I’ve always been a lazy cook.  I wish I was more like my mom, and knew how to make fancy dishes that would take hours of marinating and prep work.  However, I’ve got a busy life juggling 4 PT jobs so I need quick. delicious reciepes if I plan on ever eating at home.

My go-to one-stop-shop store is Trader Joes.  It never does me wrong.  I can create a gazillion different quick fix salads from their store, and the black bean and brown rice kale salad is one of my favorites to make.  It has the protein and fiber I need in my vegetarian diet, and a mexican flavor I crave for everyday.  This salad takes no more than 10 mins to make since everything is pretty much ready to eat.  Hope you enjoy and let me know what you think!


Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 5 mins

Serving size: 1 serving

  • 2 cups pre-chopped kale
  • 1 stick of persian cucumber
  • 2 pearl tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of chopped green onions (usually one large bunch or two small bunches)
  • 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro (or however much to your tasting)
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP chopped garlic
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 TBSP TJ’s Salsa Autentica
  • 1 can of TJ’s Black Beans


Pop the frozen pre-cooked brown rice into the microwave and cook for 3 mins.  With a small sauce pan, add the olive oil and chopped garlic over a med-low heat.  As soon as the garlic starts to brown, add the can of TJ’s Black Beans.  (Pour out some of the black bean liquid first, but leave some because the brown rice will be added to it later).  Stir the black beans and garlic and let that simmer on low heat.

In a large salad bowl, add the 2 cups of pre-chopped, ready-to-eat Kale.  I like my cucumber in big chunks, so I first halve the stick of cucumber then chop it into 1/2 in pieces.  Add that to the kale.  Then quarter the 2 pearl tomatoes, and add that to the salad.  Throw in the chopped green onions and cilantro.

The brown rice should be done cooking in the microwave now.  Turn the heat off on the black beans and add the brown rice to the sauce pan.  Stir the black beans and brown rice, then add about a cup of the mixture to the salad.  Add some TJ’s Salsa Autentica and you’re ready to eat!

I recommend also trying it with some fresh diced avocados or some fresh lime juice to add some additional texture and flavor.



workoutaholic_freepeopleI’m Asian.  Duh.  I’ve always been on the slimmer side, (thanks Mom), but I was a “skinny-fat”.  Someone lean, but not toned or with any muscle definition.  I couldn’t fathom doing a pull-up, a singular push-up required prep work, and my permanent stomach pooch said I like drinking wine and eating pasta, a lot.  Based on a friend’s recommendation, I signed up for Classpass back in April of this year.  LIFE CHANGING.

I wasn’t hardcore at first, but it didn’t take more than three weeks for me to get addicted.  Now I take classes at least four to five days per week.  For under $100 per month, you can go to all the hot workout places in Los Angeles and surrounding cities.  Live or need to travel somewhere outside of LA?  Not a problem.  Classpass is pretty much everywhere.  34 cities worldwide and growing.  I recently traveled home to Dallas, TX to visit family.  I changed my Classpass city location and was able to sign up for classes that are available in Dallas.

Here’s the only downfall of a Classpass membership: you can only go to a fitness studio three times a month.  It hasn’t been an issue for me because I have so many options.  But which classes do I take you ask?  I try out everything, but my favorites are Training Mate, Sweat Garage, Barry’s Bootcamp (WeHo), Cycle House (WeHo), Corepower Yoga (Hollywood) and Pop Physique (3rd and Fairfax).



workoutaholic_bootyDon’t get me wrong, I was an “active” person.  I hiked, walked my dog, and I even trained and ran the LA Marathon in 2013.  However, I didn’t get the results that I wanted with my core and  upper body strength.  It has been over five months of hard work and I have never felt better.  I now feel and see drastic improvements in my core and upper body strength.  I can do multiple pushups and sit-ups.  I even have a butt!  A real butt! LOL!  Obviously results and goals are different for every person and body type, but my recommendation for you is to just get up and go to class.

Commitment phobe?  All good.  You can cancel anytime.  I know Classpass frequently offers special trials and membership discounts.  Checkout their Facebook page for offers.


I would love to hear your transformation stories.  Mental strength is essential in achieving physical strength.  Namaste.