More Than 1 in 4 Americans Don’t Know How to Cook: Americans Spend More on Eating Out Than Buying Groceries

The art of cooking has fallen by the wayside in the age of convenience. As parents, we’re supposed to be teaching our kids how to take care of themselves once they fly the nest. Unfortunately many of us have lifestyles that are too busy for cooking on a daily basis; so we hit the drive thru on the way home or we order takeout or we go sit in a restaurant- because who wants to do all those dishes anyway?

On the surface this isn’t a completely terrible thing – our kids still have food to eat, and it is totally possible to make healthy choices at a restaurant. It’s a budget-buster – go ahead and tally up how much money you spend on restaurants each month. You’ll be shocked.

The biggest problem here is that we aren’t always taking the time to teach our kids how to cook, and as a result, more than a quarter of American adults don’t know how to cook at all. Everyone needs to know the basics of cooking, even if you aren’t planning to become a television chef – it’s a matter of survival.

Learn more about the apps and tech out there to help you learn to cook – and cook safely – from the infographic below.

This infographic brought to you by KitchenByte

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What is the Secret to Living to 100+? The Blue Zone

What if you could live to 100 and beyond? It’s not as far-fetched as it may seem. The number of supercentenarians is growing worldwide — in 2015 there were 451,000 worldwide, and by 2050 it is estimated there will be more than 3.7 million. Healthcare is getting better worldwide as is access to clean water and food. We also know more about how to treat our bodies well, with ample rest and exercise. But clearly this isn’t enough. How can we live to 100 and beyond?

Genetics plays an important role in how long you live, but it’s not the deciding factor. Some scientists estimate your genetics only accounts for about 15% of your chances of living to 100 and beyond. Other factors include things like your diet, getting regular exercise, and cultivating a sense of purpose and community.

There are some places around the world known as ‘Blue Zones’ where people routinely live longer and healthier lives. In places like Loma Linda, California, where the average inhabitant lives 10 years longer than the national average, it is thought the diet and emphasis on religion and community play a major role.

Learn more about Blue Zones from the infographic below. Maybe you will live a lot longer than you think!

Secrets to Living Longer
Source: Best Health Care Degrees

Understanding the Psychology of Space: Having a Functional Home

After a long day at school or at work, there’s nothing better than walking through our home’s front door, kicking our shoes off, and finally winding down. But what if our home isn’t exactly the oasis of comfort we’d like it to be?

Addressing the dysfunctional aspects of the home isn’t always easy and actually getting started on the updates themselves can be even harder. The inevitable destruction that comes along with renovation isn’t comfortable and, in the short run, may not seem worth it – but leaving a project half finished due to poor planning is even worse.

Save yourself the headache down the line by being as honest and realistic as possible during the planning phase and consider your own time restrictions and skill level. While many homeowners plan on doing at least some of the work themselves, consulting with professionals will help reel in scope, manage priorities, and get the job done right the first time.

For most families, a functional home is a happy home. Here’s how to keep renovation projects on track, within budget, and build a space that works for your family, not against it.

The Best DNA Tests to Know Your Ancestors 

Do you want to give something original? Do you need to surprise some one and you do not know how? We want to help you by giving you an idea that you might not have thought about: giving a DNA test.

That said, it may not seem interesting, but the truth is that one of the tests below will allow you to know the person to whom you give it – or yourself – a lot of information about your family that you may not have known such as DNA testing for ethnicity.

Indeed, these DNA tests determine your ethnic origins, so you can know where your ancestors come from. There are other tests that, on the other hand, offer genetic information about health, while others are focused on the study of nutrigenetics, your sports ability or your skin.

There are, therefore, many reasons why a DNA test can be a brilliant idea, either to do it yourself or give it to a friend.

Before deciding which one to bet on, take a look at the informative sections that we include to discover what a test of this type consists of and what methodologies are used.

DNA test and how does it work?

Currently, there are only about twenty companies around the world that are dedicated to tracing your DNA to discover the origin of your ancestors, although we may not see much more in the future due to the growing popularity of this business.

A DNA test will allow you to discover the origin of your ancestors and your kinship with other users who have also decided to perform the same DNA test. In fact, the more people who have made the test, the more accurate the results will be.

Now, if you are wondering how you can get a DNA test to know your origins, the answer is very simple: once you choose the company with which you want to carry out the process, you will only have to request the delivery of the DNA extraction kit to the address of your choice.

Normally DNA kits come with one or several tubes that you will have to either fill with saliva, spit after spit, or pass a cotton ball through your mouth to impregnate it with saliva and then insert it into the tube.

The following will be sent by mail to the address indicated. You should know that some companies do not include shipping costs in their purchase price, so you will have to take this detail into account if your priority at the time of choosing is the price of the service.

The process usually takes weeks or even months in some cases, so be patient and do not expect to receive your results too soon. The results are always received by email.

