How to Choose the Right Diet

Women choosing between apple and corisant

If you’ve struggled with weight loss before, then you know that in order to lose weight you not only need to watch what you eat, but also how you eat and why you eat. Many diet programs on the market today are designed to help take thinking out of the equation by offering comprehensive meal plans. But with so many diet programs available, how do you decide on the best one for you? Here’s a checklist for choosing the right weight loss plan.

  1. Does the diet program help you cut calories? Choose a diet plan that will help you reduce 500-750 calories daily by removing high-carbohydrate and sugar-rich foods from your diet. This reduction in calories will generally result in a healthy weight loss of one to two pounds each week.
  2. Does the diet program help meet your protein needs? Not only is it important for a diet program to help you reduce calories, but also help you meet your protein needs. Consuming 0.8 g of protein per 2.2 lbs of bodyweight per day will support muscle maintenance and the metabolism while in a reduced-calorie state. For most individuals protein intake ranges from 46-56 g of protein per day. Also, protein has a higher satiety factor, which will help you stay full longer. The fewer hunger pangs that occur, the easier it will be for you to stick to a diet. Remember, consistency is the key to weight loss success.
  3. Does the diet program offer a meal replacement option? If you feel overwhelmed selecting your own meals or have trouble with portion control, then meal replacements are an excellent option. Replacing one or two meals daily with meal replacements while following a comprehensive weight management program, where you can receive guidance from a nutritionist or health coach, can help you achieve your weight loss goal successfully.
  4. Does the diet program help you limit your sodium intake to 2,300 mg daily? The average American consumes an excess amount of sodium daily, at roughly 3,400 mg per day. A high sodium diet can contribute to increased water retention and lead to health risks, such as high blood pressure. When choosing a diet program, make sure the amount of sodium you will consume each day is 2,300 mg per day or below. By cutting down your sodium intake, you will be reducing water weight as well.
  5. Does the diet program recommend exercise? Physical activity has been shown to contribute to weight loss and decrease belly fat. A good diet plan would include all of above criteria as well as recommend physical activity for at least 30 minutes or more on most, and preferably all days of the week at a moderate- to high-intensity level.
  6. Does the diet program have a health care practitioner available to contact? At the start of your diet program as well as during, you may need a diet assessment or have questions about your progress. Having the accessibility to speak or collaborate with a nutritionist or health coach may lead to a more successful weight loss journey.

A diet program that meets the criteria on this checklist will help set you up for success. Then all you will need to do to carry out your diet program successfully is to set specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely goals that will help you stay motivated and disciplined on the diet.

I hope this post helps you in finding the right diet that works for you. If you have any questions about your current diet or a diet you might be interested in, feel free to contact me by leaving your question(s) in the comment section.

Goodluck, Jamie


Holiday Gift Guide

2015-12 Holiday Gift Guide

Hi Everyone,

I put together a short list of seven great holiday gifts that your family or friends will love. These are all items that I own and have had great experiences using. They have either helped me improve my wellness or enjoy the things I love much more.

1. Clarisonic Mia 2® $149.00

The Clarisonic Mia 2 helps clean your face by removing impurities effectively, leaving your skin clean and bright. I use it twice a day, morning and night and have noticed my skin looking much smoother and brighter than ever before. Check out Jacklyn Hill‘s video, she does a very thorough review on the Clarisonic Mia 2.

2. Grid Foam Roller $39.99

If you have troublesome spots or sore muscles after workouts, this Grid Foam Roller does an excellent job in breaking up knots and loosening tight muscles. I like to use it on my back and shoulders, as well as my glutes.

3. Waterpik Flosser $54.99

Flossing is essential to the health of our teeth and gums. This cordless Waterpik Flosser does a great job in removing yucky food particles from your teeth. What I love about this Waterpik Flosser is that it is cordless. You can take it with you when you travel, and the charge will last for several uses.

4. Fitbit Charge $129.95

The Fitbit, I believe, is one of the best gifts you can give someone on this list. It helps motivate you to be active and in turn help you achieve your weight loss or fitness goals. Plus, if your friends or family have Fitbit, you can help each other become or stay fit. For me, I use the Fitbit to measure my sleep activity to help me obtain better sleep quality.

