Just Do It: How to Crush Your Workout Blues

Today, let’s get down and dirty as we talk about the hardest part about working out: actually doing it. I totally get it; I mean, it’s hard to get out of bed early in the morning to take on your 6 am bootcamp class and possibly even harder to get up off the couch after a long day at work to do your 7:45pm Taekwon-Do class. Just ask me: I’ve done both. I’ve talked to lots of people that find they have the motivation to be active and try new activities, but either don’t know where to start or have trouble physically motivating themselves to do it in the moment. Here are some tips and tricks I’ve found helpful to make and keep a fitness schedule, as well as find that motivation in the moment to commit, get up, and go.

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From the very beginning, working out is hard. Making the decision that you want to work out and get fit is all fine and dandy, but it doesn’t count for very much unless you’re prepared to actually do it, and let’s be real, like all things, the novelty wears off after a while and it gets really easy to start staying home instead of going to the gym.

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My first suggestion to you is to find yourself a darn good workout partner. Someone at a relatively close fitness level to you would be ideal, but depending on what kind of workout you’re doing, it may not matter if you can lift more weight than your partner can. Having a workout partner not only makes your workouts more enjoyable; it also means you have someone to show up at your doorstep and drag your butt off the couch on days you just aren’t feeling those weights (don’t worry—you’ll get to do it right back to your partner the week after).

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Secondly, make a schedule. I know that schedules don’t always work and things change, but if you can pick a time once or twice a week (say Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:45-7) and make that your undisputed workout time, you’ll be far more likely to honour your commitment than if you do a weekly schedule and suddenly it’s Friday and oh, well, we’ll do it next week. Making a commitment is a big step: don’t be afraid to do it! Don’t let coffee dates and extra work interrupt your workout time—that’s your time that you’ve earned. Enjoy it!

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Third, find something you enjoy. If you would rather brave the depths of hell than run, don’t run! There are hundreds of thousands of different ways to work out, and I can guarantee you you’ll find one you love. Try different things: a kickboxing class here, some aquafit there, and maybe even the occasional spin class. Find something you enjoy and then pursue it. If you aren’t into scheduled classes, plan your workouts to include all your muscle groups, but keep the exercises you dislike to a minimum. If you don’t like pushups, find another exercise that works those very same muscles, but is far more enjoyable. Don’t make working out painful: make it fun instead! That way, it’ll be a thousand times easier to get up off that couch after a long day of work.

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Finally, don’t let yourself get discouraged. Take your time: the right workout for you isn’t going to jump out of a box and punch you in the face. It takes time and effort to find something you are really passionate about. I found my sport when I was 9; my mother didn’t find her sport till she had a 9-year-old. The only thing I can promise you is that eventually your efforts will be rewarded. Get out there. Try new things. Push yourself. It sounds easy and instantly gratifying, but I can promise you that it can be difficult, and that if you commit to finding something, you will in the end. You can do it, dear readers. I believe in you!

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Work hard, friends!

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One 70s Show to Rule Them All: The Hardy Boys

The highlight of the 70s (at least for me) can be found in one single television show. Showcasing 70s fashion, music, ideals, and acting, this show is unquestionably the best imagination of one of my favorite childhood series. A little bit of murder, a lot of mystery, and some absolutely fantastic character charisma lead this show to the top of my most-watched list. It makes me laugh, cry, and occasionally hide my face in a pillow when second-hand embarrassment takes me over, and it is by far the greatest show the 70s ever produced. Which show is it, you may ask?

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The Hardy Boys. One of the most popular children’s series in history, reimagined into a beautiful, engaging, and exciting television show. The Hardy Boys were the brain child of Edward Stratermeyer in 1927. Stratermeyer sent the idea to a Canadian author, Leslie McFarlane, asking him to write the first novel. Though McFarlane had sworn he would never write children’s mystery novels again (apparently he wasn’t a huge fan of Dave Fearless), he fell in love with the Hardy Boys, and ended up writing the first 26 novels. The novels were a huge hit worldwide, and have sold hundreds of millions of copies. Even though the first Hardy Boys novel was written in June of 1927—almost 100 years ago—today, you can walk into any bookstore and be guaranteed to find at least one Hardy Boys book gracing their shelves.

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Now, I could talk about the Hardy Boys forever (which all my university professors know because I’ve written at least three papers on the subject); however, my purpose today is to focus on the little things that make the Hardy Boys TV series just so fantastic. To keep me from going off on yet another 6-page rave about the series, I’ll stick to the 2 most important things this show has done to stay true to the books, but to also attract viewers of all ages to the mystery-filled world of the infamous Bayport detectives.

