How to Simplify Your Workout in 5 Steps

I want to start this post about MOVEMENT by talking about MEDICINE.

What do you think about when you visualize that word?

Doctors?

Pills?

Surgery?

Tests?

Clinical “diet plans” ?

Don’t get me wrong. Modern medicine is amazing. But it doesn’t always have to be the first line of defense.

Food is medicine. We’ve talked about this before. In fact, it’s the most powerful form of medicine because it is something you give yourself EVERY day.

There’s another kind of medicine I want to talk about today.

Exercise!

Unfortunately, many of us (yeah, me included!) are lazy and want to have things done FOR us. Medicine is easy, right, because you just have to pop a pill.

Exercise depends on YOU. Not a pill. Not a doc.

You must make the time, the effort and the consistency.

You can’t rely on the doctor or pharmacy to help you with this one – and that’s likely why it becomes the form of medicine you are less likely to prescribe to.

 

OK, now think about your childhood.

Did you play? I’m assuming you did – and you probably weren’t unhappy about it!

Were you worried about food as much as you are now? I doubt you even cared if you ate dinner. In fact, you probably fought dinner in order to keep playing!

I want you to keep that in mind and TAKE THE ‘WORK’ OUT OF YOUR WORKOUT.

Make it fun.

Make it something you enjoy during (and after – a “man I feel like a million bucks. Why would I want to eat french fries?” kind of day).

Cool, Jess….buuuuuuuuuuut…..how do we collect enough motivation to even get started?

I know, right?

Electronics (bless ‘em) help us do any and everything. They are also a total curse.

We have elevators and escalators to move us around and are often not able to take the stairs.

We drive everywhere.

We’re addicted to our phones.

We work ridiculous schedules that don’t allow for the time to produce enjoyable movement.

We balance family and job and school and social life.

Obligations. Exhaustion. Little energy for anything but…Real Housewives.

And takeout.

And a few cookies because I had a killer day and I deserve it, dammit.

Yeah… it’s not easy to get started.

But the time you spend in making this major life adjustment WILL BE REWARDED.

 

Daily movement, in some form, will make you feel better each and every day. Your body CRAVES movement. It was built to move.

That means, we need to find a physical routine (big or small) and we have to do it more than once a week if we want to see results (mental and physical).

Otherwise, it’s like watering a plant with a few drops and expecting it to stay healthy that way.

(It won’t happen)

EXERCISE IS

·      Effective

·      Free (can be!)

·      Abundantly available

·      Tailored to you – you can do whatever you want

When you compare that to modern medicine – drugs, surgery, more drugs – I’m sure you will find a long list of risks to sign off on before your treatment begins. Is the “reward” worth the risks? I can’t help but laugh at some of the drug commercials on now, with the full 30 seconds spent on telling you how much they are going to mess up your body or lead to death. ?!?!?!?!

 

ANYWAY, here are my tips to get started (and stay there):

1. First, you need to recognize that movement is essential to health. No amount of kale can replace daily movement (big or small).

Be more aware of signals your body is giving you. What excuses are you making? They are likely signs that your body is craving movement, not fighting it. Try to reverse this thinking. This looks like “I am feeling achy and sluggish. That means my body NEEDS movement and flexibility. It does not mean I need to rest more on the couch eating ice cream.”

2. Attitude is so key. You need to be positive, as cliché as that is.

“Can’t” = won’t. “Try” = nope, lounging with Netflix will win. You need to tell yourself that you are doing this for the good of your body and you are taking CARE of yourself. This positive attitude will go so much further than the negative thoughts and associations with the gym. Treat the gym the same way you treat happy hour or advancing your career.

3. Commit to movement. Figure out what it is that you enjoy so that you don’t totally hate working out. You don’t HAVE to spend 30 minutes on the elliptical. You don’t HAVE to run. You don’t HAVE to do yoga.

Try a bunch of shit and see what sticks.

What you actually wake up saying you are down to do. What you feel good doing and when you feel amazing all day after. Do that. And commit to it. That means you need to schedule your workout in the same way you schedule the rest of your life and it has to become a non-negotiable.

If you had an interview – would you skip it? I hope not. Your gym date needs to be of the same priority. Literally put your workout days into your calendar so that nothing can be scheduled over top of them.

