Monthly Archives: February 2011

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Complete Proteins

I’m blogging from Phoenix again as I will be spending the rest of the week working from here.  My aunt just told me what the meal plan is for the rest of the week, and y’all have reason to be excited because we are going to be making some really delicious yet really simple Indian foods. :) 

When I arrived here today, everyone was getting ready for dinner.  I had a really late lunch (4:30 pm), so I wasn’t  hungry for a big dinner, but I took a few pictures anyways.

Sweet, juicy mangos! I made a little room for this treat!

Rotli - Indian flatbread (relative of naan)

Cabbage and potato shak (veggies with different spices)

My plan is to make Indian food at least twice a week once I move into my apartment in Boston.  I want to take some of the traditional dishes I grew up eating and add a little twist…don’t worry, I will take you all on this journey with me!

Complete Proteins

Back in August 2010, I made the decision to become a vegetarian (for good).  I have gone between eating white meat and being a vegetarian quite a few times in my life, but I know in my heart (cheesy but true) that this time the switch is permanent.  I was kind of leaning towards vegetarianism at the time, but after watching “Food, Inc.”, I broke down (literally in tears) and made the decision to become a veggie from now until the end of time. :)  And honestly, I haven’t looked back since!

Anyways, I knew when I made the decision that I would have to reexamine my diet to ensure that I was getting adequate amounts of protein and iron in my body.  What I didn’t consider was the kinds of protein I was consuming.  It’s been awhile since I’ve studied biology!!  See, animal proteins are good sources of complete proteins (eggs, meat, poultry, cheese, and fish) – they contain all 9 essential amino acids.  On the other hand, legumes, nuts, and seeds contain mostly incomplete proteins as they are missing one or more essential amino acids.  Essential amino acids are important because they can’t be manufactured by your body but are still needed to perform all bodily functions.  So, what can us non meat eaters do?  Well, we are not helpless…we can combine certain foods to create complete proteins.


  • Combine grains and legumes: Peanut butter on whole wheat bread
  • Combine grains and nuts/seeds: Whole wheat bun with sesame seeds
  • Combine legumes and nuts/seeds: Hummus (chickpeas and sesame paste)

More examples:

  • Oatmeal with milk
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Salad with beans and a hard-cooked egg
  • Yogurt and granola
  • Bean and cheese burrito

Also, it’s important to know that these foods contain 8 of the 9 essential amino acids:

  • Fruits: Bananas, dates, tomatoes
  • Nuts: Almonds, coconuts, filberts, sunflower seeds, walnuts, brazil nuts, pecans
  • Vegetables: Alfalfa sprouts, bean sprouts, carrots, eggplants, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, corn, okra, squash

Finally, it’s important to note that not every food or meal you eat has to have most of the essential amino acids.  It’s important to maintain a well-balanced diet, so that in totality, all of your meals combined give your body the nutrients it needs.  As long as you have different complementary proteins present in your diet, you are on the right path! 

My high school biology teacher would be so proud of me!!

Oscar Night!

SOOOO, I meant for this post to go up last night after the Oscars, but guess who fell asleep during the show…ME!  Another factoid about me: put me in front of a TV (at night) or in a moving car, bus, train, plane (any time) and 9 times out of 10 I will fall asleep…oops!  I apologize, but here is my Oscar Night post anyways…

I haven’t watched an awards show in a LONG time, but I thought I would tune in tonight, since I’ve seen a lot of the movies that were nominated.  I’ve been setting up for my movers all day, so I wanted to just sit and relax for a couple of hours.  And it’s kinda fun seeing all the glamor that is Hollywood!

My Oscar notes :) :

  • The mom’s of nominees segment was so cute!  I can just imagine what my mom would say if she ever had the opportunity to be featured in something like that! 
  • I love the color of Mila Kunis’s dress – lilac!  She looked so pretty.
  • Maria Menunos’s hair is gorgeous – I have to figure out how I can replicate at home!
  • Justin Timberlake…need I say more!
  • James Franco isn’t as impressive as I thought he would be.
  • Anne Hathaway has a beautiful voice.  I remember her singing at another show a few years ago and being impressed then as well.
  • I had no clue Christian Bale has an English accent.  What?!
  • Long speeches really get on my nerves!
  • What is Cate Blanchett wearing?  Not a fan of her dress.
  • Jake Gyllenhaal…need I say more!
  • Robert Downey, Jr. will always be attractive to me!  Such a hottie!
  • Jennifer Hudson looks beautiful!
  • And there’s no K in Rahman, people!

(This is where I fell asleep…zzzzz!)

