Whether you were a sk8er boi, punk rock princess, or a flavor of the week, it was pretty hard to ignore the meteoric rise of pop-punk music that dominated radio airwaves and carried us through Y2K. There were extremely popular headliners like New Found Glory and Avril Lavigne plus an entire subculture of emo pop groups like Panic! at the Disco, Jimmy Eat World, and Paramore, that coexisted alongside the screaming vocals of bands like Taking Back Sunday and The Used. Oh, and there was an inundation of debate over genre-crossing and if any of those aforementioned bands were truly “emo” or “punk” or simply “pop rock” to begin with. But if it’s nostalgia you want, that’s exactly what’s on the lineup for this week’s workout playlist. Break out your leather cuff bracelet, put on your darkest eyeliner, pretend you’re heading to the Vans Warped Tour, and get ready for a healthy dose of late 1990s and early 2000s pop punk music. There are songs we bet you know the words to: “The Anthem” by Good Charlotte and “Dance, Dance” by Fall Out Boy; plus one-hit wonders like “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne (who?) and “Swing, Swing” by The All-American Rejects. And there are songs from bands that have absolutely stood the test of time: blink-182, who announced in December they have a new album coming out “in a few months,” and Green Day, who are currently touring. And as usual, this playlist rounds out with a few quieter songs—these are from The Get Up Kids and Alkaline Trio. So if your friends say you should act your age, simply reply that you woke up in a car, you’re in the middle of the ride, and don’t bother angel, you know exactly what goes on. (And if you didn’t get a single reference from this article, we still hope this playlist hypes up your next workout anyway!)Full playlist:
Getting one annual shot could potentially be more palatable to pandemic-weary people, Dr. Russo says. The vaccine rollout has been “haphazard,” he explains, and the public has often been unclear about which COVID vaccines they should get and when.The thinking goes that, with a simple annual vaccine schedule, people will better understand how to protect themselves—and actually get the shots they need. “‘When do I get my next booster?’ is a very, very common question,” Dr. Schaffner says. This proposed shift will hopefully “relieve the vaccine fatigue that’s out there.”However, certain folks may still need extra protection each year. The FDA’s document suggested that older and immunocompromised people—two groups who face a higher risk of severe disease from COVID—as well as “the very young,” who may not have had previous exposure to the virus, may need two shots a year, but it’s unclear what this schedule would look like. During Thursday’s meeting, some committee members expressed hesitation in scaling back. “We need broader protection,” Pamela McInnes, DDS, the former deputy director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the National Institutes of Health, said during the discussion, per NBC. “We don’t want to be chasing the virus.” Dr. Russo says that giving most people one annual shot could, in fact, be risky at this stage in the pandemic. “Immunity—whether from prior infection or vaccination—wanes over four to six months,” he says. “You gain extra protection by boosting in that time frame.” While respiratory viruses generally circulate more during the fall and winter months, COVID-19 cases can rise during warmer months, though the spikes are usually less severe. (For example, cases significantly increased during the summer of 2021, when the delta variant first hit.) If and when COVID becomes a seasonal illness, the likelihood of dealing with a wave of infections during spring and summer will likely be less of a concern, Dr. Russo explains. That said, the possibility of contracting COVID at any time still lingers, and we now know that long COVID, which can spur potentially debilitating symptoms, can affect anyone who is infected—even those who initially had a “mild” illness.Will the COVID vaccine formula change as new variants emerge?The committee members also recommended that the bivalent vaccines be updated this year ahead of the start of the 2023–2024 cold and flu season, so the formula provides the best protection possible as the virus mutates, per NPR. They suggested the FDA meet in May or June of this year to discuss the proposed updates, which would allow for new shots to be available in the fall.The process of tweaking the bivalent vaccines each year may eventually look similar to the routine we have in place for the flu vaccine, Dr. Schaffner says: “[Global health authorities] update the influenza vaccine twice a year in an organized fashion, [once for] the northern hemisphere and once for the southern.” That’s not currently the case for the COVID vaccines, which “are different and varied” from country to country, Dr. Schaffner says.
