The matrix here shows the meals and snacks that met my own taste and texture cravings. Of course, most meals have a mixture of tastes and textures but I’ve just listed them under the taste/texture they had that was most dominant for me. You’ll likely come up with your own matrix but I hope these get you going. All of these foods
are fairly quick and easy to cook (I was a virtual novice to cooking a few months ago, having existed mainly on convenience food, so they had to be!)
have a lower proportion/total amount of carb (bulky green vegetables fill you up but have a low carb density so visually they will take up much more room on your plate than your protein source) than traditional meals – except for a handful (like those with pitta bread) which you can occasionally eat as part of a ‘normal’ diet when you’ve reached your weight goal.
In most cases I haven’t detailed the ingredients/quantities and instructions however the internet is overflowing with recipes and you’ll in any case have to develop a rough understanding of the nutritional value (amount of carb, protein, calories, etc.) of the ingredients and foods you commonly eat and a feel for how large given quantities look (like 100g – for which a food scale is very useful when starting out) to make a permanent change to your lifestyle. Generally, I made my protein source (typically cooked in a way that kept bad and saturated fats low – e.g. supermarket-rotisseried in the case of roast chicken) half the size of the plate and low carb density vegetables (typically steamed in a microwave steamer) the other half. Make up your own recipes that adhere to the general biochemical principles you’ve learnt (that apply to everybody) and are tailored to your own experiences/findings from monitoring your weight loss against the foods you eat – just keep the grams of carb below the threshold that you can tolerate without spiking your blood sugar (signified by feeling hungry again a short time later) at one sitting (typically 20 to 30g and ideally less than the grams of protein/fat) and make sure you get your daily allowance of nutrients (vitamins/minerals are OK to come from a tablet during your period of fat loss). Personally, I found my hunger following a meal was kept lowest when I kept carbs very low (under 20g/meal) but the level of carb you can tolerate without spiking your blood sugar will depend on
how quickly it’s absorbed into the blood – which itself depends on (a) how the carb is exposed to the stomach e.g. diluting the carb with protein/fat/fibre/water will reduce absorption and (b) how much work the body needs to do to turn the carb into glucose i.e. the GI and
how quickly it’s being taken out of the blood by your muscles – which depends on how exhausted i.e. depleted of glycogen they are.
Of course, you’ll probably break the principles from time-to-time e.g. when socializing (even then your body probably won’t want to gorge anyway if you’ve kept it well nourished) or when pressure of work means you don’t have time to cook but if you follow the principles you’ve discovered the large majority of the time and continue to monitor your weight don’t worry about it!
By far the biggest change was WHAT and WHEN I ate but here’s the full story:
1) I changed WHAT I ate to stomach-filling meals with a much lower amount of carbohydrate (90 grams total per day is fine if you have a fairly sedentary lifestyle but go as low as you can comfortably manage while ensuring you get enough fibre in your diet – read the grams of carb on the nutrition label on your foods or google their ingredients e.g. here) combined in the meal in a low-GI way (see the videos here if you don’t know what GI means) while at the same time ensuring I got essential nutrients (proteins, vitamins, minerals, essential fats, fibre) so my body was not denied what it NEEDED and my blood sugar was kept at an even level (rapid rises in blood sugar are always followed by rapid drops – which make you feel incredibly hungry!). I gradually learnt about the calories in various foods and limited my food intake so I ate 1000 fewer calories than my body was using per day (to lose around 1kg a week). I came up with a list of meals I liked that both satisfied my cravings for specific tastes, textures and smells like spicy, savoury, sweet, chocolaty, acidic, tart, crunchy, nutty, meaty, cheesy, chewy, creamy, aromatic but ALSO met my lower carb/high nutrient criteria and then shopped for those meal ingredients only, preparing batches of the cooked meals in advance (that I stored in my freezer) – I’ve posted pictures of the staple meals/snack ‘faithfuls’ I settled on (including a Slim-Fast style meal replacement milk shake) in the Recipes section. A strategy I found useful was to eat the majority of ‘feel-good’ carbohydrates in a pudding (like this) after the main meal – that way I finished the meal on a carb high feeling completely satisfied but without having consumed too many in total. I took a cheap supermarket-branded multivitamin and mineral tablet daily to ensure I got the nutrients I needed on my calorie-limited diet and made sure my diet included foods containing Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. What you give your body is as important as what you deny it but I reduced saturated fats, eliminated products with artificial sweeteners (which stimulate appetite) and caffeine (which causes water and minerals to be lost from the body), drinking water or green/herbal tea (without sugar) when thirsty – note that you will feel more thirsty and need to drink more as you start to burn your fat reserves. Remember, you will eat a smaller quantity of food but once you get over your sugar cravings (which can last for a few days) your body will quickly adapt to burning fat when it needs energy and re-educate your body’s cravings for the healthier foods you have introduced into your diet – if you only source of XYZ vitamin or mineral is French fries then you will crave French fries; when your body has healthier food sources of the nutrients it needs it will actually crave those healthy sources and you will come to love several foods you didn’t before!
