How To Eat Healthy At McDonalds

The Only Thing We Can Eat At McDonalds!

I’d now say that 99% of the menu is now completely off limits since we went on the Eat To Live diet – however if you are in a hurry there is one meal that you can get at Mickey D’s which is not that bad – and is nearly just fine for Eat To Live, plus it’s not that expensive.

All of the sandwiches are a definite no-no – the buns are full of white flour and sugar, and maybe half the smallest burger would hit your meat quotient for the day – don’t even look at the chicken, or anything breaded. Or even the designer salads, those are LOADED with bad stuff…

No, pretty much the only thing you can have at McDonald’s, and we’ve done this is:

the $1 side salad, with Balsamic Vinaigrette. 20 Cals for the salad , 40 cals for the dressing that means dressing and salad together is 60 calories, not bad for a $1 (higher in Canada) – that’s lettuce, tomato, carrot – unfortunately no onions or mushrooms, but what can you expect…?

Since they are only a buck, (slightly higher in Canada) you can order 2 or 3 or even 4 if you are hungry. Other than that, the only other options are the apple slices –

How To Stay Fit With The Fitbit Wireless Activity Tracker – Day One

Fitbit Wireless Tracker

We finally bit the bullet last week and bought Fitbit’s for Kitty and I – I’d heard many good things about the Fitbits from a former colleague of mine – he also swore up and down how awesome the Wiithings wireless scale was, he’d show me on his iPhone how he was tracking his weight loss – I figured I needed something a little more advanced that that – so we did some research and got our Fitbits delivered last week. Here is what we’ve learned so far:

  1. There is very little instruction in the box – Apple style you get almost no indication of how to setup and work the thing. You are supposed to plug in the base station and it automatically sends you to a website where you can download and install the sync software. Once you do this – and I had to unplug and plug the base station in a few times for Windows to recognize it BEFORE the sync software could recognize it, I set up my account and was ready to go.
  2. The step tracking feature seemed a bit off – I’m not sure how is senses steps but it looks much too high – I think I may have to reset it or something so will find out more about that
  3. The sleep feature is the most interesting feature to me – you strap it to your wrist when you go to bed and press the stopwatch button, then press it again when you wake up – it then syncs that data and tells you how often you got up during the night and tracks your sleep quality.
So so far I’ve learned that I sleep pretty soundly but way too little (5 hours on average instead of 8!) but my sleep quality is over 90% so I think that’s pretty good. Sty tuned for future posts on the food loggin feature and our progress on these devices – we’ll test them out thoroughly and let you know if they are worth picking up ($99 each for the trackers…)

Make every step you take a step toward better fitness. The Fitbit Tracker shows your real-time activity stats so you know how close you are to your goals. It’s with you every step of the day, motivating you to make small changes that add up to big results.

via Fitbit Wireless Activity Tracker – Overview.

How To Declutter Your Freezer

Decluttering Your Freezer

We have a big problem with clutter and are slowly working our way through it – if you are in the same boat then here is a quick and easy thing to start with – you’ll see results fairly quickly and at least have some sense of accomplishment after a few hours – instead of a whole day or weekend.

If you are like us at all there probably is a turkey in the bottom of your freezer which you bought two Thankgiving’s ago when Safeway had them on sale for $5 a pop. Never fear – starting with your freezer is easy.

First, make sure that you have room in your trash can – its a good idea to do this the might before your trash is taken  – you don’t want things thawing out in there while you have the can full. Next, bring the can as close to the freezer as you can, or grab a plastic bin and have it near the freezer. Have a second bin available for stuff you want to keep.

Now start pulling things out of the freezer. If the wrapping is broken, toss it. If the plastic anything other than a very tiny dusting of frost inside it then it has probably gone off – your best bet is to toss that too.  Sniff each package too – if there is any kind of odor coming off it, its probably gone bad as well – our senses are pretty good for that.

Unless you have a giant cheat freezer, this exercise should only take you a few hours at most – keep taking the bin to the trash and emptying it in until either your freezer is empty or your trash is full.

