Going Caffeine Free

Hello!

Like most western people I am guilty of having a dependance on caffeine. A couple months ago I decided to cut it out entirely in order to help me reach my weight loss goal. I am a wimp with black coffee and I always add honey or sugar to my tea. So in order to cut down calories, I cut out caffeine.

Was it easy?

Not at all. My head ached with a dull and persistent heartache for days. I craved iced coffee more than I ever had before in my life. I was outwardly very moody and I felt mean during the first three days. I felt finicky with my moods and couldn’t focus on anything for the first while. Considering how bad the withdrawal was perhaps it was a good thing I decided to remove it from my diet. It’s been months and I’m still getting used to the fatigue I feel in the morning. The fatigue isn’t new, but without coffee and tea to dull it, it’s much more difficult to ignore and work past when I’m already grumpy first thing in the morning to begin with.

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I still find it difficult to avoid drinking coffee as my fiancé drinks it every morning and for years he’s been bringing me coffees to cheer me up on bad days. He knows I am avoiding it so he doesn’t bring me treats which is good for my diet, but I do miss the little things like a coffee or a Thirsty Buddha that showed he was thinking about me. Getting an apple just doesn’t feel the same.

In a way it’s good I did this during a non-social time, as we aren’t going out for dinners with friends or having get togethers at home, as the temptation would be much stronger if we were. I do wonder if my resolution will hold when the world re-opens.

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How have I been dealing with it?

A lot of water. Hydration helps reduce fatigue, not to mention just about everything else in your body. Now I do not love drinking water all day so I use Mio to flavour my water when I can’t stand the idea of drinking it. I love the lemonade and black cherry flavours. I’ve tried flavouring water with fruit but since I always use my Contigo water bottle (as seen below) having the fruit can gum it up. I have also taken to drinking a glass of Tonic Water before bed even though I cannot stand the taste of it as it can reduce leg cramps. I often wake up very dehydrated after a long night of sleep because I can’t sleep without a blanket over me, so I sweat out all night. Due to the dehydration my legs often feel cramped in the morning. I have found the glass of tonic to help reduce the discomfort until I can rehydrate.

Eva Blakeman – CONTIGO Water Bottle

Better nutrition has also done a lot to help me keep me energized. By changing my diet and cutting out junk foods I have had more energy. I’ve switched to a lower calorie diet with a lot of chicken for protein and rice for carbs. I’ve found that by reducing my sugar and fat intakes I don’t have sugar crashes, which has made it a lot easier to stay productive throughout the day and avoid reaching for a tea to perk myself back up.

Going for a daily walk has also done a lot to keep me going. It’s no surprise to anyone that daily exercise helps improve mood, heart health and reduce the risk of a lot of diseases, but I’ve also found that the walk helps me refocus and gives me an energy boost for a couple hours. I find the actual walk to be helpful to give my mind time to wander. I think in giving my mind time to relax for a half hour or so helps me refocus with more motivation.

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Baking has also helped me a lot. While I am choosing not to eat bread, my fiancé loves fresh buns and I really enjoy making babka and buttered buns. The exercise of kneading bread and scrubbing dishes also increases my daily activity which is good for me. I think taking the time to do something I really love also helps keep me sane during this time.

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I have also been following the mental health recommendation of daily bathing. I usually shower every two days, but I’ve switched to daily baths. I find taking the time to soak in the warm water while I do my skin care routine helps relax my muscles and unwind. I sleep better after a nice long bath and I feel healthier for it.

On that note, sleeping more! I used to sleep around six hours a night but now that I am not relying on caffeine I am sleeping between seven to eight hours a night. My theory is that with the increased physical activity and lack of caffeine combined with sticking to a rigid wake up time, my body is settling into a better sleep routine.

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Would I Recommend It?

Yes I would. While it’s an uncomfortable transition, I believe it is worth the discomfort. While caffeine has been proven to increase the basal metabolic rate of adults and can increase muscular strength it does have some less than lovely side effects. It can worsen the symptoms of asthma, negatively affect gastrointestinal processes and in the case of postmenopausal women, it can rapidly increase bone loss. Not to mention the increase in dehydration by drinking diuretics.

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I think kicking caffeine has improved my quality of life, but I don’t know if I will remain caffeine free forever. There is a time and place for everything, and should I really need to stay awake, I know it’s there. I don’t think returning to a dependance on caffeine would be the healthy choice for me so I hope to continue with this lifestyle.

