Tag: health

  • Just Cancel All Conferences Already

    The number of cancelled conferences due to COVID-19 is growing, SXSW is the latest big one to cancel. It’s not just the organizers that take a hit when a conference is cancelled or postponed, hotels and restaurants, tourism in general, and so forth suffer too.

    I propose that all conferences and trade shows should be cancelled. Let’s reboot and restart, kill off the whole circuit and find something new. If you do business visiting these things, then you’ll find another way, because business will be done no matter what. And if you make your living on or around the shows, well, you’ll have to adapt. That’s the way of things.

    Maybe I’m just channeling my inner hatred for crowds, and the fake importance of the stage, but I don’t feel that cancelled conferences is such a bad thing. Take this opportunity to find other ways to get what it is you get from conferences. Write down all the good things, and replace them with alternatives. I’m pretty sure that’ll be easier than you thought.

  • Huel it when it’s hot

    Huel it when it’s hot

    Anyone keeping up with my journal knows that Stockholm is currently experiencing something of a heatwave. All of Sweden is, with ensuing forest fires, people getting sick from the heat, among other things. Keeping hydrated when it’s hot is hard, and although I normally drink plenty of water, I feel it’s not enough.

    That’s where Huel comes in. Huel is a (vegan) supplement shake that can, theoretically, replace your entire diet. It is supposed to contain everything you need to survive, and it doesn’t taste like shit. I’ve been using it for some time now, substituting a meal here and there. It’s filling and, when you get used to drinking rather than chewing, it leaves you satisfied.

    It also makes you drink plenty of water, whether you like it or not, because you have to mix the Huel powder with something and water is the best choice. I’ve found that the days where I’ve had one or more Huel shakes, I feel better in this heat. This, I believe, is for two reasons.

    1. I get more fluids into my body, as in a bonus 400-500 ml. That’s a lot, because I don’t drink less just because I’ve had a Huel shake. On the contrary, I want to wash it down with a glass of water or two.
    2. I actually get the necessary nutritions for my body, which is more than I can say for some days. Eating properly is hard in the heat, drinking is easier, and thus I’m fueling my body better thanks to the Huel shakes.

    Yes, that all reads like a promoted post or something, but I’m not getting paid to say this. I’ve turned people on to Huel, and although this sort of, shall we call it food, isn’t for everyone, it’s also helping those who have a hard time eating enough. I have that problem myself at times, and this helps.

    So how does it taste? Well, the vanilla flavored Huel is pretty decent. You don’t need to add any taste to it, although I personally prefer it with a couple of shots of espresso or a quarter of brewed coffee, and some ice. There are flavor packs, which I’ve tried and passed on. Too artificial for my taste, I prefer the relative simpleness of the vanilla flavored Huel myself.

    It does not mix well with red wine. Now you know.

    I’ve tried a few of these supplement and replacement shakes, bars, and powders. It’s not a losing or gaining weight thing for me, it’s the convenience. I live alone, I don’t cook for myself, and I get bored going out all the time. Shakes like this helps, making sure I don’t eat too little. Supplements like Huel will never replace actual food for me, I enjoy the experience of eating too much for that, but as a complement it makes sense.

    Heatwaves are hard on people, especially the old and sick. Distributing something like Huel would be a good idea. People, young and old, have a tendency to drink too little fluids, or mix up what sort of fluids they need. They also eat too little when it’s hot, because who has any appetite when you can hardly breathe, and are sweating and overheating all the time? I don’t think we should swap out clean and pure food for powder, even if it’s vegan and whatnot, but surely there’s a place for something like this in today’s resource-strained world?

    You don’t even have to want to save the world to recommend powder-based food. Just look at obesity, and how expensive it is to eat right. Huel isn’t cheap, but it’s not expensive either. They’re pitching it at $2/meal, or something like that. That sounds about right, and compared to Swedish standards, it’s cheap. So drinking a complete meal is actually saving me money, makes me drink more fluids, and is (supposedly) good for the environment. I feel I can get behind this, despite the overdone tech-bro branding Huel and its ilk are relying on.

  • How much caffeine is too much?

    The Atlantic tries to figure out how much caffeine is unhealthy to put in you body. Yes, it’s about coffee. The number 400 mg is thrown around as a limit:

    Four hundred milligrams amounts to around four cups of coffee in the old-style sense of the phrase, an eight-ounce mug in a diner. It’s more like one Starbucks venti.

    If this was the case, almost everyone in Sweden is overdosing caffeine on a daily basis. Granted, the piece also states that more research is needed and that it’s most likely individual.

    Personally I feel I’ve had enough coffee when I’m starting to feel sick.

