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Posts from the ‘lifestyle’ Category

Make good choices to quench thirst and avoid harmful chemicals

Deal or health

While standing in the line at grocery store, it’s impossible not to notice what people are putting in their shopping carts. There is pretty large crowd which walks around the store with flyers in their hand looking for deals and discounts. Well, it’s not that the best products or the freshest ones get into this flyer, but we can sometimes get promotional products at very reasonable prices. At least at my local grocery store, the most deals are offered for unhealthy and processed food and drinks.

Soft drinks are banned in European schools

I would say there’s a reason why soft drinks like Coke, Pepsi and energy drinks are banned from schools and their neighbourhoods in quite a few European countries. My native country Latvia has always been strict with such foods and drinks, the positive side is that we didn’t even see them or knew they existed until the borders were opened in 1991. The Latvian market was flushed with North American type of chemical foods and fast food places appeared then.

Clean food means more health

We had practically no obesity and related issues until the era of imported food begun. Believe or not, real dairy products are still available in Latvia. It’s always up to consumers what choice to make because manufacturers will try to meet the demand. When consumers show their dissatisfaction with chemically enhanced food, manufacturers and food producers have no other way, but to offer food and drinks which are in line with healthy eating guidelines and which are compliant with restrictions in use of chemical ingredients.

Think again

I read an article how people, who told Coke was a total poison and Pepsi was a pure junk, were attacked online. That makes one wonder: are there really too few obesity, type 2 diabetes, digestive, heart and blood vessel associated diseases and cases yet? Isn’t there proof enough that not real food, proteins, carbohydrates and fats make a person sick, but their chemical substitutes and surrogate ingredients?

The choice is ours

Nobody would need to ever diet or fight the unwanted pounds if all of a sudden fast food, processed food and chemically produced food and drinks disappeared. However, that is not going to happen because profits always come first. There is a wide range in standards for chemicals and their maximum contents in food products. Therefore, the choice is ours: we all can exclude chemicals, fast food and processed foods from our menu. At least to some extent, because vegetables, fruit, berries, herbs and organic products are still a subject to standards. These standards allow for plenty of variation. “Organic” on a label does not mean the product is completely free of chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers. “Organic” means the amount of harmful chemicals meets the stated limits.

Hydration for heat

It has been abnormally hot in Canada, Ontario for the last 2 weeks. We are expecting one more heat wave. Everybody will need to quench their thirst, and everybody will have a choice: to use pure water, mineral water or fruit flavored water for hydration, or just grab some soft drink, milkshake or juice.

Water is the best

When we talk about hydration, there is nothing better than pure water. Water is the best for quite a few reasons: for its chemical formula, for the fast absorption rate, for its friendly attitude towards our cell structure and for its lack of chemicals. Be careful with tap water. It can can contain too much chlorine, even antibiotics, metformin which is blood sugar lowering drug, and residues of very harmful chemical elements. Anything which does not degrade naturally and fast can find its way into tap water.

Moderate and balanced amount of water

It’s enough to use moderate amount of water because overdoing anything has bad consequences. Abnormal amount of water can cause kidney failure and hyponatremia or deficit of sodium in the bloodstream. If you do not use water, but other liquids, you must be aware they contain things you might not want to overdo with: juice is high in sugar, soft drinks are high in sugar and chemicals, milkshakes and ice-cream based drinks have lots of calories. The only thing we actually need in heat is to hydrate ourselves and maintain a good functionality, isn’t it? We don’t have to intake as many calories as with meal for this purpose.

Early childhood habits

How about kids? Kids will use whatever their parents are offering them from early childhood. If a family does not use soft drinks, kid will never have cravings for them. When a family is not addicted to sugars and fast foods, kid will never know such disorders as type 2 diabetes. Some parents are very worried that child does not eat enough. Normal kid will not starve himself to the point when some disorders occur. Kid could be reluctant to drink enough water, though. I also told this in my previous post: making fruit flavored water with colorful slices of citrus fruits is a good idea because this type of drink does not raise the content of sugars much, but hydrates well and looks great. Nobody has appetite when the blood glucose level is too high. If your kid has had some sugar-rich food or drink before meal, they will refuse to eat normal meal.

My photos of fruit flavored water and ice

Adding colored ice to such drinks is also fantastic. I didn’t have time, but it’s possible to freeze any juice and make colorful ice cubes. We can place small mint leaves, berries or parts of fruit in water and freeze them, we can freeze tea and any liquid. It looks very attractive.

Fruit flavored water

Colorful, fresh and healthy

Mineral water good choice to quench our thirst

Mineral water is a good choice to quench our thirst

Add fruit and ice to regular bottled water

Add fruit and ice to regular bottled water

Sparkling mineral water

For people, who want to stay away from alcohol, using sparkling water with lime and mint and ice allows to get rid of cravings for alcohol. You can also use simple water, lots of ice cubes and small bit of lemon juice.

Still life with water and fruit

Fresh and delicious: what’s not to like?

I never like when we have to stop on the roadside for some snack while travelling, that the catering places always push one to have a Coke or Pepsi with food. When I ask whether they have sparkling water or mineral water, they quite often don’t. Well, I usually survive by asking for water with slice of lime.

Stay hydrated and use healthy water to quench your thirst!

Trying garden this year? Try these simple steps to harvest more

Gardening can be so many things: source of never-ending pleasure, good daily exercise, great hobby and so many delicious vegetables to add on your plate. Especially this year, it was hard to get even seeds. It looks like many people decided to start a garden this year when COVID-19 has made our life complicated. Why not? The vegetables we buy at store have been already sitting in a warehouse or shelf for a while. What we pick in the garden, is as fresh as it gets. You also know what is in your vegetables, herbs, berries and plants. Content of nutritious vitamins and minerals is definitely higher in fresh vegetables and herbs. You cannot lose with a garden! You can only gain.

Better harvest from small garden

The weather can be anything: very rainy, extremely dry, cool or very hot, windy and humid, as well. Our garden has to survive all weather conditions. Watering can be an issue. Watering too much and too frequently will harm plants and cause rotting of leaves and roots which later results in plant diseases. The best watering times are early morning and night when the sun is almost down or down. Observe plant reaction and check soil on touch, better not the surface only, but a few inches down. If it feels moist, leave those plants alone and water them next time.

