Healthy Living

apps, self-improvement, Habitica
App Review: @Habitica – Improve your Life with this #RPG
App Review: @Habitica – Improve your Life with this #RPG 175 175 admin

Whether it be by writing to-do lists or by keeping a calendar, we all try to find effective ways of staying on track with our schedule and daily habits. However, this is easier said than done, and it can be easy to slack off and let things slide. Fortunately, Habitica offers a solution to help us improve our lives and keep us on track.

Essentially, Habitica is a role-playing game that takes a new approach to keeping yourself and your friends accountable. It “gamifies” tasks such as exercise and personal to-do’s. After completing these tasks, you receive experience points and gold that you can use to level up or buy items to customize your avatar. To keep the user accountable, if you start to slip up in real life and forget to do some tasks, your character will begin to regress in the game as well.

Another unique aspect of Habitica is the way it promotes accountability across users. Additional features of the game such as “boss fights” and challenges are available when you play with friends, and promote social accountability as well as competition between peers. It is worth mentioning that these features of Habitica are only available when interacting with others, so blowing through the game by yourself is not the ideal experience.

Habitica, app, RPG, application, self-improvement

For all those who are fans of RPG’s or video games, this game is must-try. Habitica also offers an accompanying “app”, which helps players stay on track of updating their avatar. Here is their website if you would like to learn more!

things to do, jersey, weekend, getaway, activities, camping, flea market, lambertville, new hope, princeton
Spotlight on the Sunlight: Jobs that get you Outdoors
Spotlight on the Sunlight: Jobs that get you Outdoors 960 635 MPatton

One of my first real jobs out of college had me sitting in a cubicle (yes, the dreaded cubicle) facing a wall that was painted a bright, cheerful yellow. The sunny yellow of the wall didn’t do much to mitigate the fact that I wasn’t  seeing actual sunlight.

If that weekend itch to get out into nature, go hiking, kayaking, or just hang out with friends around a bonfire starts to become a week-long sting, a career in the great outdoors may be calling you. A lot of outdoor careers are in the sciences or recreation but you don’t have to be field botanist or a survival expert to find a career that incorporates the outdoors and your interests.

Sports Instructors:

Ski and snowboard instructors usually work in the hospitality industry or for a sports complex or training center. Instructor roles tend to rely more on history and experience than educational background. Ski and snowboard instructors generally also assist with trail maintenance and ski patrol and instruct people at all levels of ability. IMG_0135Instructors will need a good skill level and a working knowledge of gear, environment, and terrain, as well as weather patterns.


Gardening, landscaping, and running a nursery or greenhouse can get the sun on your back and the dirt under your fingernails. If you’re interested in running your own small business, this could be the opportunity you’re looking for. Owning and operating a landscaping company or a nursery gives a people person with a natural sales talent the opportunity to work outside, be creative, and work with people.

Nature Guides:

If hiking, trekking, and camping is your thing look into being an outdoor or recreational guide. Outdoor guides may require certification in certain areas like white water rafting and wilderness first aid. Nature guides work in a myriad of businesses: hospitality, travel, scouting, summer camps and with corporate outing ventures, much like United Eventures, to get groups of people from all walks of life engaged in outdoor activities.


Nature and art are closely entwined. Nature and wildlife photography can take you outside in a variety of landscapes and environments. Photography can be a dynamic and adventurous complimentary career; it’s not uncommon for guides and sports instructors to use body cameras to capture film and stills of their stunts, guide trips, and treks for promotional purposes. If you’re more of a people person, wedding and family photography can give you the opportunity to see new and interesting locations while helping families create memories to last a lifetime.

Environmental Impact:

Working in the green industry can take you outside for a cause. Surveying, forestry, and Ranger positions can keep you poised to make an environmental impact. A career in forestry allows you to help manage and clear forests in a sustainable and restorative way and promotes conservation, restoration, and stewardship of public and private lands. Some jobs in forestry require a Bachelor’s Degree or two-year certification. Some ranger positions require a background in law enforcement while others are geared towards educating the public on things like wildlife, outdoor safety, and environmental impact.

