FitFriday, FatFriday II. Bad Slav.

DIET.

Well, my diet isn’t going as great as I would like it to. I need to be more careful about sugars. I need to eat a little more fish and I am just coming to terms with not having liver.

But I am doing very well at eating veggies, controlling salt, eliminating dairy and alcohol and controlling caffeine. So I suppose I’m not too bad.

WEIGHTS.

Slipped a little bit due to helping a friend with work and generally running myself ragged, but some have gone up.

LIFT

WEIGHT

SETS

REPS

Deadlift

52.5kg

4

2

Squats

57.5kg

8

2

Squats II

45kg

2

12

Shrugs

60kg

5

2

Rows

36kg

8

2

Rows II

28.5kg

2

12

Overhead press

22kg

8

2

Overhead press II

15kg

2

12

Incline bench

38.5kg

8

2

Flat bench

30kg

2

12

Hammer curls

7.5kg each hand

2

12

Rear lateral raises

3.5kg each hand

2

12

TTC.

I am almost certainly either in the middle or at the end of ovulation and we have been at it like rabbits that haven’t seen each other in six months. So here’s hoping for conception this month. 🙂

I have got myself a bit stressed and overtired here and there but, considering how badly I generally run myself down and that my shifts are largely internal, this is as good as it gets.

I am on my B vitamins and folate, I am off all supplements with vitamin A and off livers.

We will be seeing the doctor on Tuesday to talk about low vit-A omega supplements and which mineral supplements are best, or whether I should just nom some washed eggshells and call it a day.

How is everyone else doing with fitness and health goals? Am I missing anything in my TTC plans? I keep feeling like I’m not doing enough.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

How To… track your ovulation…

…if you’re not good at maths.

I am really, really, really focusing on this “having a baby” thing. I am surprising even myself with how much I am throwing into it and how badly I want to be pregnant ASAP. I know it may take longer than a month, but I really want to give it my all.

So, naturally, however much sex we’re having, I still want to track my ovulation and make sure we have even more on those few days.

My problem? I am rubbish at maths, and monitoring, and I’m not the most regular girl anyway. So, here are some top tips to tracking ovulation if you haven’t the time, the inclination, the obedient ovaries or the brains to work it out mathematically.

Warning for frank discussion of the nasty bits.

1: Body temperature.

You will be a bit warmer on average when you are ovulating. Not a lot, and of course being warmer could mean many things, but this could be a good secondary sign to look out for.

2: Fluids.

Don’t be afraid to just check how your natural lubricant is behaving. Egg-white-looking (translucent, jelly, stretchy) and abundant fluid means your body is trying to be nice and hospitable to any sperm that may pay a visit.

3: Count down.

Have around two weeks passed since the start of your last period? Chances are you will ovulate some time in the third week.

4: Approximate.

Was your last period on the 18th? Count back six days. Then your last ovulation was around the 12th. You will likely be ovulating around the 12th (10th-14th) this month.

5: Horny?

Finding hubby absolutely irresistible? Your mind is off all work and difficult to focus? Picking up the romance books at the library? That’s your body telling you it wants a baby.

6: Tight tummy.

In preparation for the possible zygote, your body will plump up the cushions (womb walls), get some refreshments (womb lining) and make a little space (womb filling). If your abdomen feels tight and expanded under the belly button but you don’t really, really need to pee, then your womb is ripe and ready.

7: Toilet breaks.

OTOH, if you really, really need to pee a lot, all day, there might be some swelling that is pushing on your bladder. It could be the womb swelling up, even if you can’t directly feel it yet.

8: Ask a girl in the know.

Have a close friend or coworker who religiously tracks her cycle? Know you are more or less in sync with her? Then ask away, chances are you match up there too!

9: Sticks.

And if you really despair, get yourself a little box of ovulation sticks and call it a day. All this calendar watching isn’t for everyone. :p

And that is how I am keeping an eye out for ovulation. Hopefully it’s helpful to someone.

How did/do you track your cycle? Did I miss anything?

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

Not-Thai Fish Curry.