After heavy rains or prolonged periods of dry and hot weather, some plants will die off regardless of what you do. I have observed that plants which I start from seeds will tolerate harsh weather much better and they will stay healthier much longer. If some plants have fallen out, start from new seeds again. Ready plants which we buy from nurseries, are generally weaker because most likely they had controlled conditions before. It might be too late restarting Bell pepper or tomatoes, but beets, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, cucumbers, not to mention green onions, lettuce, dill, parsley and basil will have enough time to mature.

We can give plants some extra nutrients, too, but the best is to keep it as natural as possible and you have to pay attention to type of soil and plant condition. It will be visible what it needs. If you have given some fertilizer your plant, but leaves are still light green, yellow with brown rims and similar, then these are insects or too wet/too dry or too heavy soil. Sometimes plants literally burn in too hot weather, then consider shading if possible.

How to make gardening fun

Some plants, especially herbs with strong smell, such as basil and parsley will keep insects away. They are not all pest resistant, but in my experience, they work well together with tomatoes and lettuce. Green onions work well in my garden to prevent bugs from my peas. I usually mix up plants because I have comparatively small space, so, I cannot use separate bed for only one type of plants.

Better harvest from small garden

Pot marigolds (calendula) and nasturtium grow very well between my other plants. They look great and, due to their pest attracting or insect deterring properties, they help to keep my vegetables healthy. Nasturtium flowers are edible and calendula flowers cure us from many health issues. For herbal treatment purposes, we collect new and fresh blooms and dry them.

Small garden, big harvest

I like dill all around cucumbers. Traditionally, Latvian food uses a lot of dill, parsley and green onion. Dill regulates and normalizes blood pressure. It is believed that eating decent amount of dill will lower high blood pressure. Not like a pill, but with regular use, it becomes more normal. Parsley, dill and green onion are extra health boosters. Use parsley/dill tea compress on face and it will regain useful look. You can drink it as morning drink for general tone. Dill seeds need to be planted every 2-3 weeks (the same about lettuce and arugula) if you want to have it fresh all summer and until the first frost. We collect dill seeds to use as herb and also to have it for new plants next year. Use dill seeds when pickling cucumbers, as well.

Efficient gardening

If you see that some plant is taking over and the other one is suffering, it’s time to transplant one of them. If some plant has damaged leaves, remove them right away. Observe what’s causing it: how moist or dry the soil is, are there any bugs or insects visible and so on. Pests often love the underside of leaves.

Better harvest from small garden

When tomato plant becomes too bushy, we cut out the suckers (the new branches which develop in the crook between main stem and large branch). That is very necessary in the greenhouse. My tomato plants grow outdoors. I would say do not prune them too much, especially if it is a single, separately growing tomato plant. Detach suckers if you have many tomato plants growing together and they fight for space and it’s visible that plant does not produce any fruit because of too many leaves. We can always use common sense: if you leave only bare main stem, the plant will burn out in hot sun.

Better harvest from small garden

Garden requires daily care. Many garden works are physical work. No need for any other exercise if you work out there watering, weeding, refreshing, planting daily.

Blogging: things that matter

Deciding on blog or website

I started my art blog in May, 2011 First post of art blog

Notice, there are no likes and no comments. Yes, it took a while until I had first followers and first comments. Back then, blogging was somewhat different from what it is now in 2020. By 2015, I had more than 3000 followers and lots of interaction on my art blog. I decided to move it to a self-hosted website. The move itself was nothing overwhelming, but there were numerous issues. I already had many articles with very many illustrations, it’s an art blog after all. After importing my blog, all the images were totally messed up, many were missing. The written part was ok, but the visual part required me to undo about 120 posts. That is a heck of work! It took me quite a while. Not months, but a few years, in fact. I didn’t have some images and I couldn’t find some others to place back, so, I had to undo even bigger part.

Stick to decision

I would say, you have to decide right from the get-go: if you want a website, start a website, and if you want less work and less trouble, go for blog. It’s much cheaper, too. Comments get imported onto the new site, but likes do not. Therefore, all posts until the move have hardly any likes, but they have many comments. I also lost many followers, I probably confused them big time during transition period while there was still blog and also a website, practically the same. Moving blog to website, unless, it’s a blog which has mostly writing, is a hassle and lots of work because of all adjustments.

WordPress account, not two sites

Since I wanted to keep my art separate from my lifestyle and health blog, I started another blog in June 15, 2015 First post of lifeschool blog

For a while, I had to mention on my art website that I had another blog, too. Well, I didn’t know that this other blog won’t be an independent blog (it still isn’t), but part of my WordPress account. Therefore, some people, who never read anything do not even know that I have an art website and art blog and one more lifestyle and health related blog. Some people follow only one of them, some follow both, but the reach hasn’t been that great as it was with just having one blog initially.

Blogging for yourself or blogging for success

I’m not obsessive blogger. At times, I don’t even care too much how many people follow my blogs and how many like what I write about. However, during all these years of blogging on WordPress, I have come to some conclusions and I’d like to share some suggestions if you want to achieve good following and widen the circle of your readers. It is different of you intend to achieve huge numbers of followers: that will take lots of time, lots of interaction with other blogs. The most important part is still content. It should be preferably original and only in the area you feel strong and passionate about. There are blogs which are devoted to personal struggles, journeys to health and so forth, but they still need to stand out.

Repeating and copying content is boring

Blogging can be very personal and also very general, just hitting the popular subjects and going with the stream. I do write content and share experience which is not available everywhere, but rather takes origin in my personal experience. I have noticed, there are numerous blogs which only practically republish what we all know already: motivation, happiness, what to eat, what not and so forth. I’d say this is boring. I also would like to mention that people, who have zero insight and knowledge in healthcare, treatments, medical conditions and similar medicine-related subjects, should not write about it. It makes a professional medical specialist cringe when somebody republishes nonsense which has no true base whatsoever.

