Get A Hobby!

Hobbies are the things that keep us human allow us to keep learning when feeling stagnant. How do we obtain a hobby and what does it do for us?

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Finally getting that day off you have been dreaming of. You kick up your feet and binge watch the final season of that show you never got to finish. After taking a long needed nap you wake up and find yourself bored, you don’t know what to do with yourself. You start to eat and watch tv to fulfill your time, but you find it to still be boring and unproductive. You get to the gym to kill more time only to get home and realize its only a little past noon. You can just seem to make the day feel useful or productive. This is a very profound problem that many people specifically young adults and teens have today as they flip through the endless stream of updates on their phone.

Yes, finding a hobby can be difficult, but the journey of finding that thing you love to do can be the most interesting story you have to tell. Hobbies are one of single most important things to find as it keeps your life feeling fulfilled and allow us to keep on learning if our careers seem to be stagnant. A hobby is defined as an activity done on one’s leisure time, so trying to learn something for work or getting ahead on a project won’t count. To find a true hobby its something you do outside of work and is something you find enjoyment out of doing, not like a chore. For me, a hobby is programming, even though its something I will continue to do in my future job, hopefully, I am able to work on independent projects that don’t correlate to any work I am required to do.

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How To Find A Hobby

This is the hardest step in to finding a more meaningful and productive life. Finding the hobby that you always wanted is like trying to apply to very different jobs and see which jobs accept you. You have to try new things every day and see how they feel. If something seems boring just stop right there and move on. If you find enjoyment in a general topic try narrowing it down into different fields until you find the right one for you. A hobby can be as something as simple as reading!

I urge you to not follow the pack as I did to just to stand out or fit in. In the beginning, I tried to do all the typical hobbies a person would expect only to find boredom out of it. Now feeling determined I have found a love for programming and circuits. I no longer feel the need to tell my friends or family about the latest book I am reading to show them that I read on a daily basis, or to show them the latest project I have completed to undermine them.

Stick To It!

One of the things I found time and time again when I was first trying to stick to a hobby is that I felt like was never getting anywhere. I would struggle with the simplest of applications. After figuring out that this was because I never really stuck to it I was determined to keep it in my schedule.

Make sure that when you start your hobby, that thing you love to do, you stick to it. Even if it is reading an article about it on the train on the way to work or possibly a video that will keep the hobby appealing and fresh in your mind. Learning about new techniques or cool projects can also keep your excitement to continue when you get home!

Keep Learning

If you exhausted all resources on a hobby, which is highly unlikely, I encourage you to move on and keep learning. There is an unimaginable amount of resources and topics to learn about that are so interesting and learning is what keeps us at our best! Learning is one of the things that allows us to get up in the morning and know we are going to perform to the best of our ability. Learning is without a doubt one of the most fulfilling things in the universe. No I don’t always mean learning to become a scholar it can even be about working out or determining the most efficient way to complete projects! Keep learning and keep growing!

 

The Keto Diet

The Keto diet is a diet that has been getting a lot more publicity now on social media. This has inspired even more people to try out the diet in their everyday lives also. What is the keto diet though?

The keto diet is a diet in which people consume approximately 70 percent of the calories from fat, 25 percent from protein and 5 percent from carbohydrates. Human beings usually consume most of their calories from carbs and we are often encouraged by nutrition experts to consume approximately 60 percent of our diet from carbs for multiple reasons. The first is that carbs are the easiest source of energy for humans to derive glucose from, which is necessary to power our cells. The second is that too much protein can result in kidney issues. The third is that too much fat can result in blood flow issues. Now this is an oversimplification but that is the simple run down.

The keto diet advocates such low carb intake and high fat intake because of the very reason people turn to the diet. People use the keto diet in order to burn fat as quick as possible. Predominately people looking to loose a lot of fat quickly or bodybuilders looking to get lean quickly will turn to the keto diet. But why do they use the keto diet to do this as opposed to any other diet?

The reason people turn to keto for fast fat burning is because of what the diet is named after. Keto is short for ketogenic. Ketogenic means of ketogenesis. Ketogenesis is the process by which the body creates energy from fat in order to power the cells. This process is much more difficult than deriving glucose from carbs. During ketogenesis, the body creates ketones from fat cells and uses them for energy. The body usually resorts to ketogenesis when it is not getting enough carbs to create the amount of glucose needed. This is the situation that occurs when people are starving. However, the keto diet has figured out a way to not actually starve, but to make the body act as if it is starving in order to more efficiently burn up body fat. It does this by having its adherents consume very high fat and very low carbs. The body will get enough calories but not have enough carbs to create enough glucose. It will have to resort to the fat that is being taken in and the fat that is in the body already to create glucose. This will make the body more efficient at using fat as its main source of energy and so people use it in hopes that it will help them loose fat quicker. This is typically a short term thing and once the goal is reached people usually go off the diet.

