5k Action, Mr. Jamie Hartop, Homecoming

5k Action

Yesterday morning I ran in the Philly Rock and Roll 5k. The race started rather early: 7 am. I was woken up before 5 by family because I still had to get there ahead of time to get my bib. My family was kind enough to drive me in and watch the race (really just the end of it, but still very nice). I tried something a little different than I would usually do in the morning. Instead of eating a lot, I only had oatmeal and drank a lot of water. I think 45 ounces to be exact. Other than leaving me with a feeling of having to pee during the race (even though I had already peed multiple times), this definitely ended up being the right move. In conjunction with my run gum that I like to chew before the race (caffeine and B vitamins for energy), despite not getting much sleep I felt very energized and awake during the race.

I was honestly not sure about what the competition would be like. They split us into cohorts between 1-6 with 1 being the fastest, and my projected time of 18 minutes (put that down when I registered and planned on being in better shape) got me into the first cohort. I was a bit nervous about how good the other runners would be, but when I got to the front I knew I was in the right place. I do not like making assumptions about other’s based on how they look, especially running wise, but I had a feeling some people there were not super-competitive runners.

I was not sure what to expect from myself or what the course would be like during the race. The course thankfully ended up being almost totally flat on Martin Luther King Boulevard, and I ran better than I thought I would. I’ve only been running 15-20 miles a week (usually 4 times a week) with one day of lifting and also general strength and core. I ended up running 19:14. But my GPS watch did say 19:05 for a 5k. I hit 5:57 for the first mile and felt rather comfortable. About a mile and half into it when we turned around I started to feel it. The second mile was 6:08 and the final one was 6:24. Despite the pain, I enjoyed the feeling of being in a race again even though I’m not in good enough shape to really race to be competitive yet. After turning around, I ran by everyone on the other side and lots of them would cheer. Despite having 1300 people or so, the race really was not super competitive and my time got me 8th place overall. I’ve got another 5k coming up on September 30th at Frankford High School in Philly that is related to City Year. Hopefully I can drop some time and rep my City Year team well.

Image result for philly rock and roll 5k

 

Mr. Jamie Hartop

Congrats to my man, Jamie! He’s been running a lot starting from early summer to get himself into great shape and today it seems all that hard work showed. Firstly, the hard work has already been showing: he crushed a couple of 5ks the past couple of weekends (both 17:15 on the roads). Today, he demolished a half-marathon. He ran 1 hour, 19 minutes and 53 seconds for an average mile pace of 6:05. That is really god-damn fast.

I’m not sure exactly what mileage he runs per week, but according to Strava he’s been crushing 60+ a week at times. With full weeks of work, that’s really impressive. I’m experiencing what it’s like being tired from full days of work and I give him so many kudos for his efforts. True dedication.

Also this was one of the top google images results so I went with this older picture. He might want you to know that’s he looking even more jacked now-a-days ūüėČ

 

Homecoming 

Last night I joined my old friends/teammates/residents John and James at Ursinus. They were kind enough to let me sleep on their floor. Logan was also generous in letting me borrow his air mattress. I did sleep well despite their freezing cold room (they keep the air conditioner going at night). Ursinus was celebrating Homecoming, but I basically missed any of the celebrations during the day. Instead, I had my own race and got to see VRON crush her race at Kutztown.

It was a lot of fun to catch up with John and James. I liked hearing how they were doing and they seemed to find my City Year stories and the different chants and cheers we do funny. We then headed over to Reimert. That place doesn’t seem to change much. I enjoyed getting to see the other guys on the team. I got to see some fellow alumni but I think I missed a lot of them from the daytime. The track team culture still seems to be solid and I like the newbies. I’m excited to see the guys race at some point and to hopefully be back at some point to enjoy with them some more.

Image result for Ursinus

Advertisements

NBA and Premier League Standings Predictions

City Year is what!? RED HOT. City Year is what!? RED HOT. City year is r-e-d to the h-o-t, red-hot red-hot red-hot!

That is one of our many chants. Most of which I enjoy. Still working on the balance aspect of life with the busyness. Below I decided to put my predictions for both the NBA and the English Premier League Standings. I would love to hear anyone else’s comments and thoughts.

