Access Fresh Coconut Juice with just a Straw

May 18th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

I wanted to share a small bit of happiness with you that made my day. I learned a super helpful tip from my mom. If you love coconut juice you will love this method, it requires very little effort. Bonus tip at the end. A little violent but very easy to open the coconut to access the coconut meat.  Hope you will find the tips useful.

DIY Treadmill Desk: Daily Effortless Exercise

January 20th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

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I LOVE my DIY treadmill desk! I finally found an effortless way to exercise which means I just reached one of my hardest goal to excercise daily from my Top Goals List.

After hacking my treadmill into a desk, exercise takes no conscious effort. I have lost about 1-2 lbs and 1 3/8″ around my waist in about one month. I am surprised by my perseverance and urge to walk more and more, there’s immediate improvements to my health and  it’s really easy to incorporate into my daily routine. Exercise has always been a challenge for me. I have millions of excuses for not exercising although I know it’s good for me. I’ve tried countless forms of exercise with abundant failures and guilt for not persevering.

I work from home with a job that requires me to sit in front of a computer over 8 hours a day. After work I love to watch movies online. My bottom was to glued to a chair until I finally went to bed in the late hours. Even if I hadn’t read any articles about how sitting is the new treading killer, I could feel deteriorating changes in my body. Visible fat were building up especially in my belly. I had numbness in my feet, arms and fingers. I even felt odd pains in my fingers and toes tips. I had weird headaches right at the top of my head. I was always sleepy after eating and was always feeling very tired during the day. Insomnia is also a big problem that’s been following me for over 5 years.

My longest track record of exercise was about two months. It took all my willpower and self  discipline to get to that point. I slimmed down a little and lost about 1-2 lbs. Not long after doing my two favorite forms of exercise, jump rope and slow jogging, I developed ankle and knee pains. I had to stop. In October 2014, I decided to pick up on exercise and hoping to stick with it. This time I started really slow, jumping at 30sec sets days and hoping to build better muscle support. Within a week or two the pains started again. I was not happy and didn’t know what to do. I heard from a friend, who lost 20 lbs and is in good sustaining shape, that the elliptical was a good low impact exercise. I decide to do some research on it and found most elliptical had a large stride. For a short person like me who is 4’10.5″ tall the elliptical that fit my stride had a steeper price.

While I was struggling between the choice of health or money I found a video online with a man using a treadmill desk. In his videos made before using the treadmill desk he look totally like a different person. He had lost 8o lbs in a year! Now I am not greedy, I just want to loose about 10 lbs and most importantly get my health back in line. Lazy as I am and knowing this was a slow form of exercise, my eyes bulged and was determined to figure this out. What he did was walk at a very slow speed of 1-2 mph while working. When he got tired he stood while working. So I researched the model he was using, LifeSpan Fitness TR1200-DT5 Treadmill Desk, it is costs $1,499.00 !!! Again the question was money or health??? It was a big investment to consider and I didn’t know if this type of exercise would cause any problems for me or if I could stick with it. I had issues with walking / running on a treadmill and preferred walking and running outside. The bulkiness of the desk and treadmill would make returning it a pain.

Some people online hacked their treadmill into a treadmill desk and I thought I’d give it a try. I had an old treadmill sitting in dust after my knees and feet started paining.

My DIY treadmill desk hack:

I found a piece of thin board that fit across the treadmill, some leftover 1″ x 2″ boards to block the board from sliding down, and enough wires and plastic strings to wrap and hold the 1″ x 2″ boards together. I used our swamp cooler to hold the monitor and laptop in front of the treadmill. It was the perfect height for my monitor. Use whatever works for your treadmill, be creative. Just as long as it’s sturdy, anything would work.

Using the treadmill desk:

My normal speed in the first 2-3 weeks was about 0.5 – 0.8 mph. Then I slowly increased to 1.0 – 1.4 mph. In the beginning I had to adjust the time and speed a lot to make my ankles and knees comfortable. My goal was to exercise long terms and was not rushing for results. I found 1.3 mph to be the most comfortable speed to watch videos, email, talk on the phone, and some repeating tasks. I can walk about 2-3, 1 hr, sessions throughout the day now. In the beginning I over did it and cut back on the duration and sessions until I built up to it. Most importantly I learned to pay attention to my body an sat down if i needed to rest. You can view my notes for details and progress here.