2) I changed WHEN I ate to (a) include a breakfast and (b) rarely eat anything substantial later than 8pm so I didn’t go to sleep on a full stomach and had a restful night’s sleep. I also only ate at a meal time or when I was really feeling hungry in my stomach – rather than when I wanted a food ‘high’/’hit’ to cheer me up because I felt stressed or down or tired or bored or wanted a pleasurable distraction giving life a purpose/goal. Distinguishing real hunger from thirst (dehydration) or just feeling low in mood/energy is a skill that can be developed fairly quickly by allowing yourself to drink water/unsweetened tea or eat a limited repertoire (like apples, low-carb-density vegetables and canned tuna) of nutritious but not highly pleasurable foods when feeling the urge to eat. I never starved myself and always allowed myself to eat one of my repertoire of nutritious but not highly pleasurable foods if feeling truly hungry between meals. By BALANCING your energy intake (how much you eat and when) against your energy expenditure (how active you are) before and after that intake you can ‘coast’ along at a comfortable medium-to-low (but not so low that you feel hungry and end up over-eating) blood sugar level and get your body to burn fat by doing nothing – even when you sleep! In fact, the easiest time to deal with low blood sugar is at night while you’re sleeping since your body ordinarily burns fat then anyway and you don’t feel hungry at all. Modern work life can be stressful but if you allow yourself the time to savour tastes on your palate and take at least 30 minutes over your main meal of the day from the first bite to the last your stomach will have time to register how full you are and you’ll naturally know when you’ve had enough to eat. Listen to your body (but not false hunger cravings) and eat until you are satisfied. Remember that whatever you do during your weight loss phase has to also be manageable comfortably long term – there is no point exerting lots of willpower to deny your body’s real hunger cravings since you will just end up compensating (and more) down the line.
3) I kept a weekly record of my weight and fat % (using a set of electronic scales) and took weekly photos of my body to monitor my PROGRESS. Seeing the results gave me feedback on how various foods impacted my weight loss and looking more conventionally attractive and feeling healthier motivated me to continue losing weight. Muscle in fact weighs more than fat and your weight can change by 3kg from one day to the next depending on your intestine contents and level of hydration so recording fat % and pictures of your muscle tone is vital to know how amazingly well you’re doing!
4) I did 1 minute (yes, that’s not a typo!) of INTENSE (heart rate up to 120bpm) exercise a day on 3 alternate days a WEEK – as 3 bursts of 20 seconds of intense running on the spot (or cycling or swimming) every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The effects of this small amount of exercise on your blood biochemistry are profound and extend well into the next day.
Prior to my new lifestyle (it’s now a way of life I enjoy rather than a temporary regime of denial) I had in the main eaten foods I mistakenly thought were healthy and good for weight loss (like brown bread, wild rice, baked potatoes, cereals) together with convenient supermarket ready-meals (lasagne, fish pie, curry, M&S ‘fuller for longer’ meals) and in fact spent more time exercising (though at a lower pace). I had also dieted from time to time in the past when I felt the waistline had gone too far but always ended up putting the lost weight back on.
This is a lot of information to take in presented in a condensed way but my hope is that this site will provide you with a sufficient understanding of nutrition and your body’s biochemistry to enable you to implement the lifestyle changes that will let you take charge of your weight and stay healthy throughout your life – as well as pass on the understanding you develop and good habits you learn to those you care about. If you have questions not answered here then do please ask/comment.
