Trying to eat healthier? Try these 4 totally doable tricks.
When it comes to choosing what to eat, we live in a uniquely challenging era. Never before have humans known more about nutrition and how to eat for optimal health, and yet we’ve never been more surrounded by distractions and temptations that derail us from making healthy choices.
Some people might be able to decide “I’m going to eat healthier!” and do so without any problem, but those folks are unicorns. Most of us know what we should do, but need a little help making it happen—like some simple hacks, tips and tricks for avoiding pitfalls on the road to healthier eating.
While recognizing that what works for one person may not work for another, here are some helpful habits and approaches that might help you move closer to your healthy eating goals.
Goal: Snack on less junk food
Tip: Focus your willpower on the grocery store, not your home
Willpower is a limited commodity for most of us, and it is no match for a bag of potato chips sitting on top of the fridge. It’s just a fact. Channeling your willpower at the grocery store can save you from having to fight that battle at home. If you don’t bring chips into your house in the first place, you’ll find it a lot easier to reach for something healthier.
The key to successful shopping trips is to always go to the store with a specific list and a full stomach—you’ll feel much less tempted to buy the junky snack foods if you’re already satiated. Also, finding healthier alternatives that will still satisfy your cravings for salty or crunchy, or fatty foods helps. Sugar snap peas have a surprisingly satisfying crunch, apples and nut butter hit that sweet-and-salty craving, etc.
Goal: Eat less sugar
Tip: Instead of “deprive,” think “delay” or “decrease and delight”
Sugar is a tricky one. Some people find it easier to cut out added sugars altogether, but that can create an all-or-nothing mindset that all too often results in “all.” Eating more whole foods and less processed foods can help us cut out a lot of ancillary sugar, but we still live in a world with birthday cakes and dessert courses.
One approach to dessert temptation is to delay instead of deprive. Tell yourself you can have any sweet you want…tomorrow. This mental trick flips the “I’ll just indulge today and start eating healthier tomorrow” idea on its head. It’s a lot easier to resist something you know you can have tomorrow than to say no to something you think you’ll never get to have again.
Another approach when you really want to enjoy a dessert at that moment is to decrease the amount and really truly savor it. Eat each bite slowly, delighting in the full taste and satisfaction of it. As soon as that delight starts to diminish, even a little, stop eating. You’ve gotten what you wanted out of it. You don’t have to finish it. (After all, you can always have more tomorrow!)
Goal: Eat healthier meals
Tip: Focus on fresh foods and plan meals ahead of time
Meal planning is easier than ever before. The internet is filled with countless tools—everything from recipes to shopping lists to meal planning apps—and it’s as awesome as it is overwhelming.
Planning ahead takes the guesswork and decision fatigue out of cooking, preventing the inevitable “Let’s just order a pizza.” You can have a repeating 3-week or 4-week menu of your favorite meals so you never have to think about what you’re going to eat, or you can meal plan once a week to try new recipes and keep things fresh.
It might help to designate one day a week to “shop and chop”—getting and prepping the ingredients for the week’s meals so they’re ready to go in your fridge or freezer.
Goal: Eat more organic/humanely raised food
Tip: Utilize the “dirty dozen” and “clean 15” lists to prioritize
Many people choose organic because they want to avoid pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals. Organic food is also better for the planet, and according to the Mayo Clinic, studies have shown that organic produce is higher in certain nutrients.
Most people don’t buy everything organic, but there are some foods that should take priority over others. Each year, researchers from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) analyze thousands of samples of dozens of fruits and vegetables. From this data, they create a list of the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” fruits and vegetables, indicating what produce has the most and least pesticide residue. These lists give people a good place to start focusing their transition to more organic foods.
To make organic eating even simpler, you can shop O Organics® at your local Albertsons or Safeway stores. The O Organics brand offers a wide range of affordable USDA-certified organic products in every aisle. If you’re focusing on fresh foods, O Organics produce is always grown without synthetic pesticides, is farmed to conserve biodiversity, and is always non-GMO. All animal-based O Organics products are certified humane as well. Even switching part of your grocery list to organic can make a positive impact on the planet and the people you feed.
Healthy eating habits don’t have to be all or nothing, and they don’t have to be complicated. A few simple mindset changes at home and habit changes at the grocery store can make a big difference.
Angelina Jordan's AGT performance was instantly legendary.
At Upworthy, we've shared a lot of memorable "America's Got Talent" auditions, from physics-defying dance performances to jaw-dropping magic acts to heart-wrenching singer-songwriter stories. Now we're adding Angelina Jordan's "AGT: The Champions" audition to the list because wow.
