These include:
1 apple and 2 T peanut butter or almond butter
1 cup baby carrots and 2 T red pepper hummus
1 pear and 20 almonds
1/2 banana and 2 T peanut butter
homemade granola ball (recipe to come in the near future)
1 baked sweet potato and 2 oz walnuts
1 grapefruit and 4 slices of turkey breast
1 serving of greek yogurt
2 whole deviled eggs

Here's an example of what my diet for a weekday would look like:
Breakfast: 1 smoothie or 1 bowl of oatmeal and a giant cup of espresso
Mid-morning snack: pear and almonds or any of the above choices
Lunch: Chicken and rice
Mid-afternoon snack: grapefruit and turkey breast, or anything above
Dinner: Salad with 3 oz. of chicken and glass of red wine

Sometimes I'll have a snack after dinner, and that will be some form of protein and very little carbs, but I don't do this less than an hour before bedtime. I also have my iced tea at every meal along with at least 8 glasses of water on top of that throughout the day. Now, my snacks aren't always this healthy. At times I'll reach for a slightly healthy oatmeal cookie with a glass of milk or a light protein shake, or a cup of popcorn. It happens, and you stay sane because of your meals you eat that aren't so perfect. But make sure you've got your pantry or fridge stocked with the not-so-healthy fall-back snacks so that you don't go out to Sonic or any other fast food chain and grab a greasy handful of fries or potato chips instead. If I didn't have GF chocolate cookies in my pantry to cheat with (I might only eat 3 per week) or my small handful of dark chocolate peanut m&ms to cheat with, I would probably go on a crazy binge and eat a bag of sweet potato chips or a whole cheesecake. Seriously, we're all human, so treat yourself like you're human.

oh to REALLY run again...

Since I hurt my foot back in August, I haven't exactly been running faithfully, or giving all I've got. Sure I've done some easy runs, but today is a new day. I'm getting back to it, without any excuses and Jake's back, so I've got to be able to run harder than him.

Today will be a tempo run, which is the workout of the day I will really be focusing on. It will consist of 45 minutes of tempo running: 15 minutes easy, 30 minutes at (10 miler)race pace, and 15 minutes easy. Oh, and this run will definitely be completed outside, because it's not supposed to freeze or rain today, yay!

A few hours before the tempo run, I'll work on my legs and back since I haven't worked my legs since a couple weeks ago before I sprained my hamstring. After the tempo run is our team's first dodgeball game and I'm super excited that I finally get to play! In Elementary school, I was always that super non-athletic girl that none of the boys wanted on their team :D Go Fitness Together!

Running is the best medicine, and I am going to load up on it, starting today! (And it doesn't hurt my motivation level knowing I've got the 14k in a couple weekends followed by the Flying Pirate half a few weekends after that...)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

get a dog and get moving!

I have never had a dog in my life, ever. My dad has had several, but I've just never cared for them much. I'm a cat person. I like that I never have to bathe my cat yet he always smells like a baby and can feed himself... he's the perfect busy/lazy person's pet.

A friend went out of town and I pet-sit for her. Panda, as you can see the reason behind the name, was the best remedy to get outside and enjoy the weather, however cold it was. Wow, when Jake and I have kids and they start to get lazy, I'm getting them a dog so they will have to get outside and get moving! I usually come home after work, take a nap before the gym, eat dinner, then go to sleep. Now, it's wake up extra early, take Panda for a walk, go to work, come home, take Panda for a long walk, go to the gym, eat dinner, and take Panda for her last walk. Oh man, I can't really remember the last time I took a walk. Not to mention, I did sprints with her in order to get her organs working so that I wouldn't have to be outside for long. I thought that would work, but it never really did... was a good thought anyway.

My point is, get a dog because you'll have to get moving. With a running partner, it's easy to say you've got a headache or you're tired or you haven't eaten yet. You're on your time even when you've got someone holding you accountable, because let's face it, you are your own boss whether or not you're trying to please someone else. With a dog, there are no excuses... you gotta go when she's gotta go!

oatmeal coconut walnut chocolate chip cookies

I am a sucker for cookies, especially if they have nuts. I like to have cookies around just to savor whenever I get a little sweet tooth, and that will carry me throughout the day. If you're one of those people who are like my Dad, and can't just have one cookie, you might not want to make these. I'm not actually giving a recipe out for this, because it's a family secret, made up by my Aunt Connie, the true baker of the family who also made mine and Jake's awesome chocolate wedding cake. Her recipe for oatmeal cookies come out crispy and amazing... like no other cookie I've ever had.

