Life Hacks – Weird tips for life by Dr. Katy

This article will be an ongoing compillation of Life Hacks discovered and learned over the years by Dr. Katy.  Some you’ll likely already know, but some you may not!  Hopefully they help make life a little easier:

  1. Home Moisturizer:
    You can moisturize with any household food-grade oil that you have on hand.  Thicker oils like olive, or coconut work well for very dry skin and cracked heels.  Thinner oils like avocado or nut oils like almond or walnut work better for less dry skin.  Add a few drops of essential oil to your dedicated-for-the-body oil bottle for a fun scent!
  2. Hair Oil Treatments:
    Moisturize your hair with hair oil once a week to have silky smooth hair all winter long.  My favourite mix = olive, avocado, and almond oils.  Simply mix the oils in a small bottle (I use dollar store travel bottles), apply a few Tbsp to damp hair starting at the ends and working up to 3-4 inches away from the scalp (going all the way will leave you with lank hair for a bit).  For very dry hair, finish by melting a bit of coconut oil between your plams and rubbing into your ends.  Pin your hair up (optional: apply showercap to keep hair warm) for at least 30min.  I just throw it up in a high bun and do the housework and then shower whenever I’m finished.  Shampoo and condition as usual.
  3. Silky Smooth Hair:
    At the end of your shower finish with a cold rinse.  Not only does this help to boost your immunity for cold and flu season, it also leaves your hair shiny and smooth by closing off and tightening the hair shaft.  The colder the better, and 10-30 seconds is all you need!  (This is also a great way to get your scream therapy in! ;))
  4. Cure for hiccups (works every time!):
    Put a piece of paper towel over the top of a glass of water (at least 250ml) and drink the water slowly through the paper towel.
  5. Simple Shower Shaving:
    Instead of using shaving gel, try using hair conditioner for a smooth shave, and happy skin without the need for extra products!
  6. Sex lube (Not OK for safe condom use):
    Try natural oils to provide lasting lubrication without irritating tender mucous membranes.  If you can put it in your mouth, you can put it on your skin!  Eg. Coconut oil, almond oil, avocado oil.  For heavier duty lube, try olive oil.
  7. Smooth Protein Smoothie:
    To avoid having a chunky smoothie or stuff stuck to the inside of your blender, always add your liquid before your solids.  Add your protein powder (and other powders) last.
  8. Get gum out of hair:
    Rub a glob of nut butter into the hair surrounding and over the gum and massage through.  Gently pull out the balled up pieces as they come free.  Never cut gum out of hair ever again!
  9. De-Shine your face:
    Sick of fighting with oily skin and having to wear too much makeup?  Try a little arrowroot flour dusted on with a makeup brush to dull the shine and keep your face oil-free all day (reapply after sweating).
  10. Water Rings on Wood:
    This amazing tip actually originally came from Amanda Bolen from Discover Wellness Massage Therapy!  To get those pesky water rings out of your wood furniture (thanks to all of those holiday guests who didn’t use a coaster) – simply cover the stain with a dry cotton cloth (like a dry dish towel) and iron over it with your iron on the “no steam” setting.  After a few passes, your water ring will be gone without damaging the finish!
  11. Fix overly salted food:
    While this doesn’t work for absolutely everything, it’s a darn handy trick if you’re desperate to save a meal.  If you’ve added too much salt to a dish, you can add sugar to balance the flavour.  Not the most naturopathic or healthy option to do regularly, but man does it boost flavour and save the day in a pinch!  (The combo of sugar and salt is what makes most take-out food so delicious).
  12. Grounding the Spins:
    OK, so my first recommendation would be to moderate your drinking for the holidays, but should that fail and you find yourself with a case of the alcohol spins, grounding yourself in 3 planes can really help to reduce the sensation.  This means touching objects in various directions from you to give your brain a proprioceptive idea of where you are in space.  A good example would be to sit/lay on the bed, while touching the wall beside and/or behind you with your hand(s) and touching one foot to the floor off the side of the bed.  This works on the same principle of why we grab a wall when we’re feeling dizzy.
  13. Kill the Mildew Smell 
    You can kill the mildew smell on a dishcloth or towels by hanging them outside in the sunshine.  In the winter, you can microwave a damp stinky cloth for 1 minute to beat the smell, or throw 1-2Tbsp of baking soda into your wash load.
  14. Clean Baked-On Microwave Gunk –
    If the inside of your microwave is coated in old dried splatters, you can make them easy to remove by microwaving a wet dish cloth for 1 min.  This steams the interior and allows tough gunk to wipe away easily.
  15. Swallowing pills and capsules:
    To make swallowing pills easier, for tablets and solid pills tilt your chin up (looking towards the sky) to help you swallow.  For capsules (the clear powder-filled ones that are two sides slid together) tilt your head down – chin towards chest to help you swallow without hitting your gag reflex.
  16. Avoiding gagging:
    To avoid gagging when you are brushing your tongue/teeth or when your doc puts their tongue depressor in your mouth, try breathing slowly inwards as this can help inhibit your gag reflex.
  17. Cleaning by trusting your gut
    When you’re cleaning out your closets to get a fresh start for spring – ask your gut if you should keep each item or not.  Trust whatever it says, even if it doesn’t make sense to your brain.
  18. Hourly wage budgeting 
    When deciding whether to buy a new item or not, try figuring out how many hours you would have to work to pay for it.  Think in hours of work instead of dollars.  Eg. If you make minimum wage ($14/hr) and the item is $50 – you have to spend 3.5hrs more at work.  If you hate your job, you’ll be saving money in no time!
  19. Consignment of old (nice) clothes
    Put aside nicer and higher-end clothes when you’re cleaning out your closet and take them to the consignment store to get you a bit of money back on your stuff.  All lower budget and more used clothes can be taken to donation to be eco friendly as well.
  20. Replace your plastic wrap
    Make your own beeswax wrap to seal your kitchen goods, and stop filling the world with more wasted plastic!  It’s naturally antimicrobial and reusable.  Want a great recipe? CLICK HERE (
    and  Check out Spirea Herbs  (http://spiraeaherbs.ca/) – a fantastic local homesteader.  I recommend joining her newsletter too!!
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