Keto Week One Lessons

So last Sunday a friend said she was going to start doing Keto (a high fat, low carb diet designed to put you into ketoacidosis a state where your body is burning fat instead of carbs for fuel) and I jokingly said I should join her. And then I thought about it. And thought about it. And the next day I actually did start it.

Now I’m not a stranger to this type of diet. When I was in college I worked with a nutritionist and was on a 60g carbs/day diet. In my mid-20s I got very obsessed with nutrition and fitness and was basically working out 2-3 hours a day and surviving on green smoothies, zucchini and eggs. I’ve done some intermittent smoothie/juice cleanses. But the last year especially I’ve been absolutely garbage about eating right, mostly due to my mental state and the world going to hell.

All that said I survived week one and have some observations.

  1. DO NOT START THIS DIET RANDOMLY. Seriously, plan it and clear out all the temptations. SOMEONE started when she still had Thanksgiving leftovers in the fridge including mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and stuffing and had just bought a box of Candy Cane JoeJoes.
  2. Monitoring your calories is essential to make sure you’re eating enough. According to the calculator my minimum recommended calories was 1600 and I thought ok sure no problem but tbh I’ve been struggling everyday to hit it and I totally understand why the ketoproof coffee (essentially butter and heavy cream in coffee, which I have yet to try).
  3. People on the boards are really precious about not buying prepackaged stuff. Ignore them. If you want to rice your own cauliflower sure go for it but you can buy a 1lb bag for $1.99 and save yourself a lot of time. Around here head of cauliflower can go from $0.79-1.50/lb so yeah you’re saving some money doing it yourself but if you’re not actually going to do it what’s the point? Don’t let people shame you out of convenience.
  4. Keto flu is real and starting mid-week probably would have been smarter so the worst happened over the weekend.
  5. Leafy greens-cucumber-lemon smoothies with unsweetened almond milk and protein powder are delicious. My normal smoothies were greens + berry + frozen pineapple with unsweetened almond milk but fruit is a lot of carbs so I had to find an alternative. And then my blender broke and I have yet to buy a new one bah.
  6. If you don’t already have a protein shake/powder you like buy individual bottles/packets first. You don’t want to end up with a bunch of stuff you hate. I have found the shakes you don’t like on their own can taste great in coffee so you don’t have to waste the bottle either.
  7. Cauliflower DOES NOT taste like potatoes no matter how hard people on the boards try to push that narrative. It doesn’t taste bad but I made my batch of cauliflower fritters and they are not hashbrowns. ALSO trust your own instincts because some of those recipes are white as hell and don’t believe in seasoning which is so dumb.
  8. I hope you like meat, cheese, eggs and nuts because they are the staples of this diet, especially for snacks. I don’t think I’ve eaten this much meat in one week in forever.
  9. Starting in soup season was brilliant. Mmm sinigang, hot and sour eggdrop soup and broccoli cheddar. No rice or noodles is a blow but not the end of the world.
  10. Sugar free syrups and homemade whipped cream will make your chia puddings delicious. And chia puddings are a great way to get your am calories.
  11. Dry sparkling wine is only 1.5g carbs and a proper old fashioned is only 4g but also maybe don’t start when you have plans to go out for a friend’s birthday and only get to try one tiny bite of the pistachio gateau she ordered.
  12. Start after the first of the month to make sure it’s not your month for a free month of panera bagels if you are part of their rewards program (this is honestly so unfair I love that stupid bagel shaped bread)
  13. Trader Joes has a whole grain crispbread thing that’s 3g carbs/piece and amazing for avocado toast or an open faced sandwich.
  14. Chicharones are a great crispy salty potato chip replacement and can also be crushed and used for breading to make chicken nuggets.
  15. The flours you’ll use for binders, flax and almond most likely, tend to go rancid faster than all purpose flour so either store them in the fridge/freezer or go to the bulk section and only buy what you need for a week or so.
  16. Snack, snack, snack. Sipping a smoothie or a protein shake, nibbling on some nuts or cheese, drinking all the water, these will help with the carb cravings.

I’m really hoping week 2 will be smoother now that I have more of an idea what I’m doing. I had a dream last night I ate that entire box of JoeJoes tho…

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Today’s Bigenda: Gifts!

The release of Oprah’s Favourite Things officially marks the beginning of gift guide season and while this list will not be anywhere near as out of touch and lolworthy as Goop’s it will provide you with ideas for all your favourite bisexuals!

