Why I Stopped Shaving—and What Happened


Women have been shaving since, well, forever. But prior to the 1900s, it was typically in regards to facial hair when it came to fashion and being “acceptable” in society. But I’ve manage to buck the habit (mostly). I still shave my legs, infrequently, but only to just above the knee. But everything else—pits and pubes—no more. And I don’t have any intention of turning back.

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The Benefits of Baths

Or, Why You Should Take More Baths.

Bathing has a looong history, and us human folk have been enjoying it all along. However, ancient civilizations seemed much more prone to indulge in the relaxing, sometimes social, habit than we are.

Perhaps there was more leisure time available without the 40+ hour work week, television and internet. People weren’t constantly engaged in some other, seemingly more important activity to put off their bathing ritual. But whether it’s plunging into cool water after hitting the sauna, swimming in the ocean or filling up the tub at home, baths serve us in more ways than just the relaxing, quiet, me-time we’ve come to crave.

Reduce Pain and Muscle Aches

Cramps included!

Similar to using a heating pad or Icy-Hot and other “heating” pain relief creams, a hot bath may be just the ticket to squelching aches and pains. A cool bath, on the other hand, can help reduce the lactic acid build-up to speed recovery time following intense work-outs.

You can also ease chronic pain associated with arthritis, fibromyalgia and other inflammatory-induced conditions by soaking in a salt bath (use Epsom or your favorite natural salt). Adding salt reduces swelling and has been used since Ancient Greece to relieve pain.

Heart and Digestive Health

Although a piping hot bath isn’t recommended and can add more strain to the heart, a warm, soothing temperature increases heart rate which can improve blood circulation throughout the body. It may also help lower blood pressure and keep your heart functioning well. The improved circulation will also aid with proper digestion!

Alleviate Cold Symptoms

As we head into cooler months, its bound to happen: cold and flu season.

Warms baths do more than improve blood flow, they also allow the blood to become more oxygenated as you relax and breathe deeply, inhaling steam. This can aid in ridding your body of illness-causing bacteria, clear sinus and chest congestion while, also, boosting immunity.

Pamper Your Skin

Exposure to water and steam can be cleansing and moisturizing for the entire body. Hot or warm water opens our pores and induces sweating, allowing the body to naturally cleanse itself. Plus, the steam and contact with water is a great way to hydrate skin and hair!

In a recent study published in Temperature, researchers found that an hour-long soak in a hot bath resulted in similar effects as an hour of moderate exercise. For anyone unable to exercise regularly or with certain chronic illnesses, such as type II diabetes or chronic inflammation, this could be huge!

Featured image by StockSnap/Pixabay.

His & Hers: 3 Easy Recipes

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a vegetarian but my partner definitely is not. This means that our dinner selections are generally selected based on my dietary choices. More often than not, he’s perfectly content with eating my vegetarian or vegan concoctions (and likes them!). However, there are times when he’d like to have a little animal protein in his meal.

I find most recipes pretty easy to make veg-friendly (vegetarian/vegan). But over the past five years, his meaty preference has resulted in seeking out recipes and meals that are easy to make His&Hers versions of. What determines their ease?

  • No extra time required to, essentially, make two meals.
  • How many ingredients we can both use (aka: affordability).
  • Accessibility of necessary kitchen tools, for both of us.

Go-To His & Hers Recipes

  1. TACOS. Who doesn’t love tacos? No one in their right mind! They’re super-versatile, easy to prepare and cheap. All qualities we look for. Most of the time, he’ll make a chicken or beef topping, while I prepare lentils, rice or beans for myself. Sometimes we keep things standard with tortillas. Other times we opt for taco “boats” with romaine lettuce leaves in place of the tortillas.
  2. PIZZA. Another super-versatile recipe with endless topping combinations. When we order pizza, my go-to is pineapple or mushroom with banana pepper; his is pepperoni and black olive. Homemade pizza is infinitely cheaper–and probably healthier–than Domino’s and Pizza Hut, and allows you to add as many flavors as you want. When we go for pizza, we make one crust: half with pepperoni, half without.
  3. BURGERS. My go-to recipe: black bean burgers. And he likes those just fine but sometimes wants a real cheeseburger. So, obviously, he gets hamburger and makes that.
Featured image via Pixabay.

