Thursday, August 20, 2015

Just a Taste: Walking to and around Campus

Hi everyone!

So I have a lot I want to share with you - the two days in Iceland, different things I've done in Sweden so far, a tour of my dorm room, etc. Hell, I even wanted to post a few recipes that worked really well during my LID thing and the tiny house I stayed in in Colorado.

Problem is I'm still in the crazy busy phase, so I'm going to slowly roll out the posts over the next few weeks as I get more time...which is probably better anyway, since there's a ton of really interesting things to share right now and it's going to taper pretty quickly. (Homework assignments are probably not that fascinating for you.)

So for this first post, I'm going with a quick batch of some pictures from around campus and my walk to it, to give you a little something. (It's also the quickest thing I can put together, and I know it's been a couple of days already.)

I like to call these, "Look, I'm in Europe." :)

The building where we did all the stuff on Arrival Day.
That's right, it looks like a frickin' castle.
The building we had our General Information Meeting in.
The LUCSUS building, where my classes will be.
Fountain in front of the above building. In case covered in ivy
wasn't enough pizzazz and old-world charm for you.

That's just a few of them; you can look at the entire album here if you're so inclined. :)

Thursday, July 02, 2015

LID Day 1: Anica starves to death

Yesterday was my self-inflicted Day 1, but I was too weak at the end of the day to tell you of it.

Why self-inflicted? I'm waiting on insurance and assistance to go through, and usually they schedule stuff out after that's situated. However, since I'm only in Vegas another five weeks, and the process from starting this diet to getting treatment results from the doctor are about a month, I am running out of time. So, I started yesterday, so that when they do get everything squared away, I'll be ready to go without delay.

So, Day 1 was...painful.

Day 1 Plan:
  • Breakfast: Egg white and veggie omelet
  • Lunch: Salad with homemade Italian dressing
  • Dinner: Chicken stir-fry
  • Snacks: Fruits and nuts

Day 1 Actual:
  • Breakfast: Egg white, bell pepper, onion, and potato scramble
  • Snack: Apple
  • Lunch: More egg white, bell pepper, onion, and potato scramble
  • Snack: Pecans
  • Dinner: Chicken "fajitas"
  • Snack: Bite of a biscuit

What happened:

Well, I was definitely not quite prepared, and the snafus in the system certainly didn't help.

Lunch plans got derailed because the last time I bought some key spices I bought the ones in little tin cans (they were on sale). I'm not supposed to eat anything canned, since the linings contain iodine, and wasn't sure if the tin cans did or not, so using them was out. Since this would have turned my salad dressing into just olive oil and white vinegar, I had to nix the lunch salad.

Would you want this to be 2/3 of your meals
for the day? Yeah, I didn't either. 
Breakfast wasn't bad, though it would have been better if I crisped the potatoes up a bit more. It wasn't, however, good enough to eat for two meals of the day, so I only ate half of what I should have for lunch.

By the afternoon, while I was chomping on my pecans, I felt pretty crappy. It's hard to judge how much is from not being on my thyroid meds for a week, and how much was from being under 1,000 calories for the day at 5pm, but neither are exactly conducive to dancing a happy jig.

I was out of food at that point, unfortunately, until I got home to make dinner. Downside to this diet is I have no outside the home options, with the exception of a piece of produce from the grocery store. Any other kind of diet attempt and I would have broken down and eaten a myriad of things after work and just restarted the next day, especially since I was running on empty and that's not healthy. However, turns out wanting to do everything to kill all your residual cancer cells is much more motivating than trying to look better for swimsuit season. Willpower prevailed.

Made it home and cooked dinner, which was pretty good. The "fajitas" were boneless, skinless chicken thighs, bell peppers, and onions, eaten out of a bowl. I had forgotten to buy a lemon and it turned out my chili powder had salt in it, so the marinade was missing a couple ingredients, but overall it was good. I mashed avocado into it as a lazy guacamole and for some added calories, but it just made me think how much better it would be with sour cream. I made double, so I have something for lunch tomorrow, though it'll mean a meatless dinner since I put all of my meat allotment for a day in each serving. (6 ounces is not that much.)

