Sunday, December 31, 2017

Summer Sausage & Veggie Soup

The key to this soup is to use homemade smoked ham hock bone broth.

Summer Sausage & Veggie Soup
1-1/2 cup Smoked Ham Hock Bone Broth
5oz Summer Sausage
1/2 head Cabbage, chopped small
1 Zucchini
2 stalks Celery
14 oz can Petite Diced Tomato
Water


  1. Put the bone broth and cabbage into a crockpot.
  2. Cut the zucchini into long quarters, then chop up.  Add to pot.
  3. Thin cut the celery.  Cut the summer sausage into bite-size pieces.  Add to pot.
  4. Dump the can of petite diced tomatoes over everything.  Add water to fill pot.
  5. Let this cook on high for 3-4 hours.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Keeping Food Simple

I'm sitting at work waiting for people to get back to me and looking at pinterest for paleo recipes.  It occurred to me that breakfast is my laziest meal.  I'll gladly make myself a cup of coffee or two, but making food in the morning is a pain in the butt.

Instead of looking at various new things - most of which aren't paleo, despite their claims - I thought I'd share my favorite breakfast options with you.  Some of these can be found in my list of recipes.

  • 2 Eggs, Scrambled with leftover veggies
  • Protein Shake, basic
  • Protein Shake, pumpkin spice
  • Protein Shake, berries
  • 2 Eggs, Omelet
  • 1 slice Ham and 1 Egg with leftover veggies
  • 1 Pink Grapefruit
  • 3 Baked Eggs (egg, ham, spinach) baked in a muffin tin
  • Crustless Quiche, personal size - made in ramekin
  • Paleo Granola
  • Chia Seed Pudding, any flavor
  • Parmesan-crusted Tilapia with leftover veggies (Tilapia cooks up quickly)
  • Egg Nests
  • Paleo Cake Doughnuts (made using Simple Mills cake mix)
  • Poached Egg and Smoked Salmon on Spinach or Arugula with Mustard Dressing
  • Leftovers
Some folks are always like "fish for breakfast?!"  Yes.  I don't mind fish for breakfast.  I usually prefer tilapia or smoked salmon.  I'm in Alaska, so the majority of our smoked salmon is hot smoked, rather than cold smoked (aka Lox).  I do like both.

I used to make smoothies all the time with fruits and veggies mixed together, but I've been moving away from that.  I feel like I was getting too many carbs or something.  I don't think it was helping me.  I generally just have a basic protein shake - vanilla whey and water.  I suck it down while my coffee is brewing.  I like having it after working out.  The last few days I've been following it up with 2 eggs scrambled with leftover veggies.

If you are interested in the cake doughnuts, right now I only recommend using Simple Mills cake mix.  I've tried a few others and they just weren't as good.  I also recommend making them the night before.  You can let them cool down, then toss them into a container.  It's really nice for a quick grab-n-go breakfast.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Starting Up - Fresh Start Part 2

I feel so stupid for getting sick right at the start of my new diet and workout plan.  I mean, I really couldn't do anything once I was sick.  I also put off going to the gym until cardio day came around (tomorrow).  The first thing I want to do is make sure I'm breathing right.

Anyway, as a holiday recap - I really didn't do too bad while sick.  I came out of being sick (mostly) on Christmas Eve.  I was still going through some bad sinus drainage, but that seemed to clear up yesterday.  Today I'm totally fine. *thumbs up* I didn't over-eat on Christmas, though I easily could have.  We had WAAAAY TOO MUCH food.  I spent most of my Christmas day prepping food for appetizer trays that when dinner rolled around, I really wasn't in the mood for food.  I had a little turkey, some brussel sprouts, and a big scoop of jello.  Boring, right?

I've been binge watching 'Sherlock'...again.  Been doing some writing.  Tossed together a mock-up for a boys (tweens/teens) magazine.  Not quite sure what to do with it at this point.  I don't even have a title for it.

Christmas presents: trash can, new coat, speed bag, Ancestry.com DNA kit, books, and a few other things.  Christmas burden: forced to co-host dinner with my parents (who are my neighbors) for about 30 or so family members.  At least not all 45 people showed up.

I'm thrilled to have an invite to a New Years Eve game night party.

I plan on getting to the gym starting tomorrow, continuing to eat right, actually log my meals again (when I'm sick I don't bother), and have a fun workout this weekend with my speed bag!  I'll also be doing some shadow boxing, kettlebell exercises, and medicine ball exercises.

Would love to hear from anyone who actually reads my blog.  What do you do for a workout?  Do combative sports (i.e. boxing, fencing, martial arts, etc) interest you?

If you want to join me on MyFitnessPal you can connect with me through this LINK.

I ordered 'It Can't Happen Here' by Sinclair Lewis.  It came in right before Christmas.  Very excited.  I need to finish the book I'm in the middle of, then I can read it.  If you want to read it and discuss it, I'd be up for that.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

I'm Sick (Has it been 2 years?)

I rarely get sick.  My sister was kind enough to share her germs with me.  That sore throat turned into a sinus thing.

I feel like I'm tethered to something underwater....kind of like a floaty feeling but also firmly in place.  I would like to thank TheraFlu and Delsym for this little adventure in fuzzy skin feelings and mental fog.

Also, thanks Stash Tea for the Moroccan Mint, my go-to work tea.

I would like to report that I have gone for almost 15 minutes without reaching for a kleenex.

What sucks?  I'll tell you what sucks: You live above the office in one of two apartments, your boss/dad lives in the other, and you're not allowed to "go home sick".

It's okay.  I have 2 whole months of paid vacation time saved up.  At some point, I will go on vacation and it will be glorious!

I'm disappointed in myself for getting sick.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Ugly Christmas Sweater & Bad Poetry

At lunch today, I'm hosting an ugly Christmas sweater & bad poetry reading.  Anyone who reads poetry gets a free cookie.  It will run from 11am-1pm, strictly during lunch!