Well, as I was saying yesterday, I like to buy from clearance websites. So I went a little crazy a few weeks ago and bought a 10kg restaurant-sized tub of Sharwoods curry paste (for only £1.50). Just a little crazy. And, to test it out, I made a Not-Thai Fish Curry. It was a bit hot for Jon, but I’m working on that next time.

This is a lie. It is not the fish curry. Same ingredients in the base, but not curried. I can't find my fish curry pictures. :(

This is a lie. It is not the fish curry. Same ingredients in the base, but not curried. I can’t find my fish curry pictures. 😦

Ingredients:

  • 2 basa or pollock fillets
  • 3 small (15-20cm) squid
  • 100g mussels
  • 100g fish pie mix or smoked fish or salmon
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 400g mixed vegetables (pick plain ones, like broccoli, peas, spinach or aubergine)
  • 4tbsp curry paste or powder
  • 2tbsp soy sauce
  • pepper if needed

Utensils:

  • measuring utensils
  • chopping board and knife
  • large pot

Recipe:

  1. Chop the fillets, squid and vegetables.
  2. Mix all the fish and vegetables together in the pot.
  3. Stir in the seasonings and leave to rest a little.
  4. Add coconut milk and water. Bring the pot to a boil.
  5. Simmer for 30min.
  6. Serve with rice or beans.

As I said, Jon liked it but found it juuust too spicy, so I will work on that next time. Always learn the heat of every premixed sauce or paste you use, and adjust accordingly!

TTFN and Happy Eating!

3 More Ways To Save Money Online.

Some of my older readers may remember a post from half a year ago, where I brought up some great online shops for people in America and England to take advantage of.

But there are many more ways of saving money than by just finding cheap shops or buying in bulk. Try a few of these on for size.

1: Voucher Sites.

Voucher sites offer discounts and cashback rewards when you use them. Simply log on, print any usable vouchers and make money.

For example, I use Sainsbury’s My Coupons site to get a little cashback on any groceries I actually buy, and I search online for any vouchers whenever I need them. I have even got some babycare vouchers stashed away ready to use at Boots (if they’re still running the program) when I need the items. Come to mention it, I may cash them in as soon as the positive test comes back and start stashing wipes and creams and shampoos already.

How to find them: just search for “free vouchers” or “money off vouchers”, maybe add your country or region for any specialist ones.

2: Warehouse Clearance.

Warehouse clearance sites operate under the same process as bulk buying websites like BuyWholeFoodsOnline. They buy in bulk so as to get a massive saving, then they sell on to the customers for a mild profit. Often they are selling items that are near or past their BBE dates, but nowhere near their Use-By dates.

I love using a few assorted sites, but Wowcher and Approved Food are my favourites at the moment. These sites move around and change, so just search for “best before buy” and see what you get!

3: Newsletters.

I subscribe to so many newsletters, mostly online but some snail mail. Whenever you buy from a website, subscribe to their newsletter. I know, for example, that I will buy from Buy WholeFoods Online, Natural Balance Foods, Donald Russel, Wowcher or Sainsbury’s again soon. So it’s good to see their offers when I’m getting near the date when I need a new purchase.

What’s more, when you subscribe to newsletters you can access special offers not advertised on their site, or even, if you go a few months without buying, receive a discount on your next purchase.

Whenever you buy from an online site, check for their newsletter, you may be pleasantly surprised.

For even more ways to save money, check out my book On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

Redraw_On_a_budget_cover01

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

We have so much goodness…

…that we can’t even see it any more.

We have a genuine perception problem.

Why do people live on £100,000, £500,000, £1,000,000 annual incomes and still end up short of change at the end of every week?

Why do third wave feminist scream and cry about misogyny when a man calls them pretty, holds a door for them or asks them on a date?

Why do nationalists and separatists live immersed in negativity despite the extreme safety and freedoms the West experiences, unprecedented and unparalleled?

Why do liberals insist that there is no white, Western, and especially no American culture to experience?

Why do anti-war groups obsess over military budgets when, thanks to globalism, we live in a time of greater peace than the majority of humans have ever experienced?

Why do racists blame their every problem on affirmative action, racial difference, race wars, migration and different-race leaders?

