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Showing posts from April, 2014

I Ate a Stick of Butter, Too

It happened recently on the morning I finally learned how to make hollandaise sauce. I'd just watched Julia Child make it on Youtube and got so into it I that before I knew it, I'd used the whole stick of butter to make my sauce. It was just enough for two servings of eggs benedict. What can I say, I was hungry.

Poor Sleep: Too Much Light or Overstimulation?

I think of my twenties as the years I spent working my butt off and my thirties as the years I spent dancing. I don't want to think of my forties as the years I spent playing video games. To that end, I took one of the video games (Atlantis Pearls) off my computer a week ago. I still have a few others on it; I'll explain why that's OK in a minute.

Since I took the game off, I've been doing more of the things I wanted to do--karate, playing fold.it (a game that helps scientists), and playing the recorder. And even though I haven't been getting any more sleep, I've slept better and felt a lot more rested. It's not because I'm off the computer earlier, or getting less light exposure; I think it's because I'm less stimulated when I go to bed.

To me, this makes sense from an evolutionary point of view. We've had fire for 300,000 to 400,000 years, and our ancestors may have regularly slept in front of a campfire. For at least tens of thousands of…

A Year of No Sugar: A Review

Most of us know the challenge of avoiding wheat, dairy, grains, potatoes, and high-carb foods in general, and a lot of people find it tough, especially at the beginning. But to avoid all added sugar in food--I hadn't guessed how hard it would be until I started reading A Year of No Sugar by Eve O. Schaub.

Specifically, Schaub and her husband and two young daughters avoided all added fructose and most artificial sweeteners (fruit was OK), making a few exceptions: one dessert with added sugar per month, one personal exception with a bit of sweetener (such as ketchup or diet soda), and for the kids, they could choose for themselves whether to indulge at school, parties, etc.

I can relate to the difficult transition to a non-whatever diet. Back in the 90s, I found out that almost everything contains wheat--not just bread and noodles, but almost anything in a box or a can. Same for sugar--salad dressing, most sausage, bacon, yogurt, cereal, pasta sauce--it's in there. Put on an ap…

USDA Article Brings Back Memories of my Grandparents

This post from the USDA's blog brings back some memories. The post is about how grandparents can help their grandkids form good eating and exercise habits. It urges grandparents,

Take your grandchildren shopping at a farmer's market and the grocery store. Talk about the choices you are making--choosing the juicier oranges or the fresher vegetables. Help them learn cooking skills, which will benefit them them throughout their lives. Encourage them to be active throughout the day.  Spend time walking in the neighborhood, planting a vegetable garden, or shooting a few hoops. Dance, run, or play hopscotch and soccer with them when they're full of energy...
Up until I was twelve, my mother and I visited my grandparents every year in Missouri. After a daylong drive from Colorado, an orange sunset would find us on the dirt road in front of Grandma and Grandpa's house. Everybody hugged, then we dug in to a savory spinach salad Grandma made for the occasion. During our week the…

Totalfat: Encouragement!

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Japan, of all places, has given the world a band called Totalfat. I don't know the story behind their name, but one of their songs ("Place to Try") should be encouraging to someone fighting the well-meaning meddling of people trying to get them to eat lessfat. Even if you don't speak Japanese, the song should encourage you to eat morefat.


English translation from naruto.wikia.com:
I'm almost at the end
My legs are ready to give, but I can't give up yet
Now is the time to go

Together we will pave, the path towards our dreams
They call me, beckon me closer
It's not crazy
Fight and fight, try and try for you

Forever
I will always be there
Don't give up, not yet
The future is waiting for us

There's nothing to fear so let's get moving
This is a place to try

Today is ending and we're heading for tomorrow
Take my hand and never let go
Let's sing loudly
We are the ones for the future

Working Smarter to Avoid Neck Pain

I'm still in the middle of insulating my parents' attic. I've spent so much time at my parents' house that my father thinks I live there. It's a slog, but I'll say one thing for it: it's a grueling workout, and after doing it Tuesday and Saturday, along with yoga on Monday and karate on Friday, I felt wonderful Saturday. It's like the exercise does something renewing, anti-depressing, like I'd spent a day in the sun.

Then came Sunday. My neck hurt, even after six aspirin. It was time to start working smarter on the attic, not just harder. The hardest part of insulating the attic is getting the second layer of insulation going crosswise over the first layer. Another problem is that the attic's trusses are 24" apart, not the usual 16," which is about how wide the insulation is. Lying in bed (where Madonna says she gets her best ideas), I wondered if I could lay down insulation between the joists and then lay down a solid layer on top, g…