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Monthly Archives: February 2010

Not to worry…I am still continuing the fun MEET series, where I interview different people from all walks of life. Here is a little Q&A with the oh-so-glamorous Malika Dalamal, London editor of DailyCandy.com. Photo courtesy of Andrew Crowley.

malika dalamal

1) Hi Malika, as the London editor of Daily Candy, you must have a list of so many different eateries. Can you name your favorite spot for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? There are so many – Breakfast: The Electric, Eat and Two Veg. Lunch: Inaho (Japanese) Yauatcha (Chinese), Taqueria (Mexican). Dinner: La Petite Maison (French), Mediterraneo (Italian), Nobu (Japanese).

2) Describe a typical workday and what/where you usually eat – I’m currently obsessed with avocados so I have been eating mashed avocado on toast for breakfast, lunch and dinner it really depend on the day – I eat out a lot.

3) What’s your typical daily uniform? I work from home so I can wear pretty much anything. Everything normally starts with jeans – dressed down in the day time and dressed up at night.

4) What do you usually do for exercise? Pilates, yoga and spinning if I’m feeling particularly brave.

5) If you could only eat one cuisine for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? Chinese because there are lots of options for a vegetarian and also for the chilli sauce.

6) Favorite recipe/cookbook? I’m not a very good cook so I love Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food because it is so basic and Cook in Boots by Ravinder Bhogal – she gives everything a slight Indian twist.

Check out Malika’s great finds and picks on Daily Candy London!

I’m PMSing. Plain and simple. But I’ll get to that later.

I went to the gym at 6:30 am this morning and got an awesome 3.5 mile run/walk in. I used to be panting like mad when I ran at a 5.8 speed for more than 10 minutes (around a month and a half ago) and now I can go for 20 minutes without stopping at 6.2!! Crazy cool! The human body is amazing, isn’t it? After the treadmill, I did some shoulder and ab work. I keep forgetting to bookmark certain strength moves in my fitness magazines. I need to do this so I go into the gym with a focused plan on which exact moves I plan on doing. Oh well, next time.

I skipped breakfast but made Chris a yummy wrap with eggs, melted cheese, and sausage in the spinach tortilla. Is this not the most awesome looking wrap?? HAHA! Check out the perfectly browned sides and how it’s all sealed tight! I must admit, one of my favorite things to do is cook Chris breakfast. I love it. It’s like the kitchen is my pretend cafe and he sits at the bar watching me cook.

breakfast wrap

Lunch was asian potstickers, this time baked til golden and crisp. And, oh my, was it super yummy. The potsticker wraps I got are from an asian market in Denver, CO. I bought a bunch the last time I was there and brought it back with me in an ice-pack. This particular wrap is very chewy and doughy…just the way I like it. I served it alongside a little bowl of soy sauce, siracha, and honey.

tofu and asparagus potstickers

So back to my PMS. I am craving asian food, asian food, asian food! The past couple days my cravings were for greek food and now all I want is sushi and tofu and brown rice. I was chatting with a friend earlier, who informed me she dined at Native Foods today for lunch and had their Hollywood Bowl: Ginger marinated and seared tofu spears over organic brown rice, steamed veggies, and organic greens in out tangy freshly roasted peanut sauce. OMG sounded soooo good! I was determined to have asian for dinner, and that I did.

I went to Whole Foods and got salmon avocado sushi with brown rice, a pack of marinated tofu, and something new I have never noticed before: macrobiotic soba noodle salad from M Cafe in Culver City, CA! I’ve heard great things about M Cafe but have never been so I was super stoked to find this at Whole Foods. Apparently, M Cafe is a macrobiotic restaurant. According to Wikipedia, the macrobiotic diet involves eating grains as a staple food supplemented with other foods like vegetables and beans, and avoiding the use of highly processed or refined foods. Sounds pretty darn healthy to me! I like!

I gobbled up the soba noodle salad (so freakin good) and had one of the two pieces of tofu. By the time I got to the sushi portion, I was getting kind of full so I ate only the sushi filling and left the rice on my plate. No worries, the brown rice can be served tomorrow with the leftover marinated tofu for another asian lunch 🙂

Oh, and I can’t forget to mention I had a HUGE bowl of chocolate peanut butter swirl ice cream from Purely Decadent. It was made with coconut milk, too! AAAGH!!! Way too good.

purely decadent chocolate peanut butter ice cream

Am I the only one who thinks we should have four day work weeks and three day weekends?? I truly believe that if we did, everyone would be ALOT happier, MORE productive, and WAY LESS stressed. The weekends fly by too quick – what gives?? I absolutely love my job but I love hanging out at home with a cocktail so much more.