I'm really hoping that people show up to read some poetry.  Otherwise it's just going to be me reading....I don't know....William Blake or Lord Byron or something.  I know those poets aren't bad.   Maybe I'll look for Christmas poetry or something.

This will be going on at Red Couch, 309 2nd Ave, Fairbanks, AK.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

A 36-hour Bug

I am not thrilled about having caught some sort of bug from my sister.  It's nothing terrible - just a sore throat and a light pressure on my upper chest.  Luckily, around lunch time today, I felt it lift a bit.  I've been drinking hot liquids all day.  I have my go-to cold/flu drink.  I try to drink this as soon as I get an inkling that I might have something.  It usually helps out and I can rarely say that "I'm sick".  You don't have to continually drink it through the day.  I generally drink it in the morning and in the evening.

Stop It In It's Tracks - Bug Buster
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
1 TBSP Raw Honey
1/2 tsp Ginger
Hot Water

1. Mix everything together and drink it as hot as you can stand it.


The unfortunate part is that this morning at 3:30am, I really didn't feel like getting up for my second cardio day this week.  I feel so lazy.  I have high hopes for Friday's lower body day.

I have almost everything in and wrapped for Christmas!  I have one thing that hasn't arrived, but it should be here by the 22nd.  I try pretty hard to make sure I get people stuff they're really going to like.  OR, if I think they deserve something equivalent to poop in a box, I get them something that they really weren't hoping for or that's not too exciting, but is simply basic and useful like: a book for those who don't really like to read or a new pair of jeans for someone who doesn't necessarily need a new pair.  I mean it's useful and they get to open something on Christmas, but it's full of disappointment.  lol   Don't mess with someone born on Krampus Night!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Day 2: It's Great!

I'd like to report that it's the end of Day 2 and it's going great!  I am eating a lot of food (thanks veggies) and I am pretty full all the time, despite aiming for 1200 calories.  After this post, I'm going to have an evening snack of a satsuma while I drink a pot of tea.

Today was upper body day.  I hate getting spaghetti arms at the gym, but that happened.  lol   I don't feel like I over did it.  I just haven't done all of those exercises, all at once, for a while.  I am looking forward to my day off tomorrow and the next two days of working out.

Food-wise, I put on a beef-pumpkin chili this morning.  I make a pretty fierce no-bean chili.  I think it's one of my top favorite paleo meals.  You can find a few versions of the recipe under the RECIPES tab, up top.

For anyone who is curious as to my personal macros: 120g Protein, 40g Fat, 90g Carbs.

I'm keeping my carbs restricted to grain-free, potato-free, legume-free, low sugar/low starch fruits and veggies.  Yikes, right?!  My body does not like any kind of potato (even sweet potato) - so I'm okay with that.  No grains?  I hate it when people ask if that means "gluten free".  No.  It means "no fucking grains" and includes: wheat, barley, corn, rice, quinoa, and all the other grains of the world.  I also am not supposed to eat legumes, such as: peanuts, all beans, soy, lentils, and peas.  For the most part I'm cool with it, but I tend to cheat when it comes to Mexican restaurants.

Monday, December 11, 2017

My First Weigh-In

Made a Putz House this weekend.  I'm looking chubby.
I'm doing my first weigh-in today.  I like to do this first thing in the morning, right after I get up and pee.  I haven't eaten anything.  I've gone to the bathroom.  I always feel like it's a good time of day for this sort of thing.

Start weight is 200.3 lbs.  Pant size 8/10.

Short term goal 180 lbs.  Pant size 6/8.

Long term goal 155 lbs.  Pant size 4/6.


I went to the gym today.  I haven't been there in 2 weeks and I was definitely feeling it.  I always consider the first week to be the "learning week".  You have to get yourself on your new gym routine and sometimes the first week can be a real bitch.  Just go with it.   Today, for example, I was having some allergy issues.  My sinuses were acting up, one eye was tearing up for my whole run, my tear ducts were stinging...so awesome *sarcasm*.   I ran for 25 minutes before saying "enough!"  It's not 30 minutes, but it's close.

I think I'm going to tan on my cardio days.  I didn't tan today.  I need to run for 30 minutes in order to allow myself to tan.  Effort = Reward

This morning, I was happy to eat my chocolate chia pudding and drink a hot cup of coffee.  I have some grapefruit in the fridge that I might dig into.  I really love pink grapefruit.    Side track: If you love tea, Adagio Tea makes a fantastic Grapefruit Oolong tea.

If you would like to connect with me on MyFitnessPal, here is MY PROFILE.  I'd be happy to add you as a friend.

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Also, I made a Putz House this weekend over at my friend's, Deanna, house.  In the picture above, mine is yellow, Deanna's house is blue.  Vintage crafting is something we both enjoy.  Deanna runs a facebook blog called Vintage A La Mode.  She is currently trying out vintage cocktails.

Putz Houses are small cardboard houses that are meant to be displayed around Christmas.  Typically they are covered in glitter - as was ours.  You paint them, glitter them, decorate them.  The ones we made have a hole in the bottom for a tea light.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday Prep

I was actually planning on starting everything today, but I completely spaced out doing my weigh-in and I really wasn't paying attention to my macros.  It probably doesn't help that I went over to my parent's place for pancakes.  I turned it around though.  I'm taking today for food prep.  Aside from the pancakes, I have stayed on track.

For lunch, I had two packets of tuna with a little mayo and a big scoop of relish.  I ate it on cucumber rounds (about 1/2 a cucumber).  It was a pretty good lunch.  After about an hour, I ate a pear and drank a cup of pork bone broth.

Have you ever made bone broth?  It's kind of weird stuff.  I tend to use my small crockpot...a lot.  If you're new to bone broth, the first thing you should know is that you can use marrow bones, feet, and hocks/knuckles.  What you're aiming for is the collagen.

