Saturday 26 December 2015

Strawberry jam!

Back in October I made strawberry jam for the first time. Full recipe at bottom.

We got our flat of strawberries from Heeman's (and picked up a jug of cider while we were there) then came the hulling and quartering. The jam called for the berries to be mashed before measuring to get accurate measures and to break them down before cooking. That poor plastic potato masher was barely up to the task, next time I'd probably look for a metal one.

Once mashed and measured, the berries, juice, pectin, and butter get boiled, then the pre-measured sugar gets added all at once and mixed in before bringing back to a boil.

After another minute boiling, the jam is set aside while the jars are brought up to temp. The warmed jars are filled with jam and then boiled in a big pot for 10 min to sterilize/seal.

I will admit, the first batch didn't set. I had put the sugar in at the beginning and apparently letting it boil first makes all the difference. It's still edible and we're calling it strawberry sauce because it is just far to mobile to be called jam. The second batch turned out perfectly though so just follow the directions and yours will be awesome too. :-)

 - - - - - - - -
Strawberry Jam 
(yield eight 250ml jars)

5 cups Crushed strawberries (about 3 pints)
7 cups Sugar
1 pkg Bernardin Original Fruit Pectin
1/4 cup Lemon juice
1 pat Butter (to reduce foaming. You’ll need a MUCH bigger pot and will loose some of it to foam if not used. You'll also have separating jam because the bubbles cling to the fruit making it float. TL;DR=use the butter)


Hull, core, quarter, and crush strawberries with a potato masher one layer at a time. Measure after crushing and do NOT use a blender or food processor. The machines destroy the natural pectin. The idea is to demolish them gently. :-)

Get canning stuff ready. Pre-measure sugar but do not add yet.

Mix crushed berries, pectin, butter, and lemon juice in a big potato/pasta pot and heat to hard boil stirring frequently. 

Add sugar all at once, stirring to combine.

Bring it back to a boil, and boil hard for at least a minute.

Take off the heat and let sit while you finish prepping canning stuff(warm lids etc).

Skim off foam. Some can remain but you want most of it gone.

Ladle jam into jars, wipe rims, tighten to fingertip tight, process in water-bath canner for 10 minutes after boil starts. 

After 10 minutes turn off heat and remove lid. Let cool as is for 5 min before removing jars. 

Keep jars in a safe place overnight then check seal.

Tuesday 18 August 2015

spread too thin

Sorry I am not writing more. Hugslut is traveling, Bard is traveling, Wolfie has gone east.

I'm turning the whole apartment upside down, rearranging it so my stuff can have somewhere to be, working full time, and keeping up with the exercises.

Details and pics later.

P.S. It's ridiculously hot.

Friday 31 July 2015

Going to be a Lonely August

Wolfie just moved out east, Bard has gone out west for a month to attend some weddings, and Hugslut is leaving in a week to drive out to BC, hang out there for a bit, and drive back.

I'm going to miss them all and although I get Hugslut and Bard back in September, August is going to have a big hole in it.

I plan to keep busy by rearanging Hugslut's appartment so I can finish bringing my stuff over and making it our appartment. We've already discussed what's going where, and I can do almost everything solo. Kettle said I could borrow her boyfriend to help me carry the dresser and bed across the street and everything else is light enough for me to carry by myself. I do plan to keep up with my challenge while they're gone and as long as I'm not going psycho with the house stuff I should be fine for the workouts.

I've been succeeding with the No-S with one modification. I decided that if I was having a drink(since I don't usually do straight shots) the cola wouldn't count as a "sweet". I am going to go lower carb all August by cutting out the cola completely and making sure I get in lots of veggies(spinach, broccoli, brussle sprouts, etc), with a good amount of fats(olive oil, avocado, whole fat dairy) and protiens(chicken, eggs, fish, tofu). I want to have progress to show Hugslut when she gets back.