However, I will say this. Take your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, decrease the flour to almost none, and add a few cups of oats. I added chocolate chips, walnuts, and coconut. If you want to make these uber healthy, you could add a handful of flax seed meal. Yay for cookies that have fiber and protein!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

run back and spin!

The workout today:
Run 30 minutes, as fast as can be endured for the entire 30 minutes at a semi-maintained pace.
Back and biceps, ultra-heavy on the back.
Spin, 1 hour.

Today is Tuesday, so I normally just do a super short speed run, then didn't feel like thinking about my own workout after planning out my clients' workouts, so I just went back to GVT to simply get a workout in. Spinning for one hour is without too much pushing since the run was earlier in the day. Good luck! Remember, when lifting for your back, such as for pulldowns, do at least 50% of your bodyweight (for women) and for men, you should be lifting at least 60% of yours for your back!

Monday, January 24, 2011

spring rolls

As I have previously mentioned, my parents had a tough time getting me to eat vegetables. Mom made these spring rolls and I still make them in order to force myself to eat more veggies. They're fresh, healthy, and absolutely delicious. I feel proud of myself as if I'm eating a salad because they're just that healthy (healthier than restaurant salads for sure), but you'd never know it.

Vietnamese Rice Paper wrappers
romaine lettuce or spinach
shrimp (or turkey or chicken...)
cucumbers, sliced into long skinny slivers
fuji apples, sliced like cucumbers
carrots, sliced like apples and cucumbers
jalapenos sliced thin as well
green bell peppers
whatever else you want in it (bean sprouts...)
sriracha hot sauce (I put this on the side for people to use as they please)

Steam rice paper wrapper in skillet filled with water, one at a time and fill immediately after steaming. Put whatever you want in each wrapper and roll it up into a burrito.

Be careful with the hot sauce because this is what happens when you put too much on a roll. He's (my brother-in-law had sweat running down his head like I've never seen before :D

home made noodles AND mandu (dumpling) skins + filling

The one thing I really miss is mandu. Mandu are Korean dumplings, basically wontons or whatever you want to call them. The only reason I can't have them is because the wrappers are made of wheat flour. My grandmother used to make all of our noodles homemade, so my mom and I decided to make our own noodles AND mandu skins.

The noodle/mandu skin mix:
4.5 cups GF all purpose flour
1.5 cups cold water

Use a fork or masher to mix the water into the flour 1/2 cup by 1/2 cup so that you don't get the mix too wet. Once you knead it enough, get it into a ball and place on cutting board. Knead it more and add flour if you need to if it's too wet. It needs to be kind of dry to where it is cracking off.

If you want to make noodles you would flatten it out to about an 1/8 inch thick then fold it over in halfs and cut it width-wise, shake flour over it, and freeze them until you need them.

If you are making the skins, you would roll it out into a long bratwurst shape and cut off 1 inch pieces. Flatten each piece into a very thin, round paper. (Make sure you do this right before you put the mix into the papers).

The Mandu Mix
3 Tofu Squares, fresh from tub at market and squeezed very dry
10 cups kimchi, chopped and drained well (after drained, it will be less than 10 cups)
8 oz cooked japchae noodles, cut (noodles are important to absorb excess moisture)
2 eggs
3 T sesame oil
1/4 cup red pepper powder
1 T black pepper
^^ Mix everything together in a large bowl.

Place a tablespoon full of mix into the center of the circular, flattened-out dough. Dip one finger into water and wet the outer edge of the skin. Fold up a side of the dough and seal it to the other half and press. Set aside until all are complete. When ready to steam, place over simmering water and cook until dumpling is heated, about 10 minutes. If you add meat to this dish, make sure to cook it for about 20 minutes. If you don't cook these immediately, put them in the freezer in a sealed plastic bag and you can pull them out and steam them easily.

heavy weights, my best friends!

Today's workout was great. I did an hour of spinning first thing in the morning, then an hour and a half of weights later in the day. I worked my chest, triceps, and shoulders today, using GVT for the last time on my upper body.

Too many times from too many people, I hear women not wanting to use heavy weight. I hate this... it actually makes me cringe. My mother used to tell me not to bench press, because that is why my chest was so broad, or so she thought. No, I was just fat. I love bench pressing as much as I safely can without being spotted. It's like an at-home breast augmentation if you ask me. That and dumbbell flys. In fact, I use more weight for my shoulder exercises than most women use for their leg exercises. That's terrible. My arms aren't big by any means. A couple co-workers actually make fun of me and say I have skinny little arms, but hey, they're incredibly toned.

