Painted Rock Hobby – Hiding Painted Rocks

Rock painting… I saw some of my friends doing it on social media and I thought to try it out. I reached out to my BuyNothing group on FB and found a starter set with simple paints, one brush, and 4 dark river rocks. I googled rock painting and found some fun images! I tried out a minion and a ladybug for my first two and then picked a chicken and a pennyfarthing to paint for my grandparents. I really liked painting the rocks! Because the surface is uneven and the pictures are often rudimentary, my simple skills were sufficient. All I needed were more rocks…

I bought this set of paint pens and painted more rocks! What fun.

Now I started hiding them. I hid my first set of four the facility where my Grandparents live. I hid rocks near the little free libraries. I hid them with other rocks. Can you spot all the places I hid my rocks?

  

Finally, I started sending rocks to friends and family and leaving them when I did my cat sitting gigs. 🙂

Eventually I even received a rock response!

What I Ate in ~3 Months – P90X review – 6/15/20 – 9/21/20

I finished! My partner and I successfully completed the P90X exercise program! Though we may not have completed every workout and we may have skipped some days here and there, we have gone all the way through the 90 day program. I feel accomplished! At times it became repetitive but there was also a comfort to knowing what each exercise entailed. My partner knows so many Tony Horton phrases now…

But what is P90X and what did I really think about it?

P90X is a fitness program, part of the BeachBodyonDemand website of workout programs. You can follow their schedule and work out to their videos and follow along with their nutrition plan. The workouts are repetitions of the same workout for 3 weeks with a ‘recover’ week in between each set of 3 weeks. The workouts are 6-7 days a week and the workouts are typically 45-55 minutes (with the abs workout 3x/week for an additional 16 minutes). The workouts became long and repetitive at times. I prefer shorter workouts with more diverse sets of moves. Sometimes, especially towards the end of the program, as soon as my partner was done with the workout, I was glad to quit working too. We kind of just got bored of the program and were tired of an hour a day almost every day of the week devoted to P90X!

I tend to eat gluten free and dairy free >50% of the time, so we followed our own nutrition plan. We attempted to eat low carb on days where we didn’t have a cardio workout and then more ‘cheat’ type meals on the weekends. We both did a BodyScan at the beginning of the program and at the end.

I decreased my fat tissue by 3 lbs. and increased my lean tissue by 4 lbs. in just these three months! Total weight change according to the BodyScan was +1.2 lbs., but as you can see from my home scale data below, I lost 2.2 lbs. initially and then slowly gained a few lbs. back. My home scale tells me that I ultimately ‘lost’ 0.4 lbs. but the BodyScan tells me that I converted 3 lbs. of fat to muscle and added on an additional pound of muscle! Woot woot! Interestingly enough, my VAT is the lowest of my three measurements (taken 1/4/19, 6/16/20, and 9/22/20).

 

Data Time! 14 weeks’ total

14 weeks: 6/15 – 9/20
386 total miles biked
5231 minutes/87 hours worked out total
Average resting heart rate: 67.3
Average ounces of water/day: 62
Days without gluten: 65/126
Days without dairy: 35/126
Total Body Fat change: 29.2% to 26.5%

Month one: 6/15 – 7/12
145 total miles biked
2044 minutes/34 hours worked out total
Average resting heart rate: 65.2
Average ounces of water/day: 62.3
Days without gluten: 26/28
Days without dairy: 22/28
Weight change from home scale: – 2.2lbs

Month two: 7/13 – 8/9
89 total miles biked
1212 minutes/20.2 hours worked out total
Average resting heart rate: 68
Average ounces of water/day: 62
Days without gluten: 20/28
Days without dairy: 10/28
Weight change from home scale: +1.2lbs

Month three: 8/10 – 9/6
150 total miles biked
1310 minutes/22 hours worked out total
Average resting heart rate: 66
Average ounces of water/day: 60
Days without gluten: 11/28
Days without dairy: 2/28
Weight change from home scale: +0.6 lbs