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First and foremost, let’s talk casting. I mean, casting can make-or-break TV shows, and in the case of the Hardy Boys, the casting 100% makes it. Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy brought Frank and Joe to life in a way that I didn’t even think was possible. Stevenson makes being the logical, level-headed older brother look easy, and embodied Frank Hardy’s character to a T—down to the cautious, protective elder brother, that cool calm in dangerous situations, and being the brains of the operation. Shaun Cassidy plays Joe’s character perfectly; the charm, humour, and sass made me fall in love with Joe (and Shaun) all over again. Another thing I love about Shaun Cassidy’s portrayal of Joe is that he gives Joe an extra emotional depth that isn’t there in the books, but I find it makes his character more real and relatable (plus it makes me cry more: can we TALK about Sole Survivor??). The two banter together as if they were real brothers, which isn’t only hilarious—it also brings out that brotherly bond that’s central to both the show and the books.

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Side note: I absolutely love the fact that popular singers of the time like Ricky Nelson, Paul Williams, and David Gates make appearances in the show, because it expands the musical side to the show that centrals around Shaun Cassidy, and explores other famous faces of the 70s, By showcasing the music of the 70s, these casting choices help cement 70s culture into the show in a way that would have been extremely difficult to do otherwise

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Secondly, let’s talk writing. The writing and planning of a show essentially make up itself, and we all know that even beautifully-planned, wonderfully acted shows can go to shit if they’re poorly written. In terms of book-to-movie translations, writing is probably the most important factor in keeping both book fans and movie critics happy. The writing for the Hardy Boys was absolutely fan-freaking-tastic. There weren’t any episodes that were right out of the books, but a few episodes in the first season were loosely based off of the books, such as the Disappearing Floor and the Mystery of Witches’ Hollow. I’ll admit it, there were some episodes in which the writing just didn’t do it for me: I wasn’t a huge fan of the Disappearing Floor, and I still can’t handle how unrealistic Frank’s random obsession with that swimmer is to his character in Death Surf; however, the vast majority of the writing is absolutely fantastic. The character development we see in Sole Survivor and The Last Kiss of Summer especially got me, because it’s the strong writing that really brings these characters through. I found that the writers really stayed true to the essence of what it means to be a Hardy Boy, and they kept the beautiful innocence of the mysteries the boys solved entirely intact.

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Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think it’s about time to replay Shaun Cassidy’s Born Late vinyl (again) whilst I agonize over which of these beautiful Hardy Boys episodes I want to watch. Hmm. Decisions, Decisions.

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Peace out, mystery nerds.

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Semicolons 101: How and Where to Properly Use a Semicolon

Okay, let’s get this out there: no one really knows how to use a semicolon. Most of us just dawdle through our everyday emails, essays, and texts and think “oh, I’ll replace this comma with a semicolon to spice it up a little.” If you weren’t already sure, that’s probably not the greatest approach to take, not only because it shows that you really don’t know how to use a semicolon, but also because if the reader is someone like me who’s super fussy about her semicolons, you’re probably going to get a reply with as any properly-used semicolons as physically possible just to prove a point. Am I a little passive-aggressive about my semicolon usage? I wonder…

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My intention today, dear readers, is to make it crystal clear in regards to how and when semicolons should be used. Now, admittedly that’s going to be pretty difficult, because you all know how the English language works— it’s exception after exception after exception. I’ll cover most of the basic rules, and leave you with sources and resources that you can use if you ever run into a terribly difficult semicolon debacle.

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The biggest issue that people have with a semicolon is that it has two distinct purposes: it can serve as either a strong comma or a weak period. Let’s look at these examples, which will help us understand the ever-elusive semicolon concept.

It is late. The meeting must start soon.

It is late; the meeting must start soon.

There are two ideas in the first example, which are separated into two sentences: the idea that it is late, and the idea that the meeting needs to start soon. Now, these ideas may be separated by a period, but they are connected through a thought. We as readers understand that the meeting has to start because it is late, which means that we are inherently connecting the two ideas in our minds even though they are separate sentences. This means that instead of separating the two ideas with a period, we could instead join them with a semicolon, which will link them more strongly together and help us readers understand the importance of their connection. Remember that this can only be used with two proper sentences—you absolutely cannot use a semicolon to connect a sentence with a sentence fragment.

