Pro-Tip Tuesday: Free Scallion Starts!

Do you wish you didn’t have to go to the store every time you needed green onions (a.k.a. scallions)?

Next time you chop a bunch of ’em to cook, save the bottom bits -the part with the roots- and plop them in a jar with a little bit of water in the bottom. Change the water every day or so and watch them grow! I’ve gradually moved mine into the planter boxes on my patio over time (especially in the summer months), but I hear you can also just leave them in a glass with water. Voila, now you have green onions in the future, and didn’t even need to buy any seeds. Advice: don’t leave the same water in there too long or it can start to rot.

Day 3 of scallions in a glass: look! They’re reaching for the water!

I felt inspired to share this after my friend Michelle expressed surprise at seeing me with this trick. Apparently, the internet’s covered it. However, I offer links to bonus content for other allium-related info for your entertainment. Continue Reading

Mountain Monday: Snowshoe On Mount Rainier

Happy Lunar New Year!

Any additional comments on lunar new year from me will be in some other post. I spent all my energy cleaning the house and hosting hot pot Saturday for it, no more juice left for an obligatory entry here for now. Instead, here’s one that started as a video and grew into some commentary below.****

On Sunday, I helped lead a group of people snowshoe up Paradise Point on Mount Rainier. It was for Cynthia‘s birthday, with some snowshoe newbies, so I wanted to optimized the chances of a good experience: Continue reading

The problem with competing against yourself..

Wellness Wednesday:

Week 2 Recap of Sleep Goals

First, let’s make that previous target more specific:* average 8 hrs’ sleep

Second, methods:

  • Getting off my phone a bit beforehand, switching to reading a book or staring blankly at the roku tv.
  • Rescheduled watching Vikings to dinnertime.
  • Start reading a book on sleep for more ideas based on the science behind it (see text excerpt standing in for this week’s feature photo).
  • Covered the little green lights that blare from my Fitbit and jar me awake occasionally. This worked for one night’s sleep and then I couldn’t bear to part with the data it collects via heart rate to tell if I’m asleep.
  • STill in process: change iPhone bedtime to 10:15pm, then 10, then 9:45 (gradually over 6 days) to see when it tells me to start going to sleep. Maybe it’s been telling me too early.
  • Getting some sun

Data Points (according to Fitbit data):

The secret to sleep is getting sick and needing more sleep. :p

All 2016 Average: 7 hr

Pre-experiment Week 0: 7h12min (while on vacation, i.e. includes random gluts of sleeping in)

Week 1 (1/8-1/14): 7h 23min,  asleep starts ranging from 10:21 to 11:46pm

Week 2 (1/15 – 1/20): 7h 50 min, asleep starts ranging from 8:51 to 11:59pm, mostly in the 10:20 area

Week 2: closer to target sleep time than week 1.

Success? Yes…ish.

Week 2 Drawback: caught a cold, back tweaked out again, so need even more sleep.

The problem with competing against yourself is that you can keep moving the goal post forward, and it can be difficult to ever declare victory. Exhausting.


Today’s Trial Habit-Shift Rating:

Novelty Rating: 

Lessons Learned:

  • Nothing like catching a cold to help you get more needed sleep. First my spouse, and now me.
  • On the other hand, my exercise activity is barely staying above my 3h45min per week threshold (from a previous year’s improvement project), what with back pain + having a cold. Hopefully this will even out..

Likelihood of Repeat: indeterminate. Maybe I just don’t care about this goal and that’s why it’s eluded me for years..

*SMART Objectives, per business school jargon: it’s best to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

Wellness Wednesday:
Week 1 Recap on Sleep Goals

If you google “30 days to better sleep,” you’ll likely get the mix of advice I got when I looked into it. Here was my plan: go with the link that had a listing for every day through 30, and start day 1 on January 5, ticking things off and having a new article to inspiration and try something each day.

Here’s how the first full week toward Sleep Goals 2017 went. Online advice in bold, funny parts in regular text. Target 7.5-8 hrs’ sleep per night.

  • Consistent wake-up time: As an overachiever, of course, I gave myself a head start loading things in on Thursday, when I set an official alarm on my phone of 6:15AMThen, I got a head start on not following the advice: I refused to wake up at the same time on weekends. Pfft. What are weekends for?!
  • Remove electronics from the bedroom: On Friday, I left the Roku tv bolted to the wall of the bedroom. I refuse to give up watching Vikings before bed, Ragnar’s my hero. I did return my phone to charge in the dining room, a previously formed habit that has to do with curtailing too much snoozing.*
  • Get exercise at the right time: Monday night I went to capoeira class 7-8:30, plus travel time, which left me wired until at least 9:30 or 10. This is surely good advice, but I am too stubborn to follow it for now. Drinking chamomile tea somehow made it worse.
  • Estimate your sleep needs, only sleep at the right time for you, pay off your sleep debt: wtf, internet?! The articles attached to these contradicted the first few days’ advice. Sleeping early, but only sleeping when you’re tired AND, sleeping without an alarm clock until you just wake up naturally -these all run counter to the previous efforts. I did my best with this inactionable mishmash and set a bedtime of 9:45 on my iPhone’s Bedtime option (it’s that icon next to the alarm clock settings).
  • Avoid alcohol at bedtime: By Wednesday I was pretty sad about the advice I’d found and had wanted to stick with to give it a try. On the invitation of some good friends, we went out spontaneously to the local hockey pub for trivia night after dinner, so I didn’t get to bed until 11. Thursday, I decided to be nice to myself and slept in to recover. Good choice, but with obvious trade-offs in productivity.
  • By Friday, my plans was a little off the rails. The universe’s plans to make jokes was back on track, though. I woke up to neck pain from tossing and turning, possibly from dreams contaminated from binge-watching the O.A. in bed. I am fairly certain O.A. does not stand for Office Assistant…
Sleep goal week 1 experiment.

