Living Without an Address

Ever wish you could pack up all your belongings, keeping only what fits in your van, and just go?

The life of a nomad is a daily road trip. You get to see new places, experience new things, you’re always on the move. Each day is a different adventure. Nomad living is becoming a trend, and you might be surprised to find out it’s much easier than you think.

 Photo Courtesy: Tyler Lillico, Unsplash

Photo Courtesy: Tyler Lillico, Unsplash

First, let’s rule out the obvious primary concern: obtaining a steady income. How do you earn money if you’re constantly on the move? Luckily, in today’s internet-focused society, it’s easier to earn money without ever having to visit the office.

 Photo Courtesy: Avi Richards, Unsplash

Photo Courtesy: Avi Richards, Unsplash

If you work an office job, ask your employer if this would be an option for you. If it turns out you are needed in the office for a meeting or conference, Skype is a wonderful tool that allows you to be there without physically being there. And conference calls have been around for years—for that particular reason. You can submit all your stuff online by using the free WiFi at McDonald’s. Better yet, with all the money you’re saving from not paying rent (or a mortgage), or the dozens of other bills that come with owning or renting a place, you can pay for a WiFi hotspot for your laptop. You’ll have an internet connection virtually anywhere.

If you don’t have the option of working away from your work site, maybe you should consider getting a different job. Here are some job options that allow you to make money while travelling. These options take more initiative and effort, and you should establish yourself in this job before leaving everything behind. But they’re options, nonetheless.

 Photo Courtesy: Kevin Bhagat, Unsplash

Photo Courtesy: Kevin Bhagat, Unsplash

  • Writing (blogging, travel writing, freelance writing)
  • Online business

  • Social media

  • Musician

  • Web design

  • Photographer

  • Airbnb (rent out your place to make money)
     

This is just a sampling of jobs that allow you to travel.

For more information, check out https://expertvagabond.com/best-travel-jobs/, or
https://matadornetwork.com/abroad/20-awesome-travel-jobs-and-how-to-get-them/

 Photo Courtesy: Huib Scholten, Unsplash

Photo Courtesy: Huib Scholten, Unsplash

Now, let’s address hygiene and nutrition. How will you shower? How will you cook your meals? Where will you rest your head at night? Unless you’re a total hippie who doesn’t mind showering once a month, sleeps in their car, and is perfectly content doing your business in the woods, you should consider buying an RV, a trailer, or a bus that you can remodel to suit your taste. They’re much more affordable than houses, they provide all the comforts of home, and you only have to pay for gas.

Otherwise, if you don’t mind living out of a suitcase (or a backpack), backpacking might be for you. Many hostels offer free rooms in exchange for work. Some might even pay you. This way, you’ll earn money, or at least get a free room.


Nomad living isn’t for everyone. You need to do your research and have at least a makeshift gameplan before you hit the road. But if wanderlust has taken hold of you, if you want an experience to remember, or if you feel stuck and want to drastically change your life, the nomadic lifestyle could be exactly what you need.

 Photo Courtesy: Justin Luebke, Unsplash

Photo Courtesy: Justin Luebke, Unsplash


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Natalie is a self-proclaimed hippie who loves Earth, animals, and sometimes, people. She hopes to inspire others to live in a more kind-hearted, environmentally-conscious way, while making their lives less materialistic and more meaningful.

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Natalie Cousineau

Natalie is a self-proclaimed hippie who loves Earth, animals, and sometimes, people. She hopes to inspire others to live in a more kind-hearted, environmentally-conscious way, while making their lives less materialistic and more meaningful.

Intermittent Fasting: How I Lost 70 Pounds in 7 Months

I’m going to tell you to do something, and you’re going to think I’m insane.

You should skip breakfast every day. You can also skip lunch, honestly.

Intermittent fasting is not a diet. We’ll say it’s a lifestyle choice for now, or a tool. For one portion of the day, you fast, and you don’t consume any calories, and for the other portion of the day, you eat. This translates to about sixteen hours of fasting and eight hours of eating every day.