Month four (2 weeks): 9/7 – 9/20
2 total miles biked
665 minutes/11hours worked out total
Average resting heart rate: 70
Average ounces of water/day: 64
Days without gluten: 8/14
Days without dairy: 1/14
Total Body Fat: 26.5%

Food Pictures! Not all meals/snacks are pictured… Not everything pictured was eaten by me…

DIY Garden 2020 – Partial Shade PNW Zone 8b/9a – 3 Months Progress Report – Summer’s Ending…

It is now exactly three months out from my original garden post which you can view here!

Front yard – my ‘orchard’ – We have ripe tomatoes! Not a lot but they’re slowly coming to fruition…

6/2/2020

7/2/2020

7/2/2020

8/2/2020

9/2/2020

8/2/2020

9/2/2020

8/2/2020 – My lemon tree is growing baby green lemons!

9/2/2020 Bigger babies ~10

The side yard – my ‘berries’ – I’m ready to give away my blueberry and huckleberry bushes and let the salmon berry take over the box. Anybody want some fresh Parsley?

6/2/2020

7/2/2020

8/2/2020

9/2/2020

The backyard – ‘greenhouse’ – The cover is off! No zucchinis… I’m ready to bulldoze this bed and winterize or plant fall seeds…

6/2/2020

7/2/2020

8/2/2020

6/2/2020

7/2/2020

8/2/2020

9/2/2020 The mint has somewhat recovered

*Baby bird update* One morning my roommate walked outside to discover that the pot had been knocked over and the nest was empty 😦

The backyard raised bed garden – the big ‘project’ – three raised garden beds with potato planted in front and thimbleberry bush start and a raspberry bush start off to the side. These beds continue to forest out. The only success so far are the green beans! They are delicious but slowing down on producing

6/2/2020

7/2/2020

8/2/2020

9/2/2020 Potatoes are wilting 😦

6/2/2020

7/2/2020

8/2/2020

9/2/2020

Our backyard harvest! I have picked a few more green beans but didn’t take pictures. The zucchini was fabulous!

The beds have the following planted in them:

Bush Beans
Carrots Nantes
Bush Beans
Carrots Nantes
Bush Beans
Carrots Short ‘n Sweet
Bush Beans
Carrots Short ‘n Sweet

Spinach
Spinach
Chard
Chard
6 cucumber mounds

4 rows of corn
6 zucchini starter mounds
1 row of mounds of cauliflower seeds

 

8/2/2020

9/2/2020

Our second planting of Mesclun lettuce is thriving and tastes delicious! Also – much less dirt all over than when it was planted in the raised bed. I really like this setup for the lettuce. Our third basil plant has completely died but our second plant has ginormous leaves (not that tasty but they look gargantuan!)

8/2/2020

9/2/2020

The rhubarb I planted out front looks even more meh. I know they have a long growing cycle – but now there are only two leaves :’)

Not pictured – 2 avocado seedlings now! Mango seed seems like a dud.

My future projects include the following:

  1. Build a trellis and grow loofah!
  2. Build a seed library and place it near my Pea Patch if I get permission (source an outside viable medicine cabinet and DIY it into a seed library)
  3. Plan for a winter crop and next year (less variety and more spacing between plants)
  4. Finish using the free pallet wood and build a long planter box and small square raised garden boxes
  5. Giveaway the rest of the project wood pieces

What I Ate in 2 Months – Intentional Eating – Beyond a Program – Lifestyle 6/15/20 – 8/9/20

Data Time!