Pork Bone Broth (for small crockpot)
2 large Smoked Pork Hocks
1 stick Celery
1 clove Garlic
1/4 Onion
1 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
Water


  1. If your marrow bones, feet, or hocks are not smoked, then you need to roast them in the oven at 450F for 60 minutes before proceeding.  This will give you better flavor.
  2. In your small crockpot, place enough hocks in that the crockpot can handle.
  3. The celery and onion can be chopped into large pieces before being added to your pot.  Add in the garlic and apple cider vinegar.
  4. Fill the pot with water.
  5. Turn your pot to high and let it cook for a solid 8 hours.  Start in the morning so it will be ready when you get home from work.
  6. After 8 hours run everything through a colander.  You're going to toss the bones/feet/hocks, celery, onion, and garlic.  What you want is that delicious savory broth!
  7. Place into a bowl and put your broth into the fridge.

Bone broth can help fix any gut issues, helps joints, the collagen can make you look younger, it can help with sleep, increase bone strength, and supports a better immune system.   You can literally drink it, you can add it to soups, and you can add it to whatever food.  When you refrigerate your homemade bone broth, it will congeal...yep, just like jello (technically its called aspic).  It will melt really quickly when you want to use it.  I literally scooped my aspic into a mug and popped it into the microwave for a minute.  It was perfect and tasted like smokey ham.

I made an Italian bake for dinner.  It's kind of a mash up with chicken, tomato, zucchini, mushroom, onion, garlic, shitaki noodles, a little cottage cheese, and some cheddar.  I'm using what I have in my fridge.  It should be pretty good and it should last a few days.

I also got my breakfast prepped for tomorrow - chocolate chia pudding.  For this particular type of recipe, I really like using a 16oz wide-mouth jar with a lid.  Basically, you add a little almond milk and/or coconut milk, a tiny bit of sweetener, any extra stuff (nuts, coconut, spices, fruit, etc), and 4 TBSP of chia seeds.  You can stir it up (or shake it up) and put it in the fridge.  The chia seeds will naturally gel when in liquid, so it will soon become a thick pudding-like substance.   I definitely suggest not eating it plain.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Tricks To Stay On Track With Diet & Exercise

I always start out strong with changes, but then something comes up....like Tuesday it was my b-day, my mom took me for Mexican food on Wednesday, yesterday my mom brought me and my sister a co-bday pie, and today it's my sister's b-day.  Just enough crap going on this week to make me NOT want to start something new, right?   Actually, it was perfect for getting everything planned, cleaning out my kitchen, and getting my butt to the store for groceries.

Here are some of my tricks to stay on track with everything.  I find that the more I do these things, the better I do with diet and exercise.


  • Track your food intake and exercise using MyFitnessPal.com (free) or some other tracking app.  The cool thing about this is that you can use it online or as a phone app.  You can add your own recipes, add your own exercises (if you can't find it), and do the occasional weigh-ins.  There are options for setting your own weightloss goals and displaying those goals on a website/blog (as I have in the sidebar), you can alter your intake goals of protein/fat/carbs (I tend to go for 40/30/30), you can connect with others through the app, and you can even start a fitness blog through the app.    Why track everything?  Not everyone needs to.  My sister doesn't track stuff.  I find that it helps me be more aware of what I'm eating and I don't cheat as much.  It also helps me get to the gym because it gives me a visual of my activities.
  • Don't concern yourself with calorie goals, just try to meet your macros (protein/fat/carb).  I know that I'm supposed to have a goal of about 1500 calories - according to almost everyone and every website.  If I eat the way I like to eat, 1200 calories is my usual goal.  I DO NOT STARVE.  Protein and fats tell my body when I'm full.  They trigger that "I'm full" switch.  Carbs don't do that.  I can eat a whole loaf of bread and still be hungry, whereas I can eat 4oz of meat and a bowl of veggies and be completely full.  It means I know how to feel full on less food.  Also, I totally meet my macros.  The carbs I eat are fruits and veggies.  You can eat a lot of fruits and veggies, ingesting very few calories.  1 cup broccoli = 55 calories.  1 12" baguette = 400 calories.  See what I mean?
  • Search pinterest for recipes and create your own diet board.  This is kind of fun and you can really get excited about trying some new recipes.  I'm actually trying to make my own bone broth.  I'm excited!  Look for easy food or crockpot recipes or large batch recipes.  I have found that the easier you make it to eat, the less trouble you're going to have.  I do a lot of pasta-less lasagna/casseroles and crockpot recipes.
  • Allow yourself some pleasure items.  This may sound obvious, but some folks get so focused on doing everything 100% - when they crash and burn, it happens in one swoop and they become devastated.  "Pleasure Items" are sauces, basic coffee, tea, cake, muffins, and pizza.  I don't count my sauces.  In my fridge, I usually have a few mustards, a bbq sauce, hot sauce, and bleu cheese or ceasar dressing.  If it takes a tablespoon to help me get that chicken down, so be it.  Coffee and tea - it's no surprise that everyone says DON'T DRESS IT UP.  I have one day a week where I go get two bone dry cappuccinos.  I really love coffee.  My favorite bean has to be a Kauai peaberry - it's so smooth.  It's okay to allow yourself one or two (depending on size) fancy espresso drinks.  Also, invest in various tea!  Tea can be so delicious!  Pizza crust - look for cauliflower crust recipes.  Simple Mills makes some great cake mixes that are diet friendly.  Get yourself a doughnut pan and bake up some cake doughnuts; or a muffin tin and make muffins.  Simple Mills also makes a pretty good flatbread that would work for pizza.
  • Before you start, have some ideas for snacks and have them in your kitchen.  My biggest problem is that I don't need to snack during the day, but at night between 6pm-9pm I tend to want a snack.  This is another good reason to give pinterest a try.  Today, I'm actually going to pick up some cucumbers because they make a great chip alternative.  I like piling a little tuna salad on them.
  • Get yourself one or two new pieces of workout clothing.  Sometimes it helps to have a new workout shirt or sports bra or tights or something.  It can just be that extra little bit of motivation you need to get to the gym.  Also, make sure that your shoes are giving you good support.  It is totally worth it to have a pair of great fitting workout shoes.
  • Set some workout goals.  Maybe you want to go from not being able to do a pull up to being able to do 5 of them.  Maybe you want to be able to run a mile faster.  Maybe you want to do 100 sit ups without throwing up.  Whatever your fitness goals are, set them and work towards them.
  • Do it with a friend.  I don't really have anyone that I workout or diet with, but some people really like having a social aspect to all of this.  I guess I just blog.  It can definitely help to have someone to go to the gym with or to talk about recipes with, etc.  Talking about what you are doing can really help you stay motivated.
  • Do a weigh-in ONLY once every one or two weeks.  You always want to start by doing a weigh-in.  With MyFitnessPal.com you can track your weight and various body measurements.  You can always add in specific measurements too!  Understand that your body is not going to make overnight changes.  Don't stress about it.  Maybe every Saturday morning you weigh yourself first thing in the morning and measure your limbs while drinking that first cup of coffee.  Maybe it's every other Saturday.  What you're looking for is change!  If there is a change going on (reduction of fat hopefully) you are doing good!  I am not the biggest fan of going by "weightloss" unless it's reasonable.  My goal is to drop 20 lbs of fat.  I figure that will put me somewhere around a size 6 pants.  That sounds reasonable, right?  If you were to look at what I weigh and where that 20 lbs would get me, you would probably think I'm not doing something properly.  Never go by the BMI if you're weightlifting.  Muscle weighs more than fat.  When I was down to a size 4 (like 8 years ago) I weighed about 145/150 lbs.  At 5'3", the BMI says that 145/150 lbs makes me "overweight".  Right now, according to the BMI, I am "obese".  I'm not trying to tell you to go gain weight.  I'm just suggesting that you don't put all your eggs onto the scale.  If you feel good, look good in a bathing suit, have energy all day, feel positive about yourself, and genuinely like the way you are...you are doing it correctly.

