Feed me, Seymour!

Been a while since I put in a Keto update…

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I had a rocky 3 month anniversary on Keto.

I couldn’t get full.

No matter what I ate, an hour later I was starving.  The two block walk to get to my car was once again making me out of breath.  My knee was grumbling over the stairs again.  I could feel a tightness around the shoulders & chest, and I couldn’t think my way out of a paper bag with the end cut open.  It was like going through keto-flu all over again, where my body was demanding glucose and throwing a hissy fit when denied.

Imagine the frustration – an entire week, yelling at my digestive system, demanding to know WHATINHELL you want???  It was almost frustrating enough to order a large, hand-tossed, extra cheese, double EVERYTHING pizza and eat the entire thing on the spot.

Don’t worry – I behaved.  I drank chicken bouillon like water, ate a lot of cheese, and attempted to mollify the demands of my gut with bacon, sausage & nuts.

I think I finally figured out WHY my body went crazy on the 3 month mark.

Protein.

I had been averaging around half of my macro’s recommended 100 grams of protein a day.  Yes, I had been warned.  The dire prognostication of ‘OMG, you’re going to lose MUSCLE!’ is quite common on a lot of the Keto sites, and a lot of the threads I’ve seen on reddit fairly scream “Go eat a gahd-damn steak, ferkristssake!”

But, up until this point, I felt great on keto, so I figured the doom & gloomers were just blowing fear out their rear.

Guess I still gotta learn some things the hard way.  I now know what happens when your body starts to cannibalize proteins from within…

The breakthrough finally came Friday.  After 5 days of intense hunger-pangs, I bowed to the inevitable, and picked up some Quest Vanilla Milkshake protein powder.  Now, when I ran to the store after work, I was almost desperate enough to grab any old tub of powder, but I still reviewed nutrition information, and the Quest stuff seemed to be the best.  23 grams of protein per serving, 2 net carb, not a shit-ton of dietary fiber (which sometimes give me those ‘never trust a fart’ moments with the Quest bars), and a mix of whey protein (fast acting) and casein protein (slow-to-digest).

I’m finally back to my ‘I really don’t have much of an appetite,’ happy-on-keto self, and slowly working through the last echoes of protein-deprivation.  The knee has ceased threatening to go on strike, at least…

And it’s pretty damn tasty mixed like this:

 

Iced Quest Coffee

3/4 scoop Quest Vanilla Milkshake (about 1.5 T)

2.5 T Heavy Cream

Cold Coffee

Pour heavy cream in the bottom of a standard drinking glass (around 20 ounce).  Pour quest powder on top of cream, fill the glass with cold coffee, leaving room for ice.

Drop a wire wisk into the glass, and spin between your palms while simultaneously raising and lowering the wisk until everything is well mixed.  Add your ice, and caffeinate yourself into wakefullness.

 

I might just try blending it into full frothiness next…stay tuned!

Batman & Robin copy

 

 

Adventures in Geometry

I consider geometry the unholy spawn of some sadistic individual’s desire to force an horrific mating of math and art.

Why else would the number of the Devil from the Christian bible be 666?

I remember Geometry class in high school.  Back then, it was required in Sophomore year – everyone took it.  Not everyone enjoyed it.  Not everyone survived it, and not everyone passed the class.  (OLD school – you actually had to demonstrate understanding of a subject to receive a passing grade…).  All the different formula and equations were required memorization – you learned the formula, plugged in the numbers, and let the final result tell you this 3×3 box has 9 cubic feet of air trapped inside it.  The shapes were raped (boxes and triangles and circles), the line drawings abused (angles, parallels, curves).  Everyone was forced away from viewing pleasing visuals, and into considering their base numerical equivalents.

