“Women despise frugal men”-is that so?

So,  I read an article, written by a psychology professor (no less) that claims women loath frugal men, and list them as non- attractive  partners.

 Being a proud frugal +a true believer in seperate accounts as a base line for equality and feminism, I was surprised.  

To be absolutely honest- the first thing a skeptic like me thought was: “naaaaaaaaaaaa, no way”. I have this automatic urge to check everything I read or hear, unless it comes from a v e r y reliable source.

Actually- I double-check (secretly) even then.

Because, well, even reliable sources can simply be wrong.

And this claim- that women unanimously detest a specific trait -so much so that they rate it before  other horrid features, for example- being a misogynist, being a self revolving egomaniac, bad body odor, being unhygienic in general, a total slob and owning a controlling mother -all-in my humble opinion valid reasons to be reluctant about a second date-

No- according to this professor- women are sure money pinching is the worst.

So-

A few possibilities open here-

#1: This professor did a mess of data collecting, leading to an honest mistake.

#2: This professor can’t manage his money,  and rejects the fact other men can, hence is compulsed to prove his lack of competence is “charming” -and anyway- “women loath frugals so there”.

#3: (related to #1) The questions asked in this research were in the lines of:”who would you rather date:Brad Pitt or a random frugal penny-pinching guy? (to be specific, I mean Brad Pitt in his “fight club “days-wow that was an epic movie , if you haven’t watched it- just go do it. Edward Norton is one of my favorites and Brad Pitt does not fall behind. I am saying all this although “first rule of fight club is you do not talk about fight club”).

All this was completely off topic. or maybe it wasn’t.

#4: Maybe women do think that a frugal man is non-datable. maybe women think men are supposed to “provide for them”, “take care of them”, “give them money to go to the beauty salon”( I am not making these up- I searched the topic online and found a women’s magazine -and a well known one too-   that warned women of calculated men who don’t “give them money to do their hair”(!!!!!!)).

If I understand this line of thinking- then If you are a man, then you need to “step up to your manly duties”, automatically pick the check and not hope for splitting it, buy extravagant jewelry and take women you date to a different restaurant every night (yep- men who insist on cooking and staying in were also shamed in said article) -this behavior will convince your princess that you are a trusted worthy reliable person she can live with for the rest of your lives.

#5: maybe I am totally wrong– and frugality -in men only- is a sign of lack of emotional generosity and support, therefore a frugal man will most likely be a bad idea for a partner. 

But that  -in my opinion- lacks logic+ might , in the long run, undermine every feminist accomplishment since the right to vote. 

Being dependent on a man to support or pamper you, seeing romantic gestures as money related only, expecting to be presented with constant gifts, and not saving for the future-

Wow- in my experience- the only place relationships like that exist is romantic books and movies. 

I truly believe in personal  monetary independence as a basis for a respecting equal partnership, jewelry is beautiful but investing in your future is just as beautiful, and open frank conversations and sharing important moments- is more valuable- in my opinion- than a visit to any beauty salon. 

Love to hear what you think- the cooliflower. 

The cooliflower.

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My 7th veganniversary: am I laying on a bed of roses??

People make life-changing decisions all the time.

I’ve read “inspirational quotes” that are adamant that “the hardest part concerning these decisions is getting to the point of making them”-as in being aware of the fact that change is needed and what form that change will take. 

Well. I can tell you that in my experience, this is not only not true- but also misleading and discouraging. 

In my experience -making the grand euphoric statement itself- is a piece of pie.

Another piece of that pie is when you get accustomed to the change, and it becomes your new comfort zone, the no brainer, a part of your body, you get my point.

What definitely is no pie , is the evil part that stretches between that hopeful unrealistic moment when you are full of determination and will power , you are absolutely positive you can stick to your goal, stand behind your ambitions, (etc etc AKA “new year’s high”)-and actually sticking to those resolutions, despite the fact that life seems to make a point of getting in your way.

7 years ago, I after watching that famous Gary Yourofsky speech,I turned vegan.  this post is dedicated to whoever is contemplating turning vegan, has turned vegan, has a vegan family member, and, of course- all the animals out there.

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The short answer to the above question- the Bon Jovi one- is, well, no. I am not “laying on a bed of roses”.

I did expect to- by the way.

I thought that by now my body would have adapted to eating only plant-based food,  and crave meat and dairy no more.