4. Movement can be whatever you need it to be. You don’t even have to go to a formal gym or class each time. Movement can also be some stretching in your room when you wake up. It can be a 30-minute walk at lunch-time. Or it can be a run with the dogs after dinner. You can literally find everything (some free) on the internet – I’ve done Blogilates 6 minute workouts for free, Yoga Glo streaming yoga for $18/month and the 7 minute workout app for free on my phone. Or I’ve taken the kids for a walk during the day. There is always time to do something. Find the something that works for you. (for the record, I am mostly walking right now!!)

5. CHOOSE to do more. Every day we are faced with something more active and something where we can be lazy. Examples: take the stairs; take the elevator. Walk to work; Uber to work (within reason, obvi). Walk during lunch; scroll through Facebook during lunch. Grocery shop; have groceries delivered. Whenever you are faced with something where you have the opportunity to be active – do it!

Remember – keep balance and find the joy.

You don’t want to be 100% working out everyday to the max, especially if you’ve been rather sedentary for a while. It’s important to move and it’s important to rest as well.

Find that joy you had when you were little. Enjoy the movement you are doing. Don’t worry about the million other things you have to get done. I promise you will feel so much better about ALL of those things after you are done (and you’ll probably be better at completing them, too!)

#DestinationHappiness by Swisse @ Wanderlust108

This weekend I had the opportunity to check out the Philly Wanderlust 108. I’ve never been to a Wanderlust event before - it was good to see what’s going on in the wellness-event-world outside of GOOD Fest. Sometimes I am too buried in what we are doing.

To be clear - I don’t run. I injured my back a few years ago (herniated disc) and have been terrified to do anything high-impact ever since. So I didn’t participate in the active-activities - I just went to check out the Kula Market and to see @kate.van.horn.

Swisse is the No.1 supplement brand in Australia and after doing some research, I was super intrigued with by their formulas so I really wanted to check them out and meet their brand reps. If you are reading this, and a Wanderlust 108 is coming to your city - you should 100% go! This entire activation will be present at your event, too (you can even win tickets to go to Wanderlust 108 with Swisse at destinationswisse.com)


First of all - their #DestinationHappiness activation was stunning. We see a lot of nice work at the GOOD Fest, but this was just beautiful and so well-thought-out. They organized their space into a few different areas based on ways to take care of the SELF. First was a Botanical Wall, where I used an iPad to take a quiz, resulting in a personalized recommendation for supplements (looks like I am doing pretty well - just a multi-v for me!)

Here, I was also able to speak with Pippa, who was running the event and is based in their new US office in San Diego (jealous). She had the most delightful accent and was super knowledgeable about the formulas (which I will explain below).

Did you know - their entire office meditates DAILY? Talk about living what you preach.

What I find really interesting is that Swisse supplements work to help your body do things on it’s own. Your body is supposed to produce melatonin for sleep, your body is supposed to produce collagen for hair skin and nails. Swisse formulas help your body do these things instead of just skipping those steps completely and supplementing you with them directly.

Also! They are very specific about their standards (Australia...well, the rest of the world, really...is under very strict guidelines for supplement safety which Swisse adheres to). And, they source their ingredients really specifically, with intent. Blood oranges come from Sicily - because they are the best. Artichoke comes from Spain - because it is the best product. Etc.

Anyway, here’s what I learned (or, relearned…) after talking with the brand:

  • SLEEP - so important for every function of wellness, right? - from daily energy, to long-term memory, to radiance of the skin. Swisse has a sleep supplement that is melatonin-free. (I am not saying that melatonin is bad, but it is synthetic). This formula, instead, includes natural herbs and vitamins (like valerian root), which work together to lower cortisol. This means it could help you fall asleep and stay asleep. (NOTE! I’ve seen a small percentage of people who have the opposite effect from valerian root - ie anxiety - so be sure to test it out before you commit)

  • HAIR, SKIN, NAILS - Swisse has a liquid and tablet to help in this area. The liquid, I find especially fascinating. It includes blood orange extract from Sicily (only Sicily) - and the vitamin C in it helps the body naturally produce collagen instead of just supplementing with collagen and skipping this step. Collagen is a key building block for shiny hair, supple skin and strong nails.

