26 November 2006

The hunt for healthy snacks

I love to snack. I have since learned that its snacks that do the most damage, especially when you use them to replace proper meals. Now that I am trying to loose weight and be healthy I have to watch what I snack on. While I am not walking around with a scale and measuring cup tied to my waist or a calculator strapped to my wrist I am conscious of my portions as well my caloric intake. Lets face it e get how far u go chop banana and apple! All the things I like to snack on are really high on calories, especially calories from fat, calories which go straight to my hips, butt, arms, etc and live there as fat. With each day, my pool of appropriate snacks shrinks so you can imagine that the day I actually get to add to the pool I would be celebrating. I recently discovered vegetable chips well not me, my work out partner did. It is sold at H.E.B and its actually green beans, carrots, zuccini, yams and something else I don't know what it is. All these vegetables are somehow fried/proccessed till they are crisp like potato crisps. It tastes really nice and if you like crisps like me you will love them. Unfortunately I have not been able to confirm the nutritional facts for this particular snack, so I haven't officially added it to my pool, I am going to make sure I confirm that asap.

24 November 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

I am thankful and tired.

My first thanksgiving in the US was nice but as I had expected it to be tiring. We had guests so we did a lot of cooking. I managed to not blow my 'diet', although even if I wanted to eat 'orisirisi' as y'all know, food that I am involved with cooking 'smells' to me. I had often wondered at the origins of Thanksgiving, and I assumed it was like denim - a US creation. According to Wikipedia, 'Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is an annual one-day holiday to give thanks (traditionally to a God), for the things one has at the close of the harvest season'. This sounds very much like the New Yam festival celebrated in the east, and the Harvest Festivals held in the churches in Nigeria. I think I prefer the American version though, here thanksgiving is more about the individual and less about the church building fund!

So what am I most thankful for this year? I think it would be getting the liver to move here after many years of procastinating. I am thankful for my friends who have opened up their hearts and homes to me. I am also thankful for family.

22 November 2006

The Forbes Fictional 15

The richest fictional character according to Forbes is defense contractor Oliver 'Daddy' Warbucks with a net worth of $ 36.2 billion. Apparently he shot to the top of the list by virture of the fact that Santa's status has changed from fictional to real (yup you read that right) and also due to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its good to know someone is profiting from those conflicts! Coming in second is Charles Montgomery Burns with $ 16.8. At number 9 in the rankings is Prince Abakaliki of Nigeria (of the 419 email fame) with a net worth of $2.8 billion.

The Forbes Fictional 15 forbes.com

On the march again

I am on the move again.

My contract in Houston has ended and once again I am on the move this time to sunny California. My contract was supposed to run till the end of November and I was really praying that my services would be retained. Alas. Not only did my project end way ahead of schedule, the company could not find further use for my services. I was a little miffed because I had made all my plans based on the premise that I would be employed till the end of November, where do I begin? At the beginning of course. Luckily I had never really relaxed with looking for work so I just got back in the swing of things. My job search this time was a lot more confident, afterall I now had some 'US' experience. Three weeks into my search, I got a call from some guy in California. He had actually sent me email about a week prior but I had not bothered to reply (I don't know why). I had apparently applied to his listing on Dice.com and he wanted to now if I go his email and if I was still looking. I lied about not having received the email (there really was no excuse for my tardiness) and yes I was still looking. We fixed a time for a phone interview for the following week and I promptly forgot about it, California is too far (from where?) and for a lot of reasons I would prefer to remain in Texas, preferrably Houston. Anyhow the day for the interview arrives, and courtesy of my trusty phone I was not taken by surprise. The interview went well and as we were rounding up, they asked if I had received an email from them. I promptly checked my email. Yes I had received the email, could I be so kind as to carry out the attached skill assessment test, I had an hour to complete it. I was suprised and a little flustered, I had made an appointment to meet with my trainer right after the interview which I had assumed would take an hour max, not 2. I had rescheduled the appointment with my trainer 3 times already and I really didn't want to have to call him yet again to reschedule. Plus I wasn't going to take no skills assessment test under 'duress'. I quickly voiced my concerns to the guy who was supposd to be conducting this test via phone. Okay why don't I go run my errands and let him have the test by 6 pm my time. Sounds good to me. I drop the phone and smile to myself, 3 months ago, I would not have been dictating terms with no recruiter, if he said jump I would have asked how high, how far I have come! I really wasn't feeling like doing no skill assessment test, I sha forced myself and managed to submit it and run all my errands (sweet) Imagine my surprise when the very next day I got an email requesting I come out to California for a second interview, all expenses paid. Why not, never been should be fun. They sent me my itinerary and I rushed off to the Internet to check out the lodgings, the quality of the lodgings would determine if I would be making a trip out or not.