Even at this adolescent and prone-to-fanciful-thinking age, I could see that Geometry was the antithesis of great art, and I fought this tooth & nail.

hqdefaultGeometry demanded equal columns of numbers marching in lockstep without deviation – I wanted to put a pyramid on top of a box, add some cubes, balls and curved brick walkways to create a visually-pleasing home in the woods.   I didn’t CARE that my home had 1357.27685 cubic feet of air trapped inside, with additional insulating air of 339.3192125 cubic feet trapped under the roof, and a capacity to lose 33.78% of the warmth generated in the field stone fireplace through the insanely large windows – IT looked like a inviting and secluded cabin where I could get some SERIOUS artwork done.

Apple Pi

Finally, I’ll never forgive them for forever ruining Pie by dropping the ‘E’ and giving me, not only an endless chain of numbers to really mess with my mind, but another goofy line drawing.

Mmmmm – pie… 

Although I did enjoy the single day our educator stepped away from the rote formula-learning, and gave us a math/word game.  Given each letter in the English alphabet a consecutive number (a=1, b=2 and so on up to z=26) – what’s the highest number you can make from a 5 letter English word?   (Fuzzy, for the record, was our best at a value of 104)

I DO understand Geometry has a place in this world (after all, my cabin in the woods would need to be built using geometric formula if I wanted it to stand) – but I’d prefer to move in after the paint has dried on the walls and the plumbing is working.

Now here’s the weird part.  I do pretty good with simple mathematics, and actually enjoy the lockstep logicality in finance. (I work in accounting, after all…)  I especially enjoy finding and backtracking errors that Corporate AR puts into the books, and request they fix them with a long adding machine tape of evidence to back up my claims.

Floating Fucks

Just another day on the job

Because I’m good at these simple monetary maths, I traditionally earn more than I spend in a month – although my recent purchases of jump rings & jewelry displays made this month a bit more spend-y than save-y.

But geometry?  Nope – nope – nope.  Not going there…not even as a tourist.

Now, the SQO will tell me that I’m good at higher, more complex maths.  He’ll mention some of my drawings (bring on infinite perspective!) my origami, glass-etching, and chainmaille.  The way I automatically frame photographs into the rule of thirds, and all the computer work I’ve done in Photoshop creating abstract arts.

 

He is right, in that all these artistic creations have a healthy dose of complex mathematics behind them.  I don’t see the numbers, though, and I have no interest in calculating them out.  I just see the forms and feel the perfection in the patterns.

 

 

This weekend, I finished a chainmaille project I’ve been hungering to complete for a long time.  I made a ball.

on desk

12 completely identical sides, each side sharing it’s mirrored construction with another side.  12 pentagrams of 5 sides each curled around into a mathematically-correct ball.

I knew going into this one that it wouldn’t be a quicky project – I didn’t realize that it would take an estimated 6 hours, repeated slips of the pliers resulting in skinned knuckles, poked legs, a near-blister on my ring finger and near-miss to my cheek.  I didn’t realize it would take building and tearing out a portion of it over and over and over again until I got it right.  I didn’t realize it would eat up most of my stock of stainless steel 6.9 AR rings (I’m estimating around 400 rings).

I didn’t realize how FUN it was to put this thing together.  The real question is:  do I want to keep this Geometrical Construction on my desk as a tribute to higher maths, or do I want to sell it on Etsy?

 

first third

This is 4 ‘faces’ into the project

 

 

Maths feature in Keto, too.  I decided to give Keto an honest shot once I had a spreadsheet constructed (what did I do before Excel???) to track exactly what I was putting in my mouth in terms of fat, carbs, and proteins.  Started keeping track of what the nutritional content was for my brand of bacon, butter, beef and veggies.  Added additional tabs for the recipes I’ve tried, and a 3rd tab for those recipes deemed ‘a catastrophic failure.’  All my eating, broken down into lockstep columns of marching numbers.

My Geometry teacher would be so proud!

I also started actually reading those nutritional guidelines listed on the backs or sides of some of my favorite snack foods.  That was an experience in pure horror, I’m telling you.  My favorite cheese chips have 19 grams of ultra-processed carbohydrates in just 18 crackers.

