Cure for the Afternoon Slump

You know that feeling between 2:00 and 3:00pm when you wonder how you will last the rest of the day? I hate it (or hated it…keep reading). It can’t be normal, right? Are our bodies pre-programmed to shut down at one point in the afternoon? No. Like most body/health related issues, I had a suspicion nutrition had to be the source of it. But what was I doing wrong?

I used to drink a cup of coffee in the morning, and a cup in the afternoon when the afternoon slump hit me. One day I just decided that needed to end. As an experiment, I cut out the afternoon coffee. It seemed counterintuitive to take away my one source of (fake) energy during the most tired part of my day, but it helped. It was hard at first, but once I cut it out, I didn’t miss it. Although it helped with the feeling of exhaustion, it did not solve the problem.

Enteeeeeeer bullet proof coffee. I should probably call it “inspired by bullet proof coffee”. Why is it called bullet proof? Probably because you can call it names and treat it badly and it won’t be affected. But more likely because a guy made up this drink and has his own line of coffee with that name. I have never tried his coffee, though.

What it is: it’s coffee (his coffee, or a good quality of coffee) with 2 tablespoons of unsalted, grass-fed butter, and as much coconut oil as you can handle (for me, about 4 tablespoons, but that is too much if you aren’t used to taking coconut oil).

I keep my butter in the fridge, so I melt it a little bit on the stove (please keep your microwave out of this) with the coconut oil first, but this step is not necessary. Then, I pour it into my magic bullet (any blender will work!) and give it a spin for just a few seconds.

After the blending action the top will be foamy, like a latte. Pour it into your U.S. Senate, 112th Congress commemorative mug (If you don’t have a U.S. Senate, 112th Congress commemorative mug, any mug will work!). It will be the tastiest way you have ever had your coffee. And the healthiest, probably.

This stuff is awesome. Not only does it taste rich and creamy and wonderful, starting your day with a bunch of healthy fat gives your digestive system a break without starving your body, not to mention, a great boost of energy and a very satisfied feeling. You won’t want breakfast with this drink. And the best part? It keeps you full all morning long. That’s actually a good part, but not the best part…the best part is: it cured my afternoon slump. No more longing to crawl under my desk and take a power nap. I actually have energy all day long, and I had forgotten what that was like.

That’s kind of huge. I am so in love with my new coffee ritual. Some might go so far as to call it a life-changer. But that would sound crazy.

So, are you going to give it a try? Or are you already hooked?

If you are afraid of fat, do a little internet reading on healthy fats (and how they don’t make you fat), and the benefits of grass-fed butter. You can also google “bullet-proof coffee”.

About grass-fed butter: if you can buy it locally, that’s great. If you cannot, you can usually find Kerrygold butter (which is grass-fed) at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. You can use non-grass-fed butter, but you just won’t be recieving all of the wonderful benefits of the real deal!

Need more convincing? Read this.
More on coconut oil here.

Psssst…are we facebook friends?

A Practical Guide to Jealousy (a plea for reason and logic)

Covetousness is not condoned by JenEric Generation. In fact, I am not sure any person or entity encourages the nasty, gnawing, self-destructive feeling. However, if we insist upon doing it, might I suggest we do it the right way? 

“Right” in the sense that jealousy is nonsensical, fantastical, and altogether unrealistic, and therefore the rightness in it must also contain traces of the same absurdity.

Can we all agree to playing by the rules? Here are my tips for proper jealousy:

Let’s say you come across someone who is the representation of what you imagine yourself to be in your ideal world. This person is you, but upgraded. It’s unsettling. You tell yourself how happy you are to know this person, and have them to look up to. But that jealous feeling slips in, however temporarily.

Rather than simply going about your day, being envious of only the aspects you admire, you would do well to remember that if you got your wish in having those admirable traits bestowed upon you, you would also receive in that same hand, all the other cards she was holding. And you might be surprised by her puh-poker face. 

What I am trying to say is, this girl with a slightly better life than you comes with a few things you may have overlooked: she comes with chronic bad breath, a husband who is never home, thinning hair, student loans, and a family who puts a lot of pressure on her to act a certain way.

 

Enough of this foolishness, I say. I demand that we add a little logic to our envy!

That girl you just passed in the crowd with the perfect body and style you wish you could pull off? Congrats. She has a mother-in-law who insists on spending hours on the phone with her son every week, and advising her on how to take care of him. So, you get that too. You didn’t see that coming, did you? Too late, you can’t take it back. At least you have a thigh-gap, though. That will come in sooo handy when your mother-in-law invites herself over to dinner tonight.

What I am suggesting:

I am suggesting that you truly can have whatever you want; that if you are jealous of someone, you can have what they have. But you get all of what they have, and you get none of what you have. I am not sure that most of us are ready to go that far. So, consider how foolish it is to long for someone’s toned arms. Do you plan on cutting theirs off and throwing away yours?

