How Journeying into Hunger Made Me Realize Some Things about My Eating Habits

Struggling with weight was something I had to deal with my entire life. I tried to lose weight by eating healthy and working out, but it seemed like I had hit a plateau and my weight just wouldn’t go below a certain number (we can leave it out). None of those ‘magazine’ diets worked either, and I tried pretty much every single diet out there.

Every magazine claims that their diets are healthy and perfectly safe, but whichever diet I tried, all I felt was constant hunger and anxiety. And that’s when I stumbled upon the dirty ketogenic diet. It’s just like a regular ketogenic diet, but with a twist of its own – you lose weight by eating junk food. The average ketogenic (or keto for short) diet consists of consuming 60-75% calories from fat, 15-30% from protein and 5-10% from carbs, except with dirty ketogenic diet you don’t eat the healthy fats, you go all in on processed foods. So, I did some research, read some of the pros and cons people shared and decided to give it a try for a week.

The first three days

The goal was to eat junk food and processed food in the aforementioned ratio during an eight-hour window throughout the day, and fast for sixteen hours. I read that our ancestors did it, so if they could do it, why couldn’t I? However, I forgot to include my body’s reaction into the equation. You see, the human body is accustomed to a certain mealtime schedule and from the moment you skip a meal, your body starts to react – your energy levels dwindle, your mood changes and everything becomes super-annoying.

But that’s just your body trying to tell you that it’s going into battery save mode. The second day was pretty much the same. I had more than enough to eat, but as soon as I felt hunger, the symptoms returned. Nevertheless, I read that the initial symptoms last a few days, so I decided to push through. I also read that some people use supplements to help their body fight through the adaptation stages. That’s why, on the third day, I decided to have a glass of lemonade, a magnesium supplement and some greens powder, which is a mixture of vitamins, minerals and plant compounds.

Day four

The next day I woke up feeling much better. I wasn’t feeling slow or anxious anymore. I was able to read without losing focus and then I stumbled upon an article – it turns out that fasting stimulates creativity, increases the maximum potential for intelligence and helps you focus quicker. And it’s actually good for studying so I decided to compensate for the work I skipped. I even managed to go out for a power walk, and it felt food. I felt good. I started to realize the full potential of fasting. Plus, studies were there to confirm everything I was experiencing.

The last three days

The feeling of hunger is one of the strangest sensations to explain. If you have never felt it, then it’s hard for someone to depict what it really feels like. And on the fifth day I was so hungry that I could barely think. I ate, just like I did every other day, but the hunger was still there. When I woke up the following day, I realized that the hunger was still there and I was still hungry, but it felt different. I was able to convince myself that it’s okay; the next meal is just a few hours away. I ordered takeout right in time for my meal, but I could barely finish it. Junk food no longer felt good. On the last day of the week, I could feel that junk food wasn’t doing it for me anymore. I didn’t feel full after eating. I felt like my body was telling me that the junk food was bad for me – which it is, it’s just that none of us think about it that way. I knew it was time to change my diet completely.

What actually happened

I decided to get to the bottom of everything. It was clear that this wasn’t the right diet for me, but I needed to find out what my body was trying to tell me. The initial symptoms I felt were side-effects known as the ‘keto flu’. My body ran out of carbs and switched to burning fat, which depletes your energy levels until you adapt, but that’s the whole point of keto diets. However, I’m not sure whether the good looks are worth experiencing all of the side effects. The world is still divided on that one. But how did I end up with that productivity spike? Well, keto diet helps you cleanse your organism and after a few days, you start feeling the benefits of a healthier body. And if it weren’t for all the side-effects, it might even make a decent diet. That’s why health experts suggest not to stay on a keto diet for too long. Your body needs a break after a while. However, there is an upside to all of this. I learned that fasting is actually good for our bodies. It gives you a natural boost, improves your concentration, increases your self-discipline and betters your mental acuity. It’s just that people aren’t accustomed to feeling hungry. But the fact is that millions and millions of people do it every single day.

Whether they’re fasting because of their religion, doing it to give their immune system a boost, or simply because they aren’t able to make ends meet, people feel hungry every single day. We’re living with a fear of hunger, yet resort to unhealthy and restrictive diets. A simple portion downsizing doesn’t seem that bad after all, does it?

Surviving Low-Calorie Diets

Summer is just around the corner in many parts of the world, and the time is just right for us to start getting our bodies swimsuit-ready. Since there is not much time left until extreme temperatures force us to get those layers of clothes off, it’s inevitable for you to start wondering: “How much weight can I lose in 6 weeks?” However, choosing a diet that is both healthy enough and effective at such a short notice can be quite challenging.

Luckily, there are ways for you to achieve such a feat with a couple of little tips that work well, no matter which diet you choose, and here we recommend some of the best.