I know what you’re saying, but it’s a lot easier than it sounds. Eight or more hours of sleep counts for half or more of this fasting window. When you get up in the morning, you don’t eat or drink anything with calories for four hours, and at night, four hours before you go to bed, you stop eating. And that’s it. There are no surprises.

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But … why? My doctor told me to eat three meals a day, and my friend said five.

You know that feeling you get, that impossible feeling, where you eat a big meal and then you’re hungry again forty minutes later? That’s because every time you eat throughout the day, your insulin levels go up. Insulin is a hormone that lets your body use the glucose (sugar) you consume from food for energy. If you have too much, it gets stored for later. So, what do you do throughout a day? You eat five meals: breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. Boom, boom, boom. It’s too much. Grocery stores haven’t been around forever, you know.

So, in comes intermittent fasting and another hormone called growth hormone. Growth hormone does all this great stuff (helps build muscle, burns fat, libido), but he can’t do his job because insulin is around. Solution? You fast. Your insulin levels don’t go crazy, you get one big spike during your eating window, and you give time for our man growth hormone to do his job.

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Okay, but I have a few questions.

Sure. I’ve been fasting daily for close to seven or eight months now, and I remember how it was at the beginning. Going even an hour or two without food when I got up was hard. My morning routine was usually some form of bathroom, toast and orange juice, social media, start my day. But honestly, not eating in the morning is so, so liberating.

You got up at six in the morning for that shift in a few hours? I know. You hate being alive. You have to shower, shave, be pretty, eat, get dressed, commute, wave to your boss, wave to the one colleague you still like. It’s hard. Don’t make it any harder. Your whole routine and commute is like three hours. It gets easier and easier to forget about breakfast when you don’t have to worry about it. Get to work, and then have lunch.

Muscle is another big one that comes up fairly often if you’re a guy. “I’m trying to get bigger, Colin, not smaller.” Studies have shown that long-term fasting can have effects on muscle retention, but not intermittent fasting. The fasting window is long enough for the good stuff to come in, but not long enough for it to come out. Additionally, because intermittent fasting is simply a way of eating, and not a diet, you can still build muscle if you’re in a calorie surplus.

On days that I exercise, I fast for twenty hours, and then eat for four. During the four hours, I get all of the macro-nutrients I need across a few big meals, and in total, I’m wolfing down a little more than my calorie maintenance levels for muscle growth.

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This sounds great, but what if I want to live a little?

Intermittent fasting is great because it doesn’t have to hold you down. You hold yourself down. You can decide what your hours are, and if it’s necessary, skip a day, or make your window a little bigger. When I know that I’m going to be eating late – ten or eleven, we’ll say – I’ll adjust my window to meet that. I’ll wake up and fast until two or three, have my first meal, and then later, at the bar, I’ll have my last meal. And because I’ve been doing this for so long, I don’t get hungry before my eating window - honestly.

I can’t imagine living without fasting at this point, and I know it’s a pretty big topic, so I’m going to link some videos here if you’d like more information. Happy fasting.

How to do Intermittent Fasting for Serious Weight Loss

What I've learned from 4 Years of INTERMITTENT FASTING - the good and the bad!

Intermittent Fasting: Top 5 Mistakes - Thomas DeLauer


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Colin Baines is a sloth masquerading as a human being in Algonquin College's two-year professional writing program. He eats a lot of vegetables, tries not to swear during class, doesn't own a phone and will often write articles loosely based on minimalism, nature, fitness, film, art, music, etc.

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Colin Baines

Colin Baines is a sloth masquerading as a human being in Algonquin College's two-year professional writing program. He eats a lot of vegetables, tries not to swear during class, doesn't own a phone and will often write articles loosely based on minimalism, nature, fitness, film, art, music, etc.