Playlists Part 2

The rest of these playlists I use for weight lifting and my home workout.  Why?  It's so I can be as bad ass as Sonya Blade or Rocky Balboa or Xena.    As always, my goal is to get rid of the excess fat, be strong, and be able to stop anyone who gets in my way.

I find 'Rocky' to be very inspirational, as well as 'Million Dollar Baby'.  I also find a lot of inspiration from Bruce Lee, Sonny Chiba, and the 'Mortal Kombat' movie.

For weightlifting, I prefer music that is heavy, has a good beat, and its usually a little slower than what I run to.  I find that my cardio mixes can make me speed through my weightlifting, leaving me pretty sore.

When it comes to my home workout, which I've only done a couple of times, I really don't like having to mess with my music.  That means I need to have a solid playlist, no songs skipped or searched for, and it has to be faster like what I run to.


Weightlifting #1

  • I'm Your Boogie Man by KC & The Sunshine Band
  • Religious As Hell by March Violets
  • Lava by Ministry
  • Hurricane Fighter Plane by Alien Sex Fiend
  • Evolution by Korn
  • Zero Signal by Fear Factory
  • Am I Demon by Danzig
  • Fuel My Fire by Prodigy



Weightlifting #2

  • Exterminate Annihilate Destroy by Rotersand
  • Heeding The Call by Hammerfall
  • Under The Blade by Twisted Sister
  • I Don't Want To Be Me by Type O Negative
  • Super-Charger Heaven by White Zombie
  • Good Grief by Urban Dance Squad
  • Der Golem by Fantomas
  • Cape Fear by Fantomas



Home #1

  • Come To Daddy by Aphex Twin
  • Omen by Prodigy
  • Spitfire by Prodigy
  • Light by KMFDM
  • Oh Bondage!  Up Yours! by X-Ray Specs
  • War by System of A Down
  • Heirate Mich by Rammstein
  • Starfuckers, Inc by Nine Inch Nails
  • Headhunter [Apoptygma Berserker Mix] by Front 242


Home #2

  • Gonna Getcha by Zombie Girl
  • After The Flesh by My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult
  • This Is The New Shit by Marilyn Manson
  • Hard Rock Hallelujah by Lordi
  • Anarchy by KMDFM
  • Got Love To Kill by Juliette & The Licks
  • At The End Of The Rainbow by Hammerfall
  • Saddam A-Go-Go by GWAR
  • Killing Fields by Funker Vogt


Friday, December 8, 2017

Playlists Part 1

I'm always looking for good potential workout music.  I'll always take recommendations.

Cardio Playlist #1

  • Masters of The Universe by Juno Reactor  (starts a little slow, makes for a great start up song)
  • Invaders Must Die by The Prodigy
  • Godlike [12" mix] by KMFDM
  • Smack My Bitch Up by The Prodigy
  • Survivalism by Nine Inch Nails
  • Virus [12" mix] by KMFDM
  • Firestarter by The Prodigy
  • Juke-Joint Jezebel by KMFDM

Cardio Playlist #2
  • Joy by VNV Nation
  • Strict Machine by Goldfrapp
  • Techno-Syndrome 7" Mix by The Immortals
  • Ride A White Horse by Goldfrapp
  • Blood & Fire (Out of The Ashes Mix) by Type O Negative
  • Head Like A Hole by Nine Inch Nails
  • Hella Good by No Doubt
  • Invaders Must Die by The Prodigy
  • Evolution by Korn
  • Sabotage by Beastie Boys
If you're going to give this workout a try and you need some playlists, I hope these work as well for you as they do for me.  I have a few back up tunes from other gym playlists that I would like to mention:
  • Where's Your Head At? by Basement Jaxx
  • Control by Traci Lords
  • Pistolero by Juno Reactor
  • Love Missile F1-11 by Sigue Sigue Sputnik
  • Master of Puppets by Metallica
  • Gonna Fly Now by Billy Conti
  • Fett's Vette by MC Chris

Workout Plan #1

I mentioned that I might blog about my new workout plan that I constructed, so here it is.

