April 27, 2012

Rethink The Way You Snack

















Mindless snacking is very common and it's a huge cause of weight gain. When I say snacks I'm referring to prepackaged junk food like chips, cookies and candy. It is fine to give in to your favorite treats once in a while, but when you do, remember this:

Snacks that come in small individual-sized bags are not necessarily your friend. 

These bags may be convenient but it can cause you to snack more than you need to. The next time you pick up a small "harmless" bag of Raisinettes, Cheetos, or what have you, pour out the contents onto a flat surface, and you'll notice it's probably more than what you should be snacking on in one sitting. Snacking straight out of the packaging, you subconsciously feel the need to finish everything thinking it's one portion, when in fact most of these snack bags contain more than one suggested serving size. Rethink the way you snack and don't eat more junk than you need to. Don't think of individual-sized bags as one serving. Read the labels. Be careful of mindless snacking. Actually, if you can, try to avoid junk snacks and eat smaller healthy meals more frequently.

April 22, 2012

Banana Cinnamon Crumble Muffins Recipe


























Very tasty banana muffins with a cinnamon sugar crumble on top. Don't skip the crumble! It's the best part!

Ingredients:

The muffins:

3 large very ripe bananas mashed
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 stick of butter melted

The crumble:

2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp butter at room temperature
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease muffin tin with cooking spray.

2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and whisk well. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture. Spoon batter into muffin pan until all 12 wells are filled - about 2 tbsp of batter in each well.

3. To make the crumble top, knead flour, butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar until the mixture resembles wet sand. Evenly sprinkle on top of each muffin.

4. Bake for 20 minutes.

Yields 12. Around 200 calories each.


Healthy Low Fat Meatballs Recipe


























For dinner tonight I was trying to think of a creative way to use up random ingredients I have left in the fridge. Meatballs came to mind. I threw these ingredients together and the result was very tasty! They are healthy and low fat too. Usually meatballs call for cheese and/or milk but I've omitted that and used aromatic vegetables instead to provide flavor and moisture. I didn't have onions today but I'm sure you can add them too. It's a great way to sneak in some veggies if your kids don't like them.

Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef
2 eggs
3 stalks of celery
20 baby carrots
3 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp Italian herbs
dash of hot sauce
olive oil
1 cup marinara sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan with olive oil.

2. Boil carrots for 3 minutes. Drain carrots. Fine chop celery, garlic, and carrots and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, eggs, chopped veggies, salt, pepper, herbs, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, hot sauce and bread crumbs. Mix until evenly blended.

4. Form golf-sized balls (about 1.5 inches) and place in greased pan. You should be able to fit them in a 6 x 4 formation. Drizzle olive oil on top of the meatballs.

5. Bake for 30 minutes until meatballs are slightly browned. Remove from oven and spoon marinara sauce on top of each meatball. Return to oven and bake 10 more minutes.

Yields 24 meatballs.

Enjoy and hope you like my recipe! I served mine with a side of steamed broccoli. Makes a nicely-balanced meal.


April 18, 2012

Derek Ryan ft. Charmy - Reborn Lyrics






















Out now: 
iTunes | Amazon | Beatport | Audiojelly | Juno | Trackitdown


Reborn
Illusion was my home
The search that never ends
Numb to the sights and sounds
Locked far away in fear
No one would find me there, no
My fortress from the world
But how could I have known
Your eyes could see right through 
I am reborn
Shattering the walls I've built up
Letting in the light
I am reborn
Fueled by the fires of your love
Banishing the dark 
Lifted from my abyss
Awakened and uncaged
Let wings I've never known
Carry me away, away
Across the skies I journey
Cut contrails through the lies
Behind your veil of shadows
My eyes see only you 
I am reborn
Mirages of a world corrupt
Cast into the dark
I am reborn
Fueled by the fires of your love
Cradled in the light


These lyrics are near and dear to my heart, inspired by my husband.

Derek Ryan ft. Charmy - Reborn, out on Dirt, Lies & Audio Recordings.

Original Mix release date April 18, 2012. Aerial Structures Chillout Mix release date May 7, 2012. jjoo Mix out May 23, 2012. More to come.

Original Mix available for purchase on the usual download portals:

Purchase links: 
iTunes | Amazon | Beatport | Audiojelly | Juno | Trackitdown

Thank you for your support!


April 15, 2012

Not Exercising? What's Your Excuse?





















Everyone knows the benefit of exercise. Yet many people can't find the motivation to do it. Why is that?

When people ask me where I find the motivation to workout everyday. I simply answer, "look in the mirror."

It almost sounds insensitive to say that, but if you think about it, it makes sense. You either:

1) dislike what you see, in which case you'll want to do something to change it.
2) start seeing positive changes, so you'll want to stick with it and achieve your goal.
3) like what you see, therefore you'll work hard to maintain your results.

