Yes, dear listeners and Feed Me followers, we have somehow managed to string together 12 whole episodes. No one is more shocked by this than AJ and Hillary.
In honor of our twelfth episode, AJ and Hillary decided to put together the dozen things they’ve learned over those past many episodes. … Or at least, that was the working theory. AJ says there are more like eight things. Hillary cannot believe that’s correct. But she was a journalism major, so math was never really her strong suit.
Regardless, here are a handful of things the yahoos running this show have learned and some links in case you’d like more details.
AJ and Hillary: It’s tough to reach people with our vast knowledge so we can make money so we can help them on their journey OR being Oprah is harder than it looks.
OK, so there were like 10. Although, No. 10 was something both AJ and Hillary had in common. Oh, and AJ didn’t get the chance to talk about how MUD/WTR doesn’t taste like mud. So, like 11. Close enough to 12.
How about you, our lovely followers and listeners? What have you learned during this wild and crazy ride. Tell us all about it in the comments!
You ever drink out of a mud puddle as a kid? You know, you’re playing outside, the older kids in the neighborhood dare you, it’s hot out, you think, “what’s the worst that could happen.”
What? No, this is not an anecdote from Hillary’s childhood. Shut up.
Anyway, as an adult, your mud puddle drinking days are probably behind you (or not. Hey, we don’t judge).
But see, there’s this new thing called MUD/WTR.
Normally, we’d have hyperlinked that “MUD/WTR” reference to their website. But damn, the MUD/WTR people like them some tracking cookies. And that shit will follow you around the web until the end of time.
So, you can find a lot of their details and story here: https://mudwtr.com. But we recommend you copy that link and open it in an incognito window unless you enjoy being stalked by a health drink.
So, basically, four types of mushrooms touted for their health benefits and then some other ingredients that are generally also believed to be good for ya. It’s worth noting that the studies done on the mushrooms were mostly animal studies, so it’s unclear if they carry over to humans.
OK, so, yeah, it’s probably good for you or at least not harmful. But does it taste like mud?
On this, both Hillary and AJ agree that the taste is pretty good. It’s a lot like chai tea or a cup of unsweetened hot chocolate. And you can add in your own sweeteners or creamers so that it matches your taste preferences.
MUD/WTR is billing itself as a coffee alternative that somehow magically gives you steady energy despite having only 1/7th the amount of caffeine.
So, does that claim hold up?
Hillary is the coffee drinker of the dynamic duo, and because she loves you all, she actually gave up coffee for … OK, she made it like four days. It was hard, OK?
For her, no, MUD/WTR is not a magic elixir that provides boundless energy and focus and causes magic fairies to sprout from the couch cushions and clean your house for you. It’s just a nice drink that tastes good.
AJ disagrees and says she noticed more mental clarity and focus. Plus, she really started to look forward to her morning cup o’ mud.
There’s also the cost factor. MUD/WTR is not cheap. It can run you anywhere from $40-$125, depending on how many servings you opt for.
So, it’s healthy and tasty and spendy.
But is it worth it?
AJ is all in. She’s planning to start a subscription package and plans to drink it for the long haul.
Hillary is “meh” on it. It’s tasty stuff, and she enjoys mixing it in her coffee, like a dirty chai. But the cost is too great for her, especially since she didn’t see the benefits and loves coffee just too much.
What about you? Have you tired MUD/WTR? Yay or nay? Other coffee alternatives you’ve tried and love. Give us the dirty details in the comments!
Further Info and Deets
Wanna get dirty yourself? The MUD/WTR people approved our request to be an affiliate. So, if you feel like ordering yourself something dirty, use this link.
(Note: As an affiliate, we might make a small profit anytime anyone uses our link to make a purchase. Thanks for your support!)
But honestly, tramps like us, baby we were born to … walk. (Deepest apologies to The Boss.)
What walking really needs is a brand ambassador, one of them fancy influencers who will somehow make the most basic and yet one of the most beneficial exercises you can do totally, like, rad. Or whatever the cool kids are calling “good” these days.
Is the air trying to kill you? Does every season change bring feelings of dread as first one nostril, then the other, shuts down for business? Do you pop Claritin or Allegra or Zyrtec by the handful while praying for a merciful death? Do your eyes look redder and wetter than the latest loser on “The Bachelor”? Do you …
You know what, we forgot where we were going with this.