To-Do List For This Upcoming Week
 - Monday is weigh-in/measure day (Aug.3, next is Sept.7)
 - Keep up with challenge
 - Spend quality time with Hugslut
 - Help Hugslut prepare for trip

To-Do List For The Rest Of August
 - Keep up with challenge
 - On weekends prep work lunches & dinners, do laundry, and rearrange appartment
 - Go to bed at 9 and get up at 5:30 for BBWW(M&F) or Walk & Meditate
 - Rearange appartment after work most nights
 - Create basic food & workout plan for Hugslut to look over when she returns

I'm feeling kinda brain dead today. Kinda detached and distractable... while at the same time feeling like my train of thought is chugging through wheel-high tar. Hope your day is going better.

Thursday 30 July 2015

Goal: Ninja

I want to be the kind of fit I don't have to think about. The kind that makes everything fun.

I'm not interested in spending more than a minute at a time running, 
but I love walking/hiking for hours.

I'm not interested in pounding out sets on machines for an hour every day, 
but I'd love to just pop into handstand push ups when I'm bored.

I need to be able in the next 3 years to get fit enough for the homestead, 
but I'd love to exceed that to Ninja Warrior level bodyweight fitness.

I can see myself learning deadlift and weighted squats as an add on to my regular training, but I'd mostly like to be able to fly around a jungle gym / forest / urban environment looking like a special effects team has me on a harness.

If I can fly around having fun and looking kickass I don't care if I'm 225lbs. 
(gymnastics at that weight would require more strength though)


Monday 27 July 2015

Challenge Time

I've started my very first 6-week challenge over on the NerdFitness forums.

Figured I'd start very simply:

  • Do my bodyweight training Mondays and Fridays (doing the thing is enough. no need to add yet)
  • Take a lunch to work 4/5 workdays so I'm not eating fries or such for lunch every day
  • Stick with the No-S Diet (no snacks, no sweets, no seconds, except sometimes on days starting with S)
  • Walk at least 30 minutes daily 

  • Doing pretty well so far. Did my bodyweight training, today's not a work day, haven't snacked, already got 20/30 min down so a nice stroll with Bard later will top that up.

    Been keeping track of my habits with HabitBull. It's a great little app and completely free if you only want to track 5 or fewer habits.

    Saturday 25 July 2015

    Adjusting my Sails

    So... I have a confession to make. I did not do my bodyweight exercises Friday after work.
    I had thought that my main struggle would be the habit building, the inertia of couch-potato-dom, the "but it'll hurt" or "it takes forever" whining. I was wrong. I had successfully picked out times that I would have no excuse to avoid exercising and had not yet settled into browsing position. I picked a routine that was short (less than 30 min) and, with proper stretching, not at all painful even the next day. Turns out that although I'm not hurting... I am exhausted.

    Part of addressing that will be eating healthier, another part will be scaling back on the frequency of my workouts. I had thought Mon, Wed, & Fri made sense with rest days between them and all weekend off... but that's the problem with logic, it has no place without data. I have now done science too it and found out that I am not fit enough to do bodyweight training 3 days a week, especially not if I'm walking an extra 2-3km on the "rest" days.

    I don't see this as a failure, I just hadn't got a weather forecast before leaving port and the headwinds are stronger than anticipated. I'll adjust my sails to keep the ship from tearing apart and still make (slower) progress. Anything is better than nothing so scaling back to Monday and Friday for now will be good for me.

    Wednesday 15 July 2015

    I Did The Thing!

    Actually did my first real workout at home. Here's what I did:

    Warm-up fast-walk (2km)
    Climb 6 floors of stairs +
    10 body weight squats *
    5 incline/chair push ups *
    10 walking lunges +
    10 dumbbell rows (using a full ketchup bottle because I didn't plan ahead)+
    20 second plank *
    20 jumping jacks +
    Cool down stretch

    + means I could have done more easily so make it harder next time

    * means the last one or two were really hard so stay there

    - means I couldnt finish, ease up a bit next time. There were none of these because I purposefully tried to make it easy so I wouldn't chicken out.

    Happy dance!.... Actually... I'm gonna take a shower. I'm super sweaty. Ick.

    Sunday 28 June 2015

    The Peaceful Life
    I'm sitting here on Hugslut's couch getting ready to poke around on social media for a few hours before D&D and I decided that since the rain from yesterday was over I'd open the window behind me... Wow.  Took a whole day of rain to clean the air but the smell just took me back to very carefree times.

