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Author: Judskii (page 2 of 19)

Chew On This

Judskii Gum History

I received this free gift from one of our suppliers. Being a knower of many unusual facts, it’s kind of rare for me to come across a factoid in day-to-day life that I hadn’t already read about on the internet. This got me thinking, did they chew tree bark? Did they boil the leaves to make them chewy?  The fruit?

If you also thought these same questions, you’d also be wrong.

Where did gum come from?

People have been chewing gum for thousands of years. Ancient Greeks chewed mastiche made from the resin of the mastic tree. Mastiche seems to be derived from “mastichan” which is Greek for “chew.” It also then makes sense that mastichan is the root work for our English word “masticate” which, surprise surprise, also means chew.

Native Americans in New England chewed resin from Spruce trees.

Mayans an Aztecs harvested resin from the sapodilla tree, which is actually called chicle, — a thick sap-y white substance, that makes it look like the tree is bleeding PVA glue. Can anyone guess where Chiclets got their name?

Man, I haven’t had Chiclets in years. I can still imagine how little time it takes for it to go from chewy & flavourful to hard little bits of barely pliable plastic in your mouth. I remember going trick-or-treating, taking all the Chiclets out of the haul at the end of the night, and chewing them all at the same time. After trading away all those nasty rockets of course.

The man who is credited for bringing chewing gum to America was named Thomas Adams Sr. He came across a supply of Mexican chicle, and after failed attempts of vulcanizing the chicle to make it all chewy, he discovered that boiling and hand-rolling them would do the trick.

Anyway, in the late 1800’s, just at the turn of the century, demand for chewing gum skyrocketed, popularized by a Mr. Wrigley. Does that name sound familiar? However, chicle from the sapodilla trees in Mexico have to rest for anywhere between 4 and 8 years between tappings. And they have to be at least 70 years old before you can tap them for that sweet sweet chicle. That’s not a very sustainable resource. By 1930, over a quarter of Mexico’s sapodilla trees were obliterated. Luckily, American manufacturers discovered a new way to make chewing gum.

What is our chewing gum made out of now?

While some gums are still made of natural rubbers from the sap of various different kinds of trees , many are made of “synthetic rubbers” made in labs with latex to replicate the chewy properties of chicle. Often, it is a combination of both natural and synthetic rubbers in the gum in  a ratio that will maximize your chewing pleasure.

Because these rubbers do not have a great absorption rate, sweeteners — both natural and artificial — are added. The sweeteners combine with the rubber, and when flavours are added, the sugar is the one that absorbs it into the mixture.

Video Learning

Here’s a video of how modern chewing gum making process:

A cool short video about the history of chewing gum.


I guess the biggest surprise I came across was the sapodilla tree. I had never even heard of this tree before, and it’s actually a fruit-bearing tree. I didn’t even know there was a fruit called the sapodilla (Manilkara zapota).

It almost looks like a persimmon. This fruit has been added to my gastronomic bucket list.

Reading up on chewing gum made it seem a little icky that we were basically just chewing little pieces of rubber, even if looking back, that makes total sense. I guess rubber to me always referred to inedible materials — tires, elastic bands, etc. — that I never even stopped to consider gum as a rubber.

Just remember, don’t swallow your gum!

(It doesn’t actually take 7 years to digest. It just lingers in your stomach a bit longer and will end up in the toilet after. Your stomach will absorb the sugars and sweeteners. It will try to digest the rubbers and resin, but can’t, so it will mosey its way along to the end of the tunnel.)







Diet Progress: Week 5

Weigh-in: 132.0 lb

Judskii Progress Week 5

This is my “I just shovelled my driveway for nearly two hours by myself” look. Looking at this picture, I’m noticing that i think I actually have a pretty bad pelvic tilt. I wonder if this is why my back has been hurting for the last month and a half-ish.

