Pursuit of Healthy Happiness

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Super Strong Leg Workout

Happy Wednesday, all!

Do you ever have those weeks that seem to drag on FOREVER? That’s the kinda week I’ve been having.  It’s finally Wednesday-wooohooo!! hump day- but it feels that if the past two workdays have been five.  Maybe it’s because I’m just a teensy bit, ok outrageously, excited about this weekend.  What’s this weekend you ask? Oh yanno, just the gigantic workout bash that is Be Well Philly Boot Camp 2015.

Colleen, my blog BFF from Keep It Real Clean, and I are going together.  And to say that we’re excited is an understatement.  There are so many workouts to choose from: Vinyasa yoga, spin, rock climbing, fun runs, HIIT workouts.  I’m gonna have trouble choosing which ones to attend.  I’m personally excited for the Power Up Bootcamp lead by my friends at City Fit Girls.  If you’re looking for a supportive group of fit-minded, strong women check out City Fit Girls.

That’s one thing I absolutely love about living in Philly, there is always something fun and active to do.  And there are great communities to join no matter your interests.

Well, in the fit, strong mindset let’s jump into this week’s workout.  Today focuses on building those strong legs-which are sure to help me get through the jammed packed day of workouts at the Boot Camp.

This stacked workout focuses on building strong legs. No weights needed!

Skater Lunges: Starting wth your feet shoulder-width apart, left your left leg, crossing it diagonally behind you.  At the same time, cross you left arm in front of your hips, bring your right arm out to the side.  Complete the same movements on your right side.
Jump Squats: Start with your fit hip-width apart.  Lowering your body so that your butt is parallel or slightly lower to the ground.  Keeping your back straight and abdominals tight, jump straight up, raising your arms overhead towards the sky.  With control, land softly returning to the squat position.
Lunge to High Knee: Complete a reverse lunge by bring your left foot backward.  Lower your body so that left knee is just above the ground.  Pushing through your left foot, bring your left leg forward and upward to the high knee position.  Complete the same movement on the right side.
Standing Leg Lift:  Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.  Place hands on hips and transfer the majority of your weight to your right leg.  With a straight leg, using your abdominals and hip flexors, raise your left leg upwards, trying to make it parallel to the ground.  Slowly return leg to the floor.  Repeat the movement on the right side.

Let’s Chat!

Is anyone else going to the Be Well Philly Boot Camp this weekend?

Have you ever gone to a fitness camp/expo/retreat? Or which ones are on your list?

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Just Be Yourself

Happy Monday, amigos!

Today’s inspiration is about being true to yourself. I’ve always been a goofball, and while as a kid it made me self-conscious, I’ve learned that it makes me who I am.  The more I stay true to myself, the happier I’ve become.  So let your inner weirdo, goofball, gorgeous, freakazoid, happy, dweeby, nerdy self out and wear your personality proudly!

Cause in the end, we’re all a little weird, amiright?? And there is nothing more beautiful than being who you truly are :) Just be yourself Let’s chat!

What about your personality made you self-conscious as a kid (or maybe still does)?

How have you learned to be true to yourself?

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Smoked Salmon Sushi Bowls with Spiralized Veggies

This homemade smoked salmon sushi bowl recipe is a perfect meal for a hot summer day. A great way to add more veggies and healthy fats to your diet.  Plus, it’s easy on the wallet and can be super versatile! Add all the veggies your heart, and stomach :) ,  desires!

Smoked Salmon Sushi Bowls Okay, so I LOVE sushi.  Absolutely love it.  When I was in grad school I would order sushi every other week from my favorite place in Cleveland.  I really think I could eat sushi daily and not be tired of it.  I mean, what’s not to love, it’s fresh, filling-yet somehow doesn’t make you feel bogged down and heavy.  I think it’s especially perfect now that it’s finally been hot out.

My favorites rolls are the simple ones, spicy tuna, Alaska, negi hamachi.  I actually never order the specialty rolls.  They just seem gigantic to me and I end up looking like a goob trying to shove a massively overstuffed roll into my mouth.  So what’s the simple solution to this? Putting all that goodness into one, delicious, beautiful bowl.

Smoked salmon sushi bowls are one of Zak and my’s favorite dinners to make at home.  It’s super versatile, allowing you to pick and choose the veggies or fish you like.  It’s also great for that point in the week when you have just a little bit of every veggie leftovers.  Toss it all in a bowl with some homemade sushi rice, a protein, and some sesame oil and low-sodium soy sauce and you’re good to go.

