Artist Creates Amazing Facial Sculptures From The Stones Of Avocados

An artist has carved a series of stunning facial sculptures – using the stones from AVOCADOS.

Art fanatic Jan Campbell scratches the intricate designs into the unique fruity material which she describes as the perfect blank canvas.

She now a huge collection of designs which she sells for more than £100-a-pop.

Jan, who creates the artwork under the name Avocado Stone Faces, said: “An avocado stone shares the characteristics of a dense wood.

“The stone will last for as long as you take care of it, by keeping it dry and treating it with additional oil or varnish when necessary.

“When worn as a pendant, the finish on the stone may be subjected to general wear and tear, as you can expect from any wooden pendant.”

Jan admitted she never previously paid attention to the stones in avocados but was struck by how beautiful they were while once cutting into a perfectly ripe fruit.

She said it dawned on her that she was ‘holding a substantial object’ in her hand, which had ‘a lot of potential’.

Jan, from County Mayo in Ireland, said: “It felt like a shame to just throw it into the compost.

“After deliberating over it for a few minutes, I wiped the stone clean and put it into the pocket of my raincoat.”

But after noticing the stone had become scratched, she grew intrigued as to the designs she could create.

She said: “A deep orange pigment had filled the scratch. I felt overwhelmingly compelled to explore further. Maybe my reassuring pocket pet was actually inside the stone, waiting patiently for me to dig him out.”

Jan uses an assortment of craft tools to carve into the stones, describing it as an incredibly ‘satisfying activity.’

She says she’s now hooked on creating more faces, forcing her to regularly visit her local supermarket to buy more avocados.

Source: SWNS

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Vegetarian Meal-in-a-bowl: Dairy-free Delicious, Lemony Soup with Quinoa

Ingredients

1 Tbsp camelina oil
1/2 small yellow onion, peeled and finely minced
1 large garlic clove, smashed and minced
1/2 cup white quinoa, thoroughly rinsed and drained
8 cups low-sodium vegetable stock, divided
1 small leek, trimmed, washed, and sliced into thin rounds
6 baby carrots, trimmed, scraped, and halved lengthwise
1/2 cup fresh shelled peas
3 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4 large organic eggs
2 cups baby spinach leaves, washed and spun dry and chiffonaded
3 Tbsp minced fresh chives or dill
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

  1. In heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat oil. Add onion and saute over medium heat for 2 minutes, or until softened. Do not brown.
  2. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in quinoa to coat. Add 6 cups stock and bring to a gentle boil. With lid ajar, simmer soup for l0 minutes, until quinoa is tender.
  4. Stir in leek, carrots, and peas. Cover and continue to simmer just until vegetables are tender crisp but still brightly coloured, about 4 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat to low to continue cooking.
  6. Dissolve cornstarch in 1/2 cup water. Stir in lemon juice.
  7. In small saucepan, heat remaining 2 cups stock. Do not boil. Remove from heat.
  8. In large mixing bowl, beat eggs with electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in cornstarch mixture. Reduce speed to medium-low and gradually beat in the 2 cups of hot broth. You don’t want it to curdle.
  9. Over low heat, slowly stir egg mixture into hot soup, stirring constantly until thickened and creamy and warm. Do not boil.
  10. Remove from heat and fold in spinach until wilted.
  11. Sprinkle with chives or dill. Add salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Alive magazine

In Pictures: Foods of Vegetarian Restaurants in the U.K.

A Stanford University Psychologist’s Elegant Three-step Method for Creating New Habits

Lila MacLellan wrote . . . . . .

If you hate the monotony of running on the treadmill, but drag yourself to the cardio room daily, believing self-torture will eventually become a habit—that’s not heroic; it’s bad design.

According to B.J. Fogg, a psychologist and researcher at Stanford University who has studied behavior change for more than 20 years, doing something you don’t enjoy and subsequently failing to make it habitual is actually more detrimental to a mission for change than doing nothing at all. To create a real lifelong habit, the focus should be on training your brain to succeed at a small adjustments, then gaining confidence from that success, he argues. To do that, one needs to design behavior changes that are both easy to do and can be seamlessly slipped into your existing routine. Aim for automaticity.