Followers and getting a good number of them

If you want to show your appreciation about some blog or blogger, certainly, like, comment and interact. Never insist they follow you back or demand to go to your blog. That is horrible. People, who like your blog will follow and read it, if they think it’s worth it, but nobody is going to like something if you insist, they do. That’s unethical and offensive. We all have our free will. Recently, there are many bloggers, who click on 20 or even more likes under posts and never read even one of them or do not have any idea what the blog is about. I personally do not care that somebody liked 20 posts, but I love if they read at least one. There are also bloggers, who only click on “Follow” and there is absolutely no follow-up. Somebody instinctively might follow you back, but most experienced bloggers won’t follow just about anything. WordPress will also block you from following if you do it excessively or in abusive manner and are fishing for more followers WP can block you from following

Make your blog or website easy to navigate

Settings on the blog or website exist for a reason. One has to go through all of them and make adjustments which fit your personal website or blog. I sometimes would love to leave a comment or post a like, but it’s impossible or I cannot get even to their posts. Websites or blogs have either static front page or display blog posts on it. The problems often arise with a static front page. I see there is something, but there’s also no way to get to it. Obviously, if you want somebody to like your posts or leave comments, you have to make these posts accessible. Nobody is going to search for hours where your posts are. I also see frequently most viewed posts in the widget area, but no recent posts. That means, people will only react to these popular posts.

Important widgets

It’s a good idea to have Archives widget, too. Also, having the Previous and Next feature is a good idea. If you are not sure, you can test your website or blog from some other device or ask somebody else to do that and let you know what they see and how easy your website or blog is to navigate. If it’s tough to find anything, people will look at your “About me” or “Hello” page and move on. I would sometimes spend a few moments trying to find what’s where, but I will leave if I cannot find or understand anything. I am very sure; any visitor will do the same.

Non-English language blogs

That refers also to blogs in other languages, not in English. I can personally use 4 languages at a native level which are Latvian (my native language), German, Russian and English. Therefore, I can follow and read blogs in these languages, but the other ones will be questionable. If it’s a completely visual blog or consists of only art images or photos, I’d be able to know what it’s about. If the blog is written in a language, I have no idea about, I will not follow it. Google translate is ok, but it really distorts complex languages. I actually have done this: when I want to have a good laugh, I click on Translate into Latvian, and it’s really hilarious how my content comes out. There is no point reading poetry with Google translate.

Important aspects of blogging

Blogging ethics

Blogging is something overwhelmingly huge nowadays. While policies and rules change, blogging ethics stay in effect regardless of that. We have to also respect others, their preferences and their opinion. If you are writing about sensitive subjects, expect reaction which might be not always what you want. Don’t put pressure on other bloggers to follow you or like what you write. I’ve seen very poor blogs with many followers and vice versa. Some blogs are created for to stay, some will cease to exist if there is no genuine passion or good content. I don’t think one should start a blog if they don’t have what to say. While I do not chase numbers of followers or post every day, I still appreciate thoughtful and educated, as well as sincere and mindful comments. I do follow back blogs which deserve that, but never when somebody tells me to.

The lesson we are not ready to take

What drives today’s society

We all hope for some miracle to happen, although, not all of us even believe in miracles. We hope, there is some better life awaiting just around the corner, and when it’s all over: the silly crisis, the terrible virus struggles and suffering, the real life will restart. People, who can only feel comfortable with all the happiness components present, are definitely not well off. Hence, the protests, premature reopening of businesses and economy and extreme dissatisfaction resulting in depression, anxiety and loss of interest in personal life. It’s by far not about economy only, it’s a lot about human psychology and fears of unrests due to harsh living conditions, loss of income and tight restrictions.

Social show-offs

Our society lives in social media and thrives on showing off what they have, where they have been, how they look and how gorgeous they are. It’s like never ending competition of greatness which you, too, can achieve, if you just buy one thing or another, get one job or another or simply change your attitude. According to principles of full, meaningful, rich and happy life, we have to wake up every morning looking forward to our tasks and duties with a happy smile on our lips and be ready to tackle anything which is thrown at us. At the end of the day, we review it and fall asleep knowing that we did something great, useful, meaningful and important. This pandemic and crisis time puts it all to test.

Can you stand the test?

Do what you love and love what you do, right? Get rid of anything which makes you unhappy and dissatisfied. The problem with this attitude is situation like COVID-19 crisis. It is a time when you have to do what is necessary and required as opposed to what you prefer or like. Our attitude is such that we must have everything which is deemed necessary for a great life: comfort, help, support, hired hands to perform things we hate doing, lots of choices and plenty of money to cover it all. This situation tests a person on individual level and society as a whole. Can you honestly say you are fine with the results of this test?

Acceptance issues

Whether we want to admit or not, we live better than anybody before us ever had. We do not have that many time-and effort-consuming household chores, we can choose very many aspects of our life, including where to live, where to work, who to love, what to eat and what to wear and so on. While it is absolutely necessary to be in complete charge of our life, the emphasis on life’s sunny side only has created a distorted perception of life. According to happiness philosophy, there are no bad issues, and you choose only the best options for you. The current life situation doesn’t support that. The huge numbers of depressed, upset, annoyed and frustrated people show that they cannot accept the life as it is at this moment. Moreover, there is no coping mechanism in place.

It’s still the same and only life

The real life involves situations when we need to cope with accidents, disasters, losses, difficulties and struggles, as well as our readiness to accept a bad outcome, too. The global crisis shows that not only individual people, but also governments and entire countries cannot accept the reality and are short of coping mechanisms. The worst part of this is it’s not ending as soon as most of us would like it to. It’s a long-lasting disaster with many people losing their relatives, friends, grandparents and parents. This takes a lot of strength and a lot of willpower. While most of us were ready to accept the short-term inconveniences, the extended period of problems takes a huge toll. However, it is still our only life, we have to live through it. We can get back many things, but never time.

Celebrating Mother's Day

Although, nothing is as usual, we still honor and celebrate our mothers. Happy Mother’s Day!

Restricted Mother’s Day

This day is usually such a fantastic moment when we honor the people, who gave us life. While we have our mother, we are protected, guided and guarded from life’s most terrible issues. When the entire world turns against us, the mother is there with her support, smile and heart. She doesn’t care what everybody else says, she is your mother, she is always there for you. Mine at least was. I lost her last year, and it might be better for her not to go through these times of pandemic and our inability to cure old age people. You should feel very privileged if you still have your mother.

Long-lasting inconvenience

This will be a long-lasting inconvenience at the best and prolonged struggle with tragic issues in other cases. It is kind of sad that we need special laws and rules to make people see this situation for as serious as it is. While almost every site and ad say now to wear a mask, there are many problems with that. Simple fabric mask is like really nothing much. Masks should be single use only and disposable. In addition to mask, gloves and glasses are necessary, as well as a personal protocol for putting them on and taking off.

