The game is afoot.

  • I collect Magic Cards, but I haven’t really played since college.  Mostly I just put decks together.  I’ll buy a booster pack or holiday box or whatever and start seeing what cards go together.  I’m not even really up to speed on a lot of the new abilities–energy counters, etc.–that have been added in recent years.  I might try to sell a few decks at some point.  I really don’t need the two dozen or so decks I’m working on.  I mean, I might like to play a few of them (the Chandra one, the Elf Deck, the Vampire Deck, Red/White Angel Deck) but most of them are ones I don’t really need.
  • Going to start working on a series of Magic the Gathering drawings soon.  Already did a Chandra sketch card, planning to do some some of those.  Maybe something more complex.  Going to try to get back to page work in the near future.  Problem is I always want to do ten pages when I should do one.  And burn myself out.  I have no pacing whatsoever.  Working on that.
  • Officially done bulking.  Got up to 180 pounds.  Pretty pleased about that, although I did briefly hope to get up to 200 pounds.  Combination of factors got in the way, but 180 was the goal along.  My general plan is to cut down to 170 or so.  The biggest thing has just been trying to learn to work with my body, not against it.  The big issue is still sleep, but not much to be done about that for now.  Kind of a body and mind thing.
  • Tried a new pre-workout that somebody gave me a sample of.  Stuff called 5150.  I think I read that it has 8 different types of caffeine.  Very powerful stuff.  If anybody wants to try it, be warned: it is very intense.
  • Thinking about trying to make Meatballs or something different than I’ve been making.
  • I wrote the other day about my experiences growing up on the family farm and been pondering that a bit more.  Basically I’ve gained more insight into a lot of what unfolded regarded my family’s history in farming and it has given me some new avenues of thought.  I don’t deny those experiences did give me a more pessimistic view of farming–and also of opportunities I was presented with, but that’s a story for another year.  Trying not to get into what ifs, but I do believe there were opportunities I could have done a lot with.  And maybe new options will present themselves.  I’m always keeping an eye open.
  • I find myself pondering options and opportunities.  The average person will change careers seven times.  I have to wonder if in trying to create a stable workplace, do employers limit the ability of workers to find better options and opportunities.  I get paid $22 and some change an hour with good benefits where I work, but does that pay rate keep me from seriously considering a job where I might be happier?  Where I might have better opportunities for advancement and more flexibility to pursue other endeavors?  And does the effort to maintain a stable workplace keep employers from finding people who are potentially better fits?  Stability and comfort can be as much a hindrance as a help.

Healthy Choices

May 21, 2016

I never buy or use ketchup.  I used it all the time when I was a kid, but over the years I have come to the conclusion that it just is not that good in any way.  When I started looking at the ingredients I realized that the stuff is more corn syrup than anything else.  Two of the first three ingredients are corn syrup.  So I tried an experiment to see if food tasted better with or without it.  In my mind, food tasted better.  You could actually taste it.  I recall hearing that ketchup does mask the taste of food years ago and I think that’s spot on.  You’re basically drowning your food in sugar, so not using it means your actually giving yourself an opportunity to taste the food.

Of course, like any sugary substance, it becomes addicting.  I need all the fingers and toes to count the number of people who cannot fathom eating without plastering their fries or baked beans in the stuff.  It shouldn’t be all that surprising that I have gotten a lot of odd looks over this issue.  I had a girlfriend who would be in near hysterics because I would never buy the stuff.  She ended up buying a family sized container of the stuff at some point just for herself.  Needless to say, I had much eye rolling.  It was always a challenge for me because I would look at her and think, “You’ve got this sugar and alcohol intolerance/allergy and you’re basically plastering your food in sugar?  Seriously?”  I didn’t really push that too hard because I know all the sugar they put into it makes an addiction–plus the social conditioning of having it on the table growing up, my dad also throws a fit if he doesn’t have ketchup with various things–and it can be difficult to break that.

Okay, now that I’m done with my little rant about ketchup, on to the meat and potatoes of today’s writing.  Healthy choices.  When you get down to it, we’re set up to make a lot unhealthy ones.

It is important to do little things.  I find I am healthier without ketchup.  Cutting out stuff that doesn’t do you any good is more valuable than anything.  That’s probably the most misleading element of a gluten free diet.  That usually involves cutting out alcohol and junk food.  Of course you’ll feel better initially.  However, something I’ve also read is that unless you actually have Celiacs, you should not go gluten free.  There a lot of glutens that are good for you, so cutting those out too can do some damage.

I’ve taken to mixing a couple of teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar with water and drink it–usually with a bit of maple syrup mixed in because the vinegar is potent.  Doing that is supposed to improve your digestion and I have observed quite an improvement in my general health as a result.  Have not gotten sick as often as I used to–when I do, I blame working nights and sleep depravation.  Even think it might have helped me to start making more progress at the gym.

I recently started mixing a teaspoon of Cocoa nibs with my breakfast yogurt.  Something I read about recently, where you get a lot of good cancer preventing things and it supposedly helps your mood.  It was one of five things they suggested for improving mood, the others being: kale, tea, kefir and mackerel.  Yeah, the mackerel thing does seem a bit weird, but not as weird as some things I’ve heard.  Has been good.  Mixes well with the yogurt, might look into some cooking with them.  One of the main things I’ve been concerned about over the last year is getting back to a healthy mentality and this is another little way to improve things.

Just wanted to share a handful of thoughts on healthy food and diet choices, some stuff that has worked or is working for me.


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