You see- I became vegan not because I despise the taste or smell of meat and dairy- but despite the fact that I love it.

My whole family eats meat and eggs- though thankfully like soy milk and rarely consume other dairy products, and since I do the cooking -this is a daily challenge.

Sure- I could have said- people- eat whatever you want- leave me the f&*% alone- I am not doing this- but I didn’t.

At first- it was the beginner’s vanity- “I am the powerful vegan goddess, my cause is right and nothing can take me off my route!

Yes, I know.

Then- I convinced myself that big wars are won with Witt and not force and that by continuing to be in charge of household cooking, I can introduce vegan food to my family’s diet, and win them over by how tasty and nutritious this food is.

The truth is- I mean the complete and honest truth is- that some of the above excuses reasons are valid- the absolute truth is that my huge ego -translated into my control freakiness -was acting up time and again. 

I couldn’t stand the thought of my partner and my kids getting their food from anyone other than ME.

Again- this really wasn’t much of a problem -I somehow disciplined myself -maybe conditioned myself to avoid all meat, eggs and dairy -and didn’t mind cooking it.

But- for the past few months- the meat craving started creeping back on me.

If- by any chance- you are thinking that my body is signaling me some kind of protein deficiency- due to the common misconception that vegan protein is more difficult to come by- then- no.

The thing is- whereas on my first year as a vegan I really wasn’t educated on the important subject of macros and nutrients, and ate a lot of carbs and veggies, as I progressed on my vegan journey- I incorporated a lot of protein -mainly from legumes, tofu, chia, flax, oats, and some protein powder.

You can scroll around my previous posts and see for yourselves- I know the academic stuff , and implement it on a daily basis.

I do yearly blood works that so far have stellar results, made me very proud of myself I can tell you that.

So???I eat a very balanced, nutritious, and healthy diet- and -all of a sudden- for the past few months- am dealing with the return of meat craving.

WTF???

The only thing I can think of in terms of change- is that for the past months I upped my workout game, and incorporated a lot of strength-focused workouts- weights and bands joined my usual routine of  pilates, swimming, running and yoga. I do each of these at least a couple of times a week. (yes it does mean that on Tuesday for instance-  I swim, do 2 pilates classes and do 30 minutes of strength training the gym -a total of 3.5 hours straight. on Friday I swim and then do a yoga class, on saturday I run and weight lift-etc).

I have a strange feeling that this sudden craving for meat has something to do with that, and I think my body  is feeling entitled, for the first time ever, and sadly- this entitlement has taken the form of meat craving…..

I know there is a hype concerning “intuitive eating” these days, and I am sorry- but I have a hard time believing my conditioned body ( mainly mind) knows intuitively what kind of minerals and vitamins it needs– as opposed to craves.

I can totally understand that my body feels that this game change means it deserves to go wild- again- for the first time since adolescence and the usual body cruelty almost every teenaged girl goes through-

The strange thing is that the cravings are not in the common form of doughnuts or pizza- but in the form of meat.

This is not only strange, but also- as a vegan- very very disturbing.

Suddenly I find cooking meat for my family a very difficult task, I find myself looking for meat substitutes, (yes- those strange “I have no idea what they put in it but it looks like a bleeding steak” things), not finding any where I live (rural is beautiful, but you know, a bit more difficult to find vegan steaks), and generally- for the first time since becoming vegan 7 years ago- I feel a bit deprived.

At first I was pissed at myself, and let myself have a piece of my mind too.

But that didn’t help. at all.

So I did 4 things:

#1: I started searching what meat and dairy substitutes -the non fancy “real steak” options- are available in my online supermarket.

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I made these from vegan minced meat substitute, and it tastes ok.

I think the trick here is to treat yourself excessories -wise.

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I made a vegan sauce from soaked cashews grinded with lemon juice, some water, nooch, paprika , cumin and a date (the recipe is from vegan youtuber called “simnet nutrition”- check him out- he does like to talk (a lot) but is very knowledgable and focuses on health, nutrition and exercise-what more can a girl ask for).

I added  preserved lemon I made myself:

wash and thinly slice lemons, duip each slice in a mixture of salt and paprika, then put on the counter  in a sterilized mason jar for 24 hours-till it starts to droole juice, then add lemon juice to cover all the slices, wait another 24 hours -only then cover the top with a bit of olive oil and store in fridge.