Onto Monday. I really wanted to go to the gym this morning but for one thing, I was SUPER sore from spinning and core work this weekend. My thighs were on fire. Secondly, I had to take a few puffs of my asthma inhaler at, like, 3:30am and my medication can make me sleepy. So everytime I use it in the middle of the night, it makes me extra tired when I’m supposed to wake up in the morning. No worries, I’ll just go to the gym tomorrow. I’m trying not to turn into a gym rat and get completely burnt out on exercise, which has always been my problem. Nice and slow, steady I go is my motto these days.

Breakfast was black coffee (very healthy. NOT!) in this super duper cool cup I got from Bed, Bath & Beyond. How hilarious is it?? And it’s totally recycable and microwavable. See, I have this bad habit of constantly heating and re-heating my coffee. The problem is that when I re-heat coffee in a regular to-go coffee cup, the bottom gets burnt and it leaves a foul stench in the room. But this cup from Copco is awesome – it looks and feels like a regular to-go coffee cup but with all the benefits. And for some reason, there is pyschological satisfaction when it comes to having your coffee in a to-go cup…I don’t know why. When I drink coffee out of a mug, it’s not the same. I am weird.

copco to-go coffee cup

Lunch was made at home. I have so many groceries in the fridge, I feel guilty going somewhere to eat. So I made a rather healthy spinach and goat cheese salad with raw asparagus bits and lemon juice as the dressing. Then, I toasted a sandwich thin and made an open-faced sammie with spinach, a veggie patty, and tzatziki on a sandwich thin.

greek style lunch

Oh, I ended lunch with a cup of steaming hot chocolate made with soymilk.

I planned to make dinner at home but Chris insisted we go out to instead so we hit up one of our favorite joints, 26 Beach, in Venice. I love this place. Their menu is enormous, the portion sizes are generous, the ambience is chill, and the quality of food is always consistently good. We shared an appetizer of fried jumbo shrimp and fries with tangy cocktail sauce (yum), and then for the entrees I got the grilled salmon salad with a soy dressing (see below) and Chris ordered his favorite Chicken Chipotle Pasta. I finished my entire salad except for a couple leaves.

26 Beach Grilled Salmon Salad

After dinner, we were both craving something sweet so rather than ordering dessert at the restaurant, we opted to stop at the grocery store and pick up a medley of sweet treats, which included sour patch kids, chocolate covered pretzels, peanut brittle, ice cream, and s’mores. Sounds like we’re both PMSing. Nah, just one of us 😉

I slept in til 10am this morning and for me, that’s LATE! I really don’t know how people sleep in past 9am usually. I’m  normally up around 8am on the weekends but lately, I’ve been really tired and can’t figure out why. I woke up and threw on my gym clothes because I was motivated to hit up another CORE CYCLE class at the LMU gym. It was a different instructor this time, Marie, and DAMN she was really really tough!! The first fifteen minutes was “warm up” but everyone was so out of breath and sweating like mad. Marie’s class incorporated a ton of “hovering over the saddle”, which translates to “burn your ass and thighs til you cry”…needless to say, everyone was wincing and we hadn’t even gotten to the “real” workout yet. I’ve been told that a spinning class can burn anywhere from 500 to 600 calories and I hope so! After the 45 minutes of spinning, I stayed for Marie’s core workout. She had us use mats and the stability balls and we did alot of planks and reverse ab crunches – aahhhhh!

I got home around 12:30pm and was hungry! So I made potstickers that Amanda from The Grains of Paradise once taught me to make. Instead of her tofu and peas, however, I used tofu and asparagus and made it mushy in the food processor. We steamed them in my little cute bamboo steamer from Cost Plus and I lined it with cabbage leaves so the potstickers wouldn’t stick too much to the bamboo. Chris made a dipping sauce of soy sauce, ponzu, and spicy chili sauce. Chris and I split this. YUM! Very, very chewy and doughy and healthy tasting. Totally beats pre-packaged potstickers you get at the market.

