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Current Favorite Ab Circuit

November 13, 2014

So lately I’ve been eating a lot of fruit ^_^. It just makes me feel so satisfied. In my previous post, I talk about what fruits I am currently obsessing over and why they’re so amazing for us!

With only 14 days left before Thanksgiving and 42 days left before Christmas, I feel indulging on fruit is a great way keep our tummies slim before the big feasts ^_^ But what else?

Ab training!!!IMG_1927Lately, I’ve been doing an ab circuit after my weight training or cardio session. I feel that my abs aren’t as strong as I’d like them to be so in order to improve them, I train them just as hard as I would with any other muscle. What are your favorite ab workouts? Here are mine ^_^

Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging from a secure bar, I lift my legs to crunch middle, left and right side making sure I engage my obliques and my abs.

3 sets of 15-20 reps

Russian Twists

Using an 8 pound medicine ball, I face forward at all times twisting only my torso to the left and right maintaining control and make sure my ab muscles are engaged. (Tip: Don’t hold your breath!)

3 sets of 20 reps (10 twists on each side)

Medicine Ball Leg Raises 

While laying down on an exercise mat, securely hold a medicine ball over your head and stretch out your arms and legs. Crunch upwards keeping your arms straight and raise your feet to the medicine ball. Lower your legs and upper body to the starting position.

3 sets of 20 reps

sandy and fiona

I spy a poodle hehe ^_^. Happy training!!!

XO,

Sandy

Blog Food Lifestyle

Snow Lotus cured my Tummy

October 13, 2014

A few months ago, I had extreme abdominal pain. It was so painful I couldn’t do ANYTHING. =-(. You can find the article here.

And stubborn me didn’t want to go home to mom so I tried to suck it up and cure myself. No luck…

About a week later… I finally gave in and went home because sometimes mommys know best and sure enough…

She said she had just bought some “Lianghe” and it is suppose to be really good for the stomach + lots of collagen. So later that evening, she made it into a herbal soup and added gogi berries during the last 10 minutes of simmer time.

It was very chewy and gooey lol. The image above is what it looks like in its dried form (how most herbal medicine ingredients come) and the below image is how it looks when it is has been soaked/cooked for a few hours (usually about 3 hours).

So of course right after I ate it, I did my research.

Here is what I found:

According to Qi-Journal, the Snow Lotus Flower

“is extremely rare and precious. It comes from one of the most remote areas of Asia. Snow Lotus has a general health promoting effect. It regulates the functions of different organs. In particular, it improves the immune system, prevents internal and external diseases, improves adaptability, and eliminates body toxins. Snow Lotus is anti-aging, strengthens the body, preserves youthfulness, and helps with all kinds of diseases. Snow Lotus calms and eliminates wind, smoothes Liver function, sedates rising Liver yang. It replenishes the Yin, strengthens the Yang, tonifies the blood, strengthens the sinews, relieves swelling and pain, improves blood circulation, removes blood stagnation, is said to remove sludge from the blood vessels, and promotes longevity. It clears away heat, toxic material and dampness. It is extremely rare and precious. Though it is equally beneficial to men and women, Snow Lotus has been the favorite herb of female Daoists and Qigong practitioners for many centuries.” 

But most importantly, it helped me with my

  • Digestive Disorder
  • Stomach Ache
  • Inflammation
  • Peptic Ulcer
  • Indigestion

You can find the complete list here.

Now I’m sure you guys are wondering where to buy this. Right now, my mom purchases it per pound (around $50) at a Chinese herbal medicine store in San Gabriel Valley. If you are interested in some, shoot me an email (mssandylieu@gmail.com) and I will make sure you get some ^_^.

So the question now is… did it work?

YES! 

snow-lotus-

After taking it for about a week, my stomach pains were gone. The slimy, gooeyness actually coats your stomach and slowly heals it. I am all about healing our bodies naturally so I HIGHLY recommend the Snow Lotus Pod for those of you that have digestive issues or are prone to ulcers like me.

Let me know if you have any questions. I will be more than happy to help!!!

Xo,

Sandy

 

Blog Food Lifestyle

What is “Kei Chi?”

October 7, 2014

Growing up, drinking herbal soup was a must after dinner. I was always curious what it did for me, but all my mom said was…

It’s good for you. Drink it.

