December 7th, 2019

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Community Building Tip: Seating

For my current set of tips, I'm using the list "101 Small Ways You Can Improve Your City."

3. Make a seat. "One small thing a person can do for your city is build an attractive bench and place it where it's needed. There is an urban seating deficit the world over and some of my favorite cities are those where people frequently build their own street seats. Here are bunch of examples we once catalogued in New York City." — Mike Lydon, The Street Plans Collaborative

While it's possible to find a variety of park benches here, most are rudimentary rather than artistic, many are overpriced, and some are literally designed to discourage rather than encourage usage.  Meanwhile over in Terramagne, they have municipal artists.  That makes it easy for people to find thematic chairs or benches for their business.  A Healthy Touch office might have seats shaped like hands, while a wilderness store could have one carved from a log.  Towns often have a distinctive style to their seating.  
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Low-Calorie Foods

While researching something else, I came across this list of single ingredients -- mostly fruits and vegetables -- that have very few calories.  If you want to reach or maintain healthy weight, eating low-calorie fresh foods is better than ultraprocessed "diet foods."

Most herbs and spices also have very few calories in their usual amounts.  Our last Indian meal included a salad that consisted of some lettuce leaves, big spears of cucumber, and a few other bits all generously dusted with some blend of spices.  (We didn't get the name of the masala, but I imagine many different ones would work similarly.)  The powder stuck to the damp vegetables very well, and contrasted spectacularly with hot/dry against cold/wet.  That probably added no more than 5 calories, compared to the usual salad dressings.  If you want to avoid boredom in a healthy diet, herbs and spices are your friends, and don't be afraid to use them in unexpected ways.