OMG to the NYC

OMG in NYC

Old Money Guy style in midtown Manhattan.

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Why I Don’t Multitask…And You Really Don’t, Either

Everyone is so busy. It’s the mantra of the age. We’re so connected, in every sense of the word except the emotional one. We have the world (wide web, anyway) at our fingertips. If there’s information we don’t know, we simply Google our inquiry and millions of search results come forth. The veracity and accuracy of these results can vary widely, but it’s all there.

So are our friends and colleagues and even strangers. We can communicate with anyone, literally, at any time, day or night, instantly, via voice, video chat, email or text. We can shop, watch videos, movies, and television shows, and listen to music. The possibilities are endless.

And that’s the problem. We think we’re doing a lot and accomplishing a lot and we’re not. This is not just my opinion. It’s science. Information overload and the concept of multitasking are serious problems for memory, intelligence, creativity, and health.

Don’t believe me? Read this.

– BGT

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Member of the Tribe – Number 2

Member of the Tribe 2

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How To Do Spring Cleaning

We all find ourselves, at some point in life, with too much stuff. We purchase, inherit, and are given gifts of material things. We think we’re going to use them. We hope we get our money’s worth. We hold onto things with sentimental value. But there comes a time when we have to face the truth: it’s time for some things, maybe a lot of it, to go.

This traditionally happens in the spring, when people open their curtains and windows, take a deep breath, and look around at all the dust and clutter that accumulated during the dark winter months. Ergo the term, “spring cleaning”.

So, given the universal nature of the problem, how do we approach it as individuals? Here is a mental scenario that helped me, and may help you, too.

Imagine this: you receive a phone call from a friend, who breathlessly tells you that there’s an exciting opportunity for you overseas. The catch is that you won’t have time to relocate in the usual sense, i.e., pack boxes with dishes, linens, furnishings, and clothes, and have it all shipped to your new location. You have to pack two large suitcases with all the clothes you’re going to take, and you’re going to leave your current residence for someone to rent out as a furnished apartment. And you’ve got two weeks to do all this.

The new tenants will bring a few personal items with them; all they’ll need from you is the basics. In the kitchen, a few pots, pans, dishes and glasses, silverware. In the linen closet, a couple of sets of sheets and pillow cases. A little more than the bare minimum, but not much more than that. Not a lot of junk on the shelves. Absolutely no clutter. Some things have sentimental value. Put them in a box and put that in the attic, or get them ready for storage or pack them in your suitcase with your clothes. Remember: you’ll still have the memories even if you don’t have the things.

Regarding your clothes, you’ll need to take your best basic wardrobe: the quality items that are versatile, comfortable, and stylish. The list should start with your favorites: “This is my favorite dress. This is my favorite pair of jeans. These are my most versatile shoes. This is my favorite shirt. This is my warmest sweater. This is the best jacket…”

Next, you’ll pull out the two suitcases. Not just in your imagination, but really, pull them out. Fill them up with what is really the core essentials of your wardrobe. You should be able to dress for dinner and dress for hiking. Pack everything up and close the suitcases. That’s what works for you. That’s what you need to live. That’s the refined and streamlined collection of the essentials that you need for you to look good and feel good. Good.

Now, look at what remains in your closets and your drawers, the stuff on your shelves. That’s extra. That’s not essential. That’s waste, and it can be a serious drag on your spirit.

Give it to family or friends. Give it to charity. Get rid of it.

You’ll feel so much better when you do.

– BGT

PS – Oh, yeah, unpack those suitcases. You’ll need something to wear tomorrow.

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Vassar

Vassar Girls

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Eating Better, Spending Less…A Lot Less

One of the easiest things you can do to reduce your grocery bill is to reduce the amount of animal products (specifically beef, chicken and pork) you buy and consume each week. This is a good idea for several reasons.

First, you save money. Meat products are easily the most expensive items in most people’s food budget. Reduce or eliminate those, and you can reallocate those dollars for something else.