Jordan came to "AGT: The Champions" in 2020 as the winner of Norway's Got Talent, which she won in 2014 at the mere age of 7 with her impressive ability to seemingly channel Billie Holiday. For the 2020 audition, she sang Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," but a version that no one had ever heard before.
With just her Amy Winehouse-ish voice, a guitar and a piano, Jordan brought the fan-favorite Queen anthem down to a smooth, melancholy ballad that's simply riveting to listen to.
Especially considering that Jordan was only 13 years old when she did this.
What this video doesn't show is Heidi Klum hitting the Golden Buzzer faster than you can say, "Nothing really matters to me." The judges were blown away by Jordan's performance, as were the people in the comments.
"That's a ONE in A BILLION voice right there. Just amazing," wrote one commenter.
"I am typically not a fan of songs being redone particular to such a magnitude," shared another. "They almost always fall short of the original. But to completely rearrange a song in the manner that she has, from a legend, and then make you forget about how the original even sounded because her rendition is so good is utterly amazing."
"As Freddie once said, 'Do whatever you want with my music as long as you don't make it boring.' I think he'd really like this," shared another.
Though Queen's lead vocalist Freddie Mercury is no longer with us, the band did offer words of praise for Jordan's performance, retweeting her audition video with the comment, "Wow! What a rendition of #BohemianRhapsody."
"Bohemian Rhapsody" is such an iconic song, it's hard for anyone to do a cover of it justice. But 13-year-old Angelina Jordan managed it masterfully.
Jordan would move on to the Top 10 in "AGT: The Champions," and though she didn't take home the top prize, she did impress the audience with another classic rock tune, Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." You can enjoy that performance below, and you can follow Angelina Jordan—who is now 17 and still singing her heart out—on YouTube and TikTok.
This sparked an important conversation about family responsibility.
A story that recently went viral on Reddit’s AITA forum asks an important question: What is a parent’s role in taking care of their grandchildren? The story is even further complicated because the woman at the center of the controversy is a stepparent.
The woman, 38, met her husband Sam, 47, ten years ago, when his daughter, Leah, 25, was 15. Five years ago, the couple got married after Leah had moved out to go to college.
Leah’s mom passed away when she was 10.
Last year, Leah became pregnant, and she wanted to keep the baby, but her boyfriend didn’t. After the disagreement, the boyfriend broke up with her. This forced Leah to move back home because she couldn’t afford to be a single parent and live alone on a teacher’s salary.
Leah’s story is experienced by many young mothers who are facing difficulties. The father isn’t involved in the baby’s life as a caretaker or financially. Sadly, 33% of all children in the U.S. are born without their biological fathers living in the home.
The new mother is a teacher and can’t afford to live on her own with a child. A recent study found that out of the top 50 U.S. cities, Pittsburgh is the only one where a new teacher could afford rent.
The stressors of taking care of the baby made Leah realize she needed help.
“But once she had the baby around 4 months back, Leah seemed to realize having a baby is not the sunshine and rainbows she thought it was,” the woman wrote on Reddit. “She barely got any sleep during the last four months. All the while Sam was helping her with the baby while I did almost all chores myself.”
“Now her leave is ending. She did not want to leave the baby at daycare or with a nanny,” the woman continued. “Sam and I both work as well.”
Leah asked her stepmother if she would stay home with the baby. The stepmother said no because she never wanted to have a baby and she has a job. “I asked why Leah can't stay home with the baby herself,” the woman wrote. “She said how she was young and had to build a career. I said many people take breaks to raise kids, and she broke down crying about how she was so tired all the time being a mom and needed something else in her life too.”
A middle-aged woman with a baby.
After the woman told her stepdaughter no, her husband pressured her to stay home with the baby. But she refused to give up her job to raise her stepdaughter’s child. “Leah said yesterday how she wished her mom was alive since she would have had her back. She said I didn't love her, and my husband is also mad at me,” the woman wrote. The woman asked the Reddit community if she was in the wrong for “refusing to help my stepdaughter with the baby,” and the community responded with rapturous support.
"[The woman] should tell her husband to knock it off and stop trying to pressure her into raising his daughter’s baby. If he wants a family member to look after her baby while she works, then he can do it," Heavy_Sand5228 wrote.
"This is Leah's baby that she alone chose to have. That doesn't obligate you to change YOUR life to suit her desires. The whole business of saying you don't love her because you won't quit your job to watch her baby is manipulative and messed up, and I'm shocked your husband is siding with her," SupremeCourtJust-a** added.
Leah and many women like her are in this situation because, in many places, teachers are underpaid, rent is high, and not all dads pay child support, even those required by law.