Confession: While I love testing out new fitness trackers, I do not love the process of acclimating to new fitness trackers—so ones that are intuitive to use right out of the box are huge for me.I used the Google Pixel Watch with the Google Pixel 7 Pro phone, and found the connection to be seamless (The Pixel Watch only works with Google Pixel and Android phones). The watch syncs with your contacts, apps, and Google calendar on your phone, which makes communication between the two a breeze. My watch synced right away with the phone, and the setup was pain-free.Once it was ready to go, I found the Google Pixel Watch straightforward to use: You use swipes and taps on the touchscreen to maneuver the menus, as well as the two physical buttons (the bezel, which also allows you to scroll, and a low-profile button above it). Swipe to the left or right, and you see your main tiles, which include workout selection, daily steps, heart rate, sleep, weather, and calendar events. You can customize these tiles to your liking. Swipe down and you get the watch’s settings, and swipe up to scroll through your text, email, call, or other app notifications.I’m a huge fan of physical buttons on smartwatches, and I think the ones on the Pixel Watch are particularly useful. Press the bezel once, and you get a list of all your apps. Press it twice, and you pull up your Google Wallet, which allows you to make phone-free payments. As for the small button, a single press gives you a list of your most recent apps, while a long press brings up Google Assistant—which is voice-activated, and really helpful for immediately getting you exactly where you want to go. For instance, when I told it to text my partner, it not only brought up their contact screen, but guided me through creating and sending a voice-activated text.The AppsYou need two apps to use the Google Pixel Watch: the Watch app and the Fitbit app. Think of the Watch app like the foundation—I used this during setup, and haven’t really messed around with it since. This is where you choose your watch face, the tiles that’ll display on your watch’s screen, notification options, and apps to download. The Fitbit app is what I use on a daily basis: That’s where you get all your health metrics, such as steps, heart rate, and sleep tracking. It’s also where you get all the intel on your workouts.Exercise OptionsYour Google Pixel Watch will track up to 40 different kinds of workouts, from running to elliptical to CrossFit to weight lifting. At first, you’ll have to swipe through the entire list to find the one you want to track, but if you generally default to the same kinds of workouts, you’re in luck: The home exercise screen keeps tiles of your three most recently used icons front and center for easy access.I’m a runner, so how a fitness tracker measures running is important to me. I feel like the Pixel Watch was adequate on this front, but it could have been better. On the plus side, the running screen shows four metrics on the main screen—which you can customize—so you can see all the majors in one glance. For me, that’s time elapsed, distance, heart rate, and pace.
Whether you’re a self-proclaimed cooking expert, or still learning your way around the kitchen, the best chef’s knives can completely elevate your cooking experience. Because of its versatility, it’s one of the most important kitchen tools to have on hand. From chopping, slicing, dicing, and mincing, the best chef’s knives can help you prepare your favorite recipes with greater ease and control. “There are so many different knives for all types of cutting needs, but the workhorse of any chef’s knife kit is their chef’s knife. It’s the most important knife to spend a little extra money on,” says Chef Chris Curren, an executive chef at The Graceful Ordinary in St. Charles, IL.The two types of chef’s knivesFull tang on the left, hidden tang on the right.
