Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Right Way to Cook Hard Boiled Eggs

Hello everyone!

As you may know by reading my other posts, a major staple in my diet is good old hard boiled eggs. 

Did you know that most people actually cook them WRONG?

Yep.  There's a wrong way to cook hard boiled eggs.  Hint: If you have a grayish outside on your yolks, you cooked them wrong.

You fail at eggs.

Now these are some pretty eggs. 

But those grey yolks are unavoidable, right?  Nope!  

Here's how you get perfectly colored and cooked eggs- by not boiling them!

What you need:




1. Put eggs in pot and fill and cover with cold water.

2. Heat pot until the water JUST starts to boil.  

3. Cover the pot and TURN OFF the burner.

4. Do not disturb for 10-12 minutes.

All that heat in the water will cook the eggs, and if you leave them a bit longer it won't hurt the recipe.  When done, take the eggs out and rinse with cool water.  Enjoy!

Has anyone ever made eggs like this?  I know it's no REAL secret but I do know that most people I know (myself included) make them all gray and stuff.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

3 Moves by Tracy Anderson for Your Best Butt

Hello everyone!

With bikini season going on now (or very soon for some of us) I came across a little video with some moves to help shape that area up.

Want a butt like Gwyneth, or even your own best butt? Check out the workout in the video!

Here's a quick 15 minute workout for the butt and thighs-

Do each move 30 times, this is great for when you have limited time and your butt is your trouble spot.

For more of Tracy's workouts and to get her new workout wear, visit!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Health benefits of Shiitake Mushrooms

Hello everyone!

I have kept hearing about how good for you and healthy it is to eat shiitake mushrooms, so I decided to pick some up from the market. 

One of nature's healthiest foods- but why?

1. Shiitake mushrooms are very anti-cancer!  They contain a substance called lentinan that has been shown in some studies to slow down or stop cancer growth in some people. 

2. Weight loss: Shiitake mushrooms are very very low in calories and have a decent amount of fiber and protein to help keep you full.  Four fresh raw mushrooms contain about 25 calories, 2 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein (that's a lot for only four little mushrooms- Shiitake are not that big)  They are also rich in B vitamins that aid metabolism. 

3. Want to get sick less?  Eat more shiitake.  The same cancer-stopping substance (lentinan) also helps to boost immunity.  It is also said to be more effective than some prescription drugs.

How do they taste?  They taste like mushrooms... I really can't decribe how they taste all that well, but I do like them.

Another delicious and super healthy mushroom is called maitake (which I did not get this time). 

Tonight I think I will make something with my new mushrooms. Perhaps kinpira (a Japanese way of cooking veggies with some oil, soy sauce, sake, and mirin which are staples in my kitchen).

Do you like shiitake mushrooms? How do you eat them? 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Precision Toning Initial Review and Breakdown

Hello everyone!

I got the newest of Tracy's DVDs- Precision Toning!

First, I do want to say that the labeling is SLIGHTLY misleading.

1. This is a TONING workout, not cardio, but I guess I suppose they could be in a way.
2. There are 4 workouts but they are not "complete" in the sense that one may think (more on that in a moment)

So, here's how the DVD is broken down: 

Yes, there are four workouts. However, they are not 4 individual full-body time-savers.  Instead, 15 minutes is dedicated to each of the following individually: Arms, Thighs, Butt, Abs.  They are meant to be done together if possible.

Also, the level of these moves is NOT advanced.

I see this DVD as a follow-up to the Method for Beginners.  Tracy says in the beginning of this DVD that this is a Pre-Metamorphosis workout and that its goal is to go further with strengthening up the muscles and getting them smarter.


Arms: This section starts with free arms,then standing moves with 3 pound weights- then it does one other thing Tracy  never has done with us ladies- a couple of moves, on your knees, with FIVE pound weights to get even deeper into those muscles.

Thighs:  This section has a lot of standing work with a chair, and some floor work with the chair.  You work up to 25 reps of each of these moves, as they are focusing on the thighs.

Butt: Adding 1.5 lb ankle weights on each ankle is OPTIONAL if you are ready for it.  These are also some butt moves both standing and on the ground.  She ups the reps here- 40 reps per leg for the butt!

Abs:  Now comes time for floor abs.  She has us do a few moves on our back at 20 reps per each.  Then, she goes and takes us through a couple pf plank-like moves. 

At the end of the DVD she explains that once this DVD becomes easy, then it is time to move on to Metamorphosis.  Unlike the Method for beginners, this does NOT come with cardio, so I came up with an idea until Dance + Cardio comes out (that's an upcoming DVD coming out this December!) if you are at this level and good at the DC in the Beginner workout, try working on the DVD that came with her book and build up with that until you get the Dance + Cardio (like I plan to).

