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Wednesday, 31 May 2017

How to Travel Spontaneously

Traveling can be a pleasant, carefree experience, but the large amounts of planning and preparation which usually precede actually traveling can make the process seem like more trouble than it’s worth. If you’d like to travel without putting in so much work beforehand, try to travel more spontaneously. Making spontaneous travel plans can open doors to new experiences that you wouldn’t have taken part in otherwise. However, you’ll need to leave yourself open to occasional misadventures, getting lost or wandering, and relying on local advice and assistance.


EditArriving in Your Destination

  1. Decide where you’d like to travel. While the idea of showing up at an airport and buying a ticket on the spot may sound fun, it’s unrealistic and likely quite expensive. Decide if you want to travel domestically or abroad, and then pick a city, series of cities, or region that you’d like to visit. At this point, you should also consider your financial situation: how long can you afford to travel for? International travel generally costs more than domestic, although frugal decisions while abroad can save substantial money.[1]
    Travel Spontaneously Step 1.jpg
    • For example, if you’re interested in touring the American northwest, you could spend a full week in a large city like Seattle, or you could divide your time between several cities, like Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland.
    • If you’re traveling abroad, you may need to obtain a travel visa for the country you’re visiting. These can take some time to obtain. Contact the State Department of the country you’re planning to visit to find out if you need a travel visa and how to apply for this document.
  2. Decide if you’re traveling alone or with others. Spontaneous travel can be successful and fun whether or not you’re part of a group (or a pair), but solo travelers typically need to be more mindful of their own safety. If you’re traveling alone, make sure to book a hotel with a 24 hour front desk so you can check in late, and stay in open, public places at night. It’s also smart to regularly keep in touch with a friend or family member at home, who knows your travel itinerary.[2]
    Travel Spontaneously Step 2.jpg
    • Whether you’re traveling with a group or alone, avoid wearing flashy jewelry or clothing, and each member of your party should carry more than one form of official identification (e.g. a passport and a driver’s license).
  3. Choose lodging in a central location. Staying in the middle of a city or region will give you access to plenty of cultural and local events and places like theaters, concert venues, restaurants and bars, museums, and other places to visit. Once you’ve unpacked your bags in a town, plan to stay a few days; you can leave your schedule open and spontaneously visit areas of interest. If you decide to move between several cities or regions on your trip, try to set yourself up in a central location in each successive destination.[3]
    Travel Spontaneously Step 3.jpg
    • If you were to stay on the outskirts of a city, in a rural area, or in a small town, for example, it would be much harder to find locations to spontaneously travel to and visit.
  4. Travel light. Nothing will slow down a spontaneous trip like copious amounts of luggage. Unless you have specific reasons for needing to bring many bags—for example, you’re traveling to a very cold climate or need to bring technological equipment with you—try to travel with only one bag. Make sure it’s a bag that fits in the overhead compartment of an airplane, so you don’t have to check bags for a spontaneous last-minute flight. Bring the essential clothing, footwear, and nothing extraneous.[4]
    Travel Spontaneously Step 4.jpg
    • Having only a single bag will enable you to move quickly from one city or region to another, and you’ll be able to use any type of transportation that you please: plane, train, renting a car or Uber, hitchhiking, bicycle, or just walking.

EditLimiting Planning on the Ground

  1. Plan only one event per day. The idea of being in an unfamiliar location and planning nothing may be daunting, so approach your spontaneous trip by planning one daily excursion ahead of time, and then making two more, unplanned things. This will allow you to structure the days of your trip without making your schedule feel over-planned.[5]
    Travel Spontaneously Step 5.jpg
    • For example, plan on one significant cultural experience per day: if you’re in Rome, you may wish to visit the Colosseum; if you’re in Paris, plan a trip to the Louvre.
    • After that, do something spontaneous that appeals to you: sit in a café and watch people passing by, visit a local market, wander into a nearby museum, or take a hike or rafting trip through nature.
  2. Ask a local for their advice. If you’re having trouble finding an activity in a certain city or region, or are simply looking for a travel experience that you wouldn’t come by in your native city, ask a local for a recommendation. Locals can let you in on which neighborhoods are worth visiting, if a city or region has any hidden gems that won’t be known to foreigners, or if any popular tourist destinations are not worth the hype.[6] For example, ask something like,
    Travel Spontaneously Step 6.jpg
    • “I’m spending a few days here without a travel itinerary. What are some places you’d recommend I visit, other than big tourist attractions?”
    • If you’re open to any type of spontaneous experience in the region you’re traveling, ask locals about their favorite outdoors activity (weather permitting): you’ll likely receive recommendations for hiking location, but perhaps also fishing, swimming, bird-watching, or mountain biking.
  3. Avoid relying on review sites. Sites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp can be useful, but when you’re traveling spontaneously, it’s best to go without consulting review sites. Over-reliance on these sites will make your trip feel planned and bland, and you’ll likely find yourself in touristy locations that do not offer much local interest or color.[7]
    Travel Spontaneously Step 7.jpg
    • Avoiding review sites will leave you open to enjoyable surprises as you use your own intuition and the advice of locals to find interesting travel destinations.
  4. Look for last-minute deals. Another benefit of spontaneous travel is that your plans can be revised with relatively little notice to accommodate good deals or cheap attractions. Once or twice a day, provided that you have an internet connection, you can check websites like Groupon or TravelZoo to see if there are any attractions in your area. This approach can save you money and also present opportunities to attend events you wouldn’t have known about otherwise.
    Travel Spontaneously Step 8.jpg
    • You can also look for last-minute bookings at hotels and through travel apps like Priceline, HotelTonight, Blink (for travel in Europe), and Booking Now.[8]

