"Besides, you don't build a better world by choppin' heads off and giving decent girls away to frogs." "But progress---" Magrat began. "Don't you talk t"Besides, you don't build a better world by choppin' heads off and giving decent girls away to frogs." "But progress---" Magrat began. "Don't you talk to me about progress. Progress just means bad things happen faster."...more
[OK, it's obviously not a dataviz book as such, but was recommended to me by various dataviz experts and is indeed worth the read.]
Chapter 3, on Closu[OK, it's obviously not a dataviz book as such, but was recommended to me by various dataviz experts and is indeed worth the read.]
Chapter 3, on Closure, is my favorite. This must be why he defines comics the way he does: so that we can talk about what happens in the gaps/gutters between panels. Unlike a single image (i.e. most "real art" plus some comics like Far Side), comics i.e. "juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence" necessarily also contain sequenced gaps between those images. The artist must make deliberate decisions about where those gaps fall and how much content to include around them. The reader is forced to imagine what happens between the gaps, becoming an intimate participant in a distinct way from other art forms. As McCloud points out, when panel 1 shows an axe swinging and panel 2 shows a scream, it's *you the viewer* who imagines & perpetrates the murder. (In other art, say writing or painting or film, these gaps aren't inherent to the art form the way they are in McCloud's definition of comics. Similar gaps happen in the intermissions during multi-act plays, but not all plays have them, so the gap is not inherent to drama the way it is to comics.) There are many other nifty ideas here too, but the book is worth reading for Ch 3 alone.
So, what here best relates to dataviz? What can inspire new ideas or a better understanding of dataviz?
* p.57: I like his diagram of three aspects of visual arts: "reality" i.e. mimicking photorealism; "meaning" or "language" i.e. abstractions like words and numbers; and "the picture plane" i.e. respecting abstractions like shapes, lines, and colors in and of themselves. Realistic painting-art would be in the lower-left corner, abstract art in the top corner, and written art in the lower-right corner. Most comics tend to fall along the bottom line between reality and language: even when the pictures are cartoonish, they usually represent something in (imagined) reality, and are not about the drawn lines themselves. And there's usually some kind of language text along with the picture. I imagine most dataviz would fall along the right-side edge, between the picture plane (points on a scatter plot don't pretend to be anything realistic, just circles) and the language plane (the forms used have traditionally-assigned meanings just like words and numbers do).
* p.75-77: Nice use of bar-chart small multiples to summarize and analyze comics that would be hard to compare directly :) and very nice use of "visual inference" to show that the American and Japanese bar charts (and hence their comics) come from very different clusters/distributions!
* p.85-85: Good example of importance of choosing what to show; dataviz struggles with the same (show every data point? show only a global average? where's the ideal balance in between?)
* p.100-101: Weirdness of how time & space mix within and across panels---there must be something good to adapt to dataviz here, I just can't quite place it.
* p.105: Examples of comics where reader can choose direction (go up, down, left, right at will instead of strictly left-to-right then top-to-bottom) or author can play with expectations (top panels happen before bottom ones, so reaching across panels is time travel). Again, there's a germ of something here that I can't quite place.
* p.170: McCloud says each art follows 6 steps: Idea/Purpose, Form, Idiom, Structure, Craft, Surface. Often we may be attracted to the Surface first and work backwards in our appreciation (from colorful superheroes or cheesy jokes, back through Craft of doing them well, back through Structure of how they're arranged and composed, back to Idiom i.e. genre, finally back to Form i.e. comics vs writing vs singing vs ..., and Idea i.e. the "content" of the work). This has strong echoes in dataviz: "Oooh, bubble charts are pretty... Huh, it takes skill to make them well... Oh, I must learn to compose charts together in my infographic layout... Ah, there are other idioms or genres of chart that'd work better in different cases... Huh, dataviz isn't the only way to express all this... Aaaand I should remember to have my dataviz express an insight, not just be pretty."