I am not ready to do this DVD yet, I still have to start with the Beginners, which is by no means EASY.

Tracy is also very instructional and counts throughout the whole DVD, so if you are worried about cuing, this is for you!

Have any of you guys actually tried this? How did it go?

Friday, July 25, 2014

PCOS And Gluten

Hello everyone!

This is a bit personal but recently my doctor told me that I have PCOS, which is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

It can cause excess facial/body hair, irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, difficulty losing weight, and a bunch of other problems.  

1 in 10 women have PCOS and I think it's the most common cause of infertility (I'm reciting verbatim here)

So, what can be done?  

Again, here is where low carb/gluten free come in to play.  A lot of women who have this who have given up carbs have had a lot of success with weight loss and even being able to conceive.  A friend of mine has lost 85 pounds in a year going ketogenic (she hasn't tried for a baby yet so I'm not sure about that) when otherwise, she had little to no success.  This includes weight watchers, counting calories, and so on.

I have read a lot of research about carbs and PCOS and here's one of the articles I have read.  Here's an interesting one -

I didn't know that fat tissue is like an endocrine gland, and I didn't know PCOS sufferer's fat cells acted differently either.  That's just one example.

In the book Wheat Belly, PCOS is also mentioned.

Do any of you have PCOS or know someone that does?  Has a low carb diet helped?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Difference Between Omega 3 and Omega 6

Hello everyone!

Something that I have heard about on and off is about Omega 3 and Omega 6 acids.  However, I didn't know exactly why they are important and good for you, how much to eat, etc.

What I found out wasn't quite what I expected!

These are actually very good for you, and modern people aren't getting enough of them.  At least in comparison to Omega 6.  These Omega 3 acids are good for you mainly because they are very anti-inflammatory.  Omega 6 acids are very PRO inflammatory, meaning they promote inflammation in the body and that's not really a good thing.

Some Omega-3 Rich foods

Omega 3 acids are found in foods like cold water fish, Omega 6 is in lots of processed foods and other things we should not really be eating. 

Despite the fact that Omega 6 acids are inflammatory, they are still essential acids that we do, in fact, need. 

The key here is balance. The ideal healthy ratio is 4:1 - meaning 4 parts Omega 6 to 1 part Omega 3.  This was supposedly the balance that our ancestors ate, and the only modern society that still eats this way is the Japanese.  This is a big possibility why they are some of the healthiest people despite having a lot of unhealthy habits like heavy smoking. 

So, aside from fish oil/flax oil supplements, what other food give us Omega 3?

Coldwater fish (like salmon), walnuts, grass-fed beef (NOT grain-fed beef, this is high in omega 6) and olive oil (but, do not heat the olive oil! Use it more like a dip or dressing)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Six Pack Abs- Are they even realistic?

Hello everyone!

Something I have thought about on and off but was triggered by a conversation with a male friend was the subject of six pack abs, particularly on women.  He thinks it's "ideal" and "cute" for a woman to have a six pack whereas I find it unfeminine for my body.

Most women with 6 pack- not a feminine shape for me. 

Opinions aside, is it even worth it?  I read some articles and the truth behind women having six pack abs reveals a LOT of work and self torture to get them.

1. According to an article I read, we ladies need to get to a VERY low body fat for these abs to show, perhaps even low enough to stop our menstruation.  I'll pass.

2. A very strict diet is usually a big part of this "master plan" to get six pack abs.

3. It's also a lot of time in the gym. 

Also, some people genetically have a bigger advantage of getting these abs whereas most of us don't.  Also, these rules do not apply to everyone, of course, but generally a really strict regimen is in order to have six pack abs. 

However, I am not against people who WANT this kind of body.  It's your body, you have every right to try to make it how you like it. Just do it in a healthy way and don't hurt yourself. :)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

How to Keep Bananas Green Longer

Hello everyone!

As some of you  may know, I am trying the Japanese Morning Banana Diet, (which I blogged about a while back ) and that entails buying and eating a lot of bananas.  

The problem: I hate brown bananas and mine seem to go brown REALLY fast, within a couple days even if I buy them green. Icky.  

I looked up some ways to stop this from happening, and I found one really interesting: Wrap the stems in plastic wrap. 

 Like this.

Apparently the gases that get released that make the fruit ripen come from the stem, and then pass on to the rest of the fruit, ripening it.  Wrapping them up keeps the gas from spreading too much, prolonging the greenness of the banana. 

I just bought some green bananas today, and I will be trying this. I have seven and I want to see how long they will be edible (by my standards).

Have any of you tried this? Did it work for you?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My First Day Measuring My Steps...

Hello everyone!

