Breakfast: Sweet Rice Porridge

In a household like mine and Marlyn’s, there’s always rice! So what do you do if you have too much rice one day and don’t want to waste it?

ANSWER: Sweet Rice Porridge!

Sweet Rice Porridge

Sweet Rice Porridge

Energy 405 cal
Fat 7 g
Sodium 173 mg
Carbs 71 g
Fiber 3 g
Protein 16g

With the help of egg yolk and banana, you’ll get just enough protein and sugars. The left over rice makes up for the diminished energy – and the berries are the perfect way to add natural sweetener + antioxidants.

Prep this the night before, and you’ll be ready to hit your morning run with the perfect breakfast that’s light on the stomach!

Dinner: Pan-Seared Tilapia

After spending a whopping $400 at CostCo and coming home with a week’s worth of Tilapia, we decided to cook our first healthy meal of the year with Fish.

Last night’s recipe was a Pan-Seared Tilapia with Mango & Avocado Salsa, inspired by my favorite chefs Biju Thomas & Allen Kim. These two guys are probably the best endurance-sport chefs in the world I’ve ever come across reading!

Pan-Seared Tilapia with Mango & Avocado Salsa

photo by: tj docena

Ingredients (4 servings):

2 Mangoes2 Avocado
1/2 Onions
1/4 cup Cilantro
4 filets White Fish
4 tbsp Grapeseed Oil

Combine mangoes, avocados, onions, cilantro, 2tbsp grapeseed oil, and a splash of orange juice in a mixing bowl. Mix Gently.

Sprinkle salt and pepper on the fish and place on an oiled medium-high saute pan. Cook on both sides until the fish turns white with slightly toasted edges.

Serve on rice with the salsa. I recommend having lemon on the side for the fish!

Per Serving > Energy 380 cal, Fat 21 g, Sodium 210 mg, Carbs 27 g, Fiber 7 g, Protein 1 g

The beauty of this dish is it’s simplicity. The fish itself has a mild-flavor on it’s own that can only be complimented by a sweet salsa.

This dish was prepared for dinner; and because we run so early in the morning to skip breakfast, having the rice was the perfect serving of carbs I needed to get through my morning run. The fish doesn’t fill as heavy the next morning as beef or chicken do either!

Let us know how you take this recipe and make it your own!


Our Simplified Plan to a Better Year

Looking ahead on 2013, Marlyn and I are super excited to be guaranteed in the ING NYC Marathon. As nervous as we are, we hit the ground running!

Today, we focused on writing down new goals that will help us improve from last year’s results including what actions we’re taking to accomplish them. Here are our keywords for 2013.


Organizing a cluttered mind will probably be the toughest goal to overcome this year! For us, starting with a clear and stress-free mind ultimately leads to a minimalist lifestyle. We’ll begin this step by focusing on keywords every day, every week, and every month. Getting in focus is simple. Fighting off distractions is not! So every chance we get, we’ll be writing down keywords/ key goals that we would like to accomplish in our days/weeks/months, and just like this list our year! By simplifying your goals to a few keywords, we’re automatically discarding anything that doesn’t fall in line with them, and ultimately taking fewer steps to achieving success.

We recommend writing down your keywords for the year, and focus on what you can do each day with smaller goals to achieve the bigger ones!

2. RUN

Last year we got into running with a casual approach. We kind of ran whenever we felt like it and some months, only ran for the race we signed up for. Although we’re still proud of these accomplishments, we really want to make running an everyday activity. We spent an entire year paying monthly fees to a gym we rarely visited! Bottom line is, the only way to get better at running is to keep running! That’s another beauty of being a metropolitan minimalist. Running is exercise. Running is FREE!  So our goal this year is to run everyday whether it’s a mile or 26.2!


Another area we strongly believe that needs improvement is our nutritional diet! Last year, we used the excuse that RUNNING meant we can eat whatever we wanted! AND WE SURE DID. I’m deeply in love with burgers, pizza, burritos, and fries. Don’t even get me started on that! However, after looking back on our experience running long distances, the food we ate really affected our performances. To better control our activities, we set out on an expensive grocery trip to fill our fridge and cabinets with the bare necessities of athlete’s FOOD. We’re under the impression now that we shouldn’t go on a diet or count calories; we should eat to run like filling up a car with gas to drive. Our goal is to monitor our food for fuel just as much as we monitor the miles we run!


Last year we spent a lot of money doing things that many tourists do in NYC. We also spent a lot of money shopping! How can you not? This is New York City baby! BUT-  This year, we’d love to spend more time and less money. Obviously almost nothing is free in NYC, but the point is, we’d love to spend more time being together, with our friends, or even meeting new people.  The goal is to spend time loving what we do together – not spend money on material things we love.


It is what it is. You either do it, or you don’t. Fail or succeed!  Our goal this year is to take every opportunity we can to achieve our goals because waiting for an opportunity is not getting it! Think about that for a moment.

Marlyn and I grew up in conservative families where we always hoped for the best and had faith. After realizing our potential just from moving to NYC and running in the NYRR races, we’ve realized that what we get is a direct result of the efforts we put in! So if you want that job, go get it! If you want that red sports car, go work for it! If you want to cross that finish line, go for it! Otherwise, waiting for results is just as good as saying ‘never-mind’.

We’re excited to share our experiences with you as we continue on this journey.

The success of achieving simple goals and improving our lives are where we draw inspiration for living a minimalist lifestyle. So let’s do this!

2013, here we go!


Looking Back on 2012 & Celebrating Our Success

9 + 1 Program

With our 2012 resolution to become fit and healthy, we became members of the New York Road Runners (NYRR) – a premier community and charitable running organization – to help keep us on track. It was recommended to us by a friend who is also an avid runner here in NYC, so we’re grateful to her for the kick-start!

We signed up for races throughout the year and used them as  milestones. That way we had something to train for and motivate us to keep going. NYRR also has a 9+1 Program which requires you to run nine races and volunteer for one race, in order to become eligible for guaranteed entry to the ING New York City Marathon the following year.


Below is the full line up of races we ran in 2012 through NYRR (all in Central Park), which made huge charitable impacts on the various causes they serve. If you remember, one of our other resolutions were to “become philanthropists” which we believe we contributed to by donating money and running for numerous charities. Here they are:

  • Run #1:   NYRR City Parks Foundation – Run for the Parks (4 miles – April 22, 2012)
  • Run #2:   NYRR Japan Day Run (4 miles – May 13, 2012)
  • Run #3:   NYRR Celebrate Israel Run (4 miles – June 3, 2012)
  • Run #4:   NYRR Achilles Hope & Possibility Run (5 miles – June 24, 2012)
  • Run #5:   NYRR Run for Central Park (4 miles – July 14, 2012)
  • Run #6:   NYRR Boomer’s Cystic Fibrosis Run to Breathe (6.2 miles/10k – July 21, 2012)
  • Run #7:   NYRR Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff Run (5 miles – October 28, 2012)
  • Run #8:   NYRR Race to Deliver sponsored by God’s Love We Deliver (4 miles – November 18, 2012)
  • Run #9:   NYRR Join the Voices Against Brain Cancer (5 miles – Dec 2, 2012)

We also volunteered for one race at the end of the year – by acting as Course Marshalls, keeping the runners on track and cheering them on:

  • Volunteer #1:   NYRR Ted Corbitt Classic 15k (Dec 15, 2012)

So with the 9+1 complete, both me and TJ are eligible for guaranteed entry to the 2013 ING New York City Marathon! An accomplishment in itself which has now set ourselves up for an even bigger accomplishment ahead (if we succeed).

I must admit, to run a marathon never crossed my mind once when we first began running. That’s 26.2 miles! It’s one of those “out-of-reach” things I said I could never do, but definitely something on my bucket list that I would, one day, LIKE to do. I thought maybe  2014 or 2015 after a few years of consistent running? But with guaranteed entry for 2013, this is a lot sooner than I could have ever imagined. First thoughts = NO WAY, NOT POSSIBLE, NOT READY! But with 11 months to go, it’s our goal to change our thinking both mentally and physically to YES WAY, IT IS POSSIBLE, WE ARE READY!

We have one hell of a journey ahead of us! Feel free to join, support, motivate us in any way to keep us going! We’d appreciate any sort of encouragement along the way :)

If you’ve been inspired and want to find out more about becoming a NYRR member – please visit here for more info.


Hello 2013!

Whew, a year has gone by, and look at us! We haven’t written down anything from the last year’s journey. Starting a blog is much harder than we thought, especially here in NYC. It’s so fast paced, that while we were fulfilling the New Year’s Resolutions from last year, we were too distracted to actually write down our experiences.

But forget the excuses! What matters most is that we’re proud to say we’ve accomplished most of the goals we wrote down earlier last year (you only need to scroll down 2 blog posts to see what those were hah!):

  1. Be Clutter Free – Donate Clothing, Furniture, Stuff on a regular basis – CHECK!
  2. Get Fit – We actually joined NYRR in January 2012 and have been running regularly since! CHECK!
  3. Become Philanthropists – Not quite, but we’ve participated and volunteered for Charity:Water, NYC Million Trees, and various giving activities. CHECK!
  4. Save & Pay off Debt – We have saved a humble amount this year, paid off more than half of our total debt, and are currently in the process of applying for a co-op in NYC. CHECK!

So looking back, we’re actually quite surprised to see how much we actually stuck to the goal. Not to toot our own horns, but it’s totally rewarding to see it written down a year later. Wow, 2012 was a blast!

We’re hoping 2013 will be a bit different. In the sense that we spend more time here on the blog, telling you more about our experiences as minimalists in the city of NEW YORK!

Here’s to a prosperous and healthy 2013! HAPPY NEW YEAR!


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