December 17, 2012
Ban all violent video games. Remove the right to carry a gun, or even own a gun. Wait 5 years. Count the number of mass murdering that goes on. Then, go back if it didn't work. If it did, we all win.
December 11, 2012
As a gamer-turned-parent, (who still enjoys regular gaming in non-work/parenting hours). not to mention a person who sits in front of a computer for all hours of his working day, I've begun to invest a bit more time researching ways to prevent repetitive strain injury.
You can read all about RSI on Wikipedia, or proper ergonomics and posture.. but what I've found so far on the internet are ways to slow down RSI rather than ways to strengthen yourself so that it won't happen. The latter being more important to me because I have no choice but to sit in front of a computer and keyboard and mouse 8-9 hours per day.
You can find any number of different exercise to prevent your muscles from cramping up or bunching together during a prolonged period of hunching over your computer desk, and those are all very helpful. But sitting in front of the computer for 10-12 hours out of 24 per day and doing stretches and exercises is no different from eating junk food and trying to exercise it off. Sooner or later it's all going to catch up to you.
I'm not going to lie -- I'm not exactly the person you go to when asking about exercise because I barely do any myself. And furthermore, due to medical reasons I have very little chance of building up any kind of muscle mass. This I can get into some other time. So really what it comes down to, right now, is how I can build some muscles up in my body so that I can sit for (accumulated) long hours in front of a computer/screen.
This is my new quest.
July 26, 2012
July 23, 2012
Thursday lunch: standard drumstick lunch
Thursday dinner: Pho
Friday lunch: standard drumstick lunch
Friday dinner: BBQ (95% meat)
Saturday lunch: All You Can Eat Sushi
Saturday dinner: one drumstick, and some Kraft Dinner
Sunday lunch: Pho
Sunday dinner: Ramen
All in all, a whole lot of carbs. I didn't weigh myself on Wednesday but I had been hovering around 152. This morning I was 157. So 5 pounds gained on the weekend from two pho's, a lot of sushi rice and ramen.
My understanding is that in 2-3 days I'll be back to 152. We'll see.
June 26, 2012
Here's their rules, pretty much the same as what I did. I wish I had before and after pictures.
Rule #1: Avoid “white” starchy carbohydrates (or those that can be white). This means all bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and grains. If you have to ask, don’t eat it.
Rule #2: Eat the same few meals over and over again, especially for breakfast and lunch. You already do this; you’re just picking new default meals.
Rule #3: Don’t drink calories. Exception: 1-2 glasses of dry red wine per night is allowed.
Rule #4: Don’t eat fruit. (Fructose –> glycerol phosphate –> more bodyfat, more or less.) Avocado and tomatoes are excepted.
Rule #5: Take one day off per week and go nuts. I choose and recommend Saturday.
I didn't do Rule #5.
June 20, 2012
I've also been exercising perhaps a tiny bit more than before, but only as product of having to clean the house and getting everything ready as we increase our family size. I'm wearing clothes that had been tucked far back in the closet and a lot of my shorts don't work anymore without a belt. I've lost at least 1 inch on my waist, closer to 2.
Lunch we bring is no longer just the two drumsticks but a whole bunch of other stuff -- pork chops, steaks, etc. I'm still eating vitamins every day and at least 1 apple, and about 1L of water also per day.
June 07, 2012
What maintaining entails is basically that you eat enough carbs that you don't lose weight, while still managing your intake so that you don't end up gaining weight. This means around between 100-150g of carbs, which is pretty easy to do.
April 27, 2012
Anyway, as promised before, here is what I've been eating for the past month or so.
Breakfast/Snack: One apple (21g of carbs)
I don't always eat one, it depends on how hungry I'm feeling at the time. I've read a bit about intermittent fasting and starving yourself between dinner and lunch is actually just fine. I drink a ton of water each day, at least 1.5 to 2 liters worth and a lot of that is to suppress hunger. I find I usually eat the apple on a Monday or Tuesday because on weekends I'm usually a lot looser with the diet and end up spoiling myself, which then leads to earlier hunger on M/T, whereas by W/T/F I'm back to normal again.
