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Health

Laziness is a sign of intelligence, study finds

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A study has revealed that people who spend more time thinking are less physically active.

A study carried out by researchers from the Florida Gulf Coast University found that intelligent people live a more sedentary lifestyle, as they rarely become bored and spend more time lost in their own thoughts.

They also realised that those who fill their day with physical activity are often ‘non-thinkers,’ and do so to stimulate their minds in order to escape their own thoughts.

The study concluded that those who are thought to be non-thinkers became bored much easier and also experienced the negative effects that comes with it.

Conversely, those with high ‘need for cognition’ were able to provide for their own mental stimulation by themselves.

Thus, individuals with high need for cognition seem more content to entertain themselves mentally, whereas low-NFC individuals quickly experience boredom and experience it more negatively,’ reads the paper.

Source: DailyMail

Cold Coffee, in a Good Way

My version of iced coffee is easy to make, stores well, and can be a real treat when it’s too warm for hot coffee.

I’m a major coffee lover. Everything coffee is good with me, but sometimes it’s still nice to mix it up a bit.

This is a simple recipe that you can change to meet your dietary requirements, be it vegan or otherwise.
Cold brewed coffee is less acidic, and that means you can taste the sweetener more while using less of it.
It’s easier on the stomach too.

The Ingredients are:
4 Cups Cold Water,
3/4 Cup Ground Beans. I love the Swanson Brand Organic Ground Coffee. (just search for Coffee on the site)
Optional Vanilla Extract, Whipped Cream, Chocolate to sprinkle on top.

Get a pitcher, bottle or other container (A large mason jar works well)
Add the coffee grounds and water, shake it up and let it sit for 12-24hrs at room temperature,

After 12-24hrs. Strain the coffee through a cheesecloth or mesh coffee filter…  a fine tea strainer should work too, if you don’t mind a little grit in the bottom of your cup.

Pour the coffee into ice cube trays and freeze.

When you want your iced coffee, Put about 2 cups of cubes in a blender with your cream and sugar, and away we go! It makes a nice frothy indulgent drink without all the strange emulsifying ingredients and additives that you often find at the local coffee shops, and the price is great too!

You can add a few drops of real vanilla extract.
I like to use coconut creamer in mine to avoid the dairy.
The cubes can be popped out of the trays and put in a freezer bag for storage.
If the coffee is too strong just add a few plain ice cubes.
For special occasions you can put whipped cream on top and chocolate shavings.

Have fun and get your caffeine buzz on!

Safe and Natural Bug Repellent Recipe

~ Tadpole

We’re always hearing about how many chemicals there are in every day products and that we should be avoiding them. What we might hear less about, is how to actually get these more natural products easily, affordably, and how to make simple and effective ones at home.

There are plenty of places to buy  overpriced natural products online, but what if you want to make your own? Where do you get the oils? How do we know which ones are the right ones?

Essential oils have been proven to be just as effective, and sometimes more effective than their chemical rivals.
In my case, with severe allergies and chemical sensitivities, most commercial brands aren’t an option whether or not they work.
I’ve been using essential oils my whole life, before they were popular or even common.
Thankfully plant essences have become commonplace and much easier to find in recent years.

Extremely cheap or imported oils of questionable origin are still a bit of a problem. You don’t want to see “scented oil” or “perfume oil” on the label. We’re looking for “pure essential oil” “organic oil” and “100% oils”.
Anything else could be unsafe, chemical based or mixed with other oils or chemicals. As a rule, if the ingredients aren’t listed, you don’t want it. I generally go with the idea that if you don’t want to ingest it, you don’t put it on your skin either. Everything we touch absorbs into the blood stream, so we have to keep it as clean and pure of a product as possible.

In this post I’d like to show you how to make an effective insect repellent, using affordable, easily obtainable essential oils.  The brand isn’t all that important as long as it’s a quality oil. I get most of my natural products from SwansonVitamins They have a great selection of oils, they’re affordable, and the company is above all accountable and reliable. You can get $5 off your first order by going through my link. It’s a lot easier than trying to find the oils locally for me and the prices can’t be beaten. I’ve also had good luck with the oils from PipingRock,

This simple insect repellent is made using any of these oils: Cedar, Citronella, Mint, Tea Tree, Catnip, Eucalyptus and Lemongrass oil, in a carrier of Sweet almond oil, or coconut oil. In a pinch you can even use a light olive oil.

Each oil works on it’s own but has more power as a combined team.
You can use them all together or choose your favorites.
Unlike the chemical repellents, these ones actually smell good, and can help improve your breathing.

First thing, get a roller-ball bottle or any little container that you want to use to store your repellent in.
As a precaution, please know that Tea Tree Oil does eat away at rubber droppers and plastic. If using Tea Tree Oil, you must use only glass. The rest are ok to use with droppers and plastic rollers.