Have a good Sunday and enjoy Mother’s Day even if it’s over the phone or laptop, and don’t be short of kind words.

P.S. I just was outdoors and said to myself: it’s at least not snowing today. It’s May with winter weather this year.

Self-isolation, make this time count

At least spring is coming

In the Northern hemisphere, we are close to the first day of spring. Although, spring can be cold and windy in some parts of Canada, for instance, Ontario, we are almost there. Temperatures are getting milder and gradually increasing. That means garden and outside work can start soon. Lucky people, who have a greenhouse! What better time to self-isolate and provide oneself with fresh produce as early as possible?

The issues we are facing right now also point out some attitudes and behaviors which we should have gotten rid anyway.

Switching to self-entertaining

Many industries, establishments and businesses were doing just that: entertaining. Based on recent literature and consumer response, we can see how much pressure is put on anybody whether they are a teacher, a social worker, an event organizer or simply a parent to be able to entertain. Some people assume it a normal way of life; to always expect that somebody has to entertain you.  Normal way of life is finding one’s personal entertaining hobbies, activities and passion in what we love doing. When we have an idea what makes us feeling good and whole, we do not need somebody entertaining us every minute of the day or night. Lots of people do not know how to spend time in self-isolation because they have always relayed on somebody else, who makes their life interesting. It’ s time now to switch to entertaining oneself.

How about self-discovery?

Maybe it won’t, unless one wants to spend their entire time in front of a screen. For those, who feel fine, but are required to completely self-isolate, this is good time to engage in self-discovery and to try completely new things which are important, but were neglected because of the busy life of meetings, parties, dinners, travel and shopping. Maybe this time, somebody will learn how to listen to nature. Maybe need will make one dig up their backyard this year and engage in gardening. Somebody might start exploring backyard animals and birds, their funny habits, watch and take photos of them or start journaling, sketching and painting.

Limited choice means a lot of choice still

I heard some people being upset and complaining they couldn’t dine out and attend concerts and theatres. Tough or what? It is actually the same as usual for our family: we never liked dining or eating out and always preferred to cook from scratch. Being a good cook is a talent I inherited from my parents and kept developing with innovation. I am very happy that I can cook anything of just a few products or you could say nothing. I suppose, creative people are creative in any area of life. There are 2 main distinctive approaches: one is consumer’s approach, the other is creator’s approach.

Consumer’s reality

What do we need to buy or get to be safe and happy? If you are a person, whose happiness depends on things and purchases, you will need to buy a lot and also, in conditions of decreased manufacturing and production output, many things will be not available. That will make consumer upset. Stores will be closed for a while, except basic groceries and pharmacies, and restaurants, cafes, clubs and for that matter any catering services except for takeouts and deliveries are already closed in Ontario. Anything ready-made is much more expensive, too. We ordered a few times delivered food and it was of such a poor quality compared to what I cook. I was simply recovering after a recent surgery and couldn’t do much for while. I cannot imagine how bad it would be to always order ready-made food. We also ordered groceries once and it wasn’t really how you buy them at the store. No 2 pieces of meat are the same and things like vegetables or simple potatoes come in very different sorts for different purposes.

Creator’s reality

My mind always works like that: how could I repurpose this particular thing? What can I make of these items? What can I use to fit this function? Something like that. I do cooking, gardening, sewing, crafting, decoration and obviously art. I have done this for about 50 years, and I can literary make anything I need, that would include simple furniture and all items necessary for winter, spring, summer or fall, including hats, purses, gloves, bags and similar items. I always regretted I cannot make shoes and boots. When you feel that you can create anything you need, you start feeling very calm and very relaxed. I don’t think every person will start sewing and cooking or gardening, but it makes one independent and saves huge amounts of money.

Self-isolation activities

Start with outdoors, seeding and planting

Not everybody has a backyard or lives on a farm, but most people have access to some kind of outdoor space where it is possible to place some pots or boxes with soil or planting substrate. I always s wanted to live in a detached house with a backyard. We have been moving a lot, but that didn’t stop me from creating a new garden wherever I went. You might say it is a lot of work. It is heavy work and it means physical work until we get things going. However, doing physical work outdoors in fresh air is the absolutely best thing for a human. It is way better than any gym. The heaviest part and most boring is soil preparation.

Container garden versus permanent garden

My current personal situation is such that I have no suitable area in our large backyard for plant beds. Since there are only rocks beneath the grass coverage, I went containers last spring. I learned a few things. It is better to put only that many seeds as many plants you expect to come up, plus maybe 1 or 2, in a container or pot. It is better not replant cucumbers, zucchinis, lettuce and similar plants, and you cannot successfully replant dill, radish and small arugula or spinach, for that matter any similar small-leaf vegetables which can be consumed right away from the first tiny leaves. In my experience, anything grows well in container, as long as we can provide with efficient depth of soil. Advantage of container gardening is that you can move pots, boxes, bags or other containers around to have more sun or shadow as required.

Start up creative activities

It is a very suitable time to start something new. If you never tried the above mentioned things and only used services, choose one area. You’d be amazed how much pleasure is using creative approach to any restrictive situation with limited choices. It will literary drive your creativity and teach something new about yourself, too.

I have no classes at the moment, I intend to describe these activities in more detail, as well as give practical advice for beginners. One thing I definitely have in abundance is experience. I don’t mind sharing it.

If you only click on “like” from Reader, you will probably never know what I am writing about. I usually do not return 10 likes when somebody hasn’t read any of my posts and doesn’t have an idea about what my 2 blogs are about.

Internet advice, helplessness and pill which cures everything

Part 2

Relying on other’s suggestions

If you are easy to convince and sway towards decisions somebody else has made, you end up doing a lot of Internet shopping, following trends and chasing things which are at the top today, but gone by tomorrow.

Judging by TV adds, everything is cheap, almost for free and you just have to get it and sign up whether it’s an investment offer, health program, slimming and dieting web, you just have to buy a supplement, new type of food, treatment, cosmetics and numerous other services, endless devices and all of it is made for you. For you. Afterwards, you might wonder: what was so good about it? Frequently, there won’t be any benefit of using that product or you have a big chance to run into new problems.

