Simplify Your Life

During my Google research of slow living info this morning  I found the website simplify.de (unfortunately only German) by Werner Kuestenmacher, a protestant theologian in Bavaria, who started in 1990 as a freelance writer, cartoonist and speaker.

The cartoon with the seven-stage simplify pyramid reminded me a little bit of my own mess, so I immediately subscribed to the newsletter … and also ordered the book Simplify Your Life by Werner Kuestenmacher and Lothar J. Seiwert.

In the next few weeks I’ll tell you about my self-experiment with the implementation of the tips.  I will keep myself largely to the seven-stage simplify pyramid, but also include other sources, for example, The 7 Secrets of the turtle by Aljosha Long and Ronald Schweppe (unfortunately this book is only available in German), Cut the Clutter by Cynthia Ewer and others.

And now a brief description of the Simplify pyramid:

  • Level 1: Things
    Simplify things on your desk, in your wardrobe, in your apartment, in the garage, in your car – in that order and without separation between private and business utensils.
     
  • Level 2: Finances
    A difficult issue that is more difficult to manage than the chaos at home and in the office. We are talking about cash, account balances, debt, loans, savings, expenses and about mental blocks in dealing with money.
     
  • Level 3: Time
    Organizing the daily 24 hours, in order to get more meaningful free time. Time for your partner, children, friends, bosses, relatives, but also for the daily routines, hobbies, and especially for yourself, time to reflect, recharge your batteries, do nothing.
     
  • Level 4: Health
    Avoid diseases in the long run, achieve a healthy interaction between body and mind, and thus a healthy relationship with your own sexuality, eg. by losing weight, healthy diet, relaxation exercises.
     
  • Level 5: Relationships
    Social relationships can be complicated and often lead to intrigues, disputes, jealousy, bullying. Therefore, it is important to become free for contacts that really enrich.
     
  • Level 6: Partnership
    A partnership does not necessarily exist between spouses or partners; this can also be special friends, relatives, or other important relationships or God for religiously oriented people.
     
  • Level 7: You yourself
    The top of the pyramid. The goal is the realization of your own idea of happiness and fulfillment, the meaning of life.
     

I am looking forward to the result and to your comments.

Literature:

Links der Woche – Natural Antibiotics and Natural Remedies

The day before yesterday I noticed the first signs. Chills and fever, headache, sore throat … Although the flu epidemic already faded away. I think I have to grasp some natural remedies.

  • Elderberry juice
  • hot lemonade with ginger and honey
  • chicken broth

A DAK (German health insurance company) study has determined that we take too much antibiotics – and especially children. That does not have to. Nature offers an alternative especially for urinary and respiratory tract infections. For thousands of years herbal antibiotics are used with success and without the known side effects of chemical antibiotics.

Hypericum perforatum - Common Saint John's wort
Hypericum perforatum – Common Saint John’s wort

This week’s favorite links für natural antibiotics and remedies.

  1. Natural Antibiotics
  2. Top 10 Natural Antibiotics Hiding In Your Kitchen
  3. 5 Powerful Antibiotics That Don’t Require A Prescription!
  4. Natural antibiotics to stockpile now: 10 herbs and foods that kill superbugs
  5. 24-Hour Flu Treatment
  6. The Cold Buster – Anti-Inflammatory Concentrate
  7. Modern Alternative Mama – Natural Remedies
  8. 22 Natural Sore Throat Remedies to Help Soothe the Pain
  9. Home Remedies & Natural Cures
  10. At Home Cold and Flu Remedies

 

And again … the home remedies helped. 🙂

I wish you a happy and healthy easter,

Gabi

 

Warning: Disclaimer and common hint on medical subjects.

 

Healthy Diet – Part 3

Gesund durch Ernährung

We take a lot of medications and are still sick.  The Nutritional Docs Anne Fleck, Matthias Riedl and Jörn Klasen say diet can be a chance to become and stay healthy. Food = medicine.  The third part of an interesting TV documentary in German TV showed three more examples. So here’s a brief summary.

  • Extreme obesity
  • Migraine
  • Rheumatism

The NDR homepage http://www.ndr.de/fernsehen/sendungen/die-ernaehrungsdocs/index.html  provides plenty of easily understandable background information, videos, tips and recipes – unfortunately only in German.

Extreme obesity

Lack of exercise, poor diet, psychological problems, hormonal imbalances or genetic factors – the number of overweight people is more and more increasing in industrialized nations.  A Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30 is considered to be overweight.  Exception:  People who have a lot of muscle mass. Obesity is a major risk factor for high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, joint disease and even cancer. For people with extreme obesity often only remains sleeve gastrectomy.  But this should be the last resort.  There need to be other possibilities.  For example a formula diet described by the doctor. This diet is low in carbohydrates and high in protein to prevent muscle breakdown.

