Lung Leavin’ Day 2015 (Mesothelioma Awareness)

September 26th, 2014 was Mesothelioma Awareness Day and we published one of our favorite articles of the year just two days before. You can read it here. To sum it up, Mesothelioma is a form of cancer cause by exposure to asbestos. It is extremely difficult to know if you have been exposed and those who are diagnosed typically are told they have 1-2 years left to live.

A friends of ours, Heather, has a tremendous survival story that will make even the toughest individuals feel vulnerable. At the same time, it is equally empowering and it shows you that all you can do is stand up to your fears… and CRUSH them!

February 2nd, 2015 is Lung Leavin’ Day. It marks the anniversary of when Heather had her lung removed to survive her battle with cancer. It is her tradition with those who are close to her to write their fears on plates and smash them into a fire under the night sky. We welcome you to join that initiative to stand strong, face your fears, and continue to raise awareness for not only cancer but specific forms such as Mesothelioma. 

If you can’t afford to break plates or are concerned for the environment, please click on the following link and participate through this amazingly designed page. (It’s so awesome I can’t get over it.) Type your fears onto a plate and break the plate in the fire. This is a great way to face your fears in 2015 and become the strongest you have ever been. Share this page on Facebook, Twitter, email your friends… it costs nothing and is a great activity for an even greater cause. 

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The Dangers of Sugar

Weight Watchers. Jenny Craig. Paleo. “Paleo”. No carbs. High fat. Vegan. Gluten free. Non-GMO. The list goes on…

We live in a world full of fads and trends, but we also live in a world full of science and research. We live in a world of trial and error, but we also live in a world where people want to make money. Most importantly, we live in a world where our lifespans are heavily influenced by our lifestyles.

While “fitness gurus” and models will debate with nutritionists and doctors about what the healthiest diet is, the bottom line is that there is no gold standard. We are unique and we have our own goals; our diet should reflect that. Still, there are consumable goods that are usually beneficial for everyone (unless you are allergic) and others that offer nothing but negative health effects. 

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Red Rock Canyon Hike (Topanga, CA)

I am lucky to have friends who are still with me since kindergarten and middle school. I am more lucky still that they have an enthusiasm for food, fitness, and the outdoors as I have too! Pretty awesome, right? So about every other Saturday, Dani California Cooks and Jamie (she guest blogs here on Hungry and Fit from time to time), and I like to go for a hike. Whether that be Will Rogers, Temescal, or Eagle Rock, we are always up for good sights and a tough trail. I also love it that Noke usually gets to come along too! As we’ve said in many posts before, hiking is one of the best forms of exercise, training, and fitness. I will take hiking over nearly every exercise–it just brings a sense of peace PLUS works my entire body.  A few weekends ago, one of us (Jamie, I think?) suggested the Red Rock Canyon hike in Topanga. I had never done it before so I was game!

Make sure to always bring water for the pup on hikes!

Make sure to always bring water for the pup on hikes!

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YouTube Top 5 – Male Fitness Personalities

A little background… I get asked every day by males (14 to 40 years old) about reliable sources of fitness information on the internet. Most of the questions pertain to males on YouTube that discuss exercise, nutrition, and similar topics. Since there are so many channels, it’s extremely time-consuming to keep up with all of them and often, their opinions aren’t the same. This confuses a lot of beginners (and even intermediates) so this list will make your life easier. If you’re going to look to YouTube for some advice, subscribe to these.
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Simply Pho You Restaurant Review (Los Angeles)

Restaurant? In a sense. It’s not the best word I’d use to describe the atmosphere at Simply Pho You on Vermont (just off Wilshire Center–Fit things it’s a hilarious name) in Koreatown, Los Angeles. Tucked in a strip mall on a crowded corner that gets loads of foot traffic, there isn’t any space for outdoor seating. While the inside also lacks square footage, management has loaded family-style tables with plenty of seating. No over the-top-decorations, no attractive hostess at an over-sized station, no wasted space. They just want to serve you food, and I love it. Efficiency bursts out of the kitchen with one of the hardest working wait staffs I have ever seen. The food is well worth the small price you have to pay. Restaurant? Again, not quite. I’d imagine this is what a Vietnamese block party feels like and I have few complaints.

