The Truth About Diet Foods

Are they actually a real part of a healthy diet?

Check out my article on the science behind it all here.

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MunchPak: Worth the buzz?

I recently received a MunchPak to write a review on the service and what they supply. I was through the roof with excitement when I found out they wanted me to review it, and thought, “Hey, I may as well make this a full-fledged, publishable review.” And that, my friends, is exactly what I did.

Have you heard of MunchPak? Are you curious about what they have to offer, and if it’s worth your dollar? Check out my review on Wide Open Eats here!

Millennial State of Mind

Welcome to the millennial state of mind. What’s that mean? Well, it’s the mindset we —the millennials—give ourselves in order to get the job done. To grind it out. To work tirelessly towards what we want, no matter who says we can’t make it, or who says we don’t fit the mold.

It’s getting to the third round of interviews for a dream job and hearing you’re not right for the part, and then you keep trying anyway. You keep grinding at it. You keep going. You don’t stop for anyone, not even yourself, and you refuse to let a negative remark or response deter you from your goals. Sure, maybe you didn’t accomplish something you set out to, but it doesn’t mean you failed.

Why should you listen to me or anything I have to say? Because I’m like you. I’m one of you. I live within a millennial state of mind, and I have had my dreams (or what I thought were my dreams) crushed before my eyes after putting it all on the table. I wanted to quit. I wanted to give up, throw in the towel, and just stop trying. Stop grinding. Stop going after what I want, whatever that may be today. It’s tough when you put everything into something and feel that passion; that fire for what you’ve been striving to achieve only to be told no, you’re too good; you’re not good enough. You have too little experience; you have too much experience. It’s a double-edged sword and it feels like you can’t win, that you’re forever on the losing side of the spectrum.

From one millennial to another, you’ve got this. I doubted myself, but didn’t let it fully take over my reality. The second you say you can’t, you start to believe it. Little by little, it takes over your mentality and all you’ll hear yourself talk about is all of the things you can’t do. See—your brain; your mind. . . they’re powerful. You have everything you need. You have all the confidence and ability in the world. ‘Can’t’ is powerful. But guess what? so is can, and you can do anything you say you can. Why? Because you should. Because you can. Because you will. Because you’re a millennial and if nothing else, regardless of what everyone may think, we know what it takes to be crafty and get what we strive for.

 

Our Brains are sick, but that’s OK

People—it’s time to get real.
Life is hard, and no one can deny that; no one would dare to try.
But having a hard time and struggling with mental health are not one in the same.One is not valid while the other is a made up, imaginary cry for attention.

It’s time to talk mental health. It’s time to talk mental health diseases and diagnoses, and it’s time to do it in a way that’s not . . . Taboo. Controversial. Fake.

I have no issue owning up to my own struggles with mental health. I’ve talked about it on here more times than I care to count, and there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s me sorting out and explaining to myself that this is OK. This isn’t a thing to be ashamed of, and it’s definitely not a thing to run from. I am not the only one who struggles with and suffers from a mental health disorder. I am not the only one who’s ever had crippling anxiety and the inability to see the world without a haze similar to the after effects of a bomb explosion. I know that, and that’s what’s helped me accept that I needed help. That there wasn’t anything I could do anymore. I was out of resources. I had misused everything I possibly could as a solution, and I needed to get a real one. I needed to figure out why I couldn’t go to my best friend’s party that was for me because I couldn’t get out of bed. I was aware that this wasn’t OK. That I wasn’t OK, and I felt comfortable asking my parents for their support as I sought out the professional help of a psychologist. I have supportive parents who accept me and understand that this isn’t a flaw, this isn’t something that defines me. Not everyone is in the same situation with the same resources. Not everyone can speak so openly about their mental woes due to the fear of being too taboo; of making people feel uncomfortable and awkward. However, that’s not the direction of this piece.

This might be heavy on my mind because it’s been exactly one year since my first therapy session. The therapy session that I initiated by my own will. One that I realized needed to happen through the power of music. Twenty One Pilots got me through from the high to the lowest of low, then straight to the therapist to unravel the mess I had made in my head. If you’re not familiar with Twenty One Pilots and how they could possibly relate to mental health, here’s this:

“Fear might be the death of me, fear leads to anxiety—don’t know what’s inside me.” 

Alright, now that we’re all on the same page here . . . let’s get onto the intended direction of my train of thought.

