Things I’m Loving Lately: Winter Edition

Hey friends!  Sorry for the hiatus.  My computer died and we had to do a little replacing here at the house.  I let David mess with all the computer stuff, and now I’m set up with a nice new refurbished laptop and a docking station.  I like it so far, except I’m still getting used to windows 8.1, which is a little funky.  We found refurbished is the way to go – so much cheaper.

Anyway, this post is a bit random, but I was thinking of a few things that I am enjoying this winter, other than the usual swim/bike/run of course!

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Himalayan Institute Ceramic Neti Pot: Hear me out – I know these are controversial but I really like mine!  For the last few years my family doctor noticed how stuffy I was getting and put me on a nasal spray.  I felt very reliant on the nasal spray for a long time, and thought that if I got off it I would get sinus issues and get sick immediately.  I blamed it on Houston, pollution, fall allergies, etc.  Finally something had to change – I really didn’t want to be on a medication if I didn’t have to.  I went to an allergist and they did an initial test to see if I had allergic reactions to 25 or so different things (pollens, dust, etc.).  I had no reactions.  So I wondered if maybe all this was in my head.  I decided to go off the nasal spray last fall and switch to a neti pot.  I had used a plastic one many years ago and I like the ceramic so much better (the plastic drug store ones can still be good for travel).  I use mine once daily in the morning, just 15 seconds on each nostril, and I have yet to be stuffy or sick this winter, (fingers crossed).  It helps me breath easy and is SO much better than being on any medication.  And I’m really not too worried about amoebas getting into my brain – I think I’m more likely to get this from a triathlon lake swim, which I don’t plan to give up either.

Coconut oil: It’s great for cooking, but I love it for beauty too!  Especially during drier weather.  I buy a big tub then spoon out some in two smaller containers: one for my shower to use as body oil on damp skin, and one in my bathroom cabinet to put around my eyes at night, use for any areas of dry skin, or to remove eye makeup.  It’s really a wonder product and much cheaper than many expensive cosmetics.

Stability Ball: David gave me the hardest time and I didn’t buy one of these for a year.  He didn’t want one floating around the house.  But once we got it, he loves sitting on it, especially to tie his shoes.  Anyway, I really like the ball because there are so many exercises you can find online to use it with.  It rounds out my home gym of bike trainer, TR-X, yoga mat, and bands.  I’m glad I have this set up – no excuses on cold days!  I got my stability for around $15 on amazon.  Just be sure you get the right size for your height.

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My Beloved Rice Cooker:  This is a very expensive purchase, but along with the Vitamix is my favorite and most-used kitchen appliance.  I loooove it!  It’s great for rice/grains of all types, but the best thing is the porridge setting and timer.  I put in steel cut oats with water overnight and set the timer for 6 AM.  Breakfast is ready to go at exactly 6!  I don’t enjoy smoothies as much during the winter, but I love waking to a bowl of hot porridge.

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Documentaries:  We just started Cosmos last night on Netflix and wow, I’m feeling small.  The universe and beyond is pretty amazing.  It makes all my silly worries seem insignificant.  We really need to watch more documentaries, because we don’t have a great show to watch right now, so we might as well learn something while we are staying warm on the couch.  Another one we enjoyed was the Madagascar series (not the cartoon – this one has to be purchased on Amazon).  Any that you guys recommend?

Speaking of learning/improving my mind, I’m not doing a great job of meditating, but I am using and enjoying Meditation Oasis podcasts (also free).  Her voice is so soothing and they are only 10-25 minutes.  I try to do one if I’m up early enough, but sometimes workouts override meditation.  Nothing too much interesting on the training side other than trainer rides and lots of bundling up!  I’m swimming indoors more than I want to, but I think this will pass soon.  By the way I’m making it sound like we’re snowed in, and obviously this is not the case in Houston. It’s really not too bad, but it’s just been colder longer than we are used to!

What else… we’ve been planning an upcoming spring vacation this weekend – can’t wait.  More to come soon!  What else is going on in your world?  Are you equally ready for spring?  What are your favorite survival things for this winter?

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2 thoughts on “Things I’m Loving Lately: Winter Edition

  1. I use coconut oil for everything, too! Rice cookers are the best; we used ours last night to make a giant batch of coconut rice 🙂 Thanks for the Cosmos recommendation… looks fascinating! And, the meditation podcast… I’ll be listening during my commute today (how did I ever listen to music while driving?! Podcasts are so much better). I’ve just started to get into meditation, too, and am loving it. Have you read 10% Happier? Great read! Happy Monday!

    1. I’ll warn you that Cosmos is pretty “educational” – like something you’d watch in grade school, but I tend to enjoy this sort of stuff now! Let me know if you get any meditation tips, I’m still not so consistent. I tried headspace briefly, but it was too much to do every day (why can’t I spare ten minutes a day?!). I haven’t read 10% Happier, but I’ll have to check it out, thanks!

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