5. TaoElectornics Elune LED Dimmable Desk Lamp $26.39

In the evenings, I enjoy snuggling up to a good book, but some lights are too bright and can strain the eyes. I love that this desk lamp has dimmable options and even a night light, as well as a timer.

6. HelloFresh gift card starting at $69.00

I love If you do not have time to prepare meals or are just learning to cook, can help you get started. You select your meals for the week; they deliver fresh local ingredients to your door that are already portioned out, and all you have to do is follow the recipe given. You do not have to spend time grocery shopping and calculating how much you need, especially when you’re already leaving work late, and feeling too hungry to shop patiently for groceries. makes cooking quick, easy and fun.

7. Spotify gift card starting at $10.00

I have been a Spotify user for a few years now and have never been disappointed by all the playlists and artists they have available. You can listen to playlists based on your mood, activity, or your favorite artists. Also, you can customize a playlist and share it with your friends to listen to or add some of their favorite tunes.

I wish you a wonderful holiday season!

What You’ll Learn from NOT Wearing Makeup

It all started when I was 13. I applied black eyeliner for the first time, looked in the mirror and saw a different person. My eyes looked more defined, fierce, and noticeable. It made me feel confident, and since then, eyeliner became my best friend.

It followed me throughout high school and into college. After many sleepless nights from pulling all-nighters, wearing eyeliner made me feel invincible to remarks like “you look tired”, “what’s wrong?” or “are you ok?”

Then after college, I began to experiment with more cosmetics and added more makeup to my collection. Eventually, I perfected my look with the use of concealer, foundation, blush, bronzer, brow pencil…etc., all with the help of spending one year at a beauty school and watching popular makeup tutorials on YouTube video. It is amazing how makeup can easily cover up imperfections.

Fast forward five years. I realize that I’ve relied too much on makeup. It almost has become a crutch to feel and look good. So I challenged myself to stop relying on beauty products and instead concentrate on enhancing my natural beauty.

If you ever feel like beauty products have been your tower of strength to help you look and feel good but doubt that not wearing makeup can make a difference in your life, challenge yourself to go makeup free for a period.

Here is what you’ll learn from NOT wearing makeup:
1. You’ll appreciate your uniqueness and natural beauty. I don’t consider makeup an enemy, but wearing it every day hides your natural beauty, such as the real color of your lips, cheeks, and freckles.

2. Your face can tell you a lot about your health status. Dry skin and baggy eyes indicate dehydration. Uneven skin tone could mean a lack of nutrients. A lack of sleep could attribute to dark circles under your eyes. Acne can be a result of stress and hormones. Swollen eyelids or bloated cheeks could be a sign of a high-sodium diet. Not wearing makeup allows you to see what your body needs or is lacking then you can alter your lifestyle accordingly.

3. You’ll save time in the morning. Not wearing makeup can help you save time in the morning and instead you can sleep in a little bit more or have more time preparing breakfast.

4. You can improve your focus. Rather than spending time applying makeup or shopping for it, not wearing makeup gives you the opportunity to change your focus and concentrate on healthy ways that bring about true beauty naturally. Remember, beauty comes from the inside out, and it starts with good nutrition and doing what’s good for the soul. Make it a habit each day to do the following:

  • Eat 5-7 cups of colorful fruits and vegetables
  • Drink 8-10 glasses of water
  • Sleeping 7-9 hours
  • Exercising at least 30 minutes
  • Journal by writing down three positive thoughts about your life and three things you are grateful for each day.
  • Meditate at least 10 minutes

5. You’ll learn that confidence comes from within and not from makeup. No amount of makeup can give you the confidence you want. It all comes from the positive thoughts you tell yourself. Work on building that mindset.

I challenge you to go makeup free for seven days. It won’t be easy at first, but after a day or so you’ll start to feel empowered when you begin to take more control over your health!

After writing this blog, I found this article “This is what I learned going make-up free for a week” on BuzzFeed written by Erin La Rosa. It’s a great reflection of what she learned from going makeup free, and it’s exactly the perspective that I gained too. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

How do you feel about going makeup-free? How do you think you could benefit? I would love to hear from you. Please leave me a comment below.

Health is Wealth

Health is wealth, not stacks of million dollar bills! When your health starts to fail, no amount of money can buy you extra time here on this earth or a longer life free of pain and reliance on medication.

