Street Food Fail: Zoe Ma Ma (Boulder)

Here’s a quick review of a “restaurant” in Boulder that advertises that they serve yummy street food. It was a beautiful Friday night so we walked downtown and I was even wearing shorts and a t-shirt. We always want to try new food despite having some favorite locations. I had a craving for Chinese a few nights earlier after working out, and this arrived on Yelp, but we couldn’t make it because we didn’t have enough time. I’ll say that it was not the Chinese food that I was in the mood for, or will ever be.

They are right about one thing, it is street food. I, however, did not think that it was yummy. It also cost us $30.00 and did not fill us up at all. I ordered every piece of their three/four piece dim sum menu. They all tasted the same, very starchy and lacking keen flavors (even though one was chicken, one pork and one veggie). Alana ordered a veggie noodle bowl and I ordered the daily special, a duck noodle soup. It was the best part of the meal but still just lacked flavor and was insanely overpriced.

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In the end we have no reason to return. It was average street food at restaurant prices. If you’re in Boulder County and want a good bowl of noodles, go to Kho’s Asian Bistro in Longmont. Health tip alert! (because that’s why we’re here right?) When traveling, have street food (find good stuff!) in small quantities to keep that metabolism working and to try different flavors in a new and exciting place.

Kho's Shrimp Ramen

Kho’s Shrimp Ramen

BONUS KITTY PIC

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Sleepy Sajah

Fast Food Alert! Yo Quiero Taco Bell

After hearing via commercial or a billboard on the road that Taco Bell had a new Doritos Locos taco, with my favorite flavor (Cooler Ranch), I had to try it out. Even though we eat relatively healthy and stay away from most fast food, we don’t mind cheating, if you want to call it that. So, late night one night last week, we drove to the Taco Bell in town for some treats. It’s challenging for Alana because she has a sensitive stomach for low quality and greasy food… and she’s a vegetarian. But she’s a good trooper and more or less went to make me happy.

So I splurged a little and got a Doritos Locos Taco Cooler Ranch, one normal and one supreme, a half a pound chicken and potato burrito, a bean and cheese burrito, and a churro. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any churros so they gave us a marshmallow cookie sandwich and two apple empanadas. By the way, we asked for some hot sauces and they gave us about 10 of each. Let me say that I have no idea what the macros were on this meal, but the amount of fat must have been through the roof.

Our feast

Our feast

Here is the review. The tacos were a guilty pleasure that I would get again, over and over. I probably prefer the non-supreme version. The chicken burrito was one of the least healthy pieces of food, if you call it that, that I have ever eaten. It was a struggle to finish. Alana ate most of her bean and cheese burrito but I finished it. She enjoyed the cookie sandwich, but I thought that the apple empanadas were absolutely disgusting.

All in all, us being hungry and fit, don’t be afraid to cheat from time to time. If you count cheat meals go for that, but feel free to indulge in a guilty pleasure from time to time. Otherwise you’ll go insane and once you have it, you’ll realize it’s not that great anyways. I don’t want Taco Bell for a while, but I was happy that we went. You can see the receipt below, it was cheap.

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You can eat fast food and still stay hungry and fit!

Joe Weider: In Honor of The Creator

If you follow us, there is a decent chance you know who this man (Joe Weider) is. If you aren’t familiar with the name, then maybe you’ve heard of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Maybe you’ve even heard of a few magazines including Men’s Fitness, Shape, Flex, and Muscle&Fitness. Perhaps you’ve tried a Tiger’s Milk bar or some Schiff Glucosamine. You might have even read about the International Federation of Bodybuilders or Mr/Mrs Olympia. You can give Joe Weider credit for most of that.

 
Along with his brother Ben and his wife Betty Brosmer, Joe turned bodybuilding into what it is today. From building his own barbells from car parts, to writing magazines in his teenage years, Joe has done it all. Arnold claims he would have never come to the United States if it wasn’t for the man known as The Creator. Now he might have only stood 5’11” but all of his ideas and innovation could barely fit into that frame. Despite legal issues that surfaced as a result of some supplements not working (don’t buy weight loss pills) almost everything he has done has been golden for the fitness industry.
I just wanted to shortly thank Mr. Weider for providing me with so much. I’ve read his magazines, used his nutritional products, watched the Olympia and dreamed of magically getting my IFBB pro-card in the mail, and followed Arnold since I was a child. You can see in a past post that Arnold has always been one of my most influential figures in terms of my fitness quest since I was young. So once again, thanks, Joe; every time I go in the gym and load my plate with barbells, I’ll do an extra rep just for you.

