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The 20 Most Livable Suburbs In America

The 20 Most Livable Suburbs In America

Recently, Lifehack came out with the Top 25 Best Neighborhoods For Millennials. Today, we have another interesting list. This one features the most livable suburbs in America. And to make things even sweeter, we’ll give you an additional bonus: a list of DIY options on how to move to one of them. Neat, right? Now, regarding the suburbs, after studying data on almost 300 of them, we put together a list of the top 20 suburbs in America. We examined those with populations between 5,000 and 100,000 within 40 kilometers of the nearest urban area. We then factored in the average commute time, median household income, poverty and crime rates, public school ratings from GreatSchools.org, and a measure of housing affordability.

Montgomery, Ohio

montgomery_01
    Google Maps

    Why is Montgomery a great choice? Let me enumerate them: Low cost of  living, low crime rates, and excellent schools. Just 22.6 minutes away from Cincinnati, its population has an average household income of $109,799. Add to these, seasonal arts series is held there to spice things up for the residents. Population is 10,251 and Great Shools score is 9.

    Leawood, Kansas

    Leawood_resized
      Google Maps

      In our list, it has the fourth-highest median income at $134,242. Leawood has a population of 31,867. It’s much bigger than Montgomery, yet it has low crime rates. Your kids will love it here because it has great schools with a Great Schools score of 9. At its borders are 3 cities, with Kansas as the largest and can be reached in a 20.1-minute drive.

      Dublin, Ohio

      dublin
        Google Maps

        Dublin, having a population of 41,751, is one of the larger suburbs included in our list. It has a low-cost place, yet it boasts of a high quality of life. Downtown Columbus is just 22.1 minutes away from this suburb. Dublin’s average household income is $114,183 and houses Muirfield Village Golf Club; a famous golf course in the America. Talking about education, it has a score of 8.67 from Great Schools.

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        Brandon, South Dakota

        Brandon
          Google Maps

          Brandon’s Population is 8,785 with a score of 9 given by Great Schools. Only 18 minutes away from the Sioux Falls area, it boasts of a median household income of $66,766. Even if this town has a surprisingly high poverty rate (4.3%) compared to the other places in this list, it has an extremely low violent-crime rate.

          Northville, Michigan

          NorthvilleMichiganDowntown1
            Wikipedia

            Scoring 10 on Great Schools rating scale, Northville is a great place for new families with kids. It has a population of 5,970 which is a lot lower than Brandon. Because of its distinct location (it’s atop rolling hills in a predominantly sandy and flat area, it’s given the nickname “Switzerland of Wayne County”. It’s a stone’s throwaway from Detroit-Warren-Dearborn area. A 21-minute drive and its household average income is $88,237.

            Grandview Heights, Ohio

            Grandview heights
              Google Maps

              Grandview Heights, home to 45 acres of parklands, has a median household income of $80,729. It has a population of 6,536 and scores an 8 on Great Schools rating board. Grandview Heights is a 17-minute drive from Columbus, Ohio. making it the shortest on our list.

              Germantown, Tennessee

              germantown
                Google Maps

                With its population at 38,844, Germantown is one of the largest on the list in terms of number of residents. Great Schools give it a score of 10. Predominantly ruled by retail and commercial service industries, Germantown prides itself with a high median household income of $114,520. Commute time is short; just 20 minutes from the greater Memphis area.

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                Carmel, Indiana

                Carmel-City-Center_resized
                  CarmelCityCenter.com

                  Carmel is well known for its famous Fourth of July weekend festival CarmelFest. This beautiful town is 25 minutes away from Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson metro. It has a population of 79, 191 and has a Great Schools score of 10. The average household income is $107,505, and more than 80% of homeowners spend 30% or less of their income on expenses relating to housing.

                  Fox Point, Wisconsin

                  foxpoint
                    Google Maps

                    This charming village located along Lake Michigan is a 21-minute drive from the Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis area and has an astonishing violent-crime rate of 0%. Average household income is $102,552. Fox Point’s Great Schools score is 9 and has a population of 6,701.

                    Springboro, Ohio

                    10-springboro-ohio
                      Wikimedia Commons

                      A population of 17,409 and a Great Schools score of 9, Springboro boasts of big-city amenities yet still feels like a small town. It has an average household income of  $95,406 and a short commute at around 22 minutes from Cincinnati.

