Tag Archives: Health

WHY WE LOVE BIG CITIES – I DREAM OF NY, I DREAM OF EUROPE

For a little over a year, I have been living in Los Angeles. I haven’t yet warmed up to the city to the extent that I feel comfortable to call it my home; yet, when I first arrived to Los Angeles I absolutely loved it. Why? The beaches, the weather, the mountains, the proximity to both ocean and snow, the diversity, the food, you name it! The creativity! There are so many people that come to this city with a vision of making their dreams a reality. So many artists, writers, musicians, filmmakers. I felt surrounded by people that understood my desire for a creative life. Yet, I haven’t been able to call it home.

After a long inner search, it finally dawned on me. I miss that constant novelty I got in New York City. Where all I had to do was step outside my door without worrying about a car or parking and I knew I could find a world of possibilities. An adventure awaited. LA is a big city, and unfortunately, not the best example for public transportation. There are great pockets to the city. But having to drive to them takes away from the spontaneity that I personally crave.

I am drawn to travel. I dream of a European home. Weekend trips to different cultures by simply jumping on a train; different architecture, different languages spoken. European cities are built for the human scale, for walking; for experiencing architectural beauty every few steps. I see that in my future, but for now, my craving goes to the concrete jungle in the East Coast. New York still holds my heart, even with all of its imperfections (aka. the subway at rush hour).

Turns out, my craving of novelty is a very basic human need. We are biologically disposed to want to be in locations with variety, with differences, with complexity. We all have different ways of fulfilling this need. Perhaps many don’t even realize why, or how to fill it. There is even research that suggests humans are healthier when we live among variety. That the cities of the future, especially here in the US, that are built for the bottom line, could cause even more depression – among other health issues. Boredom increases cortisol levels more than sadness.

Imagine the cumulative effects of working and living in the same dull environment. Day after day.  Ughh.

Yes, I realize this took a dark turn. It all started with a sunny happy description of Los Angeles. The wonderful city of Los Angeles. I truly do think it’s beautiful. It does need to work on it’s infrastructure for better public transportation. With so many artists in the city, I don’t think it is living up to it’s best potential just yet. For now, I am here to point this out, but I see myself moving back to New York City. After all, I know I have unfinished business with that town, and with that, be closer to my beloved Europe.

Cheers!

What do you think? How do you look for novelty in your life?

Resolution: Aiming To Do Less

As we come into a New Year, many of us (yes, myself included), are mapping out our goals for 2018. Getting ready to make this year bigger and better. For a lot of people – especially in the country that has been my home for the last few years – this means to enter, or continue in the “culture of Hustling” as Morris Berman refers to it. These days, millions of people glorify sleeplessness and the constant state of being busy.

As a girl in my mid-twenties (scary times), I agree that “grinding” or “hustling’ to create a life and career you love is something valuable and sometimes necessary. 

But don’t just hustle for the sake of it. Don’t stay busy just to brag about having no free time. We are not here to work to work to work to die.

One piece of advice that I think Arianna Huffington would agree with: when you wake up in the morning, don’t immediately look at your phone or computer. Put yourself in a state of creation and not reaction.

I have lived in a couple of different countries outside of the US. Those countries being Switzerland, Italy and Venezuela. When living in Europe, I noticed there is a shift in my priorities. Only a shift. I was more focused on my happiness than my monetary success while living in Europe; especially in Italy. I am talking everyday happiness. Where I enjoy the present moment. The slice of pizza, the morning cappuccino. 

There is definitely value on the hustle; but I believe it should be used as a springboard to success, not a constant for success. Not success itself.

Because hustle, hustle, hustle, eventually gets you burn out. Good hustle is that which feels like an adventure to enjoy. I guess the takeaway is; if you are building something, in which “hustling” is required, work intelligently. Get help where you need it, delegate. Get some rest and reset your mind constantly.There is no real glory in a busy life with no real rewards outside of the work.

Darling… It’s not just about the Food

Photo by: Steph Hansman

Photo by: Steph Hansman

I like to think we are all students of life. Some students take a more active role than others I would say. Sometimes you don’t even know if you are doing it right. 