Hannako of Space Gays fame has Chaotic Bi pins for DnD loving (or just spacey and scattered) bis! Sadly they are sold out for the preorders however there is a mailing list you can join to be alerted when the stock arrives and they go up for sale!

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While I’m more of a dark side gal Star Wars is life and these bi rebel resist pins are perfect! (also available in ace, trans and rainbow)

Fact: All bis are babes. And Julia Reck knows it and has designed this gorgeous Bi Babe pin for us to proudly state facts. Her store is only open til November 19th so if you’re wanting this as a gift you better act soon!

Feelings are The Worst. We all know it to be true. Unless they come in bi and then they can be grudgingly accepted. And once they’re accepted obviously they need to be displayed which is where creator of the card for card carrying bisexuals Kate Leth comes in with this fantastic bisexual feelings shirt in dark and light grey.

Bianca Designs has this awesome graphic on totes, shirts and as pins in many iterations in her pride collection as well as some fantastic pronoun merch she designed over at Peachy Collective.

Shoes shoes shoes is there anything better than shoes? Actually yeah going barefoot but still! I actually have Nike Flyknits in hightops and the barefoot running style and I love what great colours they have as well as that weird hugging your foot feeling. Fluevogs are a menace, don’t go down that road, stick to the birks and the docs that you’re used to.

Zodiac Starforce by Kevin Panetta and Paulina Ganucheau is honestly one of my favourite comics out there. Magical girls kicking ass and a bi mc I was so emotional when I read the first trade because it’s everything the knew at 10 I was into girls Sailor Moon obsessed 90s kid I was could’ve ever dreamed of. Volume One would be the perfect gift and Volume 2 (featuring everyone’s new fucky fireprince boyfriend) is ongoing now! As a bonus Paulina has a shop with gorgeous prints and pins and even a Zodiac Starforce shirt!

There was an article recently about how going for that fun jacket will lift your mood over the winter and who cares about matching since really all you need to match to is your pants and those are typically neutrals anyway. These aren’t really winter coats but all of them are fun! But if you want that I’m Tired bomber as seen on new nerd lord Taika Waititi act fast because preorders end November 11ish and the company has stated they won’t be carrying stock.

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There are always going to be those assholes who question the validity of bisexuality and our place in the LGBT+ community but this shirt is here to remind you that you are queer enough. We are all queer enough. There’s no test, no proof, just you as you are.

And even more shirts! Did you know there’s a wholeass site called bisexualtshirts? They have some pretty fun designs! And this zero pressure, zero expectations shirt just grips my heart in the same way queer enough does (fyi both of these designs are available in a number of other colourways for other queer identities who get questioned constantly as they should be.)

Obligatory homegoods section! Your bi book lover needs candles right? Kuhn Rikon’s Colori line are both good quality and while none of the sets are properly bi you can totally DIY it. Blue chef’s knife, purple serrated and pink paring and you’re kitchen ready! Sandy makes GORGEOUS tea cups with amazing designs, just look at those sweet ghost babes!

There’s honestly no such thing as too many pins or patches so here’s some more! I am so sorry the links don’t match up with the picture order because that drives me crazy but let’s be real, I’m too lazy to fix it.

  • Just a couple of gals, palling around. nbd.
  • Idk what’s up with those extra colours but Bitch, Please is such hashtag mood
  • Still trying to figure out just what I need to power this ward but I’ll get there!
  • Ok Queer as in Fuck You is probably the obvious choice but I mean, bi baths!
  • Bi at…Pelvis? Lungs? Hand? Heart!
  • Everything about BIsmuth screams bi from the name to the chemical symbol to the rock itself! We are so blessed.
  • Kids love cuties! Bis love queer cuties!
  • This sloth is so pure
  • If you know a bibabe with no pettiness protect them at all costs
  • BiBeetles >>>>> normal ones
  • You can fight me if you want but everything about everyone’s favourite murder droid K-2S0 screams bi to me.
  • Would you like your soft serve rainbow, bi or fuck off? Actually the fuck off comes either way

 

Books are always a fantastic gift and while books featuring bisexual main characters can be hard to find here’s some that I absolutely adore.

All of these books will have you crying in bisexual over the rep that you wish was everywhere but is at least so clear here. Confusing crushes and bisexual love triangles and exciting stories full of wonderful characters, it’s everything we deserve.

