Monthly Archives: October 2011

Cooking Tips for Non-Cookers

A lot of people I know don’t cook. They don’t want to; they don’t like to; they aren’t good at it, etc. I never used to be someone who cooked a lot. Cooking meant mac and cheese, frozen pizza, or fried egg sandwiches (nom nom nom). I started cooking more chiefly because I no longer had my mom to cook for me (horrible day). Then it kind of grew on it’s own as I moved towards a healthier, more organic diet. I would suggest Michael Pollan or the Slow Food movement for anyone more interested in why they should cook. I’m still not an excellent cook, but I’ve come a long ways from the mac and cheese days. So now I’m going to post some tips for you non-cookers out there to get you on your way.

1. Start Off Simple

It’s easy to screw up meals and get discouraged, especially when you aren’t sure what you’re doing. So you’ve got to ease into it. Start with basic recipes. Try to keep the ingredient list down and the amount of things to do at a minimum. I probably spent an entire year or two where I mostly made a pasta/stir fry thingy. Great starting point. Buy some meat, a few veggies and throw them in a pan with a little oil. Add noodles and sauce and you’re good to go. Or rice I suppose. But I still screw up rice so maybe hold off on that. Or maybe it’s me. I’m not really sure why I struggle with rice.

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Pulling (Sweet) Teeth Intro

Welcome to the revamped Shane vs. Genetics. I’m doing three posts a week on different subjects. Mondays/Tuesdays are food. They’ll all be found in the Pulling (Sweet) Teeth category listed over thurr –>. Wednesdays/Thursdays are public health topics. They’ll be in the category, Trust Me, I’m Going to be a Doctor. Fridays/Saturdays are working out and other random stuff. Still working on the title for that category.

Anyways, this is Pulling (Sweet) Teeth. I’m going to talk about cooking, eating healthy, and food in general here. Why Pulling (Sweet) Teeth? Well, eating veggies (and healthy) has always been like pulling teeth for me and the rest of my family for the most part. Just ask my mom. The sweet part has to do with my diabolical sweet tooth (or teeth. They probably all work together to conspire against me).

If you have any suggestions for posts in this section, let me know. If you think of something to say with an article, comment! Please! Some discussions on these posts would be great.

Where Have I Been?

Judging by the fact that I have still been getting views, many of you have probably been wondering where the posts have been. As I mentioned in the newest Baldaufs vs Genetics, I’ve been without internet. Being lazy, I’m just going to copy and paste that here to help those of you who are too lazy to scroll down to it or find it. So here’s what’s been up:

“Been without internet for a week and a half now. My apartment gets free internet from the landlord, but they don’t guarantee it then. So my ability to get it fixed has been limited to calling and waiting, while toeing the line of bitching too much and being told to get my own damn internet. Therefore, my internet usage has been limited to whatever I can conveniently do on my phone. Of which blogging is not one of. Hopefully the internet will be back soon.”

Anyways, the break has allowed me to rethink how I’m going to work the blog going forward. Baldaufs vs Genetics will continue, but Operation Suit Squeeze has essentially come to a close with my last interview scheduled for tomorrow, for now. Similar to the old weekly links, I’m going to pick one link a week to discuss more in-depth and hopefully start some conversation in the comments. I’m also probably going to do one post a week that is a random topic chosen by me. This could be ranking workout songs, figuring out the perfect workout place, etc. Not sure how this one’s gonna work out. We’ll see. But once my internet is back up, I will be back to posting regularly. Hopefully with the three set posts a week, it’ll help me keep them coming on a regular basis. Be back soon. If the internet gods are kind.

Baldaufs vs. Genetics: Second Weigh-In

Been without internet for a week and a half now. My apartment gets free internet from the landlord, but they don’t guarantee it then. So my ability to get it fixed has been limited to calling and waiting, while toeing the line of bitching too much and being told to get my own damn internet. Therefore, my internet usage has been limited to whatever I can conveniently do on my phone. Of which blogging is not one of. Hopefully the internet will be back soon.

Anyways, the second weigh-in for Baldaufs vs Genetics was on Monday. This one’s going to be quick and dirty. Need to maximize my internet usage.

The Uncle (Dan)

(Quick explanation: We’re each doing a brief summary of the last 2 weeks)

Starting Weight: 268.8 lbs
Current Weight: 259 lbs
Percentage Loss: 3.65%

“259.0 this week which is amazing considering the Vegas trip was filled with endless Prime Rib, Mexican, Chocolate fondue, and booze, lots and lots of booze.”

The Bob (Dad)

Starting Weight: 223 lbs
Current Weight: 215.8 lbs
Percentage Loss: 3.23%

“Soda is still winning. Been working late so I end up eating shortly before bed, that doesn’t seem to be the best way to lose weight”

Me (Shane)

Starting Weight: 195 lbs
Current Weight: 191 lbs
Percentage Loss: 2.05%

“Started a 2-month membership at Princeton Club, seems to be going pretty well. Ate out too much. I really need to work on the stress eating. Interviews haven’t been kind to me. But I’m making some progress and there’s a lot of areas to improve on, so things are looking up. Plus I smoked my brother in racquetball. I may struggle in tennis, but my hold as king of the racquetball court remains unassailable. (Seriously. Destruction.)”

