Monday, September 24, 2018

Vacationing in Rockport, Texas

One year ago Rockport, Texas was hit by Hurricane Harvey. The destruction was unimaginable. This little fishing town on the coast of Texas took an incredible blow which resulted in many homes and businesses being flooded and destroyed. But Rockport is rising. 
I recently took a long weekend trip to Rockport with a girlfriend, our kids, and her parents. We stayed in a house right on Copano Bay. Driving in, the destruction left by Harvey was still very visible. While there were a sprinkling of houses that were rebuilt and like-new, there were more homes that were clearly still being recovered. Many of these home-owners did not have hurricane insurance and the repairs can quickly become too much for any homeowner to manage.

The goal of our trip was to have a simple, relaxing, low-key weekend where we could fish, enjoy some cocktails on the deck, enjoy the sunsets, and unwind. That is exactly the trip we got. We had moderate luck with the fishing and crabbing but maybe that speaks more of the fishermen than the fish? The sunsets were lovely and the weather, although humid, was really great. The rain that was forecasted all weekend held off for the most part and the breeze was consistent and lovely.

Though we spent the majority of our weekend at the house, we did spend some time one afternoon at Rockport Beach Park. Texas does not boast white-sand beaches. Until you get closer to Mexico, Texas beaches are good for fishing and shrimping, but exceptionally beautiful beaches they are not. However, the babies had never been to the beach so they have no frame of reference! Lydia loved splashing in the water and was extra surprised when a wave popped her in the mouth and the water was salty! The water at Rockport Beach Park was warm and there was almost zero current making it the perfect first beach experience for my little mermaid. Thomas also had a good time at the beach, but it turns out he's a sand man. He wasn't too thrilled with the water that moved by itself. He was perfectly happy playing in the sand under the fabulous straw-topped umbrella canopies that dot the beach.

Something else to note is that Corpus Christi, Texas is just a short 30(ish) minute drive away which means making a trip to the Texas State Aquarium or U.S.S. Lexington is super easy.

*All photos are mine, all opinions are mine. This is not a sponsored post.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Don't Overlook These Aspects of Your Health

There are lots of aspects of being healthy that people talk about a lot. In particular, you hear about staying a healthy weight, being physically fit, and looking after your heart, among other things. But there are other areas of your health that we perhaps don't talk about enough or as much about as other things. It's important to consider your whole body, and your mind, when you're thinking about your health and how to stay healthy. If you want to be a healthy person, take a look at these key areas of health that can be overlooked.

Your Digestive and Urinary Health

Some aspects of health don't get as much airing as others because they're a bit embarrassing. We can often struggle to talk about issues with our digestive or urinary systems, although digestive health does get a bit more attention. Your diet can make a big difference in how healthy you are in these areas, but there are other aspects to consider if you want to be healthy. If you take a look at https://www.urologygeorgia.com, you can find out more about urinary health and what you can do if you have a problem. Seeing a doctor can help you find the truth if you feel like something is wrong with either your urinary or digestive health.

Your Reproductive Health

Reproductive health can also be difficult to talk about, and many can feel like when they do open up, their problems aren't taken seriously. Research has shown that in a hospital ER, women wait longer to be seen for abdominal pain than men. This could partly be due to the view that women's pain is more emotional, as well as an assumption that it's just normal pain related to the reproductive system. It's important to be aware of what's normal and what isn't, not just for women in general but for you personally.

Your Sleep Quality and Energy

Getting enough sleep and having enough physical and mental energy is essential for your day-to-day life. If you're having trouble sleeping or finding that you have no energy during the day and you can't think of any reason for it, don't just brush it off. Sometimes, it might just be that you're stressed or you've been pushing yourself too hard. But lacking energy or struggling to sleep could indicate underlying problems, ranging anywhere from Lyme disease to depression.

Your Mental Health

The conversation about mental health is growing, but many people still don't think about it enough. It's important to consider how you feel emotionally, and not just your physical health. You don't have to have a diagnosed mental health condition to take care of your mental health. Everyone can get stressed and experience emotional problems, and it's important not to ignore them. Being more aware of your own mental health can help you to be there for others too.

You should keep an eye on every aspect of your health if you want to be healthy. Consider your body and mind as a whole to improve your health.

*This is a collaborative post*

Monday, July 30, 2018

What Would Happen if Everyone Went Vegan Right Now?

The dangers of eating meat are becoming more and more apparent. Recently, the World Health Organization increased the risk of eating meat to the highest level. According to the WHO, the red stuff has the potential to cause cancer. It’s up there with the likes of cigarettes, alcohol, and soaking up too many UV rays. If ever there was an excuse to take up veganism, this is it right here.

