History of Tattoos and Tattoo Evolution Through Decades

history of tattoos

No doubt, the history of body art falls back several centuries, and over the centuries, the tattoos have a significant place in the lives of people. Ethnographic and historical texts also divulge that every human culture has practiced tattooing during some part of their history and are taking a new form in modern time.

History of Tattoos

The history of tattoos and the word tattoo comes from the Tahitian word “Tatu”. Tatu means is to mark something. However, it is claimed that the history of tattoos on the human body has existed since 12,000 years BC. The purpose of inking body varies from culture to culture. The trend of inking your body is not new but the culture, the social revolutions have a significant impact on what styles one should choose to get inked.

According to Research, the trend of getting permanent marks has been evolved a lot in the last years, transferring from an underground culture, sordid practice to a middle-of-the-road, blasting and mainstream industry. We can see a drastic change in the ways of getting inked, the designs and the purposes.

Anyhow, let’s have a look at how tattoos have changed over the years, and especially over the last century in the USA.

Tattooing trend earlier in the 1910’s, 20’s and 30’s

Well, at the beginning of 20th century, tattooing was considered as a seedy act and was only related to those people or a society which perceived as an insalubrious one or to others like sailors, circus freaks, prisoners, etc.

That is true to some extent because at those times it was common for some social groups to ink their body. For example, sailors were using (and sometimes still use in some cultures) tattoos as a symbol of their traveling or to showcase nautical tattoos. One is very popular which everyone knows and is an anchor. All tattoos related to this field had specific meanings in the nautical community. Another great example is a swallow tattoo which was used a lot by the sailors who had traveled over 5,000 miles. Similarly, a turtle tattoo was used by those people who have crossed the equator as a status of completion.

In those days, tattoos were not an art form or a common practice, therefore people used to pay thousands of dollars to see people with full body tattoos in a freak circus. This is a great example when it comes to contrast what tattoos were representing back then and where they are positioned nowadays in our lives.

The pain!

Another other reason for rejection for having tattoos was the fact that they hurt like hell and were usually made in a not very sterile environment which was causing many infections and even deaths. Tattoos were done in a very old and traditional way with a “Stick-and-Poke” method. Not everyone was able to survive such high levels of pain.

The evolution of tattoos happened when in 1904 Charlie Wagner invented the coil and the tube tattoo machine 1904. making a tattoo became a less painful act, and a large number of aficionados were ready to tattoo their bodies.

Tattoos in the 1940’s:

There was no acceptance of getting inked back in those days, nevertheless, World War II enabled men to show their love, respect, and patriotism toward armed forces. Men in the 1940’s were able to easily get tattoos to honor their services. However, women were also at war, that made is acceptable to make tattoos to show their love towards their nations.

That was the time when getting inked was no longer for circus freaks as it was becoming a practice among the society. it was the beginning of a new art form which was exposed, endorsed and started being loved by many.

The most famous tattoos at that time were of Sailor Jerry tattoos. Yes, these were the simplest, two dimensional and colorful design tattoos. I found a few examples below:

Sailor Jerry Tattoos

The downfall of tattoos in the 1950’s

In 1950’s tattoos lost all their charm and went back to their original roots which were the underground practicing of the art. It was basically the post-war period when the United States chose a more conformist society where the focus was on different social issues.

The rise of patriotic tattoos in the USA in the 1960’s

The 60s can be referred to the middle age of tattoos. This was the time of various campaigns due to the Vietnam War and protests for women’s rights. Thwas wa the peak of the revolution for that time. People were more aware of the civil right movements in the United States, rock and roll was the devils music, TV was a magic box etc. 60’s were the times when the society was disturbed by cultures and at that time tattoo industry started reflecting that rebellious spirit of people which started to split themselves into subcultures, social classes and categories.

However, many people were not in favour of the Vietnam War, and many people were raging against all sort of injustice. So in that beleaguered era, the only thing which was getting popularity day by day was the “peace sign tattoo”.

1970’s – The evergreen tattoo period

It was the time when tattoos start gaining popularity and becoming convoluted in the 70’s. The trend of getting full-sleeve tattoos was at a hot note. And the artwork itself became more detailed. So the art took a step into the right direction where people became aware of shading, shaping and creating depth in their tattoos.

But there was no option of getting tattoos of your choice as people had to pick from the drawings that parlor offered them. However, the most iconic, famous and eye-catchy tattoo of that time was Janis Joplin’s tattoo.

Janis Joplin’s tattooJanis Joplins tattoo

Yeah, that was a wrist tattoo which was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone and encouraged most of the women to ink it.

Janis Joplin cover

Whacky tattoo 1980’s fashion

In the 1980’s, the trend of having long hair and tattoos was trending like never before, and the biggest reason for this was  probably MTV. This channel had encouraged thousands of people to get tattoos as a form of self-expression while featuring different TV shows, shoring and sharing punk music, indie cultures, street style, skateboarding etc. This was the boom of the 80s!

