What is lifestyle? Learn till old, live till old

cooking/baking, heathy lifestyle, crafts/diy, tips/new findings

How I learn crochet: my first achievement

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About 2 years ago, I wanted to take up crochet, producing my one of a kind item. I decided to look up a project on youtube. Thanks to Claire from user bobwilson123 that introduced me to a whole world of crochet fun. My first owl hat was not perfect, but ended up in my friend’s closet after she begged me for it for a long time. I also made one for my sister and my mother as they all think it’s so cool looking. Based on the same concept, I made a penguin and a frog version as Christmas present. I’m so proud of myself to take on something new.

Funny thing is I don’t even own an owl hat for myself. I was onto other crochet project shortly after to expand my horizon.

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Eat what’s in season, what’s harvested from the garden

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Look at what’s available around you. I have picked potatoes, kabocha squash and zucchini today from the garden. Also saw carrot and onion, all sort of squash are on sale from many supermarket. Need to start thinking about ways to eat it now. Sometimes simple seasoning on fresh vegetable is better.

Made tonight:
– roasted kabocha squash with simple olive oil, salt and black pepper.
– Korean style garlic honey potatoes

Plan to make:
– zucchini pancakes
– french onion soup
– pan fried yellow potatoes

YUM!

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It was my washer and dryer shrinking my clothes…

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Have we all been there blaming on our washer and dryer instead of ourself?

When I was in high school, I hated my body size and weight. I wasn’t overly big but wasn’t fit either. My image of fit was as simple as having a flat tummy. I was determined during university and reached my goal of wearing xtra small or small suze clothes. I rewarded myself by buying a new wardrobe. It was weird to see everything I tried on looks good. Finally, it was me picking clothes and not clothes picking me.

Over the course of 10 years, I gained all these pounds back. I was back to where I started. It creeped up on me gradually. 3 months ago, I had the courage to once again do something about my weight. I could no longer blame my clothes are shrinking horizontally and vertically due to the washer and dryer. (I’m so embarrassed to admit believing it for a couple of months.) I’m now 85% there. My yoga pants looked so good on me that I receieved nice comment from my boyfriend everytime I wear it. It’s one good feeling hard to put in words.

For those who is currently in my shoes 3 month ago know that you can do it too. T shirts are most noticeable.  Know you can do it if you are determined.

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What Fitnesspal taught me about diet…

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Fitnesspal based their concept on calorie counting. They’ve made it as easy as I could ever imagine it. I highly recommend to people who wants to lose weight to have a shot with this awesome app. (free of charge to download to smart phone, and assessable on any computer via their website)

I stopped using Fitnesspal after continuously logging my diet for 2 months. The most valuable thing is what I got out from it. I’ve learn so much about myself and what works for me. Here’s my list:

  • reaching my 1200 calories target is easy as long as I incorporate some exercise. That way I can eat more
  • exercise calories is not accurate on fitnesspal. But who cares, at least I got myself moving
  • cakes and cookies are shocking crazy high in calories. If I really want cake, bake it in mini muffin tin. One is already 100 calories
  • new way of thinking about food. Ex. Should I eat 1 cup of rice or 1/2 cup pasta? Or do I want a piece of chicken breast instead. They can be all the same calorie count
  • typical meat like steak, chicken wings, pork is high in calories. I can eat more bean and legume with the same calories, I replaced a lot of meat intake with proteins like tofu and beans in order to fill my plate full instead of super small portion
  • I fill my plate every meal with lots of vegetable. They are low in calories but yet filling
  • plan ahead of time. Write down what each meal I will have for the next day to prevent eating out
  • drinks are calorific. Alcoholic drink, sweeten drink are not worth the calories
  • when eating out, order appetizer size or take half home
  • be creative to find 100 calories snacks and 300 calories meal. There are lots of choices out there
  • It is okay to treat yourself with an ice cream sandwich. They are only 120 calories each. Craving can be solved by eating some portion of what your crave
  • drink lots of liquid during the day. My favorite is lemon and mint in my sport water bottle
  • chips are bad and hard to stop. What about air pop popcorn. (of course no butter)
  • If I see my calorie count for the day is climbing quick, it’s time to get my exercise gear on to sweat some out. The day is not over yet.
  • salad is my weight saver. Trust me, it’s hard to over eat a bunch of lettuce. Your body will signal you enough!
  • ignore other people’s comment: “Is that all your eating?” They are not aware I am eating more often than them. Just in smaller meals
  • always have variety of fruit available. They are quick and easy way to deal with sweet craving problem
  • yam noodles are awesome way to substitute normal noodles. My favorite is XO sauce stir fry vegetable with yam noodles
  • add spice and herbs to any vegetable or bean dish: curry, hot sauce, garlic/onion, salsa
  • egg is a lean protein source: so versatile (hard boil, soft boil, over easy, sunny side, poached, scrambled)
  • shakes are good to bring to work as a snack
  • Absolutely no adding sugar to tea and coffee. That way I don’t have to count them in my food journal
  • for each snack, have a fruit or vegetable with a healthy fat (nut/yogurt, etc). Ex. 1 peach with 14 almonds. Ex. 1 pear with laughing cow cheese wedge with 2 rice crackers
  • eat whenever you feel hungry. Don’t wait too long
  • say no to free food. They are usually high in calories
  • Invest in cute containers and cute lunch tote that will encourage me to take them out with my packed snack/meal
  • eating fat is important, otherwise I’ll feel depressed. If I feel depress, fix it by eat some healthy fat.
  • When I used up all your calories but still crave for food, drink some water and go to sleep

