Monthly Archives: May 2014

Sweet Kale Spinach Salad

This was actually an experiment in that I had some shredded coconut left in a tiny tupperware and decided to just throw it in along with everything else. I was pleasantly surprised! Somehow, everything blended together very nicely. :D The sesame ginger vinaigrette came from one of those chopped salad packs I got on manager’s special at Kroger. Since I use but a tiny fraction per salad (hell, I’ve been known to eat salad without any dressing), I used the remainder to portion into 6 additional containers of greens. I will make my own dressings from scratch again after I finish off all the ones I already have. (Those packets last me a long, long time…)

Sweet Kale Spinach Salad

 

Ingredients:
-1 cup kale, chopped
-1 cup baby spinach
-1 handful raw walnuts, chopped
-1 handful dried cranberries
-sprinkle of shredded coconut
-sesame ginger vinaigrette, to taste

Instructions:
1) Toss everything together and consume!

Review: Amy’s Rag Bag (reusable pads)

If you squirm at the word, “menstrual” or “blood” and/or do not possess 2 X chromosomes, you may want to consider not reading this post.

Consider that my warning. :O

If not, forge on ahead! Back when I was in undergrad, terms like “boundaries” and “personal space” were very foreign concepts to me/my roommate. We could literally be lying on top of each other and not feel the need for personal space. (This may be what happens when you’ve known each other for over half your life and share a room with each other all throughout college. Or maybe we’re just special.)

I was told about the DivaCup, and although intrigued by the concept of saving money/the environment, I failed at life at that sort of thing and was/still am uncomfortable with the idea of tampons. Honestly, they are a great concept, last about 10 years and would be great for if you wanted to go swimming and the like. (This is really just a problem with me because I really dislike reproductive organs. The repro unit was not a fun time for me and I am dreading OB/GYN rotations like no other since the birthing lab was already somewhat scarring to me, and let’s just not talk about how I almost passed out the first time I watched a c-section). But childbirth and birth canals are what I have issues with. I can take blood.

I decided to look into reusable pads instead, but the price tag at LunaPads sent me running for my life, so I scoured the internet for alternatives.

I will admit that initially, I was a little grossed out about having to get all up close and personal. Washing something soaked with blood instead of just throwing it out and not having to think about it? Urgh. I feel like that’s probably(?) the standard response/thought process for most, and I definitely get it, but…hear me out!

  1. Money
    Assuming you use 2 tampons/pads per day for 5 days, that’s 10 per cycle, 120 per year, and almost 5000 tampons/pads in your lifetime. Under the generalization that the average lifetime menstruation span is about 41 years, if you buy the super-cheap non-brand-name type, you might be able to keep it to ~$25/year, or about $1k in your lifetime, which may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but I can think about a billion other things I’d rather spend my money on. $1000 covers my grocery budget for an entire year, just sayin’.
  2. Comfort
    They are super comfortable, and are also really cute and/or pretty. None of these words are adjectives I’d normally use to describe that time of the month, and this is coming from someone who’s been relatively blessed in that realm (no cramps, no PMS, no crazy hemorrhaging–I just like eating a little more than usual, but that’s somewhat of an everyday thing). I rinse/soak them in cold water before tossing them into the washing machine. If stains bother you, choose dark or busy fabrics. They have all sorts of different varieties (size, cloth type, thickness, absorbency, etc.) to choose from, depending on what you need.
  3. More Eco-Friendly
    If we go back to #1 and realize that each female uses a ballpark range of 5,000 pads/tampons (give or take a couple thousand) in their lifetime, that is a crap ton of waste that’s being dumped out there. DivaCup estimates that the average woman uses almost 10,000 pads/tampons in their lifetime. Landfills galore. :[ As a former science camp counselor and an individual with go-green tendencies (I walked/biked/public-transportation-ed everywhere for the first 24 years of my life), it made me really sad to think about this.

Truth be told, there are patterns online and I know how to sew, but let’s face it, thanks to my addiction to taking classes for the rest of my life, I had/still have no time to do such things. So back in July of 2011, I placed an order at Amy’s Rag Bag, and I have not looked back since.

~$26 (included shipping) got me 1 standard variety sampler set [2 regular pads + 2 liners, 1 large pad + 1 large liner, 1 tri-fold liner] + 1 mini laundry bag.

Not gonna lie, it was an amazing deal that I don’t think she offers anymore, as that was a good 3 years ago, but her products are very well-made and still worth it.