What I am not suggesting:

I am not trying to say that jealousy is pointless because no one’s life is perfect (although, one should not dwell on that fact lest it produce some semblance of gratitude and deem this guide entirely unnecessary). This guide assumes that you believe in jealousy. And I am saying that if you believe in jealousy, fine. But you must follow the logic all the way through. We cannot take one part of someone, and keep the parts we like about ourselves. Is all reason gone from the world?!

Jealousy is essentially a wish. And if you believe that these wishes are worth your energy, know that jealousy demands a full trade. Jealousy is not a build-a-bear store. It’s more like a board game. It has rules. And now you know them, so play the right way.

Furthermore, if you were jealous of someone’s something yesterday, you can’t pick a new person to be jealous of today. It’s just not feasible or practical. And that is all this post is trying to be: a helpful, practical guide to choosing your objects of desire wisely so that we can all fade and decay in our own logical pool of well-chosen bitterness.

Good luck applying these pointers. I wish us all the happiness in the world!

picture source unknown (if you know it, please let me know!)

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Instructions on How to Kill Creativity From an Expert

So you are in that “zone” where your creative project is coming easily to you. You have no distractions, your mind is focused, and suddenly you start to wonder, “am I getting too much done? Is this normal?”

You may not know what to do. Sure, you have a few ideas, but are they worth risking? What if they don’t take you out of your zone completely? What if you are left right between ultimate focus and idle distraction? There are a lot of self-help books on tips for staying motivated and self-disciplined, but not a whole lot of information out there about killing a good thing. So without further ado: instructions on how to kill creativity (from an expert).

1) Invite the left side of your brain to the creativity party. We all know creativity comes from the right side of your brain. Therefore, a good place to start in silencing your right brain would be to elevate your left side; make it feel really important. When your left brain tells you logical things like, “hey dude, your bedroom is a disaster”, listen to it. When it tells you that it’s all been done before, engage it in conversation. Ask, “has it really all been done before?” Then it will respond, “well, even if it hasn’t, what makes you think you can do it better?” Discouragement will do wonders in killing creativity.

2) You are hungry. You just don’t know it. When you are really focused and pounding away at the next great American novel, or in the beginning stages of a self-portrait that you are hopeful will actually end up looking like you, just remember that at any given moment during the creative process, you should probably eat something. After all, if you don’t eat, you will die. What is creativity worth if you are dead? Head to the fridge immediately, and snack on something that doesn’t require looking at what you are eating so you can mindlessly gaze out the window and think really creative thoughts (don’t worry, this won’t actually backfire on you).

3) Check your email. When you are in your zone, and for one moment your focus cracks and the thought “email” enters your brain, know that yes, you should definitely become reactive in your creative state, if you do want to kill it. Great idea. Don’t take charge of your environment, but simply become a reactive, submissive party that merely responds to its environment. People need you? It most likely cannot wait. Besides, checking your email only takes a second, but it will most likely lead to Pinterest. Which will remind you that you have a burning desire to learn the best way to organize your jewelry. Which will lead to organizing your jewelry. If you don’t know how to get out of your creative zone, check your email. Checking your text messages will accomplish the same thing.

4) Surround yourself with tools that have nothing to do with your work. This is similar to number 3. Open a new tab in your browser. Have your phone sitting next to you. Turn the TV on. If you have any other potentially distracting items, gather them. They will be of great use to you the moment you feel you are getting too productive.

5) Your motivation starts to fade. Seize this moment! Your body tells no lies. If you begin to feel tired, call it quits immediately. Creativity can only flourish when all the ideal circumstances are in place. Therefore, take a nap or close up shop if you start to feel unmotivated.

6) If you are getting too much done, consider working at a different time of the day. If morning is your best time, take that time to do the dishes, or something else that can be done at any time of the day. Leave your creative work for the hour when you return from work and you don’t even have enough energy to change clothes. This will ensure you never reach your goal.

7) Focus on the details. Get caught up on the little things that don’t matter, or that you can do when you truly need a break. Do I think better when I type in Ariel or Garamond? Is it who or whom? These little tweaks can eat up hours of what would otherwise be real productive work.

8) Don’t walk the talk. Just…talk. It’s easy to tell yourself you will accomplish great things after a series of just thinking about accomplishing great things. Your left brain will be able to justify this if you are skeptical right now. However, if creativity is getting overwhelming, simply dwell on the fact that one day you will be a success. Creating a great product over and over will be second nature some day. This may sound helpful, but do not be deceived. It will keep you from doing what you are thinking about, which will accomplish your end goal beautifully.

I hope this was helpful to you, my creative friend. Now, go forth and sit idly!

P.S. Things to research if you need a distraction: symptoms of a heart attack, how gravity works, who is John Galt, can you live without your liver. Good luck getting sucked into an endless vortex!

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