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Harriet

Harriet's Tiny Habits Continued

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On ‎3‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 5:32 PM, Harriet said:


Oh... I googled lupins. I thought they were flowers. 

 

So they are. And beans. And wonderful Harry Potter professors. Because English is a hilarious language that makes "saying precisely what one means" into an interesting challenge.

My grandmother grew lupins (the flowers) but we never ate the lupins (beans).

 

On ‎3‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 6:59 PM, Harriet said:

Knit wee baby bonnet for friend (friend with wee baby). Unsure how large baby heads are (pomegranate? coconut?). Erred on side of larger rather than smaller. Used remaining yarn from sweater. Now I can return to knitting next sweater.

IMG_5664.jpg.2557da736635187a6a21ba3dca0daf6c.jpgIMG_5662.jpg.327fcd3dc8f2afa40a0af3439e6f02a7.jpg

 

 

The bonnet is lovely, and average-ish newborns tend towards coconut heads, but some of the larger of the species can run towards the honeydew melon region. That looks like a lovely stretchy sort of a knit pattern, though, so wee coconut ought to be able to wear it for some several months regardless. You have a beautiful skill, there.

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6 minutes ago, Gemma said:

 

So they are. And beans. And wonderful Harry Potter professors. Because English is a hilarious language that makes "saying precisely what one means" into an interesting challenge.


Indeed. English is something special, isn't it? I suppose everyone says that about their language. But not exactly that, because why would they say it in English? 

 

7 minutes ago, Gemma said:

The bonnet is lovely, and average-ish newborns tend towards coconut heads, but some of the larger of the species can run towards the honeydew melon region. That looks like a lovely stretchy sort of a knit pattern, though, so wee coconut ought to be able to wear it for some several months regardless. You have a beautiful skill, there.


Thank you! Turns out this baby is more of a pomegranate, and the bonnet is small-coconut-sized. So, large but not too large, and the experts assure me that babies get bigger. Most importantly, parents of said baby were happy. And knitting baby clothing is a lot less difficult and painful than knitting stuffed animals, and is also a great way to use leftover yarn from sweaters. So now I know what to do for other friends (who have all been creating babies, one by one, over the last few years).

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2 hours ago, Harriet said:

Hmmmm. Can anyone tell me how to make better chicken? The only chicken dish I make where I'm happy with the texture is oven-cooked boneless chicken legs with a dry-rub barbecue spice blend. I haven't really learned how to make chicken breast sing.

 

What is wrong with the other kinds of chicken? Texture? Flavor?

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3 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

What is wrong with the other kinds of chicken? Texture? Flavor?


Both. Taste okay, texture okay. Just not awesome like beef, chicken legs. It's possible I just don't like chicken breast that much. Unless it's deep fried in batter, probably. That provides crunch and fat, which is awesome.  When I've made dishes with minced chicken, I was pleased with the results. It's not always available, though. 

My pork recipes also need some work. I made a tenderloin with mustard and pistachio crust but it all fell off. It was delicious, but ugly. And boneless pork chops... they have a similar texture to chicken breast; a bit chewy. I sear them then finish them in the oven. Sometimes I let them stay the slightest bit pink. Maybe that's just their normal texture? 

 

2 hours ago, Grumble said:

Other thoughts on baby carrots. Pickled (not my preference), or dehydrated with some salt and pepper (or insert flavor here)


This would be a low-calorie way to improve them, so I could still have them with hummus. Thank you! 

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20 minutes ago, Harriet said:


Both. Taste okay, texture okay. Just not awesome like beef, chicken legs. It's possible I just don't like chicken breast that much. Unless it's deep fried in batter, probably. That provides crunch and fat, which is awesome.  When I've made dishes with minced chicken, I was pleased with the results. It's not always available, though. 

Chicken breast is boring and should be used a protein delivery system, not a flavor delivery system. If you shred it and use it in soup/stew or fajitas, then it's much better. But it's one of those meats that needs herbs and spices (up to 11 of them!) to be good.

 

Additionally. chicken breast is really easy to overcook. On average, 22-26 minutes in a 400f oven is your sweet spot. 

 

Quote


My pork recipes also need some work. I made a tenderloin with mustard and pistachio crust but it all fell off. It was delicious, but ugly.

This is a point of contention for me in the past too. My very many failures come down to the following. 

Not making sure the outside of the meat is dry enough before crusting. 

Not using a light coating of flour before putting on everything else. I'm assuming you're using a wet mustard?

Quote

And boneless pork chops... they have a similar texture to chicken breast; a bit chewy. I sear them then finish them in the oven. Sometimes I let them stay the slightest bit pink. Maybe that's just their normal texture? 