Here I am, one year after making the first step to a necessary change and road to acceptance, sitting on the floor in my bedroom with Twenty One Pilots on shuffle via Spotify. I can’t help but reflect on the past year, where I was, and where I am now. The line quoted above showcasing Tyler Joseph’s struggle with his own mental health (anxiety), is now less of my journey than it was a year ago. Then, ‘The Judge’ started playing, and I wasn’t really listening fully (in part because I was thinking out what I wanted to start this series with) until I heard:

“I’m a pro at imperfections, and I’m best friends with my doubt.”

Instantaneously I realized this is the part of my journey and road to acceptance that I’m at. I’ve accepted that yes, this is my reality, this is real, and I’m ok with myself looking internally. However, I feel lesser of a person to those closest in my life. I feel either overprotected and microscopically watched, or misunderstood, therefore excessively apologetic. Why is it that I, the defender of un-taboo-ifying (there’s a word for this, but you get what I mean) mental health, feel the need to apologize to those I spend my time with for having moments of suffering out of nowhere?

Mental illnesses, disorders, diseases, whatever you choose to call them—they’re nothing to be afraid of. They’re something a large amount of the population deal with daily. So what’s with the stigma around it? Why do we, or maybe just myself, feel the need to apologize to others when an attack comes on, or panic and anxiety take over and restlessness with a side of severe sass? I don’t know, but I know that it shouldn’t, and I know that we need to talk about it more. We need to talk about it now.

 

The Problem With Millennial Politics in the Workplace

If you’ve ever spent any time in a corporate setting, you know politics exist. Corporate politics are unlike any other, yet systematically the same. After talking to various people at different levels and ages, it’s impossible to see the real problem. It’s not the millennials. It’s not the baby boomer generation. It’s the transition of one generation to the next, with an increase in technology, knowledge and general transition in human rights (women’s rights included). You no longer are forced to start underground, below the ladder, to only dig your way to the surface and finally get a hand on the corporate ladder that you’ll be climbing for the next 20 years to possibly reach a point where you’re not suffering from total debt. That’s not the primary way of the 2016 world we’re in. That’s not the way of thought. It’s no longer the most ‘efficient’ use of employees. It’s no longer the only working order in the workplace. Now, it’s dog eat dog. It doesn’t matter if these ‘tainted and jaded, self righteous’ millennials respect you and your C-suite position.

Honestly, they shouldn’t. Just because you likely BS-ed your way to the top by means of sexism and misogynistic acts. If anything, those people people shouldn’t be respected or tolerated. Why? Because it’s 2016 and we know that isn’t how things work. We know that if you don’t appreciate us—someone, somewhere will. I have no problem working my ass off to find that place. It’s the network age, and we’re not acting like it. We aren’t adapting. Leadership isn’t bridging any gaps from college to the real world. Yes, test your tentative employees to ensure they can actually be beneficial the way their resume, portfolio and cover letter say they are. But to test someone on skills worldly outside of any remotely relative to one’s scope of work. That’s not how management should work; not in 2016 and definitely not in the network age. I wrote an article specifically about leadership in the network age (quite literally) which specifically breaks down what’s needed to bridge that gap on both ends. Everyone has needs in the workplace, and they should given a safe and respected platform to share these needs and concerns, and receive immediate feedback. It’s time to take the status quo of the past and. . .keep it there.

It’s time to allow, enable and practice full transparency and merging it with full respect. There should be no hierarchical order. If a senior exec has an idea and someone on the lower end of the ladder presents a more applicable and profitable idea; that idea should be heard—not criticized. Not seen as a failure. Just because a VP didn’t create a proper plan doesn’t make it a failed mission;a flawed and faulty plan. It’s higher management failing to adapt (think biomimicry), failing to allow and enable collaboration. It’s pride and ego getting in the way of progress, success and growth. These are people at the end of the day. People with different skill sets that should be known and utilized, not abandoned and shifted towards failure for the sole purpose of it being their idea. Ego has no place in the network age. Ego will kill your company. Ego will increase disloyalty—not self-righteous millennials.

You need these millennials to turn the backwards thinking into ideas, plans and action towards a better tomorrow. To a place where profit is high, morale is high, and trust is present in every corner of the company. Hate us all you want, but by doing so, know you’re playing into a feedback loop that will cause a cascade of your company, sending it crumbling to particles of nothing. Ignorance and lack of transparency along with the failure to adapt will cause any and every company to suffer. From resignations and layoffs, to heightened stress levels and overworked employees. Delegate. Collaborate. Get things done with immense efficiency, and both ends of the spectrum will, over time, organically earn that respect of each other. With earned respect comes prosperity and a high energy workplace. Why would you want your corporation to falter and employees to drop like flies? you shouldn’t, and you don’t have to—so don’t.