Hello, Friends! Today I’m sharing a simple snack that satisfies your sweet tooth and provides a great source of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, all in one quick-and-easy-to-prepare snack for vegan athletes like me!
Month: December 2016 (Page 1 of 2)
I finished my Christmas shopping today at the local Marketplace, and experienced a little Christmas cheer at Starbucks.
I walked into Starbucks and dropped my backpack at the long wooden table to save my seat. With no line, I walked to the register looking at the menu behind the gentlemen getting ready to take my order.
“Whenever you’re ready,” he said.
I stepped back and let a women ahead of me. The manager walked to the second register, smiling. She recognized me. I’ve been to this Starbucks a few times before, never causing trouble and keeping to myself, writing. I walked to her register.
“How are you?” I said.
“Great. It’s almost Christmas,” she said
“I know. May I…” The room got loud. The manager cupped her hand to her ear, open to my direction. I projected my voice to match the audio level. “…have a gingerbread latte, with almond milk. Medium.”
“No, thank you,” I said, gesturing with my hand. “I appreciate you asking.” She nods. Dairy is congestive.
“Ok. Chip-it, if you got it.”
“Thank you. It’s like I do this for a living or something,” she said, smiling.
I laughed heartily. She’s a charming woman. “Thank you.”
“You’re very welcome. I gave you a special cup.”
She turned the Starbucks cup in her hand to read “Go LA” written in black marker the way the Los Angeles Dodgers write their logo.
“Thank you so much,” I said, widening my smile.
I walked back to my backpack and took a seat, still smiling from my exchange with the manager.
She didn’t charge me for the almond milk. She’s a manager; she knew to charge for almond milk. I’ve worked as a barista, and from my experience, my manager was always strict about charging for everything.
It’s the little things that make your day a little better, that make life worth living. Saving me 60 cents after having spent almost $500 on gifts and then writing “Go LA” on my latte cup made me incredibly grateful for having bought gifts for my family.
Karma is real. Since I thought about other people and not myself (for once), the good karma came back to me in that small gesture. It was a small experience that said, “hey, you’re good nature isn’t going unnoticed.”
I feel better about myself, and about the rest of my day. I’ll go to the gym later, and have a wonderful time playing basketball by myself, because that small gesture made the rest of my day that much better.
Christmas brings the best out of people. When I drove to the shopping center and saw that the parking lot was nearly full at 10 AM, practically when the stores were just beginning to open, I thought, “hyper-consumerism will kill us all,” but bought things for my family anyways. I thought, it really doesn’t matter too much what I’ve bought for everyone, as long as it’s somewhere in the ball park of something they would like, or at least won’t hate, just to show that I was thinking about them.
I had fun, and showing from that little exchange at the end of my trip, I know I did a good thing.
Have you experienced something that put you into the Christmas spirit this season? What has your experience with karma taught you? Comment below!
I went Christmas shopping at the Promenade mall, and it was packed.
Christmas has always been a hectic time of the year, as I’m sure it is for everyone, but I feel especially different having two families to visit and buy presents for.
My family is pretty big; I have to shop for my three brothers, my sister, my uncles, my sister-in-law, my dad, my step mom, my mom, my step dad, and my sister-in-law’s brother and sister. I’ll feel guilty if I don’t.
Over the years, my parents have given the world to me. I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunities I have had because my parents have been able to support me throughout my life. Now that I’m older, I have a somewhat well paying job and not many bills to pay, so I want to give back to my family. I already know, no amount of gifts will ever repay the support they’ve been able to give to me, but the gesture of letting my family know that I’m thinking about them, and spending my hard earned money on them, is something I’m sure they’ll appreciate come time to open presents.
I ended up buying a cowboys beanie for my uncle, a couple sweaters on sale from Vans for my mom and step dad, a gift card from Forever 21 for my sister, and a couple pairs of joggers from Champs for my brother, Matthew, and my sister-in-law’s brother, Brian. (I know; I had difficulty keeping track of everyone, too). I also have a few things coming in the mail from amazon, including: a Lakers beanie for my brother, Russell, a Clippers beanie for Matthew, a Cowboys shirt for my brother, Cristian, a Superman shirt for my dad, an “Eat, Sleep, Edit” shirt for my uncle, and a Dodger beanie for my sister-in-law, Savonny. I also wrapped the Fitbit Alta I won from my company Christmas party to give to my dad (he really deserves the world). And I couldn’t resist ordering myself an extra Batman t-shirt. After all, ‘tis the season.