So how about that? I increased my bench press and everything else (except for my super heavy squats) and actually lost weight, dropped body fat, and got smaller all around.  Unless you have a ton of testosterone, which the majority of women don't, you won't build big muscles without the help of supplements. Instead, challenging yourself with bigger weights will make you stronger, increase your bone density, and create a thermogenic effect so that you actually burn more calories sitting than you would while doing cardio with much less muscle mass. Think about it. I like the fact that I burn more calories with less effort and less time by using more and more weight. You will never find a client of mine using less than 5 lb dumb bells in each hand for their arms, or less than 12 lb dumb bells in each hand for legs, and that's on the light side, unless they have injuries which keep them from lifting without specific pain.

On the other hand, some men actually need to lay off the chest exercises so they can actually stand up straight... but that's another story :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Asahi, breath of fresh Korean air :)

Ahhhhhhh, relief. The worst part about Korean food is that everything seems to be made with soy sauce or hot pepper paste or tashida or bean paste, all of which contain wheat. I wanted to take my mom out, and her favorite food is Korean. We went to mine and Jake's favorite Korean restaurant down the street, Asahi. This place is funny because its name is Asahi Restaurant and Sushi Bar, so one would think it's a Japanese restaurant and sushi bar. Quite the contrary! Anyway, I would normally just order the tubu kimchi without soy sauce. As I was ordering however, Kimberly the waitress, informed me that she can make anything at the restaurant with Gluten Free soy sauce if need be, and that nothing is made with tashida! Oh my goodness, you can imagine my excitement. I had her give me another few minutes seeing as I can now actually have a choice as to what I wanted to eat. I have been craving my favorite Korean dish, JJampong, which is super spicy and made with lots of seafood, and had her use Japchae noodles instead of the regular handmade noodles. Japchae noodles are great because they are usually made with Sweet Potato starch. This was soo good! I can now go to the restaurant whenever I want and get whatever I want with whatever I want in it without the fear of getting sick later. I don't know if Kimberly knows this, I think she does, but she totally made my night. I have always suggested to anyone who wants good Korean food to go to Asahi, but now I am even more enthusiastic about how wonderful it is. No artificial ingredients and very gluten friendly!

Breakfast of Champions, on the go (smoooothie!)

I like eggs for breakfast. But when I have to be at work super early and don't want to wake up at 3:30, I throw this stuff into a blender and have a wonderful smoothie for breakfast on the go. I blend frozen (or fresh) berries and sometimes pineapple or whatever I have on hand with either green tea or juice (without added sugar), agave, and for protein I use either fat free plain Greek yogurt or Spiru-tein Vanilla Soy Protein powder. You can also add psyillium husk or ground flax seeds for some extra fiber. Remember, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It doesn't have to be huge, just a small cup full of antioxidants with a little protein will do! Anything to get your metabolism jump-started and your brain awakened. Get moving!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Duk-kook (Korean Rice Cake soup) or Just Plain Old Beef Stew

Duk-kook is the traditional Korean soup eaten by Koreans on the Lunar New Year. I grew up on it, and still love it. It's packed with lean protein, veggies, and a some rice cakes, which can be found at any Asian market. You can enjoy the stew itself with plain old rice and it's delicious, but I like it with rice cakes because the texture is great.

5 QT crock pot
3 lbs boneless chuck roast
water up to 1 inch above meat
about 12 cloves of garlic (my blood is probably 50% garlic...)
2 bunches green onions
1 egg
Korean radish or any fat radish
Korean rice cakes (duk)
Korean red pepper
drop of Gluten Free Reduced Sodium soy sauce
drop of sesame oil

Cook the meat on low in the crockpot overnight, with the water up to 1 inch above it, along with the garlic cloves. Remove meat the next morning, as well as the soup, put in separate containers and refrigerate for a few hours, until the fat in the soup rises to the surface, then use a slotted spoon to scrape the fat off of the surface of the soup and add the meat and soup back to the pot, after tearing the meat into pieces with your fingers. Slice radish and any other veggies into soup, and cook on low for 3 hrs. For the last few minutes add in rice cakes and cook on high, then add in 1 egg, pinch of salt, pepper, red pepper, and green onions and 1 drop of GF soy sauce and 1 drop of sesame oil, if desired. It's ready to eat once the duk rises to the surface and is soft and chewy and the egg is cooked.

