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The ugly truth about weight loss

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One of the most popular New Year's resolution is to lose weight. Thousands will craft diets and hit the gym this January to drop some pounds, but what are they hoping for? While many think that a skinnier body will lead to happiness, science is suggesting this may not always be true.

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This 50-lane holiday traffic jam in China will make you regret ever complaining about your commute

This 'CEO whisperer' uses horse training to guide the business elite towards enlightenment

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lisa arie vista caballo

Lisa Arie has trained with horses for years, but her specialty is in training executives.

The so-called "CEO whisperer" lives on 160 acres of Colorado plains, where since 2005, she and husband Jess have run an experiential learning center for CEOs, philanthropists, and entrepreneurs to unplug and discover how they can lead more mindful lives.

Vista Caballo, which roughly translates to "perspective of the horse" in Spanish, uses horses to guide the business elite through enlightenment. It's no ordinary corporate retreat.

"We can learn a lot from a species that thinks quite differently that we do," Arie says. "A horse is going to be honest with you. It's not safe for them if they lie to you. Their self-preservation is very important. They are prey animals — different from us — we are predators."

lisa arie vista caballo"If I can have a prey animal feel safe with me as a predator, it means I'm probably doing something pretty right as a leader," she says.

Over 800 people have taken advantage of Vista Caballo's offerings since 2006.

The signature program at Vista Caballo invites participants to stay three days and four nights. Arie talks to executives before their arrival about their expectations and goals, and she creates opportunities for "interspecies interaction" to help clients forge new ways of thinking. They might learn to approach a horse without spooking it, for example.

There are ways to coerce a horse, through reinforcement and punishment, to behave the way you want. But at Vista Caballo, the horses are given much more autonomy than those you see in training centers. They roam the pastures freely and don't always listen to their owners.

Arie says if she can create a bond with an animal that has its freedom, "that's going to show me what kind of connection I can have with any species, including my own."

Arie describes the work in lofty language. She believes spontaneous, as well as curated, activities with horses activate "different intelligence systems" in the human design. Participants might tap into an emotional state in order to relate with the docile animal, or become more mindful by focusing on one task at a time, like guiding a horse along a fence.

The tasks are usually mundane. Arie calls simplicity the foundation of the work.

"We're not paid to listen to our instincts. A lot of time we dismiss them and we wonder how we end up in trouble," Arie says. At Vista Caballo, "we bring everything back to the basics."

lisa arie vista caballo

In one memorable exercise, Arie took a visiting CEO to the barn, where the horses roam freely inside instead of being kept in stalls. It was time to let them out to graze. She asked how he might open the doors so that the excited horses would not trample him on their way out.

He came up with about 10 safe and pragmatic solutions.

"Typical CEO, he chose the most challenging one," Arie remembers. "He said, 'I'm going to open the gate, and I'm going to [use] my presence to sort of usher them out one at a time.' ... OK, is it possible? Absolutely. Would I have recommended it right out of the bat? Maybe not.'"

The CEO unlatched the door and planted his feet firmly. He gestured for the animals to calm themselves. The horses matched his energy and walked out in a single-file line.

"What happened is a reawakening of that side of him which is probably why he wanted to become a CEO in the first place — that great, creative side where you can make new things happen," Arie says. Through journaling and follow-up conversations with Arie by phone, the executive learned to integrate that creative thinking upon his return to the office.

vista caballo lisa arie

Arie smiles wide when she recalls one former participant, a producer based in Los Angeles, who said upon his return, "Everyone wants to know where I got the work done."

Participants stay in cabins that Arie describes as "Ralph Lauren rustic" and enjoy organic foods prepared with local ingredients by a private chef. Phones and laptops are prohibited.

During the Vista Signature Experience, the ranch hosts just one guest at a time.

"If you're taken care of, then you can stay present," Arie says.

Arie knows first-hand the pressures her clients face. Before opening Vista Caballo, she ran successful companies across advertising, film production, and talent management. She rose to the top of the advertising world, thanks in part to an award-winning campaign for Motel 6 (she produced the famous "We'll leave the light on for you" commercials).