NBA

East:

  1. Cavs (53-29)   They still have Lebron. Again, they still have Lebron. Isaiah Thomas will hopefully be okay despite hip problems. And Jae Crowder is a beast.
  2. Wizards (51-31)    John Wall and Bradely Beal are about to go off. Best Eastern Conf Backcourt.
  3. Celtics (49-33)    Will take some time for this team to adjust. Will still probably be very good.
  4. Bucks (47-35)     The Greek Freak is about to dominate a weak East.
  5. Raptors (45-37)      Lowry and Derozan still make them respectable.
  6. Hornets (43-39)     All-star Kemba and a resurgent Dwight Howard lead the way.
  7. Sixers (40-42)    TTP. So young yet excitable.
  8. Heat (39-43)       Should still be solid and continue from a great second half of the season last year.

Notable Team(s) Missing: Detroit Pistons. The other teams seem to all still be rebuilding or just starting to.

West:

  1. Warriors (65-17) This team could win over 70 games. But considering it’s the regular season and how stacked the West is I think this is a fair guess.
  2. Spurs (59-23) The prediction could be rather high, but I think Pop and Leonard are just that good. Incredible team basketball. Hope Rudy Gay has a good year as well.
  3. Rockets (57-25) Hoping Chris Paul and Harden work well together. This team can be really good and I hope they are. Go get Carmelo!
  4. Thunder (55-27) A dynamic duo in Westbrook and George that will get better together as the season continues.
  5. Timberwolves (51-31) Jimmy Butler will help this team so much. Top 15 player in the league. Add him to Towns and Wiggins, along with Crawford, Teague, and Gibson… let’s go.
  6. Pelicans (49-33) Biggest surprise I think in my predictions. Boogie is in a whole new kind of shape apparently and I think him and Davis are ready to dominate together. Rondo needs to keep it together.
  7. Clippers (47-35) Tesedovic will be a lot of fun. Griffin can hopefully stay healthy and shine. Beverley is a pest for anyone and Lou Williams will help. Could be a great defensive team with Jordan at the anchor.
  8. Nuggets (46-36) Paul Millsap will compliment Jokic so well. This team scores the ball at a scary rate and I hope I get to watch them play a bit on TV.

Notable Team(s) Missing: Definitely the Jazz and the Trail Blazers. I just don’t think the Jazz have enough offensive firepower to win enough games, despite their awesome coach and great defense. The Trail Blazers were tough to leave out, but Lilliard and McCollum just don’t seem to get it done enough. They score so much but don’t win many games. This could be the year, though.

 

Premier League Final Standings Predictions:

  1. Man City
  2. Man U.
  3. Tottenham
  4. Chelsea
  5. Liverpool
  6. Arsenal
  7. Stoke
  8. Everton
  9. Watford
  10. Leicester
  11. Swansea
  12. Newcastle
  13. West Ham
  14. Southhampton
  15. Huddersfield
  16. West Brom
  17. Bournemouth
  18. Burnley
  19. Crystal Palace
  20. Brighton

Working Life

Life has been busy ever since City Year started up, that’s for sure. As with most busy lifestyles, there are pros and cons. I’ve mostly enjoyed City Year, but it’s required me to work a lot on how I balance things in my life. My working days are usually 11-12 hours including commute, so that does not leave loads of time for other things when I am home. I’m working on prioritizing.

 

Self-Care

This comes first most of the time. As a male, there are certain societal norms related to masculinity. When masculinity becomes toxic, boys and men think the only way through is to toughen up. Not so fast. Taking a step back and figuring out what’s best for myself has to be a priority. Making sure I get enough sleep, leaving time to exercise, socialize, meditate, these are all so important to me. With little time when I get home from work, this is where the balancing act begins.

My cousin from England and a friend of his stayed at our house on Tuesday and Wednesday. They went on a three-week trip in the US visiting Vegas, LA, San Diego, San Fran, New York, Philly, and more. Example of balancing: I did not exercise those two days because I know how rare it is to see my cousin and I wanted to enjoy time with him. We got to spend a solid chunk of time together and Wednesday night we got to go out in Media.

