Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Powerhouse Oatmeal: A Delicious Way to Add Protein to a Classic Breakfast Meal

I recently had a revolution about Oatmeal that is super healthy, delicious, easy and gives me extra protein to help keep me fuller and energized for longer.

It's always a challenge to get enough protein into every meal. Every health article out there says the same thing, "Make sure to include protein in every meal". It's a well known fact among nutritionists that by combining protein with your carbohydrates (and healthy fats) it makes you feel fuller for longer and helps to stabilize your blood sugar levels. I find that making sure I'm eating enough protein is a daily struggle because I've never been a big meat eater and, quite frankly, protein-rich legumes and beans have some nasty side effects!

I always have vanilla flavored protein powder on hand, and honestly I probably don't use it as much as I should. Recently, I've started adding half a scoop of protein powder to my bowl of oatmeal and berries. I find that anymore than half a scoop is too much for the liquid in the oatmeal to dissolve (I personally like my oatmeal a bit soupy). Also, since the protein powder is sweetened already I don't have to add any sugar or sweetener to my oatmeal once it's finished!

To make my 'Powerhouse Oatmeal' I use:

1/3 cup of Large Flake Oatmeal (100 calories, Protein 4 gm)
1/2 cup of Frozen Blueberries & Strawberries (Costco brand) (40 calories)
1/3 cup of Water
1/2 scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder (Costco brand) (60 calories, Protein 12.5 gm *this varies    
      depending on the brand of protein powder you buy)
*optional: Splash of Soy Milk, sprinkle of sliced Almonds, or dollop of yogurt on top once cooked.
(Nutritional Totals: 200 calories, Protein 16.5 gm)

Start off with putting your frozen berries in a bowl and microwave them for 45 seconds to get them mostly thawed. Then add the oatmeal and water to the berries and microwave again for 1 minute. Once cooked add the protein powder and mix thoroughly. If you find the consistency too dry at this point add more water or milk. Top it off with a sprinkle of sliced almonds to add some healthy fats and you're ready to go!

Although I've suggested this meal as an ideal breakfast, it makes for a great meal or snack anytime of day!


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Facebook "Like" Button 101: Learn To Use Your Social Media Approval Like a Champ

To Facebook "Like" OR not to "Like"? That is the question.

Public displays of approval from friends and colleagues feel as loving and reassuring as a warm blanket wrapped around a newly orphaned child. After receiving that incredible feeling of acceptance we in turn desire to return that Love and give out our "Likes" unabashedly and with pride.

But... that being said, like any savvy Facebook user, you don't want to sell yourself short and just give out Facebook "Likes" faster than Zac Efron gives out herpes.  There are moments when Facebook "Likes" need to used with discretion.

Learn to wield and strengthen your social media approval power, like the sassy introvert you are, with this simple breakdown and explanation of The Facebook "Like".

Standard reasons to Give your "Like"

The Genuine, Simplest Reason: 
"I like that"

This is the easiest, most convenient 'Like' button hit... the genuine, sincere, honest, pure, wholesome public display of your coveted approval.

It's your Best Friend or a Family Member: 
"This is my best friend/family member and I like everything they post, even if I don't genuinely 'like' it, because I support and love them"

We love our friends and family dearly (well, some of them), and even though their Facebook posts may not be something you genuinely 'Like' or agree with in anyway... Tough! You have to! This is the true meaning of love & friendship... and they probably do the same for you!

The Sympathy "Like": 
"This person has literally no Facebook friends and if I don't 'Like' their post no one will, and I feel bad for them."

This is probably the most charitable, good Samaritan 'Like' you can give out. It's like an invisible, paper thin (but very real) support system for these sad, friendless individuals.

The "Like" Button Whore:
"I 'Like' every status I see on Facebook no matter what it is"

When you post a status update or picture and a well known "Like Button Whore" 'Likes' it, you know right away that it doesn't really mean anything. Don't be deceived by their 'Likes'. They are as disappointing and unfulfilling as playing Tim Horton's 'Roll up the Rim to Win'.
*Remember: When it comes to giving out your "Likes", be prudent. You don't want to look crazy.

Standard reasons to Withhold your "Like"

The Genuine, Simplest Reason:
"I don't like that"

Every day Facebook gets slammed with a never ending, annoying, myriad of crap... for example:
People who post 'Selfies' every hour, 'supposed' cute animal videos (that frankly aren't that cute... I'm sorry), dessert recipes, chain letters, lovely pictures of abused/emaciated dogs, pro-vaccine fanatics, people who have conversations with their spouse through status updates (seriously?), top 5 lists, nature pictures with reassuring phrase captions, photos that say "Help this Scientist Find A Cure for Cancer by Liking this Picture", etc. 
There are plenty of valid reasons to withhold your approval on Facebook. You don't have to just run out and 'give it up' like some fatherless, teenage girl.

