Category Archives: Food

New Blog: I have moved to Lisa Living Well

Please update your readers and bookmarks with my new blog: Lisa Living Well.

I will no longer be blogging at Fit in the Midwest. Thank you for reading and I hope you can join me over at my new site http://www.lisalivingwell.com.

I look forward to “seeing” you on my new blog!

Six on Saturday

I wanted to do a Five on Friday or Five Things Friday post yesterday, but never got around to it. So, I’ll post a Six on Saturday instead!

1. I received a package from Larabar and Food Should Taste Good earlier this week. It totally made my day because it was unexpected and contained products I love.

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2. I found a Men’s Fitness article about eating for your blood type on Pinterest and had to share it.

image source

I am type A+ and the information it gave on my type couldn’t be more accurate. See, I knew there was a reason I ate a mostly vegetarian diet and avoided red meat.

“Your Diet: When hunter-gatherer Os started thinning out, our ancestors started relying on agriculture and expanding their diet to include a semi-vegetarian approach. Type As have the digestive enzymes and bacteria it takes to digest grains and plants that other blood types might have a rough time breaking down.”

“What to Eat: Fill your plate with fruits like berries, figs, plums, apples, avocados, pears and peaches. Choose veggies like broccoli, artichokes, carrots, greens and garlic. Fish and poultry should be limited since type As produce fewer meat-digesting enzymes, which is why they have such a hard time digesting red meat. To get protein, rely on plant protein from nuts (like nut butters), seeds, beans and soy. Since your body can easily break down and get optimal nutrition from grains, carbs and proteins, cereal, breads and pastas should be staples of your diet.”

3. I tried this Saffron Road meal for lunch yesterday and it was delicious. I won some free product coupons and bought a bunch of frozen meals at Whole Foods with them. Craig actually ate two this week and he loved his as well. He had a chicken tikka masala meal and said it was much better than his Mayura restaurant version.

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4. I seemed to be a magnet for helping others this week and I enjoyed being able to do that.

I took the picture below for my co-worker, whose son is allergic to peanuts, but he loves sunflower seeds. I recommended the Trader Joe’s sunflower seed butter to her. She was worried about the ingredients, but they passed the test.

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I had another co-worker consult privately with me about the fact that she might be diabetic (and doesn’t have health insurance to confirm or deny the suspicion). I felt honored that she came to me for help since she knows I read a lot about health conditions and nutrition. I played nutritionist for a half hour and recommended some switches in her diet. I also sent her a blog to check out because the author is a Registered Dietitian with a specialty in diabetes (it’s Prevention RD).

5. Henri

Thanks to Karis, I found the Henri videos and seem to watch at least one a week, even if I am just re-watching one I have seen already. My favorite is this Halloween video.

Perfect Christmas present for a crazy cat lady like me? Henri’s calendar. He also has a book coming out next Spring!

6. I subscribed to Nutriton Action magazine. A co-worker subscribes and used to borrow me copies occasionally, but I finally decided to get my own subscription.

Nutrition Action magazines

They also feature some of their articles online if you want to check them out.

This isn’t really a seventh thing, but I successfully moved a year and a half of my blog posts over to the new site and it’s almost ready! I have enjoyed creating a new blog and love Blogger so far!

Have a wonderful Saturday! I am off to the mall to get some much needed shopping in.

Mayura Indian Restaurant

We love Indian food and have tried most Indian restaurants in the Milwaukee area. On Friday night, Craig and I tried one we hadn’t been to before, Mayura Indian Restaurant.

The interior was nice, but pretty basic.

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I had my usual order of Paneer Tikka Masala. It wasn’t on the menu, but I asked what vegetarian menu item was closest to it and he said they could just make it. I requested it be mildly spicy, but it definitely was more in the medium range, which didn’t please me.

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Craig had Chicken Tikka Masala and thought it was just ok. The chunks of chicken were somewhat dry and too big.

We cooled our mouths off with a Mango Lassi. I think this was one of the best Mango Lassis we have had at a local Indian restaurant.

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I’m not sure we’ll be going back to Mayura. I prefer another Indian restaurant closer to our house and we’ll likely stick to going there from now on.

Mayura Indian Restaurant
1958 N Farwell Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: (414) 271-8200

Holiday Kale Salad

Over the weekend, I started the process of testing out one of the recipes I will be making for Thanksgiving.

On Sunday, I tackled trying out the Holiday Kale salad I found in the November 2012 issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. I cut the recipe in half and it still made a large salad.

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Roasting the cranberries and garlic was fairly easy. I think I cooked the cranberries a bit too long though or did not coat them in enough olive oil, because they did stick to the aluminum foil.

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The salad took me about 30-45 minutes to make, which is more intensive than any other salad recipe I have ever made.

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In the end, I found the Holiday Kale Salad to be delicious and healthy tasting. I have to admit that I did grow a little tired of the flavors and “chewy” aspect of the recipe. I can still see this being a pretty good side salad to include with our Thanksgiving meal, so I will likely go forward with making it.