Now, I know I had a post about a month ago where I said my goal was to run sub-18 at the 5k I will be running in 2 weeks in Philadelphia. City Year put that on it’s head. I don’t like going back on something, but I have just not been running enough to realistically hit that. Yesterday, though, I did go on my best run in a while: 11 miles with VRON. I’m not setting a time goal but I would like to try to run consistently in the race. I don’t want to run sub-6:00 the first mile and then a 6:20 and then a 7:00. Unfortunately, there’s probably a solid chance of that happening. But I will work to try to not let that happen!

 

“Come to Me”¬†

If you check out a post I recently put up on FB, I have a picture and description of why I got the “Come to Me” wristbands. A friend of mine from high school is leading this amazing campaign to help fight the stigma surrounding mental health. As someone who has personally experienced what anxiety is like, this means a lot to me and I recognize the importance of the cause. My fellow City Year teammates will be wearing the wristbands alongside me. The wristbands signal to others that they are not alone.

 

What Made Maddy Run Review

What Made Maddy Run¬†is a book authored by Kate Fagan. Maddy was a track runner at Penn who sadly killed herself during her freshmen year. To many, it seemed as though she had everything going for her. Suicide is a tough subject for anyone to talk about, but this book does a great job of doing so in an informative and sensitive way. Similar to the “Come to Me” campaign above, the book helps educate on mental health and tells the story (or part of it) about Maddy. Mental health issues have risen steadily among adolescents, specifically college students. The statistics are scary to digest. Books like this help share the facts and make people more comfortable talking about such a difficult subject. I highly recommend reading this.

 

Game of Thrones 

I know most fans are super excited about GOT after the last few episodes that ended the season. I am as well, but I’m also slightly disappointed. GOT is not meant to be fan fiction, but the producers seem to think it should be. It’s almost like the producers go online, read different fan theories, and then choose the most popular. Would the author, George Martin, care what his readers think of his decisions? Most likely a bit, but not really. That’s why he killed Ned Stark in the first book and constructed the Red Wedding. No main characters were really killed during this season. And no, Littlefinger was not a pivotal character in the long run. As a viewer and someone who read the first few books (although I forget most of what happened) this last season felt different. I still enjoyed watching, but recognize that marketability and keeping fans happy seem to be the producers main concerns.

89%, City Year Placement, GOT Thoughts, Poem

Hope you are doing well!!

89%

Earlier at the gym today I was enjoying on the basketball court and decided to start shooting some free throws. I kept track and decided I would go ahead and see what I could make out of 100. I’ve done this a few times before and twice have hit 86. It can be incredibly satisfying and frustrating. My goal has always been 90. Today,¬†I hit 89. I missed the second to last shot, which put me 1 off of my goal. I wasn’t as streaky today as other days, especially in terms of missing. My best run was hitting the first 25 in a row from 50-75.

City Year Placement 

I found out that I will be serving this upcoming school-year at the Kelley school in North Philadelphia! This is a k-8 school, but we will be focused on helping 6th-8th grade. I really like my service team that I will be with during the year.

GOT Thoughts 

Just some quick thoughts on what’s been going on in GOT. *I have not seen or read about any spoilers that were leaked for the upcoming episode.

I understand that they need to progress the plot quickly and I was impressed with their approach in wiping out Dorne, house Tyrell, and the Greyjoys fleet (Yara’s, not Euron’s). However, those are all mostly sub-plots. The fight between the Lannisters and Daenary’s was awesome, but I’m a bit disappointed in a few things.

  1. The timing. You cannot convince me that the Night King is just taking a leisurely stroll with his army North of the Wall. How the hell long can they march before they get there? Also, how the heck does Davos get to King’s Landing in basically no time? Then how does Jon get back to the Wall in what seems like no time at all? They can easily get away with these inconsistencies, but I’m not a big fan.
  2. Lack of deaths of major/ sympathetic characters. Prime example: Bronn is a character loved by most fans, but he ought to have died fighting the dragon/ saving Jamie.
  3. Why is Jon leading this group north of the wall!? Yeah, they don’t have to do this at all. Let’s go get a white walker from a huge army and somehow bring him/her/it back to the other side of the wall without dying? Clearly they are straying from the books and now doing what they want. I just find the idea really silly and unnecessary. Now a character loved by fans is probably going to die on this foolish mission.

Poem

I like to doodle and sometimes try out different writing things such as poems in my journal that I have me with me a lot of the time. I thought I would share an untitled poem below that I wrote earlier today. It was a free-write and unedited.

