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I have been on a major oats kick lately! From overnight oats to baked oats and even birthday cake, I’ve been having way too much fun making my own oat flour and using it to bake different things.
If you haven’t tried using oats to make your baked goods a bit more filling (yay, more fiber!), then I highly recommend it. This oat bread base is great for muffins, donuts and more!
You can use this oat base to customize your recipes. Feel free to play with this and experiment with your own recipes!
Bread base to make 9 muffins or donuts:
While smart scales like this are never 100% accurate (you have to have a very intensive scan with a specialist for that!), they are a great guide to help you understand the full breakdown of your weight.
These connect to an app on your cell phone via WiFi, so everything is fully digital. Once your phone and the scale are paired, you can just keep the app open on the counter as you step on so all of the data is available at your fingertips.
From FitBit to Garmin, there are a ton of different fitness trackers and smart watches currently on sale. This is a great way to track your workouts, no matter what your preference is.
Running Shoes from Adidas for 43% off
While a lot of different brands of athletic wear and running shoes are on sale, these adidas Cloudform 2.0 Running Shoes really caught my eye at 43% off!
Adidas describes these as running-inspired trainers, so they should be perfect for general activity, too.
Get 28% Off NordicTrack T Series Treadmills
If you still aren't comfortable returning to the gym post-pandemic, having a treadmill at home is a game changer for when the weather isn't ideal for bringing your workout outside.
This treadmill specifically includes 1 month free of interactive personal training by iFit, where you can tap into live, studio, and global workout classes from home.
Brand New Echo Buds from Amazon
If you want to level up your earbuds for when you workout, Amazon now offers Echo Buds.
These wireless, noise cancelling ear buds feature Alexa, and are also compatible with Siri and Google Assist. The earbuds work with the Alexa app on your phone for music, podcasts, and audiobook streaming.
When I participated in Veganuaryearlier this year, Orgain was my go-to brand. They offer a great tasting vegan protein that I've found to be less chalky compared to other brands. If you're looking to add more plant-based options into your diet, now is a great time to give their products a try.
All of these deals are for Amazon Prime members only, so be sure to try a try a 30-day free trial if you don't already have a membership.
View all available Prime Day deals here. They update them throughout the day with added flash sales, so be sure to keep checking back!
Whether you've been running for years or just picked it up, there's one thing that gets a really bad reputation: the treadmill. I've even heard it referred to as "the dreadmill" since it can be fairly boring compared to running outside.
And for those who think it is boring, they have a fair point: you likely don't have as many surroundings to look at if your treadmill isn't near a window.
I started running more on the treadmill when I'd go to the gym to start weight lifting. It was an easy way to incorporate HIIT cardio. Plus, you have a flat surface that is completely in your control.
But I didn't want to ever look at it as the "dreadmill." So I experimented and now, I actually prefer treadmill running over running outside!
Here are seven ways to make the treadmill less boring and indoor running more fun.
1. Watch a First Person POV video
The treadmills at my gym offer a service called RunTV, where you can pick an interactive workout. These will show a specific scenery and match the incline to simulate running the beach or mountains.
You don't need a fancy treadmill for this, though - a tablet or phone will do just fine! There are tons of YouTube channels out there that offer first person POV videos designed for running on the treadmill or pedaling on a stationary bike. Just look up "treadmill videos" and you'll find a bunch.
This one is one of my favorites from World Nature Video:
2. Get a fun playlist
I had a Disney music playlist for when I was training for the 2018 Princess Half Marathon. I also have used my Star Wars playlist a few times when training for the multiple Star Wars race weekends I've participated in.
Need some workout playlists to get you started? I've created a few on Spotify!
3. Experiment with the incline or speed
Set a goal so you can head into the gym or onto the treadmill with a plan. Looking to increase your mile time? Start slowly increasing the speed to see how fast you can go. Want to get a feel for training at different heights? Start to increase the incline!
4. Try an audiobook or podcast
Just listen, enjoy the entertainment, and the workout will fly by in no time. This is a great way to burn some calories while also being able to stay up to date with your reading challenges or book clubs.