EditMaking Spontaneous Travel Decisions

  1. Be open to the unexpected and to changing plans. When traveling spontaneously, a few minor mishaps are bound to happen: you won’t find lodging until late at night, a restaurant praised by a local will end up being disappointing, or a trail you’ve decided to hike may be closed seasonally. View these frustrating situations as opportunities rather than disappointments.[9]
    Travel Spontaneously Step 9.jpg
    • For example, if a restaurant isn’t enjoyable, leave and wander through a food-heavy district of town until you find a better place to dine. If you can’t spend the day hiking, rent a car and drive through the countryside instead.
    • One of the major benefits of spontaneous traveling is that unexpected changes of plans become part of the norm. Leave yourself open to this, and enjoy where the trip takes you.
  2. Enjoy wandering or getting lost. Plan to spend some of your travel time simply wandering through new regions of a city or rural district. This will lead you to interesting local markets, shops, restaurants, and scenic vistas that you likely would not have found if you hadn’t wandered spontaneously. Opening your travel plans to the unexpected will yield unanticipated discoveries and bring a sense of independence.[10]
    Travel Spontaneously Step 10.jpg
    • If you do end up seriously lost, don’t panic. Avoid areas that seem unsafe or feel uncomfortable, and use your phone or map to find your way back to your hotel or hostel. If you’re lost in a town or city, you can call a cab (or find someone to call a cab for you), or book an Uber on your phone.
    • It’s important to consider safety issues when wandering through a foreign city or region. If a part of a city makes you feel uncomfortable, trust your instinct and leave. Always have an idea of how far from your hotel or hostel you are by car, and avoid getting lost in areas without a phone or internet signal.
  3. Take advantage of local events and festivals. You can find out about many of these in local “weeklies” or weekly newspapers, which will contain listings for upcoming concerts, shows, film screenings or theater performances, and other types of local entertainment that you wouldn’t find out about otherwise. These events will be largely devoid of tourists, and so will give your spontaneous travel a more authentic, local feel.[11]
    Travel Spontaneously Step 11.jpg
    • These local events could include large concerts or musical festivals, cultural holidays (e.g. Day of the Dead), religious holidays, food festivals, sporting events, or any other number of local events.
    • On the other hand, large holidays, festivals, or holiday weekends may increase your travel costs or increase congestion on highways. An increase in a city’s population—say, due to a large ongoing music festival—will also make hotel and hostel rooms both more scarce and more expensive.[12]
  4. Ask about group travel deals. If you’re traveling with a group, many places, including hotels, theaters, sporting stadiums, day-tours, and concert venues, may be inclined to offer you a discounted rate, since you’ll be bringing several paying customers. Once you’re on the ground in a city or region, ask around (or check the weekly newspaper) to see if you can negotiate a group rate for an activity.
    Travel Spontaneously Step 12.jpg
    • If you plan ahead before you travel, you can take advantage of a group hotel discount through a site like HotelPlanner or even directly through a hotel website itself.


  • If you’re traveling into a region that you’re unfamiliar with, check out the weather ahead of time. You don’t want to arrive unprepared in an unfamiliar region in the middle of a freezing winter or a mid-summer heat wave.[13]

EditSources and Citations

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99 Very Important Animal Tweets Of 2017 (So Far)

This year hasn’t been *all* bad.

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You'll Never Look At Dogs The Same Way After Seeing These X-Rays


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How to Grow Rapidly in a Career

To grow rapidly in your career, demonstrate your value to your employer, broaden your knowledge, and refine your skills. Familiarize yourself with how your company operates in order to maximize your productivity. Work on projects that expose you to new contacts and skills, and keep a record of your achievements. Become an industry expert by learning during your downtime and pursuing all professional development opportunities. Don’t be afraid to change jobs every few years. You’ll make more money, challenge yourself, and encounter more advancement opportunities.


