Meal planning with Mealime

How a meal app reconciled me with healthy cooking

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This was my typical work day a year ago:

  • Grab a bowl of cereal or whatever there is in the fridge for breakfast.
  • Run to the subway and grab a coffee on my way to work.
  • A bagel with cream cheese, a shawarma, a muffin or whatever I could find at lunch. This would coincide with my third cup of coffee of the day. Other times, I went to a restaurant for a business meeting and this would be my main meal of the day.
  • Go to a networking evening event and eat whatever they have. Pretzels, beers, coffee, chips, you name it. If there is no event, I would otherwise pick up a hefty meal from a neighboring restaurant on my way home.

Repeat this five days a week and you have a recipe for disaster. It is a diet composed of processed foods, refined carbs and inflammatory foods that lead to obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, or worse.

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Cancer : Working Against the “Bad Luck”

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In my personal opinion, cancer is the worst type of disease.

I remember a friend who was diagnosed cancer. She was your typical urban geek : front-end programmer at a popular tech startup, lover of yoga, non-smoker, vegan and commuting by bike to work.

She is the kind of hip person you see around the latest bio-vegan-gluten-free coffee shop. You think they’d keep forever their slim waists and healthy composure.

Yet the worst came.

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Quieting Down the Phone

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In the past year, I have dramatically decreased my social media and smartphone usage.

When I used to check the facebook frontpage multiple times per hour, I haven’t see it in four months. I used to post “interesting articles” on Twitter at least three times per day. As you can see, the only posts are automated links to this site. I used to like dozens of Instagram pics every day, going from hashtag to hashtag, in the hope of boosting my profile.

This is the same for WhatsApp, WeChat, emails and phone calls. Text me, and I would send a witty reply in seconds.

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A Green Plant that Makes you Feel Better

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Having moved frequently in the past ten years, I never had any plants at home. I always feared the weight as well as potential damage during moving out. And to be honest, my disposable income was spent in electronics, beer, restaurants, video games and fatty foods like any average North American 🙂

I now have plants at home. My outlook has changed. Less fatty foods, more exercise, more home cooking, and now plants. And I feel better now!

One of the plants is a Japanese Peace Lily. What benefits does this indoor plant bring?

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Shiatsu massager for athletes and muscle relief

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A massage can help relief muscle pain and tension. For those who exercise, a massage can also improve circulation, reduce muscle soreness and help remove waste products such as lactic acid. It also feels good and lets you relax, after a long work day!

Made by healthcare company TruMedic, the InstaShiatsu+ massager promises to be your always-own personal massager at home, without the hassle or expense of paying a professional.

Does it fulfill its promise?

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Having Faith

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The picture above is one of my favorites. Against all odds, the small sprout lives. I like to compare it to what’s happening in our lives. Life vs death. Faith vs Doubt.

Indeed, the human mind is prone to doubts and weaknesses.

One day we are happily living and suddenly one word, a gesture or pain shadows the future.

Like a cancer, the doubt transforms into questions, darkest fears, and life seems to slip away. What seemed simple is not so simple anymore.

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Walk in the forest

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Medical conditions like chronic stress, fatigue, hypertension, anxiety, depression are common. Yet medications for them are costly, have adverse effects, lower quality of life and lower longevity.

An innovative and smart idea might just be walking in the nearby forest.

Like meditation or yoga, many make fun of forest walking. “Now that’s for hipsters”. “That’s what my grandpa would do”. “There’s a sucker born every minute”. It’s more trendy to sweat in the gym. Or relax by going to the local Starbucks and please yourself with a Venti Pumpkin latte. At least you can put those on Instagram and share how busy and connected you are.

Right?

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Monitor stress and breathing with Spire

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I have had a Spire for almost a year, using the wearable in various situations. This is my 1-year review on this innovative take on the wearable movement.

Spire embeds its electronics in what looks like a small stone. The wireless charger has a wood finish, and the whole product has a nice Zen design that many Apple fans would appreciate. When clipped to your pants (or bra for women), it’s hardly noticeable and can be worn for up to a week without recharging.

The stone even survives machine washing, which is a rare occurrence amongst wearables.

Like most wearables, it tracks your daily steps, and will alert you if you haven’t moved in a while. The app can list at the end of the day your activity moments with the related events and pictures found on your phone.

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Why Studying Traditional Martial Arts makes sense in 21st century

It can build strong physical and mental health as well as a good social network. And it’s just the start!

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Kung fu group training

I have trained many years in traditional kung fu (white crane), filipino, thai, brazilian (BJJ, capoeira) and japanese martial arts. I heard: “Traditional martial arts don’t work”. “MMA is better than traditional martial arts”. Many find quick arguments on why traditional martial arts training doesn’t make any sense.

The most sensible argument is that we have transitioned from constant warfare to societies of relative peace. The most lethal situation is perhaps a knife or gun mugging – but those are exceptional. The vast majority of us simply do not fear caught in a battle when getting out.

The argument is true. Since traditional martial arts train warriors, traditional martial training is in a way aimless. But so does long-distance running, MMA, football or soccer. No-one runs or plays football to train skills that are required for daily lives.

So why train at all in traditional martial arts?

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Meditating for balance

Meditation can reduce psychological stress as well strengthen our immune system

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Chances are that you live in a big city with a demanding job, with requests from “customers” and bosses. Your friends and family need attention. You might stress about your health. Worse, there is this thing called the Internet that throws emails, social media notifications as well all sorts of news and trends at you. Look, new shoes to buy. Hey, look at what Trump said yesterday. Oh, new video from my favourite Youtuber. And should I go to this popular event posted on Eventbrite? I’ve had so many Facebook messages about it. Let’s open another tab to check the news!

As a result, the mind jumps from thought to thought all the time. We all treat it like a dustbin to throw in all the requests from the modern world. Every single day.

Few actually realize that this “dustbin” has a limited capacity. When you put too much, it overflows. It will impact your physical health, drive your cortisol and adrenal glands through the roof. This means symptoms of burn out, mental stress or depression years later.

Along with a good diet, rest and physical activity, meditation can help.

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