Pork chops shouldn't be chewy at all. Guilty parties include

not cooking your chops by thickness

cooking them cold without letting them sit out.

not letting them rest

 

I like to cook. You know who else likes to cook?

I summon @Tanktimus the Encourager for further advice.

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1 minute ago, Grumble said:

This is a point of contention for me in the past too. My very many failures come down to the following. 

Not making sure the outside of the meat is dry enough before crusting. 

Not using a light coating of flour before putting on everything else. I'm assuming you're using a wet mustard?

Pork chops shouldn't be chewy at all. Guilty parties include

not cooking your chops by thickness

cooking them cold without letting them sit out.

not letting them rest

 

You forgot to mention overcooking, or cooking them in too much liquid (sauce or marinades are the main culprits). I think of my pork chops as fragile beef steaks.  Pork tenderloin does well with dry rub or being overloaded with dry herbs.

 

I like to cook too. :)

 

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GUYS! So you know how my gym is actually a university sports centre, and is magnificently huge and many-layered with about five swimming pools? Well I went exploring today and found MAGIC MASSAGE CHAIRS tucked in a dark corner upstairs! There's a fifteen minute time limit which is just as well because I was pretty happy there. I tried "swedish" and "lower back" modes, but I was a little bit disappointed that the chair wouldn't massage my butt. I mean, kicking and deadlifts have made my hips kind of tight, you know? And it's not like a chair could have any delicate sensibilities that would prohibit it. 

OHP is worse than before. I only got 4, then 3 reps with the 60lb before switching to 55lb (maybe because of yesterday's TKD lesson with lots of blocking, my arms were sore today. Also the dog that lives upstairs woke me up by barking frantically at midnight, then at about 1am. I am underslept). Oh well. Nothing for it but to keep trying. 

 

Barbell rows continue to suck. I don't feel my lats. I just feel stress in my back from leaning over with something heavy in hand. I'm a bit frustrated with my pulling movements. A quick look at the symmetric strength website shows that OHP is my best lift by far (still novice level, though) and that my assisted pull-up is not novice, not untrained, but sub-par, meaning I'm weaker than the average woman of my size who has never trained. At least with the rowing machine (which I just started recently) I feel my lats. Is it truly the case that doing rowing as cardio won't increase my lat strength? If I'm starting from a really low level where I have trouble even activating my lats? (Grumble, I did try scapular retractions, but dropped them because it was hard to believe that such a small movement could really help. Also, it's uncomfortable because I'm heavy. So I lost motivation... perhaps I should steel my resolve and stick at them). Also, a friendly trainer who I ran into suggested lat pull-downs as an addition. He also showed me how I could get bands and attach them to the power rack frame to use them for a band-assisted pull-up (there are handles on the frame, but they're quite high). I might try the lat pull-down and band-assisted pull-up to see if I feel anything. In my lats, I mean, not emotionally. 

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Just now, scalyfreak said:

 

You forgot to mention overcooking, or cooking them in too much liquid (sauce or marinades are the main culprits). I think of my pork chops as fragile beef steaks.  Pork tenderloin does well with dry rub or being overloaded with dry herbs.

Unless you're sous vide cooking, or pressure cooking, or slow cooking. That's the advanced class. 

Pork tenderloins also do well wrapped in bacon...

 

Just now, scalyfreak said:

I like to cook too. :)

 

I know that, but you're already helping, it's why I didn't use my summoning spell on you.

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8 minutes ago, Grumble said:

Chicken breast is boring and should be used a protein delivery system, not a flavor delivery system. If you shred it and use it in soup/stew or fajitas, then it's much better. But it's one of those meats that needs herbs and spices (up to 11 of them!) to be good.


 I had suspected that this might be the case. I do like shredded and minced chicken better. But shredding is a pain... do you just do it with two forks? I'm kind of unco so it takes ages.

 

9 minutes ago, Grumble said:

Pork chops shouldn't be chewy at all. Guilty parties include

not cooking your chops by thickness

cooking them cold without letting them sit out.

not letting them rest

 

6 minutes ago, scalyfreak said:

 

You forgot to mention overcooking, or cooking them in too much liquid (sauce or marinades are the main culprits).


I don't think they're overcooked because I leave them pink (I take thinner ones out earlier), but I am guilting of cooking cold and not resting. I will fix this. 

 

11 minutes ago, Grumble said:

This is a point of contention for me in the past too. My very many failures come down to the following. 

Not making sure the outside of the meat is dry enough before crusting. 

Not using a light coating of flour before putting on everything else. I'm assuming you're using a wet mustard?

 

7 minutes ago, scalyfreak said:

Pork tenderloin does well with dry rub or being overloaded with dry herbs.

