Mom Said to “Eat Less, Exercise More”

A forkful of pancakes

Some time ago, I noticed extra weight gain. A panicked call was made to Mom. In a harsh and sweet tone of a voice, she said, “You know how to eat healthy. Now eat less and exercise more,” she continued with the reality of my dilemma, “…if you gain weight now, it’s difficult to get it off… You’re older and the weight doesn’t come off like it use to. There’s no excuse for being fat.”

Some may view the advice as insensitive. Personally, I appreciate the seriousness of it. Why cry about it when the solution is simple: Eat less and exercise more. The following morning, I was up at 6 am for a quick two-mile run. A food diary was started to find potential problems, which revealed large portions of food and too much sugar.

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Parade.com: Clementine and Rosemary Quick Bread

Clementine and Rosemary Quick Bread

Thanks to Cuties, they delivered a crate of clementines to my office. Each one was easy to peel, had almost no seeds and they’re full of Vitamin C. After a few were shared with coworkers, the rest were taken home and pureed in a food processor to be stirred into a quick bread flavored with specks of fresh rosemary. A day after the bread was made, we toasted slices in the oven, peeled a Cutie Clementine and made a pot of green tea. It was healthy and juicy afternoon snack.  Read more

Parade.com: Citrus Orzo Salad with Smoked Salmon

Citrus Orzo Salad with Smoked Salmon

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I ate four slices of my dad’s German Chocolate Cake, half of his sweet potato pie, one slice of my aunt’s famous buttery two-layer vanilla cake with chocolate frosting, and another piece of celebration vanilla cake. Of course, those were just the desserts. The following Monday, I was in the gym running, lifting weights, and stretching my body into redemption. There’s the traditional reason for this type of gluttonous eating during this time of year: The body needs the extra fat to keep warm during the colder months. Then, there’s the modern reason: Guilty am I of being greedy.  Read more

Star Anise and Orange Duck Salad: A Harmonious Lunch Bowl

Star Anise Quinoa with Oranges and Smoked Duck Salad

As a graphic designer, I want my ‘brown bag’ lunch to taste and look visually delicious. Otherwise, I’m likely to toss it in the garbage and pay for a fresher option from a restaurant. Such actions eventually add up to plenty of regret and an empty wallet. Learning to pack lunches take time and practice. When lunch containers reveal a salad of crispy lettuce and colorful, layered ingredients or a fragrant soup waiting to be heated in the microwave, my wallet stays full.

The initial inspiration for packing lunches come from bento boxes with separate containers or compartments. The separate containers help maintain the freshness of the meal (good for hot and cold recipes). Another bento-style lunch is creating a meal in one bowl, in which the ingredients harmoniously enhance each other. Read more

A Sweet Salad of Medjool Dates, Oranges, and Gorgonzola Cheese

Date and Orange Salad

There’s an incredible depth of toffee richness in Medjool dates. They have a crinkly paper-thin skin similar to a sugar glaze. They’re dark honey brown with an oblong shape. The succulent flesh oozes sugar. It’s a fruit tasting like cake soaked in maple syrup. In this salad, dates are classically paired with oranges, and they’re tossed with creamy Gorgonzola cheese, shredded dried coconut, pine nuts and citrus vinaigrette. Read more