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Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I think I talked many times about how baking is therapy. Not shoving sugar in your face, but the act of baking itself. It’s the act of creation and producing something, I think. Also getting to work with your hands helps too. Bringing several ingredients together to make something completely different is fun and satisfying. The process consumes you so you aren’t thinking about the challenges or difficulties in your life. Also, another great byproduct is the delicious things themselves! However, we don’t want to feel guilty about eating this “invention,” we should instead enjoy them. 

This recipe is based on of this one here. It’s an incredibly easy recipe that’s hard to go wrong (just make sure you measure). It doesn’t take many ingredients, in fact, if you bake often, you’ll probably have most of them in your pantry. Sometimes Hungry doesn’t like when I bake “healthy” recipes, but I’m thinking that this time he did because they didn’t last over 24 hours (and there were at least a dozen of them). Praise to healthy oatmeal raisin cookies! This recipe is a crowd pleaser without making you feel the guilt!

Stiiir it up

Stiiir it up

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How to Get Your Fitness Motivation Back

People who can identify in some way to the title know that going through this is tough. Being a normally active person or simply having a goal to becoming a health nut and not having that drive inside of you hurts. It almost wounds you, if you’re someone who is usually top-notch. Whether it’s due to lack of time, lack of energy, or just plain lack of motivation, it’s depressing to not have that hunger to work the body hard. Since I’m no longer training people full-time, I have found that my fitness motivation isn’t as high as it used to be. When I was training full-time, I was an example, and my clients were my motivation. I appreciated all the hard work they were doing and that, in turn, inspired me to keep fighting hard for my health. Now that I’m not training as much, my motivation dips to what I can do to “stay in shape” or “get by.” This is the worst because just getting by is average and I loathe average. 

It’s not all bad news. There’s light behind those dark clouds. It is possible to get out of that slump and the key is within your own mind. I’ve thought about this a lot recently–how I want to beat average and become my truly fit self again. I’ve thought about what has motivated me in the past or what has really fired me up. Being fit is a very personal thing. Everything is in your head–your goals, your inspiration, your drive, and so forth. Motivation is not universal. I can tell you right now that Dani California Cooks does not get motivation to workout hard while listening to a video game soundtrack like I do (she’s nerdy in other ways). We are all different–and that’s what makes humans so interesting. However, there are some tips on how to tap into your inner drive and motivators and how to get your fitness motivation back. 

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2015 Fitness Test with Gold’s Gym

We’re nearly two weeks into 2015 and you may or may not be on the right track. Your diet isn’t as clean as you wanted. You still haven’t signed up for that new gym membership. You’re so busy getting back to work from the holidays that you barely have time to sleep. No worries, take this fitness test as a wake up call.

Your health can’t wait because a healthy lifestyle is the key to success at home, with family, in school, at work, or wherever you go. Increased energy levels, decreased stress levels, a more functional immune system… don’t those all sound nice. Throw some well-built shoulders and a defined midsection and you’d be feeling pretty well.

As a member of Gold’s Venice, a staff member shot this my way and I must say, I think it’s great. We’ll see what you think about it after you put yourself through these ten grueling minutes of all out exercise targeting every muscle in your body. WAIT… remember, this isn’t made to be a workout, it’s made to see what kind of shape you’re in and what you need to start doing more (or less) of in your life!


The test itself is simple and self-explanatory. It’s an awesome system but I can’t say the push ups, squats, bench step ups, pull ups, and crunches will be quite as much fun.

Click here to take the Gold’s Gym Fit Test

Post your thoughts, or results, in the comment section below. AND if you’re a real go-getter who wants to make the most of 2015, post a video of your test on YouTube and tag our YouTube channel, HungryandFit!

Song of the Sea Review

Have you ever seen Secret of Kells? It’s a wonderful story told through brilliant animation unfolding Irish mythology. Its animation, graphics, music draw you in like little other animations do. Its rich story is told through an enchanting way that makes you love the characters and simply get lost in the “scenery.” The creators of Secret of Kells recently came out with a new movie: Song of the Sea, another story concerning Irish mythology, this time of a selky. As soon as I saw that GKIDS (the movie company) was coming out with another movie, I jumped on the opportunity to see it. With the same rich animation, I knew it would be worth seeing on the big screen. Luckily we have the Nuart theatre who is playing the movie all week. We ate at the Red Tiger and went to the theatre early for good seats and some popcorn. 

Our dinner and a movie!

Our dinner and a movie!

