Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

The first quarter of this book read much like Dragon Tattoo.  It did a lot of setting up, but it wasn't really exciting or gripping.  The foreshadowing parts where you enter the world of Zala and his ilk gets you interested, but when the scene shifts back to Blomkvist or Lisbeth, it just moves slow.

Until just now, I had forgotten that Lisbeth spent the first quarter of the book travelling around the world.  Again, other than just setting up the background, the first part of the book just didn't hum along very fast.

But once you get past that, the book accelerates and is hard to put down.  This one was much better than the first.  The theme is still gritty, but there is much more intrigue and suspense than the first - at least that how it felt to me.

Also unlike the first one, this one ends quite abrubtly.  I remember reading the last few chapters of Dragon Tattoo and thinking that it was taking forever to finish.  This one, however, came to a halting stop.  Thankfully, Larsson publishes the first few pages of Hornet's Nest to somewhat alleviate the shock at the end of the book.

I bought the first two books in paperback.  Hornet's Nest comes out in paperback on February 21.  So I plan on reading King's Gambit until the 3rd book comes out in paperback.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dis-jointed Week

I held to my routine on Monday and Tuesday ... but Tuesday was unusual.  I was over my cold, but my stomach just wasn't feeling well.  I had some bowl issues as well - which I suspected to be due to the CO.  So on Wednesday and Thursday, I did a bit of a fast - kind of going back to some old habits.

Essentially, I didn't eat anything all day until dinner time.  I just drank water, Crystal Light and hot herbal tea.  For dinner, I'd eat my fried eggs and an avocado.

I didn't do any exercise on Monday.  On Tuesday and did some weight lifting and a little bit of jump rope.  On Wednesday and Thursday, I did 45 mins and 60 mins of spinning (stationary bike).  So the calorie reduction combined with the cardio workouts has caused me to drop down to 211.

Overall, from January 3 to today, the decline has been steady, interspersed with spikes.  The upper horizontal line is 220lbs while the lower is 210.  The red lines indicate the time period between January 3 and 27.  The yellow line indicates the trend.

I've not been hungry the last two days.  But I don't know how much the CO has played in that assessment.  I plan go back to the CO next week.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Coconut Oil Links

My main staple for "tasteless calories" as I'm doing the Shangri-la diet again will be coconut oil (CO).  CO is not tasteless - it definitely has some taste to it.  Last summer, when I first heard of the benefits of CO, I texted my wife to see if she could pick up some at the store.  She happened to be at a friend's house and this friend buys and sells virgin CO in bulk - she's a big believer in CO - what are the odds?  So my wife asked her friend if she knew where she could buy CO.  Naturally her friend offered my wife some of the CO she buys and sells.

When I got home from work that day, I tasted the CO - directly into my mouth.  It wasn't too pleasant.  It tasted like I just took a bite of a bar of coconut flavored soap.  So I put it in a smoothie and the taste was still there.

So when I take my CO, I will always pinch my nose and then drink and swish water in my mouth to get the taste out.  By the time I un-pinch my nose, the taste is either not there at all or there is only a faint hint of it.

Yesterday morning, before I started my 'routine', I weighed in at 215.5.  Then I successfully went through my routine yesterday ... hunger wasn't an issue at all.  However, I am getting a cold - it started yesterday - so I felt a little weak by the time I got home from work at 5:15pm.  I ate an apple and then took the dog on an hour-long walk.  I felt just fine after that.

This morning I weighed in at 213.4.

My main question yesterday, with regard to CO, was how much coconut oil should I ingest daily?  Yesterday, I took 2 tablespoons at 8:00am and 2 more at 3:00pm.  I wasn't sure if that was too much or too little.  Before, when I was taking ELOO, I think I took about 4 tablespoons a day.

This link suggest 3.5 tablespoons a day.  That same site as a lot of other good info on the benefits of CO.

This link is heavy on the benefits of CO for the brain and for curing cancer.  But at the very bottom, the author suggests 2 to 4 tablespoons a day.

This link is excellent!  Not only does it confirm the 3-4 tablespoons a day, but it has a very succinct list of all the benefits of ingesting CO.

By the way, all of these links are from the first few hits from a google search (click here to see all the search results.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

I got sucked into this one with everyone else.  Several months ago, I heard Rush Limbaugh talk about these books.  I didn't think much of it at the time ... he piqued my interest, but at the time, I was just starting to get into Patrick O'Brian.

So when I saw that Daniel Craig was starring in the English re-make of the movie, I decided I needed to read the books (I like the James Bond movie and I think Craig is the best Bond ever).

It started out really interesting.  In between sections and chapters were little stats about abuse of women in Sweden.  I began to realize the author was going to make a point.  Now - I dove into this book cold-turkey.  I didn't really do any research on it before I began reading ... I just picked it up.  So I wasn't really prepared when a few parts got quite graphic.

After I finished the book, I read on wikipedia that Larsson wrote these books because he felt bad for not stopping a rape of a girl when he could have.

Other than the graphic parts, the book was quite good and entertaining.  Larsson does a good job painting a picture of the story.  However, the one thing I was somewhat expecting, was a complex plot-line with lots of twists and turns.  This didn't meet that expectation.  In fact, one of the first thoughts that popped into my mind was that Harriet was still alive and was, indeed, the person sending the flowers.  The details of how that story fits, of course, meandered and was the "meat" of the story, but I was somewhat expecting something different - more complex.

Anyway - overall, it was a good book.  Mentally, I file this book in the same folder as Dan Brown's books.  I plan to finish the trilogy ... I'm reading Played with Fire now.

SLD 2012

The weight is back - especially after the holidays (Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Years).  I've been doing lots of reading on Seth Roberts' blog as well as other sites.  My exercise options have been limited and I need to make minor changes that are sustainable for the long-haul, but that don't interfere with life in general.

So I'm firing this blog back up again ... to track; to post thoughts; to book-mark important things I've read and found.

The day after New Year's, I weighed in at 220 lbs.  Through exercise and not eating cookies, I've backed off that weight a bit and am now at 215 lbs.  I need to get back to about 175-180.

Today, I tested the feasibility of ingesting virgin coconut oil while plugging my nose and then rinsing with water.  It worked out quite well.

Here's the plan:
After waking up, eat 3 fried (in butter) eggs - at around 5:30am
Next would be two tablespoons of virgin coconut oil - at around 8:00am
Next I'd drink water while an hour passed.  Then I could drink my Crystal Light at 9:15am
Lunch would consist of an apple and protein - 12:00pm
Next would be another two tablespoons of virgin coconut oil - at around 3:00pm
After getting home from work, I'd exercise (long walks, spin on the bike and weights) - around 5:00pm
Dinner would be light and made mostly of protein - at around 6:30pm
The day would be capped off with a Diet Canada Dry - at around 8:30pm

Weigh-ins are crucial for me - so I will usually weigh-in every day after I wake-up.