food

365 Challenge: Day 342 – Cholesterol

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Cholesterol: a compound of the sterol type found in most body tissues. Cholesterol and its derivatives are important constituents of cell membranes and precursors of other steroid compounds, but a high proportion in the blood of low-density lipoprotein (which transports cholesterol to the tissues) is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.

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In a post last week, I mentioned I was visiting the doctor for a routine physical and check-up. I received the results yesterday and wasn’t surprised at all. For the most part, all is well — only one issue to address. In my last exam about 18 months ago, they mentioned my cholesterol was approaching the higher end. I understood as I tend to eat a lot of cheese, red meat and desserts. I course-corrected the problem and was back on a good swing for a few weeks to months. Somewhere afterward, I let it all go to a certain place with a certain proverbial hand-basket! I know my family has a few issues with high-cholesterol and heart disease, so I truly have no excuse for letting this go… alas, when the doctor called this time, it was not going in the proper direction. So… as I do with all things I feel uninformed on, I will research all the good and bad foods I should be considering, make a lovely little list to begin keeping the proper foods in the apartment, and deem this a permanent change.

I think the only reason this has shown up as a problem in the last 18 months is because I am now home full-time as opposed to going to an office ten hours per day. I would not snack while at work and I’d usually eat sushi or a healthy salad for lunch. Now… I find myself eating more desserts, pre-packaged foods, cheese and such… I’ll fix it. I need to. It’s important. That’s where I throw it back to you… any advice on good websites or books (or other areas) to help me weed through the facts on what changes I need to make? I have started checking some sites, but there’s way too much detail when I’d rather get a concise list of the do’s and don’ts. I ultimately prefer to trust a few places from people I know who can share their experiences. Thanks in advance!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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‘Food in Books’ Re-Blog: Watching Glass Shatter – A Quiche made by the amazing Vanessa!

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I’ve been blessed with some amazing book reviews, interviews and blog posts from so many amazing bloggers. It’s always humbling when I stumble into one that I had no idea was being prepared, nor could have expected the approach the blogger had taken. Today, Vanessa @ Food in Books surprised me by showcasing ‘Watching Glass Shatter’ on her blog, where she baked a mouthwatering quiche to accompany her review on the book. For those that haven’t read the novel yet, this has a very strong connection to a critical scene that helps readers truly understand what’s going through a primary character’s mind. You can read the original post via Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney — I HIGHLY encourage you to drop by to see the pictures, recipe and connections she made to a scene in which Olivia and Diane discuss life after Ben’s death. Vanessa’s insight on the kitchen and nook setting, reflecting who Olivia is, astounded me!

And after you read this wonderful post she wrote on me, and crave the quiche in the pictures, you must search her site for all the other books and meals she’s recreated. I make quiche a few times a month, but now I need to try this new recipe. What a unique concept from a talented lady!

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Note:  The featured image in my post (also above) is from Vanessa @ Food in Books. I borrowed her photo and must give her full credit for it: I wanted to connect our two posts together thru the picture.

Book Review: How to Change a Life by Stacey Ballis

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Why This Book 
I won this book via a Goodreads Giveaway a few months ago. In my quest to finish reading all ARCs or Giveaways by 12/31, so 2018 starts off with less stress and a reduced TBR, I read this book over the Christmas holidays. I am quite glad I did, as it was a feel-good type of novel that really helped me prepare my resolutions for 2018.

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Plot, Characters & Setting 
Eloise, 39, is a personal chef who takes care of a large, loving family in Chicago. She once had a promising sports career, but had to give it up due to an injury. Since then, she’s drifted, or at least thinks she’s drifted, due to losing connections with two best friends in high school and a married man she’d been having an affair with recently (unknowing he was married). When a former teacher dies, the 3 friends are reunited and make a pact to change their lives. They’ve given each other a list of 5 things to accomplish before their 40th birthday — all items to push their boundaries and emotions. The book is a journey to find oneself again after a number of years where life took you on a course you perhaps hadn’t realized was never truly planned.

Approach & Style 
The book is written in 1st person perspective with a focus on Eloise, the primary character. I read a physical copy which was ~380 pages, inclusive of a few recipes. 24 chapters average about 15 pages each, containing a beautiful voice of a woman I wish I could meet. She’s that wonderful.

Key Opinion 
With a title like this one, I had very high hopes. It absolutely delivered. Consider it a character-driven book, while a bit too fluffy / light in some areas, that will engage you on many levels. Eloise is a brilliant main character; she spoke to me as I begin thinking about my own life and what I am trying to accomplish. Like the main character, I turned 40 this year and had a lot of thoughts about what I wanted to do with my life. The characters drip off the page with love, sadness and hopes. There are so many clever moments, precious times in our lives we don’t always recognize. Eloise’s connection with each member of her family, the family she cooks for, and all the others she meets is heartwarming.