Month one:
145 total miles biked
2044 minutes/34 hours worked out total
Average resting heart rate: 65.2
Average ounces of water/day: 62.3
Days without gluten: 26/28 (93%)
Days without dairy: 22/28 (79%)
Weight change: – 2.2lbs

Month two:
89 total miles biked
1212 minutes/20.2 hours worked out total
Average resting heart rate: 68.2
Average ounces of water/day: 62.7
Days without gluten: 20/28 (71%)
Days without dairy: 10/28 (36%)
Weight change: +1.2lbs

Food Pictures! Not all meals/snacks are pictured…

DIY Garden 2020 – Partial Shade PNW Zone 8b/9a – 2 Months Progress Report

It is now exactly two months out from my original garden post which you can view here. And one month from my last update (view here)!

Front yard – my ‘orchard’ -After walking my local pea patch several times and hearing about local gardeners’ tomatoes doing poorly, I wasn’t completely discouraged that I had zero tomatoes on my plants at the beginning of the month. Then, lo and behold, an explosion of growth! I now have green baby tomatoes growing on every single tomato plant! How exciting! One of the large potted tomatoes started getting brown/yellow leafs so I moved it to quarantine away from the others ‘just in case.’ I later found out that potentially this particular plant might have been sunburned – eek! I have also been watering all my plants at least every other day if not every day with our full days of sunshine these past few weeks.

6/2/2020

7/2/2020

7/2/2020

8/2/2020

8/2/2020

8/2/2020 – My lemon tree is growing baby green lemons!

The side yard – my ‘berries’ – My blueberry looks like it is slowly dying 😦 but my salmonberry is very much thriving and threatens to take over this raised box! None of my cilantro seeds panned out but I have many parsely plants… and I tried a leaf and discovered that I don’t like parsley. Sigh. In order to use this plant I’ll have to trade it for something I like or simply dry it for integrating into future dishes.

6/2/2020

7/2/2020

8/2/2020

The backyard – ‘greenhouse’ – We’ve been leaving the cover half off this box to let in more sun and rain (not that we’ve had rain in the past few weeks). The zucchini are taking over and, along with the slugs, have killed off my three squash starts. We harvested most of the lettuce and are eagerly awaiting actual zucchinis. We still only have the flowers and I’m thinking I have to research pollinating. I’ve heard some mentions about self-pollinating and male/female flowers?

6/2/2020

7/2/2020

8/2/2020

6/2/2020

7/2/2020

8/2/2020

You’ll notice our mint is slowly dying… And that’s because I haven’t been watering due to the invasion of another type of ‘pest’ — a cute little nest of three eggs, two of which have hatched so far!

The backyard raised bed garden – the big ‘project’ – three raised garden beds with potato planted in front and thimbleberry bush start and a raspberry bush start off to the side. These beds continue to forest out. The only success so far are the green beans! They are almost ready to harvest and from the sample I picked they are 6/10 on flavor and 10/10 on texture.

6/2/2020

7/2/2020

8/2/2020

6/2/2020

7/2/2020

8/2/2020

The beds have the following planted in them:

Bush Beans
Carrots Nantes
Bush Beans
Carrots Nantes
Bush Beans
Carrots Short ‘n Sweet
Bush Beans
Carrots Short ‘n Sweet

Spinach
Spinach
Chard
Chard
6 cucumber mounds

4 rows of corn
6 zucchini starter mounds
1 row of mounds of cauliflower seeds

 

8/2/2020

My housemate and I finished up our last wood project – building a railing bed that sits on top of the porch railing. I immediately planted more of our lettuce mix and am very pleased with how the rough project turned out. My calendula and mystery flower continue to thrive and grow very tall. The basil is somehow still alive.

8/2/2020

The rhubarb I planted out front looks meh. I know they have a long growing cycle – but the only changes I’ve observed so far are the slight yellowing of some of the leaves.

Not pictured – I’ve been trying to grow avocado trees from seed and I have two that are growing stems and roots! I’m getting ready to move the first viable plant out of its water cup and into a bucket of dirt. I also have a mango seed that I’ve planted.