That helped. a bit anyway.

#2: I started cooking meat for my family on a full stomach. full of a hearty bean stew preferably. I know- sounds lame. but works.

#3: I got my partner to cook his favourite meat dish: (rice pilaf, cooked with meat chunks and carrots). he got really good at it- which is a double win (more nap time for moi).

#4: Just to get me back on track -I watched Gary Yourofsky’s youtube channel , and wham! in my face.

I made the right decision 7 years ago.

Love to hear your intake on this- the cooliflower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So- Peanuts?

I hope you remember I have gone on a quest to find the best sources of vegan+budget friendly+ simple +basic protein-packed foods-

So far in this category-

DIY Chickpea flour: is it worth the hassle?

How I simplify my plant-based proteins!

No need to cry over spelt milk.

If you don’t have bread, why not have (rice) cakes? (M.Antoinett)

Sorry- dont like quinoa!

Protein packed wonder: soy beans!!

And more- scroll and find something you like, or don’t. whatever.

Anyway- at the top of the non-industrialized vegan high volume proteins stands the simplest food you’d think. 

Peanuts.

Yep- the ones from Charlie Brown and his oh so much smarter than him dog Snoopy. (yep that was a flashback from the past- only for “mature” people of a certain age group).

Peanuts, apparently- are not nuts at all- the are a legume (!!!) hence the nutritional Powerball they are.

This here information is brought to you straight from Wikipedia- since- as I have mentioned time and again I am no dietitian/health certified anything.

I am a retired lawyer, a health enthusiast, and a believer in searching the important stuff on your own, rather than obediently following whatever anyone says. 

*That advice is most definitely true to anything I say too- always use your brains to assess and check the information you get.

100 grams of Peanuts pack :

21 grams of carbs

0 grams of sugar (yay!!)

9 grams of fiber

48 (!!) grams of fat (…….)

25 (!!!!!) grams of protein (people- you need to get really excited here if you are vegan. also if you are not- since this is the amount of protein 100 grams of meat packs! (well ok- meat holds 26 grams, not 25- but you get the picture).

By the way- when I say meat- I do not include chicken- since chicken breast packs 31 grams of protein in 100 grams- hence all the youtube videos of athletes cooking chicken breast.

Also- peanuts are packed with vitamins B 1+2+3, +E+folate+ minerals such as magnesium, manganese, and zinc. 

BAM!!!

Another Bam-

unlike meat- which requires cooking and saucing and tendering and generally a nice amount of fuss over-

Peanuts???

Just, you know- peel them. 

Oh and compost the shells they are great for the soil.

Another obvious Bam?

Yep-

exactly.

brown highland cattle on field of grass
Photo by Gabriela Palai on Pexels.com

And another Bam?

The price difference.

Tried to show you the difference- all I found for reference is brittish rump steaks from whole foods -16 $ for 1 kilo, and 5 pounds of peanuts from amazon- for the same price.

But- to be fair- you need to remember that peanuts contain quite a high amount of fat per 100 grams- 48 grams- hence all that peanut butter thing. (this results in 567 calories per 100 grams. yep, ouch.

Meat holds only 3.5 grams of fat, 143 calories, and no carbs at all- just being transparent here is all.

That being said- you are all aware that -generally speaking of course- many people cook their meat using fat-so the end result might be much closer to the fat content in them peanuts.

I am not about to ramble about veganism- this is a choice people should make after carefully contemplating the pros and cons by themselves, and I’ve found that “make good food, not war” works better in my household.

They really like my tofu stirfry, vegan oatmeal cookies, banana ice cream, and many other vegan staples.

Though- maybe- if you are a meat lover- and feel you need to cut down on expenses or time spent cooking or whatever- you can swap a few peanuts for that meat- just from time to time. see how it works for you.

Again- don’t forget the high amount of calories that sadly accompany the peanut munch, so don’t go nuts here.

Enjoy- the cooliflower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 easy mundane yet useful hacks!

I think mundane everyday life should be appreciated more.

Don’t get me wrong- I’m the biggest advocate of planning ahead, constant assessment of situations and thinking macro-

And yet- on the day to day basis- we need to eat, drink, rest, and take care of our selves, in a manner that could be perceived (wrongly) as, well, not that exciting.

Unlike Hollywood stars, us ordinaries, lead very predictable and monotonous lives, that don’t take miraculous-or disastrous turns within 35 minutes of the beginning of the movie.