Lost 0.4 lb from last check-in. Tiny progress is still progress! On Friday, I was actually sitting at 129.8lb, which was nice to see the scale under 130, but then of course, the weekend came and we went to a buffet for a friend’s surprise birthday party. To prepare for my  inevitable overindulgence at an asian buffet, I prepared by eating a very light lunch – a small salmon steak with a side of broccoli florets and snap peas.

It was another bad week of not bringing my lunch, so I ended up going out for lunch basically every day. Fish and chips (I flaked off most of the breading and didn’t have much of the fries because I ran out of ketchup. Yep, keep those justifications coming.), Tucker’s Marketplace for a birthday lunch (I stuck to a lot of roast beef), burritos with a 2-for-1 coupon with a friend (I ate half for lunch and half for dinner). Not to mention the Superbowl snacks of puff pastry, wings, and copious amounts of beer. I just love indulging too much. Suffice to say, I started my week off limping.

This week though, I made a big pot of chili. At only approx 240 calories/serving, it’ll be good to last me through the week for lunches. I’m also vaguely cutting out starchy carbs because I find that to be the most effective way for my body to cut the belly pudge.

Judskii Chili

Spicy Fucking Chili

Servings: 9 || 240 calories – 14.2g fat, 5.9g carbs, 20.8g protein – per serving

  • 1/2 purple onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 box of mushrooms (I used portobellinis)
  • 900g lean ground beef (only because it’s cheaper than extra lean and I couldn’t find ground turkey)
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 1 package of chili seasoning (you can also make your own, but they were on sale for like 50 cents)
  • 5 scotch bonnet peppers**
  1. Roast your scotch bonnet peppers in the (toaster) oven at 425 degrees fahrenheit  until blistered. I just leave them in until I’m ready for them. Cooking is a fluid, adaptable dance.
  2. Cook the onions and garlic in a small amount of olive oil on medium-high until the onions start to turn translucent.
  3. Dump the ground beef in and brown it.
  4. Dump all your chopped veggies in with the chili seasoning. Let it keep cooking until it gets all liquidy.
  5. Now dump your tomato paste in it and mix it all up real good. Turn the heat down to medium-low.
  6. Now, take your scotch bonnets out (not with your hands) and remove the stems. I blitzed them in my magic bullet with some water and dumped the mixture right into the pot. WARNING: Do not put your nose into the empty cup afterwards because it will burn. Learn from my mistakes.
  7. Mix everything together. Cover and let it simmer on low for 3 hours.

*I do not like beans but I’m sure you can add it to your chili if that tickles your fancy.

**Also, 5 scotch bonnet peppers is REALLY spicy. I only put that many in as a mistake. I asked a friend who works with hot peppers often how many I should put in. I sent him a picture of my container. He said half. I put in five. He meant half a pepper. However, the spice is not intolerable. Next time, I’d probably put in 1 or 2.

Thank you for reading. Hope you all kick ass next week!

Progress posts every Monday.

New Blog and Contest!


Hi! Hello! Welcome to Judskii.com! This is so exciting for me! I’ve finally got my own domain, and have so many new and exciting ideas and posts ready for this blog. We’re about to ramp it up!! I’ve got some new sections that are not food-focused (shock!): The Happy Brain, where I explore ideas and experiences that I hope will help me grow into a better, more positive person; Keep Learning, where I delve into topics that interest me, that I would otherwise not put time aside to learn; and the Book Nook, where I commit to reading more! Because really, that’s something that everyone wants to try to do. Unless you’re one of those people who are proud of not reading (like.. anything at all.), and if that’s the case, then we’re probably not friends.

Have a look around to see what else is new. 🙂

Choose Amazing

This is what I want the essence of my little place on the internet to be. I want to spread the word that even if your day seems dreary, and you seem to have lost your way in life or thoughts, you can just choose to be amazing, choose to do amazing things, and choose the amazing experience. If you live your life striving to choose amazing, then you will be amazing. This is something I still struggle with, but when I need a pick me up, I choose to do the things that make both me and the people around me happier and more joyful.