The taste never bothered me so without asking questions, I drank it. But as I got older, I began to question everything, especially those little red berries floating in my soup.

So what are those little dried red berries that have become so popular recently (in Western Culture) and what do they do?

In Chinese, they are called “Kei Chi” also known as, Gogi Berry.

Golgi Berries have been used for thousands of years in Tibet and China as a culinary ingredient and medicinally. (My mom always told me it was great for my eyes). They are native to the Himalayan Mountains of Tibet and Mongolia. Sooooo what is their purpose???

Here is a list I gathered ^_^

  • Golgi Berries contain all essential amino acids
  • Naturally high in Vitamin C & Vitamin A
  • Contains 21 trace minerals (iron, calcium, zinc, selenium, etc.)
  • More than 12% of daily fiber
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Anti-Bacterial
  • Anti-Fungal
  • Boots immune system
  • Help with liver & kidney meridians such as lower back pain, dizziness and eyesight.

So now it makes sense why my mom put them in her herbal soups! ^_^. The ones she buys come from asian markets, but my favorite is this one. Who else loves gogi berries?

Xo,

Sandy

 

Blog Food Lifestyle Recipes

Roasted Dill Potatoes

October 4, 2014

Who loves potatoes?! I DOOOOO! Especially when they are Teeny Tiny Potatoes!!! LOL ^_^

I love creating new recipes when I’m in the kitchen. Most of the time I just look in my cabinet and create it on the spot. Sometimes it turns out crappy but sometimes it comes out quite lovely hehehe but hey that’s what make cooking fun right? 😉 I have to say this recipe was pretty awesome and very easy to make ^_^.

Ingredients
  • 1 lb (454g) Teeny Tiny Potatoes (I got these from Trader Joes)
  • 1/2 chopped Sweet Yellow Onion
  • Fresh Dill (I used about 3 sprigs…enough to sprinkle all over your potatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place potatoes in a medium size pot of water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, about 10-15 minutes. Drain.
  3. Transfer potatoes to a baking tray, add chopped onions, fresh dill, and mix in the extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper (I typically just use a pinch or if you have a grinder, grind it all over).
  4. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until onions are golden brown. If you like them a little crispy or extra cooked like me, turn the oven on broil for the last 5 minutes.
  5. Serve and ENJOY!!!
 I divided my potatoes into 4 servings and served it with 4 ounces of marinated chicken breast and sauteed spinach. Let me know what you think ^_^.

Xo,

Sandy Lieu

 

Blog Food Lifestyle Recipes

Strawberry Pineapple Smoothie

September 29, 2014

So lately I’ve been craving fruit… A LOT of it. Since I didn’t feel like going to the grocery store or going out to get one, I decided to create one with what I have at home. I opened my fridge, freezer and pantry to see what I had.

Frozen pineapple, frozen strawberries, fresh apples, fresh oranges, rice milk, honey, stevia, agave.

I grabbed the frozen pineapples, strawberries, an orange, rice milk and honey. But just to be safe, I wanted to google a recipe. Most of them had bananas. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any bananas. Booo…

So I decided to just use what I had and YEEESSSSSS it turned out AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!! Here is the recipe.

All these ingredients came from Trader Joes.

Let me know what you think ^_^

Strawberry Pineapple Smoothie
Prep time:
Serves: 1 Serving
Ingredients
  • 1 cup frozen pineapples
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 orange (juiced)
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla rice milk
  • 2 tablespoon clover honey (can substitute with stevia or you choice of sweetener)
Instructions
  1. Add the pineapples, strawberries, juiced orange, rice milk and honey into the blender.
  2. Blend on high power until smooth and creamy. If you like it more creamy like me, add a tab bit more milk (so about 1.25 cup of rice milk).
  3. Pour mixture into glass and ENJOY! 😀
Blog Food Lifestyle Recipes

Mouthwatering Raspberries

September 18, 2014

Who loves FRUIT?!?! I love ALL fruit ^_^ but since raspberries were on sale at Ralph’s this week (2 for $4) I choose raspberries hehe. Have you ever encountered a batch that wasn’t so sweet? You know you have… >_<

For those of you that have stomach sensitivities like me, add Stevia on top and ta-da! Problem solved!!!! Hooray!!!