                      Huntington Woods, Michigan

                      18-huntington-woods-michigan
                        Facebook/Huntington Woods, MI

                        It’s consistently ranked as one of the top suburbs in America. Residents of the city (situated 20 minutes outside of the Detroit-Warren-Dearborn metro area) brag about their low costs of living and pockets a median income of $112,593 annually. With a small population of 6,238, Huntington Woods is a nice place to live and gets a score of 6 from Great Schools.

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                        Beverly Hills, Michigan

                        20-beverly-hills-michigan
                          Facebook/Village of Beverly Hills

                          Michigan, at 0.5%, has the second-lowest poverty rate on this list. The town encourages a strong sense of community by having regular town celebrations including Halloween Hoot. Its 10,267 population has a median household income of $104,951 and a Great Schools score of 10. Located 21.9 minutes outside of the Detroit-Warren-Dearborn area, it’s a super-easy commute.

                          Signal Mountain, Tennessee

                          11-signal-mountain-tennessee
                            Facebook/Mountain Arts Community Center (MACC)

                            With a population of 7,554 and a Great Schools score of 9, Signal Mountain is a good place to live. The place got its name from a promontory of land known as Signal Point and is overlooking the Tennessee River Gorge. It is near Chattanooga, a city just 22 minutes away. Average household income is $81,302.

                            Powell, Ohio

                            Powell
                              Google Maps/The Mitchell House of Powell

                              A 25-minute drive from Columbus, the state capital of Ohio is a small city called Powell. This city was founded in 1801. With a population of 11, 500, it has a Great Schools score of 10. Even if it’s a small place, Powell prides itself on having the fourth-highest average household income on the list. The income is $ 133, 133.    

                              Villa Hills, Kentucky

                              7-villa-hills-kentucky
                                Facebook/City-of-Villa-Hills-Kentucky

                                It only took fifty years to convert Villa Hills from a farmland to a quiet suburb. The standard commute time to Cincinnati is 22 minutes; a short ride. The residents have a median household income of $87,342. The place has a 7, 489 population and a score of 7 from Great Schools.

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                                Mequon, Wisconsin

                                23-mequon-wisconsin
                                  Freekee/Wikimedia

                                  Situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, Mequon prides itself with pretty Lakeshore bluffs and lots of outdoor recreation areas. The  metro of Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis is just around 22 minutes away from Mequon and it scored high on Great Schools; a 10. Mequon has a population of 23, 132 with an average household income of $106, 733.

                                  Zionsville, Indiana

                                  Zionsville
                                    Google Maps

                                    Zionsville, the second-best US suburb has an ideal environment for raising families. Just under fifty percent of households are raising children below 18 years old. It’s located 23 minutes away from the metro of Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson. Here, nearly 80% of homeowners spend less than one-third of their income on housing expenses. Zionsville has a population of 14, 160 and has a Great Schools score of 10. The residents enjoy an average household income of $104,455.

                                    Mountain Brook, Alabama

                                    Mountain brook
                                      Mountain brookGoogle Maps

                                      Although Mountain Brook is just 17 minutes away from Birmingham-Hoover metro, we can’t see why you’d feel the desire to leave it. With an average income of $135,833, the nice community has its own school system, boast of five distinctly attractive shopping villages, and residential spaces beautifully designed by Warren Manning — the landscape planner responsible for creating New York’s Central Park. Regarding education, it garnered a score of 10 from Great Schools. Its population totals 20,413.

                                      Wyoming, Ohio

                                      wyoming-ohio
                                        Wikimedia/Margee Moore

                                        Wyoming, with a population of 8,428, has a tight-knit kind of folks and they form a community that takes home an average household income of $95,572. This town has top-notch schools scoring a 10 from Great Schools and is just a 21-minute drive from Cincinnati.

                                        Elm Grove, Wisconsin

                                        elm groove
                                          Google Maps

                                          This spectacular suburb has it all: low poverty and violent crime rates, exceptional schools (Great Schools score of 10), and a six-figure average income ($109,933). The populace, a total of 5,934, can access the downtown Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis area in just about 20 minutes, or get away from the hustle and bustle of the city at the village’s refuge of nature. This haven is a designated “Bird City,” a distinction awarded to places committed to maintaining communities a great place for people, birds, and other wildlife.

                                          Featured photo credit: Elm Groove, Wisconsin/Google Earth.com via google.com

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                                          Anthony Dejolde

                                          TV/Radio personality who educates his audience on entrepreneurship, productivity, and leadership.

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                                          Last Updated on November 15, 2019

                                          Expert Advice That Will Teach You How to Increase Your Metabolism

                                          Expert Advice That Will Teach You How to Increase Your Metabolism

                                          Wouldn’t you like to be able to eat twice as much as you do now without gaining weight? If so, I have good news for you because this is possible when you learn how to increase metabolism.