Pros:

  • Amazingly, I can sleep throughout the night now.
  • I don’t feel sleepy during the day.
  • I feel more energized.
  • I can concentrated better at what I am reading and learning while walking.
  • I can walk 15 mins after eating. Since I am walking at such a slow speed, it actually helps move my intestines and help with digestion. I don’t feel bloated like usual when I sit all day.
  • I can watch my favorite movies or videos. This is a dream for me. I love watching Chinese dramas. I can watch it for hours and now I can exercise at the same time. No time wasted.
  • I don’t feel guilty for not exercising, actually I want to walk more because I am just enjoying movies.
  • I have more time to do other things.
  • I don’t feel like I am exercising. There’s no conscious effort, time flies by really quickly.
  • I don’t dread exercise.
  • I am able to persist. I am almost done with my 60 days challenge and aiming to keep going to 90 days, 120 days, 150 days etc. building a healthy habit of exercise.
  • I feel more confident about my health and improvements, most if not all my symptoms had gone away.
  • I can exercise in any weather, very convenient.
  • I will be able to exercise like this until old age and it won’t be hard to do, as long as I can walk.
  • Cost me $0 to make.

Cons:

  • A bit noisy for talking on the phone.

Tips:

  • Ergonomics
    • Hands should rest 90 degrees level with the keyboard
    • Monitor should be eye level and tilted up about 10 degrees
    • Stand up straight with stomach sucked in
  • Standing
    • A foam mat makes it a lot more comfortable to stand on when you are not walking
  • Shoes or No Shoes
    • Barefoot walking didn’t really go well for me although it’s suppose to be good for circulation. It’s doable at such slow speed but I was not comfortable after about a week or two.
    • Good sneakers really helped. I bought a pair of Sketchers with memory foam gel-infused sneakers. It’s been a dream to walk on and I no longer have any ankle or knee pains.
  • Don’t concentrate on lbs lost, concentrate on health improvements. The treadmill desk is meant to give you an opportunity to move more and minimized sitting time. It is not a quick way to loose weight. Some have lost lost of weight but some have lost only a few lbs in 6 months but most have more stamina and clothes fits a lot better. It is important to listen to your body cut back or walk more according to how you feel. If you don’t feel well, REST a day or more to recover before you continue.

I had an opportunity to try the LifeSpan Fitness Treadmill Desk at a local sport equipment store. there’s practically no noise at the lower speeds below 2pmh, anything above creates some noise but is nothing close to my treadmill’s noise. It also has a automatically adjustable height that is perfect for my height at the lowest setting. I will definitely invest in a treadmill desk after my DIY treadmill desk dies.

Update 4/2017

I was a bit over zealous and hurt my knees using the treadmill desk too often. You can read more about it here. Please be sensible and don’t repeat my mistake ūüôĀ

Simple trick to track water intake

August 1st, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

We all know it’s important to drink 8 cups of water per day. It helps hydrate our body and help carry toxins away from our body. As a forgetful person it’s really hard to keep this¬†habit.¬†I’ve tried many ways to remind myself but it never sticks. Although not beautifully executed I was anxious to my idea a try. I hashed it out in a few minutes.

It’s been working really well and I’ve been drinking 8 cups of water daily for the past week. I didn’t¬†miss a day.¬†This sits ¬†on¬†my desk in front of my computer screen within my field of vision. After I finish one bottle I would move one stick over to the left. This is also serves as a reminder to take a small break away from my work while I¬†refill my water bottle. I guess it doesn’t take fancy gadgets, apps, spreadsheets¬†or¬†notebooks to keep a habit. The important thing is to keep trying until you find a way that works for you. I hope this will inspire playful ideas for¬†you to develop good habits ūüôā

Materials:

  • Popsicle sticks
  • Card board box (You could use two paper toilet rolls and cover it with some nice wrapping paper to make it look nicer. I just didn’t bother. I was more excited to see if the idea would work more then the looks of it.)
  • tape
  • pen

Cut and tape away.

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Stop a cold or flu on its tracks: Three critical advice from a nurse

January 10th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

My colds are hell on an infinite loop

Phase 1: Starts out with an innocent tickle at the throat, a few soft sneezes, and a slight chill down the spin. My internal alarm and stress level goes into full panic mode, “stop cold at all cost!” In no time, the whole shebang knocks me to the ground.
Phase 2: Throat feels like the desert with red rivers in between. Nasal passages, what passage? Clear, yellow, green, red, thick to thin snot. You name it, I’ve got it.
Phase 3:¬†Headache, coughing, can’t breathe = no sleep = no rest = more sick = ear infection, nose infection, throat infection
Phase 4: Go see the doctor = antibiotics = kill everything inside me = zombie
Phase 5: After much suffering I get better but the coughing never fails to persist another 3-4 weeks or more.
Longest holding record for being sick: One month, literally in bed, with a cold turned pneumonia. It started on my birthday…I hate being sick with a vengeance! I’ve had 2 pneumonia in my lifetime and many, many colds and flus in between. I’ve taken lots of antibiotics which basically fried my whole immune system. Skin allergies and all sorts of sensitivities started developing over the years. Last time I took Ibuprofen for hives, my whole face got swollen, so I really liked the following advice given by my nurse which were simple and non-medicine related.

