Green Tooth, Sweet Tooth

by fitforthesoul in , , ,

Somebody has been slacking when it comes to joining Jenn’s WIAW editions, and I don’t have the slightest idea of who that might be. Smile I just realized today that the latest What I Ate Wednesday series has to do with keeping it green and healthy.  I was pretty excited about that because I’m all for healthy eating and getting in as many vegetables in our bodies as possible!  But let’s remember that in the end, the definition of being healthy means that moderation and holistic health are far more important than obsessing about eating 100% clean.  Sure, I believe that there’s a time and place for going 100% “clean” with our eating habits for various personal reasons, and after all, it is a good way to keep our bodies cleansed from time to time, but enjoying the small things in life like these devilishly cute cupcakes every now and then is healthy for both mind and soul.


What’s the point of striving for health if we can’t let ourselves have some fun while we’re at it, right?  And these cupcakes?  I’ll get to them in a minute.

As it turns out, I finally gave in to everyone’s advice and got myself a Snoogle pillow last weekend.  I have to be honest and say that for the most part it has been doing wonders for my sleep and I was able to catch up on some zzzzz’s for at least 2 nights in a row.  However, last night was a whole different story.  As with everything else that I’ve been blaming on my pregnancy hormones, I’m also blaming those same hormones for my tossing and turning and getting merely 2 hours of sleep last night—maybe 3 hours, but that’s about it.  If you saw me at work today you would have been kind of worried for me, haha.  But I just kept praying and pressing on for physical and mental strength because I knew I couldn’t do it on my own.

Lately I’ve been loving freshly squeezed juice after dinner, because it helps prevent any bit of queasiness or indigestion that I might experience afterwards.


Particularly grapefruit juice!  Last week I scored some big honkin’, juicy grapefruits at the Filipino market where they were on sale at 3 for $1!  Mmm-hmmm.



Luckily I was being quite the planner last night despite my type AB personality.  I whipped up a creamy bowl of overnight oats and started cooking some chicken in the crockpot.  Now, you have to give me some credit for doing all this because I’m far from being a planner and I SO wish that I was more of an A-type individual.  Smile with tongue out

The oatmeal bowl consisted of:

  • 1/3 C oats
  • splash of milk+water
  • chia seeds
  • mashed banana
  • frozen blueberries
  • Artisana coconut butter
  • granola
  • peanut butter+Greg’s Reese’s cereal


I always pack my lunch whenever I go to work because it saves me money and allows me to consume as many vegetables as possible.


I had a little bit of Chipotle leftovers from another day, so I mixed it with some roasted brussel sprouts, tomatoes, avocado, and gouda cheese.  It was such a satisfying and heart-healthy meal!

And since my favorite cupcake shop is located just about two blocks away from work, I stopped by to try their key lime and s’mores cupcake.  I had a few bites of each and took the rest home for Greg.


I’ve got three words for you guys—they were amazing!  The key lime wasn’t as strong as I’d like it to be, but it was still finger lickin’ good.



By the time that 4 o’clock rolled around, I was pretty hungry so I refueled myself with Chobani’s new pear flavor.



I mentioned yesterday that our 1 year anniversary is coming up this weekend, and if you recall the time that we came back from our honeymoon in Kauai, I wasted no time in remaking the most amazing quesadilla ever, which is what I ordered at one of the restaurants and have been dreaming of since!  Lately the more I think about our anniversary, the more I miss those pulled chicken quesadillas, so I used this recipe last night to make the pulled chicken in the crock pot.  Dinner came together in a flash tonight after I was done with work thanks to the crock pot,because all I had to do was warm up some tortillas on the skillet, toss in some cheddar along with the meat, flatten, flip, and voila!  And of course, we had to have some guacamole to top it off. Open-mouthed smile  I was quite proud of all the energy I had since I was even able to make some more for the young people at church, yay!

I hope you have a beautiful day guys and keep it cool!

Have you been adopting the ‘moderation’ philosophy of eating, or do you go to one extreme or the other?

What dish reminds you of a special time or a trip with your loved ones?


