Summer Food Go-To’s

As school ends and summer break rolls in, I’ve started thinking about all the recipes I’ll bring back from last summer, and new ones that I’m excited to try.

First, I am definitely making my quinoa bowl. Last summer after my half day math camp, I would come home and make this lunch everyday. The bowl consists of quinoa with spinach, cherry tomatoes, avocado, minced garlic, and pine nuts in olive oil.

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This bowl is very filling, healthy, and bright. Perfect for a long day at camp!

Next, I will be making nice cream! I made a post about it a while back 🙂

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This isn’t my pic, but it’s so pretty!

I definitely want to make some bliss balls for an energizing snack.

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Of course, lots of FRUIT! I also love putting lemon and orange slices in my water.

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I stole this from insta 🙂

I’m also super looking forward to grilling some mangoes! This may sound weird, but mangoes develop an amazing sweetness when there are some lovely grill marks.

What are you excited to make this summer?

With Love,

Serena

A Foodie’s Summer Bucket List

Serena and I officially only have nine days of school left until summer left!!! (Insert “person raising both hands in celebration” emoji). But of course … these nine days are also going to include the dreaded finals week (cue in the groaning).

However, in order to distract myself from my impending fate (I really need to study), I decided to create bucket list for the summer, foodie edition.

But first, I’m super excited to eat my favorite summer fruits again at my own freedom without being “punished” (is that too strong of a word?) by the dining hall’s paltry selection of fruit.

So … I’m excited for …

Watermelon | I love watermelon so much my mom has to buy two big watermelons each week at Costco #noshame

Cherries | despite the annoying pits you have to spit out

Avocados | Whaddya expect?

Bingsoo | These are Korean shaved ice cream with red beans and an assortment of toppings on top. I’ll be travelling to Seoul, Korea this summer so I’ll definitely be eating lots of these. I’ll make sure to take lots of food pics in Korea and share on the blog, don’t worry. 🙂

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This is one out of many bingsoos I had last summer in Korea. The picture simply doesn’t do its justice
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This picture isn’t mine, but this one and the strawberry one in the back are all variations of the popular bingsoo. Aren’t your mouths salivating? Because mine are!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Korean grapes | These are the best grapes. They are somewhat annoying in that you have to spit out the skin and the little seeds inside them, but they’re super juicy and big, I don’t mind!

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Can you see how BIG that grape is???

Mango and Durian | These are together because I’m visiting the Philippines as well this summer. My family lived in the Philippines for three years when I was in early elementary school, so it will be a definitely nostalgic and delicious trip for sure. Mangos in the Philippines are definitely da best. In my memories, I remember I didn’t like Durian but my mom would love them that our car would always smell bad (if you didn’t know, Durian has a naturally bad smell). I’m hoping that when I go back older and with more “mature” tastebuds, I’ll grow to love Durian.

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Even looking at it, I’m still a bit hesitant.

Seafood | Along with going to Seoul and the Philippines, my parents and I are taking my grandparents to Namhae, Korea, an island known as the “treasure island,” but most importantly with good food. My grandfather is a fan of seafood, so I know I’ll be getting lots of amazing quality seafood when I’m around with him!

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Namhae, S.Korea – Now that is just a treat to the eyes

 

 

For the bucket list part …

Try an Acai bowl | These have been all the rage lately and I’m low-key (actually high-key) disappointed that I have not yet tried these. There are two places both in DC and Korea that I’ve been eyeing on in Instagram and I’m hoping I can convince my parents to take me there!

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Acai Bowl from SOUTH BLOCK (D.C.)
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Acai Bowl from Bad Farmers (S.Korea)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trying almond butter/Making almond butter | I credit this to Serena. She talks All. The. Time. about almond butter. I’ve been trying the natural peanut butter in our dining hall and enjoying it, so hopefully this summer I can try almond butter, but also make some as well!