Why sit by,

starting to cry,

feeling so shy,

when you could touch the sky?

They’re not looking at you, friend.

They’re too self-obsessed,

just like the rest.

You’re here; they’re there.

Those insecurities you carry round’,

throw em on the ground.

Tell them bye-bye,

I’m off to touch the sky.

Call Out the Racists, City Year, English Premier League

Call Out the Racists

If you have not heard of the rallies that occurred this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, then do a quick google search and read up. White surpremacists and nationalists from various organizations such as Neo-Nazis, the Alt-Right, the KKK and more met to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee (a Confederate General) statue. They were met by counterprotesters. This resulted in fights and ultimately a car drove into a pack of counterprotesters, killing one and injuring 19.

Thoughts:

Free speech is a right, even including this rubbish, but¬†we must band together and call out this blatant racism. Through the general media, social media, and especially in our conversations with others.¬† These people should honestly be ostracized from the main part of society. I don’t mean they should be removed from the country, but no one should talk to them other than to point out their sick viewpoints. Come out and protest and you will be met by millions of people calling out your racism and bigotry.

I’m not surprised there were physical confrontations yesterday. I don’t think violence is helpful or warranted in many situations, but I don’t blame any counterprotesters who took some swings. ¬†For minorities, these viewpoints are an attack on their basic humanity. If these protesters came to Philly or another popular city they would be met with a fury that would make them shit themselves.

Everyone, specifically whites, should be calling out this BS.

City Year

*Quick disclaimer: My views do not represent City Year or AmeriCorps.

This past week I began my training with City Year. The first 3 weeks are all training based and they are long days, especially with my commute into and out of Philly though public transport- about 11-12 hours. I’m learning a good amount though, specifically related to some troublesome statistics about the drop-out rate for students in high schools in Philly and across the nation.

 

English Premier League

The first weekend is all but done, and there is clearly an exciting season ahead. My top 4 prediction is below along with which team I think will surprise and do very well.

1) Manchester City

Sooooo much talent on this team. Look at all their new signings and combine them with the players already on the squad; they are scary good. Love that Vincent Kompany is back playing. Gabriel Jesus and De Bruyne are so much fun.

2) Manchester United

They just bull-dogged through West Ham to an impressive 4-0 win. With Pogba and Matic controlling the middle, Lukaka wreaking havoc, Rashford flying in from the wing, and Da Gea in the back this team can be really good and could definitely win it all this year.

3) Tottenham

They had no signings over the summer, but they already have such a strong core group of players. They lost Kyle Walker, but Trippier is a solid replacement. Harry Kane will get his goals thanks to the brilliant providers in Erickson, Alli, Son, and more.

4) Arsenal

Sorry Chelsea. They are a strong team but losing Diego Costa will hurt them a lot. They seem to struggle to score consistently, and losing Matic really hurts in the middle. Arsenal had a fabulous comeback in the first weekend to beat Leicester. They play so well technically, but lack the physical toughness the Premier League seems to require. So fun to watch, though.

Surprise Team: Stoke City

I have a soft spot for Peter Crouch. I also loved that they signed Zouma and Fletcher in the middle. I think Bojan and Shaquiri provide enough talent going forward for them to contend for the 7th spot.

Predictions for Men’s Centennial Cross Country Championships

Is it weird that I’m writing a post with predictions for a sport that I’m not participating in anymore and the champs are 3 months away. Yeah, probably, but I’m still going to do it. I always seemed to have a good idea of where teams would finish and who the top runners from each team were. I took a look at TFFRS results of the champs last year to see who is returning and who graduated. So, barring that there are any wunder-freshmen on teams and that teams stay healthy then here are my predictions. The race will be run at Gettysburg this year which is a fast course.

*Disclaimer: I clearly am doing most of this from memory and in no way mean to insult any teams or individual runners. I hope all runners do well in the race. I find this kind of fun and think it will be cool to see if I’m close at all. It’s a bit silly to do it before seeing any results from the season, but I’ll give it a shot.

1) Haverford Goats

This team just amazes me. Such a small school with a legendary coach. Everyone on this team gets better from top to bottom. 5 guys who will be returning and who will presumably be their top 5 next year all finished in the top 12 of last year’s race. I also think Henry Woods is the clear favorite to win the individual championship.

