Conscious by Chloé

Chloé Lepeltier - Conscious By Chloé

Conscious by Chloé is a lifestyle blog focused on Zero Waste, Sustainable Living and Ethical Fashion written by Chloé Lepeltier.

Reset your phone, reset your life

Girl with hat looking in the distance by Conscious by Chloé

You know how sometimes one little event ends up making you reflect on your life in general?

This happens to me a lot, especially when I'm clearing my closet...

This time, both a book and my phone made me re-evaluate my habits. Here is how it went:

During our road trip - which I highly documented on Instagram and that will be the subject of an upcoming article - I read many books, different kinds of books, and one of them was by my favorite happiness expert, Gretchen Rubin.

As you know, I listen to her podcast and was also very inspired by The Happiness Project, her best-seller. Unsurprisingly, her latest book, Better Than Before, was on my reading list. This time, she tackles this critical question: How can we make good habits and break bad ones?

With September coming up, a big project that will keep me busy for weeks and this general feeling of going back to school, the long hours driving along the Western States roads were the perfect opportunity to reflect on my habits. I assessed my New Year Intentions and formulated some new ones for the coming month.

But the implementation of these habits came in a funny way. I had been having issues with my phone for a while now and had postponed the inevitable restoration for too long. A thorough restoration is something you really do not want to have to do. It means losing all of your beloved settings, reinstalling numerous apps and re-entering a countless number of passwords (At least, I was glad I used 1Password. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, head out to my favorite apps article.)

In the end, it took me an entire afternoon to tackle this nagging task. What I would never have imagined though, is that evaluating whether every single app in my phone was worth reinstalling would make me reflect on my lifestyle in general.

Better Than Before helped me identify certain aspects of my personality. I'm a questioner, a procrastinator and probably an abstainer. This came as no surprise, but actually writing it down in my notebook helped me realize that what I needed was a) tools to organize my life and prompt me to do certain activities at certain times, b) an accountability partner and c) to identify activities that should be paired together in order to ensure they will be done (you'll understand what it means later).

I fell into a fitness-related vortex and spent way too much time linking well-being related apps to the Health app (I use an iPhone) and installing new ones that were suggested to me. Since my health data had completely been erased, I was motivated to start afresh and capitalize on the good cycling and hiking habits we had set during the holidays. So I reinstalled Runkeeper and Strava for walking, hiking and cycling. I also reinstalled my precious Clue app (period tracking), and the fun Sleep Cycle one. As one of my goal for the year was to drink more water, I also installed the Waterlogged app. And it's been pretty successful so far. Even Octave asks for a glass of water whenever he hears the waves sound of the app reminder.

Octave got me into mountain biking during this trip, and as we got back home, I finally managed to convince him to go indoor bouldering with me. We went to an intro class this week and got a pass for the next two weeks. Let's see how it goes. Accountability really works for me, so I hope that this fitness & fun partnership will go a long way.

As for work organization, I followed a friend and colleague's technique and set reachable daily goals in order to finish on time (duh!) and avoid the stress of the upcoming deadline, the sleepless nights, etc. I also try to wake up and go to bed at the same time, start working and stop working at the same time and take a break to listen to a podcast while walking after lunch (Rubin's strategy of pairing activities). That's basically office life at home, except that I'm allowed to make a couple exceptions.

This will hopefully give me more stability and eventually make me healthier, and happier!


Have you ever had such an experience? What happened? Did you quit your job after painting your nails? What are your habit hacks? I'd love to hear it all!

A Simple Almond Milk Recipe with a Twist

Almond milk recipe by Conscious by Chloé

I can still hear my friend Elisa saying this, one night, when a couple friends and I were having dinner at her place: "Humans are the only mammals who still drink milk once they've reached adulthood". That was close to ten years ago! I remember scoffing. To me, milk was essential. In the morning with cocoa powder. After lunch in the form of a yogurt or cheese. Same thing at dinner. I truly believed in what they used to say on French TV: "Dairy products are our friends for life" (and we should consume them three times a day).