As if I could stop at 18 chips?  I used to eat these by the bowlful, if not straight outta the box!

Being low-carb, although it presents some interesting challenges, and was a right royal pain the ass to get used to, is totally worth it in how my body now feels.

This week- I whipped up a chicken-cabbage salad to take to work.  Here’s how I made it.

Chinese Chicken Cabbage Salad
The Stuff
1 small head green cabbage
6 TBS extra virgin olive oil
5 TBS rice vinegar
1.5 TBS Soy Sauce
1 TBS ground ginger
t tsp Cinnamon
2 medium clove garlic, pressed
4 oz cooked chicken breast, finely chopped
The Execution
Chop cabbage into long strips, removing the core.  Place in a large bowl with the
chopped chicken.
Add oil, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, cinnamon and garlic in a deep bowl or
2 cup Pyrex measuring cup.  Whisk extremely well until all ingredients are
incorporated and the oil no longer separates from the rest of he wet ingredients.
Pour dressing over salad, toss to coat.

Flower Power

I may have mentioned my recent obsession with little jump rings…

RT Flower

I’ve discovered orbitals.  For those of you who don’t know anything about chainmaille patterns, an orbital is when you have two (or more) rings in connection with each other, with a third (or more) ring circling that connection point.

orbital

,,,

,,,

,,,

Like this ——->

Within my exploring on the WWW – I found a YouTuber who put out a video showing how to make a flower pendant with orbitals.  The result … is PRETTY.  She calls it the ‘Reverse Tao’ flower, and the tutorial is one of my new favorites – simple, with the focus on the hands and the rings and how to combine them.  No extra flashy graphics in the front, no long-winded intro speech before you get to the meat of the tutorial, no loud hip-hop or pop or rock music.  Just the build.

I like a tutorial that simply gets down to business without all this nonsense of ‘gettin’ down B4 Bizniz’.

I did have to do some tweaking to this pattern.  The ring size as listed in the tutorial created a form that was rather too loose for my liking, so I scaled the AR down to a tighter 6.9, and I added some additional rings to really firm things up.

I like my chainmaille things tight 😀  and I’ll be listing a few of these lovelies on my Etsy shop this weekend.

I’ve found yet another pattern which uses my favorite ring size.  I use these particular rings for

The Centipede Necklaces

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my whirly pendants

A Whirly

the turbine pendants

model close in

and they make a great, quickie bail.

So I finally bit the bullet and ordered a huge amount of them in a variety of metals – I even found them in Niobium, which equals bright, shiny colors.

Colors – squeeeeeeeeeee!

I got some serious maile-ing to do over the next few weeks, because I have my first ever show coming up.  Now, granted, this show is at a vape store grand opening, so I don’t exactly ‘fit in’ with what the rest of the vendors will be offering – but I’ll happily take the exposure.

 

In the keto world, I’ve been exploring cheesecake.  My mousse fluff mimics the filling in a cream puff, but I’ve never been really interested in the cream puff shell – so my explorations went to the next cool and creamy dessert-type thing that came to mind.   And – again thanking the technology that allows people all across the planet to share out interesting ideas – Keto cheesecakes are EVERYWHERE on the web.

I tried a simple recipe for cheesecake fluff first, which brought some sour cream to the party for the tang in real cheesecake – but was left unimpressed.  Not only did the sour cream add the WAY wrong tang, the mixture didn’t blend quite fully, leaving me with little nodules of cream cheese which felt really strange when eating the thing.

Cheesecake should be full-on creamy, rich, and sweet, with just a hint of tang as it spreads across your tongue.  Cheesecake should NOT be LUMPY.

Only the crust is allowed to have a lumptastic texture.

So I’ll be trying some different recipes – and already have them flagged.

Keto Cheesecake Tarts from KetoKrate Blog

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Blueberry Cheesecake squares from DitchTheCarbs

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No bake Lemon Cheesecake also from DitchTheCarbs

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Now I just gotta find the TIME to play in the kitchen 😀