Better than a sun lamp.

Better than a sun lamp.


Not everybody can just ditch their day job and run off into the sunset after going all Office Space on the fax machine. Find a project or nonprofit agency that gets you outdoors and giving back. Volunteer for a team clean of your local park, or assist with trail maintenance on popular local hiking trails. If you’re interested in finding volunteer opportunities by you, check out VolunteerMatch or with your state or local parks and recreation department for what volunteer opportunities are available.


If the mountains are calling and that sunlamp on your desk isn’t doing you any favors, get out there. The world is waiting.

Finish line, healthy living, setting goals, goals
What is your finish line?
What is your finish line? 800 531 BRendine

I was going through a bunch of questions on the internet the other day, starting to ramp up the interview process for our Fall Intern Program (which, by the way, you can apply for on our Careers page) when I came across this question: “What is your finish line?” In other words, what does success look like to you? As the pace of life tends to pick up, we are more focused on making it through each day rather than defining and heading towards our finish line. So, I asked Will, “What is your finish line?”….

Success can be determined by many different factors. First and foremost a desired end result must be set. If we are talking about a successful business I would refer back to a book I just read called “Profit First” by Mike Michalowicz. Where he was asked that same questions as a entrepreneur but in a couple different ways….”How big is your business? How much money does your business gross? How many employees do you have?” But the real questions is “How HEALTHY is your business” You could have a 5 million dollar gross revenue business but have a 4.9 million dollar operations/payroll expense therefore only have a $100,000 dollar business, which to me is not a successful business. Yes, you have a $100,000 net profit but that means if you have one bad month in sales you are on the verge of going bankrupt.

So getting back to that initial question about what does success look like….To me, as a new business owner, successful is determined by a happy work/life balance. If you can run your business without it running you and it effecting your personal life, that is success. I started United EVENTures with the idea that “if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.” Not sure who came up with the quote but it’s something I live by every day.

30 day challenge, morgan spurlock, matt cutts
Try Something New for 30 Days
Try Something New for 30 Days 1024 317 BRendine

I have two questions for everyone reading this article. First, have you ever tried anything new for 30 days? And if not, what would you try new for 30 days?

I like to give it a try from time to time. I’ve done the one where you take a picture everyday on your way to work or take a picture of your work station. I have also tried to challenge myself with giving a stranger a compliment everyday for 30 days. This one falls along the idea of my post from yesterday and the app Happify. By complimenting a stranger everyday, I took myself outside my comfort zone but also was focusing on the positives of all the people around me to make it easy to talk to these strangers and even more so, compliment them.

So, let’s get a discussion going and what have you tried for 30 days? Did it go as you expected or did it change your life in some small (or large) way?

vegetarian, vegan, health, healthy living, eating, food, reasons why
3 Reasons to Reduce Your Meat Consumption That Benefit Humans, Not Animals
3 Reasons to Reduce Your Meat Consumption That Benefit Humans, Not Animals 960 517 Emilie

In recent years more and more of the United States population have been adopting vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. However, according to Forbes the U.S. is also the second most eat-meating country in the world. Many who choose “veg” lifestyles do so to fight animal cruelty, or to maintain a healthier diet. In fact, a British study cited by Choose Veg shows that eating vegetarian can reduce your risk of heart disease by over 30%. However, although many people understand why animal-lovers adopt these lifestyles, few realize the impact that a meat-heavy diet has on mankind. Here are three crucial reasons why every human should be embarking on Meatless Mondays.

