Random things - Cinnamon & Ice Fishing

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A couple of random items for you... I've been super unbelievably busy with work - I've got a major project that's about to launch into production, so things have been crazy. We've had several all-day planning sessions and I've been putting in some extra hours to keep up with other projects that I'm involved in as well.

I mentioned in an earlier nutrition-related post about the benefits of cinnamon - it's been proven to lower people's blood glucose levels, reduce cholesterol (LDL - the bad stuff), and has shown itself to be anti-inflammatory. Sounds like good stuff, eh? Here's the catch - most of the supermarket cinnamon isn't true cinnamon. And most of it is quite old, which is bad because as cinnamon ages, it loses many of its positive effects.

Most cinnamon that folks buy is actually cassia, which is a close-relative of cinnamon, but may not be as effective as ceylon, which is considered true cinnamon. Ceylon is very expensive and is much more difficult to locate - it's grown primarily in Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Brazil, and a few other locations.

I've been using ceylon-based cinnamon in my morning coffee, which is an amazingly sweet, flavorful, and "mild heat" cinnamon. The only downside? It's a bit gritty as ceylon doesn't lend itself to a fine grind, but with enough stirring and swirling of the coffee cup, it's not bad. Only the last drink is a bit "sandy," but I suffer through it. It tastes great, it just doesn't have a nice mouth-feel.

Well, today, I stumbled across an amazing discovery. I had just finished running and riding, and was getting ready or breakfast, when it struck me - why not try adding cinnamon to my cereal? Hmm. Might be good; might be bad...

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I've been following my modified diet fairly well; I binged as planned during the Superbowl, but have otherwise been strict and true. I've really come to enjoy "slow carbs" like black beans, lentils, and select no-sugar whole grains. I've been eating Fiber One for years now, and truly enjoy it, but wow - with the addition of cinnamon it just became INCREDIBLE.

I took .75c of Fiber One (90 calories) and added 3/8th cup of unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze (15 calories). I sprinkled-on about 1/2-tsp of cinnamon, stirred and took a taste - eureka!!! Just like cinnamon toast crunch, no lie. Wow. It was like candy - so incredibly good. Give it a try!

You may be hesitant to try the Almond Breeze unsweetened vanilla but trust me - it's awesome in cereal. There's no way I cold ever sit down and drink a glass of it by itself, but when added to cereal and/or coffee, it's incredibly delicious. Seriously! And, it's about 1/2 the calories of skim milk, and doesn't contain lactose or sugar. Win.

So, try it - fire-up a bowl of Fiber One, add some Almond Breeze unsweetened vanilla, and sprinkle with true cinnamon. You will be amazed!


In other news, I went ice fishing for the first time ever. Well, I didn't really fish, but I did accompany Dan to his ice shack, and I did watch him fish for a bit. Here we are, making our way to the middle of the lake - he certainly picked a remote location to claim his stake:

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So remote, in fact, that we actually got stuck (in a 4WD Jeep Cherokee, nonetheless!). A quick bit of shoveling and we were back underway. We arrived at the shack in no time; I was shocked to see the snow was completely cleared from the shack. Dan said it's because his shack is black, and the black absorbs heat, which causes the snow to melt as the shack creates a hotspot on the ice. Interesting!

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There's Dan, getting ready to fire-up the heater, which runs on propane and did an excellent job of heating the shack. While it wasn't "hot" inside, it wasn't uncomfortable by any means. After lighting the furnace, Dan went out and drilled a few holes so that he could place "tip-ups," which are essentially unmanned fishing poles. The tip-up has a flag that flips-up if/when a fish bites the bait/hook/line that is suspended from the tip-up. He uses an electric auger to drill holes through the ice (which was about 2-feet thick) - it went through the ice like a hot knife through butter.

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With the tip-ups placed and the furnace lit, there was only one thing left to do - "jig" for some fish from inside of the shack. The shack has a small hole in the floor from which you can fish with a smallish pole. Dan also used a sonar finder to help give him an idea of whether or not there were fish in the area. Here he is setting it up:

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The sonar was super cool - we could see fish swimming in the area, and while no fish were caught, there was one significant bite - Dan said the fish felt "like a tank." It would've been cool to see a monster fish get reeled-in, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. No worries; any time spent with Dan and Tara is good time, so I was happy just to be along for the ride.

And finally, I think I'd really like to get an iPad. I wasn't a fan of them at first, but after spending time with the Kindle application, I can really see the benefit of a nice tablet like the iPad. Unfortunately, the one that I'd like to get costs just under $700... and, there's a new generation of them that is due to hit the market in April... but man, they sure seem cool. I really do just need to win the lottery...

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This page contains a single entry by Steve published on February 13, 2011 5:58 PM.

Storm of the Century: 1; Steve: 0 was the previous entry in this blog.

Fish Fry Review: Bridges On The Green, Madison, WI is the next entry in this blog.

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