Well- most of us -at least. I am well aware that some people manage to actually tangle up their ordinary lives into such a mess that can easily be pitched for a movie.

Others- while we are on the subject, have a habit of perceiving their lives as one giant drama- and getting all worked up over situations other people wouldn’t bother thinking about.

Anyway- for me as a not so exciting person ( that is to say the least of it) -leading a mundane life, hacks that make my mundane tasks easier and more fun, especially now that I am retired,  are a thing.

So- here they are- my simple yet effective everyday hacks:

#1: How to produce ice cubes that will fit into a regular water bottle!

you have to admit it can’t get more mundane than that.

And yet- have you ever planned to go out on a hot summer day and wished your large water bottle could keep your water cool for a longer period?

I have, several times.

I don’t like to rely on possible water fountains, dislike buying bottled water in convenience stores- both from the environmental point+ the frugal point, so I never leave the house without a water bottle.

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Before you get all worked up about the plastic -you are absolutely right- I usually use my refillable stainless steel water bottle-

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But- there are occasions I know I will need a larger bottle, (1.5-2 liters)-and refilling will be a bit&* , so I fill my plastic one.

The thing is- it’s nozzle is wayyyy narrower than my regular bottle, so inserting my ice cubes is impossible.

Impossible?? well- not so much.

No way I will buy a smaller ice cube tray, I have a small kitchen, no room for specially designed thingies.

The hack now, please?

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phase 1: put said regular-sized ice cubes in a small bowl.

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phase 2: add cold water just so you cover said cubes.

wait a minute or two.

the cubes will shrink but not melt totally-due to the coolness of the added water- now you can insert the shrunken cubes into your bottle, and of course, add the cold water you used for the process.

How about that. genius-told you.

#2: taking cold water up a notch!

The tip?freeze half a bottle with the nozzle upwards

Bet you wonder why you need to bother about the bottle’s nozzle.

well, that is because if you freeze a half-full water bottle just laying in your freezer, then, like me, you shall discover there is no way in the world you can pour more water to the bottle, for the purpose of actually using the bottled water, because, well, the nozzle is clogged tightly by the ice formed in the bottle. yep.

This is why, when you want to use the method of freezing half a bottle and filling the rest later with cold water- you need to freeze the bottle with its nozzle resting gently upon something in the freezer that will elevate only the nozzle.

*Now- when using this method- you need to remember that when icy cold water meets hot humid weather- the result is “sweaty bottle”- meaning- water forms outside the bottle too- so remember to use a water carrier of some sort- will also keep your water cool -costs about 3 $ on eBay. totally reusable -and can save you when going for long drives or errands. 

#3: how to peel onions in a split second?

Well- you simply cut them in half first.

Yep.

Don’t give me the evil eye- just try it.

Once you cut the onion- the peel won’t slip way from you as it always does- seeing that onions are round or oval shaped. (most of them , anyway. )

#4: how to clean your Vitamix 

Admittedly this tip is not my idea but the manufacturers of Vitamix advise their buyers to clean it that way-which only proves another ancient but solid point of mine- before using a tool or device- read the instructions carefully- better yet- save them in your Gmail account.

The tip is valid for all those stick to the bowl smoothy days, sauces and other remnants of very much desired food- much less desired scum to clean.

The tip? rinse the vitamix bowl once, then fill it half way with warm water- and a drop of dish washing soap- and simply turn the vitamix on on high, as if you were making another sticky smoothy.

This should get most of the dirt out- then rinse again- with clean warm water and repeat the process of putting the vitamix to work on high- this time with the clean warm water.

You will thank me for that last time- because I highly doubt you like the taste of dish washing smoothy first thing in the morning.

* While on the subect- this tip works great for hand mixers too- things always stick to the blades, and you do not want to start picking endlessly between the blades- unless you do- in that case- by all means- do whatever you want with your time.

Fill a bowl with warm soapy water and start the hand mixer inside the bowl- yes-stirring and foaming the soapy water to bubbles. fun. yay.

Then rinse and repeat with clean warm water for the exact same reason stated above.

Amazing.

#5: the fastest way to defrost things. 

I kid you not.

This is an evidence based fact people.

when you need to defrost something quickly- you forgot to thaw it overnight in the fridge like a responsible adult would- simply put it under a ceiling fan turned on high for 10-15-20 minutes. 

you will be amazed.

