Thursday, February 2, 2012

Beauty Secret #1: Breakfast FTW!

So I've recently stopped going to the gym because I have been way too busy or exhausted from work/school to go. This is very sad for me because I was doing so well for months and training for 5ks! As an alternative, I have been really careful with what I eat. Working in an office for 8 hours a day and then coming home two nights a week to watch lectures means I sit a lot! The results? My thighs, butt and lower stomach area keep getting puffier and puffier. The solution? Eat healthier and try to do more exercises that do not require a gym! I wanted to share with you what I've learned and tested :) This will be a first in a series!

I will start with breakfast, which is very important and should NEVER be skipped! At one point in my busy life, I had Hot Pockets every morning. This is the worst choice I have ever made for my stomach. I switched very quickly after stepping on the scale. Now, I have one hard-boiled egg and a 8 oz smoothie every morning. To save time, I will boil 1-2 days worth of eggs so I can just wake up in the morning, grab and go. Smoothies I will make the night before or if it has diary products, I will blend it the morning of. I've noticed that with dairy smoothies, it tastes much better fresh and cannot be left out for more than 2 or 3 hours. I will wash and cut all my fruit on the weekend then stick them in the freezer. 

The best way to freeze fruit is to wash them then put them on a small baking sheet or lay out on a flat surface in the freezer. Then after they have frozen, dump them into a freezer zip-lock or container. This way, they will not be wet and stick together. For fruits that tend to turn yellow, like pears, apples or peaches, you can soak them in lemon juice or something acidic to keep them fresh. I usually just do strawberries, banana, raspberries, blueberries or apples and mix them with orange juice and flax seed powder for protein. 

Here are some other recipes I have tried that are really good:
If you are really adventurous, you can try some green smoothies! I will be trying these soon :)

On days that I am just not feeling a smoothie, I will switch to 2% milk and cereal. The cereal I've been hooked on is Kashi Heart to Heart Warm Cinnamon Oat Cereal. They look and taste like Cheerios but with a cinnamon kick. I bought these when I found a $2 off Kashi coupon, which you can keep an eye out for on coupons.com! They are healthy and made of whole grains.

From the label:
  • Support Healthy Cholesterol—1g soluble fiber from oats*
  • Promote Healthy Blood Pressure—low sodium**
  • More For You—each serving is high in antioxidant vitamins C and E. Plus, you’ll get 100% Daily Value of heart healthy vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid.

This usually fills me up until noon and I will have some almonds or a yogurt and granola to hold me over until lunch. Another one I have tried before is the Kashi GoLean Crunch Honey Almond Flax. This is a very good source of fiber and protein. However, if you do not like super crunchy cereal, this is not for you. Even after it is soaked in milk for a while, it is still relatively crunchy, which to me is awesome!

As for easy exercises, I have tried doing leg lifts in my desk chair. You simply slide to the edge of your chair, sit up straight in your chair and lift both your legs, toes pointed up, to make a 90 degree angle. You can hold for 1 min, while your thighs and buttocks are tightened, then put them back down and repeat 10 reps. Or for added effect, point your toes toward and back up and repeat with reps. For abs, you can suck in your stomach, tighten, hold and release. Repeat 10 times for 5 reps. This looks and feels a bit silly but your ab muscles do get sore after a while. If you are in your own cubicle at work, you don't have to worry!

Also, remember to get up and walk around every 30 mins. Do some light stretches and rotate your head in a circle to release tension in your neck and back. Stretch side to side by reaching over your chair on the left, then right. For those who type a lot, stretch your hands by gently bending your fingers back towards your forearms. Hopefully this will help you with some built-up tension from work! Till next time :)

9 comments:

  1. Great Post... nothing beats a good breakfast... If I skip my, I am moody all day long :)
    like your blog.... love finding new blogs...I am your newest follower!
    xxx Marina

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    1. Ahh thank you!!! :) I will keep working on new posts to enlighten you with!

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  2. good point in freezing fruits on a flat surface then putting them in a zip loc bag... i didn't do that and had my fruit stuck together and the blender couldn't chop it up

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  3. Breakfast is a must for me as well. I don't know how people can subsist on just a cup of coffee in the morning not to mention how bad that must be for your stomach. I like smoothies too and also oatmeal. I pre-make my steel cut oats in the rice cooker and then separate them into individual servings that I can pop in the microwave. I will have to remember your fruit freezing tip in the future.

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    1. Oh oatmeal is another great staple for breakfast! my mom makes oatmeal with milk and honey :)

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  4. Nice tips and suggestion! I just hope I could keep up with just having boiled eyes on morning..I usually eat like a "Queen" in the morning..lolz =) I better start changing habits now..Thanks for all the tips..=)

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    1. haha its ok Janet, Chinese people have a saying "breakfast eat like a queen, lunch eat like a commoner, dinner eat like a beggar." So its ok to eat more in the morning cause you will end up digesting it throughout the day :)

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  5. *typed comment but failed to post and i'm here typing again. hope it won't appear here repeatedly, sorry*

    NICE post!!! I'm seriously fed up with toasted bread as breakfast. awww... so thanks SO much for the recipes and your sharing!! =)

    Have a nice day.

    yezi (Malaysian Chinese)

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  6. aww thanks yezi!!! i hope you like the recipes!! :)

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