March 31, 2009

Floor, floor, floor, floor…

Filed under: home improvement — origamifreak @ 8:36 pm
Tags: , ,

(That’s my happy little floor song, that I sang, when I came home from work to see MORE FLOOR in my house…)


What you see isn’t glued yet, but they’ve been cutting it all and laying it out like a puzzle to make it fit, both dimension-wise and by hue/grain.  I think it looks fantastic.

Pardon me while I go back to humming my little happy floor song.


Happy 17, Miaumoto!

Filed under: cats — origamifreak @ 12:00 am


My “baby” is 17 today.  Minus both ear canals, and lots of dignity (due to having to live with me), but still kicking, and still snuggling with me at night.  And he holds his own against the 2-year-old Orange Usurper, when the need for Discipline arises.

He’s a Good Kitty.  Most of the time.  And I’m lucky he has me.  He has taught me a lot about affection and unconditional love.  I’m a nicer person because of him.

March 30, 2009

War on Sodium

Filed under: food,health — origamifreak @ 8:09 pm

OK, that’s IT. I’ve had it with the sodium. In fact, I think it’s more of a threat in my food than fat. Really.

Take, for example, Schwans Chicken Tortilla Soup.

One cup has:

  • 140 calories
  • 3.5g fat
  • 16g carbs
  • 12g protein

Sounds pretty reasonable, right?  Until you get to the part that says “1040mg sodium.”  What?!  Are you kidding me?  That’s more than half the sodium I’m supposed to get, per day.  The soup *tastes* salty, too.

Then we come to luncheon meat.  In order to minimize fat, we’re just comparing turkey.  I spent at least 20 minutes in the dairy section of Wegmans this morning looking at the backs of the packages to figure out what’s going on.  What’s going on is that the “Ultra Thin” sliced varieties have almost DOUBLE the salt.

There was a clear winner in terms of sodium, but it’s rawther expensive (75 cents per oz): Empire Kosher has less than half the sodium of most of the other kinds.  The best mainstream type was Hillshire Select Oven Roasted Turkey Breast, Hearty Slices (44 cents per oz).  I also looked at Oscar Meyer, Hormel, and Wegman’s own brand, and they were comparable to the high sodium Hillshire.

Brand Calories Fat Carbs Protein Sodium Cholesterol Iron
Empire Kosher Turkey Breast (3 slices = 57g), 57 gram(s) 50 0.0 1 11 300 30 4
Hillshire Farm Deli Select Oven Roasted Turkey Breast Hearty Slices (2 slices = 56g), 56 gram(s) 50 0 2 10 540 30 4
Hillshire Farm Deli Select Mesquite Smoked Turkey Breast (4 slices = 57g), 57 gram 50 1.0 3 8 620 25 4
Hillshire Farm Deli Select Honey Roasted Turkey Breast, Ultra Thin (6 slices = 57g), 57 gram(s) 60 1.0 5 8 650 25 2
Hillshire Farm Deli Select Oven Roasted Turkey Breast, Ultra Thin (6 slices = 57g), 57 gram 50 1.0 3 9 730 25 2

Now, onto salad dressings.  In general, when you give up fat, they replace it with either sugar (carbs) or salt (sodium).  I’ve found that the spritzers actually deliver the most flavor with the least caloric, fat, or sodium impact.  Here’s a breakdown on them:

Brand Calories Fat Carbs Sodium
Ken’s Lite Accents Raspberry Walnut Spritzer (10 sprays), 1 serving 15 1 2 35
Wish-Bone Salad Spritzers, Ranch (10 sprays), 1 serving 15 1 0 70
Ken’s Lite Accents Asian Spritzer (10 sprays), 1 serving 15 1 2 80
Ken’s Lite Accents Balsamic Spritzer (10 sprays), 1 serving 10 0.5 1 95
Ken’s Lite Accents Honey Mustard Spritzer (10 sprays), 1 serving 15 1 2 95
Wish-Bone Salad Spritzers, Italian (10 sprays), 1 serving 10 1 1 100

Wish-Bone makes an Asian-themed one I like that is no longer on the shelf at Wegmans, so I was pleased to see that Ken’s is branching into that market and Wegmans is stocking it.  Anything that makes my salads more interesting while providing a minimal macronutrient / sodium impact is good by me.  I haven’t tried the Ken’s dressings yet.  I can say that the Wishbone Italian goes better with tofu than the Ranch.

I’m having to order more of the Nasoya Lite Firm Tofu today from Urban Sun, in order to get it on Friday.  I seem to be going through about 6 lbs of tofu every 2 weeks.  It’s not cheap, but as a protein delivery method (while avoiding fats and sodium), it’s fantastic.  Plus it’s got all those nice plant estrogens and the calcium from the coagulant.

The Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein is helpful too, but tastes a lot better in milk than water, and milk has carbs in it.  And some sodium.

New BMI = 43.6

Filed under: health — origamifreak @ 7:48 am

I’ve removed 17.4% of my original mass so far, and hit another milestone.  Next one in 2.8 lbs, when I will have removed 60 total.  I guess that’s enough information for arithmetically inclined people to figure out where I started and where I’m at now in actual pounds, but I’ll make you do the math, if you really want to know.

Once I’ve got 100 off I will start posting actual pounds, I guess.  At that point I just won’t care, anymore.

See the graph at the bottom right of this page for more frequent updates.

March 28, 2009

R.I.P. Mokey 19??-2009

Filed under: cats — origamifreak @ 9:49 pm


Sadly, I just got an email from Kathie that Mokey died today, after his kidneys started crashing a week ago.  Like Latte, he fell asleep on the bed and never woke up.