The most famous tattoos at that time were the tribal tattoos, the thick black line or colorful tattoos which were of a different kind at that period. However, the New Schools Tattoos was also at their peak point in the 80s. We can say the time of tattoos had come! Zany 1980’s

History of Tattoos - New Schools Tattoos History of Tattoos - New Schools Tattoos History of Tattoos - New Schools Tattoos

The rise of Feminine tattoos – 1990

These were the days when the feminine tattoos like hearts, stars and butterflies were enjoyed a lot by the masses. This is probably the ones we can see a lot still on older people.

Tattoos of 2000’s and today

Till 2000’s the concept of getting inked was evolving and is considered as the coolest thing that one can do. The main role of doing so was reality TV shows and Social media that played a big role in encouraging people for tattooing. Kat Von D is a celebrity which with her tattoos has boosted the tattoo culture in the 2000’s. She allowed the spread of the trend by representing herself on TV and different media at that time.

However, with the advancement in the processes of getting inked have changed the way of people’s thinking when it comes to getting a tattoo. In the beginning, people were afraid of catching a disease from the so-called seedy tattoo parlor, but now this process is fully risk-free thanks to growing professionalism, sterile environments, and progress of the industry in general.

No more worries! Tattoos today

Nowadays getting a modern tattoo is no more considered as a weird thing. From 2000 to today’s day, the discouragement against tattoos went down day by day, and for a good reason. Due to social media and reality shows, people started knowing more about inking, and now people like to get inked from lower back to inside lips. Which is a little bit weird yet becoming more acceptable in our society.

Almost everyone gets tattooed these days, it does not matter whether you are an employee or a pre-school teacher, therapist or someone else, inking your body is no more a seedy act or is shameful in any way. If there is a desire to get a tattoo, I highly recommend going for it.

3 Realizations About ‘Being Fit’ That Turned My Lifestyle Upside Down

Fit

But Be Aware, This Is Not Another 5-Step Beach Body Guide

The Moroccan sun was hitting the small surfer town Taghazout hard this afternoon. ‘You lookin’ really fit’, a blond English girl tells me, while we were sipping our wine on the rooftop of our hostel. I had to laugh. Fit? Me? Definitely not. I had not seen the inside of a gym in months, maybe went for a run twice this whole year and my favorite walks have been to the donut shops in Melbourne downtown.

The term fit has been defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary as “sound physically and mentally: healthy“. However, my motivation to work out, to be fit physically and mentally, simply to be healthy, had seen better days.

If you are reading this article, chances are, you’ve been there yourself:  The couch calls your name in the evenings, your bed does not let you go early in the morning, especially not for a run and only the thought of going to the gym is nothing but torture.

That has been me, for basically the whole year. Until about two weeks ago.

Thinking about the role of media, different types of motivation and mindfulness have turned my lifestyle upside down.

The realizations I have made recently will not give you a six pack in 2 weeks, will not make you run a marathon and most definitely will not make you loose 10kg.

They might, however, make you think differently about ‘being fit’. And maybe, they will also turn your lifestyle upside down.

The media tells us how to be physically fit

fit
Photo by Cristian Baron on Unsplash

Shockingly, almost 80% of U.S. women and 34% of men are dissatisfied with their own bodies, according to a study conducted by Park Nicollet Merlrose Center.

Most commonly, women strive for weight loss while men tend to focus on building strong muscles and a six pack.

But why is it, that we think skinny women and big men are fit?

The answer is simple: Because we are told so from all sides: magazines, social media and our peers.

Fit girls lifting dumbbells in leggings in NY warehouse
Photo by Bruce Mars on Unsplash

The Men’s Health Magazine which reaches over 21 million men worldwide, claims to be able to tell all men whether they are weak or strong. One article states: ‘you’ll find our definition of fit—10 simple (though by no means easy) things every man must be able to do before he stamps himself “in shape.” Says who? Says us.’ It is no surprise that men feel a pressure to lift heavy and squat low, when they are confronted with such made up benchmarks.

However, the definition of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, brings a little twist to our notion of fit. Their definition of physical fitness says, it is “a set of attributes that people have or achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical activity.”

At this point I would like to shortly introduce you to Ismail, a 23-year-old surf instructor from Morocco. He is no taller than me, if you count his blond curly hair, he might be as tall as 1.70m. His body is skinny and it is impressive how he jumps over the rocks with a surf board that is far too big and probably weighs as much as he does. He paddles strongly, moves quickly through the ocean, catches every wave. Going to the gym was never an option for him. He would probably not be able to satisfy the author of the Men’s Health article, but he has taught himself the needed attributes that relate to the ability to surf like a pro. Ismail is physically fit in surfing.

What does fit even mean?

Jen Sinkler, a writer and personal trainer, poses an interesting question in one of her articles: ‘What is your personal definition of fit?’. She explains how she is personally very fit lifting weights, but due to personal conditions, very unfit when it comes to hiking.