EditIncreasing Your Value

  1. Familiarize yourself with your company's hierarchy. Get to know how your company is organized and learn about its key positions. Find out those positions' functions and identify who occupies them.[1]
    Grow Rapidly in a Career Step 1.jpg
    • Understanding the hierarchical structure will help you learn more about potential advancement opportunities. You'll also get a better feel for the company's decision making processes.
  2. Avoid wasting time and resources. Do your best not to slack off or waste time while you're at work. Try not to waste resources like paper, electricity, and office supplies.[2]
    Grow Rapidly in a Career Step 2.jpg
    • For example, check and double check your work if you have to print dozens or hundreds of copies of a document. Wasting printer ink and paper due to a careless mistake will show your supervisors that you don't value the company's resources.
  3. Work to fulfill your company's mission. Work efficiently and refine your output so it's of the highest quality. Complete projects to the best of your ability and in a timely manner to help the company’s bottom line. Your supervisors will see you as a more valuable employee if you show you care instead of completing projects just to get them out of the way.[3]
    Grow Rapidly in a Career Step 3.jpg
  4. Do things without being asked. Go above and beyond your job description. From small tasks to initiating major projects, be a self-starter and don’t make your bosses have to micromanage you.[4]
    Grow Rapidly in a Career Step 4.jpg
    • Examples could include anything from picking up a piece of crumpled paper in the office to designing an easier way of taking inventory.
    • Continuing to learn about your current workplace is essential. The more you know about your company’s operations and goals, the easier it is to anticipate ways to make yourself useful.
  5. Keep track of your achievements. Having measurable data about your output will come in handy when you’re up for performance reviews and promotions. Keep a file of successful projects you've spearheaded, deals you’ve landed, or ways you’ve saved the company money.[5]
    Grow Rapidly in a Career Step 5.jpg
    • For example, if you helped negotiate a deal that cut your department’s cost of goods sold by 15%, be sure to keep a record of that achievement’s details for future performance reviews.
    • If you’re a designer or involved in a creative field, keep a portfolio of your output.
  6. Network with potential mentors. Approach people who have achieved your goals and do your best to learn from them. Reach out to individuals both within and outside of your company, and ask for a coffee date, to pick their brain, for tips, and for honest feedback.[6]
    Grow Rapidly in a Career Step 6.jpg
    • If there’s someone at your company who’s mastered what you want to do, ask them, “Would you have time for a coffee or quick lunch? I’d be grateful for the chance to talk about your success in this industry.” Send them an email if you don’t have the opportunity to ask them in person.
    • Showing someone in a key position at your workplace that you’re passionate about advancement will help you stand out when a promotion is available or when you need a reference.
  7. Express your appreciation. Regularly showing your supervisors that you're grateful for the opportunities and guidance they offer will make a big impression. Avoid being insincere and try to be specific when thanking your supervisors and company's officers.[7]
    Grow Rapidly in a Career Step 7.jpg
    • Suppose your company's CEO sends out a weekly note to the workforce. In passing say to them, "Excuse me, I just wanted to thank you for the weekly notes of advice and encouragement. They're valuable and have made a difference in my work!"

EditHoning Your Skills

  1. Use your downtime to read and learn. Make the most of your time off by listening to podcasts and reading newspapers. Regardless of your industry, there are plenty of materials available to help refine your skills.[8]
    Grow Rapidly in a Career Step 8.jpg
    • Take advantage of your commute by listening to an industry-related podcast or audiobook written by someone at the top of your field.
    • Instead of using your breaks to check social media or laugh at memes, read articles about relevant advancements or new technologies.
    • If your family has gone out to run errands on a weekend day and you find yourself home alone, use the time to learn instead of watching television.
  2. Expand your industry knowledge through professional development. In addition to educating yourself during your downtime, go to conferences, take classes, and take advantage of any professional development opportunities that come your way. Making yourself an expert in your industry will improve your performance at your current job and make you a more desirable candidate in the future.[9]
    Grow Rapidly in a Career Step 9.jpg
    • Professional conferences are also among the best networking opportunities.
  3. Pursue projects outside your area of focus. Without ignoring your primary responsibilities, find ways to work on projects that will broaden your skills and professional network. Projects outside of your focus can introduce you to contacts in related industries and other departments. You'll also learn more about how your industry at large functions.[10]
    Grow Rapidly in a Career Step 10.jpg
    • For example, if you’re a product designer and a project manager wants a designer to join their application and installation team, do your best to take advantage of the opportunity. You’ll learn about how the company interacts with clients during the acquisition and installation processes. You’ll add new skills to your resume and have a better understanding of how your designs are used.
  4. Learn to delegate. Delegating will become an essential skill as you grow in your career and eventually reach management levels. Start thinking about how you would assign roles to make a project’s execution more efficient and to reap the benefits of team members’ distinct skills.[11]
    Grow Rapidly in a Career Step 11.jpg
    • If you're not in a management position, imagine hypothetical ways you'd divide tasks for projects you’re working on, and pay attention to how your manager delegates. When you’re given responsibility over a team for the first time, familiarize yourself with each member’s skills and assign appropriate tasks.
  5. Trust the teams you lead. Lose the mentality that there’s only one right way to accomplish something. Trust those working under you to complete projects well even if they don’t go about it the same way you would. That way, you’ll be a more effective manager and have better control of your own time as you work your way up the ladder.[12]
    Grow Rapidly in a Career Step 12.jpg

