Saturday, September 17, 2011
On September 24, I begin an eight-week 5% Challenge to encourage living the healthy lifestyle. Our first assignment is to answer the following five questions:
1) Have you got your gym clothes, runners, water bottle, etc. ready to go?
Walking shorts or pants
Water galore (bottles and a natural thirst for tap water)
2) What is your exercise plan?
Tai Chi and various other DVDs
Various strength training reps
3) Do you know what diet you will follow? Found some recipes? Have you stocked up on the foods?
SparkPeople recommended ranges (with minimal acceptable modifications)
Continued less processed foods
Continued less enriched white flour
Continued less sugar
Emphasis on plant-based foods
4) Do you know how to connect with your team mates?
Yes . . . Teddy Bears Rock! And the competition with the other teams within the 5% Challenge is a friendly one. Letís hope the Teddy Bears can push other teams to be their best!
5) Did you put your Fall 5% Challenge Commitment on your page?
I just updated my SparkPage with the following goals:
1) Maintain a healthy BMI (130-174) by maintaining my goal of 161 lbs.
2) Track fitness daily.
3) Average 70 minutes (or more) of daily cardio and strength training.
4) Track food daily.
5) Eat six or more servings of freggies daily.
6) Drink at least 12 cups of water daily.
7) Satisfy 4-7 recommended levels of: calories, fat, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, calcium, and sodium daily.
8) Sleep 7-9 hours a night six days a week.
9) Earn 75% (or more) in Living The Good Life weekly challenges.
10) Spend at least 15 minutes daily in the study of Godís word.
11) Do something fun at least three times a week.
12) Knit one prayer shawl.
For the joy and beauty in my life found through the lens of my camera, I often look to nature in my own yard. Last Thursday, I took a few university students up to Enger Tower to enjoy the view of the Twin Ports and Lake Superior:
Afterwards, they treated me to dinner at the China King Buffet:
I am so richy blessed to be surrounded by vibrant people who help me walk higher in reaching my goals to be healthy in both mind and body. May you also enjoy your journey to good health!
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
The 5% challenge is all about moving more and for me, I move a lot more around the house, as well along natureís path. Today, I had lunch on campus with friends. This is both my alma mater, as well as the place I was employed at for twenty years. The campus is alive and well with a flurry of students attending their first day of classes. The new academic offices in Swenson Hall are nearly in full operation. I was most grateful for a table of traffic aides while the signage to find offices was lacking.
Sundquist Hall will soon be no more as it is scheduled for demolition having originally begun itís life as a two-story college dormitory. Itís not often I can take a picture quick enough to capture a cricket. Hereís one last look at and around Sundquist Hall.
While home, this is my first summer with so many yellow finches at my bird feeder enjoying sunflower chips. Normally, I see a lot more sparrows, pine siskins, nut hatches, chickadees, blue jays and wood peckers.
Hope youíre enjoying our transition into Fall.
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Experts have now defined a fifth element that our taste buds can detect to now decipher sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami. When I first heard the news earlier this year, the only word I could visualize -- in order to remember this relatively new discovery -- was Ooh-Mommie! Wikipedia.org is a great resource for further study about umami.
I know there are a lot of people who cannot tolerate ďmonosodium glutamate.Ē However, MSG is a natural occurring ingredient that gets a bad rap, similar to salt. Natural doesnít mean good . . . we already know that too much salt is not a good thing.
Many foods that may be consumed daily are rich in umami. Naturally occurring glutamate can be found in meats and vegetables; whereas inosinate comes primarily from meats and guanylate from vegetables. Thus, umami taste is common to foods that contain high levels of L-glutamate, IMP and GMP, most notably in fish, shellfish, cured meats, vegetables (ie mushrooms, ripe tomatoes, Chinese cabbage, spinach, etc) or green tea, and fermented and aged products (ie cheeses, shrimp pastes, soy sauce, etc).[Wikipedia Source: Ninomiya K (1998). "Natural Occurance". Food Reviews International 14 (2&3): 177Ė211. doi:10.1080/87559129809541157]
Wow . . . these are all foods I enjoy big time! I now know what it is about Pho and Asian cooking that I love so. They are loaded with a savory flavor that comes from foods rich in umami.
My Vietnamese Pho (rice noodle soup) has fish sauce in it. It doesnít take much, and if you made if for a friend -- and didnít have to tell them it had fish in it -- they probably wouldnít even know it. Look at the ingredients in fish sauce and youíll probably see anchovies or sardines. I have a few pho recipes that I make, depending on my mood. Iím even tweaking a vegetarian style pho, as most pho dishes are made using a beef stock.
Tonight, I made a version of Pho using the dried black mushrooms I bought at the Asian grocery. Double umami -- Yum! Ė and it made a whole quart!
My Sri Lankan Coconut Pol Sambal has some dried Maldive fish chips lovingly kneaded into the chili, onion, tomato, and unsweetened coconut mixture.
While picnicking at Split Rock Light House, most of my curries have red ripe tomatoes and I have sambal (a spicy and savory garnish for Indian-style curries) in the snack ziplock bag that tops all my curries.
My partner loves those chicken wings that come with a rich and savory oyster sauce on it. Now if only this savory additive wasnít so dependent upon salt! Like salt, itís what often makes soups have you coming back asking for more!
When I grew up in the sixties and seventies, I cringed when I heard the word anchovy. Anchovies were associated with a pizza ingredient and then it was one of those ingredients most of us avoided like the plague! The way I see it, we bipedal, carbon-based life forms (sorry, the Trekkie is coming out in me again) can be so fickle when our brain says one thing (Yuk!), yet our taste buds may say something to the contrary (Yum!).
How do you honor umami? Might you have a new respect for seafood products? Will you leave yourself open to adding a fish sauce to a broth-based soup?
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