                                          How Much Do You Know About Metabolism?

                                          Before we get to the meat, let me say that metabolism is a term that describes all the chemical reactions in your body.[1] These chemical reactions keep your body alive and functioning, however, the word metabolism is often used interchangeably with the metabolic rate or the number of calories you burn.

                                          The metabolic rate is a rough estimate of how much energy your body needs to simply stay alive and perform all its biochemical reactions. These reactions require energy, aka burn calories.

                                          Imagine that your brain alone consumes nearly 20% of your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure at rest),[2] your digestion and the detoxifying system come second, repairing tissues third and so on.

                                          Staying alive is expensive for your body and its two main currencies are fats and sugars.

                                          When I am talking about improving your metabolic rate (metabolism), I mean improving the amount of energy, your body requires to (pretty much) lay down in bed and do nothing for 24 hours.

                                          Extra physical activity, extra thinking or fighting illness are things that require a lot of energy (burn a lot of calories) but they don’t really increase metabolism… actually they can decrease it.

                                          Can You Naturally Change the Speed of Your Basal Metabolism?

                                          The answer to this question is yes and you can also achieve an increase in metabolism and a drop in body fat by eating more.

                                          Shocked? Well, I was too.

                                          The way I came across this phenomenon is quite funny. Over my 10 years as a coach, I helped many busy professionals to naturally increase their metabolism by getting them leaner, fitter and stronger but, at the beginning of my career, I actually had no idea whether they were losing weight because of an increase in metabolism or because we created a calorie deficit with diet and exercise.

                                          When I was training my clients regularly, they would lose weight. Every time I would take a few weeks of vacation, I would come back to London and find out that most of them gained back a generous amount of weight despite the fact that they were following their diet and they swapped our weight training sessions with cardio.

                                          On the contrary, when they were going on vacation, they would do zero exercises and binge like there was no tomorrow but come back either lighter or weighing the same (but looking more muscular).

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                                          Observing this phenomenon happening over and over again, got me curious about the mechanics of our metabolism and the ways to hack it.

                                          Was it really possible that by relaxing and eating more food, someone could actually maintain his/her current weight or even be losing fat?

                                          Driven by the desire to answer this question, I spent a good amount of years researching and testing different food strategies until I finally cracked the code to an improved metabolism that allows you to eat like a king and look like a Greek God.

                                          Does Eating More Increase Metabolism?

                                          Before I explain why eating more increases your metabolism, let me dig into something that I see people doing much more often: “eating less and moving more.”

                                          It is quite common to see people embarking their yearly weight loss journey (usually after Christmas or Easter) by following very restrictive diets and bombarding their body with several hours of exercise per day.

                                          Despite the short-term effectiveness of this approach, in the long run, if the goal is to increase metabolism and lose a lot of fat over an extended period of time, this simply won’t work.

                                          As I have mentioned before, eating fewer calories and exercising more are energy-consuming activities for your body. In the first case, your body needs to use its own energy reserves to top up the missing energy it needs to fully function; and in the second, it takes your body extra energy to contract your muscles.

                                          In both cases, your TDEE (Total daily energy expenditure at rest) doesn’t vary much; therefore your metabolism stays unchanged.[3]

                                          A different scenario happens when you eat less and move more for an extended period of time (weeks or months). In that case, your metabolism will slow down because your body is receiving a “we have little access to food and we need to run away from threats” signal.

                                          Your metabolism is like your bank account.

                                          To understand this concept, let’s imagine that you have $4,000 coming into your bank account each and every month. The money you spend on housing, transport, food and leisure are calibrated according to this monthly income.

                                          Now, imagine that a rich uncle starts to send you $1,000 each day. What would you do? Probably, you would save that money for the first two or three days but, when you notice that $1,000 keep on coming every single day, you would likely start to spend more right?

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                                          What if, instead of a rich uncle sending you money, a poor uncle needed your financial help to pay for the treatments of his illness? You would probably try your best to adjust your spending according to your old $4,000 monthly budget.

                                          That’s exactly how your body reasons:

                                          More Resources Coming in = More Energy Released (Improved Metabolism)

                                          Fewer Resources Coming in = Less Energy Released (Decreased Metabolism)

                                          Note that activities like weight training[4] and high-intensity interval training (HIIT),[5] when combined with an increase in nutrient-rich foods, will also improve your metabolism.

