Sunday, February 7, 2016

Happy Chinese New Year

 Happy Lunar New Year! There are several superstitions for a good, fortunate year ahead. Although they may seem silly, they are still fun to know. This Chinese New Year is the Year of the Monkey, which is the ninth animal of the twelve zodiac animals. There are many different traits to each animal sign and predictions for this coming year. Check out the International Business Times for the Zodiac Predictions for 2016.

If you don't know what zodiac sign you belong to, see below, but if you were born in the beginning of the year, be aware that Chinese New Year does not follow the typical Western calendar. 

Rat: 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
Ox: 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
Tiger: 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
Rabbit: 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
Dragon: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964
Snake: 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
Horse: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
Goat: 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
Monkey: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968
Rooster: 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969
Dog: 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970
Pig: 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971

What zodiac sign are you? Are you superstitious? 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Eat Sunshine: How to Make Sushi Rolls

One of my goals this year is to try one new recipe each week and to cook more often to improve my skills in the kitchen.  I have a strong love for sushi but it can get expensive so I thought why not make it myself at home? There’s something about the pretty bite size pieces that makes this meal one of my favourites. I made this sushi with my brother and let me tell you that the more help you can get in the kitchen, the better. We started our own assembly line in the kitchen and it was just as much fun bonding making the sushi as it was eating with him. For our rolls, we used avocado, cucumber, spicy crabmeat, regular imitation crabmeat, breaded shrimp and sweet potato. Feel free to experiment and put whatever you're craving or have on hand in your sushi.

How I Made It:
For the rice:
-3 cups sushi rice
-1/4 cup rice vinegar
-1 tbsp sugar
-1 tsp salt

Making the Spicy Crabmeat:
-Shred artificial crabmeat and mix in some mayonnaise and sriracha to taste

After preparing all the ingredients, this is how you make the sushi:

1. Plastic wrap the bamboo matt (or use a firm towel) so that the sushi doesn’t stick to the matt.
2. Place seaweed shiny side down onto the matt
3.  Spread rice gently all over seaweed
4. Sprinkle sesame seeds onto the rice (optional)
5. Place all the goodies you want in the sushi towards the middle (Try not to overstuff as it makes rolling more challenging)
6. Roll the matt and seaweed over the stuffing once and press firmly forming a round shape
7. Continue to roll the sushi into  … big sushi roll!
8. Use a sharp wet knife to cut the sushi into pieces (Wetting the knife helps cut the sushi and prevents the sushi from sticking to the knife)
9. Eat up! Feel free to use your hands or chopsticks and don’t forget the soy sauce and wasabi!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Tips for Getting Back into Shape

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions people have is to “Get fit”. Who doesn’t want to be healthy and in good shape? The beginning of the year marks a new beginning and as the motto goes, “New Year, New You”.

I’ve been active and healthy for the past couple years but I have to admit that after the holidays, it’s been hard to get back into eating clean and working out again. Mother nature’s gift also welcomed me at the beginning of the year leading me to feel in a bit of a funk. Let’s just say that when I’m on my period, I feel like a panda on a “seafood” diet (see everything and eat it). Other factors that hindered my workout routine include my job and the cold, dark winter days.

Anyways, that’s enough with all the excuses. To get back into shape, you have to get back into the routine of working out and make it a habit. If you’re not feeling up to the task of completing an intense workout, try and do something active to avoid skipping the workout entirely. Even if I’m not in the mood to exercise, I’ll just force myself to start and after the first 15 minutes, the momentum of exercising will keep me going! There will be off days as well, but you have to take it easy on yourself and realize that it’s okay; tomorrow is a new day and it will be better next time. Getting started and developing the habit of including a workout in the day is unfortunately the hard part but once you develop this habit, you’re on your way to becoming a healthier, better version of yourself!

 Some tips I find helpful are as follows;

 1. Set Goals. Eg. Set a goal to be active for at least 20-30 minutes everyday for a month.

 2. Make it Routine. If you don’t workout everyday, make sure you work out on the same days each week, as this will help you develop a routine.

 3. Mark it on Your Calendar. Plan your days ahead of time. For example, yoga class on Saturday, Run 3KM on Sunday, etc.

4. Workout Gear. Have comfy and nice workout attire to wear as it helps you feel good before the workout begins. Set out what you’ll wear the night before so that you see it first thing in the morning and it will act as a reminder to work that body.

5. Make a playlist. Listening to good music can make a difference when working out. I like to listen to random playlists on which is a website that has millions of playlists created by other people on the web. 

6. Have a Fitness Buddy. Sometimes you need that extra push and having someone remind you to workout helps. You can send messages to each other about how you’ve completed a workout or go to the gym together. You’re also most likely not going to cancel on your friend.

7. Remember the Feeling. Remember how it feels AFTER a workout. Working out relieves stress and makes you feel happy. The results of your mind and body will only be positive.

How do I stay active? I do not have a gym membership so I enjoy doing hot yoga in a studio once in awhile, jogging and biking outdoors and going on my elliptical in my basement. I also really like to do at home workouts by following Youtube videos. 

Below are some of my favourite Youtube channels I highly recommend;

Karena and Katrina - Tone It Up. This HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) video burns so much. I haven't been able to get through the whole video without dying yet but one day hope to!

Adriene Mishler- Yoga. Relax, breathe and stretch out those muscles with her calming yoga videos.

Cassey Ho - POP Pilates. She has so much energy and is so much fun to workout with.

Victoria's Secret Angel Doutzen Kroes and trainer Michael Olajide. 
In this video, they show some cardio and core workout moves that get the heart rate up!

Do you have any tips and tricks on working out? Are you starting to get into shape? Do you have any tips and tricks on working out? Share them below.