Me making potstickers

Me making the tofu and asparagus potstickers

tofu and asparagus potstickers

My tofu and asparagus potstickers before they got steamed

By the way, have you seen one of these? My sister got it for me – it’s a potsticker press and sealer! Pretty cute, huh? Actually, it looks like a set of dentures or a mold for a mouthguard haha. But it works great. If you don’t have one of these, you can also use a fork to press and seal the edges or just fold it over with your fingers.

Potsticker sealer

Potsticker sealer

My potstickers in the little bamboo steamer

My potstickers in the little bamboo steamer!

Steamed potstickers

Yummy!

After lunch, my girlfriend whom I’ve known since I was nine years old and going to school in Hong Kong, Jules, came to visit. She works for ZICO Coconut Water and totally hooked us up!! Check out the two big boxes of Mango and Passionfruit ZICO water we got!! Thanks, Jules! I’ll definitely be using these to make my smoothies.

ZICO mango and passionfruit coconut water

Jules stayed and hung out for awhile so we snacked on more potstickers and I had a couple bites of my boyfriend’s leftover burrito from Chipotle….mmmmm. I also had a handful of Kettle Chips (the BEST chips out there) and some candy from the asian market that Jules gave me.

For dinner, we made naan pizzas (inspired from here) and I topped mine with spinach, goat cheese, and some cool garlic-infused olive oil we got at the store. I also wanted something super cheesey so I made a quick little quesadilla with mozzarella, spinach, and the spinach tortilla we have in the fridge. On Chris’ pizza, I used pesto sauce, the garlic-infused olive oil, salami, and mozzarella. The naan bread I got was whole wheat and vegan, from the Santa Monica Co-op Market. Pretty good! Chris asked for some of my pureed lentil soup on the side.

naan pizza

Chris' dinner

quesadilla and naan pizza

Mine

For dessert (because it’s Sunday and we always gotta go big to close out the weekend), I made a banana bread adapted from here. But instead of using sugar, I used NONE. Why? Because super ripe bananas are at their sweetest and I didn’t see the need to add extra sweetness, especially in the form of sugar. Also, instead of baking it in a baking pan, I did it the lazy way and spread it out over my silpat. It’s rustic! And it also baked in less time – 40 minutes as opposed to an hour! I broke off the edges for Chris and I and smeared it with some butter, cream cheese, and a little maple syrup. Sounds weird but tasted awesome!

banana bread

We also watched the olympics! I’m obsessed with skating sports….the ice looks so fun. Plus, my mom lives right up the street from the Richmond Oval, where the speed skating competitions are being held. I saw it when it first got built – so cool!

Oh, and I did laundry and incessantly BBM’d on my crackberry. Chris thinks I have an addiction. I DO.

Well, I started my Saturday off with a BANG! First, we took a stroll with Guido to Bristol Farms to pick up our favorite Peets Coffee, then headed down the block to the bank so I could deposit my paycheck (always nice) – it’s our way of “killing two birds with one stone” – walk the dog + run an errand. After that I came home and made another tart and refreshing green juice that I have lovingly dubbed “The Zinger” because everytime I take a sip, I go “ZIIING! That’s tart!”

I was eager to take a class at the gym – it’s called CORE CYCLE and consists of 45 minutes of spinning followed by 30 minutes of core and arm strength training. I know, intense right? WELL IT WAS! The instructor, Ricki, was awesome and I was dripping with sweat 15 minutes into the class. Note to self: bring WAYYY more water next time. 35 oz wasn’t enough. I debated whether to stay for the strength training section and am so glad I did – Ricki worked our core big time with plank moves and twists doubled up with weight lifting on the arms. My shoulders are weak so 8 lbs doing shoulder work was too much…had to scale back down to 5 lbs but it’s all about progress, I suppose.

Then I came home and made myself a hearty lunch because, damnit I deserve it haha. You know, I was trying to do that high protein, low carb diet for a little bit and I noticed I was getting thicker!! YUCK! What gives? Don’t all celebrities cut carbs to lose weight and tone up? I found it to be the opposite for me and it’s not like I was increasing my portions. For some really odd reason, eating more protein like eggs and chicken was bulking me…no bueno! I’m going back to high carbs/veggie, lower protein which is what I used to do. We’ll see. Everyone’s different so maybe I just don’t respond as well to high protein/low carb.