EditChanging Jobs

  1. Switch jobs every three years. There’s no longer a perception that changing jobs is flakey or disloyal. Those who change jobs every three years or so make more money than employees who stay with a company longer. Over the course of a lifetime, job hoppers are believed to make at least 50% more money.[13]
    Grow Rapidly in a Career Step 13.jpg
    • In addition to increased earnings, you’ll also broaden your contacts list, gain new skills, and encounter new ways of operating and organizing a company.
  2. Get a job at a startup company. Do your best to get at least one job with a startup at least once in the middle of your career. By mid-career, you’ll have some expertise in your field, and a startup will give you the opportunity to put what you’ve learned into practice most effectively.[14]
    Grow Rapidly in a Career Step 14.jpg
    • You’ll have more direct access to company leaders, allowing you to help shape its organization, operations, and goals.
    • You’ll be able to leave a visible, measurable, and lasting mark, which will help enable a wide variety of future career opportunities. “Developed and implemented new purchasing protocols for a rapidly growing firm” is a great addition to your resume.   
  3. Choose jobs with challenges that exceed your skills. Necessity is the mother of invention, and you’re more likely to gain new abilities when challenges exceed your skills. Avoid getting complacent with your current responsibilities. If you’re bored, try to find new responsibilities at your current job or look for a more challenging position elsewhere.[15]
    Grow Rapidly in a Career Step 15.jpg

EditSources and Citations

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How to Organize Your Medications if You're Blind or Visually Impaired

If you're blind, visually-impaired, or find you are losing your eyesight, you may have difficulty distinguishing the medications you need to take — and a mistake can be very dangerous. To keep this from happening, you must develop a system to organize your medications. The specific system you use doesn't matter, as long as you can remember it and it works for you so that you can recognize and differentiate your different medications. You also need to make sure all of your medications are clearly labeled, and that you understand their dosages and the number of doses of each medication you have.[1]


EditLabeling Your Medications

  1. Mark lids and bottles. The lids of prescription medications often are interchangeable. To keep them from getting mixed up, which could cause you to inadvertently take the wrong medication, put matching labels on both the bottle and the lid.[2]
    Organize Your Medications if You're Blind or Visually Impaired Step 1.jpg
    • Use simple symbols that can be read from any angle and that you'll instantly recognize both by sight and by touch. For example, you might use a large black dot for a medication that you need to take every day, and two black dots for another medication that you have to take twice a day.
    • If you can distinguish colors, you might want to use different colors for medications that you must take in the morning as opposed to those that must be taken before bedtime.
    • You can also purchase a Braille label maker to make your own labels for your prescriptions.
  2. Use puffy markers. If you cannot make out a symbol even when using a thick marker, you may be able to distinguish the shapes of different symbols by touch. Puffy markers allow you to create your symbols with raised surfaces so you can more easily differentiate between your medications.[3]
    Organize Your Medications if You're Blind or Visually Impaired Step 2.jpg
    • Make sure you practice with the symbols, so you know you can recognize them by touch.
    • You also want to take care not to make symbols that are too similar to each other, or could be easily confused without looking at them, such as an "X" and a triangle.
    • Keep in mind that puffy markers aren't incredibly durable, and may rub off over time. If you have long-term doses of a medication, you may want to clean the bottle and re-mark it occasionally to keep that from happening.
  3. Glue tactile objects on the bottles. Objects such as buttons, rubber bands, or cotton balls also can help you differentiate between medications. These can be helpful if you're having trouble coming up with symbols.[4]
    Organize Your Medications if You're Blind or Visually Impaired Step 3.jpg
    • Keep in mind you'll have to remember which object signified which medication. You may want to make an audio file with a master key that lists all of your medications and their associated objects, in case you forget.
    • Make sure the objects are glued securely to the bottle using a strong glue, so they won't come off with repeated touching.
    • You also want to practice and make sure you choose objects that are sufficiently distinct from one another, and that you can immediately recognize by touch.
  4. Use audio prescription labels. Some pharmacies have audio prescription labels available, which can help you quickly identify your different medications. To get the audio labels to work, you have to buy your own reader.[5]
    Organize Your Medications if You're Blind or Visually Impaired Step 4.jpg
    • When you set the prescription bottle down on the reader, it will identify the medication and provide you with dosage information.
    • To learn more about ScripTalk audio prescription labels, talk to your pharmacist. These systems are available at most major chain drug stores as well as some independent pharmacies.
  5. Inform your pharmacist of your condition. Don't count on your medical providers to convey this information to the pharmacy. Take it upon yourself to let them know that you are blind or visually impaired. This way, the pharmacy can make accommodations for you, such as using large print or braille on labels.[6]
    Organize Your Medications if You're Blind or Visually Impaired Step 5.jpg
    • If you can't clearly make out he instructions on the bottle, ask for a consultation with the pharmacist so they can explain how you should take the medication safely. It may be a good idea to consult with your pharmacist each time you get a new prescription to ensure there are no misunderstandings.