Bless Patagonia for their logo being inherently bi so there’s a lot of options there but the BiBison? BIson? Bi-son? really wins the day. I mean it’s inherently bi! The trucker hat in radar blue really speaks to me but apparently there are people who don’t like those and you definitely can’t go wrong with a basic long sleeve tee! Non- Bi-Sonly the Harvest Moon beanie is both on sale and fantastic!

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Ok ok I know the joke is about unicorns something something rare and hard to find but I’m here to submit Glisten the Reindeer as bimascot. She’s powered by stars and has a fabulous cape! What more could we want?

Of course. Obviously. Duh. No Question. Stereotypes are real damnit.

UPDATE: I will never be satisfied and more ideas kept coming to me so:

Bombsheller makes some FANTASTIC quality leggings that can handle even the thickest thighs ranging from XS-6X. They just released these stunningly bi Jen Bartel Galactic Cat leggings, are home to three different Non-Compliant leggings (I have them in floral. If you haven’t read Bitch Planet that’s another comic for the gift list!) and have a great pride collection!

The movies seriously failed us on the rep department and hopefully they fix that in the future but we still have our Big Two Canonically Bi Superheroes Wonder Woman and Valkyrie and that’s never a bad thing to celebrate even while wishing for more right? The Valkyrie merch is seriously lacking but I’m hoping that changes considering what a runaway star she was in Thor: Ragnarok but Funko is here for us on both fronts and while the Wonder Woman movie didn’t give us the rep, it did give us this fabulous quote and jordandene gave us the matching merch!

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I have exactly nowhere to wear this CelestiallyBi Dress and yet I need it so badly! If you haven’t been swept up by eShakti yet I’m not sorry. Go ask a friend for a referral so you get a discount and go to town with their fully customizable and too often too adorable for words designs!

 

Wiscon!

So this weekend is Wiscon and I am woefully unprepared (guys did you know that if you’re leaving straight from work on Thursday that you have to be packed BEFORE going to work that day???) but it’s going to be an amazing time I’m sure! I’m so hyped to see everyone and go to amazing panels and eat all the food (PS Sol’s is some of the best Korean food I’ve had and the Sexy Fries at Mickey’s live up to their name).

I’m going to be on TWO panels for this my first Wiscon!

Finn is Not Your Son 
Friday 12.00-13.15 University C
Characters of color are often reduced to the background, de-centered even when they have a prominent place in a film, game, book, etc. There’s a trend of calling characters “my problematic son” or “my helpless child.” When applied to characters of color that are already pushed to the side, this turns to a trope of infantalizing non-white characters. How do we stop this? How can we talk about characters of color without calling them children?

Finding Your Filipinx Fandom Fam
Monday 10.00-11.15 University B
2016 was a banner year for Filipinx creators, with Filipinas claiming the first wins ever of the World Fantasy Award, Nebula Award, and Hugo Award. But Filipinx in fandom are nothing new. How has fandom provided opportunities for Filipinx creators and fans to explore issues such as colonialism, identity, internalized racism, food, family, and community? What has it meant for Filipinx fans and creators to connect through fandom? This panel will highlight and celebrate the growing visibility of and access to SFF works by Filipinx creators and explore the diversity of perspectives within the Filipinx SFF community.

Other places you’ll be able to find me include the POC Dinner and Uncanny Magazine Space Unicorn Party Friday night,DAniYoIXsAAUOCk

Attending so many amazing panels like:

And of course just around hanging out (I’m sure twitter will tell you where!). Also I’m going to need people to physically stop me from heading over to see if Zach Roman has any walk-in availability. It’s going to be a great weekend!

A Carp On Dry Land

The impending release of Netflix’s Iron Fist show combined with some seriously tone-deaf and whiter than white comments from its star Finn Jones have led to a resurgence of the discussions around #AAIronFist. Created by Keith Chow of Nerds of Colour after the announcement of the show (not as a backlash to 45’s election as Finn Jones would like you to believe, oddly enough AAPI’s have wanted better representation for far longer than 5 months) to lobby for an Asian/Asian American Danny Rand it was ultimately ignored by the creators as they went for the traditional rich white boy hero we always get. For the record, it wasn’t because we hate canon or white boys it was because:

The conversation would pick up again in small bursts as announcements were made and cast photos were released but now that the first 6 episodes have been seen by critics and the negative reviews are flowing and the embargo on interviews has been lifted the hashtag has been quite active again with lots of people new to the discourse flooding in to defend Jones and his casting for two primary reasons.

  • Danny Rand is canonically white in the comics (nevermind that he was created to be a white washed Gary Stu Bruce Lee)
  • In order to be a fish out of water amongst Asians Danny CAN’T be Asian.

