Posts Tagged ‘oatmeal’

Walking For Health & Walking As Exercise

Happy Labor Day! In honor of this great relaxing day off, I’m going to talk about one of my favorite things: walking. This weekend I got to walk a lot with Coco (and Star, her hubby). There are 2 reasons I walk (in addition to the fact that I just like it)…

Walking As Exercise

When I’m walking as exercise, I like to do a few different things:

  • Listen to music or podcasts
  • Read a book
  • Walk with my husband, or a good friend
  • Chat on the phone with my parents

And sometimes I just walk in silence. Walking in silence is sometimes just as good as (or even better than) yoga for clearing the mind. Walking is almost like meditation.

I use an iPod Nano for my podcasts. I am actually looking for new podcast recommendations so please let me know if you have any in the comments below! I like nutrition, yoga, linguistics, languages, and psychology, but I’m always open to other topics as well.

As for books, I tend to read books that don’t take too much concentration when I’m walking as exercise. I have tried to read more advanced books while I’m walking, but it’s too easy to lose focus because I do have to look up every so often so I don’t run into things/people/cabs. The Emily Giffin books were perfect for long walks.

I read that book 2 years ago – I searched my blog for her name and found this old post. Cool for me to see how I (and my blog) have evolved over the years.

Walking For Health

Okay, so walking as exercise is great, but walking is good for overall health as well. I have read so many articles lately about how being happy and leading a stress free life are actually more important than the foods you eat. That sounds a little bit crazy and unconventional, but I’m temped to believe it.

For one thing, walking is great for weight loss/maintenance. I don’t really do much other than walk these days, and I’m maintaining my weight easily. This weekend I did walk a lot (5-6 miles each day) but normally I only walk 2-4 miles a day. Walking for health = easy to stick to. I don’t really have any trouble fitting in my miles each day and I don’t dread them (unlike some other workouts).

Walking is also a way to take a break from whatever happened to you during the day/week. I like to walk home from work (it’s about 1.5 miles) when it’s not too hot and not too cold. Sometimes I window shop, sometimes I really shop (I got Bobby the jacket below the other day), and I always make sure that I stop thinking about anything stressful – humans need a way to get rid of stress. Stress is horrible for us – worse than cheeseburgers and fast food, for sure.

I think I am getting off topic! Back to walking for health ;) Walking = relaxing stress-reliever. Walking = good cardio. Walking = kind to your joints. Walking = low-impact. Walking = doesn’t feel like exercise. Walking = awesome.

So instead of sitting here posting, I am going to go out for a walk with my hubby because we haven’t left the house yet today. We had delicious steel cut oats for breakfast/brunch (mine with butter and a touch of honey; his with a bit more honey and 2 pieces of fake bacon; this picture is not from today – it’s from another delicious blogger meetup day almost a year ago in San Francisco).

Why do you walk? Or do you like other forms of exercise better?

P.S. Got a bunch of good questions yesterday! Will answer them tomorrow I think. If not tomorrow, Thursday.

Healthy Eating In Miami

We are on day 2 of our Miami trip (we got here Tuesday night; we are in town for Bobby’s sister’s high school graduation). So far eats have been fantastic, but unfortunately I have a cold. I’m recovering, I think!

Wednesday

  • Breakfast: blueberry yogurt with blueberries, strawberries, and wheat germ
  • Snack: fresh papaya
  • Lunch: Japanese bento box from Matsuri – this was ordered off the special Japanese menu, thanks to my future MIL. She knows I love hijiki so she suggested it. It came with grilled saba (mackerel), hijiki salad, salad, miso soup, sukimono (pickled vegetables – in this case cucumber). (Picture source.)
  • Dinner: papaya salad (papaya, tomato, shrimp, calamari, mussels) and Thai basil chicken from Lan (with friends). (old pictures)
  • Dessert: a cookie that I made with my friend (chocolate chip and pecan! recipe coming soon maybe…) + a bite of the bagels we made (cinnamon raisin)
  • Late night snack: fresh fruit (grapes, cherries, papaya)

Today has been great so far too. We are headed off now, but I had oatmeal with blueberries, wheat germ, and honey for breakfast (Bobby’s mom had oatmeal too) and then we snacked on papaya.

