Cold Water Plunge

After reading the blog post from Mark’s Daily Apple about the benefits of cold water plunges, I have been toying with the idea of doing them myself.  I hadn’t done anything about it until I recently watched the documentary No Impact Man. I stumbled on a post there about how Japanese homes don’t typically have central heating, which totally blew my mind. I immediately told my husband, who didn’t believe me, even though it’s true. He believes me now because one of his friends who lives in Japan happened to post something on Facebook about it. Figures!

Anyway – one of the things that I liked about No Impact Man and that post in general is that North Americans have gotten used to being comfortable ALL THE TIME! Hot showers? Check! Soft beds? Check! Remote control everything? Check! The list goes on and on. We complain endlessly when we aren’t comfortable. But the thing is, it’s not really a natural state of things and short term discomfort, really makes us stronger and makes us appreciate our comforts.

So – that’s a really long-winded way of saying that it seemed like it was time to start trying out cold water plunges. I want to see if they benefit me in any discernable way. So, yesterday I had a semi-cold shower for one whole minute! Today I had a freezing cold shower for one minute.

From this tiny experiment I did notice that a) it woke me up really well b) I tensed up almost immediately, but then caught myself and tried to relax and [ahem] enjoy the experience, c) I really appreciated switching to the hot water shower afterwards and d) that I felt really invigorated and refreshed when the shower was over. I also have found that I it is too hard to try to jump into a cold shower – it’s a lot easier to start with a warm shower and then turn the temperature down once I’m in.

Next time, I’m going to see if I can have a semi-cold shower for a little longer and then work my way to making the water a little bit colder. I’d also like to see if I get different benefits from having the shower at a different time of day.

I like the idea of being uncomfortable sometimes. It reminds me that being uncomfortable once in a while doesn’t kill us, and that really, we can’t grow as a person if we stay in our comfort zone all the time!

 

 

Bulletproof Coffee

I’ve been trying to ween myself off of coffee. Can you believe that? I’ve known for a while that I drink too much coffee, but I was focused on dealing with other things and just ignored that particular demon until recently.

Then I read Melissa and Dallas’s coffee manifesto and I had to come to grips with the fact that a) I’d cleaned up so much of my diet already that I was short-changing myself if I didn’t look at my coffee consumption as well and b) I am such a tightly wound individual that I really don’t need to consume stimulants in mass quantities as I was doing.

This week I’ve cut down to only drinking coffee before work and then switching to water, white tea and green tea after that. It was going well. In fact, I broke my rule last night and had a cup of coffee (ok, 2 cups) after work and boy, did I feel my heart rate increase and my husband will attest to my general level of agitation. So – clearly I do not need coffee beyond the morning.

I had also read a while ago about how Katie at Wellness Mama drinks her coffee. It sounded interesting, but I didn’t really do anything about it. I’ve been forcing my kids to drink coconut oil mixed with coconut milk and a bit of raw honey lately and once in a while I would add a little coconut oil to my coffee, but it didn’t taste very good to me. Then a fellow at work mentioned the bulletproof coffee thing again and that got me thinking that I should probably try Katie’s recipe

I tried the recipe this morning (I forgot the vanilla, though and didn’t use stevia, and added vitamin D drops in). It was oddly satisfying, but not something that I could drink much of – I guess that’s the point!

I’m thinking that if I start drinking my coffee like this every day, then not only will I be doing my body good, I’ll also easily ween myself off of drinking any more coffee during the day, since I really would never want more than one cup of that concoction!