AmazonThere are two types of chef’s knives, a full tang and hidden tang, Geoff Feder, owner of Feder Knives, tells SELF. A full tang knife (top left) is heavier because the metal of the blade extends all the way to the handle where it’s sandwiched between two pieces of plastic (or whatever material the knife handle is made of). With a hidden tang knife (top right), the metal extends only partially (if at all) into the handle, making the knife lighter. The two types of steel on chef’s knivesThe blade is usually made from one of two different kinds of steel: Stainless steel or carbon steel. Feder explains that carbon steel performs better, but it’s delicate, so it’s more susceptible to rust and damage. On the other hand, stainless steel is easier to maintain, but the quality isn’t as high. How often do you need to sharpen your chef’s knife?You should plan to sharpen your knife about two or three times a year, either on your own or with a sharpening tool. “Getting a knife sharpened on a whetstone is essential once you have purchased a nice, new chef’s knife,” Chef Olivia McCoy, head chef at Daily Chew in Atlanta, GA tells SELF. She shares that you can easily learn how to use a whetstone (or sharpening stone) through online tutorials, or you can find someone locally that can sharpen your knives for you. Feder recommends using a two-sided water stone or having it professionally sharpened at your local hardware store. If you sharpen your knife regularly, it’ll take less time overall to keep the edge sharp. “If you wait until it’s super dull, it’s much harder to bring it back,” Feder explains, “[that’s] one of the reasons most people have dull knives.” Sharpening knives is a skill in and of itself, so in general it’s easier (especially for beginner chefs) to have it professionally sharpened. In the end, it’ll cost you less to maintain it than it would to buy a brand-new knife.Do need to hone your chef’s knife every week?You know those long metal rods that always come in the box knife sets? That’s a honing tool called a steel, says Feder. While sharpening removes steel from the knife to create a new edge, honing re-aligns the wire in the edge of the blade to keep it in working order. You should do this at least once a week, but you can do it as often as you like.When you use it, Feder says you shouldn’t just mindlessly rub it up and down along the edge of your knife—that will do more harm than good. Instead, gently apply pressure to your knife as you run the edge against the honing tool at a 20-degree angle (you can watch a demo of the technique here). Go slowly and repeat on both sides of the knife until you’ve honed the length of the blade. How to choose the best chef’s knife? When it comes to picking out the best chef’s knife, Chef Sieger Bayer, former executive chef of Etta in Los Angeles, shares that you need to keep two things in mind: price and maintenance. For example, if you’d like something that doesn’t require much upkeep, pick a chef’s knife that doesn’t need to be sharpened too often. Those who want an easier cleanup may opt for a knife that can be thrown into the dishwasher (as opposed to having to be hand washed). Though be advised that some high water pressure and detergents can dull the edge and loosen the handle. Feder recommends hand washing only and not letting it stay wet for too long, to avoid the blade rusting.
30 Best Etsy Gifts for Everyone This Valentine’s Day 2023: Personalized Art, Cookware, Jewelry, Home Decor
Sometimes, generic gifts like socks or flowers just don’t cut it. The best Etsy gifts, however, are ideal for the people you know (and love) most deeply—the people who deserve and will truly appreciate personalized gifts. Because while store-bought gifts might bring smiles to their faces, presents that were handmade and perhaps personalized are all the more heartwarming. Enter: Etsy, your one-stop shop for hand-crafted, sentimental, customizable, and (sometimes) adorably corny gifs. Instead of sending a more impersonal present from big-name retailers like Amazon or Walmart, when you shop at Etsy, you’re almost always supporting small businesses—making your purchases more meaningful both for the artists and the giftee. With Galentine’s Day and Valentine’s Day around the corner, it’s an ideal time to find a little something special for that special someone. Hell, while you’re at it, why not get ahead of Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, graduations, and the holiday season? Of course, sometimes it can be tough to find exactly what you’re looking for while scouring the multitude of Etsy sellers, which is where we come in.Below, we’ve gathered the