When we talk about physical fitness, we should move away from asking: Are you fit? And instead, as Jen Sinkler recommends, ask: What are you fit in?

I realized that the media cannot tell me how fit I am. They cannot tell me what I should look like.

It is a matter of our very own perception and feeling of well-being.

We do not need the media to determine our personal fit.

Fitness is not just about your motivation

Fit
Photo by Tommy Lisbin

If a little motivation were the key, we would all be active regularly. But how often have you found yourself in the evening on the couch with the option of binge watching some Netflix with a glass of wine, or hitting the gym, going for a run or doing some yoga? More than once I assume. Lately, I have found great excuses: No time, no energy and my favorite one, no motivation. I kept telling myself, the motivation would come back eventually and then I will start being active again.

Fact is, that mindset did not get me off of the couch and before I knew it, seven months had passed.

When it comes to motivation, it is important to be aware of two different types: extrinsic and intrinsic.

Ryan and Deci have studied the scale of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, explaining the drives of human behavior.

fit

To sum it up: working towards that beach body, fitting into those new jeans or wanting approval from your peers, all fall into extrinsic motivation. It is an award from the outside which is out of our control. Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, comes from the pure joy of doing it. It is a matter of personal fulfilment, which is entirely up to us and our mind.

I asked Ismail, the surf instructor, why he spent so much time surfing. ‘It’s only happiness. You go in the water with a problem in your head but come out with nothing but happy feelings. I just love to surf, always have.’

Talking to various people who have continuously advanced their fitness level in a certain area, it seems like passion and consistency are the key factors, rather than relying solely on extrinsic motivators.

At the end of the day, it is up to each one of us to find out what works best. Most common seems to be a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic motivations to keep us going.

The magic link of mindfulness and fitness

Fit
Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

Brian Grasso, author of Mindset Matters Most, says that mindset “refers to the stories you tell yourself, about yourself”.

While our mind can be our greatest fan, it can also be our greatest hurdle. We decide the role it plays and how it shapes our perception of reality.

As Buddha once said:

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.

So how will mindfulness lead our way to a fit lifestyle?

If goals such as a number on the scale, fitting into jeans again or decreasing our body-fat-percentage do not motivate us, we should take a closer look at our mindset.

We must move away from numbers and towards the goal of making workouts a time of pleasure and most importantly, a habit.

If you hate the sticky air at the local gym, try and go for a run. If you do not enjoy the exhaustion, try a dance course with some friends. And if you feel like no workout has brought you any joy, try something new. The options are countless: climbing, cycling, swimming, volleyball, soccer, basketball, hockey…

We should spend some time on figuring out what we enjoy doing, what we do not, and why.

Once you have found one or more sports, make it a habit to work out regularly.

Believe in yourself and find joy in the exercises. Being mindful during your training will help you to identify moments of happiness. They might be a runner’s high, your team winning a match, or lifting that extra weight that seemed impossible a week ago.

When we are mindful about our feelings while working out, we can consciously create a joyful habit.

Suddenly, we will actually look forward to getting off of the couch and becoming our personal fit.

Tell yourself the right stories. Tell yourself: You are fit.

How these realizations turned my lifestyle upside down?

fit
Photo by Allison Heidrich

Out of frustration with myself, I felt like I needed a drastic change. I was sick of being lazy and thus came the spontaneous decision to go to Morocco for one week.

Seven days of surfing and yoga.

Forcing myself into this new situation, I finally found joy in working out again.

Now that I am back home, I still do yoga every day, my love for running is suddenly back and I am even hitting the gym again.

Realizing that I was doing it for myself and not with the goal to please anyone else, was the first step. Then realizing that I had to find joy in the actual exercise was the next step.

And now, I am making it a happy habit. I am becoming my own fit.

What are your thoughts on ‘being fit’? How would you describe the role of media when it comes to body image? How do you motivate yourself to keep going? What kind of sports do you enjoy?

Share your thoughts, spread some knowledge and be a motivation 🙂

Food Waste – How We’re Destroying Our Planet and Why We Have to Change

Food Waste

When we think of factors that harm the planet, cars, oil spills, power plants, and maybe even CO2 emissions from cows come to our mind. It seems obvious that these aspects speed up the process of global warming. But there is another, often overlooked cause that we should all be concerned about: food waste.

Food WasteAccording to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 6.7% of all global greenhouse gases come from food wastage.

Doesn’t sound like much? Imagine this:

If food waste were a country, it would be the number 3 emitter of greenhouse gas in the world, right after China and the United States!

 

We overlook, ignore and don’t pay enough attention to the negative impacts. It’s time to raise awareness before it’s too late.

The Biggest Food Wasters

It’s easy to point a finger at others, blaming restaurants and farms, but just take a moment to realize that there are three other fingers pointing at yourself. We, the consumers, have the power to make a change. Our impact is greater than we think.

