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Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Is Housework The Great Equalizer in Couples?

posted by Linda Mintle

Men, when was the last time you rolled up your sleeves and tackled the dishes?

Today’s modern family has women in the workplace and men much more involved in the home and parenting. This means men and women are figuring out how to divide the labor and conquer the household chores.

When it comes to marital satisfaction, at-home work seems to be a great equalizer. Husbands who pitch in and help around the house make their wives happy! That’s right, the quality of marriage is affected by men doing housework!

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The division of labor matters. Husbands don’t have to work with their wives to get things done at home, just take on some of the tasks (April 2013, Journal of Family Issues).  It’s not the togetherness of doing house work, but the fact that men are participating that makes a difference.

So men, pull out those culinary skills, clean a few toilets, and mop that floor…it just might improve your marriage! Your wives will be impressed and think you care.

And men, don’t worry, your leisure time is not at risk. According to Pew researchers, you might be spending more time at work than your female counterparts, doing more around the house, but you still have more leisure time than your wife. So no complaints. Doing housework can only help your marriage!

 

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Who is Really Feeling Stressed?

posted by Linda Mintle

The good news is that stress levels are down for most Americans. We must be doing something right when it comes to handling the opportunities to let stress get the best of us.

But one group is not doing so well–millennials (ages 18-33). According to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive for the American Psychological Association, millennials rank higher than the national average when it comes to feeling stress. The top stressors for this group (in order) are work, then money, relationships, the economy and family responsibilities.

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Why?

Maybe they are more open about how they feel than other groups.

Or it might be because they grew up with high expectations and were sheltered from difficulty in many cases.

Or as they enter the job market, they see the problems in the economy. Unemployment in this group is 13% and many have given up looking for work.

Or many face the debt of student loans and have little too invest in their financial future.

Whatever the case, a concern is that stress often manifests in depression and anxiety.

But more good news:

Unhealthy coping skills are on the decline–stress eating and alcohol use. Positive coping includes listening to music, walking or exercise, and spending time with friends. And many de-stress by playing video games and surfing the Internet.

 

For more help with Breaking Free from Stress, click here. 

 

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Day 3: Dr. Linda on the Dr. Oz 3 Day Cleanse

posted by Linda Mintle

Day 3: Yes I am glad this is almost over! Dr. Oz always talks about food as medicine. OK, I get that but I am ready to enjoy my food again. Drinking it just doesn’t cut it when it comes to enjoyment.

Starter: green tea, stevia and lemon slice. 

One thing I have noticed is that I am not waking up as early and getting better sleep. Really missing coffee. This must mean I am not a tea person! And this morning, I had a stomach ache after I drank the tea.

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Breakfast: Ingredients: 1 cup water, 1 Tbsp flax seed, 1 cup raspberries, 1 banana, 1/4 cup spinach, 1 Tbsp almond butter, 2 tsp lemon.

My favorite drink of the day! Good thing or I think people would lose motivation. I now have a good, healthy shake that I can use at breakfast anytime I want to change it up. This shake is also the fastest to prepare and uses ingredients you might have without doing special shopping.

Lunch: Ingredients: 4 celery stalks, 1 whole cucumber, 1 cup of kale, ½ green apple, ½ lime, coconut oil, almond milk, 1 cup pineapple

I’m adding a bit more cucumber as I think I cut back too much yesterday. And I am adding a bit more apple–one very small green apple to give it that fruit bite I need. This shake is time consuming to prepare. So I cut up all the ingredients in the a.m. and put them in a tupperware so I could just dump them in the blender. This is not a drink I would fix on my own. So glad it is the last time I have to drink it!

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Snack: Even though I like the breakfast shake, I’m tired of it. I’m losing energy this afternoon and ready to eat again. I feel tired but not sleepy and my stomach feels very full but I am now craving food. So Norm and I were ready to cook dinner tonight but decided we are one shake away from completion. We should run for the finish line.

Dinner: Ingredients: ½ cup mango, 1 cup blueberries, 1 ½ cup coconut water, 1 cup kale, 1 tbsp. lemon, ¼ avocado, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 Tbsp Flax Seeds

Glad we are on the last shake.

Evening Bath: Guys are not really into taking a bath for 3 nights in a row! We both did it. I loved it!

Tips and Thoughts:

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The shakes blended better when I put the liquid in first, then the almond butter or coconut oil and flax. This was especially true with the lunch shake. Putting the milk and coconut oil in first, helped to blend the coconut oil better. Yesterday I saw white chunks of oil in the shake, which turned me off as I think it looks like lard.

After the first day, I had no caffeine headache and I usually drink 2 cups of coffee in the am. I also wasn’t sleepy in the morning and had lots of energy. If you like tea, this would be a great way to start your day. I will confess that I love coffee too much to give it up.

It helps to have someone do this with you. We both wanted to give up at different times and each of us talked the other out of it.