best gifts from Etsy for your significant other, parent, best friend, and everyone else on your list this V-Day season. You’ll find keychain-sized keepsakes, DIY cocktail boxes, monogrammed charcuterie boards, sleek brewing accessories for coffee lovers, and more great gifts (many of which fall under $50). Whatever your budget and taste, this Etsy gift guide is guaranteed to have a keepsake that your loved one will cherish for years to come.Jump to:For more present picks, check out all of the best gift ideas of 2023.Etsy Gifts for BoyfriendsIf your guy is a sucker for the sentimental, there are plenty of sweet gifts for men on Etsy. we’ll always recommend this personalized record (which this author gave as a gift to her partner). All you need to do is send in “your” song, your favorite photo of your two, and the Spotify or Apple Music link (which will appear as a QR code on the record, so he can play the song any time he wants). In a long-distance relationship? A custom Morse code bracelet will give them a sweet and tasteful reminder of you. If he loves to wear jewelry, Evren’s chain ring is stylish with whatever he’s wearing, and it comes in gold and silver. For the boyfriend or man in your life who could use some more wall art in his home, we love Paper Emporium Co.’s map of the sky the night that you met.EtsyBonne Studio Personalized RecordEtsyWish and Design Morse Code BraceletEtsyEvren Men’s Chain RingEtsyPaper Emporium Co. Custom Star Map PrintEtsy Gifts for GirlfriendsThere are many ways to say “I love you” to your girlfriend (75, to be exact, if you give her this trendy art print, which can be matted and framed). For a more sensual gift, we recommend a hand-poured candle made with essential oils that melts into massage oil while it burns. A personalized ceramic jewelry dish keeps her dainty rings and earrings on display, while a set of fun date-night tickets might spark some ideas and breathe new life into your one-on-one time together.EtsySara and Misc ‘I Love You’ Wall PrintEtsySwank On Ya Massage Oil Candle Gift BoxEtsyThe Painted Press Personalized Jewelry DishEtsyWhiskey & Wedding Bells Date Night TicketsEtsy Gifts for MomsFor your mom’s tiny trinkets, we love this travel jewelry box stamped with her birth flower and name. You could also opt for a family birthstone necklace as a subtle and beautiful reminder of her loved ones. If Mom could use some new winter gear (or a very early Christmas gift), we love Tangled Knot Co.’s heart-stamped mittens, which reviewers say are high-quality, warm, and cute. And for a truly one-of-a-kind gift, give her a handwritten letter or favorite poem on a backlit frame to keep by her bedside.EtsyPersonalization Lab Travel Jewelry BoxEtsyWHA Jewelry Birthstone Crystal NecklaceEtsyTangled Knot Co. Knitted Heart MittensEtsyMini Decor Shop Handwritten Letter Night LightEtsy Gifts for DadsA set of monogrammed cufflinks will step up the stylish dad’s suit game. If he’s always whipping up something new in the kitchen, how about a solid wood cutting board stamped with the family name? A minimalist pour-over stand will class up your dad’s morning brew, and he just might shed a tear when he opens this framed mountainscape that maps the locations important to both of you.EtsyDaniqueTrends Monogrammed Cufflinks with InitialsEtsySugar Tree Gallery Personalized Cutting BoardEtsyVenture Designs Pour Over StandEtsyWorld Vibe Studio Framed Mountain Map MotifEtsy Gifts for Best FriendsGalentine’s Day (a.k.a. Palentine’s Day) falls on February 13, but these gifts are good for any time of the year. A self-care gift set which includes coffee beans (or tea sachets), a cozy throw blanket, and bar of chocolate makes an excellent treat for your pal who could use some extra R&R. Choose from dozens of yummy drinks for a unique cocktail/mocktail kit your friend can DIY themself. A handmade ceramic mug and saucer set makes a perfect gift for your friend who has a growing collection, and for the BFF who loves the layered-necklace look, opt for a simple Caitlyn Minimalist pendant engraved with their initial (and maybe add yours to the chain too). EtsyHappy Hygge Gifts Hygge Gift BoxEtsyKristins Koncoctions Valentine’s Day Cocktail KitEtsyAvant Boutique Ceramic Floral Mug SetEtsyCaitlyn Minimalist Dainty Initial Tag NecklaceUnique, Personalized Gifts from EtsyEtsy is a treasure trove for unique gift ideas. Surprise your dog-lover or cat-lover pal with a custom pet portrait of their furry friend, or, for the most adventurous on your list, get them to stop using their phone’s compass by gifting a personalized brass one, which can be engraved with a note. For long-distance loved