Stride Right!

I recently measured my LO’s foot, suspecting he needed larger shoes now.  I was surprised to find that his feet were extra wide – yet not at the same time.

Anyway, I got into a conversation with my mom about our trips to Stride Rite, a shoe store with professional staff, where they would always measure your feet and pull out all the options available to you.  These days those professions seem non-existent – perhaps to our detriment in a way, especially if   you have feet that is not standard to the Average American(?) male/female.

I first thought about this when a primary doctor mentioned, in passing, that yeah, she  saw a slight formation/start of a bunion on my foot.  In a very non-chalant way too.  But why is that okay?  Fast forward to recently, I was readying Mayo Clinic newsleter about foot health and how bunions are formed.  I would expect a dcotir to tell someone (me) you need to get a shoe with a wider / more fitting width, or whatever the remedy would be.  I started stretching my foot out to get my toes to start stretching in the right direction, and I try to use these Yoga Toes I have whenever I remember.

It all those darn heels.  Now I’ve been trying to push out the ill fitting shoes to meet the needs of the outlined foot on the paper with my ruler.  Wide it is and, for my son, XW (extra wide).

So I would recommend learning how to measure your/your LO’s foot size so we can take care of our feet and prevent residual effects of improper pressure on our feet!


Top 10 smartiEating Tips

Thanksgiving Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving!  I was listening to podcast earlier today about what some of the first Thanksgivings really were like – it was a 3-day feast and you ended with the fourth Sunday when you went to church.  I imagine it would last for 3 days because there was no refrigeration and once all that food is cooked, no one goes home until the plate is empty.

Anyway, I’m stuffed.  I did better than most Thanksgivings though!  Over the years of trying to be healthy, I have developed a few hand rules that I try to abide to moreso than not.  If you need to recover from the Thanksgiving holiday or try to avoid putting on the “winter coat” here are some ideas that I’m sharing with you.

  1. Healthy Snacks – bring fruit with you!  When I find myself craving something, I tell myself, shut up and eat your banana 🙂
  2. No Snacks at home.  I try not to stock anything that I didn’t fit caloric-wise into my week’s meal plan. And I use mealplan loosely here.
  3. Split out serving sizes ahead of time. We used to snack on cereal and then would find we make a regrettable dent in the box. Then for the week,  we’d separate each serving size into Ziplock bags and put them back in the box. We’d also separate a bag of trail mix into small Tupperware we’d then take to work or on road trips.
  4. Split meals / apps/ desserts – my hand rule that I try to abide to is split an app and an entre or split an entre and a dessert. Otherwise, just one entre and no add-on’s.  Restaurant potion sizes are way more than we should consume typically, so plan not to consume it. If you are able to, just eat half of  your entre if you’re not able to share with someone or pack it to bring home.
  5. BYO Lunch. No way to limit your intake than by planning ahead.
  6. 1 glass of Wine – It’s fewer calories than those mixed surgery drinks and red wine has antioxidants. The societies with some of the longest living populations have a Wine at Five rule (reference: blue zones). If you limit yourself to one drink in general, it will preserve your wallet’s contents.
  7. Eat a carrot. (Take a veggie with you.) I found myself a couple of times eating a baby carrot just because it was there at my desk.  It surprisingly killed a sugar craving I had.  Carrots do have suger though, so maybe that’s a bad reason, but any time you can replace empty calories for ones loaded with vitamins and nutrients, then it’s a win.
  8. Teaspoon of Cranberries in your cereal to regulate blood sugar in the morning.
  9. Pile veggies on your plate – if you find yourself at a buffet-style setting, try filling 50-75% if your plate with greens / vegetables and other healthy items. This will limit how much rice, meats, and other items you should limit.
  10. Take the smallest Container and stuff it.  When you’re at a buffet style place for to-go, take the smallest of the clam shells and fill that to your heart’s content. Again, try to first stuff with veggies.

Let me know if there’s other ideas I should add to the list!


New York City’s Holiday Markets

Outdoor Holiday Market Vendor

I love the holidays.  It plays a big part that I enjoy more and more, spending time with my family.  When it comes to the December season, it’s not presents that I seek, but time out (or in when it’s too cold) with my family and time off from work (when possible!).  I find we do so much running around that we don’t get the opportunity to enjoy the town we live in or the apartment we have, albeit smaller that we’d like!

If you are trying to instill an appreciation of family time, or just general together-time, with yourself, a date, littles ones, your out-of-town visitors then there are several ways we can make that happen without centering your activities around shopping.

One of the things I love about the Holiday Season is all the Holiday Markets that pop up starting mostly in November.  My favorite is Union Square, but there are more that we can take advantage of.  Although there’s lots of shopping that can take place at these markets, my favorite thing to do is get a cup of warm coffee / hot chocolate / hot cider (whatever you desire that’s available) and get a warm Belgian waffle or hot soup to eat and huddle for warmth with your loved ones while enjoying the brisk air, lights, and liveliness.

If you already ate, scout out some free chocolate samples.  Some practical items you can obtain, if you do need to shop, is a set of gloves / scarves / hats; a  Christmas / Holiday tree ornament; a box of chocolates for family/friends or co-workers (at least we’re shopping local here and they’re good quality!), to name a few.

I won’t reinvest the wheel, but will instead leverage Time Out New York’s good work to pull all these markets together:


    News, Traffic, and Trolls

    Gnome TrollIt amazes me sometimes how some sites generate so much traffic for such nonsense.

    I went to some generic browser’s homepage, where I would always find myself clicking on their news and realized that some of the ads on their sites were not theirs. It was some advertisement but now that they don’t have borders around the advertisement (sneaky sneaky!), it’s not too apparent.