Health is also beauty and happiness. Make 80% of your diet clean by eating more whole foods, a variety of fruits, plenty of vegetables and less processed foods. And for the other 20%, enjoy the foods you love in moderation. If you’re trying to lose weight, scale it to 90/10.

Explore new healthy foods like different nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, and fruits and vegetables. For new foods, try it 8-10 times before writing it off. You might develop a taste for it that you never thought you’d have. Then if you decide you don’t like that particular food, don’t get hung up on it; with so many healthy foods on the market than ever before, you’re bound to find a delicious healthy food options you’d love.

Feed your body with the right nutrition and your true beauty will shine from the inside out. You’ll reap the benefits of renewed energy, a confident attitude, clear skin, better hair, and stronger nails. This is the type of true beauty that makeup can’t provide.

Exercise your mind and body daily. Be active at least 30 minutes each day and use techniques like meditation and positive self-talks throughout the day to help you destress and calm your nerves. Don’t allow stress to take over your body, be kind to yourself, focus on the present and be grateful for the life and love you’re given.

Now go out there and fill your life with the beauty of wellness!

Yours truly,


What are your thoughts on the idea that health is wealth? Share your comments with me in the box below, I would love to hear from you. And for more on healthy and beauty, please follow my blog.

Next on the blog: My heavy make up days are over. I’ll show you how to make under by eating pretty clean and loving your face.

Love yourself no matter how different you look or feel!

Me when I was two years told.
Me at two years old.

When I was born, my orangey brown hair made my Chinese immigrant parents believe I was switched at birth. My mom told a nurse in utter disbelief, “This is not my baby,” while refusing to hold me. Standing at her bedside, my father promised her that he kept an eye on the entire labor, so there was no denying that I am my mom’s daughter.

When I was in kindergarten, one of my teachers called my mom in for a meeting. This produced my first feelings of anxiety. I thought I was in terrible trouble.  I was frequently put in time out for skipping naps and bothering other kids and for taking forever to finish my 6 pieces of Cheerios during snack time, but never did the teachers call my mom in for a meeting. During the meeting the teacher explained how hair dyes are bad for children. Barely able to speak english at the time, my mom simply replied “no dye, all natural.” This became the very same words my mom would repeat whenever cashiers at our local Albertsons asked if my mom’s husband is Caucasian.

5 years old with my lovely parents at Niagara Falls.
Me at 3 years told with my older brother.
Me at 3 years told with my older brother.

I didn’t understand at the time why people were so interested in my hair until I was about 6 years old. Seeing my reflection in the mirror for the first time,  I was bewildered. The complete contrast between my hair and my sister’s jet black hair as well as my mom’s, my brother’s and my dad’s was uncanny. “What happened to me?” I remember thinking as I meticulously examined every strand of hair I had on my head. Noticing me in distress, my older brother did what any older brother would do, he took advantage of my naiveté. “Mom and dad picked you up from our dumpster down the street when you were a baby. I swear, I saw it with my own eyes.” I believed this for a period of my childhood, I thought, if children were delivered by storks on their door steps, I’m sure anything is possible. To some degree, I believed when my brother told me, “Your hair is light brown because mom pooped on you when you were born.” To this day, I’m still grossed out by the idea of childbirth.

Me and my "bad girl" teenage years.
Me with my sister and cousin during my “bad girl” teenage years and kero kero keroppi phase.

Then in the mid 90’s, when hair dyes were not yet popular in the Asian community, conservative Asian parents repeatedly called me a bad girl for being a rebel and dying my hair. If only I knew these two magical biological words “recessive genes” at the age of 9, it would have been a simple enough explanation to write them off. Instead, I was annoyed and somewhat angry, but mostly fed up to a point I threw a tantrum, begging my mom to let me dye my hair black like hers. I never could forget what she told me that day, “Don’t be afraid of being different, you were born to stand out.” These became the very words I live by.

Remember to love yourself no matter how different you look or feel! 

Me on the far right, sitting next to my brother and my family of cousins.
Me on the far right, sitting next to my brother and my family of cousins.
Me now

Now I find it quite ironic that my aunts make it their mission to find a hair dye that matches the color of my hair. I also have found it very amusing that even some of my closest friends still question whether my hair is dyed, highlighted or not. I suppose this blog post will reveal the truth to them, finally. #nomoremysteries

Was there ever a time in your childhood when you questioned how different you looked or felt? What were some of the self-talks you had or was there someone who helped you? Please share your stories in the comment box below. I would love to hear them!