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Consider the cost if two people do it together. It was expensive, about $35.00 a day and I had to run to Sam’s or the store every day because I didn’t buy enough of everything. You have the menu and ingredient list so you can plan this out better than I did.

The issue with doing something like this is sustaining better eating. From doing this, I am going to include greens in my diet every day and make an effort to increase fruits and vegetables. It is easy to sprinkle flax seed on cereal or oatmeal and I am going to cook now with coconut oil.

I didn’t do this for weight loss so didn’t weigh myself before I started, but my husband did weigh in. He dropped 8 pounds from this cleanse and was surprised! I have no way to measure the reset that is supposed to happen internally but hopefully, it did some good. You won’t be hungry on this 3 day venture. You will miss the enjoyment of food but it is only a short period of time.

Overall, this was a good exercise to get me back on eating better. The 3 days is short enough to be successful and it made me think how much I need to increase the fruits and vegetables in my diet. So if you are game and give it a try, share your comments on this blog.

 

 

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Day 2: Dr. Linda on the Dr. Oz 3 Day Cleanse

posted by Linda Mintle

Day 2: I am motivated to keep going. I learned a few things from Day 1 so will make a few tweaks in this plan.

Starter: green tea, stevia and lemon slice. 

I wasn’t as excited to drink the tea this a.m. I am a coffee drinker so I really missed my morning coffee. Still it was pleasant and I rehearsed the benefits of green tea in my head. My husband asked to leave out the stevia. He thought the tea was too sweet with it.

Breakfast: Ingredients: 1 cup water, 1 Tbsp flax seed, 1 cup raspberries, 1 banana, 1/4 cup spinach, 1 Tbsp almond butter, 2 tsp lemon.

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Last night, I froze the fruit and it made a big difference. I liked the shake colder. I wasn’t as full today after drinking it as I was yesterday. Hope that isn’t a sign that I will feel hunger today. Yesterday, I wasn’t hungry at all. There was so much bulk in the ingredients, that I stayed full all day and amazingly, all night. I wasn’t tempted to snack because of how full I felt. But I did end up doing the shakes later in the evening because of my schedule.

Lunch: Ingredients: 4 celery stalks, 1 whole cucumber, 1 cup of kale, ½ green apple, ½ lime, coconut oil, almond milk, 1 cup pineapple

Both my husband and I decided to cut back on the ingredients a little. Yesterday the shake was massive and took up more than a large cup. We used 3 stalks of celery instead of 4. We also halved the giant cucumber and split in it our drink. We made sure we didn’t over do the Kale (he put way too much in yesterday and almost gagged getting it down). I also peeled the lime and put the whole thing in rather than just squeezing the juice. I also threw in an extra chunk of pineapple. I know the Coconut Oil is healthy, but it looks like I am adding lard to my drink and that kind of creeps me out. I don’t mind cooking with it but eating it cold like that…thankfully it blends in. I can’t think about it too much. I cut everything in small pieces and blended for what seemed like hours. Still it was chunky. But today it actually tasted good. More of the apple flavor came through so I can do it like this. Yeah!  A victory. I still had to eat it with a spoon but at least the association with colonoscopy left me!

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Snack: For me, there is no question which shake to drink. The breakfast shake has it hands down. Today, I was hungry so the snack came at the right time.

Dinner: Ingredients: ½ cup mango, 1 cup blueberries, 1 ½ cup coconut water, 1 cup kale, 1 tbsp. lemon, ¼ avocado, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 Tbsp Flax Seeds

I like this shake without the cayenne pepper. It has a creamy taste because of the avocado. My husband added a little hot sauce to give it even more spice and didn’t like the addition. The blueberries make this taste good. We did notice that because we didn’t prepare dinner, we had more time to sit and talk in the family room. We read the paper and magazines and caught up with our day. The evening was longer and because we weren’t fighting hunger, that was nice. But my husband really wanted to eat peanuts while we were watching TV and I coaxed him out of it because we only have one more day.

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Evening Bath: Neither of us wanted another bath but we did it, and it does relax you for bedtime. Day 2 completed. He is ready for solid food and we began to discuss how to re-engage our diet. I will probably drink another shake for breakfast the fourth day, and then go for a salad–eat it, instead of drink it. Then homemade chicken soup for dinner after the cleanse. Seems like we should ease back in to chewing and eating foods again.

 

Tips:

Cut the lunch ingredients into very small pieces and blend for more than you normally would.  If you can’t take all that celery, cut it back like I did and throw in the 1/2 lime instead of squeezing it. Or buy a smaller cucumber.

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Chop things up ahead of time and place them in the refrigerator ready to go. Saves a ton of time.

I had to restock the food because I underestimated for two people. And it is quite expensive so I bought my berries, bananas and pineapples at Cosco/Sam’s. The rest of it, I got at Trader’s Joe–saved a lot that way.

I bought as much as I could organic, but decided not to worry about the Costco items.

 

 

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