I had a good time shopping for my family. I talked to strangers I wouldn’t have normally talk to just to spark a conversation while waiting in line. I asked a mother shopping with her daughter what she would like her son to give her for Christmas, and she gladly told me to check out Bed, Bath, and Beyond, because, apparently, female parents love the stuff. She was incredibly sweet, and it just goes to show how joyful and nice people become around the holidays.
My shopping isn’t over yet. I still have a few more gifts to buy; another gift for Cristian, since it’s his birthday on Christmas Eve, and a few more gifts for the remaining member of my family.
I’m looking forward to Christmas. I can’t wait to see all my family together unwrapping gifts and watching NBA Christmas games. It’s a tradition.
The pursuit of happiness takes dedication and consistency.
There’s something to be said about remaining consistent despite what obstacles may be in the way. It can be difficult to remain resolute when evidence points otherwise. Popularity often sways weak minds, persuading them to abandon their faith in favor of immediate gratification or relief. Often times, reaching contentment will stifle creativity and productivity. A person needs to remain convicted to achieving their goals in order to be successful.
There’s something to be said about conviction. Despite what news may reveal about an opposing idea, remaining faithful to one’s beliefs will often produce results in favor of that conviction. Similar to many principles set forth in the Civil Rights Movement, remaining convinced that truth will eventually prevail in time despite of the majority belief can often produce favorable accomplishments.
The idea is as old as verbal folklore. The story of the Tortoise and the Hare illustrates this moral fairly well. Where the talented hare failed to remain dedicated to finishing the race, the tortoise succeeded in finishing the race. Despite the hare’s predisposition to his natural speed, the tortoise won because he remained steadily pursuing his one goal relentlessly.
It can be difficult to remain consistent when life happens. Life isn’t linear, and things happen that can set the ship off course. We’re human, and it’s easy to be lead astray from the path to success. But those that remain consistent in spite of life’s misfortunes will undoubtedly progress up towards their goal.
The New Year lingers around the corner, and that means reviewing and polishing old goals and coming up with new ones.
Last year, the theme was, “Healthy is Happy,” and I can honestly say I lived it pretty well when compared to my recent past. I made significant gains in strength, speed, and endurance, as well as quit smoking cigarettes—which I can’t believe has already been a year!
While this isn’t a set-in-stone, definitive list for 2017, I do want to talk about a few things I’ve thought about lately.
Off the top of my head, I would break up my goals into three major categories: finance, health and fitness, and writing. I would also make a category for miscellaneous subjects, like travelling.
Health and Fitness: I want to run a 5k, a 10k, and a half marathon. I want to dunk the basketball, finally—I promise, I’m getting closer. I want to lift more than I have been. I want to become a vegan. I want to cook for myself, and I want to continue to grow stronger and healthier. I want to meditate and journal more often, because there’s nothing more important than mental health.
Finance: I want to pay off $5,000 worth of student loans, invest $5,000 into investments, and save $5,000 for the rainy season. I’m already on my, so I just have to develop a budget to stick by it to achieve those numbers. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but it is what it is for now. I think the most difficult part of this will be keeping discipline not to use the money that I’ve saved. I also want to buy a laptop.
Writing: I want to continue blogging. I want to read 36 books—I consider reading a big part of writing. I want to write 6 short stories and 24 pieces of poetry. I want to enter a writing competition and continue pursuing a career in writing. I want to be more creative, and this is one of my favorite things to create, ideas.
Miscellaneous: I want to travel. I want to visit different parts of the United States, live well within my means. I want to take road trips to adjacent states and just see what it’s like on the other side of the mountains. I want to visit different shops, meet different people, and just experience life for what it is. I don’t want to go back to school yet because I feel like I should accrue enough money to pay for school in cash. I shouldn’t be taking on more debt if I want to become a true millionaire. So many people don’t have college degrees, Bill Gates for example, and still go on to become extremely successful people. School isn’t necessary to become a rich person, but school does offer experiences I couldn’t get anywhere else—but I’ve been in school for too long. I need a break. I want to focus on becoming financially successful. I want to see what I can do with my own grit.