Drop That Dairy

IMAGE COURTESY OF PIXABAY.COM

“I could never go vegan — I love cheese too much.”

Even I used to make that joke when I was a vegetarian, and so did so many other vegans before making the switch. To be honest, when I was a vegetarian, I replaced meat with cheese. My diet was exclusively pizza, grilled cheese, and mozzarella sticks. But as I became more aware of the realities of the dairy industry, I knew that I had to change my ways and go vegan.

I know that it seems hard, but if I could do it, so can you.

Be patient with yourself.

If you go straight from eating steak to pounding soy milk and nutritional yeast, I'm impressed. But I would suggest to most people to go vegetarian before going vegan, because it gives you time to adjust. Although cutting dairy is the purpose of this post, changing your diet is hard, so it’s better to do it properly with a plan than to feel overwhelmed and give up on the entire thing. I went vegetarian when I was sixteen and soon the idea of eating a dead animal became such a foreign concept to me. I’d look at menus and think about how strange it was that they had chicken, because chicken isn’t food. I went vegan at nineteen and it was a challenge, but now it’s easier than pie (eggless, dairyless, lardless pie, of course).

If you mess up, don’t be too hard on yourself or give up on your progress. The fact that you’re cutting back and choosing to be aware of your intake still makes a difference. The more you work on it, the bigger impact you'll have.

Finding new vegan food to replace your former favourites.

It’s hard. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. I spent nineteen years putting cheese on everything and habits are hard to break. Your first trip to the grocery store after choosing to go vegan is going to be disorienting. You’ll probably only buy spicy fries or Oreos and then cry when you find out that most chips contain modified milk ingredients. But you’ll be okay — it takes time and research.

Once you finally conquer the grocery store, you’re probably going to have a bunch of alternative cheezes, but don’t get caught up comparing them to cheese. There are no vegan products that melt and stretch the way you’ll want them to, but they're still delicious.

image courtesy of StockSnap

Comparison isn’t the goal; finding good food is. Instead, ask yourself if it’s something that you enjoy — if it is, why should its resemblance to cheese matter? Soon you won't even care about cheese because sautéed mushrooms and grilled eggplant will be the only things on your mind. Thoughts of asparagus, berries, tofu, spinach, bread, and red onions are so exciting with all their possible combinations. There are actually a bunch of meals that I hated when they were made with animal products, but fell in love with when I tried them as plant-based. 

Milk is really weird.

The idea of pouring a glass of milk to drink is horrifying despite the ethics behind it. A glass of milk is a glass of pus and cow hormones. Masking it in chocolate is just adding sugar to the atrocity.

Even if you're not doing it for the animals or the environment, removing dairy from your diet will benefit you. Each animal produces milk for its children with customized nutrients for their needs as animals. If humans also produce milk, why would it make sense for us to use some that is designed for calves? Lactose intolerance is natural for humans because our bodies aren't equipped to break down baby cow fuel.

Dairy is perceived as healthy because the dairy industry spent their money strategically, not because it actually is healthy. I feel so much cleaner, energetic, and happier when I run on scrambled tofu and green smoothies. Dairy Farmers of Canada recently released an ad that says, “If it’s made with Canadian milk it’s worth crying over.” So even they’re admitting that dairy is scary. There are so many milk alternatives, such as: soy, almond, coconut, cashew, hemp, and oat. There’s bound to be one that you’ll like.

So, even if going vegan seems impossible to you, you should still be open to small changes that benefit yourself, our planet, and our animal friends. As you make these small changes, your habits will evolve and eventually, you will be ready to take on the empowering adventure of full-fledged veganism — which comes with the perk of being able to watch videos of adorable piglets without feeling any guilt at all.

IMAGE COURTESY OF PIXABAY.COM


Marissa Bryans is a witty vegan who likes to question the rules of life. She uses humour to point out behaviours that shouldn't be dogmatically followed and hopes to make you think about new ways to live your life. 