Therapy:

  • Proper diet: vegetables, legumes, low-carb, lean meats and fish
  • high protein diet
  • Exercise!

Additional Information:

 

Migraine

Raging, throbbing, stabbing headaches that occur in attacks often accompanied by nausea, sensitivity to light and noise – this is migraine.  Triggers for migraines are often stress, weather, hormonal disorders, and even certain foods, such as sugar, flavour enhancers, preservatives.  It is important to have a regular schedule of meals.

Therapy:

  • Diet
  • Lifestyle change
  • Endurance sports!
  • muscle relaxation
  • acupuncture

Additional Information:

 

Rheumatism

Joint pain, morning stiffness, muscle tearing are part of everyday life:  rheumatism is a widespread disease. About 400 different diseases are summarized under the term rheumatism: these include gout, lupus, and most commonly rheumatoid arthritis.  The causes are still not fully resolved; but it is ensured that it is an autoimmune disease.

Therapy:

  • Special anti-inflammatory diet
  • little meat
  • Omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish
  • linseed oil
  • Green smoothies with green leafy vegetables
  • Exercise,  physiotherapy

Additional Information:

 

Warning: Disclaimer and common hint on medical subjects.

Healthy Diet – Part 2

Gemüsebratlinge

Swallowing many pills and being sick anyway, that’s not necessary. Take the chance to become and stay healthy by nutrition.  This is not a utopia.  The second part of an interesting TV documentary in German TV showed three more examples. So here’s a brief summary.

  • Fatty liver
  • Hypertension
  • Multiple sclerosis

The NDR homepage http://www.ndr.de/fernsehen/sendungen/die-ernaehrungsdocs/index.html  provides you with plenty of easily understandable background information, videos, tips and recipes – unfortunately only in German.

Healthy Diet – Part 1

 

Hypertension

Hypertension is a common disease in industrialized countries.  More than one in four adults in Germany has too high blood pressure, many without knowing it.  High blood pressure often causes hardly any discomfort, but is extremely dangerous: fat deposition in the arteries, thrombosis, myocardial infarction and stroke may result.  Often caused by overweight, lack of exercise, alcohol, smoking and poor diet, but also job-related or personal stress.  In addition, the reason for high blood pressure may be a genetic predisposition.  Also the hormones may adversely affect the blood pressure, eg. the “pill”, pregnancy or menopause.

Therapy:

  • Proper diet: vegetables, fruits, fish, little salt. Drink plenty of water and herbal teas.
  • Exercise!
  • Weight reduction
  • Little alcohol, no cigarettes
  • Stress reduction!

Additional Information:

 

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic inflammation of the nervous system.  Women are affected more often than men with MS. Often the disease is diagnosed in young adulthood.  The development of MS is not yet established.  Possible causes include a genetic predisposition and certain environmental influences.  Also a possible vitamin D deficiency and childish overweight.  MS is not curable but can be treated.

Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard

Therapy:

  • Ketogenic diet:  vegetables, high-quality oils, nuts, seeds.  Daily rich sources of protein:  meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk fat, rich dairy products, omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Preferably no carbohydrates.
  • Physiotherapy, ergotherapy, speech therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Alternative methods:  acupuncture, homeopathy, anthroposophical curative methods

Additional Information:

 

 

Fatty liver

Fatty liver is a common disease.  Almost one in four adults is affected by this disease of civilization. Particularly strong overweight, diabetic, and many obese children suffer from it.  Causes are usually overweight, alcohol abuse, drugs. Due to lack of protein also lean people can be affected.  The risk of fatty liver increases during pregnancy.

Therapy:

  • Diet
  • No alcohol
  • Weight reduction
  • Possibly special protein drinks prescribed by a doctor
  • Exercise!

Additional Information:

 

Warning: Please read the disclaimer and common hint on medical subjects.

Wintertime – Detox-Time

Winter

We are eagerly decluttering our home at this time. Why not also declutter your body? We are feeling tired, slack, pale after the holidays … Even the weather is not really appealing for a long stay in fresh air now. Except for those lucky people in the Southern hemisphere 😉 I, for one, do not feel like walking through ankle-deep mud on the trails in dirty weather. So I was looking for something to silence my conscience and found many sources about detox cures (detox = detoxification).

Whether a detox cure really works is controversial and not scientifically proven. I do not intend to write a complete guide for such a treatment. But some aspects are definitely interesting and practical and provide a welcome change.

One point of such a treatment is “drinking a lot”. This is one of my weaknesses. I am not a delighted water drinker. I find it too boring – no matter with or without gas. I prefer fruit juices or spritzers … but only the self-mixed ones. In this case you must not underestimate the considerable amount of calories. Therefore I tried some of the recipes for detox-waters and summarized them here. All ingredients are available fresh during wintertime (and in summer, too … especially in regions where these fruits grow). Drinking a pitcher full a day would be great.

