Spreadsheet – Convert RDA% for vitamins and minerals to mg

One of the things that my body has started to tell me is that I need to spend some time making a course correction. While nothing majorly worrisome has come out of any physical, I know I’m not in great shape. One thing I have not done in quite some time is determine how my nutrition intake is compared to my needs.

Of course, instead of using one of many high quality and totally capable apps or websites, I’m home-growing a solution to tracking my health. I’ll write more about that on a different post, because this is about the calculation I wanted.

Labels on products are super frustrating. The percentages based on a 2000 calorie diet are fine, if you want to do some math if you’re aiming for a 2,500 calorie diet or a 1,750 one. I just want to know how many mg or μg of of each nutrient so that I can track my approximate actuals.

So, here’s a spreadsheet which will do the conversions between recommended daily allowance and micrograms or milligrams. Just put the percent of a vitamin or mineral’s RDA in the first column and the math will be done to show the milligram or microgram recommendation for males, females, and averaged male/female allowance. Just make a copy of this file for your own use.

Finally playing the stock market

I remember being in high school and in some class we were to pick out stocks to “buy” and then track for the month. I recall it wasn’t easy to imagine any companies that I wasn’t clearly very familiar with so picked Xerox and Kodak since they were based nearby. I don’t recall the third pick I made. Xerox stock was about $25 then and is now under $20. But it hit over $130 in the late 90s. Kodak’s details are less clear, since they declared bankruptcy, but it’s taken a slide since trading resumed 7 or so years ago from the $30 range down to just over $8 today, with no peak to speak of between.

Part of my work of getting our finances nailed down during this pandemic has had me studying our retirement accounts. We have eggs in a number of different baskets, but they’re all tied to the larger economy, and as I get closer to the retirement age I figure it would be good to pay better attention to where those eggs are and what they’re doing. That said, ever since high school I’ve been intrigued about stock market investing. I just never took the leap to take action.

My brother turned me on to Webull. (Yes, that’s an affiliate link, and, full disclosure, I’d get a few free stocks if anyone clicks on it, creates an account and then puts at lest $100 into the system.) I hope he’s getting his free stock for inviting me.

Right now they’re running a promo until the end of October that if you put in $100 you get 2 free stocks. I just got notification of the ones I’ll receive.

Here’s my thinking.

I know that the idea is to buy low and sell high. I know that financial advisors suggest playing the long game during downturns. There also are these:

1 – you figure at some point congress will put forth another round of stimulus funding and the markets will bump, even if only for a short period.

2 – things will gradually return to “normal” and some markets that have taken a big hit will crawl back.

So I’m thinking I will transfer just $100 a month for this year and play around a little with some of the stocks. I know I missed the window for Amazon and Zoom to thrive during the lockdowns (though they continue to rise).

I purchased 1 share of Alaska Airlines, 3 shares of American Airlines and 10 shares of a company developing a less invasive COVID-19 test. In the 24 hours since I spent that $99.80 the value has increased to $106.10. Plus the value of the two free stocks when they clear. (Currently one is at $8.36 and the other at $9.28, so not a bad couple of freebies.) Total of almost $24 gained from the $100 I put in.

Webull does not charge a commission for a trade and there isn’t any fee for transfers to or from a bank account. I don’t quite get how they make money, but that’s largely because I don’t speak the lingo. Check out the “Pricing” tab on their page, maybe you can understand it better than me.

The 5 things this expat family needs on their kitchen counter

We’ve been in India for a little over 7 years, and though it has long been our home-away-from-home, there are some things we have on our kitchen counter that really help with the adjustment. This is totally a shameless attempt to get a kickback from any purchases made through the below affiliate links but we’re not paid to endorse any of these.

1 – Electric oven. We have a Siemens built-in electric oven that sits on our countertop. We bought this used from friends that were leaving. We also have a gas range and oven that the employer provides, and having two comes in handy on occasion, but when we want to bake the electric oven is a wonderful upgrade. I really should build a shell for it, but it’s been sitting like this for over 3 years now and I’m pretty used to it.

2 – High quality blender. Every day Pepper makes a smoothie for us for breakfast. We had a blender in Mongolia that lasted for two years and then I think we had two here before finally splurging on the Blendtec commercial EZ600. This purchase was difficult. It wasn’t available through most online retail outlets (Amazon.in might not have even existed yet) and we knew we wanted one that ran on 220 volts. We paid double the price of this already expensive blender and have had to replace the jar once for an additional $150. But the cycle counter on it currently reads more than 2,200 and as that number ticks up, the cost per smoothie, hummus, or other dish keeps going down.

3 – Coffee from pods. I used to make French press coffee for Pepper in the morning, but she’s come to love her Nespresso coffee. In fact, she’s got one machine in her classroom as well as the one at home. This is not without problems. Primarily:

Yes, there are 0 results for Nespresso pods in our area.

That’s not been a huge problem most of the time, because we usually travel a few times a year to a place where Pepper can buy a few cases of her favorite coffee to bring back. But we’ve been in India since early January so she’s had to resort to purchasing compatible pods and the occasional tube that’s found online or in one of the import stores in town.

4 – Baby bottle sterilizer. We bought a Chicco baby bottle sterilizer from another parent that was leaving India. We’ve found it’s useful for more than just running her bottles through though. I’ve used it for sterilizing other kitchen items and even the bottles I’ve used for homebrew.

5 – Water dispenser. We don’t drink the tap water here. Our water comes from a well and then is pumped to our roof tank. We use it to brush our teeth, sure, but don’t drink it. We have a countertop water dispenser that also chills and heats water, but also just has a room temperature nozzle. I find that the hot water is enough for my tea, though Pepper doesn’t use it when she’s had to resort to French press coffee.