I won’t claim to know more than medical professionals and caffeine has been proven to help with certain medications, so if your doctor recommends you use caffeine, please follow your doctors counsel.

The Truth About Soy Protein

With the way we chase after then newest, “healthiest” foods we often overlook what is really healthy for what is trendy. Due to some curiosity, some research was done to find that a common food that was once praised is still a good, cheap and viable option for your healthy living. Soy! The perfect implemented dietary food for meal replacement, protein intake, flavour and convenience.

Over the years people have come to think a lot of negative things about soy due to word of mouth misinformation. But after some researched I found that the idea that soy proteins will change your estrogen and testosterone levels has been debunked! More than that, other studies prove that ingesting soy protein high in isoflavones (plant derived estrogenics) actually help reduce bone loss in post menopausal women. Also it was found that ingesting soy protein can be very beneficial for your cardiovascular health as it was found to lower cholesterol, and it’s high in fiber, minerals, vitamins and polyunsaturated fats, as well as very low in saturated fats. So feel free to throw some soy in your morning smoothie again! 

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Another study showed that ingesting soy protein did not in fact change the levels of free androgen, estrogen or testosterone in men. So not to worry boys, you are safe to consume some yummy protein shakes. Considering how much protein hard working men require it’s great to know that implementing more protein without a huge increase in daily calories is easy. All related information to studies and clinical trials can be found at the bottom of this article. 

Another interesting find was that daily ingestion of soy proteins high in isoflavones actually lengthened the time between menstruation. If that weren’t enough they also found that tamoxifen in the boy decreased, making breast cancer less likely. What an amazing food that can be implemented into a healthy and balanced diet. It seems that during any time of a woman life ingesting soy can help prevent issues and supply a lot of the minerals and vitamins lacking in common american diets.

Now I’m not saying everyone should jump to buy only soy protein powder, as whey and other options are availible and are equally as safe. I won’t say that the federal divisions that test what is and isn’t safe for consumption are without flaw, but generally, if it’s on a shelf, it’s safe to consume. Food scientists work year round to make sure our food won’t cause harm, and if there are concerns, there are labels on each product that will warn you.

It should be noted though, that any large dietary or lifestyle changes should be done after speaking to your doctor to ensure that what you’re doing is safe for your body. As everyone is different and sometimes bodies react differently, or health issues could cause complications. So please consult your doctor before starting any new diet or fitness regime. 

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Citations :

Clinical studies show no effects of soy protein or isoflavones on reproductive hormones in men: results of a meta-analysis – Jill M.Hamilton-Reeves Ph.D. – Gabriela Vazquez Ph.D. – Sue J.Duval Ph.D. – William R.Phipps M.D. – Mindy S.Kurzer Ph.D. – Mark J.Messina Ph.D.

Soy Protein, Isoflavones, and Cardiovascular Health – An American Heart Association Science Advisory for Professionals From the Nutrition Committee – Frank M. Sacks, Alice Lichtenstein, Linda Van Horn, William Harris, Penny Kris-Etherton, Mary Winston and for the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee

Biological effects of a diet of soy protein rich in isoflavones on the menstrual cycle of premenopausal women. – A CassidyS Bingham, and K D Setchell

Soy protein and isoflavones: their effects on blood lipids and bone density in postmenopausal women. – S M PotterJ A BaumH TengR J StillmanN F Shay, and J W Erdman Jr

Eva Blakeman – The Truth About Soy Protein

Great Uses For Apple Cider Vinegar

Oh apple cider vinegar, (ACV) a underused product that packs a good punch of flavour and power. For such an inexpensive item you would think we would be using it for everything, and well we almost can. I’ve put together a list of uses for it that are practical. If you have more uses for it, please share them in the comments.

Zest Up Your Meals

This tangy vinegar goes well into your tomato sauces, while cooking your chicken, to make some lovely vinaigrettes and even in light soups. As with all new flavours add gradually until you reach bliss with this raw flavour. A very popular use for ACV is as a marinade for steaks. Let it be said that if you have some very gamey meats try marinating them in ACV with onion, garlic, crushed red pepper, and black pepper. 

Keep Your Pets Fly Free

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Well fly free is a lot to promise, but when livestock ingest ACV they don’t get harassed so badly by flies, horse flies and wasps. Others say spraying a diluted vinegar on your house pets will reduce the chances of fleas. Both of these effects are caused by the scent and acidity of the vinegar that creates a less than hospitable place for bugs, making them much more likely to leave your pets alone. 