Ellie <33

First Time Foods

by fitforthesoul in , , ,

Everybody has an experience of ‘firsts’ every now and then, whether it be your first time trying Indian food, taking your workouts outside, or something even as monumental as being pregnant with your first child.  Welp, today I want to talk about a few awesome things that happen to be my firsts as seemingly small as they may be!  Open-mouthed smile iceddrink

BAM!!!  Let’s please take a moment of silence and behold this beauty that we deem to be the Caramel Macchiato over ice.  Oh my word.  How come I’ve never tried this gloriously creamy and most refreshing drink?!  Oh yeah, that’s because I was never a fan of sweet drinks to begin with, let alone if they constituted of gazillion ingredients that would do nothing but hurt my taste buds and mask the taste of true coffee.  No one messes with my coffee and cappuccinos because you see, I’m a purist when it comes to my beloved caffeine addiction…That is until now that I’m pregnant, and until just this morning when I saw the tempting drinks that Katie and Courtney allured my sweet-drink-virgin-eyes with. Smile

I guess some food/drink preferences have drastically changed in me now that I have Selah living in my stomach, but we’ll see how long that will last.  Haha!  I ordered the drink just about 30 minutes ago and I’m still sipping on it as I type because it’s still too sweet for me despite my request for “less caramel”.  I’m actually waiting for my car to be serviced at the Honda center in Buena Park (right around my parents’ hood) and since there’s a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf about a block away I decided to be un-American and walk to CBTL!  I’m kind of amazed that I walked on the streets of Orange County because that rarely happens for those of us who own a car.  It’s actually kind of sad that in most of the U.S.  we barely get to walk outside, and the only daily walk we might get is from the garage to the car and to the store.  That is, if we’re lucky…


After a filling hot oatmeal breakfast I had a glass of homemade fruit+veggie juice.  I used my trusty Breville juicer two nights ago to make a huge pitcher of fresh, healthy juice.  This mixture contains really sweet grapefruit, apple, kale, celery, and carrot.  It’s still a bit more on the tart and bitter-ish side due to the grapefruit, but it’s super refreshing and helpful for my digestion—not to mention the fact that I’m trying to cleanse my system because I can only take so many days of irregularity.


Lunch today consisted of a large salad plate with Trader Joe’s organic baked tofu (so delicious!), a pan fried egg, cheddar, tomato, avocado, balsamic vinaigrette, and one of my favorite additions to any salad—slices of pepperoccini.  I loved the addition of TJ’s baked tofu in my salad because as you know I’m an omnivore and not at all vegan or vegetarian, so it’s really nice to be able to switch up the protein for some meals because let’s face it, who likes to eat meat for EVERY SINGLE MEAL every single day?  Not I, that’s for sure. Smile


And this is how big my belly has gotten lately!  I think Selah is going through a major growth spurt right now because there are days when I have trouble with swift mobility and I definitely feel bigger and heavier in my stomach area.  Hmmm I think I might be hitting that stage where I’ll start waddling like a penguin.

Sleeping has been quite the challenge because I’ve been struggling to actually fall asleep and sometimes my body gets super restless!  I’m also thinking that I can’t sleep with a regular couch pillow between my knees anymore, and I’ll just have to suck it up and spend some money to buy a Snoogle.

Aside from my terrible sleep pattern, everything has been rather smooth with this pregnancy.  I haven’t spotted any stretch marks [yet] and I’m hoping to keep it that way by faithfully lathering some Mustela Double-Action cream after seeing Veronika’s rave about the product!  Something about the non-sticky and easy to rub consistency makes me actually want to slap it on my skin, and the smell reminds me of an Argentinean sunscreen that I used to wear as a child!  Hehe, I love those little memories.

Have a glorious day and talk to you soon.  Peace!

What’s your go-to drink order at coffee shops?

How do you get your protein everyday?  Do you tend to switch things up a lot?

Any suggestions to sleep better for this sleep deprived pregnant woman? : )


Ellie <33

2nd Trimester Cravings {Week 16-17}

by fitforthesoul in ,

Whoa, I can’t believe it’s already the 2nd week of 2013!  Did last week just disappear or what? In case you’re curious to know how I’ve been faring and surviving my pregnancy for the past two weeks (I just turned 17 weeks yesterday), here’s a quick snapshot.




