This post is long overdue, but better late than never! At the start of 2021, and for the month of January, my sister and I completed the Blogilates 21-Day Tone Challenge with Cassey Ho. Normally, I’m pretty active with a routine workout schedule but I know my sister has been struggling with maintaining one since the pandemic hit, so I suggested we do this challenge together virtually.
Disclaimer: Yes, I am naturally thin. I am aware and have never complained about my weight or the way my body looks. That said, I have been active and eating healthy for YEARS and maintained my fitness. Plus, there are plethora other reasons to eat healthy and work out regularly in addition to weight loss and vanity.
Every day for the 21 days, we video chatted each other, and we did the day’s video together, each one focusing on a different area of the body. Admittedly, even as fit as I am, some of these videos were challenging, but it honestly felt great to feel the sweat dripping onto my workout mat and the burn in the muscle areas. The best part? Knowing that you put in the work to take care of yourself is incredibly rewarding.
This week has been INSANE. There is so much going on, and I’m starting to struggle to keep up. I… may or may not have had a few cheat meals this week and skipped some workout days…
But anyway, here are the tasty meals I enjoyed, made by me, friends and family:
Kimchi soondubu jjigae
What I learned: generic grocery store brand kimchi is not as effective or flavorful as authentic kimchi from Asian grocers.
What I learned: READ the recipe and don’t mix up your frying oil LOL
Gumbo | Canteen & Cocktails virtual cooking class
What I learned / note for virtual chefs: A word of advice if you are teaching a class: please consider your audience. Sure, there might be cooks among the class, but there might also be those who don’t cook often. Not pictured are baked oysters, because I threw them out. They really out here telling me to take good, ample care of fresh oysters prior to cooking them AND THEN cook them right? That’s a lot of responsibility.
Fancy ramen | made by a friend
Korean BBQ feast with family
It just dawned on me that the theme for this week’s dishes was TRYING NEW RECIPES! Aside from the not-pictured cheat meals I treated myself to, every day I was cooking food I hadn’t tried before, aka the jjigae, tofu and gumbo. These are much more involved recipes – not fit for just one solo person – so I probably won’t have them in my regular meal planning rotation, unless I know I’m cooking for people 🙂
So far, 23 days into January, I’ve kept up with a consistent workout and healthy meal plan, and I want to start documenting them on my blog to track the progress and potentially provide anyone with new ideas for cooking!
Right now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m only going to the grocery store every other weekend, so I’m meal planning for two weeks. Wasting food makes me sad, so what I try to do is look at recipes that have overlapping ingredients so I’m utilizing the most of my groceries – namely produce. It can be challenging, but it’s like a puzzle that you piece together!
This week, I cooked these dishes:
Guacamole, salsa and paleo chips
Spinach tofu stir fry
Veggie spaghetti with homemade spinach pesto
Salmon, avocado and rice
Ribeye steak, broccoli and rice — my parents got me a new iron skillet for Christmas so I HAD to try it out on the steak!
Almond milk chocolate chip pancakes with fresh strawberries and honey
Admittedly, I had more rice than I usually eat. For years, I tried to cook and genuinely enjoy cauliflower rice, but it never appeals to me, and I end up not eating my entire meal.
Mental Health Awareness Month is nearly over, and I’ve had productive time to ponder life, especially during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Living in isolation in my apartment and social distancing from people have presented an opportunity for my true introvertedness to revive itself, and admittedly I’m glad it did. By indulging in my introverted tendencies, I’ve become more myself again versus wearing the mask and putting on an act in front of people – this is not me saying I’m fake, but it’s definitely a light switch when I have to interact and be extroverted. In reality, I get anxious and nervous at the thought of being around people.
Some of my goals in life is to enforce the importance of mental health and taking care of one’s health, as well as fighting the negative stigma associated with mental health. In the past, “taking a mental health day” was another ordinary slang phrase to me that I used loosely, but since my young adult life, it’s evolved into a bigger, more meaningful statement. My mental health is my number one priority, and I’m glad I was able to use this time alone to properly focus on it, like I have been promising myself for the past few years but never made ends meet.
What have I been doing to dedicate to myself? Here are a few things:
Some of you may already be living a healthier lifestyle as things get back to normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Or you’re a star who stayed healthy the whole time. Or some of you might be like me, who, during recovery and quarantine, didn’t have the best eating or workout habits, thus developing anxiety about all the bad food we can’t stop eating. And we want to remedy that situation.
Immediately after surgery, I didn’t eat much for two days, so as my appetite came back and my body could handle food, I was eating whatever I could to get my strength back, and I used that excuse for weeks. I was eating all the carbs, dairy, sugar and sweets, so it’s time to limit those back down again. Now that I’m back at my apartment in better shape from surgery, I’m trying to get back to a healthier lifestyle. Looking for ways to get started on healthier eating habits? Keep reading to see if what I’ve learned might be helpful for you. (And see what new FREE infographics I’ve made for you!)
Disclaimer: This is a rather lengthy post, so get comfortable as I share my experiences with you. Also, I am not claiming to be a health expert. My blog posts are sharing what has worked for me in an attempt to provide ideas to others if they’re helpful.