workin' it hard on the arms

Let me just say, I work with some really talented trainers at Fitness Together, and one of them challenged me with a GVT workout yesterday, so I used the technique on my chest and back and could barely drive or lift my arms in front of me last night. It's such a great workout, I decided I'm going to use it again today for my shoulders, triceps, and biceps. German Volume Training is normally used for people who are trying to gain size and strength, so I am mixing it up a little for myself, simply trying to tone and stay strong. Yesterday my leg was still bothering me so I didn't do any cardio in between, however the intensity of the weights itself was enough to keep my heart pumping. Today I will be working my shoulders and arms with 2 exercises each part, and :30 of "rest" between each set, which will be medicine ball twists or knees to elbows, changing it up for each exercise. Later on I'm going to test my leg out in a spin class since I still can't run, then take my mom with me to a hot yoga class. I'm pretty stoked about the workout(s) today!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

mom's fried fish and potatoes

My mom has this crazy cooking style, just like her strange accent, that shows how she's Korean but has lived in the South for several years. She makes some awesome, and I mean awesome fish. Since the grease is out, she fries some Korean sweet potatoes while she's at it, but before the fish is fried so the flavor isn't contaminated with fish.

3 Fish fillets, we used flounder
1.5 cups Gluten Free all purpose flour
about 1.5 cups of water (enough water to make the flour runny enough to drip from the whisk)
1 egg
crushed red pepper
garlic salt
sweet potatoes (sliced into thin rounds)
2 cups soybean oil (or any oil you can fry very hot)

Get oil hot, on high, then turn down to medium high. Mix flour, egg, and water until batter is just runny enough to drip. Dip potatoes into batter one at a time then place gently into oil. Flip after a few seconds and fry til golden. Place fried potatoes onto paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic salt on fish fillets (remember to not use as much salt because of the garlic salt). Place fillets into batter then into frying pan. Allow to cook on each side until it's nice and golden. Place the fillets on paper towel lined plate. I like to eat this with brown rice and dip the sweet potatoes into a mixture of GF soy sauce, vinegar, red pepper, and sesame oil.

Eating fried food is not ALWAYS bad. As long as you fry the food at a very high temperature so it's not sitting there soaking it up, it isn't too bad for you. Yes, it would definitely be better to bake these, but come on, if you don't eat burgers and pizza once a week, then it's fine to fry your food once a week. If you would like to make this meal healthier, bake the fish first for a few minutes, then dip into batter and fry for a few minutes, that way it's almost cooked before it even enters the grease and will be sitting in the grease for less time. But really, one meal or less per week of something flash fried won't hurt too much :)

just do it! but you gotta know when to just stop.

I haven't been posting any workouts late, I know, sorry. I got so excited that I can push myself hard again, that I pushed myself a little beyond my current limits. I get so frustrated with people who say they can't do something, when they really are just scared to push themselves. I wouldn't push anyone to do something they can't do, not including myself. I push myself past that limit pretty often, more so recently since my boundary has been closed in just a little and I haven't given it time to expand. You have to know when you need to rest. I did a ton of squats on Friday, rode, kickboxed and did hot yoga on Saturday which made me really sore that night. I woke up the next morning and couldn't say no to a run with this fluffy Panda and pet-sitting, so I took her out for a run on very sore legs, for 45 minutes. Toward the end of the day, I couldn't pick my left leg off the ground when I was walking, and going up an down stairs in my house was just out of the question. The next day at work I felt really foolish when I couldn't even get around work very easily and was in more pain than the day before. I was talked into seeing a doctor by a co-worker, and thankfully I took the advice.

If anyone hasn't heard my theory on doctors, you're in for a treat, well, not really. Just imagine the most negative thing you could hear anyone say. Then think of chiropractors and take it down that many more notches. I pride myself in actually HELPING people to get better, not worse. My money comes from people who succeed, who get healthier, who learn what their problems are and tackle them. However, my experiences with doctors shows me that they make tons of money off of keeping patients down, from the medications they can prescribe to patients whether they will actually help or not. Clients come to me all the time talking about how their chiropractor told them they could die if they took another step or their disc is going to explode if they twist even in the least... yeah I got the same spiel a couple years ago and I did some stretching and saw a good doctor and I'm all good now. Sure that chiropractor made a bit of money off of me, but never will I see them again and I learned a great lesson from it. Anyway, my point is that you have to know what you're doing, know when to keep going, know when to rest, and know which doctor to go to. My all-time favorite doctor is Dr. Joseph Marcil at SportsMED who does sports rehab, chiropractic, and hyperbaric oxygen. He's awesome and will never diagnose you with some crazy thing that doesn't exist nor try to keep cracking your back unnecessarily just to make you think he's doing something worth your money. I went there yesterday with a 2nd degree biceps femoris sprain and he did some massaging and whatnot, and I woke up today feeling much better. No worries, not working out anything but my chest and back today, but I do feel better.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Kimchi fried rice (kimchi bokumpop)

