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March 6, 2016

The new year advertising has been getting to me. After seeing a lot of ads on Facebook, I decided to try a tea-tox. Which is essentially a detox plan fueled by special teas.

Because I saw a deal on Gilt making it pretty cost effective, I jumped in with little research as to why teatoxes have become so popular. That reason is Kylie Jenner. Yep, I jumped on the bandwagon for a fad started by a reality star.

The basic plan is that they give you an every day morning tea and an every other night nightime tea. The morning one is supposed to just give you an energy boost – something to replace your coffee. As a non-addicted coffee drinker, I think this tea was just perfect as a morning drink. People report a lot of appetite suppressent effects, which I also experienced. But I can’t figure out which of the ingredients in my tea is doing it.

The nighttime tea, however, totally different story. Luckily, my tea was very obviously called a colon cleanse tea. A quick peruse of the reviews details some folks getting bad cramping and other not so great side effects. Guess how this tea works. Laxatives.

Cue some serious googling on laxative use. My tea’s ingredient is Senna Leaf. Which seems fine to take as a laxative. But laxatives shouldn’t really be used for weight loss, even if they seem effective (my google search took me to many pro-anorexia formums which were just weird). Takeaway – it really shouldn’t be part of your “lifestyle”.

I feel ok that I tried it. And I do like the morning tea lot. But I’m also glad to do some research before actually jumping all the way in.


Oscar Jokes

March 1, 2016

Chris Rock made an Asian joke during his opening for the Oscars. And people are mad. Not mad enough that it’s making top headlines, but at least a few Facebook links.

Sacha Baron Cohen also made an Asian joke during his presenting at the Oscars. This seems to have been largely ignored.

What were these jokes?

Rock’s joke was about Asians being smart, which he brought home by bring three Asian children on stage as “PWC accountants”. Cohen, in typical Ali G style, joked “How come there is no Oscar for them very hard-working little yellow people with tiny dongs? You know — the Minions.”

So why is Rock making headlines and Cohen is buried in the articles are not mentioned at all?

Is it because the children? Children who clearly have some business agreement in place to appear on national TV for Rock’s hosting. Children who have rehearsed the marks they’re supposed to hit. Who got dressed up in costume for it. So if they’re victims – no more than other child actors who get crappy jobs.

Is it because Rock was making a statement? Is it because we expect more diversity from a minority? Is it because no one watched the Oscars long enough to see Cohen’s joke and now they’re just jumping on the headline bandwagon? Or is it because we accept that Ali G is offensive?

It all sounds like excuses to me. If you call out Rock for making a stereotypical Asian joke (one that is pretty well accepted among Asians – let’s be honest), but you don’t call out Cohen – it’s basically condoning racist jokes in certain situations. You didn’t trot out children to be laughed at – so it’s cool you refer to us as “yellow people”. You were obviously joking and not trying to seriously speak about diversity – so your racist joke gets a pass. Forgive me when I start questioning your ability to judge racism at all.

This to me is ultimately a problem because it makes it seem like a fluke. Chris Rock is just one bad apple in the comedian world. And I’m pretty sure we all know that’t not how it is.




new year.

January 1, 2015

Happy New Year! It’s that time again. To make resolutions and goals that inevitably get forgotten about four months later. But why not?

1. Read 60 books this year. This past year I finished 55, with 15 being non-fiction. I’m aiming to increase both numbers – 60 books with 20 non-fiction.

2. Handstands. Practice them. Consistently. 10 min, 5x per week.

3. Splits. Get ’em back (right and left). Practice center splits. Consistently.

4. Pull-ups. 15.

5. Volunteer. I want to make this every month, but let’s start with every other month for right now.

6. Drink water. Aiming for the 8 glasses a day.

7. Six pack. With the wedding this year, there will probably be some effort to lose weight. So if it’s going to happen, this is going to be the year.


diet update 3.

April 26, 2014

The end of short diet #1! Lessons learned.

Dairy – it was difficult to avoid, but my consumption definitely went down. I didn’t notice any difference in how I felt on an every day basis. But I do notice a HUGE difference in how I feel after eating significant amounts of dairy now. This has also reinforced my opinion that most people’s complaints about lactose intolerance are really just people who haven’t spent a lot of time seriously eating dairy. What’s the long-term impact? Given that I now feel significantly worse when I eat dairy, I may continue to avoid it. However, I seriously miss eating cheese/crackers and ice cream and anything with cream sauces…

White grains – this was just plain hard. I developed a love for farro and ate way too much quinoa. I have not really gotten on board with giving up my white breads and potatoes. There are just so many things I won’t give up eating for this to really have any long-term effect. Any noticeable effects? If anything – I don’t portion control when eating white grains. I can eat a million french fries or goldfish crackers or large amounts of pasta. And that feels terrible as expected. I don’t feel this way about vegetables. So this was mostly a failed experiment. But I have pretty much given up snacking on grains, which is a positive.

