I’m outing myself. I have some distinctly hippie-style attitudes. I don’t really go for cleanses or macrobiotic eating, but I certainly like my modifiers. Local, organic, raw, unprocessed, grass-fed, pasture-raised, sustainable, fair-trade? Sounds good!
I also experiment with a lot of weird things. Like making my own kombucha (fail - not tasty), and making my own yogurt (fail - too time-consuming). Happily, some work out well. Here are three successful experiments…
I love leftovers. A lot of people get sick of eating the same thing for a few dinners in a row, but it works just fine for me. And honestly I can’t justify cooking from scratch every day. So my plan is to cook relatively large recipes then reheat for the next couple days.
The only problem: how do you get it warm again? The oven takes too long. Toaster ovens have worked for me in the past, but I don’t have one now. And food seems to get cold immediately after I take it out of my microwave.
Enter the bamboo steamer.
It’s easy! I just put a water-filled pan on the stovetop on high, then drop the bamboo steamer in. Food goes in a heatproof container inside one of the compartments, and leftovers are reheated in a couple minutes. I can even steam up some veggies with a few more minutes of cooking time. Food stays warm a lot longer, is heated all the way through, and I never have to wash the steamer because it doesn’t touch the food or absorb food smells.
I don’t like strong smells. My dish soap and laundry detergent are both fragrance free, and my hand soap is a diluted mint. So, most mainstream deodorants are are immediately off the table. I also generally like to reduce the number of ingredients in my personal care products.
With those odd requirements, I needed to put some effort into finding something that worked. Over the last several years I’ve tried a number of deodorant options. The Crystal was weird, because I had to get my armpit wet before I rubbed it on. It mostly kept smells at bay, but I could get into trouble if I had an extra-stressful day. At one point I did find a very effective solid stick at my local co-op with a nice neutral smell. But a few replacements later, I discovered that it had been reformulated with a stronger, more feminine fragrance, and was back to the search.
Summer 2013 I finally tried making my own. And it’s truly amazing what a little baking soda (1 part), arrowroot powder (2 parts), and coconut oil (4 parts) can do! Just put in in a bowl and mix it up! It is easily the best deodorant I’ve ever used. It lasts a long time and smells like whatever you want it to - just add an an essential oil.
Not convinced? Last summer my homemade deodorant got a ringing endorsement at a friend’s wedding. I had fully committed to the dance floor, sleeves rolled up, tie loosened, quite sweaty. Earlier I had told a friend about my new deodorant, so she decided to test it. She walks up to me on the dance floor, grabs my arm, raises it up, and sniffs. The verdict? Thumbs-up. I can’t think of a better test. :0)
When I started using magnesium oil about a year ago, my workout recovery improved, and it seemed like I was building muscle more easily. With the oil, post-workout soreness was more a gentle reminder of recent activity than a sternly-worded letter from my body to my brain.
I had previously read that magnesium and calcium could be used to assist with muscle recovery, but pills never really did anything for me. Magnesium oil, however, is apparently easier for the body to absorb.
You can either buy some pre-made, or make it yourself with magnesium chloride bath flakes. Just boil 1 cup of water, and slowly stir in 1 cup of the flakes until they fully dissolve. Once that has cooled down, rub it on your skin for a totally new way to get your key minerals. The reminder that the skin absorbs things that way definitely puts showering and swimming in a new light, huh?
Here’s to constant improvement! Not all of my experiments have been successful, but the successes make it all worth it. Maybe they’ll be successes for you too?
A few more details:
Happy New Year! This time last year I posted an entry about my system for managing the day-to-day; something a little different from the standard list of resolutions. For 2015 I’m announcing the... Read more »
All the cool kids are using Node.js these days. But perhaps more interesting, big companies are using it too. In the spring, I contracted with Walmart Labs and saw it firsthand. They’re getting... Read more »