At age 36, Arie was diagnosed with a life-threatening autoimmune disease. Her doctors said it would kill her. Arie turned to horses for comfort and trained under legendary horse trainers.

"Somewhere in the middle of all this, something inside me started coming alive again," says Arie, who today lives without symptoms of the disease she declined to name. "I felt this incredible sensation of aliveness and connection."

The experience inspired her to leave New York City and move to the dusty plains of Dove Creek, Colorado (population: 735) where her cofounder and husband run the retreat center.

dove creek colorado map

She won't give exact costs for enrollment, but says it's "in the ballpark" of a Tony Robbins seminar. The self-help guru leads a popular personal development workshop that costs $10,000.

Scientific research on the effectiveness of equine-assisted activities and therapies runs thin, though the findings that do exist are positive. One review completed in 2013 and published in "Health Psychology" evaluated 14 studies on horse therapy. The author found that nine studies suggested horse therapy has "statistically significant positive effects," described as decreased behavioral, psychological, physical, and psychosocial challenges.

Arie insists her work is not "equine therapy," however.

"It's most certainly therapeutic," Arie says, but Vista Caballo makes no health claims.

It's merely a place where horses and humans can just be.

SEE ALSO: The woman behind 'female Viagra' sold her company for $1 billion — that's when everything fell apart

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NOW WATCH: A beach in Maryland is a paradise for horse lovers

Here are the best credit cards for 2017

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chase main bg

The new year is an ideal time to reevaluate the credit cards you have in your wallet.

Even if you already own some top-notch cards, there are likely better options. Card issuers are offering phenomenal rewards to everyone from those with average credit (usually thought to be a credit score over 600) to those with nearly spotless credit (scores typically 750 and above). These impressive offers range from intro bonuses worth $625 to 0% intro APRs as long as 21 months.

NextAdvisor, a site that reviews credit cards from all major issuers, has surveyed the market and determined these to be the best credit cards of 2017.

Best 0% Intro APR Card: Citi Diamond Preferred Card

citi_diamond_preferred.JPGWhy you should get it: With the longest 0% intro APR of any card reviewed, the Citi Diamond Preferred Card is the perfect choice for those looking to make large purchases that are basically interest-free loans

What to know:

  • It has a 21-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers, which means you pay $0 in interest fees until almost the end of 2018.
  • Although there is a 3% balance transfer fee, that's likely a lot lower than the ongoing interest you’re paying on your current card.
  • No annual fee.

Best Cash Back Card: Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

blue_cash_everyday_amexWhy you should get it: The Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express is the best option for those looking for a generous cash-back program with no annual fee, especially if you spend heavily on groceries and gas.

  • Get a $100 intro bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.
  • Earn 3% cash back at supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in purchases annually, then it’s 1%), 2% at gas stations and select department stores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • If you apply by Jan. 11, 2017, you’ll get 10% cash back on purchases from Amazon for your first 6 months (up to a maximum of $200 cash back).
  • No annual fee.
  • For a $95 annual fee, you can upgrade to the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express, which offers 6% cash back on groceries (up to $6,000 annually, then it’s 1%), and 3% cash back on gas and select department stores.

Best Balance Transfer Card: Chase Slate

chase slate_card copyWhy you should get it: If you’re carrying balances on other high-APR cards, this is the card to transfer it to.

  • It has a 15-month 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers.
  • There is no annual fee and are no balance transfer fees for the first 60 days of account opening.
  • It is available to those with just good credit, typically considered to be a credit score above 670.

Best Travel Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred

chase sapphire_preferred_card copyWhy you should get it: With an intro bonus worth $625 in travel, great ongoing rewards, and the ability to transfer points to other travel rewards programs, Chase Sapphire Preferred is our top travel card recommendation.