I've been working out really hard almost everyday for the past two years doing a variety of at-home exercises - P90X and Insanity mainly, but I've mixed in Brazil Butt Lift, 10 Minute Trainer etc. to make things interesting. They work and I love the results, but I'd typically spend an average of 1 hour everyday to exercise. That's a long time to cut out of your busy schedule. I understand that not everyone can afford losing an hour everyday. I did, but I sacrificed sleep for it.

Nowadays I switched to exercising only 15 minutes a day doing super intense workouts. I follow Zuzana (previous host on Bodyrock.tv) on YouTube and her ZWOW workouts (Zuzana's Workout of the Week) closely. They are tough, but very effective, and they are short and sweet. I get an extra hour of sleep everyday and I feel stronger and more energized. I highly recommend it!

Some days I feel lazy too and just want to skip my workout, but I know it only lasts 15 minutes, so I always convince myself to push through. It's a mini victory everyday.

Do it to improve yourself and have a better quality of life. Exercise gives you much more energy so you don't feel as tired throughout the day. You'll be happier and you'll feel good about yourself. It's addicting. In the amount of time it takes for you to travel to your local gym you could have already completed your workout - in the comfort of your home. Also, it's so rewarding when you start seeing results, and it doesn't take long if you stick with it. A month or two perhaps?

Make exercise a priority. You make time to eat and sleep everyday, so why not make time for exercise? It is just as important. Stop making little excuses. "There's no time." "I can't." "I'll do it tomorrow." You're never too fat, too late, too depressed, too busy... Stop being lazy. If you can't motivate yourself, surround yourself with people with good habits. Find a buddy to motivate you. Heck, talk to me. I'll keep you in check.

What's your excuse? He did it:

















Trust me, 15 minutes a day is all you need. Make a change.

April 13, 2012

Indecisiveness















You know that friend who just can't make up their mind? Yea. The one that never knows what to order off a menu. The one that takes forever deciding what clothes to buy. Why are some people so indecisive?

Sure, the above examples I illustrated are relatively petty, though repeated offense often cause frustration amongst other people. Yes, sometimes decision-making can be quite daunting, especially when it comes to making bigger life choices. You don't want to make the "wrong" choice and deal with non-desirable outcomes later. But really, at some point you have to make a choice. Life is all about making choices. As we grow older we learn to be more adept to making better choices that work for us.

We make "wrong" choices so we can learn from them. In retrospective, you're probably grateful now knowing what you know as a result to that choice, and can't imagine a situation otherwise.

Prolonged indecisiveness is a waste of time, brain resources, and other people's time. Just make a decision and run with it.

April 9, 2012

Facebook's Acquisition of Instagram: Bad News for Foursquare




















Today's big news in the tech / social media space is Facebook's acquisition of Instagram for $1 billion. What are the implications on foursquare?

From a consumer's perspective, if you are an avid fan of foursquare and Instagram, this may be bad news to you. Instagram currently uses foursquare's API for geotagging. Checking in to foursquare via Instagram is very seamless. What if Instagram switches to using Facebook's place data instead? Will they continue to support posting to foursquare? Facebook and foursquare's database is completely different, so I don't see a way to check in to both effectively. I predict that Instagram will switch to geotagging via Facebook Places. That means posting Instagram photos onto foursquare will become a multistep process.

Foursquare itself would most likely be negatively impacted in the long run. I don't know of a bigger app than Instagram that uses the foursquare API. I can see usage of foursquare go down because of this. Good news for Facebook - they are competitors after all.

What do you think of this acquisition? We know it's a huge win for Facebook since all that data generated by Instagram users is a goldmine, but what will happen to Instagram and foursquare? I'm very interested to see how this plays out.

April 3, 2012

Instagram Releases Android Version: iPhone Elitists Think The World Is Ending















Gosh I really dislike iPhone vs. Android phones debates (and Mac vs. PC for that matter). There's no point in being sucked into one - no one ever wins. The people that annoy me the most are those elitists who bash the other side without actually using the other OS, yet they form judgment based on what everyone else is saying. What prompted today's post is the release of Instagram for Android earlier today. It sparked tons of ignorant comments from iPhone users. A lot of these comments are filled with hate, disappointment, and anger - such negative sentiment is caused by iPhone elitists thinking that iOS is better than Android. The fact that Instagram is no longer exclusive to iPhones somehow makes it a "terrible app", a "tragedy" and a cause to uninstall the app. Oh, drama. On Instagram's Facebook page, we find comments like these:


People really do care about this it seems. There is even a Twitter account dedicated to retweeting stupid comments from iPhone users. 




How about we stop the silly drama and thank Instagram for providing an excellent service to more users? For free too. Stop using every excuse to start an iOS vs. Android debate.

Can't we all just be friends?