It Helps the Economy

A recent article from The Atlantic called attention to a study found in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that analyzed the economic effect of various dietary choices. You can read the article in its entirety here, but we will explain the gist. The study demonstrated the vast costs to our country for maintaining so many meat-heavy diets. The reason that meat-heavy diets cost the U.S. so much is three-fold. First, meat-heavy diets have extremely detrimental effects on our environment (explained in the next section), and thus it costs a lot of money to try to counteract these effects on the environment. Secondly, meat-heavy diets are correlated with diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and many other health issues which lead to increased health care costs. Finally, producing energy and protein from animal products vs. plant-based products is far more costly. In fact, the study estimates that it will cost the U.S. $1.6 trillion by 2050 if current meat-heavy diets continue in our country, whereas if everyone switched to more balanced reduced-meat diets, it would save the U.S. $191.7  billion (even more for those who become vegetarian and vegan). Even vaster economic savings would occur worldwide if other countries increased their plant-based eating, but the U.S. would benefit more than others due to its greater-than-average meat consumption. Other studies have also shown side benefits from less meat consumption in the U.S., like reduced costs for corn production.

It Helps the Environment

Ever wonder what meat production does to our environment? The Guardian has a great article that discusses these many impacts. In the U.S. most of our animals are bred simply to be killed and eaten. Having such a vast number of these animals on earth results in increased greenhouse gases and methane. In fact, emissions from meat-centered farming exceeds the amount of emissions resulting from all forms of transportation combined. Such methane and greenhouse gases come from animals farting, their manure, and the destruction of their carcasses (among other factors). Farming animals also uses a great amount of the planet’s oil, and factors such as fertilizer contribute to pollution. You may think that these issues will result from any type of farming (including that of plant production). However, the environmental impact is far greater for animal farming because farmers must produce grain which is fed to the animals, which we then eat. Thus, factors like fertilizer impact the environment for years as the animal is raised, and as grain is produced for the animals. Producing soy protein uses 8% as much fossil fuels and 7% as much water as producing the same amount of protein from animal products.  Meat production leads to increased deforestation (even much of the rainforest has been destroyed for pasture), use of water (that animals drink over their life), air and water pollution (from polluting gasses and animal waste), flooding (from overgrazing), and soil erosion. In fact, eating a vegan diet actually results in a reduction of carbon emissions twice as large as that from driving a Prius.

It Reduces the Extreme Amount of Resources Used by First World Countries

World poverty is always a critical issue to keep in consideration, especially with increased population growth on the planet. Meat production uses far more resources than plant-based food production. Why? Because in order to consume animals, we must first produce plants and grains to feed these animals, which we then eat. In fact, 70% of the grain produced in the United States is used to feed animals, not humans. Additionally, 30% of the world’s land is used for farming animals just for meat consumption. This does not include farmlands for grain or plants. Thus, the way in which we currently eat in most first world countries uses an imbalance of precious resources that far surpasses what we need to use. Another article from The Guardian explains the need to manage our resources better. Due to the massive increase in world population over the years, we have minimum resources that must be used wisely to feed everyone on planet Earth. We cannot simply increase food production to handle population growth, we must be aware of the way we are using the resources that we have, and the truth of the matter is we could feed far more people if we used some of that grain for feeding people directly instead of feeding cattle which are later eaten. You can read this entire article by following this link.

To learn more about how to incorporate vegetarian meals into your diet, check out

"Get Ready to Save the World." N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Aug. 2016.
Lusk, Jayson L., and Bailey F. Norwood. "Some Economic Benefits and Costs of Vegetarianism." Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 38.2 (2009): 109-24. Web.
happiness, improve, be happier, self kindness, self awareness, tips
5 Easy Life Changes for a Brighter and Happier Self
5 Easy Life Changes for a Brighter and Happier Self 960 640 Emilie

Naturally, human beings are intrigued by the idea of happiness. There seems few things in the world that could be as important as our happiness and the well being of those we love. Luckily, scientists and researchers have been just as preoccupied with the idea of happiness as we are. So we combed through the research to tell you the best habits and tweaks to edit into your life to optimize your sense of well being.

Eat food that satisfies you

A recent study showed that participants’ satisfaction with their food-lives was actually a strong predictor of participants’ happiness. Pause and think about what you ate yesterday. What have you eaten thus far today? How many of those meals and snacks made you happy that you were eating them? Work to plan out your meals and snacks, so that you are enjoying more and more of the food you eat each day, instead of grabbing food at the last minute, simply because you are busy rushing from one thing to the next. Work hard to be excited and happy about what you put into your body. The more satisfied you are with your daily meals and snacks, the more this will be reflected in your well being.