Ingredients
  • Fresh Raspberries
  • Powdered Stevia (or preferred sweetener)
Instructions
  1. Place raspberries in a bowl
  2. Sprinkle with stevia
  3. Enjoy!
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Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 60 Fat: 1g Saturated fat: 0g Carbohydrates: 14g Sugar: 6g Sodium: 0mg Fiber: 9g Protein: 1g
Blog Food Lifestyle

Our Digestive System

September 18, 2014

Growing up, I’ve always had a sensitive stomach. Dairy was always a no no and when I get too stressed out, I get ulcers. Booo…

A couple months ago, I had my stomach pains that were out of this world. At the time, I had just gotten off contest prep and according to My Fitness Pal, I was eating about 50% protein, 30% carbs (in which majority of that came from veggies), and 20% fats. I had no idea what was going on.

So since I wasn’t feeling well, I just thought… maybe I’ll just cut out carbs and reduce my protein intake.

Next day. Same thing. Still bloated and pains in my abdomen. >____< I asked myself what I ate. 

Eggs, chicken, fish, broccoli sautéed with onions and garlic cloves in olive oil, cucumbers…

Wait… duh… it must be the broccoli cause of the fiber! And me being me, I googled. 

“Why does broccoli causes gas and bloating?” lol

Somehow that lead me to googling Digestive Health Issues, which lead me to leaky gut syndrome, IBS, Peptic Ulcers, Candida, etc. 

Basically what it all came down to… all of the above. The thing that triggered my pains came from the garlic AND onions + stress = ulcer. BOOOOOOOOO =-(

Devastated. 

My good friend David Katcef once told something I would never forget.

“70% of your immune system is in you gut, ~90% of your serotonin, ~50% of your dopamine.”

Ever since that day, I learned how important it was to keep our gut/stomach healthy, especially alkalized. We do this by eating lots of veggies and if veggies isn’t your best friend, something I love to do before my first meal is take some sort of superfood greens. You can find these at any local organic health food store. (I love mixing one scoop with stevia ^_^. Makes it easier to drink hehe).

Now there are many layers to this post. I will discuss in my next post what I am doing to heal my tummy. In the mean time, happy training, stay focused and never give up on your dreams. I believe in you.

Xo,

Sandy Lieu

Blog Food Lifestyle Training

My Breakfast + Training

July 13, 2014

Who doesn’t love breakfast?! Growing up… I never ate eggs, sausage, ham, pancakes, etc. Crazy right?! My parents were born into a family of farmers in Vietnam, so when they migrated to the states, they grew their own crops. We typically had a traditional Asian cuisine for breakfast that consisted of white jasmine rice, some type of protein (normally chicken or fish), and lots of fresh picked vegetables for breakfast. So what do I eat now?!

image

EGGS

I cannot imagine my breakfasts without eggs now. I eat at least 5 eggs a day (4 egg whites and 1 whole egg). That’s at least 3 dozen a week o_o. I love pairing it with rice cakes ^_^. Kind of reminds me of bagels and lox without the cheese and bread lol. I eat this up until 3 days out from my fitness competition only because eggs contain sodium and I want to make sure I don’t bloat. Speaking of fitness competition… time to do my cardio!!! I am about 2 weeks out from my next national show (USAs) and to stay lean, I do about 45 minutes of cardio 6x a week, followed by weight training. I love doing 15.0 incline walking at 3.0-3.6 speed for about 25 minutes, then immediately jump on the stairmaster for the remaining 20 minutes. Gets me sweating like crazy! Happy training!

What's the Point?

Blog Inspiration Lifestyle

Welcome

July 12, 2014

I finally did it!!! I started my blog!!! I’ve been wanting to start this blog for quite sometime now but just didn’t know where to start. This blog/website stuff is no joke. If you guys are new to this like I am, well the first step is to purchase a domain name. Hosting comes next and then the fun stuff… choosing a theme (dressing your site). The theme I have now is temporary until THE ONE comes to me. But just a quick intro, health and fitness is my absolute PASSION. If any of you know me, I can go on and on about health and fitness hehe ^_^ The GOOD NEWS is… I want to share with the world! Stay tuned… lots of exciting information coming your way! Stay focused and never give up! Happy training ^_^