Today’s Trial Habit-Shift Rating:

Novelty Rating: 4 of 5 Looking back at a random snapshot from last Fall, I am actually already getting more sleep consistently than before. Shedding light on this data did make me feel more grateful for what I’ve got! Reading about sleep via online blog is entertaining until you accidentally click on all the sleep ads (which should’ve been the tipoff..)

Lessons Learned:

  • I feel more productive with more morning hours than evening.
  • Stories of world conquest are my bedtime stories.
  • Don’t trust everything you read online, kids..
  • Travel to a time zone before yours, and leverage jet lag when you return, to try and reset your internal wakeup clock! I think I had a leg up from my trip to Minnesota over the holidays, two hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time.
  • I continue to be stubborn. 🙂

Likelihood of Repeat: 75% of these actions listed above. Tune in next week to see how week 2 goes, and what I did to nudge the needle toward 9:45pm, based on my friends’ advice!

Ideas & Thoughts from Friends:

  • Shifting earlier and earlier by 10-15 minutes. Going to sleep earlier does not mean waking up earlier, you may wake up at the same time.
  • Getting pregnant to fix sleep.
  • Not actually needing 8 hours.
  • Light exposure and dark exposure to impact circadian rhythm.
  • Applying sleep-training tricks from raising small humans.

Special thanks to Mel, Cody, Kelly, Lisa & Susannah for their comments and ideas!

Also see: 2017 Goals: Sleep, Week Zero!

*Hint for teenagers who need to sleep in: if you just wait long enough, the alarm will just stop…

September sleep patterns per Fitbit (but not paid for by them..yet), 11:30 bedtimes and 6 hours’ sleep.

Pro-Tip Tuesday:
How to Fit More Gym Clothes in Your Bag

Did you make a resolution to get active and work out more this month?


Are you feeling frazzled trying to stuff all your exercise clothes in a gym bag so you can work out before your commute home, but kind of favoring that “Old Bag Lady” (or Old Bag Gentleman) look in the process, juggling large. lumpy sacs of clothes and food and work tools on the way out the door?


Here’s a travel tip that I found works well for workout commuting as well: Continue Reading

Wellness Wednesday:
What 2017 Goals Do You Have?

Warning to new parents: this post may stir up your rage nerve, as it involves talk of sleep.

With the new year comes a feeling of renewed opportunities. Even if you weren’t making up new year’s resolutions, your friends might be talking about theirs and getting you thinking. I also have a few who eschew the term ‘resolution’ and prefer to think of ‘goals’. So, in deference to them..

This January, I’m attempting a goal to finally fix up my sleep habits, which currently consist of going to sleep too late, then waking up kind of early anyway. It’s been about a two-year slide into staying up later and later, between 10:30pm and 1:30am. Current target: 7.5-8 hours of sleep. Besides, I kind of feel like I’ve tried plenty of food and exercise-related goals and this will be an interesting change of pace. I’ll try to check in each Wednesday this month for a recap of how it’s gone. Step 1 in increased self-discipline: get next week’s “Wellness Wednesday” notes online before Thursday!

I’m going to try to tackle one primary thing each month (provided previous month’s goal is met) with an overall theme of more self-discipline. Last year’s “read more” goal went well for the list of books I started with, but fizzled in momentum mid-year.

What are you resolving to shift in your life in 2017?

Inspiration: hop on over to my fellow Minnesotan and food-related blogger Lee Hersch’s Fit Foodie Finds for other ideas on getting more healthy!

For those with small children who tenaciously still red this:

Any lessons learned or reflections from sleep training your kids, that you think could transfer here?

Pro-Tip Tuesday: Free Seeds for Gardening, Summer Dreams Included!

Are you stuck inside, dreaming of next year’s garden?

Are the kids (or your inner child) driving you nuts as you scrape the bottom of the bucket on distracting -er- enriching indoor activities to keep them busy learning?

Maybe your New Year’s resolution was to save money to put them toward some personal goals.

Did you know, you can get free seeds for gardening? Continue Reading

Fun Fact Friday: How to Get Food the Wong Way, Right Away?

Did you know, part of the new redesign included a new option to subscribe to this blog, and get notices instantly, any time there’s a new post?

Yes, that’s right. Now you can get a notice of any new post on Food the Wong Way, right away -as soon as it’s published. To subscribe, scroll down, allll the way down to the bottom of this page, and you can enter your email. If you try it and feel like you’ve spammed yourself, you can unsubscribe at any time. I haven’t been spamming anyone additional emails beyond when there is a new blog post, so I doubt you’ll get sick of it.

Happy Friday!