Charting life's circuitous path

Eat. Live. Be. for a Better 2011 – Challenge 6 + Kintokimame no ama-ni recipe

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To see my post explaining ELB 2011, my goals, and other participants, go here.

My Update: Well, I was able to exercise most days last week.  I broke my record of every day by having to deal with this for two days:

The 55 is the indoor temp.

We had another snow storm last week and by chance, our heater went out the same day.  Apparently there was an unconnected problem with the boiler that shot the system to the North Pole.  I know that a little while ago there was a challenge prompt about how to stay motivated in the cold winter months and I remember how I said that it was a “no-brainer”.  I would like to apologize profusely for such a blatant lie.

It’s impossible to get up the energy to exercise in cold weather.  (I’m ignoring all of those healthy folks that run in 30 deg weather, etc – they at least have a warm home to return to.)

I literally sat around just shivering for two days and two nights before they finally fixed it.  I thought that doing some exercise would actually be a good thing to do with such low temps – get the body moving and the blood flowing.  The only problem was the clenching my muscles were already doing just to stay warm while sitting down.

I did notice one thing when I was shivering my way through this week: I was not happy about the lack of exercising.  In fact, I was downright angry when I woke up the second morning to numb toes knowing that I wouldn’t be able to get in a routine.  There was a whole-hearted attempt at doing a set by the second night, but it was so difficult to stay warm, that I quit and peevishly called the emergency maintenance number to file another report. If this had happened last year, I’m sure that I would have used it as an attempt to get out of exercising – a bit like a snow day.  This year, I was actually angry that the cold was getting in my way.

So, there was a LOT of tea drinking.

Smiling my way through the cold.

When the heat did pop on, I started exercising right away.  In fact, I was able to convince my hubby to try out a few routines, too. 🙂  All-in-all, it was a great week.  Considering.

Challenge Week 6 Prompt: How to get out of a rut.

In a lot of ways, ruts are excuses.  We develop ruts and then use them as an excuse to stop what we’re doing.  I develop ruts very easily – I get bored with the same types of food, I tire of waking up at the same time to do exercises, and I dislike doing the same type of routine.  To fight the exercise rut, I have a series of exercises that I inter-change to spice things up.  I also do pilates during the evening if my mornings are needed for other things (like grocery shopping, etc).  What I dislike, however, is a food rut.

Lately, I’ve taken to eating a lot of stir fry – lots of garlic, a bit of soy, a sprinkle of kombu dashi, a couple of mushrooms, a bit of onion, and lots of greens with some egg mixed in.  I plop this on rice and it makes for a really healthy and hearty meal.  The nice thing is how I can really mix up the type of veggies I cook – I can add a bit of daikon or carrot or I can change up the greens.  It’s so versatile, that I eat it at least 2 or 3 times a week.

In-between the stir fry meals, I eat pasta or other ethnic foods to jazz things up.  I also eat a lot of rice.  Rice on its own can be delicious, but I like to eat things with my rice to add flavor.  One of those things is Kintokimame no ama-ni.  Or simmered kidney beans.

(Notice how I’m trying to take better pics of my food – I’m still getting the hang of it and I’m not wholly happy with this shot.  One day…)

These are excellent with a bowl of rice – they’re just sweet enough and sauced enough to bring out the fluffiness of the rice.  I also love how it gives me a much needed protein boost to my meals.

Kintokimame no ama-ni

Note: I use splenda in this recipe because it cuts down on the horrific amount of sugar needed otherwise.  If splenda isn’t your thing, go ahead and use about 2 cups sugar – try one cup first and taste it to see if you need it sweeter.


2 cups kidney beans (I used about 1 pound dry – just wash and soak overnight)

1/2 cup cold water

1/2 cup sugar

12 packets splenda (or the 1/2 cup conversion equivalent)

1 tbsp soy sauce (I use Yamasa)


Place beans in medium pot and cover beans with water (or use the soaking liquid if using dry beans).

Boil over high heat, skimming off any bubbly scum.

Pour in 1/2 cup cold water and drop the temp to medium  high.  Bring to a boil, covered.  Cook beans for about an hour until soft.

Add the sugar and dissolve.  Cook for another 5 minutes and add soy sauce.

Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat.  Let cool.  The longer it sits, the thicker it becomes. The flavors blend together once it’s cool.

(You can store this frozen in containers.)

Author: iscribbler

A girl scribbling her way through health, love, food and life.

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