Some people find it easier to be given a more prescriptive approach to what to do when starting out – a kind of one-size-fits-all template – and I have provided such a ‘prescription’ here, however, it’s important that as you see positive results you understand why the regime works so you can continue to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep your weight at a healthy level forever.
There is a huge number of videos on the mechanics of creating videos from setting up good sound and lighting to increasing engagement however not a lot of content on the typical concerns of YouTubers.
This video raised a number of points that resonated with me.
1) Feeling demotivated when the YouTube stats reward metrics (views, engagement, subs..) for a particular video don’t relate to the effort one has put into it, or when overall views for one’s channel drop for no reason one can fathom 2) Benefits of the YouTube video creation process for self development and one’s work life outside of YouTube, plus potential unexpected incidental opportunities arising from YouTube ‘work’ 3) Not wanting YouTube creation to feel like a job/work. Keeping it fun/taking a break (days, weeks, months) while balancing that against one’s perception of audience expectations, and concerns about the impact of that on ‘the algorithm’ 4) “I’m just leaving this here” and low expectations/high hopes mentality to videos i.e. just do and be damned..why not if view ‘rewards’ can come months or years later with ‘slow burners’ 5) Family motivating influences, things we do to ‘decompress’ and generally stuff that keeps us sane! (e.g. listening to music, watching YouTube, sports/exercise in my case btw) 6) Massive checklist for prepping for videos and then everything that comes afterwards prior to publishing..and dreaming of having an editor/admin to do all the boring stuff! 7) “Just say no” / pushing back techniques and mental health / wellbeing 8) Finding good honest people with no ulterior motive to seek help from when needed 9) The ‘grind’ v ‘blow up’ reality of YouTube growth, appreciating/visualising every single subscriber/viewer and developing multiple income streams to balance income risks 10) Poor maintenance by public authorities and avoiding potholes 🙂 … One more ?paranoid thought for the day – I sometimes wonder whether YouTube (or even manufacturers of items I happen to have a positive opinion of) has bots viewing my videos and subbing to/unsubbing from my channel to keep me motivated to produce content for their platform/products..maybe that’s just me! 🙂
In a nutshell there is a tension between
(a) the stress caused by the habits and goals and disciplines we set for ourselves and
(b) our constant evaluation of whether (a) is ‘worth it’.
How do we balance working for a better/happier future against enjoying the present? And to what extent do we trust received wisdom and the truths offered or perhaps even ‘sold’ (literally as well as metaphorically) to us – just as history is said to be written by the victors, perhaps our perception of the present is equally manipulated by those with their own agendas to push. After all, every piece of information takes time, effort and hence money to be propagated.
I have bought several earphones over the years (no pun intended) and will never be able to try every earphone on the market so rely on reviews from several sources for my purchasing decisions.
But to what extent do we trust received wisdom and the truths offered or perhaps even ‘sold’ (literally as well as metaphorically) to us? Just as history is said to be written by the victors, perhaps our perception of the present is equally manipulated by those with their own agendas to push. After all, every piece of information takes time, effort and hence money to be propagated.
I qualify and curate these sources based on the similarity of their descriptions of earphones I know to my own experience of those earphones, and the sound ‘signature’ preferences the sources express explicitly or implicitly. Some reviewers, like Super* Review and DMS for example, prefer a leaner bass and more open and less intimate ‘in your ear’ vocal presentation than I do so, while I respect their analysis, I know I may not necessarily enjoy the earphones they do (and vice versa).
Sources include YouTube reviewer videos and viewer comments against those videos, Amazon reviews, consumer websites like CNET and Rtings, enthusiast websites like Head-Fi and soundguys, Google searches for blog posts like the one you are reading and, most recently, the community around my YouTube channel.
Tin T2 Plus $54: -fit +cable/tight bass/mids/adequate treble
TFZ LIVE 3 $69: – boomy bass/mids/treble/soundstage +cable/sub bass”
So the winner from this bunch for my tastes looks to be the Tripowin TC-01, though I personally am not a fan of cold metal-bodied earphones such as that of the TRN v80 which was very widely recommended by the audiophile online communities in 2018 (and which, with a filter modification to reduce its exaggerated bright treble, becomes a very nice sounding earphone).
