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Financial Book Review, or You Just Can't Go Home Again

Over the last week, I read five financial books about saving and retirement. I wanted to read through them to see if my recommendations for the books still were appropriate, a decade later. In this blog I even talk about Automatic Millionaire and go through the exercises. Automatic Millionaire Chapter 1 Automatic Millionaire Chapter 2 Automatic Millionaire Workbook Chapter 1 Automatic Millionaire Workbook Chapter 2 I'm both disappointed that I didn't write more with subsequent chapters, but glad I didn't spend more energy on the books, as a decade later, I think this book and its companion workbook are pretty awful. While it did get me interested in saving more, and to write a set of values and ballpark dollar amounts, at the age of 24, I was wildly pessimistic on how much I needed to amass. A million dollars to travel the world? I mean, I could  spend a million on it, but I don't think it would be necessary to require that much to have a wonderful time traveling. Bette

Accidental Excess Fructose Test and Two Large Projects

 I happened to make cornbread last week, and decided to top with honey. It was good! And, the next night, with more cornbread, I had more honey. Last night, with my largest piece of cornbread, I added quite a bit of honey! Forgot that it was one of the tests - excess fructose. Apparently, I have no issues with excess fructose, as I also had no pain, which is great! That means the last test is Sorbitol - found in blackberries, peaches, plums and avocado. I miss avocado and guacamole, so I think I'll buy an avocado this weekend and see how I fare. In other news, I'm working on a cooking project as well as a music composition project, and I'm in the middle of both, so I don't have a lot of finished bits to share yet. Hopefully in the next few weeks I can add something to the blog!

SIBO Lactose retest and Mannitol test

 I tested for lactose again, just because I suspect that was the cause of the whole issue. I ended up making some blueberry buckles - basically, muffins that don't really hold together, with a side of the Tillamook ice cream. I had less than a cup of ice cream, and suffered no ill effects. I really doubled down with some homemade gluten free macaroni and cheese, made with freshly grated cheese and whole milk. Of course, it made more than one serving, so I likely only consumed about a half a cup of milk. Still no pain or issues! What a success! Yesterday, I decided to throw caution to the wind and make a Chinese pork noodle dish with fresh shiitake mushrooms. Something high in mannitol that I hadn't yet properly tested. However, I've been eating mushrooms for years without ill effects, and when I was eating vegan, I ate a lot of them, especially portabellas. The recipe called for 10 ounces of mushrooms, and like the mac and cheese recipe, I only ate probably 2 ounces, likely

McCormick Crushed Red Pepper

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I had some McCormick Crushed Red Pepper in my pantry, and it was starting to get a bit old. Instead of adding a bit of nice heat to my dishes, it smelled a more like chili dust and wouldn't impart much of a kick. Around that time, I started getting advertisements for FlatIron, a company that creates pepper blends to make a more interesting dried pepper blend. I thought I'd try it out, as I'd gotten into hot sauces the year before, learning that there is a lot more into hot sauce than just heat and vinegar. I purchased a pack - one container of Asian red peppers, one container of Hatch Green Chile, and one container of their Four Pepper Blend, that should have taken the place of the boring old McCormick Crushed Red Pepper dust sitting in the pantry. I was making some Asian recipe and opened up the container of Asian Reds to smell the spice blend. The spice level nearly took my head off! Well, no matter, it's supposed to be a hot pepper blend. I tossed it in but found the

Heavy Seas Pale Ale

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Heavy Seas Pale Ale, Powder Monkey, is another Beer of the Month beer, and an excellent one at that. Granted, the reason why I liked it was due to the fact that it was an inoffensive Pale Ale, as so many can be piney or hoppy or bitter, which I do not like. This was drinkable and tasty. Nearly drank them all before I remembered to take a picture and give a review! People who prefer this style of beer might think it is took weak or not bitter enough. I would rate it a 6/10. Happily would drink one if I found myself at their brewery, would gladly accept one from a friend at a party, but not enough to go seek it out. And that last bit is just because the style of beers I like, not against the beer itself. 

SIBO and passing the oligosaccharides test

 I'm still going along with my FODMAP reintroduction. So far, I've checked off: Fructans - three separate tests for onion, wheat and garlic; Lactose - which has disaccharides - and most recently Oliosaccharies! I enjoyed a side of kidney beans.  When I've reintroduced foods, sometimes the first test has a little bit of pain, sometimes the last test with the highest amount of the item causes pain, and sometimes I have no pain whatsoever. The last round, I had some moderate pain the first day with the reintroduction of kidney beans, but for the wheat test, the last day caused pain. When I waited and retested, I had no pain with a similar meal (same pasta and sauce, decided to forgo the cheese even though it was supposed to be fine.) Since the food introductions have been great (a few tests failed, but I retested successfully) I can eat foods with wheat, onion, garlic, cheese, dairy and beans! I've yet to test avocado (Sorbitol test) or sweet potato (Mannitol) or honey (Fr

Bucket List

 A bucket list is a list of items or experiences to do before a person dies. I don't like the idea of having a bucket list that has some sort of regret attached, like "Oh, I never learned X or traveled to Y" so I usually didn't have one. But, I could just change my definition to 'list of items that would add to my life' instead of 'list of items that I might regret if I don't do them'. I am happy with the major portion of my life - I have a job that I like and makes me fulfilled, I have a group of friends I appreciate and see often (excepting during pandemics) and same with visiting with my family. I can die tomorrow without regret. I'll always want to see more of my family and friends, but don't have a nagging feeling of "I never got to see X person/thing." With that said, I did recall that I created a bucket list about 5 years ago as part of an exercise with one of my friends, with things that were important to me then. Let'