the balance of life

Life is challenging, yet so rewarding with the right balance. It’s hard to be great at work and make time for the home.  It’s hard to be a great parent and still make time for your friends, and it’s hard to be healthy and still make time for fun.  Juggling everything is difficult but it’s absolutely necessary to have a full, happy, and balanced life!  Things can get a bit out of hand sometimes, I’m speaking from personal experience.  These past 8-9 months for me have been crazy.  I moved back from Singapore to L.A., sold a house, bought a new house, bought cars, renovated the house, moved 4 times, furnished an entire house because we didn’t even own a fork and had left everything behind in Singapore, planned a 5 day wedding from overseas, was looking for a job, dogs in and out of the hospital, and while still staying in shape (actually got into better shape), and ate as healthy as I have ever before.  The past months have been a real test for me, but I survived and feel very accomplished and overall I just feel great.  Trust me, I cried a few times along the way (cry baby I know), but overall I just feel great!  And since I’ve been back from the wedding (wedding blog(S) coming up soon) I had a bit more time to spend in the kitchen so here I share some healthy eats/drinks I’ve recently had/made to help keep your diet balanced!

Miso glazed chilean sea bass with cauliflower and carrot mash

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For the miso glaze I mixed in two tablespoons of miso paste and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce.  I also added in a about a teaspoon of ginger, brown sugar, sesame seeds, and salt and pepper to taste.  If you want it a bit sweeter you can always add more sugar.  Give it a good mix and keep tasting until you get the flavor you like.  For the the sea bass (you can use salmon or cod as well) I put in the broiler with salt and pepper and about 3-4 minutes before the fish is done I added on the glaze all around the fish.  I did a few coats because I wanted it to really soak in the flavor.  I also turned up the temperature a bit on the last minute because I wanted a nice sugary char on top.  The amount of time to cook the fish varies depending on the thickness and size.  My fish was really thick so I cooked it for about 13-15 minutes.

For the mash I roasted a entire cauliflower cut into pieces, two handfuls of baby carrots, and about 5 cloves of garlic.  I covered everything with extra virgin olive oil and seasoned it with salt and pepper.  You’ll know when everything is ready when you can pierce it with a toothpick with no problem.  After it was all cooked I took it out of the oven to cool slightly before placing it into the blender.  I added in skim milk and low fat greet yogurt and just blended everything together.  Once again add salt and pepper to taste, and since it’s so thick you’ll have you give it a good jiggle! or add more liquids as needed.  I think I used about 3/4 cup of skim milk and same with yogurt.  If you want it to be more flavorful use half and half instead of skim milk and add in some butter!  Unfortunately butter always does make things better, but I was trying to be healthy so I did not get the rich fattiness in the mash.

Baked alaskan salmon with a goat cheese, cranberries, apple, and walnut salad with a balsamic vinaigrette.

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This meal is perfect for the day you don’t have allot of time.  I bought everything at Costco so I even cooked some extra salmon and gave it to the boys (my two gorgeous poms).  The salad I bought pre-packaged at costco as well, so if you want to be healthier don’t use their dressing and just add in some balsamic vinegar instead.  The salmon I seasoned with salt,pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.  I did not add any oil because I thought their was enough oil coming from the salmon since it is a naturally fatty fish.  I baked it for about 13 minutes (I like it a big rare in the middle) and done!

Yogurt marinated chicken breast

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This recipe is good to prepare the night before because it needs to marinate.  I used two chicken breast and about 1 1/2 cups of low fat greek yogurt.  In the yogurt I combined fresh chopped garlic, tarragon, salt, pepper, basil, and juice of one lemon.  Once again before you mix the yogurt with the chicken, give it a good taste and make sure the flavors taste good to you.  Keep in mind to not add too much salt because once it marinates and gets cooked the salty flavors will be more obvious.  Salt is something very easy to add in but once you add too much its more difficult to reduce the saltiness.  I ended up serving the chicken with some left over pasta salad, but you can always serve it with a side salad and some whole wheat pita bread!

And after cooking and cleaning, I like to take a hot hot shower and give myself a mask!

RAWR……. so sexy… =)

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and tah-dah!

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Absolutely zero makeup here!  I am definitely an obsessor over nice skin!  And although I love my facials and La Mer, great skin starts with a great diet!  I drink tons of water, and tons and tons and tons, and tons of green juices!  I promise you that will make a significant difference in the appearance of your skin.

I’ve also been obsessed with chia seeds lately!  I bought some at trader joes and I’ve been adding it in to allot of my drinks

Last week I blended watermelon juice with frozen strawberries and added in chia seeds for additional protein and the many many health benefits of chia seeds in general.

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When I don’t have time I just add them into my favorite pre-bought, no sugar added, non pasteurized beverages.

Like my favorite coconut water.  I promise you this is the only one that I know of that taste like it’s straight from the coconut! Remember to let the chia seeds soak for 10-15 minutes before consuming.

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And here is turmeric based juice I bought from a juice bar.  Turmeric is great for when you feel a cold coming through.  I thought I was border line going to get sick so I bought this instead of my regular greens.  You’ll like turmeric if you like ginger, it’s very spicy!

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And as a treat to myself I baked some good ol’ chocolate chip cookies.  I’m in search for the best chocolate chip cookie recipe in the world!!!!!!!!  I spent hours online finding a base recipe for me to tweak and also reading peoples comments on what makes a good cookie.  I always felt like my cupcakes were really good but my cookies were very average.  I know it’s a bit odd that someone who is so health conscience also loves to cook and bake so much!  But I am a foodie at heart and really enjoy being in the kitchen.  Like I said, life is about balance.  I can’t be at the gym and eating healthy 24 hrs a day!

Here is my first attempt.  I still think I’m going to tweak some things before I post a final recipe.  But the key changes I’ve made to make such a fluffy and chewy cookie was browning the butter first, refrigerating the dough for at least 2 hours, using room temperature eggs,  using two types of chocolates (valhorna chocolates and nestle), and adding in corn starch.  They were fabulous, but they can still be better for sure!

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and now that house and wedding are done!  I’m going to get myself on a weekly blogging schedule!  So please check back soon!

~ helen su

One Response to the balance of life

  1. chris says:

    thats very imformative ,,even for a guy ..i am going to try the watermelon shake !! sounds great .
    Cheers
    Chris

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