According to the internets, she recently moved and is getting settled back in. I’m not sure if she’s still making/selling them, but that sampler set has lasted me til now and it’s still going strong. Save for 1-2 instances where I got “surprised,” I have not used a disposable pad since then. She has a unique way of sewing a tab in so that there are no snaps or velcro, which means that she can use completely re-purposed fabric and nothing else (well, that and thread). You can “stack” them depending on your needs. Possibly TMI, but I was wearing one while I was a demo girl for Platinum Stages/Twirly Girls at the SJ Fitness Expo a couple years ago, and no one noticed.

Since I can only speak for Amy’s Rag Bag, I’ll leave you with a couple links:

  • Reviews
    This is the most extensive list of cloth pad reviews I’ve found.
  • Where to Find Them
    Etsy has a ton of em’ for sale. (Google would probably also be helpful.)
  • Tutorial
    Patterns & instructions on how to make your own.

I’m interested in getting some new ones, not because I really need them, but because I’ve seen some prints that are super cute/I definitely wouldn’t mind owning. >_> That’s all I’ve got for today! Hope I haven’t forever scared you away!

Disclaimer: I was not paid or compensated in any way for this review. All opinions are my own!

Liebster Award (x2!)

I’m going to be a terrible person and not pass this on, not because I wouldn’t like to, but because life (namely, school, which really is the basis of my life) has not been going so well lately (understatement of the year) and I need to redirect all my attention and focus to that, as my future is pretty much riding on this upcoming exam. (I know this sounds dramatic, but it’s unfortunately pretty true. :[ ) If anyone would like to answer questions though, feel free! :D They’re at the bottom of this post! (Let me know if you did; I’d love to read em’!)

I’d like to thank Annmarie (fitfoodiemama) and Niki (overwhelmedheart) for nominating me! :] They are fellow GGSA’s from Team Stellar! (I love our team. Everyone’s so incredibly supportive and awesome!) Go check em’ out! :D

Annmarie asked the following:

1. Where is your favorite place to travel and why?
I love going to Hong Kong for the shopping and the food. :D I pretty much save all the shopping I need to do specifically for trips to Asia, although finding my size over there can be difficult at times due to the presence of certain anatomical parts. I’m considered a size “L” or “XL” there, and sometimes, shopkeepers will just take a look at me and go, “We don’t have anything that fits you here; I’m sorry.” It’s hilarious.

2. What is the last good book you read?
I think the last book I read for leisure was over winter break: Divergent, by Veronica Roth. More specifically, I read the whole trilogy. I liked the first two a lot, but very much detested the last one.

3. What did you want to be when you were little?
I think I had a billion interests even then, so I think I fluctuated between wanting to be a vet, a doctor, and a piano teacher. I did actually end up teaching piano for a while and am [hopefully] on track to becoming a doctor somewhere in the future. I couldn’t go through with being a vet because I can’t stand the thought of having to put animals down. :[ I remedy this by volunteering at no-kill shelters (I actually live at one right now, har har) and my compromise to myself is that one day, when I’m done swimming out of my endless student debt, I’ll be able to help fund them.

4. What is your favorite way to be active?
Lifting weights and pole dancing!

5. What is your go-to breakfast?
It varies, but these days, I’ve been cycling through one of the following:

  • Ginormous smoothie with kale, frozen fruits, juice or almond milk, and protein powder
  • Cottage cheese with half a sliced banana, cinnamon, dried mango + 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • Fage 0% Greek yogurt with granola from one of my billions of bags of granola + 1 hardboiled egg

6. If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Salmon sashimi! <3

7. What are your hobbies outside of work/blogging?
Lifting weights, dancing (hula, Tahitian, pole, salsa), BJJ, archery, cooking.

8. Would you ever be able to go a day without your phone?
Yes indeed! I have it on eternal silence these days because I need to focus on studying.

9. Do you prefer to exercise in the morning or at night?
I prefer getting it done in the morning because then I’m already awake and energized. These days, however, I’ve been finding it extremely difficult to wake up early in the morning. :[

10. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
I like that it gives me something to look back on. I’m a huge sentimental packrat and this helps to remedy my having to save anything and everything [kindasorta].

Niki asked the following:

1. What is your favorite way to sweat?
It’s hard to choose just one. :[ Can I go with lifting weights, BJJ, pole, and/or aerial silks? :]

2. What song always gets you going?
Lindsey Stirling’s pieces always make me want to choreograph some kind of super pretty dance for pole. :] I get a kick out of the 90’s pop/boy band songs that the guys like to play in the gym, and I chose Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” as my pump-up song for my Wingate test. (In short, I’m pretty much all over the place.)