Careful with pills

It is mind-blowing how many pills, supplements, drugs, medicines and health boosting substances people are using. It is so that there is a pill for anything. Some honestly admit that, in order to feel ok and go through the day and get a decent sleep, they need to take something. It can be even unclear what this particular thing does, but they need the feeling that they are doing something to look better, to feel better, to be energetic or to relax. Certainly, the numbers of offered solutions are so huge that nobody can anymore be sure what is exactly they need or what they can live without.

Synthetic supplements versus natural nutrients

Synthetic supplements versus natural nutrients

More is not better when it comes to medicine and supplements

It is concerning that we believe the more substances and health improving supplements we take, the better we are going to be. It is forgotten that the human body has so many mechanisms to regulate and adjust everything, and that literary includes every process from tiniest within a part of a cell to the most systemic processes. The body’s natural regulation and adaption mechanisms work until we step in and start unnecessary improving them. We destroy the balance our body works hard to maintain. It was never about more of one substance or nutrient, it was always about balance! Once we recover from one pill or drug, we quickly rush to another: maybe this is going to be the missing miraculous treatment! So, it just goes until we start suffering from allergies, hypo- or hyper levels of some hormone, enzyme, mineral and nutrient. Nature has it safe and right, but we always want to be smarter

Over-the-counter drugs and supplements

OTC medicinal products are designed so that they should not harm one when following the dosage advice. These products are also not designed to treat clinically significant issues and deficiencies; such treatments will take much higher and differently administered doses. Therefore, it is silly to make a serious health issue go away by using OTC drugs and supplements.

The effects of herbal remedies might appear much slower, but they are also safer. With supplement market so huge, it can be dangerous to buy and use unknown substances online, especially, if it is unclear who manufactures and distributes the product. Many supplements claim doing things which they never could. We cannot believe every claim which is not proven in documented and real clinical trials. Most supplements have not been tested clinically because it is a very long and very expensive process. Phrases: dermatologist, dentist, pharmacist  or doctor recommended mean literally nothing. It is just a phrase to convince you. For clinically tested medicinal products, there are clinical trial references, as well as clearly identified data about safety, doses and precautions. Lists of recalls are available in any country, and one should check them out at least time to time. You’d be surprised what you will find there.

It might be not what it seems

Our body can take a lot. Sometimes, all the stress signals go off and trigger protective mechanisms which are many and various. We don’t give up without fight, and the survival is encoded in every cell of us assuming there are no brain defects or mental barriers whether chemical, hormonal or substance induced. The signal that we are in danger will trigger all kinds of symptoms, and the body will immediately engage everything what’s available. If you take a pill every time to regulate these symptoms, the self-regulation mechanism might simply die off.

Make distinction between vitally important and unnecessary

There are life-threatening conditions which need to be cured, and there are so many symptoms which do not need interference with heavy drugs. Therefore, whatever the reason, you have decided to supplement your diet with anything synthetic or processed which all capsules, pills and powders are, regardless of their organic or herbal origin, you have to evaluate the necessity of this step. Unbelievably, drugs are trendy and supplements are trendy, too. For the matters explained before, you might not experience any improvement whatsoever, not to mention that when profit is behind the health claim, the ingredients of your capsule or pill might be not even be the ones what are listed.

Supplements versus real food

Supplements versus real food

Placebo effect

One might ask: why somebody reports feeling better if they take a pill which contains no active ingredients or nothing which relates to their actual health problem? Placebo effect has been recognized in practically all clinical trials, and, for the reason of comparing whether some particular drug really treats the condition, first phases of clinical trial involve a patient group which takes or is administered a placebo. This substance is neither improving nor harming a person because it does not contain any active ingredients. Yet, the outcomes frequently reveal that quite significant part of trial population on placebo feels better.

Real life placebo effects

We can frequently observe this effect in real life. There are many examples which relate to supplements. While celiac disease according Health Canada statistics is diagnosed only in hardly 1% of population, any grocery store will have large amounts of gluten-free products. Does any person who does not have celiac disease benefit from gluten-free diet? The answer is no. It would be like you are wearing strong glasses when you do not need them. This is treating a disease which one does not have. In fact, they are avoiding very useful and nutrient-dense products, as well as paying more for things they do not need at all. So, why do they feel better? First, that might be becoming more selective when using different products. Secondly, it is for sure the placebo effect. A person feels better because they are convinced that they are doing something for their health.

It’s in your brain, isn’t it?

Body as a whole system can be convinced and affected to a huge extent by being sure about something. There are examples in history how a person can die when they have been told they just took a dose of very strong poison for which there is no antidote. The same goes for miraculous healing. There are numerous examples how a person can recover when taking a pill of pressed mild herbal ingredients and being told that they are given the best drug which currently exists for that condition. We can definitely convince us one way or another. That is why most people want to take something, which is like a dot on “i”. One can talk and discuss their condition endlessly, but if they are given a pill or a capsule, even some powder, they will start feeling better. That certainly won’t be a lasting case with clinically serious or systemic diseases. You can test it for yourself. Give somebody a completely harmless pill of compressed low-dose herbal ingredient or just simple sugar pill (assuming they are not diabetics). You have to tell that person that they will sleep extremely well if they have insomnia, or they will stop experiencing indigestion if they have clinically insignificant digestive disorders, anxiety or depression. There will be results.

Make very careful and individually adjusted decisions

That brings us back to necessity of synthetic supplements. Many of them will be in doses which cannot affect one dramatically. However, buying supplements and vitamins, essential oils, cosmetic products, hair and skin care products from unknown sources can be very dangerous. It is not only because of extra high or low dose, but also there might be ingredients which you did not know about. Many drugs have been recalled since lab testing proved there were harmful substances in an even clinically strictly tested drug. They got there during manufacturing process. Now imagine how supplements which normally do not require strict documented testing could have just about anything! You should also be aware that consuming natural and unmodified food which you cook from scratch will provide you with all necessary nutrients and they will come in naturally suitable doses because you cannot eat 10 kilograms of beets, onions, bread, fish or meat at once. Therefore, whatever the advice, tailor it to your personal needs, condition, preferences and lifestyle, as well as age and gender.

Pill which cures everything

Synthetic isn’t as it occurs in nature, it is easy to overdose or treat non-existing issues

Overdoing with any nutrients and substances, which we call vitamins for simplicity, can have harmful and dangerous sequences, too. More in following posts.