Just do yourself a favour and if your ceiling is located over a wooden table- put a towel underneath the thawing thing, because a puddle will form.

Enjoy- the cooliflower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s the deal with chin masks???

Lately, wherever I go ( admittedly- just a few places, introvert, told you), I see this widely spread phenomenon:

people thinking it is ok to wear their masks on their chins, instead of, well, you probably know by now the proper way to wear a mask, in order to try and minimize the risk of catching-or transferring- viruses- specifically these days- that COVID 19 thing.

I am aware I am not a health professional, but I think it reasonable to believe that viruses do not spread-nor enter your body- only by contacting your chin.

And yet- there are people all around protecting their chins.

This reminded me of the epic “Seinfeld” episode where George becomes a “hand model”, and protects his hands from any potential harm.

(do yourself a favor- just write “Seinfeld hand model” on google- I promise you a few good minutes of absolute laughter- and what can be better than that?)

Back to the point- this chin protection plan isn’t funny nor brings pride to their carrier.

I have a genuine problem with the fact that many people do as they are told without understanding the reason behind the rule.

I am aware that many young people are under the notion that this pandemic doesn’t concern them- and even if that will prove to be the case -(when it is time for meta-analysis of the stats, not right now)- there is fact-based evidence that shows that many many people can be carriers of the pandemic and show no signs of illness, therefore making their walking around mask-less or chin-masked- disastrous for elderly people or people with the compromised immune system.

I really am fond of being healthy and active, and would prefer not to catch anything if I can help it- so I bought reusable face masks 3 months before the pandemic was even discovered, because usual, regular, known flu was coming .

I remember that when I had my routine bloodwork done at the beginning of January when nobody was seriously contemplating anything as big as the pandemic, I wore my mask to the doctor’s office- I can tell you I got stared at, and had to explain my behavior and apologize if anyone was offended.

How things change.

I do wish I bought shares in that company then. I would have made a bundle.

I wish people would be a bit more proactive about their health and monetary situation, without waiting for some government official somebody to go on tv and tell them what to do.

Elderly people here are- at least many of them – scared of going out, meeting their family and friends, going to the activities they used to enjoy- even if those activities are back to business again.

They are scared because they know many people don’t give a da*&, and they are absolutely right.

Research has shown that being kind and thoughtful makes your day much better.

Lift your masks from your chins when going out. wear them proudly and properly- not only for your sake- but for others.

Enjoy- the cooliflower.

The water bottle dispute: how much does being cool cost?

So, my 23-year-old son is here for a few days, since he had to re-do one of his sat tests.

He is so different from me, I actually believe there is a chance he was switched at the hospital.

On the other hand, he resembles his father so much, I just have to accept that my genes lost the race big time, when it comes to him.

By the way- with the other two, I definitely came in 1st.

This has nothing to do with how much I love him, by the way, because strangely I feel I love all my 3 kids the same, and I say strangely-because I don’t believe love can be rationalized, and it seems totally logical to me that some parents love some of their kids more than the others.

It does, however, affect my ability to communicate with him.

Where, with his siblings, I can understand their way of thinking, relate to their actions, and give advice- when asked for- and many too many times- whether or not asked for- with my middle one, he rarely asks for advice, and when he gets any advice from me- I can never tell whether or not it would even be considered as a possibility.

Where I am a class A introvert, would have won a gold medal if they only thought of making being an introvert an Olympic event: he is a total extrovert- since childhood, he was surrounded by friends, always popular, always out of the house with his friends, always doing what everybody else was doing, including being very conscious of his clothes and haircut.

I, on the other hand, go around in my workout apparel, cut (actually shave) my own hair to an extremely short cut ( 0.5 centimeters close to a total shave), wear no makeup, and generally have no need for idle conversations and having people bother me at home.

where he believes there is no need to excel in school -or for that matter- in anything other than his online FIFA games, I was a total nerd at high school, was considered a devoted employee (until work got the best of me and I decided to retire), and have 3 university degrees -the last one finished summa cumme Lauda, admittedly due to hard work, not brilliance.

I think the only thing we share is our blue eyes, and love for animals.

Anyway-

The other day, he had his exam, the one he was studying for the past months, and will determine whether or not he will be admitted to uni.

