Monday, November 30, 2015

No Sugar Challenge

This is an extremely hard challenge I'm facing. I started today after getting back from surprising the family for Thanksgiving. I literally ate enough sugar and fried food to be preserved next to Han Solo. Anyways, on top of my no laptop challenge, I'm cutting the sweets and getting healthy. It will be difficult, but I foresee health problems if I continue the path I'm on.

I'm doing this for:
Healthier, whiter, and stronger teeth
Keeping healthy weight on
Reducing my awful back aches
Reduce my shortness of breath
Increase endurance
Reduce unnecessary, costly sugar binges
Better sleeping habits

Lately, I've been fatigued. My whole body, not just my back, aches constantly. Sleeping is awful. I'm either awake and can't go to sleep, have terrible nightmares, or struggle to even open an eyelid and sometimes I enjoy all three! My gums seem to be pulling away from my teeth and sugar is only increasing the speed of my roots becoming exposed. Pretty soon, I'll obtain diabetes and other health complications if I don't stop now.

The Goals:
Drink water instead of soda. Less money spent, better for your body.
Incorporate more fruit and honey instead of pure cane sugar.
No more vending machine runs.

I want to continue on my path to be a minimalist. Eating healthy is also included in this journey.

12/8/15: This is the hardest obstacle I've ever put myself through. Some days are going to be extremely hard. Going to try and create a spreadsheet to see if it helps with meal planning and less spending.

12/16/15: Sugar is an addiction. No question. I'm having a real hard time saying no. I feel good before ingesting it. I know I'll regret it with the headaches, stomach ache, bloated feeling, and fatigue. I've been drinking more tea with honey instead of sugar and the fruits seam to help curb being hungry constantly. The binges seem to be slowing down.

12/29/15: The London Diet - try everything. I'm actually doing pretty well knowing there isn't a vending machine within 20 feet of me now. Lately the sugary foods have been trying street food - sugar coated peanuts, different sodas only with meals, and a chocolate stick that was from a friend. As long as I can keep up with unnecessary sugar runs, I think I'll be okay. When I get back home, I'm going to look in to a fruit and vegetable delivery service!

01/07/15: I'm back from London and back in to the no sugar challenge. Yesterday I had my last of the sugars, but now I'm craving! The problem is, is that they have a vending machine downstairs and I know a coca-cola is only 75 cents. I have snack food and healthy cocoa covered almonds made by Blue Diamond, but they aren't helping! I need an IV of just straight liquid diabetes...I guess I'll get some more water...

01/11/15: I caved in during the weekend and had a couple biscuits from fastfood restaraunts, a bean burrito from Taco Hell and only sweet tea. Not soda. I also went shopping and grabbed a bunch of healthy food for the remaining of the week. It's extremely hard transitioning, but the main point is to keep trying to do better. With that being said, I'm going to be posting meals on here as well to help keep my feet in the fire.
Premade salad and dressing, banana, sweet potato, fruit cup, apple, pistachios, dark chocolate covered almonds, honey 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

No Laptop Challenge

I haven't pulled my laptop out of my bag in over a week, maybe longer. And if I did, I do the exact same things on there that I do my phone, except for League of Legends (An online game I enjoy playing with my brother). I've had my laptop with me for so long, my mind thinks I need it with me every day I work. It's extra weight and I'd like to learn how to navigate through my Note 4 a little more before I finally cave in to my old ways. With that being said, I'm leaving the laptop behind, listening to podcasts, and finishing my two books I've been struggling to read over the past year.

Going through my minimalist journey, it's a hard learning curve when you've spoiled yourself with anything you want at your fingertips. When I start traveling internationally, this will surely be a wake up call that I won't always have Internet nor a spot to plug my laptop in the wall. All I'll have is my phone and my Rite in the Rain book.

I will never get rid of my laptop because I enjoy connecting with my brother and battling other Champions, but I certainly want to stop carrying the extra weight every day or worry if someone will take it. I removed all of my data and backed it up on terabyte hard drives.

I'll be posting about the results of when I've found I could have used my laptop and alternatives I found using my phone.

My next challenge will be to reduce, organize, and find data. I, unfortunately, am a data hoarder and some days it gets frustrating finding a picture through the 100 same selfie pictures or the 1000 animal pictures I've either taken or downloaded.

|A post I was going to publish: 
I've been reducing many items over the past year and even bought a tablet recently. I spent about 700.00 on a smaller portable device and I don't seem to like the change. I specifically got it to increase my time blogging and reduce the weight I was carrying on my back. Turns out, I still favor my 17" Asus.