Vegans and vegetarians love to imagine what the world would be like if everyone jumped on the bandwagon. In most people’s mind, the planet would become a utopia where there were peace and harmony and enough resources for all. On the flip side, the haters argue the change wouldn’t be as dramatic as some like to imagine. There is no way to answer the question until there is a dramatic shift.

However, it is possible to evaluate and to guesstimate at the likely changes. After all, there is plenty of research on the topic of veganism. So, what might the world become? What are the potential changes under the revolution? Take a look at the following to find out more. What you read might shock and surprise you.

Reduction In Greenhouse Gases

Livestock plays a major role in the destruction of the planet. To begin with, they are gassy monsters with no etiquette. Cows are particularly bad as they let out tons of methane each year, which helps to break down the ozone layer. And, the amount is set to increase as the population rises and there is a run on meat. Then, there is the agricultural element to consider. Farming cattle and sheep and poultry requires heavy machinery such as tractors and harvesters. The CO2 which emits from these machines is huge.

A study by two animal researchers found that veganism would cut these contributions by 28%. It’s worth pointing out in their research, livestock emissions were at 49%, so they wouldn’t disappear off the face of the planet. There would be some kind of overlap due to cultivating plants to fill in the gaps. Still, 28% is over a quarter and is a significant chunk.

Even if the remaining 21% continued to spew into the air, the planet would be a healthier place. Veganism looks like the initial step humanity needs to take to get the ball rolling. Then, society can concentrate on cutting emissions to the bone.

Healthier Society

Speaking of today’s society, let’s not forget the impact meat has on men, women, and children, old and young. In the US, levels of obesity are at a staggering rate with over 39% of all people classed as obese. To put it into perspective, there are more obese men and women in America than there are fat. The introduction of technology has played its part, but there is no doubt average people have an unhealthy food attitude.

To begin with, red meat is consumed in tons all over the world. Officially, there is nothing wrong with a steak or a lamb chop regarding health; however, it should be a treat. Modern Americans are eating mutton, lamb, and beef on a regular basis and consuming the saturated fats. Because the levels of exercise are at an all-time low, it is causing families to put on unhealthy amounts of weight.

Veganism adds a balance because the nutrients in plant-based products are mainly useful. When it comes from the earth, you can be certain there are very few heart-clogging fats. In fact, vegetables contain low amounts of calories so anyone would struggle to put on weight even if they did overeat. Also, organic ingredients fight diseases as well as regulate the body.

Less Alcohol Reliant

There’s a good chance the majority of readers didn’t know alcohol contained animal products. Depending on the type and where it comes from, beer and wine might not be vegan. So, taking up the lifestyle means there will be less reliance on getting intoxicated. You might find partying with friends fun and enjoyable, yet alcohol treatment for related illnesses and injuries has skyrocketed recently. The number of people on the transplant list hasn’t been higher, and veganism can help.

There is also the knock-on effect of leading a healthy life. Yes, not all alcohol contains dairy and vegans can get drunk. But, it’s not as appealing when you see the benefits. Once the weight begins to fall off of the body and you feel great in the morning, the brain starts to wonder. Is drinking regularly a good idea? Won’t it undo all of the hard work? The answers are yes, and this encourages people to drink less.

The world wouldn’t be an alcohol-free place, but the attitude towards drugs would change for the better.

Breakthrough In Poverty

Poverty is a vague term because it applies to a range of things. Let’s focus on food poverty for now. 800 million inhabitants of the earth don’t have access to enough food to live a healthy life. In developing countries, the ones hit the hardest, 13% of the population is malnourished.

What makes this difficult to stomach is the way the western world treats food. Millions of tons of crops are used to feed livestock to sustain the population. The only problem is that the ones in the most need don’t get their fair share. Veganism helps to distribute the wealth as there would be no reason to feed hungry animals.

Instead, the crops can go to nations in Africa and Asia and help an extra 4 billion starving men, women and children.

Animals Will Benefit

In all of this, the welfare of the animals hasn’t been mentioned. Breakthroughs in organic farming have been welcome, but there are still a lot of dodgy practices. The fact that livestock wouldn’t be raised to be butchered is an obvious pro.

However, there is the impact on wildlife too. Greenhouse gasses are destroying habitats and killing nature. Veganism would help the planet recover, which includes plants, animals, and organisms.

When you look at it from this perspective, isn’t veganism a no-brainer?

*This is a collaborative post.*