Saturday, April 22, 2017

Welch's Grape Juice: What's the difference between Heart Healthy and regular?

I am lucky in that our local Walmart Market allows online shopping and all I have to do is go pick up my groceries. I love that! It has its drawbacks but it does make large shopping trips easier.

The problem is their lack of information on products. Day before yesterday I did my online shopping. What I really like about it is that I can add things to the "list" throughout the week and then buy it all at once at the end of the week. Circling back around to day before yesterday....

I wanted some grape juice. I had been buying the smaller single serving bottles but I quickly realized that we were drinking more than usual since we changed our lifestyle to healthier eating. For this reason, I decided to go with a 64-oz bottle. I buy Welch's grape juice. Originally I tried the Great Value brand but it tasted to me like watered down grape Kool-aid. The ingredients lists juice but it just didn't taste like it to me. Welch's has that nice tart grape flavor we like.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Things to do when you're sick... and bored... and you're a woman.

As I write, I am feeling like death. Today, I have the flu. My stomach is queasy, my nose is running, I'm coughing, my eyes feel like they're on fire and I'm feeling general misery overall, and I have a general feeling wishing that I was dead.

With tissues stuck in my nose, I Googled "how to pass the time when you're sick" and there were a number of articles that popped up. I read them and wished I could take a marker and mark out nearly everything they said. For example, one said watch a chick flick. Um, what? The last thing I want to do is cry and turn my nose up from jogging to running in full blast mode.

I think it's pretty clear that the people who wrote these well intended articles, probably weren't sick when they wrote it. Since I am, let's see what works.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Tara Grinstead: Finally an arrest!

As some of you know, I've written about this woman before. Her case has baffled me from the beginning. It reads like a whodunnit but in fact, it turned out not to really be like that. The killer was not at the table. 

It took over ten years but at last, someone has finally spoken up and and an arrest has been made. Not because of any evidence but because thankfully, a heroic witness came forward with information. I call them heroic because had they not, this case would still be mysterious and unsolved.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

How to easily remove a black or white solid background in PSP x8x

This is an easy trick that many of you novice users may not know about. When I say novice, I do not mean newbies, but those who do not use it for professional reasons.

There is no need to use this for gradient backgrounds because the background remover does a rather fine job of that and this not so much in that instance. This is best used on a black or white solid background.

Friday, January 13, 2017

eMeals: Update of Review

I've been using eMeals for a few weeks now relying completely on it. I wrote up a full review here, but there were a few things I did not address, that I felt like needed to be added.

I use the Quick and Healthy plan. I will say that if I buy the ingredients that they call for, it is indeed quick and definitely healthy, but my grocery bill was over $350 one week which is unacceptable. I had to rethink how I did "quick". 

The main cost problem comes in two parts. One, the quick ingredients are pre-prepared items that you're paying someone else to do and that gets expensive fast; and two, the produce ingredients can be pricey. Let's look at a couple of things to explain.

Nearly every week it calls for 1 or 2 dinners with packages of pre-cooked rice. While convenient because it's already cooked, it gets expensive very quickly. Walmart sells a single package (all cost the same, but this example is the Spanish rice), at the time of this writing, for $2.74. I have the family plan so I need two packages of it so that will cost me $5.48. Each package yields 2 cups of rice, so that's $5.48 for 4 cups of rice. Now for Spanish rice, that's probably okay. If I had to make homemade Spanish rice it would likely cost about the same, but what about brown rice, or basmati or jasmine? Absolutely not! That is very expensive for just plain rice. 

You can buy one 32-oz bag of Mathama brown rice for $2.16. A 32-oz bag yields 16 cups of cooked rice. You see the price difference there, right? Now imagine having to buy 4 of the pre-cooked a week. That's a huge money loss by the end of the year. 

Next it's the produce. This past week it called for 6 bok choy. Each bok choy was 96 cents each, so that's roughly 6 dollars. Six dollars for only the side dish! We're not talking the main dish. That is very expensive. I ultimately went with plain 'ol cabbage, which was 46 cents, total. That saved me 5 dollars. 

I went through my list for this past week and had to substitute a number of items. I bought a bag of jasmine rice instead of pre-cooked, cabbage instead of bok choy, fresh bell peppers and onions than pre-cut frozen, etc. My food bill dropped to an amazing $147. Well, I did spend $75 at the Asian market buying sauces and such it called for, but only part of that was for this past week. Some was for my son's Japanese cooking and some were for the week before. I had skipped one recipe from the week before that I'd use this past week instead. Either way, that's still way less than the $350 it was week before last. 

