Shamballa Style

multi-coloured-7-bead-shamballa-style-bracelet

I’m singing a new song today and it’s called Shamballa style.

Shamballa Style isn’t really a song, but more the name of a style of jewelry sold online based in the United Kingdom.  They sell Shamballa Bracelets in many different styles, and they are really cool looking, as you can see from the image above.

They don’t just sell bracelets, they also sell necklaces, earrings, rings and watches for as low as £3.99.  You can even add a gift box for an additional £2.50.  They even send you a free gift pouch with all orders.

They ship using Royal mail to all countries and free delivery if you live in the U.K.

I think this style of jewelry is going to catch on real quick.

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The Incredibly Shrinking Nerd

forever love ring no diamond

Have you ever seen the movie “The Incredibly Shrinking Woman” with Lily Tomlin?  Remember the scene where her wedding ring falls off her finger and she is realizing that she is indeed shrinking?  I had a moment similar to that today, but I’m not shrinking in height, only from losing fat.

I went to the restroom and as I was washing my hands in the sink, my ring fell off my finger and into the sink.  That has never happened before.  I dried my hands and put it on my middle finger which is thicker than my ring finger and it actually fit.  I took it off and put it on my other ring finger on my right hand and it fit, which was weird because my right hand ring finger is thicker than my left hand ring finger, and my ring fit on it as snug as it has been on my left ring finger all this time.  That confirms to me that not only am I losing fat in my body, but also my hands too.

This is good, in a way, but it also means that I’m going to have to start shopping for a new ring lol.  My ring represents my love for my partner, and although he didn’t buy it for me, it means the same to me as a wedding ring means to a person who is married.  It had 2 cubic zirconia diamonds that have both fallen out, it was a $20 ring so I didn’t expect them to stay in lol.  It also says “forever love” with the diamond in between the words on both sides.

I’ve only lost 25lbs in the last 2 months and I wasn’t expecting my fingers to shrink at all.  I’ve been so used to chubby fingers all these years that I thought they were always that thick.  It never even occurred to me that my fingers gained fat since my hands didn’t gain any fat.

Anyway, glad this new healthy lifestyle is paying off.  I can’t wait to be skinny again.

Banana Ice Cream

banana ice cream

How many calories are in 1 serving of ice cream?  I looked up Häagen Dazs® Banana Split ice cream and it has 270 calories for 1/2 a cup.  HALF A CUP has 270 calories?  Well, how would you feel if I told you that 1 cup of banana ice cream only has 116 calories if you make it yourself?

It’s really simple.  I found this recipe on Facebook of all places.  All you do is slice up 1 banana, freeze it for about 2 or 3 hours, put it in a food processor or a blender with a dash of non-fat milk until it’s the consistency of ice cream, scoop it into a bowl and viola, banana ice cream.  It’s more like soft serve, and technically it’s not ice cream, it’s just pureed frozen fruit, but still, it’s like ice cream.

What makes this healthy is that you are eating fruit not ice cream, but it tastes and looks like ice cream so you are fooling your brain into thinking you are being bad, but really you are just eating a banana.

Say you don’t like bananas, well you could try this with a cantaloupe or honeydew melon, I have even read that you could make this with watermelon, but I haven’t tried it yet.  I’m going to when they are at the grocery store though, so stay tuned for that.

The Noom app that I am using says that any green fruit like banana, cantaloupe and watermelon is 25 calories for 1/3 of a cup, 50 calories for 2/3 of a cup, 100 calories for 1 1/4 cup and 150 calories for 2 cups.  The SparkPeople recipe page says it’s 116 calories for 1 medium banana.  I’d rather go with Noom’s calories because 100 calories is better lol.  Any way you slice it, it’s better for you than ice cream that you buy at the grocery store and you can eat more of it, guilt free.

Cheap Rim Strip

rim strip

So my new Noom shirt came today, and by the way I just love it.  I thought, now is a great time to put my wheel back on my bike so I can stand next to it and take a picture with my Noom shirt on.  I filled up the kitchen sink, grabbed the tube and pumped it up a bit so I could dunk it under water to find out if there is a hole or not so I can fix it.  No holes, great!  I go back out on the patio and find this (image above).  The rim strip snapped.

Naturally, I googled it and found out that bike stores will give you a cheap rim strip that will over time become brittle and break, which is exactly what happened here.  The good news is that I can buy a fabric rim strip which is obviously going to last longer.