My future projects include the following:

  1. Build a trellis and grow loofah!
  2. Build a seed library and place it near my Pea Patch if I get permission (source an outside viable medicine cabinet and DIY it into a seed library)
  3. Plan for a winter crop and next year (less variety and more spacing between plants)
  4. Finish using the free pallet wood and build a long planter box and small square raised garden boxes
  5. Giveaway the rest of the project wood pieces

What I Ate in a Month – Intentional Eating – Love Yourself Lean Program

For four weeks I ate intentionally and according to a specific nutrition plan from the Love Yourself Lean Program. “Our 4-Week Coaching Program combines an online course, live group coaching, and 1-on-1 support to help you predictably boost fat loss, energy levels, and mental focus.” I’m a fan of charts and challenges and had fun documenting everything I ate in the last month along with my activity level and workouts. I’m always fascinated to look at the details and specifics of what people eat and enjoy the “what I eat in a day” videos on Youtube. I like seeing how the food is prepared and the portion sizes so I decided to take pictures of meals and snacks as much as possible. At the beginning of this program my partner and I did a Bodyscan and I was surprised that even though the scale tells me I am the same weight that I was two years ago, I’ve gained 3% bodyfat in the last 1.5 years. After we finish our P90X workout program we plan to do another Bodyscan and I’ll be able to truly see the effects of continuing with the Love Yourself Lean nutrition program.

Goals for the month:

Goal

Explanation/Comments

Cook 99% of meals (84 meals not including snacks)

I prepared 82/84 of my meals = 98%

Eat more veggies

So many veggies!

No added sugars

Kombucha with low sugar, dark chocolate, milk chocolate bar, juneberry homemade jam with small amount of white sugar

No cheese or dairy

Jalapeno cheese in the hot dog I ate, ricotta cheese in the GF pasta I made, Haggis (sheep’s milk cheese) = 4 meals out of 84 with dairy in them

64oz water/day (28 days total)

17/28 days drank >64oz water = 61%, 1744oz total or 62oz average per day

No gluten

Chicken wings, Where Ya Matt beignet and bites of prepared foods for 2/84 of the meals

No alcohol

Low sugar can of hard cider over two meals and two days near the end of the four weeks

 

From the Love Yourself Lean Program: Avoid as much as possible:

  • GLUTEN GRAINS
  • DAIRY
  • Soy
  • Artificial ingredients
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Sugar
  • Corn
  • Legumes
  • Vegetable Oils

My daily meals, snacks, water intake, activities, steps from my Oura ring counter, mile walking equivalency from my Oura ring, total burn in calories from my Oura ring, weight every morning, and any significant feelings or issues are detailed below. I noticed that the first week I craved corn chips. I could eat corn chips for every meal every day that whole week. I slowly adopted more of the nutritional guidelines into my meals after the first week while focusing on my 7 main goals.

DIY Garden 2020 – Partial Shade PNW Zone 8b/9a – 1 Month Progress Report

It is now exactly one month out from my original garden post which you can view here.

Front yard – my ‘orchard’ – I keep reorganizing the front orchard to better utilize the sun, plant potatoes, keep the landscaping company from destroying anything, and to create tomato supports. This is my final design for the season. I lined up the six buckets each with one tomato plant and rigged my own support out of the plastic international shipping box twine that holds your box together. I also received some t-posts from my BuyNothing group and utilized them here. By clicking on the image you can see in the larger zoom that I have 0 tomatoes fruiting… Did I not prune enough or correctly? Did I not plant soon enough? Am I not getting enough sun or water? Is there too much water and not enough drainage? The stalks are also more spindly than others I’ve seen at my local Pea Patch.

6/2/2020

The side yard – my ‘berries’ – None of my berry bushes (huckleberry, salmonberry, blueberry) have changed since I planted them. The blueberry was full of unripe blueberries and none of them have ripened. I also planted some cilantro and parsley in this box and they’ve sprouted nicely above ground.