But how does one eat a diet 70 percent in fat, 25 percent in protein and 5 percent in carbs? And what foods do people on the keto diet eat?

Well since fruits, veggies and grains are predominately made of carbs, people on a keto diet usually totally avoid grains and have a very minimal amount of vegetables and fruits. When it comes to veggies and fruits avocados are a must since they are a very fatty fruit. They may have a slice of a tomato or onion but other than avocados they will usually stick with a fist worth of leafy greens a couple of times a day to get some carbs,vitamins, minerals and fiber. The predominant foods that are eaten on a keto diet are meats (red, white, sea creatures), eggs, high fat milk and dairy products, nuts, seeds and oils such as olive oil or coconut oil. These foods are high in fat and protein and so it fits the needs of the diet perfectly. When it comes to drinks, water and milk are the only choices.

So besides helping to burn fat quicker, are there other benefits of following a keto diet? There are a few. Because of the high amount of fat and protein that is taken in, people on a keto diet will feel fuller more easily. This makes it easier to stick with the diet because you won’t have an appetite to munch on snacks on the side or have more than your portion. The keto diet has also been found to treat cancer, epilepsy and may treat Alzheimer’s. In the case of cancer, cancer cells thrive on glycogen from carbs and so the low amount of carbs essentially starves cancer cells and stunts or slows their growth. It helps to control epilepsy for some people who suffer from seizures. The diet was originally created to help control epilepsy. The keto diet may help Alzheimer’s patients by slowing the progression of the disease. There seems to be a link between blood sugar glucose and Alzhiemer’s disease. The keto diet makes the body more insulin sensitive because of the low amount of glucose we are receiving from carbs. This would help decrease the blood sugar glucose and maybe slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. However, regarding Alzhiemer’s this is not certain.

Ok so what are the negative aspects of following a keto diet? Unfortunately there are a lot more cons than pros:

  1. The extremely high fat intake will slow blood flow by making the blood thicker.
  2. The extremely high consumption of animal products (meats, sea creatures, eggs, dairy) will raise cholesterol by a lot.
  3. High cholesterol will lead to atherosclerosis if gone on for too long. This is the build up of plaque on the artery walls. This will narrow the blood vessels.
  4. Slower blood flow, higher cholesterol and atherosclerosis will increase risk of heart attack and stroke.
  5. Ketoacidosis could occur. Ketones are released during ketogenesis. Ketones are converted to energy for the cells. Ketones are blood acids. Too many ketones present in the blood can make the blood too acidic and cause ketoacidosis. This happens to diabetics when they cannot process glucose properly. This can be fatal.
  6. Higher cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone. It is released in response to stress. This most likely occurs during a keto diet because the body thinks it is in starvation mode. That’s pretty stressful.
  7. Low fiber because of low grain, fruit and vegetable consumption. This can cause constipation. Constipation can lead to shorter term negative conditions such as hemorrhoids and longer term negative conditions such as diverticulitis.
  8. You may have less energy to perform very intense workouts because of the low levels of carbs. Low carbs means less glycogen to power muscles.
  9. It may be harder to build muscle after being on the diet a while because of the low levels of carbs. Low carbs means less glycogen to fill muscles for recovery.

The keto diet is gaining popularity but that doesn’t mean everyone trying to loose weight or lean out should use it. Ultimately, the choice is up to the individual and that individual should consult a dietician if they feel weary about starting any new dietary program. However, the main plus of a keto diet for the vast majority of people would be fast fat loss. However, being that there are many serious health drawbacks to this diet, it is safer to loose fat the good old fashion way. If someone eats incrementally less calories than they need, they will lose weight. It’s that simple. Eating healthier and exercising are great ways help reduce the calories that are taken in everyday but those are not even necessary for weight loss. No fancy diets are needed either. Less calories in is all that is needed. You can eat carbs, fat, protein, alcohol, grains, nuts, seeds, cookies, veggies, fruits, sodas, meats, junk food, healthy food, sit around or exercise. If your goal is weight loss, all you need is less calories. If your goal is to be healthier and ripped, well then that’s another story. Eating healthy and exercising will be necessary in that case.

Gun Debate Podcast

Today,

Richard and I talk about the gun debate that is occurring after the horrific events that happened in Flordia this past week. We look forward to hearing your feedback and will be continuing these podcasts every Wednesday.

Intro & Outro Music thanks to: https://www.bensound.com/

The Zero Waste Lifestyle

With anthropomorphic (man-made) climate change rapidly increasing in strength, and politicians being unable to implement the proper responses to help mitigate the effects in many areas of the world, many individuals are turning to themselves to help contribute towards mitigating the destruction of climate change. How are they doing so? By adopting a “zero waste” lifestyle.