I went to Nashbar.com which is where I buy all of my cycling accessories online, but they only have rubber rim strips.  I went to Amazon and they have them really cheap, like $3 cheap.  That’s not too bad.  If they are that cheap on Amazon, I wonder if they will be around the same at the bike store.  I will check and see when I have the money.  I won’t be able to go out until I have a Co2 pump anyway, so I won’t worry about anything until I get my next check.

Old Bike Logs

I used to have a page on my blog which showed what my current bike route was with a log that I kept from my old bicycle computer.  Now that I am using the Noom app, everything has changed.  The Noom app keeps all of my rides in the phone and backed up on their website so I never have to worry about logging.  But I figured I would keep these old logs so I can go back to them to see how fast or slow I used to ride compared to how fast or slow I ride now and the future, if that makes sense.

Below is the original text from the original bike logs…

When I started riding my bike for exercise some time in late 2008, I bought a bicycle computer so that I could find out how fast I was going.  I didn’t know that this 20 function computer was going to give me such a wealth of information.

I started logging it on index cards because I knew that they would last longer than if I had typed them out in a file.  Things get deleted and removed, case in point was when my blogs database had crashed.

So here they are with an explanation of the gaps in time between rides.

*DST = Distance (miles), AVS = Average Speed (mph)

Date DST AVS Time Calories Fat Calories
11/03/2008 6.81 10 38 345
11/05/2008 9.014 10.7 50:35 436.6 43.5
11/06/2008 11.231 10.9 1:01:54 536.2 53.5
11/10/2008 18.290 10.7 1:42:33 835.7 81.2
11/11/2008 17.521 11.1 1:34:32 813.7 85.2
11/13/2008 11.907 11.0 1:05:13 552.1 57.6
11/14/2008 11.804 11.4 1:02:29 559.3 61.6
11/15/2008 11.851 11.8 1:00:32 556.7 63.0
11/17/2008 11.644 11.9 58:37 565.3 64.4
11/18/2008 11.804 11.6 1:00:52 558.7 62.5
11/20/2008 2.131 10.6 12:05 106.7 11.0

That seems to be all of 2008.  I am not exactly sure why I stopped then but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the cold weather and not wanting to freeze my balls off at any time of the day.

I started back up in the spring of 2009

*DST = Distance (miles), AVS = Average Speed (mph)

Date DST AVS Time Calories Fat Calories
04/14/2009 9.273 10.6 52:25 439.2 43.7
04/16/2009 9.589 10.3 56:07 454.7 44.7
04/17/2009 10.396 11.8 52:57 494.7 57.0
04/19/2009 16.603 11.8 1:24:14 780.5 90.0
04/22/2009* 10.396 12.2 52:00
04/23/2009 10.339 11.7 52:51 488.0 56.0
04/27/2009 10.412 11.4 54:40 499.8 55.0
04/29/2009 10.434 12.0 52:25 529.0 59.6
04/30/2009† 7.155 11.1 38:40 357.2 38.2

Notice how my average speed has been in the 11 range with the occasional 12?

* I dropped the bicycle computer, it reset so I lost the rest of the information.  I knew my dst, avs and time but not calories.

† This wasn’t a riding day, I went to the mall on the bike.

*DST = Distance (miles), AVS = Average Speed (mph)

Date DST AVS Time Calories Fat Calories
05/03/2009 10.419 12.1 51:42 525.6 60.7
05/04/2009 10.379 11.9 52:23 498.1 57.6
05/06/2009 10.473 11.9 52:49 526.1 60.3
05/06/2009 10.374 12.3 50:38 501.8 58.9
05/11/2009 10.358 12.1 51:21 508.2 57.8
05/13/2009 11.368 12.2 55:56 557.0 64.9
05/15/2009 12.816 12.6 1:01:00 635.1 76.8
05/17/2009 13.441 12.3 1:05:30 640.9 76.6
05/19/2009 13.580 12.8 1:03:50 670.5 80.3
05/20/2009 16.615 13.0 1:16:41 831.2 101.5
05/21/2009 12.726 12.9 59:12 634.6 77.0
05/23/2009 12.669 12.4 1:01:26 617.7 73.1
05/25/2009 10.276 12.5 49:18 500.6 59.6
05/27/2009 12.740 13.1 58:19 645.9 78.3
05/28/2009 10.376 12.9 48:11 526.1 62.1
05/29/2009 12.781 13.0 59:11 655.3 78.8

Notice how my average speed has been in the 12 range and occasionally 13?

