Friday, August 21, 2015

Healthy Go: Goodbye, Almonds

Post originally published by Jennifer X on Who I Am, August 21st, 2015.


I’ve definitely gained inches, which means I’ve probably gained weight too. I think I went a little crazy once I could afford to buy my own food. I was mostly buying my lunches during the first month of working. Adjusting to the full schedule again left me tired a lot, so not as much exercising.

Although, I did walk more; it comes with taking the bus most places. About twice a week, I’ve walked a few extra lengths than the minimal distance.

The second month of working, I pretty much nailed bringing lunches from home. I think I bought my lunch twice. It wasn’t all leftovers either; I actually prepared a lot of my lunches early. I cooked salmon, chicken, mashed potatoes, eggplant parmesan, made sandwiches, etc.

The third month, this month, I’m working on also bringing breakfast from home. So far, that hasn’t gone so well. Apparently, oatmeal can be microwaved. I haven’t done well with it, and I refuse to buy the pre-individually-packed oatmeal made to be microwaved when I have so much oatmeal already. I don’t really like oatmeal on its own but I credit an online pal, Fragile, with encouraging me to eat more oatmeal – I just have to add something to it. This week, I’m going to prepare eggs and maybe Vienna sausages or something and see how that goes.

What has really inspired and helped me with the prepared meals was watching this video by Drea Beauty – How To Meal Prep | Drea Beauty:

I’ve read articles about meal prepping, seen grocery lists and such, but somehow, having the lists with seeing the meals being prepped and put together made it click for me. I’m just figuring out how to make it work for me and what I like to eat but so far, so good.

Prepared meals and fixings.
 Currently, I sort of cook a batch of stuff and put them into containers, like I’ll have one container with mashed potatoes and another for salmon. Sometimes I separate the food out into containers like Drea does, but I have more large containers than small ones right now. The night before, I’ll put together a lunch from the different large containers.

I’m trying to snack less, especially at work. The new jump rope I had gotten is too long for me and awkward to adjust (even though it says it’s adjustable) and so I will pass that on to someone else and look for one that is the right length for me.

Dude. My sneakers are goners.

I had a pair of New Balance for workouts and a pair of Puma for casual wear, both for a decade each, at least. The glue came off the bottoms. The NB had been clawed up by Mega a few years ago.

I finally picked up a pair of Skechers. For now, they are mostly for work, in case I need to visit a job site or something. I need to get arch supports for them though (one thing I miss about the NB – it had good arch supports for my feet).

I plan on getting another pair for workouts so that I can leave the Skechers at work. If I can’t get another NB, I’m thinking of trying Asics. I’m kind of excited because shoes are made so much lighter now days so that’ll be interesting, just for the carrying-around factor alone (because I walk in slippers).

Also about shoes, I got new heels. I should be doing a separate post to show those off, but for HG matters, I had a snag with the heels. I wore one at work and everything was okay. I was pleasantly surprised with just how comfortable they were. They weren’t completely pain free – I have wide feet and the shoes are medium width. However, I only thought of switching out of them when it was time to make my way home.

Swollen: such smooth skin! But oh so swollen.
 The snag was that my feet swelled up! I think the heels were only a part of the equation, with my bad leg, wide feet, extra weight, etc., being other probable factors. They didn’t go back to normal for a whole week. Maybe my feet freaked out because they’re used to being tortured more. I’ll just have to watch out for the swelling.

Jamba Juice: I really liked the sliced almonds in oatmeal. :(

Goodbye, Almonds
Almonds and I are parting ways. It’s been great, we’ll keep in touch here and there, but it’s basically over between us.

I thought I would be good and have almonds as a healthy snack. I thought it’d be perfect for taking to work. It was, until I had too much of a good thing – yes, it is possible.

So, I felt nauseated one day. I’ve been nauseated every so often, but this was different, odd. It was accompanied by lethargy (I think) and a faint headache-like… sensation? The first time I had this, I took an Advil, didn’t eat much for lunch, and then later was feeling okay again. The second time, it lasted longer. The third time came sooner and again, longer.

