June 9th, 2010

cap, captain miss america

Tea Gets Fit!

So I decided recently that I desperately need to get more exercise. I’ve been consistently gaining weight, and while I’m not really at an unhealthy weight, I’ve noticed that I’m not nearly as flexible or as physically strong as I once was. And that can be frustrating.

I am very much against dieting. I don’t do it. I think that, when you’re discussing people like me, who have relatively healthy relationships with food, at least (I know it’s different for other people), out bodies tell us what kind of food we want to eat and it’s because those are the foods that have the nutrients we need. I rarely eat fast food or red meat, and most of the food I eat in my home is vegan and raw, but I don’t limit myself to a specific diet. I rarely drink soda and save it for when I have a headache or allergies, and when I drink sugary juice, I drink it half-and-half with seltzer. So my eating habits are already pretty healthy.

But I don’t exercise at all– I mean, other than the ten blocks I walk each way to work every day (that’s about a 12 minute walk for those of you who aren’t familiar with NYC blocks). And my upper body strength is abysmal. So I decided I needed to do something about it. I don’t want to be one of those people who didn’t exercise when she could have and realizes at fifty that I have health problems I could have prevented in my thirties just by taking better care of my self.

I recently turned my Netflix account back on after nearly five years, and discovered that I can get fitness videos on Play Instantly. I also got my Wii set back up for Play Instantly, and that means one of two things:

1) I can play more Wii games, which are more active than some of my other stay-at-home activities
2) I can use fitness videos

So, starting Friday, I have been walking home from work at lunch, doing ten minutes of beginner fitness video workouts (ones that are designed to be short stretches and such), eating lunch at home (cheaper than eating at work!), and walking back. I’ve also been playing more of the more active Wii games I own. This adds close to a half-hour of walking to my daily schedule, plus the exercise in between, and at night.

I don’t know if it will really have an effect, but I’m certainly willing to try. It’s been nearly a year since I stopped using shampoo and that was an excellent personal improvement. It seems like it’s about time to fit in another one!

I’ve decided I’m going to take progress pictures so I can see if there’s any visible progress from my increased exercise. I’m going to take them every Friday. This is sort of my way of holding myself to the self-improvement goal, because while I don’t really have a goal of losing a lot of weight, I do want to see more muscle tone on my body and an overall healthier look. I also feel like this is the kind of thing that people don’t often talk about in real, visual terms. Lots of people feel like they have awkward bits on their bodies no matter what shape their bodies take, and we’re all too used to seeing airbrushed models. I feel like the more we get used to seeing normal bodies, the better off we’ll all be in the long run. I’m a little, I don’t know, apprehensive about this, because part of me feels a little weird putting up pictures of myself in shorts and a sports bra where everyone in the world can see, but hey, it’s more clothes than I would be wearing at the beach. So here’s Week 1:

Tea Gets Fit Week 1--Front

Tea Gets Fit Week 1--Front

Tea Gets Fit Week 1--Side

Tea Gets Fit Week 1--Side

And no, this isn’t going to preclude my usual food posts. Like I said, I don’t do dieting. Plus, I just made a quart of Earl Grey ice cream and it’s in the fridge freezing.

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

cap, captain miss america

LJ Idol Week 29 in Review

I told you all I'd get to this eventually.

This week, there are seventeen players. There are two topics: "The Worst Thing That I Ever Ate" and "Price to Play."

The field is small and the difference between the top and the bottom is even smaller. So I decided that this week, I could talk a little bit about all the writers left. Everyone left is so good that it's just hard to pick some to highlight.

agirlnamedluna wrote a story that at first reads like creepy, dark, "The Most Dangerous Game"-esque survival drama, until you realize that it's all made up of therealljidol references. I think that even if you don't get the references, you'll enjoy this at face value, but it is completely turned on its head and is actually quite humorous once you realize whom she's talking about. Read it here.

alephz wrote a non-fiction piece about life as a gamer and the self-awareness of living as a stereotype. It's full of biting humor and down-to-earth observations of ordinary life. Read it here.

alexpgp wrote an autobiographical piece about playing against a Chess Grandmaster and the insights and lessons that this man shared with him in his youth. I really enjoyed it as it's not the first time he's written about chess, and it's been neat to learn about how his relationship with the game has changed over the course of his life. Read it here.

beautyofgrey wrote a piece that blends autobiography with hard facts and observations on the human condition that has a really eloquent and poetic flow to it. Read it here.

