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3 Big Reasons to Start Fermenting Vegetables

Modern civilization has given us everything we need and want to make everyday life so much easier, from the electricity and running water we currently enjoy, to the refrigerators and coffee that we use nearly every day.

However, it also has its downsides, not just on the environment around us, but on the environment that’s inside us as well – and this is where fermenting food comes in.

Why Ferment?

Fermentation has been a way to prepare and extend the shelf life of food, even before refrigerators were around.

With natural fermentation, food is broken down into a more digestible form while still retaining its nutrients, and even introduces vital enzymes, such as b-vitamins, and probiotics that are good for your gut.

Here are the biggest reasons why you should start fermenting vegetables at home:

  1. Fermented Foods Are Easier to Digest

Food is broken down and made easier to digest through fermentation, which is great for those who are suffering digestive problems. This is possible since the bacteria will break the food down using a process that doesn’t involve oxygen or air.

  • They Balance Your Gut Flora

Fermented foods are good for you not just because they’re easier to digest, but they also contain healthy bacteria and yeast strains that your gut needs to produce and process nutrients that your body can’t.  

One vital product that’s produced during the fermentation process is lactic acid, which your body burns to give your muscles more energy and reduces your tendency to suffer from muscle cramps.  

  • They’re Easy to Prepare

Any food that you prepare yourself will taste better than the food that you would just normally buy. Even if you don’t cook regularly, fermentation is something you’ll be able to appreciate since it will last you a long time.

Fermenting vegetables is also easy to do – all you really need is a clean jar with a lid and a mix of water and sea salt (or any other type of unrefined salt). Once the bacteria has finished fermenting them, you’re done!

Not only is fermenting your own food natural and easy to do, but fermented foods can also be kept at room temperature while still retaining their long shelf life (which can last for months), especially when compared to other foods that spoil faster and more easily.

Additionally, fermenting vegetables can save you a lot of money, especially if you’re on a tight budget and have to cut down on buying a lot of groceries. There’s also no reason to not start doing it since there are all kinds of fermented dishes you can start making.

How to Let Go of Your Perfectionism (And Why You Should)

Being a perfectionist might sound like a positive thing at first – after all, why would you settle for only less than perfect?

However, it turns out that that very mindset might just be what’s holding you back from even trying again or giving it your all. In fact, it can just as easily be a real problem that keeps you from sharing your less-than-perfect work to people.

If you happen to be stuck on this mindset (and can’t seem to make anything), then now is the perfect time to let go – and here’s how you do it:

Accept that all great things start out less-than-perfect.

The first attempt at anything is never usually good, and the myth that masterpieces can come out at a snap is just a myth.

Most of the time, perfectionism stems from a deep-seated fear of failure. But the good news is that you can overcome this fear.

Instead of thinking of the first try as less than what you wanted, you can change the way you think. Once something is out there, instead of simply existing in your head, it becomes much easier to improve with time and effort.

Don’t be scared of feedback.

All great ideas have to come from somewhere, and are usually put into the open where people can give their feedback and criticisms.

And because something can take so much time and effort to do or create, it’s understandable why it can be difficult to show off for the world to see. However, when it comes to criticism, you don’t always have to take everything to heart.

In fact, once you realize that the worst thing someone can do to your work is criticize it, you’ll realize that criticism and feedback is a great way to improve.

Put in the time and the effort in whatever you do.

People don’t usually see the multiple failed attempts it took to get to that one successful attempt, but it’s clear that the best works that stand the test of time are those that have a lot of time and effort put into them.

Focus on improving the work and getting the skills you need to do so, and everything else will follow on their own.

If something doesn’t work the first time, or even after several times, it helps a lot to take a step back and find out why. You might want to take a short break to give yourself some distance or to recover, but whatever you do, it’s important to keep going at it.

At the end of the day, it’s all how you approach the tasks and the mindset you approach them with. Embrace constant improvement instead of the need to be absolutely perfect. When you’re more accepting of failure, it’s only then that the results will really start to show.

The Biggest Reasons Why You Keep Clutter at Home (And How to Part With it For Good)

Like most people, there’s a good chance you will wake up one day to find that your living space is cluttered, but even when you’re trying your best, you simply can’t bring yourself to open certain boxes or get rid of certain items for good.

Believe it or not, things can still be considered clutter even though they are properly arranged, and you don’t want to throw them away for one reason or another. 

But the good news is that there’s a way to deal with it. These are the biggest reasons why you keep clutter in your home – and what you can do to maximize your space:

1. You like free stuff

Who doesn’t? The main appeal of having stuff is the feeling that you spent less – or in some cases, nothing at all – for something that is, or could be, valuable. When the items you purchased this way start piling up at home, they become “bargain clutter”.

To get rid of bargain clutter, ask yourself if you would buy these items even if they weren’t at a discount or free. If not, let it go.

2. You keep it around “just in case” you need it

The concept of “being prepared” is quite common, and for many people, stocking up on varying household items in bulk can save a lot of trouble later on – that is, if they are actually used when the situation calls for it.

But there is a fine line between stocking up for emergencies and plain, simple over-abundance.

The rule of thumb to getting rid of over-abundance is that if you haven’t used it in over three months or don’t plan to use it within the next three months, you should get rid of it. If you will use it only for a short time and never again, try renting it instead.