I remembered one day having more than the suggested one ounce a day of almonds. I don’t remember why. Maybe I skipped breakfast? That stood out as the thing that was most different about what I had been eating or doing, so I looked up side effects of too many almonds. It seemed to fit, so I thought I would cut back on almonds, like maybe twice a week and sticking to the recommended one ounce.

I think it was the next day, I watched this video by Carli Bybel – Current Skin Care Favorites +Dealing w/ ECZEMA | & VLOG:

I also have eczema. Lately, my scalp had flared up the worst ever (I had a scalp flare up once before) and then my neck flared up with force. The itching and flakiness was crazy. With the scalp situation, my hair has been dry and dandruff-like huge flakes ever present. So I decided to see if there’s any change in my skin if I cut out almonds all together. 

Jamba Juice: swapped out the almonds for bananas.
I have been almond-free for just two weeks (four by the time this posts). My neck cleared up within a couple of days – it is back to the normal slight dryness. The nausea/ lethargy lightened up and left in about five days. The scalp crazy itching has eased up but is still present. I still look like I have crazy dandruff.

I can’t be sure, but the previous scalp flare up, I think I was eating almonds then, and maybe I had stopped almonds and the scalp cleared up. Maybe.

I always thought the flare ups were from any number of things like stress, hormones, dairy, sugar, extra pounds, not enough water, hair products, laundry detergent, etc. It could still be some of those as well. I’m fairly certain that at least one of the hair products is another culprit, I have suspicions on which, but I am still testing it out.

I’m just glad that my skin is clearing up for the most part. I’m thinking an allergy test might be a good idea for me. I should look into it.

I’m not saying that everyone ought to quit almonds. Almonds still make a healthy snack, if you don’t have a sensitivity to it in some way.

There we have it. I really ought to be more consistent with these HG posts again. I think I’m more consistent with mindful eating and exercising when I am considering the writing of the posts.

I hope that you have been well.

Thank you for reading! You are welcome to leave a comment and/or question(s) in the section below :)

Disclaimer: I am not a professional health anything. I am a health trekker, updating my audience with the different sights, and hopefully encouraging others on their own journeys. I am moving towards a healthier lifestyle in a slow and steady approach.

Spinach artichoke spread by Nora, and chips.
Along an extra walk length.
Turkey, roast beef, and swiss cheese sandwich.
Pepper steak, string beans, and garlic spinach mushroom salad.
Maui Mike's Chicken - having the leftover for
a future lunch.

My version of Parmesan Eggplant, a tried recipe (post coming
soon, I hope!)
Salmon #1: honey basil.
My first unassisted mashed potatoes! (Well, I had
a few questions answered, but I made them all on my own).
Salmon #2: plain lemon pepper and garlic salt.
Salmon #3: miso.
Corn and Corned Beef Hash with onions.
Creeper in the dark picture!
Complete with appropriate
Data-like glow.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Friend of the Library [August 2015]

Post originally published by Jennifer X on Who I Am, August 18th, 2015.

Lately, I have been good about renewing/ returning library books on time… until this past week. I knew I should have checked the due date but I didn’t. It wasn’t too bad because I don’t have too many books out (this time) and it was only a few days late (this time).

So, I made a trip to the library… on quite a dangerous day. The Friends of the Library Book Sale was going on. I tried to resist a look, I really did! I passed many boxes, saw titles that interested me, and didn’t pick one up... until I did.

I picked up:
Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot
Introverts in the Church by Adam S. McHugh
The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney
The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw
The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis
A Tradition of Excellence by University of Hawaii Press
Hawaiian Sculpture by J. Halley Cox with William H. Davenport
The Architecture of Charles W. Dickey: Hawaii and California by Robert Jay

You know how it happens. I pick up one book. Then another. The next one justifies another one. And then there are 8 books in my arms. I don’t even recall which book started it.

I did restrain myself though; I wanted more books. I didn’t even comb through the fiction section. I went for books that would probably be difficult to get, like the last three titles with Hawaii connections.

I could have written a book on thoughts on thinking. Well,
okay, I could write a whole series of series on it.
The two introvert books, I was curious to see how they define introversion and what they say about it, especially the one about church. The Elisabeth Elliot book sounds like something I might read before I write certain posts that I have had in mind for a long time.