  • DETOX - Liver, especially. The liver eliminates toxins from our bodies - diet, pollution, stress, or too many cocktails. Swisse has a Liver Detox supplement containing turmeric, milk thistle, and ARTICHOKE extract (from Spain, again very carefully and thoughtfully sourced). These ingredients have been used for centuries to aid the liver in the detox function but I had NO IDEA that artichoke was a major player! Did you? How cool.

  • There are tons of other options, too - from Children’s Health to Men’s Health to Cranberry extracts - your best bet is to take their quiz and see what you might be lacking. From here, read up on the ingredients and the mission of the company and how it sources, and decide what is best for you!

After I became obsessed with their vitamins, I found the perfect spot to re-center amidst the #Wanderlust108 crowds - the Dream Dome. The last time I was in a dome, I was playing indoor soccer in high school. This one was way different;  SO beautifully appointed, with comfortable chairs, blankets, essential oils diffusing, and floral accessories hanging down. Each headset played a guided 5-minute meditation, which was perfect to jump into and out of (and is actually the max amount I do daily at home). Ideally I could have stayed here all day, but I only had a babysitter for a few hours :-P

There was a yoga teacher present, doing private sessions with attendees. She was showing everyone how to detox and cleanse with specific Ashtanga yoga poses. She told me that a group of people came to do yoga with her instead of the massive 108 session - SMART people.

Were you at Wanderlust? Are you planning to go to any of the upcoming events? Check out #DestinationHappiness for a little reprieve, if so!


FYI This post is sponsored, but all opinions are my own






Your favorite grocery store is now open!

**If you haven’t already, enter to win a $25 gift card in my instagram post today!

The day is finally here! Sprouts in Philly is now open, every day from 7am-10pm. Check out more about Sprouts in my last two posts here and here (what Sprouts is all about and how to $ave the most money when you shop!)

I also have to mention that I went to Expo East (a large tradeshow for natural foods) last weekend and every brand I hadn’t heard of yet, but was super interested in, told me they are in Sprouts! HOW ABOUT THAT.

Now, I had the opportunity to check out the store before they opened, yesterday. Being among the first to walk into a new building is really amazing. In addition to the obvious benefits, like seeing everything first, I’m also a weirdo and love how clean and pristine and less germy new places are (why I needed to renovate our current home - so I could be the first in my kitchen aka no outstanding crumbs, and the first to use toilets…).

A few of us Philly health-people got to see a cooking demo using Sprouts products, and have a tour around the store. Like I said before, it kind of reminds me of a farmer’s market because the products are just so … abundant, and open, and fresh! Yet, you still get the benefits of having a complete grocery store, with bath and body and packaged goods as well.

(also, the building is stunning in itself)

Here are my favorite things / products / moments from the store:

The bulk section. I am so excited to be able to literally buy a tsp of something if that’s all I need. They have over 300 items in bulk including nuts, seeds, and spices.

The produce is CHEAPER than I am used to. I bought massive blueberries the size of grapes and I’m so excited to share them with the kids.

Speaking of - they have a kids section with food, diapers, wipes - and the brands I like too - like Earth’s Best, Honest and Little Duck. I picked up some quinoa crackers that looked interesting for PJ.

The frozen section rivals Trader Joe’s. Except it is way better. I picked up two Caulipower pizzas (margherita and vegetable). (They also have a few plain gluten-free crusts that looked interesting) I also got gluten-free waffles made from cassava flour (fun!) and chicken tenders for Carmen. Also, this is like…an entire section of cauliflower rice and other veggie noodles.

Oh wow - look at those crab legs. Their meat and seafood department is abundant! And the meat is never frozen - always fresh. They have an entire section for cheese, prepared foods, and rotisserie chickens are $6.99.

They also have almond milk, oat milk and a cooler made just for fermented foods. Also around this area, I found a better-for-you snickers bar and mounds bar. Had to get.

They have a massive pumpkin display outside. I asked if they will be locked away at night and was told “no”. I am curious to see how many are left in the days to come. Lol

Look at this supplement aisle. I am pretty sure anything you need can be found here. You can also ask an associate to crack open ANY of these to see them or try them. Wild.

