Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Feminist rant

I just saw this video about pink tax on Self magazine Facebook page and it was so irritating for me.

I know that women's razors and girls Legos cost more and this is not OK. We should fight against it.
Women need tampons or some feminine products for periods and men don't have periods. We all know that.

BUT. why  does Self need to make a video that actually enhances gender inequality when raising awareness in this subject?
Why does the woman in the video need a new leather jacket and jewelry each year and the man in the video doesn't even get a wristwatch?
And men actually really need face care products to deal with razor irritation. So suitably the man in the video is with beard. My hair dryer is 10 times cheaper (no joke) that my partners electric razor and we both have been using them for years.

And the cosmetics. I do understand that many women enjoy cosmetics, but it shouldn't considered a necessity like soap or tampons. The way Self puts it I'm not taking care of myself when I don't spend 30 minutes each morning doing makeup.

What do you think? Does a woman NEED cosmetics and a new leather jacket in order to be socially accepted?

Friday, January 29, 2016

How I tried gluten free diet

The plan 
I didn't plan this experiment for long, not did I prepare for it. I just woke up one morning and decided not to eat gluten for at least 4 days and see what happens. 
I want to find out if I might react to gluten in some negative way. I do have other allergies and some unexplained symptoms so I thought I could try this and see if I feel better. If I don't feel better at the end of this experiment I'll return to my old menu.

normal day menu:

breakfast: whole grain porridge with frozen jam. /muesli
lunch: pasta/ soup/ potatoes&meat
dinner: black bread sandwich 
snacks: bananas, my favourite cookies, chocolate, anything edible.

day 1:
breakfast :eggs
lunch: rice with vegetables, meat and tomato sauce
dinner: the same, curd
snack: bananas

I have no idea what to eat. And I feel constantly hungry. All the food lables at store say they include some kind of gluten-ingredient.

day 2
breakfast: rice porridge, strawberry jam.
snack: bananas.
lunch: chicken, potatoes, pickles, sour cream
dinner: bananas and curd
snack: chocolate, cheese, peanut butter, bananas.

I'm so hungry! Where am I supposed to get calories from?
Usually I get at least 1/3 of energy from snacks - black bread, my favourite cookies, my favourite waffles.
I found myself eating peanut butter with a big soon. And I've definitely lost weight. And it's only day 2.

 I have no idea what to eat. All easy and fast calories come from something made of grains. And I usually don't like putting much time into cooking.

So I eat bananas. They come pre-packaged and are easy and fast.

 Thank bananas for bananas.

In desperate need of calories and blood sugar I've started to drink calories. Usually I drink black coffee, tea and water. Today I've figured out that I can put sugar and honey into tea and coffee and drink juice. I've also started eating sour cream with everything. Usually I eat sour cream once a year.

day 3
breakfast: rice porridge, strawberry jam, sweet curd, boiled egg
snack: chocolate and bananas
lunch: warm beetroot and chickpeas salad, sour cream, curd
snack: pears, bananas, peanut butter.
dinner: curd, banana, pear, protein pudding

This experiment has made me much more unhealthy eater. Since most of the slow digesting calories come from grains I feel hungry 1 hour after eating. And I drink sugar and eat peanut butter with spoon.

day 4
breakfast: rice porridge with sweet curd and strawberry jam.
snack: chocolate and banana
lunch: warm beetroot and chickpeas salad, sour cream, curd
snack: pear
dinner: sült, bananas

I'm starting to figure out where to get calories from. Mostly sour cream, bananas, peanut butter and chocolate. 
This can't be healthy. 

I still feel constant hunger. And these last few days have been really passive. No exercise, some walking. If I'd done some exercise, I'd look like a Victoria's Secret model already :) Or be even more hungry. Or eat more peanut butter.

I started this experiment to find out if I might react to gluten in some negative way and planned to keep it up at least 4 days. At the moment I don't feel better. I might do it another day, but then I will quit and consider myself gluten tolerant person.

day 5, Saturday:
breakfast, rice porridge with jam & sweet curd, wholegrain muesli. Yes, muesli.