The secrets of magnesium

Although you might have heard of magnesium more in the context of muscle relaxation and blood pressure regulation, it’s not well known that magnesium has an important role in glucose and insulin metabolism. One study has shown that higher magnesium intake is associated with lower fasting glucose and insulin, which consequently means that it can help improve insulin resistance. Albeit it might not affect your diet directly, this is strong evidence that magnesium has a significant role in the way our body processes excess sugar.

Due to its relaxing qualities, it is also no wonder that magnesium is connected with stress levels. Magnesium here serves as a mediator between sleep and cortisol levels. Since magnesium improves sleep quality, and better sleep means lower cortisol levels, you will have a significant weight loss boost when those cortisol packs are out of your system for good.

Unnecessary water retention  

When you accumulate fluids without having the need to urinate, there might be some problems you aren’t aware of. It could be that you are allergic to some ingredients, and consuming them can lead to unnecessary water retention and cause bloating, or even stomachaches. In order to avoid this, you can try some natural diuretics, such as parsley or ginger.

One other natural diuretic is dandelion, and a small study has provided us with the knowledge that an alcohol extract of dandelion can significantly increase urine output in humans. However, there is very little scientific evidence that these herbs have true diuretic effects. So far, it would be better to stick to a healthier diet and moderate exercise.

 

Practice mindful eating     

Since we eat more than three times a day, many times in a rush, it’s quite impossible to think about every little thing you eat. Although it might seem like a redundant habit, minding what you eat is actually going to help you improve your weight loss program, and by this, we don’t mean you should stop eating everything you enjoy.

It’s important to listen to your body and find the balance between appetite and hunger. Even though most of us think about eating once we get really hungry or as we take a glance at some tasty food, the best time to eat is actually when we are moderately hungry. This way, your metabolism will be constantly working, you won’t be at risk of overeating, and you will have more time to think about what you should (not) be eating.

The miracles of fiber

A higher fiber intake has many benefits for weight loss and overall health. Not only do fibers help decrease belly fat, but they are also linked with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and heart disease. Soluble fiber also helps in appetite reduction, since foods rich in fiber are the ones that keep you full for the longest. It would be wise to introduce fiber into your diet not all at once, but one step at a time, because too much fiber can cause bloating and cramps.

So, you can start with oatmeal and combine it with fruit like apricots and oranges, which are all rich in fiber. Afterwards, you can include flaxseeds and sweet potatoes. Finally, adding some brussels sprouts and legumes can altogether lead to a perfectly balanced rich-in-fiber diet.

Stop counting calories

 

We’ve heard many times that counting calories is essential to every diet, because calories make us fat. When simplified like this, it’s no wonder that many people develop an obsession with counting calories, but without achieving satisfactory results. Doing thorough research over any diet is essential for it to work well, and just a little bit of research can help you see that calories aren’t that bad for you.

Before giving the red card to calories, keep in mind that the calories/nutrients ratio matters more than calories on their own. Our body uses calories as its main energy source, so depriving it of calories will only result in a chronic lack of energy. You need to choose food that is rich in calories, but in nutritive value, as well. For example, pizza is rich with calories, but low in nutritive value, while avocado is high on both. This also goes for all fresh, organic food.

 

Keep in mind that every diet you choose needs to be immersed in a healthier way of life. Without exercise and good sleep, you will have less or no effects. Weight loss should be something to enjoy, and not something to torment your body with. If it is torture, then you are better off without it.

How To Promote Your Restaurant On Social Media

Social media continues to be the main driving force behind modern marketing solutions. And, while it has undoubtedly had a huge impact on all types of businesses, the area where it shines the most is the way it can help small businesses, and especially restaurants, find a stable foothold and reach new customers. Yet, many restaurant owners are still reluctant when it comes to fully embracing social media and using it to its full potential. So, in order to help you see the benefits, and make the best use of it, let’s take a look at how best to promote your restaurant on social media.

Find out who your customers are

The first step you will need to take is to identify who your target audience is. This can be done either by extensive market research or by trying to keep a close eye on who is actually visiting your restaurant. Finding out who your customers are will be the basis on which you will be able to build your social media strategy, as it will give you insight into what social media you should be focusing at first, but also a general idea of what your content should be like.

Know what and when to post

At first, building up a presence on social media can be quite difficult, and, it may seem as if though you aren’t getting anywhere. However, the key is to stay persistent and consistent with your posts, and you should also strive to make your content as interesting and original as possible. There’s a lot of research that goes into figuring out what time you should make posts on social media, and it’s definitely worth taking a closer look at, in order to maximise the amount of exposure you are getting. With that in mind, people really don’t like to be spammed with posts, and, if you do start spamming them, they are quite likely going to stop following you. You should instead try and find the perfect middle ground between regular posts and spam, which will in turn help you start seeing immediate results.

