Nory Pouncil

How To Decide Between Searing And Frying


How-To-Decide-Between-Searing-And-Frying

As a chef, I am constantly experimenting with different cooking techniques that enhance the flavors of my meals. Today I am sharing my insight into both searing and frying. I prefer searing because of the levels of flavor it creates; also there is a true art to it.

With frying, you just drop your food into the oil and pull it out when it’s done, but with searing, you almost have to understand the meat. You have to resist the urge to agitate it and allow it to tell you when to move. And there is something about the notes of caramel, bitterness, and nuttiness that makes it far more palatable. So let’s get to it!

Searing

 

Definition

A par-cooking* technique which uses a small amount of fat and high temperatures to achieve a Maillard reaction (browning of a meat surface)

Why do it

Searing meat as part of the cooking process enhances the depth of flavor. Searing introduces dark caramel flavor, hints of sweetness, nuttiness, and bitterness.

How to

Start with a stainless steel or cast iron pan. Add a SMALL AMOUNT of fat (oil, butter, etc. ) and place the pan over high heat. Make sure meat is dry. Once the fat becomes glossy and slightly smoky and the meat to the pan.

Leave the meat alone for a few minutes, meaning, resist the urge to move it around or flip it. When the meat is seared, it will naturally release itself from the pan. Flip meat to the other side. Once all sides are seared continue with the desired cooking technique.

*- par- cooking means to cook partially. Though this is most commonly used as a par-cooking technique, searing may also be used to fully cook thin meats/seafood

Frying

 

Definition:

A cooking technique which submerges food in a large amount of fat over direct heat

Why do it

Frying has many advantages. Frying allows you to cook foods very quickly. Because frying is done at such high temperatures, foods submerged will quickly form a crisp golden brown outer layer which will trap flavors and moisture within it.This allows for the food to remain tender and prevent it from becoming saturated in oil. Frying also creates interesting texture contrasts with the crisp of the outer layer combined with

This allows for the food to remain tender and prevent it from becoming saturated in oil. Frying also creates interesting texture contrasts with the crisp of the outer layer combined with warm softness of the food inside.

How to

Choose oil with a high smoke point. Fill a deep pot no more than halfway. Preheat oil to the desired temperature (usually between 375?f and 400?f). Once oil is hot, place food into pot. Fry until desired temperature is achieved. Remove food from pot and drain excess oils.

 

5 Simple Tips You Need To Have A Healthier & Happier Vacation


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So the day is finally here! You’ve been waiting anxiously for a chance to disconnect or simply do absolutely nothing! You are looking at your clock wondering what is taking 5 pm so long to arrive.

Bags aren’t packed yet, but knowing that you’ve been putting in that work in the gym is all you need to know. It doesn’t matter what you pack because you are beach body ready!

Whether you are traveling internationally, domestically or staying at home, it’s vacation time. You are torn between wanting to have a splendid time and not sacrificing those gains you worked so hard to achieve.

What are you supposed to do??!

No need to worry because I got you covered! Today I am sharing five simple tips to vacation without sacrificing your progress!

Drink Lots Of Water

lemon-cherry-infused-water

So maybe that is not the first thought in your vacation brain, that’s fair! But this is no time to slack off with your water intake. How are you supposed to turn up if you are tired and dehydrated? Not a good idea!

For every alcoholic drink, you should add at least one additional glass (8 oz) of water. Packing an empty water bottle is the way to go!

Get Some Rest!

I know I am not the only person, who has needed a vacation to bounce back from her vacation. Don’t get caught up like me. I know you are excited to be out and about and maybe drink and eat until you drop, but do not forget to give your body a break.

You are supposed to be resting anyway, so do it. Get at least 7 hours of sleep, where do you need to be? Nowhere! You know why? Because you are on vacation, my friend!

Watch Those Portions!

Some restaurants do a good job with serving sizes, but most don’t. Remember that not all portions are created equal. I know you’ve been waiting to indulge for months, and you should, but do not over do it.