Yes, oatmeal made a comeback with a bang!  Woowhoo!  Haha I’m kind of excited about this meal because as you may recall, oatmeal wasn’t jiving with my taste buds one bit.  On top of that food aversion, I just did NOT like peanut butter or any kind of nut or seed butter that entered my mouth, that is until last week…

The way it happened was rather strange, as one morning I suddenly thought how delicious peanut butter would be for breakfast—just like that.  This bowl of overnight oats contained cocoa powder, blueberries, mashed banana, cottage cheese and milk.  Due to my persistent case of constipation I’ve been eating one Metamucil fiber wafer every morning, and believe it or not I love its taste because it’s just like a heartier Teddy Graham, so I decided to go ahead and crumble it on top of the oats.  Winking smile On the side I eat fresh fruit every morning.



As you can see I’m enjoying sweet breakfasts once again, like these bagel thins topped with peanut butter, Nutella, cottage cheese or sometimes yogurt, cinnamon, and fruit.

This kind of a meal is a pretty big change from wanting savory food every morning.  I try to switch it up now because I find myself eating mostly savory foods throughout the day, and too much sodium makes me want to drink a ton of water at night!  The other downside to too much salt intake is that it raises the mom’s blood pressure, so I’m trying to be careful and monitor that somewhat carefully.  Occasionally I drink tea with soy or regular milk if I really can’t wake myself up.




Half eaten salad—oops, forgot to snap a shot pre-meal

Fortunately I have no problem getting in meat and vegetables in my diet.  In some ways it feels like I’m craving all the right nutrients which I’m thankful for!  Oh yeah, and we can’t forget about the ice cream every now and then. Smile with tongue out

These two dishes are my absolute favorite every time lunch rolls around.  The first one is a mixture of bok choy, bell peppers, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, water and sesame oil.  Sometimes I throw in eggs or some kind of meat, but since I eat meat at least once or twice a day now, when I eat huge salads I like to substitute the meat with Boca burgers.  Many people seem to hate the taste of Boca burgers but I think they’re really yummy and probably the ones with the least faux meat quality to them!  Do you have a favorite vegetarian patty?

By the way, before I check out I want to quickly mention that I finally tried the Ballet Body Upper Body DVD.  The verdict so far?  I genuinely, absolutely loved everything about it!  All I can say for now is that after 2 days of having used it I still feel sore in weird places and I feel a different kind of “strength”, if you will.  But I’ll be giving you my detailed thoughts on the DVDs after I’ve done them at least twice, which is probably early next week.

Greg and I are thinking of going on a date day today as it is a day off for the both of us. Whoa that was a lot of “days” in one sentence!  I don’t think my high school teacher would be proud to see that, haha.

We’re both kind of “fly by the seat of your pants” type of people, so I guess we’ll talk about our plans and go from there—probably something like hiking or visiting the Getty?  Any suggestions for those who live in the vicinity of Los Angeles?


Have a super blessed day!

Do you crave more savory or sweet throughout the day?

-Usually it’s a good 50/50 for me, but now I mostly want savory, spicy, and tangy.

What are your favorite date activities with your significant other?


Ellie <33

A Traditional Kid-Friendly Dish

by fitforthesoul in , , , ,

Up until this week I have never ever tried fresh-off-the-farm organic eggs.  I thought that was just for special people who had access to beautiful rural places up in Nor Cal or the East Coast.  Well guess what!  This week, one of our super duper cute elderly patients came with a hefty Chipotle bag full of beautiful eggs!  I think I almost about jumped out of my desk and gave him a big hug; it’s almost as if he knew I was pregnant and obsessing over eggs.  Okay so many people reading this might think, “Ellie, they’re just eggs…get over it!”.  eggs

I realize that I’m rather strange for being so excited about fresh eggs, but I feel like I’m in a movie for receiving such a cool gift!  And apparently I need to be in a movie since I’m so dramatic about the things that I love.  But I prefer to call that “passionate expressionism”.  Winking smile

While I was at work today, I was brainstorming on what I should make for dinner today since out of the blue I felt the desire to cook.  I suddenly remembered some of my childhood favorites and thought a lot about my mom (I missed her today!), and came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t want anything other than 오므라이스, which is a traditional Korean dish pronounced omurice, which is transliterated into omelet rice. We’re so clever no?