3. How do you make it work?
(I’m assuming that “it” is referencing how I’m currently living my life.) These days, I’m really not sure. I still sometimes feel as though the school accepted me by accident and that my being here is a total mistake. I’m working on this whole negative self-talk thing though, because it’s pretty darn destructive.

4. What is your mission in writing a blog?

  • Recipe documentation of all the things I’ve made and plan to make
  • Record of awesome memories with friends/family + my life in general
  • Get more involved in the world of fitness/food-blogging
  • Inspire others to live happy + healthier lives

The last two are my newest goals because until recently, this was pretty much a private blog where I dumped all my random thoughts/recipes).

5. Does your faith play a part in any of your fitness/health journey?
In a sense, it does. I’m a Seventh-Day Adventist, so there’s a big emphasis on healthy living/eating, which goes hand in hand with what I want to do with my life, so it works out quite well. :]

6. Morning person or night owl?
I am most definitely a night owl!

7. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I’m on a tropical kick right now because I’m really jealous of anyone that gets to go out and enjoy the sunlight (while I shut myself into windowless cubicles so as to curb my temptation to frolic in the wilderness), so I’m going to go with Costa Rica. (I’d also love to explore Colorado and Oregon at some point in my life. I hear Crater Lake is absolutely beautiful.)

8. How did you get started on your fitness journey?
I worked in a music library in undergrad and because I’m weird, I would sometimes read the course catalog for fun (if I didn’t feel like studying). Exercise Biology had some of the most interesting classes I’d ever seen, so after some negotiations with the deans from the two colleges I was under, I switched my major in my junior year and got the okay to obliterate my unit cap and take all the classes I wanted (as long as I graduated in 4 years). I loved the courses I took, and I also figured that I should probably stop being a disgrace to my major and actually partake in some form of physical activity.

I did Tahitian and hula and PE classes every now and then (tumbling! <3), but that was only twice a week, so I took up lifting weights. And kickboxing. Eventually, this also expanded to pole dancing, ballroom dancing, salsa, aerial silks, yoga, pilates, BJJ, Muay Thai… Long story long, I loved everything, so what I do now is pretty much governed by what I have around me (e.g. at school, I have weights, BJJ and Muay Thai; at home, I have Twirly Girls and groupon discounts for yoga/pilates/etc.). I’d do it all if I could, but there are only so many hours in a day. :[

9. If you could buy one thing (fitness-related) and money was no object, what would it be?
This is a difficult one. I’d really, really love to have a gymnastics room in my future house decked out in springboard, stallbars, and a bunch of tri-fold mats. I also really want a dance studio with aerial silks (+ all the equipment needed to rig it up and a ceiling high enough for that. And for my poles.).

10. What do you wish you could un-buy?
My 50mm pole, because I have really small hands, so grip is an issue (Platinum Stages’ portable poles are also really, really slippery; I have no idea why), so that money could have gone towards those gymnastics mats instead. le sigh.

Seasoning Cast Iron Cookware

As a birthday present to myself, I decided to finally go ahead and bite the bullet. Trish and I had been talking about investing in a set of cast iron cookware and she found out that overstock had it on sale (Target ran out of stock and dashed our hopes and dreams). It arrived on the day of my birthday. :D!

Technically, they all came pre-seasoned, but I figured that going over and re-seasoning them for good measure couldn’t hurt.

For the record, I would advise against using extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or sesame oil (which were coincidentally the only 3 types of oil I happened to have in my apartment…) since they have lower smoke points. Most sources seem to recommend vegetable/canola oil, although technically speaking, you can use any type of oil you want. Since I happened to be house-sitting for a friend and she made it a point to insist to me that I use whatever I wanted in her home, I took her up on said offer and used some of the canola oil she had.

Seasoning Cast Iron Cookware

My cast iron fleet!

Supplies:
-cast iron cookware (I have this set and this grill pan)
-vegetable or canola oil
-paper towel or cloth
-oven

Instructions:
1) Preheat oven to 350.
2) Rinse off and thoroughly dry your cast iron cookware.
3) Using a paper towel or cloth, apply a thin layer of oil to the inside + outside of your pan/skillet/pot/etc.
4) Place it upside down on the middle or top rack of the oven. Put a sheet of aluminum foil underneath to catch any drips.
5) Bake for an hour.
6) If you have the time, let it cool completely in the oven before removing it. I had 6 pieces to go through, so I did not do that, but it looks like it turned out fine anyway!

(If food starts sticking or it starts appearing dull/rusty, it’s time to re-season!)