Mokey had a distinct personality and definite opinions.  Kathie gave him a wonderful life.  I hope when I die, if I have to come back, I would come back as a cat living with someone like her!

Floor continues to go down in my bedroom

Filed under: cats,home improvement — origamifreak @ 12:46 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Here’s how it currently looks:


(taped and weighted to prevent the planks from moving before they set)

Here’s how it’s going to look (“Bob” and his helper took these after pre-sawing and laying out the whole floor, including the closet):

img_1329 img_1334

(notice that the one gap isn’t there in the finished product)

Apparently while adhering the floor they had to lock Certain Furry Things in another room because they kept walking on the glue…

March 26, 2009

Pretty, pretty floor

Filed under: home improvement,technology — origamifreak @ 10:56 pm
Tags: , , , ,

“Bob” and his helper struggled and struggled with the 20-gauge nail gun, which was recommended by the bamboo supplier.  The cleats are just too fragile, and kept crumpling, jamming, and causing misfires.  So, finally yesterday it was decided that we would go with the glue-down installation, after all.

Here is how the floor will look tomorrow – “Bob” has pre-sawn and laid out the courses to give us an idea of how the finished thing will appear, when he starts gluing it:


Now it is really clear how helpful all that sorting up front was, because this does not look anything like the patchwork you typically see in bamboo floor photos, including those on the supplier’s website:

He even matched the ends, so that it’s hard to see where one plank finishes and the next one starts.  It’s one beautiful, uniform pattern and hue.  He’s designed the transitions so that even though the hallway will have a different pattern/hue, it’ll blend across the threshold.

In fact, he says he’ll be laying planks in the hallway as well, tomorrow.


March 21, 2009

Macronutrient Ratios

Filed under: food,health — origamifreak @ 9:46 pm
Tags: , , , ,

According to the strength training article at Wikipedia, I should probably be getting between 90 and 225 grams of protein per day.  I am having trouble getting that much.  Generally I manage around 60-80 grams.

The strength training book I got from Amazon recommends a macronutrient ratio of

  • 30% calories from protein
  • 30% calories from fat
  • 40% calories from carbs

SparkPeople wants

  • 15% calories from protein (real range 10%-35%)
  • 30% calories from fat (real range 20%-35%)
  • 55% calories from carbs (real range 45%-65%)

I’m usually somewhere around 30% protein, 20% fat, and 50% carbs.  Which I guess is somewhere in the middle.  It’s hard to adjust and arrange foods to get a particular ratio.  Generally, as long as the protein is between 25% and 30% I’m happy.  I need to increase the grams, though.

Here’s what 3/22 looked like, after a sashimi dinner:


I’m also still not eating as many calories as SparkPeople says I need (1,910 – 2,260).  Today was the first time I felt any kind of fatigue, or anything like that.  I just couldn’t keep up with the tempo of the music (around 64 bpm).  Today SparkPeople also complained because I’ve done more cardio for the week than they anticipated, and so had to enter “3629” under “calories burned” so that they could increase the calories they want me to eat.  This is ridiculous.  (Wednesday and Thursday I did some Nordic Track and weight training after getting home from water aerobics.)

Anyway, I’m excited for the whey to come that I ordered, so it will help me get in more protein.  The Nasoya Lite Firm Tofu helps, too.  Both seem to be convenient ways to get protein without getting a lot of fat and/or sodium with it.

I also ordered fish oil capsules for the omega-3 fatty acids that I know I’m not getting.

P.S.  Raw fish seems to work as a lean source of protein, too.  🙂  It’s unfortunate I can’t afford a sashimi diet.

Calories Carbs Fat Protein
Edamame, frozen, prepared, 1.5 Cup 285 0 12 26
sashimi, yellowtail, 3 oz 124 0 4 20
tuna, bluefin sashimi, 6 oz 244 0 8 40
sashimi, snapper, 3 oz 85 0 1 17
salmon, atlantic, sashimi, 3 oz 121 0 5 17

March 17, 2009

New BMI = 44.64

Filed under: health — origamifreak @ 6:30 am

Reached the 15% removed milestone this morning.  It’s a drop in the bucket given that I need to remove 53% of my starting weight in order to get into the “normal” BMI range, but it’s something.

It’s more than I’ve had before, and it’s an improvement.  I’m wearing clothes I haven’t fit into in years, and some I bought online that I’ve never been able to wear before.  My knee hardly ever hurts anymore, I feel stronger, and it’s nice to know I have made positive progress in at least one aspect of my life.

March 16, 2009

New BMI = 44.73

A bunch of milestones today:

  1. I’ve lost 5% net since 8/19/07 (14.9% since I started)
  2. The BMI dropped below 45
  3. I’ve removed a total of 50 lbs since I started.


The next milestone will be in 0.34 pounds, when I will have removed exactly 15% of my total body weight.

This was a Good Way to start the week, even though my workout buddy flaked out yesterday and never called to cancel, or return my call asking if it was off. The result was that I missed a lifting session because I didn’t know what exercises we were supposed to do that day.  (This other person is in charge of that part.)

During a conversation about something else today I asked what happened, and got the response “Oh, I’m sorry – I wanted to do other things yesterday and left my phone at home so it wouldn’t disturb me.” The response did not sound sorry.

I refuse to let my fitness depend on someone who does not show up or communicate.  It was an appealing idea when it was suggested, but this arrangement is clearly not going to work.  So I went on Amazon and ordered two books to help me figure out on my own what to do and how to do it on the Bowflex.

(Can you tell I’m pissed off?  Thought so.)

P.S. These are the books:

P.P.S. Besides the books I ordered, there’s a nice website here with lots of suggestions.

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