    There are thing in life that when I was a child, I only had access to while camping, so now there's a lot of things that make me smile randomly.

    When we went camping it was the only time I didn't have to wake up early... but I often did, waking with the sun, even at 6am, was much more comfortable than waking to the blaring alarm in my windowless basement bedroom. I still prefer to wake without alarm, or at the very most a non-jaring one. It starts the day on a much nicer note.

    While we camped, the meals that were cooked were often done by my dad and his wife because to them it was fun and cool to cook on the BBQ or campfire compared to the drudgery of fish-sticks and spaghetti at home. That means I had the whole day before me and nothing was expected of me except to show up for meals. I spent those days learning all sorts of things including the cruelty of small children, and the beauty of natural cycles.

    Being old enough to stay up late but young enough to not count as an adult, I got to enjoy sitting around a campfire silently listening to the ebb and flow of conversation around me as I watch the fire dance and consume whatever we gave it. This quiet companionship before bed allowed a meditative space to ponder things great and small.

    These were the most peaceful days of my childhood and I think in some ways, it's the feeling I want to recapture on my homestead. A sort of slower pace that allows for great thoughts between the moments, and a connection with the natural rhythms that is harder to forge in the cement filled city.

    Wednesday 24 June 2015

    Good Times, Bad Times

    It's the good times I'm living in that make me realize how many bad times I've had. The bad times I've had help me frame the current good times as the joy they are.

    When the only vegitables in my house are frozen, and the only fruit are slightly wrinkly apples, instead of recognising it's time for grocery shopping, things feel normal. I haven't completely broken out of old mindsets. Having a salad for dinner filled with a variety of leafy greens, vegies, berries, plus nuts, seeds, and cheese can be done on a fairly regular basis, yet it feels decadent.

    Obviously finances and therefore nutrition have improved now that I'm not supporting a man who eats twice what I do. But there's also been an overall improvement in my social and family life since I decided that I wouldn't let toxic people dictate anything.

    Last night was what I'm sure is normal for a caring family... but sometimes it's the small things that touch me soo much. I hurt myself Sunday and so I'm having trouble walking or lifting heavy things. I had planned to take the bus to Canadian Tire after work because they're the only one that carries our awesome litter.(seriously awesome, check it out) Then I was going to haul the 9kg(20lb) bag with my good arm all the way across to parking lot back to the bus stop, and then two blocks from the other bus stop to home. This is no big deal usually... but after work I was just so worn out and my shoulder was aching...

    Hugslut has told me not to be afraid to ask if I need anything (especially if it means she gets to drive) so I texted to ask her if she could please pick up cat litter on her way home from work. She did so sweetly without any "well if you really need me to" guilt piled on. When she brought it to my place, my mom insisted on being the one to refil the litterbox telling me it was not a problem for her, but I was injured and wouldn't get better if I agravated the injuries.

    I was really touched by their help and I couldn't figure out why for a bit. It's not like they did anything big or dramatic... but the fact that I thought of Hugslut's actions in the frame of not doing the guilt trip stuff she's NEVER done I realized the issue.

    I've done everything by myself for so long because I was dating parasites.

    It's a long hard road to unlearn the lesons drilled into me by years of abuse, but I'm starting to trust my loved ones to love me the way I love them. Giving with the only payment being making a loved one's life easier/happer/better.

    It's time I took the advice I gave Hugslut not to long ago, "Breathe easy. We can tackle everything together."

    Monday 15 June 2015

    Make Hay While The Sun Shines

    Being injured has helped me realize I need to be more greatful and active during periods of health.

    When I'm back to myself again I'm going to be better at taking care of my health. Sure I was walking home from work every day but I wasn't eating well or anything else and that won't get me fit enough to run a homestead.

    I also need to buckle down on savings so we can afford that homestead. LOL

    Wish me luck and a speedy recovery. I'll keep you up to date on the health stuff after I'm healed up.

    Wednesday 10 June 2015


    Had an accident on Sunday.  Tripped on some rebar and fell flat scraping my knee and hand in the proccess. My shoulder is a bit jammed up too. 