The group test reviewer, Ricky RDT, is less polished and articulate than some other reviewers however his less florid sound descriptions are often both much more quickly understandable and ring true with my own experiences.
Next stop, check out the Porta.Fi review of it. This is a reviewer who employs a consistent format and spends several minutes describing the sound of an earphone using a precise vocabulary of audiophile terms and through comparison to other known earphones.
So, he really likes it though keeps it real by saying there are earphones above $100 that sound better i.e. this isn’t a ‘giant killer’ which even the Blon BL03 has been touted as, e.g. by one of the most popular audiophile reviewers Z Reviews in this review.
Now the Honest Audiophile is someone I like the review style of. I don’t share his opinions of the Shuoer Tape and Monoprice Retro reviews, however, so take his often contrarian views with a large pinch of salt. He has a problem with the TC-01 bass (though video comments suggest he may benefit from better tips) and doesn’t rate them as anything special, or even beating the Blon BL03.
So we are starting to chase our tail and go in circles. Not unusual for this hobby.
Let’s take another starting point and check out $50 recs from inToit, an unusual reviewer who wears a mask but who I feel employs language and audiophile terms in a coherent way.
To summarise his video using the Head-Fi convention of ‘>’ meaning ‘has better sound quality than’:
Jade EA3 (musical and less technical but good to go cable and tips) > Jade EA1 (technical but ‘reference’ bass and poor tips) > Moondrop SSR (HD600 clarity, better soundstage, lean bass) > Tin T2 Plus (better extension, detail and clarity and less mid bass bleed than Blon BL03) > KBEAR Lark (treble rolls off)
Above $50 he recs Shozy Form 1.1, Tin T4, TFZ No 3, Final Audio A4000, IKKO OH10, Tanchjim Oxygen, Final Audio B3.
By contrast, employing one of my own YouTube channel viewers as a starting point, he recs the Blon BL03, Tin T2 and QKZ VK4 which has no overlap with the inToit recs.
Now considering his recs together with the inToit top rec, HiFi Dreams describes the Blon BL03 and QKZ VK4 as more even handed than the fun V shaped TRN v90 and Jade Audio EA3.
Furthermore, he has developed this impressively detailed and comprehensive spreadsheet
as shown in this video.
He strongly recs the KBear KS2 which he rates as competitive with earphones several times the price. He also likens the tonality of the VK4 to his $120 Thieaudio Legacy 3 (his 2nd favourite earphone after the $250 FiiO FH5) with the VK4 having a slightly lower technical performance.
In the search for independent verification, Ricky RDT compares the KBear KS2, which he characterises as v-shaped, to the inToit recommendation the Jade Audio EA1 (more resolution and without sibilance) and the KBear Lark, described as bass light and with a peaky and sibilant treble in this video.
Zpolt compares the KS2 (balanced with sufficient tight bass and some treble shimmer) to the KBear KB04 (brighter and more analytical) and Blon BL03 (boomy bass and smoother treble with less shimmer) and KZ ZST X (boomy bass and smoother treble with less separation and less revealing vocals)
But then Vortex, a British reviewer of almost every ChiFi earphone of note, describes the KS2 vocals as a bit thin with upper mids elevation and prefers the less bassy (but still v-shaped) KBear KS1, which he describes as having more realistic vocals and overall puts on par with the QKZ VK4. The BA on the KS2 gives that earphone apparently slightly better instrument separation on complex tracks where there’s a lot going on and more detail resolution but also results in a brighter and even more v-shaped sound with an unnatural timbre.
So, once again no unanymity of support for the KS2 and for the combination of natural tonal balance with technical detail I’m yet to find a common recommendation from these sources.
From personal experience, I highly rate the clarity of the Etymotic MK5 in the sub $100 range, however only once modified with (a) the introduction of tissue paper into the nozzle to allow the bass level to be brought up without the treble becoming unbearable and (b) a flange being removed from the triflange tips to improve comfort of their deep insertion design which prevents the natural bend in the human ear canal from compromising the sound. One of the longest serving audiophile reviewers, and former audio salesman, Steve Guttenberg is also a fan.
