Don't Be Chi

Easy Paleo Recipes Anyone Can Make

Lately I’ve been experimenting with the paleo diet. I do a slightly modified paleo where I enjoy certain non-paleo compliant foods, as long as they’re gluten free.

Here are my favorite paleo compliant (and some not so compliant, but whatever!) recipes that take less than 20 minute prep time. Enjoy!

Paleo Salad Dressing (French & American versions)

Chunky Paleo Guacamole

Stuffed Peppers (100% paleo stuffing)

Paleo Beef Stew (Crock Pot Recipe)

The Perfect Meatball

Paleo-Compliant Pancakes

Pork Shoulder – Slow Cooked Crock Pot Recipe

Paleo Chipotle Dipping Sauce

Granola (Grain Free)

Brownies (Not strictly Paleo, But Gluten-Free)

Graham Crackers (Gluten Free, just for an occasional treat)

Dealing with your Pet Allergies

So you see that adorable cat in the store, or maybe you’ve already brought him (or her) home. Maybe it’s a dog that reminds you of the one you grew up with a couple of cats that you simply can’t go home without. Everything is all good and you’re happy to have that little loyal buddy around but then the sneezing sets in. Pretty soon you’re congested and are having trouble focusing. Pet allergies make things like this difficult and being a pet owner is a very difficult task if you have pet allergies. Luckily, there are some things you can do to cope, some actions you can take that make pet allergies a little less difficult to live with.


First of all it comes down to pet choice
If you haven’t picked which pet you want just yet there are some that have thinner hair, less hair, dogs that don’t shed, or just have less allergens. It’s important to check the breeds you’re interested in out first and see if they fit the bill for your household’s possible allergy problems. If you can find the perfect pet it’ll make living with them much easier. If you’re beyond this step there are still things you can do. It isn’t the end of the world just yet! Below are some tips that will help you deal with pet allergies.

Make an allergy free area
There’s no reason that your pets have to go everywhere in the house and shed on everything they touch. Make a safe room and get an air cleaner in there. When the allergies kick in you’ll have a refuge and that can make things so much easier. Preferably do this in the bedroom.

Air cleaners help
Even though you’ll never be able to keep the air completely pet dander and hair free, HEPA air cleaners can make it so much easier to breathe in. Just make sure that you clean them regularly and keep the filters in check.

Clean the pets
Giving your pet a bath and making sure they have good hygiene is a great way to keep the allergens to a minimum; plus, it’s good for your pet.

There are also a wide variety of allergy treatments out there, some work better for others but see your doctor and come up with a treatment plan winch will make living with your pet so much easier.

Just because you have allergies doesn’t mean you have to give up on having pets. If you’re certain it’s the pet you’re allergic to then take the proper precautions and start making your home an easier place to live.

Studies Show Forgiveness Can Improve Longevity

Forgiveness means letting go of grudges or past wrongdoings by others against you or anyone else. Perhaps the most important lesson imparted by learning to be forgiving is the ability to relinquish things that you have no control over. Forgiveness is even one of the most important lessons taught in spiritual guides such as the Bible, but did you know that it has actual, measurable benefits to health and longevity?

For one, forgiveness has been seen to be great for the health of the heart. A study by the Journal of Behavioral Medicine has found that forgiveness is associated with lower heart rate, blood pressure and even lowered stress levels. Another similar study found that forgiveness reduced negative health effects measured across 5 criteria, and even relieved stress and improved both spirituality and conflict resolution.

The opposite of a forgiving attitude has been correlated with the opposite of the benefits listed before. Anger and grudges bleed over to other aspects of life, contaminating relationships and interactions with others. This also leads to diminished health, increased stress, and presumably increased strain on the heart and cardiovascular system.

A final study on the positive benefits of forgiveness has noted that it is correlated with a number of positive results and behaviors, including encouraging others with your own words and actions. For one, forgiveness restores positive thoughts and feelings to the forgiven party, and affects outside factors. Forgiveness has been correlated with altruistic behavior such as volunteering, donation to charity, and more. The opposite has been correlated with non-forgiving attitudes.

In conclusion, it’s a great thing to forgive. You may not be able to right every wrong with it, but can mend broken bonds and let go of things that belong in the past. Forgiveness helps you keep looking on the bright side of life, and stay in high spirits. It may even save your health.