For me, the entertainment value was high. The animation, again like in Secret of Kells, was magical and enchanting. The voice actors and actresses were spot on in capturing a small family in a remote part of Ireland. I particularly loved Saoirse, the little girl who the movie focuses on. Her sweetness and pure wonder makes the world blossom for you as it does for her. You didn’t get to know the characters very well, but that is also how Secret of Kells is. It doesn’t draw too much away from the movie, but it would be nice to have a morsel more of information. However, the characters all have their quirks that make you smile because they are simply them. I didn’t like it as much as Secret of Kells, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the movie.

This movie deserves some Oscars. The layers and depths of the animation in this movie is hard to wrap the mind around, let alone describe in words. As the journey unfolds, there are multiple patterns of animation going on all around the screen. The animators use the graphics and drawings to reveal more about the story and the world without using characters to tell it. I find it absolutely remarkable. It is transfixing and your breath catches when you watch it. 


If there were two “X-Factors” of this movie, it would be the animation and the music. You know about the animation, seeing as I have gone on and on about it, but the music is also part of the enchantment. With the music and animation partnered hand-in-hand, you are transported into another world of mythology and wonder. The animation is incredibly unique in style. The music has roots in the Irish culture (which is already a winner for me). The music is full of song, melody, and rhythm. It sways you and brings you along for the journey. 

Hungry and Fit gives this movie a big thumbs up. If you’re in the Los Angeles area or in an area playing this movie, go see it on the big screen. The music and animation are worth it enough. Get ready to be transported into a world of Irish mythology and a child’s journey to discovering who she truly is. Enjoy Song of the Sea and prepare to have your breath taken away. And as always, stay hungry and fit!

Vegan Mushroom “Stroganoff”

Recently, some friends and I have been having “movie nights” (actually during the day) where we eat and watch a movie. This past time, we all brought food to share. I planned on making a vegan dish that our friend who doesn’t eat cheese or soy could eat. Now, I didn’t actually make it in time for this get-together, but I eventually did successfully complete it! And boy was it worth the wait! I made a vegan mushroom stroganoff. This dish is full of flavor, with the mushrooms giving that depth and heartiness. Since we live in Koreatown, there aren’t a lot of typical noodles, so we used udon noodles! It actually turned out well. Chris has been eating it every day for work, as this recipe makes a great deal of food. Let’s get to it. 

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Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff

Serves 4
A yummy substitution for its beef counterpart

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Prep Time
20 min

Cook Time
25 min

Total Time
45 min

Prep Time
20 min

Cook Time
25 min

Total Time
45 min

  1. 8 oz package of any type of noodle
  2. 1 onion
  3. 1 tbsp olive oil
  4. 3 tbsp whole wheat flour (not all used at once)
  5. 2 cups vegetable broth
  6. 1 tbsp soy sauce
  7. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  8. 1 tsp tomato sauce
  9. 1.5 lbs mushrooms
  10. 1/2 tsp dried sage
  11. 1/2 tsp salt
  12. 1/2 tsp thyme
  13. 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  1. Chop the mushrooms into 2 inch pieces and slice up the onions
  2. Cook the noodles as per directions on the package (undercook them slightly)
  3. Drain and set aside
  4. In a large saucepan, saute the olive oil and onions
  5. Add two tbsp of whole wheat flour and stir constantly for 30 seconds
  6. Slowly add the broth, soy sauce, lemon juice, and tomato sauce until mixture starts to become thick and bubbly
  7. Add mushroom, sage, salt and thyme and stir
  8. Cook for about 5-7 minutes until mushrooms have shrunk and absorbed juice
  9. Add vinegar and continue to let simmer for 5 minutes
  10. Now, add the noodles alongside another tbsp of flour
  11. Serve hot!
Adapted from One Green Planet
Adapted from One Green Planet
hungry and fit

I am very pleased with how this dish came out, and it was inspired by One Green Planet. This is a great dish for anyone and everyone because it’s vegan and has no soy. It holds well for leftovers as well as the mushrooms continue to marinate with flavor. It’s very simple, the only time-consuming part is chopping up the mushrooms and onions, and even then it’s not a very long time at all. I’d be interested to see all types of noodles work with this, so please share if you decide to make it. It’s a perfect winter dish–full of flavor and warmth. It’s even been cold here in Los Angeles with temperatures of 39 degrees in the morning! That is cold for LA, let me tell you. Please enjoy this warm dish and as always, stay hungry and fit!


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