The Chronic Consumer

I buy things — all the time!

MyMacros+ App

mymacros+ I am the kind of person who needs to track calories even if I’m not actively dieting. Otherwise, I’m liable to eat way too much on a daily basis or focus too heavily on a particular macronutrient (usually either fat or carbs), resulting in imbalance. So I wanted an app that lets me input both calories and macros (protein, fat, and carbs) in an easy, convenient way.

First I, like most everyone else, tried MyFitnessPal. It was good enough for what it was (a FREE app), but didn’t give me enough customization power. For example, you can only increase or decrease macro targets in increments of 5%, whereas I want to get 27% of my daily calories in the form of protein, not 25% or 30%. Nitpicky, perhaps, but that’s what I need.

So I turned to MyMacros+. Although I had to shell out a couple bucks for this one, it has the customization options I desired.

After using this app for a couple months, I can say that I made the right move. Not only can I customize macros down to the gram, I can also easily switch between different target calorie totals. So if I have a tough workout scheduled, I can allow myself a few hundred more calories versus what I eat on a rest day. All it takes is a single click to apply the change to THAT DAY ONLY, rather than to overall goals like with MFP.

Another great thing about MyMacros+ is the way customized food data is recorded. You input the nutrition information for one serving from your food label, then the app automatically does the math to reduce that entire serving to a one-gram portion. What’s the point of that? Well, that makes it SUPER EASY to input your real serving size without having to measure precisely.

For example, say a serving of oatmeal is 40 grams. With MFP, I’d either have to measure out exactly 40 grams, or an easy multiple thereof so I could input “1 serving”, “.75 serving”, etc, which was such a hassle. With MM+, I just enter whatever I measured, be it 37 grams or 42 grams, and the calories and macros are adjusted accordingly. LOVE IT!

This is not a perfect app by any means (and I hate how they keep nagging me to rate them on the app store), but it’s light years ahead of MFP for my purposes. Highly recommended if you’re more interested in macros than in strict calorie counting.

Spring Cleaning

It’s time for spring cleaning again. Part of me loves spring cleaning because I tend to go crazy and get rid of a bunch of clutter. But part of me hates it because…well, cleaning isn’t exactly fun.

Anyway, as I was going through the house making a list of things that need to be done, I discovered that one of my bathroom drawers is loose. I’m not exactly handy, but a few quick searches showed that I can just buy a couple of drawer guides and fix the problem in no time. Since one of my resolutions for this year was to do at least one DIY project a month, I’m making it my mission to get this drawer back to normal again!

Mizuno Wave Rider 18

I bought a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 18 running shoes a couple months ago. After 8 weeks of fairly steady use (I didn’t wear them for every run, but they were in my top 3 rotating pairs), I’m ready to talk about them a bit more.

First, I have to say that I like having a bit more structure and support from time to time. My other two pairs of regular running shoes are New Balance Minimus and Nike Free 3.0, neither of which are structured or have much of a heel drop. But after dealing with a few injuries, the guy at my local running store recommended trying the Mizunos, so I did.

It took a while to get used to this firmer shoe. At first I just used them on my short runs of 2-3 miles, but now I can use them for anything (including speed work). They’re comfortable enough (though I did have to lace them in a funky way to prevent the uppers from digging into the top of my foot) and I don’t have any major complaints. If I had to pick a negative, I’d say that I’m not able to get as much of a feel for the road when I’m wearing these than with other shoes. But I guess that’s to be expected for what these are.

Bottom line, I’d buy these shoes again — if I could get them on sale. I paid full price for these (more than $100), which is far too much.

(And I know this isn’t a detailed review that talks about shoe construction and materials, but you can go to any running site for that info.)

Fender Bass

I was at a friend’s house the other day, and her son’s band was practicing in the garage. The kids are all in high school, so honestly they didn’t sound that good. But at least they had some great equipment, including a Fender American Jaguar bass that was so nice I couldn’t help but ask to try it out. Of course I wasn’t any good either, but it sure was fun to pluck a few strings!

Under Armour Storm Full Zip Hoody

storm I hadn’t shopped for workout gear in a long time before hitting up the mall a couple weeks ago. On that trip I noticed something called Under Armour Storm. This is apparently not a new product line, but this was the first time I’d ever heard of it. I was interested to try it and decided to do so as soon as I could find favorable reviews. I did, and I did.

I bought a full-zip hoody version similar to the one pictured here (but not exactly the same. I’m just too lazy to take a pic of mine.) I bought it to replace a regular Under Armour hoody that was not rated for rain or anything like that, and planned to use the new one for winter running.

So I like the way the new hoody fits. It’s labeled as semi-fitted, which is the perfect description for it. Not too loose and not too tight. The cuffs are a little longer than I prefer, but I can live with them.

The hoody is also just as warm as my old one. I use it as the top layer for my winter runs, with three thinner moisture wicking/insulating shirts underneath, and I can’t feel the cold or wind any more (or any less) than before.

What I really wanted to do was test this storm fabric in the rain. Luckily, it rained two days after I bought this, so I put it on and decided I’d give it a trial run of about 15 minutes. I brought my regular Gore-Tex raincoat along too, figuring I could just switch out if the UA hoody proved too leaky.

Well, that never happened. The UA Storm worked precisely as advertised and kept me almost completely dry after 40 minutes of running in light yet consistent rainfall. I say “almost completely” because the only area of seepage that I noticed was under the embroidered logo–which I figure is made of a slightly different material than the storm fabric.

Anyway, I am IN LOVE with this hoody! They are currently on sale at the Sports Authority near here, so I’m going to go buy a couple more tomorrow. I’ll use one as a backup for running and one for wearing around the house or going to the store when it’s raining.

Bottom line: highly recommended!