• Getting enough protein: Cooking on the weekend

    One of the things that’s difficult about watching one’s macronutrients is that it is harder to eat more than 100 grams of protein per day than one thinks. It’s easy to do this for 1 day, a week, but every day for weeks? That’s hard, even if you just focus on getting that protein first and maybe not looking at carbs and fat. If you’re also counting carbs, or limiting them, it gets even harder. This past weekend I attempted to cook protein rich meals (from scratch).

    On Friday night we went out to eat at Texas Roadhouse. I got the 8 oz. salmon with veggies and green beans. Beware: their beans are too salty but the salmon and veggies were really good. Next time I’d get double the veggies.

    Saturday night: meat sauce (I didn’t get a final meat sauce picture, but I added sautéed ground beef and mild Italian sausage meat to this).
    Sunday night: creamy chicken mushroom sauce (with spaghetti). There were 2 chicken breasts and 2 chicken leg meats in here. Plus a whole boc of sliced button mushrooms and a small box of sliced gourmet mushrooms.

    Each of these meals had at least 1 pound of meat, and between Rob and I each ate 55% and 45% of it respectively. If the pasta was the black soybean one from Aldi’s, it’s an extra 25 grams of protein.

  • Workout analysis, 9/18/22 – 9/24/22

    Trigger exercises are less intense, easier version of my heavier weight lifting sessions. The cardio is the leisurely bike ride I went on today.

    The most interesting thing I saw on the bike ride? A middle aged man riding a unicycle, juggling bright orange juggling pins.

  • Question of the week from Jared Diamond

    If we succeed in examining how some people came to dominate other people, may this not seem to justify the domination? Doesn’t it seem to say that the outcome was inevitable, and that it would therefore be futile to try to change the outcome today?

    Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fate of Hima Societies

    I picked this book up 10 years ago but got too busy to read the whole thing. Here’s to another try.

  • The Emporer of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter

    Depression is seductive: it offend and teases, frightens you and draws you in, tempting you with its promise of sweet oblivion, then overwhelming you with a nearly sexual power, squirming past your defenses, dissolving your will, invading the tired spirit so utterly that it becomes difficult to recall that you ever lived without it… Or to imagine that you might live that way again. With all the guile of Satan himself, depression persuades you that its invasion was all your own idea, that you wanted it all along. It fogs the part of the brain that reasons, that knows right and wrong. It captures you with its warm, guilty, hateful pressures, and, worst of all, it becomes familiar. All at once, you find yourself in thrall to the very thing that most terrifies you… To be depressed is to be half in love with disaster. P. 152-153

    We live so much of our lives in chaos. Human history can be viewed as an endless search for greater order: everything from language to religion to law to science tries to impose a framework on classic existence. P. 229

    We look at our bodies, our energies, and we think we own them: we do not recognize, with Emerson, that they are a part of the world to be husbanded with care, to be respected, not to be misused; we think they are ours to do with what we will. And so, thinking we have been liberated, we joyfully pave the paths to our destruction. P. 583

    But guilt comes in more than one variety. And so does punishment. P. 648

  • Creatine in seniors

    Sarcopenia is associated with reduced bone mass and bone strength and may be a contributing factor for the increased risks of falls and fractures often observed in aging adults. It is well established that resistance training is an effective lifestyle intervention for improving aging muscle mass, strength and bone accretion. Accumulating evidence indicates that creatine supplementation, with and without resistance training, has possible anti-sarcopenic and anti-dynapenic effects. Specifically, creatine supplementation increases aging muscle mass and strength (upper- and lower-body), possibly by influencing high-energy phosphate metabolism, muscle protein kinetics and growth factors. Creatine supplementation has shown potential to enhance bone mineral in some but not all studies, and seems to affect the activation of cells involved in both bone formation and resorption. Creatine has the potential to decrease the risk of falls experienced by aging adults which would subsequently reduce the risk of fracture. Finally, preliminary evidence suggests that creatine may have anti-inflammatory effects during times of elevated metabolic stress, such as during extended/intense aerobic exercise. 

    Effectiveness of Creatine Supplementation on Aging Muscle and Bone: Focus on Falls Prevention and Inflammation

    I have this giant bottle of Naked Creatine (I got it from Amazon) and I feel that it helps me retain and build muscle just a bit better, as long as I don’t forget to put it in my smoothies. Starting last week, I started to put ~5 grams of creatine into my mom’s protein smoothie, because there seems to be a generally positive effect of creatine use in adults. There’s some research into this topic.

