Friday, April 27, 2012

Sci-fi Laptop for Sci-Fi writing

Loving my new HP laptop.  6Gig RAM, fingerprint scanner, and Beats Audio for ambiance.

The screen is wide enough to be able to work in two documents side-by-side. 

The keyboard is smooth and not too "clicky."  The touchpad has pinch-to-zoom capability.

And, if I really feel creative, there's an HD video camera built-in.

I've ripped some CD's for background music, copied in my book files, and even spent time going through all the updates (67 updates for Windows 7 and several reboots for HPupdates, as well).

I even did some family history research so that I wouldn't have anything to feel guilty about when working on my book.

Now, if I can just find someone to shop, cook, clean, and chauffeur, I'd have plenty of time to write.  ;-)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Feeling like I should start writing again

A friend asked me about my book over the weekend.  I had to explain that the book was on hiatus since last August.  I almost did that without apologizing.  Almost.

I've been thinking about writing again...  In the pondering stage.  Book ideas are starting to come to me again.  It feels good.  Not quite ready to type, yet, but soon. 

A break can be good.  Brings perspective. 

Now, I just have to decide if I'm writing a YA or an MG, and stick with it.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

... I don't think so!

The good:  my triglycerides are down (but still high).  I've lost 10 pounds.  My blood glucose is normal.  My blood pressure is nearly normal.  The bad: my HDL is way down.  The ugly: my LDL is still too high and my Dr just doubled my statin dosage.

OK, so it's only been 3 weeks.   I must be doing something wrong for my HDL to be way down.  Not sure what, but I've got to figure it out.   Adding more Niacin and flax for Omega 3's.  Maybe I'm of a people who needs to eat fats to stay healthy. 

I'm Russian by heritage.  Best as I can tell, I'm 100 percent Russian.  All 4 grandparents were 1st generation US babies, best as I can tell.  I need the 1930 AND 1940 AND 1950 census records to be sure.  Only a few more years to wait. 

What would a native Russian's diet consist of?   (not counting alcohol--not going there)
OK, a quick glance shows high fat/high carb foods, boiled veggies, salted veggies, potatoes, and grains.   The fat comes from meat, eggs, fish, and dairy... 

At least now I know why I don't crave salads.  :-)  It's not in my genetics. 

Anyway, I'm not waiting around and moping around.  (OK, I did mope a little bit).  I've been moving a lot this week.  Walked 1-1/2 miles on Tuesday and 2 miles on Thursday.  Moved a lot more on the other days, too.   I weigh less than I have for the past 2 years.  It's a good start.  I just need to maintain focus.  Focus.  Focus.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Author Poll: Windows v. MAC and what writing software do you use

Author quick poll.  Please post a comment and tell me:

1) Windows PC or MAC (or ?) (I was using an iPad for writing)
2) Which writing software do you use?  (Word, Pages, or ?)

Thanks for your input!

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Hunger Signals G.a.m.e.s.

Blogging a bit about hunger signals tonight.  Specifically, what I typically confuse with hunger and also what crazy indicatations I get of fullness (instead of feeling full).

I'm not experiencing true hunger when:
1) I'm actually thirsty.
2) My blood sugar is high-normal, even though my stomach is empty.
3) I'm craving a specific food.
4) I'm craving a second helping of the same food, just for the taste.

I'm done eating when:
1) I lose interest in what I'm eating. 
2) The food starts to taste yukky, when it tasted wonderful a few bites earlier. 
3) I get a quick twinge of "maybe I'm full?" that passes if I happen to take a few more bites. (oops!)
4) I stand up AND THEN feel full. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Excercising when I didn't feel like it

I really just wanted to be a couch potato yesterday evening.  Sometimes, the easiest exercise is simply walking.  It doesn't take much pre-thought or preparation.  Walking outside is a constantly-changing environment.  Some people prefer a treadmill, either for consistency, convenience, or safety.

Me, I like walking outside, hearing the birds, sampling the smells of springtime.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Moving Right Along (?)