The Grudge Keeper:
"You never 'Like' my posts so I'm not going to 'Like' yours"

This is obviously a more child-like reason to withhold your approval, but a reason nonetheless. If you've been giving out your Facebook 'Likes' and attention to a certain person who's just not returning the favor, maybe you want to think about playing a little harder to get. The giving and receiving of 'Likes' is a two way street... and you don't want to look desperate.

Sad Status Updates:
"Someone posted a very sad status update and I'm unsure if it's appropriate to 'Like' it"

It never fails. Someone is always dying. When people post the obituary of their dearly beloved Grandparent or a heavyhearted description of how much they miss their dog 'Puddles'... it's hard to know whether or not 'Liking' it is considered supportive OR seen as offensive and twisted. When in doubt, leave a thoughtful comment instead.

The Anti-Enabler: 
"I don't want to encourage your crazy, frequent, bat $hit crazy status updates":

There are some Facebook users who seriously need an intervention. They are best described as simply Cray Cray. These individuals post constant, senseless, attention-seeking, major personality disorder-like, crazy rants/photos/updates/links/Creed song lyrics... you name it, they've done it! The weirdest part is that these people typically get more Facebook 'Likes' than God. It is imperative that Facebook "Likes" be limited and used with caution with these individuals. You don't want to be an enabler!
*If you find these people too emotionally draining sometimes it's better to just cut the fat from the meat de-friend them. You don't need that added stress in your life. 
For further info, read my article on Facebook Defriending

So, I'll guess I'll sign off by saying, "Your Welcome!!"  Go out now and use your new found understanding of the power of Facebook "Likes" to help change the world (and cure cancer)!

Bootsy :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Opinions Are Like Assholes: Everybody Has One

"Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one." - Dirty Harry

Nowadays, with the help of social networking, people are finding new and improved ways of being completely rude, opinionated and arrogant jerks. They stand on their soapbox of choice (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and spout out passive aggressive attacks at anyone and everything that they disagree with. Don't get me wrong... having opinions is extremely important and useful. It is imperative as critical thinkers to make judgment calls about issues and ideas so we can make informed decisions and better understand who we are. What is not essential in this equation is being rude, demeaning and condescending towards other people's beliefs and ideas.

Extremely opinionated people have to be very careful not to let their personal beliefs and theories spill over into the ever so popular, slippery slope of "shitting all over anyone who doesn't agree with me". It's one thing to share what you think and feel... that's great! Everyone is entitled to having their voice and speaking their mind. It's a completely different issue when you attack someone else's beliefs or personal life choice. That's not called having an opinion... that's called being an asshole.

Where I see this happening a lot is with different Religions and personal belief systems. Why is it that people feel so entitled to attack someone based on what they believe or don't believe? I thought this was the age of the 'Anti-bullying' campaigns? These people teach their kids not to bully one another at school, and wear pink on Fridays, and play nice with the slow kid in their class or whatever, and then they go on Facebook and post some cartoon that says if you believe in God you're an idiot.
"And the 'Parent of the Year' award goes to... this dick-hole right here!"

I mean, come on! Seriously! It's 2015. We're supposed to be a highly cultivated, civilized, educated society where we celebrate our multicultural differences and aim to eradicate discrimination and inequality.

Maybe some people need to re-read that children's book about the different animals meeting each other for the first time. It goes something like this: so there's this bird that meets a beaver or something, and he says, "Hey Beaver! We're different... and that's pretty cool". Then the beaver goes off and runs into a dolphin or something, and says, "Hey Dolphin! We're different... and I kind of like it!". Then the dolphin swims off and meets some rude, Christian-hating Atheist and says, "Hey human! We have different beliefs... and that's O.K! So stop being a big douche."
Well, I'm not sure if that last part was in the book... but it should be!

When it comes to opinions and opinionated people, it never ceases to amaze me how random acquaintances, family and friends can feel so entitled to freely express what you should or shouldn't do, how you should do it, when you should do it, where you should do it and who you should do it with, all without the slightest concern about what YOU would like. It's as if nobody cares what YOU think or feel or what YOU want, as long as they get THEIR two cents in the conversation.

I feel like Stephanie Tanner from Full House...

We all have opinions, but the best opinion to have is an informed opinion. Before you open your yapper and start spewing out your unfiltered and uneducated opinion ask yourself:

"Am I just being an Arsehole?"
"Am I using accusatory language filled with 'YOU this...' and 'YOU that' instead of 'I see it this way' or 'I think this'?"
"Am I sharing my opinion in a helpful and respectful manner?"
"Am I completely informed about this subject?"
"Is anyone even asking me for my opinion in this conversation or would it be more polite to just listen?"

People are more likely to take your thoughts and opinions seriously, and actually listen to you, if you convey your thoughts and ideas in a logical, respectful and informed manner. 

Life is hard enough with our own negative thoughts and opinions clouding our own minds. Let's remember to be respectful and kind to one another, listen to one another, and if opinions differ, let's practice a respectful "agree to disagree" resolution.