Friday: last day of work of what usually is a long week. So - relax is key! I might squeeze an exercise class / yoga / gym session / swim before heading home but once I am home I might spend a little longer than normal cooking one of my favourite meals, and relaxing with that book I wanted to read/serie I wanted to catch up on/shiny magazine I found somewhere or perhaps reading some of my favourite blogs to get inspired about new diy ideas or some fashion / interior design.
If Miki is around, then sometimes it is nice to use Friday night as our date night, why not treat ourselves to a nice little cozy restaurant every now and then? (of course somewhere where you can find local/organic/healthy food!
Saturday: my usual morning run, followed by a sitting down breakfast when I will catch up with the newspaper and particularly the weekend section in the guardian. Then some planning for the day ahead - all will be weather dependent but some kind of outdoor activity is usually present: a long bike ride exploring or a long walk are usually the case, and they will include a stop by some local farms for some 'zero km' weekly food shop. If weather doesn't allow then maybe a relaxing swim in the pool, or some other adventure (surf or climb anyone?) and a hunt for a local market to get some sustainable food! (And why not try their samples!). Also shops are still open on Saturdays so any chores to be done will be done then..
Saturday evening I am usually pretty tired, so depending on what others are doing it may involve some socialising or maybe a film at home under the blanket - better when Miki is here (falling asleep half way through the movie optional but totally recommended xD)
Sunday: Sunday has become long run day - but this time is after breakfast! So again a relaxed wake up, breakfast and chill and after a suitable length of time is run time. By longer run I mean anything more than 5km, aiming for a min of 6 but would love to get that up to 8+ and eventually run 10 km every Sunday..
the rest of the day totally depends on mood and weather and what others are doing, but usually Sunday is my prep for the week day so it will involve some cooking for my lunches, planning for meals, some laundry, some work plans etc..
My work is once again giving me some food for thought.
As my seasoned readers should know by now, I do research on mussel beds, and one of my lines of research, in short, concerns the understanding of how do mussel beds survive and sustain themselves over the years, with healthy populations made of young and older mussels in proportion that will keep the reef healthy and productive.
Mussels have this particular way of aggregating themselves into clumps, attaching to each other with some filamentous threads made of proteins (called byssi, or byssal threads). This clump formation, also known as self-organisation, helps the mussels survive from risks of predation and dislodgement, allowing beds to persist overtime, and new recruits to attach to the bed from their planktonic stage and grow thicker shells while being protected from predators and negative environmental conditions. Of course, this behaviour does not only come with positive effects, but it does come with a compromise: a little bit of competition for food supplies! However, as beds do exist and this aggregative behaviour is displayed, it must be that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages, at least in some cases and scenarios.
Cooperative behaviours are observed throughout most of the natural world - from animals to plants, microbes, cells, genes... Both between same species and between different species.
And then you open the newspaper, and you read about bomb-threats, immigrants being sent back to war places and being negated aid, countries leaving international accords trying to get selfish deals..
Even looking at smaller scales, people are less likely to help each other in difficult situations and selfishness tends to rule many societies.
Which makes me think - as humans, have we lost all sense of our innate cooperation?
Rubenstein, D. & Kealey, J. (2010) Cooperation, Conflict, and the Evolution of Complex Animal Societies. Nature Education Knowledge 3(10):78
Bertolini, C., Geraldi, N. R., Montgomery, W. I., & O'Connor, N. E. (2017). Substratum type and conspecific density as drivers of mussel patch formation. Journal of Sea Research, 121, 24-32.
de Jager, M., Weissing, F. J., & van de Koppel, J. (2017). Why mussels stick together: spatial self-organization affects the evolution of cooperation. Evolutionary Ecology, 1-12.
Also check this site for some great mussel movement videos etc
As many of you are aware of, I moved countries last month and am now in the Netherlands!
After one month in temporary accommodation, I finally found a beautiful apartment in the centre of Bergen op zoom, a really cute and lively city...