Lunch (16g of carbs):
2 Chicken Drumsticks (0g of carbs)
1 cucumber (4g) occasionally
3-4 cauliflower florets (3g) occasionally
5-6 broccoli florets (4g)
1/2 red bell pepper (5g)
The red bell pepper is the golden boy of this lunch. The reds are the most nutritious in terms of all the little goodies they contain. Red peppers have about 8 times as much nutrition as the green ones, and maybe 2-3 times as much as the orange and yellow ones.
2 Chicken Drumsticks (0g of carbs)
For the most part my protein has been dark chicken meat. Remember, I'm not looking to boost my protein levels so I can maximize my exercising because I'm not exercising at all. I'm not looking to avoid eating fat either (as there's no linkage between gaining weight and eating fat). This is strictly a no-carb diet so I don't have to eat chicken breasts or tuna, etc.
I've had a few steaks, pork chops or lamb chops on occasion to replace of chicken if we ran out.
The vegetables are usually cooked in this case, as opposed to raw like for my lunches. It's nice to eat a nice warm meal at night and that's really the only reason I've been doing that instead of eating it raw at lunch time. I'm pretty firm about not cooking peppers because those things (especially the red ones) are so chock full of nutrients that it would be a travesty to cook it all away. But mushrooms and onions have a lot less and taste so good sauteed that I can't resist and I don't mind losing the bit of nutrition that they have.
Dessert (on occasion):
Frozen Yogurt (30g)
Some levels of hunger can also be suppressed by eating multivitamins and in all honesty, you should be eating these if you're on any kind of diet. You can eat a multivitamin and least you know that even if you feel hungry, you're not damaging yourself in any way. I eat a Vitamin C every day purely out of habit because of not wanting to catch an illness on public transportation.
Putting it all together, you're thinking OMG he's eating so little. Truth is I'm stuffed by the time I've finished my dinner most of the time, which means my stomach has likely shrunk a bit over this past month. I'm eating on average 53g of carbs per day; studies have shown that you lose weight when you eat less than 100g of carbs per day, so I'm in a pretty sweet spot right now.
As of this morning I'm 153.8 pounds, so I've lost a total of 12 pounds in 5 weeks.
April 17, 2012
This is going to be severely dumbed down and simplified, so if you have a good understanding of insulin, don't read this. Here's my quick understanding of it and how it relates to dieting. Insulin is a hormone, which regulates carbs and fat breakdown in the body. It helps your body either store the sugars and carbs as fat, or gets it to turn it into energy which is then used up. Basically what you want to do is eat just enough sugar (carbs) so that your body is turning it into energy and not storing it up as fat.
Hence the low or no-carb diet where if you intake little carbs, it'll all turn to energy and you will lose weight because your body will start looking for other fat to turn into energy because you're not eating enough of it, and so you'll lose weight.
The way to do this is to make sure your body doesn't build up its insulin resistance because if it does, it'll just ignore what it's supposed to do and just start storing up more fat. You don't want that.
A perfect example is this past weekend where I engorged in really bad food. Saturday morning I was 154 pounds, but by the end of the weekend as in Sunday night, I was 160. Pastries, beer, battered wings, cookies, pop. Everything that I didn't touch for the past 4 weeks. Ina and I attended a course over the weekend and they had free food and who was I to reject free food, right? That and we didn't have time to cook so we had to eat out.
So during the weekend I put on a fair bit of weight because of the sudden influx of sugars and carbs. But then as of this morning I was nearly back to normal. This shows how the insulin kicked back into gear and with no resistance, was able to convert any excess carbs back into energy. The example of insulin resistance is how my wife also gained as much weight as I did, but that weight didn't go back down as easily as mine did. That's because she's been drinking pop and snacking throughout my diet (she's taken part in it when it's been convenient for her but hasn't gone out of her way to avoid carbs). So her resistance is higher (this is also because of a health issue she has, btw) and therefore her weight hasn't gone back down the way mine has.