Types of DNA testing methodology

When we did the different DNA tests and had the results on our hands we were quite surprised because, although some companies did offer similar results (which are not identical), others gave us quite different results.

Each DNA company uses its own methods. These methods vary based on three main points: the geographical regions, the way to identify the variation and the size of the database available to the company.

The researcher says that the differences in these three key points can lead to very different results in DNA tests.

Another aspect to be taken into account is the fact that some companies use country names in the results they give to the client to illustrate the different origins of the DNA test.

However, it must be understood that these country names should be understood as regions of origin and not as the country itself.

In the case of DNA tests that also report on possible diseases and health conditions, it should be known that these tests are also affected by the different identification methods used by each company. That is, they could also reflect different results depending on the three key points we mentioned earlier.

Senior Care Centre’s Guide to Stress and Care Giving 

According to studies, over half of caregivers have depression, with a majority of them experiencing what is commonly called “caregiver stress” according to Senior Care Center.

This isn’t surprising when you consider how many people who are caring for a parent have multiple other responsibilities that they are juggling as well.  Full-time jobs, raising their children, along with household responsibilities all add to levels of stress that are already high. As part of this process, it is very common for caregivers to put aside their own well-being, feelings, and health. This can be very damaging and lead to a wide range of physical conditions including guilt, sadness, and anxiety. If you need help caring for a loved one, or some advice contact Senior Care Center.

So, if you are caring for an aging parent, Senior Care Center  advised us that you should recognize the following warning signs, and then immediately deal with your stress.

  • Feelings of depression, hopelessness, and dread
  • Unexplained irritability
  • Difficulties with focusing on other aspects of your life, and potentially resulting in reduced work performance
  • Recurrent colds, stomach aches, and headaches
  • Weight gain or loss, and changed eating habits
  • Exhaustion, fatigue, and difficulties with sleeping, either too little or too much
  • Social withdrawal from friends and activities
  • Unusual anger, moodiness, or sadness

When you are caring for other people, it is also critical that you make your own health a top priority. Here are some suggestions for you to consider:

Make lists, and get a daily routine established. Track all of the tasks that need to get done, and then prioritize, balance, and delegate responsibilities. Most important of all, change your schedule in order to avoid exhaustion and anxiety.

Whenever you need it, make sure you ask for help. Getting support from loved ones and friends is a sign of strength and not of weakness. It is critically important that you take good care for yourself so that you can provide your parent with quality care. Beyond immediately family members, many cities have adult care and other types of services available for the elderly. There are also many churches that provide senior programs. With friendly and safe environments and lots of activities offered, make use of outside care in order to give your parent and you a well-deserved break.

Take good care of both your mind and body. In addition to exercising on a regular basis, you should also follow a balanced diet as well, and take the time to get together with friends, enjoy a hobby, and simply to relax. Although it can be hard to leave the care of your parent in somebody else’s hands, it is critical for you to have a break, for at least a couple of hours. If you neglect your own emotional and physical health, you will be left vulnerable to exhaustion and disease.

Get help if you are feeling depressed. Caregivers are at very high risk for depression, however, many people do not even realize they are depressed. Those feelings develop over time and if they are not treated will grow progressively worse. Instead of just hoping the condition will disappear, seek medical help instead. That can make a significant difference.

Talk with a close friend, support group, or counselor on a regular basis. Although you might not want to talk about your frustrations and feelings, it can be beneficial to have an outlet for these emotions. A parent might have behavioral problems – wandering away from home, hitting, yelling – that may stir up painful and unfamiliar emotions. A sympathetic listener can provide the perspective, comfort, and support that you need to get through your day.

It is well worth noting that it can be very challenging to care for an elderly parent but also can have positive effects on your entire family. It provides you with a strong sense of purpose, the opportunity to nurture and strengthen an intergenerational bond, and that positive feeling of knowing you are making a big difference in your parent’s life.

6 Months After Quitting My 7 Years as a Vegetarian and 5.5 Years as a Vegan: How Do I Eat Now? High Protein Kosher, Similar to Paleo

Even though I only publicly admitted it recently, it was actually 6 months ago that I decided to retire from my dedicated plant-based stage of life, which coincided with most of my 8 year-old son’s life.

After I made the announcement, one of my nieces was shocked, reaching out to me, saying, “I’m pretty sure you have been a vegan for most of the time I’ve known you, ha ha. So you eat cheese pizza now?”

My answer: Well, I could… but I don’t… not really.

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Here’s what I do eat now:

Certain kosher meats, but only if they are baked or broiled, never fried or processed (like in a “nugget” form).

Wild caught fish: mainly salmon, cod, mahi mahi, and even anchovies; but not tuna, which instantly causes my dyshodrotic eczema to return. And definitely never shellfish: shrimp, scallops, lobster, etc. (They are not kosher.)

Chicken, without the skin.

Turkey, but I don’t really like it.

Beef, but never with dairy, like cheese; which is part of keeping kosher.