Farms

Food Waste

My sister spent a few months on a small farm, just an hour out of Perth. ‘It was a little orange farm in the middle of nowhere, the first time I worked as a fruit picker.’ She remembers, ‘The first days were not easy. The sun was either burning or rain was pouring down heavily, it didn’t matter, we had to clear the trees of every single fruit. After eight hours of hard work, 8 bins, the size of big dining room tables, had to be filled.’ Her features clouded with anger, ‘1/3 of the oranges went straight to the garbage!’ This waste of food occurs even before we have the chance to buy it. In fact, almost half of all vegetables and fruits produced go, just like the oranges, straight to the garbage (I’ll talk about the reason for this later on in the article).

Restaurants

Food Waste

I have worked in several restaurants and the amount of perfectly edible food I’ve seen landing in the garbage has been extreme. But surprisingly, restaurants are not the number 1 food wasters. While 40% of waste occurs here, it is still less than in our homes. However, this waste costs the American industries alone 57$ billion annually.

Homes

Food Waste

We, at home, waste the most food of all. 43% of food waste occurs in our own four walls! While it has a massive impact on the environment, our wallets also suffer: According to Selina Jull, a typical European household loses 900€ per year on wasted food and a US household over 1000$.

What Damage Do We Cause by Wasting Food?

While different types of damage are  caused when we throw away immense amounts of food, there are two points I would like to highlight.

Humans

Food Waste

Two facts stand out when looking at the world’s population.

  1. 3 metric giga-tons of edible food are wasted each year.
  2. At least 795 million people suffer from hunger.

So while 1 out of 9 people in the world are undernourished, we continue to waste food on a large scale.

The connection between those in need, and those that have too much, seems to be missing completely. There is an obvious distribution problem but luckily, companies such as copia are attempting to help us and make it easier for us to tackle the issue.

Environment

Food Waste
But the damage goes even beyond hunger and starvation:

we damage our planet in ways that cannot be reversed. The climate pollution caused by food waste is explained easily. Let’s just picture our typical Saturday supermarket stroll.

We’ve worked through most of the list. Next stop, bananas. Three, four? Maybe just a dozen, they’re on special and they’ll get eaten eventually, right? Into the basked they go.

But hold on.

What is needed to produce them?

Land, water, hard work, time and other resources.

How do they get to the supermarket?

Depending on where they are from, they have probably travelled more kilometers than we have in the past year.

And what about the 3 left over bananas ?

Turns out, 12 bananas were too many. Three of them end up on the counter, slowly but surely turning into brown mush. The thing is, they produce methane, which is 25 times more aggressive than carbon dioxide. What actually happens here is that the gas absorbs the heat of the sun, thus heating up the entire atmosphere – simply said: it speeds up global warming.

How Can We Waste Less Food?

Food Waste

The damage we are causing is extreme. But luckily, food waste is a problem that is comparatively easy to tackle for each one of us.

1. Know The Labels

Shockingly, 90% of America’s food waste is due to confusion about products’ expiry date. So here is a little reminder:

Best Before: This is NOT when you should toss food away. Until this day, the producer guaranties highest quality. After that, it’s up to you to decide whether a product is still enjoyable.

 Use By: You should eat it before this date! After, the consumption is no longer advisable due to health risks.

2. Conquer Fridge Confusion

We often don’t know what’s in the mysterious depths of our fridge. Try to stay on top of it. If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you’ve probably heard of the FIFO rule. First in, first out. It’s a simple food rotation system: label your food products with dates and store the older items in front (what went in first, will go out first). Don’t let that good piece of cheese disappear into the dark corners of your fridge where you’ll forget it and eventually toss it into the bin.

3. Susceptible in Supermarkets

Food Waste

I do this all the time – I go to the supermarket with no list, an empty stomach and am susceptible to every special. The result? A basket full of things I like to eat BUT which will definitely not  add up to a proper meal .Also, I simply buy way too much. We should all try to shop in a smarter way. How? With a meal plan for the week, a shopping list and definitely a full stomach.

4. The Odd Bunch

When my sister told me about all the oranges that landed in the bin, the main reason was that they weren’t good enough for the market – too small, too big or not perfectly round.

Many supermarkets in Australia are now offering the “odd bunch” at lower prices. It is a bunch of imperfectly formed fruits and vegetables -the ones that should have e landed in the garbage, according to the guidelines.

We should support this, show some love for the odd bunches in the supermarkets and see if our local farmers have some odd bunches ‘to waste’. (We can save money AND contribute to reducing food waste.)

What Will You Change?

Food Waste

Food waste is destroying our planet. It is clear that a change needs to happen. Each one of us is part of the problem and can be part of the solution. I hope you will keep some of these things in mind when you go shopping the next time, when you go through your cluttered fridge and when you toss those brown bananas in the bin.

The damage is done, but it is not too late to turn things around.

We can change the world

We can fight hunger and slow down global warming.

We can stop wasting food.

 

Intermittent fasting, a new trend ?

