Tag Archives: food

Appreciating Home Food

I don’t think there’s anything we under-appreciate more than our parents, specifically our mothers. I think it’s human nature. Our mothers do everything for us: cook, clean, drive us places, help with homework, a shoulder to cry on, everything. It’s amazing, and how often do we thank them? Rarely, if ever. Maybe on mother’s day or on their birthday, but by and large we just take them for granted.

In case I haven’t said it in awhile, I love you, mom.

I didn’t realize this until I moved to university. For the first time I was on my own, and I suddenly realized what that meant. No mom to help me with anything. That’s fine, I survived and even thrived, but I learned right then and there just how amazing she was all those years.

I missed her in many ways, but I think the biggest loss, the biggest regret, was giving up her cooking. By the Goddess I missed her cooking. Continue reading

Revelations from Tracking Food

There’s a saying, if you track it, you will improve it. ‘It’ can stand for just about anything: lifting weights, running 5k, doing homework, heck, even how much time you spend cleaning up around the house. If you track these things, you can look at trends, see what’s working and what’s not, and then you can make an informed decision.

Now, the opposite is also true: if you don’t track it, it won’t improve, or will improve very slowly if at all. If you have no numbers or facts, how can you know what’s working? It could be random, it could be dumb luck. I’m a big fan of luck, but I don’t want to rely on it for any of my goals. This includes nutrition. I’ve greatly improved my diet in recent months … but what does that mean? I have no numbers, no facts, no anything to base that off of.

I guess I’m lean, if you’re being charitable, or scrawny if you’re not.

Since the last week of July, I’ve been tracking what I eat, not just the names of food but the individual macros, the proteins, carbs and the like. One week, and the results have been fascinating. Continue reading

Abusing the Drive Thru

The drive thru is perhaps the laziest innovation ever. Parking and getting out of the car is apparently such a hardship. No no no, let’s stay in the car but still get full service, and sometimes that’s okay. If the weather is poor or you’re just getting one quick item, the drive thru makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, that’s not the way most people use drive thrus these days.

Why does this have a height restriction? What possible purpose could that serve?

I had an experience today. You already know what happened. We all do. It’s a universal experience; it’s always the same, with only the particulars changing. I had forgot how infuriating it was, though. I don’t use the drive thru often, and it’s been a year or since I had one of these experiences.

You see, the person in front of me ordered one of everything on the menu. At least, that’s what I assumed happened, given how long we waited. Continue reading

Eating Clean vs Eating Healthy

I sometimes think there is nothing more simple and yet so complex as nutrition. At its core, we all know eating healthy is a good thing; we all know we should do it. We also have a pretty good idea of how to do it. Eat more good food, eat less bad food. Intuitively, we understand this. Potatoes are good, potato chips are bad. Vegetables are good, veggie thins are less good.

This fight isn’t even close.

We all know this, and if nutrition were that simple we’d all be in great shape with amazing, healthy, vibrant bodies. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Searching for ‘diet’ on Google gives approximately eighty-trillion different results. Some diets have names, like the paleo diet, and then there are variations and sub-variations of that diet: paleo with rice, pseudo-paleo, half-paleo, vegan-paleo, dinosaur-paleo, etc etc. There is extensive literature here, and that’s just one type of diet. The rabbit hole goes down seemingly forever. Continue reading

You Are What You Eat

You are what you eat. We’ve all heard this a thousand times, even as we often ignore it. We all make poor diet choices, and we know full damn well that our sugary drinks and cookies aren’t good for us. That’s okay. I’m not hear to rant on or diet shame anyone. It is what it is. I want to focus on that phrase, though: you are what you eat.

… Am I now a cannibal?

If you eat junk food, you are going to feel like junk. I think we can all confirm this at one time or another in our lives. This means that if you don’t eat bad food, you won’t feel bad. That seems obvious, and it’s true, but we focus on this far too much. There’s a world of difference between ‘not feeling bad’ and ‘feeling good’. A huge difference.

