Current Progress

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Baked Pita Bread and Tzatziki

My sister showed me a simple snack on my trip that I had to hurry back to Vancouver to copy.

First of all, I did not know you could just freeze Pita bread and heat it up again whenever you want to eat it - this makes it last forever and also the taste doesn't degrade! Then I didn't know that you could throw it in the oven and broil it for 5-7 min and it becomes pita chips!

I followed this recipe for the Tzatziki sauce today.

I think this is a pretty good and healthy snack and waay cheaper than buying pita chips or tzatziki sauce outside.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

From XL to M!!

There's a big reason I've stayed away from malls for years - only buying the basics and not really caring what I wear. My obesity dressed in any particular brand, colour, style would be just the same. Luckily I have my personality going for me.

As years passed and every time I went into a mall to pick up something XL or size 14 or trying to squeeze into size 12 it was very disheartening. I love my friends to death but going to the mall with friends to see them try on size 0 or 00 just didn't put shopping on my top 3 things to do. The good news is that it kept expenses low in the shopping, anything to do with physical appearance department. It also served as a good filter against superficial people :) The bad news is that to achieve balance and happiness, feeling good inside and out is very important.

Then I had a dilemma of losing weight where I started to not fit in my clothes. But the thought of buying intermediate clothes while not reaching my weight goals seems like a waste of money. So I held out as long as I could.

Wow what a surprise - I went to Yorkdale yesterday (with a personal shopper all the way from HK :) and I found myself trying on girlie tops and dresses in medium or 6-8! Holy crap. At first I'd bring in a larger size just because I thought was I being realistic. But nopes, it is true, I'm starting to gravitate back to my old frame in highschool. Now onwards to junior highschool size (and another shopping spree)

I'm grinning ear to ear at my trip to the east coast where I've met up with my closest friends and family who have seen me through my 27 years. The encouragement and support I'm getting makes me extremely happy.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Epic 12 months

The last 12 months have definitely changed my life. I've been to 5 continents, countless cities, countries, flights, gas stations. I've moved. I've shrunk. I've ate. I've drank. I've photographed it all. I tried to pick pictures that show me at my fattest (165+ lbs) in September 2008 and how Thu lost 30 lbs since then :)

Take a look at the album.

Biking in PEI

Went on a 2 hour trek (30km) to see beaches along the south part of PEI. Only a handful of cars passed me probably at a rate of 1 per 20 min. The red sandy beaches were beautiful and the water was so warm. The rolling hills of grains and potatoes and green made it a very serene ride.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

PEI Lobster

I'm out in PEI for a few days and of course every meal I'll try to have will involve some fresh seafood! So we went out to Queen's Meat Market before they closed and bought 3 1lb live lobsters for $5.99/lb! Not too bad :)

Boiled some water, added some salt. When it was boiling, drop in the lobster for 18 minutes. And that's it! The pot here couldn't fit all 3 at the same time so I had to do a few batches.

Of course as the unhealthy side of the meal I made garlic butter. Put some garlic and some salt and butter and heated it all up. Oh well, it was delicious. We had some salad + red peppers + tangerine + poppy seed vinagrette on the side.

Gosh, I love the CHEAP awesome farmer markets here. A huge bunch of lettuce was 99 cents.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Delicious Broccoli Soup

Thanks to Kam and Gordon Ramsey, this is being added to my list of quick and simple dishes to make!

I bought goat cheese covered in black pepper and freshly baked sour dough bread to go along with it. Once again my magic bullet came in handy.

All you need is broccoli, water and salt for this.

Watch the video and let Chef Ramsey show you how easy this soup is!

Hiking in BC

I think that the last time I lived in Vancouver I never saw the beautiful green outdoor playground that the city had to offer. I was limited by the 5km radius that my scooter took me and never crossed a bridge unless I had a ride. This time, it's much different.

Gulf Islands

For example, I didn't realize that right beside Vancouver are 200 islands!!! Some are reachable by BC Ferries, others can be reached by canoes and kayaks. We've checked out Bowen Island and Salt Spring Island in the past month. The video above shows a lot of scenes that I *think* is from the Ruckle Park hike in Salt Springs but I bet other islands have the same views and rocks.