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Marissa Bryans

Marissa Bryans is a witty vegan who likes to question the rules of life. She uses humour to point out behaviours that shouldn't be dogmatically followed and hopes to make you think about new ways to live your life. 

A Gift Guide for your Five “Alternative” Friends

It’s that time of year again – time to empty your pockets and reflect on everything your friends, family and significant other have said in the past few months to try and find them the perfect Christmas gift. Or maybe you’re looking for a couple of things to add to your own Christmas list? Either way, check out the list below for some gift-spiration!

For the friend who’s always worried about the future:

Tarot cards can be a fun and interesting way to give you some insight on your past, present and future. There are countless different styles of tarot cards to choose from, but I recommend the Wisdom of the Oracle cards by Colette-Baron Reid. Each card features a whimsical design, and includes an oracle message, relationship message, prosperity message, and protection message.

Available at amazon.ca.


For the friend obsessed with everyone’s horoscope:

Now they can wear their Pisces pride around their neck! These necklaces also include their birthstone, and are available for all twelve months and zodiacs.

Available at etsy.com.

Or if they’re constantly on their phone checking their daily horoscope, consider ordering them The Astrotwins 2018 Planetary Planner.

The Astrotwins horoscopes are fun and eerily accurate, and their Planetary Planner includes over 500 pages of forecasts for your love, career, family, health and more!

Available at astrostyle.com.


For the vegan friend who’s tired of eating quinoa:

This cookbook contains fun illustrations and delicious recipes that are so easy to follow you could do it stoned! Whether your friend is newly vegan and wondering where to start, or has been vegan for a while and is looking for some new inspiration, this cookbook is bound to be a hit!

Available at amazon.ca.


For the friend that wants to clear the air (or just needs more light):

Himalayan salt lamps are known to help cleanse and deodorize the air, reduce allergies and increase energy levels. Not to mention they’re a beautiful source of light!

Available at amazon.ca.


For the friend that wants to clear their body:

Courtesy of loonkombucha.com.

If you’re looking to get your friend something to drink that isn’t wine, try picking them up a bottle of Kombucha! Kombucha is a delicious drink packed with enzymes that is great to drink when you’ve overeaten or overdrank – the perfect post-Christmas pick-me up! Loon Kombucha is sold multiple places across Ottawa, and comes in many delicious flavours including, my personal favourite, Blue Pomegranate.

Available at loonkombucha.com.


A conventional girl on an unconventional blog, Sophie’s been curious about alternate lifestyles since she first stumbled across an episode of Oprah exploring polygamy. A second year Professional Writing student at Algonquin College, Sophie loves reading, writing, and learning about different people and cultures.

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Sophie Gervais

A conventional girl on an unconventional blog, Sophie’s been curious about alternate lifestyles since she first stumbled across an episode of Oprah exploring polygamy. A second-year Professional Writing student at Algonquin College, Sophie loves reading, writing, and learning about different people and cultures.

What Vegans Want You to Know

There are more and more vegans popping up every day, and still, there is tension between many vegans and their meat-eating counterparts.

Photo courtesy: Hannah Busing, Unsplash

I’ve been vegan for almost one year now, and I’ve had my fair share of backlash. I’ll start by saying that my transition to a vegan lifestyle has been nothing but beneficial for me. Finally, I’m able to live a life that aligns with my values and beliefs, and best of all, it has made me a much healthier person. This is why I wonder why so many people (friends, family, even strangers) seem to have a problem with my lifestyle.

Don’t worry—this post isn't an attempt at converting you. I’ll keep the ‘preachy’ vibes to a minimum, and you can eat your steak in peace. This is simply a friendly how-to on treating your vegan neighbours in a respectful, non-confrontational manner. This way, you’ll avoid insulting your friends. You’ll keep the peace and everyone can move on, living their lives the way they see fit.