Creating a food instagram account | This has been on Serena’s and my mind ever since we started our blog. Our friends have been telling us to create one because they always talk about how pretty our plates look. What do you think?

Go vegan for a week | Now I love my seafood (as probably shown above) and meat, but I’m curious as to what food choices I have when I go vegan. Any tips from vegans on how to go about this?

 

Ack! Just even typing this blog post up makes me salivate for summer. I seriously cannot wait for summer.

 

What are your summer plans?

xoxo,

Stephanie

 

Healthiness Compilation

I will bombard you with a bunch of healthy things because I (for once) took pictures of a lot of the things I ate! Eye-candy!

First, this beet juice that I made! It was so refreshing and delicious, and it only took a few ingredients : beets, carrots, apples, pears, ginger, water.

Next, an on-the-go breakfast that I had recently when I was running late to classes 🙂

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Chobani greek yogurt (banana+oats) and Chia seed pudding with raspberries and agave

This breakfast was healthy, satisfying, and filling, which is exactly what I needed before a long day at school!

I also had numerous bowls of healthy goodness.

First up, my go-to bowl that I made everyday for lunch last summer:

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Quinoa with cherry tomatoes, spinach, half an avocado, and pine nuts mixed with minced garlic and olive oil.

And then this one:

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I ate this for dinner and it was inspired by all the vegan Youtubers that I have been watching lately. It had potatoes, broccoli, tofu, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes.

I hope you enjoyed those healthy pics! What is your favorite bowl combo?

With Love,

Serena

How My Mom Shaped My Eating Choices

This is two weeks late (as in typical Stephanie fashion) but in celebration of Mother’s Day, I wanted to talk about how my mom has shaped my eating choices.

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To start off, I would say that I was the typical child who would have loved to eat the SAD (Standard American Diet) while growing up. I was that kid who would gobble down those birthday cupcakes or devour bags of chips outside of the house. Now, that’s the key words – outside the house.

It’s funny, looking back now, but I distinctly remember getting into a fight with my mom after school about how we never have any chips or “junk food” in our house. My after school snack comprised of fruits or goguma (a Korean sweet potato that I absolutely love eating plain or blending together in a smoothie!), instead of chips and whatnot like my other friends.

Anyways, she was the one in my family who called juices off-limits – so the only beverages in our fridge have been and still is water and sometimes sparkling water. She never let me have peanut butter. She always bought chicken breasts or meats from humanely treated sources, like Whole Foods. I have never eaten a Tyson chicken nugget, I’ve never been to a Chick-Fil-A, and when my dad took me and my friend to McDonald’s once, the house that night was not a good night (aka, huge fight between my parents)

Now don’t get me wrong, she loves chocolate and ice cream and juice as anybody (actually I think she loves it more than others – she gets cold really easily yet she insists on having ice cream…that shows some serious love), but I think her dedication to keeping her family healthy was made her create those “rules.”

And her dedication paid off. Now I love fruits and don’t crave chips or junk food. However, funny enough, from time to time, I crave ice cream and chocolate – are cravings genetic?

So, although this isn’t the only thing I thank my amazing and wonderful mom for, I thank her for the eating habits and cravings that she has created in me.

Who shaped your eating habits?

xoxo,

Stephanie

 

P.S.: In regards to the question, I know many of my family friends who have immigrated as college students or young adults to America from Korea, such as my parents, have had their eating habits changed after coming to America and encountering the SAD. They mention how their portion sizes have gotten bigger, how they drink soft drinks, or how they eat dessert as a every night thing and not a once in a month thing.

 

The FDA’s Fat Phobia

Recently, the FDA complained about the KIND brand’s use of the word “healthy” on their bars. The reason, they cited, was that the bars contained too much fat to be considered healthy. Currently, 3g per serving of fat is the maximum amount for healthy food. With nuts as the main ingredient for KIND bars, they were not considered FDA healthy. However, after reviewing their complaint, the FDA allowed KIND to use the word. They are also revising their definition of healthy foods to encompass more plant-based fats, like nuts, seeds, and avocados!

