Friday, March 30, 2012

Plank Exercise - Core Strength

So, yeah, I'm a fatass because I won't eat right and I don't exercise nearly enough. My trainer comes to torture me on a weekly basis and he's kind enough to read me the news while I gasp for my life and we berate each other for our horrible drawings in Draw Something.

This is by far the simplest exercise to do and it's oh-so-painful! Let's begin! ::claps her hands gleefully::

First, you must Google "plank exercise". Got it? Now, get on the floor, elbows in line with your shoulders, weight distributed evenly from side to side and across your forearms. Forearms either up or down, hands clenched in fists or open, or you can hold your hands together (I do mine, hands up, palms open). Whatever gets you through the next 5 seconds of your life. Feet position, either in line with your hips or together. I keep mine together. Body straight (keep your butt down!) like a plank and weight should be evenly distributed between your arms and legs. Alrighty then! Do it! Breathe!

If your entire body is shaking and you think you're going to pass out (make sure you're breathing, dammit), you're doing it right! If you think this is too easy, your butt is too far up in the air, this is called PLANK, not PIKE. Oh yeah, see, there ya go.

How I get through these terrible seconds... I breathe, long, deep breaths, regulating them by counting to five on each inhale and exhale (that's about 3 seconds in real time) and clenching and unclenching my hands as a distraction. I used to be able to do a minute, but I'm back down to 30 seconds. Yay!

From your Google search, I'm sure you've seen side plank and other wonderful variations on this torture. Just be careful, push yourself but don't hurt yourself. (Disclaimer because I feel I have to, I don't know crap, I just do what I'm told by my trainer and I'm relating a semi-funny allegory for you). It all pays off eventually. Some day ;)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Poke Bowl - Paina Cafe

Okay, so I dug into it before I took a proper picture. Sorry, I was hungry. This is one of our "famous" poke bowls from Paina Cafe. This is the large size (I usually get the small, but hello, hungry!). Here's the scoops for ordering your bowl:

1) Size (small, large, extra large)
2) Type of rice (white or brown)
3) Type of shoyu sauce (mild or hot)
4) Nori, furikake or none (your free topping)
5) Type of poke
6) Any additional toppings

My bowl is a:
1) large
2) brown
3) hot shoyu sauce
4) nori
5) half spicy ahi poke, half wasabi masago poke
6) pickled onions, seaweed salad

I've made a few posts about this before, so apologies for the repeat, but I'm not going to be totally cruel to my G+ family and make them read all the old posts. Yet. Quiz later, peeps.

Shoyu is Japanese for soy sauce. We put a special blend of soy sauce and spices to drizzle on the rice, it makes it super nom. If you wonder what it is, that's what it is. Nori is dried seaweed with a little salty taste, it's crunchy but as soon as it hits moisture, it limpy-fies; these are the thin black strips that you see scattered on top of the fish. Furikake is a nori sesame seed blend, tinier flakes of nori. Other toppings are pickled onions (sweet, vinegary onion-y goodness), taegu (Korean spicy cuttlefish or cod), kim chee (pickled aged spicy cabbage), takuan (Japanese pickled radish), kyuri-zuke (Japanese pickled cucumbers), green onions and super antioxidant topping called yamakake style (_yama imo_ a Japanese yam that's ground until it's a paste like texture, nori and green onions). I've tried everything except the yamakake style. It's a texture thing for me.

Poke (sounds like poh-kay, not poke like that thing in Faceb**k, or pokey like a cactus) is a blend of raw tuna (ahi), sesame oil, onions and other seasonings. We have a few different types of poke that we serve daily: shoyu ahi, hot shoyu ahi, spicy ahi, hawaiian poke (with limu fresh seaweed, crunchy bits of ocean-y goodness), wasabi masago (wasabi flavor with masago - tiny fish eggs) and other specials that rotate throughout the week.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Homemade Hummus

I love hummus. I was introduced to a lot of middle eastern food when I was at college and lived in Chicago for a summer. Store bought hummus is great but it's expensive. Google a few recipes online and you'll see how easy it is. The biggest expense will be the tahini (sesame seed paste, think almond butter) but you only need a few tablespoons for about two cups. A food processor is a must; this gets pretty thick so I'm not sure a blender will work well. Let me know if it does! This is what went into my hummus: One can of chickpeas, juice reserved Two tablespoon type scoops of tahini 1.5 teaspoon chopped garlic Two teaspoon type scoops of sundried tomatoes in olive oil Juice of one lime Fresh cracked black pepper Whizz everything in the food processor, adding the reserved juice from the chickpeas until smoothish. Taste it before adding salt. Sometimes the chickpeas are pretty salty. I've added cilantro, onions, green onions, lemon juice, olive oil, pine nuts, all sorts of variations. It's kind of like barbecue sauce in the US or ozoni in Japan, every family has their own recipe. I eat it with pita bread or chips, with tabbouleh. One of my friends said he uses it as a sandwich spread instead of mayo. Funny thing is my boss was raving about a tuna sandwich he had that had no mayo. I hope to blog more. My crappy Motorola Cliq XT is dead and gone and there's a blogger app so hang on, more crazy poha on the way! ;-)