I'm currently at 156.5 lbs.
I'll get into my daily intake and meals with my next update.
April 16, 2012
Person A: says "I feel like having wings tonight."
Person B says: "How about St. Louis Wings?"
Person A: "St. Louis Wings sucks and they're overpriced."
Person B: "That's true."
Person A: "But man I really want wings. Tonight."
Person B: "Where should we go?"
Person A: "I have no idea.."
Person B: "Err.. how about St. Louis Wings?"
Person A: "Fine."
What St. Louis Wings has going for them is that when people think of having wings, they think of them. And they can't think of anywhere else. The problem is that they suck. They really do. The sauce is always way too thick that you can't even taste the chicken, they have a limited selection of flavors, and everything in the restaurant is overpriced.
Ina and I used to go to Puck N Wings but the one near us closed down. We went to All Star Wings on Saturday. Very good. New go-to place for wings and beer.
April 11, 2012
I've cut out all white carbs (please excuse me if my definitions don't make any sense). Basically what that means for me is that I've stopped eating rice entirely, and no more bread. I've also stopped drinking pop and beer. Actually pop and beer was what I had given up for Lent but ended up extending that as part of my diet.
The results have been great. I haven't exercised a single day yet, which means it's been the diet alone that have showed results. I started the diet at 166 pounds and as of last Friday I was 156 pounds. My goal throughout this time has been to reach 150 or less. That will probably require some exercise on my part.
As I mentioned as of last Friday. The reason is that Saturday I went to a wedding banquet and ate more than my fair share, and then Sunday my in-laws took us out to a seafood restaurant (where I couldn't eat most of the food now that I'm allergic to shellfish), but they ordered a couple of dishes just for me and I ate it all, quite happily. I still managed to stay away from the white carbs but the portions were massive.
As of now, I'm 158 pounds.
What I've been eating is mostly vegetables high in fiber but loaded with good stuff. Red bell peppers has been my main 'snack', just several slices of them per day, usually about half a bell pepper per day. Costco sells 6 of them for $7 which includes 2 yellow, 2 orange and 2 red. Which is a shame because the red ones are actually the best from a nutritional standpoint. They're also the best tasting ones. For protein we've been buying, in bulk, chicken drumsticks. We marinate for a day and then we bake them. I tried to do chicken breast for some time but considering how little fat I'm eating these days I figured it's safe to eat drumsticks.
I'm also eating a lot of broccoli, cooked and uncooked and occasionally I'm also have cauliflower raw and cooked. I started eating a mini-cucumber each day in the beginning but stopped when I realized there wasn't that much nutrition in there and I'd rather fill my stomach with only good stuff. Occasionally we treat ourselves to some pork chops or beef/lamb, but for the most part we're eating chicken.
I also sautee some onions and mushrooms from time to time to eat with either broccoli or cauliflower.
That's about all I've eaten over the past 3-4 weeks.
February 03, 2012
I know I haven't really been commenting much on football ever since the wildcard round. I actually have a few posts drafted but by the time I remembered to publish it was already too late. Suffice to say I did not expect to see the Giants in the Superbowl, nor did I expect them to be facing the 49ers. Everything else has fallen into place as expected.
In this rematch of one of the most electrifying Superbowls I've ever seen, it's a less talented Pats team against a much more talented Giants team, and yet I can't help but think the Patriots will win this one. Throughout this years' playoffs I've taken note of the difference in coaching, and this is one where I think Pats have a significant advantage. Despite my continual mocking of his name and what he's done in the past, I have a lot of respect for Bill Belicheat. I think he's the best situational coach because of the preparation he puts his players through. He's certainly smarter and craftier than Tom Coughlin. So on the coaching side, it will come down to whether or not Belicheat can make use of his versatile players to outsmart the talented Giants.