You can probably tell we're using a lot of rice lately. It's simply because I made a ton of rice the other night thinking more of it would get eaten, but my health-crazed friends stuck to all the meat and veggies more so than the rice. My mom and I aren't ones to waste food (oh yeah, my mom came to surprise me the other night so I'll be posting a good bit of Korean food on here because she takes it upon herself to cook all the time). I love this rice because it's spicy and I love to eat cabbage because I feel like I'm being good to my body since I'm bad at taking in veggies when in other dishes :)

4 cups cooked rice
1 cup chopped kimchi
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp gluten free, reduced sodium soy sauce
2 eggs

In a frying pan, use 1 tsp soybean oil and stir-fry kimchi, then add cooked rice and add soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir all together, then move rice around so there is a hole in the center of the pan. Add a little oil to the pan into the hole, then crack the eggs, and cover the hole with rice and let sit for about 7 minutes. Stir it up and it's ready to eat!

Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

I've been asked about how to still enjoy baked goods while on a gluten free diet. Several people simply get the packages from the store that are pre-made cake or cookie mixes. For me, I'd rather go with my own stuff because I know I can trust what I bake. The first month I experimented with what I thought was gluten free, I was extremely ill and never got better. Suddenly, I completely quit eating anything that could possibly have gluten in it, including pre-made mixes and artificial sweeteners and walah! I'm 99% better, and getting better everyday! Of course, you can still love on your sweet tooth on a gluten free diet, no reason not too, unless your britches are getting too small... might be time for you to cut back. Remember, a gluten free diet does not mean you're going to lose weight, just means you're going to be eating healthier. Someone mentioned to me the other day that they steer clear of corn and potato flour as well, which reminds me of the Paleo Diet, and if you are like that you're not going to like this flour mix. I, on the other hand, will continue to eat potatoes and corn products (non GMO) because I'm only eating gluten free to stay healthy and not be bed-ridden again. So if you come up with a "healthier" mix, let me know. Here is my mix, and it works very well on brownies, cakes, cookies, and everything you would use all purpose flour for. I'll be using it for pasta and bread as well.

1 cup white rice flour
1 cup potato starch
1 cup corn starch
1/2 cup corn flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
4 tsp xanthan gum

I would go ahead and make several batches of this so that you can always have it on hand, since it's a process to throw everything together and shake it up.

This recipe is from Jules Shepard's Nearly Normal Gluten Free Baking. I highly recommend her book.

fudge brownies and omg yes! they are gluten free!!

I absolutely love brownies, especially when they're gooey. I'm pretty sure Jake and I are brownie sundae connoisseurs, ordering brownie sundaes everywhere we go. Just bake these brownies, and top it off with some Breyer's vanilla bean ice cream, and you are good to go.

1/2 cup whole almonds, ground into fine flour
1/3 cup white rice flour
1 cup Ghiradelli Double Chocolate Chips
6 T unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line small baking pan with parchment paper.
Mix together rice flour and almond flour well and set aside.
Place chocolate, butter and salt in top of large double boiler over simmering water and stir frequently until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove and let cool a few minutes.
Stir in sugar and vanilla, then eggs one at a time. Add the almond and rice flour mixture and stir until thoroughly blended. Stir in nuts.
Scrap batter into pan and bake 25 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

This recipe is adapted from the Ghiradelli brownie recipe from

samgyupsal (korean lettuce wraps)

One meal we can always count on having when everyone in the family is around, is samgyupsal. It's the korean sandwich, ultimately. Everything includes lettuce (red leaf or romaine), un-marinated meat which is normally fatty pork but I used beef because I can't stand pork, sauteed green onions, gochujang (korean hot paste), kimchi, and sesame sauce for dipping the meat, and of course, rice. On a piece of lettuce, a pinch of hot paste is placed, then a spoonful of rice, kimchi, meat dipped into the sesame sauce, and green onions. Then you wrap the lettuce up and shove the whole thing in your mouth without hesitation. The messier and the bigger your mouthful, the better :) Usually served along with the meal is soup or fish or squid or anything else you'd like to eat along with it. Whatever you want, goes!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

mmmmmm (kim)POP!