Respond to negative reviews

In today’s world, the first thing people tend to do when they feel irritated by something is go on social media to vent their frustration, and in fact, research shows that social media makes us more honest. This makes it a great place to gather information on what people actually think about your restaurant, and see where you need to improve. There is, however, a big risk that comes with this. The sheer amount of information that is constantly circulating social media can make it very hard to keep track of everything. That means that with only a few negative comments, things can very quickly get out of hand, and if not dealt with, permanently damage your reputation. Because of this, you should look to always respond to negative reviews, while also having an emergency crisis management plan ready, in order to help you deal with things as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Develop your identity

Making your restaurant unique and different is going to help you stand out from the rest of your competition. It will also help you articulate a direction in which you are going to go when it comes to the content you will be sharing on social media, by also helping you develop more original and interesting posts.

 

In conclusion, utilising social media to promote your restaurant can be one of biggest assets that you can use to gain an advantage over your competition and set up your business for future growth. And, with that in mind, if you are willing to stay persistent and true to your goals, there is no reason not to be daring and take the next step on the path towards success.

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Photography Blogs Every Newbie Needs to Follow

No one has the passion for learning, more than a newbie. The problem usually comes when it’s time to find a person to learn from. Over the years, we have seen a fair share of talented photographers. But, not all of them are willing to share their skills, tips or tricks with the newcomers. It could be because they don’t want competition, the reasons are quite uncertain.

However, there are those great photographers who feel the urge and importance to train and mentor newbies. Are you a newbie looking for the best photography blogs? Well, you are in the right place. This article will provide you with a list of photography blogs that every newbie should follow. In these blogs, you will learn a lot and get inspired to be a better photographer.

1. Photofocus Run by Scott Bourne

Have you ever heard of Scott Bourne? This is one of the best photography bloggers out there. He has been blogging about photography since 1998. Over the years he has taught thousands of newbies. His blog, Photofocus posts at least once per day.

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The site has thousands of posts discussing photography tips, tricks, news, reviews and much more. You can also learn a thing or two from the active community on the blog who are always posting useful comments.

2. Strobist

Strobist is run by an excellent photographer known as David Hobby. He is a gifted photojournalist and writer. This is why his blog has become quite popular. The blog gets a readership of more than 300,000 people on a monthly basis. The content there is very helpful. It mostly touches on photography lighting techniques.

3. Chase Jarvis

You have probably heard of Chase Jarvis or seen some of his popular work. He is a living legend in the world of photography because he has worked with the likes of Pepsi, Nike, Apple, and Red Bull.

Despite having such a great reputation, Jarvis is one of the few photographers who has a heart of helping. His blog will take you into the world of Chase and how he gets things done. You can learn a lot from him.

4. Thomas Hawk

If you have had a passion for photography for a while, then you must have come across Thomas Hawk. His blog entails detailed topics about photography techniques and laws. He’s one of the best photographers that advocates for freedom in Photography.

5. Everything Everywhere

Gary Arndt did a great job when he started Everything Everywhere in 2007. The blog covers the works of Gary’s photography as he tours the world. Eleven years down the line, he has visited more than 90 countries.

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Everything Everywhere has a massive following this is due to the excellent photography content published there. His style of writing and approach to photography has inspired a lot of people. You too could learn something from him.

6. Scott Kelby

If you are eager to learn, Scott Kelby is the perfect teacher. He is the editor in chief of Photoshop User magazine and the head of National Association of Photoshop Professionals. He is a master in photography, and his blog can teach you a lot. Despite being a busy man, he always finds the time to post great and helpful content on his blog.

Photography blogs are ideal sources of information. Being a newbie can at times leave you feeling overwhelmed since you aren’t familiar with the basics. Finding the best photography blog on your own might not be easy, but you should make an effort of checking out the above.

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Best Restaurants In Astoria NYC

Astoria is a residential part of the New York City. And like any other residential areas, the food here is available in a wide range of varieties. If you are planning to visit Astoria, the type and quality of food you will feed on will be part of your experience. While in the city, you can decide to take tasty Italian or Greek sushi for your lunch, to the most common meals at Astoria.

And as you walk around Astoria, you shall have plenty of restaurants you can take your meals. However, this can be a bit disturbing and confusing. In this article, therefore, we discuss the top 5 best restaurants in Astoria New York City.

1. Porsche Grille

Porsche Grille formerly known as the Acela Club finds its location at the Citi Field. The restaurant offers updated menu list on their market tables. In the menu, they also include the la carte entrees options for dinner meals. Children and dessert menus are also available in the selection.

Food

The restaurant features three seating areas, Tiers and Porch, and the main dining room. Booking a reservation for Tiers and Porch is made through the reservation service line 718-565-4333. In the main dining room, you can seat as a group of two to twenty guests at the same table. Tiers and Porch serves 2-4 people per seat with a clear view of the fields. The restaurant also offers premium Tear and Porch services at an additional cost of $10 per seat.

