Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Noodle Experiment: Agar Agar Noodles

Before I did low carb I was a rice lover. But now after being on it for awhile, rice just doesn't do it for me anymore. I see it as it truly is, a mere extender. So I've been able to avoid rice, easily.

Avoiding noodles is such a struggle however. yes, I said "is" because I would still have it now and then. When I was in college, I ate instant noodles three times a day. They were cheap, simple and fast and those three matter a lot to a college student. My metabolism must have been better then (well this was like 10 years ago, too) because with this eating habit I was actually at my lowest weight as an adult, 102 lbs! But I didn't like the way I looked. I only have one picture of that time and I think I've misplaced it.

Shiratake noodles have been quite popular in the low carb circle. I tried looking for it here but I couldn't. So I kept lusting after noodles and giving in to it at times. Then just out of the blue I remembered a smart trick that my family's cook would do.

Buko (Coconut) Salad is a very popular dessert here. However coconut can get expensive especially if you want to use high quality, tender and sweet coconut. What our cook, Inday, would do is she would extend it by using gelatin strings. So I asked her how she made them. Since she used gelatin, I decided on using agar agar instead because its melting point is higher than gelatin and I could use warm sauces on it.

I bought one pack of agar agar bar which is 50 g. I kinda tore it up and soaked it in cold water. Then I boiled 2 cups of water and while it was on a rolling boil, I added the softened agar agar (squeezed out all the cold water). I boiled it until the agar agar dissolved then poured it into a plastic container and let it set. once it was set, I used a melon grater to grate noodles out of it.

Now there are tons of sources online about making agar noodles. Mine isn't as pretty as the pictures I've seen but I don't mind. It totally works for my purpose and I will make it whenever I get the craving for noodles.

Please forgive the poor quality of the pictures. I used my phone and I wasn't expecting to post it on my blog. Maybe when I make it next time, I can post step by step pictures.

I've only used my homemade alfredo sauce. When I had it the second time I added some shrimps and scallops to the sauce. It is quite filling and I would definitely keep working on this.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Like It's The Only Pizza Crust Recipe You'll Ever Need

I woke up this morning with a HUGE pizza craving. So I went to my best friend Google and looked for a recipe that I had the ingredients for, easy to make and fast. I found it. It was delicious.

Ingredients (as quoted on the youtube video)
4 eggs
1/2 cup of coconut milk (or full fat milk)
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup flax meal
Add any spices or flavors you'd like to get a tasty crust. You can also cut the crust in strips and use as breadsticks.
I personally add:1 tbsp oregano 1 tbsp basil garlic powder (i don't measure, i just add til i think its awesome)

Tweaks I did

  • I couldn't find our oregano so I used basil, garlic and salt. Next time we'll try without seasoning.  
  • Instead of milk I used 1 T of heavy cream and the rest water. 
  • I added one more egg and a tad more water to get it to a runny consistency. 
  • I didn't have parchment paper so I just made small pizzas and flipped after 10 minutes. I made four out of the recipe and I can only finish half of one. 
  • No parchment paper so I greased my baking sheet with lots of olive oil and used a hamburger flipper to flip the pizzas. They stuck a little bit but that was okay with me.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Comments: Very easy to make and fast. No more grating of cauliflower and cheese. Cheese is so expensive here so I like that I only need a tiny amount for topping. I can actually hold the pizza. It was really good and will make again definitely. I think I've found the only pizza recipe I will ever use.

IMPORTANT: If you don't have coconut flour, don't use this recipe. In other words, don't sub coconut flour with other flours. Coconut flour is a very thirsty flour and the ratio of wet to dry ingredients is very specific to the recipe. If you use nut flours the liquids would be too much.

You can find out more about this recipe from Mark's Daily Apple and from Ben's site.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

BodyRock Challenge Day 3

How did I sleep? What an interesting question. For the past few weeks I've been setting my alarm to go off at 8 am. I hate sleeping late and oversleeping in the morning. I lost a lot of days doing that before. I really want to stabilize my sleeping habits.

So I went to bed at 12:45 am. I know, pretty bad but I was so tired that I almost immediately went to slumberland the moment my head hit the pillow. But then I awoke to snoring. No matter how much I nudged my hubby and begged him to stop it, he was still snoring! After about thirty minutes of moaning, groaning, tossing and turning (in the middle of this I had gotten up to get some ear plugs that proved to be useless) I decided to just get up and start my day. It was 6:35 am. Double UGH!