ones, an adorably tiny keychain compiles your favorite memories together in a leather-bound photo book. Meanwhile, puzzlers and sentimentalists are ideal recipients for a wooden puzzle that features on each piece reasons why you love your giftee.EtsyMod Paws US Custom Pet PortraitsEtsyIlgar Leather Personalized Brass CompassEtsyUnique Gift Love Personalized Leather Photo KeychainEtsyFavorite Wooden Gifts Reasons Why I Love You PuzzleEtsy Gifts Under $50With thousands of stellar presents under $50, you don’t have to spend a ton to find a thoughtful gift on Etsy. Take, for example, a gorgeous wooden propagation station for the plant person in your life. As a housewarming gift, surprise the new homeowner with a vibrant, hand-painted coaster set (and maybe their favorite bottle of wine, too). For the newlyweds—or the parent who is always concocting new culinary masterpieces—an engraved, wooden recipe book makes a superb wedding gift. And the whiskey lover in your life could always use a new go-to lowball glass which is printed with a map of their town.EtsyWoodjoy Collection Test Tube Wooden Stand DecorationEtsyCeliya Home Boho CoastersEtsyEnjoy the Wood Recipe Book BinderEtsyWell Told Custom City Map Rocks GlassRelated:
Dr. Ahmad has seen many of her own patients take oral contraceptive pills for several years simply because that’s what was recommended and available to them when they first needed birth control. “They just decided to stick with them because it was what their friends were doing and they didn’t consider anything else,” Dr. Ahmad says. “Over time, as they learned about other options, [some of] which don’t require them to take a pill every day, many of them switched.” Your birth control has failed.A good indication that you need a new birth control method: Your current one has failed you. As in, you were using it and still got pregnant. In some cases, the failure may be due to the inability to take it as recommended; in other cases, failure may occur despite perfect or near-perfect use, Dr. Ahmad says. Quick reminder—no birth control is 100% effective. For instance, if the pill is used perfectly, it’s 99% effective, but the realistic rate (with “typical use,” or the way that the majority of people actually use it, which can include occasionally missing doses) is more like 91%, according to Planned Parenthood. If you get pregnant while on birth control, have a discussion with your doctor to figure out why it was that the method failed so you can pick a method that’s a better fit for you.Are there any risks of switching birth control methods?In most cases, switching from one birth control method to another doesn’t come with any serious risks. Just make sure your doctor has all your up-to-date health details so that you’re not switching to a method you have a contraindication for. Some side effects, like irregular menstruation, are normal when you switch the kind of birth control you’re taking. They’re simply a case of your body adjusting to the new method, which can take up to six to eight weeks, Samantha M. Dunham, MD, clinical associate professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at NYU Langone Health, tells SELF. If you’re still having side effects after a couple of months, talk to your doc.“The biggest downside of switching too often is that different types of birth control have different mechanisms of action and when switching, there may be a period of time that the new method is ineffective,” says Dr. Ahmad. Some forms of birth control work immediately, like the copper IUD, which can even work as an emergency contraceptive if inserted within five days after unprotected sex. Others take longer to become effective, including the pill, ring, implant, and hormonal IUD, depending on when in your cycle you start taking them. While your body adjusts to a new contraceptive and you adjust to a new routine, use a reliable back-up method, such as condoms, to prevent pregnancy, says Dr. Baick. She adds that, depending on your current birth control method and the type you want to switch to, you may need to start using your new birth control before you stop using the old one. The overlap time depends on the particular type of methods in play—your doctor can tell you exactly what you need to do. What to do if you decide to switch birth control methodsBefore switching your birth control, the most important thing is to meet with your doctor to go over your options. “Make sure your physician has your updated medical history and understands what your preferences are in terms of frequency of use, hormones versus no hormones, and permanent versus reversible/temporary,” says Dr. Ahmad. “With