We are having such an amazing time here. It’s so good to be with Bobby’s family (my family now too), who we don’t get to see very often.

How often do you see your family?

Operation Wedding

**UPDATE**

My wedding was on July 24th, 2010. When I moved to New York in November 2009 from California, I took a new job, I started eating out more, and got a little bit lax about exercise and fitness. I wanted to shape up a little bit for the wedding, so these are the exercises that I found most effective:

Yoga

  • Tom Morley’s Buns and Thighs Yoga (~25 minutes)
  • YogaDownload’s Yoga Sculpt (~25 minutes)
  • YogaDownload’s Weight Loss Yoga (~25 minutes)

Strength Training

Cardio

  • Walking. I try to walk at least 2 miles every day. On my better days I will walk upwards of 4 miles. Walking is great for your bones, your legs, and toning in general. It is an exercise that you can do whether you are in shape or just starting to get fit. You can walk no matter where you live, no matter what the weather is like outside. Walking in snow just makes it better exercise ;) Walking is my exercise of choice because it’s just so easy to fit in. I walk with my husband and we chat about our days. I walk alone and listen to music or podcasts. I think about things to blog about. I cannot get enough!

My Results

I lost about 5 pounds and I gained back a lot of tone. I was really pleased with the results of “Operation Wedding”. Here are some wedding pictures (I am a little bit wedding-obsessed now, so bear with me! For more pictures visit My Photographer’s site -> Featured Events -> Maggie & Robert):

**END UPDATE**

—Original post below—

I have just over 2.5 months until my wedding to look toned. I’m going to try to do either Jillian’s 30-day shred *or* a 20-minute yogadownload routine every day. This morning I did the 30-day shred level 1 routine. Great before-work workout.

What will I eat? Probably the same stuff I usually do. I just want some nice long lean muscles for the wedding. I’ve lost my toned-ness since moving to New York because I haven’t been doing much yoga (or any kind of strength training at all).

Yesterday I mentioned that I saw a celebrity at Souen – it was Lisa Edelstein, aka Dr. Cuddy from House. I adore House. Such a good show. Cuddy was absolutely drop dead gorgeous in person. That show does not do her justice. Apparently she is vegan and practices Ashtanga yoga. I may copy her if I will look that good when I’m 44.

I also mentioned that I converted Bobby and Julia (sister) into oatmeal lovers. This was our Sunday brunch:

Mine is on the left (oats, butter, honey). Julia’s in on top (oats, cinnamon, sliced apples, peanut butter). Bobby’s is on the lower right (oats, honey, apples).

The trick is to use Scottish style oats or steel cut oats. They are chewy and have a completely different texture from instant oats or even regular oats. If you think you don’t like oatmeal, think again. You will love these. (Make sure to add a dash of salt for each serving while cooking – that’s another reason that people don’t like oats. They’re awful without the salt.)

I have also been eating yummy lunches at work. Last week I sauteed up some cabbage in a whole lot of butter and ate it with half of a frozen eggplant parm from Trader Joe’s.

Mmm butter. I could be a vegan aside from the butter and the cheese. Oops. I would be a bad vegan.

Though this new breakfast is completely vegan and awesomely delicious (and fatty!) on a hot day:

Yes, that is a smoothie in a bowl. It’s just…

  • 1 cup coconut milk kefir
  • 1.5 cups frozen fruit (this is strawberries, but today’s was raspberries and blueberries)
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Blend it in a food processor, blender, or magic bullet. I used my mini food processor.

It was great after my morning workout. I may have another one tomorrow. I love having fats in the morning.

Have you made a new breakfast recently? I rarely waver from either eggs or oats, so this was a nice change.

Review: Slice Perfect Pizza in New York

If you haven’t checked it out already, Foodbuzz just launched a new Healthbuzz section. I’m one of the Contributing Health Editors, along with a few of my favorites – there are too many to list so go check them out yourself.

I mentioned yesterday that my sister came to visit me for the weekend. So…

Bobby and I have been meaning to go to this organic pizza placeSlice – on the upper east side for a while now. I’d heard of it through my Cornell listserve (the owners are fellow Cornellians) and apparently Bobby’s business partner is actually friends with them. We decided to take Julia there for her first night in the city (Friday).