*DST = Distance (miles), AVS = Average Speed (mph)

Date DST AVS Time Calories Fat Calories
06/02/2009 12.722 12.8 59:45 662.2 79.1
06/03/2009 14.285 13.5 1:03:25 749.2 91.9
06/04/2009 14.247 13.4 1:03:54 730.4 90.4
06/08/2009 16.410 13.2 1:14:51 818.0 101.0
06/09/2009 12.707 13.3 57:18 659.9 80.0
06/10/2009 12.896 13.3 58:00 670.7 81.0
06/12/2009 16.376 13.8 1:11:02 858.2 106.7
06/13/2009 16.348 13.6 1:12:11 858.8 105.2
06/15/2009 16.337 13.6 1:11:51 680.3 105.7
06/16/2009 16.324 13.4 1:13:03 841.2 102.5
06/18/2009 16.366 13.5 1:12:42 848.6 103.6
06/19/2009 16.497 13.4 1:13:56 858.5 104.7
06/20/2009 16.351 13.7 1:11:46 850.6 105.2
06/22/2009 16.413 13.6 1:12:44 862.4 105.5
06/23/2009 16.323 13.6 1:11:51 853.2 104.9
06/24/2009 16.380 13.0 1:15:25 824.9 99.8
06/25/2009 16.359 13.0 1:15:24 813.0 99.0
06/27/2009 16.187 14.0 1:09:13 864.1 106.4
06/28/2009 16.481 13.2 1:14:56 848.3 102.7
06/29/2009 16.490 14.0 1:10:55 869.8 107.3

Notice how my average speed has been in the 13 range and a couple of 14’s in the end?

*DST = Distance (miles), AVS = Average Speed (mph)

Date DST AVS Time Calories Fat Calories
07/01/2009 16.503 13.8 1:11:57 870.4 105.5
07/02/2009 19.112 13.7 1:25:00 1002.8 122.4
07/03/2009 19.118 13.9 1:22:54 1008.3 123.7
07/05/2009 20.286 13.6 1:29:30 1067.1 133.2
07/06/2009 20.099 13.9 1:26:41 1075.1 132.0
07/07/2009 20.132 13.5 1:29:46 1043.6 127.4
07/09/2009 20.536 14.2 1:27:01 1093.9 135.9
07/10/2009 21.047 14.0 1:30:33 1105.7 135.8
07/12/2009 16.490 14.0 1:10:55 869.8 107.3
07/13/2009 21.051 14.4 1:27:33 1121.8 140.0
07/14/2009 22.199 14.1 1:34:15 1180.9 147.0
07/16/2009 22.198 14.2 1:34:03 1178.4 146.3
07/17/2009 16.783 13.5 1:14:22 883.7 106.4
07/18/2009 22.859 13.9 1:38:38 1198.0 146.1
07/20/2009 22.985 14.0 1:38:39 1212.5 148.0

Notice how my average speed started out in the 13’s range but then the rest of the time it was in the 14 range?

July 20th was my last ride because my new ergo bicycle seat hurt my shoulder so bad that I couldn’t stand the pain enough to continue riding.  I bought beach cruiser handlebars so that I could ride again and it did help with the pain.  I did try to ride in October.

Date DST AVS Time Calories Fat Calories
10/05/2009 7.331 10.4 42:19 357.6 34.6
10/06/2009 3.883 10.2 22:59 183.1 16.3
10/07/2009 5.446 10.8 30:11 259.5 26.4

Notice how I didn’t go very far?  I was in so much pain that I couldn’t really go that far from the house before having to turn around.  After 3 days I gave up.

My shoulder pain eventually went away on it’s own without any help from any of my doctors despite waiting 8 months for appointments.  I could have been out on the bike trail but I just wasn’t into it anymore.  By July I had enough of the weight that I had gained back so I tried going back out there.  Here is my log.

Date DST AVS Time Calories Fat Calories
07/17/2010 22.559 11.9 1:54:07 1011.9 113.2
07/18/2010 22.489 11.0 2:02:34 965.5 97.1

Unfortunately, the next day after my last ride logged the nut on my back wheel came out as I was riding to the store and I had to walk the bike home with groceries.  The axle really screwed  my wheel up and that was the last time I was able to ride my bike.  I called the bike store and they told me $40 for the wheel and $10 to install it.  It was difficult as it was to pay my bills and I just couldn’t afford to spend that kind of money.  So… that was the end of that until June 2011 when I finally bought a new wheel.