Another commenter noted that the baby is much more the father’s responsibility than the stepmother's. "To add, Leah should consider seeking child support from her ex. Her kid should be getting that money," Obiterdicta wrote.
Humanity at its best.
Around 1 a.m. on April 24, semi-truck drivers in the Oak Park area of Michigan received a distress call from area police: An unidentified man was standing on the edge of a local bridge, apparently ready to jump onto the freeway below.
Those drivers then did something amazing. They raced to the scene to help — and lined up their trucks under the bridge, providing a relatively safe landing space should the man jump.
Fortunately, he didn't.
The impressive line-up wasn't a coincidence — the drivers were prepared for exactly this sort of situation.Sgt. Jason Brockdorff of the Huntington Woods Police Department told The Detroit News that the response was something local police and truck drivers had actually trained for. But what was unusual was the sheer number of drivers who responded to the call.
"That's a practice we use if we have a jumper," Brockdorff said. "We try to do it every time, to lessen the distance someone would travel if they were to jump. Fortunately, that didn't happen."
The incident lasted nearly four hours, into the early morning. However, once the trucks were in place, the police were able to more comfortably negotiate with the unidentified man.
Eventually, the man walked off the bridge on his own and is currently receiving medical help.
In a pair of tweets, the local police department called attention to the incident to remind people in similar situations of the importance of seeking mental health services (emphasis mine):
This photo does show the work troopers and local officers do to serve the public. But also in that photo is a man struggling with the decision to take his own life. Please remember help is available through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
You can also call a loved one, member of the clergy or 911. There are so many people that can help you make the choice to get help and live! It is our hope to never see another photo like this again.
Working together, the police and everyday strangers saved a life.
Ordinary people heeded the call of service to help a fellow person who was struggling. It's a powerful image that's impossible to ignore, and a reminder of humanity at its best.
This article originally appeared on 04.24.18
Wow, what a voice.
"Amazing Grace" may just be the world's most beloved and recognizable hymn, with people from all faith traditions and walks of life finding meaning and comfort in its lyrics. It was written in 1772 by John Newton, a former slave trader, after a near-fatal shipwreck caused him to reevaluate his life, convert to Christianity and become a devoted abolitionist.
Newton's spiritual has been sung by countless people in countless renditions, but there's a good chance you've never seen it sung quite like this.
Heavy metal singer Dan Vasc recorded a solo rendition of "Amazing Grace" and shared it on his YouTube channel, where it has received over 7 million views. If you're thinking that the grungy, high-pitched scream-singing that marks metal music is a strange match for a traditional Christian hymn, you could be right. But give Vasc's version a listen before passing judgment because he might just change your mind.
It does help that Vasc begins the song in a more traditional way, with his rich tone and impressive vocal control making his classical singing training evident. Then it builds and goes up an octave. A harmonica comes out of nowhere. Then it builds more. Another octave. And finally, that scream-singing that you don't expect to work but totally does, making believers of even the most ardent metal music skeptics.
Oh, and for the record, Vasc arranged and recorded all of the instruments and vocals here himself.
If you're sitting there picking your jaw up off the floor or reaching for the replay button, you aren't the only one. People in the comments—young and old, religious and non-religious, metal fans and non-fans—shared similar reactions:
"I'm a 62-yr-old Scot and have always felt this song was meant to be belted out, your version is how this should be sung. I bet yours rattled the doors of heaven, absolutely brilliant."
"The best most passionate version I have ever heard in my 60 years! I felt every powerful note into my soul! Incredible performance."
"This was sung at our wedding. Wow, this is such a powerful version. I love the history of the song. While not super religious, this moves me."
"This song was written to be sung EXACTLY like this! With honor, respect, and power! This isn’t just a quiet little song. Thank you for doing this song the way it was designed to be done. It’s beautiful! I’ve never heard it sung like this in my entire life. You have a beautiful voice!"
"I am a 64-year-old preacher's son. I grew up singing this song and have done so my entire life. You, sir, captured the true emotion John Newton intended for us to feel. The most beautiful rendition I have ever heard."
"I'm not a metal fan....but I am a music and musician fan. You have delivered a powerful and beautiful rendition of this song. Your control of your gift is fabulous. Timing, diction, expression and air control. As someone else mentioned....I've heard it done a thousand ways and sung it myself too many times. I felt it in my heart as you sang it here. A great and stirring performance. Thank You."
Find more of Dan Vasc's music on YouTube.
Timing is everything.
Is there a perfect time of year to get pregnant? One that avoids having to skip even looking at holiday foods for fear of stirring up morning sickness? That offers a stress-free wardrobe transition? Makes swollen feet, frequent urges to pee, and relentless heartburn somehow more bearable?