                                          For this reason, today, when I coach a new client, I always start by increasing their daily food intake and their physical activities. Usually, people are quite confused because they come to me to lose weight and I tell them to eat more but, without fail, the next weekly weight-check shows a lower number.

                                          Be aware that not all foods are equal and only certain foods have the power to increase metabolism to a noticeable extent.

                                          Foods That Increase Metabolism

                                          Doubling up on Snickers bars won’t improve your metabolism and you know that. What you may not know is that certain foods that are marked as “healthy” doesn’t help you with increasing your metabolism. They also make you gain weight.

                                          Before giving you a list of foods to eat or avoid, let me explain a simple principle of human biochemistry.

                                          Your body uses energy from three (or four) main sources:

                                          • Sugars: whether you eat a Snickers bar or a banana, the carbohydrates contained in both get absorbed in the gut and become blood glucose (the basic form of sugar our body utilizes as a source of energy).[6]
                                            When blood glucose is present in the bloodstream (elevated levels), the body always uses it as its primary source of energy. When blood glucose levels drop (this phenomenon happens when you’re using these sugars to fuel a physical activity or when your pancreas produced a spike of insulin and stores that glucose into fat and muscles), your body starts to release fatty acids into the bloodstream to use as a source of energy.
                                          • Fatty acids: either from your own fat cells (adipocytes) or from whatever fat-containing foods you ate in the past 2-3 hours. Fatty acids are a slower and more consistent form of energy than sugars that your body can utilise.
                                          • Amino acids: Amino acids are the broken-down form of proteins. Proteins cannot be used by the body as a source of energy, not even in their broken-down form. Your body can transform amino acids into glucose with a process called gluconeogenesis.[7] This is a very inefficient process where a decent amount of energy gets wasted (and that’s a good thing for us but I’ll get to that later).
                                          • Ketones: when you don’t feed your body any source of carbs (or proteins in excess), your liver produces an alternative source of energy called Ketones. It can replace the need for glucose (most of it at least).[8]

                                          Now that you know the four energy sources the body can use to fuel its metabolism, let’s get to the meat (quite literally).

                                          To make this simple for you, I am going to divide foods into three categories:

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                                          1. Red Flags – Avoid the red foods because they slow your metabolism. They are usually extremely low in micronutrients and high in antinutrients (agents that are highly toxic). They are highly processed or spike your insulin levels (therefore stopping your fat burning process).
                                          2. Orange Foods – Limit your consumption of orange foods. The orange foods on the list are suboptimal choices but they don’t have a negative impact on your metabolism when consumed in moderation. In fact, they contain a decent amount of micronutrients and, if eaten in small amounts, they shouldn’t stop your fat burning process.
                                          3. Green Foods – These are foods to consume most. Green foods will improve your metabolism and should be the main bulk of your diet.

                                          Next, I’ll get into details exactly what foods to eat and avoid:

                                          Sugars and Carbs

                                          Sugars do not directly improve metabolism because they stop the process of fat utilisation. There is an exception to this rule though. When you eat a diet extremely low in carbohydrates and sugars for an extended period of time (two to six days onwards), introducing carbohydrates and sugars can actually improve metabolism quite a bit.

                                          Unfortunately, for most of us that love eating bread, pasta, fruit and yoghurt, unless we were on a low-carb diet for the past few days, these foods are not an optimal choice.

                                          Sugars like fructose (found in fruit or commercial sugar) actually decrease metabolism and should be limited. Heavily processed sugars and carbohydrates should be also limited. Here is the colour list of sugars and carbs that affect metabolism:

                                          Red Flag Sugary Foods You Should Avoid:
                                          • Dried fruit
                                          • Commercial and packaged corn
                                          • High fructose corn syrup
                                          • All sorts of candies and lookalike
                                          • Packaged fruit juices and purees
                                          • Sugary dairy products like flavoured yoghurt, condensed milk etc
                                          Orange Sugary Foods You Should Limit:
                                          • Bread and flour-based products
                                          • Milk and also vegan milk alternatives that are sweetened
                                          • Most fruit (exceptions are in the green list below)
                                          • Potatoes and potato starch products
                                          • Oatmeals and other grains
                                          Green Sugary and Carb-Containing Foods That Improve Metabolism
                                          • All berries except strawberries
                                          • Tubers like squash, carrots, parsnips etc
                                          • Sweet potatoes
                                          • White rice
                                          • All green vegetables

                                          Fats

                                          Fatty acids and fats, in general, can improve or decrease metabolism depending on their composition.

