Ethical Water Use In The Kitchen

Your washing the dishes, loading the dishwasher. There is about two dishes that need to be hand-washed, and there’s space for a few more dishes in the dishwasher. What do you do?  You fill the sink with soapy water in order to wash the last couple dishes, then you wait until there are enough dishes to wash it. If you have to wait too long, several of the dishes won’t wash because they have stuff dried on them.  Or, the more common issue, you need some of the dishes sitting in the dirty dishwasher, so you end up pulling them out and washing them by hand anyways…

If we wait to run the dishwasher until it is completely full, why do we fill a sink full of soapy water just to wash two pans? What is the most ethical way to take care the dishes? Why don’t we wash everything at the end of the day, or when there is enough to be at least 3/4 full? This way, you will always have the clean dishes you need, you will never have a disgusting sink full of dirty dishes waiting for the dishwasher to get done, and your dishwasher will be able to wash each dish more thoroughly by putting fewer dishes in the dishwasher in the first place.

Is it entirely unethical to run the dishwasher when it is almost full? What are your thoughts?

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The Couch Potato

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I was watching How I Met Your Mother, Season 5, Episode 7 today, when I realized something.  There is such a phenomenon that when people get in a serious relationship they might start letting things go. What I mean about this, is perhaps letting go of certain hygiene things, or maybe it just means becoming less ad venturous.  Let’s think of some examples.

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First, we think of the person that starts “dining in” more than out. This person perhaps just broke up with their loved one, or perhaps their significant other works late or is on a business trip. Whatever the case is, this is the picture: you’re home by yourself, with a bowl full of something sweet or salty; or even a couple different bowls of different stuff. You stuff your face, maybe drown in some liquor, and pass out eventually. This is the lonely couch potato.

 

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Then there is the serious binge watcher. This means more than one thing. For one thing, watching shows upon shows upon shows. Also, mindlessly eating throughout those show binges. Whether it’s chocolate, chips, or even something else. It could even be healthy food! Whatever the case, it’s a double binge, and does double harm.

 

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This is the lazy couch potato. This picture is depicting all the other things that you should do, but get distracted from the things that are really important. I mean, your dog might want your attention, or need to go outside. Maybe your kids need you, or you need to start dinner. Or, the famous one–you need to workout. You’re putting off yoga or your daily workout, or even doing the dishes or cleaning the house.

 

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Then, of course, there is the depressed couch potato. This is perhaps the hardest one to fix, because this kind of couch potato comes from different causes. In fact, there are many different causes and many different treatment plans for depression. Since there are many different ways to take care of this. Firstly, identify the cause of the depression. Is there something like sleep disorders that is making you depressed? Is it nutritional imbalance? There are so many questions.

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After changing that which can be changed, start nourishing your soul. Those endless hours of TV, binges, and whatever keeps you from doing what you are supposed to do, is that which our subconscious way of avoiding discrepancies and even negligence. Some turn to yoga and meditation. The key is to listen to your body. To take some time of silence, rest, and serenity. In today’s times, when can a person be alone, quiet, and attentive?

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This is for the ladies in my audience. You need to cook dinner, you need to eat healthier. You also need to spend some time alone, so what do you do? Combine some of them to make it possible. Take extra time to cook dinner in order to spend some quiet time in your own thoughts. This is a good time to put on some classical music and chase the kids out for some play time outside. This will give you some time with your spirit, and you can meditate while cooking nourishing food. It sets you in a good mood, and gives you more time to cook something you can actually enjoy.

These are my goals for 2016. I want to spend time with my spirit. I intend to try meditation, even if it is spent cleaning and cooking my kitchen. I also intend to keep a consistent schedule in order to maintain balance across all regions of my life. This means not over-extending in any way. I mean, getting eight hours of sleep each and every night, dedicating the perfect amount of time for my school, the gym, work, and even taking care of myself and my home. All summed up, HOMEOSTASIS.

