Thursday, December 29, 2011


2011 hasn’t been a perfect year. But they seldom are.

Much of the year was overshadowed by my dad’s cancer diagnosis in February. Luckily, he is doing well at this point, and I couldn’t be more thankful. His illness certainly has been a reminder that life is short and unpredictable and that we can’t count on tomorrow. It made me live life in the moment more, and I made the long trip to visit my parents three times in 2011, something I had previously thought impossible. I also became very much aware (after twenty years!) what a huge decision it was to move to another continent…

I also faced some challenges to continue a healthy and balanced life while things were tough. I’m proud that I continued to stay active and eat well through most of it. But it was certainly difficult and far from perfect. I hope to refocus a bit more on exercise and on cooking some new and interesting meals in 2012.

But luckily in addition to the lows there were also plenty of ups. Here are some in pictures.

Beach 0001

Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year! See you in 2012!

Be well,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Happy Holidays

2011 is soon coming to an end, and I like to spend this time of the year reflecting on life and going back to a simpler life without much technology. I likely won't post again until the last days of the year or maybe even the new year. In the meantime, here are my wishes for you for the next few weeks:

 May you...
 spend your days with those who are dear to your heart
slow down enough to appreciate each day
focus on the "small things"
see this season through the eyes of a child
not worry when things aren't "perfect" 
always remember what this time of year really is about. 

Be well,

Saturday, December 10, 2011

CSA Veggies and Holiday Fun

I’m feeling much better. Thank you for all the well wishes. I think I finally learned to rest when I am sick! I didn’t work out at all for three days and then just went for short walks for a few days. In the past, I forced myself to work out even when I was quite sick, and looking back now, I realize what a bad idea that was…

We got another CSA box. Here is what we got and what I plan to do with everything. As I said before, for me the key to successfully using all the contents in our CSA box is to plan how to use everything right away. Otherwise things tend to get “lost” in the fridge.

  • Apples – I think I’ll make some mini apple crisps
  • Pears – I’ll use one of them in Gina’s Pomegrante & Pear Salsa and the kid will eat the rest (they are his!)
  • Mandarins – lunches
  • Oranges – lunches
  • Bell peppers – stir fry
  • Broccoli – I’ll roast it with some other veggies
  • Lettuce – salad
  • Baby Bok Choy – stir fry
  • Fennel – I’ll roast it
  • Turnips – I think I’ll try “Smashed Turnips” – we’ll see how it turns out…
We also had some holiday fun. We went to the Holiday Lights at Gilroy Gardens (which is free if you have a 2012 membership). It was a lot of fun.

Questions: What are you up to this weekend? There is more holiday fun coming our way. We are invited to a tree trimming party and also plan to check out Christmas in the Park in San Jose (we really enjoyed it last year). What are you doing to stay active this time of the year? It’s a busy time. My goal is to move every day, be it a walk, some yoga, or a workout at the gym. I think it’s important to remember that you can do a lot in just 20 to 30 minutes a day. I often work out at home first thing in the morning these days to save time, but I try to keep the intensity up. For example, the 30 Day Shred is a great way to start the day, and it takes just 20 minutes. If I have a little more time, I like to do Jackie Warner’s workouts, The Dailey Method workout DVD, and various workouts on Exercise TV.

Be well,

Monday, December 5, 2011

Herby Double Cheese Crackers

Life has been busy. I have been fighting a bad cold and have not been feeling well all weekend. Teaching my class today was a challenge. I haven’t cooked much. Apparently, I have also resorted to writing simple sentences. But now you have a short, simple update on my life!

Anyway, last week, I was looking for a super easy appetizer to bring to our friends’ house, and I remembered some crackers I made during the holidays last year. They were very popular and extremely easy to make. I actually prepared the goat cheese mixture at home and assembled the crackers at our friends’ house.

Herby Double Cheese Crackers

  • Crackers
  • Goat cheese
  • Chives, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese
  1. Mix the goat cheese with the chives and salt and pepper.
  2. Spread the goat cheese mixture onto the crackers.
  3. Top with Parmesan cheese.
That’s it!

Yes, super easy yet surprisingly tasty due to the different flavors: nice tanginess from the goat cheese, herby freshness from the chives, and a nice nutty flavor from the Parmesan cheese.

Questions: What’s your favorite super easy appetizer? Feel free to link to a recipe in the comments.

Be well,

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Weekend Fun, An Award, & Weekly Menu

We had a nice long weekend. We decorated a gingerbread house.

We also were lucky as the weather cooperated much better than expected based on the forecasts earlier in the week, and we were able to go to a park and on walks treasure hunts.

Now on to the award. Last week, Melinda from Nutrition, Food, Travel and More awarded me the Versatile Blogger award.

Versitle Blog Award

Melinda is an R.D. and a military wife. I started following her blog when she lived on the Azores, and I loved following along her island adventures. And I always was a bit jealous of the amazing cheese and olive appetizers that accompanied many of the meals she ate there… Winking smile Melinda also did some exploring in Europe and took her readers along on her trips. About three months ago, Melinda moved to Japan and has been documenting her adventures there.

I’m supposed to share seven things about myself with my readers. I have shared quite a few “unknown” facts about myself in previous posts, so I thought I’d share my seven favorite foods with you today (you may know some or even most of them, but I’m sure some are new):
  1. Tomatoes. If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life it would definitely be tomatoes. I would never get tired of them…
  2. Beets. This one is funny to me as I seriously disliked beets until I was about 35. Now I love them, especially roasted or with a vinegar dressing/marinade.
  3. Avocados. Avocadoes and tomatoes go so well together…
  4. Sweet potatoes: Another food I truly disliked for many years but has become a favorite in recent years.
  5. Hot chocolate. Growing up, I DID NOT like chocolate AT ALL. In fact, I got mad whenever I received chocolate as a gift. But recently, I have grown very fond of chocolate, and even more recently, of hot chocolate.
  6. Cheese. I love pretty much any cheese (and always have!) and have to seriously control myself around it…
  7. Radishes. I have always loved radishes, and recently hubby has started to love them as well.
Thank you for the award, Melinda!

And now on to this week’s menu:

Meal 1: Pizza with sautéed mushrooms and onions. I’ll recreate the pizza using TJ’s whole wheat refrigerated pizza dough that was such a hit in our house a few weeks ago. We’ll have a salad with it.
Meal 2: Quesadillas with black beans, avocado, salsa, and Greek yogurt.
Meal 3: Salmon and roasted veggies
Meal 4: Pasta & veggies.
Meal 5: Leftovers.

Questions: What are some of your favorite foods? What’s on your menu this week? What was the highlight of your weekend?
Be well,