The Greatest Generation and The Abolition of Man are two books that had been on my list to get and to read for a good while.

They are all in good to great condition.

When will I get a chance to read any of them? Who knows?

*Remind me to pack up books to donate for the next sale.

  • Have you read any of these? Do you have any thoughts you would like to share on them?

  • Are you a Friend of the Library?

Thank you for reading! You are welcome to leave a comment and/or question(s) in the section below :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

July 2015 Beauty… Stuff

Post originally published by Jennifer X on Who I Am, August 11th, 2015.

Sometimes, the clever/ fun title just doesn’t show up.

One thing I’ve noticed lately is that I have my morning makeup routine down rather well at this point. I am usually very slow in the morning – slow to wake up, slow to think, slow to do anything. If I wake up a few minutes late, slow to get out of bed, then I am pretty certain I will be late or have to skip steps or rush out the door, which, I hate rushing out the door.

Lately though, I have been a little slow to get out of bed and yet I still get out the door, not rushing much, in time to catch the early bus… on most days. I think I’ve got the makeup application on a rhythm, and even streamlined a few things.

I amaze myself.

It really helps to have a few of the basics set aside together so that I don’t have to think much about which products I should use. I still operate somewhat with “the usual suspects/ continuous use products” and “the first team/ featured products” mindset. So…


July’s Usual Suspects:
The progress on items are roughly (% used up):
     (100%)   Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup – Natural Beige
     (55%)   Rimmel Stay Matte Powder – Transparent
     (20%)  Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer – Light
     (62%)   Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles – Brightener
     (20%)   NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder – Taupe/ Ash
     (Who knows??)             Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (sample)

I have used up the Neutrogena Healthy Skin foundation. I think it worked very well in this crazy summer heat. I will likely repurchase it in the future as it remains a formula that I like with a near perfect color match (60- Natural Beige), but I am trying out a new-to-me foundation in the Urban Decay Naked Skin (5.0). I am also using the Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid-Touch Foundation which is similar to the Naked Skin; mostly, I carry this in my bag so that I can touch up on the go if necessary.

In June, I used up a concealer; I have been using the Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer in its place. I can’t say right now if I like it over the previous one – they are different consistencies, slightly different shades, apply differently, and yet they seem to provide the same coverage and wear for me. The Tarte one costs more, but I do like the squeeze tube packaging a little more than the stick form of the previous one. It may come down to price one day, but this one is going to last me a long time so I don’t have to decide that yet.

Also in June, I used up a mascara – a sample of Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara has taken that spot. So far, I don’t think I like it as much as the previous mascara. I don’t see much difference to my lashes when I use the Too Faced one. It’s just okay.

The Rimmel Stay Matte Powder and NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder are still going strong. The Maybelline Eraser Dark Circles Brightener is a mess inside the bottle, yet still moving along. It’s the kind of container that screws down to pump the product up through the top; it’s supposed to click as one turns the screw but I’ve been having problems with it lately, and so there is a lot of product above the lowering platform. It’ll be okay though, because I figured out that when the platform is all the way at the bottom later on, I can still unscrew the top mechanism and use a brush to get to the extra product left inside.

July’s First Team:
For lips, I mostly used: MAC’s Ravishing, Revlon’s Peach Parfait Lip Butter, L’Oreal Infallible in Tender Berry, Milani’s Nude Crème (not pictured), and Urban Decay’s Fiend – mostly light and/ or natural shades. For more color, I wore Red Revolution and Shocking Coral, both from Maybelline, both worn once or twice (but not at the same time). I don’t think I used anything else.

The eye looks have been easy. I focused mainly on using the Urban Decay Naked Palette, trying out different combinations than I usually do, in different ways too. I think I’m close to hitting pan on Naked. I tried to stay away from Sidecar, one of my favorites of the palette, just so I would use the other colors more. I barely used Creep, and I don’t think I used Darkhorse at all. Otherwise, I made good use of the palette and have liked it more than I did before as I became more comfortable using it. I’m still not crazy about 3 of the shades, but I don’t mind them so much anymore.