In 2016, the motto was, “Healthy is Happy.” And I’ll continue to live that way, continue to progress into greater health. I want to have this saying again for 2017, but I also want to progress. I don’t want to have the same quote because I think I’ve already internalized it well, and if I didn’t then that just means the saying is stale and I need to keep moving forward. “Healthy is happy,” I still believe that, but it’s time to progress to something different. I don’t have to decide today, because I have until 2017 to do that, but I do have to think about something soon. 2017 is right around the corner.
I visited LA for the weekend. I hung out at my dad’s house in Reseda. I just wanted to get away from Menifee.
As much as I like my job, I don’t like to be in Menifee. There’s not much for me in Menifee that I couldn’t get somewhere else. I don’t hang out with friends and I don’t go anywhere; I just go to work, go to the gym, sleep at my parent’s house, and repeat. I sometimes go to the Starbucks on Haun and Newport every other week, but I usually end up feeling guilty spending $6 on a latte that adds an additional 500 unnecessary calories to my diet, so I’m convinced drinking lattes are not the wisest decisions, but I do love it. I’m a homebody.
But I don’t like to be at my parent’s house. I want to move out, but I haven’t saved enough money—I don’t think I make enough money right now to do that comfortably. Maybe if I earn an additional $500/mo from what I’m earning now, I can move out comfortably—maybe $1000/mo? I have to take into account food, bills, and just overall living expenses. $1000/mo is a big chunk of money. So, unless I earn a promotion, change jobs, or find another source of income, I don’t think that’ll happen anytime soon.
I want to pay off my Student loans, earn more money per pay period, and better manage my own life before moving out for good. I want to do it properly this time so I don’t fall into a situation like I did last time—needing to find any job and a qualified roommate to pay the bills or move out—obviously, I’ve done the latter.
I like coming up to visit my dad because there’s more life in LA. I hate the traffic, but the people, restaurants, and shops make it a nice place to be. Not everyone’s polite, and many people scowl at the idea of talking to a stranger, but I’ve met incredibly interesting people I would not have met living anywhere else in the world. I respect all walks of life because I’ve been fortunate to live a well-rounded life. Between growing up in Southern California and travelling to the places I’ve been, I’ve learned to be grateful for the things I have.
Visiting my dad gets me away from my secluded life in Menifee. I just don’t like the type of people living there sometimes. The city is so widely spread out, there’s not a lot of culture happening. The bottom line is Menifee doesn’t have what I want.
I like visiting LA because I enjoy the city more than anything. The fact my dad has HBO, sports channels, a small basketball court (that took nearly 6 hours to assemble yesterday—you’re welcome, dad), a Ping-Pong table, and practically any movie streaming is also an added benefit. But truthfully, I like to eat out at restaurants I’ve never heard of, drink boba with my little brother, Russell, and go to different places I’ve never been—now that I mention it, I should take more advantage of living in the city.
What does it take to be a writer?
Writing, like any other craft, needs practice. In Stephen King’s book, “On Writing,” he blatantly explains that in order to become a writer, a writer must write. As simple as the concept is, it is difficult to accomplish. Lots of things get in the way—your best friend’s hosting her birthday party, mom wants to go on vacation, boss wants you to take on more projects—whatever the excuse, and there are plenty, there is always something else out there that prevents a person from sitting down to a typewriter and writing. It’s difficult for people to build the discipline to write when others would fall victim to temptation. But some do it.
Writing takes practice. As simple as it is, it can be difficult to accomplish. Writing requires ideas, thoughts, discipline, and action. A person needs to sit quietly, and let the mind be loud. Writing requires shutting off the sensory receptors and focusing on exploding onto a page, writing your heart out and bleeding ink. Writing is expression.
Writing takes practice. As simple as it is, not everyone writes. Not everyone can settle their thoughts enough to sit down and control them, put them onto a page. Writing is taming the monkey mind and putting it into words, putting it onto a page where the idea becomes still. Writing is life. Writing is love. Writing is expression.