Anyone else tried fitnesspal and have feedback to share?

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Understanding about “diet” in order to stay slim and fit for life

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When we hear the word “diet”, we think about fad diet that promise to shred pounds in a short period of time: cabbage soup diet, baby food diet, 21 days cleanse program, lemonade diet, hollywood diet. Sure enough if you follow their way of eating, it is very possible you will lose some weight. But can you keep on doing this for the rest of your life?

Diet is the way we consume food and drinks on a regular basis. Weight control is the combination of diet and exercise. Calories are energy a person need to regulate bodily function. When we take in more calories than our body can burn, we gain weight. When we take in less calories, we lose weight. Almost everyone understands this theory but do not wish to face the reality because a tasty donut and a medium hot chocolate is ~550 calories which is equivalent to a fair size dinner. The theory of calories is a scientific explanation that we should all acknowledge.

My experience with different diets taught me the way of eating that works for me. I believe everyone needs to find their own sustainable diet. If southbeach diet works for you with visble result, then you’ve found it. I do see benefits of diet like Mediterranean diet, atkins diet, paleo diet, weight watcher, jenny craig,  dukan diet, etc. I see a common trait of these so call sustainable diet. Everyone tries to design a way of eating that you can still eat your favorite food. At the same time, they prohibit you to eat other type of foods. Most common is eat vegetable,lean meat and healthy fat and reduce carbohydrates to the minimum. They also try to make it simple so dieter will be willing to try it.

I decide to go with a back to basic way of dieting -calories counting. I liked the idea of cooking/preparing my own food. I pay attention to calories intake offset by calories from exercising using the most popular fitness app call fitnesspal. I was very impressed with my result. I lost 10 pounds using the app in 2 months. And continue to lose an extra 5 pounds on my own. My weight is easily sustaining. When I’m bad one day, just make sure I’m good again tomorrow. It’s as simple as that. What this journey taught me is how to maintain a healthy body. I can forsee I will never again be haunted by being overweight again.

What’s your diet choice that works well for you?

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What is the perfect meal size: why we over eat?

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I came across a saying that “if you are hungry 3 or 4 hours after your meal, then your meal was the perfect size”.

The idea of eating 5-6 meals a day can be brutally taken out of context way too often. What a lot of people don’t take into consideration is the size of these meals. They are not your ordinarily restuarant meal. Instead, they look like mini meal, like what a kid would eat. (Really?!)

You must think this is not doable.  Who wants to be hungry all day long?

Let’s change the way our society taught us about eating all these years. Let’s not eat a big breakfast because you are afraid lunch will be hours away. Let’s not eat lunch like we would eat at dinner time because we are being served at restaurant with that size. Let’s not eat dinner having in mind there will be lots of hours until the next meal. Our life all of a sudden focus solely on eating food. Why are we worry about being hungry so much? It’s because we are not eating when our body tells us to. If you are able to do this, guarantee you will be happier and healthier without too much effort or restriction. The way of eating should be more like watering house plant. When the soil is dry, we should water well but not over water. When it is dry again, it means it is time to water again.

Going back to my inital phrase, “if you are hungry 3 or 4 hours after your meal, then your meal was the perfect size”, what are some of the things you have to keep in mind? #1, what you decide to eat to last longer, #2, prep food the day of or the night before, #3, always have food on hand, #4, get small containers, #5, calculate how much calories consumed each day. I will discuss more in upcoming posts.

What if you are hungry before the 3-4 hours mark? Then you are either not eating enough or not eating the right thing. For example, protein from lean meat will last longer than a bag of chips.
What if you are not hungry after 3-4 hours? Then know next time to decrease the amount of food you eat. One good idea is cut your typical lunch you would eat from a restuarant in half. Save it for your next meal or share with a friend.

Isn’t this much better than restricting what you can eat and what you cannot eat?

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Origami bow: something useful

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I love making origami as a little kid. I believe it trains your brain to learn how to following instructions. As I was looking at videos on youtube, I found a way to fold a bow using a square piece of paper. I thought that was pretty cute yet useful in the future as Christmas is coming now. Imagine not needing to buy any bows to wrap presents with.
Is there anything else I can DIY yet useful?

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