3 critical tips from a Kaiser advice nurse

At the first sign of a cold start on this routine right away. Don’t wait until other symptoms develop. If you wait things will only get worse before it gets better. You can still use these advice if you are already sick. It will help reduce the symptoms and help speed the healing process.

1. Gargle with warm salt water every morning and every night, or more when needed

Salt water gargle recipie In addition to gargling I use a sinus rinse in the morning. I rinse with a warm saline solution to the reduce chances of a sinus infection. It also really helps me remove most of the nasty nose clogs. You can find Simply Saline in regular drug stores in the allergies section. I purchased my kit many years ago at a local CVS. I originally bought it for my mom’s allergies as an alternative to medications. You can read my detailed review here.

Saline Sinus rinse for cogestion, allergies, dryness, irritations from pollen, dust, smog, animal dander

This rinse has a learning curve. For me it was worth the effort to master it.

2. Sip 1/2 cup of warm water every 1/2 – 1 hr throughout the day

3. Use a humidifier at night-time

The key purpose of this routine for me is preventing the cold or flu symptoms from getting worse. By keeping the airway passages (nasal and throat) sterile and clean, you will kill off the bacteria and breathe easier. Sipping lots of warm liquids and using the humidifier will keep the throat moist which will decrease the chances of having further irritations to the throat that will cause coughing. During my one month in bed with pneumonia, I was skeptical of the significance of these advice but I was willing to try anything to get better. To my surprise I got better. The irritation in my throat and nose got better and my cough eased. I am so glad I followed her advice and am thankful each time I get sick I now know what to do to cut the life span of my cold or flu in half. Nowadays, along with lots of rest, I probably only get less than half-way into Phase 1 on most of my colds.

My 2 cents, preventions is key: ( Affiliate links as recommendations below)

Emergen-C Acai Berry, 30 Packets, Alacer Emer'gen-C

  • Take vitamin c. I like to take 1-2 packs of¬†emergen-C¬†a day when I am feeling a little off. I like the Acai Berry Flavor. You can get them at Costco or any health food store. Flavors may vary in availability at different stores.
  • During the flu season, wash your hands often with soap and warm water.
  • When you feel sick maximize your sleep.
  • Keep your feet, neck, head, and torso warm.
  • Intake tons of warm water, by sipping. Drinking water this way helps your body absorbed it instead of flushing it out quickly. Absorption gives the water a chance to go through your system and detoxify it.

Ginger rock sugar tea

January 9th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Ginger tea, Ginger rock sugar tea

I got the chills all day yesterday and was fearful of getting sick again. After a day of shivering I finally recalled a recipe my mom’s friend taught me. ¬†A few years ago my mom suddenly fell ill and I was panicking since she never got sick. I made her this ginger rock sugar tea and it worked very well on her. I have since used it on myself every time I felt the first sign of the chills. I wanted to share this with everyone and keep this in my notes so I won’t forget again.

This tea is tasty and warms you up quickly. I sip the tea in bed and sleep the bug off after I finish the tea.

Ingredients:

  • Ginger, 3-5 slices with skin peeled
  • Rock sugar to taste

Directions:

Ginger tea, Ginger rock sugar tea

Peel and slice ginger. You can add more if you can handle the heat.

Ginger tea, Ginger rock sugar tea

Heat a clean pot with medium heat for a few minutes.

Ginger tea, Ginger rock sugar tea

Stir or flip the ginger slices over continuously, like flipping pancakes.

Ginger tea, Ginger rock sugar tea

You want to dry it out. The key is to make sure the ginger does not burn. If it burns you may have a sore throat after you drink it. It takes a few minutes, if you notice the ginger burning lower the heat and lift the pot from the stove to cool it off.

Ginger tea, Ginger rock sugar tea

Once the ginger is dry, pour 1.5 cups of water into the pot.

Ginger tea, Ginger rock sugar tea

Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to a slow simmer and simmer for 15mins.

Ginger tea, Ginger rock sugar tea

Add small pieces of rock sugar. Add according to your own taste.

 

Ginger tea, Ginger rock sugar tea

Once the rock sugar has melted pour in to cup and sip while it’s still hot.

 

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