Defense always wins championships, and on the outset it seems like the Giants should win because of this. The Pats defense was terrible during much of the regular season, but since about week 14 or 15, Belicheat has gotten his defense to play, I want to say -- better, or perhaps to their potential. They started out the year with a lot of young guys who have matured throughout the year and now understand the system. I think the Giants have a better defense overall, but I don't think the Pats are that far behind compared to what most people think. I think you give the same group of guys one more year and when you redo the odds in Vegas, the Pats will be favored by more than a touchdown.
Offensively, the Pats are just better, hands down.
For the Pats to win, all they need to do is protect Tom Brady, which they've usually been able to do for most of his career. Let's face it, giving an average quarterback 5-6 seconds of unhurried protection will allow you to execute your offense 65-75% of the time. Giving a laser-eye/laser-arm (Tom Brady) 5-6 seconds of that protection will allow him to execute almost all the time, especially when you factor in guys who always find ways to get open like Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Aaron Hernandez. Then you factor in Rob Gronkowski who isn't always open but might as well be because he's taller and stronger than everyone else around him.
For the Giants to win, they need to get to Tom Brady. I keep reading about how tough Tom Brady is, but anyone watching games where teams get to Brady know that he's not tough on the field, at all. He's got a laser arm, and one of the best on-the-spot vision in football. He is able to look at 5-6 options downfield very quickly, a skill very few have the ability to do. However, when someone is bearing down on him, he's not able to scramble away and for the most part usually ends up on the ground without anyone even hitting him. He's not a tough guy. If the Giants can reduce that normal 5-6 second window to 1-2, and actually hit him a few times, Tom Brady goes from top QB in the league to an average guy who makes all kinds of mistakes and lies down or takes a knee when he sees someone about to deck him. He's no Eli Manning, in that regard.
Peyton Manning's next team
By no means am I insisting Peyton will end up on a new team, but if I managed the Colts, I'd let him go.
I love Peyton Manning, likely more that a heterosexual man should care to admit. I plan to name at least one of my kids after him. But for the Colts to have any kind of future, they need to allow Peyton Manning to become a free agent. The Colts, despite a pretty solid record over the past 8-10 years are a team that is bereft of talented positional players. Yes there's a few standouts like Reggie Wayne, and we had Marshall Faulk for awhile, but everyone else is just average. The Colts have benefited from having the best quarterback, quite possibly in the history of the sport, and have pretended for a near decade to be a great team.
Bill Polian has squandered pick after pick on draft busts, that the average fan don't notice because you see Peyton turning these below average guys into superstars. On the defensive end, not being on the field for long helps. We all saw what happened to them this year when the Colts' time-of-possession was worst in the league.
The Colts, if possible should try to re-sign Peyton Manning to a more management contract, and then trade him away and acquire as many quality prospects and draft picks as they can possibly get. Here is a list of teams that will be looking to acquire him either as a free agent or via trade: Washington Redskins (no thanks), New York Jets (pass!), Miami Dolphins (okay), Tennessee Titans (yes please), Arizona Cardinal (umm..).
Houston Texans are not a possibility, but I'd love to see Manning playing in the same division as the Colts with a far superior team. Strong defense, great offensive line, several key talented positions.
January 11, 2012
My wife and I started this bible reading program last night, which we'll attempt to follow so as to bring some regularity to our bible reading. It's got a neat app for both iPhone and Android.
NFL Playoff weekend
Let's take a look at the matchups coming up this weekend.
New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers. What impressed me a lot with the Saints last week was their ability to run the ball. Pierre Thomas ran through tackles and Darren Sproles ran like he was 24. It was impressive, but I've been to a Lions game before where I saw Michael Turner earn his nickname as the Burner. They just aren't very good at stopping the run. And the 49ers are, so that will change things for the Saints. I don't know a lot about the 49ers passing defense but I know for a fact that they have stopped the run for the most part all season long; which is why I've always felt like their defense would have been better suited in the AFC. All the powerhouse offenses in the NFC are aerial attacks: Detroit, Green Bay, New Orleans. While New England is the exception, Pittsburgh, Denver, Houston and Baltimore are all grind-it-out offenses that rely on the run. So anyway, what I am saying? I think the Saints take this one.