Spend time around other people, even strangers

We all know that human beings need social interaction, even those of us who highly value our alone time. A recent study analyzed various types of shopping methods: from online shopping, to phone shopping (in which you talk to a store attendant as they help you make your purchase), and in-store shopping. It showed that online shopping did not improve participants’ wellbeing, but that both interactive shopping options improved participants’ mood (whether on the phone, or in the store). So if you are feeling down but still want to spend some alone time, keep in mind that even minimal human contact will improve your mood. Try working in a cafe around other people, running to the corner store to pick up some food, browsing for novels at your local bookstore, or calling a friend for a quick phone call.

Spend time around nature and animals: or watch a video

 It’s not a secret that being around animals can improve our mood. Recently, scientists have become more and more aware of the positive effect of animals and nature in our lives. In fact, many hospitals have begun bringing in dogs to spend time with cancer patients, and some universities have even brought dogs to campus to help students de-stress during finals. A recent study has actually shown that even a video of a dog resulted in better wellbeing of participants during a high-stress situation. So the next time you’re stressed but aren’t close to your pooch, try watching a video of a dog, or even some other form of nature. Of course, spending time around animals and adding some plants to your workspace will help as well.

Hop on social media

This may surprise you, since many of us have heard that getting too wrapped up in social media can actually hinder happiness and self esteem. However, a recent study showed that scrolling through your Facebook feed elicits more positive than negative emotions, and can actually improve positivity if the user does not feel envy from various posts. The study demonstrated (as one might suspect) that this positivity is optimal when viewing posts from people you are tied most strongly with, yet do not make you feel envy. Try going through your Facebook newsfeed and “unfollowing” people on your timeline whose posts you do not actively enjoy. By unfollowing someone, you are not un-friending them, you will simply no longer see their posts in your newsfeed. They are not aware that you have unfollowed them, and you can still see all of their posts whenever you want. The only difference is that whenever you scroll through your newsfeed it is sure to put you in the best mood possible.

Practice observation, self-kindness, and common humanity

Ever wonder why so many people go on about the benefits of meditation? Well a recent study actually broke down the different benefits of frequent meditation, and isolated which three components contribute to a sense of well being. They concluded that the three important factors were observation, self kindness, and common humanity. Observation referred to the way in which participants were more aware of sensations and feelings within their body and environment. Self kindness referred to the idea of using positive language and thinking when self reflecting, without being critical or harsh. Common humanity involves taking this self-kindness and applying it to others and the rest of society. Remember that you have flaws, and that’s okay. But it is also important to remember that the same goes for other people. Remember that we are all in the same position, going through the same difficulties and struggles. Try embracing these three qualities (perhaps through journaling, meditation, or introspective thinking) and it will lead you to a healthier and happier sense of well being.

Lin, Ruoyun Lin, and Sonja Utz. "The Emotional Responses of Browsing Facebook: Happiness, Envy, and the Role of Tie Strength." Computers in Human Behavior 52 (2015): 29-38. Web.
Lobos, Germán, Marcos Mora, Maria Del Carmen Lapo, Constanza Caligari, and Berta Schnettler. "Happiness and Health and Food-related Variables: Evidence for Different Age Groups in Chile." Suma Psicológica 22.2 (2015): 120-28. Web.
Finkbeiner, Kristin M., Paul N. Russell, and William S. Helton. "Rest Improves Performance, Nature Improves Happiness: Assessment of Break Periods on the Abbreviated Vigilance Task." Consciousness and Cognition 42 (2016): 277-85. Web.
Campos, Daniel, Ausiàs Cebolla, Soledad Quero, Juana Bretón-López, Cristina Botella, Joaquim Soler, Javier García-Campayo, Marcelo Demarzo, and Rosa Maria Baños. "Meditation and Happiness: Mindfulness and Self-compassion May Mediate the Meditation–happiness Relationship." Personality and Individual Differences 93 (2016): 80-85. Web.
Wang, Xia, and Luqiong Tong. "International Journal of Research in Marketing." Hide the Light or Let It Shine? Examining the Factors Influencing the Effect of Publicizing Donations on Donors’ Happiness 32.4 (2015): 418-24. Web.
night, sky, stargaze, meteor shower, perseid, stars, perseus
Stargaze This Weekend with the Perseid Meteor Showers
Stargaze This Weekend with the Perseid Meteor Showers 960 639 Emilie

