Air Purifier!

I got a new healthy toy recently: an air purifier!

My house is very dusty, partially because of pets and partially because of my aging carpet. Sometimes I get congested because of it, especially in the morning after breathing dust all night. So I decided to get a room air purifier to see if that made a difference.

I chose a Holmes 3 speed model from Amazon, because it’s about the right size and the price was good.

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It has 3 speeds; the highest is a little loud, but the lowest is very quiet, which makes it perfect for running at night.

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It has a fancy HEPA-type filter, which catches dust and allergens, as well as a foam outer filter to catch the big stuff (like cat hair). 🙂

So far I really like it! I’ve been running the medium or high speed during the day, and low at night. I’ve got it sitting on the mini-desk over the cat’s litter box, since that’s one of the major sources of dust in my bedroom.

Once I’ve had it for a few weeks, I’ll write a full review and let everyone know how well it works! 🙂 The exact model is Holmes HAP412BNS , and it’s currently on sale!

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New video – Self Esteem Affirmations!

Do you need to boost your self esteem? Wonder how to improve your feelings of self worth and raise your confidence? These affirmations will help fix your low self-esteem, recognize your value, and help you feel better about yourself. 🙂

NOTE: If you are experiencing depression, self hate, or considering suicide, please see a doctor for help. YOU ARE VALUABLE AND LOVABLE, no matter what your mind may tell you! ❤

 

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Saving Straws with Steel!

I was introduced to the idea of straw alternatives by a great post over on Helen’s Journey, and I made a mental note to buy some soon. I thought I would have to get them online, but during a shopping trip at a local retail store, I stumbled across a pack of stainless steel straws in the kitchen section! I grabbed them with a little cheer…luckily no one else was in that aisle to hear me make a fool of myself, lol.

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This pack contained four straws; two straight and two bent, in different sizes. It also supplied a cleaning tool and four colorful silicone tips, to make the straws more comfortable to drink out of.

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I tried one at dinner, and it works great!

I’m going to use these at home, and I also plan to take one with me when I go to a restaurant. It will save a straw each time, and might even be a fun conversation starter. 😉

If you’re interested in getting some of your own, there’s a nice set here on Amazon!

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Healthy snack reviews!

I love trying new things, including food. On a recent shopping trip I decided to hit the health food section of my local grocery and grab a few healthy items to test out! The products I selected were Siggi’s yogurt, Simple Truth almond milk, and Simple Truth seaweed snack.

Siggi’s Yogurt

I love yogurt, but I stopped eating it a few years back when I learned how much sugar it has. Many brands average 25g of sugar, which is as much as a candy bar! :O And when they do have lower sugar content, it’s because of artificial sweeteners, which are dangerous as well as tasting horrible.

Siggi’s advertises on the foil top that it has low sugar (11-13g), and the ingredient list had only cane sugar as a sweetener. It looked like a good choice, so I selected one in mixed berry flavor.

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The result? YUM! I love this yogurt! The texture is nice and thick, so a container full is substantial and filling (the label explains that, according to Icelandic tradition, most of the water is strained out).

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The taste is different from most yogurts; because they have so much sugar, most yogurts are super sweet and taste like candy. Siggi’s tastes more like traditional old-fashioned yogurt, with a tangy, more cultured flavor.

So if you prefer super-sweet yogurt, Siggi’s probably isn’t the brand for you. But if you’re looking for a healthier, less processed tasting yogurt, I highly recommend Siggi’s! I’ve already gone out and bought a few more flavors to try. 🙂 I love it!

Seaweed Snack

This was an impulse buy that I happened to grab as I was passing by. The package is extremely light, and almost feels like there’s nothing in it. Inside, I found a tray of seaweed slices.

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Each slice is super thin, like a piece of tissue paper!

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As for the taste, well, hmm. It basically tastes like fish. If I had taken a bite without knowing what I was eating, I would have guessed that I was eating fish flakes! I think I was expecting it to taste more plant-like, maybe like salty kale.

I can’t say I’ll be getting more of these snacks. In fact, I haven’t touched it since tasting the first one. It also doesn’t seem like it would be very filling, since the actual volume of seaweed is so low (I’m guessing if you compressed the entire package together, it would maybe be a spoonful of actual plant matter). It’s not for me, but I suppose if you’re a big fan of seafood it could work as a snack.

Almond Milk

I wanted to try some kind of plant milk after a post by Alys over at Alys Journals. I decided to start with the most well known one, almond milk. I like almonds, so it seemed like a safe choice. 🙂

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I was surprised to see that it looks very similar to actual milk! It’s a bit thinner than whole milk, but it’s about the consistency of skim, and the color is almost identical to cow’s milk.

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As for the flavor, it’s…pretty good! It does taste like almonds, but not as strongly as the actual nut. And the more I drink it, the more I like it, probably because I’m losing the expectation that it should taste exactly the same as animal milk. I don’t see it replacing real milk for me as a stand-alone drink or with chocolate, but I think I might start using it on cereal, in smoothies, or in recipes. And this has given me the confidence to try another type of plant milk next time. 🙂

The only drawback to the almond milk is the list of ingredients; it had quite a few gums and lecithins and other similar additives. I need to check other brands to see if maybe they do better in this category.

Overall, I enjoyed my health food experimentation! Siggi’s yogurt is on my permanent shopping list, and I’m going to continue to try different plant milks. I can’t wait to see what I’ll discover next. 🙂

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The Importance of Sunlight

Are you getting enough sunlight? If you’re not, you’re missing out on a potent health booster, which also happens to be completely free! Here are some of the many benefits of sunlight:

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Vitamin D: The most well-known benefit of sunlight is the production of Vitamin D. Though it’s called a vitamin, Vitamin D is actually a hormone, with several important functions in the body. One of the most important jobs is to aid in the absorption of calcium and magnesium into the bones, and it also helps to strengthen the immune system to fight off disease. Your body can make its own supply of this valuable substance; when sunlight hits the skin, it converts cholesterol into Vitamin D. So not only do you get more D, you’re actually improving your cholesterol levels as well!

Decrease Depression: Sunlight also has effects on other hormones. Exposure to sunlight stimulates the production of Serotonin, otherwise known as the “happy hormone”. Regular sun time can actually improve your mood and help to fight depression and anxiety.  Sunlight also decreases the production of Melatonin, the hormone responsible for making you sleepy. Getting some sun as soon as you wake up is a great way to increase alertness and shake away grogginess.

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Decrease SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder): SAD is a common condition during the winter months, when cold temperatures and shorter days can bring on lower moods and intensify depression. Exposure to sunlight can help decrease this condition through Serotonin production. So if you feel more down than normal during the winter months, strap on some mittens and go spend some time in the sun!

It’s Natural: Long ago, humans spent much more time outside than we do today. Our minds and bodies developed under the sun, and modern indoor life conflicts with this natural lifestyle. Spending more time outside in the sunlight gets us closer to nature and our healthiest human state!

Social Interaction: You can get sun in your own backyard, but going to a park or even walking on the sidewalk can have social benefits too. Mental health is increased by positive social interaction, so seeing and talking to other people can have great health benefits. Who knows, you might even meet a new friend or partner! 🙂

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Make it a priority to get some sunlight every day, especially in winter. Obviously too much sun can have negative effects, but a reasonable amount of these warming rays can do wonders for your health and well-being.

My favorite place to get some healthy sunlight is in my backyard, on my swing. I love to sit out there and sew while soaking up some rays. 🙂 Do you have a special place?

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