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Archive for the ‘chess’ Category

a tale of two weekends

Sunday, February 11th, 2007

It somehow feels like the holiday season has not ended here yet, as far as food is concerned. For example, last weekend, I hosted another UFC fight night (actually afternoon, as we now watch it the next day via the internet). Lots of our standards: hummus, homemade tortilla chips and salsa, veggies, and baba ganoush. Of course, we made them all healthy and low-fat (no tahini in the hummus and no olive oil in the baba), but it sure wasn’t a CR day. I finished off the salsa in a “pasta” dish the next day, adding roasted vegetables and porcini mushrooms.

Oh yeah, I also offered up a plate of my still-under-development chocolate fudge brownies. (Scott, no giving away the secrets.) They were so good everyone had seconds, and one even had thirds! To top it all off, they’re gluten free.

Speaking of which, that experiment continues. I was so pleased to receive confirmation from Lewis Labs that their Brewer’s Yeast, which I use daily, is gluten free. And Anheuser-Busch has introduced a sorghum beer, Redbridge, across the country. Of course, GF beers already existed, but availability is limited.

My favorite “Gluten Freedom Fighters”

This weekend I competed in a chess tournament. I’ve mentioned before how I always allow myself several hundred extra calories in snacks to provide additional fuel for the demands of the games. Lunch and dinner during the tourney consisted of a yellow split pea soup made the night before in the slow cooker with half an onion, a habanero pepper, and an ounce of Just Hot Veggies. I don’t gain weight from these indulgences; it turns out chess burns a lot of calories! Well, my nutrition software says it’s only 33 calories per hour, but I don’t believe it. Besides, each game is at least two to four hours long. So, if you’re ever laid up in bed and unable to exercise, just grab a book of mate-in-three problems. LOL.

When will the gluttony end? Give me until after Valentine’s Day. I don’t have a special someone with whom to share chocolate decadence, but that won’t stop me. Coworkers beware! ;)

chess plugin

Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

Sorry, no food content to this post, but I’m just so happy to have developed my first WordPress plugin that I had to announce it here. :)

It creates a diagram from a standard notation in chess known as FEN. Documentation, examples, and download can be found here.

traveling lite

Monday, July 31st, 2006

I just got back from a four-day chess tournament in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. (Notice the Maple Days event, apropos my last post.) As children, Mom took my sister and me to Old Sturbridge Village down the road a bit from the hotel at which I was competing.

For two-day events, I usually make up a large batch of chili and pack fresh fruit. The four servings of chili, container of berries, and some yogurt, just fit in my cooler. See food for thought.

However, for a longer competition such as this, it didn’t make sense to bring food requiring refrigeration. Also, my staple bananas are constantly getting crushed when traveling.

So, I employed a different strategy. I stocked up on dried fruits and vegetables from Just Tomatoes. That and several cans of beans, a can opener, oatmeal, and a hot plate, and I was good to go. If there was not enough time to heat up a meal between rounds, I could always just throw it all together as a cold dish.

I portioned everything out into 1 ounce servings in ziplock bags. And, of course, I brought along some spices too: hot pepper flakes, lemon-pepper seasoning, pizza herbs, and cinnamon. The cooler still made the trip, but this time only with beer. ;)

This was a very successful way to pack and will definitely be repeated.

food for thought

Sunday, June 25th, 2006

Competitive chess can be extremely grueling, not only mentally, but physically as well. The amount of energy required to maintain concentration for hours on end, to handle the emotional ups and downs and the concomitant adrenaline surges and exhaustion, is amazing. There are tales of World Championship combatants losing tens of pounds during their one to two month battles over the board.

To a lesser extent, I have noticed I can consume more in a weekend of chess, with little or no exercise, than in my typical days programming computers and working out, with no resulting weight change. So, although a practitioner of CRON (Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition), I often allow myself a few hundred additional calories a day while playing in a tournament. Of course, we’re still talking high-quality nutrition here. The extras come in the form of snacks for each game to keep the brain fueled and a celebratory (or consolatory, as the case may be) beer for the evening.

I pack all my food for such events in order to avoid the junk in restaurants and to allow for the odd and sometimes rushed meal windows in between games. Here is what it looked like this weekend as I prepared for the NH Open Chess Championship.

chessfood (130k image)

This provides for a breakfast of homemade soy yogurt (the little container) with dry cereal (not shown), blueberries and strawberries, and lunches and dinners of chili. The bags, one for each day, contain raw broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, and romaine lettuce for dunking in the chili (eaten cold at lunch and heated up at my friend’s in the evening). The beers (here Harpoon Oatmeal Stout) are one for me and one for my friend, who so kindly let’s me crash at his place, to end each day. Then there’s a banana (or apple) and homemade seitan jerky for each game (2 per day). I usually include a little dark chocolate as well, but left it out this time for no particular reason.

My Cookbook:

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