It’s not every day that we have the opportunity to watch a stunning meteor shower passing closely to the earth’s surface. But each year as summer comes, so do the Perseid meteor showers. The Perseid showers (which actually already started on July 17th) will be peaking this coming weekend on August 11th and 12th. This is supposed to be one of the most spectacular Perseid showers in years, with experts expecting about 200 meteors per hour (over 3 meteors per minute). It will be an incredible sight to watch, and if you haven’t stargazed before, this is definitely a good time to start.

What are the Perseid Showers?

It’s easy to think that a meteor shower occurs when meteors circulate closely to the Earth. However, the Perseid Shower is actually the exact opposite. The Perseids are meteors which appear to originate from the constellation Perseus (in reality, the meteors are actually far closer than the stars in the Perseus constellation). The meteors are broken off pieces from Comet Swift Tuttle, which leaves these meteors behind as a trail. The meteors trailing Swift Tuttle are influenced by a gravitational field, just as we are. During the time of the Perseid showers, the Earth is pulled into the stream of the Perseids. Thus, the meteors do not come closer to us during this time, we actually move into the stream of the Perseid meteors.

When the meteors enter the Earth’s atmosphere, this causes them to heat up. Thus, we see a burning meteor and have coined the term “shooting star.” This year, Jupiter’s orbit is forcing more of these meteors to enter Earth’s atmosphere. Therefore, more meteors burn and we see more “shooting stars” during the shower.

The Perseid Showers also have meaning to ancient Greek myth. According to Greek mythology, Zeus and a mortal Danae were the parents of Perseus. When Perseus was born, Zeus had to arrive in a shower of gold to win over Danae: and later, the Perseid showers were named after Perseus. Greek legend follows Perseus’s story as him and Danae are banished from the kingdom, and Perseus is later forced to fight Medusa to appease the king.

When and Where Should I Watch?

There are several factors that can make it easier to view the Perseid Showers. Of course, any time one is viewing meteor showers it is best to find a location that is away from unnatural light (like that found in a city or even busy town). You should also find a location where you can see as much of the sky as possible. This is why camping is such a good activity for meteor shower weekends. However, even going to a local park will be an improvement over watching from the middle of a busy town.

Additionally, another complication for viewing the showers is the brightness of the moon. During the Perseid Showers, the moon will luckily be setting before sunrise. The night of the 11th the moon will be in first quarter (and set a little after midnight), and the night of the 12th it will be in the waxing gibbous phase (setting a bit before 1 AM). That means that as long as the showers are active between midnight/1 AM and sunrise, this will be the easiest time to see as many meteors as possible. However, nature is finicky, so you should still keep an eye out the rest of the night, in case the showers aren’t very active during this ideal viewing window.

If you really want to start watching the showers as early as possible, the Perseus constellation appears in the night sky around 10 PM, and 2 hours later at midnight is when the shower becomes more active. Try taking a nap before it gets dark, and then camp outside for the night with some blankets and lawn chairs. If you can’t stay out for the whole night, try to watch for a minimum of 1-2 hours. Any shorter time span will make it difficult to see the showers well, since the meteors will come in waves.

So head outside, grab some snacks and blankets, and enjoy the beautiful night sky!