Type
Exercise
Duration
Cardio
Running, 4 miles
30 min
Home
Push ups + Sit ups, moderate    
Jumping Jacks, vigorous
Jump Rope
Shadow Boxing
Kettlebell & Medicine Ball
5 min
2 min
5 min
20 min
10 min
Upper
Bicep Curl 
Standing Skull Crusher 
Shoulder Press 
Bench Press 
Bent Over Shoulder Fly 
Sit ups + Leg Raises 
Sitting Rows 
Pull ups 
30 min

15 reps, 2 sets – each
Lower
Squats 
Good Mornings 
Deadlift 
Bridges w/weight 
Hamstring Curl 
Side Lunge
Leg Extension
Leg Press 
Seated Toe Raise
30 min

15 reps, 2 sets – each


M – Cardio
T – Upper
W – Rest
Th – Cardio
F – Lower
Sat/Sun/Evenings - Home


How did I come up with this?
Do it to avoid zombies!
I'm not a fan of running, but it really helps me burn the fat.  I know that I can do 4 miles in 30 min on the elliptical.  When it comes to the upper body and lower body my thought is to have a mix of overall exercises and focused exercises.  Deadlifts, for example, almost work the whole body, while calf raises are an isolated movement for the calves.  I know that I work best on either a "every other day" or "two days on, 1 day off" schedule.  In this case, it's more like 2 days on, 1 day off, 2 days on, work out at my leisure.  The home workout is basically me using stuff I have at home - jump rope, 35lb kettlebell, 20lb medicine/slam ball, and open space in the garage.  I really like shadow boxing, especially to fast and heavy music.  I tend to run at the pace my music is at and the same thing goes for shadow boxing.  Bring on The Prodigy, KMFDM, etc.

How long do I plan on doing this?
Until it gets boring.  When I feel like I need a change, I can switch stuff out for other exercises.

Can I do this?
If you want to give this a try, go for it.  If you need me to demonstrate how to do something, comment below.  If you want to only do the M-F stuff, that's cool.  People get busy on the weekends.  I will highly recommend stretching so your body doesn't seize up - if you're not use to weight lifting.  At home, I generally just stretch out while I'm watching an episode of some tv show.

What does everything work out?
Bicep Curl (arm)
Standing Skull Crusher (arm)
Shoulder Press (shoulder)
Bench Press (chest, shoulder, arm)
Bent Over Shoulder Fly (shoulder)
Sit ups + Leg Raises (upper and lower abs)
Sitting Rows (core, arms)
Pull ups (back)
Squats (butt, legs)
Good Mornings (butt)
Deadlift (butt, legs, everything)
Bridges w/weight (butt)
Hamstring Curl (upper back legs)
Side Lunge (abductors, adductors, everything)
Leg Extension (upper front legs)
Leg Press (upper legs)
Seated Toe Raise (lower legs)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Holiday Blogging

I recently just had my 35th birthday (Dec. 5th) and made some holiday affirmations and goals.  I realize that the holidays can be the HARDEST times to stick with stuff.  There are always parties and extra food and all sorts of reasons not to stick with whatever goals you have, right?

Here's what I recently decided on:

  • I lost a pant size in November, but in the last two weeks I just haven't been able to motivate myself to get to the gym.  I need to reassess my exercise plan, create a new plan, and go back to the gym - maybe even give myself time to use the tanning bed once or twice a week.  I like tanning in the winter to get me out of the winter slumps and to help clear up any skin issues.
  • When I don't eat healthy stuff or when I don't get to the gym, I come down HARD on myself.  Seriously.  While it's important to eat healthy, I need to not stress out so much about eating a cracker at a party or that doughnut on a special occasion or missing the gym because I overslept.  I can't let myself do it very often, but when it does happen I don't need to berate myself all frickin' day.
  • Why am I constantly looking at new shit to eat?  It occurred to me, as I was looking at a few different diet books, that I was doing good when I was in Oregon.  I asked myself: What did I mainly eat when I was in Oregon?  The majority of my diet consisted of coconut products, almond products, broccoli, pumpkin, zucchini, apples, pears, tomato, chicken, lean beef, pork tenderloin, fish, eggs, broth, tea, coffee, lots of water, and nuts.   I like that stuff.  Why don't I just go back to eating that instead of trying keto or negative-calorie diet or whatever else?
  • Affirmation: I have the ability to lose size by switching up my gym activities and allowing myself to tan.
  • Affirmation: I don't have to stress myself over every since bad carb I eat.  Stress is bad, let it go or just don't do it.
  • Affirmation: Eat my usual staple food items and be okay with them.
  • I always have writing projects going on that never seem to get finished.  This holiday season, I need to try writing every day - even if it's only a blog post.  I think I just got lazy.
  • Affirmation: I can get my writing projects worked on and/or finished this holiday season.

My new workout plan:
Working out is something I do and its a popular thing to blog about.  What am I doing this time around?  My basic schedule looks like this - Monday Cardio; Tuesday Upper Body Weights; Wednesday Rest; Thursday Cardio; Friday Lower Body Weights; Saturday/Sunday/Any Evenings Home Workout Based On Boxing.  Maybe I'll post more on this later.

Do you have any holiday goals and/or affirmations?

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Freelance Writing


I know I have been away for a while now.  I took a second job, I've been thinking about getting a new vehicle, I've been working on getting my research together for a future trip, and the BIGGEST thing...I've decided to become a freelance writer.

