Friday, October 31, 2014

2 months of no new clothes for a year

This month I cleaned out the closet, I realized I have so much clothes that are actually too small or so worn out I don't wear them anymore so I sent  about 5 plastic bags of clothes and shoes to UFF.  I also had some clothes and stuff for sale in the local flea market but I am thinking there is probably still some clothes I could get rid off, but maybe it has to wait now until spring cleaning time.

There was an angry article in a Finnish newspaper about the hysteria of "cleaning out" stuff in relation to this challenge and how people don't value things anymore. Yes, of course it can be "bad", however, I'm not sure it always have to do with people not valuing things. I for one finally cleaned out some stuff I had been holding on to for too long and this challenge and the flea market gave a good incentive to do so. At some point I just have to realize that even if a shirt has been my favorite when I was 14 it will just not suit me ever again (not my age, not my body either) and some of the things will hopefully be to good use for somebody else who will value it.

Here is some good rules that was posted on the challenge event's facebook wall yesterday:

1. What I buy I use
2. What I can fix I fix
3. What I need I buy second hand
4. What I don't need I sell second hand or give for reuse
5. I remember, that from old and used things new things can be made if the material were originally of good quality.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Thyroid talk

A week ago I joined my friend for a lecture on thyroid and the psyche in Lahti, organized by the Lahti region thyroid organization

Thyroid is right now a hot topic in Finland as doctors are arguing about the use of the T3 hormone, which has even led to restriction of some doctors' right to practice. Some weeks ago there was a short documentary on Finnish TV about the topic where you can hear doctors who are for the use of T3 and the doctors who are against it. One of the more important points in the documentary, according to me, was made by the representative from FIMEA (Finnish Medicines Agency) who states that T3 hormone is no harm to a human in the right doses as it naturally occurs in our bodies. 

All in all, as Valvira (the Finnish National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health) now has restricted some doctors' thyroid treatment no doctor in Finland is willing to give out T3 hormone to patients, which has put a lot of patients who have been treated with T3 in a small panic state. Probably because of all this the lecture last week was overflown with people and they couldn't even let everybody in, however, if you are interested in the subject they are planning a new lecture shortly.

Some of the interesting points from the lecture were;

  • The connection between depression like symptoms and thyroid malfunction and how to distinguish a normal depression from one that is caused by thyroid malfunction.

  • How to treat a patient well by actually listening (if the mental health doesn't improve even after getting treatment (psychotherapy and pills) perhaps it is worth investigating other causes?
  • The importance of a good diet, too little folic acid and B12 vitamin might increase depression like symptoms
    Other important cornerstones in our diet:
    - iodine
    - selenium
    - zink
    - iron
    - omega 3
    - ubiquinone
  • Too low cholesterol might also affect hormonal formation
  • In a study by Kelly and Lieberman, 2009, 14/17 persons with depression which had not responded well to other treatment got well after being treated with T3 hormone

  • Towards the end the doctor also presented a possible cause for the fact that thyroid problems have increased, namely the chemicals in our surroundings like:

    -plastic with BPA and phthalates, usually included in soft plastic-triclosan used in products to kill bacteria and fungal growth
    -bromineted flame retardants is used on e.g. furniture and other textiles to prevent the outbreak of fire, however, if I remember correctly it has been proven that in the event of fire these do not really work anyway
    -parabens, used in cosmetics
    -glyphosate, used in farming to avoid weeds, e.g. in roundup
    she also included gluten to the list as the use of gluten has increased in our food products and gluten might worsen some psychiatric deceases.

The lecture continued with Erkki Palviainen from Voimaruoka who talked about superfoods and how to eat to get all of the important conerstones into our system.

He pointed out among other things that we are small ecosystems so it makes sense to eat accordingly (avoid chemicals and eat healthy, naturally rich food).

Palvilainen was very critical towards:
-all "new food" products that often include a lot of questionable ingredients.
-products that include synthetic and added vitamins
-new farming breeds and new farming methods
-all light products

Instead Erkki suggested we should eat natural foods that our grandmothers ate and include into that diet some superfoods like seaweed (sprirulina is a powder out of seaweed) for extra nutrition. If you are interested in learning more about Erkki's life philosophy he recently written a book about Superfood (in Finnish) I haven't read it myself but during the weekend I had a conversation with an acquaintance and it turns out she is reading it right now, so I can guarantee you the book is a good conversation starter at least. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Inequality and Debt

I decided to share a video on inequality and debt with you on this years Blog Action Day.