If you are even a tiny bit into fitness or health then you might have heard of this crazy concept, intermittent fasting. The first thing I think when I hear about new trends like these is people trying their hardest to starve themselves to fit into the “Instagram standards”. Like for real, why aren’t people happy with just a normal balanced healthy diet? But just like every other trend everyone blindly jumps into the trend. As a fitness and health enthusiast I also wanted to try this out and see what this craze is all about, but first I did my research to find out a bit more of this way of eating. What I found was a pretty surprising.

THE HISTORY OF INTERMITTENT FASTING

Even though intermittent fasting is the new craze and trend it isn’t anything new. Humans have been fasting for most of their history. You know back then when we weren’t so privileged and couldn’t consume anything we laid our eyes on? Yes, I am talking about those times. Humans have been fasting for a long time for different reasons like food scarcity and religious reasons. Fasting has been seen as one of the most effective ancient healing traditions in human history. The ancient Greeks believed that fasting improved overall health. I am not sure to what extent this is the most effective way of healing, but if the ancient Greeks said it, it must be true.

This form of healing has been practiced by a lot of cultures and religions on earth. Aside from fasting for health reasons a lot of religions and cultures fasted for a spiritual purpose. Fasting until this day still remains a big part of some religions. Jesus, Buddha, and Muhammed all believed that fasting had amazing healing powers. They called it cleansing or purification. Fasting then slowly started to become a known practice in different religions. Fasting was trending a long time ago. We are way behind on this one.

WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING

Intermittent fasting is not a diet, but an eating pattern. Fasting is when you don’t consume any food. Intermittent fasting is when you go a period of time without consuming any type of food and then break that fast by eating. Intermittent fasting is a way to schedule when you are eating. This eating pattern does not change what you eat. Your diet basically stays the same. Usually, people try to eat as many calories as they were consuming before they started this eating pattern. So, if you were having 20 chicken nuggets you can still have them but just at a different time, right?

Intermittent fasting is used by many fitness people to get lean and to keep muscle without going on any crazy diet or restricting your calories. A lot of people use this method to lose fat. Even though it might sound simple. If you are eating 20 chicken nuggets when you’re supposed to be eating, I doubt you’ll lose any fat. Most people eat bigger meal portions during a shorter period of time. This will make you feel a lot more satisfied. This will only work if you are eating a balanced diet. Intermittent fasting is one of the simplest ways to keep the bad weight off. It is that simple that you can actually do it with little effort because honestly nobody really likes putting that much effort.

INTERMITTENT FASTING METHODS 

There are a lot of different methods of intermittent fasting. There are different ways to schedule when you are going to eat to what is most convenient for you. Even though there are a lot of ways of intermittent fasting there are two that are most known.

16/8 Daily intermittent fasting:

source: https://jamesclear.com/the-beginners-guide-to-intermittent-fasting

This way of intermittent fasting is the most known in the fitness community. The trendy name for this way of intermittent fasting is “the leangains protocol”. This way of intermittent fasting is when you fast for 16 hours followed by an 8-hour eating period. You can choose whenever you start your 8 hour eating period, but most people choose to skip breakfast because this is the most convenient. This also allows you to be more social because usually, you have lunch or dinner with family or friends. If you actually have any friends.

This is the easiest way of intermittent fasting to get into a habit if you do it long enough because it is a daily practice. There are a few con’s that comes with this way of intermittent fasting. Because you are skipping breakfast or whatever meal you are skipping it becomes a lot harder to get the number of calories you’re supposed to be getting. This means you’ll have to eat bigger meals. This will be really hard in the begging especially if you’re someone who is not used to eating big portions.

24-hour weekly intermittent fasting:

source: https://jamesclear.com/the-beginners-guide-to-intermittent-fasting

This way of intermittent fasting is when you go 24 hours without eating any food. This means you eat a whole day of what you normally would eat and then finishing off with dinner at for example 8 PM and then you fast the next day the entire day until 8 PM. It is commonly done once a week but can be also done twice a week or even once a month.  After you did this fast you go back to your regular diet. This way of intermittent fasting is the least effective one when it comes to weight loss because you are only skipping two meals per week. Even though it might not help with weight loss it can have a lot of health benefits. This can also be the hardest way of intermittent fasting because a lot of people are not used to going through an extended period of time without any food. This can come with various side effects especially when you’re first starting off. This is basically a foodie’s worst nightmare.

BENEFITS FROM INTERMITTENT FASTING

 Even though skipping breakfast and meals seems unhealthy there a lot of health benefits that come with intermittent fasting. Even though there isn’t a lot of evidence or studies to back these ups. The difference between men and women is also pretty big. So, these are just very broad benefits.

Weight loss:

I was debating if I should even put weight loss as a benefit. Even though losing weight might be a benefit for a lot of people it can also be a negative. When you are doing intermittent fasting, it can lead to an automatic reduction in calorie intake, because you are eating fewer meals. Intermittent fasting can also change hormone levels that will make losing weight a lot easier. This will help you burn a lot more calories.