2) John’s Hopkins¬†

Their depth is incredible and on a good day for them they could probably take down Haverford. But I think Haverford’s top 5 is too strong. But Hopkins won’t be too far behind.

3) Dickinson 

Losing Mason Hepner is tough, but led by Udell, Hopkins, Descavish and Herrmann this team could be close to Hopkins. That is a great top 4 and I’m guessing they can find a strong 5th runner.

4) Muhlenberg 

No more Flank makes things a lot harder for the Mules. He finished 1st last year which makes their team score that much better. But led by Mullins, Calantoni (800 beast) and Richwall they should still be good enough to get 4th.

5) Swarthmore (Love their track)  

I really wanted to put Ursinus here but Swat’s top 4 non-senior runners from last year were all freshmen and they ran solid times at the championships. Don’t be surprised if UC slips into this spot.

6) Ursinus (no bias here at all) 

YES. I don’t know enough about the incoming freshmen so I’m basing it all off returning runners. Hoping everyone stays healthy, Joe is set up for a really strong year up front. If Haase, McDaid, Logan, Voyack and Craig improve/ run like they did last year the team is in a great spot and could even contend with Muhlenberg for 4th.

7) Gettysburg 

Losing Taber will hurt their score by a solid chunk. Their top runner after him finished 38th and their 5th non-senior runner finished 77th.

8) Franklin and Marshall

They lose their top 2 runners from last year and their top returner finished 48th at last years champs.

9) McDaniel 

James Heilman is finally graduating. They return strong runners in Greene and Gibson but there seems to be a drop after that.

Image result for cross country starting line

Vacation, GOT, Rich Roll, War and More

VACATION

Back from a nice vacation that served as another hiatus from writing on the blog. My family and I went to Ireland and England over the past 2 weeks and got to spend a lot of time together as well as with our extended family. My Mom’s cousin was married in Wexford, Ireland. My Grandma, who will be 91 in September and is pictured below, grew up in this small Irish town. She is probably one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met, and I’m not just saying that. I have a close relationship with her and the amazing thing is that she seems to have a close relationship with basically everyone in the family. She was rocking on the dance floor as well! The wedding was also rather original and fun as it was Willy Wonka themed. The groom wore purple and a big hat at both the ceremony (which took place in a nice hotel) and then at the reception.

Spending time with family in England is always special because we rarely get to see them. When I was growing up we used to visit every 2 years but recently we have gone over the past 3 summers in a row. We stay in my Grandma’s quaint, lovely house. The same house my Mom and her 4 siblings grew up in.

Image may contain: 19 people, people smiling, people standing and indoor

Game of Thrones 

Oh my God, yes. I was so excited to get off the airplane for 1) getting to see Veronica, and 2) getting to watch the last 2 episodes of GOT.

Some quick thoughts that could serve as a spoiler if you have not seen recent episodes yet:

The Game of Thrones producers (and maybe George Martin does this in the book as well) do an amazing job of wiping out major families/ parts of the plot in a short time. This is impressive and smart because they save time and make the series all the more compelling. Daenery’s comes over to Westeros, looking like she is going to kill off Cersei easily with 3 dragons, the Greyjoys, the Dothraki and Unsullied, but instead the Lannisters completely outsmart her and with the help of Euron Greyjoy wipe out 3 important allies and their only presence on the water. No more Dorne, no more Tyrell’s, and no more fleet (at least none that could defeat Euron). HOT DAMN. I don’t want the Lannisters to prevail but they are impressing with war tactics big time.

My thoughts on Tyrion being the one ending up on the throne have changed a bit. Not sure who I think will end up there at the moment, if anyone, but excited to see what happens. And the producers are really trying to make Daenery’s more and more unlikable. Same with Jon and Sansa, frankly, as can be seen in their little feuds. However, Jon is serious about trying to help save others from the white walkers and is not power hungry like they are.

