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Is A Digital Detox Worth It? This Study Says No

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According to a 2019 study by Loughborough University in Britain, 24 hours of smartphone abstinence had no effect on mood and anxiety. This data flies in the face of all those lifestyle blogs encouraging people to go on a “digital detox.” If someone tries to tell you the first step to solving life’s problems is to simply log out and look around… 

…they may be full of it. 

Put the Phone Down

This is not to say that you shouldn’t take a break from the screen. The study doesn’t say, “Keep your eyes glued to your device, you sheep!” Rather, it comes to the conclusion that there’s way more to detox than just putting the phone down. 

It is very likely nonsense to say that one simple trick like switching off your phone can lead you to live a happier life,” says Andrew Prybylski, experimental psychologist at Oxford Internet Institute. 

As human beings, we’re always trying to fit together all kinds of things, like being a father, being a husband, being a professor … there’s always a balance that you have to strike.” 

There’s no question that it’s a good idea to look away from the screen occasionally. Anyone whose job requires them to stare at a laptop all day knows the physical pain that can occur right at the back of the eyes. 

You know what I’m talking about. 

We Crave Our Smartphones

The 2019 study, led by Dr. Thom Wilcockson, asked participants to place their phones in a sealed bag and leave it there for 24 hours. Psychologists then measured three variables: mood, anxiety, and craving. 

The only variable that had any effect was craving. 

The craving results indicate that, as expected, people enjoy using their smartphones and miss them when they are unavailable. However, our results indicate that it may be inappropriate to consider smartphones in the same framework as behavioral addictions as we found little evidence that they meet important behavioral addiction data,” says Dr. Wilcockson. 

There are plenty of blogs that compare an addiction to smartphones or social media as the same as, say, an addiction to alcohol or heroin. That may not only be an unfair comparison, it may be irresponsible. 

The growing popularity of ‘digital detoxes’ has been encouraged by claims that removing oneself from technology can help reduce stress and improve well-being. However, our results suggest that a short-term digital detox from your smartphone is unlikely to provide any health benefits,” adds Dr. David Ellis. 

There’s More To Detox Than Your Phone

There was a time when reading newspapers was seen as harmful to one’s personal health and damaging to society as a whole. Before that, books. Before that? I don’t know… rocks? 

There will always be voices yelling that the shiny, new thing is dangerous. That it should be cast aside for tried and true methods. In fifty years there will probably be people yelling about how we should log out of our brain chips and return to our smartphones for “good ol’ fashioned reading.” 

Moderation is key in every aspect of life. You don’t want too much of anything, or too little. Tap into your inner Goldilocks… minus the breaking and entering. 

If you have a habit you want to break, here are a few methods you can try. 

Are digital detoxes worth it? Short answer, probably not. It’s always a good idea to put the phone down once in a while. But if you’re counting on that minor lifestyle change to be the first step in a wellness adventure, you may want to try a little harder. 

Go ahead and put the phone down. Log out and look around. It’ll be good for you. But don’t pretend that lifestyle coaches know what they’re talking about.
Don’t forget, these lifestyle coaches trying to get you away from the screen are counting on you to look at their screen.

Chris Blondell is a Philadelphia-based writer and social media strategist with a current focus on tech industry news. He has written about startups and entrepreneurs based in Denver, Seattle, Chicago, New Haven, and more. He has also written content for a true-crime blog, Sword and Scale, and developed social media content for a local spice shop. An occasional comedian, Chris Blondell also spends his time writing humorous content and performing stand-up for local audiences.

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Lifestyle

10 Best Banh Mi Restaurants In and Around Tulsa

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banh mi

Banh Mi is a Vietnamese street food sensation that is taking Tulsa, Oklahoma, by storm. It is a fantastic cacophony of textures and flavors that will make you crave it soon after your first bite. But with so many options in and around Tulsa, how will you know which is for real? This guide will help you filter down your choices and get the best crispy baguettes bursting with flavor bombs to tantalize your taste buds.

1. Paris Banh Mi

paris banh mi website

Tulsa foodies can now enjoy the best “Baguette Banh Mi” taste from Paris Banh Mi Cafe Bakery, which opened their first store in Orlando, Florida. Their French baguettes with savory fillings, pickled veggies, and fragrant herbs will hook you into coming back for more. Using only authentic ingredients and meticulous attention, Paris Banh Mi Cafe Bakery raised the bar for the Banh Mi scene in the area.

Head on over to 9311 East 71st Street to get their crusty Vietnamese perfections, which hold flavor explosions that are simply unmatched. Don’t miss out on their grand opening on March 16!

The Paris Banh Mi’s franchise is quickly growing in the United States. If you’re interested in opening a franchise, visit their franchising opportunity page for more info.

2. Lo Banh Mi Viet Hot Bread

lo banh mi

Wonderfully seasoned fillings inside crispy baguettes, you can never go wrong with Banh Mi from our second contender, Lo Banh Mi Viet Hot Bread. Located in East Tulsa, this Banh Mi haven is also home to many other delectable Vietnamese fares, which include Ga Nuong Trung (grilled chicken with fried egg), Xa Xiu (Chinese BBQ pork), and a wide array of boba and coffee drink options.

3. Banh Mi & You

banh mi and you

Offering a wide selection of meat combinations in their Banh Mi, Banh Mi & You is a Vietnamese specialty food truck that deserves its place on this list. Their baguettes are steaming hot, and their fillings boast the perfect amount of deliciousness. If you’re looking for a culinary adventure on wheels, this is it. The only thing many foodies complain about this place is the menu, which does not have English translations. You can call their number (918) 932-0422 to find their next location.

4. Lone Wolf Banh Mi

lone wolf banh mi

Specializing in Vietnamese food, ice cream, and frozen yogurt, Lone Wolf Banh Mi has one of the most authentic Banh Mis in the whole of Tulsa. It has an 8-inch baguette filled with English cucumber, pickled daikon and carrot slaw, jalapeño, cilantro, and many others. It is served with a side of cinnamon sugar wonton chips, which makes it even more appetizing. Also not to be missed on their menu are Kung Pao Pork, Vegan Fired Chicken, Calamari, and Blood Orange Pork Belly.

5. Project BMB (Bánh Mì Boba)

project bmb banh mi boba

Get your Banh Mi and Boba tea fix in Project BMB (Bánh Mì Boba), located at E 71st Street. Their traditional Vietnamese sandwich goes perfectly well with their authentic boba drink from Taiwan. They brew their teas every four hours to ensure freshness each time you order. You’ll get your baguettes fresh and hot, as they make them every 30 minutes. Other popular menu fares include Grilled Pork Sandwich, Pate Bacon Vietnamese Sandwich, and Veggie Tofu Sandwich.

6. Phở V-Nam & Bánh Mì

pho v nam and banh mi

While you’ll find many positive reviews about their Pho, Phở V-Nam & Bánh Mì offers Banh Mi that would make any sandwich fanatic fall in love. It is a mouth-watering mix of a crispy exterior and fluffy interior with its fresh-baked baguette, authentic ingredients, and traditional preparation methods. You’ll enjoy its savory fillings made with grilled pork, pate, and pickled vegetables. Also on E 71st Street, this Banh Mi place in Tulsa has a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. 

7. Pho & Japanese Sushi

pho and japanese sushi

Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine are some of the world’s most delectable, and you’ll find this fantastic combination in Pho & Japanese Sushi. Their Sashimi Salad, Thai Tea, and Samurai Rolls are bestsellers, but their Banh Mi takes center stage. They are served with carrots, jalapeno, and cucumber seasoned with special Vietnamese spices. You can find them at Harvard Avenue in Tulsa.

8. Pho Nhi Vietnamese Noodle House

pho nhi vietnamese noodle house

Serving a wide array of Vietnamese favorites, Pho Nhi Vietnamese Noodle House will make you feel like you’ve traveled to Vietnam. Their food is 100% authentic, and looking at the positive reviews this Banh Mi place received, you’ll instantly feel the urge to go there and try it. Crispy baguette, savory pork and ham fillings, and fresh vegetables seasoned to perfection. They are located at E 21st Street and offer dine-in services and curbside pickup.

9. Kai Vietnamese Cuisine

kai vietnamese cuisine

If you enjoy savoring your banh mi in an outdoor setting, Kai Vietnamese Cuisine is a must-visit in Tulsa. Served fresh always, their banh mi is a crowd favorite. Their mushroom banh mi is a standout, but so are their Egg Rolls, Bun Cha Gio, and Pho Sate, among many other awesome dishes. Located on W 5th Street, this can be your next go-to when craving authentic banh mi.

10. Pho 71

pho 71

Located in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Pho 71 is a BanhMi place you need to visit. Their Grilled Pork and Grilled Chicken Banh Mi should be on everyone’s must-try list. Also on their menu and not to be missed are Goi Cuon Thit Nuong Pork (spring rolls with grilled pork), Com Bo Luc Lac (stir-fried beef chunks with steamed rice), and Pho Tai Nam (beef noodle soup with eye-round steak and flank).

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Lifestyle

Eight Sleep POD Mattress 2024 Review

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eight sleep pod mattress

The Eight Sleep POD Mattress has plenty of unique features that would grab the attention of anyone looking for better sleep. And if you’re a tech enthusiast, you’d also want to explore its cutting-edge attributes. Promising to revolutionize rest and relaxation, let’s take an in-depth look at this marvel of a mattress.

Key Features

person using a smartphone

The Eight Sleep POD Mattress has the following features that would excite any tech enthusiast or someone simply looking to sleep better:

  • The Intelligent Sleep System: this technology aims to provide cooling and heating regulating features to give you optimal sleep.
  • Active Grid: this is Eight Sleep’s dynamic support and pressure relief feature for a more restful sleep.
  • Sleep Tracking: tracks your sleep, health, and environment.
  • Smart Home Integration: this feature lets you personalize your sleep experience through compatibility with other home devices.
  • Smart alarms: enables you to customize a chest-level vibration-based alarm on both sides of the bed without disturbing your partner.
  • Luxurious Build: aside from its incredible technology, the Eight Sleep POD Mattress has a multi-layer construction that provides support and pressure-relieving comfort. Plus, it looks classy, elegant, and sophisticated.

Support and Comfort

While the comfort and support of a mattress are subjective and will depend on personal preference, the Eight Sleep POD mattress is relatively supportive and promotes a healthy spinal alignment. It comes in two versions: the POD mattress and the POD Pro Mattress.

The POD mattress has five layers of memory foam designed for relief and support. It has a top layer that’s soft and conforming and lower layers that offer deeper support and stability. Generally speaking, this mattress is considered medium-firm.

On the other hand, the POD Pro mattress is a hybrid mattress with memory foam, latex, and coils. It gives more bounce and responsiveness than the POD mattress. It also provides good pressure relief and support and is considered a medium-plush type.

The POD cover is another layer of comfort and functionality. It is made with breathable materials with air cells that help reduce pressure points. These millions of air cells contribute to dissipating heat, which is ideal for those who sleep hot.

Temperature Regulation

two people on a bed

With unparalleled cooling and heating capabilities in the sleep industry, the Eight Sleep POD mattress is a blessing from mattress heaven. It automatically adjusts to your ideal temperature throughout your sleep. It is taking sleep optimization to a new level with its intelligent temperature control technology. 

Thanks to its POD cover, the zip-on mattress cover comes with an ingenious “Active Grid.” It is a network of water tubes connected to a central hub that serves as your thermal conductor. You can set your desired temperature for both sides of the bed to provide personalized comfort.

It has adaptive intelligence that tracks your sleep stages and body temperature in real time. It gathers data to adjust the mattress’ temperature throughout your sleep. It provides science-backed optimization to cool down during the onset of your sleep. It gradually warms up toward the morning to promote a deeper and more restful sleep.

The POD copies this natural thermal cycle to give you optimal sleep stages. The POD also considers your bedroom’s conditions and external factors such as temperature and local weather. This ensures that you sleep well despite fluctuations in room conditions.

Sleep Tracking and Insights

eight sleep mattress pod

Many bed brands offer sleep-tracking capabilities, but the Eight Sleep POD mattress goes beyond the basics. It comes with sensors that capture a variety of data, which includes the following:

  • Heart rate variability (HRV): to indicate your nervous system’s health and recovery.
  • Respiratory rate: gives you insights into the depth of your sleep and potential sleep apnea.
  • Skin temperature: can provide you insights into your body’s natural thermal regulation during sleep.
  • Body movement: it tracks restlessness and sleep inefficiency.

The Eight Sleep POD mattress also has an app that provides data on your sleep stages, sleep quality score, trends, and comparisons and will give you personalized recommendations based on these. All these can help you optimize your sleep routine, improve sleep hygiene, track progress, and set your goals.

With all these capabilities, you’ll get more than just statistics. This mattress helps you gain a deeper sense of self-awareness by letting you understand your sleep patterns and how they are connected to your overall health and well-being.

Pricing and Value

mattress and pillow

With all the Eight Sleep POD Mattress’s bells and whistles comes a premium price tag. The POD cover price starts at $2,245 for the Queen size, the POD mattress is around $3,245, and the POD Pro Mattress costs around $3,745. You can also purchase the optional 8+ Pro Membership for approximately $15 to $24 a month if you want to unlock advanced features and data insights.

Pros and Cons

Let’s take a look at the Eight Sleep POD Mattress pros and cons to help you make an informed decision at a glance:

Pros:

  • Advanced sleep tracking features and insights
  • Customized temperature control
  • high-quality mattress
  • Convenience and automation
  • Health benefits

Cons:

  • High price tag
  • additional costs for subscription fees
  • not suitable for all body types, sleep preferences, and budget

Is the Eight Sleep POD Mattress for You?

mattress

This would depend on various factors. Your needs, budget, and preferences come into play to see if this mattress is right for you. You may want to ask yourself the following questions to find out if the Eight Sleep POD Mattress is worth your while:

  • Are you struggling to regulate the temperature when you sleep?
  • Is deep sleep a priority for you? Do you want to optimize your sleep patterns?
  • Will you be comfortable with a high-tech sleep solution with future developments?
  • Have you looked at different alternatives with this type of mattress?

Final Thoughts

If you’re still in the dark about whether to get the Eight Sleep POD Mattress, you may want to take advantage of its 30-night trial period before you make your decision. It is an expensive investment, one that you might want to think about three times over. However, with its fantastic features, this might be the best sleep solution you can give yourself.

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Lifestyle

Top 10 Places to Experience Food and Culinary Adventures

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food bowls

Exploring food and culinary adventures around the world can be a delightful journey for any food enthusiast. Immersing yourself in the local culture and cuisine will make your trip more memorable. Here are ten places known for their exceptional culinary experiences:

1. Tokyo, Japan

Renowned for its sushi, ramen, and kaiseki cuisine, Tokyo offers a diverse range of flavors. Visit Tsukiji Fish Market for fresh seafood and experience traditional tea ceremonies. Experience fresh and high-quality sushi at sushi bars and traditional sushi restaurants. Try nigiri (hand-pressed sushi) and sashimi (sliced raw fish). When I went to Japan, I didn’t buy a souvenir, but I spent all my money on food!

2. Paris, France

croissant on a plate

A mecca for food lovers, Paris is celebrated for its pastries, cheeses, and exquisite French cuisine. Enjoy classic croissants, indulge in escargot, and savor world-class wines. Indulge in Paris’s iconic Croissant. It’s crispy on the outside, buttery and flaky within, and an exquisite pastry is a symbol of French culinary excellence. Whether enjoyed plain or filled with chocolate, almonds, or ham and cheese, savoring a croissant in Paris is an essential and delightful gastronomic experience.

3. Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand’s capital is a street food paradise with vibrant markets. Don’t miss trying Pad Thai, the iconic street food dish in Bangkok, Thailand. This flavorful stir-fried noodle dish combines rice noodles, shrimp, tofu or chicken, bean sprouts, and peanuts, all seasoned with a perfect blend of tamarind, fish sauce, and chili—a delicious taste of Bangkok’s vibrant culinary scene in every bite.

4. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona’s food scene blends traditional Catalan dishes with avant-garde culinary creations. Visit La Boqueria market and try tapas, paella, and churros. In Barcelona, indulge in the iconic dish, paella. Bursting with saffron-infused rice, seafood, and meats, this Spanish culinary masterpiece captures the essence of Mediterranean flavors. Savor the rich and aromatic combination of ingredients, reflecting Barcelona’s vibrant culture and warmth in every delicious bite.

5. Marrakech, Morocco

tagine

Immerse yourself in the spices and flavors of Moroccan cuisine. Explore the souks for tagines and couscous, and indulge in mint tea and pastries. Don’t miss trying the iconic tagine—a slow-cooked stew traditionally prepared with succulent meats, aromatic spices, and a blend of fruits or vegetables. Served in a distinctive cone-shaped earthenware pot, tagine embodies Moroccan cuisine’s rich flavors and culinary artistry, providing a truly authentic dining experience.

6. Oaxaca, Mexico

Known as Mexico’s culinary heart, Oaxaca offers various authentic dishes, including mole, tlayudas, and chapulines (grasshoppers). The must-try dish is Mole Oaxaqueño, a rich and complex sauce made from chili peppers, chocolate, and various spices that coats tender meat (often chicken or turkey). The result is a symphony of flavors, showcasing the region’s culinary artistry and vibrant cultural heritage.

7. New York City, USA

NYC is a melting pot of diverse culinary influences. From street food to Michelin-starred restaurants, explore various cuisines, including bagels, pizza, and food truck delights. Enjoy a New York slice, a classic pizza featuring a thin, foldable crust topped with tomato sauce and gooey mozzarella. Whether enjoyed from a corner pizzeria or a renowned establishment, the New York slice reflects the city’s rich culinary heritage and diverse flavors.

8. Hanoi, Vietnam

pho

Hanoi is celebrated for its street food culture. Try pho, banh mi, and egg coffee while exploring the bustling markets and local eateries. Don’t miss trying pho, the iconic Vietnamese noodle soup. Savor the rich, aromatic broth infused with herbs and spices with flat rice noodles and tender slices of beef or chicken. Pho is a flavorful culinary masterpiece that captures the essence of Vietnamese cuisine in a single bowl.

9. Bologna, Italy

As the birthplace of Bolognese sauce, Bologna is a haven for pasta lovers. Enjoy authentic Italian dishes, including tortellini, ragu, and regional cheeses. Try the iconic Bolognese sauce, locally known as Ragù alla Bolognese. Savor the rich, slow-cooked meat sauce traditionally paired with tagliatelle pasta. This hearty and flavorful dish is a culinary masterpiece, showcasing the region’s dedication to authentic and soul-satisfying Italian cuisine.

10. Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul’s culinary scene reflects its rich history. Savor kebabs, mezes, and Turkish delights while exploring the city’s vibrant street food culture. Istanbul’s must-try culinary delight is the “Iskender Kebab.” This iconic dish features thinly sliced döner kebab meat, lavash bread, yogurt, and a smoky tomato sauce. The combination of flavors and textures creates a mouthwatering experience, making Iskender Kebab a must-try for anyone exploring the vibrant food scene in Istanbul, Turkey.

Final Words

These destinations offer delicious local cuisines, unique culinary traditions, and cultural experiences. Whether you’re a fan of street food or haute cuisine, these places provide a gastronomic adventure that is sure to satisfy your taste buds and leave lasting memories.

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