The simplest blend to start with would be Cedar and Citronella.
Take the Cedar oil, and put about 25 drops of oil into the container, add an equal amount of Citronella oil. Now you have a concentrated oil that can be used as is, but can cause issues with sensitivity on the skin. To fix that, all you need to do is add the carrier oil, Choose from Sweet almond oil, coconut oil, or a light olive oil.  You could use grape-seed oil or other cosmetic oils but we’re supposed to be keeping this simple!

Just add about a tablespoon of carrier oil to the bottle, to make a potent anti-bug-serum. Mix it up and you have your finished product. If you find that the scent is too strong, or not strong enough, you can add more essential oil or more carrier oil until it suits your needs.

Be sure to label it so you know what it is, and experiment with more blends.

Catnip oil is a great repellent for mosquitoes particularly. I find the Mint and Cedar to be very useful for black flies. When adding Tea Tree Oil, it’s stronger than the rest, so just a few drops will usually be enough.

If you try the recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments.

 

Stretching & Relaxation: Simple, 10-minute routine to practise anywhere

This super simple post-workout routine will help you stretch and relax after a long, stressful day or after coming home from the gym. All you need is some space, good music, and a workout mat.

Hold your breath, exhale, hold your position for a few seconds and switch on to the next one. Repeat at least two times for a good workout.

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Why not grow your own herbal tea at home?

Photo Credits: zcool.com.cn

Lemon Balm, Catnip and Mint are my favorites for herbal tea.
They taste great and have medicinal properties that are quite useful, in addition to being decorative as plants.

To grow your own, you’ll need some pots. You can use store bought pots, coffee cans with holes poked in the bottom, or even a plastic dish. If it’s a container that holds some amount of moisture, it could work. You can be creative.

The soil I usually use is just simple African Violet dirt. It doesn’t need to be an expensive brand.

You can start with seeds and follow the directions on the package or start with greenhouse plants.
Either way, you want to let them dry slightly between waterings,  and water regularly thereafter.
After a while, you’ll get to know what your plants like and how often to water them.
The great thing with growing your own is that it can be as natural and organic as you make it.

Lemon Balm Photo Credits: Quinn Dombrowski

Lemon Balm likes a lot of sunlight and can go outside in the ground in the warm months, or out on a patio.
Indoors it’s great to have a south-facing window, or east, to get as much sunlight as possible.
The same goes for the Catnip and Mint.

Lemon Balm is also known as “Melissa” and has many medicinal uses,
ranging from toothaches to upset stomach and allergies.
It is believed that lemon balm has calming effects, and can be taken for  for anxiety, sleep problems, and restlessness.
It’s a personal favorite of mine and I believe it has quite a significant effect on peace of mind and mood.

Lemon balm is also used to lend a helping hand for Alzheimer’s disease,
attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), swollen airways, (potential for easing asthma symptoms)
rapid heartbeat caused by nervousness, and insect bites.

It’s a versatile plant to say the least!
It does have a lemony flavor and you can use more or less according to your own personal taste.
You can add a few drops of lemon juice, or a handful of blueberries to your tea as well for added flavor.

Catnip Photo Credits: Tadpole

The Catnip!
It’s a great herb for helping you get to sleep. It really helps with insomnia. It also drives away mosquitoes.
I’d caution anyone with a cat on this one, because cats love it and will go to great lengths to smash it out of a windowsill and roll in it.
Not much will stop a determined cat after a plant.
Like the Lemon Balm you can add more or less according to your tastes, but it isn’t as tasty… On the other hand, if you use it as a sleep aid, you can probably suffer the taste more easily. It helps calm people enough to get into a deep sleep and dispels nervousness and general icky feelings.
I’ve used it a lot and I can say it works for me.

Mint Photo Credits: Tadpole

Mint.
I prefer spearmint to peppermint because it has a slightly different, more intense flavor. It calms the stomach and tastes great. you can mix it with catnip or lemon balm to make your own blends.
It can be used in baking as well. One drink I like to make in the summer is this:

Add about a cup of frozen red grapes to a blender, add some water to facilitate blending… give it a whirl…
Take two or so cups of ice, throw that in, crush the ice up… add water as needed so everything doesn’t get stuck.
Take 2-3 sprigs of Spearmint or Peppermint, put that in, blend it up and you’re done.
It should be sweet enough from the red grapes, and very flavorful with the mint.
You can serve it in Mason Jars with  a straw. It’s like a low calorie natural slush.
It’s very refreshing, and super simple!

When you harvest your leaves for tea, you can snip off individual leaves with scissors or pinch them off with a fingernail, making sure to only take the lower bigger leaves, or the first few leaves at the top of the plants. There’s no need to dry them first. Fresh leaves make great tea, but on the other hand, if gardening just isn’t for you, there are lots of stores that sell these dried herbs. 2-3 Teaspoons to a pot should be enough for dried teas.

Mix and match all three.
You can experiment as you go.

Happy Brewing!

Photo Credits: zcool.com.cn