As we grow older we learn new things either about ourselves, the world or life itself. It is impossible to go a life without learning. Learning is everywhere. The lessons we learn can be big, life changing, small or lifesaving but some lessons can also be; 'okay, cool, next'. And what you learned years ago may not be exactly the way you thought they were. Yesterday was my 22nd birthday and therefore I bring you some new lessons from the past year to keep the series going. Watch part one and part two here. 

1. I have learned that life is too short to stay in this shell of mine. 

2. I have learned that all we have is the present moment. During this new year I have been more aware of the present moment. Slowing down and enjoying the moment is one of the biggest changes one can do

3. I have learned that I do not need to see myself from the perspective of others and uphold an illusion of who I should be for other people.

4. I have learned to be able to let go and open up my heart space instead of constantly closing it off which is something we are taught to do since we were kids.

5. I have learned that I like not shaving. I do not mind my growing body hair at all though I do still get self conscious about them which I would love to work on getting more comfortable about in the next year to come.

6. I have learned that letting go of perfection is liberating and I have started enjoying what I create, what I do and who I am so much more.

7. I have learned that social media is not just the devil but it also has amazing qualities as well. I have connected with some amazing people I would not have met if it wasn't for social media.

8. I have learned that online friends are just as valuable as 'regular' friends.

9. I have learned that a menstrual cup is absolutely amazing and my preferred period products

10. I have learned that I don't mind reading books on my phone. I absolutely love a physical copy of a book, turning the pages and the feel of the paper so I was hesitant to try eBooks. But I didn't hate it, in fact, I actually really liked it.

11. I have learned that I absolutely love the new music from Aly & AJ. I am currently loving their new EP 'Sanctuary' and especially the song Star Maps.

12. I have learned to start observing my destructive patterns and getting to the root of the cause and healing them rather than covering them up.

13. I have learned that I don't have to justify or explain my choices and I do not have to feel bad about refusing something that is seen as the norm.


14. I have learned that I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity meaning that I am very sensitive to smells and chemicals whether that be flowers, perfume or smoke. It sucks sometimes but that's just the way it is.

15. I have learned that it is can actually possible to find a thirfted bed in good condition. I had been wanting a new bigger bed for a while and I really wanted to find one second hand but I have to admit, I was a bit worried. With thifting, you cannot just go into the store and find exactly what you are looking for. It can take some time, in my case it actually only took about a month and then there it was; the size I wanted, it was in super good condition and I saved a ton of money compared to buying a new bed.

16. I have learned that running away does not solve the problem. In fact, it does the exact opposite growing bigger and bigger and it just gets worse the more time goes by if not dealt with. 

17. I have learned that the uncomfortable and uncertain feelings that appear when taking a chance are totally okay. They should not prevent me from taking a chance and doing what I want to do.

18. I have learned how important it is to set boundaries and not only that but also respect other people's boundaries. 

19. I have learned that we live in a very weird world and it's pretty fucked up - but there is definitely light and that's what we need to use to light up the shadows

20. I have learned that rest is just as important than the actual work itself and allowing myself to celebrate my success. 

21. I have learned that I do not need to go about life the same way other people do when I want to go another direction. Not that their or my way is wrong. 

22. I have learned it is okay to not enjoy the things I used to enjoy and it is okay to grow apart from people, experiences or things. 

Thank you so much for reading and I hope to see you again next week! If you want to I would love to read about some of the things you have learned the past year - comment down below.

Soluuna 


I absolutely LOVE snacks and I make sure to do a lot of snacking during the day to not go down on glucose which is what fuels our brain and body. Not only are these snacks great when you are in the need of some energy but they are also amazing as treats for whenever you feel like it. They are packed with amazing benefits and you do not have to be careful of how much of it you eat.

I started questioning why I spend so much time removing something so natural. Surely if we weren't supposed to have hair on our legs, or anywhere for that matter, it would not be there in the first place? 