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The sights the tour will cover can be found in Italy, Rome, and Paris, include the Tomb of King Tut, Birkenau, and Niagara Falls, and will take place in four countries, six cities, and nineteen hotel rooms.

The sights the tour will cover can be found in Italy, Rome, and Paris; include the Tomb of King Tut, Birkenau, and Niagara Falls; and will take place in four countries, six cities, and nineteen hotel rooms.

Now, let’s be real: aside from the obvious factual mistakes in the first sentence that would make any normal person shake their head in absolute confusion, the sentence itself is quite a lot to follow. Is the author trying to insinuate that the sights the tour is covering can be found in Niagara Falls and Birkenau, or that they will cover four countries while still in Italy? Long, convoluted lists that are peppered with commas are a great place to use some semicolons to separate the lists more definitively than yet another comma would. Here, the semicolon is showing the separation between “Italy, Rome, and Paris”, “the Tomb of King Tut, Birkenau, and Niagara Falls”, and “four countries, six cities, and nineteen hotel rooms” (admittedly, this is another way of phrasing the sentence, but the semicolon method makes most sense and looks most professional).

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In theory, any end-of-sentence (terminal) punctuation mark can be replaced by a semicolon and used to join two sentences, and any semicolon that’s separating two ideas (clauses) can be replaced by a terminal period and separate two sentences. You have to understand that in no way am I encouraging you to go through and start peppering your own work with semicolons just because you’ve read this blog and you think you understand how to properly use semicolons. Just as you spend time agonizing over the words and phrasing in your writing, you should also agonize over your punctuation use. Would your sentence be stronger with a period or a semicolon? Do you create a sentence that’s too long and confusing to follow with your semicolon? Does a semicolon or a comma work better to drive your point home? You have to ask yourself these questions before just throwing a semicolon in because it looks smart. Remember, if you use the semicolon incorrectly, you’re more likely to look bad than if you actually consider how and when you’re going to use it. Because I just can’t get enough of my favorite punctuation mark (and because this next thing is actually super cool and useful), here’s one more example of ways you can use semicolons effectively.

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The meeting is at my house, which means I spent lots of time cleaning today.

The meeting is at my house; therefore, I have spent lots of time cleaning today.

My favorite place to use semicolons in sentences is before a conjunctive adverb such as therefore, consequently, or however. In my head, it sounds extremely professional to say something like “I believe that this may be a viable option; however, we have to consider the cost it could potentially reap”. Now, in this case, either a semicolon or a comma could be used; however, I find that the semicolon puts more emphasis on the pause before the conjunctive adverb which puts a greater weight on the second half of the statement you’re making. Pro-tip: use semicolons and conjunctive adverbs to really push those important argumentative statements in papers and theses. Professors will love it!

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Congratulations! You now know how to properly use a semicolon! Now you can go forth into the English language and show off the fact that you actually understand one of the most misused punctuation marks. Doesn’t it feel good? Don’t let all this knowledge get to your head though; rememberthat there are exceptions after exceptions after exceptions when it comes to semicolons. I’ve listed a few books and websites you can check out if you ever have any semicolon concerns. If my sources can’t help you out, you can always tweet your questions at me, or send me a message on Instagram!

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Good luck, fellow grammar nerds

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Cross-Training: The Importance of Balance

Most of us earthlings do one sport at a time. Soccer during the summer, hockey during the winter. Baseball during the summer, ringette during the winter. Maybe we’re year-round swimmers, or we take the summer off of our sport just to relax. It seems like a regular schedule; I mean, doing more than one sport at a time is pretty difficult, especially when you’re working a 40-hour week and are struggling to get any kind of workout or sport in your schedule at all.

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Here’s the thing. Most sports have muscle specializations, or muscles that you work more often than others. Let’s think about baseball for a minute. When you pitch, you throw with the same hand over and over and over again. Eventually, the muscles you use for throwing are going to be extremely strong in your dominant arm, and won’t be worked at all in your non-dominant arm. This imbalance, while seemingly unimportant, could be setting you up for injury if you decide to go to the gym and try and work both arms with equal weight; if one arm can do more than the other, pushing your weaker arm too hard could lead to a plethora of problems. Even in a regular workout, balance is important. If you work your abs because you want to show them off at the beach but neglect your back muscles, you could cause all kinds of issues with your posture and even your spine.