Hormone changes:

There are a lot of hormone changes that come with intermittent fasting. This might have been also the reason why I was so hangry all the time. My hormones were probably going insane.The levels of your growth hormones will increase. This will help with fat loss and muscle gain. It also increases the release of the fat burning hormone (norepinephrine). This helps access stubborn fat.

More about hormones: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC329619/

Healthy blood sugar levels:

By following intermittent fasting, it can help by reducing insulin resistance. This helps lowering blood sugar. This can help to protect you against type 2 diabetes.

Hearth health:

Intermittent fasting also helps to reduce LDL cholesterol. Because intermittent fasting helps with healthy blood sugar levels this also decreases all risks for heart diseases.

INTERMITTENT FASTING, CONVENIENT OR NOT?

 You can see intermittent fasting in two different ways. It can either be very convenient or very inconvenient. This all depends on who you are and the type of schedule that you have.

What makes intermittent fasting so convenient is that you don’t have to think about breakfast or in other cases the meal that you are skipping. This means you have a lot more time to think about your daily tasks. This can also be convenient because you don’t have to be cooking all the time you only have to eat bigger portion meals.

Intermittent fasting can also be pretty inconvenient, especially if you’re someone who doesn’t really have a set schedule. In my case, I can’t always choose what time I eat. It also depends on what type of person you are. In my case, I am someone who really loves food and gets pretty hangry really fast.

Intermittent fasting is not everyone. Everybody is different and you have to see if it fits your lifestyle. The most important is that you listen to your body. I personally like to eat whenever my body wants and restricting myself to a certain number of hours to eat does not really work for me. If you are someone who has a set schedule and that doesn’t mind eating at one certain time intermittent fasting is perfect for you.

Check out my experiment with intermittent fasting:

How Natural Nootropics can Hack your Brain

Are you a competitive person? Do you want to be better than others? Do you want to be on the top of the game? Well, there is a way to hack your brain and stretch the limits which would allow you to outperform your old self. Today we will discuss Natural Nootropics, different types of nootropics, and some of my favourite ones because I have been taking them for the last couple of years.

What are nootropics?

Nootropics are not drugs, I am not taking drugs, I wish I did tho… But I cannot afford the ones I want… Nevertheless, Nootropics is not a magic pill like in the movie Limitless (which I absolutely love and have watched it 5 times). Some synthetic drugs like Adderall or Ritalin can cause a similar effect which you could observe in the movie, but these drugs work short-term and in my opinion are not worth it if you need long-term, healthy quality performance.

What do nootropics do?

brain boots nootropics

Nootropics refer to a wide range of synthetic and natural compounds that improve your brain functions such as memory, motivation, focus and even mental clarity. In order for something to be a nootropic, there should be no serious side effects, which means that they should offer a slight increase “high” and better recovery without making you trip your balls for days or weeks. As well, it is important to research the supplements to avoid side effects such as allergies. I am no doctor, but even I can tell you that an apple a day…omg….lame… I wanted to say, chose the ones you think fit you well and are checked long term to avoid different unpleasantries.

Types of Nootropics

So let us break those down into two major categories, synthetic nootropics and natural nootropics. First one is synthetic nootropics, and these are created in labs and are to be found cognitively enhancing with low or no side effect. One of the very popular ones which was found over 50 years ago and is called modafinil. This drug was tested for the last 20 years, and to this day, people are not completely sure if long-term consumption of it will not have any serious side effects, yet you can find a bunch of cases where people have pretty disturbing allergic reactions to this drug.

The story of a friend on Modafinil? (Mr Pickles Story)

mr pickles

My friend Pickles, during a period of his life, was ready to do anything in order to perform and work 18 hour days to achieve his goals. So he decided to take synthetic nootropics as they would affect faster and last longer. Mr Pickles researched the internet, surfed the web and dived into the deep web to gather as much information as he could on this amazing drug. Modafinil is mostly used to fight narcolepsy, but for a healthy person, it allows to work longer periods of time without feeling tired and also it kept Mr Pickles concentrated and focused. Unlike Adderall, modafinil does not have serious side effect and does not have a psychological addiction. At one point it was even called “The Smart Drug of Silicon Valley”.

Mr Pickles started taking the drug a few times a month when he needed to work an extreme number of hours. For the first months, it was going fine, he was super productive, motivated, and felt that he could run to the moon. But like anyone in this world, he got slapped by life.

After 3 months he started feeling itchy and noticed the bruises which were appearing on his arms and body. He thought that it was caused by something else because he was already taking modafinil for over 3 months. Next week he took one more dose, and that was when things got very bad. He noticed that these bruises were appearing everywhere on his body, arms, lips, back, chest and hands. All these bruises were itching to the point he wanted to burn them with hellfires, where is when he realized that they were filled with water sacks. Mr Pickles thought he is going to die…

Doctors said that he had a severe allergic reaction to modafinil and luckily it did not get worse (I thought that it could not get worse).The bubbles went away without popping, yet multiple bruises left scars all over his body which he will have for the rest of his life.