Weight – last month I reported a low weight that I’m pretty sure was just an off day. I’m now a few pounds up, which is back to my normal weight.

Starting in May – I’m going to 100% cut out sweets (candy, chocolate, dessert). This seems easy, but I think it’ll be a lot harder than I am expecting. As much as I like salty foods for snacks, I still eat a piece of chocolate or dessert a lot.




April 2, 2014

People often wonder how I handle traveling every week for work. But it’s easier than you would think. Traveling sucks if you do it rarely. There’s never any perks. You don’t get upgraded. You don’t get priority boarding. You don’t get TSA pre-check. You pay for checking bags. You often have to check your carry-ons at the gate. You pay for extra leg room. You wait in the customer service line for missed connections and canceled flights. I sympathize. That’s why I try to stick with my preferred carrier.

More than that, if you only travel rarely, bad experiences tend to stick in your memory. Only flew twice in the last year and once you got delayed (ps. delays under an hour don’t count)? 50% success rate sucks. In 5 years of traveling, I have only gotten stuck in a connection city 4 times and never had a lost bag. Sure I get delayed a bunch, but not nearly enough for it to annoy me – especially when it’s a weather delay. Who wants to fly through thunderstorms or land in snow storms? One other tip – look out the window next time you’re landing at a major airport and often you’ll see all the planes in the air lining up to try to land. It makes it more understandable if you ever have circled around before landing.

Anyway, after traveling so much, I’ve kept a list in my head of all the airports I like and dislike. It’s here.


diet update 2.

March 11, 2014

I can’t believe it’s been a month already since my last update.

It feels like it’s gotten better. But I think it’s mostly due to not thinking quite as hard about it and falling off the wagon quite a bit this past month. See, I started a new work contract in Cedar Rapids, IA. While I have nothing against Iowa in general, it has been pretty tricky trying to avoid grains and dairy and still eat a variety of foods. That being said, the lack of variety has also made my eating somewhat routine – which is supposed to be ideal for dieting. On a regular week, I can stop by Super Target or Hy-vee (I still find it interesting that every city has their own grocery store chain) to pick up lunch and snacks for the week.

Lunch: frozen meals; most often Amy’s and Kashi because they offer lots of protein, interesting grains and I can recognize all their ingredients. Portion control is still my biggest enemy. So while frozen entrees aren’t the best, they work pretty well for me. Also, they’re warm, which is key when it’s freezing cold outside. Maybe salad will make it back into the rotation once it’s spring.

Snacks: berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries), pre cut cauliflower/broccoli, sugar snap peas, apples, peanut butter and nuts. Keeping snacks to fruits and veggies is huge to me. Healthy mindless eating. If only these snacks could lean toward salty instead of sweet. I make up for it by having popcorn once a week.

That all is totally within my diet. But of course, I’ve been pretty lax on the weekends. Dumplings, ramen, pasta carbonara, Indian food for dinner, and sandwiches in the airport… At least I have successfully avoided the ice cream and other desserts I am always tempted to buy.

Results: Down 5 lbs!

Possibly just a fluke on the day I weighed myself. This is the lowest weight I’ve been in the last 5 years.


yoga requirements.

February 6, 2014

On any normal week, I try to go to a yoga class on Fridays. It’s my day off, so I can go during work hours and classes aren’t usually packed. My work offers a nice fitness reimbursement that can cover the cost. And it helps mix things up for my body so it doesn’t just get used to boring hotel workouts. I’m all about keeping things interesting so my body doesn’t adjust to just one kind of exercise. And yoga adds in the stretching and strength training that I’m sorely missing when I work out on my own.

For the past year I’ve been really lucky. I found a studio close to my house. They offer classes during work hours for $10, which is awesome. The class I like to attend on Fridays is a Vinyasa class for all levels. It was always really small (usually less than 10 people). My teacher was really good at instructions and modifications. And the studio has rope walls, which I’d never used before but are pretty awesome.

Then, over the holidays, the studio had a fire. And it unfortunately seems like they will not be reopening any time soon. Which means I’ve been on the market for a new class. And let me tell you – it is hard to find. It was just dumb luck that I stumbled upon my previous studio and it was awesome. But because yoga practice can vary so much, it actually takes a lot of effort to find one you like.

My requirements? No chanting, no music, no philosophy, no meditation. No fashion, no lifestyle, no crunchiness. I’m not into hot yoga. I’m not into slow yoga. I’m not into yoga that’s $20 a class. Class has to be on Fridays, ideally in the morning. Also ideally, near my house. After writing it all down, I realize that’s a lot of restrictions. No wonder it’s so hard. But I am looking for yoga to be a workout, not a way of life. The newest place I’ve found is close to home, on Fridays and has just a little bit of philosophy thrown in. But it’ll do for class once a week.


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