6/2/2020

The backyard – ‘greenhouse’ – I’ve already harvested some of the spicy Mesclun lettuce mix and will attempt to eat my way through these two rows this month so that the three squash starts I planted between the rows will have room to grow. The zucchini in the back are doing nicely but I don’t see any zucchinis yet. These plants seem to be larger than the ones I planted in the other planter box without the greenhouse tarp. The best crop by far is the mint you can see in the large pot behind the stump. I wish I liked mint more and am not sure what to do with such a large crop… The chocolate mint is delicious to eat plain though and I highly recommend planting this variety!

6/2/2020

6/2/2020

The backyard raised bed garden – the big ‘project’ – three raised garden beds with potato planted in front and thimbleberry bush start and a raspberry bush start off to the side. These beds are growing nicely but haven’t produced anything yet… The corn in the back appears to be leaning towards the neighbor’s fence and I’m not sure they’re getting enough sun in the back there.

6/2/2020

6/2/2020

The beds have the following planted in them:

Bush Beans
Carrots Nantes
Bush Beans
Carrots Nantes
Bush Beans
Carrots Short ‘n Sweet
Bush Beans
Carrots Short ‘n Sweet

Spinach
Spinach
Chard
Chard
6 cucumber mounds

4 rows of corn
6 zucchini starter mounds
1 row of mounds of cauliflower seeds

My future projects include the following:

  1. Build a trellis and grow loofah!
  2. Build a seed library and place it near my Pea Patch if I get permission
  3. Plan for a winter crop
  4. Finish using the free pallet wood and build a long planter box and small square raised garden boxes
  5. Giveaway the rest of the project wood pieces

Adventures in Veganism/Vegetarianism – One Week Vegetarian

Look ma, no meat!

I did it again… but this time instead of eliminating animal products I prioritized fruits and vegetables. What does it mean to eat vegan or vegetarian? Privilege. I can find, purchase, prepare, and consume hearty vegetables and supplement my diet with vitamins. I didn’t eat rice and beans for a week. I spent my time, effort, and money to micromanage my diet for 6 days – two of which were vegan days.

I did not plan to eat ‘vegan’ per se, because my partner wanted to try out the ‘fruit diet’ for a week. Fruits happen to be vegan! I decided that I wanted to balance my diet and prioritize vegetables instead of fruit. Because veggies! Because why not! Because macros and balance!

Here are a few of my takeaways from this round of vegan/vegetarian eating (see my previous challenge here: http://rachelbarnardvegan.blogspot.com/)

  • Planning became essential
    • Going out and picking the fruits and vegetables was essential
    • Food prep took quite a bit of time measuring, chopping, etc. Weighing foods takes so much time!
    • I created a spreadsheet with all the veggies, nuts, and fruit I bought with 1oz serving sizes and then puzzled out how to attain a good balance of fat, sugar, carb, and protein from there
    • Basic google research told me that I should be eating around 1,367 calories per day of which 40% would be protein (137g), 30% would be carbohydrates (103g), and 30% would be fats (46g). No mention of sugar… hm. I attempted to cap my sugar intake at 25g (hahaha that didn’t happen. Did you know that fruits have quite a bit of sugar? Did you know that vegetables have carbs?
  • Fresh foods take up a lot of space in the fridge (yeah, I know canned and frozen foods exist, but again privilege)
  • You can stock certain products to add balance and protein to your diet.
    • Hemp seeds/hearts are high in protein and fat and very low in sugar
    • Chia seeds have no sugar
    • Chlorella is gross and will overpower your smoothie but it is pure protein
    • Flax milk seems to be the highest of the non-dairy milks in protein with very little carbs and no sugar that I could find at our local Safeway. I don’t recommend drinking it plain but it makes a great addition to smoothies and coffee. It even tastes creamy
    • Nutritional yeast is a great protein additive for topping salads, mixing into smoothies, and hiding in a stir fry but it will also start to overpower the flavor of your food and to me it doesn’t taste at all like cheese
    • Coconut milk is a great fat and delicious for making chia pudding
  • You can eat a great volume of vegetables without consuming that many calories (not true for all vegetables). Sometimes my salads were too big for my appetite and they were less than 400 calories.
  • You don’t need to eat as many nuts as you think… if you eat them intentionally they will satisfy you and I quite like the taste of all the nuts I got (the order of my favorites that I ate would be cashews, walnuts, almonds, pecans)
  • When I cut out processed foods and sugars I didn’t experience my daily crazy hungry/bored eating/food fascination that seems to occur daily between 2pm-5pm
  • I felt more satisfied and full from my snacks/meals even though I was consuming less calories overall
  • My bowel movements changed, becoming less frequent (only once daily) and more dense and very green! The same green as if I’d consumed that black cherry Icee at the movies
  • After two days I came to the conclusion that a vegetarian is simply a vegan who eats cheese. Cheese is delicious.
  • Did I miss meat? No, I was too busy enjoying delicious fruits and veggies.

