• Workout analysis of the past week

    I’ve found that it’s been hard to track resistance training with a heart rate monitor. I forget to put it on and I just rush to the gym. It’s because I don’t sweat as much and my heart stays comfortable the whole time I’m weight lifting. So I downloaded a weight lift tracker and it does an “analysis” of everything I did over a period of time. Since I’ve only had this tracker for a week, here’s a week’s progress below.

    Did I really work my legs out that much?! No wonder they’re sore!

    It might look like I don’t work out my arms or butt that much. But some of these exercises work out multiple body parts. This week, I did want to focus on leg work. And it’s crazy to see that I lifted 39,076 pounds in a week.

  • Mega Granola Oat Nut Chocolate Chip Protein Bar, or, Squirrel Food

    In the afternoon while slaving away at my computer, I crave a snack but it’s hard to find something high protein, healthy, not too sweet, and guaranteed unprocessed. So why not make your own? This smelled really good as I mixed it together.


    • 1/4 cup rolled oats
    • 1/4 cup wheat germ
    • 1/4 cup milled flax seeds
    • 3 huge scoops vanilla protein powder
    • 1 tbspn blueberry extract
    • 1 cup pre-prepared granola mix (from my local grocery store)
    • 2 small handfuls of your favorite raw nuts or what you have on hand
    • 2 small handfuls of dried fruit (I had cranberries and raisins)
    • 2 tbspn cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup Semi-Sweet chocolate chips (optional)


    • 1 cup peanut or your choice nut butter
    • 1/2 cup Manuka honey
    • 1/2 cup agave nectar
    • 1-2 cups soy or your favorite nut drink
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract

    1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Butter or spray a flat cookie sheet.

    2. Mix all dry ingredients together except for the chocolate chips.

    3. Mix all the wet ingredients together until mostly combined.

    4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together. At this point, it should smell good. Mine did.

    5. Add any wet ingredient you prefer if the mixture is too dry or more rolled oats or wheat germ if too wet. I ended up adding an extra tablespoon of peanut butter to soak up the dusty wheat germ/flax seed that weren’t absorbed.

    6. Plop the mixture onto the pan and flatten with a spoon until desired thickness/thinness. My mixture only took up half my pan.

    7. If you choose to use chocolate chips, press the chocolate chips into the top of the mixture.

    8. Bake until edges are golden brown or dark brown (or in my case, like they are half a minute from burning). Mine took approximately 18 minutes. Place on cooling rack and let cool.

    Can’t really tell the before vs. after except for the edges.
    My boyfriend calls this “squirrel food”.
  • I Changed My Workout Program

    Originally, when I began my fitness journey, something in me thought/felt that simply doing cardio wasn’t going to help me reach my goals. That thought was that muscle is metabolically active. If you have more muscle, you are more metabolically active. Which means you can increase your metabolism by putting on muscle. Putting on more muscle means resistance training. And resistance training is easier for me to do than cardio, because wheezing.

    I wanted to switch to a program that was more pure resistance training, with a little mobility mixed in. However there are not many YouTube videos to follow of someone weight lifting and you doing what they do. During this search (within the past month or so) I started listening to the Mind Pump Podcast. I liked what I heard about these guys’ approach to exercise, so I got a couple of their programs and am incorporating them. Their resistance training program have phases to help grow strength, stability, and muscle. So I’ll try this out for now and see what kind of changes happen.

  • Things I looked up in June

    Sorry this is so late! Also, I didn’t have to look up anything rare during July.

    Hurler syndrome – Hurler syndrome is the most severe form of mucopolysaccharidosis type 1, a rare lysosomal storage disease, characterized by skeletal abnormalities, cognitive impairment, heart disease, respiratory problems, enlarged liver and spleen, characteristic facies and reduced life expectancy.

    Methylmalonic acidemia – Methylmalonic acidemia refers to a group of inherited conditions in which the body can’t breakdown certain parts of proteins and fats.

    Dandy-Walker syndrome – Dandy-Walker syndrome is hydrocephalus associated with a posterior fossa cyst and abnormal development of the cerebellum, a portion of the brain located near the base of the skull and important to voluntary muscle movement, balance and posture.

  • The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

    I finished this book a couple of months ago but forgot I had written down some stuff from it!

    “If you marvel at your good fortune, you should marvel in secret: never let people see you.” – p. 186

    “Our possessions outlasts us,… we have to live up to them, as they will be our witnesses when we are gone.” p. 54

    “You need to write everything down, he tells his people. Distrust yourself. Human memory is fallible.” p. 63

    Do you know why they say, ‘There’s no smoke without fire?’ It’s not just to give encouragement to people who like fires. It’s a statement about the danger of chimneys, but also about the courts of kings – or any space where trapped air circulates, choking on itself. A spark catches a particle of falling soot: with a crackle, the matter ignites: with a roast, the flames fly skyward, and within minutes, the palace is ablaze.” p. 141

    “But the law is not an instrument to find out truth. It is there to create a fiction that will help us move past atrocious acts and face our future. It seems there is no mercy in this world, but a kind of haphazard justice: men pray for crimes, but not necessarily their own.” – p. 729

  • Boston

    Here’s a collection of pictures of Boston while we were exploring it.

  • NASA is a busy place

    I’m reading NASA’s launch schedules and it is fascinating!

    Artemis I will be the first integrated test of NASA’s deep space exploration systems: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The first in a series of increasingly complex missions, Artemis I will be an uncrewed flight test that will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration, and demonstrate our commitment and capability to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond.

    … the DART spacecraft will slam into the asteroid Dimorphos at roughly 4 miles per second, attempting to slightly change the asteroid’s motion in a way that can be accurately measured using ground-based telescopes. The world’s first full-scale mission to test technology for defending Earth against potential asteroid or comet hazards…

    The first flight of NASA’s X-57, a small, experimental airplane powered by electricity…

    All of these can be found on the Upcoming Mission Events page.

  • Workouts in the last month

    Not including the climbing days and any walking/hiking. Also, I went to the Boston area to tour the climbing gyms in that area and those weren’t included either, but I’ll include a picture that captures what physical activity I did.

    Climbing gym 1
    Another climbing gym
    Lots of walking (because we took the subway)
    I was at my sister’s house (house sitting) and tried her spin bike, but the seat screw loosened and the seat started wobbling everywhere. I went to a nearby gym instead but didn’t bring my heart monitor.
    At the gym near my sister’s house… A great workout!
  • Some of my favorite protein products

    These are found at Aldi’s.
    I order these from Amazon.
  • Research articles on protein supplement or wine effects on health

    Note: these are only a handful of studies compared to the multitudes of results I found on each topic. Please read widely to form a balanced perspective.

    Effect of whey protein on blood pressure in pre‐ and mildly hypertensive adults: A randomized controlled study.

    Moderate red wine consumption and cardiovascular disease risk: beyond the “French paradox”.

    Effects of Whey and Pea Protein Supplementation on Post-Eccentric Exercise Muscle Damage: A Randomized Trial.

    Effects of Whey Protein Supplementation Pre- or Post-Resistance Training on Muscle Mass, Muscular Strength, and Functional Capacity in Pre-Conditioned Older Women: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

    Protein Intake and Exercise-Induced Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy: An Update.

    The history, science, and art of wine and the case for health benefits: perspectives of an oenophilic cardiovascular pathologist. (There is a lot about wine itself in parts 1 – 10, and the parts about wine’s effects on health starts at part 11).