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Saw Spider-Man last night  (It was really good and embraced the fact that early- career Peter Parker is a kid and is supposed to be a kid in a way few Spider-Man adaptations do). But now I am suffering for it. Apparently I have developed a new food intolerance... to something in movie popcorn. Not sure what I am intolerant to but the reaction is delayed by about 4 hours and comes on with a vengeance. It is twice now that I have had movie popcorn followed by this reaction and nothing is in common between the days except the movie popcorn. I cannot do martial arts today because lack of sleep and ongoing reaction. 

 

So. No more movie popcorn for me. I guess I should research what Cineplex puts in their popcorn, too, cuz home made popcorn doesn't do this so evidently I am reacting to some additive.

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Yeah, Spider-Man was pretty great. Really made me feel for the character in a way that I haven't since I was a kid. Good stuff. That scene toward the end with the rubble, tho.

 

Anyway, hope you get to feeling better. :(

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By e/o day Sunday I was better but wow that was about as bad as what turnips do to me. :/ 

 

Yesterday evening food was awesome.  Finally got the hang of cooking a perfect medium rare steak in my cast iron skillet on my stove. I don't have steak often (like this was my fist steak since September I think) but now that I have the time right when I get the urge for steak I can make it at home. :) served it with a side of roasted veg seasoned with garlic, chives and red pepper. Topped it all off with a home made maple bran muffin.

 

Once in a while I remember I can cook. :P

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On 7/13/2017 at 7:08 AM, chemgeek said:

I've been debating clearing some of my back yard and putting in a heated shed to serve as workout space (I live in Canada. Cold is more a concern than heat most of the year). My only catch is I want to eventually work up to weights that would be downright unsafe without a spotter (SO MANY gym fails aren't so much weightlifting fails as they're gym-safety fails. FFS if you're bench pressing enough weight to crush your larynx if you drop it, get spotters. Maybe it's a side-effect of being a klutz but I always walk into something with an attitude of "how could I horribly maim myself with this? Let's not do it that way."), so a gym membership would be necessary eventually, and in light of that I'm not sure if it's worth saving up for and investing in.

 

If you do decide to go for it, I'd invest in a power rack and horse mats. Although I don't like maxing out on any lift more than, say, twice a year and predominantly lift "too light" for the most part, I have built up a decent bench press (I believe I was in the top 10 here at some point) without ever having to put myself in that awkward position of asking someone for a spot, because I benched in a power rack rather than a typical gym bench station. By taking the extra time to adjust the pins, you can pretty much self-spot any lift. (Because yes, I am also a klutz and have actually squatted a heavy barbell where I forgot to load one side.)

 

Spoiler

Outfitted the apartment with a Titan Power Rack, Olympic bar, rings, mat, kettlebells, and like 300 pounds of plates (bench not shown) for about $600, which I figured would be around the cost of a year's gym membership. The rack has a max load capacity of 700 lbs. which I don't intend on even getting close to.

 

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2 hours ago, chemgeek said:

 Finally got the hang of cooking a perfect medium rare steak in my cast iron skillet on my stove.

 

How? I [most of the time] end up with burnt oil and garlic and raw center. Haha

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Sear the outside 3min a side on med-high (make sure the pan is piping hot before putting anything in it and use oil with a high smoke pt like canola), finish in a pre-heated oven at 350F until meat thermometer reads desired T (5-8 minutes). 

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21 hours ago, chemgeek said:

Sear the outside 3min a side on med-high (make sure the pan is piping hot before putting anything in it and use oil with a high smoke pt like canola), finish in a pre-heated oven at 350F until meat thermometer reads desired T (5-8 minutes). 

 

The piping hot part might be my problem. Or I just overcrowd the pan, because I'm impatient. I think the best one I've made was a reverse sear, but still nothing to write home about.

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Can confirm weirdo popcorn reaction was reaction to movie popcorn in particular and not popcorn in general as I ate a lot of popcorn yesterday (also yesterday is proof that your macros and calories can be on point even when your eating choices are shit. All I had all day was lightly buttered popcorn, pepperoni snacks, a protein bar, a noodle bowl from a fast food teriyaki place which is actually reasonably healthy aside from the added sugar and sodium in the teriyaki sauce - the way I order it, I get four servings of veggies, probably two servings of grain and a serving of lean beef so actually a non-horrible choice as far as fast food choices go - and some cherries. Then again, I should note that this time three years ago my definition of "shit eating day" would've been "I ate an entire package of cookies on my own because it was there, chased it with some chocolate and washed it all down with a sports drink and that was supper. And then I baked more cookies, because cookies." so even as I recognize I did not make the best choices in terms of sodium and saturated fat intake, it's amusing to me that my "shit eating day" now is what a "good eating day" would've been three years ago. Cuz, y'know. Most of my choices were still real food and not hyperprocessed food-like quasi-edibles or sugary junk - and even the pepperoni sticks were free of added nitrates and sugar and from a local supplier) and am fine today, aside from what normally happens if you're stupid enough to eat a mixing bowl worth of popcorn and the corresponding fiber intake. 