Why do sexists blame their every problem on the other sex, on institutional pressures, on religions and blogs and daytime TV?

Why do we make it to the very top, become wealthier, more attractive, more powerful and respected than anyone, and still find no joy in it?

Why do we take it into our hands to solve global problems through minute activities and to stress over activism and letting everyone know about it?

Why do we obsess over semantics and definitions, trying to configure ourselves as “Redpill Alpha, Libertarian, Animal-rights Activist, Separatist, Nationalist, Open-Minded, Buddhist Bloggers” or “Feminist, Anarcho-Capitalist, Painting, Demigirl, Wolfkin, Faekin, Body Positive, Working Class Dancers”?

Because we have absolutely everything we could possibly need.

Think about it.

In this world, a man can be sexually assaulted and can find some comfort in the form of online communities and support centres whose existence he may have never been aware of before this time. In this world, a person can be born after suffering an extremely rare prenatal abnormality, where their brain map does not reflect their body and they can then have parts of themselves amputated or altered to make them feel better. In this world, a girl can be obsessed with toy trucks and cars and can grow up to be a grease monkey, or a vehicular engineer. In this world a person with schizophrenia can be medicated and assisted to a point where they can return to the working world posing no more risk to themselves and others than a healthy human. In this world any person can educate themselves beyond even their wildest imaginations, through university, through apprenticeships, through books and the internet and support groups. In this world a homosexual couple can receive every state benefit afforded to heterosexual couples and enjoy a life of peace and quiet if they choose to do so. In this world a family can lose their home to a fire or flood and receive the support of millions of people to help them rebuild their house, restore their valuables and feed their children and pets. In this world anyone can retire into a fantasy land and live out their wildest, most unreachable, unachievable dreams through books and TV, films and games, role play and blogging.

In this world a teenage girl with no formal GCSEs, living alone, surviving on the bare minimum £8,000 a year benefits allowance and suffering a depressive disorder can get her A-levels, go to university, learn a trade, study whatever she pleases, start a business, get married, have children and live in relative safety and comfort.

Are there injustices? Of course there are. Let’s just take work environments. In some fields of employment women don’t feel safe due to a high volume of young, differently cultured men who may be a bit too abrasive or forward for their liking. In some fields of employment men don’t feel safe due to a high volume of spoiled, progressive, man-blaming women who may attempt to harm their career. In some fields of employment White people don’t feel safe due to a high volume of Non-White people who bring with them a different culture or set of mannerisms to what the White person is used to. Same goes for every other race on this planet. In some fields of employment a feminist, a nationalist, a transgender person, a traditionalist, a vegan or a Christian may not feel welcome due to the lack of others who resemble them.

And, when you are the minority in your surroundings, or not represented by management, you will likely suffer some discrimination. It’s just human nature to be rude to those unlike ourselves, preferential towards those we identify with and inconsiderate towards those whom we don’t understand.

And of course there are people out there who want to insult, rob, rape, beat or kill you. These people exist in every society, in every type of person, in every culture and environment. You can’t decide who they are going to be, you can’t guarantee that you will be safe and you can’t eliminate a certain type of person and live in comfort. The world has never been and will never be that fair. The best we can do is be wary and stay safe.

But we live in an incredible world. We live in a world that is a thousand times better than anyone before or outside it could even imagine. We live so deeply immersed in it that oftentimes we don’t see it and become dissatisfied. We live so long being told we are beautiful that when we feel insecure for whatever reason, we believe an injustice has been committed. We live so long being allowed to have a certain amount of personal space that when it is restricted we feel stifled. We live so long being listened to that when our voice is not the most prominent we feel ignored and oppressed. We are so used to having so much that we can’t see that everything we need is within our reach.

This world has room for improvement. But it always has, and it always will. There is a time and a place to discuss building a better world, to demand preferential or equal treatment or to begin carving ourselves a nice corner in the world we have. But if we never look at everything we already have, if we only stare longingly at what we lack, we will never actually be happy.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

Alpha girls, Sigma girls.