The plot, quite minimal, evolves at a slow pace as you read about Eloise’s every day for a period of a few months. It’s rare I enjoy reading about the very realistic happenings in someone’s life, but Ballis made it refreshing and immersive. I looked forward to hearing what happened on each of her 20 dates. I wanted to know what new social activities she would consider trying. I needed to be side by side with her as she wrote her cookbook. The writing is clear and direct — shows creativity and brings imagery to every page. I could feel the emotions within each relationship. I recommend this book for anyone looking to spend time with a beautiful character and just witness a normal life.

Final Thoughts 
I’d give this book a 4+ rating, as it was quite endearing, charming and inviting. I will definitely read more from this author, given the focus on food and relationships. It’s the type of book where you can let yourself go, immersing your thoughts and dreams in that of a character you will adore.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.
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365 Challenge: Day 254 – Glutton

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Glutton: an excessively greedy eater

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Thanksgiving is at the forefront of my mind today for a few reasons. It’s this week. It’s my favorite holiday. I am thankful for all the book reviews and ratings, which led to a special announcement on my author website (2018 GLASS Family Short Story Collection) for today’s final blog tour post. After I published the post, which I’ve been planning for a while, I kept thinking… “Jay, you’re glutton for punishment.” Seriously, I keep taking on more and more without any real desire or intelligence to stop myself. That said… being a glutton is usually associated with over-eating too much… and for many of us, that’s coming down the pike, barreling 60+ mph in less than 48 hours. It’s TURKEY day… well, I mean Thanksgiving, in the USA. I’ll post more about that on Thursday, but for today…

The 365 Daily Challenge word is glutton because that’s how I feel already this week with everything going on in my life. I am gluttonous over being thankful and grateful for everyone’s support. I was gluttonous last night drinking an entire bottle of champagne toasting for all the successes this month. As a reminder to myself, I will not be gluttonous on Thursday when I eat the big holiday meal. I’m cooking… all the trimmings. My mom and W will help, but I usually prefer to keep busy in the kitchen preparing food. Even at holiday parties in the past where I’m the host, W is out entertaining and I stay in the kitchen. That’s where the shyness really comes in, even with my own friends. W is a good cook too, but I prefer to hide so it’s a fair balance.

Anyways… as a lead-in to Thanksgiving this week, I’m throwing out 365 words to keep in our heads as we celebrate. Monday was ‘walk’ because Ryder’s been eating too much and had to get some exercise (which we should all do after dinner on Thursday). Last Saturday was ‘bounce’ because if you eat too much, you’ll probably bounce right out of the house where you’re having the meal. Today is ‘glutton’ because you don’t want to be known as that guest or host who eats so much that they get sick. Any guesses as to tomorrow’s word? You can be sure it will have something to do with Thanksgiving and probably a bit embarrassing… see you soon!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

365 Challenge: Day 253 – Walk (RYDER RANT)

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Walk: a little jaunt around the neighborhood to help keep me trim

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No, that’s not me in the pic — just another shiba inu

It’s been quite a weekend, I tell ya. I’ve been on 3 walks in the last 3 days. I guess they mean business. I went to the groomer on Friday and had a nice long walk back and forth. Dad 2 took me on Saturday all around the neighborhood, then Dad 1 took me on Sunday before they went to the movies to see ‘Murder on the Orient Express.’ I would have liked to go, but the movie theatre doesn’t allow my kind there. How rude! I heard they liked the movie (nothing too great), but wow, did Dad 1 complain about the price of the tickets. They went to a 12:20 showing and each ticket was $19. He mumbled something about remembering when it was $7 as a child; wow, he’s older than I thought! Anyhoo… they forgot to bring me home popcorn. I was not pleased. I did enjoy my walks, but I am getting older, too. I get a little lazy after 15 minutes and prefer to stare into people’s windows. Dad doesn’t like it because he thinks I’m being nosy. He really just doesn’t want people thinking he’s staring inside, too.

The groomer was OK. My paw hurts now from getting my nails clipped. I’m walking with a bit of a limp as a result. I’m not sure if they clipped too closely or held my leg too tightly, but it’s a bit sore. I also think I am getting a cold as my nose is a little runny today. I’ve slept in bed (their bed, to be precise) until 9 every day for the last week. They’re usually up by 7:30 and so they worried I might be sick. I think I’m OK, but I know Dad 1 keeps coming over to check my nose, rub my head and cuddle. Maybe he’s not so bad after all, what do you think? They keep telling me no treats and wow, they’ve been sticking to it. I haven’t gotten any of their dinner in over a week. I got a cracker and a carrot one day, but that’s it! Maybe that’s why I am sick… not enough good food. They promise I’ll get some on Thanksgiving, but that feels like FOREVER!