2. Taverna Kyclades

The second best restaurant in Astoria NYC is Taverna Kyclades. If you are looking for a place to take the best Greek food tastes, Taverna restaurant in Astoria is the place to be. The hotel serves in a family style, and its dishes are full of seafood.

Here, you will access different types of whole fish or the grilled octopus meals. And don’t give up when you find the restaurant in its full capacity. If you consider waiting for your table, you might be lucky to be poured with free wine or beer drinks.

3. Vesta Trattoria and Wine Bar

If you are looking for a place to take the best pizza, drinks or the Italian design cuisine, Vesta Trattoria and Wine Bar is the place to be. They are continually updating their menus with comfort foods. They also serve freshly made farm-to-table fare. Have a taste of some kales, watermelons, tasty beef or the veal lasagna here.

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You can also bring your family to enjoy their oven-baked pizza prepared right in the restaurant. Visiting the restaurant between 5 and 7 p.m every week will likely earn you a discount. There are more additional luxurious services over the weekend. A restaurant is an ideal place for family and friend outing.

4. Artopolis Bakery

If you are looking for a baked good restaurant full of family and children snacks, Artopolis Bakery is the place to be. Their bakery services also serve the best cups of strong coffee.

The hotel is in a strip mall around the northern Astoria in New York City. In the restaurant, they will serve you with sweet and savory pastries baked in the Greek style. The restaurant’s coffee is stronger and in the Turkish making style.

5. Sugar Freak

If you love the Egyptian style food, sugar Freak is the place to be. The restaurant is well spaced and makes you feel terrific being here. It’s is always packed with family and friend groups sharing jambalaya and crawfish boil meals.

The music here is loud to distract your mind and get you relaxing. It is a perfect design for big groups and parties. During the beautiful weather, the hotel also offers plenty of outdoor seating services.

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Whether you want to have a drink or a meal with your family and friends, you want to have it in a reputable restaurant. It enhances on your experience in your stay at Astoria. Consider making your stay in New York more fantastic, by visiting one of the above top 5 best hotels in Astoria.

Where to Find Best Frozen Pastries

Where to Find Best Frozen Pastries

Freezing technology has greatly improved and because of this many people are seeking out for frozen foods. Frozen pastries do not only offer the convenience of eating at the comfort of your home but also save you the fueling cost since they are ready to be eaten.

But you really have to be extra careful when choosing the places you buy these pastries from for your stomach’s sake. Here are some of the best places you can buy pastries that are frozen.

J & J Snack Foods Corp

For soft, warm and delicious frozen pastries look no further than J & J Snack Foods. Their foods are rich in fiber and also provide a variety of whole grain products for you. Not to mention they also have a number of sizes that are packed individually as well as bulky. Whether you are looking for nuggets, or bun sticks or any other type of pastry for that matter you can be sure to find it here. All you have to do is heat and serve.

Golden Crust Pastries

This family-owned business is the best for you to buy your pastries from. With more than 20 years of experience, you can be sure that they are just no ordinary ones. They’re ready to bake products and make them stand out.

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They use advanced weighing and traceability technology to ensure that you are completely satisfied. You can find their pastries in different forms at local bakeries and supermarkets.

Whole Earth Bakery & Kitchen

For all vegans, this is by far the best pastry shop you can go to. They have been able to give a great taste even without using butter and eggs. Whether you are looking for a mini muffin loaf or a vegan pizza or any other kind of pastry, you can get it here at Whole Earth.

Frozen Pastries

Their customer relations is one of a kind and they ensure that you are not only left satisfied but also happy. For the health conscious people, you don’t have to worry as they use organic ingredients to ensure that you enjoy your pastry.

Arcade Bakery

You may easily bypass this bakery shop because it is hidden in an office building. But once you get yourself in this French bakery, you will not be able to decide which pastry you really want. They offer a variety of pastries all which are cooked with very skilled chefs. From savory bread to sandwiches and croissants, Arcade Bakery is the place to buy from.

The goods are baked and served by Roger Gural, former head-baker at famous Thomas Keller Bouchon bakery. All the pastries are fresh, soft and mouthwatering.

Baked and Wired

When it comes to baked stuff, this shop in Washington Dc is unmatchable. With so many combinations of flavors, their intent is to make everyone happy. Also, they give very unique names to their pastries something that attracts more clients. For example, they name their chocolate cake ‘Pretty Bitchin’ and there is also the Big Ass and Small Ass sugar cookies. It is one of the reasons why customers are always smiling in there.

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There are many other excellent places you can buy your frozen pastries from. But make sure if you are not going there to get the pastries yourself, you, first of all, do research on the reputation of that particular pastry shop so that you are not disappointed with your order.