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Friday, February 7, 2014

How to make a delicious protein bar that tastes like a cookie.

Despite my excessive milk drinking (~2+ gallons/wk) I often crave additional protein, even after meat-rich meals. I've found a few protein bars recently that are quite tasty, but they all seem to retain that factory-fresh-oh,no,wait-preserved aftertaste to accompany the long list of chemical ingredients.

I realize I often satisfy off-hour snack/protein needs with an assembled medley of ingredients (e.g. nuts, dried fruit, oatmeal, aforementioned protein bars), none of which seem adequate alone. The closest I've found to a satisfying protein/snack bar, is Sparrow Market's everything but the kitchen sink cookie (oatmeal, nuts, fruit, chocolate, yum).

So I've been toying with the idea of making a soylent-esque food bar.

Today's attempt produced such a delicious product that I thought I'd share the recipe. It still needs a lot of work to increase the nutrition content, but it tastes as good as a cookie and uses very little sugar and no flour. Let me know if you have suggestions for the next iteration.

mighty and delicious, almost cookie-like, irresistible protein enhanced bar

[Mission Statement]
To create a delicious, healthy (nutritionally balanced; low: sugar/simple carbs, high: ORAC, omega-3, & fiber) snack bar that's easy/fast and relatively cheap to make.
Attempt 2 - 2/7/2014 Taste: A- Nutrition: B-

- 1/2tsp salt
- 2tb sugar
- 1 1/2c oats
- 1tbsp dutch hot cocoa mix
- 1/4c choc protein powder
- 1 cup magic-bulleted nuts (1/3c e/ of walnuts, pecans, almonds)
- 1.5 bars hershey's dark chocolate
-1/2 cup halved dried cherries, cut in halves

- combine above, pour into a 12x12" pan
(tip: microwave/soften the butter, banana, coconut oil, almond butter)
- 350 degrees for ~30 mins, until a tooth pick comes out clean
- 3 eggs
- 1tsp vanilla
- 1 ripe banana (microwaved)
- 1tbsp coconut oil
- 3tbsp honey
- 3tbsp butter
- 1tbs of maple syrup
- 2tbsp almond butter

Nutrition Info (/bar)
11.7g (4.2g)
Carbs(fiber, sugar)
18g (2.5g, 7.7g)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

How to check all of bestbuy's inventory to find which zip code has your desired product!

As an optimizer, I 'suffer' from a sometimes debilitating yearning for the best, or most efficient, product, solution, method, etc. Thus when the Yoga 2 Pro was released, I had to acquire one. However, BestBuy was/is the only distributor with the i7 8gb ram version (at a reasonable price and on-hand), and unfortunately they only had it available for in-store pickup at a select few locations.

Maybe this has happened to you. It's frustrating, is it not, that there's no way to find out WHERE the item is in stock!?

So I spent a few minutes throwing together an ad-hoc test/solution:
My solution requires:
1. Autohotkey
2. Chrome browser with Advanced page injector extension
3. Some ingenuity and ability to google how to do certain things (for example, how to use autohotkey's spy window to determine the coordinates you should have it automatically click)

Steps I took to get the Yoga 2 Pro:

1. Create a rule in advanced page injector options:
Add JavaScript:
$(document).ready(function(){$('#frmStoresSearchFormId').attr('target','_blank'); if ($('').length > 0){alert($("[name='TxtZipCode']").attr('value'))}else {window.close()}}) 
2. Open up the store locator from the item page on and try a local zipcode.
3. Enter the following code into the Chrome console (open with f12 or ctrl+shift+i then click console), and press enter after you change the zips to include the ones you want (I found a list of all zips online and used SublimeText to add the comma and quotes):
$('#frmStoresSearchFormId').attr('target','_blank').attr('style','target-new: tab');
window.openBB = function(){console.log(window.curNum);console.log(window.zips[window.curNum]);$("[name='TxtZipCode']").attr('value',window.zips[window.curNum]); $('#frmStoresSearchFormId').submit(); document.getElementById('attack').click(); loadNewPage('storeSearch'); setTimeout(function(openBB){window.curNum = window.curNum + 1; window.focus; if (window.curNum < window.zips.length) {window.openBB()}}, 4000)}
window.curNum = 0

window.zips = ["00501","00544","00601"]
NOTE: The code redundantly attempts several methods for submitting the html form element - I didn't really bother with testing to determine which to use, so I just left them all in. This is messy and hack-y code but I got a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro out of it :)
4. Run an autohotkey if necessary to restore form submission functionality (a Chrome bug prevents this from being consistent for most people)
My code is:
Loop {
Click 20, 27
Click 365, 483
Sleep 3000}
After installing autohotkey, run Window Spy to determine the location coordinates of your main item lookup tab and any of the form text boxes within it - then paste the above code in with your coordinates and save anywhere as a .ahk file. Then run it and the code will be summoned when you press ctrl+shift+alt+b

Note with the barebones code above your chrome window must be the active (in focus) window for Autohotkey to click in the right place.

This is a little bit less detailed than I would like but good luck & let me know if you find what you're looking for! I was able to convince the store manager to ship it to me if I emailed him a copy of my driver's license :)