Just as everyone has some form of a taco in their country (wrap, spring roll, lettuce wrap), everyone has some form of sushi (sandwich, rice bowl, kimpop). I LOVE kimpop. My mom used to pack these for me when I was kid to take to school since I wouldn't touch a sandwich. You can put whatever you want in these. My family always uses hot dogs (free of artificial gunk), eggs, cucumber, and pickled radish. I also like to add kimchi into mine and it makes it uber delicious. They can be packed with protein for a good, healthy snack, or however you like it. For my sister-in-law, who isn't a fan of meat, we just use cucumbers and eggs and it's just as wonderful. You can also use brown rice instead of white rice, a combination, or no rice to be a little more paleo.

8 cups cooked rice
1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
1 T salt
1 T sesame oil
2 T sesame seeds
12 sheets of plain seaweed (remember, this makes 12 rolls so you can half all of this)
8 hot dogs, sliced into long skinny pieces and sauteed in pan until slightly cooked
8 eggs, whisked in bowl and fried into thin sheets
1 cucumber (sliced into long skinny pieces)
1 "Dakwan" radish sliced into long skinny pieces (pickled radish you can find at any oriental market)

Mix all ingredients from rice down to sesame seeds together. Spread a big spoonful of rice onto seaweed sheet until sheet is covered, but don't use a ton of rice. Add rest of ingredients lengthwise in 1 row on sheet, then roll and slice into about 1/2 inch pieces and heat your heart out!

no time? no problem.

I know that some people wonder how in the world I have the time to work out for so many hours a day. Well, it helps a ton that I work in the fitness industry, and even more so that I work in a studio where I have access to an entire room of equipment to myself without having to fight over anything. I work out between clients, after work, before work, I squeeze it in somewhere, because I know that I will feel so much better at the end of the day because of it.

You have no idea how often I hear clients and friends alike, complain about not having the time to exercise. How in the world do you not have time? Don't watch that tv show and exercise instead, or better yet, exercise while watching your must-see show. I have shows I like to watch too, and I just watch them the next day when they're available online or whenever I actually do have the time to sit down and do nothing. Also, wake up earlier! If you have to be at work around 8 AM, hello, you're not alone! Some of my co-workers and I are at work by 4:45 sometimes, and we all definitely find the time to exercise. If you go to work at 7, work out at 5! Or if you work at 5 AM and don't get off until 5 PM or have a long commute back and forth, then work out during your lunch break by going for a walk, climbing stairs, do some chair dips at your desk or squats or pushups! Or, I'm asked how I have the time to cook all my meals all the time. The trick to eating healthy, every 3 hours, is to prepare your meals in advance. On Sunday night, I prepare my meals for the week by grilling all of my meats or having my fridge stocked with all of my veggies that I pre-cut or my fruit that I pre-cut and my marinades and salad dressings already made.

Take today for instance. I have no time today. And by no time, I don't have 4 hours to work out. I have a 3 hour break which will be almost the only time I have today to eat a full meal and to exercise and run errands that I have been putting off. What in the world am I going to do? Easy, I've been pushing myself everyday all week so I won't feel bad about squeezing in a meer 45 minutes to run hills today. Everyone's got 30-45 minutes somewhere in their day, and as much as I hate working out in the middle of my day, I'm going to do it, because it's still time. Oh and the other thing, it frustrates me so much when I hear that you dont' have time. I heard a really great sermon, not sure who gave it, but it was said that by complaining that you don't have time, it's like saying that God made a mistake and isn't allowing you time in your day to do what you need to do. So think of it that way, and know that you have time, because you are given everything you need to have a good life, so you've got to do it for yourself and take advantage of every hour of the day. If you've got to wake up an hour earlier to exercise, go to sleep an hour earlier the night before and I promise you can get used to it after a while! No excuses. I'm tempted to miss a workout at times too, but I don't. The benefits far outweight the cost.

Just do it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

drink your antioxidants

I drink green tea like it's water. Well, I drink a little more water, but you can bet on me having at least 4 glasses of this each day. For 3 quarts of tea, I use 3 bags of Green Tea and 1 bag of Get Happy (this adds a bit of peach flavor). After steeping tea bags in a couple cups of boiled water, I add 1 T of agave syrup to sweeten the tea just a tad. I stir it around, then fill the pitcher up to 3 quarts with cold water and remove the tea bags. My parents use black tea and add an orange rind (instead of the Get Happy tea bag) which makes the best black tea I've ever had, and I know you can do the same with this green tea and it would taste just as great. Drink up!

the dirty dozen: spicy deviled eggs

Eggs are the perfect protein. You hear it everywhere. I hate eggs. I mean yeah, I eat eggs for breakfast, scrambled with some Cabot reduced fat cheese shredded on top. But I have to have that cheese on top. Bodybuilders shove eggs down their throat all day, for real. Me? I can't do it. However, deviled eggs are the perfect snack! I love these spicy deviled eggs for a snack, or for a quick breakfast or for a lunch if you're pressed for time, who cares when you do it, just make sure you get some protein every 3 hours or so. These are loaded with yellow onion, which are great for lowering your blood sugar level as well as possibly staving off cancer, as well as jalapenos which are wonderful for boosting metabolic health. I love spice, so if you don't want these quite as spicy, feel free to cut down to 1 jalapeno.

