Life Update: 43 Days in the Czech Republic

It’s been a while.

I’ve now been in Europe for two months which is insane to me. I have turned twenty-two, have visited two countries for the first time, and have reunited with friends that I have not seen in years!

I started graduate school a month ago, and I’m just starting to get the hang of things. I enjoy my program, I am happy with my professors, and Brno is quite nice.

The culture shock has been something else here. People don’t smile very much and are not open and friendly. I had different expectations, but it is what it is. All I can do is make the best of it. I’m in a European country where I have met incredible people. Of course, I expected to learn Czech while I was here, but I still have not made one single Czech friend. I only interact with Czech people when I’m in the store or dealing with the university administration.

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Life Update: To New Beginnings

It’s been about two weeks since I last wrote a blog post, frankly, I had a lot on my mind, but there wasn’t anything I wanted to write about. Between the political events that have been occurring here in the United States, to what’s happening in my personal life. There’s just a lot. While many have ran to social media to express their anger at the recent events here in the United States, I’ve decided to just process what’s happening on my own and to deal with the sadness.

Now, that I have had the time to process, I can now process the fact that in about a week I am moving to Czech Republic. Yup, you’ve read that right. I am moving from my beloved home and city, New York, to the old continent. I have accepted a place at a university in Brno, Czech Republic, where I will be obtaining my masters degree. I am more than ecstatic to be going to Europe and actually live there. This is a goal of mine which I have been manifesting literally since I was sixteen-years-old. Continue reading “Life Update: To New Beginnings”

Ecotalk: The Environmental and Conscious Eating Movement: All About Consumerism and Individualism?

I spend a lot of time on Instagram. Perhaps too much time. But, scrolling through photos of vegan bowls, vegetarian meals, and overall eco-friendly influencers, I cannot help but see that people who dominate the eco/sustainability/vegan/vegetarian/etc movements are dominated by wanna-be-hipsters or by women that look like Lauren-Conrad-gone-green. This is problematic.

A movement that is supposed to be based on health, politics, and degrowth has in turn become a movement of profit and superficiality.

This is not so much targeting the vegan and vegetarian chefs/foodies that are constantly trying to recreate foods that are plant-based, but rather the beauty, fashion, furniture, and other similar industries.

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Eating Habits: Reimagining Your Plate

I went into Starbucks the other day, as I was starving and needed something to eat. I was anxiously waiting in line until it was my turn. Finally, when I reached the cash register with my avocado spread and coconut macarons in hand, I put them on the counter. Can I please have any of the vegan bagels? The barista stared at me like I just asked him for the most ridiculous thing. Vegan bagels? I don’t think we sell vegan bagels. I smiled at him and pointed towards the bagels. Yes, you do. He looked a bit embarrassed at this point, but then out of the blue started asking questions: What is the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan? What can you eat? And, the most often asked question, Is it hard?

Some omnivores, not all, are shocked when they meet someone who is vegetarian or vegan. Well, how can you even do it? Many ask. I simply smile and respond with, It’s actually quite easy–sometimes a bit challenging, but it’s not hard. Continue reading “Eating Habits: Reimagining Your Plate”

Plastic Free July: How to Reduce Your Daily Amount of Plastic

We’re almost at the end of July, and this month is plastic free July or zero waste July. The point of this challenge is to raise awareness on the amount of plastic and garbage we use and produce.

I first learned about the Zero Waste movement about four years ago. I came across an article about Lauren Singer’s Zero Waste lifestyle. Apparently, since 2012, Singer has not sent any waste to the landfills. About a year or two ago, she started her own company, The Simply Co. where you can obtain plastic free laundry detergents. Not only are they plastic free, but also harsh chemical-free.

I’ve tried the Zero Waste lifestyle a couple of times, but for some reason it never sticks. This month, I decided to give it a try once again.

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Eating Habits: I’m Going Dairy-Free!

Folks, you’ve read it here first. I’m going dairy-free. I’m giving up the goodness and saturated fats of cheese, butter, yogurt, milk, cream cheese, and the delicious, but dangerous desserts that I enjoy. I’m not going vegan, I am keeping fish and eggs in my diet, but I improving my health, while reducing my carbon footprint.

For the past several weeks, I have toyed with the idea of going vegan for the sake of my skin, physical health, and mental health. I have noticed over the past years, specifically since I turned 16, that my lactose tolerance has decreased. This is actually quite normal.

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Documentary Talk: What The Health

What The Health is the new documentary that has everyone rethinking whether they want to drink a glass of cow milk, or if they should opt for a glass of almond milk.

Netflix recently released the documentary What The Health, which follows filmmaker Kip Anderson on his quest to uncover why health organizations do not try to prevent, or help reverse chronic diseases, through an actual healthy diet. Anderson interviews various physicians, many who are part of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a non-profit organization, that promotes a plant-based diet, and alternative medicine to prevent or reverse diseases.

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Eating Habits: Journey To My Pescaterian/Vegetarian Diet

At the tender age of nine, I flirted with the idea of leaving meat behind. I actually disliked the taste of meat, but my mother would not have any of it, with good reason though. I did not like meat, but I also was not very keen on vegetables besides beets and cucumbers. As a nine-year-old, I loved sweets of any kind and white rice. That was about it.

Fast foward to my college years…

My freshman year of college as I was meeting new people from different parts of the country and the world, I found that many were vegetarians and vegans–more vegetarians, though. I thought that was insane. I mean who would want to give up bacon?!

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Consumer Activism: Just Another “Feel Good” Entitlement Act?

We all want the world to change, yet we don’t like to make sacrifices. Thoughts such as, “we don’t have to change, companies just need to do better” or “if we demand better products then companies will be more ethical” are actually misleading.

Many millennials, in order to cope with the harsh realities of life, blame corporations for human exploitation, climate change on mankind, and so on. Few like to accept their own role and contribution. Corporations and businesses wouldn’t be able to make a profit in the first place if there wasn’t anyone to buy these products. Instead of consuming less, Americans and other Westerners alike, demand for more “ethical” products in order to continue consuming, guilt free of course.

In fact, consumers are so aware that companies are advertising themselves as “ethical”, “eco-friendly”, and “sustainable” that if a business does not advertise themselves as such, they pout and cry and proceed to call for the boycott of the said business.

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How Are The Millennials? Anxious.

I wonder if during the Cold War, the period where Americans thought that every Russian was named Ivan or Sasha, experienced an overwhelming anxiety over the thought that their lives along with the rest of the world could blow up to a million pieces. Obviously Americans were anxious, there are endless academic articles describing the American identity during the Cold War, and the everyday life of the American. However, Americans continued going to work, creating families, and building their lives.

Now, I know many things have changed since the Cold War, or it seems like it has, but we millennials seem to think that the world is on fire. You can ride the subway and overhear twenty-year-olds express how, “their job is giving them anxiety” and how “it’s just too much”. Our boss gives us anxiety, going out shopping gives us anxiety, reading the news gives us anxiety, even taking care of our own goldfish gives us anxiety. Quite frankly, I sometimes catch the anxiety bug from time to time. This usually happens when there’s a lot I have to do, but I decide to wallow in the pettiness and the small things in my life. Thankfully, I am always able to shake the bug off.

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