that information, you and your provider can identify the best type of birth control for your specific needs and goals.” There’s likely no harm in testing out a new-to-you method to see if it works better for you and your current priorities, says Dr. Dunham. “The best method for you is the one you’re happy using and will use regularly.” If you want to do some research ahead of your appointment with your doctor, Dr. Dunham recommends checking out Bedsider, an online birth control support network intended to help prevent unplanned pregnancies. Finally, keep up with your yearly annual exams to ensure that you’re still using the method that’s best for you, despite any life or health changes that pop up. Just like any other aspect of your overall health, your birth control is worthy of your attention. Even if checking in just confirms that you’re on the right track, that’s great to know, too.Related:
I’ll be running an errand, or in the middle of a jam-packed workday, when an anxious pang hits me: You owe Swati a phone call. Or, God, I have no idea how Molly’s dealing with that thing right now. In the years before my closest friends and I moved to different cities, had kids, or just got swamped with Life Stuff, we saw each other with the enviable frequency of sitcom characters who are constantly walking into one another’s apartments. These days, even with friends who still live nearby, it more often feels like we’re waving longingly to each other from across a lake (this typically takes the form of vague “let’s catch up soon!” text exchanges). When I do manage to connect with a good friend, I feel quantifiably better afterward—like my soul is fluffed up and a little more present inside my body. I’d like to feel that way more often. Equally important: I’d like to be a better and more attentive friend than I’ve been in recent years amid life’s many distractions. (The pandemic further tested the elasticity of my friendships; one 20-year connection that had already endured years of strain snapped entirely, resulting in a friend breakup.) “People have a lot of broken connections in the wake of the pandemic—a number of my clients have a whole different cast of characters in their lives now,” Hope Kelaher, LCSW, author of Here to Make Friends: How to Make Friends as an Adult, tells SELF. An upside of this, Kelaher says, is that some people are realizing the vital importance of existing friendships. “In fact, I’m seeing more and more clients bring friends into therapy sessions,” she says. A slew of surveys suggest that I’m not the only person who’s struggling to prioritize friendship: Even before the isolating impact of the pandemic, people in the US spent way less time with friends than they did in previous decades. Not only can weaker social connections make us less happy, but this isolation is bad for our bodies, too.“Social isolation and loneliness are two different things, but we’re seeing that both of them are leading to a host of negative consequences for physical and mental health,” Laura Whitney Sniderman, MA, founder of Kinnd, a digital platform that aims to help people forge and sustain friendships, tells SELF. For example, studies have linked a lack of human connection to depression and anxiety, poor sleep quality, high blood pressure, and even dementia. Sniderman, who has a masters in clinical and counseling psychology, spends her days immersed in research on the science of friendship. Kinnd’s bond-building model is based on cultivating three qualities of a solid friendship: vulnerability, generosity, and reciprocity. The company’s app, launching sometime this year, will match up prospective pals.While making new friends is wonderful (and necessary, if you’re still looking for your people), “It’s often much easier to work on a meaningful friendship that already exists,” Sniderman says, citing a 2018 study that found it takes an average of 200 hours to achieve BFF-level kinship. Whether (like me) you’re desperately seeking ways to connect with your friends more often or you simply want to grow closer to them, these expert tips can help you strengthen your relationships with your favorite people.1. Set an intention to work on your closest friendships (for most of us, that means up to five people, tops). If you’re not sure how many good friends you’re “supposed” to have to enhance your life, we don’t blame you—we’re all pretty undereducated on the entire topic of being a buddy. “Friendship doesn’t command the same social respect that we’ve been giving romantic relationships, so you don’t see as many resources to support it,” Danielle Jackson, host of the podcast Friend Forward, tells SELF.