The Easiest Healthiest Dessert Recipe Ever: Sweet Baked Pears

I really need to cut down on these title lengths. Anyways, to the recipe. I discovered this recipe through a program I work with at the YMCA, called MEND. It’s a free program to fight childhood obesity and change the lifestyle to a healthy one at home. It’s been very successful! During each session, the participants get a MEND “cookbook”–a compilation of MEND-friendly (aka HEALTHY) recipes. This is from there. This is a guilt-free recipe. It’s basically fruit, cheese, and cinnamon. ENJOY!

Finished product

Finished product

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients [serves 6-8 people]

  • 6 pears (if you’re less-hungry people, you can use less)
  • 1 1/3 cup ricotta
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar (or honey)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
  • Wash the pears and cut them into halves

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  • Scoop out the seeds and most of the middle

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  • Put the pears on a baking sheet (no oil required) and put in the oven for 20 minutes
  • Let’s now turn our focus to the mixture. Put all the other ingredients (ricotta, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and agave/honey) into a small-medium bowl and mix! Feel free to taste

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  • Put the mixture into the fridge to chill until you serve.
  • Take out the pears from the oven after 20 minutes
  • When ready to serve, put dollops of mixture in the hollowed part of the pears!

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And that’s IT! Seriously amazing, delicious, and you don’t feel bad eating it because there isn’t any crap in it. This is a recipe I will be frequenting. I whipped it up very quickly after a gym session before we went to a friend’s house for dinner–it’s amazingly simple for how delicious it is. Enjoy!

BONUS KITTY PIC

Someone's sleepy...

Someone’s sleepy…

The Invasion of MMORPGs

Nerd alert post–no cooking or working out in this one. What is a MMORPG? It is a massively-multiplayer online role-playing game. Think World of Warcraft–the most popular and successful of them all. There have always been some: EVE, EverQuest, and so on. But now, big companies and big game lines have really started throwing themselves into this genre. Don’t get me wrong, I used to play WoW a lot, it’s a lot of fun, but my feelings start to get mixed once my beloved game series get involved.

This post is inspired by my playing Skyrim yesterday. I love the Elder Scrolls series, with them choosing different homelands of each of the playable races and being able to experience each one. Skyrim, which is pretty much all snow, is for the Nords. I usually either play as a Khajiit or a Wood Elf. I started thinking how cool it would be when Elder Scrolls finally got to their homelands. The desert land of the Khajiits with endless sand, or the forest-cities of the Wood Elves. How awesome it would be to explore it, especially now with such improved graphics and the ever-present attention to detail Bethesda offers.

My Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim character

My Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim character

And then I remember. Oh yeah, they’re making an MMO. That might mean that there will never be another Elder Scrolls game after that. And that kinda breaks my heart. I know they’re trying to make it as Elder Scrolls-y as possible, but it will still be an MMO. It will never be the same. I find myself wishing that they would choose not to jump on the bandwagon and instead, work on Elder Scrolls VI. Perhaps they still will, but that will be a lot to take on.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic by BioWare (probably in competition with Bethesda for my favorite company ever) jumped at a huge MMO project like this as well. Of course I was excited–one of my most favorite series by one of my most favorite companies, it had to be good. And while I do enjoy playing SWTOR, it’s just not the same as Knights of the Old Republic. I would much rather have another single-player sequel to that amazing series with all its tough choices, exploration, and story than the impressive huge universe BioWare created. But KOTOR is a lot smaller than the Elder Scrolls games, so I doubt there will be another since TOR is out.

naiya avatar sokan

I’m not sure why MMOs are trending so much–perhaps because of the big money gains, the success, and fame? World of Warcraft certainly made its mark on gaming history and will continue to do so. But just because it was wildly successful doesn’t mean that every big awesome gaming company needs to do it. For me, the Elder Scrolls series is truly unique and I love the worlds they create, the attention to detail, and the openness of gameplay that is hard to recreate in an MMO. I hope the MMO format doesn’t kill it, but it probably will.

What are your feelings about the increasing number of MMOs? Cheers!

High Intensity Training [Or: For Cardio Haters]: Treadmill Interval Training

Odd title, perhaps. I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily a cardio hater, but I certainly do not usually enjoy running. Sprinting, sure, but sustained running, no. I’m not sure what it is, whether it bores me, I have poor endurance, or I don’t run properly (definitely a combination of the three). So if you’re like me, or if you just want a new great fat-blasting workout, listen up.