 

(see also why I have invested in some carrots and hummus, and other small reasonably healthy things for Saturday game day as of this AM. I don't have time to cook stuff on Saturday, but this way I can still eat healthy-ish)

 

Today's food choices are: Kale salad (from a kit because I was in a rush this morning but I am adding almonds to make it a meal and cutting the amount of dressing in half. If I wasn't in a rush out the door I would've mixed my own dressing from olive oil and lemon juice because that makes a tastier dressing than damn near anything I've found anywhere and you literally just add them to a dressing container and shake it up when you're ready to add it, but I was in a rush so there you go), hummus and carrots, cherries, and some peanuts for lunch and assorted snacks, and then supper is going to be some tortellini with bell peppers and spinach and maybe some chicken or lentils depending on what I'm in the mood for when I get home. Lentils would probably be the better choice as far as macros go, but I'm not a fan of how they pair with tortellini, so I might roast up some sweet potato to add to the bell pepper and get the carbs up and keep aside the spinach for a later meal to avoid way too much vitamin A intake. We'll see. 

 

And in other news: Canada's new food guide is going to shift away from meat/dairy and towards a more plant-based diet. Including de-centering meat in protein sources - renaming "meat and alternatives" as "protein" among other things - and saying that while meat/dairy can be healthy choices, they're not ideal in terms of saturated fat/cholesterol and should be approached with moderation. It will also eliminate dairy as a food group and place dairy products in other food groups. This seems overdue, especially in light of research on the subject and the increasing number of people who are vegetarian in the country. The old food guide also allowed for stuff like white bread and chips, which because burger with ketchup and fries is cheaper to make than something actually healthy meant that school districts (which are required by law in many regions to follow the food guide) offered junk food and said it was ok because it's not explicitly discouraged in the food guide. The new food guide is going to explicitly discourage non-whole-grain choices and to explicitly encourage plant-based protein over meat choices - which is probably not a bad thing considering most Canadians eat way too much meat in the first place. So far the proposed revisions are pretty controversial (not in the least because the dairy lobby is pretty strong here, but also there's the inevitable army of professionally offended white xenophobic conservatives who see a recommendation to not eat several days worth of meat every meal as an attack on their culture and way of life because reasons that amount to they feel like any criticism of mainstream white culture in Canada is an inherent attack on them personally rather than just pointing out that, y'know, that 12 oz beef steak is like five servings of meat). 

 

On the fitness side: I have maxed out my dumbbells at home for bicep curls and rows. I am still at the point where the max weight is challenging for the curls at least (I could frankly have moved up on standing rows a while ago but was working my grip strength because I don't want to ruin my floor), so it's probably time to look into sourcing some heavier ones... Also probably time to look into a bench because I need somewhere I can practice presses safely and I'm getting high enough in weight that using my roller as a makeshift press with added oblique work is starting to get pretty uncomfortable. Also need to source a higher-resistance grip strength worker thing because mine is getting too easy. So, yeah. I have my next targets for investment in home fitness.

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On 7/17/2017 at 9:57 AM, Machete said:

 

How? I [most of the time] end up with burnt oil and garlic and raw center. Haha

When cooking steaks, just doing salt (and maybe pepper) is often the way to go. Salt especially does not burn at normal cooking temps. Garlic on the other hand tends to burn quite quickly and gets a bitter taste. 

On 7/17/2017 at 1:29 PM, chemgeek said:

Sear the outside 3min a side on med-high (make sure the pan is piping hot before putting anything in it and use oil with a high smoke pt like canola), finish in a pre-heated oven at 350F until meat thermometer reads desired T (5-8 minutes). 

Coconut oil is another one that works well at high temps. You can also use the same technique and cooks steaks from frozen if you ever have one. They are actually jucier than thawing and cooking!

On 7/18/2017 at 10:43 AM, Machete said:

 

The piping hot part might be my problem. Or I just overcrowd the pan, because I'm impatient. I think the best one I've made was a reverse sear, but still nothing to write home about.

 And over crowding the pan can lead to more of a steam created, also cools the pan to much and you dont get that nice sear on them. 