Freelance writing...This is one of those things where you start out asking yourself "what the fuck am I doing?"  I'm sure it changes after a while, but I'm still in the WTF stage.  I have a handful of articles.  I've sent out some queries or the full article, depending on where I'm sending stuff.

Now I wait.

I know that editors are crazy busy.  I would just like to make some money.

If you're reading this and you're like "I could do give that a try".  I would suggest this book: Handbook of Magazine Article Writing.  Edited by Michelle Ruberg.  Published by Writer's Digest.  I found my copy at Barnes and Noble.  It's been SUPER useful!!!

I also have a spreadsheet going so I can keep track of stuff.  Things I keep track of in my spreadsheet:

  • Article Name
  • Where I Submitted (publication name)
  • Type of Submission (pitch or article)
  • Submission Date
  • Result
  • Money
  • Word Count
I'm currently working on a few new articles.  Once I have them written, I can pitch those.  I should probably submit my articles to some new places.

My personal writing goal is to start making a solid $2000/mo.  Right now, I'm at $0/mo from my writing.  Hopefully that changes soon!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Victory Roll Class!


Fairbanks MCM Architectural Club

I am thinking that I should start an architectural club in Fairbanks with the main focus being mid-century modern.



I've never been involved with an architectural club, but I know they're out there.  If you're interest is piqued, but you have no idea what it entails - don't fret.  I have some ideas that I have been gathering.

Club Functions:

  • Research local buildings, homes, and mid-century modern items (housewares, decor, etc)
  • Assist each other with finding items that members may be looking for
  • Present research on items to the club, one presenter once a month
  • Monthly meeting
  • Home presentation, a members-only function where one club member presents their home to the club.  Sometimes tied to cocktails or dessert/coffee.  The member gives a home tour, talks about heirlooms or important items, items they had trouble finding, any future plans, etc.
  • "Before" and "After" home presentations.  A member might want to show a house before a remodel, then again after the remodel.
  • Tour of local MCM commercial buildings.
I'm looking for people who are interested.  Contact me!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

All About The Hair

For the last two years or so, a local antique store has been asking me to teach some sort of vintage-themed class.  I was always like "what would I even teach?"  My go-to skills are sewing, drawing, painting, and general design work.  After a few games of bowling and an evening thinking it over, I decided that I should teach basic vintage hair.  I can do a few classes, each one with one particular hairstyle as the focus.

I am not a professional, but I have been doing my hair in vintage styles for the last 5 years or so.

I really haven't had luck with people showing up for stuff, so I hope people show up to classes.

I'll start with Victory Rolls.  If that goes well I can do The Poodle, the Happy Pompadour (Rita Hayworth style), and....I don't know....a loose curl glamour hairstyle or something.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Down A Size

I'm firmly down to a size 8.  I have been for a few weeks.  I just didn't want to jinx it somehow and gain size back.  The terrible thing is that I feel fatter than ever.

I'm going to continue eating keto until the keto supplements I have run out.  After that, I'm going back to paleo.

I'm back in a slump.  I think from lack of socialization.  I have tried to get people to do stuff with me - Saturday morning coffee, game nights, learning the lindy hop, etc.  Everyone is "too busy".  I'm just like -- I have binge-watched 5 seasons of 'True Blood' this week- please do something with me.  I like doing things by myself, but I also enjoy little events like playing board games or something.

I'm still going to do the Saturday morning coffee thing; last time I got 2 chapters read of 'Red Dragon' and I finalized my shopping list.  I am going to start bowling, once my things come in.  I ordered a bowling ball, a bag, and shoes.  I'll go to the cafe once a week and I'll go bowling once a week.

I have concocted a new workout regime.  I'm going to start it Monday.

I'm so tired of having no one to do anything with.  I don't make friends easily.  I can't wait to become engrossed in a new writing project.  Come on creative mind....please work quickly!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Things I've Learned About Keto

I've had a very hard time with the keto diet.  One little "splurge" can set you back a few days, in the sense of progress.  I think I have it figured out now.

What is Keto?
A keto diet is composed of 75% healthy fats (coconut, mct oil, etc), 20% protein (preferable lean meat), and 5% carbohydrates.  The keto diet eliminates the use of bread, grain-based flours, beans, sugar, starchy foods, legumes, and high-carb fruits/veggies.  You can have meat, low-carb fruits/veggies, dairy products, nuts/seeds, spices, and healthy fats.

What about carbs in vegetables?
You can still eat vegetables, but it's reduced in amount.  Look at the nutritional value of vegetables. The type you want to aim for are low carb veggies with a sufficient serving size.  Leafy greens are excellent for this.  Here is a small list of excellent vegetables for the keto diet.

  • Celery, 2 stalks, 4g carbs
  • Cucumber, 1/3 medium, 2g carbs
  • Green Cabbage, 3oz, 5g carbs
  • Radishes, 7 radishes, 3g carbs
  • Leaf Lettuce, 1-1/2 cup, 2g carbs
  • Iceberg Lettuce, 1/6 head, 2g carbs
  • Green Onion, 1/4 cup, 2g carbs
  • Asparagus, 5 spears, 4g carbs
  • Kale, 1 cup, 2g carbs
  • Cauliflower, 1/2 cup, >1g carbs
  • Mustard Greens, 1 cup, 2.9g carbs
  • Avocado, 1/2 fruit, 4.5g carbs
  • Zucchini, 1 medium, 7g carbs
Fluids
I always try to have a 1/2 gallon of water a day, not including coffee and tea.  If you don't drink much water, you're probably like "Whoa!  That's a lot!".  It's actually the daily recommended amount.  I have a 32oz water bottle that I fill twice a day.  My magical secret is adding Mio or other brand that basically adds calorie-free flavoring to water.  It sure helps get the water down in a timely fashion.  Another thing that helps me, is sparkling water (make sure it's unsweetened).  It's carbonated and you can get it flavored.  I use it to fool myself into thinking that I'm drinking something special, like you might with a soda.