Writing takes practice. As simple as it is, not everyone stays consistent. Writing takes repetition. Some write in sporadic moments. I remember a quote that went, “small menial task done everyday, if it is truly done everyday, will beat the efforts of a sporadic Hercules.” That means consistency beats raw talent any day. Kevin Durant said, “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” His statement’s poetic and straightforward. Working hard beats talent. And if you got them both, then you’re a genius.
Writing takes practice. As simple as it is, I don’t take my own advice. But I am. I stopped talking and started performing. This is writing. I’m just getting words out and practicing and working my best to do what I need to do in order to be the person I want to be—wealthy and off on some island writing best sellers, articles, and running my blog. Writing is my expression. Writing is my passion.
Writing, like any other craft, takes practice. In order to become a writer, one must read and write voraciously. There’s no other way around it.
I go to the gym every day during the work week, except every other Thursday when a couple friends from work join me for a game of Dungeons & Dragons at a coffee shop.
Due to injuries and my stubbornness, I haven’t consistently lifted weights like I would have liked to have done. I can’t resist a game a basketball. Even with a tweaked ankle, I still play, and play hard. I drive when I see the open lane, I dive for the ball when it’s loose, and I shake off the defense like you wouldn’t imagine a six-foot, nerdy, Mexican-looking Filipino to do.
I am exhausted, to say the least. I try to go to the gym Monday through Friday because I want to get fit, but lately I’ve been exhausted. I wake up at 5 AM, work 8 hours, and put in work at the gym, then go home and juice, and d everything I do at home—study stocks, read, write. I don’t’ have much time to relax. I conduct my weekdays with a “go, go, go” mentality, and I have to wait for the weekend to have time to plan. Earlier today during my lunch at work, I took a nap in my car just so I could get more sleep. I’m doing my best to get fit.
Driving home from work yesterday, I thought about skipping the gym and just going home. I got all the way up to the fork where the road splits off towards my house or to the gym. With heavy eyelids, I clapped my hands and turned towards the gym. I was determined to get a workout.
I’ve been going to the gym an average of four times a week since June. I haven’t been consistently lifting, but every time I go to the gym, I workout in some way, whether it is running, playing basketball, or jumping rope. My ultimate goal is to dunk. I want to fly to the basket.
I’ve slowly started developing my own fitness regimens off the original blueprint I followed from a couple YouTubers named Buff Dudes. They’re a creative pair of weightlifters that put a spin on learning about different workouts. I enjoyed going through their Anatomy of a Buff Dude series to learn about the different body parts I need to focus on in order to work out my entire body.
I can confidently say I lift heavier now. When I first started lifting, I could barely squat 95lbs. Now, I can easily squat 155. This may not seem like a lot to others, but considering my history of never going to the gym, this is solid progression. My projected earnings in the near future, or what some would call “gains,” considering my current fat to muscle ratio chart trajectory and assuming no setbacks, I’m looking at dunking in no time. I already have more lift on my leaps, more bounce in my step, and more breath in my lungs since I’ve been working out, I just need to keep the momentum.
It would be nice to have an accountability partner to push me, but I have to work with what I have.
I watch YouTube videos of different fitness gurus and try my own hand at weightlifting using the techniques I’ve learned from them. It’s been working well. At the end of the day, I want to be able to climb a mountain, scuba dive, run from a bull, and just live life without having limits, and I feel this is the best way to reach a superhuman-like lifestyle.
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” – Kevin Durant
Many people have referred to money as “the root of all evil,” but I don’t believe that. I believe money, in the current world we live in, is power and freedom. What a person does with money makes it good or evil.
If a person has enough money, he or she can almost do whatever they want, or get others to do what they want. A good example would be politics, but I don’t want to get into that. Let’s stick to money.
I began studying money. Like any skill or profession, a person could learn to manage money similar to the way a person would learn to play an instrument or a sport. The problem with most people is they don’t look at it that way. People look at money as something that’s earned through working laborious hours for another business owner and used to pay bills and buy fancy things. Many people think, “I don’t know how to manage money, and I never will.” But, if the little knowledge I’ve studied so far about the American market is right, money can grow.
