As you may have noticed, there’s a long term goal of good health in my monthly resolutions. Recently, I’ve made great strides (no pun, really) towards that goal. I found a great website called SparkPeople that, while cluttered and busy, gives me a ton of different tools to help with living a healthy lifestyle.
I can track calories; grams of fat, protein, and carbs; veggies; and water consumption. I can set reminders to do cardio every other day and to rotate my strength training between upper and lower body and even set my core exercises to avoid crunches. I can set my own customized goals, such as sleeping 7-8 hours a night or practicing bellydance isolation drills each week.
On top of these tools, I have access to a community of people also trying to live a healthy lifestyle. They share motivation, tips, recipes, and good old fashion friendly support. You can meet the community through blogging or through SparkTeams geared to a large variety of different interests from wanting to lose X pounds to cat lovers to pagans.
Enough about that. I’ll blog in more detail as people ask. If you’re interested in weight loss, eating healthy, or anything closely related, let me know and I can write an expanded post about that part of SparkPeople. I’m also happy to chat privately via IM or email if you prefer more privacy. Also, if you’re interested in the site, let me know and I’ll send you an invite. (I do get referral recognition – it’s not much, but it’s always nice to get a little bone thrown your way.)
For reading my rambling, here is your recognition reward – the fried rice recipe that I’ve fallen in love with.
The base recipe runs about 200 calories per 1 cup serving before the “extras” in step 4. Hence, you can afford to add one or more extras depending on whether you want this to be a side dish or a meal in and of itself. It really is as good, if not better, than every Chinese restaurant I’ve tried. I’d bet five pounds that it’s healthier than every one of them too.
1) Nuke ½ to 1 full bag of frozen mixed veggies. I like the bag with the diced carrots, peas, and green beans, but pick what you like with rice. Be creative. Microwave to defrost and warm. (I used 6-10 ounces depending on what brand is on sale and how big the bag is. I like to change it up too. Sometimes broccoli and onions, sometimes carrots and peas.)
2) Heat a wok on medium-high heat. (A large frying pan would work, but a wok is easier and less messy.) Spray with Pam or other non-stick low-calorie spray. Pour two large eggs down the side and scramble constantly, throwing the uncooked parts up the side of the wok so it cooks thin and quick. Set aside.
3) Spray with Pam again and add 1 Tbs sesame or other wok oil and 1 Tbs of soy sauce (low sodium or regular depending on your dietary needs). Add cooked brown rice (about 2 cups, or a bag of Minute Rice). Stir to coat with oil and then let stand. Stir again and let stand. You’re trying to dry the rice out and make it less clumpy, so don’t stir constantly or it will take longer to dry out.
4) Mix in veggies of your choice. Here a great place to add extras: mushrooms, scallions, chopped onions/peppers, spinach, etc. Also, if you want it to be a full meal, add in 4-8 oz of chicken, crab meat, or pork, diced as small as the veggies. (Meat isn’t part of the above calorie count.) Mix in egg. Add a splash more soy sauce (no more than 1 Tbs). Mix and serve immediately.
5) Just as fried rice from the restaurant, leftovers in the microwave are just as good as fresh from the wok! I like to portion out leftovers in bring-to-work-for-lunch sizes once we’ve had supper.