My Unhealthy Obsession with Healthy  Food Dehydrators....

Posted by James on July 21, 2015

As a man who likes to keep fit and know what he puts into his system, I have been doing extensive research on the ways I can prepare my food so that it’s as nutritious and natural as possible.

This led to my stacking up on all the kitchen appliances we consider essential for a healthy lifestyle nowadays: blenders, juice extractors, rice cookers, you name it.

In doing so the comparatively large size of my kitchen helped, meaning that some of the utensils I possess take up considerable amount of space—something you need to keep in mind before doing a purchase of this sort. Another important question you should ask yourself is: Do I really need it?

I know people who buy something because it’s trendy or their friends got it and then have it collect dust in a cupboard for years.

If you have the extra cash and room, go for it, but I would advise against it.

We live in an overly consumerist world and we should start thinking a little more globally about our actions and their long-term effects on the environment.

That being said, I also own a dehydrator. I feel there is still confusion about what you can do with one and how it helps you in your pursuit of a balanced diet.

You could use it to dry bananas and sweet potatoes as a treat for your dog, knowing that there is no extra sugar.

If you are into herbs, then this would be a great way to dry and preserve them. You can dry mushrooms, tomatoes and other vegetables and store them in jars, where they could last long enough to add them to salads or spaghetti in the winter.

I use my dehydrator mostly for making beef jerky. I am a seasoned homemade jerky maker and as such I find the help of a dehydrator invaluable.

When I was looking at first getting a dehydrator I didn't really know which one to go for, so I ended up finding this dehydrator review website:

Go check that website out of you need some helpful advice on which one to get.

When I choose meat for homemade jerky I select only the leanest cuts and remove all the visible fat.

Then I prepare brine to refrigerate the meat in. I place it in a zipper bag and squeeze out the air before sealing it.

After being in the fridge for 4-5 hours, I freeze the meat for 30 to 45 minutes, which helps me with the slicing.

When the strips are ready, I add spices and simply place them in the dehydrator in a single layer. I know that some people put the meat in a hot oven before they use the dehydrator.

The temperature in the oven is higher and it’s supposed to kill the bacteria. I personally don’t do that because I think it’s redundant if you trust the quality of the meat you’re using.

I do recommend dehydrators because they preserve vitamins, minerals and enzymes in your food while giving it a rich taste. They are relatively small, easy to use and store.

Also, they allow you to be creative and having fun while you cook makes for a better meal. Always.

So, whats up first? The Apple Watch!

Posted by James on July 9, 2015

Everyone loves Apple.

It’s a truth universally acknowledged. You do, I do; we all do.

We love seeing the tiny, minimalist apple glowing on our devices and this is okay.

It’s fine to like Apple in case you ever worried about the mainstreamness attributed to being a fan. Their products are elegant and absolutely easy to use (most of the time) and have an almost intoxicating appeal design-wise.

Apple’s interface is indisputably beautiful and navigated intuitively. As an avid iPhone user you know that so let’s cut to the chase, as people in the Apple homeland say, and talk about the newest gadget they introduced.

The Apple Watch! An iPhone on your wrist? An iWatch on your wrist? Yes and no, no and yes. Either way you’re right and also kind of wrong.

This crossover has the features of both and is yet somewhat missing out on essential elements one would expect to make the Apple Watch experience fulfilling enough.

It does resemble a tiny square-shaped phone strapped to your wrist and you can take and make phone calls and email people. You can even talk to good old Siri.

However, the Apple Watch can’t entirely replace your iPhone since many of its characteristics aren’t present.

For example, even though you can make phone calls, there is no option which allows you to add new contacts.

Another interesting feature is that you can dictate a voice message and have it sent instead of tediously typing on the small touch screen, but there’s no way you can edit this.

Alternatively, you can have your dictation transcribed and sent as a text.

When it comes to the design, there are three models from which you can choose: aluminium Sport, stainless steel Watch and gold Watch Edition.

The size of the bigger version is about right at 42 mm. If you choose it over the smaller sized one (38 mm), your battery will last longer and you will enjoy larger touchscreen space, but will also have to pay more.

Probably the best feature of the Apple Watch for me is that I can answer or discard calls or text messages without having to clumsily search for the iPhone in my pocket or run to the other room where it’s charging.

I don’t miss the important things. This, you might say, and probably rightly so, sounds too much like a first world problem. You can’t stretch out your arm and take an object in your hand anymore? You’d rather simply have it strapped to your wrist?

What surprises people most, I’ve come to witness, is that they still need their iPhones—something which makes them question its overall point.

If we think about it, though, it makes perfect sense. I don’t see how I could be able to watch a regular YouTube video on the small screen or type Facebook comments using the tiny keyboard.

If we go back to the unclear definition of what the Apple Watch actually is and ask the question, “Is it worth having one,” my answer would be, not really.

It new space to unwind

Posted by James on July 8, 2015

Now, I am not unshy enough to think of myself more as ‘exceptionally well-versed in’, ‘outstandingly knowledgeable of’ and ‘having an impressively in-depth grasp on’ everything technology and lifestyle-related.

I'm a brave self-coronation, you might think, but this would be the kind of thinking done before the act of reading.

So after having set the record straight, I will let my content speak for itself.

As the educated, cultured readers that you are, you have probably noticed that I am also a man of letters, someone who has a way with words.

This I owe to my brief flirtation with majoring in English; this and the beginning of my love for three piece suits after reading Brideshead Revisited half a dozen times.

Three semesters into speculating about what the author of this or that meant, however, I had the realization that I was actually more interested in machinery, zeroes and ones and switched to Information Technology instead.

A move I am strongly in favour of, especially today, when we need e-book readers to read books.

Abandon your dream of majoring in the humanities, is what I am kind-heartedly suggesting.

The idea for Union Square was born after a long tech-oriented conversation I had with a friend over a considerable number of beers.

The chat went on for a few hours, but what stood out for me was my friend’s exclamation, “Mate, you should start a blog!”

So, as a man who tends to take his friends’ advice very, very seriously, thought about it and did it.

I left my not-too-thrilling job as an Information Security consultant and started living bravely off my modest savings to blog full-time.

As someone with a keen eye for detail, I couldn’t help noticing that I haven't really stated the purpose of my blog, Union Square Agency.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is a blog about technology and lifestyle. The type of content you will find here will vary from information/reviews on the latest wearable technology to extensive step-by-step advice on how to prepare a healthy meal and tips on choosing the most interesting, easily-affordable travel destinations.

I will also allow myself the privilege of sharing a thing or two about picking your accessories and also of talking about the dos and don’ts of a healthy, productive work/lifestyle balance.

I look forward to sharing my experiences with you.