5. Incorporate HIIT Training
Studies have shown that HIIT training does help improve your VO2 max compared to other ways of training. VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen that your body uses when you work out.
Not sure where to start? There are a bunch of treadmill HIIT workouts you can follow along on YouTube! Check out this one from IBX Running.
6. Try Different Movements
Some workouts you can do on the treadmill include:
- Glute kickbacks
- Side gallops
Try doing these movements for 30-60 seconds at a time and alternate between these with running or walking for 30-60 seconds.
7. Watch Your Favorite Show
Since I go to the gym five days a week, and I aim for a 30 minute cardio session, I get to enjoy about one episode per gym session. I've been able to quickly catch up on the shows and anime that I watch this way (the photo above is from when I was catching up on Naruto!). It makes the time on the treadmill fly by since you're focused on the show.
When I was training for half marathons and had to get a long run in on the treadmill, I'd even put on a movie! I trained for the Star Wars Half Marathon a few years ago by watching Rogue One on the treadmill, since it's one of my favorite films in the franchise.
BOnus tip: Make sure you have the right gear
Here are some of my favorites:
- Shoes: Hoka One One has provided me the most support so far. I've tried a lot of running sneakers, but I love their Bondi and Rincon models. I have tendonitis in my ankles and find that these shoes provide a great amount of support without being too heavy.
- Headphones: I love Aftershokz. They don't plug into your ears, but are actually wireless bone conductors. The part that plays music rests right next to your ear on your jaw. You can hear the music, but the people next to you can't - plus it allows you to be aware of your surroundings. These aren't my favorite if I'm in a gym that already plays music, but I do love having these for when I run races so I can pay attention to any on-course announcements.
- Socks: Balega brand socks are the best, in my opinion. I've tried a few brands of running socks that promise no blisters, but Balega has been the only brand that delivers on this for me.
- Headbands: I have long, thick hair. It can be really hard to find a headband that actually stays in place while you run! I discovered SweatyBands at a runDisney expo and have been hooked on them ever since. They stay in place and are super lightweight, plus they have a bunch of really cute designs. Sometimes I even forget I'm wearing it!
I'm currently undergoing an eight week fitness challenge hosted by 1UP Nutrition! Be sure to follow me on TikTok to follow along as I share daily mini-vlogs.
In honor of the movie making its way to the United States, I whipped up Tanjiro's udon dish that he orders in the first season of the anime. This udon looked delicious and it absolutely was. The flavor combination here was so wonderful. I took some creative liberty with the broth and focused more on the toppings and plating for screen accuracy.
Udon noodles, if you've never had them, are the ultimate comfort noodle. They're thick, a little chewy, and absolutely wonderful in a hot soup. They're also great stir-fried for a yakiudon style dish! This dish would also be great with soba noodles, but the thickness of the noodle does help support the egg when plating.
ingredients (serves 4)
- 0.5 cup roast chicken breast (optional)
- 4 cups cooked udon noodles
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 tbsp miso paste
- 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 0.5 cup sweet onion
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- Let all broth ingredients simmer in a pot. I recommend using a slow cooker if you have one and letting it sit for at least 5 hours. I find that the longer it sits, the more flavorful it is.
- Cook udon noodles. Add 1 cup of noodles into four bowls.
- Add broth over noodles then add roast chicken.
- Cook your egg sunny-side up. To enlarge the egg to look more like the anime, you can add 0.25 cup liquid egg whites to surround the existing egg.
- Add the cooked egg to the udon. Top with wasabi paste (or avocado if you don't like wasabi), sliced green onion, and sliced nori.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
I'd definitely make this again! It was super simple to make, too. If you don't want to roast your own chicken, you can buy Perdue chicken pre-made in your grocery store. They're in the refrigerated section, usually near bacon and deli meats. This gets a 10/10 for ease of recreation, too!
Have a food from an anime that you want me to try to recreate? Let me know in the comments below! Plus, follow me on TikTok to see the behind the scenes of how this was made.
I am a weak baby when it comes to spicy foods, so I'll be using standard sriracha. We'll be calling it the Neji Version, since Neji doesn't have a high spicy food tolerance either. Look for that if you're not a fan of super spicy, either!
However, Anthony has a higher tolerance - and willingness - to try extremely spicy foods, so he'll be trying the true Curry of Life. We'll call this the Rock Lee version.
If you want something more in the middle of the road, look for the Naruto version.
A few years ago, Anthony's coworkers had a contest to see who could make it the furthest. One of his coworkers is a hot sauce connoisseur that brought in a bunch for people to try with wings, and Anthony actually made it to the very end... despite some dripping on his chin and making his face go numb as a result.
The hot sauce he got for this recipe is even hotter than the hottest one his coworker brought in to work that day. He'll be using the Mad Dog 357 Gold Edition, which clocks in at 1 million Scoville units. It includes the world's three hottest peppers: the Carolina Reaper Pepper, Scorpion Pepper, and Ghost Pepper.
The bottle even includes a legal disclaimer saying that you're not inebriated, you understand the risks, and you'll tread with caution... and you won't sue the company if you don't. It includes a little bullet-shaped keychain that holds a serving spoon, and it is tiny.
What we'll be doing is adding our spicy element after we've already made our curry, so that way we can have some not-spicy-curry available in case it's too much. Then, you get to customize your heat levels each time.
- 1 package S&B Golden Curry Powder blocks
- 2.25 cup water
- 2 Yukon gold potatoes, diced
- 2-4 carrots, sliced
- 0.5 sweet onion, diced
- 1 tbsp oil
- hot sauce
- Protein of choice (I'll be using tofu, air fried for 20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Rice (I recommend at least 0.5 cup cooked rice per person, but you can add more if you want)
how to make curry of life
- In a pot, heat some onions with oil until they start to caramelize.
- Add sliced carrots and diced potato. Put the lid on and let them steam until tender.
- Add water to your pot.
- Once water begins to boil, add curry blocks. Constantly stir until well mixed.
- Separate curry into servings to add desired amount of hot sauce per serving. If you're using something like the Mad Dog 357, please be cautious! The tiny teaspoon is more than enough for a single serving of curry.
- Serve curry over cooked rice and your choice of protein.
Tofu can sound intimidating and it gets a bad reputation. But I truly believe that people who don’t like tofu only don’t like it because it wasn’t made properly. The beauty of tofu is that it can take on pretty much whatever flavor you want to give it.
I first started incorporating tofu into my diet for two reasons:
- As a flexitarian who really only occasionally eats fish, chicken, and turkey, I wanted to add a new type of protein into my diet so I wouldn’t get as bored with my weekly meal prep (I also incorporated seitan for this reason and also love that).
- I also love Japanese food and will be heading to Japan once all this COVID craziness is over and their borders reopen to tourists. Tofu is a huge staple in the Japanese diet. So, I wanted to try it to expand my palate both at home and abroad. I ended up loving it!
Alongside my tips, I'll be including the recipe for how I make one of my favorite Japanese meals: yakiudon, a stir-fried noodle dish!
Yakiudon ingredients (serves 4)
- Udon noodles (use as many noodles as you want to include per serving; I recommend 1 cup cooked per person)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 blocks firm or extra firm tofu
- Veggies of choice: I like to use carrots, green onion, cabbage, & sweet onion, but feel free to get creative here!
- For the sauce (or, you can buy a Mentsuyu sauce or yakisoba sauce on Amazon):
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
- Optional ingredients for topping:
How to make yakiudon
- Press and drain tofu of water, then cut into cubes. Marinade with soy sauce or some of the mentsuyu sauce, and set in the fridge until ready to cook.
- Pan fry tofu until outside is crispy, or air fry it at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. (See notes below for tips of crispy tofu)
- Cook udon noodles in boiling water per package instructions. Be careful to not overcook them since you'll be adding them to your wok or pan later!