Slice also offers gluten-free pies, and actually pies for people with all different allergies – dairy, wheat, gluten, nuts, casein, etc… Everything is made to order and fresh (no pre-made pizza that gets reheated). The slices come sliced into bite-size pieces – about 5 per slice, I think. Apparently they are the only pizzeria in the country that uses 100% organic mozzarella cheese.

We shared the bruschetta to start ($5.50 I think). I left my camera at home so these pictures are taken from Yelp. This picture shows the bruschetta on little crackers, but it was actually served with fresh toasted pita bread – which was delicious. I think the “pita” was actually the same dough they make their (thin-) crust pizza with.

Source.

Julia got the “intermediate” slice ($5). It was a honey whole wheat crust with marinara, arugula, and goat cheese. It was amazing. Their menu is set up like a school – appetizers are “additional learning”, drinks are “extracurriculars”, and so on.

Source.

Bobby got 2 slices – one was “Taste of India” ($4.50) (honey whole wheat crust, channa masala, and part-skim mozzarella). You had to eat this with a fork it was so thick and chickpea-covered. I’m going to be honest and say I didn’t like this one at all… but I don’t like Indian food; maybe an Indian food lover would enjoy it. Bobby and Julia didn’t like it that much either.

Source.

His other slice was called “the master” ($5.50), which was my favorite. I don’t have a picture. It was a thin-crust honey whole wheat pizza topped with marinara sauce, organic part-skim mozzarella, and crumbled free-range organic herbed chicken sausage. Oh my goodness, so delicious. It was light but meaty and the flavors were perfect.

I got this amazing salad, ($7) and I shared some of the pizzas and of course the bruschetta. (Greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, goat cheese.) I got this with the carrot ginger dressing – I dumped all 3 containers of dressing on the salad and wished they had given me more.

Source.

Next time I think I will get “the intermediate” (Julia’s pick) and steal some of Bobby’s “the master” (the organic chicken sausage one).

Slice was great – organic and reasonably priced. We left feeling pretty full – could definitely do without the appetizer next time. We’ll probably be back one night this week.

I broke out my camera yesterday and took pictures of several things I ate. It was nice. It felt odd after keeping the camera away for so long. The pictures include yummy oatmeal that converted Bobby and Julia into oatmeal lovers. That makes me happy. Bobby has been a willing weekend oatmeal participant for the last few weeks, ever since he found out about steel cut oats.

Do you like pizza? What’s your favorite kind? I like vegan or vegetarian pies with lots of veggies.

P.S. I saw a celebrity at Souen at Saturday brunch. She was gorgeous and her role in one of my favorite TV shows does not do her any justice at all. The women is 44 but she looks about 25. I want to be her. If I’m a vegan too will I look like that? If I practice yoga daily will I look like that? Guess who!

Menu Plan Monday: when things don’t go as planned!

I started doing Menu Plan Monday (MPM) again last week in an effort to get myself cooking regularly again. I ended up making a few new dishes (Vietnamese Shrimp Salad, Summer Rolls).

I realized though that I can’t decide on Sunday what I’m going to eat on Wednesday or Thursday or even the very next day (Monday). I usually don’t know what I want until 10 seconds before it’s time to eat… Unless I plan a salad, because I’m always in the mood for a salad.

Last week I made 2 noodle dishes that were really yummy (will post soon). I brought them for lunch, but I don’t like having noodles for lunch. I like having a salad from downstairs, or oatmeal, or some other weird Maggie food that probably smells funny.

Anyhow, I did find a new breakfast favorite. I have been eating eggs cooked in butter again after listening to these podcasts (Dishing Up Nutrition). Along with my eggs I have veggies – cabbage sauteed in some butter is simple and delicious. I tried a few other veggies but none were as good as the cabbage and butter.

Source.

I told my dad he should try eggs with butter for breakfast and he looked at me like I was nuts. But I really do believe that healthy fats are so important and my skin is agreeing with me. So are my energy levels and my mood.

I won’t be doing an MPM this week, but I will be eating my usuals – lots of eggs and veggies for breakfast; salads, sushis, oatmeals , and whatever else I want for lunch; and probably salads and veggieful meals like these ones for dinner. I also plan on lots of Whole Foods hot/cold bars for lunches and dinners (which happened a lot this past week).

