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This Couple’s House Will Show You Why Living In A Small House Might Be A Good Alternative

This Couple’s House Will Show You Why Living In A Small House Might Be A Good Alternative

I grew up being something of a pack rat. I kept old school papers, any piece of meaningful mail I received, and all the toys my parents didn’t make me ship off to Goodwill. Once I moved out on my own, and then moved again and again, I realized that owning a lot of things wasn’t actually a great choice. It was hard to move a lot of heavy boxes, and sometimes it was hard finding space for everything in my apartments. Most of the time I’d have at least one closet that was stacked with unpacked boxes.

But even knowing that I owned too many pointless belongings, it’s hard to make yourself cut down. Even if you’re not sentimentally attached to anything, it just seems hard to throw things out in our culture. To help push myself towards the lifestyle I wanted to lead, I moved from a three bedroom house to a 450 square foot garage apartment with a lofted bed. This definitely made me cut down on belongings – for example, I went from five bookshelves to two! I kept only my favorite DVDs and put all of my music on the computer so I wouldn’t have stacks of CDs all over the house. I only bought what I needed for the bathroom and kitchen, and traded my couch for an armchair that could fit in the corner without being in the way. It was tough to do, but I felt so proud of myself once I downsized and lived more within my means.

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    Since then, I’ve seen pictures in the news about the popularity of downsizing to live in a small house, but this couple takes the cake! Andrew and Gabriella Morrison live in a tiny home – it’s only 221 square feet, but it has all the amenities of “big” house living! Both of them have a background in construction, so building the house was like a dream come true for them. In fact, they now own a business called TinyHouseBuild.com, which helps direct other people who want to build their own small houses. After checking out photos and a video tour of the tiny house, you just might be inspired to move out! And you can move anywhere, because many tiny houses are built on wheels, and are small enough to be towed behind cars and trucks.

    The biggest benefit of tiny homes is, of course, the financial savings. Building a tiny home costs between $22,000 to $35,000. That’s one-tenth of the price to build a single-family home in the United States, which averages out to be a cool $246,000, according to the National Association of Home Builders. That means you can have a home without having a mortgage hanging over your head. And, since tiny homes are so small, it doesn’t call for much to heat and cool them. They’re incredibly energy efficient, and since many are on wheels, you can always move them out of the sun and into the shade if you need to. Those are benefits for your wallet and the environment!

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    Besides the money, my favorite thing about tiny homes is how stylish they all look. They can have loft beds, or murphy beds, or beds with drawers underneath. The storage areas can’t be hidden in a closet, so not only do you cut the clutter, you have cool looking shelves and spaces for all your stuff. Every inch of space is used in a practical way, so nothing is wasted.

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      You can still have a full kitchen. I’ve seen kitchens in regular sized houses that don’t have this much cabinet space!

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        There’s a spacious bedroom…

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          A bathroom…

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              An office area…

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                And a dining area next to extra seating for guests.

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                  Storage space looks more stylish when you don’t have closets jam-packed with outdated clothes.

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                    It might seem like a major change to downsize from a large house with three or four bedrooms to a tiny house that is just one room with different levels and spaces carved out, but doesn’t it seem worth it? You only keep what really matters to you, you only buy what you need, and you have your spouse and family in the coziest of close quarters.

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                      For a full tour of Andrew and Gabriella Morrison’s tiny house, check out this video:

                      Featured photo credit: Gabriella Morrison via accuweather.com

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                      12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

                      12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

                      Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

                      But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

                      I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

                      Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

                      1. Nuts

                      The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

                      Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

                      Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

                      Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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                      2. Blueberries

                      Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

                      When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

                      3. Tomatoes

                      Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

                      4. Broccoli

                      While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

                      Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

                      Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

                      5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

                      Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

                      The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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                      Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

                      6. Soy

                      Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

                      Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

                      Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

                      7. Dark chocolate

                      When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

                      Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

                      15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

                      8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

                      Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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                      B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

                      Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

                      Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

                      To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

                      9. Foods Rich in Zinc

                      Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

                      Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

                      Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

                      10. Gingko biloba

                      This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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                      It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

                      However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

                      11. Green and black tea

                      Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

                      Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

                      Find out more about green tea here:

                      11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

                      12. Sage and Rosemary

                      Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

                      Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

                      When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                      Reference

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