Miss Chinese New York 2013 – Part 9

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Rewind to the morning of July 1st, 2013…

The trip I’ve been waiting for and the ultimate motivation for joining the pageant is finally here! I am getting picked up by the car service in front of my building at 7AM for my international flight at 12:30PM. Looking at the itinerary for the 50th time, I still can’t believe this trip is actually happening.

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Cab gets to the airport and I spot my pack immediately. A huddle of young girls wearing pick tank tops and black tights with a white, somewhat see-through hoodie. Yep, that’s us. I’d like to think I’ve mastered the art of packing light. I only brought with me a large suitcase and a small carry-on sized luggage along with my pink Nike gym bag for 2 weeks worth of non-stop activity and shows. And luckily we’re all tough girls who can carry our own bags, or rather we had to.

IMG_9776_副本After checking in our suitcases, we arrived at our terminal and took over a row of seats, no shame. With not a moment to spare, pictures and selfies commenced and here we are as a group sitting by the window. Yes, that’s me with the large, nerdy, rectangular-shaped glasses. Thanks to my LASIK surgery, no more glasses for life, yay! Also, for some reason, I look like I’m 10 years old in this picture. Except not the me at 10 since I was definitely considered an overweight child…

LAM_3011Boarding was as hectic as usual with girls eagerly swapping seats and settling in while I was too tired to care and just wanted to sit and pass out. I always have this thought cross my mind which is, my flight to America for the first time at the age of 9 seemed to have lasted for an eternity. Never again did I feel that way about another flight. But it was also the first time I’ve been stuck in a transportation device for over 10 hours…

Finally, we got to stretch our legs in this gigantic Beijing airport. Single and double file ladies! We did get a lot of stares, even someone ask if we were the national women gymnast or tennis team, haha!

IMG_9979_副本imagesAfter a short transfer stop in Beijing, we boarded a second plane that took us to Xian. Xian is one of the oldest cities in China and is now the capital of Shanxi Province. Xian, used to be called Changan, is one of China’s four great ancient capitals. I have always wanted to visit the city, but never had the chance while living in China for 9 years. Now finally, I got the chance!

Full speed ahead with smiles and laughter!

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[To be continued…]

Brushing Your Teeth Can Prevent Munchies

Cravings are not always for the flavor, sometimes it’s just the urge to chew and munch. For this reason, I can easily go through a pack of gum in a week in order to combat that urge. On the other hand, I also turn to gum, feeling self-conscious and worrying if I have bad breath from something I ate earlier.

I used to sneer at the odd person that takes her tooth brush and tooth paste into the girls bathroom after lunch hour. Now I realized she’s quite a genius! I picked up this habit about a month ago with a small tube of tooth paste and a cheap tooth brush, which I leave in my desk drawer.

Since I associate brushing with “no more food”, the action of brushing amazingly gets rid of any remaining food cravings after perhaps a less than satifactory lunch. I am also self-assured because I know my breath smells minty fresh and looks sparkling clean. Double WIN.

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I also like to sip on a cup of hot green tea after I’ve settled down at my desk post-brushing. The tea gives me just enough caffine to help me focus my attention on the act of working. Additionally, green tea also aids with digestion and is packed with antioxidants. Happy brushing and tea sipping!

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Delicious (Somewhat) Healthy Finds

I’ve been doing a lot of shopping at Trader Joe’s lately and I made some delicious discoveries that’s somewhat healthy.

These dark chocolate covered edamame is both sweet, crunchy, savory and packed with protein (not to mention a lot of sugar and fat).  These can be great treats, if you can limit yourself to 5 pieces each time!

Ezekiel sprouted bread is pretty tasty but the bonus is that at 80 calories per slice, it contains 4g of fiber and is considered a low glycemic food. I can be a healthier alternative to bread. The taste is a bit on the chewy and drier side, but who doesn’t like chewy bread?

These dark chocolate bars with 85% cocoa are packed with chocolate flavors. I’m happy to report that it’s low on added sugar, but taste very sweet for some odd reason. I love that it comes in 2 packages of thin chocolate bars cut into 16 mini pieces. That can last me a month if I only eat one piece each time. It’s also economically sound at only $2!

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These coconut chips are seriously addicting! If you’re craving that crunchy texture of chips, this is the perfect snack with a healthy dose of coconut fat and meat. While potato/rice chips have zero nutritional value, these chips are actually good for you. Despite the packaging, you only get about a handful of chips, so eat sparingly!

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I don’t know why dried prunes get a bad rep, but they are seriously delicious and helps regular bowel movement. Just don’t eat too much if you know what I mean… Each prune is moist and chewy, filled with sweet goodness.

91D6wK0qXYL._SL1500_Last, but not least, eat with CAUTION and RESERVE! Other than that, happy rewarding yourself! 🙂

 

Drastic Measures

OMG, IT’S ALMOST SUMMER.

IF ONLY…

Panic set in about two months ago and it was when I realized I have truly LET MYSELF GO. How the heck did that happen? Winter fat has got to go!

Goal, check.

Plan, check.

Execution, check.

Result, check! I can happily report I have lost 5% body fat (plus about 7lbs) in the last 1.5 months thanks to my ULTIMATE slimmed-down routines. The key: dedication is a must!

1. Calorie Cutting

First, always keep in mind: A net of 3600 calories is equivalent to 1 pound.

Daily food intake – normal daily routine – exercise = net calories

This is the basis on which everything else in my routine is built upon.

2. Carb Cutting

No more bread, pasta, rice! This somewhat resembles the paleo diet with the addition of  3 additional rules, no processed food, no food with added sugar and portion control. Of course makes life very difficult, especially in New York. This lead to a lot of turned down meals out, drinking and staying out late.

On a typical day, I drink a 20 oz smoothie. It keeps me full and since work usually distracts me from thinking about food, I don’t realized I’m hungry until noon. But by noon I am starving. Lunch is strictly salad, with white meat. When I have time, I make turkey meatballs or eggplant stuffed with ground turkey. Other times I just buy the store-bought already cooked chicken breast. (Interesting fact: baby carrot is actually just regular carrots cut up into smaller pieces). Dinner is usually around 7 and by then, I make sure to eat very little. lots of fruit and yogurt. Dinner is berries and yogur, which is basically sugar, fiber and water. The first day or two is not hard, it gets harder toward the end of the week. It’s only seeing results after 2 days that keeps me motivated.

3. Late Night Cutting

I always complain about not having enough time in the morning to work out, which is actually the best time and most effective. Waking up at 6:30AM was unthinkable for me even half a year ago. Now, I can’t sleep past 7. I get enough sleep and I now have the time for a quick workout in the morning.

4. Cardio, Muscles, Flexibility

I work out for at least 20 minutes each time, twice a day. My workouts range from weight training, running 2-4 miles, or hot yoga at YTTP. By gaining muscles, you can speed up the process of fat burning. Hot yoga helps with detoxing through sweating, and I mean lots of sweating.

5. Rewarding Yourself

Schedule cheat meals/days. Our ancestors often undergo periods of food shortage and low calorie intake, but followed by gorging on large meals after a successful hunt. Carb loading isn’t a bad idea, especially when I notice I get a lot more energy for working out afterwards.