April 19, 2014

Keep It Healthy Thursdays: The Genesis

Pssssst. Pssssst. Hey you! Yea, I’m talking to you on the other side of the computer screen. Dude, stop giving me the funk-eye, already. Yea, I know. That befuddled look is because you’re wondering how you can hear me when I’m on the other side of the screen. Never mind that, just accept it. And since were on the subject, don’t you think it’s pretty darn cool that you can? I thought so, too. Now that I’ve gotten your attention, I’m sure a million questions are going through your mind. Easy. Easy. We’ll get to all that. Care for a virtual cup of tea? Oh, coffee’s your thing? No probs, we can still hang. How’s that chair working for you? I don’t fluff pillows or prop up feet, but I’ll wait while you get comfortable – take your time, I’m not going anywhere.

Good deal. You look much better now that you’ve gotten a good cup of joe  in you. You had me worried there for a minute with how white your face turned when you spotted me tapping on your screen. So you drink coffee black, eh? Woosah! You’re hardcore, aren’t you? I like you already. I’m pretty hardcore myself. Specifically, about the things I’m passionate about and I certainly don’t ride the fence on those issues. You’ll never see me engage in something unless I fully intend to see it to the end. But, don’t get it twisted though. It doesn’t mean I always finish unscathed – believe me, I have a few bumps and bruises to remind me of some of tough spots I had to meander through to finish what I started. Nonetheless, I do manage to maintain my level of energy and not lose the passion to continue. I’m not a half-ass kinda girl.

Anyway, I know with all the ramblin’ I just did, you’re probably more confused than ever. I know you wanna know who I am, why I just appeared at your screen unannounced and uninvited, blah, blah, blah. Well, to give you the skinny, I’m a single mom of two boys, I work for myself (although my clients think I work for them), I did the college thing many moons ago (I really need to dust off the ‘ole brain cells) and well I’m just plain happy with the state of my life these days. But here’s the real kicker – every Thursday I plan on tapping on your screen so you and I can have a conversation of sorts. Yea, exactly! Like girlfriend chitchat. The subject matter? Well, there will be some wellness, some parenting… well actually A LOT of wellness spun in the form of green living, health, kids, creating a village, and parenting colloquy. Huh? What do I mean by wellness?  Hmmm, let me see the best way to explain this. I suppose I’m hoping that we will have a dialogue that inspires both of us to live better, to be healthier, and to want to move to a higher place – mind, body and spirit. Does that make sense? No, but you’re still interested in these chat sessions anyway? Cool. We’ll carve it out as we go. Really, the most important thing is that if you show up that you are honest and open. I’ll warn you straight away, we won’t always agree, but that’s okay. Just as long as you can handle a healthy, friendly debate that ends with a kiss on each cheek and rescheduling the session for next time. How does that sound? Did you say copacetic? Awesome! Same time, same place next week…

image credit: Tony the Misfit

Ana Gazawi

Ana Gazawi

Single mom of two boys trying to live a greenier, crunchier life. Lover of life and all things that bring good people, great conversation, and lasting memories together.

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7 ways to go green and save money

Going green is about saving money as much as it is about doing something great for our planet. The more we get into the mindset that living an eco-friendly lifestyle is economical in the long term, it will encourage us to switch from conventional products to energy efficient, greener products. The following tips help our environment and will also help your pocketbook too. Win! Win!

