This post was sponsored by Verily. Personal opinions and thoughts are my own.
The other day I asked my mom for some dating advice. Not that I have a date lined up, but I like to be prepared, just in case. Be a gentleman, take her someplace nice, be a good conversationalist…all advice I have heard before. However, my mom started listing foods to avoid on a first date. I had never considered bad first date food choices before.
We started listing foods that would not be smart first date choices. Here are our top 5:
Spaghetti…need I say more? With my coordination, it would look like a murder scene by the end of dinner.
Large Hamburgers or Sandwiches…there is no graceful way to shove a mile-high burger in your mouth. Trying to do this with CP would create a food catastrophe.
Beans…despite being the magical fruit, toots rarely get you a second date.
Big Leafy Salads…a wilted green leaf between your teeth is not sexy. Not to mention, my fingers are not designed for leaf extraction.
Alcohol…it is a good idea to remain coherent throughout your date. Landing in the slammer for use of power chair while intoxicated does not make a good first impression.
As I was absorbing this list, it dawned on me that in my case, eating any food short of plain french fries would not be wise. I wear my food and it is not a fashion statement. Eating with dignity is very difficult with CP.
I could wear a bib, but unless I am eating lobster, this would not be cool on a date. I could invest in a tie-dye wardrobe and hope the food particles just blend, but tie-dye is not my style. Asking my date to feed me is totally out of the question…unless possibly the third date, which would include chocolate covered strawberries and champagne!
I had just about given up on eating while on a date, until Liftware Level™ asked me to try out their adaptive eating utensil. I jumped at the chance (not literally)! Liftware Level™ is the creation of the Liftware team at Verily, lead by Anupam Pathak, and is new to the market. In fact, it was just launched in December of 2016.
When my Liftware Level™ arrived, I was really pleased with the presentation and the quality. I received the starter kit (which included the soup spoon attachment), the fork attachment and a really nice carrying case. Suddenly, I had renewed hope of ordering off the menu sans tie-dye shirt.
This utensil uses electronic motion-stabilizing technology to keep the spoon or fork level as your hand or arm moves. I don’t know much about electronic motion-stabilizing technology, but I do know it is really cool! It has been a week since I started using my Liftware Level™ and no spills or stains. Amazing! I have never gone a week without wearing my food in all my 25 years of existence. Check out these videos of me demonstrating the Liftware Level™.
One of the challenging aspects of my CP is that I have a difficult time controlling my hand and arm movements while talking. My arms tend to rise and curl up as I speak. This really poses a problem when I suddenly have something to say while eating. This will definitely help in the dating world, as dinner usually involves conversation.
I really love the handle on the Liftware Level™. Regular silverware is difficult for me to grip. The round barrel of the Liftware Level™ handle allows me to wrap my hand around comfortably, allowing for nice thumb placement.
The strap holds the Liftware Level™ to my hand, preventing the many drops to the floor that I experience with standard silverware. It conveniently stays on my hand while I grab my drink. This may not seem like a big deal, but when you have limited hand control, putting down and picking up a utensil can result in embarrassing repeated drops. The strap is easily connected and released by a magnet on the bottom of the handle.
As I stated earlier, I received the spoon and fork attachments. These attach to the handle using magnets. It is easy enough for me to attach and detach these myself. The charger attaches magnetically in the same spot as well.
The rechargeable battery lasts up to an hour of continuous use. For me, this is about 3 meals. I need to make sure to charge it every night for the next day. A longer charge would be ideal, but making it a part of my daily routine solves that issue. Additionally, it would be nice to have a low battery indicator.
Liftware Level™ has the potential to restore confidence to those with limited arm and hand mobility. Accepting my limitations has always been easy for me, because I have always had CP, I don’t know any different. However, people with spinal cord injuries, Huntington’s Disease and other mobility affecting diseases may have a hard time adjusting to their new limitations. Eating out as an individual with a disability can be unnerving. Add dating to the equation and this only escalates the stress. Personally, I know I will be more confident on my next date. However, I still won’t be ordering spaghetti or ribs!
Outside of a longer battery life, I have one more critique. Liftware Level™ is only offered in white. It would be awesome if there were various colors and patterns to choose from. I can live with white but I know kids with disabilities would really appreciate different selections, like pink or even Spiderman! If they had a Green Bay Packer Liftware Level™, I would be all over it! However, in the meantime I would choose a white Liftware Level™ over the fanciest of standard silverware.
This truly is a remarkable product for any individual with a disability which results in limited arm and hand mobility. The cost of the starter kit is $195, which includes the leveling handle, the soup spoon attachment, strap, charger cord and a travel pouch. The fork attachment and a travel case can be purchased separately. A small price to pay for a carefree date and dignity.
Liftware Level™ is offering a free carrying case to the first 15 of my readers to order a starter kit. Simply enter in the code LIFTWARE-HUNTERK when checking out. Click here to check out Liftware Level™. There is a gift option available when ordering. I have to say this will be on my list of what to buy someone with a disability for the holidays.
Until next time, Keep Rollin’ and Keep Smilin’!
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