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Namaste!

Keeping the Focus

Today I want to talk about focus. I’m sure this is something I’ve talked about before, but maybe I have some new insight. In order to keep focus, we first have to have the focus in the right place. My focus is balance. Because of this, if one thing, whether good or bad, messes up that balance, then it is put into confinement. Let me think of some examples.

When I eat foods such as wheat or dairy, it upsets the balance in my intestines as well as my mind. The wheat gives me brain fog as well as an upset stomach, and dairy does more than that. So, that is something that is out of my life, within reason. These things might be healthy for some, but not for me, because it upsets the entire alignment.

Another example is if an extreme boot camp workout is causing sleep deficiencies, well that is putting your body into a weakened immune system, as well as that which generally is associated with sleep deprivation, like a loss of energy, injury, and even accidents.

Clutter can cause lost balance in life as well. Clutter is more than just having a lot of unfinished piles of work laying around where you can see it. Clutter can happen in the mind too, when someone has too much on their plate or keeps to many “junk files” on the forefront of their mind. This mimics worry and turns into frustration and anger.

The best way to overcome all these things and keep focus, balance, and keep an even keel in life, is to meditate. I don’t know from a lot of experience, but it’s something I want to try. I love yoga, and always benefit from it. Meditation is the next step in my search for balance and meaning in life.

How to Get Overwhelmed

Hitting the Snooze Button

This is at the top of my list for many reasons. Firstly, your body does not actually benefit from that additional five or more minutes of shut-eye, even if you repeat the snooze button several times in a row. So, if your body is not benefiting from the snooze button, why do it? Actually, it may even do more harm than good! The snooze button flips the “sleep switch” in your brain neurotransmitters. So, while you aren’t getting any beneficial sleep, you are actually telling your mind it is time to go to bed. Another thing that happens, is you lose time. It’s more like time wasted sending the wrong signals to your brain. During that time, you could practice some refreshing yoga, drinking a few cups of tea with lemon to start your metabolism, or even spending extra time in the shower. So let’s avoid the snooze button, and spend the time needed to wake up properly, according to our individual circadian rhythm.

Misplaced Focus

Here I am talking about that moment when you try “multi-tasking”, but end up simply jumping from one project to the other all day long, without actually getting anything done. You are constantly busy, and your to do list is never actually done. In fact, you might get lucky and cross off the first few things, eventually, but it takes you all day. This is because you are not able to put all your focus on one thing at a time. As a full-time University student, full time Nanny of four, and housewife, I know about busy. I used to think I invented multi-tasking–that is, until I realize that trying to do this was only hindering my success. I can get way more done, if I only do it one or two at a time. For instance, pair multitasking things properly. If you are studying or writing something, it isn’t the best time to catch up with social media, a movie, or even scheduling. It may be a good time to practice meditating, and if it isn’t too complicated making dinner. Like, it’s easier to have a pot of soup on simmer while you are writing your essay than it is to do something that requires retaining information.

 

Exercise–Too Much or Too Little?

Exercise is a tricky thing. You have to know your own body above all. If you are starting a new thing in your life–whether it is a new job, a new workout, a new diet, or even returning to school; well, you may need some time to get into a rhythm with that new stage in life. It seems like common sense, but many will use this time to try to push it extra hard at the gym. That is only going to push you to a breakdown, or at least worn down. This will set you back on your routine for at least two or three weeks. It is better to focus on maintenance and settling into your new routine. Then, there will be times when you get into a rut. This could be at the gym, or it could be anywhere in your life. This is the time you could use an extra push at the gym. Try to impress yourself! This is the time to push yourself to see what you are capable of. It will actually spice things up in many areas of your life, like your sex life, your work life, and even home life. It will also help you sleep better, and awaken that “competitive edge” that will give you a greater push in your other areas of life.