There are times when I just want to eat shoe leather.  Today was one of those days.  Worked at my day job so much that there really wasn't time to exercise...  I'll do better tomorrow.

The small success that I can celebrate today is that I completed Day 5, and the scale is starting to move in the right direction.  Baby steps.

OK, more steps...many more steps.  I think the key is getting enough sleep.

On that thought...I really should go get some sleep now.  :-)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hunger Games Saga v. Twilight Saga

The following thoughts are my own.  This is a reprint from my post on YA Audiobook Addict's blog:

...Apples and Oranges, on the surface only.  Both Bella and Katniss are self-sufficient and capable of supporting themselves and their families.  Both grow to find inner and outer strength that they didn't know existed.  Both fight to free their families from unjust dictators (Vulturi and Capital).  The comparison has to take into account the entire saga, not just the first book, as the ladies grow and mature at different rates over time.

First trip to the Grocery Store

First trip to the grocery store with my new eating rules.  It was very frustrating to read packaged food labels, to say the least.
Most processed foods do not follow these simple rules:
Fat, less than 20 percent of calories
Salt, no more grams then overall calories (1:1 ratio).  Can go higher for minimally-used condiments.
No added hydrogenated, trans, or saturated fats
No added sugars in first 3 ingredients.  Having several different sugars listed as ingredients 4,5,6 also is bad.
Only whole grains.
Reasonable portion size.  (i.e. small bag should be listed 1 portion, not 4)

For dry cereals, I bought Quaker Oats (old fashioned), and bite-sized shredded wheat.  For side-dishes, I found some store-brand 10-minute multi-grain mixes to try.  I purchased one of each.

For milk substitute, I picked up the store-brand, all-natural almond milk.  It will be difficult to think of this as a condiment and use only on cereal and as a creamer.  Wonder if I can use it in baking?

Of course, I purchased lots of different greens and some dried beans.  Found a new one -- Mayocoba.  Looks like they are also known as Canary beans, and should make a delish dip.

For bread, I picked low-sodium Ezekiel bread from the freezer section.  It's pretty good toasted with some Gerber baby prunes spread on top as jam.  Ann E. at last weekend's conference told me that the organic baby prunes have tuna oil in them, so I bought the regular ones.  Why baby prunes?  Only one ingredient--prunes!

Monday, April 2, 2012

A New Direction - My Journey to Healthy

I live in a land where bar-b-que is king.  All restaurant meals and all school meals contain either simple carbs or animal products.  Usually both.

I choose to be different.  Today is day 3 of eating Plant Strong & Plant Perfect.  This is an experiment in my health.

On day 1, I was wild with hunger and cravings.   By day 2, my blood sugar had stabilized, and I actually felt true hunger before dinner.   The first two days of meals were provided for me at a Farms to Forks conference.  

Today is the first day that I'm "on my own" with the new tools that have been given to me to help me live my life heathlier.  I thought about creating a new blog, but then decided that since I was taking a break from writing fiction, I might as well re-purpose my blog for a bit of very personal non-fiction.  My experiment in me will be an emotional roller-coaster, full of challenges.

My first challenge came quickly -- breakfast.   Even the Arrowhead Mills amaranth flakes that I had purchased prior to this weekend were sweetened with fructose.  All the oatmeal in the house has sugar in it, even my Dr. MacDougall's, and my Natures Own whole wheat bread has too much sodium and sugar.  So, what did I do?  I had a meal of cooked frozen corn, rinsed low sodium kidney beans, and a cup or so of frozen veggies (broccoli, cauli, carrot, red pepper, onion, squash).  Steamed it and topped it with Mrs. Dash table blend.

For dinner, there's a crockpot of dried black beans with green pepper, onion, handful of diced carrotts, lots of garlic, dried chives, and dried parseley, seasoned with only black pepper and no salt.  I'll serve that up with some brown rice from the pantry.

There's some chicken defrosting in the fridge for the rest of my family to eat.

Wonder what I'll have for lunch today?  Absolutely NO IDEA.  Yet.