More importantly, buy only the things that you need, and avoid perishable items unless you plan on using or consuming them before they expire.

3. Your clutter has sentimental value

All kinds of items can be keepsakes and hold sentimental value to different people, especially in the case of heirlooms. However, as much as these items hold value, they can also easily add clutter at home.

How do you know if it’s sentimental clutter? Keep these in mind the next time you come across them when you’re trying to clean your room or your home:

  • Is it related to an important event?
  • Is it related to a person (i.e. someone famous or someone close to you, such as a friend or a family member)?

The good news is that if something holds value to you or if it’s too important, there’s no need to throw it away, but instead, you should store it properly in a dedicated storage container to keep it in good condition.

(Disclaimer: this list is compiled in no particular order.)

5 Not-so-Obvious Places in Your Home That You Need to Clean

Even though you make it a habit to clean your house and make it as dust-free as possible, there’s a good chance you’ll end up missing a corner or two. When this happens, dust can easily accumulate and spread back throughout your whole home before you know it.

To keep dust from coming back to your home too quickly, here are a few places you should be looking into more often when cleaning your home:

  1. Areas beneath your furniture

You can find dust bunnies and cobwebs lurking in almost every nook and cranny imaginable, so it’s no surprise that places underneath your furniture, especially your tables, would be hiding a lot of dust.

If you have a closet at home, you especially need to pay attention to where you place your footwear and clean it regularly, since soles can trap all kinds of dirt and dust when you keep them inside.

  • Air filters

While it does help to improve the air quality in your home, there’s also no better hotbed of dust particles, mold, algae, and bacteria than a filter that traps them for an extended period of time.

If you have an air filter at home, make it a point to clean them regularly to maintain your air quality and prevent triggering other people’s allergies.

  • Indoor plants

Whether they’re real or made of plastic, your indoor plants could also be home to a lot of dust, especially those with large, broad leaves.

To keep them dust-free, spritz their leaves with water and wipe them with a clean cloth every few days, and pay close attention to their soil.

Indoor plants are best placed in areas where they get the best amount of sunlight while away from things that could trip them over and spill their soil, which can lead to dust and dirt getting into the house.

  • Walls and ceilings

Dust and cobwebs don’t just cling to corners – they can also cling to walls and even ceilings, especially if they have lots of tiny nooks and corners that don’t get cleaned regularly.

When cleaning your walls and ceilings, start with the top and work your way to the bottom with using a broom or duster that traps dust particles before finishing with a vacuum.

  • Carpet

Your carpet may seem like an obvious place where dust could easily accumulate, but what you may be forgetting is how quickly it does, and how frequently you need to clean it as a result.

As much as possible, vacuum it once a week with a beater brush attachment and spray it with a fabric sanitizer. It also helps to have it steam-cleaned by a professional laundry service at least once a year.

How to Instantly De-Stress in the Office

Non-stop emails, endless deadlines, countless of tasks to complete—the next thing you know, it’s two in the afternoon and you missed your lunch (again). Although nobody said that office life is easy, if you are stressed every single day from nine to five, it’s important to know how to pause and take a break every few hours when you’re at work.

Workplace stress can be detrimental to your mental, emotional and physical health, so make sure to address the issue right away and keep in mind these instant stress busters.

  1. Avoid Another Cup of Coffee

Sure, a cup of coffee is needed to wake your senses up in the morning, but downing more cups of Joe throughout the day isn’t good for you. Instead of having too much of this anxiety booster in your system, try some green tea, which contains less than half caffeine than a cup of americano and the amino acid theanine to help you calm your nerves.

  • Listen to Music

Listening to upbeat songs can do wonders in improving your mood, so slip on your headphones and play your favorite tunes. If you want to relax or take a nap, play slow instrumental music. On the other hand, if you want to stay awake throughout the afternoon, get some dance music playing.

  • Get Up and Take a Walk

Going out during your tea break can help relax your mind. Take a short walk around the block to catch some fresh air, effectively releasing feel good hormones that lifts your mood instantly. And while you’re at it, stretch your shoulders, back and legs to release the tension and relieve stressed out body and mind.

  • Keep Aromatherapy Oils

Studies show that aromatic oils are helpful in stressful times. Get a few roll-on essential oils and set them on your office table. Menthol scents to increase your concentration, flowery citrus scents to boost your energy and green tea scent to help clear your mind.

  • Breathe Deeply

A few deep breaths also help reduce tension, relax the neck and muscles and relieve anxiety and stress. When you breathe deeply, your body inhales more amount of oxygen, regulating the flow of blood, which relaxes your body. Slow and deep breaths also increase oxygen circulation in the brain and slows down your heart rate, leaving you feeling more peaceful.

  • Look Out the Window

Take your eyes off from the computer monitor for a few minutes and gaze out the window to let your mind wander. Looking at the greenness of nature (not the wallpaper on your computer screen!) relaxes your body and mind. And did we tell you that daydreaming is an effective way to boost your creativity and problem-solving ability?

While there are unlimited ways to help reduce stress, you simply cannot eliminate stress altogether. There are certainly so many things to worry about; it’s simply up to you how you will handle them in such a way that you still live a happy and peaceful life.

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