Sunday, July 26, 2009

BYBS: Chicken Breasts

In keeping with the rather simplistic nature of my BYBS postings I thought I'd talk about chicken breasts.

As I've mentioned in the past, I'm on a diet; and this means I'm miserable. Scratch that. What I was trying to say is that, in addition to being miserable, I try to get the maximum nutrients with the minimum number of calories. This being the case, I have a running interest in high protein foods.

According to one source I've read, egg whites are one of the most readily absorbed sources of protein. The problem I have with them is that, in order to get a measly 40g of protein a day, I would have to eat around a dozen egg whites.

From time to time people have accused me of being lazy. I think they say this because it's true. In particular, the idea of boiling 84 eggs every week and then separating the whites from the yolks does not appeal to me.

Chicken, on the other hand, has about 3 times as much protein per gram as do egg whites. A modest 135g of roasted chicken breast (without the skin) contains that 40g of protein. It also comes in the convenient chicken-sized package instead of the somewhat smaller portions that eggs use. I therefore found myself in the supermarket eyeing chicken breasts.

At this point I ran into problem #2: I'm cheap. A glance at a whole chicken showed that pre-packaged breasts are over twice as expensive as buying chicken whole. For quite some time(tm) I've been buying whole chicken.

Given the stuff that I've blown money on in the past, I'm surprised that I lasted as long as I did. When I finally resorted to buying chicken breasts, I was, to put it mildly, pleasantly surprised.

I will usually roast a whole chicken for 3 hours, quite a bit longer than the minimum time of around 2. I'm that scared of food poisoning. By comparison, being completely paranoid and cooking the precut stuff for twice as long as required takes an hour.

Whereas it usually takes me a while to cut all the meat off a chicken, a chicken breast just needs to be cut up into cubes. I'm thinking of cutting them up ahead of time, they're easier to work with before roasting.

Being the sort of person who replied to the joke: "Does anal-retentive have a hyphen in it?" with "Which edition of the dictionary are we talking about?" using chicken breasts also means that I don't have to worry as much about how much fat I'm getting along with the chicken. I'm the guy who blogged about the USDA food database, remember?

So the moral of the story is: chicken breasts, good; JJ Abrams, meh (just curious to see if anyone read this).

Sunday, July 19, 2009

BYBS: An Uplifting Moment

I had an uplifting moment last week. As I was walking through a parking lot to get to my car, the sun was shining brightly and it just felt good to be alive. Nearby plants were vibrant with life, the breeze was cool, the sun comforting and it just seemed like everything was right.

Even the blazing heat of my car (you know, when the sun is beating down on your dashboard and the inside feels like an oven) felt nice.

For me, these moments are rather few and far between. I don't really know why I felt that way just then, only that it was wonderful while it lasted.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

BYBS: Cookouts

For someone that doesn't get out enough(tm), it's been good to go to a few BBQ/cookout/what have you style events. I get to see a bunch of people in a reasonably positive setting and eat some stuff that tastes good (even if it's not that good for me).

I'm not the most social person in the world. I don't even live next to the most social person in the world. I doubt I even live on the same block. I therefore have to keep trying when it comes to this sort of thing so for me, stuff like this is another opportunity to keep at it.

And sometimes I even have fun.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

BYBS: A Good Read

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow is an interesting read for those of us who want something relatively light about internet style futurist societies.

The actual plot revolves around (I'm not making this up) a struggle over who gets to control Disney Land. That Doctorow can get me to keep reading a book with that premise is a pretty impressive feat all by itself.

The book is also full of cool ideas. One of the things that I found the most interesting is the notion of "woofie." Woofie is a kind of measure of what other people think of you, though the particulars are never really explained fully. There is "right handed woofie" which measures what others who you agree with think of you, and "left handed woofie" which measures what people who disagree with you think.

It also has economic repercussions - if you have lots of woofie it is implied that you can get more resources out of society - but once again, this is never explained.

As someone who does not enjoy exercise for it's own sake, I spend a lot of time reading while I'm pounding out my 60 min. Having something to take my mind off the fact that I am exercising can make the difference between getting in 60min and getting in 10min.