56/365 morning run

56/365 morning run (Photo credit: kharied)

Instead of trying to improve my mile time or extend the amount of mileage in a go, lately I’ve been doing interval training instead. This is perfect for someone like me who is eager for a tough intense workout, but isn’t a huge fan of running for cardio. Using a treadmill for this makes everything a lot easier because you can easily control your speed and monitor it as well.

Treadmill Desk

Treadmill Desk (Photo credit: {platinum})

So go ahead–don’t be scared–jump on that treadmill and get ready for this workout:

25 minutes total

  • Start with a 5 minute walking warm up, but make it brisk–3 or 3.5 mph
  • Now we begin our interval training. Bump up the speed to 5 mph, a light jog
  • After 1 minute, change the speed to 8 mph or something akin to your speed of a sprint
  • Sprint for 1 minute at this pace then slow it down back to 5 mph (or slower if you’re really struggling–but never below 3 mph)
  • Go off and on like this (switching every minute) until your treadmill reads 25 minutes

This interval training is excellent for burning fat. And more importantly–for me–I don’t get bored, because I’m constantly switching speeds and pushing myself hard. It may seem like a long time for such intensity, but it goes by quickly and you will know the hard work you’ve done after. Your body will ache for nutrients.

English: Workout room.

Workout room. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Say you can’t bump it up that high? Or perhaps 25 minutes is just too long for you. Be reasonable, listen to your body, if you need to modify it, do so. For beginners, or people who just want to start smart, extend the rest time (the slow jog or fast walk in between the sprints) to 2-4 minutes instead of just 1. This may be the time you need to help you get all the way to 25 minutes.

And for those who just don’t have the time, simply cut it down farther. But make sure you maintain that speed and don’t cheat. You only cheat yourself. Let us know if you have any questions. As always…stay hungry and fit!

Eatery Review: Piece, Love, & Chocolate

We came across this adorable Boulder eatery while enjoying a nice warm night (compared to the winter we’ve been getting). We were actually strolling around after a dinner, wanting more food (the name is HUNGRY and Fit, remember?) and we stumbled upon this cute joint. I’ve passed it before and always wanted to step in. So we did.

The outside of this adorable place...hard to see but they have little tables and chairs to sit at

The outside of this adorable place…hard to see but they have little tables and chairs to sit at

As soon as I stepped in, I was reminded of my friend, Mary Kateand her mom who owned a candy shop. Same smell, but instead of being Irish themed, this was allllll about chocolate. They had some chocolate brownie samples out (I am the absolutely sucker for samples of any kind, it’s a problem), which were delectable! I may or may not of had more than one–oops. While Chris looked over the goodies, I looked around the rest of the shop–there was so much going on.

photo (7)They had every kind of chocolate you could imagine (some of it pricey, but probably because it’s all homemade) and the whole theme was centralized around the Southern Americas where cocoa comes from. Really a great experience. Eventually, after exploring the little shop (when you walk in, you can see the kitchen in the back), we decided on a hot chocolate for me and two cookies for Chris.

photo (8)The hot chocolate was a mild flavor, free of any added sugars or nonsense–perfect for keeping me warm on the walk ten blocks home. The cookies were also good, we got a regular and a gluten-free, both tasted homemade. We would love to come there when they bake them fresh!

photo (10)So if you’re in Boulder, and you’re out to town on Pearl St. or Spruce, stop by this adorable candy, chocolate, and goodies shop. I know we will again. I’m eager to try more treats!

Cheers! And as always…stay hungry and fit!

BONUS KITTY PIC

Cuddle monsters

Cuddle monsters

Welcoming Spring

Hello springtime, or should I say, I can’t wait for you to come. I still haven’t gotten used to this Colorado weather, and I never really want to. Freezing cold one morning, and hot and sunny a few hours later. Then repeat something similar every day. It just makes it hard to dress efficiently but we have to deal with it. Friday, it was nearly 80 degrees, or felt that way with the sun. We went out at night and I wore shorts and a t-shirt. This morning it was 20 degrees. Not fun.

Alana was so excited to wear a dress on that Friday

Alana was so excited to wear a dress on that Friday

But with all that aside let’s think about what we can look forward to Spring 2013. In our last last post we talked about May’s awesome movie lineup. Also, my favorite… spring cleaning. Make sure you get rid of anything you don’t need. If you see something that you haven’t worn since last spring, you should probably donate it unless it’s very special to you. For every five things I donate, I’ll buy myself one thing. It is my way of downsizing efficiently.