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(pic from Well and Good)

The FDA’s dietary guidelines seem to be getting better!

What is your favorite plant-based fat?

Love,

Serena

Summer Health & Fitness Goal

For a lot of girls, summer = bikini body. However, for me this “bikini body” thing does not appeal to me. I would always choose feeling energized, vibrant, and robust while not having the “cover-girl” body over feeling weak and tired and being sickly thin.

I’m not saying I don’t like looking great, but, if I could only choose one thing, I would rather feel great inside than look great.

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image source

With that being said, my summer health/fitness goals are:

 

  • Get rid of the skinny mentality and replace with strong and fit mentality. | This means less cardio and more weight/strength training = >  weight/strength training two times a week + cardio three times a week

 

    • Last summer, I would do 40 minutes of running in the morning, three hours of tennis and some yoga. In other words, cardio and stretching but no strength training whatsoever. I did get my desired “thinness” but I constantly felt weak and tired.
    • This goal is also influenced by Serena – we were talking once, before spring break, of how we get intimidated by lifting weights because 1) we think it’ll bulk us up (which I learned it doesn’t) and 2) we’re scared to lift weights when they’re these buff guys lifting 100 pound dumbbells on one arm each, next to us.
  • Intuitive eating | This is an extension off of my previous post, but intuitive eating is just the same as anything: easier said than done.
    • Serena has been a real trooper about keeping me in check about this. When we’re eating dinner and I say, “Ugh, I’m not even hungry, but I want some yogurt.” She turns to me and says, “Remember, intuitive eating!” It’s such a simple reminder, yet so effective. (I encourage you guys to tell your health/fitness goals to someone you trust or spend a lot of time with so they can remind you from time to time.)

 

As you can see, my summer goal is not for me to reach a certain number on a scale or for me to fit into a certain article of clothing or certain clothing size, but about how I feel and how I perform.

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From my experience last summer where I lost 20 pounds from tracking and restricting my calories to a mere 1200 when I ran two miles every morning and did 3 hours of tennis daily, I was just not happy. When I went to visit Korea, aka Food Haven, I restricted myself so much, that every day was a struggle and an emotional roller coaster. I learned from summer 2015, that life is meant to be enjoyed and that while, yes, it’s important to be healthy, emotional health is as important if not more important than my physical health. For me, if my emotional health is poor then my physical health becomes even poorer.

 

So for all of those girls and guys out there who want to have the “summer bod,” I URGE you to rethink. Having a summer health/fitness goal is great, but make sure that this goal is not about your physical appearance but more about your emotional wellbeing.

 

What are you hoping to accomplish this summer?

 

xoxo,

Stephanie

Healthy Eating “Detox”

Do detoxes really work?

Yesterday, my family and I celebrated Mother’s Day at a pancake house for breakfast, at a fair where we drank a lot of bubble tea, and then in Philly for a midnight snack-eating congee and crepes. Today, we’ll be eating at a Chinese restaurant for dinner.

In between these heavy comfort foods, I tried to “detox”- or reverse the adverse affects of the pancakes, etc. with healthy foods. For lunch, I had a spinach salad with couscous and avocados, then for dinner we had tofu, salmon, and asparagus. Today, I had veggie scrambled eggs, raw vegan bliss balls, a pomegranate, a load of pineapple, a lot of water, and a lovely beet smoothie before dinner.

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This isn’t my picture, but the result looked the same 🙂 I blended water with a beet, a carrot, a pear, an apple, and a small knob of ginger and ran the smoothie through a sieve to result in a juice!

Eating all of these healthy foods and drinks made me wonder if this “detox” was working, or if it was just a way to make me feel better about my diet…However, I did notice that I was feeling a lot drowsier after eating the pancakes and bubble tea. The healthy foods gave me a lot more energy.

So, do “detoxes” (eating unhealthy and then trying to balance it with extremely healthy) work? I can say that the healthy made me feel a lot better-mentally and physically. What do you think?