Saturday mornings are slow. I sleep longer, drink another cup of coffee while browsing web, daydream. Like Saturday mornings are supposed to be.

And while doing that I found that one of fitness trainers I follow in social media posted a review about one scientific article where professional athletes didn't experience anything different when they were eating gluten or not.
This study came to me exactly at the right time.
I got myself some muesli and decided to end the experiment.

On my fifth day without gluten I should feel somewhat different, right?
But I don't. My heart rate is the same, my allergy symptoms are the same, my skin looks the same, my digestion and sleep are the same, my mental abilities are usual and my energy level is rather worse than usual. If I'd be allergic to gluten, I'd seen some difference. I know how allergies work, I have many of them.
I must admit that I don't mind being a bit thinner than I was at the start of this week, but this is the only positive change.

Final thoughts
Like most people, I'm happy to lose a little weight, but I'm afraid I'll starve to death, if I keep it up. Plus I'd like to do some exercise, but I truly don't have any energy. And finding foods that don't have gluten in them is actually quite hard. 
I'd like to eat to live not to live to find something to eat.

I missed carbohydrates in general. I like easy. It's easy to make a black bread sandwich. It's easy to eat muesli. And it's much easier to eat pasta instead of rice. Rice takes two times longer time to boil (yup, I'm that lazy in the kitchen :). Everything they sell at the store - if you start reading lables it has some wheat, barley or rye in it.

I really missed baking. I like to make pies and pizzas and all kinds of baked things. 
It's a good chance to use frozen local fruits during wintertime. We have loads of frozen jams and fruits in freezer. But I usually eat them with porridge or on a pie or with bread. I don't like smoothies in winter. They make me feel cold. So not eating wheat makes it hard to eat frozen fruit for me. If anyone has ideas how to consume frozen jams and fruit without a smoothie or wheat please let me know :)

what was gained from this experiment?

  • I ate more fruit than usually. ..but it was mostly bananas, since fruit is out of season in farmer's market and I really don't like the taste of the fruit they sell at the store and I couldn't figure out how to eat frozen fruit without wheat.
  • The recipe for warm beet and chickpeas salad! It must be the only gluten-free food that fills my stomach for more than one hour and it's affordable and easy to make. Win!

Monday, January 25, 2016

What is gluten?

I found this video. It's a simple example how people avoid things they don't know much about :)

do you know what gluten is?

Saturday, January 23, 2016


I know it's already the end of January, but I felt like doing some final thoughts about past year.

In 2015:
  • lost a close family member.
  • studied, learned and took classes in how to communicate, how to approach people with my emotions and thoughts, and how to help people understand me more. It's a real science and not so easy. Why don't they teach it at school?
  • visited a friend in mental hospital and opened up about sharing my own story.
  • learned programming. I started in February, now I'm able to write 1000+ lines of code in Java and Python. 
  • found out I have allergies, pursued going to the doctor until got a diagnose. after that I pursued cleaning my home until symptoms got better. my life is so much better now
  • studied entrepreneurship. I do have one idea that could work, but I'm still hesitant to start a company. but now I know how to do it.
  • went to  a town in my home country where I've never been before and fell in love with it. one day I want to rent a house there and to do handicraft and painting and reading books there ...for at least a month:)
  • went kayaking for the first time.
  • went to Thailand, where I'd never been before. it was a great trip, perfect vacation and mind opener about buddhism. it's the first religion I feel emotional and mental closeness with.  I have true respect for buddhist teachings.
  • started taking dance classes semi-regularly again (once or so a week). dancing makes me a better person, honestly.
  • discovered minimalism for myself. or rather discovered, that the way of life I enjoy has a name and I'm not the only weird one out there.
  • started meditating semi-regularly. It helped me with sleep issues, helped me deal with death in my family and the anxiety it brought. I wouldn't be sane if I hadn't picked it up.
  • got a job offer and rejected it. but still, the knowledge that I'm actually good enough to get a decent job is good. now I'm just going to learn more and more and get even better.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Nasal filter for allergies. review/diary

This is a story about how I tried out nasal filters to get allergy relief.