Eggs, whey powder, and cheese, but not milk.

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I see no reason to drink milk from an animal; not only because it contains more sugar than most people realize, but I attribute milk as the reason my sinuses and allergies used to be so horrible.

Vegetables, but not cooked in heavy oils.

Fruit, with no limitations.

Grains and potatoes, but only on occasion:

I am intentionally strictly avoiding flour (like wheat pasta or wheat pizza dough), hydrogenated oils, and processed sugar.

So would I eat a cheese pizza? I have; several times.

But I realized that it goes against what I am trying to accomplish; which is to have a permanent, healthy and balanced diet which will allow me to comfortably fit back into my size 32 pants again.

I have learned to appreciate grilled chicken pesto pizza on gluten-free, cauliflower crust.

Could I eat a cheeseburger? No, because it’s combining beef with dairy; which isn’t kosher.

Could I eat a hamburger? I could, but I’m not in a hurry to, since that would involve a lot of bread.

I think that ultimately, new identity as an ex-vegan consists of a dietary regiment that is still as disciplined as being a vegan, though it’s a lot less restricting.

(To check out the high protein, whey-based bars I eat on a daily basis, click here to find the best deal on Amazon.)

In the past 6 months, I have loss and kept off 5 pounds since I stopped being a vegan. And because I have been faithfully working out using Darebee.com, it is my belief that the reason I am not continuing to lose more weight right now is that the muscle I am building weights more than the fat.

I’m thinking that within another 6 months, I’ll have more confirmation and clarity for Operation: Comfortably Fit in My Size 32 Pants Again.

If not, I’ll keep being open-minded until I figure it out.

Our 24 Hour Parent Staycation in Franklin, Tennessee at the Hilton Franklin Cool Springs Hotel

Two months ago for Christmas 2018, the only gift my wife and I gave one another was the promise of an upcoming 24 hour window of existence that we would share together, in which we would have zero parenting responsibilities; including uninterrupted meals out, a stay at a nice hotel, and the ability to be lazy.

We both work full-time jobs, plus I manage 5 SEO side hustles, and we have two adventurous kids. So for us, the thought of a break from reality is the greatest gift we can receive at this point in our 37 year-old lives.

Last May when I started my new full-time job as a recruiter at a Fortune 500 Company in Franklin, Tennessee, I couldn’t help but notice that an 8 story building was being built right next to my office.

A few months later, a giant Hilton sign went up on the side of the building facing the interstate (I-65). Once the hotel opened last fall, my co-workers and I started going there for lunch, and were very pleased.

So by the time my wife and I came up with the idea of the perfect mutual Christmas gift for each other, I suggested we make our stay at the Hilton Franklin Cool Springs hotel right next to where I work; which is the halfway point between where we live in Spring Hill and where my wife works in downtown Nashville.

Sometimes in your mind, you build up an idea to the point it becomes an unattainable fantasy. But no, that was not the case for our 24 Hour Parent Staycation. In fact, everything went perfectly according to plan:

My parents drove up 2 and a half hours from my hometown in Fort Payne, Alabama, to watch the kids while we were out. As my son’s Saturday morning karate lessons began, to be followed by one of his classmate’s birthday parties our daughter would end up successfully crashing, my wife and I made our way over to H&R Block to file our income taxes and were so relieved we didn’t owe any money; despite my 5 SEO side hustles unexpectedly doing much better than I planned for last year.

We officially started out our responsibility-free adventure with lunch at Sopapilla’s New Mexican (like the state) restaurant en route to the Hilton. This was a big deal to us for more than one reason.

Not only was it the first time in… (years?)… that we have been able to enjoy a delicious meal out with no children putting a damper on the conversation or the cuisine or our peace of mind, but it was our first official meal out as a now non-vegetarian, non-vegan couple.

I would go as far as to say I am now obsessed with eating at Sopapilla’s, but I don’t know the next time we’ll be able to make it back there without kids.

As for the Hilton, it was every bit as glorious as I knew it would be. My wife and I realized this is the newest hotel we have ever stayed in; throughout our decade of marriage.

And our wish came true- we got to be lazy for our entire day. In fact, we never left the hotel until the next day when we checked out. We got to watch a few movies on TV, in between heading downstairs for dinner in the hotel restaurant, The Harth Restaurant and Lounge.

Not to mention, we got to sleep in! We naturally woke up, on our own, at 8:00 AM. That is unthinkable back at our house, thanks to our children’s internal biological alarm clocks, which are annoyingly set an a default of 5:55 AM.

Life is good. I admit, I’m enjoying the view from where I’m sitting on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid. Our 24 Hour Parent Staycation taught me that the motivational carrot in my life at this point will be getting to experience our next 24 Hour Parent Staycation. That is the rarest commodity I know right now: a break.

And when that time comes, my wife and I plan to do everything exactly the same way again. It’s a formula that works for us.

This is 37.