Bowen Island
is only a $9.20 roundtrip ride from Horseshoe Bay. And it's only 20 min away! We easiy found a hiking trail when we landed and walked along the Killarney Creek trail to Killarney Lake. Then up to the Mt Gardner trail. We didn't actually get to the top of Mt Gardner because we wanted to catch a ferry back but we did go to the first view point which was an awesome view of the islands.

Salt Spring Island
was a bit further away and only had 1 ferry there in the morning and 1 in the afternoon. In hindsight, taking a car or bikes to this island would make sense, it's much bigger than Bowen Island.

Instead, we took the bus from the ferry terminal to downtown Ganges. There was a farmers market here and restaurants and boats. Then from here there's a bus that takes us 10km from Ruckle Park. Yes you guessed it, we had to walk 10km to get to our camping destination with all of our gear. There were plenty of farms and stands on the side and hitchiking is encouraged but no - we walked. When we got to the entrance of Ruckle Park around 7pm the sign said CAMPSITES FULL. Doh. Well there wasn't any way we'd want to walk back 10km so we continued onwards into the camp grounds. We found a flat patch of grass between campsites and parked our stuff there.

It was by the water, close to the washroom! We hiked along the waterfront looking for a good sunset spot.

The next day we went along the coast of Ruckle Park on a hike to all their view points and beaches. Seriously, I didn't expect this kind of scenery in Canada. We even ran into patches of mussels and oysters on the rocks. The hike was about 10km as it led back into the trees and down to the road. And then, yup, another 10km to get to Gillford to catch a ferry home! So far, this is the most beautiful, quaint hike I've done here. We must have only bumped into 4 people the entire time.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Beet Power!

Great now there's evidence that beets are awesome for your workout! Maybe I should've had some of this before I did the grouse grind yesterday.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Five-spice Scallop

The baby scallops we bought from Superstore were nothing to write about - previously frozen. But wow, following Jamie Oliver's (Happy Days with the Naked Chef)instructions on how to make Pan Searced Scallops was priceless.

Ideally you'd want a nice meaty large selection of scallops but we used baby ones. Season the scallops with salt, pepper and five-spice powder. Heat up a pan with some olive oil and fry for a few minutes. Add some green onion and cilantro and cook for another minute. Thats it!! So simple...sooo delicious. The green onion, cilantro and five-spice definitely makes this into a Vietnamese/Fusion dish which is ridiculously good. So good, that I am making it again this week!

On the side, blanch asparagus and leeks (preferably baby leeks!). Then also pan fry them with olive oil. We didn't get baby leeks and needed to cut the large leeks into round slices to make it edible.

Also as shown in this meal, we baked a fresh salmon (yes a whole salmon was only $5!!) but it was just the usual marinade of lemon, olive oil and green onion.

Broccoli Penne

Last week at the farmers market we bought fresh corn that we brought to a BBQ that night to watch fireworks. We bought ingredients for a super yummy fresh salad (red/yellow tomatoes, cucumber, sweet onion, red leaf lettuce). And we also bought a bunch of organic broccoli.

Since we'd be camping in Cat Lake for the weekend, I decided to whip up some broccoli pasta to bring along. As a child I hated broccoli but when we started getting them delivered in SF and Yap made a pasta (and hid sausage inside), I decided to give this vegetable a second chance.

So I boiled some penne with salt and left it to cool.

I separated the broccoli stems from the soft parts and chopped up the stems into small pieces. Started up a wok with olive oil and some minced garlic. Before the garlic became brown, I added 2 cups of chicken broth. As that boiled I added in the broccoli stems and half a sweet onion and salt and pepper. Let it cook for 10-15 min until the stems are soft. Then I added the rest of the broccoli in and left it in there for 5 min before turning down the heat.

Mixed up the penne in and let it simmer. I broke up 4 slices of Havarti cheese and mixed it in with my new creation. One package of penne was enough for 2 lunches and 2 dinners. I was definitely missing red pepper flakes but the consistency and texture of the sauce was perfect.

I added in diced red tomatoes and cucumbers when I packed it up for our camping trip.