So why do we spend so much money, energy and time doing so? And more importantly; why did I do it? I started removing my leg hair pretty early because I had long, dark hairs and I felt ashamed. I felt like there was something wrong with me when I had hair on my legs. It was engraved in me and my mental state was literally that if I did not have smooth legs then I would not be the perfect woman - and I felt it was my mission to be exactly that. To do everything in my power to be a 'real woman'.

When helping the planet and lowering our impact there are a lot of small things we can do. Because even the smallest change can help. We do not need a small portion of people doing the low waste lifestyle perfectly, we need a lot of people doing what they can. It is not possible to live completely without waste however it is possible to lower your impact on the planet as much as possible in the given situation that we are in. And there is always something we can do.

So, let's get into some of the absolute core basics when it comes to what we can do to help the planet and lower our impact:

Are the clothes 'dirty'?
Don't throw your clothes into the wash after wearing it once when it is clean. Does it have a stain? Does it smell? If the answer to those are no then save the wash and put it back into your closet. This is something that is so common which I do not really understand; that people throw things into the wash after wearing it for a day without the clothing needing it. There is absolutely no need to wash your clothing if it is clean - wait until it is actually 'dirty' and save the planet a lot of water, energy and unsustainable detergents if you use that.

Turn off the water
This is also a really simple thing change that a lot of people tend to do; letting the water run while you brush your teeth or while you shampoo your hair and body. Especially while brushing your teeth, there is absolutely no reason to keep the water running and it is so wasteful. Turn off the water when you are not using it to save, of course, water but also money.

Turn the lights off when you leave a room
The other day I noticed that once we have had dinner and is done in the kitchen we still leave the lights on until we go to bed. Why is it we keep the lights on? It is just a habit and it is easy to enter the kitchen when it starts to get dark. But there is really not much effort in turning on the lights when we enter a room and turning them off again when we leave the room. Not only will you save energy and resources but you will also save money when it comes to the bills.

Check the thrift store first
When you find yourself needing something, instead of going straight to a store and find the item new, try to look at your local thrift store to see if they have it. There has been so many times in my transition period towards only buying second hand where I thought I would just look at the thrift store just in case they had something and I could avoid a new item and they almost always had what I needed. You can save a lot of money and a lot of resources if you just check the thrift store first. Of course you will not always find what you are looking for but it is definitely worth a try.

Bring a container for left overs
When you go out to eat and if you do not tend to finish your meal then bring your own container to carry the leftovers home instead of the styrofoam and plastic bag restaurants use for take away that is so incredibly wasteful. If you also like to drink with a straw, bring a reusable straw with you so you can save the earth from even more plastic. 

There are so many different vegan possibilities out there to replace cheese which is absolutely wonderful! One of them is this super creamy almond cream cheese that is easy to alter to your preference. This is a perfect spread to use on bread, in sandwiches or wherever you want to use it. This would also be great to place on a vegan cheese platter with bread and crackers. Instead of chives you can also add dill and other fresh herbs like thyme, basil and oregano. 

Some of you may know that I follow the Medical Medium protocol. It is not something I talk about here but it is something I want to open up and share more about because it has changed my life drastically - for the better. A thing Anthony (The man behind Medical Medium) continuously shares a lot about is celery juice and its healing powers.
As mentioned, I have been following the Medical Medium protocol for over a year now but I have only been drinking celery juice since November last year and despite the fact that it is not the most appetizing flavor in the world my body is literally craving it and the benefits are incredible and life changing!

When going into a low waste lifestyle it can be overwhelming coming from a 'standard' lifestyle of waste. Where should one start? Plastic and other waste sources are everywhere and once you start diving into the alternatives and swaps you can make, it is understandable of you to look at all the things and think 'nope, that's too much' and back out. But you do not have to be all in and aim to be 100 per cent 'zero waste' (which is impossible) for you to make a positive change. No matter what your situation is there is almost always something you can do to help the planet.