If you’ve got ‘em — whether they’re seasonal, caused by dust or pet dander, or any of the myriad environmental causes that make your life miserable — you have our deepest sympathies.
AJ herself is a longtime allergy sufferer and tried all of the conventional treatment methods. That included the over-the-counter drugs, the skin pricks that made her back light up like a Christmas tree, the shots.
And here’s where this post starts to sound like an infomercial full of some next-level bulljive. But try to keep an open mind. We swear we wouldn’t try to sell y’all on something that was bogus or harmful. Also, we’ve got no affiliations with any of the practitioners, and we ain’t making a dime off any of it. So, there that is.
Anyhoo, in her quest to reduce her allergy symptoms, AJ stumbled upon a couple of alternative options, NAET and AAT.
As a quick explainer, NAET — or Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Techniques — is a “non-invasive, drug free, natural solution to alleviate allergies of all types and intensities using a blend of selective energy balancing, testing and treatment procedures from acupuncture/acupressure, allopathy, chiropractic, nutritional, and kinesiological disciplines of medicine.”
Yeah, it’s getting a little woo-woo-y up in here. But stay with us.
AAT — or Advanced Allergy Therapeutics — “works directly with the relationship between the major organ systems and overreactions to harmless substances.”
AJ’s allergies are both seasonal and food-related, and she found that both NAET and AAT were incredibly helpful in eliminating her symptoms. She also has allergy-suffering friends who found the same to be true.
Keep in mind that neither treatment is usually covered by insurance. However, both are fairly inexpensive treatments. So, if you’ve tried typical allergy-relief methods and found them wanting, maybe give NAET or AAT a try. Just make sure you use a licenced practitioner of each.
And now, over to you. What have you all found especially helpful in treating your allergy symptoms? Spill the tea in the comments.
The current state of the world has a bit of a — oh, I don’t know — tire-fire quality about it, no?
Like everything is ablaze around us, and there’s just no putting it out, right? (Incidentally, for those who were really hoping we’d start this blog post with some song lyrics as we’ve done so often recently: Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” was a strong contender.)
Anyhoo, even in the best of times, the world can get a bit gnarly, and that can wreak havoc on your emotional state.
AJ and Hillary find this to be true quite frequently. As such, over the course of time and trial and error, they’ve developed some strategies to make everything a smidge more bearable.
The podcast tied to this post will talk in a bit more detail about some more well-known tips and tricks (so listen in and tell a friend!) like walking or getting yo’ ass outside.
But here are some lesser-known ideas that have worked for AJ and Hillary that you might want to consider the next time you’re a little blue.
As odd as it may sound, the simple act of naming how you are feeling can help you to lessen the negativity of that emotion. (BTW, that link mentions “name it to tame it,” and Hillary has never been so pleased by a rhyme in all her days.)
Try a Little DBT
Dialectical behavioral therapy — a term Hillary can rarely remember the name of — is usually done one-on-one with a counselor or in group therapy. But there are tons of tools that you can also use when you’ve just hit a rough patch. One such tool is to describe your emotion. It’s similar to naming how you’re feeling, but it goes into a bit more detail, like drawing a picture of your feeling or visualizing what your feeling looks like. You can see a step-by-step explainer here.
The Title of This Post Contains the Phrase ‘Cat Videos,’ So We’re Pretty Sure You Can See Where This Tip Is Going
Links to the cat videos are in the “More Info and Deets” section below. Oh, and AJ loves her some minimalist videos too, so there are links to those as well.
“HIIT me with your best shot! Come on and HIIT me with your best shot. HIIT me with your best shot! Fire away!”
Are all of these blog posts going to start with very obvious song lyrics? Probably. Do you know how hard it is to come up with an original intro every. single. time? It’s hard, m’kay. Very hard. (That’s what she said.)
Anyhoo, today’s hot topic is High Intensity Interval Training. And if you haven’t guessed it by now, that term is generally abbreviated “HIIT.” Prepare for an obnoxious amount of plays on the word “hit.” You’ve been warned.
According to this very helpful definition we completely stole from Precision Nutrition’s Ryan Andrews, who has a bunch of Very Important Sounding Letters after his name and thus Must Be An Expert, a HIIT is “when you alternate between high and low intensity exercise(s) or between high intensity exercise and a short period of rest.
“For example, a short sprint up a flight of stairs followed by a walk back down is interval training. Or a set of burpees followed by bodyweight rows.”