I had a really great weekend in New Jersey (we got back last night) and I do have a few pictures and adventures to share, but I want to go enjoy the last moments of the weekend so I’m going to save that for later. I have also been walking with my new iPod (built in pedometer) while listening to those podcasts I mentioned earlier, and I still love the step count way more than measuring my walks in miles. I like walking and steps are a great way to measure my walks.

One more thing I want to mention is yoga – I haven’t talked about yoga recently because I haven’t really been doing it, but I have snuck in a few 20-minute yogadownload sessions and they have been great. I want to start doing these a few times a week. Just have to get in the habit of doing them after work or after dinner.

What are your favorite standard eats?

What Makes You Happy?

Just stopping in. Here are some things that make me happy:

This was me in Islamorada at age 6 months (ish). My parents went down to Key West on vacation and I’m pretty sure I loved it. We drove through Bobby’s hometown so we like to say that maybe we caught a glimpse of each other when we were babies.

Jamba Juice oatmeal:

They make the most perfectly cooked bowl of steel cut oats I’ve ever had. I was getting their $1 Wednesday breakfasts, but starting this week it went up to $2. Still a steal!

And I can’t forget salad

This is from Chickpea, a cute little mediterranean place by my office. Their motto is: “always baked. never fried.” The layout is similar to Chipotle – you pick between a pita, a salad, a platter, or a hummus plate. I got the salad, topped it with original hummus, falafel (spinach flavor), my choice of 4 veggies (pickles, cabbage, black olives, and a cucumber/tomato mix), and tahini dressing. Yum!

Chickpea is located on 6th ave around West 23rd Street I believe. They do have other locations.

I’m out. What makes you happy?

The Great Fat Animal Experiment

Nope, I’m not talking about these lazy boys (cats… or as we call them: fats).

I’m talking about some new dietary things I’ve been trying. The changes involve fat and animals. Like steel-cut oats cooked in water and almond milk, then topped with organic butter and maple syrup:

I take food to work in these containers. Here is another, better picture of steel cut oats from the other day (this is after the butter had been stirred in).

I cooked (makes ~3 servings):

  • 4.5 cups of water and almond milk (I did half and half)
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats (the “serving size” is 1/4 cup)
  • few dashes of salt
  • cinnamon optional
  • …in my rice cooker.

Just be careful as it cooks – unless you have a very large rice cooker it will overflow. What I like to do is let it start to boil (on the “cook” button), and then turn it to “warm” and let it sit overnight. In the morning you have creamy, chewy, luscious steel-cut oats. They’re just as good as Jamba Juice‘s.

Or how about this guy…

Veggies cooked in 1-2 tablespoons of organic butter, topped with whipped full-fat cream cheese. I actually didn’t have this yet because my boss bought us lunch today (snow day!) – so I saved it in the fridge for tomorrow.

What are your thoughts on diet and healing? Do you think that food can really have that much of an impact on your well-being?

Long Walk in the Park

Today was an interesting day. I woke up early-ish (for a weekend) and I had the urge to finish painting my bathroom… so I took my vitamins, had some chocolate, made some tea, and got to work.

One and a half hours later I stepped down off of the kitchen stool and surveyed my work. It looks good. I assembled a bathroom shelf thing that has been waiting to be put up (waiting for me to finish the painting) and actually managed to screw it into the wall. It is not the fanciest of shelves, but it’s clean and simple and it does what I need it to do.

At this point I was pretty hungry, so I woke Bobby up and we ordered big salads from downstairs (Metro Cafe). Our salads always end up being complete opposites – but both are (I think) delicious (Bobby does not like my salads – too kitchen-sink-y). Metro is having a deal this month – unlimited topping salads for $6 if you order online.

After an hour or so of doing nothing, I got bored. I got out of the house and went for a walk. It was terribly cold today, but the walk was just what I needed. I walked across Central Park South, up to 72nd Street, then back across The Park. I mapped it and it was about 3.2 miles.

Today happened to be the Winter Jam at The Park, which meant that there was music, a snowboarding show, and some free samples. I picked up a bag of apple slices and a lollipop (both given to Bobby) and I bought 4 Fuji apples ($1.50/pound) for myself. The apples are gone.