Davies, Claire. "August 2013 - Perseus and the Perseid Meteor Shower - Sci@StAnd." Sci @St And. The University of Saint Andrews Science Magazine, 01 Aug. 2013. Web. 03 Aug. 2016.
Lewin, Sarah. "Perseid Meteor Shower 2016: When, Where & How to See It." N.p., 1 Aug. 2016. Web. 03 Aug. 2016.
McClure, Bruce, and Deborah Byrd. "Perseid Outburst Expected in 2016 |" EarthSky. N.p., 31 July 2016. Web. 03 Aug. 2016.
sleep, app, white noise, iphone, healthy living, health, meditation, sleep, alarm clock
Go to Sleep Easier and Wake Up More Energized with This App
Go to Sleep Easier and Wake Up More Energized with This App 960 640 Emilie

If you’re anything like me, it’s not always easy to have a deep, restful sleep. So this past week I decided to try out the Alarm Clock Sleep Sounds App. The app claims to use brainwaves and aural entrainment to improve your sleep experience. For nighttime sleep, the app drifts you more easily to a resting state, allowing you to fall asleep more quickly and deeply. For the morning, the app aims to rise you gently, while keeping you energized. I have to admit, although I was originally skeptical, I ended up being quite impressed by the large number of features and personalization settings that the app allows for.


White Noise Soundscapes. If you’ve ever used a free white noise machine app, you know that you have pretty limited options and a lot of the soundscapes do not sound particularly real. The Alarm Clock Sleep Sounds App offers a huge variety of white noise sounds to choose from. Free sound choices include rain, birds, camp fire, thunderstorm, waves, and more. You design your sleep program to be different than your wake program, which means that you can choose to fall asleep to a completely different sound than the one you will wake up to. Additionally, you can actually combine as many of these soundscapes as you would like. So if you want to listen to the rain with birds, that’s a choice you can absolutely make. The sounds are also as natural sounding as one could hope for with a free app.

Customizable Programs. There are three different types of programs you can create: waking, sleeping, and meditation. Every program has a variety of components that you can customize. You can choose your soundscape(s), the type of wave (monoaural or isochronic without headphones), the balance between waves and soundscape, the duration of the program, and the type of program. For instance, for your morning program you may choose a progressive wake-up, or an “energized mind” wake-up program. You can then save each program (as many as you’d like!) for later use. Name each custom program, so that you can choose each night and morning how you want to sleep and rise, depending on your mood.

It actually works. It’s hard to explain what the “brain wave entrainment” sounds and feels like. It is almost like a soft light hum that radiates from your phone. Although many may not believe an iPhone app can meet these “aural entrainment” claims, it genuinely does feel like waves are being produced by your phone. Regardless of the reason why it works, this light hum combined with the quiet white noise soundscapes proved to wake me gently and smoothly. It’s a far nicer way to wake up than a shrieking alarm clock, and my body never sleeps through it.


Freemium Model. The app is not entirely free, and much of the app’s capabilities have to be unlocked for a price. Because of this, there are only two program types you can use for waking up, and only one for falling asleep. Additionally, there is only one free meditation option- which focuses on rest and relaxation. There are a large number of soundscapes available for free, but far more available if you are paying for an additional upgrade. However, the app does have a large number of options and customization for a free app.

Free Meditation Could be Improved. The meditation portion of the app is a really cool additional feature, and I do feel like the waves that the app emits during meditation. That being said, the free meditation options leave something to be desired. The guided meditation is short and the voice used is not optimal. However, you can choose for it to be guided or unguided, which is definitely a positive. And, if you choose unguided, you can set the meditation to last as long as you like, so you don’t have to worry about time getting away from you. The other major downside to the meditation portion is that the soundscapes are better suited for falling asleep or waking up than they are for meditation sessions. However, you can easily choose to only turn on the aural wave function and not the soundscapes.

new jersey, state fair, sussex county, fair, festival, fairgrounds, things to do, weekend
8 Reasons to Go to The State Fair this Weekend!
8 Reasons to Go to The State Fair this Weekend! 960 640 Emilie

Local fairs and festivals are fun, but there’s nothing like going to a giant state fair. This coming weekend is the first weekend of the New Jersey State Fair, which ranges from August 5th-14th. The fair is located at the Sussex County Fairgrounds, and will be open from 10 AM to 10 PM each day. The fair has so many amazing things to do, with great food and great vendors. But if I haven’t convinced you yet, take a look below at all of the best parts of the fair you’ll want to check out this weekend. For a full list of things to do, check out the schedule here.