*DST = Distance (miles), AVS = Average Speed (mph)

Date DST AVS Time Cal Fat Cal
07/06/2011 17.172 11.2 1:32:12 868.5 91.6
07/08/2011 22.920 11.9 1:55:52 1162.9 131.3
07/09/2011 22.902 11.5 1:59:18 1132.6 124.2
07/12/2011 22.971 12.2 1:53:16 1160.9 136.2
07/14/2011 22.923 11.9 1:55:20 1159.5 131.6
07/19/2011 22.904 12.5 1:49:44 1169.4 139.9
07/21/2011 22.589 12.8 1:46:09 1176.4 140.8
07/23/2011 22.900 12.7 1:48:10 1219.9 146.5
07/24/2011 22.864 12.7 1:48:09 1208.0 144.5
07/26/2011 22.867 12.9 1:46:00 1193.7 145.7
07/28/2011 22.953 13.0 1:46:08 1198.8 144.9
07/29/2011 23.014 13.3 1:43:53 1226.4 150.1
07/31/2001† 13.030 12.3 1:03:29 671.6 79.6
Date DST AVS Time Cal Fat Cal
08/02/2011 23.159 12.7 1:49:12 1197.0 143.3
08/06/2011 23.019 12.6 1:50:01 1156.7 137.1
08/09/2011 22.986 12.6 1:49:44 1178.5 139.1
08/10/2011 22.979 12.6 1:49:27 1176.7 138.7
08/13/2011 23.022 12.5 1:50:34 1167.0 138.5
08/14/2011 23.055 12.5 1:50:54 1167.5 137.7
08/16/2011 23.031 12.8 1:47:59 1181.1 141.9
08/17/2011 23.259 12.5 1:51:27 1173.1 138.7
08/18/2011 23.089 12.4 1:51:22 1150.2 136.0
08/22/2011 23.460 12.3 1:54:14 1184.6 138.5
08/25/2011 23.009 12.2 1:53:14 1141.7 131.8

*DST = Distance (miles), AVS = Average Speed (mph)
†Rain

I tried to ride again in the Spring of 2012, but I had gained so much weight that every time I sat on the bike, the back wheel would deflate.  Even going to the store, I would end up walking the bike and the groceries home.  I tried pumping the tube up, but even just sitting in the patio it would deflate.  I changed the tube and the same thing happened with several tubes.  I don’t know what is wrong with it.  There isn’t a thorn in the tire and the tubes don’t have holes in them, I checked by inflating them and dunking them in water.  Their valves aren’t malfunctioning, so I really don’t know why they won’t stay inflated.  I am determined to ride in March 2013 even if that means buying an airless tube despite the reviews saying if you are over 200lbs it always feels like riding on a flat tire.

Vaping and Dieting

zeus ejuice

Last year I decided after doing a bit of research that vaping sweet flavors would help me lose weight.  Of course, I realize that only diet and exercise will help me lose weight, but my reasoning was that if I had sweet flavors in my mouth, then I wouldn’t be tempted to eat the empty calories, because I just wanted the flavor.  So if I had the flavors, then I wouldn’t be consuming the calories.  Well, that theory was flawed because without a proper diet, I was still consuming empty calories from my regular day-to-day food.

Now that I am on track and eating healthy food and have already lost more than 20lbs (1/5/2013 – 2/19/2013), I started vaping again.  I placed a new order with Zeus eJuice for a 10ml bottle of Banana Nut Bread, and they comped me a 3ml bottle of Grape Jolly Rancher flavored e-liquid.  Of course, the e-liquid I buy doesn’t have any nicotine at all so I don’t have to worry about an addiction.

Since I am on my healthy diet, I don’t have a craving for sweet foods anymore.  Although I do have the occasional craving, I will eat fruit instead of cookies or ice cream.  I do have a recipe for a fruit cookie that uses banana, apple, oatmeal, vanilla and a tiny amount of brown sugar.  It’s not the same as eating a cookie, but I psych myself out, so to me it is.  It’s all mental.  The vaping is all mental too.  If I vape sweet flavors then I’m getting the sweet taste that I wanted without the calories, right?  Well, it only works if I say it works, and so far it does because I haven’t even craved the fruit cookies.