EditCreating Your System

  1. Keep bottles in a flat-bottomed basket or bin. Using a flat-bottomed basket or bin allows you to store the bottles so that all of the tops are accessible. This is important if you have an object or symbol on the top to mark type of medication.[7]
    Organize Your Medications if You're Blind or Visually Impaired Step 6.jpg
    • Make sure the sides are tall enough that you don't have to worry about a bottle falling out when you move the basket or bin.
    • Get a basket or bin in a dark color, so it will provide the most contrast against your pill bottles.[8]
  2. Place alternate medications in different rooms. If you have two different medications, particularly over-the-counter medications, that are used for similar conditions or symptoms, you need to differentiate them so you know which one you're taking.[9]
    Organize Your Medications if You're Blind or Visually Impaired Step 7.jpg
    • For example, if you have a bottle of acetaminophen and a bottle of aspirin, you might put the aspirin in the bedroom and the acetaminophen in the bathroom.
    • If memory is a problem, create an audio file to remind you where each medication is located.
  3. Use a pill-sorter box. Rather than going through your large bottles of medication each day, traditional pill-sorter boxes that are divided by the day of the week are a simple and relatively mistake-proof way to organize your medications.[10]
    Organize Your Medications if You're Blind or Visually Impaired Step 8.jpg
    • You can get larger boxes that allow medications to be separated by morning and night as well. Larger boxes with more compartments also may be necessary to distinguish medications that are supposed to be eaten with food.
    • If you can read braille, find a pill-sorter box that has the days of the week written on the lid in braille.
    • It also may be helpful to leave the lids up on empty compartments after you've taken your medication that day, rather than closing it again. That way you can move your finger from left to right until you find the first un-opened compartment.
  4. Set auditory reminders. If you have the ability to set auditory reminders on your computer or on your phone, they can be used to remind you when to take your medications, what medications to take, and what your doses are.[11]
    Organize Your Medications if You're Blind or Visually Impaired Step 9.jpg
    • Auditory reminders are particularly important if you're blind, because you won't be reminded by a visual cue such as seeing your bottles or your weekly pill-sorter box.
    • You might want to include other information in your reminders, such as where the pills are located or whether they need to be taken with food or water.
  5. Organize medications alphabetically. An easy system is to line your bottles up alphabetically. As long as you know the names of your medications, this can be a good way to stay organized and know exactly where each medication is kept.[12]
    Organize Your Medications if You're Blind or Visually Impaired Step 10.jpg
  6. Use rubber bands as dosing trackers. If you have trouble keeping track of whether or not you took your medication, try putting rubber bands on your wrist or in your pocket or just near your medication bottles. When you take a dose, transfer the rubber band to the bottle, signifying that you took one dose. Remember to remove all the rubber bands at the end of the day so there is no confusion the next day.[13]
    Organize Your Medications if You're Blind or Visually Impaired Step 11.jpg
  7. Keep a flashlight or magnifying glass nearby. If you are still able to read labels, but need a flashlight or magnifying glass to do so, have these tools along with your medications. That way they'll be handy whenever you need them.[14]
    Organize Your Medications if You're Blind or Visually Impaired Step 12.jpg
    • If you're keeping your medications in several different locations, get several small magnifying glasses so you can have them where you need them. For example, you might put one in a kitchen cabinet and one in your bathroom's medicine cabinet.
    • You may still want to use your own labeling system, even if you are able to read the labels with a magnifying glass – especially if your vision is deteriorating. You don't want to wake up one morning and no longer be able to read, even with the magnifying glass.