 

Oh, I see. No, I didn't dry my tenderloin, nor use flour. The mustard was wet. It was a totally self-designed experiment. Next time maybe I could cover it with dry herbs and pistachio and just make a mustard sauce. Oh yum. Mustard sauce. 


Thank you my delicious ones. 

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8 minutes ago, Grumble said:

I know that, but you're already helping, it's why I didn't use my summoning spell on you.

 

That, and you're also well aware that if I see a cooking discussion I will dive right in, regardless of whether I'm invited or not. ;)

 

3 minutes ago, Harriet said:

I had suspected that this might be the case. I do like shredded and minced chicken better. But shredding is a pain... do you just do it with two forks? I'm kind of unco so it takes ages.

 

I put them in a bowl, shred with forks, then pour tasty liquids over the shredded chicken. The thing with shredding either chicken of pork is that it's supposed to be messy. It's great for venting aggression. :)

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13 minutes ago, Harriet said:

GUYS! So you know how my gym is actually a university sports centre, and is magnificently huge and many-layered with about five swimming pools? Well I went exploring today and found MAGIC MASSAGE CHAIRS tucked in a dark corner upstairs! There's a fifteen minute time limit which is just as well because I was pretty happy there. I tried "swedish" and "lower back" modes, but I was a little bit disappointed that the chair wouldn't massage my butt. I mean, kicking and deadlifts have made my hips kind of tight, you know? And it's not like a chair could have any delicate sensibilities that would prohibit it. 

Good masseuses shouldn't have any more delicate sensibilities than you do. So...

 

Quote


OHP is worse than before. I only got 4, then 3 reps with the 60lb before switching to 55lb (maybe because of yesterday's TKD lesson with lots of blocking, my arms were sore today. Also the dog that lives upstairs woke me up by barking frantically at midnight, then at about 1am. I am underslept). Oh well. Nothing for it but to keep trying. 

You're multi-tasking with the exercising. You're going to see some losses somewhere. Just keep being awesome. You'll get there.

 

Quote

Barbell rows continue to suck. I don't feel my lats. I just feel stress in my back from leaning over with something heavy in hand. I'm a bit frustrated with my pulling movements. A quick look at the symmetric strength website shows that OHP is my best lift by far (still novice level, though) and that my assisted pull-up is not novice, not untrained, but sub-par, meaning I'm weaker than the average woman of my size who has never trained. At least with the rowing machine (which I just started recently) I feel my lats. Is it truly the case that doing rowing as cardio won't increase my lat strength? If I'm starting from a really low level where I have trouble even activating my lats? (Grumble, I did try scapular retractions, but dropped them because it was hard to believe that such a small movement could really help. Also, it's uncomfortable because I'm heavy. So I lost motivation... perhaps I should steel my resolve and stick at them). 

I think you just responded to your own criticism.

 

Quote

Also, a friendly trainer who I ran into suggested lat pull-downs as an addition. He also showed me how I could get bands and attach them to the power rack frame to use them for a band-assisted pull-up (there are handles on the frame, but they're quite high). I might try the lat pull-down and band-assisted pull-up to see if I feel anything. In my lats, I mean, not emotionally. 

Those will help. But you have to use your lats for a lot of lifts, even if you can't "feel" them activating. Get in the bent over position, without a barbell and try the following. Forcibly bring your shoulders down, then back, keeping your arms in position as if you held a barbell, you should feel your lats activate. If you're not feeling them with the barbell and you can't pull your shoulders back, you're too heavy. Period.

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5 minutes ago, Harriet said:

I had suspected that this might be the case. I do like shredded and minced chicken better. But shredding is a pain... do you just do it with two forks? I'm kind of unco so it takes ages.

 

1 minute ago, scalyfreak said:

 

That, and you're also well aware that if I see a cooking discussion I will dive right in, regardless of whether I'm invited or not. ;)

 

 

I put them in a bowl, shred with forks, then pour tasty liquids over the shredded chicken. The thing with shredding either chicken of pork is that it's supposed to be messy. It's great for venting aggression. :)

 

Use a hand mixer on low with the big bladed beaters. Or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on low. 

Mic Drop Just Like That GIF - MicDrop JustLikeThat GIFs

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2 minutes ago, Grumble said:

 

 

Use a hand mixer on low with the big bladed beaters. Or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on low. 

Mic Drop Just Like That GIF - MicDrop JustLikeThat GIFs

 

But then I won't get to stab anything!! :angry:

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1 minute ago, scalyfreak said:

 

But then I won't get to stab anything!! :angry:

 Do you want perfection or violence?

 

Don't actually answer that.

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4 minutes ago, Grumble said:

 Do you want perfection or violence?

 

Don't actually answer that.