Vegetarian lunch

Lunch: a medley of things that I felt like eating. First up, an open-faced sandwich on Rudi’s Organic Bakery oat wheat bread (toasted), and piled high with butter lettuce, sprouts, tomato, 1/4 avocado, and 1/2 oz of creamy goat cheese. Next to that was another veggie taco I made with leftover fillings I found in the fridge: black eans, 2 tablespoons of cottage cheese, cilantro, and some diced tomato on my spinach tortilla. Last but not least (I’m trying to make this a habit now) was a side salad with just spinach, tomato, and 2 tbl of low fat balsamic vinaigrette…oh, and I had the rest of last night’s baklava hee hee. So light and flaky with the right amount of sweet. Some baklava is too sweet and it ruins the whole thing.

I got hungry around 4pm. Maybe it’s because I was watching Chris scarf down half a barbacoa burrito from Chipotle?? The smell was amazing but I know how darn fattening those things are so I opted for a couple stalks of raw asparagus and a few ounces of blackened chicken breast I had baked a couple days ago. To mimic fried chicken dipped in ranch, I just drizzled a tablespoon of this yogurt “ranch” dressing over the chicken pieces…mmm tastes just as good if not better!

Then later that night we went to a friend’s Mexican-themed dinner party. Let’s just say I loaded up on wayyyy too much chips and salsa and guacamole. By the time the “real” food came around – chicken enchiladas, fried taco shells, rice with beans, and crockpot beef – I was already in a food coma. Zzzzzz…..

I started my morning off with a 6:30 am workout at the gym. It was still semi dark when the alarm went off and all I wanted to do was stay in the super warm and comfy bed and snuggle with my lover man. But NO. I made a commitment (which I really hope I stick to) to go to the gym AT LEAST three times a week so off I went. I did 40 minutes of a steady 6.1 run on the treadmill interspersed with a couple minutes of uphill walking at a 3.5 grade. Then, I did “skull crushers” with an 8lb weight on the stability ball (my butt was on fire), worked my core with lower leg lifts squeezing the giant ball, and finished with a yoga-style “plank” move. I was sooooo sweaty but it felt sooooo good. Plus, I have been really stressed out with personal things and there’s nothing like an ass-whooping workout to make me feel better. I still can’t believe I am saying that working out relaxes me!

For breakfast, I sipped on my kale, cucumber, lemon, ginger, apple, pear juice that I pre-made last night. I had a big client meeting early in the morning to jet off to up in Pacific Palisades and I knew that between my workout, showering, and getting ready, I would have zero time to juice in the morning. Mmmmm….perfectly crisp and tart and refreshing – da bomb!

kale lemon ginger apple pear cucumber juice

I was starving at 11am from my morning workout but didn’t have anything with me to eat and I was still up in the Palisades. I’m watching my spending right now so I didn’t want to buy anything either. When I got home for lunch, I whipped up a simple salad with butter lettuce (my fave!), gluten-free croutons (I got these only because I couldn’t find the regular croutons at the market but these are super yummy), and dressing from Annie’s. I get SO hungry after eating just a salad so I added a veggie taco made with corn tortilla, 1/4 an avocado, 1 tablespoon of hummus, 1 tablespoon of tzatziki, and more butter lettuce. Hmmm….sounds more like a Greek taco.

salad with gluten free croutons and annie's goddess dressing

greek taco

Dinner was AWESOME. We decided to have casual date night but our usuals, like thai and sushi, just didn’t sound so appealing to me. I’ve been eating alot of hummus and tzatziki lately so I wanted to quench my thirst for some greek food. I jumped on YELP.com and found what looked like a hole-in-the-wall greek food joint in a weird part next to the LAX airport. They got amazing reviews, though, so we decided to give it a shot (no pics, sorry!) It’s called Aliki’s Greek Taverna and you can check it out here.

We split a spanakopita appetizer that came with a side of greek salad with feta and olives. The spanakopita was sooooo tasty – the crust was light and flaky and crisp and soft all at the same time and the filling was surprisingly light. For our main course, I ordered the red pepper gyro sandwich that came with garlic hummus and Chris got the pork souvlaki dish that came with green beans, rice, and tzatziki on the side. Of course, I finished the entire sandwich and couldn’t say no to dessert: baklava that was perfectly sweet with just the right amount of nuts. Mmmmm. I only ate like a quarter of this, though, because somehow along the way I lost my appetite for my sweet treat. All good, though, I took the rest home and may have the rest with some lemon tea after I close up this post for the day 🙂

Cheers to Friday night!!!