EditManaging Your Medications

  1. Ask your doctor and pharmacist to read and explain dosages. Whenever you're given a new prescription, make sure you understand how much you should take and when you should take it. You also need to understand how many doses are in each bottle, and when it needs to be refilled.[15]
    Organize Your Medications if You're Blind or Visually Impaired Step 13.jpg
    • Speak up if you have any questions about your medication, including side effects. You also need to find out what to do if you miss a dose. With some medications, if you miss a dose you can take it immediately, or double-up the next day. For others, however, you just skip it and take your regular dose the next day.
    • Find out in advance what you should do if you accidentally take more than your dose of the medication. This can be very dangerous with some medications and you would need to seek medical help right away. With others, you simply don't take your next scheduled dose.
  2. Make an audio log of medication information. Audio recordings can be an important tool in managing your medications if you're blind or visually impaired. They give you the ability to quickly access information about each drug, including dosage information and when the prescription needs to be renewed.[16]
    Organize Your Medications if You're Blind or Visually Impaired Step 14.jpg
    • If you're seeing several specialists or have prescriptions from multiple doctors, include the doctor's contact information with each medication log.
    • You also should include information about what to do if you miss a dose, or if you accidentally take an extra dose.
    • Think about how the pills feel, and describe them in your audio log. This can be helpful if you spill a bottle or get caps mixed up.
  3. Switch to an insulin pen. If you are diabetic and are blind or visually impaired, switching to a pre-filled insulin pen makes it easier to calculate the dosage you need. You can administer your doses yourself without having to worry about overdose.[17]
    Organize Your Medications if You're Blind or Visually Impaired Step 15.jpg
    • Note that these pens are not designed specifically for the blind or visually impaired, so you will need training and careful instruction on how to use them properly. Practice with your doctor or diabetes educator to ensure you can inject yourself with confidence.[18]
    • Pre-filled pens can be dialed to the specific amount of insulin you need to take. Since all pre-filled pens contain the same amount of insulin (300 units), you can easily calculate how long that pen will last you.
    • Often a pre-filled pen will not dial an amount larger than what is left in the pen, although some will. Ask your doctor if yours does this, because if it does you'll have to keep close tabs on the insulin remaining.
    • Before you use the insulin pen, tap it on the back of your hand to release any air bubbles and make sure the pen is working properly. It will release a small drop of insulin on the back of your hand as well. You should be able to feel it, or you can blow on your hand to detect the distinct odor of insulin.
    • The insulin pen is not your only option if you are blind or visually impaired and diabetic. You can use an Inject-Aid or Safe Shot Syringe Holder to hold an insulin bottle and syringe straight for easy insertion (these must be calibrated by a sighted person so you get the proper dose of insulin). You can also use Count-a-Dose, which uses a click-wheel so you can hear and feel a click for each unit of insulin, ensuring you get the proper dose.[19]
  4. Set reminders for expiration dates. Especially if you have a long-term medication that's only supposed to be taken on an as-needed basis, you may run the risk of the drug expiring before you've taken all of it.[20]
    Organize Your Medications if You're Blind or Visually Impaired Step 16.jpg
    • Ask your pharmacist to tell you the expiration date for the medication when you pick it up, and you can set a reminder on your phone.
    • Some pharmacies also may have reminder programs that will call you when a medication is due to expire or about to run out.


  • If you think you may have taken the wrong medication or an incorrect dose, call your doctor immediately. They can advise you on what to do next.

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Tuesday, 30 May 2017

How to Choose Kitchen Gadgets That Encourage Weight Loss

New year, new you? Maybe you are just looking to lose a few extra pounds for your health. Diet and exercise can help you lose weight in a healthy way. But how you prepare your foods can have a big impact on your ability to lose weight. Measuring out servings and the ability to quickly prepare foods can help you reach your weight loss goal. But you may not be sure of what types of gadgets to get. You can choose kitchen gadgets that encourage weight loss by selecting ones that make preparation and serving easier.