According to one mom—the answer is yes.In fact, this month not only makes pregnancy a cakewalk, it even gives parents a kid with the best astrological sign, if you’re into that sort of thing.
In a now-viral post, mom and content creator Love Frances Chie claims this magical window of opportunity exists only between “the end of July or the month of August.”
She of course is speaking from experience.
“I was lucky enough to have this with my first, and it was the best,” she boasts in the clip.
For one thing, Chie attests that with a Late July/August conception, morning sickness should be over just in time for the holiday season. “That means you'll be feeling good and ready to chow down on Thanksgiving and Christmas.”
@lovefranceschiee Replying to @Olivia Best time to get pregnant ✅ nothing tops it, prove me wrong 😌👌🏽 | #greenscreen #pregnant #pregnancy #pregnanttiktok #firsttimemom #momsoftiktok #fypage ♬ original sound - Love Frances Chie 💕
Second, beginning a pregnancy in late summer means more time in comfy, cozy, easily stretchy clothes.
“Seven of your months will be spent in the cold weather so you get to wear oversized sweaters, hoodies and sweatpants, and be comfy. Also, since it's cold you're not missing out on a thing,” she says. Honestly, great point.
Lastly, having a spring baby might help with postpartum, offering new moms more opportunities to get out and get some fresh air throughout the summer, Chie notes.
Plus, moms could be “lucky enough” to bring a Taurus into this world, which Chie calls the “best sign.” They are known to be reliable and down-to-earth, both good things!
Chie invited other parents to challenge her opinion on what month is best for getting pregnant, and it wasn’t long before thousands chimed in.
Some wholeheartedly agreed. One viewer wrote. “Hell yeah pregnant in July and due in April 🥰🥰”
Another added, “I CAN CONFIRM THIS. My 2nd was end of April and THE BEST PREGNANCY & PostPartum! Enjoyed Summer & she was walking by next Summer(1yr)AMAZING!”
Others weren’t so convinced.
One viewer argued the winter was actually the best time, writing “end of December! you'll have a September baby and still have good weather on birthdays. and you can snuggle with your baby in the cold months 💕
Another felt like the end of spring, not summer, was best. “I would say end of March/April. Cute bump summertime, jumpers in autumn, Birth at Christmas (I’m due 19th), off work until Jan 2025. 👌🏼” they commented.
One person even joked that Chie’s proposed conception season is a no-go as it risks giving birth to a “Gemini baby.” The astrology bias is real, y’all.
And while these varying opinions might make for a fun discussion, Chie’s did conclude her video with the caveat that “every baby is a blessing, no matter when they are conceived, and we should all feel very blessed that we were able to bring forth life.”
I think, no matter what conception month or sun sign we think is best, that we can all agree on that.
And just for fun: if you want to hear Chie's "worst months" for getting pregnant, you can find them here.
In so many ways it makes a lot of sense...if you don't think about how nonsensical it is.
If you've been on any social media platform lately then you've likely heard about the different types of math. No not the one that makes 80s babies cry (otherwise known as common core), but the silly "math" like "boy math" or "girl math." Each explanation more ridiculous than the next while some take on a more serious tone, it's the silly ones that keep people wanting more.
Kelley Lorraine posted a video of her sitting in the car with her husband as she tries to explain "girl math" to him. It didn't take long for him to express confusion, many times interjecting with questions and audible noises of disproval. What was interesting to me was that everything she said made perfect sense...as long as you don't think about it too much.
Kelley's version of "girl math" had to be one of the most oxymoronic-nonsensical-logical reasoning that's ever been explained for this "math" challenge.
"If I pay with cash it's free...because it's already left the bank account. So the money's already gone," Kelley says.
Ten seconds into the explanation and her husband is already staring at her like she's sprouted three additional heads all at once.
"I don't think that's how things work, Kelley," her husband responds while attempting to control his facial expressions.
When needing to return an item, Kelley explains that if she returns something worth $60 and exchanges it for something worth $50, then in her head she's only spent $10. It's at this point her husband looks dismayed because to him, the math just isn't mathing. But to Kelly and some women in the comments, "girl math" makes perfect sense.
"Most of it is also how I think," one person writes.
"This is hilarious, I was finishing her sentences! I thought this was normal logic for all people lol," one woman says.
"This is how I do math and I think it probably explains why I’m broke all the time," another woman admits.
"Let’s make girl math a high school class… I’d get a 4.0 for the first time in my life!!!," someone writes.
Well, judging by the amount of women adamantly agreeing with this version of "girl math" it seems fairly accurate. Obviously, use this math at your own risk because results may vary wildly.
You too can be just as confused as Kelley's husband by watching her explain "girl math" below.