July 29, 2011

Getting back to a healthier, natural, economic and easier way of life

Once upon a time, I was more earth friendly. Once upon a time, I was a better recycler. Once upon a time I ate healthier. Once upon a time I loved to research which foods were "super foods" high in antioxidants and great for cancer fighting. Once upon a time I did my best to buy organic foods and was really succeeding. Once upon a time I was thoroughly intrigued with homesteading and the idea of living off the grid. Once upon a time I exercised. Once upon a time I did beginners yoga.

Well lately, I have found myself slipping further and further away from these important things. What has happened to me? Why have I slipped away from these things that I loved so much...that excited me...that stimulated my every brain cell?!

Well, there are a couple of reasons that may be the culprit...but I need to move past this and get to steppin'! I used to love this stuff...I thrived on this stuff...and it's really good stuff to thrive on!

I remember when I wanted to go organic and provide the healthiest possible food for my family. Of course it was overwhelming...but I didn't let that stop me. I just started out very, very slowly. I started with one or two things at a time and made a vow to continue with those things until I was ready to add another thing. Soon it became fun thinking about the next wonderfully healthy item I would add to my grocery list, or the next organic veggie I would incorporate. It was so easy this way. I was not 100% organic by any means, but let me say this, some organic is better than no organic...and I was completely satisfied with that. My husband was totally on board..he has always been interested in making our lifestyle healthier and being more earth friendly. The kids put up a struggle with choosing cereal that was healthy. I pushed and pushed {gently} but didn't give up. Finally..slowly but surely...they found cereals that they loved and I was happy. I didn't go totally off the deep end either...I actually allowed them one box of junky cereal every once in a while. By junky, I mean Lucky Charms, Apple Jacks, Count Chocula...stuff like that. Don't get me wrong...I really l.o.v.e. these cereals!! They taste delicious and I have fond memories of eating them as a child..and as an adult. I really didn't want to be some kind of extremist and have my kids eating monstrously at a friend's house because they couldn't get it at our house. No, no, no. I was not about that. I was level headed, firm and I followed through...and...once in a while, we ate something "bad".

I still baked. I made everything from scratch and tried to use the right products. My thought was this...making cookies homemade...you know exactly what's in them, and usually for that matter, you're talking about 6 ingredients like flour, sugar, butter, vanilla, egg and so on...and not a single chemical or preservative!!! I liked that...no...I loved that. I used to make chocolate chip cookies that were the best in the world! They were not cheap as I used organic butter, flour, eggs, sugar and dark chocolate chips. I believe everything in that cookie was organic except for the vanilla. I wasn't quite ready for that splurge. I would get the butter on sale and buy the flour in bulk and it wasn't that expensive. The only thing that was expensive was the organic dark chocolate chips. There was a certain store I used to buy them at and I could buy just as much as I needed, no more, no less. There was nothing funky or odd in these cookies, I cannot stand carob, so I would not even go there...they were just plain good.

Well, I have been doing a lot of thinking lately and I have been feeling that I need to slowly, but surely get back into what I used to be all about. I don't know that I can afford those organic dark chocolate chips anymore, but....it's okay!!! That's totally beside the point. I will do what I can with what I have and whatever my budget is. This is not about spending crazy amounts of money at fancy specialty grocery stores. It's about going back to what our grandmothers and grandfathers did years ago. They were the original "green" people. Part of the World War II generation, they lived simply, grew their own food, raised chicken for meat, re-used, re-purposed, and re-cylced because it was what they knew, how to survive, the right thing, ...it was a way of life...it's what you did. They were "green" and didn't even know it.

I have a confession to make. Please don't hold it against me because I am vowing to never do it again. Lately, I have been throwing empty baby food jars in the regular trash! I know! I know! Not every time, but here and there, and it's not right! Why? Because I am getting l.a.z.y.!! Plain and simple. As I mentioned, I am slowly but surely slipping further and further away from everything I was and it is not acceptable. It is time. It is time to get back into diligent recycling, taking the cardboard to the recycling center, getting that yoga mat out {dust it} and putting in that DVD, eat a handful of blueberries because it fights against Alzheimer's, drive to the local dairy weekly for milk...

{that's not all my milk, I used to go once a week with 2 of my friends}

...because it's wholesome and good and hasn't been tainted with preservatives or traveled thousands of miles in a truck from California that burned hundreds of gallons of fossil fuel to get here.

So, I have decided to take it one little step at a time as to not get overwhelmed....pick up one good habit at a time, and slowly but surely get back into it. It's the best for my family, for myself, for the earth. I have already started and have introduced two new things back into my world. I bought Seventh Generation liquid dish soap because it is all natural. I bought it at WalMart for just about $2.80. That's not so bad...I can handle spending a little more to know that I am putting less chemicals down the drain every time I wash the dishes. Also I researched how to make my own dish soap and am thinking of doing that in the future. For now, this is the first step. Slowly...surely.

The second thing I have been thinking about, is taking better care of my skin. I researched sugar scrubs for exfoliation and found how easy and inexpensive it is to make at home. I can use products I already have in my home and it costs pennies! I tried it today and had great results!! I am going to make a post on my sugar exfoliating scrub very soon, so I will leave that recipe for another day. Keep an eye out for it!

No doubt, you will still see plenty of recipes on my blog, as I intend for my family to continue eating! LOL!! I'm still the same me, I haven't gone off the deep end or anything, I'm just getting back to the old me. Just getting back to doing right by my body, my family's bodies, the earth, and living simpler like my forefathers and foremothers. I'll be posting some of my changes and I am looking forward to hearing your response. Til then!

I'll leave you with some photos of my lunch yesterday. It is an old time favorite of mine that I haven't had in a long while. You should try it, you'll love it!

*Organic blue corn with flax seed tortilla chips
*Cubed avocado sprinkled with lime juice and a smidgen of salt and pepper.
{corn chips bought at Target. It's by their signature food brand "Archer Farms"...$2.50 for a huge bag..the same size bag as would be Doritos, so you're really getting your money's worth here, not a skimpy little over priced bag just because it's organic}

Seriously, I can feel my saliva glands working right now just looking at this picture!!! This is one of my favorites!!  If you don't like lime juice, give lemon juice a try.

P.S. Just wanted to mention that I place more importance on eating local than I do eating organic. I have no desire to go to the grocery store and buy organic produce that has been trucked in from California. That is a huge turn-off to me.