 

On 7/18/2017 at 0:14 PM, chemgeek said:

A good way to test hotness of pan is to touch the meat to it. If it doesn't go tssssccch with a loud sizzle, the pan isn't hot enough.

Another good way to test is put a drop of water in your pan (get your hand wet and let it drip into your pan, make sure it's not  a lot especially if you already have oil in it) If the water dances, which it will even if you dont have oil, you have a nice hot pan. But on the other side, you dont want it so hot your oil starts smoking when you put it in. Can cause fires. 

 

(sorry love cooking steaks!) 

 

I too have noticed a difference between popcorn I pop at home and that at the movie theater. Not sure what is in their "butter" or what they put in when popping, but I try and stay way from it at this point. The changes in the food guide is interesting. I know the US changed theirs awhile back, but never really looked into the new changes, might have to do so. 

 

Sounds like overall things are going well and I hope they continue to do so! 

 

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Yeah Toshimi you have good pointers. When I am searing meat I want 1" of clearance on all sides. Otherwise you don't get a good sear. Though I find dried garlic doesn't burn as bad as fresh so if you really want garlic you can use dried. Or you can add garlic when it goes into the oven.

 

Also if using cast iron, Machete, bear in mind that it takes longer to heat up than aluminum  (which is what most pots and non stick pans are made of) owing to lower thermal conductivity and higher heat capacity. So give the pan enough time to heat.

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Off topic a bit but one of these days I should take a photo of what I pack for lunch because I pack a lot of food. Like to the point my typical lunch and snacks for work fill my back pack with food (about 1000 cal of not super calorie dense foods).

 

See also it is possible to eat a lot while eating healthy,  assuming you portion and know how to make healthy stuff taste good.

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23 hours ago, chemgeek said:

inevitable army of professionally offended white xenophobic conservatives

 

I like this phrase. I feel like it describes a lot of people. :D

 

1 hour ago, chemgeek said:

See also it is possible to eat a lot while eating healthy,  assuming you portion and know how to make healthy stuff taste good.

 

Yup. Also, that satiety tho.

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2 hours ago, chemgeek said:

Off topic a bit but one of these days I should take a photo of what I pack for lunch because I pack a lot of food. Like to the point my typical lunch and snacks for work fill my back pack with food (about 1000 cal of not super calorie dense foods).

 

See also it is possible to eat a lot while eating healthy,  assuming you portion and know how to make healthy stuff taste good.

 

Please do. I can always use more inspiration on cooking healthy. I was raised with very boring food. Learning how to make healthy stuff taste good is one of my ongoing goals.

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1 hour ago, Kishi said:

 

I like this phrase. I feel like it describes a lot of people. :D

 

 

Yup. Also, that satiety tho.

 

Yeah. It does.

 

Though I do find I need some protein to get satiety. I am not one of those people who can have a snack of veggies and be good to go.

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For salads: variety in texture, color, and flavor generally is key in tastiness. Make sure you add something acidic. Sweet is optional but if you want it, berries and citrus tend to do well. If making a meal, add a starch (chia, flax, or other grain or starchy veg like potato of yam),  and a protein. Also add a fat if you feel like it (unripened goat cheese is my fav). For a snack you can neglect the starch and one of protein or fat.

 

So today's lunch salad is a mix of kale, Brussels sprout, red cabbage as the base, pumpkin seeds and almonds as protein, cranberries and a vinaigrette for acid. Vinaigrette and nuts also give fat between them.

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Last week for salad I had romaine lettuce, spinach, onion and bell pepper with smoked salmon and a bit of lemon juice.

 

If you do mathy cooking: My formula is 2 cups leafy veg + 1 cup assorted other fruit or veg + 1 serving grain/starch* + 1 serving fat** + 1 serving protein** + acid (optional)

 

* = neglect for snacks, include for meal

** choose one for snacks, may choose both for meal

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On 7/24/2017 at 10:52 AM, chemgeek said:

Last week for salad I had romaine lettuce, spinach, onion and bell pepper with smoked salmon and a bit of lemon juice.

 

If you do mathy cooking: My formula is 2 cups leafy veg + 1 cup assorted other fruit or veg + 1 serving grain/starch* + 1 serving fat** + 1 serving protein** + acid (optional)

 

* = neglect for snacks, include for meal

** choose one for snacks, may choose both for meal

 

Oooooo, yes formula cooking works for me. I use a basic formula for pre-packed dinners: 1 serving protein + 1 starchy vegetable + 1 serving vegetable of a different color. I will use your salad formula. My partner was talking about having salad components ready to go in the fridge. This will help.

