Monthly Archives: July 2014

Living Fit Mommy: It’s About Moderation as Much as Dedication

The hardest part is watching your plate, but doing the one, without the other, is pretty useless.

The following shot of, the now 68-year old, Helen Mirren gained worldwide attention a half-dozen years ago:

Folks were just so impressed that a woman her age could look so damn good—which is pretty appalling if you ask me, but whatevs—but Mirren, true to her outspoken, straight-to-the-point, no ‘BS’ nature, had this to say about that shot.

“I happened to be holding my stomach in because my husband was taking my photograph,” she said. “Three weeks every six months, I decide to work out. I’m unbelievably lazy. If I had any form of self-discipline, I would look a lot better than I do.”

And what is her “workout” exactly?

…Each day, you have to do the exercises within the 12 minutes and until you can, you can’t move up,” Mirren recently told reporters, according to her publicist.

“It is the exercise I have done off and on my whole life. It just very gently gets you fit. Two weeks of doing that and you think: ‘Yeah, I could go to the gym now.'”

The regimen, which was designed by physician Bill Orban in the late 1950s, includes 10 basic exercises for women that are intended to work all your muscle groups in a short amount of time. It includes moves like knee raises, arm circling, push-ups, sit-ups, chest raises, leg raises, and running and hopping. The workout doesn’t require any equipment, which makes it ideal for jetsetting stars like Mirren.

Hmmm…sounds an awful lot like Tabata or HIIT, if you ask me, but that’s neither here nor there. My point in sharing this is really to get to the bottom-line of why Mirren has remained in such wonderful shape, despite exercising so erratically, and remaining “unbelievably lazy”, as she puts it, about her health.

It’s because she maintains a balance in her overall diet.

“I’ve never done anything to excess,” she told People. “I’ve never drunk or eaten too much. It helps to stay balanced.”

Again, it’s about doing the little things.

Exercise means little if the diet ain’t right. Trust me on that one. But…when you combine the two, oh boy, then you’ve got gold.

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Living Fit Mommy: Healthy Recipe of the Week

Tofu has many varieties, and many uses, and you have to choose the one that best suits your recipe needs.

I love plant-based recipes. Love. So, whenever I can find one that’s both easy and cheap to create, I’m on it!

That said, I stumbled across the gem belowcourtesy of a Greatist post—and I’m determined to give it a whirl sooner rather than later:

(h/t steamykitchen.com)

Tofu and Mushroom Miso Soup

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 2 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes

Tofu and Mushroom Miso Soup Recipe

The recipe is flexible – use whatever mushrooms and vegetables you have. The recipe has options for using Miso & Easy product or regular Miso Paste.

ingredients:

6 ounces tofu, cubed
4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
handful of leafy vegetable, chopped
1 egg, whisked
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
***
If using Miso & Easy:

  • 4 cup s water
  • 4 tablespoons Miso & Easy

If using Miso Paste:

  • 4 cups dashi or vegetable broth
  • 4 tablespoons miso paste

directions:

1. In a sauce pot, bring the broth to a boil. Add in the tofu, mushrooms and the vegetables. While stirring the broth, slowly pour in the whisked egg. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat.

2. If using Miso & Easy: Stir in the Miso & Easy. Top with green onions and serve immediately.

3. If using Miso Paste: Ladle about ½ cup of the hot broth into a bowl with the miso paste. Use a fork or whisk to stir and liquify and soften the miso paste. Pour all of the miso paste into the pot and stir gently. Top with green onions and serve immediately.

If you’ve never eaten tofu before, let me warn you, it’s an acquired taste, and not everyone will be able to deal with the texture or flavor  of this very versatile ingredient.

That said, tofu is known to take on the unique flavor of whatever you’re cooking it with, so it’s quite easy to work with once you get past it’s surface level lack of charm.

I always opt for the ‘extra firm’ variety,  as I tend to use tofu for stir fry, scrambles, and heavy saute’s; even so, there are many types of tofu available, and the main goal should be finding the one that best  fits your needs.

The brand doesn’t really matter, but it may not hurt to invest in a tofu press (particularly if you cook with tofu often) or a cheese cloth to quickly rid yourself of the excess water in which it tends to be packaged (I usually wrap mine in paper towel, set a heavy cast iron pan on top of it for about 30-45 minutes, and then re-wrap with more paper towel before seasoning and sauteing).

Side note: stay away from pre-seasoned and pre-baked varieties of tofu as they tend to have more salt and preservatives.

It can be tough to season tofu to your liking, but if you choose to saute or fry it, you can always marinate it with soy sauce—or sprinkle nutritional yeast over it, if you like a cheesier taste—and then fry it alone, remove it from the pan and allow it to cool, and then add it back to the pan, alongside your veggies, near the end, without compromising its texture.

Anywho, as far as the above recipe is concerned,  it’s definitely nice to start compiling some delicious soup recipes to get you through the cold months—which, believe it or not, will soon be here.

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Living Fit Mommy: Choose Your Snacks Wisely

My philosophy on snack food: keep it simple.

I’m not a nutritionist and I will never claim to be, but I do know what to bypass in the grocery aisle if I want to keep my body operating at optimal levels. So, my rule of thumb, where snacking is concerned: Keep it simple, keep it raw—and when possible—keep it from the garden.

You can find “what not to eat lists” like this one anywhere, but the bottom line is, if you don’t know where it came from, if it has too many ingredients, or you didn’t make it with your own two hands—from scratch—you increase the chance that it’ll have too much sugar, too much salt, or an overabundance of something else that’s not good for your body.

But you have to nosh on something, right? Particularly when the hunger pangs are roaring at you post-workout. So, what do you do?

Well, that’s going to be a personal decision, but I try to keep the list I choose from short and sweet:

1. Greek yogurt

2. An apple

3. Almonds

4. Carrots

5. Celery

6. Banana

7. A teaspoon of Organic Peanut Butter (no salt), something like this one.

8. Something I made with my own two hands— like a protein packed muffin or bar.

9. String cheese.

10. Avocado—as is, no salt or anything added.

That’s it.

I use non-fat Greek yogurt a good bit (Fage is my favorite brand because it has the thickest, creamiest, and most appealing texture) because of its high protein value; and if I want to sweeten it up, I add a touch of honey or a handful of fresh blueberries or strawberries.

Honestly, the less fuss it takes to get it from the source to my tummy, the better.

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