Image result for cersei

Rich Roll 

I listened to Dan Harris’s Podcast with Rich Roll today and I enjoyed listening to and learning about this guy. I had never heard of him before, but he has a cool story. He was an amazing swimmer in college but then ended up addicted to alcohol. He had rehab and got better, but was still not really satisfied and when he was 40 he had an episode of chest pains and sweats that he thought was a heart attack. He decided to go on a plant-based diet (basically vegan) and got back into exercise. He ended up as a professional endurance athlete. He did this in his 40s! He went from having a bit of a belly to looking like he does below. Some inspiration for sure.

http://www.richroll.com/bio/

Image result for rich roll

War 

On the long plane ride home I got the chance to watch Hacksaw Ridge, directed by Mel Gibson. I really enjoyed the movie and highly recommend it to others.

What it really reminded me of is how horrible war is. There are many war movies that exhibit the horrors of what it is really like and each time I’m reminded by how unnecessary they often are.

Now, I’m not a total pacifist. Some wars are necessary. If you know that others are going to unnecessarily extensively suffer if you do not intervene and you have all the resources available to do so, there may be an ethical obligation to assist.

Image result for hacksaw ridge

More 

I saw on ESPN that the Sixers were projected to win 33 games. That would certainly be a bit of a disappointment as of now with a full, healthy team. But they should win at least this many.

I’ve started writing in a journal that my Grandma gave me and I’m really enjoying the feeling of writing in hand and not looking at a screen so much.

I finished reading¬†Eating Animals¬†at the start of vacation and I am absolutely repulsed by factory farms. 99% of animal products in America come from here and it makes me consider going vegan. The main motivating factors are the environmental concerns and mostly animal cruelty. I don’t say this from a pedestal with judgment of others. If I knew animals were being treated well and living a nice life with a family on a farm then I would probably highly consider eating meat mostly because I enjoy the taste. But factory farms take things way too far and make this an easy decision for me.

 

5k in September, VaCay, Friends, Less Hair

I ran in a few road races at the beginning of the summer and while I enjoyed them, I also knew that I would enjoy them more if I was in shape and actually competing with other runners. I actually wrote a whole post about it: https://schlegelsbagels.wordpress.com/2017/06/17/road-races-better-more-fun-when-in-shape/

So, I’ve been on a race hiatus and recently decided to sign up for one on September 16th in Philadelphia. The race is called¬†Rock’N’Roll Half Marathon in Philadelphia. Contrary to the race title, I am not a running a half-marathon yet-I need to allow myself a lot more time to get in good shape to run that. I will be running the¬†5k. As I’ve noted, my 5k PR came this past spring on the track in 17:10. I have not run many 5k’s in my life and I have 2 months to train for this race. I would love to go for a PR, but I’m not sure because of some different circumstances if I will be able to train enough to do that. We go on vacation for 2 weeks starting this week and once we get back my position with City Year starts up right away. Once this starts, I will be taking the train into Philly early and probably not getting home until at least after 6:00 so I will need a lot of will power to get out and train well each day. The race will also be on the roads, which is slower than racing on the track.

However, I am really excited. I’ve never run in a big city race and I’m sure having lots of people cheering will help. Considering those circumstances, I’ve decided a good goal is¬†sub-18 minutes. This goal¬†requires me to put in miles and other preparation. Throughout college, I never really had high mileage at all. Little injuries combined with the fact I was usually training for the mile/800 meant I was conservative with how many miles I put in. My guess is I usually ran around 25-30 miles a week and my high was around 40.

Considering that, part of my training goal is to have 3 weeks of 35-40 mile weeks before the race. Intertwined in these weeks will be some workouts specific to a 5k.

The big thing will be staying healthy. If I’m healthy and able to run I will be happy. I don’t plan on being hard on myself if I don’t reach this goal, but I figure it will be a good motivator as well.

Image result for rocky

This Wednesday I’m leaving with my family to go to Ireland and England! My Mom’s cousin is getting married this Saturday in Wexford, Ireland, where my Grandma grew up. We will then go to England to stay with my Grandma and to spend time with my Mom’s side of the family. I always really enjoy going to England because this is the only time I get to see my family across the Atlantic.

This past weekend I got to spend time with good friends. My friend Jonah moved into an apartment in Philly and he had a little move-in party. Veronica also came. Recently she said that she wanted to go clubbing-lolz-and we basically did. We went from Jonah’s new apartment as a big crew to a bar nearby that had a big dance floor. ‘Twas a lot of fun. Then the next night Veronica and I were at Nolan’s house with Jamie and Vince. Once again, we had a really nice time.

