Congee and Furikake

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I’m not really picky about what I eat (usually because I’m too lazy to cook most of the time), so I ended up mixing brown rice, quinoa, tofu, and furikake with a splatter of sesame oil, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar (with a pinch of sugar). Not bad – but definitely not for those picky eaters.

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Apartment Rearranging

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How I want to rearrange my apartment after studying for tomorrow’s midterm!

Need good cheap blender recipes

Hello all. I am bad with money.

I’m terribly bad with money to the point of I would rather spend my money on electronics, office supplies, and musical instruments than on food.

Is that being bad with money? Or is it being terrible at prioritizing?

If you were to see me around my school’s break room, I would be scrounging around the refrigerator looking for food like a dirty raccoon. D:

And, so, to avoid being the school’s poster-child of regressing back into an undergrad mindset (we are in professional school, after all!) I have to think of ways to make it easier on myself when making meals.

Thus…blender foods. Blech.

Not particularly satisfying, but I can definitely get all the nutrients I need from blending veggies and herbs. However easy this sounds, last night’s experiment was disappointing. I became random with my ingredients and I’m reaping the consequences – two day’s worth of a weird concoction of yellow squash, zucchini, corn, carrots, basil, onion, garlic, and cilantro.

It doesn’t look too bad, but I’m definitely missing the umami-ness of ingredients.

I think I need to cut either the corn or the carrots since two sweet veggies aren’t helping the flavor. Also, I might turn this into a casserole with quinoa.

If I don’t make this delicious, my body will definitely regress back into buying snack foods which goes against my terrible prioritizing with my money.

Make exercise work for you

How do I start a post that conveys deep disappointment in being unable to update my blog even once a week? I even registered the domain name for crying out loud. Let me start with, “A lot has happened within a month’s time…”

Quitting Insanity
I’m ashamed to say that I was unable to finish Insanity. I had two weeks to go and I wasn’t able to finish. I was experiencing frustration with the fact that I did not lose any inches around my waist. I kept a positive attitude and kept going, but to not see any results along my midsection left me frustrated and neurotic. I began tampering with my diet to face the extreme side of not eating enough only to result in fatigue and dizziness at work. I was devastated.

A New Workout
During my time with Insanity, I was desperate in searching for different workouts. I read reviews and looked into Hip Hop Abs, Brazillian Butt-Lift, and CHALEAN Extreme. I gave HHA to my sister, seeing that was more of an easy workout for beginners (unlike his Insanity workouts). BBL wasn’t really overall targeting my problem areas, so that left me with CE.

CHALEAN Extreme uses weights or resistance bands to burn fat by creating muscle (actually, more like tearing up my muscle since they’re so weak / I have none). HALLELUJAH this workout was exactly what I was looking for. In 1.5 weeks, I lost 1.25″ off my waist and 1″ off my bellybutton area.

The Fault Lies in…
Insanity did not work for me only because it was targeting my legs and butt more than my upper body. That and the exercises were so intense that I wasn’t able to properly engage my abs as much as Shaun T. would have wanted.

Even though I didn’t see the physical results I was hoping for, Insanity helped my legs get stronger so I could actually run faster. The program also increased my endurance. I remember when I first started the fit test that I had to pause it longer during the breaks and I’d collapse on the floor afterwards from exhaustion and dizziness.

There’s no hard feelings I feel toward the program. I’m looking forward to redoing Insanity after finishing up CHALEAN Extreme.

Moving Forward
I know the title of this post is called “Make Exercise Work for You”. So the lesson I have learned from all this is that if you don’t see results that you were hoping for after a significant amount of time, it might be a good time to look for something else. Sure, there are kind people out there that will give you words of encouragement to stick to it, but it all comes down to you knowing your own body. Exercise is supposed to help us achieve that type of body we’re all wishing for. If you don’t see it working, there’s no sense in going through torture without yielding the type of results you were looking for.

Find something you are comfortable with and that works with your goals.

Bus Shuttle Serenade

Today, I arrived in Houston, TX for work and got serenaded by the driver of my rental car shuttle bus. Terry Michael Owens is a native of New Orleans, but was forced to relocate in Houston because of Hurricane Katrina. Taken from his website:

T.M.O. was born and raised in The Big Easy, which is officially know as New Orleans, LA. Terry loves to perform, when he sings it comes from his soul, it shows when ever you see him live on stage he gives all that he has from the soul. Terry was forced to leave his hometown because of Hurricane Katrina and he moved to Houston TX. Where he now calls home. Singing for as long as he can remember at the age of 15 Terry would sneak out to perform at night clubs, we all know New Orleans is the city that does not sleep. Terry has played many stages, large and small, singing lead vocals in R&B and Gospel groups in his native city. Terry scored his first major solo success in 2005 when he won singing on a local New Orleans TV show called Gimme the Mike New Orleans, he also was a finalist in the Crescent City Idol show given by local radio stationWYLD FM in 2004. Again keeping up with the winning drive Terry was named Hometown star 2005 on the North Shore, Slidell, LA. Being up front and a leader has never been a problem for Terry He’s played standing gigs @ The Funky Pirate Blues Club on world famous Bourbon St. with his former band T.M.O. And The Riverside band, that he formed with the late great GeraldTrinity. Terry also performed at the House of Blues New Orleans with Gospel recording artist Paulette Wright and Volume of Praise every 4 Sunday for the gospel Brunch and The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. He’s recorded with 2001 Gammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner Leo Nocentelli of The Meters and Leo’s niece Windy on her 1999 debut CD entitled WINDY on MERCURY RECORDS a duet called “BABY DON’T YOU WORRY” also with Rapper B.G.formally of The Hot Boys and Cash Money Records. Terry had his first hit in 1997 in Louisiana with a gospel group The Anointed Connection, The song was “All I Have” after the group broke upTerry recorded a solo single called “Put Down The Gunz” a song about stopping senseless gun violence and in 2005 after evacuating Houston for hurricane Ritahe recorded “Yes Indeed”a song about loving yourself for who you are.Terry is currently working on new music, Be on the look out.

The song he sang was very enjoyable and light-hearted. Check it out on YouTube!

Olympus OM-D E-M5 – First Pics

Well, I have been playing around the photo aspect of my new toy, the Olympus OM-D E-M5. I’ve been getting a feel for the different types of shots I could set up. Everything was semi-new to an amateur photographer like myself. I knew the modes P, A, S, and M because of my 60D, but the SCN, iAuto, and Art modes and their different functions are new to me. I should have kept up more religiously on the camera specs as they were released.

Let me confirm that, yes, there is a humming noise when the camera is on. Just like one user on youtube described it, they could hear the ocean. It’s a sort of white noise that fades into the background. Besides, the digital sound of the shutter is way louder than that.

The 14-42mm kit is okay, but I really wanted the macro function of the 12-50mm lens kit. I know there are better ones out there, but having it on hand when the camera arrived would have been fun. The 14-42mm will not focus nicely onto “in-your-face” objects, so I have to pull back a little and allow it to do its thing.

One of the things I find a little frustrating is the switch from the touch screen back to the EVF. I love the fact that I can touch any part of the screen to focus, but the sensor around the EVF is very sensitive. If you put your finger 1/2″ away from the viewfinder, the screen will switch back to the EVF. It gets to be a problem sometimes when I see a shot, then the touch screen accidentally blacks out because of my fingers.

The 9fps shooting mode was terrific, but I do need more practice in focusing on the subject moving. I need to know how to make it continuously track the subject. This mode helped me capture a lot of moving actions from my dogs which look more intense than when I just used my 60D with a 50mm f1.8 (yes, I have the budget of a college student).

Those are my initial thoughts of the camera. I’ll be updating more as I try to learn the cute little camera. I’ve been trying to sort out which lenses I would need, so if anyone has any suggestions, please leave a comment.

It’s taken so long for me to upload these because Yahoo.com had disabled my account and the whole thing has been frustrating and didn’t even yield any results. Suffice to say, I made a new account to upload my pictures. I didn’t process any of these photos except resizing them. Without further adieu, here are some sample shots from the OM-D!

PineapplePiggy BankSkyPiggy Bank 2Pan and KaiKaiPanBeer Lime ShrimpBeer Lime Chicken Shrimp with Wild Rice

Keep Marzipan Alive

Have you ever been immersed into a world that captivates your imagination? I’ve found it in the strangest, cute, and creative show called Chowder. When it first aired, I was so thrilled by the idea of a show about food. But it wasn’t just about food – it was colorful, full of inspiration, and filled with subtle yet sharp jokes along with lots of visually pleasing and comedic gags.

After its inception and the unfortunate end of its 3 season run, I’ve begun re-watching the first 10 episodes and found the newer episodes to be lacking the charm of these first 10 episodes. However, it doesn’t really matter since I am inspired to draw places and food based on the show. 🙂 In fact, this is the start of my new project: Keep Marzipan City Alive which will feature my drawings inspired by the show. Here’s my first attempt, and it’s none other than the main character.

Disclaimer: Chowder and all related images are created by C.H. Greenblatt and owned by Cartoon Network. I am in no way affiliated with said parties and am in no way earning profit nor am I associated with the staff or network.

Insanity – Day 36

Alright, it’s a new week of workouts and I can’t tell you how (pardon the expression) INSANE this was! 56 minutes of moving, jumping, abs, punching – HOLY CRAP. I would have puked if I actually had something in my stomach other than water. And that’s why I never liked going to my sessions with my trainer – it was in the afternoon when my belly is filled with food from breakfast, lunch, and snacks.
I didn’t have time to do the fitness test because I wasn’t prepared for how long it was. I’d look to see 30 min had gone by and think to myself, it’s okay to stop here, you’ve done more than enough, but for some reason, the pace of each set made me forget about that little quitter. Again, at the 20 minute mark, I wanted to stop because my legs were giving in to fatigue, but when he said that people were starting to slow down, it was okay as long as it’s controlled. I think I shouldn’t have worked out with the volume on low for the first half of Insanity because I missed a lot of good tips like that.
I personally love it. I’ve been engaging my muscles even more, and I’ve been sweating more. I know my stamina and speed have increased and I can definitely dig deeper!

New Diet Strategy

Monthly indulgences:
Meat

Weekly indulgences:
Sweets, eggs, poultry 

Daily recommendations:
Rice, noodles, breads, other grains, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, vegetable oils, fish, shellfish, dairy 

This isn’t really much of a diet plan than it is a lifestyle change towards my roots. I’ve noticed that I tend to eat heavier things with the BF and that just leaves me pooped out when exercising. This list is more of a reminder to myself of what to follow every month and to check off what I’ve already stuffed in my face. I could reach for a Shakeology shake, but do I really want to be dependent on that for the rest of my life? (Not to mention the price per month!) Anyways, this might seem extreme to some people, but I feel that I can easily transition to this type of list.

It seems that people can easily binge on rare indulgences if they saw this list, but it takes a lot of willpower to eat in moderation and say no. I know…because I’ll be saying “hello” to my precious, precious sweets only once a week. *cries* 。・゚゚・(>д<)・゚゚・。

I’ve already crossed out some that I’ve already had this week and this month, so, this will be…interesting. Of course, this list may look simple, but I’ve already taken into account the serving sizes needed. And, yes, this is so much simpler when using a calorie counter. 🙂 I recommend Calorie Count’s calorie counter.

What do you guys think?

Olympus OM-D E-M5!

I’m finally getting the Olympus OM-D E-M5! I haven’t waited as long as some people, and I really wanted the silver body, but I’m finally getting the black body kit on Tuesday!  😀 Really really wanted the silver body – did I mention that?