Sushi Bowl Ingredients I would love to get prime cuts of salmon, but that would be pushing my grocery budget. Whole Foods sells the cuts from their larger portions of smoked salmon, at a reduced price, that may not be so visually perfect.  It’s still high-quality, delicious, and smoked to perfection, just not quite as pretty or pricey.  But since I chop up my salmon anyway this doesn’t really bother me.  Plus, it’s easier on the wallet :)

For the veggies, I used a spiralizer.  I find it easier to prep a bunch of different veggies, and who are we kidding, it’s more fun to make and eat those twirly veggies.  If you don’t have a spiralizer, simply chop or shred your vegetables to your liking.  

Smoked Salmon Sushi Bowls Once all your ingredients are ready, layer them into a wide, low bowl, starting with the rice.  I like to top my rice with a little bit of Nori Fumi Furikake Rice Seasoning.  It’s basically a mix of nori (seaweed), sesame seeds, and a pinch of salt and sugar.  It adds a great, rich, deep flavor to the sushi rice.  Next, I arrange my carrots, cucumbers, avocados, and salmon and top it all with a dash of sesame seeds.  Add a splash of sesame oil and low-sodium soy sauce and you’re ready to get your grub on.

I like to make double the amount that I need for dinner so that I have leftovers for lunch the next day, that’s my secret to meal prepping weekly lunches.  Your leftovers will keep for 2-3 days, but they’ll keep better if you store each component separately and assemble it once you’re ready to eat.

How to Make Authentic Homemade Sushi Rice

Smoked Sushi Bowls with Spiralized Vegetables
Serves 4
An easy, fresh, homemade sushi bowl stacked with loads of crisp, spiralized veggies.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
For the rice
  1. 2 cups sushi rice
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 3 oz Japanese Rice Wine Vinegar
  4. 2 teaspoons sugar or Splenda
For the bowls
  1. 8 oz smoked salmon
  2. 1 large seedless cucumber, spiralized
  3. 3-4 large carrots, spiralized
  4. 2 avocados, sliced
  5. 1-2 teaspoons Japanese rice wine vinegar
  6. 1-2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  7. Splash of sesame oil
  8. Splash of soy sauce
For rice
  1. Follow recipe from my previous post! Click the link directly above this recipe card :)
For the bowls
  1. Top spiralized cucumbers with rice wine vinegar and sesame seeds.
  2. Splash spiralized carrots with sesame oil.
  3. Slice smoked salmon info bite-sized pieces.
  4. Once rice is cooled separate it equally among 4 bowls and top with rice seasoning.
  5. Arrange toppings in a beautiful little pattern.
  6. Top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and low-sodium soy sauce.
  7. Eat and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Try subbing out the smoked salmon for sushi grade tuna or seared tofu!
  2. Chop sticks optional :)
Pursuit of Healthy Happiness http://pursuitofhealthyhappiness.com/

 Let’s Chat!

How do you save money on high-quality products at the grocery store?

What would you add to the sushi bowl?

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15 Minute Jump Rope HIIT

You all know that I am all about efficiency in my workouts.  Quick, effective, to the point. Bada-bing, bada-boom. Ok, you get the point, I like to make the best use of my time. 

That’s why I absolutely love HIIT workouts because they offer so many health benefits. Even the busiest of us can squeeze 15 minutes out of our day to dedicate to exercise.   A quick 15 minute fat-blasting jump rope HIIT I like to do this workout on its own or by stacking with a core-focused circuit like this 5 Minute Power Plank Workout.  Plus a jump rope travels well so you can pretty much do it anywhere.

Lately, I’ve been using an app called Bit Timer to time my work and rest periods. It works in the background so that means you can still jam out (hey, hey, Beyoncé!) and the timer will ding over your music without pausing it. Plus it’s free! 

Here’s how I set mine up…  
Have an amazing workout and day!

Let’s chat! 

  • What’s your favorite mode of HIIT exercise? Sprints, jump rope, something else?
  • What are some of your favorite workout and fitness apps?    

Killer Core Plank Workout

Hi, friends!

For last week’s workout, I added in an awesome variation for planks.  It got me feeling creative in the core department.  Plus, Zak and I just booked a vaca to Punta Cana in a month, so why not focus on the core for today’s workout?

Killer core plank variations workout.  A core-focused, high-intensity circuit.  Great for when you need to fit a quick workout in. Check out my Pinterest-Personal Health & Fitness page to see visuals on how to perform these exercises.  Oh, and you should follow me on Pinterest, cause I spend way too much time pinning healthy recipes, workouts, and cute outfits galore. (Wait, is that a thing? Too much time on Pinterest? Nah.)

This workout is perfect for when you need to fit a quick sweat-session into your crazy, hectic schedule.  All the plank variations will challenge you but also keeps the workout fun.

Plank up-downs: Starting in standard plank position, lower your right elbow to the floor, followed by your left.  Next, push back up to your hands, right arm first followed by the left.  This is one rep.