Today, there are so many incredible and educational videos out there about the topic of veganism with so many reasons why to go vegan. That is one thing I love about the internet; how we are able to share. If it was not for the internet I don't think that I would be vegan today. I know that I can't say for sure but what led me to veganism was hearing the word (learn more about my journey to veganism here) and researching what exactly it was on the internet which led me to the first speech I will talk about below. 

I try my best to be in the moment and observe instead of going into the ego and fear based mind-set where anxiety and worries are created. But sometimes I do find myself in situations where I feel uncomfortable, anxious or worried, I am after all, still learning. By letting go of the ego with the negative patterns, my anxiety and overall worries have started to decrease both in times that they occur and how strong they are. But for the times when I still feel something destructive I have a couple of ways to calm myself and to return to the power of now, to the silence and to myself:

Whenever you are anxious, stressed or worried you are not grounded. Check out my post where I share how I get grounded.

1. Breathing, in and out:
This sounds incredibly simple and probably an advice you find everywhere when you look for calming things to do but it works. When you find yourself in a stressful situation have you ever noticed how it affects your breathing? Whenever I am stressed I actually hold my breath. And that does nothing to help the situation because my body needs air. This is definitely the first thing to do once you find yourself in an anxious situation. Breathe.

2. Observe
This is a simple thing you can do if you feel anxious, worried or nervous. I did this before my exam one year and it really helped. The thing you do is to just observe. Look around you and start saying what you see, say nothing other than the object and/or their color. "I see a tree, it is green and brown. I see a house, it is yellow. I see a lamp, I see a chair" Keep observing what you see and state it out loud (or whisper if there are other people near you). This will take your mind out of the destructive pattern and thoughts of getting yourself more and more anxious/worried/nervous and into the moment and yourself.

3. Tapping
An incredible woman once told me as we were talking about my anxiety that I could tap on the outside of my hand which sends calming signals to the rest of my body. And it works, it instantly relaxes my shoulders and sends a calming sensation through my stomach. Tap on both sides, once after the other for a couple of minutes and feel the relief.
This is a good one when I am out with other people, in a public setting but I also love using it when I am about to go to sleep laying in my bed because it calms me down. This tips has also helped me in exam situations where I get overwhelmed. See the picture above for where to tap.

4. Meditation
Meditation is nothing other than bringing your awareness to the present. When you are anxious, worried or scared you are the exact opposite of present. When my mind starts to spin and I feel like it is impossible to get out of the downward going spiral I close my eyes and bring my awareness to the present. Focus on my stomach going in an out and how every single cell in my body is vibrating with life. Meditation takes me out of my mind and into the Being. I use meditation to prevent stress and anxiety and in situations where I feel the spiral starting.

5. (Instrumental) Music
Whenever stress or anxiety takes over it means that the mind, your inner roommate, is in control. The thoughts roll and they seem impossible to let go of. If you find it hard to focus on your breathing, try listening to calming music. I can really recommend Enya who makes the most amazingly calming music where she sings. You can also find incredible instrumental music - there are tons of it on youtube. Focus on the music and it will bring you out of the spinning mind.  To make it even stronger take the music with you on a walk in nature to really get grounded. 

These are the things helping me whenever I feel overwhelmed by pressure, anxiety or worry. I do not only do these things whenever I feel overwhelmed but I also like to practice these tips in my everyday life to prevent the mind from taking over. Thank you so much for reading and let me know what calms you in the comments below.

I have always used pads but they were not my preferred products for my periods. I was way more into tampons and found them so much easier to use and I liked the feeling of them better but I was not comfortable using them because of TSS (which I know is very rare but I was constantly worried - and that's not a healthy state of mind to be in) and the more I learned about them in terms of bleach and other toxins the more I used them less and less - and now, not at all. Pads were okay but had more problems than they did positive qualities. I hated the feeling they gave, like wearing a diaper, I hated how they always made me itch and (TMI alert) whenever I could feel the blood pouring out.

I was looking for an alternative to disposable period products and I already knew of the menstrual cup but then I also discovered the reusable pads. I was super intrigued and the fact that I could find them with organic cotton just made them even better. I ordered a pack of three to try and I wanted to find out the pros and cons of the disposable pads vs. the reusable pads.