Launch Contest!

To celebrate this new domain, I’ve put together a little contest for a few of my favourite things!

Judskii Launch Contest Prize

I’m a sucker for beautiful notebooks, and this prize comes with three lined notebooks with gold foil covers and my favourite pen – the 7 year pen. It has a great solid weight to it and is supposed to last 7 years if you write less than 1.2 m a day. My last one lasted 2 years, which is not too shabby seeing as I usually lose mine before then. I wanted to keep the panda for myself, but these will look great on your desk; a little oasis in the hectic everyday. I’ve included this because I have this terrible compulsion to buy every cool notepad, sticky pad, notebook, stationery set ever.

We’ve also got a loose-leaf tea infuser, that goes right inside your mug and some marshmallow chocolate snacks to go with it during your relaxation time. People who know me know that snack time is very important, and my sweet tooth is basically beyond compare.

And last but not least, the Portlandia Cookbook, from the hilarious show, Portlandia; this book’s got some awesome recipes (the cacao bark looks amazing) and really great photos as well as some show trivia. I’ve got shelves of cookbooks and pinterest boards upon pinterest boards of new recipes. I love to eat, and when I have a craving, how else will you satisfy it in the middle of the night. (I give thanks to 24h grocery stores.) This book offers delicious photography that will definitely whet your appetite.

How to Enter

There are three ways to enter. Do all three for more chances to win!

  1. Twitter: Send out a tweet with my username (@Judskii), the link to this post (http://judskii.com/2015/02/03/new-blog-and-contest/), and the hashtag #JudskiiLaunchContest. You can enter once a day!
    If you’re not feeling too creative: “I just entered @Judskii’s new blog launch contest. http://judskii.com/2015/02/03/new-blog-and-contest/ #JudskiiLaunchContest.”
  2. Instagram: Go to my Instagram page (@Judskii), like the contest photo (below) and tag a friend! Must be following @Judskii account to be eligible.

    A photo posted by judskii (@judskii) on

  3. Leave a comment on this post telling me what’s your favourite amazing thing to do!
Contest ends February 28th, 2015. Open to Canadian & U.S. Residents only.

Diet Progress: Week 4

Weigh-in: 132.4 lb

Judskii Week 4 Progress

What a terrible yet delicious week it has been, and it shows! I only got to hit the gym twice this week (once in some random Goodlife in Scarborough). We got hit with a nasty snowstorm today and somehow I made it to work on time. Got a third “workout” if you can call it that when I tried to pull into the driveway but couldn’t, so I had to shovel all the snow myself and worked those obliques hard! I don’t know if I was just having a good day last week, but I seem to be bulging every which way today! It’s discouraging, but we must keep pushing through!

Weekends with boyfriend and outings always mess up my diet though. Saturday, we had some awesome xiao long bao (soup dumplings) with some other not-low-cal Chinese food. On Sunday, we went for hot pot. I can never say no to some delicious hot pot. It’s delicious, and not totally unhealthy! Although, I probably ate more than I should have of that fatty fatty lamb.

Xiao Long Bao Dim Sum

Xiao Long Bao Restaurant at Brimley & Huntingwood

In terms of meals this week, I wasn’t able to do a whole week prep. On Monday, I grabbed some emergency soup and emergency protein bar from their respective stashes. Tuesday night, I made some awesome low-cal tuna salad and ate that for lunch for the rest of the week.

Judskii Tuna Salad


  • 3 cans of low sodium flaked tuna, drained
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • Quarter of a red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp hot mustard (I used Keen’s)
  • 1 cup of greek yogurt

Mix all the ingredients together. Makes 4 servings. 133 calories – 4.6g fat, 5g carbs, 17g protein.

I topped a toasted slice of PC Multigrain Rye  and 15g of mozzarella to make a yummy tuna melt for 253 calories (9g fat, 20g carbs, 23g protein).