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Holiday Kale Salad (Better Homes & Gardens, November, 2012)

Ingredients:
2 cups fresh cranberries
4 – 5 cloves garlic unpeeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 1/2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
4 cups chopped kale
2 cups cooked wild rice cooled
1 small bulb fennel cored and shaved or cut into very thin wedges
1 cup chopped walnuts toasted
1/2 cup thinly sliced red sweet pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

Where I’ve Been

I have no good excuse for not posting all week, except that I was tired, not much happened this week and that I am trying to figure out the future of Fit in the Midwest. As of Halloween, my blog ads ended and I decided not to go with the Lijit network suggested to me. I want to make the switch to BlogHer, but that requires changing blog hosts because WordPress isn’t supported through BlogHer. I am probably going to switch to Blogger and with that will come a new blog name and address. I want to own my domain name as well. For now, I’ll keep blogging here until I make the switch and then I will try to direct traffic to the new name. If anyone has simple instructions on how to do this, I’d appreciate the help.

I actually considered not blogging at all in the future. But I decided that I love it too much, even if I only write two posts a week. I enjoy photography, documenting my life and having a hobby that explores my interests in nutrition, cooking and fitness. I still hope to turn these interests into a career someday.

I have no clue what my new blog will be called and I am sure something will come to me. Until I make the switch, I appreciate you reading and commenting. I am so thankful for the blogging community and I can’t imagine leaving it and being only a reader.

Life lately

I usually don’t post on Saturday nights, but we are just relaxing at home and I was in the mood to blog. We’ve been enjoying our weekend so far and I hope you have too!

Earlier this week, I shot this photo while walking to the bus stop. I had just finished an interview on the radio (taped, not live, luckily) and I was so relieved to be done and heading into work. The leaves under my fantastic and comfortable Tsubo boots were just too pretty not to capture.

fall leaves and boots

I go through phases where I become obsessed with cottage cheese. This week, I put it on everything and also ate it plain. I really enjoyed it on toast as an after work snack and in my lentil soup.

cottage cheese on bread

Last night, we walked around the mall after enjoying a dinner out. I almost always take stairs vs. the escalator when I can, so I loved how Aurora Healthcare encouraged people to be well and take the mere 30 steps to the top with their “30 steps to a healthier you” slogan.

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This morning, we woke up and packed our gym bags for a trip out to Mukwonago. We met my parents at the beautiful new YMCA and enjoyed working out by doing cardio and weights and then hitting the pool. I am not much of a swimmer, but I did love their walking pool, the water slide, chilling in the whirlpool and swimming with the kick board. We had a lot of fun with my parents and I hope it’s something we can do more often.

Mukwonago YMCA

Once we got home, I wanted to chill on the couch and read My Berlin Kitchen. I am only 55 pages in so far, but I like Luisa’s story and recipes. There is a recipe that really sounds delicious and uses quark–it’s called quarkauflauf. I had actually just read about it in Alysha’s article on quark that was featured in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Entree section on Sunday. I hadn’t read Luisa’s blog, The Wednesday Chef, before picking up this book, but I am following her site now because I like the way she writes and I love Berlin.

My Berlin Kitchen

I think reading about Germany made me crave pretzels. Luckily, I had picked up this Deutsche Kuche pretzel dough at Aldi a couple of weeks ago.

Deutsche Kuche Pretzel

This is the pretzel I was most proud of, although I realized after that the ends didn’t need to extend down so far.

Pretzel in dough shape

The verdict? They turned out pretty good. They didn’t taste like the “bretzeln” we adored in Germany and reminded us more of bread.

Pretzel

Well, I am off to listen to Spotify, drink some wine and keep doing laundry. Night!

Rainy weather = an impromptu at-home workout

It was pouring here tonight, so once I got home, I wasn’t too keen on going back out in the rain to drive to the gym. I am not normally that wimpy about rain, but I just wasn’t feeling like getting rained on anymore (blame it on waiting at the bus stop outside).

I came home to find a surprise package in my door, which contained a workout video called Fit in 5: Ultimate Body Blitz! I received it from Self magazine. Basically, I was a “loser” in another one of their giveaways, but they gave me this video anyway. So cool, thanks Self! It was as if the mail gods were telling me to stay home and try the video out, so that’s what I did!

Fit in 5 video

Mid-workout break for a self-portrait…

me, mid-workout

…and the last of my Fitmixer aminos! I don’t think I am going to buy them again. After doing research, I am not so sure I need aminos.

Aminos and weights

Overall, I loved the 20 minute strength exercise I did tonight. It definitely got my heart rate up in a short period of time. I really liked how the teacher, Violet Zaki, combined cardio and strength in exercises that were completely new to me. I worked my glutes and abs hard and those are the areas I need to strengthen most.

The only negative was that the teacher moved through the lunges really quickly and that is a move I have to take my time on, so I did exactly that!

I am looking forward to trying the yoga, pilates, dance and cardio workouts. I’ll report back on those soon! I think this video will be great to pull out when I can’t make it to the gym!

Dinner tonight included this quick and easy Seeds of Change quinoa and brown rice mixture I picked up at Costco.