THE COST OF DISPOSABLE PADS VS. REUSABLE PADS:
On an average women use 3600 pads or tampons on a ten year period (lol) and a woman menstruates during an average of 40 years which means that she roughly uses 14.000 pads or tampons in her life - that is crazy!! All that money and resources! Let's look more into the money aspect of disposable pads vs. reusable pads:

I use an average of 12-15 pads pr. period which means that:

For the disposable pads I used:
  • A pack of 12 normal pads costing 20 kr.
  • 3 pads from a 10 pack night pads costing 40 kr. which means that the 3 pads cost 12 kr.

This means that for one period I spend 32 kr. and for a year that means I spend 384 kr.

If I were to continue to use disposable pads that would cost me 3840 kr. for ten years.

For the reusable pads I use:
  • 4 packs of three normal flow reusable pads (12 pads in total) costing me 99 kr.
  • 2 packs of three night/heavy flow pads (6 pads in total) costing me 129 kr.

This means that for a one time purchase or a purchase every 10 years (some say they last more if you take good care of them) I spend 654 kr.

Note: with the duration of the reusable pads it depends on the rotation and how many you use. Having enough pads for an entire period rather than having less and needing to wash and use them again during your period gives them a longer duration period. 

The difference:
This means that for a ten year period I would spend 3840 kr. on disposable pads and 654 kr. on reusable pads. That means a difference of 3186 kr. every ten years - that is a lot! And I am not even sure you need to change the reusable pads every ten years or at all if you take good care of them.


THE PROS AND CONS OF DISPOSBLE VS. REUSABLE PADS:
Not only is there a price difference with the disposable and reusable pads but there are also pros and cons for both.

The disposable pads:
Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to dispose of (for you - not the environment however. A sanitary pad takes around 500-800 years for the planet to decompose, that's even if all the plastic is gone because plastic does not break down it breaks up into smaller plastic turning into toxic micro plastic)

Cons
  • Cost a lot of money in the long run because you have to keep buying them
  • Filled with plastic hurting the environment (in 1 disposable pad there is as much plastic as in 4 plastic bags!)
  • Filled with toxins and chemicals, like GMO, bleach, plastic and other nasty stuff you do not want near one of the most sensitive areas on your body and not to say inside you if you use regular tampons
  • Incredibly itchy
  • You need a place to dispose of them (you can be in bathrooms where there is no place to dispose of pads and tampons - therefore I always had a plastic bag with me in my period bag and I have been in the need of it a handful of times)
  • Some people find the fact that they are noisy to open a con. I myself have been in a public bathroom and slowly opened a pad many, many times - but why this is something to be embarrassed about, I don't know
  • The area is not able to breathe because of the material and the plastic not being breathable
  • They can start to smell when wearing them for a while

The reusable pads:
Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Sustainable, good for the environment
  • Reusable which means you save money in the long run
  • They are not itchy to wear like I have experienced with the disposable pads. I like the feel way more because it is fabric and not plastic and paper
  • When you buy them with organic cotton you do not get GMO filled fabric and other toxins
  • There are no noises like with the disposable packaging
  • Fabric has a better soaking effect that plastic/paper
  • I did not experience a smell when using these even though I wore one pad for a whole day and night

Cons
  • They can be effort filled, not as easy to 'deal' with as disposable pads (again for you, not the environment) because, well, you don't just throw them out
  • Can be time consuming to clean for some people (which I did not really find them to be, it was a nice break from to do something good for myself and the environment)
  • You have to carry a (wet) bag with you to store the used pads when you are out
  • You do have some water waste when you need to wash them

Conclusion:
I would definitely prefer to take the effort to get a hold of reusable pads and get the hang of how to use and clean them - which is not that hard and it does not take a ton of effort. It may take a few periods to get used to but the cons of reusable pads vs. the cons of disposable pads are definitely worth it in my opinion! And there are so many amazing pros of reusable pads than the two not that huge pros of disposable pads.