* p.197: "Today, comics is one of the very few forms of mass communication in which individual voices still have a chance to be heard." ...that is, unlike film-making where so many other people contribute that it's almost never a lone author's work; or unlike painting, which usually isn't mass communication. This was written in 1993. Nowadays it's far easier for artists in many mediums to work as "individual voices" and self-publish online with mass distribution. But even so, comics are still one of the most notable mediums where a solo artist has such control over the product. Dataviz strikes me as similar in that respect. The *collection* of the data in the first place is usually a huge team effort. But once the data's out there for the public, a lone-wolf statistician or graphic designer can visualize it however they like, then spread it to the masses via social media or get it published in some periodicals or websites. (Frankly, sometimes I think the field would be better for it if there was *more* editorial control by editors who know what they're doing... but meanwhile it's a great place to flex your creative muscles.)...more
I teach a dataviz class for statisticians, and so I'm mostly looking for exemplary examples of what you might call statistical graphics: taking a spreI teach a dataviz class for statisticians, and so I'm mostly looking for exemplary examples of what you might call statistical graphics: taking a spreadsheet-shaped dataset, with observations in rows and variables in columns, and showing patterns/insights in that.
Some examples here were more what I'd call scientific illustration (how short people dunk, how cheetahs run fast). These were really informative and well-done, just not what I'm looking for.
As for the statistical graphics: this book has lots of beautiful design, but many of them didn't seem to give much insight. Even the introduction-writer admits it:
p.xv: "Sometimes a picture or graphic is indeed worth those 1,000 words. Sometimes a graphic is merely a replacement for those words, and sometimes it's an oversized dingbat, merely visually breaking up the blocks of text on the printed or web page."
What a great phrase: "oversized dingbat." I'll have to start using that.
I won't nitpick the dingbats included here. (Except for one: The Death Toll in Breaking Bad---WHY do people misuse the poor periodic table so? This list is not periodic, it's not an effective graphic form, it gives no insight, aaaargh! It's a beautiful poster, but why include such things in this book?)
But these were the ones I did like:
* How Common Is Your Birthday? raises more questions than it answers: Why the dramatic gap around 4th of July, and similarly-sharp jump on Valentine's Day? * How to Build a Dog: Family Ties is a nice example of loose clustering (without sharp class boundaries), informative sorting, and icons for annotation * Fifty States of Grey isn't that exceptional of a graphic---but I didn't realize Goodreads even had a data analyst team, much less data visualization staff! May be worth exploring for the next job search :) * A Campaign Map, Morphed By Money---cartograms have their weaknesses, but the ridiculously dramatic distortion for Ad Spending Per Voter is really effective. * Mapping Best Picture (item 5 here; I can't find the original, though this seems to be a precursor) is again a cartogram with very effective distortion. This also breaks one of my "rules"---a simple list or table is usually best just arranged in tabular form---but seeing the individual data points (movie names) on the cartogram really does work here. * Obama Was Not as Strong as in 2008, but Strong Enough: a novel graphic form, well explained when it could have been confusing * A National Report Card does a great job providing annotations and context---although the map itself would get the point across better as a simple scatterplot. * The 1% Next Door again breaks a "rule" by showing numbers on a map as text, not graphically; but it works here somehow. * Usain Bolt Against the Olympic Medalist Field Since 1896 is a clever case of the advice to show comparisons directly * Number of guns per 100 people: sometimes a simple Excel bar chart is all you need to make a powerful statement. * The United States redrawn as Fifty States with Equal Population is like the inverse of a cartogram: instead of keeping boundaries where they are but distorting shape, keep the land's surface as it is but change the boundaries until they match the data. Nifty idea, well executed. * Going, Going, Gone? (sadly I can't find the original) is a really great illustration of how baseball stadiums differ. Players recently signed to a new team and new stadium might hit balls that *would have been* home runs at their old stadium, but aren't in the new one. * Women as Academic Authors, 1665-2010 is the closest one here to what I'm seeking: show a large dataset informatively, show global comparisons cleanly, then let readers slice & dice for further detail as they please. Although some of the automatically-clustered subfields are pretty weird (in my own field of Probability & Statistics, *nobody* would consider "Negative binomial distribution" to be a major subcategory worth highlighting on its own). * 512 Paths to the White House is another great interactive: they *could* have forced the reader to navigate by choosing branches one at a time, but showing the global view first (with mouseover for detail) is so much more insightful.
As usual for Stephen Few, the advice is generally good but the graph examples are almost all fake data devoid of context. We can't learn anything abouAs usual for Stephen Few, the advice is generally good but the graph examples are almost all fake data devoid of context. We can't learn anything about the world from them... which is a problem when your book's goal is teaching you to learn about the world from graphs.