If you are concerned with storing your food, ask for a smaller portion. Eat until you are satisfied, not until you are full. If you are traveling with a friend, try ordering small dishes like a buffet. Sharing is caring.

80/20 rule!

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While we are talking about portions, let’s talk about the 80/20 rule. If you aren’t familiar, it means eat 80% of foods that are healthy and compromise with the remaining 20%. I promise this works!

One unhealthy dish won’t destroy your gains, the same way one salad won’t transform your body. The key is consistency. By limiting your intake of unhealthy foods, you organically allow your body to process these foods while eating clean.

Keep Moving!

This goes for both your body and your metabolism. I am not suggesting you go running a marathon unless that is your thing, in which case enjoy. If you are at the beach go swimming, explore the town on feet, or get the crew together and go dancing.

As a self-diagnosed Hangry Patient, I’ve learned that snacks are my best friends. Having snacks handy buys me at least 1.5hrs to figure out my food situation.

While on vacation get some snacks and save them for later. Think easy to carry and easy to store. If you are about this life, pack some of your snacks in your luggage. Travel with nuts; they are awesome for travel.

Honorable Mention

Limit your intake of unhealthy foods and order items on the side.

These are 5 of the many tips that can help you maintain your healthy lifestyle while on vacation. Please share your #iAmHealthyFitTravelTips with us in the comment section!

#MiamiFamous – Recap of the Miami Half-Marathon


MiamiFamous-Recap-of-the-Miami-Half-Marathon

Today I am sharing my experience running the Miami Half-Marathon. This past Sunday I completed my third half-marathon (second in Miami). First and foremost I had a great time while there. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to do a destination race.

There is nothing like getting away in the middle of winter to bask in seventy-degree weather. Also, I was there for a bachelor party weekend for one of my friends who was also doing his first half marathon.

Running the Miami Half-Marathon

Tunde and friends running the miami half-marathon

Getting There

Since the east coast was buried in snow, I almost didn’t make it.

My connecting flight was in Charlotte, so my flight got canceled on Thursday night. I was able to rebook through Phoenix early Friday morning. When I arrived i Ft. Lauderdale, I was accosted by the rain, and I thought that the whole weekend was going to be a wash.

The rain quickly dissipated and was mostly dry the, rest of the weekend. That night I was able to eat good Brazilian food and hang with friends at a club.

Saturday

Saturday morning my friend and I got up to pick up our race packets. The convention center was filled with dozens of vendors selling everything from shoes to bikes to performance products.

It was a maze to get through, but I enjoyed the overall experience of being surrounded by so many runners. Saturday we all hung out around South Beach. I got my feet pressure measured, and my gait analyzed at the Fit2Run store. I found out that I’m running in shoes a full size too small.

Tunde running the miami half-marathon

Sunday

Sunday morning we left South Beach to get to American Airlines Arena, but so many detours caused us to get to the race after it started. I was supposed to start with carousel E, but I didn’t leave until carrousel I. This caused us to wait around in the cold (38 degrees) with shorts on. I was so cold when the race started, not what I imagined while running in Miami.

When the race started, I had to zig zag through so many walkers and picture takers that it severely slowed me down. That combined with the fact that I didn’t get warmed up until around mile 5 I didn’t come close to my PR. I did do better than I did last year which is a good thing.

Tunde running the miami half-marathon

I’m glad I got to run #MiamiFamous again, and I’ve signed up for the full marathon next year. I’m so excited to get it done next year. Until then I’ll be running the Shamrock Run half marathon in six weeks and more half marathons this summer. I’m looking forward to collecting more medals this year.

Do not forget to check out the IAHF Running Club to run with me in Portland!

My Heteroclitic Dealings With Depression and Thoughts of Suicide


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In the end, I understand his desire, the self’s desire to silence the self, and thus the world. Ronald looked at his Nothing and saw its long history, saw it in all our families and our communities, all the institutions of the South and the nation driving it. He knew it walked with all of us, and he was tired of walking.”