The concept of the Alpha is pretty elusive, if you ask me. So, for the purposes of the essay, here is my outline of what an Alpha makes:

  1. Social dominance. No matter how rich, muscular, charismatic, witty, skilled or intelligent a man is, if he can’t handle a social situation and remain on top by the end, he is, by the very animal definition, not an Alpha. Humans are social animals and Alphas are leaders of humans.
  2. Attractive. Again, the Alpha will be attractive to women. We want a guy who is safe and, on a primal level, we all feel that the most socially dominant man is the safest. Under his protection, we are also under the protection of the tribe.
  3. Respected. It should go without saying that an Alpha’s social dominance comes from respect primarily. I wouldn’t say his dominance can’t come from fear as well, after all, nobody is universally liked and fear goes a long way to cultivating respect in dissenters. But fear should not be the main, let alone the only, source of power.

What about everything else? What about good looks, money, wit, intellect, socially approved traits, muscles, sexual reach, skills, charisma…? Well, these are all Alpha Indicators, ie, signs that a man is socially dominant, attractive and respected. They are the outward signs that he has the three key traits. And, to be Alpha, he must prove he has the three main traits. Otherwise he isn’t an Alpha, he is just a fake-it-til-you-make-it, or a simple fake with no aspiration to more. Neither is necessarily bad, but neither is dominant, desired or respected.

Then we have the Sigmas. I believe the concept emerged from Alpha Game Plan’s expansion of the Alpha-Beta false dichotomy and is the term for an introverted Alpha. The best way I’ve heard Sigmas summed up is from a natural Sigma, my husband:

“The Sigma is the Alpha who does not.”

A Sigma has the three required traits of an Alpha:

  1. He has social dominance, as he can easily lead, control and support a community.
  2. He is attractive, as he is clearly dominant.
  3. He is respected, as he is dominant.

The little niggle with the Sigma is that he lacks the false flags: he has few to no Alpha Indicators. This is because, whilst the Sigma has the ability to lead, he has no desire to. And, depending on what indicators they have, Sigmas can be loosely grouped into two categories.

Sigma A: The situational Alpha.

This Sigma lacks the desire to lead because he is a rational man who understands it is beyond his abilities to handle this tribe.

Maybe he is a warlord at a time of peace. Maybe he is a wise but gentle man at a time of war.

Maybe he values his life too highly to rule over fickle barbarians. Maybe he has seen to many Alphas lose their necks to tribal disputes.

Maybe he is already the Alpha of another tribe and in this one he is simply an observer.

Maybe he is backup to keep the Alpha in his position of power, a kingmaker who reaps the rewards of royalty without sacrifice.

This Sigma enjoys wealth and enjoys helping others. He is naturally more drawn to Alpha behaviours. But he is reluctant to take on a job he can’t do well. So he will accept resources (money, land, food, women) and do his best at whatever he does, he will stand his ground against the Alpha where necessary, he will try and keep the tribe in order from the sidelines, but he will never sit on the throne.

He is socially dominant as he cannot sit by and let the tribe run itself. He is attractive because he oozes confidence and leadership skills. He is respected because he is a good leader who knows when to step up and when to back down.

He will likely have the following Alpha Indicators: wealth, charisma, socially approved traits, sexual reach.

He may lack the following Alpha Indicators: wit, intellect, looks, skills.

Sigma B: The outlier.

This Sigma lacks the desire to lead because he fails to identify or empathize with the tribes available to him.

Maybe he is a skilled specialist whose abilities lie outside the rest of the tribe.

Maybe he does not enjoy conversing with people and keeping the peace. Maybe he enjoys seeing their little failures and is entertained by their social mores.

Maybe he knows he can survive on his own and feels no motivation to pull the tribe together.

Maybe he knows that nobody will force him to join their society fully, that he can indulge in the luxury of being outside it.

This Sigma enjoys freedom and doesn’t care if he has to make himself actively unlikeable to gain it. That’s not to say he is not respected or attractive. He is both, only respect comes grudgingly and attraction comes passionately and irrationally. He prizes self-sufficiency and views himself as a contractor to his society, rather than as a bonded leader. He has a close and relaxed relationship with the Alpha and generally they respect each other enough to assist in keeping each other’s position.