I wanted to make bread, for more food options for the next day, but it takes too long for a weeknight, so I tried biscuits. Took a sample bite when they came out of the oven, and they are surprisingly good for not having any butter or milk in the recipe. Add some honey and it should be great as a snack tomorrow.

Plans for tomorrow:

  • Go to Whole Foods and get fresh ground peanut butter (forgot when I was buying the chicken)
  • Find and make some kind of granola bar as an emergency ration for the afternoon
  • Find more recipes/options for meals

Problems on the horizon:

Getting enough calories in a day. Contrary to people's assumptions due to my size, on days when I don't eat out, I most likely am not eating enough calories. Last time I sat down and calculated I was only getting ~1600 day, which for my size is rather low. Now that we've more or less cut out meat and all dairy products, most of what I'm eating is pretty low on the calorie scale. I'm going to have to get creative to probably hit that 1600, let alone an amount I should be eating.

I made it though - Day 1 down! :)

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Low-iodine Diet: The Basics

As part of my cancer treatment, I'm getting radioactive iodine. Basically they take out all they can when they do surgery, and while my surgeon got it all out, since it had spread to two lymph nodes and my tumor was "stuck to my trachea," I need the radioactive iodine to kill off any pesky cancer cells left behind.

It's not bad, from what I've read; take a pill, be in quarantine for three days while you're radioactive, body scan 7-10 days after, and you're good. Possible side effects most people seem to complain of is nausea and things not tasting right for up to six months. (One man said everything tasted soapy. Let's not do that one.)

In order for it to be as effective as possible, you must be on a low-iodine diet for two weeks ahead of time. Since your thyroid cells absorb iodine, if you starve them of it for two weeks, they will suck up that delicious radioactive version like a cult's death kool-aid and cease to exist.

So, you ask, what has iodine in it? The short answer: EVERYTHING.

It's actually shorter to write what I can eat, versus what I can't. 

I can eat:
  • Fresh vegetables, frozen ones if there's no added salt...Minus spinach, cruciferous vegetables, celery, potato skins, soybeans (and everything made from them), and most regular beans that I luckily hate anyway
  • Fresh fruit...Minus cranberries, strawberries, rhubarb, and dried fruit
  • Fresh meat from the butcher case with no processing (outside of grinding) and no additives (Hello Whole Foods)...Minus all seafood and organ meats and only 6 oz a day :(
  • Egg whites
  • Unsalted nuts and nut butters
  • Grains and cereals that are unsalted, unprocessed, and additive and preservative free
  • Bread, if I make it myself with no bad ingredients (like milk, eggs, etc)
  • Oil
  • White vinegar
  • Natural sweeteners, like honey and maple syrup, up to 2 servings a day...Minus molasses
  • Spices...Minus any with salt in them or in their title
  • Herbs!
  • Small amounts of non-iodized, non-sea salt
  • An assortment of beverages I don't drink anyway. (That's right, I can't eat 2 of 3 ingredients for ants on a log, but I can drink Sprite and coffee. Not right I tell you.)
It actually looks like a lot of variety when you put it that way. A lesson on trying to see that glass as half-full, perhaps?

Today was my self-inflicted Day 1, which I will delve into tomorrow! :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


What have we here? Six years, and I'm finally posting again!

I don't think anyone checks this but my dad (Hi Daddy-o!), but since I will be moving to Sweden, and this seems to be the place where I post of my international adventures, I thought I'd dust it off.

This time around I make no promises to post regularly, since we know that doesn't happen no matter what I say. (Maybe it'll be better with the pressure off?) I will try to write less and put more pictures, since I am a verbose individual but no one really wants to read as much ramblings as I have. I'll also try not to be a perfectionist on it, as going through several drafts and edits for a blog not only seems silly, but was a main contributor to not posting regularly.

So, in the interests of keeping it short, I'm going to briefly mention things that I'll be probably posting about soon, with more detailed posts to follow at some point.

