Kung POW!

Last night’s dinner was a major success. It was delicious, simple, and there was little to no mess involved. That alone qualifies this recipe to be laminated and used frequently.

I don’t usually make Asian food. I like to order my Thai food and save my house the airing out process. I cook a pretty standard but caucasian stir fry occasionally.. but really I haven’t done much cuisine from that side of the world.

Last night was a test.

Enter Grilled Chicken with Kung Pao Sauce from Shape Magazine. They were touting the recipe with claims like “Good-Bye Takeout” and its only 173 calories per serving… Wait whhhaattt? 173 calories? mmmm I’m interested..

Serves 6 peeps

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry
1/4c plus 2T low-sodium soy sauce
1T black or red rice vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
1T plus 1t water, divided
1/3t sugar
1/4c oyster sauce
1/8t sesame oil
1/2t cornstarch
1/4c unsalted peanuts, chopped
1 scallion, slivered

Grill the chicken over medium heat for about 7 mins on side 1, and 3 mins on side 2. Make sure that baby is cooked through but don’t over do it, you still want moist (eww) chicken 🙂

In a medium saucepan, mix soy sauce, vinegar, 1.5T water, sugar, oyster sauce, and oil. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

In a small bowl mix together the cornstarch and remaining water. Add this to the bubbling sauce pan and simmer for about a minute, or until thickened. Remove from heat and seat aside.

Once you chicken is all done you can brush the sauce on top and top with peanuts and green onion. I obviously made brown rice too!

Super delicious and very flavorful. I know that the oyster sauce and sesame oil aren’t pantry staples but the recipe was good enough for me to say they are worth buying. I’ll definitely be making this again so I think the few bucks to add them to my cabinet is just peachy 🙂

Trevor liked it too…

Clean plate club over here 🙂

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Mix ‘n Match

Strength training has a bad rep. A lot of women think that the more weight you work out with the more you’ll bulk up. Sames-ies with protein powders.

Believe me, I feel the same way about some of the protein, muscle building, chalky crap. I also know I don’t want to look like this…

I definitely admire the mental and physical strength it takes to become these ripped creatures but I don’t pull off that dark of a tan well, and I have no will power to stop eating candy for X number of months.

But I do know and understand the importance of lifting and getting enough protein everyday.

I’m a chicken, seafood, and meat eater but not at every meal. I know that throughout my day I’m probably not consuming enough protein to keep my energy level and nutrition level happy.

Here’s how to figure out what you need: Take your weight in pounds and divide it by 2.2 to figure out your weight in kilograms. Then multiply that number by 0.8 (not very active) through 1.8 (extremely active), depending on how much exercise you get.

I calculated mine and I need somewhere between 73g-85g of protein a day. Check out this chart and article if you want some guidelines too.

Its pretty important to get that quantity met and I know I’m not pulling my weight. So I’ve gotta up my intake if I wanna keep my guns…

I take this protein supplement, and mix it into my yogurt in the morning. I’m not a big chug my protein kind of girl, and this helps mask any hint of chalky-ness.

It’s pretty low cal as far as protein supplements go (80calories for 2 scoops) and its a nice vanilla flavor, which is great for breakfast mix-ins. This one is also formulated for women, and is packed with great extras.

Some other recommended ones are the Biggest Loser Protein Powder (chocolate), and Sun Warrior Protein Powder. Try tracking your protein intake for just one normal day and see how you’re doing.

Now back to lifting… I know its intimidating to hit the weight room. The gym rats, muscle rippling, body shaving sweat box can be a little freaky. No worries! Head into the fitness room where classes take place and hit up the dumbbells. You don’t need big weights, or giant machines just two sets of dumbbells (one heavier, one lighter).

Here are a bunch of exercises that can be mixed and match based on what you want to work out for the day. I use 8lb-10lbs for my heavy sets and around 5-7lbs for lighter set (like shoulders).

