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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Saving Mother Earth Saves You Money

Our Own Garden Resources Used For This Flower Arrangement
Earth is facing many challenges right now, with her resources depleting. How can we contribute to conservation of our natural resources and minimize the production of greenhouse gases, even in just our own simple way? At home, we do the following:

1. We stopped the use of sprinkler since sprinkler does not aim the water 100% into desired area. Thus, we collect water from dishwashing, washing vegetables, fruits and rice, and use this recycle water to water the plants. When we started doing this, we saved more than $10 a month in our water bill. 

2. We changed washer to high efficiency washer. The initial cost may be high but then, some cities, like San Diego, supports high efficiency machines. We submiited our receipt to the city and they gave us $150 rebate (at least 2.5 years ago when we bought high efficiency washer). When we changed our washer, we saved even more in water bill, in time, we know, the initial cost paid off.

3. We hang dry our clothes. We just see to it that our clothesline is not seen by neighbors at all, that it is well hidden at the back of our house and the line is not taller than the fence. To minimize wrinkles, we flatten the clothes with our hands before hang-drying them. We also fold the clothes neatly before ironing. By the time we iron them, the wrinkles are not that much that the clothes hardly need ironing at all. The time we spent on flattening the clothes with our hands before hang-drying and folding them saves us time from more thorough ironing. Thus, hang-drying and less ironing saves us money on not paying a lot of money for energy bill, and it also saves California from burning too much fuel for power.

4. We avoid using the central heater. We use portable heater instead to avoid heating the whole house. There's only the two of us in the house, why heat up all rooms when we stay only in one room (either the living room or our bedroom) most of the time?  This saves us about $50- $70 a month on winter time, also, saving California from burning too much gas, less greenhouse gas in the air.

5. During winter when it is cold, we use the greenhouse effect. On daytime, we open the blinds but not the glass window to let the heat come in. Shorter wavelength energy gets inside glass but the longer wavelength is trapped inside, the glass window acts as one way valve for heat flow.  This process warm the house while we are at work. At night, when we get home, we dont need as much heating because of the greenhouse warming.

6. During summer when it is warm, we semi- closed the blinds at daytime but open the window to let the cool breeze come in as our natural airconditioner. Then, when sun sets, we open the windows and blinds to let the cooler breeze come in that cools down the house to a low that when the sun comes in again the next day, it is still cool enough to combat the warm day. This cycle saves us a lot on gas bills. We probably only have to use AC 3 times or 4 times in one whole year. There were some years we never had to use AC at all. And no, we are not suffering from heat and humidity. 

6. We recycle. Thankfully, both our city and State is heavy into recycling and we do get about $15 every 2-3 months from our recyling. Nice :)

It may appear that it takes time and effort and it takes probably committment to continuously do these, but the reward is, you are not only helping Mother Earth, but you are also saving money :)

Celebrate, breathe in...and smile!!!

Breathe in......I no longer have to go to night classes this week and the coming weeks, yehey :) I no longer have homework and very long assignments to write. Freedom!! :) I was told also I pass all requirements. This is a big sigh of relief, a BIG BREATHE IN! I feel very happy right now, in the mood for celebration. Let me share with you the happiness I feel through these heart healthy foods for lunch!

We will start with avocado for appetizer (put some lime and a little salt and pepper)
Avocados are heart healthy foods, learn more about avocados health benefits here.
Followed by Turmeric Vegetable and Rice; Anchovies in Balsamic Vinegar and Chilli; some tomatoes;
Anchovies are very good source of Omega 3- learn about the four incredible health benefits of anchovy
and eggplant omelette.
Tortang Talong or Eggplant Omelette - learn about the health benefits of eggplant here.
For desert, let us have low fat yogurt and mix of fruits

Come celebrate with me, breathe in.....and smile :)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Physical Therapy: For Athletes and For Everyone

Physical Therapy​Whether you deal with chronic pain due to an illness or an injury, you're probably tired of feeling bad all the time. You should know that you aren't alone in your pain - an estimated 116 million Americans suffer from chronic pain each year. Whether you deal with pain in your neck, back, shoulders or elsewhere in your body, you're probably looking for some form of relief. Luckily, physical therapy can help you manage it in a healthy way. Dr. Mark Malone founded a series of pain management clinics in Texas, which utilize physical therapists for certain clients. Below is what he has to say about the benefits.

Do You Have Chronic Pain?

Just because you haven't actually been diagnosed with chronic pain doesn't mean that you don't suffer from it. By definition, chronic pain refers to feeling pain for months at a time or longer. Many people suffer from it for years. Your pain could have been caused by a car accident or other type of injury, or it could stem from some sort of illness. Regardless of its cause, it isn't comfortable and can make your life more difficult. Seeing a physician is a good idea so that you can look at the cause of your physical pain.

Paksiw na Galunggong For Breakfast

Lemon-Turmeric Rice, Fried Egg, Cabbage and Mackerel cooked in vinegar, ginger and soy sauce ( or paksiw )

I was craving for "paksiw" na galunggong ( or hard tail mackerel) last Saturday, so I made some for breakfast. :) We ate it with lemon-turmeric rice, fried egg and cabbage. Our breakfast sure fueled our hike up Mt. Woodson.
Hyped up in our hike by "paksiw na galunggong" :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Trying Our Best To Eat Right When Traveling

Green Bean, Chilli Bamboo shoots, Pickled Mustard Green, Sauteed Mushrooms, Spicy Fermented Tofu and Sardines

I always like to make our plates colorful. Somehow, the various colors of foods in our plate just make me inspired eating healthy, and not think of empty calories such as sweets and desserts. However, this can be tough when traveling, when most of the foods outside are smothered with butter, 100% cheese and cream, something my taste buds aren't really fond of. Sometimes, I may sound so strange asking the server if there is cheese in foods if the cheese used skim milk or 1% or 2% milk. I try to avoid thinking about what kind of oil they use to make the foods when I eat out, because I am afraid, I will not be able to eat at all. I consider trans fat and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as the number one enemy of our body, but these are the ingredients that somehow we have no control over eating out because we do not have control over ingredients and seasonings restaurants use. 

To avoid these hassles of looking for foods we can eat when we travel, we usually bring our own foods, and yes, rice cooker! Though we do not eat a lot of rice, but somehow, rice helps us curb our cravings for junk foods. Our travels always demand high energy foods because we go hiking a lot, thus, we had learned to feed ourselves with our kind of foods, rather than depending on outside foods all the time. Though we do not eat canned foods or bottled foods at home, but when we travel, we do! All those vegetables and the sardines above were from the can or from the bottle. All I could manage to make after a long day of hiking is cook rice! :) Haha! And I always tell hubby, "BETTER THAN EATING OUT!" Though I could eat out once a while, but I do not think I will survive 9 days eating out! 9 days was the length of our vacation at Big Sur, Yosemite and Eastern Sierra. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Gardening Happiness

Meet one of my simple joys in simple life: GARDENING.
 I love talking to plants, asking them to grow and multiply. :) I have acquired the habit of talking to plants from my late mom, who always would tell me, "Talk to plants, you make them happy, and they in response make you happy too. Touch them softly, show them you care, and they will grow so well, and multiply.  Witnessing the miracle of how they transform, from simple seeds, or from simple cuttings into blossoming matured plants will not only make you smile but bring you a therapeutic joy!"