Going Zero Waste means trying to eliminate as much unnecessary garbage that comes out of our houses and goes to landfills as possible. The massive amounts of garbage humans produce is a huge contributor to climate change and the destruction of our planet. Much of our garbage goes to landfills, cannot be broken down very quickly if at all and can often be toxic for the Earth to absorb. Cutting our garbage production down as much as possible will be crucial going into the future in order to preserve our planet’s habitability and the many species it nourishes, including ourselves of course.

So how does someone live a zero waste lifestyle? First, it is important for anyone who plans to adopt a new lifestyle to gradually implement whatever it is into their lives. This is the same with going zero waste. If you try to do it over night, you will be highly likely to become stressed, turned off and ultimately fail. The key to successfully leading a zero waste lifestyle and having a zero waste household is to slowly implement changes over the course of months.

When going zero waste you will want to stick towards buying reusable or biodegradable items. Here are some examples of the types of products zero wasters use:

  1. clay, metal or glass kitchenware instead of plastic or paper. (reusable)
  2. bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic toothbrushes. (reusable and biodegradable)
  3. clothes or household materials like bed sheets made from natural fibers like cotton, wool, hemp and bamboo because these materials are biodegradable (reusable and biodegradable)
  4. handkerchiefs and rags instead of tissues, napkins or paper towels. (biodegradable)
  5. soap bars rather than liquid soap to avoid plastic bottles.
  6. metal bottles instead of plastic bottles. (reusable)
  7. metal containers for carrying food instead of plastic bags, paper bags, or tin foil. (reusable)
  8. glass jars for storing food rather than plastic containers. (reusable)

In addition to trying to stick to reusable and biodegradable items, zero wasters also implement these practices into their lives to reduce their carbon footprint:

  1. buying food in bulk
  2. minimizing buying packaged items
  3. minimizing use of electric equipment because of its dependence on gas
  4. minimizing driving and opting for biking and opting for hybrid or electric cars
  5. adopting a plant based or vegan diet
  6. composting trash such as food scraps and some forms of paper because this feeds the soil rather than going to landfills and being wasted
  7. women may opt for a reusable menstrual cup rather than disposable pads
  8. preparing their own food and limiting dining out
  9. creating a small zero waste kit of items to use when at restaurants to avoid using disposable straws or napkins
  10. creating their own soaps, deoderants and toothpaste rather than buying ones with environmentally harmful chemicals in them
  11. using solar energy

Of course going zero waste does not mean completely eliminating all trash in your home or life. It is rather obvious that this will be nearly impossible, if not completely impossible to do. However, slowly adopting as many zero waste practices as possible for you, such as these, will make a big difference in helping to mitigate the growth of climate change strength and the subsequent problems it will bring. If half the population tried going zero waste, the benefits for the planet would be enormous. Individuals inspire other individuals, so don’t discourage yourself from trying simply because most people aren’t. With that mindset nothing will change, and change is needed to respond properly to climate change. If one person tries zero waste, more will be inspired to do so, as is currently happening, and a movement will take place. If you’re Catholic try implementing a zero waste lifestyle starting this Lenten season. You may even save some money along the way!

Last Minute Valentine Day Gifts Ideas

Forgot its already valentine’s day and your significant other will kill you if they don’t get a gift? Yeah, that happens to millions of people every year. Hopefully, this quick gift guide will help save your life if you haven’t got a gift already. Most of these gifts will require you to go to the store and are hopefully within a decent price range.

1. Flowers & Chocolates

Of course, this is going to be the most generic gift idea, but it always wins the hearts. This gift idea will only cost you around $30 dollars as long as you know where to look. You can even find these gifts at Walgreens, Rite Aid, or any corner store so it makes finding them extremely easy. The gift can get even better if you know your lovers favorite flower as it shows you remember what they like. Maybe try to hint at what flowers they like and see if you get an answer! If not, roses always are the best option in these scenarios.

2. Homemade Cards

This idea can take a little time but its extremely cheap and is from the heart making it so much better. Even if the card looks terrible your lover will have to act like they love it, so either way, it is a win-win situation. To make the card even better try to think of one of the better moments in your relationship such as your first date, your first kiss, or maybe just something you joke about all the time and write about it in the card. If you know how to draw maybe even try to recreate the scenario in the card!

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3. Cook a Homemade Meal

This is a good option if you are trying to get dinner reservations on the day of valentine’s day cause it virtually will not happen. Try to come up with the favorite meal of your lover and try to the best of your ability not to burn it. Even if it comes out horrible your lover will still love it since it came from the heart. The best way to make sure you don’t mess up is to make things that are premade such as biscuits or Italian bread, so if dinner does go up in flames you can still eat something edible.