Key things to remember, if I have explained anything well over the last 3 weeks:

  1. Read my past posts here and here for full run-downs on what to expect and how to save money

  2. Be sure to download the Sprouts app for exclusive mobile coupons and to see what’s on sale each week.  

  3. If you are ever curious about a product - the team at Sprouts is trained to be top-notch to help you find what you need (like, they are actually interested) - and you can even sample products right on the spot!

  4. This is not just a raw, or gluten-free, or vegan store - they offer a FULL grocery store for all of your needs, no matter your diet (including The Butcher Shop, The Fish Market, a full-service deli with convenient and high-quality prepared foods, bulk foods where you can purchase as little as you need or as much as you want, an extensive selection of vitamins and supplements, dairy, tons of raw/organic/vegan/gluten-free items, bakery, beer and wine and more)

  5. This is THE place to shop if you want to live an affordable healthy lifestyle. They deeply discount their products, create their own private label offerings for less, have a massive bulk section, and offer products you often can’t find in other stores!

FYI This post is sponsored, but all opinions are my own.










BTS tips on how to save at sprouts market

In my last post, I gave you the full rundown of what Sprouts is and why you should be super-excited for them to open on Wednesday, September 19th. (Broad and Washington!)

Since we last connected, I had the chance to try some of the store-brand products, which are really tasty. They make their own coconut oil spray (coconut oil is the only ingredient) for cooking, raw honey, bath and body items, and probably my most favorite item are these little coconut cookies made with coconut flour and sugar - similar in texture to pirouettes that you eat with coffee.

Have you had them? Well now you need to try this new variety.

IN THIS POST, I’m going to help you save the most money possible. Not only are the prices at Sprouts already legit, but they offer so many ways to save even more, using their App, Weekly Ad, Deals of the Month and more.

And keep in mind: don’t be afraid to try new things. Sprouts offers a 100% money-back guarantee.

First - and most importantly - GRAND OPENING deals.

On September 19th (Wednesday):

  • The first 200 shoppers in line will receive 20% off their initial total purchase (doors open at 7AM so my advice is to go for a morning run to Sprouts, get in line, and eat/drink your breakfast while you shop, before work)

  • At checkout, every 15th shopper will receive a coupon book featuring Sprouts savings AND every customer will get a free reusable bag

On September 22nd (Saturday):

  • The first 200 customers to make a purchase will receive a coupon booklet for five free deli items

On September 23rd (Sunday):

  • At checkout, every 15th customer will receive a coupon for $5 off a purchase of $15+ to use on their next visit

Here’s how to save outside of opening weekend.

  1. SO MUCH IS ALWAYS ON SALE. More than one-third of the store is on sale ALWAYS. ONE-THIRD! Check out the Deals of the Month flyer in the store, or online!  

  2. PRODUCE - CHEAP! Farm-fresh (remember, this place is basically a farmer’s market) produce is priced (on average) 20-25% below supermarket prices. And you will find more than apples and oranges - star fruit, lychee and other unique produce compliments this section beautifully. You can also SAMPLE anything you are unsure of (just as a team member); WILD.

  3. DOUBLE AD WEDNESDAYS. There are weekly ad prices. These ads will overlap on Wednesdays which means you end up with a Double Ad Wednesday - double the deals - shop on Wednesday!

  4. APP + MOBILE COUPONS. Sprouts has an app where you can clip mobile coupons, then scan your custom barcode at checkout to use the savings.

  5. BULK SAVINGS. Sprouts has a huge bulk section where you can save on nuts, seeds, beans, grains, and spices. I personally use bulk when I know I need just a little bit of something. I can spend cents on a spice like Harissa that I know I will only need for a specific recipe.

  6. WINE. There are even more ways to save but I don’t want to lose you in this post. The last and maybe most important is that if you buy 6 bottles+ of wine, you save 10%. LOL.

Check out my last post to learn even more about Sprouts and why everyone in Philly should be stoked for its arrival. It’s inexpensive, you can find any kind of product you are looking for to fit your dietary restrictions (raw, gluten-free, vegan), and Sprouts' buyers look far and wide to find and try new products, including everyday grocery essentials and unique, seasonal items. It is going to be amazing!

Have you been to a Sprouts? Are you looking forward to it? Check them out here, or on IG @sprouts.

They open on September 19th (2018) at 1100 South Broad Street. I will keep you posted as I continue to cover the opening!