Omurice can be somewhat tedious to make simply because of all the chopping that is required, but if you chop the veggies and cook the rice the day before, then you can just throw all the ingredients into the skillet and you’re pretty much done.


Omelette Rice (오므라이스)

This dish is kid-friendly and everyone seems to love it at first bite.  It contains a reasonable amount of nutrients from the egg and the vegetables, and is vegetarian friendly.  I opted for white rice as it is the traditional way to make it, but it can easily be substituted with brown rice.  Last but not least, it’s known to be a great picnic food!  Easy to pack and easy to eat.


  • 4 C cooked rice (I used rice cooker)
  • 1/3 C chopped potatoes
  • 1/3 C chopped carrots
  • 1/3 C chopped onion
  • 1/3 C corn kernels (I shucked a corn)
  • 1.5 TBSP Safflower oil (or other)
  • 1/2 tsp salt or more to taste
  • sprinkle of black pepper
  • 6 whole eggs
  • oil spray
  • Ketchup for garnish and flavor at the end


  1. Chop all of the above mentioned vegetables and use either freshly cooked rice or cold rice.
  2. Grab a large skillet and heat up the oil for 30 seconds on medium heat.
  3. Toss in the veggies and the salt+pepper and sautee for approximately 4 minutes on medium heat, or until veggies are slightly softened.
  4. Add rice and cook for another 6 minutes or so while mixing occasionally.
  5. Heat a medium skillet with the oil spray while you scramble the eggs in a bowl.  Pour about 1/4 of the egg mixture on the skillet and spread very thinly.  Cook for 1 minute on each side and repeat 3 more times.
  6. Spoon rice onto a plate and place the egg on top.  Squirt ketchup and voila!




And then there’s a truly interesting soup called 북어국, pronouned Bugeohgook.  Wow.  It sounds weird when I write out the pronunciation.  Anyway, this beautiful soup (at least to me it is) is mainly composed of dried Pollack fish.  Ummm what?  It sounds really clandestine and fishy (teehee) but I think the addition of this dried fish makes the soup so flavorful and interesting.


Fish and Egg Soup (북어국)

This soup is brothy and very light; it is usually eaten as a side dish.  It’s low in fat, packed with protein, and full of bold flavors.  The dried Pollack ingredient is found in Korean stores in the dried fish section.  You can purchase it whole and tear it yourself, or save some time and effort by buying the pre-cut kind.


  • 1.5 C dried Pollack cut in 1/2” wide strands
  • 1 TBSP sesame oil
  • 7 C water
  • 1 tsp salt or more to taste
  • sprinkle of pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 C green onions, cut about 2” long
  • 2 whole eggs


  1. Heat up a medium pot on medium heat and pour in the sesame oil.  Cook the Pollack for about 1 minute while tossing occasionally.
  2. Add the water, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil.  Let it simmer for 10 minutes or so.
  3. Add the chopped garlic and simmer for 3 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, scramble the 2 eggs and pour it into the pot and quickly stir the egg so it distributes itself.  Throw in the green onion and cook for 2 minutes.





Omelet Rice and Pollack soup go very well paired together.  Open-mouthed smile  Even my husband who doesn’t like strong fish loved this combo!


Oh yeah, and I love the weather these days!  Rainy weather is my absolute favorite and am in love with taking walks during the day.  (Awkward transition)  This picture reminds me…I wouldn’t mind having a tripod to capture all the mesmerizing movements of nature.  Anyone out there recommend a good inexpensive tripod for a Canon 20D?  Share the love please!

What are some foods/ingredients from your ethnic cuisine that might be considered interesting by others?

Do you have childhood favorites from your own culture?

Do you have any experience with tripods?


Ellie <33

I Don't Have it All Together

by fitforthesoul in , ,

Ever since long ago up until somewhat recently, I used to believe that I had control over every one of my emotions, cravings, aversions, and all that good stuff.  I used to say to myself, “pffff I can have perfect control over what I say, eat, and even feel…even when I do get pregnant.”  Not so, my friends! In a strange sense I feel like I’ve been getting humbled in my ways of thinking, and perhaps that’s called ‘further maturing’, simply put.  Let me share a little insight from what I’ve been experiencing lately.  Just about a little over a week ago, I was starting to become an emotional mess.  Although it may sound strange coming from a you’re-pregnant-and-supposed-to-be-over-the-moon young woman, I have to admit that it’s not always a bed of roses around these here parts.