When you’re doing the hard work of a HIIT, your heart rate should be pretty high, like 70-90% of your max HR. (This is all under the assumption you’re a relatively healthy individual. And you already know this, but check with your doctor before embarking on a new workout regimen.)
As another example, something AJ does, you could jump rope for say 20-30 seconds, and then do 20-30 seconds of squats before resting for 10-15 seconds, and then start the whole sequence again. You’d want to do that for a number of rounds, say 10-15.
The sky’s the limit when you want to HIIT that. Sprinting, biking real hard, body weight exercises, weight lifting (with good form, ya meathead). Most exercises will work for HIITs.
Why would you want to HIIT it up? HIIT is good for your cardiovascular health or when you’re short on time or when you just wanna shake up your regular routine.
Note that although you’ll feel like you’re burning thousands upon thousands of calories because you are HIITing it so damn hard, you likely are not.
As our good friend Aadam over at Physiquonomics (fine, we’re not friends. Not yet anyway.) noted, a recent study looked at how much energy overweight women expended during a BodyPump class versus a typical strength training workout. According to the study’s results, both groups burned about the same amount of calories. Bummer, dude.
If you’re just hitting a HIIT for the first time, maybe start with just one workout a week to see how you feel. As your body adapts, you can adjust the workout length or the number of days you do a HIIT.
But if at any point your workouts or sleep or mental capacity or general well-being start to suffer, you should probably back off the intensity, length of workout, or number of days you’re HIITing it so hard.
What’s your favorite way to get in a good, solid HIIT? HIIT us up (OK, we’re done now. We promise.) in the comments!
If you hear the word “fasting” and immediately picture Gandhi on a hunger strike, you’re not alone.
Well, you and Hillary aren’t alone at least.
Fasting — especially intermittent fasting — has less to do with social activism and more to do with health and oftentimes weight loss.
Although everyone fasts multiple times a day (anytime you’re not stuffing your piehole, like when you’re sleeping, you’re technically fasting), intermittent fasting is a bit more deliberate.
Different people opt to IF (yes, that’s how the cool kids abbreviate it) in different ways. Some people find it easiest to skip eating from around 7 p.m. until the following day at 11 a.m. That’s a 16-hour fast or a 16:8. So, 16 hours fasted with an eight-hour “eating window” (you’re damn right there’s gonna be a quiz. Also, no, you do not eat a window. Try to keep up here.). Other folks forgo lunch or dinner.
No matter which route you take, the usual objective is to shorten the aforementioned eating window.
But why in the name of everything holy would anyone want to skip eating a meal?
In lots of people, fasting has shown myriad benefits, including better sensitivity to hunger signals, improved blood sugar levels, increased mental clarity and focus, decreased appetite, improved insulin sensitivity, and more.
So, is IF the magic bullet that everyone should start trying immediately OMG why are we still sitting here we need to stop eating for days at a time right this very second eeeeeee?!
Yeah, maybe not.
If you suffer from low blood sugar, IF might not be for you. Also, although the benefits of intermittent fasting in men tend to be fairly universal, that’s not always the case with women. Some women might actually see their blood sugar levels get worse. Or it can disrupt their menstrual cycle.
This goes without saying (but we’re gonna say it extra hard and loud for the people in the back), but if you do decide to try intermittent fasting — especially if you have lady bits — you’re gonna want to check with your doctor. And keep close tabs on how IF makes you feel and if it has any negative effects on your body or your sleep or your mood, etc.
What about you? Have you tried IF for any length of time? Seen the benefits? Suffered some not awesome side effects? Tell us about your IF experience in the comments!
We’re living in the age of the bike, man. There are bikes at pretty much every price point and for every activity imaginable. Even snow. Yes, snow. Or sand. (Fair warning: That link gets a little technical, so don’t get too bogged down in the details, m’kay? Good.)
If you’re not sure the two-wheeled world is for you, you’ve still got options. Check with a local bike shop near you to see if they’ll let you check out or rent a bike for the weekend. If you think you’re ready to buy but don’t want to blow hundreds or thousands of dollars, shop around at pawn shops or garage sales. Facebook Marketplace and Craig’s List can also be good options.
Your budget is going to be a huge piece of determining what kind of ride you get. But make sure you also know what kind of riding you plan to do. So, if you want to mountain bike but end up buying a road bike, you’re probably not going to be super happy.