Years later, I gradually stopped drinking milk, mainly because Octave is intolerant. And I started doing a little bit of research, to consider whether I should still buy some for me, or if I could live without it. Long story short, I do not believe that milk is good for my health, my bones, etc (I might even be starting to think the opposite, but I do not want to start a debate, or do I?). I still eat dairy products, fermented ones, like cheese, yogurt (I found a producer who uses reusable containers, but really contemplate on making my own), but I replaced my morning milk by almond milk (served with muesli, cocoa powder or blended in a delicious smoothie).

I love making my own milk, I love baking cookies with the almond meal that I am left with after straining, I love knowing where my products come from (the almonds we buy are local and organic, our house has a filtered water faucet). Now I know almond production is not the most environment-friendly (California/drought), so if you have an informed opinion on this matter, please share it.

Almond milk recipe by Conscious by Chloé

In the meantime, here's the simplest almond milk recipe:


ALMOND MILK

Almond milk is a great alternative to cow's milk and it's so easy to make, you won't regret hauling these milk bottles back from the store.

Yield: 5 cups
Active time: 5 min
Total time:

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of almonds
  • 5 cups of filtered water
  • (optional) 1/8 teaspoon himalayan salt
  • (optional) Vanilla or 1 date

Instructions

  1. Soak the almonds in water overnight, at least 12 hours (I sometimes skip this part if I'm in a hurry but it is highly recommended.)
  2. Rinse the almonds.
  3. Put the 1 cup of almonds and 5 cups of water in a blender and blend for 1 minute.
  4. Strain the mixture into a large bowl or pitcher through a cheese cloth.
  5. (optional) Put the mixture back into the blender with vanilla, dates, or any other sweetener and add 1/8 ts salt.
  6. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to one week.

Notes

This recipe works with all kinds of nuts. Try them all!


Please share your own favorite recipes in the comment section, or on social media with the #consciousby hashtag. I'd love to try them! Pictures by Octave Zangs for Conscious by Chloé.

Headaches, acupuncture and holism

Acupuncture needles and moxa rolls by Conscious by Chloé

I've been battling with severe headaches for as long as I can remember.

After trying to get rid of them by medicating myself, wearing prescription glasses, getting rid of the unnecessary hormones I used to put in my body, after being wrongfully diagnosed migrainous (although it was a relief to put a name on my pain) and given some serious drugs, I decided to try something else to get to the root of the problem.

I had recently moved to a super nice neighborhood and walked past a wellness center which regroups talented teachers & practitioners, amongst whom is a female acupuncturist. I had never done acupuncture before, but thought I could give it a try.

After meeting her for a long talk about my health situation, we decided to meet twice a week. We started the treatment with cupping, needles, and a herbal prescription to take twice a day (the second time with a shot of white wine!), gua sha and moxibustion (many new terms to learn for me!). I followed the treatment for a few weeks and we then spaced out the appointments as the results were starting to be nothing short of amazing!

I realized that my body is pretty clever, trying to divert the pain somewhere else, migrating it to either my ovaries or my stomach at the beginning of the treatment. I loved the metaphors she used to explain how our body and organs work, it's all a question of politics, who's gonna rule your body?!

Of course, my decision to take care of this problem forms part of a holistic approach I adopted which consists of slowing down and taking care of myself and of my body a little more. Other things have changed in my life, besides the fact that I relocated to Oregon six months ago after one short year in California and that I now work from home, in a dedicated office, with a view on my very own backyard. Moxibustion and meditation are now part of my daily routine, I seasonally follow a 3-week cleanse and I'm about to start reading this book (terrible title and cover, but it was warmly recommended to me) about womanhood.


I was surprised about how tiny and flexible the needles are. What about you? Did you try acupuncture? What for? How was it?