Push-Ups with Knee Crunches (raise one knee to you elbow in plank position, then do the other side, then a push-up, repeat)
Leg Raises
Tricep Kickbacks
Bicep Curls
Overhead Press
Wall Squats with Stability Ball

Calve Raises on Aerobic Step
Bicycle Crunches

Dive Bombers

Superman/Swimmers
Lunges
Tricep Press
Wide Bicep Curls (elbows pinned to side, arms out in a V)

Regular Squat with Dumbbell
Leg Throws for Abs

Chest Flys
Dead Lifts
Lunges on Aerobic Step
Dips
Arm Circles with Light Weights
Sum Squats with weight
Oblique Crunches
Plank

You can do these exercises in the sets as I listed or mix to work just your arms or just your legs. Women should lift/strength train every week! It helps with bone density, weight maintenance, and obviously strength.

Don’t worry just because you lift doesn’t mean you’ll get HUGE! 🙂

Friday Facts

Happy Friday all! I feel like it was a regular old week, nothing too crazy, but good overall! My classes at the gym went well and I was happy to have a new work out gear addition to end the week with….

I ordered a three pack of these Bondi Bands and they are awesome! I trimmed mine down so that it didn’t cover from forehead to ponytail, but they are so light and comfy. Major bonus points because my band didn’t budge during my spin class… and I was a sweaty mess, so it must have been holding on for dear life. Plus who can beat a headband as honest as “Will Run for Wine”. Done and Done.

Also this week I tried my first quinoa dish. I had no idea what to expect texture wise from this… gritty? grainy? soft? chewy?

I was very happy with the end product! Its a slightly nuttier (ha) version of brown rice. No crunchiness, which was what I really expected. Here’s the recipe I used for losing my quinoa virginity:

Quinoa Taco Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 1/2 Red Onion, Chopped
  • 1/2 cup Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 2 Tbs taco seasoning
  • 1/2 Zucchini, chopped
  • 15 oz. Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tomato, diced
  • 1 Can of yellow corn, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cups Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 whole Avocado, diced
  • Sour Cream

DIRECTIONS
Cook the quinoa according to package instructions and add taco seasoning to water.
Meanwhile, swirl a bit of olive oil in a saute pan. Heat oil over medium high heat.
Add onion and saute for 3-5 minutes, until translucent and tender.
Add zucchini, peppers and saute for an additional 2 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in the black beans, tomatoes, and corn. Stir in the quinoa.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Top each plate with a scoop of the quinoa salad. Top each salad with your choice of cheese, sour cream and diced avocado.

Note: it was excellent even as leftovers!

Finally my week will end with an 8k race tomorrow morning. Trevor and I judged a book by its cover on this one….

I want that Beaver-wearing-a-viking-hat-while-running t-shirt. Gimme. Now!

Have a beautiful, relaxing, mellow, well deserved weekend! See ya Monday!

My Go-To Breakfast

Eat Breakfast. This is something that comes from all angles when it comes to healthy eating and weight loss tips. Some people aren’t into breakfast and it seems like a punishment to HAVE to eat breakfast. But stay with me, maybe you can become a breakfast eater even if its not your favorite meal…

I love breakfast though. I love cereal. I can eat probably 1/3 of a box without blinking. The worst thing is I love the worst kinds of cereal. The most unhealthy cereals that you can find. Cinnamon Toast Crunch? Yum. Lucky Charms? Don’t mind if I do. Fruit Loops? Delicious.

However when I know I need to get on track, eat better, and be conscious of what I’m stuffing my face with, the first thing I do is re-evaluate my breakfast. This breakfast works for me. There are tons of options that every fitness/trainer/dietician will promote so look around.

What it is:

I take ONE shredded wheat biscuit + a container of fat free yogurt + fresh raspberries/blueberries + a splash of milk

The shredded wheat needs that splash of milk so that it can be broken up in the bowl. It also helps thin out the yogurt a little bit which visually makes it look like more. Mental tricks to make it look like its more food is a weapon. USE IT!

This breakfast clocks in right around 230 calories and it honestly helps me stay fuller for longer. The shredded wheat plays a big role in that. Fist pump to fiber! Again, I really like this breakfast, and the biggest reason is that these are easy things to buy. Yogurt easy. Milk, duh. Shredded wheat biscuits, no prob. (I can always find these at Safeway). I’m not much of an oatmeal girl and I can’t get my act together to make eggs in the morning, so this is what fits for my day.

Do you have a favorite get on track meal? Something that helps you get focused on eating better again?