There.  I said it!  I feel much better.  And I’m human.  Weee!

It is really difficult to admit that sometimes I’m not as thankful as I should be for obvious reasons such as feeling physical discomfort day in and day out—not to mention, I guess I’ve also been a bit more sensitive and impatient than what is normal in my everyday life.  But God has brought to my realization that it goes much deeper than physical and emotional discomfort.  More than anything, it seems that I’ve been letting fear seep into my thoughts because I feel like I’m being the most inadequate mom around the block.  Sometimes I entertain worry of finances, and other times I just simply feel my flesh dying bit by bit, which is always a good thing when it comes to living a life that isn’t about me.  However, something really clicked with me as I texted back and forth with a dear friend of mine.  My friend told me that it’s not that I’m dying in the process of being pregnant, but I’m actually starting to live.

Huh…now that’s something to scratch my head about!  Words that are so simple as the ones uttered by my friend can be so much more revolutionary if I let them speak to me and if I actually change my perspective.  So even though I’ve been praying and coming to God in brokenness as I learn to trust Him more, this is my declaration that I will not let the enemy play with my thoughts and heart any longer!  The Word says that perfect love casts out all fear, so I’m going to let His love cast out every ounce of fear out of my life.  I can tell that motherhood and all the events leading up to it are definitely a challenge, and that is why I want others to know that it’s not always going to be peachy and perfect.  But what I want everyone to remember more than anything is the fact that it’s a journey of learning and letting go, and through that process we become more mature and better individuals.  Like I always say, any kind of chiseling (big or small) of our character will shape us to become the masterpiece that God already sees in us.  Smile

Okay, so I’m sure that was a lot to take in for an intro paragraph.  In order to lighten things up, I want to [finally] share with you some food related things!  I really mean it when I say that I’m excited to do this because I’m finally finding out what works for my nauseated stomach, and coming from a pregnant lady that’s a big deal you know!

Oh how I missed these WIAW editions!  I am back.  At least for now, so thank you Jenn!


Sometimes when I’m at work from 9 to 5 I’ll make a pit stop at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to get their tea lattes.  I’m not joking when I say that they have some of the best tea lattes around!  My favorites are Moroccan Mint and Jasmine Dragon, and for the full flavor of tea I always ask them to make it with the actual tea bags instead of the powder.


Since we had a huge Thanksgiving feast at our place and I finally mustered up the courage to actually start cooking again, we ended up with massive leftovers—particularly ham and turkey.  And you know what?  I’ve been loving them and eating them every single day!  Nope, I’m not tired of them either.  I’m also beginning to think that I’m going to have a boy because I’m channeling a lot of the same cravings and aversions as Ashley, who just so happened to discover that she’ll be giving birth to a son! Open-mouthed smile


Like Ashley, salty foods have been sitting well in my stomach and simple things like fresh fruit and plain milk have been my saviors.  I love the simple stuff!  The refreshing taste of milk and cold juicy fruit is a big relief when everything in the fridge makes me gag.


This morning I toasted two Van’s Waffles and sandwiched them with a pan fried egg, provolone, and leftover ham.  I highly recommend this combination whether you are male or female. Winking smile  These flavors don’t discriminate.


During my lunch break I broke out my far from picturesque container filled with sauteed broccolini, bok choy, tomatoes, and olives.  I sauteed everything in soy sauce, water, sesame oil and garlic.


I also had a corn tortilla filled with garlic hummus and avocado, which is a much welcomed source of protein since I’ve been loading up on meat.


And if you know me well enough, you would know that I love giving baked goodies and sweets to those around me.  Well, right after finishing up my lunch I scurried over to Mimi’s Café to get muffins for my boss and co-worker, only to find out that everyone is on a “diet”.  Hah!  I respected their choice so I took the liberty to have many a few bites from each muffin.  The carrot and blueberry muffins are the best by far when it comes to Mimi’s.


Oh my goodness!  Do you see that little pudge starting right below the belt line?  That’s a pregnant belly beginning to manifest itself.  Ahhh!  It’s crazy!  The baby is currently about the size of a fig, and so far it seems as though most of my weight is going to my chest (ahem, breasts) along with a whole lot of retained water.  Oh yeah, about the socks…don’t judge me.  I had a busy day!