Eat, Pray, Love in DC

Hi Beauty Bugs,

Apologies for the lack of updates! I’ve been neglecting this blog these last few months to fulfill a greater purpose in life, which has been to eat, pray and love. Similar to Elizabeth Gilbert’s story, I found myself in a rut and realized that the only healthy way out was to move to a new location and experience change. So in January of this year, I gutsily signed an apartment lease in the DC metro area and moved in only a few weeks later, leaving behind my fears of change, being alone and instability. This move has been phenomenally empowering; what I hope to gain from this move is an improved well-being and a happier life overall. In addition, to cross off another item on my bucket list.

But D.C. is not Italy, Bali or Indonesia, you say.

True, D.C. is neither of those countries that Elizabeth went to during her journey to eat, pray and love, but I find that this city has all I need to achieve the aspects of all three.  With all of its trendy eateries, brunches and happy hours, D.C. is definitely a place I can satisfy my belly to the fullest. And considering that D.C. is one of the fittest places in the United States, yoga and meditation is practiced widely here, which I plan on incorporating into my daily routine. Lastly, D.C. is a much bigger and diverse city than where I am from; I’m excited to meet new people and learn what makes them tick, but when it comes to finding love, I’ll leave that all up to fate. For now, I’m concentrating on one main goal which is to appreciate the beauty of wellness.

Here are a few things I’ve experienced so far!

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms, Taken by Jamie Luu
Cherry Blossoms, Taken by Jamie Luu
Cherry blossoms bloom only once a year in the spring and when they bloom it’s only for a short period. You are lucky if you catch them in bloom!

Cherry Blossoms at Tidal Basin, Taken by Jamie Luu
Cherry Blossoms at Tidal Basin, Taken by Jamie Luu
Nationals Games

Nationals vs Mets, Taken by Jamie Luu
Nationals vs Mets, Taken by Jamie Luu
Nationals vs Phillies, Taken by Jamie Luu
Nationals vs Phillies, Taken by Jamie Luu
The first month I was in D.C., my sister and her boyfriend invited me to two winning Nationals game. We had the best seats in the house, diamond club seats! We had a great view and access to an all-you-can eat and drink buffet. We had a great time! What I loved the most was how spirited the Nationals fans were. 

Pillow Fight on the National Mall

Pillow Fight on National Mall, Taken by Jamie Luu
Pillow Fight on National Mall, Taken by Jamie Luu
There is such a thing as National Pillow Fight Day! This was the biggest and best pillow fight I ever experienced in my life.

Hiking at Great Falls in Virginia and the Billy Goat Trail in Maryland

I have a new found appreciation for hiking and rock climbing and a new found love for the yoga tree pose.

Me in a tree pose during a hike on the River Trail in Great Falls, Taken by my sister
Me in a tree pose during a hike on the River Trail in Great Falls, Taken by my sister
Me in a Tree Pose on the Billy Goat Trail in Maryland
Me in a Tree Pose on the Billy Goat Trail in Maryland
Visiting the Wharf in D.C. 

Not to be confused with the Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, D.C. has a fresh fish market of their own! I love the smell of a fresh catch. You can skip past these next few pictures if raw seafood makes you say “Ew!” like Sara with no h because h’s are “Ew!”

Sign at the Wharf, Taken by Jamie Luu
Sign at the Wharf, Taken by Jamie Luu
Seafood at the Wharf, Taken by Jamie Luu
Seafood at the Wharf, Taken by Jamie Luu
Oysters and Clams at the Wharf, Taken by Jamie Luu
Oysters and Clams at the Wharf, Taken by Jamie Luu
Fresh Fish at the Wharf, Taken by Jamie Luu
Fresh Fish at the Wharf, Taken by Jamie Luu
Creating New Healthy Recipes

Green Envy, Created and Taken by Jamie Luu
Green Envy, Created and Taken by Jamie Luu
Green Envy, helps make your skin more smooth and glow-y and can boost your immune system. I named this juice green envy because it’s so yummy crisp and refreshing, you’ll make your friends jelly. 