Once a week, usually Fridays, I tried to do something outside of the Naked palette – I remembered to do it twice. Once, I did a turquoise look, and the other time I did a neutral eye, similar to the Naked looks, but with eyeshadows that I adore. I layered all of the eye looks over the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze (70%); in the picture, it doesn’t look like I’ve made progress because I worked the top of it more than the side, but progress has been made.

NYX’s Peach was the only blush and Estee Lauder’s Bronze Goddess was the only bronzer I went to in July. I cannot tell at all that I’ve used Peach; hitting pan is going to take forever, maybe literally so. Okay, probably not literally “forever” but we’ll just see. Bronze Goddess will most definitely not last forever though.

The scent combination of choice has been Be Delicious Fresh Blossom by DKNY layered over Marc Jacob’s Honey. I really like the results. I will roll on Honey first, as it tends to be in my purse or at my desk. Then before I dress, I will spray on Fresh Blossom. I used Chloe once, and didn’t think of using anything but the Honey/ Fresh Blossom combination elsewise; the combo isn’t my favorite scent still, but it’s doing well for me.

I’m sure this is all fascinating… while I haven’t been showing these products on my face in a Face File post. I haven’t figured out a way to fit them in yet. I don’t think I took one face picture in July. August is going to be crazy for me. I don’t know when I’ll be able to get back into the makeup look posts again.

Thank you for checking in and I hope you have a good day!

Thank you for reading! You are welcome to leave a comment and/or question(s) in the section below :)

Disclaimer: I am not a professional makeup anything. I am a journeyman makeup enjoyer, hopefully contributing something interesting to my audience. All items purchased by myself unless otherwise noted.

For comparison, my skin is a medium yellow tone with cool undertones; the foundations that best match me have been: MAC Studio Fix C30, Neutrogena Healthy Skin Natural Beige 60, Urban Decay Naked Skin 5.0.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Update: Not-Banking, Internship, Bible Read, and A/C (+ Pictures)

Post originally published by Jennifer X on Who I Am, August 8th, 2015.

This week has been a lot of weird things and a lot of expectations not panning out. They were mostly small, not crucial in the long run kind of things.

Like how I meant to go to the bank earlier this week and it didn’t happen until today. I could bank in town on my lunch break, but I covet my lunch break to take a breather and refresh my mind and body; plus, I don’t like to do money stuff in town, walking around on my own, just in case because one never knows who they might encounter (like that toucher, read here). I was able to go to jobsites and meetings, which I enjoyed, yet even more I wanted my lunch hour when I got back to the office those days.  I get to work early, so my regular lunch time is a good time for a break and get me through the rest of the day well.

Banking didn’t happen on Monday or Wednesday. I thought, okay, I can wait for Friday to bank – I’ll meet Mom after work and go home with her, the banks stay open a few hours later, I’ll bank then. Friday came and Mom lets me know that we’ll be taking someone home. Then an office meeting came up for the hour when I usually leave. I thought, okay, I’ll scrap banking, go to the office meeting, and still meet Mom in time to pick up her guest and take her home. The meeting went quick. I met up with Mom, only she still had some things to take care of, so I waited in the car and took a nap. About an hour later, Mom comes to the car and we head home. She said that her guest was able to go home earlier with someone else. Sigh, okay, I could have taken care of my banking after all.

Even today. Last night, Mom gave me the impression that she would be needing the car all day today. Dad said he had to go in for work (sometimes he needs to go in on off-days). I got up early. Dad let me know when he would need to leave for work. I took care of banking and a few other errands. It was fine, however, Mom didn’t leave the house for her things until late afternoon. It just means that I didn’t have to stress so much about getting back in time for them to have the cars. I could have taken care of more things. I could have gone to the gym (though I’m working out at home today as had been planned).

I thought I would try a few different things to work in some gym time this week. That didn’t happen at all. I thought Wednesday night would be a good time because I can usually get the car. I brought my shoes home from work, because currently I only have one pair of good sneakers for workouts and job site visits. Monday I thought I would have the car also, but I don’t remember what happened on Monday that I ended up not going. Tuesday night, Dad tells me that he’ll be at my bro’s and Mom had a dinner the next night, so I’ll be on my own. For me, that meant I had no car. I could take the bus to the gym, but that would take more time and coordination, I’d be travelling alone at night, and it didn’t leave me much time to get anything else done at home, which I needed to get done.