Lesson? Do not take synthetic nootropics a.k.a. Do not do drugs kids.

Natural Nootropics

These are substances which can be found in anything organic that grows on planet earth. Some of them we are taking every day, like tea and coffee. Those are indeed Nootropics, together with herbs you add to your soup, or ginger to boots you tea health levels. These natural Nootropics were around for thousands of years and their effects were observed and recorded.

This is important to understand the length of the research on a specific nootropic because only 50-60 years ago cigarettes were promoted and advertised as healthy. It was a belief that it is better than aspirin, releases stress, and it took not so long until the side effects became obvious and deadly. Absolutely not worth it in my opinion. But if you do not mind dying in 20 years, losing your teeth and getting cancer. Good luck!

Natural Nootropics I take

I do indeed myself take natural nootropics almost every day.

1.     Creatine

creatine

It is produced by our bodies naturally. “The main role is to facilitate recycling of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy currency of the cell, primarily in muscle and brain tissue” – Wikipedia. Creatine can also be found in animal products such as meat and fish. This is one of the safest Nootropics available today with millions of studies conducted which back up the health benefits. These benefits are helpful for people who are working out with heavy weights as it allows to recover and grow lean muscle faster.

Tons of studies prove that it results in cognitive improvements, such as memory, mental clarity and concentration. The idea is that your brain recycles ATP faster giving you the benefits. I recommend Creatine Monohydrate, easy to drink. Keep in mind that large water consumption is required, otherwise, you can feel a bit nauseous.

2.     Omega – 3

These are fatty acids which our bodies require to function properly and can be found in fish, plants and algae. These acids help with depression (my fav hobby), decrease anxiety and mental fog. Plus, it is very healthy for your body!

Omega 3 – Healthy

Depression – NOT Healthy

3.     Magnesium

This is an essential mineral that our body requires to function properly. You can find magnesium in products like nuts and vegetables.  If your body does not have enough magnesium, you might be struggling with fatigue and insomnia. From a nootropic side, magnesium supplements increase learning and memory. For simplicity, you can buy a box or packs of magnesium and consume with water every morning or before bed.

4.     Dopamine

This is an interesting one. Dopamine is the element of our lives which keeps us motivated, allows us to go outside and accomplish our goals. When a person has a low level of dopamine in his body, he tends to be lazy, unenergetic and lays in bed whole day watching Netflix. A few methods I use to keep the dopamine levels high is meditation, workouts and noFAP. This helps in building up your dopamine levels, together with foods like meat, dairy products, and nuts. Including vitamin B6 and C. Sadly, nowadays people do not have a healthy diet due to the growth of proVEGANS and Peta (much love).

5.     Caffeine

Coffee

This is my favourite one because I not only love it. When caffeine reaches receptors in your brain, it releases dopamine, which activates different kinds of pleasures in your body and mind. I consume at least 2 cups of coffee a day, which boosts memory and alertness which allows staying concentrated while doing your tasks. This improvement in mental performance is what keeps me moving every day with a (sometimes) smile on my face.

Conclusion

I believe that there are many more natural nootropics which can help to hack the brain and go an extra mile during your day. Some people, of course, feel great without using any nootropics, but this is still a quite new development in brain hacking which I suppose is not science. One thing we cannot deny is that these nootropics are actually working and helping to boost performance. If you are living a hectic life where you cannot allow yourself to slack or procrastinate, I pretty much recommend looking into natural nootropics. Not cocaine tho…

 

 

How to reduce a bloated stomach, 5 dangerous foods

Have you ever woken up in the morning with a completely flat stomach and then all of the sudden mid-day it feels like you have gained 10 pounds? Usually, this is not the case and you’re just bloating. Bloating can be seriously uncomfortable and can even make you feel like you’ve put on a few extra pounds. I hate having a bloated stomach, it makes me feel like I am a pregnant lady. Being someone that constantly takes fitness pictures of herself having a bloated stomach can really suck. Thankfully there a lot of ways that you can avoid and reduce bloating and there are definitely some dangerous foods out there that are major contributors to a bloated stomach.

WHY DO YOU HAVE A BLOATED STOMACH?

One of the most common causes of stomach bloating is gas in the abdomen area. Gas is produced by bacteria in our guts that help digest food. Gas can build up in the intestines if your gastrointestinal tract is not moving efficiently or is disturbed, this will cause you to bloat and feel discomfort. Having a bloated stomach is completely different than putting on weight since bloating is temporary.
There a lot of different reasons why you might have a bloated stomach. These reasons might be dehydration, constipation, digestive disorder, Bowel obstruction, hormonal changes and much more, but the main reasons why you might be bloating is because you are consuming a few dangerous foods. Food sensitivities are one of the most commons reasons for extra gas production in your abdomen area.

THE TOP 5 DANGEROUS FOODS THAT CAUSE BLOATING

Your diet plays a huge part of having a healthy digestive system. The bacteria in our guts are very sensitive and there are a lot of different foods that you should look out for.