Recap:

Dan remains in the lead with the Bob keeping pace closely. Both of them are doing quite well with impressive losses so far. As for me, I’m finally on the board! And not out of striking distance yet. We’ll see if they can keep it up as I come after them in the next few weeks.

Baldaufs Vs. Genetics — First Weigh-in

**Update: Added my dad’s weight and corrected the wrap-up**

Two weeks in. Time for the first weigh-in. To check-in, I asked my dad and uncle to answer the following questions:

  1. How do you think things have been going? Better or worse than you would like?
  2. What’s been the toughest thing so far? The easiest?
  3. Any adjustments going forward?

Bob (The Father) 

Still no picture, so the Barrel Man continues

1. “I haven’t looked at a scale since I weighed in, but I think I started out
pretty well. By later later in the week was drinking as much soda as before
and the second weekend was homecoming here, so everything went out the window(Mary Muellenbach cookies are hard to resist). I’m going to guess that when I weigh in my weight will not have changed much. I think I was down, but gained some back. I hope you and Dan have done better, it’ll force me to work harder.”

2. “I need to find a replacement for soda, something that would help the caffeine headache would be nice.”

3. “I still think portion control is the key to sustaining this for the long haul, but I’m wondering if I should try a more Atkins approach to kick start some weight loss.”

Starting Weight: 223 lbs
Current Weight: 218 lbs

% Change: -2.24% 

 Dan (The Uncle)

Also no picture yet. Might resort to increasingly unflattering pictures until I get something to use.

1. “Things were going very well, until I hit the first weekend, seemed like we had 3 “get togethers” that lead to either drinking or eating the wrong things. Back on track after this weekend, down 7lbs, slighly less than I wanted , but enough to continue to motivate.”

2. “Cooking is the toughest thing, time does not always offer itself, therefore ease of eating out takes over. Easiest has been walking, going pretty well. Lunches are very difficult on the road.”

3. “Leaving for Vegas on the 19th, sticking to no carbs until we leave, dealing with repercutions afterwards. Try to continue to walk daily, bike 2 times per week.”

Starting Weight: 268.8 lbs
Current Weight: 261.0 lbs
% Change: -2.91% 

Shane (Me) 

Me

1. “Things haven’t gone well at all. It started with problems with the scale I bought, which is a piece of shit. I think I have it figured out now. Anyways, I’ve been sickish so working out has really taken a backseat. Cooking took a little bit of a backseat too, especially with traveling for my interview.”

2. “Toughest thing has just been getting past this cold/allergies/hell. Not really any easiest yet.”

3. “Well, as soon as I feel better it’s back to the boxing gym. I have 2 weeks left on the membership there. Hopefully I’ll be playing some tennis with my brother (and if I lose again, the racquet probably isn’t surviving). I’d like to get back to the climbing gym soon. I miss going there but I could really use someone to go with so I can climb a couple full walls instead. Cooking should be back on track now. Trying to keep the carbs down a bit still and focusing on cutting down on the grazing throughout the day.”

Starting Weight: 196 lbs* (corrected)
Current Weight: 195 lbs
% Change: -0.51 %

So, not a great start for me. Dan and my dad are off to a good start though, but Dan’s trip to Vegas could give me a chance to get back into it. Regardless, I’ve got to pick up our game.

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OSS Phase 2 — 13 Days Left

Phase 1 is complete. Had the interview yesterday; everything fit just fine. The interview went okay. I’m now 2 for 2 with interviewers I can’t get a read on. Med school interviews in general frustrate the hell out of me. I go and see all kinds of awesome things, and the only thing I want is to get started. I’m sick of waiting around, trying to keep up with the bills. I want to start med school and getting learning the things that interest me.

And then, after seeing what I have to wait for, I have an interview that leaves me doubting if I’ll get in or not. Yes, I am aware that I have less of a medical background then most people. I would love to be working as an EMT or Anesthesia Tech (okay, maybe not that one–too much chemistry probably) but I can’t afford the classes and I certainly can’t afford to push back med school. Yes, I know all about the challenges of med school; and yes, I still want to do it.

Alright. Sorry for the venting. Phase 2 is all about still fitting into the suit for the next interview in two weeks. Or fitting into it better. On the suit front, things have not been going well lately. I still fit just fine, but I’ve been sick or having an allergy flare-up (not really sure). Either way, been feeling fairly shitty and certainly haven’t felt up to working out. Especially the boxing gym. An diminished ability to inhale, combined with a cough, up against a 30 minute, non-stop, high-intensity workout sounds like a recipe for death. So yeah. Hopefully things improve soon.

Also have been eating out too much, especially with traveling for my interview. But I’ve got this week all planned out now for cooking. So things should be better on that front. Which is good, need to kickstart some weight loss for Baldaufs vs. Genetics. So that’s the update. Sorry again for the venting.