Here is my calorie consumption chart for the week (I didn’t weigh my food for Saturday)

Budget  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Calories 1300 903 928.3 1279 1313.9 1108.8
Protein 137 40.4 36.94 57.2 48.7 38.51
Carbs 103 142 118.95 160.69 132.15 145.66
Sugar 25 42.3 30.58 34.37 58.2 99.92
Fats 46 41.82 41.25 63.74 129.24 55.92

Pictured below are a few meals I ate:

Left: Portabello mushroom with cheese and egg on a bed of spinach surrounded by strawberries

Middle: Watermelon salad with feta, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lemon next to lemon sauteed asparagus (can you still call it a saute if you saute in water?)

Right: a picnic we brought to the park -to eat in our car- apples, watermelon, plums, Oreo, feta, mixed nuts, dried and salted beans

More detailed breakdown of consumption for days 1-5:

Day 1:

calories Protein Carbs Sugar fats
Smoothie 212 17.2 42.9 15.3 13.4
Snacks (1 fruit and nuts) 369 4.4 7.38 1.62 14.75
Lunch 213.8 8.54 20.22 5.11 12.9
Dinner 133.5 6.8 48.45 8.55 0.2

Day 2:

calories Protein Carbs Sugar fats
Smoothie 212 17.2 42.9 15.3 13.4
Snacks (1 fruit and nuts) 320 6.2 43.2 28.3 15.02
Lunch 236 9.5 54.6 7.6 0.7
Dinner 213.8 8.54 20.22 5.11 12.9

Day 3:

calories Protein Carbs Sugar fats
Smoothie 190 14.91 27.15 10.91 3.54
Snacks 540 12.7 66.2 14.8 30.84
Lunch 413.4 14.09 37.215 6.03 28.63
Dinner 136 15.5 30.12 2.63 0.73
1279 57.2 160.69 34.37 63.74

Day 4:

calories Protein Carbs Sugar fats
Breakfast: watermelon and feta 100.5 3.4 14.6 14.6 3
Breakfast: Nuts 211 5.6 7.1 1.5 22.44
Lunch salad: 567.4 36.3 53.4 11.8 86.7
Snack: watermelon rind salad 320 2.35 28.25 2 17
Snack: 1/2 plum 15 .25 4 3.5 .1
Snack: Candied watermelon 100 0.8 24.8 24.8 0
1313.9 48.7 132.15 58.2 129.24

Day 5:

calories Protein Carbs Sugar fats
Breakfast Smoothie 190 14.91 27.15 10.91 3.54
Snack: candied watermelon 200 1.6 49.6 49.6 0
Lunch watermelon salad 133 5.68 14.65 11.87 6.16
Snack: nuts 211 5.6 7.1 1.5 22.44
Lunch: Asparagus 99 4.9 9.0 3.9 7.2
Snack: 1/2 apple 78 .4 21 15 .3
Dinner: Salad 179.8 5.02 12.86 4.5 14.48
Dessert: Strawberry 18 .4 4.3 2.64 1.8
1108.8 38.51 145.66 99.92 55.92