Travel Dangers In Latin America

One of my dreams has always been to backpack through South America, but as of late it’s been just way too dangerous.  In this list of the most dangerous cities in the world in 2013 (source:, 8 out of the 10 countries are in South America. Read the rest of this entry »

Depressed From Drinking – Is It Time To Stop?

Ahhh…alcohol.  No matter how much I love you the night before, you always betray me the day after.

On some nights I can binge drink without mercy and I’ll be fine the next morning, save for a  bit of nausea.  Lately though, I find myself waking up with a major feeling of depression and malaise.  Sometimes, I feel anxious, like I’m back in Grade 4 and I’m being picked on because I have a boy’s lunchbox.

Sometimes the morning after drinking, I feel like I want to melt into my bed, just disappear, never to be heard from again.  Maybe its time to start limiting myself?  I’ve started to do some research on alcoholism.  Not that I’m an alcoholic (isn’t that what every alcoholic says), but oddly enough I do fit the definition.  Drink too much?  Check.  Affecting your life in a negative way?  Check.

Maybe I’m on the borderline, but I know that the next-morning depression is not normal, and its sometimes a sign of alcohol abuse.  Sigh…maybe it really is time to cut back.

How Do You Know If You’re An Alcoholic?

After doing some more research, I concluded that I’m a problem drinking, not an alcoholic. While I fit the DSM-V profile, according to most of the web quizzes I’ve taken, I’m definitely more of an abusive drinker, but not a full-blown alkie.  That means I generally function ok, but I abuse alcohol and exhibit risky drinking behaviors.  On some tests, my next-morning binge drinking seems to indicate alcoholism, but the verdict is mixed.

Anyways, I’ve been doing a lot of research on the subject, so I figure I’d share some of my findings.  Most of my research was from this site, as well as the official AA website.  The info seems pretty reliable, but if you have any other suggestions I should check out, let me know.

What I’ve Learned

One thing I’ve come to find is that you can treat problem drinking through moderation management, but when it comes to full-blown alcoholism, you pretty much need to completely abstain from drinking altogether.  Although I realize there are a lot of benefits to quitting drinking altogether, I love alcohol too much to just stop.  Since I can still classify myself as a “problem drinker” rather than a full blown alcoholic, my focus is going to be on moderating alcohol intake.

I’ve found that as long as I don’t go into a blackout when I drink, I don’t tend to get depression and anxiety the morning after.  Perhaps my anxiety is caused by the lack of control I get when I drink myself into a blackout.  Controlling that may be the key to managing my alcohol habits.

For anyone else who thinks they may be an alcoholic, or if you have someone you care about who you think has a drinking problem, here are some of the helpful resources I came across during my research:

Al Anon Meetings – For anyone who has an alcoholic family member, this is supposed to be a big help.

Confronting An Alcoholic In Denial – The title is self explanatory.  Maybe I need someone to read this article and have a heart-to-heart with me…

Quitting Drinking On Your Own – How to do it yourself without official help.  Maybe not the usual DIY project, but not everyone is good at asking for help.

That’s what I have so far.  I know there are a lot of other great resources out there, but this should be enough to get you started.  Please feel free to share any thoughts or comments below.


Living Every Moment

There’s something to be said for living in the moment. But what do people really mean when they talk about living in the moment? And perhaps even more puzzling is what exactly do you need to do to live in the moment?

It’s so easy to talk about living in the moment without actually taking action. In some ways, just talking can be dangerous – it lets you feel like you’re changing your life without actually doing anything.

For me, it just means doing what you want to do. Here’s the tricky part – letting go of all the scripts that society, your parents, your friends etc. have told you about what you “should” want to do. I mean, I want to go to Mars. That probably won’t happen anytime soon, but someone out there (like Elon Musk) has to be the one to dream big, and why shouldn’t it be you? Read the rest of this entry »

7 Cooking Tips to Save You Money

Cooking can not only a lot of fun but rewarding, especially when you get to dig into the fantastic outcome. It’s a skill you can hone but it is also one that can end up being costly if you don’t shop, and serve wisely. Read the rest of this entry »