  • Get 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months – equal to $500 in cash or $625 in travel.
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on travel and dining, and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.
  • Points are worth 25% more when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Transfer earned points 1:1 for free with other travel programs like Southwest or Marriot. Use NextAdvisor's travel rewards analysis to see how much you points could be worth.
  • The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.

Best Card for Average Credit: Discover it – Cashback Match

discover_it.JPGWhy you should get it: Discover it – Cashback Match offers significant cash back rewards to customers whose credit score is merely in the average range (usually thought to be above 600).

  • Earn 5% cash back in categories that rotate quarterly (up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter) and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Discover will match the cash back you earn in your first year (e.g. $300 becomes $600)
  • It has a 14-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (with a 3% balance transfer fee)
  • No annual fee or foreign transaction fees. 

Best Card for Bad/Rebuilding Credit: Discover it Secured Card – No Annual Fee

discover_it_secured.JPGWhy you should get it: Discover it Secured Card is available to those with current or past credit issues, but it’s packed full of the same cash back rewards that those with good credit would receive.

  • Earn 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations (up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter), and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Discover will match the cash back you earn in your first year (e.g. $300 becomes $600)
  • It has a 6-month 0% intro APR for balance transfers (with a 3% balance transfer fee)
  • No annual fee or foreign transaction fees.

Other cards you may want to try:

Best Business Card: Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Best Card for Students: Discover it for Students

This post is sponsored by NextAdvisor

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Doing a detox is possibly the worst way to start the New Year

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lily aldridge green juice

Ever wished there was an easy, quick way to cleanse your body of all those 2016 toxins?

Turns out you're already equipped with everything you need. They're called your liver and kidneys.

Together, these two toxin-bashing organs act as a super-efficient system for filtering out the vast majority of the harmful substances we eat and drink.

In other words, you never need to detox. Not for New Year's Day. Not after too much Thanksgiving turkey. Not even because you spent most of last year subsisting on greasy take-out from the C-rated "restaurant" next door.

Here's how it works: While our kidneys filter our blood and remove any waste from our diet, our liver processes medications and detoxifies any chemicals we ingest. Paired together, these organs make our bodies natural cleansing powerhouses.

"Unless there's a blockage in one of these organs that [cleanse our bodies] day and night, there's absolutely no need to help the body get rid of toxins," family physician Ranit Mishori of the Georgetown University School of Medicine told NPR. Mishori has spent years reviewing the medical literature on cleanses.

If detoxing is bogus, where did the idea come from?

lemons lemon juiceThe original detox diet, called "The Master Cleanse," was thought up in the 1940s by Stanley Burroughs as a "natural" way to treat stomach ulcers. The method was never substantiated by any research.

He published a book describing it called "The Master Cleanser." The cleanse consists of a daily regimen of six to 12 glasses of water mixed with lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup, plus a laxative at bedtime.

Yum.

Cleanse proponents like Peter Glickman, who helped resurrect the cleanse in 2004 with a book called "Lose Weight, Have More Energy and Be Happier in 10 Days: Take Charge of Your Health with the Master Cleanse," say dieters begin to feel "euphoric" and "serene" after about a week of not eating.

We could think of better words to describe the sensations of incipient starvation.

Ok, so the lemon detox is out. What about a juice cleanse?

Other less-extreme alternatives to Burroughs' and Glickman's self-deprivation plans exist, from swapping a few meals a day for a $12 pre-packaged bottle of green liquid to juicing up a few bags of fresh produce at home each day.

Unlike the Master Cleanse, a juice diet won't totally starve your body, but it will drain your wallet, and the benefits are dubious at best.

For starters, you have to practically buy out your grocery store's produce department for just a few days of juicing. Take the list of ingredients for this recently posted three-day juice cleanse from the Dr. Oz show: four carrots, four apples (type not specified), two golden delicious apples, two 1-inch pieces of ginger, three cucumbers, six celery stalks, 14 kale leaves, half a lemon, one lime, four plum tomatoes, two red bell peppers, one-fourth of a small red onion, two cups parsley, one large sweet potato, two large red beets, one orange, eight Swiss chard leaves, and six clementines. Disclaimer: this list is only for one day on the three-day cleanse. ($40 at our local grocery store, multiplied by three days = $120.)