This recipe calls for: 2 stalks of celery, medium; 3 apples, medium; 1 10-oz bag of spinach. It can make up to 5 servings, 1 cup/serving and contains 54 calories, 17 g carbs and 2 g protein per serving and has a daily value of 108% vitamin A, 35% vitamin C, and 13% magnesium per serving.

Throw all the celery stalks, apples and spinach in a juicer and voila! You have your green envy juice! 

Chocolate Avocado Pudding, Created and Taken by Jamie Luu
Chocolate Avocado Pudding, Created and Taken by Jamie Luu
Seriously, this chocolate avocado pudding tastes better than it looks! I made a large batch of this antioxidant-rich and creamy pudding and ate it not only for dessert one evening, but also had it as a spread with my peanut butter sandwich the next morning and used it in place of cake frosting in another dessert recipe. I’ll post what I’ve been creating in future posts.

I hope you enjoyed what you’ve read so far! If you’ve had a bout of the need for self-discovery, where did you go to eat, pray and love?

Go Off the Wall, Nuts!

Picture of Walnuts

While I was munching on Diamond of California’s glazed walnuts at my desk this afternoon, an e-mail from California Walnuts coincidentally showed up in my inbox, alerting me about the newest study on Walnuts and Cognitive Function. In the study, people who ate walnuts each day – even as little as half an ounce, performed cognitively better than those who did not eat any. Those who ate higher amounts of walnuts performed even better. What great news! So, for a healthy brainy cognitive boost, find it in Walnuts. Walnuts are also higher in antioxidants than other nuts out there, which can help with immunity and aging. If you ever feel like quite the snacker at your work desk like me today, snack on a handful of wholesome walnuts; but just like everything else, don’t over do it!

Check out the study here.

How to Tune-Up Your Body

Body Car
My dad had just finished changing the oil in my cousin’s Merecedes and I asked him to take a picture of me in front of it for this blog post.

Throughout my life, I have always admired my father’s impressive ability to repair cars. Friends and family with car troubles would often ask him to fix their nearly broken down cars from exhaustion in the same desperate manner patients would ask their doctors for help with their health issues.

People would refer to my father as a car doctor by the way he was able to diagnose car problems, operate on the engines and medicate the cars until they’re back up and running safely on the road again. When a young car was in terrible shape, my father would tell me, “Yup, he did not take good care of his car in the past, now he is paying the price,” and lectured me to make sure that I took care of my own car.

From the many years of observing my father bring cars back to life, it had me thinking that without a doubt, our bodies run much like that of a car. It needs proper maintenance and quality gas and fuel to run efficiently and last long. By taking care of yourself similar to how you would with your car, you can prevent early wear and tear, prolonging the life you have.

1. Get Regular Check-ups

Most Americans rely on the car as a sole means for transportation, driving everyday and sometimes even throughout the entire day. Annual inspections are necessary because they can maximize the life of a vehicle. Just like a car, we use our body every moment of the day, so what can we do to maximize our lives? Make sure to set an appointment for a physical check-up and health assessment for preventative purposes and to ensure optimal health. You can obtain a health assessment from your local health clinic or primary care doctor once or twice a year and see a dentist twice a year. Several pharmacies, like Walgreens, now have the ability to provide health assessments and free screenings.

    While at a car show, I got to eat a delicious salad with fruit on the side.
While at a car show, I got to eat a delicious salad with fruit on the side.

2. Fuel Up on Quality Foods

When your car runs out of gas, you refill it with the type of fuel it needs. Choose the wrong type of fuel, your car won’t have the “oomph” it needs to accelerate or it might not even run at all. (I once had a girl friend who accidentally put diesel fuel in her car instead regular. Long story short, her car had to undergo a major detox.)

What you put into your car is the energy you get out. The same goes for your body. Your body needs quality and the right type of fuel. Nutrition is fuel. Giving your body the right nutrition will add the”oomph” to your everyday life, improve your mood, give you energy, and prevent future health issues. On a daily basis, eat healthfully, fuel up on whole grains, lean proteins and plenty of fruits and vegetables.