As proof of this concept, Fogg points to the massive experiments for which we’ve all been the lab rats: the success of tech giants like Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, companies that have made fortunes testing—and figuring out—how to make millions of people use their products as automatic habits. This is Fogg’s area of expertise at Stanford, where he researches the ways computers (including mobile phones) can persuade humans, a field known as captology (from CAPT, “computers as persuasive technology,” a term Fogg coined). He also directs the Stanford Persuasive Tech Lab and runs “persuasion boot camps” for industry professionals.

To help people figure out how to make new behaviors they actually want as routine as turning to Google to search the web, he developed the Fogg Method, which references several psychological theories and is comprised of three key steps. The first is about identifying your specific desired outcome: Do you want to feel less stressed at work? Lose 10% of your bodyweight?

Next, identify the easy-win behaviors—he calls them “tiny habits”—that will put you on the path to that goal. (This requires introspection, because the going method for reducing stress may not be the behavior that will work for you, Fogg emphasized in an interview with NPR last year. Maybe you’d find short walks more meditative than meditating, for instance, or perhaps jogging with your retriever sounds more inviting than lacing up for a spin class.)

Finally, find a trigger—something that you already do as a habit—and graft the new habit onto it. That might mean putting out an apple on the counter every time you start the coffeemaker in the morning, Fogg explained to NPR. “Notice I didn’t say eat the apple,” he added. Let’s not get crazy.

In an online Tiny Habits program that Fogg provides for free, he sends followers sample recipes for commonly held goals related to lifestyle topics like productivity, relationship building, or health. One such recipe: “After I finish brushing my teeth, I will floss one tooth.”

You can see where this is going. Tiny Habits works by designing out the need to feel highly motivated to get a task done. Motivational levels come and go with the wind, but flossing a single tooth is achievable no matter the emotional weather. Besides, most days you’ll find yourself flossing a few other teeth because—well, why not? One day your goal might be to simply put on your sneakers the minute you start the dishwasher in the evening. Slowly, naturally, you’ll start walking, too, and adding other, more ambitious goals to your routine.

That said, there’s one other flourish necessary to making this hack work, says Linda Fogg-Phillips, B.J.’s sister, a former health coach who now runs the online program. After carrying through with a tiny step, participants in the online seminar are instructed to give themselves a celebratory pat on the back. That might be by saying, “Yay,” or “Victory,” for example.

The organizers admit it sounds goofy to celebrate because you managed to floss a single tooth, or do a push-up after using the bathroom (another popular recipe), but, Fogg-Phillips tells Quartz, “You’re rewriting your identity as someone who succeeds.”

More than 28,000 people have completed the five-day free program. In exit interviews, 80 to 90% of graduates say they feel confident about their ability to change their habits, according to Fogg-Phillips. More than two-thirds of their participants report they’ve also noticed other, unexpected improvements. One woman set a goal to pick up one piece of garbage or misplaced item from her car every time she parked in her garage, for example; she soon found she was straightening out her house, too.

According to Fogg-Phillips, the ripple effect is common, and psychologists aren’t sure exactly why it happens. One theory: Thanks to the small victories, says Fogg-Phillips, people might consciously or subconsciously break down other barriers in their lives.

Source : QUARTZ

Just Thinking You’re Less Active May Shorten Your Life

Thinking that you’re less active than others may increase your risk of dying at a younger age, a new study claims.

“Our findings fall in line with a growing body of research suggesting that our mindsets — in this case, beliefs about how much exercise we are getting relative to others — can play a crucial role in our health,” said study co-author Alia Crum, an assistant professor of psychology at Stanford University.

“So much effort, notably in public health campaigns, is geared toward motivating people to change their behavior: eat healthier, exercise more and stress less,” Crum said in a university news release. “But an important variable is being left out of the equation: people’s mindsets about those healthy behaviors.”

The study included more than 60,000 adults in the United States who were followed for 21 years. Those who believed they were less physically active than others in the same age group were up to 71 percent more likely to die during the follow-up period than those who believed that they were more active — even if their actual activity levels were similar.

But the study did not prove that thinking one was less active caused early death risk to rise; it only showed an association.

The study was published in the journal Health Psychology.

The researchers said the findings show that along with being physically active, it’s also important for people to feel good about activities they do every day, such as taking the stairs, walking or biking to work, or cleaning the house.

“It’s time that we start taking the role of mindsets in health more seriously,” Crum said. “In the pursuit of health and longevity, it is important to adopt not only healthy behaviors, but also healthy thoughts.”

Source: HealthDay


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