Also, there's considerable overlap here with his other books, talking about visual perception and other principles that apply to any dataviz (not just dashboards). That's handy if you don't plan to read any dataviz book beyond this one. Just be aware you can skim most of this if you've seen it before.
Still, there is some solid advice specifically about dashboards. More so than with other types of dataviz, a dashboard must fit all on one page/screen so you can see it at a glance. (Scrolling or switching tabs will make the dashboard useless.) And a dashboard tends to show several distinct kinds of data at once, so it's critical to organize it well with good clean layout & graphic design.
Highlights: * p.35: A good dashboard must be designed for a specific purpose. The intended user will need specific, customized info to meet their needs---you can't just make a general-purpose dashboard. Also, it must fit on a single screen and be designed to be monitored at a glance. * p.41: 3 classes of dashboards, by role: Strategic (for managers/execs: simple display, snapshots of long-term direction); Analytical (rich comparisons and drilldown/interactions); & Operational (dynamically show operations and flag problems in real time, allow detail on demand). * p.44: Don't just show most recent data---give context by comparing it to other times/places/competitors, or to quality standards/thresholds. * p.50: Allowing interaction to show multiple screens is OK for details-on-demand, but the main screen must show the global overview. You can't have everything fragmented with no global summary. * p.56: Excessive detail is not just unneeded---it's harmful by wasting the busy reader's cognitive load. Round down decimals and times/dates unless they are really necessary. * p.99: Dashboard should prioritize summaries (sums or averages) and exceptions (outliers, top 10 best/worst performers, etc.), to draw attention to global trend and to what needs fixing. Customize it to your audience and their goals in using this data, including the kind of summaries or charts they can be expected to read & interpret. Don't use skeumorphic displays like gauges or thermometers unless they really are necessary---usually a simple bar or line will take up less space AND allow for better comparisons. * p.121: Good to remember that sometimes we DO need a table, not a graph, e.g. for lookup: bus schedules, tax rate tables, a book's index section, etc. * p.126: Nifty idea of a "bullet graph"---basically just an annotated bar graph with a single bar, with colored background for bad/OK/good ranges and tick mark for target value. Shows the same content as the thermometers or gauges popular in dashboards, but in less space and with better usability. * p.137 and elsewhere: boo, Few uses double y-axes on some charts. This is almost always a bad idea, causing misleading interpretations (unless you are only showing one dataset on two scales, such as Celsius and Fahrenheit). * p.141: Nice example of using sparklines to give more context than a simple up/down arrow. * p.153: Good discussion of icons. Don't bother putting icons next to items that are doing well (e.g. green circle for good, red for bad). Just flag the problem cases (e.g. red circle) and leave the rest alone. This'll avoid redundancy, declutter the display, and make these problems stand out more easily to be noticed & dealt with. * p.165-8: Your design should not only support meaningful comparisons (e.g. use same color palette for your org divisions across all plots)... but also avoid meaningless ones (e.g. using the same color to mean completely different things in different plots)... and avoid implying changes when there aren't any (e.g. using thicker axes on one plot than another, without signifying anything by this change). * p.171: Most common types of dashboard interactions: drilling down for details, and slicing/subsetting the data shown. Keep interaction methods consistent throughout the dashboard. If possible, let the interaction happen on the plot directly, not through sidebar buttons etc. (which take up precious space and are far removed from the plot being modified). * p.172: I'm glad to see Few advocate for usability testing. This is hugely important. You, the designer, (1) will think some things are obvious (since you made them) that are actually hard to grasp, and (2) don't know all the details of what the subject-matter-expert user will need & do. Luckily, experience shows that just a handful of testers (5ish?) is usually enough to catch the most/worst usability problems with a design....more
I thought I'd read the whole series, but turns out I'd missed this one, the very first book. It's very short and not quite in the same sensibility asI thought I'd read the whole series, but turns out I'd missed this one, the very first book. It's very short and not quite in the same sensibility as the others. Things just happen, one after another, and then it ends. Still, it's nice to see how the Moomins meet Sniff (who doesn't actually get a name here). And the usually-unflappable Moominmamma gets outright grumpy in this book, where she and her son are trying to track down Moominpappa, who was "misled"(?) by the Hattifatteners into leaving his family and joining their travels. Wonder if that says anything about Jansson's own parents....more
[As a kid I adored the lovely Polish translation by Teresa Chłapowska. This year, I finally found an English translation for my wife---and was surpris[As a kid I adored the lovely Polish translation by Teresa Chłapowska. This year, I finally found an English translation for my wife---and was surprised to see that parts of the story are entirely different: sections and characters added/removed, little bits of text fine-tuned, etc. At first I thought one of the translators took incredible liberties with the text. But it turns out that Jansson published a revised version of this book 20 years after the original. The only English translation is of the original, while the only Polish translation is of the revision. I like the revision better. The original's sense of humor doesn't quite flow; and it's full of unnecessary mentions about the flood that brought the Moomins to this valley, I guess for the sake of continuity with the first book. The revision just confidently stands on its own. But if you can only read the English translation (original story), it's still a decent intro to the Moomins.]