We worked on addressing Christmas cards yesterday. Or to be precise, Dad 2 worked on Christmas cards. I just stamped them all when he was done. Dad 1 doesn’t have time for that right now, nor is he thinking about the holidays yet. He’s got a few more days on this book blog tour and then he can settle down again. He’s getting a bit repetitive and grumpy about it, too. I know he loves it, but he feels like he needs to talk about something else so as not to bore everyone. He told me he’ll finish book 2, Father Figure, this week and do a final read through before it goes out to the beta readers. That sounds fun… but he also said there weren’t any doppelgangers for me in this book. How rude!

I need a nap. Have a lovely Thanksgiving week and please say hello to all my pet friends. -Ryder

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

365 Challenge: Day 249 – Shop

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Shop: what I’m doing with my mother today in preparation for the holidays

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Today’s 365 Daily Challenge word is ‘shop’ because I need a quick word as I will be busy later. I’m heading out to Long Island on a train shortly to grocery shop with my mom in preparation for Thanksgiving. My parents, cousins and friends will be coming to my place in the city for Thanksgiving next week, so we need to pickup all the trimmings in advance. Since the price for all the food we need is probably less than 50% of the cost of what I’d pay in the city, my mother insisted I go shopping in the suburbs with her. {AsideYou can imagine our ‘discussions’ over the prices of things she sees in my kitchen cabinets or refrigerator!} So… I’m commuting 3-hours back and forth to get everything we need, then bring back in just the items I need to start the turkey and the stuffing early Thanksgiving morning. If you see anyone in NYC tomorrow, on a train or subway, carrying large bags with a turkey and other food, many miles and blocks, it’s me!

I also need to start thinking about shopping for holiday presents. I no longer like doing it because everyone buys what they want when they want it. I’d rather just spend quality time together, but that’s me. I do like gifts, but they’re hard these days. Mom and I will probably go to the book store so I can pick out some books I want, which will be good gifts my parents can get for me. No complaints there! I know three things for my parents, but I need to confirm my dad isn’t also trying to buy them. I also need to start shopping for a wireless repeater for my bedroom as I have no WiFi service on that side of the apartment. I spend too much time in bed early in the morning or late at night trying to get my phone to connect to the internet, struggling against the cellular waves… ugh, silly problems…

But that’s my day today. Oh and mom finished reading my book. I’m likely to hear all about it today. Please say a prayer for that conversation!!! Otherwise, it’s all about the need to shop. Then it will be time to shop for a Christmas tree and a short holiday getaway for New Year’s. Where’s everyone going this year? Let’s share some ideas!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

365 Challenge: Day 246 – Tie (RYDER RANT)

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Tie: (a) a cloth wrapped around a neck sometimes in the shape of a bow or (b) when there is no clear winner or loser as the score is even

tie

Good Morning, Friends! I am sure you all saw the lovely photo Noriko shared with you in her post today for Dad’s Day 9 Blog Tour. I was in a bow tie for my picture and looked pretty cute if I do say so myself. If you haven’t, here a quick peek again.

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Today, I have little to rant about as it’s been a good week. Despite saying they wouldn’t give me any extra people food because of the diet, they did sneak a bit every so often. Halloween went smoothly with the children. We cleaned out the terrace and the Dads didn’t find any birds. So, I suppose we’re back on good footing and I’m not looking to leave this joint anytime soon. Thanks for all the offers to help sneak me away and provide a home in case these two get out of hand again. The score is set back to even and it better stay tied or in my favor. Not in their favor ever again!

After they took my tie off, I started wondering where ties came from. Anyone know who thought up that little contraption? It’s cute but it’s like a collar. I prefer not to wear a collar unless I go outside where it’s required… along with my little tag that says I have had all my shots. As if I could get anyone sick, puhleeeassse. I did get out for a walk recently, so I was forced to wear it for a little while. I find I’m needing shorter walks and more naps lately. Must mean winter is coming. I heard we might get some snow earlier than expected this year. I love to play in the snow. I’m rambling today and I haven’t much to say. I just wanted to let y’all know I’m OK and I will see you again soon… and oh yeah, the Friday Author Alert will be Didi Oviatt who is pretty awesome. She always says hello to me and asks how I’m doing. I like her. Start looking at her page, I linked it so you know just a little bit before Friday! Ciao!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin