Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Shine Hai Water Straw

Camping is one of my favorite activities and when I go out, I love to test out my skills and new gadgets.  In the past, I've relied on tablets for water purification.  And to be honest, I've never really had to fall back on those as I usually can carry enough water for every trip.  I take pride in being able to budget water, but it's important to have a fall back just in case.  Because, ya know....Zombie Apocalypse.

Anyway, I was able to try a Christmas give from a colleague of mine and fellow zombie prepper, Steve.  I guess he wants to keep me around.  I received a Shine Hai Water Straw.  I've never heard of this brand, but many companies have produced their own version of the Life Straw.  The filter technology has gotten much cheaper, as most of these types of filters retail around $20.

Shine Hai Life Straw
Weight (oz) 3 2
Micron Filter 0.01 0.01
Particle Removal 99.99% of Protozoa
99.99% of Bacteria
99.99% of Protozoa
99.99% of Bacteria
Virus removal X X
Chemical/Heavy Metal Removal X X
Filter uses (Liters) 1000 1000-4000

The Shine Hai is comparable to the Life Straw, though Life Straw has a host of other options available. A few of those will filter viruses and chemicals.

As far as testing and reviewing, there isn't much difference.  You can see the Water Straw in the video below.  It has the same features of a Life Straw, being able to be used directly by sticking it in a water source and attaching to a screw top bottle.  The one area I had an issue with was the seal on the screw top.  During the use of the Water Straw, unfiltered water began to leak out of the screw top.  It was a bit concerning. If a seal there was not fitted properly, what might be wrong with the filter inside. But here I am a week later, no problem.  Plus, I could see that it was at least clarifying the water.  That is not in any way an accurate way to test water.

While I don't have a problem using this in the future, if you have concerns there are plenty of other brands out there at reasonable prices. I highly recommend having one of these around because they are very convenient.  Great for backpacking when you are trying to cut weight.

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Happy New Year - It's Diet Time Again

At least, that is what most people decide to do every year.  I can count myself as one of those this year. But really what is the goal with a diet?  It's to lose weight right....that's the right answer isn't it.  Ah, there is the word "goal".  What is the true goal?  Well for me it's to get back into shape and give Chris Pratt a run for his money! Just kidding, good for that guy.

The talk I hear most often this time of year is to lose weight by going on a diet, usually some fad diet.  But then what?  Go back to eating the way you used to eat?  That's a terrible cycle.  For me and many others, it's about a lifestyle change, which can be difficult.  Not only for yourself but for your family.  I have to eat entirely differently than my family.  They need all the carbs they can get, not so much for me.  I wish I could really eat like a hobbit. Second Breakfast, elevensies.

For the past year, I've sporadically worked on a moderate/lax ketogenic diet/lifestyle.  I'll be getting back to that as well as looking at intermediate fasting.  What are these two things?  Well, in a nutshell, ketogenic is switching your main energy source from carbs to fats.  Now whether this is sustainable/good for you over the long run (decades) is still up for debate.  However, there are many great studies showing its short-term benefit.  Really the ketogenic diet cuts carbs, mainly sugars, which are everywhere. It also focuses on eating lots of good fats, very much like the Mediterranean Diet.  Actually, its a lot like the Mediterranean Diet.

Intermediate fasting is actually a normal time frame of eating with a fancy name.  Try this: At what time do you eat breakfast?  Now at what time do you take in your last calorie, be it food or drink?  I checked mine, it was 6:30am (Breakfast) and 9:00pm (Beer).  That's about 14 hrs out of 24 that I'm feeding my body.  It's really crazy how long we eat.  Our normal work days have screwed up sleep patterns as well as our eating.   I'm working on cutting that window down to 10hrs and then 8hrs and then back to 10 for the long term.

Of course, I'll also be doing some type of exercise.  Anything at this point can only help.  At the end of the day it all boils down to one simple formula:  Calories In < Calories Out.  I mean don't just drink juice all day.  The quality of food you take in is important as well. And just flat out not eating is also not great for your body.

If you are planning your diet, I urge you to really take time to look at your goals and which options there are out there with good studies to back them up.  There is a lot of crap out there too.  It's easy to want to take a pill and it fix everything.  I hate to tell you, but many of those simply do not work and have no evidence to support their claims.  I urge you to check out as a source for what work has been done on supplements.  If no studies have been done, well then there is no evidence for or against it.  Now it's your call.

I wish everyone luck on your New Years Goals.  How you decided to get there is up to you, but just make sure that it something you can stick with over time.
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