I know, because for the last two weeks or so I’ve been living it, and it’s eye-opening. Continue reading

The Trade-off Between Quality, Time and Money

In videogames, it’s common to face certain trade-offs. For instance, you’ll have to chose between having a strong physical character or a magical character. Strength or magic, you can’t have both. More accurately, you can’t excel at both. You are either mediocre at both or you master one at the expense of the other. Some game have a ‘right’ answer, an optimal playstyle, but often it’s just a matter of choice. Which do you prefer, muscles or mana?

In life, there is a similar trade-off in most things we do, though instead of strength or magic it involves quality, time and money. You can define two of these. That is, you can chose a thing’s quality, or how good it is, you can chose the time, or how fast it is, and you can chose money, how much you want to spend … but you can’t pick all three at once. That’s the trade-off.

It even has its own little graphic! The title says graphic design, but it applies to most of life.

Some examples will make it clear. Continue reading

One Week of Eating Healthy

I did it! I went one week without eating anything unhealthy! I can barely believe it!

Well, that’s not completely true. When I set my mind to do something I generally do it. I once gave up all TV, computer and video games for a solid month, just to prove I could do it. That first week sucked, let me tell you, as I barely knew what to do with myself. As the month went on, though, I found more and more non-electronic things to do, and by the end I didn’t even miss it.

Indeed, I basically stopped watching TV after that. I just never went back. I still watch sports, but that’s it, and even here I watch far less then I used to. As a kid, the TV was always on, even if no one were in the room. It was the default entertainment option. As a kid I watched cartoons and as I grew older I watched more and more sports, sometimes sports I didn’t even care about. I did it because I didn’t know what else to do, and I can thank that one month period for weaning me off this bad habit. Continue reading

Another Look at Bacon and Cancer

What if I told you there was something you could easily do to increase both your health and your lifespan? It would be simple, uncomplicated, and you can apply it instantly. In fact, it’s not so much something you do as something you don’t do. All you would have to do is avoid one simple activity and you would increase your health in a big way. You would likely be interested, yes? After all, who does not want to live longer?

Good news, because I will tell you right now: don’t smoke cigarettes.

Seriously, don’t do this.

Continue reading

A Thanksgiving Lesson

I learned something following Thanksgiving this week. I refer of course to Canadian Thanksgiving, which is obviously the best Thanksgiving. It makes far more sense to have this holiday in October than November. For one, the weather is far more agreeable. It rarely snows in the beginning of October, but that becomes a very real threat come November. Also, you have more daylight. It gets dark in November by 5pm. It’s colder, it’s darker, you can’t enjoy your day off near as well as if it were in October.

It’s great, eh?

The best argument, though, for having Thanksgiving in October is Christmas. Think about it: Christmas is the biggest North American holiday. People generally get multiple days off work, sometimes entire weeks. You spend time with family, often travelling a great deal of distance if necessary, and one of the biggest events would be the Christmas dinner. It’s a massive feast, often turkey but it can be anything. What do you do on Thanksgiving? You have a massive feast with family, often turkey. Continue reading

So You’re Going to University: Money Matters

Money dominates any university decision. Sometimes it seems as if everything related to University, even in the smallest way, is about money. It’s an investment into yourself, where you trade time and tuition now in the hopes of getting a better job in the future. For many people, University is the first time you live on your own, and you now learn the importance of a personal budget. Indeed, with fees, tuition, rent, travel, food, fun and leisure expenses, you will leave University with a lot of first-hand experience in personal finance.

I’m not sure if this means money will fall out of your hat once you graduate … or if it takes obscene amounts of money to graduate.

I’ve always been good with money, but I truly learned its importance during my university years. At one point, I had to stretch $25 across an entire week. Most of that went to food, as I had very little at home, and it’s amazing how valuable coupons and on-sale items appear in this circumstance. Fortunately, most of my weeks were not so desperate. Still, the lessons I learned during such times allowed me to reap the benefits of my more abundant weeks and months.

Here are my big tips for saving money at University. Note that these are university specific. Some things, such as packing your own lunch versus eating out, apply at any time in any circumstance, and thus will not be mentioned here.  I also have a bunch of advice not concerning money, found here. Continue reading