Once you’ve decided what kind of riding you want to do, research the shit out of that type of bike. Read reviews, check out comments other riders have made about the type of bike you’re interested in, talk to your local bike shop peeps to see what they recommend or what stories they’ve heard.
For Hillary, a huge factor is how much a bike weighs. You might not think there’s a ton of difference between a 28-pound bike and a 34-pound one, but you might feel differently when you’re going uphill against the wind. Typically, weight isn’t as much a factor for cruiser bikes and the like if you’re just riding flat surfaces for a handful of miles at a time. But still, odds are the heavier your bike is, the less likely you are to ride it, unless it’s an e-bike.
Speaking of e-bikes … yeah, they’re pretty awesome. They get hella spendy. But when you are going uphill against the wind, they make a world of difference.
Once you’ve got your new two-wheeled best friend, it’s time to accessorize! (If you read that sentence in your most Karen voice, you did it correctly.) But seriously, you’re gonna need a helmet and a lock. Also, padded shorts or seats can be a huge help making sure your butt is only kinda sore. (That’s what she said.)
If you’re a biker chick now, what kind of ride do you like best? And if you’re not a two-wheeled convert, what’s holding you back? Drop some truth on us in the comments!
“It’s the end of the world as we know it … and I feel fiiiiiiiiine.”
Or maybe you don’t echo R.E.M.’s sentiments (regardless, you’re welcome for that earworm), and the pandemic and subsequent quarantine have got you a little down and a little off your game.
Well, that’s pretty much to be expected, no? After all, you’re a human being and not a robot, and a global health scare and the surrounding fallout can be more than a little frightening.
So, cut yourself some slack if you’re not handling all of this like a fully functioning adult and find yourself embedded in your couch cushions, bingeing so much Netflix it’s now a member of the family and you’re considering claiming it as a dependent on next year’s taxes.
Anyhoo, when you’re ready to re-emerge and start chasing down some exercise-induced endorphins, give these tips a shot:
Shoot for 30 minutes of cardio a day. Whether that’s house walking, regular walking, running, biking, yoga, hiking. Just something to get the ol’ heart rate up.
Aim for two sessions of weight-resistance training a week. That can be bodyweight workouts, workouts using resistance bands, using items around your house like cans of food or your kids or your pets. There’s even a thing called the Makeweight that lets you hold canned food like a dumbbell. If you’re looking for some bodyweight or resistance band templates, Aadam over at Physiqonomics has a handy-dandy spreadsheet at a killer price.
Search for workouts you can stream online. AJ’s a fan of Dance Church.
If you’re an app head, try ones like MyFitnessPal or Fitbod. AJ and Hillary use both, and they’re useful for workouts and/or food tracking if you find you’ve packed on some quarantine weight and need to drop a few pounds.
Find a friend or loved one and force them ask them to be your accountability partner. Text each other your workouts or use an app to share your exercise routine to stay on track.
This bullet is where Hillary yet again plugs THERACK despite not receiving any royalties other than the sweet, sweet satisfaction of watching this guy lead the workouts and the chance to TYPE A PRODUCT NAME IN ALL CAPS!!!!1
Ropeless jump ropes are not sex toys despite the fact that they look like sex toys. IDK, ask AJ. This is her bullet point.
Do what you can where you’re at, and don’t force yourself to do anything that’ll raise your stress levels any higher than they already are. Exercise will likely help you feel better because of the aforementioned endorphins and such.
Be kind to yourself (and others), wash your hands, take deep breaths. This situation’s a real bitch, but we’ll manage. We’re adaptable like that.
If you’re like AJ and Hillary, it’s possible your year has Not Gone According to Plan. Because, you know, so much of life totally, like, omg, always goes exactly the way you were expecting.
But yeah, this year is a lil’ extreme even for that.
AJ and Hillary like to refer to how they’re dealing with the current shitshow as OFFPLAN! (that’s trademarked and in all caps, so don’t you bitches even think about trying to steal it for your own nefarious usage.)
If it’s not totally clear, OFFPLAN! just means that nothing has gone as expected, and we’re all just doing our best to survive and not murder our spouses and loved ones with whom we’re currently quarantined.
If you find yourself in a similar boat, no need to fret. Here are some quick resources to help you deal.
Remember: Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. Give everybody — even yourself — a lot more grace than you might even think is necessary.