What I particularly cannot let go of is the accessibility of multiple tabs and copying and pasting notes. Another feature I struggle with is word documents, adding pictures, and other media to my blog because they keep zooming in and out or placing an indication mark at the correct place.

My Asus might be winning, but I am still on a quest to find the perfect lightweight electronic device.

What are the factors that determine this? Traveling abroad can be dangerous with electronics. If I can adapt to using only my phone, I won't need a laptop or a tablet since my Note 4 can do the job.
I have back pains already. Something lighter would mean less aching.

I do keep forgetting about the desktop view and other browsers I can download for using Adobe and other essential software.I also didn't remember I can always use computers offered in a library or Internet cafe. But how can you use them on an island? I need to learn how to be comfortable using my phone. Arggh


11/30/15: Day 1 - is different. I actually feel kind of naked without my laptop, but I'm okay with my decision. Navigating through a study guide website for NDE-ed.org seemed difficult at first, but I'm getting the hang of it. My next challenge for today is to get someone to print an email for me so I can scan it.

12/3/15: realized that I do need my laptop for certain functions in order to increase browsing speeds, such as creating blog posts, switching between tabs, and copying or pasting. I'm currently interested in another business adventure, but enjoy the ease of multiple tabs open on my 17" screen. For now, I can at least keep it off my back and in a central location.

12/8/15: doing this challenge has also made me realize that in order to leave the laptop home and off my shoulders, I need to plan my days out better. Going to try a little harder to leave the darn thing behind and focus on other tasks.

12/16/15: Still working on the leave the computer home challenge. It's made me aware of how much I rely on electronics. I definitely need to get better at planning. I'm fairly certain this doesn't help my sleep cycle either.

12/29/15: I'm in London without the laptop! I arrived 2 days ago. I enjoy the challenge of creating content through my phone. All of my current pictures are in one spot. I'm exploring online file storage, but will go in detail of my reviews at a later time. I brought my camera with me and have no way to download my photos. I'm going to try and find a library to transfer the pictures. I've also realized I'm a want to be photographer with little experience. My advice, if you want to travel lightly, it's okay to leave the cameras at home. Learn how to use the functions of your phone. Some of my pictures through here are absolutely breathtaking and offer just a tad different perspective on my travels! I feel that when I get back, I'll be leaving the laptop home more often!

01/04/15: Getting ready to leave for the US tomorrow! I'm also excited to announce I'm writing more with my phone. I'm overcoming obstacles and feel rewarded after each one is accomplished. I'll be writing a more detailed article on it later, but I've been using Fast Notepad App. This is wonderful for keeping notes and drafting articles WITHOUT the ads. Using this AND leaving the camera behind has helped me see more than I would have taking both the camera and the laptop.

01/06/15: The only really aggravating thing about not having a laptop is transitioning. I'm doing great without it and didn't even carry a bag to work today. I'm hoping I can use the "live out of the backpack" lifestyle for a while.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Minimalist Wallet Contents for a Traveling Woman: 11 Items

With this day and age, our society is continuously coming up with fantastic ideas for consumers such as rewards programs, cash back, and miles being offered. There's just one problem, how can you be a minimalist if you carry all of them with you? Your wallet starts expanding, you have to take it out of your pants in order to sit down, time is wasted shuffling through the plastic rectangles, etc. I finally had enough when I thought I had lost my credit card. Turns out, it was only sitting behind my Kohl's charge card.

Not being able to find anything, especially after working 12 hours, and rummaging through "junk" is so frustrating! This post is another step towards minimalism and I hope it becomes a motivating tool to live better with less. Stop wasting precious time digging through mountains.


11 Item Minimalist Wallet:
  1. ID - Carefully edited by me
  2. Insurance Card
  3. PNC Virtual Wallet - Debit Card
  4. Capital One Journey - Credit Card
  5. Sam's Club Membership Card
  6. Cash
  7. Pink wallet with zipper pouch - Great for coins and SD cards
  8. Carabiner
  9. Pocket Key Knife
  10. Honda Car Key
  11. Rite in the Rain Trekker Pen - for writing experiences in my Rite in the Rain book

Goal: 7 Items

I'm going to try and downsize this even more. Some companies allow customers to use their phone instead of carrying physical cards. Eventually, I'd like to find a waterproof book case with a phone and ID holder so I can just carry my Rite in the Rain book!

What about carrying a purse? 
Umm,.. yea... about that. Nope.