Also we have Easter coming up, which means egg hunts and baskets. But in all honesty, try to take advantage of this season. Now is the time to start getting into shape for summer. Anyone who has been bulking should think about cutting soon. Otherwise, just do some physical activity. A little something can go a long way. This is the season to save your pennies for the summer and holiday season. I don’t have much to say about it, just hope for good weather and take advantage of your time!

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Stay hungry and fit!

Jodi Boylan’s Amazing Irish Soda Bread

So, yes, this is going to come back to Mary Kate again. You probably think I’m obsessed with her…which I kinda am, but it’s cool. Mary Kate and her family really brought me into the Irish culture which I am now in love with so I’m very thankful to her for that. But I’m here to present Mary Kate’s mother’s (Jodi) amazing soda bread recipe. Last year I baked a soda bread (not her recipe) and it came out botched, so I was so so happy with this recipe and it came out beautifully this past Sunday. I take absolutely zero credit for this one, it is all Mary Kate’s mom. Try it out–you will definitely want to save this one!

Jodi (or Joj) with Packie, one of her five children

Jodi (or Joj) with Packie, one of her five children

  • Prep Time: 12 minutes
  • Bake Time: 50-55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour [I used 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup regular–Mary Kate’s idea, came out wonderfully]
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 stick butter [softened]
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup raisins, craisins, chocolate chips [any of the extras you want to throw in]

Directions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease up a bread pan
  • Mix the two flours, the sugar, and the butter together in a medium or large-sized bowl

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  • Beat the egg and then put it into the flour/sugar/butter mixture

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  • Pour in the buttermilk
  • Add the baking soda

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  • Now fold or throw in any of the additives that you want. For my case, I just used raisins. I didn’t exactly just to 1/4 cup, I just sprinkled them on as I folded them in so that there were plenty spread out

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  • Gently pour and spread into the bread pan, making sure it is even so it rises properly

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  • Pop it into the oven (remember 350 degrees) and wait a dreadful tantalizing 50-55 minutes for it to bake.

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And there you have it. A simple recipe, but an absolutely scrumptious one. I found myself wanting more after Chris and I finished the leftover loaf that Monday. This delicious soda bread does not require St. Patty’s Day for it to be made, make it any day for a delicious, semi-healthy treat! Give your thanks to the wonderful, beautiful Jodi!! Cheers!

Yummm

Yummm

Movie Review: Oz The Great and Powerful

It’s Saturday morning and we are thinking about how little we have gone to the movies this year. Luckily, Disney provided us with a new option, Oz The Great and Powerful starring James Franco and a trio of Hollywood’s finest and classiest ladies. We took advantage of a morning showing in 3D at 10:55 a.m.

 
Alana said that she saw The Wizard of Oz (1939)… so have I and everyone else in the world. I have also seen Return to Oz (Creepiest movie ever), The Wiz, and have read a few of the earlier books in the series, before Princess Ozma gets to comfortable on her throne. So, of course we know something about the story. Neither of us has seen Wicked, but I know all the songs thanks to my brother.

Without giving any spoilers, it was two hours that felt just about two hours long. There weren’t any scenes that were a total waste in my opinion. Everything contributed to the development of the story and the characters. It shared many similarities to the stories and changed some details without altering the story too much, with the exception of developing relationships between certain characters that we never really saw before. It has been 113 years since the first book was published so it’s not unreasonable to say that it could use some modernization. Gilbert Godfried might have fit the original Oz’s description more accurately, but James Franco created a solid character by the end of the movie.
The visual effects were sufficient and sometimes awesome, Danny Elfman brought a stellar soundtrack as per usual, and Michelle Williams provided the best performance of anyone in the film (in my opinion) as the witch that she was. There were small details that I appreciated, such as the parallels drawn between Oz’s world in Kansas and his world in Oz.

All in all, I enjoyed this film. It started very slowly but James Franco and the cast turned it around by the end. Alana was not as pleased with the film due to her lack of positive feelings for Franco. I read that Michelle Williams signed on for a sequel so I am excited to see in which direction they take L. Frank Baum’s magical series. Disney rarely fails.
On a side note, we’re looking forward to a strong movie showing in May, with back to back to back weekends of: The Great Gatsby, Iron Man 3, and Star Trek Into Darkness.

Stay hungry and fit.