When the weather outside is dreary or snowy, it can be hard to motivate yourself to go for a walk. But the best waterproof walking shoes can help you continue your daily habits—without getting wet feet. After all, waterproof sneakers and walking shoes can provide the same level of comfort and support as general walking shoes, all while keeping your feet dry and warm—no matter how many puddles you splash through.Whether you’re running errands, taking the dog for a walk, or lacing up your waterproof hiking boots to hit the trail, it’s crucial to find a shoe that works for you.What to Look for in a Waterproof Walking ShoeFinding the right walking shoe is ultimately a personal decision based on your intended activity, foot type, and the weather where you live, but there are a few key design details to take into consideration, too:Waterproofing MechanismsFor footwear, waterproofing consists of two components: the membrane and the exterior coating.MembraneGore-Tex is the most well-known and reputable waterproofing technology, and many brands, like Nike and Brooks, will incorporate Gore-Tex membranes into their shoe models because they are both breathable and waterproof. (Look for shoe models that have GTX or GORE-TEX in the name.) Other brands, like On Running and Sorel, use their own technology to create waterproof interiors. While waterproof membranes can be beneficial in many circumstances, they are also less breathable than non-waterproof shoes and can trap moisture easily. That’s why it’s important to wear moisture-wicking socks so your waterproof walking shoes don’t become a sweaty mess.ExteriorBecause many walking shoes have breathable mesh uppers, some brands will coat their shoes in a water-resistant finish so water sheds off the surface of the shoe. DWR (durable water repellent) is a common treatment you’ll see on the market. Fabrics that have some degree of water resistance, like leather, may still get treated to enhance their waterproof abilities. If a shoe doesn’t have the interior membrane and only an exterior finish, it will be classified as water-resistant, rather than waterproof. This is fine in many scenarios, like light rain, but you’ll end up with wet feet if you wear water-resistant shoes in a downpour (in that case, you might be better off with a pair of rain boots).InsulationSome waterproof shoes have minimal insulation for wet but mild conditions, while others are insulated for warmth during the winter. Gore-Tex makes three unique membranes, each with different levels of insulation. Consider what season you’ll be walking in and choose a pair of shoes with the proper amount of insulation.ComfortWalking shoes should have durable and comfortable midsoles for all day use. You may encounter two common midsole options: EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) foam is springy and responsive for ultimate comfort. PU (polyurethane) foam, on the other hand, is more firm and durable but may not feel as comfortable at first. Some brands, like New Balance and Nike, have their own proprietary foam midsoles (like Fresh Foam and React, respectively) that blend the two to balance durability and soft cushioning.The Best Waterproof Walking ShoesBelow, we’ve selected some of the best waterproof shoes from high-quality brands like Hoka One One, New Balance, Nike, and Allbirds. Read on to find the best shoes for your next rainy day stroll.
Although healthy eating is nuanced and I’m not one to recommend strict food rules or guidelines, it’s no secret that vegetables are pretty good for you. They contain tons of different vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals (bioactive compounds in plant foods) that can help reduce your risk of disease and improve your overall health. They’re also loaded with fiber, which aids digestion, supports a healthy gut microbiome (because certain fibers feed probiotic bacteria), and helps keep you regular. And when they’re prepared the right way, they can also taste pretty darn good.The thing about vegetables is that they’re perishable, so they can go bad in your fridge or on your countertop if you don’t use them up quickly enough. Plus, pretty much all raw vegetables require some amount of washing, peeling, de-stemming, or chopping before they’re ready to be cooked or eaten. None of these challenges are insurmountable—and I’m not knocking fresh vegetables—but for days and nights when all that prep work seems like too much, there’s another way.Enter: frozen vegetables. Blanched and flash-frozen at the peak of freshness, frozen veggies are just as nutritious as the fresh ones in the produce bins. (Blanching means the vegetables are quickly boiled, then plunged into cold water, a process that cooks them, but keeps them crisp.) Because they’re already washed, chopped, and cooked, they’re also way more convenient to use. And although this isn’t always the case, they’re typically cheaper—both because they cost less at the grocery store, and because you’re way less likely to throw them out because they went bad, which saves you money long term. (Frozen food can be kept indefinitely, but realistically, you’ll probably want to eat it within a couple of months since frozen food can still lose flavor and texture quality over time. but it never actually goes bad.)Of course, frozen vegetables aren’t a perfect substitute for fresh vegetables, and they don’t work in every recipe. For instance, if you’re making a salad or a raw veggie platter, fresh vegetables are still your best bet. Luckily, there are still plenty of options where frozen vegetables won’t compromise the taste or quality of your meal. Here are five dinner recipes that make use of all kinds of frozen veg.Chelsea Kyle. Prop styling by Amy Elise Wilson for Laird and Good Company. Food styling by Pearl Jones for Ashley Klinger & Co. 1. Whole Wheat Dumpling-Topped Chicken Pot PieChicken and dumplings are a comfort food staple for a lot of folks. Although making them is a multi-step process, this recipe saves some time by using frozen vegetables—no chopping required!—and pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. It makes a fairly big batch (8 servings), so you can make it for a group, or refrigerate leftovers and reheat them for lunches and dinners in the days to come. Get the recipe.