Shoulder touch planks: From the standard plank position, place the majority of your weight in your left arm.  Lift your right arm, touching your left shoulder.  Lower right arm to the floor.  Repeat with your left arm.  This is one rep.

Alternating leg raise plank: Starting in a plank from your elbows, keep your core tight.  Lift your right leg from the ground, holding for 1-2 seconds.  Lower leg and repeat with left leg.  This is one rep.

Plank jacks:  Starting in standard plank position, with feet together, keep core tight.  Jump both feet outwards.  Jump both feet back together.  Be sure to keep your core tight through the entire movement.  Try to not raise or let your hips dip more than the movement requires.

Alternating knee-to-elbow planks:  Begin in the standard plank position.  Raise your right arm and left leg from the ground.  Slowly, and with control, bring them to meet beneath your body.  Lower right arm and left leg to the floor.  Repeat with opposite sides   This is one rep.

Let’s chat!

Do you have any vacations planned for summer?

What’s your fav or least fav plank variation?

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Be Passionate

Happy Monday, friends!

I had a super productive, yet relaxing weekend.  I had a crazy busy week last week and was wiped by the time Friday rolled around.  I fell asleep at 9pm. With the lights on. On a Friday night.  That’s just proof of how tired I was. Or that I’m an old-fogey.  But, hey, I’m not mad about it.  Sometimes you just need to sleep for 10 hours straight.  Amiright??   

 Today’s motivation comes from one of my all time favorite authors…Roald Dahl. My favorite book as a child was Dahl’s, Witches.  He’s also the author behind everyone’s fav movie, Matilda. So you know he’s got some gems of good advice. 

Also, if you’ve never seen Matilda stop what you’re doing and go watch it. Right now. You can thank me later.

Have a fabulous, passionate, white hot week! 

Let’s Chat!

What was your favorite book as a kid?

Which author inspires you?

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How to Make Authentic Sushi Rice

In keeping a balance in life, I make the majority of my meals at home- trying to only dine out once or twice a week.  In the kitchen, I get inspiration from cookbooks, cooking shows, and my favorite restaurants – Here’s looking at you Chipotle 😉

One of my all time favorite foods is sushi.  It’s fresh, delicious, and can be perfect for vegetarians or carnivores.  Most restaurants now even have healthier options like swapping brown rice or quinoa out for the white rice if you like.  A couple of years ago, I surprised my boyfriend with sushi cookbook and bamboo rolling mat.  While it’s definitely not as good as going out to a restaurant and having the chefs with years, if not decades, worth of practice, make spicy tuna rolls in front of your eyes, our little homemade rolls are pretty darn tasty.  Plus it’s easier on the wallet.

Simple, authentic homemade sushi rice.  Perfect for making rolls or sushi bowls.

The one thing that stood out as lacking was the difference in rice.  There is a very distinct texture and flavor that sushi rice has.  And no matter what we tried we just couldn’t seem to replicate that.  Until now.

Authentic Sushi Rice
Serves 4
Simple, authentic, homemade sushi rice. The perfect consistency for making maki rolls, nigiri, or a sushi bowl.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups sushi rice
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 3 oz Japanese Rice Wine Vinegar
  4. 2 teaspoons sugar or Splenda
Wash
  1. Cover rice with cold water, gentle stir and massage it. (The water will be a cloudy white color. Tip the majority of water out.)
  2. Continue washing the rice until the water runs nearly clear. This may take 3-4 times.
Cook
  1. Add the rice and water a pot. Cover with lid and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium after 1 minute.
  3. Continue cooking until the top of the rice becomes visible.
  4. Reduce heat to low.
  5. Once all water is gone, turn heat to high for 15 seconds.
  6. Remove from heat, keep covered, and let rice continue to cook for 15 minutes.
  7. After 15 minutes, thoroughly mix in the 3 oz. rice wine vinegar and sugar.
  8. Cool rice in fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Notes
  1. Washing the rice is key! Do not skip this step!
Pursuit of Healthy Happiness http://pursuitofhealthyhappiness.com/
 This recipe is perfect for making sushi rolls or bowls.  The rice has the distinct vinegary flavor that you get in restaurant quality sushi, without being overpowering.  Plus, if you’re new to rolling sushi at home, using this recipe will make help ease that learning curve.  The rice is just sticky enough to keep your fillings in place as you’re squeezing and rolling your maki rolls.

If you’re making the rice ahead of time keep the rice in a sealable container in your fridge.  Once the rice is mostly cool and before putting the lid on, place a slightly damp paper towel directly on top of the rice.  This will help keep your rice from drying out and losing its desired consistency.  

Let’s Chat!

What inspiration do you use when cooking at home?

What’s your favorite sushi meal?

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