Sunday, July 21, 2013

How To Health The Sarah Way, Part 1: Consumption

Recently, I've been on a health kick. I gained a little weight at college (mostly muscle, I came to find out), which was a small push, but I also have a history of health problems in my family, and I figured that healthy habits now might help me stay healthy in the future. So, I thought I'd make some posts about some of the healthy junk I've been getting in to, in hopes that it might be helpful for other people out there.

This is part one, "Consumption." Let's talk about stuff that's good to put in your body.

1.) Drink lots of water.

Water is so good for you. So. Good. Your body is mostly made up of water, and your body is awesome, so it only makes sense that the main component of your awesome is awesome, right? Yeah, man. Drinking water also promotes nice skin, hair, and nails, as well as keeping you hydrated and such.
Shoot for about 8 glasses of water a day. Or, as an alternative, take your body weight and divide it in half; the number you're left with is how many ounces you should drink per day. Magic!
A good way to tell if you're getting enough water (i.e., how hydrated you are) is to look at your pee; the lighter in color/clearer your number 1 is, the more hydrated you are. The darker it is, the less hydrated you are. Pretty simple stuff.

2.) Eat Fruit.

Fruit is super duper good for you and you should eat a lot of it. Pretty much all fruit helps fight against cancer of some sort and is good for your heart and digestive track. Seriously, eat a lot of fruit. You'll feel better. Pinky promise.
My go-to options are bananas (which help improve mood and reduce cramping) and strawberries (lots of antioxidants). It's a good idea to stay in-season, though, because that's when your food will be the freshest (and cheapest, so, yay, double win).
Also, wash your fruit before you eat it; you don't want and pesticides mixing in with your healthiness!

3.) Drink some tea.

Tea is super good for you, and is also delicious and the gift of some divine entity to us mere mortals. Different teas have different benefits, but a common thread between many is that they elevate your mood and hydrate you. Good stuff, man.
Try to stick to hot teas or ones that you brew yourself, rather than bottled or canned varieties. (Stay away from Lipton; that's not even real tea, dammit.) Also, try sweetening your tea with raw or local honey, or even natural cane sugar instead of other stuff; honey is incredibly good for you (but only is it's "raw" or "pure," everything else isn't worth your time), and the more natural you can go, the better.
There's a nearly infinite variety of teas available, in your local shops, neighborhood Wal-Mart/Kroger, and even online, so you're sure to find something suiting your taste. No excuses, dammit.

4.) Look for what IS in your food, rather than what ISN'T.

You know how you go to the store and the boxes of Little Debbie cakes say things like "SUGAR FREE" or "NO TRANS FATS" so you think to yourself, "Oh wow, those must be good for me now, I'm gonna buy and then eat them"? Yeah, don't do that.
"Sugar free" usually translates into "we used some fake chemical sugar stuff so we could put this on that box in big font" and those fake sugars can lead to some bad stuff, so it's best to avoid them. Instead of looking for foods that shout at you with big fonts about what they don't have, try to get foods that are proud of what they do have in them.
Try opting for foods that have a lot of fiber or lots of vitamins and minerals, or that have good cholesterol or lots of protein, or whatever suits your fancy. It's best to go for foods that have good stuff rather than those that are proud of lacking stuff.

Next up is How to Health The Sarah Way, Part 2: Action, where I'll talk about workouts and such that are good.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Adulting Milestone #2: Road Trip!

You know how, as a kid, you get super pumped about big trips to fun places, like the zoo or an amusement park? Remember how it was so thrilling to hop into the car and bounce the entire way there, annoying the ever-loving-hell out of your parents as you asked, again and again, if you were there yet?

As you get older, that excitement that comes from family trips gets replaced by road trips, and I got to take one yesterday. My first one, actually, and I went with the glorious group of lovelies you see right up there. We loaded up in to two cars and drove up to King's Island, just outside Cincinnati, Ohio, a good two hour trip from our hometown.

That's the entire group; we're all technically "adults," but there wasn't any grown-ups accompanying us, and that was pretty cool. We were able to just plan a trip in a few hours and go and do it the next day, which is a pretty cool thing. No asking parents or scheduling days or curfews; just a road trip and awesome day in the sun. (The very hot, hot, hot sun.)

Adulting has its benefits.

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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Interne(a)t Shops

I love internet shopping; it's fun to peruse oceans of items that you can't find anywhere else, and then have them show up in your mail like little presents that you buy for yourself. It's wonderful and addicting. With a job secured, I now have my eyes open for neat little shops that I can poke about, and these are a few of the ones I've stumbled upon.

Adagio Teas has been in my bookmarks for ages, and I'm just dying to try them out! I'm a tea lover at heart, and they have a huge enough selection to nearly have me swooning. My heart is set on this strawberry tea that sounds absolutely to die for; I can't wait!! This site is also a great option for tea enthusiasts who don't live near any local tea shops. (What a sad, sad state of affairs.)

Frostbeard is an Etsy store that specializes in geeky candles, featuring scents like "bookstore." I stumbled across this shop through their KickStarter, which is also a delightful place to spend some money. I need candles for my apartment, and this is the place I'll be getting them, methinks.

The Miss Zandry Shop had my heart at first click. They're a bit pricey, but so worth it. I've got my eye on the sweatshirts, since I love wearing hoodies when winter comes around. I'm particularly infatuated with this one and this one.