Put the good stuff back in the freezer, try to set it up so that you can reach everything without stacking it – run it up against all of the walls as required and leave space in the middle to reach down into if its a chest freezer. For side-by-side, just fit everything back in so that everything is visible, if you don’t see it you might forget it again…don’t want to see that turkey in there 2 years from now again, do we?

Pretty soon, you’ll have a full trash can, a great looking freezer, and feel like you’ve accomplished something (A feeling that we have yet to get so far trying to de-clutter our bedroom – that one has been in process for like 3 years now – please don’t call Hoarders on us yet!)

Asian Mama Crisper Cleanup (Tofu Onion Mushroom Medley)

Asian Mama Crisper Clean Up

Kitty’s mom used to, like all Asian moms, whip up dinner every now and then from the random contents of the crisper, so that’s what she did the other night and everyone loved it – even the meat lovers of the group – surprising and pretty damn healthy and low fat.

1 package extra firm tofu
1/2 lb bean sprouts
1/2 lb sliced white mushrooms
1 medium onion
2 green onions sliced on the bias
3 Tbsp Mirin – rice wine
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil

Brown the crap out of the tofu in the pan with the olive oil. Make sure that you don’t burn it – charred tofu is gross, you just want to put a bit of a surface on it – it should be golden brown. Throw in the remaining vegetables except for the bean sprouts, Mirin and soy sauce and simmer until softened, about 10 minutes. Add bean sprouts on top, and simmer for 3 more minutes. Toss everything together and serve.

How To Light Your Way : LED Battery Powered Motion Sensor Lights

I’ve recently become a huge fan of these lights – one day I was just thinking to myself: LED lights are cool because they use so little power, motion sensors are cool because they only go on when they  sense human beings nearby (some of the even cooler ones not only sense motion but also heat, so that you don’t have to flail your arms around every time it goes off when you are in the room – it can sense your body temperature and remain on even if you are just sitting there watching TV or typing up a blog post). Someone should combine these things and while they are at it, make them battery powered so that they can be mounted anywhere, easily in seconds. So of course, someone did it.

There’s a number of different styles, these particular ones are great for outdoor use, they only go on when its dark as well. Others are great for mounting under cabinets, or for lighting dark hallways so you don’t have to flip on any lights if you need to get up and traverse the hallway.

If you as me – this is the future of lighting – compact long lasting easily placeable lighting. Now all we need is some super cool designs and here I come, Dwell Magazine…

Designed for indoor or outdoor use, the Fulcrum 20031-101 is a motion sensor and LED porch light in one compact unit. Equipped with six LEDs, the porch light can detect movement within a 25-foot range and at a 100-degree angle to provide instant security to any area in or around your home. The light also rotates so its cool, bright white light can illuminate all dark areas. To preserve battery power, photocell technology prevents the light from turning on during the daytime. The porch light requires no hardwiring and comes with all necessary mounting hardware. It runs on four C batteries not included.

via Amazon.com: Fulcrum 20031-101 Motion Sensor LED Porch Light, Silver: Home Improvement.

Popcorn & Kale Snack

PopKale!

Here’s a big issue when you are dieting: you want to snack but almost every packaged snack is bad for you, or if its not bad its really expensive (have you seen the price of Kale chips?) so here is a simple snack, fortified with homemade Kale chips.

  • 1 bag of plain or lightly salted microwave popcorn or pop your own
  • extra virgin olive oil, preferably in a mister. You can use the “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” spray
  • sea salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper – optional
  • nutritional yeast
  • crushed up kale chips
    • To make the kale chips, just tear pieces of (washed) kale from the stalk and throw them onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Use a mister to coat them in olive oil (or the ICBINB) and then sprinkle on the sea salt.  Bake at 350 for around 10 minutes or until nice and cripsy

Put the kale in the oven until crispy. Pop the popcorn. Toss it all together and dust with the salt, pepper and yeast to taste, then enjoy. Much. much better for you than that bag o’ Lays. Yes, even the Baked Lays.