    I'm very happy I didn't break anything and I didn't bonk my head... that said, being hurt is no fun. I'm limping and having trouble sitting because my knee doesn't want to bend. The insides feel fine but the outside is too banged up to stretch.

    I am not a happy camper, or as Hugslut would put it, I'm in the wars.

    Thursday 4 June 2015

    Will It Be A Land Of Plenty?

    Was wondering how close we were going to be cutting it with the whole growing our own food thing so I decided to do a few quick calculations based on caloric intake only. As a programmer Hugslut would probably need about 2000 calories a day and as a farmer I might need on average 2500-3000 a day. Lets average that to 4750 calories per day.

    While our cow is feeding her baby we'll get about a gallon of milk a day. That's 2500 calories. There's three times as much once it's eating grass instead of nursing but lets use the low levels to make it easy.(especially since any over production we don't can or turn into butter or something will just go to the pig) That's about 675 calories

    The hens will be laying about 6 eggs a day. That's about 470 calories. We could easily add more hens but 6 was the number we have been talking about.

    I plan to eat about two chickens a month so that won't really affect the calorie count too much but for accuracy, it winds up being about 80 calories per day. 

    The fruits and vegetables are really hard to calculate since different things are available at different times of year and a bunch will be processed into jars for later. So lets just say at least two apples, two cups strawberries, a cup of cherry tomatoes, a cup of salsa, a zucchinni, 2 cups of salad greens, a cup of snow peas, handful(half cup) of hazelnuts, and two potatoes a day. There will be much more fruit and veggies of high calorie and vitamin contents like squash, those are just a few random veggies easily eaten by two people in one day and the total is about 1199 calories.

    Milk 2500 + eggs 470 + chicken 80 + veggies 1199 = 4249! 
    That's almost enough for both of us and it doesn't count anything we'd be buying instead of growing like salad dressing, pasta, rice, or sugar.

    I'll admit I was worried but colour me content. This is highly doable.

    Sunday 31 May 2015

    What Inspires?

    Writing prompt: "What was the last thing you read, heard, or saw that inspire you?"[sic]

    Interesting question. What does one count as inspiration? I've seen a lot of interesting things lately so let's take a quick aside to check the definition.

    Okay so it can't just be something cool that I think would be fun to copy (like the dandelion jelly) or something that is just another in a long line of interesting think-pieces. What was the last thing that actually motivated me to do something new or create something artistic.

    I'd have to say Dungeons and Dragons. The weekly games have been a great creative outlet for me. It feels like a mix between improv acting and board games. The fact that I'm the record keeper for one of the two campaigns has also helped me write regularly. It's not the same as making it all up myself because the plot is sort of by committee, but the perspective I put on it through my character's eyes is sometimes really tricky and creative.

    If you're interested in reading my campaign notes, they're in the form of a young woman's journal and are available here. There are some adult topics like alcohol, drugs, and sex so if you're offended by that stuff please avoid.

    So what's the last thing you read, heard, or saw that inspired you?

    Friday 29 May 2015

    What Would You Do If You Didn't Have To Work?

    I've been following Scott Santens on Twitter for a while now and he's a great educator in the why's and how's of Basic Income. Basic Income has been one of my key political interests ever since I heard of the Mincome project in Alberta, and I've just read an article on Scott that starts of with, “If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he eats for life.” What Santens wants to know is this: “If you build a robot to fish, do all men starve, or do all men eat?”

    That's a really important question isn't it. These days more and more things are getting automated. We're even going to have self-driving big rigs soon. Not only does this mean cheaper goods, it also means less taxes to pay highway patrol and less fuel burned as the trucks will not need to find a parking lot for the night. All this is awesome and the only reason it isn't getting funded stronger and therefore produced faster is because people are scared. 

    Sure they might say they're scared of dying when the trucks crash, but the data shows the trucks are safer than human drivers. I think the naysayers are scared of death, but at the much slower and more painful hand of homelessness and starvation.

    Our current system doesn't do enough to support those who cannot support themselves. And even those who can manage, shouldn't have to die early from over work and over stress. There is a better way.

    Check out this article on why we should support basic income. It is U.S. focused but it answers most if not all of the common questions and concerns.