Diet and Deficiency

This is a serious issue. In fact, a lot of people think about fitness as a priority, and diet as something that just sort of happens when you do everything else right. This is not true. In fact, all those things (going to the gym, getting sleep, keeping a routine) won’t work if you are deficient in something or living on junk food.  Here is some food for thought: did you know that some things commonly considered “vitamins” are actually hormones? For instance,  vitamin D is actually a hormone. At Vitamin D Hormone, we learn that Vitamin D is actually called the “sun hormone”. This brings home the realization that this “vitamin” is in fact essential. This is not an “extra” but rather one of the essentials that we can’t ignore without repercussions.

Forgetting Your Hobbies

Why is this important? Well, hobbies are something that we do to stay busy, that make us happy, and are designed to keep our mental capacities in balance. If you get too busy doing everything for everyone else around you, then try to fit in healthy home cooking and working out; well, sometimes you find yourself without any time or even energy to work on your little projects! Well, then what can happen, is one of two things. Firstly, you can have these unfinished projects brewing in the back of your mind endlessly, adding a constant below-grade stress just sitting there, building up with intensity over time. Or, another thing that can happen, is that your mind and body get slightly worn out from all the things it has to do and remember, places to go and meetings to attend to, that its senses go into overexertion and end up with burnout. Either way does not sound like something we would do intentionally.

Missing the Little Things

What does this mean? It’s a little like being in the fast lane, and going so fast that you don’t even see the trees from the forest. Everything in life flies by in a blur, and you don’t even notice the way your baby waddles or slurs his words after a bottle of milk. Or, maybe you don’t notice your own strength, which also means you aren’t aware when you are hungry, full, thirsty, and tired. You just keep going in autopilot–which will wear you down as well. The thing is, this is a preventable thing that causes early aging! Think about it–how hard is it to really just relax and enjoy certain things. Meditate. Spend time enjoying your lunch rather than eating “on the go”. I get it, sometimes we have to live in the moment and sometimes we have to live on the go. But, if we consistently ignore the little things and only live for work, rather than working to live, well that can be our automatic response in life. That can be our baseline in life–autopilot.

Overloading Your To Do List

This kind of self-explanatory but necessary to discuss nonetheless. What happens when you put too much stuff on your to do list? Your mind listens and can send a “panic response” through the nervous system. This can trigger the adrenaline response, and if this is a chronic issue, you can make yourself go into adrenal fatigue. The reason this is so serious, is because when your body is fatigued, it is not at its strongest in the immune system for one thing. It is so much easier to contact illnesses and infections when you are tired than when you are well rested and live a balanced life. So, do yourself a favor and only write down the most important things that must be done that day. Everything else, write in a hidden list or else just leave it alone until the next day.

Drama Queen Anyone?

This is referring to people who seem to attract drama. I personally know people who seem to attract, even draw drama out of people. This is an exhausting role in society, because drama queens end up having such drama come back and bite them hard. For instance, there is this lady who loves to create drama. But sometimes unwanted drama will find its way back, and cause additional stress and even heartache. Do you know anybody like that?

Missing Family Time

Family time is essential to a balanced life. I am not talking about Facebook, Twitter, or even Skype. This is face to face time without the phones. Like, watching a football game together or going on a family hike. This is a great time to get to know your family, and also yourself! So many times people turn to technology to try to find themselves…but that is a facade. We are more than just posts and tweets. We are more than our photo album. We are more than just snap shots. We are unique beings that can change over time and according to the seasons too. For instance, I know that when it is cloudy (whether it’s raining or not) I get depressed. It’s a seasonal depression, and I have learned that my mind and body need this time to relax and drink tea. It’s like a cry for detox, meditation, and a reset.

Intermittent Fasting

Here’s an interesting thought. It’s new and it’s hot! It’s all over the web, too! Intermittent fasting in order to be healthier. How does it even work? Why is this so hot on the web? There are so many questions that one can have.

Let’s just set some things straight. Intermittent fasting does not condone eating disorders, but rather controlled eating and mindful lifestyle habits. For instance, anorexia is the eating disorder that makes people starve themselves in public and sometimes binge in private. Intermittent fasting is completely different from that. It does not matter whether you are alone or with friends and family, but is just a certain amount of time set aside to drink water and tea in order to reset your metabolism.

One reason that many do not agree with intermittent fasting is the fact that it is different from anything else that has blown up in popularity. For instance, the body building technique to eat every two hours is a completely different idea that was initially born in order to help body builders gain muscle. It was then adopted by the weight loss community, in order to keep the blood sugar up. Well, do you want to have your body constantly in high sugar mode? This can be counterproductive to losing weight and even living healthily. You become a “sugar user” rather than a “fat burner”. You may end up losing weight, but it is only going to happen if you become conscious about what you are consuming, and keeping track of how much.

What have I found to be the most useful time-guidelines for a healthy metabolism? The eight hour rule. This is sort of new to social media, but has been around for quite some time. Taking the eight hour rule seriously means that you will eat two to three healthy and balanced meals in an eight hour period. The rest of the time you should only have plain water or tea, since those don’t raise the blood sugar very high. This gives your body a chance to turn to reserves, rather than sugar, for energy. This means your body will be using protein and fat for a long lasting energy.

The eight hour rule matches intermittent fasting. Well, if you think about it, with the eight hour rule, you will only be eating for eight hours of the day. That means that 16 hours are set aside for fasting, with only plain water or tea. Intermittent fasting is the act of fasting anywhere from 12 to 24 hours, so in a sense you are living with intermittent fasting. Then, every ten to 14 days, you can fast for a complete 24 hours, filling up on plain tea and water, in order to reset your body and metabolism. It makes your body stronger, and lets it function as was intended. You get to clean out your system, strengthen its immune system, and practice will power.

So, if you have your first meal at 11 AM, Then the last meal will be at 7. Halfway between 11 and 7, which is around 3, it will be the third meal. One of these meals can be more like a snack, which is what I do. It usually is the first or second meal, and goes like this. If I want to have a breakfast burrito with my husband, I’ll do so. Otherwise, it will be something light like fruit or a bowl of oatmeal. When I have a burrito, I’ll have some veggies for lunch. When I have a light breakfast, I’ll have something like soup and flautas or tacos for lunch. Dinner is usually veggies and fish, or, leftovers.

What do you think will work for you?

Enjoy Your Workout

Have you ever found yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place, when it comes to working out and enjoying the fitness process? I have. In fact, I have spent most of my life this way. I have tried to figure out ways to get inspired…to become motivated! Fear may be man’s greatest motivator, but it doesn’t motivate in a positive energy. I have struggled from time to time to have a positive energy driving me in my healthy lifestyle endeavors.

To know what truly will motivate you, inspire you, even drive you to do something; you must know yourself–in and out. I found out this summer that I absolutely love running…I mean, every part of it. I love the part where I feel like punching myself in the gut, but mostly because of what is on the other side of this hump. I get the chance to cleanse, to increase my endorphin responses, and to increase strength, speed, and stamina.

But, the trick is to be in tune to your body enough to recognize when it is time to change things up. For instance, when I was running, after a couple months I started to plateau and even my strength, speed, and stamina decreased a bit. This indicated that I needed to make sure my body rested, and it also indicated that what I was doing was not enough.

So, I took a couple weeks off, and then started lifting weights. I did not enjoy this one bit…I’ll be honest. I really don’t like to lift weights. In fact, I avoid it as much as is possible. But, if it will make me be able to run again I’ll do it! But here’s the thing–as long as you are doing something, it is better than nothing. Why? For one thing, you are still moving around. You are keeping up a good habit. You are keeping health in your subconscious mind.

The best thing that happens, is you learn more about yourself. I was doing this, and really not enjoying it at all, when I realized that there was something I have been ignoring for such a long time. I have been wanting to try out boxing. I mean, in my home gym dream I have a couple different types of punch bags. So, I got a hold of a great coach to show me the moves. I absolutely love it! It has been a couple weeks, and I am still loving it! So, a little bit at a time, I found something that I absolutely love. This may change over time, and I’m okay with that.

Keep Moving When Exhausted

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The past few weeks have had this roller coaster in them for me, and I haven’t talked to many about it. This week, I had this sleep study to see why I am so exhausted throughout the day, and I won’t have any definitive answers for a couple weeks. Then I need to schedule a consult with the doctor, and possibly a couple more sleep studies to confirm diagnosis.

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The study itself was interesting. I mean, you’re supposed to sleep as you normally would; but on their terms and with all these wires hooked up to your body, face, and even in your hair! I mean, I had wires sticking up my nose!!! So, not only do you have to go asleep at the time they set for you, you’re in a different bed, with different temperatures, and ALONE. If you sleep with your significant other, pets, or even young kids that crawl in your bed this would be a different experience! So, putting the study aside, I have something I want to talk about.

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There is a tentative suggestion that I may have narcolepsy. This would explain why, ever since I was between 17 and 19, I started to have trouble with energy. It has gotten worse, and is even to the point that when driving, if I drive for over 1 1/2 hours (it doesn’t matter if I have slept or not) I get extremely drowsy! Sometimes, even just driving the 3 miles I have to take for work, I feel myself taking a miniature nap when sitting at the red light. In fact, once, when I was 21, I knew I had about ten minutes extra time to get there on time, and pulled over and set my alarm on my cell for an 8 minute nap. It’s a real problem, and makes it difficult to manage, not knowing what it was for all these years.

Narcolepsy Tips

I am initiating a study for personal reasons, and came across this interesting article. It’s an expansive list of tips for those who suffer from narcolepsy. This one suggests that the REM needs to be retrained. During the times which sleepiness is more prone, move around and exercise! It suggests finding the magic number for sleep needed for a “normal” day (or the closest possible) and sticking to that schedule. Getting exactly that amount of sleep, and then making the bed when waking up.

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Exercise is KEY. I cannot stress this enough. One thing that I have already noticed (whether I have narcolepsy or not) is turning on all the lights to stay awake. It has worked wondrously for the past couple days for me! In fact, a minute ago I nearly fell asleep while trying to study, and falling asleep on my desk is not my favorite! I decided to work on my narcolepsy study, and found this article that I chose to share with you. I immediately got up, turned on all the lights, and my urges started to slow down.

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Another thing that helps is taking a shower. The act of washing my face and hair, getting into clean clothes, and getting a fresh glass of iced tea is something that is hard to replace. Perhaps this is a double whammy for exercising to energize, because not only are you moving around and boosting your metabolism, but you are signaling your brain that it is not time to sleep. Then to top it off, you freshen up as if it were a new day.

KEEP MOVING AND YOUR BRAIN WILL REMAIN ALERT AND ATTENTIVE

I am not suggesting that you should go without your proper sleep by any means! This is just what I have found to be helpful for myself, in my sleep situation. Eventually, I will strive to have a schedule that will be healthful for my condition, to keep it under control. For a while, I was eating right and sleeping a consistent 7 to 8 hours a night; with rarely a nap in the middle of the day. I was doing great! I was active, and had the energy to do so….but not at first. It takes discipline and dedication to start out. It also takes a good sleep log, so I have heard. I started one today, since I will be consulting with the sleep specialist in a few weeks.

So, exercise doesn’t have to be just about “running” from that which annoys you, or “hiding” from your fears. It actually doesn’t have to be about weight loss or even health. It can just be a way to symbol your brain that it is daytime, and it needs to stay awake and alert. I’ll write an update when my results come back, and give you more information that I have compiled from different resources.