Second, you’re probably be healthier in the long run. Consumption of animal products has been linked to health problems in peer-reviewed scientific study after study. Don’t kid yourself. If you’re eating better, feeling better, you’re happier, you’re sick less, and, again, you save money…this time on doctors and prescriptions.

And third, you’ll be doing the planet a favor. A considerable amount of  greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming are produced as a result of the processing of beef, poultry, and pork products. And please don’t kid yourself about global warming. It’s happening and we’re responsible. One thing we can do is alter our diet, even in small ways. So, just know that if we all ate fewer animals on a regular basis, the planet would be much better off.

The single most important thing you can do to eat better is to sidestep the big-chain, corporate-owned grocery store and go to your local farmers market.

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Here’s what I like about the farmers market: first, the food is fresh. How do you determine fresh? Ask yourself how many miles you’re food traveled before it’s offered for sale. The freshest food would, therefore, be food you grew yourself in your backyard, picked, walked a few feet into your kitchen, cooked, and consumed. Next, your neighbors’ garden, down the street. Third, the farmers market.

Most farmers markets are populated by farmers who drive 2 hours or less in their own vehicles from their own farms, to offer their own produce for sale. Nothing frozen, nothing artificial, much of it organic. In grocery stores, food products could be spend weeks on a truck, traveling across country, and they’re often grown with pesticides and laced with preservatives.

Second, I see and know the people who grew the food I’m eating. This is the same food they probably feed to their children and eat themselves. Do you think the CEO of a corporate food conglomerate eats the hormone-injected, preservative-laiden, processed junk food that they market to consumers? No, they don’t. And they don’t let their children eat it, either. Most of them have chefs who, you guessed it, purchase fresh, organic produce from the local farmers market or high-end organic grocery store. The same chef then prepares a great meal using fresh ingredients prepared in a healthy way. So, do like the big boys do, except be your own chef. And know who is selling you your food. It’s the most important purchase you make for you and your family.

Third, I’m supporting local farmers, not big corporations. These farmers represent, by and large, family-run businesses. They work hard. They believe in what they do. I don’t bother with T-shirts or bumper stickers or online campaigns: I put my money in their pockets, every week. That’s my statement. That’s my support. That’s my dollar, voting. Why? Because I’d hate to think of what my food choices–and resulting health–would be without them.

Now, to the menu. By far the easiest, simplest, and most economical substitution you can make for meat products like beef, chicken, and pork is to prepare and consume beans and rice instead.

Why? First, there’s a tremendous variety. You’ve got the choice of black beans, pinto beans, fava beans, lentils, chick peas, and even black-eyed peas. And that’s just what I can think of off the top of my head. So you and your family won’t easily get bored.

Second, beans and rice are easy to cook. You boil water. You dump them in the water. You cook them. You spice them. You eat them. I’m a guy and I can do it. So you can do it, too.

Third, leftovers are easy. You spoon any leftovers into a bowl, cover it with foil, and stick it in the fridge. The leftovers can be re-heated, which I recommend, or eaten cold, which, I admit, I’ve done.

Things to remember: add one or two fresh vegetables to your rice and beans for a well-balanced meal. These can be sliced and sauteed in olive oil in a pan in a matter of minutes. I recommend summer squash, eggplant, cabbage, kale, green peas, green beans, and carrots to start, all of which you can buy, you guessed it, at the farmers market. (Wink, nod.)

Make it tasty: you can slice green, white, or red onions and add them to your squash. You can do the same with bell peppers and garlic for your eggplant, and mushrooms for your peas and green beans to liven things up. There’s a world of spices you can learn about and try. Experiment, enjoy. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. The worst that can happen is that you’ll have to eat it.

Final notes: buy the highest quality beans and long grain brown rice you can find. If possible, buy them organic and loose (not prepackaged). Don’t overcook your rice. You don’t it starchy. You can also substitute pasta for rice, but be mindful of your carb intake.

Consult your physician before making a change in diet or exercise. Back off the animal products gradually. It’s a big change for your body.

Bon appetite!

– BGT

 

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Spring Bowtie

bowtie 2

You can’t be afraid of a little color.

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