Thursday, May 23, 2013

Welcoming Sumi, our 3rd guest blogger & A delicious goat cheese salad recipe!

When I was searching for guest bloggers, I initially assumed I would only solicit people I knew who were also bloggers. But then I thought...why?

Certainly there are people out there with hidden writing talents and knowledge to share. Then I thought of Sumi and how she has been keeping me on track for the last month. Urging me to work and out and sharing all her exercise tips with me, and I thought she would be the perfect person to write about keeping a healthy routine when you're always on the go. Some weeks Sumi has to work 4 12hr shifts in a row- and every 3 months those shifts are graves, so if she can find the time to work out and prepare healthy meals, so can we! Unfortunately, Sumi doesn't have a blog/site for you to visit YET, but who knows...we might encourage her to give it a try!

Here's Sumi!

Hi All, my name is Sumi. I’m 27 and from Southern California born and raised. I met Eva through my boyfriend, Steve, who happens to be very good friends with Eva’s husband. Eva and I, though we haven’t had much time to hang out with each other yet, hit it off almost instantly and have chatted each other up tons of times by now. I have absolutely loved the fact that she’s a chef. I have enjoyed seeing the meals she has come up with or prepared because I am not even remotely creative or skilled when it comes to cooking. I’m also very flattered that she is letting me be a guest blogger! So here are some real life diet and exercise tips I've used for staying healthy.

Sumi's Diet and Exercise Tips:

*Make realistic weight loss/health goals and stick to them!

*Stop making excuses, you're health should be a top priority.
*Plan a "splurge" day during the week.
*Vary the intensity of your work outs, if you know today is your splurge day, plan a longer/harder workout.
*Last month Eva told you about accountability partners, get one! Nothing keeps you on track better than knowing you'll have to check in with a peer at the end of the week. Also, the encouragement is sometimes all the positive reinforcement you need till that you start shedding pounds.
*You don't need to be a gourmet Chef to make healthy meals. Your meals should look something like this: 50% veggies, 25% lean protein and 25% complex carbohydrates. I am not very good at following recipes so I sometimes get inspiration from recipes I stumble upon on Pintrest!

First off, let’s define healthy. Healthy, for any person, is not based upon a strict set of parameters. This means, just because your best friend is 5’1’’ and 110 pounds, it doesn’t mean you, at 5’6’’, should weigh at 110 pounds as well. You need to figure out what is healthy for your height and body type. According to a Weight Watcher’s support website that calculates the ideal weight for women, a 5’6’’ woman with even a small frame should not weigh less than 120 pounds. 

Click here to find you "ideal" weight. Remember that this is only a tool to aid you in over-all health. You should always consult a physician when it comes to your individual weight loss goals. 

You also need to consider things like cholesterol, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and overall what you need to make you feel great from the inside out. The healthier you are on the inside, the healthier you will be on the outside. So let’s discuss how to feed yourself foods that make you feel great on the inside and out!

So, I love food. A lot. I also don’t believe in starving or punishing yourself for the sake of health, beauty, fitness, etc. However, being more aware of what you’re putting into yourself really puts things into perspective. So first off, I will sometimes calorie count. Just so I know how many calories I’m putting into my body. Doing this for a week or two really puts things into perspective and causes you to start thinking about how you can change your diet. For example, are you craving chocolate? How about you grab some strawberries instead? One piece of dark chocolate is around 27 calories as opposed to one small strawberry, which is 2 calories.

All of this info I got from which has a lot of nifty calorie counting tools for you. So at 2 calories a piece, you can a ton more strawberries than you can chocolate while satisfying your urge for something sweet. So supplementing one potential unhealthy food choice for a healthy one can do wonders for you. Plus, simply cutting down on portion size a bit can greatly improve your health, inside and out. If you’re feeling too sluggish and heavy from eating too much, you’re not very likely to be active. So eat well, eat just a tiny bit less (no starving yourself), and try to be more active!

Now onto an easy salad that I eat frequently. As a general rule, I try to eat something green every day. Most days, a salad works, but a simple green salad can get very boring. A little lettuce and some dressing does not cut it for me. I also like things to be on a light sweet side. So I figured out how to make a light summer salad that is super easy. I get all of my ingredients from Fresh and Easy, which really is super fresh and easy. Anyway, I always go for the herb salad mix because I like the way the herbs taste. It makes the salad interesting and fresh. I also like to add in some walnuts (instead of croutons) and goat cheese because I’m obsessed with cheese and goat cheese has less fat and more protein that cow's milk cheeses. Plus, goat cheese is plain delicious! Nice and creamy, and won’t overpower the rest of the flavors in your salad. Anyway, I also mentioned I like something sweet. So I add dried cranberries and top it off with a tasty, yet zesty raspberry vinaigrette dressing. This is a super simple salad that is not only tasty, but filling and healthy. 

Add grilled lean steak or chicken for added protein, you can eat this as a main meal.

Add fresh fruit like apples, grapes, raspberries, orange segments or strawberries.
Replace the goat cheese for low fat blue cheese, careful with your serving sizes! 
Try herbed goat cheese.
Replace the walnuts with slivered almonds.

I usually throw together salads based upon on what I feel tastes better rather than following a recipe, that being said, here's a super easy raspberry vinaigrette recipe that anyone can make. This recipe yeilds around 2 1/2 cups and keeps in the fridge...well I couldn't really say. We mow through this stuff pretty fast!

Here's the recipe for the raspberry vinaigrette, Enjoy!

1 cup fresh or thawed frozen raspberries
1/2 cup apple cider or red wine vinegar
3/4 cup mild flavored olive oil
1 tbsp Dijon mustard (optional, but it makes a nice smooth emulsion)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in your blender until smooth. The contents should reach a nice pale pink color. Taste and correct seasonings, strain to remove seeds and serve with salad greens or use as a marinade for chicken, pork and steak.

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