    What would you do if you didn't have to work for food and shelter? What could you accomplish with a guaranteed, no strings attached, $1000 every month?

    Friday 22 May 2015

    Dandelions (and How to Turn Them Into Food)

    photo of dandelions in a forest

    I kept telling myself I'd make dandelion wine, or learn how to cook dandelion greens, or really anything to get some free food from this plentiful weed... and then realizing that not only had spring passed me by, summer was mostly over and I should start looking at getting ready for canning season.

    I decided that this year I was not going to (yet again) miss out on dandelion season. I did some web searching and found a few links that looked promising and got to work.

    Dandelion Jelly

    Phase 1:

    I called Bard and invited him over to hang out. He didn't know I'd be putting him to work so he was kinda surprised when I told him we were going to pick dandelion flowers in the park. It's an odd sort of date activity to be sure but we talked and laughed and had a great time looking like lunatics to the neighbours. When we thought we had a little over 4 cups it was getting late so we came back home to chill for a bit before I started the next phase.

    Phase 2: (15-20 min)

    The next bit was easily accomplished while watching part of Logan's run with my mom. Taking the flower petals in one hand I cut off the base of each flower and discarded it along with any green bits around the petals. I quickly figured out that I had way too many flowers. the petals are compressed in the head and when free of the base, they take up more room. I soon had a full 4 cups of petals and the bag of flowers didn't really look like it had been touched. I didn't really want to make a double or triple batch in case the first time didn't turn out well, so they got discarded along with the trimmings.

    Phase 3: (overnight or at least a few hours til cool)

    This part is easy, it just takes a bit of time and a heat proof bowl. Boil some water then add 4 cups of boiling hot water to the 4 cups of petals. Cover to keep out dust and let sit at least til cool. Do not speed up with fridge, you want it to steep.

    Phase 4: (5 min?)

    Ladling dandelion tea into coffee maker basket filter over a measuring cup.Coffee maker basket filter with dandelion petal and pollen residue.First thing to do in the morning is get the petals out of our lovely dandelion tea. I just reached right in and grabbed a small handful at a time and squeezed out as much as I could. After a couple of those it became almost impossible to grab another so it was time to strain the rest.

    A coffee filter works really well to strain out the petals and pollen. I had to ladle it in at first and then slowly poured the last of it from the bowl.

    It looks really cool... but yeah I definitely don't want to eat the pollen.

    Phase 5:(10 min)

    Stirring mixture in a pot on the stove.
    Here's where the magic starts. In a pot goes the dandelion tea, lemon juice, and pectin. Once it starts boiling, add sugar and stir til it comes back to a boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes more and take it off the heat to ladle it into jars.

    Phase 6:(15 min)

    I realized before I started that I didn't have a proper water-bath canner but the important part is keeping the jars off the bottom and completely covered in water. I figured I could manage these two things by using our potato pot with a squiggle of scrunched up tinfoil on the bottom. Once boiling, I set the timer for 10 minutes... and promptly realized I had no way to get these boiling hot jars OUT of the pot.  :-/
    Squiggle of scrunched up tinfoll in the bottom of a large pot.Jars in pot supported by squiggle and covered in water.Pot with lid on and water covered jars inside starting to boil.
    I figured out how to carefully scoop a jar out using two cooking spoons and put it on to of another jar so it wasn't IN the water, and then picked it up with oven mitts and put it on the cutting board. I did that for all of them and then the last one I just scooped out with the spoons like a big potato. Very dumb, very dangerous, do not follow my example. I will be buying proper jar tongs before next time.

    Phase 7:

    All that's left is for the jars to cool in a draft free place then you can put them in your pantry.
    Seven finished jars of golden yellow jelly.

    I only had enough room in the pot for five little jars so I had another little jar, and a random jar that didn't get canned. Since we were planning to eat some right away anyway I just refrigerated them. We'll make sure those two get eaten within two weeks, the rest will last in the cupboard for months.

    I hope you've enjoyed this little peak into my messy kitchen and I look forward to more culinary explorations.

    If you'd like to try your hand at dandelion jelly, I got my recipe from SimplyCanning and she's right about the taste.

    It's kinda like honey, and really tasty.

