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Making Some Vitamin D

One of the things that I try to do is to get outside, especially during these short winter days. Getting outside not only helps your circadian rhythm, but it also helps to make the all important vitamin D that so many Americans are desperately lacking.  I also wholly and fully believe that my preschooler behaves better when given the chance to run outside. I am also better behaved as it gives me a chance to soak up the sunshine and increase my dopamine and serotonin levels.

There is a new park open in Fort Collins and so why not check it out? It is called Twin Silos park. We give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars – I would give it 5 stars, but there is not a lot of mature tree shade with places to picnic, but give it 20 years and the trees will provide plenty of shade.

Pros:

  • Awesome playground
  • Bathrooms are close to the playground
  • Ziplines
  • Good parking
  • Dog Park
  • Cool creek to splash around in and even islands to cross too.

Cons

  • Not a lot of shade, except for the playground pavilion, and that only has 2 picnic tables.
  • Playground spaces are tight and hard for adults to navigate.
  • Will be popular and crowded
  • Already looks like there needs to be repairs to the stainless steel cable netting.
  • Waits for the big slides.
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Habits of a Happy Brain

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I just finished the book Habits of a Happy Brain by Loretta Breuning and I must say it was very informative. You know how you find a book that hits home, well for me, this is it. The premise of the book is a little different from a couple of neurotransmitter books that I have previously read; her premise is that we are still animals and we need to learn how to accept our mammalian brain, instincts and how to manage the ups and downs that our brain creates. It has definitely made me think about several “loops” I experience with my habits, mindset and thought process. And trust me I have read several books about productivity, habits and living in the moment.

I have come to realize that a lot of my habits have gotten me where I am. All these little habits add up and after a decade they finally caught up with me. I am not happy with the trajectory of my life. But this book made me realize that life isn’t about the “correct” choice, but the fact that there will always be trade offs for your actions. I always go for the immediate rewards: procrastination, over eating, always wanting to be in a relaxed state, indulging, not keeping a schedule, not being sober and not keeping promises to myself. Basically, I have no self management skills. So in keeping with the spirit of the book, instead of focusing on lofty goals that seem so far away, I am focusing on my survival skill: self management.

So here is my plan. Breuning says that we need 45 days (not 30) to create a new circuit in our brain and derive happiness from our actions. I must do the habit every day for 45 days. If I miss a day then I must start over and begin from day one. Her idea is that starting this new habit won’t feel good, it might even feel bad or uncomfortable, but once you do the habit for 45 days, I will start to master my new habit and it will start to bring me joy. So here are my habits. It seems like a long list, but they kinda piggy back off each other.

Goal: Increase my self management and mastery skills by doing these actions that definitely make me uncomfortable for 45 days.

Actions

  1. Reach out to one new person a day
  2. Follow up with one person a day
  3. Do one routine thing that will help organize/move my life forward, ie. make budget, food prep, self development, being creative, scheduling, journaling
  4. Drink 2 protein shakes/day
  5. Eat 50-75g of net carbs/day
  6. During these 45 days schedule 2 deep cleanses.

So far, as I currently write this blog I am on track with my habits as this is #3 – being creative and getting my thoughts out into the world.

Going Wild

Becoming Wild

I just finished the book Go Wild, by Ratey and Manning (the book I referenced in my last post) and it gave me some food for thought.

Here are some ideas that I took from of the book.

  1. Get out into Nature.
  2. Be mindful, present like a hunter/gatherer.
  3. We were born to run especially without structured cushiony shoes.
  4. Find your tribe and be aware of who you surround yourself with.
  5. Eat a variety of foods and eat animals that have a varied diet.
  6. We are causing our own sickness, mental, physical and spiritual.
  7. Move your body, we were meant to move and moving it in novel ways helps the mind.
  8. Get enough sleep.

I am excitedly smug to say I already do some of these things, and I am working on others.  This book just kinda reaffirmed my research and changes that I want to make in my life. My biggest challenge is consistency. But I recently discovered the wonderful world of dot journaling. It’s like the heavens opened and my brain fog has lifted. I have had my journal for 24 hours and I have written 27 pages! That is right, 27 pages.

But to get back to the reason why I even brought up dot journaling, I now have a handy dandy fun way to keep track of my habits. For accountability, I will post my results here. Habits I plan on keeping track of

  1. Meditation
  2. Sleep
  3. Eating – following a keto/whole30 diet.
  4. Drinking my grassfed protein drinks
  5. Getting out into Nature
  6. Moving my body on a daily basis – even if I just take 10 minutes to stretch.
  7. other habits that I will discuss at a later date.

Hypothesis: Doing these habits will make me more productive, content, curious, energized, a better parent and my body will feel stronger and less bloated.

Data: Started collecting on Nov. 1, 2017. Not a bad start 🙂

Conclusion: Check back on Dec. 1, 2017.

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Going Wild

Healing my Plantar Fasciitis

Apparently, UGG boots and the like are horrible for your feet, which comes as a big disappointment to me. I loved every aspect of them: the ease of slipping them on and off, the fact that that match with 90% of my outfits (mom leggings strike again) and they worked perfectly in Colorado’s snowy weather. But at the end of last year’s boot season my dogs were definitely barking. Here comes a case of Plantar Fasciitis in my right foot that effected the daily aspects of my life. Upon waking I walk with a hobble to the restroom, my lower back is angry because my stride is being compensated, I no longer want to run as it causes a flare up.

I Dr. Googled my diagnoses like any good American and tried all the remedies: iced it, rolled it on a fancy foot massager, bought fancy new running shoes that are designed to ease plantar fasciitis, took anti-imflammatories, hand massaged and stretched it in the A.M. and P.M., rubbed in essential oils into my muscles, stretched every muscle, joint and tendon in my body. The only thing I didn’t do was get one of those foot stretchers for when you sleep.

Upon reading the book Go Wild, by Ratey and Manning, I decided to get my feet out of their binding shoe corsets and into a more freeing shoe designed for natural movement. After researching some brands I decided on shoes from Vivobarefoot. I took a gamble since I did not get to try them on. I am a tactile person and prefer shopping in person vs. online.

OMG, I am so glad that I did. I can feel my foot getting stronger, my balanced has improved and my husband says I even walk with more confidence.

I can totally feel a shift in my stride when I walk and run, and I no longer experience lower back pain when I run. My plantar fasciitis is on the mend! Stay tuned for updates on my running and healing.

I even picked up a pair of winter boots from Vivobarefoot. They are not as “stylish” as my Uggs, but I’m almost 40, so I definitely prefer comfort over fashion!

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Hello World!

Hello, and welcome to Against Modern Life. I must preface this post and say there are many things I enjoy and love about modern life, ie. hot showers, most modern medicine, contacts, food surpluses, TV and movies, clothing, the world wide web and electricity. That being said, despite these advances our life is even messier than ever. People are pulled in more directions, we are more stressed out, our relationships are suffering and most of all our physical and mental health are on the decline. I bet you can easily name 10 people who suffer from modern day world symptoms such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, depression, anxiety, isolation, obesity, inflammation, digestive issues, low emotional IQ and addictions.

Why do I think this is happening? Is living in this modern day world all that it is cracked up to be? Are we really advancing society? Please follow my blog as I start living a more Wild life. What do I mean by this? Stay tuned and find out!