Tuesday, May 14, 2013

F.LUX: Better Lighting for Your Computer

I heard about F.LUX from a podcast I was listening to called, "Not Just Paleo." Which by the way is my new favorite Podcast!  Anyway, Evan Brand (the host) mentioned a computer program that helps adjust the lighting on your computer depending on the time of day so that it's not so damaging to your eyes.

I absolutely LOVE IT.  It's free and it gets the job done.  Computers have this blue light built in that makes your eyes/body believe that it is still daytime, which prevents your melatonin from setting in and ultimately helping you fall asleep at night.  The program helps adjust the lighting to a sort of reddish tone that is much easier on the eyes, especially if you're constantly on the computer at night.  There are different options to choose from.  I personally love the "Candle" mode.  In fact I'm using it right now.

To help you sleep better at night, try to avoid blue lights- primarily TV, Computers and Cellphones.  Also, dim all of your lights at night to help your melatonin set in and help you get sleepy at night.

Friday, May 10, 2013

My Favorite Ways to Use Coconut Oil

This is the kind I use.

I started using coconut oil maybe 3 months ago.  Since then I have experimented with different ways of using Coconut oil.  It's astounding the many uses of coconut oil.  Here are my favorites:

  • Flatten down any FlyAways: I always have these little, annoying hairs that stick up when ever I want to style my hair or put it up.  I like it better than hair spray, because it doesn't leave it sticky and hard.  You only need a little to pat down some annoying hairs to make it appear smooth and sleek.  
  • Body & Face Moisturizer: I especially love rubbing my legs with coconut oil.  It makes my legs look shiny and smooth.  It keeps my legs smooth all day.  Most moisturizers don't last that long.
  • Cuticle Cream: Coconut oil gets rid of your cuticles fast!  It makes your nail beds look really nice and clean.
  • Make-up Remover:  This is the BEST make-up remover I've used.  You just take a nickel/quarter size amount and rub it over face/eyes.  Take a warm washcloth and remove make-up.  It works VERY well!
  • Deodorant: This is my ABSOLUTE favorite deodorant.  It never fails to work!  Plus, personally I don't like the perfumes in deodorants.  Plus, coconut oil doesn't stain your (white) shirts.  All you need is a small amount of coconut oil to rub under your arms and then add a dab of baking soda.  That's it!
  • Lubricant: I'm sorry but it's so true!  It works really well.  'Nuff said :)
  • Supplement: I eat anywhere from 1-4 Tbsp of coconut oil throughout the day.  It helps boost energy and immune system. And it tastes DELICOUS!
  • To Cook with:  Coconut oil works better than butter, due to the fact that nothing sticks when you use coconut oil!  I use it most when I cook eggs in the morning.  It gives the eggs kinda of a "fried" taste.  I love it!
So honestly it's a GREAT investment!
You won't regret it!

I think my favorite part about Coconut Oil is the smell.  
It's as if you're visiting Hawaii every time you put on some coconut oil!

I've never been :) but hopefully I will!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Foods to Help You Sleep Better at Night

I was listening to a podcast called "Dishing Up Nutrition" the other day.  Their main focus was how to get better sleep at night.  I thought FINALLY!  I was excited that the whole show would be devoted to this one topic that EVERYONE struggles with.  It may differ from night to night.  Sometimes I have a hard time falling asleep.  Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night.  So it all depends.  

I've heard different things about what foods help you sleep at night, such as oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, popcorn, pretzels, bowl of cereal.  If you notice a pattern, all of those suggestions are HIGH-carb snacks.  IF you're having problems sleeping at night, you want to avoid HIGH-Carb foods.  Because the problem with HIGH-carb foods is that you get a high dose of Dopamine and then you crash afterwards- the feeling of "Wired-but-Tired."

The nutritionists on the podcast suggested the best type of snack is a Healthy FAT + CARB (fruit).  Here are some of the snacks they suggested to eat 1/2 hour to and hour before bedtime.