! this is not a sponsored post. And while I'm starting it I'm not even sure if this review will be positive or negative, since it's my first day trying out. It might turn out to be positive or negative review or I even might stop using the nasal filters because they bothered my life. Who knows.

My doctor wanted me to be off allergy medications for a while to make some tests, so I wanted to find some other methods to keep me breathing. I was lucky to find these nasal filters online http://www.woodyknows.com/

day 1
The package I received included 2 frames for the filters and 6 pairs of disposable filters and a small case to keep them in. I read somewhere that you should be able to use one filter for up to 6 days, so this package should last for a month.

When I first tried the filters to my nose I realized I've ordered a size too big. It's not that I could not use them, but my nose looks a bit... swollen while I'm wearing them. Otherwise they're barely noticeable. I would definitely have no problem wearing them in public places.
 Breathing is harder with the filters than without and I also make a quiet whistling sound while breathing with them. Getting used to the feeling that something is stuck in my nose will take some time.
I'm not sure if I will be able to sleep with them. But I will try it tonight.
About the allergy - I'm still on my allergy med, so it's not bad anyway. I will stop taking my allergy medicine tomorrow and I hope I've gotten used to wearing the filter by then.

day 2
Stopped taking allergy meds (because doctor wanted me to take a pause)
I got used to the filter in my nose by evening, sleeping was no problem. I did not have as much mucus in my throat in the morning as usual, so the filters must be working.
Filters seem to have stretched or transformed their shape a bit - they slip out every now and then.
During the day I felt it was really hard to breathe. I decided to rinse the filter with some water. As  breathing did get easier, the filters must have been clogged.
I spent around two hours without filters and during that time I sneezed several times and had postnasal drip - none of them I had while wearing filters.
In the evening I went to visit my mom. Moms house is an allergy hell- she's not into cleaning that much and she has a dog. Usually I get nasal congestion and headache during the first hour I'm there.And I had no problem breathing at my mom's house! And I don't think she even noticed I had something stuck in my  nose.
This must be the best proof that the nasal filters are as good as they say.

day 3
I spent last night at mom's house and I didn't have any mucus at all in my throat in the morning.
as it's my second day without any allergy meds I start to get slight postnasal drip. So it's not a miracle cure.

There are two things that are not as good as they should:

  1. filters seem to get clogged after around 8-10 hours of wearing and I feel need to take a new filter or wash the old one. And washing doesn't seem to work as good as it could or should.
  2. the frame seems to stretch/transform somehow while wearing and starts to keep slipping out after 12 hours of consecutive wearing.

day 4
I woke with usual amount of mucus in my throat (usual amount for when I'm on meds). Since it's the 3rd day without meds, and I'm using filters, I consider it normal.
During the day I got really strong eye irritation. Nasal filters don't help against eye allergies, who would have thought that!
But my nose is better than average and there is only slight postnasal drip. For my usual 'state' this is good.

day 5
It seems this is as good or bad this is going to be. I wake up with some mucus in throat, but it's a rather little amount. My eyes are really uncomfortable, but nose and throat are rather good.
The filter frame is starting to show signs of wear.

Days 6+
Allergy symptoms in my eyes got worse, mucus in my throat got a little worse, but it was much better than without filters. A few people asked that was going on with my nose, since I touched nose and filters every now and then when I felt like the filter was slipping out.
At around day 10  one of the the filter frames broke during night.