Seeds of Change Quinoa & Brown Rice

I enjoyed the flavor, but Craig thought it tasted like plastic.

quinoa and brown rice Seeds of Change

Do you enjoy working out at home? I like bringing out workout videos or the Wii Fit when the weather isn’t great outside, like today. That especially applies to when snowy evenings in the winter.

Wordless Weekend

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Krispy Kreme

Sharazad

Sharazad Milwauke interior

Gille's custard stand sign

Gille's

charity of the month

gille's custard

Karma

Tanzi and cbs sunday morning

party

owl cookie

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Le Reve Patisserie and Cafe in Wauwatosa

If there is one restaurant in my hometown that I have been talking about getting to for ages, it’s Le Reve. I finally accomplished that goal on Saturday. My friend Danielle and I get together at least once a month and we planned ahead on a shopping and Le Reve date. Both of our husbands don’t like French food (or so they think) and so I had the perfect dinner companion to go with.

Oh and please excuse my iPhone photos. I wish I could have brought my DSLR, but that just wasn’t possible because we went shopping at Mayfair before and after dinner!

We got there around 5:15 and found the restaurant busy, but nowhere near as packed as when we left. I would definitely recommend going early!

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Isn’t the interior adorable?

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We were seated upstairs and it was cozy, yet not cramped at all.

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Danielle was shocked by how small her diet coke was, but I told her it must have been the kind they sell outside the US that isn’t sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.

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We started with Crostini de Brie and literally said oooh and aaah as we ate it. Total comfort food!

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I ordered a crepe with vegetables (legumes printaniers) for my entree. It was tres bien!

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We both still had room to share a dessert, so we ran downstairs to check out them out and decide on what to get. They were all so beautiful!

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We finally settled on a Gateau de Noisettes–a Hazelnut Cake. The sweet older couple next to us teased about which of us would get the sole raspberry. Danielle got it. I preferred to have the toasted hazelnuts. I am a huge hazelnut fan. Have been ever since I lived in Europe.

I only wish I could have snapped a better photo. This was an amazing cake!

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I also ordered some macarons to bring home with me. Can you believe that I had never had macarons before? I have always admired how pretty and petite they are, but never had the opportunity to try one. Not even in Paris.

I had to dig out my DSLR on Sunday and shoot some photos of these gorgeous and delicious cookies.

Le Reve macarons

pink macaron

green macaron

While I thought the pink was pretty, I actually preferred the green and cream colored cookies.

pink macaron

I hope to get back to Le Reve very soon! I’d love to try breakfast or lunch there next. Or maybe just go for dessert and coffee sometime.

Le Rêve Patisserie & Café
7610 Harwood Avenue
Wauwatosa, WI 53213
(414) 778-3333

7 things I learned over the weekend

Reflecting back on the weekend, I realized that I “learned” a lot and wanted to share those things with readers, as quirky as some of them are.

1) My current khaki colored pants should not be worn anymore. I wore them shopping on Saturday and the view of my backside was not pleasant. The pants I was wearing just aren’t flattering anymore, if they ever were. I’m on the hunt for a new pair. Also: I must do more squats and butt toning workouts! I am sharing something I don’t like about myself because I want to change it.

2) Cleaning out my closet is kind of therapeutic. I switched my summer clothes out and brought out the fall and winter items. I also simplified my shoe selection for the new seasons. I am happy to also report that I have a pretty big Goodwill pile and I will also attempt to sell some items at a consignment shop soon. I need to go through this process more often.

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Karma decided to sleep in the middle of my laundry/sorting pile.

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3) My husband is amazing. I knew this already, but that guy spent most of his weekend digging out old, moldy caulk and redoing the entire tub and window. We also spent a fair chunk of time at ACE hardware in the caulk aisle and had to make two separate trips there. Fun! Glad that project is done. Can we buy a new house now?

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4) Buying a new pillow helps me sleep better. It has already forced me to be more of a back sleeper, which is great. I tend to sleep on my side or stomach and then I get these huge lines on my face in the morning. I know those can’t be good to keep getting long term. And hooray for the pillow I picked out being only $10 on sale at Target.

5) Showering at the gym isn’t really that bad. Since the caulk had to dry for 24 hours, I had to shower at the gym after my workout on Sunday and while I have always dreaded it, freshening up there wasn’t that bad. It just takes being organized with my supplies.

6) It took a visit to a French restaurant over the weekend to realize that my French comprehension and pronunciation is better than I thought. While I have never taken a formal French class, spending time in Switzerland with French Swiss classmates, traveling in Paris, and my natural language skills helped me feel more confident with the language. I even managed to pronounce the dessert my friend and I ordered correctly!

7) And finally, don’t use a priority mail box for certain situations. Due to this, I spent about 45 minutes in the post office on Saturday. I have to credit the two ladies I worked with at the post office though–they were kind and patient. I am happy to have found a decent post office near our house.

It wasn’t the most relaxing weekend, but I felt like I accomplished a lot and at least I got out of the house to enjoy shopping and dinner out with a friend. More on that in my next post.

What have you learned about yourself or life lately?