Not your typical fantastical children's lit.
These characters are so charming and, by and large, unflappable. When they barely survive a harrowing ride down a waterfall, they're soon back in good spirits:
p. 81: - Tratwa zginela! - krzyknal. - Dzbanek do kawy zjechal w podziemia. Jak my sobie poradzimy bez kawy? - Zjemy placki - oswiadczyl Wloczykij. Rozpalil ognisko i zaczeli smazyc placki, zjadac je od razu, jak tylko byly gotowe, co jest jedynym wlasciwym sposobem jedzenia plackow.
[my translation] "The raft disappeared!" he cried. "The coffee pot slid into the caverns. How will we get by without coffee?" "We'll eat pancakes," declared Snufkin. He lit a fire and they began to fry pancakes, eating them as soon as they were ready, which is the only correct way to eat pancakes.
That scene is missing/different in the English version. And the kitten I remember from the revised edition was a "silk-monkey" in the original. It doesn't really seem to fit to me, but there is one pretty good scene with the monkey:
p.38: "You might as well count [the pearls] anyway," said Moomintroll to the silk-monkey, who had joined them in the wood; "you're the treasurer." She counted them four times and then once more for luck, but she always got a different answer. "How many were there before?" asked Moomintroll. "I can't remember," said the silk-monkey, "but the answer was different every time I counted them then, too." "Oh," said Moomintroll. "Well, that must be right, I suppose." ...more
I LOVED the whole series as a kid in the beautiful, flowing Polish translation. This English translation seems clunky and stiff by comparison, but somI LOVED the whole series as a kid in the beautiful, flowing Polish translation. This English translation seems clunky and stiff by comparison, but some of the charm still shines through.
[This might also be a difference between editions. Jansson revised the book 20 years after writing it. Seems that the English version is based on the original, while the Polish translation is of the revision (where, I assume, Jansson's writing itself was better).]
And I love that these characters are largely polite introverts: p. 28: "...they drew back [...] a little out of consideration for the Hemulen's sorrow. He wandered on and they waited respectfully for him to unburden his soul."
p.115: "He had always been a bit out of the ordinary as a child, and nobody had ever understood him [...] Moominpappa wrote and wrote thinking how sorry everyone would be when they read his story, and this cheered him up again..."...more
p.49: "There was a bond, you see, when we were both young, but she wanted to be the best of all witches and I hoped one day to be Archchancellor. Alasp.49: "There was a bond, you see, when we were both young, but she wanted to be the best of all witches and I hoped one day to be Archchancellor. Alas for us, our dreams came true."...more
I wanted to like the Tiffany Aching books, I did, but it's so hard not to compare the clunky writing here to earlier Pratchett, which just FLOWED so wI wanted to like the Tiffany Aching books, I did, but it's so hard not to compare the clunky writing here to earlier Pratchett, which just FLOWED so well.
Here the jokes, references, and word definitions are tediously explained. The footnotes are no longer jokes, but intrusive educational facts! Who wrote this? The author's note at the end is sweet, though.
Here every character speaks in the same long-winded lofty tones. There's too much telling, not enough showing---like several pages of Tiffany telling us *about* Nanny Ogg's personality, when a short scene *showing* her in action would have been more effective.
The plot pacing and subject changes jarringly every time you see the (overused) phrases "And now..." or "And I'll tell you one thing..." This "and now" or "one thing" almost never relates to what just came before.