2017 Goal Update

I started this renewed foray into blogging at the beginning of the year by setting some goals for the coming months. And although some are going better than others, a few have shifted or altered in some way.

So, how are things going at this mid-point, or so, in the year? I’d say fairly decent. Let’s revisit.

  1. Write more. I think I’ve been pretty successful at this, so far. Sure, there were a few weeks missed here and there, but life does happen sometimes. Overall, I’ve managed to write plenty of posts well in advance or have them ready weekly.
  2. Experience more. Well, this is probably the least successful of them all. We’ve officially been relocated for about a year and I can’t say I’ve experienced much of Colorado…due to funds and my general attitude—it’s kinda been a rough year and half! In addition, we’re now the proud parents of a diabetic fur-baby, which does put some constraints on what I’m able to do and still ensure he’s properly taken care of.
  3. Minimize. According to our lease, we actually live in a smaller apartment than last year. I don’t totally buy it because it feels much roomier and homey, but whatever. We haven’t gotten rid of much more, but we do use most of the items we currently have.
  4. Poetry collection. While I like to consider myself a poet, I’m probably not publication material and that’s okay. However, there is something about self-publishing a chapbook or collection that rubs me the wrong away. That something is called my ego and it would much prefer to be an actual published poet, even if it’s just one poem. This is THE goal that has shifted…I’m working on creating a simple zine template to collect, share and house my poems, perhaps by general theme. This would also allow me to create a few editions and create special editions for the very, very few pieces of flash fiction I’ve written. Once completed, I’d create limited initial runs to share with family and super-close friends. Then, if other people were interested, I could trade them or sell them for a extra-nominal fee. In all honesty, I’m even more excited about this zine incarnation because it’s much more hands-on and creative for me to produce 100% by myself, at the kitchen table.
  5. Natural home efforts. So far, so good. Since moving, I’ve used primarily homemade, natural cleaners around the house. We’ve also cleaned up our diet/eating routines quite a bit! And I’m currently in the process of getting my hair care routine closer to the “no poo method” I had been aiming for before cutting it back into a pixie (for shame!).

Did you set any goals for the year? If so, what are they and how are they coming along for you?


Common Misconceptions About Plant-Based Diets

Vegetarianism doesn’t get too much flack in popular media, but does get some in day-to-day life on occasion. Veganism, on the other hand, tends to get the shit end of the stick, as it were, from all angles.

The main concerns that most people seem to voice about plant-based diets are:

  • It’s too expensive.
  • They’re somehow deficient, be it in nutrients, variety or flavor.
  • Whether it’s actually a sustainable/maintainable choice for the long-term.

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Learn to Listen: Intuition

in-tu-i-tion n.
the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.

The word intuition has been around since late Middle English and, at that time, specifically meant “spiritual insight or immediate spiritual communication” (according to Google).

Photo by Yeshi Kangrang via Unsplash.

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30 Days Bra-Free

For starters, I’m slightly bummed about not posting for a few weeks. I’d been doing so well since the beginning of the year, even during the few times I felt like I had nothing to blog about, then I stopped to remind myself that things have been hectic lately and it’s okay to not always be 100% on.

We moved to a new place about a month ago, officially, and have been getting situated here. Some family emergencies, all of which threw me for quite the loop, happened. One of which has been my #1 cat-mom fear…Gizmo was diagnosed with diabetes. It’s been a stressful, emotional roller coaster, but things seem to be starting to settle down. Sooo, I wanted to get back to blogging with this silly little experiment.

Bra-free, as it says in the title, is mostly an exaggeration. But for the entire month of June I didn’t wear a single bra with underwire, which is almost as good!

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Sound & Memory: Appreciating Echoic Memory

The smell of freshly baked cookies and swimming pools can bring back fond memories of childhood. Other, often less pleasant, odors can trigger memories we’d rather forget. And studies have shown that our sense of smell is more effective for memory recall than sight and sound. One reason for this is that the body simply has more scent receptors than it does for the other senses. But sight, sound, and touch all play a role in our ability to access memories.

Although research from the University of Iowa found that we don’t remember what we hear quite as well as what we see or touch, aural learning remains among the seven learning styles, which would suggest that some people process, or even excel at processing, sound better than others.

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