Wednesday, June 6, 2012

China To-do List

Just finished packing my carry-on for my trip to China. I was pleasantly surprised to find that all my stuff fit into one carry-on suitcase along with one huge can of coffee to take back for my grandparents.

 My mom is bring THREE CHECK-IN TRUNKS full of presents for family, family friends, and friends. If you think that's excessive, courtesy requires us to bring gifts for at least the immediate family- which is around 30 people- plus family friends. A classmate in 5th grade who you haven't seen since middle school falls into the family friend category... and that's supposed to be close. Get the point?
But I'm still pretty psyched that I could fit both my jumrope and my tennis shoes into the carry-on. This means that I don't have to face a 12 + hour flight with the pounding fear of my workout parephenelia (tell me I spelled that somewhat correctly) getting lost in the check-in. Sweetness.

Things I need to do and to pack  in the tote I'm carrying on the plane-

  • Grab ipod charger converter from Dad
  • Get makeup bag sorted out
  • Get contact solution/case bag sorted out
  • Find a case for my glasses
  • Remember to pack my Coach sunglasses and my fave low-key shades
  • Remember to pack something to eat on the plane

Monday, June 4, 2012

Staying in shape in China + Weekly Workout Schedule

When you're traveling in a foreign country, it can be difficult to keep up your regular workout routine. But I'm not going to repeat what dozens of people have said about staying healthy while traveling, because I've always found those tips to be too vague. And often non-applicable to traveling in Asian countries.
In many countries, especially Asian ones, food is an expression of love. In China, the first thing you hear if you see a friend on the street is- 'have you eaten yet?' It's rude to turn an offer down, and plus most of the time you know the food's going to be good :)
So I'm going to cut to the chase; here's a list of tips that are pretty specific towards traveling in China and that I'm definitely going to utilize once I get there. BTW I'll be boarding my plane on Friday!!! (If you didn't catch my last post.)
ALSO: although I will try my very best to update this blog frequently while I'm there, I'm not positive if I'll be able to access Blogger in China. So if I don't update for around a month, then pleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease check for updates around July 13th!!! I'll be back on the 12th and would love for y'all to stay loyal. Thanks a billion!

  • Be sure to sample the local cuisine, but if you're invited to a generic restaurant meal, keep yourself in check. Chinese food is generally healthy but as with everywhere, restaurant food is much greasier and higher in calories than home-cooked meals.
  • If you're eating at a restaurant where you know the food isn't fantastic, ask for steamed "qing zheng" veggies (broccoli or califlower is the most widely available) and don't be embarassed to ask the chef to "gan chao," or stir fry without oil.
  • Skip the rice. Gasp! I know, I know- it's sacrilege. A form of glutinous carb comes with everything; rice, noodles, flat bread etc. Don't get me wrong- I'm not asking you to go carb free. But if you're already having carbs in those dumplings, why make it a double with rice that is just a chaser for veggies? I adhere to the no "tasteless carbs" rule- I don't eat rice or noodles that are just there as a filler, but consume as many carbs as I want IF IT TASTES FANTASTIC. Unless you really love it, don't waste calories on generic rice you can just as easily buy in the U.S.
  • Make a workout schedule, preferably in the morning. Most parks have jogging tracks, but do make sure to keep an eye on the ground for dog poop. It's kinda like San Francisco in the '70s; people tend not to pick up their poop in public places.
  • Walk everywhere. Enjoy the scenery. Plus you'll save the cab fare, so you can spend it later on some Beijing pastries or a porcelain knicknack. I've saved a good amount of workouts on my ipod, so I'm going to combine the TT program with plenty of outdoor and/or jumprope HIITs.
Enjoy yourself and sample lots of local foods, but you'll feel so much better if you're in shape and not worrying about how those skinny little asian girls view you.

To conclude:

Advanced kickboxing class
Advanced Cardio Blast Workout

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Healthy Choices

Sitting comfy right now enjoying my oats...
Went to my friend's birthday party last night. It was a small celebration, just some girlfriends from school. Her aunt rented out the movie theatre of the apartment complex where she lives, and we watched the horror film Hide and Seek after swimming in the pool.
Dakota Fanning wa probably around ten or so when she starred in that movie, but looked exactly like she does now. Weird. I did like the movie, but thought the ending was a bit improbable.
Plenty of pizza, chocolate, and popcorn to pig out on!
I had a medium slice of veggie pan pizza, several handfuls of popcorn, 3 hershey's kisses, and 3-4 chocolate truffles.

It's funny because now that I allow myself to eat anything, I don't really want junk food. I seriously (and I know some people would brand me criminally insane for this, not that you wouldn't brand me thus regardless) would choose steamed broccoli and shrimp over pizza hut pizza.
The chocolate though, I always crave...
And I do have a lot of chocolate. As seen through my chocolate smoothies, chocolate yogurt parfaits, and my daily dosage of dark chocolate.

I've talked about these food issues here. (Yes I know there're so many run-on sentences and typos that an English teacher would faint.)
Anyways, I guess living healthy is super easy to me- as long as there are healthy choices, I can count on myself to make them. At least for the savories. My biggest weakness has always been sweets, but if I allow myself to eat as much as I want, my brain simply says "I can always have some more later, so I don't need to cram my face right now."
It's a no-fail trick. If I make low-cal, nutritious choices on my regular meals (since I grew up on healthy chinese food, I'm used to a fiber/nutrient rich diet) I can have chocolate whenever I feel like it. Plus if you eat healthy, a lot of your junk food cravings go away naturally just because you're satisfying your body's demands for nutrients.

Now that I'm heading to China in a week, I've been planning and researching what restaurant meals might be the most nutritious and least greasy. Of course, I'm a dedicated foodie and will always sample the local cuisine, but I know that there'll be a loooot of run-of-the-mill restaurant meals during my visit. I'm almost positive that we'll be invited out to dinner pretty much every night of the month we'll be there by my parents' friends.
A post on making healthy choices while traveling in China is probably overdue, lolz, since I'm boarding the plane on Friday.
Will make sure to do that soon!
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