The exam was scheduled at 13:00, and he was out with his friends until 01:00 , and set his alarm to 11 (!!).

I was astounded.

How can he sleep calmly until 11 on the day of his exam? I would have been up all night worried, got out of bed at 04:00, and re-read my notes or something else to calm my nerves- and he is sound asleep.

I do believe he is the poster boy for being cool.

I believe you understand where, on the other hand, I am located on the cool scale- not sure I would make the scale at all, come to think of it.

When he finally woke up. I made him coffee and a smoothy (and a homemade chocolate chip cookie), and asked if he had a water bottle -after all the exam should take a few hours, and mind you it is summer here, and a pretty hot one too.

To no one’s surprise, he hadn’t even thought of the concept of taking a water bottle to the exam, and said that if I had one he would gladly take it.

I have a plastic bottle (+ a heat keeping case) I use for occasions I know 1.5 liters of water will be needed:

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-usually, I use my beloved reusable bottle:

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I filled the large bottle with icy water and handed it to him, but was disrupted by the shocked look on his face.

“Seriously??” he exclaimed.

“???” I answered.

“you really think I am going anywhere with this thing??” he asked.

“well….yes?” I answered. “it’s important you have water during the test, sometimes the stress dries your mouth and the inconvenience might ….”

“Yea’ I know, but not going with this bottle”.

“ok then, I have another reusable water, I’ll fill it instead though it’s smaller”

“Na, never mind, if you don’t have a regular-sized water bottle at home I’ll buy one in a convenience store before the test”.

“But why?” I asked him. “This water is icy cold, free of charge and hassle-free?”

“Come on, I can’t be seen with this water bottle in my old school!”

Can any of you relate to this argument? because I absolutely cannot.

He would rather spend 10 extra minutes stopping the car, and spend extra money shopping for a cold small plastic water bottle than be seen with this disgrace of a nerdy bottle.

I know’ it’s only 2$, that’s what he said. by the way, he thought it was extra smart of him to buy a chocolate bar too-though research has shown there is a reverse connection between chocolate and long-lasting energy and focus during long tests, so it ended with more than 2$-the way it always does in convenience stores.

I thought about him a lot that day.

I thought of how lucky I am to be an introvert who doesn’t give a fu*& about what people have to say about any of my choices, how I don’t have to go out with people that don’t make me happy and spend money on apparel and stuff I can do without- just to keep up with society’s standards.

I was worried that should he continue holding this attitude, there will be no way for him to save any money, thus leaving him in the rat race until the “appropriate age for retirement” according to society- close to 70, instead of 20 years before that.

I thought that maybe I was wrong to implement my rigid way of thinking on a young cool person like my son-

Maybe with time, he will change his mind? maybe not all people wait impatiently for early retirement? maybe some people enjoy going to work, meeting other people, socializing and stuff I can’t relate to?

After much contemplation and not much of a choice let’s face it, I concluded it was his decision, since, although surprising for me, he is considered an adult now, and I can fret all I want- it will only get my face wrinkled, nothing else.

No way I am voluntarily inviting wrinkles upon my face, I can tell you that.

The cooliflower.

Revisiting Pollyanna: a test case in positive psychology.

So, the gyms have opened up here, and I got back to swimming.

Swimming is most definitely one of my favorite ways of exercising, because:

#1. it is a good workout- incorporates lung work, arms, back muscles, leg work ( I do breaststroke. not ashamed. I am aware of the fact that it makes me significantly slower than other swimmers in the pool, but they go out of breath and stop swimming long before I finish my morning swim, so everyone can basically go mind their own business, to put it mildly).

#2. when incorporated into my workout routine, I noticed it helps take the pressure off my back- high volume running can put a lot of strain on my nearing 52 YO body.

#3. Since buying my SYRYN swim-friendly MP3 device and my water-resistant headphones, my life has improved so much it is almost beyond comprehension. I am aware I sound like an enthusiastic teenager used to sound (30 years ago when teenagers allowed themselves the luxury of sounding so uncool), and yet- there is something about listening to music underwater -the surround, the acoustics-I have no idea -it allows you to disconnect from everything else- except whatever is on your playlist.

Now -if you’ve taken the time and made the effort to make a truly epic playlist that takes that underwater edge to the next level- well then – in my humble opinion- not many things in our complicated enough world can match this.

#4. That same disconnection- can get you instantly in a good vibe to meditate or at least contemplate your existence.

