Saturday, May 16, 2009

Healthy Eating, Changing My Metal Clay Firing Schedule, and a Haircut

HEALTH

I want to get back to it. I’m incredibly unhealthy at the moment, so I’m making a few changes.

I already gave up my parking space at the office and now I walk 25 mins to work and 25 mins back to home each day. I also walk Bear once a day or so. I will add a routine with small weights soon and/or yoga (particularly yoga breathing).

So I went out this morning, armed with a couple recipes, to my local Whole Foods (which is more expensive than Trader Joes but they have more variety).

Tonight I’m making Lamb Curry… except that I don’t really like lamb so I’m using beef instead. I don’t really like beef either, but if I try to go vegetarian I’m afraid my choices will be too limited and I’ll revert back to “easy” food. So this “lamb” curry involves: meat, onion, spinach, lentils, ginger, garlic, and a bunch of spices.

After shopping, I came home, had a bowl of low-sugar granola with oat bran, then spent the morning cleaning the apartment. Doing that threw me off any kind of “eat six small meals a day” thing, so now as my lentils are pre-cooking (I got raw, organic everything… no cans, no packages, etc) I’m munching on a snack of what I’ll refer to as my “cheater foods”.

Cheater foods are things that don’t fit the strict curriculum of my healthier eating choices, but are still very far from the really nasty stuff I was putting into my body. For example, right now I’m dipping Lundberg Brown Rice Organic Lightly Salted Cakes (yes, although I’m a salt-junkie… everything is now low sodium) into La Cascada (a local taqueria) Spicy Eggplant Hummus (garbanzo beans, eggplant, garlic, lemon, olive oil, peppers, cumin, salt). It is an AMAZING snack. It’s really, really good.

I’m not exactly sure why I consider that “cheater” foods… maybe it’s the salt. Shrug. If anything, the breakfast was cheater food… I mean, the cereal may have been low sugar, but it still had SOME sugar in it… and raisins. But I’m not going ballistic on this. Just watchful and judicious.

Oh, I should make some brown rice to go with my curry… also a salad. Here’s my dressing recipe: olive oil, lemon juice, kelp powder (dang! I forgot to get that), sea salt, and tahini (diluted with warm water). I got a large container of organic mixed greens. It will last me a week or more.

Supplements I’m taking now include: B complex, psyllium, acidophilus, maca, and Chlorella (I may add Spirulina someday).

The basic “don’t eat” foods include (a lot of white stuff): simple carbs, sugars, vinegars, fermented foods/ liquids, processed foods, condiments, coffee/tea, fast food, and starchy veggies.

The basic “do eat” foods include: high fiber low starch veggies (most of my diet), healthy proteins (second most), complex carbs (next most), fruit (least… like maybe a dessert or with breakfast).

My intuition (helped along by such symptoms as: sugar-cravings, lack of mental sharpness, lethargy, sinus issues, etc) tells me to go back on this sort of diet that keeps the “bad” intestinal bacteria at bay. This is also a diet good for those prone to hypoglycemia (which I am).


METAL CLAY

Went to Hadar’s last night. The “Friday Night Ladies” are very nice. I’m enjoying my time there (when I’m not all stressed out and intimidated about my skill level).

Anyway, I showed Hadar some of the photos on my blog so she could see the set-up I’m using for the firings. We’re trying a few changes this time.

Since my heating element is so high up in the kiln and the interior of the kiln is so big, Hadar suggested I try to get my pieces only very close to the heating element. So until I can find a larger “table pan” (that’s what they’re called at Smart & Final… went there this morning but they didn’t have the size I need), I will only load the back my current square container and will set it back (like it was) close to the heating element and away from the bead door.

I will also place my pieces higher in the square, to align with the heating element more.

I removed two of my kiln stilts and now balance my pan on the edges of two squares in order to have an optimal amount of the underside of the pan open to heat.



Notice how the only place that “ashes up” is in the back… closest to the heating element. That seem indicative.

So here’s how I did my new layout:



Just to get a fresh start, I threw out my old carbon and started with a fresh batch.

I increased my phase one holding time from 20 to 30 minutes.

I decreased my phase two holding temperature from 1480 to 1470 and increased the holding time from 2½ hours to 3 hours.

The kiln is currently in phase two. I should have results and new pics tomorrow.


HAIRCUT

BTW, I got my hair cut Thursday night. I plan to get a better picture later, but at least you can tell from this (photo in a mirror with flash… ha!) what length it is. I totally love it!

1 comment:

  1. So how come when I get a haircut I'm not instantly turned into a beauty...like you were?! Love the new cut, and truly...it suits you!

    ReplyDelete