Denver Broncos at New England Patriots. The Broncos surprised everyone, including me last week. While I thought there was a potential for an upset, and though I actually predicted it, deep down I didn't really think it could happen. John Fox outcoached Mike Tomlin, but I think it seemed more like an underestimation on his part.. like Tomlin was looking ahead, to the Patriots instead of looking at the hear and now. Bill Belicheat won't do that. He won't underestimate Tim Tebow, and he'll study hard and he won't get outsmarted by John Fox. Plus he just hired the guy who drafted Tim Tebow. I'm not going to say much about that the hiring of Josh McDaniels, except that it feels like something Phil Jackson would do. Even if McDaniels provides no additional information they already have, already he's getting into the mind of John Fox. And that's all he really needs. My pick is the Patriots, in a blowout.
Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens. Throughout his career, I've always felt like Joe Flacco has gotten by behind his superstar running back Ray Rice, and Baltimore's traditionally staunch defense. I think in this matchup, for the first time in many years, Joe Flacco will be called upon to win this game. If he performs, Baltimore moves on. If not, Houston moves on. Defensively both teams are strong in the same areas; stopping the run, getting to opposing QBs, capitalizing on turnovers, etc. Offensively, they're both great at protecting their QB, and running the ball. I think for the Texans to win, they need Arian Foster to hang onto the ball, and they need TJ Yates to outplay Joe Flacco. I think it'll be close but the Texans have a pretty good chance so I'm picking them to take this one.
New York Giants at Green Bay Packers. To me this is the marquee matchup of the weekend. We all know about the Packers. Their offense is nothing short of spectacular. Aaron Rodgers is fearless. They have almost no running game but they do have talented runners in Starks and Grant. Their pass rush is passable but has not played to the same standards as last year. The Giants have a good pass rush, good pass protection, their offense is hitting their stride and peaking at the right moment. The talent has always been there, but their runningbacks are both healthy. Defensively they are okay, not great.
This should be a great matchup. The Packers barely beat the Giants over a month ago, but it was a very close game and this is a very different Giants team who had lost 3 straight going into that game. Since then they've won 4 of 5. The Giants will be able to keep Rodgers off the field.. in that last matchup the Packers had the ball for 8 minutes more than the Giants, so it's going to be a lot closer this time around. I think the Packers take this one, but it'll be close and I would not be surprised to see the Giants keeping this one very close.
Cool Firefox trick for images
I discovered this by accident today. If you right-click and hold on an image in firefoxt, and then move the mouse wheel, you can resize any image. Pretty useful.
January 09, 2012
I got 3 out of 4 in my predictions and strangely enough it had nothing to do with Tebow. I picked the Broncos to win and win they did. What a finish! Congratulations to the the Bronco's for the playoffs first upset win.
The impression I had in the Broncos-Steelers game was that the Steelers' defense didn't prepare for any kind of passing offense for the Broncos. They pretty much went with the "I dare you to throw" defense and they got burned for it time and time again. As a co-worker pointed out, the safeties cheated throughout the game trying to cover the run so the Broncos dealt with one-on-one matchups, which were easily picked apart.
A lot of focus will go on Tebow's performance but the reality is this game was won by great coaching. Dare I say it -- Mike Tomlin was flat out out-coached by John Fox.. which is actually kind of sad.
The Saints are playing better than I could have imagined. They went for it on 4th down over and over and converted them. Their running game was dominant -- Detroit could not tackle their runners, I was particularly impressed with Pierre Thomas. Their matchup with the Lions ended up being more of a blowout than a shootout. The Lions played great in the beginning but the mistakes started to pile up and the Saints played perfect. I suspect the Lions would be entirely different if they had a decent running game -- i.e: a healthy Jahvid Best. It's remarkable that Matthew Stafford is only 23 -- Detroit has a bright future ahead of them.