Or you can buy the premade version: Suja offers a bottle of its cold-pressed "Green Supreme" kale, apple, and lemon juice for $9 a pop. (Three days of three bottles of Suja each day = $81.)

Juicing removes some of the healthiest parts of fresh produce

When you juice fresh fruits and veggies, you remove all of their fiber, the key ingredient that keeps you feeling full and satisfied until your next meal. What you keep is the natural sugar in the produce (a bottle of Suja's "Green Supreme," for example, has more sugar than a can of Coke).

The immediate effects of a high-sugar and low-protein, low-fiber diet, are felt almost immediately: You're constantly hungry because there's no fiber to fill you up. Meanwhile, the sugar you're consuming is temporarily raising your blood sugar, but with no protein to stabilize it, you're on a roller-coaster ride of high and low energy. The long-term effects are more severe: a lack of protein, when prolonged for even a few days, can cause you to lose muscle rather than fat, because protein is what your muscles feed on for energy.

But there's another reason juicing isn't the best idea for some people that goes beyond depleting your body of muscle, and it has to do with behavior.

Cleanses can mimic other dangerous eating habits

Cleanse advocates describe their plans as quick fixes that clean up the mess of processed carbs, sugar, and booze we throw in our bodies each day. In reality, though, this type of eating pretty closely mimics the dangerous binge-and-purge style of eating recognized globally as indicative of an eating disorder.

For people who are prone to disordered eating, juice cleanses could serve as a gateway to bigger problems.

At one eating-disorder treatment clinic in New York City, more than half the patients report having tried a juice cleanse, Marie Claire reports. "Maybe a patient tried it and became obsessed, or maybe the eating disorder was already there and the juicing became part of it," the clinic's director of nutrition services Debbie Westerling told the magazine.

Eating nothing but juice for several days can also cause eating problems from the past to resurface, writes registered dietitian Megan Holt in a post about cleansing on her clinic's website. "I tend to discourage fasting because it can reactivate disordered eating behaviors," Holt writes, "whether that’s restriction or feeling out of control with food or feeling disconnected from hunger and fullness cues when one does start to eat again."

In other words, you can't simply drink your way to health — hundreds of dollars' worth of freshly liquefied produce or not.

READ MORE: The sugar industry is quietly funding one of the biggest misconceptions in modern nutrition

SEE ALSO: 14 seemingly harmless things you eat, drink, and use all the time that could kill you

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 6 'healthy' eating habits you are better off giving up

How to buy a gym bag that you won't be too embarrassed to bring to the office

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aer gym

Working out before or after work is convenient — it's easier to fit it into your busy schedule, and you're less likely to just go home and order takeout while binging Netflix.

But it also means bringing your workout gear to the office. No matter what your office's dress code is, that necessitates a sleek, stylish gym bag that won't stick out too much to your coworkers. After all, no one likes the guy who brags about his New Year's resolution.

Here are some guidelines you should follow when selecting your new gym bag:

  • No logos anywhere. The bag that housed your sweaty lacrosse equipment in college isn't going to cut it anymore. Loud logos aren't going to work in an office setting, as they're not very professional.
  • Color is something you really want to keep in mind. Think of the colors that briefcases and work bags come in — they're not red or orange. The gym bag you're taking to the office shouldn't be either. Blacks, navys, and grays just fit much better in an office setting, and will ensure you stay under the radar.
  • Choose a size that is appropriate for you. Think of what you need to store your gym essentials and what you'll be using the bag for. Then get the smallest one possible that can contain it. There's no reason to bring a big, hulking bag to work if you don't need to. With today's open floor plans, there's also often nowhere to store them during the day.