 

No problem. It's not an either-or question anyway. :)

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9 minutes ago, Grumble said:

Good masseuses shouldn't have any more delicate sensibilities than you do. So...


I do have delicate sensibilities. I don't like being touched by humans. So the chairs are an awesome discovery.

 

10 minutes ago, Grumble said:

Forcibly bring your shoulders down, then back, keeping your arms in position as if you held a barbell, you should feel your lats activate. If you're not feeling them with the barbell and you can't pull your shoulders back, you're too heavy. Period.


I do feel them activate without a barbell. But not with the heavy weight I was trying today. Ugh, it sounds like you're saying I should return to the extremely low weights of shame. Empty bar. 50lb, maybe. Pull-ups with 80lb of assist. Woe. Sadness. Tears of the weak. Maybe I can just pretend they're cardio and not even look at the numbers. 

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9 minutes ago, scalyfreak said:

But then I won't get to stab anything!! :angry:


Also, there are no mixers in our temporary headquarters here in the states. Just knives and forks. 

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Just now, Harriet said:


I do have delicate sensibilities. I don't like being touched by humans. So the chairs are an awesome discovery.

Sounds like you found a happy medium.

 

Just now, Harriet said:


I do feel them activate without a barbell. But not with the heavy weight I was trying today. Ugh, it sounds like you're saying I should return to the extremely low weights of shame. Empty bar. 50lb, maybe. Pull-ups with 80lb of assist. Woe. Sadness. Tears of the weak. Maybe I can just pretend they're cardio and not even look at the numbers. 

No. nononononono.

They are not shame. They are training. 

They are not tears of the weak. They are tears of small successes.

DO NOT make yourself feel bad about weights. The fact that you are doing them is a super success. The fact that YOU CAN do them is a success. The only shame you should have is when you quit trying to be better. 

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1 hour ago, Harriet said:

I do feel them activate without a barbell. But not with the heavy weight I was trying today. Ugh, it sounds like you're saying I should return to the extremely low weights of shame. Empty bar. 50lb, maybe. Pull-ups with 80lb of assist. Woe. Sadness. Tears of the weak. Maybe I can just pretend they're cardio and not even look at the numbers. 

 

Dumbbells are your friends. So are cable machines.

 

Also, mind your language and do not blaspheme in the Temple of Iron. There are no weights of shame, nor is there such a thing as shameful effort. Only a shameless Failure of Form will ever be looked down upon in these hallowed halls, and even then it will be with compassion, not with ridicule. Thus sayeth the Code of Valhalla and the laws of all of Asgard.

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2 minutes ago, Grumble said:

No. nononononono.

They are not shame. They are training. 

They are not tears of the weak. They are tears of small successes.

DO NOT make yourself feel bad about weights. The fact that you are doing them is a super success. The fact that YOU CAN do them is a success. The only shame you should have is when you quit trying to be better. 

 

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095c8c1e81776a774a36

 

Given that I lose the lat activation and form whenever I try to go up in weights, would it be good to keep my pulling movements at higher reps for now, like 12-15 even? 

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Just now, Harriet said:

Given that I lose the lat activation and form whenever I try to go up in weights, would it be good to keep my pulling movements at higher reps for now, like 12-15 even? 

That works for now. @scalyfreak is also smart to mention dumbbells and cables, my only caveat is to use those as supplemental to bb rows as opposed to replacements. The nice thing about dumbbells it allows you to have more individual control if you have one side that's stronger than another.

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1 minute ago, scalyfreak said:

 

Dumbbells are your friends. So are cable machines.

 

Also, mind your language and do not blaspheme in the Temple of Iron. There are no weights of shame, nor is there such a thing as shameful effort. Only a shameless Failure of Form will ever be locked down upon in these hallowed halls, and even then it will be with compassion, not with ridicule. Thus sayeth the Code of Valhalla and the laws of all of Asgard.


You are in the right. May the spirits of iron forgive my lapse in morale. 

 

DB rows are good because I don't have to worry about my back. But the ends of the Dumbbells are so big and round that they hit my chest/ribs, limiting my range of motion annoyingly. I am definitely still going to try the pull-downs. I like the idea of getting to sit down to exercise. So chill. 

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Alright, I have renewed confidence and the beginnings of a plan. Thank you, valiant ones. Now I have to go chart my workouts to see where everything is going to fit in. Charts, yes, with boxes and rows and numbers. 

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3 minutes ago, Grumble said:

That works for now. @scalyfreak is also smart to mention dumbbells and cables, my only caveat is to use those as supplemental to bb rows as opposed to replacements.

 

Yes. They are friends, not workout partners. I do lat pull downs as warmup on days when I do pull-up and barbell row. They serve a different purpose than the barbell lifts.

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