And yesterday I shaved my beard and got a haircut! I definitely look a little different. I thought about keeping the mustache but ultimately decided against it. Here’s a look at the transformation.

 

Factory Farms and Plant-Based or Animal Based Diets- Which is Really Healthier for You?

Throughout college I was a self-claimed¬†part-time vegetarian. Basically, I went through phases of eating meat and not eating meat. Currently, I am a pescetarian-meaning I eat fish but not land animals. Is this going to be a phase? Probably. Why just fish and not land animals? That’s hard for me to answer. The reasons I like to tell people for why I don’t eat meat are mostly ethical.

Do I like the taste of meat? Yes. However, I’m aware-as are most people in this country-that there are problems with how meat is produced in the US. Most people just don’t know what those problems are and it is easy to dismiss the thought and deem it unimportant. Mainly, the problems reside around how animals are treated. Look up factory farms¬†and you will find some scary information. Many of us like to envision the nice farm environment where farmers have great relationships with their pets and the animal deaths are “humane,” but this is far from the truth for most of the meat produced. Animals are kept in large quantities in terrible conditions a lot of the time.

Another issue that I try to grapple with is whether there really is a humane way to kill an animal? Many would respond that as long as the death is quick and the animal feels no pain it is fine. However, for me I struggle thinking that another living being’s death should be taken lightly. Many of the main sources of meat: cows, chicken, pigs, fish, are really intelligent animals. Their cognitive abilities are rather impressive. And they do suffer and feel pain very similarly to how we do. I find it hard to confront truths about animals and to think about whether I am really okay with eating what is/was another living being? I’m not trying to argue here that other people should feel bad about eating meat, as you read I do so myself at times-I’m more sharing some of my own thoughts on the matter and wondering out loud. My main focus is how meat is produced.

To learn more on the subject of how meat is produced there are many documentaries you could look up, or reading a book can help a lot. At the moment, I am reading a book called Eating Animals by Jonathan Saffran Foer that I am really enjoying. This book is incredibly informative. When you look into the subject, how meat is produced in factory farms (99% of meat in the US comes from these) really seems to be morally reprehensible a lot of the time.

Onto the subject of how we eat. There seems to be a prevailing belief that you need to eat animal products in order to be truly healthy. Animals contain certain vitamins (such as B12) that you cannot really find elsewhere unless you take a supplement. At least, that’s what I’ve come to learn. Watch this guys’ talk below:

 

This guy seems to argue that eating any animal products is ultimately unhealthy for you. This goes directly against what many of us are told. Is it possible he is right? I’m really not sure. It seems to help in the short term health-wise eating a vegan diet, but how about long-term? Most people argue for eating meat because of the protein. He immediately tries to debunk this by saying that most of don’t even know the scientific term for protein deficiency because most people don’t seem to ever have this.

What really gets to me is when he argues that eggs, yogurt, and other non-meat animals products are unhealthy. These are some of my faves and other people insist these are healthy for you. He is very adamant that cholesterol, animal protein, and most fats are terrible for you.

For now, I will still eat non-meat animal products, fish, and lots of veggies/fruits to go with it. I’m interested to learn more, though. And I would love to hear other’s thoughts on this!

“Dining Under the Stars” in Media: Definitely Worth Going to

Every Wednesday night during the summer months all the restaurants in the lovely and quaint location of Media, PA, take part in what’s called “Dining Under the Stars.” The streets are closed off from drivers and every restaurant places tables and chairs right outside their location. I have gone multiple times with my family, friends, Veronica, and highly suggest going if you live relatively close or find yourself in the area. \

Whether going for a romantic night out, looking for some drinks and food with friends, or trying to have a nice family meal, Media offers all of that. I find it to be a lot of fun to walk around after eating to take in the atmosphere and all of the other cool activities they have going on, such as music, cornhole, and other interactive games.

Here is a copy to the link of participating restaurants:

http://visitmediapa.com/dining

Some of my favorites include:

Iron Hill Brewery 

Dos Gringos Mexican Kitchen 

Brick and Brew

Shere-e-Punjab (Indian)

Yia It’s All Greek To Me

 

Image result for media dining under the stars