Oh and I almost forgot about the tenderloins! Last week the list called for chicken tenderloins, which would mean that I wouldn't have to do much with it. However it was 4 times more costly to buy them and then I was incensed when I opened the package. Each package had 6 and of those 6, 6 had tendons from the breast. Basically, I had to spend time slicing the tendon out and by the time it was all said and done, it would have been cheaper and just as fast if I had just bought breasts in the first place. I felt like hitting Walmart's butcher with those so-called "tenderloins". What a rip off! 

In the end, you have a choice. You can either spend a lot of time in the kitchen or save money. You cannot have both. 

I decided to compromise. I shop on Wednesdays (which is one reason I wish the list would come out earlier in the week, I have to plan their plan and that irritates me to no end) so I spend more time in the kitchen on Thursday than I do the rest of the week. I slice vegetables that they told me to get frozen. I slice up breasts that they told me to get as tenderloins, or whatever. I cook up rice and freeze them in bags. 

Then the rest of the week, dinner is pretty easy. I get the convenience of a fast meal without that fast cost. I looked at the plain healthy menu to see if it would be more economical, but it really isn't. It still calls for things like bok choy and other expensive produce or ingredients. Sadly, eating cheap is what it is. 

I'm a little saddened because I had looked forward to a variety of foods and not having to eat the same thing over and over again. However if I do it their way, I'll be homeless when I retire. I can't stand liberals who say "Well you'll just die young then if you don't spend the money on good health now." My retort to that is "Well good, because I'd rather be dead than eating out of trash cans because I'll have to live on the street." Liberals don't understand simple economics, but I digress. 

We'll see how long I continue to use eMeals. Perhaps the company will read this and offer a solution, but for now I don't see one. If I have to constantly edit, make changes, buy cheaper and on and on, then what am I paying them for? 

I want to give them a fair shake though and see how this plays out. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Discussion Part 2: Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath

I have completed the first 6 episodes of Leah's documentary and I understand that there are only 7 and next week 7 (or will it be 8?) will be airing.

Now that I've seen the shows and read the letters, I am convinced that David Miscavige (whom I will now refer to as #PsychoDave from here on out) is a psychopath. His is an abusive, self-serving, egotistical rat bastard of a psychopath. He brainwashes his followers and pockets millions of dollars by ripping them off. This is no religion, it's at best, a self-help group, but in reality a self-destruction group.

I doubt very much any Scientologist will ever read what I have to say. They're not allowed to read it. They are censored something fierce, and is an abomination. If you know a Scientologist print out the St. Petersburg articles and give it to them. Know first, that you will likely never be spoken to by them again, but know that what you did was the right thing.

Post these articles in public. Some will be curious, some may actually read them and if only ONE person reads them and changes their mind, then you've likely saved their life.

If you can't watch the A&E documentary because you've gone off of cable/satellite TV, then the articles are the way to go. Hell, if you even watched the documentary, I still recommend the articles. They outline the same things really, but the article has more information. Watching them on TV though brings you closer to the humans that they are. You really need both, but one or the other is absolutely required.

Where do I even begin to discuss the atrocities that #PsychoDave has committed? They are so numerous that a single blog post couldn't possibly cover them all. Except for the master race business and the mass executions, #PsychoDave is exactly like Hitler. He has established labor camps. He imprisons his followers. He beats his executives into submission. He makes his followers take lie detector tests, has them interrogated then charges them money for it. His own father had to plan his escape six months in advance. His own father! When your father has to escape, you know there is a problem.

Go here and read this 3-part article, then come back and finish my post. Read it slowly and carefully.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Discussion: Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath

I knew Leah Remini had produced an 8-part series that detailed the abuses of the so-called "Church" of Scientology, which is the last time you'll see it written that way in any more of my posts. Merriam-Webster defines Church as a place of Christian worship. Scientology is not a Christian entity; not in the least. Christianity is about forgiveness and the belief that Christ is our Savior. They preach none of that. In fact, they preach that you alone are responsible for well-being. That is an anti-Christ teaching.

Let's put the nit-picky part aside though. Let's instead look at the one thing that is proof it is anything but a church. Let's look at their own words.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

eMeals.com: A Full Review

I have a love/hate relationship with eMeals.com. To begin with, I love the service they provide. They plan the meals, they look at what's in season so it's cheapest and they give you recipes to make. A lot of meal planning books and websites give you the main dish but never any sides. Thankfully, eMeals.com includes sides! There is no more spending time trying to plan what your family will eat.

They also have several different plans. Eating cheaply, paleo diet, low carbs, quick meals, quick and healthy, etc. They have different sized meals. They have cooking for two and family size meals for 4-6. The possibilities are endless and you can switch meal plans if you want to anytime.

Then there's the grocery list they have for you. You can print it, or open the app on your Google Play Android phone or iPhone, you cannot open it in a Kindle without hacking your Kindle. It has it's problems, granted. You need to not be in a hurry the first time you use it else you may buy three times as much parsley like I did, which I'll explain in a bit.