Use Rechargeable Batteries: Rechargeable batteries are a great way to reduce, reuse and recycle. Many of them can be reused up to 1,000 times. More than 15 billion batteries are thrown away each year. Add up all that landfill and you could make a row of batteries that could reach the moon. Batteries are extremely toxic for our environment and should be kept out of our soil through proper disposal.
Kill the Phantom Energy Guzzler: He goes by various names like standby power, lopomo or low power mode. How do you permanently get rid of him? Simply pull the plug on his energy source. Devices such as coffee pots, microwaves, hair dryers, COMPUTERS, TVs & PRINTERS (major offenders) are known to increase your energy bill noticeably. When these devices are not in use, unplug them. If we reduce our usage of electricity it which will help reduce our dependency on oil.
Have Bills Gotcha Down? Is your mailbox stuffed with letters from creditors? You’ve got to be tired of seeing them by now. I’ll tell you who is definitely tired of your bills. Mama Earth. Tons and tons of bills are ending up in our landfills. Millions upon millions of trees are being cut for no reason. Here’s a no-brainer. Switch to receiving your bills via email or setup automatic bill pay.
Save Ink. Save Cartridge: You can save on ink by clicking on preferences on your printer, then clicking on the paper/quality tab, and then on draft. The image will be lighter than if you use the regular setting, but it’s readable and saves on cartridge ink. To save on paper, simply print on both sides of the page when printing multiple pages. You can take your empty cartridges to Walgreens for refills. Hewlett Packard and many other companies will actually take back your empty cartridges. Plug your zip code into Earth911.org”>Earth911.org for nearest drop off location.
Tame the Loo: Put a 1-liter plastic bottle full of water (smaller sizes can float) inside your toilet’s water tank. Each time you flush, instead of using 6 liters of water, you will be using only 5 liters.
Paper? Plastic? Neither: Make it a habit to use your own bags for purchases you make. Most stores offer branded bags for purchase. If you have old canvas bags or if you are crafty and would like to make your own bags, these are other options you can consider.
Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated: When you keep your vehicle’s tires properly inflated, you  increase your fuel economy. The life of your rubber will be extended as well. For every three pounds that your tires are below their recommended pressure, your fuel economy drops one percent. Calculate that on a national level and that adds up to a lot of unnecessary maintenance and gas purchases for our vehicles.

I hope these tips encourage you to green up and in the process I hope they help you save money.

Ana Gazawi

Ana Gazawi

Single mom of two boys trying to live a greenier, crunchier life. Lover of life and all things that bring good people, great conversation, and lasting memories together.

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Parents, are you calling the shots

Ever since my first born received his first shot at the tender age of 1 month I’ve had a serious battle raging within me regarding vaccinations.  The battle is two-fold. Firstly, I can’t stand the effects vaccinations have on my children and secondly, I question whether or not they are even necessary.  I don’t think there is a mother in the world who can remain dry-eyed as they watch their baby let out a blood curdling scream when the syringe needle enters his soft tender skin. You may have heard the adage “When baby hurts, Mommy hurts harder”. This adage describes me to the tee when it comes to my children suffering any kind of pain – physically or emotionally.  Beyond the pain of the shot itself, is the suffering my sons endure from days of crankiness, fever and sleep deprivation.

When my second born was 2 months old I reached a point where I felt it was necessary to seriously think the whole vaccination process through. With his second round of shots a few days away I started having anxiety about having to vaccinate him and began to seriously think of calling it quits on vaccinations.

I shared my thoughts of quitting to a friend and she gave me a blank stare that said have you lost your mind? She was baffled that I would consider such a thing and expressed that it’s against the law not to vaccinate children. She began throwing out situations where vaccine records would be required – daycare, school, camps, etc. Then she asked if my reasons for wanting to quit were due to claims that vaccines cause autism.

It’s a controversial issue – whether or not vaccines do in fact cause autism. Honestly, I’m not sure where I stand on that issue. I have read scores of literature supporting evidence that vaccines were the cause of autism in some children. However, I’ve also done my due diligence on the other side of the issue that states that there is no conclusive link between vaccines and autism. I do question whether or not some of the vaccines are even beneficial since many of the illnesses they claim to prevent have already been eradicated from humans. Two such well known diseases are Smallpox and Rubella.  Furthermore, vaccines in and of themselves are weakened or killed form of the microbe or its toxin. Basically, in many cases, we are injecting into our children,  live cultures of the disease we are trying to prevent them from getting.

Deciding whether or not to vaccinate is a personal decision all parents need to consider wisely. I don’t feel there is a right or wrong decision. However, I do believe there is a misconception that parents do not have a say one way or another to do so or not to do so. Parents, you can call the shots regarding your children’s vaccination. I do not apologize for the pun because in this case it’s far too befitting. Mamas and Papas you have a choice in the matter. My wish is only to share some information that I have researched and challenge you to do your due diligence regarding vaccination.

Ana Gazawi

Ana Gazawi

Single mom of two boys trying to live a greenier, crunchier life. Lover of life and all things that bring good people, great conversation, and lasting memories together.

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