You get the point, I believe. I love swimming with music.

So- since lately I got hooked back on classical music, I downloaded some of the greatest symphonies known to mankind- my personal favorites are Beethoven, Schubert, Chaikovsky, Mendelsson, and Brahms- just in case you couldn’t get on with your day without this information.

I got in the pool, pressed play, and Beethoven’s 5’th symphony started playing.

Now, this is no doubt one of the greatest works of art known to mankind- I believe I can safely write this.

But something was off.

The music didn’t sound so good.

At first, I just dismissed it by telling myself that this is a result of the 2 months the gym was closed, so -I convinced myself- I got used to the better sound produced by the music devices and headphones I have at home .

After all- squeezing music to MP3 devices can compromise the sound-so I’ve heard anyway.

Then I thought- maybe it’s the headphones- maybe water got into it, or whatever else, and now that Amazon stopped shipping globally I shall be stuck with hearing my music in a distorted way.

I kept swimming, and contemplating, then, about halfway through the symphony, I started laughing, all the while doing laps, at 6 am in the quiet deserted pool.

I realized that I was probably right. and something was off.

I realized I probably accidentally downloaded a “less stellar” performance of the symphony.

I then started laughing because I suddenly had a flashback from my youth.

One of my favorite books as a child was Pollyanna-

A book written in 1913 by Eleanor Porter, telling the story of a little orphan girl, quite naturally named Pollyanna, that is brought to her aunt’s home, and immediately starts spreading joy around town with her “game”.

The game was to find something to be glad about anything that happens to you: so , pollyanna explained to Nancy, her aunt’s maid. that disliked her own name, that she can be glad she is called “Nancy” and not, said Pollyanna, “Heptziba”.

This goes on- and by the end of the book, every bitter person in that town discovers the joys of whatever life brings on you, simply by playing the “how to be glad about anything” game.

I was thinking about the modern age concept of “positive psychology” invented by Martin Seligman, and how in 1913, Eleanor Porter came up with what seems to be quite a similar concept, without calling it a new psychological breakthrough, just, you know, a game.

I decided, on that morning in the deserted quiet pool, that I was actually glad the incident with the 5’th symphony happened, because this, in my opinion, was proof of how much my classical music abilities have developed lately, so much-that I could tell a bad recording from a good one.

Sure enough, I checked it as soon as I got home, and I was right- the recording didn’t do justice with the masterpiece, so I re-downloaded it, and everything was fine again.

Today’s obvious lesson: we have here, ladies and gentlemen, yet another proof of how the way we choose to look at the facts, determines the outcome of said facts.

Enjoy- the cooliflower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pre-workout snacks debate-seriously??

So, recently, since enhancing my workout routine, I changed my eating habits.

Whereas before, I worked out having absolutely nothing to eat before, that is nothing for the 14-15 hours before training (intermittent fasting thing) except for my 1 cup of black coffee-no cream or sugar added- now I started eating a slice of whole wheat bread/2 rice cakes with a thin layer of peanut butter and date spread, about 45 minutes before my workout, and when I go to the gym- I stir 1/2 measuring spoon of Vega hydrating mid-workout powder in my (icy) water bottle and sometimes take an apple and a date too.

The thing is- the gym is a 30 minutes drive from my home, so I take my trips there seriously- I swim for 75 minutes twice a week, then do 2 classes- pilates and aerobics, or yoga .

This means I spend almost 4 hours -working out+commuting there.

I decided that this is a long period of time to go without food, and this might compromise the quality of my workout itself- not to mention the intended muscle growth.

Oh, and don’t forget I really do love to eat, so, there’s that too.

So, I started checking online to see if my food choices           (bread or rice cakes with peanut butter, apple and date) were legit.

This was when I was convinced, yet again, of the utmost importance of using your brains while searching for any kind of information, on any topic.

As I read article #1-link below- I was told that eating my whole grain bread wasn’t a good idea at all- instead- said the article- I should focus on: rice cakes, bananas, yogurt, smoothies, and apples. (and more- check it out yourselves in the link). 

Yet- when I moved on to article #2: well, suddenly my piece of bread was considered a stellar choice, and by all means, I was to avoid: yogurt, apples, overripe bananas, smoothies, and those rice cakes. (there’s more to the article- again- check it out in the link). 

article #1: pre workout snacks

article #2: pre workout snacks

Was I surprised? well, actually, no.