Here are the top things I wish non-vegans knew:

1. Yes, I’m getting enough protein. Please ignore the myth that meat is the best (or only) way to get protein. There are countless, good sources of protein out there. A lot of those sources actually contain more protein per gram than meat. Have faith that your vegan friend knows where to get some protein.

Furthermore... my diet is my concern, not yours. I don’t ask you if you’re getting enough Vitamin C, and I surely don’t interrogate you about your diet once I find out you eat meat. I’m not saying that some vegans don’t criticize meat-eaters for their choices... however, most of us keep quiet, unless we’re feeling scrutinized. As long as I’m healthy, and I’m getting all the nutrients I need, why say anything at all?

2. Don’t rain on my parade (please). I feel proud to be vegan, and you shouldn’t try to squash that pride. If a smoker quit smoking cigarettes, you wouldn’t make them feel bad for not smoking anymore. If someone’s making a decision to be more healthy or to improve their lives, what’s the problem? If you can’t be supportive, you should probably stay out of it.

3. Don’t try to spark a debate. Trust me... this is something that happens way too often. It ruins friendships and everybody loses. Please — just don’t do it. The majority of vegans have done at least some basic research on the matter. We keep an arsenal of information on veganism and the meat/dairy industry. Don’t force us to use that arsenal.

4. If I eat something that isn’t vegan, don’t criticize me. Like someone trying to save money and stay on a strict budget, I do slip up from time to time... but I live by vegan principles about 99% of the time. Again, it’s my life. We can’t all be perfect 100% of the time.

5. Don’t engage negatively in social media posts. Unless I’m directly insulting you, don’t post rude comments on my social media. Veganism is a big part of my life. If I see a post that strongly resonates with me, I might share that post (just as you might share a motivational picture or a video featuring cute kittens). Perhaps I want to inspire or inform people — what’s so awful about that? My intents are never malicious; however, certain people still feel the need to drop a negativity bomb... and who does that benefit?

Vegans aren't out to get you, but we're allowed to discuss our views and opinions just like you're allowed to voice yours. Food is a big part of our lives as human beings — the subject inevitably rises in conversation from time to time. In these conversations, you'll likely detect a vegan or two. It might do you best to keep an open mind. No matter what, please, treat them as you would any other person. We all deserve a little kindness and respect.

Photo courtesy: Toa Heftiba, Unsplash


Natalie is a self-proclaimed hippie who loves Earth, animals, and sometimes, people. She hopes to inspire others to live in a more kind-hearted, environmentally-conscious way, while making their lives less materialistic and more meaningful.

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Natalie Cousineau

Natalie is a self-proclaimed hippie who loves Earth, animals, and sometimes, people. She hopes to inspire others to live in a more kind-hearted, environmentally-conscious way, while making their lives less materialistic and more meaningful.

Ethics and Ink: How far are you willing to go?

When I sat down to think about what I would get for a first tattoo, I had a list of no-no’s and no-go’s. A list of places that I would never get covered, and styles that I would stay away from. This list included, but was not limited to:

- Nothing on my face, skull, neck, hands.
- No quotes of any kind.

- No small tattoos. Go big or go home.

If you have tattoos, or are considering getting any, you might have a similar list. But some of the restrictions we put on our ink and on others are a bit ridiculous. As tattoos become more and more mainstream, I’ve started to wonder if the ethics of style and placement have wiggle-room.

The obvious reasons against visible or controversial tattoos are issues with job employment, future relationship prospects, and faster aging. This thing is going to be on you for life, and it’s going to look different in ten, twenty years. But is there a way to get a tattoo on your face and still be employable? Still relationship-worthy?

Technically, a face tattoo doesn’t have to be loud and proud. All tattoos fade over time, and some areas fade faster than others, but if you don’t mind that, you can get a semicolon behind your ear and cover it with hair. You can get a small bit of ink on the inside of one of your fingers if it means a lot to you.

Or, if you already have long-term employment in an industry that doesn’t care about body modification, go wild. Have fun with it. It’s hard for me to judge someone getting a giant bat tattooed on the side of their head if they’re living a stable lifestyle and they understand the implications involved.

And then there are styles like blackwork.

I’m not sure how many people would stand with me, but I’ve considered getting both of my legs covered in solid black later in life with designs on top and bottom. Maybe that hurts my chances of finding a partner in the future, but I’m sure I’ll be okay. In terms of employment, leg tattoos can be covered completely in three or four seasons depending on where you live.

The problem? Well, for me, there isn’t any.

This stuff is going to change from person to person. You may be looking at some adventurous ink that I wouldn’t personally consider, but if it works for you and your body, and your lifestyle, more power to you.

Photo courtesy of Larm Rmah on Unsplash

Photo COURTESY OF Jake Davies on Unsplash


Colin Baines is a sloth masquerading as a human being in Algonquin College's two-year professional writing program. He eats a lot of vegetables, tries not to swear during class, doesn't own a phone and will often write articles loosely based on minimalism, nature, fitness, film, art, music, etc.

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Colin Baines

Colin Baines is a sloth masquerading as a human being in Algonquin College's two-year professional writing program. He eats a lot of vegetables, tries not to swear during class, doesn't own a phone and will often write articles loosely based on minimalism, nature, fitness, film, art, music, etc.

Is Polyamory Right For You?

A community growing in visibility and popularity, polyamory is quickly becoming the new normal. As society becomes more open to non-traditional relationships, those who struggle with monogamy have a chance to thrive by finding love in many places.

Polyamory is essentially the opposite of monogamy. A polyamorous person can have multiple relationships with different people at the same time, with various degrees of commitment to each. In a polyamorous relationship, all parties involved know and support their partner in having multiple partners, and might have multiple partners themselves.

Polyamorous relationships can have many variations – they might be a throuple (a relationship where all three people are equally committed to one another), they might have a primary partner who they’re most devoted to and secondary partners, or they could have multiple relationships with equal status through all of them.

Interested? Here are three signs that polyamory might be right for you:

photo courtesy of pexels.com

You enjoy being a part of a community

If you’re the type of person that enjoys having many people in your life, then you might enjoy having multiple romantic relationships as well. The more partners you have, the more variety and support you gain, each with different skills to offer.

You have strong communication skills

Ask any polyamorous person how they make their relationships work and they'll likely say the same thing – communication. Communication is critical in a monogamous relationship, so you can imagine that the more people you add to the relationship, the more important it becomes. Polyamorous couples have to be honest with their partners because they’re sharing their time with other people, who all have their own thoughts and feelings that need to be considered.

You can work through feelings of jealousy

Some people believe that polyamorous people are somehow more evolved and never feel jealousy, but the reality is they’re simply better at recognising it for what it really is – insecurity. You might feel jealousy at some point in all aspects of life, professionally, academically, and, yes, romantically. But you can work through these insecurities and overcome them, and romantic jealousy is no different.

photo courtesy of Mayar gala on unsplash.com

Ultimately, the biggest sign that polyamory is right for you is simply that you’re interested in trying it out. More people than ever are engaging in non-traditional relationships, and are happier personally and romantically for it.

And hey, you’re pretty great right? Why not give more people the opportunity to love you.

For more information, check out:

Blog about polyamory - https://www.morethantwo.com/


A conventional girl on an unconventional blog, Sophie’s been curious about alternative lifestyles since she first stumbled across an episode of Oprah exploring polygamy. A second-year Professional Writing student at Algonquin College, Sophie loves reading, writing, and learning about different people and cultures.

 

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Sophie Gervais

A conventional girl on an unconventional blog, Sophie’s been curious about alternate lifestyles since she first stumbled across an episode of Oprah exploring polygamy. A second-year Professional Writing student at Algonquin College, Sophie loves reading, writing, and learning about different people and cultures.