Happy Mother’s Day to all the hardworking mothers out there!

Love,

Serena

What does “Intuitive Eating” Mean?

My favorite type of YouTube videos, podcasts, or Instagram accounts revolve around the topic food (shocker I know …). Anyways, these days, I’ve been seeing the topic “intuitive eating” on these social/entertainment platform a lot. After watching a handful of videos and podcasts (there’s seriously so many of them that are all readily and freely available to us), I have decided to jump on the the “intuitive eating” bandwagon myself.

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Now you may be asking, what is intuitive eating? Intuitive eating is at its simplest, “Eat when you’re hungry, stop eating when you’re full.”

 

Isn’t that so simple? However, I know from my own experience and obviously from the astounding number of videos and podcasts on this topic, eating intuitively is not as easy as it sounds.

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The Principles of Intuitive Eating … sounds simple, in reality: NOT

When we were babies we were intuitive eaters. I know this because when I eat with my five to seven year old cousins, they don’t have three meals a day. They just eat whenever they want to eat (and also when their moms are willing to cook something for them) which means it could be anytime of the day eating any size of a meal. However, why is that when we become adults, we choose to have three square meals a day? Like where did that number three come from?

 

Serena and I can both attest to getting “food greedy” when something is too good for lunch or dinner that we get seconds despite obviously feeling full. Along this health journey that I took and am still taking, I realized that both quantity and quality matters. However, I’ve been obsessed so much about the quality, that I lost control of my portions. Calories are still calories and if you eat more than you need, you’re going to gain weight. You can still gain weight by eating clean foods. You can still lose weight by eating junk foods.

 

However, as you guys may know from my “Healthy Journey” post, I have decided that my motivation to eat healthy and be active is NOT so I can be a certain weight or appearance. I am motivated to eat healthy and be active because I want to feel energized and happy as well as nourish my body with the nutrients and activity it needs (key word = what MY BODY needs, not what I think my body needs)

 

And this nourishment that I’m talking about is not only physical nourishment but emotional and mental nourishment too. Personally, this means slacking up on my food quality. It means that sometimes, if I want peanut butter, if I want to eat a cookie, I can and have perfect freedom to eat it.

 

So that’s why intuitive eating attracted me. The “diet” (ugh I absolutely despise that word) seems to urge people to listen to their body for hunger and fullness cues. To be honest, I feel like my hunger cues have been so messed up after my extreme diet and weight loss this past summer.

 

But you know what? Just because my hunger cues are messed up, I’m not going to mess them up even more. I’m going to stop and turn around and work towards making myself a more “in-tuned” eater.

 

I decided to write about this topic because Serena and I ran a 5k race “together” (together isn’t quite the right word because she ran a good 3 minutes faster than me). However, after the race, we went straight to brunch and while I was going to straight to the food, Serena paused and said, “I’m actually not that hungry right now.”

 

This struck me because for me, I thought in my head: ran a race = burned calories = able to eat something. While Serena thought: ran a race = not hungry = should I eat?

 

Serena’s logic makes much more sense and “normal.” The fact that my eating has to be justified because I burned x amount of calories is ridiculous. The fact that I stop eating because I know I reached my calorie limit is ridiculous. I mean who lives like that? Life is meant to be enjoyed.

 

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Look…the foods I crave are all different. Some are “healthy” and some are “unhealthy”

 

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This is the beauty of intuitive eating.

 

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Isn’t the color of this persimmon divine?

 

Anyways, summing up this rant, I hope you guys, whoever you are: whether you’re like me who is recovering from an unnatural or restrictive eating lifestyle or someone who is perfectly in peace with food, were able to learn about intuitive eating and the freedom and happiness it can give to people like me.

 

How do you eat? Intuitively?

xoxo,

Stephanie

 

P.S. : If you do eat intuitively, what are your tips to reach intuitive eating? Or do you have any success stories to share?