Being a class A long time introvert, and perhaps due to my former longtime job as a lawyer,  I have been practicing constant critical assessment of information of any kind, from any source.

I accept nothing I read or hear as absolute truth, and always second guess it- until I cross-examine and double-check it until I am convinced that information is valid+it suits me- not someone else with different issues than me-which might be great- but not for me.

In this case- I decided I would use the old method of trial and error- meaning- I shall simply check how my body is reacting to the mere idea of pre-workout snacking, and if it agrees with the concept, then I shall introduce my favorite snacks -one at a time- and see my body’s reaction to it.

So far- the slice of bread with peanut butter +hydration powder -works great.

Tasty+a good combination of carbs+ protein+fat.

Enjoy- the cooliflower.

 

 

DIY Chickpea flour: is it worth the hassle?

As usual- 

A serious question -deserves a serious answer.

#1: why bother in the first place? 

Chickpea flour- or besan- is the vegan staple for an omelet substitute.(plus a lot of other great dishes too-especially from Indian cuisine).

Don’t believe me? check online- you will find tons of great recipes for vegan omelets, basically including mixing 1:1 ratio of chickpea flour with water, and adding condiments, herbs, fried onions, garlic, vegan cheese, what not- and pan-frying until firm.  

To be totally honest- with all due respect, in my opinion, it doesn’t come close to the taste of freshly fried scrambled eggs or an omelet, but this may not be the case for other vegans- I know some people can’t stand the smell or taste of fried eggs so this is a good solution for them.

I still miss the taste of meat, eggs, and dairy- I wish they would hurry up and find vegan products that can give you the same old real taste, without being real at all. (though not over-processed either. I know- so demanding). 

Why do I use chickpea flour if it doesn’t resemble fried eggs? because it happens to be very very (very) nutritious and healthy, packing 22 grams (!!!) of protein for 100 grams of besan, 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and nutrients. (potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and vitamin A ). 

The taste -in my opinion- is ok, certainly tastes better when I think of the protein jewel this is. 

Though- I must say- that in my opinion- if you can’t stand the taste of something- no matter how nutritious it is- don’t eat it. 

*that is- if you are an adult- if you are a teenager and your parents make you eat Brussel sprouts -well- I have nothing to say then. except maybe educate yourself on the subject of nutrition so you can suggest other vegetables that pack the same nutrients- and you like their taste. (somehow I have a hunch that parents in 2020 don’t do the “no Brussel sprouts -no dessert” thing anymore, do they?)

#2: is it easy to make at home?

Well, actually, no.

First, you need to wash and dry your dry chickpeas. 

No- you cannot use canned chickpeas, in case that wasn’t obvious. 

then you need to bake them for a few hours in the oven until they are caramel-colored and totally dry, then you need to let them cool down, then you need to grind them -in a very powerful machine that can handle these tough cookies and not break the blade, then you are done. 

Since I cannot stand the thought of an oven running almost empty (1 small tray is considered empty in my oven), I quickly stuck in a tray of potatoes and sweet potatoes to bake too.

#3: how much money does the DIY thing save anyway?

I compared the ingredients on Amazon- not because I buy my groceries on Amazon- they hardly ship internationally these days and the shipping costs are basically 100% of the product’s price, but because it can give an idea of the price range.

Anyway- 5 kilos of dried chickpeas cost 37 $-so 1 kilo should be 7.4 $. (always good to buy in bulk if this is a staple you use on a daily basis).

while 1 kilo of chickpea flour costs about 13.5 $.

That means double the price– assuming 1 kilo of dried chickpeas yield 1 kilo of besan- and if I remember correctly- that is more or less the case. 

#4: is there a difference in taste?

Actually- in my opinion- there is. 

My homemade besan tasted better in my opinion- since it was freshly ground and didn’t spend time in a bag waiting for someone to own it. 

#5:Sooooo?? what’s the final verdict?

Well, it depends. 

If you are willing to spend the time, have the powerful instrument to grind those extra hard tough jewels, and heat the oven for a few hours just to save a few $$, and improve the taste to some extent-go ahead, enjoy. 

I am guessing this is probably relevant only for retired (or early retired) folks like me, because honestly, I can’t see how a working person can even consider this to be a valid suggestion.

Enjoy- the cooliflower. (only today- the cooliflour).