Health: Intermittent Fasting for 9 Weeks Challenge

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This post will be updated weekly through 9/6/2020.

If you know me or read my blog at all, you probably know that Jacky and I love food. Not just a little, but really loooove food, so dieting was really never going to happen for us. However, we both independently heard about intermittent fasting (IF) and the health benefits it supposedly provides whilst not restricting one’s diet in any way whatsoever.

It only required us to eat all our meals and snacks mindfully between certain hours of the day, which actually sounded doable for us. Our physician friends have confirmed that it’s perfectly healthy and normal to do, so Jacky and I decided that we would start it together after July 4th, so here we are!

We’ve been guilty of getting hungry late at night and snacking on baked goods or instant noodles or even having a full-blown meal just before bed. Often times, one of us will get peckish and start eating and then the other will follow, even if we’d resolved to not eat any more that day. We know that’s not good for us, so now that we’re both in this together hopefully we’ll be able to overcome these bad habits.

I know we’re taking on a lot of challenges at the moment (sleeping/waking early, exercising and now this), but we consider them less to be short-term challenges and more lifestyle changes that should provide long-term health benefits.

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Wellness: Wake Up Early For July Challenge

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This post will be updated daily through July 2020.

Hello hello!

We are now officially in the latter half of the year (what!) – happy July, everyone :) My Sleep By 11pm For June Challenge is now over and I’m taking my learnings from it to set myself a new challenge for July.

I didn’t manage to change my bedtime to 11pm in the end, but I did manage to sleep earlier and wake earlier than I had been doing at the start of the month and, importantly, I learned a lot from the struggles I experienced.

For July, the goal is to be able to wake up before 7:30am without the use of an alarm by the end of the month. I’m not a morning person, and I don’t have a need to be a mega-early riser (especially since my hubby is a night owl), so if I can wake up between 7 and 7:30am, I’ll be a very happy bunny.

This time I’ll be focusing less on the time I fall asleep and more on what time I wake up, because I don’t think it matters what time I fall asleep as long as I can hit my wake-target. If I’m hitting my wake-target, I reckon I’ll be so tired I’ll end up sleeping earlier anyway.

Challenge Details & Goals

Throughout July, I will be setting alarms to help myself wake up in the morning. With each passing week, I’ll be setting my alarm earlier by 30mins. The idea is to slowly re-wire my body’s sleep schedule for an overall healthier lifestyle moving forward.

The alarms I’ll be setting will be:

  • 7/2 – 7/8: 8:30am
  • 7/9 – 7/15: 8am
  • 7/16 – 7/22: 7:30am
  • 7/23 – 7/29: 7am
  • 7/30 – 7/31: No alarm

I will be tracking my sleep time (night before), my wake time (day of), hours slept and total restful sleep hrs using the same sleep tracker app as last time: SleepWatch. I will continue to note my exhaustion and headache levels to see how my sleep affects my body. I will not be tracking my weight for this challenge, but if I happen to weigh myself I’ll add it in a note somewhere.

Please check back in to see how I get on and keep me accountable. I’ll be updating this daily and will do my best.

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Read Bible With Me: Paul’s Shorter Epistles, ESV

This post will be updated until all the relevant videos have been added.

I’m aiming to upload reading through the entire Bible at some point.

My current uploading schedule is one chapter every weekday. These letters, however, are shorter and I feel they are significantly more cohesive when read in its entirety to get a better sense of the overarching message, rather than breaking them down by chapters. They’re also short enough to read in one go, so that’s what I’ve done. As such, my upload schedule will vary depending on the number of chapters in a book. Thanks for reading with me!

The full playlist is here:

Individual books are below:

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How I Protect My Eyes From Digital Eye Strain

Hi there. Do you spend a lot of time staring at a screen? Your eyes are straining, but not looking at a digital monitor is not an option? You want to protect your eyes from Computer Vision Syndrome as much as possible, especially now that we’re all quarantined at home? Then this one is for you.

It’s been over a year since I’ve taken these steps and they have been very effective for me, so I wanted to share these in case it can help you too.

I have always had 20/20 vision. However, my previous occupations required staring a laptop for 9hrs+ per day, and eventually I realised that towards the end of the day, my vision would be going blurry, my eyes would be dry and I’d have regular headaches etc. It would be okay the next day after I’d had a good night’s rest, but the same thing would happen the next evening.

I became frightened when I was driving home one day and realised that even the pedestrian countdown timer that I once saw with full clarity had become so blurry I could barely make out the numbers anymore.

I suddenly recalled the time we were purchasing a new pair of glasses for my sister in China, and the salesperson had asked if she wanted a pair that filtered out blue light from screens. That’s when it clicked that all the blue light coming through all these screens were probably doing a number on my body and my eyesight.

So I did some research, and found this pair of glasses on Amazon that supposedly filtered out 50% of harmful blue light. They were inexpensive and I figured I’d give them a try.

It’s been over a year since I started wearing them and my verdict is this: These. Are. Amazing.

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Finance: How I Saved 20-30% Of My Income Every Year

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I have been meaning to do more finance posts for some time now. Having lived in the US for almost 5yrs now, I’ve been surprised to learn about how many Americans live paycheque to paycheque, regardless of income. I’ve since realised I have a very different mindset when it comes to finances than the average American, because even when I didn’t have anything in particular to save up for, I still saved 20-30% of my income after tithing and gifting 10-15%.

As such, in the past 5yrs I have been able to:

  • Purchase a 3yr-old Honda Civic and paid it off in full within a year.
  • Accumulate enough savings to live without working for a year.
  • With my hubby, pay for our wedding in full.
  • Still have some savings left to make opening a CD worthwhile.

A friend asked me how I managed to save so much, and I really had to think about it because saving has just been somewhat second nature to me. I’ve now put it into words, and have decided to write it here in case you’re interested and it can somehow help you with your savings goals.

This may be particular relevant now as many Americans are struggling due to COVID, and we are very, very thankful that Jacky still has a job. We aren’t able to save up much now that we’re on his single income, but knowing we still have savings in the bank just gives us a lot more peace of mind.

So here they are, some key financial/saving rules I’ve followed subconsciously my whole life. Jacky and I are now slowly saving up for a house, following the same guidelines:

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