I hope you have a beautiful rest of the week, and stay strong y’all!

Do fruits call out to you during chilly weather?  Which ones are your current faves?

-Mine are grapes, watermelon, orange, and apples.


Ellie <33

Picky Eating

by fitforthesoul in , ,

Ever since I went on to week 3 of my recently discovered pregnancy, I’ve been the pickiest with my food than ever before in my entire life.  Actually, I don’t recall ever being picky aside from the fact that I’d rather eat healthier foods more than non-healthy ones.  Let me tell you…Once pregnancy hits you don’t know just what will come over you!  I mentioned the other day that even foods like peanut butter turn me off from time to time, and sometimes the smell of coffee induces unwanted sensations in the pit of my stomach.  In order to remedy for my aversion of most foods including the nutritious kinds, I’ve been tricking my body into compromise. Smile IMG_0029

This is what my breakfast meals typically look like as of late.  There are mornings when I’ll be okay with a bowl of oatmeal so I’ll go with that.  And even though PB isn’t my favorite food right now, I’ll add it onto a hearty bowl of yogurt just because I wish I still liked it.  Yeah, I guess I was PB obsessed.  Haha.  It is strange though!  I’m not one to normally eat toast in the morning, but now I slather it with some good old butter and apricot jam.  So simple but delicious, mmmm!


Luckily, some things haven’t changed; for example, I’m still loving soup in all forms and sizes!  Despite the fact that avocado has lost its appeal according to my taste buds, I try to sneak it in there once in a while.


This is a really random one!  I’m not experiencing many cravings since I’m only halfway through the 1st trimester, but oddly enough I’m loving boiled eggs dipped in ketchup and mustard!  Yesssss.  At least my hankering for mustard has remained.  Alas, I guess you can say that I’m still somewhat my old normal self.


There are countless of books and articles that demand suggest pregnant mommies to stay away from raw fish and if possible to only eat it about 1-2 times per week.  However, since fish is the one thing that doesn’t turn me off, I kind of wanted it for dinner last night.  Okay, I really wanted it so Greg and I decided to go to Casa Arigato for our date night.  Now before you crucify me for my meal choice contradicting the pregnancy books’ suggestions, I’ll first let you know that I had cooked fish.  Well, more like shrimp really.



After getting our delicious complimentary bowls of miso soup we ordered their Jumbo Shrimp Dumplings.  They may not look like much, but boy were they super tasty and fresh!  Even Greg agreed that it felt clean and full of flavor.



Soon after the awesome server (and so cute and sweet, I have to add) brought me the Tiger Roll.


Greg devoured his beautiful Rainbow Roll dish.  Ahhhh it was torture watching him eat it!  Being the considerate husband that he is, he initially asked me if I would be “stumbled” if he ate raw fish.  Of course I was okay with it, but when he got too full and didn’t want to eat his last piece….Oh man, I almost about stuck my chopsticks in there and imagined myself eating it.  Teehee.  We’re definitely looking forward to re-visiting Casa Arigato in the near future.  After all, it’s one of the very few good sushi places in the South Bay area.  Say what?  You’d think that if you life really close to the ocean you’re guaranteed to have fabulous fish…?  Or maybe not?  Ah, maybe it’s one of life’s funny oxymoron

To end the night  we walked along the Redondo Beach Pier.  The night was gorgeous and the temperature was perfect!  So much so that I almost didn’t need a jacket.  If there’s one thing that I’m learning through this pregnancy it’s the fact that despite how I feel physically and mentally, I still need to give my all to all the relationships in my life.  Ironically when it comes to marriage I still have to be just as intentional with my husband as I was at the very beginning of our journey.  If anything, I find myself being even more intentional in keeping date nights going and just having fun even when I am feeling bloated, tired, and nauseated!  And through anything that life may throw at us we’re learning to appreciate each other even more; he appreciates me for carrying a creature in my belly, and I appreciate him for being patient and loving.  Hah!

So I encourage you to keep those things in mind for your future spouse and pregnancies.  Never stop being proactive in your relationships because that shows that you care for each other, and that’s the most important thing after all. Open-mouthed smile

Are you normally a picky eater?


Ellie <33