Progress posts every Monday.

Moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org on Hostgator

I’ve had my wordpress.com site for over 5 years now, and I finally made the jump and decided that I wanted my own .com site. If you’re reading this, that means it worked! However, making the move gave me headaches. As someone who knows nothing about webhosting and only the bare bones of domains (a.k.a. I only knew the definition of the word), finding all the steps to allow this website to come live was definitely a challenge. Many of the tutorials I found skipped critical steps that would allow my site to actually work, so I’ve written this tutorial in order to help those who are making the same jump.


What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

Basically, WordPress.com is a free service where you can post your blog or website. Your blog/site is hosted on their servers for free, but the URL is BLOGNAME.wordpress.com. You are also limited by theme selection, theme customization, and plugin selection.

WordPress.org is hosted by you. You can buy hosting and domain names directly from WordPress.com, or like me, you can buy hosting and domain from any webhost (I chose hostgator). You can upload your own theme, customize it to your liking, and choose from over 19,000 plugins that help your website do everything you hoped it would. You also have options to add e-commerce options, if you want to sell things on your site.

So I bought my domain and hosting, now what?

  1. Alright, you can now log into your hostgator customer portal.
  2. Click on the tab at the top that says “Hosting”.
  3. Now, under “Most Popular Links,” click Launch Quick Install.
  4. Under Blog Software, click WordPress. Click continue..
  5. Fill out your information. Under admin email, make sure to use the email where you want to receive account information. I made the mistake of thinking that would create an email address for me (like judy@judskii.com). I was so wrong.
  6. Now this is the part that I could not figure out how to do anywhere! You have to visit this website: http://register.hostgator.com?manage . You might have to log in again. Click on your domain name. A little window should pop up.
  7. Click on “Name Servers”. Then, in a dropdown menu, you have to “point” your domain name to your hosting service! That way it tells the Gods of the Internet that your “domain name” is pointed to a “hosting service” and that’s the only way it will work.

Now that you’ve installed WordPress and pointed your domain, your site is ready to go! You can log into wordpress with your credentials at YOURDOMAIN.com/wp-admin or whatever url you had used to when you filled in your information at QuickInstall.

How do I move my existing WordPress.com blog over to my new site?

This part is easily found anywhere on the internet. But since you’re already here, I’ll tell you!

  1. Go to your old blog site’s dashboard (YOURBLOG.wordpress.com/wp-admin).
  2. Hover over the Tools button on the left side near the bottom and click on “Export” when it pops up.
  3. When the page loads, click Export (the free one).
  4. Choose All Content (or just selected content, if that’s your deal.) Download the export file.
  5. Now, go to your new wordpress site at YOURDOMAIN.com/wp-admin, login.
  6. Go back down to the same Tools button but instead of clicking Export, you want to Import the file that you just downloaded.
  7. A list of different blog platforms will show up. Scroll down to near the bottom and click on WordPress.
  8. Find the file that you just downloaded. Hopefully you saved it somewhere you can easily find it. Import the file.

Ta da! Your blog is now ready to be added to. But wait, don’t you want to customize it with a theme?

Changing and customizing the look of your blog.

I am not at all a web designer, so I browse and find free WordPress templates that are available all over the internet. Generally by googling some form of the words “free,” “wordpress,” “theme,” and “template.” My current theme is called Flat by YoArts.

  1. Once you find your theme, they will prompt you to download a .zip file of the theme. Do not open the zip file. Instead, go to your wordpress dashboard (YOURDOMAIN.com/wp-admin).
  2. On the left bar, hover over the Appearance button and click on Themes.
  3. At the top, near the header, you can click on “Add New.”
  4. Find the .zip file you downloaded and install the theme. That should take you back to the theme page where you can Activate your new theme.

You can also browse WordPress’s collection of free and readily available themes.