Kill Weeds Without Killing Your Lawn

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No one likes weeds, but getting dead patched on your lawn for years after using harsh products is quite the eyesore. Try mixing apple cider vinegar and soap to kill those pesky weeds. Spray as close to the weeds as possible. Repeat as necessary.

Cleaning Your Home

My mother swore by being able to clean anything with baking soda and ACV, as they react together to remove the strongest stains with a light abrasive. From your porcelains in the restroom, to your counters, floors and walls this is a great way to give a deep clean. And as an added bonus this cleaner won’t hurt your pets or kids if they decide to lick the floor. 


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Clean Your Humidifier

Another one I watched my mother do countless times. Soak your humidifier in ACV to remove scale and clean your filters. A little scrubbing may be required and remember to rinse thoroughly with water or your room will smell strongly of ACV. 

Get Your Feet Ready For Summer

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ACV has two great uses for your feet, and you can do both of them at the same time! Soak your feet in ACV for 15- 25 minutes for 5 – 10 days to kill toenail fungus, and soak your feet in ACV in ACV and Listerine for 15 – 25 minutes for the dry skin on your feet to easily slide off with a pumice stone. 

Ear Aches

A couple drops of ACV can do wonders if your ear is killing you. Other remedies include hydrogen peroxide if you feel like there is an infection, followed by warm baby oil. If infection is present the hydrogen peroxide will bubble and itch the inside of your ear. Empty and refill your ear until bubbling stops, rinse your ear out then put warm baby oil in your ear. If doing this to your child, hold their head still to ensure they don’t turn and get peroxide in their eye. Once the oil is in the ear, a cotton ball can be used to keep the oil in the canal for half an hour.

Cleaning Your Kettle

Boiling a 40:60 mix of ACV to water for a few minutes will break all the calcified gunk that gathers in your kettle. Rinse it out throughly before using it again and you are good to go.

Rinsing Out Product Build Up In Your Hair

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Using a 50:50 mix of water and apple cider vinegar in your hair will help remove build up of products, oils and dirt. Let is sit on your scalp for a few minutes then rinse out. For the most effective way to do this, you can keep your scalp submerged in this mix while gently rubbing your scalp.

As A Marinade

Anyone who smokes their meat knows about injecting fluids, and most often apple cider vinegar is used. For beef you can’t do better than the sweet and sour flavours that seep into the meat as it marinated in apple cider vinegar. I would recommend adding some garlic to it as well for a truly delightful steak.

Eva Blakeman – Great Uses For ACV

Hope you enjoyed, and if you have more uses for Apple Cider Vinegar please put them in the comments down below.

Great Trails Near Maple Ridge

Spending a little time outdoors is a wonderful feeling, and around the Metro Vancouver area there are trails carving through the landscape everywhere. I am not an experienced hiker, and we’ve only done day trips. All trails listed are less than five hours in total to hike and are good for all experience levels. 

As with all hiking, it is done at your own risk, and being responsible with bringing food and water is always recommended. Bug Spray and sunscreen are your friends and always be mindful of where you are and the dangers in the area. Landslides, wildlife and storms can cause a lot of problems for inexperienced hikers.

East Canyon To Lower Falls Trail – Golden Ears Provincial Park

A very easy trail that is a loop, minimal elevation change with many points where you can access the river in its slower, wider areas that are great for wading out into and cooling off at. Warning the water is very cold. This trail brings you up to a beautiful waterfall by taking you through lush green forests. The trail is very well groomed and heavily used. You are welcome to bring your dog on a leash, and it’s a great trail to bring the kids on. The waterfall is roughly 3km in, total trail is just over 10km. 

Rolley Falls and Lake Trail – Rolley Lake Park 

A easy but often wet trail that take you around Rolley Lake. It features many small water falls, wonderful wildlife and a variety of ecosystems. Minimal elevation change and also very well maintained. There are bridges over the marsh areas. It is a roughly 5 km trail. 

Kanaka Creek – Kanaka Creek Regional Park

A very short trail, only 2.7km. Minimal elevation change, parts of the walk are paved. Very common for elderly and families with children. There are wonderful lookout points with plaques that explain the history of the area which is incredibly interesting. There is a bridge that goes over a portion of the creek and heads into well groomed trails through the forest. As an added bonus, there are outhouses that are maintained halfway through the trail for poor unfortunate hikers like me who need to use the washroom at the most inconvenient times. 