As I’m sitting on my couch watching the show, I’m craving a lot of different foods I don’t currently have at home.  Let’s see…right about now I could eat (not all at once, but one/two of these things):

  • some really dark chocolate
  • a big, veggie filled salad
  • a strawberry banana smoothie
  • popcorn
  • a spoonful of peanut butter
  • blueberries
  • samosas
  • apple sauce

LOL!  I know this is a random list, but my food supply is running low, so of course this is when I start craving all of the above!  Don’t you hate it when that happens?  You always want what you can’t have!  Ugh!  Hope you all were able to give in to your cravings tonight!

What’s your opinion on award shows like the Oscars?  Love them or hate them?

Start Strength Training NOW!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend so far!  I’ve been meaning to talk about this awesome bread my aunt gets from a co-op here in Arizona called Bountiful Baskets.  She buys 5 loaves for a total of $10.  It is seriously the best bread I’ve ever tasted.  It’s very earthy, light, and sweet, and with a little nut butter, it’s perfection!  Yay for delicious breakfasts after eating not so healthy food for a week!

Strength Training

I picked up a copy of this month’s Women’s Health at the airport and was happy to see an article titled “Lose Your Fear of Lifting.”  It talked about the 12 reasons why we should incorporate lifting into our workout routines.  All of the points made me really want to amp up my strength training and ensure that I get in at least 2 sessions a week. 

12 Reasons to Strength Train

1. You’ll lose 40 percent more fat.
2. Your clothes will fit better.
3. You’ll burn more calories.
4. Your diet will improve.
5. You’ll handle stress better.
6. You’ll be happier.
7. You’ll build stronger bones.
8. You’ll get into shape faster.
9. Your heart will be healthier.
10. You’ll be way more productive.
11. You’ll live longer.
12. You’ll be smarter.

If you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you know that I am a huge Jillian Michael’s fan.  I even have 4 of her DVDs.  My favorite one is “No More Trouble Zones” because it is a great whole body workout, including your shoulders, triceps, biceps, inner and outer thighs, abs, glutes, hamstrings, back, and more! 

Jillian’s philosophy is based on circuit training, so you do 2 sets of 5 moves that target specific muscles using 3 pound weights.  I love that each move targets more than one body part (compound exercises) because you burn more calories that way.  For example, she’ll have you do squats with shoulder presses, lunges with bicep curls…you get the point!  It’s so fun and challenging, and the great thing about it is that I don’t have to count reps – Jillian does it for me!.  I know that not everyone is really motivated to workout at home, so maybe this is not for you.  But I really think that finding a way to fit in these types of workouts is important, regardless of what that looks like for you.

Personally, since I’ve started strength training more seriously, I have seen more muscle tone and a significant improvement in my running.  I can run farther for a longer period of time with no pain.  I really do attribute JM’s DVD to that!  I know many of us absolutely love cardio, but did you know that the afterburn of strength training lasts for up to 39-48 hours after you are done exercising!  If that doesn’t get you to start now, I don’t know what will!

Have you incorporated strength training into your workout schedule?  If so, how do you think it’s benefited you?

Fierce Conversations

Most of you are probably thinking, “What the heck is a FIERCE conversation?”  I was definitely thinking that when I first heard the term.  Well, the last day and a half of training this week was a workshop hosted by a company called Fierce, Inc.  During our time with Fierce, we  talked about different types of conversations, and everything we learned can be applied in the workplace as well as our personal lives.  I’m not going to post every single thing that was presented to us (I’d probably get in trouble for that), but I do want to share some of the key takeaways that I think you would enjoy.