— Jesmyn Ward

This is an excerpt from Jesmyn Ward’s The Men We Reaped, a memoir which I’m currently reading. The Men We Reaped delves into the stories of Ward’s brother and her friends who died because of who they were and where they were from because they lived with a history of racism and economic struggle that nurtured drug addiction and the dissolution of family and relationships.

Ronald who is referenced in the quote dealt with depression which led to a drug habit that caused him to become estranged from his family and feeling like he let the most important people in his life down. Eventually giving up on

Ronald who is referenced in the quote dealt with depression which led to a drug habit that caused him to become estranged from his family and feeling like he let the most important people in his life down.

Eventually giving up on life, he committed suicide at the age of nineteen. This book resonates with me because I can relate to certain feelings of hopelessness that comes with being a Black person in America.

Depression is a precarious thing. In undergrad, I believe I suffered bouts of depression. I wasn’t clinically diagnosed, but I know exactly what it was. One Friday night my mannerisms and attitude combined with what I’ll describe as buzz words caused my friends to believe that I might attempt to take my life. I needed to clear my mind so I took a scenic walk around campus and it happened to be eerily empty.

My friends found me sitting on a bench in front of the dining hall. After my friends made sure I was fine one of my best friends and my eventual line brother stayed behind to talk to me.

We had one of the most real and rawest conversations I have ever had in my life. His sister had recently committed suicide, and he finally opened up to me how much her death hurt him and continued to hurt him.

He couldn’t imagine going through that much pain again. He called me selfish. I had so much to live for. So many people would love to have my life. That’s the thing about depression. None of that matters.

What did matter is how I felt after that conversation. I don’t know if he or any of my other friends remember that night or that conversation, but I think about it all the time. I was embarrassed by my feelings because I have a lot to be thankful for.

Many people would love to trade places with me. I don’t want to be selfish, so I don’t talk about it. I don’t talk about it with my family.I don’t talk about it with my friends. I don’t talk about it with my lover.

The simple fact is that I still suffer from depression from time to time. I’m embarrassed by it. It doesn’t make me special. It doesn’t make me needy. It doesn’t make me different. It’s something that many people my age, my color, my gender suffer from yet it’s still taboo within our community.

September 10th was World Suicide Prevention Day. This is something I didn’t know because it’s something that I didn’t want to know. I don’t like thinking about suicide.

When news of Robin Williams’ suicide was plastered everywhere, I was consciously silent on the issue. I usually share blogs that I find interesting on twitter or facebook. A favorite blogger of mine recently wrote a piece on suicide. I didn’t share this piece, but instead, I sent her a private message.

This leads back to my embarrassment. I’d rather not discuss it, especially publicly, because I think that if I don’t talk about it, then I don’t have to deal with it.

Black people aren’t supposed to suffer from depression. Africans aren’t supposed to suffer from depression. It’s impossible for Africans who were born and raised in America even to consider it because imagine if you were still back home?

I should be grateful. The thought of bringing up the issue of depression with my parents is as far fetched as me discussing my sex life with them; far from likely.

I still deal with what I believe is mild depression. I’m trying to be less embarrassed by it. I’m trying to be less ashamed of it. It’s something that I cope with.

5 Ways Faith and Hard Work Will Help You Lose Weight


5-Ways-Faith-and-Hard-Work-Will-Help-You-Lose-Weight

Two weeks ago I shared a post outlining How I lost 48 pounds using my FAITH and my WORK! This week I am discussing five ways faith and hard work will help you lose weight. I encourage you to leave your fears behind, put your faith in the Lord and watch your life change.

Identify Your “Weights.”

Know the underlying pain, trauma, and triggers that have led to the spiritual, mental, and emotional weights. Then you can find healing in God’s word instead of in food, etc.