I posted the other day about finally getting a pedometer.  Today, I put it on and went about my day. My work day was pretty active as far as work days go, I delivered a couple of papers to other places in the building, but all in all, my days at work are pretty sedentary. The grand total? A measly 2,214 steps.  And that would pretty much be it for me on a typical day without extra exercise or going to the store, etc.  This is also approximate, as little movements that aren't walking also made the pedometer tick. 

Then, I added a 30 minute walk, which added another 3,335 steps, bringing the grand total to 5,549.  That would put me (barely) in the "Low active" activity level. 

1. Sedentary (Inactive)

Pedometer steps = less than 5,000 steps a day

This is equivalent to getting less than 150 minutes of exercise per week, or less than the minimum amount of exercise recommended for all adults. 

2. Low Active

Pedometer steps = 5,000 – 7,499 steps a day

3. Somewhat Active

Pedometer steps = 7,500 – 9,999 steps a day

4. Active

Pedometer steps = 10,000 steps or more a day

This is the recommended amount of activity for adults to promote and maintain health. To reach 10,000 steps a day, people generally have to add 30 minutes of exercise to their day, in addition to their regular daily activities. 

5. Highly Active

Pedometer steps = 12,500 steps or more a day.

This is the recommended number of steps to lose weight. This may seem impossible at first, but I assure you it is possible.

Set goals to gradually increase your steps. Then look for any opportunity to take extra steps throughout the day whether you’re at work, home, or anywhere else.

Tudor-Locke C. & Bassett, D.R. (2004). How many steps/day are enough? Preliminary pedometer indices for public health. Sports Med. 34(1):1-8.

So there we have it.  Aiming for a goal of 12,500 steps a day.  It sounds REALLY daunting but I believe I can do it.   

Right now, since my daily activity level is "Low Active" when I add walks, my first goal is increase that to "Somewhat Active." There are times when I do walk for a full hour aside from my other daily things.  I'll measure the steps I take for that too.

Also, I have again started the Morning Banana Diet that I talked about a while back.   So far, feeling pretty good! 

Have a great day everyone, it's almost the weekend!

Monday, July 14, 2014

I Got a Pedometer! Now what?

Hello everyone!

So, I've decided to start walking more, and to help me set some goals for myself, I got myself a  handy dandy little pedometer. 

But, this isn't a blog reviewing said pedometer.  I looked up what some good goals would be in terms of how many steps to take a day.   

The average American takes about 5,000 steps a day- that's about 2.5 miles.  Sounds pretty good, right?  Well... then I saw how many steps the average Japanese takes.  7,000 steps a day. 3.5 miles.  As if that puts Americans to shame enough, here come the Swiss with a whopping average of 9,800 steps a day- almost 5 miles!  And the ever so thin French walk an awful lot too (I couldn't find the number of steps but they really do walk and bike far more than Americans.)

So, I am going to wear my pedometer to work and see how many steps I take on a typical day at the office, and compare it to the average.   I'm preparing for the worst, definitely less than 5,000. 

Check back soon, and I will post my findings here in a later entry!

Friday, July 11, 2014


Hello everyone!

Today was a rainy day, not the best to walk in (and I woke up late with a bad headache) so I got my iPad out and tried the Curvy Dance workout again.

It's harder than it looks. I could only get through half of the 50 minute workout, I take that as a good thing.   I felt weird doing it, it was my first time, but even so...

How I feel when I work out, haha

One problem with the Curvy Dance on Youtube is that the breakdowns are AFTER the workout. Now I know for next time. (I am currently trying to edit the breakdowns to be a separate thing or even cut them and stick them at the beginning of the sequences so I don't have to go through them each time.)

Has anyone else had this problem with YouTube workouts?  Also, I am in the works to try to be able to connect my iPad to the big TV so I can see and hear better.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hello everyone!

Today my feet felt a lot better.  The heel pain was almost gone for some reason. In any case, I did my walking again and it went a lot better this time!

I also came up with an alternative to walking when the weather is bad or my legs just don't want to move - Curvy Dance (Like I mentioned before in a past blog)

I actually tried some Curvy Dance today too. I did the warm up just to get a feel of it, and so far I really felt it in my abs and hips.  I can feel why people lose weight doing it.  You don't need to jump around to get a sweat going.

I am also still keeping gluten free and I feel a lot better, like the gluten released its grip on my joints along with my feet feeling better.

I checked my weight a few days ago, I'll check it again on Sunday.  As for the weekend, I still plan on keeping up with moving around and eating well.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Hello everyone!

Today I walked again, for another hour.  This time, it was a bit harder because I had some intense pain in my right heel.  It comes and goes, with a burning sensation, mostly in the morning and when I've been on the foot for a while, it sort of goes away.  I didn't let it stop me, though.