Do you feel democracy and equality is possible in capitalism? Or do we only have problems because of how we (or he richest 1%) is managing capitalism today?

A part of the rebel me is thinking that those richest people are only 85 persons according to the video, and we are millions, it really should be easy to balance back the power. Unfortunately these people hide behind multimillion dollar companies. Just this morning it made me angry to think about how these international companies are dictating how we eat, which medicines are used to treat our sicknesses and how and what food is produced.

It is however, easy to pin point the problems in our economy but what about the solutions?

Here is some of my own thought on how you can take action;

1. Support your local economy and small companies. 

Increases transparency, local economic resilience and keeps jobs in the region.

2. If possible, support and use an alternative bank;

Like ekobanken and JAK in Sweden (unfortunately I haven't found an alternative in Finland yet!). Do you have one in your country/region?

3. Familiarize yourself with different social and economic architecture systems.

Get to know steady state economy, economic democracy, benefit corporations. circular economy etc. etc. Any system you want to tip me about?

4. Support organizations working for a better economic system or fixing ours

Some of my favorites are Positive Money, Reconomy, New Economic Foundation, Ellen MacArthur Foundation and TEEB. Please let me know if I missed your favorite.

Because we talked about debt Positive Money  are taking on this problem by looking how money is created which is quite interesting as today's money is created directly as debt. This is why I will finish this post with their video. Could we take on the issue of debt by looking at money creation and loans? Would that in turn increase equality and democracy in our current economy?

Have good Blog Action Day!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Detox week

Today we are finishing a week of detox. I've been wanting to try to do a detox for a while now but I also knew that I wouldn't make it without my husband agreeing to detox too. So about a week ago he voluntarily brought the subject up and said "let's do it" (I was surprised, but happy he wanted to try). We decided to follow the program on the webpage (link in Finnish) as it allowed us to eat quite a lot, we thought that a juicing detox might be a bit too much for beginners.

During the week I made some notes on my phone about how it felt. Here comes some of the comments:

Day 1

During day 1 I could still not feel any mayor differences.

Day 2

I woke up super thirsty, perhaps I had not been drinking enough water during day 1? I was also very cold after lunch as well as would have liked to eat more and suffered from sugar cravings.

Day 3

Constipated in the morning, why? Again too little water? Cold after lunch again and foggy headed.

Day 4

Finally felt lighter when I woke up. Very cold at the office but it later turned out that the battery was not on. Again sugar craving after lunch & stomach cramps mid-afternoon.

We had suffered the whole 3 days from drinking the awful tasting carrot juice until a friend of ours tipped to add some ginger in it. What a success! We did a smoothie of carrot juice, ginger, lime and grapefruit and we didn't suffer anymore.

Forgot to eat apple with dinner and forgot the evening snack (again) but was not as hungry as other days anymore.

Realized that autumn/late summer is a good time for detox as we could pick and eat our apples, tomatoes, cucumbers, paprika's and chili's from our own garden.

Day 5

Passed as normal, but no sugar-craving neither hunger feelings.

Day 6

Felt lighter, again constipated though but definitively clearer skin (usually suffer from spots). Afternoon hungry & energy drop but otherwise ok.

Day 7 

Today! So far so good, really hungry right now but it is almost lunch time.Tonight I will break my detox by attending a cray fish party and I think the social pressure to drink a glass of wine will be too great to resist.

Anyhow, I am glad to have tried a detox week now, it wasn't that hard in the end as I imagined and after a week I am really cured from my sugar cravings (for now). All in all I think we are not eating that bad with my husband in general either, it is mostly chocolate, ice cream and alcohol (red wine) that are my weaknesses. At some point I'd like to try a juicing detox too, perhaps only for a day to start with. Perhaps I need to have a detox from social media next, a week without Facebook wouldn't be bad at all.

What about you? Have you tried a detox? How did it go?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Liebster Award

I'm happy and honored to have been nominated by Veganjavel for the Liebster Award. This is what she writes about the award.

 "This award is meant to encourage new bloggers, create connections between bloggers and help people discover new blogs, and what could be greater than that! It’s one of the things I like with blogging – except the obvious, reading and writing – you can find and connect with like-minded people from all over the world."
How nice to have been nominated even if my blog has not been updated so much lately (it was considerably easier to have time for blogging while I was a student). My blog has also been around already for about three years so maybe not so new. If she wouldn't have nominated me though, I wouldn't have found her blog (a new favorite of mine). 