My seasoned grill pan! I will refrain from taking pictures of the rest of them because they basically just look like somewhat shinier versions of themselves. I think you get the point. :O

Update: May Fitness Challenge (05/16-05/22)

I am officially done (again) with my med school courses! The “again” is due to the fact that ACLS apparently did count toward our grade, so we’ve had that all week. It was somewhat frustrating in the sense that I have my giant test to take tomorrow, and ACLS effectively sapped all my boards study time away this week. On the plus side, it wasn’t all for naught! I did my megacode yesterday and after I finished and signed off on what I’d done, they had me sit elsewhere while they deliberated on whether or not I passed/failed.

When they brought me back over, here’s the conversation that followed:
L: How do you think you did?
F: I think(?) I did okay and I hope I passed. I don’t think I left out anything glaring…
S: Do you think you left anything out?
F: I feel like there was one point where I should have addressed the patient’s oxygen levels first but I was tending to something else.
S: But you corrected it, didn’t you?
F: Yes indeed.
H: Who was your instructor this week? Dr. Cookie?
F: Yep, but I’d go to Dr. M’s reviews at night since I heard that all the instructors emphasized different things. (This was an understatement. I went to him specifically because he held us to a higher standard and included a great amount of detail. I figured it’d be safer to err on the side of way-too-much-information.)
S: We wanted to know who taught you because we think you did very well. In fact, we recommended you for IP (instructor potential).
F: …:O! Really!?
L: You interacted with the patient, made sure they were comfortable, explained and clarified all the procedures in great detail and went through your reasoning behind everything that you did. We were very, very impressed.

I aced today’s exam too (not bad for never having owned the book, right? :D ), so it looks like I won’t have to retake it! :P I sincerely hope this trend continues!

My mom sent me a giant container of mixed nuts (brazil nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, etc.), another ginormous Costco bag of walnuts (she said they’d be good for my brain), a bottle of pineapple aloe juice, 2 cans of lychee (I requested em’), a bag of dried longan, allergy meds, a giant bag of Krave Lemon Garlic turkey jerky(!), a mystery package that I can’t read the calligraphy for (I’ll figure it out eventually) and 4 bags of dried mangoes.

I’ve concluded that my mom would be amazing at Tetris (maybe that’s where my Tetris-ing skills came from). I guess she figured that if she was going to pack up a box, she might as well fill every last bit of space up. :P

I also got a package from Becca a couple days later and it completely made my day. :D! I think both of them realize how much I miss having an accessible (aka not a 2-hour drive away to get to the closest one) Asian market, so said packages reflected that. :P They definitely provided me with the pick-me-up I needed. <3! But of course, before I could check it out, it had to pass inspection first.

“There’s nothing for me in here? I guess you can have it then.” :[

Becca sent me 2 boxes of curry, furikake seasoning, ingredients (minus the eggs, obviously :x ) to make tea leaf eggs, a reminder of home + a super cute card. <3

May 16

  • 1 hour + 1 min. on ellipticals @ 7% resistance while studying (214 questions completed)

May 17

May 18

  • 25 min. Tahitian practice
  • 5×2-min. Supermans

May 19

  • 1×200 bridges @ 24 lb
  • 3×25 BW squats
  • 1 hour + 5 min. ellipticals @ 6% resistance while studying (250 questions completed!)

For the record (you may have already noticed this), I’m not much for taking gym selfies or anything of the sort, but I recently remembered that I could take screenshots on my phone, so I’ve just been including my fitocracy points in pictures, haha. :D

We started off the week with another lovely stab to check for TB (yet again). I’m proud to say that Mike is still alive, and so am I.

May 20

  • School is killin’ me. :[ The entirety of me walking to and from different buildings + all over the farm probably added up to 20 minutes.

She makes my studying more bearable. :]

May 21

  • 1 hour + 7 min. on ellipticals (intervals) while studying (250 questions completed)

I’ve taken to buying a tub of mixed greens for $1.59 (manager’s specials! <3) and loading it with stuff so that I at least won’t be eating like crap during exam week. :O

May 22

  • 2 hours on ellipticals (intervals and then even harder intervals) while studying (342 practice questions completed ._. only 98 left until I’m caught up, but I think I have another 250 tomorrow…)

Total: 342 minutes
Running Total: 1537 minutes!
(Start, Week 1, Week 2)

The #20×31 fitness challenge is hosted by Jen, Samantha, Carley and Anna. It’s not too late to join if you’re interested! (We still have a whole ‘nother week!) Just 20 minutes per day for the month of May! :]

JVKom Chronicles