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I’m a martial artist, first and foremost. For the most part, the way I train is pretty good at ensuring that I do the same amount of kicks and punches with each side, and that I work my arms, legs, core, and back equally. The thing is, that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes a kick is more natural with your dominant leg, and when it’s difficult to do off your non-dominant leg, the initial reaction is to go “yeah, I’m going to have to practice that”. When you go to practice; however, it’s important not to just practice your bad leg: you have to practice both legs, even though one is more comfortable with the kick than the other. If you don’t, you could end up like me, and be really good at all your kicks with your right leg (because let’s admit it: it’s way more fun to practice on your good leg), and your kicks could suffer with your left leg because you don’t practice it as often. This imbalance won’t only show in your performance—it’ll also affect the physical muscles in your legs, and could to a point where your right leg becomes used to picking up the slack for your left leg. Do you see how this could become a problem?

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What’s the solution? After all, training in a bunch of sports isn’t feasible for most people. Here’s my solution. I may be a martial artist first, but I also work out on my own time. I run: running works muscles that I don’t always use in Taekwon-Do, which helps balance out the muscles in my legs. I swim: swimming works a bunch of muscles that I don’t always reach in either Taekwon-Do or running. By working different muscles through different activities, I find that I’m able to do more during each sport. The strength of my kicks in both legs has improved since I started running. My arm strength has improved exponentially since I started swimming. I use my back muscles when I swim, which balances out the hundreds of crunches we do every night at Taekwon-Do. Using different muscles and doing different activities is absolutely going to help you create a better muscular balance in your body, which will, in the end, make you a healthier, happier, and less-prone-to-injury person. Call me crazy, but I can’t see the negative there.

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Remember, I’m not telling you to do three different sports: I’m just reminding you that you need to consider what you do during your regular workouts, and that you probably need to change it up every once in a while. Don’t neglect any part of your body—no matter how much you want that 6-pack for the beach, your back muscles are important too! Try something new; instead of going for a swim, consider going for a run. Try coaching yourself to throw the ball ambidextrously (or at least do something to work that poor non-dominant arm). Do those side kicks equally off of both legs instead of giving up on your left leg because you think your kicks off that leg suck. Balance is key, and it will keep your body and muscles aligned and functioning properly.

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I’m off to let a George St. Pierre workout kick my butt. Best of luck with your workouts, readers!

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#doctor13: Finally, a Female Doctor

We now have a female Doctor. I would like to put that out there, because it’s apparent that some members of the Doctor Who fandom are having one hell of a time trying to come to the understanding that yes, the Doctor is now female. It has less than a day since the news was released that Jodie Whittaker will be taking over from Peter Capaldi, and the news appears to have broken the internet, though for the life of me, I simply cannot understand why. Let’s have a chat, dear readers, about why having a female Doctor should really be an uncontroversial decision.

The biggest concern that needs addressing is that of tradition. Traditionally, yes, the Doctor has been a male figure; however, tradition isn’t law. Nowhere in any Doctor Who literature or film is it written that the Doctor cannot be female. After all, if you think about it, the Master was traditionally male until Missy came along, and Missy was regarded as one of the best and boldest decisions in Who history. Even in reality, all traditions must come to an end; if they didn’t, we could all be stuck living in log houses, walking to school, and reading by lamplight. Things change. The fact that I’m typing this on a laptop now, something unheard of 100 years ago, means that things change. The fact that physical media change means that we as a human race have to change with it.

Traditionally, females have been underrepresented in film. Traditionally, males have taken the more important lead roles, and females have been the supporting actresses. Today, in Hollywood, this is changing. Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot, is the highest-grossing live-action female-directed film in the world. The people who hired Jodie Whittaker said that her audition absolutely blew them away, and that they believed she would be a fantastic Doctor, which makes her the most suited person for the role. Why should they turn their best choice away because the role is traditionally that of a male? We search for gender equality in all jobs, not to the point where it is required to have an equal number of male and female employees, but to the point where the person who is more suited for the job is chosen, no matter what their gender may be. Doctors, police officers, and construction workers were traditionally male too, but no longer; it’s changed. Why can’t this?

Regeneration isn’t even traditional for any character other than the Doctor. I spoke to a friend of mine whose grandmother watched William Hartnell’s regeneration when it aired in Britain; she said that the entire nation went silent in amazement as they realized just what the showrunners had done: it was unheard of! Patrick Troughton’s regeneration began in black and white and ended in colour. Ever since the very beginning of Doctor Who, writers and showrunners have been breaking down walls and challenging the expectations of their viewers. Why should they stop now?

