Simple solutions to trivial issues

I wanted to have a serious discussion about strength training efficiency, and you guys just mostly wanted to talk about fruit flies.

But that’s okay, because thanks to your advice, my kitchen is fly free! Apparently the cider vinegar + dish soap combo was irresistible. Ugh, good riddance. I can appreciate the important role that fruit flies play in high school biology labs, but I don’t want to share my home with them.

So here is a related question: how do you store your onions? Because I’m 90% sure it was a big Costco bag of onions tucked away in my pantry-slash-closet that initially attracted the fruit flies. I’ve always been under the impression that onions were supposed to be stored like potatoes (cool, dark place) but obviously I won’t be doing that again.

Ah, first world problems.

Speaking of which, I also discovered a great solution to my iced coffee problem yesterday.

The problem being that I really like consuming it, but I don’t like having to haul my ass to a coffee shop and to pay five bucks for a cup of it. And yeah, I know there’s that whole cold-brew-at-home thing, but that takes way too much forethought and planning for me.

So I’ve been using those Starbucks VIA packets. But it bugs me that the iced coffee version has a ton of sugar already mixed in.

Yesterday, I ran out of packets, and found myself at the Starbucks counter, forking over a wad of cash in exchange for a cold Venti cup. I asked the barista why the iced VIA thingies didn’t come in an unsweetened version.

“Oh, you should just use the regular hot ones. That’s what I do at home,” she confided. “They’re the same thing without the sugar and half the price.”

HA. I feel as if I’ve beaten the system somehow.

Anyway. A quick rundown of last night’s track session, which was one of my favorite benchmark workouts:

Let me count the reasons why I love the classic 12 x 400M:

1) It’s easy to break it up in to thirds and visualize it as a 5K. (Now if only I could run a 5K at sub-6 pace…)

2) You get SO much feedback. Twelve pieces of feedback in a single workout. Awesome for drilling that feeling of “that’s what X pace feels like” in to your head.

3) For me, it’s mentally easy to tackle. I take it one rep at a time and tell myself it’s only going to hurt for 90 seconds. I can do anything for 90 seconds.

4) Because it’s so simple, it’s easy to compare against previous efforts. For example, I did this same workout on May 29 (and apparently never blogged about it, but here’s the recap from my training log) and averaged 90.1 seconds per quarter. My average from yesterday was 88.3. That’s moving in the right direction.

Here are some other number-y things. Last week’s workouts:

And feedback from my good buddy, the bathroom scale:

Eight weeks and it may not seem like a significant weight loss, but hey – if those body fat % numbers are accurate, that’s almost a percentage (and over a pound) of body fat gone! And that’s really the goal here, so I’ll happily take it.

Well, it’s a cool and crisp 80* here today, so I’m off to get some outdoor projects done before the heat and humidity settle back. Happy Wednesday!

18 responses to “Simple solutions to trivial issues

  1. Ummm didn’t know this either about the hot Via – I know where I’ll be making a trip to on my way home! Thanks for sharing the loophole :)

  2. We keep onions in the fridge… Never had a problem when storing them this way!

  3. Someone sent me this hipster-doucherific link yesterday, seems like you might appreciate. Don’t read the comments, though. You may go insane.

    • Oh my god. Of course I had to read the comments. I can’t decide which camp is worse, the CUSTOMERS-ARE-ALWAYS-RIGHT, YOU’LL-SERVE-ME-POOP-IF-I-WANT-IT crowd or the people who think they are “expresso” snobs. Wow.

  4. I actually keep all vegetables in the fridge so onions would go in that category. I am not sure if you are supposed to put potatoes in the fridge but I don’t really have a better dark, cool place for them and bad things have happened when I have left potatoes out on the countertop…

  5. I supposed the obvious answer of pouring regularly brewed coffee over ice isn’t an option … ? Although I say this as I have an iced soy latte from Starbucks sitting on my desk. But if there HAD been leftover coffee from this morning, I would be drinking that.

    • I mean, you could. But you can’t pour hot/warm coffee over ice unless you like really watery iced coffee, and having non-hot coffee sitting around requires planning, and try as I might, I can’t seem to make it happen. So tasty instant packets it is.

  6. What scale do you use? Mine just gives me the lame number…

  7. I must say, I really admire the consistency of your weight. I have no idea how you do that. Mine fluctuates a good 3-5lbs on any given day. I have weighed in at 131 on one morning, then saw 127.6 the next, then 129.3, then who knows what after that. I prefer to be 124 or under, but, yeah. Not lately. Food + booze = fatties gonna fat.

    • I’m a little surprised at it, too. I would have guessed that it would fluctuate more than it does. Maybe cutting wayyyy down on processed foods = less salt = less fluctuation on water weight? Or the fact that I’m not running as much? IDK. It’s weird.

  8. My problems as of late have to do with coffee, too. I’m too cheap to buy it at a shop, I hate the coffee they brew in the office, and it sucks to drag a hot travel mug full of it onto a crowded train. Sigh.

  9. I live in Mumbai right now, and I used to hoard the VIA packets like treasure. At Christmas, FYI, they run a different special everyday in december and a lot of them are 1/2 price Via, so that’s a great time to stock up.
    However, India has no Starbucks and I eventually ran out. So I just bought a big glass pitcher and i brew a pot of coffee, throw it in the pitcher, and throw that in the fridge. I swear it doesn’t really require pre-planning…just a clean pitcher. When you brew a cup in the AM….brew the 10-cup pot. Voila.

    • But it requires me to plan the day befooooooore! No…I know, it’s not a big deal at all, but I just can’t seem to get it together for some reason. :)

  10. I toss my onions in the hanging fruit basket (along with apples, bananas, berries, tomatoes, etc.) and don’t have probs with fruit flies. Other veggies (peppers, carrots, broccoli, etc.) goes in the crisper in the fridge.

    What kind of scale do you use? I need one that tells me more than just weight and mine is about 8 years old anyway so I should probably replace it…

    Finally, great job on the 400s! I do a track workout every Tuesday and they’re always killer. I need to work harder at this though as it makes such a huge difference when it comes to racing!

    • The brand is Ozeri….I got it from Amazon, it was $50. Who knows how accurate it is, but the reviews seemed to be decent and if nothing else, it’s fairly consistent.

  11. I LOVE VIA, but also hate the insane amount of sugar & calories. I’m definitely going to start buying the regular stuff!

    I also keep my onions in the fridge. I used to keep them in a dark corner in the kitchen, but they would go bad quickly, and get bugs..and just ew. so now i only buy 1 or 2 at a time, and keep them in the fridge.

  12. Just found your blog, and I like your style! :)

    I totally do the iced-coffee-using-regular-via thing. Works just fine! And if I want it to be sweeter, I add a touch of stevia. I thought it was hilarious when they came out with the iced coffee version of via. Why does anyone need that? Gotta love all the marketing.

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