- While waiting for the water to boil and/or noodles to cook, mix all of the ingredients for the sauce in a jar or bowl and set aside.
- Add oil to a wok or pan and stir fry your vegetables. Add your noodles, tofu, and sauce and mix well.
- Optional: top with bonito flakes, green onions, and/or furikake seasoning and enjoy!
This is because there are pretty low levels of plant estrogens (called isoflavones) in tofu and other soy foods like edamame and soy milk. These levels aren’t high enough to cause an increase. The same does not hold true for isaflavone supplements, though, so just be sure to chat with your doctor before taking any supplements (especially if you have concerns).
Tips for crispy tofu
I like to take my tofu out of the packaging, place it on a towel, and then wrap it tightly in the towel and press it between two cutting boards. Anthony has a large wood cutting board and we also have a smaller marble pastry board, so I’ll use the wood one as a base and then put the pastry board on top.
I let it sit like this for at least 30 minutes, but if I need to expedite the process, I’ll take a dumbbell and place it on top of the pastry board to help speed the process along. If you’re letting it sit for a while, though, I’d recommend using a thicker towel or swapping it out after some time to make sure you’re really getting all the moisture out of the tofu.
You can also press the tofu block in your hands to drain it, but sandwiching it between two heavy objects is easier for me and I know that way, all the moisture is gone.
Tips for more flavorful tofu
Then, once you are ready, you can bake, air fry, or pan fry it. If I’m baking or air frying, I like to do so at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. I’ll start at 15 minutes and then go in 5 minute intervals if I want it crispier. The best way is to have it still be a bit soft on the inside, so you don’t want to overcook it.
Oden is a Japanese seafood stew. It's a hot pot style dish that is pretty customizable at oden stalls and was super delicious. We ended up making a run to our local Asian market to grab some of these ingredients, but I'll share some things you can also find on Amazon in case your local Asian market doesn't have those or if you need to make it yourself.
I've also made imoni that was featured in Osomatsu-san, so if you want a non-seafood stew, check that out!
What's in oden
- Konnyaku cake (yam cake)
- You will likely need to shop at an Asian market for this. They are typically grey blocks and jelly-like.
- Fish cakes
- You will likely need to shop at an Asian market for this. Look for fresh or frozen packages labeled "oden kit" or "seafood combo"
- Mochi kinchaku (a fried tofu pouch stuffed with plain mochi)
- You will likely need to shop at an Asian market for this
- See below for how to make your own
- Boiled eggs
- Carrots, sliced
- Nishime kombu (dried seaweed)
- You will likely need to shop at an Asian market for this
- Konjac noodles, wrapped
- You can get these at Asian markets or on Amazon here
- Please note that a lot of dieters like to use konjac noodles as a substitute for other noodles because it is low in calories. However, it is also very high in fiber. I recommend small quantities of this item if you include it in your oden, especially if you have never had it before!
- Daikon radish, sliced
- You should be able to get this at nearly any grocery store but an Asian market will almost definitely have it
- Dashi broth with soy sauce and mirin
Make your own aburaage
- Thinly slice a block of tofu and press it to drain the water.
- Once pressed, deep fry the tofu slices, turning them over frequently so the inside can get puffy. The outside of your tofu should look sort of bubbly as it fries.
- Once you're done frying your tofu, slice down the middle. You may need to also slice a bit inside to create the pocket.
- Prepare kirimochi and stuff it into the tofu pocket. We used this exact kirimochi and microwaved it for 4 minutes per the package instructions. Some of it came out almost burnt, so I'd recommend starting at 2-3 minutes and then monitoring in increments.
- Weave a toothpick through the top to create a pouch shape with the tofu.
My favorite oden recipes
But here are some great videos you can watch for inspiration as you build your own oden dish. These are from Just One Cookbook, Kimono Mom, and ochikeron.
It was a hearty dish that was packed with veggies and protein, so it was very filling without feeling heavy in your stomach.
Jessica is a huge Disney, anime, and Star Wars nerd who channeled that love into motivation to lose 75 lbs.