 

FYI This post is sponsored, but all opinions are my own.

Your new favorite grocery store - Sprouts Farmers market

There are two reasons my grocery life feels (almost) complete. One - I used to live right down the street from the construction at Broad and Washington. I wanted to wait to sell our house there, in fact, until the construction was done - so the value of our sale would be higher (ha! We didn’t wait...). I had been wondering for years what would go in there!

Two - Through my GOOD Fest, and Health Coach Philly work - I am constantly meeting new people. A lot of the time, the conversations have something to do with an aspect of wellness, and within the last year I’ve heard a lot about Sprouts.

“You don’t have a Sprouts in Philly?!”

We have WF’s, we have TJ’s, we have specialty health-focused stores, but what is Sprouts? I kid you not, as soon as I started hearing about it (which felt like weekly at this point), I saw the sign pop up on Broad Street.

Huh - we are getting one! So of course I started looking into it. It basically looks like a farmer’s market (fresh! abundant! open! colorful!) within a beautiful, clean space...with registers and usual grocery-store stuff.  

OK, so. I am guilty of spending most of my money on food. I don’t really buy clothes (I wear yoga pants), nor vacations (I have 2 kids), so I get my kicks from healthy fresh food.

The thing I love most about Sprouts Farmers Market is that the prices are reasonable. You aren’t going to spend all of your money here, and you are still going to get organic, raw, farm-fresh, whatever you want - food. I feel like I am going to save a good chunk of cash each week and still get all of the specialty food I want.

Some KEY things to know about this healthy grocery store:

  1. They offer fresh, natural and organic foods at GOOD PRICES

  2. It has everything you would get at the grocery store - fresh produce, meat and seafood, bulk foods, vitamins and supplements, packaged groceries, baked goods, dairy products, frozen foods, natural body care and household items

  3. An average store stocks about 4,000 gluten-free, 3,000 organic, 3,000 non-GMO and 500 raw items, just to name a few.  

OK, maybe the most exciting thing for me is that they have Caulipowered pizza in the frozen section and we literally survived on this during our last retreat in the Berkshires while we were cooking for our guests. It is SO GOOD and I haven’t found it / had it since!

Have you been to a Sprouts? Are you looking forward to it? Check them out here, or on IG @sprouts.

They open on September 19th (2018) at 1100 South Broad Street. I will keep you posted as I continue to cover the opening!

 

 

FYI This post is sponsored, but all opinions are my own.

 

 

 

Cucumber Wild Rice Salad

It’s so hot outside. I want substantial meals but truly am just craving a cool crunch. You feel me? This recipe is a great option for a side or a main dish. We’re balancing textures (soft tomatoes and rice to crunchy seeds and cucumbres) and flavors (sweet, salty, acidic and fatty). Make a big batch and store in the fridge for up to 5 days so you don’t have to continue cooking all week.

Cucumber Salad

  • 2 cucumbers, diced

  • ½ red onion, diced

  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained REALLY WELL

  • Feta, goat cheese, or vegan Kite Hill cream cheese made into little balls (to taste)

  • ½ cup sunflower seeds, toasted if you’d like!

  • 1 cup wild rice, prepared to package directions

Dressing

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • ¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tbsp. raw honey

  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

I feel silly giving you directions for this one, but here they are. :)

Add all dressing ingredients to a blender and blend, or to a bowl and whisk.

Add all salad components to a big bowl and mix in dressing to coat. I personally think it tastes better as it sits in the dressing, so I wouldn’t worry about keeping this for a few days. Enjoy!

 

 
 

 

 

 

Are you using the right Ashwagandha?

Adaptogens! Ashwagandha! Buzz words!

Yes.

But, truthfully, they can work for you if you are looking to de-stress a bit. Before writing this post, I had the opportunity to work with KSM66 Ashwagandha by Fresh Healthcare I tried their product for 60 days while I was researching and writing this post, because I wanted to experience the benefits of less stress first-hand. Also I had NO idea that there is a ton of BS ashwagandha on the market. NO IDEA. (read more about them here)

So what is all the recent buzz around these so called ‘adaptogens’? An adaptogen meaning that, when consumed, can 'adapt' and adjust to individual bodies differently to combat different types of stress that are put on the body. They vary in their level or type of support - they can calm or stimulate the central nervous system or do both simultaneously. They can have an amazing effect on focus, stress and in general - the quality of mental work we get done.