All together it *feels* condescending, like Pratchett didn't respect his younger readers, which seems at odds with what I know of him. So it must just be due to his disease, making it harder to edit his own writing. There are flashes of classic Pratchett here and there... but when I want the real deal, I'll have to return to his older books.
I did like this bit: P.47: Mysterious omens could wait. [She] knew that mysterious omens were around all the time. The world was always very nearly drowning in mysterious omens. You just had to pick the one that was convenient....more
p.277: "But can't you just wave your hand and make all the dirt fly away, then?" "The trouble is getting the magic to understand what dirt is," said Tip.277: "But can't you just wave your hand and make all the dirt fly away, then?" "The trouble is getting the magic to understand what dirt is," said Tiffany, scrubbing hard at a stain. "I heard of a witch over in Escrow who got it wrong and ended up losing the entire floor and her sandals and nearly a toe." Mrs. Aching backed away. "I thought you just had to wave your hands about," she mumbled nervously. "That works," said Tiffany, "but only if you wave them about on the floor with a scrubbing brush."
A perfectly good story from anyone else---but it just didn't feel as tightly written/edited as Pratchett's own best. Each of the umpteen "final" despeA perfectly good story from anyone else---but it just didn't feel as tightly written/edited as Pratchett's own best. Each of the umpteen "final" desperate fights was an effective scene on its own, but there were so many crammed together in a row...
Ah well. Tiffany and the Nac Mac Feegle are fun characters, in any case. It's nice to see a character who combines spunk with a sense of responsibility.
p. 25: "Zoology, eh? That's a big word, isn't it?" [said the teacher to Tiffany] "No, actually, it isn't," said Tiffany. "Patronizing is a big word. Zoology is really quite short."
p. 103: "They think all writing is magic. Words worry them. See their swords? They glow blue in the presence of lawyers." (If the idea of lawyers as dangerous magic strikes your fancy, Max Gladstone's Three Parts Dead takes it and runs with it to good effect.) ...more
Here Ralph steps out into the spotlight and tells about his quest (together with Feynman) to visit, on a whim, the Soviet republic of Tuva, basically in the center of Asia and as far as you can get from an ocean. There are a few nice Feynman anecdotes, but mostly we have curious glimpses of him as a preoccupied, aging, cancer-afflicted sidekick figure rather than the main instigator.
The writer and his friends are very much hippie Californians: "Hey, man, those swell chicks really dig our drum circle!" ... not to mention "Let's offer them massages at the nudist beach!" and other stuff that's meant harmlessly, but comes across a bit sleazy now a few decades later.
But I do really like his description of an early trip to Moscow and other parts of the USSR. Plenty of interesting insight into life there & then, as well as how US tourists would be shepherded around on such a trip in that era.
I also never knew how much ridiculous diplomatic negotiation, not to mention hard planning and effort, goes into arranging international museum exhibitions.
Bonus: my used copy comes with an attached plastic-sheet-disc thing that apparently could be played on a turntable, if I had one. I didn't know you could record music on something so flimsy and floppy (it's not a stiff vinyl record)....more
A much cheerier quest than LOTR (despite many dark moments---though they all mention Bilbo dreaming of bacon and eggs or suchlike). A kooky old wizardA much cheerier quest than LOTR (despite many dark moments---though they all mention Bilbo dreaming of bacon and eggs or suchlike). A kooky old wizard sends a bumbling hobbit to quest with dwarves, for no apparent reason, and it's just a fun adventure to read. In a way it's almost a shame Tolkien felt he had to retcon it later to justify Gandalf's decisions as part of the larger war against Sauron... Clearly this book was written just to be a fun tale, rather than for the sake of consistency with future plans about LOTR....more
I am in the middle of trying to eat fewer carbs and focus on more high-intensity exercises -- just like the title suggests. So, there may be a great diI am in the middle of trying to eat fewer carbs and focus on more high-intensity exercises -- just like the title suggests. So, there may be a great diet/exercise plan hidden in here. I'd be open to hearing it stated as: "This worked for me and it may be worth a try for you."
But I'm frankly turned off by this author's pose (ooh, I'm a contrarian hipster! if you disagree with my contrarianism, you're part of the evil establishment!) Nor am I convinced by the claimed science (we can dismiss all the studies that disagree with me, because they are either observational studies or loosely-cobbled-together biology factoids! ...although so are all the studies that agree with me...)