5 Steps to a Minimalist Wardrobe

Most of us have way more clothes than we think.

We hoard clothes.

We keep clothes ‘just in case’, and they pay tax by taking up space in our closets, our wardrobes and our lives. Take some advice from an aspiring minimalist: eliminate the excess.

Photo Courtesy OF Shanna Camilleri ON Unsplash.COM

You might ask yourself, “What if I need this dress for a specific occasion?” or “What if I lose weight and this pair of jeans fits me again?” Do yourself a favour: get rid of that pink sequin dress you haven’t worn in three years. Donate those jeans that may or may not fit you again. If your size or style ever changes, you can always find great things at a thrift store.

If you’re worried you’ll lose your style by getting rid of your clothing, worry not -- downsizing can actually help your style emerge by forcing you to keep only the items that you like best and that make you look best.

If you’re ready to make a change, whether it be to transition from materialism to minimalism, to be more organized, to figure out your style, or just to make some space in your closet, follow these simple steps and you’ll be on your way to a more condensed and effective wardrobe:

  1. Keep only five or less of each item type (five t-shirts, five sweaters, three skirts, etc.).

  2. If something doesn’t fit well or isn’t comfortable to wear, get rid of it.

  3. If you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it.

  4. If you’re unsure about something, try it on!

  5. Having trouble? Invite a friend over for a second opinion.
     

You can make this fun. Invite someone over, crack open a bottle of wine or a few beers and bring out some snacks. Make a day out of it! A friend can provide support if you’re struggling.

If you’re doing it on your own, that’s fine too. I believe in you. Be ruthless. Ask yourself, “Could I wear this every day?”. If the answer is “no”, you might want to rethink whether that clothing item is something you truly need. The only exception would be if you live in a place like Canada and have winter- or summer-exclusive items. Tailor this exercise to fit your needs (and climate).

This might not be a ‘one size fits all’ solution, but it’s ‘one size fits most’ at best.

Photo courtesy OF Alexandra Gorn ON unsplash.COM


Natalie Cousineau is a self-proclaimed hippie who loves Earth, animals, and sometimes, people. She hopes to inspire others to live in a more kind-hearted, environmentally-conscious way, while making their lives less materialistic and more meaningful.

Hypnosis: Fake Party Trick or Powerful Alternative Medicine?

Take a deep breath and relax your body.

You're feeling sleepy; very sleepy.
When I count to three, you’ll learn about hypnosis and its benefits.

One...
Two...
Three.

What the heck is it?

Have you ever been mowing the lawn or washing the dishes, completely unaware of your surroundings, only to look up fifteen minutes later with no memory of what happened?

Congratulations, you’ve experienced hypnosis.

Photo courtesy of unsplash.com

Similar to the effects of meditation, hypnotic states block out external stimuli and conscious thought and focus on the subconscious. While in this trance, subjects are extremely suggestible, relaxed, uninhibited and imaginative. Hypnotists (people who hypnotize subjects for a living, typically as a comedic act) can take advantage of this suggestible and uninhibited state, which is why even shy adults will do the funky-chicken on stage in front of their colleagues. However, in order for hypnosis to work, the subject must be fully willing to be hypnotized. Subjects are aware that the feelings and sensations they’re experiencing are imaginary and have the ability to resist the hypnotist's suggestions if they want to.

Photo courtesy of unsplash.com

How can we use this power for good?

Hypnosis has been around for centuries, but scientists didn’t begin studying its potential as a treatment until the 1700s. Today, hypnotherapy is considered a legitimate way to to treat all kinds of things, such as: mental illness, bad habits or physical pain.

Hypnotherapy uses a hypnotic trance to treat underlying psychological issues that are trapped in the subconscious. Much like traditional therapy, it gets to the unconscious issue that informs a person’s negative habits, and attempts to treat that issue directly.