Of all the words I’ve seen on the comments of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts about the new Doctor, the word misogyny has shown up the most. People believe that if you don’t want a female Doctor, it’s because you’re a misogynist. I disagree. In some cases, perhaps. In most cases, I believe it’s the battle against tradition that’s being waged most intensely. If you believe that the executives down in Doctor Who HQ chose Whittaker just because she’s female, or because they wanted to prove a point, or because they wanted to make the show more gender-inclusive, you’re wrong. We have seen so many strong female companions cross the show that we know Doctor Who writers aren’t afraid to give us examples of strong, independent women. We watched the Master become Missy, which was a decision made to enhance the character. It wasn’t made for any other reason. Remember Bill Potts? She’s gay. Introducing a character that doesn’t conform to tradition isn’t new to this show, so I really don’t see why having a female Doctor is breaking the internet, I really don’t.

One comment that I read really got me thinking. This person said that they were upset that the Doctor was going to be female because all the little boys were going to lose a strong male role model, which they claimed was something very important for little boys to have. I have two things to say about this comment, the commenter of which seems to be vaguely deluded as to the time he’s living in. There are hundreds of millions of male role models out in the world right now, some of the more famous coming from Marvel (Thor, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Spiderman), DC (the Flash, Arrow, Professor X), and other films (James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, Luke Skywalker, and about a million others). As much as there are more female role models in the media than there were 50 years ago, there are still far more male role models than female role models. Also, dare I suggest that a young boy could look up to a female role model? I, a young female, looked up to Sherlock Holmes as a child, and I turned out okay. There’s nothing wrong with young boys and girls looking up to the Doctor, no matter if the Doctor is male or female. A good role model is a good role model, period.

Now, what do I think? I think that choosing a female Doctor was a bold, fantastic choice. It’s about time we had a female Doctor; I mean, what’s the real likelihood that of all the millions of aliens, humans, and genders a regeneration could take that it would be 13 men in a row? It only makes sense that at some point, a female Doctor would appear. The BBC has opened a new door in Doctor Who history, and I’m more than excited to see what Jodie will do with her character, and what kinds of new and exciting adventures she will go on.

Finally, if you really do have strong issues with the Doctor being female, don’t plaster them all over the internet. Think about the woman that’s so excited because she’s landed a huge role and is breaking tradition, and how she’ll feel to see people hating on her left, right, and centre before she’s even had a chance to show them what she’s capable of. Show us the loving, kind, and caring fandom that we’ve always been by keeping your rude, opinionated comments to yourself. You’re unhappy? Fine. Don’t announce it to the entire world. You don’t like the casting? Sadly, they didn’t put you in charge of the casting, so you’re going to have to live with the professional choice. And if you choose not to continue watching, that’s on you. Don’t let the TARDIS door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Later, fellow whovians.



Millennials, Cell Phones, and the Disconnect: A Hope, an Opinion, and a Challenge

Disconnecting from the online and screened world is becoming far more difficult in this digital age. It feels, for some people, as if screens have become an addiction; like there’s a constant need to check that text, email, or snapchat. I’ve heard (more times than I care to count) the seemingly age-old, usually said by an exasperated adult over the age of 40, adage “damn millennials and their phones: can’t be without ‘em for more than a minute!”

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I’m here to tell you that there’s a difference between the addiction that non-millennials see, and the culture that this millennial sees. I’m at a strange point in-between cultures: I spent most of my childhood running around outside pretending to be a Jedi Knight, but I also spent my teen years learning how to use Facebook, Instagram, and most recently, Twitter. Now, most of you will go “yes, that’s how it should be!” when confronted with a childhood spent outside and teen years spent more indoors, because you and I can both see that the age of social-media-goers is getting progressively younger. Toddlers are learning to play games on their parents IPhones at the same age I was learning to use my imagination by pretending I was a princess lost in a garden.

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Why has this change occurred? The thing is, it’s generational. Similar to the way that kids in the 1910 were playing with homemade corn husk dolls and the kids in 1960 were playing with Barbies, 1990s kids who were chatting on MSN have become 2017 kids who are snapchatting. Because the technology we have in front of us is evolving at a rapid rate, we as humans are also evolving to keep up. There’s a necessity to understand the internet and social media today, especially for both work and social standing, and this necessity means that we are taking to the media at a younger and younger age. Yes, part of this is parents giving their child their phone in the hopes that it’ll quiet them down for a few minutes, but the more important part of this is their teacher assigning them homework that involves the internet, or their friends going “I got Instagram- why don’t you have one?”.