EditSelecting Food Preparation Gadgets

  1. Invest in an immersion blender. Liquids such as soups and smoothies are a great way to lose weight. They can fill you up with healthy fruits and vegetables. One of the best tools for making soups, smoothies, and creamy low-calorie dressings is a hand-held immersion blender. Not only can it make preparation easier, but can also help you get a meal together quickly if you are famished.[1] Look for the following elements when choosing your immersion blender:[2]
    Choose Kitchen Gadgets That Encourage Weight Loss Step 1.jpg
    • Easy buttons to push and hold
    • Easy cleanup
    • Ergonomic rubber grip
    • Blending container
    • Warranty
  2. Wield a vegetable peeler. No matter if you’re avoiding carbs or just want a small serving of cheese, a veggie peeler can be one of the biggest weapons in losing weight. Your peeler should have sharp blades and the ability to handle the shape of any food without clogging or losing its edge.[3]
    Choose Kitchen Gadgets That Encourage Weight Loss Step 2.jpg
    • Get a peeler with an ergonomic rubber handle. You can get a traditional swivel peeler or a Y-shaped version.
    • Use the peeler to make zucchini or eggplant “noodles” or even to curl cheese and chocolate for thin 10-calorie servings.[4]
  3. Grab a zester or grater. Many people who are trying to lose weight worry that healthier foods may lack flavor. However, using a cheese grater or zester can help add a dash of flavor without adding too many calories.[5]
    Choose Kitchen Gadgets That Encourage Weight Loss Step 3.jpg
    • Get a grater or zester with extra-fine grade grating. Combine with your measuring spoons for 1 tablespoon of lime, lemon, cheese, or another food to boost the flavor of your meals.[6]
  4. Buy a set of good quality measuring spoons. You may think measuring spoons are only for adding liquids or spices to recipes. But measuring spoons are also useful for sprinkling a small serving of foods such as nuts, sugar, or other toppings in prepared dishes. They can help you control portion sizes to lose weight.[7]
    Choose Kitchen Gadgets That Encourage Weight Loss Step 4.jpg
    • Look for measuring spoons that allow you to “dip and sweep.” You should be able to use a flat blade to sweep across the rim for the most accurate measurement. Avoid spoons with bumps or dips in the handle, which can hinder your ability to get an accurate amount.[8]
  5. Scoop and cook accurately with measuring cups. Like measuring spoons, you can use measuring cups to aid your weight loss. You may like to eyeball amounts when cooking or baking. However, the best way to ensure you’re not getting too many calories is using nested, heavy-gauge stainless steel measuring cups. Beyond cooking, you can also use them as a way to measure out exact servings of food.[9]
    Choose Kitchen Gadgets That Encourage Weight Loss Step 5.jpg
  6. Make individual servings with a muffin pan. Forget the muffins. Use your muffin tin to make individual sized servings. Get a 12-cup non-stick muffin pan, which lets you know how big each serving is. Muffin tins are also a great way to prepare meals ahead of time in case you’re in a pinch.[10] Foods you can cook in a muffin tin include:[11]
    Choose Kitchen Gadgets That Encourage Weight Loss Step 6.jpg
    • Hash brown cups
    • Broccoli frittatas
    • Poached eggs
    • Cranberry oatmeal bites
    • Spanakopita
    • Mini lasagna
    • Frozen yogurt fruit cups
  7. Consider a veggie steamer. Eating vegetables is a great way to promote weight loss. But many preparation methods, such as boiling, can leech vital nutrients out of veggies. Getting a vegetable steamer can promote your weight loss by providing vibrant veggies that are still nutrient packed.[12]
    Choose Kitchen Gadgets That Encourage Weight Loss Step 7.jpg
    • Invest in an electronic steamer if you like. You can also purchase a simple and inexpensive basket or metal steamer to set in pots and pans.[13]
    • Use measuring cups to add broth or stock as your steaming liquid.[14]

EditGetting Gadgets to Aid Serving

  1. Use smaller dishes. Portion control is a key part of losing weight. Using bigger dishes can make you overindulge. Instead, eat your meals from smaller plates and bowls. A full, small plate tricks your brain into thinking you are getting a larger portion than if you have the same sized serving on a bigger plate.[15] Invest in white plates, which can also trick you into eating less. Some dish sizes that can help you lose weight include:[16]
    Choose Kitchen Gadgets That Encourage Weight Loss Step 8.jpg
    • 8-inch salad plates
    • 8-12 ounce soup/ salad bowls
    • Tall, thin drinking glasses
    • Small serving bowls and spoons
    • 8-10 ounce mugs for hot beverages
  2. Purchase serving spoons in specific portion sizes. If you’re not using measuring cups to serve a specific portion size, you can also get serving utensils in pre-measured sizes. This can make serving the correct amount of food for weight loss easier.[17]
    Choose Kitchen Gadgets That Encourage Weight Loss Step 9.jpg
    • Keep in mind that in addition to serving spoons, you can also get gadgets such as ladles in specific sizes. A ½ cup ladle can help you easily figure out how many calories you’re getting in a serving without going overboard on portion size. For example, 2 ladles of split pea soup, which is 1 cup, has 180 calories in it.
  3. Weigh your food with a kitchen scale. Some things you make may require weighing your food. Getting a kitchen scale can help you get portion sizes right and cut calories. It can also help you learn to eyeball portion sizes in restaurants.[18] A digital kitchen scale is your best choice for getting the most accurate food weights.[19]
    Choose Kitchen Gadgets That Encourage Weight Loss Step 10.jpg
    • Recognize that a digital scale can help you avoid calorie creep. The difference between a 6 ounce and 7½ ounce potato is 30 calories. If you add this and other small amounts up over the course of the day, it could cut 500 or more calories.

