a left-eyed girl

living in a 2 dimensional world

Archive for January 2011

11804 Part 2 – Eating more salt

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(The second half of the post just got cut off…. weird.)

Eating a balanced meal just takes a few well thought-out additions to the daily diet

In the past few months, my low blood pressure has been bothering me more than usual. The last time I tried to give blood, I was rejected because my blood pressure was too low to be acceptable. I think they thought I’d faint, even though I felt just fine. I wasn’t so pleased at this news, but at the same time, I was feeling okay and didn’t think twice of it.

Lately, I’ve been feeling it more acutely. There have been times when I’ve felt a bit lightheaded even just sitting down at my desk at work. I’m used to feeling lightheaded or having fuzzy vision when I stand up too quickly from bending down, but getting it when I’m not changing position is new. Sometimes I can feel the blood pounding in my ears quite heavily for no reason, and I’m not quite sure what that means too. I’m afraid to look it up online because I just know the symptoms will point to something horrid and probably wrong. Besides, I’ve gotten blood tests within the past year and they always turn out just perfectly, well within all the acceptable ranges (with the exception that my pressure is always low).

Instead of going to the doctor, I’ve decided to try to increase my salt intake to increase my blood pressure and also to make sure I eat more protein. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s something to try, right?

The typical serving of natto with tare and mustard has about 100 calories, 325mg soldium, 4.5g fat, and 4.5g protein. It’s pretty much perfect as a breakfast food for me as far as giving me a decent amount of fat, protein, and sodium all in one small package. I typically eat this with a slice of bread (and maybe a slice of cheese) with some black coffee in the mornings. I happen to love natto, so it’s perfect for me anyway.

I also remembered that I have a package of umeboshi (pickled Japanese plums) in the fridge, so I’ve added one to my cute little lunch box. They are very salty and very sour, so I nibble a small bit of it to flavour each bite of rice. It’s helping add to my daily salt content for sure.

We’ll see if it works, but hopefully I’ll see some kind of change soon and it doesn’t turn into a more serious problem.

Written by Reese

January 5, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Posted in just life

11804 Bread baking and eating more salt

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No-preheat method for baking bread

I baked a loaf of 75% hydration slow-rise bread this weekend using the no-preheat method. Basically, you put the risen bread into a cold oven and turn it to the temperature and let it complete the rise in the oven during the preheating cycle. Then you just bake it as usual, making sure to check on the brownness and temperature when you are within 10 minutes of the usual finish time. It did not come out as nicely as the usual method, mostly because:

  • It was baked on a flat metal pan without steam instead of inside a hot stoneware pot covered with foil to seal in the moisture
  • I think I underbaked it a tiny bit
  • It probably didn’t rise enough before I threw it into the oven

Oh well. It’s still edible and tasty, so I’ve been eating it up like mad. I have a slice each morning with my usual breakfast of natto and coffee.

Written by Reese

January 5, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Posted in just life

Streamlining “My Everyday”

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In an effort to keep the "My Everyday" thing a bit more streamlined, I’ve considered just posting the photos here and not to Flickr so that the sheer mundanity of it all won’t clutter up my Flickr account. In the end, I want to be able to look back at what I was thinking and doing everyday.

(Well, I don’t share everything I’m thinking. If I did, the entries would be mind-numbingly boring and probably incredibly whiny and I’d rather not fill this blog with my endless whining.)

My every day is rather routine, and probably somewhat boring, but I’m not aiming to show you guys my best work or to try to sum up my week with a single photo. Instead, it’s more of a personal diary, a way for me to remember those things I tend to forget to easily. In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed the sun rising at a slightly different angle, and once we get to daylight savings again, the sun’s position will change yet again. Right now, school is in session and there are a lot of bicyclists on the blvd, but in summer things will change once again and there will be a lot less bicycle traffic.

So yes, I suppose that I’ll post the photos everyday and maybe do a weekly wrap-up here on the blog. I always want to write about everything I think about (because it usually helps me get sorted), but I do wonder if people really need to hear about every thought I have (probably not). Might just be better to let the photos speak for themselves.

Written by Reese

January 4, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Posted in just life

5/ A ‘mixte’ up morning

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5/ Missed the usual

The day started off just perfectly when I remembered to tag on my Clipper Card at SF Caltrain. However, it was only after I got to my office that I realised that I forgot to tag off and ended up taking an extra quick 4 mile ride to the closest station and back to tag off. The Clipper Card is a pain in the butt, but I did get an extra 20 minute morning bikeride out of the whole thing, so I’m gonna call that even. Besides, I won’t need to tag on/off again for a whole month, so it’s really not so bad.

This past weekend, we went to the Japanese dollar store and I bought two adorable two-level bento. I’ve been reading up on making bento here and decided that it would be a good way for me to control my portions and eat a healthy balanced lunch. I like to bring my own lunch from home anyway, and this is just a prettier, more organised way to do it. Today’s lunch was:

  • 1 cup of white rice (I know I should be eating brown, but we just bought this beautiful bag of white and it’s soooooooo tasty)
  • 1/2 cup thawed frozen spinach
  • 1 cup golden lentil stew (made without the rice/pasta and chopped dates, and with some modification to the spice levels to suit my tastes)

I should have taken a photo of it, but it’s really not attractive, so I’ve spared you all from the horror of looking at my lunch.

This all packs conveniently into my 580 mL two-tier bento, with the rice on the bottom and the stew and spinach in the top, which is then handily strapped to my bike’s rear rack for transport. This little system works pretty well since the lunch doesn’t get jostled around in my messenger with the chance that it might spill all over everything. When I opened the bento at lunchtime, indeed everything was where it was supposed to be and looked just like I’d packed it that morning (except the spinach was defrosted and kinda sad and limp looking).

Note to self: work on making the vegetable portion more appetizing.

I’m actually feeling pretty good about the whole lentil/garbanzo stew thing since it has plenty of protein in the legumes and the rest of it is pretty much water, vegetables (onions, carrots, tomatoes), and spices. I increased all the spices in the original recipe and also added a good shake of cayenne pepper as I usually find recipes to be generally too bland. The stew turned out really tasty, and I’m excited to eat it again tomorrow (I made a huge pot, so I’m pretty much stuck with it for a few more days).

Written by Reese

January 3, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Posted in just life

4/ Slightly burnt no-knead bread

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4/ Slightly burnt no-knead bread

Baked bread last night, so I had a couple slices for breakfast this morning. It poured last night, but we watched it from the safe warmness of our flat as it beat against our neighbours’ rooftops. Also should mention that the bread was slightly burnt as I ended up not putting it into the oven until about midnight, and then forgot to lower the temperature for the second half of the baking time and also timed for the longer end of the range. Normally, that would work out with perfectly baked bread, but since I failed to reduce the temperature, it slightly burnt it. I scraped off the blackest parts and luckily, the bread still tastes very good.

This morning, I watched an interesting documentary called “Listen,” which is all about music, sounds, and perception. It’s probably not for everyone, and there was a lot of parts I didn’t quite understand, but it’s an interesting documentary for anyone who is interested in music or interpretation of sound. It’s more emotional rather than intellectual, which I much enjoyed.

Written by Reese

January 2, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Posted in just life

3/ Happy New Year

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3/ Happy New Year

Went to the cinema today, wandering through the mall afterwards. I’m looking for a spring jacket, but didn’t find anything I liked.

Written by Reese

January 1, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Posted in just life