  1. 2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream + 1/4 c fruit
  2. 1/4 c coconut milk (canned, full fat) + 1/4 c berries
  3. Small Avocado + fruit
  4. Small apple or Celery + 2 Tbsp Peanut butter or Almond butter
  5. Small apple and 2-3 small slices of Cheese
  6. 1/4 c Nuts + fruit (I personally Love almonds and brazillian nuts)

They did mention also that EVEN if you wake up in the middle of the night and can't fall back asleep, they still ENCOURAGE you to grab one of the snacks listed above to help you FALL BACK ASLEEP.

I find it so fascinating that we can USE nutrition to help us feel better.  That's why I love their podcast.  It's basically reteaching us how to eat REAL food and avoid the processed crap.  But trust me, it's a journey because I still struggle with eating REAL food all the time.  But I know I feel better when I do eat REAL food.  So test it out for yourself.  The only way to find out is if you try it.  You are the best judge of your body and how you feel.  I only share what has worked for me, that doesn't mean it works for you.  You are the best JUDGE of YOU!

They also shared some natural supplements you can take to help with sleep.  
I will be sharing that in a future post. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

My Favorite Homemade "Tea"

This is the kind I use :)

Have you heard of Maca?  I purchased a bag of raw Maca Powder at the grocery store a little while ago.  It has amazing AMAZING benefits: 

Rich in Vitamin B12 and proteins (Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorus and Amino Acids also!)

                           Boosts Libido (Hello!?!)

                                  Boosts Mood

                                 Boosts Energy

Serious!?! Who (women?!?) wouldn't want to give it a try.  However, Maca smells/tastes HORRIBLE. Ugh, I hate it.  BUT..there's hope!  There are 2 ways that work amazingly- You can add it to a smoothie of your choice.  OR you can add it to tea---which is my favorite- The Cinnamon masks it beautifully!

Recently I've been just heating up some water in the microwave (2 min) and ADD:
  1. 1 tsp MACA Powder
  2. Couple shakes of Organic Ground Cinnamon*
  3. 4-5 Drops of organic Stevia Extract (I use creamy vanilla--YUMM!)
*regulates blood sugar, contains calcium, fiber, iron, manganese & effective for menstrual pain.

I like to have a cup in the morning and a cup in the mid to late afternoon.  This is my MIRACLE drink.  I always feel really good after a cup-- A peaceful-calming-rejuvenated feeling!  I love it!

Give it a TRY!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Workout Week #13

As I've mentioned in a previous post, I am focusing on exercises that will help lower my cortisol.  

I hope to implement more active workouts in the future but for now I am REALLY enjoying all the yoga that I'm doing.

I recently tried out a local studio downtown Springville.  It's above an Herbal Shop/ Ginger's Cafe.  It's a mini health food store with supplements, herbs, books, teas, etc!  It also has a cafe which I am dying to try out--Salads, wraps, sandwiches, desserts etc---lots of organic foods. And it's all at reasonable prices.

The studio itself is located upstairs so you have to go in the back.  The studio is rather basic.  They hope to remodel it-- add mirrors, redo the floor.  The ceiling is pretty rad.  It has lots of pretty designs in it.  I like to stare at it while I do my yoga poses.  The only downfall is that the ceiling is pretty short.  Haha I can easily touch the ceiling and I'm pretty short...5'4".  So it's basically Yoga for short people :)

There were only 3 other people there, other than the instructor.  Gwen is the instructor.  I like her very much.  If an instructor is able to calm my mind and leave me feeling rejuvenated and at peace at the same time at the end of their class..then I will come back to the class!  I hope to go every Thursday.  Plus, it's good to get out of the house and meet new people.  

A new Recreation center is being built close by.  I don't think they have opened it yet.  I really hope to start going to their pool and do some laps.  I've never been huge into swimming but I hope to try it out and see if I like it.  I think it's good to try new things.   I'll let you know how it goes.

Last Week's Workouts:

Monday: 1 hour walk, outside
Tuesday: Bob Harper's Yoga for the Warrior
Wednesday: 1 hour walk, outside
Thursday: Yoga Class (Local Studio)
Friday: Hike (45 minutes)
Saturday: P90X Yoga (1 hr 10 min)
Sunday: REST

RED= Mostly Strength workout
BLUE= Purely Cardio