We ordered Hawaiian for dinner and I supplemented with a big bowl of oat bran and oatmeal mixed together. I cooked it in almond milk and it was so creamy. Topped with maple syrup and more almond milk.

And I’ve been snacking on a bunch of fruit as well. And this kombucha tea (it was on sale for $2):

What are you working on? Any home renovations?

Let Your Voice Lead

Let Your Voice Lead was the title of the intenSati writing workshop I attended today (@ Equinox). Bobby actually joined me; I was really happy he came.  The workshop was 2 hours and it consisted of an intenSati class (1 hour) and then a writing workshop about personalizing the intenSati affirmations (also 1 hour). It was led by Lindsay, who I’ve mentioned before.

The class was great, of course. The affirmations were:

  • I am powerful
  • I am inspired
  • I am confident
  • I have desire
  • I am ready to write
  • I am willing to write
  • I am able to write
  • I am writing RIGHT NOW
  • I am free to succeed
  • I let my voice lead
  • I intend to open my heart and grow; with courage and discipline I write what I know

Because we got there late I actually wasn’t that sweaty by the end but Bobby was sweating buckets. He thought it was pretty fun.

Then we did some writing exercises based on the affirmations. We did 7 minutes per exercise, and they were…

  1. Write a story about desire. (I wrote about figuring out what I desire – happiness. Oddly enough, so did Bobby.)
  2. Remember a time in your childhood when you felt confident. Be very detailed. (I had a lot of trouble remembering a confident time. I think I spent 5 minutes thinking and 2 minutes writing.)
  3. Write about the affirmation, “I am free to succeed.” (I wrote again about happiness and doing things just for ME.)
  4. Let your voice lead.” Write a conversation that you have in your head with yourself (generally these are the conversations with the “devil on your shoulder”). (I wrote about body image. I may post this conversation sometime because Bobby thought the ending was funny.)
  5. Write about how you can save your own life/make your life better. (This was pretty easy – we all have goals!)

My favorite fuel of the day was this huge bowl of oatmeal and maple syrup and almond milk. I always put salt in my oatmeal (think I’ve mentioned that before).

jan 30 2010 005

It was a whole cup of dry oatmeal and it could barely fit in the bowl. I am so glad that oatmeal is back in my life. I went for over a month without it for some reason.

This picture looks weird because I always let my oatmeal sit for about an hour before I eat it so that it gets nice and thick. This time I put in the milk before I let it sit so the milk got weird looking. If I don’t have time to let it sit, I will put it in the freezer.

Are you a writer? Does writing help you? Do you wish you wrote more? How did you get into it?

Recipe: Banana Oat Cookies (with goodies!)

One of my very first recipes I ever posted was a recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies. I had been making them almost nightly for my housemates (this was my last semester at Cornell in December 2007)and they were disappearing as quickly as I could cook them. I called them Oatmeal Raisin Applesauce Cookies; that was one of the first times I “healthified” a recipe.

oatmeal-cookies-milk

This weekend I spent time in New Jersey visiting my family. My sister is an avid baker and she wanted to make oatmeal cookies on Saturday, so of course I recommended my recipe. We were out of applesauce and I don’t believe in margarine anymore so I told her how to change it around. They came out so well that I want to repost it here.

Banana Oat Cookies With Treats

jan 03 2010 017

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup flour (whole wheat or white)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves or other spice (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/3 cup sugar (could probably even use less)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups oats (quick cooking)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup crushed walnuts
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Soak raisins in hot water for 10 minutes while you prep the dough; drain.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices together. Set aside.
  3. Mix the mashed banana, oil, sugar, egg white, and vanilla together.
  4. Stir in the flour mixture, then add the oats and goodies (drained raisins, walnuts, chocolate chips).
  5. Use a tablespoon to drop the cookies on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!
  7. Note: to make these vegan, you could probably just omit the egg white.

jan 03 2010 021

We had ours with homemade almond milk (recipe to come – I have to get it from Julia).

I brought back a bunch with me to New York because Bobby adores these. Oatmeal raisin is his favorite kind of cookie.

I’ve asked this before, but I’ll ask it again… what’s your favorite cookie? Mine was sugar cookie/snickerdoodle growing up, then it changed to chocolate chip and chocolate-chocolate chip, and now I think it’s oatmeal raisin. Or just oatmeal.

1 2