12 hard boiled eggs
1/2 small yellow onion
2 small jalapeno peppers
1/4 cup Vegenaise (I use Grapeseed oil vegenaise)
1 tsp spicy brown mustard
1 tsp distilled vinegar
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp horseradish

Mix all ingredients (besides the boiled eggs) together while the eggs are being boiled. Slice the boiled eggs lengthwise, and scoop the yolks into the mixture, and blend. Scoop a tablespoon-full of mixture into each egg white and store in the fridge for when you get the munchies!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Asian Sesame Salad

Ask anyone, I HATED salads until I was about, well, let's just say I hated salads until last year. All of the sudden I started experimenting because I really needed to get raw vegetables into my diet somehow. This salad is phenomenal. I love sesame oil and seeds and almonds and this salad combines the flavors. You can also add mandarin oranges but I didn't have any on hand, sadly. Also, the chicken on this salad can be added to ANY salad of your choice. I'll list two recipes for my favorite salads.

For the chicken: Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Aluminum foil-lined small pan (leave lots of edges in order to fold over chicken and seal)
3 chicken breasts side by side in foil
1/2 cup organic low sodium chicken broth poured over chicken
garlic powder
red pepper
cayenne pepper
italian seasoning

Sprinkle the seasonings over the chicken evenly and wrap the foil over the chicken to form a seal. Bake for 45 minutes or until chicken is done. Allow to sit once taken from oven for 5 minutes, then slice and put over salad.

For the salad:
Whatever you want!
I used: spinach, spring mix, cucumbers, carrots, sliced almonds, and ground flax seeds and sesame seeds.

For another awesome salad to use honey mustard vinaigrette on: spinach, spring mix, cucumbers, carrots, walnuts, ground flax seeds.

Asian Sesame dressing:
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 T gluten free, low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive or canola oil.
1 tsp honey

Stir up all ingredients or put in a jar and shake!

Training day

I am a fan of routines. I like to have a checklist and make sure I stay on track so that I can see when I slack off and yell at myself. I also believe that people should only run 3 days a week (you might see that I break this rule often, but it's because I run HARD for more than 5 miles 3 days a week while on the other days I will only run for 30 minutes or less, if I run). I sincerely believe in cross-training by doing anything that doesn't simulate running on pavement- elliptical, boxing, spinning, cycling, swimming...

Anyway, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays are my running days while Saturdays are my road cycling days and all the days in between I cross-train for a couple of hours doing anything else. Even more specifically, Tuesdays are my speed days, Thursdays are my longer tempo run days, and Sundays are my easy long runs. As for now, the longest distance I have on my running calendar for a race is a half marathon in April, so you won't be seeing any 20 milers, unless I get a wild hair and do something crazy.

Today I've got a quick run- 10 minutes warmup, 2 miles fast, 2 miles faster and 10 minute cooldown. It's going to be coooold. I was hoping to make it to the track, but if it's icy, I'm not taking the chance and I'll do it on a treadmill. That's right, the treadmill. So many runners frown upon doing anything on the treadmill, but honestly? It's very useful!!! When it's cold outside, it will take me an hour to layer on all my clothes, and to finally get the nerve to go outside, then I'll run 3 times slower and not push myself simply because I'm scared to death of falling and getting a concussion on the ice. Therefore, it is much smarter for me to simply run on the treadmill and get a good run in. They're also very good for pushing your pace and forcing yourself not to slow down. Always make sure your incline is at a 1.5 or higher, in order to simulate running a little more... and it will also save your knees and lower back. After my run I'll do a spin class for 1 hour. That's right, cross-training on a training day, but several hours later. I'm really working on my cardiovascular endurance to get it back to where it was, and I can't do that simply by running further because I haven't been running much in the last few months and I'm not about to get a stress fracture. It's perfectly fine to do two-a-day. Ask any personal trainer, some of them, like me, might even do a three-a-day. Just make sure to do your main training regiment first, then the cross-training after so you can get your hard run in and not be saving any energy for your next workout. Have fun!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Truth About Your Weight Gain

The Truth About Your Weight Gain

I absolutely love this article! Click on the link.