Time to shine, time to reflect, time to be better you

Delightful and healing experience

I hope you are also enjoying the peaceful, relaxing and uplifting holiday time. If you are keeping things simple around Christmas as I am, you might also find this time very healing and very delightful. Keep it that way! I think it is damaging to get all stressed out about gifts and food because this time is about having a new outlook on life, new hope and belief. The focus should be on the tree and its symbolism, not on what we eat, what we wear and what gifts we receive. The most important gift was there for everybody, and being obsessed with buying more and more “stuff”, it is possible to miss the true meaning of this time.

Over-consumption and consumerism

Consumerism is not only a bad approach to living life, but also the main cause of overproduction and over-consumption of pointless and useless things. This causes in turn huge pollution of water, soil and air; we call it also climate change. When people say they are buying a plastic tree to save the real tree, they are not actually saving anything. The natural tree is biodegradable and does not cause toxic leftovers while plastic garbage is probably one of the most serious side effects of over-consumption.

Plastic waste

Scientists are actively testing ways of up-cycling plastic and turning it into fuel and similar things; certain types of plastic degrade under sunlight. There have been even discovered microorganisms which can degrade plastic. The problem is, however, that most of plastic waste is hidden in landfills where it might never biodegrade. Big part of plastic waste floats in oceans and other waters and degrades to extent: big plastic objects break down into tiny plastic waste and it is destroying life in water. Some particles are described as very toxic to humans and animals.

Biggest pollutants

Fast fashion and accessories are also among huge pollutants. The same goes about plastic toys. If synthetic materials were degrading at a fast pace, there would be no need to burn them. There are so many once or hardly used items, that nobody can ever recycle, down- or upcycle all of them. Burning these materials causes very toxic smoke and causes harm to everything, including huge damage to soil, air and waterways. That is not to mention all efforts which take manufacturing and transporting such non-essential items. These processes cause more pollution and damage to climate.

Food waste

People, who do not cook from scratch and have no experience in re-using leftover food after parties and festive meals, throw out millions of tonnes of food leftovers. That is a waste which is not even fed to animals or used as a fertilizer for soil. Just imagine the amount of resources which were used to grow, harvest, process, pack and transport this food.

“Stuff”

It is amazing how many useless things we buy, and especially for Christmas and New Year. Could we limit the number of gifts? We sure could. Could we rather turn this holiday time into a time of great experience? We sure could. How about shining with one’s talents at parties?

Gift cannot buy love or respect. We can certainly please somebody, but material things are just material things. We cannot live without them, but we shouldn’t make the gift shopping and gift giving the most important experience of Christmas, because it is not and it never was.

Celebrate in style

We definitely want festive settings, great mood and delicious meals during holidays. It doesn’t take much. However, it could take work, efforts, a lot of imagination and many ideas.

Be gentle to yourself! Be aware that you can wear only one outfit at a time and the amount of food one person can consume is also limited. Not going overboard decreases stresses, and your bank account will love it, too. You don’t have to be the grandmother, who bought 240 gifts for her grandchildren. If they love you, they will love you regardless of number of gifts, and if they don’t, splurging on gifts is not going to help either.

Resist pressure

Social media really facilitate the need to grab, rush, fight and bargain. Every single place wants you to buy something and internet ads create feeling that you are already late, missed the best deals and will never find the hottest items again. Influencers, who are paid for endorsing or advertising one or another item or brand, play big part in over-consumption, especially among younger people. That is such an important aspect of belonging, or rather we have convinced ourselves that we need some particular item because “everybody has it”!

My favorite Christmas things

I hope you are not everybody, but unique you with your unique style and taste which are not affected by the massive pressure of consumer society.

My favorite thing is my tree decorating process. I have always a real tree or at least a real branch of real tree. I do decorating for approximately 3 days, slowly, thoughtfully, listening to sings, watching movies and so on. It is a process. The other thing is getting in touch and connecting with people, who I love.

Happy holidays

Be happy and yourself

I wish you to find yourself in rewarding experiences and pleasurable pastimes! That relaxes, makes fears and anxiety go away and you never feel alone. Such creative experience is a treasure, a true treasure.

Merry Christmas! Happy holiday season and all the best with any other celebration!

How to get ahead with your life: encouraging and warning signs

Can you change events which happen in your life?

Yes, you can if you are observant and if you pay attention to directions and hints universe sends us and makes us aware of.

You could prevent a situation which potentially could cause you stress and trouble.

As I mentioned before, what happens with us and our life is the result of our belief, emotions and things we are confident with. That also includes everything we are strongly convinced about. We come from different internal states: from anger or joy, from hate or love, from grief or satisfaction, from envy or feeling well. The dominant emotions and believes will quite frequently dictate your way of action.

The surrounding world reflects us

The surrounding world is our world which we have created together with other people, nature, other constituents of universe and God. The world in our direct vicinity reflects us as we are, what we think and what we believe in. This also refers to things we do not believe in, we do not assume as worthy or true and we do not think about.

Not knowing that something exists doesn’t make it non-existent. Therefore, if you are not aware of the importance your subconscious mind has, it doesn’t mean, the subconscious mind loses its role in decision-making and preferences.

Universe wishes us well

The world, God and universe wish us well. The only person, who can punish us, is we ourselves. It’s not fate; it’s not God and definitely not the universal mind and the universe itself. Help is always within a reach. Whether we get it or refuse to take it, depends on us. That also depends on the part we have assigned to us: do we choose to be a victim of circumstances, bad luck and other people or do we choose to step in and start doing something to change the flow?

Signs we receive

We receive encouragement and warnings on a daily and even hourly basis. Do we pay attention to them? Do we even know what to pay attention to? It’s most likely we do not. When somebody is addicted to scrolling through numerous stories and pictures, they lose the understanding of what matters and what doesn’t. Rushing from one place to another and one task to another doesn’t allow taking distance from events. It becomes a flow of events and situations that can be so overwhelming that we lose ourselves in this flow. We basically get where we are taken, and that isn’t always the place we intended to be.

Encouraging signs

What are the signs that notify us about events in our life? There are many and all kinds of them. They could be categorized from very distant and approximate to very close and direct.

When somebody close to us or somebody at our workplace is doing well or getting promotion, we should be happy about it because that means good things are in the way for us also.