From the various sources above, it seems the Blon BL03 or KBear KS1 or Jade Audio (FiiO) EA3 may be a good choice for those who are happy to forego some detail resolution to obtain a natural tonal balance at an affordable ‘budget’ sub $50 price.
I still rate my TRN v80, which for me are like a more comfortable if brighter sounding MK5 (the treble brightness can be attenuated by putting tissue or foam in the ear tips), and HiFi Dreams rates their later TRN v90 successor up with the Blon BL03. He recs both and describes the Blon as being more coloured and warm sounding, like the audiophile reference Sennheiser HD650 headphone and the TRN as being less coloured and with a sparklier treble.
Vortex also rates these two earphones in this comparison so we have some commonality at last.
These two earphones then deliver different but equally enjoyable presentations of music. Perhaps in the search for one earphone to rule them all, in the budget sector at least, one may be better served by two, whose complementary qualities together provide an experience of what is possible with audio reproduction. Mellifluous, smooth and musical or clear, resolving and analytical.
While earphones come and go all the time, and we can expect further value and sound improvements from new materials and technologies and economies of scale, I suspect we will see no major sound quality improvements until new technologies, like the magnetostatic drivers in the Shuoer Tape with their highly realistic transient response, become more widespread and mature.
Previous earphone models, that are no longer being touted as the latest and greatest, may offer the highest ‘sound per pound’ value at any point in time, which is not dissimilar to other areas of HiFi.
I find it curious how much representation ‘ChiFi’ has in several reviewer recommendations. Is this a reflection of their value for money or some unrevealed reviewer allegiance or sponsorship – or perhaps Chinese bots are ‘viewing’ these reviews to make YouTube serve them up to us more frequently?
I’ll add to this post as the research continues and tentative conclusions form!
And sometimes even the smallest thing can reveal fundamental truths and speak volumes. Every fan of the American detective series Columbo already knows this of course.
When YouTube introduced a new logo, app and notifications icon for YouTube Studio, the tool creators use to check on and change their videos, various theories for the rationale arose.
The more obvious were around brand identity and consistency but digging deeper considers how YouTube connects with and expands its audience and begins to reveal the fundamental nature and direction of YouTube.
Check out this 1 minute ‘#Shorts’ video to learn more.
I asked an acquaintance who I’d seen had lost a lot of weight over lockdown, despite exercising even less, how he had managed it. “When I feel I want a treat I have a carrot” he said. Having tried this recently to address my own lockdown weight gain I have to thank him for this simple suggestion!
A kilo costs 50p which lasts me several days and peeling and trimming gives me a little routine to occupy my mind.
The calorie count is surprisingly low given how sweet they are and their famous use in carrot cake and while all the carbs are sugars there is a decent relative proportion of fibre, protein and even fat.
Other snack staples are gherkins and pickled onions and steamed beetroot.
For a tasty quick snack wok stir fried bean sprouts (just a teaspoon of oil is needed) with a dash of soya sauce are another recent find that are also very nutritious with a good proportion of fibre and protein to carb..and super cheap at 70p for a 300g a packet.
Should you ever happen to purchase one of these items new then you will pay the same price and the channel will receive a small commission if you use my affiliate links below for your country (if you use the link from another country no commission is received unfortunately):
This is just the beginning of what may become a collection of musings on what aspects of songs/pieces of music that I find particularly moving might make them so emotionally affecting.
Starting with the live performance by the Chemical Brothers of The Golden Path
2021 and crying, laughing, inspiring.. absolutely chemical, bros! @1:26 the seamless transition from insistent staccato isolated almost plucked sounding notes searching high and low to melodic uptempo phrases integrated with vocal harmonies conveys for me a sense of learning, achieving togetherness and resolution. Certainly different to the album version tho both have a nostalgic/lamenting yet optimistic and loving feel..like upsetting times but older and wiser afterwards. Not really sure what I’m talking about or why it’s so emotionally affecting but love it.
‘Fragments of Bliss’ is a very appropriate title for this piece which again inspires and moves me to tears. Against a deep pulsating monotonic deep bass drone (a constant earth / environment) synth strings play and chords rise and fall in melodic washes that transport us on an epic journey from uncertain shifting places to a beautiful warm idyllic beach paradise.
A repeated haunting but jaunty plucked note melody conveys a sense of nostalgia but this is combined with a bassier driving guitar rhythm that says to me life goes on, keep those sad times and losses in mind but keep ploughing on, working through past upsets and happier times will come.
Not a piece of music this time but a principle which this tutorial sets out. Any repeating part (sequence of notes or rhythm), however dissonant or uncomfortable, is something we eventually become used to and get to like. This struck me as a potential analogy to life where even if something is unpleasant but we continue to live through that unpleasantness we come to associate that particular unpleasantness with continued life and hence as something ‘good’. Something may not be nice but it’s familiar and ‘what we know’. Perhaps this relates to what is meant by someone who is ‘twisted’ – their unhappy life experiences have formed them / they have grown around, and come to embrace, unhappy life experiences developing into a grotesque form as a way of surviving those experiences.
It takes ‘courage’ which is perhaps really ‘just’ the willingness to take a risk (i.e. accept the possible negative consequences of an action for the potential upside) to break free from such a way of living. Courage can I suspect be developed..maybe by doing things outside one’s comfort zone?..and doing them well enough that one survives them relatively unscathed. I guess the inspiring thing about the willingness to take risks is that there is the conviction or belief that there is or should be something better or more harmonious that where one is right now.
A lot of words and terms are used to describe the action of sliding your finger or dragging your mouse to move through the frames of a video that is playing on a screen.
You may hear swipe, seek, scroll, scan, slide, drag, pan, drill or glide and the corresponding gerunds swiping, seeking, scrolling, scanning, sliding, dragging, panning, drilling and gliding however the most specific term in the context of video is scrub and scrubbing.
The action of pressing down and then moving one’s finger back and forth while keeping it held down resembles the action of physically scrubbing – as opposed to swiping, which suggests a more exuberant gesture ending with one’s finger off the screen.
Hope this helps.
And for free information about the insulin response and how I used this basic biochemistry to lose 4 stone in weight healthily check out http://www.gichow.com
If you love the incidental music in the UK Channel 4 series 24 Hours in A&E by the composer Richard Spiller please leave a comment below or like this tweet to support a request for a compilation being made available on Spotify, SoundCloud or YouTube.
I find it movingly captures so much of the many emotions from jaunty, upbeat and playful to anxious, pensive and ethereal.
Some of Richard’s music from the series is on SoundCloud.
If you get this message when trying to save your video it can be very disheartening since there appears to be nothing one can do to get around it meaning the prospect of losing potentially hours of editing work on one’s project.
It is particularly frustrating when it suddenly appears with a big jump in the stated free space required even when one previously successfully rendered and saved a video of the same length with the same amount of storage space available.
InShot requires much more free space available than the space taken up by your final video file in order to render your video and that amount of space depends on the number of audio and text/sticker tracks so adding just one more sticker on screen at the same time as another can cause the required space to suddenly jump. Extracting audio from a talking head video clip in order to add B roll to a voiceover can also cause the free space requirement to jump. I have found that extracting audio with Android audio extractors or Audacity rather than InShot can significantly reduce the InShot free space requirement from say 5G to 3G.
While we can’t change how InShot demands space there are several workarounds to help you render your project and avoid losing your work and they are outlined in this 1 minute YouTube video. Please subscribe to the YouTube channel if you get value from it – the channel focuses on high quality tech for an active life at a low price with a focus on mobile device headphones/earphones so will be useful for creators. Video ‘likes’ are appreciated too 🙂
Hope this helps.
And for free information about the insulin response and how I used this basic biochemistry to lose 4 stone in weight healthily check out http://www.gichow.com
If faces near the centre of your OLED TV have a green hue this is due to the red pixels there having darkened simply through use over time.
Don’t bother running the many colour changing patterns on YouTube to fix this. It won’t. Try to progress a warranty repair however if that fails or while it is progressing you can change 3 picture settings in under a minute to improve the picture appearance considerably.
Change colour temperature to cool, increase colour and reduce tint (the balance of green to red). I show this on my Panasonic TX-55EZ952B in this #short video.
If it works for you a comment, like or subscribe against the video helps share the info and support the channel.