  • Workout analysis, 9/12/22 – 9/17/22

    Some biceps and triceps were involved with the back and chest workouts

    Also, less volume and less sets but also less soreness and no exhaustion. Finding a balance.

    *P. S.: This is minus the 2nd half of my workout which will be at the gym. I’ve gotten used to splitting my workouts in half (morning session, afternoon session) due to accompanying my mom to the gym, to make sure she goes and does something there. This program has a foundational phase that has 21 sets for the whole body done 2-3 times a week plus small trigger sessions in between that feel like mini-HIIT workouts. After a month I’ll move onto a phase with less reps, more sets, and heavier weights.

  • Fart Squirrel

    Over the summer my mom found that some animal dug holes/tunnels under our house. Eventually someone spied said animal and identified it as a hedgehog or woodchuck (big, brown, furry angry looking creature). Then my sister brought a trap over to the house and we ended up catching 3 small ones, 2 of which my brother-in-law took 30 miles away to be let go. The 3rd one died before he was able to come get it. Then all was quiet, until the morning of 9/9/22.

    While my mom stood there in shock, I yelled that it was a SKUNK and that if it sprayed on her, she’d be bathing in tomato juice for a week. (Is that how you get rid of skunk smell?) When we told my sister, she just about died laughing… And sent her husband to just let it go. I hope it’s a smart example of its species and doesn’t get caught again. If not, there’s an increasing possibility that someone in my family will get a blast of one of nature’s special perfumes.

  • A Word About Boston Streets

    Boston, especially where we stayed in Cambridge right next to Hahhhvahhrd, is beautiful. We loved feeling safe enough to walk around at night every night along with tons of other pedestrians. We used Harvard Yard as a short-cut to get to Harvard Square, musing that we were literally walking around on campus. It brought back my college memories.

    Driving in Boston and its vicinity, however, was a nightmare. I swear that Boston city streets look like one of those particle pathways:

    Credit: starsandspirals/flickr/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    We had GPS on, but it usually said things like “Use the right hand lane to turn left at…” and by that time we’d mistakenly missed that left hand turn and got force-merged somewhere else. I think once we even got forced onto a street that took us over the Charles River when we didn’t want to, and we had to cross the river again to get back to where we got confused.

    This picture was an example of an EASY intersection. Elsewhere, there were roundabouts. I don’t know why Europeans are good at roundabouts but Americans seem never to be able to navigate them. We (well, Rob) completely missed going into a roundabout entirely and ended up on the wrong street, going the wrong direction, thus taking a 10 minute detour because the rest of the streets are a pain in the ass. On the positive side, we got to see a lot of areas of Boston, by accident.

    Overwhelming amount of angles and traffic lights.

    This picture is of the type of intersection we always got messed up on because if we weren’t in the middle lane, we got shunted off to the right if we were on the far right, or we missed the right road further down if we were in the left lane. Also, the image in the GPS was never clear enough to tell us when we would be merging – it showed a thick line until the last second, and if you happened to be in the wrong lane when the GPS zoomed in to show the actual turn, it’s too late.

    The way I see it, to navigate those streets, it’s best to have a brain that gets you into Harvard or MIT, because otherwise you’re too dumb to figure it out!

  • A Small Afternoon Jaunt

    One day in June, we visited a small town about an hour away that had interesting attractions. It was like a very mini Cape Cod like place. So small we walked the whole thing in an afternoon, slowly, even when we stopped to get an iced drink.

    A really cute section of town with small indie stores that sell odds and ends.
    There was a swimming area further down.
    There was a teeny tiny amusement park for what looks like ages 6 and under. That clown garbage can was slightly frightening.
    Little rocket ship ride.
    A tiny merry go round. The only amusement park we wanted to go to is a 6 hour drive away, and we decided (I guess) to wait until next year. There are adult sized amusement parks in our vicinity but they’ve lost their luster years ago.
  • Photo dump

    We had some visitors once…
    When you’re stuck and can’t find a good foothold
    Too bad they don’t let you climb to the crow’s nest
    Life rule: when in doubt, always choose chocolate!
    The modern girls’ playroom.
    Harvard: where people play chess at night for fun!
    This is what happens when you let basil grow and grow and grow and grow…
    10-year-old learning to crochet
    Trash panda visiting my neighbor’s hot mess of a deck renovation