New Perspective

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I have a wonderful friend named Amanda, who is generous generous generous.  She has given me a new perspective…her Canon DSLR!  Good cameras are not cheap, and I am extremely grateful for this gift, and for the expert advice from my friend.

Amanda and her hubby run this business, and Amanda often creates works of literary art with her blog here.  Check it out!

Some of my newb picture-taking evidence:

above average breakfast

way-above average man

just an average gorgeous flower

Here’s to more blog posts and much better pictures!!


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I love to de-clutter…simplicity is a good friend.

For years, using an agenda for week-by-week scheduling, I have reprimanded myself: “Next time, don’t write so big, sloppily, and obnoxiously crooked!” and “Stop making weird scribbles and unnecessarily crossing things out– it is stressful to look at.”  Yet, every week my agenda turns into one incomprehensible scribble.  Just ask anyone who has ever seen it.  Um, actually, there are only a couple of people who have ever caught a glimpse because I do all that I can to prevent people from seeing such a horrific attempt at planner-usage.

The solution to my agenda mess: sticky notes!  Color-coded according to jobs, workout types (swim = blue, etc), and size-coded according to description length (larger notes = to-do lists and/or homework).  Since there aren’t enough sticky color options to have a code for every event in your life, it is perhaps best to actually write in special reminders such as birthdays, dates, meetings, etc.  The best part about stickies is that they can be switched around, say if you accidentally mis-organize your work schedule or need to change shifts.  They can also be fully removed and disposed of in case of cancellation.  Or, in my case, you can simply remove the stickies as you complete the activity.  This makes crossing off almost obsolete.  Well, apparently I still have a problem…

Gonna need a lot of stickies this year

A more-recent issue of mine has been an obsession with trying new recipes.  While this is a great way to experience new combinations of tastes, and to learn from others’ culinary creativity, it can also clutter one’s desk/mind.  In my case, the array of recipes on my “to make” list includes magazine tear-outs, emailed recipe print-outs, scribbled recipes (one which I wrote down in a locker room after a chat with a stranger about ice cream pie), penpal-written recipes from far-off lands, Pinterest links, and blog bookmarks.  It was getting a bit out-of-control and needed to be detained to one space.  So, the magnetic recipe white board was born!  Now, homemade (and other) magnets hold up food/recipe related “must try”s, while scribbles with a dry-erase marker denote “must try”s from Pinterest/bookmarks on my laptop.  Hooray for extra desk space and a clearer head.

Brice handily installed this above my desk 🙂

Perhaps you cannot relate to my all-over-the-place-ness.  But, if you do, maybe you are hoping to simplify things a bit–me too!  Clearing out clutter by organizing, streamlining, getting rid of unused items, or even making big, important decisions which cut out or adjust something in your schedule can be simultaneously scary and peace-giving.  Don’t you love a good deep breath of relief when my mind is more relieved, less cluttered, more simplified, less stressed, more at rest, more free?

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Hello everyone, Lauren here! I’m working on a new design for Britt Fuel, which explains some of the inconsistencies across the site. So while we’re under construction, feel free to browse through older posts, and check back soon for the fully updated site!

Garlic…Fact and Fiction

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Have  you heard a lot about this guy on Dr. Oz or Good Morning America?  Me too.  The trouble is, I never remember exactly why I should eat garlic.  Is it going to make me a super genius?  Or turn me into a mega athlete?  Will it keep away flies?  Or was it witches?  All I know is, something so pungent must be good for me.  Plus, it is delicious in my favorite Italian dishes.  

I recently wrote a paper on garlic and garlic supplements for a class, and here is what I found, based on a decent amount of research:

it will make your breath smelly
it may help control cholesterol levels
it may help control blood pressure
it may help reduce the risk of Cardiovascular Disease

it does not help keep vampires away (and may even attract them!)
there is insufficient evidence to support garlic’s ability to prevent cancer
there is little evidence to support garlic’s role in improving VO2max/endurance in athletes

There you have it, folks.  If you want to reap the benefits of smelly breath, delicious-tasting food, and possibly lower your risk of CVD, the NCCAM and NCI recommend having about 1 clove of garlic per day.