Do you have any neat shops that you'd like to show the world or recommend? Leave a comment below!

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Follow Me on BlogLovin

Hello all!

I've created a BlogLovin account for ease of access and all that jazz.

Follow my blog with BlogLovin.

Hope that helps!

Adulting Milestone #1: Paycheck!

I just got my first check from my writing job! Woohoo!

This isn't the first time I've gotten a paycheck (I worked for the WalMart empire last summer), but I still feel accomplished getting my first check from this job, since it's for the long-term. Plus, there's something so adult-ish about taking a check to the bank.

Makes me feel grown-up, man.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Feministing 101: What Is Feminism? How Do I Feminist?

Welcome to Feministing 101, a crash course in feminism, women's history, social justice, and other helpful hints, trips, and information about how to, well, be a feminist. Before we get into later, more in-depth posts about broader and more complex topics, we must first begin with the meat and potatoes; namely, what feminism is and, consequently, what a feminist is.

There is a lot of arguing about what feminism is and who feminists are. Like, a lot. Like, Oh my God, so. Much. Arguing. For this reason, I'd like to say from the get-go that the definitions I present may change or become fluid, and others may have completely different definitions than my own. That is completely okay and difference is the spice of live and whatever, you get it. On with the show.

For a really, really, reeaalllyyy long time, women* have been made into a social minority; they have been abused, threatened, shut away in homes, bedrooms, and kitchens, and have been barred from the same opportunities, rights, and privileges afforded to men*. This trend of male dominated and oriented spaces, social hierarchies, and privilege is what we call "patriarchy." Patriarchy is basically a world-wide phenomenon; there are few to no examples of any true "matriarchies" where women are or were considered the dominant gender.

Patriarchy results in and encourages a lot of bad stuff. Terms you'll often hear in feminist and social justice circles, like "sexism," "rape culture," and "misogyny," are specific types of the bad junk that comes from patriarchal societies. Gender roles and social pressure to conform to certain ideals of masculinity and femininity also arise from patriarchy because it is a system that often encourages duality; a sort of "us vs. them" mentality. Patriarchy hurts and effects everyone who lives in the patriarchal society; this means that patriarchy is harmful even to men.

Feminism, then, is "the struggle to end sexist oppression," as the famous bell hooks put it. Feminism aims to dismantle the patriarchy (now all those t-shirts and graphics make sense!) and "level the playing field," so to speak. It is a movement that aims to bring equality and justice to all people, regardless of sex or gender.

A feminist, then, is an individual who believes in the cause of feminism. A feminist is any person who wants to see the destruction of the patriarchy, who believes all people deserve justice and equal opportunities, and who thinks sexism, misogyny, and other patriarchy-approved bullshit needs to go far, far away, forever and ever.

This is, of course, a very broad and simple definition of a long, complex, and multifaceted history and movement. That's part of the beauty of feminism and being a feminist, though; you always have more to learn! For more information about resources for beginning that life-long education, check out the list below.

Tune in to the next Feministing 101, where we will be discussing intersectionality and its importance!

Resource List For Budding Feminists (Hey, That Rhymed)
-Check out Feminist Frequency, a super awesome YouTube series hosted by the fantastic human Anita Sarkeesian.
-"Introducing Feminism: A Graphic Guide" by Cathia Jenainati and Judy Groves is full of all kinds of information about the history of feminism. (And it has cool illustrations.)
-The Tumblr blog I Am A Young Feminist is really good and was one of the first that I followed.
-Laci Green has an awesome YouTube series that focuses on sex positivity, sexuality, relationships, gender, and other good stuff like that.
-Another Tumblr blog, Fandoms and Feminism connects feminism with popular media.
-Head over to for all kinds of news, opinions, and other good stuff.
-For Twitter folk, I recommend Jessica Valenti, Feminist Majority, and Bitch Media.
-Finally, there is "Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and The Future" by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards. The title pretty much speaks for itself.

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Happy feministing, friends!

*I use "men" and "women" in this introduction post only for clarity's sake. Please note that, when I use these words, I refer to anyone who identifies or passes as masculine or feminine. I do not aim to erase those who are non-binary or genderfluid, either! Please tell me if there is a way for me to be more inclusive in my language if this is not sufficient.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cheese Roll Ups

Confession time; I'm a big fan of grilled cheese. Not fancy, "grown-up" grilled cheese, either. No. I like the classic, kiddy fare-- American cheese on white bread. With a bowl of Campbell's tomato soup on the side.

Pinterest results for "grilled cheese" searches tend to yield the more "adult" or "healthy" options that I'm not so fond of. Then, I stumbled across this pin for cheese roll-ups. No fancy cheeses or good-for-you breads. Just simple, yummy, not-very-healthy-but-so-so-good-for-my-tummy grilled cheese in a new form.

I just had to try it. Speaking as someone who is somewhat inept in the kitchen, I found it to be pretty easy. I mean, they came out looking like this.

My only trouble was finding the rolling pin and getting the rolls to stay rolled-up before I cooked them. I found that putting butter on the edges before putting them on the pan was pretty effective. I made three and it took... maybe ten minutes, start to finish??

Long story short, A+, would recommend. Make yourself some cheese roll-ups, man. They be good stuff.

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