How to use reusable pads:
Before using them, give them a quick wash in the machine - the instructions for my pads said to wash them at 40 degrees C and then hang them out to dry so that's what I did. Follow the instructions for your pads. 

When it was time to use them I just pop one on to my underwear and then that is it. If you are on the go and you use the pads have a bag with you with some pads you can change with but also have a wet bag for pads that have been used. Then when you get home you can place the used pads  in some water and rinse them afterwards.

When you are done with a pad rinse them in cold water to get the excess blood out (if you are on the go, place them in your wet bag and do this when you get home). If you do not want to wash them individually after use which I would not recommend because of the water waste, soak the used pads in cold water in a bucket until your period is done and you need to wash all of them - do not soak the pads for more than 2 days in the same water. 

Wash all of them in the machine without bleach or fabric softener at the end after your period has ended. Let them dry and they are ready for the next period. You can wash them with the rest of your underwear if you want to.

These are the pros and the cons of disposable vs. reusable pads and I hope it can help you towards a more sustainable period. It has been so much fun creating this post and I cannot wait to share more period posts in the future - they are definitely coming.

It is crazy how I now crave the foods I used to despise. When you find yourself liking, sometimes even loving, foods you used to hate and would avoid at all cost it is like a whole new world has opened up with new possibilities. But as I mentioned in the first post about foods I started loving after going vegan my taste and what I crave have changed drastically and since I made that post I have noticed even more foods I used to hate that I now really like so here is a second round of foods I started to love after going vegan:

Peas: I have always hated peas and I have pretty much managed to avoid them my whole life so that's definitely great. Then I do not know what happened, one day I just wanted peas so I ate them and I didn't hate them. Far from actually. Now one of the best things I can think of is fritters with peas and this fresh pea salad we made in the summer. Peas, fresh or thawed, the best thing ever!

Tip: I love putting them in my veggie fritters and I especially love them in my curry veggie cauliflower rice.

Cinnamon: I am going to repeat this sentence a lot but I used to hate cinnamon. Everything that had cinnamon, apart from cinnamon rolls which I absolutely loved, were no where near my plate and whenever my mother would sneak it into something, I would taste it right away. Now, I literally cannot get enough! If we make baked apples or cakes with cinnamon the cinnamon is not missing.

Tip: Cut an apple (or more) into wedges, place the slices in a bowl, mix in a tablespoon or two of maple syrup and the desired amount of cinnamon (I like 1-2 tsp). Place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper place them in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius for a delicious snack.

Mangos: before I went vegan I tasted mangos once and I did not like it. I don't know if it was a bad mango or what but then I gave it another go about a year ago and I love it! I love how it is sweet but still has that sour feeling which make it a perfect ingredient for dressings, smoothie or smoothie bowls. I drink a smoothie with frozen mangos, strawberries and water a lot during summer - it is the best! Definitely grateful for giving it a go one more time.

Tip: cut off the sides of the mango and use a glass - a wine glass works best - to scoop out the mango fruit.

Pineapple: one of the foods I despised the most was pineapple. I absolutely hated the yellow fruit and I would taste it even if it was just a small ingredient in the product - you could not hide it from me. I have stayed away from pineapples my entire life but a few weeks ago I was curious to see if anything had changed. To my surprise I didn't hate it. It was actually okay and I am looking forward to playing with them in smoothies and smoothie bowls.

Tip: save the core of the pineapple and add it to smoothies.

Parsley: as with all of the foods above and with the foods from the precious post, parsley has never been my favorite but since going more green I have really grown to love it. It is incredible in my mother's homemade hummus and in tomato soup it is also super good - you can find the recipes in my eBook.

Tip: smoothies are an easy way to pack in nutrients and goodies for your body so I love adding parsley to my smoothies - and not I actually throw in a lot because now I love the taste.