Here are some bags that fit the bill perfectly, including the Aer bag pictured above. And don't forget to fill it with everything you need for a successful workout.

gym bags

Top left, J. Crew Harwick Duffel bag ($98) Bottom left, Herschel Supply Co. 'Novel' Duffel Bag ($85), Right, Nike Eugene Duffel Bag ($300)

Another option is to bring a carry-all or tote bag instead of a typical briefcase or workbag. I personally use the Filson Zip Tote, which is big enough for everything I bring to work on a typical day, as well as a pair of shorts, shirt, and sneakers for the gym. The compromises here include having a bigger and heavier bag, but it also means not having to carry two on gym days.

SEE ALSO: 8 New Year's style resolutions every guy should make

DON'T MISS: Here are our biggest men's style predictions for 2017

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: An exercise scientist reveals how to get six-pack abs

How one 24-year-old runs a $70,000-a-month business while traveling the world

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Aileen Adalid Norway

Aileen Adalid entered the corporate world at age 19 after graduating from De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines, with a degree in business management.

But the trilingual Philippines native quickly grew envious of the flexible lifestyles of "digital nomads" she met while freelancing on the side in Manila.

At 21, Adalid quit her entry-level job at Deutsche Bank — which paid just $300 per month — to transition to a life of perpetual travel.

For the next year, Adalid freelanced in graphic design, web design, SEO management, and online marketing, sustained largely by one stable client contract that earned her more than double her previous salary. The best part: The flexibility enabled her to travel frequently to places like France and Thailand.

In May 2014, Adalid partnered with a friend to start an online Amazon retail business called Adalid Gear, a health and outdoor accessories company, and relocated to Belgium.

She also revived her one-time teenage diary blog, I Am Aileen, fashioning it into a lifestyle and travel blog that has gained traction among online travel communities.

Adalid now earns about $5,000 a month from her online ventures, and she travels from her home base (now back in the Philippines) at least once a month to destinations throughout Europe and Asia.

You can follow her adventures on her blog, I Am Aileen, or through her Facebook or Instagram.

Adalid told Business Insider about cutting ties with the corporate world to chase after the "digital nomad" lifestyle, and finding a balance between traveling the world and running two successful ventures. Read on to find out how she did it. 

DON'T MISS: A 31-year-old who's been traveling the world for 5 years explains how she affords it

SEE ALSO: 14 things I learned when I quit my job to travel the world

Back in college, Adalid studied business management and had a combined year of training experience under her belt at huge multinational companies like Nestlé, Unilever, and Siemens.

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 In Belgium.



But after graduating college at 19 and spending two years working as a product controller at Deutsche Bank, she realized the corporate life wasn't for her. She was increasingly intrigued by both entrepreneurship and travel, so she left her job with about $600 in savings in April 2013.

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In Dubrovnik, Croatia.



"I started working as a remote freelance graphic designer, web developer, and marketing assistant taking on different projects but with a main stable client who employed me. My pay at this point was more than double of what I earned at my office job and I was able to control my time more for working as I started to travel around more."

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Here's why it actually matters what you wear to the gym

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gym style

Conventional wisdom goes like this: When you go to the gym, you're there to work out, not to impress anyone, so you can safely wear that ratty old T-shirt with stains and holes in it. Who cares, right?

Well, wrong. It actually does matter what you wear to the gym, for both a technical reason and a personal one.

Technical

This may seems obvious to most, but if you've ever been to the gym, you'd be shocked by how many don't quite "get it." 

When you work out, you need to wear clothing that can handle both the movement of your body and the sweat pouring out of you. This means that only appropriate sneakers and attire should be worn. An ideal outfit includes a shirt that can handle sweat, a pair of sweatpants or shorts that hit above your knee, and sneakers that can accommodate all your movements. 

If you get pretty sweaty, we recommend investing in some synthetic blend T-shirts designed for working out in — they wick the moisture off your skin, cooling you down faster than a normal cotton T-shirt would.

A photo posted by nike (@nike) on

Personal

The other thing you must consider is how you look at the gym. We're not telling you to go crazy here — there's no reason to go out and get a closet full of Lululemon clothes.

