A Diet Change Isn’t as Simple as Picking the New Fad

I’m the sort of person who doesn’t buy into the most recent fad diets out there that you’ll see plastered across news headlines at the checkout line in groceries. In fact, I’ve done a bit of digging to really uncover which diets “work” and which ones don’t, and more often than not it’s all up to the individual’s body, their total caloric intake, and generally what sort of exercise they do. A keto diet isn’t going to help you lose weight just because you follow it to a T based on someone else’s diet plan. Paleo diets aren’t going to get you anywhere if you load up on meat and only meat just because it’s part of the diet. That’s just not how it all works.

I think the only “tried and true” diet out there that is genuinely (and scientifically) beneficial to you and your body is something close to a vegetarian diet. While full on veganism can have its troubles (such as getting enough protein without the aid of dairy products or meat), vegetarianism meets a nice balance of both without needing to eat meat. I’d even venture to say that pescetarianism (vegetarianism plus eating fish) is even healthier simply because of the healthy amounts of proteins and fatty acids found in all sorts of fish.

No matter the case, though, I’ve recently resigned myself to cut out red meats, white meats, and processed foods. My fiancee and I love to cook original dishes, cultural dishes, and everything therein. I think we’ve just been missing a bit of direction with our diet, meaning we’re often found snacking on chips late at night, munching on candy boxes during a Netflix film, or slogging over a hunk of steak when we simply don’t need that much food.

I’ve been a huge fan of Japanese culture for a long part of my life, and I think there’s a reason most Japanese people stay small, fit, and healthy (which all contributes to their longer average lifespan compared to Americans). And I think that’s their dependence on fish, fresh vegetables, and smaller portions. What else could you really need in an island culture such as theirs?

Really, there’s nothing more that humans really need. It’s just that we’ve had such insane amounts of technological leaps and bounds over the past half century that food has become so entirely specialized and processed to save money. In reality, though, all you need to do is go back to our roots, make your own meals with fresh ingredients, and profit. Your body will thank you. Your mind will thank you. And your future self will thank you when you’re much healthier than you could have been had you kept your chips and candy boxes around.

Sticking with Your Hobbies

Being a fanatic of something, in particular, can be an exciting hobby to partake in and keep up on. Especially if you’ve got friends or family members who are also interested in that very hobby that you love. The more you get to share your experiences regarding that hobby, the more ingrained you become in it.

While that’s a good thing, it’s also a bad factor in maintaining that hobby if you don’t have anyone to share your experiences with. Because then, you may lose motivation, you may lose all interest, or you just may wish you had a friend to participate with you.

Oftentimes our hobbies are extremely niche interests that no one else actually does want to join you in, and that alone can turn you off to continuing the hobby. Other times, though, it’s something fairly mainstream, so finding others who are also interested isn’t hard in the slightest.

For me, I’m into a wide range of things. But one that has held my interest for pretty much all my life is video games. And I do my favorite games a disservice by just referring to all of them collectively as “video games” as if they are all similar. News flash: they’re not similar in the slightest.

First off, there are many different genres of video games. And beyond that, there are games on different consoles and some on mobile. The few games that pique my interest span different consoles and a wide variety of genres, meaning I’m into some niche games and some others that are pretty popular.

With a hobby like this, though, a lot of games come and go. And that’s why I keep my older cartridges stored in cardboard boxes. There’s no better way to remind yourself of the games you used to play other than holding onto them in case you want to play them in the future. Though I know I never will, it’s something about the nostalgia that keeps me cramming more into those old cardboard boxes instead of getting rid of them or selling what I do have for a little extra cash. I’m sure a lot of you can commiserate with me when I say it’s not easy getting rid of things you used to love.

No matter what your hobby is, don’t give up on it even if others aren’t around to enjoy it with you. You should stick to what you love and try to find online communities at the very least. Apps like Reddit help with those problems, because there will always be someone out there who is just as much a fanatic of your hobby as you.

Lazy Weekend Plans

Sometimes, you have a lot more free time than what you’re accustomed to. And sometimes, that free time falls on a nice day with beautiful weather. Yet, here you are, unsure of how to spend your time or what to do.

Boredom and uncertainty can strike at any given time, and it’s always no fun when it happens on days with nice weather and at times that you actually have the time to go out and do something. When you don’t have stuff planned for your weekend, it can be especially tough to come up with something right on the spot.

If you’re looking for ways to spend a nice day on the weekend but can’t really think up too many ideas for you and your family or friends, look no further.

Park picnic.

If anything, this is one of those things that you have to do with your significant other and/or kids at some point in your life. Why else would you think this is always defined as an American pastime, something that you often see in movies and other media?