The rules of the award go like this:
  1. Link and thank the person who nominated you (Thank you Veganjavel !)
  2. Answer the 11 questions your nominator gives you
  3. Tag 11 bloggers who have 200 or less followers
  4. Ask the 11 bloggers 11 questions, and let them know you nominated them!
So here are my answers  goes as follows:

1. Why did you start your blog?

I started this blog when I got accepted into the "Environmental management and economics" master program in Swedish Agricultural University. I wanted to write about my studies and about green stuff that I felt was important.

In the end the blog has been a great companion during the way, by now I have already graduated and moved back to Finland but I hope to keep posting at least every now and then on the blog. The problem for me is to find time between work, gardening, yoga, friends etc. I realize that we lived in a little bubble in Sweden, where I mostly concentrated on studying and stuff that interested me and our social life was kept to a minimum.

2. What inspires you in your life?

People that do things differently. At the moment I am also addicted to Pinterest which is a source of endless inspiration on whatever topic you like.

3. How do you spend a normal day?

I get up around 6 am
have breakfast (if I have time because I am often snoozing until 6:30)
drive to work ( I know, I drive, I wish there was another alternative but unfortunately we live in the middle of nowhere right now, at least it is not a long way)
I arrive at work around 7:30, spend my day doing lots of office related tasks as we are a small company anything can come up, lunch around midday
arrive back home at 16:30, depending on the season and day you might find me in the garden after that but quite often I do some yoga, then cook dinner, summer season we'd have dinner in the garden if possible (quite often with some friends), during winter dinner is usually eaten while watching something on Netflix (right now we are following Elementary)
I am an early bed person (otherwise there is no way I can get up at 6 am) so by 21-22 I will go to bed, read a book and fall asleep by 22-23 pm

Oh God, my life sounds so boring!

4. Who is your favorite person?

My husband.

5. Is there an animal that has a special place in your life? Who is he/she?

Our dog of course! Here, how can you not adore him?:

6. What is your favorite fruit?

Hmm, difficult one, perhaps banana? Right now I'm more into citrus fruits though.

7. Your favorite song?

Another difficult one...but yesterday I rediscovered Alicia Keyes' "we are here" and added it too my playlist


8. What is your dream job?

I'm not sure there is a paid job on the current job market that would be my dream job. I wish I could do something different everyday, continuously learn new stuff, having good conversations with people but also be able to work alone when I feel like. I don't care working hard if I feel that what I do makes sense and is meaningful.....something like that?

9. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I'm quite content of where we live right now. Sometimes I wish that the landscape was different though.

10. If you won one million, what would you use it for?

I would probably put a sum into renovating our house (this we will do soon anyway, without the free million or not) and buy solarpanels or other reusable energy source, I would buy a more ecofriendly car, I would invest part of the money into eco/sustainable businesses as well as my husbands company, probably somehow help my friend who is sick, depending on what's left I'd save it or give some to when I think of it, perhaps I'd start my own company too.
11. If you knew you only have a few days left of your life, how would you spend them?

A party would be nice, with all the people I like most.
Now about the nominations, I'm afraid I don't follow many blogs at all at the moment, I would like to but there is too many good blogs and too little time. Anyhow, I liked all the blogs Veganjavel nominated (listed below), Organized Chaos (number 6) is also one of my favorites and another Swedish-speaking Finn I follow is Bohemian Maggie (she's travelling in Asia at the moment so not sure if she will blog for some time).

So this is Veganjavel's nominations ( I took away number 5 as it was my own blog and listed Bohemian Maggie instead), I will be as lame as to say that I support Veganjavel 's nominations and I'm sorry not to nominate anyone further. Please visit the blogs below though, I think you will like them, and please, give me tips about small cool green blogs.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

1 month into no new clothes for a year

My best tip so far is don't go into any clothes shop. What you don't know exist, you don't desire.

When we were in Spain on holiday there was a couple of shirts I saw I would have liked to buy but instead of my usual habit of trying to convince myself why I needed them I had to convince myself why I didn't need them. Good brain exercise for changing your shopping habits though!

This month I bought long underwear. You need them in Finland for winter and underwear is allowed to buy during the challenge (can you see how I am good at deceiving myself). Furthermore long warm stockings make dresses wearable in autumn as well (perhaps winter too if not too cold). I am also thinking of combining them with oversize sweaters and long tops, let see how that will work out...

This is how I think I will look, reality might be a bit different...