Final thoughts
  • I would think it's a good solution for people with seasonal allergies to use outdoors. Also for indoor allergies while doing spring cleaning. But I wouldn't use it 24/7 unless in an emergency situation.
  • If you have slight breathing allergy the discomfort from the nasal filters and price probably won't pay off. For those with more serious allergy symptoms - nasal filters do offer allergy relief for nose. Your eyes will be as allergic as usual, probably your lymph nodes will be as swollen as usual. But nose will be good.
  • Using medicine is much more cheap. One pack of filters was around 18 euros, and both of the frames broke in one month. The filters were washable, so I could have used them for longer.
  • Breathing through filter is hard and it's probably not doable while exercising.
  • It's better to use slightly bigger size filters. Later on, I ordered one size  smaller, and those were slipping out constantly.
  • I kept losing the filters during night. The frame stayed in the nose but the removable filter part came out during night quite often. Usually I found it from my bed, but it was annoying to start the day with searching my bed.
  • I would give it 8 points out of 10. Since it'a a good medicine free solution for allergies. It doesn't take away all symptoms (like eye irritation) but for nose it does work. And it's almost invisible.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How much do you spend on clothes?

I just added up numbers from 2015. Since I keep track on all our spendings I can accurately say how much goes on any aspect of our life.

Last year I spent 275 euros on clothing.  Yes, per year.
I did't buy any outerwear -boots or coats. So in case I need to do this this year, this number will be bigger. I try to budget my indoor and non-winter outdoor clothings and buy expensive only when I need a good pair of winter boots, a winter coat etc.  Winter around here is harsh - last week we had -30C (-22F) :) Also all bags are meant to last.

Most of the money was spent on replacing items, but I also needed to buy a dress to go to my friends wedding and some hot weather essentials for Thailand trip.
For no good reason I got myself a cashmere sweater, and it has been proving itself as a lovely luxurious essential ..and another pair of yoga pants..
I got one new bag - backpack for my laptop. But I didn't include this in the count because I got it as a birthday present.
I often try to buy second hand, but if I don't find what I need from there, I'll get it as new. If possible locally made or somehow ethical. But around here it's quite often not possible.

photo from Unsplash

I noticed that investing in good amount of thin hangers saves money from buying clothes. If every item is on it's own hanger and there's enough space, I can find pieces I like from my own wardrobe instead of feeling the need to get new. 
Using the same hanger for multiple items of clothing and overcrowding the closet space make me feel I need more clothing. So the less clothing I have in my closet, the more I find something to wear from there.

Another important thing I noticed is the evil of credit card. Having a credit card means mindless online shopping for me (like those yoga pants I mentioned). I do appreciate online sopping, since going to the stores is not my favourite activity. But I could use some less shopping, IRL and online.
So I plan not to have a credit card in 2016. Since my partner has one, I can use his card when I really need it, but having my own seems to direct me to the wrong path.

Do you have a budget for buying clothes? How much should a person spend on clothing?

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy 2016 and new year's resolutions

Happy new year!

I'm sorry this blog has been deserted for so many months, but my life has been more busy than I would have liked. So I  chose to take time off from blogging. Spending my spare moments with family and friends seemed more purposeful than spending it behind screen.

What have I been up to?
I took an entrepreneurship course. It was a full-time course that lasted for 2.5 months.
At the same time I studied full time computer science.
I spent 2.5 weeks in Thailand.
I had all my health examinations re-taken. It took additional 2 weeks from my life, since I'm not supposed to take medicine while examinations and I'm not able to function at all while not on medication.
I spent Christmas with my family, cooking, talking and taking long walks.

Now I'm only studying for my exams, so I feel like I have all the time and energy in the world.

I took 2 resolutions for this year.
1. be a better person. This is a hard one, since it's so general, but it's also so important. I want to be a better partner for my Love, be a better friend, better daughter and sister. I try to stick more to my principles and to be more ethical.

2. spend less. Since I don't have a job and I wan't to finish my studies before finding a job, I feel extremely guilty when ever I spend money. I'm going to be more frugal so I wouldn't be burden to my family (and manage my guilt).

Of course I would like to meditate more, take photography more serious, spend more time on Coursera, read more, and so on.. but I do understand that the truly important thing is to be good to my loved ones.

One photo I took while in Thailand. Statues of Buddha in a hilltop temple.

I would be honoured if You would share your personal resolutions