3. Clean Up the Junk in The Trunk

Have you ever noticed how much slower your car can run and the extra pedal to the metal it needs when it is fully packed? And when you lighten your load, you can feel your car accelerating more effortlessly? Well, the same can happen to your body. When you’re putting junk into your body, it eventually adds more weight, which your body has to carry, putting stress on your joints over time. As much as possible, put the brakes on the junky items – clean out your diet of high fat, greasy, and sugary foods. Eat light and heart-healthy foods.

4. Put on Mileage Weekly

Since my father is a car hobbyist, we almost always have a spare car sitting in our driveway for “just in case” reasons. Once in a while, my dad takes the spare car out for a spin or just turns it on to let it run. He explained to me once, that cars that stayed parked in the driveway for long periods have just as much of a chance of breaking down than cars that are over-driven. Pipes and lines become clogged with gunk. Likewise, if we park our butts in one place for long periods day after day, our arteries can surely get blocked overtime. Therefore, make sure to rack-up mileage by being physically active for 150-200 minutes per week.

5. Check Under the Hood

Two years ago, I went shopping for a new car. I was extremely elated because buying a new car straight from the lot was an option for the first time. Growing up with a father that understands the market value of cars and values quality over looks, buying a new car was always out of the question. But this time, as financially independent working woman, I was ready to buy my very own whip.

We went to the Nissan car dealership and while I was oohing and awing over Nissan’s redesigned sleek exterior, my dad was not impressed at all. He didn’t care about the outside appearance of the car and solely focused on what was underneath the hood. Before taking any car for a test drive, my dad would pop open the hood of the car and inspect it. “It is the engine that matters in the long run,” he says.

You can have the best looking car on the block, but without a quality engine, your car will have little to no value. Many times, we focus too much on our exterior appearance and not enough of what matters most, which is the inside. For example, you can look slender, but can still be considered unhealthy for having higher fat to lean mass ratio. Focus on making healthy habits that will affect your body on the inside and the rest, like your weight and physical appearance will follow.

Pandie and Car
Pandie waiting by my new car to take it out for a spin.

In college, I drove what my friends dubbed a “space car”. It was big, wide, totally unattractive, and had over 100,000 miles, but you know what, it drove like a race car and took me to where I am today. I have my father to thank for buying me my first car and teaching me the value of maintaining it.

In summary, take care of your body like you would your own car by getting regular check-ups, eating healthfully and in moderation, avoiding unhealthy foods, being active, and focusing on your health. Building good habits will guarantee the extended warranty your body deserves.

I hope you enjoyed reading my post. I would love to hear more car-body analogies in the comment box below!

By the way, I ended up buying a 2013 Nissan Altima (pictured on left), the fourth love of my life, behind my family, dog, and food.

Shrimp Fried Rice

Shrimp potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich…

what about shrimp fried rice?

Today I want to share with you a recipe that my mom showed me how to make that eventually became my go-to comfort food for many many years: Fried Rice made with what Bubba called “fruit of the sea”, Shrimp.

Shrimp, the fruit of the sea

This shrimp fried rice recipe is not only delicious and full of flavor, but also quick and easy to make. It serves for a perfect dinner after a long day of work.

Shrimp Fried Rice

Shrimp Fried Rice

Yields 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes


  • 2 1/3 Tbsp plain vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup onion, diced
  • 12-15 pieces Tiger shrimp
  • 1 Tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 3 cups cold cooked jasmine rice
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce, lite sodium
  • 2 tsp black soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Tbsp green scallions, thinly sliced (optional)
  • Salt and pepper

Fried Rice by Chef Yoko


Heat a large heavy-bottomed non-stick wok over high heat. When hot add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add eggs and season with salt. Stir the eggs constantly and cook until almost set but still moist, then transfer cooked egg to a bowl.

Return the wok to the heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add onions into the wok, season with salt and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until onion is lightly cooked and fragrant. Then add shrimp and butter. Cook until shrimp is medium rare then transfer contents to a bowl on the side.

Return the wok to the heat and add remaining oil. Add the rice to the wok and use a spatula to break up any clumps. Then add soy sauce and black soy sauce into the rice, mix together until the rice is evenly coated with the oil and color of the sauces. Then pour in shrimp and egg contents back into the wok. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Then add in green bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, red bell pepper and green scallions; stir-fry all ingredients together for 1 minute. Add a dash of salt and pepper for taste. Serve.