For anyone wanting to lose weight and think that vaping will help, let me just dispel that, it doesn’t.  I mean, it will give you the flavors, but you won’t actually lose weight.  This is my advice for losing weight and it is what helped me to lose more than 20lbs.  Eat healthy!  I started using this app on my phone called Noom Weight Loss Coach.  It’s only available for the Android (sorry iPhone users).  It’s free, or you could pay the monthly fee or pay for the full product.  It’s your choice.  Try it out for free and see if you like it.  Noom is just a tool to help me log my food and exercise and it gives me great articles, but the food I am eating is what helped me to lose weight.  I’ve been eating the Weight Watchers Smart Ones meals for lunch and dinner and also eating steamed fresh or frozen vegetables.

The vaping gives me the sweet flavors that I am not eating so I don’t eat empty calories.  Vaping is pretty much a tool the same way the Noom app is a tool, they just do different jobs.  I’d say it’s still worth the time and money, and if you are a smoker you could benefit from vaping because it will help you save money and possibly quit smoking too.

So if you want to start vaping, do this.  Go to Smoktek.com and buy a SmokTek Express eGo CE4 650 E-Cigarette Kit for only $20.  It’s a good idea to also buy a changeable coil clearomizer (round tip) with replacement coils too.  Then go to ZeuseJuice.com and buy a 10ML bottle of whatever flavor you want.

These are the flavors that I like because they taste sweet.  Banana Nut Bread, Pumpkin Pie, Grape Jolly Rancher, Strawberry, Raspberry (and let’s just assume all the fruits), Demeter’s Harvest, Candy Corn and Vanilla Ice Cream.  It’s good to experiment with different flavors, but don’t mix too many with the same wick because the flavor stays with that wick, so if you use candy corn then dump it back into the bottle and put pumpkin pie in there, it’s not going to taste like pumpkin pie anymore, it’s going to taste like pumpkin pie and candy corn and the two don’t mix.  It will probably end up tasting more like vomit lol.  Trust me.  I haven’t done that with those flavors, but I have done it.

You could try another website for your e-liquids, or go to a smoke shop to get it like that same day, but you will end up paying double.  Zeus e-Juice charges $6 for a 10ML bottle which is equivalent to a carton of cigarettes.

So that’s my advice for anyone who wants to lose weight with vaping.  You don’t have to take my advice because what might work for me might not work for you, but you have to ask yourself, do you really want it to work for you?  If you want it to work, then it will work.  Everything is psychological.  Anyway, give it a go and tell me if it worked for you.

Eat healthier at Subway

subway app

I have been going to Subway since I was a teenager when they first came to California.  I even remember my very first subway sandwich.  It was a footlong cold cut combo on white (they only had wheat and white back then) without cheese and with lettuce, pickles, tomatoes and actually I don’t remember what else.  I do remember it had oil and vinegar which I did not like and I haven’t gotten it that way since.  As they added more breads, my order has slightly changed since then, but it has always been a cold cut combo.  I think one time in the last 23 years I ordered the meatball sub, and I think one time I ordered the tuna, but those were the only two times I ever ordered something different.

Their slogan is “Eat Fresh” and they have always had a list of their sandwiches with calories, but you never really knew how many calories you were getting with all of the extras you add-on.  I mean, who wants to get out their calculator to see how many calories they are eating?  You just assume that whatever you are getting is low cal.

We went there tonight and I was looking at the receipt and noticed they had an app for ordering your sub with your smart phone.  Naturally I had to download it.  The Subway closest to us does not have the feature available where I can place my order from my phone, but I asked to be informed when they do.  It would be cool if I could just place my order from my phone and then just go pick them up.  In the meantime, I can see how many calories I am eating.  This is tonight’s sub.

12 inch cold cut combo

Tonight I got a 12” Honey Oat Cold Cut Combo with Provolone toasted with lettuce, light mayo, cucumbers and olives.  That’s it.  That sandwich is 1040 calories.  Keep in mind we buy the footlong and only eat half of it for our meal and the other half for the next meal, so whatever calories it has, divide that by 2.  So 520 calories isn’t that much right?  Well, wrong actually.  Check it out,

12 inch 9 grain wheat turkey

If I changed my order to a 12” Turkey Breast and Black Forest Ham on 9-grain Wheat, no cheese, no mayo, with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and olives, it goes down to 580 calories.  Now, I can split this up into 2 meals like I typically do and my calories will be cut in half.

I have been eating the cold cut combo for 23 years.  I think it’s time for a change, don’t you?