I guess it's another one of those books (like 4-Hour Body) that wasn't meant to be read all at once. You can hear the contradictions being shouted in your face:
"DUDE DON'T EAT CARBS THEY ARE EVIL YOU SHOULD EAT FAT AND PROTEIN INSTEAD. WAIT WAIT DON'T EAT ALL FATS SOME OF THEM ARE EVIL TOO. AND WAIT DON'T OVEREAT PROTEIN IT'LL MAKE YOU FAT TOO. JUST I DUNNO JUST DON'T EAT CARBS."
"DON'T TRUST THE SCIENTIFIC ESTABLISHMENT THEY JUST LIE ABOUT LOW-FAT DIETS. BY THE WAY COCONUT OIL WILL CURE CANCER AND ALZHEIMERS WE KNOW BECAUSE SCIENCE PROVED IT."
"EAT AS MUCH FAT AS YOU LIKE JUST GO AHEAD AND GORGE. BUT LIMIT YOURSELF TO A SMALL HANDFUL OF NUTS A DAY SO YOU DON'T EAT TOO MUCH FAT."
"THE ONLY USEFUL WAY TO EXERCISE IS TO STRENGTH TRAIN SUPER DUPER SLOWLY. SO LIKE SPRINTS ARE A REALLY GOOD EXERCISE."
"WE SHOULD EAT SIMPLY LIKE CAVEMEN DID AND NOT COUNT CALORIES AND JUST AVOID ALL THIS MODERN PROCESSED FOOD AND TECHNOLOGY. SO THE BEST WAY TO BE A CAVEMAN IS TO SPLURGE ON EXPENSIVE BLOOD-TESTING KITS AND TRACK YOUR NUMBERS DAILY."
Plus, the recipes sound gross and call for buying a ton of ingredients I don't have: Stevia, xylitol, coconut flakes (unsweetened of course)... Also, he talks about foods to eat and foods to avoid, but completely omits some common foods like milk or beans -- where do they fall?...more
Sounds like sensible advice: make your cardio intense enough to get strength training benefits out of it too, with things like no-rest circuits or sprSounds like sensible advice: make your cardio intense enough to get strength training benefits out of it too, with things like no-rest circuits or sprint exercises.
But the book needs better proof-reading / editing: * Many typos and even some repeated sections (the 30:60 and 30:90 text are identical except for 60 vs 90). * Some exercise routines aren't fully explained (he never *tells* you how to choose number of reps per set for Density Training, just *mentions* that he did 8 reps/set in an anecdote somewhere else). * Photos of the exercises are great, but a few have no photo and just a confusing description. Why not just give photos for all of them?
Finally, I am *not* tempted by the author's recommended supplement! "It is necessary to spread out your intake of beta-alanine, as it has been reported in scientific studies and anecdotally to cause parenthesis (a 'pins and needles' sensation on your skin) when taken in larger quantities. This side effect is completely harmless, but nevertheless annoying..." Aaaaagh. Just say no, kids, to taking drugs that make your skin crawl.
Notes to self: * p.46: Complexes: circuits of 3 sets x 10 reps x ? exercises, with no break between exercises, only a 2 minute break between sets. Keep moving and try to go reasonably fast. Bodyweight: pullups, squat jumps, plyometric pushups, leg raises.
* p.108: Density Training: go for 15 minutes with no (planned) breaks, and try to do as many sets of 5-exercise circuits as you can (aim for 3 sets, i.e. 1 minute per exercise-set). 5 exercises, each weighted to your 10 or 12 rep max, but only do 8 reps. Bodyweight: with rings low, do: jump squats, pistols, dips, one-arm rows, windmills. Or with rings high, replace dips & rows with raised-feet pushups & chinups.
* p.192: Tabatas: go at full intensity for 8 sets of [20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest], for a total of 4 minutes. Just pick one or two exercises, such as: burpees, squat jumps, or plyo pushups.
* p.202: Sprint and agility workouts: sprint hard for a set distance, then rest for 2x or 4x as long as the sprint took (longer proportional rest for shorter distances). 10-15 reps. For agility, include changes of direction in the sprints.
* p.220: Nutrition: "6 pillars" -- basically limit sugars and processed crap, eat veggies and fruits and lean protein, drink water, and "save starch-containing foods until after a workout or for breakfast." Also drink your protein shake *before* the workout to feel better....more