Pray for Strength and Guidance

You can’t win this battle on your own. If you could, you would have lost the weight AND maintained it on your own. Why not go to the One who created us so we can receive particular wisdom about His “weight” loss plan uniquely designed for us?

Accept Your Starting Point

Don’t try to do too much too soon. The quickest way to fail is to restrict our foods and increase our exercise dramatically. God knows who we are and how we need to begin our journey. He wants to set us up for success, not a failure. Focus on what you CAN do and let God increase your strength to do what you can’t.

Renew Your Mind On A Daily Basis

Weight loss is not a one-time quick fix. Daily, God wants to change our unhealthy mindset towards food and help us to create new habits towards exercise. To lose the weights and maintain this loss, this must be an inside-out transformation.

Keep Your Promise To Yourself and to God

Commit to God’s specific instructions for your journey. We please God with our faith and obedience. We please ourselves by becoming the best person we can be through consistency, discipline, and perseverance.

How do you use your faith and work to lose the weights?

Running Updates: #iAmHealthyFitRuns and Half Marathon


Running-Updates-iAmHealthyFitRuns-and-Half-Marathon

Today marks nine days until my first half marathon of the year. I’ve been using the coaching feature app on the Nike running to train for this run. My goal is to finish the race in ninety minutes.

I thought it would have been possible since my last half-marathon I finished in one hour and forty-four minutes. I’m pretty excited about soaking up the sun in Miami and becoming Miami Famous.

Currently, I’m winding up my ‘taper week.’

Running schedule:

  • Five miles on Monday,
  • Ten on Tuesday (hated that),
  • Five on Wednesday,
  • Rest day on Thursday,
  • Four miles Friday,
  • Ten miles Saturday,
  • Rest day on Sunday.

After that, I have one last week of training, and I get to run for real.

To help me train this last month of running, I enlisted the help of the iamhealthyfit running community. I set up a running challenge on Nike Plus to run one hundred miles, and I was ecstatic at the turnout and enthusiasm that the participants showed. The competitive juices have been flowing all month!!

The grand prize will be a pair of Nike (my favorite brand) sneakers, and all finishers of the one hundred miles will receive a fitness bundle.

Today I signed up for the Portland Shamrock Run on March 13th, and I’ll be signing up Foot Traffic Flat Half Marathon on July 4th. I still want to sign up for two races in the fall and some 5 and 10Ks scattered, but I’m happy with my 2016 run schedule.

Those are my running updates. Are you part of the iamhealthyfit challenge? How is running going for you?

Do not forget to check out the IAHF Running Club!

How to Balance Motherhood and Fitness


How-to-Balance-Motherhood-and-Fitness

Entering mommyhood is like entering the twilight zone for your body. Throw in a toddler and a one-year-old and the words healthy or active for a lot of us mommies disappear. So today, I am sharing some tips on how to strike a balance between motherhood and fitness.

Everyone Moves At Their Own Pace

After the birth of our second child, my Hubby and I decide to focus on living a healthier lifestyle. To us, this involved eating clean and working out on a regular basis. I wasted no time to get my journey started but like any wife would tell you it took a while before my Hubby joined me.

In the beginning, I tried to encourage him to work out with, “a couple that workout together, stays together right?” No! He was not interested. Apparently, my workout sessions weren’t his thing (LOL). While this was tough for me, I quickly realized that he had to find something that worked for him to commit.

In my experience, the most important part of a healthy lifestyle is finding out what works for you. Remember that it might take a few tries before you find your niche.

Everything Ain’t For Everybody!

At first trying to exercise while being a stay at home mom seemed impossible. I was slightly (Okay! overly and borderline crazy) over protective with my oldest and refused to leave him in a gym daycare with all those germs ( I know I am not the only one)!!

One day while I to my usual playtime date with my son, I saw some women with their kiddos in strollers working out. This was the moment that changed my fitness journey as a mom. After getting some information, I attended the first class of Stroller Strides and was hooked!!