Vegetarian Indian Food

Malai Kofta

If you are looking to cut calories but not the flavor, you can’t go far wrong with Indian food – I find that in many ways, the vegetarian options are much healthier and more flavorful than the meat options. You do however need to look out for the amount of Ghee or other kinds of fat in the dish, some of the lesser quality restaurants put in way too much. After trying out a number of restaurants in our area, we found one that was excellent – great taste and not greasy. We’ve been through most of the menu, from Rogan Josh – which used to be my favorite before I got on the Eat To Live diet, to Malai Kofta – which are vege-balls in a thick sauce, my current favorite, pretty tasty. Kitty always gets the Butter Chicken, as mild as possible. Personally, I like mine medium hot – if you can’t stand the heat keep looking until you find a place which can make it to your liking, I’ve been to many place where mild really turns out to be medium-hot!

Vegan Roasted Vegetable Soup

Vegan Roasted Vegetable Soup

This is a great recipe for almost any leftover vegetables – we do this on the leftover veggies from the previous weeks organic veg delivery if we haven’t used them yet, so the combination should be “whatever you have” – this recipe is also super healthy and nutrient rich.

  • Assorted vegetables: sweet potato, celery, broccoli, potato, carrots, whatever you have
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 large onion
  • Veg, chicken, beef, whatever stock you have
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
Preheat your oven to 400. Take all of your vegetables and cut them into 1 inch chunks and put them in a large bowl. Drizzle some olive oil over them and toss. Pile them onto a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper and put them in the oven for 20-40 minutes until they are well roasted. Take out of the oven and let cool. Spoon some of the veges into a high powered blender, add some stock and fire it up – add more or less stock to taste and consistency. Once blended pour back into another pan and keep going until its all blended, then mix it back together in the other pot. It should keep up to a week in the fridge and freeze just fine.
Last time we did this we used some left Pho stock from a Vietnamese place down the street – yum good, but you can use any stock that you happen to have

How To Get A Great Workout – Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed Martial Arts

Our kids were just not that interested in team sports – while all of the other kids got into football, soccer, basketball, baseball our kids were really not all that interested – neither my wife or I really played sports (even though I used to be a huge hockey fan and now can never even watch again for medical reasons – I just get too annoyed when my Maple Leafs just keep on losing 🙁 )  So we went on the lookout for a challenging sport and workout combination.

The cool thing about MMA is the variety: there are plenty of styles of fighting and the conditioning is all over – you don’t get all muscly, just incredibly strong and fit, without all of the negative aspects of something like Crossfit. So its great for men, women, boys and girls…

It just so happens that we live fairly close to one of the best MMA gyms in the US – little did we know that San Jose is a center for some of the best MMA fighters in the world. So we enrolled first my older son at 13 – he was just starting to show sings of being a flabby couch potato (much like his Dad at the time – I’m better now 🙂 ) but now after a bit less than 2 years he is very strong and can easily do something like 7 pullups in a row, something I can only aspire to! I’m hoping to join them at MMA sometime soon for some classes of my own so I can shave off those last 20 pounds as well.

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, including boxing, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay Thai, kickboxing, taekwondo, karate, judo and other styles.

via Mixed martial arts – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

How To Destinkify Gymbags

Powerful Stuff

I’m not even sure that really is a word, but it definitely is something that you need. My kids now both take an MMA class each day – that means a gym bag with headgear, boxing gloves, shin pads, a cup, mouth guard and Gi each. And boy, is it ever a good workout – they get home dripping with sweat and like all teenage boys, a bit ripe. For the longest time, we had a tough time getting the smell out of the gymbags, looking high and low for some solution which works – we eventually came across some sneaker balls which did not look up to the task of destroying the odors emanating from those bags. I mean, you had to drive back with the windows open – if we could have strapped them to the top of the car we would have. But then while we were looking at the sneaker balls we thought – what else is rank? Being a few years separated from diapering duties, we’d completely forgotten about nursery deodorizers, so we picked up a pack of these Munchkin Nursery Fresheners, Baking Soda with Lavender Scent, 5 ct. and thought maybe we could put three in one bag and two in the other and see if it worked. We didn’t even need that many – one of these bad boys in each bag did the trick.