Money invested into equity, many times, if the equity has a bright future, can produce a gradual return that beats the growth of inflation exponentially.
My buddy, Gil, and I inputted theoretical earnings into a Roth IRA calculator that calculated putting $5,000 annually into an IRA account for 40 years. Before I reveal the answer, I want to say, Albert Einstein is quoted to have said, “compound interest is the greatest mathematical discovery of all time.”
If a person were to consistently put $5,000 away for the entire 40 years, considering compound interest and continual investments, a person could potentially be looking at about $1 million. And that’s just putting money into an IRA with a 7% annual interest appreciation.
On the other hand, a person could potentially invest in common stocks and gather a greater return. Safe stock, stocks believed to be somewhat resilient to the affects of the general market, stocks like Google, Amazon, or Netflix, are good investments because these companies have enough stability to stay in the market for a very long time.
Anyways. Investments can be a completely different conversation in itself, but I want to talk about money. My experiences have taught me that money is not just something used to buy food or candy or pay rent; money is used to do practically everything.
When I flew overseas to tour Southeast Asia with my dad, we were met with a large culture barrier that prevented us from understanding and communicating using even the simplest gestures. We couldn’t wave without insulting a person native to the area, let alone try to speak with one. However, whenever we flashed a little green, or in their case, blue, red, or even transparent, all of a sudden every person wanted to help.
I remember writing in my journal back in 2012, “money is a language.” Now that I’m older, I still attest to this. But it’s also more than that now. Money is used to work, to accrue appreciation over time. Investment capital is used to pay for the endeavors of a company, which companies award investors by generating returns on their initial investment.
Becoming financially free would involve putting money to work, and using money to do things, like travel, buy equipment, and create. At the end of the day, money, in our world, can be pretty much used for everything. Even generating more money.
What do you think about money?
Have your experiences with money taught you anything?
I’m just blogging. I’m not blogging for anyone. I’m just writing stuff down, taking photos of things, and just living life. I just want to write about the different parts of my life as I progress in them. I don’t really have a purpose other than the pursuit of bettering myself. I just want to record my progress
I’m interested in several different things. I want to be healthy, I want to travel, I want to be financially free, and I want to be creative. I want to write, I want to read a lot, and I want to do things, like travel and go to rock climbing gyms and museums.
I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos lately—Good Mythical Morning, Casey Neistat, and some stuff on YouTube Red. The content has inspired me to go out and do my own thing—I’m sure it’s not just YouTube that has inspired me, it’s my entire situation. It’s my life that inspires me.
The other day, I went to the Barber Shop and picked up a GQ magazine with Russell Westbrook, the point guard of the Oklahoma City Thunder, on the cover that was lying on coffee table while I waited to get a cut. I opened up the magazine to the article on Westbrook. The interviewer admired Russell for having a “why-not” attitude. Want to go for a run? Why not? Play for the NBA? Why not? The author of the article commented that this “why-not” attitude of Westbrook’s translated to his wardrobe selection.
The point is, I gathered all this inspiration from all these different places, and I combined them to be the person that I am today. Family, friends, books, magazines, YouTube videos; I just consume as much content as possible, and that’s who I am. And now I got all this content in me, but no one to talk to about it all. So I blog.
I want to have a creative output where I can just be me and talk about anything and everything. Maybe something I say will resonate with another reader and inspire them to do something with their life: be friendlier, be healthier, or just be better.
The goal is to get 500 words down on a page. Even if I write something meaningless; the worst case scenario is I get zero readers and I just spent time practicing the craft of writing for however long it took me to live, write, and edit the blogs I post.
I’ve already started building. I just need to keep the momentum going and try to get 500 words out every day. By next year, I plan to buy a website so I can expand my blog, and write about all types of different things: health, fitness, life, money, and the pursuit of freaking happiness. Of course I’ll continue to do personal blogs, but I’ll also write articles and produce my own content. Worst-case scenario, I get no visitors and I spend all my time practicing how to host a website and produce content.
Whether something comes from this or not, there’s something to say about taking the journey.