Despite this I continued with my BodyRock challenge. Even though I've seen a lot of Zuzana's videos, I always thought that it will get easier. But to be honest, her workouts are so intense that even she get winded sometimes. Which is kinda awesome because it means that the workouts will always be hard, even harder. But anyway, I stupidly thought that Day 3 would be easier than say Day 1 or Day 2. I wasn't prepared to be wrong.

For Day 3 I decided to do Balance, Strength and Agility Workout and it's supposed to be four reps of four exercises and you're supposed to time yourself. Zuzana likes to re-do her past workouts to see if she can beat her personal best, hence the timing of workouts. So I did this. I failed horribly. I was able to complete one rep of the exercises. ONE. ONE! Uno! Itchi! ISA! Can you spell PATHETIC? Not only that but between lots of breaks to catch my breath and stop from falling over and dying, it took me 13 frakking minutes to complete ONE rep!

Yo! Working out is hard y'all!

My fitness level is so beyond zero it's laughable. It's the distant cousin of zero that zero hardly ever sees but writes to when Christmas time rolls around. 

The only thing I'm looking forward to is doing this exercise again sometime during my 30-Day challenge and hopefully doing just a bit better. Maybe I can do one and a half reps next time. I'd take that. I really will.

Here's to hoping you're fitness level is better than mine. Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

BodyRock Challenge Day 2

For Day Two of my BodyRock challenge, I picked an exercise challenge on the site. I'm such a newbie to the whole exercise thing (well, generally the whole getting off my butt and doing something other than being on the computer scene) that I just halved the challenge duration. I sure hope I can do better in the future and last longer.

Workout Mode

I did this challenge Hot Curves - Bodyweight Exercise Challenge. Instead of 10 minutes I did 5 with 15 seconds doing the set and 15 seconds rest. I swear to you I wanted to die. The regular challenge is to just do as much as you can in 10 minutes. As you can see I didn't do much. I didn't even bother counting. But calculating it, I probably did ten sets. Horrible, I know.

Then I did the skipping. Actually not skipping since I don't have a skipping rope (one of my rewards if my survive this first week) I did high knees. Ten rounds of 40 second high knees and 10 second rest. I had to pause more than twice. This really made we wish I would just collapse, wither and die.

My Non-Muscles. Wishing for some "guns" soon!

But I survived it. Yay! I'm proud of myself so far.

Monday, March 7, 2011

BodyRock Challenge

Hello everyone!

I am so sorry that I haven't updated in a long time. I've been having some issues personally and mentally and emotionally that I decided to take a step back from all of the low carbing and weight loss and figure out what I want.

It's quite easy. 

  1. I want to walk and NOT have my thighs rub together.
  2. I want to have a flat tummy.
  3. I want my thighs to not look like the huge Chinese hams you get for the New Year's Eve party.
  4. I want to look good.
  5. I want to feel good.
But I wasn't doing anything that will help me achieve any of those wants. I would be very strict and on plan for three days then when I step on the scale and I see that I haven't lost weight or, in fact, have gained, I would lose it. I would start making bad choices food-wise. I started getting depressed and loopy. I'm not kidding. Ask my husband. On second thought, let's spare him my crazy hahaha.

So I had to sit down with myself and really figure out what I want out of my life. Do I want my thighs to be forever rubbing together, looking like a pair of hams in skinny jeans? NO! I have admitted before that I am as shallow as the kiddie pool part in a water park. And as much as I don't want it to be so, my looks greatly affect how I feel. So I guess for my mental and emotional health, I am going to give this another go around. And this time I will be doing it.

No excuses. No results. I have to choose one or the other because it's not possible to have both.

A few weeks back I stumbled upon this website and I really admire Zuzana, half of the couple who runs the site. She is so inspiring not just because of the way she looks but how confident and grounded she is. Now if you Google her, you might find out some things about her past. I did but I didn't care. Everyone has a past, right? So just ignore those. and when you watch her workout videos you might think it's a bit too sexy for a workout video but... well... she can't help it. Zuzana is really sexy. 

Anyway, I adore her attitude and her verve for life. So I decided to include her workouts in my daily life. Now I am such a couch potato. I probably spend up to 12 hours on my butt. I know that's not good, it makes my butt even wider. I started today with her Absolute Beginners workout. It was tough for me, I was sweating so much and had to pause more than twice. But I kept pushing myself.

Here are the videos I did today:

Warm Up

Pt 1

Pt 2

Pt 3

Pt 4

Pt 5

Pt 6


Her workouts are 10 to 30 minutes long and easy to follow. You can really see she works hard when she's doing the workouts, too. She's not perfect and sometimes she pauses as well. I like this about her. Also her accent is so cute.

This is my BodyRock challenge. To do Zuzana's workouts on her site by following her workout schedule. Wish me luck!