Cooking Tips

  • The best way to cook fried rice is on high heat
  • You can use a variety of veggies when cooking fried rice. Choose veggies with low water content, such as carrot, peas, snow peas, or corn. This will prevent the fried rice from getting too moist. If veggies with high water content is preferred, wait until the last minute to add in the veggies
  • For additional flavor, use mushroom soy sauce instead of black soy sauce
  • To preparation time, use cold left over rice from the night before. In fact, using day-old rice creates better texture for fried rice.

What I love about fried rice is its versatility, you can exchanged the ingredients as you like; just by using other veggies or types of protein, such as tofu or chicken, you’ll have your very own customized fried rice recipe.

If you tried and liked my shrimp fried rice recipe, please leave me a comment below. I would love to hear how it turned out.

Makeover Your Fridge

Spring cleaning is a great way to freshen up our homes and liven up our spirits partway into the year. It is an opportunity for us to get rid of old closet items and clean up around our living space. By doing so, we brighten up our rooms and can make way for the new things we want in life.

Besides tidying up around the house, one area that we often leave behind is the inside of our fridge. Cleaning and reorganizing our fridge is a must, because it will not only help make our food safe, but also last longer.

Here’s what you can do once you start tackling “clean fridge” on your spring cleaning checklist.

First things first: Do a temp check on your fridge. If your fridge does not come with a thermometer, make sure you buy one that can attach to the inside of your fridge. The inside of your fridge should be at a consistent temperature of 35 – 40o F (2 – 4o C). Any temperature greater than that can cause food spoilage, and temperatures below that range can cause freezing issues. Doing temp checks often is one of the best preventative ways to help keep food safe and lasting longer.

Next, get rid of expired items and leftovers that are more than three to four days old. Expired items and leftovers are lower in nutrition compared to fresh foods and can increase your chances of food poisoning, so it is a good idea to check dates and get rid of old foods. Plus it helps free up space in your fridge, allowing air to circulate better which can help keep the temperature in your fridge more stable, helping it run on less energy.

Then, reorganize food items to help lengthen the life of your perishable items in your fridge and keep them safe.

  • Condiments that contain preservatives and beverages can go on the top shelf or in the door of the fridge, areas that are least temperature stable.
  • The coldest part of your fridge is the bottom back shelf, which is the best place to put any leftover foods, fresh-squeezed juices such as unpasteurized orange juice and dairy items such as milk, yogurt and cheeses.
  • Eggs can go on your middle shelf, where the temperature is the most stable. Make sure to keep your eggs in the carton that it was purchased in. Eggs are porous and can absorb the odor from surrounding foods. The cartons will help protect your eggs.
  • If you have any packaged raw meats, place them on the bottom shelf, in a large bowl or plate to keep any juices from the meat from leaking onto other foods.
  • Place your sandwich meats or cold cuts in the deli drawer, which is slightly colder than the rest of the fridge. If you do not have a deli drawer, use your bottom shelf instead.
  • Veggies like to stay moist; store them in the drawer with the highest humidity. Fruits on the other hand like to stay drier, so keep them in the drawer with the lowest humidity and keep them separate from your vegetables. Also, it is a good idea to leave your fruits and veggies unwashed until you use them. Water can promote mold and cause bacteria to grow.

Once you have an idea of how your fridge is organized, consider getting a turntable for your fridge’s shelves to easily find items and keep them accessible as well as expiration dates visible. Also, if you do not have these handy already, get clear stackable containers for leftovers; this will help keep your fridge neat and organized. Lastly, keep a permanent marker close to your fridge to label items with the date that it was opened as a reminder for how long it has been open and when to eat it by before it needs to get tossed out.

Lastly, make sure to clean your fridge often. You can repeat the steps above when going through your fridge. In addition, empty and clean each drawer, wipe up spills right away before they dry up and store an open box of baking powder in your fridge or freezer to help eliminate odors – replace every three months. When your fridge is neat and clean, it will not only help you stay within a budget by knowing what you already have before making a run to the store, but also keep your family safe from foodborne illnesses.

Good luck spring cleaning your fridge!

If you found this blog helpful, I would love to hear your comments, just leave me a message in the comment box below. Also, if you’ve done some rearranging send me a before and after picture of your fridge, I would love to see what you’ve done!