The Falcons' coach Mike Smith watched the Saints game and mistakenly thought his team was just as good. Twice they tried to convert 4th downs and were stopped cold. There wasn't even any creativity in their 4th down tries.. one of them had Matt Ryan trying to back his way through the pile. That's not going to work! Look at the way Brees jumped the pile with his arms stretched forward -- that's how you do it! Meanwhile, as I mentioned in my previous post, the Giants' rushing offense is far better than what everyone thought. Bradshaw and Jacobs carved up the Falcons D and led the way, and Eli played solid mistake-less football.
The Bungles were the only team to disappoint me. I really thought they could take down the injured Texans, but they didn't. It was pretty boring game, I didn't really pay much attention to it.
January 06, 2012
Classic Messenger Bag with netbook, Kindle and iPad with Smart Cover protection.
Useful and practical bag
Pros: Comfortable Strap, Stylish, Rugged, Good Protection, Lots Of Pockets And Features
Cons: Not Weatherproof, Uncomfortable Strap, Velcro is noisy, No Handle
Best Uses: Commuting, Light Protection, Heavy Duty Protection
Describe Yourself: Stylish, Bargain Hunter, High-End Shopper, Practical
Primary use: Personal
I'm big on slingpack types of bags, but when you walk into a board room you look like a kid. So this bag suits me well for work purposes. It'd be good to have a handle at the top so I can carry it like a mini-briefcase.
In terms of size, it was smaller than I thought it would be, but there's enough volume to fit my lunch, a small drink box, and some fruit, as well as my Kindle and a notebook. There's a ton of pockets as well for your various knick knacks, although I'm sad there's no narrow pocket for a pen.
I wish the connector for the strap-to-bag wasn't so bulky. There's this tightening mechanism and a click connector which seems kind of redundant and take a fair bit of space. The main bag flap is a bit narrow compared to the width of the actual bag (there's maybe 1/2 inch open on each side, which means if it's pouring rain your stuff is going to get wet). But I'm just getting nitpicky at this point.. it's a good bag.
January 04, 2012
Pretty much the only scenario that can still happen is an NFC championship game between the Saints and Packers, as well as the AFC championship between the Patriots and Steelers. Several months ago I thought the Saints could win it all, and I still think this is quite possible.
Predictions to actual matchups
Steelers at Broncos. I'm going with the underdogs here, despite my early season projections. I've underestimated Ben Roethlisberger in my fantasy leagues on several occasions this season, but considering that he is actually limping, and the fact that Rashard Mendenhall is out, leads me to believe there is a small chance here for an upset. How great would it be if Tim Tebow can gut this one out in his first playoff game?
Bungles at Texans. I can't think of any reason why the Bengals don't win this one. They have a solid defense, and their offense is all healthy. Houston is just getting Andre Johnson back but they've got TJ Yates as their QB and (I think) Arian Foster is hobbled, even if he does still play. This one will come down to Houston's pass rush and pass protection. I think the Bungles win.
Falcons at Giants. I like the Giants in this matchup. I think all the talk about the Giants being unable to run this year will be erased by the end of this game. They still have healthy guys and a decent line to break holes, and Eli Manning has been playing well. I think the Falcons are fully capable of the upset though, it'll be a close game.
Lions at Saints. Since I have the Saints going to the Superbowl, they're obviously going to have to win this one. I think they're just too good, and the fact that the Lions couldn't stop Matt Flynn last week says to me that despite the crazy amount of adjustments they'll make to react from last week's blowout, they won't be able to stop Brees, at all. Although he's not as elusive as Rodgers, he's equally fearless and will get the job done. Btw, I'm happy for the Lions finally making the playoffs.