EditLosing Weight in a Healthy Way

  1. Consult your doctor. Maintaining a healthy weight is important to your overall wellbeing. Before you make dietary changes or start any fitness programs, talk to your doctor to ensure these are safe for you. Some dietary changes or activities may not be appropriate for you.[20]
    Choose Kitchen Gadgets That Encourage Weight Loss Step 11.jpg
    • Let your doctor know you would like to lose weight with dietary changes and exercise. Ask your doctor what foods are best and activities are safe for you.
  2. Meet with a registered dietician. Eating healthy foods and watching your diet is the most effective way to help you lose weight. This is especially true if you use your kitchen gadget together with sensible food choices. Meeting a registered dietitian can inform you about diet and nutrition to help you lose weight. A dietitian can also help you make sensible food choices to ensure you get sufficient vitamins and nutrients for your health.[21]
    Choose Kitchen Gadgets That Encourage Weight Loss Step 12.jpg
    • Tell the dietician what your goals are. This may include losing weight, making healthy food choices, and preparing nutritious meals.
    • Ask your doctor or medical professional to recommend a registered dietitian. You can also find dietitians in your local area.[22]
  3. Have a sensible diet. Eating healthy foods as a part of a sensible diet is one part in losing weight. Figuring out what nutrients you need and what foods contain them can help you make sensible choices for cooking and at restaurants. Choose foods from the five food groups at each meal and make sure to vary your choices at every meal to optimize nutrient count and your weight loss potential. Make your choices from the five food groups and get the recommended amount of servings per day:[23]
    Choose Kitchen Gadgets That Encourage Weight Loss Step 13.jpg
    • Eat 1-1.5 cups of fruit every day. Raspberries, oranges, blueberries, apples or cherries are good choices.[24]
    • Eat 2.5-3 cups of vegetables every day. Mix things up with broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes.[25]
    • Eat 5-8 ounces of grains every day. At least half of your daily grains should be whole. This includes foods such as brown rice, quinoa, or whole wheat pasta and bread.[26]
    • Eat 5-6.5 ounces of protein every day.[27] Opt for lean meats such as pork or chicken, eggs, cooked beans, or nuts.[28]
    • Have 2-3 cups of dairy every day.[29] Foods such as yogurt, cheese, milk, and even ice cream are can help you get your daily dairy.[30]
  4. Plan your meals. Composing a weekly meal plan can help you make sensible food choices and lose weight. It can also help ensure you get enough nutrients to promote your overall health and wellbeing. loss.[31] For example, make sure healthy breakfast to get each day off to a good start. Pack your lunch as often as possible or choose salads and other light dishes not if you go out. Make sure your evening meal is light and packed with nutrients.
    Choose Kitchen Gadgets That Encourage Weight Loss Step 14.jpg
    • Avoid processed, high fat, and calorie-laden dishes for planned meals and whenever you eat out. This can also help keep you on track.[32]
    • Steer clear calorie bombs such as buffets, breadbaskets, fried foods, or dishes in heavy sauces such as spaghetti carbonara.[33]
    • Make sure your plan includes plenty of salads, steamed vegetables and lean meats. Have whole fruits for dessert or a snack.
  5. Get regular physical activity. Regular low-impact, moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise can help you lose weight, especially when combined with a sensible diet. Talk to your doctor beginning any physical activity or exercise program.
    Choose Kitchen Gadgets That Encourage Weight Loss Step 15.jpg
    • Do activities that you enjoy. This can make it easier to get exercise. Go walking, swimming, hiking, jogging, rowing, biking, or use an elliptical machine for your activity. Fun activities such as scuba diving, kayaking, or even jumping on a small trampoline are also types of exercise.[34]
    • Do at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity all or most days of the week. Split sessions into three 10 minute blocks if you are not able to move for 30 consecutive minutes.[35]
    • Consider trying full body strength training exercises. Increased muscle mass boosts your metabolism, can help you lose weight.[36]
    • Try lower impact strength training such as yoga or Pilates if you are not able to lift weights.


  • Consult with your physician or registered dietician about an optimal meal plan for you.

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EditSources and Citations

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