East Canyon Trail – Golden Ears Park 

Many apps will describe this trail as “easy”, I would call it moderate difficulty. It features multiple beautiful water falls, newly constructed bridges, reasonable up and downhill stretches and a variety of beautiful red barked trees and moss covered wonderlands. I would recommend going to the lower falls by dropping down at the fork to the peak, as the view is delightful and it’s a good resting place. I would not recommend this trail for children. I would absolutely recommend bringing more water than you think you need and bring a snack. You will thank me later. 

Cliff Park – Maple Ridge

This is a wonderful, moderate trail that allows you to visit many different parts of the area, such as the local hatchery. Many short up and down spurts. Lookout points over the falls and creeks. A couple bridges that are excellent for getting great pictures of the falls. You cannot get down to the falls on the trail but they are wonderful to behold from the trail. From memory I remember seeing three sets of falls all within a few km. 

I hope you enjoyed the list. Hiking is a great way to work your body, relax your mind and spend some quality time with your hiking partners. Always be mindful of your surroundings and be respectful to the trails and parks you hike in. Ensure you remove anything you bring with you and don’t vandalize, so that everyone can enjoy the hike. 

Eva Blakeman – Trails Near Maple Ridge

Things To Do At Home

During this most unfortunate time, most people are smartly staying indoors to avoid coming into contact with and spreading the COVID 19 virus. It’s sad not to be able to go visit your grandparents, parents or friends during this time, but it is crucial that people don’t come into contact with others if it can be avoided to reduce the spread and ultimately, reduce casualties. That all being said, it is important to keep busy least boredom take over us all.

Twitch Streaming

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If you want to “hang out” with your friends. Set up a twitch stream of an interactive game like a chose your own adventure and as a team decide what steps to take. If I am not mistaken, games like Dungeons and Dragons could also be played remotely via video conference or Twitch with the Dungeon Master as the video host. In the case where individuals do not own the die, simulators can be used, or the master can roll for everyone.

Write

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It seems like a simple thing to do, but with most people being so incredibly busy in their lives, they often don’t sit down and write about how they are feeling, positive things in their lives or even a recipe book. Writing is a calming activity and if you have kids in the house and Paw Patrol is driving you insane, start writing about topics you enjoy to block out the endless noises that come from children shows. I find writing in my bullet journal to be very relaxing.

Bake

Once again, time is often the enemy of passion. A lot of people I know love to bake but often don’t have the time after work to throw together some treats. Practice your piping skills! Make some cookies! Try a new recipe you’ve never made before. Try your hand at making your own bread and enjoy the fruit of your labours.

Clean

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No time to do a super deep clean of your home like weeks stuck in it. This will help mentally in a way, as a clean home without clutter helps reduce stress and makes your home more comfortable to live in. Take this opportunity to steam clean your couches, mattresses and carpets. Wash all the bedding, scrub the walls and wash the inside of your refrigerator.

Practice Yoga

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Since going to the gym is a risk of exposure and spreading the virus, keeping your body moving and happy is important, not to mention the added side effect of yoga being relaxing in this time of extreme stress and anxiety. Youtube has a plethora of yoga instructional videos to follow, and bonus, kids can do it too. Don’t expect to become a yogi overnight, be patient with yourself and try to push yourself a little (not too much).

Call Your Family

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Visiting may pose a health concern, but a phone call is a safe way to stay up to date with their lives. I can bet your grandparents would be happy to hear from you. Though this time is difficult, through the magic of the internet and phones, staying in contact has never been easier.

Play Video Games

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PC, PS4, XBOX, Switch, what ever your pleasure. With such a broad collection of game play styles, there really is something for everyone. I am partial to turn based RPG games, such as the Final Fantasy series, Pokemon and Xenosaga. If you are looking for a challenge, I recommend any of the From Software games. Dark Souls, Bloodborne and Sekiro are all challenging games that may frustrate players, but with each boss win comes a huge sense of satisfaction. For multiplayer games, there is always Rocket League, Mario Party, Crash Team Racing and Call Of Duty.

Read

There are a lot of books on my shelves waiting to be read, and I have to imagine a lot of others have little stacks waiting for them too. Pick up a new book or re-read an old favourite. If you don’t feel like reading a story, study something new! openstax.org is a great resources for free textbooks to study from. Personally I’m reading up on basic chemistry and really enjoying dipping my toes back into the subject.