Are other people doing this thing called life better than me?! I don’t know, you might wonder. I have definitely wondered. 

Others just kind of absentmindedly go through. Doing the bare minimum just to get through the day. Just to pass the class. 

I mean you could really always make analogies about academic life and dating life. I picked academic today. 

Anyway, today I read something that struck a cord: Health is not only about what you eat, but also about what you say. 

Dang. 

I mean, how many times do people criticize and berate themselves while they are eating a healthy diet (or trying to). They insult their physical appearance because they don’t look the way they want to look – and therefore they do not feel good. 

Photo by: Elizabeth Otaola

Photo by: Elizabeth Otaola

How does anyone expect to feel good and healthy if they are always feeding themselves negative thoughts? 

Yeah they say health is 70% diet and 20% exercise. That won’t matter at all if your head is not in the right place. 

#justsaying 

This obviously goes beyond dieting but that was the most straightforward way to explain it to my fellow students. 

Hey! Btw, if you are also wondering how you are doing with life. Good for you! At least you are trying. But no comparisons people! Seriously. Everyone is going through a different path. 

Alright, I will end this post with this photograph so it’s not too cheesy 😉 

Artist: Sake

Artist: Sake

Cheers!

Go ahead… Eat those FRIESSS

Hey you! Yes, you darling. The one who tries to eat healthy all the time. You eat your fruits, your veggies, your complex carbs, maybe even drink your tea every day and know what drinking kombucha does for your body. 

Occasionally you are tempted, you are human after all. Look at all your friends eating slices of pizza or bars of snickers. Sigh. Maybe your friends are all holistic eaters, and/or vegans. If not, well, your job to keep a healthy lifestyle is just tougher. 

Amiright?

Probs. 

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you: eat those friggin’ french fries. You know you want them. 

You are out to lunch with your friends, you know you’ve been eating healthy all week. Then your friend Patricia orders eggs Benedict with a side of fries. She’s all like: “Have as many as you want!”

You start feeling all this guilt after you do. DON’T

You’ve probably heard this before but life is all about balance. Keep your healthy habits. You go! 

Occasionally you will be tempted. Occasionally have the friggin’ chocolate, or ice cream, or friessss. Those fries though. 

Now don’t go eating the fries every day and then come blaming me. Nah. Keep your body in balance. Don’t restrict yourself too much or you’ll drive yourself crazy. 

Alright, good talk. Now i’ve got to go I have a salad to finish. 

Cheers!

Wake up at 5:30 am. Commute. Repeat.

Photography by: Elizabeth OtaolaFor the last couple of weeks NYC has turned into one of the most stressful cities I have ever lived in. For the fist time in over a year I have come to understand why day in and day out hundreds of people feel exhausted enough to nap during the commute in the subway.

I decided that everyday I would do something different that would change my life in the long run; and I am not talking about my schooling or my freelance job. I decided to find my creative voice and do something about it for 100 days. I also decided to require to a 3 month long fitness routine that would require me to do some sort of exercise 6 times a week. Between school, work, and my much beloved sleep, I would normally decide that I did not have the time. I was also moving out of my apartment… so packing, transporting, selling, added a lot of stress. This time however, I decided not to make excuses for myself. I am no longer going to “postpone” it to when the timing is better.

I had to get into the mindset that the time to start is now. So I started.

I have had to prioritize. Wake up early. Neglect my night clubbing life entirely (which btw I am happier without). I’ve had to wake up at 5.30 am to get things done; and I have been consistent.

Why?

Mostly because I’ve stopped making excuses for myself. I have also recognized that a lot of my non-committal nature (be it to creative projects, fitness, etc.) was due to fear.IMG_4907 Fear of failure, judgement… My non-committal nature wasn’t because of laziness – and this is not a ME problem, may of us struggle with this.

The fact that I was able to identify the problem was what allowed me the freedom to follow up with an idea.

I don’t have to deal with moving out of my apartment anymore. That’s done; but being able to stick to my vlogging, plus school, plus work, all together, was my test. A test that I passed. If I can do it then, I can do it now.

It really wasn’t NYC’s fault that my life was so stressful, but it certainly didn’t make it easy for me 😉

Cheers!