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I have been weirdly addicted to anime opening covers and upbeat horror game soundtrack song covers lately.alsong with Disney rock covers and lots of ridiculous rock operas. My playlist is very weird right now.

 

Idk give me something with interesting melody and counterpoint and a beat in region of 100+bpm and I will almost certainly love the shit out of it. Bonus points if it does something pretentious and ridiculous like subbing autotuned vocals for a guitar solo or screaming "GUITAR!" Before the solo using an elecric violin and harpsichord as the main instruments or cheery upbeat melody with disturbing lyrics or having the song be the most sarcastic song I have ever heard (and titled "Thank God I'm Pretty" or operatic vocals or pretty much anything Aryeon has ever done  ever.

 

So if anyone has ridiculous pretentious rock or metal or pop to share...

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I seriously am considering taking a week off after an upcoming conference because I have had to postpone time off /work overtime for three weeks straight and I am tired and cranky and pissy and biting off everyone's head because unexpectedly busy quarter or not, I can't damn well have 7 "top priorities" at once. I can have one top priority at once  and *long stress induced rant redacted because wallowing in negativity and brooding are both bad for my mental health*

 

What I am saying is that I could seriously use a solid week of normal 8h days, most of which go at least mostly according to plan. With an actual weekend with free time rather than half a day devoted to the dishes backlog and laundry. And more than 6.5h of sleep in a night, all week. 

 

And while I am dreaming, for my severe cat allergy to spontaneously resolve so I can go to the cat cafe in town when it opens and also own cats and have a purring feline lap-warmer/ adorably vicious kill-beast without my lungs deciding oxygen, breathing, sleep and general good health are all optional.

 

Note:crazy work schedule and general crankiness described herein is why I have been scarce of late. Generally speaking if I don't trust myself not to bite people's heads off I just avoid people. 

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New Game and My Hero Academia are both dangerously cute anime and yeah. New Game doesn't surprise me that much that all the characters are wonderful and well-written - it does seem aimed at girls/women so usually stuff aimed that way has better character writing. My Hero Academia on the other hand, always surprises the hell out of me by how well it's written. Cuz, it's shonen anime... with good characters? What is this tomfoolery? 

 

Though my partner has commented that he'd really love to see a spinoff series centered on the girls because, in his words, "They're way more interesting than the guys." And, yeah. True. Which is also really unusual. Shonen anime... with girls that don't just exist to be the love interest? And are actually useful to the plot? And are actually competent? With social commentary on how society tends to reduce women/girls to their looks? What is this tomfoolery? 

 

And then there's New Game which is fucking amazing. Tech-development career-centered anime, aimed at women. In gaming industry. Which is male-dominated as fuck, even in Japan. With noticably little fanservice and a wonderfully earnest main character (and the obnoxious childish one, because of course there's an obnoxious childish one it's an anime aimed at women/girls so there's going to be an obnoxious childish one, is at least portrayed as obnoxiously childish... And even her friends are sometimes like, ".... Really?" Which is helpful in making that archetype way less grating to me than it usually is). I can't spoil too much but basically it centers on the main character entering her first-ever real job out of high school (and not going to uni which is unusual on its own in anime) and struggling to figure out adult work and also find a place in the game dev company where she works and it's awesome.

 

New Game is great and I expected it to be, because as a nerdy anime aimed at women, it'd have to be great to get a second season. My Hero Academia is almost as good (what will make it better is if they have more story arcs centered on female supporting cast members, cuz they have subplots around most of the dude bit characters but none of the girls have gotten a subplot yet), but I didn't expect it to be. 

... so yeah, if you're looking for new anime, those are great. 

 

Actually made it to martial arts last night. And home at a decent hour. We'll  see if I can get home at a decent hour two days in a row! I don't know but I'm gonna try. 

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On ‎7‎/‎31‎/‎2017 at 7:24 PM, chemgeek said:

I seriously am considering taking a week off after an upcoming conference because I have had to postpone time off /work overtime for three weeks straight and I am tired and cranky and pissy and biting off everyone's head because unexpectedly busy quarter or not, I can't damn well have 7 "top priorities" at once. I can have one top priority at once  and *long stress induced rant redacted because wallowing in negativity and brooding are both bad for my mental health*

 

What I am saying is that I could seriously use a solid week of normal 8h days, most of which go at least mostly according to plan. With an actual weekend with free time rather than half a day devoted to the dishes backlog and laundry. And more than 6.5h of sleep in a night, all week. 

 

And while I am dreaming, for my severe cat allergy to spontaneously resolve so I can go to the cat cafe in town when it opens and also own cats and have a purring feline lap-warmer/ adorably vicious kill-beast without my lungs deciding oxygen, breathing, sleep and general good health are all optional.