Coriander: is something I have always hated as much, if not more than pineapple. Like many of the foods above I could taste it in everything it was in and I have always gone to great lengths to avoid the green food. 

Tip: again, as above, smoothies are a great way to add extra nutrients for your body and I love the combination of parsley and coriander.

These are more foods I used to despise but my body decided not to hate - all during the time I have been vegan so yeah, your body does in fact change a lot during a plant based diet and this is just one of them. Thank you for reading and I hope to see you again soon!


Soluuna 




I try my absolute best to take care of myself and my mental health, to be in the moment and let go of destructive feelings and thoughts. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the fast pace of the current way we live that I need to rewind and get back to my roots. My grounded roots. Sometimes I need to do an activity that breaks a destructive pattern or thought to ground myself instead of flying high. Because this is exactly what I use these activities for; to ground myself and to be nowhere but in the moment.

There are so many different ways to live a more mindful life. There are so many ways that trying to do them all would be way too much and close to impossible. Choose a few, if not only one, to start with to see what works for you and what brings you just what you need. You do not have to incorporate all of these into your life, these are just suggestions that have make my life more mindful and helped me in the busy state of mind we tend to live in. And again, it is most effective to start with one habit at a time to not overwhelm you. Let's get into the suggestions:

1. Stretch in the morning
Lightly stretch your neck, your back, basically just stretch your entire body once you wake up. This has improved my day to day life a lot because I feel more relaxed in my body once I have stretched. You can do this in bed or you can get on a mat on the floor (which is easier if you do not have a large bed). Here are some of the poses I like to do - hold the poses for 3-5 breaths:
- Bound angle pose
- Supine twist
- Knees to chest pose
- Knee-to-head forward bend
- Cat/cow pose

2. Eat with no distractions
I have talked about this before but eating while watching youtube or a series is something I have been doing a lot and it is something I like. But I always find my mental state being worse than when I just eat with no distractions. It may sound weird - I myself though 'how can that have an impact?'- that a thing like that would have an effect mentally but my head is so much more clear when I eat and do nothing else. Breaking that habit, of not doing anything else but eating, was and is still very hard but I started by doing one meal a day and then worked my way up. Now, all but one meal is enjoyed with no distractions. And the meal I eat with youtube or a series is also enjoyed.

3. 5 min. 'meditation'/silence
To take 5 minutes in the morning after waking up, close my eyes and focus on my breathing is absolutely incredible and I am able to bring the calm, balanced and freeing state into my morning routine and the rest of the day. It brings me to the present moment, improves my well being and I am able to let go of stress, fear and pressure. I either lay in my bed, sit in my soft chair or on the floor on a yoga mat, close my eyes and focus on my stomach going in and out. Nothing more to it but so incredibly giving!

 4. Read (out loud)
Reading is something that has always helped my mental state. It is calming, relaxing and I improve my sleep in the periods where I read. In periods where I don't read I find myself having trouble with falling asleep. Reading is definitely something to incorporate into your life. If you need some inspiration as to what to read then click here for some books that have changed my life. And to make it even more effective read out loud because it has such a meditative effect. It does not have to be all the time, it can simply be a paragraph or a chapter you read out loud.

5. Prioritize
Before you start your day or if you prefer to plan one week ahead ask yourself what matters to you. What will help improve your life? Is there something you have been putting off for a long time? Make a plan of the things you want to do and if the list is long; prioritize. What is most important to do in terms of when it has to be done and what is the most important in terms of what matters to you? Prioritize what you want to do today or the following week in order to stay on top of things. This will also help you identify what things that does not really matter to you.

These are 5 habits to incorporate into your life, or at least just one of them. Thank you so much for reading and if you have any mindful habits you find to better your life then leave them down below.  And on an ending note I just want to say that with starting new habits, or doing anything really, you need to do it because you want to do them. Not because you are supposed to. Not because you have to. But because you want to do so. If you have a hard time figuring out why you do certain things, sit down and figure out the why. Why is this important to you? Why do you want to do this? Instead of needing to do so, choose to do so.

Soluuna