Give Up Coffee and Alcohol … and Your Social Life?

What happens to your life when you give up coffee and alcohol? It’s not something most of us would like to attempt any time soon, and yet we’re strangely fascinated by the idea of giving up our vices – for short periods of time maybe. Well, art director (and epic beard-haver) Tobias von Schneider took that bullet for us and found he actually liked living without booze or coffee in his life. He’s been without either for fifteen months and he recently broke down what changes the experiment has brought to his life… and why he means to continue with it.

The first change is overwhelmingly positive: he immediately started saving $1,000 / month. That might seem excessive, but von Schneider lives in New York, where everything is expensive, especially going out. He says he would pay $10 per cocktail at least (and that’s before tips), plus bar snacks and any booze he’d buy for his home. All of that was instantly back in his pocket once he quit. However, the changes did affect his social life in a negative way. It’s hard to go out for drinks and be the only sober one, so he just stopped going out as much. That saved him even more money, but it also meant he got less social interaction with his friends.

However, what time he still spends with friends is more meaningful and thoughtful because of his soberness. There’s less gossip, von Schneider reports, simply because his threshold for idle chatter is much lower now. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t meet up with friends if they offer to grab coffee, he just orders tea. And he says that it’s made him a much calmer person with less energy swings. He’s also sleeping like a baby. All in all, Tobias loves the changes that giving up coffee and alcohol has brought to his life, and he intends to continue with them. We don’t know that we have that kind of willpower, but hearing about all the benefits have definitely given us pause. What do you think?

Chiropractor Has Life Hack For Parents

New parents are all about simplifying their lives, and with good reason. They now have a whole other life depending on them for every single thing, and that means they don’t have a lot of time (or spare energy) for anything else. Well, a chiropractor (and new mom herself!) from Texas is looking out for new parents everywhere with this new life hack she just shared on youtube!

Dr. Emily Puente specializes in a type of chiropractic specialized for pregnant women called Webster’s Technique, which helps position the woman’s pelvis for optimal comfort while she’s carrying. That, coupled with the fact that Emily has a young family herself, means that she’s been thinking about the needs of pregnant women and young mothers, and the physical challenges they face every day.

And every new parent knows the terrible back pain brought from lugging a car seat from location to location because the baby has fallen asleep in it. They’re awkward, they’re heavy, they have an inconveniently placed handle. Basically they’re the bane of parents everywhere, but Dr. Puente has the ideal solution to carrying the seat in a way that won’t kill your body and allows you to cart other things around as well. It may look a little awkward at first, but the good doctor swears by the method, and you can actually see how much straighter she’s able to stand up in the video. If you have a car seat-bound baby (or one on the way!) check it out! It could be the difference between a happy mamma and one with killer back pain!

Things You Should Never NOT Do When You’re Dieting

Lately it seems like everyone has their own secret to losing weight, something they swear by over all other methods. Whether it’s counting calories meticulously to going paleo to only eating foods that are a certain color (we’re not kidding), every new diet trend promises it’s better and healthier than the rest.

Source: Paleo Leap

While the most sensible advice doctors give is, “Go with what works for you,” there are some pretty generally terrible dieting beliefs out there that should be stopped in their tracks. For example, have you noticed that everyone seems to be asking for gluten-free everything? Gluten is the proteins that are found in wheat based foods like breads and pastas, and while some people can have a gluten allergy (or celiac disease), for most people, gluten is a healthy and necessary part of their diet. Cut out overly processed foods instead, like cakes and cookies, and stick to whole grain breads and pastas.

Source: ArnoldZwicky.org

Another bad piece of advice is to avoid bananas and carrots because they have a lot of carbs and sugar. While they do have slightly more than the average fruit/vegetable, they also contain lots of good vitamins and fiber, and are a much more healthy alternative to the sugars and carbs in processed sweets. All calories are not created equal, and while it’s true that you could lose weight by eating a small amount of junk food, it’s not good the overall well being of your body. A good general rule is to cut back on foods that are made, and eat more foods that are grown.

Source: Diet News

Another one you may have heard is to avoid egg yolks, and only eat the whites. A new study has debunked the idea that the yolks contribute to heart disease, and in fact says that consuming whole eggs could lower the risk of stroke! Similarly, dieting people have been consistently told to avoid fat at all cost. This is flat out wrong. Healthy fats are an important part of a diet and can keep you full so you don’t snack on addicting foods full of sugar and salt between meals. In moderation, nuts and avocados are a good source of healthy fats that make losing weight easy!

The Most Stressful Cities in America

Where you live can have a huge impact on your stress level. We don’t always think of our cities like this, but it’s true – the feel of them (as well as the layout) can impact our mental health in significant ways. So which cities rank the highest as America’s most stressful urban areas? Well, the answers may surprise you!

Source: HealthWizz

Realtor.com took several factors into account when making this list, like average commutes longer than 45 minutes, unemployment rates, average amount of sleep, affordability, and average work hours. Number 5 on their list is New York City (no surprise there). New Yorkers get less than 7 hours of sleep every night and the average house is well over $400K – plus they all live on top of each other! It’s a crowded, competitive place!

4th place went to a shocker – Anchorage, Alaska! Apparently they work more than 40 hours a week and don’t get a lot of sleep to match it… plus the weather can literally kill you. That’s enough to stress anyone out. Number 3 is Miami, Florida, also a surprise because of it’s paradise-like vibe. However, the city was one of the hardest hit by the economic downturn in 2008, and it’s still recovering.

Source: The Telegraph

Riverside, California comes in at number 2, due to it’s high unemployment rates and even higher poverty rates: almost 1 in 5 people in Riverside lives at or below the poverty line. It doesn’t help that the median home price is $350K… that’s California for you. Speaking of California, Los Angeles comes in at number 1 as the most stressful city in the U.S. The air quality in LA is the worst of any major American metropolitan area, homes average $350K, and commutes often run well over an hour each way. Why on earth would anyone want to live there? For information on that particular brand of insanity, maybe check out the modern fairy tale La La Land.

This Home is Proof the Eco Living Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank

We all know we should be environmentally conscious and try to live as “green” as possible. For some, that simply means recycling, using reusable bags, and trying to limit waste in energy and water use. It’s really wonderful, however, to see people who can afford to do more to conserve actually making the effort to do so.

IMAGE SOURCE: JAN PIOTROWICZ

 

When architect Colin Usher of John McCall Architects in Great Britain was hired by a client to build an eco-friendly home in England, he relished the challenge. When we think of people building homes like this from scratch, we usually imagine elaborate Southern California estates with all the high-tech bells and whistles, but Usher’s client wanted a modest home that would still help him conserve.

IMAGE SOURCE: JAN PIOTROWICZ

 

He started with the very placement of the home, orienting it so that the roof received the most sunlight and thus could charge it’s solar panels easily, a factor important in a country not usually known for sunny weather.

Usher also had to make sure the home was insulated well, allowing it to stay cool in the summers and warm in the winters, thus cutting energy bills that usually blow up when owners adjust the temperatures in their dwellings. To that end, the windows are also triple-glazed and keep warmth (or coolness) inside.

IMAGE SOURCE: JAN PIOTROWICZ

Using just these and other small energy-saving techniques during construction, the new owners are proud to announce that their energy costs are around £20 for the year, or just about $2 a month! Pretty impressive for a modest but consciously built English cottage!