Carnival: Open from noon to 10 PM each night, the carnival captures the essence of a great fair. Full of games, a ferris wheel, carnival rides, and tons of festival food: it’s sure to keep you entertained for hours.

Freestyle Motocross Show: 7:30 PM Saturday. Hosted in the Miller Lite Outdoor Entertainment Area, the motocross show is completely free. Grab a beer, and watch the show! Monster Truck rides are also available from 11 AM- 6 PM for $7 a piece.

Ronetco Supermarkets Family Entertainment: The Ronetco Family Entertainment Area has a huge number of fun and exciting things to do all day long. Both Saturday and Sunday you will find a chainsaw artist, racing pigs, and a Butterfly Encounter exhibit. There is also a petting zoo, magician, and pony rides.

Agricultural Shows: Various animal shows- including those for steer, sheep and swine- will occur throughout the day both Saturday and Sunday. The agricultural area also has barns of animals, a milking parlor with daily milkings, an agricultural museum, farmers market, and daily tractor parade at 2 PM. Saturday there will also be a Woodchopper’s competition from 7-10 PM, and a Fiddler’s Competition starting at 3 PM on Sunday.

Oxen Pull: 11 AM Sunday. The pull is completely free, and located in the Miller Lite Outdoor Entertainment Area. Or, see oxen demonstrations in the agricultural area- around 6 PM on Saturday, and around 4:30 PM on Sunday.

Demolition Derby: 7:30 PM Sunday. Also hosted in the Miller Lite Outdoor Area, the Demolition Derby is unfortunately not free (unlike the motocross show the previous night). You can get tickets at the admissions office until 3 PM, and at the Miller Lite Outdoor Area until 4 PM. Tickets cost $11 a piece.

Music and Performing Arts: The performing arts tent has different performers each day. This Saturday, the tent will have a Tribute to the Troops for most of the day, followed by an 8 PM Queen of the Fair pageant. Sunday, bands will be playing from 2:30-10 PM, including Country Cousins, Whiskey Crossing, and The Royal Dumonts.

Art and Food Shows: The Richard Building is a great place to find art and food shows: with photography, art, honey shows, and even a chili contest on Sunday at 1 PM. The Richards Building is also home to 1 PM wine awards and 3 PM beer awards on Saturday. There are also vegetable and forage shows each day in the greenhouse.

Check out the fair this weekend to see everything New Jersey has to offer! You will also find horseback riders at the horse show area of the fair, a crafts tent, 4H exhibits, and more!



fitness, lose weight, exercise, healthy living, breakfast, habits, eating window, circadian rhythm
Get Fit Quick with These Simple Life Changes
Get Fit Quick with These Simple Life Changes 960 639 Emilie

Here at United EVENTures, we highly value an active lifestyle. We believe in getting outside and being active as often as possible. For many of us, however, it is incredibly difficult to lose weight and get as fit as we’d like, despite regular exercise. What happens when you feel like you’ve tried everything, but your exercise doesn’t seem to pay off? Here are three easy and simply changes to lose that weight more easily, without extreme dieting or other major life changes.

Know How to Rev Your Metabolism Early in the Morning

As we all know, one of the most important keys for burning fat is having a fast metabolism. That’s why it’s so important to rev your metabolism early in the morning. By kicking your metabolism into gear early in the AM, this will allow your body to process food better the rest of the day.

We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You may also have heard that you should eat breakfast within an hour of waking up. That’s because breakfast is one of the best ways to rev your metabolism, and eating within the first hour of waking allows you to kickstart it quickly. However, certain breakfast foods will rev your metabolism more than others. According to eating a fiber-rich breakfast can boost your metabolism by 30%. Additionally, meals with protein can boost your metabolism by 35%. Thus, if you’re looking for a good metabolism boosting breakfast, try going for that extra dose of fiber and protein.