Some examples of adaptogens include:

  • Ashwagandha - a soothing nervine (not stimulating usually), and great for anxiety, stress, insomnia and fatigue

  • Eleuthero - a support for those working in extremely stressful jobs, long hours or crazy schedules

  • Rhodiola - increases mental stamina and sleep quality, used in Russia as an antidepressant

  • Tulsi (Holy Basil tea) - good for mental fog and positive mood

  • Schisandra (berry) - calming, generally, but can also be stimulating - can help to soothe anxiety and provide mental focus

Let’s talk about ashwagandha! This particular adaptogen has gotten lots of attention recently, mainly for its effect on stress and anxiety. Ashwagandha is an herb that originated in india and has been used for centuries. According to University Health News a recent study examined 64 adults in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Researchers gave half the participants a placebo and half 300 mg of ashwagandha extract twice a day for 60 days. All of the adults had a history of chronic stress. The results were posted in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine and stated that the individuals who were administered the 300 mg had cortisol levels 28% lower than those in the placebo group. Not only did their cortisol levels drop (the stress hormone), but the participants who took the adaptogen also scored 72% lower on a General Health Questionnaire and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale. (These two tests are administered to evaluate stress, anxiety and overall well-being, the lower the score the less stressed out you are.)

The participants also experienced significant reductions in depression, anxiety, social dysfunction, physical symptoms, and insomnia.

I also want to mention that with any adaptogen, it’s important to consume it for at least 60 days before making a judgment call on how it worked for you. These herbs take time to do their magic!

Despite all of the benefits, we need to be smart when choosing an ashwagandha product in order to properly reap the rewards. Not all are created equal, so here are some things to look for when choosing your ashwagandha!

  1. Withanolides - this is one of the root’s active ingredients and we want to be looking on the ingredient list and checking the levels. Look for ashwagandha root powder extracts that contain at least 5% to 8% withanolides.

  2. Withaferin A - it is important to know that not all withanolides are created equal. Withaferin A is a withanolide that is cytotoxic (toxic to living cells), and we don’t want to have it in high concentrations in our ashwagandha extract. This component can be extremely dangerous at high levels and is usually a result of the manufacturer using the ashwagandha leaves rather than just the roots.

  3. Extraction - (water vs. chemicals) - some ashwagandha products products extract the herb with water and some are extracted with chemicals. Of course, we want to consume the type that is extracted with water!

  4. Roots vs. Leaves - Some manufacturers use the roots and the leaves of the herb and some use the root only. We want to look for ashwagandha that uses the root only method. By choosing products that use this method we are at less of a risk of consuming high levels of Withaferin A, (the cytotoxic withanolide that can be dangerous at high levels as mentioned above).

  5. Black Pepper - Pepper aids in the bioavailability of the ashwagandha, which means it is better absorbed within and used by the body when it is consumed with pepper.

Bottom line: We want to look for an ashwagandha supplement that contains active ingredients, in a clean way. In this case we are looking for withanolides, saponins and alkaloids. These are the ingredients that are coming from the root and how we are going to get the most benefits. When looking at the withanolide concentration we are looking for a supplement with the highest percentage (currently we want to look for a concentration of 5-8%). The standard recommended amount of ashwagandha is 300mg twice a day for at least 2 months. Before writing this post, I tested KSM66 Ashwaghanda for 60 days while doing my research, and it hits all of the marks mentioned above!

I also want to leave you with a killer "coffee replacement" using ashwaganda (the herb, not the capsule) -or- you can add this to your coffee if you want a little of both. If you add this to your coffee, don't add the water. Let me know what you think!

  • 1 teaspoon cacao

  • 1/4 teaspoon maca

  • 1/4 teaspoon ashwagandha

  • 1/4 reishi mushroom

  • 1/4 teaspoon cordyceps

  • blend with 1 cup hot water

  • add maple syrup to sweeten and sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon tocos on top

 

This post is sponsored by KSM66 Ashwagandha by Fresh Healthcare, but all research, thoughts and opinions are my own. In fact, I would have had no idea about any of this if they didn't tell me to research it!