Just make sure that your gym clothes are appropriately stylish, and that the colors match for the most part. It's not too hard. Competition between sports apparel-makers like Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, and, yes, even Lululemon, has churned out increasingly useful technical fabrics in super-cool styles.

A stylish outfit might even motivate you to go to the gym more often. After all, we already know that dressing up for work can make you more successful. Why not apply the same logic to the gym? Hey, every little bit helps!

Oh, and also make sure there are no stains, holes, or other unsightly blemishes you wouldn't accept in your normal day-to-day outfit. Just because it's the gym doesn't give you license to be a slob.

You never know who may be looking. Who knows, you may even catch the eye of a future special someone.

SEE ALSO: How to buy a gym bag that you won't be too embarrassed to bring to the office

DON'T MISS: 8 New Year's style resolutions every guy should make

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here are the 4 bags every man needs

Science reveals the age that you peak at everything

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How the Bible has been rewritten over the past 2,000 years

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Many people don’t realize that over the past 2,000 years, this sacred text has changed a great deal. No "first edition" exists.  What we have are copies, the first of which were made hundreds of years after the events supposedly took place.

For the first 100 to 200 years, copies of the Bible were made by hand … and not by professionals. This led to many errors, omissions, and — most importantly — changes.

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The legal weed market is growing as fast as broadband internet in the 2000s

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marijuana legalization weed pot growing

Legal weed is big business.

The North American marijuana market posted $6.7 billion in revenue in 2016, up 30% from the year prior, according to a new report from Arcview Market Research, a leading publisher of cannabis market research.

The so-called "green rush" shows no sign of slowing down.

Arcview projects sales will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 25% through 2021, when the North American market is expected to top $20.2 billion.

"The only consumer industry categories I've seen reach $5 billion in annual spending and then post anything like 25% compound annual growth in the next five years are cable television (19%) in the 1990s and the broadband internet (29%) in the 2000s," said Tom Adams, editor-in-chief of Arcview Market Research, in a statement.

Adams, who recently joined Arcview after a long stint as a market researcher, says the booming cannabis industry reminds him of a time when dial-up internet gave way to broadband, which delivered faster, "always on" internet access.

The number of Americans with broadband internet access jumped from 3% in 2000— when about half of US adults were online — to 66% in 2010, according to the Pew Research Center.

"What broadband changed for the internet was a kind of remarkable parallel to legalization for cannabis," Adams tells Business Insider. "We saw what had been a $5 billion industry — like this one — in North America take off at that point on new growth spurts."

In the case of the cannabis boom, Arcview's CEO Troy Dayton credits legalization with reeling in the stigma against the plant and bringing new users to the market.

bi graphics_marijuana map (1)

In Colorado, Washington, and Oregon, where recreational use was legal before 2016, consumer spending on cannabis was up 62% between 2015 and September 2016, according to Arcview.

It's been a big year for legalizing weed. Seven US states legalized cannabis in some form on Election Day. California, the sixth largest economy in the world, became the biggest domino to fall with the passage of Proposition 64. Much of the West Coast is now a legal enclave for recreational pot.

Dayton says the sudden popularity of alternative ingestion methods, such as weed-laced topicals, sprays, and edibles, also fueled growth. Consumers who would never smoke a joint are finding relief in other products, which offer a wide array of taste, strength, and experience.

"It's one of the major reasons that people are going to leave the underground market and go to aboveground market. It's about variety," Dayton tells Business Insider. "You just can't get these products on the underground market."

While the green business could achieve 25% growth year-over-year through 2021, as new recreational markets come online, Adams says legal weed is never going to be as big as the multi-billion dollar internet access market. But their sustained growth rates are comparable.

The pair predicts a great number of countries will legalize pot in the next 10 to 15 years.

"So when you look at the global market, the world has never seen something that will have such consistent growth over such a long period of time as the cannabis industry," Dayton says.