So what should you have for breakfast? For some extra protein try: high protein cereals, eggs/vegan eggs, yogurt, sausage/veggie sausage, or high protein oatmeals. For fiber try: bran muffins, fruits and veggies, high fiber cereals, or some oatmeal with almonds. Try mixing and matching to get a metabolism boost from both ends! A good sample breakfast includes eggs and a bran muffin, or some yogurt and fruit. And remember not to skimp on your breakfast, or your metabolism will think it needs to conserve energy instead.

Your ideal breakfast doesn’t end with the foods you eat. Luckily enough, our morning tea or coffee does more than give you energy to start your day. In fact, both do a marvelous job of boosting your metabolism. If you’re running out the door late and don’t have time for a breakfast, do your metabolism a favor and at least remember to grab a cup of joe when you first wake up.

Know How to Burn Fat, Not Just the Carbs 

So you may now be convinced to eat your breakfast within the first hour of waking. However it may be better for you to eat breakfast after you exercise. A recent article by Men’s Fitness called attention to a study in Belgium which analyzed this very question. Because many people understand the benefit of eating breakfast early, they were surprised to find that participants were healthier and gained less weight when they exercised on an empty stomach, and then ate breakfast.

So why did these results occur? It may be because both exercise and eating breakfast effectively jump start your metabolism. However, if you start your morning with a workout, your body has not yet received food that it can use as energy. Thus, during your workout your body will pull energy from fat cells instead of carbohydrates, causing you to burn fat more rapidly.

So what’s the takeaway? When should you exercise and when should you eat breakfast? The most important thing is to somehow boost your metabolism within 30 or 60 minutes of waking. Ideally, this means waking up, starting your day with a workout, followed by breakfast and coffee, and then heading off to work. However, if this does not fit into your schedule, make sure you either workout or eat breakfast first thing in the morning. If you choose to workout before leaving the house, grab a coffee and breakfast on your way to work. If you instead opt to eat breakfast first thing, try working out before lunch or dinner.

Narrow Your Eating Window

Most of us know that late night snacking is bad, but few of us have heard of the “12 hour window.” The New York Times and Peak Fitness recently called attention to several studies which demonstrated the impact of restricted eating times. A restricted eating window refers to the number of hours between the first food you consume to the last. So if you eat breakfast at 7 AM and have your last snack around 9 PM, you have a 14 hour eating window.

These studies showed that when mice were given a 9, 12, 15, or 24 hour eating windows, those with the 9 and 12 hour windows were significantly thinner. Some of the mice that were allowed to eat whenever they wanted (in the 24 hour group) were switched midway to these restricted windows, and actively lost weight following the switch.

So why does sticking to a 12 hour eating window help? There are a couple theories, and it is likely a combination of the two. The first is that when your body is constantly consuming food, it never has to dip into fat stores to fuel its energy needs. So instead, it continues to use energy from the foods you are eating. The second is that by restricting yourself to a shorter eating window, it improves your body’s circadian rhythm. The stronger your body’s natural circadian rhythm, the faster your metabolism.

Believe it or not, the 12 hour window begins and ends the second you consume any food product. That means that the second you have coffee with milk in the morning, your clock starts ticking. Even that evening tea with honey impacts your restricted window. In order to narrow your window, stick to water, or black tea and coffee. Take note of the moment your window starts each day, and make sure you are finished with dinner and all evening snacks by the time your 12 hours have elapsed. I.e. if you start breakfast at 7 AM, you should be done eating for the day at 7 PM.

Take-Home Ideas

Overall, remember these three main ideas. Sometimes we can’t lose weight because we don’t even know what habits we need to fix!

  1. Eat a breakfast rich in protein, fiber, and coffee or tea to get an optimal metabolism boost.
  2. Make the first thing you do each morning either exercise or eating breakfast. If you exercise first, make sure to eat breakfast right after. If you don’t have time to exercise in the morning, try exercising before lunch or dinner when you haven’t eaten very recently.
  3. Narrow your eating window to 12 hours, including snacks and cream or sugar in your coffee.

Do you have any other ideas or suggestions? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below!