 1. Dairy

 

Humans are the only mammals that still drink milk as adults. Most people stop producing lactase, the enzyme required to digest Lactose, as we age. Lactose is a sugar composed of galactose and glucose that is found in milk. Lactose makes up around 2–8% of milk, but this can vary. In order for our bodies to digest lactose, our bodies need an adequate amount of lactase. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the amount of Lactase needed to digest the amount of dairy we are consuming. In return, our gut bacteria are going to produce an excess amount of gas that is going to lead to a bloated stomach.

There is increasing evidence that casein is also associated with milk intolerance. Casein is a protein found in milk. Casein makes up around 80% of milk. Casein activates receptors in your intestinal tract, which can cause the bacteria in your gut to produce excessive gas. This is going to lead to a bloated stomach.
The best way to avoid dairy is to replace it with other plant-based alternatives. There are different types of plant-based milk, yogurts, cheese, ice cream and much more!

More about casein: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4586534/

2. Sugar Alcohols

Sugar alcohols are types of sweet carbohydrates that are commonly found in sugar-free foods. These are artificial sweeteners with no calories. At first, this might seem like the ideal healthy replacement to refined sugars, but the side effects are just not worth it. These sweeteners are generally considered to be safe alternatives to sugar. However, they may cause digestive problems, because they tend to reach the bacteria in the large intestine. These sugar alcohols are really poorly digested and this stays in your digestive system this causes fermentation to occur in the intestines. This can be a really dangerous food that leads to increase gas production, which leads to a bloated stomach.
Instead of trying to eat sugar-free dessert you can have healthy desserts that are naturally sweetened with fruit. A better alternative to these artificial sweeteners can also be maple syrup, which is a lot better and easier on our digestive system.

A more detailed explanation of the dangers of artificial sweeteners: https://draxe.com/artificial-sweeteners/

3. Beans & Legumes

You have probably heard before that beans and legumes cause a significant amount of “music”. Beans can be a dangerous food when it comes to bloating. There are many different components that make beans & legumes not so great for a flat stomach. Beans make you gassy because they contain saponins. Beans are coated with saponins to protect themselves against insects. This is the foamy stuff you see on top of your pot when you’re cooking your beans. Saponins prevent protein digestion which leads to excess gas and a bloated stomach.

Phytic acid is also the main contributor to a bloated stomach. Phytic acid is a compound found in unprocessed legumes. It reduces the absorption of a lot of nutrients. This interferes with our digestive and causes bloating.Beans and legumes also contain impossible to digest fibers. Humans don’t produce the enzymes to digest these fibers.

Aside from all these side effects, beans and Legumes can actually be really beneficial. Beans and legumes are a great source of protein. They also contain detoxifying fiber. This fiber helps with macronutrient transport through our digestive system. The best way to prevent all these side effects is to wash your beans really well and soak them overnight.

4. Coffee

If you are having coffee every single morning this might be the reason why you are feeling really bloated mid-day. Caffeine can overexcite your digestive tract and even lead to spasms in the bowel. This causes a bloated stomach. Coffee also increases your stomach acidity. This acidity stimulates your stomach cells. This stimulation leads to the production of hydrochloric acid, which at first, promotes digestion but creates problems when its levels go down later on. Coffee stimulates your stomach cells. This stimulation leads to the production of hydrochloric acid. This can help with digesting at first but can cause problems and a bloated stomach later on.
Coffee can be a really dangerous food if you don’t drink it in moderation. Because of the increased levels of acidity, this can make you vulnerable to bacterial infections and you have an increased risk of developing ulcers.

Reduce your coffee intake to only twice a week or at least try not to drink it every single day. Drinking coffee every single day will definitely not help with a flat stomach.

5. Alcohol

Alcohol can be really damaging to our bodies, but can also cause a significant amount of stomach bloating. Most alcohols contain a really huge amount of carbohydrate calories. Just like over-eating, drinking can make you feel full. This excessive amount of carbohydrate is going to make your stomach extremely bloated. You may also feel uncomfortableness in your abdomen area. Alcohol is a diuretic which causes your body to flush water. This will make your body very dehydrated. When your body is dehydrated it will hold on to excess water to combat the dehydration. This will cause puffiness and bloat all over your body.Alcohol can cause damage to the lining of the stomach. An excessive amount of alcohol in our bodies breaks down the natural protective lining of our stomach. This will lead to inflammation of the lining. This will make your stomach bloat and can cause other health problems such as ulcers. Alcohol can be really hard to eliminate for some people, especially in social situations. My tip would be to try limiting your alcohol intake to only a few times a week.

 

It is really important to know that just because a healthy food causes bloating doesn’t mean you have to completely avoid it. It is important to know how to eat these foods and how much of these foods you should actually eat. Bloating can be a very natural thing that sometimes we can’t really avoid. You can only help and reduce your risk of being bloated.

For more tips on how to reduce bloating check out this video: