Happy Kwanzaa! Your table is set up with the a kinara. It’s surrounded by lush mazao, fruit symbolizing the reward of productive and collective labor from the harvest. The bananas, oranges, pineapples, mangoes, kiwi, grapes, papaya and other fruit ripens each day during the week of Kwanzaa. As pretty as the fruit looks, a fresh fruit salad needs to be made. Read more
Some time ago, I noticed extra weight gain. A panicked call was made to Mom. In a harsh and sweet tone of a voice, she said, “You know how to eat healthy. Now eat less and exercise more,” she continued with the reality of my dilemma, “…if you gain weight now, it’s difficult to get it off… You’re older and the weight doesn’t come off like it use to. There’s no excuse for being fat.”
Some may view the advice as insensitive. Personally, I appreciate the seriousness of it. Why cry about it when the solution is simple: Eat less and exercise more. The following morning, I was up at 6 am for a quick two-mile run. A food diary was started to find potential problems, which revealed large portions of food and too much sugar.
Over Thanksgiving weekend, I ate four slices of my dad’s German Chocolate Cake, half of his sweet potato pie, one slice of my aunt’s famous buttery two-layer vanilla cake with chocolate frosting, and another piece of celebration vanilla cake. Of course, those were just the desserts. The following Monday, I was in the gym running, lifting weights, and stretching my body into redemption. There’s the traditional reason for this type of gluttonous eating during this time of year: The body needs the extra fat to keep warm during the colder months. Then, there’s the modern reason: Guilty am I of being greedy. Read more
Ummmm… expecting chocolate? Yes, Valentine’s Day is this week. And, I delivered a salad with oranges and yellow beets. Ha… the ingredients aren’t aphrodisiacal, too. Well, I have other thoughts on my mind. Such as establishing a workout regime in my schedule. I shamefully stopping working out sometime in 2012, and I had the audacity to indulge in any and all pastries without guilt (ohhh… chocolate cake, where are you now?). Last year was an extremely good year, and we celebrated hard. The down side to the happy time, is a first-time in my life struggle with extra weight gain. And, it’s not a happy sight to see… or feel. Damn be anyone who tells me to love my body the way it is. I refuse to accept it, if I’m not working out.
Here’s my excuse: I had two separate foot injuries, dealt with a difficult cough the first few months of 2012, started a new job and running bored me. This week, I finally joined a gym. Instead of being mad at myself for stopping my workout routine, I ended my first day of class by saying, “I’m proud of you.” Read more
As a graphic designer, I want my ‘brown bag’ lunch to taste and look visually delicious. Otherwise, I’m likely to toss it in the garbage and pay for a fresher option from a restaurant. Such actions eventually add up to plenty of regret and an empty wallet. Learning to pack lunches take time and practice. When lunch containers reveal a salad of crispy lettuce and colorful, layered ingredients or a fragrant soup waiting to be heated in the microwave, my wallet stays full.
The initial inspiration for packing lunches come from bento boxes with separate containers or compartments. The separate containers help maintain the freshness of the meal (good for hot and cold recipes). Another bento-style lunch is creating a meal in one bowl, in which the ingredients harmoniously enhance each other. Read more