4. Jewelry or Tickets to a Show

If you want to follow this route you better have some money. Buying someone jewelry will always keep you on their good side, it is just a matter of what they need. For new lovers, you can always get a promise ring, earrings, bracelets, or a necklace. For people who have bought more jewelry then Kim Kardashian, buying tickets to a Broadway show or concert always give you both something to look forward too. If you are even luckier you can even get it for the same weekend so it looks like you didn’t forget. Both of these gifts can be purchased in a matter of minutes with the tickets being done on your phone and jewelry all you have to do it go into a jeweler, but don’t be surprised to pay a little more.

5. Stuffed Animals

Best way to win someone over is through stuffed animals. For those of you who have animal nicknames for each other go into a Rite Aid or Walgreens and find that animal. Most stores pack their shelves up with stuffed animals around Valentine’s day. If you don’t have names for each other try to find an animal your lover likes. The idea of remembering what they like always help win them over. Let’s be real who doesn’t like the face of a puppy stuffed animal.

How to Save Money in College

Saving money in college can probably be one of the hardest things to do. If you are working, you know how fast that paycheck gets used and then you end of with no more money, and you won’t get another check for about a week or so. Here are some tips to help you save some extra cash.

1. Bring Food from Home

It is pretty obvious but food is expensive if you want to eat out. The simpliest way to beat these prices is to bring food from home. This can cost you about 75% less. If you are lucky enough that your parents supply the food in the house you can be eating for free and then save the extra money.

2. Take Public Transportation

This is probably one of the biggest expense especially for my friends who Uber to everywhere they need to go. If you live in a very rural area this won’t apply to you but taking public transportation can save you so much money. Comparing $2.75 to be able to go accross New York, to over $10 dollars for an Uber driver where you can only go 5 minutes away. The savings are obvious for this one, try to utilize it as much as possible.

3. Don’t Buy A New Car

This is one of the mistakes I fell into. Buying a new car especially as a kid is the biggest expense and can take basically a whole check between car insurance and the monthly bill for the car itself. If you are going away to college where you probably won’t be using a car so often, then buy a used car. Used cars can be paid out fully and the monthly insurance payment will be extremely low compared to an insurance policy on a new car.

4. Stay Away from the Vending Machine

Most college students like their food quick and easy Vending machines are the easiest way to make money. Even though they like sound like a bargin for a dollar for chips, it’s not. It adds up quickly espically when you check is only about $500 or so biweekly. Try to stay away from these guys and only use them for emergencies.

5. Watch your Monthly Subscriptions

This is a biggy if you don’t watch what is coming out of your credit or debit card. Take the time this week to go over what monthly subscriptions you are paying for and really think about if you are really utilizing it to it’s full capability, if not cancel them. You can always resubscribe in the future.

6. Try Not to by expensive Coffee

Yes, I am talking about Starbucks. It is a very tasty coffee and I do enjoy it sometimes myself but comparing a $6 coffee to a $1 coffee is a big different. This is especially expensive you drink coffee every day and will only buy the expensive ones. Try the corner store or a cart if you live in the city, the coffee tastes about the same and is more than half the price!

Living in the City; Fun or Stressful?

I have been born in raised in New York, but to be specific Brooklyn. I have seen it all from the big buildings to the 5 foot parks that are put in. I have walked over almost all of the bridges and have visited the top of the empire state buildings. Now is it as good as people say it is or is it just as stressful as being at work?

New York is one of the busiest cities in the world of over 8 million in such a small space. This can make getting around such a problem and that is one of my complaints with highly over populated cities. If you want to travel anywhere more than 2 miles you would be crazy to drive unless you can ensure there is parking. Walking to different areas can also be a hassle if it is a highly populated area. This means that you can barely walk without be slowed down by someone in front of you or getting knocked into by people on their cell phones not paying attention.

Being in the city itself is a whole different story, but it still has its downfalls. If you live in the city you will only have to commute for a few minutes as there is a train on every block, but don’t think about getting a car cause you will pay thousands a year just to keep it in a parking lot, because the chances of you finding parking are slim to none.

If you ever think of owning a home in New York City you better start saving at 20. Houses in run down neighborhoods where you will probably only get more than a 5 square foot box will cost you over half a million dollars!

The city does have its perk of course and I do think there are so many reasons to stay. As I said before you will never need to own a car cause there is a bus on every corner and the trains can get you to the same place in the same amount of time for only $2.75 a pop.

Want a sandwich at 2 in the morning? Yes, you can get a sandwich at a corner store at any time of the day and you most likely never be unsatisfied with the taste. Usually, everything in New York is open extended hours since there is so many people to feed and so much business.

Lastly, living in New York gives you this sense of belonging with so many people. There is always someone to talk to and always new things to be seen. I feel like living in the country for me would be too quiet that I would be more worried. New York City will forever be my home.