The apartment has a beautiful view which is a very big plus, but came with pretty terrible taste furniture - and it's open plan which means that yes I have space to move things around, but also makes it harder to organise.
So how am I gonna fix the problem, and get the cozy apartment of my dreams in a sustainable way?
Vintage & antiques
Vintage shops and brocantes (antiques/old things), as well as markets are going to be my main providers. Why? A few good reasons include: a) uniqueness, b) with something little you can change the whole feeling of a room, c) quality, older stuff were made better!, d) sustainable- instead of creating new and increasing demand for more cheap things to be made, you use what is already there - much better, no??
Textiles will be my best friends. While I wish I could just paint some of the horrible stuff in black or in white to make them less horrible and more fitting, I don't think I will be allowed (saying this - I should ask nicely) so I will drape some nice fabrics where I can :)
Nothing better than some diy. A) because it gives the apartment a really personal feeling - you made it and none else has the same! B) you contribute to reducing waste, that pallet that was destined for the trash? Not in the trash! Same goes for any other items you can think of doing something with - including your plastic recycling! Pinterest is a great source of inspiration in this context... check my boards
And the last thing that really couldn't go amiss if the aim is a cozy home! Nice smell..as you might guess most commercial scented candles are a big Nono for me. Sadly, as I did see some that smelled great and even had a wick that made the sound of a crackling fire.. but scented candles are rarely made from natural materials (and I can tell you that the like of Yankee candles are definitely not! Katherine if you are reading I am thinking of you here xD). Actually many commercial candles are not even made from bees wax but from artificial waxes (originating from petrol sources) and the perfumes are also chemical! So no thanks I am going on a hunt for natural candles and in the meantime I will get a nice diffuser for my essential oils!
The Plant life cycle is something most of us should be familiar with - seed germinates, plant grows, plant flowers, pollinators move pollen between flowers, fruit is obtained - fruit contains seeds that get dispersed in various mechanisms and the cycle starts again. There are some exceptions to this and here we are talking about flowering plants but more or less in simple terms this is what happens in nature, whether you believed the chicken came before the egg or viceversa...
Seeds have the big task to germinate, and give rise to strong plants - which means seeds are full of very important nutrients.. and seeds in diets don't just belong on bird feeders but they can contribute greatly to our own diet!
I feel super lucky to have won this amazing linwoods hamper: so many ground linseed (flaxseeds) mixed with other seeds (the pumpkin and sesame is one of my favourites) or nuts (walnuts and Q10 is definitely my number one!) and also some hemp seeds (no, I won't get high on it but surely it will give me plenty of well needed proteins for my sporty lifestyle) and chia seeds which I love to add to smoothies or baking inventions! The hamper also containes some of the new linwoods snackettes which are very low in carbs and gluten free (yay!) as they are purely made of seeds and there are no grains involved- I am truly a happy woman and cannot wait to test them out!
Considering the majority of it is flaxseeds let's have a particular look at their nutrient content and benefits:
Nutrient wise in 100g they contain 27g of fibers, 18g of proteins and they contain 25% of your daily calcium, 25% of your daily b6, 30% iron and 98% magnesium! Not to mention the high omega 3 content!
So they can be a healthy addition for hearth health, and the high fiber content means you will be fuller for longer but also will help you with some bloating and constipation should you suffer from it!
Now, other seeds and nuts also have great properties and I invite you to mix and match for optimal benefits... just don't forget that they contain healthy fats but are still fats so they come with a high calories content, so enjoy them in small quantities to get maximum benefits without the caloric penalties! :)
Coffee.. as many worldwide I am part of the 'coffee-addicts': without my first morning cup I can barely make sense. But how can we coffee addict ensure that our addiction is as sustainable as possible??
First: choose fair trade
Those beans that give us so much pleasures comes from countries far away where workers can be exploited, so make sure not to contribute to their exploitation by choosing fair trade, look out for the symbol and remember that cheaper isn't always better!
Second: coffee machine
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