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OSS — 1 Day Left

First interview is tomorrow. Had the whole suit on yesterday and it fit! Without any discomfort too! (Other than the neck, which was just a little tight, but who needs to breath anyways?). Pants are slightly tight still, creating a muffin-top effect (the girlfriend’s term). Yay for love handles. Guess that’s the next goal.

Anyways, this week didn’t actually go very well for any of my plans. The weather was beautiful, but my allergies really killed it for me. So I didn’t get much working out in, unfortunately. Didn’t do terrible on cutting down the carbs. Ate out once. Not a great week but I did limit myself pretty well all week. And things apparently worked.

So Phase 1 is complete and it’s a success. After tomorrow, it’s on to Phase 2. Fitting into the suit even better for the next interview in two weeks.

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The Vegetarian Adventures, Part 7

It has been much too long since a Vegetarian Adventure post. Almost a month. I haven’t given up on things, but I did get thrown off for a little while.

First, I was planning on making some kind of veggie medley with pasta in an attempt to use up a variety of things. But then most of the veggies went bad, so that didn’t work out. So that pushed things back a bit. At least one time, I didn’t feel up to making a vegetarian meal after work and ate something easier or meatier. (Not to imply that vegetarian meals aren’t easy). The veggie medley got pushed from one week onto the next week, and that’s when the veggies went bad. Oops. So that covers the first two weeks I missed.

Then, last week we cheated a little bit. Whole Foods had a pre-made three-course vegetarian dinner for two as it’s special for the day. The meal was Mediterranean or Greek. It started with a variety of appetizers including hummus and 2 other things. Then it was a mixed salad followed by spanakopita.

I hated this meal. The hummus was good with the naan. The salad was average. And the spanakopita was inedible (to me). It was essential a big mush of spinach in every bite with a little bit of phyllo dough to trick me into eating each bite. I don’t dislike spinach, but I don’t want a huge mouthful of mush in every bite. Greatly disliked. I ate half of it begrudgingly (because it cost almost as much as eating out) and then gave up on it. The only plus side is I didn’t eat anything else the rest of the night. Eating spinach mush–the way to kill my appetite apparently.

This week, I made a very tasty frittata. Whole Foods redeemed itself with the recipe. I didn’t think frittata counted, as it is made with eggs, which I associate with chickens. But, the girlfriend informed me that the egg is considered an animal byproduct and therefore counts for vegetarian but not vegan. (I feel like vegetarians are cheating a little bit here, but I’ll gladly join in).

After checking this out, turns out that eggs are not fertilized and will therefore never be a chicken. Which makes it comparable to milk, according to what I read. Plus it’s also utilizing the eggs instead of having them go to waste.

Ruling…vegetarian!! This is good news for me. Opens up a lot of possibilities I didn’t think were available. Hello cheesy omelette with hash browns! Things just got a lot easier.

Anyways, the frittata was super easy to make. Threw zucchini and red onions in a pan with olive oil, added the eggs after a little bit. Topped it with goat cheese, parsley and some red pepper flakes. Broiled it briefly, and then yum!

I remembered to take a picture halfway through eating it....I was hungry, okay....I'm sorry.

Anyways, delicious and nutritious. Tastes just like chicken! (Sorry, Fern Gully reference. Couldn’t be avoided). Simple, filling. Just the kind of meals I need. Could be a lot more of these in the future.

I will also try to keep the Vegetarian Adventures more frequently updated, more in line with weekly posts. Sorry for the hiatus, should be able to keep up better. Especially with all the egg options now!

 

 

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OSS — 7 Days Left

One week until the first interview. Tried on the suit again today. Not a whole lot of progress but the pants fit fairly comfortably after having them on for a little bit. A good week here and I should be good to go.

I blame the lack of progress on the crazy weekend. Went out on Saturday before the Badger game for my brother’s birthday, and then went out on Sunday on the way to the Packer game. I should probably work on eating less or making healthier choices when I eat out. But I don’t want to.

The game plan for this week is to workout everyday, which it looks like the weather will finally help me with, and to go low-carb for the week. Played tennis against my brother today (and lost again, for the 4th straight time, despite outplaying him yet again). Tennis always surprises me. I don’t feel that tired, or at least consistently worn down, while playing but I usually leave with pretty tired legs. Which really surprises me since my legs usually feel fine after long bike rides. Anyways, back to the boxing gym tomorrow. Bike ride and/or boxing gym Wednesday. Tennis on Thursday. Friday and Saturday are still up in the air.

As far as the low-carb goes, trying to jump-start a little extra weight loss. (I could also use it for a good showing on the first weigh-in of Baldaufs vs Genetics). I’m not going full-blown, no-carbs, but I am cutting them completely out of dinner when I usually eat most of my carbs. So lots of meat and veggies this week. And this way I don’t have to give up fried egg sandwiches after working out.

Coming down to the stretch here and things look alright. Though I’m already craving carbs and it’s been like 6 hours. Should be interesting.