  • Essentially, a fierce conversation is one where you take off all the  masks you wear on a daily basis and make it real, both for you and the other individuals involved.  This is really important because our conversations are our relationships.  This concept confused me at first, but when you really think about it, without real conversations, your relationships are based on nothing but empty words.
  • We learned about 7 “conversation enabling” principles.  Our facilitator told us to pick one to work on and master.  The one I picked is about being present and nowhere else when engaging with someone in a conversation.  I tend to multitask throughout the day and am never 100% present in any situation.  This is not something I am proud of because it’s rude and disrespectful.  I expect those interacting with me to be alert and focused, so I think I owe them the same respect.
  • “Out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field.  I’ll meet you there.”  I love this quote because when I read it for the first time I saw two people stepping out of a black and white background into a colorful one.  I think that instead of shying away from opinions and thoughts that are different from our own, we should try to learn more from those who disagree with us or present a different view from ours.  It’s scary to let go and open ourselves up to other possibilities, but that’s how we grow. 
  • “The problem named is the problem solved.” I think this is something we should all remember when addressing issues with others.  When the facilitator said this, I automatically thought of my arguments with Vishnu where I would dance around the issue and not just say what was bothering me.  Ultimately, the real problem would surface, and it would get addressed, but it would have made life so much easier (especially for him) if I had approached him with the real issue.  I’ve gotten much better about this over the past few years, and I think he would agree!  Also, something else that goes along with this is “a careful conversation is a failed conversation because it merely postpones the conversation that wants and needs to take place.”  SO TRUE!
  • Apathy is worse than dislike.  This one really hit home for me.  If you just stop caring about someone or something, that really is worse than you not liking them or it.  I always say that you only tend put forth an effort for things that are worth something to you.  By being and acting apathetic, you are making a statement that you don’t care anymore and that it’s just not worth your time.  Slowly, someone or something that may have meant a lot to you at one time no longer does.  Apathy is a really sad thing to me, so now every time I feel that way, I’m going to stop and think about why, and hopefully that helps me explore my feelings at a deeper level.
  • “There is something within us that responds deeply to those who level with us, who don’t suggest our compromises for us.”  This goes back to my first few points about being real and present when engaging with others.  This quote also, in my opinion, refers to the notion of being honest and truthful.  You are only hurting people when you don’t tell them the truth.  We should always “find a way to say the things that can’t be said.”  And the truth ALWAYS makes an appearance, sooner or later.
  • “Emotional wake is what you remember after I’m gone.  What you feel after I’m gone.  The aftermath, aftertaste, and afterglow.”  My new thing is to really engage with people who elevate me even after our conversation is over.  And I want to do the same for others as well.  How many of us continue to engage with individuals who bring us down, and it may not be their intent but just their style, body language, vocabulary, etc.  If you don’t walk away from them feeling like a better person, why keep engaging?  Something to think about…
  • My new favorite quote – “If you want to see someone in real pain, watch someone who knows who he is and defaults on it on a regular basis.”  Profound and powerful!  I can’t really put into words how I feel when I think about this quote, but the one thought that does come to mind over and over again is if I can’t be myself in every facet of life, why is that and what is holding me back?  Again, something to think about.

I don’t know about y’all, but I love thought-provoking sessions like this one – the kind that make you question yourself and your reality.  We’re all works in progress.  Every situation, interaction, and challenge changes and shapes us, and it’s up to us to make note of the lessons learned and really be an active participant in our own lives.  Sorry for all the words today, but I hope I was able to introduce you to a different way of thinking…that was my real goal.  In my opinion, this information was just too good not to share. :)

Thanks!  I promise to be back with pretty pictures soon!


Hello hello!  So you know the drill for this week…another day of training.  Today was different though.  We had an outside vendor come talk to us about having courageous conversations.  There is tons that I want to share from today, but we wrap up our module tomorrow, so I will post about the two days all at once.  Trust me, it’ll make more sense that way!

On a completely different note, there is a questionnaire floating around the blog world that I thought I would complete (I saw it first on Julie’s blog and then Alexa’s).  I always fear that readers won’t be able to connect with me because I haven’t divulged too much information about myself, so I thought I would share some interesting little tidbits. :) Here goes…

A: Age: 27

B: Bed size: Queen – I love my bed…so comfortable.

C: Chore you dislike: Folding laundry

D: Dogs: No pets here.  I don’t think animals like me!

E: Essential start to your day: Freshly brewed coffee

F: Favorite color: Blue and brown – especially together

G: Gold or silver: Silver…better yet, platinum (just kidding!)

H: Height: 5’2.5  :)

I: Instruments I can play: I played the recorder in the 3rd grade, and I was pretty good!

J: Job title: HR Professional

K: Kids: 0

L: Live: Boston, MA starting in March

M: Mom’s name: Mina

N: Nicknames: Par, Paludi, Pakoodi, Parle-G, Pardoodle

O: Overnight hospital stays: 2x.  The first was when I was five and had an extremely (and almost deadly) high fever.  My mom and dad remember that day as one of the worst days of their lives.  And then again when I was six and had  my tonsils taken out.  I was a hot mess, and my parents have pictures to prove it!

P: Pet peeve: Bad breath, slow drivers, and hair on the bathroom floor.

Q: Quote from a movie: “I’d rather die tomorrow than live a hundred years without knowing you.” John Smith, from the movie “Pocahontas.”  I am a hopeless romantic!

R: Righty or lefty: Righty

S: Siblings: One younger sister

T: Time you wake up: Depends – as early as 5 and as late as 6:15 on the weekdays.  Usually around 8 on the weekends.

U: Underwear: Yes – duh!

V: Vegetables you dislike: Frozen peas…GROSS!

W: What makes you run late: Other people, haha!  And when I forget to pack my lunch the night before and have to do it in the morning.

X: X-rays: None that I can remember

Y: Yummy food you make: Cream cheese rolls, baked ziti, tostadas, and lots of different desserts :)

Z: Favorite zoo animal: Monkeys and pandas

So now it’s my turn to ask you something!  What is the one thing most people would be surprised to learn about you???