I suspect Plantar Fasciitis, but I am going to go to a doctor to confirm it if it persists. 

I also really need to start  making breakfast at home.  And I know it's going to be a pain in the ass because of how early I get up to go to work on time.  So far, I can only think of a few things that are gluten free and can be made the night before, like hard boiled eggs, pre cooked sausage, and so on.  And fruit, of course, which I really need to learn to like. 

But the postive side  is this - I have been able to do an hour again, and it's not my legs stopping me for breaks during that hour but my feet and lower back.  Mostly the feet. Ugh.

Have any of you guys dealt with foot pain? Any suggestions? I don't want to stop my walks, that's for sure, but it's hard when my heel hurts like this. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

First Day Back to Working Out

Hello everyone!

Today, I took my first real walk in a while since injuring my ankle.  Turns out, my ankle is well enough for the job now.  Originally, I started with just fifteen minutes, just to see what I could do.  That fifteen minutes turned into an entire hour.  A moderately paced, sweaty hour, just as I intended for.

This picture pretty much sums up how I felt about walking a whole hour:

My goal is to walk every day, and take a rest every once in a while. I also ate gluten free today for the first time in a while. I'm hoping I start feeling better soon. We'll see.

I hope all of you are having a great week too! 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Does Hot Weather Help Weight Loss?

Hello everyone!

With summer upon us (in the northern hemisphere anyway) that means it's pretty likely that it's hot outside.

A common question is if this hot weather can help weight loss.  Well, yes and no. 

(I don't like it either!)

First, let's get the "no" part of that answer out of the way.  No, it won't help you for long term weight loss if you only rely on the heat to melt you.

The yes part:  Heat makes sweat, and sweat makes water weight loss.  It can also help detox if you keep replacing that lost water with more water, and not something like coffee (which will dehydrate you more).   The important part with detoxing via sweating: shower often, so that those toxins don't work their way  back into your pores. 

People also tend to be more active in the warmer weather, but it's very important to be careful.  Heat stroke and other heat related illnesses/hazards are very easy to succumb to.  Use your head, if you think it's too hot, if you feel dizzy and so on, listen to your body and get some water and get somewhere cool.

I am sensitive to the heat myself, so I prefer to be more active indoors when the sun is out.

Also, if anti-aging is of interest to you, ALWAYS wear sunscreen on your face before you go outside, especially between 10 am and 3 pm, when the sun is at its hottest.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Update! First iPad Post!

Hello everyone! 

I hope everyone has had a decent weekend so far!  I have been keeping busy too, I haven't been able to exercise but I have been active.

Having to go shopping and walking around lifting heavy bags of dog food and bottles of laundry soap can be quite a workout.

I have also done some food shopping, this weekend I have been somewhat naughty diet wise because I had a friend celebrating a birthday and the previous day I got taken out to eat for my own birthday, which is later this month.

I also finally upgraded to an iPad as of yesterday, so this is my first blog post from it! I hope the formatting and everything stays the same.  One thing I don't see here is changing font colors and styles, so on occasion you may see some posts that look a little weird, I am getting used to the iPad and I will change font formats when I am on my PC later.

I am also in the process of adding apps including MyFitnessPal.  Add me! My username is asagi722. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fitness Apps for the iPad

Hello everyone!

I'm sure a lot of you likely have a tablet, or perhaps a smartphone, but did you know there are a lot of fitness related apps for them?

I was browsing around (I am in the market for an iPad myself) to see what's really out there in terms of fitness apps.

I found an article showing the top 25 apps for smartphones and tablets.

Click here for the full article. 

The catch: most of them are NOT free, some requiring a one-time charge to download the app, or having the option for premium memberships.  There are also some great free apps, just less of them.

I actually use MyFitnessPal, which is free, as well as the LoseIt! app (also free) and I am pretty satisfied with them, but these are only for tracking.

The apps that cost money have a lot of other features such as linking to a heart rate monitor to track and calculate your progress, or even track where you ran to and how far, and calories burned.

Do you use any apps? Which ones? Do you like them or do you have ideas for new apps?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

PiYo is Coming

Hello everyone!

I recently heard that Chalene Johnson, also known by me as "The Turbo Jam Lady", is coming out with a new workout that actually seems interesting to me.

It's called PiYo, which is essentially a mix of Pilates and Yoga style moves.  The best parts of this and why I am so interested are:

1. No equipment, no weights, no bulking!

2. Bodyweight exercises!
3. Low impact and from what I hear, easily modified for different fitness levels.

There is a website where you can find out more about when it will be released, it's not out yet and I do not have a release date yet either. 

PiYo is Coming!

Are any of you going to try it?  I want to, as TAM can be jarring on the joints.