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Is this change really all that bad? The way I see it, there’s both positives and negatives to this distinct shift. It’s good to be able to communicate effectively using words, and that’s something that texting can actually teach children; after all, knowing how a text is going to be interpreted often changes the way it’s worded. It’s also important to know how to market yourself: creating Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter profiles (among many others) teaches people how to put their best face forward, and to present themselves to others via a page, much like a resume. Admittedly, having children that wish more to play on the computer than they do to use their imaginations and run around outside has led to health and obesity issues, and social media platforms have also been linked to self-esteem issues in both females and males. Where does that leave us as a society?

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I believe it means we have some serious work to do. We need to know when it’s okay to spend hours glued to the screen (Lord of the Rings Marathon anyone?) and when it’s time to put the phones down (If there’s a person in front of you, they probably appreciate real words over Facebook memes). My challenge to you, dear readers, is to try the latter. Put your phone down for at least an hour every day and make an effort to communicate to the people around you in other ways. Don’t text your mother from the basement asking her to come downstairs: walk up the stairs and ask her yourself. Have a family dinner sans phones, and see what kinds of interesting conversations come up. You don’t need your phone there to witness things; stop for a second and see the beauty of the natural world we live in without looking through the lens of the online world. My hope is that this challenge will lead to the understanding of the culture we live in: to see the importance of this ‘newfangled’ (or not so newfangled) technology, but also to know when it’s better to communicate in person than over text.

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Also, if you’re a non-millennial, please, don’t blame this shift on us. As I said, technology changes the world, and we’re in the middle of one of the biggest changes since electricity. That isn’t our fault. We prefer “damn, millennials” to be said in admiration, not in disgust.

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As always,

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Food Prep and the Art of Healthy Lunch-Making

Let’s talk, for a second, about single-person food prep. I get it—food prep sounds like a whole pile of work that you just really don’t want to do, but the thing about food prep is that it can make all the difference in your life, both fitness-related and otherwise. Contrary to popular opinion, food prep doesn’t require fancy containers and pre-made meals for the entire week (though that’s an option if you’re interested in making your week-long workload even less); it can actually take you less than 30 minutes one day of the week, and can save you a whole pile of time, effort, and junk food during the week. Now, as a person that only has to worry about feeding herself, this is primarily going to be about food prep for one person, but the concepts and ideas can be used for entire families. Today, we’ll talk about lunch foods, because lunch is the meal that people are most often away for. Here’s what I do.

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I work as a lifeguard/swim instructor, so I don’t have a regular 9-5 job. I could work at 5am one day, and 5pm the next. Accordingly, I can’t exactly make meals for every single day, because some days I’m home for breakfast, and some days I’m gone for breakfast, lunch, and most of dinner. Instead, I prep foods that are easy to make into breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, so that I can prep whatever meals I need whenever I need to. The basic fruits and vegetables that I prep are mushrooms, peppers, carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers. I wash them, slice them, and package them away in the fridge so that I can pull them out easily. I get some deli meat, so that I can make sandwiches, salads, pita wraps, or other easy lunch foods with meat and the pre-prepped vegetables.

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Even when I’m not out, I find that having fruits and vegetables prepared for consumption means that I’m a lot more likely to eat them. I mean, let’s be real here: it’s so much easier to eat some crackers or a bag of chips than it is to peel and cut up carrots and eat them with hummus. Having the carrots already ready means that it takes me the same amount of effort to eat them as it does to eat that bag of chips. It’s an incentive to eat healthier, which I find makes all the difference. If I eat more unhealthy foods for a week, I find I feel more lethargic, tired, and unwilling to do things, whereas if I eat more healthily, I have more energy, feel more positive, and want to accomplish things.

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A quick note: eating healthy doesn’t mean limiting yourself to only fruits and vegetables, and only small amounts of said fruits and vegetables. For me, eating healthy is all about moderation. My working lunches have a tendency to consist of a pita wrap filled with mushrooms, cucumbers, peppers, ham, and tzatziki, a bag of carrots, and a cookie. Some carbs, loads of vegetables, and some form of dessert: a nice balance. In the same way, a bowl of chips every once in a while isn’t a sin—it’s just a treat, which is 100% acceptable. If you want to eat healthy, use the rule of moderation and I promise, you’ll never feel like you’re suffering from lack of chocolate, or like you’re living off rabbit food.

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Go forth and eat healthy!

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