                                          Red Flag Fatty Foods You Should Avoid:
                                          • Margarine and hydrogenated fat
                                          • Lard
                                          • Gmo oils
                                          • Most vegetable oils from seeds and peanut oil
                                          Orange Fatty Foods You Should Limit:
                                          • Nuts
                                          • Meat fat
                                          • Nut oils (macadamia, almond, cashew etc..)
                                          • Seeds
                                          Green Fatty Foods You Should Eat Daily
                                          • Extra virgin olive oil (non-heated)
                                          • Avocado
                                          • Coconut oil
                                          • Butter (organic)
                                          • Egg yolks (free-range)
                                          • Bone marrow

                                          The fatty foods in the green section tend to be very effective in increasing metabolism, especially in the absence of carbohydrates because they stimulate the production of ketones (I’ll talk about this later).

                                          Bear in mind that 1 gram of fat has 2.5 times the calories of a gram of protein or carbohydrates; therefore “eating more fats” to increase metabolism should be done very gradually to avoid weight gain.

                                          Proteins

                                          Eating food not only sends regulatory signals to your brain about abundance vs scarcity of resources, but it can also increase your metabolism for a few hours. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF).[9] It’s caused by the extra calories required to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in your meal.

                                          Protein causes the largest rise in TEF.[10] It increases your metabolic rate by 15-30%, compared to 5-10% for carbs and 0-3% for fats

                                          Eating protein has also been shown to help you feel more full and prevent you from overeating, in fact, a study found that people were likely to eat around 441 fewer calories per day when protein made up 30% of their diet.[11]

                                          Also, proteins help preserve muscle mass.[12] The more muscle mass we have, the higher our basal metabolism is.

                                          For these reasons, the first nutritional advice I usually give to clients is to reduce sugars and increase proteins. This quick swap is often enough to kickstart their metabolism and commence the fat burning process.

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                                          Red Protein Sources That Should Be Avoided
                                          • Cheap whey proteins
                                          • Soy proteins
                                          • GMO meat
                                          • GMO eggs
                                          • Packaged meat
                                          Orange Protein Source to Be Limited
                                          • Canned tuna
                                          • Canned fish
                                          • Canned meat
                                          • Gluten-rich products like Seitan
                                          • Farmed fish
                                          Green Protein Sources to Have Daily
                                          • Free-range meat
                                          • Free-range eggs
                                          • Wild meat and fish
                                          • Whey protein isolate
                                          • Collagen and beef protein hydrolyzed

                                          Note that this is a general categorisation of the foods that, when added to your diet, have the power to increase or decrease metabolism. There are some specific foods and supplements worth mentioning because they have been proven to improve metabolism by increasing thyroid output or resting heart rate, they are as follows.

                                          Other Foods and Supplements

                                          Cold water

                                          Drinking water may temporarily speed up your metabolism. Studies have shown that drinking 17 ounces (0.5 litres) of water increases resting metabolism by 10-30% for about an hour.[13]

                                          This is not a surprise since our body is made up mainly by water and proper hydration is key to a fast metabolism. This calorie-burning effect may be even greater if you drink cold water, as your body uses energy to heat it up to body temperature.

                                          MCT Oils or Powders

                                          Medium-chain triglycerides or MCT have been shown to improve metabolism by stimulating Ketone production.[14] Coconut oil contains MCT fats and, when used as a replacement for cooking oil can help you improve metabolism.

                                          You can buy the concentrated version of MCT oils and eat it separately to further enhance this effect. Either way, coconut oil or pure MCT oil can be a great addition to your diet if you’re following a ketogenic or intermittent fasting protocol.

                                          Caffeine

                                          Caffeine and coffee have been shown to improve metabolism by improving heart rate and, therefore improving calorie consumption.[15]

                                          Green Tea

                                          Green tea

                                          is thought to increase energy expenditure and fat oxidation, and to reduce fat production and absorption.[16]

                                          Bottom Line

                                          In this article, I just covered the basics of food and metabolism but, there are many other non-food related things you can do to improve your metabolism, like improving your sleep quality and following certain exercise routines.

                                          For now, just know that making small and gradual changes to your diet can increase your metabolism and improve your general health. Starting from changing one habit at a time is always the best strategy to accomplish any goal.

                                          Once you improve your diet, your hydration and your supplementation you can think about testing more advanced “bio-hacks” or techniques like ice baths and fasted HIIT training.

                                          And remember, having a higher metabolism doesn’t only help you lose weight and keep it off but it also give you more energy and a feeling of vibrancy. If you give it time, it really is worth the investment.

                                          Featured photo credit: Fitsum Admasu via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

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