How do you react when your colleague gets promoted, but you do not yet? Is your pleasure genuine or you rather bite your teeth and hardly congratulate? Is there a shadow of envy in your eyes or are you proud about him or her? The reaction might change the flow of future events. Universe might get that you are not happy with that, and that means it is either not important for you or you do not want that.

When somebody around you is doing great, that means you are also on the right path, and being happy about their success will attract luck and good outcome for you also.

Destructive emotions

If you are envious and feel frustrated that your success did not happen, you just push it farther away. Grudge and envy, especially, if they are present frequently, destroy a person from inside. Internet facilitates feeling that we are not doing fine by putting in our face all the achievements the humanity has managed to accomplish while you just slept for the last 7 or 8 hours. We cannot go down that path. Our way is what we have chosen and we have to stick with our personal plan.

Warning signs

There are also numerous warning signs. They come in all shapes and through all kinds of means. Many people see dreams and these dreams sometimes are very bright and impossible to forget. Nightmares do not fit in this category because they are caused by some interactions in the brain of rather chemical or mental origin.

There are warnings delivered by situations and people we meet. Every person we have met has been placed there for a reason: to make us understand something, to make us change our mind and similarly.

Trusting our guts or subconscious mind

When we are facing some bad issues and terrible outcomes, it is often that we knew this is going to happen. We just silence the internal warning system or shut it off completely by alcohol, strong medications or drugs. It is so that you know clearly something is on its way, but you do not dare to believe or admit that. We sometimes get a chance to change the chain of these events, but sometimes it is too late.

Do we have to break the wall with our forehead?

No, we shouldn’t because there is a door not far away. We might not notice it yet, but sooner or later we will. If we have a problem, that means we have to take some steps and change our behavior, the way we assume others and our tasks, or we might need a whole new strategy and approach. Things which are not happening right indicate that something is wrong not with us, but with our goals, intentions and the methods we have decided to use for pursuing them.

Do not miss warning signs

Post Scriptum

I had taken a longer break from blogging because I had to straighten out house after moving, plus, all art classes started and that is a big undertaking with sorting out hundreds of packs of materials and almost 1,700 of my own paintings, small and big. There was a need to rearrange and find new desks and other furniture, set up classrooms and showing rooms, deal with garden and plants which have to come indoors and other daily chores. I hope I will be posting more regularly as the weather gets cooler and I will have more time.

 

What it takes to switch from victim to creator of your life

Everybody would agree that they are a part of any situation in their life.

You got married because it was what you wanted, you took a job whether you liked it or it was necessity, you got yourself addicted whether that was your own idea or somebody helped you onto the path of addiction. You stayed in the same town for 50 years because you either felt scared of moving or getting into better life. You got sick because of your habits. You got into accident because the chain of events placed you in a wrong place at a wrong time.

Victim of life

If you are a victim, everything acts against you; you receive no fair treatment from world, weird and bad people come along, somebody steals from you, somebody offends or bullies you frequently and health is in hands of your doctors and the only help comes from procedures and medications. You desperately want to be happy and rich and possibly famous, and definitely healthy, and for some unknown reason, the universe is against it. It disagrees.

Everything that happens to us happens because of us. We become the subject.

We are always involved in things we want or do not want to happen in our life.

But how to become the one who orchestrates and manages situations and events which is our life?

How to make it depend on us, not somebody or something else?

We have created our life and we keep doing so

Many people will completely disagree that they have created every single situation and event in their life. It is because the conscious mind will quickly supply us with numerous examples which put us as a victim in one or another situation. The conscious mind will promptly give numerous excuses and opportunities to blame something or somebody why one or another thing happened or did not happen to you.

The famous saying about things you cannot change and things you can:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Well, that is a true guide into giving up and allowing somebody or something to victimize you, to run your life and to turn you into a victim.

To put you in a stream of events where you swirl around like a dry fallen leaf.

Things you cannot change, what are they?

What is that you cannot change? Time you are given for your conscious life. The place, time and family you are born in.

You cannot bring back to life people who are gone, but you can change the way you experience that. Change that 100%.

Practically everything else is a variable.

The subconscious mind knows that.

Why don’t we have access to the part of us which is so crucially important? To the subconscious mind which has access to the universal knowledge of everything in the universe and beyond because it has existed always and it does not expand or shrink, but it keeps gathering and exchanging energetically loaded information.

The lost key and how to open the door

The knowledge is there, the door is locked and we have lost the key.

Most people never think about their subconscious mind and don’t even try to open it because they don’t believe in it. If we do not believe in something, it still exists. Just as things we haven’t seen, haven’t heard about or are not aware of. They all exist somewhere and at some point in time.

We can gain access to our subconscious mind after fasting whether we do that intentionally or not when a person starts seeing, hearing or feeling things which do not exist in the visible word and cannot be perceived with our conscious mind. Quite many people report how they became aware of past and future events, as well as could give information about people they never were familiar with.

After fasting or starving some people started seeing global events and predicting future.

The door to the hidden resources can be opened by a massive or extremely strong physical or mental impact: which can literally be a lightning hitting somebody and after that experience they are resuscitated. Such experience removes all layers that hide our understanding about everything: universe, past, other dimensions, current situations and future, and the way we try to feel about and perceive us and our life.

Take the opportunity

You are not a dry mindless leaf in a stream of events taking you down waterfalls, throwing out on dry fruitless sand or freezing in an ice cube.

You have all the resources of the universe at your hand and the universal mind gives you what you have prepared yourself for. It also gives us the right situations to pursue our goals. The only thing is: do we want to do that?

Lupus in fabula

I am sure that most people know what “lupus in fabula” in Latin means. I have seen that English rephrases it as “Speak of the devil or talk of the devil”. My native Latvian language has a very close translation to Latin which is widely used also “If you mention the wolf, it will show up”. It is not always referred to as something bad or evil. It can be as talking about a particular person and that person shows up or in the widest sense of meaning” it is understood as “whatever you talk (or think) about will happen, come along or be received”.

That is a very close explanation of subconsciously managing events or situations in our life.

We frequently speak or think about bad things with the aim they would never happen to us and we could avoid them.

We bother a lot about lack of something, especially money, or we describe ourselves in a condemning way as dumb, stupid, loser, idiot, fat, ugly, fool and so on. Let’s just say, we cannot do that unless we strictly believe we are the way we have described ourselves.