  • Benefits of the fitness band

    Benefits of the fitness band

    I’ve been wearing Jawbone’s fitness tracker UP24 for a couple of weeks now, and it’s been an enlightening experience. First of all, this thing is bulky compared to the rock n’ roll bracelets I wear from time to time, but that didn’t stop it from being completely forgotten after a few hours. It’s the design, which not only makes it blend in with whatever clothing you wear, or said bracelets for that matter. The only thing that’d look weird with this thing is a classy watch, but then again you’ve got two wrists, right?

    In all seriousness, I’m impressed by this thing. The UP24 really does blend in, and it’s not as annoying as a lot of jewelry can be. The wavy decoration on the UP24 makes it look a little more exciting, without being extravagant, assuming you didn’t go with one of the garish colors. Which look nice too, I’ll have to add, although I prefer the black one. I’m a bit surprised by the size of this thing though, as in girth, because I’m wearing the large one, and my wrists aren’t exactly thick as logs. My less than slender father tried it on while I visited, and it did fit, but it looked ridiculously strained, clearly not meant for such a wrist. Weird thing that, the sizing, but then again I guess it makes sense to not make fitness bands tailored to larger people as, I’m sure some marketer deduced, they’re less likely to buy a fitness band in the first place. Nevermind that they might be a great target audience for a product such as this.


  • It's A Bit Much

    Hey friend, how’re you doing over there?

    Feeling happy, thrilled, psyched, annoyed, tired, irritable, tired? Starting to wonder why the fuck it matters, or why it doesn’t? Having trouble sleeping, getting into fights with your significant other, kick your dog, snarl at your cat, want to throw that bloody smartphone through the fucking window because you haven’t heard back about that thing, or the internet’s down, or you can’t play GTAV yet, or Apple did something or they didn’t – and fuck! – everyone on Twitter’s telling you things that are wrong and how the hell can’t they understand that you’re right and they’re morons?

    It’s a bit much now, isn’t it? You’re stressed, society forgives you, tells you to chill out a bit, your friends accept your apology. You vow to be better, to get better at dealing with your shit, and you tell it to the world.

    You hit the wall. You get sick. Your heart gives in.

    You’re dead, but you’re not.


  • Taking It Easy

    I had planned to write about something completely different today, but things happened. Not today per se, it’s more of a slow moving long-term kind of thing.

    Stuff happen. Shit happens. Things change.

    All my glorious plans for this summer took a hit this past month due to way too much work. The outlook for these projects are pretty bleak at the moment, but we’ll see. I’ve rescheduled books, and other books have rescheduled themselves due to reasons out of my control. The idea is to free up some time to catch up on vital things, such as breathing, and possibly drinking too.

    Taking a breather is important. I’m an always on kind of guy, I get bored easily and I need several projects rolling at ones. But it’s exhausting too, and the strain you’re under tend to extend to your loved ones as well, in a lesser degree of course, but still.

    Photo by pasukaru76 (CC).
    Photo by pasukaru76 (CC).

    So this is me telling you to slow down if you can, when you can. Take a deep breath, or ideally several, and allow yourself to rest up a bit. Reload those batteries.

    I proclaim July to be International Battery Recharging Month.

    The flip side of slowing down? I’ve got three new ideas already, and yesterday I finished an unscheduled short story. While I’ve been taking it easy, I accidentally solved a problem with a storyline, and although I won’t be hitting that draft just yet, I know that when I do I’ll do so at full pace. I’ve also caught up with most of my correspondence, done another story outline, decided to kick off that newsletter in August, and written some lyrics.

    Who knew taking it easy could be this productive?

  • Taking It Easy Is Hard

    I’ve been home sick since Friday last week, not being able to speak due to throat issues, with a dash of fever and a spot of mucous to go with that. The week before that started with me getting back from another stint of some sort of hyper flu, hyper being a time element in this case. It would seem I got back to work too early, pushing myself too hard, since I got sick again so quickly. I usually don’t get sick.

    Despite not usually being susceptible to whatever flu that’s bothering Stockholm at the moment, I’m not of the habit of working myself towards illness. I did in the past, to an excessive degree one might say, and learned my lesson. Still, there are times when taking it easy is hard.

    Let me rephrase that: Taking it easy is always hard, but sometimes it is really hard.


  • Om Malik's re-birthday

    Take it from someone who’s been down the rabbit hole, you should read Om Malik’s post about his re-birthday. That is, the day shit happened and he had to revaluate what was important. We all should experience such a day, sans the shit part obviously, but I’m afraid most of us are too thickheaded to really understand without something hitting us hard from behind.

    So there, do yourself a favor for the new year and take a breather, think things through, and get out of the negative maelstrom parts of whatever kind of life you’re living. We all have that, we all need to rethink and redo the parts of our lives that just aren’t working out. Work, relationships, whatever – it is all the same and it adds to what could be a problem.

    Happy re-birthday Om. I know, I know, I’m a bit late but it is the thought that counts, right?