He is socially dominant as others constantly turn to him for advice, settling scores and other tasks of leadership that demand impartiality. He is attractive because he is mysterious yet dominant, he is outside, yet safe. He is respected because he is dominant and provides value.

He will likely have the following Alpha Indicators: wit, skills, intellect, charisma.

He may lack the following Alpha Indicators: looks, wealth, socially approved traits, sexual reach.

So, now we progress onto girls. All women like men who possess the three Alpha traits. They are safe, they are reproductively viable and they are useful. But not all women want the true Alpha. The true Alpha comes with many conditions. He is sexually gregarious and the prime target of other women’s fantasies, he is loud and domineering, he is a target for violence. The true Alpha is not an easy man to live with if a woman wants a quiet, drama-free home life.

So introverted women will naturally gravitate towards the less obvious men when given an option.

Imagine a tribe with an Alpha who has every Alpha Indicator, a Sigma who is a warlord at a time of peace and a Sigma who is the local sage.

A woman who wants an active social life, who doesn’t mind sharing her husband if that’s what it comes to, who understands danger and enjoys the risks, who wants all the money, all the fame and all the power, such a woman will aim for the Alpha.

A woman who wants a quiet life, who doesn’t mind sharing her husband, who understands that some day he may be called to action, who wants money, a little fame and less risk, such a woman will aim for the warlord Sigma.

A woman who wants a quiet life, who wants to keep her husband as exclusive as possible, who wants her husband to be safe from all danger, who has no care for money or fame as long as her husband can keep her provided for, such a woman will aim for the sage Sigma.

So, whether you’re a man or a woman, if you look at the penniless ugly man with the hot wife, at the small-time uneducated musician with his own teen harem or at the resource-poor loner with the devoted housewife and wonder why none of these girls are chasing an Alpha… well, perhaps they are more the Sigma kind of girl.

TTFN and Happy Hunting.

Fit Friday, Fat Friday I. “Perfect baby diet.”

Year’s restart!

For now, I have three goals to report my fitness successes and fatness failures on.

  1. Adhering to my diet.
  2. Increasing weightlifting whilst I’m baby-free.
  3. Trying To Conceive.

DIET.

So far the diet looks like this:

  • Very high plant content.
  • Fruit restricted.
  • No alcohol.
  • Controlled caffeine (enough to keep my estrogen up and my moods even).
  • Low sugar, low salt, low irritants (peanuts, wheat, oats and dairy being main ones).
  • More nuts and seeds.
  • More berries rich in resveratrols.
  • More fish and seafood.
  • Red meat weekly.

Not a massive alteration to my current diet, really. More nuts, seeds, berries, fish and a stronger restriction on already restricted items. The calories go up and down, but it will be easy to get the right number of calories in, don’t worry!

Kind of brilliantly, this diet has meant I have lost 3 of the extra 4″ I had on my waist as of November, leaving me at 27″ (minus menstrual bloating I am probably back at 26″). But my hip fat hasn’t shrunk at all on this diet, leaving me 41″ hips. So yes, that’s a 0.63-0.66 WHR. And my bust has grown a little. Pretty pleased with myself. Hopefully plenty of rich nutrients in the hip fat for feeding many babies with.

WEIGHTS.

My current weights are:

LIFT

WEIGHT

SETS

REPS

Deadlift

52.5kg

4

2

Squats

57.5kg

8

2

Squats II

45kg

2

12

Shrugs

60kg

5

2

Rows

36kg

8

2

Rows II

28.5kg

2

12

Overhead press

22kg

8

2

Overhead press II

15kg

2

12

Incline bench

38.5kg

8

2

Flat bench

30kg

2

12

Hammer curls

7.5kg each hand

2

12

Rear lateral raises

3.5kg each hand

2

12

Wanting the first three as close as possible to my new lean weight of 68kg ASAP. Will obviously have to stop once I know I’m pregnant, but want to get there if possible.

TTC.

So far I have got some B vitamin supplements in and my usual fish oils, plus the cleaned up diet. Need to get folate, either from natural or additional supplementation. Yet to start trying, but as soon as the red dragon’s gone it will be time!

How are everyone’s January fitness, diet, health and activity goals going?