Archive for October 2013

Change The World in 3 Minutes

Today’s Joy: How to Change the World in 3 Minutes

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Make Your Own Almond Milk

I can (and do!) make excellent almond milk at home. Compared with hauling boxes home from the store, mine looks and tastes about the same, is nutritionally the same, costs 1/10 as much, takes literally 30 seconds of effort, has far less container waste, and I get buckets of foodie cred every time I mention “my home made almond milk”.

Now pay attention because it’s really hard to make home made almond milk. Ready?

  1. Put 1 teaspoon of creamy almond butter in your blender
  2. Put 1 cup of water in your blender
  3. Push the button for 15 seconds. Let go
  4. DONE!  You now have nose ticklingly frothy, nutty, slightly gritty, home style almond milk!

Want store-like almond milk? Proceed!

  1. Let it sit for 5 minutes
  2. Pour it into a glass, easily leaving any foam and sediment behind
  3. DONE and DONE!

Seriously. That’s all.

If you want more notes, read on

  • Yes, you can double the recipe and stick it in the fridge. Cold milk tastes even more store-bought.
  • Organic almond butter begets organic almond milk!
  • Does super-premium roasted almond butter taste better? You decide, it’s crazy inexpensive!
  • Does it need salt? Add salt!
  • Like vanilla almond milk? Add a splash of vanilla!

One cup of store bought almond milk costs $0.62 ($2.50 for a box with 4 cups milk)
One cup of home made almond milk costs $0.06 ($8 for 138 1 tsp servings).

How I arrived at this recipe: I compared the nutrition facts on a carton of Almond Breeze unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk with a jar of Mara Natha Almond Butter. I noticed that a 30 calorie, 1 cup serving of almond milk had almost exactly the same nutritional content as a 1 teaspoon serving of almond butter for calories, fat, carbs, fiber & protein (I used simple algebra and a spreadsheet, you can do it too). I saw all kinds of recipes online for almond milk that involved meticulous soaking of dried almonds and long blend times and figured, “almond butter is easier and I’ve got it. Let’s try blending it!” And darn if it didn’t come out great.

 

I did a blind taste test with my fiancee and her comments were:

  • Color was roughly the same
  • Taste was similar except one was more vanilla-y (that would be the vanilla flavored almond milk)
  • The purchased almond milk was a tiny bit creamier. She didn’t think it was better or worse. It’s no wonder she noticed, Almond Breeze adds calcium carbonate, tapioca starch, carrageenan, and sunflower lecithin explicitly to improve the mouth feel
  • I noticed that the home-made smelled pleasantly nuttier when it was at room temperature

Almond Breeze Original Unsweetened Almond Milk has 12 ingredients: (from their site) ALMONDMILK (FILTERED WATER, ALMONDS), CALCIUM CARBONATE, TAPIOCA STARCH, SEA SALT, POTASSIUM CITRATE, CARRAGEENAN, SUNFLOWER LECITHIN, NATURAL FLAVOR, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, VITAMIN D2 AND D-ALPHA-TOCOPHEROL (NATURAL VITAMIN E).

My home made almond milk has 2 ingredients: almonds and water

Acura Doesn’t Understand Percent Math?

I saw a fancy fold-out ad on the inside front cover of November 2013 Vanity Fair magazine. It’s an ad for the 2014 Acura MDX. It has problems.

The ad reads, “With 99.9993% of the body reimagined to be stronger, lighter and faster.”

First problem, it’s not a sentence it’s only a dependent clause. But let’s look past that.

Second and vastly more important problem: 99.9993%?? Do they have any idea how high a percentage that is? No they do not.

They are saying that 0.0007% of the body was not “reimagined”. If the body weighs 1,000 pounds, then the “unreimagined” portion of the body weighs 0.007 pounds, approximately one tenth of one ounce. That is the weight of a single sheet of paper! The only unreimagined part of the body is the magazine ad we’re looking at. Ooph!

Nothing inspires advancement like an advanced degree

I for one welcome our new semiliterate‎ MBA overlords.
I saw this billboard on BART.

 

The headline makes no sense whatsoever.

In case you’re wondering: advanced degrees don’t inspire advancement. One might argue that advanced degrees are advancement or that they help the advancement of the person with the degree. But no one would ever say, “After getting my MBA, I was inspired to advance in my profession.”

Finished SJSU and Samuel Merritt Grad School Application! Hurray!

I just mailed off the applications for 2 of the 3 schools I’m applying to. This is the culmination of 2 full years of work. If I’m accepted, I’ll have another 2 1/2 years of school before receiving a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy.

This is the second time I’ve sent applications. This time my application is much stronger:
* I have completed all of the prerequisite courses
* I raised my “last 60 units” GPA from 3.67 to 3.87
* I raised my GRE score to include a 4.5 on the writing: 160 Verbal, 150 Math, 4.5 Writing. (previous attempt was 161, 156, 4.0)
* Starting at having 100 hours at a private pediatric clinic, I added another 78 in a (hardcore) non-public school for non-verbal autistic kids
* My Personal Essay kicks ass! Thank you Megan, Alexis, Bean, and Tami for writing help!

Done:
San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
Samuel Merritt University, Oakland, CA

Almost Done: (not due for 4 months)
Dominican University, San Rafael, CA

A fine diet

I joined Megan on a diet called Vitaliti. It’s got great fundamentals. It doesn’t feel like a diet. I’ve lost weigh, gained muscle, feel great, look great, and don’t feel like I’m being starved at all. The fancy Tanita TBF-300A scale at the weigh-ins says that over the last 4 weeks I’ve lost 5 pounds of fat and gained 3 pounds of “fat free mass”, most of which is water. All this has been happening during a very stressful (and binge-worthy) time in my life, applying to grad school. What keeps it working so well? I get to eat food like this!

Almond crusted tilapia with spicy southwest roasted kabocha squash and baby peas

I’m more impressed that Megan helped me get to a place where I made this dish from scratch — on my own — for no other reason that it tastes good, gives me energy and is filling.

What, you might ask, do I get to eat for the rest of my day? Plenty! I am not hungry on this diet at all. I’ll tell you about it sometime!

But now, back to writing my Personal Statement for my application to grad school!