Bad things we call for

Thinking about tiredness, lack of energy, feeling or being sick, exhausted and even more so when declaring this fact very many times a day makes it a statement under which you become what you declare.

I am so tired.

I am so sick.

I am helpless.

Whenever you make it sound like your most important statement, you are literally talking about the Devil which will show up and not leave. You have convinced yourself that you want to follow the program: I am so tired, so sick, so helpless and exhausted. Day after day, after day.

Will just plainly saying or thinking about things you are not convinced about and believing in make them happen? No. But it might a tiny step to better vibrations you emit, therefore, attracting the situation you want to find yourself in.

It is done unto you as you believe

Most people who are familiar with Bible and its interpretations have repeated numerous times and been aware of words in Matthew 9:29 – It is done unto you as you believe.

We are not talking about the Bible or belief and faith this time.

I would like to simply point out that this approach has been known probably ever since humans existed.

If you completely and without any smallest doubt believe in something or if you are convinced down to the bottom of your heart about something, it will happen and become reality.

Do you believe that you are the boss of your life?

Do you believe that the Universe puts you every time in the best scenario that it can put together for you based on your actions, words, thoughts and belief?

Do you believe and are sure that you can change absolutely everything?

Do you believe that it is you who runs and manages your life? That there are no things which happen to you without your participation and without you being the conductor of all events in your life orchestra?

Once you become aware and start fully realizing that this life of us is what we create together with the universe, God, other people and nature for us, you will see that changes are possible.

The things you thought you could not change might disappear without your direct action, but you will notice them go away.

Switch from victim to boss

The only thing is that you have to make an insane switch.

You have to forget about things that you cannot change.

You have to put the focus on being the boss, creator and manager of your own life.

You go from: I cannot do anything about numerous situations and things in my life, to

I can create everything and steer it towards my goals and I can move mountains if they are in the way.

So, you can be a victim of unfair treatment, bad attitude, lack of many things and bad coincidences or you can switch to being 100% in charge of your life.

By doing so, you have to forget that somebody or something else is to blame for things that you didn’t want to happen to you.

It is all you: who you attract, who you meet, where you go from there and what it results in.

It depends only on you whether you sail through bad situation or get stuck in it.

We have created every single situation in our life.

We have led us to the point where we are.

We are usually not aware of that, and it might take time to see how the chain of events was put together. It is also so that our own life does not always start with the day we are born.

I have intended to explain about signals and vibrations we send out and how that attracts and places people in our life in some of next posts.

Who and what runs your life: the matter of responsibility

Who or what really runs your life?

Is it parents, children or spouse?

Is it disease or health problems?

Could it be an addiction or dependence?

Maybe, it is your phone and social media site that keeps you in a tight grip?

Reasons for being not in charge of our own life can be many and various.

We usually think that we are in control of our own life.

We should be.

However, when we look at problems that majority of people share, ask about and try to fix, we can clearly see that this is not the case.

We frequently see ourselves as a victim of circumstances or fate, as a sufferer, a guilty or offended person who has a reason to believe that life and world treat them unfairly.

We frequently start identifying ourselves with the disease or health condition that takes over every single day of our life and our plans, goals and start to depend on that.

We sometimes cannot break free from a controlling parent, and very often that is a controlling mother. There are parents who believe children belong to them as a property and, therefore, are for ever obligated to return the good things parents have done while kids were growing up.

There are extremely many distorted spousal relationships that cause not only mental and physical suffering, but make one’s life unlivable.

Internet is addictive, so are devices which enable using the internet. When somebody claims they have no time for anything, do you really believe that with all household help we get nowadays, with everything getting faster and speedier, chores and duties take much longer than they used to?

Big part of our valuable time is wasted. Thanks to addiction to internet.

Abuse can be hidden, as well, and it can take long time to identify it, however, identifying abuse is much easier than resisting a person who manipulates with you by being kind and nice, but always making you feel guilty about something. You have forgotten to do something, you have not visited them, you have not responded as they expected. That goes on and on.

Every time when somebody points finger at you saying that you are the reason their life is not happy, not fulfilling, not rewarding, that you cause them problems and so on, you must not believe that.

This is, in fact, a matter of responsibility. They want to put the responsibility of their issues on you.

Once you become responsible for what you do, say and how you act, there is nobody to blame. You did what you did and you made that choice even if it seems there weren’t any choices. Blaming life, other people, diseases, health, relatives, friends, enemies, government or money issues is shifting the responsibility to them.

Since day one of your conscious life whether you realize that or not you are the only one responsible for what your life was, is and will be.

That means running your own life and not depending on counselling, doctors, diseases, parents, kids or spouses in a responsible way.

A person who feels like a victim will always blame something or somebody.

The first step towards a better life and resolution of problems is to stop being a victim or feel like one.

It also means to stop identifying oneself with their disease and problem.

Nobody is a disease or a problem.

The second step is taking responsibility in a very serious way.

It is a very important step. It is much easier to rely on somebody else’s advice and later blame them that you failed because the advice was wrong. It is much easier to always complain that the reason your life is miserable is because the root of all evil is somewhere outside you and you cannot do anything about it.

Taking responsibility means becoming aware of you. It means, finally starting to accept you as you are and being fine and satisfied with that.

It is much more difficult to admit: I am the one who got me in this situation. I am the one who made possible this chain of events. I am the one who experiences the sequences of all millions of decisions I made or did not make. I am the one who made these things happen or allowed something or somebody to destroy me. I am the one who made the disease the most important part of my life. I am the reason people behave towards me as they do. I am the cause of all good and bad things in my life.

This is because everything is in us: our past, our today and our future.

Take responsibility

The subconscious mind of every person holds the key and answers to anything we face. Subconsciously, we not only know everything about us, but also other people. We have just lost the key to our subconscious mind and it takes a severe emotional, mental or physical experience to be shaken so deeply that we gain access to this universally engaged subconscious mind.

Why counselling services are so popular nowadays?

It is clear that practically every single person has some kind of problem. Life is not a smooth ride over blossoming fields in a clear sunny day.

If we believe that the answer is somewhere, but unavailable to us, we eagerly turn to counselling and we start taking advice since it is much easier than to take responsibility.

The next step will be taking control of your own life if you already haven’t.

Take responsibility

Next time more, it is a long story. It is an ancient story which many of us can recall in our subconscious mind.

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