We interrupt this narration to bring you an advert for the Shade Hotel

If ever you are in Manhattan Beach and need a nice boutique type hotel to relax try the Shade Hotel. The rooms are well appointed, the bathrooms luxurious, the staff are very nice the service is really personal and the food is good.

Narration continues below

Mind you this is my first face-to-face interview, AY (my half workout partner) had earlier told me that the best outfit to wear to an in-person interview is a navy blue skirt suit. Please do not ask me how she knows. I am a woman and I really don't need an excuse to shop. Kia off to the mall we go in search of the perfect suit which we found without incident. The plan was to arrive and interview on friday, spend the weekend and return sunday evening.

The interview went well, it started with lunch (Americans eat too much) then we went back to the office for the remainder of the interview. I really liked the people and the offices, I could see myself working with these people in these surroundings and enjoying it. Lets see if the price will be right. Finally at about 7 pm we wrap things up with a promise to get back to me with their decision either later that evening or first thing Monday. Finally I get to go check out my lodgings, the drive down was uneventful although I hated my rental car (a Ford Taurus) it felt like I was diving a fully loaded truck; non existent turning angle, 0-60 in like 300 mins, this car has done nothing to positively enhance my opinion of Amercian cars. The room lived up to and surpassed my expectations. I had just finished tipping the bellhop when my phone rang, yes they wanted to offer me the job, the compensation however was not very attractive. Thankfully I had the whole weekend to think about it. I put all money matters from my mind and proceeded to enjoy the weekend. Manhattan Beach is a lovely place and by Sunday as I drove to the airport, I could see myself living there driving a BMW/Lexus/Mercedes. Sunday came by too soon and although I enjoyed myself I found I missed my peeps in Houston. Monday rolls by and I politely decline their offer, they ask me to make a counter offer which I did after some polite haggling we agree on compensation and here I am, once again preparing to move.

21 November 2006

Arsenal 3 - 1 Hamburg SV

Match Report soccernet.com

Match Report arsenal.com

Money for nothing

Found this video on YouTube, it brouht back fond memories of saturday mornings at home watching Top of the Pops with my aunt. I love this song because it features 2 of my favorite things; guitars and Sting!

A huge step towards healthy living

So I decided to stop moaning about my thickening thighs and do something about it, I closed my eyes and joined a gym. This is in line with my new philosophy, 'strive to do today what you can, tomorrow might never come'. My first week was horrible, every part of my body ached. I ached in places I didn't even know I had muscles in. My second week was just as bad and at one point I was about to just give up then I thought of all the money I had shelled out the unrecognisable me who stares at me everytime I look in the mirror. That was all the motivation I needed to get out of bed into my gym clothes and off to the gym.

My trainer is South African and it seems he can't 'count'. 'Now you gonna give me 2 sets of 15 reps on this machine' I get onto the machine and I begin to do my reps counting to 15. With a sigh of relief after the first set I am about to disentangle myself from the yeye aparatus (who send me message) when he goes 'what are u doing? I only counted 8 reps' WTF!!! The first time he did it and I argued with him I ended up doing an extra set of reps so now I just grit my teeth and let him count. Thankfully I only meet with him once a week. Exercising for me has been painful (I cannot emphasise that fact enough) but fun. Fun in the sense that its been challenging, pushing myself and all that. I also find that having a partner helps. I actually have two partners, well one, okay one and a half. My main/whole partner is my friends mum and I must say she is in great hape, fashy the fact that she is the same age as Princess and no, she is not white or half-caste. My other partner (the half one) is my main partners daughter, my friend whom I stay with. We both registered at the gym on the same day three weeks ago and she has only been twice. Having a gym partner really pays off especially when you are doing cardio, you will be amazed how a 60 min gruelling workout on the treadmill will just go by when you have someone to gist with.