I don't just drink water.  I drink a shit ton of coffee too.  I just don't count my coffee intake with my water intake.

Also, with this amount of water, I recommend trying NOT to drink anything after 6pm or 7pm.  This is only so you can get to sleep without having to get up in the middle of the night to run for the bathroom.

What are healthy fats?
Healthy fats become your fuel source.  Here are the top 10 for the keto diet:
  1. MCT Oil (medium chain triglycerides)
  2. Coconut Oil (natural source of MCT oil)
  3. Palm Kernel Oil
  4. Suet (this is an animal fat)
  5. Ghee
  6. Cocoa Butter
  7. Butter (standard butter)
  8. Tallow
  9. Lard
  10. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (recommended for non-heat use only)
MCT oils are naturally found in coconut oil, palm oil, and in dairy.  MCTs are easy for the body to turn into ketones, which are the fat bodies your body will burn for energy (aka your body uses your fat cells as fuel).

If I have a list of healthy fats, I should probably list some bad fats:
  1. Grapeseed Oil
  2. Sunflower Oil
  3. Flax Oil
  4. Safflower Oil
  5. Soybean Oil
  6. Corn Oil
  7. Margarine
  8. Vegetable Shortening
  9. Vegetable Oil
  10. Cottonseed Oil
  11. Canola Oil
Things I Do That Help Me Immensely!!!
  • I preplan and prepare my lunch for the work week.  I use divided containers.  This last week it was buffalo chicken meatloaf, broccoli, and snack-size cheese.
  • I eat a lot of fish and other seafood.
  • I tend to eat lean meat and use dairy to help get the high fats.
  • Tuna for breakfast.  Almost every morning I have tuna for breakfast, followed by a fat bomb "shake".
  • If I need a snack, I try to reach for: nuts, cheese, meat pieces, pork rinds, keto ice cream, keto cheesecake, and pumpkin fudge (see my list of recipes).  I try not to snack, reverting back to my high school mindset of "if I think I'm hungry, I'm probably just thirsty instead".
  • I bought a 1 pint ice cream maker by Nostalgia Electronics.  Check amazon.  A basic ice cream base for 1 pint is: 1 cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup almond milk, 2-3 TBSP stevia, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1/2 tsp salt.  From that base, you can add nuts or flavoring or whatever to it.
  • K.I.S.S.  Keep it simple stupid.  I tend to make a big pan of something that will span across the week, especially for lunch items.  You might want to cook up some plain chicken, separate it out into serving size, and for your meals you can liven it up with different sauces.  Simple!
Things I Don't Care For
  • Bulletproof Coffee.  Every once in a while, I can drink a cup of bulletproof coffee.  I really don't like putting anything in my coffee, so to me it just ruins it.  Bulletproof coffee is coffee with 2 TBSP Kerrygold Butter (or heavy cream) and 2 TBSP Coconut Oil.  I really like black coffee.
  • Making Fake Bread.  I don't usually have a craving for bread.  I'm not going to go out of my way to (essentially) fool myself into thinking "Hey, I have keto bread" or something like that.  I'm just not into it.  If I get an acidic stomach (sometimes happens after I take my vitamins) that I can't ignore, I'll have a cracker or two which I can usually find at work.  I try not to worry about these carbs, but I absolutely try to ignore the acid stomach by drinking water or having a piece of cheese or something like that.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Top 10 Serial Killer Films

I am a big fan of serial killer films.  This list took some time to put together because I like a lot of these types of films.  These are not in any particular order, by the way.  I'm only listing films, not television shows.


1. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)
This film is about Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole - real serial killers - who team up and go on a serial killing spree.  It stars a young Michael Rooker (Guardians of The Galaxy) and Tom Towles (House of 1000 Corpses).  This film takes some artistic liberties, so it's not 100% true.


2. Silence of The Lambs (1991)
One of my all time favorites.  This film really got me loving serial killer films.  If you're looking at this list and you have never seen any of these films, start with this one.  It stars Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster.


3. American Psycho (2000)
Based on a book with the same name, this film is AWESOME because it is relate-able.  That may sound crazy, but our main character, Patrick Bateman, has so many stressors - including his own routines - that he goes crazy and kills.  Also, he likes to spit out music trivia.  Music is pretty good in this film.


4. Ed Gein (2007)
The story of Ed Gein, the serial killer that inspired Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.  This actually shows you the mental state of Ed Gein, more than his low IQ and craziness.  This touches a little on what the cops actually found - the real list is long and disturbing (like a a belt made from human nipples).


5. Gacy (2003)
Gacy is played by Mark Holton (Pee-Wee's Big Adventure - "I know you are, but what am I?").  This film never made it to the big screen, but it is pretty good.  Holton does a great job as John Wayne Gacy.


6. Natural Born Killers (1994)
Hands down, this film on the list has the best soundtrack.  Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis star as the killer couple.


7. Citizen X (1995)
Stephen Rea stars as the morgue doctor trying to figure out who is responsible for the bodies.  This is based on the true story of Russian serial killer Andrei Chikatilo.


8. The Frighteners (1996)
If you are looking for something a little light-hearted this may be the film for you.  Michael J Fox stars as a guy who can see ghosts.  Lately, in his little city, there have been a weird string of deaths that no one can figure out.  This does involve a serial killer couple - one living, one dead.  Also, this is a Peter Jackson film.


9. So I Married An Axe Murderer (1993)
This film is hilarious.  It's about Charlie (Mike Meyers) trying to make it as a comedian/poet in San Francisco, seems to find love while being super paranoid, and then finds ties to her and the serial killer "Mrs. X".  This is actually fairly kid friendly.   I'll leave you with this: "Woman!  Whoa-Man!"


10. M (1931)
Directed by Fritz Lang, the genius behind Metropolis.  Peter Lorre plays a serial killer who preys on children in Berlin.  A manhunt ensues.  This is a classic suspense film.



Runner-Up.  Mr. Right (2015)
Hitmen aren't serial killers, I am told this by my friends who love the serial killer genre.  Technically, they are though they get paid money for it.  Anyway, I'm including this on here because I love Sam Rockwell and Anna Kendrick.  In this film, they are the lead characters!  He's pretty crazy and she's a weirdo who needs crazy.


Runner-Up. Monster (2003)
This is about Aileen Wuornos.  Aileen is played by Charlize Theron.  Based on real events.  Aileen was a prostitute in Florida who went a little nuts after a john decided to beat on her.  Led to a killing spree.  She died by lethal injection in 2002.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Personal Future

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Are you happy with your current job?

Do you want to live in the city your in?


All of these questions have come up in the last week and it has sent me into a spiral of "trying to figure my life out".  If you've been following this blog, you know that this happens once or twice a year to me and causes a bit of stress.

My answers to these questions are, in order, "I don't know.  Single?", "No", and "Not really, but I can manage here".    All of these answers indicate that I need to have some sort of life change.

I'd like to be my own boss since I haven't made it as a writer.  I have a fantastic collection of business ideas, but I don't know if I want to do them here in Fairbanks, AK.  Despite a growing rockabilly community, I don't know if  rockabilly clothing store (just one of many ideas) would do well here.  On top of that, I haven't really found any locations for a shop that I like.  They're all a little out of the way or have some other issues (bad neighborhood, no parking, hard to get to, etc).

My current job is cushy.  I live right above my office.  I get to have the dogs around me all the time.  It's not a difficult job - in fact, it can be a little slow and boring.  I can spend my free time working on my own projects - between work projects.  I have insurance.

I have no idea where I want to live.  I have two labrador retrievers.  I prefer the cooler climate of the PacNW (and similar regions), but also Hawaii.  I don't think I want to move to a big city with two big dogs.  For their sake, and my own sanity, I think a smaller community would be preferable - somewhere near some water.  I moved to Portland a few years ago for about 14/15 months before my parents talked me into coming back to Alaska.  I didn't have a great job, I didn't have dogs or friends, but I was on my own.

Maybe I should start with a vacation.  I have almost two full months of vacation time saved up - I think I'm short by a few days, unless my sick days cover those few days because I'm almost never out sick....hmm.....yeah, I suppose it's a solid 2 months.  That means no vacations in the last 4 years.

I don't even know where to start with figuring out my future.  HELP!  Suggestions?


Skills.  I guess I should figure out what skills I have and apply for fitting jobs, right?  Do I have skills?  Applicable skills?  I feel like I have lame skills that don't work for jobs.  I can make my own sewing patterns, that's a skill.  I cook and bake.  I have the basic office manger skills (typing, using the printer/copier/scanner without beating on it, using Office suite, PDF creating/editing, answering phones, etc).  I'm pretty strong.  I can play bass guitar.  I'm pretty good at writing and editing written work.  I have research skills and I can draw stuff.  At one point I was a museum intern for 14-months, so I have some tour guide and curating skills from that.  I can make a damn fine cup of coffee.  I have general craft skills (like arts and crafts).  I do a lot of conceptual design and business ideas - these just get tucked away in my apartment.  I'm not super sporty, but I have some skills in taekwondo, boxing, fencing, baseball, and weightlifting.  I have organizational skills - I literally put together a pin up pageant for a car show.  I'm good with time management.  Publishing skills - I had my own quarterly paper for a year.  I have an art degree and a history degree, so I have those kind of skills as well.

....so...what kind of job does that land me?  Why do I feel like my skills will only land me jobs like waitress or barista or receptionist or something like that?  I know the answer is low self-value.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

White Chocolate Almond Keto Cookies

Makes 12 cookies

4oz Cream Cheese
2 TBSP Heavy Cream
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla
2 TBSP Stevia
2 TBSP Coconut Flour
3/4 cup Almond Flour
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Sliced Almonds
1/4 cup White Chocolate Chips


  1. Place your cream cheese in your mixing bowl and heat in the microwave for 45 seconds.
  2. Add the cream to the warm cream cheese and mix together.  Add in your egg and vanilla, then mix.
  3. Add in the rest and stir until your cookie dough is thick.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F.   Ready a cookie sheet by either laying a silpat mat over it or a sheet of parchment paper.
  5. Divide the cookie dough into 12 balls.  Gently press the balls a little flat on the cookie sheet.  I suggest using a piece of waxed paper or parchment to press the dough - otherwise it may stick to your hands.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

These are pretty good.  I've been on keto for 2 months now and I've REALLY been wanting some cookies.  I know the white chocolate chips aren't really a keto item.  These are still really good.

As you can see -  FAT 11g, CARB 7g, PROTEIN 3g.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

FROM THE YELLOW JOURNAL...

FROM THE YELLOW JOURNAL....

I am always looking for ideas for the subject of my next piece. My pieces are usually kept short, just one page front and back. Please post your suggestions here OR on my author facebook page, where I will also be posting these. My plan is to post one per week.

==============================


Sword Fighting/Swashbuckling Words


Sword
Foil
Epee
Rapier
Sabre
Dagger
Stiletto
Blade
Parry
Thrust
Lunge
Ballistra
Strike
Attack
Feinte
Fleshe
En Guarde
Counterattack
Riposte
Extended Lunge
Slash
Poke
Stab
Edge
Slice
Cutting Edge
Hack
Jab
Scratch
Flick
Razor Sharp
Pommel
Hilt
Swish
Run Through
Cut
Pierce
Salute
Duel
Sharp
Advance
Retreat

Saturday, May 27, 2017

1941 Winter Wear - Alaska

I was at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks, Alaska today and saw this at the Pioneer Museum.  I thought that it would make for an interesting blog post.  It's a simple wool jacket with a fun embroidered skiing design.  The pants are very plain, but match the burgundy fabric and are cuffed at the ankle.