cacophonesque wrote about food and her experience forcing herself to stop being a picky eater, and also about her struggle with dermatillomania and dermatophagia. It's frank, open, and I think very brave stuff to be talking to strangers about. Read it here.

fourzoas wrote about her family's history as it relates to bread, and how being diagnosed as a diabetic changed her relationship with food. She does a neat job of relating her own personal experiences to her father's and to a longer tradition of family history and how that family history shaped the way she relates to food. Read it here.

gratefuladdict wrote a story about a recovering addict becoming a wife and mother. It's sharp and truthful and left me with a knot in my stomach. Read it here.

intrepia wrote her own retelling of Hansel and Gretel from Hansel's point of view. It's well-conceived in how Hansel responds to the witch's treatment versus what Gretel sees from the other side. Read it here.

java_fiend wrote a story about campers driven to extremes for the sake of survival. The thing I like about this story is that it also functions as a character study and in-depth look at the relationship between the two characters and how it breaks down over time. Read it here.

mstrobel wrote about learning how to ice skate, and the thrill of trying to do something even if you fail the first time. I really liked this because it contrasted with a mind-set that many people, including myself, all too often fall into: the idea that if we aren't good at something, we might as well give up. Read it here.

notbatman wrote about his allergy to pine nuts. He has an easy, straightforward style to his writing and even writing about a near-death experience seems almost cheerful when it comes from him. Read it here.

rattsu wrote about the history of Mad Cow Disease, its origins, and how breeding science changed in the Industrial Age. She is keeply perceptive and writes really chilling yet educational posts about scientific ethics in the modern age. Read it here.

rivermirage wrote a story about the transition from hobbyist homesteading to the very real difficulty of maintaining a farm in the modern age-- with a surprise twist ending! Read it here

strryeyedgrrl wrote an open letter to the Universe, in a sort of winding, stream-of-consciousness style that really lets us get into her head. Read it here.

talon wrote a story about a new soul given the choice of what kind of life it would like to live. He does an exceptional job of choosing the right voice for his fiction, and of nodding to various inspirations in the text of his stories. Read it here.

theafaye wrote about her grandmother's hobby of crashing funerals...to criticize the food. It's clever, quirky, and thoroughly amusing. Read it here.

And of course, I wrote a story that I'm really proud of, my modern retelling of a popular myth, with pop culture references. It's one of my favorites that I've done as part of LJ Idol.

Below the cut, as always, is the poll. I'd really appreciate it if you'd consider ticking off the box to vote for me, especially since this week, the voting is the closest it's ever been. cacophonesque is currently in last place, and while I usually don't do this, she's one of my best friends, so I would love it if you could toss a vote her way, too. And do read all the lovely entries and vote for everything you like. There is seriously not a single one that is without some kind of merit, and I've gotten to know and like all the contestants who are still in the game very much.

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The poll closes at 9PM EST on Thursday.
cap, captain miss america

Ice Cream and a Movie!

So, first, and I’d like to thank [info]ldragoon for this one: If the RDJ Sherlock Holmes is House, MD, THIS Sherlock Holmes is LOST. It even has the horns. No time traveling. Yet. And this is definitely the Daniel Faraday version of Holmes–and oh, look! Smokey just made an appearance. If you have Netflix, it’s on Play Instantly, and you should all watch it for the lulz.

BUT WAIT NOW HE IS FENCING WITH PROTO DARTH VADER WHAT IS THIS I DON’T EVEN. Seriously, yes, I realize I’m spoiling but you need to see it for yourself.

Second, and more importantly, I’ve been experimenting with my ice cream maker. Sadly, tonight’s batch didn’t turn out– I tried to make vegan ice cream, and it didn’t even freeze– but yesterday’s did!

Earl Grey Ice Cream

Earl Grey Ice Cream

1 cup boiling water
4 Earl Grey Tea Bags
1/2 cup sugar
1 2/3 cups half & half
2 egg whites


Steep 1 cup of tea with 2 tea bags
Take the hot tea and mix it with the sugar. Put it in a small saucepan and boil until the tea has been reduced to syrup.
Add the half & half, bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the syrup.
Steep two more tea bags in the hot milk and syrup mixture for 3-5 minutes.
Remove tea bags and chill mixture in fridge or freezer.
Whip two egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
Once mixture is cool, fold in egg whites.
Put in ice cream mixer and freeze according to ice cream mixer instructions.

I brought this to work today and it went over very well!

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.