    What should I try next time? Let me know in the comments.

    Friday 15 May 2015

    Weeds, aka Wild Edibles

    Not-a-dandelion (Agoseris)

    Taking a look through I saw so many familiar faces it makes me homesick. When I was a kid I was curious about the plants like the one I called not-a-dandelion, but I thought that unless it was a "proper" plant that people grew on purpose there would be very few people who knew anything except how to kill it.

    I'm happy to be living in an age where whatever you might be wondering about has at least been mentioned somewhere on the internet. Using the example of edible "weeds", I can now quickly find the healthfulness of many many plants without having to dig out 5 different feild guides and encyclopedias.

    With Hugslut's no-kill diet(long story that gets it's own post) I've been looking more and more into permiculture and edible wild berries and greens. If I can harvest wild onions or salad greens that happily grow in areas I'm not tilling, why would I go through the effort to plant their cultivated counterparts? It's a waste of time, effort, and money. I will be planting chives in pots near the house however because my girl loves her chives.

    Permiculture has it's appeals too. Just set up guilds around fruit & nut trees on the edge of the forest and all that's left is to protect them from choke weed vines. That wouldn't be our main food supply of course and assuming we have a pig, it might make more sense to house the pig under the fruit & nut trees (unless we can somehow combine the two).

    Any readers in BC? What's your favourite wild edible perenial?

    Wednesday 13 May 2015

    Easter to Victoria Day Condensed

    It'll be hard to fill you in on all that has happened since Easter, but I'll certainly try. I mean, it's not like I have even bigger news... but I feel like I've been running around in circles.

    Pic I took of a Dyad's Saddle mushroom near the river. Just 'cause.

    Things that are currently being planned/researched/discussed:
     - When/how I'm going to move into Hugslut's apartment and what that means for my current housemates
    - When/how to get married
    - When/how/where to have the reception party
    - When/how/where move to BC

    I've been dreaming of having/running/living on a homestead style farm for over 10 years and luckily for me, my fiancée thinks it's a great idea. Hugslut is a programmer and her job will come with her, so we can set up anywhere that's close enough to a city for internet.

    We're planning to buy a chunk of land on the sunshine coast of BC in 3-5 years because Hugslut absolutely HATES cold and snow. This works out great for me because longer growing season means more variety of foods. :-)

    I'm a researcher and planner so I've been running numbers and building scenarios and all that lovely stuff. I've just figured out that with the help of a simple hothouse, we can grow not only citrus, but also bananas.

    Bananas! In CANADA!  :-D

    I've not been to the gym in weeks but I think that has a lot to do with spending alternating nights with Hugslut discussing our future. I have still been walking home from work everyday it's not pouring rain and I've started taking the stairs sometimes. I've also been making sure to spend quality time with the Bard as he's got more free time for the summer.

    Dungeons and Dragons is finally back on Sundays now that Loup is back from his trip out east, and I've also been trying to rekindle my social circle by actually talking to friends in person instead of just liking their facebook pics.Speaking of which, Hugslut and I will be visiting a friend's new house this May 24 weekend. Should be lots of fun. :-)

    I'm an introvert and a homebody by nature so all this socializing is wearing me down a bit... it's all good though, I mean that's every spring when you live in Ontario. People seem to hibernate in winter and then when the nice weather gets here everyone wants to do everything.

    I'll certainly post some farm plans when I've finished one but that's it for now.

    Monday 13 April 2015

    Best Easter Ever!

    It was already one of the best Easter's because I didn't have to eat a single hard boiled egg. I was working 8-4 Friday and 9-5 Saturday (with Sunday and Monday off) so I didn't have a long weekend off like a lot of people but I certainly made the most of the time available.

    Friday after work I went over to Hugslut's house for couch snuggles and DoctorWho.
    Saturday, Bard picked me up at work and whisked me away to a romantic night staying over at his place. It was our first time truly alone, with no one else in the house, in a long time. In the morning we had a nice lazy snuggle in bed before having breakfast and heading over to Hugslut's place for Dungeons and Dragons.

    Bard, Hugslut, Wolfie, and I play every Sunday from noon til 5. After D&D, Hugslut and I drove Wolfie home then settled in for some pizza and more DoctorWho.