Cucumber Lemon Detox
Cucumber Lemon Detox Water

 

Cucumber Lemon Detox Water

  • 2 l water
  • 1 washed and thinly sliced cucumber
  • 1 washed and thinly sliced lemon
  • 10 to 15 fresh mint leaves
  • (1 handful of ice)

Put all ingredients in a pitcher and let it steep in the fridge for about 30 minutes. I usually omit the ice, especially in winter. You can infuse the mix up to 3 times before tossing the ingredients.

Apple Cinnamon Detox Water

  • 2 l water
  • 2-3 washed, cored and thinly sliced apples
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 piece of ginger (approx. 3 cm)

Put all ingredients in a pitcher and let it steep in the fridge for about 30 minutes. You can infuse the mix up to 3 times before tossing the ingredients.

Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Water

  • 2 l water
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 washed, cored and thinly sliced apples
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Put all ingredients in a pitcher and let it steep in the fridge for about 30 minutes. You can infuse the mix up to 3 times before tossing the ingredients.

I am very interested in your opinion of these drinks. How do you like them? Do you have other recipes?

Have fun trying them 🙂

Healthy Diet – Part 1

Lachs und Thunfisch

Yesterday I wrote about Slow Living and health/wellness. So why shouldn’t we try to avoid medicine and drugs. Healthy diets, warding off the threat of serious illnesses without drugs – that works. An interesting TV documentary in German TV showed three examples. So here’s a brief summary.

  • Dyslipidemia
  • Heartburn
  • Diabetes

The NDR homepage provides you with plenty of easily understandable background information, videos, tips and recipes – unfortunately only in German.

Cholesterol, Triglycerides

Lipid disorders are often not detected in time, as the patient initially has no afflictions. But fat deposit in the arteries, thrombosis, myocardial infarction and stroke may result. The primary cause is an inherited metabolic defect, as well as stress, lack of exercise, unbalanced diet, fast food, too much fat and sugar, obesity.

Advice:

  • Shift to good fats: For example, nuts, oily fish (herring, salmon, mackerel), rapeseed or linseed oil.
  • Exercise!

Additional Information:

 

Heartburn – Preliminary-stage of Cancer

The constant reflux of stomach acid damages the oesophagus in the long run.  It causes inflammation, burns, ulcers and strictures – risk of developing oesophageal cancer.  Trigger is too much acid in the stomach due to lush, rich, sweet, acidic nutrition.

Advice:

  • Four to five small meals a day. Lots of protein, e. g. dairy products, white meat, nuts, legumes.  Sweet cravings can be satisfied by bitter substances.
  • Exercise! Stress reduction!

Additional Information:

Chinesische Tofupfanne

Diabetes

Diabetes, one of the most common diseases. Especially type 2 (90% of all diabetics suffer from it) can be described as lifestyle disease.  This is usually caused by obesity, lack of exercise, improper diet and family history.

Advice:

  • A treatment with oatmeal diet with water or berries, e. g. raspberries; raw vegetables, steamed vegetables, low carbs, little fruit; snacking only immediately before the main meal.
  • Exercise!

Additional Information:

 

Warning: Disclaimer and common hint on medical subjects (German).

 

Slow Living and Wellness

Slow Living - Wellness

Slow Living and Wellness – how do these two words match?  ‘Wellness’ is  already a common term in our lives (although  linked to many different associations) while slow living prepares itself to risk the step out of the semi-shade of the elitist environment into the public eye.

‘Wellness’ symbolizes well-being, fitness and happiness.

Slow Living addresses itself to the deceleration of all areas of life. To increase well-being, health and satisfaction are the defined goals of this deceleration, so wellness in the sense of the word is an instrument to achieve those objectives.

Unfortunately the word ‘wellness’ is misused for advertising purposes at least as often as ‘bio’ or ‘organic’ and implicates yet less content.

If mineral waters, hotel pools, ionic hair dryers, sunglasses, plaids, tacky slip-ons – just to name some examples – are offered with a wellness indication, this is a signal for us to look closely at this area and provide you with information and recommendations for your physical well-being and indications to possible cheatings.

Frequently you will find pleasurable subjects in this category, but also reports of annoying and useless things, especially when sustainability and conservation of resources are brought into question.

In common usage wellness seams to be understood as a synonym for ‘treatments for relaxation’, but in our context we want to thoroughly address ourself to ‘body, spirit, soul’ (and also take into account sports and health).

Our goal is a better ability to judge, since health is a primary goal of slow living, without other goals are difficult to achieve.

Slow Living - Wellness