You can now customize your site by going to “Customize” under the Appearance buttom. That will allow you to change the colours, backgrounds, etc. I recommend spending a couple of days clicking around in Widgets, Plugins, and Customization, as well as your menus so that your site will look exactly how you like it! This will help you get acquainted with the platform so you can work with it more efficiently.

And there you have it. A successful jump! I hope you found this as useful as I think I would have. Comments? Questions? Post them below! I would love to hear from you. However, like I said at the beginning. I basically fumbled my way through this, so I might not be able to answer more advanced questions!

This post is part of my Know Things mission for January 2015.

Putting Up Money for New Years

The New Year inevitably brings resolutions, and more often than not, that resolution involves eating better, getting healthy, hitting the gym, and losing weight. I guess this year is no different. I always say that I don’t believe in New Years resolutions because that just sets you up for stopping with it’s no longer the “New Year” and also because I make these kinds of promises to myself throughout the year. However, it does help that around the New Year, there are a surplus of friends that will rally around you to help you reach your goals.

In the last year and a half, I effectively (and voraciously) gained 20lb. That’s 17% of my body weight. So, back in October, I joined a gym again, but made no progress on weight loss. Luckily, two different groups of friends rallied and we all made a pact to lose some weight together!

The first group are actually my boyfriend’s friends, but we’ve all become great friends. One couple is getting ready for their wedding and hope to lose the weight for this special moment in their lives and a few other friends wanted to join as well because the prize is a weekend trip to NYC! The goal was to lose 20lb each, and if we attained that in 6 months, then we can go for a short vacation. However, I didn’t think I would be physically able to go back down to 118 lb, because I think it’s too skinny for 5’7″. So we decided on losing 40lb as a couple, because in the 4 years we’ve been together, boyfriend gained a whopping 50lb. It’s time for a change.

The second group of friends are the Belly Monsters. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you know who the Belly Monsters are. A group of food lovers and great friends. We eat, laugh, and chat every day. We engaged in a “Diet Bet” wherein you have to lose 10% of your bodyweight in 6 months. We each put up $50, and at the end, if you reach your goal, you get your $50 back; if you don’t, you forfeit the money and the winners split the pot. I figured, since I’m super set on going to New York, this one will be easy peasy, and it’s so much fun to have more people help and support you along the way. We all give each other advice and encouragement. You can follow the Belly Monsters Diet Bet with the #BMD2015 on Twitter and Instagram. Give us a shout!

So far, it’s been almost a full month and my first two weeks were awesome!

Starting weight – 138.8 lb.


Week 2 – 136.8

Judskii Diet Week 2 Progress


I didn’t get a chance to take picture right at the beginning, so this is week two. This is so difficult for me to look at. Every day for the last year or so, I look in the mirror and I get sad that my belly bulges. That I don’t fit into my pants. Actually, about two months ago, I had such a bad reaction to pants that I vowed never to wear pants again. And I haven’t actually worn pants to work since then, except for when I have to as part of my retail uniform.

Week 3 – 132.2

Judskii Diet Week 3 Progress


Week 3 was beastly. I lost 4 pounds, I feel great, and best of all, I’m seeing progress! Hitting the gym three times a week, working my strength training weights back up, hating cardio, the whole bit! I’m hoping to start biking when it gets warmer to replace that damn elliptical. Weekends are particularly difficult because everyone just wants to go out to eat. Basically to prepare for restaurant food, you need to barely eat all day and then order the salad, which is probably like 800 calories anyway.

From these two progress pictures, I learned that I need to take the same photos in the same pose. I felt the underwear picture was too scandy and the tights maybe didn’t show enough, but I don’t have any tight pants, so I’m at a loss.

However, 5 months and 10 more lbs to go! Boyfriend has lost 5.5 lb so together, we’ve lost 13 lb. Let’s get this $50 back and get to the NYC Pokemon Centre!

Progress posts every Monday.
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