I also love the books he mentions, the Eat This, Not That collection as well as the Cook This, Not That book. Once you go through them, you will never again go to Five Guys, yuck! Always stick to whole foods that aren't processed! I had a client ask me today about why vegetarians seems to be overweight more so than meat eaters. Easy, many vegetarians eat processed foods in order to make up for their lack of protein from meat. My preference? Eat the real thing, meat! God made it for a reason. I'm not saying eat loads of it a day, but 4 oz per meal won't hurt the planet. Stick with grass-fed cow beef and cage free, all natural chickens that aren't loaded up with sodium from chicken broth. And Greek yogurt? Greek yogurt is my all time very favorite snack/ breakfast on the go. Chobani has 14 grams of protein and it's delicious with all natural fruit!

the 4 hour workout???!!

Many people ask me how in the world I work out 4 hours a day, or what in the world it is I do in the gym for so long. Trick is, I don't spend the whole time at the gym, sometimes I don't spend any of it in the gym. I'm going to share my workouts, hoping that it will inspire some of you to either copy me, or see that it's not as impossible as it seems and get moving! By NO MEANS do I believe you should work out for 4 hours a day. I believe that everyone should move as much as possible throughout the day. I believe that the average woman who consumes under 2000 calories a day should be actively doing cardio for 45 minutes per day 4-5 days a week, with 3 days of weightlifting for around 30 minutes, on top of that. The average man who consumes 2000-2500 calories per day should be doing at least 30 minutes of cardio per day with 3 days of weightlifting for around an hour. Better cardio=better heart health among everything else. Weightlifting= more muscles mass which means more bone mass, and come on, it's never too early to worry about that. And women do NOT need to be lifting any less than 5 lb weights for ANYTHING... unless you're rehabbing some injury under supervision.

For today:
Spin 1 hr
Crossfit endurance run from main CFE site, 6x400 m sprints, 2 min recovery
Weights: chest, triceps, shoulders and abs, 45 minutes
Kickboxing 1 hr

I space my workouts out, because I'm not a beast and can't be my best for hours in a row. Like I said, the average person can do any ONE of these workouts and stay healthy. I train people for a living and I like to have a good bit of experience across the board in order to help people of all disciplines. I also do it because I love the way that exercise makes me feel, but I definitely know when my body needs to rest and I listen when it does. Give it a few weeks and add another 30 minutes onto your workouts, see how wonderful your results are, physically and mentally.

Oatmeal, finally!

Since being diagnosed with anaemia (due to the whole Celiac thing), I've been working iron into my diet any way possible. I've also always wanted to "like" oatmeal, knowing how good it is for you. I pulled everything together in this recipe and it's actually delicious, finally.

1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oats
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup skim milk
1 tsp. Blackstrap Molasses (I use Plantation)
a few dark chocolate chips (or reg. chocolate if you don't like dark)
1 T flax seeds, ground
optional: walnuts, blueberries instead of chocolate, bananas, strawberries...... be creative!

Cook the oats the way the directions say: microwave 1/4 cup of oats with 1/2 cups water and 1/4 cup milk for 2 minutes, then cover and let sit for 3 minutes. Uncover, and stir in the chocolate chips, molasses, flax seeds, and whatever else you want in it and enjoy!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

grilled hot wings

My dear parents.... until I was around 12 years old they couldn't get me to eat anything other than hot wings. I still absolutely think that hot wings are amazing. I'm pretty sure that's when Jake and I knew we were meant to be together, when we discovered our incredible love for hot wings. Chicken wings are loaded with protein, and the skin adds flavor. With no empty carbs, metabolism firing cayenne pepper, and heart healthy garlic, these wings are a sure thing. If you want to make these healthier, you can use a few breasts of chicken cut into strips and go about everything the same way, minus the chopping of the wings. These can also be baked but grilling makes them taste so delicious!

Package of chicken wings
1/4 cup hot sauce (Frank's)
2 T gluten free, low sodium soy sauce
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 T honey
1 T Sambal hot chili sauce
Finishing Sauce:
3 T butter
1/2 cup hot sauce (Frank's)
1 T gluten free, low sodium soy sauce
1 T Sambal hot chili sauce

Rinse the wings off with cool water. Find the joints and cut the wing tips off then cut the wing into the two pieces at the middle joint. Marinate the wings in the wing sauce for about 8 hours (the longer the better). Prepare finishing sauce in pan about 15 minutes before grilling. Grill the wings on medium for 7-9 minutes per side or until the juice in the wings run clear. Toss the finished wings into the finishing sauce in the pan until wings are covered. I like to serve the wings with a side of brown rice and side salad.