Bubble Baths and Face Masks

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Take the time to soak in a nice warm tub with a book and a face mask on and feel the stress in your neck and back start to soak away. If you don’t have any face masks in your home, you can make one. For a quick mask you can mix honey and a little cinnamon together. Leave this on for 10 – 20 minutes then rinse it off. Another quick and easy mask to make takes a teaspoon of honey, a half teaspoon of aloe vera and a half teaspoon of coconut oil. Rub it into the face until it feels tacky, let it sit a few minutes and rinse off.

Organize

After the long winter months, we tend to nestle into our homes. Now is a good time to start organizing your cupboards, putting away the throw blankets and going through your closets. An organized kitchen runs more smoothly and an organized closet means not searching for items you could have sworn were there.

Learn New Things

As I said before, there are free textbooks available online, but not everyone likes to sit an read dry material. Here is a list of great YouTube channels that entertain while they educate! If sciences aren’t your interest, there are countless beauty guru channels, baking channels, nail art channels as well as countless other topics to learn about in video format.

Get Nerdy

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On the topic of videos, there are a lot of comic book related videos on YouTube. Who doesn’t want to hear about every supervillain that has never died in cannon? There is always new Smash Ultimate videos coming out and there are endless channels that do in depth character reviews for both DC and Marvel characters.

Binge

Though it isn’t the most productive thing, binge watching a good TV show can certainly eat up a couple days. If you like anime I would recommend Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood as it has one of the most compelling storylines I’ve ever watched. Death Note and Hunter Hunter are also great choices.

Vlog

Share what’s going on in video form to keep family and friends informed or entertained. Share what you’ve been doing to keep yourself safe or busy. Share resources you’ve found with others and activities for kids. If you want you could share some jokes or just talk about what ever is on your mind.

Get Artistic

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Pick up your old paintbrush, pencils or stylus and make something great. Try a create a cartoon strip or a beautiful landscape, it’s up to you. Write a poem and share it or a song and record it. Throw on your headphones and dance around the house if you’re up for it.

Card and Board Games

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If you share a living space with others, organize some activities to keep you all entertained. Crazy 8s is always a favourite card game and board games can take hours that could be spent scrolling and turns them into hours of fun. If you have drinks available in your home, share a couple and make a night of it.

If you have advice or suggestions to add, please do so in the comments!

Eva Blakeman – Things To Do At Home

Life Skills You Need

There are just somethings that can’t be avoided in life. The old joke goes, “the only things you have to do in life is pay taxes and die”, while it’s funny, it just isn’t true. Being able to keep yourself fed, happy, clean and financially stable are irreplaceable skills that have to be developed. Here is a list of skills that everyone should have.

Cooking

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No matter what you think your life is going to be like, the likely hood of having a live in cook is very slight. It isn’t your partners job to feed you and your mother won’t be making your dinner forever. Learning the basics of cooking is an invaluable skill.


Cleaning

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You will likely make a massive mistake with bleach one day that will make you wish you learned how to clean your home safely. It’s always important to remember your high school chemistry classes because mixing cleaning products can not only ruin your counters or sink, but can potentially kill you. Always check labels and don’t mix bleach. Don’t forget knowing how to unplug a toilet! For some tips on how to keep your home clean, click here.


Budgeting

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There is a freedom to making your own money and living on your own, but not taking care of your finances can land you in a lifetime of trouble. A good general rule is to put away 10% of your earnings into savings. It can seem impossible to do this, and in a lot of cases for young people it is actually impossible to do this, but it is very important to have a rainy day fund. You never know when your car might break down, you might lose your job or your health could take a decline. Savings funds can be the difference between a bad month and losing your home.


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Basic Vehicle Knowledge

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If you own a car, you should know how to take care of your car. I’m not saying you should be able to fix everything, but knowing how to check your oil, tire pressure and assorted fluids is important. Knowing how to change a tire (and where your spare is) as well as understanding the symbols on your dash can be the difference between a simple drive to the shop or your car completely breaking down. Also, knowing what to keep in your emergency pack in your vehicle and when to change out supplies is essential.


First Aid

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Basic first aid is a must for everyone. Understanding the signs of a stroke, heart attack and other visible ailments is important but knowing how to disinfect small wounds and identify the difference between a child crying from a bumped leg vs a broken leg is invaluable. I do not advocate that anyone preform medical services without a medical licence, nor do I advocate for the “fix it at home method”, but knowing the basics to keep someone stable until medical help arrives and the basic symptoms of common ailments is important.