Again, not crucial things this week. Every so often, it will be a more crucial thing. I got other stuff done. I tend to be flexible in my planning because I know that things will sometimes interfere or that I am dependent upon others for certain obligations, the cars, and stuff, but putting things off and off wears on me a little. I’m putting more thought energy into the planning and reminding myself that seemed to all go to waste. I’m fine, it was just one of those weeks.

Was it this week or the one before? I went to a job site to assist and I ran into a classmate. She looks like she hasn’t aged a bit. I also went to three other sites recently. One was in currently under construction. I enjoy getting to walk around and see a project going up.

For the four visits, I was able to observe different things about projects. Two of the visits were for things like taking measurements, verifying things, taking pictures. After all the notes, I went back to the office to update drawings of existing conditions. One visit, the construction one, was for pictures to document progress. The other one was a pre-bid meeting and I got to see what goes on at one of those. The weird thing with that meeting was that one of the contractor’s representatives reminded me so much of someone I know that I was wondering if my only-child friend had a brother after all, because that’s where my mind goes.

Anyway, except for missing a save on a file (which I promptly and quickly remedied), I haven’t messed up anything major, as far as I know. I heard secondhand that I did a good job on something, which is good to know – it just leaves me wondering which thing it was and what I did, haha. Lunch and Learn sessions have been interesting; I learned about a recent ceiling product that sounds great. I still ought to learn Revit soon, at least, so that I can be of more service. Otherwise, I think things are still going well?

Well, I don’t really want to go back to school, but I should. I really just want to keep working – it’s what I’ve wanted to do for how many years. Sigh. It’s been a long road and more to come.

Bible Read:
So, I haven’t done a devotional this year yet.

I was late in finishing the 6-month full-Bible reading plan, yet, I finished. Now I’m reading through the Old Testament wisdom books (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon). The duration is supposed to be 10 weeks, I’m already behind, but I’m trying to take it in more, to not rush through the reading just to get it done. I’m not concerned about the time.

One of the passages that I highlighted comes from Job 40: 6-14;
[6] Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:

[7] “Now prepare yourself like a man;
I will question you, and you shall answer me:

[8] “Would you indeed annul my judgment?
Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?

[9] Have you an arm like God?
Or can you thunder with a voice like His?

[10] Then adorn yourself with majesty and splendor,
And array yourself with glory and beauty.

[11] Disperse the rage of your wrath;
Look on everyone who is proud, and humble him.

[12] Look on everyone who is proud, and bring him low;
Tread down the wicked in their place.

[13] Hide them in the dust together,
Bind their faces in hidden darkness.

[14] Then I will also confess to you
That your own right hand can save you.”

I could use a good study commentary thing because it’s all beyond me! I have an idea of what this passage is saying, but I’m not sure. I think it has something to do with how we want to be our own “god”, to justify the things we want and do, to determine what we good we think we deserve, and pass judgement on others. And the thing is, I’m not God, and I’m pretty sure neither are you. Bummer.

I’ve got more reading and understanding to do.

I finally got a new A/C!

It’s been a brutal summer, even for here in “paradise”. The old A/C gave up. The computer was angry. The cats… the cats didn’t care but they’re okay. I came home to lie on sheets that felt like they were freshly ironed. My glass cup felt like I had hot tea in it, which I didn’t.

I try not to openly complain about the weather though.

Thank goodness I had the office to go to for relief.

Thank goodness for the new A/C.

So much more I could say. There’s a thing about almonds, meal planning, budgeting, shoes, and more. Hopefully I’ll get to some of it soon. I have things written but a lot of photos to edit still.

I hope you’re well in spite of the wild heat and other weather events of late.

My friend came back!

I'm still being initiated.

Going well so far, it seems....
I think she's related to MegaMouth.

Coming to work with me? :D

Trying out a new photography technique?

Rail going up.

Obligatory creeper in the dark picture.

Leave me alone, I'm doing real work :D


More from the new technique.

Are you dizzy yet?

Finally got to test the car (not mine). #newcarsmell

She's inspecting the mess I made.