    On Monday Hugslut had a migraine so I popped by to see if there was anything she needed around supper time. She was feeling a lot better by then so we had dinner together and watched an episode of Supernatural. When she asked if I wanted to watch another I told her I had written something for our anniversary but I didn't want to save it to read on our anniversary in May since saving joy for arbitrary dates is really not us. She agreed so I read it to her.

    I'll post it separately but it was titled "What I Mean When I Say I Love You", and at the end, I asked her to marry me.

    She Said Yes! I'm still spinning. I am so happy that we are going to be planning our future together.
    We have no clue as to when or anything like that. We're still discussing if either of us are going to change our names. I want to thank our friends and family for their warm support, and I'll be sure to keep you all updated.

    Saturday 28 March 2015


    My dad had a few saying that stuck in my memory. Some I've decided were unhelpful like, "don't do anything half-assed" (to the point mom and I now joke about doing things full-assed) and over time I have matured to find better mantras for my life such as, "good enough is good enough".

    One saying my dad had, I have found is very true, especially when it comes to health and wellness. He used to say "everything in moderation, including moderation" at least once a day almost every summer weekend to absolve himself of guilt when over indulging in alcohol. It started to get on my nerves. It grated as only those who have known someone who says "variety is the spice of life" Every. Damn. Day. can understand.

    Years later, I can now look on this mantra as a source of wisdom. It's obvious that too little of everything will hurt you. Little food, little exercise, soon you're a walking skeleton. Too much of anything is equally bad. Everyone knows too much food leads to obesity, but too much strenuous exercise also leads to health issues. These things were simple to discover, but it took years for me to realize that completely controlled moderation will also cause trouble.

    Our bodies are marvellous. They can take many blows and keep ticking along. The one thing they can't seem to do well is boredom. After so many, many years becoming efficient at not only converting food to energy, but also storing that energy for lean times, and doing work with the least energy expended possible.... it's really hard to convince your body to loose the fat it stores.

    What has been proven is that whether you're trying to beef up or trim down, if you do the same thing all the time you will hit a plateau. You can be working more than you eat and not loose a single pound past a certain point because our bodies are amazing at adapting.

    The same applies to weights. If you keep using the same weights you will not gain any strength once you plateau. Now if you're not trying to get stronger, using the same weights may prevent you from sliding back... but if you haven't reached your goal yet, you're just wasting your time.

    My commitment to health may look strange to those who are eating steamed rice and fish every day, or scouring Pinterest for new "guilt-free" desert recipes that will quell their sweet-tooth. It will probably look equally strange to the gym-rats who pump iron every other day like clockwork and drink protein shakes every two hours.

    I plan to enjoy becoming healthier and stronger. I plan to say yes to full fat, full sugar cheesecake without the slightest qualm. I plan to spend relatively little time lifting weights or using cardio machines and surprisingly more parked in front of a screen. I plan to walk often to enjoy the nice weather as it arrives, but not force myself out in the rain when it comes.

    All this is going to happen AND I am going to meet my goals of becoming stronger and more fit overall. My beginning fitness assessment is scheduled for Monday morning. Stay tuned for the details.

    Friday 27 March 2015


    Last year I was sporadically writing in my old blog certain that I wanted to keep writing there because it would tie my past to my future. I created the ID Sinnah Saint for YouTube and Twitter reciently because I realized I couldn't truely be free to write about myself in any blog that could be linked back to my work self.

    The reason I wasn't making the number of vlogs I wanted to simply because of the amount of post production required for a newbie with a 8 year old webcam. The last vlog I never got around to making was written and storyboarded and never filmed let alone edited... then it kind of hit me yesterday that I had already done much more work than a blog post and had nothing to show for it. I'm not saying I'm giving up on video alltogether but I'll probably save it for things that I want to show you in a game or walking down the street rant type videos I can just upload with no editing.

    That said, welcome to my new blog and I hope you enjoy the stay. I'll be updating regularly because although I don't always had quiet for filming, I can write anywhere. this isn't exactly a topic focused blog and although I write article type posts sometimes, I also write personal story type posts, and take lots of photos.