As mentioned above, I'm moving to Sweden, on August 18th to be exact. I'll be earning my Master of Science in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science at Lund University. 'Cause why not? ;)

Before that happens, I'll have a nice, shorter than I was hoping for, two day whirlwind in Iceland. I hear they have a museum filled with nothing but penis specimens from every mammal in Iceland. (Worry not, there will be pictures.)

And before I can really think about all that, before the packing and whatnot, I've got to get this thyroid cancer thing wrapped up. Surgery was good and is done, next is the radioactive iodine treatment, and then I should be all clear.

That's what you're going to hear about first, because it seems blog worthy. (Or maybe I just need to journal.)

You can always come back in a month for the fun international travel pictures. :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I mentioned before that I was going to eventually do a post on Engrish, and here it is.

To refresh your memory (we'll pretend you've read everything I've ever written religiously, of course), it is rather cool here, Japan, and probably other Asian countries to have things written in English. Think of the prevelence of kanji tattoos that people have in the US - same kind of thing. However, being that a vast majority of the population can't read what it says, it tends to not make much sense. This is known as Engrish.

(As an aside I read an article once on how a Japanese tattoo artist in the US was tattooing the wrong thing on people. On a girl's stomach he tattooed "Insert General Tso's chicken here" and on a big burly guy that wanted strength or some other macho man thing on his arm, he tattooed I like to wear women's underwear or something like that. Kind of funny, if you think about it. Internet people, internet. If you must follow this trend, find what you want it to say on several different sites, then take it to someone who knows the language and ask them what it says without telling them to make sure you've got it right. Geez.)

So I bring you my Engrish collection thus far. Some are better than others, and they're not all strictly Engrish - I added ones of signs and stuff that I thought were just written interestingly which could be Engrish or could be cultural. Oh, and the best Engrish of all time is at the end, so keep reading. I've retyped what things say in case it's not easy to tell from the smaller pictures - all quotes are, of course, exactly what the original says. ;)

First, we have a full wall sign outside a bar:

Can one ever remember love..It's like trying to summom up the smell of rose in acellar. tou might see arose, but never the perfume.

Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but look together in the same direction.

In the alley by my apartments:

After Childbirth & Fatness Clinic
I don't know if it's Engrish, or if they're just blunt like that.

On a shirt:

Celebrate Space will have opportunity talk with international
Yes, talk with international badly though. :)

The trashcan in my bathroom:

I was so happy when I knew that friend is very valuable mean.
Yes, and it makes me feel better everyday to throw my garbage into it.

Not really Engrish at all:

The n just wore off...but I thought the fact that something said "ew heaven" funny.

A pencil sharpener/eraser combo (that refused to take a decent picture):

I'm a good Magicion! I Can Make Happy Everyone~!! Like That~!!

In my subway station:

Warning: Steps Ahead
Not Engrish per se, but notice the location of the sign...I think at that point I'm well aware that there are steps ahead.

On a hoodie (taken with my camera phone. Must remember to always have camera when I go shopping here):

naughty Beagle
That naughty boy will be punished because he keeps camping about to people
Is there a beagle camping version of Mario I don't know about? Did I ever mention how copyright infringement really doesn't seem to exist here?

On a store window (also taken with my camera phone, which really doesn't help trying to read it):

BANC is producted in the early 2000. It is a fruit, which was made by the home playlists and from United states of Kingdom. and guarenteed by huge numbers of mania. and entertain cutter sense and a lovely colorful logo.

On the subway:

Seats for the handicapped, old, weak, pregnant woman, or accompanied with baby
Another probably not Engrish, but I like how they say those seats are reserved for the weak. Also, notice the really deformed shape of the pregnant woman's stomach. She should get an ultrasound.

And the best Engrish of all time, on a t-shirt someone bought (I would have bought one myself):

call-to-arms for all chunkily-penised boys to do her right and do her good - still mattered.
I think the pink ballet slippers really help to get that message across as well.

So that's what I have so far. Hope you have enjoyed. :)