    Anyway, some photo of a lady captioned that the husband divorced after looking up close of the photo. The lady was pretty, so why would he do that? So let me take a peek. After clicking, it ends up being some slide show and every page was like, a sentence else a fragment of a sentence. The photo at the end of the slide show had nothing to do with the photo the headline was referring to. The photo of the girl looked like a regular girl on a messy bed and there was a pair of eyes peeking out of the frame of the bed.  First of all, there wouldn’t have been room to fit a head behind/under that furniture. secondly, why would someone even bother to hide from a photo – just step out of the frame.  I got TROLLED. And think of all those pages I clicked on to see what the reason was. And on top of that, some of the slides were also advertisements and there were pop ups in the mix. What a nightmare. I’m done with these news-lookig type of troll advertisents. They will never have a good resolution. (LOL)

    On top of news trolled, I got video trolled. I saw some video title suggesting Hilary was having a seizure. No way. I have no interest in seeing it becuase it’s not nice to see that happen to someone. I was shown a video making the same claim once before, but I missed it (I was doing something else / distracted).

    So I clicked it. I missed it again.

    It must be a differet video. It wasn’t – it had the right title. I replayed to catch it. I missed it. Again. Does the person posting this even know what a seizure is?

    Whoever gave it that title must have been doing it for the hits. Or were they? Because by the end of trying to see how she made out, I could hear her voice giving contradictory statements on some very serious items. The clips were back to back. It was all very clear what happened – it was all on video.

    Was that a Trump Troll? #TROLLED

    On top of that – on the flip side – I clicked on a Trump video indicating why they he never talks about one of his daughters.  At the end of the slide show, I reflected on it.  I don’t think the reason was ever given.  Actually, it looked like all the kids got along, completed some impressive form of higher education, and were doing pretty good.  I think I was Trump Trolled again!

    If that’s the case, then…well played Data Scientists, well played.


    Brandywine Tomatoes
    Tomatos take up so much room. When you read a tomato  seed packet and see that it needs 5′ diameter to grow, you think (well, I do at least), “…yeah, right..(if I should be so lucky).”

    But I planted two tomato plants (that I sprouted from seed) this past summer and now they take up so much room!  In a greenhouse, after being neglected for about 6 weeks, they must have tapped into some underground water source.  After hacking away at the Brandywine tomato, in a week or two all the tomatoes were huge (see photo above)!

    I wonder I can train them like a grape vine – they are climbing on top of their neighbors.

    If these tomatoes make it to turning red, what can I do with all these tomatoes?  I’ve had some successful tomato harvests in the past and we could never consume all of them before some of them started to “turn” (as we say).

    Here are the ideas that come to mind:

    • Puree them (make a soup)
    • Cut them in half and dehydrate them
    • Put them in a salad / burger
    • Just eat them
    • Tomato sauce
    • Pizza sauce
    • Tomato-Herb Rolls (I’ve been meaning to try this Weight Watchers recipe)

    What else can be done? I’m not too confident in my canning skills, that the one time I did can (jar) some cooked tomatoes, I ended up tossing it – I don’t have many pasta eaters in my household so lack of eaters make me not bother with this method again (along with the time it takes to boil that huge pot of water!) – for now at least.

    This year I did puree a bunch of tomatoes my mom gave me and I made a soup. I didn’t add any cream into it but my family ate it and that made me proud. :p

    I also read a speculation that eating cooked tomato seeds may lead to good prostate health – so another reason to learn to process all these fruits and prep some good food for family and friends.

    Dehydrating Roma and Cherry Tomatoes are popular for me – I will eat them raw or put them on a homemade pizza.  I’m the only avid eater of dried tomatoes because I’m able to consume them within a few months.

    Are there any other ideas out there?  Any good recipes?


    such is trueSelf-awareness is knowing how your actions affect other people. Knowing when you’re doing “it” again. Knowing when someone is aggravating you and that you don’t need to be aggravated. To know when you’re overloaded and need to ask for help. To know that you don’t know how to ask, what to ask for,  or where to begin.  To know what you may be able to do to help yourself. Maybe just to write to get it off your mind. Maybe to know that you don’t know what you don’t know. To know that you can and will get on a better track

    Self-awarenesss can be and is the start to so many things. Emotional intelligence or a rehab program because you know you have a problem.  New diets and lifestyle choices.

    For me, it’s every step of the way, to do the right thing to achieve the best outcome for myself, my family, my life and all those in it. To be a better person and better than who I was yesterday … Or a few hours ago. 🙂

    Removing the Middleman [in the Voting Process]


    Uber has rendered obsolete the dispatcher.  Similarly, in their own respective model,

    • AirBNB, the hotel staff.
    • Venmo, the ATM.
    • ATM, the bank teller.
    • Kindle, the librarian & library / bookstore (nooo!!!)
    • Orbitz – the travel agency/agent

    These innovations may have their faults and  won’t be perfect upfront, but it’s all a learning curve.

    But how have we not automated the voting process?  We should at least have the option to have an online way to submit votes.  The technology is there, what stops us from using it? People may be concerned about fraud, but I’ve been to the voting poll and have seen a signature above my name and address information – so basically I’ve seen the current process either a victim to its own fraud, or just to manual/human error.

    At least if it’s online, you could audit it much quicker. You can print out everyone’s ID number (i.e. SSN), some unique pin – maybe via a random number generator a voter opts to pay like $5/year for, and all the voters can validate that, “Yes that was my vote.”

    You’d save a lot of time, money, hassle in having people wait around, go out of their way, energy.

    Plus we’d save a lot of money in storage. These booths are huge! Where are these things being kept? It would be easy to hack the voter responses with some aluminum foil and tape.