Alongside exercising, I am also learning to eat sensibly. Normally I would eat 1 max 2 meals a day. My trainer gave me an interesting bit of information; the only athletes who eat twice a day are Sumo wrestlers! That got my attention. The key to weight loss is increasing my metabolism. Right now, the way I eat, my metabolism spikes once, max twice in a 24 hr period. For self preservation, when I eat my body converts a small percentage of the food to 'fuel' for the body to use and stores the rest as fat since it knows it wont get more nourishment/sustenance for atleast another 8 to 20 hrs. Since I do not lead a physically active life, the probability that I will make use of the stored fuel is low. The next day I eat, my body stores food and soon I am like the squirrel storing up nuts for winter only that I have no problem locating my hoard, its right there on my thights, hips, butt, arms, etc inching me closer and closer to the next dress size. Also since my body is skimping on 'fuel' thinking it needs to save for a rainy day, I find that I am slow and sluggish during the day (Is that the reason? There I was thinking something was wrong with me!). How do I fix the problem, i.e. get my body to use up a lot more of what I eat as fuel and store a lot less? Eat more frequently, 4 - 6 times a day (according to my trainer) and build lean muscle. By eating frequently I increase my metabolism. Since my body knows it will always get food,the amount of fat stored in all the wrong places reduces. What do I eat frequently? Fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meat, chicken, chocolate, ice cream, pretty much anything I want as long as I portion my food (a good rule of thumb is the size of your fist, no second helpings!) and don't overindulge in the 'bad' stuff, (sweets, chocolates, ice cream, chocolate cake, etc) I should be okay. I was also told that for every pound of lean muscle I possess, my body will burn 50Kcal every day during my rest period. The goal is to build 10 pounds of lean muscle so during my rest period I burn 500Kcal everyday. It will take 10 - 14 months to build lean mucle (this is where excercise comes in) I eye my instructors 32" biceps as he says this, 'Mr man I just want to lose weight and be fit, I am not planning to enter the Mr World competiton' he laughs. I am in no danger of developing 32" biceps by developing 10 pounds of lean muscle he assures me.

Okay now, how the heck am I going to be able to eat sensibly I wonder as I go home after my orientation class where I learned all about metabolism. I love all the bad stuff, how will I cope? Quite well apparently. I am eating right and exercising, enjoying increased mental alertness and slowly but surely dropping the weight. I am not starved for all the 'bad' stuff I like to eat, I have learned to enjoy a scoop of ice cream as much as a whole tub. I have managed to suprise myself at the level of discipline I have been able sustain. I must say it, I am proud of me! Wish me luck as I pace my self for the marathon called healthy living ahead of me.

15 November 2006

How I would have killed my ex-wife?

However way I would have "dunnit", for sure I would not be hypothesising about it. I really can't believe the premise of O.J's new book!!! Please how insensitive is that? Is it not bad enough that his kids are growing up not entirely sure their father killed their mother, does he have to go and make light of the fact of her unfortunate demise? Pehaps this is all a publicity stunt to promote his new book. Again its the most insensitive and selfish thing he could have done. I read somewhere that Fox is airing a two-part interview with him, the theme of which is similar to that of the book. The whole thing is sickening. If I were him, I would remain in my hole in Florida, work on my golf handicap and prepare to meet my maker. I sure as hell would not be tempting fate in this fashion, she has been known to be fickle.

OJ Simpson reveals how he would have killed his wife guardian.co.uk

And the new Dancing with the Stars champion is ... Emmitt Smith!

I yelled till I was hoarse! Of course Mario Lopez is a great dancer, and his free style to 'It takes two' was awesome and brought back sweet memories. Carrie Ann Inaba summed it up nicely when she said about Emmitt; "What's so great about you is you are the everyday man who became a dancer in our eyes in the past 10 weeks". For such a big man with no showbiz experience he really did a good job on the show. He along with his nuturing partner (Cheryl Burke) deserved to win.

Emmitt Smith Wins ABC's 'Dancing' Title msn.com