I even forced my “mommy boo” to join me, and she loved it as well. It was the best of both worlds; I was able to get a fantastic workout and have my son with me while doing it. Not to mention all the amazing connections I’ve made with other moms in my area. Stroller Strides has been a huge blessing.

Given my naturally competitive nature group exercises are the perfect fit for me. Being with other people helps me push myself harder than I would if I was just at the gym or going for a run alone.

Don’t get me wrong, gyms are excellent, and their daycare facilities are clean and very helpful to parents, but I needed something different.

Once I realized this, I was able to take my workouts to the next level. I finally started seeing changes in my body and more importantly in the way I feel.

Once You find What Works Stick With It!

Now fast forward to 4 years later, I am still an active member of Stroller Strides! I am now in charge of their weekly playgroups which take place at the end of some of our classes. I have formed some amazing friendships, and my son has too!!

I also love that my kids think working out is fun. My son and his friends play “stroller strides” and copy the exercises that they see us do. It’s helping me to create a healthy culture in my home, and hopefully, it will help my children grow up with a desire to be healthy and fit.

I know I am not the only one, how are my fellow mommies staying fit and fabulous? Leave me a comment below and let’s keep the conversation going.

5 Reasons Why You Should Eat More Mangos


5-Reasons-Why-You-Should-Eat-More-Mangos

I am sure my love affair with mangos began at birth. I am convinced that my mom alternated between mangos and breastmilk LOL. That is the only explanation for my obsessive addiction to this delicious fruit. Growing up in Honduras, I was blessed to have a backyard full of fresh fruit and vegetables.

I remember that we had over four different types of mango trees all different tastes and sizes. You can only imagine my disappointment when I moved to the United States, and I didn’t have that luxury.

I can’t quite point out when I started adding mangos to my food. I think I might have tried a mango salsa and thought, “why haven’t I made this before?” So I did, and I never looked back.

Since I have a not-so-secret addiction to sugar, I look to fruits to meet my needs instead of processed sweets. Fruits are my fav, I get to meet my sugar high, and provide nutrients to my body. It is very hard to avoid sugar in fruits and vegetables because a lot of them have sugar.

Mangos are perfect because they add the perfect level of sweetness to my salads, my brown rice, my vegetable or whatever my sweet heart desires. So today I am publicly professing my love to mangos and sharing five reasons why you should join the love affair.

Boosts Immune System

The generous amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A in mangos, plus 25 different kinds of carotenoids keep your immune system healthy and vigorous. As someone with a relatively weak immune system, I rely heavily on fruits and vegetables that boost my immune system and help me stay healthy! Mango 1 – Weak Immune System 0

Improves Digestion

There are several fruits, including mangoes, which contain enzymes for breaking down protein. The fiber in mangos also helps digestion and elimination.

I know digestion is not a sexy topic, but it is crucial that you have a healthy digestive system. Poor digestion can lead to many serious health issues because digestion is the mechanism that makes your body work. Learn more here.

Eye Care

One cup of sliced mango offers 25 percent of the daily value for vitamin A to help promote good eyesight, prevent night blindness and dry eye. As someone that wears glasses, you can imagine how excited I was to learn that eye care is a benefit of eating mangos.

Fights Cancer

Antioxidants like quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methyl gallate present in mango protect the body against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers. Learn more here.

Skin Cleanser

Mangoes help you unclog your pores and add freshness to the face. Mangoes are applicable to any skin type. While I have not tried putting mangos directly on my skin (I am too busy eating them), I think this is awesome. I will give it a try and let you know my findings!

Weight-Loss

Mangos have a lot of vitamins and nutrients that help the body feel fuller when hungry. Also, the fibrous fruit boosts the digestive function of the body by burning additional calories, helping in weight loss. I can attest to feeling full after eating mangos. In the past, I’ve paired them with avocados and broccoli for dinner. Yummy!

Let’s keep the conversation going! What are your thoughts on mangos? How do you like to eat them/prepare them? Leave a comment below!