The first is ridiculous. Comics changes canon constantly. Characters can have 3 different origin stories and readers have to keep up with different multiverses and timelines but a bad decision from the 70s can’t be redone? Please.

But the second people seem particularly earnest about and it’s just as ridiculous. Asia is a big continent with many languages, cultures, histories and religions and that argument is saying that a Japanese Buddhist from the country is the same as a Filipino Muslim who grew up in Manila. It acts like China alone doesn’t have multiple languages and regions. And this is just sourcelanders, when you get into Asians who grew up in the diaspora, either immigrated young or born here, you have a whole other level of feeling out of place in Asia.

Why is the idea that to be a fish out of water you have to look physically different than the people around you so pervasive? Everyone has felt like that for brief and sustained moments. Have you ever:

  • Been the new kid at a school
  • Gone to a different religion’s church and not known the rituals and songs everyone performed so smoothly
  • Visited relatives or friends in a different part of the country, North Easterner to the South, Midwesterner to the West
  • Gone to a friend’s big family gathering as an only child with very few relatives
  • Been the only English major surrounded by STEM majors
  • Been a country kid who moved to the big city or vice versa
  • Been the only sober person in the group
  • Moved to a new place
  • Started a new job
  • Met a significant other’s family
  • Tried to connect with your family’s cultural roots

Think about how you felt in those situations and then examine why you think Danny Rand has to be white in order to feel like a fish out of water. Then go ahead and read some of the excellent conversations happening by AAPI including the one that kickstarted it all. No one is creating backlash just for the heck of it Finn Jones.

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Wins Dem Tonys

The Tony Awards were last night and were completely stunning with James Corden killing it as the host and amazing performances from everyone! Bright Star skyrocketed to the top of my must see when I go to NYC in September, joining Hamilton and The WaitressThe Color Purple stunned everyone watching and Shuffle Along and Spring Awakening confirmed that they were robbed of the Best Choreography and Best Direction Tonys respectively.

But one complaint I’ve been seeing a lot is the choice of Hamilton to perform Yorktown (World Turned Upside Down) and since I’ve been defending that choice all over the internet (apparently this is a hill I will die on, who knew?) I thought I’d write up why.

I honestly don’t think there was any other choice for the Tonys, especially since they already performed Alexander Hamilton at the Grammy’s. I’ve heard Non-Stop being thrown around as a superior choice or doing a compilation of Satisfied and Room Where It Happens and I just don’t think either of those options would have the same weight as Yorktown.

For people who don’t know Hamilton backwards and forwards they know it primarily as a hip-hop historical musical and no matter your level of history education you know that the end of the Revolutionary War was major. Hamilton is being billed as a story of America and what better way to showcase that than with the number that seals Americas fate. Other choices might’ve showcased Lin’s clever words better or individual members (but Leslie Odom Jr, Phillipa Soo and Renee Elise Goldsberry got to showcase their talents in the closing number) but there’s just not another number in the musical that showcases the heart of the story without needing any other context.

Chris Jackson’s presence draws you in and then the company going into “who lives, who dies, who tells your story” is so haunting I get chills every time. “I know that we can win, I know that greatness lies in you.” He’s speaking to the room, to us, to the world. And then the transition to the upbeat telling of the Revolutionary War we all know showcasing the marvelous company.

And while obviously Yorktown was chosen as the number long before the shooting at Pulse, the ending of Yorktown in the wake of yet another gun-fueled terrorist act in this country speaks to how we can, we HAVE to turn the world upside down. Yorktown is a revolutionary song in a time when we need a revolution and there is no other song in Hamilton that could drive that message home.

Spoilers Vs. Spoiling

The internet is rife with people ready to spout spoilers on any subject of choosing. Assholes who don’t care that there are people who want to go into a movie or start a book without knowing anything about it, they just have to proclaim their knowledge to the world, taking pleasure in affecting others experiences.

But while people think of spoilers in the “Snape kills Dumbledore” sense, big events, specific plot points, there’s dozens of ways to spoil a work for someone without even meaning to. Every piece of information about a work skews how view the work, takes away from the impact of seeing the work as a whole piece because consciously or subconsciously you’re waiting for that moment. It happens in trailers for movies all the time (for all that Age of Ultron was a mess of a movie I’m glad I didn’t see a lot of the trailers and got to be as surprised by Clint Barton’s family as the rest of The Avengers were) and there’s a reason I don’t like to read reviews of the things I’m interested in until afterwards (I do enjoy reading them afterwards. I get a lot of satisfaction when views line up with mine and I like seeing things from a different perspective once I’ve had the opportunity to form my own opinions).