SEE ALSO: Marijuana can be covered in pesticides, fungi, and mold — even if it's legal

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is how long drugs actually stay in your system

A simple nighttime habit that can prevent bad morning breath

A couple who left their jobs to spend 3 months traveling the world explains why they chose to come home when they had time and money to spare

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Brandon and Jill early retirement

Mid-2016, Brandon — better known as the Mad Fientist— retired at just 34 years old.

"It's always been about 'financial independence' for me and not really 'early retirement,'" Brandon, who doesn't use his last name online for privacy reasons, told Business Insider. "I never wanted to stop working, but rather I wanted to have the time and freedom to work on things that are important to me."

And what did he and his wife Jill want to do?

Travel.

A few years ago, the pair devised a lifestyle plan to visit their families in the US and Scotland and take some international adventures, they shared on a recent episode of Brandon's "Financial Independence Podcast."

"We had decided that we were going to spend — I think it was originally six months in Scotland for me working and seeing my friends and family," Jill explained. "And then, we would do three months in the States where I wouldn't be working. We could just spend that time traveling around and seeing people, and then three months traveling anywhere else in the world."

At the time, Brandon was working as a software developer and had managed to save and invest about 70% of his after-tax income as he worked toward becoming financially independent. Jill, however, chose to continue working as an optometrist.

Once Brandon stopped working, Jill took an unpaid leave of absence from her job and they set off for Southeast Asia. They were living the dream ... sort of.

After three months on the road, they realized they'd had enough.

"I know other people can travel full-time or travel a lot more than that," Jill said on the podcast. "But I think for us, we definitely realized that that's about the maximum that it continues to be fun for us, and then it starts feeling too much like normal life and you start focusing more on the stressful parts of it and things."

Brandon agreed, adding that it's difficult for him to answer emails and run the Mad Fientist blog from the road. "There's just not a lot of time when you're traveling because you're either looking into hotels and places to eat all the time or trying to figure out what you're going to go and do next," Brandon said.

Brandon and Jill early retirementAnd it wasn't just the challenge of traveling internationally that got old. The three-month rule applies when they travel around the US as well.

"We realized that three months of doing that is too much, too, because it's great seeing people but you don't want to feel like you're imposing when you're coming in and just being like, 'Hey, I'm going to stay for a month,'" Brandon said. "Well, no, they've got their own lives that they're doing and you don't want to impose on that." 

The couple doesn't think they'll ever land on a "perfect plan," but instead continue to experiment and adapt.

"It will just change as we get older. It's really hard to know what you're going to want in five or ten years time and plan all that out," Jill said, adding that they're hoping to plan more trips where they meet up or travel with friends or family, "because that kind of makes it more rewarding than just picking a place to go and see for the sake of it."

"I think we just sort of plan out the next couple of years, which, at the moment, it's looking like being a lot more based in Scotland," she said. "I don't think you ever get to a point where that's 'perfect.'"

SEE ALSO: A woman who chose to keep working when her husband retired at 34 explains the honeymoon conversation that set them on that path

DON'T MISS: A man who retired at 34 explains one bad savings habit that everyone should avoid

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A look inside the secret Etihad lounge hidden in plain sight at JFK

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As an Etihad passenger relaxing in the airline's lounge at JFK before takeoff, you may not even notice the other lounge hidden behind a secret door. This lounge within the lounge that is reserved for their highest-paying customers, the "Residence" ticket holders. 

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Nutrition experts got together and ranked the best diets of 2017 — here are the top 12

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If you're trying to prioritize dieting in 2017, keep in mind that not all diets are created equal.

Often, the ones that garner the most attention aren't even among the best.

For its annual list, US News & World Report ranked 38 eating plans, considering different criteria including how easy the diet is to follow, its effects on weight loss (both short and long term), how nutritional and safe the diet is, and how well it helps prevent diabetes and heart disease.

The ranking drew on the expertise of a panel of dietitians and nutritionists, but didn't account for any costs associated with the diet plans or how exercise fit into the programs.

Here's which diets ranked above the rest to make the top 10.

SEE ALSO: The definitive, scientific answers to 20 health questions everyone has

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But first, the worst-performing diets.

In the 38 plans US News & World Report looked at, a few numbers weren't up to snuff.

The Whole30 diet, in particular, was the lowest-ranked diet for the second year in a row. The Dukan and paleo diets were also toward the bottom of the list, which US News attributed to the diets being too restrictive. The diets didn't have the same long-term staying power as others that ranked higher.

Learn more about what experts think of the Whole30 diet »



No. 10 (TIE): Vegetarian diet

Vegetarian diets cleared the top 10 in the 2017 ranking, up from No. 13 in 2016. The diet is simple: no meat allowed. Ideally, the meat is replaced with more vegetables, which could help you feel fuller.

More on what US News & World Report experts thought of this diet »



No. 10 (TIE): Ornish diet

Developed by Dr. Dean Ornish, this diet looks at food on a "spectrum," with some things being healthier than others — essentially, the less processed the better. The diet emphasizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and some fat if it contains omega-3 fatty acids.

The diet was also ranked one of the best for heart health.

More on what US News & World Report experts thought of this diet »



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The lineup for New York's longest-running summer music festival is out

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Tool, Chance the Rapper and Phoenix are set to the headline the Governors Ball music festival in New York City this summer.

Founders Entertainment announced Wednesday that Lorde, Childish Gambino, Wu-Tang Clan, Rae Sremmurd and Phantogram will also perform during the three-day event on Randall's Island Park from June 2-4.

Tickets go on sale Friday. The festival is in its seventh year.

 

The Governors Ball will mark Tool's first NYC performance in 11 years.

Other performers include Bleachers, Cage the Elephant, Flume, BANKS, Schoolboy Q, Marshmello, Franz Ferdinand, Wiz Khalifa, Charli XCX, Kehlani and Tove Lo.

Business Insider has been attending for years. Here's a few of our past experiences there:

And here's the full 2017 lineup:

governors ball lineup

 

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12 things every guy should keep in his gym bag

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Are you ready to hit the gym? You've got the confidence, the drive, and the know-how, but are you sure your bag is adequately packed?

We've put together a list of the most necessary gym-going essentials, so you can be sure you're not missing anything.

These 12 items range from things that could make your workout more fun — like a tiny device that plays Spotify music — to the essentials, like a clean pair of socks.

Who knows? They may even make you want to go to the gym.

SEE ALSO: Here's why it actually matters what you wear to the gym

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Mighty keeps your Spotify on you at all times, even if you're without your phone.

Your phone is bulky and prone to breaking. But it's the only way to listen to your favorite Spotify playlists, right?

Well, not quite. Mighty, which is available for iPhones and Androids and will ship via Indiegogo later this year, is like an iPod Shuffle for your Spotify tunes. That makes it perfect for the gym, as it's lightweight and featureless.

If this product isn't for you, consider another lightweight, easy music player so you can be untethered from your phone while on the treadmill or pumping iron.

Mighty ($86)



Bring deodorant in case you're planning on meeting someone after your workout.

Just because you came from the gym doesn't mean you need to smell like it.

Slap on some antiperspirant before you leave the locker room so you don't gross out anyone on your walk home from the gym.

Dove Antiperspirant Deodorant ($6)



A fitness tracker will monitor your activity and heartbeat.

What's the point of getting a great workout in if you can't immediately share the hard numbers with all of your friends?

Luckily, with the Fitbit Charge 2 tracker, you won't have to worry about that. It will also keep track of your heartbeat to make sure you're getting a great workout.

Fitbit Charge 2 ($150)



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Here's why declawing your cat is terrible for them

China just opened a massive floating walkway that’s 2X longer than Manhattan

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On New Year's Day, China opened up its 31-mile-long floating walkway, located in Luodian County of southwest China's Guizhou Province. The walkway is twice as long as the city of Manhattan and has already received tens of thousands of tourists.

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