The benefit of hypnotherapy is that while their patients are in a hypnotic trance, the hypnotherapist can replace these negative beliefs or issues with positive ones, so the patient's entire subconscious is altered. Hypnotherapy has been used to treat anxiety, depression and addiction, and it has also helped people with physical problems like quitting smoking and losing weight. Some people have even said it has positive effects for childbirth by helping the delivery and recovery time go faster and making the mother feel more calm and confident.

Unfortunately, scientists don’t know exactly how hypnosis works in the same way we don’t know exactly how the human mind works. All we know for sure is hypnosis can be far more powerful than a cool party trick.

Now, when I count to one you will like and share this post with your friends.

Three…
Two…

One.

For more information, check out the links below:

What It's Really Like to Have a Hypnobirth

The Science of Hypnosis

Photo courtesy of avi_acl


A conventional girl on an unconventional blog, Sophie’s been curious about alternate lifestyles since she first stumbled across an episode of Oprah exploring polygamy. A second year Professional Writing student at Algonquin College, Sophie loves reading, writing, and learning about different people and cultures.

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Sophie Gervais

A conventional girl on an unconventional blog, Sophie’s been curious about alternate lifestyles since she first stumbled across an episode of Oprah exploring polygamy. A second-year Professional Writing student at Algonquin College, Sophie loves reading, writing, and learning about different people and cultures.

What does minimalism even mean?

If you look through forums about minimalism, one thing you'll often see in the comment section is people arguing about what the definition of minimalism should be. There’ll be a discussion about a song, a book cover, a piece of modern art and someone’ll say it:

  • “This isn’t minimalism.”
  • “Dude, you couldn’t even clean your place before taking the photo? What's with all the shit?
  • “I don’t understand the appeal of minimalism these days. We’re supposed to get rid of all our stuff and live in a cardboard box now?”

And so, the argument begins.

Photo courtesy of stocksnap.io

On one hand, you have the die-hards. They live in their car or their van, they don’t have the latest iPhone. They bus to work or they don’t work at all. When they come to visit you for the week, their entire existence fits in a backpack or a duffel bag, and when you hand them a blanket, they don’t use it. They sleep under the stars.

And then there are the ‘casual’ fans of minimalism. They might like the idea of an art style based on solid colours, bold lines and efficient use of space, but their room is a mess. People tell them their basement is full of ‘junk’. What we have is a modern-day hippie crisis on our hands. There’s a civil war between people that like different flavours of the same philosophy and nobody’s wrong.

Photo COURTESY OF Gabriel Beaudry on Unsplash.COM

Here’s a case study: one of these individuals makes a Reddit post. It’s a view of their bedroom, and the only items in the room are their bed, their computer desk, laptop, mouse, keyboard and a few other items. We'll say figurines. The floors are spotless.

To some, the figurines are the make or break. They’ll say: “If this was my room, I’d get rid of them. It’s an expensive hobby and I want the shelf space for something else.”

This is where you have to make a decision. Minimalism is more than a dictionary definition. It’s about asking yourself the right questions. Can I save a few bucks if I buy in bulk? If I move some stuff around in my dad’s garage, will he have more space for his tools? My room isn’t very friendly or inviting, and it’s not a great study spot. Can I change that somehow?

Personally, I’d get rid of the figurines. They’re not me. I’d probably put some books on the shelf, and if you disagree with that – if you disagree with both – that’s totally fine.

Do what’s best for you.

And remember, it’s called minimalism for a reason. Don’t sweat it so much.


Colin Baines is a sloth masquerading as a human being in Algonquin College's two-year professional writing program. He eats a lot of vegetables, tries not to swear during class, doesn't own a phone and will often write articles loosely based on minimalism, nature, fitness, film, art, music, etc.

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Colin Baines

Colin Baines is a sloth masquerading as a human being in Algonquin College's two-year professional writing program. He eats a lot of vegetables, tries not to swear during class, doesn't own a phone and will often write articles loosely based on minimalism, nature, fitness, film, art, music, etc.