All it takes is a quick trip to the grocery for some sandwiches and chips (or healthier alternatives to sides such as celery and peanut butter). From there, it’s a matter of going to the park nearest you, having a blanket handy, and setting up for an hour or so. Bugs and the heat may get to you after awhile if it’s a particularly muggy day, but at the very least you’ll be spending time with your family in a way that’s far more intimate than anything else you probably do on a weekly basis.

Catch a matinee.

First, matinees are cheaper than evening shows. And the other thing to consider is that movies are often enjoyed more when seen in a spur of the moment fashion. Think about it. The more you hype up a film and then go to see it, the more there’s a chance of disappointment. But if you go to a film with zero expectations, you have a higher chance of exceeding anything else simply because you had no lofty expectations in mind.

The best advice I can give you for this is to bring along a few candy boxes for you and the kids simply to save money once you’re in the theater. Just sneak them in your purse or a satchel and you’ll be good. You can grab multiple candy boxes at the grocery for half the price of a single box within the theater.

Choosing a Favorite Candy

I’ve never been a big fan of candy or ever claimed to have a sweet tooth in the slightest, and I think part of that comes from my love for savory foods more than just about anything.

Besides, anytime I want to eat something sweet (especially containing chocolate), I absolutely have to have a glass of milk near me to cut the sweetness. Considering milk is my favorite drink anyway, this comes as no surprise to me and those who know me well. But the whole “too sweet for me” thing is quite real, especially when milk isn’t on tap.

So, I’m not often found browsing the candy boxes shelves at local stores when getting groceries, and that’s just simply because I never, ever seem to eat candy. If someone gives me candy as a gift add on, as a stocking stuffer, or just for fun on Halloween and Easter, I’ll pick through the few that I enjoy more and munch on them from time to time. But I honestly don’t crave candy in the slightest.

One thing I can remark on regarding candy, though, is my favorite types. As I mentioned earlier, I enjoy chocolates and chocolate sweets with milk any given time, though I don’t seek out pure chocolate bars like some people do.

And on the opposite end of the candy spectrum, I do not enjoy hard candies. The stickiness, pure sugar aspect, and how hard it can be on your teeth do not appeal to me. I always feel like I’m digging pieces of hardened sugar out of my teeth after eating them, and if I don’t happen to crunch through these candies to speed up the eating process, I end up sucking on them for far too long, which then feels like I’m slowly eroding my enamel with full awareness of what’s happening.

So, rather than those two, my favorite type of candy rests somewhere in the middle with gummies. Gummies aren’t hard on your teeth whatsoever so long as you clean your mouth properly afterwards. They’re fun to suck on for a few seconds before tearing them apart and swallowing. I don’t mind grabbing a few candy boxes of gummies from the store anytime I’m about to see a movie and want to save money, so the blue sharks, the rainforest frogs, the Haribo bears, and other like candies are what you’ll find me enjoying the most.

The Appeal of Vinyl Albums

I’m a big fan of vinyl records ever since my girlfriend’s father gave us his old turntable. I knew that records were popular back in the day and even gained a resurgence as of late with more hip crowds, but I never quite understood why until I owned one and bought my first few albums from the local record store.

If anything, it all takes me back to collecting CDs when I was in high school and early college. There was something real about purchasing one of my favorite bands’ new albums on CD and playing it in my truck while driving around. The whole experience had a meaning to it. It had weight. It became an experience.

Nowadays, if I want to listen to something new by someone, I can hop on Spotify and go to their new album right away to quickly cycle through different tracks until I like what I hear. It’s definitely convenient and faster than anything else out there, but it also doesn’t carry the same sort of weight as making a trip to buy a new album and then listening to it on the way home.

The only problem I seem to have with getting a new album, though, is that my first few were of records I had already known inside and out. Now, is this a bad thing? Well not at all. I wanted my first three or four albums to be of artists I already love, and I wanted those records to be of absolutely complete albums from the first to last track.

What I’m saying is I was predispositioned on the first few albums I got. I wanted what I already liked because I wanted to make those first few records special.

From here on, however, I think I want to do it differently. I want to still purchase records from my favorite artists, but I want to listen to their new music on record first. No more hopping into Spotify immediately to make sure I like the new stuff. If it’s an artist I highly support and follow closely, there’s a reason for that. Their past stuff is already amazing, so there’s no doubt the new stuff would be too.

And if anything, the whole point of records back in the day was to listen to the next great record as soon as it drops and experience that music for yourself. To listen to it before anyone else could and then own that record for good.

To me, that’s what I’m looking forward to. I have such an expansive taste in music lately that anything goes, so all sorts of artists will be dropping new music year in and year out for me to like. While going after new music all the time will likely mean my two cardboard boxes of old albums will grow to four cardboard boxes, it’s all worth it simply because they are timeless so long as turntables are still considered vintage and can be repaired or bought like new.