Sewing

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You don’t have to be able to sew your own suit together, but you should be able to put a new button on your shirt. Hemming, patching and small repairs will save you a lot of money and your clothes will fit better if you can do simple stitches to bring them together better.


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Home Repair

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Once again, I don’t expect you to become a Red Seal Electrician, but knowing where your water line shut off valves are, how your fuse box works and how to re-light the pilot in your furnace is important. If a line bursts, a fuse blows or your furnace goes out, you will be very thankful to know how to react and when it’s time to call a professional. Thankfully most taps are easily replaced by homeowners due to their simple design, same goes for toilets. Youtube is your friend and always chose to replace your wax seal with a goosenecked one (removal down the line will be much easier). Knowing when your fire alarm is compromised and if you have a monoxide monitor in your home will also help keep you safe.


Hygiene and Health

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While it seems pretty simple to take a shower and brush your teeth, your health goes far beyond this. To reduce festering bacteria in your shoes which can lead to infections in your toes and open sores, wear clean socks and wash the inside of your shoes.

Taking a de-wormer will help protect your digestive system (do check with your doctor before doing so). Personal hygiene products for those sensitive areas are often more harmful than helpful.

Practicing safe sex with condoms will protect you from a lot of unwanted diseases. Seeing your doctor and dentist for check ups gets more and more important as you age. Getting your prostate and testicles checked professionally can not only detect cancer but other illnesses. Having Pap smears done is also a must. All of these things are important for your health and hygiene.

Very importantly, wash your hands often and don’t touch your face is you don’t have to. This practice will help protect you from a lot of nasty illnesses and reduce your likelihood of developing or worsening acne. Another good practice is to flush toilets after you have put down the lid to avoid having urine and fecal matter finding it’s way onto your toothbrush.


If you have advice and skills you want to share, please do in the comments. Though it asks for an email address, it is not require to post a comment, so please don’t hesitate to share your stories and advice.

Eva Blakeman – LIFE SKILLS YOU NEED

Does EMS Build Muscle?

I am not a medical doctor. This is not medical advice, and should not be used in place of a physicians recommendation. Please consult with your physician in regards to use of EMS machines.

A couple years ago I got very curious about the alternate use of electronic muscle stimulation as I was hearing claims of it being able to build muscle without exercise. I found the answer, and it is not the one anyone wants to hear.

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Yes it can build muscle, but no you should not go out and buy one for yourself and throw it on your back in hopes of getting buff. As appealing as it sounds to lay on your couch and get ripped, it is another case of “too good to be true”.

The basic function of these machines is to cause muscles to contract by stimulating them with electrical impulses. This is often used by physiotherapists in muscle recovery. Please note that a trained professional can place the pads in the appropriate place to engage the proper muscles. But an individual who is untrained might place the pad in the wrong place or set the machine incorrectly and cause damage to the muscles.

Now in a study directly related to muscle augmentation done on mice, the researchers found that with change to diet and closely controlled settings, they could cause muscle increase in the mice through EMS. Once again, these are professionals who are very careful with their placement, exposure times, diet and settings for the machines. The gains in musculature in the mice was lower than the muscle gain that would be achieve by actively using their muscles in exercise.

Products exist that claim to build muscle while you lay on the couch through the use of EMS machines, but reality is, walking and lifting weights is not only much more efficient, it is also safer, as the average individual does not have the training and knowledge appropriate to use these machines safely. Should muscle contractions be too strong, tears can occur. Should multiple overlapping muscles engage at once, strains and bulges can occur. The use of these machines should be limited to those with the appropriate training to use them safely.

Please do not engage in the use of EMS machines without the instruction of your physician, and only in the case where a physician has recommended them to you. These products are so widely available that they may seem safe, but in reality they can cause a lot of problems, and provide very little benefit to the user for muscle gain.

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If you really want to build muscle, eat a protein rich diet, exercise often, lift appropriately to your strength and ensure you stretch to maintain flexibility. Stay hydrated and have some fun working out!

Now after all these warnings, there are medical uses for these devices, and they are not inherently unsafe. There are many uses that are beneficial to the patient, and should a physician use one on you, you can feel safe that they are well trained and are doing what they can to help you with your ailment. This post was designed to educate about the risks of using them for muscle gain without the supervision of a physician, and should not be taken as an absolutist statement against the machines as a medical tool.