This is obviously a specific level of spoiler avoidance and most of it is on me to keep away from the information but still a lot of people like to express their opinions on things in ways they believe are non-spoilery without realizing the impact they have. Because every piece of information skews experiences. If you’re livetweeting a show and someone sees that 15min into the show suddenly there’s a huge burst of OMGWTF tweets they’re going to be watching expecting that moment (which is why please always tag/announce your livetweets for easy muting!) and it doesn’t matter that they don’t know what the specific moment is, it’s enough to know that there’s something.

This isn’t a plea for no spoilers ever just shut your mouth and don’t say anything until you know everyone has seen it. That’s ridiculous and extreme. But this is a plea to be mindful of how your words can affect someone else’s experience. People who are assholes and don’t care about spoiling things for others, they aren’t going to change. But for those who think they’re being non-spoilery, an example of how experiences can be skewed.

I just finished the book Bloodline by Claudia Gray and I adored it to bits (spoilers for Bloodline follow. Specifically character development. Go read the book if you haven’t.) Continue reading

On Disliking What Everyone Else Loves

I’ve never understood the desire to yell at the internet for liking a thing that you don’t, for reveling in something that you thought was terrible and never want to see again. It seems so simple, just don’t think about it and ignore them right? Don’t rant like a crazy person and harsh the squee.

But then I’d never truly disliked something that went against popular opinion. Sure there were things I was indifferent too or just didn’t get the love or even didn’t like much that everyone else loved (Hello Mad Max: Fury Road, you’re very pretty and so so boring) but the dissenting opinion never bothered me and I’m realizing now that it’s because I didn’t care enough to want to talk about it or to be bothered by the fact that everyone else seemed to see something I didn’t.

And then I saw Captain America: Civil War.

I Did. Not. Like this movie. I’m almost to the point where I want to say I hated the movie. I was so mad afterwards that I sat in my car and cried (which isn’t that remarkable. I have a tendency to cry when I’m angry which completely ruins any angry yelling/faces. It’s a struggle.). I’d been as skeptical as anyone else given Marvel’s recent track record and the complete and utter mess that was Civil War in the comics but enough people had come out of early screenings raving about the movie that I let myself get excited. I thought yes, this will be a proper sequel to The Winter Soldier and not Iron Man 4 and Avengers 3 with a dash of Cap. I can’t wait.

An hour into the movie I was a little bored but still hopeful. An hour and a half in I was starting to get annoyed. Two hours in I wanted to walk out. By the ending credits I was crushed. The wonderful movie people were talking about never happened. And then I got online and saw people on twitter going on and on about wonderful it was and how well the Russo’s managed to make it feel like a Cap movie even with everything else and I just felt this up-swelling of rage in me. I typed out so many tweets in response to the praise. Ranting about how no Civil War was exactly the preachy self-righteous mess Batman vs. Superman was, the only thing it did better was have some likeable characters. How the only reason it flowed better than Age of Ultron was it was only juggling two story lines instead of four. How yes Iron Man was completely overwhelming and the whole movie was everyone responding to his manpain. How you could feel his presence and influence even when he wasn’t on screen because he somehow became the emotional center of a Cap movie. How completely pointless and annoying Spider-Man was. It felt like my anger was taking me over and I was just watching it spread out and want to attack.

I didn’t. For the most part I kept it contained to a few tweets and retreated and tried to think about something else.

But you know what? It’s damn hard. Fighting down that urge to lash out I finally understood why people go on sites and comment on articles about things they didn’t like. Finally got why people pick twitter fights. All that anger? It’s exhausting keeping it inside. It needs somewhere to go and the people who like what you don’t is an easy target for it. It overpowers. There were definitely parts of the movie I liked. Some cute character interaction and funny moments. But that took a back seat.

I didn’t. I texted a friend and ranted at her a bit. I muted some people so I wasn’t getting constant reminders. I watched a few episodes of a show I liked. I wrote a blog post. Because even though I get the other side now I still look at it and shake my head and say no, that’s not who I want to be. I may be an asshole about a lot of things but even that’s just a bit too far for me. People should be able to like (or dislike) what they like without anyone telling them that’s wrong. Just because the anger wants to doesn’t mean you have to listen to it. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t want to.