 

Note:crazy work schedule and general crankiness described herein is why I have been scarce of late. Generally speaking if I don't trust myself not to bite people's heads off I just avoid people. 

 

Guh. Sorry to hear that work's been so rough. It's like that around here too sometimes. :( Three weeks of overtime is something you'd expect around the holidays, and not around this time of year. Is there any kind of end in sight for all of that yet?

 

Also, cat café! Which you can't go to. Suck!

 

2 hours ago, chemgeek said:

... so yeah, if you're looking for new anime, those are great.

 

Hmm! I see. I'm already into My Hero Academia, but I'd seen New Game advertised in my feeds. I'll have to give it a look. Right now I'm in Fate Stay Night/Unlimited Blade Works because the fight scenes are gorgeous and I love how complicated their world seems to be. I'm always on the lookout for new things, though.

 

Also, new Voltron coming to Netflix on Friday...

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W.R.T foreverovertime, it is a case of everything is happening at once. We're having a busy quarter and tech support is unusually high and all the sales folks have unusual and complicated orders and they need my support for them and I am gearing up for a conference and have two major projects ongoing and etc.

 

I don't know when workload will be less nuts because too much of what is going on is outside my control. 

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So my asthma decided to flare up yesterday with my first proper attack since January. On the upside, I had stellar control for 6 straight months which happens almost never for me. On the downside, I'm now dealing with an asthma flare up, the day before I leave for a conference. Of course. 
 

Medical stuff behind the spoiler cut because I know that stuff squicks some people out so... you've been warned. It's not terribly graphic, but it deals with nitty gritty of asthma and also is me processing the warning signs I missed because I find doing that in writing somewhere semi-public helps with my accountability to myself and helps me not make the same sort of mistakes next time I'm leading up to a flare. I realize some folks don't want to read it, so I stuck it behind a cut.

 

Spoiler

 

Thinking back on these past few weeks, I've had a runny/stuffy nose, been sneezy, and had really dark allergic shiners for about two weeks now, and that's usually a warning sign that something is imminent. Earlier this week, I was really unusually cranky and emotional for me (even with extenuating circumstances taken into account), which can also be a warning sign for my asthma. Also this week, my EIB was way worse than it should've been Tuesday, and I mistakenly chalked up my EIB symptoms to not having been as consistent with my running over the past few weeks, and I got out of breath walking slowly with a friend which literally never happens for me on a fitness front, so that was definitely increased exercised intolerance as a warning sign.

 

Anyway, because I missed all my warning signs (it's one of those things that is obvious in retrospect but at the time is hard to spot), I didn't start my sick plan. Because I didn't step up to sick plan then, I slept badly Tuesday and Wednesday night for reasons that in retrospect are likely asthma related (I've been asthmatic so long that I just sleep through night-time asthma unless it's so serious I can't breathe and it's an emergency). Then yesterday evening at work it was like a switch flicked and something had my lungs in a vice. Face hot, skin itchy, short of breath, wheezing and coughing. Tried to take care of it at work but it wasn't cooperating so I had to go home for more intensive treatment. Thankfully that got it under control and I didn't end up in the ER.

 

So I am on my sick plan today. And driving to work because if I have a worse attack this morning, I want to have a go-machine so I can find somewhere to get help if it's needed. 

 



Downside is: I was planning a run today. That's not going to happen (I know from experience that it's not safe for me to run or to do any serious cardio for that matter until I get my asthma back under wraps).  If I have time, I might try a core workout, because those tend to be all about the controlled slow breathing and are hard without killing my lungs.

 

Redacted is a long aside on the effect asthma has on my lifestyle, because I know from experience in fitness places I tend to get a whole lot of "Don't let it defeat you! Willpower!" from people and I cannot deal with that and abide with the respectful engagement rules of the forum right now. See also: This is me respectfully establishing a boundary of, "Don't imply that I lack willpower because my chronic illness means I can't always train as hard as I'd like to." Not saying anyone on this subforum is inclined to do that (as far as I can tell, you're not) but more that it's a thing I run into a lot and don't have brainpower to deal with civilly today.

Edited by chemgeek
Fixing typos
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Geez, that's rough. :( Especially since all those symptoms and warning signs seem really easy to have missed. Everything seems to have just snuck up on you rather than you just waking up and knowing "Ah, aha. Now I must begin my protocols."

 

Definitely do take care of yourself and get to feeling better. Getting well is priority number one, especially when the problems are happening below the neck.

 

Side note: I didn't know you could get allergic shiners. It might explain some gray spots I have beneath my eyes since I seem to have those even when I get enough sleep.

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